Bournemouth Hotel Accommodation : The Baker Hotel : Hotel Subur Maritim Sitges
Bournemouth Hotel Accommodation
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- (HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS) quiet, non-smoking room for 2 nights for one performance. Jessica Williams must fly in the day before; air delays make this a necessity, and she never flies on the day of a concert.
- A resort on the southern coast of England; pop. 154,400
- Bournemouth is a large coastal resort town in the county of Dorset, England. The town has a population of 163,444 according to the 2001 Census, making it the largest settlement in Dorset. It is also the largest settlement between Southampton and Plymouth.
- Bournemouth Borough Council is the local authority of Bournemouth in Dorset, England. The council is now a unitary authority, although between 1974 and 1997 it was an administrative district council with Dorset. Previously most of the borough was part of Hampshire.
- Bournemouth is a former United Kingdom Parliamentary constituency. The seaside resort was created as a parliamentary borough in 1918 and the seat existed until it was divided in 1950.
THE BATHS / MARLBOROUGH HOUSE. PIER APPROACH. BOURNEMOUTH. 1883
In 1865, the single storey structure that housed the original baths, built in 1838, was replaced by the above building.
Sydenham's occupied the front half that faced Pier Approach which is the left half of the building in the above picture, as this is a view of the south facing side.
The rear of the building housed the replacement baths and also had furnished apartments, called The Baths, in the part of the building closest to us in the above picture.
Marlborough House, a detached boarding house, stands just out of shot to the right. It was built in 1867 and changed its name to Seabourne House in 1900.
The Sydenhams / baths building survived until 1934 and the new Pier Approach Baths opened on the site in 1937. It is, of course, where The Waterfront building [ Imax ] stands today.
The baths were enlarged in the late 1880s to include a pool, to cater for those gripped by the new Victorian appetite for swimming. This from a town guide in 1893.......
" The baths are well arranged, complete, and convenient, the building itself, adjoining the library, is fitted with every accommodation for hot, cold and vapour baths, those for ladies and gentlemen being in seperate buildings; and in connection with the latter is a very commodious swimming bath 75 feet by 30 feet, with a supply of some 75 000 gallons of tepid sea water. The swimming bath is alloted to ladies at stipulated times".
The baths enlargement led to a distinctive roofline on the north east corner of the building that had the word 'baths' written vertically and horizontally on it in large white letters.
In Victorian times, public baths were very popular. The discovery that good personal hygiene was important took hold and public baths became part of the Victorian way of life. It wouldn't become the norm for homes to have bathrooms for many years and so, for a shilling or a bob [ eh? ], you would go to the public baths. In cities and towns with large numbers of poor, it was quite usual for families to share the bath water and to take their dirty laundry in with them.
As a new and developing town, Bournemouth didn't have slums, but the baths would still have been well frequented. If you were staying in one of the larger hotels, perhaps bathing arrangements could have been catered for in house, or if you were a well to do family renting one of the Westover Villas, maybe the servants prepared a nice hot bath infront of a roaring fire.
Of course plenty of people made do with a tin bath in the skullery or out in the back yard, and how many kids had a bath in the kitchen sink every Christmas whether they needed it or not.
A wide range of baths were offered including Turkish, Russian, douches, spray, seaweed and ozone.
Public baths would appear to be a thing of the past now, they bit the dust in Bournemouth when the Pier Approach Baths closed in 1984. Now that it is the norm for homes to have a bathroom the need for public baths, in a practical sense, no longer exist. However, they do live on in a different form, as the steam rooms, jacuzzis and saunas available at various leisure clubs across town, but be aware, they take a dim view of anyone taking the weekly wash in with them these days. That's the last time i go to the Littledown Centre. They should have signs up.
The new pier referred to was the iron pier of 1880, with the classic Victorian entrance building, it replaced the wooden one originally opened in 1861. The wooden pier had been kept going in one form or another after suffering storm damage and being attacked by marine wood worm.
Vale Royal Hotel (Park Central), Exeter Road, Bournemouth
In 1948 the Vale Royal Hotel provided temporary accommodation for the Methodist congregation after the original Punshon Memorial Church was bombed on Sunday, 23rd May, 1943. The ground floor was converted into a chapel, lecture hall and vestries. When the new Punshon Memorial Church opened in 1958 Vale Royal provided more than enough halls and committee rooms and part was let as an adult education centre. Following the closure of the church in 2009, Vale Royal has been converted back to a hotel and reopened as the four-star Park Central Hotel.
The building has "Ancient Lights" - i.e. a protected view to the Purbecks.
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