Twickenham Lido?

If you read the local paper or do the ol’ social media thing then you’ll be well aware of the current shenanigans around the idea for a new Twickenham Lido. Given that some of you lovely folk have already mentioned it on our recent High Street Update we thought we’d add a brief new item for you to talk all about it. And not only did we think about adding a post about it, we’ve bloody well gone ahead and done it. Here.

In brief:
El Brute recently(ish) bought the Water Lane site which runs from Santander and M&Co down to the river. The plan? To develop it into some kind of town square complete with mixed use development to make the whole thing viable. Think words like plaza and piazza. Many people – including the team here at twickerati – thought this was broadly a good idea. Some didn’t. Will it work? Who knows? Details are still scant at this stage. It goes without saying that the devil will be in the detail… although we have actually just said it anyway.

El Brute then announced it was running some kind of competition to find the best design for the site. As far as we could tell this turned out to be more along the lines of a standard procurement exercise than what Joe Public might interpret as a ‘competition’.  But we could be wrong and often are. The Council have announced that architects Quinlan and Francis Terry will be the ones to do the business for Twickenham. They’re the people who revamped Richmond Riverside and who specialise in classical designs which suggests we can rule out anything modern. El Brute plan to share the ideas with the public at some point so perhaps that’s where we’ll get to see the rosettes, certificates and cups.

Meanwhile, local outfit Twickenham Alive had done a lot of work putting together a plan for the site which would include a new Lido for Twickenham. As we’re not privy to the workings of the Council we cannot say why the Twickenham Alive bid didn’t make the shortlist but it didn’t.  One might expect an organisation that’s closely linked to the local community to get a look in.

After getting knocked back by LBRuT, Twickenham Alive are now lobbying hard for their proposal to be taken seriously. We’re talking articles and letters in the press and a petition.

And what of their plan? It draws its influences from Twickenham’s history of having an outside pool, the famous Twickenham Baths, and also from the Bristol Lido. A lido sounds interesting – think sunny days relaxing by the pool – but could it work here and what kind of business model would it use? We’ve been never been to Bristol Lido and probably never will but, from its website, it looks like a private health spa, pool and restaurant complex with a strong focus on membership schemes. Guest passes for a swim retail at £20. That’s a lot more pricey than Hampton Pool which,  thanks to its large size, gets year round use from fitness freaks, triathletes and other weirdos. Of course we’re not saying that the lido scheme couldn’t work in Twickenham but it will need to ensure it’s a genuine public amenity rather than a semi-private ‘Amida’ (OK so it’s actually David Lloyd now but that didn’t work as well in terms of alliteration).  We’d also want to know that it would work in November and February and not just June, July and August. The devil is in the detail. Again.

So, should El Brute continue with its ‘competition’ to find a way to improve Twickenham river frontage through the medium of a publicly accessible mixed use development (something a bit like Richmond Riverside) or should it return to the drawing board and look at the idea of bringing a pool back to the town over 30 years since the last one closed? Either way, we could be heading into choppy waters as we decide which plan will sink and which will swim.  Other analogies are available but we’ll leave them for you to add in the comments section. Dive right in.


Twickenham Lido ( & petition)
* LBRuT Twickenham Town Square
* LBRuT press release re Quinlan Terry


Filed under Council, Local Issues & News

143 responses to “Twickenham Lido?

  1. twickenhamalive

    It has been very interesting following the posts on this site and it is useful to take account of what has been said, even those critical of our proposal and those which are based on misconceptions.

    We are not proposing to return a Lido exactly like the former Twickenham Baths and we have never said this. The available land, since the creation of the Diamond Jubilee Gardens, makes this impractical and there is no funding for such a scheme. We have been very clear that our proposal is modelled on the Bristol Lido and the upcoming Thames Lido in Reading, although these successful models would be adapted for Twickenham.

    We are not saying that our proposal is the only option for Twickenham Riverside, but we have at least put in a lot of time and effort to put forward an option that is viable, fully funded and would be an asset to Twickenham. It is easy to knock our plan, but at least we are willing to put our heads above the parapet and have a go. At the moment the only other option on the table is the secret council plan, which will not be unveiled until after the Rugby World Cup, and will offer little opportunity for Twickenham to choose.

    The primary point is that Twickenham Riverside IS going to be developed. The council brief includes retail, restaurants/cafes, residential and commercial use along with the town square. It is not a case of the Lido idea interfering with river views from King Street, because there WILL be development in its place regardless.

    Twickenham Lido will not be an ‘exclusive club’ and will be accessible to all. The café and restaurant (recently voted as one of the top 100 restaurants in the UK) will be open to anyone and there will be substantial concessions for local residents’ access to the swimming facilities. The Lido has been labelled ‘middle class’ whereas the correct label is quality; why should Twickenham always be the poor cousin to Richmond? We have the opportunity to have something different rather than a development that will be filled with the chain restaurants that proliferate on Richmond Riverside.

    We had a very good meeting with the Bristol Lido on Tuesday and a detailed proposal is being prepared for submission to the council. In all our meetings we have made it very clear that Twickenham Riverside is very important to residents and that it is imperative to accommodate residents’ concerns. In addition to concessions for Richmond Card holders a Twickenham Lido Card is being mooted as a way to give more access to Twickenham Residents. The overwhelming support we have received through the petition, Facebook and face to face conversations demonstrates to us that this is something that many in Twickenham would like to see happen.

    • Ben Makins

      Theresa, Well put and helpful clarification.

      I can get more behind this, as might others, with more emphasis on the other facilities and opportunities that might “wrap around” the Lido.

      What do you think about adding into the scheme the idea of a the single ticketing and information / exhibition centre for The Great Houses of the Thames as suggested previously. I won’t list them again here, but maybe these are in fact the “national attraction” you referred to earlier.

      Link this to a pontoon (for a ferry shuttle between the houses) and a Park and Ride shuttle service at the RFU or Stoop, with a pick up and drop off at the regenerated station and a lot of cycle parking and hire.

      Then it all falls into place and draws people in from further afield to also enjoy what the riverside development and existing Twickenham (shops, cafes, Church St etc.) will have and already have to offer.

      This would be a real force for regeneration whereas a “stand alone (I know you propose other facilities) pool would mostly just bring in “locals”, in itself no bad thing. Of course, some would be attracted from further afield, in the same way that some Twickenham residents (me included) appear attracted to the fragrant delights of Bristol Lido, but a more ambitious scheme would have more chance of turning this place around.

      Getting the Royal Parks, English Heritage and National Trust and other independent trusts into a room and agreeing this might be a bit of a challenge, I’ll admit!

    • illiad1

      I think you need a MUCH better picture that the one you have on your site… which some say MAY NOT be the final design (the lawyers say that cannot release that info until after RWC, I think..)

      It all loverly saying this is going to be great, etc, etc, BUT PLEASE take a good long look at WHY Richmond riverside & town is so very good…
      There are a LOT of features that are very different presently, as well as ‘planned’…
      I am sure many would be interested in a full list of WHY…. 🙂

      Ben Makins: It seems you have been dreaming far too much, we are not talking about a small town, south of Peterborough!!

    • Ben Makins

      Illiad1, Could you be a little less cryptic? Anyway, it’s good to dream. Others I’ve shared this idea with get it.

    • Sally

      You make an excellent point there. The council have the site and are hell bent on developing it. Lord True especially seems to love the idea of developing in Twickenham ,the riverside especially. (What does he have against our riverside? Was he bitten by an otter as a child? )
      I would far, far prefer your lido proposal than a mix of flats, super offices for council workers and yet more shops with a nice open space for drunks to prop in. We have lots of empty shops, and didn’t we recently beat off a proposal to put luxury housing up about five steps away from the site? I cannot see the rationale for council workers to be given lovely expensive riverside office space. They already enjoy a Gergian mansion and and a vast pleasure dome next to it.
      Any more news on when the plans have to be shared with the public ?

    • Hi Ben, thank you but just to let you know I am only one half of Twickenham Alive and like you I always write my posts in my name. To move to illiad1’s post I am not sure that the situation is clearly understood. I believed that the results of the competition would be displayed to the public in much the same way as various consultations on Twickenham Riverside before and after the 2009 Referendum. However, this is not to be the case. I would say that you could count the number of people who have seen the various competition plans and who will see them on one hand. This is probably the most important issue in this whole debate and one we should all think about very carefully. We will never be allowed to show the plan for the signature modern building and the boathouses on Twickenham Riverside.

      Remember that the original Twickenham lido was built as a result of a Petition and also remember that there is no longer the space or the money to replace the original lido. You either get residential, shops, restaurant chains and offices and some open space leading into Diamond Jubilee Gardens or we might be able to persuade the Council to put in a lido, health spa and well reviewed restaurant which will be designed especially for Twickenham. Believe me, just sitting next to the pool is very therapeutic and brings down the blood pressure!

      To turn to your mention of Richmond, I lived on Richmond Hill for five years and then East Twickenham before moving further into Twickenham so I am well aware of both sides of the river and, of course, they are very different.

    • illiad1

      Thanks Teresa 🙂 It looks like just the usual politician double-talk then… :/
      we’ll have to just wait and see…
      I remember going to the lido in the ’70s, there was a LOT more money about then…

    • Ben Makins

      Here’s one Council’s imaginative take on how to use a disused lido site. Should see the visitors flocking into Weston super Mare. Despite being inspired by son of Bristol, Banksy, somehow I don’t think The Bristol Lido is involved!

