Ipswich: Students plunge into the past at Broomhill Pool

IPSWICH: They are the lost generation – the youngsters who have never known the joys of swimming in one of the town’s most treasured secret venues.

Around 200 students from Westbourne Sports College took a trip down memory lane this week, stepping inside Broomhill swimming pool for the first time.

For the year eight pupils, all aged between 12 and 13, it was their first glimpse of the pool which holds countless memories for their parents and grandparents.

The pool, which is nestled in parkland in Sherrington Road, was closed to the public in 2003 after 65 glorious years serving dozens of generations in the town.

And in their bid to re-open the Grade II listed lido for future generations, the Broomhill Pool Trust is keen to throw open the doors to youngsters to reveal the potential fun that lies behind the gates.

Mark Ling, chairman of the trust, said it was “wonderful” to hear the sounds of children laughing at the pool once more.

“We have a close affinity with Westbourne as the one of the closest schools to the pool,” he said. “They came down as part of the geography field trip and we talked them through the history of the pool.

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“They were just four or five when the pool closed and our campaign is to reinstate the pool particularly for the youth of Ipswich.

“It was great to show them what it is like and how it looked and to hear kids laughing and screaming, enjoying themselves there again. It is a sound lost for so many years.”

In their drive to re-open the pool Mr Ling said Ipswich Borough Council is now seeking expressions of interest from experienced parties wishing to submit proposals to repair, refurbish and operate the outdoor facility.

The council has vowed to provide a maximum of �1million of capital funding to any future operator willing to return the lido to its former glory. If you would like to register your interest and receive an information pack, contact Simon Unthank at Ipswich Borough Council by calling 01473 432212 or e-mailing simon.unthank@ipswich.gov.uk.

The closing date for expressions of interest is noon on January 26.

n Share your memories of Broomhill pool. Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.