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Blackpool Turkish Baths restored to former glory
Blackpool is home to some striking architecture from the turn of the 19th century and a glorious Turkish bath from that era has been painstakingly restored back to former glories at the Imperial Hotel.
Hidden away in the basement of a Blackpool hotel, some Turkish baths from the turn of the 19th century have been brought back to life following years of painstaking restoration. These baths were part of a lavish spa for many years and having fallen into disrepair, they soon became hidden from view and covered in layers of plaster.
Nevertheless, volunteers at Blackpool Civic Society have devoted countless hours of hard graft into bringing the baths back to life with several years spent chipping away at the numerous layers of thick plaster, at the same time helping preserve the Burmantofts tiles which have been hidden for many decades.
Now the Imperial Hotel in Blackpool is proudly showing off the baths to anyone who shares an interest in the history of the town, as well as guests staying at the premises. The team of Civic Trust volunteers was led by Paul Humble and he was rightly proud of what him and his team have achieved. He said:
“It was a feeling of tremendous accomplishment, a very special achievement. It’s my stand out project, the one I’m most affectionate about.
“We treated it like an archaeological site, we had to work slowly. Blackpool Council were extremely helpful too, they gave us advice and trained some of the volunteers in safety.”
The Turkish baths had been covered in thick plaster layers for around 70 years, a time during which heritage preservation took very much a back seat to the boom in tourism and the accompanying increased demand for hotel accommodation.