Rekindling love for the Lido
The word "Lido" generally conjures up images of overgrown, derelict 1930's concrete pools, and the shabby, fading tiles of an age long gone. Now, the Lido is back, but it's our overseas cousins who are dipping their toes in the water first!
St Leonards Lido
In its opening week alone, one of Europe's biggest swimming pools drew 20,000 people to St Leonards in Hastings!
It was 1933, a time when outdoor swimming was highly fashionable and the "state of the art", saltwater 330 ft by 90 ft pool, brought Sussex to national attention.
The upper deck was used for roller skating, another highly fashionable sport at the time. But the Olympic sized area never made a profit after its first year and the council closed it in 1959.
Today, there's hardly any evidence of its existence.
One Sussex coastal pool which pulls in the crowds, but only when it is sunny, is the Saltdean Lido, designed in the late 1930's, in the Modern style, by Richard W H Jones, who also designed the town's Ocean Hotel.
However, current owner, Dennis Audley, says the grade-two listed Lido, had never made a profit and maintenance costs outweigh the income generated. In fact, it only brings in around half the amount of money he needs, just to maintain the building.
Over the years the southern counties have lost numerous outdoor pools and Lidos. So what is the solution?
Relaxing at the Lido
BBC's Natalie Graham travelled to Dieppe, to find out.
The privately managed complex, cost €25 million to build, and €2 million to run, but only brings in €1.3 million in profit. So how does it survive?
THE LONG LOST LIDOS
YOUR NEAREST LIDO
Opened in the Spring of 1930. And still open daily from 30th June until 7th September 2008. Monday to Sunday 10am -7pm. Bank Holidays 10am - 5pm
Hot and cold food picnic area. Basketball area. Sandpit. Three fun water slides. Spring diving board. Swimming accessories shop. Toddler paddling pool. Fountain feature.
Stoke Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 1HB
Open: Monday - Sunday: 10.30am - 6.30pm Public swimming
Saltdean Park Road, Brighton, East Sussex BN2 8SP
Opened in the late 1930's, the Lido pool is 140ft by 66ft and can accommodate 500 bathers. During the Second World War,the pool was used as a water tank by the National Fire Service in the nearby Ocean Hotel.
Open 7am to 9pm. 10am - 6pm weekends. Check before you visit as weather dependant.
THE PELLS AT LEWES
Brook Street, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 2PW
First open in 1860, the Pells Pool boasts of being the oldest and one of the largest open air swimming pools in the country!
The Pells Pool is open daily from May 17th 2008 to September 7th 2008.
Olympos, Triangle Leisure Centre, Triangle Way, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 8GA
The pool complex which includes the heated outdoor Lido, was built to replace the Burgess Hill Lido in St John's Park which was closed in 1998.
Lido opens May to September:
Queen street, Arundel.
25m main pool, 5m splash pool with easy entry steps and link to main pool. Large separate children's paddling pool. Light refreshments available.
Arundel’s open-air lido was originally built in 1960 following a donation of land from the 16th Duke of Norfolk to celebrate the 21st birthday of his eldest daughter, Lady Anne.
Open 7 days a week from late May to early September.
last updated: 26/08/2008 at 10:06
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Do you remember visiting your local Lido? Do you still visit one in your area? Let us know.