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Birmingham Public Swimming Baths

Tony Darbyshire

proper brummie kid
As a child and into my early adulthood I often went to three public swimming baths. I learnt to swim in Woodcock Street baths in my junior school years. From memory this was in 1955-6. When I took up my secondary school education at Alderlea in Shard End we frequently went to Woodcock Street for lessons and competitions.

The other baths I went to were in Saltley. The road they were named after currently evades my memory but I’m sure I’ll add to this and remember it. Much smaller than Woodcock Street, but a nice pool nevertheless.

My mother came from Nechells. We went back to live there on Cook Street in 1961. I then frequented the baths on Aston Church Road by the traffic lights. In a recent rare visit to my home town in November 2018 I took some photographs of the baths. They are now lying rather forlorn and in need of a great deal of renovation. I will find the pictures I took of the main entrance and post them to this thread in due course.

If anyone else has memories of Birmingham swimming baths I’d enjoy reading about them, so please get your fingers on your keyboard and share them with members!
 

mw0njm.

Brummie Dude
Nechells Baths

Erdington Baths

there are threads. and post on this furum i dont remember were.
 

Lumpammer

master brummie
As a child and into my early adulthood I often went to three public swimming baths. I learnt to swim in Woodcock Street baths in my junior school years. From memory this was in 1955-6. When I took up my secondary school education at Alderlea in Shard End we frequently went to Woodcock Street for lessons and competitions.

The other baths I went to were in Saltley. The road they were named after currently evades my memory but I’m sure I’ll add to this and remember it. Much smaller than Woodcock Street, but a nice pool nevertheless.

My mother came from Nechells. We went back to live there on Cook Street in 1961. I then frequented the baths on Aston Church Road by the traffic lights. In a recent rare visit to my home town in November 2018 I took some photographs of the baths. They are now lying rather forlorn and in need of a great deal of renovation. I will find the pictures I took of the main entrance and post them to this thread in due course.

If anyone else has memories of Birmingham swimming baths I’d enjoy reading about them, so please get your fingers on your keyboard and share them with members!
The Saltley baths were in George Arthur Road. We used to go there with the school until Stechford Baths opened.
 

Tony Darbyshire

proper brummie kid
Thanks Lumpammer. If my memory serves me they’re not too far away from where the Rock cinema was in Alum Rock…though I hope I’m not getting mixed up!

Thanks for reminding me about George Arthur Road. Are they still there or long gone?
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
i believe the nechells baths are still doing well as a community centre etc after it received funding a few years back...i was allowed inside to take photos and a lot of the old features still remain including the baths itself which is covered up...put in nechells baths in the search box which should take you to the thread

lyn
 

Lumpammer

master brummie
Thanks Lumpammer. If my memory serves me they’re not too far away from where the Rock cinema was in Alum Rock…though I hope I’m not getting mixed up!

Thanks for reminding me about George Arthur Road. Are they still there or long gone?
Yes, long gone. The Stechford baths that opened in1962 has been replaced and is now awaiting demolition.
 

nickcc101

master brummie
Kingstanding baths when I was at Beeches road School late fifties, best part was the hot Bovril you could buy from the drinks machine and the rickety old coach that took us there.
 

Tony Darbyshire

proper brummie kid
i believe the nechells baths are still doing well as a community centre etc after it received funding a few years back...i was allowed inside to take photos and a lot of the old features still remain including the baths itself which is covered up...put in nechells baths in the search box which should take you to the thread

lyn
Lyn: when I went there in November 2018 it was all closed up and looking very sorry for itself. Great architecture and I did take some pictures. When I get a minute I’ll post them here. But there was no sign it was being used as a Community Centre I’m afraid and it was chained up and falling into disrepair. So much of Nechells looked sorry for itself.

My grandmother lived at 53 Mount Street in a lovely Victorian house that’s long since gone. Replaced many years ago by a box like horrid little house that the wind could blow down; and now that’s gone and it has an industrial unit on it. Very sad.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
thanks for the info tony...have to say i have not been over that way for a while so i am sad to hear from you that it has now closed down. will try and find out just why

lyn
 

rosie

brummie
I used to go to Harborne Baths. There were changing cubicles around the sides. I taught my son to swim there too.
It was lovely on a Summer day as the roof was partly glass and the sun shone through.
 

