News from Poplar Baths, Haileybury Youth Centre & Dame Colet 2014

Latest developments at Poplar Baths 05.12.2014

  • PBR works being undertaken
  • Basement slab is now complete         
  • Rebar being installed for the retaining walls to basement
  • Water proof concrete being installed to the retaining walls from basement to ground floor
Work at Dame Colet House
  • Basement slab is now complete
  • Rebar being installed for the retaining walls to basement
  • Water proof concrete being installed to the retaining walls from basement to ground floor
Columns poured for 1st floor Dame Colet House block A – Finial sub-floor DCH block B
Rebar to 1st floor DCH block A – Excavation for pile cap beams Haileybury Youth Centre – Concrete stair core walls poured at DCH phase-4

Latest developments at Poplar Baths 28.11.2014

  • Dame Colet block B sub-floor walls being constructed
  • Dame Colet sub-floor walls completed
Spoil clearance to Haileybury Youth Centre ready to expose pile caps – Dame Colet block A 1st floor reinforcement being fixed ready for concrete


Basement raft slab being prepared                                  Ongoing demolition
Progress at Poplar Baths Leisure              Demolition of separating wall            Separating wall partly demolished

Progress at Poplar Baths Residential:

  • The basement underground drainage is complete and has been inspected by building control
  • The basement slab has been formed and and steel reinforcement has been installed
  • Shutters and kickers are currently being formed
  • The basement slab pour date has been set, consisting of 22nr concrete lorries and pump

Progress at Poplar Baths Leisure:

  • Debris has been removed from the old pools via haulage wagons
  • The separating wall between the old pools has been taken down
  • Access is being formed at the basement level of the old pools to enable larger machines to enter
  • The existing fill is being removed from the old pools
  • Various cut lines are being undertake

Latest developments at Poplar Baths 25.10.2014

Dame Colet Residential (DCR) B Column Construction – Pile cap exposing DCR block – DCR block A construction

Latest developments at Poplar Baths 25.10.2014

Boiler removal – things are changing fast around Poplar Baths

Exciting progress at the main pool and onsite

Poplar Baths update 3.10.2014

Dame Colet House

  • The deep drainage and attenuation tanks are being installed as part of the ground works package that has commenced in earnest
  • The piles are being exposed and pile cropping has commenced
  • Pile cap formation and back filling has commenced
  • The tower crane base is currently being excavated

 Haileybury Youth Centre

  • piling has now completed and the piling rig has decanted from site
  • The ground works package is due to commence  shortly

Poplar Baths Residential

  • Piling rig has arrived the piling has commenced
  • Ground works are due to commence in the near future

Poplar Baths Leisure

  • The demolition of class 2 is still under way with the Braithwaite water tank due for removal and the removal of the plant room coming up
  • The class 1 pool reinforced slab has now been removed and the infill is currently being excavated
Steel cage fabrication        Pile cropping at Dame Colet House     Piles ready to crop at Dame Colet House
Attenuation drainage           Attenuation Excavation ready to install       Pile cropping to Dame Colet House  Crane base piles

Poplar Baths update 29.9.2014

Latest development sat Poplar Baths, Haileybury Youth Centre and Dame Colet

Poplar baths update 19.09.2014

Haileybury setting out pile positions – pile cages made up – piling commences – muck away from pile arisings at Dame Colet

 Dame Colet

·         Piling complete

·         Pile cap and ground beam (foundations) commenced 15.9.2014 expected duration 8 weeks

·         Deep drainage installation commenced 15.9.2014 expected duration 8 weeks

·         Services installation commenced 15.9.2014 expected duration 8 weeks


Piling due for completion 19.9.201

  ·      Pile cap and ground beam installation to commence 22.9.2014

       Deep drainage to commence 22.9.2014

·         Services installation to commence 22.9.2014

Internal demolition of 1st Class Hall floor – Piling Mat preparation – Demolition of 2nd Class side on Lawless Street, S.E.side


·         Soft strip, artefact and relic retrieval complete

·         Removal of retained tiles (heritage requirement) complete

·         Demolition of class2 building has commenced expected duration 8 weeks


Attendants’ Counter                                                      Vapour Bath tiles removal         Wall tile removal

