Volunteer during Fierce Festival

We have a great programme of events happening at the Baths over the coming week. Be a part of it! If you can help out then please e-mail events@friendsofmrb.co.uk
Are there any member/supporters who are willing to help out on the following dates and times?
THURSDAY 9th OCTOBER – 1:30pm until 8pm
SATURDAY 11th OCTOBER – 1pm until 4:30pm
SUNDAY 12th OCTOBER – 8am until 12:30pm
We are not expecting anyone to cover the complete days, but a couple of hours within these time scales would be greatly appreciated.
We are aiming to have a stall at the Baths over the 4 days (Thursday – Sunday) with books, postcards and campaign material available.
If you can help in any way, please come along to Ort Cafe at 2pm on Sunday and meet the people involved in this unique occasion.
Mark
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Meeting with Councillor Penny Holbrook

As agreed at the last Friends meeting three of us met with Cllr Holbrook the newly appointed Cabinet member for Skills, Learning and Culture.  We hoped that she would be able to update the group on progress made since the previous meeting with the Council.  In particular we hoped for a report back on the work of Council Officers in pulling together a working group from both within the Council and relevant external bodies to look at future possibilities for the building.

Jenny Austin, Joe Holyoak and Mark Gunton raised various points. This included seeing the Baths as part of the overall development plans for Moseley Road, and the negative effect a closed up building would have in the area. We also asked for an update on the proposed rebuild at Sparkhill Baths, but no information was available. We pushed the importance of the Heritage aspects of the building, trying to encourage interest in the national ‘Historic Pools Network’, and asked Councillors to attend some of the many arts events taking place at the Baths over the next few weeks.

Cllr Holbrook repeats what we have heard from all the Councillors: swimming is not viable at Moseley Road Baths, it is not part of the Council Leisure plans. Cllr Holbrook understands the historic importance of the Pool but uses a familiar argument – the money isn’t there. We will meet again but there is no fixed date at present.

This response from the Council after over a year of trying to meet with them to discuss their future plans for the building and address the concerns of swimmers and residents is unacceptable.  Despite meeting after meeting where promises have been made to dedicate Council resources to looking at viable options for the building, there is clearly no movement.  Instead, group members have dedicated their time once again to briefing a Councillor on the basic issues.  With the closure date for the building still earmarked for late next year it is crucial that supporters keep the focus on the building.  You can e-mail Cllr Holbrook directly at Penny.Holbrook@birmingham.gov.uk.

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Dates for your diary

Date of next meeting

Please note change of time and venue!
Thursday 16th October
, 7pm – 9pm
Tea Room at the Baths

Forthcoming Moseley Road Baths Talks

All talks are illustrated with digital slides and last approximately 1one hour. There is usually a small admission fee (£2-£3) for non-members of the host organisation.

Copies of our book Pool of Memories – A History of Moseley Road Baths will be on sale at these talks, priced at £12.

Hall Green Local History Society, Hall Green Baptist Church, Stratford Road, Hall Green, Tuesday September 16th 2014 19:30

Family Group, Hodge Hill United Reform Church, Coleshill Road, Hodge Hill, Monday September 29th 2014 19:30

Wythall History Society, Wythall Baptist Church Hall, Chapel Drive, Wythall, Friday, October 31st 2014 19:30

The Harborne Club, 39 Albany Road, Harborne Thursday, November 20th 2014 20:00

Erdington Historical Society, St. Barnabas Church, High Street, Erdington. Monday, January 12th 2015 19:30

Acocks Green Local History Society, Acocks Green Library, Shirley Road, Acocks Green, Tuesday February 10th 2015 14:00

Smethwick Local History Society, Baptist Church, Rawlings Road, Smethwick, Wednesday February 11th 2015 14:00

King’s Norton Local History Society, North Hall, The Saracen’s Head, The Green, King’s Norton, Monday February 23rd 2015 19:30

Heartlands History Group, Nechells Green Community Centre, Melvina Road, Nechells Wednesday, February 25th 2015 11:00

Yardley Conservation Group, The Trust School, St. Edburgh’s Church, Church Road, Yardley, Wednesday March 12th 2015 20:00

North Arden Local History Society, Spencer Lounge, Arden Hall, Water Orton Road, Castle Bromwich, Thursday May 8th 2015 20:00

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Moseley School of Art needs you!

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This Wednesday and Thursday, 11am-7pm head to Moseley School of Art to find out more about the bid for Heritage Lottery Funding for the Grade II* listed ‘Heritage at Risk’ Arts and Crafts style building. The current owners are working with consultants to put together a bid, so they want as many people to come as possible!