  2. Anonymous

    It’s all been a horrible misunderstanding by Twickenham’s middle-classes.
    It’s actually a Lidl not a Lido that’s going to be built on the riverside…

  3. Sally

    Ex TR, it soundedgreat until you got to the £40 bit. You could say the sausages were”sourced” from an artisan enterprise which draws inspiration from its proximity to the river. (Iceland)..
    Twickermsn the Hampton open air pool is open! I admit it was once saved by a resident group having been in great peril. The then council pulled funding, restricted opening hours -then claimed it was underused, left it wide open -then gasped that fly tipping has happened and did everything but hide the key under a rock and claim to have lost it. The council had a marvellous scheme for the pool site-yes, all together now, lucrative flats! Thank goodness our council would never resort to such tactics.

    • Ex-Twickenham Resident

      Haha, thanks Sally. I will offer you the marketing position for my eco-organic swimming experience. Maybe I should use genuine River Thames sourced water for the pool? Or maybe for the post bathe wash down?

    • twickerman

      It looks as if the enterprising Bristolians are a step ahead of you. See proposals for swimming in the waters of Bristol Harbour :

      They also way ahead of Twickenham on the Lidl front, boasting not one, not two, not three, ….but 7 stores.

    • Ex-Twickenham Resident

      Thanks Twickerman. In all seriousness Bristol is quite a nice place. I was quite impressed by the city on a business trip there a few years ago. My Sunday paper and other media outlets (BBC London) have been advising me of ‘Wild Swimming’ – apparently it is all the rage.

    • illiad1

      Ex-Twickenham Resident:
      Well of course Bristol has more shops, its about TEN time the size of twickenham!!!
      It is also near the sea, with the great welsh countryside right next door…

    • illiad1

      oops, I meant twickerman :~

    • twickerman

      If you fancy Wild Swimming you can jump in the Thames anytime. Though it’s advisable to do so at low tide, during a dry period…unless you want a really wild swim! You could start in the Crane and build up. I’ve tried both, it’s fun (thorough fragrant post-wash recommended).

  4. twickerman

    Dear Ben,

    I managed to squeeze myself into a dine and swim session at Bristol Lido on Saturday. I was initially advised it was fully booked but with a little persistance a slot for me was found.

    The reception staff were very helpful and showed me round the pool, changing rooms and sauna/steam room and jacuzzi. They also explained the clean pool etiquette (it’s pleasantly low in chlorine).

    My first impressions were of a pretty and cosy (aka cramped space) with just 1m of space between the edge of the ‘infinity’ pool and the changing huts, spa rooms and cafe tables.

    There are lots of hanging flowers. There was a party going on in the restaurant space at one end of the pool. No kids were spotted.

    I was booked in for a 4.30pm swim and 6.00pm dine in the terrace restaurant.

    It was a perfect sunny afternoon for a swim, sauna, and wallow/sunbathe on the edge of the pool. I thoroughly enjoyed a relaxing session.

    Following a geranium flavoured shower I had time for an aperitif in the poolside cafe. An Alhambra bier (half pints only). A great spot for people watching.

    Dinner was immediately above in the former viewing gallery, which is a lovely light space.

    My ‘package’ included two courses, with the complementary bread and many mains cooked in the wood fired oven. The theme is generally modern and Mediterranean. I had Turkish octopus and wood roast poussain with yoghurty/almond/cumin cauliflower (think N. African cauliflower cheese) washed down with a hoppy Lido Ale.
    It was absolutely delicious, but I was too full for dessert. Just an espresso please.

    There was a good selection of beers & wines, but judging by the prices, drinks are intended for sipping slowly rather than gulping!

    In summary I had a very enjoyable three hours at the Lido. There was a lovely relaxed atmosphere there (from staff, members and visitors alike). It felt like a mini-Med holiday despite being tucked away down a side street in Clifton.

    Altogether it cost 60 squid. Pretty pricey, but worth splashing out on as a treat and in the cause of Twickenham Lido research.

    You can see some of my photos on twitter (@twickerman)

    I’d welcome a similar set up in Twickenham, though I don’t think I’d join as a member because of the price, but would visit to swim and dine (not necessarily the same time/day).

    It would certainly bring visitors to Twickenham and be an excellent addition to the Riverside.

    The considerable challenges are to fit a similar lido into the available Riverside space, while opening up views to the river, and to make the pool accesible/affordable for locals.

    ps As a bonus on the way back down to my hotel I watched a flock(?) of hot air balloons drifting across the floating harbour in the late evening sun from a hillside park. It was balloon festival weekend. They were at it again at breakfast time.

    pps The pool people also seem to have location confusion – is it the Bristol Lido or is it really the Clifton Baths?

    • Dear Twickerman, I am pleased that you enjoyed your visit. We are going tomorrow so will pass on your comments. Don’t forget that we shall be using Clifton as a model and will adapt to Twickenham but I think the food can stay the same! We were there last year for the balloon race; we thought of trying this in Twickenham!! The geranium shower sounds fun and you noticed the reduction of chemicals in the water. Hope you can pass on the “Lido Way” in Twickenham. It would definitely be good for Twickenham and help with regeneration. We are still working on all the aspects flagged up. I just hope that Lord True and PF can appreciate that it is something that should be considered in more detail. It would be much more fun that Richmond Riverside.

    • twickerman

      Enjoy your visit.
      I think you need to take Lordy and Pammy with you to the Lido, if they are to be persuaded. You could all cuddle up in the jacuzzi overlooking the pool (no photos please!)

    • Ben Makins

      I thought I was on Twickerati……somehow it seems I’ve slipped through an on-line portal into TripAdvisor or “Visit Bristol” web-site!! I’m all in favour of bringing Bristol to Twickenham….save me 2 hours on the M4 and a tank of diesel.

    • Ex-Twickenham Resident

      For goodness sake this lido experience sounds, well, a bit middle class.
      If you are going to have a pool, which is a laudable idea, IF the idea is for people to be able to take exercise and consequently sustain their health.

      Booking a slot and enjoying “wood roast poussain with yoghurty/almond/cumin cauliflower (think N. African cauliflower cheese) washed down with a hoppy Lido Ale”, does not seem in keeping with the Twickenham pool of yesteryear.

      Either have go for a proper pool or forget it.

    • Ex-Twickenham Resident

      “a geranium flavoured shower”. ??????
      Is this a satirical post which went over my head?

    • Sally

      It sounds nice but expensive. I would hope not to have a second Lensbury on the Riverside. Couldn’t the Hampton open air pool be more the model? Wonderful for the community, reasonably priced memberships and casual swims , rarely members only events and hearty, inexpensive all day breakfast sort of food. I would like the local children to be able to go.
      That said, take a look at the Riverside booze/sick /mess after the match this weekend and imagine how the proposed piazza/ amphitheatre/ will look pretty sharpish .
      Hypnotically horrible is the pavement in York street which was copiously thrown up one Friday night. The poor street sweeper cleared it up, but of course there is a huge mark, the new stone being the next best thing to blotting paper. The mark has been there for 3 weeks..Joining all the other marks. Like the handprints outside the Hollywood theatre, revellers now have a way of leaving their mark on Twickenham,

    • twickerman

      Ex-TR & Sally,
      I have just tried to give you a flavour of the Bristol Lido, which is very clearly a different proposition to the old Twickenham and Hampton public pools, both of which closed down.
      BTW, they also have a purifying pre-swim wash (‘wash naked’) , and the post-swim wash is actually Rose Geranium. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice the flavour of the shampoo!
      I must admit I didn’t try the boudoir either, as I was gagging for a hop flavoured recovery beverage!

    • Ex-Twickenham Resident

      Thanks Twickerman for sharing your experience of Bristol Lido.

      Next summer, I will be setting up a large paddling pool in the garden and offering a purifying pre-swim wash (garden hose), and then a swim in the eco/organic paddling pool which will be scented with geraniums and rose petals.

      After an invigorating swim, guests will be offered sausages and lamb chops cooked on the bbq with a potato salad washed down with a glass of Twickenham Ales finest, – all for the princely sum of £40 based on a two hour slot.

      Book early to avoid disappointment!

    • Cleo Talbot

      Well said, Ex-TR & Sally.
      Surely this needs to be a community facility that’s affordable to all.

  5. Dr NHS

    I’m not one to cry “pastiche” when I don’t like something and I also agree that most seriously flawed architecture happens when an originally good plan or concept is done on the cheap or debased for another reason – almost always the fault of the client not the architect.
    No, my issue is the process one. It seems to me that we in Twickenham spend our time having things foisted upon us by a Local Authority that is, essentially, what its title says it is – the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames (No mention of Twickenham)
    Maybe it’s time to separate the two, as once they used to be ?

    • i think I am starting to agree with you. Those deciding what we will have on Twickenham Riverside live in East Sheen. They might come here to work but unless they live here they will not have heard their neighbours’ complaints about what has been lost in Twickenham and never replaced.

    • illiad1

      added to the fact that many ‘business’ want to call the whole area ‘richmond’ to make it more ‘high brow’ ??? A bit like years ago when the phone codes clanged, they were fighting to get a ‘London’ code, even in the far suburbs!!

      It may irk some who live here (being told that Ham, twickenham, etc is ‘richmond’) but it is foreign business that are confused that the postcode says one thing and the address another eg Ham hall, Richmond, tw10…

    • twickerman

      The ‘Richmond’ Ice Rink, past and present, is a fine example. So far it has existed in East Twickenham, central Twickenham and South Twickenham (aka Strawberry Hill).
      I fail to comprehend why the TWICKENHAM_Alive crew continue the mis-location of this facility.
      Maybe I should rename myself Richman!

