28DL Regular User
Not an epic by any means but more a social history of the South Wales Valleys that has been left go to rack and ruin for no good reason.
The lido in Troedyrhiw, was started on a hillside by unemployed miners in 1934 (postcard above from 1936) thanks to a landlord living in Llanishen, Cardiff who rejoiced in the name of Patrick Wyndham Murray Threipland who owned land in Troedyrhiw. His wife Eleanor decided that she would do something for the people of Troedyrhiw. A meeting was called in the village and it was decided to construct the swimming pool which became known as ‘Troedyrhiw Lido’ on the mountainside. Mr Murray Threipland provided all the materials necessary and the men of the village wielded picks and shovels voluntarily (in a location that was previously the site of the ‘Old Reservoir’).
Their reward came when the work was completed and the pool was opened (in 1935) by Lady Howard Stepney, the mother of Mr Murray Threipland. ‘Troedyrhiw Bathing Pool Committee’ remained active in the village and in 1937 the ‘Troedyrhiw Free Bathing Pool institute’ was opened for the use mainly of elderly residents. The costs of the acquisition of the building for the Institute and its refurbishment were again met by Mr and Mrs Murray Threipland. The building that housed the institute is today used by Troedyrhiw Scouts.
Sadly, the story passed down in the Murray Threipland family is that “following the generous donation of the pool some of the younger element of Troedyrhiw saw fit to roll large boulders down the mountain and into the pool – thus rendering it unusable.
The freshwater lido was fed by water collected by damns built out of rock and turf from the mountainside, which formed a natural spring. The concrete-lined pool measures about 21 metres in length, northeast to southwest, by 13 metres wide. The concrete dam at its southwestern end has been broken through to allow it to drain, but about 0.40 metres of water still stand in the pool, which must have originally been between 1 metre and 1.5 metres deep. The northeastern end of the pool is rounded giving it an elongated D-shaped plan. The pool is still fed by water which flows from a natural spring or stream brought down the hill from perhaps 700 metres away to the north, via a leat constructed for the purpose.
Another postcard view of the Lido (date unknown)
When the Lido opened, a diving competition was held for children, where they had to dive and recover objects placed on the floor of the pool. The winner was the child that picked up the most objects. Eleven year old Ernie Simms of Merthyr Vale was the winner and he was presented with a silver cup shown.
The Troedyrhiw Cup (photo Alan George)
By 1964, the Lido was abandoned as evidenced by this article in the Merthyr Express
Another one that I just never found the time to visit over the years, with one thing or another always getting in the way but with lockdown vastly reducing what can and what cannot be done, Troedyrhiw Lido was local. Sadly, despite the hope of the Merthyr Express article above from 1964 of someone repairing the Lido, it is a long way from its former glory although some work appears to have been done at clearing it up at least. Through the 1980's and 1990's, the Lido was more known as a local party location due to its secluded location as evidenced by the copious amounts of (bad) graffiti that adorns the Lido shelter.
3. View from the shelter
Thanks for looking !!