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Park Road Lido: Bench unveiled in honour of much-missed Holocaust survivor swimmers

PUBLISHED: 10:00 15 March 2020 | UPDATED: 19:30 16 March 2020

Roman and Susan Halter's son, Arden Halter and Hazel Halter, their granddaughter, sitting on the bench. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Roman and Susan Halter's son, Arden Halter and Hazel Halter, their granddaughter, sitting on the bench. Picture: Siorna Ashby

@siornaphotography

A much-missed swimming couple were honoured with a dedicated bench at the Park Road Lido last week.

Aviva Halter, Susan and Roman's daughter, cuts the protective casing from the bench. Picture: Siorna AshbyAviva Halter, Susan and Roman's daughter, cuts the protective casing from the bench. Picture: Siorna Ashby

Friends and family of Roman and Susan Halter, who were fixtures at the Crouch End pool in early mornings for decades, paid tribute to them both as the new bench was unveiled.

Those attending remembered their inimitable contribution to Crouch End life. Susan, who competed in the Olympics for Hungary after the Second World War, and Roman, a writer and artist of many forms both survived the Holocaust and worked tirelessly to educate others before their deaths in 2015 and 2012 respectively.

The couple’s son Ardyn was at the bench unveiling, and said the family had been hugely touched to be asked about the creation of a memorial bench.

Ardyn said: “They loved coming here. We were so touched. It’s such a lovely thing for both of them. Their fellow morning swimmers were really like an extension of family.

Roman and Susan Halter's bench, top left, overlooking a swimmer at the Park Road Lido. Picture: Siorna AshbyRoman and Susan Halter's bench, top left, overlooking a swimmer at the Park Road Lido. Picture: Siorna Ashby

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At the event, this year’s mayor of Haringey Cllr Sheila Peacock and local MP Catherine West both paid tribute to the couple.

Andy Bellisario, who swam regularly with Roman and Susie and who remains active within the Park Road Lido User Group, said: “It had been raining and raining and wen we went out it stopped. We just had time to do the speeches and get the family sat on the bench.

Roman and Susan Halter in their younger days. Picture: Halter family / PRLUGRoman and Susan Halter in their younger days. Picture: Halter family / PRLUG

“Jane Asher even turned up with her swimming friends – she had swum with Susan! It was such a great turnout with lots of current swimmers and some who used to come to the Lido.”

The idea of the memorial bench came up in a meeting of the Lido’s user group last year, and Andy said it was wonderful to make it a reality after fundraising.

“What was really lovely was it was just this wonderful sharing. Roman and Susan were very cherished people and really amazing parts of our community,” she said.

To find out more about the history of the Park Road Lido and Susan and Roman Halter, see this year’s edition of the Hornsey Historical Society’s ‘Bulletin’ magazine.


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