Rats in Hedgemead

Rats in Hedgemead

Joy Roberts writes:

‘This is the entrance to Hedgemead Park – just off the London Road.
Somebody keeps dumping their household waste by the litter bin which is then torn open by animals of the night.
Rats have been seen. Today was awful. Three locals stopped to remark. Phoning council which is not their fault but have to clear it.
Such a pity when the council is trying to maintain and improve the park. ‘
Back to school for the grown-ups!

Back to school for the grown-ups!

Adults living in Bath are being given the chance to return to the classroom with the arrival of a series of courses designed to help people feel better equipped for day-to-day life.

The Workers’ Educational Association (WEA), the UK’s largest voluntary sector provider of adult education, will be running new taster courses at Bath City Football Club later this month. These free sessions will be followed up in the autumn with full courses designed to meet local needs.

Screen Shot 2018-06-14 at 12.53.04

BCFC at Twerton.

The WEA, founded in 1903, is a charity dedicated to bringing high-quality, professional education into the heart of communities.

Taster courses starting in June include Bringing Out the Best in Our Children and Helping Your Child to Enjoy Reading where adults will be able to learn about different resources and approaches to help with parenting.

Other taster classes include Creating a Level Playing Field and Talking a Good Game which will focus on improving communication skills.

Ruth Spellman, WEA Chief Executive, said, “We believe that everybody should have easy access to high-quality education, no matter their circumstances or reason for learning. 

“The impact is not only on employability but their health and well-being, family life and community engagement. It results in closer families and communities. 

“You might be surprised to learn just how many adult education courses are available. What I would say is find out what’s on in your area and sign up today. It could transform your life.”

Carole Banwell, General Manager for Bath City FC, said “The WEA is the latest in a range of new opportunities we are bringing to Twerton for people from the local area and the wider Bath community to take advantage of.

“Because of the charitable nature of the WEA we are providing rooms at a discounted rate and we are pleased to be able to facilitate such a unique offer. We really hope local people come along to the free taster sessions and consider signing up for the courses in the autumn.”

To find out more about the courses or to book a place, visit www.wea.org.uk , or call 0300 3033464.

Search for Mayor’s Young Citizen

Search for Mayor’s Young Citizen

The Mayor of Bath (Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones) is launching a search for his ‘Mayor’s Young Citizen’.   The Award began 24 years ago to counteract some negative publicity about young people and to encourage them and celebrate their many fine achievements.  



The new Mayor – Cllr Patrick Anketell-Jones – with the outgoing Deputy Mayor, Cllr Rob Appleyard – pictured at recent Mayor Making ceremony.


He said “I would like to meet as many young people as possible.  I am always amazed by the latent optimism and unimpeded talents of our youthful generations.  I will be looking for enthusiasm as well as wider interests when I meet the candidates, so there is all to play for.”

This individual award is for a 16, 17 or 18 years 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, the 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 791st 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 2 July and the Presentation Ceremony will take place at 5.00 pm on Thursday 5 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 Tuesday 26 June 2018 at 5.00 pm.  


Photograph:    Jaydee Emery receiving her Award from the then Mayor (Councillor Ian Gilchrist) in 2017.

Jaydee Emery was awarded the title last year.  She shone out because of her evident commitment to helping other people beyond the immediate remit of her work with the Southside Family Project, and her infectiously friendly personality, which made it easy to see how she gets on with everyone and from all walks of life. 

At the Presentation Ceremony then Mayor (Councillor Ian Gilchrist) said ‘I was very impressed with Jaydee’s determination to continue with a career in assisting others and her understanding that achieving anything involves hard work and, above all, patience.’


Hot off the press.

Hot off the press.

Not long to go now before 25 blacksmiths’ forges are installed in Bath’s Parade Gardens ready for the launch of the city’s first Festival of Ironwork when – from Thursday, June 14th to Sunday, June 17th – this beautiful riverside floral space will be full of the most amazing skilled craftspeople and conservators.


The Festival marketing is being handled by Niki Jewett who told Bath Newseum:
‘ We are very excited to have signed off the final programme – which will be given out free to all visitors – which has our Bath Ironwork Walk on one side with lovely drawings by architect and illustrator Michael Paul Lewis.
I have attached a sneaky preview of part of it. ‘
Screen Shot 2018-06-06 at 06.19.59
Niki has also forwarded me the complete list of talks which will be held during the BathIron Festival.

Craft & Conservation Talks  – The Brunswick Room, Guildhall, High St, City Centre, Bath BA1 5AW

Saturday 16th June
10:00 The Nowhere Forge: A Travelling Blacksmith                            Simon Bushell – Artist Blacksmith
11:00 Art, Work, Life balance                                                             Pete Clutterbuck – Master Blacksmith
12:00 From candle wax to flatpack – a lifetime of design and making    Alan Dawson – Artist Blacksmith
14:00 Ratho Byres Forge – A Case Study                                             Shona Johnson – Master Blacksmith
15:00 Simple Turns Complicated: Wells Cathedral Handrails                  Andy Thearle – Metalwork Designer Maker, Bath                                                                                                                              IRON Creative Director
16:00 Restoration of the Hereford Screen                                            Brian Hall – Conservator
18:30 Private Screening for blacksmiths of The Devil’s Blacksmith + Q&A  Walfrid Huber – Master Blacksmith

Sunday 17th June
10:00 Conservation Blacksmiths: restoration & conservation of historic ironworks Brian Hall  – Conservator
11:00 Archaeological Ironworking                                                       Hector Cole – MBE Master Arrowsmith
12:00 Bath’s Iron Bridges                                                                     Dave Ghent – Conservation Engineer
14:00 Screening of Devil’s Blacksmith followed by Q&A                      Walfrid Huber – Master Blacksmith

15:00  Art & Craft: Historic Relationships.                                           Marc Allum – Antiques Roadshow Arts & Craft                                                                                                                                specialist

Tickets £30 for 2 day ticket/ £20 for 1 day ticket/ £5 per talk

Tickets available on the door with cash or  at the Welcome tent in Parade Gardens by card.