Poplar Baths Leisure

Excavators ready to commence demolition of original swimming pool slab

  • Heritage ‘Attendants Counter’ from reception area being removed and stored for prosperity
  • Removal of heritage detailed tiles still in progress, due for completion w/c 15.09.14
  • Vapour Baths – tile removal complete
  • Soft strip to second class pool area complete
  • Demolition of second class hall (east side of building along Grove Villas) due for commencement on the 15.9.2014
Excavators for demolition                                                              Vapour Baths’ salvage
Pile obstructions on JBR                     Piling to Dame Colet Block B          Pile Cages to Dame Colet Block B

    Dame Colet 

           Piling complete 12.9.2014

  • Goundworks (foundations) due to start 15.9.2014
  • Forming of deep drainage due to start 15.9.2014

           Haileybury Youth Centre

  • Demolition complete
  • Pile mat and pile probe due for completion 12.9.2014
  •  Piling to commence 15.9.2014


Poplar Baths Residential
  • Bulk ground excavation due to complete by 5.9.2014
  • Pile probing and pile matt due to commence 8.9.2014
  • Piling to commence on the 18.9.2014

Poplar Baths Leisure

  • Removal of all historic artefacts and relics is complete
  • Protection of all historic surfaces is complete
  • Removal of heritage detailed tiles still in progress,due for completion in 2 weeks
  • Soft strip to first class pool hall complete
  • Soft strip to second class pool area 85% complete
  • Demolition of second class hall (east side of building along Grove Villas) due for commencement on: 15.9.2014


Dame Colet and Haileybury Youth Centre update 04.09.2014

Dame Colet

  • Pile probe and pile matt complete
  • Piling in progress

 Haileybury Youth Centre

  • Demolition due for completion 5.9.2014
  • Pile probe and pile mat due for completion 12.9.2014
  • Piling to commence 15.9.2014
Main 1st Class Pool Hall

Poplar Baths Leisure

  • External façade structural conditional building survey is complete
  • Internal high level structural conditional building survey of façade is underway
  • Soft strip demolition is in progress
  • Retrieval of historic artefacts is complete
  • English Heritage tile removal of historic vapour baths and storage – ongoing
  • English Heritage photo session is being arranged for w/c 01.09.2014.  English Heritage will take photos for prosperity at each significant stage.  The main 1st class pool hall is now stripped back to how it looked in the 1980’s.  Each stage of the strip will be carefully documented


Tile removal and preservation of the Historic Vapour Baths in the 2nd Class Pool area

Poplar Baths Residential

  • Ground works to commence 01.09.2014
  • Ground obstructions to be removed 08.09.2014

Dame Colet and Haileybury 

  •  Pilling rig on site and work commenced 28.08.2014
  • Demolition still in progress
  • Oiling mat and reduced  dig  (groundworks) in progress

Poplar Baths update 22.8.2014

         Class 1 pool

The  soft strip / and Heritage items strip is now completed.

  • Heritage items are being wrapped, labelled and stored in a secure facility
  • Demolition of the CITB fabric is approaching completion with loose rubble being conveyed into Class 2 deep basement area prior to demolition
  • Protection of in-situ Heritage items/ zones is now completed
  • Heritage photographic survey shall be undertaken within the old Class 1 main hall week commencing Tue 26th August

Site Visit by LBTH Conservation officer and English Heritage booked for Wed 27th August to review progress.

