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Saltdean Lido

Saltdean Lido Opening Day

Opening Day in 1938 - "England’s only Grade II* listed lido (today), just four miles along the coast from Brighton, was designed as the centre piece of Saltdean’s new seaside resort and first opened in 1938 drawing in crowds from far and wide" - image courtesy of the Heritage Lottery Fund via the Daily Mail

Designed by RW Jones (who also designed the Ocean Hotel) this 1938 Open Air Lido was built of reinforced concrete, with sprayed cement finish painted white. During the Second World War the National Fire Service used the pool as a water tank and the grounds for training.

Postcard of the Saltdean Lido

Standing proud above the Lido is the rear of the Ocean Hotel

Saltdean Lido 1937

As promoted in 1937 (the Ocean Hotel can be seen on the hill in the background)

1979 postcard of Saltdean Lido

Still a popular venue as seen on this contemporary postcard from 1979

Campaign to save Saltdean Lido

Then came the campaign to save Saltdean Lido which was becoming as derelict as the Midland Hotel!

Saltdean Lido Panorama

Saltdean in its hey day

From here the deterioration becomes self-evident

Saltdean Lido and weeds

The start of the neglect .......

Digger in place to rip out the old swimming area

A sight which is all too familiar - the destruction of the original pool area in preparation for the renovation

Site construction Saltdean Lido

Boarding to prepare fountain

Sote construction at the Saltdean Lido

Saltdean Lido frontace

Saltdean Lido fountain

Working from the original architects plans the feature fountain begins to take shape

Saltdean Lido frontace

All images above from the Fb account of the Saltdean Lido Community Interest Company except where otherwise stated

History

One particularly pleasing example of the modern style is the Saltdean Lido, which happily still stands today. Saltdean is a suburb of Brighton which was developed extensively in the 'thirties and promoted to potential investors as "The Coming Resort". Saltdean itself has many fine buildings, built in the Hollywood Modern style - white walls and green roofs - popular in many seaside developments of the era. Saltdean's lido was designed by the architect, R W H Jones, who also designed the stylish Ocean Hotel in the same suburb.

The pool itself is situated near the coastline. It is relatively small, offering provision for only five hundred bathers. The main building behind is a two storey block, featuring a café with curved metal windows in its centre. Forming curved wings on either side of the café are the changing rooms on the ground floor and the sun terraces above these. The café resembles the bridge of an ocean liner. The effect is heightened by the presence of white curved metal railings on top of the café and in front of the terraces. Inspiration for the design appears to have been contemporary liner and aircraft design. No doubt, the nearby De La Warr Pavilion at Bexhill-on-Sea also had its influence. The pool itself has the popular features of a cascade in the centre and a diving board with curved railings styled to match the design of the main building. The design was well received by the contemporary architectural press. - Source : Seaside History

June 1934 New Brighton Open Air Bathing Pool

Seeing the word 'Brighton' may make you think that this Open Air Swimming Arena was situated in the deep south of England, but despite its name, the location of this lido is in the other hugely popular area of the North West! It helps that LMS stands for London, Midland & Scottish Railway running up the West side of the country. The Lido is situated in Wallasey (on the Cheshire Coast) which is somewhere in the now all-encompassing Wirral - for students of serious historical research visit the History of Wallasey website the story of this Lido is comprehensively covered and has some wonderful records (all unfortunately ruined by copyright notices).

The original lido was opened in June, 1934 by Viscount Leverhulme and cost the old Wallasey Corporation more than #90,000. In the first two months after opening, more than one million people passed through the turnstiles. The pool itself could accommodate 2,000 swimmers and there was seating for 10,000 spectators. By the 1950s, the pool was attracting around 150,000 people on a bank holiday weekend but its popularity declined and in the 1980s it was closed and put up for sale. In 1990, it was almost destroyed when a massive storm breached the sea wall and Marine Promenade was flooded. - Source : Daily Post

LMS Poster for New Brighton Lido

Professionally tinted view of the swimming pool

New Brighton Wallasey in sunny Cheshire featuring a cat poster New Brighton Wallasey in sunny Cheshire featuring a bucket and spade poster

Sun, sea and Cat in New Brighton or alternatively a bucket, spade and scarf to entice visitors now being ferried by British Railways - somehow the original 1930s posters were a little bit more classy than these 1950s efforts!

New Brighton Pool from the Air undated

A full panorama of the Lido (undated) courtesy & © of roydutton.co.uk

Postcard date stamped 1935

Postcard of the Lido dated 1935 - artists impression?

