Month: June 2014

To mark a 100 years since the start of the First World War, Bath & North East Council is putting on an exhibition featuring memorabilia from local people and stories from the conflict.

Bath Central Library.
Bath Central Library.

Coinciding with the date that war broke out in August 1914, ‘WW1 Remembered’ will run at Bath Central Library from August 1 – 11.

It is a collection of memories and artefacts that brings to light some of the unique histories of local residents who served in uniform and on the home front. With no living survivors to share their stories and experiences, the exhibition will consist of materials donated by residents, archives, collections and the descendants of local people, and will include photographs, letters from the front, newspaper cuttings, audio visual material and much more.

Exhibition organisers are especially honoured to be able to show a digital portrait of Harry Patch, resident of Combe Down near Bath.

Councillor Paul Crossley (LibDem, Southdown), Leader of the Council, said: “Harry Patch was the longest surviving British veteran to have fought in the WWI trenches, and passed away in 2009 aged 111. The digital portrait was commissioned by the Not Forgotten Association and we are delighted that they have permitted us to display it in Bath.”

Exhibits include a Victory medal found in a field near Paulton by Mr and Mrs Boswell in the late 1950s when they moved to the area. The medal has ‘Private W. Wareham 5117’ etched on the rim and they believe him to have been of the Somerset Light Infantry. Mr and Mrs Boswell have expressed an interest in placing the medal back with its rightful owners which it is hoped the exhibition will enable them to do.

37315 2nd Wessex Royal Engineers with gun, Royal Victoria Park c1915 ©bathintime
37315 2nd Wessex Royal Engineers with gun, Royal Victoria Park c1915 ©bathintime

The exhibition will tell a range of stories relating to the time such as letters from the front penned by William Young, who is remembered on the Royal Victoria Park War Memorial in Bath, diary entries detailing a soldier’s journey to Gosport, and memorabilia of Oliver Brooks from Paulton who received the Victoria Cross.

The exhibition will open on Friday August 1, from 3:30 – 5pm; then from Saturday 2, it will be available during the library’s regular opening times.

These are: Monday 9:30am – 6pm; Tuesday – Thursday 9:30am – 7pm; Friday & Saturday 9:30am – 5pm; Sunday 1 – 4pm.

Bath Central Library is at 19 The Podium, Northgate St, City Centre, Bath BA1 5AL. The entrance to the library can be found by taking the escalator, stair or lift in Waitrose to the first floor.

People who are unable to attend can also see many of the artefacts on the exhibition blog which can be found at http://ww1remembered.wordpress.com

Bath’s new bike hire scheme will officially launch on next Tuesday – 17th June – with a Bike Parade being held in the city centre to mark the occasion. The scheme – delivered by the independent company nextbike, working with Bath & North East Somerset Council – is designed with visitors and students in mind but local businesses and organisations are also being encouraged to use the bikes.

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Bath & North East Somerset Council is supporting the nextbike initiative as part of its commitment to tackling congestion in Bath and getting more people moving around the city – through a variety of transport options – to support local businesses. The Council is also running a campaign to highlight cycling opportunities across Bath and North East Somerset – for more details visit: http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/Love2Cycle

The ‘nextbike in Bath’ scheme will see 100 bikes docked across 9 rental locations including Bath Spa railway station, various city centre locations, Bath Spa University and the Royal United Hospital. The bikes are available 24 hours a day and users can register and hire bikes in just a couple of minutes.

To celebrate the launch, nextbike is organising a Bike Parade around the city centre with a live Samba band, free ‘nextbike’ t-shirts and prizes up for grabs. Parade-goers can borrow a shiny new nextbike for the ride or bring their own. The scheme will be officially launched to the general public after the Bike Parade.

The scheme, operated by nextbike, is part funded by Bath & North East Somerset Council through the Department for Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund, although it is hoped that it will become fully self-sufficient within a couple of years.

Cllr Caroline Roberts (Lib-Dem, Newbridge), Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “Bath & North East Somerset Council is very pleased to be part of this initiative which should tempt more people to consider cycling. We encourage everyone to give the nextbikes a try and help to tackle congestion, so that more people can get around quickly and easily, and make the most of the city’s wide variety of shops, places to eat and attractions.”

nextbike in Frankfurt
nextbike in Frankfurt

Rob Grisdale, Managing Director of nextbike UK commented on the launch: “It’s been a pleasure preparing for the launch of our Bath scheme and great to be working with so many local organisations, all eager to make the most of their new service. I can’t wait to be back later this summer to see lots more people exploring and getting around Bath on two wheels.”

It’s easy to join in with nextbike – users can register at any of the 9 stations, using the nextbike app, by phone, or at one of the service centres such as the Bath Visitor Information Centre, and it only takes a couple of minutes. Bikes can also be taken out the city centre with nextbike.

To take part in the nextbike in Bath Launch Parade, everyone must pre-book one of the free tickets as numbers are limited.

Registration to the scheme is free and each rental will cost £1 per half hour. For full subscribers rentals are free for the first half an hour of every rental. There is a maximum charge of £10 per day to allow riders to explore the city for longer. A lock is provided too so that the bike can be secured during use.

Visit http://www.nextbike.co.uk for more details and to register for the Launch Parade or the nextbike in Bath scheme. There is currently a special 50% off launch offer which ends at the end of June.

If you can’t make it to the launch parade, come along to the Fresh Air Fayre on Saturday 21st June to try out the nextbikes on Royal Avenue, in Bath, from 10am to 3pm.

There will be 9 stations around Bath with plans for more. The stations can be found at:
– Green Park
– Orange Grove
– Bath Spa Railway Station
– Sydney Place (Holburne Museum)
– Royal United Hospital
– Bath Spa University
– Charlotte Street Carpark
– Unite Student Apartments (Lower Bristol Street)
– Newbridge Marina / Caravan Park