Appeal for volunteers to clean building ahead of reopening

Please read this appeal from Niki from the CIO (who operate swimming at Moseley Road Baths).

As we prepare for reopening (yay!) we need to get the Baths ready to go! So we will be holding a clean up day this Saturday, and it would be great to see you there.

In an effort to help distancing I would like to make it in two shifts, so please let me know if you would rather come in the morning (10am to 1ish) or the afternoon (1ish to 4) so we can make it go as smoothly as possible.  Snacks will be provided!

If you can help, please e-mail Niki at niki.trenbath@moseleyroadbaths.org.uk

Minutes of meeting – 6th April 2021

Friends of Moseley Road Baths meeting, 6th April 2021 via Zoom

Present: Joe Holyoak (Chair), Rachel Gillies (Secretary and Minute Taker), Mark Gunton (Treasurer), Polly Feather, Janet Lewis, Viv Harrison, Damian Hursey

Apologies: Sarinder, Philippa, Raj, Zhor

1. Co-opting members

Viv Harrison and Philippa Webster have been co-opted onto the Committee.

2. Minutes of the AGM

Circulated and approved.

3. Future of the Friends of Moseley Road Baths

No need to replicate CIO’s work to promote the building, but we can work with them to complement what they are doing. Rachel in conversation with Social Media team.

We will seek to host an open day with a tour when allowed.

Membership model briefly discussed but not taken further at this point.

Need to maintain communication with the CIO – putting our minutes online will help, as will regular FoMRB meetings where CIO members can report back.

4. Steve Beauchampé Memorial

A panel to commemorate Steve Beauchampé will be displayed in the Baths    – a draft was screen-shared during the meeting.  It will be A2 size, some amendments will be made to the text.  Rachel to look for images of Steve in the FoMRB archive.  There may be an event in late June to mark Steve’s life.  Any comments or amendments should be sent through to Joe Holyoak at jh@joeholyoak.co.uk by Friday 9th April.

5. Birmingham Heritage Week

We will make plans for a public event at Moseley Road Baths in September 2021.  This also marks 15 years of the Friends of Moseley Road Baths.  Joe to link with whoever is co-ordinating BHW this year.

6. Plants at Moseley Road Baths

The plants in the foyer have suffered during the most recent lockdown.  Thanks to Polly and Carol for caring for plants over the past year.  Viv to enquire about CIO capacity to maintain plant displays.  FoMRB to discuss giving funds at next meeting.  Members of the group are welcome to approach plant centres to seek donations – Rachel to provide letterhead.

7. Date of next meeting

Monday 10th May at 7:30pm via Teams.  Rachel to circulate link in advance – do send agenda items through to her prior to the meeting.

Immersion – Footage of the Gala Pool in 2003

We were recently made aware of a film that was produced in 2003 as part of Birmingham’s bid to be Capital of Culture.

The film was shot in 2003, the year that the Gala Pool was closed for swimming, so it provides a wonderful snapshot of the pool just before it was emptied.

Thank so much to the film’s Director, Paul Green, for sending this through to us. We’re sure it will bring back memories for so many of you!

Steve Beauchampé

We’re really saddened to hear of the sudden death of Steve Beauchampé. One of the longstanding members of the Friends of MRB, Steve helped us to produce a virtual tour of the building, wrote our Pool of Memories book and conducted guided tours during many of our open days. He was eagerly looking forward to the next steps for the regeneration of the building, and his enthusiasm and knowledge of both the architecture and social history of the baths will be a great loss to our campaign to save our much loved community baths.

Lifeguard Training Available!

Do you want to train as a lifeguard?

It’s a great way to keep fit, gain new skills and confidence and help your local community!

Moseley Road Baths CIO can pay some or all of your training costs if you agree to work as a volunteer lifeguard at MRB.

There is a course running at the baths soon on:

  • 19th and 20th May,
  • 26th and 27th May, and
  • 2nd and 3rd June

The CIO would particularly like to train some female lifeguards to help with women only sessions so that more local women can enjoy the benefits of swimming!

