Paint it block? Plus – your comments!

Not everything erected as part of last year’s Bath Christmas Market was taken down at the end of the event.

We live in troubled times and anti-terrorism barriers of many shapes and sizes have been installed around the country.

A whole line was installed originally in front of the north side of Bath Abbey.

In Bath, we are left with necessary – but rather unsightly – blocks of concrete.

They started their street life being wrapped in Christmas paper but have since suffered greater indignities as large-scale cigarette ashtrays, tables for empty beer cans and additional seating for the weary.

They tried to disguise them with Christmas wrapping paper for the Market.

Contractors in the Saw Close added their own decorations to some. Using them as warnings to the roadworks ahead, and now – l hear  B&NES wants to do something officially with them to make them less of an eye-sore – but still obvious as a deterrent.

Contractors coloured them and one homeless person found a space to sleep between them.

Word has it the newly-elected Mayor may be asked to launch a competition for school kids to come up with designs for individual paintworks.

At one point – between West Gate Street and Union Street – specially reinforced bollards have gone in. Maybe this is a better idea all round?

While l applaud the idea of involving our talented youngsters, l have a feeling the standard of finish might not be quite what tourists want to see in the middle of a World Heritage city.

Professional artists might do a better job of it but – maybe – any attempt to paint them may well just encourage the graffiti artists to move in and apply a second coating.

Roadblocks beside the Louvre in Paris.

Our one-man Graffiti Unit would never cope with that.

A slightly more architectural look.

Having come back from France just recently l have included some ‘block’ types from Paris where they tend to just leave them alone to acquire a ‘street’ patina.

l knocked my knee on something like this.

Maybe ours could be colour-coded for the area in which they are situated or just made into novelty road signs e.g. ‘Baths this way’ or  ‘Circus straight on?’

This one is on the Av. des Champs-Elysees.

Be interested to hear what others may think.


 Well, we have suggestions coming in via Twitter:
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And via Facebook.
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Meanwhile, l spotted Emery’s work team using concrete blocks to help secure the fencing they are erected around part of Bath Abbey before they start work on the interior.
The east and north end​s of Bath Abbey slowly disappearing behind the hoarding.
Looks like concrete Lego?
It’s going to be a little tight for the university bus queue and tourists jumping on the tour​ bus service!


  1. I would have thought we could bput the task of creating something more fitting and interesting to the Sculpture Dept. at Bath Spa Univ. Sion Hill Campus…

    I think the only time I have seen decent civic sculpture in Bath was when the Bath Festival put on a sculpture show all around Bath in collaboration with the Italian Embassy. There was some magnificent work on display…..

  2. I showed a friend a picture of one of the yellow and red striped ones and she said ‘Are they really that ugly?’ Reading council has put some rather more aesthetic ones outside the railway station there, which double as seats. Admittedly that is a less architecturally sensitive area than Bath – all the more reason to replace ours with something less glaringly out of place.

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