Bath raise the flag for launch of Stadium Project.

Bath raise the flag for launch of Stadium Project.

Following an extensive nine-month consultation – ahead of appointing a lead architect and design team – Bath Rugby today launch Stadium for Bath. It’s flagship project that brings together the Club, Bath Rugby Foundation and Arena 1865 with the joint ambition of delivering a new stadium at the Recreation Ground (the Rec) in the heart of Bath.Screen Shot 2017-11-29 at 17.06.35

In conjunction with the launch Stadium for Bath today publish a document detailing the opportunity it believes redevelopment at the Recreation Ground presents not only for Bath Rugby but for the wider community and the City of Bath.

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Extract from the redevelopment document

The document – which is publicly available via Stadium for Bath’s dedicated website – is titled ‘Exploring the Opportunity’ and includes findings from independently facilitated, ‘pre-design’ listening consultation workshops, which took place throughout 2017.

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Extract from the redevelopment document

Before designs are produced, the team focused on listening to the thoughts, hopes and concerns of several stakeholder groups regarding redevelopment at the Rec.
These groups included local residents and near neighbours, city representatives, local community groups, technical planning consultees and supporters, including those with accessible needs.

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Another extract from the redevelopment document

The overall vision for redevelopment; consideration of the unique challenges of the site; thoughts on opportunities offered by redevelopment and the key parameters for the appointment of a lead architect and design team are also included in the document.

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An extract from the redevelopment document

Tarquin McDonald, Chief Executive, Bath Rugby
“For most of this year, we have been listening to the people that live and work here in Bath. This is a complex project, of huge importance to all involved and we will get it right if we all work together.

“We now believe there is an opportunity to create something exceptional in the heart of this incredible city. Something which reflects its ambition and rich heritage and is a source of pride and inspiration for everyone.

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Extract from the redevelopment document

“At the core of this sits a new stadium at the Rec and a new home for Bath Rugby. However, it is clear that this project is not just about rugby. There is a unique opportunity to create a destination which revitalises the riverside, which benefits and enhances the community and encourages healthier living through accessible and inclusive sporting participation.

“We believe that with the right design team we can find a solution which both celebrates and complements Bath, and which ensures that Bath Rugby continues to be a source of pride and inspiration for the city.”

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Extract from the redevelopment document.


Today’s announcement closes the door on the previous design proposals, which were presented nearly four years ago. Given the passage of time and the unique location of the Rec, it is only right to look again at the design.

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Extract from the redevelopment document

Next Steps will be regularly updated and provide all the latest news, information and consultation details for the project.

Stadium for Bath will appoint a lead architect in the New Year and commence the design journey.
There will be further consultation at each stage of the collaborative design process, and the Club will be proactively inviting views throughout.

Brunel’s footbridge still due to be restored.

Brunel’s footbridge still due to be restored.

Brunel’s cast iron footbridge over the main line to London – cutting through Bath’s Sydney Gardens – is now open again. There’s also news on whether or not the historic structure will be restored.


The old footbridge has been completely replanked.

Network Rail had recently closed the 1865 structure for major repairs to the planking.


All the old ones have been removed and replaced.

The bridge – the last footbridge on the line designed by IK Brunel – was due to be removed and restored by Network Rail as part of their electrification programme though Bath to Bristol.

The government has since put the brakes on the work because of the burgeoning cost – but Bath Newseum was keen to see if that meant the upgrade had been abandoned

A spokesperson for Network Rail came back with what you could call a positive response:

“It is indeed on the ‘to do’ list as such. Various sections of the timber deck were deemed as poor condition and therefore works had to be planned in for repair sooner rather than later (rather than waiting for electrification works to re-commence)

I believe the cast iron sections will be restored and upgraded further once electrification works re-commence.”




Shape the future.

Shape the future.

Housing, jobs and transport. What do you think of the way your city is progressing? Well, residents are invited to have their say on development plans to help shape the future of Bath and North East Somerset over the next twenty years.

Five public events are taking place starting on November 28 and running until December 11 giving people the chance to review and comment on the Local Plan 2016-2036. Comments can be made on the plan up to 10 January 2018.Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 15.22.53

The plan covers the key priorities for Bath and North East Somerset’s strategic development sites at Whitchurch and North Keynsham, strategy for smaller development sites and how university growth and student accommodation should be managed.

