A successful Memories and Memorabilia Day

On Saturday we had another wonderful Memories and Memorabilia Day, our fourth successive annual event to mark the building’s birthday.  In total we took 59 people for tours of the Baths, we had a full room for Neil Bonner’s talk on Manchester’s Victoria Baths and lots of people left details, shared their memories and tucked into Russ’ wonderful soup!

We had lots of people coming up and looking at our stalls, finding out more about our Pool of Memories project as well as looking through our exhibition.

Guests

We were also lucky enough to be able to display Margaret Braithwaite’s lovely paintings of Moseley Road Baths.

Margaret's paintings

The feedback from the tours of the building was excellent, with many people never having ventured beyond Pool 2.  Both Steve and Mark gave tours which took in the slipper baths, the boiler room and the laundry room.

Tour

Meanwhile, I had a lovely time chatting with people about their memories of Moseley Road Baths.  Eileen, pictured below, lived two doors down from the Baths between 1960 and 1964 and vividly remembers attending dances there, swimming with friends, and even using the Baths.  She also told us the story of when Billy Fury came to stay next door at what is now the Gurdwara!

Eileen interviewee

Thanks so much to all who attended, to the members of Victoria Baths who kindly came along, to everyone who held a stall at the event, to our volunteers for their hard work and of course to the long suffering members of the Friends of Moseley Road Baths Committee who put so much work into the day!

Last minute planning

With only two days to go until our Memories and Memorabilia Day the Friends of Moseley Road Baths and our oral history volunteers are going into overdrive to ensure that all our visitors come away with that warm glow that we’ve managed to achieve in previous years!

Last night we finalised a lot of our displays after hours and hours spent going through our oral history audio recordings.  I’ve been putting some of the best snippets together for visitors to have a listen to.  Meanwhile I know that others are leafing through memory sheets, laminating stuff, mounting pictures, and in the case of the group from The Victoria Baths in Manchester plotting their trip down to deliver their talk… and you know what?  It’s so exciting to be a part of it and to have the chance to share all of these fabulous memories with everyone!  There are some real gems, I particularly like this one of local pupils on the campaign trail!

Pupils banner

So, last minute planning….

If you haven’t already told your friends and family, made a note in your diary, spoken to that elderly neighbour who you know just LOVES local history, then do it now!!  Drop me a line at memories@friendsofmrb.co.uk if you want me to send you flyers or more information.

If you want to join one of our three tours of Moseley Road Baths, including many areas that are currently completely sealed off to the public, you will need to book your place to guarantee a spot.  Again, drop me a line or ring 07967 093 256 and state whether you want to join us at noon, 1pm or 3:30pm.  All tours leave from Mary Street Church Centre on the junction with Edward Road.  Be prepared for stairs and uneven surfaces!

The Friends of Moseley Road Baths group will be providing light refreshments, but as with previous years we encourage anyone with baking skills to add to our array of homemade cakes!  There’s something about a slice of cake and a cuppa that really gets people reminiscing!

We are really keen for those amongst you who swam, washed, worked, dived or danced at the baths to add your own memories (and memorabilia) to our growing archive by recounting and possibly recording your stories to our oral history volunteers who will be on hand for just this purpose.  Come prepared!

Finally, just in case you are unsure of directions, here’s a handy map! There is limited car parking at the venue (access on Mary Street), with some additional on-street parking.


View Larger Map

Can’t wait to see you there!

Last year’s tour

To get you warmed up for this year’s Memories and Memorabilia Day on 30th October, we wanted to share with you once again the excellent video that Alex Gamela and colleagues at HashBrum put together of the tour. Don’t forget that you will need to book this year’s tours in advance by e-mailing your preferred time to memories@friendsofmrb.co.uk or ringing us on 07967 093 256.

Enjoy!

Moseley Road Baths Tour from Alex Gamela on Vimeo.

Book a tour of the Baths

Memories and Memorabilia Day 2010 is almost upon us and will this year be held on Saturday, October 30th (the 103rd birthday of Moseley Road Baths) at the Mary Street Church Centre, corner of Edward Road/Mary Street, Balsall Heath (around 400 yards from the baths). The event runs from 11:30am-4:30pm.

This year’s Memories and Memorabilia Day forms an important element of Pool of Memories, the three-year history project for which we have received a Heritage Lottery Fund Your Heritage grant.

