Sad news to share

We are so very sad to be sharing the worst imaginable news that, after a relatively short illness with cancer, we have lost our friend Gill Wright, founder of Historic Pools of Britain (HPB).

Historic Pools of Britain wouldn’t be if it weren’t for Gill and more importantly is the impact that her long held dedication for historic pools has had. Always helping where she could, she has been everyone’s champion and in her approach has embodied everything that she believes that HPB should stand for.

This began with her years of supporting and working for Victoria Baths and, with utter dedication, going through the unique challenges necessary to help secure the future of Manchester’s water palace in which she played an instrumental role. Seeing more and more historic gems around the country being lost, witnessing growing community campaigns to save pools that were under threat and knowing how important they are to our communities and heritage, Gill believed there was a great deal to be gained by historic pools joining forces, sharing insight, supporting each other and celebrating their important role to the nation’s heritage and so in 2015 came Historic Pools of Britain.

Gill was the most wonderfully supportive person to work alongside, who was led by her passion and love for historic pools and used this to make a real difference. Her expertise and insight was something that national media would regularly seek out. Giving a voice to historic pools, whether on Radio 4 or in an interview to The Guardian she would present their story magnificently and in doing so awakened the public’s realisation of what precious and beautiful community assets they are.

In December 2020 Gill’s early retirement from her role at Victoria Baths was to begin, having dedicated 21 years of her time, first as a volunteer, then as Project Development Manager. She was retiring, but she wouldn’t have been putting her feet up. One of the things she was really looking forward to was having more time to visit as many historic pools as she could, to offer support to grass roots campaigns and to move the organisation on from the strong foundations that had been established.

Reflecting Gill’s own spirit within Historic Pools of Britain is a warm sense of community, friendship and support, as any who have attended a HPB event will know. These qualities are something that will always remain at the heart of the organisation ensuring that Gill’s ethos and inspiration lives on.

We’ll be sharing memories of Gill and discussing how her legacy should be remembered in the weeks and months to come.

Thinking of all her friends and family.