RIP LA Fitness

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stuart
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RIP LA Fitness

Post by stuart » 8 Jan 2016 14:05

As many will know the administrators of LA Fitness sold our Gym and Pool to Pure Gym who will be re-opening the premises at the end of March. Its been shut since October.

This week we cancelled our membership and moved to the excellent Gym at Forest Hill Pools. The over reaching reason was the closure by Pure Gym of the Sydenham Pool (along with over a dozen others around London). This is a major loss of amenity to Sydenham and London generally.

I was somewhat upset today to read that the Sydenham Society without any consulatation I know of has decide on our behalf to lobby to make The Greyhound an Asset of Community Value as it has done with The Windmill. Well I like a drink as much as the next but this is protecting use for an unhealthy lifestyle above all else. But doing nothing to try and save the amenity whose sole purpose is to promote a healthy life style.

Strikes me as strange priorities. So this is a cry, if it is not too late, to the Sydenham Society to re-prioritise and save our pool.

For those who point out that FH Pools also has two excellent pools - these are already heavily committed and in particular cannot offer the water aerobic classes that were available in Sydenham at times working women can attend. We know, we've lobbied, we've failed.

Stuart

Eagle
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Joined: 7 Oct 2004 06:36
Location: F Hill

Re: RIP LA Fitness

Post by Eagle » 8 Jan 2016 14:52

Stuart
I think you are quite correct and have done the correct thing.

The so called pool at Cobbs is not much more than a plunge pool and I would not rate its hygiene either.

Forest Hill Pools really good.

Parker1970
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Location: Kirkdale

Re: RIP LA Fitness

Post by Parker1970 » 8 Jan 2016 23:57

When I first moved here I looked at reviews of LA Fitness and I found it hard to find anything favourable, including the state of the pool and changing rooms, so I didn't join, perhaps the reviews I read where not the full story but it was clear LA Fitness were having issues when night after night their staff were touting outside the train station trying to drum up business.

My neighbour went there, though he seems quite positive about the change to Pure Gym, perhaps he was not interested in the pool :lol:

From a business point of view, if the place wasn't making money, it had to change, people aren't going to go to a place with a hefty subscription just because it has a decent pool after all.

Pat Trembath
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Re: RIP LA Fitness

Post by Pat Trembath » 9 Jan 2016 09:49

The Greyhound: The planning permission includes a "community room".

The requested ACV staus is intended to protect this facility and to ensure that whoever ends up by running the, hopefully, pub (we have yet to learn how this building is going to be marketed) is aware that there is an amenity available for hire for community use.

An Article 4 application has been made to protect the best of what we now have - a tiled mural to the rear, a lovely slate roof, barge boards, the greyhounds and some of the original Victorian tiles. Having fought to get these back the last thing we want (I hope?) is to see these removed when the building is fitted out now, or at any time in the future. Much of what was special in the original building was lost during its many and varied lives over the last couple of decades, which also Purelake's efforts to demolish.

LA Fitness pool: 12.5 metres long with a maximum space for 4 swimmers to swim abreast.

I used this pool between 1994 and September 2012 and can comment on what I experienced until Sepember 2012. I regularly complained about the state of the hygiene and cleanliness "wetside". The pool was often closed for bacteriological problems. There were no cleaners on site during the day, and no spot checks by staff. The ladies changing facilities were appalling, space was limited, especially after aquafit classes, with many lockers with no locks,

I also campaigned, as part of the Sydenham Society, along with Forest Hill Society and many local residents to retain swimming in two pools at Forest Hill. In September 2012 the new facilities at Forest Hill opened and I moved immediately. I now lane swim in a 6 lane 25m pool where each lane can accommodate 2 swimmers abreast. Even when schools' swimming lessons are taking place there are usually 4 lanes open for general swimming.

As regards to aquafit - I smiled at Stuart's comments as I had just returned from a regular Friday afternoon aquafit work-out which takes place between 3 and 4pm in the main pool. There is another Aquafit session on Thursday evening between 6 -7 pm.

