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Report - St. James' Baths, Doncaster, July 2016

Discussion in 'Leisure Sites' started by Esoteric Eric, Jul 24, 2016.

  1. Esoteric Eric

    Esoteric Eric 28DL Regular User
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    This one has been a labour of love and although I'm not really happy with the pictures I am happy to have finally cracked it for the third time lucky.

    The first visit we left due to local yobs being inside who had incidentally created the access we used at the time. The second time we were caught by the local council and police as we had been seen using the extremely exposed access; given this locations close proximity to both the local police station and council offices I'm not surprised.

    This time I tried again on my own and to be fair although I only spent an hour inside it felt like much longer, the place had a strange vibe for me and I didn't want to hang around in the late evening.

    Nevertheless, it does have some elements of epic in my opinion. The baths were opened in June, 1932 and cost £10,000 to build and equip. The pool was the first in England to utilise underwater lighting in order to minimise accidents. The design was unique in having the changing facilities in separate areas away from the main pool and the Turkish/ Russian baths in the basement. The Turkish baths are what lead to the buildings Grade II listing and are an example of only three remaining in the UK I believe. The baths and several other areas throughout feature the original mosaic floor and wall tiles and the Turkish bath area also features an original drinking fountain. During the winter the main hall was accessed through a different entrance and the pool was covered over with boards to give way to concerts and film screenings and in the early 1960's The Beatles played here for £40.

    A more in depth history can be found on the listing website: https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1403445

    [​IMG]
    The original mosaic floor tiling can be seen here in the rear entrance.
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    The main area of the Turkish bath. I did take a picture of the original drinking fountain but chose to leave it out as I wasn't happy with it due to the lighting.
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    The aforementioned under water lighting can be seen here along the pool walls.
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    The holes for the projector room can be seen below the clock. Sadly no projectors remained.
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    The area where the screen would have been below the original stained glass windows.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    #1 Esoteric Eric, Jul 24, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016

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  2. clebby

    clebby ( . Y . )
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    This is great. What were they thinking when they put that ghastly ceiling up in the Turkish baths.. I trust you had a peek to see if any epic was lurking behind?
     
  3. Esoteric Eric

    Esoteric Eric 28DL Regular User
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    Thanks. I know, suspended ceilings galore! The original concrete ceiling is present above.
     
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  4. Lavino

    Lavino 28ÐŁ ƦEGUŁλƦ U$EƦ
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    Great looking place.
     
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  5. HughieD

    HughieD 28DL Regular User
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    That's Epic Eric! Great work...
     
  6. Esoteric Eric

    Esoteric Eric 28DL Regular User
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    Thanks mate.
     
  7. dweeb

    dweeb Super Moderator
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    Fantastic! Some cracking tile work in the Turkish baths... as already stated one wonders what it would look like with the ceiling exposed!

    Yes to square faced clock also... a must in any baths!
     
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  8. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    Well done on getting in :thumb I"m not sure whats worse the proximity too the Police HQ or the Church next door ;)

    It"s always been tighter than a Nuns thingy in the past. (That Donny Glazing firm just down the road certainly do a good job of sealing everything :(

    Nice too see it"s not been trashed .....just yet
     
  9. Esoteric Eric

    Esoteric Eric 28DL Regular User
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    Cheers! Ha ha I know what you mean. Yeah they're on top with the boarding. The main lobby has seen the effects of the local yobs that made the first access we used but luckily the main hall and baths are just fine.
     
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