Class 2 pool

The scaffolding is completed and wrapped in Monarflex fabric to pr unlikely dust and debris to protect from any unlikely dust and debris

  • Soft/ Heritage items strip is now completed
  • Chimney demolition is completed to roof level
  • Existing bricks shall be salvaged from the old Class 2 chimney to extend the parapets on the listed Class 1 side of the building
  • Careful removal of historic vapour pool tiling is progressing very well – see photos below
  • Main building demolition is scheduled to commence in the next few weeks

Dame Colet and Haileybury update 22.8.2014

Dame Colet

  •      Preparation of ground for Piling Rig is 70% complete        
  •      Piling Rig due to arrive w/c 26.08.14
  •      Dame Colet & HYC Sit

Unexploded bomb survey – no evidence found of remaining bombs on the site

Haileybury Youth Centre

  •          Completion of interior soft strip, now ready for mechanical demolition of remaining building
  •          Removal of window surrounds
  •          Demolition of remaining building to commence w/c 26.08.14
  •          Removal of foundations

See photos below

Ben Johnson Road existing foundations and Bird’s eye view at Haileybury
Removal of window surrounds at Haileybury and Bird’s eye view of Dame Colet House
Haileybury boiler basement

Poplar Baths Leisure update 15.8.2014


The scaffolding is completed and wrapped


The main building demolition is scheduled to commence in the next few weeks.   


CITB (Construction Industry Training Board)  demolition is well underway.

Remediation of all pigeon guanno is substantially completed.


The chimney demolition is progressing well.



Here you can see the de-tiling in action. Protection of insitu Heritage items/zones is ongoing. Items are wrapped, labelled and stored in a secure facility near to the site.


Careful removal of the historic vapour pool has commenced.

           CLASS 1 AND 2

        Now the soft/ Heritage items strip is largely completed. The timber reclaim is in action and English Heritage stairwell prtoection is in place.

The facade structural survey is now taking place.

Site traffic plan


Dame Colet and Haileybury update 15.8.2014


Demolition is in progress.

The unexploded ordinance surveyis now completed.

  •      Haileybury pile probing is due to commence w/c 18.8.2014
  •   Pile mat installation is to commence w/c 18.8.2014
  • Haileybury concrete foundation
  • Piling is due to commence approximately 3-4 weeks time

Haileybury sports pitch reduce dig

      Demolition is now completed
      Unexploded ordinance survey is completed
      Pile probing is in progress
      Installation of pile mat is in progress
      Piling rig is due on site w/c 18.8.2014



West Side of Building (Original 1st Class Pool)

Remediation of Pigeon Guanno is ongoing.
Removal of the existing English Heritage items is now ongoing and approximately 90% completed. Each of these items is wrapped, labelled and stored in a secure facility.
In past years the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) used Poplar Baths as a training facility for students to practice building brick walls etc.  These practice walls are now being demolished. This process will take approx. 3 weeks – ongoing.

East Side of Building (Original 2nd Class Pool)

  • Scaffolding is now complete with additional ‘monarflex’ installed as protection against any falling debris.
  • Removal of the existing English Heritage items is now ongoing and approx. 85% complete
  • Soft/ Heritage items strip is ongoing and approx. 85% completed.
  • Chimney demolition to commence 06.08.14
  • Careful removal of historic vapour pool tiling due to commence on 11.08.14
Traffic Movement Sign Board
Week Commencing : 11.08.14.  During the hours of 8am and 5pm, there will be moderate vehicle movement into and out of our two site entrances on Poplar Baths Street and Lawless Street.


The unexploded bomb ordinance survey is now complete.

 Demolition is at final stages

Enablement works for the pilling rig (groundworks) has begun.


Continuation of demolition

Continuation of unexploded bomb ordinance survey

Poplar baths update 1.8.2014


The hoarding around the site is now complete and looking good.

Demolition has now been completed and the great ‘muck away’ process has commenced

Unexploded bomb ordinance survey has commenced and ground preparation works for the Pilling Rig is due to commence week beginning: 04.8.2014


The hoarding around the site is now complete

Demolition is progressing well and is due to complete week commencing: 11.8.2014

Unexploded bomb ordinance survey has begun

Poplar baths update 31.7.2014

The west side of the building (Originally the Firstst Class Pool)

      The remediation of Pigeon guanno is ongoing.

·         Removal of the existing English Heritage items is now ongoing and approximately 80% iscompleted. Each item is now being wrapped, labelled and stored in a secure facility.

·         In past years the CITB (Construction Industry Training Board) used Poplar Baths as a training facility for students to practice building brick walls etc.  These ‘practice’ walls are now being demolished and this process will take approx. three weeks.

