Baths
in Manchester
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Although public bathing in Britain has a lengthy history, successive Acts of Parliament during the nineteenth century saw the activity become more widespread, with the emphasis in industrialised urban centres, such as Manchester, on public hygiene rather than leisure. However, with improved sanitary conditions at home and the advent of modern domestic appliances, the twentieth century saw a return to public bathing for pure leisure. In the post-1945 period, numerous dedicated swimming pools were opened by municipal authorities across Manchester in places such as Oldham and Radcliffe. Now facing closure and demolition, this chapter offers a lament on the loss of municipal swimming baths and the familiar leisure experience they once offered.

Manchester

Something rich and strange

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