Saving our river from rubbish.

Saving our river from rubbish.

Bath won’t be missing out – when it comes to community action – during next month’s  ‘Great British Spring Clean.’

There’s an invitation for more to join in on a mammoth litter picking exercise – from 2nd to the 4th of March – along the River Avon  through the city. For the first time ever this will include cleaning up the river as well as its banks.

Do check out the poster below for more information.

Litter Pick with Boat Poster v3


Help save a ‘suffragette tree’

Help save a ‘suffragette tree’

Came across a woman yesterday – tying coloured ribbons to the Guildhall railings in Bath.

I recognised the colours – green, white and purple – as belonging to the Women’s Social and Political Union – led by Emily Pankhurst – one of several organisations involved in the suffrage movement.


A suffragette bow

February the 6th marked a century since women were first able to vote in this country. The reason why Jo Archer was making bows of her ribbons.


Jo Archer at work on those suffragette colours!

Jo had a bit of news to tell me and has appealed for help through Bath Newseum.

In the past, we have covered a story relating to the Blathwayt family who lived at Eagle House at Batheaston and offered their home to suffragettes who wanted to recuperate from the harsh treatment they received when imprisoned for their political activism in support of votes for women.


Suffragettes Laura Ainsworth & Charlotte Marsh planting a tree at Eagle House in 1911

While in Batheaston they were encouraged to plant a tree in the grounds. There were sixty planted but this historic arboretum made way for a housing estate in 1960 and only one towering Austrian pine remains.

That is in the garden of a lady who has spent more than two thousand pounds of her own money over the years looking after it. Now, says Jo, Eileen Paddock is retired and is looking for help.


Jo took this picture of the solitary suffragette tree

‘The Parish Council have been advised that it would be illegal for them to contribute to the cost of managing it – unless Eileen signs over title to her garden!’ – says Jo.

Jo has set up a GoFund page and distributed it on Facebook in the hope of creating a fund to keep the tree alive.

You can reach it via


Turning the pages at Chapter One

Turning the pages at Chapter One

Michael and Emma Heap at Chapter One Pub on the London Road – once upon a time the Hanover Hotel – have now extended their opening hours to Wednesday evenings as well.

Screen Shot 2018-02-06 at 18.51.27

So co-founder of Akeman Press, Kirsten Elliott, is offering four history talks on four Wednesdays – 14th and 28th of February, 14th and 28th March. Called A Step to the Bath, the talks will examine what it would have been like to visit Bath during its Georgian heyday.

Screen Shot 2018-02-06 at 18.49.28

The first one is about the state of roads and dangers of travel. Not for nothing did people make their wills before setting out on a journey. Floods, mud, and highwaymen were just three of the perils of a trip to Bath.

The second is about finding lodgings, why inns were not hotels, how lodgings worked, and some of the trials and tribulations, from delinquent servants to noisy neighbours.

The third is about the various entertainments and social life. Everything from riding schools to balls will be covered, not to mention gambling – both licit and illicit. And of course, the varied delights of the pleasure gardens will feature.

The last talk deals with the dangerous side of Bath – crime, including duels (and why Nash banned them), prostitution, street crime etc.

The price doesn’t include drinks but there will be handouts. If you want to book in advance, it’s £20 for all 4, £5.50 for individual booked talks, and £6 on the door.

Either email Kirsten or book at the pub. The talks will last an hour – then you’re free to enjoy some of the amazing range of drinks at the bar!

Brand new bollards at last!

Brand new bollards at last!

Good news to report for people crossing the Lansdown Road – near the Royal High School in Bath.

It was from near there that Bath Newseum fan Tony Howell wrote to complain about the state of the bollards on the traffic island.


It’s a sorry sight for six months – says Tony.

“There has been only ONE bollard (when there are supposed to be TWO) for about 6 (yes, you ‘eard, SIX) months. The extant one is battered, bent, dented, dirty and distended.

It is a beacon, a metaphor for the state of this country today. And no, I’m not on my high horse. It really does demonstrate how we collectively feel about ourselves.”
Well, l hope Tony is feeling cheered by a visit from the chaps at B&NES Highway’s Department.

