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Grange Lido celebrates 87 years

The open-air swimming pool at Grange-over-sands has been celebrating its 87th anniversary with events organised by Save Grange Lido last weekend.

To mark the special occasion the site was open to the public for the first time in years for a series of guided tours. Demand proved exceptional and all places were filled within a matter of hours.

Phil Bradby, Chair of SGL, said “we are very grateful to South Lakeland District Council for allowing us to access the Lido and National Lottery Heritage Fund for funding the events. It was a real pleasure to be able to show visitors round, people were delighted to get the chance to see inside after so many years.”

In August 1932 the unique Art Deco bathing pool on the promenade opened with a grand ceremony featuring celebrities of the day The Cotton Queen, The Windsor Water Woolie Girls and past Olympic Swimmers. The events ran from 10am and culminated with a party at the Grange Hotel until 2am.

Dignitaries at that time included the Earl of Derby, Lord and Lady Cavendish and the mayors of Barrow, Kendal, Nelson, Morecambe, Windermere, Dalton, Ulverston, Ambleside and Lancaster.

The decision to build the pool was made by Grange Urban District Council in 1930. It was designed and built in just two years, at a cost of £17,000.

The designer was Thomas Huddleson who also created Grange’s iconic promenade. The pool was built to encourage healthy lifestyles, attract visitors to Grange and provide a safe place to swim away from the notoriously dangerous quick sands of Morecambe Bay; three reasons that are just as relevant today.

In 1982, to mark the pool’s half century, the opening ceremony was recreated and in 1992 the anniversary was marked by a packed event called ’60 Years of Fun.’ Sadly the fun ended just one year later when Grange Lido closed.

Janet Carter, one of the event’s orgainsers said “We were absolutely overwhelmed by the number of people wanting to see inside the Lido. So many people came along to share their happy memories of swimming in the pool and we hope they will be able to swim again in the not too distant future.”

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