Bath Voice monthly news magazine for September 2021

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01225 459611

September 2021 No. 19

FREE EVERY MONTH in Bear Flat, Combe Down, Oldfield Park and Widcombe INSIDE

The cyclists who love to go wobbling

Alexandra Park lock up latest news Page 6

By Harry Mottram. Meet GG Stork of Widcombe and the Widcombe Wobblers who is a member of a growing number of cyclists who enjoy communal cycling but perhaps not is the style of the Tour de France. “It always involves eating and drinking,” said GG (as she is known), “said GG, “ The numbers are around 20 but you have to book. “There are three levels of rides. The evening ones which are he shortest ones and where we go for a drink or a meal. “Then there are the day ones which are on a weekend starting at 10.30am and we cycle much further away for

Bath’s ‘Cinderella’ High Street plans Page 10 Bath’s counterculture of the 1970s in print Page12

Continued on page 3

Decaying and crumbling flats: housing crisis needs addressing Cutting Lyncombe Hill Fields to size Page 13 Plus Tufa Field, Sport and lots, lots more

By Harry Mottram. Hundreds of properties are in a desperate state of repair with problems of damp, decay and anti-social problems. Many of Twerton’s social housing is outdated and is in need to be replaced or updated. “People don’t like to live in flats on the whole,” said

Councillor Tim Ball the Lib Dem representative for Twerton. “We have a lot of housing blocks in Twerton and many are old and worn out and we need to look at how we can refurbish them or redevelop them.” Housing Association Curo took over the housing stock from

the council in 1999 when it was called Somer Community Housing Trust. Twerton is known for its large amount of social housing and much of that housing dates back decades when standards of insulation, heating, energy Continued on page 3

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September 2021

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COMPLAINTS Despite our best efforts, we sometimes get things wrong. We always try to resolve issues informally at first but we also have a formal complaints procedure. If you have a complaint about anything in the Bath Voice, contact the News Editor using the details below. We aspire to follow the the Code of Conduct of the NUJ (National Union of Journalists), nuj-code. Further details of the complaints process can be found on our website or can be obtained by contacting the Editor by email: or by post: 1 Camerton Close, Saltford, Bristol, BS31 3BT or by phone: 07402 441485 All stories and pictures are © Bath Voice (unless otherwise stated) and may not be reproduced without permission. Bath Voice News & Media Ltd

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September 2021




Bath looks to building council houses to end the shortage Continued from page 1 conservation and sound proofing were not of today’s standards. “Most people don’t like to live in blocks of flats,” said Cllr Tim Ball,” especially families. Yes, some people do but when you have young children then they want access to a garden to play in and if you are in a block of flats that’s not easy. “Some teenagers and single people don’t mind them but there’s the issue of noise and also in the older flats damp. “Repairing them gets more expensive and there’s the question of whether they should be replace. It’s a conversation I will have with Curo in the next few months.” Curo adopted its new name in 2012 having joined forces with Redland and Shape in previous years. Based in Bath the association manages 13,000 homes across

Some of the flats in Twerton are more than 40 years old the region including listed dealing with people and the flats buildings and new builds. in particular,” he said, “people Twerton runs roughly from wanting to move to better east to west along the High Street accommodation, problems with and into Newton Road and damp and noise and getting the features a range of traditional flats cleaned up and repaired.” terraced houses, semis, new He said that he and his fellow homes, bungalows and blocks of Twerton councillor Sarah More flats such as the ones at Walwyn have a good relationship with Close. Curo but the main issue is the age “It’s a massive case load of the housing stock and how to

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improve things in the long term. “There is a huge shortage of social housing in Bath, hence the plans by the council to launch its own council house building programme,” he said, “we are looking to bring back building new council housing in the city for the first time in a generation.” There are of course a number of new homes being built or planned in Bath from the former Foxhill site at Mulberry Park to the one time print works at Paulton and there’s been a battle between residents and developers over plans to build on Tufa Field off Englishcombe Lane. The first council houses went up after The Great War in 1919 with the passing of the Housing Act as the country attempted to provide homes for the thousands of former service men and women. The boom time was in the early 1950s with hundreds of thousands of homes were constructed.

Continued from page 1: Wobbling cyclists and more lunch and back. “Then there are the challenge rides for people who are more confident with ride-outs for around 30 miles there and back.” The Widcombe Wobblers was formed to offer social bike rides in and around Bath. The objective is to encourage people to get on their bikes and to enjoy the city and countryside in a leisurely way. “The oldest member is in his 70s,” said GG, “but some people bring their children in baskets on their bikes and even their dogs. It is for grown ups but all are welcome.” E-bikes are fine - although all sorts of bikes are owned by those who take part. One of the founders of the group is Helen Peter. She said: “It’s a mix of country roads and cycle paths but not on main roads. We let people know of the route and if you get a puncture then everyone helps. “Lucy and Tony helped set it up after the opening of the two Tunnels cycle path when there was an event at Bloomfield Park to celebrate it. “It’s free to come along and is backed by the Widcombe Association with a calendar sent out by email with all the dates.” GG said that many of the

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group have re-discovered cycling as a pleasurable way to meet others, to keep fit and enjoy the local countryside. The group travels at the pace of the slowest cyclist, and stops for coffee and refreshments. The dates of the rides are listed in What’s On in Bath Voice and all details of how to take part and book your ride are to be found at http://www.widcombeassociation. And it should be said that if you love wobbling or not - you’re in. • Another cycling group in the city is the long established Bath Cycle Club. They have a number of levels for members with a section for novice riders, one for competitive riders, women only and young people. Bath Cycling Club dates back as far as 1880. In a statement on their website the club says: “Bath Cycling Club encourages and supports equality, diversity and inclusivity within our membership and in the broader cycling community. “We welcome all riders experienced or novice to join us and have fun on a bike.” To take a look at the club view their website at: https://www.