The east side of the building (Originally the Second Class Pool)

Scaffolding is well advanced on Grove Villas

  • Scaffolding is half complete on the front of the building and will be completed this week
  • Removal of the existing English Heritage items is now ongoing and approximately 75% complete
  • The soft/ Heritage items strip is ongoing and is approximately 75% completed
  • The chimney demolition to commence week/commencing 04.08.14
  • The careful removal of the historic vapour pool tiling will commence

Poplar Baths update 25.7.2014

View over the Poplar Baths redevelopment site

Poplar Baths

·         The demolition of garages and substation on Lawless Street.

·         The demolition of the enclosed ball court/play area (MUGA) is complete.

·         The formation level excavation is progressing as per the target.

Skylines and scaffolding at Poplar

Dame Colet and HYC Update – 25.7.2014

Photo 1.     Dame Colet House demolition close to completion.

Photo 2. HYC – Removal of all the internal fixtures, fittings and flooring

Dame Colet 

  • Demolition is due to be completed at DC w/c 28.7.2014
  • *Unexploded bomb ordinance survey due to commence wc 28.7.2014 (approx. 1 week)
  • Ground preparation work’s for the Pilling Rig due to commence wc 04.8.2014

Haileybury Youth Centre

  • Demolition due to complete w/c 11.8.2014
  • *Unexploded bomb ordinance survey due to commence wc 11.8.2014 (approx. 1 week)

NB : *Due to the heavy bombing during both the 1st and 2nd world wars, an unexploded bomb ordinance survey is required before any digging can begin to ensure that no bombs remain hidden in the earth.

Key Dates for Poplar Baths & Dame Colet 


Poplar Baths

Poplar Residential

Dame Colet

Haileybury Youth Centre


July 14 – Sept 14

July 14 – Aug 14

June 14 – July 14

July 14 – Aug 14

Ground Works/Reduced level Dig

Sept 14 – Apr 15

Aug 14 – Dec 14

July 14 – Oct 14

Sept 14 – Oct 14

Building Frame Work Construction

Apr 15 – Aug 15

Jan15 – July 15

Oct 14 – Feb 15

Oct 14 – Jan 15


Feb 15 – Feb 16

Mar 15 – Feb 16

Dec 14 – Apr 15

Jan 15 – June 15



Update 11.7.2014

Poplar Baths
The following works will be carried out during July’14 as follows,  commencing from 14 July 2014.
Reclamation of the historic tiling around the old Russian Vapour Baths
This historic tiling will be restored and reused in the new facility.  This reclamation process will be closely  monitored by English Heritage to ensure that all procedures and process are strictly adhered to in respect to this delicate conservation exercise.  See photos of the existing beautiful vapour bath above.
Removal of internal fixtures and fittings
Poplar Residential
  • Demolition of the garages on Lawless Street directly behind the Poplar Baths building
  • Removal of the existing “fenced in” football pitch and play area
  • Commencement of ‘reduced level’ dig
Dame Colet & Haileybury Youth Centre
  •         Completion of site hoardings erection
  •         Installation of site office accommodation
  •         Removal of internal fixtures and fittings
  •         Demolition of Haileybury Youth Centre

Tower Hamlets announces £36m deal to transform Poplar Baths into the East End’s newest leisure centre

  • Tower Hamlets signs £36m deal with Guildmore to transform Poplar  Baths
  • Estimated 100s new jobs to be created
  • 100 new homes to be built
  • Guildmore to construct a state-of-the-art leisure development at Poplar Bath

On 26 June 2014, Tower Hamlets council signed a £36m deal with Guildmore to transform Poplar Baths and Haileybury Youth Centre with Dame Colet, into the East End’s newest leisure centre and housing development. The result will bring new facilities for the community as well as a much needed housing development plus powerful investment into Tower Hamlets.

Guildmore will ensure the £36 million leisure facility development retains any attractive historic architectural features of Tower Hamlet’s Victorian public baths. At the same time, Guildmore will build 100 new homes between the two sites. And a new youth centre at Dame Colet will bring a welcome space for the youth of the local community to call their own.

