The newly refurbished Glenogle Baths were unveiled today to an invited audience of Councillors, Council officials, local people who had campaigned for the Baths to be saved, and press.
Tomorrow, members of the public can sample all the facilities free (for one day only). A timetable and price list are available at the foot of the page here.
Councillor Deidre Brock, Culture and Leisure Convenor, has spoken of her pride at the Administration delivering the renovation on time and on budget, with the help of a £350,000 grant from Sport Scotland.
'It has wonderfully preserved the building's Victorian heritage,' she said, 'while greatly improving accessibility and adding complementary modern touches ... I would like to thank all the pool's users for their patience and understanding while these essential works were being carried out – I'm sure they'll be delighted with its transormation.'
Spurtle took a look round, and initial impressions were hugely positive. Even on an overcast, rain sodden morning, the interior of the Baths was wonderfully light and airy. To widespread relief, the old ground-floor gents – with rusting pipework, leaking urinal and cigarette-burnt cubicle – has been gutted. The new version would make a German dentist proud.
The photos, in order, show first a reflected view of the main pool area, with hairdryers available for anyone who accidentally gets wet during their visit. In the distance can just be seen the Relaxation Room.
Next, at the far end of the pool, we see the Relaxation Room in more detail: a calm space adjacent to the sauna and steam rooms. These, we can confirm, are hot and steamy. This, rather than any lack of focus, explains the atmospheric tone of this image.
Photo 3 shows an original architectural feature on the first floor, with the original Victorian colour scheme for tiles in the background. Glenogle was built between 1897 and 1900, to a design adapted from his own earlier plans for Dalry Baths by Robert Morham.
Edinburgh Leisure staff are putting a brave face on retro-style Edinburgh World Heritage Trust-designed protective headwear. Each top hat carries up to 10 deflated water wings, and can be used to bale out the shallow end of the pool in an emergency.
Next is shown the Gym, equipped with brand new, state-of-the-art devices for making you ache.
Finally, below is the Fitness Room, an area even more spacious than it appears here where those so inclined can jump up and down in time to music whilst observing their neighbours do likewise in a mirror.
Spurtle applauds City of Edinburgh Council on a job well done and completed in time for the summer holiday. The levels of provision and finish appear very high, and should prove a popular resource for many years to come.