Word in the West

Word in the West

Some of the UK’s most cutting-edge poets and spoken word artists will be performing at libraries across Bath and North East Somerset in May.

The Word in the West festival, which runs from May 26 – 30, is being organised by Bath & North East Somerset Council, in partnership with North Somerset and arts organisation BoomSatsuma, funded by Arts Council England.

keynsham new libraryThree libraries in Bath and North East Somerset are involved: Keynsham, Paulton and Midsomer Norton.

During the week they will be running free workshops and performances for children, young people and more established writers. They’ll also be working with the community to create a free-form poem on a wall of words in each library.

There will be:
Breakbeat sessions for 9-13-year-olds to create new pieces using beat boxing, words and music.
Use Your Word sessions for 14-18 year olds to create an original new piece of poetry or spoken word that could be entered in the national youth slam championships.
Sessions called The Surgery, for local writers and poets to work with the resident poets and share their work.

Finally on Saturday May 30, all the spoken word artists and poets will take to the streets to perform in bus queues, cafes and public spaces.

“The aim of the festival is to inspire a new generation of poets and spoken word artists, whilst offering support to more established local writers,” said Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Libraries Development Manager Julia Burton. “This is a tremendous opportunity not only to see outstanding modern poets perform, but also for young people to create new, original and inspiring works.”

Word in the West will be curated by Joelle Taylor (founder and Artistic Director of SLAMbassadors) and features nationally renowned poets Rebecca Tantony, Hussain Manawer and Vanessa Kisuule, Sally Jenkinson and Lucy Lepchani.

Events will run as follows:

Keynsham Library
Poet in residence, Vanessa Kisuule

Tuesday May 26
10.30am – 12 noon – Break Beat

Wednesday May 27
10am – 12 noon – The Surgery
2 – 4pm – Use Your Words

Thursday May 28
10.30am – 12noon – Break Beat

Friday May 29
1 – 2pm – Stand up lunch
A performance by the resident poets with a free lunch
7 – 9pm Performance by Burning Eye Books poets (14 to adult)

Paulton Library
Poet in residence, Lucy Lepchani

Tuesday May 26
10.30am – 12 noon – Break Beat

Wednesday May 27
2 – 4pm – Use Your Words

Thursday May 28
10.30am – 12 noon- Break Beat

Friday May 29
1 – 2pm – Stand up performance by resident poets

Midsomer Norton Library
Poet in residence, Rebecca Tantony

Tuesday May 26
7 – 9pm- Performance by Burning Eye Books poets (14 to adult)

Wednesday May 27
10.30am -12 noon – Break Beat

2 – 4pm – Use Your Words

Thursday May 28
2 – 5pm – The Surgery

Friday May 29
10.30am – 12 noon- storytelling for families with Somerset storyteller Michael Loader. (**This session needs to be booked at Midsomer Norton Library, or by contacting Council Connect on 01225 394041 / councilconnect@bathnes.gov.uk)

cid:image001.gif@01D072B1.6BE3BF503 – 4pm – Stand up performance by resident poets

You can find out more at http://www.wordinthewest.com, on Facebook (wordinthewest) and Twitter @wordinthewest

Ends

Notes to editors:

In North Somerset the sessions are running at The For All Healthy Living Centre in Weston Super Mare, and Yatton and Portishead libraries.

Loos ends!

Loos ends!

Bath & North East Somerset Council’s plans to improve public toilets across the district is nearing completion.

toilet-signNew toilets at Henrietta Park were re-opened for use on March 13 and those in the Royal Victoria Park children’s play area will re-open on Friday March 27, on schedule, before the Easter holiday period.

From later in April, Newbridge Park & Ride will have toilets for the first time, for use by commuters, shoppers and other visitors to Bath who use the expanded car parking and bus services into the city centre.

The Council’s contract with Healthmatic Ltd will provide investment in cleaning and management services for 15 years, and means that 16 public toilets in parks, play areas, green spaces and key transport hubs will remain open and be improved.

