Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed bedroom returns home to Bath.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed bedroom returns home to Bath.

A suite of furniture designed by the world famous architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh is coming home to Bath – one hundred years after it first arrived.

Designed for the family home of Bath businessman and engineer Sidney Horstmann, the bedroom suite will be re-created in the Museum of Bath at Work as part of a special exhibition that that will run this summer from June to September.

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Mackintosh designed the interior for the bedroom and also the furniture in a house that Sidney Horstmann lived in until 1935. His daughter Alison Dunmore was born in one of the beds designed by Mackintosh and had fond memories of growing up in the room, which was her own bedroom.

The Museum has been fortunate in gaining consent from the Victoria & Albert Museum to borrow the furniture for display—furniture that has not been seen for 50 years!

Progress so far:

  • We have secured a grant from the Arts Council to upgrade our Fire and Security system to V&A standards.
  • Bath Spa University School of Art and Design have agreed to design and decorate the bedroom.
  • We have funded the photographing of the furniture and have obtained the necessary reproduction license – from our own resources and generous donations.

We Need Your Help

But we still need financial support to meet the V&A loan costs, transport and insurance and construction of the room …and printing of the catalogue. The cost of the project is £10,000.

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Please help this exciting venture—and enable the Museum to reach a new level in the field of regional Museums. 

If you are able to assist with this project and would like to make a donation by cheque would you make the cheque payable to Bath Industrial Heritage Trust Limited and send to:

Museum of Bath at Work

Julian Road, BATH BA1 2RH

If you would like to make a payment by bank transfer the payment details are:

Bank name: Barclays Bank plc

Branch address: Southgate Street Bath

Sort Code: 20-05-06

Account No: 20141615

Account name: Bath Industrial Heritage Trust Limited.

Thank you for your ongoing support!

Stuart Burroughs

Director of the Museum of Bath at Work

A rubbish report.

A rubbish report.

Bath & North East Somerset Council is to introduce changes to the frequency of rubbish collections later this year – and they are looking for ‘star’ residents – to feature in a social media campaign they will launch – to encourage others to recycle more.

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Most households across the district will change to every other week collections from 6 November.

Recycling collections, including food waste, will remain weekly, however collections days and times may change as routes are redesigned to ensure they are as efficient as possible. 

In March all households will be sent a personalised letter informing them how the changes will affect them directly. 

Cllr Martin Veal

Cllr Martin Veal

 

Cllr Martin Veal (Conservative, Bathavon North) Cabinet Member for Community Services said “Over 70% of Councils across the UK, including our neighbours in Bristol, North Somerset, Somerset, Wiltshire and South Gloucestershire, already run every other week collections for rubbish in wheeled bins, and most have weekly recycling collections.  They have all reported significant benefits including a reduction in the amount of rubbish sent to landfill, an increase in recycling, reduced street litter and cost efficiencies.” 

The Council will provide a 140 litre wheeled bin for the storage and collection of rubbish. We realise that one size does not fit all, so in a small number of cases where a 140 litre wheeled bin is not suitable for a property or family situation, a larger bin or a re-useable rubbish bag to contain rubbish for collection will be provided.

Here’s the information B&NES have sent out.

“Why are the changes being introduced?

To recycle more:

Bath & North East Somerset Council has a very comprehensive recycling collection service where you can already recycle 17 different types of household waste every week, but some residents could recycle more.  About 75% of a household’s waste can be recycled using the current collections, but over half of an average rubbish bag consists of items that could have been recycled. The change will also help to encourage everyone to use their food recycling collection – only about 50% of households currently use this. About a third of the waste in black sacks currently is food.

To keep our streets cleaner:

Containing rubbish in a bin will prevent animals and birds ripping open bags and making a mess which is unpleasant for everyone and costly to clear up.

To save money:

Every lorry load of waste costs £1,000 to dispose of whilst every lorry load of recycling earns an income of £100. So reducing the amount put out as rubbish is essential, because the amount of money the Council has to spend is reducing significantly overall.

Look out for your letter in March

From 9-13 March we will send all households a personalised letter informing them about the changes. To keep postage costs to a minimum, most letters will be included in the envelope with Council Tax bills.

