It’s good to be green

It’s good to be green

Residents who have made their homes more energy efficient are being encouraged to come forward and take part in Bath Green Homes – a community project organised by Transition Bath, Bath Preservation Trust, and Bath & North East Somerset Council.
This year’s Open Homes Weekend is on September 27 and 28, and the organisers are looking for people who would like to open their home as part of the weekend.
double glazed windowHomes can be of any age – from a listed property to a modern new build, and of any type – from flats to family homes, owned or rented.

All sorts of energy features are of interest, from the DIY and low cost measures such a draught proofing, right through to more elaborate measures such as insulation or renewable technologies.
Full support is provided to people opening their homes including an initial home visit from the co-ordinator, a pack containing all the information and materials you need, an opportunity to meet other home openers, and volunteer stewards to help you on the day.

The first step is to register your interest by filling in a survey on the http://www.bathgreenhomes.co.uk website about your home or by getting in contact for a chat. You won’t be committing yourself to anything at this point.

 

Mairead King from Larkhall pictured with friend Pablo.

Mairead King from Larkhall pictured with friend Pablo.

One of last year’s home openers, Mairead King from Larkhall, is keen to encourage others to join in the event: “I would definitely recommend taking part. It gives you a pride in what you are doing and helps spread the word. It’s also really lovely meeting like-minded people. I had a fantastic experience.”
Councillor Paul Crossley (Lib-Dem, Southdown), Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “As a Council we’re committed to helping develop a greener, low carbon future for Bath and North East Somerset. As well as benefiting our environment, making our homes more energy efficient is also an important way of helping manage household costs, especially at a time when energy bills are rising.”
Caroline Kay from Bath Preservation Trust said “We are particularly keen to find residents who have made their traditional or listed homes more energy efficient who could share their experiences with the public.”
The Open Homes Weekend is part of a wider programme of events focused on home energy efficiency that will run from September to November 2014. If you are interested in Bath Green Homes but don’t feel your home would be suitable, there are lots of other ways you can get involved including volunteering, organising events, sponsoring, supporting in-kind, and spreading the word.
For more information you can follow @BathGreenHomes on Twitter, visit the website at http://www.bathgreenhomes.co.uk or to get in contact by email admin@bathgreenhomes.co.uk or telephone 01225 477528.

Good to be green.

ImageResidents who have made their homes more energy efficient are being encouraged to come forward and take part in Bath Green Homes – a community project organised by Transition Bath, Bath Preservation Trust, and Bath & North East Somerset Council.
This year’s Open Homes Weekend is on September 27 and 28, and the organisers are looking for people who would like to open their home as part of the weekend.
Homes can be of any age – from a listed property to a modern new build, and of any type – from flats to family homes, owned or rented. All sorts of energy features are of interest, from the DIY and low cost measures such a draught proofing, right through to more elaborate measures such as insulation or renewable technologies.
Full support is provided to people opening their homes including an initial home visit from the co-ordinator, a pack containing all the information and materials you need, an opportunity to meet other home openers, and volunteer stewards to help you on the day. The first step is to register your interest by filling in a survey on the http://www.bathgreenhomes.co.uk website about your home or by getting in contact for a chat. You won’t be committing yourself to anything at this point.
One of last year’s home openers, Mairead King from Larkhall, is keen to encourage others to join in the event: “I would definitely recommend taking part. It gives you a pride in what you are doing and helps spread the word. It’s also really lovely meeting like-minded people. I had a fantastic experience.”
Councillor Paul Crossley (Lib-Dem, Southdown), Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “As a Council we’re committed to helping develop a greener, low carbon future for Bath and North East Somerset. As well as benefiting our environment, making our homes more energy efficient is also an important way of helping manage household costs, especially at a time when energy bills are rising.”
Caroline Kay from Bath Preservation Trust said “We are particularly keen to find residents who have made their traditional or listed homes more energy efficient who could share their experiences with the public.”
The Open Homes Weekend is part of a wider programme of events focused on home energy efficiency that will run from September to November 2014. If you are interested in Bath Green Homes but don’t feel your home would be suitable, there are lots of other ways you can get involved including volunteering, organising events, sponsoring, supporting in-kind, and spreading the word.
For more information you can follow @BathGreenHomes on Twitter, visit the website at http://www.bathgreenhomes.co.uk or to get in contact by email admin@bathgreenhomes.co.uk or telephone 01225 477528.

