Walcot Street mural goes missing.

Walcot Street mural goes missing.

Someone has made off with the Walcot Street mural.


All that is left is the frame and a scrap of canvas.

Originally painted by ‘Stanley Donwood’ – the pen name of English artist and writer Dan Rickwood and the man famous for many a Radiohead album cover – his woodland scene was oversprayed by Frome-based street artist Paris.

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The original mural by Dan Rickwood.

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Paris at work on his mural.

He – in his own right – is Coldplay’s ‘artist in residence’ and travels around the world with the band.

Paris has been in touch to say:

‘It made me smile to see the painting had been stolen in its entirety…..,   I guess in a way its a back-handed compliment….

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Funnily enough the last time a painting of mine was stolen it was from a nightclub in Bath in 1997!

I’ve no idea how theyll sell it though…It’ll never be authenticated by me!

Very happy to paint a replacement though.’


Jenny Pollitt of Lane House Arts.

We’ll have to see if Walcot traders decide to stump up the cash for a replacement but one local business person – Jenny Pollitt of Lane House Arts – went on Facebook to say she was ‘ sad and angry about the act  of vandalism/theft’ and that for the Walcot district it was the loss of a ‘community asset.’


Council aims to keep people moving during rail station closure.

Council aims to keep people moving during rail station closure.


Bath & North East Somerset Council says it’s determined to keep people moving during the forthcoming improvement works at Bath Spa railway station.

bath spa station

From 8th to 24th April, Network Rail will be carrying out work to modernise Bath Spa station so that new, longer trains can be accommodated. The work will include making the platforms wider and will also reduce the stepping distance to and from trains.

During this time there will be periods when buses replace trains to and from the station. To help these replacement buses keep to time and maintain rail connections, a city-bound bus lane will be temporarily installed on the A4 London Road between the A46 roundabout and its junction with Lambridge Street. This work is being funded by Great Western Railway (GWR).


Leaflets available with details of the closure.

As the work is taking place during the school Easter holiday, it’s anticipated that the volume of traffic in the city of Bath will remain the same as a normal busy day. Bath & North East Somerset Council will also put in place a series of measures to help traffic flow:

Advance message signs:

•         Advanced messaging warning drivers of potential disruption will be displayed on Bath & North East Somerset Council’s roadside Vehicle Management Systems

Traffic management:

•         Non-emergency roadworks will be embargoed along roads in Bath and North East Somerset that are to be used for the rail replacement bus services, including the A4. This will also be              the case on a number of surrounding roads that have been identified as alternate routes in the event of an emergency on the designated route.

•         Liaising with coach operators regarding the works

•         Monitoring traffic flows through Cleveland Place, Dorchester Street and the Gloucester Road junction

•         Avon & Somerset Constabulary Road Policing Unit has been asked to enforce the box junctions at Hicks Gate, particularly during peak times.

•         There will be strict parking and bus lane enforcement along the A4.

•         A CCTV link will be provided to Bath Spa station to help monitor traffic flows

•         Monitoring traffic flows through Saltford

•         Creation of a temporary inbound bus lane on London Road West

Engaging the community:

•         Drop in sessions have been held in Bath, Oldfield Park and Keynsham

•         Information has been given to passengers at Bath Spa and other effected stations, in face to face engagement sessions on platforms

•         Letters have been sent to local residents and businesses, supported by door-to-door visits

•         Information is on display on trains and in stations, and also during the online ticket booking process

Cllr Anthony Clarke (Conservative, Lansdown), Cabinet Member for Transport, said:  “We are working closely with Network Rail and GWR to try to minimise disruption to travellers during the improvement works at Bath Spa station. The modernised station will open up extra capacity for more rail commuters coming to Bath Spa, which links in with the other development work going on in the city and the Council’s long term vision for Bath – with transport improvements and economic growth supporting plans for around 7,000 new homes and 11,000 new jobs by 2035.”


The new trains coming into service later this year.

Feedback from bus operators running local services along London Road has suggested that the temporary extension of the city-bound bus lane could make a significant improvement to punctuality and journey times. Therefore, the Council will run an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order to help identify and quantify these benefits, and establish whether the bus lane should become permanent. Data will be gathered on the journey times of buses and all other traffic in order to fully understand the impact. The data will be assessed during this time alongside public consultation feedback and recommendations will be made on the bus lane’s future. 

For more information on rail services during the Bath Spa improvement works visit www.gwr.com/travel-updates/planned-engineering/bath2017


No parking in York Street

No parking in York Street

Parking is to be suspended along the entire length of York Street in Bath from Friday, April 24th.

B&NES says it follows the discovery of defects within the highway structure during an inspection earlier this month. 


York Street closure.

‘Following advice from both Council and independent engineers, York Street has been partially closed between Abbey Street and Stall Street to traffic to ensure the safety of the public and the scheduled ancient monument beneath the highway.    Bath & North East Somerset Council is working to avoid closing the entire length of York Street in order to minimise disruption. 

However, to ensure pedestrian safety and to maintain two way traffic,  parking is to be suspended in the section of York Street that remains open.

Urgent remedial repairs are required.  At this time it is unknown how long the road closure will remain in place, however we are working to make the road safe as soon as possible.’

Alternative access to Swallow Street will be via Lower Borough Walls, Stall Street, Abbeygate Street, Swallow Street between 10am and 6pm.  Pedestrian access is not affected..

B&NES says it  understands this will cause inconvenience and appreciates the cooperation of residents and local businesses.

The Council will be issuing regular updates throughout the works.


