One of Surbiton’s Lost Treasures

Surbiton’s Lost Blue Lagoon (courtesy of Wikipedia) or the Lido (courtesy of Kingston Heritage).

These were lost due to development in 1979. What future hold for Seething Wells Filter Bed ? Perhaps a Lido again ? Nature reserve ? Community project ? Protected environment ?


With all this hot weather, we thought you might appreciate a trip down Memory Lane, or more precisely, Raeburn Avenue, with these wonderful pictures of Surbiton Lagoon in its heyday. The Lagoon was closed for repairs in 1979 and never reopened, there is now a housing development on the site.

Exterior view (K2-1176):

Surbiton Lagoon was a council owned open air swimming pool in Raeburn Avenue, Surbiton. It was built in 1933 and covered 7 acres. As well as the pool, it provided free parking, a cycle track, 3 hard tennis courts and a sand pit. There was also a cafe with a raised tea terrace, open all year round. During winter, there was an indoor practice cricket wicket and table tennis facilities.

Pool and Terraces (K2-1901)

The pool itself was 165x90ft and varied in depth from 3 to 9ft. It held half a million gallons of water. There was stepped terracing around the pool for spectators to use. During galas and water polo matches this could accommodate up to 1000 people.

The pool was open 7 days a week, May to September and cost 1s for adults, 6d for children in 1961, plus 6d extra per person on Sundays. Monthly and season tickets were available.

Diving in (K2-2280)

There were 1m and 3m spring boards and 1m, 3m and 5m fixed boards for diving, plus chutes for adults and children.

Toddlers’ Pool (KT115)

Toddlers had their own shallow pool at the Lagoon.

In the background you can see the dressing room accommodation which included cubicles and lockers, keys for which were kept by an attendant, plus communal changing areas for each sex. Users could hire costumes, trunks, bathing caps, towels and deck chairs ‘at a nominal charge’ and by leaving a deposit.

Plant Room – Filtration (KT115)

The water in the pool was continuously filtered and thorough cleansed every 6 hours. Samples were taken 3 times daily to check the purity of the water.


A popular leisure facility (KT115)

This is Surbiton Lagoon on 3rd August 1945, when attendance peaked 3,600.

During August (except bank holidays), child admission lowered to 3d on weekdays to keep them busy during the school holidays.

On a different note, during World War Two, the Surrey Comet reported that 150 people regularly sought refuge at Surbiton Lagoon’s air raid shelter which had only been built to accommodate 70 people.