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If walls could talk…

Your memories of Sheffield’s Victorian Turkish Baths.
 
2017 marks the 140th anniversary of the opening of Sheffield’s Victorian Turkish Baths, and to celebrate we would love to hear your memories of the Spa. Be it occasions you’ve celebrated with us over the years, or fond memories of the Spa you would like to share.
 
Whether it’s a fleeting memory or a defining moment in your life’s journey we would love to hear from you. You can email us at Lisa@Spa1877.com with the subject “If Walls Could Talk…” All memories will be collated and made available to view by the general public, if you would not like yours to be shared in this way please let us know at the time of emailing.

The original building known to many locals as the ‘Glossop Road Baths’, dates back to 1836, and was built as a medical facility rather than swimming baths, at the height of the Cholera epidemic in which 402 Sheffield people died.  Before the baths were built people were obliged to immerse themselves in the River Don, which was becoming increasingly polluted. The Sheffield Bath Company Ltd was formed in 1875 and purchased the public baths for £2,500. This coincided with the rise in popularity in bathing and marked a change of emphasis from medical to recreational use.
 
The Victorians added a different dimension to the original bathing tradition with features like the ‘plunge pool’. Today ours is chilled to around 4°C and perhaps more importantly is filtered and treated constantly, as far as we can tell the original plunge was simply filled in the morning and drained in the evening and would get murkier throughout the day!
“By 1933 it still cost only 1/6 to take a Turkish bath and this included 'a choice of four attendants to scour your body with scrubbing brushes before packing you off for a thumping massage”.'*
 
By the mid-1980s, the women had the use of the baths on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays while the rest of the week was allocated to the men (It is the other way round nowadays). Then in a delightful twist in our history, when the baths were first threatened with closure there were protests in the council chamber by bubble blowing bathers dressed in turbans and towels.
 
In 2000 our Turkish Baths, set in a once proud landmark building, was derelict. It was re-opened in 2004 following a loving and painstaking restoration.
 
And this year we are celebrating 140 years of Sheffield’s Victorian Turkish Baths, and in recognition of our part in Sheffield’s rich history we wondered what our 50,000 glazed bricks have witnessed over the years.
 
And that’s where we need your help. We would love to compile a keepsake of all your lovely memories of the Spa, whether it be moments you’ve shared or occasions you’ve celebrated with us we would love to hear from you.
Whether it’s a quick memory or a detailed experience we’d love to add to the tapestry of the journey of Spa 1877, as the building is just the beginning of the story…it’s you that make the experience.
 
You can pop into the Spa, where we are able to scan any photos you may have. Or email our Marketing Manager Lisa on Lisa@Spa1877.com.
  
*http://www.victorianturkishbath.org/6DIRECTORY/AtoZEstab/England/SheffGloss/SheffGlossSF.htm
 

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