A Carlisle chocolatier has lent his support to a campaign to save the city’s historic baths by launching a new bar.

It is the second time that Keith Tattersall, of Castle Chocolates, has made confectionery to help preserve Carlisle’s Victorian and Turkish Baths. The new bar, made from creamy milk chocolate with a colourful crunchy topping to reflect the Turkish Baths’ tiles, is now on sale for £3.15, with a pound going to the Friends of Carlisle Victorian and Turkish Baths. 

The group was launched two years ago to save the baths on James Street, which opened in 1884 to provide bathing facilities for those who worked in the city’s dusty mills and factories. 

Last year, the Friends won funding from the Architectural Heritage Fund and the Cumbria LEP for a viability study but with the opening of the new Sands Centre pool, the Grade II listed Turkish Baths were mothballed last November. It is still hoped that the site can be redeveloped to add treatment rooms, additional aqua thermal facilities and a cafe/bar, and the Friends are raising money for the next stage of the study. 

“Working with Keith and his team is a match made in chocolate heaven,” said Judith Yeates, who collaborated with Castle Chocolates to design the bar on behalf of the group. “Castle Chocolates is a shining example of Carlisle creativity and community, and their chocolates are mini masterpieces of deliciousness. We are over the moon to have their support.”  

Last year Castle Chocolates helped raise over £150 from the sale of the limited-edition Turkish Baths chocolates for the charity, and Keith thinks the new chocolate bar could raise even more. 

“The popularity of our chocolates has grown massively in the last 12 months, and we are over the moon to have made it down to the final three for artisan producer of the year in the 2023 Cumbria Life awards,” he said. 

“Our chocolates are now stocked right across Cumbria, and I’m confident the new Turkish Baths bar will prove to be a hit with chocolate lovers near and far.” 

As part of fundraising efforts, the Friends are also screening the 1985 film Steaming  

in partnership with the University of Cumbria at its Stanwix Theatre on September 29.  

In a case of life imitating art, it tells the story of three regular users of a Turkish Baths who decide to fight their closure. Tickets available from Ticketsource. 

The Victorian & Turkish Baths chocolate bar is available from Castle Chocolates’ Fisher Street shop and via https://www.castle-chocolates.co.uk/shop.