Lido Vision – recalling historical moments

Relection above – taken 2000

Lido vision recalls…

Lost Lidos and their purposes. They are gone, but not from our thoughts

Lidos and paradise
Paradise and freedom

Lido vision and Lost lidos pictures – some are scanned from the original newspaper of the time, and as intended. Perhaps this may give the ” feel” of the Lidos and the excitement and importance of their existence in their heyday? My writings – in my own words and from my scrapbooks – were gleaned from my private research before the world wide web! This website is for educational and information purposes only

What visions HAVE YOU of the Lido?… here are my lido visions!

An expanse of glistening blue water underneath azure skies with high woolly clouds. The sounds and sight of “water falling” spurting spilling and bursting over the tiered fountains.  The cries of kiddy joys as they hold out their cupped hands to catch the white frothiness, dotted with shining crystals.  Taking part in family frolics, squealing and splashing.  Sharing the inviting picnics laid out over grassy mounds bordered with vibrant flowers. A sea of colourful sunbathers covering the lawns that surrounded the Lido. 

Oh for those lost lidos

A day out to leave toils and worries behind and wallow in a small share of paradise. To meet and make new friends and experience many a romantic rendezvous in floodlit waters. 

Oh for those lost lidos.

The Lido era and boom mainly started before the days of war in the 30s – some alas met their early demise during the war, but many lived on for decades. An average Lido life lasted between 50 – 80 years. They were an escape from those dark days – paradises set inside the golden balmy days of summer. Around a lido the sun always seemed to shine. 

Oh for those lost lidos.

The lidos continued for many more years introducing famous events and personalities – to name a few – Miss World; Miss Great Britain; Cotton Queens and all kind of other Queens and Bathing Beauties. The film world LOVED the LIDO. Aqua Shows were the order of the day too. High diving and rhythmic swimming set inside a carnival spirit; following on with other festive displays and celebrations. Becoming “viral” and ending the day in party mood dancing to the live big bands of the day. 

Oh for those lost lidos.

We were hardy creatures in those days. No cheap flights and package holidays to the Mediterranean. No snugness of domestic central heating, but, as these temptations eventually lured the average family, then patronage of the lidos dwindled. Even as early as the 50s, holidays in Europe were becoming cheaper than train journeys to UK coastal resorts. Our lovely lidos were becoming unprofitable. At the same time they were reaching grand old age and were developing structural defects. 

Oh for those lost lidos.

The World Wide Web hadn’t then come into its own. The ease of emails and self – printing were not available. The “Save our Lido” Campaigns of today were just not possible in those days. It would all have had to be done by time consuming write it; lick it; stamp it and post it… compare this to block emails of today. Meanwhile the black death of dereliction and abandonment crept in. Eventually these once glorious Lidos were gone forever. 

Oh for those lost lidos.

The same fate greeted many famous indoor baths too. My lido vision recalls architecturally outstanding building’s, some since before the Victorian era, became the scene for excited crowds. Fans foot stamping, cheering, shouting and clapping for their boy and girl heroes. The walls bulged out with standing room only. Many emotions were spent inside some of these baths. Running high and low, see-sawing between disappointment and elation. World, national and district records were broken. Many famous swimming clubs were founded. BBC Television Galas were also very popular. Once razed to the ground there were many gaps to fill. Many have followed the same fate as the Lidos. 

Oh for those Lost Lidos.

 One wonders if the World Wide Web had been invented in the days of the swimming stadiums, wonder pools, coliseums they could have been saved. Were they born too early!? They were not in the right place at the right time.

Goodbye those lovely lost lidos and baths. With today’s technology, I believe the Lidos today that are lingering and threatened are beginning to come back! Their chances are much higher. The many campaigns to save them will make it all possible……..and with the coming again of cold water swimming too? fleeing off to Scandinavia or wherever as oppose to the Mediterranean…

“it’s all turning an icircle! ” Is this in your Lido Vision!

Oh for those remaining lidos. AGJ


Roadhouse nr Bagshot - image

“Roadhouses were very popular. Situated near main roads. This one is near Bagshot. Courtesy of Swimming Times”

If you have your own “visions” or memories and you like “Lost Lidos” please write to me using the direct contact form on my CONTACT page.  I’ll share them to others for them to enjoy too!



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