September 2021




Hang-over cure: the Bath Two Tunnels

By Harry Mottram. I shouldn’t have had that last glass of wine the night before the 10K in Bath. Well, several glasses of wine but it was a wedding reception for a couple of friends and I couldn’t celebrate with lemonade. And so it was with a headache and a woozy feeling that I lined up in the Brickfields in Bath for the Relish Running Two Tunnels event. Not just a 10K but there was the a marathon, a half marathon and the body sapping long ultra marathon. I know my limitations and opted for the 10K reasoning that I could walk it if the energy levels dipped - as it’s only around six miles. Essentially the distance along the road from Keynsham to Twerton. Competitors were sent off in waves of around 20 or so in order not to choke the narrow paths leading to the Two Tunnels cycle

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and walkway - and to create some sort of social distancing. It meant that due to the circular nature of the main course there was a constant stream of runners going in both directions meaning that although I was in second to last place I didn’t feel so bad. Initially I had planned to run alongside a lady with a pushchair but she soon left me behind as she and the others sped off into the distance. It’s an interesting route as the long tunnels are lit and there are information boards describing the industry and times of the former railway. Perhaps I shouldn’t have stopped to take in the views and the odd photo or I could have come in third for last. And perhaps I shouldn’t have had that last glass of wine the night before - but the 10K worked as a hang-over cure.

The finishing line at last. The next event is on 24th October in Brickfields in Bath

Thanks to all the volunteers who cheered us on: a selfie at the start for Harry

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September 2021




How visually impaired Bathonians keep up with the news By Harry Mottram. It was witnessing how his mother-inlaw’s deteriorating eye sight changed her life that prompted Paul Collis to get involved in Month In Bath. Month in Bath (MIB) is not a magazine but a sort of virtual news service for the blind and those with impaired eyesight. The effective chairman of MIB Paul Collis explained: “So Month In Bath is a talking newspaper which provides news and information recordings for people with sight loss in Bath and the surrounding area. “It is a completely free service which has been provided in the city for nearly 40 years. “We use USB memory sticks that are sent out for the start of each month. “If listeners do not have the means to play memory sticks a player can be provided on long term loan. “Recordings can also be found on the British Wireless for the Blind website.” Paul does much of the copying

and distributing of the memory sticks as well as chairing the meetings of MIB. Scores of people use the system of talking newspapers in Bath which uses the resources of newspapers such as the Bath Chronicle and now Bath Voice. Readers record the stories with some volunteers specialising in such subjects as sport, cookery, gardening and what’s on, while other readers cover the main news. Being a monthly service features and reviews work best as breaking news is out of date by the time the listener plugs their memory stick into a laptop. A former local government employee in the education sector from South Glos and Avon Council and resident of Bloomfield Park Paul said that during the pandemic the numbers using the service had dropped off but he hoped the trend would now reverse as things improved. When Jackie Hilton stood down ten years ago as the organiser Paul volunteered to help

Paul Collis outside the Bear Hotel in Bear Flat run the service. “Originally it was all on cassette, but I thought blow that as it took so long so I bought a digital recorder which was much more convenient and quicker,” he said, “The monthly recordings are provided by volunteers using their iphones or digital recorders

provided by MIB.” • If you have a relative or friend with sight loss who you think would be interested in keeping abreast of local news or if you would like to be a reader contact: Paul Collis on 01225 313591 or email: monthinbath@

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September 2021




New cafe, tasers, carers and Rolphey’s Cafe plan: Bath City Farm have announced they can now press ahead with their plans for a community cafe at the Twerton site in Bath. In a statement on their website the farm said: “We’re super excited to announce that we have secured £500,000 funding to build a new indoor and outdoor community café at the farm. “The community cafe has been a long held ambition since the farm opened in 1995 and construction will begin in September with opening planned for late spring.” Run as a community business, all the profits from the café will be reinvested in the farm. This will include supporting the farm’s volunteer programmes and helping to provide funding to feed the animals. It will also provide important work experience opportunities for the farm’s volunteers in catering and hospitality, developing skills. Have a care: On Tuesday 21 September there’s a jobs fair for carers at the Guildhall from

There is a health and carers job fair on Sept 21 at the Guildhall. Pic: NHS 10am-2pm. It’s aim is to recruit new carers in this vital sector with 20 employers on hand to offer jobs, career opportunities and training - and it’s all free so just turn up. The Health & Social Care Recruitment Fair is part of the Council’s Proud to Care campaign. Shocking children: Police officers draw their tasers against minors every week in Avon and Somerset last year. Figures released through a freedom of information request reveal a growing use of the devices, with the number of times they are

fired more than doubling from 74 in 2017/18 to 166 in 2019/20. While the figures show they are overwhelmingly used on 18-34-yearold men, police also drew the weapons on 119 youngsters, with 70 of those cases in 2019/20 – a rate of more than once a week. Over the past four years they were fired at minors on 13 occasions, with the youngest of the targets aged 14. Rolphey’s denial: there’s a podcast on BBC Sounds about being in denial. One of the contributors was David Rolfe of Rolphey’s Antique Shop in Bear Flat. He described how he set up the shop as a way to come to terms with his assumed imminent death from cancer. He got better and the shop continued but eventually the cash flow dried up and he described in the programme how he was in denial of the business’ failure. And the series examined all aspects of the human condition from anti-vaccine protesters to those in denial they are might be wrong in principal. Visit uk/sounds/series/m000357l

Mallet news The Bath Croquet Club held a round of the national GC C Level (handicap 7 and above) Series at the Rec on Thursday 5 August. Despite the fairly continuous rain the tournament was completed without any long delays. The 16 competitors, from as far afield as Northampton, Brighton, Evesham and Henley, were split into 4 blocks for the morning play. The first two in each block advanced to the main Tournament knockout with the remainder competing for the Plate competition. At the end of the morning session Bath members Sally Helvey, Pam Burgoyne and Anwen Owens had two wins each to play in the main knockout. Miriam Bolger, Lyndon Hughes and David Veal went into the Plate. The final of the Tournament featured two players from Beckford with Andy Brister beating Richard Pinder 7-4. Sally came out top of the Bath players in 5th position, with Pam 6th and Anwen, in her first tournament since joining earlier this year, in 7th. The Plate final was won by Martyn Palmer of Northampton, beating Terry Allen (Taunton Deane) 7-3.

