Victoria Baths

Victoria Baths

originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

Anyone familiar with the Restoration TV programme will remember Victoria Baths, winner of the first series.

The baths have an open day on the first Sunday of every month during the summer, so we went down to see what had been achieved with the winnings.

The three and a half million pounds owed from the Restoration bounty haven’t been forthcoming, something to do with business plans, so the structure is still slowly collapsing. It looks like the money may be released this year, and will go towards making the building watertight.

I’ve been on the tour of the public areas of the pools before, so when the opportunity to look at the workings came up I jumped at it like the Steam Geek I am. A lot of debris has been cleared away and it’s now possible to get into the cellar and access the main valve that drained the pools. The boiler/ filtration room has even been used in a couple of TV series, though I can’t remember which ones.

All Spinneyworld photos on Flickr tagged Victoria Baths.

All photos on Flickr tagged Victoria Baths.

Friends of Victoria Baths.

Originally uploaded to Spinneyworld 07/08/05 by Ian

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Manchester Tourism Awards- nominate Victoria Baths

From the inbox-

Dear Friend,

You may have seen adverts (in the Manchester Evening news or elsewhere) for the Manchester Tourism Awards 2006 – with the slogan*/ “What would you be proud to recommend to a visitor?” /*There is a category in the awards called *”Manchester Recommends”* – _where YOU the visitors send in suggestions_.
Would you like to nominate Victoria Baths for this award?

*How to do it?
*You need to send a postcard with the name of your nomination, with your name, address and daytime tel no to Manchester Recommends Competition, Marketing Dept, M.E.N., 164 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3RN to arrive before Jan 20th.

You could win 2 tickets for the event (Feb 2 at GMEX), and overnight accom. at the Malmaison Hotel plus pre-award cocktails!! Does that help persuade you?!!

Victoria Baths

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Prince Chas woz 'ere

I’d hate for anyone to think I’m secretly a Royalist, given that this is the second monarchy related story in just over a week. But hey, you don’t get Royal visits that often, and they’re even more rarely to some building you have an interest in.

I wandered over at noon, to find two Police officers at the gate, checking the bags of all the Friends of Victoria Baths who had turned up early and were allowed into the building. I announced my intentions to take pictures and put them up on my website so as to reassure them that I wasn’t loitering with any criminal intent. Then I got into a conversation with one of the Friends, and got part way to blagging my way into the Baths. If I’d thought about it, or had anywhere near the required level of cheek, I could have got some far closer pictures.

The Prince wasn’t due until half past one, so I went away for a while and did some shopping. When I returned I found a wall to use as a vantage point, so I could take pictures over the heads of all the school children. He was only 45 minutes late. The kids from two of the local schools came out to line the road and sang ‘Singing In The Rain’ to keep the spirits up, though I was a bit worried about them tempting fate so. I got into an occasionally coherent conversation with a worn looking alcoholic, who seemed to think every third car was the Royal limo and was trying to spot the body guards.

When HRH finally arrived (something about problems with his helicopter) it was all over terribly quickly. He chatted to some of the crowd by the gate and met a bundle of local digitaries. Sadly the batteries died before I could get a picture of him waving from the top of the steps. He was meant to be looking around the baths for an hour and a half, but that may have been changed because of the delays. If not, he’s still in there as I type.

Victoria's Pub

Victoria Baths may have won Restoration and got �3.5million towards refurbishment, but that isn’t enough to get the whole job done, and there may have to be compromises, maybe even partial conversion to a pub, before the other �20million or so can be raised. I hope it doesn’t have to go the full on alcohol and late licence route, but I’d be happy to see a compromise that turned the Mens Second Class pool (it’s already been filled in) into a coffee shop (not Starbucks, of course) with seating in front of the building and light meals.

Soundtrack- Fatboy Slim, Better Living Through Chemistry; Status Quo, Twelve Gold Bars; Into The Eighties

Victoria Baths

It seems to be a week for me to copy and paste e-mails I have received-


Its not every day you get the chance to save an historic building for the cost of a phone call… From today until Sunday this week you do!

Manchester’s Victoria Baths is through to the live final of BBCs ‘Restoration’ this Sunday and the nation decides which of the 10 buildings will win the prize money to restore it.

To see for yourself why this stunning building should be saved for everyone to enjoy, visit our website – or pop in to one of our free open days, on EVERY DAY, 12-6PM from now until 21 Sept.

What to do-

****VOTE… as many times as you like! – Lines are open from the early hours of this Thursday morning through to Sunday at 9.45pm. We expect the lines to be very busy on Sunday evening, so the message is please vote EARLY & OFTEN!!!*****

The all-important number: 09010 77 50 01

(note: some mobiles/switchboards can’t make this call, so if you have any difficulties, do try again on another line) Calls cost 30p of which 17.9p goes directly to the restoration fund.

***Please forward this email to all your friends, family, colleagues and contacts****

Make a note of the phone number in your diary or phone NOW with a reminder to call on Thursday….

Thank you to everyone for your support – fingers crossed (and on that redial button!)

Melanie Phillips

Secretary- Friends of Victoria Baths


I have a small, but perfectly formed, gallery from the last Vicky Baths open day if you want another view of what you’ll be voting for.