Designed in the early 1930s by Captain F Latham, Jubilee Pool has sat proudly on Battery Rocks in Penzance for many years. Generations of local children have learned to swim at the outdoor pool, speaking fondly of long summer days spent there.
The Grade II Listed lido has stunning views out to Mount’s Bay and St Michael’s Mount, with the sea on two sides. Although open to the Cornish elements, swimmers are still sheltered from the winds by the pool’s high white walls - Cornwall can be warm, but not that warm!
Its beautiful art deco curved design withstood the stormy seas of the south coast for 80 years until Cornwall was hit by a terrible storm in 2014, which sadly proved too much for the lido. The waves breached the walls and the pool suffered severe damage that resulted in its closure.
But all was not lost! The Friends of Jubilee Pool, a group of volunteer supporters, launched a campaign to raise £3m to restore the old girl back to her former glory.
We showed our support to by selling ‘Save Our Lido’ tote bags & car stickers which raised over £1,500 for the campaign! We were delighted when the pool had secured enough money to start the redevelopment.
We were lucky enough to be invited to the official reopening, and we couldn’t have had a better day for it. The sun was shining, the blue skies were clear of clouds and the mercury hit a balmy 24°C. The water looked so inviting Neil couldn’t wait any longer and was the first to jump in, making the most of having the pool to himself. He wasn’t alone for long, the sparkling pool water soon tempted people in. Bright swimming costumes and a few floral swimming caps were donned, and the pool was once again full of people enjoying themselves. Those without bathing suits kicked off their shoes, hitched up their skirts or rolled up their trousers and paddled in the toddler pool.
Neil's thoughts on the day
The pool was buzzing with anticipation of the arrival of HRH Prince Charles, who officially opened the lido. Local school children lined the railings and residents waited on the pavements to greet the Prince. During his time at the pool Prince Charles met with local residents, fundraisers and the construction workers who worked on restoring the lido. He even had time for a quick chat to Neil and Sophie!
The pool itself was a hive of activity. Aside from the swimmers there were numerous demonstrations to showcase the activities on offer at the pool. Poolside yoga, stand-up paddle boarding, lifesaving, water polo, and one-on-one swimming lessons were going on around the pool, all serenaded by saxophone quartet, The Four Tunes. Near the entrance, Jubilee Pool’s past was on display. Knitted swimsuits, old photographs and handwritten memories of the lido, and a souvenir programme from the official opening in 1935 were strung on a washing line for all to see. It was great to see what Jubilee Pool was like in the ’30s, and even nicer to see the redevelopment of the pool has maintained all the soft curves and interesting art deco architecture – although we’re certainly glad swimsuits have a changed a bit since then!
Neil and Sophie after meeting Prince Charles
We’d really like to thank Martin Nixon and his team for everything they have done for Penzance and for inviting us to get involved. We are in awe of everything he’s achieved, it’s wonderful to see Jubilee Pool restored to its former glory and being enjoyed again by the residents of Penzance. The hard work of Martin and the local community has certainly paid off. It’s definitely going to be a hot spot for the Seasalt team this summer.
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