Friday, June 22, 2007

1906: The Victoria Baths, Manchester

The Victoria Baths, near Longsight in Manchester, were designed as a prestigious baths complex by Manchester's first City Architect, Henry Price, and opened by Manchester Corporation in 1906. From 1906 to 1993 the Victoria Baths provided the residents of Central Manchester with a wide range of facilities. The Victoria Baths were built with three distinct sections - Males 1st Class, Males 2nd Class and Females. Each class of user had their own entrance, swimming pool and slipper baths. Mixed bathing was introduced in Manchester with great caution in 1914 and by the 1920's mixed bathing sessions were held every Sunday morning at Victoria Baths in the 1st Class Pool. This enabled families to swim together for the first time.
Water polo was a popular sport at this time and many Water Polo matches were held in the gala pool.
Manchester City Council decided to close Victoria Baths in 1993. This produced a vigorous reaction from local people, who have been working ever since the closure of the building to save it for public use.
Source: Victoria Bath’s; Manchester Water Palace by Prue Williams

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