Bath Life – issue 426

Page 1

ISSUE 426 / 11 – 25 SEPTEMBER 2020 / £3


ISSUE 426 / 11 – 25 SEPTEMBER 2020 / FOLK ART


Noah and The Whale’s Matt Owens on his lockdown album


Polly Jackson’s new career in macrame




Inside Hope House, the new name in Lansdown luxury


The transformation of Trowbridge Town Hall


Must-have accessories for your new home office

How Bath’s schools excelled during the Covid crisis


ABOVE: The incredibly intricate art of Joah and Sarson Trebeth (page 12) BELOW: Step ‘write’ this way,

and shop the very best for your new home office (page 58)


fell in love with Bath a long time ago. My husband thinks it was him that brought me here but this vibrant, seductive, elegant city played a big part in our courtship. It’s a relationship that has gone from strength to strength over the 18 years – it’s been the scenic backdrop to my marriage, motherhood, e tended famil life m career to finding new lifelong friends. However my admiration and appreciation of Bath was taken to a whole new level thanks to Covid 19. Flanked by wide green spaces, amazing vistas and golden, glowing architecture – I credit my beautiful surroundings for helping me keep sight of the bigger picture. In a place I was in danger of taking for granted, lockdown gave me time to discover new walks and rediscover old haunts including Bath Skyline, Linear Way, Rainbow Woods, and Alexandra Park. I also found new friends on my doorstep thanks to the neighbourhood WhatsApp group. Friday night takeaways from the indie likes of Oyster Shell, Mint Rooms, and Noya’s Kitchen brought true joy to my bored teens. A big shout out to olf ine in reen ar for suggesting that refillable wine bottle option – while my motives were eco and economical, luckily the results were both delicious and plentiful. I’d also like to say thanks to Nino’s Barber Shop in Bear Flat, who did such a sterling job of the emergency post-lockdown family hair cuts. I hopped in the chair for a trim that is holding its own still. I know we all have a Bath-is-wonderful list like this – so when the opportunity to become editor of this glorious magazine came up – I didn’t hesitate, I didn’t pause, I didn’t think twice. Instead I jumped for joy and had a little sob. To be given the chance to celebrate, support, and write about the city that has looked after me for so long is an honour. And never more so than now.


Follow us on Twitter @BathLifeMag Instagram @bathlifemag I BATH LIFE I 3

Issue 426 / 11 – 25 September 2020 COVER The Trebeth Collection (turn to page 12)



How Bath’s schools coped with lockdown, and how they’re moving forward

THE ARTS 12 23 24 26

TREBETH COLLECTION Bath’s most magical hidden treasure ARTS INTRO Portrait of a lady at Beaux Arts WHAT’S ON ome art some film and a lot of wal ing BIG INTERVIEW Matt Owens takes us behind the scenes of

recording an album during lockdown


48 FOOD & DRINK NEWS Catching up with the latest

foodie happenings

49 TAKE 5 The perfect houmous with Ayleen Driver 50 RESTAURANT We visit newbie in town Bouvardia


57 INTRO Working from home style goals 58 EDITOR’S CHOICE evel up our home o ce 60 CRAFTS AND ARTS How crafter Polly Jackson turned her

Instagram post into a successful new business


52 TROWBRIDGE TOWN HALL The bustling community hub in

the town centre

64 GARDENS Take a trip to Timbury’s Pythouse Kitchen Garden 82 LIVES Catching up with author Jasbinder Bilan




66 BATHWORKS News, views, and inspiring interviews with the

region’s professionals


75 INTRO The challenges of designing a modern classic 76 NEWS The shape of Bath’s property market 78 SHOWCASE Contemporary apartments in a historic setting


SPOTLIGHT News about Bath Abbey, Oasis Bath, and TV

filming in the cit centre

19 FLAT LINE David Flatman 20 BATH TOGETHER Greg Ingham

Editor Sarah Moolla Deputy Editor Lydia Tewkesbury Managing Editor Deri Robins deri.robins@mediaclash. Senior Art Editor Andrew Richmond Graphic Design Megan Allison Cover Design Trevor Gilham Contributors Matt Bielby, David Flatman, Greg Ingham, Genevieve Rose, and Nick Woodhouse Group Advertising Manager Pat White Deputy Advertising Manager Justine Walker Account Manager Annabel North Production/Distribution Manager Sarah Kingston Deputy Production Manager Kirstie Howe Production Designer Matt Gynn Chief Executive Jane Ingham Chief Executive Greg Ingham Bath Life MediaClash, Circus Mews House, Circus Mews, Bath BA1 2PW 01225 475800 @The MediaClash © All rights reserved. May not be reproduced without written permission of MediaClash. We’re a Bath-based publisher, creative agency and event organiser Magazines Our portfolio of regional magazines celebrates the best of local living: Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter. Agency From the design and build of websites to digital marketing and creating company magazines, we can help. Events We create, market, promote and operate a wide variety of events both for MediaClash and our clients Contact:


SPOTLIGHT Bath Festivals

CAST A SPELL ON YOU “Reading is magic and magic is for everyone,” says UK Waterstone’s Laureate Cressida Cowell. The fairy godmothers at Bath Festivals took her words to heart, joining forces with book festivals around the globe to whip up the Reading is Magic Festival. An allstar line-up of authors and illustrators are on board for six days of free digital events for schools and families from 27 September to 2 October. Seeing all Bath’s summer events cancelled or postponed was hard, but the loss of this year’s Bath Children’s Literature Festival – and the inspiring

authors and illustrators it brings to engage the children of Bath – was a particular blow to the soul. But nothing, not even a pandemic, can keep Bath’s bookish heart down for long, and this inclusive event promoting creativity and shared experiences with big name authors like Chris Riddell, Dapo Adeola, Nathan Byron, Robin Stevens and Jasbinder Bilan (more from her on page 82) among many others will ensure local children don’t have to go an entire year without seeing their literary favourites ‘live’. For more:

The Baths held their own among some formidable competition

VisitEngland Awards


Bath’s tourist attractions had a great night at the VisitEngland Awards on 17 August. Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, the Roman Baths & Pump Room and the Herschel Museum of Astronomy all ended the night with silver awards in their respective categories – large hotel for Lucknam, large visitor attraction for The Roman & Pump Room Baths and small attraction for the Herschel Museum. It was a particularly exciting night for the Baths, which was the only attraction in their category outside of London and nominated alongside the Old Royal Naval College and Warner Brothers Studios: The Making of Harry Potter. For more:

CLOCKWISE: Nathan Byron; Sharna Jackson; Cressida Cowell

Lockdown hit the Abbey hard

Bath Abbey


Bath Abbey has received a £155,800 boost from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Closed for 15 weeks in adherence with Covid-19 guidelines, the team at the Abbey reckon they lost out on close to 150,000 visitors – not to mention all the missed events at Easter. Usually, this would be one of the busiest times of the year for the Abbey, but even now they can onl admit a significantl reduced number of visitors ever day. The loss of income will have far-reaching consequences, but this much-needed cash injection will certainly help support the heritage and community work the Abbey does. For more: I BATH LIFE I 9


See you IRL soon

McDonald & Dodds


ath s new favourite detectives are set to return for a second series. I s McDonald & Dodds is coming back for three more episodes, with Tala Gouveia and Jason Watkins reprising their roles as the odd couple detective duo. According to a Tweet from Watkins, we can expect to once more see camera crews descend on the city in eptember as filming starts. For more:


HELP IN THE STORM Oasis Hub Bath has delivered more than 700 food parcels to local families in need since May. Supplied by food redistribution charity FareShare South West, the local church and community hub joined forces with Southdown Whiteway Church and Community Partnership, the Salvation Army and local volunteers to deliver the scheme, which serves families pushed into immediate hardship by the pandemic. s the e ects of ovid will be felt for many months yet, Oasis has expanded the service with the launch of a weekly food pantry, open to those with a household

income of less than who live or wor within a minute wal of Oasis at Hayhill. “The pantry will be based at Oasis Church Bath on The Paragon and will be open ever hursda from pm explains Jo Dolby, Hub Leader for Oasis in Bath. “Members will pay a small amount of money each week to choose their own items from our well stoc ed pantr . They pay a fraction of the normal cost and they’re also saving surplus food from heading to landfill. For more:

Oasis volunteers are masked up and ready to go


Bath boules


Nothing stops Bath Boules. Temporarily thwarted by the pandemic, the Boules ran as a virtual event: BoulesAid – and raised just over £22,000 through generous donations and sponsorships. First funds have been dispersed by the Bath Boules trustees to local charities: RICE, School Kit Project, Bath Rugby Foundation, Bath Mind, Bath Ethnic Minority Senior Citizen’s Association, We Get It Together CIO, Julian House, Dorothy ouse the ecord and outhside. BoulesAid was a fun evening of comedy, music and a celebration of Bath. Russell Howard and Jon Richardson appeared along with other top comedians – all curated by Mark Olver of the Belly Laughs charity. Tributes to Bath and the Boules were paid by David Suchet, Kris Marshall, Dr Phil Hammond and the founders of the Bath Boules, JP Auge of the Beaujolais and Phillip Addis. Dozens more contributed. “The trustees of the Bath Boules Charitable Trust want to thank the many generous sponsors and donors but in particular to recognise headline sponsor Brewin Dolphin for their tremendous and special support in such a di cult ear. he proceeds are already helping local charities in this time of special need. Bath Boules returns to its natural home in Queen Square next summer, pandemic willing, on une . For more: Big Boules sponsors were Novia, Savills, Truespeed, Archers Marquees, Great Western Wine and Bath Life. Further funds were raised by: Bath Building Society, Blue Gecko, Carter Jonas, Citizens Advice B&NES, Datasharp Integrated Communications, Enlightened, The Francis Hotel, Groupia, McKenzie & Co Financial Consultants, Minuteman Press, Moore, Redwood Marketing, Rotork, Royds Withy King, Sparkloop, Synergy Construction & Property Consultants and Thrings.


© IT V

Film cameras will return to Bath this month along with Tala Gouveia and Jason Watkins

MYTH ADVENTURES How two remarkable women in a Bath suburb created The Trebeth Collection, surely one of the most spectacular hidden sets of paintings in modern art. Not, of course, that there’s much that they’d describe as ‘modern’ about it… By Matt Bielby

Joah and Sarson Trebeth, giving a good sense of the scale of each painting 12 I BATH LIFE I



Since none of the pictures have names, and dates are hard to pin down, we’ll pick out our favourite details. On this one, we like the guys with flames around their heads

or a small cit ath hides a lot of secrets and sometimes it feels like there are unexpected delights to be found around every corner, if only you knew where to look. ere s one such discover an ama ing hidden art collection, created over 30 years by a pair of local artists. Called The Trebeth Collection, it comprises around gigantic we re tal ing wall si e in man cases canvases, all in a similar mythical storybook style and packed with intricate and intriguing detail. The work of Joah and Sarson Trebeth, the collection is uniquely intact and until now has hardl been seen b an bod an ama ing creative feat that deserves to be appreciated and enjoyed. Joah and Sarson live on the western side of Bath, in a house almost entirel given over to their lives wor . ecause the paintings have ta en over most of the first oor oah paints in the front bedroom and arson in the bac one creating her own smaller images the actuall sleep in the front room downstairs.

“A hidden collection, created over 30 years by a pair of local artists� Many of the biggest pieces took around two years to complete, with only one on the go at any one time. Lead painter Joah sits on a chair, the current canvas hanging in front of her vertically; she uses a mahl stic which she leans on to do the finer wor . It helps ou eep our balance she sa s. It s li e threading a needle otherwise. he couple claim the ve forgotten which of the paintings the did first and as the all lac names and dates wor ing it out would be something of a Herculean task. One thing they do know: they still have them all bar one which we ll come to later . In fact the refuse to sell I BATH LIFE I 13


With this one, we like the small child figure at the bottom, perhaps dreaming the giants all around like Little Nemo in Slumberland

any of them – and never have. Not, however, that they mollycoddle each one, exactly. In fact I find that I need to bloc each one out of m mind after finishing it oah sa s to enable us to ma e the ne t one. It s as if we have do ens of children ou can t spend all our time worr ing about the first or ou ll never get the other ones grown up. he wor s on canvas with a sheet glued on top to ma e the surface super smooth using paint the pair mi themselves dr pigment combined with egg ol and water. n ancient medium called tempera that was once favoured b the enaissance painters it s ver precise and smooth. one of the pictures are actuall signed we don t see an point oah sa s as nobod is going to confuse our wor with that of an one else but ou ll often find a tin than ou somewhere. ne I loo at for instance has a little s uare reading at the bottom it stands for han ou ascal in tribute to a friend who helped create their special canvases. oah and arson have been together for ears now but their


“We take ideas from myths and stories that we like, but then we weave other things into them� painting started a little later. e needed time to get used to each other first arson sa s. oah is the senior painter and I m ver much the apprentice es I d been painting in oils before I met her but bac then I was primaril a singer. he met in ondon first coming to ath when the d been together for around four ears though the didn t decide to move here straight awa . irst the ipped bac and forth between ondon and rural ent before as ing each other here feels most li e home hen both said ath a decision was made and the came here initiall to an apartment at the bottom of anvers treet. It was right on the river

The city here would appear to be on fire, but we think the residents might have something else to worry about – like the giant stomping all over them!

with swans oating past us arson sa s. ut we saw that the river was getting closer and closer to our at each ear and eventuall decided it was time to leave. nd we did so ust in time too no sooner were we out of there than the river burst its ban s and that at ended up three feet under water. SO, HOW MANY paintings actuall are there e can t reall count up to oah sa s disarmingl but we ve tried again and again and sometimes there are sometimes and occasionall it s . e have one that s feet long the biggest we ever did made bac when we had our own studio in ent. e could never do something li e that now not here in the house but we would if we could nl one of an significance is currentl out of their possession given to the friend in ent who d rented them that big studio. he loved it so much and had supported us for so long that we had to let her have ust the one. s ou can see there s a lot going on in each picture but it s hard to

pin the pair down to an specific inspirations. e research our paintings b going on living oah sa s enigmaticall . es we ta e ideas from m ths and stories that we li e but then we weave other things into them. e ll wor out a composition all drawn out ver carefull then put it on a light bo to transfer it to the canvas. nce it s up there we go on developing it in fact even as we re painting each picture new details tend to add themselves in. I might draw a head sa then embroider it. ometimes ships or castles or animals are introduced uite late on though other times the re in there from the beginning. It still seems a bit opa ue so I as arson to elaborate. ur paintings tell each person their own stor she eventuall sa s so ever one sees something di erent li e ever one finds something di erent in a piece of music. e are not cameras after all and our wor comes entirel from our imaginations. ach painting spea s an inner language that helps the viewer go deeper into themselves. he re not ust pictures to us but a wa of life and being. I BATH LIFE I 15


There’s something Christmas card like about the colours and the king figures at the bottom here, but then the god figure in the centre seem less than festive

“The world is changing,” Joah continues. “Right now it all feels upside down; you must have noticed. We’d like our pictures give people a new language they can learn from, and which will help them change themselves – hopefully for the better. But that’s not up to us, of course: it’s something for them. Everybody has a secret life inside them, a version of themselves that’s not always evident to the world, and these pictures can help people reconnect with that.” I describe a few things I see in them – not least the mysterious stories of the tarot card where images mean di erent things when presented in a di erent order. “Many people see Persian art and illustration,” Joah says. “And it’s true, that’s in my background. I was born in India to English parents, and as a child went to live in Iran, where my father was managing director of the only British bank there. I didn’t actually come to England until I was seven or eight, and it was a great wrench – I hated it. I had two languages as a child, English and Farsi, which I’d mostly use to swear. Later, but before we met, Sarson and I would separately


“Everyone has a secret life inside them, and these pictures can help people reconnect with that” go to the with our families to specificall loo at the ersian and Indian paintings. After we met up, of course, we could do it together.” I see elements of tapestry in here, too… hich is I have to tell ou the most di cult of all the arts. I take m hat o to an one who can weave tapestr . I used to tr when m children were little it fits in nicel with famil life because it s less mess than painting. The problem is, every time you make a mistake you need to unpick everything, which makes the vertical threads go sloppy – so ou have to tighten them up. ut that throws o the other threads. t least with painting, if something’s not quite right you can paint over it.”