You can also head to their Facebook page to contribute your thoughts and ideas: https://www.facebook.com/MoseleySchoolofArt

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Celebrity Antiques Road Trip

Last summer we were contacted by the production team for this BBC programme as they wanted to feature our beautiful Baths in the current series. Jenny Austin from the group spent a couple of hours showing Rory McGrath and David Harper around the washing baths and Gala Pool areas, answering questions about the history and explaining why the building is so special. After the usual editing this came out as about 3 minutes in the programme, but we tried to get the message across that this is a heritage building, much neglected and currently under threat of closure. If national prime time TV is interested in our building why can’t the Council see it’s value?

Catch the programme on BBC iPlayer, it’s available until Saturday at 8pm

Celebrity Antiques Road Trip Series 4, went out at 7pm on 25th September.  The Baths tour features about 34 minutes in.

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Fierce Festival: Parting Waters and Museum of Water

All welcome to Parting Waters: A program of art events at Moseley Road Baths, 5 – 12 October 2014

The Friends of Moseley Road Baths are proud to announce their involvement in the forthcoming Fierce Festival (www.wearefierce.org). The festival runs from the 2nd to the 12th of October at various venues across Birmingham.

Australian artists Laura Delaney and Lisa Stewart have been working with Moseley Road Baths, Friends of Moseley Road Baths and members of the local community to present a program of art events at Moseley Road Baths from 5 -12 October, as part of Fierce Festival. Parting Waters will take place in the Moseley Road Baths swimming pool and throughout the building, running alongside the regular swimming program. All events are FREE or the cost of pool entry, no booking required. ALL WELCOME!

Delaney and Stewart first swam at Moseley Road Baths in October 2013 and saw firsthand its significance as a community building and resource. They felt an urgency to respond to the Baths’ tenuous future, which led them to create Parting Waters as a dedication to Moseley Road Baths and its swimmers.

The Programme

The artists and Friends of Moseley Road Baths invite you to attend the Floating Forum on Thursday 9 October, 4:30 – 6.30pm (meet 5pm in the shallow end of the pool). The Floating Forum is a public discussion in the swimming pool. Everyone is welcome to attend and float ideas to the surface as you swim and socialise. The discussion will draw from the site, its swimmers and the collective experience of being in water.

Other works include:

Night Swimmers: A video installation on the façade of the building from dusk til late.
Sunday 5 – Sunday 12 Oct.

Sound Bath: An experiential live sound performance in the swimming pool with local sound therapist/musician Soesen Edan (The Musery). A selection of singing bowls and instruments will be played in the pool creating a sound bath of harmonic vibrations for visitors to float through.
Saturday 11 Oct, 1.00 – 2.00 pm

Deep End Dedications: Music played underwater in the swimming pool, including song requests from the Moseley Road Baths community. Playing underwater during the following public swimming sessions:
Thursday 9th October
1.30 – 4.30pm | public swimming & 6.30 – 8.00pm | lane swimming

Saturday 11th October
1.00 – 3.00pm | public swimming  & 3.00 – 4.30pm | lane swimming

Sunday 12th October
8.00 – 11.30am | public swimming  & 11.30 – 12.30pm | lane swimming

For further details about Parting Waters visit www.partingwaters2014.tumblr.com

Museum of Water

Another artist visiting the Baths will be Amy Sharrocks with her installation “Museum Of Water” (www.museumofwater.co.uk). Amy encourages members of the public to provide a donation of water that holds particular significance. The Friends group will be donating a bottle of water from Pool Two for the collection.  She will be at the pool:

Friday 10 October 10am–9pm
Saturday 11 October 10am–5pm
Sunday 12 October 10am–12pm

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110 Swimmers take the plunge!

After a hugely successful gathering of swimmers and pool supporters for a unique photo shoot, Attilio is now set to unveil his work to the world this Thursday.

In a truly humbling display of just how well loved our local pool is, photographer Attilio Fiumarella and the gang over at Some Cities succeeded in getting 110 swimmers together to stand in the empty Gala Pool in their swimming costumes on a sunny Sunday morning to show their love for the building – and dismay at its proposed closure.

