Harry Rutherford's
Festival of Britain Mural

Friday, 2 November 2012

Hyde Baths part 2


Following the post about Hyde Baths the other day, here is a photo sent in to us by Eric Downs.
It shows the inside of the "Big Pool".

Also the British Restaurant post evoked this response from Ken Smith !!

"My great uncle, Jimmy Oakes, was fireman/laundryman at Hyde baths for about thirty years.
His job included the shovelling of all coal delivered and dumped up the side of the building down into the boiler room where he was responsible for all the stoking and maintenance of the huge 'Lancashire' boiler including the annual flue-cleaning when, once the boiler had cooled, he had to crawl along the now empty fire duct to bring down and clear all the accumulation of soot. He was also responsible for the laundry where all hired towels and swimming costumes were washed and dried and for making the soap which was used in the public baths.
He was responsible for topping up and servicing the filters and pumps necessary for maintaining water quality and swept the Ladies and Men's plunges to remove dirt and dust that had settled to the bottom.
He carried out regular inspection of all the piping within the subterranean tunnels under the baths and was aided in all of this by just one assistant!
I wonder how many takers there would now be for that job should it be advertised?
As a youngster, I used to walk with him to work at 6.00AM and swim in the men's plunge in total isolation before I went off to do my morning paper round - happy days! I also used to eat with him in the British Restaurant, which was just about his only 'perk' apart from me getting in for free!
Ken Smith.

PS: The attachment is my Mother's swimming pass for the year 1930!"

Many Thanks, Eric and Ken !!  :)


Marjorie said...

That's going back a bit when Joe Smith was superintendent!
I had several of these passes in my time, but not signed by Joe Smith, though I do remember seeing him when I was young, swimming in his one piece costume. Great chap.

Anonymous said...

Barry in Oz. THis is where I learned to swim as a kid. A thick leather belt with a rope attached was placed around my waist and the instructor pulled me along from the side of the pool. After doing this for a couple of weeks you were told to swim wearing the belt (believing that the instructor still had hold of the rope) and if you looked to the side you would see that she had let go of the rope. When I did this I immediately sank.

Anonymous said...

Who remembers mr and mrs jones'shop? At the bottom of Tom Shepley Street.