Next Customer Forum Meeting – Monday 11 September, 6.30 pm at the Lido

If you’re a Centre Member and you’ve opted to receive email updates from Better you should have received an email inviting you to the next Customer Forum meeting on Monday 11 September at 6.30 pm. If you haven’t received the email but would like to attend please email to request a place, and ask for your notification preferences to be checked out.  (It seems as if they sometimes don’t carry forward correctly when you renew your membership).

The Forum meetings are a  great chance to meet the managers – who genuinely do want to hear your feedback.  For swimmers in particular, the upcoming meeting will provide an opportunity to find out about the proposed winter season hours and to give your thoughts on these.

Lido 23 08 17 cropped

Swim Doctor at Charlton Lido

If you’re interested in developing your swim technique, speed or stamina, why not try out the weekly Swim Doctor sessions?  These take place on Monday evenings between 7 and 8 pm, on Wednesday mornings between 9.30 and 10.30 am and on Friday mornings between 7 and 8.30 am (including half an hour of land-based exercise followed by an hour in the pool).  Regular attendees attest to the improvements they have made as a result of the sessions.  More information is available from the reception team at the Lido.

A Thames Fit To Swim

Earlier this month a group of Charlton Lido swimmers gathered in the lido cafe on a sunny Wednesday evening to learn more about the Thames Fit To Swim campaign.


Theo Thomas, the London Waterkeeper, talked about the campaign and led a lively discussion.  Theo writes:

The charity London Waterkeeper wants the city to make the most of the River Thames and see its waters become truly swimmable. Copenhagen made its harbours swimmable in 15 years by cutting pollution, setting up real-time bathing water quality monitoring and creating new swimming areas. Their new urban beaches and ‘Harbour Baths’ are now the most popular open spaces in the city.

Svanemolle Beach 1

Svanemollen is a new urban beach built by Copenhagen.  There are screens displaying real-time bathing water quality information.

Swimming in the Thames upstream of Putney Bridge is allowed. But we’re a long way from seeing thousands of people getting into the river on a regular basis. Some days the Thames will meet swimming standards while on others it is dirty. Sadly no one knows when this is. That information doesn’t exist – but it should.

A Thames Fit To Swim paddle steamer Danny Burrows

A swim in the Thames at Twickenham in May. The water quality was excellent.

The ‘A Thames Fit To Swim’ campaign wants to see swimming zones designated and live bathing water quality information displayed online. We can give people a deeper connection with nature and boost our mental and physical health.  

To find out more, visit

We need the support of swimmers and swimming clubs around London so the campaign has a strong voice. For example we want Thames Water to tell us when its sewers overflow and meet its legal duties.

Theo Thomas, London Waterkeeper.






A Thames Fit To Swim

A truly swimmable River Thames would transform our relationship with one of the world’s iconic rivers. Thousands of people would benefit and the economy would be boosted.

But for this to happen we need to know when it is clean and when it is dirty.

London Waterkeeper is campaigning for a swimmable Thames (upstream of Putney Bridge to Hampton Court). This would boost the mental and physical health of thousands of people.  The campaign is backed by Caitlin Davis, Lewis Pugh and Thames Baths (among others).  London Waterkeeper is working with Kenwood Ladies Pond Association and members took part in a Thames Swim in May. You can read an article on the swim  here. 

River Thames
We’ve invited Theo Thomas, the London Waterkeeper, to Charlton Lido talk about what we need to do to make the Thames swimmable using 21st century technology and public access to environmental information.  If you’re an open water swimmer – or would like to experience swimming beyond the confines of a pool but have concerns about water quality – please do join us in the Cafe at Charlton Lido at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 5 July to hear about this important campaign.

To give us an idea of numbers, please email us to let us know if you would like to attend Theo’s talk.

Many thanks to the Lido for hosting this event.

London's Royal Docks opens as urban swimming pool

Now here’s a challenge

Levin woman Heather Robinson swims 88 lengths to celebrate her birthday.

Swimming’s health benefits are well known, but how’s this for an inspiring example of just what can be achieved?  Heather Robinson, from Levin in New Zealand, has just celebrated her 88th birthday by swimming 88 lengths of her local pool.  Next year, she’ll swim 89.  Her regular weekly swimming regime is 3 x 60 lengths (or 1.5km) – oh, and a 25km cycle ride on Sundays for good measure.  See the full story here:

Heather Robinson in action.

Heather’s story made me wonder what challenges Charlton Lido swimmers have set themselves.  Why don’t we share them here, so that we can find kindred spirits to join in, encourage each other when the going gets tough and celebrate our achievements when we complete them?


Friends of Charlton Lido now on Facebook

Friends of Charlton Lido is now on Facebook!  Please like us there, and invite friends to do the same:

We’d really like to know what you like most about the Lido! You can tell us on Facebook or here on the website – we look forward to reading your comments.IMG_1632


Increased opening hours from 3 April

Stop press: The Lido’s Spring opening hours, from Monday 3 April, will restore 7-day opening and a 6.30 am start on Mondays:

Monday                             6.30am-12noon & 2pm-8pm

Tuesday                             7am-12noon & 2pm-8pm

Wednesday – Friday     7am-12noon

Weekends                        9am-5pm

These times will be further reviewed in May in preparation for the full summer programme from June 2017.