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This large and attractive natural swimming pool is tucked away out of sight and has no facilities other than the pool itself. Well worth traveling to perhaps on a trip to include other nearby pools. Music from Juno. http://hungouttodry.co.uk/page28.htm
http://wildswim.com/la-furnia-gran-canaria

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Oliver Dixon writes: This swimming pool was probably excavated from the rocks at Cullercoats in the late 19th/early 20th century. No doubt popular at one time, it now lies abandoned. Are the British public getting soft with their preference for heated pools or Mediterranean warmth? And even those who do take to northern seas are almost invariably clad in wet suits nowadays.

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Deer Leap swimming pool, Ringshall, now derelict after more than 50 years of pleasure. See Map
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Andy writes: One of the last privately run lidos in the UK. It had a great location on the edge of the village in the Chilterns overlooking woods. I believe that it closed after the 1998 season and was still extant & derelict the last time I passed in 2002. From Dacorum Council’s website, it seems that the planning appeal for the latest housing development scheme (for 1×4 bed and 1×5 bed) on the site has just been withdrawn.The picture postcard yellow and blue changing rooms had quite a pronounced list, even when the pool was still open and were sometimes used for glamor model shots.

The pool was quite small, but there was a good sized car-park, extensive lawns as well as the sunbathing terraces and a very efficient refreshment kiosk, so 1000’s could be packed in on peak days . Being privately, rather than local authority run, it seemed to also have escaped the attention of the HSE and the diving boards were still in use up until closure. This helped to make the atmosphere very lively on a hot summer day!

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Oliver Dixon writes: This open air swimming pool at the south end of Long Sands, Tynemouth was opened in 1925. No doubt popular at the time, it now lies abandoned. Are the British public getting soft with their preference for heated pools or Mediterranean warmth? And even those who do take to northern seas are almost invariably clad in wet suits nowadays. More…

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Wild Swimming Aberdovey Wales

Wild swimming is not about freezing cold water; it’s about the joy of swimming in the great outdoors. It’s about breaking free from the indoor swimming pool and returning to swim in the wild. British culture has taken the fun out of swimming; swimmers have been imprisoned at indoor pools for far too long. Wild swimming is all about breaking free from convention, escaping to the outdoors and returning to beautiful surroundings, to water that sparkles with sunlight, and the exhilaration and freshness of pure living water. Read the Wild Swimming story available from: http://hungouttodry.co.uk

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Humberstone Lido Opened in Leicester in the mid 1930s at the height of the British sunbathing era. Concerns over water quality sparked a move away from river swimming and the Lido offered clean modern surroundings to an increasingly affluent population.

Bathing in the sunshine was seen to have many health benefits and so Lido’s countrywide enjoyed a hey day of popularity. However attitudes towards swimming outdoors changed and the Lido era came to an end in the seventy’s. Leicester Lido owner Mr Mark Warrilow said regarding the pool’s closure to swimmers: ‘There are enough indoor swimming pools in the city to cope with people’s needs. Because of inconsistent weather the pool was only being used during a few months of the year.’

Nearly all swimming pools and especially lidos provided diving boards which were for many the main attraction of such pools. This Saturday Olympic Diver Tom Daily appeared on our TV screens as a mentor for celebrity divers in ITV‘s new reality show, Splash! Inspired though we might be by the 2012 Olympics and by this TV diving show, Leicester has no diving boards from which we might might be tempted to take the plunge.

The lido on Scraptoft Lane (also known as the Trocadero) was closed in 1975 and was from then on used by anglers who surely cannot have enjoyed fishing for rainbow trout in these artificial surroundings. The pool was demolished some years later and the area has now been turned into a housing estate. 

Discover the history of sunbathing in Britain

Read the rich and eventful history of swimming in Leicester

Learn about the history of swimming pools

Discover the fate of the seaside diving boards that inspired Tom Daily at Plymouth Hoe

Humberstone Lido

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A boy in a children's swimming pool.

A boy in a children’s swimming pool. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Back in the seventy’s swimmers were chased out of rivers across the country as water pollution posed an increasing health risk. Children were scared out of their wits by a a sinister public safety film, with swimming pools promoted as the only safe place to swim. Now as bathers refuse to wash properly before entering the water, swimming pools have become polluted.

Dr Chalmers (Public Health Wales)  said “cryptosporidium (a disease that causes severe diarrhea) could survive chlorine in pools, and stressed the need to shower with soap before use.”

This advice follows a steep rise in infections caught at public swimming pools. Public Health Wales (PHW) says it had 283 confirmed cases by the end of September, compared to 248 for the whole of 2011. Swimmers should now shower before using the pool and not swim for 48 hours after having diarrhea.

Last month, 20 people were infected after swimming at a pool in Newport and the pool was closed for six weeks costing thousands of pounds to clean.

The British at one time used swimming pools as a public baths. Cheaper than a private tub, the swimming pool became the place to wash away bodily filth during the industrial revolution. Throughout Europe showering before entering a communal pool is obligatory but the British find the prospect of having a proper wash distasteful, preferring to swim in murky, polluted bath water instead.

We are now so ‘body image’ conscious that more and more clothing is being used in the pool. For men and boys dirty underwear is often worn under swimming shorts adding the remnants of washing powder and other deposits to the mix of pollutants in pool water.

Whether swimming indoors or out you are well advised to look at the quality of the water. If the water looks murky or you detect a strong smell of chlorine ask for your money back and find a safer place to swim. Wild swimmers are often chided for bucking the indoors only swimming mantra. Yet swimming in the clean bathing waters that stream through our countryside, the peace and quiet, stunning scenery and the wonders of nature continue to attract swimmers to the wild as a clean alternative to the murky smelly waters at many indoor pools.

Read the history of British swimming: Hung Out to Dry

More from the BBC…

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