Saturday, 10 September 2016
The poster was painted by the watercolour artist Frank Sherwin (1896-1985). As can be seen, the text says it is the "new luxury swimming pool" in the seaside town of Morecambe, the poster is from 1936 the year the open air pool or lido opened. Morecambe at the time was trying to outdo their larger neighboring seaside resort, Blackpool, so note the "Britain's Most Modern and Progressive Resort" statement on the card. The railway company encouraging people to travel there is the LMS (London, Midland and Scottish) whose chairman (Sir Josiah Stamp) also officially opened the lido in 1936. At a size of 396ft (112m) x 110ft (33.5m) it was generally called the Super Swimming Stadium, open seven days a week and floodlit at night. I won't bore you with the statistics but the fact there was 5.5 miles of piping did blow my mind. Built of concrete and bricks in a very quick time a problem occurred early on with a leak on the sea wall that let sea water into the pool at high tide and let water escaped at low tide which was never totally cured.
There used to be hundreds of lidos all over England but Morecambe met the fate of many of them being demolished in the 1970s and the 19th century Central Pier in the background of the painting which had been fitted with a new 2000 seat ballroom pavilion in 1936 fell victim to the usual hazards of piers - fire and rot and was demolished in 1992. Happily there is still one pier left in Morecambe and as that is built of sturdy stone I think that one will last.
An entry to 'Postcards for the Weekend' theme - Bright Colours - be dazzled at Connections to the World