WOODCOCK STREET BATHS

©  COLIN BAKER   2007                                                                                       

The second Public Bath to be built in Birmingham.

At a meeting of the Council on the 28th September 1852, it was decided there was “a need to provide a second suite of baths in the town”, and suggested that it’s should be located in the  Duddeston Ward area. The site chosen, after a lengthy discussion was a plot of land between Woodcock Street and Duke Street, and the foundation stone was laid on the 25th July, 1859 and on the 27th August 1860 the building was opened to the public. The building was in “the Gothic style built of red brick with blue brick plinth and stone dressing”, and comprised of a large swimming bath and suites of Private Baths for both Men and Women, each with a small Plunge Bath.

By 1902, additions made to the original building included a First Class Swimming Bath, First Class Private Baths and a Steam Laundry, the laundry was added to deal with the increased requirements of both Woodcock Street and Kent Street baths.

In the early 1920’s, the Woodcock section of the building was rebuilt, but retained the Bath added in 1902, opened to the public on the 14th April 1926, it included a Gala Bath, Private Baths for Men and Women and a Central Establishment Laundry, capable of handling the requirements of the whole department’s establishments.

During the winter of 1948-49, the Gala Bath was modernised with the installation of under-water lighting, improved general lighting and “the application of sprayed asbestos acoustic treatment to the Bath Hall ceiling”.