The new bollards

“You may be interested to know that as a result of my appeals to Tim Warren of BANES (Bathnes), or whatever it calls itself nowadays, and indeed your kind exposure of this problem, some three weeks on, we now, as of this morning, have new bollards.
So WE can pat ourselves on the back. Except we can’t, because there’s much more to be done.
United we stand, divided we fall.”
Heritage half-term fun on offer in Bath.

Heritage half-term fun on offer in Bath.

Hands-on, half-term fun for families coming up at the Bath & North East Somerset Council-run Roman Baths, Fashion Museum and Victoria Art Gallery.

roman baths

The Roman Baths.

Kids can get creative and a make laurel crown, add sparkle to a royal tiara, design a Georgian hat, dress like a Roman in a toga, or create a stylish sedan chair.

All activities are included in the normal admission price. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Councillor Paul Myers, (Conservative Midsomer Norton Redfield) cabinet member for Economic and Community Regeneration, said: “There’s something for children of all ages to do in our museums over the half-term holidays. The great news for local families is that all activities are free for Bath & North East Somerset residents with a Discovery Card. We hope this will encourage local parents and carers to sign up for a Discovery Card if they don’t already have one, as well as attracting new visitors into our museums.”

Togas and Tunics

The Roman Baths

Saturday 10, Sunday 11, Saturday 17, Sunday 18 February 2018, 10am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-4pm

Find out how the Romans dressed and try on a toga.

Caesar’s Secrets

The Roman Baths

Monday 12-Friday 16 February 2018, 10am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-4pm

Learn about Julius Caesar and use his secret code to make a Roman laurel crown.

fashion museum

Fashion Museum Bath

Top It Off

Fashion Museum Bath

Thursday 15 February 2018, 10.30am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-3.30pm

Top off your outfit by creating a tiara, crown or sash and explore the new Royal Women exhibition.

Hats Off to Bath

Victoria Art Gallery

Wednesday 14 February 2018, 10.30am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-3.30pm

Turn yourself into a Georgian with hats and headgear. Ages 3 to 7.

victoria art gallery

The Rotunda at the top of the staircase in the Victoria Art Gallery.

Go Out in Style

Victoria Art Gallery

Friday 16 February 2018, 10.30am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-3.30pm

Create a sedan chair fit for a king. Ages 6 to 11.


One of the genuine articles. On display at the Assembly Rooms.



Let’s talk Bath transport!

Let’s talk Bath transport!

Bath’s MP Wera Hobhouse will be in Larkhall in March – attending an open meeting where you can have your say about transport in Bath.

It’s being organised by Transition Larkhall on March 3rd at the New Oriel Hall, in Larkhall,  from 9.30 am to 2pm.
Poster for TL Travel Meeting
Joanna Wright tells Bath Newseum that the meeting is all about “thinking differently about travel in and around Bath. We want peoples’ ideas about transport in Bath.

Wera Hobhouse MP – and other political and campaign groups – will be present to
join the discussion about the future of travel in and around the city.

A professional facilitator will lead the discussion, focused on the idea of
thinking differently about travel in and around Bath.
We’ll be asking who is moving around and why are they moving that way. How do you travel, and how would you like to travel, around Bath? Let’s help create a transport vision for Bath.”

The event is free and open to all members of the public.  ‘Booking is
essential , says Joanna, as numbers of places are limited. Please RSVP* if you would like
to attend.’

Please send your details to Joanna Wright at or to


Too many ad-bikes?

Too many ad-bikes?

Are our cycle stands in Bath under pressure from advertising? John and Lucy Taylor write:

‘My wife and I cycled into Bath today as usual and wondered if you’d ever run a feature on the problem of businesses which take up limited bike parking with their advertising bikes?

We left our bikes at the bottom of Milsom Street, next to a florist’s advertising bike and a bike with a huge child trailer advertising sash windows.

Great news feed we get via your emails thank you; always interesting.”

advert bikes

Thanks for your comments and kind words about Bath Newseum. I haven’t come across those particular ad-bikes but remember seeing several regulars on other cycle stand pitches.

What do other cyclists feel about this? Nothing illegal – as far as l know – but is it a case of occupying much-needed cycle parking spaces or plenty enough to go around!