Finchley Lido


Finchley Lido

Finchley Lido is a leisure complex at gbmapping|TQ266911, just east of the suburb of North Finchley in the London Borough of Barnet.

Currently there is a swimming pool and leisure centre, cinema, several food restaurants, bowling facilities and large amount of car parking spaces. Finchley Lido is extremely popular with the local population of Finchley at weekends, as it is one of the only cinema complexes in this area of North London.

At the leisure centre next door there is also a heated indoor pool, a modern fitness centre, exercise classes and fitness programmes. The original 1930s outdoor pool which sadly no longer exists was enclosed by an elegant colonnade of Roman Doric columns, with fountains to either side and was used in the 1948 Olympic Games for men's water polo [ [http://www.londontown.com/LondonInformation/Fitness/Gym/Finchley_Lido/fa96/ London Town Information] Accessed: 20 March 2008.] . Today, the outdoor pool is a much smaller affair.

In the summer of 2008, the outdoor pool will open for weekends only in May and for the whole of June.

History

The Finchley Open Air Pool was designed by P T Harrison, of fame from Finchley Borough Council. The main heated pool opened in 17 September 1931 and stayed open until 11 November. The following year it was officially opened on 26 March, and on 22 April 1932 the Duke of York (to become King George VI) unveiled a ceremonial wall tablet made of Staffordshire marble, which can be seen to this date. This tablet can now be seen on display behind the counter of Nando's restaurant, which was built around the original site.

The main heated pool measured 165ft x 80ft, depth ft 3 ins to 10ft, with two fountains. This pool contained at most 456,250 gallons (1,727,094 litres) and had a diving stage of a similar design to Barking Lido, containing a 2 stage platform. Finchley Lido was the first swimming pool to introduce gay nudist days and events, this was a pilot scheme which later introduced trials in Manchester [ [http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/1043430_outrage_over_naked_swimm Evening News - "Outrage Over Naked Swimming"] Accessed: 4 Apr 08.] and other boroughs in London. There has been strong objection from the local residents in a stance in the form of stopping their children from using the pool.

The whole site occupied seven acres, and there was a car park, with its own uniformed attendant (paid the equivalent of £3 per week in 1932). The main building also possessed a burglar alarm from 1932 [ [http://homepage.ntlworld.com/oliver.merrington/lidos/lidos1closed.htm Oliver Merrington's history page] ] . The car park was enlarged in 2004 when the original cinema on the north side of the site was demolished following large scale flooding).

The site was originally purchased for a sum of £8.56 million by a local land owner, although it is now believed to be worth in excess of £23.2 million.

The site was not been ruled out for use within the 2012 Olympics to host international swimming events and also men's water polo and water volleyball. Shooting for the new James Bond film Quantum of Solace, took place during April 2008 around the back of the cinema complex, and throughout the car park, Hollywood Bowl had a sign reading ОВОЧЕВИЙ САЛАТ temporarily erected to give the impression of a Ukrainian embassy.

Facilities

*Nando's
*MacDonald's
*Swimming pool
*Holiday Inn
*Cinema
*Pizza Hut
*Hollywood Bowl

References

Gallery

External links

* [http://www.gll.org/centre/finchley-lido-leisure-centre.asp Finchley Lido] on Greenwich Leisure website
* [http://www.myvue.com/cinemas/index.asp?cn=1&ln=1&ci=28 Listing page for the cinema]


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