Danson Park Lido
Danson Park Lido was a lovely sparkling Lido built in the beautiful Park from which it takes it’s name. Danson Park was once the private estate belonging to Danson Hill, a mansion built between 1762-67 for wealthy merchant Sir John Boyd. The grounds were laid out at the same time, designed by Nathaniel Richmond in the manner of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, with a large ornamental lake overlooked by the Mansion. Years later in 1921 the Mansion was sold to Bexley Council. The Mansion now comes under it’s care. The Mansion has been Grade II Heritage Listed lying inside 200 acres of Parkland and was open to the public in 1925.
The People’s Park
Danson Park became “the People’s Park” and a Lido was built in 1936. It was close to the lake and off the Rochester Way. The pool occupied a fairly open clear space in the Park and as such was quite exposed. At the time of opening before, and taking through to after the war, the bathers were of hardy nature and it was a sublime bit of respite to escape for the day. They splashed around in the 165′ x 90′ pool or dived from the diving boards. Children had their own paddling pools.
If not taking in the healthy pursuits of swimming in the unheated pool “freezing” then a restaurant and picnic areas on the grassy slopes were enticing enough to be refreshed and soak up the sun.
Danson Park Lido was all the more exciting from the list of activities that took place in the Park including firework displays and fayres.
The Danson Park Lido was well patronised but in the end it suffered the same fate as most Lidos around that time. patronage dwindled and…the pool basin started to develop cracks.
OUTCOME. What happened to Danson Park Lido? – gone!
It was decided to close the pool in 1979. It became severely and disrespectfully vandalised and was finally cleared in 1982. The area was grassed over. Imagine….
Walking over its former site it’s hard to believe that once a Lido lived there for 43 years. and finally cleared 3 years later. However, if you look closely and carefully, there are remnants to be found. There is an indoor Leisure Centre bordering the Park.
I couldn’t find any remnants on the site. Has anyone else found a find or have more hints?