Bath’s Southgate shopping centre have come up with a street decoration for the summer that has gone down well with most people who have passed beneath the lines of coloured umbrellas strung across the street above them.
Most people will also agree that the retail centre we have now is much better than the one it replaced but planning laws and the city’s World Heritage status ensures that this development follows classical lines and has a surface coating of Bath stone.
it’s often accused of being a bit sterile. Deckchairs, false grass and pop up pizza and curry eateries have been some of the ways the centre has tried to humanise the environment in the past.
They even tried sticking down circular stepping stones of artificial grass which added playful interaction and humour – until some of the patches started disappearing.
Now they have definitely decided to go in a direction of which many approve – using a company who specialise in Christmas street decorations to put in a summer display that adds humour with a recognition of the fact we have to contend with seasonal showers and thunderstorms too.
If a sudden heatwave comes along then they can add shade.
Such a display is not unique but certainly something different for Bath. It gives Southgate publicity and encourages extra footfall with many people walking down to see it for themselves.
May it be the first of many such displays – both at Southgate and elsewhere in the city. I know there are rules and regulations about advertising banners but it’s time B&NES looked at some positive ways of helping traders.
Just allowing red, white and blue bunting would brighten many of the streets and add a traditional air to a city so rich in history and heritage.
Now, from looking up to looking down. Something else this city has to sort out is its refuse collecting.
This was Grove Street yesterday. It’s obviously refuse collection day as everyone has black bags out. The ones ripped open would suggest they were put out the night before and have been attacked by gulls and foxes.
Why can’t B&NES leaflet the city about NOT doing this. Get it ready in advance but put it out on the day.
Even better – give everyone gull-proof bags into which they can put their black sacks.
Street after street is constantly strewn with litter and garbage. It’s so easy to shut your door on your litter bag and let someone else worry about it. However, that someone should be the person who decides when to put the rubbish outside.
We also – with commercial waste – have so many different operators calling at so many different times. There’s a lot to be said for one firm doing it all. The fabric of the city suffers in the name of competition.