Sunday, 10 May 2015

Hilsea Lido

Once upon a time, Hilsea Lido, at the north of Portsea Island (better known as Portsmouth) was a buzzing place.  Photos from the '50s and '60s show it full of people having fun.  I heard tell that Sean Connery swam here one time.

A picture of movie star Sean Connery taken at the Hilsea Lido by Larry Hudson 

Part of the movie version of The Who's Tommy was filmed here.

That's Oliver Reed as Bernie, judging the Lovely Legs Competition, and Ann Margaret (Tommy's mum) in the middle.  And here's the same spot today:

Time passes, things change.  The local council pulled the funding:
"Politicians sound Hilsea Lido death knell". 21 November 2006. CAMPAIGNERS have been told to give up hope in their battle to save the Hilsea Lido and accept that the once-popular outdoor pool will have to close. The message came from city councillors as the future of the 71-year-old lido was debated again at a meeting... Former Labour leader Cllr Leo Madden said: 'We have got to admit that it is dead. We need to be honest with the public and not pretend that somebody is going to walk in and save it. 
And that would have been the end - if not for people power.  Led by Sabrina Richards and Helen Downing-Emms the Hilsea Lido Pool for the People charity has worked hard to restore the pool.   To be honest they have a long way to go yet but they are showing that people working together can get things done - and that people are still prepared to put themselves out, get involved and do things for their community.   The local MP even donated the fee from a reality tv show appearance.  (NB this does not excuse her abuse of position in the House of Commons last December)

Today some of Portsmouth's finest street artists came and did their bit.  My Dog Sighs was there collaborating on an outside wall with Fark (or FarkFk) while Lex Luthor and Mimic worked inside.

Blue sky, blue water, white walls look good.  Grey skies, grey water, grey buildings not so much.  A splash of colour makes all the difference.

Here's Fark (the guy from Teatray) putting the finishing touches to The Bird . . .   

. . . and here's My Dog Sighs painting eyes.

Fark admiring the finished work.

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