Tropicana, Marine Parade, Weston-super-Mare

central pavilion building of the tropicana lido at weston-super-mare

Plate 1: The central pavilion building, looking north-west

Simon Roper was commissioned by North Somerset Council to record the buildings and structures of the outdoor swimming pool complex known as the Tropicana. It lies approximately 700m south of the Grand Pier (just visible in the background of Plate 4).

Started in 1936 and opening the following year, it was built out onto the main beach, just above the Mean High Water line. Originally known as The Pool, it comprised a large rectangular pool with a set of arc-shaped reinforced concrete diving boards at the west end, with the pool sloping up towards the east end where there was an artificial beach. On the north, south and west sides there were covered terraces providing seating. The entrance building on Marine Parade had a café on the first floor and changing rooms located in the wings either side. This was a major outdoor attraction in the resort but has been closed since 2000.

tropicana-weston-super-mare-4

Plate 2: Early 1950s postcard showing the The Art Deco diving platform, demolished in the early 1980s due to safety concerns, and the Pump House to the left which supplied the pool with sea water, also gone. View looking north-east

rear of the entrance building of the tropicana lido at weston-super-mare

Plate 3: Looking south-east to the rear of the entrance building. The cafe was on the upper floor.

The survey confirmed that most of the original external structure of the 1937 building is still present, constructed in Mendip limestone. Concrete blockwork additions probably date from the mid-twentieth century, with the most significant changes taking place in 1982–83 when the site became the ‘Tropicana’ and a huge new building was added on the south side. A few original Art Deco period features survive, including the swimming pool fountain (Plate 4) and wooden changing cubicles (Plate 5).

fountain of the tropicana swimming pool at weston-super-mare

Plate 4: Original fountain of the swimming pool, looking north-west

tropicana-weston-super-mare-2

Plate 5: Women’s changing room in north side wing with original cubicles

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