Brockwell Lido – a swimming paradise in South London.
Brockwell Lido has been a haven for fans of cold water for many years and our Swimmers Club is an inclusive organisation for people to share their love of this beautiful urban oasis.
To sign up for your FREE membership click here.
- Indoor Water Polo Survey - Brockwell Swimmers would like to run a few more indoor sessions at Alleyn’s School in Dulwich before we get back to the Lido at the end of May. To ensure this is financially viable we need you to answer a few questions. With enough swimmers we are hoping to keep the cost to around £10 […]
- March madness at the Tooting Invitation Gala - Brockwell Swimmers have again been invited to enter a team for the annual Tooting Lido Heron Invitation Gala happening Sunday 12th March. With our honour at stake this is surely a challenge we cannot refuse. The event is free to enter and will start prompt at 10am moving briskly through the races to finish at around 11:30am. We will need at least […]
- Gala Day at the Tooting Championships - A gala day was had by Brockwell Swimmers at the seventh Tooting Cold Water Swimming Championships 2017. Our first two teams came a disappointing second to last in the relays, but triumphed in our third race by coming sixth out of six. Result! An amazing day full of fun and lots of cold water. Hats […]
- Gone PHISH-ing at Parliament Hill - The annual Parliament Hill Ice Swim Hootenanny (PHISH) took place on the morning of Saturday 21st January. Never wanting to be outdone by the other London unheated pools, the water was cooled to a decidedly chilly 2°C! But with the sun shining, hot coffee and bacon butties on standby, and a very cosy 80°F sauna, […]
- Studland Seahorse Swim 2nd July - East Dorset Open Water Swimming Club is organising its eight Seahorse open water swim across Studland Bay, near Swanage on the Isle of Purbeck, Dorset. This very popular annual swim is by kind permission of the National Trust and in support of the Seahorse Trust. The event will be held in affiliation with the BLDSA […]
History of Brockwell Lido
The Lido was originally opened in 1937 to replace the natural public bathing ponds in the park. The Lido would remain open during the war, though one swimming gala was cancelled in 1944 due to a feared flying bomb attack. From 1947 to 1968 the London Swimming Championships were also held at Brockwell Lido. However, after much neglect and declining usage, the pool was closed by Lambeth Council in 1990.
For 4 years the pool lay empty until two former council employees, Casey and Paddy, won the management contract and reopened the lido in 1994. “It was a time when we let as many things happen as possible just for fun, not necessarily making money, giving people chance to try things out”. However, the future of the Lido again came into question when mounting maintenance costs forced the duo to resign their tender in 2001.
This sparked a strong campaign by local swimmers who produced a survey containing 4,674 signatures from Brockwell Lido visitors that demonstrated the community’s intense attachment to the space. This forced a dialogue with Lambeth Council, resulting in a new three-way framework involving the council, users, and a site management company.
Various management companies were approached and the winning tender was awarded to Fusion Lifestyle who won a 25 year contract to redevelop and run the site (3 million pounds from Fusion and ½ million pounds from English Heritage).
The main alternation to the building was the moving of the south west wall six metres further into the park. English Heritage chose this solution from a number of options developed by Pollard Edwards Thomas architects. Moving this elevation doubled the size of the old changing rooms allowing Fusion to replace these with a new gym and spa complex, ensuring the economic viability of the lido as a whole. The ‘wet’ changing rooms were then moved next to the new entrance on the south east side. Work was completed in July 2007, just in time for the Summer season and the Lido’s 70th birthday.
At first the pool was only open during the Summer, but with the increased popularity of cold water swimming, the unheated pool is now open all year round. Hurrah! As well as the fabulous pool, the building also contains a gym, sauna, steam room, exercise studios, a very fine café… and some very, very enthusiastic swimmers.
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