Bradford on Avon Swimming Pool has apologised for an error which meant children were charged for free swimming sessions over the Christmas holidays.

Wiltshire Council offered children aged under 16 free swimming during all public swimming sessions at their local Wiltshire Council and DC Leisure managed leisure centres from December 23 to January 3, a school holiday promotion they have run several times.

However, Bradford on Avon Swimming Pool was still charging children between December 23-28.

Altogether 149 children were charged entry until the error was detected by customers and staff who had seen publicity about the free swimming.

Laura Clark, general manager at the pool, said: “We apologise this mistake has occurred. It was never our intention to fail in delivering this scheme.

As soon as we realised the error it was rectified immediately, with free swimming starting on December 29. We also extended the free swims until January 4 and 5, where we admitted 242 children free.

“For those inconvenienced, if they would like to visit the pool by January 15, we can organise a free swim voucher.”

Grandmother Jean Smith, from Downs View, fell victim to the error when she took her two grandchildren to the pool on December 28 and paid for both of them.

It was only when Mrs Smith read in the Wiltshire Times several days later that swimming was free that she rang the leisure centre.

She said: “They said they couldn’t give any discount because the manager wasn’t in until the Friday.”

A Wiltshire Council spokes-man said: “Anyone who feels they have been affected by this should contact the swimming pool directly.”