Cadbury Bournville Lido - image

Cadbury Bournville Lido-Rowheath from1896 – incl. other Cadbury pools

Cadbury Bournville Lido feature picture above shows the Lido top right, going by picture below. Its former peaceful surrounding countryside,  now heavily built upon.

Cadbury Bournville Lido – you’ll find some videos lower down.


Cadbury Bournville Lido – Origin

Cadbury Bournville Lido was provided and built by Messrs Cadbury. Messrs Cadbury were very keen on health and exercise for their workforce.  Right from the beginning they provided leisure facilities for their employees.
Also  a pavilion (above) which served as the clubhouse.  In addition there were changing rooms for the extensive sports fields,  fishing lake,  bowling greens and the outdoor lido.

Cadbury Bournville Lido Original Swimming Pond - image

Original Swimming Pond from 1896. Courtesy of The Cadbury Story

Water was used from a natural spring which emphasised the healthy benefits from using the facilities.
“The lido” originated from 1896  was set in leafy suburbia and was a wonderful lido to visit.

Bournville Lido full on - image

Bournville Lido full on

The Cadbury Bournville lido was hired for many Galas, including National and District Events, and Trials.  The photograph was taken in July 1947 during Midland Trials.  The Water Polo Match against the Olympic Team was a main feature.

Cadbury Bournville Lido Water Polo Team - image

Bournville Water Polo Team. Courtesy of Swimming Times

It truly was a wonderful oasis and many Cadbury employees must have enjoyed many family days splashing about in this pool.  Anyone related to an employee of Cadbury were able to get passes to use the facility, which was an absolute bonus.
The Cadbury Bournville Lido was acclaimed to be one of the finest in the Midlands.  It saw many famous swimmers and divers.

Cadbury Bournville Lido Water Polo Match - image

Water Polo Match. Midland International Water Polo. Featured in Swimming Times  1950s

During June 1950 the Cadbury Lido played host to the Festival of Youth. This focused […]


Greswolde Lido – a Knowle Jewel in its day  “Super job…”


…on Industrial interest. There were 13 events with 75 girls and 100 youths entering the contests. They were drawn from 50 firms from all over the British Isles.

Other events included athletics,  tennis,  cricket,  netball, basketball, rounders and archery.

Baptism in the Lido

Baptism in the Lido – click on  Pathe clip

OUTCOME: The Cadbury Bournville Pavilion remains today and has been refurbished. It had become derelict. The Pavilion now is an Events venue including weddings.

The Cadbury Bournville Lido was closed in 1970 on account of the noise troubling a nearby housing development, Oak Farm Road. The site was cleared and is now a recreation/sports ground.
Looking at the recreation field now,  no-one could imagine that a once glorious and well known Lido occupied the site.  How would Messrs Cadbury feel today?  Pictures will enlarge.

Cadbury Bournville Lido - site 1945 - image

Bournville Lido 1945  +

Cadbury Bournville Lido site today - image

Site of the Bournville Lido


The Cadbury Bournville Story – 40 minutes
A snippet of the Lido can be seen 17 mins 38 secs into the film.  In all a wonderful film


Contribution received from Steve Beauchampe 28/07/16

Bournville Lido (July 2nd 1937-c1972; dc1976)  Clip and picture of the opening to follow.

“Architect: Edwin Stanley Hall. Built (by Thomas Lowe and Sons) as a memorial of the Jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary and to commemorate the Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Opened by Edward Cadbury, followed by a display of swimming and diving. Free entry and free swimming was offered on the opening day, with crowds estimated at between 6-12,000 during the evening. Measured a modest 100ft x 50ft; 11ft 6in – 3ft 3in, with Children’s Pool 50ft x 17ft 6in and a maximum depth of 12in at north end, directly in front of café with French Windows. Total capacity of both pools amounted to 205,000 gallons (913 tons) with the water warmed to 72°. Included a reinforced concrete diving stage with springboard at 3m and platforms at 5m and 3m; also a single, 1m diving board and a diving chute with running water, plus a smaller water chute at shallow end. Pools surrounded by generous paved deck for sun lounges and deckchairs, sea shingle beaches (which retain sun heat) and grass slopes. Dressing cubicles on either side of main pool (19xmen plus one large changing room measuring 32ftx13ft, 7 shower baths and 7 footbaths on west), 19xwomen plus one large changing room measuring 32ftx13ft, 7 shower baths and 7 footbaths on east). Staged Galas, water polo and national swimming trials. Commandeered by RAF during WWII with the surrounding area used as barrage balloon site but re-opened on June 8th 1943. Closed 1970 or 1972 due to falling attendances and rising maintenance costs; Offered to the city as a sports amenity but offer turned down for financial reasons in 1974. Demolished c1975/6;

