Kingfisher Lido was the Hotspot for families.
Hundreds flocked to Kingfisher Lido
Kingfisher Lido was a resort for folk from all over the Blackcountry.
Situated in an idyllic spot off the Kidderminster Road – Wall heath, surrounded by countryside, Kingfisher Lido was a hotspot for families to visit. They carried outdoor benches and tables, plus weekend camping gear, to soak up the taste of “getting away from it all” with a seaside air.
Up the steps and through the turnstiles, you were given a case for all your clothes and belongings. This was after paying your two shillings. After securing with a canvas strap you handed it over and in return a rubber band was given to you with the number of your case.
One then skipped onto poolside and plunged into the cool rippling waters of the 33 yard bath (and a third!). Good swimmers jumped and dived into the ten feet of rippling water whilst small children like myself (in those days) stayed at the other end – practising getting my feet off the bottom with the hopes I would swim. I have great childhood memories of learning to swim here.
Kingfisher Lido saw the fitness gurus. Often seen limbering up and practising balanced armstand manouevres before making a well rehearsed leap into the pool.
One was given the impetus and yet relaxing atmosphere whilst “overarming” to the sounds of “Music While You Work” transmitting through the loud […]
Grimley and try a spot of river bathing (once upon a time)
…speakers. Sometimes it was necessary to quietly sunbathe on the upper meadow or on the canvas folding poolside chairs and listen to “Mrs Dales Diary” The meadow was packed with sunbathers, picnickers and even campers.
Many bathers and families spending the day at the Kingfisher Lido found it a real escape from it all. Buses loaded with people from all over delivered them safely for their days of paradise and fun. Others came by bike and not far from the lido was Mr and Mrs Wilson’s house. They used to charge threepence a bike for parking.
Walking up to the thatched roof building, hearing the sounds of laughter and splashing, and “Music While You Work” one couldn’t help but feel smug when it was a day of no work.
Kingfisher Lido provided the sounds of the spurting white frothy sparkling fountains which greeted you on poolside. They were a threesome with the glistening fountain in the centre providing joyous paddling pools either side. Light refreshments were served on one side of the pool. The changing rooms lined the same side. Hacienda type arches were on the otherside to provide shade from the seemingly hot summer days. The energetic bathers got up from their chairs and danced to the changing tempos of the music .
The water slide was unusually high, and together with the diving boards, provided ice cream licking folk with lots of entertainment. From the acrobatic skills and antics of divers “jacknifing,” and swimmers hurtling down the slide they watched and were well feasted.
Mr Tanfield own the Lido and he had a penchant for thatch. I believe his own home had a thatched roof too. Passers by must have looked and thought “what an unusual building. We must go look see” and consequently overawed at what lay behind it.
Lido holds precious memories for most, spending wonderful balmy summer days at this Lido. I enjoyed the fun of camping for weeks on end in the meadow which lay above the level of this lovely lido.
Round the World
The following information has travelled from West Midlands to Adelaide – back to London and to me in Reading. Lee Watton reports: Thank you Express and Star Wolverhampton – Bob Kane, News Editor- 2005
“Long before the days of Leisure Centres, the Black Country residents looking to cool off during the summer could take a dip at outdoor swimming pools scattered around the region. Kingswinford has since been lost – but the memories held by those who used them remains strong”
Kingfisher Lido was abandoned for around 20 years during the 70s. It had been reduced from enchanting Lido to a derelict basin with nature taking its toll inside the pool and around. Eventually the building was taken over and converted to the Kingfisher Country Club. Of course the pool area was built over and the grassy meadow where once it was packed with excited, bathers enjoying their days and weekends of freedom, leaving cares behind – has been taken over by roads and a housing estate. The entrance to the Country Club still possessed its thatched roof although the building line had been altered. In 2015 it was being revamped into Hickorey’s Smokehouse Restaurant with many changes, but…with thatched roof!
It was such fun camping on the bank. Did anyone have such fun?
Heydays of the pools – once upon a time. Click on!