Friday, 22 January 2010
The Sir Titus Salt
I have written before on this blog about Sir Titus Salt's antipathy to alcohol. Although not a teetotaller, he was well aware of the damage that drink can do to individuals, families and communities and he made sure that there were no public houses in his village of Saltaire. That was true until relatively recently. I don't imagine he'd be thrilled therefore to find his name attached to this pub. It's not in Saltaire - in fact it's in the centre of Bradford up near the University, and is popular with students.
I have never been into the building in its present incarnation. I was however a frequent visitor many years ago. When I was at university in Bradford (I won't tell you how long ago!) this was a public baths, the Windsor Baths - swimming pool, slipper baths and a wonderful Turkish bath. You can see above the door it says Men's Bath. There was a separate entrance for women. My friends and I spent many a relaxed and happy time here, gently steaming ourselves pink, squeaky clean and sleepy. It was lovely, when we all lived in fairly grim bedsits with not very nice bathing facilities. The Baths were very old-fashioned with beautiful old tiles (Victorian of course). But they obviously didn't pay their way. It was long before spas became fashionable (again) and the Council chose to close the baths many years ago. If you want a similar experience now you have to travel all the way to Harrogate, to the famed Spa baths there. (Which I wholeheartedly recommend.)
Here's a little known fact: the 1983 film "The Dresser", starring Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay, was partially filmed at the Windsor Baths, as well as in several other well-known locations in this area.