The People's Pool / by Simon Mooney

15060401_490 Back in June I was asked to photograph a site visit to east London's Haggerston Baths. An architect friend wanted pictures for a proposal to Hackney Council on the future of the building.

The baths were closed by the local authority in 2000, after almost a century of public service and it has now invited 'expressions of interest' to develop the site. My friend's group is proposing a community-based alternative to the predictable commercial schemes.

We spent an hour on a guided tour of the place and I used the time to take these pictures. Years of neglect have left obvious damage which some visitors have sadly made worse.

How does such a historic public resource become redundant and fall into such a miserable state? What would the people who designed, built and enjoyed Haggerston Baths think?

Hackney Gazette - Haggerston Baths on the Market 15060401_45115060401_41215060401_042 15060401_066 15060401_072 15060401_082 15060401_130 15060401_136 15060401_10015060401_19015060401_17215060401_157 15060401_174 15060401_199 15060401_203 15060401_217 15060401_239 15060401_232 15060401_229 15060401_243 15060401_255 15060401_259 15060401_264 15060401_271 15060401_293 15060401_287 15060401_25015060401_21115060401_283 15060401_03915060401_304 15060401_27515060401_315 15060401_317 15060401_319 15060401_38715060401_331 15060401_342 15060401_356 15060401_363 15060401_375 15060401_365 15060401_397 15060401_22415060401_403 15060401_424 15060401_45615060401_47915060401_45415060401_469 At the opening ceremony in 1904, the Vice Chair of the Baths Committee, Alderman E J Wakeling, swam the length of the bath under water.