Jubilee Pool Stories


Garfield Hall, Penlee House Gallery and Museum Penzance © The Artist’s Estate
Garfield Hall, Penlee House Gallery and Museum Penzance © The Artist’s Estate

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‘Jubilee Pool Stories’ is an intergenerational, community-focused, 3-year heritage project to collate, digitise, interpret and share a rich cultural archive. awen productions and artist Dr Jane Bailey are partnering with Jubilee Pool Penzance, Falmouth University, Penwith College and The Lux London to deliver exciting audio/visual activities for our local community and schools.

Jubilee Pool is the UK’s largest surviving open air, tidal swimming pool and is situated in Penzance, Cornwall. Much loved since it opened in 1935, the striking Grade II listed lido stirs vivid memories for a wide cross-section of people and represents a wealth of unrecorded and un-interpreted social and community history.

The project will connect with diverse community groups, volunteers, schools, experts and artists through participatory hands-on workshops and outreach activities. Audiences of all backgrounds, ages and abilities will be reached via exhibitions and online interactions. The project will also be placed within a wider discourse of UK Lidos.

The project will deliver an engaging, creative programme to re-present the art deco Lido and its stories, producing and sharing the archive and outcomes widely in accessible and interactive ways.

If you have an interest in local history or the arts, or just love the pool, and would like to join the Jubilee Pool research group, please email info@jubileepoolstories.co.uk. The opportunity will include training and research visits and the chance to help build a new archive.

To keep informed, visit www.awen.org.uk and sign up for the awen newsletter.


Barbara Santi, Lou Brett, Jane Bailey


Barbara Santi, Lou Brett, Jane Bailey


Nick Harpley


March 2018


Film screenings line up announced

We have two different film programmes coming to Helston and Penzance exploring themes related to lidos, swimming and watery adventures.

Monday 17th June | 7.30pm | CAST (Helston) | Suggested donations £4
Monday 24th June | 7.30pm | The Acorn (Penzance) | Suggested donation £4

Teign Spirit by Stuart Moore and Kayla Parker
Teign Spirit by Stuart Moore and Kayla Parker

Monday 17th June | 7.30pm | CAST (Helston)

Over 60 artists from across the UK working within moving image submitted films to our callout this Spring. We've selected an exciting array of films including work by Andy Sowerby, Ben Wigley, Rachael Allain, Stuart Moore and Kayla Parker and Tim Bowditch. Work from the collection of LUX, the artists' moving image agency will also complement the programme along with Q&A's by some of the artists and Benjamin Cook, Director of LUX.

Work from the LUX collection includes Cordelia Swann, Laura Povost, James Richards and Inger-Lise Hansen. 

The event will also include the premiere screening of new animations made by BA Animation students from Falmouth University as part of the Jubilee Pool Stories project. With Cast cafe food from 6.30pm. The film programme will start at 7.30pm.

Firedive by Tim Bowditch
Firedive by Tim Bowditch

Monday 24th June | 7.30pm | The Acorn (Penzance)

For our Acorn Theatre screening there will be a mix of contemporary films, documentaries, new animations, artists moving image work from LUX and as a special treat 1920s archive film from Screen London accompanied by live music by Rachel Bennett. 

Films include Taking the Waters a documentary about an 80-year tidal pool in Margate which has screened at Sheffield Documentary Film Festival (2018), Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival (2019) and Berlin British Short Film Festival (2019) to name but a few.

And keeping closer to home there will be a premiere screening of The Jubilee's synchronised swimmers' performance that took place at Jubilee Pool in 2010 to commemorate the pool's 75th anniversary.

This screening is part of Penzance's Golowan festival week celebrations.

We look forward to seeing you!

