A VALE woman was left high and dry after Barry Leisure Centre hosted a Cardiff swimming club's gala - and closed the pool to regular customers.

Carol Hockley of Castle Drive, Dinas Powys, has taken her eight-year-old niece Hannah to the swimming pool since she started school.

But on Saturday morning, when the pair arrived at the leisure centre for their weekly swim, the pool was closed to the public as it was being used for a City of Cardiff Swimming Club gala.

Mrs Hockley said: "When we arrived at the pool, I was told'I'm very sorry but the pool is closed'.

"I was angry and Hannah was disappointed, but when I discovered it was bring used for a Cardiff Swimming Club gala, I was incensed.

"I cannot understand why this pool is used for a Cardiff gala. It doesn't make sense to hold one in Barry when you consider how many there are in Cardiff."

Mrs Hockley continued: "I've got 28-year-old twins and I used to take them here when the pool first opened. They could both swim 1,000 metres when the left primary school.

"Swimming is such good exercise, and it's important that every child learns to swim."

Jamie Morgans, manager for the Vale of Glamorgan Council's leisure services, told the Barry and District News: "It is regrettable that one of our valued customers was unable to use the pool on this occasion, but we do host a number of galas throughout the year and they are an important part of all leisure centre special events.

"Indeed, it is at events such as these that talented individuals are often spotted for future development as possible Commonwealth and Olympics participants."