A crowd of bikini-clad nurses cheered as Mayoress Pamela Outhwaite, 46, strode up on a makeshift platform and performed a public opening act with her official, rate-payer funded scissors on a length of pink lacy ribbon, formally opening the heated swimming pool at the Bognor hospital nurses social club.
Nurse Amanda Carstairs, 19 and wearing an all-in-one stretch fit costume that left little to the imagination, told our reporter 'We've been waiting for this for years, and now its here I just couldn't wait to get stripped off and jump in with the girls'.
Just a few yards away in the hospital wards sick patients, lying in bed and many unable to move, were treated to the sounds of the nurses who could otherwise have been caring for them splashing away as they cavorted together and tried out the wave machine. Relatives of Ethel Mulhooney, 78, assured us she would have slammed the organisers of the insensitive frolic when she woke up from her anaesthetic, as she'd been waiting more than four months for her hip replacement.
Back in the nurses social club things were getting steamy as the girls took it in turns to launch themselves from the springy diving board into the waiting throng below, and propelled themselves up and down the pool with flailing arms and legs in what they termed 'doing lengths'. When invited to 'come and join us'- a clear invitation to strip and participate in the riotous party- our reporter made his excuses and left.
Staff at the council offices were unavailable to comment last night, but Pamela had clearly worked up an apetite, shamelessly calling her unsuspecting husband from her state-funded mobile phone and saying with apparent innocence "Don't worry if you don't get this, but I'll pick up a chinese on my way home. Remember Nathan has karate tonight."