Hackney lido lights up as long winter approaches

LONDON FIELDS Lido is to open at night. Hackney council has announced that from December  2014 the Olympic-length art-deco style facility will be, uhm, floodlit. 

Eight powerful lights around the Lido will enable it to open to the public between 6.30am and 9pm, which should ease the crowding resulting from its increasing popularity. Pool temperature is usually around 25C, even in the coldest weather.

Users will also be pleased to hear that the open showers, which heating engineers have tinkered with to little effect over the last year, are being replaced. 

In a press release Jonathan McShane, Hackney culture councillor, described the pool heating system as “state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly ”. 

Haggerston Baths Whiston Road E2 8BA  © david.altheer@gmail.com
High and dry: Haggerston Baths

The council adds that it and GLL, the private operation that runs the borough pools, listened to calls from Lido lovers to extend the opening hours. 

Older London Field residents will wish the council had “listened to calls from Lido lovers” years ago when they opposed the pool’s closure by Hackney council in the late 1980s. Eventually volunteer help led to its restoration, and reopening, in autumn 2006. 

If the council now likes to listen to the wishes of residents, perhaps it can pay heed to campaigners demanding the reopening of the Grade II-listed Haggerston Baths in Whiston Road E2 8BA. The council closed  the magnificent 110-year-old venue, locally famed for its women-only swims, in 2000.

Hamish Scott  060214 

* Lido, London Fields west side E8 3EU (020 7254 9038). 

* Backstory: Swimming in Hackney lido at 22C 

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