A wonderful 1960 image showing a cyclist on Trinity Street heading for what today would be the busy Bourges Boulevard which now separates the Trinity Street alongside the Museum from the Trinity Street/Albert Place outside of the Beehive pub.
The rear of the Priestgate Museum is always a fascinating place with the various old signs still in tact from the days when the building was a hospital but, unknown to many, the site also used to play host to a Slipper Baths building for locals who had no access to baths at home (or even hot water in some cases). The building opened in 1935 but was still in use into the 1960s. At their peak of popularity in the early 1950s, more than 1,000 people used the baths every week !
Inside, there were 24 baths, 18 for men and 6 for women. The charge was 6d for the bath, 6d for towel hire and 1d for soap. There were individual cubicles with their own mirror, bathbrush and a wooden board to stand on.
The sign outside the building centre reads “Slipper Baths”. In the days when private baths were a rarity, slipper baths provided a cubicled opportunity to bathe. The Peterborough baths, on Trinity Street at the rear of the museum, provided 24 separate baths – 18 for males, 6 for females – and charged 6d per bath plus 1d for soap and a further 6d for use of a towel !
In the early 1950s, when this image was captured, the baths reported usage totalling just under 1,000 per week but the numbers plummetted as more and more homes incorporated their own bathrooms. The baths opened in 1935 and closed in the early 1960s.
Thanks to Paul Cyclops who narrowed down the date of this image from the parked car in the foreground, “your shot suggests a date of ‘early fifties’ but the likelihood is early to mid-sixties owing to the presence of an HA series Vauxhall Viva which was produced between 1963-66. It’s almost certainly no later than the sixties as most examples of this budget model had succumbed to tinworm by 1970 !”.