Here are some of the Birmingham swimming memories you’ve shared with us. What has been amazing is how many generations have swum and still swim at Moseley Road Baths and the impact that some of our teachers (especially Mrs Yates!) had.
“Moseley Baths is where me and my sister and my mother all learnt to swim. We would go over to Moseley from Solihull (long before Tudor Grange Baths were built) once a week and change in the changing huts around the pool and have our lessons with Mr Eggeson and Mrs Yates. Both quite fierce and the pool seemed enormous and the sides incredibly high once you were in. We were only 6 / 7 years old and I am now going to be 60 – so a long long time ago. The swimming teachers had long poles to reach out into the middle of the pool to grab you or assist you if you sank or panicked! My mother (now 85) had never learned to swim as a child and so had lessons there too. She was terrified but Mrs Yates got her swimming and she enjoyed it from then on. It would be a great shame to lose such a historic building and such useful and quirky facilities. I am sure they can attract visitors for lots of different functions for it to be kept and used for future generations.” – Karen
“I learned to swim in Moseley Road baths in about 1963. I was a comparatively late learner – I must have been about 12 at the time. My school swimming teacher had been towing me across the pool in Stourbridge for a couple of years without my learning to swim a single stroke. Finally my mother decided to take things into her own hands and hauled me off to Moseley Road for a summer holiday swimming course. I remember that the instructor, Mr Eggington, had a different teaching technique. Gone was the looped tow-rope around my chest. Instead I was given a float. I may also have had arm bands, but I don’t remember. With a float I had to work for myself to get across the pool. The important thing is that it worked, and by the time I went back to school after the summer holiday I could swim.” –Jonathan
“Grew up swimming here and love to return because they are uniquely beautiful.” – Sarah
“In the early 60s, I remember using the pool and the bathtubs; queuing to use the tubs was quite an experience.” – Lloyd
“I learned to swim here in the early 1960s. My teacher was Mrs Yates. I will never forget my first width and the film of water that I swam beneath as Mrs Yates shouted encouragement from the side, nor the huge hook that she used to fish us out with when we were in the deep end, nor the wonderful smell of the entrance hall, nor the hula hoops that I was given as a treat after a lesson. Recently I returned for a swim. This time I noticed the beautiful tiling up the stairs, the incredible booth at the entrance and the wonderful architecture both inside and out. This building and its use must be preserved. Both are too important to be lost.” – Lewis
“I learnt how to swim at Moseley! I was a late learner due to a bad experience at another swimming baths. I started at Moseley with my new school in year 6. It was a fantastic experience and was able to gain my 10 meter badge which a huge achievement for me. I was extremely shy and anxious and I felt incredibly proud. A wonderful baths.” – Kate
“I’m 63 now and live in Cornwall, but I still clearly remember my first swim at Moseley Rd baths – I was about 5 years old and went there in the school holidays with my big brother and swimming ring. It was the beginning of my love of swimming. I was so proud and excited when I swam my first length and gained my Free Pass! From then on I was an almost daily visitor to the baths – and often to the library next door too. I had an unhappy childhood but in that sea of unhappiness was what I considered an island of joy – that island was made up of the baths, the library and Moseley Rd Methodist Church which was opposite the baths. Each of these offered me a wonderful escape from my unhappy home life…I am hoping that the baths will still be open by next May so that I can come and swim in that place where I swam almost daily.” – Elizabeth
“My dad taught me to swim at Tiverton Road baths. I doubt they now exist, but I am still enjoying swimming at the age of 72! Keep up the good work at Moseley Road! X” – Linda
“I have always loved Moseley Road Baths. We had our school swimming Gala there every year. I loved to swim, but also the baths were a total sensory treat. The smell, a mixture of heat, chlorine and brass polish. I can hear the echoing sound of it now and see the brilliant Victorian balconies, the cubicles around the sides with the big heated pipes under the bench seats and the wooden slatted duck boards. All so cozy and amazingly clean… In the evenings, if I was going out straight from work, I would use the Public Baths. Sounds a bit yucky and very Municipal. Not so, again a real treat. The same burnished pipes and the bath in its own cubicle run in by a member of staff, like Royalty. So clean, so warm and safe with wonderful (to me at least) friction towels, warm and spotless. Last, but not least , the staff. Friendly, sensible, hard working and proud of what they did. Don’t forget the series ‘ Gangsters ‘ based in Brum they often used the baths as a location, a meeting place for the Bad guys. I feel so sad when I drive past now and am made up to think that it could be restored. Brilliant!” – Shelagh
“I learned to swim at Moseley Road Baths, and at 67 years of age I still have my certificate for swimming “one width”.” – David
“I started to swim at Moseley Road Swimming Baths in the 60s. I actually had lessons when I was around 9 years old in 1963. I progressed and joined swimming classes with a formidable lady known as Mrs Yates (or Yeats). She was an excellent swimming teacher/coach who knew how to get the best out of the children in her classes. The pool was surrounded by cubicles around the edge of the pool. As one class ended the next had to be changed and ready to start. Late comers got a brief but effective ‘get a move on’. Joining her classes was difficult as you had to prove that you were worthy and that you had potential. If you were and you were prepared to work hard she would take you on.” – John
“Hi, I have very fond memories of Moseley Baths in the 1970s and early 80s. We all learnt to swim there and I remember being incredibly impressed with the grandeur of the building and feeling very proud of the Birmingham crest on the front with all the images of the different trades. I remember my Mum’s friends Aunty Pam and Aunty Pauline taking us swimming and teaching us to swim with our heads held high so we wouldn’t “mess up our hair.” Aunty Pam, in particular, always had her hair set every week so anyone who accidentally splashed her hair was in trouble! Happy times.” – Debbie
“I learned to swim 65 years ago taught by Mr Eggison in the second class pool. It must have stuck as I still do swimming training with the Worcester Triathlon Club. Later as a pupil at Moseley Grammar school I went regularly to training sessions, again in the Second Class Pool on Friday after school. The school had its annual swimming gala in the main pool.
Later as a trainee teacher I accompanied crocodiles of children from Percy Shurmer Primary School, walking up to the baths to swim and learn to swim.” – Charlie