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Days Gone By - More memories of outdoor swimming fun at Broomhill Pool in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 14:30 19 June 2020

Broomhill Pool looking busy on a hot day in 1980 Picture: ARCHANT

Broomhill Pool looking busy on a hot day in 1980 Picture: ARCHANT

Our previous photo gallery of Broomhill Pool in Ipswich over the years brought back memories for readers.

The locals from Ipswich who braved a Christmas Day swim at Broomhill Pool back in 1996. Picture: ARCHANTThe locals from Ipswich who braved a Christmas Day swim at Broomhill Pool back in 1996. Picture: ARCHANT

John Day, who now lives in Leiston, wrote: “I was born on Christmas Day, 1929, in York Road, Ipswich so I am 90 years old.

Underwater swimming at Broomhill Swimming Pool in 1969.


 Picture: ARCHANTUnderwater swimming at Broomhill Swimming Pool in 1969. Picture: ARCHANT

“I first went to Broomhill Pool when it opened in 1938 with my two older sisters. I couldn’t swim then, so it was a case of just getting wet and enjoying the experience.

Enjoying cooling off in the summer sun at Broomhill in 1988  Picture: PAUL NIXON/ARCHANTEnjoying cooling off in the summer sun at Broomhill in 1988 Picture: PAUL NIXON/ARCHANT

“When the pool re-opened after the war, I was then a teenager, so I spent many a happy hour swimming and diving. I especially liked the one-metre and three-metre springboards. I wasn’t too keen to go off the five-metre fixed board.

People playing around in the water at Broomhill Pool in 1980 Picture: ARCHANTPeople playing around in the water at Broomhill Pool in 1980 Picture: ARCHANT

“Myself and several friends, who were all members of the 6th Ipswich Company Boys Brigade, used to go to Broomhill at 7am on Sundays on our bikes, so we were the first swimmers of the day. Sometimes it was a bit chilly!

Snow was falling during the Christmas day swim at Broomhill Pool in 1970 Picture: ARCHANTSnow was falling during the Christmas day swim at Broomhill Pool in 1970 Picture: ARCHANT

“One special memory of Broomhill was when the diving boards were made higher, to 10 metres, I believe, using scaffolding and ladders to allow some exhibition divers to show off their skills.

Young swimmers at Broomhill Pool Ipswich in May 1965. Picture: ARCHANTYoung swimmers at Broomhill Pool Ipswich in May 1965. Picture: ARCHANT

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“What talent they had. Health and Safety didn’t come into it.

“I am still a swimmer at 90. I think I’m the oldest customer at our lovely pool here in Leiston -not at present, of course. I would love to see Broomhill Pool reopen again in my lifetime.”

MORE: Gallery of nostalgic photos of Broomhill Pool in Ipswich

Graham Day, of Stowmarket, also has memories of the pool. He wrote: “Growing up “over Stoke”, a trip to Broomhill Pool was a serious expedition, necessitating either two buses or a long walk into town, and then out along the Norwich Road to Sherrington Road.

“Only in later years did I understand that Broomhill Park, behind the pool, had been the location of the first incarnation of Ipswich Town Football Club.

“My friends were always far more accomplished swimmers than me, and could also dive, which was a source of immediate trepidation for me. I certainly could not countenance even the first diving board, let alone the Olympic board at the top of the diving tower. I was often content to sit, watch the world go by, and enjoy the sunshine, when there was some.

The pool was the regular location of the Tower Ramparts School inter-house annual swimming gala. The only downside was the fact that we were marched form by form in a long crocodile line from the school; an embarrassing time as we all had to be well behaved.”

MORE: Swimming galas and fun in Suffolk

What are your memories of swimming in Broomhill and other Suffolk pools? Send us an email. To order photos, visit our website or call Diane Townsend on 01603 772449.


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