Rivers

13.01.17

Droitwich Spa Lido: Then & Now

Wychavon Leisure recently received an email from Stephen Booy, a former lifeguard at Droitwich Spa Lido, providing some information on the history of the facility.

“In 1976 (the endless hot, dry summer), the Lido was taken over by Steve Raguz (Chateau Impney) in a very creative move.

Wychavon had recently been formed and was struggling to find a way of operating the Lido on an economic basis.

Steve Raguz was running the hotel with a good number of valuable staff from the Philippines. The hotel was quiet in the summer months and Raguz needed work to retain staff. I believe he took the pool on a ‘no fee’ basis.

Living as a schoolboy in Wick, I had qualified as a lifeguard at the (then new) Pershore Swimming Pool and was employed by Raguz to work at the Lido. Employment was fair for all, prices were fair for customers, service levels were high with the Filipinos in service positions. I believe everyone was happy with the formula and it continued after 1976.

I took the attached photo and it was somewhat surprising the see the dramatic difference between ‘then and now’. I subsequently went away to university and trained as a Naval Architect, thereafter living the dream on the coast in many countries, always working on the design of large passenger ships where my experience at the Lido held me in good stead whenever the subject of swimming pools arose.

Well done for restoring the pool, it’s a super facility and I’m sure the local population appreciates it as much today as ever.”

Wychavon Leisure wishes to thank Stephen for providing the information and photograph.

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