The Isle of Dogs Lido…

February 26, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

Lido location_planeWere are currently having our bathroom redone, and in the process of trying to find somewhere locally that we might go and have a shower for the next couple of weeks, I’ve discovered that many years ago, there used to be an open air swimming pool on the Isle of Dogs.

Opened in 1925, the pool was located within the red square marked on this now familiar, but still pretty amazing aerial photo of a German Bomber over the Docklands sometime during the 1940’s.

The other photo with a red square on it below, is from the 1930’s (ish) and shows the eastern side of the Island as it was in its industrial heyday, a pretty rugged place for an outdoor swimming pool I think you’ll agree…

The pool itself was about 50 x 18m in size, cost £10,495 to build and was free to get in until 1930. Surrounding the pool were changing rooms and ancillary support buildings and the stepped diving structure you can see in the bottom photos.

Wikipedia tells me that the term lido didn’t really come into common usage in the UK until the mid 1930’s, and that everything built before then was simply called a swimming pool. Like many things however, the name and the lifestyle they proposed became fashionable and eventually all such pools came to be described as a lido (which is simply the Italian word for beach by the way).

Sadly it was just such a plane as on the photo above that bombed the Isle of Dogs pool in 1940, making it unusable and forcing it to close after only 15 years. The lido buildings were later demolished and the land cleared to make way for an adventure playground, and latterly the sports field that lives there today…

Thanks to the ever informative Island History site for much of this info…

Lido location

millwall park 1925 IoD Swimming Pool


  1. Liz Smith
    February 26, 2014 at 15:33

    What stunning pictures. I used to live in Manchester Road just opposite St. Lukes and never ever heard of a lido in the IOD before. Especially one at the end of my road.
    Thank you for your blog and FB updates 🙂

    • February 27, 2014 at 12:07

      Hi Liz
      There are loads more excellent pictures on the Island History site, it’s well worth a look…
      Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment

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