Norilsk summer activities were not inferior to South ones

Norilsk summer activities were not inferior to South ones

April 26, 2023

Swimming seasons in Norilsk were once very active. The scale of recreation near water reservoirs in the 1940s was impressive.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. In the Old town on lake Krasivoye, for example, there was a swimming station with paths and a makeshift diving tower. And nearby, on lake Rudnoye, there was a boat and rowing station. But the largest was the water station with a yacht club at the Norilka river, in the village of Valyok.

By the beginning of the 1950s, the water station itself and the Taimyr summer restaurant were located there in wooden two-story houses with balconies.

Nearby was a wooden pier where boats moored. The Norilsk people willingly rented wooden rowing boats and, without fear, swam across to the right bank of the Norilka river, where they could walk along the untrodden tundra.

In the Valyok village, there was a real recreation area with a stage, a wooden dance floor, a volleyball court, gazebos and benches. On the summer season opening day, hundreds of Norilsk citizens came there to dance to the brass band and watch performances by  local artists.

By the end of the 1950s, all bathing leisure was transferred to lake Dolgoye. In 1958, a boat station was officially opened there with a berth for 40 boats. A special rescue post with divers and a nurse worked at the station every summer.

On hot days, a spontaneous beach arose on the Dolgoye’s banks, which, due to its crowdedness, could sometimes be confused with a southern beach. In 1969, the authorities decided to legalize it, allocating a land plot for this. And this was despite the fact that the lake at that time was part of the drinking water supply scheme.

At the same time, they decided not to deprive the Talnah residents of the bathing area. For them, it was planned to build a recreation complex with a boat station on the Haraelah reservoir. But it didn’t come to result. However, the Talnah inhabitants willingly swam in the surrounding lakes and even in the waters of the old cooling tower of the Mayak mine.

In the History Spot’s previous publication, we said that in Norilsk they began to mine ore in an open way, despite the capital designers’ pessimistic opinion.

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Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive

April 26, 2023

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