This one has a very Indian feel; we like to think those two central figures are dancing

nd the big central figures in most of them well the re some sort of gods aren t the It s both the viewer arson sa s and something bigger than we are outside ourselves. ecause that s what life s li e though it s di cult to put into words. ut if ou can paint it ou don t need to put it into words. n one who loo s at it can feel it. ou have to remember we don t paint literall but what s in our hearts. he end results certainl seem to tell of a magical timeless world. ell we do use references for certain things what the stern of an old ship loo s li e for instance but we ll never paint an thing modern it ust doesn t appeal to us. here are no cars and no modern clothes because the re ust not as much fun. ive us lovel owing robes and gold embroider an da . AMAZING WORK, THEN and such a shame that precious few people have ever seen it. ware of this oah and arson are loo ing for a large space in ath where the can displa the whole collection and

people can come and be inspired b them and perhaps be inspired b the stor of their creators too. fter all oah sa s we re proof that when ou get old ou don t need to become some dodder old thing. ou can eep on living and wor ing ou certainl don t have to deteriorate completel . o ou ve got more paintings in ou I trust h es. e can no longer do the reall big ones which is a cause of enormous grief to us but we ll eep painting. here are of course man di erent wa s of showing beaut to the world but this is the one we choose and udging from people s comments it wor s. In a wa we re celebrating the richness of life the whole human race has a richness about it. e re all rich in our own wa s even the two of us living on our pensions. ou don t need big houses and e pensive cars. fter all we sold ours so we could go on living and painting together. ur art materials are riches enough. n For more, I BATH LIFE I 17

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Worth the weight


With minimum effort, Flats is looking for a superfast way to lose his lockdown pounds

“I have eaten like Henry VIII since March”


ecause everyone is undergoing a relaunch into life post-Covid, it feels as much like a new beginning as a significant ending. If I hear the phrase ‘New Normal’ again before next Tuesday there’s ever chance I ll lash out and o er m self a arate chop to the oesophagus, but it seems a good time to try and approach some things in di erent wa s. o this end I am too fat. I m not so fat that ou can t tell I was once uite strong and definitel fitter if not actuall fit but I am su cientl heft that I go two full stones past the last big number on um and ad s scales I don t have an in m house as I thin they’re a bad idea for my kids etc – hypocrisy conceded), and that’s not one of the positives to have come out of loc down. I have eaten li e enr III since arch and I thin our wor out diaries would also loo similar. Avid readers of this lovely magazine may recall that, over the ears I ve considered adopting a few di erent techni ues with the aim of one day seeing my feet again (my six-pack is one of those stic out ones for m sins . Sadly, said techniques proved inconvenient so I cancelled their respective adoptions uic smart. I as ed a couple of mates how they shipped so much timber, but the answers never quite sounded li e the ones I wanted to hear. elieve it or not I actuall loo forward to my 10k runs now,” said one of them. orr but no. I m not even sure he believed what he was sa ing. I ust measure m food out on kitchen scales before I eat said another and then he said some other things but I couldn t hear them as I had shut m e es and turned m brain o . gain nope. I won t be weighing chicken thighs and vegetables an time soon. idn t do it as a

professional athlete, so it feels unli el now. It s the alcohol mate said the last. h but it isn t ou see. It isn t. I ust don t drin that much. I now that as a former rugb oc I m supposed to be a lash hound but I now when I ve had enough and that isn t all that much. After a summer of contemplating my situation while gnawing at a pepperoni pizza or a chocolate fondant I ve concluded that calories are m enem . ell the number of them that I put into my welcoming mouth is my enem . o I ve decided to tr to put fewer things in there. hat means as far as I can wor out that fewer things will land in my welcoming stomach. I m going to (try to) do this not by weighing lentils or never eating bread again or saying no every time one of my best mates opens a bottle of wine or brings a beer over to the barbe ue. o I ve read lots of the boo s and I now m self well enough to know that none of what I ve been told I need to do is sustainable for any real length of time. I m going to do something called intermittent fasting. othing complicated or scientific ust onl eating within an eight hour window five da s a wee . If I s ip brea I can eat lunch at 12 and eat normally until eight at night. If I ve a dinner part to attend I can have a late lunch then go hard with my friends as the sun falls. m I idding m self a be. ut it s worth a go. s I write I m two days in, so by the time this edition actuall goes to print I ll loo li e teve blood ram.

David Flatman is an ex-Bath and England rugby star turned TV pundit and rent-o-mic. Follow him on Twitter @davidflatman I BATH LIFE I 19


Always be learning… Perspective is emerging on the pandemic. Much is foul. Yet it is also a time of great learning: our age of experimentalism, says one of our two chief execs, Greg…


ne of the oddities of education is that we readily define it by places, by buildings, by time. And insu cientl b people b ideas by experiences. So we say we went to this school or that college or Uni and it becomes a timelocked experience that stopped when we were 16 or 18 or 21; ever more distant, perhaps ever less relevant. No other area of human existence stops when we start to be an adult, from relationships and sex to culture to working. Education though, is done at a fi ed point. It s wasted on the young. Yet the pandemic has allowed, perhaps demanded a owering. People have developed unknown crafts skills, discovered arts capabilities, demonstrated their creativity. Most have learned

to Zoom to the extent of being puzzled now how we ever managed without it; perplexed by what might have happened had coronavirus happened in a less techcentric time. Companies have learned to pivot, the term du jour in place of the quotidian “change”: learning from our experiences that what we do will no longer su ce that business as usual really cannot be business as usual. Yet why even want to cling to old certainties? Why must the past keep being mapped out in the present as our future? Isn’t disruption good, challenging? How about testing, experiencing, trying? These have been existential times, with shards of personal or professional mortality wounding our certainties. But they have also been the best time to try new ways, our age of experimentalism. So our own business of MediaClash had to learn to run video webinars (32 and

“We merely had the confidence of ignorance, the fearlessness of inexperience” 20 I BATH LIFE I

counting since early May), to turn our Business Clubs from live interviews over a ver fine lunch at the Royal Crescent for a limited number into a webinar broadcast for free and run on YouTube for many hundreds. And to pivot – I too have rapidl gone o this word and promise never to use it again – the three-day-live in Queen Square Bath Boules into a twohour online comedy-and-music fundraiser. Nothing directly similar to open air boules clinks and drinks yet a recognisably similar spirit, gratifyingly with very similar support. Likewise with the virtual Creative Bath Awards which, perhaps implausibly, were trending nationally on Twitter. And we’ve launched a video o ering via the ath ife Channel. Did we, like other pivoting – ach! – companies know what we were doing? No. e merel had the confidence of ignorance, the fearlessness of inexperience (in that respect only, it’s like being 18 again). It’s a powerful force. Paradox time, especially in a piece about learning: sometimes you really can have too much knowledge. Yet try this, as two of the learnings of the pandemic. Firstly, that people are intuitively accommodating. That they can adapt, rapidly: endlessly

inventive, frequently receptive. We cope with the new better than expected, such as observing lockdown stringently until the signalling went o the grid. It might have been stoicism but it felt more like exploration, or learning or mimesis. We live our lives forward but understand them backwards. Secondly, that what we all learned or rediscovered was the spirit of decency in those darkest days. The smallest of light burns brightest in the darkest of caves. In passing, that very decency is needed, above all, by our charities. At a time when their services are most needed so their funding is most threatened: charity shops closed for too long, denuded for most of the time since, far fewer options online, if any; fund-raising events impossible. Yet whether it’s food-poverty, housing, drugs, education, child-related issues – the need for help has risen dramatically for all. Whatever we have learned, planned or arbitrary, whatever experiences we have had domestically or in work, sad or boring or happy, let us all retain faith in sheer decency, inventiveness – and learning. This poor pandemic isn’t an experience any of us would have wished. But it’s a rich source of learning and life-store of shared experiences. #BathTogether – always…



Can we ever really know anybody? It’s the question Jennifer Anderson’s ‘sensitive, haunting’ portraits seem to ask, according to art critic and historian Bunny Smedley. It’s true that there is a certain reserve to the women populating Anderson’s work – they mostly gaze down or into the distance towards what we can t now. he portraits var from ignit pictured confident self assured claiming her space to figures pensive unsure some onl mere glimpses through a fading light. There is space for imagination here – as the viewer you really can’t help but create a story for each portrait. The striking and minimal works forge a connection between viewer and subject, which results, the artist writes, in a collection of work concerned with ‘the emotional experience of one person looking at another.’ Jennifer Anderson’s work can be seen at Beaux Arts Bath, 12-13 York St, Bath, until 3 October; I BATH LIFE I 23


11 September – 24 September

Young Bath artists share their auditory encounters through the streets of Bath with the egg’s Echoing


ECHOING A unique listening experience created by young artists from Bath and the local area, Echoing is an audio tour with a di erence. ade up of so-called ‘digital breadcrumbs’, the tour follows a series of QR codes placed around the city which, when you scan them with your phone, reveal original audio created by the egg’s young artists during the loc down summer school. the egg;


SCULPTURE IN A LANDSCAPE 1969 – 2020 In 1969, against the backdrop of a modernist architectural home in Wiltshire, a major exhibition of sculpture too place. It was one of the first contemporar sculpture exhibitions held in a private garden in this countr . he la out of the ground's landscape is relatively unchanged and the group Friends of the Garden are holding an exhibition there again. It features of toda s sculptors from across England and Wales, and very excitingly, the work of a small number of those


Always check Covid-19 restrictions and instructions with venues before your visit

who e hibited in . The Pound Arts Centre, Pound Pill, Corsham; www.

your own, please visit the website and e plore the interactive map.



JENNIFER ANDERSON hese stri ing intimate portraits b the Glasgow-born artist are masterful examples of the application of paint, colour and composition to craft confronting emotive figures. You’ll notice that unlike in a lot of traditional portraiture, most of Anderson’s subjects gaze away into the distance rather than face the viewer. hat s she thin ing ou can t help but wonder. ore on page . Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm; Beaux Arts Bath;


BATHSCAPE WALKING FESTIVAL here can t be man of us who didn’t use a little lockdown time to go wal ing around ath. his festival will help us explore a few places we ve et to find. here s a mixture of physical guided walks, self-guided walks and activities and some virtual wal s. If ou d li e more Bath inspiration for where to walk on

CRISS-CROSS: A KIND OF MUSIC rtists on artin and artin od have teamed up for a tour. n ongoing series of drawings and prints that transforms with every gallery stop artin s wor the ind of usic part channels the spirit of jazz and classical musicals, creating uni ue and frenetic line wor s. on meanwhile the riss ross of the collection follows self imposed rules stu li e the number of lines he s allowed to use to create bold prints. Mon-Sat 1-5pm; Sun 1-4pm; 44AD artspace;


A NIGHT AT THE LOUVRE: LEONARDO DA VINCI Filmed at night especially for the big screen, this private guided tour of the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition, designed and curated by the Louvre useum is a uni ue opportunit to contemplate the painter's most beautiful wor s up close.

his ma or retrospective devoted to his entire career as a painter shows how Leonardo placed painting above all other disciplines, and how his investigation of the world – the ‘science of painting’ as he called it – was the instrument of an artist whose supreme ambition was to give life to his wor s. he insights provided by the exhibition curators during this private filmed visit o ers a new understanding of Leonardo’s artistic practice and painting techni ue. 7.30pm The Little Theatre Cinema;


THE BROKEN HEARTS GALLERY What if you saved a souvenir from every relationship you've ever been in his stor follows the alwa s uni ue uc eraldine iswanathan a something art gallery assistant living in New York City, who also happens to be an emotional hoarder. fter she gets dumped by her latest boyfriend, uc is inspired to create he ro en Heart Gallery, a pop-up space for the items love has left behind. ord of the gallery spreads, encouraging a


THE REGULARS BATH FARMERS MARKET Every Saturday from 9am-1pm, Green Park Station transforms into a showcase for tip top local, artisan foodie fare. ou ll find fresh bread, beautiful fruit and veg, treats for the sweet of tooth and so much more piled high for hungry visitors.

ABOVE: Broken Hearts Gallery, on at the Tivoli, is one the first major summer releases as theatres reopen LEFT: Enjoy an up close and private guided tour of the Louvre’s Leonardo Da Vinci exhibition via Bath’s Little Theatre BELOW: Man with Disc by Giles Penny is part of Sculpture In A Landscape 1969 – 2020 organised by Friends of the Garden

WALCOT STREET FLEA MARKET When did you last pop down to the Walcot Street Flea Market? Dig through a treasure trove of antiques, vintage clothes, bric-abrac and other such curiosities – you never know what you might find. atch it from am rida (and 7am on Saturday, if you’re really keen!); LIVE MUSIC AT THE BRAZ In need of a live music fi ive jazz, funk and swing has returned

movement and a fresh start for all the romantics out there. tbc, Tivoli:


BARRY CRYER AND COLIN SELL Barry Cryer, (still a ‘Sprightly Veteran’ says Undertaker’s Gazette) and Colin Sell (a ‘Legendary Virtuoso’ writes Pensioner’s Weekly) aim to entertain you with songs, jokes – and the amazing realisation that they’re still here. Doors 3.30pm, show starts 4pm; Widcombe Social Club;


ROMANTICS ANONYMOUS Theatre Royal Bath is joining forces with Wise Children, Bristol Old Vic and Plush Theatricals to stream a live performance directly into our homes. The critically acclaimed musical Romantics Anonymous will be performed live onstage at the Bristol Old Vic every night for a week on a ‘digital tour’, spanning 30 partner theatres around the world, each selling tic ets for di erent nights of the week. This is the tale of Angélique, a gifted chocolate maker so crippled by social anxiety she faints when people look at her. But when she meets Jean-René, the awkward, self help tape-reliant manager of a failing chocolate

to Green Park Brasserie every Friday and Saturday night from 7-9.30pm. Enjoy some of ath s finest musicians in the historic old booking hall at Green Park Station. BATH FLEA MARKET n the first unda of ever month reen ar tation fills with an eclectic range of antique and vintage goodies. Serious thrifters and casual shoppers alike will inevitabl find something the will fall in love with. SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE MOVIES ic eted film screenings in Widcombe Social Club's Wharf Bar, now with added old-school Pearl & Dean charm, cartoons/Bfeature, intermission, ice cream, a bar and popcorn. Cinema-quality projection and great sound.

factor a fragile love a air unfolds. Stream begins 7pm, show starts 7.30pm; £15, rising to £20 after 20 September; one ticket allows the customer to view on one device;


NIGHT & DAY: 1930S FASHION AND PHOTOGRAPHS First curated by the Fashion and Textiles Museum in London, this exhibition is the ultimate experience of s glam. hin oor length gowns in satin, velvet or crêpe – complete with diamanté accessories, obviously. It’s the perfect escape from the present; cast yourself in the role of ’30s femme fatale as you wander the display, picturing yourself at the wild parties of yesteryear. American Museum and Gardens;


