Celebrating 170 years of the Victorian Bristol Lido

  • Watch Robert Murphy's report.

Built during the Victorian era, the Bristol Lido has survived two world wars, 33 prime ministers and it once almost closed for good.

It opened on 29 July 1850 under the name Clifton Victoria Baths for people to have a place to swim when getting to the coast was more difficult.

Back then single admission from 6am to 3pm would be a shilling, dropping to 4d after 4pm.

In the 1930s it became the first pool in the UK to be electrically heated.

It was much loved for decades, especially in the 60s and 70s when people use to spend the whole day enjoying the pool.

This area was very much a hippy heaven. The lido was the place to come and hang out.

Raj Soni, Been swimming the pool since childhood.
The Lido was the place to be seen in the 60s and 70s. Credit: ITV News West Country

Despite serving the community for more than 100 years it fell into disrepair and had to be closed in 1990.

It was left derelict as people argued over its future.

After reports of a leak for many years the Lido was falling into a state of disrepair. Credit: ITV News West Country

The threat of demolition hung over the Lido for 13 years as its owners tried to get permission to turn the site into flats.

People in Bristol campaigned to save the site and in 1998 the Grade II listing was awarded.

In 2006, the current owners were given planning permission to restore the pool and create a spa and restaurant.

The Lido reopened to the public in December 2008 and now has more than 1,000 members with 500 eagerly waiting to join.

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