They date from 1890, served the community of Openshaw for almost eighty years and now stand forlorn, empty and waiting for another use.
Today public buildings tend to be bland, all pretty much look the same and have those plain plastered walls painted in neutral colours.
Go back a century, and town halls, public baths, and even minor Corporation offices were decorated in tiles, and interesting stone figures and shapes.
That said they gave a dignity to even the modest of buildings and said something about civic pride and that simple belief that even the most humble and work a day places could look attractive.
So I am indebted to Nick Bowles who photographed the inside of the Baths and featured them on his site.**
The future of the building is uncertain and already the facade is beginning to deteriorate which in time if unchecked may make saving the place uneconomic.
I still hope that someone will take the place over a develop it for this I suspect will be the only way it will survive.
If that happens the tiles and other features may be seen and enjoyed all over again.
Pictures; Whitworth Baths, Ashton Old Road, 1960, H W Beaumont, m12602, courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives, Manchester City Council, http://images.manchester.gov.uk/index.php?session=pass interior courtesy of Nick Bowles
And tomorrow looking at the baths today courtesy of Ron Stubley
*Manchester and Salford’s Public Baths, http://chorltonhistory.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Manchester%20and%20Salford%27s%20Public%20Baths