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The Maindee Dolphins

A bit off the subject of Africa, I know, but I was chatting to a friend today who asked if I had ever swum with dolphins.

Well, I have – and not in Florida or Mexico either! Who remembers Terry Nutkin brings his dolphins to the Maindee swimming pool? It may sound extremely far-fetched to those who weren’t around before health and safety and animal rights became embedded in our culture, but yes, two fully grown dolphins were carried through the foyer, up the steps and into the main swimming pool, where they stayed for about a week!

I was about 15 at the time and wrote to the Council, Jim’ll Fix It’-style, asking if they could make my dream come true and allow me to swim with the dolphins. A couple of days later I was being dragged around the deep end of the Maindee swimming pool on the dorsal fin of a real live dolphin! Perhaps if we lobby the Council, we could have a sea-lion show at the new pool?

And who remembers Whitson Zoo? My kids think I’m mad – I told them that my parents used to take me to the zoo in Newport and they just laugh at me!

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