Following last October’s successful collaboration with Fierce Festival, the Friends of Moseley Road Baths will be hosting Birmingham Heritage Week events at the historic Grade II* swimming baths in Balsall Heath on September 11th-12th 2015.
Over these two days, eight artists with Birmingham connections will present SLIP, a programme of new and existing work involving music, video and installation, in the usually closed private washing bath departments. There will also be a series of short films curated by Kino 10 and co-organised with Fierce Festival (www.wearefierce.org). Featured artists include Sophie Bullock, Sarah Farmer, Sheila Ghelani, Annie Mahtani, Emily Warner, Alek Wojtulewicz and the duo Under The Plans.
The artists’ work can be viewed on Friday, September 11th (4pm-8pm) and Saturday September 12th (10am-4:30pm). Entry to the works is free.
In tandem with the arts event, on Saturday 12th, the Friends of Moseley Road Baths will be conducting guided tours around the building, including areas not usually open to the public, commencing at Noon, then at 1pm, 2pm and 3pm. Places are limited, so please arrive early. Visitors will also have the chance to purchase Pool of Memories – A History of Moseley Road Baths, the Friends’ book on the history of the baths, along with other memorabilia including greetings cards and a range of postcards.
Also on Saturday, between 1pm-2pm only, there will be an allotted hour’s free swimming to encourage visitors to not only see the building, but to experience it for its primary purpose. Places are on a first come, first served basis and buoyancy aids can be provided. Any queries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For both the remainder of Birmingham Heritage Week and beyond the swimming pool will be open daily at the times shown on the council website: www.birmingham.gov.uk/moseleyroadpool, meaning that visitors can bathe in over one hundred years of history and heritage.
For further information or additional comment, please contact Mark Gunton, the Friends of Moseley Road Baths: 07801 444 075 or visit www.friendsofmrb.co.uk or on Facebook.
Additionally, on Friday, September 11th, the Friends of Moseley Road Baths will be taking part in a local history and craft fayre at the MG Cars Sales Centre in Lowhill Lane, Rednal. The event takes place between 1pm-6pm.
Visitors to this event will also have the chance to see the MG museum and the inaugural Birmingham Heritage Week takes place between September 10th-17th and includes a wealth of events, exhibitions, talks and tours providing an insight into the diversity of the city’s cultures and heritage.
Moseley Road Baths is the oldest of only three Grade II* listed indoor swimming pools currently operating in Britain. Opened on October 30th 1907, it contains several rare or unique features, including: the only complete set of pre-war private washing (or ‘slipper’) bath cubicles, a three-sided spectator gallery and unique balconettes in the Gala Pool as well as original poolside arched glazed brick dressing boxes (another rare feature, shared only with Woodcock Street baths in Gosta Green). The only surviving steam-heated drying racks are located in the first floor laundry room above which sits the 45,000 gallon capacity cast iron cold water storage tank. The original filtration tanks date from the early 1930s.
The Friends of Moseley Road Baths (FofMRB) was founded in November 2006 to promote the use and appreciation of the entire baths building and to campaign for the retention of swimming in both pools (the Gala Pool has been closed since 2003). The group liaises with local Councillors, council officials and other interested organisations over the condition of the building and its long term future.