Crouch End lido swimmers furious after Christmas Day dip cancelled

PUBLISHED: 15:51 22 December 2017 | UPDATED: 15:51 22 December 2017

Swimmers line up before taking the plunge at Park Road Lido in last year's Christmas Day dip. Picture: KATY FERGUSON

Swimmers line up before taking the plunge at Park Road Lido in last year's Christmas Day dip. Picture: KATY FERGUSON


Swimmers who bought tickets for a Christmas Day dip are reeling after their pool was forced to close suddenly.

Regulars at Park Road Lido were shocked to discover their festive swims had been cancelled by pool operator Fusion Lifestyle due to “technical issues”.

But according to users of the Crouch End pool lane closures, staff absences and technical problems are “a constant source of irritation and frustration”.

Visitors say the pool needs to be topped up regularly due to a “foot and a half wide” crack with paint applied to mark lanes washing away because it wasn’t water soluble.

Swimmer Gary Duffield, who has used the lido for 15 years, said: “The hours it opens are very limited, but Fusion just say, ‘We don’t have to open it’, which makes you feel you don’t have grounds to complain.

“There are all sorts of things wrong with it. They need to paint, seal and fix it properly. It would be so nice to have a pool managed properly. When you ask them what’s wrong you get a black hole of silence,” Mr Duffield said.

In 2015 City of London Corporation which runs the Parliament Hill Lido held talks with Fusion to run the site but it never went ahead.

Fusion has full responsibility for repairs and maintenance at Park Road and is contracted to open it from May to October.

Haringey Council fines Fusion for full or part closures, as in this current case.

“Fusion tried to get hold of Parliament Hill but it didn’t succeed and it runs like clockwork,” Mr Duffield said before asking how Haringey Council has monitored Fusion’s work since awarding it the contract to run the lido in 2012.

Outdoor swimmer Martin Upham said he was pleased when Fusion was awarded the contract for the “wonderful facility” but added: “This has not been a happy autumn - niggles unaddressed, random closures and hours which suit some swimmers not others.”

Fusion’s Ben Dixon apologised for the closure saying the firm is committed to running the pool at “the highest standard possible” and reinvests all profits in the lido. He added that Christmas Day swimmers were entitled to a full refund.

A Haringey spokeswoman said: “We suspect the recent cold snap led to a crack in the pipework. We are working with Fusion. We appreciate this is frustrating and apologise for any inconvenience.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 17:35

Every Sunday from this weekend until September will see an exciting free musical performance at the Regent’s Park bandstand.

Yesterday, 15:52

In a new weekly feature, we speak to the people behind some of Hampstead and Highgate’s best small businesses. This week, we spoke to two photographers helping youngsters get behind the camera.

Yesterday, 15:25

Hundreds attended Highgate’s annual Fair in the Square at the weekend, sponsored by the Ham&High.

Yesterday, 13:46

Adam Solomons speaks to those commemorating the German philosopher.

Yesterday, 11:49

After months of delays, disruption and the dreaded rail replacement bus, commutes are finally set to get better for London Overground passengers.

Yesterday, 10:20

The families of two graffiti artists from Muswell Hill and Hampstead who were killed at Loughborough Junction station on Monday, have paid tribute to them.

Tue, 17:45

Neighbours and community groups have raised concerns over the sale of former Branch Hill House care home in Hampstead.

Tue, 14:44

The senior coroner for inner north London Mary Hassell is set to hold a public consultation into the new policy for how she should deal with deaths in the area, but has only given people a matter of days to send in written submissions.


Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Preparing your child in advance for school will go a long way towards ensuring the very best start for your child.

After over 50 years in the acting industry, and a decade of unprecedented success delivering outstanding part-time performing arts tuition at her weekend Academies across the country, Pauline Quirke returns to her roots to create even more opportunities for young performers in North London.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now