Memories of it's a knockout

WARM sunny summer's day used to see a packed Broomhill swimming pool in Ipswich.

David Kindred

WARM sunny summer's day used to see a packed Broomhill swimming pool in Ipswich. The pool, a Grade 2 listed 1930's lido, first opened in April 1938 at a cost of £17,000.

It closed in 2002, but efforts to see it reopen have continued ever since.

Seating round the pools holds around 700 people and events other than competitive and leisure swimming were held there.

In the mid 1970s a 'Miss Ipswich' competition was held there on a very hot summer's day.

A popular BBC television programme was “It's a Knockout” where competitors had to complete bazaar tasks.

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In 1974 during the height of “It's-a-knockout” mania a day of crazy competition was held between local teams at the Broomhill lido. I expect health and safety rules would frown on many of the events today.

Looking through the negative files at the Evening Star I found a set of photographs I took at the event at Broom Hill in September 1974.

Hundreds turned up to cheer on their team. I regularly pass the pool in Sherrington Road, and the old place looks sad and very different from when events were held years ago.

- What memories do you have of events at Broom Hill Swimming Pools in Ipswich? Write to Kindred Spirits, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich or e-mail info@kindred-spirit.co.uk .

Cauldwell Hall had it all

Memories of Cauldwell Hall Road, Ipswich, when the area had all the shops local residents needed, were recalled recently in Kindred Spirits by former Ipswich man Rod Cross.

Joe Rice of Sirdar Road, Ipswich, said “Reading the childhood memories of Rod Cross who grew up in Clifford Road brought reminded me of the Foxhall Road, Cauldwell Hall Road area. I was brought up in Newton Road and can recall the area well. The photograph of the Railway Hotel in Foxhall Road brought back memories. During the Second World War years in the back garden of the hotel there was a Barrage Balloon base. Opposite the hotel, as in your photo, was the horse drinking trough where it was quite regular to see the Co-op greengrocery or the coal cart horses stopping for a drink. About ten yards from the trough stood a blue police phone box from which the constables used to report to the station. There were no mobiles or walkie-talkies in those days.”

“Near the bridge in Foxhall Road, over the railway line, stood a water pump and as boys we would watch the trains stop and fill their boilers full with water before going on to Derby Road station a short way up the line. As a lad I also used to stop at my grandmother's in Kemball Street and I would often go to the Lions Head in Freehold Road with a jug and get her stout from the 'snug'.”

“I used to do a paper round for a Miss Robinson from her Foxhall Road shop. She was a very religious person and only sold papers from Monday to Saturday. I did a morning and evening round for seven shillings and six pence per week. The Evening Star used to be delivered to the shop by a trolley bus. We waited outside the shop and as the trolley bus approached it would slow down and the conductor would throw the bundle of papers out to you on the pavement. Opposite the paper shop was the Hope House Orphanage then used by the Land Army Girls.”

“The pub which we boys used in those days was the 'Blooming Fuchsia', as it had a three quarter size snooker table and the then landlord Mr Ward let us play on it. In later years the pub was run by Mr Tommy Leverette, a well known boxer. I remember all the places Rod Cross named, sadly most of them have now long gone, but some of the buildings still remain and have been converted to other uses.”

T Bloomfield of Parliament Road, Ipswich, added, “I was born in 1949 and lived in Cauldwell Hall Road near Fushia Lane all of my childhood years. I went to Clifford Road School in the early 50s and must have been at the school at the same time as Rod Cross. I remember all the shops in your article. I worked as a paperboy at Carter's the newsagents, which was next to Durant's electrical shop. Mr Todd had chairs etc transported to and from his upholstery business by horse and cart by a chap called 'Donkey' Murton, a bus driver on Ipswich Corporation Transport. I worked with him as a conductor. On my paper round I had Blackburn's the Chemist and Dean's Greengrocery. Mrs Dean used to give me the odd apple or banana.”

“My father worked at the Co-op Bakery, which baked bread for over Suffolk. The bread was delivered by electric and petrol vans. Cakes etc were made next to the Co-op store opposite the bakery. The building is still there today next to the store.

You could do all your shopping in one road. Not many people had a car; it was an excursion to go into the town on a trolleybus or diesel bus. The big supermarkets have a lot to answer for.

Stella Seiler (nee Dunnett) e-mailed from her home in Universal City USA. “I remember a lot of Caldwell Hall Road. I used to ride my bike along there every school day going to Northgate School. I often think of the house across from Northgate School where we used to go after school and get a penny apple.”

“I had a friend, who after she married used to live over one of the shops, her name was Linda Clifford and husband Peter. They too emigrated to the states, but I have lost touch of them. They were the good old days!”

Margaret Cline, (nee Ladson) sent an e-mail from Ladson South Carolina where she now lives. “I lived in Freehold Road, so knew all the shops and things along Cauldwell Hall Road, I grew up there in the 40s and 50s, and it brings back such good memories. I had and old aunt who lived halfway between Freehold and Foxhall Roads, we travelled that road almost every day either walking to town, or to Derby Road Station to catch the train to Felixstowe. The Lions Head was a regular stop for us going in the side door to pick up dad's stout. Fred Rattle the landlord was like our uncle, I had a soft spot for him, he was always good to me. I did the paper route from the newsagents at the top of St. Johns Hill, and would walk babies in their prams along there often and get groceries and bakery items for friends of my parents to make a little extra money.