Feeling a bit browned off.

Feeling a bit browned off.

Is this the problem with container-grown trees when it comes to extreme heat and dryness? All the young saplings – in their metal troughs along the London Road – appear to be distressed and the leaves turning brown.


Container trees along London Road don’t look too healthy?


Another brown leafed container tree.

The ones in the middle of the road – planted in the soil – are fine and green.

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Taken from moving car but hope you can see trees on pavement are brown and those in middle of road are still green.

Talking of containers. Flower plantings in the city centre – like here in Milsom Street – are in black plastic. Though they apparently help retain water for longer, not everyone likes the look.


Black plastic tubs in Milsom Street help retain water.


Hanging baskets in Milsom Street. Good water retention but what about the colour and material?

Compare hanging baskets down in Abbey Green. What do you think?


Hanging baskets in Abbey Green.


Another Abbey Green variation on the hanging basket theme.

Meanwhile – again in Milsom Street – a section of  Somersetshire Buildings – originally constructed as up-market lodging houses by Thomas Baldwin (1781-3) – continues in its transition from Nat West bank to latest Ivy Brasserie.


The hoarding going up in Milsom Street.


Guess who is coming to town?

Street advertising never looked so prominent. We have to wait until the autumn to see if the food is as tasteful.

A view of the Crescent

A view of the Crescent

Would Bath’s iconic Royal Crescent have made a good Council House? Can you still see the spot where a wartime bomb made a big crater on its lawn?  Or appreciate why one local painter calls its grassy front garden Bath’s beach?


Detail from Peter Brown’s 20-16 study of the Crescent lawn entitled ‘The Beach.’

Just some of the questions that may come to mind if you go and see ‘Exhibition: A View of the Crescent – Celebrating the 250th Anniversary of Bath’s Landmark Building’ which opens at No 1 Royal Crescent on Saturday, June 25th until November 19th.


illustrations showing how the Royal Crescent could have been transformed into Council Offices.

It explores what the Royal Crescent means to people who enjoy, admire and respond to the beauty of its setting, and how prominent artists have portrayed this famous building over the years through paintings, prints, photographs and textiles.


Philip Bouchard’s painting of the Royal Crescent.

To stage it, Bath Preservation Trust has delved into its own archives – and that of Bath Record Office – as well as involving the Victoria Art Gallery and many well-known locally-based artists.

As one of its organisers, Beatrice Goddard, explains:

At No. 1 Royal Crescent from 24 June to 19 November.

Free with normal admission to the museum: Adult £10, Child £4, Family £22. Concessions.



The threads of life.

The threads of life.

How do you follow your most successful exhibition in years? Why – with something completely different of course.

Bath’s Holburne Museum recently wowed visitors with a display of Flemish talent which brought together a variety of work across the whole Bruegel family dynasty – for the first time in this country.


Now be prepared to move away from the 16th century and come right up to date – but with an art form that would have graced the walls of Henry the Eight’s Hampton Court Palace.


We’re talking tapestry – a form of textile art – but not as we normally think about it. The new exhibition – Tapestry: Here and Now – makes it clear we are not talking about Baronial walls but an ambitious survey of contemporary tapestry from a range of international artists – engaging with political, aesthetic and personal issues of contemporary relevance. As Catrin Jones, the Museum’s Curator of Decorative Arts, explains.

The exhibition runs from Friday, June 23rd through to October 1st. I have had a sneak preview of the works on display and must say they are both colourful and provocative.


Saori Sakai, detail of ‘Let’s Pretend.’


They exhibit both vision and dedication and use an ancient skill – and its materials – to produce pictorial representations of contemporary issues – like war, the environment, identity and memory. Read them anyway you will. I am sure you will be impressed.

Tonje Bloom and Jolly Future, detail. copy

Tonje Hodahl Sorli, detail of ‘Bloom, And Jolly Future’.

What l found relevant is how their quite striking vibrancy gives us some idea of the original colours of more ancient works which – like memory itself – fades over the years.

