YOUR two-page article in the Echo regarding the wave pool at the BIC has brought back many memories, some good but most very sad. I can remember drawing many of the placards shown in the photos. This was the first protest my children had really been involved with.

The council should never have closed the pool. They said it was to improve the conference facilities, yet we already had the biggest conferences in Britain at the BIC. They simply closed the pool for two weeks, drained it, decked it out in scaffolding and had the area as an exhibition space.

When I started the Save the Wave campaign with Cllr Ted Taylor, we made sure it was a non-political campaign, even though it was fully funded by the Bournemouth Labour Party. We got support from the Conservatives and Independent councillors alike as well as two Lib Dems, both of whom defected after we lost the vote and the pool was closed.

I was initially concerned because of my then small children and their friends; however we soon got to meet groups representing the disabled and many, many very elderly people who loved the gradual entry nature of the wave pool. For them it was this that was the most important aspect of the pool. Being able to gradually walk into the pool and swim was just so important and to be honest as father of young children it had never occurred to me. No steps or hoists, just a gentle slope.

We formed many friendships and the campaign certainly reached thousands through the petition. It was even signed by Tony Benn MP after my 10-year-old son had explained to him why it was so important to keep the pool.

The final vote in the council chamber was so close, we only lost by two votes. Two Lib Dems abstained, two voted to save the pool along with all the Conservative and Labour members. Even the wonderful Cllr Anne Ray, then mayor, broke with the traditional neutrality and voted to save the pool. We sadly lost and the Lib Dem council closed one of the most modern, best loved and ergonomically brilliant pools in the country. A sad day for Bournemouth, residents and visitors alike.

DAVID STOKES, Bradpole Road, Bournemouth