Brentwood, Swimming Pool c.1955
Memories of Brentwood, Swimming Pool c1955
I have just returned from a visit to Brentwood after many years living overseas. It was sad to see the town hall is no longer in the High Street. The Odeon cinema has gone & so has the Palace cinema. The White Hart hotel where I used to work as a boy has also gone. The City Bus garage in Ongar Road is no more. The Hutton Residential School cottages & swimming pool have been bulldozed down & a posh estate has been built in its place where once all the orphaned kids from East London used to live...oh & Wilsons shop and Wilsons Corner has also gone. Will they rename it now to Brentwood Crossroads...ah thats called progress. I also used to work for Matthews & Son in Kings Road, Brentwwod during the second world war, there is now a trendy pub in its place. All the best, James Chalkley.
Does anyone remember during the '40s when the Ursline Girls School got bombed and caught fire. I think it was the same night the Brentwood Senior Boys School got bombed and we all had three months off school. I put my time to good use - I used to go out blackberry picking and sell them sixpence a basket. I made half a crown per day, Jim Chalkley.
I remember during the 2nd world war years I used to go swimming at Brentwood. The steps in this photo leading to the pool is where I saved a young boy from drowning. In those days the young boys who could not swim had a habit of jumping in the deep end just by the steps - when they reached the surface they would grab hold of the rail at the top of the steps and climb out. But on this particular day, this boy misjudged it - I saw him laying on the bottom of the pool so I jumped in and got him to the side of the pool; he was unconscious. People rushed to help me get him out, we laid him on the floor then the first aid people took over. I tugged the nurses uniform and said I was the boy who saved ...Read full memory
Ah Brentwood swimming pool, such happy memories. Taking the Green line bus from Romford, Mum with picnic packed would take my sister Noreen & I to the pool regularly during the summer holidays, arriving early and leaving late. I remember paddling in the kiddy pool & swimming in the big one, buying rainbow popcorn in the shop & lots of children to play with, sheer bliss. My Auntie Jenny worked in the Thermos factory which backed on to it, and in her lunch hour would give us a few coppers over the fence to spend in the cafe.
I used to go to Brentwood swimming pool with my school St Martin's for girls and can remember going when it reopened for the new year - easter and it was absolutely freezing! I was not much of a swimmer so can remember it being torture for me. i also used to go with my friends during the summer when we would have a swim and afterwards, after dodging the boys flicking their wet towels (i am sure you know who you are out there!!) which was horrible because if it caught you it hurt like hell, we would queue up at the kiosk and buy hot bovril and a bag of crisps. i can remember there being a children's pool as well. it was always crowded in summer. by janet aldridge (nee leggett)