Linda Jennings

master brummie
As a child and into my early adulthood I often went to three public swimming baths. I learnt to swim in Woodcock Street baths in my junior school years. From memory this was in 1955-6. When I took up my secondary school education at Alderlea in Shard End we frequently went to Woodcock Street for lessons and competitions.

The other baths I went to were in Saltley. The road they were named after currently evades my memory but I’m sure I’ll add to this and remember it. Much smaller than Woodcock Street, but a nice pool nevertheless.

My mother came from Nechells. We went back to live there on Cook Street in 1961. I then frequented the baths on Aston Church Road by the traffic lights. In a recent rare visit to my home town in November 2018 I took some photographs of the baths. They are now lying rather forlorn and in need of a great deal of renovation. I will find the pictures I took of the main entrance and post them to this thread in due course.

If anyone else has memories of Birmingham swimming baths I’d enjoy reading about them, so please get your fingers on your keyboard and share them with members!
As a child and into my early adulthood I often went to three public swimming baths. I learnt to swim in Woodcock Street baths in my junior school years. From memory this was in 1955-6. When I took up my secondary school education at Alderlea in Shard End we frequently went to Woodcock Street for lessons and competitions.

The other baths I went to were in Saltley. The road they were named after currently evades my memory but I’m sure I’ll add to this and remember it. Much smaller than Woodcock Street, but a nice pool nevertheless.

My mother came from Nechells. We went back to live there on Cook Street in 1961. I then frequented the baths on Aston Church Road by the traffic lights. In a recent rare visit to my home town in November 2018 I took some photographs of the baths. They are now lying rather forlorn and in need of a great deal of renovation. I will find the pictures I took of the main entrance and post them to this thread in due course.

If anyone else has memories of Birmingham swimming baths I’d enjoy reading about them, so please get your fingers on your keyboard and share them with members!
[/QUOTE
Hi
On a Sunday morning our Aunt Edie would pick up my brother, sister and myself and take us to Woodcock Swimming Baths. They opened at 8am. We were there for an hour. Our aunt couldn’t swim herself but all credit due to her, she, helped us all to swim. Eventually she was able to swim herself with the help of a gentleman called Charlie. I believe Charlie was a chemist. He was in his 60’s and his mother who he brought along with him was in her 90’s. I didn’t know his mother’s name but she did 20 lengths of the bath each week! One Sunday in 1968 or 1969 the Birmingham Mail or Sunday Mercury turned up at the baths. They did a news article on the elderly lady. They also took her photo and all those in the baths with her that morning.

Regards
Linda
 

Spargone

master brummie
I probably went to George Arthur Road, (for one term?), with the school for swimming lessons. We were issued with plastic tokens for the bus and were expected to get there without supervision. I managed to swim a width using breast stroke and received a small certificate to 'prove' it!

I then went onto trying backstroke, with a white polystyrene float under my head. Some rat pulled it out and I went under head first and I never went in the water again.

During the summer holidays my sister and I had one batch of swimming lessons and we were offered the choice of staying at one centre or staying with the same instructor, we went for the later. The result was that we visited parts of the city that we had never been to before. Unfortunately each swimming baths had different rules, such as 'no-one' ever followed the signs carved into the Victorian brick/stonework, i.e. different entrances for different sexes - "Where the hell do you think you are going!" was the non-customer friendly approach adopted by staff in that time. To be fair, they were probably used to dealing with troublesome kids, not a poor lost stranger!

It had to wait until I retired before I thought of trying the water again.

P.S. I believe that Stechford was to be built to Olympic standards, but the standard was changed just before it opened.
 

BOBJ

knowlegable brummie
"In a reasonable style"
View attachment 135820
"In a reasonable style"
View attachment 135820
Hi Spargone

It’s interesting to see your width certificate from Moseley Road baths, I went there from Mary Street School and with my friends. I recall having a free pass (I certainly don’t have a copy now) and I can’t recall what you had to do to get it, swim some distance I guess. What I can remember using it many times especially during summer holidays when we would stay in all day or as long as we were allowed and come out with pink eyes, wrinkled skin and starving hungry.
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
Which baths are you referring to Pete? There is a thread on the Moseley baths at
 

mw0njm.

Brummie Dude
Which baths are you referring to Pete? There is a thread on the Moseley baths at
sorry. The old Nechells baths.mike. it seems to have gone off the radar now. i cant find any thing new about the place.
 
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