The letter will outline if a property has been allocated a wheeled bin or re-useable rubbish bag for rubbish collection, and the frequency of rubbish collections. The letter is for information and no response is needed. If residents are concerned that the container they have been allocated is not appropriate for their specific property, or if despite recycling all they can, they feel that their household will not manage with the allocated container, they can complete an online query form.

The Council will write separately to some residents including those who:

live in a registered House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO)

are currently registered for an Assisted Collection (those who need the help of our crews to carry their rubbish and/or recycling to an agreed collection point) as for some residents wheeled bins will be much easier to manage. 

Help to recycle more

 To help recycle more and to get ready for the change, the Council has organised community roadshows where residents can view the bins and re-useable rubbish bags and get advice and tips from the Waste Campaigns Team www.bathnes.gov.uk/roadshows.  A full instruction pack will be delivered to homes with bin/bag delivery. To find out more visit www.bathnes.gov.uk/recycle 

Waste Doctors will be visiting households giving tips and advice to help everyone make full use of their recycling collection where 17 different types of items can be recycled every week, including small electrical appliances. Check what can be recycled at www.bathnes.gov.uk/greenboxrecycling 

To order extra free recycling containers online visit www.bathnes.gov.uk/orderacontainer 

Find out more

The Council’s website is being updated as details are confirmed so please check back here www.bathnes.gov.uk/recycle  for updates.

To receive updates and tips on how to recycle more, like our  Facebook page www.facebook.com/recyleforbathnes  

If community groups would like to be shown how to make best use of the recycling service, including practical tips to help get ready for the changes, book a free talk. For more information visit: wastecampaigns@bathnes.gov.uk

The Council would like residents to star in its social media campaign to encourage others to recycle more. We want stories, photos, videos and recycling tips to share with others and are keen to hear from individuals and groups – including schools, families, housemates, work groups.  How you do it in your home/school/workplace? To find out more visit: www.bathnes.gov.uk/latestrecyclingnews “

 

Alice Park – and ride?

Alice Park – and ride?

An afternoon circular walk through Larkhall meant we passed lovely Alice Park – on the corner of the London Road and Gloucester Road.

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Perfectly positioned with fine tree specimens.

The terrible thought struck me that this could be the answer to the proposed East of Bath Park and Ride location issue.

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Alice Park.

It’s in a perfect position to scoop up traffic coming into the city.

It is already edged with delightful car-shading trees and the childrens’ play park and scrumptious cafe could stay open and take advantage of all the increased business.

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Rooftop gardens.

All said rather tongue-in-cheek but – while we are on the subject – my partner spotted an article  on Facebook about increasing the number of high-rise rooftop gardens in France and wondered whether any scheme that is undertaken on Bathampton Meadows could at least have a roof over it – onto which grass could be sown.

Aesthetically, it could be a big improvement?

Another Cadbury closure links New Zealand and Keynsham.

Another Cadbury closure links New Zealand and Keynsham.

It’s amazing how social media has truly brought the world together and, in this particular instance, shown how the trauma of losing a major employer can impact on a community.

Many in Keynsham are still getting over the pain of how the town lost its identity when Cadbury’s new American owners Kraft decided to change their minds and close the factory they said they would save – back in 2011. It was at a cost of 1,000 jobs.

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The old Somerdale factory site

Things have moved on. The old red factory buildings are being turned into a retirement village and there’s new residential housing on the site and the promise of business units to hopefully bring new jobs.

Now, across the world in New Zealand, another Cadbury’s factory faces closure in Dunedin – the second largest city in the South Island.

The company is now owned by Mondelez International – a spin-off snacks-side business created by Kraft – and has cited increased costs and distance to its markets as making it untenable to continue the business – even though those who oppose the closure say it is still profitable. Three hundred and sixty people will lose their jobs.

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The Cadbury’s factory at Dunedin, New Zealand. © Mondelez International

The developing story is being covered by the city’s daily paper the Otago Daily Times – https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/bitter-aftertaste-cadburys-closing

By all means check out their website. In doing that, l found a story a reporter  from the Otago Daily Times had done on how Keynsham in the UK was still feeling the pain of its factory closure.

It is featured on the website of the New Zealand Herald via http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11807638  and well worth reading.

I am hoping they won’t mind me quoting a section of it. A report by Chris Morris.

