BLU was conceived, but not named, on a sunny day by the Brockwell Lido pool in 2001. Three regular swimmers who knew the days of Brockwell Lido were numbered, because Lambeth were unable to contribute any further funding, decided to set up a Friends of the Lido group to discuss how it could be saved. By September the group was established, and the name BLU – Brockwell Lido Users – was agreed. Before the end of the season we had designed a survey questionnaire and had responses from 874 swimmers.
Armed with these results, which showed the passion people felt for the Lido, we approached Lambeth Council. To cut a long and complex story very short (see Peter Bradley’s book Out of the Blue), Lambeth brought in consultants and held public meetings. A Lido Steering Group was created with three of the six stakeholders coming from BLU. And in 2003, Fusion was chosen out of three options, to create a “lifestyle centre” that would bring in enough money to make the Lido as a whole financially viable. It comprises wet and dry side changing rooms, a superb gym, three exercises studios and fantastic spa and sauna.
After four more challenging years, during which BLU soldiered away to make sure that the desired outcome would be achieved, the Lido as we know it opened its doors in October 2007.
Nowadays, BLU is actively engaged in protecting and improving the Lido user’s experience. In 2013, for example, we persuaded Fusion to keep the pool open over the winter for the first time, and in 2014 we finally persuaded Fusion to introduce seven day swims. In April 2016 after many discussions with Fusion, we finally got our poolside sauna and in November 2016, Fusion finally agreed to open the ‘Whole Pool’ all year round.