Sated postcard of New Brighton Lido 1935

Postcard postmarked 1935

Postcard of the Open Air Bating Pool, New Brighton 1930s

A postcard of the Lido in 1936

Full and excellent view of the admin block facing the pool

A magnificent view of the design - New Brighton Bathing Pool 1934. Source & © : Merseyside Maritime Museum / courtesy Wallasey Local Studies Library via the Liverpool Echo

The fountain in 1934

The feature fountain - looks as though this could be part of the opening ceremony in 1934 - image courtesy of the Liverpool Echo

Floodlit at night 1947 New Brighton Lido

Floodlit at night in 1947 - Source Pininterest

General view of the pool

General view (undated) - New Brighton Lido from the archives of Stewart Bale Ltd via the Liverpool Echo

Damaged in 1990

Storm Damage in 1990 led to the demolition of this Art Deco Treasure! - New Brighton outdoor swimming pool is demolished in 1990 via the Liverpool Echo

Jubilee Pool - Penzance

History

One of the most unusual and pleasing designs of the era was the Jubilee Pool at Penzance designed by Captain F Latham, the Borough Engineer. The pool was opened in 1935, the year of King George V's Silver Jubilee. It was built right on the shore line at Penzance and had to be designed to cope with the full ferocity of the Cornish seas. The pool is triangular in shape. In spite of this, straight edges have been avoided and gentle curves make it a most pleasant environment. A contemporary guide book tells us that:

"In many respects the design is unique architecturally, partly from a point of view of necessity in conforming with existing conditions of wave elements and rocks which controlled the outline. Streamlines have been used to the greatest advantage in meeting the direction of the storm waves, while a Cubist style has been adopted in the interior in providing diving platforms and steps. The whole pool is surrounded by high streamlined sea walls terraced up within the interior so as to give aspect and effect. They also serve to strengthen the structure."

The "high streamlined sea walls" also protect swimmers from strong, offshore winds and form terraces for spectators. Unlike most of the seaside lidos built in this period, the pool still stands today and is in excellent condition.

The Opening 1935

Announcing the proposed opening of the Jubilee Pool

Announcing the official opening of the Jubilee Pool in The Cornishman on Thursday, 30th May, 1935

And a request from the Mayor for bunting and flags to be exhibited on the day of the opening in The Cornishman on Thursday, 30th May, 1935

The Cornishman reports on the opening of the Jubilee Pool

The Front Page of the Cornishman dated Thursday, 6th June 1935

Souvenir programme Jubilee Pool opening 1935

The Souvenir Programme of the Official Opening of the Jubilee Bathing Pool - likely source of image PenleeHouse.org
Official description 'Souvenir programme of the official opening of Jubilee Bathing Pool. A4 card folded in half and printed on four sides, blue print with red print for the title. Borough of Penzance coat of arms on the front page. It is to be opened on Friday 31st May by Alderman J.W Meek, with the Mayor of Penzance, Charles Tregenza J.P, C.A., by his side, and is priced a threepence. The event will include a corporate procession, the opening, singing of the National Anthem, swimming by Professor Hicks, a beauty parade of bathing belles, a programme of aquatic sports and exhibitions and music by the Penzance Silver Band, conducted by T. Proctor. On the reverse side is information about the new pool. Printer : Beare and Son (L. Tonkin) 1935 | Source : PenleeHouse.org

Narrative history on reverse of programme :

Jubilee Bathing Pool, Penzance

The opening of the Jubilee Bathing Pools marks the consummation of one of the most important projects undertaken in the Borough of Penzance. A few years ago, the site occupied by the Bathing Pool and St. Anthony Gardens was covered by slum property which marred the eastern approach to the Promenade – to-day, this unattractive and depressing scene has been swept away and a complete transformation effected.

Architecturally, the design of the Pool is in many ways, unique, having been controlled in some measure by the necessity of conforming with existing conditions as regards wave elements and the lie of the rocks on which it is constructed. Streamlines have been used to the greatest advantage in order to meet the direction of the storm waves and a cubist style has been adopted in the interior in the matter of diving platforms and steps. High streamlined walls, terraced on the inside to give aspect and effect, surround the Pool.

1930s colour postcard of Jubilee Pool and Gardens

1930s postcard of Jubilee Pool and Gardens

Two similar views of the Jubilee Poll in 1935 where reference is made to the St. Anthony Gardens on one but not the other - excellent array of cars visible on the road defining the era.

