IN A recent looking-back article we asked whether anyone had any memories of Thornton Baths.

There was quite a response, both in the Telegraph & Argus and on the We grew Up in Bradford Facebook page.

To start off, Terry Miller, chairman of Thornton Antiquarian Society, which provided this picture, says: "Many people will recall taking pop bottles back to the shops to collect pennies to have the entrance price for the baths.

"The water always seemed cold and the chlorine made your eyes water. You always went home with grazes to elbows, knees and feet because the floor of the bath was concrete and very rough to the skin."

Tony Murgatroyd remembers that during the winter months the pool was covered, and dances were held on Saturday nights.

Lorraine Normington, nee Mitchell, went from Allerton Middle School for swimming lessons. “Happy days,” she says.

Replying to her comment Debra Spencer wrote: ‘I remember going to Thornton Baths from Allerton Middle School too,’ agreeing that they were indeed happy days.

Other schools too, used Thornton Baths, on Thornton Road, for swimming lessons. Kevin Holt comments that in the 1960s he was a pupil at Thornton Grammar School which took children to the local pool.

Another Thornton Grammar pupil Debbie Cooper also remembers going there for swimming lessons in 1983.

Recalls Cathy Jones: ‘We used to go swimming here from Rhodesway School. We had to catch a service bus from the junction of Thornton Road and Rhodesway to get there.’

Edmund Dilworth went swimming at Thornton Baths between 1961 and 1964 when a pupil at Cardinal Hinsley Grammar School on James St, Thornton.

Valerie Skelton remembers school swimming lessons back in the 1950s.

It wasn’t just school groups who used the pool. Writes Linda Milner.‘We had weekly Thursday evening sessions with the Allied Colloids swimming club. It was great because it wasn't crowded.'

David Bower writes: ‘Back in the 60s the Bradford branch of the British Sub Aqua Club used to train there and take their basic tests. The branch subsequently moved to Eccleshill baths for training nights. They bought an old pub at the edge of Queensbury, to use as a clubhouse. Many years ago now. I wonder if they still exist and have it?’

David comments that the clubhouse at Thornton Baths was nicknamed the Finn Inn. The Finn Inn was the Fleece Public House at Queensbury, where members of Bradford Sub-Aqua Club used to meet.

Pat Zammit learned to swim there. ‘I went every week with my older brother, he was an instructor.’

A comment from Lynn and Terry Bostock reads: ‘My sister used to take me from Girlington quite often. My sister-in-law’s mother used to work behind the cash desk.

Pauline Stevenson comments that her kids loved it ‘and so did my dad and Auntie Mavis who was 92 in July.’

Angela Holdsworth recalls going to Manchester Road baths, which she thinks also had traditional slipper baths.

Thornton Road Baths were shut by Bradford Council in 2000 after 70 years of operating, and since its closure has been a gym and snooker hall. In 2021 plans to turn the building into a development of two houses and seven apartments were given the go ahead.