As many of you will know the Stirchley Baths Project is about reusing the building as a community hub – not returning it to swimming. But lots of people care about the old baths and find interesting bits of history. This popped up on twitter
Thanks Neil – he’d found the website Suburban Birmingham…
Suburban Birmingham: Spaces & Places, 1880-1960 was a partnership project led by the University of Birmingham, and produced by Birmingham Archives & Heritage, Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery, and University of Birmingham Special Collections. Funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, the project ran from 2009 to 2012.
..and this picture of the Ceremonial Key used to open the baths on July 25th 2011
Go here to read the whole and fascinating text about Stirchley and the origin of our civic buildings – here’s a chunk…..
The inscription on this key records the official opening of Stirchley Swimming Baths by George Cadbury Junior on 25 July 1911, to whom the key was presented by the architect John Osborn. This illustrates the close relationship between the Cadbury family and Stirchley. Over a period of 30 years, they were involved in the provision of buildings with a communal purpose, whether as social amenities, public services or places of worship. Yet the Cadburys did not have a monopoly over communal buildings and the services they supported.
Large-scale industry began in Stirchley, not with the Cadburys, but with the arrival of James and Son in 1861 – a factory producing screws. This developed into an industrial complex (later part of the GKN combine) and facilities for workers included a recreation ground with tennis courts. The co-operative movement emerged in Stirchley in 1875 and, as well as providing a range of retail facilities in the area, the Ten Acres and Stirchley Co-operative Society (TASCoS) invested in educational and social facilities. Rooms were provided at many TASCoS premises for lectures and meetings and its Choral Society became a significant cultural asset to Stirchley.
Here’s a link to other Stirchley historical material on the site.
Great work from Birmingham Archives & Heritage, Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery, and University of Birmingham Special Collections, and once again thanks Neil for spotting this. Anymore please email to firstname.lastname@example.org – pop it on our facebook page here or tell us on twitter using @stirchleybaths or #stirchleybaths.
The project will see many of the original materials will be reused, preserving key historic features, including the original kiosk within the entrance area, the iconic chimney flue, balconies and tiling.