Friday, July 13, 2012

Laurentian Baths, Roman Baths, Public Baths

The bath at Bath UK. I took a 'tour' online on YouTube and it was interesting. This bath was built over the original Roman Baths,  I think I heard there are a few layers of baths. One built by monks. The hot springs are here.

I know of the baths from novels. But that UK city only became a destination after Queen Anne  of the architectural style started going there for her gout.And then accommodations for the rich and well heeled and the puffy ankled popped up.

There's a basilica there with a beautiful roof of delicate vaulting, likc lace. And tonnes of glass.

I write this because in my eplay Milk and Water about Montreal  in 1927, the characters discuss public baths. Public baths in Montreal in the first part of the 20th century were mostly for the industrial poor to bath. These people had no running water in their homes.

In 1927 a beautiful new bath on Amherst was built in the deco style. It is now an 'eco-museum' an homage to the working class.

In my play Milk and Water, I have Thomas Wells, the President of Laurentian Spring Water accuse Jules Crepeau, the Director of City services of stealing the idea for public baths from him. Jules will reply the stole it from the UK or Greeks. (He should have said Romans, but I'm leaving it.)  Laurentian, I think, had the first bath in the city, not aimed at the poor, but at businessmen. It was a sports club too, where water polo was introduced to the city. And later the baths closed and Laurentian only sold their water to Montrealers.

You can drink the waters at Bath, even today for a few P.

Now, Bath is on my list, with North Yorkshire. Damned YouTube videos.

This window at Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal was sponsored by my Grandfather, Jules Crepeau. It is hidden away now in the Christening Room, but I still sneaked in and took a picture. The images are of the founding of Montreal. This one has Jacques Cartier and the Indians. He's teaching them the gospel. (They should have run away.)

The Restaurant at Bath. and Original Roman aqueduct underneath.

Bath Tour on YouTube