• Wed. May 29th, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 14.23.40An unusual historic item will be preserved for future generations in a Manchester museum after being carefully removed from a former County Durham leisure centre.

One of only a few remaining in existence, and considered an important cultural asset, the Aeratone Bath was carefully removed from Belle Vue Leisure Centre’s swimming pool in Consett as part of the demolition work. It has now been transferred to be preserved at the Victoria Baths, the national centre for historic baths, in Manchester.

Working with Victoria Baths, Durham County Council helped to save the bath, which was thought to be the only one left in the north east, after others in Gateshead, Stockton and Blyth were lost during redevelopments. It is believed the one at Belle Vue Leisure Centre was installed when the swimming complex was built in 1963.

It is approximately 6ft deep and was the forerunner of the modern Jacuzzi, with jets of warm water pumped in for therapeutic relief from aching joints and muscles. They were developed by Professor William Oliver of Edinburgh University with the first opened in Dunfermline in 1938. Although the company stopped making the baths around 1954 they were still being installed some thirty years later.

Steve Bhowmick, Durham County Council’s environment and design manager, said: “We’re delighted that we’ve been able to work with Victoria Baths to save this unique and interesting part of our heritage for future generations.”

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By admin