Campaigners brave the storm for lido vigil in Kenilworth - The Leamington Observer

Campaigners brave the storm for lido vigil in Kenilworth

STORMY weather did not stop hundreds turning out to support a vigil by lido campaigners in Kenilworth.

The overnight vigil – Lights Out for Kenilworth Lido – was held to highlight Warwick District Council’s plans to demolish the town’s lido in 2022.

The vigil started at 6am on Friday and ended at noon the following day. It included a procession into the town centre.

The campaigners faced up to the worst of Storm Arwen including rain, sleet, snow and gale force winds – but their resolve was undiminished.

Paralympic gold medallist Melanie Barratt, a keen outdoor swimmer who grew up in Kenilworth, was present for the whole of the vigil.

She said demolishing the lido would be an absolute tragedy, and added the lido was an important facility for disabled people as other options for outdoor swimming locally were lakes and rivers which were very difficult, if not impossible to get to.

A spokesperson for the campaign group said: “Despite the appalling weather and the fact that Kenilworth’s Christmas light switch on was cancelled on Friday night, we were staggered by the level of support from local people including youngsters who dropped by throughout the vigil, much greater than we could have hoped for given the circumstances.

“We heard many wonderful stories about people’s experiences in the outdoor pool and the message that constantly and clearly came through was that it must not be allowed to go.

“One passer by also provided us with a copy of footage of a gala at the outdoor pool filmed in 1947 which has now been shared widely on local social media. Others left written comments on a “Memory Wall” which are now being collated and will be shared.

“An additional 98 signatures were added to the campaign group’s petition during the course of the vigil which now stands at 2,861.”

The campaign group is planning to mark the scheduled closing of the Abbey Fields complex on December 18.

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