Key dates and events

1794 Borough Council purchased privately-owned Public Baths in Bath Street.

1816 June 11th A floating bath (privately owned) built in the form of a ship was launched in June 1816 and moored off the George’s Pier Head.

1820 Bath Street Public Baths demolished to make way for the new Princes Dock

1828 The first Public Baths establishment erected and opened by the Corporation at St George’s Pier Head.

1832 Cholera Epidemic Between 12th May and 13th September there were within the city 4,977 cases of cholera, of which 1,523 were fatal. On the 5th October the City was declared free of cholera.

Health and Town Committee established with the special committee on public baths and wash-houses was incorporated with it.

1842 February 14th Salaries for the Superintendent agreed to be £60 and £30 for the matron recommended and the positions to be advertised in the Liverpool newspapers. Testimonials were to be delivered before the 11th April. This process attracted 104 applicants and a special sub-committee attended to the sifting process.

1842 April 20th Andrew Clarke and his wife were selected as the first superintendent and matron to the Upper Frederick Street Baths. This decision was subsequently approved at the town council meeting on the 6th May 1842. The resolution reads ‘Recommended that Andrew Clarke and his wife be appointed keeper and matron of the baths and wash-house in Frederick Street.’

1842 May 28th First Public Wash House and Private Baths establishment in the country erected and opened by the Corporation in Frederick Street.

1842 Liverpool Sanitation Report – the polluter pays!

1846 June 9th The town council resolve to appoint Andrew Clarke and his wife to the roles of superintendent and matron at an increased salary of £120 to the new Paul Street Baths and Wash House, this being as a result of their success at the Frederick Street establishment.

1846 September 2nd the town council received a recommendation and approved the appointment of Thomas and Catherine Wilkinson as the next superintendent and matron at the Frederick Street establishment.

1846 July (approx) Paul Street Baths and Wash House opened.

1847 January 1st W H Duncan appointed as the first Public Health Officer

1847 James Newlands appointed Borough Engineer.

1851 April 22nd Frederick Street wash-house closed.

1851 May Cornwallis Street Baths opened.

1852 February 9th baths committee of the town council established. Baths and Wash House establishments were previously the responsibility of the Health Committee.

1854 May 1st Frederick Street Baths re-opened after development and John Clarkson and his wife were appointed as superintendent and matron at a combined salary of £140 per annum.

1860 Kitty Wilkinson died aged 74.

1863 June Margaret Street Baths opened.

1863 July 20th Margaret Street, first Swimming Gala

1874 April Steble Street Baths and Wash House opened.

1865 Myrtle Street Gymnasium official opening.

1877 April Westminster Road Baths opened.

1878 August Lodge Lane Baths and Wash House opened.

1879 January Paul Street Baths and Wash House closed.

1889 March Newhall (Cottage Homes including pool) opened.

1890 September 13th Lodge Lane, first Polo Match

1893 Woolton Baths opened by Urban District Council

1895 July Burlington Street free open-air baths opened.

1898 August Gore Street free open-air baths opened.

1899 March Green Lane free open-air baths opened.

1899 June Mansfield Street free open-air baths opened.

1902 July Beacon Street Baths opened.

1904 May Lister Drive Baths opened

1905 July Springfield Street Wash House (Old Swan) opened.

1906 May Picton Road Baths opened.

1906 October Pier Head Baths closed and demolished.

1907 August Speke Road Baths (Garston) opened.

1909 April Queens Drive Baths opened.

1911 March Netherfield Road Wash House opened.

1913 November Woolton Baths taken over by the Corporation, on extension of City Boundary.

1914-1918 First World War.

