Brine Memories Project

The mini film above is one of three animations created for us by Georgie Proctor. It features the voice of Droitwich's Bob Humphries.

The brine pool

Since the launch of Brine Memories in March 2021, we have recorded 28 oral history interviews with people who used or worked at the Brine Baths. More than 20 hours of audio memories have been added to the archives of the Droitwich Heritage Centre. They include memories of the Royal Brine Baths (closed in 1940s), the St Andrew's Brine Bath (closed 1975) and the private hospital brine bath (closed 2008). Click on our Audio Clips and Films pages or visit our YouTube channel to hear some short extracts from these interviews.

We've also been writing blogs about our findings. Click here to read some fascinating tales about our brine baths research, including how we've coped with Covid, what we found in the attic, a visitor's view of our exhibition and what 10 year olds make of brine research. Many thanks to the Droitwich Heritage Centre who have agreed to host our findings permanently on their website at the end of our project.

The team outside the Droitwich Heritage Centre
Miss Bolton

Our fantastic researcher Catrin has discovered a cornucopia of brine-related material! It has taken her on a virtual journey all over the country and the world. For example, she has uncovered the fascinating background of one of Droitwich's unsung heroes, physiotherapist Elizabeth Bolton. She has also teamed up with other organisations and shared her research. Click here to read an article by the Earth Heritage Trust on the geology beneath our feet prompted by Catrin's investigations.

In June we staged an exhibition at the Droitwich Heritage Centre to reveal our initial findings. We also teamed up with Westacre Middle School and ran a project with Year 5, in which about 130 children learnt all about their town's brine history and took part in interviews with people who used the baths. Westacre's contribution to this project has been immense and you can read all about it here.

In December we put on our final exhibition in the Droitwich Heritage Centre, showcasing many of the things we've discovered over the last 9 months. As well as 8 display panels beautifully designed by Platform One, the exhibition featured 15 voices from our oral histories and dozens of photos and images from our research. The display panels are portable and in 2022 they will be loaned to care homes and other organisations who are interested in learning more about the brine baths. We are very proud of our work and believe we have genuinely reawakened public interest in Droitwich's unique heritage.

Life of Brine Exhibition at Droitwich Heritage Centre Dec 2021
Life of Brine Exhibition at Droitwich Heritage Centre Dec 2021

Here's what our contributors think of the Brine Memories project:

I feel that sharing my memories has helped me to educate future generations about the town’s heyday. Thank you for giving me the chance to contribute to something that I hold very dear in my life.
I grew up with the Brine Baths being part of my life and it was good to be able to recall so many memories and share them with others. I hope it will encourage people to support the venture to get a brine bath back in Droitwich.