An exhibition showing a selection of the photos, video film, reminiscences and artefacts already collected by the Friends of Moseley Road Baths as part of the Pool of Memories project will be on display and we’re really keen for those amongst you who swam, washed, worked, dived or danced at the baths to add your own memories (and memorabilia) to our growing archive by recounting and possibly recording your stories to our oral history volunteers who will be on hand for just this purpose.

Pool of Memories Launch

Following last year’s superb illustrated talk by Played in Britain series editor Simon Inglis’ on Britain’s historic indoor swimming pools, we are delighted to welcome Neil Bonner from the Victoria Baths Trust in Manchester who will tell (and show) us all about the past, present and future of these glorious Grade II* baths (winners of the BBC’s inaugural Restoration series in 2003)! Neil’s presentation is scheduled for 2:15pm.

As in previous years, we’ll be providing guided tours of Moseley Road Baths, including the Gala Pool and ‘slipper’ baths.

There will be three tours (Noon; 1:00pm and 3:30pm), and we’ve been asked by the Council to limit the number of places per tour to 20, so advance booking is advised. Tours start from the Church (why this is will become clear on the day) and will last just over 1 hour. Please note that the tours take in areas of the Baths where there are steep steps and uneven surfaces.  Places will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis. To book please e-mail us at memories@friendsofmrb.co.uk marking your e-mail ‘Baths Tour’ and stating which tour you would like to go on.

M&M Day 2010

Admittance to Memories and Memorabilia Day is free and refreshments will be available, although donations to the Friends of Moseley Road Baths group are most welcome. Car parking is available at the church centre (Mary Street entrance).

We look forward to seeing you all.

Memories and Memorabilia Day 2010

Our third annual Memories and Memorabilia Day will be held on Saturday, October 30th (the 103rd birthday of Moseley Road Baths) at the Mary Street Church Centre, cnr Edward Road/Mary Street, Balsall Heath (around 400 yards from the baths). Provisional times are 12:00-4:30pm.  The annual celebration was well received last year, when we were lucky enough to display some of Joan Gurney’s collection of swimming costumes of yesteryear.

Joan's swimming costume collection

This year’s Memories and Memorabilia Day forms an important element of Pool of Memories, the three-year history project for which we recently received a Heritage Lottery Fund Your Heritage grant of nearly £48,000.

An exhibition showing a selection of the photos, video film, reminiscences and artefacts already collected by the Friends of Moseley Road Baths will be displayed and visitors will be encouraged to recount (and record) their own memories and bring along their own memorabilia for inclusion in the project and our growing archive.

Those of you who attended last year’s Memories and Memorabilia event may well have enjoyed Played in Britain series editor Simon Inglis’ illustrated talk on Britain’s historic indoor swimming pools, based on his research for the English Heritage book Great Lengths. This year we are delighted to welcome our friend’s from the Victoria Baths Trust in Manchester (www.victoriabaths.org.uk) who will tell (and show) us all about the past, present and future of these glorious Grade II* baths (winners of the BBC’s inaugural Restoration series in 2003), the equal of our own favourite water palace!  We visited the Victoria Baths a few years ago, and would really recommend going to an open day!

As in previous years, we’ll be providing guided tours of Moseley Road Baths, including the Gala Pool and ‘slipper’ baths, for which advance booking is advisable, if the demand of previous years is anything to judge from!

Exact timings, details for tour bookings and the full programme of events are not yet finalised, so please check our website for updates and details of booking a tour place from early September.

Admittance to Memories and Memorabilia Day is free although donations to the Friends of Moseley Road Baths group are most welcome. Refreshments will be available

Another view of Moseley Road Baths

We’re getting more and more interest in Moseley Road Baths from people who have been inspired by the building to do interesting and creative stuff. Alex Gamela came along to our Memories and Memorabilia Day last year and gathered a fair bit of footage and photography. He’s used it to create a Flash website which gives a really lovely view of the building, as well as providing lots of background information on the history of the baths. Have a look at the site here – but remember that you will need Flash installed.  Enjoy!

Heritage Lottery Funding success!!

We are extremely excited to announce that The Friends of Moseley Road Baths has been awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund Your Heritage grant of almost £48,000 to undertake a three-year project researching the history of the Edwardian Grade II* Listed Moseley Road swimming baths in Balsall Heath, Birmingham.

Pool of Memories is an Oral History project incorporating several interlinked elements, including production of a book, DVD and accompanying teaching resource pack, website, exhibition and a ‘Theatre in Education’ scheme. The project will involve extensive input from local schools and community groups.

