Liquid Assets: The Lidos and Open Air Swimming Pools of Britain
Played in Britain is a groundbreaking series celebrating Britain’s diverse sporting heritage, from medieval cockpits and bowling greens to 20th century billiard halls, ice rinks and stadiums.In Liquid Assets, the third book of this much talked-about series, journalist Janet Smith, author of a history of Tooting Bec Lido and herself a keen swimmer, traces the development of Britain’s surprisingly rich stock of lidos, starting with their muddy beginnings in London’s parks, through their fashionable heyday in the Thirties, to their battle for survival today.Lavishly illustrated with both archive and contemporary photographs, Liquid Assets highlights some of the nation’s outstanding architectural examples. But if lidos were once to be found in virtually every town and city, since 1945 many have been closed, often despite the efforts of thousands of vociferous campaigners. Liquid Assets charts the best of these lost lidos, including one in Purley where the towering concrete and steel diving board now forms the curious centrepiece of a garden centre.The book also provides a unique listing of all lidos still open in Britain, with detailed case studies of the most impressive, including the Art Deco glories of the triangular-shaped Jubilee Pool, Penzance, Saltdean Lido, near Brighton and Tinside Lido, Plymouth, all opened in 1935 and recently renovated to popular acclaim. With our summers seemingly getting ever hotter, are we about to enter a second golden era for Britain’s much loved lidos?Never before has there been a comprehensive account of this, one of most popular forms of recreational architecture. Played in Britain invites readers to dip in and discover anew the best of the nation’s Liquid Assets.
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This looks like a great book and I am looking forward to reading it, not only the book itself but the foreward by Tracey Emin. I am a huge fan if lidos and took my children to the one in Gospel Oak when they were young in the 80s and early 90s. However, it would be useful to disaggregate (to use a wiki-term) the author Janet Smith who is a British journalist, or was when she wrote this, from Janet Smoith, the US Catholic philosopher who has made her name and reputation and built her career on her support for the Catholic church's anti-contraception, 'pro-life' stand.....