Changing Leeds - How the city improved its hygiene through the years

Huge efforts were made to improve the sanitation of Leeds after the many outbreaks of cholera and other infectious diseases in the 1800s.

Thursday, 26th March 2020, 5:00 am
Updated Monday, 30th March 2020, 8:25 am
This is how Leeds cleaned up its act. PICS: YPN and Leeds Libraries,
This is how Leeds cleaned up its act. PICS: YPN and Leeds Libraries,

Leeds Corporation built public baths, swimming pools and wash-houses aware that improved hygiene promoted better health. They were provided in areas of back-to-back houses and cottages where it was difficult for people to heat quantities of water, enjoy privacy or have room for sanitary fittings. These photos showcase how Leeds cleaned up its act. READ MORE: Changing Leeds - The rise and fall of the city's International Pool LOVE LEEDS? LOVE RETRO? Join 'Leeds Retro' on facebook

Clothes go into the washing machine at the start of a two hour wash at Kirkstall Road wash house which cost 3s and 6d.
Inside a busy Armley wash-house in the mid-1970s.

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The shower room in the wash-house on South Brook Street in Hunslet. The framework of the shower units with soap bowls attached are visible. Instructions for washing are on the back wall.
The public bath and wash-house at Park Square in Leeds city centre.
Inside Stocks Hill wash-house at Holbeck. Washing equipment and commercial machinery can be seen. Drying equipment visible on the left.
Emily Smith sticks to the posser as a way of forcing the white in at Armley wash-house.
It is difficult to tell from the view of this internal room at the bath house exactly what its function was at the Public Bath House on South Brook Street in Hunslet.
Holbeck Baths.
Bramley Public Baths, located on the junction of Broad Lane and Calverley Lane. It was one of many public baths and swimming pools built in Leeds around the late 1890s and early 1900s. A board with admission charges is on the left.
The entrance to Bramley Baths. The payment office and turnstile can be seen.
For a small charge a bath could be enjoyed, the small room being at the bathers disposal for 20-30 minutes. The waiting area provided here has deck chairs, to the right a bath cubicle can be seen.
Recognise here? Union Street swimming baths in the city centre. It was demolished after the International Pool opened.
Interior of Union Street bath and wash-house in Leeds city centre with decaying floor and woodwork. A set of scales are by a mat in front of the door.
Cookridge Street Baths which opened in 1867 and were home to Turkish baths and a swimming pool. Demolished in the 1960s when the city's International Pool opened.
Fountain Street Public Baths in Morley.
Surplus lands located at Joseph Street and Cross Newport Street showing the public baths in the background.
Holbeck Baths. They opened in 1898 and closed in 1979. This was one of many public swimming baths in the city, in areas where facilities for washing and bathing were restricted, the buildings also provided laundry wash houses and individual baths
The rear yard of the public baths at number 34 Hope Street. The turkish baths -there were many throughout the country in the Victorian era - are thought to have opened in 1888 and closed in 1908.
Roundhay Park Bathing Pool. Changing cubicles visible on the right, bathers and onlookers can be seen. These public baths were opened on the 19th June 1907 at a cost 1,657 and were built by the unemployed.
York Road, Public Baths and Library was opened in October 1904 and housed a 23 metre swimming pool with ladies, gents and Russian baths and free public library. Redeveloped as a gym in 2018.
Share your memories of public baths and wash-houses in Leeds with Andrew.Hutchinson via email at: [email protected] or tweet him - @AndyHutchYPN