Meeting - October 2014

Friday, 31 October 2014 - 7:30pm
Pool of Memories
Steve Beauchampe

A history of Moseley Road Baths


This evening’s presentation by Mr Steve Beauchampé entitled “Pool of Memories” dealt with the history and possible fate of Moseley Road Baths, a particularly fine example of an early 20th century public building. There is an organisation known as “The Friends of Moseley Road Baths” working hard to preserve this Grade 2 listed building. The talk was accompanied by an extremely good slide show incorporating both early and modern photographs.
Among the many interesting facts mentioned during the talk was that the water supply for the baths was obtained by drilling a borehole, close to the intended site. It was initially expected to be 100 foot deep but eventually ended up 727 feet deep before a sufficient source was found. It eventually took five years to complete!
Construction of the baths started in 1906 and the baths were opened on the 30th October 1907.
The building comprised first and second class swimming baths for men and a single swimming bath for Ladies. In addition to the swimming pools there were in excess of 40 Slipper Baths (bathrooms) for people to use for cleansing themselves; many homes in those early days did not have bathrooms.
When the baths were built there was, in addition to the bathing facilities, the infrastructure necessary to operate those facilities; boilers to heat the water, coal storage for the boilers,  45,000 gallons of stored cold water, filtration tanks, laundry room and drying racks.
We can but hope that The Friends of Moseley Road Baths are successful in their quest to have this building preserved, if not for swimming and bathing for some other social use.      

Brian Sadler