Classic look at architecture – in miniature.

Classic look at architecture – in miniature.

The city’s iconic Royal Crescent is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year and – as part of a whole year full of special events – Bath Preservation Trust have just opened a special exhibition which features classical architecture in miniature.

bath preservation trust

Guests admiring some of the models on display.

From Rome to the Royal Crescent traces the evolution of classical architecture from the ancient monuments of Rome, through the innovation of the Renaissance to the modern designs of 18th century Britain through the beautiful work of model maker Timothy Richards.


Timothy Richards was on hand to answer questions about his models on display.

When the foundation stone was laid for the Royal Crescent in 1767 British architecture was dominated by a passion for Palladianism.

A fashionable style for both grand country houses and city structures, 18th century Palladianism was inspired by the buildings of ancient Greece and Rome as interpreted by Renaissance architects such as Andrea Palladio.

Through highly detailed models of some the key buildings in this story of stylistic development, this exhibition will reveal why the iconic Royal Crescent looks the way it does.


Villa Rotonda – one of Timothy’s exquisite models.

Based in Bath, Timothy Richards specialises in telling the story of architecture through model making and has spent over 25 years refining his craft. The workshop has completed over 150 projects for both private and public commissioners.


Another part of the display at No 1 Royal Crescent.

The exhibition is being held at No 1 Royal Crescent through to June 4th.  Bath Newseum spoke to its curator, Dr Amy Frost, during a special preview evening.

Find out more about the skills and processes behind the extraordinary work of Tim and his team of craftsmen at or visit this unique workshop.

Discover more  information about opening times at No 1 Royal Crescent  via

1920’s Bath on film!

1920’s Bath on film!


POP UP DOCS presents:


Dir. Claude Friese-Greene | 1925 | UK | 64 min

Thursday 2nd March

7pm (doors 7pm / film @8pm)

Museum of Bath at Work, Julian Road, Bath BA1 2RH

With much demand Pop Up Docs’ archive screening returns with THE OPEN ROAD, a silent film with musical score. A travelogue filmed by Claude Friese-Greene between 1924 and 1925 on a motor journey between Land’s End and John O’Groats, passing through Bath.

In his photographic studio in Bath, Claude’s father William Friese-Greene developed one of the earliest forms of moving-image technologies, by combining existing photographic techniques with ‘magic lanterns’. Made during the pioneering days of cinema and car travel, in this film Claude Friese-Greene’s continues the work of his father with this two colour additive process.

Pop Up Docs is a touring cinema in Bath bringing documentaries to new audiences in unusual places.


Advance tickets from £8 / £4 Student / £3 statutory benefit & single parent / £0 refugees & carers

twitter & instagram: @popupdocs


Fuentes l amor (l love fountains!)

Fuentes l amor (l love fountains!)

Just a couple more observations from a short trip to Spain.

Granada – like Bath – has hills covered in houses, shops and hotels and many narrow streets in its  old town centre.


A ‘sprinter’ bus in Granada.

They have something called the ‘C’ bus service – tiny little Mercedes-Benz ‘Sprinter’ vehicles which weave in and out of the streets and are tough enough to tackle the hills too.

An ideal form of transport for so many places in Bath – a city over loaded with bendy and double decker buses and where the outlying areas have to make do with buses that feel and look like ice cream vans.

Followers of Bath Newseum will know l am in favour of this city making more of a physical presence in terms of celebrating its bountiful waters – not just the thermal ones but cold springs and a much abused river.


The Vincent Traver fountain in the centre of the Plaza de Espana in Seville

It should be a city of fountains – of all shapes and sizes.


An illuminated fountain in Granada.

It’s understandable – in today’s economic climate – for the authorities to argue that is no spare cash for watery extravaganzas – but maybe industry and the wealthy who live amongst us could sponsor more than just traffic roundabouts.

A couple of pictures from Granada and Seville shows how glorious jetting water always is.


Park poster states dogs have to be on leads.

Meanwhile can l just point out that dogs in Seville parks have to be on leads and also cyclists get a proper look in with green painted pathways everywhere.


Green painted cycling pathways beside the River Guadalquivir in Seville.

It can be done.


Park & Ride East to go ahead.

Park & Ride East to go ahead.

