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ISSUE 209 | FEBRUARY 2020 | thebathmag.co.uk | £3.95 where sold
IT’S A JAZZ THING
The rhythm goes on: talking to the big players in the city’s thriving jazz scene
The street art of Toulouse-Lautrec and his fellow avant-garde artists at VAG
The winning photographs from The Museum of Bath Architecture’s annual competition
John Suchet on why you can’t beat Beethoven as his 16 string quartets come to Bath
T H E C I T Y ’ S B I G G E S T M O NTHLY GUIDE TO LIFE AND LIVING IN BATH
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Contents 5 THINGS
VISIONS OF ARCHITECTURE
Essential events to look forward to this month
Architectural Photographer of the Year: the winning photographs
GET WITH THE BEET . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
FOOD OF LOVE
Emma Clegg chats to John Suchet about the artistry of Beethoven
Melissa Blease suggests where to dine à deux this Valentine’s Day
WHAT’S ON . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
THE PRIEST AND THE PROSTITUTES
Our guide to the top events happening around the city
Historian Catherine Pitt profiles a priest with a mission
ONCE UPON A TIME
Neill Menneer goes in front of the camera to celebrate 100 portraits
TAKE TWO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
VIEWS OF VIDEO
Georgina Southam profiles two films at The Little Theatre Cinema
Duncan Burgess gives us a masterclass in video marketing
ALL THAT JAZZ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
RAMBLE BY THE RAILS
Melissa Blease discovers the top spots in Bath for jazz music
Andrew Swift makes his way along the railroad tracks of Bath
CITY ARTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40
The latest art exhibitions from around the city
Discover the interior highlights this month
Chris Stephens talks us through some of the early artworks of Grayson Perry in The Holburne Museum’s exhibition
Emma Clegg asks Jon Benington about Victoria Art Gallery’s latest show, Toulouse-Lautrec and the Masters of Montmartre
Emma Clegg visits local illustrator Charlotte Farmer, the creator of our front cover
More content and updates online: thebathmag.co.uk
Follow us on Twitter @thebathmagazine
LOVE BLOOMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .96 Jane Moore says pink is the new red for Valentine’s Day
AVANT-GARDE ART . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
BATH AT WORK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .70
Melissa Blease meets Ben Goddard to discuss Once, his hit musical
POTS FOR TRENDIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44
THE PROPERTY PAGES
Bath’s finest homes to buy or rent
ON THE COVER
The cover image by illustrator Charlotte Farmer was specially commissioned for The Bath Magazine; charlotte-farmer.co.uk
Follow us on Instagram @thebathmagazine
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EDITOR’S PICKS BUILDING IN THE AIR
This photograph of Colston Hall by Tim Green has received first prize in The Bath Preservation Trust’s Architectural Photographer of the Year 2019 competition in the architecture of entertainment category. See the other winning entries on page 54. An exhibition of the winners and runners up is showing from 6 February until 21 June at the Museum of Bath Architecture. museumofbatharchitecture.org.uk
Editor photograph by Matthew Sterling
he sky may not yet be as blue as that shown in the image above, but the theme of dynamic intersections – one that well describes this image of Bristol’s Colston Hall by Tim Green – is a theme we’re loving this month. Let me explain why. Ludwig van Beethoven was dynamic in every sense – his relationships, his passions, his selfbelief, his life dramas all fed a reverberating musical sensibility still admired nearly two centuries after his death. I had the pleasure of talking to broadcaster and expert John Suchet on page 22 about why Beethoven’s music is so special, ahead of performances of the composer’s 16 string quartets in March and May and a talk by Suchet on 28 March on his life and music, as part of The Bath Festival. Artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautric was high born, his father a count, and yet his artwork was known for its provocative nature, giving life to the underworld of 19th-century Paris and its colourful nightlife. Victoria Art Gallery’s exhibition Toulouse-Lautrec and the Masters of Montmartre shows more than 80 iconic posters from Lautrec and other celebrated poster artists of the day. Jon Benington explains the dynamics of the show on page 50. The work of Grayson Perry has a strong autobiographical element, with his female alter-ego ‘Claire’ often featuring (say no more on dynamic intersections). The Holburne Museum’s exhibition, Grayson Perry The Pre-Therapy Years, shows the artist’s earliest work and has been described by Alistair Smart of The Telegraph as “Perry at his rawest and crudest”. Essential viewing therefore – see page 44. Back to music and Melissa Blease investigates the artistry of the local jazz scene on page 36 and finds passionate practitioners in all corners of the city. She also talks on page 32 to Ben Goddard, musical director of Once, which comes to Theatre Royal Bath from 2–7 March, a thrilling combination of a busked concert and heart-rending love story. Illustrator Charlotte Farmer created our jazzed-up cover this month and I visited her and her very spoilt but ridiculously beautiful cat Margo in their colourful flat to ask about her work – see page 52. We have more (yes more) dynamic intersections with a story of the priest and the prostitutes from Catherine Pitt on page 64 and Melissa Blease gives some advice on where to dine this Valentine’s Day on page 58, in what should be the most dynamic intersection of all. Have a fabulous February. Emma Clegg Editor
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JOIN THE FRINGE
The Fringe Arts Bath 2020 is inviting artists and creatives to respond to their exhibition and event proposals. Submission is free with a deadline of 22 March; if selected, a contribution of £20 is requested. All are invited to apply. Fringe Arts Bath, or FaB, aims to raise the profile of contemporary visual arts in Bath, with opportunities for early career and emerging artists, acting as a test bed for new ideas and putting art in unusual places in unexpected ways. fringeartsbath.co.uk LUNCH IN STYLE
If you want to pamper yourself gastronomically, don’t miss The Bath Priory’s special offer lunch, which is available until 13 February! See page 61. ADORING ADORNMENTS Adornments, an exhibition of the work of Dutch artist Carla van de Puttelaar, will be on display at the Fox Talbot Museum at Lacock until 12 July. The images were inspired by the work of the Dutch Old Masters, particularly Rembrandt’s nudes, shown in their use of colour and light, and portrayal of textures and surfaces. nationaltrust.org.uk
Intertwined, Carla van de Puttelaar
dined on mince, and slices of quince, ❝ TheyWhich they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand, They danced by the light of the moon. THE OWL AND THE PUSSY CAT, EDWARD LEAR (1812–1888)
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things to do in
February Dream Bath Philharmonia will be joined by one of the most promising young pianists of her generation, Mariam Batsashvili, at Wiltshire Music Centre on 7 February for an evening of beauty and tempestuous romanticism. Batsashvili gained international recognition and won the 10th Franz Liszt Piano Competition in 2014, before making her debut at the BBC Proms in 2019, and joins the orchestra for a programme featuring Tchaikovsky’s 1st Piano Concerto and the Fantasy Overture, Romeo and Juliet. £28/£10; bathphil.co.uk
Dine Don’t fret as there’s still time to experience The Bath Priory’s new year Champagne Pol Roger lunch menu, which runs until 13 February. Plus The Bath Magazine readers are lucky as not only can you experience a delicious four-course tasting lunch with a glass of Pol Roger by executive head chef Michael Nizzero, if you quote ‘The Bath Magazine lunch oﬀer’ when booking, then you will also enjoy an additional complimentary aperitif with canapés in one of the hotel’s beautiful sitting rooms, in front of the open fire. £40 per person, available Monday – Saturday. To book call 01225 331922 and quote the oﬀer; thebathpriory.co.uk
Listen Hailing from Bath, Isobel Holly is a 19 year-old singer-songwriter whose exciting blend of country, rock and soul makes for a captivating live performance. Her influences include Fleetwood Mac and Carrie Underwood, which are reflected in her heartfelt song-writing and powerful vocals. Isobel, whose debut album is out this month, returns to the Chapel Arts Centre on 21 February as part of her UK tour with her band, all of whom study alongside her at the Royal Northern College of Music. £9/£7; chapelarts.org
See Laugh Following last year’s powerhouse debut, Irish rising star Catherine Bohart is taking her second solo show, Lemon, on a UK tour and is coming to Ring O Bells on 20 February, 8pm. Fresh from a sold-out, critically acclaimed run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, join the star of BBC Two’s The Mash Report as she smashes stereotypes around sex, sexuality and relationships. £10; bathboxoﬃce.org.uk
Can you ever get away with the perfect crime? A brand new production of the blueprint for the modern thriller, Dial M for Murder, is back at Theatre Royal Bath this month, starring Tom Chambers and Sally Bretton. Made famous by Alfred Hitchcock’s worldrenowned 1954 film, get ready for some spine-chilling twists and turns from 11–15 February. Tickets from £28; theatreroyal.org.uk n
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THE BUZZ THE BUZZ
Jo Dolby is Hub Leader at Oasis Bath, a community hub and church. She is passionate about making a difference, and has pioneered the way in delivering innovative community projects in the city
Extraordinary women The Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution (BRLSI) are once again showing their exhibition Extraordinary Women in Bath (first shown last year). The show runs until 13 February, in combination with the work of Frome-based artist Leslie Glenn Damhus RWA. Leslie’s work weaves modern-day cultural references through Renaissance imagery, with Madonna-styled women at the heart of the canvas. BRLSI have also just published a book, Bath’s Extraordinary Women, which takes the reader on a journey of discovery, bringing women of note out of the shadows of the city’s history. £5, available from BRLSI, 16–18 Queen Square. brlsi.org
Festival support from the Rec
The Bath Festival is receiving support for their 2020 festival from Bath Recreation, the charity which owns the Bath Recreation Ground. Formerly known as Bath Recreation Ground Trust, Bath Recreation has a history going back to the 19th century. The body owns and manages the Recreation Ground, the Glasshouse Playing Fields at Combe Down and Broadmoor Lane orchard and play area in Weston. Its aim is to provide opportunities for the community to engage in sport and recreation. In 2018 and 2019 the Bath Festival Finale was held on the Recreation Ground, featuring music stars including Robert Plant, Midge Ure and Clean Bandit. The full line-up of events for the festival this year will be available from 21 February. bathfestivals.org.uk
I’ve lived in and around Bath for over 15 years. I now live in the Newbridge area, which I really love. It’s close to the river and a flat cycle into town (which is great for a reluctant cyclist like me!). Electric Bear is also just around the corner which is a great place to have a drink on a Friday or Saturday night.
graffiti artists. I also worked for BANES council’s youth service running a spoken word poetry project, which was very cool. All these projects engaged young people in different and creative ways and these are the projects that really interest me. We’ve got lots of ideas at Oasis Bath so watch this space...
I am hugely biased but to me there isn’t a city that comes close to Bath. We are surrounded by beautiful architecture and green spaces, but there’s also loads of stuff going on including a thriving third sector which I’m privileged to be part of.
I’ve always wanted to be someone that makes a difference. When I was a teenager I went through some really difficult times and I was helped by some amazing youth workers. As a result I wanted to give something back and so I started volunteering. To see someone take a genuine step forward in their lives because of something you’ve done or said is incredibly rewarding, and when I realised I could do that as a job I never looked back.
I like being in the heart of the city and spending hours reading and chatting in coffee shops – Colonna and Small and Society Café are where I normally end up. In the summer getting the boat one way along the canal and walking back is a favourite thing to do. I worked as lecturer at Bath College, specialising in contextual studies and film. It was a very challenging role and further education is really under-resourced at the moment but I learned loads and loved my team – we had a lot of fun. My current role as hub leader of Oasis Bath is my absolute dream job. Oasis Hub Bath is part of Oasis UK, a national and international charity that works in over 36 communities across the UK. My role is partly to help lead the church, and to oversee and develop our community work. We run a range of community projects, including a kinship carers support group and Make Lunch, our holiday hunger project which provides food and activities for children and their families during the school holidays. We also have a church, Oasis Church Bath. I used to work for a youth work charity in the city (Bath YFC) running a mobile skate park project called One Eighty. We found as youth workers that skaters often had nowhere to go, so we fundraised for a mobile skate park for young people to use. This also evolved into another project called Graff, which was a partnership project with the police and the council to provide a safe and legal space for
At Oasis, Christian faith is what motivates us, but we believe our faith should be shared practically. Our expression of what we believe is through the community work we do. Inclusion is one of our main values, and one area I’m really proud of is our affirmation and celebration of the LGBT+ community. In December we put on an LGBT+ affirming carol service with three other churches and the church was completely full. It’s been wonderful to work together and build strong networks and partnerships. 2020 is going to be a very exciting year for Oasis Bath Hub. We’re doing a feasibility study on our church, as we’d like to turn this into a fully functioning community centre where we can host and deliver lots of projects and groups. We’re also launching our Oasis Pantry, where people can pay a small fee to access good quality, surplus food on a weekly basis. I’ve learned how to live more in the present and enjoy what’s happening in the moment, and I’m loving my life as it is right now. I would really like to write a book one day and my wife and I hope that eventually we’ll be in a position to foster or provide supported lodgings for teenagers, but all of that is probably way off as Oasis keeps me pretty busy at the moment! ■ oasisbath.org; @jodolby
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News of a proposed monument for the city
Stellarum monument proposal
The Stellarum monument will take the form of a giant dodecahedron, using geometry to create the illusion of an infinite universe
Adelard of Bath You might not have not heard of him but Adelard of Bath should in fact be considered as one of the Greatest Bathonians. Adelard (1080–1152), who was born in Bath, is widely recognised as the first English scientist and one of the great minds of the Middle Ages. Adelard was educated at a Benedictine monastery in Bath, before leaving to continue his studies in France and the Arab world. Much of the scientific advancement during the Middle Ages occurred in the Islamic world, where the great texts of the ancient Greeks were being translated and original scholarship was being undertaken. Adelard returned to England in 1116, bringing with him new ideas in the fields of medicine, mathematics, botany, zoology and astronomy.
The Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution (BRLSI) plans to celebrate the contributions of one of Bath’s most significant scholars through the creation of a public monument. It will be displayed in a prominent location in the city of Bath and will celebrate the life and work of the medieval scholar Adelard of Bath. The proposed sculpture will be the first memorial to reflect Adelard’s intellectual and scientific legacy. The Stellarum sculpture is a giant dodecahedron; the memorial will have a unique arrangement of mirrors inside, using the geometry of the dodecahedron to create the illusion of looking into an immersive, infinite universe.
Adelard’s intellectual discoveries include an Arabic version of Euclid’s Elements, describing the geometry of space (which he translated into Latin), and Plato’s set of five regular solids: the tetrahedron, octahedron, hexahedron, icosahedron and dodecahedron. These solids were linked to the five ‘basic elements’, considered the building blocks of creation in the Middle Ages. Adelard’s translations of these texts contributed to advancing scientific and mathematical knowledge in the west. Together with the Adelard Research Group, BRLSI has been working to revive interest in Adelard. For those keen to discover more about this great scientist, BRSLI has re-published Louise Cochrane’s book Adelard of Bath, The First English Scientist, and has created a self-guided Adelard trail, which is available from BRSLI reception.
John Speed’s map of Bath, published in 1610, illustrates the pentagon shape of the city
february 2020 | issue 209
The design of the Stellarum is based on the five-sided pentagon and 12-sided dodecahedron, and reflects particular aspects of medieval Bath. Medieval maps show that the city of Bath was designed in accordance with the pentagon shape. The medieval city was not only surrounded by a pentagonal wall but also boasted five parish churches, five baths and five main gates. The use of the 12-sided dodecahedron refers to the 12th century, the period in which Adelard lived and worked. ■
The Stellarum sculpture is designed as a reflection of Adelard’s achievements, and the external surface will be etched with an abstact Moorish tile pattern, a reminder of Adelard’s connection with the Islamic world. The Stellarum will stand on a brass plate, etched with 360 markings and the 12 signs of the zodiac; a powerful reminder of the astrolabe Adelard brought back from the East. BRLSI is currently looking for a city centre site to host their unique sculpture, so everyone can enjoy the immersive experience and learn about Bath’s famous resident.
The frontispiece of Adelard’s Latin translation of Euclid’s Elements
Bath Stellarum project appeal The Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution needs to raise £40,000 to fund the cost of the Stellarum project. It will be fundraising from private, public and corporate bodies, in combination with a crowd-funding project. To contribute to this exciting project for Bath, visit the BRLSI local giving page at localgiving.org/ appeal/stellarum brlsi.org
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CITY | NOTEBOOK
Notes on a small city
Columnist Richard Wyatt looks forward to the Oscars and remembers the times when he mixed with the big stars of the day. Illustration by Brian Duggan
he 92nd annual Oscars ceremony is a little earlier this year. We’ll know who will be holding up those golden beauties once all the Hollywood luvvies have settled in their Dolby Theatre seats on the evening of 9 February. A few years ago – 27 in fact – I was sent to Los Angeles by HTV West to take my place on the edge of the famous red carpeted entrance way for the 65th Academy Awards ceremony. It was the year Peter Lord of Aardman Animation was personally nominated, along with actress Miranda Richardson, whose parents lived in Bristol. How chuffed l was standing there in my tuxedo shouting out “British television!” among all the other journalists vying for attention and sounding like marketeers selling their wares. In front of me were the likes of Sophia Loren, Emma Thompson, Jack Nicholson and Whoopee Goldberg. Needless to say it was the year when our west country-based nominees didn’t get to take something home for their mantlepiece. This was a time when the term ‘social media’ would have only referred to press coverage of people living on the dole. I only have one photograph to remember the experience. It’s of me outside the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in 1993, pictured alongside the American cameraman my boss back home had hired for the day. How much more visual would have been my memories of the event if mobile phones had then been available for me to be able to ‘bang off’ selfies with the stars! We’re all up there in the star-filled heights now, and basking in the glory of being international Facebook, Twitter and Instagram celebrities. Our alternative reality is the internet on which we can share every moment of our lives. Talking of gadgets, HTV West had a new-fangled Polaroid camera which I took with me when I came over to Bath to do a story about Anthony Armstrong-Jones, Lord Snowdon. Apart from being
BELOW: left, portrait of Richard Wyatt by Anthony Armstrong-Jones; right, Richard at the 1993 Academy Awards in Los Angeles
one-time husband to the Queen’s sister, he was a celebrity photographer and was holding an exhibition in the Octagon Chapel off Milsom Street, the headquarters of the Royal Photographic Society from 1980–2003. In fact Princess Margaret carried out the official opening in 1981. I was cheeky enough to ask him to take a photo of me with the camera while I was sitting on a four-poster bed – a central feature of the exhibition, for reasons I cannot remember. Proudly I brought my photo by Lord Snowdon back to base. Then it dawned on me that I had not asked him to sign it. So its provenance relies on you accepting my word. Just think of the selfie I would have grabbed with the man. Even worse for me was being able to take tea in London with Bristol-born actor Archie Leach – you may know him better as Cary Grant. He wouldn’t do a filmed interview, so we chatted and I made notes. While he was reminiscing about life in the west country, a photographer working for the cosmetic company Mr Grant was representing took our picture. I couldn’t interrupt him – as he was in full flow – to ask for a copy of the photo. By the time the Hollywood legend had had enough of my company, the photographer was long gone. Lord Snowdon has left us so I can’t send the Polaroid away for his verification, and as far as my chat with Cary is concerned, I cannot even remember the year we met. A mobile phone would also have come in handy when Joan Collins came to Bath to press her hand in plaster and add her bronze imprint to a fountain forming a centrepiece in a commercial development being constructed alongside the New Theatre Royal. Another golden moment for which I only have a fading memory. Of course it could be argued that all those instant images dumb down the whole celebrity thing. This golden oldie will leave tweeting to the birds. n Richard Wyatt runs the Bath Newseum: bathnewseum.com
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All you need is... Small Heart Studs £28.00
Open Heart Necklace £70.00
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Bath’s largest selection of beautiful silver jewellery and gifts to treat somebody this Valentine’s Day.
Call in now (or at the last minute!) to choose from a wonderful range of ideas for every budget.
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GIFTED | IDEAS
ROMANTIC GIFT GUIDE
LITTLE GIFTS THAT SAY ‘I LOVE YOU’ WHOLE-HEARTED When romance is in the air, so many brilliant gift ideas can be found at jeweller Jody Cory’s two Bath showrooms. These hearts are from Jody Cory’s Whole Hearted collection. The small hearts are £145 and the large hearts are £240. Jody Cory Goldsmiths, 9 Abbey Churchyard, Bath, BA1 1LY Tel: 01225 460072 and also at: 15 Northumberland Place, Bath, BA1 5AR Tel: 01225 448823 jodycory.co.uk
FLAMING HEARTS Available from Alexandra May, the glamorous Flaming Hearts collection by Simon Harrison Jewellery is as daring as it is captivating. Enamel and crystal brooch, £175. Crystal drop earrings, £125. Alexandra May Jewellery, 23 Brock Street, Bath, BA1 2LW Tel: 01225 465094 alexandramay.com
ETERNAL BRILLIANCE This is a beautiful 18ct white gold bracelet with a line of pink sapphires and diamonds, all set in four claws. A breathtaking piece of timeless jewellery and a perfect and very special gift. £5,365. Mallory, 1-5 Bridge Street, Bath, BA2 4AP Tel: 01225 788800 mallory-jewellers.com
CHOPARD’S HEARTS OF HAPPINESS This beautiful pair of brilliant diamond earrings by Chopard are set in 18ct white gold and from their iconic Happy Hearts collection. £5390. Mallory, 1-5 Bridge Street, Bath, BA2 4AP Tel: 01225 788800 mallory-jewellers.com
VALENTINE’S FINEST This romantic, swirling ruby and diamond dress ring is simply spellbinding. It features a central ruby framed by three complementary diamonds in a 18ct white and yellow gold design by Bath goldsmith Nicholas Wylde. £2,350. Nicholas Wylde, 12 Northumberland Place, Bath, BA1 5AR. Tel: 01225 462826 nicholaswylde.com
THE LOVING CUP Bath-based designer jeweller and goldsmith Tina Engell has created this dazzling cup and diamond necklace consisting of a silver / gold-plated chain with prasiolite and an accompanying tiny diamond set in 18ct yellow gold, £260. Tina Engell, tinaengell.com
ROMANTIC INTENSITY Find a wonderful range of handmade jewellery and sumptuous pieces in Orton Jewellery’s spring ranges. Shown here is a beautifully created pair of 18ct white gold and black and white diamond drop earrings, £4800. Orton Jewellery, 6/7 Market Street, Bradford on Avon, BA15 1LH Tel: 01225 309039 ortonjewellery.co.uk
LOVE AND AFFECTION The Silver Shop in Bath is a wonderful place to visit for so many thoughtful and loving gift ideas. We love this sterling silver heart necklace with diamond and rose gold vermeil. £80. The Silver Shop Of Bath, 125 Union Passage, Bath BA1 1RD Tel: 01225 464781 thesilvershopofbath.co.uk
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16 Pierrepont St, Bath BA1 1LA | Tel: 01225 464433 www.kathrynanthony.co.uk
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Defying the silence
Beethoven’s life was full of drama and this was closely reflected in his music. Emma Clegg talks to Beethoven expert and Classic FM presenter John Suchet ahead of six performances of Beethoven’s string quartets in Bath, which chart his descent into deafness
f you go to a Beethoven concert, you should grip the arms of your seat. Your knuckles should be white. Beethoven is not a settling composer – he is a stimulating, invigorating, challenging composer.” John Suchet, former newscaster and reporter for ITN who covered major world events such as the Iran revolution and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, now has a different specialism – classical music in general and Ludwig van Beethoven in particular. Indeed Suchet, who has been presenting Classic FM’s flagship morning programme since 2010, has already written six books about Beethoven. This year Suchet is doing a 52-part series on Beethoven’s life and music on Classic FM called The Man Revealed, the biggest series ever on a single composer, which is running every weekend throughout 2020 to celebrate 250 years since the composer’s birth. As part of the celebrations, Suchet will also be appearing in Bath where The Bath Festival is staging a series of six concerts of the composer’s entire cycle of 16 string quartets. Three of the concerts and an illuminating talk on Beethoven by Suchet will take place in March, with three more concerts in May during The Bath Festival. Suchet’s fascination with Beethoven started between 30 and 40 years ago. He was himself trained in music to a high level – playing the piano, the violin in the school orchestra and the trombone in a jazz band at school – but his fascination with the music of Beethoven is less about high-brow musicology and more about the music in human terms and how it reflects the life of the man who wrote it. “When I first got into
Beethoven’s music all the books on him were very academic, very musicological. But I can tell you why he wrote a piece, how extraordinary it was that he wrote it, what he was doing at the time. “Beethoven’s music is massive and extraordinary if you know absolutely nothing about his life. But with Beethoven, perhaps more than with any other composer, if you name a piece and I tell you what was happening when he wrote it, I promise you, you listen to it differently.” This is what makes Suchet’s Classic FM midweek daytime show, with its audience of 2.9 million listeners, so successful – he has an ability to capture the magic of composers and pieces of music that aren’t always an easy sell to the uninitiated, and to open up musical appreciation. His style of presentation has appropriately been described as a “silken line of chat, laced with informed simplicity and friendly engagement” (The Scotsman).
Beethoven used to say when he met criticism, “This music is not for you – it is for future generations”
“Beethoven poured his life into his music. His life is also his musical biography and in particular the string quartets and the piano sonatas, which are much more intimate kinds of music. The quartets are in three blocks – early, middle and late – and in those quartets you can chart Beethoven’s descent into deafness, you can chart his ill health, you can chart his struggle with his nephew (he took his sister-in-law to court, arguing to get custody of his nephew, finally winning and then discovering what it was like to be a single parent when he was losing his hearing). “If people know anything about Beethoven, it is that he is the one that went deaf. And honestly his progression into deafness – which was a slow, gradual decline lasting around 20 years – is there. You can hear the pain of it in his music.” How much, therefore, did Beethoven’s deafness define the music he wrote? In fact he didn’t start losing his hearing until his mid-twenties, by which time he was in Vienna, he had met Mozart and played to
John Suchet’s talk, Beethoven: The Man Revealed takes place on 28 March
him, and he was already a renowned musician and composer. “Before he started losing his hearing he was seen as a natural successor to Mozart,” says Suchet. “Already we’re talking total genius, and already he’s breaking the rules – there are things that he does in all his musical forms that no one had done before. So whatever happened he would have gone on to be a great composer. “But as that deafness takes hold in middle age, Beethoven retreats into himself, so the late quartets which we are going to hear in Bath are his profound musical statement. We would not have had those in the form that they are without his deafness.“ Three of the giants of classical music, Mozart, Beethoven and Haydn, were contemporaries. Beethoven (then 17) and Mozart (then in his early thirties) met, Mozart recognised his talent and said he’d take him on as a pupil – although in fact this didn’t happen because Beethoven had to return home to Bonn to his mother who was terminally ill with consumption. Then four years later, when Beethoven returned to Vienna to work with Haydn, Mozart was dead. “So Beethoven never actually got to study with Mozart,” says Suchet. “Which I think was a good thing – he was a decade and a half younger so he would have been in awe of Mozart who might have tamed that wild spirit slightly.” These three composers were very different in their temperament and musical styles: Haydn traditional, unassuming and pleasing; Mozart expressive, playful and eccentric;
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Beethoven challenging, difficult and uncompromising. And compared to his two great contemporaries, Beethoven’s output was relatively small. Beethoven wrote nine symphonies, Mozart 41 and Haydn 104. The same goes for the string quartets, keyboard concertos and operas. For Haydn and Mozart composition came naturally. “If you look at Mozart and Haydn’s manuscript papers,” explains Suchet, “the original autographed manuscripts of their work, they are relatively clean. Mozart never crossed anything out – he got it right first time. If you look at Beethoven’s manuscript, it’s an absolute struggle with scratchings out and he tears the paper he gets so angry. So although he was a god-given genius, he struggled when he composed.” “One thing you could not say about Beethoven was that he was modest,” laughs Suchet. “He knew how good he was, and that was despite the fact that he encountered a lot of opposition in Vienna. A lot of people told him “you can’t do it that way, that’s never going to work, that’s ridiculous.” Audiences used to go along to his concerts to see what was going to happen next, because you could never tell. And so many of his pieces were met with a confused reaction. The Eroica Symphony, for example, famously begins with two striking tonic chords and this had never been done before. “Both Mozart and Haydn begin their works quite politely, often with a little preamble. Beethoven just bangs straight in, so it gets your attention right away. Interestingly the opening notes of The Eroica are not a theme, they are a motif. It is just four crisp notes and that stunned them as it stuns us. “The Eroica was premiered in 1803, so it was the turn of the century, a new century, and hailed a new way of doing things. In bar seven it goes down to a bottom C,” explains Suchet, “which is the wrong note in the wrong place at the wrong time in the wrong key, and Beethoven’s Viennese audience would have been stunned by this. He used to say when he met criticism, “this music is not for you, it is for future generations.” So he didn’t doubt for a moment what he had, even though it was to a certain extent rejected in his own lifetime.” Suchet recollects a time when he was a reporter at ITN in the mid- to late seventies, in a period when the first Sony Walkmans were available. “Suddenly for the first time you could carry your music with you. I remember getting a late night ferry to Beirut where the Lebanese civil war was raging and I had Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony in my pocket. And I blasted it into my ears as the ferry steamed me towards the city at war.” It’s clear that Beethoven was absolutely right; he was writing his powerful music for the ears of future generations. So go and listen to his musical autobiography in the form of his 16 string quartets in March and May. n
ABOVE: The Carducci String Quartet are performing Beethoven’s first three string quartets on 27, 28 and 29 March
The Bath Festival’s Beethoven String Quartets cycle will be performed by two of the finest string quartets in the world, the Carducci String Quartet in March and the Heath Quartet in May. The early quartets were written when Ludwig van Beethoven was in his twenties – they sparkle with youthful exuberance. These lead on to the symphonic Razumovsky quartets of his middle period. His late quartets, written in the final years of his life when he was profoundly deaf, offer an extraordinary mixture of grandeur, intimacy and beauty, with intimations of mortality and the sublime. The first three Bath Festivals concerts will take place on 27 March, 7.30pm;
28 March, 11am; and 29 March, 11am, all at The Guildhall, Bath. The final three concerts will take place on 22 May, 7.30pm; 23 May, 11am; and 24 May, 11am, all at the Assembly Rooms, Bath. Tickets are £12, £26 and £35. Concessions are half price. The talk, Beethoven: The Man Revealed with John Suchet, takes place on 28 March at 3pm at The Guildhall, Bath. Tickets £10. John Suchet’s show on Classic FM is on weekdays, from 9am–1pm. Tickets are available from: bathfestivals.org.uk, or Bath Box Office, tel: 01225 463362
BELOW: The Heath Quartet are performing Beethoven’s final three string quartets on 22, 23 and 24 May
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WHAT’S ON in February
Alan Brook Photography at Royal United Hospitals
Boyzlife at The Forum
EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN IN BATH n Until 13 February, BRLSI Following its popularity last year, the BRLSI is showing its Extraordinary Women in Bath exhibition again, promoting the notable women in history who have connections with the city. Free; brlsi.org BATH STELLARUM PROJECT n Until 13 February, BRLSI BRLSI is celebrating the contributions of Adelard, one of Bath’s most significant scholars, by showcasing a model of a potential public monument, the Bath Stellarum. Adelard’s translations of texts from Arabic to Latin contributed to advancing western scientific and mathematical knowledge. Visitors can see the prototype model of the Bath Stellarum and comments are welcomed. (See also page 14.) Free; brlsi.org ALAN BROOK PHOTOGRAPHY n Until 20 April, 8am – 8pm, Central Gallery, Royal United Hospitals, Bath Travel photography from Sue and Alan Brook recording a year’s overland journey through Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. Free; artatruh.org BURNS NIGHT SUPPER AND CEILIDH n 1 February, 6.45pm, Bathampton Village Hall Two-course supper, address and short talk followed by dancing to mark Burns Night. Cash bar and raffle. £12.50. To book, call: 07534 245555. PASSIONATE POTTERS: FROM DE MORGAN TO LEACH n 3 February, 1.30pm, Assembly Rooms 24 TheBATHMagazine
The Arts Society Bath Lecture examines the work of four potters: William de Morgan who rediscovered the secrets of Near Eastern lustre glazes; the Martin Brothers who created elaborate pots with imaginative breadth; Sir Edmund Elton whose lustre pots combine startling glazes with exotic forms; and Bernard Leach, the father of English studio pottery. £10 at the door; theartssocietybath.com BLITHE SPIRIT n 4–8 February, times vary, Theatre Royal Bath Jennifer Saunders reprises her gleefully funny performance as the eccentric clairvoyant, Madame Arcati, which delighted both critics and audiences when the production opened in Theatre Royal Bath’s 2019 Summer Season. £29.75–£44.75; theatreroyal.org.uk HANNAH MORE: POET, PLAYRIGHT, BLUESTOCKING, CAMPAIGNER n 5 February, 7.30pm, BRLSI From humble beginnings, Hannah More rose to become one of the prime movers of her age. David Garrick regarded her as a surrogate daughter and Elizabeth Montagu hailed her as her protégé. Writer Marie-Louise Luxemburg explores More’s life and her involvement in the anti-slavery campaign. £5/£2; brlsi.org AQUASANA IN THE ROOFTOP POOL n 6 February, 8.15am, Thermae Bath Spa Early birds to the spa can start their session with a complimentary Aquasana class in the rooftop pool. This invigorating aqua fitness session combines classic yoga postures, balancing Tai Chi and strengthening moves to stretch and tone the body. The session is part of the Thermae Welcome package. £37, available from 9am; thegainsboroughbathspa.co.uk
Roundtable discussion at The Edge, University of Bath
U3A LECTURE: BATH ABBEY FOOTPRINT PROJECT n 6 February, 10.30am, The Pavilion Bath Abbey is almost a year into its Footprint Project, a £19.3m programme of capital works to repair the floor, install eco-friendly heating using energy from Bath’s hot springs and provide new facilities including a Discovery Centre, learning space and Song School. Project director Alix Gilmer will reveal more about the project and the challenges the team is facing. Nonmembers welcome, suggested £2 donation; u3ainbath.org.uk MINERVA LECTURE: MATHEMATICAL SECRETS YOU CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT n 6 February, 6pm, Weston Studio, The Edge, University of Bath Maths is more than a subject you study at school. It is the loopholes in the law and the needle that closes them; the technology that saves lives and the mistakes that put them at risk; the outbreak of a disease and the way to control it. Dr Kit Yates, senior lecturer in the department of mathematical sciences at the University of Bath, will point out the places in which maths might crop up in our everyday lives. Free; bath.ac.uk BOYZLIFE n 6 February, 7.30pm, The Forum Brian McFadden and Keith Duffy, artists from two of the world’s biggest boy bands – Westlife and Boyzone – come together for a specially adapted theatre production featuring many of their greatest hits. From £29.50; bathforum.co.uk MARIAM BATSASHVILI PLAYS TCHAIKOVSKY n 7 February, 7.30pm, Wiltshire Music Centre
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FILM SCREENINGS n Throughout February, The Little Theatre Cinema This month catch an award-winning performance of Kinky Boots – The Musical on 4 and 9 February, filmed live at the Adelphi Theatre. You can enjoy The Doors: Break on Thru – part documentary, part concert film – on 12 February and James McAvoy stars in The National Theatre’s live screening of Cyrano de Bergerac on 20 February. The Bolshoi Ballet performs Swan Lake live on 23 February, and there’s a showing of The Royal Opera House’s ballet productions of The Cellist and Dancing at a Gathering on 25 February. There are screenings of Tintoretto: A Rebel in Venice on 26 and 28 February and a live screening of the Met Opera’s Agrippina on 28 February. Full programme available online; picturehouses.com/cinema/ The_Little
Bath Philharmonia presents an evening of beauty and romanticism featuring Debussy’s melodic Clair de Lune and Prélude à l'aprèsmidi d’un faune. One of the most promising pianists of her generation, Mariam Batsashvili joins the orchestra to perform Tchaikovsky’s 1st Piano Concerto and his heartfelt tone poem, Romeo and Juliet. £28/£10; bathphil.co.uk INTERIOR DESIGN TASTER DAY n 8 February, 10am–4pm, British Design Academy This taster day is the ideal introduction for any interiors enthusiast wanting to learn interior design basics. Create a design scheme using colour, mood and style and make your very own mood board. £120, includes refreshments; britishdesignacademy.co.uk BATH TRAMS: TRAMS BEAT JAMS n 8 February, 10am–4.30pm, BRLSI Following on from a previous annual conference, local initiative BATA will be bringing together local politicians, National Light Rail and tram experts, and North East Somerset and Bath residents to discuss the merits of trams and light rail, and the progress in re-installing them around the city. £15, includes tea, coffee and light lunch; brlsi.org; bathtrams.uk WELLNESS-SING DAY RETREAT n 8 February, 10am–7.30pm, The Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel If you like singing, then this could be the ultimate retreat for you. Features two singing sessions led by choral director Eamonn O’Dwyer, a sound healing session with local artist Bex Bridgford, a two-course lunch on site and entry to the thermal spa pools and saunas at the end of the day – you can warm up your vocal chords before relaxing. £179, tickets via Eventbrite; thegainsboroughbathspa.co.uk SARAH KEYWORTH: PACIFIC n 8 February, 8pm, Rondo Theatre Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee and winner of the Herald Angel Award returns with a brand-new show about the little things, the smallest details, the fixed and distinct aspects that make up what we definitively are, how we expressly think and who we unambiguously love. £12/£10; rondotheatre.co.uk NIGHTSOUT ACCESSORIES VALENTINE’S DAY POP UP SHOP n 9 February, 12pm, Green Park Station Instagram jewellery and accessory brand NightsOut Accessories will be introducing its first pop up shop, just in time for Valentine’s Day. The brand launched in 2019 by Nikeisha Dixon and has recently been a part of the Natwest and Crowdfunder UK project, Back Her Business. The pop up shop will sell a whole range of jewellery and accessories. A percentage of the profits raised will be donated to three charities. Continued page 26
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WHAT’S | ON
Sarah Keyworth: Pacific at The Rondo Theatre
James Morton at St James Wine Vaults
Midge Ure at The Forum
BEATRICE WEBB AND RICHARD POTTER n 10 February, 7.30pm, BRLSI The relationship between Beatrice Webb (1858–1943) and her father Richard Potter was not only affectionate, Professor Channon argues, but less deferential than was usual at the time and had a profound and positive effect on Beatrice’s world view and career. £5/£2; brlsi.org BORN TO REWILD! n 11 February, 6.15pm, Chancellors’ Building 1.11, University of Bath Is rewilding all about wolves and bears and abandoning the land? Or can we rewild our landscapes for the benefit of people as well as wildlife? Professor Alastair Driver explains the pros and cons of reintroducing missing species and illustrates how working with nature can benefit the economy and society. Free. Register online; bit.ly/2pBpdas JOHN BERCOW: UNSPEAKABLE n 11 February, 11.30am, Christ Church, Julian Road, Bath John Bercow talks about Unspeakable, an account of his vantage point into British politics. With verdicts on many of the era’s leading figures, it explains the ways in which he has sought to democratise the business of parliament. £20, redeemable against a copy of the book; toppingbooks.co.uk A PERFECT NIGHT’S SLEEP n 12 February, 6pm, The Gainsborough Bath Spa Sleep is a naturally recurring state of mind and body that’s indispensable to our health and well-being. Join Aromatherapy Associates’ Global Director of Education, Christina Salcedas, for a talk about their bestselling blends and how to induce the perfect night’s sleep. £10, including a welcome glass of prosecco; tickets via Eventbrite; thegainsboroughbathspa.co.uk JAMES MORTON: SAX WITH THE JAZZHOUSE TRIO n 13 February, 8pm, Jazz Club, St James Wine Vaults 26 TheBATHMagazine
James has developed his unique voice through direct influences from funk, soul, jazz, gospel, Latin and urban music. He communicates to audiences through his saxophone, projecting emotion in a lyrical style. £9/£8; stjameswinevaults.co.uk ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION ON THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER n 13 February, 6–7pm, The Edge, University of Bath, Claverton Down Unlock the themes of The Edge’s exhibition Mariner: A Painted Ship Upon a Painted Ocean with a roundtable discussion in Weston Studio led by Sarah Chapman. Hear from artist Grace Schwindt, researcher Dr Philippe Blondel and writer and exhibition co-curator Dr Philip Hoare on how Coleridge’s poem might be understood in present times. £5/£4; edgearts.org THE BIG HEARTED VALENTINE’S BALL n 15 February, 6pm, Apex City of Bath Hotel Help raise funds for The Bristol Heart Institute at this Valentine’s-themed ball. There will be a sparkling reception followed by a three-course meal served in the Ballroom Suite, before the UK’s number one Queen interpretation band Pure Queen take to the stage with the band’s biggest hits. Gerri Waite will also bring Celine Dion’s greatest hits to the party. £75; bigheartedvalentinesball.co.uk MIDGE URE: THE 1980 TOUR, VIENNA & VISAGE n 15 February, 7.30pm, The Forum Brought to life by Midge Ure and Band Electronica, this is the very first time in the 40 years since it was made that the Vienna album will be performed in its entirety. It is also the first time that many of the songs from the debut Visage album will be played live. From £24.50; bathforum.co.uk CLAUDIA MORRIS TRIO n 15 February, 8pm, Chapel Arts Centre Having appeared in West End musicals, Claudia has developed a career as a highly praised jazz singer who has toured Secret
Love twice around the UK, performing the life and music of Doris Day. Her latest show Let There be Love explores the ups and downs of love through a medley of hits. £18/£20; chapelarts.org CLARE TEAL AND HER BIG MINI BIG BAND n 16 February, 7.30pm, Theatre Royal Bath Award-winning jazz vocalist and Radio 2 presenter Clare Teal and her BIG Mini Big Band celebrate 100 years of pop music featuring some of the greatest songs ever written from the Great American and British Song books and by contemporary writers. £27.50/£31.50; theatreroyal.org.uk UPROAR! n 17 February, 7pm, Komedia Komedia Bath and Bath Mencap present Bath’s first club night for adults with learning disabilities, offering a safe, relaxed and fun environment for adults with learning disabilities and their families and friends to cut loose and dance like nobody’s watching. 18+. Carers go free; £5; komedia.co.uk SARAH SIMBLET: DRAWN TO SEE n 17 February, 7.30pm, University of Bath Gardening Club, East Building, University of Bath Fine artist, broadcaster and anatomist Dr Sarah Simblet – co-author of The New Sylva – will be revealing how, through careful observation of our trees and plants, we can become better gardeners. £6 visitors, £20 membership; ubgc.org FRANCESCA WADE ON SQUARE HAUNTING n 17 February, 8pm, Topping and Company Booksellers Mecklenburgh Square, on the radical fringes of interwar Bloomsbury, was home to activists, experimenters and revolutionaries such as novelist Dorothy L. Sayers, historian Eileen Power, and writer Virginia Woolf. Francesca Wade’s group biography explores how these trailblazing women pushed the boundaries of literature, scholarship, and social norms. £4–£20; toppingbooks.co.uk Continued page 28
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WHAT’S | ON
Clare Teal at Theatre Royal Bath
James Naughtie: Politics, Power and Music at St Swithin’s Church
SIX n 18–23 February, times vary, Theatre Royal Bath From Tudor queens to pop princesses, the six wives of Henry VIII take to the mic to tell their tales, remixing 500 years of historical heartbreak into a 75-minute celebration of 21st-century girl power. £23.25–£36.25; theatreroyal.org.uk JOSIE LONG: TENDER n 20 February, 8pm, Komedia Three-time Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee and Radio 4 regular Josie Long is back with a brand new show about the mind-bending intensity of new motherhood, kindness, joy and optimism. From £16; komedia.co.uk BATH OPERA: GOUNOD’S FAUST n 20–22 February, 7.30pm, Roper Theatre Discover the gripping story of Faust, a man hell bent upon winning his heart’s desires, stopping at no cost. Bath Opera’s magnificent production is laden with drama, wit, theatricality and soaring melodies including favourites such as The Jewel Song, Soldier’s Chorus and Le Veau d’Or. £20– £27; bathboxoffice.org.uk JAMES NAUGHTIE: POLITICS, POWER AND MUSIC n 21 February, 7.30pm, St Swithin’s Church An evening with James Naughtie in conversation with Rod Morgan explores James’s life at the centre of current affairs, music and literature. Special correspondent for BBC News, Naughtie has presented music programmes on Radio 3 and written books on politics and music. In the spring he will be publishing an account of his experiences in America. Hosted by Bath Minerva Choir. £15; bathboxoffice.org.uk BOTH SIDES NOW: THE JONI MITCHELL CELEBRATION CONCERT n 22 February, 8pm, Chapel Arts Centre The Joni Mitchell Songbook draws on a three-decade journey of incredible creativity, from folk singer to mainstream rock artist, as well as an abiding love affair with jazz. Both 28 TheBATHMagazine
Åkervinda at Widcombe Social Club
Sides Now is a five-piece band showcasing the outstanding voice of Sarah Miller. £18.50/£20; chapelarts.org
and discuss your wedding plans with the team. Free, register online or by calling 01225 477786; bath venues.co.uk
THE BATH WEDDING EXPO n 23 February, 10.30am – 3pm, The Assembly Rooms Visit the Bath Wedding Expo for an elegant, curated and interactive experience. Organised by Whitewed, this essential event showcases 50 of the finest wedding professionals, an inspiration zone with wedding trends and styles, a showstopping catwalk show at 12.30pm and live music and entertainment. Free; bathvenues.co.uk
RENT n 26–29 February, 7.30pm, Rondo Theatre Set in New York’s East Village in the early 90s, Jonathan Larson’s musical masterpiece follows a year in the life of a group of artists and musicians struggling to survive and create under the shadow of HIV/AIDS. £12/£10; rondotheatre.co.uk
THE CAT AND THE CANARY n 24–29 February, times vary, Theatre Royal Bath Twenty years after the death of a rich eccentric, his descendants gather at his remote mansion to learn who will inherit his vast fortune and hidden jewels. The Classic Thriller Company returns with this creepy comedy thriller from 1922 by John Willard. £24–£38.50; theatreroyal.org.uk 3RD SECTOR GATHERING n 26 February, 9.30am – 1pm, Komedia 3SG’s annual gathering for members of the charity, social enterprise, voluntary, faith, health and community sector in Bath and North East Somerset. The event will feature a mixture of useful updates from partners, positive stories of partnership working between 3SG members and the formal launch of their Compassionate Community project. Speakers will include Rowan Miller from The National Lottery Community Fund and Joanna Scammell from Virgin Care. Lunch provided. Free, register online; komedia.co.uk ROMAN BATHS WEDDING OPEN EVENING n 26 February, 7 – 9pm, Roman Baths Enjoy a drink on arrival alongside the torchlit waters of the Great Bath and then be escorted to the terrace and reception hall where you can see a set-up wedding celebration, speak to some local suppliers,
LIVE MUSIC IN THE MINERVA BATH n 27 February, 6–7.30pm, Thermae Bath Spa All guests in the indoor Minerva Bath can enjoy the uplifting sounds of the Gaulois Brothers who will raise bathers’ spirits with their upbeat rhythms and melodies. Only open to paying guests using the Thermae Bath Spa; thegainsboroughbathspa.co.uk EIMEAR MCBRIDE n 27 February, 8pm, Topping and Company Booksellers An evening with the multi-award-winning author of the literary phenomenon A Girl is a Half-formed Thing to introduce her new novel Strange Hotel. £6–£12.99; toppingbooks.co.uk ST SWITHIN’S SPRING CONCERT n 28 February, 7.30pm, St Swithin’s Church Listen to Bath Spa University music students play some well known classics featuring the Bath Spa University Orchestra performing Peer Gynt Suite, and the Wind Band take on Vaughan Williams’ English Folk Song Suite. £5–£10; bathboxoffice.org.uk YOU WIN AGAIN: CELEBRATING THE MUSIC OF THE BEE GEES n 28 February, 7.30pm, The Forum Experience the distinct sound of one the greatest bands to have graced the stage in this concert spectacular. Immerse yourself in The Bee Gees’ music through the 1960s, 70s and 80s – including hits they wrote for artists such as Celine Dion, Diana Ross and Dolly Parton. From £23.50; bathforum.co.uk
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ÅKERVINDA: EXTRAORDINARY A CAPPELLA FROM SWEDEN n 28 February, 7.30pm, Widcombe Social Club Revitalising and re-imagining traditional Scandinavian folksongs, Åkervinda take inspiration from the improvisational techniques of jazz, building beautiful and entwining melodies. Supported by Daisy Burt and Su Hart. Tickets £17; bathboxoffice.org.uk LORE n 28 February, 8pm, Chapel Arts Centre With captivating harmonies and finely crafted songs, Lore provides an evening of soulful songs with stunning musical arrangements. Famed for turning the legendary Teenage Kicks on its head, Lore achieved sell-out tour success in a short time. With a strong folk influence, the band combine their songwriting craft with soulful three-piece harmonies. £15; chapelarts.org THE HANDFUL: REVOLUTION n 29 February, 7.30pm, St Mary’s Church, Bathwick The Handful are one of the most exciting, vibrant and adventurous chamber choirs in and around Bath. Reflecting on revolutions of several types, the concert will feature works such as Britten’s unabashed political propaganda Advance, Democracy!, and Dove’s The Passing of the Year. There will also be reflective pieces by McDowall, Vaughan Williams, Pearsall and Holst. £5–£15; thehandful.org
PLANNING AHEAD... THE TRUTH BEHIND MEDITATION n 4 March, 6pm, The Gainsborough Bath Spa Ancient wisdom and spiritual teachers have been telling us for centuries that meditation will make us happier and better equipped to lead fulfilling lives. Now scientists, doctors and researchers are telling us meditation is good for our physical as well as our mental health. This talk considers ancient teachings and the latest brain research behind this fascinating practice. £10, including a glass of prosecco, tickets via Eventbrite; thegainsboroughbathspa.co.uk AQUASANA IN THE ROOFTOP POOL n 5 March, 8.15am, Thermae Bath Spa Early birds to the spa can start their session with a complimentary Aquasana class in the rooftop pool. Aquasana is an invigorating aqua fitness session that combines classic yoga postures, balancing Tai Chi and strengthening moves to stretch and tone. The session is part of the Thermae Welcome package, which includes access to the full spa facilities from 9am. £37, to book call 01225 331234; thegainsboroughbathspa.co.uk THE FUTURE OF SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION n 5 March, 6pm, East Building Lecture Theatre 1.1, East Building, University of Bath 5 March, 6pm, East Building Lecture Theatre 1.1, East Building, University of Bath Construction is not sustainable. The construction and use of buildings is responsible for approximately half of UK’s carbon footprint, but are we doing enough to tackle this challenge? Dan Maskell explores different ways of innovating within construction and shares his vision of a sustainable future. Free; bath.ac.uk DECORATIVE ANTIQUES FAIR n 6–8 March, 11am–5pm, The Pavilion, North Parade Road, Bath The Bath Decorative Antiques Fair occupies a premier position in the decorative antiques trade as a regional event with an international audience. The theme this year is Garden as Gallery, 45 exhibitors will show antiques and art with a garden theme to adorn the home and garden. Making their debut at the fair are Joseph Berry Interiors, Portico Antiques and Interiors, and S. Paege and Marina Adinolfi. £5; bathdecorativeantiquesfair.co.uk n
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The music of Hans Zimmer and John Williams
Hollywood Head to Head
Donâ€™t m sell out iss this concert
BOOK NOW Celebrating the music of two of the finest film composers in history, Hans Zimmer and John Williams. The BSO return with all new soundtracks and new pieces from classic favourites.
