Star swimmers to officially reopen historic Matlock Bath lido tomorrow

The outdoor lido at Matlock Bath's New Bath Hotel will reopen following restoration on Friday, June 21, exactly 85 years since it welcomed its first swimmers.
The outdoor lido at Matlock Bath's New Bath Hotel will reopen following restoration on Friday, June 21, exactly 85 years since it welcomed its first swimmers.

The lido at Matlock Bath’s New Bath Hotel will reopen on Friday, June 21, exactly 85 years after swimmers first made a splash in it.

What was once England’s only outdoor lido fed by thermal spring water, the pool has been restored to its former glory as part of the £3million hotel refurbishment.

Hotel manager Richard Devine said: “To be able to bring back the lido to its 1930s splendour is a proud day for the New Bath Hotel.

“It is a fantastic asset for Peak District tourism with an amazing history.”

When the hotel closed in 2013, it looked like the end of the line for the lido, which had survived the Second World War and the massive decline in outdoor pools in the 1960s and 1970s.

The restoration has faithfully maintained much of its original period charm.

The 40-yard pool surrounded by lawns and shrubs, a tennis court, breathtaking limestone cliffs and the woods of Masson.

Richard added: “I have to say a massive thank you to the staff and volunteers that have worked so hard to make it happen together with the fantastic support and involvement of the hotel’s owners.

“The lido is a much-cherished part of the Matlock Bath and it’s fantastic to be able to secure its future for generations to come.”

When the lido opened on June 21, 1934, members of the British Olympic swimming team and internationally renowned film star Alma Taylor showed up to take a dip in the warm and crystal clear waters.

History will repeat itself tomorrow, as two of the country’s most decorated athletes will be in diving in for the opening ceremony at 1pm.

Ross Davenport won two gold medals in the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and has represented the country at the Olympics, World and European championships.

Ryan Taylor is a celebrated Paralympian who won gold at the 2017 Edmonton ITU World Paratriathlon Series and represented Britain at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

They will cut the ribbon with the Mayor of Matlock David Hughes, before a sheaf of white heather is once again tossed into the water for good luck, just as it was in 1934.