Leeds nostalgia: Spa town’s pump room in 1939

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This week’s film clip, courtesy of the Yorkshire Film Archive, shows the day-to-day running of the Pump Room in Harrogate.

It housed a sulphur well and was popular with customers who went there to sample the mineral water.

Harrogate was Britain’s Premier Spa, with over 30 natural springs of medicinal water, all different. The best time for drinking the waters (as prescribed by your doctor at the time) was before breakfast.

The film shows scenes outside the famous Pump Room on an August morning in 1939, as chairs, tables and garden umbrellas are set out on the footpath in the chilly shadow of the building.

Other chairs, tables and umbrellas are placed on the wide footpath across the street and close to the entrance to the Valley Gardens.

Next, the attendants barricade the streets which lead to or pass the Pump Room, thus making it safe for the water drinkers to pass to and from it in safety.

As the morning advances the deep shadows shorten and the sun relieves the early chilliness and the visitors are tempted to the chairs near the Valley Gardens.

See the clip here: tinyurl.com/qcfs46j

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