Forest Hill Pools are not perfect, but there are a lot of staff visible, particularly around the pool, cleaners on site and, generally speaking, a manager or senior member of staff on site, available if there is a problem. Yesterday, as I left, a badged up Fusion Customer Service Manager was highly visible and available to users in the reception area. There are "Meet the Manager" meetings every couple months or so, as well as comment/complaint forms. An email address on one of these results in an email response - I know, as I have on occasion availed myself of this facility

biscuitman1978
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Joined: 16 May 2006 20:14
Location: Chislehurst; previously Sydenham

RIP LA Fitness

Post by biscuitman1978 » 9 Jan 2016 10:32

The decision to close the pool at the Sydenham Pure Gym branch wasn't specific to Sydenham.

Pure Gym have taken over all LA Fitness gyms and their business model is 'no frills'. That means no pools and no saunas.

I don't think any amount of campaigning by the Sydenham Society would force Pure Gym to make an exception for Sydenham.

More info at http://www.theguardian.com/business/201 ... la-fitness

Robin Orton
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Re: RIP LA Fitness

Post by Robin Orton » 9 Jan 2016 11:26

Pat Trembath wrote: I now lane swim in a 6 lane 25m pool where each lane can accommodate 2 swimmers abreast. Even when schools' swimming lessons are taking place there are usually 4 lanes open for general swimming....

Forest Hill Pools are not perfect, but there are a lot of staff visible, particularly around the pool, cleaners on site and, generally speaking, a manager or senior member of staff on site, available if there is a problem. ... An email address on one of these results in an email response - I know, as I have on occasion availed myself of this facility
I agree that FH pools are generally well-run and a pleasure to use, but

- there were only three lanes available for non-schools swimmers during much of the over-sixties hour last Thursday. No explanation or apology was given in advance to the fact that the schools would be using three lanes rather than the usual one or two, and this caused a certain amount of toothless mumbling amongst us geriatrics

- I wish a manager would occasionally 'walk the floor' and show him or herself actually in the pool area to see what's going on. I have never noticed this happen

- Pat is lucky to have had a response to her emails. I've sent them two emails in the past about different matters, and have received neither acknowledgement nor substantive response.

gillyjp
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Joined: 5 May 2005 18:52
Location: Sydenham

Re: RIP LA Fitness

Post by gillyjp » 9 Jan 2016 23:24

biscuitman1978 wrote:The decision to close the pool at the Sydenham Pure Gym branch wasn't specific to Sydenham.

Pure Gym have taken over all LA Fitness gyms and their business model is 'no frills'. That means no pools and no saunas.

I don't think any amount of campaigning by the Sydenham Society would force Pure Gym to make an exception for Sydenham.

More info at http://www.theguardian.com/business/201 ... la-fitness
Judging by the noise of the comings and goings of the large vehicles into Spring Hill (Friday saw an articulated builder's lorry reversing into Peak Hill Gardens from Spring Hill, in order to offload its building paraphernalia) and the amount of building debris taken out of the back of the Gym, I would say the pool has long gone.

simono
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Location: Sydenham

Re: RIP LA Fitness

Post by simono » 9 Jan 2016 23:45

As a former member of LA fitness currently using Forest Hill Pools I am inot in a bad position to comment here.
I did not bother with the pool at LA fitness as, as a reasonable swimmer I had reached the end in about 2 strokes. The whole wet side was dingy and felt a bit dirty as well. No loss I am afraid. The gym equipment was OK but needed upgrading although the bikes, treadmills etc were good. Even so I am afraid that the equipment was as good if not better than that at Forest Hill where much of the equipment needs to be replaced. The gym area at Forest Hill is also very crowded, there is not enough space to do stretching etc and the volume of equipment does not really cater for the demand.
It also costs twice as much for me to be a members at Forest Hill as it will to be a member at Pure Gym. For me budget is good and looking at the quantity and quality of equipment at Pure Gym gyms I can't wait for it to open.

stuart
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Re: RIP LA Fitness

Post by stuart » 11 Jan 2016 13:47

Pat Trembath wrote:As regards to aquafit - I smiled at Stuart's comments as I had just returned from a regular Friday afternoon aquafit work-out which takes place between 3 and 4pm in the main pool. There is another Aquafit session on Thursday evening between 6 -7 pm.
Thank you for agreeing with me that FH Pools makes no provision for water aerobics for people who have to work normal business hours. Just because its OK for us doesn't mean we should not campaign for them.

