The doggy bag that gets left behind!

The doggy bag that gets left behind!

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And here’s one placed on top of a wall!

I know l am an old dog with a bone, but what is it with dog owners and poop bags?

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The incline up to the towpath.

Walking up the slope from Grosvenor Bridge to the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath, with my partner, we counted EIGHT such ‘filled’ containers tossed to the side.

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Spot the poop!

Having at least gone through the motions (forgive the pun) of picking their dog’s poop up – l cannot understand why the public exhibition of responsibility and care cannot extend to taking the contents as far as a bin to dispose of it.

I don’t own a dog and have no idea whether these bags are biodegradable. We are trying to take plastic out of the environment aren’t we?

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And here’s one placed on top of a wall!

While we’re up on the towpath can l take issue with the notices that have been erected regarding pedestrian priority. Simple little message regarding bikes ‘giving way’ to people and reducing speed.

Don’t quarrel with that at all but does priority also extend to dog walkers with their pets on or off the lead?

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Those on an extendable lead give a cyclist a bit of a problem – when the cable lies across the footpath – while dogs OFF the lead is an obvious hazard – especially when the owner is ON their mobile phone.

And what about joggers? Quite a few of those too in Bath, what with its noble reputation for organised road events. Should a cyclist stop to wave them by?

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Does the priority extend also to walkers with dogs on or off leads? Joggers?

The idea of sharing this safe route into town is all a bit half-hearted. There is no effort to encourage cyclists off the London Road and onto this canal-side pathway into Bath.

Tarmac with one side painted green for cyclists would have been a much better idea and, l am sorry, but dogs should be under proper control and on a lead.

Shared spaces don’t work but, if there is going to be any real peace amongst the towpath users, everyone must take responsibility for their actions.

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The rusty old rubbish bin at Grosvenor Bridge. The bottom has completely disintegrated.

PS. It really is time the rubbish bin at the London Road end of Grosvenor Bridge was replaced.

The bottom is rusted through. This is a busy old litter bin, as the canal folk come down to put their waste in it too!

In the swim for Cleveland Pools

In the swim for Cleveland Pools

Bath’s historic Cleveland Pools have held their first swimming event – at Bath Leisure Centre!

That’s where around 650 of Bath’s young swimming fraternity from 8 different swim schools and clubs turned out  for a Sponsored Swim which raised nearly £7,000 for the two hundred year old open air former Georgian lido beside the River Avon at Bathwick.

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Parents urging their youngsters on at the swimathon.

The restoration process for the Cleveland Pools will begin later this year to bring back open-air swimming to the people of Bath, and this is the first big swimming-related event held off-site.  Its success is due to the growing interest in this remarkable heritage site on the riverside in Bathwick which was closed for swimming 1984 due to lack of funding.   

The parents of the swimmers have really helped spread awareness by asking friends and families to sponsor their youngsters.  Both LocalGiving and social media have played a huge part in helping them reach their goals.  

The Bath Dolphin Swimming Club session was chosen for the Swimathon’s publicity night due to their longstanding association with the Cleveland Pools;  the Dolphins were founded on the riverside next to the Cleveland Pools in 1899. 

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The Bath Dolphin Swimming Club at the Cleveland Pools in 1910. © Bath in Time.

The Bath Dolphins are now based at the Bath Sports & Leisure Centre and this is where the club members carried out their sponsored swims.  Ironically, it was the building of the Bath Sports & Leisure Centre in 1975 – with its brand new heated swimming pool – which essentially caused the Cleveland Pools to meet its gradual demise.  But things are about to change !

Cleveland Pools trustee Suzy Granger, who owns the Bath School of Swimming, co-ordinated the whole Sponsored Swim programme with coaches and teachers from the participating swim schools. 

 All the swimmers taking part in the sponsored swim were given a Well Done certificate to thank them for their efforts. 

Special guest Stephanie Millward MBE, the Paralympian swimmer who becomes the latest patron for the Cleveland Pools alongside their existing ambassador Sharron Davies MBE, presented some of the certificates to the children.  

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Stephanie Millward MBE talking to some of the young swimmers.

The Cleveland Pools in Bathwick are the most intriguing open-air public swimming venue in the UK, and also the oldest.  Closed for swimming in 1984, a Trust was formed in 2005 by local campaigners to save the 200 year-old heritage site – with its crescent-shaped cottage and changing cubicles – and have it restored for the people of Bath and beyond to enjoy as a swimming venue and historic place of interest for the future.    

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In order to meet the terms of their Heritage Lottery Fund Stage II grant of £3.7million, which will finally fund the cost of restoration, the Cleveland Pools Trust needed to raise £530,000 in match-funding.  With support from Bath & North East Somerset Council (B&NES), Historic England, and generous local donors they have already raised over two thirds!  

