I have been reading John Payne’s ‘insider account’ of our World Heritage city called ‘Bath‘ and will have more to say about this publication elsewhere at a later date.
However, l can tell you that it’s not just another tourist/history book that almost mechanically lists names, dates and locations but l am encouraged to see that it looks at the diversity of a modern city and examines more recent developments including the two major contemporary architectural interventions that have created more than just a ripple on our heritage pond.
One of them is the ceramic and glass extension to the Holburne Museum – designed by Eric Parry – and opened in 2011. Most people will agree – l am sure – that it works in terms of linking past with present and inside with outside.
Its arrival also prompted a more direct link between the Holburne – and the Sydney Gardens behind it – with a gate being installed to link the Holburne’s back lawns with the former Georgian pleasure gardens behind it.
It has become a popular way into the museum and a short cut through to Great Pulteney Street beyond. It is used by families, dog walkers and cyclists alike.
Gradually a worn path is forming in the middle of a lawn that also takes a battering each Christmas from people walking around the special festive external lights displays.
I am wondering if we should now not be reaching for the grass seed but considering an art project to install some form of formal pathway through the ground to make it a permanent and artistic feature?
The state of the lawn is an issue l directed towards the Holburne’s Marketing and Communication’s Manager, Katie Jenkins, who agreed with me that the path was ‘well worn.’
How to deal with this was something that would go ‘on the agenda for our new Director’s consideration.’
That person is Jennifer Scott who comes to Bath from the Royal Collection Trust.