I didn’t actually see it cleaned but l did see the friendly guy – who basically makes up the B&NES Graffiti Unit – go down towards the railway to take a look at the damage.
I am talking about one of the stone bridges that crosses IK Brunel’s historic Great Western Railway as it passes through Bath’s Sydney Gardens.
The other transport system that slices through this former Georgian pleasure ground is the Kennet and Avon Canal.
Both systems have be subjected to graffiti vandalism just recently. The problem seems to be that both the railway bridge – and a wall and tunnel that form part of the canal route through the gardens – are well hidden from sight.
Easy enough for some mindless scrawling across Bath stone in a listed area which is very much part of the heritage of this World Heritage Status city.
The daubings on the railway bridge have been erased. Seems the volunteers who do so much for the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust are preparing to clean the side wall beneath one of the ornate Chinese-styled wrought iron footbridges. Graffiti that has now been added to.
Ian Herve – one of the volunteers – told Bath Newseum:
‘Much of the local small maintenance work is undertaken by a team of volunteers. We are very aware of the graffiti and have removed or painted over some of it and it is very well known to the Canals and Rivers Trust managers.
It is not wise to tackle graffiti on Bath Stone in a hurry. Overzealous cleaning techniques can cause serious damage to the long term condition of the stone face. There are, unfortunately, many examples of this around Bath. The task is in hand and will require a boat to be onsite while the equipment is operated.’
Developers have made an excellent job of re-modelling Cleveland House – originally Canal House by Pinch the Elder (1817-20) – and purpose-built as the headquarters of the Kennet and Avon Canal Company.
Looks as if it is on the market as a private residence and l have noticed the canal tunnel – on which it sits – has been fitted out with lights.
Seems the developers wanted to lift the gloom for towpath users. Though it’s my understanding that this was all a bit of a surprise for the Canals and Rivers Trust.