The Bathing Pool

Sidney Little’s greatest achievement was the new outdoor swimming pool or lido. As early as 1927, a campaign started in Hastings and St Leonards for a new outdoor pool, spearheaded by the Hastings’ Observer.  A scheme was finally approved in 1931 and Sidney Little was commissioned to do the construction.

He was well versed in modern building techniques and chose to build the pool in reinforced concrete. The pool was built on a massive scale – 330 ft by 90 ft: nearly as big as Blackpool’s. From the air, the design resembled a Greek or Roman amphitheatre, with curved, stepped terracing for spectators on one side and a curved deck for sunbathing on the other.

Overall though, the style was functional rather than classical, there were no Doric pillars or classical references. At the centre of the pool was an impressive array of diving boards up to 10 meters high, constructed from blocks of concrete.

The pool was opened to the public in June 1933. Sadly it was not a great success. It was really way too large for Hastings. It only made a profit in the first year and was far too big for the town. After the War, it was bought by a holiday camp company and partially filled in. In the eighties it was demolished.


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