The Old Baths
Testing out the iPhoto Exporter from blipfoto's very own gbradley
Picking up Euan today from his Monday gymnastic's class in Alloa's Speirs Centre I stopped for a bit outside the building to take a couple of pictures.
I also realised how much this building's featured through our lives.
It's the place I have some of my earliest memories as a child - I vividly remember my oldest brother being thrown fully clothed into the swimming pool at his 21st birthday party held in here (I would have been around five years old).
There were also some Christmas parties too - possibly Paton and Baldwin organised ones as that's where our mum worked and the building itself was built for the townspeople of Alloa by John Thomson Paton, the Director of the local woollen mill back in 1898.
Through that big window in the middle I also acheived the dizzying heights of BAGA Level 4 after a couple of years of gymnastics in my rather fetching red leotard (not sure if I'd manage the backwards rolls now though). At secondary school we were also allowed to attend the gym up there on our own as one of our PE options.
A fire caused the top floors to be closed in the late 1980s which scuppered our regular badminton matches and this was around the time the swimming pool was closed too (1986).
After we were first married we bought our first flat directly opposite the building and we woke every morning for 4 years to this view (there were more pigeons then I remember - noisy, messy pigeons).
The kids have each had at least one birthday party in here each (the old swimming pool was filled with massive foam cubes and it's a great place to play in, just bloody hard to get out).
And now we've come full circle as Euan's been going to his own gymnastic classes for the past three years in the same building.
Looking at the new leisure facilities that are around the area now I'm not sure that they'll endure as long as this building has (actually, the replacement lesiure centre in the town is looking decidedly past its best after a mere 25 years or so) . It may be looking a bit fusty inside and out but for sheer staying power they'll have to go some to still be getting the same amount of use as this still gets in 112 years time.