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John Henry 'Rob' Derbyshire (1878–1938)

© the artist's estate. Photo credit: Victoria Baths Trust

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Rob Derbyshire, whose actual name was John Henry Derbyshire, was born in Manchester in 1878. His father (also John Derbyshire) was the manager of Osborne Street Baths and then became Superintendent of Manchester City Council's Baths and Wash Houses Department. Mr Derbyshire senior played a key role in the construction of the Victoria Baths and the family moved when it opened in 1906 to the large Superintendant's flat. Rob swam from an early age and won his first prize for swimming when he was just six years old. He went on to great success as a water polo player and as a freestyle swimmer. Rob played in the Manchester Water Polo team, which won the national championships on seven occasions and represented Britain at four Olympic Games from 1900 to 1912, winning two gold medals and a bronze.

Victoria Baths





oil on canvas


H 90 x W 70 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

on loan from the Amateur Swimming Association

Work type



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Victoria Baths

Hathersage Road, Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester, Greater Manchester M13 0FE England

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