A KIDDERMINSTER historian has told the lesser known story about the town's innovative role in the development of public swimming baths in a new book.

Michael Loftus has published 'Getting into the Swim' which documents how local people were lengths ahead in bringing public swimming to the town between the mid 19th and 20th centuries.

One of the first public swimming baths in England opened on Mill Street in 1855, which came as a result of public demand in the town.

An open air pool was later developed in 1900 from a reservoir located just off the Stourport Road.

The popular pool remained open until the 1930s and nearly 2,000 residents use it back in the day.

Kidderminster Shuttle:

The book explores how the development of public baths and swimming pools was a part of other social changes in the industrial town.

The book is currently available to read as an Amazon Ebook.

Michael said: "It’s a fascinating story of the local personalities who battled away to build the first pools in the middle of the nineteenth century and then of a long fight to build a new pool back in the 1930s – and it shows how much the town was changing as women demanded their access to the pool and a movement grew to encourage schoolchildren to have swimming lessons.

"It all throws a fascinating light not just in the growth of the popularity of swimming but also of how the town changing and developing over this period.

"Kidderminster should be really proud of its history."