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Days Gone By: Memories of Broomhill Pool, our much-loved lido

PUBLISHED: 15:17 02 June 2020

Were you enjoying the summer at Broomhill Pool,Ipswich in August 1981?   Picture: DAVID KINDRED

Were you enjoying the summer at Broomhill Pool,Ipswich in August 1981? Picture: DAVID KINDRED

Do you remember taking the plunge at Broomhill Pool in Ipswich?

Youngsters having fun at Broomhill Pool in September  1988

Picture: ARCHANTYoungsters having fun at Broomhill Pool in September 1988 Picture: ARCHANT

If so, our latest nostalgic gallery will bring back memories - looking at how generations of swimmers loved the lido over its 70-year history.

Splashing around at Broomhill Pool in  May  1989 Picture: ARCHANTSplashing around at Broomhill Pool in May 1989 Picture: ARCHANT

The Grade II listed pool in Sherrington Road opened in 1938 and hundreds flocked there every summer.

Hot weather at Broomhill swimming pool, Ipswich in August 1990 Picture: PAUL NIXONHot weather at Broomhill swimming pool, Ipswich in August 1990 Picture: PAUL NIXON

It is East Anglia’s last surviving 50m outdoor pool and features what are believed to be the last surviving set of Wicksteed diving boards in the world.

Fun at Broomhill Pool in August 1990. Picture: RICHARD RACKHAMFun at Broomhill Pool in August 1990. Picture: RICHARD RACKHAM

Our photos, from the 1960s through to the 1990s, show swimmers cooling off in the hot weather and having a great time.

This young visitor to Broomhill Pool, Ipswich had a nice line in sunhats when he visited in 1971. Picture: ARCHANTThis young visitor to Broomhill Pool, Ipswich had a nice line in sunhats when he visited in 1971. Picture: ARCHANT

The pool was in such demand back in 1965 that crowds queued for hours for a place in the water.

Youngsters enjoying the sun at Broomhill Swimming Pool in May 1966 Picture: ARCHANTYoungsters enjoying the sun at Broomhill Swimming Pool in May 1966 Picture: ARCHANT

Our gallery also features some intrepid swimmers braving the water on Christmas Day in the early 1970s. Did you take part in these events, and just how cold was it?

A Christmas swim at Broomhill pool in December 1972 Picture: ARCHANTA Christmas swim at Broomhill pool in December 1972 Picture: ARCHANT

Over the years, the pool staged activities such as underwater swimming and canoe lessons.

Broomhill pool in July 1987 Picture: ARCHANTBroomhill pool in July 1987 Picture: ARCHANT

And it played host to an It’s a Knockout-style event in 1974, with games including boat races and aerial basketball.

Learning how to canoe in Broomhill pool in August 1998 Picture: ARCHANTLearning how to canoe in Broomhill pool in August 1998 Picture: ARCHANT

READ MORE - Remembering It’s a Knockout style fun days

A rope ladder hanging from the diving board for a game of aerial basketball in an It's A Knockout style event in 1974 Picture: ARCHANTA rope ladder hanging from the diving board for a game of aerial basketball in an It's A Knockout style event in 1974 Picture: ARCHANT

Sadly, the lido closed in 2002, but the Broomhill Pool Trust fought to bring it back into use.

Paddle power in one of the boat races from the It's A Knockout style event in 1974 Picture: ARCHANTPaddle power in one of the boat races from the It's A Knockout style event in 1974 Picture: ARCHANT

Just before lockdown, the first steps were being taken towards turning exciting plans for a £6.5million restoration into reality.

Hot weather in August back in 1975 Picture: ARCHANTHot weather in August back in 1975 Picture: ARCHANT

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Tree surgeons moved in to thin trees on the site, while operator Fusion Lifestyle was going through the tendering procedure to find a contractor to carry out the project.

A 

Christmas Day swim in December 1970 Picture: ARCHANTA Christmas Day swim in December 1970 Picture: ARCHANT

Following a previous article about swimming clubs and galas, Michael Gardiner shared his memories of a swimming marathon at another much-loved Ipswich pool, St Matthew’s Baths.

Schoolchildren at Broomhill Swimming Pool in June 1970 Picture: ARCHANTSchoolchildren at Broomhill Swimming Pool in June 1970 Picture: ARCHANT

He said: “I used to take part in charity swims from 1973-1976, and am in the centre of the bottom row of the photo from 1973.

Crowds queurng for hours waiting for a place in Broomhill Pool in August 1965 Picture: ARCHANTCrowds queurng for hours waiting for a place in Broomhill Pool in August 1965 Picture: ARCHANT

“I think this was after a non-stop two-hour swim for the Alexandra Day Fund Charity, held at St Matthew’s Baths in 1973. That day i swam about 1,500 yards which was less than normal because of cramp. (I was only 14 and had a tough paper round!)”

Reader Michael Gardiner recognised himself in this photo of a swimming marathon at St Matthew's Baths in June 1973 Picture: ARCHANTReader Michael Gardiner recognised himself in this photo of a swimming marathon at St Matthew's Baths in June 1973 Picture: ARCHANT

Share your memories of swimming at Broomhill. Email judy.rimmer@archant.co.uk To order photos, visit www.eadt.co.uk/myphotos24, or call Diane Townsend on 01603 772449.


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