Bath, Forum Friday 27 March
Pete Harrison Conductor
bsolive.com 01202 280000 Tickets for this concert are also available via Colston Hall Box Office
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Once upon a time in a theatre...
The winner of eight Tony Awards on Broadway and a West End hit, Once – soon coming to Theatre Royal Bath – is partly a busked concert and partly an aching romance, discovers Melissa Blease in conversation with musical director Ben Goddard
s William Shakespeare’s Jaques proclaimed (As You Like It, act ii scene vii) “one man in his time plays many parts”. Taking the Bard’s words out of context, I can’t help thinking that they could be applied to both the award-winning musical Once – dropping in at the Theatre Royal Bath this month as part of a national tour – and the CV of the show’s musical supervisor Ben Goddard, which summarises the chameleon-like characteristics of a successful career in the theatre. If you didn’t see Ben ‘being’ Jerry Lee Lewis (Million Dollar Quartet, West End and US Tour), you might know him for his role as Judas (Jesus Christ Superstar, UK Tour). You might well have heard his original scores for a musical version of Two Gentlemen of Verona, for example, or Midsummer Songs at the New Wolsey Theatre in Suffolk. As musical director, he’s put the beat into productions including One Man Two Guvnors, The Little Shop of Horrors, Made in Dagenham, The Hired Man and a clutch of rock’n’roll pantos. He orchestrated and supervised national tours of Tom – a new musical about the life of Tom Jones – and Jackie the Musical, inspired by the now-iconic British girls’ magazine. Oh, and he’s regularly been spotted tinkling the ivories in Eastenders’ local The Queen Vic. That’s quite a CV, Ben! “I had a great career as an actor, I really enjoyed it; loved bouncing around and showing off,” he says. “But making that step from being on stage to being in front of it was easy, really, because music has always been my first love. I was playing music way before I was even interested in theatre of any kind, but when you combine making music with making theatre and it works... I don’t think there’s anything that can better that. So I guess I was always destined to end up doing what I do now: orchestrating, arranging, and putting brilliant musicians together to make something spectacular. And Once really is – in its own, beautiful, gentle, unique way – spectacular.” Originally a low-budget, Irish independent film written and directed by John Carney, Once was one of the more modest premieres of the 2007 film season, opening around the same time as big budget blockbusters such as Chris Noonan’s Miss Potter (starring Renée Zellweiger) and Bill Condon’s Dreamgirls (Beyoncé). But despite the tough competition, the story of a Dublin street busker and a Czech musician (simply known as Guy and Girl) whose passion for music sparks a unique love story received 32 TheBATHMagazine
Ben Goddard in rehearsal
widespread critical acclaim; having won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Foreign Film at the 2007 Sundance Festival, the film went on to enjoy massive box office success. The film’s stars Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová (who composed and performed all the film’s original songs) went on to win an Academy Award for the song Falling Slowly, and Steven Spielberg was quoted as saying “a little movie called Once gave me enough inspiration to last the rest of the year”. Five years after the film premiered, Once was adapted for the stage and opened on Broadway to a slew of Tony, Drama Desk and Grammy Awards. Productions opened all over the world including in London’s West End; today, it’s one of the most celebrated new musicals of the century. “I saw the film version of Once when it was first released, but I made the decision not to revisit it when I started working on the stage production because I didn’t want to bring any previous ideas about how the audience should be feeling, or how the music should be driving the narrative, to the production. I wanted to introduce a fresh approach and see how it worked out – and it’s worked out very well indeed,” says Ben. “People often ask me, are the members of the cast actors or are they musicians? But actor/musicianship has been around for so long now that you don’t need to separate the two. Our cast are highly accomplished actors and musicians who bring acting and music together without singular emphasis on either capability, to tell our story in a different way.” And what’s their story about? “It’s a classic tale of boy-meets-girl unrequited love, really – and many would
argue that this is the most romantic love of all: something that is definitely something but maybe isn’t; something that should be and maybe could be, but who knows? It’s imbued with romance; we’re closely watching two people who should or could be together, and hoping that they will be, and seeing how it pans out. It’s about all the things that get in the way of two people when they first meet. And of course it’s about a songwriter, and his musical journey; we share his songs and watch him putting his music together with other musicians, and we get to see how incredibly rewarding and inspiring it can be when musicians put something new into the world that hasn’t been there before – we go on Guy’s journey with him.” I ask Ben how his own journey began, and it was very much in our local patch. “I’m a Somerset boy!” Ben declares. “I grew up in the beautiful little village of Stoke St Gregory, between Taunton and Langport, down on the Levels. My niece is at university in Bath and my parents now live in Wells; I think everyone I know, or have ever known, is going to come and see the show!” Is a home town showcase a daunting prospect? “No, not at all. I’m really proud of Once, and couldn’t be less nervous about my friends and family – and everybody else who comes along – seeing it. We’ve assembled an amazing company of people to bring this show to life; both the musicianship and storytelling is at the highest, highest level.” The man who has, in his time, played many parts, now creates the spotlight.” n Once is at Theatre Royal Bath from 2–7 March; theatreroyal.co.uk
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Emma Lucia and Daniel Healy as Guy and Girl
“When I saw the show in the West End it blew my mind! I had no idea that musical instruments could be used on stage like they were an extension of the actor’s feelings and emotions.” GIRL – Emma Lucia
The cast of Once
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CINEMA | HIGHLIGHTS
Take two: films
Here are two of the films on offer at The Little Theatre Cinema this month: one about class warfare and greed; the other a humorous retelling of a classic Austen story, says Georgina Southam None of the family seems to have the initiative to better their circumstances, until Ki-woo is handed a job by a friend. Taking on the role of an English tutor – one that he has no experience of – for a teenage girl from a wealthy family, he creates a fake college degree (helped by his sister and Photoshop) and then crosses from a hand-to-mouth existence to a world of cultivation and opportunity. The Parks are very trusting, welcoming Ki-woo into their modern home with open arms. But it doesn’t take long for the whole family to infiltrate the household of the unsuspecting Parks. The Kims – unwilling to share the opportunities that the new family are offering – take over, bit by bit, every service required by the Parks: cooking, driving and caring for their children. Joon-ho delivers a film about class warfare, moving from a sedate perspective of an impoverished family to an elaborate con game that becomes darker and shocking. Taking the upstairs-downstairs metaphor to an extreme, it conveys the class struggle between the haves and have-nots. The question being asked by the film is who is the true parasite? The poor
Parasite South Korean director and writer Bong Joon-ho – whose films The Host (2006) and Snowpiercer (2013) are among the highestgrossing films of all time in South Korea – is not one to shy away from asking hard questions about society. His latest film Parasite is a stylised, serrating portrait of class and the role of fate in a family in modern-day Korea. This bizarre black comedy focuses on social status, aspiration, materialism and the patriarchal family unit. Entitled Parasite, the film is about the leech-like tendencies of humans where greed drives their behaviour. Opening within a subterranean basement apartment in central Seoul, we meet the Kims: Ki-taek (Kang-ho Song) the patriarch, his wife Chung-sook (Hye-jin Jang), their adult son Ki-woo (Woo-sik Choi), and adult daughter Ki-jung (So-dam Park). The family are poor but seem satisfied with their lot as they clamber into corners to tap free Wi-Fi and spend time assembling a stack of pizza boxes for extra funds.
Emma Jane Austen’s coming-of-age story, Emma, of her six books is the one that most departs from the conventions of literary fiction. It perfects the use of free indirect discourse, where the narration is explained through the distorting lens of its protagonist’s mind in a way that also allows an understanding
of the story from a more general, less partial perspective. The novel’s literary subtlety, and its portrayal of different perspectives, is perhaps more easily translated to the big screen. Here is a lively version of Austen’s fourth novel from debut feature director Autumn de Wilde. Austen’s original book, blending satire and romance, was first published in 1815 and has been adapted many times over the years for film and TV, with Austen’s work and characterisation always a source of fascination. Emma – with the main character played by Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch, 2015) – is a classic story of misguided confidence, matchmaking and social politics, naturally furnished with plenty of fancy Georgian bonnets. The spoiled, headstrong, yet wellintentioned Emma adventures through inappropriate alliances as she tries to chart the path to love for others. Considering herself an expert, she attempts to pair her new friend Harriet (Mia Goth), who comes from a lower social class, with various eligible bachelors. With little selfunderstanding, Emma is blissfully unaware that her poor advice only causes mayhem. This is where the novel’s ‘free indirect discourse’ is translated to the film. This much-loved Austen novel is driven by
who attach themselves to the rich to benefit themselves, or the rich who outsource their lives, leaving their own selves less human and connected?
the charming, wayward and quick-witted protagonist who eventually finds her equal and earns her happy ending. The comedy is maximised with a cast of big names including Miranda Hart as Miss Bates, Bill Nighy as Mr Woodhouse and Josh O’Connor as Mr Elton, who all make the very most of the scandalous situations around them. Autumn de Wilde, who is best known for her photography work, has produced music videos for the likes of Florence + the Machine, Rilo Kiley and Beck. Wilde’s directorial style zones in on the comedy of Emma more obviously than previous adaptations, producing a film that captures the spirit of Austen’s writing style to perfection. ■
SHOWING TIMES Parasite 3 February, 6pm Emma Showing time to be confirmed, see website for details Little Theatre Cinema, St Michael’s Place; picturehouses.com/cinema/The_Little
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CITY | MUSIC
All that jazz
Come on babe, why don’t we paint the town... and all that jazz? Well that’s exactly what we’re doing, because jazz – in all the genre’s various formats and incarnations – makes one big, beautiful noise in Bath on pretty much every night of the week. You just have to know where to go to find it, says Melissa Blease Steve Henwood, live music booker at The Bell: “Back in the days of the legendary John Bradshaw (see page 38) The Bell was primarily known as a jazz pub. Jazz, along with folk and the more-obvious-for-a-pub blues, is clearly at the roots of the more mainstream music we and many other places play, and that’s why I programme it; its promiscuous influence waxes and wanes in the general seething mass of contemporary music, but it remains a strong influence.
Jazz is an unbeatable training ground for any instrumentalist; it expands melodic and harmonic vocabularies
much-loved cornerstone of the thriving Green Park Station market scene, the Green Park Brasserie hosts no less than four evenings of live jazz every week, always pitched at a melodic, approachable volume so we can choose to chat over a meal, specifically tune in to the music... or do both. Alex Peters, Green Park Brasserie director: “We’ve being doing what we do for 28 years this February and hope for at least another 28, perhaps with an extended encore! Our four nights a week of live jazz/funk/soul/ swing music have become central to everything we do, based around creating a brilliant atmosphere for our guests and ensuring that they have a memorable time. We’re in a stunning historic building with a relaxed ambience which lends itself well to our music and quality food offering. “In terms of reputation, we’ve always seen the business as a real part of the local community – we love being involved with The Bath Fringe Festival, The Bath Festival, Bath Folk Festival, and a whole host of other local musical groups and societies. We also host headline days in the summer where we put on some incredible bands at Bath Pizza Co who play late into the warm summer evenings under the vaulted Victorian glass canopy in the old Green Park Station – there’s really nowhere else like it in Bath. We welcome couples on date nights, groups of friends, families of all ages – a real mix of demographics. We’re often referred to as one of the last "true generalist independent restaurants”, which is something we’re rather proud of; we’d hate The Braz to be put in a box. Andrew Peters, Green Park Brasserie owner: “My personal taste is pretty eclectic, from blues to classical, but I do love 1960s Miles Davies and 1990s Chris Botti. In local terms, I’m particularly indebted to Jon Green, Wade Edwards, James Lambeth, Mike Collins, the late, great Guy Harrup and many other superb artists who have regularly played here since 1992.” • What’s on at Green Park Brasserie: greenparkbrasserie.com/music
“Jazz is an unbeatable training ground for any instrumentalist; it expands melodic and harmonic vocabularies, and – due to the training and conceptual background – is one of the primary engines of fusion and hybridisation, too. Many jazz players tend to play funk, swing, and Latin as well as jazz, and in many cases they’re the horn sections for R’n’B, soul and ska bands as well. The role of south west-based musicians like Clive Deamer or Pete Judge – who have both played for me at The Bell – is clear. Get The Blessing’s first-ever issued recording was recorded live here, and if I were writing
a history, I’d include players like Jim Blomfield, Craig Crofton, Anders Olinder and Andy Hague who have all been influential too, alongside some serious quality younger contenders like James Morton, Dan Moore, Matt Brown and Ruth Hammond. Locals such as Seb Gutiez and friends (the Old Bones Collective) and Murph and friends (Dub Souls) are always coming up with new stuff; Pete Judge is in a new project every time I talk to him, and bands like Snazzback and the Bloom Collective crew are zooming ahead almost too fast to keep up with. But we do get offered national or even – gulp! – international tours, and can sometimes fit them in. “I could put live jazz on at The Bell every week – it easily makes up for 50 per cent of what I listen to at home. But I’m dealing with an audience who like all sorts of things. A number of them think they don’t like jazz, but when presented with the right flavour for them – the new New Orleans revival, Hot Club gipsy swing, hiphop or post-rock fusion – they discover that they love it. “I try to programme schools of jazz that aren’t covered elsewhere in town and have a long, ongoing relationship with some of our musicians, but mostly I stick to some of the obvious crossover and entrance points. Over the last few decades, jazz has also managed to be dance music again and the groovebased stuff is very strong. Not all of the gigs I programme here will be labelled or promoted as jazz gigs though, because some people are still scared of the J-word!” • What’s on at The Bell: thebellinnbath.co.uk/what-s-on ➲
Bath’s Walcot Street/London Road area has, since the 1960s, held the informal title of Bath’s Artisan Quarter and represents the essence of alternative life in the city – and the iconic pub at the epicentre of proceedings (community-owned since 2013) flies the flag for the Heritage City’s independent ethos. THEBATHMAG.CO.UK | | february january 2010 2020 THEBATHMAG.CO.UK
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CITY | MUSIC
OTHER JAZZ HIGHLIGHTS TO WATCH OUT FOR: Friendly, laid back and atmospheric, St James Wine Vaults is a longestablished proper pub that goes large on a warm welcome, resulting in a proper pub for properly friendly people... and regularly getting jazzy with it. • What’s on at St James Wine Vaults: stjameswinevaults.co.uk/#whats-on
Having enjoyed prime position as the social epicentre at the heart of the Widcombe community for decades, the Widcombe Social Club (refurbished in 2013) plays host to all manner of lively live entertainment – and, last month, the second hugely successful Bath Jazz Weekend. Since the Bath Festivals organisation merged the International Music and Literature festivals, former Europe Jazz Network (EJN) President and UK/Ireland Jazz Promotion Network founding member Nod Knowles felt that the opportunity for presenting an extensive, unique programme of British and European contemporary jazz in Bath had been overlooked. The strategic response to this situation turned out to be a cooperative, DIY initiative at Widcombe Social Club, for which Nod is a volunteer committee member. Turning back to festival promotion after several years, Nod drew on all his expertise, contacts and experience of more than 40 years in jazz promotion to bring some of the best and most interesting musicians from the UK and Europe to his home town to participate in a brand new venture, the Bath Jazz Weekend, which ran over the first few days of 2019. The experiment proved to be a great success; the audience turned up in droves, supporting the musicians in the collaborative spirit of the event. And so, in January this year, they did it again – and the second Bath Jazz Weekend proved even more popular and successful than the first. Look out for international-level promotions at Widcombe Social Club later in the year... and a third Bath Jazz Weekend early next year. • What’s on at Widcombe Social Club: widcombesocialclub.co.uk/upcoming-events
Bath’s leading alternative arts venue, Chapel Arts Centre plays host to a varied array of live music events on a regular basis. On the jazz-specific front, book today for the Claudia Morris Trio (15 February), Patti Boulaye’s Billie Holiday tribute (20 March) and the Sunset Cafe Stompers (15 May) • chapelarts.org/events/tags/jazz/
Established way back in 1978, Moles is a tiny, atmospheric, subterranean live music venue hosting international jazz superstars on a regular basis. Advance booking is essential for 14-piece jazz fusion pioneers Dutty Moonshine (7 March) and the legendary James Taylor Quartet (20 March) • moles.co.uk/events
There’s live music in abundance at Komedia, Bath’s hugely popular, community-owned live entertainment venue – and, for hybrid jazz addicts, virtuoso ‘Piano Man’ Tom Seals on 25 March • komedia.co.uk/bath/music/tom-seals
You will have heard this old school jazz man softening the hard edges of the city centre with his melodious, harmonious voice and elegant trumpet accompaniment
It would be impossible – and downright disrespectful – to talk jazz in Bath without mentioning legendary Bath pub landlord John Bradshaw. Having previously enjoyed a long stint as landlord of The Bell during the 1960s/early 1970s, John – a charismatic man with a characterful personality – took over at the helm of the former Ye Old Farmhouse (Lansdown Road) in 1976 and put jazz in the Bath spotlight for three decades, until he retired in 2006. Over his 17-year residency, 38 TheBATHMagazine
John hosted top jazz artistes including Alex Welsh, Buck Clayton, Humphrey Littleton, Acker Bilk and ‘Stride Pianist’ Earl Hines at the Farmhouse, alongside literally thousands of local and national jazz musicians and bands; was the Farmhouse Bath’s answer to Soho’s iconic Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club? Many Bathonians who were part of John’s party would say so. John died on April 14 2017. His public funeral at St Mary’s Catholic Church on Julian Road attracted hundreds of local people, and many more paid tribute to him at a wake held at The Bell.
Everybody in Bath knows Jerri Hart – even if you don’t know his name, you will have heard this old school jazz man softening the hard edges along the highways and byways of the city centre with his melodious, harmonious voice and elegant trumpet accompaniment. A globally celebrated performer with a fascinating back story, ‘The Man in Black’ (also known as ‘The Crooked Crooner’ due to a chronic, long-term condition that's resulted in severe curvature of his spine), Jerri describes himself as “an internationally obscure performer, musician and comedian with a unique look and sound” – and few who have encountered this magical man could argue with that. Find Jerri on the streets of Bath pretty much every day, and headlining Glastonbury’s Crooners Corner every year. • jerrihart.com n
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ART | EXHIBITIONS
STATE OF THE ART Posters of the Belle Époque, a Turner Prize-winner’s early work and artwork inspired by The Rime of the Ancient Mariner feature in this month’s art showcases at the city’s museums and galleries VICTORIA ART GALLERY By Pulteney Bridge Open: Daily, 10.30am–5pm Tel: 01225 477233 Web: victoriagal.org.uk TOULOUSE-LAUTREC AND THE MASTERS OF MONTMARTRE 20 February – 7 May This exhibition brings the sights and sounds of Lautrec’s thrilling bohemian Paris to life. The exhibition revisits the street art of the era, showcasing over 80 works by Toulouse-Lautrec, and other avant-garde artists including Mucha and Steinlen. Evening events will echo the joie de vivre of the Belle Époque and Toulouse-Lautrec's Paris. These will feature music and entertainment to celebrate how visual art, music and dance were intertwined. There will also be a multilingual audio guide, a display of personal items from the performers and a dressing-up area. £6/free for Discovery Card holders.
MUSEUM OF EAST ASIAN ART 12 Bennett Street, Bath Open: Tuesday – Friday 11am–5pm, Saturday 10am–5pm Tel: 01225 464640 Web: meaa.org.uk CHINA ON A PLATE Until 8 May Many beautiful artefacts that are classified as Chinese art were originally made for daily purposes and were not meant to be displayed in a museum or collected by enthusiasts as they are today. In fact, a large percentage of objects within the MEAA’s collections were originally used as food or drinking vessels. This exhibition explores the culture of food and drink in China through a wide range of vessels made of different materials and used by various social classes over centuries. The exhibition is the result of a joint research project between the museum and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.
Above left, the cover of L’Estampe, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Kraak basin, late Ming dynasty China (c.1600–1620) 40 TheBATHMagazine
SALLY MUIR: THE DOG SHOW Until 9 February Sally Muir has had dogs all her life and for nearly as long has drawn and painted them. Some years ago she began a Facebook project, posting her dog art daily. As people became interested she became more adventurous in her materials, combining wire drawings, lithography, paper cuts, pen and ink and potato prints. The project finished several years ago, but Muir continues to find people and their dogs endlessly fascinating. She has held successful one-woman shows with retailer Anthropologie in London and Bath, and in 2017 a book of her dog portraits was published, entitled A Dog a Day. This new exhibition is guaranteed to bring smiles and nods of recognition to visitors’ faces, even if they are not dog owners. Free entry.
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ART | EXHIBITIONS
NICK CUDWORTH GALLERY London Street, top of Walcot Street, Bath Closed on Mondays Tel: 01225 445221 Web: nickcudworth.com Throughout February The exhibition at the Nick Cudworth Gallery this month features original paintings and prints of various subjects including the city of Bath, the surrounding countryside and the waterways that run through the city. Nick works in his studio connected to his gallery at 5 Walcot Street. He is usually available to discuss finished works as well as work in progress End of the Pier by Nick Cudworth
THE FRAMING WORKSHOP 80 Walcot Street, Bath Tel: 01225 482748 Web: theframingworkshop.com
Pencil drawing by Paul Stowe
BATH ART FAIR Bath Pavilion, North Parade Road, Bath Web: bathartfair.co.uk
Hannah Clare works in mixed media to produce drawings and paintings which explore layers of story, memory and experience, with work focusing on the female form and drawing on art historical imagery and themes. This exhibition runs alongside the permanent display of creatively framed objects and images collected and created to inspire visitors.
