What future for Sydney Gardens?

What future for Sydney Gardens?

One of the posters dotted around the park.

One of the posters dotted around the park.

Bath’s Sydney Gardens is currently dotted with official B&NES signs giving notice of plans to inject £250,000 into this old public park and asking those who enjoy using it for their views on ways it could be rejuvenated.

You have until March 6th to pass on your comments and suggestions – but more about that later.

On the council website this elongated hexagonal of land is correctly identified as the oldest park in the city but it wasn’t planned as being somewhere for the general public to go!

Winter sunshine in Sydney Gardens

Winter sunshine in Sydney Gardens

From the start this was a private commercial venture – opened in 1795 – as a pleasure ground.

It was a profit-making enterprise designed for adult society and entertainment with a character quite different from the more formal, flower-bedded and free-to-enter Victorian parks to come.

According to Michael Forsyth – in the Pevsner Architectural Guide to Bath – the Gardens or Vauxhall – to give the venture its proper name – was funded by shares of £100 and you had to pay a fee to get in and enjoy the facilities.

MInerva's Temple - brought from the Empire Exhibition at the Crystal Palace and re-erected here in 1913-14.

MInerva’s Temple – brought from the Empire Exhibition at the Crystal Palace and re-erected here in 1913-14.

The New Bath Guide for 1801 described  ‘waterfalls, stone and thatched pavilions, alcoves, a sham castle, bowling greens, swings, a labyrinth, a fine Merlin swing, a grotto of antique appearance, and four thatched umbrellas as a shelter for the rains.’

It was a lot to cram onto a modest site – and all surrounded by a drive for carriages and individually mounted horses to ride upon.

A novel entertainment for the well-to-do in the middle of a vast Georgian development. These were the former virgin acres of the Bathwick estate that could now be easily reached across the newly built Pulteney Bridge.

It was a Bath ‘New Town’ that would spread out from a fine terraced avenue of houses named after the estate’s developer Sir William Johnstone Pulteney.

Great Pulteney Street lead down to Sydney House – which formed it’s closure at the eastern end. However the building – now the Holburne Museum – was also the entrance to the pleasure gardens beyond.

The Holburne Museum

The Holburne Museum

Thomas Baldwin – architect of Great Pulteney Street – initially designed Sydney House and Gardens in 1794, but in the end it was his pupil Charles Harcourt Masters who did the work and to a modified design.

The house offered coffee, tea and card rooms for those using the Gardens and with a ballroom on the first floor.

On the side facing the Gardens was a conservatory, orchestra stand and even – on the ground floor – a transparency. A picture painted on thin linen so that it glowed against the light.

There was also a public house in the basement – called the Sydney Tap – for chairmen, coachmen and other servants who were not allowed into the Gardens.

Sydney Gardens became a municipal park in 1909.

Sydney Gardens became a municipal park in 1909.

Events within these sylvan acres included public breakfasts and dinners – in open wooden supper boxes that jutted out in curved wings either side of the house.

There were evening promenades, gala nights with fireworks and illuminations and all accompanied by music.

All of this on offer in Gardens that were also planned to be enclosed by fine terraces of houses – that would all share a fine view of the pleasure gardens – and then the development would continue beyond.

Only two sides were completed. Bankruptcy and the French Revolution punctured this property balloon – so what remains is just a vision of what might have been.

The coming of the Kennet and Avon Canal – and then the Great Western Railway – produced further modification and disruption to the pleasure gardens layout – as both were to cut their way through its grounds.

The existing low wall from where people can watch the trains pass by.

The existing low wall from where people can watch the trains pass by.

As it was the canal – once built – was heralded as an additional ‘attraction’ while Brunel ‘landscaped’ his rail route through the Gardens – providing a visual theatre in which people could cheer his amazing trains as they sped – belching smoke and hissing steam – across this garden of delights.

Today the canal has been revitalised and the rail link to London is about to be electrified which will in itself involve some modification of the section through Sydney Gardens to address health and safety issues.

They will be digging a trench to keep people away from the line but not adversely affect the view.

The central path - looking up to the Loggia

The central path – looking up to the Loggia

Elsewhere  the original features have all but disappeared but the central axis – which does continue the line of Great Pulteney Street – and some interesting garden structures of later dates do remain.

B&NES had applied for Heritage Lottery funding but failed in the attempt. At one time a joint application was to go in from both the Holburne Museum and the Council but – for various – reasons only the Holburne’s proposal for an extension was submitted.

