Scours Lane River Lido
A hot spot for swimmers
“Scours Lane River Lido was near the boat house west end of the Thames. The river was cordoned off with pieces of wood about about 30 feet long and 1 foot square.
They were chained together for the length out into the river and again to the posts which were about 30 feet from the bank. There was a diving board covered by jute to prevent slipping.
The weeds were kept down within the confines but depths were very uneven. Swimmers jumped or dived off the wooden blocks and swam across to the north bank. There was about half a dozen favourite swimming places between there and the Reading bridge where the kiddies paddling pool was.
The Lido changing rooms were about 40 to 50 feet beyond the towpath with a path running between the lawns. Bathers sat, laid or picnicked. The end of the path were the cubicles, women’s to the right, men’s to the left. There were about four with wooden doors and one long one without, with forms around to sit on (you could also leave your clothes.)”
“There was the usual tap and mangle near the entrance. Just to the east between the Lido and the boathouse, was “Alf’s Cafe”, a wooden one storey building, selling crisps, biscuits, sweets, teas, cold drinks and lovely bacon or sausage sandwiches. Alf Macdonagh lived in the original mobile house next to the cafe.
He was always friendly and talkative. He did a good trade and even in the cold weather, teenagers spent a lot of time there. It was always warm and cosy inside, and to see a storm brewing over the river from the inside was something to see….” quoted from Mrs Collen Thatcher
Quote from Reading Review
” Bathing to be allowed at View Island and Scours Lane, Tilehurst, on Sundays between 10am and 9.30pm during such time as such bathing places shall be open to the public” July 1936
OUTCOME: Around 1974, Scours Lane was no longer a recognised bathing place due pollution of the river and health and safety regulations. The area is now a pleasant picnic area.