Representatives from 30 pools across the UK gathered at Lido Bristol in April for the inaugural Historic Pools of Britain event. The event celebrated the successful restoration and re-opening of Lido Bristol as a stylish outdoor swimming destination and business model.
The headline speaker was Bristol Restauranteur, Arne Ringner who purchased the site following a local campaign to save the lido and helped to secure an English Heritage Grade II* listing for the building, which protected it from demolition.
Arne also gave the audience a unique insight into the team’s latest restoration project at Thames Lido – a former open-air swimming pool in King’s Meadow in Reading, Berkshire. First opened to the public in 1903 as the Ladies Swimming Baths, it is believed to be the oldest surviving outdoor municipal pool of a similar early Edwardian era.
The event also included a guided tour of Cleveland Pools in Bath, which is in the final stages of a fundraising programme that began several years ago. With much of the funding now in place, it is hoped that the restoration of the country’s only remaining Georgian Lido will soon commence.
Gill Wright of Historic Pools of Britain commented: “I was inspired by the visit to Cleveland Pools – a real step back in time to the earliest days of public bathing. I can’t wait to re-visit for a swim in this beautiful river side location.”