This is a picture – l am afraid – that says it all about Bath at the moment.
It cannot go on trading on its Roman remains and Georgian architecture – and social history – without spending some money on the city’s fabric.
How ironic that this symbol – which represents Bath’s World Heritage status – should look the way it does.
We share the honour with Venice of being the only two Europeans cities completely covered by this UNESCO accolade.
It’s growing grass and set in the midst of a ‘cobbled’ surround that has gaping holes and not much mortar between its joints.
The other side of the Roman Baths the Guildhall step’s show how much B&NES cares about the look of what is the city’s town hall.
Across the High Street there continually more mess on the pavement because rubbish is not being left in proper bird-proof bags.
I want to finish with the negatives before at least praising one new development.
I feel so sorry for traders in The Corridor. Still no sign of work starting on repairing the glass roof. At this rate the scaffolding will rival that which has surrounded the old Corn Market for years! God knows how much the scaffolding companies make on this – and why shouldn’t they?
There’s still no evidence of a re-planting in the raised beds opposite the One Stop Shop in Manver’s Street where – behind – still no sign of work re-starting on that mega Indigo Hotel project.
It still says opening soon on the web site which is taking bookings for March, 2020.
My final winge is why anyone would think filling the windows of empty shops with views of Bath would look nicer?
The ultimate in window dressing and prospective tenants cannot event check out the space within.
We know our city is beautiful but our High Street currently isn’t so scenic.
Now for the good stuff.
Caught blacksmith Robert Smith still at work in Parade Gardens touching up the paintwork on the amazing new bandstand surrounds that talented artisans from up and down the country have provided.
On the roof is the musical ball constructed after Robert and his wife Carol helped lots of local schoolchildren forge the musical notes that make up its structure.
The bandstand is looking wonderful.
It’s official opening comes – as part of Bath Festival – on Sunday, may 26th with a special evening of music.
Chatting to Robert l heard that although the hardwood flooring is sound, the edges have been taking a bashing.
They didn’t have the spare cash on this IronArt project to do more than the balustrade but it would be great if someone would like to come forward to sponsor having the floor edges repaired.
Let me know if you can help.
If the council was run chiefly by councillors who at the very least represent town seats, instead of rural areas, it might be somewhat more in touch with the slum the centre has become in recent years.
It is not just a question of the areas councillors represent, but also of where they themselves live.
The problem is that the City of Bath is controlled by Councillors from what was Wansdyke. Bring back Bath City Council.
I’ve been visiting Bath for many years and have seen all sorts of changes: Southgate Shopping Centre, the bus station on Dorchester Street, the rise and fall of the Podium Shopping Centre, Thermae Bath Spa etc…. I loved the individual shops (better than London) and kept returning year after year because Bath was simply special. But in recent years (from 2012 onwards) things have changed: empty shops, empty restaurants (Bea’s Vintage Tea Shop to name just one) and litter everywhere. How can a beautiful city be treated like that? It makes me sad.
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