“Stephen Rodgers, editor of the weekly Keynsham newspaper The Week In, told the ODT many in the town felt the company’s Quaker traditions had been “sold out by the Cadbury board to maximise profits and satisfy the concerns of institutional investors”.

Those Quaker values encouraged a loyal workforce, many of who remained in the town all their working lives.

But with so many staff close to retirement, the company was able to persuade them to accept enhanced redundancy packages, forcing the unions to “stand down”, he said.

And, despite a “continued and high-profile campaign” by town residents, “the ink was in effect dry on the deal”.

The town had survived the economic effects, and the former factory site provided much-needed space for 600 new homes, as well as the retirement village.But that did not mean the “resentment” had disappeared, he said.

“Cadbury was an icon that was very much a part of the town’s history and heritage … I think everyone felt there was a difference between what was morally right and corporately desirable.

“Of course, in such cases, the corporate argument always wins.”

Do visit the site to read the full report. A situation linking two towns that are  11,426 miles apart.

A library lesson from the past.

A library lesson from the past.

The proposed move of Bath Central Library from The Podium to the One Stop Shop in Manvers Street had prompted a letter from Anthony Beeson, who lives in Bristol and worked in the library service.

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Bath Central Library

Anthony is a world-renowned expert on Roman mosaics – and a prolific writer of local history – but it’s his thoughts on the history of the library service in Bath he wants to share with us.

Here’s his letter in full.

” I was working in Bristol Library as Fine Art librarian before the birth of Avon County. Bath then had its Lending Library in what is now the Art Gallery and Museum and its Reference Library occupied a house in Queen Square. The Lending Library needed more space both for stock provision and to fully function. Bath Reference library had a fine historic city collection accumulated over a long period.

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This photograph of Anthony Beeson was taken in the basement Art Reference stack in 1997. He tells me that many of Bath Reference library’s weeded books were added to the stock of the Bristol Art and Reference libraries. Following the take over of the Bristol Central Library’s lower floors by the Cathedral school after 2013 these stacks were lost and the book-stock thinned out in order to accommodate the stock on new shelving elsewhere.

When the Podium was built under Avon to accommodate both departments the inevitable happened (as it always seems to in such cases) that the provision of storage space for the Reference collections was insufficient for the existing book stock. Poor Maria Joyce, who was the excellent Reference Librarian, was forced to jettison a great deal of Bath’s historic book stock, which was then sent to Bristol Central Library for dispersal.

Much the same thing happened at Weston super Mare Reference Library as well, as Bristol Library was Avon county’s central library, and withdrawn stock was sent into College Green for disposal.

That was before the days when books could legally be sold on and so any ex-library stock was literally disposed of. I grabbed as much of Bath’s stock as I could for the art department and this included anything that I could save if it was on the border line of my subject range.

The Reference library also did its best, but much was torn up by the stack staff dealing with it as they were not allowed to resell or pass it on. I am unable to damage books so you may well imagine how terrible it was to see sometimes 18th century volumes in pieces in the waste bins.

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A possible view of part of the proposed new library set up in Manvers Street.

I fear that if this new move from the Podium goes ahead, the same lack of provision for existing stock will occur. It has occurred recently in Bristol with the usurpation of the book stacks by the Cathedral School at College Green. The authority gets over the withdrawal of books by saying that thinning the book stock is a natural part of a librarian’s duties, ignoring the fact that the exercise is really only to fit onto reduced shelving space.

Nowadays of course the excess will be sold at knock down prices to dealers and the public. Bath citizens must ensure that the new location for the library has the same amount of storage space for stock as at the Podium, if its library service is not to suffer another blow.’

The doggy bag that gets left behind!

The doggy bag that gets left behind!

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And here’s one placed on top of a wall!

I know l am an old dog with a bone, but what is it with dog owners and poop bags?

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The incline up to the towpath.

Walking up the slope from Grosvenor Bridge to the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath, with my partner, we counted EIGHT such ‘filled’ containers tossed to the side.

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Spot the poop!

Having at least gone through the motions (forgive the pun) of picking their dog’s poop up – l cannot understand why the public exhibition of responsibility and care cannot extend to taking the contents as far as a bin to dispose of it.

I don’t own a dog and have no idea whether these bags are biodegradable. We are trying to take plastic out of the environment aren’t we?

