The lido is one of Britain’s most evocative reminders of the Art Deco age, of a country embracing and celebrating mechanisation after the grim years of the first world war, and the flu epidemic that followed it.
In Penzance we are fortunate to have one of the best examples, and indeed the largest, left in the country.
The Jubilee Pool and St Michael’s Mount in the same bay? We are indeed blessed.
It’s rounded triangular design helps it withstand the pounding of the sea. Nonetheless it’s a constant battle against the elements (and the budget holders) to keep the lido open and in its beautiful prime. It was most recently badly damaged in the storms that ravaged the south west in the winter of 13/14.
This year the lido will remain closed, although its excellent café is open and overlooking the restoration works. Works that are finally underway thanks to the tireless campaigning by the Friends of Jubilee Pool.
The pool opened in 1935 to commemorate the silver jubilee of George V and unlike some of the lidos in the north, is fed by unheated sea water.
While I love the pool and have swam there frequently, I’m sure it’s colder in the pool than it is swimming off the Battery Rocks behind it.
We all look forward to its re-opening in 2016, and hope that it will herald a resurgence of the potentially beautiful, but currently tired, town of Penzance.