Bath’s heritage blooms amongst the flowers.

Bath’s heritage blooms amongst the flowers.

Many of  Bath’s museums and heritage interests took part in an open air celebration of World Heritage Day in the city’s Parade Gardens – alongside the River Avon and just below Pulteney Weir.

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Looking down on part of the Heritage Day display in Parade Gardens.

It was a fitting location. as this year’s celebratory theme was ‘Waters of Bath’ and activities focused on the past, present and future use and significance of Bath’s hot springs, river and canal network.

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This year’s celebrations included a marquee for special talks on local history and heritage subjects.

This year has special importance for Bath as the city celebrates 30 years of being a World Heritage Site.

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Stuart Burroughs – who is Director of The Museum of Bath at Work – giving a talk about Bath’s bridges in the heritage site marquee. One of many lectures about local heritage and history.

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The Cleveland Pools Trust display.

For the first time, there was a programme of short talks in a specially erected marquee. Local experts explored different aspects of the water theme, including the medicinal use of spa water, the importance of the waterways in the Georgian development of the city, Bath’s cold water springs and minor spas, the use of thermal water to heat the Abbey, and the history of Bath’s river crossings.

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Robert Delius – Author of ‘Waters of Bath’.

Amongst exhibitors was Robert Delius – a local architect with Stride Treglown – who is campaigning for more street-based water features to celebrate the city’s debt to its springs and river.

He had put together a 42 page report – entitled ‘The Waters of Bath” – to circulate amongst interested parties and , in catching up with him today (Sunday, April 23rd) it seems there have been some encouraging developments.

There was also plenty to keep younger visitors busy in the Parade Gardens – including a cardboard model of the Pulteney Bridge for them to complete by adding windows.

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Some of the youngsters helping to put windows onto the cardboard model of Pulteney Bridge – part of the display by Bath Preservation Trust.

Plus guided tours offered by the Mayor of Bath’s Corps of Honorary Guides, a walk to the Cleveland Pools and even a two hour National Trust trek to the Bath Skyline.

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The Mayor of Bath’s Honorary Guides display and meeting point.

Even more exhibits underneath part of the Colonnades – a derelict area which may come back to life. That’s if plans to attract restaurants and extend the Victoria Gallery come to fruition.

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Bath’s Record Office display in the Colonnades.

The city’s Record Office – currently closed (until June 5th} for redecoration and incorporation of the Local Studies Reference Collection from Bath Central Library – chose various stories from the archive collection to do with the river and local springs for their display.

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Colin Johnston – Principal Archivist at the City’s Record Office.

Colin Johnston – who is is the Principal Archivist – told me they had deliberately chosen their niche in the Colonnades because it features in two old photographs in their collection.

Photographs showing it as a special water-based destination – as Colin explained.

Cleveland Pools restoration wins approval.

Cleveland Pools restoration wins approval.

The Cleveland Pools Trust have just secured planning approval and listed buildings consent to restore the 200 year-old Georgian pools in Bathwick which have been closed for swimming since 1984. 

The vote was 6-2 in favour and came with a recommendation for the Cleveland Pools trustees to meet with the neighbours, who have objected to certain elements of the plans, and work with them to allay their concerns. 

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Cleveland Pools Trust chairman Ann Dunlop who is delighted with the outcome after 13 years of campaigning

After nearly thirteen years of campaigning by the Cleveland Pools Trust chairman Ann Dunlop, it was a satisfying moment for her in particular when Cllr Rob Appleyard (Lambridge Ward) put forward his recommendation to approve the plans, seconded by Cllr Caroline Roberts.

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“Councillor Rob Appleyard (centre left of the screen) speaks in favour of the application”

Ann attended the meeting with her husband David, and two of her seven trustees – Ina Harris and Sally Helvey.

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Dennis Toogood – President of the Bath Dolphin Swimming Club and former President of the Amateur Swimming Association.