The project will see the restoration of Poplar Baths – the Grade II listed building and former swimming pool opposite Chrisp Street market – designed by Pringle Richards Sharratt Architects giving an additional 60 new council homes designed by CZWG Architects at this site. It will also see the development of Dame Colet House – a former housing block which is no longer in use – with CZWG & Steven Bradbury Architects and nearby Haileybury Youth Centre in Stepney, also with Pringle Richards Sharratt.

Poplar Baths – a colourful past and an even brighter future

Opening in 1852, costing £10,000 and built to provide public wash facilities for the East End’s poor as a result of the Baths and Washhouses Act 1846, Poplar Baths has undergone an interesting series of changes.

Originally the ‘slipper baths’ section originally contained six baths for women in each division, 12 in the men’s first-class section and 24 in the second-class. The steam and shower bath areas were behind the slipper baths and the laundry was at the rear of the building, on Arthur Street. The laundry contained 48 separate wooden washing tubs, drying equipment, ironing rooms and the uncovered water tank, erected over the boiler house, had a capacity of 24,000 gallons.

Later the baths were rebuilt in 1933. The larger pool was floored over, designated the East India Hall and converted to a theatre with a seating capacity of 1,400, with a dance hall, cinema, exhibition room and sports hall, for boxing and wrestling programmes. This kept the hall active in the winter months, while the smaller pool remained in use.

At the end of the war, from 1938 until 1941, the office was used by the staff of the Borough’s electricity office, and then later occupied by the Transport and General Workers Union and the Poplar Labour Party. Wartime bomb damage forced the closure of the main bath hall, which remained unglazed for several years. Poplar Baths reopened in 1947 and continued to be used as a swimming facility until 1988, when it was turned into an industrial training centre. Between 1954 and 1959, the baths were used by an average of 225,700 bathers each year.

Now the local council has selected Guildmore to restore this Grade II listed building to its former glory with a stylish and modern sports facility, which includes a new 25-metre swimming pool.

English Heritage officials have already commented that they are very happy with how the project is going and that it is one of the best developments they’ve seen.

Work starts in July 2014

Final site preparations have already started in readiness for construction to commence in July ’14. Hoardings have been erected for the affordable housing construction project in Lawless Street. During the construction period Grove Villas and Lawless Street will be closed for pedestrian access.

“This is a significant investment deal for London and will boost employment and growth in the borough. I am delighted that Tower Hamlets are investing in the local community and providing homes, jobs and leisure facilities to young and old in the area”. Said Engin Ertosun, Managing Director, Guildmore.

“A great place to live’

These new homes and the regenerated baths facility will assist in meeting the council’s vision of ‘A great place to live’. This reflects London Borough of Tower Hamlet’s continuing ambition to make the Borough a place where people are ‘proud to live, work and study’.

Guildmore are working closely with the Tower Hamlets council to achieve quality affordable housing, set in a clean and safe neighbourhood, served by well-connected travel facilities and within easy access of services and community facilities. The East End is looking forward to the results.


Residents kick off building works for a new Community Centre at Haileybury and Dame Colet  

Yesterday, a new era of bright new community space scored a hit when Mayor Lutfur Rahman presented a stunning Five-a-Side Trophy to launch the commencement of the building work that will transform Haileybury Youth Centre and Dame Colet Residential in Stepney.

The local community has suffered a lack of facilities at Haileybury for some time.

Oliur Rahman, Councillor for Stepney and Cabinet Minister for Children and Young People said, “This is an area with one of the largest numbers of young people in the borough”.

Afazul Hoque, volunteer for Stepney Football Event has used the facility for 20 years. He’s looking forward to seeing “A good place for young people to look up to new leaders. There’s even a local ‘legends’ team too who will enjoy the new facilities”.

Haileybury Youth Centre is set to deliver world-class youth facilities for the young people of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in 2015. Local youth will enjoy a caged rooftop football pitch, showers, changing rooms and a wide range of activities available. The centre will continue to be managed and staffed by the council’s Youth and Community Services.  And the plans for the Youth Centre have been drawn up in consultation with Youth and Community Services to ensure best use of the space to meet young people’s needs.

