Gilbert Jessop: I was a cricketer and Army man, and I rather liked to keep myself active,
but I found myself suffering severe Lumbago that saw me invalided out of the army in 1916. In an attempt to fix the illness I was sent off to a clinic in Bath – The Victorian Spa – to treat my ills. I was prescribed a treatment of something they called ‘Radiant Heat Dousing’. This involved total immersion for 30 minutes into a container that reached temperatures of around 210-300 degrees. Normally, or so I am told, the container they put me in for my treatment would usually have a lid I could lift up to get myself out should the heat come to be too much. But such is my luck that the catch on the lid stuck, and I was trapped in the heated box for some time.
I did call out for someone to help me, but of course I’d also been left unattended. Which, they tell me also should not have happened, and is quite unusual.
I am not sure how much time had passed with me trapped in that unbearable heat before someone finally released me, but it was long enough that my heart has suffered quite severely as a result caused me irreparable damage and changed my life forever.
After having already lost my army career to sickness, I found myself in the unfortunate position that in my now deteriorating condition, I was even unable to enjoy my cricket as a pastime, thanks to a wholly preventable series of accidents on the part of the Victorian Spa.
I cannot say the same for all who visit, but I can certainly say for myself that perhaps I may have been better off having never set foot in Bath’s Victorian Spa.