My grandparents lived on Brighton Road and my mother lived there until she was 30. She went to Moseley Road Baths form school and almost drowned once. She didn't hear the teacher say "Jump in" so her teacher pushed her in and she swallowed half the pool. My Dad took me swimming there when we visited Nanny in about 1960. I'd been to indoor pools before but these were something else and I couldn't believe how beautiful they were. It was like a Roman bath house. Even though I now live in Yorkshire, these baths are part of my heritage and I really hope you secure the funds you need because you have worked so hard.
I'm 63 now and live in Cornwall, but I still clearly remember my first swim at Moseley Rd baths - I was about 5 years old and went there in the school holidays with my big brother and swimming ring. It was the beginning of my love of swimming. I lived in nearby St.Pauls Rd and went to Clifton Rd school and it was with Clifton Rd juniors that I learned to swim on our weekly visit to the baths. I was so proud and excited when I swam my first length and gained my Free Pass! From then on I was an almost daily visitor to the baths - and often to the library next door too. I had an unhappy childhood but in that sea of unhappiness was what I considered an island of joy - that island was made up of the baths, the library and Moseley Rd Methodist Church which was opposite the baths. Each of these offered me a wonderful escape from my unhappy home life. I started thinking about the baths again recently as I plan to move back to B'ham next spring and was looking forward to swimming there again. It had never occurred to me that they may not be open or that they would be in danger of closing - being in a highly populated area I still find it surprising that they could be shut down. How sad that they must have been neglected and allowed to fall into disrepair over the intervening years - and how silly to think that those children in the Balsall Heath /Moseley area will be able to just as easily go to Stechford baths or elsewhere for a swim. I am hoping that the baths will still be open by next May so that I can come and swim in that place where I swam almost daily. If not I will have to come up for a visit so that I can have a final swim before they close - but I really don't want to think of that sad prospect. Now that I am aware of what is happening I will be following your story closely via Twitter, facebook and your newsletter. I will sign off with my maiden name just in case any long lost childhood friends read this - good luck with the fundraising! Vanessa Gossage.
We need to do what we can to save this important part of our local community. It is part of our history and for the future health and fitness of our community. The local authority have allowed this to happen through lack of care for our history while they have watched Manchester save their Victorian Baths. We need to protect our history and vital local services so please support this great project
I learned to swim here in the early 1960s. My teacher was Mrs Yates. I will never forget my first width and the film of water that I swam beneath as Mrs Yates shouted encouragement from the side, nor the huge hook that she used to fish us out with when we were in the deep end, nor the wonderful smell of the entrance hall, nor the hula hoops that I was given as a treat after a lesson. Recently I returned for a swim. This time I noticed the beautiful tiling up the stairs, the incredible booth at the entrance and the wonderful architecture both inside and out. This building and its use must be preserved. Both are too important to be lost.
This project offers rewards in return for your donation.