Tooting Bec Lido is an open-air fresh water swimming pool in South London. It is the largest fresh water swimming pool by surface area in the United Kingdom, being 100 yards (91.44 m) long and 33 yards (30.18 m) wide.
The Lido is on Tooting Bec Common between Tooting and Streatham. An original condition of construction was that it should be concealed from views across the common by a surrounding earth ramp. This ramp is now largely covered with bird-filled trees, except where it is breached by the new entrance.
The alternating bright red, yellow, and green doors of the changing cubicles seen above the turquoise water make the Lido a popular location for advertisement "shoots" and other filming. Brad Pitt's boxing "pool" scene in Snatch was filmed at the Lido.
The Lido is operated and maintained by the London Borough of Wandsworth.
The Lido is open to the general public from late May to the end of September each year. Tooting Bec Lido is home to the South London Swimming Club (SLSC) who have exclusive use of the Lido during the winter months, when the pool is open between 7am and 2pm. Members of SLSC can gain free entry when the pool is open to the public in summer. Adult SLSC membership is currently (2018) priced at £28 plus £110 for an annual lido pass.
Tooting Bec Lido is one of Britain's oldest open-air pools – it opened to the public on Saturday 28 July 1906 as the Tooting Bathing-Lake. Digging the lake had been proposed by the Reverend John Hendry Anderson, Rector of Tooting, as a project to provide work for unemployed local men. It holds one million gallons (4,500 m3) of water.
Segregation of the sexes was originally enforced, with women and girls confined to one morning a week. Mixed bathing was not introduced until 1931, and then only at specified times. At the same time an "aerator", or fountain, was added to help pump the water round the pool and keep it clean. The main reason given for this act of modernisation was that more women would be swimming in the pool and higher standards of hygiene were apparently needed.
Five years later, in 1936, a cafe was built along with cubicles with proper doors. It was around this time that the pool became known as a "lido" (as this was when the term came into widespread use in England).
Tooting Bec Lido was nearly closed as a result of Wandsworth council's financial cutbacks in the early 1990s, which resulted in the closure of the borough's other lido at King George's Park. It was saved as a result of the campaigning efforts of the SLSC, who took over the management of the Lido outside the summer season.
Since 1999, Wandsworth has invested in making improvements to the Lido.
The most visible (and controversial) was the move of the public entrance to the northern "shallow end". This removed the need for children and non-swimmers to pass along the narrow paths at the southern "deep end". The new entrance was initially highly visible from across the Common, reduced the lido's sense of seclusion, and made the lido's northern terrace windier. Plantings of willow trees outside the entrance are starting to soften the visual impact.
The pool was drained and repainted in 2005 in advance of a summer programme of events to celebrate the Lido's centenary. More fundamental works to reline the pool and relay paving, requiring a prolonged closure period, took place over the winter of 2006–07. The Lido reopened to members of the SLSC in March 2007, when they hosted the Cold Water Championships.
In 2017 a new Pavilion building was constructed at the deep end of the pool on the site of the former entrance. This was funded by a large contribution from the accumulated reserves of the SLSC, grant support from SportEngland and funding from Wandsworth Council. The Pavilion provides a new all year round sports hall and improved facilities for the life guarding staff. Adjacent to the pavilion is some additional terrace space, where is it intended that the brick arches of the original entrance will be reconstructed as a memorial.
Tooting is a district of South London, England, forming part of the London Borough of Wandsworth and partly in the London Borough of Merton. It is located 5 miles south south-west of Charing Cross.
Wandsworth is a London borough in southwest London; it forms part of Inner London. Its main settlements are Battersea, Putney, Tooting and Wandsworth Town. The borough borders the London Borough of Lambeth to the east, the London Borough of Merton and the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames to the south, the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames to the west and to the north three boroughs, namely the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the City of Westminster. The local authority is Wandsworth London Borough Council.
Brockwell Lido is a large lido in Brockwell Park, Herne Hill, London. It opened in July 1937, closed in 1990 and after a local campaign was re-opened in 1994. Two ex council employees Paddy and Casey took on the running of the Lido for the community. Lambeth council gave Paddy & Casey a peppercorn lease rate from 1994–2001. Lambeth gave them a one-year extension in 2002 whilst a public consultation was held to decide on the longer term sustainable future of the Lido.
