London heatwave: crowds queue for hours to cool off in London's lidos in busiest summer ever

London's lido bosses have hailed the scorching summer as their busiest ever — and a fond reminder of the days when the outdoor pools were at the heart of communities.

Sweltering crowds hoping for a cooling dip have been queuing for up to four hours at Tooting Bec, Brockwell and Parliament Hill, where one in-one-out policies have been in operation.

At the Ladies’ Pond on Hampstead Heath this weekend, visitors were barred from the “incredibly busy” water.

Charlton Lido has extended its opening hours on two days a week to cope with the demand.

Lynsey Wright, general manager, said: “It’s the busiest summer we’ve had. It’s been really good, the staff have been great.

Visitors to London's Lidos is on the increase as temperatures continue to remain high in the capital (NIGEL HOWARD ©)

“Loads of families come back day in, day out. They’re going to have a lot of memories at the lido this summer.”

Ms Wright added that older swimmers had told her that they had been reminded of days gone by. “They remember the lido how it used to be,” she said. “It reminds them of the days when it was really busy and had more of a community feel.”

Mike Martin, 82, who fought to save London Fields Lido and campaigned for its reopening in 2006, said the demand this summer showed the need for more lidos across the capital.

Georgia Twyford at Tooting Lido

Now chairman of the lido’s user group, he said: “It’s about time there was some money available to build more because things are getting warmer. There would be a big appetite.

“We used to have more lidos years ago, but a large number of them were destroyed. It gives me pride to see people enjoying it now.”

Tooting Lid: Arona Dia (centre) with his friends (NIGEL HOWARD ©)

Patryk Wewior, senior duty manager at Tooting Bec Lido, said: “Almost every day it’s been close to 30 degrees we have been at maximum capacity in the pool — which is 1,600 — and in the baby pool.”

'Swimming is a lovely respite'

Georgia Twyford , 25, a vet who lives in Parsons Green: “I go once a week, when I have the time. I tried coming yesterday but the line was insane. There’s definitely a need for more lidos, especially as it seems to be getting hotter. It’s been a life-saver — having somewhere to cool off is good.”

Kamila Polack , 35, and Vanja Sarkic, 29, from Wimbledon, were with nine-month-old son Stefan. Mr Sarkic said: “We wanted to take the little one for a swim, we’re teaching him to enjoy water. Today’s our first time here ... It delivered, but there were huge queues outside. When does a summer like this happen? This is probably it.” Ms Polack said she had swapped the gym for a swim. She added: “We came here today because the weather has been hot, but also it’s cheaper.”

Georgie Pex , a 27-year-old senior accountant manager who lives in Tooting Broadway: “It tends to get long queues over the summer which puts you off, but it’s nice to have somewhere to go after getting all hot and sticky on the Tube.”

Arona Dia , 19, works for a think-tank and lives in Brixton: “I have a friend who lives not far from here and he said come over. This is my first time here, it’s good fun and it’s been good to be with my friends.”

David and Donna Hall , both 36, came to visit the lido after work before heading home to Tooting Bec. Mr Hall said: “It’s a fantastic asset — you don’t have air conditioning in your house when it’s hot all day and all night, so it’s a lovely respite.” Mrs Hall said: “It’s really great, it’s a lovely temperature after work.”

Mr Wewior said the lido trialled a policy yesterday allowing parents and children up to 30 minutes in the baby pool before encouraging them to come out to cut down on waiting times.

He added: “Even when we tell people it’s three or four hours waiting time, they’re still waiting, which is actually quite nice.” Chemistry student Arthur Ingamells, 19, is working over summer as a lifeguard at the lido, where his parents met 25 years ago. “My mum loves that I work here now, she brings me doughnuts,” he said.

Today the lidos can expect to be brimming over again with temperatures predicted to hit 32C. The crowds may stay away from tomorrow, though. Thunder and showers are expected this evening and temperatures are then forecast to drop to the mid-20s

standard.co.uk/
Londonheatwave
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
1 view in june
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Society
An EE customer has said she was stalked by an ex-partner who worked at the firm, after he accessed her personal data without permission. Francesca Bonafede's number was switched to a new handset and her address and bank details were accessed. She said the company failed to take the data breach seriously and she had to involve police. EE "sincerely apologised" to Ms Bonafede, and said the employee no longer worked for the company. 'They didn't seem concerne...
Society
West Ham say they have handed over all of their evidence to the police after completing a "thorough and immediate" investigation into racist abuse shouted at Liverpool's Mohamed Salah. The incident happened during Monday's 1-1 draw at London Stadium. Egypt striker Salah, 26, was filmed on a mobile phone from a section of home supporters as he was taking a corner. "The club is unequivocal in its stance - such abuse will not be tolerated," West Ham said in a...
Society
A body seen in the wreckage of the plane carrying Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson has been recovered, investigators said. Remotely operated Vehicles (ROVs) were used in ‘challenging conditions’ to pull the body out of the water ‘in as dignified a way as possible’ the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said on Wednesday night. The body is being taken to Portland to be passed over to the Dorset coroner for examination, t...
Society
The US president, who has repeatedly criticised the military alliance, would meet with heads of state in London, Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg announced on Wednesday. It would be Mr Trump's second visit to Britain since his election, having jetted in amid swathes of protest last July. I am pleased to announce that allies have agreed that the next meeting of Nato heads of state and government will take place in London in December 2019. The meeting...
Society
Rolf Harris was jailed for five years and nine months in 2014 but released on licence in May 2017 Credit: PA Officials are investigating a report that disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris walked onto the grounds of a primary school and waved at pupils. The convicted sex offender went onto the premises of Oldfield Primary School near his home in Bray, Maidenhead, to talk to a sculptor working in the grounds, the Daily Mirror reported. Harris, who was jailed fo...
Crime
Two men have been arrested on suspicion of murder after a teenager was stabbed to death. Police and London Ambulance Service were called to Wolsey Court, off Westbridge Road in Battersea, at 7.52pm on Tuesday following reports of a stabbing. A 19-year-old man was found with stab injuries and died at the scene at 8.36pm despite paramedics battling to save his life. The stabbing took place less than half a mile from Prince George's primary school, Thomas's B...
Society
The girl, who has been named Roman by nurses, was found at around 10pm on Thursday in the park in Roman Road in East Ham.  Police said Roman was wrapped in a white towel and placed in the shopping bag on the ground next to a bench in the small children's play park.  The baby was rushed to hospital where she was in a stable condition on Friday morning, the Metropolitan Police said.  Roman was discovered by grandmother-of-one Rima Zvaliauskiene, 50, just 100...
Society
The operation to recover the doomed plane carrying Emiliano Sala off Guernsey could be hampered by days of poor weather as the man brought in by the footballer's family to find him said he could be in the wreckage. The English Channel is being battered by torrential ran, 40mph winds and 10ft waves with the poor conditions set to continue - and worsen - until the end of the week, MailOnline can reveal today. The families of the £15million striker and his pi...
Society
Train passengers are being warned of major disruption after overhead electric wires were damaged near one of London’s busiest stations. Network Rail said services travelling to and from Liverpool Street could be cancelled or revised until 8am on Thursday. Wires between Liverpool Street and Bethnal Green, east London, were damaged, with the outage impacting Greater Anglia, London Overground, Stansted Express and Transport for London Rail services. Passenger...