Volunteer Week at American Museum

Volunteer Week at American Museum

The American Museum in Britain Celebrates Volunteer Week
3 to 6 June 2014

2014 marks the 30th anniversary of Volunteer Week and to celebrate the American Museum is offering free entry to prospective volunteers from 3 to 6 June. If you are interested in contributing your skills and time, pick up a special leaflet from Bath Volunteer Centre* and come along to see what the Museum has to offer.

American Museum volunteer David Ryall explaining an object in the New Orleans Period Room (c. 1860)

American Museum volunteer David Ryall explaining an object in the New Orleans Period Room (c. 1860)

The success of the American Museum, which attracted over 35,000 visitors in 2013, is largely due to its team of over 100 enthusiastic volunteers who guide visitors, give tours, assist with special events, and work in the gardens, herb shop and library.

Every museum needs volunteers but at the American Museum in Britain, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2011, it is the visitors’ encounters with these unsung heroes that literally bring the rooms to life.

It was the intention of the founders, Dallas Pratt and John Judkyn, to provide an experience for visitors that was different from that at other English country houses.

Today, visitors still find a real person in each Period Room, talking about the objects, providing context and enriching the experience. To thank the existing volunteer team for all their hard work throughout the year, the Museum is holding an afternoon tea party on the terrace. Volunteers have also been invited to take part in a ‘Great American Bake-Off’ with prizes for the best entries.

In 2013, the Museum introduced a comprehensive training programme for its volunteers. This has been hugely successful, not only with would-be but also with existing volunteers. The Museum is a wonderful place to work where you can meet new people, learn new skills, and contribute to the community. Why not give it a whirl – with your new-found knowledge, the pub quiz will never be the same again!

If you want to find out more about becoming a volunteer:
Contact the Volunteer Coordinator on 01225 823017 or coordinator@americanmuseum.org. Benefits include: reimbursement of travel expenses, refreshments, discounts in the Museum shops and Café, use of the library by appointment, coffee mornings and knowledge-sharing talks, annual outing and Christmas party, complimentary Museum tickets for family and friends, copies of Museum publications and free entry to the American Museum as a visitor.

* Bath Volunteer Centre
Bath Central Library, 19 The Podium, Northgate St, Bath BA1 5AN, tel: 01225 338105

Hallelujah! Bath Abbey wins HLF support

Hallelujah! Bath Abbey wins HLF support

Bath Abbey has received initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a £10m bid for its Footprint project, a transformative programme of capital works, interpretation, collections care and sustainable energy.

Development funding of £389,000 has also been awarded to help progress plans to secure a full grant at a later date.

However, there is some serious fund-raising to be done now with £7 million pounds needed to unlock the many millions the Abbey should now be able to secure from HLF.

Bath Abbey - looking West

Bath Abbey – looking West

Bath Abbey - Looking East

Bath Abbey – Looking East

The £19.3 million Footprint project aims to carry out essential repairs to the Abbey’s collapsing floor, install a new eco-friendly heating system using Bath’s unique hot springs as a source of energy and enlarge capacity by creating 200 sq metres of new facilities to fulfil the Abbey as a place of congregation, equal access and hospitality.

A programme is also planned to record and interpret the Abbey’s 1,200 years of history and this iconic church for millions of visitors including educational visits.

Development funding of £389,000 has been awarded to help the Abbey progress its plans to secure the full grant in 2015. The Abbey is expected to use this to further develop its design plans and implement its interpretation programme which will then unlock the full award of £10 million.

The Abbey thanked its congregation, the local community and stakeholders who have worked so hard in supporting the funding application.

Bath Abbey's proposed Song School

Bath Abbey’s proposed Song School

Edward Mason, Rector of Bath Abbey, said: “We are all delighted to learn that we have secured initial support from HLF today. This is great news for the Abbey as well as the city of Bath and everyone who has put so much time and effort into this.

The Abbey has been at the centre of the Bath community for over 1,200 years. Footprint will make the Abbey fit for purpose and the changes will make it possible for current and future generations to use, understand and fully enjoy Bath Abbey. Thanks to the HLF, we are a huge step closer to achieving this.”

Bath Abbey - proposed Jackson extension

Bath Abbey – proposed Jackson extension

Laura Brown, Footprint Appeal Director, said: “We are thrilled to have the HLF’s support and are really grateful to everyone who has worked so hard to achieve this in a short space of time.

The essential groundwork is already completed: we’ve been granted planning and listed building consent by B&NES and we’ve already seen £2 million of investment, so together with the HLF’s support, we are in a very strong position.

Now of course the really hard but potentially very exciting work starts.

