An invitation was put out to members to attend an informal gathering, have a cup of tea and a chat about worthing history – Susan Belton was there to answer any questions. Below is a summary of what was discussed for those members that are interested in knowing more about the Lido.
What is a Lido? – The Oxford dictionary describes a Lido as an open-air swimming pool or bathing beach. It originates from the Italian work lido which means shore or bank.
However the lido was originally built as a Band Enclosure.
Those who attended had a lovely afternoon, we were able to share the history of the Lido with pictures (see below). We interacted with the public who showed an interest in what we were doing. Susan Belton was given the opportunity to share her extensive knowledge assisted by the West Library Service.
HISTORY OF THE LIDO by Susan Belton
In 1897 an elegant Victorian bandstand was built on the promenade west of the Pier. Crowds could listen to the bands playing and a shelter was built in 1907 between the beach and the bandstand for protection from the elements.
The rectangular Bandstand Enclosure we are more familiar with today was erected in 1925 in the form of a stage with an extending canopy. This spacious enclosure was designed by the architects Adshead and Ramsay. It was constructed on steel piling at cost of £25,000 and is over two hundred feet in length, extending over the beach like a small pier. The original canopy over the stage was replaced in 1929 with the present domed roof.
When the popularity of the bands waned an open-air swimming pool was constructed in the enclosure which was renamed the Lido in 1957. It was opened by Olympic swimmers Judy Grinham and Angela Barnwell. The Lido was a popular venue before the Costas and Spain became popular destinations.
The pool closed in 1988 and today the swimming pool area has been covered over and the circular bandstand area is now a family entertainment centre.
This elegant and distinctive Art Deco building was listed Grade II in 1985. Sarah who works for Worthing Library shared what she knew, giving information about her role at the library and her ability to research items of interest for them.
Comments from a Member
Just to thank you for arranging the ‘Lido Tea’ on Wednesday afternoon. Although a small number it was enjoyable to catch up with what’s happening in Worthing. Please keep me updated on any future events.
Best wishes, Martin How
It is hoped that by having this event, we can encourage the people of Worthing to support the Society and take part in safeguarding our town’s unique heritage. We welcome new members of all ages. For membership details and
current updates on local planning issues go to our website at:
We look forward to welcoming you.
With many thanks,