So now we know. B&NE’s inner Cabinet have selected their chosen location for an east of Bath Park & Ride on site B  – that’s if they are able to actually buy the land west of Mill Lane. They say they’re going for a smaller scheme than originally intended.


The Cabinet plump for Site B.

If there is no deal on land purchase, they will revert to a plot on the other side of the road.

It’s a decision they took at a Guildhall meeting which brought hundreds of very vocal demonstrators to the street outside.

People who did not want to see any encroachment onto Bathampton meadows.


Demonstrators outside Bath’s Guildhall.

It remains to be seen if those who oppose the siting of the scheme will continue to find ways to delay or change this decision – but they have made it very clear that the battle to stop the park and ride is not over yet.

A press statement from the Council reads as follows:

‘A new Park & Ride to the east of Bath is a key part of the Council’s wider plan to improve local transport, tackle congestion and support the continued growth of the city and local economy. This includes a package of transport measures such as improvements to the road network, cycle-ways and public transport.

The Council took the decision in November 2015 to move forward with plans for a Park and Ride to the east of the city following more than ten years of studies, reports and consultations on the issue.

Every day more than 73,000 people travel into Bath by car* – a figure which is predicted to rise to 96,000 people a day by 2029. This is alongside growth of around 7,000 new homes and 11,000 new jobs in the city by 2035 which, with the new Bath Enterprise Zone, is expected to grow the local economy by £1.2bn by 2030.

Councillor Tim Warren (Conservative, Mendip), Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: “Over the past year, the Council has undertaken an exhaustive process looking at all the potential locations for the long-discussed eastern Park & Ride. The conclusions of this analysis were that both sites B and F are suitable to meet the established needs for an east of Bath Park & Ride.

However, after careful consideration, the Cabinet has decided to select site B as our preferred location because it offers the greatest potential for a future link to the local railway line and is less visible to those living closest. It is near to the city and well-located for cars coming from the A4, A46 and A363.


Possible lay out for Site B


The view from Bathampton Down – after one year – if Site B is chosen. Council illustration.

“However, whilst site B is our preferred location, its use is subject to the purchase of the land and securing agreement from Highways England over access from the bypass. As site F would also offer a suitable alternative, if these outstanding matters cannot be agreed the Cabinet has agreed to revert to site F, which is within the Council’s ownership.”

Explaining the decision to move forward with plans for the Park and Ride, Councillor Warren added: “Bath will continue to see significant growth over the coming years, with thousands of new homes and jobs being created at major regeneration sites in the city. We therefore need to plan now for how to manage the additional demand this will put on our road network, and a new Park & Ride forms an important part of our wider plan to improve transport, tackle congestion and support the growth of our economy.  All our studies show that without a new Park & Ride, traffic will be worse in the years ahead.


The view from Bathampton Down – after fifteen years – if Site B is chosen. Council illustration.

“However, whilst we must plan for the future, we also understand the concerns raised by residents in the local area and have taken these on board in reaching our decision. We are proposing to build a smaller site than originally planned, with extensive screening. This will be coupled with improved signage to encourage greater use of Lansdown Park & Ride by those arriving from the north.”

Why site B:

Site B with 800 spaces is located within close proximity to the city

Site B would attract users from the A4, A46 and A363

Site B is outside the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and not within the floodplain

Site B has the potential for a rail link in the future

Those living closest to site B have the least view of it

Improving transport and planning for the future

Councillor Anthony Clarke (Conservative, Lansdown), Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “The east of Bath is the most congested part of our road network, and is the only side of the city which does not currently benefit from a Park & Ride. Without intervention, including a Park & Ride, this will only get worse as the city continues to grow with more jobs and housing.

“Our current three Park & Rides are used by more than two million passengers a year, a figure which has grown by sixteen per cent since 2009, and their usage will continue to grow as more and more people travel into Bath to work and visit.

“The need for an eastern Park & Ride is therefore well-established, and has the support of local business organisations, residents associations and transport lobby groups.

“Building the long-discussed eastern Park & Ride is therefore an important part of our wider plan to keep Bath moving, which also includes greater provision for cycling and walking, better rail services through the MetroWest project, and bringing forward plans for an A36-A46 link road to reduce through-traffic in Bath.”

Next steps

Members of the public will have the opportunity to continue to put forward their views as part of the formal planning process.