    • Hi Twickerman, I am sorry about the use of the name Richmond Rink as it was in East Twickenham; I used to live near it. However, TA try to revive what we have lost in Twickenham and people did call it Richmond Rink. Most of us at the rink all went there at one time or another and we are trying to recreate what people miss. It was one of the most famous ice rinks in the world and everyone knows it affectionately as Richmond Rink but at least we in Twickenham can lay claim to it. The rink was a social hub where friendships and marriages were made. You might be interested to know that of the two rinks we have run that each of them have produced the same type relationships. There is something about ice skating! We will be publishing a book in the autumn of people’s memories so remind me to give you a copy. (contributions and photos still accepted).But everything else aside we should not let people from the Richmond side tell us what is going to happen in Twickenham. We need real consultation and not just a viewing of a “Richmond plan” that is already in place.

    • twickerman

      TwickeRink or TwickonIce Rink get my vote (in your consultation over the name for the Twickenham Rink)

  6. Sally

    “After the World Cup” cover the period between two months hence and the next Ice Age. Could Mi Lord narrow it down at all ?

  7. Sally

    When are the plans, approved on our behalf, to be shared ? Lord True seems sure they will meet with approval.
    Are there really plans for council offices / housing on the site ?
    If so, is the view from York House insufficient ? Do our Councillors feel entitled to Riverside offices at our expense?
    If more council offices are needed, surely one of the unappealing 70’s chocolate brick monstrosities currently for sale in Twickenham would be a less expensive solution? The difference could go towards one of the Community services which are being axed.
    I have terrible visions of pretty well what was suggested for the fateful Diamond Junilee site, just mock Georgian and half a block to the right.

    • twickerman

      I believe El Brute’s design brief includes space for 24 front of house staff, who presumably want to be divorced from their back of house colleagues in the main offices in Twickenham (or Wandsworth).

      I don’t recall being consulted on Riverside council offices in the All In One or TWAP, but I guess the Council know what’s best for us!

    • Lord T has said that the consultation will start ’after the World Cup is over’, i.e. after October 31; there is no reason to disbelieve him.

      As to what is proposed, it seems that, barring a helpful leak, we shall have to wait and see.

    • twickerman

      Didn’t Lord True also promise that Twickenham station would be redeveloped before the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
      Sally, don’t hold your beath!

    • Town square, restaurants, café, toilets, room to hire, retail, commercial activity, proportion of residential, potential for ‘front of house/reception’ for Council services, open space into Diamond Jubilee Gardens, amphitheatre, potential to establish retail activity in access road at the rear of King Street: .

      The lido would provide first class restaurant, café, toilets, room to hire (if wanted) and swimming classes for babies and toddlers to learn to swim (free for children 6 and under). Not to mention a health spar and lido. See the map on Images, Twickenham Lido.

    • illiad1

      AAAAAH! I see the slumbering giant TRAG wakening from it’s slumber!!!! 🙂 :p 🙂

    • twickerman

      HAHA. I think not.
      A giant statue of Lordity is far more likely.

    • illiad1

      well, when they eventually arrive on the planning website, we shall see….

  8. Here at twickerati HQ we view the appointment of Quinlan and Francis Terry as architects for the scheme as a tad disappointing although not at all surprising. The firm is well respected but specialises in classical architecture. Think ‘what would Prince Charles like’ and you’re there. This suggests we can rule out any modern take on the development which, given Twickenham’s rather ‘mixed’ architectural townscape, would be a good way forward. Let’s just hope they don’t try to create a heritage for the town which in fact never actually existed. We can’t believe that the Blue Baron, Cllr Fleming and co would fall into that trap. Or would they?

    • twickerman

      My money’s on a bit of mock-georgian facade to match the twickenham station development (river crane side).

    • Here is a snippet of information from a leaked email from Pamela F telling councillors about Twickenham Riverside “all the space at ground floor level will be open to the public”. I know some people are worried about the area. This evening at around 6-7pm there were 6 middle aged men on the grassy knoll and they were very drunk. I believe there is also a problem later at night which is a concern to residents. Do we want more of this?
      Presumably there will be flats above? Will they have a river view? We can only look at the Council’s brief and guess what is planned for our riverside.

  9. twickerman

    I’ve just had a look at the Bristol Lido website.
    The restored Lido looks good, if a little cosy, but it certainly isn’t cheap!
    Joining fee: £50
    Adult Membership: £627
    2xAdult Membership: £1089
    Kids £7.50 each (mon-fri 2-4pm only)
    Single Swim&Sauna: £20
    Swim & Dine: £40
    BTW, you need to book at least two weeks in advance to swim on a Saturday if you’re not a member.
    See their website for more info:

    • Hi Twickerman, look at the Twickenham Lido FAQs.

      There will be special discounts for Richmond Card holders. At the new Reading Lido run by the same company the pool will be available for Reading Card holders for one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon every day of the week at special reduced rates. At the Reading Lido it has been agreed that children 6-16 years will pay £3 and children under 6 years will be Free. Children must be accompanied by an adult and at Reading the cost is £8 for an adult. No prices have been set yet for the Twickenham Lido. There are also a lot of discounted promotions.

      The restaurant will be based on the award winning restaurant at the Bristol Lido, which was recently named in the 100 best restaurants in the UK.
      Food prices at the lido will be commensurate with many of the popular cafes and restaurants in Twickenham; breakfast, tapas or a full meal (whether the set menu or a la carte). Cakes, snacks and afternoon tea will also be available. The only difference is that it is based on one of the Top 100 Restaurants in the UK.

    • Ben Makins

      Questions for Theresa;
      What are the governance and “ownership” arrangements for Bristol Lido? Is it a “social enterprise” (if so, how do you define that), privately owned or Limited Company / LLP? How would this be reflected in arrangements for Twickenham site? Would they be paid a management fee or run for profit?

      Presuming the proposal is to grant a lease, how long for given Bristol Lido’s proposed capital input? What arrangements for changes to agreement with Bristol Lido, What ongoing role proposed for Twickenham Alive with the oversight and management of the pool and the arrangement with Bristol Lido or any other provider?

      How would prices be governed and variations agreed? What about surpluses or profits? Would these be available for local use of revert to Bristol Lido organisation?

      I guess that if the Council could be persuaded to go for this sort of scheme that it may have to open up the process for other interested organisations to bid (e.g. Hampton Pool maybe). Any thoughts on this welcomed. These are significant considerations and I hope not hidden under the the cloak of “Commercially Confidential”. Openness and transparency is the key to success, or otherwise, as we know from previous efforts to launch schemes in the area!

    • twickerman

      So basically very limited opening times for non-members. Just ‘one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon’ and no evening sessions.

      I think the Lido is a good idea, but it seems to be primarily a pricey members club, with a posh cafe/restaurant from which non-members can observe the members enjoying themselves in the pool and spa.

      It’s a real shame that the DJ Gardens can’t be used because that is a much better site.

      Maybe it could be built in Orleans Park…..
      …..just kidding folks!!!

    • Hi, this is a reply to Ben. As I have said Twickenham Alive’s brief was to consult with local organisations and individuals to find out what was wanted on Twickenham Riverside. The answer was “a pool, of course, that is what used to be there”. Remember that space on the site is fairly limited.
      We came across the Bristol Lido and realised it would fit into the site. (As you probably know there is a lot interest in lido revival in London and around the country).
      Incidentally, there is a lot of very good art associated with lidos which you might find of interest.
      We thought that the lido in question would help regenerate the town attracting people to Twickenham. Like some of you we have visited Bristol on occasions and went to the Bristol Lido, and the Reading Lido, to discuss the situation in Twickenham and we have found a very positive response.
      I would not attempt to answer your questions as I would not know all the answers. This would be for the Council to follow up.
      I would point out that the Council’s brief includes restaurants, cafes, shop and commercial. Surely we should be looking for an attraction that will help to regenerate Twickenham. Twickenham deserves the best, just as much as Richmond.

    • Ben Makins

      Just tried to book a swim at Bristol Lido for next Saturday. Only option at the weekend for non-members was a meal and swim deal. Tried breakfast swim for £30. Fully booked. A “1st World Problem” I know, but is this (effectively an exclusive private member’s club) what we want for this site?

      Of course maybe Bristol Lido plan to run something different on the Twickenham site, but as it seems that the plan for a Lido is dependent on £3m capital injection from Bristol Lido owners, I don’t think the proposal can be given serious consideration unless the business model is fully understood.

    • Dear Ben, I have explained the constraints of the site. However, I believe that contrary to what you have said that the lido and restaurant would bring footfall to the town and a different type of shop would be attracted to move in. The lido would also provide around ninety new jobs.
      The original document which we cannot publish was worked on by a team of twelve from one of the leading European companies that looked at viability and sustainability as well as producing a plan with an impressive modern building.
      As we cannot show the original work we have to rely on what we can use and as said the lido in Twickenham would not be exactly the same as in Bristol but based upon it.
      We also came up with the idea of multi-use which would mean that facilities in the lido could be used by sports clubs, housed in boathouses, which would provide after school clubs. This has been discussed with sporting bodies.
      We were very keen to bring art into the area, using frames on walls as can be seen in DJG. We are just trying to work on something that will add to the town and help with rejuvenation.
      The lido café and restaurant are excellent and have a variety of price options throughout the day. The lido and restaurant encourages relaxation and quiet enjoyment and not the type of thing you can see on a Saturday night on Richmond Riverside.
      When there is any information to give you we will pass it on but be assured that the commercial activity and retail in the Council’s brief will work on a commercial basis and these organisations will have leases and operate just the same as most businesses in the high street. There might even be a health spa or a beauty salon and maybe a pizza or Indian takeaway.

    • Just to let you know there are new developments which will answer a lot of your questions but I am afraid a little time is needed so would ask for some patience.

    • Ben Makins

      So, we’ll be going to the Portishead Community Lido instead. Just £3.50 for a senior swim. That’s more like it!
      Thanks for the responses, Theresa. Look forward to seeing more info as soon as you can publish. There’s certainly no questioning your drive and desire to find a good solution for Twickenham and you have my support and admiration for putting your head over the parapet!