Cllr David Dixon (Lib Dem, Oldfield), Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “I’m delighted that new, modern, clean toilets are now being put in place across the district. People are telling me every day what a great improvement these new facilities are – they are much improved, cleaner and safer to use and certainly worth 20p.”

The new 20p in the slot loos in Sydney Gardens

The new 20p in the slot loos in Sydney Gardens

The new public toilets will have many benefits for local people, including:
• Cubicles will be unisex, disability compliant and will have baby-change facilities
• The cubicles offer a high standard of cleanliness and safety and are able to handle large numbers of people using them
• They are large enough for a parent with a couple of small children and a pushchair to use together
• High-tech controls means access can be 24 hours / 7 days a week all year and timers can be adjusted remotely to suit local need as well
• Access is by coin entry to a totally private cubicle with its own hand-washing and drying facilities
• The inside is resistant to vandalism and misuse with an easy-clean tiled interior and hard-wearing fittings
• Problems are detected remotely enabling rapid response by Healthmatic’s engineering and maintenance teams

All of the refurbished facilities will be charged at 20p for use, in order to make the contract sustainable over the next 15 years.

Abbey gets into hot water!

Abbey gets into hot water!

The area being examined is outside the Tourist Information Office - which is STILL open!

The area being examined is outside the Visitor Information Centre – which is STILL open!

Excavation work is taking place in Kingston Parade (outside the Visitor Information Centre) as part of a joint initiative by Bath Abbey’s Footprint project and Bath & North East Somerset Council to determine the feasibility of installing an eco-friendly system using Bath’s hot springs to heat the Abbey, and the Romans Baths & Pump Room complex.

Every day, a quarter of a million gallons of hot water flow through the Roman Baths from the thermal spring located at the heart of the site.

A large quantity of this hot water eventually ends up in the nearby River Avon via the Great Roman Drain. If harnessed correctly and converted as part of the Abbey and B&NES Council’s joint initiative, it could produce 1.5 megawatts of continuous energy – enough to heat the Abbey and the Romans Baths & Pump Room complex.

A notice on the fenced-off area tells the public what is going on. Click on images to enlarge.

A notice on the fenced-off area tells the public what is going on. Click on images to enlarge

For the next 2-3 weeks, engineers will be digging four metres below the ground beneath Kingston Parade to carry out a detailed investigation into the feasibility of this scheme.

They will determine what lies in this space and establish if this area will be suitable to house the thermal heat exchanger – the equipment needed to convert unused energy from the spring water into a thermal heating system.

Investigating the Roman drain

Investigating the Roman drain

All the necessary consents have been obtained and the work will respect the historic nature of the surrounding fabric. An archaeologist will be working alongside the engineers to document and interpret any objects that may be uncovered by the excavation.

Once the investigation is complete, the ground will be covered back up and the engineers will produce a feasibility study with their recommendations on where and how the thermal heat exchanger will be housed. Throughout this work the Visitor Information Centre will remain open.

Stephen Bird, Head of Heritage Services for Bath & North East Somerset Council, said “We’re pleased to be undertaking investigations alongside Bath Abbey on what could result in a fantastic project, not just for the Roman Baths and the Abbey, but for the city as a whole. It’s no surprise that this has really captured the public’s imagination – it’s an innovative project potentially using Bath’s famous hot springs to harness natural energy in order to heat two of Bath’s famous landmarks.”

Charles Curnock, Footprint Project Director from Bath Abbey, said: “The Abbey’s Victorian heating system is sadly outdated, inefficient and expensive to maintain. This combined with the work we’re doing as part of our Footprint project to repair the Abbey’s collapsing floor makes this the ideal time for us to consider a new underfloor heating system.

Investigating the Roman drain landscape

Investigating the Roman drain landscape

.We’re delighted to be working in collaboration with B&NES Council on this and our joint proposal for an innovative thermal heating scheme using Bath’s hot springs ticks all the right boxes, while providing a sustainable and eco-friendly solution for both the Abbey and the Roman Baths & Pump Room complex.”