Watery Adventures in Film with Jubilee Pool Stories

Acorn poster
Acorn poster

Watery Adventures in Film with Jubilee Pool Stories

Two film screenings exploring themes related to lidos, swimming and watery adventures will be coming to the Acorn Theatre Penzance and CAST (Cornubian Arts & Science Trust) Helston in June. These programmes of short films bring together the work of artists and filmmakers from Cornwall and across the UK as part of Jubilee Pool Stories; an arts and heritage project celebrating and building a lasting cultural archive for Penzance’s much-loved lido, Jubilee Pool.

The screening at CAST at 7.30pmon Monday 17thJune will consist of artist’s moving image work from across the UK, including artists from the South West, in response to a callout for work related to ‘surface tensions and liquid properties’, complemented by work from the collection of LUX, the artists’ moving image agency.It will also include the premiere screening of new animations made by BA Animation students from Falmouth University as part of the Jubilee Pool Stories project. The new works animate oral histories about Jubilee Pool, collected from local people in Penzance by students on the Media Diploma at Penwith College. There will also be a Q&A by Benjamin Cook, director of LUX.

The screening at the Acorn Theatre at 7:30pm on Monday 24th June is part of Penzance’ Golowan Week celebrations and presents a mix of contemporary films, documentaries, new animations, 1920s archive films accompanied by live music and artists moving image work from the LUX.

For both screenings there is a suggested donation of £4.

“Putting the screenings together has been a really exciting process of connecting with other lidos, archives,arts organisations, and individual artists and filmmakers from across the UK” said Jubilee Pool Stories Co-DirectorJane Bailey. “We have been thrilled with the responses we’ve had and are really looking forward to sharing our programmes and our project with the wider community”.

Call for Moving Image Works


Jubilee Pool Stories/LUX are looking for your films…

Surface tension and liquid properties: ease into the water, break through ‘that peculiar boundary between worlds, that is both window and mirror, visible and invisible.’ Tony Hill

Jubilee Pool Stories is a three-year participative, creative project to generate, explore and showcase the rich, multi-faceted stories and histories of Jubilee Pool, and is funded by Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund, The Tanner Trust and Falmouth University

Situated in Penzance, Cornwall, Jubilee Pool is the UK’s largest surviving open air, tidal swimming pool. Much loved since it opened in 1935, this striking Grade II listed lido stirs vivid memories for a wide cross-section of people.

We invite artists and filmmakers from the UK and Ireland to submit their existing short, single-screen, moving image works for a screening responding to the notion of the lido as a place of surface tensions and liquid properties.  Two of the selected works will be from makers with a connection to the South-West of England.

Selected works will be shown in one of two screenings at the Acorn Theatre, Penzance, and CAST Helston, in June 2019. 

The screenings are presented in collaboration with LUX and selected artists will be invited to choose a work from the LUX Collection, Europe's largest collection of artists' moving image works, to show alongside their work. Selected artists will also receive a fee of £50. 

Submitted works should be a maximum of 10 minutes duration, be available in a digital file format and able to be previewed online. For the application form, or if you have a slightly longer film, or other questions, please contact us on info@jubileepoolstories.co.uk

Deadline: 1st April.

Successful applicants will be informed by April 18th. Due to limited resources we are unable to give feedback on unsuccessful applications, but will notify applicants of the outcome of their submission. 

Jubilee Pool Stories is produced by Barbara Santi and Lou Brett of awen productions CIC and Jane Bailey, in partnership with Jubilee Pool Penzance Ltd.

With support from CAST. 

For more info on the Jubilee Pool Stories project.

Winter 2018: New Animated Oral Histories

Animation still of woman swimming in Jubilee Pool Penzance
Animation Still copyright VelvetThunder/FalmouthUniversity/JubileePoolStories

The Jubilee Pool Stories team has spent an exciting winter period uncovering new lido histories, memories and artefacts for the Jubilee Pool online cultural archive and working with animation students to interpret oral history recordings in novel ways.

We have been working with BA Animation Students at Falmouth University to animate short oral histories from local residents recorded by Media Diploma Students at Penwith College. The results, which bring to life fascinating moments from the Lido’s past, will be included in a screening at the Acorn Theatre during Golowan Festival 2019.

