IN the wake of Storm Ciara communities watched on as high tides breached the sea walls in Brightlingsea.

As the water poured in beach huts were swept away.

And for the volunteers and team at Brightlingsea Lido there was devastation.

The lido was underwater.

The high tides meant the offices, changing rooms and the café were submerged.

The lido said it would need “a lot of help” to reopen once the flood waters subsided.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Within hours kind-hearted residents and volunteers had rallied round to help with the clean up.

Thousands of pounds in donations had come in.

“It has been wonderful and we have been overwhelmed by the community spirit,” said trustee Mick Barry.

“We have made a start and we have managed to get the ball rolling.

“We are looking to make really solid progress.

“Going forward we think it is going to happen again and we are looking to make everything above water levels and flood proof.

“We will make the whole thing as flood proof as we can.”

Brightlingsea Lido, in Promenade Way, opened in 1932 and is the only remaining public lido in Essex.

It was saved from closure in 2018 after Brightlingsea Town Council agreed to take on the lease from Tendring Council.

After storms in 2013, the lido was also left underwater.

Again, the community has stepped forward to help.

So far, more than £4,400 has been raised towards the appeal.

The Freemasons Arms pub in the town held a raffle helping to raise £2,200.

Between 70 and 80 singers visited St James’ Church in Brightlingsea to join their voices with the Women in Harmony Choir.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

They sang their hearts out in aid of the fund and the donations only event raised £452.

The lido team also has a JustGiving page and groups across the community have been raising money for them.

It is hoped the lido will be able to reopen to the public in May.

But the team was dealt a second blow with the outbreak of the coronavirus which has sent the public into isolation to contain the infection.

The future for the team, as for everyone, is somewhat uncertain but the work goes on.

Mr Barry said: “The volunteers are still around doing a bit of cleaning.

“We will have to review the whole project in light of what is happening nationally.

“To be honest it is probably one of the safest places to be but they may say no swimming pools can open.

“At the moment we are still hoping to open in May subject to any developments.

“We are working here as long as we can. We have got volunteers here out in the air.”

For updates visit Facebook and search Brightlingsea Lido.

To donate visit JustGiving and search for the lido.