Shoppers and residents in Bath are having an opportunity to look over plans to renovate and re-open Cleveland Pools this week.
As part of a public consultation exercise, the concept designs to bring this last remaining open-air Georgian lido back into use, are being displayed in Milsom Street tomorrow and Friday ( April 28th & 29th).
It’s going to cost millions but – with the continued help of the Heritage Lottery Fund – it’s hoped to have the pool open again for swimming early in 2018.
No doubt members of the Cleveland Pools Trust have been enjoying many conversations with people who either remember swimming there or have an opinion on the future re-birth.
This bright but chilly morning found me on the part of the towpath into Bath that is still open to pedestrians and cyclists.
You’ll probably already know that the whole stretch – from the George Inn at Bathampton to the entrance to the Sydney Gardens canal tunnel – is gradually being re-surfaced.
At the top of the incline – leading up from Grosvenor Bridge – is a side path that goes directly to the footbridge across the main railway line and down onto Hampton Row.
It is going to be a vital route-way for people who may come to the re-opened Cleveland Pools on foot.
The bridge was built to link platforms on either side of the railway line at what was Hampton Row Halt.
The station was built as a rail connection for the eastern suburbs of Bath. It opened as a railway station in 1907 for Great Western Railway stopping train services from Bristol, Swindon and Westbury, Wiltshire.
It was open for only a short period as – at the same time – trams and motor transport were becoming more commonplace. As a street, Hampton Row leads only on to the canal towpath, which limited the station’s accessibility.
The station was closed on 25 April 1917 as an economy measure during the First World War – along with Twerton Station, which served the west of the city. Neither station reopened when peace came.
The rusty footbridge will now be replaced as part of the multi-billion pound electrification programme that will eventually see new trains and shorter journeys between London and the West.
Cleveland Pools are hoping the replacement might leave a little room for a bike stand or two.
The one thing alongside the line that won’t be replaced any time soon is the derelict and blighted end of Hampton Row. This part of the terrace was compulsory purchased years ago to make way for a road scheme that never happened.
Now back in private hands it stands forgotten – covered in rusting scaffolding and graffiti – as a monument to grand ideas and a lack of action in forcing the owner to do something with it or sell it back to B&NES.
It’s amazing to think this bleak and barren facade has a Grade 2 listing and while l am normally the first to stand in front of a bulldozer l wish here the listing could be lifted and the end houses demolished to create another much easier way through to Cleveland Pools.
Exactly what does it take to get things moving here?