Officers from Bath & North East Somerset Council will be on hand to talk about the Local Plan at each consultation event.

The events are taking place from 3-8pm at The Board Room, Bath College Somer Valley campus on Tuesday November 28; United Reform Church Hall, Whitchurch, on November 30; Civic Centre, Keynsham December 4; and the Brunswick Room, Guildhall, Bath on December 8 and 11.

Cllr Bob Goodman (Conservative, Combe Down), Cabinet Member for Development & Neighbourhoods said: “We want people to come along to their nearest consultation and find out about both plans which will determine future developments across not just Bath & North East Somerset but the wider region too. Your views will help inform the next stages of the plan.”

Bath & North East Somerset Council’s new Local Plan works alongside the West of England’s Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) which addresses the region’s severe shortage of housing, the need to generate jobs and the provision of critical infrastructure.

The JSP has been published as a draft plan and is now subject to formal consultation. The Local Plan is at an earlier options stage, which seeks to encourage discussion and comment on key issues and alternative approaches.

Find out more about the Local Plan and have your say at  and for the West of England Joint Spatial Plan go to to see the plan and comment on it. The documents can also be viewed at the following locations during opening hours:

Council offices:

The One Stop Shop, Manvers Street, Bath, BA1 1JG

The Hollies, Midsomer Norton, Bath, BA3 2DP

Civic Centre One Stop Shop, Temple Street, Keynsham, Bristol, BS31 1LA

At all public libraries in the District, including the mobile libraries at the drop-in sessions


The lights of Walcot Street.

The lights of Walcot Street.

Well, l certainly hope what l witnessed in Walcot Street last night will be the start of a new city festive tradition.

Schools and community groups coming together to hold a procession of lanterns.


It revived an established event that used to be held through Great Pulteney Street and was organised by the Holburne Museum.

As that establishment had to prioritise funds elsewhere it seemed the idea was dead but Walcot Street traders and Bath Fringe have had a go at reviving the event elsewhere in the city.


I have no idea if the cost of road closures outweighs the success of the procession but l certainly hope it is here to stay.

Click below for the whole procession.

Let it grow!

All of a Christmas ‘flapper’ at American Museum.

All of a Christmas ‘flapper’ at American Museum.

It’s one of the highlights of the local festive season. Getting up to the American Museum to see how the fabulous Central Hall tree has been dressed.


The Central Hall tree does not disappoint.

I joined the museum’s members at their annual Christmas gathering last night and found this prominent pine adorned in all the glitz and glamour of the Gatsby era.


What a party!

That’s this year’s theme for ‘A Little Party Never Hurt Nobody’ – A Jazz Age-inspired Christmas at the American Museum’ which runs from 23rd November through to the 17th December.

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‘Flapper’ faces from the Roaring Twenties decorate a tree – all made by volunteers!

Fans of film director Baz Luhrman will know that’s a number from The Great Gatsby -his 2013 musical take on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel of the same name.


Oh, what a night!

The movie followed the life and times of millionaire Jay Gatsby at the height of the  Roaring Twenties in New York State.


Just one of the Christmas decorations on sale.

Here in Bath, visitors are invited to :

“Get a wiggle on to the American Museum in Britain this winter for a party like no other. Party through the ages in our period rooms and discover what Americans did to let their hair down in days gone by.


That after festive-dinner feeling! Nothing changes does it?

The jewel in the crown is the dazzling Central Hall Christmas tree, bedecked in decadent decorations, glorious glitz, and all the Gatsbyesque glamour of the 1920’s.

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Amazing attention to detail. Warm and welcoming displays.

Whether you’re a dancing dame or a fancy fella, our Jazz Age-inspired Christmas is set to be the swankiest soirée in town!

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The furniture collections are showcased in period rooms which show how American families lived during the last 300 years. Here’s the Shaker Room from 1859

All the period rooms reflect seasonal celebrations and there’s an extra visual delight for everyone touring the house as:

‘ Amid the celebrations, fabulous flapper rag-dolls handcrafted by the Museum’s fabulous volunteers, will be daringly dancing through each room – can you spot them all?’


The Christmas shop!