1922 August 26th 200 yards breaststroke record set in Garston by Irene Gilbert.

1923 February Netherfield Road Wash House extension completed.

1923 July Stanley Park open-air baths opened.

1925 February Frederick Street Public Wash House closed and replaced by newly erected Wash House in Gilbert Street.

1927 January Minshull Street Wash House opened.

1928 August Lodge Lane Wash House reconstructed and modernised.

1929 September 25th 200 yards breaststroke record set at Queens Drive by Marjorie Hinton.

1930 May Steble Street Wash House reconstructed and modernised.

1931 May Burroughs Gardens Wash House completely reconstructed on an adjoining new site and modernised.

1931 October Solomon Street Wash House (Kensington) opened.

1932 September Departmental Central Laundry, Burroughs Gardens, erected on site of old Wash House, and opened.

1935 July Donaldson Street Wash House opened.

1935 September Clare Street Wash House opened.

1936 Electric Irons introduced into public Wash Houses.

1936 April William Roberts Baths, Norris Green, opened.

1936 June Harold Davies Baths, Dovecot, opened. 1939-1945 Second World War

1941 Artificial Sun Baths transferred from Cornwallis Street to Picton Road.

1945 Due to extensive bomb damage, Burlington Street, Gore Street and Mansfield Street open air baths did not re-open after the war.

1949 July 26th Picton Road, first step in mechanisation of wash houses.

1949 August 4th Lister Drive, re-opened after repairs to war damage.

1951 April Russian Baths made available to women – for one day a week!

1951 July 28th Festival of Britain Gala held at Harold Davies. 1953. Green Lane open air baths closed.


1960, August Stanley Park open air pool closed.

1962 September 10th Fred Robinson Wash House opened.

1964 (approx) Breckside Pool opened.

1964 December 31st Beacon Street Baths closed

1965 March 11th Austin Rawlinson Pool (Speke) opened.

1966 March Gilbert Street Private Baths closed.

1966 March 16th Netherfield Road Launderette conversion.

1966 March 16th Melrose Road Laundry modernised.

1967 July 31st First Learn to Swim Campaign (36,000 attended)

1967 December 24 Cornwallis Street closed.

1968 December 24 Minshull Street Wash House closed.

1969 October Gilbert Street closed.

1969 September 27 Clare Street closed.

1969 September 29 Vauxhall Laundry opened.

1969 Lodge Lane Wash House modernised.

1969 Park Road Launderette conversion.

1969 Picton small pool modernised.

1970 October Old Swan Wash House closed.

1970 (approx) Burroughs Gardnes Launderette.

1970 Bronte Laundry (St Andrews) opened.

1972 Donaldson Street Launderette conversion.

1972 (approx). Kensington Launderette conversion.

1974 Picton Wash House closed.

1976 (approx) Westminster Road 2nd pool/slipper baths to sports hall.

1975 October 30th. Belle Vale Pool opened.

1977 Garston Launderette conversion.

1978 January. Picton Sports Hall opened.

1979 Everton Sports Centre opened.

1979 Austin Rawlinson Wash House converted to boxing gym.

1980 November 28th. Bronte Laundry closed (transferred to Liver Laundry).

1981 July Garston Launderette converted to Sports Hall.

1982 January 9th. Vauxhall Laundry closed.

1982 April Lodge Lane Wash House converted to minor sports hall.

1983 March Toxteth All Weather Pitch opened.

1983 Park Road Launderette converted to gymnastics facility.

1983 December 23rd Melrose Road closed.

1984 April/May Toxteth S C opened.

1984 May Picton All Weather Pitch opened.

1984 May Flinders Street All Weather Pitch opened (William Collins)

1984 (approx) Park Road Health Suite opened.

