What’s in a name?

Here was l making promises l couldn’t keep. I told you l had heard that the new inner cabinet for the newly-elected Lib Dem administration at B&NES would be announced last Monday.

Well, l can only be as good as the information l am given, and that turned out not to be the case.

What l do know is that the new cabinet members were posing on an internal staircase in the Guildhall yesterday for pictures and an official photo will be released after the first meeting of the full council on Thursday, May 25th.

All, no doubt, will be revealed then.

It’s no secret l have expressed my hope that they will take the city’s heritage seriously enough to make a cabinet member responsible for it. It is still history, architecture and our setting that brings in most money.

Meanwhile, l was sad to hear recently of the death of Dr John Wroughton – a former headmaster of King Edward’s School – a local educator, writer and historian.

L to R. The late Dr John Wroughton and Mark Rutherford. The gentlemen who have solved the ‘names’ mystery! Photo taken outside the school in 2017!

I met him when we shared a joint concern ( amongst many, many others) about the fate of the former King Edward’s School in Broad Street.

John had explained to me the significance of the names of ‘old boys’ inscribed on an exterior wall facing the rear playground. Pupils who had excelled at their studies.

He – and his friend Mark Rutherford – had traced the fate of many of these young people – many of them having gone off to fight a war.

That picture was taken in 2017!

The building is owned by a brewery who have yet to do anything with it.

It should be compulsory purchased by B&NES! Looks like one old boy agrees with me!

The big talking point in the city this morning seems to be the new floral look to a restaurant that happens to be one of those allowed outside seating in Abbey Church Yard.

I am sure there are many who think it looks lovely, but there are others pointing out that these flowers are plastic.

It’s only the olive trees that are real.

It’s known l am no lover of plastic flowers (see my column in the forthcoming June edition of The Bath Magazine) but what do others think of this.

It can be argued that the real thing has a short shelf life and businesses have got to invest in what gives them the bigger return at a reasonable cost.

Real flowers attract bees – artificial ones attract customers!?

Not sure about planning regulations regarding this, or indeed the large posters they have attached to the white fencing around their site.

This is one of the city’s major ‘photo opportunity’ sites.

Is it being ruined?

Over to you.


  1. In response to your comment re planning permission for the flowers…
    How on Earth does the restaurant down the steps next to Pulteney Bridge (Thai) get away with running neon light strips up and on to our beautiful bridge???
    It looks extremely tacky if you ask me!!!!

  2. Tables and chairs outside a café can animate a street and enable its customers to sit and watch the world go by. Plastic flowers aside (not a great fan either, though) this is more like an enclosed area designed to isolate its users from the street. Perhaps the landlord (ie B&NES) should have a word.

  3. Have just had a look on the planning site and it seems that a retrospective application for the A-boards and other clutter was refused in 2013. There’s been no application since.


    “As stated previously, the frontage of the property forms part of an important and sensitive public space within the Bath Conservation Area and World Heritage Site. There is currently a high level of on-street furniture in this area with tables and chairs. When considering the impact on the vista, I am of the view that the introduction of A boards and banners will introduce further clutter will be harmful to the setting of the surrounding listed buildings and this important part of the Conservation Area. The applicants have been previously advised by the Planning Enforcement Team that a plain banner surrounding the seating area is likely to be acceptable but the advertisements should be removed. “

  4. I do agree. It dominates the appearance of this area of Bath and separates customers from surroundings. What will it look like when other properties do the same. There are other cafes in Bath doing similar and as these ‘blooms’ fade and disintegrate they look untidy, even less attractive and, of course, eventually end up as landfill.

  5. It’s horrible. Totally encroached on the already crowded area ( rightly so) with people enjoying what you have said, one of the best photo opportunities. Also, surlely the best advertising for any outside seating business is for other people to see those outside, not hidden by plastic!

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