STAFF at the Petersfield Open Air Swimming Pool are feeling buoyant after the success of a ladies’-only evening.

The pool held its first Ladies’ Lido event in late July with around 30 women snapping up tickets for an evening of bathing and bubbly.

And with more splashing out on tickets for a twilight swim last Wednesday, it’s clear this summer isn’t going to be a washout at the “jewel in the crown of Petersfield”.

The pool’s new chair of trustees Paul Milner said: “We had a good June which was nice because it’s not always the best month as the schools haven’t broken up by then.

“We want to try a few things and take a few risks and see how it goes. We’ve now got a booking system, for instance, and there’s lots we want to capitalise on.”

Areas for capitalisation include the pool’s water quality as it’s among the UK’s best and is number one in a ‘Top Trumps’ of the nation’s lidos. It also came sixth in a survey of the UK’s best ‘hidden’ outdoor swimming experiences by bath retailer Showers to You.

Paul and his team hope the plaudits about the pool’s water quality will make it more attractive to wild swimmers given ongoing concerns about the level of sewage around the UK’s coastline.

He added: “People are often advised not to swim in the sea when it’s raining or for three days afterwards because of the discharges.

“No-one really swims here in the rain so we want to encourage wild swimmers to come here because of the water quality and how quiet it can be when it’s raining.”

Last year’s record-breaking heatwave was a double-edged sword as gate income rose as steeply as the mercury. But there were perennial long queues and chlorine costs went through the roof as Ukraine is a major producer.

Furthermore, the trust is still recovering from the pandemic as they took out a bounce-bank loan.

Mr Miller believes there would have been more feet through the door if a booking system was installed earlier, as people were not previously confident of getting in on hot days.