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.
- Brockwell Swimmers Go Olympic - To celebrate the success of our magnificent 2016 Olympic Teams we’ve planned a trip to swim the waters of the Olympic Park Aquatics Centre on Saturday 29th October. We will meet outside Brixton tube station at 10am, or you can meet us at the Centre’s main entrance at 11:15am. Peak swim ticket £5·20. If you […]
- Frensham Great Pond Trip - Farnham to Frensham Great Pond (or on to Bentley Station) Sunday 23rd October. This is taken from Wild Swimming Walks, walk number 4, distance 8 (or 13) miles. We will be meeting at Brockwell Lido Car Park at 10am, Sunday 23rd October, then driving down to Farnham Station arriving at 11:10am. Please let us know […]
- BLU AGM Sat 24th Sept 2016 - The Brockwell Lido Users Group BLU are holding their Annual General Meeting on Saturday 24th September at 10am. This takes place in the Whippersnapper rooms which you will find just to the left of the Lido reception desk. BLU is the only user group which Fusion or Lambeth have to listen to, and consequently they […]
- Canterbury Tales - Making the most of the last days of Summer, Brockwell Swimmers headed to Canterbury for another route from the Wild Swimming Walks book. Meeting at Brixton Station we headed for St Pancras for the start of our journey picking up Margaret Dickinson who happens to be the editor of the book. A very useful adition […]
- Pooled and Ponded - Following the success of last year’s trip Brockwell Swimmers pooled our resources and headed to Hampstead for another day of aquatic frolicking. First up a wonderful few lengths in the wonderfully shiny (and sparkingly clean) Parliament Hill Lido. All the pool open, two lifeguards, great cafe and wonderful coffee. What more could you ask? Then […]
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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