Bring back the park keeper!

Flowers blooming in Parade Gardens.
Flowers blooming in Parade Gardens.

It turned out to be a busy Bank Holiday Monday but an hour was spent in Bath’s amazing Parade Gardens eating a packed lunch and enjoying the warm and sunny, late springtime buzz.

You cannot help but start people watching and l found myself getting more and more horrified by the number of families letting their youngsters chase gulls.

The adults chatted away in their deck chair camp circles while the little darlings were witnessed running after gulls, pigeons and even ducks that had foolishly wandered up off the river bank.

One little girl was desperately trying to kick a rather confused drake. The birds – of course – are attracted by all the human munching and doing what comes naturally when there is the chance of food.

The children – because no one bothered to say ‘hey, let’s not do that’ – were spurred on by each other – as kids will be – to see who could chase the fastest.

Oh how l miss the old park-keeper. Someone to cheerfully walk around and keep an eye on the place. To welcome people, help with deck chairs, point out where the 20-in-the-slot loos are hidden and how the picnic left-overs would be better put in a rubbish bin. Someone to gently help educate young park users of the future on how much more fun it is to chase each other.

The horrible electricity sub-station block in Parade Gardens.
The horrible electricity sub-station block in Parade Gardens.

Is this yet another job that would have to be filled by a volunteer? The city – as it is – seems only to function with their help.

Does 'temp' mean temporary?
Does ‘temp’ mean temporary?

While l was in Parade Gardens – and once again taking in the blob that is the electricity sub station – l noticed that part of the signage upon it include the word ‘temp’ and wondered if this really was short for temporary.

Virtual Museum readers have told me it’s reckoned it would cost £30,000 to shift this ‘blot on the floral landscape’ somewhere else.

The boarded up section beneath Grand Parade
The boarded up section beneath Grand Parade

I argued whether local artists might like to camouflage it in some way. That’s if health and safety restrictions will allow.

This time around l also noticed the boarded up colonnade that runs beneath the section of Grand Parade nearest Manvers Street and the old Bog Island Disco.

A blank canvas?
A blank canvas?

Another amazing canvas for local artists to embellish. I am not talking graffiti here – tagging is not an option – but if it’s a contemporary panorama of the city or a celebration of its arts and culture – go for it!

This is not to be read as the Virtual Museum urging anyone to daub anything without permission. Just an attempt to open a debate. Do we have a ‘People’s Assembly’ in this town. If not – we should!

Just before l finish – well done Parks Department staff on doing a great job here with limited funds.

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