Leisure Centre car park refurb to start.

Leisure Centre car park refurb to start.

Work on the external car parking areas at Bath Leisure Centre is set to get underway as part of a £9 million refurbishment.

From Monday 10 July until Thursday 10 August external works, including resurfacing the car parking areas, will be carried out. To minimise disruption as much as possible the work will be carried out in phases starting with the closure of the underground car park from Monday 10 July until Wednesday 19 July.


While the number of available parking spaces is reduced, the nearest alternative car parks are at Manvers Street and Bath Cricket Club (parking charges apply).

Pedestrian access will be maintained, but some diversions may be in place and customers should remain aware of the works when in and around the centre.

Councillor Martin Veal (Conservative, Bathavon North), Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “The external works are an important compliment to the significant improvements which have taken place to the facilities within Bath Leisure Centre over the past year. We are working to deliver the works in the car park as efficiently as possible to reduce the impact on visitors.”

Bath Sports & Leisure Centre General Manager, Barnaby Rich, said: “All activities at the centre will be carrying on as planned while the external works are delivered and we look forward to seeing everyone as normal.”


Details of works phasing:

Monday 10 July to Wednesday 19 July: The undercroft car park will be closed at all times during the works period. The disabled spaces outside of the car park and those outside The Pavilion will be suspended to enable the safe manoeuvre and delivery of materials during the works period. However, there will still be one disabled parking space available outside of the undercroft car park. All other parking bays will remain useable.

Thursday 20 July to Thursday 10 August: Temporary loss of spaces within the area beneath the walkway during the works. All other parking bays will remain useable. There will be a diversion of existing pedestrian routes from the riverside area likely.

Thursday 3 August to Thursday 10 August: Nighttime resurfacing works will take place outside of centre opening times.


Roman holidays

Roman holidays

Families can enjoy a summer full of fun activities at the Bath & North East Somerset Council-run Roman Baths, Fashion Museum and Victoria Art Gallery.

Design a summer bird or butterfly T-shirt, piece together a marvellous mosaic, or create a colourful dragon mask. The Victoria Art Gallery events are all dragon themed, to compliment the family-orientated summer exhibition, Here Be Dragons.

All activities are included in the normal admission price. Admission is free for Bath and North East Somerset residents with a Discovery Card (www.bathnes.gov.uk/discoverycard).

Children must be accompanied by an adult.

roman baths

The Roman Baths.

The Roman Baths

Togas and Tunics
Monday 24 July – Sunday 30 July 2017, 10am-1pm and 2-4pm
Find out how the Romans dressed.

Eagle Bearer
Monday 31 July – Sunday 6 August 2017, 10am-1pm and 2-4pm
Create a Roman standard to lead your family this summer.

All to Pieces
Monday 7 August – Sunday 13 August 2017, 10am-1pm and 2-4pm
Piece together a marvellous mosaic.

Before the Romans
Monday 14 August – Sunday 20 August 2017, 10am-1pm and 2-4pm
Create an Iron Age roundhouse.

Mathematical Romans
Monday 21 August – Sunday 27 August 2017, 10am-1pm and 2-4pm
Investigate Roman measurements and make a Roman ruler.

Minerva and Medusa
Monday 28 August – Friday 1 September 2017, 10am-1pm and 2-4pm
Create a Medusa headband.


fashion museum

Fashion Museum Bath

Pyjama Party
Tuesday 25 July 2017, 10:30am-12:30pm and 1:30-3:30pm
Use beach motifs to decorate pyjama designs.

Fashion for the Future
Tuesday 1 August 2017, 10:30am-12:30pm and 1:30-3:30pm
Design futuristic fashion for fun.

Shapes of Gold
Tuesday 8 August 2017, 10:30am-12:30pm and 1:30-3:30pm
Use gold craft materials to create a piece of textile collage art.

Lacy Days of Summer
Tuesday 15 August 2017, 10:30am-12:30pm and 1:30-3:30pm
Craft a fashion statement from lace inspired by the Lace in Fashion exhibition.

The Birds and the Butterflies
Tuesday 22 August 2017, 10:30am-12:30pm and 1:30-3:30pm
Design a summer T-shirt using bird and butterfly motifs.


victoria gallery

Bath’s Victoria Art Gallery.

Victoria Art Gallery

Lego Dragon
Saturday 22 July 2017, 11am-4pm
Help build a giant dragon’s head in Lego to be displayed in the exhibition, ages 5+.

Face of the Dragon
Wednesday 26 July 2017, 10:30am-12:30pm and 1:30-3:30pm
Create a colourful dragon mask, ages 3 to 7.

Dragon Modelling
Friday 28 July 2017, 10:30am-12:30pm and 1:30-3:30pm
Create a dragon using pipe cleaners and foam, ages 6 to 11.

Dragon Printing
Wednesday 2 August 2017, 10:30am-12:30pm and 1:30-3:30pm
Create dragons using a clever printing technique, ages 3 to 7.

Dragon Allsorts
Friday 4 August 2017, 10:30am-12:30pm and 1:30-3:30pm
Draw and paint a dragon, ages 6 to 11.

Snapping Dragons
Wednesday 9 August 2017, 10:30am-12:30pm and 1:30-3:30pm
Make a dragon model, ages 3 to 7.

Dragon’s First Breath
Friday 11 August 2017, 10:30am-12:30pm and 1:30-3:30pm
Create a paper craft dragon’s egg, ages 6 to 11.

Head of the Dragon
Wednesday 16 August 2017, 10:30am-12:30pm and 1:30-3:30pm
Create a dragon headdress, ages 3 to 7.

Dragon Puppets
Friday 18 August 2017, 10:30am-12:30pm and 1:30-3:30pm
Use a folding technique to create dragon puppets, ages 6 to 11.

Enchanted Castle
Wednesday 23 August 2017, 10:30am-12:30pm and 1:30-3:30pm
Be transformed into a princess or knight battling a dragon, ages 3 to 11.



Novel idea

Novel idea

How about a selfie with Jane Austen?  That’s on offer in the reception area of Bath Guildhall where a bust of the writer – sculpted by Charlotte Hern and cast in the Modern Souvenir Company workshop in the city – is on display.


The gold covered bust currently on display at Bath Guildhall.

It commemorates the 200th years since the death of Ms Austen – a resident in Bath for nearly six years. It has been gilded in 24 ct gold leaf by Robert Grace of Grace of London. The bust will be on tour over the summer and auctioned for charity in the autumn.


You are invited to take your photo with Jane and post on social media using #janeontour or #janeausten200

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.”

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 www.bath-at-work.org.uk and the Bathampton village website.