I’m sure I was not alone in being startled by Eric Morrell’s assertion, in Grange Now, that his Community Interest Company, will be taking over the currently defunct lido, with a view to developing it “in line with the wishes of the local community”. No one has ever asked me what my wishes are, and I’m sure there are plenty of other people living in Grange and the surrounding area, who would say the same
The suggestions for alternative use, to me, seem to be well covered elsewhere in the town, whereas somewhere to swim, is not. In the past few years the UK has seen a huge upsurge in interest in open water swimming, and lidos around the country are thriving. And before anyone says we are too far north, there is one in Stonehaven, in Aberdeenshire, not a place renowned as a suntrap, that opened in 1934, and is still going strong. Here in Cumbria, outdoor swimming has enjoyed a massive renaissance, with groups swimming at Fell Foot throughout the year, just as an example. However, not everyone who likes swimming outdoors feels comfortable in open water. For these people, a lido would be a great attraction. We are constantly warned of the dangers of obesity, and are encouraged to do all that we can to keep fit. Swimming is an excellent form of exercise for all ages. It is non-weight-bearing, fun, and a sociable activity too – and is so much nicer in the fresh air
Since the pool closed, great strides have been made in the use of alternative sources of energy. Solar water heating, and ground source heat pumps, both of which cost money to install, but very little to maintain, could surely be deployed to keep the water temperature at a reasonable level?
When I was a child, we came regularly, from Kendal, to spend the afternoon at “Grange Baths”, and I have lots of happy memories of time spent there. A restored lido would, I am sure, bring the pleasure of outdoor swimming, in a safe environment, to a whole new generation of people. I think it would be a great asset to Grange, bringing many new visitors to the town, and surely that would only be a good thing?
Cate Davies, Field Broughton