Night of nostalgia cancelled

Before the flood prevention scheme, it was not unusual for Southgate Street to be flooded by the River Avon which flowed as far out the street to the junction with Lower Borough Walls and into the cellars of Woolworths and other higher up shops! Photo: Geoff Ellis

Sorry to say tomorrow night’s long-awaited book signing at the Dorothy House Charity shop in Broad Street has been cancelled.

It was where former Bath press photographer Geoff Ellis was going to sign copies of his recently published book ‘Bath to Fleet Street’ which contains many photographic records of his time in the city.

Cover of Book
Guardian Subs office, Farringdon Street London.

Rob Coles told me : The decision was made jointly by Geoff and Dorothy House when considering the new covid risk and lack of space and ventilation in the shop. 

 It is hoped that it will be possible to rearrange the event in the new year when the position should be clearer.  A shame but understandable,  several of his old press friends were particularly looking forward to meeting up.

Photographer Geoff Ellis, then and now with his Speed Graphic camera. 

Geoff now lives in Worthing, but his friend Rob Coles had alerted me to the event and told me: “We have been friends since his days as a Bath press photographer in the late 1950’s.   I


Monty Sunshine, Pat Halcox and Chris Barber, at a Jazz Promenade in the Regency Ballroom
. Photo:Geoff Ellis

There are many pages covering Bath and, being a jazz enthusiast there is much photo coverage of the Jazz and pop scene. From local jazz to Cilla Black via Duke Ellington and Acker Bilk etc. 

Cilla Black
Monday Night, Bath Pavilion Photo:Geoff Ellis

Moving on to greater things, his time on the Belfast Telegraph at the time of the troubles is covered – followed by his career on the Guardian, Times, Now Magazine and PR. 

HM The Queen Mother arrives at Bath Spa on her way to Badminton c1964 Photo:Geoff Ellis

The large-format book, £18.50, is on sale exclusively at the Dorothy House, Broad Street bookshop as Geoff wanted to help a local charity.

Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson, and Yolande Donian in the Christmas / New Year dance scene in Bath Pump Room during the filming of ‘80,000 Subjects’ – a feature film set in Bath about a smallpox outbreak and the tracing of contacts. Photo Geoff Ellis

Let’s hope he manages to make Bath early next year.

Bath’s most commercially successful Traditional Jazz Band, The Pearce Cadwallader Stompers pose for a publicity shot for the Bath Chronicle to publicise the Jameano, bringing jazz to the people, during the Bath Festival.  The band played at different outside venues each night of the festival.  Monday 5th June 1961. Photo: Geoff Ellis.

Details of the book can be found at   https://bathtofleetstreet.com/ 

1 Comment

  1. Stuart, I expect you’ve already seen this but just in case…

    I think Bath had quite a vibrant jazz scene in the fifties – a lot of my parents’ friends (think duffel coats, varsity scarves, Gauloises, slacks, and striped jumpers) were trad or Brit Bop fans. Someone should document before it’s too late.

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