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Meanwood Road Public Baths, Meanwood Road

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Meanwood Road Public Baths, Meanwood Road
Description:
Image shows Meanwood Road Public Baths located on Meanwood Road between the junction of Education Road and Jackson Road. It was opened on 29th April 1899 by the chairman of the Baths,Councillor Peter Laycock. The other members of the committee were present including the Lord Mayor of Leeds,Alderman Thomas Walter Harding J.P. Many local children first learned to swim here,attending swimming lessons from Meanwood Road School. An ex-pupil growing up in the 1950s remembers, pocket money permitting, the warming cups of hot Bovril and 'Salt Biscuits'(savoury crackers)on sale. There was also a machine in the entrance where a penny in the slot would provide a squirt of Brillcream to add the finishing touches to your newly washed and dried hair. Meanwood Road Baths closed in 1977.

User Comments:

Name:
Ralph Bedford

Comment:
I when to Chapeltown School in the early 50s and we used to catch the tram outside the school to go to Meanwood Road baths and i rember well the hot drinks you could get,also i rember we had to walk to and from the baths thro a passage that ran between Scothall Road and Meanwood Road,at the Scotthall Rd end if i rember rightly there was a shop that sold little tiny freshley baked bread loafs for a penny(HappyDays)

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Name:
Nigel Browne

Comment:
I learnt to swim at these baths in about 1960. We used to be taken there from Bentley Lane school once a month by the Leeds Corporation bus hired for the occasion. We were so rowdy they finally stopped taking us. When we used to go there on a hot day in our own time, school holidays most likely, there was a chap of muscular build we called Tarzan. I believe he was the local window cleaner. There was a little chap with a small bump on his head who was an attendant there called Billy?. He was always blowing his whistle to get people to behave themselves or be thrown out. You could buy Bovril at the ticket office inside the baths. There was a bakers shop opposite the baths that sold miniature loaves for a penny. We all used to crowd in there to purchase a loaf when we went back to the school after a swimming lesson. There was a clothing wash house facility at the left hand side for all the residents of the back to back houses in the area. I now live in Brisbane Australia and funnily enough at an inner city suburb called Spring Hill there is an exact replica of the Meanwood road baths, built about the same time as the Meanwood road one, except it has no roof in deference to the climate. So the design must have been exported. Looking into the inside of the Spring Hill baths always brings back my memory's of the Meanwood road baths and the place where I learnt to swim as a child.

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Name:
jack mitchell

Comment:
Yes,there is a lot of truthful comments here.I myself learnt to swim with (Sheepscar School).This was just down the road to the right, past the (Royal Cinema), past a bakery called (hows)thats how it was pronounced, but may not be spelled correctly, where we used to call in for oven cakes, turn left at the (Globe Public House)into Sackville street,about 80yds on, You came to the bridge over Sheepscar beck.Look over the bridge to the right and there it was the famous (College On The Beck).Now back to the baths,Tarzans surname was Lorriman, we would ask him to through us in, and he would pick us up like we weighed nothing.Mind you he wouldn't do it if the attendant was looking.He was a mate of my eldest brother (Ronald Joseph Mitchell)the second Leeds man to be killed in Korea Sept 1950.Tarzan is still alive,we know his nephew (Desmond Lorriman)who still lives in (Potternewton). I went to sheepscar school from 1940 to 1952.Comment made Aug 2006.

Email:
astrojack7mars@msn.com

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Name:
GeoffB

Comment:
I too learned to swim in the little pool in the early 60s we would get the No69 bus from Moortown Estate to Sackville Street then walk through a "ginnel" from near Scotthall Road over Sheepscar Beck, this came out on Meanwood Road between the Car showroom and Meanwood Road School, after swimming with wet trunks wrapped in your towel we would get bovril and salt biscuits from the bath shop, or if funds would allow cross Meanwood Road for a bag of chips or scollops (sliced potato dipped in batter) from the chippy opposite. Happy days

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Name:
paul smith

Comment:
Meanwood Road baths is the place i like many others learnt to swim, i too remember Tarzan whenever he came in the pool we all got out the guy demanded respect and got it, can remember him giving out with a jungle cry when he did a swallow dive of the top "diver" used to go swimming nearly everyday nowt else to do apart from run around on the "dammy" as we grew older we used to go to the slipper baths for our weekly scrub before we went dancing to the Mecca Locarno or the Majestic, strange wasn't it we only had one bath a week but nobody seemed to smell, or did we all smell and nobody could tell the difference, maybe the latter. Anyway these were happy times wouldn't change them for all the tea in China, can also remember my "cossie" my mum made it for me it was made out of wool and held up with a snake belt, when it got wet it used to stretch down to my knees, nobody cared, happy day's.