The Holburne extension

The Holburne extension

It was successful and – for some – a controversial but award-winning glass and ceramic 11.2 million pound extension was added to the Holburne which re-opened in May 2011 after building work was completed.

The Museum building had lost its direct link with the Gardens after it became  a college and its grounds were fenced.

The Holburne wants this view open up!

The Holburne wants this view open up!

It’s a well-known fact that – after adding an extension which turned the attention of visitors back to what lay outside – the Holburne would like to see a more direct link with the Gardens recreated. Some sort of balanced opening out into what lies beyond its rear boundaries.

No doubt B&NES will be aware of their feelings. Meanwhile they have called in a company called Place Studios Limited of Bristol to help them plan a course of action in Sydney Gardens.

On their website Place say: ‘We are qualified urban designers who enjoy working with stakeholders and communities. We are experienced in helping to shape places, streets and green spaces within the country’s most diverse and sensitive environments, notably Bristol, Bath and London.’

Members of urban designers Place Studios and interested parties taking a tour of Sydney Gardens.

Members of urban designers Place Studios and interested parties taking a tour of Sydney Gardens.

I spotted them out in the Gardens with council officials and other interested parties taking a walk around. It’s part of a process B&NES is undertaking before deciding on a plan of action. On the Council website it says:

‘In recent years the Council has been working with the local community to develop a long-term plan for improving Sydney Gardens. Recent surveys have identified that some of the listed historic structures and public amenities are in need of attention; and that there are concerns about anti-social behaviour in the Gardens, and the Council has recently allocated £250,000 to help address these issues.

MInerva's Temple - brought from the Empire Exhibition at the Crystal Palace and re-erected here in 1913-14.

MInerva’s Temple – brought from the Empire Exhibition at the Crystal Palace and re-erected here in 1913-14.

The Council has commissioned Place Studio to help: working with a project Steering Group that includes representatives of local residents’ groups (including The Friends of Sydney Gardens) to identify practical work that needs to happen now to help conserve the gardens and then to work with stakeholders to agree ongoing future improvements.’

According to Councillor David Dixon- who is Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods:

‘Sydney Gardens is one of Bath’s most historic public parks, much-loved by its local community, but in desperate need of careful rejuvenation. Bath & North East Somerset Council’s injection of £250,000 this year will kick-start a collaboration between the community and the Council, restoring the landscape, improving accessibility and enabling it to become an even better focus of the community life for future generations.’

B&NES lists its priorities for people to consider.

The Project Steering Group has identified a number of priorities for investment in the short-term, and we want to hear your views about these and/or any other priorities which you feel need addressing in the Gardens.

Priorities identified to date include:

Environment
• Reveal the canal.

Shrubbery prevents you seeing the canal. Should it be removed?

Shrubbery prevents you seeing the canal. Should it be removed?

• Open up views.
• More/better benches.
• Places for wildlife.
• Heritage interpretation

Access/Safety
• Signs to and around the gardens.
• Improve the entrances.
• Connect paths & remove dead ends.
• Trim overgrown bushes/shrubs.

Play/Keeping Fit
• Provide natural play opportunities for children.
• Improve the tennis courts.
• Outdoor gym/trail.
• Walking/jogging routes.
• More cycle parking.

It asks people who have suggestions for other improvements to send any comments by 6th March to: info@placestudio.com

Alternatively, you can write your comments down and drop them in to the Council’s One-Stop-Shop in Manvers Street in an envelope clearly marked ‘Sydney Gardens’.

The Virtual Museum has something to say on the subject. Clearly the Gardens cannot be restored to its original layout. Too much has changed – physically and socially – but it would be nice if its heritage could be better acknowledged. It is after all the last remaining portion of a former Georgian pleasure garden existing in this country!

Should the canal be opened up to view by removing shrubbery?

Should the canal be opened up to view by removing shrubbery?

Orignal planting was often done on such a confined space to hide attractions from one another. So that you came across each one as an element of surprise – although they were close to each other. At one time the whole gardens looked like a densely packed wood!

The Virtual Museum agrees that some views – like the canal – could be opened up. The restoration of a clear line between the Holburne and what remains of the Loggia at the top would also be welcomed.

B&NES talks about places for wildlife and the VM is not sure what they mean by this. As things stand the place is teeming with it and any reduction of flora would reduce habitat for what is there.

Seating could certainly be better

Seating could certainly be better

The park needs better seating. Could people not sponsor it? Already seats are providing as memorials to loved ones. Once upon a time there was wooden seating wrapped around mature trees. Could not that be done again?

The bottom tennis courts in need of attention

The bottom tennis courts in need of attention

Recreational activities do need to be addressed and certainly the bottom tennis court could do with a make-over.

The public loos have been overhauled but there are older listed loos to consider?

Get rid of the tarmac paths and – most important of all – bring the Gardens back into night use with proper lighting. I am sure l heard there were plans to have solar lights sunk into the ground?

Maybe a limited archaeological dig could identify some sites of past structure so some sort of reconstruction could be attempted?

The main driveway through Sydney Gardens. Swathes of tarmac!

The main driveway through Sydney Gardens. Swathes of tarmac!

New and old loos standing side by side

New and old loos standing side by side

Network Rail’s intervention in the area this year – as part of their electrification scheme – should be tied into the Council’s plans.

Maybe the company might help out in other ways!

B&NES say: ‘Once we have received suggestions, a plan of action will be agreed by the project Steering Group and the Council.

We will then update on progress and – at a later date – provide an opportunity for residents and other stakeholders to get involved in developing the longer term plan.’

The Council website for you to look at is: www.bathnes.gov.uk/…/sydney-gardens

 

 

 

 

Tales of the riverbank.

Tales of the riverbank.

Trees on both sides of the river are going.

Trees on both sides of the river are going.

The look of the river bank alongside Churchill Bridge – in the heart of Bath city centre – is rapidly changing.

Up is going more safety railings to try to prevent people falling into the water and down are coming lines of mature trees – some of which are more than 80 feet tall.

The huge crane that is lifting down the cut branches of these giant poplars.

The huge crane that is lifting down the cut branches of these giant poplars.

Both developments have to be welcomed. One will play a small but significant role in preventing more drowning tragedies, while the other – drastic though it is – will be a means to an end.

The trees have to come down so work can get underway on remodelling the river bank as part of a multi-million pound flood prevention scheme – shared by B&NES and the Environment Agency – that should provide additional protection for nearby commercial and residential property and allow a massive redevelopment of a river bank site in need of regeneration.

The proposed tree-lined terraces

The proposed tree-lined terraces

The re-shaping of the bank to allow for greater capacity during periods when the river is engorged with flood water and also allow planners to re-connect the people of Bath with their river.

The information boards by Churchill Bridge

The information boards by Churchill Bridge

There is an assortment of visual and written information that has sprung up on notice boards by Churchill Bridge and elsewhere explaining what is happening and why.

You can see how proposed  tree-lined riverside terraces will provide a new amenity and route for walkers and cyclists.

More visual information on the riverbank scheme

More visual information on the riverbank scheme

Its hoped wildlife will benefit from the plantings which should provide a corridor through the heart of Bath.

The new development is known as the Bath Quay Waterside Project.

There is going to be a great deal of disruption while building work gets underway but also the prospect of something new and exciting to come.

I watched in amazement this morning as a tree surgeon swung from his harness at least sixty to sixty-five feet above my head.

A tree surgeon at work above the North Quay

A tree surgeon at work above the North Quay

Above his was a swinging crane jib and a cable he was attaching to a giant branch of the poplar he was dismembering.

Once he has cut through – further down the branch – the whole section is then swung out and lowered to the ground.

I hate to see any tree come down but can appreciate the work would be impossible to do without clearing the site first.  Time will tell.

 

 

 

 

 

The work completed. IN time - new plantings will be made on a re-shaped riverbank.

The work completed. Eventually – new plantings will be made on a re-shaped riverbank.

A more recent picture showing the now bare riverbank area where the trees once stood. This whole bank will be re-shaped and eventually replanted.

Concern grows for future of the “Min”.

One of Bath’s best-loved Georgian buildings could be about to shut up shop.

With a personal view of developments, Professor George Odam, who was Patient Governor of the RNHRD for nine years until his resignation in August last year, raises his concerns for the building’s future and has his own ideas about how the Min could still play a useful role to enhance the city’s reputation as a health spa.

In 1988 there was a move to relocate The Min to the RUH site in Combe Park and the plans and rationale can be viewed at the Guildhall Archive. Merging the administration of the two hospitals makes good sense, but the identity and mission of both are very different and both need preservation so that they can continue to function. This has been achieved in many other English cities.

