Malvern Gazette comment: Striking a balance on public safety at Gullet Quarry

BARRIERS: Safety measures are now in place at Gullet Quarry

BARRIERS: Safety measures are now in place at Gullet Quarry

First published in News Malvern Gazette: Deputy editor: John Wilson by , Group Deputy Editor

AMAZINGLY, people are still swimming in Gullet Quarry, near Malvern, the scene of the drownings of two young men just a year ago.

The number doing so are, however, few thanks to the efforts of the Malvern Hills Conservators, who have introduced new safety measures and a publicity campaign.

Police too have played their part, warning that they will prosecute anyone who fails to leave the water when asked to do so.

Such tactics are working.

There was a time when, in warm weather like this, the quarry would have been alive with people enjoying the sunshine and taking a dip.

Many deeply regret that it can no longer be enjoyed in the same way.

But allowing swimmers to face such clear and persistent danger in a public place – Gullet has claimed eight lives since quarrying stopped there in the early 1970s – is not the mark of a civilised society.

Gullet Quarry has not been tamed, a danger will always lurk there; but a sensible balance has been struck between meeting obligations to public safety and allowing public access to an attractive place.

The quarry has not been shut behind locked gates as some demanded after last year’s tragedies.

Visitors can still enjoy its peace and tranquillity, and the beauty of its turquoise water on a sunny day.

But no family should have to suffer the loss of a loved one in those cold depths again unless as a community we can with all sincerity say, “We did all we could to keep them safe.”

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:44pm Fri 25 Jul 14

Geebill says...

At the time of fencing the lake off the Gazette said "the quarry has been tamed" If the police will now be involved why could this option not have been used instead of erecting an unsightly fence. There will always be youths swimming in the lake, but not locals.
Eight lives in 40 years, how many have died in the rivers in that time are they to be fenced off. There is now barbed wire on top of the fence, how long before someone sues the conservators for damage whilst climbing over to retrieve a ball etc.
At the time of fencing the lake off the Gazette said "the quarry has been tamed" If the police will now be involved why could this option not have been used instead of erecting an unsightly fence. There will always be youths swimming in the lake, but not locals. Eight lives in 40 years, how many have died in the rivers in that time are they to be fenced off. There is now barbed wire on top of the fence, how long before someone sues the conservators for damage whilst climbing over to retrieve a ball etc. Geebill
  • Score: 9

11:31am Sat 26 Jul 14

Lakselus says...

The statement - "But allowing swimmers to face such clear and persistent danger in a public place – Gullet has claimed eight lives since quarrying stopped there in the early 1970s – is not the mark of a civilised society" is sheer nonsense. If society sought to 'protect' those who wish to risk their lives there would be no mountaineering in Scotland and the Peak district , no kayakers..... the list could go on. A civilised society at most need only warn people of the dangers, as is done for mountaineers, and of course, in this case, clearly indicate that byelaws exist to make it illegal to swim in the quarry. It would appear from the sign you depict that this fact is not publicised.
The statement - "But allowing swimmers to face such clear and persistent danger in a public place – Gullet has claimed eight lives since quarrying stopped there in the early 1970s – is not the mark of a civilised society" is sheer nonsense. If society sought to 'protect' those who wish to risk their lives there would be no mountaineering in Scotland and the Peak district , no kayakers..... the list could go on. A civilised society at most need only warn people of the dangers, as is done for mountaineers, and of course, in this case, clearly indicate that byelaws exist to make it illegal to swim in the quarry. It would appear from the sign you depict that this fact is not publicised. Lakselus
  • Score: 6

1:05pm Sat 26 Jul 14

Casmal says...

I so agree with the two comments above. This is nit fhe most sensibke comment I have read in the Gazette, to put it mildly! It's nit amazing at all that people are stoll swimming there. So many people said these measures would not stop people swimming, it would just make it more difficult to rescue them!!

What is amazing is that the the police have only now stepped in to say they will prosecute!

Both police and wardens should have been far harder from the start. There are ways and means and it only takes a little will and imagination. for example, iff they couldn't make citizen's arrests, either get names and/or photos, which they could send the pictures to the local papers.
I so agree with the two comments above. This is nit fhe most sensibke comment I have read in the Gazette, to put it mildly! It's nit amazing at all that people are stoll swimming there. So many people said these measures would not stop people swimming, it would just make it more difficult to rescue them!! What is amazing is that the the police have only now stepped in to say they will prosecute! Both police and wardens should have been far harder from the start. There are ways and means and it only takes a little will and imagination. for example, iff they couldn't make citizen's arrests, either get names and/or photos, which they could send the pictures to the local papers. Casmal
  • Score: -3

12:46pm Thu 31 Jul 14

Bufton Tufton says...

Re-open the Priory Park lido. The site is still exsistant (next to the splash) and the pool tank may even still be in situ, under the gravel car park. It would make a very good revamp of the splash with both indoor and outdoor pools as a complement to each other as you often see in central Europe. If the water is adequately heated it would be possible for it to remain open all year There is even a lido in Glasgow open throughout the year. Since the lido was closed in the 1980s the usage at the remaining pools throughout the UK has grow tremendously. It would be a much better use of public funds than such projects as "The Route to the Hills" and the tin birds in Rosebank Gardens, which are mostly aimed to pleasure the genteel retired.
Re-open the Priory Park lido. The site is still exsistant (next to the splash) and the pool tank may even still be in situ, under the gravel car park. It would make a very good revamp of the splash with both indoor and outdoor pools as a complement to each other as you often see in central Europe. If the water is adequately heated it would be possible for it to remain open all year There is even a lido in Glasgow open throughout the year. Since the lido was closed in the 1980s the usage at the remaining pools throughout the UK has grow tremendously. It would be a much better use of public funds than such projects as "The Route to the Hills" and the tin birds in Rosebank Gardens, which are mostly aimed to pleasure the genteel retired. Bufton Tufton
  • Score: -1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree