Cambridge Road Baths, Huddersfield
Cambridge Road Baths were a public baths situated on Cambridge Road, Huddersfield, on the corner of Claremont Street.
The popularity of Lockwood Public Baths and Ramsden Street Baths, both of which had been converted from commercial properties, led to Huddersfield Corporation conceiving plans in 1918 to build a new public baths off St. John's Road. However, the post war depression and government imposed spending restrictions meant that construction did not commence until the late 1920s.
The first sod of earth was cut "in a garden off Cambridge Road" by Mayor Rowland Mitchell on Thursday 27 September 1928 as part of the low-key celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the Incorporation of Huddersfield.
The new Cambridge Road Baths were officially opened on 24 August 1931.
The baths comprised a large swimming pool measuring 33 yards by 12 yards, with a depth ranging from 3' 6" to 8' 6", and a smaller pool measuring 25 yards by 12 yards, with a depth ranging from 3' 6" to 7'. The baths also contained separate "ladies' and gents' slipper baths, foam baths, shower baths, café and an establishment laundry."
As attendance declined during the winter months, a decision was made in 1934 to cover the main pool and convert it into a temporary dance floor. By the early 1950s, other dance halls had opened in the town and the baths reverted in 1956 to opening the pool over winter.
During the Second World War, the baths became the Air Raid Precautions control centre. Shortly after the end of the war, the bath's laundry department was destroyed by a fire, but was re-opened within 6 months.
By the 1960s, attendance had risen with over 145,000 visits in the year ending 31 March 1967. This rise led to the decision to build a multi-purpose sports centre elsewhere in the town.
The ladies' and gents' slipper baths were converted into a sauna and snooker room respectively in the 1980s.
The baths closed in 1997 and were subsequently demolished. The site is currently a car park.
Reportedly the stone steps from the building's entrance were re-purposed during the construction of the Huddersfield Central Lodge Hotel.
Notes and References
- Slipper baths allowed those without a bathroom in their own house to bathe and wash. As home bathrooms became more commonplace, their popularity declined.
- At Your Service: One Hundred Years of the Huddersfield Corporation (1968), pages 4-5.
- "Nostalgia: Cambridge Road Baths remembered" in Huddersfield Daily Examiner (22/Feb/2012).