Category Archives: Volunteers

Help needed – 8th March

Roll up! Roll up! We need volunteers for our ‘Keep Moseley Road Baths Open Day’, next Sunday 8th from 9.30am – 2pm.  The more of us the better (and there are some seated roles so we could swap from time to time).  You may be able to serve refreshments, sell books, direct people or help with answering questions about the building.  Let us know if you can help out by e-mailing contact@friendsofmrb.co.uk.

Moseley Road Baths – at the ‘art’ of Balsall Heath

Where to start with summarising last Saturday’s fantastic art exhibition and celebration of Moseley Road Baths’ 104th Birthday?  We were overwhelmed by the response from artists and those who attended on the day; what a timely reminder with the Baths currently closed that it still remains as popular and loved as ever!

Pool of Memories Art Exhibition

Pool of Memories Art Exhibition

First off I must say a huge thank you to the artists who produced such fantastic work!  Please do look them up and support them!  They are: Anne Irby Crews, Eleanor Leonne Bennett, Harry Starling, Heather Ramsden, Helen Flanagan, Maria Reaney, Michelle Bint, Paul Hull, Paul Jessett, Robert Geoghegan, Rose Jennings and Vivienne Harrison.

Thanks also to Corinne Fowler who read an excerpt from her novel which vividly describes a full-immersion Baptism at Moseley Road Baths – something that the Riverside Church used to do.  She did an excellent job of transporting the audience to the poolside in the absence of our annual tours!

Pool of Memories Art Exhibition

The day was also an opportunity to celebrate our Pool of Memories project so far.  The bits of our archive out on display really got people talking and we got so many wonderful stories and great feedback!  A number of people left their details for us to interview them, and this wonderful certificate was shown to us which dates back to 1928!

Pool of Memories Art Exhibition

I was lucky enough to do two wonderful oral history interviews with visitors.  Betty spoke about her first attempts at swimming in the early 1930s and going for weekly baths, right through to swimming as a teenager, courting with Fred (now her husband!) and taking their daughter there when she was a toddler.  Ruth was visiting from Yorkshire and spoke fondly of her 13 years of working as a lifeguard and how it was so much more than lifesaving but about building important relationships with the whole community.

We also screened films from our Pool of Memories School project, including Premiering two films produced by pupils at Park Hill School over the past couple of weeks.  A few of the pupils were in attendance and proudly showed their work off to family!

Pool of Memories Art Exhibition

Finally, a massive thank you to all those who volunteered their time on the day and to the staff at the School of Art for making us so welcome.  Over 110 people were in attendance which I think is a huge achievement for a voluntary group!  Please do let us know what you thought of the event so we can build on this success for next year’s event!

Notice of AGM

We now have quite a number of people signed up for the Oral History Training session tomorrow. I’ve been sending messages back and forth to our trainer, Cynthia, and it’s looking really exciting! I believe that there may be a bit of space left, so if you do want to get involved then let us know ASAP.

Thanks to those of you who have been in touch to volunteer in other ways. We WILL be getting in touch with you, we’re just getting everything organised at the moment!

And finally, our AGM has come round again. This year we would like to invite friends and supporters along to help us celebrate our ‘Pool of Memories’ project – receiving so much funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund really is reason to party! We’ll be putting on some light refreshments, reviewing the past year’s work and of course re-electing officers and making sure our finances are ship-shape. Please get in touch if you want to join us so we know how many to cater for!

The details are:

2pm, Sunday 11th April 2010 at Anderton Park School.

Volunteer for Pool of Memories

Would you like to interview members of the public about their memories of swimming, bathing, socialising and working at Moseley Road Baths?  As part of our Heritage Lottery Fund ‘Pool of Memories’ project we are calling on volunteers to help us in our three year quest to find the best memories of the building.  Your interviews may form part of a book, teaching resource, DVD, permanent exhibition and drama project.We are holding a FREE all-day training event on Saturday 13th March at Moseley Exchange (situated behind Moseley Post Office).  You will get opportunity to learn more about the Pool of Memories Project and receive training from the Oral History Society.

Here is a filmed interview from our memories day back in 2008.  Gerard White talks about the teadances that took place at ‘Moseley Road Ballrooms’ during the war, when the Gala Pool was covered over for the duration of the winter.  He talks particularly about the impact of American GIs on the dance floor!

There are only twelve places on the training day, so we will be allocating places on a first-come, first-served basis and only for people who can dedicate time to volunteer for the Pool of Memories Project.  Please contact us on memories@friendsofmrb.co.uk or ring Jen Austin on 07776 095 885 to reserve a place.

Programme

10.00-10.15 Welcome and introductions

10.15-11.15 What is oral history?: understanding memory

11.15-11.30 Coffee

11.30-1.00 Getting started: aims and objectives, who to interview, question approaches

1.00-2.00 Lunch

2.00-2.30 Practical work: an introduction to recording equipment

2.30-3.30 The interview: do’s and don’ts

3.30-3.45 Tea

3.45-4.30 Practical work: interviewing

4.30-5.00 Evaluation of practical work

5.00-5.30 After the interview: summarising, transcription, copyright, archiving