CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Bathing shoot

Photographer Ruth Corney - known for her stunning pictures of the Kenwood Ladies Pond and the Parliament Hill Lido - has snapped a year in the life of an open-air swimming pool

20 June, 2019 — By Dan Carrier

An example of Ruth Corney’s photos of Park Road Lido

IT has been providing a refreshing dip for nine decades – and now a year in the life of an open-air swimming pool is being chronicled to mark its 90th birthday.

Highgate Newtown-based photographer Ruth Corney started the project at Park Road Lido in Crouch End on Christmas Day after being approached by the pool’s user group. Ruth is known for her stunning pictures of the Kenwood Ladies Pond and the Parliament Hill Lido – some of which have been reproduced as postcards.

“They had seen my pictures so they approached me,” she said. “I started photographing swimmers from Christmas Day onwards and I am doing the project over a year.”

When the pool opened in 1929, facilities included a tea room and pavilion and was only one of two purpose-built outdoor pools in London when its waters were first disturbed.

Falling numbers and budget cuts meant the lido closed in 1986 – but campaigners ensured it would reopen in 1992. Now heated, it has once again become a celebrated place for swimmers, from serious keep-fit addicts to families.

For Ruth, photographing the pool and those who take a regular constitutional there offers a unique subject.

“I think you see people at their most natural when they are in their swimming costumes and that makes for a good subject,” she said.

“You get all sorts of shapes and sizes. It makes it feel that it is a very democratic place to take pictures.”

The photographs are on display in the foyer of the Park Road Swimming Pool, Park Road, N8

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