 Dennis Toogood, also came along to speak in support of the Cleveland Pools Trust’s application along with David Barnes, one of the architects in the design team, from Donald Insall Associates, and the Trust’s Project Director Christopher Heath who has worked so incredibly hard over the past few months to bring everything together to enable the Trust get to this point.

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Mr Toogood mentioned in his short speech the recent Swimathon carried out by the Bath Dolphin Swimming Club and seven swim schools in the B&NES area which raised over £12,000 for the Trust –  proof that the swimming community of Bath is truly behind the Cleveland Pools.  This appeared to impress many of the committee, and certainly those who are not already familiar with this riverside heritage site which had been defunct for so long.

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Parents urging their youngsters on at the swimathon.

Although the planning approval is a major milestone for the Cleveland Pools Trust, there is still much work to be done before the Heritage Lottery Fund release the allocated Stage II funding for the site, to ensure restoration work gets underway early next year, and they still have £155,000 of their £600,000 matchfunding target to raise. 

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“Architect David Barnes (right), Project Director Christopher Heath (centre) and Bath Dolphin President Dennis Toogood, take their seats again after delivering their speeches to the council’s planning committee”

Chairman Ann Dunlop says:  “We can’t relax quite yet but I remain positive and reassured that there are so many good people behind us willing to stick with the programme and help us deliver this project for Bath’s community – hopefully within the next two years.  I am enormously grateful to the trustees, design team, project director, advisors, and all our loyal supporters, and would like to say a big thank you to them all for helping us get to this point”.

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At the Cleveland Pools in August 2014, awaiting the outcome of the HLF bid. L to R Adviser Mary Sabina Stacey, Trustees Paul Simon, Ina Harris, Ainslie Ensom, Sally Helvey and Chair, Ann Dunlop.

If you would like to learn more about the Cleveland Pools, and meet some of the people behind this remarkable heritage project, they will be in Parade Gardens for World Heritage Day on Sunday 23rd April (11am til 3pm).

 There will be an historic display, fun and games for children, and a free tour to the Pools for those of you who haven’t yet seen this unique outdoor venue built during the Jane Austen era.

Show your support for the Georgian lido.

Show your support for the Georgian lido.

A end of year plea now for Bathonians to get behind a local project that will revive an important part of the city’s history and a once much-loved public facility.

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Cleveland Pools

The Cleveland Pools Trust in Bath has now applied for planning permission to finally restore its 200yr-old heritage swimming pool in Bathwick. 

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A spokesperson told me that it is vital that both the local council (B&NES) – and the Heritage Lottery Fund – see evidence of support, so the Trust is appealing to people to please get behind them today (or ideally before Christmas) using the whole of this link to log on direct:

https://isharemaps.bathnes.gov.uk/data.aspx?requesttype=parsetemplate&template=DevelopmentControlApplication.tmplt&basepage=data.aspx&Filter=^refval^=’16/05632/FUL’&history=f40718c794554c9fb49c4e6007f70d33&SearchLayer=DCApplications

Bath Newseum was told:

‘It takes one minute to fill the form and will make a HUGE difference. (Addresses only asked for to distinguish individuality).

Progress will be posted via the Trust’s Winter Newsletter on the website in the New Year.   www.clevelandpools.org.uk

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Thank you very much in anticipation.’  

Market ‘plunge’ for Pools charity.

Market ‘plunge’ for Pools charity.

The Cleveland Pools Trust will be in the charity chalet in Orange Grove at the Bath Christmas Market, from 10am until 8.30pm, on Thursday 8th December.

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The black arrow on the map points to the position of the Charity Chalet in Orange Grove.

Items for sale include signed autobiographies by the Trust’s latest swimming patron Stephanie Millward who won two golds, one silver and two bronzes at the Paralympics in Rio.

Stephanie has Multiple Sclerosis but was full of beans when she visited site recently and is very excited about joining the project, with full endorsement from the Trust’s other local swimming ambassador Sharron Davies.