GRAYSON PERRY: THE PRE-THERAPY YEARS We couldn’t be happier with the news of the extension of The Holburne’s Grayson Perry exhibition until next year. The return of the explosive and creative pots and plates he made back in the ’80s shines an intriguing light on his use of the pottery medium to address radical issues. 10am-5pm; £12.50; The Holburne; n I BATH LIFE I 25

Matt’s current look is somewhat spiky-topped; his hair was much longer in Noah and the Whale



This is Matt Owens, once bassist for festival-headlining indie folk band Noah and the Whale, now Bath-based solo artist with a penchant for Americana (contemporary music that wears its roots – folk, country, bluegrass – proudly on its sleeve), and for helping up-and-comers with their careers. While the rest of us spent lockdown watching box sets and making banana bread, Matt was recording a new album, Scorched Earth, helped by local talent throughout. “Being forced to use Bathbased musicians and studios transformed the sound and balance of the record,” he says, “and all for the better…” Words by Matt Bielby Images by Charlie Adams I BATH LIFE I 27



oah and the Whale – the British indie rock-folk band who headlined Wilderness and the Royal Albert Hall (and played Glastonbury, Coachella and Lollapalooza) in their early 2010s heyday – have been split up for five ears now but individual members have hardly been silent. Frontman Charlie Fink has worked in the theatre, producing music for the Old Vic’s production of Dr. Seuss classic The Lorax and the recent Bath Theatre Royal production of The Man in the White Suit. And, even closer to home, there’s the band’s Bath-based bassist, Matt Owens, who’s become a leading light of the local music scene. Matt’s already produced one solo album, and regularly encourages local talent through Livewired, a live music night on Chelsea Road. Always full of energy and ideas, he’s used the unexpected free time of these last few months to finish recording a second solo album, Scorched Earth as well as find time to put together a workbook for budding songwriters. s with so man of us the first few wee s of loc down proved to be the hardest. I d been gigging sometimes five nights a wee and didn’t appreciate just how much writing and organising I’d been getting through on the way to venues or waiting in dressing rooms,” he says. “That had been my time, away from the kids. I had 30 festivals lined up this year, from Glastonbury to Wilderness, and all that went out the window. It didn’t take long to throw myself into other projects, though, and I soon stopped worrying about everything I was missing out on.” It didn’t hurt, of course, that – with two little girls, aged three and one when lockdown started – Matt was able to take plenty of family time this summer, being around for more bedtimes and stories. “My wife, Abs, and I somehow managed to work out a routine where I could fit in all I needed to do while still en o ing a nice wor life balance. It was a real logistical battle to get there, but so worth it.” Since Noah and the Whale split, Matt has been helping budding musicians on his non-gig days, teaching songwriting, guitar, piano and bass. When lockdown hit, the natural thing was to concentrate on this, throwing himself into education in a way he never had before. “It’s one of the most rewarding things I do,” he says, “and – as I was already doing so much of it online – I transitioned into more of it quite smoothly. With everybody housebound, my pupils went from strength to strength.” There were digital gigs to play too, everywhere from the legendary The Packhorse in South Stoke to Kenny’s Bar in Lahinch on the West Coast of Ireland. “The online gigging world is a strange but wonderful one,”


Looking soulful in Vicky Park’s Botanical Gardens

“Working with strictly Bath-based musicians transformed the record, and all for the better”

Matt says, “and having toured a lot of places, people know who I am; they’d log on to watch me play in my front room, from New Zealand to Dallas. I certainly sold more CDs online during lockdown than ever before.” He also took the time to set up his home studio properly, getting heavily into synths and spending more time on the production side of his new album, which benefitted it no end. alled Scorched Earth, it was already 50 per cent done before Covid hit, and had always been intended as an autumn release. “I’d started Scorched Earth in Manchester at the excellent Airtight Studios, where I’d recorded my solo debut, Whiskey and Orchids,” Matt says. “That’s where I’d worked on Thea Gilmore’s No.1 Americana album, Small World Turning, too. The obvious problem now was that I couldn’t return there for months. It meant I was forced to look at new studios closer to home, but that actually turned into one of those strange positives that came out of lockdown. Working with strictly Bathbased musicians and studios transformed the sound and balance of the record, and all for the better.” Did it matter whether you made your autumn deadline or not? After all, the world has completely changed – and not least the world of music…

It’s amazing how missing deadlines can make a huge di erence. If a record doesn t come out in late autumn for instance, it gets sucked into a Christmas no-go zone, where – from a radio perspective, particularly – everything’s completely taken up by Christmas songs. Then the whole industry goes quiet throughout January, so be a week late and you can essentially miss almost three months. Festivals want new records for acts to play too, and as some start booking in September you’ve really got no choice but to record any new record you’ve been working on over the summer.

THE BIG INTERVIEW Not to mention that you were already in the creative zone…

after having produced other people these last few ears to self produce m own record. I was su cientl confident in the songs that we could ta e them out of m usual comfort zone.

These days, of course, it is possible to travel up to Manchester again…

Which means what, exactly?

Oh, yes. You want to make your record when you’re ready to go!

Ultimately, that I started chasing sounds that I’d distrusted, even loathed – however unfairly! – in the past, to see if I could find a use for them. I wanted to see if the d fit into m music so started e perimenting with synthesisers, drum loops, synthetic beats, crazy guitar e ects organ bass pedals even turntables things I genuinely didn’t like, but I found myself falling in love with all of them! Bath legend Olly Love, a.k.a. Asian Hawk – who’s won so many awards for his turntablism it’s just nuts – did a cracking job helping on a track called Strip It Back, for instance, so it sounds a lot like ’90s Beck or Eels; he contributed some backing vocals too.

And eventually I did. I went up for a second bout of recording two months ago – and then, the day after I left, the city went into lockdown again. The whole record felt like that right up until completion – like the whole thing could get taken away from me at any point. There were many setbacks along the way, and I was constantly having to work around them. You default to believing in fate. So what changed about Scorched Earth, and how much can you put down to the Covid experience?

h it s definitel a stronger set of songs because of the lockdown – better played, more upbeat, and sonically wider. he best feeling ou can have after finishing a record, is that you couldn’t have done it any better. s ever in uences ta e in some of m favourites the country-folk singer John Prine, who won a Lifetime Achievement Grammy this year but also sadly died of Covid-19 complications, plus Warren Zevon, James McMurtry, Neil Young. Once I had the songs down, I didn’t want to do the easy thing – just go into a studio with my drummer, Jimmy, and make a record I could pretty much hear in my head before we’d even started. That didn’t excite me. Instead, I started pursuing the sound of the record, not really knowing what it was. So you had nothing particular in mind to emulate or reference sonically…?

No – which, it turned out, wasn’t the most calming of approaches for my neuroses! But it was very rewarding,

Anyone else involved?

Bristol-based Elles Bailey sung on the record – she was winner of the 2020 Song of the Year at The AMAUK awards, organised by Britain’s Americana Music Association – as did Noah and the Whale guitarist (and displaced Bathonian) Fred Abbott, who played some cracking slide. I recorded two of the tracks at Mizpah Studios, under Bath Forum; these were engineered by Marc MacNab-Jack, who also played drums. Marc’s actually drummed for The Heavy, Reef and Band of Skulls, amongst others, and went deep with some crazy drum loops and distorted e ects. Matt, on the far left, back in 2008, with former band members, Noah and the Whale, at the Cambridge Folk Festival

So, the album’s done now. How can people get to hear or own it?

It’ll come out on all the major digital platforms – Spotify and so on – and it’ll be stocked at choice boutique record stores around the country too. Plus, of course, you’ll be able to buy it directly from me at gigs, and pre-order it at And what does 2021 hold?

I have complete belief that it will be epic for music. Yes, we’ll all need to be more proactive and think outside the box. There’ll have to be new ways of gigging, new spaces used instead of shut down venues and most definitel a greater need for pulling together. But graft, unity and blind optimism will out. And for you personally?

All I know – or hope I know! – is that I’ll be touring the record, taking it to the festivals next summer, and will continue to produce, write, lecture and teach as much as possible. And I’m very excited that Livewired, our live music night, will resume as soon as we’re given the go-ahead. We’ll once again be booking our own Livewired stage at The Love Fields at Glastonbury Festival too. Then there’s my instructional workbook, which I’m still in the midst of writing. It bridges the gap between the classical world – with all its notation and rules – and the more modern rock ’n’ roll, singersongwriter era. It focuses tightly on what you actually need to know to play all your favourite music, whether that be Bowie or the Blues, Tom Waits or Nick Drake. Having started out as a doomed classical violinist, I always felt the two worlds never seem to make the most of each other – and now, perhaps, they will. n For more, I BATH LIFE I 29


TESTING TIMES Routine and schooling are vital for the development of children but the arrival of Covid-19 abruptly laid waste to all that, and turned their young lives upside down. Sarah Moolla learns just how Bath’s remarkable educational establishments stepped up to the challenge and continued to nurture and educate their students during a world crisis

St Margaret’s Preparatory School I BATH LIFE I 31



here can’t be many of us who haven’t worried about the e ect the ovid pandemic might have on the ounger generation scared confused without their usual routines and possibl surrounded b parents and carers who were e uall scared confused and also out of routine. ortunatel there is a group of superheroes called schools who swooped in to help save the da . he established contact continued education and strived to maintain a sense of normalit for their pupils. nd as the new term dawns with all its uncertainties we learn how the sta of ath s local schools are still wor ing tirelessl to ensure safet and wellbeing on their students return.


ac in arch when it was announced the schools were closing schools had to uic l set up new wa s of teaching t ll allows we were fortunate to have a period of remote learning before finishing term for the aster holida s sa s Dr Trevor Richards, head of All Hallows the independent school for bo s and girls aged three to situated near ath. It was an e cellent learning e ercise and this together with the added bonus of our curriculum head of I having e perience of wor ing in international schools where remote learning had alread been implemented had a significant impact on our subse uent planning and sta training during the aster brea . e recognised that remote learning would loo ver di erent for our older pupils compared to our ounger pupils and di erent communication s stems were put in place. eeping our parents informed has been vital at ever stage and as a result the have been confident in what to e pect and how to help their children adapt to the Monkton Combe School started this new term with an outdoor assembly


new s stems. s a result we were able to hit the ground ing when remote learning ic ed in in earnest after aster. Monkton Combe School an independent co educational boarding and da school for pupils aged two to was also determined to achieve minimum disruption for its students as deputy head Joe Sidders e plains rom the ver first da of the enforced school closure on ton was not onl delivering a full teaching programme online but providing vital pastoral support and important co curricular activities to ensure our pupils wellbeing and e perience was as positive as possible. earning and assessment have continued uninterrupted normal timetables have largel been ept to and teachers have been available for the same amounts of time as the usuall are to help and support pupils.


s it became evident we were in this loc down for the long haul ath s schools uic l began to adapt their ma eshift online teaching into something more sophisticated and of e value to the learning process. e embar ed on a ver steep learning curve with remote teaching and learning. e alread had plans in place to further integrate our I s stems to enhance remote access for pupils and sta and this plan was rapidl accelerated during loc down sa s Michael HorrocksTaylor, second master of King Edward’s School, ath s oldest school and co educational da school. eachers pupils and sta were overwhelmingl ama ing in rising to the challenge of virtual lessons and pastoral interactions despite their ver varied home and family circumstances. he ualit and volume of live virtual lessons improved significantl throughout loc down but we were also ver careful to

Where possible, many Bath College students continued their work placements in the care sector throughout lockdown

ensure that pupils were not e pected to sit in front of a screen for five hours per da . t least one third of lessons each wee were live with wor set for the remaining lessons. s we received feedbac from parents and pupils throughout the period of school closure, we adjusted the uantit and nature of this wor for di erent age groups. he e ibilit of a mi ture of live lessons and remote learning tas s was reall appreciated b pupils particularl those in the older year groups as it allowed them to plan their own routine to suit how the wor ed best and to dovetail wor with other interests developing valuable s ills in preparation for independent learning at universit and be ond. All Hallows Prep School also recorded their lessons and used social media platforms to help facilitate communication. “Mindful of di ering famil situations and the children s abilit to access devices and the internet lessons were recorded so the could be underta en at an stage during the da sa s r revor ichards. his allowed the live sessions to concentrate on sta pupil interaction and wellbeing. een to eep a sense of communit families and sta ali e were encouraged to share e amples of wor and pupil achievement and these were celebrated via social media and the wee l newsletter creating feel good moments for ever one. ing dward s chool discovered the online lessons were evolving into something with much more scope. Michael Horrocks-Taylor lists ust a few of their virtual events he online sports s ills videos reception bedtime stories cadet training virtual choirs and art department videos amongst others became a regular and entertaining part of virtual school life with oul s virtual musical rendition of We Are Strong being a real highlight. he heads of all three schools came to terms admirabl with virtual school assemblies and we even held a virtual ounder s a service on the last da of the summer term

“There were so many positives to come out of the situation, many of which will continue into the future” MENTAL SAFEGUARDING

chool of course is so much more than ust learning the it s also all the pastoral care a teacher will deliver on a dail basis to their students and the weren t going to let that pes coronavirus stop them. “Our student support included twice-weekly Café Zoom sessions sa s Tracey Ellis, the communications officer of Bath Academy, which is an independent college and language school.“It gave them a chance to reconnect with their classmates and teachers on various topics ranging from moc e ams to current a airs virtual pub ui events online safet an iet management mindfulness activities and sometimes just for a chat. hese sessions were alwa s informal and provided a safe place for students to as uestions vent and laugh eeping each other motivated and encouraged during those challenging da s. e also applied this to our sta she continues. e held dail oom sta meetings to eep each other as informed as possible as well as give each other support. e became ver dependent on these meetings to sta connected. owever schools were also uic to recognise while online learning wor ed for some it wasn t a one si e fits all as ichael orroc s a lor explains, “There were a small proportion of pupils who really struggled I BATH LIFE I 33

An exceptional and traditional all-round education for boys A vibrant, unpretentiously academic mixed Sixth Form Prospective Parents’ Evening | Sixth Form Open Morning

See school website for details of the virtual experiences for prospective parents, pupils and students “We can only thank the school for turning a shy young boy and developing him into a confi dent, respectful and well-rounded young man, which is a tribute both to him and the school; whose whole ethos and the opportunities it has provided him, has made this possible… This is a school that celebrates excellence in all areas, whether you’ve joined the million word club, climbed the three peaks or achieved some of the fantastic academic results. My son and his friends all think that working hard and doing their best is ‘cool’ and it is this att itude that is priceless…..Beechen Cliff is a great school and I wouldn’t send my son anywhere else.“ Parents of Year 9 pupils "There is a significant focus on improving positive mental and emotional health. The positive impact of this initiative on the school and wider community is remarkable." Ofsted 2020 WWW.BEECHENCLIFF.ORG.UK



For the foreseeable, King Edward’s School drama productions will continue with smaller casts

with remote learning and the loss of face-to-face teaching with their peers in school. e increasingl identified these individuals and wor ed closel with parents and in some cases with other agencies to support them. egularl tal ing to them virtuall and inviting them bac into school for face to face support and supervision. he same sort of procedures were happening in Sheldon School, the largest secondary school in Wiltshire. “Heads of year prioritised a list of students who were vulnerable or seemed to be struggling with loc down says assistant headteacher Judith Owen. ur pupil support wor ers were also involved with these families. e even arranged for some families to be supported with their wee l shop or deliveries of e uipment. or some students we arranged for them to have counselling sessions in school. eads of facult ept in touch with their sta through regular live eams meetings where the could chec how sta were coping at home. s soon as we were allowed to do so in une we organised for sta to return to school over the course of a wee for sociall distanced sta training. his was also a wa of chec ing in on all of our support sta and teachers.


