Carlisle City Council Mayor, Pam Birks, took a step back…

Carlisle City Council Mayor, Pam Birks, took a step back in time on this week with a visit to Carlisle’s Victorian and Turkish Baths.

The Mayor was greeted by Judith Yeates and Julie Minns from the Friends of Carlisle Victorian Turkish Baths and Pools Manager Clark Morton. During the tour the Mayor heard how the Public Baths were built to provide washing and laundry facilities for the workers in the nearby factories, mills and breweries, and how the Public Baths and Washhouses Act required both first and second class tickets so that entry was affordable to everyone.

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Carlisle’s Baths date from 1884 and include one of only twelve remaining original Turkish Baths still in operation in the UK. Plans and financing for the Turkish Baths were drawn up Percy Dalton, later appointed as the City’s Engineer. Although always included in the original plans for the Baths, it took a further 25 years of debate before the Turkish Baths opened in 1909.

Mayor Pam Birks said;

“Carlisle has a very rich heritage and we are fortunate that so many of our historic buildings are still being used and enjoyed by people today. We are the only place bidding to be the City of Culture 2025 to have original Victorian style Turkish Baths, and they really are one of the jewels in Carlisle’s cultural crown”.

Carlisle’s Victorian and Turkish Baths are one of six Carlisle venues taking part in the UK wide Heritage Open Days week 10-19 September. Open Days is England’s largest festival of history and culture, bringing together over 2,000 local people and organisations, and thousands of volunteers.

Chair of the Friends of Carlisle Victorian and Turkish Baths, Julie Minns said:

“We are delighted the Mayor was able to join us for this week-long celebration of heritage. Carlisle’s Public and Turkish Baths hold so many memories for thousands of local residents and we have been overwhelmed by the interest in the tours we are running during Heritage Open Days”.

The Friends of Carlisle’s Victorian and Turkish Baths are running the Heritage Open Days tours over the weekends 11/12 and 18/19 September. The tours are fully booked but a video tour is available on the Friends of Carlisle Victorian and Turkish Baths Facebook Page

The tours are part of a campaign by the Friends of Carlisle Victorian and Turkish Baths to save the original Public Baths and develop the building – dating from 1884 –  as a flagship Health and Wellbeing Centre and to create a new urban park on the site of the 1970s pool which is due for demolition.

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