Ceremony marks a new era for an old friend

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STEVE CANAVAN: The case of the 'kitchen' door is open and shut

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Accepted that we lifted it in its original form from the French, the word renaissance is surely one of the most uplifting in the English language.

It heralds rebirth and resurgence and conveys a spirit of optimism and excitement.

And it sums up perfectly perhaps the opening of the Hilsea Jubilee Splash Pool.

It is located at Hilsea Lido, for so long a byword for faded glory and neglect.

The location that attracted crowds before and after the war, and where so many happy childhood memories were formed gradually slipped into disuse and decline.

It sat unloved and apparently unwanted. Except that it was wanted – wanted by the people who live in this area and could either remember its heyday or picture how it would be transformed by a healthy dose of love and attention.

Step forward the Hilsea Lido Pool for the People Trust, whose members has just cause for pride as they saw the official unveiling of two shallow water pools, play features, new toilets, seats and picnic tables.

Portsmouth City Council, which spent more than £330,000 on the project, has commissioned the trust to look after the pool.

It will be open from 11am until 6pm until the end of the summer school holidays and we are sure that, once the weather picks up, it will be packed with excited youngsters, and with the young at heart who will enjoy the new facility as well.

The choice of name is a good one as well, marking a moment in time in which across the nation people have celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne.

Of course, those celebrations were on a far grander scale than those at Hilsea at the weekend. But the Lido event, like the Jubilee, was one that drew people together.

It has been a long time in the waiting and there have perhaps been some missed opportunities along the way.

But the lido is now getting back onto its feet and we have to thank for that a small group of determined residents who were not prepared to see it die without a fight. They deserve our praise.