1985. Margaret Street closed.

1985 Closure of Burroughs Gardens.

1985 May. Walton All Weather Pitch opened.

1985 Everton Swimming Pool opened.

1985 May 9th. Netherley S C opened for dual use.

1985 August Walton S C opened (SASH),

1985 August Garston S C opened (SASH).

1985 August Croxteth S C opened (Red Triangle).

1985 August Austin Rawlinson S C opened. (SASH)

1986 Lambeth Boxing Gym established.

1986 August Fazakerley S C opened. (SASH)

1987 Lister Drive Baths closed.

1987 June 4th Peter Lloyd Leisure Centre opened.

1987 August 21st Wavertree Athletics Track and Hall opened.

1988 March Harold Davies closed.

1988 November Fred Robinson Launderette opened.

1988 Parks and Baths services seperated.

1989 May Fred Robinson Laundry Pensioners Service started.

1990 April 3rd Lodge Lane closed.

1991 July Damwood Hall re-opened within Sport and Recreation.

1991 September 20th Park Road Gymnastics Extension opened.

1993 June Netherley All Weather Pitch opened.

1993 June Croxteth All Weather Pitch opened.

1993 July 9th Netherley S C transferred to Leisure Services.

1993 October 30th Liverpool Tennis Centre opened.

1993 October Fazakerley Pulse Lifestyles Fitness opened

1993 November Garston Pulse Lifestyles Fitness opened

1993 November  Peter Lloyd Pulse Lifestyles Fitness opened

1993 November  Walton Pulse Lifestyles Fitness opened

1994 December 4th Wavertree A C Grandstand facility opened.

1994 Closure of Picton Health Suite.

1994 July Everton Pulse Lifestyles Fitness opened

1994 November Queens Drive Pulse Lifestyles Fitness opened

1995 January 15th William Roberts pools closed, boxing and weights room only.

1995 June Picton Pulse Lifestyles Fitness opened

1995 September Toxteth All Weather Pitch refurbished.

1995 December 14th William Roberts facility in total closed and boxing facility transferred to “Ellergreen ex 6th form block”.

1995 December 22nd Fred Robinson laundry facility closed. The end of this Council delivered service spanning 153 years.

1996 January 8th Provision of laundry pick-up service provided by a private firm, Clean Team.

1996 July 8th Harlow Street All Weather Pitch opened.

1996 May 12th Fire in ladies changing area closes Austin Rawlinson Pool. The Pool re-opened August 19th.

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29 Responses to “Liverpool”

  1. Jane kelly says:

    I went to Ranworth square school and we used to go to Norris Green baths every week-was where I learned to swim!
    We could buy a slice of white bread and jam for a penny after our swim . To get into the large or smaller pools you had to walk through a stream of water about 4inches deep -I suppose it was there to wash peoples feet before entering the pools ,-that was about 70years ago -it was a great treat !!

  2. Elinor Randle says:

    Hello, I’m doing a heritage project about the Wash House & Baths on Lodge Lane, Liverpool- I would love to speak to anyone who has any memories? Elinor

  3. Jane says:

    My mother went to a Russian bath house in Liverpool in the 1950’s. Does anyone know where would that have been? Or any other details?

    • Dave Collins says:

      The Russian baths were in Picton Road baths. I was a Health Inspector at the time and we had an office in the building.

  4. Latham says:

    Thank god the people of liverpool had kitty

  5. Brian A Browne says:

    I used to be a pupil of Aymestery Court School, Woollen. This was a boys school at the time. We used to walk to Woollen Baths with the school to share many good times at the baths. Bit rubbished if it rained, like getting washed in the baths and a shower on the way back to school. When I left the school I joined the YMCA branch. At the time we could go to Cornwallis Street baths once a week if we wished to. Went passed these baths 10th May 2018 and it is all boarded up and disused.

  6. Angus Ferguson says:

    I may be in the wrong forum or thread and if so, apologies. My query is about laundries, specifically any type of commercial laundry in Aigburth or surrounding areas. I’m aware that there were two commercial, convent-based laundries there, specifically Kenton Hall and Elmswood House, but would like to know whether there may have been others, that were strictly commercial and not run by nuns and populated by ‘penitent mothers’.

  7. Phil Barrie says:

    Hi i used to work in Minshull St wash house in 1966 superintendent was Jimmy Dawber, and i i was friends with George Poole.

