In our first guest blog, Ben Whittington tells us why his community-owned local swimming pool is good for Bramley.
I’ve been a resident of Bramley for nearly three years now. We moved to the area because of the good railway link to Leeds and also because we loved the house we went on to buy – an edwardian terrace house in need of a lot of work but, despite the abuse it had suffered over the years, still retained an underlying charm. Despite the brutal unsympathetic redevelopment that occurred in the 60s and 70s Bramley itself still retains a fair amount of buildings from this period, the most iconic of them being Bramley Baths.
The Baths has recently been saved from closure by a local community group (The Friends Of Bramley Baths) and not only have they managed to keep the pool open by taking over the running of it from the council they’re also passionate about what the Baths can offer the community, and this really shines through when visiting. The lobby has been redecorated and and now features a variety of photographs some of which were taken in the early nineteen hundreds and along with the staff who work there give the impression that ‘The Friends’ recognise how important the history of the pool is to the area and want to celebrate that too. The baths also seem much cleaner than they did when they were run by the council and the prices are cheaper than most places. As well as the swimming pool there is a Russian Steam room, a gym and a variety of fitness classes.
I would encourage all residents of Bramley and even people further afield to give the Baths a try, it’s one of the last remaining Edwardian Bath Houses in the country and not only does it feature amazing vintage charm it’s now being run on a not-for-profit basis by people in the community for people in the community and I feel that that is something well worth supporting.
Ben is a graphic designer who also blogs about beer. Follow him on twitter @ben_whittington .
Bramley Baths is on Broad Lane, Bramley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS13 3DF.
Tel: 0113 214 6000
Follow them on twitter @bramleybaths or find them on facebook.