An illustrious Cumbrian writer has thrown his weight behind the campaign to revive the fortunes of Carlisle’s much-loved Victorian Turkish baths.

Hunter Davies, 85, is an author, journalist and broadcaster who has penned the only authorised biography of The Beatles.

Hunter said: “Wild swimming? Such a cool, groovy, smart term for something which is centuries old.

"We have swum in the Lakes and in the Eden and Caldew for centuries. So how is it wild? The thing about the Turkish Baths is they are one of the glories of Carlisle.

"They have to be preserved. Not neglected. That’s what makes me wild.”

His support was announced by the Friends of Carlisle Turkish Baths last week with one spokeswoman saying: “We are absolutely thrilled that a renowned author, journalist and broadcaster is backing the campaign to Save the Turkish Baths. Thank you Hunter.”

Many of the campaign’s supporters took to social media to voice their approval.

One said: “This will be a great help in getting councillors to listen to what people want.”

Last week the News & Star reported that momentum was gathering behind a people’s campaign for the baths in James Street.

Nearly 2,000 people have now joined an online group dedicated to giving the Grade II-listed building - described by one local campaigner as an architectural “gem” - the best chance of long-term survival.

Owner Carlisle City Council has repeatedly said there are no plans to demolish the building and confirmed last week that it is to benefit from a £400,000 facelift.

But that good news failed to dispel fears for the future of the building, which is next to existing swimming baths that due to be knocked down as part of a redevelopment of the area.

The campaigners want the council to promote the Turkish Baths.

They have now also set out what they say may be a viable vision for its future if funding can be found.

Hunter Davies' other works include the Biscuit Girls, which was published in 2014, which tells the story of women, Ivy, Dulcie, Barbara, Ann, Dorothy and Jean, working in Carlisle’s Carr’s factory, from the 1940s.

And there is Lakeland a Personal Journey, published in 2016, where he takes ‘the reader on an engaging, informative and affectionate tour of the lakes, fells, traditions, denizens and history of England’s most popular tourist destination’.

He was originally born in Johnston, Renfrewshire in 1936 but moved to Carlisle aged 11.

It is understood he now lives in London.