EDitorial ± 26-Feb-2003

Lido Dido

I'm Ed Broom of Broomhill Road. And if I had a penny for every time someone had been bright enough to point out the connection, I'd have 97p. Playing word association with an Ipswich native, you say the name of my road, they'll say Broomhill swimming pool. 'Cos I've got a pool at the top of my road: haven't you?

Then yesterday, on Tuesday 25th February 2003, my eye was rather caught by the front of the local Evening Star newspaper, shown below:

Plug set to be pulled on pool

Under the heading "Doomhill", with the byline "Plug set to be pulled on pool", the report starts like this:

Broomhill swimming pool in Ipswich is unlikely to ever re-open to the public. The pool will be shut this year while Ipswich Council looks at the future of swimming facilities in the town. And today the council's leisure spokesman admitted it was difficult to see it ever re-opening.

View of the pool looking up towards the top of Broomhill Road   Part of the pool building adjacent to the lane that runs between Broomhill Road and Sherrington Road

At this point I should mention that the pool is:

  • open-air
  • unheated - most Ipswich people can vouch for this
  • open only from May to September

Also, this isn't exactly the first time that the pool has been threatened with closure. Five years ago there was much um-ing and ah-ing over whether to repair some serious leaks. The talk now is that to have a long term future, it would need to be totally rebuilt. At a cost of nearly £3million. Yikes!

Rather tatty closed entrance to the pool

Going back 25 years, there were two open-air pools in the town: Broomhill and Piper's Vale, both constructed in the 1930s. But the coming of the Orwell Bridge forced the disappearance of Piper's Vale, leaving just the one lido.

Would be a great shame to see it go, since it provides a home for stacks of kids on hot days in the summer holidays. Like, I suspect, a lot of town residents, I've not been in since I was knee-high. But it's good to drive up the road (to turn around - it's a cul-de-sac) of a late summer afternoon and see some brave soul venture out on the high diving board. Sometimes they go back, sometimes they jump.

Be seeing you!