Twickenham Lido site above, showing one of the diving platforms. Photo taken in 2014 courtesy of Mr. R. B. Marshall. With thanks
Twickenham Lido – Opened in King George V Silver Jubilee Year 4th May 1935
Twickenham Lido site lies along the River Thames – opposite Eel Pie Island and was originally bought by Twickenham Council in 1944, for the purpose of public grounds and gardens and remained so until the building and the official opening of the swimming pool took place 1935.
It was the first English Bath to have a “Rotatherm” Air and Water Temperature Gauge installed. It was 165 feet x 55 feet and 3 feet deep either end of the pool and 10 feet deep in the central diving area.
The pool suffered many defects and structural problems and consideration was given for turning the lido into an indoor pool from as early as 1947. With ongoing problems right through to 1970 repairs were repeatedly carried out and the pool remained open, but when nearby Teddington indoor pool opened in 1980 Twickenham Lido remained closed. Various buildings belonging to the pool, e.g. the cafe and caretakers residence continued in use for a further two years by charity organisations.
The Lido suffered a great deal of vandalism and eventually what was remaining of the pool was demolished in 2005. There were tentative plans for the site, not materialised, and once again reverted to public space and gardens. One of the diving boards remained in the grounds as a memorial to the pool (2014).
The above information is gleaned from the book “Thames Valley Grammer School 1964 – 1971” which was sent to me by the author Mr R. B. Marshall. The book was published Spring 2015.
Needless to say the school frequented Twickenham Pool escaping lessons during a morning. Overlooking Eel Pie Island the turnstiles were busy within the impressive structure, from which there were views overlooking the riverside, and over Twickenham.
Quote from the book “Thames Valley Grammar School” on Twickenham Lido by Mr R.B. Marshall
“The shimmering blue of the chlorinated created a unique atmosphere as pupils filed in to enjoy the day. Echoes of tannoy announcements, sounds of splashes and response from the crowd would bounce off the gaunt walls of the building and resound beyond to the pleasant riverside vicinity. Business was brisk in the tuck shop for confectionery and crisps, much needed to sustain the animated shouting at the swimmers daring to outperform their competitors amongst the sea of pupils. Happy days!”
Does this lido spark off your memories?
More detail to follow. Researching.