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Archive for the ‘Audio’ Category

I’ve already posted on here my film about the recent Vintage Fair at Victoria Baths, but I thought you might also like to hear from the people who really made the day – the stallholders who brought their stock of vintage treasures, and braved the cold and the enthusiastic hordes.

So, here’s a little audio slideshow in which you can hear from some of the stallholders themselves, and see some photos of the day at the same time. And if that’s not a vintage bargain, I don’t know what is…


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Three architects from Manchester have joined forces to create a series of special workshops which are scheduled to take place at the next Victoria Baths Open Day on Sunday 2nd May 2010. The workshops, which are part of the Manchester Architecture and Design Festival, will see families getting involved with all kinds of activities, from creating stained-glass windows and repeated tile patterns, to designing a house for Mickey Mouse or Spongebob Squarepants!

The activities are the brainchild of freelance architect Jane Leach, and are designed to help families, and children especially, appreciate what makes good design, and learn what architects do.

The day will also provide an opportunity to contribute to the Emotion Map of Manchester, which is being created by Manchester Women’s Design Group.

I met up with Jane, and her colleagues Lorenza (from MWDG) and Urun, the coordinator of the Manchester Architecture & Design Festival, to find out more about the workshops, why they wanted to get involved with Victoria Baths, and just why we need architects.

Listen to Jane, Lorenza and Urun talking about their projects…


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Restoration is currently underway at Victoria Baths, but what do you think about the future use of the building? Do you hope for it to be restored exactly as it used to be, with swimming pools and Turkish baths? Or do you value the range of activities that currently take place in the building, the art installations, choir performances and so forth – and think that there should be space for these goings-on in the restored Baths?

I asked architects Jane and Lorenza from Manchester Women’s Design Group, and Urun from the Manchester Architecture and Design Festival that same question…

Listen to the architects’ discussion:


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Victoria Baths relies on volunteers to support much of the activity that goes on around the building. One important element of the voluntary work is carried out by the History Group, who’re responsible for the Baths’ archive, and the historical interpretation of the building.

I met up with Barry – the group’s oral history specialist – in the specially-constructed climate-controlled archive store in the bowels of the Baths, to find out more about what the History Group do, Barry’s own experiences of collecting oral histories from former Baths’ users and elite (Olympic, no less) swimmers, and his aspirations for the future of the site.

Listen to Barry’s interview…


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Ecology Building Society AGM 2009

Picture from Ecology Building Society (http://www.ecology.co.uk/)

It might be the deepest meeting room in the Northwest, and it’s certainly one of the most unusual. Victoria Baths played host to the 2009 Annual General Meeting of the Ecology Building Society, perhaps one of its less exciting incarnations (when you’re used to being used as a film location, hosting Murder Mysteries or inspiring art), but beautifully in keeping with the aims of the building society and much appreciated by the members, who even got the chance for a guided tour during a break in the proceedings.

I caught up with Janet Slade, who organised the meeting, to find out what inspired the organisation to think outside the fluorescent-lit box.

Listen to Janet Slade talk about her experiences of staging the AGM at the Baths:


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The offices of New Charter Housing Trust Group in Ashton-under-Lyme seemed just like any other modern workplace, and this could easily have been just another meeting. Paula Thomas and Shaun Gagie from New Charter’s marketing and events team made me a brew, and ushered me into a meeting room so that we could discuss their latest project. But the project they’ve got in mind for their next trip to Victoria Baths in late April is anything but your average corporate away-day. Paula and Shaun – along with their equally creative colleagues – have devised a gruesome murder which is scheduled to take place on 23rd April. Victoria Baths will stand in for the stately home of a doomed aristocrat, and delegates from the company’s legal team will be charged with the task of solving the brutal killing of  Lady Henrietta Fannyhoof as part of a teambuilding exercise.

This is the murder that the team have staged at Victoria Baths, so they’re drawing on previous experience as they devise the latest ghoul-in-the-pool scenario.

Listen to Paula and Shaun outlining their plans for the gory day out:


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