Well chuffed

Good Monday morning! l love the way different strands of a story come together to create something new.

A little while back Rob Coles told us about a forthcoming visit by the Merchant Venturer steam locomotive – as part of an excursion from Solihull, via Swindon and Bath to Bristol.

He reminded us that the same loco had hauled the official Farewell to Steam excursion through Bath fifty-six years ago.

One of those out to take a picture on Saturday last was Dinah Ashley who wrote to say:

Thanks for letting us know about the visiting steam train through Bath today. Thought you might be interested to see the attached picture which I took from my window on Wells Road. Not quite the same place as the one in your article, but close by.

Sorry to say there was no image enclosed with Dinah’s message but – just to show how small a world Bath is – here’s another message from Rob Coles:

‘Lurking at the bottom of Wells Road this morning with my camera, a lady passing asked if I was waiting for the train and did I put my photos on Facebook.  I said I was but was not on Facebook, did she see Richard Wyatt’s Newseum site, I asked. 

   Yes, we all do I am a great fan of Richard, there was a photo of today’s train on his page and the chap had taken one in a similar place as a child !!  I had been married for over a year.   Made my day.

Attached is a pic that I took, could well be the Merchant Venturer,  when I was actually a child, eleven or twelve,  together with a photo of this Saturday’s Merchant Venturer.  (The photo I took when a child won me first prize in a Sunday School competition, Manvers St Baptist. Never won a competition since)

It amuses me to think that in 1952 it was a box camera and all I could do was to click the shutter, now after all these years of photographic experience all I do today is click the shutter.’

Was it Dinah who Rob bumped into?

Now – on a completely different subject – another email from Rob.

‘Have you been told about the significant damage that has been caused to the eastern pillar (Grade II Listed Gate Piers) at the top of Ralph Allen Drive  (Carriage Drive)? 

Not sure when it happened. I first noticed it on Saturday morning.  In addition to the damaged stonework, the top has been displaced.  English Heritage photo is below and damage photos are attached. 

The wooden board that can be seen at the top of the pillar gave the rules for using the drive, when private and known as Carriage Drive. It is not the first time the pillars have been damaged. 

The problem is the traffic islands erected in connection with the mini-roundabout do not allow enough room for long vehicles to negotiate such a sharp corner and the overhanging top of the pillars.  Either the islands on North Road have to be moved or a ban on long vehicles with a warning at the bottom of the hill.’


  1. Hi Richard,

    No, it wasn’t me who spoke to Rob about the passing train – I took my photo from my sitting room window! I did attach it to my previous email, so not sure why you couldn’t see it, but never mind😊

    Best wishes, Dinah Ashley

    Sent from my iPad


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