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Hundreds turn out to make it a record breaking weekend as Beccles Lido reopens

PUBLISHED: 20:31 28 May 2017 | UPDATED: 16:29 30 May 2017

The new giant inflatable is unveiled as Beccles Lido reopened for the new season. Pictures: Courtesy of Beccles Lido

The new giant inflatable is unveiled as Beccles Lido reopened for the new season. Pictures: Courtesy of Beccles Lido

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Record numbers made it an "awesome" weekend as a popular outdoor swimming pool reopened for the new season.

The new giant inflatable is unveiled as Beccles Lido reopened for the new season. Pictures: Courtesy of Beccles LidoThe new giant inflatable is unveiled as Beccles Lido reopened for the new season. Pictures: Courtesy of Beccles Lido

More than 1,700 people dived in to the Beccles Lido on Saturday and Sunday – with a new giant inflatable unveiled.

And after last year proved to be a record season at the lido – with 46,138 visitors passing through the gates – the new season has started in similar style.

Carnival Prince, Josh of Beccles, launches the new giant inflatable as Beccles Lido reopened for the new season. Pictures: Courtesy of Beccles LidoCarnival Prince, Josh of Beccles, launches the new giant inflatable as Beccles Lido reopened for the new season. Pictures: Courtesy of Beccles Lido

Beccles Lido director Shaun Crowley said: “It was an awesome opening day with 926 people through the gates on Saturday. The new inflatable proved a big hit.”

This was an increase of more than 500 people from last year’s opening day and up on the “best ever year” when 697 people attended the opening day in 2012.

The new giant inflatable is unveiled as Beccles Lido reopened for the new season. Pictures: Courtesy of Beccles LidoThe new giant inflatable is unveiled as Beccles Lido reopened for the new season. Pictures: Courtesy of Beccles Lido

And making the weekend more memorable, another 828 people visited the lido on Sunday.

Mr Crowley said: “On Saturday the queue was down to the end of ramp at the 7.30am opening. The first four in the queue were Daz, Zach, Owen and Richard who got to say hello to Luke Deal and all the BBC Radio Suffolk listeners just before we opened the turnstile!”

Beccles Lido reopens for the new season. Pictures: Courtesy of Beccles LidoBeccles Lido reopens for the new season. Pictures: Courtesy of Beccles Lido

Despite grey clouds and a rain shower at lunchtime, it did not deter the crowds as they “kept coming,” according to Mr Crowley, with the Splash Pool café busy all day long.

He added: “Huge apologies go to the Puddingmoor residents for crazy parking again, and a greater plea goes to all visitors to respect our neighbours and please don’t park on the yellow lines. In fact, why not come by bus or train and get 50p off entry.”

The lido were also welcomed carnival prince Josh Brabben, who has nominated the lido as his charity of the year.

Mr Crowley said: “We invited him down to launch our new giant inflatable, which proved a big hit with Josh, all the kids and some adults.

“All the lifeguards, kiosk kids and volunteers – old and new – are very tired but looking forward to welcoming more queues.

The pool is open weekdays, excluding Thursdays, from 7am to 6.30pm, and on Thursdays until 8pm, light permitting. At weekends it will open from 7.30am to 6.30pm.

The success of the lido’s opening weekend comes as this newspaper continues its Summer of Swimming campaign amid concerns that while swimming remains the country’s most popular sport, participation is falling and too many children are growing up without basic swimming skills.

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