Art Deco-inspired Jubilee Pool, one of Europe’s last saltwater lidos asks for advice from the Pool Lift Company how to overcome Disabled Access.
Described as one of the most unusual and pleasingly designed lidos of the era, the Jubilee Pool was designed in the early 1930s by Captain F Latham, the Borough Engineer with no disabled access. The pool was opened with great celebration in May 1935, the year of King George V’s Silver Jubilee.
The Pool was built upon a traditional bathing spot at the Battery Rocks near the harbour at Penzance. Cleverly designed to cope with the full ferocity of the Cornish seas, the pool is triangular in shape yet with gentle curves, making it a most pleasant environment, the pool was built into a bowl with many flights of stairs leading onto the pool edge and no consideration for disabled persons to access the pool.
A guide book from 1938 tells us that: "In many respects the design is unique architecturally, partly from a point of view of necessity in conforming with existing conditions of wave elements and rocks which controlled the outline. Streamlines have been used to the greatest advantage in meeting the direction of the storm waves, while a Cubist style has been adopted in the interior in providing diving platforms and steps making it so difficult for disabled people to access the pool. The whole pool is surrounded by high streamlined sea walls terraced up within the interior so as to give aspect and effect. They also serve to strengthen the structure." These walls also protect swimmers from strong, offshore winds and form terraces for spectators a great design but very difficult to get disabled swimmers from the changing rooms to the pool edge.
The Pool Lift Company was asked to offer some professional advice on how to access the swimming pool by using a mobile pool lift or a fixed pool lift and install disabled platform lifts, whichever way we had to take into consideration that jubilee Pool is listed and to install a fixed pool lift and disabled platform lift it had to be in keeping or provide a Pool Lift Company battery operated Panda Pod Pool lift that is a powered portable Pool Lift that can be stored away when not in use… the best option was the Panda Pod Pool Lift and some clever design work by Nixon Design meant that the Panda Pod option worked well and would be the favourite option of English Heritage with minimal visual impact. The users can easily transfer onto the Panda Pod Pool Lift be powered onto the pool side edge and smoothly transferred in and out of the pool.
"We're delighted with our new Panda-Pod at Jubilee Pool. As one of the most popular and celebrated lidos in the UK, it was vital that we sourced a reliable, well engineered and elegant solution to allow acecss to the pool for one and all. The Panda-Pod delivers on all counts but in addition we were equally as impressed with the Pool Lift Company's excellent customer service". Martin Nixon, Friends of Jubilee Pool.