More improvements to university cycle link

More improvements to university cycle link

A £420,000 scheme to improve cycle access between Bath Spa University’s Newton St Loe campus and the city of Bath will continue in the new year.

The A4 cycleway.

The A4 cycleway.

Already B&NES has created a new cycle path alongside the A4 from the campus entrance to The Globe roundabout and from the roundabout to the A4/ A36 Twerton Fork; this was completed in spring 2013.

The next stage will involve putting in place a new crossing for cyclists and pedestrians to safely navigate the dual carriageway section of the A4 Bristol Road, near the roundabout. This will also make it safer for bus passengers travelling from locations to the west of the university such as Saltford, Keynsham and Bristol, who currently have to cross the busy dual carriageway.

Alongside this a new ramp is being put in place at the Twerton fork junction. 1,200 tonnes of stone will be re-used from the Kelston Road site to create the new ramp which will provide a new connection between the A4 shared use path and the Bristol and Bath Railway path (NCN 4). Work will begin on January 5, and last for around 10 weeks.

During construction, there is likely to be disruption with some local lane closures although the Council will do everything it can to minimise this by working during off-peak times (9.30am – 3.30pm) wherever possible. Both the existing Bristol and Bath Railway path and A4 Bristol Road cycleway / footways will remain open during the works and disruption kept to a minimum, where possible. Temporary bus stops will be provided at the Globe roundabout during the works and the current informal crossing point near the roundabout will be retained until crossings have been sufficiently completed.

Once completed there will also be reduction of the speed limit along the dual carriageway from National Speed Limit (70mph) down to 60mph on both sides. On the western approach to the southern crossing, the proposal is to reduce the speed limit further to 50mph. The scheme is funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF). The West of England authorities were awarded LSTF funding for this project in 2012 and this is anchored within the West of England Joint Local Transport Plan 3 which sets out the local vision for transport. The proposals reinforce the key aims of the plan as they assist in reducing carbon emissions through the promotion of sustainable transport modes, enhance community and highway safety and promote healthier lifestyles.

Cllr Caroline Roberts (Lib-Dem, Newbridge), the Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “This will realise a long term aspiration to provide a cycle link to Bath Spa University. We want to make it easy and safe for students to be able to travel by bike from the campus into the city, where many live in halls of residence on Lower Bristol Road. We waited until we had completed the new Kelston Road before starting this work and intend to keep disruption to a minimum.” £40,000 has also been contributed by the university, as part of its campus development.

The university’s Chief Operating Officer, Neil Latham said: “This is very welcome news for the University. Not only will these plans enable safer access for students travelling to and from Newton Park campus, but I hope it will continue to encourage our staff and students, as well as the general public to use sustainable methods of transport.”

Last few weeks for Sassoon exhibition

Last few weeks for Sassoon exhibition

Ardent admirers of the Bellville Sassoon fashion house in London have just a few more weeks left to see an exhibition at Bath’s Fashion Museum, one of the world’s leading fashion museums.

lifeinfashion-05The Bath & North East Somerset Council-run museum says its current exhibition, ‘Bellville Sassoon: A Life in Fashion’, will close on 18 January 2015.

The exhibition features 25 choice evening dresses assembled by David Sassoon, each one lovingly kept across the years by Bellville Sassoon’s loyal clientele.

The display includes the pink taffeta evening dress decorated with pleated frills worn by Lady Beatty at the Proust Edwardian Ball in 1971, as well as a steel-blue satin embroidered dress from the late 1990s and a mocha silk embroidered dress, inspired by a Chinese shawl.

Councillor Ben Stevens (Lib-Dem, Widcombe), the Council’s Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said: “I would urge everyone who is interested in women’s fashion to take advantage of this last opportunity to view the Bellville Sassoon exhibition, which demonstrates British couture at its most luxurious, with diamante embroidered party dresses of the 1960s to a trio of ensembles created by Bellville Sassoon for HRH Diana, Princess of Wales, in the 1980s, on display.”

Bellville Sassoon was founded in 1953 by Belinda Bellville, who retired in 1981. The company was renamed Bellville Sassoon in 1970 to recognise the contribution made by David Sassoon, who had joined the company in 1958 and remained for some 50 years. The company is currently run by Irish fashion designer Lorcan Mullany.Fashion Museum

Bellville Sassoon actually has its origins in Belinda Bellville’s grandmother, Cuckoo Leith, who ran a dress-shop in the 1920s. Belinda Bellville invited David Sassoon to join the firm in 1958. Bellville Sassoon counts numerous socialites and the royal family as amongst its clientele and was the most prolific of Princess Diana’s early designers. Bellville Sassoon designed her “Gonzaga dress”, among numerous other items of clothing.

Aside from Princess Diana, Bellville Sassoon has designed clothes for HRH Princess Margaret, HRH Princess Michael of Kent, the Duchess of York. Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Jerry Hall, Anita Baker, Melanie Griffith, Helen Mirren, Ivana Trump, Madonna, Jada Collins and Melissa Brown and the company’s designs have appeared on the covers of Vogue and Harper’s Magazine.

