One of the first public facilities built in Birmingham, UK was the Moseley Road Baths. Constructed in two stages, being the first the construction of the Free Library, the baths were designed by William Hale and Son, and opened their doors on October 30, 1907. There were restrictions to access, as it was common at the time, and three different entrances attest to that: one for first class men, another for second class men, and a third one for women. Its unique architecture and gathering purpose made it the icon of the neighbourhood.
After several years of decline, one of the two swimming pools has been refurbished, restoring its old lustre. Sadly, the Gala pool was still left to degradation. The Birmingham City Council intends to close the Baths permanently in 2015, following the opening of a new sports facility.
With this work, the swimmers were standing against the announced closure of the facility, one of the oldest Edwardian pools in the UK. After these photos were taken, and thanks to the tireless efforts of the local community, the closure was delayed several times. In 2016, the World Monument Fund included the Moseley Baths in their watch list, giving them access to £1 Million for emergency repairs. In 2020, the roof repairs were concluded making further refurbishment operations possible.
The resilience and cohesion of the Moseley Road Baths community is being rewarded. A light of hope shines on the future of this heritage building and its people.
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