nd than s to the e orts of such dedicated adaptable and resilient sta that even in the middle of such an unprecedented crisis there are so man stories of positivit the schools have to share from those dar days. Assistant principal Jon Domaille, while praising all the students and sta of Bath College, wants to give a special mention to one group in particular who impressed him It s our ealth and ocial are students man of whom continued their wor placements in the care sector throughout loc down we clapped e tra for them on hursda s stand out moment for Rachel Edmunds, deputy headteacher

“The school was fortunate to be able to support a local council initiative for the homeless” of St Mark’s School Bath was when the students staged a han a eacher a in a e were overwhelmed b the e ort and thought that had gone into it. ne of our students choreographed and recorded her own dance and sent it into the school. nother student s etched a wonderful picture for us. hese were moments to treasure and a reminder of the immense creative talents our students are fortunate to possess. here was also academic achievements during loc down for t ar s when a number of their ear students participated in a irtual or perience in a through the ngineering evelopment rust . he pro ect was a resounding success and the ualit of our students wor was incredible. he will be receiving a ilver Industrial adets wards from the ngineering evelopment rust sa s achel. he actual grounds of some schools also became utilised to help with the crisis. Downside School is based in tratton on the osse and has boarding facilities so was able to directl help the communit as marketing manager Beck Ward Murphy explains, “The school was also fortunate to be able to support a local council initiative for the homeless in a practical wa during loc down with the caterers providing coo ed meals and o ering emotional support for some vulnerable people in temporar accommodation during loc down. I BATH LIFE I 35


The impressive grounds of Kingswood School help facilitate outdoor learning


Of course the traditional open days when large groups of parents, carers, and potential students visit the school are on hold for all the schools at the moment. But many have come up with imaginative ways of demonstrating what the have to o er including virtual tours and video tours. Sheldon School have also uploaded talks from the head on their website, plus there is a lovely video made by the teachers for their students to keep their spirits up during the peak of lockdown, which is definitel worth chec ing out. St Margaret’s Preparatory School, the independent day school for boys and girls aged three to 11 in Calne, are conducting their admissions process remotely, admissions manager Simone Hughes explains, “We will ask for the latest school report and in lieu of a taster day, we will organise to meet them with carers and parents via video link, so we can say ‘hello’. We can also arrange a visit to the school to meet the headmaster and have a tour after school hours.”


ith so man active and sociable sub ects o the curriculum or severely curtailed for now, like singing and acting, how will the schools and colleges help fill that social and creative void ur articipation Team along with our Students’ Union are working to ensure that there are still plenty of activities to take part in, even if some of these are now virtual,” says Jon Domaille of Bath College.“Our SU team even recently produced an incredible online festival showing live music, mindfulness activities, food recipes and performance work all for new and current learners to experience. This was a brilliant example of what our learners are capable of and the talent on show. SU clubs and societies are starting as normal and we expect more people to be able to take part across both campuses if they can login from home. We are


also developing an exciting new personal development programme for our learners to enable them to access new and exciting experiences, and ways of working to further encourage personal growth.” Many schools are utilising their extensive grounds to help develop ovid safe sports programmes. hile fi tures against other schools are not possible, pupils at Downside will have the opportunity to train for cricket, tennis and athletics during their games sessions, as well as participate in internal matches wherever possible,” says Downside’s Beck Ward Murphy. “As for non-sporting activities, our popular autumn bush craft trip for e ample o ered to the irst and econd orms is usuall done o site. s we are luc to have such a large site o ering man spaces for outdoor learning this e perience can still go ahead. lus with a vast arra of co curricular activities we are luc to have enough options to keep our cohort happy and engaged.” Monkton are also making full use of their space to provide an extensive programme of co-curricular activities which all take into account government guidance on social distancing. “This includes our new WildMonkton initiative, designed to provide multiple opportunities for our pupils to utilise our fantastic outdoor environment sa s deput head oe idders. he activities o ered in this programme will provide benefits including increased cognitive gains, improved health and wellbeing and a desire to care for creation and protect the environment.”


Most schools will be following the guidance from the Boarding School’s Association Covid Safe Charter, which includes deep-clean of all school indoor environments before reopening, social distancing measures where necessary, advice on hand sanisters and hand washing, isolation areas for those showing symptoms and permitting of the wearing of face coverings if required. There’s also smaller classes with social

“In lieu of a taster day, we will organise to meet children with carers and parents via video link so we can say ‘hello’”

All Hallows

EDUCATION bubbling and the reorganising of room and spaces. But as you’d expect with our local high-performing schools, many are going the extra mile Sarah Patten head of marketing and communications at Kingswood School, a Bath independent and coeducational day and boarding school which educates over 1,000 children aged nine months to 18 years, says, “A large number of additional measures have been taken to protect the Kingswood community. These include but are not limited to a re map of the school ow with a clear one wa s stem for all sta and students to follow staggered start times des screens and increased cleaning and disinfection regimes The debate regarding face coverings has not passed Kingswood by, and our approach is that face coverings are being worn b all persons sta students contractors and visitors) when they are circulating through the buildings to minimise the potential risks to individuals. For those who are feeling vulnerable, there is a visual identifier that the school communit has been trained to recognise. This will ensure the wellbeing of those individuals are met.” Among the guidelines are the Covid-19 secure risk assessment which Bath Academy’s Tim Naylor confirms will be reviewed ever three weeks. “We also have a thermo gun temperature-testing every student and sta member ever da separate entr and e it points staggered arrival, departure, and lunch times, hand sanitisers installed in hallways and classrooms increased amount of dail cleaning and ovid specific policies added to all our student and sta handboo s.


Many of the organisations we spoke with cited how lessons learned during this trying time will be carried forward and help shape a positive future. “At Downside, we embrace the idea of maintaining a growth mind-set and being open to change, learning from failure and stepping out of our comfort zones,” says Claire Murphy, director of pastoral care at Downside. “A crisis always throws up challenges and a global pandemic gave us numerous opportunities for growth and development. Having to quickly learn new technology was both exciting and exhausting and everyone learnt from each other; everyone was a learner and everyone was a teacher. “We were all constantly trying to build on what we had mastered the da before to find new wa s to improve remote teaching and learning to ensure nobody was left behind and we were all giving the best possible experience we could deliver. There were so many positives to come out of the situation, many of which will continue into the future.”


CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE; Teachers from St Mark’s were overwhelmed with the effort their pupils made on ‘Thank a Teacher Day’ in May; hand sanitisers are installed in Bath Academy’s hallways; Sheldon School teachers put together a ‘we miss you’ video for their students; many pupils like Joe from KES helped raise money for good causes like the NHS

For the most up-to-date information please check directly with the schools

DOWNSIDE SCHOOL, Stratton-on-theFosse, Bath, Somerset, BA3 4RJ. tel: 01761 235103; email:;

RALPH ALLEN SCHOOL, Claverton Down Road, Bath, BA2 7AD. tel:01225 832936; email:;

ALL HALLOWS PREP SCHOOL, Cranmore Hall, East Cranmore, Shepton Mallet, BA4 4SF. tel: 01749 881609; email:;

HAYESFIELD GIRLS’ SCHOOL, Brougham Hayes, Bath BA2 3QX. tel: 01225 426151; email:;

SAINT GREGORY’S CATHOLIC COLLEGE, Combe Hay Lane, Bath BA2 8PA. tel: 01225 832873; email: uk;

KING EDWARD’S SCHOOL, North Road, Bath BA2 6HU. tel 01225 464 313; email:;

ST MARGARET’S PREPARATORY SCHOOL, 63 Curzon Street, Calne SN11 0DF. tel: 01249 857220; email: uk;

BATH COLLEGE, Avon St, Bath BA1 1UP. tel: 01225 328720; email: info@bathcollege.;

KINGSWOOD SCHOOL, Lansdown Road, Bath BA1 5RG. tel: 01225 734460; email:;

ST MARK’S SCHOOL, Baytree Road, Larkhall, Bath BA1 6ND. tel: 01225 312661; email:;

BEECHEN CLIFF SCHOOL, Kipling Avenue, Bath BA2 4RE. tel: 01225 480466; email:;

MONKTON COMBE SCHOOL, Church Lane, Monkton Combe, Bath, BA2 7HG. tel: 01225 721 141;;

SHELDON SCHOOL, Hardenhuish Lane, Chippenham SN14 6HJ; tel: 01249 766020; email:;

BATH ACADEMY, 27 Queen Square, Bath, BA1 2HX. tel: 01225 334 577;; I BATH LIFE I 39


RE-GENERATION Bath’s young adults share their thoughts and experiences on lockdown Interviews by Genevieve Rose Genevieve Rose, aged 17, Prior Park College student “At the beginning of the lockdown period I had an inward focus. How could I spend my time wisely? How could I use this time to grow? How could I be the best I could be? I started by trying to work on myself, I exercised every day, walked the dog, hydrated regularly, ate better and cleaner, spent time with my family, connected with my friends over Facetime and focused on my online schooling. However, as soon as ‘half term’ rolled around, it all stopped. I couldn’t sustain this hyper-productive lifestyle. I had lost my place in the unspo en competition of e cienc . I became unmotivated la tired and depressive. Then the world around me began to change and there was an increased awareness on the environment and the Black Lives Matter campaign. I decided to pour my energy into helping the cause, so began reading, educating myself, sharing information, donating, signing petitions and showing support in any way I can. In a time where the divisions of the world have never felt deeper to me, I have never felt more connected with people who are di erent to me. I have never been this engaged in the world. It’s great.” Delilah, age 19, attends University of Birmingham “Since coming home for lockdown, I’ve woken up early and exercised for two hours at least once a day, followed a vegetarian/ vegan diet, done some uni work and mostly arty things – however I initially found I had nothing to do around 4 o’clock onwards. So I’ve been doing some embroidery, painted my wall into a massive sun, made some jewellery, painted a picture for my grandma in my mother’s art studio and tried to learn the bass guitar.” as er, a e , Beechen li chool “Being at home all day has meant that I have helped around the house far more than before. I have learned to cook, and my omelettes and mashed potato have rapidly become family favourites. I have even manoeuvred the vacuum cleaner around the house. We do not have a television, but we all come together in the evenings for a meal and have passionate debates around the kitchen table about all sorts of topics, but particularly politics and history. I have also started learning Arabic. As for the future, I fear that the virus will change things for ever. I fear there will be a collapse of society and am worried about threats to free speech and increasing censorship. I hope I am wrong and will do everything I can to ensure we can live in a free and tolerant society.”


ufus, a e , Beechen li chool “A major negative factor was loneliness, as being 17 we take for granted our freedom and seeing our friends and loved ones. Lockdown was challenging due to the abrupt stripping of this luxury and the quick realisation of how important my friends and loved ones who I could not see are.” Hero, aged 17, Prior Park College he most di cult thing has been the isolation from friends and falling out of routine. While I was lucky enough to have supportive teachers conducting online lessons, it was nowhere near the level of structure that I am used to. Trouble is that due to the online schooling primarily, you end up falling into a vicious cycle of spending all day online because of work and then going online again in the evenings to watch films or shows to unwind which leads to a massive rise in screen time. However I have had a lot more time to think about my future and do research, and as a result I have actually changed my plans in terms of university. Instead of languages, I have decided to study International Relations instead. I then intend to follow this up with a three-year short commission in the armed forces, hopefully working in the Intelligence Corps.” n


A force for good ST MARK’S SCHOOL, BATH seeks to provide excellence in education as a mixed comprehensive school rooted in Christian values


he vision of St Mark's is to promote self-worth, inspiring their students to live well, achieve their goals and be a force for good in their school and in the world. They are committed to providing a challenging yet supportive ethos pursued through the school values of Ambition, Resilience and Community. St Mark’s is a caring, respectful, inclusive community, where they: • Provide a broad and challenging curriculum that inspires students to strive for academic excellence, cultivating a desire for students to learn and take risks. • Develop the values of Aspiration, Resilience and Community in students so that they act as a force for good in their school and in the world. • Recognise, nurture and celebrate the unique gifts and talents of their students within the

‘family feel’ of the school so that they become confident and fulfilled young adults. Feedback from parents is exceptional, as quoted by one parent: ”The communication from all teachers is absolutely fantastic, and the individual support for students and parents at St Mark's is outstanding.” St Mark’s School is at the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the school community. They continue to build on their successes and progress their improvement programme, which will benefit all students, both inside and outside the classroom. As a member of the Midsomer Norton Schools Partnership, they work together as a Multi-Academy Trust (MAT) across county boundaries, which means St Mark’s School benefits from shared expertise and resources, as well as the opportunity to collaborate and share good practice with six other secondary schools and their staff teams. n

It is a fantastic time to be considering St Mark’s School for the next part of your child’s education. Tune in to their virtual Open Event available on the school website from the 21 September 2020 to find out more. For information about school admissions call 01225 312661 or visit

Successful, well-established year-round language school in the centre of Bath requires

HOMESTAY HOSTS IN BATH to host both short-term and long-term students. We teach adults and teenagers, and need both single and twin-room accommodation. For further details, including rates of payment, please contact our Accommodation Manager: Sarah Wringer, Kaplan International Languages Bath, 5 Trim Street, Bath, BA1 1HB Direct Line (01225) 473502, Email:



Andy Salmon’s first milk vending machine was outside the farm gate


Green Park Station is now home to ath s first mil vending machine. ou can bu a one litre glass bottle with a screw top which ou fill up ta e home, wash and – hopefully – repeat. It’s eco-friendly, locally sourced and altogether really quite cool. The milk vending machine is the brainchild of Andy Salmon, whose family has worked Bullsbridge Farm near Frome for 80 years. He set up the first vending machine three ears ago ust outside the farm gate for locals to get their hands on milk produced and pasteurised on their doorsteps. “It was clear from the moment we installed the first vending machine on the farm that people were keen to find out what reall fresh mil from the farm tastes like,” says Andy. “The feedback we have received has been fantastic and the fact that they keep coming bac for more has given us the confidence to grow our business and o er our mil to the people of ath. The milk is Pasture Promise assured too, which means Andy’s cows are grazed for a minimum of 180 days a year – that’s 18 hours a day. Now in Green Park Station For more: @tytheringtonmilkstation on Facebook

Bath has a new foodbank. Vegans Against World Hunger set up the Bath Vegan Food Bank in May, after the impact of Covid-19 led to an unprecedented rise in need. Everything the food bank provides is vegan, from food to other essential items like toiletries and household cleaning products, but you don’t need to be vegan to access the service it s open to an one struggling financiall in BA2, BA3 or BS31 postcode areas. They’re currently in need of more Bath-based volunteers to collect, deliver, sort and pack food parcels, as well as volunteers to collect food from local neighbourhoods on a contact-free basis. If you’d like to get involved there’s more information on their website. For more: To donate food and supplies: there are collection boxes in The Vegan Café on Moorland Road, Newleaf Healthfoods on Shaftesbury Road and Seasons Natural Health Store on George Street. To apply for help: call 07367 400636, from 10am-2pm Monday-Friday or email BVFB Volunteers


Cheese your own


Loved the ‘Isolation Bundles’ from Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company during lockdown? Fear not – they are set to continue. The folks at Cheddar have launched two new ‘Cheese Your Own’ bundles for cheese lovers. Choose from a selection of two bundles, each of which allows you to pick from a vast array of options, from the classic Cave Matured heddar to their more adventurousl avoured options. ou can buy them online for swift home delivery, or pop into the newly designed shop, complete with tasting bar. For more:




Handmade, small-batch, organic houmous made with love – that’s what the team at The Precious Pea are all about Tell us a bit about The Precious Pea. What’s different about your houmous? There is something very satisfying about doing anything to the very best of our abilit . Making houmous isn’t rocket science but it takes a surprising amount of e ort to ma e it well. ver thing we use in our kitchen is organic and each ingredient is selected because of how it tastes. e do ever thing on site, from cleaning, soaking and cooking the chickpeas to making

up the spice mi es. e ma e the houmous in small batches and every batch is tasted by the chef making the houmous – there’s quite a collection of spoons at the end of the morning! Why houmous? How did the obsession start? We both – my business partner ar awson and I fancied a new challenge, so a number of years ago we bought a vegan food business. an of the products we were fairl indi erent about but there was a houmous that we

thought was head and shoulders above the other o erings. o we gradually dropped the other products and refined that to be the best it could be. We wanted to make nutritious food but not something that people ate just because it was healthy – we wanted them to eat it because it was delicious. here was no way we could compete with the budget brands and neither did we want to. We now produce white label houmous for three prestigious customers as well as our own brand. e re not after mar et domination, we just want to be and sta the best. Why is supporting local important to you? We are part of the community, so we think it is important to support it. e alwa s tr to recruit local people and we are pleased to support wallow in adstoc a charity that provides user-led support for teenagers and adults with learning disabilities. e are registered as isabilit onfident employers and where we can, we like to give people who might initially need a little extra support the opportunit to wor .