However, in 1988 the proposal was to sell The Min and make it into a shopping mall, with a Plan B of a hotel. Since the rebuild of Southgate, the loss of The Podium and the new hotel development in Beau Street, the most likely outcome of the sale of The Min would be a boarded up site that would deteriorate and be subject to vandalism.

But money <strong>is</strong> a central issue and a new campaign to save, recondition and modernise the interior of The Min and restore the Grade 2 exterior would have to be found. There are local, national and private funds for this sort of thing once a case has been well made, and I am certain that many patients, families and friends would wish to support such a venture.

Bath is the only significant and active European Spa City without its own Spa Hospital. In the 1960s and 70s The Min’s hydrotherapy pool was fed by the Roman Spring until the amoeba stopped it all. The conduits still lie beneath the streets.”

<strong>’DISEASED, DOUCHED AND DOCTORED'</strong>

<strong>EDITOR</strong> Professor Odam mentioned the launch of Dr Roger Roll’s new book describing the rise of mineral water as a therapy and how treatments in Rheumatology have changed. It will be launched in the Chapel at The Min on Monday, November 26th. It’s a ticket only presentation which is complemented by an exhibition of original 18th century patient records and historical medical artefacts.

<a href=”http://virtualmuseumofbath.com/virtual-museum-of-bath-2012/chapel/#main&#8221; rel=”attachment wp-att-481″><img title=”chapel” alt=”” src=”http://richardwyattblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/chapel.jpg?w=280&#8243; height=”168″ width=”224″ /></a> The chapel at The Min

Kate Lane and her helpers at the hospital have been putting it  together and l know she wants to develop the display further and hopefully be able to let school groups in to visit. I have asked her to do her own Virtual Museum piece on the subject in the not too distant future!

However, l have been lucky enough to have a sneak preview of some of the exhibits. I love signatures and have had the fantastic opportunity of gazing down at the names of some of the city’s historical ‘greats’ in their own hand writing – including Richard Nash, William Oliver, Ralph Allen and John Wood the Elder. Also some of the earliest patients records in very clear handwriting.

<a href=”http://virtualmuseumofbath.com/virtual-museum-of-bath-2012/ralph-allen-signature/#main&#8221; rel=”attachment wp-att-485″><img title=”ralph allen signature” alt=”” src=”http://richardwyattblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/ralph-allen-signature.jpg?w=280&#8243; height=”210″ width=”280″ /></a> Clearly ‘Ralph Allen’

<a href=”http://virtualmuseumofbath.com/virtual-museum-of-bath-2012/richard-nash/#main&#8221; rel=”attachment wp-att-486″><img title=”richard nash” alt=”” src=”http://richardwyattblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/richard-nash.jpg?w=280&#8243; height=”168″ width=”224″ /></a> Look down the list for ‘Jo Wood’

<a href=”http://virtualmuseumofbath.com/virtual-museum-of-bath-2012/patients-report/#main&#8221; rel=”attachment wp-att-483″><img title=”patients report” alt=”” src=”http://richardwyattblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/patients-report.jpg?w=195&#8243; height=”260″ width=”195″ /></a> Patient records from 1749!

Remember this was a hospital serving the poor of all England and many of them stayed here for many weeks. At the bottom of each entry is a clear indication of whether they had benefitted from their treatment or died!

I loved the collection of badges which had to be worn by patients to identify them as such. One entry records the fact that a patient was turned out for being caught in a local public house. Landlords could be fined for serving patients from the hospital.

<a href=”http://virtualmuseumofbath.com/virtual-museum-of-bath-2012/hospital-badges/#main&#8221; rel=”attachment wp-att-482″><img title=”hospital badges” alt=”” src=”http://richardwyattblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/hospital-badges.jpg?w=195&#8243; height=”260″ width=”195″ /></a> Collection of ward and patient badges

There is much here that truly deserves to be seen by a wider audience. This ancient institution – England’s first national hospital – is an important part of this city’s history.

virtualmuseumofbath.com 2012.

Roman treasures roadshow

Roman treasures roadshow

Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Beau Street Hoard Roadshow team is showing off its Roman treasures in Midsomer Norton as the roadshow continues its travels around the region.

Some of the cleaned coins.

Some of the cleaned coins.

