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Pools of Creativity

9 September 2023 @ 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Pool Arts take over Victoria Baths for a weekend of creativity!

Join us this Heritage Open Days weekend as we celebrate the past and present of Victoria Baths with our specially curated Pools of Creativity event.

Celebrating this year’s Heritage Open Days theme of “Creativity Unwrapped”, Pools of Creativity explores the creative past and present of Victoria Baths. From artistic swimming and the use of the Gala Pool as a dancefloor in the 1950s to the thirty years of creative activity since the building closed as a pool in 1993. Including housing Pool Arts, who take their name from the Baths. Creativity has always been a key part of Victoria Baths!

Pools of Creativity will see the return of Pool Arts artists for a weekend takeover of Victoria Baths. With art and installation to be found across the site, deep in the pools and high atop the balconies. Explore an exciting mix of artists, genres and media, as we celebrate Pool Arts return together for the first time since 2005!

Pools of Creativity promises a diverse and immersive experience for visitors of all ages. In addition to our usual Heritage Open Days offerings, including free entry and captivating building tours (paid), we have a lineup of exciting events throughout the weekend:

Pool Arts

Returning to the Baths, the original home of Pool Arts until 2005. Today’s cohort of artists will take over the whole of Victoria Baths for the weekend with a celebration of visual art, installation, mixed media and creativity! Celebrating the Pool Arts and VBs history, and inviting attendees to get creative as well, with interactive pieces and activities. Dive into Pool Arts and get creative. Expect an exciting trail of art in every space, as you wander the beautiful building.

Back on Track

Back on Track invite you to look down the lenses of their photography group in a captivating digital exhibition of Manchester landmarks, including a focus on the features of Victoria Baths. Supporting Adults to make lasting life changes, Back On Track are a specialist provider of community learning and holistic support to adults across Manchester.


A pool full of water is traditionally seen as a facility for swimming. Victoria Baths followed this tradition more times than not. However, there are moments peppered throughout the history of Victoria Baths, which act on the contrary. This special exhibition explores how Tony Wilson’s, The Other Side of Midnight, “WET” party in 1988 began a chain reaction of Victoria Baths being used for parties in the pools


Returning favourites, SHE Choir MCR are sure to enchant and enthrall, as they perform their heavenly harmonies and choral magic in the deep end of the Gala Pool. Enjoy their beautiful voices in the equally beautiful space of the Gala Pool. (Sunday only)

Ordsall Acappella Singers

Singing a range of beautiful Acapella songs, no two shows are the same from the wonderful Ordsall Accapella Singers. With a repertoire from classic rock, upbeat pop, and traditional to newly composed pieces, don’t miss the much loved choir return to the Baths (Sunday only)

As well as a limited exhibition showcasing the creative uses and activities of Victoria Baths from 1906 to today. Explore the many events, shows, gigs, raves and more creative uses of the Victoria Baths from its opening, and the thirty years since its closure as a swimming pool in 1993. Explore the pools of creativity that make VB a creative landmark for so many.


Family-friendly activities to get creative yourself. With activities from Pool Ars artists and our own VB craft station, choose from stained glass-inspired decorations or design your own mosaic fish!

Discover more of the Baths with our Guided Building Tours – our Discover Victoria Baths and Off Limits Tour will run during the day. Tours cost an additional £8 and last 1¼ hours (free for U16s/ Friends of VB). We recommend pre-booking these as they’re very popular.

Saturday tours: Discover VB 12noon and 14:30 // Off Limits 13:30

Sunday tours: Discover VB 12noon and 14:30

Our Tea Room will have a wide variety of hot and cold drinks, snacks, sandwiches, cakes, and our well-recommended Cream Tea! You can also browse and buy souvenirs and gifts in our  Gift Shop, selling Victoria Baths tote bags, cards, and tea towels, as well as bottles of our very own Small Batch Gin!

Event Details

  • Free Building Entry
  • Open 11am – 4pm (last entry 3pm)
  • Tea Room and Gift shop open 11am – 4pm
  • Guided Tours (Tour Tickets available here)
  • Pools of Creativity event takes place across the building, with details of artists and performances available on entry

Entry for Heritage Open Days and Pools of Creativity is FREE. All tour tickets, tea room and shop purchases and donations support the Victoria Baths Trust to preserve the Baths for the future and ensure we can open for all to explore. Thank you.


How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

Ring the Victoria Baths office on +44 (0)161 224 2020 or email enquiries@victoriabaths.org.uk.

Can I take photographs?

Photography and filming for personal use is permitted anywhere in the building. Personal photos and films may not be sold for commercial gain. Please contact the office for information about professional or commercial shoots.

Do I have to buy an online ticket?

Heritage Open Days entry is free – no need to book. Tour tickets can be booked in advance and are also available on the day on the door. Tour tickets are subject to availability and sell out fast.

What’s the refund policy?

Heritage Open Days entry is free – no need to book. Tour tickets can be booked in advance and tour tickets can be refunded in full up to 72 hours (3 days) before the tour date. Eventbrite’s fees are non-refundable.

Do I have to bring my printed tour ticket(s) to the event?

Yes please, either as a printout or on a mobile phone or tablet. Plus your VB Friends membership card if applicable.

Is it OK if the name on my ticket or registration doesn’t match the person who attends?

Yes, this is fine.

#VBHOD23 #HODs23


9 September 2023
11:00 am - 4:00 pm


Victoria Baths
Hathersage Road
Chorlton-on-Medlock, Greater Manchester M13 0FE United Kingdom
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Victoria Baths
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