  8. Alan Gorry says:

    Lister Drive Baths

    My memory is failing but I believe there were baths at Lister Drive, Liverpool which I don’t see listed. I have a memory of being taken there on school trips in late 50s and early 60s and that the pool was very hot & heated by an adjacent ‘power station’ ( as we called it ). Does any of this ring bells with anyone ?

    • reg haysom says:

      Still there ,now a large pet supplies, pools are still in use but now occupied by large koi carp , old cubicles and balcony still as was.

    • Denis Vaz says:

      I was a relief Stoker For Lpool Corporation.Baths .and laundries Dept I worked The Boiler Plant at all of the Baths And Washouses. From 1966 to 1970 ,There Were Only.2 Salt Water Pools In Lpool At.That Time Cornwallis St And Westminster Rd , both were Fed Salt Water From,the Canning Half Tide Dock and Pumped.from A Station on the Pier Head….

      • Tony Wylie says:

        Hi Dennis
        Just telling some work colleagues we had to go to the Kenny public baths one a week as a child for a bath as we didn’t have a bathroom at home.
        One of them lives there now and was surprised by the lack of basis facilities in houses in the 60s.
        Good to hear your story.

  9. frank beck says:

    i remember an open air baths in hill street just below mill street
    it was long closed and filled in by the time i was a a boy in the40’s
    the edges of the pool where quite visible and we use to run passed
    as it was a no go area, i can only assume that an unfortunate person lost his or her life. I was born at 122 Warwick street in1943

    Frannie Beck

  10. John Duvall says:

    My granddad used to sell soap powder and keep an eye on the prams women brought their washing on at Lodge Lane. My dad was the stoker in the boiler house

  11. Kerry Wiggins says:

    I have been trying to find details of an accident on the balcony of the swimming baths I visited in the 1960s – possibly Wavertree.

    I was playing with another child on the balcony whilst my sister was swimming. I copied him climbing around the outside of the balcony. He started showing off letting go and catching hold of the balcony but missed and fell. I remember him lying on his back on the tiles below. I don’t know what happened to him, but the council changed the rules shortly after, to prevent unaccompanied children under the age of ten to use the balconies.

    • Marj Crone-Smith says:

      Hello Kerry,
      Are you the daughter of Jimmy and Pat Wiggins who lived in Princess Royal in 1962-3?
      Marj Crone-Smith

    • Marjorie Crone-Smith says:

      Hello Kerry,
      Are you the daughter of Pat and Jimmy Wiggins who lived at 44 Princes Road – 1962/3?
      Marj’ Crone-Smith

      • Geraldine says:

        Hi I think this is very likely, That Kerry is a historian and archivist. I think Jim passed away a few years back but not before he and Doreen (actress wife of Brookside show) floated a revival with Phil Redmond????

        I was astonished to see Jim on a muller light advert ITV, it looked like a quirky modern effort but I genuinely think it might be a real vintage Ad ????

        Geraldine 6/9/2023

  12. Paul Eshlin says:

    Have fond memories of Norris Green baths as we called it as its where I learnt to swim which was a very steep learning curve which consisted of me standing on the edge of the diving pool which looked bottomless. I was asked could I swim ? I intended to say yes just a little but only got as far as yes when I was shoved in . Talk about sink or swim !! But I’m here to tell the tale and have spent many happy hours swimming.

    Happy days.

  13. I have happy memories of Dovecote Baths in the late 1940’s Ilearned to swim there on my own managing to do a length in the deep end.[one of my greatest achievements!!!]i must have been about 13 or 14.I then progressed to joining Everton S.C.The classes were taken by Pop Wilson.I made many friends there.girls and boys.
    Dovecote baths or The Harold Roberts baths to give it’s proper title was a fantastic place.Three pools,a beginners pool,a diving pool,10 feet deep,1 and 3 metre springboards and a 5 metre top board which we all aspired to dive from.I and mates went regularly Sat morning’s swim hot shower swim hot shower again and again. Happy days.
    The pool and it’s twin The Tuebrook William Roberts closed in 1988 due partly to structural problems.

