Reflecting upon the events of 2023, it has truly been a remarkable year filled with meaningful activity, collaboration, and moments of celebration. We also bid farewell to our cherished building, albeit temporarily, as we closed our doors for significant renovation work. As we commemorate the year, we invite you to join us in revisiting some of our favourite photos. A sincere thank you to all for your unwavering support. Looking ahead with anticipation, we eagerly await the opportunity to share the renovation journey with you in 2024.
In January and February, we seized the opportunity presented by our failing heating system and introduced cold water swimming, which proved to be very popular.
On April Fools’ Day, we revealed our collaboration with a local animal rescue charity that had developed an innovative approach to pet rehabilitation. After months of hard work, Ali, Pam, Rod, Ian, and Les, also known as team A.P.R.I.L, became qualified lifeguards at Moseley Road Baths.
In May, we hosted the first-ever Eid celebration at MRB, featuring alpacas in the courtyard and Henna art in the Gala Pool—a true community-organized event.
June, we cant leave this year without expressing our gratitude to all our volunteers, with a special mention of Joel volunteering at the reception here.
July saw the launch of Balsall Heath Living Room at our premises, running in the Gala pool from July to September 2023, featuring Walter the Whale in the Living Room space. Walter had a significant history in Balsall Heath, starting as a sculpture at Malvern Street Adventure Playground.
In the same month, we unveiled major news about the landmark project to restore Moseley Road Baths, including its closure on October 2, 2023, for renovations expected to conclude in Spring 2025. The project involves significant repairs, a new renewable air source heat pump, level access ramps, a new café space, basement reinforcement, and the remodelling of Balsall Heath library.
August featured a pool takeover event called “Getting Away With It.” one of 3 pool takeovers this this year
The interactive sculpture “Loop the Loop,” created by Intervention Architecture and Dual Works for Moseley Road Baths as part of our Diving In programming funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and is currently longlisted for a RIBA Journal MacEwen Award 2024! Interacting with the sculpture, Open theatre created a featured performance of “Who’s better than who?” where a couple of so-called friends acted out a medley of familiar children’s stories from their story box to help them understand how to get along with each other.
In September, Abi, Anton, and Chloe worked as new lifeguards at Moseley Road Baths. We are so grateful for all the amazing work they did alongside the rest of our incredible swim team!
October marked the closure of MRB for renovations. A farewell party brought together staff, volunteers, trustees, and friends and family to bid adieu to the building. Gratitude was extended to everyone who contributed to the Baths and Balsall Heath Library.
In November, local women from Amal Creative led a session at our Exchange Festival along with Sahiban Speaks, a performance by Rupinder Kaur and Vibs Bhatia who brought the voices alive through music and poetry, The festival explored the potential of Balsall Heath Library upon its reopening in 2025.
Bathcast was launched. Over the past six months, the Young Curators worked on this innovative podcast, featuring interviews in one of the historic baths. Rachel Baker hosted the interviews, complemented by original poetry and music from 10 Birmingham artists. The launch event included listening to the commissioned pieces, watching a video about Bathcasts’ creation, enjoying good food, and participating in bath-based activities including this amazing cake!