Tag: history

Architect Mark Sloane on the plans for Stirchley Baths

Mark Sloane

Mark Sloane from Acivico drew up the plans for the community hub at Stirchley Baths following community consultation and involvement.

The plans (which were approved by Birmingham City Council’s planning committee in March) were a real challenge – how to preserve the building’s historical features while making sure the building is fit for its new purpose in the 21st century?

Mark talks about how the swimming pool – although boarded over for the main hall of the community hub – will still be a central feature, as will lots of other features. For example, the reception kiosk, where people would have paid to swim or to take a bath, will be maintained and restored.

Mark Sloane

As well as conserving the building’s heritage, Mark says the plans also incorporate elements from the original plan for the Baths that were drawn up in the 1900s. A second cupola, much taller than the one that stands at the entrance to the building, was lost at some point in the building’s history, as was a clock. Both will be recreated as part of the community hub project. And both would never have been discovered if it wasn’t for the original, century-old plans (which we hope to get on to the site for you to have a look at very soon).

You can listen to the interview

We talked about the new plans for the community centre while looking at hard copies, with Mark giving a guided tour of sorts of what’s planned! Here are the plans we looked at:

Stirchley Baths Site Plan
Stirchley Baths Site Plan
Stirchley Baths Ground Plan
Stirchley Baths Ground Plan

You can also download them as PDFs

Proposed Ground Floor Plan (PDF)
Proposed Site Plan (PDF)

Sandra’s Stirchley Swimming Club memories

Sandra Braker

Sandra Braker started going swimming at Stirchley Baths as a four-year-old. She soon became a member of Stirchley Swimming Club and took part in galas across the West Midlands.

Sandra talks to Jane Baker about her memories of this time and how she hopes the community hub can provide a real use for the building again.

Were you a member of Stirchley Swimming Club? Let us know about your memories by emailing stirchleybaths@gmail.com or by leaving a comment on the website. We’re also on Twitter and Facebook

Studying Stirchley Baths: Interview with Amy Pond

Amy Pond

Amy Pond is a postgraduate student at Bath Spa University and she is currently working on her dissertation – on Stirchley Baths.

Amy, from Kings Heath, loves old buildings and talks to Jane Baker in this interview about why she’s so interested in Stirchley Baths particularly and her hopes for the building’s future.

Taking a bath at Stirchley Baths in the 1950s

Brenda Hawksford

Brenda Hawksford used to bathe at Stirchley Baths.

“We were grateful for it,” she says. “There was no hot water in our house and it was a lot easier using the baths at Stirchley than getting the tin one out at home and heating the water up for that. Much easier.”

Jean Wyatt: Dancing at Stirchley Baths in the 1950s

Jean Wyatt

Jean Wyatt went dancing at Stirchley Baths in the 1950s when the swimming pool was covered with boards – a great example of the building’s multiple uses in its history.

“You couldn’t believe you were dancing on top of all that water,” she says.