What do you look for in a perfect houmous? First, what I do not look for is vinegar; an increasing number of houmous producers are using it to extend shelf life – uc econd no nast chemical preservatives, there is no need for any of these ingredients ust eat fresh. If ou have a tub of houmous hanging around for over a week, you should probabl tr another brand. e use blast chilling at di erent stages of our production and that gives our totally organic product da s shelf life. It tastes fresh because it is fresh: we use a top-quality extra virgin olive oil plus an excellent tahini, and this means that our houmous contains on average ust . g of fat per g. e t time ou bu a regular pot take a look at the fat content, it will probably be double or even triple that. e ture is also important – I don’t like chunky but neither do I like toothpaste smooth. urs is ust li e ab ear s porridge. Do you have a favourite from your range and why? ersonall I love the mo ed. The way we make it is absurd – there can’t be many people who smoke trays of chickpeas – but it is the onl wa to get the avour that we li e. here is other smoked houmous on the market but the are all ver di erent from the one produced in The Precious ea itchen. We hear you make lunch for the team every day. That’s so lovely! Years ago, as part of our no waste policy, we started making soup for the sta . his was ver popular and so we continued and e panded the o ering. ome sta start early in the morning and the last thing they want to be doing is making a packed lunch before the come in. or man ears now lunch has appeared – nothing fancy, always wholesome, always vegetarian and apparently always welcome. ating together is civilised and unifying; it is a very important part of our culture at he recious ea. I BATH LIFE I 49

BOUVARDIA At Bathen House hotel out on Newbridge Hill, executive chef Robert Zalus uses intriguing ingredients, and has his presentation down pat; suddenly there’s a little less incentive for the residents of Bath’s western fringes to make the trek into town By Matt Bielby


nce a care home, now – hugely upgraded – a boutique hotel, the chunky Victorian Bathen House was reinvented a couple of years ago as a step up from the usual bed and breakfasts you get on Bath’s arterial routes; a tablet in the pale pink drawing room shows a video of the work progressing, with plenty of rubble and knocked down walls. Virtually opposite Newbridge Surgery, and not far from the hospital, it’s in a residential area light on places to eat in the evening, save for the likes of Rooted on Chelsea Road. Its arrival ups the Weston/Newbridge area’s dining game considerably. Bathen House now boasts 13 high-spec bedrooms and – not great timing, this – a new restaurant that opened just before lockdown kicked in, and so is only en o ing its first real customers now. ocated in a fresh extension to the back of the building – more substantial than a conservatory, but with so much glass to its walls and ceiling that it gives a similar impression – it currently


o ers covers perhaps when social distancing retreats and things get back to normal. Behind the pass here: one Robert Zalus, an executive chef with ambition. His is a limited but interesting menu, which changes with the seasons, and currently features such tempting sounding avour combinations as duc breast with marinated pear and wine and raspberry sauce, chicken terrine with apple and cider brandy relish, and sea bass with cauli ower tabbouleh and chilli lime mango sauce. Whatever you choose, two dishes will set ou bac . or ou can have three for a tenner more. The mostly New World wine list, with small glasses around . and bottles in the low twenties is currently a little short but we’re assured it’s a work in progress. We took a couple of gin and tonics before the meal – 6 O’clock and Cotswold, a fair number of the beverages o ered here having a est ountr lin then a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and a South African Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon-Malbec to accompany the meal, the one fresh and citrus, the other all juicy dark berries.


To start, a mackerel mousse with bread, curls of pickled cucumber, dots of dill mustard sauce and edible owers was handsome fresh but fairl mildl avoured. Indeed fanc st ling owers dribbles of sauce was something of a theme with this meal almost ever thing comes highl decorated. pposite the bruschetta m vegan companion being well catered for but having little choice was attractive brightl coloured and featured all the e pected rocket, radish, artichoke, basil pesto and balsamic creme. resented with a confident ourish the overall impression it gave was of something classicall simple rather than noc our soc s o . or m main I too the herb and armesan encrusted pork tenderloin, which comes on a bed of beetroot purée and sits alongside spirals of goat s cheese mousse well coo ed and stri ing to loo at all pin s ellows whites and greens against a dar gre plate it was the most successful of the savour dishes I tried. he vegan option a tartine with shallots tomato vegan blue cheese roc et and red pesto was again simple and tast and slic l presented but could have done with something more perhaps a side salad m companion thought. ll decent so far then but where things got reall good not alwa s the case with smaller itchens was with the desserts. hocolate mouse with blac currant sauce came on a slate featured fresh raspberries as well as et more edible owers and disappeared in moments I stared at it with covetous e es but m compadre warded me awa with her for . oo ing li e a bullse e on a bold red and blac plate m strawberr semifreddo a sort of semi fro en mousse with caramel sauce and strawberr dust was similarl e citing to loo at and well realised. reed guts that we are we also shared a third dessert a sweet eas to eat sundae of mascarpone whipped cream and summer berries, which came in a bizarre bowl like a s bubble chair. fun night then. his place hasn t uite hit the ground running et perhaps nowhere could in these strange coronavirus times but it s certainl a welcome addition to the ath scene and particularl on this side of town. he dishes are good loo ing the sta are friendl and attentive and li e the room the re served in with one mirrored wall doubling the space visuall in man wa s it punches above its weight. hat it needs I thin are more a tad more punch avour combinations to trul live up to the intriguing descriptions and slick presentation, and to match what it alread en o s on the plate. efinitel one to tr then with what the re alread delivering o ering a good solid base from which to grow. n

“In many ways it punches above its weight” DINING DETAILS Bouvardia, Bathen House, 88 Newbridge Hill, Bath, BA1 3QA; 01225 805549; We ate: The seasonal menu has three or four courses for starter, main and pud; we took mackerel, pork and a couple of vegan dishes Vegetarian options: There’s a vegan option for each course Prices: Two courses for £24.50, three for £34.50 Wine list: Still a work in progress, with new options being added all the time, but there are two reds, two whites and a rosé by the glass or bottle, plus well-picked sparkles, gins, soft drinks and beers. The likes of Dorset’s Black Cow vodka and Sierra Nevada IPA suggests someone knows what they’re doing Service/ atmosphere: Quiet on a wet midweek evening, but friendly, helpful service What else? The west side of Bath isn’t awash with dining options – there’s Rooted, The Priory, the Lockbrook Inn – and this bijoux hotel restaurant makes a welcome addition I BATH LIFE I 51

The Town Hall is the bustling central hub of the community


An independent charitable trust, Trowbridge Town Hall is a resource for the town – with bookable space for everything from local choirs to courses, conferences and more besides, a zero waste shop, art and bookshop, cafÊ and gallery programme. We met the Town Hall team running the cultural and social hub By Lydia Tewkesbury Main photos by Simon Taylor 52 I BATH LIFE I



hen I call David Lockwood, director of Trowbridge Town Hall for our post-lockdown catch up – this article began in that distant, pre-Covid-19 era. You know the one; it feels like yesterday and at least a hundred years ago – he sounds a lot more optimistic than I was anticipating. Some welltimed emergency funding, one essential business (We Are Undressed – more on them later) and operating the café as a takeaway from the front steps mean they’ve made it through relatively unscathed. e were on a ourne an wa he e plains. ots of cultural organisations are now looking at how they can change themselves as a result of Covid, but we were changing already and quite near the beginning of that ourne besides so it wasn t too di cult for us. This time hasn’t been completely without loss, though. Training activities like speed awareness training, CV writing training, etc, that the Town Hall used to rely on for their income have all moved online – and David doesn’t anticipate they’ll ever come back. “Conferences won’t happen this year, but they’re more likely to come back. There are other opportunities too – with the rise of home working, organisations are likely to seek opportunities to come together for social reasons.” The Town Hall could make the perfect venue for that. “There’s always an opportunity, isn’t there? “When you run a building that’s been there for 130 years, it’s always been through something before – we’ve been through a pandemic before, in 1918, so it gives you a bit of perspective. If we get the next five ears right then the building will still be here in ears time if we get the ne t five ears wrong it ll probabl fall into a state of disrepair, at which point it’ll be pulled down.” Isn’t that a lot of pressure? avid doesn t thin so. I ust need to persuade other people of this building’s potential. And people get it, both at a local level and

a national level – they can see it.” So, what exactly is happening at Trowbridge Town Hall? Let’s get into it.

David Lockwood, director

The Town Hall is for ‘the benefit of the residents of the town forever’. What does this mean in practice?

I found the pla ue that states this after I was o ered the ob but when I read it, everything clicked. This building was an expression of civic pride – that very Victorian notion of celebrating the place that you live. In practice, that means this building was built for the people of the town. It’s theirs. So we’ve created a membership structure which means they actually own it and the Board reports to the membership. It means they can do what they want with the building, so long as it doesn’t hurt an one and doesn t cost us though if it does we ll help to find the money. There’s something else here which is bigger for me. The centre of gravity for our towns for millennia has been the marketplace. Now that retail is moving online, what sits at the centre of our settlements? What about a public building, owned by the people, with multiple uses – a vibrant cultural and social hub.

“When you run a building that’s been there for 130 years, it’s always been through something before”

You wanted the community involved in deciding what the space was used for, right? How have you done that?

hrough listening. e ve ust launched a public conversation the first phase of which is a bit blunt a surve – but which will become deeper and more nuanced once we’ve got a general sense of the answers. We want this conversation to be ongoing, too, so we’ll be working with communications experts to build it into a revised website and strategy. It’s a bit nebulous at the moment, but it might loo a bit li e a social media site. r we might ust improve our Facebook page... You’ve done a lot of redevelopment of the Town Hall in recent years. What’s changed?

I started a year ago in April, and the organisation had done a lot in its first seven ears clearing rooms ac uiring e uipment and breathing

ABOVE: David Lockwood;

RIGHT: Welcome to Trowbridge Town Hall I BATH LIFE I 53

OUT OF TOWN life into a building that had become quite fusty. What I felt when I arrived was that it was still quite austere – it had been a coroner’s court for a while and it still felt a bit cold. We’ve put a lot of e ort into improving the welcome with gentle glowing festoon lighting and comfortable furniture. ruciall we invited in two independent businesses ree ange ies and e re ndressed who now run a caf in our fo er and rowbridge s first ero waste shop. e ve also e panded our art and boo shop which is carefull and beautifull curated b ntonia oo . How have you funded everything?

I’m not going to feign modesty – we’ve been clever (and lucky). We’ve worked with partners to deliver things that they’re good at – like a café. We’ve been able to clearly make the argument for why this space is important for the lives of the people of Trowbridge. or me that s obvious. he town has struggled recentl . emographicall it has more in common with a orthern wor ing town – those places that we hear so much about since the general election. Our High Street isn’t as traditionally pretty as Bath. But within that lies potential. colleague from a theatre in ath o ingl told me there isn t a wall in ath that hasn t been arrow and all d . hat s not the same in rowbridge. his town is all about potential. It s raw edg and e citing. unding here ma es a real di erence. ortunatel so far funders have agreed with us. You’ve big plans for the building, haven’t you?

The building is crumbling. It had a lot of changes in the 1970s which altered its use most significantl dividing up the historic reat all a ballroom which has hosted ings ueens su ragettes and even he ho. e want to get this and other rooms bac . o do this re uires serious investment. ortunatel we re positioned at the heart of rowbridge s uture igh treets plan which could see millions of pounds invested in the town by central government. We’ll hear in the autumn whether we’ve got £7.5 million towards this million capital pro ect to redevelop the Hall. This transformation is key to unlocking the full potential of this incredible building and improving the lives of the people who live in the town.

Leyla Bakali-Laughton, We Are Undressed Tell us about the shop

e are a pac aging free shop and a not for profit we raised from the communit to open. e sell ever thing from refillable household cleaning li uids shampoo and conditioner to herbs and spices pasta refillable oils and vinegars reusable sanitar products bamboo toothbrushes beans and snac s. You can do your whole weekly shop here and then pick up your fresh fruit and vegetables from the local green grocers on the way home. e re ndressed from all pac aging. ou bring our own containers and ars and bu as little or as much as ou want to save putting anything into the bin. What inspired you to start the shop?

ince having m daughter I have been ver conscious of our impact on the world. e started using reusable nappies not bu ing things in pac aging bu ing most of our clothes from charit shops and wal ing a lot more. When we lived in Bristol there was an abundance of sustainable and pac aging free shops but when I moved bac home to Trowbridge there weren’t any – the idea grew from there. If you want something wh not ma e it happen ourself our months later e re ndressed opened. Why the Town Hall?

It is the heart of Trowbridge town centre. Once you come through the beautifull carved doors ou are in a thriving communit hub. eople are alwa s bumping into old friends neighbours and famil members the feeling is magical. You’re a community interest company. Tell us more.

It was onl fitting that as a sustainable business I run things this wa . e are not trading to ma e big profits but purel to provide an accessible alternative to shopping with big corporations that are not as ethically driven as a smaller independents without shareholders to pay out to. e donate to local environmental charities pa our sta national living wage and stoc as much locall and from within the as possible.

“The feeling is magical”

Curator Jen hopes to see the art shows inspire locals’ own creativity

The Free Range Café, in a time before social distancing

local small producers, as well as the way we make and sell our own-made products. We do not use single use plastics, for example, and use paper bags and boxes for takeaway. Tell us more about that local produce

Meat is as Wiltshire as possible. We use a Devizes butcher we have worked with for many years. We have worked with Kettlesmith Brewery (Bradford on Avon) and Iford Cider for a long time and happily continue to do so here. For years, I traded at markets across Wiltshire and the south west selling pies, standing next to traders, and now I have the opportunity to bring their products to the café. These include the Leafy Tea Company, Lacock Dairy and Lick the Spoon. What have some of the challenges been?

We have had issues with people realising where we are located, but nothing is perfect. We are discovering new ways daily how to advertise where we are, as well as keeping the momentum going online. Being the only sustainable business in town has worked out well, though there is a lot of pressure to stock everything, which as a small business we simpl cannot a ord and we don t have the space. e are learning what products sell best and I find eeping on top of the new ones in demand, fun and challenging.

Antonia Cook, art and book shop Tell us about the art you stock.

It s from artists across iltshire. e prioritise quality over local, but fortunately in this county the overlap is considerable. e ve also diversified the range of things we have from prints and jewellery to candles and woven baskets. We also stock books What goes into curating your book selection?

