The first week in November the Lido Friends Committee along with Vivacity’s Steven Luker and Jon Marsden, Vivacity’s Director of Sports and Healthy Living, met for the first time since the Lido closed for the season. Vivacity has reported that this, Lido 2018, season has been the most successful season for many years. The main contribution to this was the installation of the new boiler and the prolonged spell of warm sunny weather. The footfall through the gates this season has helped to reduce the annual loss the Lido makes. The ongoing annual maintenance of the building, pool heating and the Lifeguard cover takes a big chunk of the budget each year. There are very few open-air pools in the country that break even or even make a profit in this country since the advent of indoor swimming pools.
The success of the Solstice swims, the swim sessions for the LGBTQIA+ community, the Friends pre and postseason swims and the early morning opening once a week have all been successful. On the downside, the proposed film/swim night had to be cancelled due to logistical problems that could not be overcome.
For the coming 2019 season Vivacity are still in the discussion and planning stage. Hopefully by the AGM in March these will have been finalised. A Solstice swim will be included though. As long as Lifeguards can be provided a weekend early opening session is in the planning stage, as well as other exciting projects.
One of the major obstacles in the planning of a seasons program is the provision of Lifeguards. This problem is shared by most open-air seasonal opening pools in the country. Vivacity along with several other pools are hoping to attract older, fit, retired swimmers to do the Lifeguard training. Vivacity would pay the training fees then, the trained lifeguards would volunteer their services as and when they could. There are certain fitness criteria needed to be met to be able to access the training. We have several competent older swimmers that have come forward and hope to train before next season.
With the publicity generated from the Historic Pools conference, the Lido has had several ‘Destination’ swimmers from other parts of the country that have enjoyed swims in our pool. All have been impressed with our Lido facilities and friendliness.
Many of the Friends have contributed to the operation of the Lido this year. They helped with the preseason maintenance i.e painting and cleaning. Some of the morning pre-opening routines have been done by the Friends. Some have helped with litter picking when the pool has had a maximum capacity that kept the lifeguards busy. The Friends also took on the planting and the maintenance of the flower beds and planters through the season.
Well done and thank you all who rolled up their sleeves and helped.