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Royal Liverpool Seamen’s Orphanage, Newsham Park, Tuebrook, Liverpool

Majestic building suffering badly from rot and neglect


    Council urged not to close historic Staffordshire pool

    England’s oldest listed public swimming pool in which it is still possible to swim is at risk of closure under plans proposed by Stoke-on-Trent Council.


      Grand finale of 1000 Year Swim

      Last week Dr Ian Dungavell successfully completed his challenge to visit all of the listed Victorian and Edwardian pools still open for public swimming in England and swim a lap for every year each of the buildings has been standing. His last port of call was Dulwich Leisure Centre in South London.


        Why the 1000 year swim?

        Heritage swimming pools offer people a rare opportunity to immerse themselves in living history. With only 14 out of more than 50 listed Victorian and Edwardian pools still open for public use, we need to work hard to make sure no more of our historic pools go down the drain.


          When? It’s all over!

          Ian began his challenge, which amounted to a total of 1543 lengths or just over 22 miles, at Bramley Baths in West Yorkshire on Thursday 24 July 2008. Over the following 36 days, he visited all 14 listed Victorian and Edwardian public swimming pools in England and swam a length for every year each pool has been open.


            What people have been saying about the 1000 year swim challenge

            The 1000 year swim challenge has really captured people's imagination. Wherever I have swum, local people have thought it a great idea, and local media have turned out to cover the occasion. Here is some what can be seen on the internet.


              Health Hydro, Swindon

              What an amazing thing the Swindon Health Hydro is. And it's a hidden gem: passing it on Faringdon Road you get no sense that the building is open, and it looks more like a railway works than a swimming baths.


                St Luke’s pool, Brighton

                Many schools in the early 20th century had their own swimming pools, but this is the first one I've been in. The poor physical state of the nation's young men signing up to join the Boer War had come as a shock, and so healthy exercise was encouraged.


                  Manningham baths, Bradford

                  This is the most exceptional of the baths I have visted so far. Not because it has elaborate decoration, stained glass and very high quality finishes. It doesn't.


                    Batley baths

                    Batley is a beautiful town and Batley baths, designed by local architect Walter Hanstock, are a most suitable adornment to it.


                      Queensbury pool, Bradford

                      Like much else in Queensbury, the baths were given by the local mill owners, the Foster family, whose firm is very much in business still today.


                        Camberwell baths

                        Camberwell Baths is apparently the earliest surviving public baths (1891) by Henry Spalding and Alfred WS Cross who came to specialise in this building type.


                          Camberwell baths

                          Camberwell Baths is apparently the earliest surviving public baths (1891) by Henry Spalding and Alfred WS Cross who came to specialise in this building type.


                            Beverley Road baths, Hull

                            Beverley Road Baths is an impressive monument to turn-of-the-century civic pride. A central square tower topped by an octagonal cupola marks out the entrance, and another smaller cupola with a copper dome turns the corner into Epworth Street. To the right, the gabled end of the pool hall, decorated with a Palladian window. This is a baths complex which wants to be noticed!


                              Bramley baths, Leeds

                              Well, this was a great start to the 1000 year swim! There has been so much interest in the event from national and local media, and people are keen to tell me about why this pool matters to them. Bramley Baths is the last open survivor of eight pools built by Leeds City Council from 1899-1900, and I could see as soon as I got there why it has been listed.


                                Campaigners fight on for London’s longest-serving pool

                                Local residents running a petition against the demolition of a Victorian pool in Lewisham have once again been backed by the Victorian Society, the national charity campaigning for the Victorian and Edwardian historic environment.



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