I just received a copy of Southwark Revisited by John D. Beasley. It has great photos (many are of Peckham and Camberwell as well as Bermondsey), plus very informative texts.

One photo that caught my eye was of the health centre that everyone knew as the Solarium, in Grange Road. As a boy, I went there for dental treatment. I found a comment on the London-se1 website about the building:

“I live in Solarium Court (the flats were built in the old original Health Centre). The Health Centre was opened in 1929 and was the first health centre in the UK. It was built in the middle of the Bermondsey slums to treat the local poor with TB and other diseases. There was a solarium on the roof (hence Solarium Court).” It’s a great Art Deco building.

It also had an Aerotone bath, a forerunner of today’s jacuzzi, that was prized for its therapeutic qualities. Mum just told me that she had been to the Solarium for back treatment, in the bath, on the afternoon that we learned that my Uncle Tommy had died. This is a photo of the same kind of bath at Manchester’s famous Victoria Baths.