With the increase in foreign travel in the 1980s use of the lake began to decline and so did the will and finances to really adequately maintain it. In the subsequent 20 years until the early 21st century Woodspring Council made some efforts to maintain the lake but sadly, low maintenance took its toll, and when in the middle of the 1980s vandals began to appear and cause disruption, Rita put her foot down, and her mother gave up the lake management altogether. For the lake, this meant the end of supervised swimming, and the Council (Woodspring Council as it was then) put up notices to forbid swimming. The access steps were removed: in fact the pump house would have gone if it had not formed part of the lake wall!
Although no longer ‘running the lake’ Rita and Joyce still saw in the millennium in style – swimming in the last few minutes of the old millennium and the first few minutes of the new millennium as their own celebration in the lake.
Afterwards, dressed only in their towels, they went up on Dial Hill to watch the beacons, wondering what the others there would say if they knew they hadn’t a stitch on under their bathrobes!
Despite this lack of official interest from the authorities the Clevedon Sailing Club took a lead towards the future by launching a sponsored fleet of Minnow Sailing Dinghies in 1985. The boats carried logos of enthusiastic local businesses and encouraged the growth of a large group of sailing cadets. These cadets and their parents sailed an awesome fleet of Mirror Dinghies on the Bristol Channel through the 1980s making mass crossings to Woodspring Bay and Flatholm.
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