Huddersfield Public Baths Company, Limited

The Huddersfield Public Baths Co. Ltd. was formed in November 1878 to convert the Gymnasium Hall on Ramsden Street into a public baths. The capital was £7,500 issued in shares of £1 each.

In January 1879, the company's secretary, accountant Charles Smith Tempest[1], wrote to the Huddersfield Chronicle to clarify how people could apply for shares.[2]

The first general meeting was held at the Gymnasium Hall in March 1879 with George William Crosland (patron of the Huddersfield Amateur Swimming Club) in the chair. The directors announced that they hoped to begin converting the premises soon.[3]

In June 1879, the company advertised for a "working manager" who could teach swimming and "whose wife could superintend on ladies' days".[4]

The Ramsden Street Baths, which had been designed by architect Arthur Smith of Queen Street, were opened on Tuesday 1 July 1879 by Colonel Thomas Brooke.[5]

Unfortunately the baths proved to be an unsuccessful business venture and reportedly made a loss of around £300 per year. After announcing in April 1887 that the company would be wound up, they attempted to sell the baths at auction in August 1887 but the bid of £1,900 was below the reserve price. In early 1888, the company went into liquidation.

Huddersfield Public Baths Company Limited.

NOTICE is, hereby given, that an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Shareholders of this Company will be held at the offices of Messrs. Welsh and W. Sykes, Solicitors, Victoria Chambers, 6, Queen Street, Huddersfield, on Friday, the 11th day of May, 1888, at half past four p.m., to receive and pass the accounts of the Liquidator, showing the manner in which the winding up of the affairs of the Company has been conducted, and the property of the Company disposed of, and to grant the Liquidator his discharge.

Dated this 3rd. day of April, 1888.
Henry Kilner, Liquidator.

In May 1888, Huddersfield Corporation formed a subcommittee to investigate the feasibility of purchasing the baths. Despite some objections — particularly by Councillor J. Brierly — a decision was taken to buy the premises for £2,000

Notes and References

  1. Charles Smith Tempest's link to the company would have been relatively short lived as he was sent to prison in February 1880 for embezzling £85 that belonged to Lepton School Board.
  2. "Correspondence" in Huddersfield Chronicle (04/Jan/1879).
  3. "Huddersfield Public Baths Company, Limited" in Huddersfield Chronicle (22/Mar/1879).
  4. "Wanted" in Huddersfield Chronicle (03/Jun/1879).
  5. "Opening of the New Swimming Baths" in Huddersfield Chronicle (05/Jul/1879).