I visited Govanhill Baths few weeks ago, on Glasgow’s Open Doors Day when many buildings that are usually closed were open to the public to visit. I’d been to the baths before on open doors day, but I’ve also swam in one of the pools in 1998. I remember being excited that the sauna had a bucket and I was able to throw water on the stones. It was the first and also last time I’ve been able to do that in a sauna in UK.
Govanhill Baths opened on July 3, 1914, and the trust which is now looking after the building are hoping to have one of the pools open next year for its 100 year anniversary.
The campaign to save Govanhill Pool formally began in January 2001 when Glasgow City Council informed the community and the users that it was to close the baths on March 31st that year. There had been no local consultation and none with the users. Council had also given no consideration to all the people in the neighbourhood who still, in 2001 did not have proper washing facilities in their homes.
Community members occupied the pool from March 17th until August 7th that year making it the longest occupation in UK.
Here’s a great wee tour of the baths.