1930s postcard of Jubilee Pool and Gardens

Another postcard view of both the Jubilee Pool and St. Anthony's Gardens with crowds enjoying the pool but no parked cars although it is likely this postcard portrays the early days.

The longest straight swimming course in the Pool is 330 feet from the North to the South while from east to west the longest course is 240 feet. National and inter-national requirements have been complied with both for Water Polo and Swimming Matches. The depth of the water ordinary spring tides is approximately 15 feet at the south end of the Pool and 3 feet in the children’s north-eastern corner. Diving and spring-boards in accordance with A.S.A. regulations have been erected and a shute of the latest design has also been installed. The steps and terraces surrounding the Pool are so planned that they provide extensive diving at various levels.

Seven sluice gates control the filling and emptying of the Pool while an entirely separate system of surface drainage is provided whereby all surface water is excluded from the Pool.

There are ninety-seven concrete-built dressing boxes for adults of both sexes and two commodious shelters for children with sanitary accommodation for each of the four groups. Extensive facilities are also provided for sun-bathers and spectators and in the result the Pool combines the advantages of both a Bathing Pool and a Pier.

Floodlighting has been installed which will ensure the popularity of the Pool and make it one of the foremost attractions of the town by night as well as day.

It is, of course, appreciated, that the construction of the Jubilee Bathing Pool has been an enormous undertaking fraught with many difficulties, and a high tribute must be paid to Capt. F. LATHAM, M.I.C.K. (I.), F.S.E., the Borough Engineer and Surveyor, who designed the Pool, and to those members of his staff who were responsible for its construction, Similarly, the Contractor, Mr. J.H. LOBB, is deserving of the highest praise for the manner in which the work has been carried out and the intense interest he has taken to ensure the success of its construction.

GOD SAVE THE KING

The language used is remarkable and some of the spelling uses hyphenation long lost today (to-day), a wonderful piece of encapsulated history and I have retained the typographical errors as on the original.

As the Pool and the Yacht Inn are inextricable as far as I am concerned the images below, mostly from unsourced postcard images will include both structures.

1949 detail of the Yacht Inn from postcard of the Jubilee Pool

Detail showing Yacht Inn from Jubilee Pool

Jubilee Pool circa 1949 overlooked by the Yacht Inn

Full image of Jubilee Pool overlooked by the Yacht Inn

A scene from the Jubilee Pool in Penzance in 1957

Newspaper clipping dated 1957

Lido design

By the mid 'thirties a standard formula for lido design had emerged. Most pools were rectangular, although oval shapes were also common. Decks for sunbathing and separate cafés for bathers and spectators were also provided. The most important of the lido's buildings was the engine room that kept the pool fed with clean water. Much was made of the purity of water in new pools by guidebooks and contemporary advertising, suggesting that this was not always the case. Most pools of the era had a cascade or fountain. On hot days bathers could climb on to it and watch other swimmers. The fountain also served to aerate the water. Slides were also featured, a double slide or water chute was provided at the Skegness Pool. The diving boards though, were perhaps the most stylish of the features. Some pools had very elaborate diving platforms. The one at Western-super-Mare had a semicircular platform to which boards at varying heights were mounted. This pool also had the unusual feature of a gently sloping beach area. It was though, in other respects conservative for a pool built in 1938, for the classical style was used in preference to the modern. - Source : Seaside History

The view facing the battery rocks of the restored wall

Restored Battery Rock facing wall of the Lido - Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

From the Guardian :

Making a splash: Penzance's Jubilee Pool reopens

Bathers enjoyed a bracing swim in one of Europe’s few remaining saltwater lidos when Cornwall’s Jubilee Pool reopened at the weekend (19th July 2016) following a £3m restoration.

When you think of Cornish landmarks, a 1930s cubist-inspired lido is probably not the first thing that springs to mind. But judging by the crowds of locals and intrigued bank holiday visitors who turned up to the reopening of Penzance’s Jubilee Pool on Saturday, it could soon be added to the list of the county’s well-known attractions. Jutting out from the town’s harbour into the sea, the triangular engineering of the pool – designed by Captain F Latham, the borough engineer – sought to streamline its outline and offer the best chance of surviving the brutal south-westerly storms that batter the Cornish coast in winter.

The design proved fit for purpose for decades until the freak winter storms of 2014, when the waves breached the walls and twisted railings, and demolished changing rooms and terraces, while exposing the granite that lay beneath the pool.

The community and local government rallied around the cherished bathing spot and government finance for the £2.94m in essential restoration work came via the Coastal Communities Fund, as well as a mix of local government bodies and groups. Work has included securing the pool platform to the bedrock with rock anchors, stabilising and repairing changing rooms, paving and handrails, as well as upgrading the drainage.

One of the reasons so many people have gone to so much trouble to ensure the lido’s survival is that it is one of only a handful of saltwater tidal pools left in Europe. “When it was built in 1935, to commemorate King George V’s silver jubilee, the council wanted to put Penzance on the map by building a state-of-the-art facility, which people would want to use,” says Martin Nixon, head of the Friends of the Jubilee Pool community group. The 1930s was a golden age for lidos in the UK, as outdoor swimming became a national obsession. The pool’s appeal suffered a blow in the 1970s when package holidays began to offer a much warmer alternative, and by the early 1990s it had become neglected enough for the council to consider whether further investment was viable.

From the battery rocks

But on this overcast May bank holiday weekend, you would be forgiven for thinking that the obsession has never gone away. People were queuing patiently along the harbour wall to get their first glimpse of the pool’s substantial makeover, and there was a buzz around the town as young and old flocked with beach bags and towels towards their revamped harbourside pool. But why were people queuing, when just miles away there are some of the best beaches in the country? “This has always been Penzance’s concrete beach and there’s a massive local affection for what it represents,” says Nixon. “It’s got a different vibe from a beach, it’s communal, and generations of local people have learned to swim here, have fun here, and even dated here. It’s a social melting pot that you just don’t get at the beach.”

Flags on restored battery rocks

Its triangular shape and high walls were supposed to protect it from the waves, but the lido had to close after suffering major storm damage in 2014.

That melting pot ideal was apparent from the unexpected acoustics of the architecture, which mixed yelps of wetsuited youths jumping into chilly waters with the hum of hardier generations braving the pool in just trunks and swimming costumes. Bigger groups chatted over picnics on the terraces and by the licensed poolside cafe, which offers snacks and full meals. The plan is to make good use of these acoustics by covering the children’s pool with a temporary platform on summer evenings, and turning it into a mini amphitheatre for local bands. As well as concerts and gigs, stand-up paddleboard lessons are being trialled as another way to make use of the location and generate income. All of which, the lido’s guardians hope, will ensure that the Jubilee Pool never goes out of style again.

Jubilee Pool restored

One of the few remaining art deco lidos in Britain reopens on 28 May after a £3m refurbishment. Penzance’s 1935 Jubilee Lido is the UK’s largest surviving seawater pool. To mark its reopening there were free swimming sessions on the day. Photograph: Adam Gibbard

Read more : Visit Cornwall | Daily Mail | Seasalt Stories (Campaigners) | Municipal Dreams | Cornwalls

The Midland Hotel > Super Swimming Stadium

Morecambe 1936 - 1976

Poster for 1956 Aqua Cascades at the Morecambe Super Swimming Stadium

Aqua Cascades was an enduringly popular concept at Morecambe throughout the 1950s and 1960s

Morecambe Heysham Poster showing Lido

Promotional poster for Morecambe and Heysham showing the Super Swimming Stadium and Pier

Queue in 1945 to enter Super Swimming Stadium

Queuing to get into the Super Swimming Stadium in the summer of 1945 for a Beauty Pageant (the Midland Hotel is in the background) - image courtesy of The Visitor

Railway poster promoting Morecambe and Heysham

The Super Swimming Stadium as well as the bay used to promote visiting Morecambe and Heysham via LMS trains!

Morecambe Super Swimming Stadium

The 'New Baths Scheme' looking very much like an 'artists impression' of how the new Super Stadium would look from above

Morecambe Super Swimming Stadium from the Promenade

Suoer Swimming Stadium

Morecambes Super Swimming Stadium

Morecambe Super Swimming Stadium entrance and gardens

Mrecambe Super Swimming Stadium

Vintage postcards showing the entrance to the Super Swimming Pool, the pier and formal gardens and in the distance the pier and Don Café

Looking in to the Super Swimming Stadium in Morecambe

Bathers at the Super Swimming Pool in Morecambe

Bathers and Spectators at the Swimming Stadium in Morecambe

Spectators inside the Morecambe Super Swimming Stadium

Various images of the Super Swimming Stadium as recorded on postcards - in some cases it looks as if an event is going to take place and the Stadium is full of spectators, in other views the general public are enjoying the actual Stadium for swimming and diving in. Many Miss Great Britain contests took place in Morecambe.