This collaboration between Penwith College and Falmouth University continues in 2019 with more oral history recordings and animations, bringing the pool’s rich history to a younger and wider audience. So, we’re now on the hunt to interview more people with short stories/anecdotes about Jubilee Pool past or present. To be involved, please contact barbara@awen.org.uk

Photo: animation still from one of this year’s animations - copyright Velvet Thunder/Falmouth University/Jubilee Pool Stories.

Events Coming up - Photo Scanning days and Talk

Copyright Jubilee Pool Penzance Ltd
Copyright Jubilee Pool Penzance Ltd

Some dates for your dairies...

All events are held at The Exchange Gallery, Engine Room, Penzance http://newlynartgallery.co.uk/activities/jubilee-pool/

Thursday 30th Aug 4-5pm - A presentation by history sleuth and performer Linda Camidge exploring bathing prior to Jubilee Pool and how the people of Penzance responded as the Jubilee Pool was being built.
Saturday 1st Sept 1-4pm, add your part to Jubilee Pool Stories
Drop-in event: you are invited to bring your stories and photos of Jubilee Pool to be recorded / digitised by the Jubilee Pool Stories team. 
Thursday 13th Sept 11-2pm, add your part to Jubilee Pool Stories
Drop-in event: you are invited to bring your stories and photos of the Jubilee Pool to be recorded / digitised by the Jubilee Pool Stories team. 

4.8.2018 Exhibition opens

Our exhibition Jubilee Pool: then, now, to come at The Exchange Gallery, Engine Room, Penzance is now open! 

Saturday 4th August to Saturday 22nd September.

Learn about the history of the pool through a vibrant historical timeline, listen to oral histories including memories of the pool opening in 1935, watch breathtaking aerial footage by Jake Potter and look at lovely artworks and animation created by local schools. 

Artists include Jane Bailey, Lou Brett, Barbara Santi, Florence Browne, Dominica Williamson, Martha Dixon, Amanda Lorens and Jake Potter. The exhibition also presents information gathered by our Jubilee Pool Stories research group.

Jane, Florence and Lou finishing the exhibition
CHildren's artworks
Jane finishing off the exhibition
Lou and Florence putting up schools work
Research part of the exhibits
Early stages of setting up the exhibition
The timeline of Jubilee Pool

25.07.18 Work-in-Progress Exhibition. Exchange Gallery Summer 2018

Exhibition Invite

Jubilee Pool Stories will be holding an exhibition of work so far from 4th August to 22nd September at The Exchange Gallery, Penzance. The project has started gathering and recording the lido’s stories, photos and memorabilia. 'Jubilee Pool: Then, Now, to Come' will be the first opportunity in a three-year project to look at one of the UK's oldest and largest salt water lidos from new angles and explore its long-standing relationship with the community. Expect a vibrant, multimedia experience as animation, underwater photography, drawing, audio interviews and mini pool installations by schools bring the lido to life alongside work-in-progress by the Jubilee Pool Research Group; citizen-researchers who are uncovering and presenting some of the amazing array of Jubilee Pool-related stories.

Come and listen to newly-recorded oral histories and share your own stories and photographs with us on special community-interaction days. There will also be an opportunity to view stunning aerial footage of the lido and promenade. For more information, visit: http://newlynartgallery.co.uk/activities/jubilee-pool/ .


29.06.18 New Oral Histories

Penwith College Students learning to record oral histories
Penwith College Students learning to record oral histories

In June the project worked with Year 1 students from Penwith College Lens Based Media Diploma to record four new oral history interviews with people who have stories tell about Jubilee Pool. The students edited the recordings into concise, anecdotal soundbites to be animated by BA Animation students at Falmouth University in a new, collaborative partnership. Look out for animated short oral histories when our Jubilee Pool Stories website comes online next year. Our thanks to the members of Jubilee Pool Research Group and ‘Friends of Jubilee Pool’ who were interviewed.

