Emptying London Fields’ leaking lido is easy — hiring the best contractor is not going swimmingly

Lido16: London Fields Hackney E8 111116 © DavidAltheer [at] gmail.com
Less lido: the hipsters’ favourite NE London pool faces months of repair work
Lido0416: London Fields Lido 260416 © DavidAltheer [at] gmail.com
Quiet: lanes have been less busy since Loving Dalston reported the lido’s imminent closure

REPAIRS TO London Fields Lido have got off to a bad start or, to be precise, no start. Days before the date, Wednesday 30 November 2016, scheduled for the pool’s closure, owner Hackney council has not appointed a contractor.

Tenderers have been told to be ready to start early next month December on essential work. But finding a contractor able to fix the decay of tiles and other problems that have developed over the 10 years since the heated open-air lido’s reopening has proved difficult. As recently as today Monday the council was yet to choose a firm.

The danger is that the 50-metre pool may be dry for longer than the council’s vaguely expressed “spring 2017” . Anyone who has ever hired builders to do even a small job will sympathise with the council, while worrying about a repeat of the negligence that closed the pool for almost 20 years.

LidolightsC: London Fields Lido floodlights switch-on 111214 © david.altheer@gmail.com
Wet nights: evening sessions started at London Fields Lido two years ago

Rumours sloshing around the communal poolside showers claim they may be moved inside the main building. At present they are great for socialisation, although few users go to the extent of the millennial who occasionally showers without her cossie.

Lido16closed: sign withinLondon Fields Lido Dalston E8 200816 © david.altheer@gmail.com
The sign that poolistas are dreading to see posted at the popular lido

Hackney’s lido webpage details no changes to showers.

The council and its pool operator, Better/GLL (Greenwich Leisure Ltd), have been accepting late comments on the proposed changes. Try emailing julie.simpson2@hackney.gov.uk

David Altheer 211116

* Customers will be able to swim at other Hackney council and Better/GLL-operated pools, including the London Aquatics Centre at the Olympic Park and the newly refurbished Charlton LidoClissold poolBritannia poolKing’s Hall.

kingshall: Kings Hall Clapton Hackney 2011 © David Altheer
Never mind the absent apostrophe: Kings Hall

* Backstory: Hackney’s off-the-wall horror; Happy, smiling high-paid elite of Hackney Town HallLet us spray, says Hackney; Hackney pulls plug on Haggy Baths hopes; Hackney chronicler wades in to save baths; Investors flood in for pool; Hackney washes its hands of heritage siteLondon Fields Lido lights upWetsuits in Hackney lido; Swimming may return to the Haggy; London Fields hipster heaven costs council £140,000 

* All pictures on this page © DavidAltheer [at] gmail.com, and all for sale for reproduction. Most photographs are available in bigger formats.

London Aquatics Centre at Stratford. designed by the late Zaha Hadid © David Altheer
The stunning Aquatics Centre at Stratford, London, designed by the late Zaha Hadid

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