Wednesday 29 May 2002 12.20am
The swimming baths were great, two proper pools, a first class one with an incredibly high diving board, and a second class one ( you actually asked for a 'first' or second!) around the side of the pool you had cubicles similar to a stable door with curtains that you could draw accross at the top, great if you wanted to look at a good looking boy in swimming trunks, curtain pulled back half an inch, eyeball pressed close to the edge of the frame, a half hearted wolf whistle, then drop back before they could see where it came from!
I have never had the same sense of cleanliness from any bath at home as when we would come out of The Grange
road baths....if you were rich and had threehalfpence to spend , there was a small 'canteen' in the basement where you could buy a cup of hot steaming oxo and a slice of bread, unlimited vinegar which according to my taste buds at the time, I used to pour in it!
You could also go and have a hot bath, clean towels aand soap for a reasonable price too, this was in an age where bathrooms and showers were not the norm...
My mother in law went regularly to do her washing at the Laundry Rooms there, you could wash, spin dry(?) hang you washing in large pull out dryers with bars inside, and iron them. My beautiful Laundrette it was not! it was a meeting place for all the hard working women to relax in! a place to catch up on who was knocking off who, who had only been married for 7 months and had a premature baby that looked full term....
The Alaska factory by the side of it was a specialist cleaning company for leathers and suede. It was still possible to take a coat into the cabin to be cleaned at a far cheaper rate than the dry cleaners I think as late as the eighties?