Purley Ozone Pool above. Bathing by Floodlight. enlarge + Croydon Public Libraries Stuart Bligh 1994. Lovely memory in comments section below.
This famous Purley ozone pool was opened by His Worship the Mayor, Alderman J. Trumble J.P. Saturday 20th July 1935 at 3.00pm.
U.S.A. Olympic Diving Champions Messrs. Pete Desjardins and Harold “Dutch” Smith gave a diving display to stun and thrill the crowds.
The greatest divers of the time dive into this special unique Lido
What is Ozone?
Chemically it is Oxygen, each molecule of Ozone is made up of three atoms, two atoms only go to make up the molecule of Oxygen – it is the third atom that does the work.
As a sterilising agent its properties are well known and it is one of the most powerful oxydising agents known. Most people will recognise it by the fact the pool has a pleasant smell remembered so well from a visit to the coast. Imagination takes over as the sea dashes on the rocks and beaches, and the wind whipping the spray to a light foam.
Many National events took place at the Lido, and here we are witnessing an Interclub National Championship.
On the technical side facilities were such that National and International swimming and diving events could take place.
Motto: Sanitate Crescamus
Swimming brings into full action not only heart, lungs and muscles, but also that great organ the skin, whose eliminative, heat regulating and other more subtle functions we are just beginning to understand. It should also be borne in mind that the beneficial effect to the body of contact with water is immensely increased by the added effect of sunshine and the open air.”
The site occupied 4.5 acres and was cruciform in shape. Shallow areas were at each end and it’s major axis was 200 feet long by 70 feet wide . On it’s minor axis 100 feet long and 60 feet long. The depth of the water was 15 ft on one side and 6 ft 6″ on the other. The sides and floor were finished in smooth “Snowcrete”.
Croydon gave to their citizens ample provision of sun-bathing shingle beaches. These were suitably underdrained to be properly sterilised and drained. Just look at the wonderful wide open space in which it was set. In 1959 the beach shingle was replaced by coloured flagstones.
The Art Deco Cafe and Restaurant were to top this magnificent Lido.
Visitors also enjoyed an exhilarating paradise of underwater floodlighting Colourful illuminating lanterns cascading in polished green. A very romantic setting on those warm balmy summer evenings.
To think this beautiful scene would eventually turn into a garden centre?
OUTCOME: In 1973 urgent repairs were needed costing £8000.
Succombing to the dwindling of bathers, because of cheap package holidays abroad, the pool closed for good in 1979.
It was turned into the Wyevale Garden Centre which Cyril Fletcher duly opened in 1981. The famous diving stage still exists, bedecked with plants, flowers and advertising.
They are listed and thus still survive, maintained and now bedecked with flowers
The Wyevale Garden Centre has now closed, and has been sold to a property Developer.
As yet, do not know the fate of the Heritage Listed Diving Boards.