You may remember last week I blogged about the ideas generating sessions we have been doing with young Stirchley-ites around the history and heritage-related activities that might be possible at the Baths.
One of the ideas they came up with is for an intergenerational dance-themed project where older Stirchley residents could teach them dances of the 1940s, as illustrated in the wonderful pictures we have of Den Jones at Stirchley Baths, and the teenagers pass on these skills to school children – sounds like the making of a great community showcase event somewhere down the line! The members of the Tea Dance at Stirchley Community Centre I spoke with today are certainly up for the challenge!
I was a bit cheeky earlier and asked if I could film a dance that would have probably graced the floorboards of the covered pool back in the 1940s. John was more than happy to volunteer the services of the Tea Dance members who gave us a wonderful demonstration of the Palais Glide. Watch them in action:
(Apologies for another low budget movie)! We had a great afternoon at Stirchley Community Centre, where we were running our second Splash Back in Time reminiscence event.
Coming up in the next week or so you’ll hear a few stories of people dancing at the Baths. Massive thank you to John and the members of the Tea Dance for being such good sports today!
People came along to share their memories of Stirchley Baths at the first Splash Back In Time event on Monday at the library. And to find out more about the Heritage Lottery Fund second-round bid and the plans to transform the building into a community hub.
We’ve already posted an interview with Ron Coley from the first Splash Back In Time event HERE where Ron shares his memories of using the public bathing facilities with his dad every Saturday in the 1960s.
We’ll post more interviews soon.
The second and final Splash Back In Time event is at Stirchley Community Centre on Tuesday 19th March between 12.30pm and 4pm. We’d love to see you there!
Please share the event with friends and family, especially those who aren’t online but who have memories and stories of Stirchley Baths they’d like to share. If they can’t make the event they can jot their memories down and drop them in to the district office, library or community centre.
Committee member Brenda Thomas set up a youth club in Stirchley in the 1970s with other mums and grandmothers called the ‘Stirchley Youth Tuesday Club’.
It was originally held at Stirchley Primary School – and 200 children turned up on the first night over the two sessions that were held: 6-8pm for primary children; 8-10pm for secondary school.
Brenda says: “I was surprised how many people turned up because it was thick, pea soup fog. You couldn’t see across the playground. And yet all these children were waiting for this youth club, which was amazing.”
Listen to Brenda’s account of the first night here, and the kinds of activities that were held (including south Birmingham youth club swimming galas at Stirchley Baths)…
As well as providing activities for generations of children, the Stirchley Youth Tuesday Club had another legacy for the town too.
A need to find a new premises in the early 1980s (due to extra caretakers being required for out-of-school activities) led to the creation of the Stirchley Community Group and, eventually, Stirchley’s existing community centre in Pershore Road.
Were you there on the first night of Stirchley Youth Tuesday Club? Did you go to the youth club and get involved in the sports competitions and swimming galas at Stirchley Baths? Share your memories and stories with us – please email firstname.lastname@example.org – pop it on our Facebook page here or tell us on Twitter using @stirchleybaths or #stirchleybaths