Commentating on the award, Pool of Memories Project Co-ordinator Jen Austin said: “We are delighted to have secured this substantial Heritage Lottery Fund grant which will enable us to document the history of Moseley Road Baths and record the stories and reminiscences of those who have swum, socialised, washed or worked there.

“For more than a century, Moseley Road Baths has been a hub of the community, providing swimming and bathing facilities for generations of local people. The Pool of Memories project will collate and preserve this history, providing a detailed picture and valuable archive of this nationally important building and its role in Birmingham’s history.”

Explaining the importance of the award, Anne Jenkins, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for the West Midlands said: “We are delighted to be able to support this project which will involve over 2,000 young people and bring them a multitude of educational benefits and skills whilst they explore the past of these well-loved local baths.”

An event to officially launch the Pool of Memories project will be held in February, from which point members of the public will be invited to contribute to the project.

For further information about the Pool of Memories project contact Jen Austin on 0777 609 5885 or e-mail us on the usual address.

Played in Birmingham lecture

We’re very lucky as a group to be able to draw on the expertise of one of our group members, Steve Beauchampé.  He and Simon Inglis, who many of you will remember from his excellent presentation at our ‘Memories and Memorabilia Day‘ have written extensively about our local sporting heritage.  Moseley Road Baths features in two of the wonderfully detailed and illustrated publications from the ‘Played in Britain’ series.  ‘Played in Birmingham‘ explores Birmingham’s sporting heritage, whilst ‘Great Lengths‘ focuses on the development of swimming baths in Britain.

We are very excited to announce that they have both been invited to deliver a lecture at the prestigious Barber Institute this March.  Full details are below – please contact the Barber Institute directly for all enquiries.

Birmingham is a city founded upon hard work, enterprise and civic pride, characteristics that have also helped to shape its sporting map. This richly illustrated lecture focuses on Birmingham’s historic sporting landscapes – from stadiums to swimming baths, parks to pavilions, golf clubs to billiard halls – and reveals little known aspects of a heritage that has touched the lives of millions of Brummies, whether inclined towards sport or not.

Simon Inglis is an architectural historian and editor of the English Heritage series Played in Britain. He is the co-author with Steve Beauchampé of Played in Birmingham, the fifth book in the series, and has also written a history of Villa Park. Steve Beauchampé is an expert on Birmingham’s sporting architecture and heritage and is currently writing a history of the Grade II* listed Moseley Road Baths in Balsall Heath.

All lectures are held at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts and begin at 7.30pm. Lectures are preceded at 6pm by a finger buffet, including a choice of wine, soft drink or coffee, and a private view of the Barber Institute galleries. Admission is by ticket only.

Lecture and buffet: £15 per ticket or £55 for the series. Lecture only: £7.50 or £27.50 for the series.

To book, please contact the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TS. 0121 414 7333 www.barber.org.uk
Payment by credit or debit card; cheques are payable to the University of Birmingham.

Your cossies needed!

Friends of Moseley Road Baths are very pleased to welcome Joan and Gerald Gurney to our ‘Memories and Memorabilia Day’.  They have travelled from Essex with just a sample of 48 costumes from an even larger collection of swimwear and accessories that Joan has been collecting since the 1950’s.

Some of the costumes date back to the Edwardian era – so come and see how the first swimmers in our pool may have been dressed when they went for a dip!

Joan is a swimming historian who will be on hand on the day to answer questions and show you her exhibits.

We would also encourage you to search around at home and bring old costumes of your own, however embarrassing!  We are starting our own collection of swimming costumes, accessories, certificates, badges – in fact anything to do with swimming – as part of our oral history project. Come on the 31st October to the Memories and Memorabilia Day to share your memories!

2 days to go!

The excitement is building up to our Memories and Memorabilia Event on Saturday. Cakes are being baked, displays being finalised, videos being edited and posters and postcards are flying out of our hands!

As we are a small voluntary group we’re reliant on people passing on the word to other people. We’re always completely overwhelmed by what a great response we get. If you’ve not told people around you then please take the time to let others know about the event. Full details are here:

http://www.friendsofmrb.co.uk/2009/10/memories-and-memorabilia-day/

We’re also eager to hear from anyone who wants to share their memories, so if you want to be interviewed drop us a line at contact@friendsofmrb.co.uk. Likewise, if you want to bake a cake or have an unusual costume you can dig out to show us then let us know!