Youngsters dive in as Hilsea lido opens for first time in six years

Hilsea Lido was open to the public for the first time in six years. 

Picture: Malcolm Wells (142127-0074)

Hilsea Lido was open to the public for the first time in six years. Picture: Malcolm Wells (142127-0074)

EXCITED children lined up for a chance to jump into the newly-reopened Hilsea Lido.

The pool opened to the public on Saturday for the first time in six years.

Peter Littlefield, 14, of Copnor, was one of many youngsters waiting to dive in as soon as it opened at 2pm.

He said: ‘It’s refreshing – I’ll probably come back whenever I can. It’s a nice atmosphere

‘You can go in when you don’t want to go to the city.’

He was with his 11-year-old sister Erin and mum Cara, 40.

Earlier on, Erin had taken part in the impressive synchronised swimming display at the lido.

She said: ‘It’s good to come here in the summer.’

Plenty of parents had brought their children out for the day to the pool, which is run by Hilsea Lido Pool for the People Trust.

Claire Dimmick, 41, had brought her son Spencer, nine, over to the pool.

He said: ‘It’s pretty good – I like swimming.

‘I like that you can dive and have fun by splashing.’

Claire added: ‘It’s really good that they’ve got it up and running again.

‘It was left going to ruin and they’ve taken a bit of care and help it will go from strength to strength. It’s a great idea. You could spend the whole day down here.’

The opening was only made possible through a lot of hard work by the trust.

The trust plans to carry on refurbishing the lido, including bringing back the diving boards.

They are something that Alan Tonkin remembers from when he was younger and the lido was in its glory days.

The 68-year-old was visiting family in Portsmouth from Australia when he decided to have a look at the pool.

He has fond memories of the place even though he broke his toe as child at the lido while skylarking.

‘The 10m diving board was the right of passage for a young Portsmouth lad,’ he said. ‘You reached manhood when you came here as a little tinker and threw yourself into the water.’

Charles Burns was volunteering with the trust on Saturday to help with the big opening to the public.

He praised the trust’s work in getting the lido open.

He said: ‘It really is a fantastic achievement.

‘The trustees and volunteers really have got to be congratulated on all the work they’ve done.’

Sabrina Richards is chairwoman of the trust, which took over the lido from the council in 

She said: ‘It’s just so lovely seeing people enjoying it. The amount of work that’s gone into it has been 




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