Ask at MRB reception for a volunteer form next time you visit or email the CIO for more details – keepswimming@moseleyroadbaths.org.uk

Important update for swimmers – changes in April

Here is an important update from Karen Leach from the Moseley Road Baths Charitable Incorporated Organisation, who will be taking on the running of swimming facilities at the Baths from the start of April.  There will be some changes to swimming timetables, lessons and prices, so do have a read and watch this space for further updates.


As you know the MRB CIO is due to take over the pool soon, and you might be wondering how this is going to affect you and your regular swimming activities. We can’t answer every question yet but here are some initial tips!

  • The new schedule is under development and will be here as soon as we can get it to you. Club and school times will be similar to now, and we’ll have some public swim sessions including women only.
  • There may be a few days’ closure after our official handover date of 3rd April, while we set up our systems and train staff and volunteers. Again we will let you know as soon as we can!
  • The price for a public swim remains the same.
  • We will not be joining the council’s membership scheme, so if you have a direct debit set up with the council which you only use for your MRB swimming, then you may want to stop this and go back to paying per session on the day. We hope to develop a membership scheme soon.
  • We will be running Be Active sessions, as now, which provide free swimming within certain times.
  • We are not permitted to join the council’s Passport to Leisure scheme, which provides concessionary swimming. We’re really sorry about this, but it is important to us to keep swimming affordable for everyone, so we will work up our own concessionary system as soon as we can.
  • Children’s swimming lessons will initially be provided through local swim school ‘Diamond’, who cost a bit more thanStrokes but have a very good reputation. As above, we hope to provide a more affordable solution for those on low incomes in the near future – sorry this is not happening straight away.
  • We are about to start formally recruiting volunteers for reception, cleaning and lifeguarding – thanks to everyone who has shown interest and we look forward to working with you! If you’ve already given us your contact details we will be in touch very soon.

Please let us have any feedback or queries! keepswimming@moseleyroadbaths.org.uk . We’re very busy preparing to operate but will reply as soon as we can.

Finally – for those that are happy in pubs and like cake… the Old Moseley Arms will be holding a Cake Bake-off to raise funds for us, on 2nd March evening. Come along, have a slice ‘for donation’ and even make a cake to enter into the competition.

Look forward to seeing you at the pool soon!

February update

Wondering what is happening with Moseley Road Baths’ future?  There was a flurry of activity last Autumn when we raised a whopping great £26,000 towards the running costs of Moseley Road Baths when it is handed over to a community organisation to manage.  Since then a lot of work has been happening behind the scenes.  Hopefully this explains a bit more about what to expect this year!

Moseley Road Baths were scheduled to close in Summer 2017.  The Moseley Road Baths Action Group (‘MRBAG’ – a wider group that included the Friends of Moseley Road Baths) came together to look into other ideas for keeping the Baths open.   This Action Group came up with a plan to run the Baths as a community venture, and after lots of discussions, the City Council agreed to let the Action Group have a go !

so . . .

from  1st April 2018,  Moseley Road Baths will be run as a Community run Baths.

The organisation in charge will be the ‘Moseley Rd Baths CIO’

What is a CIO? 

CIO stands for ‘Charitable Incorporated Organisation’

During 2016 and 2017 the Action Group worked hard in order to form themselves into an organisation that could take over the day-to-day running of the Baths, on a business-like but ‘not-for-profit’ basis.    Then they applied for charity status, which was granted in December 2017.

Caring for the building

An important part of the Action Group’s work has been to develop an Alliance with other important organisations – Birmingham City Council, the National Trust, World Monuments Fund, Historic England and others – who have specialist knowledge of caring for Heritage buildings & conserving them for a useful future. 

The role of the Friends of Moseley Road Baths (FoMRB)

The Action Group formed as a temporary grouping to secure a better future for the baths.   The Friends group is part of this group.   The Action Group has now formed Moseley Road Baths CIO which will operate MRB from April 2018.  The Friends group will also continue to exist, focusing as we always have on involving the public, by holding events and activities such as Open Days, Heritage tours of the Baths and arts events.  We will work closely with the CIO – we have many members in common.

New FoMRB members welcome!   

Meetings are held every two months in the Tea Room at the Baths.  The next meeting is Thursday 12th April at 7pm.

