Miners' BathHouse Windows Smile Again
Spruced Up for the Global Conference ... and Beyond
The Miners' BathHouse at Prestongrange Heritage Museum was not perhaps one of the greatest architectural glories of the 20th century, but ....
...its social significance should never be underestimated. And the recent withdrawal of its Listed Building status set alarm bells ringing for all those who knew and appreciated the social revolution it provided in its time.
National Coal Board [NCB] paid its Miners Whilst they Washed so they went Home Clean
The BathHouse which was constructed in the 1950s, after nationalisation, meant each and every miner went home washed. In fact he might even have deviated and popped into The Goth for a pint as he went.
But the mine closed some 12+ years later and since David Spence's vision for the National Museum at Prestongrange was 'betrayed' during the reorganisation of Scottish Regional Councils in the 1970s, the only serious use for the BathHouse since has been as an ill-maintained engine shed for pit steam and diesel engines that today await extensive refits.
The Arts Festival As Champion
As all who are well up on Arts Festival folklore in the Pans will know, the BathHouse was supposedly the first location selected for mural painting before the naysayers struck. But its interior fascinated Janis McNab with her early painting collection as shown below. And the nostalgia lives on in many a breast.
On the internationally important occasion of the 5th Global Mural Conference in August 2006, permission was finally given for the BathHouse's now boarded up windows, all 21 of them, to be cheered up more than a little under the direction of Tom Ewing. Myriad local artists, including the Baron of Dolphinstoun, with funding from the Barons Courts Charity, have now completed their enjoyable and refreshing task and many favourable comments have already been received from bus passengers galore and walkers by as well of course from Museum visitors.
12th September is 54th Anniversary of the BathHouse
We think it is a fitting date to report a job well done on the spruced up window boards. After all September 12th is the 54th anniversary of the Opening Ceremony at The BathHouse. And a grand Thank You to Tom Ewing and his team.
Published Date: October 4th 2006