Wet’s the way they like it at Bramley Baths!

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IT’s a community institution that has made history in more ways than one.

And now Bramley Baths has kicked off its 110th birthday celebrations in typical flamboyant and fun style – with an underwater disco.

Dr Rebekka Kill on the decks. Photo by Lizzie Coombes

Dr Rebekka Kill on the decks. Photo by Lizzie Coombes

It was in October 1904 that Bramley residents were first welcomed into a new purpose-built building on Broad Lane.

The Edwardian dream to create healthier conditions for people in the area has been championed by local people, who celebrated a social enterprise award win last week.

At the underwater disco, guests not only plunged into the pool – they also dove into the party spirit.

The evening saw four DJs taking guests on a musical journey through the life of the building.

Underwater Disco at Bramley Baths -AELizzie Coombes 2014 - 31

Underwater Disco at Bramley Baths -AELizzie Coombes 2014 - 31

It started with ragtime and jazz from the 1904 era, through to the 1960s – when some of those attending the event had first swum in the pool – through to the present day via a water-based ‘Macarena’.

The entire event could be heard above and below the water through speakers more usually used by synchronised swimming teams.

Acting manager Courtney Harrison said: “To see this wonderful 110-year-old building full of swimmers of all ages dancing to the music, lit up by disco lights, glow sticks and glitter balls, was an amazing sight.”

Chair of Bramley Baths John Battle added: “Our 110th year is going to be one in which we celebrate the many good things that people do to improve health and wellbeing in areas like Bramley. The UnderWater disco was a really youthful way to set us off in the right direction for the next 110 years.”

This week marks two major milestone in the history of Bramley Baths.

As well as celebrating its 110th birthday, the Baths has just won a regional social enterprise award from Social Enterprise Yorkshire & Humber.

The building’s fortunes have been revived in recent years thanks purely to locals.

Since 2013 Bramley Baths has been professionally run and community-led.

A consortium of passionate locals, the Friends of Bramley Baths, took the facility over via community asset transfer when the council proposed closing it.

One of 11 bath-houses built by the Edwardians in Leeds, Bramley Baths rose up from the foundations of a steel foundry.