Bath Abbey

Left to Right: Katie McGill, Fundraising Administrator (seated); Sarah Jermyn, Footprint Project Administrator (seated); Laura Brown, Footprint Appeal Director (standing); Charles Curnock, Footprint Project Director

There are certainly big challenges ahead but the HLF’s decision is the best news we could have hoped for and makes the project a tangible reality.”

Nerys Watts, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said: “The great medieval Bath Abbey has a rich history, and the innovative Footprint project will ensure that this special place can continue to play a vital role in the lives of the thousands of people who visit every year.

Our initial support for the essential capital work plans, collections care and the use of sustainable energy will bring the Abbey into the 21st century, enabling people from Bath and further afield to enjoy this special place for many more years to come.”

In order to unlock the full award of £10 million from HLF, the Abbey will need to raise around £7 million in additional funding through a combination of grant-making trusts and foundations, plus donations from individuals. A major public appeal will be launched later on this year.

Industri-Us!

Industri-Us!

An exhibition of artwork inspired by Industry at Museum of Bath at Work

museum of bath at work Tracy Page and Stephanie Bengry-Howell – known collectively as Object Art- have been working for five months with staff at the Museum of Bath at Work to create a series of artworks inspired by the Museum’s collection of working exhibits and archives.museum of bath ate irk
These comprise six huge hanging panels, decorated with designs created by visitors to the museum using vintage spirograph drawing machines, miniature wire sculptures created in response to visitor suggestions and a gothic installation inspired by the reports of Bath’s Medical Officer of Health in the 1860s.
The residency at the Museum of Bath at Work was funded through a grant from the Arts Council and is the first such collaboration that the museum has been involved with.
100_1402Director Stuart Burroughs said ‘ The sculptures are varied in scale and subject from the vast hanging panels created with spirographs to the miniature models made in wire.

Visitors suggested things they might make – including, would you believe the Eiffel Tower-and to their credit Stephanie and Tracy made every single suggestion into a model.museum of bath at work

As for the spirograph drawings, I didn’t have one of these drawing machines when I was a boy, so it was fun to have a go myself.

It has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience and as I had hoped, has given us all a different perspective on the museum displays and collections. Brilliant!’
The exhibition is on display until June 10th and admission to the display is free with admission. The Museum is open from 10.30 a.m. until 5 p.m. with last admission at 4.00p.m.

 
For more details contact Stuart Burroughs at the Museum of Bath at Work on 01225 318348 or director@bath-at-work.org.uk

Big day for Bath Abbey’s future.

Big day for Bath Abbey’s future.

Bath Abbey

Bath Abbey

There’s just one day to go before Bath Abbey will hear if it has been successful in its bid for Heritage Lottery Fund money to help fund the Bath Abbey Footprint Project.

This is a programme of capital works – estimated at 19.3 million pounds – which will not only stabilise the ground beneath the Abbey floor but utilise Bath’s thermal waters for heating and provide a cafe, public toilets and space for choirs to practice.

My information is an announcement is due from the HLF on Tuesday, May 27th. A lot of people will be hoping it’s a positive one.

There are other worthy Bath causes looking for good news from the HLF this year – including the Cleveland Pools and Sydney Gardens.

Cary Grant’s father

Cary Grant’s father

It’s nothing to do with Bath – or North East Somerset – but l wanted to share an image with you that l don’t think has been seen before. It is certainly part of a little bit of Hollywood-tinged regional history.

Cary Grant © Wikipedia

Cary Grant © Wikipedia

Most people know that American film idol Cary Grant was born in Bristol – and better known by his family and friends as Archie Leach.

Back in the 1980’s l was lucky enough to have afternoon tea with him in London and hear his memories of Bristol and Clifton in particular where his mother ended her days in a private nursing home.

Cary Grant's father - Elias James Leach (1873-1935)

Cary Grant’s father – Elias James Leach (1873-1935)

I cannot remember who gave me this photograph but l think you will agree there is a real family likeness.

This is Cary’s father Elias James Leach (1873-1935) – probably pictured in the garden of the family home in Horfield, Bristol.

Cary’s mother Elsie Maria had been suffering from clinical depression following the death of a previous child and her husband had her committed to a mental institution.

Elias told his 9-year-old son his mother had gone on a long holiday. He later said she had died.

Cary did not learn the truth until he was 31 when his father admitted to the lie shortly before his own death. He told his son where she was being cared for and Cary made regular trips from America to see her – staying first at the Royal Hotel on College Green and later at the Avon Gorge Hotel in Clifton.