Councillor Clarke said: “The next steps for the Council will now be to progress discussions over the land and highway access, with further work on the design, screening and mitigations as part of preparations for a full planning application.”

More information is available via the Council’s website at:

For details of the Cabinet papers, please visit:

*Traffic count in accordance with Department for Transport guidelines. Figure includes people who have destinations within Bath and excludes those travelling through Bath.

Key statistics

73,000 people travel into Bath daily. This is expected to grow to 96,000 by 2029.

The economy is expected to grow by £1.2bn by 2030.

11,000 new homes and 7,000 new jobs by 2035.

Existing Park & Ride sites carry more than two million passengers a year and have grown by 16% since 2009.

They are expected to continue to grow to capacity over the coming years.

A new Park & Ride to the east of the city will reduce traffic movements by around 2,000 cars in each direction daily.


‘After the ball is over’. The demonstrators have gone – but left their placards behind them.


A statue that looks good enough to eat?

A statue that looks good enough to eat?

Bath is not exactly running a surplus on public sculpture.

queen vic vag

The statue of Queen Victoria at the Victoria Art Gallery.

Apart from Queen Victoria – sitting half way up an art gallery wall – and poor Rebecca getting no more than a dribble from her well – the majority of stone figures surround the Great Bath – the centrepiece of the city’s Roman remains.

Rebecca Fountain

The Rebecca Fountain.


roman baths

Emperors and Governors at the Roman Bath.


However, the wonderful world of commerce is fighting back.

Never mind promoting water, this little fellow welcomes you at the doorway to ‘great food’ – and not far away, a Regency period dressed little lady looks good enough to eat.


On guard in the name of ‘great food’ eh?

This new kid on the block is promoting the chocolates you can buy inside the shop she welcomes you into, but l wouldn’t suggest trying to bite her.


A statue that looks good enough to eat!

Tempting though she looks, with her Jane Austen styled appearance, she is NOT made of the edible stuff.


City park gets financial boost.

City park gets financial boost.

Bath is blessed with its surrounding green hills but there is also still a fair number of green spaces amongst all the city’s classical Bath stone buildings.

One of the most unusual is Sydney Gardens – all that is left of an original Georgian pleasure garden – and somewhat hidden behind the Holburne Museum at the Bathwick end of Great Pulteney Street.


All that 18th century glory is a little faded now so there’s been much rejoicing that a partnership between Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Parks Team, the Friends of Sydney Gardens, local residents’ groups and the Holburne Museum has successfully bid for £332,000 of Heritage Lottery Funds.


It’s the first step in hopefully securing much more to improve this historic park.

Bath Newseum has been talking to Cllr Martin Veal. He is the Cabinet member on B&NES who is responsible for Community Services – which includes the city’s parks.


Read more about the HLF funding via

Paint it red.

Paint it red.

Good to see some skilled local operatives from Royal Mail have been splashing some new Pillar Box Red paint on those familiar Bath-based examples of street furniture which have become such British cultural icons.

The first of these receptacles for collecting mail  – in the UK – was installed at Botchergate in Carlisle in 1853.


One of the Penfold Hexagonals in Great Pulteney Street.

Bath proudly displays two examples – in Great Pulteney Street – of  original Victorian pillars known as Penfold Hexagonals – after its designer.

The pattern was discontinued because letters got stuck in the corners! They’re also a reminder that the world’s first stamped letter was posted in Bath in 1840. We’ve got a Postal Museum here too –


Looking sad and neglected – after years of stalwart duty.

But back to the spruce up. I often wander past a pillar box at the city end of the London Road. It sits on the pavement – often surrounded by the wares of the antique shops it faces.


Now the stamp dispenser has been removed.

A year or so ago. I took a picture of this George V box  – which must have been installed at some point in the King’s reign – which ended in 1936. Attached to it was a redundant stamp box.


The pillar box is glowing – dressed in a new coat of Pillar Box Red.

Shame it is such a state said l. Next thing l notice is the stamp box has been removed – and that is how things have stayed until last night – passing around 10 pm on my way back home – l was met with what seemed to be a glowing apparition.

Even in the darkness – with the help of the street lights – l could see the box has been dressed in a glistening coat of new Pillar Box Red.

Hooray for Royal Mail.