What the Dickens.

While you won’t find much in the way of public statuary on the streets of Bath there is the gem of a mini-collection of  sculptural work about to be put under the spotlight at the Pump Rooms.  It’s where  a free and guided tour of more than a dozen pieces of work is being organised for Friday, April 26th.

IMG_3133The collection features a bust of Charles Dickens, donated to Bath in 1905 by the author’s friend and student, Percy Fitzgerald, who stated: “No-one living can recall the details of Dickens’ fine features so well as myself for the reason that I have modelled it in clay over and over again.”

This is one of 13 statues in the Pump Room complex which over the last seven years have all received conservation treatment as part of a programme of care carried out by Bath & North East Somerset Council.IMG_3138

Councillor Cherry Beath (Lib-Dem, Combe Down), Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said: “Bath & North East Somerset Council is proud to maintain this collection of fabulous statues for all our residents and visitors to appreciate and enjoy.

The pain-staking conservation work which has been commissioned by the Council’s Heritage Services team will help to ensure that people can continue to delight in these wonderful exhibits for many more years to come.”

IMG_3136Other sculptures include a representation of the Angel of Bethesda by John Warrington Wood which was originally placed next to the Pump Room water fountain in 1889 and a full length sculpture of Beau Nash which has been on display in the Pump Room since 1752.IMG_3139

Each has its own story to tell and on Friday 26 April, at 12noon, Stephen Clews, the Manager of the Roman Baths and Pump Room, will be leading a free half hour tour of the Pump Room sculptures.

Anyone wishing to join the tour should go to the Pump Room’s Stall Street reception point for 12noon. To reserve a place telephone the Roman Baths office on 01225 477779.