Victorian Turkish Baths Picture of the Month for December 2012

Middlesbrough Public Baths: Gilkes Street:
part of the shampooing room in 1995,
seven years after closure

Derelict shampooing room
< Image: Val Harrison

The Gilkes Street baths were opened by Middlesbrough Corporation on 22 March 1933. They included Turkish, Russian, electric and medical baths, a shampooing room, and a cooling-room.

As late as the 1950s, the baths were so popular that,

Because some women take too long to have a Turkish bath, Middlesbrough's all-male sanitary and baths committee decided…to impose a time limit of four hours. In his report the baths superintendent, Mr S Fisher, said that on some women's days some patrons stay in the baths for six or seven hours. 1

The baths closed in 1988. There were originally three shampooing slabs altogether, but one completely disappeared within days of the baths closing, and when Val Harrison took this photograph in 1995, one of the others was damaged. The pigeon droppings speak for themselves.

The baths were demolished in 1998.

Thank you icon

Val Harrison for the photograph and much additional information

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  1. 'Time limit imposed on Turkish baths' The Times (21 Nov 1956) p.6 [return]