29 February, 10am–6pm; 1 March 10am–5pm The award-winning Bath Art Fair features stunning and eclectic professional artists’ work from all over the country. From original paintings to recycled metal sculpture and a pre-loved art sale in aid of the Bath Holburne Musuem’s Pathways to Wellbeing programme of art therapy. £5 entry.
Left, Waiting on the rock... by Hannah Clare
THE HOLBURNE MUSEUM
The Edge, University of Bath, Claverton Down Open: Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 5pm Tel: 01225 386777, web: edgearts.org
Great Pulteney Street, Bath Open: Daily, 10am–5pm (11am Sundays) Tel: 01225 388569 Web: holburne.org GRAYSON PERRY: THE PRE-THERAPY YEARS Until 25 May One of the Holburne’s most eagerly anticipated shows of the year, this follows a successful public appeal to source Perry’s early ceramic pieces, made between 1982 and the mid-1990s. Here are a broad range of Perry’s early works, including pieces from the artist’s own collection and works not seen publicly before. For Perry’s legions of fans, The Pre-Therapy Years will bring a new perspective to the 2003 Turner Prize-winner’s influential and inspiring outlook.
MARINER: A PAINTED SHIP UPON A PAINTED OCEAN Until 21 March Work from 14 artists considers the contemporary resonance of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The new commissions and artworks include Zubenelgenubi, a film by Serena Korda; an installation by Mary Evans, which draws on historical artefacts;
From Zubenelgenubi (The Price to be Paid), a film by Serena Korda
sculptural works by Grace Schwindt; and a multi-sensory presentation of Raft of the Medusa by Lucy and Jorge Orta and special contributions from Ellen Gallagher and Edgar Cleijne, and Linder Sterling.
44AD ARTSPACE 4 Abbey Street, Bath Open: Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 5pm (Sunday 11am – 4pm)
Essex Plate by Grayson Perry 42 TheBATHMagazine
Photogram by Jonny Falkus
THE SPACE BETWEEN 25 February – 1 March Reflecting on the space between completions and new beginnings, this exhibition explores the possibilities that can be fostered there. The artists have all recently completed a masters of fine art and offer an exciting mix of styles, genre and ideas. Web: thespace between2020.wordpress.com n
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nick cudworth gallery Lecture Series 2019/2020
Passionate Potters: ~ From De Morgan to Leach ~ Lecturer : Julian Richards
This lecturer looks at the work of 4 Passionate Potters, William de Morgan, The eccentric Martin Brothers, Sir Edmund Elton, and the father of English Studio Pottery, Bernard Leach
Eastbourne Pier. 36 x 16 Inches. Oil on linen
FEBRUARY EXHIBITION 1 – 29 February
at 1.30pm on Monday 3rd February 2020 in The Assembly Rooms, Bennett Street Bath Visitors welcome £10 at the door (No Booking required) Visit our website for membership benefits and other information www.theartssocietybath.com
5 London Street (top end of Walcot Street), Bath BA1 5BU tel 01225 445221 / 07968 047639 firstname.lastname@example.org www.nickcudworth.com
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CITY | BUSINESS
Cocktail Party, 1989, © Grayson Perry Courtesy of the artist and Victoria Miro
Cocktail Party, 1989
Self Portrait Cracked and Warped, 1985, Private Collection © Grayson Perry Courtesy of the artist and Victoria Miro
Cocktail Party, 1989
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Pots for trendies
A new exhibition at The Holburne Museum surveys Grayson Perry’s earliest forays into the art world by showcasing the explosive and creative works he made between 1982 and 1994, with many of the exhibits crowd-sourced from across the UK. Museum director Chris Stephens evaluates the work in the show
rayson Perry is one of a very select band of artists whose work appeals to audiences beyond the usual museum and gallery-goer. Through his writing and work on television, he has come to be something of a national treasure and recent exhibitions have been hugely popular. Though some of the exhibitions were of tapestries associated with his TV series, he has, as he observes himself, a unique brand as the ‘transvestite potter’. For those of us who, like him, grew up in the 1960s and 70s, it is extraordinary that a working-class, cross-dressing boy from Essex should have become the leading, and most articulate, commentator on British society and on masculinity. But it was not always so straightforward and the exhibition at the Holburne Museum, Grayson Perry: The Pre-Therapy Years, reunites for the first time the early works that helped make Perry’s name and through which he started to explore and express his search for his own identity. Perry studied art in Portsmouth and his earliest work was in collage, installation and film before a friend suggested, in 1983, that he try pottery. As a schoolboy, a pottery class had prompted his first experience of fetishistic excitement. His earliest ceramics brought together traditional forms and styles with iconoclastic references to sex and religion. He was associated with a group of artists – the Neo-Naturists – who through painting and performance explored a kind of new-age practice, drawing on ideas of magic and shamanism. Some of these themes fed into Perry’s ceramics which featured references to death, devilry and various forms of spiritualism. In these early works there was a clear strategy to shock, almost for its own sake. Graphic images of sexual activity and fetishism combine with Nazi and other symbols. This was an art coming out of the post-Punk moment, with memories of the Sex Pistols or Siouxsie Sioux wearing swastika armbands. At the same time, it connected to the New Age movement which hit the headlines in 1985 when the police blocked a group of travellers from staging a festival at Stonehenge, and Perry himself was associated with some of the key figures in the New Romantic movement that grew out of certain nightclubs at the end of the 1970s. The title of the Holburne exhibition is significant. Once we had agreed with Grayson and his gallery that we would make a show of his early work, a discussion ensued
about when ‘early’ ended. We decided that the artist’s move from smaller, fringe galleries to the high-end Bond Street dealer Anthony d’Offay in 1994 marked a suitable turning point which happened to coincide with a change in his style. It was at that moment that the larger, more lustrous look that characterises his pots now came into the work. It was Grayson himself who, when we told him the proposed cut-off date, said, “Oh, the pre-therapy years”. Though he had actually first engaged with psychotherapy in 1997, that throw-away remark proved prescient. It was through therapy that he came to terms with his problematic childhood and the complexity of his identity as a transvestite. Before that process, we can see that he was seeking that resolution – or at least expressing the lack of it – through his art. As a consequence, a number of the works are challenging in their imagery. There are several pots and plates which include graphic images of a sexual nature, including domination and humiliation, but these are balanced by others which reveal Perry’s fascination in those days with such archetypes of feminine power as newsreaders like Sue Lawley and Jan Leeming, Princess Diana and then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Equally, many of the themes that we see in his art today were already apparent in the 1980s and early 90s. Class and
associated social mores are a recurring theme, typified in the vase Cocktail Party which features several terrifying, middle-class women. Essex, Perry’s home county, and the predominantly pejorative way in which it is discussed appears again and again. The conventions and pretentiousness of the art world are other frequent targets for Perry’s affectionate but nonetheless piercing satire. It is a world of which he was becoming increasingly a part, but he did not shy from satirising himself, populating one plate with the gallerist’s banter for its sale. In another, he sets a self-portrait alongside a criticism of his own work: “An amateurish hero in the true Brit school of peeved bigot … makes pretentiousness a virtue and makes pots for trendies”. That same plate embodies Perry’s unique combination of the form and material of the object and his characteristically witty satire: through poor handling, the plate twisted and cracked prompting him to title it Self-Portrait Cracked and Warped. It is a fitting work with which to promote an exhibition in which we can see the artist trying to understand his own psychological make-up as well as the works around him. n Grayson Perry: The Pre-Therapy Years is at The Holburne Museum until 25 May; holburne.org
Newsreader, 1990, Private Collection © Grayson Perry Courtesy of the artist and Victoria Miro
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Dry January is over
ELEGANT TIARAS HEAD UP SALES OF GORGEOUS GEMS
Kashmir Enamel Whiskey Measure A small on or a large one
Lawrences' jewellery and watches auctions recorded some outstanding results in 2019, showing that demand for the luxuries of fine stones continues apace. Arguably the most glamorous of departments, the jewellery auctions are always a dazzling spectacle, showcasing the finest creations, spanning antiquity to the modern era. From emerald rings to diamond tiaras, gold bracelets to Rolex watches and from strings of pearls to sapphire earrings, there have been some fantastic prices over the year for some truly superb pieces. The sales always contained plenty of surprises and, although the best lots performed with dependable excellence, there were many unexpectedly good prices along the way. Tiaras have enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years. Buyers seek the more wearable and delicate versions and particularly those that can also be worn as necklaces. A Victorian diamond necklace, neatly converting to a sophisticated tiara, was set with a profusion of diamonds in silver and gold. A touchingly sentimental connection was shown in a photograph of the vendor's grandmother, Alice Tall, wearing the item: this possibly helped it to ease beyond its £10–15,000 guide price to take £16,470. An elegant Edwardian tiara that could be adapted into a brooch and a necklace combined quality of craftsmanship with stunning design and it doubled its estimate to take £47,500. So if you own a beautiful ring, bracelet (or even a crown) that you no longer wear, feel free to contact jewellery specialist Miranda Bingham who will guide you through the valuation process. Entries are invited for Lawrences’ forthcoming 2020 sales. IF YOU WOULD LIKE MORE INFORMATION ON BUYING OR SELLING, PLEASE CONTACT: miranda.bingham @lawrences.co.uk
Lawrences AUCTIONEERS The Linen Yard, South Street, Crewkerne, Somerset TA18 8AB. T 01460 73041
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Ma San Auction In Bath
SPECIALISTS IN ORIENTAL WORKS OF ART
A pair of Chinese Qing Dynasty Zitan horseshoe-back armchairs (Quanyi). SOLD £24,000
A large late Qing dynasty Chinese Hongmu Luohan Day Bed (Luohanchuang) with stepped railings. SOLD £20,000
A Chinese 19/20th century Hardwood Hongmu three piece desk with cracked ice design lattice. SOLD £2375
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A Chinese 19th century Hardwood Cabinet on Stand with glazed door. SOLD £1600
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PEOPLE | FOUR THINGS
Richard Wendorf is the director of the American Museum & Gardens. He serves as visiting professor at Bath Spa University and was a trustee of the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution for six years. As a scholar he specialises in subjects including portraiture, 18th-century British art, literature, and cultural history, and the theory and history of collecting. He selects four objects that have personal significance in his life Portuguese processional doll I have never been a collector of souvenirs. Occasionally, however, I will find an object that perfectly fits the place in which I found it – and which continues to remind me of the place, the time, the circumstances attached to that first moment of connection. In this case, I was seated on a coach filled with supporters of the Boston Athenaeum as we wound our way up to the castle of St George in Lisbon. About halfway up the climb, I saw a series of painted dolls, mounted on stilts, standing in ascending order in the window of an antiques shop. On the way down, I had the coach drop me off, discovered that these were processional dolls from 1800, and purchased the smallest one on offer. She would have been dressed by her family and then covered with offerings of banknotes as she made her way to church in a grand procession. Since moving to Bath, I have asked the doll-maker Lynne Roche to create a long skirt for her out of faded antique silk. Of all the oggetti I have collected, this little girl receives the most attention from friends and antiques dealers. But I think that she’s already travelled enough; time for her to stay right here in Bath.
“Of all the oggetti I have collected, this little girl receives the most attention”
Campaign badge, 1840
I blame it entirely on my children, or so I tell people when they gasp at how many of these glistening ovoids fill various bowls on my tables and the top of my bookcases. When Reed and Carolyn were very young – roughly 6 and 4 – I would take them to antiques fairs in Massachusetts and they would ask me what they should be looking for. Trying to think of something small that would be attractive to them, I settled on marble and other hard-stone eggs – and the rest is history. I continue to collect them, perhaps more selectively than before, and never for more than a few pounds. But after 300 or so (and counting) and considering the spheres and obelisks that accompany them, it’s fair to say that I’m still hooked. You’ll find me at the markets on Saturday and Sunday mornings, eyes peeled.
When I was growing up in the American Midwest, I was a young collector of campaign buttons, often cheesy looking tin things, invariably printed in red, white, and blue, with inspirational slogans such as ‘I Like Ike’ and ‘All the Way with LBJ’. When I was at a rural antiques fair with my children, I was therefore delighted to stumble upon a dealer who specialised in 19th-century campaign badges, which I had no idea existed. This one, in brass, was produced for the supporters of William Henry Harrison, who died in office only 31 days after becoming president. His grandson Benjamin also became president, and Benjamin’s great granddaughter Anthea worked with me at the Boston Athenaeum, which brought the purchase full circle. I polish the badge and wear it on election day in the United States.
I have primarily been a collector of 18thcentury etchings, focusing on the work of Piranesi and other ruinistes. A few years ago, however, I finally ran out of wall space and, changing gears, very patiently began to look for 19th-century bronze grand-tour figures that I might be able to afford. First came a large Borghese gladiator; then this small replica of the Uffizi faun, with its wonderfully soft black-and-green patina; then a much, much larger Uffizi faun; and most recently a much, much, much larger Mercury, whom we call Freddie, which on its marble base stands even taller than I do. For a neoclassicist who is neither an investment banker nor the eldest son of a duke, this is about as good as it gets: marvellous attitudes and musculature combined with the soft sheen of marble and bronze. n
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On collecting DUNCAN CAMPBELL HAS BEEN DEALING IN ANTIQUE SILVER SINCE 1986
Don’t buy collectables for the money; do it for love
ast week a gold sovereign worth about £240 sold for a cool £1m. The delighted new owner paid a £999,760 premium for a date and the rakish side parting of Edward VIII. As the coin had doubled in value since it last came up for sale in 2014, clearly the desire for rare coins remains very strong. What Croesus – from whom the expression ‘as rich as Croesus’ originates – started in 600 BCE is still very much alive, and gold coins have always been a preferred area of investment for the super wealthy. The big auctioneers all have quite low-key specialist sales of old gold coins that can produce eye-watering bids for scraps of metal that most people would not stoop to pick up from the pavement. The longevity of rare coin collecting is what makes it a safe(ish) investment. Nearly all other collections come and go. Remember Beanie-Babies? Even if the collectors are as rich as Croesus – as they now must be to buy classic cars, contemporary art and vintage watches – booms and busts are always just around the corner. Today’s contemporary is tomorrow’s out of date, while car and watch investments take advantage of a capital gains tax loophole which could be filled at any moment; a pristine 1964 DB5 is clearly not a vulnerable depreciating asset these days. Even just in antique silver, there are any number of examples of meteoric price rises of a particular ‘collectible’ which then goes into freefall when the biggest or wealthiest collector stops collecting. Antiques are not collectibles – they are only meant to be used and enjoyed for their aesthetics. The wise buyer sticks to a guideline of what they like, they don’t collect. That way there is a chance someone else will feel the same way in the future. For those thinking of an investment in old gold coins, do bear in mind that the Edward VIII sovereign is an entry level item in that rarified sphere. n beaunashbath.com; 01225 334234
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CITY | BUSINESS
FAR LEFT: Confetti, Henri de ToulouseLautrec, 1894. This poster created for literary magazine La Revue Blanche depicts Misia Natanson, a celebrated muse whose salons Lautrec frequented LEFT: Champagne Ruinart, Alfonse Mucha, 1896. Produced as an advertising poster for the Champagne house of Ruinart in Rheims BOTTOM LEFT: Moulin Rouge: La Goulue, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1891. The six-foot-tall advertisement, printed on three sheets of paper, launched Lautrecâ€™s postermaking career and made him famous overnight BOTTOM RIGHT: Ambassadeurs: Aristide Bruant, Henri de ToulouseLautrec, 1892. Aristide Bruant was one of the most popular cabaret singers, whose celebrity was often accompanied by scandal OPPOSITE: France-Champagne, Pierre Bonnard, 1891. Pierre Bonnard won a competition with this design for a poster, an advertisement for Champagne. The poster also inspired Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec to design posters of his own
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Posters and performers
A new exhibition at Victoria Art Gallery brings to life the streets of Montmartre in its bohemian heyday. Emma Clegg asks Jon Benington about Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and the other artists who adopted the colour lithograph in fin-de siècle Paris promotions, like Sarah Bernhardt with Alfonse Mucha – but it was beneficial for the artists, too, and it’s what made ToulouseLautrec’s name.” Lautrec based himself in Montmartre, living closely among the prostitutes and performers who he drew and painted in the area’s dance halls, cabarets and brothels. He himself was high born, the son of Comte Alfonse Charles de Toulouse Lautrec-Monfa and Adèle Tapié de Céleyran, but he made Montmartre his home and would have identified with the eccentric characters that were part of Paris’ underclass. This connection would have been immediate and genuine because he himself felt an outsider because of his stunted growth, most likely caused by genetic inbreeding. “So many of these performers had come from troubled backgrounds,” says Jon. The mother of Jane Avril – a dancer and one of Lautrec’s regular models – was a prostitute and encouraged Jane at a young age to embark on the same profession. She ran away and was later incarcerated in the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital as a result of a nervous disorder – she first started dancing there when patients performed for the hospital’s upper class visitors. The show includes details of the back stories of the artists and performers. “These are images created for promotion and to sell brands. So that’s the gloss, but scratch the surface and there is this amazing backstory,” says Jon. Lautrec’s Moulin Rouge, La Goulou depicts one of the performers he often portrayed and who he knew well. “La Goulou – meaning ‘glutton’ – was one of the headlining stars of the Moulin Rouge. She earned that nickname because as she danced past the patrons, she would swipe their drinks and down them,” says Jon. This image also depicts Valentin le Désossé, with his characteristic elongated silhouette, who used to dance the quadrille with La Goulou. “Lautrec’s prints and posters show his creativity, his gift for colour and design, and his sheer draughtsmanship and brilliance. He loved to work directly in the print shop, cheek by jowl with the printers, and imbibe their secret ways and techniques. He was inventive and came up with new techniques, like blowing the ink onto the surface of the lithographic stone, a splatter technique called crachis,” explains Jon. Lautrec’s constant ill health and addiction to alcohol – he started drinking to manage the pain of his condition – and the fact that he died at 36, still resulted in a prolific artistic output of 1,000 paintings, 5,000 drawings and 360 prints and posters. The
show has 31 Lautrecs and 52 posters by other artists, notably French artist Jules Chéret, Czech artist Alfonse Mucha and Swiss-born Théophile Steinlen. The exhibition will be mounted on yellow walls, with 83 artworks mounted closely in two tiers, and aims to mimic the crowded billboard character of the posters on the streets of Montmartre. “The exhibition will be true to the nature of how the posters would originally have been displayed. They wouldn’t have had frames on them and glass in front of them, but they are fragile, vulnerable things now, and rare, because so many did just get destroyed and torn down,” says Jon. The colour lithographic technique was new, and at that time the technology didn’t allow the printing of paper on a large scale, so the larger posters were formed with multiple sheets jigsawed together. Because the majority of the posters were displayed on the streets of Montmartre, they are not in pristine condition. “They are all a little bit worn at the edges, but that’s part of the charm,” says Jon. “I don’t want people to think they are only posters, that they are multiples and not special. That’s not true – they are really special, and amazing survivors. Because they were never intended to last more than a few months. And here they are 120 years later.” n Toulouse-Lautrec and the Masters of Montmartre is at Victoria Art Gallery, from 15 February – 26 May; victoriagal.org.uk Victoria Art Gallery is part of Bath & North East Somerset Council
Photographs © Musée d’Ixelles-Bruxelles/courtesy of Institut für Kulturausch, Tübingen
t one time Montmartre was a small village in the open countryside with 45 windmills. In the latter part of the 19th century the winding streets of the region were still dotted with working windmills – as seen by Van Gogh, Renoir, Picasso and Toulouse-Lautrec – and would have retained a strong country atmosphere. While bourgeois central Paris had been developed with grand walkways and formal parks under Napoleon III, Montmartre itself had been annexed in the same period, which had turned it into a bohemian centre and an affordable haven for avant-garde artists. The artistic tale of Montmartre had its roots in a young Pierre Bonnard, who in 1889 designed a colour lithographic poster advertising France-Champagne, with the posters pasted up around Paris in 1891. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec saw the poster, and resolved to use colour lithography to design posters of his own. Bonnard was part of the Nabis group (from the Hebrew for prophet), and himself designated as the Japanese Nabi, a fin-de-siècle, post-Impressionist group that included Vuillard, Denis, Serusier and Vallotton, and drew heavily from the stylised designs and exaggerated perspectives of Japanese woodblock prints. “On seeing the Bonnard print, Toulouse-Lautrec would have made all those connections,” explains Jon Benington, Victoria Art Gallery’s manager. The new exhibition at Victoria Art Gallery, Toulouse-Lautrec and the Masters of Montmartre, from 15 February – 26 May, includes this early Bonnard poster. “This was what brought Bonnard to popular attention,” Jon explains. “It is the only work by Bonnard in the show. It’s not very big, but it’s the source of what came later.” The revolutionary potential of colour lithography for publicity posters opened up a fruitful collaboration between commercial products and events and the avant-garde artists based in the region. The exhibition – with the prints on loan from the Musée d’Ixelles in Brussels – collects together the ‘street art’ of the era, showcasing more than 80 printed posters by Toulouse-Lautrec, Mucha, Steinlen, Chéret, Grasset and Bonnard. “This is a unique period where commerce harnessed such cutting-edge artists and they did that partly because they were cheap to hire.” says Jon. “The posters were reaching out to the masses and some of them were produced in the thousands. It was advantageous not just for the performers – some of them went to the artists and commissioned them to handle their
charlotte farmer.qxp_Layout 1 23/01/2020 16:49 Page 1
The work of Bath-based illustrator Charlotte Farmer is defined by colour, character and her cat, Margo – Emma Clegg visits the artist who designed the vibrant jazzed-up image for this magazine’s cover
ne of the things we had to do on our foundation course in art and design was build a massive six-foot tea cup out of cardboard. This made me realise that 3D was definitely not my thing.” Charlotte Farmer has since made up for this revelation about her creative specialism by drawing plenty of tea and coffee cups in her illustration work. And while they are not six foot, they are just as memorable. Charlotte’s illustration style is quirky and colourful. Black line drawings of eccentric characters and animals and objects have defined bright areas of colour, some scuffed with texture. These have the stylism and luminosity of cartoons, all drawn from an imaginative world seen through the artist’s eyes. It’s a world where a lady in fishnet stockings plays the tuba on a monocycle, a tiger balances on an exercise ball, a pink Chinese dragon flays its tail on a tin of Lapsang Souchong tea, a peacock extends its feathers in extravagant display, a soldier on tall stilts salutes on parade, grizzly bears snarl and growling lions prowl on matchboxes, a grumpy leopard rides a Chopper bicycle and a bow-legged cowboy rotates his lassoo. The thick wavering outlines that capture all this are an essential part of the other world that Charlotte inhabits. How did her style come about? “I like to draw using carbon paper because it creates different line qualities, making the lines a little bit fuzzy. When I was doing my MA I really liked using monoprints – that’s when you roll out ink and put paper on top and then draw on
the back of the paper and you get a really fuzzy line. The thing is it’s not always that practical and so one of my tutors recommended carbon paper. Blue carbon paper is the best because you can scan it in and change it all.” Charlotte did a degree in fine art specialising in printmaking in Cheltenham, and after a few years away from education did an MA in Communication Design at St Martin’s College of Art. “It was the MA that made my illustration style evolve. Because I got better at drawing and more confident. I always really liked drawing but when I did my MA I wanted to learn to draw people.” Illustration has always played a key part in Charlotte’s plans even though it took her a while to specialise: “Even when I was doing my foundation course I was thinking about illustration, but my tutor advised me to do fine art rather than limiting my options with illustration – but I wish I’d done it straight away. Then after my degree I did a one-year illustration course where I travelled to London every Friday.” She does admit that her fine art degree taught her lots of selfdiscipline because you have to be very self-motivated to follow a course with less structure than many creative degrees. One of Charlotte’s poster prints, commissioned by US company Crate and Barrel, shows a range of cheeses – Queso Manchego, Emmentaler, Cambazoli, chevre, Brie – and strangely it was cheese that brought her to Bath. She worked at The Fine Cheese Company when studying in Cheltenham (“I know a lot about cheese”), and used to go to the company’s Christmas parties in Bath: “I met up with people from the Bath shop and I thought ‘That’s a nice city – maybe I should move there!’, so that’s what I did and got a job at The Fine Cheese Company.” Based from home, Charlotte has a work space in her living room, which is immaculately styled and scattered with the same self-contained bursts of colour as her work: a rusty orange upholstered sofa; a lowlevel, steel-blue plan chest combining as coffee table; miscellaneous geometric art cushions; and framed artworks, including her own. “Even though my work has always been about colour, it was only a couple of years ago that I realised that we had a beige carpet and sofa,” says Charlotte. “So when we did out the flat, we focused on colour.” The apartment also sports a state-of-the-art Russian Blue cat called Margo, who while admittedly described as fractious by some (her vet) and demanding by others (“She has a large personality and a loud
voice,” says her owner), is clearly both art expert and muse. Using a small laptop on a desk – and mostly with encouragement from Margo, who likes to sit on the keyboard – Charlotte creates her vibrant illustrations. She explains her working technique: “I do a rough drawing in pencil and scan it in so I know what size it needs to be. Then I trace that drawing using my light box and work on it, draw it with carbon paper and create the shapes of the bits that will be coloured in with carbon paper, adding colour later in Photoshop. I use old carbon paper so you get all the texture coming through.” Charlotte divides her time between illustration commissions from clients – include Waitrose, Air France, Boden and Tatler – where she works to a tight brief, and her personal illustration work, which she screen prints and sells on Etsy. Much of the latter follows the theme of collections, including items such as stamps and Staffordshire pottery figures and matchboxes, with which she has a particular fascination. When screen printing, Charlotte uses a printing workshop in Bristol called Spike Print Studio where she has a membership allowing her to visit whenever she likes, often at weekends when it is quieter. There is a luminescent glow and a lightness of touch at work in these illustrations – whether it’s a llama, a coffee percolator, a luxuriating cat or a circus artist, the creative characterisation will transport you to an untroubled world. n charlotte-farmer.co.uk
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CLOCKWISE, FROM LEFT: Coﬀee shop map produced for Atlanta magazine; Cat on a Cushion (because he’s too good for a mere mat) screenprint; cheese poster for US company Crate and Barrel; and screenprints of a tin of Fine Ceylon Tiger Tea and a llama matchbox PREVIOUS PAGE: top right, Margo getting her strength up before starting her day; bottom left, Charlotte screenprinting
Illustration for an article in L’Express magazine exploring the potential reduction of prison sentences for sexual offenders attending voluntary sexual rehabilitation
THEBATHMAG.CO.UK THEBATHMAG.CO.UK| |february january 2020 2010
TheBATHMagazine 53 51
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ARTS | ARCHITECTURE
Building a picture
The Bath Preservation Trust has recently announced the winners of its Architectural Photographer of the Year 2019 competition. The categories were the Architecture of Entertainment; Bath: After the Georgians; and Junior Architectural Photographer of the Year. Here we preview the three category winners and the two highly commended entries. The exhibition runs from 6 February – 21 June at the Museum of Bath Architecture
ABOVE: Hepworth Gallery Interior by Dieter Morgan Junior Architectural Photography winner
Judges’ comments: Sophisticated use of composition and lighting with bold shadows and more subtle tones in the lighter areas. This image shows the photographer’s confidence and ability to use architecture in a more abstract form.
