12 things you probably did if you grew up in Ipswich in the 1980s
PUBLISHED: 12:31 15 May 2017 | UPDATED: 09:02 16 May 2017
Did you grow up in Ipswich in the 1980s? If the answer is yes, then the chances are you did at least a few of these things - but tell us what else we’ve missed in the comments below.
1. Cooled off in Broomhill Pool
Pretty much anyone growing up in Ipswich in the 80s would’ve spent a hot summer day in the lido at Sherrington Road. But were you brave enough to make the jump from the top diving board?
The pool closed in 2002, but the good days may return - Fusion Lifestyle is putting the final touches to an application for millions of pounds of Lottery funding to restore the lido.
2. Indie nights at Hollywood nightclub
You can tell the age of people in Ipswich by how they refer to Hollywood nightclub. Of course, it will always be Hollywood’s to us who went there in the late 80s, but it later became Kartouche and then Zest before its closure.
At its peak, it was famous for its Monday indie nights, and people would queue up over the Princes Street bridge to get in.
3. Spent New Year’s Eve on the Cornhill
Every year, without fail, an ENORMOUS crowd of revellers would gather on the Cornhill as the clock struck midnight. If you don’t believe us, look at these pictures.
We’re not sure when this stopped being a thing, but we don’t believe it’s happened for a number of years. Can anyone enlighten us? Perhaps it could be resurrected when we have a new-look Cornhill in a few years?
4. Went sledging in Christchurch Park
While there are undoubtedly some great places to sledge in Christchurch Park, we must give honourable mentions to Holywells Park and Rushmere Heath. The latter had a particularly popular spot in the areas of the 17th and 18th holes of Rushmere golf club.
And 1987 was a vintage year for sledging. Some particularly heavy snow fell in the January, as shown by these pictures.
5. The great storm of 1987
And on the subject of the weather in 1987, who can forget the storm in October 1987? In Suffolk, trees fell, electricity cables were brought down, hundreds of homes were damaged, and schools forced to close.
6. Played marbles on drain covers
PlayStations? The latest iPads? Even if they’d been available, we wouldn’t have wanted them – we had marbles, and drain covers. Now this wasn’t exactly an ‘Ipswich’ thing, but it was certainly very popular among youngsters in the town in the early 80s.
We can’t even remember the rules, but it was something to do with knocking your opponent’s marble into a hole. It was much more exciting than it sounds - and cheaper than a ZX Spectrum.
7. A night at the movies - either the ABC or Odeon
There was no shortage of great films in the 80s - Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Back to the Future, E.T., Die Hard... and no shortage of places to watch them.
There were two cinemas in the town in the early 1980s - the ABC in the Buttermarket, and the Odeon in Lloyds Avenue. When the Odeon closed in the early 1980s, it briefly moved to the Gaumont.
8. Cheered on Sir Bobby’s Ipswich Town
We have to mention the Blues. The decade started with Bobby Robson’s team winning the UEFA Cup in 1981 - watch the highlights of the second leg of the final here. John Wark scored 36 goals from midfield that season. WE REPEAT - 36! Let’s hope Cole Skuse produces that sort of form next season.
But the decade took a nosedive in 1986 when the Blues were relegated into the Second Division, and it would be 1992 before they returned to the top flight.
9. Went to gigs at the Gaumont
Rock giants U2, Bon Jovi, The Stranglers, Iron Maiden, Motorhead, The Kinks, Tina Turner and Dire Straits all played at the Gaumont in the 80s - the latter two both going on to play at Portman Road in the 90s. And, of course, the town’s very own Nik Kershaw.
But if you didn’t fancy that, the Co-op Juniors could be relied on to put on a good show over the festive period. Were you at any of these shows? Let us know in the comments below.
10. Bought every Nik Kershaw record (on vinyl or cassette, obviously)
A true Ipswich legend. He deserves his own entry simply because he was such a star in the mid-80s, releasing a succession of chart-topping hits including Wouldn’t it be Good, Don Quixote and The Riddle. He also played at Live Aid - watch his performance here.
The former Northgate Grammar School for Boys pupil is still performing live, and has also appeared at a number of 80s revival events.
11. Watched Keith Deller stun the darts world
While we’re on the subject of local heroes, who can forget Keith Deller’s sensational victory in the Embassy World Professional Darts Championship in 1983?
He beat red hot favourite Eric “The Crafty Cockney” Bristow in the final leg with an outrageous 138 check-out. Relive that magical moment here.
12. Regular trips to Ipswich Market at Civic Centre
There was a bustling market based at Civic Centre – in the shadow of the then headquarters of Ipswich Borough Council.
You could buy almost anything, and we recall a particularly good line in 80s men’s ‘fashions’ - the likes of Leo Gemilli jumpers. We’d be very surprised if they made a comeback.
Have we missed anything? Leave your memories in the comments below.
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