Tooting Bec is in the London Borough of Wandsworth, south London, England.
Furzedown is a ward, in both the districts of Streatham and Tooting, wholly in the Tooting Parliamentary Constituency, within the London Borough of Wandsworth in South West London. It is a mainly residential area bordering Tooting Commons, which provide a large open space including Tooting Bec Lido.
Jesus Green Swimming Pool is a lido situated on Jesus Green in Cambridge, England. Opened in 1923, it is one of the few remaining examples of the lidos built across the country in the 1920s — open air pools with space for activities other than swimming. Unusually, the pool is significantly longer than it is wide — this was a design idea to mimic swimming in the nearby river. It opens for public bathing from May to September every year.
Ruislip Lido is a reservoir and artificial beach in Ruislip, within the London Borough of Hillingdon, England, situated between Ruislip Common, Ruislip Woods, and Poor's Field.
Wandsworth Common is a public common in Wandsworth, in the London Borough of Wandsworth, south London. It is 69.43 hectares and is maintained and regulated by Wandsworth Council. It is also a Ward of the London Borough of Wandsworth. The population of the ward at the 2011 Census was 15,247.
The Tooting Commons consist of two adjacent areas of common land lying between Balham, Streatham and Tooting, in south west London: Tooting Bec Common and Tooting Graveney Common.
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King's Meadow swimming pool or Thames Lido is an open-air swimming pool or lido located in King's Meadow in Reading, Berkshire. It was first opened to the public in 1903 as the Ladies Swimming Bath and is believed to be the oldest surviving outdoor municipal pool of a similar early Edwardian era. In August 2004, as a result of a campaign, the building was awarded Grade II listed building status. It re-opened in 2017 after three years of restoration.
Sunnyside Bathing Pavilion is a landmark public pavilion in the Sunnyside lakefront area of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Built in 1922, its original function was to provide changing facilities for swimming in Lake Ontario, however lake conditions were often too cold and an adjoining public swimming pool was built in 1925. The Pavilion was renovated in 1980 to provide updated changing facilities and a café along the beach and a garden.
South London Swimming Club is one of the largest swimming clubs in the UK. Based at Tooting Bec Lido, South-West London, the club swim outdoors all year round.
Tonbridge Swimming Pool is a swimming pool in Tonbridge, Kent. It has an indoor teaching and toddler pool, plus a fitness pool joined to a heated outdoor pool or lido linked by a swim-through channel.
Saltdean Lido at Saltdean Park Road, Saltdean, in the city of Brighton and Hove, is an Art Deco lido designed by architect R.W.H. Jones. Originally listed at Grade II by English Heritage for its architectural and historical importance, its status was upgraded further to "Grade II*" on 18 March 2011.
The Hillingdon Sports and Leisure Complex is a leisure centre in Uxbridge, operated by Fusion Lifestyle on behalf of the London Borough of Hillingdon. The complex is centred on the Grade II listed outdoor swimming pool, known as Uxbridge Lido until 2010, when the newly built centre and refurbished pool were opened. A new indoor pool was built beside the lido as part of the redevelopment works, opening in February 2010, followed a day later by the outdoor pool.
Parliament Hill Lido, Parliament Hill Fields, Gordon House Road, Hampstead Heath, north London, is next to Gospel Oak railway station. The lido, also known as Hampstead Heath Lido, is a public unheated open air swimming pool, open for 12 months a year. It first opened in 1938.
The golden age of lidos in the United Kingdom was in the 1930s, when outdoor swimming became popular, and 169 were built across the UK as recreational facilities by local councils. Many lidos closed when foreign holidays became less expensive, but those that remain have a dedicated following.
Mixed bathing is the sharing of a pool, beach or other place by swimmers of both sexes. Mixed bathing usually refers to swimming or other water-based recreational activities in public or semi-public facilities, such as hotel or holiday resort pool, in a non-sex segregated environment.