In addition to the work with Penwith College in June, the project has recently recorded Evangeline, now in her nineties, who attended pool’s opening day in 1935. We have lots more plans to record stories and memories from further interviewees. If you, or someone you know has interesting memories of Jubilee Pool, please contact us on florence@awen.org.uk.



20.07.18 The Lido Becomes an Outdoor Classroom - St Maddern's School

Children jumping into Jubilee Pool in sunny weather
St Maddern's learning and playing at the pool

In July, artist Dominica Williamson and Class 2 from St Maddern’s School used the pool as an outdoor classroom focusing on aspects of the pool’s history and geography as well as using all their senses, their imagination and their art skills to make mini swimming pools in small fish tanks. The heatwave made for good swimming and picnicking and a great time was had by all. The mini pool installations will be a star attraction in the exhibition at the Exchange. Our thanks to Jubilee Pool for this fantastic learning opportunity.


15.06.18 Immersive Research with Trythall School

In June, artist and project director Jane Bailey worked with Class 1 at Trythall School on an immersive research project including a swim in the pool and some underwater photography. The children started by creating a fantastic list of questions about the pool. After their pool swim the children came back the next day for a talk from Angie Butler of ‘Friends of Jubilee Pool’ and did their own detective work about the pool’s past, each annotating an archive photo of the pool with observations and questions. Back in the classroom they did online research and added this to the larger scale versions of their research boards. Some of this research work will be shown as part of the Jubilee Pool timeline in the show at the Exchange Gallery.   




25.05.18 'Every Photo Tells a Story': Animation with St Marys C of E

Still from animation by children at St Marys C of E School
Still from animation by children at St Marys C of E School

In May Class 4 at St Marys C of E School Penzance worked with artist Amanda Lorens to produce a fascinating animation called ‘Every Photo Tells a Story’, cleverly weaving archive and present-day photos with drawn animation and newly collected oral history audio footage to tell an imaginative story based on real events.  Class 4 teacher Nicki Bonell said:

'Our children loved being involved in the project, which was creative, fun and fully inclusive. They learnt about the history of Jubilee Pool and gained skills in animation. All the children genuinely surprised themselves with the quality of their art work. It will be great to take them to the gallery to see their work on display as it will really boost their confidence.'


27.04.18 Involving Schools in the Project

Workshop at the lido with St Maddern's School
Workshop at the lido with St Maddern's School

During the first year of the project Jubilee Pool Stories will be working with local primary schools to explore the Lido’s past, present and future using a whole range of exciting creative mediums including plans for animation, underwater photography and making their own mini pools. Using archive photos and stories about the Lido the children will find out more about what Penzance was like over different generations and how people use the pool today. The school children are excited that their work will form part of a work-in-progress exhibition at the Exchange Gallery in August entitled ‘Jubilee Pool: Then, Now, to Come.


26.03.18 Jubilee Pool Stories Research Group

Since March 2018 our Jubilee Pool Stories Research Group has been meeting to begin to gather, record and interpret photographs and stories about the pool with the ultimate aim of creating a comprehensive and lasting multimedia archive for Jubilee Pool. This wonderful group of citizen researchers has begun investigating diverse aspects of the lido, from changing poolside fashions to the history of competitive swimming and water-polo at the pool, and how Penzance came to have such a remarkable lido? The group visited Cornwall Records Office in July and enjoyed in introduction to their extensive archive of council minutes, maps and photographs, all adding to our understanding of the pool’s place in Penzance’ social history. Some of the group’s initial research will be included in the project’s first exhibition at the Exchange Gallery this summer. Many thanks to the Hypatia Trust for the use of their lovely rooms for regular group meetings.

Angie Butler speaking at the Research Group meeting
Angie Butler speaking at the Research Group meeting