Category: Stirchley Heritage

Memories & Memorabilia: collecting Stirchley’s History

Do you, or a member of your family, have memories of living in Stirchley in days gone by? We’d love to meet you! Pop in to meet members of Stirchley History Group at the Baths on Saturday 25 March; chatter about the past, share your personal stories about the area, bring in your memorabilia, and enjoy a trip down memory lane over a cuppa.

More details on the poster.

Don’t just watch movies. Make movies. Summer Film School for 11-19 year olds

SB Summer Film School A3 Poster with HLF logo 960



Are you, or someone you know, aged between 11 and 19, live locally to Stirchley Baths, and fancy learning how to make a short movie over the summer holidays?

Whether you are a budding filmmaker, or a complete novice, we have got a fantastic opportunity for young people to take part in our first ever Summer Film School at Stirchley Baths. There are 40 places available to work with filmmaker Scott Johnson on two-day film challenges. There are two challenges for each age group; 11-14 and 15-19. Places will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis, so read on to find out more information, and then get in touch! 

What are Film Challenges?

  • Creating a short film together, from idea to script to filming. There will be a maximum of 10 young people participating in each film challenge.
  • Everyone can try out different roles on the crew.
  • We want to help you make YOUR stories, and also stories which use local history / the history of Stirchley Baths as starting point.
  • All filming will take place in and around Stirchley Baths.

How much does it cost?

  • A very reasonable £5 per participant for the two-day workshop. (This includes the ‘Setting the Challenge’ session and the film screening celebration event).
  • The project is heavily subsidised by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the Heritage Activity Programme.

What is the ‘Setting the Challenge’ session all about?

  • This session will be a chance for the young people and their parents to meet the filmmaker and Stirchley Baths team who will be running the workshops. It’s also a great chance for the young people to meet each other.
  • It will include a tour of Stirchley Baths so you can learn more about the building and its history which we hope will start ideas flowing!
  • We’ll screen some short films that have been made by young people with the filmmaker on previous projects to give you an idea of what the outcome might look like.
  • If you can’t make this session, but are booked onto a film challenge – don’t worry too much; you can still take part!

Who can take part?

  • We have two age groups for our Summer Film School: age 11-14 and age 15-19.
  • The Film School is targeted primarily at young people local to Stirchley Baths and in the Selly Oak District.
  • The film challenges are open to all abilities. You may be a budding filmmaker or want to have a go at something completely new. There will be an emphasis on team working.

What do I do to book a place?

  1. Ring or text Suzanne 07793 075737 or email to check there are spaces available.
  2. If places are available, please download the Registration & Booking Form, which includes some Rules of Engagement. You can also pick up these in person at Stirchley Baths (reception). There are two different forms:
    1. Under 16s – these require parental/guardian consent. Registration & Booking form_under 16s_inc. Rules of Engagement
    2. Over 16s. These do not require parental/guardian consent, but you are responsible for telling them. Registration & Booking Form_Over 16s_inc. Rules of Engagement
    3. Get the completed form back to Suzanne as soon as possible to confirm your place. You will need to bring your £5 participant’s fee too. Places will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis. If you are available for more than one session for your age group please give us a first and second choice.
    4. We will confirm which dates you have been allocated with as much notice as possible.

Who is running the workshops?

  • Scott Johnson is a filmmaker, visual artist and musician with over 15 years experience in both the UK film and music industries. He has also been facilitating filmmaking with young people for the past 8 years. Scott works across a number of media creating short films, music videos, multi-media installations and music. He has been commissioned internationally, including by Ikon Gallery, BBC Television, Flatpack Festival, Sonar, Edinburgh Film Festival, Domino Records, Capsule and Experimenta Festival. Check out Scott’s work here:
  • Suzanne Carter is currently delivering the Heritage Programme at Stirchley Baths and will be there to support the workshops. She knows a fair bit about the history of the place, so you can ask her questions! She has also done a lot of work with schools and young people in the past. if you want to find out more about Suzanne please see her

What do I need to bring to the two-day challenge?

  • A packed lunch.
  • Ideas, creativity, enthusiasm, and a willingness to work as part of a team.
  • Appropriate clothing and shoes for possible outdoor filming (and sun cream/hat if the summer decides to show its face!)

What does Stirchley Baths provide?

  • All filmmaking equipment.
  • Tuition with a professional filmmaker – Scott Johnson (DBS checked).
  • Support from Suzanne Carter who works at the Baths (DBS checked).
  • A safe room to leave your belongings.
  • Drinks and snacks.
  • An incredible venue and an fantastic opportunity to learn new skills.
  • Popcorn and drinks at the Film Screening event for you, your friends and family at the end of the workshops on 13 August.

How do we celebrate all our achievements and watch the films we make?

  • On Sat 13 August we will host an open event for friends, family and interested local supporters of the Baths. We’ll provide the popcorn and refreshments!
  • We’d like the young people to be involved in running and organising the event.
  • On the booking form we will ask you have many tickets you want (max. 4 per participant) and we’ll confirm times with tickets nearer the time (there may be two events if lots of guests).
  • A certificate of attendance for the film challenges if you would like one and link to the film you have made.

Want to talk this through with someone?

Contact Suzanne Carter on 07793 075737 for a chat, or email

Stirchley Dances – Saturday 25th June 16, 1 – 4 pm

Stirchley Dances

You Could Be Dancing!

The Dancing Mat, a commissioned artwork for the Stirchley Baths Heritage Programme, is nearing its launch with an event ‘Stirchley Dances’, on Saturday 25th June 1 – 4pm. This is a free event open to all, celebrating the heritage and current day dancing in Stirchley. John and Eileen Horlick from the Stirchley Tea Dance Group who worked with me to record steps from dances that would have been danced at Stirchley Baths in the 1940’s will officially open the dancing mat at 1pm in the foyer. After this there will be dancing in the main hall by the Tea Dance Group, Swing Express and Barn Dance Fitness, the latter two who hold weekly classes at Stirchley Baths. You can either come along and enjoy watching the dancing or join in. It doesn’t matter whether you are a complete novice, enthusiast or highly experienced – this is a celebration of all things in Stirchley.

Stirchley Tea Dance Group

A terrific time was had with Eileen & John from the Stirchley Tea Dance Group last week. We traced waltzes, a jive and a tango  onto paper as the first stage in making visual part of the dancing history of the baths. All of theses dances would have been happening at the baths in the 1940’s when they covered the pool for their non stop dance events.


I’m now working with waltz steps to make this into a design for the dancing mat that will go in the baths entrance foyer. It’s been great to meet other groups who are using the baths also – the jazz dance group – great energy! and the barn dance group; you could see what they do as a metaphor for community  – everyone is working together to make something happen. We’re starting to plan the launch for when the mat is made and in place; a celebration of dance in the baths.