This newly renovated and refurbished grade II listed community facility will be formally opened by the Deputy Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Ward alongside special guests. On the day there will be invited guests from the community, city council and our fantastic contractors to take part in the ceremony.
Entertainment will be provided by one of our Selly Oak District Arts Champions – Birmingham Opera Company. Stirchley Baths Heritage Volunteers, History Group and staff will be on hand as guides to show invited guests around to view the heritage interpretation and talk about the development of the building from dilapidated swimming pool to 21st century community asset.
Refreshments will be provided by ChangeKitchen CIC who currently run our cafe.
This will be a great opportunity to celebrate the contributions made by everyone who has had an involvement in the project.
General members of the pubic are invited to come and see us and take a look at the facility from January 18th.
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
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.