Picked up a leaflet about Blackheath yesterday, which claimed that the Lloyds TSB building in Blackheath used to be a public bath, and assembly rooms. So I did a check in The Times Newspaper Archives (free to access using your library pass number), and sure enough, found this announcement on Page 18 of The Times April 7th, 1864:
Valuable Leasehold Investment.
Messrs. Ventom and Clarke will sell by auction, in three lots, at the Mart on Wednesday, April 27, by order of the Mortgagee, the following valuable leasehold property, viz. :- Lot 1. The Alexandra Assembly Rooms and Baths, Blackheath, facing the Railway Station – a handsome, modern building, lately erected in the most substantial and complete manner, comprising a splendid swimming and plunging bath, 66 by 30; also a large room fitted with three separate hot-water baths and dressing rooms, magnificent assembly room, 66 by 30, around two sides of which is a commodious gallery, small hall and ante-rooms, a reading room, and, in addition, is a kitchen, numerous bed and ante rooms and domestic offices. The above is held on lease for a period of 90 years, at a ground rent of £25 per annum, and is let to a highly respectable tenant at the exceedingly low rent of £425 per annum, on an agreement for a lease of 7, 14, 21, or 23 years.
Having a public bath in Blackheath would be great, as the nearest equivalent is probably Arches Leisure Centre in Greenwich, which is a bit of a trek. Perhaps history will repeat itself – as the banks are closing their branches to go online, and gyms are very profitable these days, maybe Blackheath Baths will return?