Crewe Swimming Pool – from Public Baths to Lifestyle Centre.
The recently opened Crewe Lifestyle Centre is the latest facility to be opened for the people of Crewe. Back in the day, 1874 to be precise the town nearly had a Spa resort, thanks to Henry Platt. ‘Medicinal waters’ were found in Church Coppenhall but nothing ever came of it. The first 8 public slipper baths and 1 vapour bath however were opened within the Railway Works in 1845 to provide the thousands of workers somewhere to bathe. There was such an exceptional demand that a second set of baths were opened in Mill Street in 1866m, consisting of hot, tepid, and cold baths, showers, and an open-air swimming pool, with Turkish baths added sometime before 1874. (1)
In the mid-1930’s, Crewe Corporation agreed to build new baths, but turned down the Railway Company’s offer to use the existing facilities and so the new baths were built elsewhere. The Mill Street baths closed on 31 March 1936 after serving the town for seventy years. The new establishment was built without Turkish baths. (2)A full history of the Flag Lane Baths has been written, including architectural drawings and images. (3), (4)
The pools are made of cast-in-situ concrete. They were dug out manually and lined with ceramic tiles fixed with a mixture of cement and Pudlo – a waterproofing additive. This mixture was also used for grouting to stop water staining the tiles by seeping beneath the glaze – in the long term, this method of construction and lining has proved very effective and the pools required very little maintenance. (The Pudlo company recently used their product on the Pool at Basildon Sporting Village, another of Spectile Ltd.’s recent projects!)(5)
Crewe Baths in 1938 The new Crewe Lifestyle Centre Pool (showing tiles supplied by Spectile Ltd):
The new Lifestyle Centre in Crewe now replaces the Corporation Baths that were built on Flag Lane; these Baths were opened on November 6th, 1937 and were closed this year (March 27th 2016). The Art Deco building provided the town for nearly 80 years – locals were sad to see it go after all this time, with many people spending their childhood days here learning to swim.
- Cheshire Historic Towns Survey © Cheshire County Council and English Heritage 2002
- The Social and Economic Development of Crewe, 1780-1923 By William Henry Chaloner https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=I4vQAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA54&lpg=PA54&dq=crewe+baths+mill+street&source=bl&ots=4-g2zbCMV3&sig=_n3KZXkgyEU-lyCuIbhu7YfwfFE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi46JWZ4bfOAhUCbRQKHWmbC7sQ6AEIcDAM#v=onepage&q=crewe%20baths%20mill%20street&f=false
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