  14. Pat Allport (Mrs) says:

    Me and my mate Linda Haskayne used to walk to Woolton Baths regularly. We lived in Lee Park at the time. Sometimes we’d walk up Gateacre Brow and along Acrefield Road right along until the Elephant Pub. (I don’t know if this Pub is still there) Once we got there, we just had to walk up to the Baths. And sometimes we would walk by the Nook and across Out Lane field and up Kings Drive. We would probably been about 8-9 (1966) at the time.

    We would go to the baths, and our neighbour’s son, Pudgie, worked at the baths and would let us in if he saw us. But if he didn’t see us, we would have to pay a tanner to get in. There was no time limit on how long you got, and we had a great time and spent many hours there, then we would walk home.

    I also knew of a some lads from our secondary school,from Woolton Village, David Burrows, and Paul Forrest, (I don’t see them now – I left school a long time ago) and they used to play water polo at Woolton Baths when the pool was closed to the public, I think this was a Tuesday evening, I also seem to think it was a late Saturday afternoon as well, but I could be wrong – memory is not what is was!

  15. Peter bell says:

    Hi I I went to dovecot (harrold Davis) baths in the. 1950s. Health & safety never entered the frame, in the summer months. It got packed you could hardly move in there all the lockers were used, so you had to change on the galleries leaving your clothes in a heap. On the seats, odds on when you returned some of your kit had need taxed ( your bus fare home maybe). happy or not so happy days

  16. Sue Carmichael says:

    Oral History project about Grade 2 Listed Woolton Baths(1893- end of June2103 will be its 120th birthday !!)
    We are looking for any memories/ memorabilia/ photos about the Baths, both swimming in the pool and/ or also using the private baths. There was also a laundry in the building – can anyone recall how and when this was used ?

    Also any info on private washouses in and around Woolton; we know of several as some local women did laundry as a business. We hope to find some with artefacts inside.

  17. Anon says:

    Re’ your request for contact with Peter Ellison, Talk Of The Wash Houses … Peter Ellison works/worked for Liverpool City Council,Leisure Services Dept.

  18. Tom Hughes says:

    Have many memories of queens drive baths,from1948 to 1958 I recall
    there where 3baths,the main competetive 25 yds on the right
    as one entered the foyer,I swam for Arnot st school,plus the boy scouts garlas,eventually representing the city of Liverpool.

    At the rear of the building,there was an open air pool,on one of
    our naughty scouse adventures about 3/4 of us climbed over the
    barbed wall,when the baths where closed,about jan/feb time and
    breaking the ice, we dived in the half empty pool,we came out
    faster than we dived in,very lucky we came to no harm?
    memorial enjoyable times in my liverpool days.

    Have been living in Spain the past 26 years,

    Tom Hughes

    • Rob says:

      Hiya Tom

      Saw your post regarding Queens Drive Baths. Was so funny and just great to read your description, glad you came out alive. Am a generation behind similar antics in Walton and Norris Green. I live in Minnesota, USA, now but missing the “pool”
      Enjoy life in the Spanish climate, thanks for posting.


    • Colin Roberts says:

      Hi Tom

      I went to Arnot St too! Its demolished now though, but was the best school in Liverpool I think. I swan at Queens Drive too..although I suspect you were older than me, I was at school from 1960 to 64 when I left to go to work. Its just nice to see someone who did the same things as me!! Take care mate.

  19. Liverpool washhouses | Kiroset says:

    […] Liverpool Baths and Wash Houses – Baths and Wash Houses …Liverpool Baths and Wash Houses. Key dates and events. 1794 Borough Council purchased privately-owned Public Baths in Bath Street. 1816 June 11th A … […]

    • jacquie says:

      Can anyone give me any information on Lodge lane Baths…..information on who owns it now and any pictures etc would be appreciated…..thanks

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