  10. The RTT has: ‘Hundreds call for Twickenham lido as council announces riverside architects’

    ‘Twickenham Riverside will be developed by award-winning architects Quinlan and Francis Terry . . (who have) been awarded the contract to create a new link to the riverside at Water Lane, off Kings Street . . Plans will be made public in the autumn, after the Rugby World Cup, when residents will be consulted . . Lord True said “Quinlan and Francis Terry’s approach to the challenge was particularly creative. When they bring forward their ideas for public consultation in the autumn, there will be room for adjustment, but I hope that all in Twickenham will approach that opportunity in a constructive way . . “‘

    • Let us hope the Council ‘consults’ in a constructive manner. Otherwise it’s in for a bumpy ride.

    • illiad1

      ‘Hundreds think Twickenham lido will be a FULL size pool, like the old one…’

    • Dear illiadi, you will see from the twickenhamlido site how Twickenham Alive became involved in the competition. It is difficult to explain everything as we have been threatened very seriously with legal action depending on what we disclose. You have the luxury to be able to say what you like, we do not.
      The size of the pool is not fixed. It could be the size of the one in Bristol or Reading or Hampton.
      Our brief with the architects we worked with was to consult with the community although we had to approach stakeholders individually. We had to comply with certain rules. We were the only team which carried out any consultation and we identified the most prominent groups and did our best. The overwhelming response was for a pool to be replaced. The size of the site is relatively small and the Council’s Brief has a lot of requirements. DJG cannot be used as most will know. We initially dismissed a pool on the site but knew about the lido movement nationally and the courtyard style of lidos which we found would fit on to the site with a quality restaurant and cafe and a community focus. Do not take the Bristol model as unchangeable in Twickenham; we have already gained concessions for the Richmond Card as in Reading. There is £3+ million pounds to build the lido which I doubt the Council can afford. The alternative is more shops and more of the “same old” eateries patronised by the rugby crowd. We are trying to introduce something fairly unique which would cover many aspects: a lido and health spa, a first class restaurant with food made on the premises, and not mass produced, and something where the community would be welcome (including community toilets as in the Council’s brief), also an agent for regeneration in the town. if you had the benefit of seeing the original plans we worked on you would see that our idea was to twin the lido with sports clubs which would be housed in boathouses bringing sport and leisure to Twickenham Riverside and supported by a prominent member of Sport Richmond. There are aspects of the brief which are a worry such as residential; many of us fought against housing on Twickenham Riverside but ironically it is in the Council’s Brief. No doubt QT will make it attractive but that will bear a price tag. The Council are the decision makers in this instance, in fact only a very small number of people. If you would like a municipal pool on Twickenham Riverside would the Council pay for it and its upkeep and what about the Council’s Brief. It is all very well to make pronouncements but there are many constraints which need to be taken into account. Perhaps it is Twickenham Alive’s fault for making the Council’s plans known as if we had not said anything none of you would have known until it was too late and it may well be. But who knows you may like the Council’s one plan, we may all think it is just right for Twickenham. Unfortunately there cannot be real debate as things are happening that none of us know about so I honestly do not think that worrying about the size of a pool is not an issue at the moment, there is a lot more to consider.

    • Dear Teresa Read, Thank you for your considered and carefully drafted information. I, like many in Twickenham, would like to see a pool/lido at the Twickenham Riverside or whatever size. Thank you and all those who have worked so hard to investigate and promote the idea.
      As you say we have a choice between the same old shops, coffee shops – and however beautifully designed by whatever architect, they will remain the same old shops and coffee shops.
      It would be wonderful to have somewhere that is for the people of Twickenham, and indeed the Borough. I happen to think the lido is the perfect answer, but I am but one voice, one resident in Twickenham Riverside.
      It’s interesting that it is the Council that will decide – a small number of people who got merely 30% of the vote at the local elections and hold 90% of the seats in our Council Chamber. Quite obviously one does not need to be a mathematician to realise that the Tory dominated Council does not represent the people of Twickenham. Please don’t take this as a flag waving exercise for the Lib Dems – I have been pretty disgusted by their plans to sell off land to the highest bidder, but oh for some alternative opinions.
      We do need an independent survey of local people’s thoughts. I am sorry but I trust none of our local politicians of whatever ‘flavour’ to do this. So what to do? Sensitive negotiations are no doubt taking place. I think I am right in saying though that there are a few thousand of us who support the idea of a lido.

    • The Tories won the 2014 election 45 % to 32 % over the Lib Dems. This gave them 39 out of 54 seats on the Council (= 72 %). Turnout = c. 45 % I think.

    • illiad1

      Hey I am NOT saying I ‘want’ any of that, I am just noticing that people are being mostly blinded by what they remember of the old pool… 🙂
      TwickenhamAlive et al just seem to be pushing their own dreams – I think it is lord true, etc, for commenting so much on it, so others of course start guessing too much! If he had kept his mouth shut, you would not be fearing the lawyers!!!

    • illiad1

      Chris Squire: yes, Stoopid people strike again… they wanted to get rid of Ed Milliband, vote for a ‘fashionable’ party, etc, etc( that would never get in!!) and now they are kicking themselves for letting in the Tory majority! I heard the turnout was only 20% in riverside ward.. anyone know the proper one?? Anyone moans to me I just say so you were too lazy to vote for a ‘possible’ candidate??? your own fault!

    • illiad1: In 2014, despite the national and local swing away from the Lib Dems, a vigorous campaign by resulted in Susan Birmingham losing by only 80 votes. The turnout was 46 % – don’t believe and repeat everything you ‘hear’ but check for yourself:
      The turnout in 2015 was 77 %.

    • illiad1

      thanks Chris, the amount of verbiage on the election is just too much to get any quick answers from… {roll eyes}
      Please can you ID Susan Birmingham for me?? (all I get is town references… 😦 )
      Unless you mean smburningham??

    • Ben Makins

      (Re-inserting my response as original seems to have got lost well doen the tread)
      All interesting…….I think 2 themes are running together here; process and content. It seems that poor process (closed “bidding” process for schemes, limited public consultation on “preferred” proposal, slight whiff of arrogance / paternalism on the part of our “leaders” who live off the patch etc.) is alienating the locals who are naturally digging their heels in and attaching themselves to another scheme (content) on offer (The Lido). This alternative scheme may be fine, but might also rule out other more exciting schemes which would put a real heart and purpose back into Twick.

      Strangely I find myself increasingly attracted to the Lido scheme, which Theresa has done a great job on, not necessarily because of its merits, but just because it’s not the Council scheme, due to the somewhat arrogant way it’s seen as being foisted upon us Twickenhamites.

      So we are getting into a divisive process that may give us the wrong answer or prevent even better answers and is generating more heat than light.

      The challenge for all the parties (not in the political sense) is to get the process back on track; a more localised, inclusive one, which seemed to be the ambition of the TWAP, recognising that there is goodwill on all sides and ideas, energy and talent to be tapped into. This is what some of us asked for on these pages a few months back when the scheme was first announced.

      I’m sympathetic to Dr NHS’s thoughts and wonder if a more local approach can be adopted for this issue at least. Recognising the democratic process, it could be led by local Councillors (to get them out of the woodwork as our local representatives rather than as political apparatchiks – sorry if this is a stereotype) and a commission of interested people, engaging with the approved architects and utilising their skills. Any good architect’s practice engaged in “public works” projects should have skills in community consultation and recognise that the process is essential to getting a scheme that will enhance their reputations too, so it’s a “win-win”.

      I note Cllr True’s wish that people are positive. Yes, couldn’t agree more. I’m fed up with the tendency to be against things, especially on internet forums. However, the right process has to be provided which participants feel is open and “truthful”….so here’s an opportunity for Lord True to reconcile his name with the process! Maybe his legacy will be in providing a really excellent and widely embraced scheme, arrived at by a ground-breaking and innovative decision making process which we had hints of previously.

      Also noted Theresa’s comment about the development of Queen’s Hall. So it’s really important that its owners are on board too, because this opens up even more opportunities for a really integrated, ground-breaking scheme involving this very significant site too. Maybe that’s the home for the “Turner Gallery of Landscape”. Maybe not, but it certainly provides a massive opportunity to resolve the King Street issue and the relationship of King Street to the river and put a True Heart back into Twickenham.

  11. Pat Pending

    I do not think the town square idea is a bad one but we need to see the design first. The main priority should be opening up river frontage and if the space can be used for the Farmers Market, French Market, live music, craft stalls and pop up art shows then that sounds good to me. Drunken rugby fans could be a problem but would it be worse than now? For those days the council, RFU and police will need to work a bit harder which is already the case.

    A modern development that opens up the main shopping area to the river would be good. I’ll assume for the time being that the architects will come up with some interesting ideas rather than a pastiche of what they did in Richmond which works quite well there but would be totally out of place in Twickenham.

    I am not against the lido idea, it’s interesting, but we did not hear much about it until recently so it does not feel like something that people have been crying out for. Perhaps they’d just resigned themselves to not seeing an outdoor pool return to Twickenham and had stopped asking. The Bristol example looks very small and enclosed. More drawings of what the whole Twickenham site would look like would help givena better idea and if all those who have signed the petition commit to using it twice a month then it should be very busy.

