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, emailed on request at, 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.”

Wheel ‘meet’ again with this year’s Motoring Festival.

Wheel ‘meet’ again with this year’s Motoring Festival.

The Rotary Club of Bath’s Festival of Motoring will be back again this year for Father’s Day weekend, June 17th and 18th.

Bath Festival of Motoring 4

Image from last year.

The family-friendly charity event – which last year gave over 6,000 visitors the chance to get up close and personal with hundreds of vintage and classic cars & motorbikes, as well as some of the very latest high-performance supercars – is being held at the Walcot Rugby Ground in Lansdown, opposite the Park & Ride.

Bath Festival of Motoring 5

Image from last year.

As well as the chance to admire over 600 stunning motorcars and motorbikes, the Festival also features live music, a model aircraft display, fairground rides, a huge choice of freshly prepared food, and the chance to take the road trip of your dreams in one of the latest prestige models, such as a Porsche, Ferrari or Mercedes.

Bath Festival of Motoring 1

Image from last year.

All money raised will be donated to two main charities: 

– ‘Freewheelers’, which provides volunteer motorcyclists who transport blood and other essential life saving products around the country

– ‘Time to Share’ an organisation which arranges support and services to improve the lives of disabled children in Bath.

Publicity shot 1 for 2017

Image from last year.

Rotary’s Simon Spalding said:

“The Festival of Motoring is Bath’s very own celebration of all things motoring. There’s something for every member of the family – and it’s a great way to give Dad or Grandad a special treat for Father’s Day too.“

Publlcity shot 6 for 2017

Image from last year.

Tickets cost £10 for adults, £5 for children aged 5 to 16, while family tickets for 2 adults and up to 3 children cost £25.  These can all be bought online at Bath Festival of Motoring

Further information is available on the Bath Festival of Motoring website,

Home from Holland.

Home from Holland.

Eleven Year 9 pupils from Bath Community Academy (BCA) are back at school in Odd Down after returning home from a week-long stay with Dutch families in Bath’s twin city, Alkmaar.

For several in the group it was their first trip abroad – a visit their teacher has described as potentially life-changing.

BCA pupils in Alkmaar

The BCA pupils and staff with some of their Dutch hosts, having fun at a barbeque in Alkmaar

During their visit, the pupils home-stayed with Dutch children and their families, giving them an insight into life in a different country. They cycled to school each morning with their new Dutch friends, visited Amsterdam and The Hague, were VIP guests at Alkmaar Town Council, and even learned to speak a little Dutch as part of their lessons.

The visit was sponsored and coordinated by the Bath-Alkmaar Twinning Association, as part of the 70th Anniversary celebrations marking the link between the two cities.

BCA pupi;s in Town Council office

BCA pupils in the Alkmaar Town Council Chamber

Teacher Andrew Mackney from BCA, who helped organise the trip and travelled with the children, said it had already had an impact on the group:

“This visit has given several of the students their first opportunity to spread their wings and see life outside Bath and England. A trip to Alkmaar is a great first step abroad. The Dutch families were incredibly hospitable – one even took a week off work to help host our visit – and any trip to this twin city is a bit special, because of the history of our link.”

In 1946, over 100 children from Bath were invited by Alkmaar to visit the city for a post-war Summer holiday. The Dutch people wanted to express thanks to the people of Bath for the help given to Akmaar immediately following the war, when food, clothing and funds were donated following a war-time famine in Holland known as the ‘Hunger Winter’.

BCA pupils and Barrel piano

BCA pupils visit the famous Bath barrel piano in Alkmaar

“The impact on the students has been immense,” said Andrew Mackney. “ They are absolutely buzzing, and several have said to me and colleagues that the trip is the best thing to ever happen to them. The trip has massively broadened their horizons and opened up new opportunities for them.”

The School and Twinning Association are now discussing how further such visits can be arranged in the future.


Making Walcot special.

Making Walcot special.

The problem with Bath is it doesn’t do enough to ‘zone’ its commercial shopping areas and – basically – make them sound more attractive and appealing to explore.

I have already suggested that the city should take a tip from Brighton and call its narrow shopping streets – nestled behind the High Street – The Lanes district.

Now it seems Walcot Street is asking for suggestions as to how it could mark its ‘entrance’ in some way and indicate that what is beyond is different and special.


Could something be hung across the road or a new graffiti work painted on a side wall. What about a Welcome to Walcot Street sign painted on the road?

Attempts at graffiti work on the side of a building alongside the old Tramway Centre attracted criticism – so it was painted out.


Could Perry do a new mural? What about hanging gardens on some of these high stone walls?

Across the road, the large mural frame stands empty. It’s last offering – painted by Paris – was stolen.

Bath Fringe is apparently trying to raise funds to install another work by Stanley Donwood – the man who provided the original canvas.


Perry’s Bath Carnival mural. © Perry Harris

Perry Harris has just painted a wonderful city-wide landscape featuring Bath Carnival.

Shame that couldn’t go there or maybe he could do a special Walcot Street ‘Welcome’ instead – featuring something of its history. From Roman to Walcot Independence?

