BATHED IN SPLENDOUR
The Western Baths Club looks so like a Victorian temple the chlorine almost smells cl incense. Established in 1876, this peacelul haven just oil the Byres Road ls the second oldest bathing club in Britain. By comparison, modern swimming pools—with lunctlonal tiling, metal lockers and rubber l0 tags -seem severely Spartan.
The Club’s clientele come to play as well as lose weight— none olthis swimming up and down with one eye on the clock. Would-be Tarzans veer across the water on an assortment oi ropes and trapezes, and girls swap risque jokes in the steaming sauna. Phillips Fine Art Auctioneers sponsored a competition tor a mural in the pool hall, which was won by a Glasgow art student, and her designs — of swimming and diving positions- decorate one wall.
Overthe past eight years, the Club has spent £500,000 installing saunas, Turkish baths, massage and manicure
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rooms, and redecorating the entrance lobby and members’ bar. It now plans to spend another £100,000 on the pool hall as plasterwork is crumbling and the iron root girders badly need a lick ol rustprool paint. There has even been talk at putting stained glass in the Norman-shape windows. ‘Come back in nine months time and you won't recognise the place', says Tommy Wilson, the Club's bathmaster lor the past 36 years.
Among those who swam their ﬁrst length here is John Servis, Britain’s contestant in the 1948 Olympics. Western Baths also ran a highly successlul racing club belore the war. ‘Nowadays most people just come to sit in the hot room’, adds Tommy with a note at disgust. ‘But Stanley Baxter always has a dip when he’s in town.‘
The Western Baths Club, 12 Cranworth Street, Glasgow (339 1127). Membership is not cheap but there are concessionary rates. Ring lor details.
To whet the appetite . . . Scots restaurant, Eyre Place, Edinburgh, serves mostly lish and sealood. To complement the cuisine its owner, Moira Elias, commissioned the tropical lish batiks lrom a triend in Barbados- an artist, Hilary Armstrong, who is in her mid-20s.
Alter years at living in Trinidad, Moira returned to Auld Reekie to take on restauranteuring singlehanded (she held one third ownership in Mermans on the same premises). However,
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When the Queen Mary was being built on the Clyde in 1935, Rogano‘s, Glasgow's world-lamous seatood restaurant, was remodelled in a similar style and turned into an Art Deco underwater paradise. A sumptuous mosaic lobster in tront oi the bar, tlowing patterns on the ceiling, dim lighting, stained glass doors and
Alistair Lowden, a renowned Edinburgh restauranteur, has lent a prolessional hand to, as he puts it, ‘get it oil to a proper start.‘
Scots opened early this June and, according to Alistair ‘is picking up very well’ with a strong nucleus at regular customers.
Specialities include mussels, lish chowder and enormous scallops. Set menu: Lunch £5, Dinner £9.50. Closed Sunday and Monday. Bookings 031 556 1177.
impression oi the sea bed.
Gourmet dishes range lrorn iresh oysters to such raritied concoctions as Fillets oi Rainbow Trout with Smoked Salmon Mousse and a champagne and watercress sauce. Fishy dishes are also served at more modest prices in the black lacquer den downstairs. Bogano’s is at 11 Exchange Place, Glasgow (248 4055).