I m led b m own tastes primaril . e re een to have things that ou won t find in aterstones boo s that ma e ou thin but also boo s that you can cuddle up with on the sofa.

Alex Joll, Free Range Café and Deli We hear you’re known for your delicious free range pies...

I started a pie company in 2014 in Bradford on Avon. Since then we have moved away from manufacturing and into catering. We still do man food fairs over the summer in a normal ear an wa selling our pies. ut now we mostly focus on pie and mash weddings and events. Our pies are still made in-house, using the recipes developed over the years. We have won several national pie awards and a couple of Taste of the West awards. We have traditional pies such as our steak and ale, pork and cider and chicken and mushroom, as well as a range of vegan pies and some gluten free. Always free range and as local ingredients as possible. Sustainability is core to your business – could you tell us more about what that means day to day?

This policy shapes the decisions we make about suppliers, favouring

Why the Town Hall?

I saw this was an opportunity to bring local to Trowbridge town centre and give the Town Hall a heart. David has a vision for the future of the building that we are thrilled to be a part of.

Jen Hamblin, visual arts curator for Trowbridge Town Hall What made you want to get involved with the Town Hall?

Over the last few years we have seen many changes at the Town Hall. As an artist, I was thrilled to see the Town Hall engage with the arts, and alongside The Court Street Gallery (which I am also co-director of), Bridge House and refurbishment of he rowbridge useum it reall felt that rowbridge s creativit was being celebrated at last. When we nearly lost the Town Hall in 2018, I became more involved and ever since have been keen to keep the space open for us all to enjoy. The new vision for the Town Hall to return to the community to be enjoyed by everyone is exactly the vision for the gallery space. I am keen for everyone in our area to feel comfortable and enjoy, engage and interact with the visual arts on display. Galleries can be scary places for those not familiar with the arts I hope to change this perception b o ering a ver warm welcome and a safe environment. What excites you about visual arts in Trowbridge?

There are so many creative individuals living and practicing in Trowbridge. Recently there seems to be a gathering energy and we are coming together through places like The Court Street Gallery and The Cloth Road artists network. We are exhibiting together and as a collective we can share our skills and ideas, and provide support and help for one another. Artists like to be with other artists! The Town Hall will be integral in helping to build momentum within the visual arts in Trowbridge moving forward. It will be amazing to have yet another venue where we can celebrate what our area has to o er. What might surprise people about the work you’ll be curating?

I am hoping to provide exhibition experiences where people can engage and find their own creativit . hrough opportunities to interact with both artists and the artworks on display, perhaps we can inspire others to find the confidence to e plore creativit within themselves. n I BATH LIFE I 55

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It’s a worker’s revolution with millions contemplating working from home for the foreseeable. his o ce has been st led b designer nnabel at who ta es the view that we re much more li el to accomplish tas s in a stud that s beautiful. he combines fau shagreen leather and fau tortoiseshell finishes to create a room that is as elegant as it is practical. Shop the look at OKA, 26-27 Milsom Street, Bath; I BATH LIFE I 57

RETRO WALL CLOCK, £20 The bright numbers pop from the dial, while the smooth movement mechanism lets the seconds, minutes and hours slide away, making clock watching better than ever From Homefront Interiors, 10 Margaret's Buildings, Bath;

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Accessories guaranteed to ensure you fall in love with the new working from home regime JACKY DINING CHAIR, £495 A vibrant mustard leather chair in a classic, slightly moulded design that will bring both comfort and style to your working day derrière From Rossiters of Bath, 38-41 Broad Street, Bath;

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METAL HOOD DESK LAMP, £60 Simple yet stylish, this metal hood table lamp features a e ible design that allows ou to ad ust the direction of light and is a great fit for an space m a am and n a t t t at a amand n

CHINON ANTIQUE OAK DESK, £1,245 eat and at fronted with tapering legs the clean lines of this des provide a great wor surface without dominating. erfect for smaller spaces with additional shelves that slide out from either end when needed. m i m t t at a m

MONSTERA PLANT, £35 This glossy and distinctive plant, also known as the swiss cheese plant, is shown to be one of the most e ective for reducing air pollution is super eas to loo after and happens to be bang on trend From Pulteney Bridge Flowers, 14 Pulteney Bridge, Bath; t n id fl

THE FARLEIGH COLOUR MAGAZINE RACK, £99 esigned b radford on von s harlie a n this is a piece of grand architecture on a miniature scale and ta es our storage to a whole new level m a i a n vn d vn ad d n vn a i a n nit

MOUSEHOLE DESK TIDY, £45 rafted from solid oa and accentuated with enamel paint this clever des tid b ath designer live odd can act as a paperweight doc for a smartphone and a holder for reminders and pens whilst providing a secure home for our mouse after our wor is done m iv dd at iv dd I BATH LIFE I 59



Bath Life’s Polly Jackson has a whole new career as the city’s mistress of macrame, bringing together her twin loves of travel and ’70s beachfront style


By Matt Bielby Pictures by Betty Bhandari

he ancient Babylonians made macrame, we believe; it’s one of those arts brought to Spain following the Moorish conquest of the early 700s, along with innovations in everything from astronomy to chemistry, physics to philosophy. The Victorians loved macrame too, just as they loved lace, but it’s the 1970s that we really associate with the craft, a period where knottedrope bedspreads, tablecloths, fashion accessories, lampshades, plant hangers and wallhangings – especially wallhangings – were everywhere. More recently, millennials have revived interest in macrame, not least Bath’s own Polly Jackson, who you see here. Until recently of this very magazine, she’s now tying together her own little macrame empire, one knot at a time. It began for Polly on the Australian coast, where – prior to her years in our city – she lived for three years. “The beach lifestyle goes hand in hand with the whitewashed, modern-boho decor I fell in love with,” Polly says. “Think pampas grass, peacock chairs and rattan furniture, all in neutral tones. I especially admired a macrame artist at my local beach market on the Sunshine Coast, and couldn’t believe how beautiful her huge wall hangings were. I never thought I’d be capable of making one myself, but started YouTubing how it’s done, and learned to tie the basic knots. Once you’ve got that, and understand how to layer, you’re capable of crafting anything you like – though having a natural creative air probabl helps too In time oll made her first wall hanging, copied from a Pinterest

photo, and took it to a folk festival. “I hung it from the gazebo while everyone sat round drinking and playing guitar,” she says, “and though I can’t say it compares to my work now, I was hooked. I then started making bags, plant pot hangers and small wall hangings for friends.” Back in Oz, life had been simple: Polly would wake up and go for a swim in the ocean, and the sun would always shine. “Naturally, I wanted to bring an element of that life back with me to England,” she says, “which you can see in the way I’ve designed my Bath home. I live and breathe wellbeing, and believe in curating a space where you can escape day-to-day pressures. The style is Scandiinspired, with lots of bright open space, natural textures and colours: hessian, rattan, mother of pearl, wood, cotton, linen. Despite being able to produce m macrame pieces in di erent colours I prefer sticking to the original natural cotton cord, which goes hand-inhand with this style of decor. I love that you can create such an intricate piece from just some rope and a piece of wood.” What had been a hobby turned into a business during lockdown; with time on her side, Polly threw herself into making – and unwittingly started a company in the process. “It began with one wall hanging that I’d actually made for myself,” she says, “but I put it on social media, and things spiralled out of control. Friends began messaging, asking if I would make one for them, and – being such a yes-woman – I couldn’t turn them down, though I had no idea what to charge. The more people bought from me, the more their friends would get in touch – to the point where I decided I needed to set up Instagram and Facebook accounts for my little lockdown project. Since May I’ve made a whopping 65

“I put it on social media, and things spiralled out of control ”


Polly’s wall hangings are made of natural cotton cord; we’ve not dared ask where the animal antlers come from yet


THIS PAGE: Many of Polly’s favourite designs combine macrame with found elements like driftwood

macrame pieces but still don t own a wall hanging of m own that first one I did was sold long ago.” ith orders soon coming in from as far afield as erman and Australia, and Polly knotting for 10 hours a day, she decided she had to ta e things more seriousl she built a website o ering o the peg pieces as well as her bespoke service, and was soon featured on Grazia online. holelotta o ers ever thing from wallhangings thin depending on how big and complicated a piece is to pot hangers and £40 bags; Polly’s even started selling DIY macrame kits. “If you have something specific in mind that ou haven t seen on m website I o er a bespoke design service too,” she says. “It could be anything from a unique bag to a huge hotel installation.” Polly is also launching an online macrame school this month o ering free fortnightly beginner tutorials which pair with read made patterns purchased from her website. here ll be studio based workshops too – Polly is currently operating out of a studio in riston starting mid September. “Attendees will be taught the basic macrame knots to create their own mini wall hanging and plant pot hangers to ta e home sa s oll . nd ne t ear I ll not onl have finished the huge seven foot tall bridal curtain I ll be o ering for wedding hire but will be turning www.wholelotta into a one stop shop for everything macrame o ering cord patterns and more. Polly’s other great love is travel, and her long term plan is to expand her online store to o er beautiful products from ma ers across the globe. Make no mistake, this is very much one to watch.

a bespoke design service. It could be anything from a unique bag to a huge installation”

For more,



An enchanting 18th century walled garden, a ‘plot to plate’ restaurant and a spot of glamping make Timsbury’s Pythouse Kitchen Garden an exceptional place to visit Words by Nick Woodhouse Photos by Pythouse Kitchen Garden


he unknown. One of the most exciting parts of visiting a walled garden has to be the moment you step through those lofty boundaries, not quite aware of what to expect beyond. As I entered the kitchen garden at Pythouse in Wiltshire, hulking heating pipes lay testament to the long-fallen glasshouses that would once have cloaked the red-brick garden perimeter. This was however no pastiche of times past; there was an unexpected buzz within those walls. Amongst it, I met owner Piers Milburn in the conservatory restaurant, a space still bustling from the last of the Saturday lunch service. Piers met his wife Sophia when they were both working in London; he as a graphic designer, she as an actress. Ten years ago, the couple left the city for rural Wiltshire to run

large manure-heated pits. Today, this spirit remains, the north wall home to a rampant kiwi vine sitting alongside more traditional fare; apples, gooseberries, celeriac and chervil. Piers’ pride and joy however is the wonderful mulberry tree that sits unassumingly amongst the grass paths that now lead overnight glampers to the shepherd’s hut and bell tents. Assisted by Ann Shutt, head gardener Heather Price has worked tirelessly on the gardens for ten years now. As well as tending to the gardens and ensuring a plentiful harvest throughout the seasons, Heather also curates the pic our own ower garden there. Charged by the bucketload, visitors can pick a seasonal mix of blooms; verbena, anemones and dahlias all competing for secateurwielding enthusiasts. In fact, everything grown in the gardens goes into the menu at the bar and restaurant there, the team happily embracing the challenge to be inventive with a menu ultimately dictated by what’s in season. Everyone mucks in; the general manager will often be found weeding, the front of house waiter picking the fruit for desserts. The garden’s shop is testament to this collaborative search for the unusual, the special. Bottles of the house ‘Sprigster’ sit handsomely on the shelves; a non-alcoholic botanic mash that matches perfectly with tonic. The same base of hops, fennel seeds, rhubarb and ginger also resonates through the unusual preserves on sale. Whilst Piers admits he’s not a gardener himself hospitalit is most definitel in his blood; his father ran a successful restaurant business in galleries and museums such as the V&A. Perhaps this alternative discipline was a blessing; an opportunity to break those conventional horticultural traditions. Here is an open garden, free to enter, but perhaps not how you would imagine. Kids can be found playing hide-and-seek amongst the established borders, dogs sat expectantly next to their owners. Piers aptly describes it as Peter Rabbit meets Willy Wonka; a traditional kitchen

“Visitors can pick a seasonal mix of blooms; verbena, anemones and dahlias all competing for secateurwielding enthusiasts” a glamping site on Piers’ family farm. In that time, they would often visit the gardens at Pythouse for a cup of tea; on one such visit, the owners of the small café there explained that the were planning to sell up o ering them the opportunity to take on the business. They did just that, turning the gardens that would have once supplied produce to the Pythouse estate into a vibrant space where the new has most definitel and sensitivel embraced the old, although perhaps just for the while with a socially-distanced elbow bump. In times past, this walled garden would very likely have welcomed those latest e otic finds so pri ed b the ictorians thin pineapple plants kept unseasonably warm in


garden more relaxed than many other open gardens, with an unorthodox approach to how the garden’s produce is served. This very approach is set to take on a new pace and direction with the recent appointment of head chef Darren Broom. a ing his in uences from candinavian food culture and his own personal finds from foraging, it is also his knowledge of the art of coo ing over fire that is destined to eep visitors returning through the seasons. firepit greets guest as they enter the gardens, cooking meats sourced from local farms to accompany The Gardener’s Board, a collection of seasonal pickings from the surrounding gardens. I as ed iers how loc down had a ected them. Perhaps this will remain for some time a question on all our lips. Soon after the restrictions were imposed, the business was burgled and their storage unit burnt down, along with all the stock within. With all the summer weddings planned in the gardens postponed until more certain times, Piers and Sophia took the time to re-evaluate. They scaled back, decided to keep things a little simpler. They certainly didn’t rest on their laurels though o ering to deliver through lockdown; veg boxes, meats and local produce regularly packed and dispatched to loyal customers. Each Friday too, suppers would be coo ed on the firepit and prepared for pic up or delivery to be re-heated at home, some nights serving as many as 150 covers. Despite those recent setbacks, Piers speaks excitedly about the future. It’s lovely to hear. If these walls could talk, I think they’d do so with a similar enthusiasm for what lays ahead. For more: Pythouse Kitchen Garden, Tisbury SP3 6PA; tel: 01747 870444;

Nick Woodhouse is the co-director of interior and garden design company Woodhouse & Law on 4 George’s Place, Bathwick Hill, Bath; 01225 428072;


CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE: Everything grown in the gardens goes into the menu;

Rosa picking herbs; Stepping into the unknown at Pythouse Kitchen Garden; There’s an unexpected buzz within the walls and gardens

It’s the city’s business

BATHWORKS THIS ISSUE >>THE CREATIVE BATH AWARDS (67) >>NEW FACES AT THE METHUEN ARMS (68) >>PIPPA'S GUARDIANS (69) Many more pavement tables have popped up throughout the city of late

Embracing al fresco


If you’ve spent any time in town of late, you’ll notice pavement dining has reall ta en o . measure to help businesses get bac on their feet in a safe wa after loc down the caf s restaurants and other businesses granted the new pavement licence agree that the move from has boosted trade. o far such licences have been issued and feedbac has been positive with licensees in agreement that having an outdoor presence is improving the visibilit of their businesses and increasing custom. avement licences don t re uire planning permission, and have a speedy turnaround with a consultation period as short as seven da s. he re valid until eptember and permit businesses to have tables chairs and other street furniture outside during business hours though the are re uired to store ever thing inside overnight. he pavement licence has helped us enormousl in what would have otherwise been a ver di cult trading period sa s llie eiper owner of he rapes on estgate treet. ou ll spot their new seating outside he ittle heatre. e have had so many positive comments on the use of the space and overall, the street being closed to tra c in the da and our new beer garden have improved the ambience around the pub. It s not ust pubs ta ing advantage artspace too has used the pavement trading licence to create further space. he council s proactive approach of letting bbe uarter business now about the changes in licensing meant the opening of our show was a huge success as we were able to use some of or treet. e were even able to set up a wine window which ept our visitors happ sa s manager atie rien. For more:





