Early morning swimmers in Thornbury, south Gloucestershire, have complained that loud music is ruining what they say should be a “peaceful” experience. The complaints stem from a decision by managers of Thornbury Leisure Centre to play music in the changing rooms from when it opens at 7.15am. Some customers of the centre have complained that the music is too loud, with some even leaving the changing rooms in their towels, unable to bear the music after their exercise.
Hilary Kingswood, 64, who comes over from Wickwar to use the swimming pool in Thornbury described the level of music as “chronic” and “annoying”, saying that “beforehand it was peaceful, but having this music is such an intrusion, something that no one has asked for.”
She said: “We don’t need it and all it does is ruin the peaceful atmosphere that many of us want for an early morning swim.
If people want to take music into the gym, they take headphones anyway.
“They say that it is a corporate decision and all the leisure centres are the same, but I have been told by my family who go to Yate and Bradley Stoke that there is no music of this kind of volume at all.”
Fellow swimmer Kate Hand, 62, a teaching assistant in Thornbury, said that the noise had got too much and one day decided to leave the centre in her towel.
I just had enough,” she said.
“I put my towel on, packed my bag, got in my car and went home to get ready for work.
It is not that loud anywhere else in the centre, so why it has to be there I don’t know.
We are customers and our opinion should be heard, but it seems like they don’t want to change anything.”
But while the complaints come from some of the users of the swimming pool, the centre says it is a corporate decision and claim it is enjoyed by the majority of their customers.
Andy Robinson, centre manager at Thornbury Leisure Centre, said, “We stream music in the majority of common areas in all our Leisure Centres and we regularly receive positive feedback.
We get on average 35,000 visits a month at Thornbury, with the majority of customers seeming to enjoy it. Some go as far as making requests at our reception desk.
Music can be both motivational and relaxing and we hope it doesn’t hinder Mrs Kingswood and Mrs Hand from maintaining a healthy lifestyle.”