Industrial Heritage Day!

Industrial Heritage Day!

industrial heritage

Click on image to enlarge.

Those who care about the fact Bath had an industrial – as well as a Roman and Georgian past – should spare some time to call into the Bath Industrial Heritage Day show which is being staged at Twerton Football Club tomorrow (Saturday) between 10 am and 4pm.

It’s a free ticket to crane makers, ocean liners, canals, railways, coal mines, and other aspects of the city’s industrial past.

Lots of photographs and relics to look at too. With enough refreshments laid on to wet your whistle!

Towpath to get upgrade at last

Towpath to get upgrade at last

The cycle ride into town is going to be smoother following Bath & North East Somerset Council’s success in securing a share of a 19m Cycle City Ambition Grant which the Department for Transport has awarded to the West of England to boost cycling within cities.

The pathway is to be upgraded.

The pathway is to be upgraded.

Upgrading the Kennet and Avon tow path is one scheme that will benefit as a result of Bath benefitting from a £3.8m share of the funds, which will be used to fund three key projects around the city centre.

The cycling schemes proposed will be delivered over the next three years, and have been chosen for their potential to make cycle journeys a realistic choice for quick, reliable and convenient short journeys within Bath.

The proposed schemes are:
1. Kennet & Avon Canal tow path. To enhance the traffic free route into central Bath along the tow path by upgrading the surface and widening the path for 2.44km along the NCN4 cycle route to benefit cyclists and pedestrians. This includes the path between Grosvenor Bridge and the tow path. Estimated cost £675,000.
2. Halfpenny Bridge. To widen the bridge, or construct a new bridge alongside the existing structure, to span the River Avon and link up the Bath Spa Rail Station with Rossiter Road for cyclists. Estimated cost £1.82m.
3. Locksbrook Railway Bridge. To provide a new crossing for pedestrians and cyclists over the River Avon, linking the Railway Path and Two Tunnels. Estimated cost £1.3m

Cllr Caroline Roberts, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “This investment allows us to continue with our plans to develop a cycling culture in Bath for people of all abilities. The proposed schemes will benefit pedestrians as well as cyclists, supporting our aim to make Bath the UK’s most walkable city.

“This links with the priorities in our transport strategy, Getting Around Bath, which emphasises the need for sustainable travel to reduce congestion, support economic growth, and enhance the city’s unique heritage status.”

By encouraging cycling and walking for short journeys within the city, the Council is working to reduce congestion, improving air quality and reducing delays for essential car journeys.

The bid for the £19m capital funding was submitted in partnership with Bristol City and South Gloucestershire Councils.

Spa towns of Europe visit Bath’s Georgian lido.

Spa towns of Europe visit Bath’s Georgian lido.

Trustees Chair, Ann Dunlop explains the layout to the visiting delegates.

Trustees Chair, Ann Dunlop explains the layout to the visiting delegates.

Bath’s derelict Cleveland Pools – Britain’s last remaining open-air, cold water Georgian lido – had some very special international visitors today.

A walk around the pool.

A walk around the pool.

They are representatives of many European spa towns who – along with Bath Spa – are bidding for World Heritage Status joint recognition of the important role spa towns have played in the development of modern Europe’s history, politics, arts and even today’s tourism industry.

The delegates are attending a General Assembly of the European Historical Thermal Towns Association – which is being held in Bath – and will involve representatives for 30 spa towns and regional associations.

Their visit to the Bathwick site – hopefully on the way to being restored  – marks an important point in the Lido’s history.

 

 

 

More information for delegates from Trustee, Paul Simon.

More information for delegates from Trustee, Paul Simon.

Cleveland Pools have recently been awarded a development grant of £366,220 pounds by the

Bath's Mayor, Cllr Cherry Beath - on the left - leads the visiting group on a tour of the facilities.

Bath’s Mayor, Cllr Cherry Beath – on the left – leads the visiting group on a tour of the facilities.

Heritage Lottery Fund with earmarked funding of 4.1 million to actually do the restoration job.

However, the money is not yet in the bag – as Project Director Christopher Heath explained.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bath gets starring role in Poldark!

Bath gets starring role in Poldark!

TV drama Poldark premiers this Sunday, March 8, on BBC 1, at 9pm. Filming for the series took place in and around Bath with the help of Bath & North East Somerset Council.

Actor, Aidan Turner plays Ross Poldark.

Actor, Aidan Turner plays Ross Poldark.

Aidan Turner (The Hobbit Trilogy, Being Human) and Eleanor Tomlinson (Death Comes to Pemberley, The White Queen, Jack The Giant Slayer) star as Ross Poldark and Demelza in Debbie Horsfield’s adaptation of Winston Graham’s acclaimed sweeping saga set in 18th century Cornwall.