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RIGHT: Alison Brooks Building by Jane Wiltshire LRPS Bath: After the Georgians winner Judges’ comments: The image of a very modern element next to the Bath stone was a great way in which to show the traditional building material against the form of the new architecture. The overall composition, the choice of black and white, the lighting and the angle make for a very well-thought out image that encourages the viewer take a second look.
BELOW LEFT: Avon Cranford Mill by David Norfolk Highly commended image Judges’ comments: The choice to photograph this riverside façade flat on really works. There is an almost watercolour quality to the finish, especially the reflection in the river. The Victorian buildings work well as a bridge between the Georgian and modern Bath.
BELOW RIGHT: Colston Hall by Tim Green The Architecture of Entertainment winner Judges’ comments: Encapsulates the energy of concerts coming out of Colston Hall. The choice of lighting creates a vivid palette of colour, while bringing in the textures of the varying building materials. Isolating the sweeping and diagonal lines adds a dynamic element to the image.
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ARTS | ARCHITECTURE
ABOVE: Brooklyn’s Windows by Sonya Clarke, highly commended image Judges’ comments: Great use of colour filters to create an almost stained-glass look to the arches. The spider web-like cables lead the eye up through the image.
THIS YEAR’S JUDGES Jonathan Walker, managing director of No.15 Great Pulteney Street hotel and photographer and collector of photographic works by artists
such as David Bailey, Clive Arrowsmith and Andre Kertsz; Benedict Brain ARPS, writer for Future Publishing photographic magazines and assessor for The Royal Photographic Society;
Stephen Crisp, who worked as chief photographer in the Middle East for Reuters; and Eleanor Young, executive editor, RIBA journal. museumofbatharchitecture.org.uk n
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food valentines Feb.qxp_Layout 1 22/01/2020 10:48 Page 1
FOOD | & | DRINK
Loving to eat
It’s the day for celebrating amour à deux, but don’t bring any preconceptions to the table, says Melissa Blease. Oysters are not compulsory, you don’t need a second mortgage for a fine dining experience and pub grub can tick all the right boxes
or some folk, Valentine’s Day is the most romantic day of the year – a time to shower (and be showered in) private and public displays of affection, ask Alexa/ Siri to keep the love songs comin’ and paint the town/your home red. For others, it’s an overtly commercial slush-fest maintained for the sole purpose of keeping the big business fat cats well fed. Whatever your personal perspective, you can’t really pretend it’s not happening – and if you ignore it entirely, you run the risk of ending up feeling a bit jaded. So if we’re to assume that none of us want to feel jaded this V-Day, we need to get analytical in advance of The Big Day itself and under the skin of the personality of our date-night paramour in order to find true love. Despite the fact that Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night head honcho Orsino reckoned that music, not grub, be the food of love, most of us still opt for the concept of a romantic meal for two instead of simply letting the band play on – which is why V-Day is the hospitality industry’s busiest day of the year. Date-night dining, however, can be strewn with anxiety attack-inducing potential. Too many people obsess over details such as how much aftershave or perfume is too much/ not enough, whether ordering a salad
will/won’t make them look like they don’t really like food and whether pasta will give them wind, to the point where they’re so wound up by date time that all they can manage is three large glasses of wine for a starter (never a good look). Chill out and let Cupid take control! All you need to be is the authentic, lovely you that drew your date to you in the first place. And where are you going to have that date? Why, in a place that’s perfect for both of you. THE CLASSIC COUPLE They know what they like, and they like what they know – preferably without too much change in the kind of environment (chic but relaxed; stylish but down-to-earth) they’re most comfortable in. Their problem is that, on 14 February, many restaurants decorate all tables for two with single-stem red roses and add a proliferation of cute cocktails, sharing platters and heart-shaped chocolate soufflés to the menu – where have those dishes that the Classic Couple know and love gone? Choose wisely, and those dishes are all still centre stage; any eaterie worth its salt knows that it’s the food that really does the talking on any day of the year, leaving it up to you to decide whether a sharing platter really speaks the language of love.
❤ Classic tables-for-two: The Circus Restaurant (thecircusrestaurant.co.uk); Raphael (raphaelrestaurant.co.uk); Clayton’s Kitchen (claytonskitchen.com); Woods (woodsrestaurant.com) THE OIL AND WATER MIX He can’t abide fuss; she loves attention. She doesn’t know her yuzu from her yautia; he’s a wannabe MasterChef contender. They both think that fine dining and/or Michelin Stars means they both have to wear their most uncomfortable clothes, talk in whispers and pay £23.50 for a starter. What neither of them realise is that in 2020 fine dining can be a fabulous, affordable, accessible experience, representing the finest, most memorable Valentine’s Day voyage of foodie discovery (and enlightenment) for all.
❥ Fabulous fine dining: The Olive Tree (olivetreebath.co.uk); Restaurant Hywel Jones by Lucknam Park, Lucknam Park Hotel and Spa (lucknampark.co.uk); Dan Moon at The Gainsborough Hotel and Spa (thegainsboroughbathspa.co.uk); The Bath Priory (thebathpriory.co.uk) YOU CAN’T GO TO THE PUB! Oh yes you can... and so you should: together. Okay, so a dated little boozer on the corner of a dingy little back street may not be an obvious date night choice for most people (although hey, if you’re in proper, real lurve, few people’s ardour will be dampened by warm gin and tonic served in a dusty wine glass). But today’s pubs are warm, welcoming heavens of bonhomie specialising in grub that hits the G-spot (that’ll be gastro, of course) for all and flaunting the kind of upmarket wines, spirits and cocktails that could shake even James Bond away from his usual martini.
❤ Perfect pubs: The Griffin Inn (thegriffinbath.co.uk); The Old Crown (theoldcrownbath.co.uk); The Raven (theravenofbath.co.uk); Marlborough Tavern (marlborough-tavern.com)
THE ESCAPISTS They have a desire to get away from it all... but not for too long, ’cos life (that’ll be work, kids, pets, box set binges) gets in the 58 TheBATHMagazine
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FOOD | & | DRINK
The festive food box
VALENTINE’S EATING-OUT TIPS • If you’re getting hung up on how to eat what, remember nobody actually eats like the girl in that 1970s Cadbury Flake advert, or Tom and Mrs Waters in Tom Jones, or Nigella Lawson in pretty much all of her TV cooking shows – they’ve all been primped, preened, softly lit, digitally enhanced and directed by an army of experts in order to look hot when scoffing. • If you don’t like oysters, don’t eat them just because it’s Valentine’s Day – you’ll only end up balking. The same goes for prawns, asparagus, chocolate and all the other supposedly aphrodisiac-laden food that proliferates on ‘romantic’ sharing menus. • If the couple at the table next to yours start overdoing public displays of affection, proposing marriage, fighting, or anything in between, leave them to it – you may have a ringside seat, but you don’t want your chips to go cold while their drama unfolds, do you?
way. They might also have forgotten who they’d like to escape with; it seems like a long time ago that either of them dressed up for dinner, talked to each other while eating it and didn’t have to set the alarm for 6.40am the next day. But despite how pressurised life can get, everybody can find the time for a one night stand at a totally treatsome sanctuary of seduction, where fine food and pampering (Spa! Spa! Spa!) come as standard. So pack your bags, turn your phone off and prepare to fall in love all over again.
❥ Doorstep boltholes: The Bird
❤ On-the-hoof hotspots: Green Park Station (greenparkstation.co.uk/fooddrink); Kingsmead Square: Chai Walla, (restaurantwebexperts.com/ChaiWalla/); Phat Yaks (phatyaks.com); Peking Restaurant (pekingrestaurantbath.co.uk); Vino Vino (vinovinowinebar.co.uk) IT’S COMPLICATED! NO IT ISN’T! Modern love comes in many forms, shapes and sizes, and groups of friends pay no heed to generation gaps, relationship statuses or domestic circumstances. As Valentine’s Day
is a celebration of love, it’s a great excuse to party with the people you love all year round, bringing loved-up couples, singletons, family members and those for whom life is most certainly not a box of chocolates into the mix. Table for 22? You got it!
❥ Great for mates: Hudson Steakhouse (hudsonsteakhouse.co.uk); The Oven (theovenpizzeria.co.uk); The Scallop Shell (thescallopshell.co.uk); Bandook Kitchen (bandookkitchen.com); Nourish (nourishbath.co.uk) n
(thebirdbath.co.uk); No.15 Great Pulteney (no15greatpulteney.co.uk); Sign of the Angel (signoftheangel.co.uk)
FOREVER YOUNG COUPLES Whether they hooked up just last week or met many, many V-Day moons ago, these two have got a perpetual spring in their step. Travel is tantalising discovery fuels desire, adventure equals more amore – and a Cupidcurated staycation (think a magical mystery Bath-based food tour) makes the need for an EasyJet boarding pass redundant. Get out and about, plunder erstwhile hidden corners and fuel up on the hoof, grazing at the permanent food stalls in Green Park Station market, the exotic, wholly authentic Asian restaurants along St James Parade and/or the global food inlets and outlets on Kingsmead Square, finishing with a cocktail at a smoochy, stylish late night bar. THEBATHMAG.CO.UK
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FOOD & DRINK
Cheers to the year
With the seasonal festivities over and faced with a new year, it’s time for some pampering. Here’s a special offer from The Bath Priory that will provide the perfect treat for readers of The Bath Magazine
he start of a new year can often be difficult, so why not kick off with a one-off delectable lunch at The Bath Priory? It’s an easy choice as readers of The Bath Magazine choosing the four-course Champagne Pol Roger lunch at The Bath Priory will also receive a complimentary aperitif. The offer runs from 2 January to 13 February, between Monday and Saturday, at a cost of £40 per person. For the complimentary aperitif choose from an additional glass of Pol Roger, a cocktail, a bottled beer, a glass of sommelier’s choice
wine or a soft drink. This will be served alongside delicious canapés in one of the beautiful sitting rooms in front of an open fire. You’ll then move through to the dining room to enjoy the four-course lunch prepared by executive chef Michael Nizzero and his team. The Bath Priory’s seasonal menu could include starters such as Jerusalem artichoke soup with croque monsieur and hazelnut. Mains feature roasted partridge with garden squash, salsify and walnuts and desserts include orange soufflé with cardamom ice cream. There is also a selection of vegetarian and vegan alternatives, as well as menus suiting dietary requirements. Set within four acres of mature awardwinning gardens, The Bath Priory offers the best of both worlds with a country house hotel feel, set just a short stroll across Royal Victoria Park from the centre of Bath. Take time to enjoy the gardens before or after your lunch, or simply sink into one of the sumptuous sofas in one of the luxurious public rooms, with walls adorned with the
private art collection of owners Andrew and Christina Brownsword. Known for its excellent restaurant and extensive wine cellar, this exclusive lunch offer at The Bath Priory is the perfect way to start off 2020 in style. n • To book, call The Bath Priory on 01225 331922 and quote ‘The Bath Magazine lunch offer’ • The Bath Priory, Weston Road, Bath Tel: 01225 331922; thebathpriory.co.uk
THE US DELICIO GUIDE LOOKING FOR RESTAURANT INSPIRATION? The Delicious Guide to Bath featuring all the fave eateries and foodie treateries is available online at our website www.thebathmag.co.uk
Follow us on Twitter @thebathmagazine
Wine Feb 2020.qxp_Layout 1 23/01/2020 14:08 Page 1
TRISTAN DARBY Drinks columnist Tristan Darby shares some recommendations about the wines of Rioja
ioja is Spain’s most famous wine region. Located 120 miles south of Bilbao and stretching 75 miles from northwest to southeast, Rioja is a place where mountains and medieval villages meet modern architecture and Michelin stars, with around 500 wineries producing its worldfamous wines. Only wines produced within the region that are approved by the local control board (Denominación de Origen Calificada) can be labelled as Rioja. White, rosé, and red wines can be produced, but over 90% of Rioja is red and made using a blend of grapes dominated by tempranillo. Every bottle of Rioja is labelled using a term to indicate the minimum time it’s spent ageing in barrel and bottle in the winemaker’s cellar before release. Reds that are labelled just ‘Rioja’ have been released with little or no ageing. Wines labelled ‘Crianza’ have spent a minimum of two years ageing. ‘Reserva’ wines have had a minimum of three years, and ‘Gran Reserva’ a minimum of five years – of which two must be in barrel. In reality, these minimums are often exceeded, with the overall time determined by each producer. Traditional-style wines are longer-aged in American oak barrels and then bottled, creating fragrant silky smooth Rioja ready for drinking upon release. Modern-Classic wines tend to be more youthful, aged in a combination of both French and American oak for a shorter period of time, with the ability to age further upon release. Modern wines tend to be aged for less time in newer French oak barrels, and are richer, more velvety and elegant, but often need additional ageing in bottle. White rioja can be oaked or unoaked, using the same age-based labelling terms, but with shorter minimum ageing times than the reds. Sierra Cantabria, Otomán (£15.95, Great Western Wine) is a ‘modern’ blend of sauvignon blanc along with more traditional grapes, viura and malvasia. Fruity and fresh with lemony citrus and stonefruit flavours and a long fine mineral finish, the wine is fermented in French oak which adds a subtle creamy vanilla flavour and a soft silky texture in the mouth. Excellent with pork, chicken and grilled fish. Ramón Bilbao, Rosado (£10.95, GWW) is a delightfully fresh and elegant dry rosé made from garnacha (a.k.a. grenache) with a small amount of viura added in for freshness, fruit and fragrance. Delicate pale pink in colour, pretty and gentle on the nose and light and elegant in the mouth, with gentle flavours of melon and orange zest followed by a fresh and fruity finish. Splendidly sippable rosé Rioja. For an unusual take on the Crianza style of Rioja, I recommend Ramón Bilbao, Viñedos de Altura 2014 (£15.50, GWW). An equal blend of tempranillo and grenache (tempranillo usually dominates), the wine takes its name from high altitude vineyards where the grapes are grown. A vibrant and complex Rioja that’s intensely fruity and floral on the nose, then bursting in the mouth with ripe strawberries and blackcurrants, underscored with sweet tobacco, chocolate, smoky herbs and peppery spice. Long and mouthwatering, there’s bags of character here. Great with anything from lamb and beef to mature cheese and spicy Spanish stews. ■ Learn more about the world of wine with Tristan on a course at Great Western Wine; greatwesternwine.co.uk/events 62 TheBATHMagazine
Roasted beetroot, carrot, lentil and cumin seed salad This salad recipe appears in Riverford Organic Farmers’ book, Cooking with an Autumn and Winter Veg Box, a free gift to all new customers to Riverford’s organic veg box delivery service
Serves 2 Ingredients: 2 medium beetroot, scrubbed well 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into quarters lengthways 5–6 tbsp olive oil 1 tsp cumin seeds 100g Puy lentils 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste bag of salad leaves, such as rocket or watercress salt and black pepper Cooked lentils are useful for throwing together a quick salad. You can also use other root veg, such as parsnips or celeriac. Method: • Heat the oven to 190°C/ Gas 5. Wrap the beetroot in foil and roast it in the hot oven for around an hour (it may take a little longer if they’re large). When you can easily insert and remove a knife, they are cooked. • About 40 minutes after putting the beetroot in the oven, toss the carrots in a roasting tin with 1 tablespoon of the oil, the cumin seeds and some salt and pepper. • Add to the oven and roast for 20–25 minutes, until beginning to caramelise. • Meanwhile, put the lentils into a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until tender. Drain and dress with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil
and a little salt while still warm. • Mix the lemon juice and 3–4 tablespoons of olive oil with a little salt to make a simple dressing. Taste and adjust the balance of lemon to oil if necessary. • Allow the beets to cool so you can handle them, then slip off the skins. Cut into bite-sized chunks and toss with some of the dressing. Dress the salad leaves, scatter over the lentils and top with the carrots and beetroot. Variation: For a heartier dish, double the quantity of lentils, omit the leaves and finish with a scattering of crumbled feta and chopped parsley. ■
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GRITTLETON HOUSE Welcome to our Home This beautiful family owned Victorian Mansion in the Cotswolds, will be throwing open their magnificent doors for their ‘WEDDING OPEN HOUSE’ on March 15th 2020 and the House has never looked so fabulous. Over the last few years the Shipp family have enjoyed restoring areas of the House. Most notably the extremely elegant master bedrooms – not only are they stunning but also huge, and the beautifully light and airy Victorian Orangery. The House will be dressed for a wedding, with plenty of inspiration from Grittleton House’s team of talented suppliers. Come and enjoy a glass of bubbles and sample some tasty canapés, all freshly prepared by the in-house Michelin trained chefs. Experience the relaxed atmosphere as you wander the house and grounds with plenty of time for contemplation!
Matthew Shipp, said, ‘We love Grittleton House and we love sharing it, not only is it magnificent but it also has a wonderful calm feel. During the Open Day couples will have access to all areas both inside and out and of course the beautiful new bedrooms, there will also be a couple of new surprises.’ Grittleton House offers true flexibility. If you are looking for that unique and special venue, somewhere to call home for the duration of your stay (weekend and day packages available), this is the perfect setting for you.
Can’t wait? Contact Emma arrange a personal appointment: 01249 782 434 www.grittletonhouse.co.uk
LIVE ♥ LOVE ♥ LAUGH
March 15th 2020 12.00 - 3.00pm Join us for a complimentary glass of fizz and canapés and experience the wonder of Grittleton House dressed for a wedding. Can’t wait visit our website www.grittletonhouse.co.uk to arrange a personal appointment. Grittleton House, Wiltshire, SN14 6AP Tel: 01249 782434
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CITY | HISTORY
The priest and the prostitutes
Historian Catherine Pitt investigates how in 19th-century Bath, prostitution – often described as ‘the oldest trade in the world’ – was dealt with in St James’ parish by one very determined priest
Image © Bath and North East Somerset Council
The Church of St James at the bottom of Stall Street
husband. Virginity before marriage was indelibly connected to a woman’s reputation and that of her family. As such women were vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, rape and violence.
