A ‘double grrr’ from Ralph.

Earlier in the week l did a video blog in which l suggested putting the trees back into Great Pulteney Street as one way of helping to ‘green’ Bath.

I also mentioned that l thought the empty former Gap store at the town end of Milsom Street would make a great venue for the Fashion Museum – which is looking for a new home.

This sent Ralph Oswick – former artistic director of Bath’s Natural Theatre Company – rushing to his laptop to send me the following email. It came with a warning for us all too!

“Debenhams for the Costume Museum? Plenty of mannequins going spare!

Re trees in Pulteney St. No, no, a thousand times no! The Georgians favoured mathematical starkness/proportions and trees there would ruin that effect of hard edged grandeur. Plenty of other spots for trees.

Though I must admit the walk up to the Holburne sometimes seems endless. Also there are some paving stone atrocities along that street, the most bizarre choices of colour and texture. A right mess considering it’s the very peak of our heritage mountain. Grr! And Bridgerton covered every location in (fake) flowers. Double Grr.

I’m in a bad mood today as my bank account was hacked via my Amazon account. People need to heed a warning: if someone phones you and says if you want to discontinue your Amazon Prime you should click on a link, ignore it or log in to the actual Amazon site and check your account.

In my case I didn’t have an Amazon Prime account but a monthly subscription was on its way out of my bank account. Unfortunately I told them this and they put me on to the National Crime Agency. After logging in and creating an account (thereby stupidly parting with some private details)  I realised it was a fake website.

A man contacted me and said they would put £4000 in my bank account to fool the hackers and then I should pay them £4000 minus the Amazon sub. I said this is a ridiculously elaborate way to get £79  back, but he said the hackers were in my phone, email, computer, credit cards etc. He said I should phone the bank to get the £4000 cleared but not to tell them about the scam as the hackers would be listening.

Of course I phoned the bank and told them everything. They have cancelled all my cards and online facilities for 5 days. Worst thing,  I’ll have beg drinks off pals for 5 days as the pub isn’t taking cash at the moment. Treble Grrr!

My point is that even as a sassy old gent, I was briefly fooled and other more vulnerable people could easily fall for it.  The Cyber Crime Unit (the real one) said it’s one of the most common scams going at the moment. So NEVER click on a link from an unsolicited email (unless it’s from me of course).


  1. We’re not Georgians, though, and we don’t have to share their tastes. And at least the trees would help to distract the eye from the concrete paving stones, tarmac carriageway and the seemingly endless lines of parked cars.

  2. I’m with Ralph. No trees in Great Pulteney Street, please – then the trees in Sydney Gardens will look even more striking, as intended. Personally, I’d cut down the trees in Queen Square as well, and replace them with the espaliered hedge to enclose the central garden as first envisaged by John Wood. It would not only reveal Wood’s masterpiece, but would make the central garden a much quieter, pleasanter place to sit. Research has shown that many visitors come to Bath to see its Georgian archtiecture, so why hide it behind trees? There is a right and wrong place for trees. The Georgian architects knew and understood that. Plant trees in parks and gardens and, dare I say, on redundant golf courses. I still haven’t given up hope of persuading the council to convert the approach golf course to an urban nature reserve, which would be much pleasanter for many more people, residents and visitors alike. And, before a certain Bath resident (who shall remain nameless) leaps in to tell you that dogs aren’t allowed in nature reserves – they usually are, except in special circumstances or habitats – as I know very well, since I own a dog.

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