b – William Fielding – 12 Stafford Street
The distinctive entrance to 12 Stafford Street dates from the 1890s when it was Turkish Baths, owned and managed by William Fielding, fresh from the success of running a similar business in New York.
The business of running the baths seemed to involve all the family, with his wife and many of his children acting as attendants. The baths opened from 6.00 am to 9.00 pm for men, with Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings exclusively for women. Unusually for the time, ladies wishing to bathe after 9pm could make special arrangements with Mrs Fielding.
The Stafford Street baths advertised a special Turkish Wash for men. It is not clear what this involved, but it was said that: ‘Many avail themselves of this luxurious form of morning ablution, and testify to its invigorating and refreshing effect.’