    • illiad1

      I heard ages ago (please update on current situ 🙂 ) that it was either too expensive, or not easy enough access for all the vehicles and supplies need for the farmers market…

  12. Sally

    Could I jump in to reply Chris Squire’s post of the 5/7?
    There is a very considerable difference between “being unable to prevent” a development and being its enthusiastic cheerleader, presenting locals with a fait accompli, avoiding all debate. It helps to be surrounded by kowtowing councillors .
    See::Lord True and the Station High Rise, Lord True and the Glorianna, Lord True and St Richard Reynolds.
    Lord True has not as far as I know ever suggested a development in Richmond. Or indeed Sheen.
    The strip club in question was run by a thug who had broken every licensing rule in his sleazy nightclub many times and had a very well documented history of threatening locals. A Lib Dem Councillor thought it would be a super idea to give him a strip club license and that he was obviously a trustworthy chap. She remained an enthusiastic supporter until the court cases. And drug busts.
    I really can’t agree that Twickenham is treated the same as Richmond when it comes to development and planning decisions

    • illiad1

      well it seems that to the below posters, ‘Twickenham’ means different things… those near richmond bridge have no problem with development, unless it means a huge LIDL bringing noise and pollution to their back gardens… That’s why that huge office block has stood empty for years…
      ‘brownfield site near twick station, I never go there, why should I care???’
      ‘lived here for 48 years..’ are you one of those that didn’t think twick HAD a riverside???
      where are the beleaguered residents like me, who live in sight of Twick station???

    • Illiad1: The comment about the Lidl scheme is a bit previous – no planning application has been submitted so residents have not yet commented for or against. The sketch at shows a building that is more attractive than the offices we have now, so I expect the application to be approved what ever the locals may say.

      I supported the previous bid to build a hotel, which is needed and would bring business to local traders and expected the developer to modify their scheme to overcome the objections to it, get permission and go ahead. I don’t know why they didn’t – perhaps their financiers thought there were too many hotels being built and got cold feet.

      It’s true that I very rarely use Twickenham station – I have 2 others to choose from – and only occasionally visit the Riverside. I drive through the town 4 times a week, use Waitrose once a week and the dentist several times a year. And that’s it – otherwise my life centres on Richmond, like most East Twickenhamites.

    • Why is there no facility to object to this. No point writing to the Twickenham Riverside Councillors two have barely shown their faces and the other is in thrall to True.

    • smburningham yesterday 2:26: My apologies for mispelling your name earlier.

      My point about theTwickenham Lidl is that there is no change of use to be considered. So all Lidl have to do is to work up a scheme, in collaboration with the planning officer, that the latter can recommend to the committee, who will be bound to pass it as they will have no valid planning reason to reject it. Non-planning objections that the site would be better used for a school will be disregarded. Planning objections will still count and if the committee so decide, Lidl will have to alter its plan to accommodate them.

      My guess – I have no inside knowledge – is that Lidl snapped up the site because it was good enough for their purpose but regard it as less than ideal as it is at a distance from their key markets. They may have simply wanted to deny it to their competitors. The reason they are not going ahead just now is that they have hopes of getting a better site in Twickenham. If they do, they’ll sell the Ryde House site and will be happy to see it go for a school instead of to a competitor. If they don’t, they’ll decide some time next year to go ahead themselves.

    • My object Chris is that a large supermarket will attract rather more cars than did the previous health food shop. It’s not usage – it’s traffic volumes that concern me and should concern our local Councillors.

    • illiad1

      About ‘LIDL’… There are many applications for that site, without any direct reference to who may be using it… It seems the neighbours have no desire for it….

    • illiad1

      Chris Squire – you may find the Plan at 12/1001/FUL very familiar!!!

  13. Dr NHS

    It seems to me that there’s a fundamental issue behind both this and the Gloriana debacle, and even the Twickenham Riverside fiasco before that…
    The problem is the lopsided nature of the “London Borough of Richmond upon Thames”, which actually includes Twickenham (though you would never guess it from the title). We folk of Twickenham are consistently the proposed subjects of whatever ‘development’ is dreamed up by a Local Authority that has its heart and soul across the river in Richmond. There is a marked reluctance to let us actually have any say in what happens to where we live and, oddly, never a proposal for similarly drastic “development’ to happen in Richmond.
    Rather than cry out for a referendum on this particular development, why don’t we agitate for a sort of devo-max for Twickenham, whereby any and all such developments have to be approved by the folk of Twickenham in a local referendum before they can go ahead ?

    • Rufus McDufus

      Quite agree. I think the council (of all hues that have been in power) view Twickenham as a brownfield site, ripe for development in every square inch.

    • This is nonsense: I have lived in the borough for nearly all of the past 48 years. It hasn’t changed much, except that huge sums have been invested into doing up, restoring, painting, modernising and extending the same houses that were here when I came in 1967.

      We should be grateful for that as much of the pre-1914 stock was in a state of disrepair after years of neglect – these houses were let as flats and bedsits on controlled rents so the landlords lacked both the incentive or the means to modernise them. Where I live now,the fashionable suburb of East Twickenham, was then known as ’bedsit land’, affordable, raffish, cold in winter [no gas central heating in those days], leaky roofs, draughty, damp or worse when it rained.

      Some of the few brown field sites that exist have been used for housing but many remain as industrial sites, thanks to the council’s planners, often to the annoyance of their neighbours.

    • Dr NHS

      Perhaps both Chris Squire and Rufus McDufus are in agreement with me ? Both seem to be saying that the Local Authority don’t seem to care very much what the actual residents this side of the bridge want. Those brownfield sites might become affordable housing, some sort of community resource, a lido or whatever. What they turn into isn’t the point; the point is that it should be we, who live here, who decide that. Why is it, I wonder, that the development deals with commercial companies are always here in Twickenham and never in Teddington or Richmond, whose leafy, pleasant riversides seem sacrosanct. There’s no reason why ours cannot be the same. Always, Lord True and his predecessors seem to think that a high rise development would suit Twickenham station but not Richmond’s, that a strip club in the middle of the high street is fine for Twickenham (would it be in Richmond or Teddington I wonder ?), that a boat hangar would be fine for our bit of the river but not Richmond’s or Teddington’s, that we don’t need a riverside development like Richmond’s, but rather a commercial development type that we’re not asked about but which is decided for us by a chap who resides in…..wait for it….Richmond !

    • Dr NHS: it is the owner of a site who decides what happens to it; residents have some say, via development control, but could not, for example, force the developer owners of the Ice Rink site to keep it going when they wanted to close it and build on it.

      The Richmond Riverside is a mix of offices, housing, pubs, restaurants, shops and public space, dressed up in pastiche classical facades with ample open space. So this was a ‘developer deal’ which was much argued about at the time.

      It was a Planning Inspector, not the Council, who decided that the area round the station should be zoned for high rise. This is national policy so you’ll just have to put up with it.

      The council can inspect and regulate strip clubs but it can’t stop them opening if they comply with the rules. The Twickenham one did break some rules and is now closed, I think.

      Two other sites for the barge house were considered by the Council, both on the Richmond side: in Buccleugh Garden and Gothic House Garden; neither was feasible. Lord True undoubtedly thought that it would enhance Orleans Garden and attract visitors and therefore trade to the town.

      The RTT reported (04.06.15): ‘ . . It is believed architect Quinlan Terry, who designed Richmond Riverside, has submitted a proposal as well as one other unnamed architect.’ so we may well be offered a second dose of his trademark pastiche. It is scorned by some who would prefer a modern design but appeals to popular taste. It will undoubtedly appeal to Lord True who loves ‘heritage’.

    • YES – Dr time to do just that. It will save us a lot of time and worry in the future.

    • The company who sold the Water Lane site will be developing Queen’s Hall which is next to the proposed Council development. Photographs of this historic building can be found here

    • Ben Makins

      All interesting…….I think 2 themes are running together here; process and content. It seems that poor process (closed “bidding” process for schemes, limited public consultation on “preferred” proposal, slight whiff of arrogance / paternalism on the part of our “leaders” who live off the patch etc.) is alienating the locals who are naturally digging their heels in and attaching themselves to another scheme (content) on offer (The Lido). This alternative scheme may be fine, but might also rule out other more exciting schemes which would put a real heart and purpose back into Twick.

      Strangely I find myself increasingly attracted to the Lido scheme, which Theresa has done a great job on, not necessarily because of its merits, but just because it’s not the Council scheme, due to the somewhat arrogant way it’s seen as being foisted upon us Twickenhamites.

      So we are getting into a divisive process that may give us the wrong answer or prevent even better answers and is generating more heat than light.

      The challenge for all the parties (not in the political sense) is to get the process back on track; a more localised, inclusive one, which seemed to be the ambition of the TWAP, recognising that there is goodwill on all sides and ideas, energy and talent to be tapped into. This is what some of us asked for on these pages a few months back when the scheme was first announced.

      I’m sympathetic to Dr NHS’s thoughts and wonder if a more local approach can be adopted for this issue at least. Recognising the democratic process, it could be led by local Councillors (to get them out of the woodwork as our local representatives rather than as political apparatchiks – sorry if this is a stereotype) and a commission of interested people, engaging with the approved architects and utilising their skills. Any good architect’s practice engaged in “public works” projects should have skills in community consultation and recognise that the process is essential to getting a scheme that will enhance their reputations too, so it’s a “win-win”.

      I note Cllr True’s wish that people are positive. Yes, couldn’t agree more. I’m fed up with the tendency to be against things, especially on internet forums. However, the right process has to be provided which participants feel is open and “truthful”….so here’s an opportunity for Lord True to reconcile his name with the process! Maybe his legacy will be in providing a really excellent and widely embraced scheme, arrived at by a ground-breaking and innovative decision making process which we had hints of previously.

      Also noted Theresa’s comment about the development of Queen’s Hall. So it’s really important that its owners are on board too, because this opens up even more opportunities for a really integrated, ground-breaking scheme involving this very significant site too. Maybe that’s the home for the “Turner Gallery of Landscape”. Maybe not, but it certainly provides a massive opportunity to resolve the King Street issue and the relationship of King Street to the river and put a True Heart back into Twickenham.

