New Slipper Baths and Wash House Gainsborough Road Hackney

The following article appeared in Baths and Bath Engineering (The Official Journal of the National Association of Bath Superintendents) page 1 to 3 January 1936 Issue 23 Volume 3 Editor; Jenkyn Griffiths B.Sc; P.A.Inst.W.E

This scheme, recently completed for the Hackney Borough Council at Gainsborough Road, Hackney Wick, comprises a slipper baths block, and a separate wash-house with the boiler house adjoining, serving both blocks.

Gainsborough Road Wash House Exterior ViewThe main elevations of the buildings on the Gainsborough Road frontage are faced with artificial stone.

The slipper baths block has been planned so that if at any time in the future it should be desired to construct a swimming bath, it could be done with the minimum of alterations to the existing building. The main entrances to the slipper baths are in the central portion of the building facing Gainsborough Road, where the ticket office and administrative offices are also situated. Above this portion of the building on the second floor is living accommodation for the resident engineer. The baths are planned in two wings, each accommodating 24 baths for opposite sexes, six in each case being first-class, with waiting rooms and lavatory accommodation. The floors in the baths, including the entrance halls and corridors, are carried out in terrazzo, and the walls are lined with terrazzo for a height of 7 ft. The partitions between the bath cubicles and the door frames are in precast terrazzo. Joinery throughout is in teak. Heating in tile slipper baths is by means of “Solray“ panels fixed to the walls above the terrazzo dado, and elsewhere by radiators.

The wash-house, which is planned to allow for a possible future extension, is approached by a separate entrance with a ticket office, waiting and children’s and attendants’ room, and is provided with lavatory accommodation. The equipment comprises six washing machines, six washing troughs, two hydro-extractors, six power mangles with tables, 15 drying horses, and ironing tables with eight electric irons.

The washing machines, each with a capacity of 40 shirts, and the mangles are belt driven from shafting operated by Bull motors in combination with Brookhirst straight-on automatic contactor Vintork Hydro Extractorstarters, the mangles being provided with safety trips. The washing machines are in two groups of three, and between them are two 27 in. “Watson-Laidlaw“ self-balancing pivot electrically-driven hydro extractors of the “Vintork” type. The baskets of the extractors each have a cubic capacity of 4 cu. ft., and are designed to run at the high speed of 1,500 revs, per mm. The machines have patent “Kamlok “ interlocking safety guards which must be closed while the machines are running, and cannot be opened until the power is cut off and the baskets practically at rest. The extractors are self-contained, each with its own electric motor and a straight belt drive between the motor and the spindle. Each motor has a starting panel with interlocked isolator and remote push-button control. The motor can only run while the push-button is depressed, so that the machine is not left running if the operator leaves the machine.

The floor in the wash-house is of granolithic paving and the walls have a dado of salt glazed tiles 4 ft. high, with plaster above finished with glossy paint.

The boiler house accommodates three leco type steam boilers with calorifiers serving the heating and hot water service systems. The water softening plant is installed on an upper floor.

The plant installed is a Kennicott base exchange water softener, containing the Kennicott natural mineral ‘‘Kenzelite M” and the plant is designed to deal with 20,000 gal. of water between regenerations, softening it from 18 deg. to zero at the rate of 5,000 gal. per hour. A special by-pass connection with meter is provided in order that the hard water may be mixed with the softened water to bring the final water up to 6 deg. of hardness.

The method employed for regeneration is the Kennicott system of brine recovery; the re-use of partially spent brine results in the efficient and economical use of salt for regenerative purposes.

The plant is 5 ft. by 8 ft. 9 in. over-all, and provision is made for duplicating this unit at a later date.

Gainsborough Road Wash House Internal ViewThe buildings are equipped throughout with inter-communicating telephones and synchronised electric clocks.

The buildings have been designed and carried out under the supervision of the borough engineer, Mr. Percival Holt, M.Inst.C.E. with Mr. J. Roger Preston, M.J.Mech..E. of Malet Street, London, as consulting engineer in respect of the heating plant and Iaundry equipment.

The specification for the electrical installation was prepared by the electricity department and the work was carried out under the supervision of Mr. E. A. Mills, the borough electrical engineer.

The estimated cost of the scheme is £30,000.

The principal contractors for the construction of the scheme were: General contractors, Commercial Structures, Ltd; heating and hot water engineering work, James Combe and Son, Ltd. laundry equipment, Aimers McLean and Co., Ltd; water softening plant, Kennicott Water Softener Co., Ltd.; electrical works, Wm. Steward and Co., Ltd. ; telephones, Francis Polden and Co., Ltd. ; electric clocks, Gillett and Johnston, Ltd. ; piling and reinforced concrete, Simplex Concrete Piles, Ltd. ; fire-resisting floors, Frazzi, Ltd.; structural steelwork, Sanders and Forster, Ltd.; artificial stone, Patent Victoria Stone Co.,Ltd. ; baths and sanitary fittings, Dent and Hellyer, Ltd. ; terrazzo and wall tiling, Art Pavements and Decorations, Ltd. ; ironmongery, Nettlefold and Sons, Ltd.

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