Great Yarmouth Pool above from private postcard collection. “A Real Photograph.” AGJ
Great Yarmouth Lido saw the Mayor Alderman Knight divest himself of the pomp of office…
…he won a 35 yards swimming race against the Chairman of the Beach Committee Alderman Bayfield.
This took place at inauguration of the new Swimming pool on Central Beach.
Great Yarmouth Lido despite the rain, welcomed a crowd of 2,000 spectators who witnessed the unique method of the opening of a pool.
As a seaside resort, once a fishing village the stretch of beaches became a watering place second to none on the east coast. Owing to strong tides, this new swimming pool brought a huge bonus producing swimming programmes for the children.
The opening included eight members of the club performing a water sketch “The Missing Bonds”. Swimming races were excitedly battled out, followed by a Lifesaving and survival displays.”
Following the speeches the pool was opened to the public and became in huge demand by visitors and residents. The 600,000 gallon sea water pool occupied a position between The Jetty and the “Sailors Home.”
The pool was rectangular with a length of 300 feet and width of 75 feet. The depth varied from two and a half feet to eight feet at the diving end. A portion of the pool at the shallow end was covered with white glazed tiles, the remaining surface being cement rendering worked up into a fine finish. 100 dressing boxes lined the north, west and south sides, and seating accomodation for 1000 spectators were built onto the east side.
Mosaics played an important feature around the walls, giving vibrancy to the overall decor of the pool. The Manager sat with pride in his office, surveying the scene continuously through his sliding plate glass windows. Brightly painted blue steps, new scum troughs and lamp standards completed the scene.
A Second Chapter
Yarmouth’s pool had its great new face-lift and thus a great new pool – a stage set for thrilling performances. Due to tremendous popularity, 1961 saw the reburbishment of the Marine parade pool. After a £78,000 improvement scheme, a weekend in June saw the lidos first swimmers. Four large plate glass windows provided plenty of light for the terraced seating, with the commentators and press box occupying the centre of the terracing.
Unheated water ran out of favour after decades of popularity. Attendances slumped on the cold chilly windy days. Eighteen years later, the lido became a pile of rubble with smoldering timbers. The scene of devastation replaced the sparkling blue former pool, where hours of enjoyment had been spent splashing about in the crystal waters.
The Marina Centre
The Lido made way for a Tropical Lagoon, with warm waves! and endless pleasure whatever the weather.
So the new modern day Marina emerged for visitors and residents of Great Yarmouth, opened by swimmer Duncan Goodhew (Olympic gold medallist) on 15th June 1981. Received a refurbishment in 2014
The pool is 25 metres, and can still cater for competitive swimming, plus a day out for family fun, but sadly, the thrills and spills of the high scaffold divers have gone, the gasps of awe from spectators silent forever.
Any more tip-offs about this fun sun lido with high diving stunts?