The museum has an amazing array of Christmas gifts and decorations to buy plus – this weekend – 24th/25th of November :

‘Our Christmas Craft Fair returns with a diverse range of work on offer, from ceramics and textiles to jewellery and prints.


Part of this weekend’s trade fair.

Meet the makers themselves, discuss their techniques, and find unique Christmas gifts in a festive atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of town.’


The Deputy Mayor and Mayoress of Bath – Cllr and Mrs Rob Appleyard – were guests at last night’s preview.

£2 entry charge to the fair including access to café and shops. Payment in coin for exact amount greatly appreciated and will help with quicker entry to fair.

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Displays create a warm and festive period atmosphere.

Normal admission applies to Museum.


A period Christmas wedding.

For more information click on



Getting it right?

Getting it right?

The city’s revised recycling and refuse collecting operation seems to be delivering a bonus.

The Council says recycling rates in Bath and North East Somerset have jumped with around 100 tonnes of waste now being recycled each day, thanks to the support of residents.

Figures show crews collected almost 450 tonnes of recycling last week ten tonnes more each day – since the new waste service started on November 6.

And there has been a big reduction in the general rubbish collection with less each day going into the black wheelie bins and reusable rubbish bags.


Cllr Bob Goodman (Conservative, Combe Down), Cabinet Member for Development & Neighbourhoods with Grahame Stennett operations manager for Bath & North East Somerset Council

Cllr Bob Goodman (Conservative, Combe Down), Cabinet Member for Development & Neighbourhoods, said: “These are fantastic figures and I hope they will continue to improve. We want to thank everyone for helping with this transition to the new service and for bearing with us during some teething problems.

“This was one of the biggest changes to our waste collection service. Crews have had to learn new routes and an increase in tonnage on recycling trucks means some recycling rounds are currently being picked up the following day. These are short-term issues which we are resolving and we want to thank people for their patience.”

Figures show a phenomenal number of green boxes and food caddies being ordered with around 6,000 due to be delivered or collected from recycling centres.

And more than 5,000 people have signed up for Bath & North East Somerset Council’s weekly text reminder service – helping people avoid any confusion about the right day to put their recycling and waste out.

Councillor Goodman added: “We’ve got additional staff and trucks delivering containers, but it may take a few weeks to get to everyone.  If you don’t want to wait, you can collect them from the council’s recycling centres in Bath, Keynsham and Midsomer Norton. Alternatively, you can continue to put your recycling out in other suitable containers while you are waiting.”

Bath & North East Somerset Council is only delivering recycling containers on request.

If you’re confused about the new service, go to where B&NES have more than 30 FAQs to help deal with most of the questions you may have.

An information pack, which was delivered with the bin/bag includes a calendar showing new collection days.  You can also check your collection day by going to

Remember that you can recycle as many as 17 different types of recyclable items – including food waste – from your kerbside weekly. Take a look at the Council’s festive 12 recycling tips for Christmas


Bath’s Viking history.

Bath’s Viking history.

Today l came face to face with a small – but important – part of Bath’s history.

It lies encased in shaped polystyrene – and stored in the vaults of the Roman Baths Museum – but this is not a relic from the city’s imperial past – nor an object from its Georgian period.


The black patina finish still has a sheen.

It’s a well-preserved tenth-century Scandinavian-styled sword and was found after excavations in front of what’s left of the town wall in Upper Borough Walls back in 1981.

This high-status Viking weapon was expensively made from crucible steel but ended up dumped in a ditch outside Bath’s Saxon wall.


The handle is believed to have been wound with silver thread.

Had it been kept as an heirloom, stolen and hidden or lost in a skirmish between Danish raiders and Anglo Saxons.

Once upon a time a replica was displayed near what remains on the city wall but now both lie hidden. We have a glorious museum to set off our wonderful Roman Baths and are surrounded by splendid Georgian architecture but there is not a Museum of Bath to display treasures that don’t fit into tourist-driven visible history.

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The inscription reads ‘Ulfbehrt made me’ n Latin. Did it come from one of the finest workshops of early medieval Germany or was it made in England?

Maybe one day the Viking sword will have a more visible resting place but do click on the link below to hear Roman Baths Collections Assitant Zofia Matyjaszkiewicz tell us why the sword is dated to the Viking period. She is holding a replica of the real sword which rests beside her on the table.