Jubilee Pool Stories


Garfield Hall, Penlee House Gallery and Museum Penzance © The Artist’s Estate
Garfield Hall, Penlee House Gallery and Museum Penzance © The Artist’s Estate

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‘Jubilee Pool Stories’ is an intergenerational, community-focused, 3-year heritage project to collate, digitise, interpret and share a rich cultural archive. awen productions and artist Dr Jane Bailey are partnering with Jubilee Pool Penzance, Falmouth University, Penwith College and The Lux London to deliver exciting audio/visual activities for our local community and schools.

Jubilee Pool is the UK’s largest surviving open air, tidal swimming pool and is situated in Penzance, Cornwall. Much loved since it opened in 1935, the striking Grade II listed lido stirs vivid memories for a wide cross-section of people and represents a wealth of unrecorded and un-interpreted social and community history.

The project will connect with diverse community groups, volunteers, schools, experts and artists through participatory hands-on workshops and outreach activities. Audiences of all backgrounds, ages and abilities will be reached via exhibitions and online interactions. The project will also be placed within a wider discourse of UK Lidos.

The project will deliver an engaging, creative programme to re-present the art deco Lido and its stories, producing and sharing the archive and outcomes widely in accessible and interactive ways.

If you have an interest in local history or the arts, or just love the pool, and would like to join the Jubilee Pool research group, please email florence@awen.org.uk. The opportunity will include training and research visits and the chance to help build a new archive.

To keep informed, visit www.awen.co.uk and sign up for the awen newsletter.


Barbara Santi, Lou Brett, Jane Bailey


Barbara Santi, Lou Brett, Jane Bailey


Nick Harpley


March 2018


Events Coming up - Photo Scanning days and Talk

Copyright Jubilee Pool Penzance Ltd
Copyright Jubilee Pool Penzance Ltd

Some dates for your dairies...

All events are held at The Exchange Gallery, Engine Room, Penzance http://newlynartgallery.co.uk/activities/jubilee-pool/

Thursday 30th Aug 4-5pm - A presentation by history sleuth and performer Linda Camidge exploring bathing prior to Jubilee Pool and how the people of Penzance responded as the Jubilee Pool was being built.
Saturday 1st Sept 1-4pm, add your part to Jubilee Pool Stories
Drop-in event: you are invited to bring your stories and photos of Jubilee Pool to be recorded / digitised by the Jubilee Pool Stories team. 
Thursday 13th Sept 11-2pm, add your part to Jubilee Pool Stories
Drop-in event: you are invited to bring your stories and photos of the Jubilee Pool to be recorded / digitised by the Jubilee Pool Stories team. 

4.8.2018 Exhibition opens

Our exhibition Jubilee Pool: then, now, to come at The Exchange Gallery, Engine Room, Penzance is now open! 

Saturday 4th August to Saturday 22nd September.

Learn about the history of the pool through a vibrant historical timeline, listen to oral histories including memories of the pool opening in 1935, watch breathtaking aerial footage by Jake Potter and look at lovely artworks and animation created by local schools. 

Artists include Jane Bailey, Lou Brett, Barbara Santi, Florence Browne, Dominica Williamson, Martha Dixon, Amanda Lorens and Jake Potter. The exhibition also presents information gathered by our Jubilee Pool Stories research group.

Jane, Florence and Lou finishing the exhibition
CHildren's artworks
Jane finishing off the exhibition
Lou and Florence putting up schools work
Research part of the exhibits
Early stages of setting up the exhibition
The timeline of Jubilee Pool

25.07.18 Work-in-Progress Exhibition. Exchange Gallery Summer 2018

Exhibition Invite

Jubilee Pool Stories will be holding an exhibition of work so far from 4th August to 22nd September at The Exchange Gallery, Penzance. The project has started gathering and recording the lido’s stories, photos and memorabilia. 'Jubilee Pool: Then, Now, to Come' will be the first opportunity in a three-year project to look at one of the UK's oldest and largest salt water lidos from new angles and explore its long-standing relationship with the community. Expect a vibrant, multimedia experience as animation, underwater photography, drawing, audio interviews and mini pool installations by schools bring the lido to life alongside work-in-progress by the Jubilee Pool Research Group; citizen-researchers who are uncovering and presenting some of the amazing array of Jubilee Pool-related stories.

Come and listen to newly-recorded oral histories and share your own stories and photographs with us on special community-interaction days. There will also be an opportunity to view stunning aerial footage of the lido and promenade. For more information, visit: http://newlynartgallery.co.uk/activities/jubilee-pool/ .


