The turning of our year.

The turning of our year.

There are a few people who will not be following me through into 2018. My sisters and l have lost our mother – and l have also said goodbye to several dear friends – in a tumultuous year which has now ended.

riRich and mum

Me and my mother Joan.

As l write this it is pouring with rain and it seems appropriate that we go out on a ‘Low’. That’s the pressure system above our wet heads by the way.


My husband Darren – on the left – with Allan and John – two friends who have now both left us.

Meanwhile, I take into the new year –  something l would rather have left behind. That’s the throat/chest infection l usually ‘greet’ as an unwelcome visitor at the end of recent Decembers.

To all those suffering – both bereavement and illness – you have my empathy and my condolences. May l send you a mental ‘hug’ and stand with you – and everyone – as we ‘jump’ into the unknown.

May it be filled with days of peace and opportunity for us all. Though for me the new horizon is dimmed with continuing battles that also spill over into this so far untrodden territory. War, corporate greed, poverty, homelessness, starvation and disease – and the madness of nationalism and a self-induced and lengthy suicide – tearing us away from our island destiny to be part of a new Europe.

I will continue to ‘feed’ Bath Newseum with items of local interest and look forward to growing the ‘firm’ – as fast as this one-man, un-paid operation can!

Do spread the word and contribute if you like. Always happy to be prompted by a ‘story’ you might have for me!!

Though l am sorry l was the first to be the bearer of bad news – in terms of an HLF funding rejection for Cleveland Pools and the sale of The Min for redevelopment – l was still proud that this one-man band, journalistic old-timer can still sometimes come up with the goods.

A happy and healthy 2018 to you all.





How to reduce your waste line.

How to reduce your waste line.

Here’s a New Year resolution Bath and North East Somerset  Council would like us to adopt in an effort to reduce the amount of general household rubbish they have to collect.

They want us to put recycling high up on our 2018 agenda.


Most people – they say – recycle paper, bottles and cans but according to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) only 12 per cent of households are recycling all they can.

More than half of us are still not regularly recycling everything we can from the bathroom and the average UK household only recycles 270 of the 480 plastic bottles they use each year.

Here are Bath and North East Somerset Council’s top ten list of items you might not realise you can recycle …

With your tins and cans and plastic you can recycle …

  • Aerosols – empty deodorant and hairspray, furniture polish and air fresheners
  • Biscuit tins – metal and plastic biscuit tins can be included with your plastic and cans.
  • Cleaning bottles – including bleach bottles and bathroom cleaners
  • Liquid soap bottles – empty, rinse and remove pump dispenser  (throw that in the bin)
  • Shower gel, shampoo and conditioner bottles – rinse, squash and replace the lids

With your cardboard you can recycle …

  • Empty tissue boxes please flatten
  • Empty boxes for dishwasher tablets and washing powder please flatten

With your small electrical items you can recycle …

  • Broken electric toys – if they’re small enough to fit inside a plastic carrier bag you can put them out next to your green box for recycling

With your clothes and shoes you can recycle …

  • Bedding – sheets, pillow cases and duvet covers (no pillows, duvets or other stuffed items).  Please put in a labelled bag to keep dry
  • Clothing accessories – including hats, bags, belts and jewellery

You can also line your food waste caddy or bin with an everyday carrier bag (such as a plastic carrier bag, bread bag or vegetable bag) so if you haven’t already started recycling your food waste make sure you order your food bin now – it’s clean and easy to use.


Cllr Bob Goodman (Conservative, Combe Down), Cabinet Member for Development & Neighbourhoods said: “If we all recycle as much as we possibly can that means we need to throw away less in our rubbish bins.  Please make sure that you only put your rubbish in your wheeled bin or re-usable rubbish bag – do not put out any extra rubbish.”

To find out more about Bath & North East Somerset Council’s recycling and rubbish collections, please go to or contact Council Connect ( 0

January patch up for city car park.

January patch up for city car park.

Motorists are being advised about a fortnight of patch resurfacing works to a Bath city centre car park.


The Charlotte Street Car Park

Bath and North East Somerset Council is carrying out the work on Charlotte Street car park from Monday January 15 to January 29.

Lines are being remarked and repairs carried out to a number of worn areas. Areas will be targeted to reduce the impact of temporarily losing spaces while this essential work is carried out by contractors.

Councillor  Tim Warren (Conservative, Mendip), council leader, said: “The work will be carried out over two weeks and it will mean the temporary loss of some spaces. We hope motorists will bear with us while we complete this essential work to repair parts of the car park.”