We can't wait until it's safe for us to celebrate together

What we all need right now is something to look forward to. Good news: the Bath Life Awards is returning. Last time round saw the biggest and best Bath Life Awards yet; ualit nominations a diverse set of finalists e cited sponsors and many stand out moments – when that bit of chandelier fell down an bod ops. he night was a sell-out, as ever, with 500 guests and a further 100 on the waiting list. e t ears wards are alread highl supported with the initial roster of sponsors including headline sponsors he o al rescent otel pa plus pe it of ath otel ath udi Bath Life, Enlightened, arsh ommercial ovia avills paces and tone ing. here are still sponsorship slots available though so get in touch while ou still can to en o the night and the si month high profile all channels integrated media mar eting campaign that comes before it. he Bath Life Awards 2021 will be held 25 February at he ssembl ooms with the all important nominations opening this autumn. For sponsorship enquiries, please contact Pat White



Next year we hope to see the CBAs celebrated IRL

A CRACKING NIGHT IN he virtual reative ath wards too place at the end of ugust with a d namic inventive evening showcase of ath s creative tech and cultural sector. resented b ristol s aura awlings the wards were even trending on witter nationall such was the e traordinar support for the night. he big winner was he gg scooping the cr me de la cr me award for best categor winner on the night. eadline sponsored b ath pa niversit the wards were live presented with pre recorded spots from sponsors and live reveals of the finalists and winners on oom. It featured a special live video competition won b the ittle inema heatre and a cornucopia of creativit . hat an evening uge love for and from so man creative tech and cultural organisations was lovel to see sa s ell obins event

organiser with reative ath. nd it was so great to be trending across the on witter. assive congratulations to our winners and than s to our sponsors. For more: The winners of a specially-commissioned Creative Bath award created by Bath Spa University student, Adam Meyrick, were: Bind Media, The Egg, Drawing Projects UK, David Kelly of Strom, Friction Collective, Wild + Wolf, Complete Control, Alice McNeil of Rocketmakers, SHIFT Active Media, Rondo Theatre, Richard Godfrey of Rocketmakers, OneSub, Toby Mitchell Photographer, Storm (for Brevio), Anna Vaught, Rocketmakers, the Art Cohort, Isabel Hensby of WizzieSocial, 44AD and Bath Carnival. In addition to Bath Spa Uni, the sponsors were Future Publishing, Anthem Publishing, Edit, Enlightened, FPOV, The Guild, Half Moon Bay, Bath Life’s publisher MediaClash, Minuteman Press, OJO Solutions, Richardson Swift, Rocketmakers and Royds Withy King.

tone ing is o ering free virtual training sessions for trustees and senior management teams of charities. In current circumstances even those who have been charit trustees for man ears ma feel uncertain or have gaps in their nowledge on how to steer their charit through the e ects of the coronavirus sa s eema athur partner in the firm s harit ocial nterprise team. e ve built our training around the harit ommission s core guidance and loo at recent case reports to illustrate the e principles but we also cover ver pertinent issues such as financial governance and resilience in the current climate how to hold meetings and decision ma ing in a virtual space and recognising and reporting serious incidents. he essential trustee and governance in practice training is a one hour webinar ta ing place on eptember and again on 26 November. For more:

Reema Mathur will offer her expert advice I BATH LIFE I 67


RECOVERY ISN’T LINEAR We got some fairly dire economic news last month. We heard that the is in its deepest recession since records began. hen figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development showed that not only that, but among major economies, the UK was actually the hardest hit in May and June. Professor Chris Martin of the University of Bath’s Department of Economics sheds some light on the situation: How worried should businesses be?

hings are not good. he steep fall in in the second uarter re ected a ver steep fall in pril re ecting the national loc down the econom stabilised in May and then improved a bit in June. If things continue like this, GDP ought to be back to pre-pandemic levels by early next year. Although unemployment remains low, there are fewer workers employed and hours of work have fallen. If the economy does not bounce back strongly, this is likely to lead to a steep rise in unemployment. Are there any positives for us to hold onto?

I see two positives. First, home working has worked well for many. Firms seem happy with it and there is little demand from businesses for workers to get bac into the o ce. his has reduced the spread of the virus. econd the furlough scheme has worked well and probably saved millions of jobs – it should have been extended in those areas where it is still needed. How do you imagine this will affect Bath?

Although infection rates in the South West have been low, Bath took a big economic hit in April and May. The local economy relies on tourism and students and it su ered from their absence. he return of tourists since then has helped. Looking ahead to the autumn and winter, the outlook for Bath will depend on how many students come and how they spend. A large number of students spending freel will be good for the local econom but might spread the virus. Like everywhere else, Bath will only really recover when we get on top of the pandemic. For more:

Professor Chris Martin sheds light on some of the positives

Kevin and Hannah can't wait to get started


You’ll spot some fresh faces at the Methuen Arms in Corsham this month. Following the departure of head chef and general manager Leigh Evans in August, Kevin Chandler and Hannah Liquorish have oined the team to pic up where she left o . Head chef Kevin comes with Leigh’s stamp of approval, and his work at Rick Stein in Marlborough and The Pear Tree, Whiteley speaks for itself. General manager Hannah Liquorish brings a packed CV of her own to the table. “I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in and getting to know all the locals I’ve heard such a lot about,” she says. “The Methuen Arms has a great reputation for warm, quality hospitality and that’s what I’m all about.”


Experienced commercial and corporate disputes lawyer Tom Llewellyn has been appointed partner at Royds Withy King. With particular expertise in injunction applications, seeking search and sei ure orders and the deliver up of confidential information he ll act in a broad range of commercial and corporate disputes across all sectors. “I’m excited to be joining the partnership at Royds Withy King,” sa s om. It s an ambitious firm which has established a national reach and reputation. I’m extremely keen to help businesses with securing their confidential information and intellectual propert .


compassion, understanding of the challenges faced by international students, possibly an educational and boarding background and the ability to be very organised, autonomous and conscientious. How has Covid-19 impacted your work?

Elaine with students Saho, Mayu and Takuto


Elaine Kit

Pippa’s Guardians is an exclusive Education & Guardianship of International Students (AEGIS) accredited education guardianship service for students aged seven to 18 at boarding school in the UK, with parents living overseas. Regional and area manager Elaine pulls back the curtain on the family-run business How does Pippa’s Guardians do things differently?

We have dedicated area managers who live near to the schools our students attend, and therefore know those schools well. We visit them at school regularly and have a genuine interest in the welfare of all the students we look after. How would you describe your approach?

To do what we would wish for our own children, if they were studying

on the other side of the world. This philosophy means the there is someone on hand who can be an advocate for parents and a support to students with their best interests at heart. We visit the students regularly at school and get to know them, and help advise them. You also match students with host families. What is the difference between a guardian and a host family?

We are guardians to the student. Our role is to create a strong working relationship between parents, our students, their school and their host family, who provide care and support for our students during the school holidays or at other times when a student needs to stay away from school. Host families are fundamental to all we do – they look after our students for exeats (temporary approved absences) half term, nights before and at the end of

term, sometimes the longer holidays and if students are ill, suspended, expelled or need to leave school for any other reason. What qualities do you look for in a potential host family?

We are very careful in who we choose as they are so vital. Host families come in all shapes and sizes. They can be older couples whose children have own the nest, younger families with school aged children, single people who have time to give – we welcome applications from all kinds of families and look at each one on its merit. Host families must have a real enthusiasm for supporting an international student and willing to o er them a home from home experience, and welcome them as part of the family. If you asked me this question about what makes a good guardian – the qualities are the same as for host families. Kindness,

Covid has been a huge challenge to the guardianship business and education sector as a whole. Earlier in the year, we had to arrange for all of our students to stay in the UK for half term due to the growing situation internationally – usually only around a third of students would remain here for that particular holiday. We then made arrangements for all 600 of our students to stay over Easter – this is a holiday when they are usually all going home – and within a week we had to cancel this and repatriate them as the Covid situation was worsening here. Added to that, there were obviously some incredibly worried and upset parents to reassure and students who were understandably nervous. We managed to get our students home – with just a few choosing to stay here. We are now navigating the everchanging quarantine restrictions across the world and working with our partner schools to get all the students back for this September. We have a quarantine hotel set up in Oxford to help support this. Our host families have been wonderful and with help and support, they will be hosting again from the first e eat. What has been one of your favourite experiences working with Pippa’s Guardians?

In February 2019 I travelled to Hong Kong to attend a conference held by one of the leading Hong Kong educational consultants, Britannia. My colleague Ceri and I had never been to HK before and as we work with so many HK families, it also gave us the chance to meet some of them on their home territory. It was half term, so we organised a party in our hotel, overlooking the amazing HK skyline and so many of our families attended, including the students we look after. They were so surprised to see us there! We were taken out by our families and treated like royalty. It was so lovely to see them – especially those parents who had not been to the UK to meet us. I BATH LIFE I 69


Meet the property expert The right support for the most important purchase you’ll ever make JAMES DREDGE

KNIGHT FRANK NEW HOMES 01225 325 999; What key bit of advice would you give to a client? As I specifically deal with new homes, I would advise any client to make sure they start consulting with an agent right from the outset of the project in order to design the most saleable and profitable product for that location. What do you anticipate for the Bath property market for the next 12 months? With demand from buyers moving out of London and the south east increasing and low interest

rates predicted for the foreseeable future, I believe property prices will steadily increase. Do you offer virtual viewings? A very marmite subject among estate agents, however I believe they are a great tool to attract buyers moving long distances either from overseas or from other regions of the UK. I’ve recently had success using this method and I believe it will only become more popular. What is your favourite part of the job? Being part of a project that takes a disused building or piece of land and completely re-shapes it to become a community asset rather than an eyesore.





01380 726913;

01225 326751; Why should you put your house on the market now? The announcement from the Chancellor on 8 July in regards to the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) holiday provided an excellent incentive to put your property on the market. This additional cost usually encountered when purchasing a property could be put towards the deposit instead, or invested immediately into making the house your home. What is the biggest mistake that can be made in property transactions? Some people are now choosing to use online conveyancers for their property transactions, but experience has taught us that these clients are often left under-serviced and confused by lack of communication. High street solicitors offer a more bespoke, flexible service to those who prefer a personal approach and a single point of contact when making such a significant financial transaction. Tell us something about yourselves and why people should contact you? As Goughs are well-established, we have great links with local estate agents and an excellent knowledge of the landscape of Wiltshire and surrounding counties. Our wealth of local knowledge often proves invaluable in the conveyancing process. 70 I BATH LIFE I


STRAKERS AUCTIONS 01249 765200; Why should you put your house on the market now? In short, it is a buoyant market with lots of buyers out there and no one really knows what is around the corner! What do you love most about working in auctions? The excitement and sheer pleasure of seeing a sale happen live and the delight shown by both buyer and seller alike. Also no sale fall-throughs on a Monday morning is a massive plus. What makes you different from others in estate agency? Auction provides far greater speed and transparency than the normal sales route. A sale is completed within two months of marketing starting and we sell about 84 per cent of Lots offered.

Why should you put your house on the market now? As a result of COVID-19 we are seeing a trend of people looking to move out of our big cities, especially London, so there are a large number of buyers on the market. As Bath is a beautiful and well connected city with thriving businesses, cultural scenes and countryside on its doorstep, we are likely to see a lot of interest from these buyers. With the market playing catch-up, properties are moving fast. What do you love most about working in property? Property transactions, both residential and commercial, are always significant investments and exciting times though they can be stressful for those involved. It is very rewarding to be able to support my clients through the process and do everything I can to minimise this stress. What do you anticipate for the Bath property market for the next 12 months? Alongside people moving out of large cities, we are also seeing increased activity on the second homes market. The outskirts of Bath and surrounding area are likely to prove popular among those buyers looking for a countryside bolt hole.




SENIOR TAX MANAGER 01225 486 302; How has the stamp duty cut impacted the market? The chancellor’s announcement of no SDLT on residential properties worth up to £500,000 was widely welcomed. The cut was intended to boost the number and value of transactions. The SDLT reduction is due to expire on 31 March 2021 and it remains to be seen whether any reduction in the rates will be extended and the impact this will have on the market. Are there any other relevant tax changes? New rules were introduced with effect from 6 April 2020 which means that UK resident individuals selling a residential property must report the transaction, and pay any tax, within 30 days of completion. Disposals that are covered in full by an exemption, such as main residence relief, are exempt from these requirements. What about the commercial property market? Whilst residential property has been gathering the headlines, tax on commercial properties remains unchanged. It is vital that any purchasers fully understand the VAT and Capital Allowances positions before acquiring property. Significant tax savings can be made by owners if the relevant elections and valuations are undertaken in advance of the transaction.

PARTNER AND HEAD OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY TEAM, MOGERS DREWETT 01225 750000 What do you think the long-term impact of COVID-19 will be on the property sector? With more people now working remotely, the need to live near the office is not as important and therefore, long-term, I think we will see more people taking the opportunity to fulfil a life-long dream and make the move to the country. It’s all about work/life balance, which has become more important. What key bit of advice would you give to a client? Buying a property is a complex process. It is one of the most important (and valuable) purchases made in your lifetime. Working with the right professionals is essential to make sure everything runs smoothly and to ensure your best interests are looked after. What do you love most about working in property? The variety. Helping people buy their first home, their family home or their dream forever home is an amazing feeling.


RICHARDSON SWIFT 01225 325580; What area do you specialise in? We advise local buyers and sellers on a variety of property related tax matters; from one-off transactions to longer term planning for investors and second home owners. We also advise developers on the best way to structure projects. What are the property tax pitfalls to avoid when selling? The recent changes to Capital Gains Tax (CGT) reporting means that property sales falling within the regime need disclosing to HM Revenue and Customs within 30 days of completion, as well as the payment of tax. These


JEREMY JENKINS ESTATE AGENTS 01225 866747; What area do you specialise in? We sell homes in Bradford on Avon and the surrounding villages and countryside. How is the housing market in the shadow of COVID-19? Since we came back to work after lockdown we have barely stopped. The release of pent up demand plus fresh buyers coming to the area from city centres has taken us by surprise – a very pleasant surprise! What part of your work do you particularly enjoy? The people. My wonderful colleagues, friendly customers and local property professionals. What advice would you give someone searching for the ideal home? Prioritise what is really important to you in your next home and be prepared to compromise on the rest. If you weren’t working in property what would you be doing? I’d like to be a personal trainer. Maybe specialising in helping middle-aged and older people lead healthy lifestyles and get into good shape.

transactions will include sales of second homes, buy-tolets, and property owned by non-UK residents. Furthermore, CGT on second properties can catch people out. For example, when gifting additional properties to children or grandchildren. It’s a complicated area and people often underestimate the amount of tax owing, or assume that it doesn’t apply. Other potential pitfalls include the reduced ninemonth period that homeowners have to sell their main residence before running into CGT issues and the restriction in lettings relief from April 2020. Problems can also arise with valuations used for probate purposes as these set the basis not only for inheritance tax (IHT), but also CGT. Generally speaking, however straightforward you think your tax situation is, it’s always best to seek professional advice in advance and ensure you have the appropriate planning in place. I BATH LIFE I 71


COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SOLICITOR, BATTENS SOLICITORS 01225 536870 What key mistakes should buyers avoid? It pays to take advice. It provides you with peace of mind and helps you avoid costly mistakes. Whilst the law goes someway to protect the unwary buyer the rule of ‘buyer beware’ still applies and buyers need to take advice from the professionals when buying. Always read the legal pack and make sure that you know and understand what you are getting into when you are buying a property. Once you have completed on the


MARK VINCENT SURVEYING 01225 581591; What do you love most about working in property? The wide variety of fascinating properties I get to work in, meeting the most interesting people from all sorts of backgrounds and professions. Bath seems to draw in exceptionally talented people. What key bit of advice would you give to a client? Seek out independent estate agents and professionals who have lived and worked locally for a long time, and can give you honest and pragmatic advice about the area you wish to move to. A survey can provide a rational balance to what otherwise might be a costly emotional purchase. How has the Bath property market changed in the last few years? There has been a large influx of people moving here from London and the home counties, which has had an impact on prices. The fall in the value of the pound has also led to an increase in expats buying property in the city, helping Bath to remain a buoyant market compared to many. What part of the work do you particularly enjoy? Receiving genuine thanks from clients who are grateful for the impartial advice on the property, enabling them to make a reasoned decision on their purchase. 72 I BATH LIFE I


DESIGN & PLANNING DIRECTOR, ASHFORD HOMES 01225 791155 Why should you put your house on the market now? What an opportunity to sell your property at the moment! With the stamp duty holiday influencing the market, potential buyers are flocking through the estate agent doors, knowing they can save up to £15,000. Where people were uncertain of whether to ‘love it or list it’, our customers are now saying this saving has made the decision for

purchase of the property it is very difficult to change anything and amending the title can cost you a lot of money. Shared accessways and boundaries in particular need to be understood to avoid potential disputes with your neighbours. If you are buying a leasehold property, make sure you know what the future ground rent is going to be and find out if there are any major building works planned, since these are likely to form part of your future service charges. In particular, beware of leases containing clauses doubling the ground rent every 10 years or so – these can get very expensive in the later years and make the property very difficult to sell.

them and they are committed to moving. We are busier than we have ever been. What’s the best project you’ve worked on? I am very proud of every development we have produced, but there are two which stand out, one being Holburne Place on the corner of Bathwick Street and Henrietta Street which cemented our credentials in Bath, and the other being Crescent Lane, set behind the Royal Crescent, which was not only the most difficult build to date but the most pleasing to see how it sits within the existing vernacular. What are the key values of your business? Ashford Homes is renowned for the quality of its build, its finish and the service we offer to our customers. We are often singled out for providing a significantly higher specification than our rivals, and for the level of flexibility our homes offer. As I eluded to earlier, the developments we have built, especially in Bath, have fitted seamlessly into existing street scenes, adding to the legacy of Bath and the future of our beautiful city. Our customers are not just buying into bricks and mortar, they buying into a home, a lifestyle and the future heritage of the city. We’re certainly living up to our strap line of ‘crafting beautiful homes’.





