A lesson in local history.

 

 

St John's Local History Store.
St John’s Local History Store.

Hidden away inside an old school on Bath‘s Upper Bristol Road is a collection of fascinating artefacts that, hopefully, one day will form part of the permanent collection of a real Museum of Bath. It’s now known as the St Johns local history stores and sits at the junction where the main road out-of-town meets Locksbrook Road.

Judging by how empty it was of visitors, very few people may have realised its been open today to the public – until 3pm this afternoon. Those who miss it will have to wait until 12-15th of September when the stores will be one of many venues generally unseen that will be open for Heritage Days.

Model of Roman Baths complex.
Model of Roman Baths complex.

I wandered amongst wooden models of the Roman Baths and the Pump Rooms and pieces of equipment rescued from the city’s old spa water treatment centres.

Needle douche devices.
Needle douche devices.

A couple of examples of needle douche – used in treatments available from the 1870’s through to 1976 – which provided an all round shower produced from fine needle-like jets of spring water.

Also an aeration deep bath which worked like a modern jacuzzi. A series of pipes at the bottom supplied the spring water at high pressure.

Aeration bath
Aeration bath

There was a photograph of youngsters receiving spa therapy, the old Beau Street baths demolished to make way for the Thermae Spa ‘Cube’

Ewardians enjoying tea!
Ewardians enjoying tea!

and a picture of Edwardians enjoying tea in the old terrace cafe beside the Great Bath.