Horley pool welcomes Margaret - back swimming after a 60-year absence

Margaret Humphreys back in the pool
Margaret Humphreys back in the pool

It was a special trip to the pool for 80-year-old Margaret Humphrys - the first time she had been swimming for 60 years!

Horley Leisure Centre swimming pool played host to Margaret, a former prize-winning swimmer.

Diagnosed with dementia, Margaret, who lives at Acorn Court care home, learnt to swim in 1932 at the tender age of two, on holiday with her parents.

She went on to win many swimming prizes and recalls specifically winning a silver cup for her front crawl before the last world war.

She also fondly remembers taking her children swimming in Redhill Baths, where she taught them how to swim back in the 1950s.

Home manager Monica Prosser says: “It was Margaret’s dearest wish to start swimming again.

“And there are many benefits to those living with dementia through swimming. Swimming is often associated with happy, early memories for example.

“And of course the physical exercise is very beneficial, helping to improve stamina and fitness - but it’s also low impact and being in the water helps to encourage relaxation and reduces anxiety.”

Margaret was accompanied by Alison Cane and Alison Fraser ,carers from the home and will now swim regularly at Horley swimming pool every month.

Margaret said: “I never dreamt I would be able to do this again.”