There is the option of hanging something across the street at its narrow end. High enough to avoid lorries and double decker buses passing beneath.


Welcome to Grove Village says the sign over the old High Street at Weston super Mare.

I have been back to my hometown of Weston-super-Mare just recently and – while l think the town is a mess – at least the Grove Park end of the High Street has erected a neon-tubed ‘Welcome to Grove Village’ sign at one end of its old High Street.

At the moment the bike hoops at the town end of Walcot Street are the only thing spelling out where you are and that’s much too subtle for people hurrying by.


Should we bring the old water trough fountain back into use? Help Bath celebrate its most important natural resource?

Trees might help soften the street and hanging gardens could be put on some of the high stone retaining walls. The old water trough fountain should be brought back into use too.

I even think the lamp posts should be replaced with something specially designed for the street.

At the very least – Welcome to Walcot Street’ could be painted on the road. While l think of it – why not appoint a City Manager to deal with all the issues relating to commercial promotion and public spaces.

What do other people think? Suggestions very welcome.







120 years of modelling Harbutt’s Plasticine and Bathampton’s connection.

120 years of modelling Harbutt’s Plasticine and Bathampton’s connection.

This year marks 120 years since the registering of the trade name Plasticine by art teacher William Harbutt in 1897. Since then Plasticine has been exported all over the world although it ceased to be manufactured at Bathampton, where Harbutt opened a factory in 1900, since 1983. 


The contribution of local residents in the village in working at the Plasticine Mill in High Street and the determination and genius of William Harbutt in developing and managing this business is being celebrated on June 17th with a day of events at Bathampton Village Hall in Holcombe Vale, Bathampton. Admission is free and all are welcome.


The day’s event will include slideshows, presentations and activities after an official opening at 10.30 a.m.

Shortly afterwards Doc Watson, Bath’s very own William Harbutt impersonator will be leading a workshop on the how, what, where and when of Plasticine and describing it use and history – all ages are welcome! If cake making is more your line you are invited to submit a cake for judging at the same time.

There will be refreshments throughout the day and special guests include members of the Harbutt family and representatives from Aardman Animation who are celebrating their own fortieth birthday.

There will be refreshments throughout the day and in the evening as a special treat three Aardman Animation films: The Wrong Trousers, A Grand Day Out and A Close Shave will be shown from 6.00 p.m. You will need a ticket so pick one up when you arrive during the day and hand it over when you arrive in the evening.

Full details of the programme will be available on the Museum of Bath at Work website and the Bathampton village website.

Going Dutch!

Going Dutch!

Eleven Year 9 pupils from Bath Community Academy are in Holland this week, paying a visit to Bath’s twin city of Alkmaar as part of the ‘Alkmaar 70” celebrations.

The trip has been organised by the school with support from the Bath-Alkmaar Twinning Association (BATA) and Bath’s Charter Trustees – the 36 councillors elected from within the City boundaries.

Bath's Dutch twin city, Alkmaar

Bath’s Dutch twin city, Alkmaar

During their visit, the pupils will be visiting Amsterdam, and cycling to school in Alkmaar each morning with the Dutch children in whose homes they are staying.

BATA Chairman, Martin Broadbent said:

“We were very keen during our special anniversary year to help children who might not have yet had the chance to travel abroad, or spend some time with people from a different country.

“The school has responded magnificently to our offer, and staff have worked incredibly hard to make the trip happen.  The children are excited at being able to see how things are done in other places – the school day, the food, even the modes of transport are different: no school uniform, for example!

“We’re really grateful to the Charter Trustees for helping us make this trip possible.  We’re sure it will be an experience the young people never forget.”

BCA pupils plus Mayor and gong

Some of the children, with parents and staff, met Bath’s Mayor, Cllr Paul Crossley, last week for a formal send-off.

Some of the children, with parents and staff, met Bath’s Mayor, Cllr Paul Crossley, last week for a formal send-off.   He asked them to take his greetings to the Dutch families and the school in Alkmaar where they will be studying for the week.

How does your garden grow?

How does your garden grow?

The annual Bath in Bloom competition is calling for entries from keen gardeners in the Bath and North East Somerset area.The Chairman of Bath in Bloom, Leila Wishart, said:

“Whether you have a small front garden, allotment, a large garden or are a business with any flowers on show, then we would welcome your entry.”


There are various different categories of entry suitable for private gardeners, shops, pubs and other businesses and for allotment holders. Your entry will be judged in July and prize winners have the chance to win a voucher and attendance at a prize giving event.

Divisional Director for Environmental Services at Bath & North East Somerset Council, Martin Shields, said: “It’s always lovely to see the work of our keen gardeners who put great effort into their entries for this competition. Not only do those taking part benefit from the lovely displays created, but so do all the people living, working and visiting around Bath and North East Somerset. I look forward to seeing their hard work come to fruition in the summer months.”


The deadline to enter this year’s competition is Monday 29 May.

To find out more about the categories and judging, visit the Bath in Bloom web page on the Council’s web site

You can download an entry form or contact Leila Wishart on 01225 837885 or email