Robin Ellis, who played Ross in the original television adaptation of Poldark, will be joining the cast for two episodes to play Reverend Halse.

Executive producer Karen Thrussell says: “We’re so thrilled by the Poldark cast, and we feel particularly privileged that Robin Ellis has agreed to join this stellar line up – it’s a great tribute to Debbie Horsfield’s scripts.”

Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Film Office was instrumental in finding several locations in the area, including Prior Park College.

Cllr Ben Stevens (Lib-Dem, Widcombe), Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said: “Bath continues to draw high-profile productions to its film-friendly locations, and our Film Office works hard to support this as it’s great for the local economy. Last month we saw Sherlock being filmed here in Bath and I look forward to watching our city feature in Poldark.”

James Murphy-O’Connor, Headmaster at Prior Park College said: “The Mansion Hall was transformed into a sumptuous set appropriate to the late 18th century in which Poldark is set, and we look forward to seeing the fruits of the shoot when the programme is aired.”

The production also filmed at Corsham and Chavenage House.

Window on the war.

Window on the war.

A very special anniversary coming up for Bath Abbey later this month. Friday (13th March) marks 60 years since the restoration and rededication of the East Window which was blown out during the Bath Blitz in 1942.

 The east end of Bath Abbey

The east end of Bath Abbey

It was officially unveiled at a special dedication service on Sunday the 13th of March 1955.

Looking up through the chair stall to the East Window. Click on images to enlarge.

Looking up through the chair stall to the East Window. Click on images to enlarge.

Only last year, Bath Abbey launched its Creating Voices audio archive which comprises an audio guide dedicated to the restoration of the East Window.

This includes a clip of Eric Naylor, a member of the Abbey’s congregation at the time, who gives a first-hand account of the rededication ceremony as well as an interview from Clare Cook, the partner of Ron Kirk, who together with his father, Harry Kirk from Clayton and Bell.

Clare talks about what it was like for Ron and Harry to be responsible for the mammoth task of restoring the Abbey’s East Window to its original glory. You can access this via http://www.bathabbey.org/history/creating-voices-oral-history-project/east-window

Following the 1942 blitz, the Abbey could not be used for regular services for some time. Bits of glass were dropping from the broken windows and the wind-swept through them.

It wasn’t until the war ended in 1945 that the Abbey began to think about restoring the window as well as other aspects of the building.

The East Window in all its colourful glory.

The East Window in all its colourful glory.

The glass from the window was so badly damaged that practically every glass maker in England said that it couldn’t be restored. Until the glass-making firm, Clayton and Bell, took up the challenge – sending father-and-son team of “glaziers”, Harry and Ron Kirk.

It wasn’t until April 1952 that the first stained glass lancet window was ready to go back into the window frame.

By 16 April 1953, the first tier of the window was completed and over 17 months later, at the end of October 1954, the bottom tier was in place.

Sixty per cent of the original glass, collected by members of the Abbey congregation, was used in the restored window. An amazing fact – considering that the East Window is made up of 864 square feet (or 80 square metres) of stained glass!

Bath’s history man

Bath’s history man

personal

click on images to enlarge

 

click on images to enlarge

click on images to enlarge

Another little bit of self-promotion – but who is going to do it if l don’t.

I have to thank Sarah Ford – Assistant Editor of Somerset Life Magazine – for the excellent article she has written about ‘Yours Truly’ for this months (March) edition.

I appear to be part of a special ‘look at Bath’ which certainly illustrates why this is such a lovely place in which to live or of course visit.

Apart from having to endure an hour with me and take down my idle chatter she also managed to upstage Bath Abbey by putting me in front of it!

I am sure the Rector will let me off this time around.

It’s not until someone asks you about your working life – and also why you now have such a passion for the World Heritage city you live in – that you actually stop and take stock of how far you’ve come along a winding road of experiences but hopefully one with a horizon still to aim for in the distance.

 

Let us spray

Let us spray

The stencil view into Abbey Churchyard.

The stencil view into Abbey Churchyard.

At the foot of an 18th century column

At the foot of an 18th century column

I know its a trendy way of advertising your presence and so ‘street smart’ but stencil graffiti by people who should know better really bugs me.

It is a defacement of the public realm whoever does it and being chalk and not paint does not excuse the fact that people think it is ok to vandalise a World Heritage city in this way.

How ironic it’s been spayed right outside the door of the tourist office and  another patch is almost creeping up an 18th column on the colonnades looking into Abbey Churchyard.

Stencil outside the tourist and film office

Stencil outside the tourist and film office

This pavement peril vies with the chewing gum splodges in setting a low example for the four and a half million who flock here each year to bolster our local economy.