Thames Lido Project Swims Into Life

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Fancy a dip in the Thames? The Mayor has signed off funding to look at whether a lido in the river is feasible.

Those who remember David Walliams’s dodgy tummy after his Sport Relief swim might not be overkeen, but SE1 reminds us that expected improvements in water quality from the ‘super sewer’ prompted architects Studio Octopi to propose a lido by Blackfriars. We can also look at New York, where there’s a Kickstarter campaign to fund a lido in the East River that would use a filtration system. Hopefully the lido idea will fare better than the London River Park project.

This isn’t a new idea. We don’t mean it’s been kicking around for a few years, either. Take a look at this report from the Illustrated London News in July 1875 describing a floating swimming baths moored by Charing Cross railway bridge. It cost a shilling to get in and the water was heated, filtered and “let in by suitable cocks”.

The City Hall lido study is part of planning for cultural projects over the next couple of years. Big Dance will be back this year and next, with every intention of it running to at least 2016. The Queen’s Baton relay will stop in London for three days in June before reaching Glasgow for this year’s Commonwealth Games, plans are afoot for a London Children’s Festival and something big will happen to commemorate World War One. City Hall is also looking ahead for ways to celebrate to the World Athletics and Paralympic Championships in 2017.

See also: London’s existing lidos

Photo by Simon Kimber from the Londonist Flickr pool

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