Historic Pools of Britain – March News

A warm welcome to Arlington Baths Club

We are delighted to introduce new member Arlington Baths Club, located in Glasgow’s west end. This is a pool with a rich and fascinating architectural and social history. It is thought to be the first Victorian swimming club in the UK having been established in 1870 by a group of Glasgow business men as a members-only swimming pool. When in 1875 a Turkish Baths was added this was inspired by the Alhambra in Spain, which you can see echoed in the encaustic floor tiles and vitreous mosaic tesserae. Its ethos then, as now, nods to an understanding of the importance of both leisure and wellbeing.

One of the pool’s iconic features is the set of travelling rings and two trapezes that are suspended from the ceiling beams. Scotland has a long history of travelling rings, which were a form of exercise and physical therapy.

Today the Club has around 1,300 members, all of whom have equal voting rights, and the Club is led by a Board of Management made up of members.

Introducing HPB’s new blog

We are delighted to introduce a new addition to HPB; the HPB blog. It will give the opportunity for a deeper dive into projects, stories and themes. Joining us for this first addition is Emma Horridge, Heritage Engagement Coordinator, from Withington Baths, who shares an insight into the exciting restoration and community work that has been taking place at Manchester’s only Edwardian pool where you can still swim.

Enjoy reading here and, as you’ll see, we are also planning an event at Withington Baths on Thursday 26 September, with bookings now open and details to follow. Email [email protected] for more.

Launch of the Future Lidos Toolkit

Future Lidos has now gone live with its Toolkit; the culmination of a year-long project supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The Toolkit, which is free to access, brings together case studies, guides and insight from lidos across the UK and Ireland. It’s there as a resource to support lidos at all stages and contains a wealth of information. You can access the toolkit here and a good starting point is the user guide.

Future Lidos was founded in 2021 with a focus on bringing the benefits of outdoor pool swimming to as many communities as possible. Its network includes heritage pools, operating lidos and future lidos.


  • Original Article: Historic Pools of Britain Newsletter
  • Date: March 2024