Nearby Dame Colet Residential will provide 40 Council rented homes on four levels – built to lifetime homes standard. This design will provide private amenity space for residents with views towards St Dunstan’s Church.

To celebrate the launch of the project, Guildmore Construction Company arranged drinks, snacks, prizes and a five-a-side football tournament with local players at the existing Haileybury site on Thursday 3rd April 2014. After the teams battled it out on the pitch, every player received a medal and Team A proudly took home the trophy.

The Mayor and Councillors attended as well as local people and the team from Guildmore. Engin Ertosun, Managing Director of Guildmore thanked everyone for attending and said “The project is due to start work in about 4 weeks and will be delivered by summer next year– exciting times”.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman said: “I am committed to the young people in our borough and pleased to celebrate the start of the work to improve this facility for them. The Haileybury youth centre will deliver great benefits for our residents and young people with world-class facilities.”

Abu Saeed with his winning design

Poplar Baths hoardings display childrens’ artwork for design contes

Guildmore has hosted the first official celebration for the restoration of the Poplar Baths redevelopment. On 17th December 2013 at 12.30pm Lutfur Rahman, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, presented an award to celebrate the new artwork designed by local schools that will be posted onto the hoardings surrounding the Poplar Baths development. Over 100 people will attend. Guildmore is encouraging the local community to be as involved in the project as possible and this begins with a celebration to mark the commencement of the project, which will feature participation of local school children and the Mayor of Tower Hamlets.

Mayor Rahman, Engin Ertosun, Managing Director of Guildmore and winning students from Caley Primary School

Official celebration for the commencement of the Poplar Baths projec

The Poplar Baths project, which was announced earlier this year, will transform Poplar Baths into a brand new leisure centre facility with a state of the art swimming pool as well as create 60 new homes for local people. Alongside this development, Guildmore will also create a separate site in Stepney, to provide a new youth centre and homes at Haileybury and Dame Colet House, creating more homes and facilities for the local community.

Following a procurement process, Tower Hamlets council selected Guildmore to restore the Grade II listed building. With an increased demand for affordable housing in the area, the local council are certain that this project will, not only, generate more housing but will also reinforce Tower Hamlet’s image as ‘A great place to live’.

Guildmore Managing Director, Engin Ertosun, is leading the project to encourage residents to look at the development as a chance to gain employment opportunities and training. Guildmore is committed to ensuring that local residents make up the workforce and by working with Skillsmatch, aims to find workers through local agencies. Guildmore will also host school workshops, site visits and ‘digger days’, as well as offering apprenticeships to develop young people’s employability.

Mayor Lutfur Rahman is honouring the local schools involved in creating the drawings by presenting an award and formally announce the commencement of the redevelopment work so that the project can officially get underway. There will also be music and refreshments available in a large marquee. Members of the press are welcome to attend

Planning approved for Poplar and Haileybury

Planning applications of Poplar Baths and Haileybury Youth Centre schemes have been approved on 9th October 2013. Both schemes together will provide one hundred new homes, plus top class leisure and youth facilities for the local community. Following on from planning application approval, the next steps are in progress to deliver these two exciting schemes.

Guildmore’s Hoarding Art Competition

It is Guildmore’s policy to involve local community in every project it undertakes. With this policy in perspective, we have engaged with local primary and secondary school children within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to participate in a Hoarding Art Competition for Poplar Baths, Dame Colet and Haileybury Youth Centre Regeneration projects.

We viewed the competition as an attractive way for children to become involved in this project and have fun while taking part. As an added benefit, the competition has created an opportunity to alert children to health and safety issues and the potential dangers of playing in and around building sites. As part of the competition process, we invited local schools within a two miles radius of the project areas in early April 2013 to participate in the competition and received an overwhelming response to the invitation.

The results of the competition have just been announced. A presentation ceremony will be held soon, where the Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Council Lutfur Rahman is expected to award prizes to the lucky winners. The winning artwork will be used on the project hoardings to publicise the development.