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.
- Team Brockwell win medals in Poland - Brockwell Swimmers traveled to Poland to take part in the Fourth International Winter Swimming Championships. This year’s venue was the beautiful and historic port of Gdansk with the 25 metre course positioned at the marine in the centre of town. Following a welcome meeting at the ancient Merchants’ Hall, teams paraded their colours through the […]
- 1962 Footage of Brockwell Water Polo - Some wonderful 1962 footage of Water Polo being played at Brockwell Lido has just emerged on YouTube (fast forward to middle). Interestingly they seem be playing the length of the pool, rather than the width as we do today. The pool was deeper in those days, with diving boards, so this might have made it […]
- New Monthly Swimmers Social - Brockwell Swimmers now be meeting every third Wednesday of each month at the Prince Regent pub on Dulwich Road, opposite the Lido. Our first meet will be on Wednesday 21st December, starting at 7:30pm. See calendar for future dates. This will be a chance to meet other pool users to chat about all things swimming […]
- Be Bold in the Cold and Dice with the Ice - The UK Cold Water Swimming Championships are back at Tooting Bec Lido on Saturday 28 January 2017. This fantastic annual event is organised by the South London Swimming Club and supported by Wandsworth Council and Places for People (the managing company). As well as individaul races, Brockwell Swimmers are entering four relay teams. These comprise […]
- Survey 2016 Results - The results of our 2016 Survey are in and thanks to everyone who took the time to complete the short questionnaire. These results we will discuss at our next meeting on Wednesday 16th November to help us prioritize events for next year. Other included those who have just signed up. Other suggestions included talks, open […]
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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