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#294882 - 25th Feb 2009 10:02pm Birkenhead Public Baths
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 10801
Loc: Birkenhead
Written about 1951 by Birkenhead Corporation....

"Under various powers the Corporation has provided public baths at Livingstone Street, Byrne Avenue and Argyle Street South. Slipper baths are available at all three and Argyle Street South and Livingstone Street have steam vapour baths. Byrne Avenue and Argyle Street South also specialise in medicated baths including "Zotofoam"

"The Byrne Avenue Baths, built in 1933, is a modern building, architecturally simple, with sandfaced multi-coloured bricks relieved with artificial stone dressings, and is one of the finest establishments of its kind in the North of england. The building contains two swimming baths, one 75 feet long by 30 feet wide, the other 75 feet long by 35 feet wide. The larger one is ideally suited for Water Polo. Dressing rooms and cloakrooms are on the ground floor. Cafe and kitchens are upstairs. There are club rooms and special facilities for schools.
Birkenhead Swimming Club have their headquarters here and excellent galas are held during the season.
A proffesional swimming instructor is available at these baths - terms on application.
In the winter months the larger pool is covered with maple floor and converted into an Assembly Hall seating 1,000 people or accommodating some 400 for dancing. Other activities include roller skating and an indoor cricket school; Secretary of the Winter Cricket Association is Mr. C. S. Chantrell, "Withinfield", Rocky Lane, Heswall, to whom enquiries should be addressed."

"The large pool at Livinstone Street Baths is converted to a Youth Centre for the winter months, and facilities are provided for various indoor activities such as basket ball, net ball, etc. The Centre is under control of the Youth Organiser."

"Enquiries regarding the Baths and Hall lettings should be addressed to the Superintendent and Engineer, Baths & Municipal Buildings, Byrne Avenue, Rock Ferry, Birkenhead."


Edited by diggingdeeper (25th Feb 2009 10:07pm)
Edit Reason: fingers in right place, keys in the wrong place

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#295040 - 26th Feb 2009 2:02pm Re: Birkenhead Public Baths [Re: diggingdeeper]
bert1 Offline

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Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7948
Loc: tranmere
More about the baths


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
baths.jpg


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#295083 - 26th Feb 2009 6:19pm Re: Birkenhead Public Baths [Re: bert1]
diggingdeeper Offline

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Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 10801
Loc: Birkenhead
Thanks bert, I was waiting a bit before I asked if anyone new anything about the Argyle St baths, they are new to me.

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#295169 - 26th Feb 2009 8:56pm Re: Birkenhead Public Baths [Re: diggingdeeper]
BMW Joe Offline
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Registered: 30th Apr 2006
Posts: 12369
Loc: Birkenhead
New to me too?

Pretty sure theres a picture of the Livingstone Street baths in Wirral History somewhere - just had a quick look, but cant find it
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#295180 - 26th Feb 2009 9:13pm Re: Birkenhead Public Baths [Re: BMW Joe]
Pinzgauer
Unregistered


The Argyle St baths were almost opposite to Central Station. I think they were closed for quite a while before being demolished in the early '60's (?)

I've read somewhere that the water was heated slightly when delivered to the baths. It was condensate from the "Grasshopper" steam engines used to pump water from the rail tunnel at Shore Road. It was piped from Shore Road to Argyle St. It was then "topped up" by the boilers at Argyle St., thus reducing costs.

I'll try and find the ref. to the above in my mega book pile !!

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#295185 - 26th Feb 2009 9:31pm Re: Birkenhead Public Baths [Re: ]
Pinzgauer
Unregistered


Got it wrong again Dad !!! The baths were supplied with water from Shore Road (That bit's right). However, it was the tunnel drainage water (crystal clear salt water that percolated through the sandstone from the river) that was fed to the baths.

It wasn't the heated condensate. Sorry for that.

Ref:- The Lines Beneath the Liners. J.W.Gahan. p.35.

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#295189 - 26th Feb 2009 9:39pm Re: Birkenhead Public Baths [Re: ]
MissGuided Offline

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Wiki Guardian

Registered: 18th Jul 2008
Posts: 9995
Loc: Back of the wardrobe
So Livingstone Street Baths was a salt water pool like Guinea Gap?
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#295190 - 26th Feb 2009 9:40pm Re: Birkenhead Public Baths [Re: ]
diggingdeeper Offline

Wiki Master

Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 10801
Loc: Birkenhead
Well done Pinz, they were indeed opposite Central Station on Argyle Street South.

Livingstone St Baths were salt water taken from one of the docks.


Attachments: Viewing Permissions May Apply. Click Me
Map-ArgyleStreetBaths.jpg

Description: Map Argyle Street Baths 1936




Edited by diggingdeeper (26th Feb 2009 9:46pm)
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#295198 - 26th Feb 2009 9:47pm Re: Birkenhead Public Baths [Re: diggingdeeper]
MissGuided Offline

Awesome
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Registered: 18th Jul 2008
Posts: 9995
Loc: Back of the wardrobe
The docks???? That's gross!
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#295203 - 26th Feb 2009 10:06pm Re: Birkenhead Public Baths [Re: MissGuided]
scoops Offline
Smartchild

Registered: 27th Oct 2008
Posts: 531
Loc: Lurking
The location of the baths looks to be about where National Tyres is.
Could that building be the baths? It looks pretty old.
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#295308 - 27th Feb 2009 12:36am Re: Birkenhead Public Baths [Re: scoops]
kimpri Offline

Forum Guardian

Registered: 29th Oct 2008
Posts: 3553
Loc: birkenhead
Livingstone st baths was not salt water big pool for the older kids in holidays. The small pool family type and warmer both had balcony's round top jump of them if pool attendant wasn't looking. you could get hot bath there adults only 6d my old man took his one towel bit less then 4d..
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#295325 - 27th Feb 2009 2:11am Re: Birkenhead Public Baths [Re: diggingdeeper]
chriskay Offline
Forum Veteran

Registered: 25th Oct 2007
Posts: 4868
Loc: shropshire
Originally Posted By: diggingdeeper
Well done Pinz, they were indeed opposite Central Station on Argyle Street South.

Livingstone St Baths were salt water taken from one of the docks.


Interesting little sidelight on that map. There was a loop in the tram tracks at Central station which would apparently allow trams from Borough Rd. to turn & return up Borough Rd. without switching ends. Presumably some trams terminated at Central instead of going to Woodside, but why they went to the trouble of putting in a loop is a puzzle. This loop doesn't show on the track plans I have. I'm assuming it was indeed a loop, but the line is obscured by the lettering of Borough Rd. 1936 is only a year before the trams stopped completely & already the tracks up Argyle St. South, leading to the Church Rd. line were gone. In fact, the tracks up Borough Rd. aren't that clearly marked either, so maybe they'd been lifted too. Next time I go to the archives I'll try to find out a bit more.
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#295336 - 27th Feb 2009 5:09am Re: Birkenhead Public Baths [Re: chriskay]
Pinzgauer
Unregistered


Didn't realise that Livingston St. baths used dock water. Must have had a good filtration system !

A few years back, I organised a visit to the Shore Road Pumping Station (before it was restored). The remaining engine was just as it was left in 1959. The main reason for the visit was to walk under the river along the disused ventilation heading that runs above the rail tunnel. (Will someone check that Robbo's tied down). We then got the lift cage down to the drainage heading that's below the tunnel.

The water that percolates into the rail tunnel, about 4,000gpm., ends up in sumps on both sides of the river. Now HERE'S where we get back on topic (Thank Gawd you groan). The water in the sumps is an amazing blue/green and clear as crystal ! The sump at Shore Road must have been about 12' deep with the bottom clearly visible ! We were all gobsmacked. As was explained to us, the crap Mersey water is filtered through the porous red sandstone and comes out still 100% salt but 100% clear.

I was down the pilot tunnel heading of the Wallasey road tunnel when they were digging about 300yds under the river. Temporary drainage sumps were dug into the floor and they too were full of clear Mersey liquid ! Good stuff sandstone.

Sorry for long post. Thought it might be of interest.

Will someone PLEASE sedate Robbo. Sweating, bright red face, steam coming out of ears, uncontrollable thrashing of feet, just about to break his securing chains. TUNNELS:TUNNELS:TUNNELS....


Edited by Pinzgauer (27th Feb 2009 5:10am)

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#295347 - 27th Feb 2009 9:32am Re: Birkenhead Public Baths [Re: ]
bert1 Offline

Wiki Veteran

Registered: 27th Nov 2008
Posts: 7948
Loc: tranmere
I seem to remember the water in Guinea Gap baths used to kill your eyes, that never use to happen at Livingstone st or Bryne ave, It also happened at the Woodchurch baths when they opened. Were does the name come from for Guinea Gap ?.
_________________________
God help us,
Come yourself,
Don't send Jesus,
This is no place for children.


Bertieone.

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#295348 - 27th Feb 2009 9:45am Re: Birkenhead Public Baths [Re: bert1]
derekdwc Offline


Forum Veteran

Registered: 13th Oct 2008
Posts: 5024
Loc: Birkenhead
one story was that a skeleton and a sword and some guineas were found there ages ago

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