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Cleveland Pools Trust volunteers in the charity chalet in 2015.

Do go along and say hello and make the most of the deals on offer, particularly the very gorgeous ‘Diving Lady’ poster:  a FREE pen or bag if you buy one !  The Christmas cards and puds are selling fast through trustee Sally Helvey already so please spread the word, especially amongst any former swimmers you know who will otherwise miss out.

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Some of the items the Cleveland Pools Trust will be selling.

For your information:  The Cleveland Pools in Bathwick are the most extraordinary open-air public swimming venue in the country, and also the oldest.  Closed for swimming in 1984, a Trust was formed in 2005 by local campaigners to save the 200 year-old site with its crescent-shaped cottage and changing cubicles.

In 2014, the Cleveland Pools Trust finally won a grant of £4.3m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, set aside for them as they adhere to a strict programme of works.  In order to secure the Stage II capital grant of £3.7million, and kick-start the restoration process, they need to raise a further £191,000 – either in cash or pledges – by March 2017.

If you can’t attend the market but would like to donate, or find out more about the progress of the project, please go online here:  www.clevelandpools.org.uk

Anonymous donor boosts Pools fund.

Anonymous donor boosts Pools fund.

Everyone involved with the Cleveland Pools Trust in Bath has been given a huge boost when an anonymous donor recently contacted the charity and made a commitment of £100,000 towards the appeal.

This is a big step towards the Trust’s goal of raising £600,000 in matched funding before January next year. An appeals board has been set up to help reach the target, which will trigger the release of the second phase of £3.7m from HLF Stage 2. This means for every £1 donated by the public the HLF match it with more than £6.IMG_6447

The family, who wish to remain anonymous , said “We are very excited about helping the Trust make this historic facility available to the public again.  This project combines so many things that our family enjoys — outdoor swimming, social history, architectural heritage, and the City of Bath.”

Ann Dunlop, Chair of Cleveland Pools Trust said “This came from completely out of the blue. We are absolutely thrilled by this contribution from a local family and we will do all that we can to ensure Bath residents and visitors can once again enjoy outdoor swimming in a glorious heritage setting.”

Plans for the future design and function of the Georgian open air pools were recently on public view in Bath City centre, when the public was encouraged to give their input.

About the Cleveland Pools

The 200 year-old site, which is near the centre of Bath by the River Avon, is soon to become one of Britain’s most extraordinary outdoor swimming locations once again.  Closed for swimming in 1984, a Trust was formed in 2005 by local campaigners to save the Pools.  In 2015 they won a development grant of £377,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, to develop their current scheme.  Subject to a successful Stage 2 £3.7million application construction will commence in 2017 with an opening in 2018.  

The money will be used to restore the crumbling pool to its former glory, transforming it into a stunningly beautiful heritage swimming space that will be heated over the summer and open all-year-round for the use of locals and visitors alike.  The Pools will be available as a hire venue for small weddings, art and drama workshops, school visits, water safety training and children’s parties.

A splash pool will be installed for younger children, and refreshments sold to visitors whether swimming or just wishing to sit and enjoy the sublime surroundings of this little heritage spot few people even knew existed. 

For further information contact valentine.morby@clevelandpools.com 

www.clevelandpools.org.uk

The view from a bridge. How demolition would make new link to restored lido.

The view from a bridge. How demolition would make new link to restored lido.

Shoppers and residents in Bath are having an opportunity to look over plans to renovate and re-open Cleveland Pools this week.IMG_7920

As part of a public consultation exercise, the concept designs to bring this last remaining open-air Georgian lido back into use, are being displayed in Milsom Street tomorrow and Friday ( April 28th & 29th).

It’s going to cost millions but – with the continued help of the Heritage Lottery Fund – it’s hoped to have the pool open again for swimming early in 2018.

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Cleveland Pools.

