Saltdean Park and Lido

Please note that this text is an extract from a reference work written in 1990.  As a result, some of the content may not reflect recent research, changes and events.

c) SALTDEAN PARK and LIDO: Known also as Saltdean Oval from its shape, the park covers eighteen acres and was laid out by the Estate Company in the 1920s. In July 1961 the corporation took control and spent £45,000 on diverting the roadways which ran across the park, renovating the sixteen-hole miniature golf-course, and providing tennis-courts and swings. There is also a bowling-green and pavilion.
At the southern end of the park stands the Saltdean Lido, opened by the Estate Company on the site of some tennis-courts in 1937. The main building was designed by Richard Jones in a curvilinear Modern style, and in July 1987 it was listed as a building of special architectural interest. The pool itself measures 140 feet by 66 feet and can accommodate 500 bathers. During the war the pool was used as a water tank by the National Fire Service College which was based at the Ocean Hotel. However, when the war ended the Lido remained closed, and it was the subject of several redevelopment plans until July 1961 when it was taken over by the corporation. Saltdean Lido finally reopened in 1964 at a cost of £86,000. A new wing for community use was erected at the rear on the site of a small boating pool and includes a youth centre, clinic, and a community centre which opened in February 1965; a branch library had opened the previous month.

Any numerical cross-references in the text above refer to resources in the Sources and Bibliography section of the Encyclopaedia of Brighton by Tim Carder.

Comments about this page

  • I remember playing in and around the Saltdean Lido as a kid in the ’50’s.  It was unused and abandoned.  I remember finding what I now know was a gas bottle.  At the time I thought it was a bomb.  We used to catch tadpoles in the rain water that had collected in the empty main pool.  Great days!

    By Eric Cook (19/03/2008)
  • I used to take my boys to Saltdean Lido when they were little. It was safe there and we could stay all day.  I remember it used to get very busy. We were able to get a bus to and from our house in Peacehaven which stopped right outside the Lido.  It was a proper sun-trap too!

    By Sandie Waller (19/03/2008)
  • I live right in front of the SaltdeanPark and it’s like my second home, I spend almost everyday there… it’s just a great beautiful place.

    By Ash D (21/09/2008)
  • A lovely shot of where we took our kids to play when they were little.

    By Paul Hubbard (14/12/2011)
  • Halcyon days spent down at the Oval with my girlfriend Lynne and mates Ray and Chip, a short stroll from our house on Saltdean Vale, sitting on the swings at night strumming a guitar on balmy evenings.

    Playing football on sunny Sunday summer mornings with Saltdean United, just turn up and play and finish it off with a swim down at the beach.

    Golf on the pitch and putt, tennis and great music at the Lido youth club listening to the Stones, The Who and Small Faces.

    I got banned for life from the lido when I accidentally hit a lady reading her newspaper with a swimming hat full of water, it was meant for a much younger lady.

    I recently took my family to the newly refurbished lido, a round trip of 300 miles, I owned up to my life ban but the nice lady said that I had served my time and was welcome.

    Dave Wilkins (1968-1975)

    By David Wilkins (10/04/2022)

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