A little bit of Bath’s wartime history may soon disappear under the bulldozer.
News is reaching me that Parkside in Charlotte Street Car Park is to be demolished to make way for a new coach park. The Virgin Care Health Visitors based there are being relocated to Twerton and the NHS staff to Locksbrook Road.
The building was originally constructed as a British Restaurant – one of three in the city during the last war.
Bath City Council received a directive from the Ministry of Food in July 1941 requesting the erection of one or more British Restaurants, to provide ‘day-to-day feeding of the population and to act as a first line of defence in an emergency’.
The first to be built was inside the Charlotte Street entrance (named Parkside as a result of a newspaper competition) which opened in August 1942, followed by two others; Hillside (Oldfield Park), and Riverside (Walcot).
Parkside was the most used, serving 900 lunches a day, 30 teas and 70 suppers (open between l0 a.m. and 8.30 p.m., the cost of an average three-course lunch being set at 9d), and a dance was held there each month.
After the Ministry withdrew support for the scheme in April 1947, the Council purchased the buildings which they continued to run under the name of Civic Restaurants. Parkside was the last to close, at the end of 1950, by which time the spare ground on the north side of the building was already in use as a car park.
Parkside was the last to close, at the end of 1950, by which time the spare ground on the north side of the building was already in use as a car park.
The building subsequently became Parkside Junior School (closed 2006), and is now a Children’s Centre.
I have asked B&NES for comment.