The remaining £168,000 is needed by the end of April so they are urging the public to get behind the project and donate any amount they can via their website:   www.clevelandpools.org.uk 

From newspaper to gallery wall.

From newspaper to gallery wall.

Bath’s Victoria Art Gallery has just launched an exhibition with a real difference.

Hanging on its walls are the photographs we have lived with over the years  – as we turn the pages of a newspaper or watch the evening news.

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Tiananmen Square, 1989.

Taken away from the print – and framed on a gallery wall – here are images – stark, uncomfortable, shocking and thought-provoking – that record man’s inhumanity to man. Each one a moment of frozen time – and many of events that changed history.

This is photo-journalism at its best. A collection of over 75 prints taking us through almost one hundred years of world events.

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Libya in flames.

For me – it was a chance to relive moments of events l remember as part of my life experience.

Things like Lee Harvey Oswold’s assassination, Don McCullin’s powerful shell-shocked Vietnam soldier,  the terrible tragedy of 9/11, burning oil-wells in the Iraqi desert and the collected faces of desperate boat people.

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The assassination of Lee Harvey Oswold – the man arrested after the murder of President John F Kennedy.

It is a must-see.

The collection is owned by The Incite Project. Photographer Harriet Logan and curator Tristan Lund have assembled one of the largest private collections of news and documentary photographs in the UK.

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One of the most graphic images of 9/11

This show focuses on iconic images and their power, profiling images that have changed public perception of world events. They have been selected from a collection that specialises in photojournalism and documentary photography.

We are used to seeing these images in the press, in transient form, generally accompanied by columns of text, but the Incite Project treats them as works of art.

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The core of the collection are the classics of 20th-century photojournalism that have become visual markers of a moment in time.

The collection is also motivated by a passion to support the photographers and artists currently making extraordinary, thought-provoking images about contemporary issues.

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Bath’s Mayor, Cllr Paul Crossley in conversation with acclaimed international photographer Don McCullin. Many of his amazing images are on display here.

Bath Newseum was able to speak to Tristan Lund – who is collection curator of the  Incite Project  – at last night’s preview.

Please be warned that this exhibition contains images of conflict which some visitors may find disturbing.

The exhibition runs until May 10th. £4.00 / concs. / under 21s and Discovery Card holders free. More information via https://www.victoriagal.org.uk/

The Chinese painter making oil and water mix!

The Chinese painter making oil and water mix!

Bath’s blessed with a variety of museums  – covering all manner of subjects from locally made cars to classical architecture – but there’s one rather special one – just around the corner from The Circus  – which can claim to be the only UK museum solely dedicated to the arts and cultures of East and South East Asia.

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The entrance to the Museum of East Asian Art.

It’s currently hosting a small selection of paintings from a European touring exhibition featuring Chinese artist Hong Ling. Now in his 60’s this is a painter who mixes traditional Chinese ink paintings with the oils of our Western artistic culture.

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The exhibition poster displayed outside the museum.

The exhibition begins with early works from the late 1980s when Hong Ling completed his graduate training in western oil painting at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing (CAFA).

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Artist Hong Ling photographed at work.

In the 1990s, his work was richly informed by his extensive travels across China, Asia, and many remote parts of the world.  During this time, Hong Ling also started setting up his studio residence in the region of Mount Huangshan, a picturesque UNESCO World Heritage Site, in Anhui Province in eastern China.

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Part of the Hong Ling-Selected display.

Since then, he has focussed exclusively on landscape painting, encapsulating the traditions of Chinese aesthetic philosophies with western painting medium.

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There’s a book on the artist and his work for sale at the museum.

Working in parallel studios in Huangshan and Beijing, devoted to both oil and ink painting, Hong Ling’s works tell the story of one artist’s embrace of the natural world, his personal development, and his versatile creativity.

Bath Newseum went along to  a preview evening to speak to curator Nicole Chiang.

Hong Ling – Selected is running at the Museum of East Asian Art through to July 2nd. Find out more via http://www.meaa.org.uk/

Classic look at architecture – in miniature.

Classic look at architecture – in miniature.

The city’s iconic Royal Crescent is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year and – as part of a whole year full of special events – Bath Preservation Trust have just opened a special exhibition which features classical architecture in miniature.

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Guests admiring some of the models on display.

From Rome to the Royal Crescent traces the evolution of classical architecture from the ancient monuments of Rome, through the innovation of the Renaissance to the modern designs of 18th century Britain through the beautiful work of model maker Timothy Richards.

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Timothy Richards was on hand to answer questions about his models on display.

When the foundation stone was laid for the Royal Crescent in 1767 British architecture was dominated by a passion for Palladianism.

