The problem with Bath is it doesn’t do enough to ‘zone’ its commercial shopping areas and – basically – make them sound more attractive and appealing to explore.
I have already suggested that the city should take a tip from Brighton and call its narrow shopping streets – nestled behind the High Street – The Lanes district.
Now it seems Walcot Street is asking for suggestions as to how it could mark its ‘entrance’ in some way and indicate that what is beyond is different and special.
Attempts at graffiti work on the side of a building alongside the old Tramway Centre attracted criticism – so it was painted out.
Across the road, the large mural frame stands empty. It’s last offering – painted by Paris – was stolen.
Bath Fringe is apparently trying to raise funds to install another work by Stanley Donwood – the man who provided the original canvas.
Perry Harris has just painted a wonderful city-wide landscape featuring Bath Carnival.
Shame that couldn’t go there or maybe he could do a special Walcot Street ‘Welcome’ instead – featuring something of its history. From Roman to Walcot Independence?
There is the option of hanging something across the street at its narrow end. High enough to avoid lorries and double decker buses passing beneath.
I have been back to my hometown of Weston-super-Mare just recently and – while l think the town is a mess – at least the Grove Park end of the High Street has erected a neon-tubed ‘Welcome to Grove Village’ sign at one end of its old High Street.
At the moment the bike hoops at the town end of Walcot Street are the only thing spelling out where you are and that’s much too subtle for people hurrying by.
Trees might help soften the street and hanging gardens could be put on some of the high stone retaining walls. The old water trough fountain should be brought back into use too.
I even think the lamp posts should be replaced with something specially designed for the street.
At the very least – Welcome to Walcot Street’ could be painted on the road. While l think of it – why not appoint a City Manager to deal with all the issues relating to commercial promotion and public spaces.
What do other people think? Suggestions very welcome.