Blackrock Lido Swimming Pool – Brighton 1936

Blackrock Lido – a feast of bathing belles

Blackrock Lido beauty - image

Blackrock Lido Beauty

Opened by the Mayor, Councillor Edward Denne, the Ceremony was not overtaken by the accompanying storm!

Blackrock Lido was designed in beautiful art – deco style, the pool was built on the site of an ornamental garden. 165 feet by 60 feet it held 334,000 gallons of ozonised water.

The people of Brighton were proud of their beautiful crystal clear sparkling blue pool. It was situated in a prominent sea shore position in the Kemp Town region. It led to an undercliff walk. Black Rock was probably named after a large rock or cave that once laid at the foot of the cliffs.
Black Rock also marks the point where the white chalk of the South Downs meets the sea. Gazing over the pool from the top of the cliff, many a passer-by was entertained by the happy, carefree spectacle below. A fun filled little paradise which is surely missed since closing.

Blackrock Lido Swimming Pool. Kemptown end - image

Blackrock Lido Kemptown end. Brighton Area Libraries. Helen Catt 1994


How Did The Lido get it’s Name? Jean Penney from My Brighton & Hove

“In the thirties this lido opened and it was very, very popular. The actual site of the lido, although it was called Black Rock, was where the Volks Electric Railway Railway Station is and Volks Electric at one time ran from Black Rock right out to Rottingdean.

There’s a story of how Black Rock got its name – if coal was brought through the town they had to pay a tax on it. Black Rock at that time was out of town so the boats delivering the coal used to dump it just at this spot.”

For the ensuing season in May 1947 it was a different story weatherwise to the actual Opening above!

In brilliant spring sunshine on May 3rd,  His Worship The Mayor of Brighton Alderman T.E. Morris J.P. declared the Lido open for the swimming season.

It was preceded by a short display given by members of the Brighton Swimming Club and instrumental music.

The pool with its’ crystal clear waters,  it’s sunbathing terraces,  its first class restaurant and a kiddies paddling pool was a paradise being on the foreshore with the Downs in the background..

The Mayor – a veteran swimmer hoped that the afternoon’s glorious weather was the omen of a good season,  and the fullest possible use of the facilities would be made young or old,  including potential trainees for the Olympic Games.

Mr J.C. Thompson,  the general manager wanted the Olympic swimmers to make Brighton their headquarters in 1948.

An “Olympic Clinic at King Alfred Baths”   situated at the western end of the promemade.

Blackrock Lido - Another perspective of BlackRock Pool

From the under cliff walk. Brighton Area Libraries Helen Catt 1994

Closed 1978.

Work began on the Marina in 1971. Heavy deposits of dirt and cement dust, plus noise, discouraged patrons – 80,000 per year had dropped to 21000. Cracks also appeared and the pool began to tilt to one side.
The pool was demolished after much debate.

Various proposals had been made for the site ………


 A Hotel

Special Events Place

Children’s Village


An Activity Centre  e.g. blading, ice skating, water sports. 

Sand sculptoring is present today June 2013.

A wonderful piece of footage on this link.

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