How you can help run the Baths:

  • Keep on swimming – use it or lose it. We need your custom to keep the Baths open
  • Remind your friends that the Baths are staying open and encourage them to swim here. You can help spread the word through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or our newsletter.
  • Train as a lifeguard
  • Train as a Receptionist
  • Volunteer for other jobs, including cleaning, maintenance and publicity
  • Become a Trustee

If interested in any of these roles please contact Karen Leach on keepswimming@moseleyroadbaths.org.uk or phone 0121 449 8348 and leave a message or ask to speak to Karen.

Saving energy, water & hard-earned cash at MRB

A guest blog by Phil Beardmore

Moseley Road Baths is a beautiful treasure of a building.  It is also very old and hasn’t had much investment over the years.  So it is no surprise that it is a building that is quite wasteful of heat, power and water.

So I was delighted in summer 2017 to be appointed by the Friends of Moseley Road Baths Action Group to produce a report on energy and water saving options at the baths.

The age of the building and its listed status puts limitations on what you can and can’t do.

Here are some of the key recommendations that I made for things that won’t cost too much will have a short return on investment:

  • Detect and repair all leaks of cold water, hot water and steam, and reinstate lagging on hot water and steam pipework
  • Use a pool cover on Pool 2 to prevent evaporation of water, heat loss and excessive humidity
  • Use a timer on the filtration pump
  • Upgrade all lighting in frequently used areas to LED lighting
  • Upgrade all heating and lighting controls
  • Optimise the use of electrical appliances to align with times of day when electricity is cheapest.

The following recommendations will cost more and have a longer return on investment but will nonetheless save money over their lifetimes:

  • Replace the roof above Pool 2 with a new one conforming to current standards of insulation
  • Replace the gas-fired steam boilers that supply heat to the pools, and also their heat exchangers, with either energy efficient gas, or with biomass boilers subject to further options appraisal
  • Replace the gas-fired domestic hot water boilers that supply hot water to wash basins and showers, with energy efficient gas boilers
  • Upgrade the ventilation system in Pool 2 to an energy efficient heat recovery system, with variable speed drive.

Other measures that could lead to the generation of energy and non-potable water on site include:

  • Solar electricity, with or without battery storage
  • Solar thermal, to pre-heat water to the domestic hot water boilers
  • Solar cooling, which uses the heat of the sun to optimise the refrigerant gas in a dehumidifier
  • Investigate the feasibility of rainwater harvesting and/or groundwater abstraction to provide filtered water to the pool; a paid internship with the University of Birmingham will be advertised shortly
  • Develop a business case for an energy and water services company to fund, own and operate on site generation of non-potable water and renewable energy.

I’ve also recommended that when the time is right to do so, the Moseley Road Baths CIO should engage a reputable broker of energy and water supplies in order to obtain the most competitive prices.

There is a lot to be done but the business case for investment in energy efficiency is very strong.  The good news is that Moseley Road Baths CIO is in a good position to secure the funds that could lead to saving a lot of money, and carbon dioxide emissions, in the near future.

Phil Beardmore

January 2018

Moseley Road Baths CIO will implement some of these recommendations and will work with the City Council and our other coalition partners to achieve the others. We’re really grateful to Phil for an excellent and thorough report. This is part of some development work funded by the Bright Ideas grant programme.

Seeking a new chairperson or co-chair for the new charity – MRB CIO!

Great news that as of 21st December we now have a registered charity, Moseley Road Baths CIO (charitable incorporated organisation) which will take on responsibility for running the baths.

We are seeking a chairperson or co-chair for Moseley Road Baths CIO to take forward the  community swimming venture as part of the future use and restoration of the whole building.

As you’ll know, our group of dedicated volunteers has been working together for the last two years to make this a reality. As we approach handover, the time is right to find a new chair to take it to the next level of its development.

We chose this picture to accompany our advert, because this venture is not about just an old building but about people, fun, and the continued ability of our families and neighbours to do what they love – keep swimming, stay active and learn about water safety at Moseley Road Baths.

Read more about the chair opportunity here.

Karen Leach

MRB CIO – registered charity no 1176432