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Report - Victoria Baths, Manchester - October 2013

Discussion in 'Leisure Sites' started by Indecisive Moment, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. Indecisive Moment

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    I've seen lots of pictures of Victoria Baths, here on 28 and all over the internet but ashamed to say I'd never stepped inside the building until very recently. I went to the baths with a group of people as part of a Worldwide Photo Walk and discovered that there was more to VB than the pretty tiles and ornate stained glass windows. A truly magnificent building with lots of hidden nooks and crannies to explore.


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    HISTORY STOLEN FROM WIKI


    Victoria Baths is a Grade II* listed building which o
    pened to the public in 1906 and cost £59,144 to build. Manchester City Council closed the baths in 1993 and the building was left derelict. A multi-million pound restoration project began in 2007. As of 2009, the building is on English Heritage's Buildings at Risk Register

    The baths were designed by the City Surveyor, T. de Courcy Meade, and his assistant, Arthur Davies. The work was supervised by
    Henry Price, the newly appointed city architect. The baths were opened in September 1906 by the Lord Mayor of Manchester who described the building as a "water palace".For 86 years the Baths provided both essential and leisure facilities. Private baths and a laundry were housed there along with three swimming pools and a Turkish bath. The main swimming pool was floored over in the winter months to hold dances. In 1952 the Victoria Baths installed the first public Aeratone (jacuzzi) in the country. In the design and construction of the Baths, a great deal of money was expended, Manchester having at that time one of the world's wealthiest municipal coffers. The façade has multi-coloured brickwork and terracotta decoration, the main interior public spaces are clad in glazed tiles from floor to ceiling and most of the many windows have decorative stained glass. The Friends of Victoria Baths was formed and began to investigate the possibility of running the Victoria Baths independently.


    RESTORATION

    In September 2003, the Baths won the first series of the BBC's Restoration programme. The building was chosen by a public phone-vote from a short-list of ten buildings in danger of dereliction in the UK. It was awarded £3.4 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the money raised through the phone-voting process. The Prince of Wales visited the baths a month later to help celebrate the win. It was intended that the money would be spent on re-opening the Turkish bath by around 2006, with other parts following later at a cost of around £15–20m. However, the redevelopment plans were dealt a blow one year later when quantity surveyors delivered a much larger estimate of £6.3m to restore the Turkish baths. The Heritage Lottery Fund requested further details about the full redevelopment before they would hand over any money for the first phase. Final planning approval to begin a restoration process was not received until September 2005. In September 2006, as part of a number of events to mark the centenary of the building's opening, the gala pool was filled for the first time in 13 years. The first phase of restoration work consisting of structural work and repairs began on Monday 19 March 2007, and was completed in September 2008. In 2011 the Baths were used as a filming location, a concert venue, and an exhibition centre.


    Hope my images show a slightly different side to VB :)


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    Not so pretty pigeon poo galore!
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    Thanks for looking :)

     
    Nick0 likes this.

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