Days Gone By: Memories of Broomhill Pool, our much-loved lido
PUBLISHED: 15:17 02 June 2020
Do you remember taking the plunge at Broomhill Pool in Ipswich?
If so, our latest nostalgic gallery will bring back memories - looking at how generations of swimmers loved the lido over its 70-year history.
The Grade II listed pool in Sherrington Road opened in 1938 and hundreds flocked there every summer.
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.
Our photos, from the 1960s through to the 1990s, show swimmers cooling off in the hot weather and having a great time.
The pool was in such demand back in 1965 that crowds queued for hours for a place in the water.
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?
Over the years, the pool staged activities such as underwater swimming and canoe lessons.
And it played host to an It’s a Knockout-style event in 1974, with games including boat races and aerial basketball.
Sadly, the lido closed in 2002, but the Broomhill Pool Trust fought to bring it back into use.
Just before lockdown, the first steps were being taken towards turning exciting plans for a £6.5million restoration into reality.
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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.
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.
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.
“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!)”
Share your memories of swimming at Broomhill. Email firstname.lastname@example.org To order photos, visit www.eadt.co.uk/myphotos24, or call Diane Townsend on 01603 772449.
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