This was a period of double standards where a woman’s virtue was to be protected, but men’s biological needs overrode opinion
he Church of St James by SouthGate no longer exists. Hit by a Luftwaffe bomb in 1942, the parish was dissolved in 1957. Yet St James was one of the earliest churches built inside the medieval walled city and features on early maps of Bath. It was situated at the bottom of Stall Street, where Marks and Spencer and Metro Bank are today. The 18th-century development of the southern part of Bath initially attracted wealthy residents to such areas as Avon Street, Horse Street (now SouthGate) and Kingsmead. Their riverside location meant they were in danger of annual flooding and the subsequent spread of waterborne diseases became a deterrent. This and the building work in the more fashionable upper part of town resulted in the middle and upper-class residents moving away. By the 19th century the southern area of the city was an overcrowded hive of alleys and houses, renowned for their insanitary conditions and being dens of immorality. Bath’s population during its spa heyday in the 17th and 18th centuries fluctuated seasonally. By the 19th century, while there were still visitors, it was the flourishing industries along the riverside that brought an increase in population, including rural migrants seeking work and needing accommodation. Between 1800 and 1841 Bath’s population increased by 20,000, 80 per cent of which was working class. Bath had always been a city of pleasure. As well as balls to attend and baths to visit, the lure of gambling, drink and prostitution attracted a varied crowd. These vices were often glossed over to preserve Bath’s image. We can only estimate the number of sex workers in Bath in this period. A local newspaper estimated that in the 1820s there were at least 300 prostitutes operating in Avon Street alone, while county records show that between 1820 and 1827 there were 77 prostitutes prosecuted under the Vagrancy Act (1824). Just as society is divided by class, there was also a perceived hierarchy within prostitution. Actresses – judged for their stage roles involving ‘flirting’ with the audience – and courtesans were lauded for their beauty and talents, some even marrying into aristocracy. These women were tolerated in society because of their social connections. They were the exception. Women and girls were beholden to a patriarchal society. A girl was first the property of her father and then of her
Jobs open to working class women were limited in Bath, with opportunities being mainly in domestic service, laundry work or market sales. As visitor numbers fluctuated through the year, so did job prospects. Some women supplemented their income by prostitution, others were forced in desperation to turn to vice and crime. Poor Relief was limited, and only available if you’d lived in
the city for more than five years. Some women worked in brothels by their own volition or against their will. Others sold themselves on the street for a few pennies or a crust of bread. It was the desperate women and girls caught up in this life that the social reformers of the Victorian era aimed to ‘rescue’. This was ironic when the parliamentary acts and reforms were created by upper class men who lacked understanding and sympathy. There was an assumption that those women who lived in poverty and dressed poorly were prostitutes. This view was reflected in the 1864 Contagious Diseases Act that permitted a stop and search of any woman who “looked like a prostitute” to medically assess if they needed treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. No-one in government examined the root cause and the socio-economic influences. This was a period of double standards where a woman’s virtue was to be protected, but men’s biological needs overrode opinion. In Bath, as with many cities, there were areas recognised as hubs of vice and crime. St James’ parish was one, and it was a highly visible issue: “…Even on Sundays, and within a stone’s throw of St James’ Church,
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CITY | HISTORY
Image © Bath and North East Somerset Council
Reverend William Jay Bolton
Bolton’s achievement was a shining example of what determination, faith and money could do. Sadly it was only the tip of the iceberg
dissolute women, half dressed, would stand in groups soliciting passers-by…” (Rev. W.J. Bolton, 1884) While the early 19th century saw attempts by vicars to resolve the issue in St James’, it was only after the appointment of Reverend William Jay Bolton (1816–1884) in 1881 that any progress was made. A stone’s throw from the church was St James’ Court. Described as “hell on earth”, the court became the focus of Bolton’s reforms. The court itself once stood between Lower Borough Walls and Amery Lane, and was made up of 23 houses crammed in behind what is now a row of shops. It was alleged that up to 60 prostitutes resided here in what was known as the ‘Den’. At the entrance to the court stood The Bell public house, a well utilised facility by the women to drink and pick up customers, which was seen as the ‘first step to ruin’. Bolton’s aim was to purchase every property in the court and transform it. He produced a series of pamphlets (later used for a book) detailing his intent along with testimonies and updates on who had donated and what had been achieved. It is through these writings that we get a picture of one of Bath’s dens of iniquity. The reverend approached Bath Corporation with his plans to “purify the neighbourhood of moral un-healthiness”, however he was offered no monetary aid,
just the advice of the mayor about asking the public for donations and support. There was a reason for this lack of support from the local government officials. While there was a desire for the brothels and prostitutes to go, there was also a fear that if disturbed they would simply move on to other areas. In this situation the police and officials knew where they were and could keep an eye on them. Bolton took a more hands-on approach, going to the court to talk to the brothelkeepers and prostitutes. He would discuss the scriptures and attempt to persuade the women to renounce their sins. It could be a desperate place, as Bolton describes in his work: “One of my most vivid recollections of work in St James’ is in rescuing a poor girl from one of these houses…every particle of clothing had been taken from her lest she should run away.” In the end it was greed that paid off. Over two years Bolton methodically purchased the houses in St James’ Court from the landlords. In total it cost £1583.13s.7d (over £105,000 today), raised via donations including from the Bishop of Bath and Wells. Bolton also incurred other costs in battling to eliminate the court from the parish. When the police failed to close two brothels in St James’ Court, he had to take them to court himself at a cost of £120.6s.6d. Bolton’s achievements didn’t make him popular with all the locals. The landlord of The Bell protested at the revocation of his licence in September 1883 as he alleged his losses on shutting would be around £400 (£24,000 today). Prostitution paid for some, even if indirectly. The women and children displaced from
the houses in the court weren’t abandoned. Bolton used some of the money he had from his appeals to assist in the rehabilitation of these women, but only if they were willing to accept the help. Some were sent to penitentiaries like the ‘Homes of Hope’ in London, or Ladymead in Walcot Street (this opened in 1805, with a Lock Hospital to treat venereal diseases added in 1816). Here the women would be placed into service and encouraged into respectable marriages. The children of some of the women were offered baptisms and sent away for an education if their mothers agreed to give up their immoral lives. Bolton wasn’t always so successful. In his book he reflects on the failure to highlight the difficulties both the church and the authorities faced. Bolton regretfully described “one hardened case sent to Torquay” who “returned to her former life in Bath”. Though Reverend Bolton didn’t rescue every woman that resided in St James’ Court, he did achieve his aim. In 1884 the court was demolished, and a parish mission room was built in its place. Though we no longer have St James’ Church, the hall itself still stands, known today as the Chapel Arts Centre. Bolton’s achievement was a shining example of what determination, faith and money could do. Sadly, it was only the tip of the iceberg. It wasn’t until city slum clearances of the early and mid-20th century that the environmental issues associated with poverty and prostitution began to be resolved. “The conscience of Bath has been awakened and I hope it will never go asleep again.” (A Narrative of Events, Rev. W.J. Bolton, St James’ Court, 1884) n
A Harlot’s Progress, Plate 4, William Hogarth, 1732
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CITY | NEWS
CITYNEWS MONEY GOALS ADVICE SERVICE
NEW CHAIR OF BATH BID
Three local organisations have teamed up to provide a weekly advice service for the residents of Twerton and Whiteway, which have been listed as two of the most deprived areas in the UK. B&NES charity Citizens Advice, Wessex Water and Bath City Football Club are joining forces to establish a satellite advice service at Bath City FC to provide debt management and financial advice. It is hoped it will provide a lifeline to local residents who are located on the outskirts of Bath and far from the city’s charitable support services. The service will be offered 9.30am –2.30pm at Bath City Football every Thursday from 13 February, Club. citizensadvicebanes.org.uk
The not-for-profit business-led company Bath Business Improvement District (BID) has welcomed David Hobdey as their new chair. David is the chief executive of St John’s Foundation, the city’s oldest charity, and has significant experience in both the private and not-for-profit sectors. Maeve England, a partner at Mogers Drewett Solicitors, is to step down as the current chair of Bath BID but will remain on the board. David is delighted to be taking the role, and praises the progress BID made under Maeve’s chairmanship. bathbid.co.uk
ON THE MOVE
Future plc, international media group and leading magazine publisher, is marking the 30th anniversary of its homebuilding and renovating brand by launching a programme of activities and events. The campaign reinforces the growth of the renovation and self-build market. As well as the publication of a souvenir edition of Homebuilding & Renovating magazine in May, four new homebuilding and renovating events will take place, supported by a suite of content via its online platform. homebuilding.co.uk
GRAVER AWARD Wiltshire-based interiors company Stephen Graver has been shortlisted for a top award in the design industry’s biggest and longest established awards, the kbbreview Retail and Design Awards 2020. Stephen Graver has been awarded the Houzz award for best design for the past five years, and is a previous winner of the Kitchen Retailer of the Year in the kbb awards. stephengraver.com
English-Chinese Education Services (ECES) has moved to a new office in Argyle Street in Maeve England, David Hobdey Bath. Focused on identifying and Allison Herbert of Bath BID student potential and distinctive talents, ECES is an education agency and guardianship company that develops well-rounded, high-achieving individuals with a cross-cultural understanding. Founder of ECES and former international student Dan Li-Dunford has first-hand experience of the academic and cultural issues faced by international students and their families when adapting to studying and living in the UK. ECES helps take the stress out of the transition by helping students to select the perfect institution for their individual needs, while also providing guardianship in the UK along with services such as one-to-one tutoring, essay writing skills and proofreading, all provided by professional tutors. Dan Li-Dunford eces.org.uk n
BATH BUSINESS BAROMETER UPDATE: DECEMBER 2019
High Street Footfall (Month on month % change)
n Compared to November 2019, Bath footfall rose by nearly 30% in its performance for December 2019, doing better than the regional and national average performance. The numbers above represent a period from 24 November to 28 December, encompassing the whole of the Christmas Market. Over the entire 18-day run of Christmas Market 2019, footfall rose by 2% compared to 2018. The first weekend was the strongest, combining Black Friday, pay day weekend and great weather. n Overall, Bath footfall in 2019 fared roughly on par with regional and national performance. The strongest months were April (attracting 8% of the year’s total footfall), July (9%) and December (10%). When compared to 2018, January 2019 and March 2019 were the best performing months, up by 8.5% and 10.7% respectively, year-on-year. Union Street was again the busiest area in the city, but Sawclose gained 3% more footfall in 2019 than in 2018.
South West UK
Springboard Research Ltd.
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Living with wildlife appeal
Two local charities – Send a Cow and Tusk – join forces in an innovative campaign to help people and animals live sustainably alongside each other and protect Uganda’s oldest national park, Murchison Falls
wo south west charities – the Bathbased Send a Cow which supports families in rural Africa and the African conservation charity, Tusk, based in Dorset – have joined forces to protect Uganda’s largest national park, Murchison Falls, in a project designed to help people and animals thrive alongside each other. The two organisations hope to raise £760,000 for a new project which will support more than 7,000 vulnerable families living on the outskirts of the national park and protect the animals that live within it.
Supporting the appeal is explorer, writer and photographer Levison Wood FRGS who visited the national park while filming his documentary, Walking the Nile. ‘‘With limited sources of income and food, some families lay traps in the hope of catching bushmeat to feed their families and sell in the market”, said Wood. “However, endangered wildlife such as the Rothschild’s giraffe are getting caught instead, becoming maimed or killed. With fewer than 2,000 of these giraffes remaining in the wild, we must act now to protect future generations.’’ One family that will benefit from the appeal is Ujeni’s. The family own several acres of farmland, but nothing is growing and the situation is getting worse with increasingly erratic weather. The Living with Wildlife Appeal will train more than 7,000 families like Ujeni’s to grow their own food and create sustainable ways of making a living. With food to eat and sell and a reliable income, people can create a better future for themselves and will no longer be pressured to hunt within the national park.
Families and young people will also be supported to start their own small businesses and learn vocational skills, such as agroforestry and construction. This will enable people living around Murchison Falls to break the cycle of poverty and help the park to become a place where people and wildlife can thrive. As Ujeni says, ‘‘If people had alternative livelihoods then they would leave the animals alone.’’ n The campaign runs until 14 April, during which time donations will be doubled by the UK government. livingwithwildlife.org.uk
A.L.F.A. LANGUAGE SCHOOL FRANCE
HOST FAMILIES REQUIRED Would you like to host French students? Ages 11-17 Saturday 11th July – Friday 31st July One student – £560 Two students in room share – £1060 Two students in 2 rooms – £1120 For further information please contact Mrs Susie Houston on 0777 379 2866 or email: email@example.com
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Greener and greener Allison Herbert CEO Bath Business Improvement District
ike many people and organisations in the city, the Bath Business Improvement District (BID) is considering its next steps in helping tackle the environmental challenges that we all face. We have electric vehicles and are looking at eCargo bikes to help our team of BID Rangers zip around the city. Our planters and hanging baskets have water-saving reservoirs so they require less water, less labour, less vehicular fuel and thus less pollution. We are supporting the project to ‘shut the door to help save energy’, where shops and businesses in Bath are being asked to keep their doors closed during open hours as part of a new drive to save energy. Perhaps the greatest environmental impact we can have is in the management of waste. As a major visitor destination, it’s not a surprise that Bath generates a lot of waste. The Bath BID has an established partnership for trade waste, operating a zero waste to landfill strategy for improved environmental performance for city centre businesses. Now we are on to the next stage, improving the management of food waste. Roughly one-quarter of manmade greenhouse gas emissions are created by food waste, and if food waste was a country, it would be ranked third after the USA and China in terms of greenhouse gas production. As food rots and degrades, it emits gases which are 25 times more harmful than carbon dioxide in terms of trapping heat in the atmosphere. The environmental benefit of preventing this sort of waste would be like taking one in four cars off the road. Many of us use a food caddy at home, but now is the time to ramp this up at a commercial level. The hospitality sector in the city while making delicious meals for customers does generate a fair amount of food waste, and at the moment most of this is going into general waste bins. What we are advocating is that this food waste is separated from other rubbish. Once collected this organic waste can be turned into useful products such a nutrient-rich biofertilizer and renewable energy in the form of biomethane and electricity. It can be done, but there are hurdles. It requires a change of mindset and systems. For small and busy businesses, it might be a nice thing to do, but recycling is often low on their list of priorities, there’s not enough space in their kitchens or bin stores and some think that the level of food waste they produce doesn’t make it worthwhile. So the Bath BID with the Council has set up a food waste trial. It’s a collaborative project, working with businesses in Kingsmead Square to develop the operating processes, to procure a waste contractor and to provide a shared food waste bin. In the first nine weeks of the trial, two tonnes of food debris have been diverted from general waste and into good use. There are the environmental benefits, but there are also financial benefits to the businesses. Food waste removal is about one-fifth of the cost of that of general waste. We can’t wait to roll out this trial across the city and make a bigger impact. n
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Moving home: getting your affairs in order
ocl A C C O U N TA N C Y
141 Englishcombe Lane, Bath BA2 2EL Tel: 01225 445507
Using your business losses Deciding to move home and finding where you want to go is often the easy part, but where do you start? To help, our team at Mogers Drewett have created a useful guide to make moving as easy as possible. Find an Estate Agent Do some research and ask for recommendations. Find out who operates in your area and think about who will best represent you and your property. Hiring a solicitor It’s important to do this as early as possible and don’t wait until offers have been accepted. Seek out personal recommendations as a local solicitor with experience of your market and similar properties is always valuable. Having decided to sell your property, collate all practical information so it’s ready to pass on to your solicitor, e.g. planning permission of works you have completed, warranties and guarantees, up to date service records for the electrics and heating. Do not compare quotes on costs alone, moving home is one of the biggest purchases you will make so it is important to protect your home by receiving the best advice. A quote should include all costs related to buying and selling - this will help you budget for the whole process including payments to be made at the end of your purchase like Stamp Duty and Land Registry fees. Survey You should have a survey before you commit to your purchase as it may reveal any issues with the property that your solicitor may not be aware of. Look for a surveyor with local knowledge and ask them to copy their report to your solicitors to ensure that all appropriate enquiries are raised. Getting a mortgage Discuss your options with an independent mortgage broker who will help find your best deal. Mortgage lenders will assess your financial circumstances so avoid making any significant changes to your financial circumstances before applying for a mortgage, e.g. changing employment, applying for loans/credit cards, or changing address, as this could impact upon your credit score and ability to get a mortgage. Confirm the date During the legal process you will be in touch with the Estate Agents to agree on a completion date. The day you move will be confirmed when contracts are exchanged. mogersdrewett.com
Whilst making a loss in business is not a good idea there are at least several of ways you can use it to reduce your other tax liabilities (if you are not operating via a limited company). However be careful to choose the right option and this depends on how much income you have in the same year as the loss - or previous and future years. Where your non-incorporated business makes a loss you can • use the loss to reduce your income tax liabilities in that year • reduce income tax liabilities for the previous year • where the loss is for any of the first four tax years of your business, you can reduce income tax of the three previous years (starting with the earliest year, then if any loss is left, the next year, etc). • don’t claim loss relief by any of the above, but carry it forward where it will automatically be deducted from future profits of the same business. (subject to some caps on the amount of sideways and carried-back loss relief you can claim in a year). When working out the best approach, you must understand how loss relief works alongside your tax-free personal allowance. An example: You make a loss in the current year of £30,000 and decide to set it against the previous year’s tax. Your income for that earlier year was £35,000. After deducting your personal tax-free allowance (£11,500) you have paid tax on £23,500. However, because your income for that year exceeded the loss, the full £30,000 relief has to be applied, meaning that £6,500 of your personal allowance is wasted i.e. Income of £35,000 minus the loss of £30,000 gives £5,000 taxable income; you therefore only use £5,000 of your £11,500 personal allowance and £6,500 is wasted. If however you expect to make profits in future years and your other income remains above the personal allowance, you could save more tax by not claiming loss relief but by carrying forward the loss to reduce taxable profits in future years i.e. you optimise use of the loss and don’t waste personal allowances.
For tax saving tips contact us – call Marie Sheldrake, Tom Hulett or Jacqui Bates on 01225 445507
Alison Treble, Partner and Head of Department, Residential Property team at Mogers Drewett.
Call Marie Sheldrake, Tom Hulett or Jacqui Bates on 01225 445507 to arrange a no-obligation meeting
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PORTRAIT: Neill Menneer at Spirit Photographic. Visit: capturethespirit.co.uk, tel: 01225 483151
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Bath @ work
Our series of photographic portraits by Neill Menneer shows Bath people at work. View a gallery of Bath@work subjects at: thebathmag.co.uk
have now created 100 portraits of Bath-based people at work over a period of eight years. It has been a wonderful project, meeting and choosing a huge variety of amazing individuals. Bath is rich in so many ways, and especially in its people. I think we are a kind, considerate and interesting lot. It has been my great privilege to record for posterity so many stories and capture such varied subjects set within their work locations. I have endeavoured to create images from all walks of life, genders, ethnicities and occupations, reflecting the diversity of people who live and work in Bath. The self-portrait is a time-honoured artistic tradition so I thought on this anniversary I should give it a try. I’ve been juggling with light for 50 years, but what an awkward subject I was. The very worst. I found it much trickier than I expected, and the technical challenge quite exhausting without a cable release. It did help, though, towards achieving my 10,000 steps a day. Despite living in Bath for more than 30 years, I was born in Sheffield. My family on my mother’s side (although she was a doctor) were steel and tool manufacturers. The company James Neill is the reason for the unusual spelling of my Christian name and there must be a bit of Irish in there somewhere. I have loved living in Bath and bringing up our two children Phoebe and Roo here. Jo, my wife, and I had a shop for a while when we first arrived in 1987. Postscript was a fun but ultimately expensive (for us!) enterprise as we hit a major retail recession in 1990 with 15% interest rates. Large rent rises and the new business rates (UBR) didn’t help either. I was pleased to play my part in opposing these and proud of the way the business community rallied round to take a stand against a badly considered tax that became a burden on business. Who now remembers those heady B.A.R.B. days? Surely root and branch reform is now needed to save the high street and combat online competition? Jo and I set up Spirit Photographic and Divine Divas in 2007 when we found a perfect studio space in The Old Methodist Church in Twerton. What a great location it has turned out to be with Twerton now going through a gentle renaissance. Marks and Spencer and the new Bath School of Art and Design Locksbrook Campus have arrived on our doorstep and the ambitious and constructive plans for Bath City FC will hopefully be realised soon and bring new energy and opportunity to the area. Spirit Photographic focuses on family portraiture and Divine Divas on makeovers and beauty photography primarily for women. At Spirit we are committed to creating classic images of family members that are meaningful and reflect the personality of each individual. The wonderful Divine Divas team in the other studio is dedicated to creating transformative, confidenceboosting imagery. Both the photography and experience have a real purpose and our clients regularly tell us the results can be life-changing. Bath is one of the greatest cities in Britain and could, if it so wished, be one of the greatest places to live in the world. Here’s to that glorious future. n
PORTRAIT: Neill Menneer at Spirit Photographic. Visit: capturethespirit.co.uk, divinedivas.co.uk, tel: 01225 483151 THEBATHMAG.CO.UK
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CITY | AT HISTORY WORK
A masterclass in video marketing In 1951 the first video tape recorder captured live images from television cameras. In 2020 video streaming has become one of the most popular and influential platforms, explains Duncan Burgess of Suited & Booted Studios
hether or not we admit it, we tend to watch a lot of videos, and mostly on our phones. Perhaps we’re following Mary Berry’s secret scone recipe or looking for instructions on how to wire a plug from someone who actually knows what they’re doing. Whatever the choices we make, searching and watching video has become an integral part of life. According to Ofcom’s most recent report on media consumption*, adults in the UK consume 34 minutes of YouTube content a day. It’s clear that we have unknowingly become reliant on video content for a broad array of our needs: advice, reviews, entertainment, news – the list goes on. High levels of video consumption don’t
just stop at a consumer level. Video has quickly become the marketing activity of choice for businesses. An impressive 85 per cent of all businesses taking part in a recent survey** claim to use or have tried video as part of their marketing activity. But why, we hear you ask? It’s quite simple; businesses often have complex propositions. Communicating these offerings through writing alone is hard work and often becomes heavy reading. And this is firstly assuming the audience can be persuaded to begin reading. Watching a video, in contrast, requires very little effort from the consumer. Click play and sit back. Easy. But what is it specifically about video, as a format, that makes it so effective? Well, a video generally consists of four layers of stimulation which run concurrently:
• • • •
Moving images A voice-over, narrating the story On-screen text An appropriate soundtrack to aid with the feelings and tempo of the video
There has been a healthy amount of research on the emotional and chemical impact that watching a video can have on audiences. Therefore, engineering content to provoke certain feelings, coupled with a logical next step (shop now, sign up, learn more, watch more) can return some incredible results. Regardless of your experience level, whether you are new to it or a seasoned pro, we offer the same advice when it comes to creating and maintaining a video marketing strategy. What follows isn’t extensive, aiming simply to outline the basic principles.
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CITY | AT WORK
1. Define the goal(s) Stay focused. Decide what part of your business you would like to improve. It might be increasing brand awareness, generating sales or attracting new team members. Whatever the objective, video content can assist with virtually all areas of business, but only if it’s got a purpose. There is no ‘one size fits all’ piece of content.
2. Identify key elements Think about what content/information your customers need, not what you would like to create. The three points that follow reference the sales funnel for which there is a top, middle and bottom.
2a. Topmost information/content tends to be quite broad; it includes things like brand or company introduction videos and thought leadership (the opinion of your sector). The objective at this stage is to raise awareness – think of it as introducing yourself and shaking hands. 2b. The middle stage is likely to cover things like product or service demonstrations and company culture videos (your values). This is often regarded as the trickiest phase to create content for, as it needs to meet an array of different customer needs. However, the emphasis of middle content is to position your brand as the best choice.
2c. Bottom of the funnel content has a very specific purpose – to convert. Now that your potential customers are aware of you and have reviewed other options, they are likely to be close to making a decision. Bottom of the funnel content is likely to summarise the offer in the shortest time possible. It should be pithy with a clear ‘do this next’ message. To sweeten the deal you could offer a free trial, a discount or something of added value. Equally, you could reference other brands or public figures you already work with. If an influencer chose your services or products, they must be ok, right? Ultimately, the task in hand here is to logically work through all the thoughts and considerations of your new customers. Then create content that answers those questions or concerns (and beyond).
3. Spot the gaps Plot the results of the previous point against any information or content that already exists. Highlight where the gaps or areas of improvement are. This will give you a clear idea of what you need to create and, generally, in what order.
4. Be consistent Before making anything, it’s critical that you define a style. Any videos produced should all feel part of the same series. The best way to achieve this is to write a set of brand guidelines. What colours do you use? Logo? Tone and sentiment? By being consistent your audience will begin to recognise the
Duncan Burgess, head of strategy at Suited & Booted Studios, Bath
source or author. Not only will this boost SEO, but it will make it easier to buy more time with the audience, and inevitably drive sales. THE SALES FUNNEL: What video content does your customer need?
2a. Imagine you are introducing yourself and shaking hands
2b. Position your brand as the best choice
first person puts a toe in the water (as a bet). As soon as other people see them venturing in they will surely follow, out of curiosity.
6. Analytics Regardless of the video platform you choose to host your content, they will all offer a large array of metrics to help you understand, in detail, how your content is being consumed. My advice is to not get too hung up on the number of views your video receives but to focus more on how long (total %) people watched it for. More importantly, what did they do next?
