Retro: When lido was Sheffield playground

Cheered up by the promise of a few warm days at last, thoughts of summers past inevitably turn to Millhouses Lido, that now-gone playground of the city.

Millhouses Park - Whit Bank Holiday -1968
Millhouses Park - Whit Bank Holiday -1968

Whereas the Sheffield youngsters of today might in future look back fondly at splashing about in the Peace Gardens fountains, the lido once drew thousands of sun-worshippers.

Years ago coach trips from across the country descended on Millhouses Lido and thousands of visitors a year poured through the park gates.

In the 1960s the park could attract up to 50,000 visitors on summer weekends to enjoy the boating lake and swimming pool.

In the early 1970s, the lido was one of the city attractions, along with the Hole in the Road, the Fiesta nightclub and Park Hill flats, that featured in a promotional film called Sheffield: City on the Move that was to appear at the start of the film The Full Monty.

In the 1980s, the lido was shut down and in the 1990s the paddling pools were also closed because of fears of water pollution.

But now, thanks to the efforts of the Friends of Millhouses Park, the old lido area has been turned into an adventure play area, skate park and Splash area, using money paid by developers building in the area.

The lido area was a sad sight in April 1994, when the lido was filled in by bulldozers and diggers and the changing rooms were flattened.

Millhouses is still a popular city park that’s busy at weekends. Frolicking in the cooling water on those seemingly endless and long-gone days of summer is now just a happy memory, though.