Cary told me he had fond memories of re-visiting his home city and especially liked nothing better than walking over the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

What a difference a ‘P’ makes!

What a difference a ‘P’ makes!

 Original Grand 'artade' sign - missing the P

Original Grand ‘arade’ sign – missing the P

IMG_1372

The new sign – with all letters present!

Well the stone balustrade on Grand Parade may still look a mess – with so many of the decorative stone pillars still covered up with boarding – but at least it looks as though the road sign has been given a makeover since the Virtual Museum pointed out how shabby this iconic part of Bath was becoming.

The old one had been vandalised and was confusing to visitors.

I spotted a renovated and shiny road sign today which makes a huge difference in directing tourist to this special location.

It’s where thousands stand to take photograph of Robert Adam’s Pulteney Bridge.

Now it’s just the crumbling balustrade to tackle!

Fresh art on display!

Fresh art on display!

FREE Exhibition of new artwork created for the Hillview Acute Inpatient Unit in Bath.
At The Schoolhouse, Building of Bath Collection, The Paragon,
Bath, BA1 5NA.
31st May – 8th June, 12.00 – 4.00 daily.

Building of Bath Museum

Building of Bath Museum

No.1 Royal Crescent, the Holburne Museum and the American Museum in Britain have hosted a series of creative workshops resulting in a remarkable collection of artwork to be displayed in Hillview Lodge, B&NES’s acute inpatient unit in Bath.

The artists are people with experience of mental health challenges plus their friends and family. The artwork includes collage and painting and presents such challenges in a positive light, breaking down the stigma often associated with this subject.

The original idea behind the Fresh Art @ Hillview project came from service users at Hillview Lodge who wanted to give something back to the ward. Providing fresh artwork will promote conversation and inspiration within Hillview and give confidence, new skills and a sense of pride to those whose work is on display.

The project itself has been run as a partnership between local organisations: Avon and Wiltshire NHS Trust (AWP), Bath Preservation Trust, the Holburne Museum, the American Museum in Britain, Creativity Works, Sirona and St. Mungo’s.

Hannah Carding, one of the lead artists, said: “It has been very rewarding to see how participants have enjoyed developing their artistic skills so much. They have really flourished in this project.”
Polly Andrews, Co-ordinator of the Bath Museums Community Engagement project commented: “We have been delighted to work in partnership to provide an opportunity for the participants to feel inspired by our unique collections and beautiful settings.”FreshArt@Hillview

Participants on the project came from the acute inpatient community at Hillview as well as many peer-led creative groups such as Tiny Monuments and The Inspirational Arts & Crafts group, which have grown from wellbeing projects across B&NES.

For more information on the Fresh Art @ Hillview exhibition or the project itself contact:
Name: Polly Andrews
Tel: / email: 01225 333895 pandrews@bptrust.org.uk
The artworks will be on display in the Schoolhouse at the Building of Bath Collection on the Paragon between 31 May and 8 June, between 12 and 4pm daily. Free admission.

 

Stories and songs at Radstock and Midsomer Norton libraries.

Stories and songs at Radstock and Midsomer Norton libraries.

Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Library Service has a series of free events planned in Midsomer Norton and Radstock.

radstock museumLocal folk singer and teacher, Tim Graham, will offering Stories and Songs for 3-6-year-olds on Saturday May 24. He will be at Radstock Library at 11am and Midsomer Norton Library at 2pm. Tickets are free but places are limited so please contact the library to book in advance.

The next Poetry Liaisons event will take place at Midsomer Norton Library on Tuesday May 27 at 7pm. Everyone is welcome to attend; bring along a favourite poem or share one you have written.

On Tuesday July 1, from 7-8pm, David Lassman, the Bath-based author of The Regency Detective series of novels, will be at Midsomer Norton Library. Partly set in Regency Bath, the novels, co-authored by Terence James, are being written in conjunction with the development of a television series of the same name. Find out more at this free event. Tickets available from June 6

Bristol-based singer Phil King will be at Midsomer Norton Library on Tuesday July 22, singing songs he has written and cover versions. He will be supported by Midsomer Norton singer Jasmine Lamport. This is a free event, with tickets available from June 27.

Tickets are available from the libraries or by calling Council Connect on 01225 39 40 41.

You can find out more about all Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Libraries events from:

Facebook: Bathnes Libraries; twitter: @bathnes #bathneslibraries; email: Councilconnect@bathnes.gov.uk; telephone: 01225 394041; website: http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/libraries
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