Ironically, Henry the Eighth’s 28-foot long tapestry at Hampton Court has been ‘virtually restored’ using coloured light beams.

See:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturenews/5131200/Henry-VIIIs-500-year-old-tapestry-gets-21st-century-makeover.html


Tapestry: Here & Now

The Holburne Museum

23 June – 1 October 2017

£10 | £9 concession | £5 Art Fund | Free to all Museum Members and under 16s

A touring exhibition from The National Centre for Craft & Design

The Holburne Museum, Great Pulteney Street, Bath BA2 4DB
Open daily, free admission 10am – 5pm (11am – 5pm Sundays and Bank Holidays)
T: 01225 388569 | E: enquiries@holburne.org | www.holburne.org

Just for the record

Just for the record

B&NES has combined its local studies and archives collections in a single location at  Bath Record Office in the city’s Guildhall.

Previously, the collections were located separately at Bath Central Library and within the Guildhall. The combined service is now called Archives & Local Studies, Bath & North East Somerset, to reflect the wider local history resources that are available.

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Principal Archivist, Colin Johnston pictured with a service user. If anyone recognises the lady please let me know so l can name her!

As far back as 2014, the Council made the decision to house the services together at Bath Record Office. Bringing together local studies and archive materials under one roof has been an aspiration long-held by staff and those who regularly use the service, such as local people, history researchers and academics. As early as 2002, a survey of those using the services showed strong support for the idea.

Local history books which can be borrowed by members of the public will remain in Bath’s central library and local branch libraries. This move is separate to the proposals to combine libraries in central Bath and Midsomer Norton with One Stop Shops.

Cllr Martin Veal (Conservative, Bathavon North), Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “This is good news for residents, local historians and researchers because it brings the Local Studies collections, which include local history reference books, manuscripts, maps, photographs and other historic items under the same roof as the Council’s archives at the internationally Designated Bath Record Office. Having these resources in the same place means people will no longer need to visit different sites to get the information they need.

“In addition, experienced, trained Archivists along with the Local Studies Librarian from Bath Central Library can be on hand to quickly locate relevant materials and assist in research across the whole collection.”

The project includes a refurbishment of the Record Office research rooms to create additional public space where people will be able to browse local history reference books, conduct searches and study archive materials. WiFi is now available in the research rooms for the first time, and additional PCs, desks and book shelving have been provided. Much-needed damp proofing and updating fixtures and fittings has also taken place to ensure that the whole space is bright, clean and comfortable.

To find out more about the collections, visit  www.batharchives.co.uk  or  www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/libraries-and-archives/local-studies.

Metro Mayor’s first meeting.

Metro Mayor’s first meeting.

A transport strategy for the region and economic growth are two topics that will be discussed when the new Mayor of the West of England, Tim Bowles, chairs his first meeting of the West of England Combined Authority next week.

The public meeting will take place at 9.30am on Wednesday June 28, at BAWA, 589 Southmead Road, Filton, Bristol, BS34 7RG.

Metro Mayor 8 - CB Bristol Design 2017.

L to R. Cllr Matthew Riddle, Leader of South Gloucestershire Council; Metro Mayor, Tim Bowles; Cllr Tim Warren, Leader of B&NES; and Mervyn Rees who is the Mayor of Bristol.

The other members of the Combined Authority are Cllr Tim Warren, Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council; Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol and Cllr Matthew Riddle, Leader of South Gloucestershire Council.

A Deputy Mayor will be appointed, and members will formally agree on ways of working to ensure the organisation makes the most of the new devolved powers, which will unlock opportunities and funding for the region at a scale not seen before.

Members will discuss progress on how the Combined Authority will prioritise funding to projects that generate economic growth, including funding for skills, business and infrastructure. The meeting will also discuss the terms of reference around transport powers devolved to the Mayor and the West of England Combined Authority, to ensure maximum benefit to local residents.

Mayor Tim Bowles said: “Taking on these new powers, funding and responsibilities from central Government means we can be much more ambitious as a region.

“This is an evolution of the effective joint working that’s been going on across the West of England for many years. By working together we can achieve so much more; together we will make decisions about what is best for our region and its residents, cutting across the divides of council boundaries.”

