New Destructor bridge now in place!

New Destructor bridge now in place!

Seems the new Destructor Bridge – linking Western Riverside with the Upper Bristol Road – has now been lowered into place and is being secured.

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Finally – the new bridge is spanning the River Avon.

This comes after a delay in finally being able to roll out the prefabricated structure across the River Avon, because of alignment problems.

A spokesperson for the contractors has told Bath Newseum:

‘The bridge was lowered into position yesterday and is being set into place today as planned.

In the coming weeks Britannia will undertake works to allow the towpath to reopen in early September’.

 

Look who is in Larkhall.

Look who is in Larkhall.

James and Jodie Vowles run a monthly community magazine in my area called The Local Look.

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It’s delivered – free of charge – to doors in places as far apart as Ashley and Bailbrook to Tadwick and Woolley – with places like Claverton, Lansdown and Larkhall in between.

The magazine is packed with local information, events and editorials – along with advertisements promoting local businesses.

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James and Jodie Vowles

I wanted to say a public thank you to James for coming along to have a chat with me and giving Bath Newseum some much needed publicity.

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Larkhall – that’s my home.

I have just returned from a sun dappled walk through Bailbrook Lane to Batheaston and back. 

Half way through we stopped to chat to a lady who – suddenly recognised me – and said she had just been reading about me in her Local Look.

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Thanks for the memories


Thought you would like to know that James and Jodie. All your hard work seems to pay off. People do read the magazine.

You can contact this family-run enterprise via www.facebook.com/TheLocalLook

Smoothing the way through Larkhall.

Smoothing the way through Larkhall.

What a difference a new road surface makes!

Here’s the main road – St Saviour’s – into the ‘village’ of Larkhall – after its recent tarmac renovation.

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So smooth.

Before and after.

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The former surface of St Saviour’s Road into Larkhall, Bath.

Drop the East of Bath park and ride scheme and you would have enough cash to re-do all the roads of Bath!

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Wow!

What do others think?

On your bike, Bath.

On your bike, Bath.

The Aberdare to Bath section of this year’s Tour of Britain cycle race arrives in the city on Thursday, September 8th.

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Shops and businesses have been going bike ‘mad’ in support of the event – as a stroll around the city centre will reveal.

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I am sure you can spot some more.

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Stage Five will begin in Aberdare at 11am and is expected to arrive in Bath and North East Somerset at around 3.30pm, having crossed South Wales and Gloucestershire.

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Around 120 of the world’s top professional cyclists will be racing on the A431 through Kelston and onto Newbridge Hill, cycling across the top of Chelsea Road and down onto Upper Bristol Road.

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From there they will go past Windsor Bridge and Royal Victoria Park’s children’s play area before sweeping left up Marlborough Lane and on to the finish line on Royal Avenue, at around 3.30pm.

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Visitors and residents are being encouraged to come along to the Cycle village on Royal Avenue, which will be open from 10am – 4pm and include giant screens showing the race live from 1pm.

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The Council is in contact with schools and pre-schools across Bath and North East Somerset, inviting them to join in the fun of the cycle village and watch professional cyclists in action.

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Timings are approximate at the moment – more details will be communicated nearer the time. Bath & North East Somerset Council is currently talking to the RUH, local schools, and businesses about the event, and will be contacting any affected local residents with further details.

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Just a selection of bikes around town.

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Consultation favours skateboard facility for Alice Park.

Consultation favours skateboard facility for Alice Park.

A park and ride site east of Bath isn’t the only facility being pushed for at this end of the city.

A committee meeting at the Guildhall today ( Monday, August 22nd) will receive the results of a public consultation regarding the setting up of a skateboard amenity at Alice Park.

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The Alice Park sign.

B&NES set aside £100,00 as part of a programme to improve the quality of parks and play provision in the district after receiving a petition in 2013 of 572 names calling for such a play area to be set up.

There has been a total of 282 responses to the public consultation with an overall 2:1 in favour of the skate park.

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The skateboard site – across the city – at Royal Victoria Park

From the survey results – to be presented to the Alice Park Sub-Committee – the main reasons cited for favouring the development of the Skatepark were: 

A Skatepark would promote healthy lifestyles and physical challenges

It would promote a sense of community – through the social side of skate parks

There are not enough facilities for young people in the east of Bath

A Skatepark would keep young people occupied and out of trouble

It would create a safe place for children to develop a sense of independence

From a minority of responses (those not in favour of the skate park), the main objections to the scheme were that a new skate park would:

Cause increased parking problems in the vicinity of the park

Lead to a change to the landscape and loss of tranquil aspects of the park

Contribute to more people urinating publically in bushes and against trees rather than paying the recently introduced toilet charge of 20p

Bring increased anti-social behaviour.

The survey report continues: ‘One of the prime reasons for building a skate park is to encourage families with a range of children to visit the park and to keep young people playing outside for as long as possible. Bath has a higher than average level of childhood obesity, and every opportunity is being sought to encourage a pattern of healthy lifestyles.

