Open-air swimming in Winchester in 1903


The Hampshire Chronicle reports: The issue of outdoor bathing has captured the attention of many people in Winchester.

A campaign has garnered the support of some 3,000 people for a lido on the site of the River Park Leisure Centre. It supporters say lidos elsewhere are becoming increasingly popular in the UK.

This splendid photo shows public swimming in Winchester more than 100 years ago.

It was taken at the 'public bathing place' at Bull Drove in St Cross. The pool was fed by the River Itchen and so would have been a constant temperature of around 10 degrees all year as the river is fed from underground aquifers. The pool closed in 1974 when the River Park Leisure Centre in Hyde was opened.

The photo comes from Winchester Illustrated published in 1903 by Warren and Son, then as now based on the High Street, and reproduced with their kind permission.