In the 19th century private baths clubs were established as places to relax for Glasgow’s middle-class gentlemen. In contrast, the living conditions of the city’s expanding working-class population were poor. The Tenements they lived in were cramped and lacked baths or indoor toilets. The Baths and Wash Houses Act was passed in 1875, to solve these issues. Public baths were more practical than their private counterparts, combining a wash-house or ‘steamie’ with bathing and swimming facilities.
Swimming Baths are a wonderful part of Glasgow’s sporting and social history, and this exhibition celebrated them. These buildings can and should be preserved and given a second life once more at the heart of the community.
All research and content by Rachael Purse, University of Glasgow Postgraduate work-placement in 2013/14.