Remains of Knap Lido (there / not there)
The Knap Swimming Pool, Barry's "Jewel in the Crown". This was the largest and one of the best known outdoor swimming pools in the country, with at one time a water polo team, a swimming club and a lifeguard club, with a combined membership of over 250.
This was built in the 1920s by unemployed workers on a docket system, with funds from the Unemployed Grants Committee. The Lake and Pool was built on the bed of the old Cadoxton River which flowed from the Watchtower Bay end of the pool, towards Bindles, joining the brook which used to run through Romilly Park and out to sea at the Pebble Beach.
The Knap Pool was built as a tidal pool, designed to be filled at high tide by means of a sluice gate, which opened when the pressure of the water outside the pool was greater than pressure of the water in the pool. This system was discontinued when a gas engine was installed, allowing water to be pumped into the pool at high tide. This pump was installed at the deep end near the diving boards. The pool is one of the largest open-air pools in Britain, is 120 yards long and 30 yards wide, and contains over 1,000,000 gallons of water.
On its completion the pool at the shallow end was surrounded by changing rooms similar to the bathing huts at Barry Island but without wheels. The last one was removed in the 1950's.
The heyday of the pool and lake was the 50's, when over 3,000 people visited the pool daily on Bank Holiday weekends, and over 1,500 daily during the school holidays. Most of these were "locals" who considered the pool to be theirs. It was often said that "Barry Island was for Trippers, but that Porthkerry and The Knap were ours".