My Slow Life has had to speed up a little bit this week, with meetings with the Town Council, the District Council, English Heritage and the 3P’s committee about Grange Lido. English Heritage told me that the restoration of the Lido “doesn’t come close” to meeting the criteria for a grant. I’ve also been on the site again with a structural engineer and a builder to look closely at the condition of the terracing and the existing buildings. It really is as bad, or worse, than we had thought. This comes as no surprise to anyone who has followed the sad story of the structure since it closed to the public 20 years ago. There is an overwhelming consensus amongst everyone who has followed the history of the Lido (including the Grange Civic Society) that there is no prospect whatsoever of restoring the outdoor pool.
I was amused to read an article in the Westmorland Gazette by the historian, Roger Bingham, that the term ‘Lido’, is in fact a misnomer, as during its heyday it was always known as “Grange Bathing Pool”. Real Lidos were much grander, and prettier, affairs and it was only in recent times, when attendances began to drop off, that it was bigged up as a Lido. This link is to a chronology of events prepared by the 3P’s committee showing the numerous efforts which have been made, since the pool closed, to revive it. The slideshow is of photos taken this week showing the reality of Grange Bathing Pool as it is now.