Working Men’s Club

1846 the National Wash House Act was passed to build public baths and wash houses. Twenty six years later plans were put in place for such a facility in the town, combining them with a Working Men’s Club on the upper part of the building. The land used originally a vicarage and tannery behind the present Working Men’s Club. Two years later the Baths, washhouse and Workmen’s institute were inaugurated by the Duke. In 1876 the Working Men’s Club was formally opened again with the Duke in attendance. It was hoped that the success of the Baths and Washhouse would be a favourable omen. One concern in the initial planning in 1872 was the sufficient source and power of the water supply. By 1878 the piped water supply for the town in place for twenty years was proving inadequate – noted failure on Sunday mornings because the baths were being filled for Monday. Higher parts of the town – Clayport, Percy Terrace, Argyle Terrace and Howick Street- all encountered problems. In no time a new reservoir from Green Batt came to the rescue. In 1883 Swimming competitions of the Alnwick Swimming Club were first held at The Alnwick 10-yard plunge pool. The events included the egg dive, jockey race, long dive, neatest swimming race, four length race, handicap races and a water football (polo) match. In 1912 Alnwick Harriers used the Baths as their Headquarters. In 1918 following the war the Baths did not fully reopen and discussions were ongoing for two years to no avail.