Sunshine, and a blue sky lift.

Found myself pedalling hard up Widcombe Hill this morning on my way to meet a local historian called Alistair at the historic Church of St Thomas a Becket alongside the wonderful Georgian Widcombe Manor.

Thomas a Becket Church alongside Widcombe Manor.

Squeaking brakes on the way down persuaded me to take my electrically-assisted machine back to its point of purchase – across at Take Charge Bikes on the Lower Bristol Road edge of Crest’s Riverside Development.

The Stothert and Pitt crane.

While Nick checked the brake pads l took a walk across to Coffee 1 by the Victoria Suspension Bridge and a chance to take in the sights.

The preserved crane – beside Crest’s Riverside development – bears witness to this site’s industrial past – including the manufacture of such lifting gear by the amazing Stothert and Pitt company.

A big piece of Bath’s industrial history.

You’ll find their cranes all over the world – and from alongside Battersea Power Station in London to the Floating Harbour in Bristol.

The electric cranes in Bristol.


This one has been a bit of a project for former local government ‘Heritage Champion’ Bryan Chalker – one time Mayor of the city and local councillor – who likes to remind us all that Bath’s history isn’t all wrapped around Roman remains and Georgian architecture.

heritage day
Former Councillor Bryan Chalker’s collection of memorabilia and Stothert and Pitt artefacts.

Good to see work progressing on the new central park area taking shape between the two showpiece residential apartment blocks – Royal View and Sovereign Point.

Official opening coming up for the spring when the two ornamental ends of the old Destructor Bridge will also be officially unveiled in their new positions.

It’s also overlooked by Anna Gillespie’s amazing Maid of the Bridge – a sculpture literally made from left over bits from the Victoria Bridge restoration.

The Maid of the Bridge sculpture.

Walking back to Sainsbury’s it was good to see how much overgrowth has been cleared back and the architecturally-designed, modest little riverside amphitheatre has been opened up and cleared of the benches that were always littered with cans and empty wine bottles.

Currently no where to sit – but at least you can see the river!

Here’s hoping this whole stretch can continue to improve as this side of the river becomes more of a recognised walking route to take in some of the city sights.

1 Comment

  1. Good to see this. We have digitised the Stothert and Pitt photographic archive at the Museum of Bath at Work. They show not just cranes being built in Bath and used around the world but also people who worked there.

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