7. Do it again It’s ok to get it wrong, or at least not quite right, to begin with. It’s the best way to learn. Make adjustments to your approach, experiment and try again. Every business is slightly different from the next, so continue to evaluate content effectiveness. n
2c. Convert your customer: get them to act
5. Campaign planning and distribution There is a common misconception that if you create a fantastic piece of content people will find your content, watch it, share it and buy everything you have to sell. Job done. Unfortunately, 9.99 times out of 10 this won’t happen. When we’re planning content, we must consider who we’re aiming to target, where we are likely to find them, what we should say, how we need to say it (their language) and why they should care. The final implication is behaviour, more specifically what would you like them to do next. Answer these five key questions honestly, and set aside a small amount of budget for paid media to kick start the campaign, and you are likely to make an impression. Investing in distribution will increase the chances of organic views tenfold; think of it as if you are creating a situation where the
*OfCom, Media Nations 2019: ofcom.org.uk/research-and-data/tv-radio-and-ondemand/media-nations-2019/media-nations-2019interactive-report ** HubSpot, The State of Video Marketing in 2020: blog.hubspot.com/marketing/state-of-video-marketingnew-data
Duncan Burgess is the head of strategy at Suited & Booted Studios; a full-service video and content production agency located next to Queen Square. During their 20 years in the business, the company has worked with businesses and organisations of all shapes and sizes. The company is a CIC (social enterprise), so they are experienced in working with complex subject matter and challenging budgets. Regardless of the challenge, there is a sense of pride in the ability to coax out the most compelling stories and produce hard-working content. suitedandbooted.org
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FAMILY | EVENTS
Family diary IDEAS FOR THINGS TO DO WITH THE CHILDREN THIS MONTH AFTERMIRTH n 6 February, 12pm, The Rondo Theatre An adult comedy club that you can bring your baby to. Each show features three top circuit comedians delivering their usual club routines, so the material is mature and sweary with the odd birth story flashback. The only difference is it’s during the day. Adults and babies under 18 months only. £10; rondotheatre.co.uk
Half term activities at Victoria Art Gallery
PUSS IN BOOTS n 9 February, 11.30am and 3pm, The egg Would you trust a talking cat? You never know, he might turn you from a pauper to a prince just like the hero of this story. Watch as this sure-footed feline fools both the King and the Ogre to put his master at the top. CBeebies’ Patrick Lynch brings to life this tale using smoke and mirrors and hidden trapdoors with a host of puppets, a working windmill and avalanche of fruit and nuts. Suitable for ages four and above. £8 children, £9 adults; theatreroyal.org.uk
TOOOB n 14 February, 11am and 2pm, The Pound Arts Centre Introducing toooB, a curious and friendly shapeshifting creature. Unsure of where
she has landed, she loves to meet and play with you. toooB is an enchanting wordless show for ages two and under and their grown ups. £5; poundarts.org.uk MEN BEHAVING DADLY n 15 February, 9–10.30am, St Swithin’s Church A monthly toddler group for dads and their pre-school children. Meet other dads, have fun and enjoy some quality time with your little one(s). There are toys, games and toast for the kids, and coffee and bacon butties for the dads. £3 per adult. There’s also the occasional dads only drink at The Star – the local pub on The Paragon – allowing more time and space for conversation; stswithinswalcot.org.uk THE NAUGHTY FOX n 15–17 February, 11.30am and 3pm, The egg Snuggle up with comfy creatures Honk, Splash and TaWit TaWoo as they teach The Naughty Fox a very important lesson: It’s better to share. Feel your way through the immersive, multi-sensory journey of friendship and play. Suitable for ages five and under, £8 children, £9 adults; theatreroyal.org.uk
Aftermirth at The Rondo Theatre
TOGAS AND TUNICS n 15–23 February, 10am–12.30pm and 1.30–4pm, The Roman Baths Discover how the Romans dressed and transform yourself by trying on a toga. Included in admission price; romanbaths.co.uk
LAMBING LIVE n 15–23 February, 10am–5.30pm, Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park The maternity-ewe’nit is ready for the little lambs to come into the world. With 20 ewes ready to lamb twins and triplets every day in the indoor handling barn, meet and learn all about them as they are born. Get the chance to name the newcomers in the park or on social media, and even have a cuddle with them at set times in the day. Suitable for all ages, normal admission applies; avonvalley.co.uk HALF TERM NATURE TRAILS n 15–23 February, 10am–5.30pm, Prior Park Landscape Garden Explore the gardens of Prior Park during the half term, filled with activities sure to get you interacting with nature and also learning about the dams project. Suitable for all ages, normal admission applies; nationaltrust.org.uk/priorpark PUPPET PEOPLE n 18 February, 10.30am–12.30pm and 1.30–3.30pm, Fashion Museum Take a look at the fashion dolls in the museum’s Little and Large display. Make a dress using little cardboard figures and felt and collage materials. Included in admission price; fashionmuseum.co.uk CAMP TEEPEE n 18–19 February, 9am–4pm, The Paragon School Operating come rain or shine in the beautiful woodland grounds of The Paragon is the
Aftermirth: Colin Moody
FORTNIGHTLY TAKEOVER n 8 and 22 February, 11am–2pm, The Edge, University of Bath Artist Victoria Willmott hosts a series of fun and informal creative activities that explore The Edge’s current exhibition with special themes. Drop in for just 10 minutes or stay for the duration and get creative. Suitable for ages four – 12, free event; edgearts.org
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FAMILY | EVENTS
ever popular Camp Teepee. A typical day involves den building, fire lighting, cooking a feast over a campfire, making rafts for jelly babies and crafting. Suitable for ages six to 11, £35 per day; paragonschool.co.uk
you create furry creatures using special pens and tissue paper. Take a look at the show posters designed by the artists and have fun creating dancing figures using paper and card. Suitable for all ages, free event; victoriagal.org.uk
CHILDREN’S NATURE TRAILS n 18 and 20 February, 11am–12pm, Dyrham Park Explore the park with exciting family activities throughout on one of the popular guided discovery trails. Hunt for bugs, find the deer herd and enjoy an array of activities. Suitable for all ages. Free, normal admission to the property applies, no booking needed; nationaltrust.org.uk/dyrham-park
PAINT YOUR PLATE n 20 February, 10.30am–12pm and 2–3.30pm, Museum of East Asian Art Explore the current exhibition, China on a Plate, and take a close look at patterns on the objects. Then create and paint your own ceramic dishes to take home. Suitable for ages four to eight. £5, booking required; meaa.org.uk
YEAR OF THE RAT STORYTELLING AND CRAFTS n 19 February, times vary, Museum of East Asian Art Join the magnificent storyteller Jieun Lee to celebrate the Year of the Rat by making finger puppets and learning about the East Asian folktales of cunning rats. Suitable for ages four to eight. £3, booking required; meaa.org.uk
WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE n 21 February, 10am, The Pound Arts Centre Yearning for escape and adventure, a young boy named Max runs away from home and sails to an island filled with creatures that take him in as their king. Before enjoying this classic story, make a wild thing crown to wear during the film. Suitable for all ages, £5; poundarts.org.uk
HALF TERM ACTIVITIES n 19 and 21 February, 10.30am–12.30pm and 1.30–3.30pm, Victoria Art Gallery Take inspiration from the exhibition on the artist Toulouse-Lautrec and his friends as
TYNTETOTS: THUMBELINA n 26–28 February, 10–11.45am and 1–2.45pm, Tyntesfield Enjoy storytelling, crafts and games inspired by the classic story of Thumbelina. Create a
fairy potion, have fun with frogs and make a tiny friend. Suitable for ages two to five. Children £6, adults £2, booking essential; nationaltrust.org.uk/tyntesfield THE BEAR n 26–29 February, times vary, The egg Inspired by the book by Raymond Briggs, follow the story of a little girl who befriends a mischievious polar bear. This playful, funny and heart-warming tale is all about imagination and growing up. With dazzling puppetry, delicious music and dozens of laughs, it is an unforgettable experience for the whole family. So bring a bear and join Tilly for a wild and magical adventure. Suitable for ages three and above, £8 children, £9 adults; theatreroyal.org.uk n
Where The Wild Things Are at The Pound Arts Centre
education Feb.qxp_Layout 1 23/01/2020 10:34 Page 1
EDUCATION NEWS YOUTH FOR CLIMATE CHANGE The B&NES Youth Climate Summit is set to take place on 14th February at King Edward’s School with a record number of local secondary schools attending. In a world where forest fires, animal extinctions and record temperatures reach the headlines on a daily basis, it is more important than ever that younger generations learn how they can make a difference. The one-day event is intended to inspire students to think about the changes they can make to live sustainably. There will be opportunities to learn about the wide variety of environmentally oriented careers available, and to build their discussion skills. A wide range of speakers are attending, including Green Party member Fay Whitfield, Michael Pitts the underwater photographer, Alisdair Naulls from the Marine Conservation Society, and sustainable business leaders from organisations including Sustrans and Grow Bristol. kesbath.com
REVISION CLASSES TO THE RESCUE This is the time of year when exams start to loom, and with pressure building students often find it hard to revise at home. To combat this, Monkton Combe School is offering Easter revision courses, offering expert advice from teachers who are wellversed in the challenges that examinations place upon candidates because many are themselves GCSE and A level examiners. The Easter revision sessions focus on giving students the edge, with concentrated study periods, discussion and examination techniques designed to get the best from each individual. Monkton Easter Revision Courses run from 6 April to 10 April with both residential and day options available. monktoncombeschool.com
NEW HEAD ANNOUNCED Royal High School Bath has recently welcomed Mrs Kate Reynolds as its new head of school. Mrs Reynolds moves from Leweston School, Dorset, where she had been head since 2015, having previously taught at Sherborne School and Gillingham School, Dorset. Mrs Reynolds said, “The girls’ energy and determination makes for a very special school of which we should all be proud. I am humbled that I can be part of such a remarkable establishment.” One of Mrs Reynolds’ key focuses is to continue to strengthen relationships locally, with businesses, community organisations and charities. New pupils and parents can meet Mrs Reynolds and the new head of the prep school, Mrs Claire Lilley, at the Royal High School’s forthcoming open mornings. The prep school open morning is on 27 February and the senior school open morning is on 4 March, both from 9.30am–12pm. royalhighbath.gdst.net n 76 TheBATHMagazine
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Are you an international student in need of support? ECES gives you the best chance of success
iving in a foreign country and studying in your second language can be a challenge that leaves you feeling confused and misunderstood. English-Chinese Education Services (ECES) can help smooth your academic journey and improve your experience of studying and living in the UK. Set up by Dan Li-Dunford, a trained teacher and businesswoman, ECES offers bespoke support services for international students from new offices in central Bath.
Academic support ECES offers a range of services including 1-2-1 tutoring from Key Stage 2 through to A Level, ensuring the maximisation of each student’s academic potential. For university students, academic proof-reading, comprehensive essay writing skills and support for IELTS tests are just a few of the services provided. ECES tutors focus on developing learning skills and helping students to communicate and express their thoughts in concise English. Agency and guardianship Professional expertise and advice are available to prospective Chinese and international students who wish to pursue their education in the UK. Established partnerships with a significant number of independent schools and universities allows ECES to place each student in the appropriate institution to meet their individual needs. Working with the schools, ECES provides a professional and attentive guardianship service to support each student’s learning journey. The company ethos focuses on personal growth and ensuring each student’s academic career is challenging, but ultimately a happy experience. Development of real-life skills such as responsibility, problem-solving and communication guarantee that all students are ready for their future lives beyond study. Language and Culture ECES offers 1-2-1 tuition in Mandarin Chinese for the general public and for students at GCSE and A levels. Additionally, for companies doing business in China, ECES offers bespoke training in language and culture to give you the essential knowledge needed to understand the Chinese people and their business environment. . Find out more For information on this leading education and guardianship agency visit the ECES website at www.eces.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
English-Chinese Education Service Ltd www.eces.org.uk 07378 968168 5 Argyle Street, Bath BA2 4BA
APPOINTMENT OF TRUSTEES Have you thought about volunteering? Do you find that you have some free time which you would be happy to devote to a worthwhile cause? Would you like to give something back to your community? If you have a managerial or consultancy background that enables you to contribute strategically to the development and success of a project and you share a concern for older people and Grade I property, then you may be just the sort of person we are looking for to join our Board of Trustees. Experience in housing management and/or the care of historic building would be a particular asset. The almshouses, known as Partis College, were founded in 1825 by Ann Partis, a local philanthropist, in order to provide affordable accommodation for single women over 50 years of age and in financial need. She built her almhouses in Newbridge on the outskirts of Bath. Today the charity consists of 31 Grade I Listed Georgian houses comprising 3 terraces set around a grass lawn and 3 apartments. In the central terrace there is a classical portico behind which is the Chapel. The charity is governed by a Board of 12 volunteer trustees together with an Office Manager who is a full time employee, and a part-time Chaplain. The Board meets 4 times a year, and in addition, trustees may be appointed to a subcommittee and come into College as necessary to direct and oversee management of the charity and the welfare of residents. To request an application form please contact the office on 01225 421532 (between 8.00 am - 4.00 pm) or email email@example.com. Closing date 26th February 2020.
Regd. Charity No.200606
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Foreign Languages Centre UNIVERSITY OF
Daytime, lunchtime and evening foreign language classes for members of the public. Enrolling now!
We offer a wide range of foreign languages at beginner through to advanced level. To find out more about the courses available, or to enrol, visit our website www.bath.ac.uk/flc and apply online or call 01225 383991.
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Established for over 25 years we are the experts in skin health, aesthetics and advanced beauty treatments in Bath.
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Benefits of dermaplaning • Instantly smoother and radiant looking skin. • makeup will have a flawless finish. • skincare will be more effective • softens the appearance of lines and wrinkles.
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This treatment can be performed on its own or as a dermaplaning facial.
• Warts • Cherry angioma
All our consultations are free of charge so please feel free to book an appointment to see which is the right treatment for you.
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36 Gay Street, Bath • Tel: 01225 466851 • www.theorangerylaserandbeautybath.co.uk
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CJ Beauty Offering a wide range of treatments massage manicure pedicure waxing tinting facials IBX nail treatment LVL lash lift callus peel hopi ear candles microdermabrasion 10 -11 Green Street, Bath, BA1 2JZ 07840 864829
Owner Michelle previously Senior Therapist at Green Street House
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style Boutique Salons & Spa Nestled in the heart of Bath, the award winning Frontlinestyle Beauty Spa and Hair Salon is renowned for its highly trained & knowledgeable team of beauty therapists & hair stylists. Popular treatments include…. Blow dry bar • Master Wella Colourist • Massages • Facials • Lashes • Caci Synergy IPL • Electrolysis • Waxing • Threading • Nails • Footlogix medi-pedi • Wigs 4/5 Monmouth Street, Bath, BA1 2AJ. 01225 478478
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HEALTH & BEAUTY
HEALTH & BEAUTY NEWS We are all about revive and renew this month, with a new skin product, a technique for weight loss, and meditation for a healthier mind. There’s also a special Valentine’s pamper session for two and restorative wellness events. Ruby Bosanquet shares the latest in the sector
VALENTINE’S DAY TREAT If you’re undecided what to do for Valentine’s Day, or would just like to treat yourself and a friend, Frontline Style is offering a Valentine’s special offer for you and one other. The offer includes a hydrotherapy bath for two, with the choice of a Clarins rebalancing massage, a hot stone massage or a lava shells massage. You’re likely to leave feeling more relaxed and romantic than you have in a long while. The offer is £135 for two people for 90 minutes, valid between 14 and 28 February. • frontlinestyle.co.uk.
MINDFULNESS MEDITATION February can feel a dreary month, but Bath Sakya Buddhist Group has plans to change that. The group practise meditation every Tuesday evening at 8pm, and welcome people of all abilities to practise settling meditation and explore the teachings of the Buddhist masters. The classes are designed to help manage scenarios from everyday life. No previous mediation experience is needed.
TRANSFORMATION PACKAGE Post Christmas weight gain still not shifted? Well The Body Clinic at The Orangery is offering a transformation package to create change for good. Not just a quick fix, the package is designed to create permanent lifestyle changes and establish a lasting solution. Trained in psychology, life coaching, nutrition and fitness – along with body treatments that sculpt and shape the body – Victoria offers consultations that focus on lifestyle and goals. Each client is given a personalised eating and exercise plan, along with lifestyle coaching and body treatments that have a real impact. This package has the potential to give permanent weight lostt, and to increase energy levels and body confidence. Book your free consultation, and find out how The Body Clinic can help transform your life. • theorangerylaserandbeautybath.co.uk
WELLNESS AT THE SPA
The winter months can be particularly drying for the skin and hair, so Frontlinestyle have recommended their favourite two new products to combat the problem. Clarins has launched Plant Gold (35ml, £48), a new, unique two-in-one oil emulsion moisturiser for all skin types. Plant Gold is formulated with 100 per cent natural ingredients to banish that dull winter skin and leave your skin intensely hydrated, nourished and radiant. Eleven’s new vegan-friendly 3 Minute Repair Rinse Out Treatment (200ml, £16) is focused on repairing dry and damaged hair. A protein and moisture blend of shea butter and hydrolysed wheat proteins strengthen and nourishes the hair, an ideal treatment for the winter months.
The Gainsborough Bath Spa and the Thermae Bath Spa are running a series of wellness events and activities this month, so why not dispel those winter blues and treat yourself to a day in Bath’s famous warm waters? The Thermae Bath Spa is offering a midweek reviver package, available from Tuesday to Thursday until 26 March (excluding 18, 19 and 20 February). The session costs £72 for one or £132 for two and includes a two-hour spa session, a healthy juice in the Springs Restaurant and a choice of a 30-minute treatment. The Thermae Bath Spa is also running an Aquasana class on 6 February at 8.15am in the rooftop pool – this invigorating aqua fitness session combines yoga, Tai Chi and strengthening moves. The session is complimentary with a £37 Thermae Welcome package, which gives full use of the spa facilities from 9am. For the more musical, The Gainsborough Bath Spa is hosting a day-long treat with Wellness-Sing on 8 February, from 10am–7.30pm. Wellness-Sing is an innovative retreat company that marries the benefits of singing and spas. The retreat, which is £179, is followed by a two-course lunch in Dan Moon at The Gainsborough Restaurant followed by entry to the spa village. The Gainsborough Bath Spa is also hosting two wellness talks, A Perfect Night’s Sleep (12 February, 6pm) and the Truth behind Meditation (4 March, 6pm). The talks are £10 each and include a glass of prosecco. n
• Classes cost £4; sakyabristol.org/bath
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The Walk - Feb.qxp_Layout 1 22/01/2020 11:48 Page 1
Brunel’s original Skew Bridge, 1840
Weston Station c.1910
Twerton Station c.1910
Bath Midland Station c.1910
Bath’s railway heritage
Andrew Swift takes us back in time this month with a walk celebrating the rich heritage of Bath’s railways. Take in arches, viaducts and tunnels en route as you discover some of Brunel’s famous bridge designs linking Bath to Bristol
his month’s walk explores Bath’s railway heritage. As well as following Brunel’s Great Western Railway (GWR) westward to Twerton, it seeks out reminders of the Somerset & Dorset Railway (S&DR) and Midland Railway (MR), which closed over 50 years ago. It also visits all four of Bath’s Victorian stations, as well as one opened in 1929. We start in front of Bath Spa station, opened in 1840, a Jacobethan-style building designed by Brunel. The site it occupies could not have been more challenging, tucked into a bend of the river with the line on a curved viaduct. It may not be immediately apparent, but, while the building faces squarely down Manvers Street, the platforms are at an oblique angle to it, with the stairs up to them negotiating some sharp turns. Go through the tunnel to the left of the station and cross a footbridge over the river. The original bridge here was wooden and cost a halfpenny to cross. In 1877, when the Bath & West Show was held in Beechen Cliff, crowds pouring off an excursion train backed up on the bridge as the tollkeeper struggled to cope. The bridge collapsed 88 TheBATHMagazine
under their weight and ten people drowned. When it was replaced by a metal bridge, the toll was not reintroduced, but it is still known as Halfpenny Bridge. Turn left along the road for 90m, before turning left to double back along the riverbank. As you go under Halfpenny Bridge, look for the flood levels on the abutment. Ahead is Skew Bridge – 164 feet long, even though the river is only 80 feet wide. It was originally built of kyanised wood, before being rebuilt in metal. As you continue along the road, you can see how Brunel designed the section of the viaduct visible from Southgate Street to look like a gatehouse. Turn right over the road bridge, cross the zebra crossings and head back over the bridge to continue along the Lower Bristol Road (LBR). After crossing at the pedestrian lights, carry on along the LBR for 60m, before turning down a side road to walk alongside the viaduct. Through the open arches you can see how the original viaduct was later widened. Oak Street, at the end, was built around 1820 and was cut in two by the railway around 20 years later. Turn right along it and left along the LBR, passing the former
Stothert & Pitt factory, built in 1857, on the other side of the road. As you pass the entrance to the square, look up to see the former GWR goods shed, now converted to offices. Take the next left up Westmoreland Road. Just past the railway bridge, turn right along a road leading to a railway yard. Just before the end, turn right along a footpath past blue posts, under the railway and along a street to rejoin the LBR. As you carry on, with St James’s Cemetery on your left, all the land you can see to your right was part of the MR yard, which you will be revisiting later. Turn left up Brougham Hayes, cross the zebra crossing and just before the railway bridge turn right down steps and along a footpath. As you approach Oldfield Park station – opened in 1929 – you will notice that the bridge beyond it has a pointed arch. Although such arches are almost unknown on Britain’s railways, Brunel built several of them between Bath and Bristol. Cross the bridge and turn right along West Avenue. Follow it as it curves right and carry straight on along Lyndhurst Avenue. At the end, turn right and go through a gateway to the Two Tunnels Greenway. This follows the
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THE | WALK
course of the S&DR, opened in 1874 to link Bath with Bournemouth. Turn right across the GWR before turning left along a side road. At the end, turn right and then left along the LBR. Look out for an exceptionally low bridge as you pass the end of Jew’s Lane. When you come to the next bridge, ahead you will see Twerton station – opened in 1840 and closed in 1917. The coming of the railway had a massive impact on Twerton. Prior to its construction, the LBR did not carry straight on, but curved left to continue along the High Street. Because Brunel blocked it off at the end of the village, he was forced to reroute it along a new road beside the viaduct. Head under the bridge to walk along the High Street. After 500m, just before the Full Moon, turn right down a footpath by an electricity sub-station and go under the railway. As you emerge on the LBR, look to the left to see numbered doorways in the viaduct. These led into tiny cottages in the arches, replacing those demolished for the railway. Cross the road, turn right and then left across a bridge onto Weston Island. Looking downstream, you will see Twerton sluice gate, which replaced a weir once flanked by woollen mills. Follow the footpath though the bus depot, alongside a canal and across a bridge to the Locksbrook Inn. The canal was built in 1727
to bypass the weir, enabling boats to travel up to Bath. Cross the towpath, turn right in front of the inn and left through Kaynton Mead. At the end go up a flight of steps and turn right along the overgrown trackbed of the MR line to Bath, opened in 1869. At the road, turn left and then right along Ashley Avenue. The house on the corner was the Weston stationmaster’s house. The station, which closed in 1953, lies 150m further on. It is now a vets. Turn right at the main road. After crossing the end of Locksbrook Road, turn right by the Grocer Café and head across a green space to the riverside path. To your right is the bridge which carried the MR across the river. Turn left along the towpath, and continue under Windsor Bridge, an unnamed railway bridge that carried a siding into the gasworks, and the new Destructor Bridge. Next comes Victoria Bridge, built by local brewer James Dredge in 1836, and recently restored. Head across it to where the Western Riverside development has arisen on a site once covered by Stothert & Pitt’s works. As you continue along the river, you come to a car park occupying part of the former MR yard. At the end of the car park, turn left across a footbridge. The road bridge alongside once carried trains into the station ahead.
Although the footbridge is modern, it stands on the abutments of a similar bridge removed after the railway closed. The station opened in 1869 as the terminus of a MR line from Mangotsfield. Five years later when the S&DR opened, this became part of a through route from Bournemouth to the north. Although both lines closed in 1966, the station – known since 1951 as Bath Green Park – survives as one of the best-preserved large 19th-century stations in the country. n
Andrew Swift is the author of The Ringing Grooves of Change: Brunel and the Coming of the Railway to Bath. He will also be talking about the impact of the railway on Bath at the Bath Royal Literary & Scientific Institution on 9 March at 7.30.
FACT FILE n Distance: 4 miles n Level of challenge: Mostly on pavements or tarmaced paths – there are also some steps and a couple of rough tracks.