No doubt members of the Cleveland Pools Trust have been enjoying many conversations with people who either remember swimming there or have an opinion on the future re-birth.

This bright but chilly morning found me on the part of the towpath into Bath that is still open to pedestrians and cyclists.

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Looking down on a section of towpath that has been re-surfaced. The top grit layer will come later.

You’ll probably already know that the whole stretch – from the George Inn at Bathampton to the entrance to the Sydney Gardens canal tunnel – is gradually being re-surfaced.

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The side path – leading off to the pedestrian rail footbridge – will be re-surfaced but only – it’s understood – with chippings.

At the top of the incline – leading up from Grosvenor Bridge – is a side path that goes directly to the footbridge across the main railway line and down onto Hampton Row.

It is going to be a vital route-way  for people who may come to the re-opened Cleveland Pools on foot.

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The old bridge leads down now to Hampton Row.

The bridge was built to link platforms on either side of the railway line at what was Hampton Row Halt.

The station was built as a rail connection for the eastern suburbs of Bath. It opened as a railway station in 1907 for Great Western Railway stopping train services from Bristol, Swindon and Westbury, Wiltshire.

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The old rail crossing at Hampton Row Halt.

 

It was open for only a short period as – at the same time – trams and motor transport were becoming more commonplace. As a street, Hampton Row leads only on to the canal towpath, which limited the station’s accessibility.

The station was closed on 25 April 1917 as an economy measure during the First World War – along with Twerton Station, which served the west of the city. Neither station reopened when peace came.

The rusty footbridge will now be replaced as part of the multi-billion pound electrification programme that will eventually see new trains and shorter journeys between London and the West.

Cleveland Pools are hoping the replacement might leave a little room for a bike stand or two.

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The derelict and forgotten end of Hampton Row.

The one thing alongside the line that won’t be replaced any time soon is the derelict and blighted end of Hampton Row. This part of the terrace was compulsory purchased years ago to make way for a road scheme that never happened.

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This part of the terrace was going to make way for a new road which was never built.

Now back in private hands it stands forgotten – covered in rusting scaffolding and graffiti – as a monument to grand ideas and a lack of action in forcing the owner to do something with it or sell it back to B&NES.

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A rather sad view from a bridge!

It’s amazing to think this bleak and barren facade has a Grade 2 listing and while l am normally the first to stand in front of a bulldozer l wish here the listing could be lifted and the end houses demolished to create another much easier way through to Cleveland Pools.

Exactly what does it take to get things moving here?

 

Have your say this week – on plans to re-open Bath’s historic Cleveland Pools

Have your say this week – on plans to re-open Bath’s historic Cleveland Pools

Many Bath locals will remember swimming in the open air Cleveland Pools with great affection. The exciting plans for the historic pools’ renovation and future use are on display for the first time this week.

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Cleveland Pools.

As part of a public consultation exercise the concept designs have been displayed at a stand in Southgate, Bath, on Monday and Tuesday this week, and then outside GAP in Milsom Street all day on Thursday 28 and Friday 29 April 2016.IMG_7915

Members of the Trust and its design team will be available to explain the thinking behind the development of the present concept design and to answer any questions.

An online survey will be available for the start of the consultation from Monday 25th April on the Trust’s website www.clevelandpools.org.uk which will include an explanation of the development of the design and a short survey form for comment.IMG_7920

Your involvement in the Public Consultation is important for two reasons:

  • To ensure that we provide the best project possible for the people of Bath;
  • To demonstrate the community’s involvement and support in developing our plans to the HLF, which will encourage them to provide a grant for the restoration work.

Project Programme: The Trust will be submitting a second stage funding application to the HLF this Autumn seeking grant funding of £3.7m. The goal is to have the pool open for swimming early in 2018.

Fundraising: the Trust needs to raise £600,000 partnership funding before January next year and has recently set up an appeal board to help reach this target. For more information about the project please look at the website or contact the Trust at info@clevelandpools.org.uk.