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Report - Echo Beach, Denton, Manchester, The Long Hot Summer of 2013

Discussion in 'Leisure Sites' started by Alley, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. Alley

    Alley Conspicuous Loiterer
    Regular User

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    Echo Beach - Faraway In Time

    Bit of a trip down memory lane, this one. Well, more of a stumble. There’s virtually no mention of it online, so what follows are my own hazy childhood memories/embellishments of its rise and fall.
    Locals of a certain age may remember Echo Beach as the third most popular place to hang out on a Saturday, after Roddy’s Pool Hall and Millgate car-park.

    History:

    Lidos were built across the UK, from the 1930s. You might expect an outdoor swimming pool in a Southern coastal town where summer sunshine is almost guaranteed but, I was surprised to learn, Manchester Council decided to build the North West’s first lido. Realising that for hardy Northerners inclement weather was no barrier to outdoor pursuits, ambitious plans were laid for an extensive leisure facility on several acres of lush, nettle-lined peninsula, hugged by the River Tame.

    Echo Beach was built in 1926, and advertised with the slogan “When the rain isn’t wet enough, come to Denton!â€, but its heyday was the 1980s, when the only other entertainment for kids was spitting on shoppers from the top deck of Merseyway or floating down the Goyt on polystyrene washing machine packing. Hordes of neon-clad youngsters flocked to the Lido, or ‘The Pit’ as it was affectionately known.

    It soon became the most popular attraction in the entire Brinnington, Bredbury and Denton area. Come rain or shine, swimmers frolicked in the bracing waters, occasional sunlight revealing the slicks of firm-hold gel which coated the surface.
    In the balmy summer of 1982 temperatures soared to 19°C, resulting in a spate of hairspray-related fires, so a spinning sprinkler system was installed in all seven fun pools.
    The lido also boasted three Olympic style diving pools; two treatment baths, and a rooftop viewing terrace.
    Sadly, the rising popularity of Gorton Tub, with its fancy slides, signified the end for Echo Beach and nature has been allowed to take over this historic site.

    Present:

    Alley; NinjaM; SoundLightGo; Spark on the water and Ecco the Dolphin


    Nowadays, the place is in a sorry state. It’s so overgrown and unkempt it barely resembles a leisure park, looking more like the remains of an industrial site.
    For old times’ sake, we paid one last visit and attempted to recreate the party atmosphere of the 80s. Pop on your aviators (seriously, there’s some extreme whiteness ahead), pour yourself a Harvey Wallbanger and join us in raising a glass to les temps perdu.

    Pools
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    Sprinkler
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    Locker room
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    Changing cubicles
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    Rooftop Terrace
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    Large version

    Boiler Room
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    NSFW (candid close-ups)

    Be still my beating heart, it’s a Budenberg!
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    Echo Island

    Named for the acoustics – every sound bounces off the smooth concrete walls right back to the centre, presumably to keep in the noise of screaming kids.

    “Who needs the Maldives?†NinjaM.

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    For comparison... (there’s really no competition).

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    Sorry, ladies and gentlemen, he’s taken :(

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    “It’s like Little Britain!†NinjaM.

    From above and below

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    Large version - spot the nudists
     
    #1 Alley, Jul 16, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2013

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