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Report - Victoria Baths, Chorlton on Medlock, Manchester September 2011

Discussion in 'Leisure Sites' started by Bovine, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. Bovine

    Bovine 28DL Regular User
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    With no expense spared, this imposing baths opened in 1906. Originally there were three pools, Males First Class, Males Second Class and Females. Slipper baths, laundry and a Turkish bath were also provided.
    As the town mains water was often discoloured, a borehole was sunk some 700 feet, to provide the water, which first went to fill the Males First Class Pool. After four days this water, by now quite murky, was transferred to the Males Second Class Pool for another two or three days. The only water treatment was sand filtration and as the only requirement was to wash your feet before bathing, it would also have aquired quite a taste, by the time it was finished with.
    In 1952, the first public "Aeratone" bath(forunner of the jacussi) in the country was installed and in the 1970's, the Second Class pool was converted into a sports hall. Rising costs and a deteriorating building led to its closure in 1993, but this was not the end.
    An action group, Friends of The Victoria Baths was formed and as a charity, has taken on the task of restoring the building, including at least one of the pools being returned to use. Winning the BBC 2's Restoration series provided much needed finance to kickstart the project, which is ongoing. It is now Grade 2* listed.
    Visited as part of the English Heritage Open weekend, but got to see the bits that are not on tours.

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    Males First Class Entrance

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    Ladies Pool

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    Ladies cubicles

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    Former Males Second Class Pool

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    Males First Class Pool

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    A striking feature is the amount of Pilkingtons tiles

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    This corridor ran between the three pools

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    Relic of the Laundry

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    Original former gas bracket light

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    Stained glass everywhere

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    Turkish Baths, used for the mortuary scene in "Life on Mars"

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    This room had day beds for cooling down after a roasting

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    The restored "Wood Nymph" window

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    There is outside storage tanks, which hold the capacity of a pool. Part of one is visible here

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    The sand filters for the pool water

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    When the pressure dropped on the outlet, the sand needed cleaning

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    The original Lancashire boilers were replaced by two package ones

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    Remains of the water gauges

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    Pool side wall and chairs

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    How apt, when this was made the Irwell was a toilet!
     

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