Birmingham – Woodcock Street Baths

The following is taken directly from The City of Birmingham Baths Department 1851 – 1951. The work was written and compiled by J. Moth M.N.A.B.S Birmingham 1951 and is presented here.

Woodstock Street BathsAt a meeting of the Council on the 28th September 1852, the Baths Committee were instructed to ‘consider the advisability of providing a second suite of baths in the town’ and the district selected was that of the Duddeston Ward or in its immediate neighbourhood.

A site for this purpose situated between Woodcock Street and Duke Street was finally chosen and in due course the foundation stone of the Woodcock Street Baths was laid on the 25th July, 1859 and on the z7th August, i86o, the buildings were opened to the public.

The design of the building was in the Gothic style of architecture and of red brick with blue brick plinth and stone dressings, string courses and coping.

The original accommodation included a large Swimming Bath and suites of Private Baths for Men and Women, each with a small Plunge Bath.

Woodcock Street Baths Central LaundryWoodcock Street Gala BathAdditions up to the year 1902 were a First Class Swimming Bath and suites of First Class Private Baths and a Steam Laundry, the latter to ease the position at the Kent Street Laundry in dealing with the increased requirements of the remaining establishments.

Shortly after the Great War, it was decided to reconstruct the Woodcock Street Baths, only the Bath added in 1902 remaining unaltered. The new buildings, opened on the 14th April, 1926, included a Gala Bath, Suites of Private Baths for Men and Women and a Central Establishment Laundry, capable of handling the requirements of the whole of the Department’s establishments.

Woodcock Street Baths Club BathDuring the winter of 1948-49, the Gala Bath was completely modernised by the installation of under-water lighting, improved lighting in the Bath Hall, and the application of sprayed asbestos acoustic treatment to the Bath Hall ceiling

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5 Responses to “Birmingham – Woodcock Street Baths”

  1. Alan Brookes says:

    There’s a typographical error in the first paragraph. “28th September, 1952”, should read “28th September, 1852”.

    • Carl Evans says:

      Thank you for reading the web page and for identifying this error. It has now been corrected.

  2. Reg Smirthwaite says:

    As a child I was born and lived in Woodcock Street up until the University of Aston compulsory purchase of the housing and business properties in the area forced us to leave in the Mid 1960’s.
    The Swimming Baths played a huge part in my childhood, my parents were members of the Leander Swimming Club that met at the Baths every week and it is where I learned to swim.
    We used to walk from our junior school Bishop Ryders to the Woodcock Street Baths for our swimming lessons.
    One of the greatest gifts to receive as a schoolboy was the Swimming Free Pass!!
    Me and my school mates would be at the Baths after School, and in the School Holidays swimming was so popular we had to queue up for “Sessions” at the end of which the Pool Attendant would ring a hand bell.
    As I lived in Woodcock Street I would sometime see Footballers from the Villa with their Official Club Blazers on going to the Swimming Baths, well before they had Bodymoor Heath!
    From Bishop Ryder Junior I went on to the Brand New Duddeston Manor Bi-Lateral Secondary Modern School who held their Annual Swimming Galas at Woodcock Street Swimming Baths, here the Four School Houses of Ashtead, Bloomsbury, Francis and Loxton would compete against each other; we also did our Duke of Edinburgh Swimming Survival Courses here, where we had to put on Pyjamas on top of our swimming trunks and then proceed to swim a mile then take off the pyjama top and attempt to create a life preserver, it must have worked because I am still here.
    Happy Days

    • Jackie says:

      Hello, I lived in aston as a child on woodcock street, my mom worked at the baths, I also attended bishop ryder school, mrs weatherhog was my teacher 😄

  3. Janet Moir | Moseley Road Baths says:

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