If you swam at Stirchley Baths in the late 1980s you may well remember there was a tropical mural at the deep end of the pool, painted by the Assistant Manager, Paul Jones, to hide the scaffold which was supporting the eroding balcony. It brought warmth and light to all those who used the public baths.
The design of palm trees, golden beaches and a sail boat reflected in blue waters under a sun-filled sky must have cheered the swimmers no end.
This mural was the last piece of public art in the baths. It is now going to be re-created as a permanent piece of artwork – mounted in the Co-working space next to the public café – and a celebration for the venue’s future. Community is at the heart Stirchley Baths and so it is fitting that the new mural is created by and for those who will continue to use the venue for years to come.
Working with tapestry needle-point artist Tina Francis, during this 8-month project we want to involve as many of our local communities as possible; users of the building, families, schools, young people and visitors to events. We will also set up a monthly stitch group.
What will the artwork look like?
Our community stitch project will replicate the design of the tropical mural using stitch/tapestry.
The body of the work will be plastic canvas as it is really easy to stitch into whether you are of pre-school age or a much older person. We want as many age groups and abilities to be involved as possible. Rather than a flat scene we will bring the mural to life with 3D elements which will also be stitched onto the canvas with the addition of knit.
There will be opportunities to get involved until December/January next year. The giant canvas will be cut into smaller areas so that lots of people can contribute; it will then be stitched together at the end. We want to document everyone who has taken part, and if you are willing, a Polaroid snap of you will be added to the wall by the mural as part of this special Stirchley Baths community artwork.
Our initial dates are on the poster below – so pop them in your diary and pop down to the Baths for one or more of Tina’s drop-in stitch sessions.
The school holidays are fast approaching (again!) We’ve dedicated Tuesdays and Wednesdays to family activities during the hols, so why not pop down and enjoy a spot of interactive storytelling, Easter egg trails, Board games and origami craft! ALL FREE, thanks to the support of the Heritage Lottery fund, and our wonderful volunteers. Our history trails around the building are also available for those who want to explore more. Details are on the poster below.
This Saturday Danni, one of our fab staff team, will be running a fundraising event at Stirchley Baths to raise money for Birmingham Christmas Shelter and other Birmingham charities. Please show you support; either by baking in the competition, donating bakes to sell, or just come along and buy and EAT lots of cake in the name of charity!! Details on the poster below. Entry by donation.
We are delighted to announce that from 24 April 2017 we will be holding a free monthly ‘Memory Cafe’ at Stirchley Baths. At our Memory Cafe we will be inviting people with dementia, Alzheimer’s and with memory problems along with a family member, friend or carer, to talk about the past in a relaxed and welcoming environment. We hope to trigger memories by using props, music, dance, film and the Baths building itself. This monthly activity is being developed as part of the Stirchley Baths Heritage Programme, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and we hope it becomes a regular feature in the Baths’ regular event programme, run with the support of volunteers.
We are working with Louise Deakin to develop the sessions here. Louise has set up a popular Memory Cafe at Soho House Museum and knows the history of the Baths and area well. Also joining us is local artist Rachel Duggan from Leaf Creative Arts, who will be running a small creative activity at each Memory Cafe session based around our themes.
Alongside, and as an extension of the Memory Cafe, Rachel will be running a project called Creative Reminiscence which includes a further two creative and inclusive workshops at the Baths each month.
For dates and further information about both new initiatives, please see the details on the posters below.
If you would like to book a place at the Memory Cafe, please contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone: 0121 4649072.
If you would like to book a place at a Creative Reminiscence Workshop, please contact Rachel directly by phone: 07886 546639 or email: email@example.com
Any questions, please contact Rachel from Leaf Creative Arts, or ask for Suzanne Carter, the Community Heritage Coordinator, at Stirchley Baths.
You’ve probably been to the Baths, but have you been on one of our fascinating history tours, or down into the underground tunnels yet?
Well, this year we are running a monthly Sunday afternoon heritage tour where you’ll get to see behind the scenes; going up on the balcony and down into the Deep End of the pool and along the tunnels to the original well. If you don’t fancy the ‘hard hat’ tunnel experience, there is plenty to hear about, learn and enjoy on the tour above ground.
Join us for a fascinating journey into the history of Stirchley’s most iconic historic building from 1903 to present day. Pre-booking is essential. £3 per person. Please book before the Friday of that Sunday’s tour date. Everyone welcome, but please note, only children aged 6+ can go down into the tunnels for safety reasons.
Please wear sensible shoes for the tunnels and probably best not to wear your Sunday best as the tunnels are dirty and dusty!
Tour starts 2pm. Please arrive five minutes early. The tour will be finished by 3.30pm.
All proceeds will be used to support Stirchley History Group. Please bring exact money if possible or write a cheque for £3 to Stirchley History Group.
Tour dates for 2017 are:
- Sunday 19 Mar
- Sunday 23 Apr
- Sunday 21 May
- Sunday 18 Jun
- Sunday 23 Jul
- Sunday 20 Aug
- Sunday 17 Sep
- Sunday 8 Oct
- Sunday 19 Nov
- Sunday 17 Dec
Please book through email: firstname.lastname@example.org , telephone: 0121 464 9072 or through twitter @StirchleyBaths or facebook/StirchleyBaths
Hope you can join us!