Woodside Baths and Wash House

Woodside Baths & Wash House
Woodside Baths & Wash House , image courtesy of Mitchell Library

In the 19th century the Woodside area was one of the most densely populated in Europe,  with thousands of families living in overcrowded  and sub-standard housing. With  all the smog from the industry and coal fires, it was said that “There are few towns in the kingdom which will compare with Glasgow in respect of its dirt & its finely adhesive qualities”.

Yet very few working class households had adequate washing facilities.  Many of the statutory responsibilities such as street cleaning and lighting were the responsibility of the Police Board and an Act of 1866 gave the Board power to provide baths and washhouses on the rates.

At the Steamie
At the Steamie

In 1882 a baths and a wash-house in Woodside opened on the present site . As late as the 1950‘s long queues would form on a Friday as people waited for their weekly hot bath. During the Christmas and New Year period there are stories of bathers queuing from 6am, with brothers and sisters taking it in turn to wait in line.

The building is now a Leisure Centre  with swimming pool, sauna, steam room, gym and exercise studio