DIVE INTO HISTORY – Heritage Open Days, September 2016
The nation’s historic pools combine amazing architecture with an insight into our collective social history. To celebrate this year’s Heritage Open Days (8-11 September) members of Historic Pools of Britain will be hosting a series of events to give people the opportunity to dip their toes into the past, present and future of these heritage gems.
Gill Wright, found of Historic Pools of Britain, says, “Heritage Open Days are a wonderful highlight on the calendar as we rejoice the architectural heritage that adds so positively to our history and culture. As a nation we have such a variety and wealth of heritage buildings, and the same can be said for our historic pools; from the fabulously ornate pools of the Edwardian era to the simple elegance of 1930s art deco lidos.”
Brighton – Saltdean Lido
Dates: Friday 9 September: 10:30 – 11:00, 11:30 – 12:00, 12:30 – 13:00, 13:30 – 14:00
Saturday 10 September 11:00 -11:30, 12:00 – 12:30, 13:00 – 13:30
Saltdean Lido was built in 1938 by R.W.H. Jones in the ‘International Style’. With its distinctive gull wings and famous rotunda, its design epitomizes some of the best elements of the British modernist movement. In 2015 Historic England named it as ‘One of the 7 wonders of the English Seaside’.
Visitors will be granted exclusive behind the scenes access to many parts of the Grade II* listed site which have been closed to the general public for several years. The tour will include its cafe rotunda, former changing rooms and original plant room.
Visitors can learn about the plans the Saltdean Lido Community Interest Company has for restoring the building for the benefit of the city, nation and future generations and how they can support this community inspired project. Tours will last approximately 30 minutes.
Ipswich – Broomhill Pool
Dates: Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 September: 10.00 – 16.00
Broomhill Pool is a Grade II listed Lido built in 1938, which at one time attracted up to 2,000 swimmers every day. A campaign has been running since the pool closed in 2003 to reopen the site.
Heritage Open Days will be an opportunity to explore this Art Deco gem, as well as seeing the new architectural plans for pool’s restoration, which will be the unveiled to the public for the first time over the weekend. Visitors will also be able to see the “Legends of Broomhill” board, which honours many inspiring figures connected with this area of Ipswich as well as celebrating the area’s association with Ipswich Town Football Club.
Bath – Cleveland Pool
Dates: Friday 9, Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 September: 14:00 – 16:00
Cleveland Pool is the country’s only surviving Georgian lido, hidden away in Bath, on the banks of the River Avon. Once a welcome respite from the heat of the city in the summer, Cleveland Pools was a firm favourite with locals and visitors alike until it closed in 1984. The Cleveland Pools Trust is working to bring these wonderful baths back to life again. Once restored, Bath will be home to the world’s first naturally treated, heated, outdoor swimming pool.
To celebrate Heritage Open days people are invited to explore this amazing pool for free and a variety of family activities will also be taking place to add to the fun!
Manchester – Victoria Baths
Dates: Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 September: 11.00 – 16.00
To honour Heritage Open Days and to celebrate the 110th anniversary of Manchester’s ‘Water Palace’, Victoria Baths is holding a weekend of varied activities: exhibitions, tours, performances and a talk.
The Gala pool will be filled for the occasion with demonstrations of water sports including water polo, paddle board yoga and kayaking. There will be exhibitions of original art work by Stroke Artists and water-themed photography by the South Manchester Camera Club with the invitation for visitors to vote for their favourite photograph.
Guided tours of the building are on offer on both Saturday and Sunday with a special tour exploring Victoria Baths iconic Stained Glass on Sunday. A talk on the Early Baths and Wash-houses of Manchester takes place on Saturday and there are performances by Ordsall Acapella Singers on Sunday.
The VB Tea Room and Gift Shop will be open throughout the weekend.
Historic Pools of Britain launched in September 2015 to offer a shared voice to the hundreds of indoor and outdoor pools in the UK, mostly pre-dating 1939; to celebrate these buildings, their contribution to the nation’s social and architectural history and to recognise the important role they continue to play in our communities today.