Weston Super Mare Lido - image

Weston-Super-Mare-Lido-1937

Weston - super-mare lido The famous landmark - image

The famous landmark. of the Lido – Swimming Times Pub. Jan. 1958.  Those were the days!

 

Weston -Super-Mare beautiful Lido - image

Different Eras. Weston S-M 1973 Central Library &Original picture Avon Libraries & Info. Service

A beautiful art deco pool opened in 1937 situated on the edge of the sea.

It was a vast pool, graduating from beach depth (paddling) to 15 ft under the diving stage.

Weston-Super-Mare Lido was famous for it’s diving stage.   It  was a main feature of the pool and very much part of the skyline.  The boards were  of international standard,  the highest board being 10 metres high.

The aim of the Weston-Super-Mare pool was always to provide good,  clean healthy fun in the masses.

The pool boasted the finest changing rooms and restaurant/cafe facilities.

Every afternoon throughout the summer,  a team of five professional divers including one woman performed acrobatic feats “just for the kicks and the thrills.”

Weston Train PosterPeople gathered from afar to Weston-Super-Mare to watch for the excitement.   The spectacular dives from the highest 10m board  were not without  a little courage!  

Dick Arnold on behalf of his team said.  “Mind you, sometimes when I’m up on the top board I feel a little uncomfortable,  especially where a gust of wind can make it dangerous.”   Several comedy turns intermixed with the serious side of diving. The Lido enjoyed record breaking summers and often broke records.

The art deco Grade II listed diving stage was the back drop of Modern Venus Competitions.  These attracted  scores of pretty girls,  including Diana Dors (Fluck)  who won 3rd prize in 1947.

The judges that were listed  over the years comprised celebrity stars.  Chico Marx;  Billy Cotton;  Henry Hall;  Richard Murdoch;  Jack Hulbert;  Tommy Cooper;  Michael Aspel;  Terry Scott and Hugh Lloyd.

They were no strangers to the Weston-Super-Mare Pool.  When Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy arrived in 1947 there was pretty much a riot!

Weston-Super-Mare Lido - image

The height of the season. 1973 Weston S-M  Central Library 1994 enlarge +

The Lido was at its height in the fifties and sixties and hundreds of thousands flocked to the pool and hosted International Swimming and Water Polo.

The diving stage, apart from spectacular shows, sadly were not used to their fullest potential for National Diving Training.

Since 1963 the interest in diving waned and was difficult to find a “resident” diving coach to form a club in Weston-Super-Mare.   The facilities were not used to their full potential to bring on and  coach future diving champions.

Holidaymakers started to demand something more sophisticated than a dip in an unheated pool,   and with little shelter,   patrons began to dwindle.  

It was thought that only hot water could save the pool,  but it was far too big to be warmed up.  Planning and expense had been discussed extensively eventually reaching the conclusion that people visited to sunbathe only.  They probably wouldn’t even bathe if the water was warmed up.  Other possibilities were discussed.

Weston-Super-Mare Pool and its Two Eras - image

Two Eras. Present and Past . 2 Pictures merged.

 

OUTCOME: It was decided that the whole area should be redeveloped into a more suitable bathing/recreation area.

Weston-Super-Mare - Last days of the Diving Stage - image

Last days of the famous diving stage. Mercury 1982 Avon Library 1994

In 1981 demolition began,  and with very much regret it  included the famous art deco diving stage – there had been petitions to save this listed structure to no avail.  The site was developed into “The Tropicana Pool” which closed in 2000.

Many wondrous plans have emerged to develop the ongoing derelict site, but up to the present day 2012 there has been no progress.

At least the original beautiful lido wasn’t allowed a murky end – once closed – within reason it came down and turned into something else – a murky site.  Hard to believe the glamour that was once here.

 

Weston-Super-Mare - Famous Diving Boards About to Go - image

The beginning of the end of the Grade II Listed famous Diving Stage.  Weston Mercury Feb. 1982 Weston Central Library 1994

My Writing gleaned from:

Evening Post 1937; 59; 60; 64; 65

Weston Mercury 1978; 81; 82.

Weston Central Library,  Weston-Super-Mare 1994.  With thanks.

And now…for 5 weeks only from August 2015  – a new lease of life

DISMALAND!  and  BIZARRE on the site of the Mainly for the sport of diving competitively, and years of coaching through to International and getting it all going in Reading; plus writing on “Lost Lidos” and…campaigning for The Kings Meadow Baths, now Thames Lido. derelict Tropicana which was built on the site of the famous original  beautiful outdoor Lido above.

Status at January 2016

Goodbye DISMALAND to become a DISMAL site except when in use for attractions.

8 mins Video by Jan.  

“After Tropicana and Banksey.”  

 

weston-super-mare: Lidos site

The site of the lidos as it is up until today. enlarge+

 underwater

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