Moseley Road Baths, located in Birmingham, opened in 1907 and still operates to this day. Very little has been done to alter the layout of the building which means that almost all the original features remain including the private wash baths or ‘slipper’ baths which date to the pre-war era. The building now benefits from Grade II* listed status and is one of only 3 remaining operational baths of its kind in the UK.
The 46 Slipper baths, whilst still present at the premises, are no longer in use and the Gala pool also had to close in 2003 due to safety reasons. Complete with a 3 sided spectators gallery the Gala pool was the primary reason for our visit to the baths but we were also fortunate to see the original 45,000 gallon cast iron cold water storage tank in the loft space and one of the only surviving steam-heated drying racks in a British swimming baths.
In 2007 The building featured in the Victorian Society’s ten most at risk buildings in Britain and it is expected that without intervention, the Birmingham Council will close the building completely by January 2016.
Despite the closure of the Gala pool, Pool 2 is still used frequently but the local community and nearby schools and I can confirm it appeared to be quite busy during our visit.
If you are interested in helping to support the Save Moseley Baths movement please visit their website: http://www.friendsofmrb.co.uk/
Visited with Baron, Lowri, Katie and David. Thanks to Baron I think who arranged the visit! We had about 40 minutes to an hour shooting the main pool before being taken upstairs to see the Steam racks and the water storage tanks. The pool was great, loads of original features but shame about the scaffolding which had been put in place to prevent any further movement of the pool and balconies. The steam drying racks were really cool, I had come across some elsewhere but these were in such good condition and according to the staff at the baths still functional despite no longer being in use.
The water storage tank was huge, the construction of it was really quite something and given its age it was in remarkably good condition. Again this feature is no longer in use but holds great historical value in respect of the technology used to run a place like this back in the early 1900’s.
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