I agree with the other comments about LA Fitness pool being unsuitable in so many ways for serious swimming. It was, however, heavily oversubscribed at weekends when (mostly) working women could enjoy water aerobics for which it was the only facility in the area available. An asset now apparently lost without the will for at least a fight. Some people from Lower Sydenham are trying to persuade The Bridge to fill the gap. But can you do anything up on Dartmouth Road?

Surely campaigning for healthy lifestyle assets is more important than protecting unhealthy ones?

Stuart

Pat Trembath
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Re: RIP LA Fitness

Post by Pat Trembath » 11 Jan 2016 15:50

Stuart

If you are suggesting I begin another campaign, the answer is "no"!

It's time for someone else who feels as strongly as you do to take on the mantle, and time for me to hang up my boots. I still have one or two irons in the fire that I hope to see through, not least The Greyhound.

Someone needs to show that there is a demand for out of working hours water aerobics/aquafit and start making noises in the right direction.

When FH Pools first opened in September 2012 there was an 8.30 am aquafit class on a Sunday morning which I attended. It failed for lack of numbers to sustain it. Get 20 people (usually ladies only - could open a further discussion in Town Pub?) demanding an out of 'working hours' class and see how Fusion/ LBL responds.

stuart
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Re: RIP LA Fitness

Post by stuart » 11 Jan 2016 15:57

I'm trying to take a sabbatical too this year.

I believe there is a petition with at least that number of active participants on it that has been presented to no avail. As to why no demand at FHP - they were obviously at LAF who had more civilised hours (10 or 11am, Sat/Sun) :(

But if you have some good environmental campaigns on hand for 2017 I maybe your man!

Stuart

Tim Lund
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Re: RIP LA Fitness

Post by Tim Lund » 15 Jan 2016 09:46

stuart wrote: I was somewhat upset today to read that the Sydenham Society without any consulatation I know of has decide on our behalf to lobby to make The Greyhound an Asset of Community Value as it has done with The Windmill. Well I like a drink as much as the next but this is protecting use for an unhealthy lifestyle above all else. But doing nothing to try and save the amenity whose sole purpose is to promote a healthy life style.

Strikes me as strange priorities.
Was this posted seriously, or just to show up the hypocrisy of Asset of Community Value listings? You demonstrate clearly that in practice they apply only to protect assets valued as being of community benefit in a rather skewed way. Are you prepared to take the analysis further and identify what it reveals about where power lies in our society? Not so much with impersonal market forces (can power ever lie with the impersonal?) but with the nexus of political operators, running from small time community activists, running up to the judge who backs up the listings when challenged.

Throughout there is the underlying message that in this country, licensed premises are necessary to be part of a community whose assets deserve protection. Who else can hear the deafening silence here about Islamophobia?

marymck
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Location: Upper Kirkdale

Re: RIP LA Fitness

Post by marymck » 15 Jan 2016 10:17

For the information of anyone who may wish to organize an ACV nomination ...

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/201 ... 1/contents

Though I don't think this would help the pool at LA Fitness, as it sounds as though the business had been sold before it was suggested that it was viewed as an asset by the community.

One has to be quick off the mark with ACV nominations, which is why SydSoc has acted before the Greyhound is marketed.

stuart
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Re: RIP LA Fitness

Post by stuart » 15 Jan 2016 11:52

Tim Lund wrote:Was this posted seriously.
Yes it was. Please don't hijack this thread which was posted on behalf of a small part (about 20+) of our community who simply want a local provision for evening or weekend water aerobics for those that work normal business hours.

Introducing Islamophobia here is not helpful or relevant.

Stuart

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