    • Totally agree Ben. The TWAP process and its meetings though must be open to members of the public. (I vaguely recall decisions being made away from the light of day in past years).
      I admit too to a distaste for any Council asserted plan. Twickenham Station and the Gloriana are to the fore in my memory and will effect my voting choices in the future.

    • Jonathan

      Terry’s break came in 1984, when Haslemere Estates commissioned his designs for Richmond Riverside, thus Im sure he will be putting his best in the designs for Twickenham Riverside.

      The Riverside at Richmond incorporates two listed buildings within the development – such as Heron House built in 1716 – along with a number of listed buildings that were demolished. It was also a very notable development because it was one of the first developments of its type that did not have one style architecture for the entire development, but was a mix of styles from different periods to give it a more organic and playful feel. From archaic Greek through Venetian Gothic and Italian Baroque to Regency. The buildings were also designed so that only minimlal air conditioning and artificial lighting would be needed – to avoid the devil that haunts so many post war buildings; sick building syndrome.

      Where there are compromises; they originate in the main from the developer’s requirements – rather than any inheritant problem with the architect or the style chosen. Whilst many others are a deliberate play to have the best of both worlds.

      We should also remember that the Santander building was once exciting and modern, and now people are clambering to have it demolished. Thus as part of the rebuild exercise we should examine why that is so (and it won’t just be the style of the building). As long at the council are a ‘good’ client and don’t force on too many obligations and compromises Im sure they will come up with a building that will stand the test of time.

      We should also hear a klaxon go off when we hear people slinging around terms such as ‘pastiche’. This epithet — which, if taken seriously, would condemn all serious architecture from the Parthenon to the Houses of Parliament — it has been elevated into an all-purpose critical tool by people who are determined that no whisper from the past shall ever again be heard in our cities. People who bound such terms around are championing one style over an other rather than being serious about discussing or appreciating design. As in many ways it is like saying I don’t like impressionist painting thus all impressionist paintings are rubbish. You can see merit and merit is design, even if it is not to your own personal taste.

    • Terry has said that he enjoys working for American clients because:

      ‘…apart from the fact that [they] have got the money [they have] no moral hangups against building a building in an ‘outdated style,’ as they put it… To Americans, morality is morality, architecture is architecture. ‘
      see also:

    • Walkinthepark

      As someone who marched to try and preserve a Victorian heritage in the face of the move to 70s brutalist architecture I know that few people found buildings like the Santander building and Bridge House exciting even when they were first built, except for the architects and Council Planning Departments. In fact the Santander building and Bridge House, and the Solum development when it eventually unfolds typify how uninspiring cheap attempts to cash in on the latest architectural trends get foisted on suburbs like Twickenham.

      And everything about the way this project is being managed screams it will be more of the paternalistic same. What people here are asking for is to be consulted about what we want for our town, to make it a better place to live, not to have some “playful” architects work with the Council to decide that for us and leave us with a “playful” piazza that fills with drunks at night and every time the sun comes out………

    • I am losing my way around this but this is a reply to Jonathan. How can a building which will stand the test of time regenerate Twickenham? We need more imagination, not the same old shops and restaurants. Something of quality which is nationally acclaimed, not just another chain. I hear that Richmond Riverside is not always a nice place to be at night.. Twickenham Riverside has its anti social problems at night too and we should factor this into what will be on our Riverside..
      We should be looking to encourage people to put their pound in Twickenham and not just in Poundland.

    • Ben Makins

      Yes, strongly agree with Theresa’s comments on this thread; “How can a building which will stand the test of time regenerate Twickenham? We need more imagination, not the same old shops and restaurants. Something of quality which is nationally acclaimed, not just another chain.”

      That’s the right question, but I remain to be convinced that a Lido is the right answer. If the question had been, “What should be put on this site that will regenerate Twickenham.” and if there had been no history of a lido on this site in the first place, is that the sort of scheme that would have come up?

      A Lido is a nice idea but would only bring in limited footfall and have very little positive spin off to the existing businesses (shops, restaurants etc) in the area.

      There’s a risk of setting up a false dichotomy between either a lido or public open space (when there’s plenty already at Diamond Jubilee Gardens site) with more shops, cafe premises.

      Shops and cafes and an open space alone don’t bring people in to the area, there has to be a draw, an attraction,a reason to come. I’d suggest something along the lines of the gallery proposal, otherwise, apart from “Rugby Days” I fear we’ll end up with empty premises and a fairly deserted or “misused” “plaza” whatever the architectural merit of the buildings.

      To avoid this scenario we need the right, locally led process to find the right solution and achieve something of lasting quality and benefit.

      Theresa, thanks for your reply to my questions about the financial and governance arrangement for Bristol Lido. However, I think one needs more information than you’ve given before one could get behind the proposal. Right, must stop as I’m trying to book a swim there for next Saturday, but it sounds like I might be out of luck!!

  14. Sally

    As far as I can see the UK is full of ,rather wistfully named ,piazzas windswept, unkept and empty which councils through the ages have claimed will be full of happy locals. Often the open space is presented as the sweetener for a development. I distinctly remember some sort of community open space being promised as part of the post office site development deal. Was that abandoned, or is it just not currently on view?
    The problem is people will not come to stand about in piazzas if they are filthy, poorly secured or full of drunks in warm weather/when there is a big rugby game. The council are completely open that they have not purchased the machine needed to clean the white porous pavement they are putting down. The local police are clear they can’t increase numbers to patrol existing public spaces. We have a lot of empty shops.

    I would very much like to see the different proposals put in and to know how the list was put together. Perhaps even to vote for a proposal?
    Something the locals can use and enjoy would be wonderful. I tend to go for a lido because my family love using Hampton Open air pool all year round and it is such a boost for the community.
    Incidentally, it appalling that Lord True views Marble Hill as neglected and crying out for development. It’s remarkable that he only ever wants to develop Twickenham. I have not heard of him walking through Petersham Meadows or Richmond Green sighing to put up a shed.

  15. A search ‘reading lido’ mentioned by ‘twickenhamalive ‘ yields these three interesting pages:

    Lido future approved for King’s Meadow Baths (15/03/15)
    with an interesting discussion of pros and cons in the comments

    Thames Lido
    ‘King’s Meadow swimming pool is a disused open air swimming pool located in King’s Meadow in Reading, Berkshire. It was first opened to the public in 1903 as the Ladies Swimming Bath and is believed to be the oldest surviving outdoor municipal pool of a similar early Edwardian era. In August 2004, as a result of a campaign, the building was awarded Grade II listed building status.
    On 23/09/13, Reading Council gave us (Lido Bristol), the opportunity to develop the site and hopefully reopen the pool to Reading and beyond.’

    Kings Meadow Baths – Reading: The Campaigners Efforts of Saving an Edwardian 1902 Open Air Ladies Baths from potential disappearance in 2002

  16. twickerman

    Note to Cllr Fleming, I don’t recall the TAAP consultation asking if we’d like (yet more) Council offices on the precious Twickenham Riverside site.
    Nor do I recall any public demand for 24 office spaces on the Riverside.
    Given the choice, which we weren’t, I’m sure that us twickerati would prefer a Lido to El Brute offices.
    I think we need an on-line poll to decide: Lido or Council Offices?

    BTW, isn’t the purpose of the merger with Wandsworth Council to reduce staff & costs? So why build new El Brute Council offices on the Twickenham Riverside site???

  17. twickenhamalive

    We thought it would be useful to respond to some of the comments made on this post, regarding our proposal to reinstate a Lido on Twickenham Riverside, and hopefully answer some of the questions posed.

    There has been some suggestion that the best location for the Lido would be on the Diamond Jubilee Gardens, site of the former Twickenham Baths. As pointed out by boanerges this is not possible as the gardens are held on a 125 year lease by the Twickenham Riverside Trust, whose role is to protect and maintain the gardens as a public open space.

    There has been concern that the pool may be too small. At this stage the proposal is to have a 25m x 10m pool (fractionally larger than the one at Bristol Lido) although this could potentially be increased to a 35m x 10m pool (similar in length to Hampton Pool) depending on the overall design.

    There is the option to pay a monthly membership fee which will be economic for those who wish to use the lido complex regularly. However, anyone can just walk in and pay to use the pool and spa facilities for a day session; the poolside cafe and restaurant will be completely open to the public and food prices will be commensurate with many of the popular cafes and restaurants in Twickenham. There will be special discounts for Richmond Card holders. For example at the new Reading Lido run by the same company the pool will be available for Reading Card holders for one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon every day of the week at special reduced rates. £8 for adults, £3 for children 6-16 and free for children under 6.

    The pool will be heated (including the use of solar panels for energy efficiency) and will be usable 365 days a year.

    It has been said that the Lido would block the view of the river from King Street. However, the council’s plans include the building of restaurants, retail, commercial activity, front of house council services and residential units; the site will be built on regardless. The design of the Lido could be made to minimise the impact on the sightline and part of the structure could be below ground, making use of the site’s incline.

    The freehold will remain with the council and the land will be leased by the Lido company, which will fund 100% of the cost of building the Lido.

  18. twickenhamalive

    We were invited to a meeting at the council on Tuesday with Lord True, and three of the most senior council representatives, to discuss the Lido proposal. While it is fair to say the council remains against the idea we have been asked to provide more detailed financial information for consideration.

    • Make sure you record every word. Disingenuous bunch.

    • Ben Makins

      It’s encouraging that maybe the door remains open for options from the community. That’s what localism is all about.

    • David

      Can I ask whether they explained why they oppose the scheme?