Bath’s Fashion Museum opens daily from 10.30am to 4pm in the winter months, except for Christmas Day and Boxing Day, 25 and 26 December. The Museum recommends you allow 1½ – 2 hours for your visit. For more information, please go to http://www.fashionmuseum.co.uk

Bath bridge to get art honour.

Bath bridge to get art honour.

The bridge will get an official re-opening in mid-January.

The bridge will get an official re-opening in mid-January.

Bath’s own Victoria Suspension Bridge is back in business – after a very expensive and extensive refurbishment – and due to get its official reopening within weeks.

The Virtual Museum has learned that sections of the old metalwork are being used to create an art installation that will be positioned on the riverbank near this historic stricture. More details to follow.

Decorative detail on the old Destructor Bridge.

Decorative detail on the old Destructor Bridge.

Meanwhile – further downstream – the old Destructor Bridge continues to wait for its own destruction!

It has always been hoped that the more decorative parts of this structure will be saved for some sort of fitting memorial to an old working crossing that served two masters – the Midland Railway and Bath City Council..

Following on from the publication of this story. I received an email from Bath author, publisher and historian Kirsten Elliot. She gave me permission to use the material enclosed with it.

Kirsten said: ‘You might be interested in this report I did for EH (English Heritage) to say (belatedly, I admit) that they had been over-hasty in refusing to list it. Sadly, EH does not like being told things and refused, but I think you can see why I changed my mind and decided that it merited listing. Please use freely.’

Please click on the link below to read this report.

destructor bridge survey

 

 

2014 in review

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 57,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 21 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

New Year greetings from the Virtual Museum

New Year greetings from the Virtual Museum

The Virtual Museum of Bath wishes all its followers – whatever their religion or beliefs – the compliments of the festive season and hopes they enjoy peace, good health and much happiness in the new year to come.

Looking down on the Great Bath.

Looking down on the Great Bath – with Bath Abbey beyond.

This cyber museum will continue to emphasise how history and heritage lives alongside us and plays its part in our day-to-day living. It will also celebrate and support it in the future.

I am hoping the people of Bath will have a bigger say in 2015 in using this website as a place to contribute their views and thoughts on the subject!

This city’s heritage is both a pagan and a Christian one – hence the image – but remember history is laid down day by day and we also continue to create heritage – whatever your views on the architecture or policies pursued. Happy New Year.

‘The East of Bath issue.’ Hopes for reducing city’s traffic load.

‘The East of Bath issue.’ Hopes for reducing city’s traffic load.

The Leader of Bath and North Somerset Council wanted to show me something. Cllr Paul Crossley led me down through Green Park Station and along the river bank – and past Sainsbury’s – to point with pride at the newly refurbished Victoria Bridge.

Cllr Crossley showing me the newly refurbished  Victoria Bridge.

Cllr Crossley showing me the newly refurbished Victoria Bridge.

It’s cost the Council 3.4 million to almost completely rebuild it – apart from the stone pylons – but it’s now once more a vital pedestrian and cycle connection between Upper and Lower Bristol Roads.

It is also an historic link with the past for the growing population moving into the new housing springing up on Bath Riverside.

The bridge will get an official re-opening in mid-January.

The bridge will get an official re-opening in mid-January.

If only sorting out the rest of the city’s transport problems and traffic congestion was as easy.

Over coffee at a local café we discussed the issue and events during the year that had both pleased and disappointed him.

But first, the good news about Bath’s own Victorian suspension bridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coin it in!

Coin it in!

The Beau Street Hoard will be back on display at the Bath & North East Somerset Council-run Roman Baths just after Christmas – and there’s a chance for a lucky visitor to win a top secret prize.

Some of the cleaned coins.

Some of the cleaned coins.

The Beau Street Hoard roadshow has been touring the Bath and North East Somerset area and beyond for several months but every so often the team like to show off some of the 17,577 Roman coins on their own turf.

On Saturday 27 December, the Council’s Beau Street Hoard team presents ‘Silver Silhouettes’ at the Roman Baths. From 11am to 3pm, you can make your own Roman coin to take home and there will be displays, hands-on activities for the kids, and the chance to win prizes.

People paying a post-Christmas visit will be in with a chance of winning a top secret prize – simply by striking a pose next to a giant Roman coin and posting a photograph on social media. All you have to do to enter the competition is to send the Beau Street
Hoard team your photo through Facebook or Twitter – the most creative coin wins!

Councillor Ben Stevens (Lib-Dem, Widcombe), the Council’s Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said: “The Beau Street Hoard Roadshow has been an enormous success so far. Hundreds of people have already had the opportunity to enjoy looking at these fantastic Roman coins during the roadshow visits.

“Now, we’d encourage anyone who has not yet been to a roadshow to seize this opportunity to come and see and experience this fabulous display – coupled with some post-Christmas activities for both children and adults and a fun competition that everyone can enter.”

Like the coins on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/BeauStHoard or follow the coins on Twitter @BeauStHoard. Alternatively, take a look at the http://www.romanbaths.co.uk events section for more information.

The hoard lifted by crane ©Cotswold Archaeology

The hoard lifted by crane ©Cotswold Archaeology

FOR YOUR INFORMATION: The Beau Street Hoard was excavated by archaeologists on the site of the new Gainsborough Hotel 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.

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.