The Lido Guide

By Janet Wilkinson and Emma Pusill

A practical, beautiful, inspiring guide to the outdoor pools of the UK

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Comings and goings, toings and froings

Earlier in the week, when we showed you all our lovely book cover, I promised a round up of one or two lido happenings towards the end of the week. And here we are, at the end of the week. But first, shall we just have another little look at our gorgeous cover? Shall we? Just because we can? 

Oh, alright then - you talked me into it.

It's still smashing, isn't it?

Anyway - in other news... 

Firstly, a little happening for book lovers. The Lido Guide is going to be represented at an Unbound Authors event in the Nottingham branch of Waterstones on the 6th October. I'll be taking part in a panel discussion on writing non-fiction during the course of the afternoon, and throughout the day there will be around 30 authors in attendance talking about writing in a variety of genres. There will also be readings, and plenty of time for Q&A. For a taster of the authors attending, and their works, check out our twitter account (@lidoguide) where there's a short thread every day introducing one of them. 

Tickets are just a fiver, can be bought online and they're redeemable against any book purchase in store on the day. So you basically get a day of bookish loveliness, and the opportunity to come and heckle me, when you buy a book. Truly a bargain. 

Moving on now to a quick update on the remarkable momentum being generated by the hardworking people at Save Grange Lido. This fabulous pool has lain unused, but not unloved, for around 25 years. It has the potential to be the Jubilee Sea Pool of the north of England. So much about this pool is iconic, from its listed mushroom shaped pool tank, to its original diving boards. South Lakeland District Council are adopting the baffling stance of wanting to fill it in. Some considerable mystery surounds the precise nature of their plans, however, with various politicians, at various times, quoting concrete and decking as the infill material of choice. The council has yet to publish the details of its plan, or any costings and business plan that might show how any filled in pool tank could enable the buildings themsleves to contribute to the economic life of the region.

The Save Grange Lido committee, on the other hand, have produced a detailed and robust business plan which you can download here by scrolling down the page. They had been hampered in that endeavour by South Lakeland's refusal to allow them, and their team of experts, to access the site in order to be able to accurately cost the restoration of the structure and the plant / machinery. The business plan was presented to the council last week, however, and an agreement was reached to allow access for inspection and quotation purposes. This is a great step forward and one which I very much hope indicates that the council now view the committee as a serious group of people with all the right skills to make this happen. We've certainly been impressed by them, and would urge the council to take them seriously and enter into a co-operative approach to the future of what could be one of the greatest visitor attractions in the north. You can help by signing this online petition to show your support for the restoration of the pool and the proposal to fill it in with the only thing that belongs in it - water. A groundswell of public support has already persuaded the council to meet with the committee and receive the business plan, and the stronger the show of support the more power it lends to the committee's elbow.

I'm going to end with two interesting fundraising campaigns by lidos, of very different sorts. 

Jubilee Sea Pool's share issue to fund its ambitious, and exciting, geothermal plans closes in just a couple of days. So if you've been meaning to get round to this now is the time! If you live out of Cornwall, and find the entry level of £50 a bit too steep, you can telephone and make a smaller donation over the phone. It won't earn you any of the share issue goodies, but you can feel good about doing your bit to help.

And Brightlingsea lido in Essex have a fundraising campaign live to equip the pool with an inflatable obstacle course. The volunteers who rescued this pool from council closure have done an absolutely first class job in their first season and it is very encouraging to see them looking at ways of diversifying what this huge pool can offer. If you have some spare cash, they'd put it to very good use.

Hope to see you in a few weeks in Nottingham.


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