This post is dedicated to Miss Matilda, as it features her combined loves of Manchester, art deco and Carole Lombard!
Some friends and I have been taking swimming lessons at a Bannatyne's health club, which is situated inside Sunlight House on Quay St. in Manchester, next door to the opera house. The basement pool is absolutely gorgeous - all original deco railings and tiles, an unusual shape, and a stunning domed stained glass ceiling looking up to daylight between the four sides of the building which provides much inspiration whilst practising my backstroke!
Unfortunately I can't find a picture anywhere of the pool, but here is a dramatic one of the building, taken by remote_release on flickr.
On the stairs by the pool there are pictures of its opening in 1933! It was 'Christened' with Champagne by Carole Lombard and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
My photos here are a bit rubbish as the glass created flare, and I have just noticed that there are reflections of Natalie and Katherine who were standing behind me on the stairs, but there are some great vintage swimsuits and shoes to be seen! I especially love the diving man's swimwear in the last picture, with the swallow appliqué.
Sunlight house was completed in 1932 and was Manchester's tallest building at fourteen floors, it was originally intended to be forty storeys high but the city council blocked the plans. I imagine that if it had been built to the original plans, with soaring white towers and glittering glass, it would be regarded as a UK Art Deco landmark, rather than just a building of local interest.