Sunday, 27 June 2010

Broomhill Outdoor Pool - Southeast Odyssey Part I

On Saturday morning we set off on our journey home from our sojourn in Ipswich. But not just any old trip from A to B, it turned into a 12-hour odyssey, a magical rove around a corner of England I've never visited before. First stop, Broomhill Outdoor Swimming Pool, tucked away in a suburban bywater, just off the Ipswich ring road.
Despite a campaign which resembles the fight for Victoria Baths in Manchester, but without a happy ending as yet, this open air pool was shut down in 2002. The lido now languishes on death row while its supporters battle on to have it reopened. I've known about it for some time, so yesterday offered the ideal chance to have a look. It lived up to all my expectations, given my fascination with derelict pools.
To my mind, in the sultry midday heat, the whitewashed walls lend it the atmosphere of a Spanish bullring, like the one at Mijas near Malaga.

The powers-that-be have surrounded it with a solid metal fence and the usual warning signs. Straining to see glimpses of it through the bars is like looking  for the Sleeping Beauty's castle through the thorny hedge.
There's a well-worn path round the perimeter, so it seems many people share my fascination. The air hung heavy inside the fortifications.
It would be A CRIME if this Olympic-sized pool was allowed to be demolished! 
Apart from being a relevant facility which motivates people to keep fit and active, it's also a historical treasure. The people who are campaigning to get Broomhill up and running again are well-organised and persistent but they appreciate support - both financial and moral - from everyone who's willing to join them in their efforts to save this threatened gem.


  1. looks like a nice pool. I hope it will reopen!

  2. yes - they've got a facebook group to keep people updated about their campaign

  3. Thanks AquaMarina for taking the trouble to write the article and post some great photos.

    The development agency "Choose Suffolk" have just launched a new website called Suffolk Icons and currently Broomhill Pool is at top of the list of the 100 most popular.

  4. For anyone living near Ipswich, there is a performance called "Listed Lido" about Broomhill Pool and other lidos taking place on Saturday July 10th at Crown Pools in Ipswich.

    LISTED LIDO performance as part of the Ip-Art festival.
    Venue Crown Pools
    Time 7.30pm
    Tickets £10 (concessions £6)

  5. I love the image of Broomhill Pool as Sleeping Beauty! Let's hope that "love's first kiss" comes in the form of decent funding for our lido.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. you're welcome Broomhillblogger! good luck with your campaign!