On Saturday 7th March, from 11am to 3pm, visitors can discover the mysteries and majesties behind the Beau Street Hoard at the Midsomer Norton Town Hall. Illustrated talks will take place at 11.30am and 2pm. Entry is free.

Visitors will be able to see some of the fabulous Roman coins found during an archaeological excavation in 2007, strike their own Roman coin to take home, learn all about the find and the mystery that shrouds it, take part in all- ages activities, and watch illustrated talks.

The Roadshow project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, is one way the Council-run Roman Baths is working to bring these marvellous coins out to communities in Bath, North East Somerset and beyond.

The hoard lifted by crane ©Cotswold Archaeology

The hoard lifted by crane ©Cotswold Archaeology

Councillor Ben Stevens (Lib-Dem, Widcombe), the Council’s Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said: “With some coins still in amazing condition, the hoard has given us a better understanding of the lives and politics of Britain 2,000 years ago. The images on the coins are fascinating; they were the easiest way the Roman Emperor had of communicating with his citizens, and therefore represent thousands of mini state broadcasts.”

The Beau Street Hoard was excavated by archaeologists on the site of the Gainsborough Hotel development in Beau Street, Bath, in 2007. The 17,577 Roman coins span the period from 32BC – 275AD and were found in eight separate money bags, which were fused together. No one knows how they got there, why they were put there, or why no-one ever returned for them; the mystery behind them has led to many interesting theories, but no actual fact.

In March 2014, Bath & North East Somerset Council was awarded a grant of £372,500 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to purchase the hoard, and, from February 2015, it will be on permanent public display in a new interactive exhibit within the Aquae Sulis Gallery at The Roman Baths.

Like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/BeauStHoard or give us a Follow @BeauStHoard. Alternatively, take a look at the http://www.romanbaths.co.uk events section.

New turf and a pink letterbox.

New turf and a pink letterbox.

Pulteney Street's pink pillarbox.

Pulteney Street’s pink pillar-box.

One of the two Victorian pillar-shaped letter-boxes in Bath’s Great Pulteney Street has had a bit of a paint-over. A new look for a very old piece of street furniture l spotted today – Friday, February 27th.

I am hoping it’s just undercoat?! Though perhaps some might think it prettier in pink?

Pretty in Pink?

Pretty in Pink?

Meanwhile, ‘keep off the grass’ notices have gone up on The Lawn in the centre of Queen Square where new turf has been laid as part of the £100,000 make-over the little public park has received.

The new turf can be seen on The Lawn in Queen Square.

The new turf can be seen on The Lawn in Queen Square.

What a difference the clearance along the riverside – next to Sainsbury’s and Homebase – has made.

Part of the cleared area alongside the Homebase carpark.

Part of the cleared area alongside the Homebase car park.

Temporary fencing has gone up along some of the bank next to the River Avon, but there seems to be more work to do.

Apart from the safety aspect, it has really opened up the river to view.

Another reminder to Bathonians of how important this asset can be in planning its city centre look for the future.

Work underway to solve the problem of the new surface lifting in places.

Work underway to solve the problem of the new surface lifting in places.

Seems sections are being re-screwed down.

Seems sections are being re-screwed down.

A little further along the riverbank – alongside the Crest housing development – contractors have returned to the recently rebuilt  historic Victoria Bridge to try to fix a problem with the newly laid surface on this important crossing for cyclists and pedestrians.

Some of the flexible tiles had lifted. Looks like they are now being well secured.

 

 

Students give Bath a spring clean

Students give Bath a spring clean

Key routes into the centre of Bath are to be given a Spring Clean with students from the University of Bath and Bath Spa will litter pick as part of their ‘Green Week’.

Roadside rubbish!

Roadside rubbish!

The event is being run in conjunction with the Student Community Partnership, a jointly funded Partnership made up of Bath & North East Somerset Council, University of Bath, Bath Spa University and their Students’ Unions.

The SCP provides a forum for liaison between the Universities, their SU’s and the Council on matters relating to students and the local community in Bath.

The aim of Green Week is to raise awareness of local environmental issues. Events exploring themes such as sustainable transport, food and resource use are being held from February 23 – 27.

Rubbish thrown over the wall!

Rubbish thrown over a park wall!

Cycling features at both Universities. Dr Bike sessions held at Bath Spa University on the Wednesday and on Friday the University of Bath runs its first ever Cycle Cinema. This off-grid event sees members of the audience generating power for the big screen by bike! The ‘Big Spring Clean@ event takes places on Saturday February28.

