Manchester musician and fanzine maker David Carden sings about the dirty (recycled) water swimmers might once have encountered, during his 'musical tour' of Victoria Baths. When Victoria Baths opened, swimming was segregated both by sex and by class, and water was first used in the first class males' pool, then pumped into the second class males' pool, then finally reused in the (smaller) female pool!
David Carden sings about famous Channel swimmer Sunny Lowry, who was associated with Victoria Baths for many years, during his 'musical tour' performance in the female pool.
Other songs included a story of poolside romances inspired by the hundreds of memories donated to the Victoria Baths archive, and a zombie epic.
David also drew 5 minute portraits of visitors!
Karren Ablaze reads from her recent book The City is Ablaze, discussing her motivations for starting to make fanzines as a teenager in suburban Sale and Altrincham in the 1980s – it provided a way for her to communicate – hanging out in record shops, waiting around to interview bands, getting an angry letter from Morrissey after a messy gig at the Free Trade Hall, links with other Manchester DIY initiatives of the time such as a cassette tape radio station, and practical issues regarding how her zines were funded.
John Mather, author of the self-published Pictorial Guide to Greater Manchester's Public Swimming Pools, shares the story of his journey around Greater Manchester's swimming baths for an audience of swimming enthusiasts upstairs in the superintendent's flat, discussing the role of these buildings and facilities in the social life of the region's diverse local communities, and the area's rich history of nurturing and producing swimming champions.
Manchester author David Hartley reads from his work.
Making a new edition of Victoria Baths' own zine 'the Vicky' with Pool Arts.
More photos from the event: