On Saturday 29th October, 12 Noon-4pm, the Friends of Moseley Road Baths will be taking over the Moseley School of Art on Moseley Road (opposite the Baths) for the day to celebrate the Baths’ history and beauty through the medium of art.
The work of 12 local artists will be exhibited, encompassing a wide range of mediums, including photography, illustration, sculpture and portraiture, all of which has been inspired by Moseley Road Baths itself, swimming, or water. The Pool of Memories exhibition will not only be the only opportunity to see all of these works together, it will also be a rare chance to see inside the former School of Art, itself Grade II* listed.
In addition, the Friends’ will be screening short films produced by local pupils as part of our Pool of Memories School project. Pupils from Park Hill School, Anderton Park School, Clifton Junior School and Percy Shurmer School have filmed and conducted oral history interviews with people who remember swimming, working or washing at Moseley Road Baths. We will be premiering the most recent films from pupils at Park Hill School on the day.
At 2pm Corinne Fowler will be reading an excerpt from her novel that features an account of a full immersion baptism in the Gala Pool at Moseley Road Baths!
There will also be a selection of stories from our ever-growing oral history archive on display as well as an opportunity for visitors to contribute to the archive with their own memories. Entrance is free and light refreshments will be provided.
The Friends of Moseley Road Baths art exhibition is wonderfully complemented by the Balsall Heath History Fair and Exhibition taking place at the former Butcher’s Transfers Factory (now the Make It Zone!)
The Friends of Moseley Road Baths (FofMRB) was founded in November 2006 to promote the use and appreciation of the entire baths building and to campaign for the retention and maintenance of both pools (the Gala Pool has been closed since 2003).
The group liaises regularly with local Councillors, council officials and other interested organisations over improving the condition of the building, its long term future and ways of maximising pool usage.
Moseley Road Baths is the oldest of only three Grade II* Listed indoor swimming pools currently operating in Britain. Opened on October 30th 1907, it contains several rare or unique features, including:
The only complete set of pre-war private washing (or ‘slipper’) bath cubicles in Britain, 46 in all.
A three-sided spectator gallery and unique balconettes in the Gala Pool as well as original poolside arched glazed brick dressing boxes (another rare feature, shared only with Woodcock Street baths in Gosta Green).
Possibly the only surviving steam-heated drying racks, located in the first floor laundry room.