Email:
paul@smith3939.freeserve.co.uk

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Name:
s woolford

Comment:
I to went to meanwood baths i did my 25 metres there, you could get fish & chip biscuits in a bag,i went on a friday night with my uncles & friends.

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Name:
jack mitchell

Comment:
I remember now, Tarzans full name was HAROLD LORRIMAN. And to verify Ralph Bedfords suggestion. No Ralph, there were no shops in the immediate vicinity,at the SCOTT HALL end of the ginnel. The nearest shop here, was the OFF LICENCE at the junction of SHEEPSCAR STREET & SACKVILE STREET, about 70 or 80 yards away. The penny loaf shop was on the opposite side to the baths walking towards the Junction of MEANWOOD ROAD & CAMBRIDGE ROAD. 5-Feb-08.

Email:
astrojack7mars@msn.com

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Name:
mike spence

Comment:
I too learned how to swim at Meanwood Baths, from Sheepscar School which I attended from 1948(? to 1952 when my family migrated to Canada. I remember the change cubicles around the pool and the pipe in the shallow end on which beginners could cling. Love this website, it brings back a lot of pleasant (and unpleasant!)memories. I expecially appreciate the photos of Back Barrack street where my father finally got his "reward" for 6 years of world war two service.

Email:
mikespence75@gmail.com

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Name:
rayd

Comment:
Like the other contributors, I too got my first swimming certificate at these baths. In my (very long ago) days it was for 25 yards. We went from 'Chappy' school either by 'shank's pony' or your own bike.

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Name:
michael

Comment:
Great picture. I lived just around the corner in Penraevon st all through the 60's. I also learned to swim there. The oxo/boveril and salt biscuits were great after the swim. Spent just about everyday in there during the school holidays. Jumping off the balcony was great when the attendant went out. Sitting in the showers and blocking up the plughole until the warm water came up to your chin, fantastic! The fish n' chip shop over the road was called charlie's. In there for a bag of chips with scraps. Great times

Date:
19-May-2009

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Name:
Gail Benton (nee Winston)

Comment:
We lived in Scott Hall Drive in the 50's and like many others learnt to swim here. Mothers used the wash house taking the washing in old prams. I can still smell the steam, see the changing rooms and where we bought our Bovril in thick white cups. Scraps from the chip shop and if you were lucky you may find a piece of fish. Unknown to me then, Peter Laycock was an ancestor, brother to my great great grandfather.

Date:
17-Jun-2009

Email:
gail@bentong.freeserve.co.uk

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Name:
GaryW

Comment:
What marvellous comments, I lived round the corner in Penraevon Terrace until 1960 and from Meanwood Road school we were all taught to swim and gained our certificates in the baths. Mums would be in the wash-house which could be accessed through a double door from behind the diving board. Paul Smith -The reason no-one had a bad smell was everyone was covered in triple stength Chlorine.I remember well, blocking the pluhole in the showers, in addition to the salt biscuits and bovril, Meanwood Road was a wonderful community.

Date:
08-Mar-2010

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Name:
tracey crook

Comment:
ahh those wonderful showers.I went to the swimming baths with school cowper street in the 60's.Most afternoons after school finished and in the school holidays I spent hours in the baths learning to swim at the concrete steps at the shallow end.The showers were great and keeping the door closed and keeping your foot on the drain holes was like shift work which anyone was glad to take a turn in fear of losing all the water and heat,great memories.

Date:
13-Mar-2010

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Name:
Alan Clough

Comment:
The bakers opposite the baths was Potters. We used to buy bread cakes and eat them without butter. They were delicious. "Tarzan" was so called because he had a good physique and had his hair styled like Lex barker.

Date:
22-Jul-2010

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Name:
pete gregson

Comment:
I too learned to swim at meanwood rd baths.i also used the slipper baths once a week, but i also used the russian baths and what a treat they were.iused to get undressed have a shower and then go into the steam room and then watch the dirt come out of my pores then i would have another shower then relax in a bamboo chair driking bovril. the last russian bath i had was on my wedding day august 1962.

Date:
07-Dec-2010

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Name:
Patricia Smith(nee Burns)

Comment:
The baths were a great social part of our lives as was the ginnel at the side leading to sheepscar beck, we learnt to swim and how to avoid certain boys(Tarzan included). The Royal picture house lower down was a favourite too, as was the Carlton, Capitol, Electra, we always had plenty to do.Its sad these days teenagers have not got the freedom we had, and always seem to be bored, progress at a price!

Date:
08-Dec-2010

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Name:
Ian Smith

Comment:
Hi everyone - I used to go to the baths during the 1950's. I have happy memories of everything that has been said. I remember the two pools, Tarzan, the Bovril and biscuits, the bakery where we bought a bag of 'bits' (broken cakes), etc. I also remember that when all of the cubicles, around the pool, were taken, we had to go upstairs to the balcony where there was a long bench, and communal changing, with a towel wrapped around us for modesty. At the time, I went to Quarry Mount School and lived in the Elthams off Woodhouse Street. Ian

Date:
09-Dec-2010

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Name:
MichaelW

Comment:
I remember the swimming baths well. I used to live around the corner on Penraevon St. From the late 50's to early 70's. During the summer holidays we used to go to all 3 session. I remember getting a bag of chips with scraps from Charlies chippy over the road. Boveril and salty crackers. My mother used to go to the wash house attached to the little pool of the baths. Anyone remember plugging up the plughole in the showers in the large pool and sitting and watching the water rise. Jumping of the balcony into the pool, if there were no attendants around! Great times. I also used to play on the dammy and the ridge opposite. Making rope swings off trees. In the picture above. Me and my mates used to sit on the wall near the roadsign in November, penny for the guy. Plenty more memories, most of them good

Date:
22-Dec-2010

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Name:
Judy

Comment:
I went to Gledhow School (between about 1975 and 1979) - I remember going to meanwood swimming baths in a bus or coach but particularly remember queuing along the wall at the baths either waiting to go in or back on the bus at home time. I often look for that wall when going along meanwood road but never realised it was so far down towards town - now I know where I need to be looking thanks to this photo. I suppose we must have been going there not long before it closed.

Date:
16-Feb-2011

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Name:
joel seltzer

Comment:
I too went there on a bus from fir tree school moortown in the late 60`s. Sadly i never learned to swim but still have happy memories of my time there.

Date:
27-Feb-2011

Email:
mufty2304@talktalk.net

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Name:
mark cambridge

Comment:
im hoping somebody could help me please. Im looking for some good books for my dads birthday. He was born in 1944, and went to sheepscar school. he used to go swiming at meanwood road baths, used to play in some woods in meanwood, also played at something caled the dammy. could you please email me if you know of any good books about this area in my dads youth times. i would be very grateful. his name is Barry Cambridge.

Date:
29-Jun-2011

Email:
mrkcmbrdg@aol.com

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Name:
barry cambridge (booker)

Comment:
i went to sheepscar school 1948 to 1958 i went to the baths three times a week saturday afternoon and sunday morning i lived just off sheepscar street bedford terrace i also played on the damy down the beck walking to the slants happy days played on the rec potty park jews park on north street loved going to the pictures forum,royal, carlton, newtown bug hutch,and the victoria on camp road my friends were tony winstanley, david foster,fred anderton who had a sister called carol,derek varley,terry willis, dennis long,and tommy dickinson both from scothall. the only shop on sackville street was at the side of the bridge and that was a sweet shop

Date:
30-Jun-2011

Email:
linda577@hotmail.co.uk

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Name:
pat brennan nee firth

Comment:
I too have my swim cert.from meanwood rd baths.My father was an attendant there for yrs.Mr Sid Firth.so I got in free with my friends,little plastic caps them days were a shilling.1949 i think..Dad went to olympic pool later on.Remember wash house and prams full of wash.Love reading theses sites.Now live Aust Syd since 1966

Date:
28-Jul-2011

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Name:
debra furness(metcalfe)

Comment:
i was about 10yrs old and my brother was 8yrs old when my dad learnt us to swimm.we went every tue night to the dolphine club i too remember tarzan.After swimming we had a oxo drink and a bag of chips from over the road while we waited for the bus home. i swam my mile when i was 11yrs old with my dad at the side of me.My dad passed away nearly a year ago and these are happy memorys

Date:
06-Aug-2011

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Name:
Michael Siddle

Comment:
I also lurned how to swim at Meanwood baths my mother used to go to the wash house and come in to see if I had got my trunks wet until one day I just dived in and started swimming. I then started entering swimming garlas via Bentley Lane School happy days why car'nt we turn the clock back

Date:
09-Aug-2011

Email:
michaelsiddle1@gmail.com

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Name:
DENISE STANTON (NOW HORSMAN)

Comment:
I used to live on Craven Road and spent many happy hours at Meanwood Road baths - did my bronze medallion for life saving and got a free pass to swim any time I wanted - they were great days. Mum used to go the wash house once a week and we would go as a family to have a 'proper' bath once a week.

Date:
13-Nov-2011

Email:
alden953@hotmail.co.uk

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Name:
Liz Rowlands

Comment:
I too am a past pupil of the meanwood Baths swimmimh academy. It did me well and I went on to do a lot of competition swimming. I used to catch the tram up from Roundhay on Saturday mornings and get off a couple of stops early to save money for the famous Bovril and also for a packet of Parma Violets I would buy from the sweet shop near Sackville Street. A very potent memory was the shortcut over the Beck and running to be first to see what colour it was today: I assume there was a textile mill near by,

Date:
15-Mar-2012

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Name:
bill dalziel

Comment:
I learned to swim here early sixties with 9th company boys brigade on friday nights.I got banned after being caught jumping into deep end from the balcony.dare'nt tell my mam that though. cheers to all.

Date:
07-Apr-2012

Email:
billdalziel46@yahoo.co.uk

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Name:
Mike Forrest

Comment:
1940to1950 went to woodhouse and quarry mount schools,never out of meanwood rd baths.At one time the manager had a black labrador dog andsometimes if we were the first in for a new session we would find the dog swimming around in the pool! talk about health and safety!anyone remember all swimming baths in Leeds closing because of polio?

Date:
14-May-2012

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Name:
Mike Forrest

Comment:
Re closing of Leeds baths because of polio.Some of the men on the Farm Hill estate dammed Meanwood Beck about 50 yds. down stream from the bridge that carries Meanwood rd. over the beck so that the kids could have a swim!There seems to be an outlet pipe from Sugarwell hill at the same spot!What a choice Polio or Typhoid!Although I don't think anyone got ill.Kids were tough in those days!

Date:
25-May-2012

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Name:
Kevin McMahon

Comment:
Bloody hated this place! Went there every Friday for swim lessons from Bedford Field Middle School (on top of the Ridge) and I was petrified of the water.Half the time I would invent an illness to avoid it. Now I've taught my 3 kids to swim!!

Date:
16-Aug-2012

Email:
kmxconsulting@gmail.com

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Name:
Lesley Evans

Comment:
I learnt to swim here in the 60's used to go to swimming club every tuesday evening. Always had packet of tomato sauce flavoured smiths crisps and chips from across the road.

Date:
10-Sep-2012

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Name:
Kevin Hilton

Comment:
was never out of these bath's during the summer holidays, everything that I've read is so spot on. I use to go once a week also from the school, more or less over the road from the baths, called Buslingthorpe c of e. Alaways remember my eyes watering all the time from the chlorine, beats eye drops anyday.

Date:
18-Sep-2012

Email:
kevin.hilton@allianz.co.uk

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Name:
Joyce Burrow (nee) Anderton.

Comment:
Hi Barry Cambridge. I remember you and your family. Fred & Carole Anderton are my younger brother & sister. We also have a brother Robert who is quite a bit younger. My memories are the same as yours and were great times. I lived with my grandmother most of the time at 21 Bedford Terrace. Used to play in your backgarden, through the passageway from Bedford Terrace. I live in Canada now, have for 48 years. Carole, Fred and Robert still live in Leeds. Good to remember the old times. All the best Joyce.

Date:
29-Sep-2012

Email:
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Name:
Edward Emmerson

Comment:
This was like my second home in the 50s,met my first girlfriend Margaret Lockwood.

Date:
25-Dec-2012

Email:
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Name:
Hazel Mayhew (nee Loryman)

Comment:
I too swam in Meanwood Baths and remember well having Bovril and salt crackers afterwards. I also remember walking the short cut from Scott Hall Road and running to see what colour the beck was. But unfortunately don't remember Tarzan although we al most shared the same surname.

Date:
28-Apr-2013

Email:
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Name:
Linda

Comment:
Does carol Dickinson visit this site and went to Bentley Lane school in 1959/60 I remember you loved to sing songs by Cliff Richards I thought you were cool.

Date:
10-Jun-2013

Email:
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Name:
Suzanne

Comment:
Went to Meanwood Road pool every week in the early 70s from Alwoodley Primary School. I hated the place. It had slime and sharp stone on the floor. I remember the changing room curtains didn't close properly. Today such a place would be condemned

Date:
13-Jan-2014

Email:
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Name:
Tommy Wardle

Comment:
I went to the school at the side of the swimming baths in the fifties, it wasn't until I moved to Quarry Mount school that I went to use these swimming baths, I remember you could get a cup oxo and a couple of ritz crackers

Date:
07-Apr-2014

Email:
thomas.wardle@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

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Name:
Ron Gittins

Comment:
..fond memories of the baths and Meanwood Rd school next door mid fifties. Nearly drowned there one day , waded out of my depth but got pulled back luckily by unknown guardian angel. Can tell the tails of wash-house below, pull out wall driers, industrial washers, boilers, and rollers, cloths to be taken back home in old prams and push-chairs. Hard times , strong communal ties, and valued principals. Petrol station across the road next to the Salvation Army. Bramley baths reminds me so much of Meanwood as it used to be.

Date:
08-Apr-2014

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