The seaside lido. What a wonderfully evocative thought! I have to confess that I've never actually swum in one in real life... But, in my mind, they conjure up all sorts of wonderful images of 1930s, interwar frolicking as Britain was taken over by a sort of outdoor, healthy, sporting lifestyle craze.
And the architecture! Wonderfully deco/moderne designs with simple lines, elegant curves and bright white finishing to reflect the sea and sun (literally), and the purity of outdoor pursuits (metaphorically).
But sadly, like the swimwear of the day, the lido became outmoded, and very few of these wonderful pieces of architecture remain, where once they were dotted all around the coast. Apparently there are now only 11 operational lidos from this Golden Era, with only 3 of those by the seaside. One of the last, and the most architecturally impressive, is Saltdean, just east of Brighton. Although its boating lake for paddle boats (how cool is that?!) has now been replaced with a community centre, the whole complex remains largely intact. Which is indeed a rare and wonderful thing.
There is currently a big campaign to safeguard the future of Saltdean Lido against the very real threat of residential development and to keep it in community use, in such a way that is sympathetic to this fabulous 1930s gem. It's also in the running to win some funding from a people's choice community project competition run by the Co-op. So rally round chums, and help: