IT was clearly a place of choice for many a Sotonian who needed to cool off, as swimmers and sun worshippers flocked to the leisure facility in their droves.

From when the pool was opened in 1854, through to its closure in the early 80s, the Lido pulled in large crowds during the summer months.

In one heatwave during the 1970s more than 61,000 people dived into cooling waters in just three months.

Some years the pool failed to open. This happened for a number of reasons including rising costs, development plans and crumbling facilities.

The first open-air pool on the Lido site was built on the edge of Southampton Water in 1854 with the promise it would “surpass all bathing establishments in the country.”

Over the years the Lido was developed and improved, including a major redevelopment in 1930.

In 1977, swimmers took their last dip in the open-air pool as the centre had become shabby and was no longer economically viable to repair.

These pictures were taken on September 8, 1973, on the last day of the pool's opening for that particular season.