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And here’s one placed on top of a wall!

While we’re up on the towpath can l take issue with the notices that have been erected regarding pedestrian priority. Simple little message regarding bikes ‘giving way’ to people and reducing speed.

Don’t quarrel with that at all but does priority also extend to dog walkers with their pets on or off the lead?

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Those on an extendable lead give a cyclist a bit of a problem – when the cable lies across the footpath – while dogs OFF the lead is an obvious hazard – especially when the owner is ON their mobile phone.

And what about joggers? Quite a few of those too in Bath, what with its noble reputation for organised road events. Should a cyclist stop to wave them by?

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Does the priority extend also to walkers with dogs on or off leads? Joggers?

The idea of sharing this safe route into town is all a bit half-hearted. There is no effort to encourage cyclists off the London Road and onto this canal-side pathway into Bath.

Tarmac with one side painted green for cyclists would have been a much better idea and, l am sorry, but dogs should be under proper control and on a lead.

Shared spaces don’t work but, if there is going to be any real peace amongst the towpath users, everyone must take responsibility for their actions.

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The rusty old rubbish bin at Grosvenor Bridge. The bottom has completely disintegrated.

PS. It really is time the rubbish bin at the London Road end of Grosvenor Bridge was replaced.

The bottom is rusted through. This is a busy old litter bin, as the canal folk come down to put their waste in it too!

In the swim for Cleveland Pools

In the swim for Cleveland Pools

Bath’s historic Cleveland Pools have held their first swimming event – at Bath Leisure Centre!

That’s where around 650 of Bath’s young swimming fraternity from 8 different swim schools and clubs turned out  for a Sponsored Swim which raised nearly £7,000 for the two hundred year old open air former Georgian lido beside the River Avon at Bathwick.

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Parents urging their youngsters on at the swimathon.

The restoration process for the Cleveland Pools will begin later this year to bring back open-air swimming to the people of Bath, and this is the first big swimming-related event held off-site.  Its success is due to the growing interest in this remarkable heritage site on the riverside in Bathwick which was closed for swimming 1984 due to lack of funding.   

The parents of the swimmers have really helped spread awareness by asking friends and families to sponsor their youngsters.  Both LocalGiving and social media have played a huge part in helping them reach their goals.  

The Bath Dolphin Swimming Club session was chosen for the Swimathon’s publicity night due to their longstanding association with the Cleveland Pools;  the Dolphins were founded on the riverside next to the Cleveland Pools in 1899. 

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The Bath Dolphin Swimming Club at the Cleveland Pools in 1910. © Bath in Time.

The Bath Dolphins are now based at the Bath Sports & Leisure Centre and this is where the club members carried out their sponsored swims.  Ironically, it was the building of the Bath Sports & Leisure Centre in 1975 – with its brand new heated swimming pool – which essentially caused the Cleveland Pools to meet its gradual demise.  But things are about to change !

Cleveland Pools trustee Suzy Granger, who owns the Bath School of Swimming, co-ordinated the whole Sponsored Swim programme with coaches and teachers from the participating swim schools. 

 All the swimmers taking part in the sponsored swim were given a Well Done certificate to thank them for their efforts. 

Special guest Stephanie Millward MBE, the Paralympian swimmer who becomes the latest patron for the Cleveland Pools alongside their existing ambassador Sharron Davies MBE, presented some of the certificates to the children.  

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Stephanie Millward MBE talking to some of the young swimmers.

The Cleveland Pools in Bathwick are the most intriguing open-air public swimming venue in the UK, and also the oldest.  Closed for swimming in 1984, a Trust was formed in 2005 by local campaigners to save the 200 year-old heritage site – with its crescent-shaped cottage and changing cubicles – and have it restored for the people of Bath and beyond to enjoy as a swimming venue and historic place of interest for the future.    

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In order to meet the terms of their Heritage Lottery Fund Stage II grant of £3.7million, which will finally fund the cost of restoration, the Cleveland Pools Trust needed to raise £530,000 in match-funding.  With support from Bath & North East Somerset Council (B&NES), Historic England, and generous local donors they have already raised over two thirds!  

The remaining £168,000 is needed by the end of April so they are urging the public to get behind the project and donate any amount they can via their website:   www.clevelandpools.org.uk