Pool of Memories

Moseley Road Baths is a Grade II* listed Edwardian Swimming Pool. Opened in October 1907, it stands out as an impressive Gothic Renaissance structure made of red brick and terracotta. I’ve been involved in the ‘Friends of Moseley Road Baths’ for several years, and in that time I’ve been involved in numerous events to celebrate the history and heritage of the building.

It quickly became evident through the campaign that we were struggling to process all of the wonderful memories that people have been so keen to share about the building. So, we put together a successful bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to run a project to celebrate the heritage of what we believe is one of the finest examples of civic architecture in the country.

The result is the ‘Pool of Memories’ project which encompasses a wide range of activities including the production of a book, teaching resource, DVD, permanent exhibition and drama project.  Since we found out about the successful bid we have:

  • Launched the project at Balsall Heath Library
  • Recruited a talented and enthusiastic group of volunteers to help record oral histories.
  • Undertaken some smashing training with the Oral History Society.
  • Gone out and done loads of fantastic interviews on audio and film.
  • Transcribed and catalogued hours of recordings.
  • Work is underway on the book, with reams of notes and hours of research already done.
  • Details are being finalised for the schools projects which entail a local film maker going into schools and assisting pupils in researching about the Baths, learning how to make films and conduct oral history interviews, before going on to do filmed interviews with contributors to the archive.
  • Work is being done on our Pool of Memories website which will be an online space for us to share the archive and a resource for schools.
  • Organised the Memories and Memorabilia Day to exhibit some of the archive so far.
  • Signed up to the Oral History Society’s Vision On event in November…
  • Completed a week long workshop at Anderton Park school resulting in an hour of interviews and two short films created by pupils….

… and we are really only at the beginning of the project, with almost two and a half years to go!

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