Finally a resolution to the issue of locking up the park at night By Harry Mottram. For the last nine months a group of residents have taken on the responsibility of opening and closing Alexandra Park in Bear Flat to vehicles at night. Now they have persuaded the Council to take on the daily task which has been done using creative thinking. The contractor Healthmatic cleans the toilets at the park at dawn and dusk and have thus been tasked with installing and removing the bollard that prevents vehicles accessing the park at night at the same time. The closure of the park at night to cars came after drug dealers began to drive into

the park at night to sell drugs causing anti-social behaviour. Speeding cars were attracted to the chaotic situation in the park at night which caused distress to locals and sleepless nights due to the noise. Enough was enough when a car crashed last year in Shakespeare Avenue leaving several parked cars damaged. Residents set up a rota to open and close the park at night which ended most of the social problems. Cllrs Winston Duigud and Alison Born have worked with residents and the Council and finally a solution has been found thanks to the cleaners.

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September 2021




Once a den of damp, darkness and dodgy ne’re do wells - now it’s a beautiful gateway to Bear Flat By Harry Mottram: for something so attractively painted with local scenes of nature the Claverton Street underpass or the Churchill Bridge Underpass beneath the A36 is perhaps not the most beautiful name for the subway linking Bear Flat to the city centre. That aside the once dingy, dark and damp underpass constructed as part of the so-called Rossiter Road improvements in 1969 that was prone to flooding and the home of rough sleepers and ne’re do wells has been transformed. “When I first came here 25 years ago the subway was horrible,” said Mary Peter who has helped to transform the fortunes of the underground passageway, “nobody wanted to walk through it and women and girls especially would prefer to take a chance and run across the main road to avoid it. “And so I hassled the authorities and gradually the see grew and in 2013 following an assault on a

The Churchill Bridge Underpass has been painted with nature scenes. Helen Peter has spearheaded the campaign for its beautification

young girl in the subway a group of women together to see what could be done. “Many were from Bear Flat as it is their main way to the city centre on foot and we badgered the council to do something.”

Eventually through the efforts of the Widcombe Association and the Sort Our Subway Group, an agreement was made with the Council. A competition to design the frescoes was held and Sarah Ovens

ideas were chosen and Daniel Wilson and Tom Webb painted the walls after being commissioned by the Widcombe Association. Sponsorship was also raised to help pay for the work with support from the Council and residents.

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September 2021


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September 2021



n NEWS IN BRIEF Syrian families: Five refugee families from Syria who settled in Bath five years ago have chosen to remain living in the city after having been granted indefinite leave to remain. The families were the first to be welcomed to Bath in February 2016 as part of the Syrian refugee resettlement programme supported by Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Connecting Families team. The Syrian Civil War began after the Assad regime rejected reform during the Arab Spring in 2011. It continues today with more than 100,000 casualties and the deaths of around 5,000 children. One of the parents has trained as a teaching assistant and now works full-time in a school. Another gained qualifications in British Sign Language to be able to communicate with their child who is hearing impaired, which along with a cochlear implant and a place at a specialist school has made the child happier and less frustrated. Some parents have been successful in securing jobs in retail and voluntary work, with one attending university to complete a degree in business management. All of the families attend Bath College for English classes and four

out of the five no longer need support through a translator. The children who are old enough to attend school are all fluent in English and achieving their academic targets, with the younger children having begun their early years education at local nurseries. Caring kids: Bath MP Wera Hobhouse called for greater support for the nation’s hundreds of thousands of young carers. She praised Bath Philharmonia’s music-making programme which has supported over 1,000 young carers. She said: “Bath Philharmonia is the only UK orchestra delivering a music-making programme for young carers. It has reached more than 1,000 young carers, supporting them to play, create and perform their own original music. The programme gives young carers a safe space to express themselves, make friends and build their self-esteem.” For more details of the Bath Philharmonia visit https:// Transport 1: The Metro Mayor Dan Norris has been pledged between £540 million to £880 million over five years by the government to improve transport across the region including Bath. He has called on the Bristol Council Mayor and the S Glos and

Pictured some of the Syrian refugee families who have made a new life in Bath having fled the civil war in their nation which sadly continues today Bath and NE Somerset leaders to work with him to ensure local plans are joined up and cohesive. He said: “This can’t be about pet projects it’s got to be about what’s best for the region as a whole. We’ve got a massive opportunity here and local people will expect us to get on with the job of fixing our broken transport system. Frankly we must. There is a climate emergency and part of meeting our ambitious targets will be enabling more cycling and walking and making switching out of cars the most attractive option.”

The question is what projects will the cash be spent on? Cycle paths, pavements, trams, new roads, a Bath ring road, buses or reopening defunct rail lines - the list is long. Transport 2: The Bath Cycle Club is a thriving group of people of all ages who enjoy cycling - and you don’t have to be a lycra lover to cycle or someone in their 20s who has the latest road bike to join. The club have an excellent video on YouTube on some of their members in their 70s - do check it out at watch?v=Vs-WcyLQgBY

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September 2021


Ideas that could turn around the fortunes of Bath’s ‘Cinderella’ High Street By Harry Mottram. Those who don’t know Bath may think it is all about Georgian terraces and elegant buildings. Like any city it also has areas which might not feature on postcards and where visitors might take selfies outside the Abbey. “Twerton High Street is run down and needs regeneration,” said Cllr Tim Ball who lives in the suburb. “We have secured funds of £380,000 from The West of England Combined Authority to restore the High Street to some sort of resemblance to what it should look like. “That would be some aesthetic changes such as planters, hanging baskets and trees to make the best of what we have got. “It wouldn’t include seating areas as they have been abused in the past but it would mean all the

pavements being repaired and the footpaths levelled out. “The redevelopment plan would also look to reuse the boarded up Co-operative store for community use, and the boarded up shops we hope to have murals painted to make everything looking clean and tidy.” The work should should take place during 2022 subject to final approval. He said the High Street had competing areas nearby which called into question the present size of the retail road. “If you cross the A36 at the bottom of the High Street there’s a Lidl, M&S Food Hall and other stores where people tend to go to,” he explained, “so the size of the street may be too long for what shops are left. “People tend to gravitate down there but there are successful shops

like the bakery who have a strong brand is very popular. “The pavement under the bridge needs to be widened as it is very narrow and cars zip through there so that’s another idea on the agenda. “And we need a 20mph zone and to have it enforced as Twerton has a high proportion of disabled people. “Twerton has the highest number of blind, deaf and disabled people in the city.” Another factor that effects the High Street is the potential development at Twerton Park - the city’s main football stadium. He said the proposed plans were for housing and mixed development but not for student accommodation - something he said was a controversial subject in Twerton and across Bath. Talks were to take place this

autumn and next year to bring the Council, local representatives, residents and developers together to see how the funds could be spent. There are no shortage of people seeking to change Twerton. One such person is Diana Ahmed who has set up a Go Fund Me page called We Love Twerton with a target to raise £2,000 to cover the costs of printing artworks for the High Street. The fine arts graduate who lives on Lower Bristol Road has had permission to display artworks from children in local schools on the boarded up shops such as the former Co-operative store. And there’s Sean Dudden’s call for Twerton Station to be reopened for commuters suggesting there is considerable desire locally to see Twerton improved and throw off it’s ‘Cinderella’ image.

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September 2021



nNEWS IN BRIEF Tufa Field: Pictured is a photo taken of a bird of prey at the de facto nature reserve of Tufa Field off Englishcombe Lane. Residents have fought a long campaign to keep the field free from development as it provides a green lung linking the woods above the field to the residential area below. It’s an area rich in wildlife with deer, badgers, voles and slow worms all inhabiting the geologically significant site. A plan to build homes on the sloping field was eventually dropped when the new council leader Kevin Guy took his oath of office this year but he has admitted some form of development is still possible. For details of the campaign visit Creating a buzz 1: The Shadow Environment Secretary Luke Pollard met Dave Roberts and fellow beekeepers in Radstock last month with West of England Metro Mayor Dan Norris to discuss the problems of the honey gathering industry. They urged consumers to buy locally produced honey to fight the ‘foreign honey fraudsters’ who add sugar syrup to their product and flood the market with cheaper low quality honey.

Creating a buzz 2: Avon Wildlife Trust has welcomed the news that the granting an emergency authorisation for the use of a banned neonicotinoid on sugar beet has been refused. Tests have found that the level of virus infection forecast is 8.37%, which is not enough to meet the threshold for the use of the neonicotinoid, thiamethoxam, to combat the virus which affects sugar beet. Creating a buzz 3: A reminder that St John The Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in South Parade has taken delivery of four bee hives on the bank of the river, near Our Lady’s Garden. The Church said it is an experiment to see if the colonies would settle there and they were far enough away from the public to cause any stinging issues. Creating a buzz 4: If you are interested in learning more about beekeeping visit the Bath Beekeeper’s website and help save the planet by encouraging bees and the pollination of plants: Cat killer: Bath City Farm said they had suffered from vandalism again leading to their hens being let out of the coop. Some of their chickens

were killed by a local cat causing considerable distress. They announced they are launching an appeal to raise £400 to secure the Feathered Friends enclosure with new fencing and a new gate. To donate to the fund to improve chicken security go to bathcityfarm and put the words Feathered Friends in the message. Lane closure. Weston Lane near the RUH is closed until 22 September. Bristol overflow: Up to 300 students in Bristol will be housed in

Bath this term due to the numbers applying for University there. Planning controversy: The redevelopment of the former BMW and Mini showrooms on the Lower Bristol Road have been given the green light despite 70 objections. The plans are for more than 300 flats with accommodation for 335 students. Cllr June Player opposed the plans while Cllr Paul Crossley proposed the flats. Objections included ‘too much student accommodation already’ and a lack of parking.


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September 2021

Published this month a book on Bath’s counterculture of the 1970s (with Widcombe at the forefront) By Harry Mottram. The late 60s and early 1970s was seen as a golden age of counterculture in Bath as bands, artists, poets and actors emerged to bring vibrant creative life to the city with an energy whose legacy continues today in venues like the Widcombe Social Club, drama groups like The Natural Theatre Company and various festivals including the Comedy Festival. Now that era of creativity has been encapsulated in a book written by some of the leading figures of the time. Bath Arts Workshop: Counterculture in the 1970s, is published this month and features the personalities and events of the time. Co-author Corinne D’Cruz said: “The Bath Arts Workshop was created just as the swinging 60s gave way to the turbulent 70s. A unique counter culture that sprang up in the city, it was a spectacular flowering of creative activity, community technology and social enterprise.”

Corinne D’Cruz

The authors Brian Popay, Corinne D’Cruz, Jennie PotterBarrie, Penny Dale, Phil Shepherd, Thornton Kay and Victoria Forbes Adam tell the story, from its birth in a Georgian basement in 1969, to the end of the next decade. The book takes the reader behind the scenes of an organisation that had a significant impact at the time, describing how it worked, the extraordinary range and scale of its activities, and how many of its ideas still resonate today. The publicity captures the zeigeist of the time and also its

legacy: “They thought art could change the world. Thousands joined in and things were never the same again.” And in a way this is true as the authors of the book who were behind much of the activities have gone on to - yes - help change society if not the world. The authors worked in the Arts Workshop in the 70s. Since then, Brian has toured the globe with The Natural Theatre and his own company, Fine Artistes. Corinne continued making innovative theatre, touring internationally whilst being based in Germany. Phil specialised in film and media and set up the educational charity Somerset Film. Penny is a well known author and illustrator of children’s books. Thornton is involved in a major EU project to promote the reuse of building materials. Jennie became a specialist teacher of children with different needs, and Victoria has worked mainly in human rights, living at various points in Mexico and Haiti. Back to the book. It’s an intimate and often hilarious account of how it all came about told by those involved at the time, with contributions from performers, artists, green technology pioneers, and the children and adults who joined in. Essential reading for anyone interested in 1970s counterculture or were growing up at the time. An era of emerging free festivals, of the rise of folk rock, community theatre, street art, experimental rock music, reggae, world music and a time when people would try anything creatively. • The book Bath Arts Workshop is in paperback, priced £25, and is out on12 September published by Bloomsbury and is available from Tangent Books. Contact: Richard Jones, 07890 267983. Email

Yoga in 1976 before it became fashionable

The books cover gives a flavour of what’s inside

Rock concert in 1975 - when prog rock and experimentation was thriving

The era saw a variety of creative events from street theatre to festivals and concerts

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September 2021




Bees, birds and volunteering as the work continues on Lyncombe Hill Fields By Harry Mottram. Volunteers have mowed the last of the five fields on Lyncombe Hill to complete the first phase of restoring the pastures to become wild flower meadows. Organiser Anita Breeze said: “The volunteers have been mowing the North Field with three shifts a day. “Two in the daytime and one in the evening and another one on Sunday with a fantastic turnout with lots of young people.” “We always think will there be enough work for everyone but there’s so much to do and they seem to love it.” Using a mower plus traditional scythes to cut the long grass the team have laboured away in sunshine and rain. Back in 1938 the Council bought the land as an open space and it had been leased to owners of horses as grazing land. When the lease ran out the Friends of Lyncombe Hill Fields were formed to manage the green space below Alexandra Park with the idea to conserve and enhance the biodiversity of the land and maintain its wild nature whilst safeguarding public access.

Anita and Kate

The volunteers have been cutting back th e long grass to make way for wild flowers, herbs and butterflies As a not-for-profit Community Interest Company the Friends of the fields have appealed for volunteers - and they have attracted many including William Chadwick, 14, who attends Beaching Cliff school and is volunteering as part of his Duke of Edinburgh Award project. Then there is Izzy Scalway of Lyncombe Hill who is a university graduate and has worked in


hospitality but studied modern languages and business. “It’s been really great, I’ve seen lots of voles, goldfinches and butterflies and even in the rain it’s enjoyable,” she said, “and they are a really nice crowd so you get to meet lots of people.” Finally there’s Nathalie Hurlstowen who is a Bath University architecture masters student. “My


Hot work

course is online so I was craving some physical work and this is good. It’s cool to meet local people and it’s very social and in September there’s a meet up party so I’ll get to meet everyone else.” Those interested should email or visit the website at https://



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September 2021




Speeding: a choice that puts others’ lives at risk


ELLO to September – and good luck to all of those who are starting or returning to school, college and university. Personally, I still cannot believe that we are almost three quarters of the way through 2021! My team and I continue to gather momentum and I feel well and truly embedded within the role. As I discussed in my last column, the police and crime survey, which closes on September 20, continues to be a focus and I am still calling on local people and communities to tell me what policing issues matter most to them by completing it. The feedback from the survey will help shape my Police and Crime Plan, a legal document that includes various aspects about the policing of the area, how the chief constable will be held to

account and how the PCC will use the money to deliver an effective and efficient service and support other services, such as victim support providers. We’ve had a great response already to the survey, but we want to continue to hear from as many local people, from all walks of life, right up until it closes. The survey is an opportunity for residents and businesses to tell me their views, thoughts and concerns about policing in their villages, towns and cities. As PCC, I am the bridge between local people and the police, and I want as many people as possible to tell me what they want their police service to focus on. The survey takes just 10 minutes to complete and will make a real difference to policing in your communities. You can find it at my website, www. Last month, the Avon and Somerset road safety and road policing teams carried out enhanced operations across the area as part of a national speed enforcement campaign. Based on information and footage provided by local people, they targeted repeat offenders and speeding hotspots, including the Stoke Gifford area. They have also been working closely with partners including Community Speedwatch groups and local authorities to find solutions to some specific road safety concerns. Speeding is a choice that puts others’ lives at risk and I want to thank those who comply with speed limits to keep themselves and others safe. I am delighted that the police are listening to local people and working hard to

With Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Shelford address them by working closely with partners including local authorities, Highways England and the fire services to find solutions to road safety concerns. We all have a role to play in tackling speeding drivers, so do not forget that you can report speeding concerns to the police at www.avonandsomerset.police. uk/report.


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September 2021




There’s double gold in Bear Flat with wins in Tokyo By Harry Mottram: A resident of Bear Flat has won a gold medal at the Toyko Olympics in the modern pentathlon. Joe Choong, who trains and studied at the University of Bath, completed a golden double with Bath University’s Kate French as she won the woman’s title. French, who trains with Pentathlon GB at the Team Bath Sports Training Village, produced strong performances in the swimming and show jumping before overhauling a 15-second deficit in the decisive run-shoot and setting a new Olympic record. Joe is a mathematics graduate and came through in the closing stages in the five-event sport that features fencing, swimming, equestrian show jumping and a combined event of pistol shooting and cross country running. Four swimmers based at The University of Bath won gold medals including Tom Dean who became the first British male swimmer in 113 years to win two golds at a single Olympic Games.

Along with his Team Bath teammates James Guy, Matthew Richards, Dean came first in the 4x200m freestyle relay in the Japan Olympics. Also in the pool was Bath’s Emily Diamond who helped the British women’s 4x400m relay team finish fifth in what was the third-fastest time ever by a GB quartet. Choong’s historic medal was the seventh won by Pentathlon GB athletes since their National Performance Centre was established at the Team Bath Sports Training Village in 1998. Joe told ITV News: “Its been like an absolute whirlwind over the past few days. With so much stuff that we’ve never even dreamed of being involved in with winning a gold medal like all the interviews and the attention that our sport never usually gets.” While Kate said to the TV channel: “It’s so surreal, the support has been so incredible for us since we’ve been home. Just hearing all the stories of everyone watching

Joe Choong came in first and supporting, it’s just been amazing and we can’t thank everyone enough for the support they’ve given us.” Joe Choong was born in Orpington, South East London to a Malaysian-Chinese father Michael Choong and a British mother Beverley, who are both doctors. He also has a younger brother Henry is also a modern pentathlete and competed for Great Britain at the 2014 Summer Youth Olympics. Kate French studied for a sports degree at the University of Bath

Kate French in Tokyo and and originally from Gravesend in Kent. Kate told the Guardian newspaper: “I am just so thrilled right now. It means so much. “I was there in Rio when we broke the medal chain of British women getting Olympic medals, so I’m so pleased we got it back on track.” In the last Olympics she came fifth so was keen to banish the ghosts of the past and bag a gold medal in Japan.

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September 2021


Things getting back to normal with gardening and history talks without using Zoom Compiling a what’s on page in a pandemic is almost impossible as so few events were taking place and although many venues live streamed some activities it’s just not the same. So thankfully Widcombe Social Club has come back to life, the theatres have full programmes and Combe Down has some interesting talks - celebrate while we can! Tue 31 Aug-4 Sat Sep. Theatre Royal Bath. Absurd Person Singular. Comedy by Alan Ayckbourn. Christmas dinner party goes wrong. Tue 31 Aug-4 Sat Sep. Rondo Theatre Larkhall. Macbeth. Beyond The Horizon’s reputation for visceral, uncompromising theatre melds perfectly with Shakespeare’s psychological masterpiece. Sat 4 Sep. The 7 Hills Americana Festival. Live music at Lyncombe Court. Sun 5 Sep. The George Michael Story. Komedia. Music of the late pop star. Mon 6 Sep. School Year begins for the 2021-2022 academic year so expect a little more traffic in the rush hour. Mon 6-Sat 11 Sep. Frankenstein by Nick Dear. Mission Theatre. Presented by Next Stage Theatre Company. Retaining the disturbing power of Shelley’s gothic tale but also reinstating much of the heart-breaking quality which is often overlooked, Frankenstein will thrill audiences to the core. Wed 8 Sep. Combe Down Heritage talk. Combe Down Primary School Hall. 7.30pm. Dr Richard Irving on The History of Combe Down Mines. A must hear to find out what’s under our feet in Combe Down. Thu-Fri, 9-10 Sep. Rondo Theatre Larkhall. The Fish Cage. Family drama

Part of Bath Open Studios, the Combe Down Art Trail is in its fifth year. While the pandemic forced the trail to be a virtual only event last year, this year it’s set to cover all eventualities and includes an online exhibition, as well as turning the streets into a village gallery, with posters of art work fastened to railings and lampposts. The trail will be marked with red lanterns and will lead visitors through the heart of this historic village and into artists’ homes and studios, as well as to local landmarks such as The Museum of Bath Stone, the King William IV pub, and the Peggy Dodd Centre. The Art Trail is also linked to the celebrations organised by The Hub on Saturday 11 September. Head over to their website for more information and to view the online exhibition: about a teenage boy Thu-Sat, 9-18 Sep. Drama: The Dresser. Theatre Royal Bath. With Julian Clary and Matthew Kelly in Ronald Harwood’s classic play. Fri 10 Sep. American Museum. Maria Danishvar-Brown. Opera singer performs her favourite arias. 5.30pm. Fri 10 Sep. Widcombe Social Club. Marick Baxter and Finbar Maginn. Irish music with flute and guitar. Fri 10 Sep. Only Fools and Boyce. Komedia. An evening with John

Julian Clary as Norman and Matthew Kelly as ‘Sir’ in The Dresser at the Theatre Royal Bath. It runs from 9-18 September. Written by Ronald Harwood, directed by Terry Johnson

Challis. best known as Boycie in BBC1’s Only Fools and Horses. Fri 10-Sun,19 Sep. Jane Austen Festival. Talks, readings, dances, parades and exhibitions to celebrate the author wasn’t that keen on the city - but did spend much time observing life here. Check out https://www. for all events. Sat 11 Sep. Bath Open Studios, the Combe Down Art Trail. The trail will be marked with red lanterns and will lead visitors through the heart of this historic village and into artists’ homes and studios, as well as to local landmarks such as The Museum of Bath Stone, the King William IV pub, and the Peggy Dodd Centre. Sat 11 Sep. Widcombe Wobblers. Cycle ride to the Hare Brewery,

Concert at Oldfield Park on September 11 City Sound Voices are back! Musical director Jon Rawles has kept their voices in training for a forthcoming concert at St. Bart’s Church, Oldfield Park on Saturday, September 11th. The concert has spirituals as the theme. John Rutter’s cycle of seven songs - Feel The Spirit - will be the centrepiece and we will also be singing favourites such as California Dreaming and Goodnight Sweetheart. Plus support from the NoteAbles. More at and on the choir’s Facebook page. 7.30pm, £10/£5 U12s, and can be bought at the door of St Bartholomew’s Church, King Edward Road, Oldfield Park, BA2 3PB. Social distancing will be respected within the seating at the venue.

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Warmley. Meet at 11.30am under the London Plain Tree. Details on Widcombe Association website. Sat 11 Sep. Rondo Theatre Larkhall. Improptu Shakespeare. Witty and fast paced show from the Edinburgh Fringe. Sat 11 Sep. St Bart’s church, Oldfield Park. City Voices Concert. Ensemble of fine voices with popular songs and John Rutter’s cycle of seven songs as the focus. Sat 11-Sat 19 Sep. No 1. Royal Crescent. Immersive Jane Austen in Bath experience. Discover what it was like to live with the author of the classic novels. Sat 11 Sep-26 Sep. Bathscape Walking Festival. For the full programme that includes family walks, an LGBTQ history walk, heritage and nature treks as well as circular walk exploring the remnants, resonances


Therapeutic fitness For men and women Tone and stretch your body To reduce stiffness, aches, pains Monday 6.30-7.30pm St Luke’s Church Centre, BA2 2BD Fab work-out done to music. Come along! Contact Catherine 07980 595440 Facebook: essentricswithcatherine For more info, see

September 2021



n WHAT’S ON and ghosts of Bath’s Union Workhouse. See: https://www. Sun 12 Sep. Open day at the Jewish Burial Ground. Greendown Place, Bradford Road, Combe Down. The Jewish community in Bath leased the piece of land in Combe Down, Bath in 1812 from Henry Moore, a quarry-man. The first burial is dated 1812. A small adjoining strip of land was acquired in the mid 19th century, and the cemetery continued in use until the early 1920s. Part of Heritage Open Days which runs Tue 14 Sep. Local History Centre - Lansdown, Lansdown Playing Fields North. Explore the weird and wonderful objects from the spa collection. Join a treat of a tour at 10am, 12 noon and 2pm. Booking essential. Part of Heritage Open Days. Wed 15 Sep. Widcombe. Gardening Club. Talk on growing flowers to make a posie at the social club. Wed 15 Sept. Rondo Theatre Larkhall. Our Mate, Max. Gritty drama about young men today.



Thu 16 Sep. Archaeology Centre Culverhay. Explore archaeological finds from from Keynsham and Bath including objects from the Roman and medieval periods. See Roman mosaics and medieval abbey architecture. Booking esential. Part of Heritage Open Days. Thu 16 Sep. Rondo Theatre Larkhall. Tom Stade. Stand up comedy. Fri 17 Sep. Rondo Theatre Larkhall. Robyn Hitchcock. Musician. Fri 17 Sep. Widcombe Social club. Tony Gunner and the MP3s. Jazz blues with a Latin flavour. Sat 18 Sep. Bath Abbey. Ethiopian Orthodox Church Service. Sat 18 Sep. Open Day Nexus Methodist Day. Nelson Place East, London Street. Part of Heritage Open Days. The oldest Methodist Church in Bath, the original ‘Walcot Chapel.’ Sat 18 Sep. Thu 16 Sep. Rondo Theatre Larkhall. Rob Newman: Work In Progress. Stand up comedy. Tue 21 Sep. Guildhall. Carers Jobs Fair. Up to 20 employers will offer work and info on training in this vital sector. 10am-2pm. Free, just turn up. Wed-Sat, 22-25 Sep. Thu 16 Sep.

The Bath Children’s Literature Festival starts on September 24

Rondo Theatre Larkhall. Soho Cinders. Musical. Thu-Sun, 23 Sep-3 Oct. Drama: Private Lives. Theatre Royal Bath. Patricia Hodge, and Nigel Havers in Noël Coward’s classic play about two married couples directed by Christopher Luscombe. Fri 24 Sep-Sun 3 Oct. Bath Children’s Literature Festival. There’s something for everyone to do at this autumn’s Bath Children’s Literature Festival, which brings a host of writers and illustrators to the city for live, interactive events for young people of all ages. Full programme at https:// Fri 24 to Sun 26 Sep. The Great Bath

Feast. Milsom Street. In association with The Bertinet Kitchen, celebrating the best food and drink in the South West, chef demos, tastings and stands. Wed 29 Sep. Rondo Theatre Larkhall. Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope. Mark Farrelly’s tribute to the gay man whose story was in the TV drama The Naked Civil Servant. Thu 30 Sep. Rondo Theatre Larkhall. Jarred Christmas and Chelsea Birkby. Stand up comedy. Fri 1 Oct. Rondo Theatre Larkhall. Waiting For Hamlet. Comedy based on Shakespeare’s play. Sat 2 Oct. Rondo Theatre Larkhall. Sara Barron. Stand up comedy night with top stars.


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September 2021


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September 2021



n SPORTS NEWS Larks, Wanderers and Olympic Rugby 7s Team Bath to Team GB: With no netball this summer Team Bath Netball’s Deborah Fleming played for the Team GB women’s rugby sevens in the Tokyo Olympics. The team were edged out of a podium place with defeats to France, Fiji and New Zealand but still enjoyed a creditable campaign with victories over Kenyan and the USA. Odd Down AFC: Founded in 1901 Odd Down play their home games at Lew Hill Memorial Ground, Combe Hay Lane, Odd Down in Bath. Playing in Royal Blue the team are currently members of the Western League Division One. With the season under way they will hope to repeat the August 10 result when they ran out 4-2 winners over Bishops Lydeard. Blue, Black and Whites: Bath Rugby play their first match at the Rec on September 25th against Newcastle Falcons in the Gallagher Premiership with an away game at Sale Sharks on September 18. There was a time you watch top flight rugby for 50p but those days have long gone. However to tempt fans back the club have pitched the price for U16s to £7.50 and £22.50


for adults. Expensive yes - but a premium ticket at Covent Garden for The Magic Flute this month is £200 - and you know the ending. The Romans: Bath City FC’s 2021-2022 Vanarama National League South season is under way with fixtures this month against Dartford on Saturday, September 4th at Twerton Park, and on Saturday, 25th September they entertain Maidstone United. End of season: Bath Cricket’s 1st XI Wanderers complete the season at North Parade with a double bill of matches on Sunday 5th September against Bridgwater at 10am and Devizes at 1.30pm. There’s always a an end of term feeling when stumps are drawn on the last day of the season. So until next year when we hope we will see a full season. Athletic: The Larks or rather Larkhall Athletic Football Club founded in 1914 are currently members of the Southern League Division One South and play at the Plain Ham ground while the Larkhall Athletic Women FC play their football in the FA Women’s National League South West Division 1.

Old Twerton railway station

Railway: Antiques dealer Sean Dudden has called for Twerton’s railway station to reopen to serve the suburb’s commuters. He was reported in Bath Live to have campaigned for years to reopen some of the branch lines closed in the Beeching cuts of the 60s and 70s such as Box, Saltford and Bathampton. Twerton’s station building remains in place but the platform was removed. Saltford’s station is set to reopen in the next ten years although according to Network Rail Twerton may have to wait rather longer - if at all. Bullying: Local Democracy Reporter Stephen Sumner reported that Bath’s planning chief has hit out at “bullies” after personal attacks and “offensive” accusations of corruption in recent months. Planning committee chair Sue

Craig said officers were only doing their job but were increasingly reluctant to speak in public or even take on difficult and controversial cases. Her comments about broader issues in the planning system came after councillors called out objectors who repeatedly questioned the recommendation to approve plans to turn Bath’s historic Royal Mineral Water Hospital into a hotel and referred to the case officer by name. The objectors have denied bullying and accused the planning committee of trying to divert attention from their concerns about the “devastating” proposals. The plans to convert the hospital to a hotel by The Fragrance Group have been approved. Church news: St John The Evangelist’s Church begins congregational singing at Mass from 12 September. Cleveland Pools: Until September 5, there is a free exhibition at the Holburne Museum called Making a Splash! 200 years of the Cleveland Pools, Swimming History and Costume Design. The Cleveland Pools Trust, are restoring the lido for 2022. Ahead of its grand re-opening next year is the display in the Museum Garden Cafe window gallery for a few days this autumn.

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September 2021





New writing and new performers at The Rondo By Harry Mottram. Bath is blessed withe several theatres although until recently they were dark with nothing happening due to Covid-19. Each is unique carving out a particular programme - for the Rondo Theatre in Larkhall the emphasis is on new writing and new productions. After a long period with nothing on the theatre is getting back to doing what it does best by staging a full programme this autumn. The artistic director Ian McGlynn explained: “It’s our biggest schedule so far with 35 or more shows. “The highlights for me include Scream Phone which is a comedy take on 90s girl films and 90s horror movies.” Pippa Thornton the theatre’s deputy director said that most shows will contact the Rondo although she and Ian will go to places like The Edinburgh fringe to source new productions.

Rondo Theatre’s deputy director Pippa Thornton and director Ian McGlynn

Ian said: “Our intention is to focus on new writing and new emerging companies to help them to establish their work. “We have a good group of local companies such as Beyond The Horizon who are staging Macbeth. “There’s Black Dog Theatre, Dumb Blonde Company and Pippa’s company Flipside.”

Pippa said they give local companies rehearsal space to support and nurture their talent. “We have a lot of community support which was confirmed when we made an appeal during the Covid crisis,” said Pippa, “which was incredible.” Just before Covid the theatre had been on a roll with sold out shows - so the lockdown came at

the wrong time. They had a short summer season with 50% capacity and of course the bar helps to fund the theatre which has no external funding as it is a self-supporting charity. “We operate from ticket and bar sales,” said Ian, “we hope to replace our seating in the future which we will do a special fundraising. “We tend not to apply for grants as there are strings attached although we did get a grant from the Arts Council during covid but that was a one off.” Both Ian and Pippa discovered theatre and drama at primary school with Ian playing Chrysophylax Dives in Farmer Giles of Ham, while Pippa’s moment of realisation was a spider in the Nativity. The theatre opened in 1989 in the former St Saviours Church in Larkhall. For details of the new season visit

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September 2021




The FIEND 5 2 6

Each row, column and square (9 spaces each) needs to be filled out with the numbers 1-9, without repeating any numbers within the row, column or square.

7 1

4 6 1

8 2

For younger readers





8 9 1

6 5 3 1 8

4 4 9 8


E 4 1









E 5 2








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3 2









Down 1. 2433 2. 46639675 3. 53276 7. 7328 8. 723


6 8

Across 2. 4255 4. 383 5. 6275 6. 769 8. 736 9. 7323 10. 465




3 4




Each row, column and square (4 spaces each) needs to be filled out with the numbers 1-4, without repeating any numbers within the row, column or square.


Theme: Classroom 1

Easier suduko Solution

Use the phone keypad to decode the clues. For example: 2 could be A, B or C ... and 5678 could be LOST



3 D

2 5

Arithmagon: Answers clockwise from top: 1. 12, 21, 14 2. 19, 13, 11 3. 9, 22, 23 4. 15, 13, 23



September 2021

n BATH LIBRARY BOOK REVIEWS AND NEWS Adult Fiction Trio - William Boyd This is William Boyd’s sixteenth novel and with his usual deft he has written a beautiful novel that tries to recreate the changing world of the 1960s. The three main characters are: Elfrida – a once successful novelist but now struggling to find inspiration and drowns her writers block in vodka but can Virginia Woolf be her next project: Talbot – a successful film producer with a secret life in London and finally Amy – a glamorous American actress, popular but wondering why the CIA are interested in her. All three characters revolve around the making of a swinging sixties movie set in Brighton and the book describes the film sets and diva tantrums very well. As the story progress the trio’s private lives begin to take over their public

ones and the pressure mounts. The question arise who will breakdown first. A very enjoyable book and great period detail. Ashes of London – Andrew Taylor As a lover all things historical crime fiction this is definitely in the same league as C.J. Sansom or S.J. Parris. This is Andrew Taylor’s first novel that introduces James Marwood and Cat Lovett. The year is 1666 and London is literally ablaze. We meet James as he watches the old St Pauls burn. While watching a young man appears and tries to enter the burning building. James pulls him back and then realises it is in fact a young girl and this is his first introduction to Cat Lovett. However the body of a man is soon found in the debris – stabbed in the neck, thumbs tied behind his back. James, the son of a traitor, is

Will Writing Will Writing & & Estate Planning Estate Planning A Will protect your your family’sfamily’s inheritance A Willlets letsyou you protect inheritance and decide youryour assets are shared out – if out you – if you and decidehow how assets are shared don’t make a Will, the law says who gets what. don’t make a Will, the law says who gets what.

forced to hunt for the murderer. His investigations lead him to Cat Lovett – a determined young woman and those who surround her home. Another victim is found in Fleet Ditch and so the investigations leads him into the political intrigue of Westminster. This is a great start to the series and very evocative of the time, in particular the smoky remains of 17th Century London.

to find him as he holds the clue to them finding the next bus back to Earth. This book is part of the Usborne Puzzle Adventures series. Every page has a puzzle or clue to solve to take the reader onto the next adventure with extra clues if you get stuck! An action-packed story to unexplored galaxies!

Young Adult Non-Fiction

Always remember the two super free apps: Libby and BorrowBox where you can download newspapers, magazines, ebooks and audio books all with the use of your library card. The Bath and North East Somerset ‘Virtual Library’ is still offering something for everyone. We are sharing facts, Baby Bounce and Rhyme, competitions, Storytime and crafts for children in the mornings and information, support, news and recommended reads for adults in the afternoon. Never miss a thing by following us on Facebook bathneslibraries1, Instagram www. , and Twitter BathnesL

Teenage Guide to Stress – Nicola Morgan Being a young person at the moment is tough – with Covid really affecting schools and colleges and the pressure of social media and your own changing body. Here is a great guide to this tricky time by the author of Blame My Brain. Written in useful sections that cover drugs & alcohol, depression and bullying. The book examines all these problems and gives some brilliant strategies for beating them. This is a very emphatic book and reassures teenagers that they are not alone, and they can BEAT the stress.

Children’s Fiction WEB-CAM


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The Intergalactic Bus Trip – Martin Oliver (Usborne Puzzle Adventures) Join Tom and Izzy on the Number Nine Bus as it hurtles through its intergalactic bus route. Who is the strange person sitting behind them who calls himself Roger and has a friend called Norman on the planet Nova. See what happens when Roger is kidnapped and Tom and Izzy have

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Library News

Moorland Road Community Library

Check out our opening hours - Tues, Thurs, Fri 10 - 12, and Sat 10 - 1pm. We welcome back any LibrariesWest library books and of course our own Yellow Sticker Books to our Book Returns box. You can come into the library and browse the shelves. Click and Collect reservations is also available. Please continue to wear a mask and use the hand sanitiser provided. Overdue books: DON’T PANIC! we just want the books back. ​The Summer Reading Challenge for children is back! Encourage your child to read 6 books over the summer holidays. There’s a poster and stickers to pick up at the start of your journey at the beginning of the holidays and a reward certificate to pick up at the end of your challenge. Email us for more info at Moorlandroadcommunitylibrary@

Moorland Road Community Library is back and welcomes readers of all ages

September 2021




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