HUBB PROPERTY GROUP What key bit of advice would you give to a client? Find an expert! Leasehold law and block management are extremely complex and specialist. It is a stand-alone industry and most certainly not a bolt-on. A professional block managing agent will provide a solely dedicated service to the directors and leaseholders and they will be qualified along with having an affiliation with a regulatory body such as ARMA or IRPM. How can your services add value to a property? There is a common problem of sales ‘falling out of bed’ due to issues with the management company including anomalies with the service charge accounts, a lack of reserves and poor building management. We will ensure that the service charge account is entirely transparent, there are proactive maintenance plans in place along with contingencies and we communicate effectively and efficiently with solicitors during the sales process. This truly does add value to the asset and should be strongly considered by an apartment owner when considering the future of their asset. What are the key values of your business? Leaseholders are seeking transparency, integrity, effective communication and proactivity. We commit to ensuring these values consistently.

0117 422 0122;


PARTNER, HEAD OF RESIDENTIAL SALES, CARTER JONAS 01225 747251 What changes would you make to the property sector? The buying process needs speeding up as well as making an agreed sale more binding for both parties. Property technology promises to aid this and needs to happen soon. How has the Bath property market changed over the last few years? Taxation and political/economic impacts have made their mark, as well as Bath having seen the largest number of new homes for over a decade. A trend towards environmentally friendly buildings means listed buildings will need more leniency. What never changes is the demand to move to the city. Having worked in Bath for nearly 20 years, this trend has increased year on year. What turns a house into a home? Family, a good sound system and wine.


Tell us something about yourselves and why people should contact you? Hubb Property Group is a real estate private equity and investment firm with a focus on the Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) sector and the development of luxury residential and commercial properties. We originate and manage each opportunity in its own SPV fund and partner with our Institutional, Family Office and High Net Worth investors to join us in structured investments. What kind of property buyers are you currently seeing coming into the area? There was an influx of London based professionals before COVID 19 but this has certainly increased since the pandemic. This is due to the amount of enterprises offering more opportunities to work remotely and also buyers reevaluating their lifestyles and their living space requirements. They are considering areas that are a reasonable commute outside the Capital, such as Bath and Bristol. What’s your favourite Bath property that you have sold/worked on? A contemporary and luxurious six bedroom property in Englishcombe, Bath. It’s a fantastic property within gated grounds and will be launched soon by Knight Frank.

01225 420370;

consistency, reliability and most importantly the absolute best standards possible. We aim to achieve a cost effective project that is delivered on time and to your desired finish.

Why should someone use Flying Pig? The Flying Pig Renovation Company is a true family run business with the core comprising of myself, my wife Sharon and two sons Zak and Kye working from our newly refurbished offices and warehouse alongside the canal in Bath. We specialise in renovation projects ranging from small bathroom fit outs up to complete renovation of large stately manor houses. We help you every step of the way through a project and produce our own in house CAD drawings and specification tailored to your exacting needs. We directly employ all staff to ensure absolute

What’s your favourite property that you have worked on? This is a very difficult question as we have been fortunate over the past years to work on some incredible properties that boast some of the finest period features. We have worked in all of Bath’s iconic addresses , renovating full houses in Royal Crescent, Circus and Great Pultney Street, and we are currently working on restoring a large estate in Bitton and a large manor house in Chew Magna. As well as domestic private clients, we have also carried out commercial works for global brands such as Aesop and Cereal magazine.





Architect Robert Adam talks about how classic can meet contemporary without comprising on style, as seen at the Holburne Park development It has to be a tough challenge for any architect to marry the old with the new but particularly in a distinctive city like Bath. Yet the thoughtfullydesigned Holburne Park development, which is a community of villas, terraced houses and apartments located along the Warminster Road, has managed just that, and it is thanks to leading classical architect Robert Adam (pictured above). obert whose firm is well nown for its classic designs including the



Duchy of Cornwall’s acclaimed Poundbury in Dorset, is no stranger to combining classical architecture with modern living but it is the first time he has brought this approach to Bath. He says, “Bath is a perfect example as each part of it is individual but there is a sense of harmony throughout the city. “At Holburne Park, we have produced modern housing for modern people, but at the same time we are following the unity of Bath with classical design, while adding just a touch of variety. “It is easy to do something wacky”, he continues, “it’s much more di cult to do this. ou have to tread that ver fine line and to be honest it’s one that is frequently misunderstood. Some say classical architecture cannot be recreated. I wholeheartedly disagree; indeed I feel very strongly that classical architecture is as valid today as it ever was. We can have the best of both worlds: the beauty and lasting appeal of classical design, but without the draughty rooms!” For more:; I BATH LIFE I 75



The Bath market is booming, but not universally

Property market

KEEP ON MOVING In August, RightMove reported £37 billion worth of house sales –the UK property market's busiest month in more than a decade. But can this 'mini boom' last? We talk to two of Bath's leading estate agents


t’s impossible to predict at this point the long-term impact of the pandemic on daily life, let alone the property market, but the current so called mini boom in sales nationally can be attributed to the abrupt shift in lifestyle we have seen since lockdown was announced back in March. The move towards home working has lessened the need to live in cities, basically, which is inspiring people to decamp to more rural areas, where they'll have the other thing we all desperately needed while staying home – outside space. Other factors like the suspension of Stamp Duty Land Tax and Help To Buy government assistance are also driving sales. The movement in Bath very much re ects these national trends. “As soon as lockdown lifted we saw a huge increase in demand from buyers from all corners of the globe, not just the London market as has been continually written in the press,” says David Mackenzie, residential sales partner with Carter Jonas in Bath. The quality of life the city is famous for means Bath has really held its value in the market. “Uncertainty abroad has meant ex-pats from Hong Kong, and the wider middle and far east have determined their move here – be it for schools, links to be near family, or just to enjoy the serenity of Bath's surroundings.”


There's a lot of excitement around the market right now, but it's important to note that enthusiasm is not universal to all property types. “The stock levels have driven viewers with healthy competition. We have seen a number of properties go to ‘competitive bidding’, which means achieving in excess of the guide prices,” explains Sam Daniels, associate with Knight Frank. “Don’t get me wrong, not every aspect of the market has been so good. The demand really has been for larger family homes with more outside space.” David's experience has been much the same. “Last week I was reporting to a client we had gone to best and final o ers and received 13 bids over the guide price and achieved £100,000 more than we were expecting. A minute later, I was advising a client they would need to reduce by 15 per cent because they were in a property where demand in the sector has hugely decreased after lockdown,” he says. Apartments without that key outside space are selling, but overall for lower asking prices than perhaps we might have seen pre-Covid. But will this ‘mini boom’ last? It’s hard to call. With the recession and the continued uncertainty caused by Covid-19, at this point it’s anyone’s guess. “My heart is saying it will but my gut is saying it

won’t,” says Sam. “What I do know is that Bath is a fantastic city and also bounces back bigger and better very quickly.” And, David says, he hasn’t seen signs of the recession hitting yet. “From previous experience, recessions tend to be hardest felt in areas where there is high demand from first time bu ers. ath as a whole is not impacted as much as larger cities, where there is more movement from buyers needing starter jobs,” he explains. “Bath has a larger demand from families moving for education, or because they have the ability to work from home, so hopefully this will continue to hold up demand and prices in the city and the surrounding countryside.” For more:;

Knight Frank's Sam Daniels and David Mackenzie of Carter Jonas

HIGH HOPES A prestigious address steeped in history gets a new lease of life with these swanky, readyto-move-in apartments By Matilda Walton 78 I BATH LIFE I



ne of the biggest draws to a city like Bath is the closeness of history. Buildings that have stood for hundreds of years line the streets, architectural wonders from back when homes were about grandeur more than just function. It’s a feast for the eyes those of us lucky enough to call the city home never become totally immune too. But we want both, right? We want the Georgian, maybe-my-second-cousin-is-an-earl-but-I’m-coyabout-it aesthetic with the up-to-the-minute trappings of modern life. Enter Hope House, where apartments F1, F2, F4 and F5 have been designed with gratifying care to appear stylish and contemporary with nods to

the rich history of the building, which has played host to earls viscounts ritain s first commercial vintner and most exciting of all, a young Mary Berry. Another of John Palmer’s creations – the Bath architect known for such illustrious projects as Lansdown Crescent, Church of St Swithin and St ames uare the magnificent eorgian mansion has been through many iterations. Built in 1782, it spent its first couple hundred ears as a private residence to gentry and the like (gossip: apparently once Sir William amilton visited with his fianc e mma who went on to become the famous mistress of the Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson), before 1926 saw it start its second life as the Royal High School. We’ve arrived at perhaps Hope House’s most distinguished guest, the queen of cakes: cook, food writer and TV presenter Mary Berry. It was in the very walls of Hope House that a young Mary attended the domestic science classes where she would learn to ma e her first treacle sponge courtes of Miss Date, her cookery teacher. These apartments exist on hallowed ground, and, I like to think, a little of ar s talent still ows through the walls should you be interested in honing those lockdown baking skills further. I BATH LIFE I 79


Now, Acorn Property Group and Galliard Homes have transformed the place, returning the mansion and its surrounding parkland to a prestigious residential address. The restored mansion is built for grand entrances, fronting onto an upper garden terrace, with a grand staircase leading to the communal formal lawns and informal parkland beyond. Inside, the two-to-four-bedroom luxurious apartments are thrilling examples of a contemporary Georgian residence – huge windows provide panoramic views across the grounds and out toward the city proper, as well as making the most of the natural light, which oods these bright open plan spaces. he itchens are hand finished b tephen raver with integrated iele appliances, and the stunning engineered wood and stone ooring is included. It s entirel read for ou to move in, and bake a celebratory cake or two.


private terraces, tennis courts


F1, F2, F4 and F5





Outside: A mix of shared gardens and



Where: Hope House, Lansdown Road Savills, Edgar House, 17 George Street, Bath, BA1 2EN, 01225 474500;


“Lockdown has made me more grateful for my circumstances” as well as that of the writing community and my publishers that Asha & The Spirit Bird was able to enjoy such success and go on to win the COSTA 2019. My second book, Tamarind & The Star Of Ishta is another magical realist story set again in the Himalaya. It’s about a girl

JASBINDER BILAN The COSTA Children’s Book Awardwinning author of Asha & The Spirit Bird returns with her second novel, Tamarind & The Star of Ishta The Bath Spa MA Writing for Young People is such a wonderful course and if I hadn’t done it, I wouldn’t have started my journey to becoming a published writer. I

knew that I would have to make a commitment to myself, so I gave up my teaching job for a year to do the course. It was the first time I ever shared my writing even though I’ve written stories since I was a little girl – this was nerve racking! But I needn’t have worried because everyone is in the same boat. It’s amazing how easily you can see things not working in other people’s writing and this

helps you to be critical of your own work. The mantra ‘write your story one word at a time’ helped me to complete 55,000 words of my story, Song Of The Mountain which became my debut Asha & The Spirit Bird.


When you start writing your first novel there are so many unknowns. You don’t know if you

will find an agent or a publisher so you have to just focus on writing the best story you can. This is what I did with Asha & The Spirit Bird. Entering The Times Chickenhouse Fiction Competition was a game changer for me.

Winning it was a total shock

but incredibly exciting. At this stage I had the total pleasure of working with a wonderful editor, Kesia Lupo and the whole team at Chickenhouse. They have such a wealth of experience and are all really passionate about children’s books. Having won a prize for it meant that when it was published there was already some noise around it which meant booksellers, librarians and teachers knew about it. It’s really with their support

called Tamarind who travels from her home in Bristol to stay with her mum’s family at their grand ancestral home in the Himalaya. While there she discovers a secret garden, befriends a mysterious mountain girl and her monkey Hanu and begins to uncover the family secrets surrounding her mother’s death when Tamarind was a baby. The story is inspired by my mum. Her mother died when she

was a baby and she would often talk about her sense of loss and I think she really missed her even though she never knew her. I also wanted to explore what it’s like to return to a home that you’ve never known and to grow up in two cultures like I did.

In 2017 CLPE commissioned a study into the lack of representation in children’s literature. It found that only one

per cent of main characters were from a diverse background. Since then things have improved slightly but before this study took place it was felt that there was not really a problem. Until you start looking you don’t recognise it – just go into your bookshop and count what’s on the shelves – whose stories are being told and regarded as important? Growing up I never found any characters like myself in books

and although this didn’t stop me from entering the magical worlds, subconsciously it made me feel like my stories and a life like mine didn’t matter. This is why we need more books that mirror classrooms up and down the country. We have to shake things up.

All children need to see themselves in books and be made to feel that they matter, that they could be an author, an illustrator, a publisher, anything they want to be. It’s about taking their place in shaping the future. It’s good for everyone to have diversity in children’s literature, it’s a strength for our society and it’s something worth fighting for. Lockdown has made me more grateful for my circumstances.

I have a deadline for book three, and in some ways being able to retreat into my imaginary world has helped to block out some of the sadness across the world. My top tips for staying on track and being creative are to try to

keep to a routine of writing, get out into nature as much as possible and take your notebook with you to write and sketch anything that inspires you and remember what’s really important – things like love, family and community. n

Tamarind & The Star of Ishta is out now. Jasbinder is speaking at the digital Reading Is Magic Festival, which goes live on 2 October, talking with Jasbinder Bilan and Kiran Millwood Hargrave www.readingis; www.jasbinderbilan.

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