A fashionable style for both grand country houses and city structures, 18th century Palladianism was inspired by the buildings of ancient Greece and Rome as interpreted by Renaissance architects such as Andrea Palladio.

Through highly detailed models of some the key buildings in this story of stylistic development, this exhibition will reveal why the iconic Royal Crescent looks the way it does.

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Villa Rotonda – one of Timothy’s exquisite models.

Based in Bath, Timothy Richards specialises in telling the story of architecture through model making and has spent over 25 years refining his craft. The workshop has completed over 150 projects for both private and public commissioners.

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Another part of the display at No 1 Royal Crescent.

The exhibition is being held at No 1 Royal Crescent through to June 4th.  Bath Newseum spoke to its curator, Dr Amy Frost, during a special preview evening.

Find out more about the skills and processes behind the extraordinary work of Tim and his team of craftsmen at www.timothyrichardscommissions.com or visit this unique workshop.

Discover more  information about opening times at No 1 Royal Crescent  via  http://no1royalcrescent.org.uk/events/

Storm blast and bloom.

Storm blast and bloom.

The day after Storm Doris and – just inside the wall surrounding Sydney Gardens  -adjoining Sydney Road – evidence of the severity of the wind gusts that hit the city.

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Storm Doris damage in Sydney Gardens.

What a great job B&NES teams did too in clearing fallen trees and branches. Don’t know whether any part of this mature fir is able to be rescued for future growth but no doubt the Parks Department will be returning to the scene to deal with the remains.

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The canal-side wall that still needs cleaning off.

Good to see the B&NES Graffiti Unit has dealt with most of the vandalism that disfigured the stone wall beside the Kennet and Avon Canal running through the gardens – though the daubings remain to be dealt with under one of the ornamental bridges crossing the canal and through the long canal tunnel out of the gardens towards open countryside.

I am hearing it all depends on who owns which wall. Hope it is sorted out soon and the rest of this attack on one of our best loved heritage assets is cleaned away.

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Spring flowers in Sydney Gardens today – amongst the fallen twigs from yesterday’s storm.

On a final – and spring like note – what a difference a day makes. Today’s warm sunshine has helped many more miniature daffodils to bloom in Sydney Gardens. A welcome sight.

Your place on the Bath map!

Your place on the Bath map!

Got a wonderful black and white photograph of your great grandmother standing in a car-free street in downtown Twerton or a shot – you found in a car boot sale – of people boarding a steam train at Bath Spa Station?

While you may treasure such images in an album you keep at home, now comes the chance to share it with the world in a wonderful new facility that gives you the opportunity of stamping your own community identity onto an on-line facility that records the changing face of places like Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

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The Know Your Place website.

Go on line via http://www.kypwest.org.uk/   and you will pick up the following information about an Heritage Lottery Funded project you can really get involved in.

‘Know Your Place is a digital heritage mapping project to help you to explore your neighbourhood online through historic maps, collections and linked information.

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The website allows you to access maps of Bath and district spanning several centuries.

Know Your Place – West of England covers Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire and the former Avon area. It will provide unprecedented online access to historical maps, onto which users can add information about their local area, building a rich and diverse community map of local heritage for everyone.

The project runs until June 2017 and will provide comprehensive cover of the modern counties of South Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, North Somerset, Bath & North East Somerset and Somerset.

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A screen grab from Know Your Place showing an old map of Bath and each green spot opens to reveal pictures of that particular place at a particular time in history.

The project has been awarded £379,800 by the Heritage Lottery Fund, with generous match-funding and in-kind support from local authorities and heritage groups in the region, including £5,000 match-funding from the lead partner, South Gloucestershire Council.’

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Local historian Andrew Hill who has been setting up the B&NES part of the on-line website ‘Know Your Place.’

Here in Bath, local writer and historian Andrew Hill has been busy uploading images on to the site from the vast archives of the Museum of Bath at Work.

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Stuart Burroughs – Director of The Museum of Bath at Work.

It’s where l met him to find out more about his efforts – and how the people of Bath and North East Somerset can get involved.

A chance also to chat to Stuart Burroughs who is the Director of the Museum of Bath at Work.

Forgive the shaky camerawork but – with space at a premium in the museum archive – the camera is being hand-held!

The website address that will bring you straight to the B&NES section is http://maps.bristol.gov.uk/kyp/?edition=banes

Andrew Hill is also the author of a book that takes an in-depth look at Bath’s retail history by exploring  the rise and fall of one of its most famous commercial enterprises Cater, Stoffell and Fortt.

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‘Biscuits, Banquets and Bollinger’ – by Andrew Hill.

The Museum of Bath at Work’s website is www.bath-at-work.org.uk/