Sit-in at Edwardian pool ends in flurry of eggs and eviction

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The Independent Online

"Oor wee pool is the best wee pool," said one banner. Sadly, for the protesters who have staged an 135-day sit-in to save the Govanhill Swimming Pool, by Tuesday it was also a closed wee pool. The battle for the Edwardian baths in south Glasgow ended shortly after 4.30am when a squad of eight sheriff officers armed with court orders to perform an eviction amid flurries of flying eggs.

Up to 70 demonstrators occupied the listed building in March following plans by Glasgow City Council to mothball the pool which needs repairs costing £750,000 and long-term investment of £3m. In a perhaps unique example of popular protest, the squatters said the sit-in was to aid physical exercise in their community, which has one of Britain's highest rates of heart disease.

The campaigners, calling themselves Southside Against Closure, festooned the building in banners and were allowed to use shower and toilet facilities which enabled some to stay for weeks. Glasgow City Council, whose staff were last night securing the 87-year-old building to ensure it cannot be re-entered while councillors decide an alternative community use, called the action "futile"

The Govanhill refuseniks did score a final victory over the authorities by leaving the building as the bailiffs arrived yesterday and claimed 10 of their number were hidden inside.

Council spokesman Alan Forbes said: "We will now begin the process of trying to find a new use for the building. As things stand, it cannot be used as a pool and there is a state-of-the-art facility less than 20 minutes walk away."

Police said that, despite the eggs, there had been no arrests.

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