Threatened on the towpath

Threatened on the towpath

You have got to sort things out on the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath – Canal and River Trust .


l was verbally threatened this morning by a jogger – with a dog running in front of him – on the downward incline to Grosvenor Bridge. It was  after sounding my bicycle warning horn – and ignoring my warning – he refused my polite request to call his dog over so l could pass.


The incline up to the towpath.

Telling me all cyclists speed along the towpath – and waving his finger in my face – he told me – with teeth clenched – to remember his.

I took that as making a threat. Must admit l was visibly shaken.

I have in five years always sought to share that path. Have always given warning. I don’t own a flashy bike with all the gear. It is a working machine equipped with the means of warning people.

He told me he has priority. I told him the signs along the towpath say pedestrians and children. I could equally argue the dog was not under proper control.

I will remember his face.

I did not raise my voice or return the swear words he left me with. I could cycle off without the need for a ‘f–k’ off to send me on my way.

Pure aggression. I don’t like it.

Wedding awards for Bath venues.

Wedding awards for Bath venues.

Two of Bath’s historic venues have been recognised in the UK Wedding Awards 2017.

The Assembly Rooms was named Best City Wedding Venue, while the Roman Baths and Pump Room won Best Historic Wedding Venue.

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The Great Bath – part of the Roman bathing complex built around the thermal waters.

Organised by Hitched, Perfect Wedding and You & Your Wedding magazines, the awards recognise the very best of the UK wedding industry. 

Despite thousands of entries from all over the UK, the two Bath venues were shortlisted in January 2017 and a public vote decided the winners.

assembly rooms

The Fashion Museum occupies the basement at the Assembly Rooms.

Cllr Patrick Anketell-Jones, (Conservative, Lansdown) Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “We are lucky in Bath to have such inspiring spaces available for weddings and private events. The venues’ history, unique surroundings, quality food and excellent service all contributed to winning these awards.”

Bath’s Historic Venues (part of Bath & North East Somerset Council) manages private hire for the Assembly Rooms, Roman Baths and Pump Room, Guildhall and Victoria Art Gallery. All are available for weddings, parties and corporate events.

For details visit www.bathvenues.co.uk or call Bath’s Historic Venues on 01225 477786.

Giving thanks for the memories.

Giving thanks for the memories.

National Lottery funding to capture a century’s memories

A community project to mark the First World Ware Centenary is being organised by B&NES thanks to an award of over £7,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

‘A Century’s Memories’ is part of the Council’s commemoration of the Centenary throughout 2014-2018.


King George V inspects the troops in Bath, 9 November 1917 © Bath in Time – Bath Central Library Collection.

Made possible by National Lottery players, the project starts in September and will involve small groups of older people sharing family memories and stories of the First World War passed down through the generations. 

Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones (Conservative, Lansdown), Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “Personal stories, photos and keepsakes are a powerful way of understanding what life was like in 1914-18. Older people will have memories of their parents and grandparents talking to them about service in combat or on the home front. It is very important that we share and treasure these unique stories, the last connections to a world of 100 years ago.”

The project will also involve young people and volunteers, who will learn how to research local history and record interviews with the participants. The stories will be gathered into an illustrated book in 2018.

Nerys Watts, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said: “Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, we’re pleased to support this project which will see stories and memories of life in Bath and North East Somerset during the First World War shared – many for the first time – and passed down through the generations.”

To find out more about Bath & North East Somerset Council’s First World War Centenary commemorations, contact centenary_worldwar1@bathnes.gov.uk  or visit


Name that ‘Roman’ tile!

Name that ‘Roman’ tile!

The Roman Baths Foundation has launched a Sponsor a Tile appeal to support the Archway Project and future education and conservation projects at the Roman Baths.

This is a unique opportunity for local residents and visitors to the Baths to make and leave their own individual mark and message of support on a virtual tile for this ground-breaking project, which will transform on-site education at the Roman Baths.  

Archway Project Long Section

A long section through the Archway Project scheme.

Sponsoring a tile is low-cost, quick and easy. For a minimum donation of £5, virtual tiles can be customized with a  ‘scratched’ design or even a paw print, just like the traditional Roman builders (and their dogs) would have done 2,000 years ago.

Historically, the actual tiles were decorated with patterns made by wooden combs, to roughen up the surface so the mortar would stick well. There is even an original brick with a dog’s paw print in the collection. From this one print, local school pupils have calculated the likely height, weight and type of dog.

Money received through Sponsor a Tile will help the Roman Baths to open an exciting new Access Zone to the general public. This will extend the visitor experience at the Roman Baths, Britain’s most stunning Roman monument. These hidden and exciting in-situ Roman remains have never been seen by the wider public before.

They include a laconicum (sauna) and exercise courtyard. Contributions will be put towards various aspects of conservation and presentation such as lighting, display equipment and archeological investigations. 

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Roman laconium (sauna). © The Roman Baths Museum, Photographer Freia Turland

The Access Zone is one element of the Archway Project. Situated above the former Victorian spa laundry in Swallow Street, the new facilities will increase the space dedicated to education at the Roman Baths by 400%. Two new classrooms will enable the Roman Baths to develop formal and informal learning programmes, engaging a wide range of communities and audiences.

The new Learning Centre will be connected to the Roman Baths by an undercroft that passes through Roman remains beneath York Street. An underground Investigation Zone will provide hands-on access to Roman remains through facilitated learning sessions. 

The Roman Baths Foundation is a charitable company set up to raise funds for conservation and education work at the Roman Baths. Fundraising for the Archway Project is its first flagship project. 

David Beeton, Chairman of the Roman Baths Foundation, said: “Sponsor a Tile is a low-cost way to support vital education and conservation work at the Roman Baths, as well as a unique way to leave a personal mark on the Archway Project.”

To sponsor a tile visit www.romanbaths.co.uk/sponsor-tile