Here’s a link for purchasing tickets:
Don’t forget – as part of the Festival – our blacksmiths will be producing new railings for the Parade Gardens Bandstand.
Understanding retail

Understanding retail

Problems at House of Fraser has put the High Street under the spotlight again and – while  the company has NOT announced the closure of its Bath store – it seems the local authority IS keen to understand retail supply and demand in its area.


The Jolly’s store which dates back to 1831.

Independent retailers in Bath are being reminded to give their input on Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Local Plan.

Businesses have until Wednesday 13 June to take part in a survey which has been prepared to help inform research and policy development.


Local Plans are the key documents through which local planning authorities can set out a vision and framework for the future development of the area.

With a forthcoming Local Plan consultation period set for summer 2018, work is underway to understand retail supply and demand in Bath and North East Somerset both now and for the future.

One area of interest is the need to understand the city’s independent traders and their customers, as well as the associated economic impacts on Bath. The council is keen for city-based independent retailers to respond.

Please see link to the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/ZHNR7MZ

The deadline for responding is noon Wednesday  13 June 2018.

Free lunchtime talks

Free lunchtime talks

Free lunchtime talks, which complement the Victoria Art Gallery’s current exhibition, A Celebration of Flowers: Kaffe Fassett with Candace Bahouth, are being held at the Guildhall, Bath.


P1170457 2

Picture from the exhibition’s preview night.


Experts from different backgrounds will explore the subject of gardens and flowers, and the series, which runs through June, ends with a talk by the artist Candace Bahouth.


Candace Bahouth portrait

Candace Bahouth


Councillor Paul Myers (Conservative Midsomer Norton Redfield), Cabinet Member for Economic and Community Regeneration, said: “We look forward to welcoming all four speakers to the Guildhall for what should be a fascinating series of talks. I hope that many residents will take the opportunity to enjoy one of these free talks during their lunch break.”

Pleasure and Provender, Reading Patterns in the Historic Landscape
Wednesday 6 June 2018
Dr Ros Delaney, Avon Garden Society

Flora Symbolica
Wednesday 13 June 2018
Katherine Kear, Master Florist

American Garden meets English Landscape
Wednesday 20 June 2018
Andrew Cannell, American Museum in Britain

A Celebration of Flowers
Wednesday 27 June 2018
Candace Bahouth, Mosaic Artist

All talks run from 1.10-1.45pm. Booking is not required, just turn up on the day.



Kaffe Fassett pictured on the left.


In addition, Kaffe Fassett will be giving a ticketed talk at the Assembly Rooms on 25 July, highlighting some of his latest projects. Audiences will leave invigorated by Kaffe’s use of colour and ready to try it themselves. The talk will be followed by a Q&A session and book signing.

Kaffe Fassett: Colour and Inspiration
Wednesday 25 July 2018, 6pm
The Assembly Rooms, Bath
Tickets £12 (£11 concessions) from bathboxoffice.org.uk


Tweeting trains

Tweeting trains

If pop-up outdoor surgeries were not different enough, Bath MP Wera Hobhouse decided to hold her own Twitter consultation on one of her constituent’s favourite subjects – trains.


Wera’s outdoor surgery.

A cursory glance of Bath’s Twittersphere shows that people are seriously unhappy with the service provided by GWR.

Given people’s frustrations with the trains, Wera put out a call on Twitter for questions that Bath residents wanted to ask GWR. She then put them to a senior spokesperson for the company.

Wera said: “I’m probably tagged in 5 tweets a day where residents are stuck on another over crowded train because one has been cancelled, or sat on a platform waiting for a delayed train with half the carriages it should have. Residents should be able to have their questions answered by people at the top of the company, which is why I did this interview.”

bath spa station

The full interview covered pricing, the new trains, cycle provision, electrification and punctuality and reliability. Through the month of April, GWR missed every self-set reliability target, and 4/6 punctuality targets. When questioned by Wera, Dan Panes said:

“Well that’s not good enough, but there are some really solid reasons for that, and we’re working on those with Network Rail and other industry partners. One of the reasons that we’ve been unreliable in the last 6 months or so is the state of the track; we’ve just seen more signalling issues and engineering works, and we need to get a grip on that, and Network Rail is looking in to that. From our perspective one of the issues are the bedding in of the new trains, and that’s what’s hitting some of our punctuality targets in particular, but now we’re getting those trains in, we’re in a much more solid place to deliver that reliability.”

Dan Panes followed on to say that a brand new time table will be coming in the next year, and that it will improve reliability and punctuality.

When questioned on carriage numbers, Dan blamed problems at Hitatchi (the suppliers of the new trains) resulting in delayed delivery of the trains, subsequently reducing capacity. He also blamed unexpected circumstances on the track that result in and less than ideal service.

Bath Spa rail station

Bath Spa rail station

Summarising the interview Wera said: “I’m grateful for Dan’s time, and he answered the questions as honestly as he could. But the fact remains, people feel like they are getting ripped off, and by his own admission the service isn’t good enough at times.”

“It’s all very well comparing pricing to Birmingham, but when you compare how expensive trains are in the UK across the board to many other places in Europe, it’s clear that British people pay an extortionate amount. This is not the end of the conversation. If your question wasn’t addressed in this interview, I thoroughly encourage you to write in to my office and I will ask GWR on your behalf.”

You can get in contact with Wera by emailing office@werahobhouse.co.uk, or calling 01225 307024.