Hilsea lido opens the full length of its pool on 84th birthday after 20 years
HILSEA Lido is going from strength to strength this summer after opening the whole pool for the first time in around 20 years.
Last Wednesday marked the lido’s 84th birthday and the celebrations landed on one of the hottest days of the year so far, attracting the most visitors they had seen since reopening.
They had a record number of lifeguards working at the pool - the most they have had since reopening - so were able to open the full 67 metre pool for the public to enjoy.
With life guarding roles being fully-paid jobs, the lido has struggled in the past to have enough at the site each day to manage opening more than half of the pool whilst ensuring the safety of their visitors.
The lido re-opened in 2014 after being closed for six years and has continued to grow ever since.
It has been a magnet for local people since opening in 1935 the lido went through a difficult period at the turn of this century until rescued by local residents who formed the Hilsea Lido Pool for the People Trust and took over operation from Portsmouth City Council.
Since reopening five years ago, the trust has been able to offer a range of activities including adults-only swimming, triathlon coaching and the popular family fun sessions.
They have been working closely with Highbury College, allowing students to come in and practice their plumbing skills on essential work.
The site has also recently welcomed in a group of fashion photographers who used the historic location as a backdrop for a photo shoot.
Earlier this year it was also named as one of the country’s best outdoor pools in The Sun newspaper’s Fabulous Daily section.
Chairwoman of the trust Sabrina Richards said: ‘All of our team have worked hard for many years to reach this point. Our goal was always to offer a safe, controlled environment where families can enjoy a swim and the lovely weather on our expansive sunbathing area.
‘We have a deep pool where the diving board can be used safely and we also ensure a positive ratio of adults to youngsters.
‘We’re very proud to have finally opened the full pool to enable a larger number of the local community to enjoy this facility just as the people of Portsmouth have done for many decades.’