Ilkley Lido – SWNS

Nine different lottery victors with winnings that would total $20 million banded together and restored an historic lido to its former glory in West Yorks, England.

A lido is an open-air swimming pool open to the public—and Ilkley Lido is regarded as one of the best in the country, but the landscape has been left to turn almost ‘threadbare’ in recent years.

Now, thanks to the team of lottery winners, the grounds were transformed by new planter boxes full of eye-catching color and glorious flower blooms.

They spent the day building the boxes, then positioning them to line the driveway from the café to the mushroom-shaped pool, where thousands of bathers walk throughout the summer.

Inspired by a photograph of the Lido from the 1930s, they also installed hanging baskets to put on display around the café area to recreate the scene.

Duty officer Jodie King was amazed by the difference.

“I was taking a look at the pictures from the past. It looked amazing… and having that link to the past with a modern twist is breathtaking.”

Bathers at the Lido in the 1950s

“A lot of our older generation customers will have seen it when we had the flowers so it will be a great link to their childhood.

The Lido, which was built in 1935, is one of only 127 Lidos still remaining in England and can attract up to 4,000 visitors a day during the busy summer months.

Ilkley Lido (after) – SWNS

The unheated pool is 46 meters wide (150 feet) and boasts views of the famous Ilkley Moors.

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The lido, with the changing rooms and cafe on its grounds, is a grade II listed historic building, noted for its unusual timber-framed vernacular style.

Past Lottery winners celebrate finished planters in West Yorks, May 24, 2023 – SWNS

Sarah Ibbetson, from nearby Leeds, scooped up £3.1million in the National Lottery in 2002, and numbers as one of the regular visitors when her children were younger.

“This is such an amazing local facility,” said Sarah who pitched in with her husband. “We frequently brought our children here and have so many happy memories.

“It is wonderful to be back here, bringing color and creativity and restoring the Lido to how it would have looked in its heyday.”

67-year-old Elaine Thompson, from Newcastle, who won £2.7M on her wedding anniversary in 1995, said she had “a brilliant time” contributing to the community.

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“I’ve always said it’s not about the win, it’s about what you do with it and it’s great to give back. I’m 28 years into the win and, it’s been a great 28 years.”

Planter boxes installed – SWNS

“It will certainly be a very special and ‘colorful’ welcome this 2023 season.”

The Lido was designed by Archibald Skinner, the town’s surveyor and water engineer at the time, as part of the Silver Jubilee celebrations for King George V.

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Joining Sarah, Aldan and Elaine on the project were: Gary Henry, from County Durham, who won £4.4M in 2008; Susan and Michael Crossland, from Mirfield, who won £1.2M in 2008; Trish Emson and Graham Norton, from Rotherham, who won £1.7M in 2003; Elaine and Rob Leason, from East Riding of Yorkshire, who scooped a £1.4M share of a win in 2005; Alex Best, from Leeds, who won £1M in 2018; Margaret Storey, from Baildon, who won £1.4M in 1998; and Darren and Kate Donaghey, from Newcastle, who won £1M in 2018.

See some drone footage of their work day—no speakers needed…

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