Report - Chadderton Art Deco Swimming Baths - July 2017

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Exploring with Bob
Regular User
Jan 28, 2017
History and Stuff

It might pay to research my location histories before I explore. The baths were closed in 2006 after a structural survey found that something put the public at risk. I slid down the roof on my arse, so I hope it wasn’t that. Not least because my arse could cause structural damage to something wasn’t already structurally damaged.

The baths were opened in 1937 by Henry Taylor, a three times Olympic gold medallist. The dude was a legend. He won more Olympic golds than any other Britain until Chris Hoy came along in 2008. That’s pretty incredible given the advances in training techniques over the decades that follows. He was born in Hollinwood, Oldham and quite marvellously many of his medals and awards were on display in the baths.

An application was made to demolish the baths in 2011, which would be a deplorable thing, because they are constructed in an intriguing art deco style. Fortunately, that application was not successful and the council sold them into private ownership. The baths are now due to be renovated, with the promise of preserving the art deco style for future generations. In 2014, Councillor Jim McMahon said: “I am delighted this iconic building… will once again be brought back into public use… The swimming baths are of historical importance… No one wanted to see them fall into disrepair and become an eyesore so these regeneration proposals are a real boost.”

There was a concert in September 2014, hosting Kwabs, whose style has been described as gospel meeting electronic. As I write this report I’m listening to his song, “Walk”, which was released around the time of the concert. It's not my thing. I'd describe it as charty poppy bollocks.

The Shenanigans

This place has been on my radar for a few months, since it’s one of a few local gems I aim to get around. But I knew it would not be easy from the tales I’d heard from Ojay. I’d been speaking to Esoteric Eric about somewhere else when he darted off to do this and kindly supplied more than a couple of clues to help me get in and out. Since the other place I’d intended to do was locked down quicker than a quick thing moving extra quickly this moved exponentially up my list.

I scoped it out and decided I was set for a solo mission when I got a message from @elhomer12 asking what I was up to. The rain was torrential and water levels were rising so drains were out of the question. And that left little for us to do than something worthwhile above ground and a mine. And that’s exactly what we planned to do.

As I can’t give too much away about access I’ll skim the details, but the reason you don’t see many reports on this place isn’t because you cannot get access, it’s because access (and perhaps more importantly getting out again) is a cross between the krypton factor and Russian roulette. I doubt now I would have done this as a solo mission. I’d have taken it so far and called it a day, so cheers very much to for coming along chap :thumb

The Snaps

The baths have taken a beating at some point and some of it was on lockdown, but the main event was there for the taking.

I normally forget externals, but the barking dog and prying eyes as we were exiting suggested it wasn't a cracking idea to be hanging about, which reminded me to do externals. So we returned after explore number II.










Sadly we could not get access to the depths, but it was a cracking explore all the same. The baths are worth it alone and the getting in and the getting out is an achievement in itself.

Hope you enjoy the report.

Cheers, EOA :thumb


28DL Regular User
Regular User
Nov 19, 2009
Really nice report, no doubt it will get a lot of attention. I know of a few thats been in recently..
Likes: EOA


Regular User
Sep 30, 2010
lovely. really like the black stair tileage. This really should be preserved for something


Exploring with Bob
Regular User
Jan 28, 2017
Cheers @host - it probably deserve a bit of attention. And I reckon anyone who makes it in and out with the current access, probably deserves their snaps.

It is supposed to be preserved now it is in private ownership @zombizza - but that was now a few years ago and remains to be seen. I've been told a few stories now by locals that I know, that it was closed due to structural issues with the roof and there is a meant to be a lot of asbestos in there. I honestly think the asbestos thing is a local legend (because it meant to be floating about in the air and the walls are generally in good repair), but if there is a nugget of truth to it, perhaps the cost of repairing the roof was too much because of the asbestos.

I guess we will have to see if the private owners do anything with it.

Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
May 22, 2017
Great photos, I would love it here. But a bit far for me to travel. Great stuff. I love the art deco round the pool and stairs. Great design features. Always makes me take ages when there are lots of eras left over in a building :thumb

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