episode #83 lidos

Hoylake’s bath on the promenade opened in June 1913 and was refurbished in the late 1920s, and re-opened in 1931. In 1976 the council closed Hoylake Baths after the site suffered storm damage but it was reopened by Hoylake Pool Trust. A run of bad weather and a lack of funding saw the baths closed down six years later, and they were demolished in 1984.

Parkgate Pool was built by Mostyn House School in 1923 constructed as a facility for the school, but it was also open to the paying public. It became a big attraction, but with the silting of the River Dee, the needed water supply disappeared. The cost of pumping the water into the pool increased as the water level fell and the baths closed in 1942. It reopened due to popular demand in 1947, but closed for good in 1950 because of the high fees for piping and pumping the water.

Derby Pool, Wallasey Crowds flocked to the Derby Bathing Pool on Harrison Drive in Wallasey when it opened in 1932. Smaller than New Brighton Baths, it was hugely popular for decades but eventually closed in the 1980s because of declining visitor numbers and repeated storm damage.

Lord Leverhulme declared open the finest and largest aquatic stadium in the World – New Brighton Baths – before an assembly of nearly 12,000 people on the 13th June 1934. New Brighton Baths also included a cafe and kitchen which was situated in a central position between the ladies’ and gentlemen’s dressing boxes. The cafe was a two-storey structure, 90 feet 8 inches long and 37 feet 10 inches in width, of modern design, embodying the use of of concrete balconies and canopies cantilevered out from the main walls. 

Over the years, it played host to wrestling competitions, midnight bathing, dances and the Miss New Brighton contest. In 1984, ITV staged a spectacular outdoor concert at the pool called New Brighton Rock. The concert starred Nik Kershaw, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Spandau Ballet, the Weather Girls and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in a four-day musical extravaganza.

By the 1980s, with the ferry link from Liverpool gone, attendances were down to 30,000 from their 1970s peak of 80,000 which seemed to go hand in hand with its steady demise as a tourist hotspot.

It was demolished after a storm in 1990 damaged its structure.

Spoken Word

Maura Dooley (read by James Franco): Still Life with Sea Pinks and High Tides


Little Dragon: Swimming

Alice Russell: Get Ready In The Morning (Song In The Bath)

Florence + The Machine: What the Water Gave Me

Deee-Lite: Stay In Bed, Forget The Rest

Malian Musicians & Damon Albarn: Le Relax

Eden Ahbez: Eden’s Island

Jazztronik: Stay In The Bath Too Long

Zero 7: Salt Water Sound

Les Prospection: Lido

Damon Albarn: Empty Club

KOOP: Words of Tranquility

Alfred Schnittke: Piano Quintet, V

A community radio midnight show Through the Bohemian Looking Glass which is aired every night at midnight (GMT). A new episode every Friday at midnight on Wirral Wave radio or AirTime. Later on SoundCloud.