The shoot was a massive boost to the campaign against the proposed closure of the building - earmarked for September next year.  There was such a fantastic, good natured atmosphere - it was so lovely to see so many pool users coming together.  Attilio captured a real cross section of the community who gather at the pool each week.  The event really illustrated what a diverse bunch we are - babies and toddlers lined up next to pensioners, keen lane swimmers next to 'Strokes' pupils, club swimmers alongside the Aquarobics devotees and members of the Friends of Moseley Road Baths next to pool staff.  That unique community is what we stand to lose if the pool closes.

The powerful images from the photo shoot were picked up by local news outlets, and soon the story grew to become the third most read story on the BBC News site, it was covered in the Daily Mail and we even gained coverage of our 'Warrior Spirit' as far away as Scotland!  Twitter went wild with the #100swimmers hashtag, and we even got a Tweet from Jeremy Vine!

Thanks to everyone who helped to spread the word and who shared their images and thoughts on the day.  Esther Barnes documented the shoot and has produced some lovely images.  Matthew Walters was one of the 'Terracotta Army' who took advantage of the event to take some gorgeous shots of around the building.  Proof as ever that this building continues to inspire.

Attilio's image from the photo shoot will be unveiled this Thursday July 31st, from 6.30pm, at The Old Print Works, over the road from the baths - and all are welcome - whether you participated, spread the love online or only saw the story in the press.  Attilio will be there to answer questions about the project.

IMG_4169The Friends of Moseley Road Baths want to extend a huge thank you to Attilio for his vision and talent in bringing the project about, the team at Some Cities for supporting such an ambitious and exciting project, Ian Edwards (pictured above with his loudspeaker!) for his expert direction of the swimmers, to the crew who were running round supporting Attilio, to all of the swimmers who gave up their morning to stand around in an empty pool, and of course, thanks are also due to the pool staff for accommodating the event.

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100 Swimmers

100 swimmers are needed to fill the disused Gala Pool on Sunday 20th July from 10am to form a ‘Terracotta Army’ in protest against the proposed closure of the building in September 2015.

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Photographer Attilio Fiumarella would like to gather 100 Swimmers inside the Gala Pool and immortalize them as the Terracotta Army in a magnificent and powerful picture.  It will be the Grande Finale of his photographic project “The Swimmers”, developed over the last year in Moseley Road Baths.  You can view some of the fantastic images he has created with local swimmers on his website.

The shoot will take place this Sunday July 20th from 10 AM in the Moseley Road Baths.
You just need to wear your own swimsuit and join to the other 99 swimmers!  To get involved, send a confirmation to the100swimmers@gmail.com.  There are also regular updates on the event’s Facebook Page.

 

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Thank you for coming

On Sunday 11th May, the Friends Group held a Keep Moseley Road Baths Open Day.

For three busy hours that afternoon, the Friends welcomed over 100 visitors to the Baths, giving them the opportunity to see parts of the Edwardian building usually out-of-bounds, such as the Gala Pool, Slipper Baths, Boiler Room and Laundry Room.

Visitors included present and past users of the Pool, some who had not seen the building for decades, but shared their memories with Group members. Also present were current and prospective City Councillors, ahead of the forthcoming local elections.

In the Foyer of the Baths, the Group set up table-tops for campaign sheets/ideas, selling books/t-shirts/postcards and cakes/refreshment. In the area adjacent to the entrance to the Gala Pool, other members set up a banner-making table alongside members of the Balsall Heath History Society.

As people walked around the building, group members were available in each area to explain the details and history of the room they were in.

At the close of the Day, the group had sold plenty of books as well as  t-shirts, postcards and cakes raising over £150 for the Group.

Many thanks to those who attended. If you would like to help more, please contact us through our website - www.friendsofmrb.co.uk.

 

If you came to the Keep Moseley Road Baths Open Day on Sunday 11th and have any photos you would like to share please email the Friends who would be happy to showcase your day at the baths.

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Make a splash at Keep Moseley Road Baths Open Day

This sunday is Keep Moseley Road Baths Open Day and your chance to learn about the baths’ history, take a peek behind the scenes and add your support to keep the building open for swimming.

With local elections only 11 days away from Sunday’s Keep Moseley Road Baths Open Day, local candidates for Balsall Heath, Sparkbrook and Moseley wards have been invited along so they can see how important the baths are for people and for you to ask them questions about the baths’ future.

Pool 2 will also be open before the event with public swimming from 8am until 1.30pm so if you’d like the opportunity to swim in an Edwardian pool bring your swimming costume and take a dip in the beautiful pool.

Keep Moseley Road Baths Open Day is free and takes place from 12:30pm – 3:30pm with refreshments available for a small donation to the Friends of Moseley Road Baths.

 

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