Kinnoir Swimming Pool
So, as soon as the weather warmed up in early summer, we were often down the Deveron swimming, splashing and playing with footballs or inflated vehicle tubes. Car tubes were great fun but if we could get our hands on a discarded tractor tube no effort would be spared in getting it repaired and launching it with due ceremony into the Kinnoir Swimming Pool.
Early in the season, the weather had warmed up but the water that flowed in the Deveron was still mainly melt water from melting snow higher up in the Cabrach and could be a shock to the system on the first dive. Did that bother us? Not at all!! In any case, the river warmed up very quickly in the summer sun and was soon at a temperature that allowed us to stay in the water most of the day!
Of course there was never an official swimming pool at Kinnoir but for those of us growing up in Kinnoir in the 1950s and 60s that was not going to stop us swimming!!! Where? The Deveron , of course!!!
A dam and mill race had been built on the Deveron to power the 16th Century Mill of Kinnoir just as the Deveron enters the Parish of Kinnoir and a wonderful stretch of calm and relatively deep water stretched upstream from there. What could be better for youngsters learning to swim than a safe, calm stretch of clean water?
The dam could be reached by crossing the railway line by the bridge down by the Kinnoir Cemetery and then trekking upstream along the river bank past the old mill and past the small islands in the river which had facilitated the building of the dam. There was no path but, depending on what was growing in the fields at the time, it was an easy stroll.
The banks of the river were not tended on the Kinnoir side – at least not by humans. The rabbit population, however, did an excellent job of keeping the grass down and, when the rabbits were in the ascendency, the banks were as neatly clipped as if a team of gardeners had been sent specifically to keep our swimming pool tidy!