Anecdote Index





.....The..Lyons..Club..Sports..Ground........ ...

(19) by Judith Thomas

The writer wasn't an exemployee of Lyons but she describes some happy days of her childhood at the Sports Club with a little bit of subterfuge added in.

I attended Horsenden Junior School, Greenford Green, from 1957 - 1961, and at some point in the late 1950s our school was permitted to use the Lyons Sports Club swimmimg pool at Sudbury, just up the Greenford Road from us. Our class walked of course, up the hill, until we reached the entrance just before Sudbury Hill Tube station. I also remember the arched entrance to the Sports Ground actually on the station platform, but I never remember that being used. We set off through the grounds down the hill on the road, past Rugby pitches, I think, but soon branched off left down a track through what seemed to me then to be a wilderness. It was a wonderful, overgrown area and was part of the charm of visiting the pool. We had Horsenden Hill and its surroundings quite close, but that seemed quite manicured, looking back. Who knew this way I have no idea, but it was the only way we ever went.

The pool was fairly basic, I think, but so much nicer and less crowded than the Victorian indoor baths in Ealing, or Vale Farm outdoor pool in Wembley we also visited on occasion. I think I must have enthused about the pool so much that my mother wangled a Sports Ground pass from a neighbour, Mr Rowe, who worked at Lyons. In the summer holidays my mother would gather up the neighbours' children of about my age and we would set off, via the wilderness of course, to the pool. No-one ever did query the pass, but we all had instructions to remember my mother was "Mrs Rowe" and we had 11 children in the family, should anyone ask.

My last visit to the pool was in the summer of 1966, when I went with a schoolfriend after we had sat History O-level in the morning. It was a lovely relaxing afternoon after our heads had been emptied of dates and figures, and the pool was almost empty. I think I must have been masquerading as "Miss Rowe" that day. Shortly afterwards the Sports Ground must have been sold. Obviously the land has been put to good use, but I shan't ever forget the happy times at that pool, or the class sing-songs through the wilderness area. Thank you, Lyons!


© Judith Thomas 2004