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.

cleveland pools

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.

Cleveland Pools dig.

Cleveland Pools dig.

 

Archaeological investigations, funded by Historic England, have just been completed in the Ladies Perpetual Shower Bath building at Bath’s historic  Cleveland Pools.

The following report – and photographs – have been supplied  by Sally Helvey who is both a trustee and in charge of marketing at The Cleveland Pools Trust.

This is a group of people who – with their supporters – are actively campaigning for the restoration of this the only surviving Georgian open air lido in the country – which is hidden away on the banks of the River Avon at Bathwick.

According to their website – http://www.clevelandpools.org.uk – ” It is historically unique and located in one of the most beautiful spots in Bath. Many thousands of local people have learned to swim here, enjoyed their weekends here, and brought their families to this idyllic place. Sadly the lido closed down in 1984.

The Cleveland Pools Trust, a registered charity, exists to restore and reclaim the pools for outdoor swimming.

And now, thanks to support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Prince’s Regeneration Trust, English Heritage and Bath & North East Somerset Council, we are part way to raising the funding to make this dream a reality. We need your help to raise the remaining £400,000 by Autumn 2016 so work can begin by the end of next year.’

Sally tells us : ‘The (recent) excavation work, carried out by Brian Gibbons and Matthew O’Donovan from Cliveden Conservation, took just over a week to complete.

The investigations took place to establish evidence of the Ladies Plunge Pool, a bath built just for women in 1817 when gentlemen had begun visiting the adjacent river-fed swimming pool with its 12 ‘changing apartments’.

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Peter Davenport, from Cotswold Archaeology.

Peter Davenport, from Cotswold Archaeology, was appointed to carry out the most delicate part of the dig and record his findings.

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The pool shape and surrounding stonework were found to be in keeping with the historic maps the Trust have of the site so Peter and the team didn’t need to dig down very far.

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The men in the group photo inside the Ladies Pool Building are (left to right): Peter Carey, chief architect on our Design Team, from Donald Insall Associates, Peter Davenport from Cotswold Archaeology Ltd, Tom Flemons from Cliveden Conservation, Cleveland Pools Project Director Christopher Heath, and Brian Gibbons from Cliveden Conservation.

When they tried, however, to find how many steps there were down into the pool, the space kept filling up with water. This is no doubt as to why the pool was called a ‘perpetual shower bath’!

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A close up of the threshold stone.

Two interesting pieces of pottery were found amongst the soil and rubble: a small undamaged ginger beer jar (or possibly an inkwell), and part of a child’s alphabet mug. Despite being buried for about 150 years, the jar is in almost perfect condition.

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Holding the ‘treasure’ is Matthew O’Donovan from Cliveden Conservation.

Also, the existence of a doorway in the west corner was confirmed when the wall cladding was taken off and part of its threshold step was found, showing wear on both sides (the square-shaped stone is between the ditch and the entrance of the Ladies Pool Building in this picture).

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The holes made are now covered over so that the Ladies Pool Building can now be reclaimed for visitors and site maintenance volunteers.’

Lovely day at the Lido

Lovely day at the Lido

The Bath Spa Band opened the proceedings

The Bath Spa Band opened the proceedings. Click on images to enlarge.

Cleveland Pools trustee Paul Simons (in the stripes and hat) introduces the children from St Benedict's Primary School and was compere for the day.

Cleveland Pools trustee Paul Simons (in the stripes and hat) introduces the children from St Benedict’s Primary School and was compere for the day.

More than 400 people descended upon Bath’s historic Cleveland Pools on the Fourth of July to help celebrate 200 years of swimming in this remarkable historic spot by the River Avon at Bathwick.

Fine weather encouraged them to wander around the site and engage in the activities on offer. Many settled on the bank by the main pool to get a good view of the entertainment which continued throughout the day.

A family enjoying their picnic by the main pool

A family enjoying their picnic by the main pool

The Natural Theatre Company, along with children from their Young People’s Company interacted with the crowd in an array of different costumes and guises, surprising adults and children as they went.

The Natural Theatre Company, along with children from their Young People's Company interacted with the crowd in an array of different costumes and guises, surprising adults and children as they went.

The Natural Theatre Company, along with children from their Young People’s Company interacted with the crowd in an array of different costumes and guises, surprising adults and children as they went.

Meanwhile, St Benedict’s Primary School from Midsomer Norton, did two performances of a play especially devised for the occasion by Petra Schofield of Magic Penny Productions. They also sang original songs by music teacher Myra Barretto.

