Taking the plunge at St Matthew’s Baths in the 1960s, 70s and 80s in Days Gone By
PUBLISHED: 07:30 21 October 2020
Do you remember swimming at St Matthew’s Baths? Today we are looking back to when the pool was a popular meeting place in Ipswich town centre.
The baths in Civic Drive opened in 1924. The Ipswich Society has recalled how the building originally included not only a pool, complete with spectators’ balcony, but also 21 slipper baths, ideal when many households didn’t have their own bathrooms.
Our photos show various swimming events held at St Matthew’s in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
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The gallery includes memories of toddlers’ swimming lessons, life-saving classes and the annual police swimming gala in the 1960s.
Of course, for many years St Matthew’s was also known for the baths hall, when the pool was covered over with a floor and a wide range of concerts and events were held there. We will soon be featuring the hall’s heyday in another nostalgia feature.
MORE: Memories of Ipswich’s Broomhill and Fore Street pools
For the last 10 years, the building has been operating as The Gym Ipswich, but operator Abbeycroft Leisure decided not to reopen after lockdown and it officially closed in June.
What are your memories of St Matthew’s Baths? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Judy Rimmer, Newsroom, 120 Princes Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 1RS.
Order photos on our website or call Diane Townsend on 01603 772449.
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