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Swimming pools

The Victorian Society declares Manningham Pool a heritage crime scene

Friday 8 July 2011: The Victorian Society protests at the closure of Manningham Baths as the Grade II-listed Edwardian pool finally closes its doors to swimmers.

Give Manningham Pool one last chance!

Thursday 23 June 2011: That’s the plea from the Victorian Society in response to Bradford City Council’s announcement that Manningham Pool will close on Friday 8th July.

Tell Bradford Council why the pool must stay open!

Wednesday 20 April 2011: The Victorian Society is calling on people to write to the leader of Bradford Council to explain why Manningham Pool is important to them.

Saturday free for all at threatened Bradford pool

Wednesday 6 April 2011: Swimmers will have the opportunity to step back in time on Saturday at Bradford's historic Manningham pool when the Victorian Society offers them a chance to swim for free.

Historic London pool restored

Thursday 10 March 2011: Camberwell Baths in south London will officially re-open to the public this Saturday after the completion of the first stage of a £4.7 million restoration project.

Council urged not to close historic Bradford pool

Wednesday 23 February 2011: Councillors in Bradford must vote to keep the city’s listed Edwardian swimming pool in use, according to the Victorian Society.

Council urged not to close historic Staffordshire pool

Monday 11 January 2010: 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

Tuesday 2 September 2008: 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.

When? It’s all over!

Monday 1 September 2008: 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

Monday 1 September 2008: 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.

Why the 1000 year swim?

Monday 1 September 2008: 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.

Health Hydro, Swindon

Wednesday 27 August 2008: 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

Tuesday 19 August 2008: 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

Wednesday 6 August 2008: 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.

Queensbury pool, Bradford

Tuesday 5 August 2008: 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.

Batley baths

Monday 4 August 2008: Batley is a beautiful town and Batley baths, designed by local architect Walter Hanstock, are a most suitable adornment to it.

Camberwell baths

Wednesday 30 July 2008: 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

Monday 28 July 2008: 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

Friday 25 July 2008: 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

Wednesday 11 June 2008: 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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