Each week, The Roving Reporter profiles one of the many delightful meeting places that thrive in our community, from pubs and cafés, to churches and parks, or on occasion, presents a series of Quick Picks, pointing out some of the little gems and unique out-of-the-way locations.
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The h2g2 community property values have been greatly increased by the presence of the h2g2 Waterworks. While it's important to have cafés, bars, and churches, nothing adds to the value of a community like waterfront -- and there's a lot here! Not only do we have a beach, but there's a river, a sea, a swimming pool, sand mountains, and a whole lot more.
The Waterworks was started when the h2g2 community was still quite small (a couple of bars and a café). Bluebottle originally was thinking of a Virtual Sandown Pier, but decided to expand the idea to a full Waterworks that could be expanded over time. And boy has it expanded!
At first, the Waterworks was one page, with various threads for the different areas of the Waterworks, but as the place grew, eventually the whole place was separated into different locations linked together. This created some confusion among the regulars, who were used to threads in one place and now were finding that the actual attraction had moved, but it's starting to settle down as people are finding the various parts of the waterworks again.
For those who have not been to all the sites since the re-organization, it's worth taking some time (like a week!) to explore all of the areas.
Since it's always summer somewhere, you can count on nice weather anytime you want to go to The Beach at h2g2. It's a five-mile coast of sun, sand, donuts, and fun people enjoying themselves on a beautiful day. If it gets too hot, stop by the Ice Cream Stall for something cool and refreshing. It's also a great place for beach combing and barbecues, or just sitting in a beach hut and watching the world go by.
Please be aware that while there is a full The Lifeguard Station for the Beach and the Swimming Pool, most of the volunteer lifeguards have stopped showing up for work, so you'll have to swim at your own risk. You know how it is -- they want the status of being a lifeguard to impress their friends, but don't want to bother actually rescuing anyone. If you're interested in being a lifeguard (for either the status or actually working as one), stop by their station and sign up1!
There was a bikini competition at one time (I hear that Bluebottle actually took third place!) and there are plenty of other beach activities available.
The Swimming Pool
For a somewhat more chlorinated swimming experience, stop by The Swimming Pool, which is fully equipped with waterslides, wave machines, rapids, fountains, waterguns, showers, hottub, diving boards and all the fun toys connected with modern swimming pools.
While sitting by the pool, you can enjoy your favorite coffee or tea beverages from The Aroma Café, which is connected to the pool.
Some researchers, feeling a bit more ambitious in the pool, have been swimming to Jupiter on board the Swimming Pool ship piloted by Joanna, which has a Yellow Submarine in its depths2.
It should be noted that both the beach and the swimming pool have fallen under the authority of H.R.A.S.C.3. This dedicated group of volunteers patrols various waterways making sure that people don't wear swimming costumes. This, they feel, will cut down on the number of vicious shark attacks which seem to be provoked by the use of clothing in the water. Any H.R.A.S.C. member is authorised to confiscate any swimming costumes that you're wearing, so it's best to avoid using them at all. While the problem of shark attacks may seem less of a concern at the swimming pool than at the beach, this group is taking no chances with your safety!
This is a great place to just sit by the water and relax, or even better, you can rent a canoe or kayak at The Boat Yard and go exploring.
In the history of the waterworks, a number of mountains have grown up. Mt. Sandcastle got its start by the building of a sandcastle by Demon Drawer that got out of hand and ended up becoming a full mountain, with its own ski chalet and snowball arena.
At the base of the Mt. Sandcastle is a very popular donut stall -- part of the Joanna's Donuts franchise around h2g2.
The Waterworks has also been the starting point for a number of expeditions up Mt. SandEverest.
Mt. Muwemu just grew up out of the sea very recently. It adds a delightful look to the skyline, with its giant pink bubble of light at the top.
If you're really feeling adventurous, take a tour through The Sewers. They're not as nasty as you might expect, but there are a number of surprises down there, including this rather fierce sewer monster, and the occasional rat.
This is one of the few places that doesn't yet have a donut stall for some reason, so you probably want to bring your own lunch (unless you'd rather be lunch, in which case the sewer monster will be happy to oblige). There was some talk about selling popcorn there, however, but I don't believe they've started that up yet.
Don't forget, though, that the sewers take care of the waste from...
The Public Toilets
The Public Toilets at h2g2 serve the Waterworks areas as well as the Aroma Café and the Forum and Firkin. These are very modern toilets with all the conveniences, as well as having good walls for writing graffiti.
In the middle of the town square is a delightful little Fountain which serves as a meeting place (particularly for romantic couples), or just a place to get a drink of very good, pure water. The water is so good it is used as the source for the water at The House of Relaxation.
There's no doubt that the h2g2 community is much enriched by this wonderful complex of waterworks for sport, relaxation, and practical use.
Come on in! The water's great!
*removes swimming costume and dives in*
Other features by the Roving Reporter