When I was about four years old, our family moved from Croydon down to the Brighton suburb of Saltdean. At that age I did not appreciate that our local swimming pool, Saltdean Lido, was a classic 1930s art-deco building and that the small town we lived in had several examples of Hollywood Modern architecture. I was more interested in the rockpools on the beach. It’s now rather dilapidated and undergoing renovation however in its heyday, the stylish Lido would have been the perfect setting for a scene in an Agatha Christie murder mystery.
A few years later, we moved to leafy Pinner. Clueless child that I was, I did not realise that Ruislip Lido, the favourite Sunday afternoon outing for my parents, was the location used for one of the iconic scenes in 1960s pop cinema, starring my favourite pop star, rebellious coffee bar cowboy, Cliff Richards. Ruislip Lido seemed very drab and colourless to me. The most exciting thing that happened there was finding a discarded copy of X Men: the very first Marvel comic I had ever seen. The Blob! A life-changing experience.
There are not many lidos left, but these outdoor swimming pools were an integral part » Continue Reading.