Memories of Arlington

The Arlington is more than just a club

The Arlington and its members mirror the story of Glasgow.

Tom Shields

"There is an element of the annual membership subscription to the Arlington Baths which is free. It is also priceless (just like in the advert for Mastercard). It’s the Arlington heritage trail. All contained within this wonderful old building. Steep yourself luxuriously in one of the large Victorian slipper baths and you are being steeped in history. Sweat in the Turkish over your Glasgow Herald and you are perspiring just as a Glasgow merchant did a century or more ago. You may be doing the crossword. The merchant was probably engrossed in the stocks and shares or the shipping news page, with its information on the latest cargo arrivals at the Broomielaw. The Arlington and its members mirror the story of Glasgow. The young man who was a hero in the water polo team and died a hero on the battlefield of the First World War. The girl whose memories of swimming in the sun-dappled pool were to surface in her books about Glasgow. The painter who uses her skills to capture the spirit of a unique place of healthy exercise and repose."

photo of tom shields writer

Arlington Gala: 1938

“How lovely the pool looked. It was greenish blue and glassy smooth and the lights made little glints on the surface. The dark lines on the bottom of the pool appeared to wave gently and Helen had an overwhelming urge to throw herself in as she usually did.”

Nanzi McLeod: Tales of the Arlington 1996 Nanzie was a member for over 60 years.

Tales of the Arlington Nanzi McLeod

Hugh Stewart & friends by Lesley Banks

A painting of the Baths by artist & club member Lesley Banks has never been seen publicly before. It features the late Hugh Stewart and four of his mates. Hugh is in the middle. Front left is Frank Brown. Front right Ian Veitch. Rear left Brian McDaid. And rear right Bill Clark. It was commissioned by Hugh’s partner Lisella. Hugh was a member most of his time in Glasgow. His parents were Scottish, but he was born and brought up in Surrey. He came to Glasgow in the early 70s. His father was brought up just a stones throw away on West Princes Street and was also a member until he went south to live. The Baths were a cornerstone of Hugh’s life. He was there every morning for a swim before work and almost every Monday, Wednesday & Friday. He loved the camraderie and met many friends there.

hugh stewart portrait by lesley banks
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