Bath MP Ben Howlett (right) enjoys a joke with Peter Rollins from the Thermae Bath Spa and Fiona Humphreys from Bath Tourism Plus.   All three are keen supporters of the Cleveland Pools project.

Bath MP Ben Howlett (right) enjoys a joke with Peter Rollins from the Thermae Bath Spa and Fiona Humphreys from Bath Tourism Plus.
All three are keen supporters of the Cleveland Pools project.

Special visitors to the site included the Mayor of Bath, Cllr Will Sandry, and the city’s newly-elected MP Ben Howlett.

There were lots of displays featuring the history of this late Georgian lido and plenty of merchandise to buy to help with fund-raising. The Cleveland Pools Trust – with the help of ear-marked Heritage Lottery Funding – aim to bring the pools back to their former glory.

Volunteer Verity Baetke on the Cleveland Pools merchandise stall

Volunteer Verity Baetke on the Cleveland Pools merchandise stall

Ann Dunlop, Cleveland Pools Chair, said: “ It was wonderful to see so many people come and support us for this special day.

Bath Mayor Will Sandry with Cleveland Pools chairman Ann Dunlop and adviser Mary Sabina Stacey from Bristol. Mary is the lead organiser for all the Bicentenary events for the Cleveland Pools this year.

Bath Mayor Will Sandry with Cleveland Pools chairman Ann Dunlop and adviser Mary Sabina Stacey from Bristol. Mary is the lead organiser for all the Bicentenary events for the Cleveland Pools this year.

We were disappointed not to be able to offer boat rides to the Pools from Pulteney Weir to add more fun to the experience of the day, but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and still got here! If they come back for our Heritage Open Days in September, maybe we can offer them boat rides then – we’ll see.

In the meantime, if anyone missed out on buying a poster, or they want to find out more about our project, please come and see us on our stall at the Bath City Conference in the Guildhall on Friday 10th July at the Guildhall between 12pm and 6pm “.

he group of 7-year old school children from St Benedict's Primary School in Midsomer Norton who performed a play by Petra Schofield called 'Our Trip to the Pools'.

he group of 7-year old school children from St Benedict’s Primary School in Midsomer Norton who performed a play by Petra Schofield called ‘Our Trip to the Pools’.

The Cleveland Pools is the UK’s oldest surviving Georgian open-air swimming pool, built 1815-17, and tucked away next to the river in Bathwick. It is Grade 2*-listed, and one of Bath’s important heritage landmarks.

It closed for swimming in 1984 and briefly became a trout farm before a campaign began to bring the pools back to their former glory.

The Cleveland Pools Trust won their bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund in July 2014, resulting in a grant worth £4.1million being ear-marked for the Trust if they meet all the criteria set for the various stages of development and delivery.

In January 2015, project director Christopher Heath was appointed to start managing and co-ordinating all remits with trustees, engaging with specialist professionals, and consulting with stakeholders so that the Pools will win back its place on the Bath map.

The aim is to have the Cleveland Pools fully restored for swimming again by 2017/18. The Cleveland Pools Trust will ensure that the site will also be used for its historic interest, and hired out as a venue so that it can be kept open all year round.

Marek Lewcun stands in the spot in the empty children's pool where he nearly drowned aged three.  He remembers seeing the bubbles rising in front of him. He never learnt to swim because of this experience until he was persuaded a couple of years ago.

Marek Lewcun stands in the spot in the empty children’s pool where he nearly drowned aged three. He remembers seeing the bubbles rising in front of him.
He never learnt to swim because of this experience until he was persuaded a couple of years ago.

The main sponsors for the Cleveland Pools bicentenary events are Savills

Michael Witt who's father did a massive belly-flop from this spot off a diving board in the 60s.

Michael Witt who’s father did a massive belly-flop from this spot off a diving board in the 60s.

Bath and the trust are hoping that more companies and individuals will come forward.

The Trust has got a long way to go with their own fundraising before the dream of opening the Pools for swimming again is realised.

There is still approximately £390,000 still to raise by July 2016; this is match-funding element of the project, and the trustees hope to achieve this with a Crowdfunding campaign in the forthcoming weeks and months.

Anyone wishing to donate is asked to click on the donate button on the Cleveland Pools website.

All photographs in this report – provided by marketing trustee Sally Helvey – are courtesy of BeataCosgrovePhotography.com and you can find many more of them on the Cleveland Pools website.
http://www.clevelandpools.org.uk/gallery/index.php/RECENT-EVENTS/2015-PARTY-AT-THE-POOLS—Bicentenary-celebrations-4th-July