29.06.18 New Oral Histories

Penwith College Students learning to record oral histories
Penwith College Students learning to record oral histories

In June the project worked with Year 1 students from Penwith College Lens Based Media Diploma to record four new oral history interviews with people who have stories tell about Jubilee Pool. The students edited the recordings into concise, anecdotal soundbites to be animated by BA Animation students at Falmouth University in a new, collaborative partnership. Look out for animated short oral histories when our Jubilee Pool Stories website comes online next year. Our thanks to the members of Jubilee Pool Research Group and ‘Friends of Jubilee Pool’ who were interviewed.

In addition to the work with Penwith College in June, the project has recently recorded Evangeline, now in her nineties, who attended pool’s opening day in 1935. We have lots more plans to record stories and memories from further interviewees. If you, or someone you know has interesting memories of Jubilee Pool, please contact us on florence@awen.org.uk.



20.07.18 The Lido Becomes an Outdoor Classroom - St Maddern's School

Children jumping into Jubilee Pool in sunny weather
St Maddern's learning and playing at the pool

In July, artist Dominica Williamson and Class 2 from St Maddern’s School used the pool as an outdoor classroom focusing on aspects of the pool’s history and geography as well as using all their senses, their imagination and their art skills to make mini swimming pools in small fish tanks. The heatwave made for good swimming and picnicking and a great time was had by all. The mini pool installations will be a star attraction in the exhibition at the Exchange. Our thanks to Jubilee Pool for this fantastic learning opportunity.


15.06.18 Immersive Research with Trythall School

LIfeguard and school children at Jubilee Pool
Trythall School learning at the lido

In June, artist and project director Jane Bailey worked with Class 1 at Trythall School on an immersive research project including a swim in the pool and some underwater photography. The children started by creating a fantastic list of questions about the pool. After their pool swim the children came back the next day for a talk from Angie Butler of ‘Friends of Jubilee Pool’ and did their own detective work about the pool’s past, each annotating an archive photo of the pool with observations and questions. Back in the classroom they did online research and added this to the larger scale versions of their research boards. Some of this research work will be shown as part of the Jubilee Pool timeline in the show at the Exchange Gallery.   




25.05.18 'Every Photo Tells a Story': Animation with St Marys C of E

Still from animation by children at St Marys C of E School
Still from animation by children at St Marys C of E School

In May Class 4 at St Marys C of E School Penzance worked with artist Amanda Lorens to produce a fascinating animation called ‘Every Photo Tells a Story’, cleverly weaving archive and present-day photos with drawn animation and newly collected oral history audio footage to tell an imaginative story based on real events.  Class 4 teacher Nicki Bonell said:

'Our children loved being involved in the project, which was creative, fun and fully inclusive. They learnt about the history of Jubilee Pool and gained skills in animation. All the children genuinely surprised themselves with the quality of their art work. It will be great to take them to the gallery to see their work on display as it will really boost their confidence.'


27.04.18 Involving Schools in the Project

Workshop at the lido with St Maddern's School
Workshop at the lido with St Maddern's School

During the first year of the project Jubilee Pool Stories will be working with local primary schools to explore the Lido’s past, present and future using a whole range of exciting creative mediums including plans for animation, underwater photography and making their own mini pools. Using archive photos and stories about the Lido the children will find out more about what Penzance was like over different generations and how people use the pool today. The school children are excited that their work will form part of a work-in-progress exhibition at the Exchange Gallery in August entitled ‘Jubilee Pool: Then, Now, to Come.


26.03.18 Jubilee Pool Stories Research Group

Since March 2018 our Jubilee Pool Stories Research Group has been meeting to begin to gather, record and interpret photographs and stories about the pool with the ultimate aim of creating a comprehensive and lasting multimedia archive for Jubilee Pool. This wonderful group of citizen researchers has begun investigating diverse aspects of the lido, from changing poolside fashions to the history of competitive swimming and water-polo at the pool, and how Penzance came to have such a remarkable lido? The group visited Cornwall Records Office in July and enjoyed in introduction to their extensive archive of council minutes, maps and photographs, all adding to our understanding of the pool’s place in Penzance’ social history. Some of the group’s initial research will be included in the project’s first exhibition at the Exchange Gallery this summer. Many thanks to the Hypatia Trust for the use of their lovely rooms for regular group meetings.

Angie Butler speaking at the Research Group meeting
Angie Butler speaking at the Research Group meeting