History

Morecambe Council also decided it needed a large outdoor pool to compete with nearby Blackpool. A new pool was built in 1936 on the site of the former ship breaking business of T W Ward Ltd. The ship breakers had long been considered an eyesore to the town, but paradoxically were something of an attraction. Many visitors paid to go on board the doomed ocean liners and warships. This time Morecambe's councillors made sure that they outdid Blackpool. The pool was truly massive, 396ft by 110ft. It was called the Super Swimming Stadium. The pool was designed by architects Cross and Sutton and built by Sir Lindsey Parkinson. The style was uncompromisingly modern. Ostensibly, it was built from reinforced concrete, like the pool at Hastings. However, 500,000 old fashioned bricks were used in the construction. The statistics of the materials used make awesome reading. As well as the bricks, there were 15,000 cubic yards of concrete, 450 tons of steel reinforcement, 2,000 square yards of granolithic flooring, 5.5 miles of pipes, 12 miles of electrical wiring and 400 lights.

Morecambe's new pool had problems right from the start. The Council was sued, unsuccessfully as it turned out, when a boy slipped on the new pool's non-slip steps and broke his front teeth. More seriously, a leak had appeared in the sea wall that formed the basin, in which the pool was set, even before construction of the pool itself began. The cause of the leak was never established and repair work never really cured the problem. This meant that sea-water could leak into the pool at high tide and the water from the pool could escape at low tide.

In spite of its problems the pool did go on to play host to the Miss Great Britain contests after the War, but was eventually demolished in the 'seventies. - Source : Seaside History

See affectionate article from Picture Postcard Monthly August 2008 here

My Back Yard - Carrington Lido 1937 - 1988

This is another of my regular places of entertainment whilst I was growing up on Church Drive, Carrington, Nottingham. The front of the house looked out onto a cemetery (hence, presumably my lack of shock/horror where cemeteries were concerned). Directly beyond the cemetery we could see, from the first floor front room (which used to be a joint bedroom for my sister and I and then became the upstairs 'salon') bay window the highest level of the diving board at the Lido. To get to the Lido I had to turn right out of the front door, walk the length of our half of Church Drive, which took me passed the entrance to St. John's Church, turn left at the end and walk a few yards passed the church and the bus-stop and then on my left I saw this :

Carringto Lido 2937 pre opening

From The Nottingham Evening Post dated 29th June 1937 just prior to the opening of the Lido

Or more to the point it's likely it would have looked more like this:

Main Entrance to Carrington Lido

Carrington Lido Main Entrance and Price List

View from Changing areas

I remember this view well - it was always nice to see the flower arrangements and the Church visible in the distance behind the separating wall. This walkway ran the length of the building which housed the Canteen and Changing Room areas

Divers at the pool

Opposite the Changing Rooms and Canteen area, visible in the background, were the diving platforms for the daredevils. There was one further platform above the one visible in this picture, which is the one we could see from the house. There was a lower diving board to the left of the main structure for more timid divers/jumpers. Images © of Picture the Past

There was a lovely little fountain feature which I loved at the shallow end but am unable to source an image and a free-standing fountain directly at the opposite end of the pool - I loved this place (sigh!)

History

There isn't much still available about the history of the Lido even though it was such a big part of my life when I was growing up and when I was still 'whole'. But what there is I can reproduce here :

From 'The History of Carrington' by Terry Fry - Carrington Lido opened on July 29th 1937, the same day as the one at Bulwell. It cost £20,000 and was built on the site of the old horse-drawn tram stables. Obviously, an open-air pool was very popular in hot weather, but in a poor summer takings were low and for the rest of the year it stood idle. It closed for the last time in 1988. It was intended to build a library next to the lido but the Public Libraries Committee said, in 1934, that it did not require the land for that purpose.'

There is an interesting article in the Nottingham Evening Post about the funding of the Open Air Swimming Pools in Nottingham dated 2nd April, 1936 : '£39,000 for Nottingham Swimming Pools - Veritable Lidos - Loan Approval by Health Ministry - Council Scheme - Carrington and Bulwell sites.

Purchase of Lido heading

Lido Loan confirmed

In 1939 pre-WWII

Swimmers 5th June 1939

Fire Brigade cleaning the Lido

From the Nottingham Evening Post April 19th 1940 - no details given as to why the Auxiliary Fire Service had to spring clean the pool 'in record time'

Derelict Lido

Inevitably, of course as this picture shows, the neglected lido became derelict prior to demolition - Image © of Picture the Past

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Page updated : 16th May 2017