The preparation of a Joint Local Transport Plan (JLTP) covering the Combined Authority area, and North Somerset, is a key priority. This essential tool will ensure that transport is planned in a way that best meets the needs of the area, ensuring the right infrastructure is in place to support anticipated future growth.

Terms of reference for developing a Bus Strategy and a Key Route Network (KRN) will also be discussed.

The Bus Strategy will review the bus network across Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire, and look at where improvements are needed to help meet the transport and economic objectives.

If the meeting approves the approach, the new JLTP, Bus Strategy and KRN will be drafted and a Strategic Environmental Assessment undertaken.

Details of the meeting, which will be webcast live, can be found at www.westofengland-ca.org.uk

Joint Committee

The West of England Combined Authority will continue to work closely with North Somerset Council, building on a legacy of successful joint working between the four authorities.

This includes the establishment of a Joint Committee between the constituent councils of the Combined Authority and North Somerset Council. The Joint Committee will meet for the first time at 11am, on June 28, at BAWA, 589 Southmead Road, Filton, Bristol, BS34 7RG.

It will discuss the Joint Local Transport Plan, and also consider investment into a series of schemes, through the Local Growth and Economic Development Funds, across the four-authority area.


Mayor’s Young Citizen

Mayor’s Young Citizen

The Mayor of Bath (Councillor Ian Gilchrist) is launching a search for his ‘Mayor’s Young Citizen’.   The Award began 23 years ago to counteract some negative publicity about young people, and to encourage them and celebrate their many fine achievements. 

This individual award is for a 16, 17 or 18 year old who has made good progress at school or given service to the local community.  Letters will be sent to local senior schools, colleges and youth organisations with a nomination form. 

To enter, young people must live in Bath, or attend a school/college in the city or belong to a Bath-based group. The young person chosen to hold the position for one year will receive £150 and be invited to some of the events the 790th Mayor of Bath will attend throughout his term in Office.  The runner-up will receive £50. 

Candidates and their nominator will both need to be available to attend a 10-minute interview on the afternoon of Monday 10 July and the Presentation Ceremony will take place at 5.00 pm on Friday 14 July at the Guildhall.

A nomination form can be downloaded from www.mayorofbath.co.uk, emailed on request at mayorofbath@bathnes.gov.uk, or collected from the Guildhall Reception.  Nominations need to be received in the Mayor’s Office, Guildhall, Bath, Somerset, BA1 5AW by Monday 3 July.   

Mayor Yng Citizen Kai Fletcher -No2- 2016

Last year’s Young Citizen – Kai Fletcher – receiving his award from the then Mayor, Cllr Paul Crossley.

Kai Fletcher was awarded the title last year in recognition of his inspiring motivation in developing Southside Family Project’s Family Champions initiative involving children, young people and parents who have used their services, fundraising to enable the them to employ a Young Advocates’ Coordinator, and organising a large scale event.    He had made huge efforts to help others, which also earned him and Administrative Apprenticeship.

The Mayor said “I look forward to meeting the young candidates for this award. Young people never cease to amaze me because they always seem to have something unexpected to offer, whether it’s an opinion or talent or just plain enthusiasm and energy.  These are some of the things I shall be looking for when we do the interviews.”

What’s the buzz?

What’s the buzz?

Bath’s latest street market – the once-a-month Independent Bath Market in Abbey Green and Abbey Street – was in full swing in today’s sunshine. The event is to be held on the third Sunday of each month through to October.


Market stall in Abbey Green.


Another view of the market in Abbey Green.

Some rescue services river rescue training also spotted underway on Pulteney Weir. Surely the coolest place to be today.


The ‘rescue’ group wade out onto the weir.


The mock up rescue is soon under way.

Also, one public rubbish bin in Abbey Courtyard was out of bounds today as a swarm of honey bees gets down to the business of selecting a new Queen Bee and going off to form a new colony. Hope they were left in peace.


The bee swarm has taken over the refuse bin.