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Cambridge City Council

Students' artwork celebrates Jesus Green Lido centenary

10 August 2023

Student's illustration to celebrate Jesus Green Lido centenary
Student's illustration to celebrate Jesus Green Lido centenary
Student's illustration to celebrate Jesus Green Lido centenary

Anglia Ruskin University students have helped to mark the hundredth anniversary of Cambridge’s Jesus Green Lido – the longest outdoor pool in Britain – with 30 unique lamp post banners which pay tribute to the iconic pool’s history.

The series of artworks has been designed by Anglia Ruskin University’s first-year BA Illustration students as part of a project organised by the Friends of Jesus Green Lido, and supported by the council's Recreation team and Better (which manages the pool alongside the council).

The idea for the project came from The Friends of Jesus Green Lido and was project-managed by Caroline Lewis. The students’ brief was to come up with eye-catching designs that celebrate Jesus Green Lido’s centenary.

Caroline Lewis, Friends of Jesus Green Lido, explained: “We had a series of meetings with the students, telling them about the Lido’s history and sharing old photos of the pool. They then visited the Lido to experience its amazing atmosphere and wonderful community for themselves. We are delighted with the quality and diversity of the designs from the students, the flags are a brilliant addition to Jesus Green and the Lido. The students’ response to the brief has been fresh and exciting. We are lucky to have such talented students to work on the project.”

Cllr Mairéad Healy, Cambridge City Council’s Executive Councillor for Communities, said: “These banners are fantastic – I’m so impressed with the quality of each piece of artwork and grateful to all the students for their creativity. Each banner tells a visual story of the Lido’s vibrant history, its role as a community hub, and the joy it has brought to generations of Cambridge’s residents and visitors alike. They are a fitting tribute to the Lido in its hundredth year. If you’ve not visited the Lido before, perhaps this centenary year is the perfect time to do so!”

Black and white photo of swimmers from the 1920s

Photo of swimmers at the Lido in the 1920s

Allan Drummond, Senior Lecturer: BA (Hons) Illustration, Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), said: “Opportunities to work with live briefs are essential to students. It is the illustrator’s job to collaborate with clients and the Lido centenary project was fantastic because it enabled our students to meet real clients, to develop and discuss visual ideas with them and to deliver final artwork that solved a real life problem - how to promote the existence of the Lido, its history and the joy of swimming outside. The brief encompassed more than 30 flags and so enabled every student’s design to be considered.”

Frances Ives, Associate Lecturer: BA (Hons) Illustration, Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University, said: “I am so proud to see the flags flying in such a wonderful position across Jesus Green. To be able to see all the students’ hard work come together to celebrate the centenary is in itself a celebration of the communities across Cambridge as well as the facility. The range of illustration styles, people and seasons make for a vibrant, joyful cycle through the park - now I just need to brave the pool..."

Daryl Emes, Partnership Manager for Better, a social enterprise which runs the Lido in partnership with Cambridge City Council, said: "From the first time we met with staff and students, to the installation of the artwork in the Lido and across Jesus Green, we have been blown away by their creativity, skill level and professionalism. We are thrilled to have these artworks in place and we encourage everyone to come down and see them when they visit. The positive feedback we have had has been overwhelming and we especially love how each student has captured a unique aspect of the Lido, including its history as well as its place now in the community."

A number of centenary celebrations are being hosted during 2023, including a family fun day on Monday 28 August, from 7am to 7pm. There will be something for all ages, with children’s activities, music, a barbecue and more. Find out more about the centenary celebrations and how to book on the Friends of Jesus Green Lido’s website. Or find out about timetables and costs for visiting the Lido