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CITY | INTERIORS
NOTEBOOK CRAFTY TRAVEL MUG This tumbler-size ceramic travel mug is perfect for your hot beverages, with each piece hand-thrown on the potter’s wheel. It sports overlapping glazes to give a gorgeous colour blend and comes with a grey silicon band and matching silicon lid. Measuring 7.5cm tall by 7.5cm diameter, the mug holds 150ml/ 5oz and is microwave and dishwasher proof. £25. Libby Ballard Ceramics Ridgeway Studios, 46B Ridgeway Road, Bristol libbyballard.co.uk
RACKS OF COLOUR Designer-maker Charlie Caffyn has introduced colour to his collection of modern British furniture. His Farleigh magazine rack is available with a formica finish in two colourways, blue and yellow. Charlie has developed this popular piece to contrast the tactility of plywood with the eye-popping formica colours. £99. Charlie Caffyn charliecaffynfurniture.co.uk
The Stella sofa collection from TR Hayes
STRESSLESS COLLECTION Stressless have created a new collection of comfortable recliners with wooden bases, the Stella sofa collection. Taking inspiration from the 60s, Stella includes the Stressless BalanceAdapt™ system which allows the seat to move with you and this can The London recliner be locked to create a fixed from TR Hayes sofa. From £2059. Also new are the London and Tokyo recliners, with a matching footstool, where you can choose between a standard or adjustable headrest and a chrome or matt black finish. Available in leather or fabric, from £1615. TR Hayes 15–18 London Street, Walcot, Bath trhayes.co.uk
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CITY | INTERIORS
A PLATTER OF STYLE Mira ceramic platter
Hessa ceramic platter
Revisiting the tradition of hanging platters on the wall or placing them on a table as a centrepiece, Danish design house Fern Living has created a series of large plates (£89.50). Each platter shows a simple silhouette of a woman – painted by hand with freeflowing strokes, each piece has a unique expression. All platters come with a wall-mounting solution, so they can be hung as well as placed on a table. Approximately 3cm high by 37.5cm in diameter. Woodhouse and Law 4 Georges Place, Bath; woodhouseandlaw.co.uk
Tala ceramic platter
GEORGIAN-INSPIRED RUGS The specialist period interior designers at Etons of Bath have created a collection of rugs inspired by architectural details and fashion trends popular in the elegant Georgian period. Each rug is designed to suit one of the four design profiles the company uses to classify their clients’ style preferences: Warm Classic for those who love rich colour and texture, Calm Classic for a light and airy colour palette, Classic Contemporary for a more contemporary style, and On Trend Contemporary (see rug to right) to suit cutting-edge interiors. All rugs are bespoke so can be specified in any size or colour. Prices on enquiry.
A FAIR FOR ANTIQUES
Etons of Bath 108 Walcot Street, Bath etonsofbath.com
The Bath Decorative Antiques Fair this year celebrates ‘Gardens as Gallery’ as the theme. Around 45 exhibitors will show antiques and art with a garden theme to adorn the home and garden. Making a debut will be Joseph Berry Interiors, bringing a youthful, contemporary twist on the antiques and interiors market; Portico Antiques & Interiors dealing in 18th–19th-century continental decorative furniture and mirrors; Thomas Spencer Fine Art, dealing in 20th century and contemporary art; and The Antique Chair and Sofa Company, specialists in Napoleon II chairs and daybeds. 6–8 March, 11am–5pm, £5.
Lulworth porcelain collection from Mandarin Stone
Bath Decorative Antiques Fair The Pavilion, North Parade Road, Bath bathdecorativeantiquesfair.co.uk TILE VISIONS While porcelain that emulates the look of natural stone is nothing new, the exciting Lulworth porcelain collection from Mandarin Stone goes a step further, replicating the look of an old stone floor with antique edges (see image to right). Lulworth is available in buff and grey and has a corresponding exterior thickness tile, perfect for taking the inside out. £46.80/m2. More colour in the home is definitely a big trend for 2020, along with inspiration from the 70s. Also available from Mandarin Stone is the stylish Terrazzo Nouveau matt porcelain collection, in a range of poppy colours as well as more subtle hues. £57.60/m2. The Norse Subway tile collection, the Terra Gloss Ceramic, brings warmer tones which can add so much character to a space. £46.40/m2. Mandarin Stone 15–16 Broad Street, Bath mandarinstone.com
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Create space with a garden room GARDEN OFFICES • LOG CABINS • STUDIOS • SUMMERHOUSES POSH SHEDS • TIMBER GARAGES • OUTDOOR LIVING SPACES
01225 774566 • www.gardenaffairs.co.uk Visit our Display Centre at Trowbridge Garden Centre 288 Frome Road, BA14 0DT THEBATHMAG.CO.UK
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The Framing Workshop has been trading as an independent family run business on Walcot Street for over 28 years. We treasure you, our client, and spend time helping you to ďŹ nd the best way to display and protect your cherished objects, artworks and memorabilia. Creativity and respect for each artwork are core to what we do. Every picture tells a story. Come and share yours.
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Gardening Feb.qxp_Layout 1 22/01/2020 15:41 Page 1
Bouquet of tulips
The blooms of love
Nothing says ‘I love you’ better than flowers, says Jane Moore. Forget thoughts of clichés and over-sentimentality, and bring sunshine in the form of flowers to romance your partner this February
all me an old romantic, but love is undeniably in the air this month. I know Shakespeare called music “the food of love,” but if that is the case then surely flowers are the garnish. For flowers go hand in hand with romance from Robbie Burns’ “My love is like a red, red rose” to children plucking the petals off a daisy as they chant “he loves me, he loves me not”. All in all, it makes for one of the busiest dates in the florist’s calendar. Flowers are the classic go-to Valentine’s gift, especially given that the inevitable postChristmas dieting puts a box of chocolates out of the question. Sadly, though, I hardly ever get given flowers: “I’m bound to get you some you don’t like”, bewails Paul. “You know way more about flowers than I do!” That’s true and I will confess to being a bit fussy too, so I can’t blame him for opting out. So if, like me, you won’t be getting any flowers this February, then hang tradition and treat yourself to a nice bunch. Or suggest to your better half that perhaps a little something for the garden on the theme of love would be a welcome and sustainable alternative. 96 TheBATHMagazine
As for the more creative, then set out with your secateurs and gather your own garden bunch, augmented perhaps with a few special blooms from the flower shop. And, while we’re foregoing tradition, why not step away from the classic gender stereotypes and give even if you don’t receive – you will both reap the benefits anyway. THINK PINK I urge you to think outside the box and not go for the typical bunch of red roses – not only is it a cliché, it’s a bit boring and, frankly, ludicrously expensive in the run up to Valentine’s Day. Actually, all red flowers are criminally dear as the 14th approaches, so ring the changes in terms of colour. Think passionate pink rather than raunchy red and you’ll save a fortune and get much more style and choice for your money. Among the pink flowers that are readily available to buy, I have a sneaking fondness for carnations, both the dainty little sprays and the big, blousy fat-headed ones. These come in some delightful pink shades, from the softest, cherry blossom pink to rich berry shades. Combine these with some leafy green foliage from the garden, such as evergreen
shrub Viburnum tinus, which may also be showing a few dainty pink flowers itself, and you have a good fulsome bunch. SPRING SENSIBILITIES Classic spring flowers such as tulips and hyacinths are so easy to come by and are foolproof favourites with just about everyone. If you are completely clueless as to what someone would like, then a bunch of elegant tulips is a surefire winner. Think about the colours carefully and you can create something really quite stunning. For example, some hot pink tulips intermingled with fiery orange ones makes quite a statement, while sugared almond pink with white is fresh and delicate. On that theme a hand-picked simple bouquet of hellebores, dainty fragrant white narcissi – home-grown or shop bought – and a few stems of variegated Euonymus or Pittosporum are always guaranteed to raise a smile. Hellebores – which are slightly ‘going over’ when the stamens have faded – always last better than fresh new flowers, especially if you dip the freshly cut stems in hot water before arranging them.
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A LITTLE BIT OF SUNSHINE A splash of sun goes an awfully long way in these dreary winter days and the sunny colour palette of fresh yellows, whites and greens makes for a guaranteed lift of those wintry, water-logged spirits. Nothing says spring promise more than narcissi and they’re absolutely one of my all-time favourite cut flowers. I know, I’m a cheap date, really! If you feel creative, combine white and yellow scented narcissi with fresh foliage such as ferns or a handful of cut hazel stems dripping with bushy tailed catkins. If you don’t, then simply place a bunch of bog-standard, bright yellow daffs in a jolly jug or glass vase – if the container is blue, then all the better as the colours complement one another. They make me think of the sunny days and blue skies to come. Narcissi
GIFTS FOR THE GARDENER If you are stuck with a partner that is as particular as me, then it may be wise to simply pick something for the garden. Bird boxes and feeders always go down well as do potted bulbs such as narcissi and hyacinths as I can plant them out in the garden afterwards. Alternatively a present of a peony, clematis or rose to plant is always lovely and if it has a romantic name, then all the better. Think of the lovely peonies such as Paeonia lactiflora ‘Bowl of Beauty’ or P.l. ‘Bowl of Love’ which are great additions to any garden, however small. Another plant you can always find space for is a clematis. There are hundreds of great varieties, but if you’re looking for something on a romantic theme then seek out Clematis ‘Romantika’ with its deep purple flowers, C. ‘Forget Me Not’ with powder blue, crumpled flowers or the herbaceous C. heraclefolia ‘New Love’ with deep blue, almost hyacinth-like blooms. As for roses, that classic Valentine’s staple, there are lots with romantic associations including some real beauties such as David Austin’s Rosa ‘The Generous Gardener’ with soft pink flowers and the sweetheart rose, otherwise known as R. ‘Cecile Brunner’, one of my all-time favourite roses with its dainty perfect flowers which appear reliably, often over an enormously long season.
If you want to make your intentions abundantly clear then perhaps the best choice is R. ‘My Valentine’ or R. ‘Grand Amore’. There is nothing subtle about this ruby red hybrid tea rose with its large, classically formed flowers that say romance so much better than their short-lived cut flower cousins. True romance is best served when driven by genuine inspiration and thoughtfulness. So avoid the clichés and get a little more creative this Valentine’s Day. n Jane Moore is an award-winning gardening columnist and head gardener at The Bath Priory Hotel. Twitter: @janethegardener
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Cobb Farr PIF.qxp_PIF Full Page 24/01/2020 17:04 Page 1
PROPERTY | HOMEPAGE
ou’ll find a handsome, semi-detached double-fronted Victorian villa at 1 Belgrave Road, located in a sought-after residential area in close proximity to Bath city centre and ideally placed for the excellent local amenities in nearby Larkhall Village. This beautiful family home offers immaculately presented, fully refurbished and generously proportioned accommodation arranged conveniently over two floors. On the ground floor there is a large welcoming entrance hall with Mandarin Stone flooring. To the left there is a charming bay-fronted formal sitting room with a handsome period fireplace and bespoke built-in cupboards and shelves. To the right is a large open-plan contemporary kitchen and dining room with double doors leading through to the family room at the front. In addition there is a smart guest WC. An attractive central staircase leads to a pretty mezzanine level with part-glazed double doors and a Juliette balcony enjoying wonderful views of the city. There is a spacious first-floor landing with doors to all first-floor rooms and access to a large boarded loft space. To the front and enjoying the beautiful panoramic views are two spacious double bedrooms. Bedroom two has a large window to the front and bespoke built-in wardrobes, and the master bedroom has a lovely en-suite shower room. To the rear there are two further double bedrooms and an impressive family bath and shower room. Externally, accessed from the kitchen there are well-stocked and beautifully landscaped ornamental Oriental-style terraced gardens. In significant addition there is a particularly spacious garage with much potential to convert (subject to the necessary planning consents) as well as off-street parking.
Belgrave Road Bath • 4 bedrooms, 2 beautiful bathrooms and guest WC • Open-plan kitchen/diner • Attractive Oriental-style terraced gardens • Double garage and off-street parking • Lovely views across Bath
Cobb Farr, 35 Brock Street, The Circus, Bath. Tel: 01225 333332
Cobb Farr February.qxp_Layout 1 22/01/2020 14:13 Page 1
Moulton Drive, Bradford-on-Avon Guide Price £475,000
• • • • • • •
4 bedroom 2 reception rooms Open plan kitchen/diner South facing level garden Views over open countryside Garage and parking Wonderful views
01225 333332 | 01225 866111
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Upper Church Street, Bath £795,000
• • • • • •
Elegant formal drawing room Well-appointed contemporary kitchen Beautiful master en-suite bedroom Further guest bedroom and shower room 2 converted vaults Prime residential location
01225 333332 | 01225 866111
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PROPERTY | HOMEPAGE
umber 10a is a beautifully restored Grade I listed Georgian townhouse. The property retains many of its original features and following a complete refurbishment in 2002 by Nash Partnership and Emery’s, its accommodation is versatile and is laid out over six floors. On entering one is greeted by a large, elegant entrance hall with stone flooring, a fireplace and impressive cornices and friezes. The size and styling of this hallway is believed to be unique in Great Pulteney Street. To the rear of the ground floor is a spacious dual aspect sitting room with lovely views across the gardens. A practical utility room and cloakroom completes the accommodation on this level. Overlooking Great Pulteney Street on the first floor is the drawing room, with its beautifully detailed cornicing and a cast iron fire with original Robert Adam surround. The proportions of this commanding room are of a domestic scale and make it ideal for entertaining and relaxing. Also situated on this floor is the spacious study which could alternatively be used as a fifth bedroom. A further flight of stairs advances to the master suite floor. From the master bedroom there are delightful views to be enjoyed down William Street, and to the hills beyond. The master bathroom is of particular note and comprises an elegant suite including walk-in shower, bath, WC and basin. A sweeping staircase rises to the top floor where two more bedrooms and a family bathroom can be found. The lower ground and garden floors of the property have also been restored to a high standard. The spacious kitchen-come-dining room with its granite surfaces offers many modern appliances. The rest of the accommodation at this level comprises a garden room with a period fireplace and French doors leading to the garden, while at the front of the property there is a library/family room with extensive library shelving and storage. There is access to the front courtyard and two vaults beyond. The garden floor provides a further bedroom with built-in cupboards and French doors into the garden. To the front of the property there is an exercise room, sauna and a shower room.
Savills Bath, Edgar House, 17 George Street, Bath. Tel: 01225 474500
Great Pulteney Street, Bath • Magnificent position on one of Bath's finest streets • Tastefully and meticulously refurbished • Accommodation in all approx 4,341 sq ft • Two parking spaces in secure garage
Guide price £2,350,000
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Cavendish Crescent, BA1 £695,000
01225 809 571
An exceptional apartment within one of Bath’s grand Georgian crescents. Adjacent the Approach Golf Course the Grade II listed apartment has been beautifully restored by the owners. The courtyard home offers a spacious kitchen breakfast room, lounge with original fireplace and two/three bedrooms Energy Efficiency Rating: C
To view more properties and other services available visit Andrewsonline.co.uk
Lansdown Heights, BA1 £475,000
A four-bedroom family home tucked away in a leafy cul-de-sac in Lansdown. Energy Efficiency Rating: C
01225 809 868 email@example.com
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To view more properties and other services available visit Andrewsonline.co.uk
Saltford, BS31 ÂŁ699,000
A five bedroom semi-detached family home located in the convenient village of Saltford, set just 5 miles to the centre of Bath (Milsom Street) and 8.5 miles into Bristol (Cabot Circus). Featuring many original Edwardian features, this property has been carefully modernised by the current owners. Energy Efficiency Rating: E
01225 809 685 firstname.lastname@example.org
To view more properties and other services available visit Andrewsonline.co.uk
Elm Place, Bloomfield Road, BA2 ÂŁ999,950
An elegant Grade II listed, five storey town house offering far reaching views from the rear and parking. Four bedrooms, three reception rooms, two bathrooms, kitchen, basement, unconverted vaults, garden and parking. Energy Efficiency Rating: TBC
01225 805 680 email@example.com
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To view more properties and other services available visit Andrewsonline.co.uk
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Peter Greatorex Managing director of The apartment Company
Are the waters calming for apartment sales in 2020?
s we race into the new year, the newly elected majority government has given a sense of certainty. Rightmove has recently released their predictions for the price of property in Britain next year, so are the waters calming for apartments in 2020?
Across Bath we have slowly seen the confidence of homeowners decrease with the political uncertainty, but as we look to the months ahead, Rightmove predicts a 2% rise in property prices. Commenting, Rightmove director and housing market analyst Miles Shipside said, “The greater certainty afforded by a majority government gives an opportunity for a more active spring moving season, with some release of several years of pent-up demand. “Given the Brexit track record to date, further political twists and turns should not be ruled out, though with a large majority there is a higher possibility of an end to the series of Brexit deadlines, and the prospect of an orderly resolution. Rightmove measures the prices of 95% of property coming to market, and we predict that buyers and sellers will, on average, see a 2% rise in those prices by the end of 2020.” As we know, this is an overall view and there are bound to be regional variations, therefore a more modest 1% rise in the price of property is expected in Bath. Demand has been resilient despite the outlook over the last year or two, but supply has been outstripped. The number of properties coming on to the market has been extremely low, but we have started to see the tide turning this last week or so, with a rise in the number of enquiries of those looking to move home this year. The number of properties coming on to the market is also expected to increase in the forthcoming months, but it may not make up for all the lost ground. With demand for apartments across the city still high, we anticipate that demand will continue to outstrip supply during the months ahead. 2020 could be an exciting time in the Bath property market, and we can’t wait to see what it brings for all our clients, whether they are first-time buyers, experienced sellers, or those looking to invest.
MARDAN, BATH’S BESPOKE REMOVALS AND STORAGE COMPANY, DEVELOPS NEW TALENT
Mardan have a wealth of experience within the removals and storage industry, spanning over 30 years, ensuring customers have a stress-free and seamless move. Mardan are family run and bespoke with the experience, knowledge, skills, equipment and capacity to complete removals of any size; locally, nationally for domestic or commercial customers.
Marcus, Mardan’s founder, has always held fast, with confidence, to his belief that he can deliver a high standard of removals, exceeding that of his competitors. Marcus knows to do this he must have trust and confidence in the skills of his staff, which he does. So when a new office position was required within Mardan instead of recruiting externally Marcus looked to develop a team member which he already had extreme confidence in and who he knew would develop into the role seamlessly, Nik. The role would include; liaising with customers, completing quotes, emailing quotes, planning the removals diary, logistics and managing the storage yard. Nik, had worked with Marcus within removals for over 10 years having a strong knowledge of all aspects of removals and with the skills necessary to lead a team from Mardan on removals. Nik has risen to the challenge and is thriving. Marcus and Nik work extremely well as a team thus ensuring all customers have a personalised service and a positive move experience. Both Marcus and Nik enjoy completing the physical removal and Marcus truly believes that to do the ‘office’ role well it’s important to continue to complete removals, thus maintaining the in depth knowledge developed throughout their earlier careers. Marcus and Nik are able to be flexible with their roles and keep their ‘hand in’ the hard physical work of removals. Mardan continue to grow their self-storage facility, offering safe, secure and reasonable storage to upward of 100 domestic and commercial customers. “We used Mardan following a recommendation from a friend. They moved us in and out of storage and then into our renovated house. I would highly recommend them. The service was super efficient and the guys were quick, polite and courteous. Nothing was too much trouble and all of our possessions arrived safe and sound” Emma Webster, Moon Client
Our expertise in the niche sector of Bath’s apartment market puts us at an advantage, as we’re able to give you an honest and specific insight into how your property will perform and when may be the right time to move. If you’re curious about what this year could bring for your homemoving plans, call The Apartment Company on 01224 471155.
The Apartment Company Pg@theapartmentcompany.co.uk or call 01225 471144
DOMESTIC & COMMERCIAL MOVERS • PACKERS • STORERS • SHIPPERS
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CITY | BUSINESS
GAP TO NARROW BETWEEN BUYER AND SELLER EXPECTATIONS LUKE BRADY
Head of Savills Bath office and southern residential division
fter three years of political deadlock, December’s general election result brought greater clarity in the Government’s Brexit position and decisive domestic policy. Since then, we have already seen more confidence in the property market and expect the clear parliamentary majority to provide the foundation for accelerated activity over the months ahead. That said, we still face a backdrop of suppressed gross domestic product and wage growth alongside a slowing global economy. Meanwhile the UK’s trading relationship with the EU during the transition period still needs to be resolved. It is therefore likely that home movers will remain relatively cautious about their household finances, particularly in the second half of the year.
Many would-be sellers were put off entering the market last year, despite a steep rise in registered buyers and viewing activity. In Bath, not only did we experience a notable uplift in buyers registering with us last year compared with in 2018, we saw the highest number of viewings on record. The lack of available stock alongside the strong demand resulted in a large pool of frustrated buyers. This pool is not about to dry up. In fact, across the UK we have seen new buyer registrations increase by around a third so far this year. Not only this but we are experiencing an improved level of commitment from interested parties.
The prime property market in Bath has traditionally benefitted from a high-proportion of relocators from London. Last year however, we saw a number of prospective buyers, who were keen to make their move but unable to sell in the capital. Since the start of January, our London offices are reporting strong levels of enquiries and viewings across all levels of the market. Agents operating in south west and west London note that the family house market is particularly active with sellers now more committed to make the move this year. Some are also beginning to see upsizers who would have traditionally traded up in the local area now considering a relocation to the commuter belt or further afield.
Bath’s prime property market has remained resilient since the referendum and over the last five years values have increased by 4.4%. While this year will not be without its challenges, across the south of the country we are forecasting incremental rises totalling 16.5% over the next five years, which is slightly higher than the UK average forecast. Growth will be slow and steady, and as such, balancing buyer and seller expectations will be critical to keeping the market moving. The good news is that our analysis of the last three months of the year in the prime residential market revealed a narrowing of the gap between such expectations. Across the country, we found greater alignment as sellers accepted more realistic pricing. Notably, we also saw an increase in competitive bidding where newly launched properties were brought to market at the right price. Pent-up demand The greater sense of urgency in the market is encouraging news for anyone who is thinking about marketing their house for sale in the coming months. More so when we consider the level of pent-up demand for property.
Taking advantage Early spring is traditionally a popular time to buy and sell, and we could well see a surge this year. Many will be looking to make their move early, and so sellers are advised to prepare now in order to take advantage. n Luke Brady, Savills Bath. Edgar House, 17 George St, Bath BA1 2EN Web: savills.co.uk
Recent sales secured in Bath include two 2 bedroom apartments on Milsom Street, a Grade I Listed townhouse on St James’s Square and a former farm with 18 acres in Chewton Mendip
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RB PE S SU IEW V
Unfurnished · Two double bedrooms · One single bedroom/study · Permit parking · Council tax band D · Available beginning of February · EPC rating: C
T D LE EE R G A
01225 471 14 4 The Apartment Company February.indd 1
Immaculate throughout · Two double bedrooms · Available now · Council tax band D · Allocated parking and garage · Unfurnished · EPC rating: C
Courtyard apartment · Two bedrooms · Allocated parking for one car · Suit professional couple/sharers · Council tax band: C · Available now · EPC rating: C
T D LE EE R G A
Unfurnished · Two double bedrooms · Private lockable storage · Communal gardens · No pets · Council tax band G · EPC rating: C
Part-furnished · Two double bedrooms · Available now · Residence parking permit · EPC rating: E
T D LE EE R G A
Unfurnished · Three double bedrooms · First floor apartment · Quiet location · Council tax band · Private parking space · EPC rating: E
LY E H ND IG ME M CO
Unfurnished · Studio apartment · Available now · Modern décor · Council tax band A · Approx 319 St ft · EPC rating: D
Unfurnished · Two double bedrooms · Available 20th February 2020 · Residence parking permit · Council tax and C · No agency fees · EPC rating: E
Unfurnished · Garden apartment · Available 7th March 2020 · Close to local amenities · Council tax band B · Allocated parking space · EPC rating: D
01225 303 870
Georgian apartment · Grade I Listed · Prestigious location · Views over The Circus · Second floor apartment · Two bedrooms · Approx. 742 Sq. ft.
LD SO TC S
Two double bedrooms · New build · Private parking · Private entrance · Level walk into city centre · Approx. 990 Sq. ft · Holiday lets permitted · Parking
LD SO TC S
Grade I Listed · Georgian apartment · Two double bedrooms · Kitchen & Breakfast area · Stunning views · Period features · Approx. 1335 sq. ft.
G IN N N WS U E ST VI
EW LD I BU
Modern build · Penthouse apartment · Two bedroom · High specification · City centre location
First floor apartment · Two bedrooms · Stylish & Contemporary décor · Original features · Level walk to centre · Residents Parking permit · Approx. 911 Sq. ft
LD SO TC S
First floor apartment · High ceilings · Large drawing room · Contemporary kitchen · Stunning communal areas · Two double bedrooms · Approx. 1138 Sq. ft.
Grade II Listed · Georgian apartment · Second Floor · Bright and quiet · Period features · Approx 431 Sq ft · Sought after location
Georgian · Grade II Listed · Large bright bedroom · Sitting room with feature fireplace · Modern bathroom · Storage room on half landing · Approx. 673 Sq. ft.
Victorian · First floor apartment · One double bedroom · Bright and spacious · Residence permit parking · Newly refurbished kitchen · Approx. 436 Sq. ft.
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