    • Pamela Fleming said that those responding to the All In One (a percentage of the 17% who replied) wanted “permeable space”. This was repeated a few times. it seems from the four people in the room that a lido did not fit in with their plan for Twickenham Riverside. However, all we have is the Brief which is available on the Twickenham Lido website. We cannot disclose details of the plan we worked on with the architects for legal reasons. However in the review of the All in One it was stated that 17% agreed that they can influence decisions affecting their local area.

  19. twickenhamalive

    I will post a bit later to answer some of the questions that have been raised. In the meantime you can view a map of the development site on the Lido website as well as a copy of the council’s development brief given in their press release last November

  20. Ben Makins

    Sorry, I realise I should have said “Diamond Jubilee Gardens”!

    • boanerges

      Don’t know why you think Diamond Jubilee Gardens was a “temporary solution”.. The Twickenham Riverside Trust was granted a 125-year lease in 2014, specifically so that no development could occur on that site. So your idea of a lido on that particular site is a sure fire non-starter

    • Ben Makins

      Hi Boanerges, That’s interesting. I understood that the current scheme was “interim” but, importantly, preserved the site as a public space, preventing the sort of development proposed at the time that would have put the greater part of the site into private ownership (high end housing). I thought the arrangement left open the opportunity for further development of schemes for public use, presumably with the Trust having some influence or control over that. I find it hard to believe that the site as it is now could be fixed as is for 125 years. It’s a very welcome improvement on the derelict pool site, but was fairly hastily put together and has huge potential for rather more imaginative schemes for public benefit. I’m not really behind the idea of a lido, but am proposing something rather different (gallery, information and booking centre for the great houses of the Thames etc., public open space and pontoon -for boats, not swimming). What are your thoughts about that? It seems to have had a 7-1 favourable response at the moment. Would you be behind it if the situation regarding possible restrictions on the use of the gardens site could be overcome? Could you say more about the Trust? Thanks. Ben.

    • boanerges, surely that is only for the ‘developed’ part?? the overgrown bathhouse etc is the one in question.. see the image gallery on the TA lido site.. 🙂

  21. Ben Makins

    The obvious place for a lido, if anywhere, seems to be Jubilee Gardens, keeping the benefit of opening up the site lines down to the river by having the open space behind current Santander, reconnecting town to river. However, as great as Bristol Lido is (and it’s fantastic, but quite costly though heavily used), that model isn’t a replacement for a , sadly lost, community pool. I wonder whether if that wasn’t still being “mourned” it would have come up as an idea at all.
    The whole riverside site needs to be viewed as one. Jubilee Gardens was a “temporary solution”. Curve ball; how about “The Turner Gallery of Landscape” on the pool site, sitting in the view famously painted by Turner from Richmond Hill. Similar idea was floated about 10 years ago and The Tate was (were?) interested but the then Council couldn’t get it. Add open space (Town Square) and a pontoon and a combined ticket booking and information centre for all the great Thames houses (Sion, Kew, Hampton Court, Marble Hill, Ham House, Strawberry Hill etc.) and “Thames Arcadia” landscape and arts heritage information exhibition. That might draw the numbers in and be a real lever for regeneration (See St Ives, Margate, Folkstone and now Plymouth) and give Twickenham a further purpose and function alongside rugby etc. Set up a “park and ride” at the stadium. Make Church St and environs truly pedestrian only……Just a thought. This could be “truly” a heritage legacy site.
    I welcome Twickenham Alive’s efforts to open up the debate. What’s been so disappointing is the lack of imagination in the ideas presented by True and Co and the top down process, after all the energy and ideas generated in the consultation sessions (TWAP). But at least they are having a go.

    • The Diamond Jubilee Garden is in Trust for 125 years. The only piece of land that can be used for a lido or open air pool is the old bath house and land nearby.

    • twickenhamalive

      Hi Be, In our proposal we suggested that boathouses (or similar) could be incorporated in the design, Sports clubs using these could then have access to the changing/shower facilities at the Lido. We also suggested that a home for the proposed Eel Pie Museum could be included.

    • Ben Makins

      Regarding the “125 Year Trust” on Diamond Jubilee Gardens (comments from Susan and Boanerges)……where is that held so one can examine the precise wording? I can imagine the site being put in trust for public benefit, but seems unlikely that the space itself can’t be altered in any way at all. That would seem unworkable and likely to result in a challenge to break the trust at some point. Notwithstanding that, then I’d still go for the Gallery and Great Houses of the Thames info and ticketing centre etc. on the space of the bath house etc, but making sure that the site lines to the river are preserved and ideally with open vistas from the down stream side, looking towards Richmond Hill. Any thoughts on that?

    • BM: The Trust are at: and which states that its trustees are (or were) Sheila Hale, Jeremy Hamilton-Miller, Adrienne Rowe, Edward Davies, Anne Perry – local worthies friendly towards the Tories; one trustee is nominated by the council; otherwise it is an unelected and unaccountable oligarchy. Its main object is ‘To preserve, protect and improve, for the benefit of the public, the riverside and its environs at Twickenham’.

      The lease has not been published but an FOI request to the council would produce it, I think. My guess is that it requires them to maintain the site in good order and doesn’t allow them to develop it in any way. So the opportunity to make good use of the whole site now that we have rest of it with vacant possession has been lost. Stupid!

      It may be that in 30 years‘ time a fresh generation of politicos and worthies will see the sense of creating something, anything, on the site more useful to the community than a municipal garden like, dare I suggest it?, a public swimming pool and the trustees will give up the lease. So there may yet be hope – but it will be a long wait, I fear.

    • Ben Makins

      Many thanks Chris Squire. Really interesting….don’t you just despair of the way local politics work? There must be a new way. See Independents for Frome for example. Anyway, I’ll have a look.Maybe “To preserve, protect and improve, for the benefit of the public, the riverside and its environs at Twickenham” leaves a doorway slightly ajar! Ben.

    • ‘(Frome) Town Council acts as a consultee and lobbying force with both the County and District Councils, putting forward the wishes and needs of the local community.’
      It’s just a Parish Council, the third tier of local government outside London. 17 councillors in 8 wards serve 26,000 residents, i.e. 2,500 households per ward.

      Richmond borough has 54 councillors serving 195,000 residents, i.e.10,800 households per ward, and raises taxes and fees to fund a wide range of services. So the task of representing residents is much harder. It is four times as much work to distribute a leaflet to everyone in the ward telling them what is going on, for example.

      I have the Frome book but think it unlikely it will suggest anything local politicos haven’t thought of. There’s no difficulty in thinking of more things to do – it is finding residents willing to give up time and energy to do them that is the hard bit. There is no shortage of armchair critics and naysayers and knowitalls and carpers but activists are thin on the ground.

    • Alexis

      I wonder if Ben realises that Chris Squire has form as a long term LibDem activist? He was sacked by Lourie as their webmaster for a bit of nastiness about the last Riverside sell-off protest but I doubt he has changed his political affiliation.

      In addition to that, in last week’s R&TT we had a letter from Sandra Fayle of Hampton rubbishing our new Tory MP, Tania Mathias, whilst failing to mention the fact that she is or was a LibDem/SDP activist and worked for Vince Cable!

      In this weeks edition we have a similar letter from Mr Michael Wilson of Whitton – could that be the same person who was once the invisible LibDem Riverside Councillor who has susequently twice failed to be re-elected?
      These people try my patience.


    • Alexis

      Oh dear, I do seem to have irritated Mr Squire, who says:
      “There is no shortage of armchair critics and naysayers and knowitalls and carpers but activists are thin on the ground.”

      Well, I’ve got news for Mr Squire; activists are pretty thick on the LibDem ground probably more so since they are still smarting from their trouncing at the polls in May – remember their book of dirty tricks, aka “effective opposition”? Perhaps Mr Squire still has a well-thumbed copy?

      I’m neither for nor against the concept of a lido although I think the Riverside site is too constrained. How about behind Richmond pool where the flume used to be? Or, far more controversially, in Orleans Gardens perhaps?

    • Walkinthepark

      I think that people rousing themselves to bring about two judicial reviews, and readying themselves for a third suggests that activists are not thin on the ground when it comes to standing up for our community’s interests? It is just a shame that we have a Council who seem to regard it as legitimate in Twickenham to favour other interests over the community. Frankly having been active in all three bouts of activism, and on other even more local issues too it has never felt as if any of the machinations of the Council were interested in what local people actually wanted, or indeed needed.

      I was interested to see Lord True quoted in the RTT this week (again who knows if accurately) saying that Twickenham was “neglected” echoing his judgement that Marble Hill Park was a suitable site for the Gloriana because it was “all forlorn” and making one of his wistful pleas that, effectively, we should do as we are told, so he can do what is best for us. I don’t feel that my town is forlorn or neglected, I think it is one of the best places to live in London.

      Alexis, you are clearly no swimmer! The clues in the name of Richmond pool, Pools on the Park, two pools, an indoor and outdoor one. So there would be little point putting another outdoor pool behind it. I however swim as well as walk and it, and Hampton, are evidence that a heated outdoor pool does get used throughout the year, and excessively on the odd hot day. It is fantastic to swim through a sunset winter or summer. And it is an activity that is growing in popularity.

    • What would/might the third judicial review be about? What are its chances of success?

      The first two achieved nothing except delay, I think, at considerable cost to their promoters, I suppose.

