MANY readers will have happy memories of days out at the famous open air swimming pool at the Stewponey Hotel, Stourton.
This old beer mat advertising the lido comes from the collection of John Taylor of Kidderminster. The front announces the long opening hours over the summer while on the back is a map giving directions, rather confusingly aligned with south at the top.
Aside from the pool, the old pub was probably best known for its unusual name – the Stewponey and Lyttelton Arms Hotel in full.
The name dates from the 17th century and there are two theories to its origin; one that it comes from the Latin Stouri pons, meaning bridge on the Stour, after the nearby bridge. The other is that the pub was founded by a returning soldier from the War of the Spanish Succession and named for the hometown of his wife, Estepona, near Gibraltar, and over the years this became Stewponey.
A busy coaching inn on the road from Kidderminster to Wolverhampton, in the early 20th century the hotel was also a stop on the Kinver Light Railway. The hotel was rebuilt in 1936 to accommodate motorists and coach parties and that was when the lido was built.
Sadly, by the late 1960s the pool had fallen out of favour and it was abandoned. Left derelict the pool was reclaimed by nature but despite this there was often talk of reviving the lido. Plans came to naught and the whole hotel and pool complex was demolished in 2002 to make way for a new housing development.
Have you any memories or pictures to share of the Stewponey Lido? Contact dshaw@blackcoun trybugle.co.uk