‘Celebrating Portishead Open Air Pool’ – a full illustrated history by John Birkinshaw

Celebrating Portishead Open Air Pool, a fully illustrated history by John Birkinshaw of Portishead Pool Community Trust, will be published on Friday 23 November by Clevedon Community Press, the Publishing Press of Clevedon Community Bookshop Co-operative. Its retail price is £9.95.

This third publication from Clevedon Community Press charts the history of the open air pool from when the suggestion that it should be built was first mooted in 1924 through to its opening by Portishead Urban District Council in 1962, and onto the present day. Fully illustrated in both black & white and colour, Celebrating Portishead Open Air Pool includes many anecdotes and memories from people involved in building the Pool and in its subsequent life, as well as information and extracts from official records such as council minutes. In 2008, after several years of poor attendances and general decline, the Pool was in danger that it might close and be demolished. A local campaign STOP (save the open air pool) led to the establishment of Portishead Pool Community Trust and today, ten years later, Celebrating Portishead Open Air Pool marks the success of the Pool, this year attracting a record of more than 53,000 visitors. This well researched publication will be of considerable interest to residents of North Somerset, visitors to the area and, more widely, to local historians and those involved in the increasingly popular world of lidos and open air swimming.

Clevedon Community Bookshop Co-operative and Portishead Pool Community Trust, two ‘not-for-profit’ local organizations, have worked together in publishing Celebrating Portishead Open Air Pool, thus contributing to documenting our rich history in North Somerset. The book will be on sale from Saturday 24 November and will be officially launched to the public in Café Lido at the Pool on Friday 30 November at 7.30pm, where the author will be available to sign copies. Everyone is welcome and there is no need to book, but if you want to make sure of a chance to chat to John and buy a copy of the book, why not order a VIP ticket on Eventbrite for £3.50 + booking fee.  The ticket price will include a welcome glass of wine, beer or a soft drink and a 10% discount off a copy of the book.

To order an online copy of the book, you can contact Chris Swingler at enquiries@clevedoncommunutybookshop.coop.

John’s book will also be available from Clevedon Community Bookshop, 29 Copse Rd, Clevedon BS21 7QN and in Portishead at the Pool and Café Lido, Summit Leisure and Flagship Boutique in the High Street.