Still time to help plan the future!

Still time to help plan the future!


A message of thanks has gone out to people who went along to a series of planning events outlining the shape of Bath and North East Somerset over the next twenty years.

Bath and North East Somerset Council held five public events giving people the chance to review and comment on the Local Plan 2016-2036.

Residents still have until January 10 to get involved and have their say on the emerging plan which at this stage 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.


Pictured is Bath resident and adviser for the Bath Preservation Trust Ann Godfrey at the Guildhall event with Councillor Bob Goodman, Cabinet Member for Development & Neighbourhoods.

Public events were held at The Board Room, Bath College Somer Valley campus, the United Reform Church Hall, in Whitchurch, the Civic Centre, Keynsham and the Brunswick Room, Guildhall, Bath at the end of November and beginning of December.

Cllr Bob Goodman (Conservative, Combe Down), Cabinet Member for Development & Neighbourhoods said: “A lot of people came along to the events and we want to thank them for taking part. There is still time for anyone who wants to comment to get involved because people’s views will help inform the next stages of the plan.”

Bath resident and adviser for the Bath Preservation Trust Ann Godfrey added: “I would encourage everyone to take a look at these plans and see what is being proposed because it’s difficult to do anything about it after it’s agreed.”


Bath & North East Somerset Council’s new Local Plan works alongside the West of England’s Joint Spatial Plan (JSP) which addresses the sub-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



Get out of Bath!

Get out of Bath!

Christmas excesses and New Year resolutions could both lead you to consider a late stocking filler which offers you fourteen different scenic and historic walking routes out of Bath to help you feel both fresher and fitter as 2018 begins.

We tend to get a little city-centric here with so much in the way of thermal waters, Georgian architecture, parks and Roman ruins to indulge in.

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Author, Andrew Swift.

Author Andrew Swift has spent years both walking and researching ways in which you can expand your energies, and enrich mind and body, by getting out and appreciating – on foot – the beautiful countryside that surrounds our World Heritage city.


Andrew’s newly published book on Bath walks!

He reminds us that his book allows us to reconnect with what was many an 18th century visitor’s most pleasurable indulgence – walking in the countryside.


The first route in the book!

His book is well illustrated, informative and easy to read and carry with you. Andrew points out that the route maps in it are not intended as navigational aids. A detailed map is all but essential on all except the first four walks. An OS Explorer or AA Walker’s Map should do the trick.

I met him in Kingston Parade – the place all fourteen walks begin.

More information via

Cleveland Pools Project to meet with HLF.

Cleveland Pools Project to meet with HLF.

Members of the  Bath-based Cleveland Pools Trust are due to meet representatives of the Heritage Lottery Fund very soon to discuss the organisation’s decision not to provide further  funding to help restore the historic riverside lido that has lain abandoned for years.

cleveland pools

Cleveland Pools. before the main pool was drained.

This Grade 2* listed complex behind Hampton Row, and beside the River Avon, contains the oldest surviving open-air public swimming pools in the UK. Their rich social history dates back to the Regency period during King George III’s reign.

The Cleveland Pools Trust has been running a campaign to save the 200 year old lido – on the eastern edge of the city – for 13 years.

It was a bitter blow to hear- just before Christmas – that they are not getting the Stage 2 funding to enable them to begin a restoration which would have reopened the site to open air bathing in 2020.

In a statement the Heritage Lottery Fund said:

“In 2014, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) awarded Cleveland Pools Trust initial support* for a £3.7m project plus development funding of £366,200 to progress plans to restore and reopen Cleveland Pools in Bath.

HLF has now assessed Cleveland Pools Trust’s second-round application for an increased full grant of £4.07m. On this occasion, HLF’s Board decided it was unable to confirm the grant.

cleveland pools

Cleveland Pools.

Nerys Watts, Head of HLF South West, said:

“The Grade II* listed Cleveland Pools have significant heritage value and are believed to be the oldest-surviving public outdoor swimming pool in England. Given their importance, and the clear need for their restoration, we’ve supported the Cleveland Pools Trust over the last three years to find a solution for this complex site’s needs.

“Although a lot of work has gone into developing the project, unfortunately a number of key risks remain, including a challenging financial risk.

Therefore, we are unable to provide a grant for this project at this time. We will be speaking to both the Cleveland Pools Trust and Bath and North East Somerset Council to explore possible next steps.”

cleveland pools

At the Cleveland Pools in August 2014, awaiting the outcome of the initial HLF bid. L to R Adviser Mary Sabina Stacey, Trustees Paul Simon, Ina Harris, Ainslie Ensom, Sally Helvey and Chair, Ann Dunlop.

