Pool memories and 60s celebrities - a nostalgic step back in time

Sharron opens Paradise Pool - June 20, 1981 

Ely’s new Paradise Swimming Pool was officially opened by Sharron Davis, the British Olympic swimmer. She spent some time in the water with 20 local children who dived in for the first official swim. The 25-metre facility replaces an outdoor pool at Angel Drove which was built in 1934 but had deteriorated badly. - Credit: MIKE PETTY

Swimming features heavily in our look back at Fenland history with Mike Petty reminding us of two pools in Ely. 

Ely Stagecoach cafe c1959 

Ely Stagecoach cafe c1959: A photo by Brian Lane. Facebook readers rememember it well, one remarking that “I loved it in there”. Another remembers it as a “great place to eat”. Our favourite memory, however, is from the reader who recalls “miky coffee and hot sausage roll before getting bus home to Wentworth on a Saturday”. - Credit: MIKE PETTY

We also feature some familiar celebrities from the 60s who came to East Cambridgeshire to buy a weekend cottage.  

Soham migrant pickers June 20, 1916 

Soham migrant pickers June 20, 1916. With the opening of the fruit picking season in the Wisbech district comes the migration from Soham of a large number of people who year by year visit the fields. No few than 34 left on Wednesday and others are leaving day by day. - Credit: MIKE PETTY

And we have a photographic reminder of a much-loved Ely coffee shop.   

Ely’s Angel Pool - June 21, 1934

Ely’s open-air swimming pool at Angel Drove, built by the unemployed at a cost of £580. It was opened in a ceremony watched by 2,000 people. It is 82 feet long with a chlorination plant and dressing rooms. The site was acquired by the Urban Council in 1853 when they decided to have a supply of water from the river. But the filters were not adequate and the scheme fell through after people became ill. It was left derelict and remained a nasty little hole until now. - Credit: MIKE PETTY

You can follow Mike Petty’s research through his Facebook page, Fenland History on Facebook.  

Ely’s Angel Pool - June 21, 1934

Ely’s open-air swimming pool at Angel Drove, built by the unemployed at a cost of £580. It was opened in a ceremony watched by 2,000 people. It is 82 feet long with a chlorination plant and dressing rooms. The site was acquired by the Urban Council in 1853 when they decided to have a supply of water from the river. But the filters were not adequate and the scheme fell through after people became ill. It was left derelict and remained a nasty little hole until now. - Credit: MIKE PETTY

Waterbeach By-pass Plan - June 19, 1973 

Waterbeach By-pass Plan - June 19, 1973: Waterbeach may get a £150,000 by-pass instead of just a new minor road into the village - because of Cambridge's traffic problems. If the plans are accepted the by-pass will link the main Cambridge-Ely Road near the Slap-Up junction with the Clayhithe Bridge over the River Cam. The mile-long by-pass would replace the short stretch of road originally planned to link the A10 with the centre of Waterbeach. The County Surveyor said that the by-pass was now being recommended because of the large volume of traffic using the Fen Ditton - Waterbeach road as a short-cut to the Eastern side of Cambridge to avoid the congested city streets. - Credit: MIKE PETTY


Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter