We have seen an overwhelmingly positive response to the consultation work that Birmingham Conservation Trust have been doing as part of the bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for restoration and heritage projects at Moseley Road Baths. There is a great write up on their blog.
Lots of you have been completing questionnaires on your ideas for the building (these can be found at the Baths and many local community venues), there was lots of interest at the Eid Mela a few weeks back, 133 people took a ‘Behind the Scenes’ tour last weekend, every single department at Joseph Chamberlain College has expressed an interest in using the Baths with students, plus this week we are meeting with local schools to discuss their vision for activities at the Baths. Phew!
I was lucky enough to meet with Suzanne Carter, part of the team from Birmingham Conservation Trust conducting the consultation, and representatives from local arts organisations. We took a tour around the building, delving into nooks and crannies. It’s so inspiring and affirming to see people getting visibly excited by the possibilities in the space.
We spoke about how the individual cubicles for the slipper baths could be used creatively, how the archive from the Pool of Memories could be used as inspiration, and we got very excited talking about how everything from the smallest detail of the tiles and marble to the huge expanse of the Gala Pool could be employed for photography, film, projection, dance and drama.
It’s clear to me that we have a really wonderful opportunity to combine the heritage and beauty of this inspiring building with the creativity and talents of local people. Let’s push to make sure that we can make these things happen!
This Sunday, 2-6pm there is a rare opportunity to delve behind the scenes of the Grade II* listed building to see how the pool is run and to see bits of the building not open to the public. This is as part of a consultation exercise looking into ideas for a restoration bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund. No need to book – just turn up!
Today the seven pupils involved in our Pool of Memories Project set to work filming people with memories of Moseley Road Baths. As soon as the session started they showed that they were completely on the ball by getting all of the camera equipment out and getting ready for the first ‘mock’ interview.
Our first interviewee was Mrs Noreen Evans, who came from Northfield, ready with a stash of photos to show us to help pupils to understand a little bit more about life in Balsall Heath in the 1950s. She went to Tindal School and was a regular at the pool. She spoke about how going for a Bath wasn’t very nice as she didn’t like the carbolic soap. However, compared to her tin bath at home, or even washing in the stone sink, it was a lot better.
Miss Franklin from the school came and spoke to us about taking pupils swimming, and even recalled a time when one of the members of staff accidentally covered her with water!
Mrs Reeves then came in for an interview and talked about taking pupils swimming and even going swimming with her son when he was little. She talked about how much she likes the high ceilings when she swims there.
Tomorrow we will be editing about 50 minutes of film footage into a short film to put on the website and to show to other pupils in Year 6. In the meantime, here is a bit of footage from the Flip camera of the pupils interviewing Mrs Evans.
Why go for a bath at Moseley Road Baths? from Rachel Gillies on Vimeo.