    • Totally agree with you WitP. It’s wonderful that we are not apathetic when it comes to protecting our special places. To say Marble Hill Park is neglected seems to me to talk from a base of total ignorance. It’s a wonderful open space, with the most glorious mix to trees: dark green leaves to bright citrus colours set against an iron grey sky. It takes my breath away.
      We have fought hard to keep Twickenham Riverside free from the commercial rubbish that True, Samuel and Fleming seem to think is good for us. Why would we want more shops? The Council has no power to control landlord’s rents. Too many lovely shops in Church Street have disappeared already. Par Ici had to close because of high rents. I wonder how long the Church Street market shop will survive? The wine and chocolate is great as is the cheese – but are people shopping there? As for the tasteless paving stones they have put in I wonder where these Councillors were educated. Toffville is apparently no assurance of good taste.
      A swimming pool would be great in my view, it doesn’t have to be a lido – and yes I would use it in the winter as well as in the summer. It doesn’t have to be huge either. Whatever the decision it’s for the people of Twickenham to decide. Personally I g so for the wilderness and the wet, but hey I believe in democracy so I’m happy to listen to the views of my neighbours.

    • Walkinthepark

      So that is a reason not to stand up for the interests of the local community, that the odds are stacked against success? And actually something did come out of the Schools issue. When it became obvious the Council were not going to make meeting the need for inclusive secondary school places a priority then a group of parents stepped in. That is certainly not evidence of a town full of armchair naysayers?

      I am not sure whether a Judicial review would have been the avenue but, as you know and were involved, the lawyers were looking at every possible avenue for stopping the Gloriana proposal.

    • Alexis

      My thanks to WITP for correcting me about Richmond Pool – I confess that I haven’t used it since the flume was removed following a tragic accident.
      WITP is wrong, I am a swimmer, it still is and always was my sport, however I prefer Teddington, Hampton or the Caribbean, when I can afford it!
      Perhaps Twickerati could connect WITP and Chris Squire so that they can have a private discussion about whatever it is they seem to disagree about? How did the schools issue come into this?
      Anyway, I’m off for a post prandial nap, so, toodle pip!

  22. too many people hear ‘lido’ and think that means a pool the same size as the old twickenham one!! :O

    DO please get out to see the real size it would be… 🙂

    The ‘pool’ will be very small, a bit smaller that the children’s play area! :O
    – That will be surrounded by coffee shops, changing rooms, spa centres…
    If you want to see the riverside, you will have to sit by a window, with the pool on the right, and riverside view on the left.. If they have not taken up the space with all the plumbing etc to manage all the ‘money making’ stuff…

  23. Sal Magundi

    The Lido sounds like a great idea if it doesn’t price itself at the luxury end of the market. If prices are based on its Reading model, it sounds reasonable. Would be good to know why the council have rejected the idea.

  24. David

    I’m all in favour of knocking down those buildings, but I’m not convinced a lido (which may be popular for three months of the year) is the best use of the site. For one, the TA plans appear to show the Lido taking up the river end of the site – ie blocking the link to the river that the whole scheme is supposed to open up. And they’d still have to fit council offices and homes on the rest of the site (the TA site says it has plans for those but they are confidential) – so it could end up pretty dense.

    That said, I’d like to see the other plans to compare!

    The council’s treatment of it is a bit high-handed, but it’s hardly Gloriana Mark II (even though that’s the way some are portraying it).

    • Walkinthepark

      As I was the one with a sense of déjà vue I assume you include me. It is blatantly not Gloriana II, not least because quite a few thought this might have actually been an appropriate site. This isn’t a much loved park but a rather unloved back yard to a High Street and an opportunity for development to enhance the town. It is just the Council’s stance does seem to manifest the same “we know best” and “the residents are revolting” attitude. This are Councillor Fleming’s words quoted in the RTT (with the inevitable caveats that she may actually have said something entirely different ) “We had the Twickenham Area Action Plan in 2013 and no real interest was expressed in having a lido.

      “It is difficult to understand when back in 2009 Teresa Read was campaigning to keep the riverside free and this lido won’t do that.”

      I contributed to the TWAAP consultation and don’t ever remember mention of a credible lido proposal.

      It is just I don’t see why they can’t let us have a chance to comment on this proposal which originates in the community, has some support in the community and has obviously had a lot of work put into it and appears credible. If the “competition” winners are putting forward something that will be of greater benefit to residents why not trust us to make that decision ourselves?

  25. Pilu

    Bring on an open type square with a mix of small independent shops and restaurants with views over the river and promenade. Think mediterranean atmosphere!

    • Sal Magundi

      Sounds idyllic but don’t we have enough struggling small shops and cafés in Twickenham as it is?

    • Sal Magundi – yes, and also *empty* shop sites, to say nothing about the NEW sites not yet occupied..( opposite AZ computers)

    • Walkinthepark

      If It is true that the same architects are involved that conceived Richmond Riverside, nice as it is, you are aware that we are talking Vodka Revs and binge drinkers, more Blackpool than the Med………

  26. Totolover

    Would it not be possible to make a safe swimming pool area in the River Thames cordoned off from the fastest tidal flow along with some kind of pontoon for access? – a bit like the Serpentine swimming pool. I know it sounds a bit bonkers but who knows, it might spark off other ideas so we can go swimming in Twickenham again.

  27. Walkinthepark

    According to the Twickenham Alive Lido website: “The lido and lido café would be a focal point for the local community; the use of the Richmond Card would allow local people to use the pool and spa facilities at a reduced cost.” So it wouldn’t necessarily be £20.

    I think in view of the fact that this is a proven business model, there is a great deal of sentiment attached to the replacement of the outdoor pool, and skating rink (the latter of which the Council was only too happy to exploit, admittedly temporarily, for a bit of spin at Christmas) and the idea has originated amongst local residents it seems like a no brainer to include it in any consultation, with whatever warts have caused the Council to dismiss it.

    Instead we Have Councillor Fleming jumping to support Lord True with some very dismissive and confrontational language towards local resident’s who have given up their time to develop a proposal they think will enhance the environment / community, again. It is raising a feeling of deja vue and a suspicion that this is all being driven by Lord True’s friends again.

    I don’t know if it is actually the best proposal but I would like a chance to compare it with other proposals and decide for myself.

  28. Carole

    As someone who has been to the Bristol lido albeit for a bite to eat rather than a swim (it’s a long story!), I think that this not an ideal model. It was shoe-horned into an area where parking is at a premium and taking advantage of the fact that most of the residents are transient students who have their own pool and would not be too interested in protesting about the lack of infrastructure. Locals were sidelined. It is very much marketed at the upper end of the market ie those with money. That said it is very attractive and our tapas where very tasty!

    • you can see the ‘problem’ in google maps… try this link..

    • If it is not clear, the Bristol Lido will fit neatly into the ‘undeveloped’ space of the jubilee gardens.. this shows how small the area is…
      the next problem is, for 9 months of the year, this will be an *unused* stretch of water, fenced in to prevent misuse… as for the cafe or restaurant, it will have to fight for business with the high street that is already overcrowded with them!!

  29. Dr Liam Nagle

    I don’t see any point to a “village square”, all the kinds of activities that other towns might use a square for we can already do on the riverside, the green, Orleans Park, etc.
    Instead, how about something useful – like a pool? We are a riverside community after all. A place where our children can learn to swim safely and spend their long summer holidays, as I did at Twickenham Pool when growing up.
    I’d like to see a pool like Hampton Pool, that anyone can use without breaking the bank, not a fancy private spa. They should have reinstated the old pool but with heated water for year round use.

  30. Mumto1plus2

    “mixed use development to make the whole thing viable. Think words like plaza and piazza.”? Erm! Isn’t that what the Lib Dems proposed that got them kicked off the council? Personally, I always liked the idea of a 3 sided square with shops, restaurants, dwellings and views of the river. I also support The Lido idea but £20 a swim makes it exclusive rather than inclusive. Something that actually makes the most of the riverside would be great. Much as I love the insect hotel and enjoy taking a drink from The Barmy Arms to sup there, I can’t help but think that the views are wasted on the bees!

  31. Since the picture on the TA site ARE of the Bristol lido…..
    Looking at that on the map, its in a quite small residential area, near to the university…
    If *anyone* has a proper **map** of the site the ‘competition to find the best design’ is for, PLEASE show it… 🙂
    If it means knocking down Santander and M&Co, I dont think there will be much support…
    There are already enough empty premises in twick, why not use those, instead of knocking down well established businesses???

  32. Twickenham Alive should start a petition on the Council website:
    1000 signatures from residents will get the a Council debate. Non-residents’ signatures count for nothing.

    I agree that Bristol Lido seems to be a pricey private health spa, pool and restaurant complex – is this what TA intend? I think we should be told. It looks like yet another scheme to privatise what should be public space.

    The appeal of the old lido, I think, was the same as of the ice rink: they were cheap or free places to go, where the young in particular could hang out with the friends without spending a lot.

    • The Lib Dems must be cautious about ‘privatising’ public space – their track record is not good. The Tories have tried to bulldoze plans through before: why a square, what will be the result? More coffee shops perhaps.
      The people of Twickenham must be consulted about what they want. If it’s a lido then we must look at the ways this might be delivered. Councillor Samuels always likes to boast of his efficiency savings – well let’s see them put to good use.
      I have signed the petition in favour of the lido – though have no preference as to what company should set it up. Let’s discover the force of opinion and then facilitate the wishes of the public.

  33. donal

    Should we be splashing about in a lido or paddling in the piazza ? I love to go swimming but my arm bands will be supporting the village square idea, sorry Twickenham Alive, I don’t mean to poor water on your lido idea, I hope it floats but personally a square is a good boat length ahead.

    • Hi Donal, it is not a question of one or the other. The town square fronts on to King Street. i could say more but will face legal action.The lido would be placed in the position where you can find it on the Images page of the Twickenham Lido site. But i do like the way you describe it. I think we all need a sense of humour about this including the politicians. With Twickenham Riverside it is a bit of “what goes around comes around”. After all I am sure everyone is trying to do their best, it is just that some of them do not live in Twickenham and will be gone while most of us will still be here.