Cleveland Pools Trustee and treasurer Andy Mullett told Bath Newseum:

‘We are all extremely disappointed that so many years of hard work appears to have amounted to nothing.  We have requested a meeting with the South West head of the HLF to discuss the various issues that led to this rejection, which we hope will happen very shortly, and we will then be meeting with B&NES, who are of course the owners of the Pool, to discuss where we go from here.’

Andy said he had hoped they had done all the hard work and ‘ had a scheme we thought worked.’

They would be meeting HLF in the New Year and Historic England had said they would also send a representative.

‘Of course we are disappointed. We are looking at a significant asset and a building on the list of historic buildings at risk register.’

It’s also not known if B&NES has a fall-back plan for the Pools and whether they could decide to put them back on the open market.

The Trust might have to decide to continue care and maintenance until such times as a HLF bid is successful or hand the complex back to the Council.

A lot depends on that New Year meeting – due to take place soon.

Cleveland Pools logo

The new logo for Cleveland Pools

The Trust has since issued the following statement:

“The Heritage Lottery Fund has rejected an application for funding to restore the   Cleveland Pools in Bath.

The trustees of the HLF met on the 12th December to consider the latest raft of applications for grant aid. The Cleveland Pools Trust has subsequently been notified verbally of this decision. The Trust will now awaiting written confirmation of the HLF decision to help it understand the reasons behind the rejection of the project.

On receipt of this correspondence the Trust will be able to consider any options open to it to pursue its objective of re-opening the Pools for leisure swimming. Until receipt of this correspondence, (receipt of which is not anticipated until after the Christmas break) the Trust will not be making any further statement.     

The Cleveland Pools Trust has welcomed the offer of the HLF to hold a meeting in the New Year to review the reasons why the project was turned down.”

Awash with memories?

Awash with memories?

An appeal has gone out for people’s memories and images of the former spa and Bath City Laundry as part of a fascinating Bath Spa University project.


A model showing the proposed conversion of the old laundry in to a Learner Centre and World Heritage Centre.

Students are asking for memories and images of the laundry in York Street and Swallow Street during the 1950s to 1970s.

The memories collected will be made available to the public as a digital resource for residents and visitors to explore. This will include photos, documents, written memories and recorded interviews.

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An image showing the laundry being cleaned in 1972.

Bath City Laundry was built in c.1889 by city architect Major Charles Davis, as part of the Victorian programme of improvements to the area around the Roman Baths.

The laundry was located here in order to take advantage of the naturally hot water, which flowed from the King’s Spring to the laundry’s boiler house via cast iron pipes in a tunnel below York Street, and then back from the boiler house to the Victorian spa facilities via a pipe in the decorative arch over the street.

As well as washing towels for the spa, the laundry was used to wash all kinds of things for the council, from roller towels in washrooms to overalls for Parks Department staff and napkins for the Pump Room. In the 1950s it was washing nearly half a million items a year, but the demise of the spa and the changing nature of many council activities resulted in its eventual closure in 1976.

Archway Project Long Section

A long section through the Archway Project scheme.

Now, the laundry is about to take on a new lease of life. The Archway Project ( will create a new World Heritage Centre and Learning Centre for the Roman Baths in the building, opening in 2019.

Councillor Paul Myers (Conservative Midsomer Norton Redfield), Cabinet Member for Economic and Community Regeneration at Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “We are keen to hear from anyone who can give us details about the former life of these buildings, which are an important part of Bath’s history as a spa destination.”

Sarah Morton, Lecturer in Heritage at Bath Spa University, said: “The Bath City Laundry project will give our third year undergraduate Heritage students the opportunity to plan and carry out an oral history project, produce a digital resource as part of the development of the new World Heritage and Learning Centre and also connect them with local residents who have memories of the site.

“We are excited to be working with the Roman Baths and the Archway Project and to be able to give our students the opportunity to plan and produce a public resource, as this gives them invaluable experience of working in the heritage sector, project management and developing resources for a client. We also have a number of other student projects and placements with the Roman Baths that will be happening over the next two years and are thrilled to be part of the Archway Project, so that our students will be directly contributing to the interpretation at the new World Heritage and Learning Centre.”

To share your memories of Bath City Laundry please email / call 01225 477773 / write to The Roman Baths Museum Office, The Pump Room, Stall Street, Bath BA1 1LZ / tweet @RomanBathsBath