EDitorial ± 26-Feb-2003
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:
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.
At this point I should mention that the pool is:
- 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!
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!
EDitorial ± 21-Feb-2003
Colour Of My Parachute
If I was the type that noticed these things, I'd remark that winter seems to be slowly blooming into spring, and that Mother Nature is awakening from her slumbers. But I'm not, and that kind of language is rather too opal fruity (Starbursty, if you will) for these pages.
Still, while lopping bits of tree earlier this week, it felt good to be out with the sun beating down on my Maine New England fleece. Baa!
Enough with the discourse: let's see some priddy colours captured out at the in-laws this past Wednesday:
Quite pleasing to the eye, ay what?
If You Take Away With You Nothing Else
Paint the whole world:
- hey look, old yellow's leaving
- soylent green, nasty stuff
- smart old blue he took the Milky Way
- black and white and red all over
Be seeing you!
EDitorial ± 12-Feb-2003
Pop quiz: know your lyrics? Given a couple of clues, namely that (a) the line below is from a Christmas number 1 single, and (b) it's approximately ten years old, can you name the record?
His philosophy of life will steer him through
Because I know you'll peek (as the great Oscar said, "I can resist everything except temptation"), I've relegated the answer to the footer of this page.
Most of what I know about philosophy comes from that Monty Python drinking song, the one that includes this verse:
John Stuart Mill
Of his own free will
On half a pint of shandy was particularly ill
Terribly useful to be able to recall the full lyrics if, say, someone's holding a gun to your head and threatening to pull the trigger unless you can name at least ten philosophers. OK, not the greatest example, but, in the current high-security climate, you can't rule anything out.
I've got my old French teacher to thank for the remainder of my philosophical awareness. Doing A-level (natch), a sizeable part of the course was taken up with French literature, during which we studied a variety of works by authors I'd never heard of, including:
- Anouilh: dramatist; wrote Becket, filmed in 1964 with Richard Burton
- Gide: had to rely on the translated version of The Pastoral Symphony
- Maupassant: king of the short story; famed for "le mot juste"
- Sartre: Mr Existential
I warmed to Monsieur Camus, first name Albert, when I discovered that he'd been partial to a game of footy, putting on the goalie's jersey for the Algiers University team. To cut his long story short, a case of TB forced him into sporting retirement; he put pen to paper, writing The Plague and The Outsider among other works; he died, aged just 46, in a car crash.
Be seeing you!
EDitorial ± 5-Feb-2003
A Family Affair (Part 2)
Two years back I wrote about looking into my dad's family tree, and how my dad's dad was one of eleven children. I'd also discovered that the father of these eleven, my great-grandfather, was named James Broom. Well, with Time On My Hands (TM), I've been able to find out a wee bit more.
Thanks to the now-working-pretty-well 1901 online census, it was straightforward to find James ("foundry painter") and wife Ellen in Potter Street, Ipswich, with seven children, aged from 16 down to 1.
Trickier to look up was the 1891 census, but there's James ("brickmaker") & Ellen at Waterworks Street, Cook's Yard, still in the town, with just the three oldest kids, aged from 5 down to 3 weeks.
Don't know where I'm going wrong, but I can't find him in the 1881 census, even though this is available on CD-Rom and therefore electronically searchable. Frustrating.
Got stuck going backwards, so decided to head forwards instead. Using the Kelly's directories on the shelves of Ipswich Record Office, I found James Broom in Waterworks Street as of 1934, and not there in 1935. He'd have been in his 70s by this time, so I went to the local registrar in the hope of obtaining a copy of his death certificate. Which they had, and which I picked up this very afternoon:
- when & where died : 16 March 1935, 14 Shackleton Road
- age : 74 years
- occupation : 3 Samuel Court, Rope Walk, Ipswich; retired painter, general engineering works
- cause of death : heart failure, acute bronchitis
- description of informant : NE Baldry, daughter, present at the death
- also in the grave with James were Ellen Broom, who'd died only three months earlier on 15-Dec-1934 aged 71 (another long stayer), and Martha Broom, only 14 when she'd died on 7-Apr-1914
- the site is a public plot, i.e. not private, i.e. not purchased, so grave isn't marked in any way
In the photo above, that patch of grass in the foreground between the two marked graves is plot X-21-12, the final resting place of James Broom, his wife Ellen, and poor Martha, one of their seven daughters. May they rest in peace.
Be seeing you!