P h o t o B l o g

Sunday, 10 February 2008


Victorian decorative stonework and brickwork around the doorway of the Old Swimming Baths (now renamed as Hugh Mason House), Henry Square, Ashton. [Find out more about the old baths.]

The building has stood empty and derelict for years but has recently received attention to help keep the building in shape until a new purpose is found for it.

Above the door is seen the star emblem that features in Ashton's coat of arms.


  1. I never realised before that the tower belonged to the old swimming baths. Actually the only baths in Ashton I was aware of were the ones near the bus station.
    But the tower is the iconic symbol of Ashton for son Craig who always points it out whenever we pass within sight.

  2. I think it good they will try to save it from falling down. Also a reminder to me that in this country bathing was not something people did on a regular basis. So we went from one extreme to the other.

  3. I used to go to the Henry Square baths every week in the late 50s - we were taken there from School and I NEVER learned to swim! I remember the white tiled, stone floored changing room where we all shivered!
    When I worked in Ashton Library in the 60s, the old men used to wash their clothes at the Baths and then come up to the Library to dry their socks on the radiators! I was always the one sent to tell them off! LOL

  4. The bricked up doors were for the communal changing rooms for the swimming baths.

    The iconic tower which hyde dp wrote about is seen differently by others - I was told by a Polish lady that it reminded her of the extermination camp where most of her family perished in WWII, she remarked that it sent a shiver down her back when ever she saw it - I now see it in such a way too.

  5. I remember going to the Baths in the late 50's.We lived in Welbeck street then and the sterile bath stall was a treat compared to the ols galvanised alternative!Also remember walking from St Ann's once a week for swimming lesson's

  6. when i think how many times i have walked through those. i think it was tuppence to get in back in the forties ,i used to go from school every friday afternoon ,not to swim ,i wasnt allowed in the baths because every week our teacher made us all go under the cold shower first and that made my nose teem in blood every time ,so no swimming .it was crazy really when she knew ,i always had red rosy cheeks so perhaps nose bleeds were good for me ,and i had lots of them ,,still do from time to time ,,

  7. We used to go once aweek from school and then sometimes in the afternoon. Mrs Varley used to teach us in the afternoon. Later we received our certificate. The smell of clorine/bleach? when you went in!!. Some change rooms down stairs, communial with curtains for a bit of privacy. Very modest in those days. We used to go upstairs and have what they called a private cabin! I think it cost 2d more. We had to swing under the cold shower before we were allowed into the pool proper. My friend Joan slipped on the stairs going back to our cabin and cut her eye. She still wears the scar today. Boys showers far left, girls on the right.Came out of the baths and bought some pink and white coconut ice from a shop, I think next door to the Chemist's (Whites) just up Stamford St from the swimming baths. Had some good competitions there.

  8. I remember carrying the voucher book for our school and handing it to the ticket office as our class went for swimming lessons, late 50's early 60's


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