Cllr Paul Crossley (Lib-Dem – Southdown) Leader of the Council, said: “Universities have a significant impact on local communities. Long after they leave as graduates, students are affected by the values that they develop at university and events such as these help to a develop socially-positive outlook.”

This year’s Green Week runs in conjunction with Fairtrade Fortnight and National Student Volunteering Week.

Editor:

Must say the Virtual Museum approves of the spring clean idea and wishes it would spread to the whole city and its citizens.

 

Pretty in Pink

Pretty in Pink

 

Bath Artists’ Studios continue their monthly Open Doors events in February.

bath artists studios They are open every last Friday of the month for you to explore the building, meet studio holders, see the exhibition in the gallery, enquire about facilities and classes, and see what they have to offer.

Join them for the next Open Doors event on 27 February
10.30am – 12.30pm

You can also visit the exhibition, Pretty in Pink, curated by artist in residence, Flo Yapp.

Pretty in Pink is an artist response to the question “What makes a woman?”, exploring the expectations and constraints placed on female artists when creating contemporary art.bath artists studios

Through a diverse range of disciplines and processes, the group of artists each explore motherhood, sexuality and gender, bringing a unique perspective on female identity.

Flo will be giving a talk about her residency and exhibition at 12.45pm in the Roper Gallery. Please come along and feel free to bring your lunch!

The exhibition’s opening party is at 6pm, and continues to 10 March. See the Bath Artists’ Studios website for more details. www.bathartistsstudios.co.uk

Our address is:
Bath Artists’ Studios
The Old Malthouse, Comfortable Place
Upper Bristol Road
Bath, Somerset BA1 3AJ
United Kingdom

 

 

Bath, the Great War and the Sea.

Bath, the Great War and the Sea.

The Museum of Bath at Work.

The Museum of Bath at Work.

In May, the Museum of Bath at Work is staging a short series of talks and films on the subject of Bath, the Great War and the Sea.

These will include a silent film made in 1927 of the first major naval engagement of the Great War – The Battle of Coronel and the Falkland Islands and a presentation, with film by Museum Director Stuart Burroughs on the contribution of Stothert & Pitt of Bath to the development of the Royal Navy’s Grand Fleet.

Finally a collection of documentary films compiled to show our changing relationship with the sea during the 20th century – From the Sea to the Land Beyond- will be shown.

All the talks and films will be presented at the Museum of Bath at Work, Julian Road, Bath and more details are available from Stuart Burroughs on 01225 318348 or mobaw@hotmail.com.

Below are the full details:

Dreadnought! Stothert & Pitt and the Royal Navy
The building and provision by Bath’s largest manufacturer of the Grand Fleet
Wednesday May 6th 7.30 p.m.
£7.50 with a complimentary glass of wine

The Battle of Coronel and The Falkland Islands
Showing of silent feature film of the first naval battles of the Great War. Made in 1927.
Wednesday May 13th 7.30 p.m.
£7.50 with complimentary glass of wine

From the Sea to the Land Beyond
A short history of the 20th century through film, of the British and the Sea. Spectacular documentary films of our changing relationship with the sea that surrounds us.
Wednesday May 20th 7.30 p.m
£7.50 with complimentary glass of wine

Pathway problems for restored Victoria Bridge

Pathway problems for restored Victoria Bridge

Seems the Bristol Evening Post has picked up on a story first carried by the Virtual Museum of Bath a month or so ago.

The Victoria Bridge

The Victoria Bridge

It concerns the flexible treads that have been laid on the walk/cycle way across the newly-restored and historic Victoria Bridge in Bath.

The Virtual Museum had noticed  how sections of the walkway had lifted and now – it seems – B&NES are admitting they are calling in the contractors who carried this multi-million pound refurbishment  to affect repairs.

A spokesman told the Bristol Evening Post  that this would be at ‘no cost to the ratepayer.’

The surface tiles are lifting in places.

The surface tiles are lifting in places.

Bath’s own suspension bridge across the River Avon was built by local engineer James Dredge.

It opened in 1836 to provide transport access to his brewery and currently it has been undergoing a major refurbishment to ensure a safe and sound future.

It was one of the first taper suspension bridges to be built worldwide, and is one of only a handful remaining today.

It was finally reopened at the beginning of this year following a nine-month, £3.4 million refurbishment project designed to make the 180-year-old structure suitable for modern use.