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.

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.


Bumper fund-raising night of fun!

Bumper fund-raising night of fun!

The money has continued to roll in. Bath’s Hope Ball – held on the private lawn in front of the Royal Crescent – looks to have now topped the £100,000 mark in raising funds for the Royal United Hospital’s Forever Friends Appeal in aid of the Cancer Care Campaign.


If you are having a good time – wave your napkin in the air!

The money will help fund the multi-million pound Dyson Cancer Centre – the hospital’s new Oncology Treatment Centre due to be built between 2018-2020. It came from silent and live auctions held on the night – involving many works of art donated by locally-based artists. Donations have continued to be made.


The marquee on the private lawn of the Royal Crescent.

It came from silent and live auctions held on the night – involving many works of art donated by locally-based artists.

Tabitha Claydon – Chair of the Ball Committee – told Bath Newseum:

‘We hope the inaugural Hope Ball will have raised over £100,00 for the new Cancer Care Campaign. This is an unprecedented amount from a single event for the charity and goes a long way to make the vision a reality’.


The Singing Waiters helping to warm up an already beautiful evening.

The event also paid tribute to the iconic Royal Crescent behind it – which is celebrating the 250th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone of this Grade 1 listed Georgian architectural marvel.

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Singer Claire Martin, Saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis and the Ed Leaker Swing Machine Jazz Orchestra.


Two hundred and fifty people paying £250 a ticket to enjoy a unique event complete with special entertainments including The Singing Waiters, Ed Leaker and his Swing Machine Jazz Orchestra and guests jazz vocalist Claire Martin and the legendary saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis.




New NatWest branch for Stall Street.

New NatWest branch for Stall Street.

News at last on where the new NatWest Bath branch is going to be located.


The old bank premises in Milsom Street which is now being turned into a restaurant.

After moving out of Milsom Street – to make way for the Ivy Bath Brasserie – looks like they are taking over the old Bruton House building in Stall Street with a planning application having gone in for numbers 24 and 25.


What was Burton House in Stall Street, Soon to be the home of the new NatWest branch if planning permission is given.

Turning Bath orange.

Turning Bath orange.

Bath will be turning orange in the middle of July – but it won’t be the effects of the Summer sun.  Instead, the city will be celebrating a special Anniversary ‘Alkmaar Week’ from July 10th to 16th, marking 70 years of friendship with the Dutch city.

A programme of events during the week will focus attention on Bath’s connections with Alkmaar, a link which has its origins in the Second World War.

BATA Chairman, Martin Broadbent, explained:

“In 1940 a young Jewish man from Alkmaar, Eli Prins, escaped the advancing Nazi army by literally jumping onto a small fishing boat leaving the Netherlands. He ended up in Bath, where he became an Air Raid Warden, gave talks about his home town, and made many friends.

Eli Prins Head and Shoulder shot from G Prins

Eli Prins

“When in early 1945 the Dutch government-in-exile asked Britain for help after a terrible Winter famine, the people of Bath decided to collect food and clothing, and raise money for Eli Prins’ home town.  It was the start of a friendship which has endured over seven decades.”

As part of its efforts to help, in 1945 Bath hosted 50 children from Alkmaar affected by the War and the Winter famine.  The following year, the grateful people of Alkmaar invited 50 children from Bath back to their city for a Summer holiday, cementing the friendship between the two communities.

Mayor of Bath Alkmaar Cafe May 2017

The Mayor of Bath, Cllr Paul Crossley and Christopher Davies from the Bath-Alkmaar Twinning Association.

A wide range of sporting and community groups continue to have strong links and arrange regular exchange visits, including local rowing, badminton, petanque and swimming clubs.  Several Bath schools have also been involved over the years, most recently Beechen Cliff and Hayesfield.

A group of pupils from Bath Community Academy are travelling to Alkmaar this month on an Arts project.

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The Alkmaar Youth Orchestra

Alkmaar Week will be launched at the Orange Grove next to the Guildhall with a ceremonial raising of the flags of the Netherlands and Alkmaar.  The Mayor of Alkmaar, Burgemeester Pieter Bruinooge, will make a formal civic visit, bringing officals from Alkmaar Council, and the week will be rounded off by two concerts in Bath from the Alkmaar Youth Orchestra.

The Comedy Festival organisers are planning an alternative Dutch comedy night during the week, and will be organising a fun “Dutch Cheese Trail”, inviting members of the public to search for dozens of classic waxed Dutch cheeses, placed in shop windows and public places around the city centre.

A special church service commemorating Eli Prin’s life, and the spirit of the link, will be held in St. Swithun’s Church, Bathford, where Mr Prins married and settled down after the War.

“We hope many people in Bath and Akmaar will take part in the events we are organising, and find out for themselves the story behind our cities’ friendship” added Martin Broadbent.

“ It is a tremendous tale, one which we believe people both countries should cherish, and which even now speaks to us all.”

Other special activities have already taken place to mark the Anniversary year, including the planting of 5,000 tulip bulbs around the City, donated by Alkmaar. The BBC’s Mary Berry returned to Bath to help schoolchildren plant some in Parade gardens, as her brother, Roger Berry, was on the first children’s trip to Alkmaar in 1946.



Mary posing for a picture with the bulb plating youngsters from Widcombe Junior School.

At the weekend the choir from Bath Abbey performed a concert of English Church music in Alkmaar’s ‘Great Church’, in the centre of the old Dutch city; a large group from the Rotary Club of Bath is visiting the twin city this week; and later in May the Mayor’s official folk band, the Bath City Jubilee Waits, will be performing there.

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Members of the Choir of Bath Abbey

Tickets for the Alkmaar Youth Orchestra Concert being held on 15th July in the Roper Theatre are now available online at  https://alkmaaryouthorchestra.eventbrite.co.uk