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Report - - Thomas Broadbent & Sons Ltd. Bath House - Huddersfield - August 2016 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk
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Report - Thomas Broadbent & Sons Ltd. Bath House - Huddersfield - August 2016

clebby

( . Y . )
Regular User
#1
Thomas Broadbent & Sons Ltd. - The Bath House / Amenity Block - Huddersfield.

Visited with Speed back in the summer.

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Haven't got much to say other than a) I'm not sure why I'm posting this as @jST and @tweek's photos invariably shit on mine, and b) this is far and away the nicest bath house I've seen. This was the first stop on our 'Scottish' road trip back in the summer, and we actually entered under the cover of darkness before spending a hideous night sleeping on the floor in the washroom while the ceiling dripped on me and Speed snored. Unsurprisingly polished stone floors don't make for a comfortable nights sleep.

Needless to say it was Airbnb and Travelodge after that.

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A brief history, pilfered from the others:

The firm of Thomas Broadbent & Sons was founded in 1864 as an engineering firm serving the local textile industry, and built a range of products including steam engines, cars and travelling cranes. They later specialised in centrifuges which they continue to make. During World War II the firm also built submarines.

The baths were opened in 1955 on 15 July after planning permission was granted in April 1954. Designed by Abbey Hanson architects and built by Law Stead & Sons Ltd., the local newspaper, the Huddersfield Examiner, carried an article on the opening. The new amenity block was described as having the `most up to date washing facilities - complete even to plugs for electric razors... Each foundry worker is provided with two lockers, for his outdoor clothes and for his working clothes, and through them warm air is circulated to keep the clothes dry, thus avoiding the possibility of colds being caught after taking showers'. The layout and facilities are described in detail, with a heading `So Optimistic - They've even built a sun lounge!'.

The Bath House at Broadbent's Engineering in Huddersfield has been designated at Grade II, for the following principal reasons: The building is a very rare, possibly unique example of a purpose built bath house for foundry workers. Its continuing function as a bath house has preserved its original purpose in both its layout and its fixtures and fittings as well as its design The design of the building manifests inspiration from both W Dudok and Frank Lloyd Wright, and achieves a high standard of accomplishment in its interpretation of contemporary architectural influences. The use of local stone for external walls distinguishes it from brick built pithead baths of similar style, and the imaginative use of finishes lends further distinction.
~

Inside, apart than a couple of modern signs and doorknobs you might as well be back in the 50s. The interior survives almost entirely intact, with original wash basins, shower and tap fittings, lockers, floor and wall surfaces, doors and light fittings.

Locker rooms (each man had two lockers - clean and dirty - all heated)

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Off to one side was a much smaller self-contained bath house, either for foremen or women?

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The wash room itself:

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Note the foot-operated taps, entirely original

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Entrance hall

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Shower room and original fittings

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And I'll finish with one of the more unusual things I've seen, a rooftop sauna. Whether this was the preserve of senior management I don't know, but certainly very unique nonetheless!

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Speed

Got Epic?
Staff member
Moderator
#2
Should have stayed on the fetid duvet shouldn't ya! I had a great nights sleep :p

Incidentally i went to have another look with Dweeb a couple of weeks ago. Its all still there but they had cut down all the hedge at the front so that didn't help. We gave up and went for a KFC...
 

tweek

meek
Regular User
#5
Haha, I didn't exactly sleep in there but I got in fairly early and had to wait an hour or two for the sun to come up.

It's a little treasure this one imo.
 

Speed

Got Epic?
Staff member
Moderator
#9
Its listed isnt it? What i cant understand is what they would do with it? Its got no future as a bath house surely? All i can think of is some kind of pub or somthing.
 

clebby

( . Y . )
Regular User
#10
Its listed isnt it? What i cant understand is what they would do with it? Its got no future as a bath house surely? All i can think of is some kind of pub or somthing.
Or a gym maybe. Problem is, to do anything with it you'd have to strip it out and reconfigure it, which of course would destroy the very character that made it unique in the first place. I should imagine that ultimately it'll be knocked down.
 

tweek

meek
Regular User
#11
I believe Broadbents sold off the Sovereign Works site to the university. Who immediately flattened every other building on the plot other than this one.

It's essentially a folly now. Albeit a pretty, modern one.
 

clebby

( . Y . )
Regular User
#13
Also, what's the argument for this being moved to public? Is there one?
Well I did ask whether it should be public or not, that's why I tagged you. And @jST said he had no objections to it being moved. AND it's been 10 months since it was first posted, so everyone has had ample time to go and see it, not that anyone really bothered. So there's 3 arguments for you, but by all means have it moved back if you like.
 

tweek

meek
Regular User
#14
Argument 1). Tag looked like it was talking vaguely about picture quality over anything else.

Argument 2). JST having no objections isn't really an argument within itself.

Argument 3). Time? Do we keep things non public just for an amount of time purely so other explorers can see it? Or is it also so we can attempt to protect the site from undesirables, etc.

I'm not actually that fussed, doesn't belong to me, like. Just wanting to know the reasons. Personally, I'd keep it NP just so I wasn't putting a (probably) nationally unique building into the sphere of people who might endeavour to ruin it.

No risk in leaving it NP. Some risk in moving it.
 

clebby

( . Y . )
Regular User
#15
Argument 1). Tag looked like it was talking vaguely about picture quality over anything else.
Ojay edited my post when he moved the report, as I actually asked very clearly whether it was time to move it to public or not when I posted it, to which JST said he had no objections. In my defence this hadn't been removed when you first replied, and the reason I tagged y'all was so you'd see it.

To be honest I'm getting a bit fed up of the whole NP discussion, there seems to be no consistency with regards to what should be in public and what shouldn't. I do agree with your stance on that silly Kingsnorth thread, but that idea of 'there's a risk to posting in public' seems to be filtering down from power stations to more run-of-the-mill type places now. Whilst this was undeniably a nice place, vastly more historic and interesting sites have been posted publicly for years so I'm struggling to see why this one deserves special treatment.

Anyway do you want it moved or not? If so I'll ask Ojay.