Such lifestyles will carry them into adulthood with physical activity and social interaction at its core. It has been shown that children will play outdoors until the age of 11 with little encouragement needed, but after that age, it is the family involvement that will set a pattern for life.

With parents asking for more for their older children to do in the park, the new skate park would assist parents by encouraging their children to go outdoors and stay active.’

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Alice Park.

The report concludes:

‘There was a good response to the consultation (282 recorded responses), with a clear majority in favour of the development of a skate park in Alice Park (68%: Yes; 29%: No).

There are existing concerns about parking and road safety along Gloucester Road and the commissioning of a specialist parking and traffic survey would be advisable as part of a project to build a skate park in Alice Park.

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Parking around the park can already be a real safety issue.

Those opposed to the scheme have concerns that a new Skatepark would increase the number of incidences of anti-social behaviour and these would need to be addressed through improved surveillance by a partnership of police, council officers and the community. There would also need to be a clearly publicised reporting system for those who witness incidents of this kind.

An appetite for improving other facilities in the park suggests that an investment in improving the tennis courts would be welcomed by park users’.

History markers

History markers

Where would much-enjoyed amenities like the Kennet and Avon Canal be without its army of volunteers.

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The new surface on the towpath into Bath.

People who keep this restored and much appreciated relic from the country’s industrial past up and running as a leisure facility.

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Volunteers erecting one of the posts that will hold the information board in position.

The canal is in the care of the Canal and River Trust and your Director caught up with some of those volunteers busy erecting information boards along the length of the recently resurfaced towpath leading out of Bath and into beautiful countryside.

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It’s a highly visual way of giving easy to read information on the nearby Cleveland Pools.

One of the boards marks the path that leads off – across the main Bristol to London railway line – towards the Cleveland Pools.

This is what remains of an original Georgian lido and an historic structure it is hoped will soon be restored and re-opened to the public as an open-air swimming pool.

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A closer look at the Cleveland Pools board.

It’s good to see the board now doing its bit to both mark the lido’s presence but also tell people of the positive plans the Cleveland Pools Trust – and its own army of volunteers – have for its future.

 

 

A different Bath uncovered.

A different Bath uncovered.

Tourists flock to Bath in their millions to gaze upon our unique Georgian showpieces that – with the help of our well-preserved Roman remains – have helped earned the city its World Heritage status.

However, the homes and public spaces of many of the ordinary people of Bath – the men and women  who helped build and run these elegant homes erected to house the 18th century’s super-rich – have not been so well preserved.

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Archaeologists have uncovered the slipway end of Avon Street.

As part of the preparation work being undertaken to re-model a section of the Avon’s riverbank through the lower part of the city – archaeologists from Wessex Archaeology have been called in to sift through some of the top 18th and 19th century layers of an area that was home to crowded tenement houses, industry, beer houses and public baths.

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The bar floor of what was the Duke of York beer house.

An area of deprivation with a reputation for violence and prostitution – and one prone to major flooding.

The archaeology has to be completed before the winter and the chance of more swollen river waters overflowing.

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A stable block and an area that ended its working life as a scrap yard.

Ironically a job that has to be finished so that contractors Alun Griffiths Limited can start re-modelling the bank – as part of a flood alleviation scheme which will also open up the Broad Quays area for redevelopment.

According to the contractor’s website – http://community.alungriffiths.co.uk/works-in-your-area/bath-quays-waterside/ – the project is known as Bath Quays Waterside.

‘The Bath Quays Waterside Project will put in place essential flood mitigation and flood defence works to the north and south banks of the river between Churchill Bridge and Midland Bridge. In summary the plan will:

Provide the flood mitigation to enable the redevelopment of the Bath Quays and Manvers Street sites

Significantly widen the north bank to up to 15m wide at the lower tow-path level between Churchill Bridge and Green Park to move water through this area more quickly in flood conditions.

This would require that Green Park Road is diverted away from the riverside northwards to link up with Corn Street creating the major opportunity to open up the riverside to the city

Install new flood walls and raise existing river walls on the south side of the river between Churchill Bridge and Midland Bridge

Improving flood defences on existing buildings fronting onto the river along the Lower Bristol Road’.

There’s more detailed information on the Council’s website at http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/planning-and-building-control/major-projects/bath-quays-waterside-reconnecting-bath-its

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The top entrance to a well that must also be investigated.

Bath Newseum has been allowed in to see what has been uncovered so far in this archaeological ‘rescue dig’ and has been speaking to the Senior Project Officer for Wessex Archaeology – Cai Mason.

It’s hoped there might be some sort of public ‘open day’ of part of the site so that people can see for themselves what has been uncovered and before it is all swept away.

Many of the historic images used in this report come from the resources of Bath in Time – www.bathintime.co.uk – a site your Director is pleased to promote.

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Evidence of crowded housing blocks that must have flooded frequently over the years.