‘A lido in Northampton would put us back on the map’: Blogger’s idea to reinstate outdoor pool

Northampton did have a lido until the 1980s.

A born and bred Northampton mum who would love to see a lido reintroduced to the town wants to know the opinions of other locals.

Emma Jones, who lives in Spinney Hill, confesses to being ‘a little obsessed’ with water and finds herself, every year, looking for her closest outdoor pool.

The mum-of-two, who blogs about all things Northampton and all things travel, is constantly frustrated by the lack of outdoor swimming facilities available in the county.

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Midsummer Meadow was popular when this photo was taken in July 1966.

Back in the early 1900s, there was a lido built at Midsummer Meadow and then an outdoor pool was also built in Daventry in the 1960s.

However, Northampton’s lido shut in 1983 and is now a car park and Daventry’s followed by closing for good in 2006.

Emma is too young to remember Midsummer Meadow properly, but she believes it would be a great location for an outdoor swimming facility to be reintroduced, as it is in walking distance from the town centre.

The 41-year-old said: “Every single summer I think the whole of Northampton has a problem as we just don’t have anywhere for outdoor swimming.

“There’s the splash park in Wellingborough on the embankment, but that’s it.

“It’s healthier not being inside and not being in all that chlorine and it’s just a nicer experience swimming outside.

“I look at other towns a similar size and they have much more in the way of facilities.

“Milton Keynes has two lidos nearby, Willen Lake and a splash park. It just makes me think why do they get everything and we get nothing?”

In order to get the idea of opening a local lido, which Emma appreciates is a ‘heavy investment’, looked at by the county council, 2.5percent of the population would need to sign a petition.

Emma is happy to look into this further and fight for a lido to be reinstated, but she first needs to know how much interest there actually is, locally.

She added: “I think an outdoor pool would really help put us back on the map, instead of people going to Milton Keynes.

“The town was struggling before, but coronavirus has made everything ten times worse.

“My original thought was Midsummer Meadows, just because that’s where it used to be and it’s walking distance from the town centre.

“But I don’t know how much people will be interested in it.

“There does seem to be a growing number of people who want to outdoor swim for health reasons and not just when the sun is shining.

“We would need to tap into that hardcore outdoor swimmers group for it to have more of a chance financially.”

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