Bournville Lido (July 1977-1987; d1997)

60ft x 40ft. Opened by Sir Adrian Cadbury, watched by an estimated 2,000 people, on the first day of the factory holidays. £60,000 first phase known as the Jubilee Centre, owned by the Rowheath Lido and Recreation Association, included two squash courts. Additional squash courts, Club Room, Offices, Social Club and Café planned. Opening ceremony featured displays of life saving, sub aqua, squash and dog handling and demonstrations of gymnastics and trampolining by local schools. Used by local schools, hospital, children’s home and a disabled group. Social programme included children’s Christmas Party and an annual Strawberry Tea for pensioners.
Closed 1987, demolished 1997. Now housing Oak Farm Road, Park View Close.

Happy Days at Bournville Lido – Contribution  Steve Beauchamp 05/11/16

Cadbury’s, Men’s Open Air Baths (recd. Steve Beauchamp 28/07/16) 

(100ft long, included a water chute) formed in 1898 from a pool that took water from Bourn Brook. Open from 1-2pm; 5-6pm. Until 1923 Martin’s Pool (now location of Linden Road Instructional Pool) sat alongside and may have been used for fishing. Now a settling pool. Adjacent buildings here include Squash Courts (c1923) though former Table Tennis building in South Annexe was converted to Instructional Pool extension in 2007.”

Former Additions

The Cadbury Indoor Girls Bath 1905

Cadbury Bournville Lido - Cadbury's Girls Indoor Bath

The Cadbury Girls Bath now disused 2015 – what a lovely building for a Ladies swimming Bath!

Info from Admin. Offices. Cadbury World

Cadbury Bournville Lido - Cadbury Indoor Girls Bath - image

Cadbury Indoor Girls Bath 1906

Cadbury Burnsville Lido - Cadbury Indoor Girls Bath 2 - image

The panelling between the columns it seems are removed in this picture

The baths held 105,000 gallons and measured 80 ft by 60 ft.  Galas  galas took place, including swimming and diving exhibitions.  After stringent rules to keep the males from the females  – I believe separate tunnels were built in the grounds – eventually succumbed to mixed bathing at allocated times.  The Cadbury Brothers set a company policy that workers used the Baths during work time to learn to swim.  The building is now disused.  It is situated a few hundred yards from the Bournville Lane Stirchley Baths

Cadbury Bournville Lido Cadbury Indoor Girls Bath - A Diving Display by Anne Stokes - image

Cadbury Indoor Girls Bath Anne Stokes giving Diving Display 1956 AGJ

The Stirchley Baths Bournville Lane – 1905

Cadbury Bournville Lido - Cadbury Stirchley Baths - image

Grade II Listed. Stirchley Baths are built in Bournville Lane – the land gifted by Messrs Cadbury

Opened  to the Public 1911 – Bournville Lane.  87 Dressing Boxes in those days.

In 1903 Cadbury Brothers Limited, wrote a letter to the council offering them a piece of land which was approximately 11,240 square yards, for the erection of a public swimming baths and slipper or spray baths and washhouse.  

This consequently provided a small indoor sports complex including a 25 yard swimming pool.

OUTCOME: The  Bournville Lane Stirchley Baths closed in 1986 and have been left derelict since.  Work is due to be undertaken to convert into a Community Hall.  The building is Grade II Listed.


Bournville Baths



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cadbury bourneville lido - underwater - image

 cadbury bourneville lido - snippet sdi - image