When The Swimming Baths Sleep, The Past Comes To Life
The local swimming baths, it’s something we can all reminisce over. Whether you have joyful memories of getting your first swimming badge or recall having a swimming hat manhandled onto your head, there is always a tale or two to be told.
To celebrate the swimming baths role in shaping the community, Yorkshire Life Aquatic are back with an ambitious show which reveals a collection of stories about the generations of people who have enjoyed Bramley Baths over the years.
Made in partnership with Bramley Baths and Leeds College of Art; Mermaid Tales combines fantasy with reality to create a completely original aquatic adventure based on memories borrowed from Leeds swimmers, translated into a delightful walking, talking, dancing performance and exhibition – that finishes with a finale routine in the pool.
The project has uncovered stories such as Christine Brumfield’s, who used the baths back in 1960 when she was just 13;
“One time, I was standing on the little diving platform, posing and trying to look cool, wearing my maroon Thoresby High school swimming costume, which was a size too big, and a white swimming hat. Everyone was staring at me and being a bit conceited I thought it was because I was looking pretty with a nice figure. So I posed a bit more, threw my shoulders back and happened to look down to see that the swimming costume straps had come undone and the costume had slipped down to my waist! Needless to say, that was the last time I went swimming there for many years,”
And of course, the Baths haven’t just been enjoyed by swimmers over the years as Jean Major recalls;
“I always remember having an angora wool jumper in a very, very pale blue. I thought it was the bees knees and me boyfriend and I went dancing at Bramley Baths and he had a brown suit on. After the first dance we stopped dancing and he was covered in mohair. Ah dear he was furious.”
As well as being submerged in these experiences of the baths, you’ll also have a chance to leave your mark on the project on the day, adding your own experiences on the day and become part of the project.
If you have ever held your breath under water…If you remember learning to swim….You will have a tale to tell to the mermaids….
Mermaid Tales performances will be held on the 28th November at 5.30pm & 7.30pm
Tickets available from Bramley Baths: 0113 256 0949 or online here.