On 1st January 2013, Bramley Baths opened its doors as a community-led enterprise with a big leap of faith and Lizzie Coombes was there to see it.
The Friends of Bramley Baths invited people to join them for the first Big Dip – to dress up and jump in the pool together to bring in the New Year. Bramley Baths was originally opened in 1904 and is the city’s only art-deco bathhouse, housing a swimming pool, gym, steam room and a Recreation Room – a big glass-covered room for parties, meetings & all sorts. Run by a professional team, but supported by a growing number of volunteers, the Friends are determined to keep this place alive and kicking.
Since Leeds City Council approved the Friends’ bid to manage Bramley Baths this summer, they have been working hard towards the transition. Their first decision was to review the pricing, because one of the aims of this social-enterprise is to make fun and fitness more affordable to more people. So this January the admission price for a swim goes down in price, not up (£3.90 for an adult swim reduced by 50p, and £2.30 for juniors, while under 5s go FREE).
There are rooms to use for events and meetings, a pool to hire for performances or groups, walls to hang things from, lockers to fill with adventurous things, windows to decorate, and a garden to grow…in other words there’s space to make use of and a canvas for people’s creativity. Swimming hats are not obligatory – but if you ask at reception, you may get handed a viking helmet or a fez.
This chap came in place of his brother, who was busy in New South Wales. We said everyone was welcome – even sharks need to relax.
Bramley Baths is open 7 days a week on Broad Lane, Bramley, LS13 3DP and @bramleybaths
Come & get stuck in – it’s YOURS now and it needs YOU
For timetables and prices visit the Bramley Baths website or call 0113 214 6000.