Surbiton Lagoon-1934. A showpiece of its time


The Lagoon

The Lagoon

New Lagoon Takes the Plunge.  When is a swimming bath not a swimming bath?

“When it’s a Lagoon!”

A large gathering joined in the celebrations in May 1934 as Mr H.S. Durbin JP performed the opening. The Lagoon had in fact been open since April!


Following the speeches, children from local schools jumped in and swam across the lido, followed by a demonstration by Miss Ivy Hawkes, the successful channel swimmer.Surbiton Pool

Mr W Downing also delighted the crowd with his fancy swimming. A lifesaving display grabbed the spectators followed by a skilled diving display by members of Highgate Diving Club. A Water Polo Match was thrashed out between two teams from the Empire Swimming Club. The whole affair was a good enjoyable Wednesday evening.

Monday to Friday, adults were charged 6d for a swim and children 3d. – from 06.30 to sunset, except when romantic floodlighting of the Lagoon came into operation. Weekends also saw fun from the diving boards and chutes, toddlers splashing around in their own pool, with sun worshippers occupying the terraces near the south walls, spending blissful lazy days, work put right behind them.

There was a slight problem when the council were endeavouring to find a unique name for their prized swimming lido. This fine expanse of water continued to live up to “The Lagoon’, the pride and joy of all it’s thousands of patrons through the years.

The 80’s began to experience costing problems. Petitions after petitions were in force to save the Lagoon.

The Lagoon was built on 2.5 acre site in Raeburn Avenue. The bath was a showpiece . The stepped terrace held thousands of spectators at swimming and water polo events.

OUTCOME: After closing in 1979 for repairs… 

parkland pool siteit was left into even more disrepair. It was left to rot for 10 years. There were attempts at giving the loved Lagoon a face-lift. Despite efforts of reprieve the turnstiles finally came to a standstill, and the local resident’s saw the removal of their former paradise. The treasured memories will survive.

The site of the pool is now pretty grass/parkland. Once an aqua blue oasis. Hard to believe.