Why was Scarborough south bay bathing pool closed down just interested in the history?
- Anonymous9 years agoFavorite Answer
From what I can ascertain from online research, the South Bay pool closed because (a) its popularity declined when the "Atlantis" North Bay pool was constructed and (b) it became unsafe for public use due to neglect and lack of investment.
Built in 1915, Scarborough South Bay Bathing Pool was once the largest outdoor pool in Europe: 330 ft long and 167 ft wide. It closed in 1989 and lay derelict for many years. The Twentieth Century Society applied to have it Listed but it was turned down by the DCMS and EH as 'this lido and changing rooms do not make for a unified single design'. Demolishing the buildings and filling the pool with rubble cost £900,000.
For a detailed history, see pp. 58-61 of Janet Smith's book, "Liquid Assets - the lidos and open air swimming pools of Britain", published by English Heritage in July 2005
There is also a full account of the pool's history at
The salt-water bathing pool was built in 1915, shortly after the outbreak of the first world war. The pool was initially designed and built to be more just a recreational bathing pool, it was built as a wave barrier to protect the coastline from the rough seas that hit the Scarborough’s beaches and cliffs, the theory was that the waves would hit the sides of the pool and the water within the pool would act as a cushion and take the impact of the rough seas, protecting the cliffs and buildings above.
During its 88 year lifespan, the pool underwent several changes to meet with the demands and trends of the ‘British tourist’ and local bathers alike. In 1934 plans were drawn up to renovate the pool. The 1935 ‘improved’ pool included a new built-up reinforced outer wall to provide seating for spectators and give more protection to the pool. The pool had to be deepened to as much as 14 foot on one side to make it possible to have the new 32’6” concrete diving platform with a 12’ lower diving board. The rest of the pool remained 6-foot-deep with 3-foot-deep shallow ends. The pool also included three new fountains in the newly created shallow children’s pools. With the exception of a few new buildings and bungalows on the cliffs behind the pool, the pool didn't change all that much right up until its closure.
The pool remained a great attraction for many loyal holiday makers and many locals who swam there regularly, however things were about to change. A new pool was built in the North Bay (now called the Atlantis, it is still a major tourist attraction), and the popularity of the South Bay Pool decreased. Eventually the South Bay Pool closed in 1988 (though I’m told, the pool briefly reopened in 1989, 1990 and 1993) it was deemed unsafe for public use and was fenced off with high barbed wire fences and railings to prevent people gaining access, the pool soon became a dangerous place, dark murky waters with hidden depths, the changing rooms and buildings flooded due to the raised water levels, the grounds became overgrown and in disrepair. The pool was left derelict and over the years was subject to extensive vandalising and arson attacks on the surrounding buildings, ultimately swaying the decision to demolish the pool in 2003.
As part of Scarborough’s renaissance scheme it was decided the pool was to be filled in and its surrounding buildings used to fill it, the 'pool' is now grassed over with a 'night sky' themed open space for people to walk around, the cliffs behind, now landscaped. Though the shape of the old pool remains, its hard to tell that there ever was a pool there at all.
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