Cllr Ben Stevens (Lib Dem, Widcombe), Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, added: “It’s great to be able to work with Bath Abbey on this exciting project. The Abbey, working with the Council, want to preserve as much of this city’s important heritage while improving the environmental sustainability of our historic buildings. In a city like Bath, this should be applauded.

This project, alongside the broader Abbey Footprint and the Council’s own Archway Centre project, will really enhance the heritage offer in Bath and we can all be proud of it.”

Clean Up Bath

Clean Up Bath

Do you want to clear up somewhere in your local area? Bath & North East Somerset Council is supporting Keep Britain Tidy’s Community Clear Up Days to mark the beginning of spring.

strteet rubbishThe Council and Keep Britain Tidy are encouraging individuals and community groups to get involved on March 20 and 21, and is lending out gloves, bags, tabards and litter pickers, as well as providing advice and safety tips.

Community Clear Up Day is a ‘national spring clean’, backed by the Government, that aims to spruce up the country’s high streets, residential and business areas, villages and parks.

Cllr David Dixon, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “Our street cleansing teams work very hard to keep Bath and North East Somerset as a clean and attractive place to live, and we have many fantastic community groups who support us with this, helping to spruce up their own areas.wall rubbish 2

The Community Clear Up Days are great opportunity for communities to come together and help clean up their own neighbourhoods.”

The Council’s Waste Campaigns Team is planning to support the event by carrying out a litter pick in Keynsham to kick start the event on Wednesday March 18.

If you are interested in taking part, please email cleanup_events@bathnes.gov.uk or contact Council Connect on 01225 39 40 41.

The Council can also help publicise your event on its website (www.bathnes.gov.uk/wasteservices) and Keep Britain Tidy are supporting the event with a variety of resources. For more information on the Keep Britain Tidy Campaign please go to http://www.keepbritaintidy.org

While we are on the subject the Virtual Museum thinks it time someone picked up the rubbish either side of the Batheaston By-pass. There is plastic everywhere. Anyone spotted throwing rubbish from a car window should be immediately reported and fined. If only there was a mechanism to do this.

Silver Science at Roman Baths

Silver Science at Roman Baths

Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Roman Baths will celebrate British Science Week with a special day focused on the science of the Beau Street Hoard. Silver Science, on 14 March from 2-6 pm, will take a closer look at how science has been uncovering the secrets of the Beau Street Hoard.

The event will feature metallurgy experts along with conservators from the British Museum, all of whom have worked on the hoard. There will be a chance to handle coins from the hoard and take part in fun family activities.

The first handful from the hoard which is now known to contain 17,500 coins.

The first handful from the hoard which is now known to contain 17,500 coins. Click to enlarge.

The Beau Street Hoard, found by archaeologists excavating in advance of development of the Gainsborough Hotel, is a collection of 17,577 Roman silver coins.

The University of Southampton’s Departments of Engineering Science and Archaeology worked together to X-ray the hoard prior to its conservation and discovered the coins had been buried in eight separate bags. A 3D print replica of one of the bags will be on display at the event.

Conservators then began their work and found that the coins had been sorted approximately by their silver content. The coins range in date between 32BC and 275 AD – a span of nearly 300 years!

Investigating the hoard helps to tell the story of the Roman Empire – with its fortunes hinted at through minted images on each coin.

The hoard lifted by crane ©Cotswold Archaeology

The hoard lifted by crane ©Cotswold Archaeology

Councillor Ben Stevens (Lib-Dem, Widcombe), Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said: “The images on the coins are fascinating: they were the easiest way the Emperor had of communicating with his citizens, and therefore represent thousands of mini ‘state broadcasts’.”

This event is one of many funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund through a grant to Bath & North East Somerset Council enabling the public to learn more about the Hoard.

For more information please visit http://www.romanbaths.co.uk/beau-street-hoard.

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.

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.