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THE LARKHALL NEWS Issue 13, February 2011

Produced by St Mark’s School

A Church of England Business and Enterprise College

‘Dafford Street Chapel - 1973’ Courtesy of Bath In Time - Bath Preservation Trust Collection

The Destruction of Little Mudcombe

Larkhall Festival 2011

Get set for another packed line-up

by Dave Laming

Business Focus Bath Building Society

Competition! Win tickets to see ‘instantWit!’ at the Rondo

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From the Editor They say that you know that you are getting on a bit, when you have to keep scrolling down through the years in one of those on-line forms. I confess that whilst I had never thought of myself as ‘old’ I have had to do some scrolling of recent years.

cover, because until now, and it pains me to say it, I didn’t really think of them (or me) as history. Please get in touch if you are willing to share your history with us. Mullet hair-do, punk piercings and shoulder-pads to take your eye out, all very welcome! Finally, congratulations to Alice Calvert, our winner of the family ticket to see Alice Through The Looking Glass at the egg. Alice and her family had a fabulous evening, so much so, they booked to go again!

Schools report. The Valley Schools news, history and ...chickens?!

Winter Wonderland Bryan Chalker on the phenomenon of the Winter Hoar Frost

Bunny-hop into Spring with a season of events in Larkhall The Legends of Larkhall

Paula Hawkins T: 01225 312661 or 478416 E:

Local resident, Dave Laming, explores the history and ultimate destruction of Little Mudcombe

P.S. Our next issue is filling up fast already, so anyone interested in advertising should get in touch soon!

Published by St Mark’s School Editor: Paula Hawkins, St Mark’s School, Baytree Road, Larkhall, Bath, BA1 6ND Tel: 01225 312661 Email: Website: The Larkhall News is available online at:

St Mark’s & The Valley Schools

Larkhall Festival 2011, Alice Park, Bluegrass Festival and so much more to get excited about!

With best wishes I also don’t consider that pictures of me in my fluorescent leg-warmers or sporting a ‘new romantic’ hair-do are history! But to those of... erherm... a younger generation (anyone below 16 in my book), they are exactly that. It has been great seeing old photos of Larkhall, particularly the ones from the 70s, like our front

In This Edition

Spring Competition! Win a ticket for two to see ‘instantWit!’ at the Rondo’s Bath Comedy Festival Season

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in articles are strictly those of the authors. Whilst every reasonable care is taken with all material submitted, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage. For advertising enquiries contact us on 01225 478416

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StMark’s School

By Headteacher, Cherril Pope

We owe a good deal of thanks in this issue to Dan Brown, from Bath In Time, who has kindly allowed us to use historical photographs from the collection held at Bath Central Library of our community. The pictures on the left depict Larkhall throughout the last century and are a fascinating reminder of days gone by and the daily struggles that we face, no matter the era of our birth.

tival, later this year. It is a great testimony to the many businesses and groups in our community that The Larkhall News can be produced. Without your continued support it would not be possible, so thank you for supporting the magazine and our school through your many adverts and articles.

They are hoping that their investigations will unearth some hidden secrets, images and film of Larkhall and the surrounding area and will enable them to build a historical ‘picture’ of our community, to be shared with schools and local residents.

Thank you also to those local residents and businesses that took the opportunity to complete our recent survey. It was encouraging to receive some very positive comments and also suggestions as to what we could be doing better. We will be working through these in the coming months as part of our development planning and I hope that you will soon be noticing the benefits of our Federation with St Gregory’s and Writhlington. We will also be looking at how we can better support our business community through closer working and sharing of expertise. If you are a business with ideas, we would very much like to hear from you as to how we can help!

If you have any stories to share, pictures or film from the last century (or beyond!), please get in touch. All pictures and film will be copied and returned to their owners. We hope to share an exhibition of our findings at the Larkhall fes-

If you would like to comment but have not had an opportunity to do so, please visit It will take only five minutes to complete and will help us to shape your community’s school for the future.

Our students at St Mark’s will be investigating our community in greater detail this term, lead by our Head of History, Joe Emmett.Their projects have been designed to stretch the parameters of learning for our students and to encourage them to look beyond the text book, something that we widely encourage at St Mark’s.

Pictures by kind permission of Bath In Time. From above: Larkhall Floods, 1932, Bath In Time - Private Collection. Middle: Larkhall Inn, 1934, Bath In Time - Private Collection. Bottom: St Saviour’s Road, 1973, Bath In Time - Bath Central Library Collection

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Sav i o u r ’s S c h o o l

By Headteacher, Kevin O’Shea This time last year the School Council were inspired to enter a competition run jointly by The Bath Chronicle and Barclays Bank. Their challenge was to come up with an idea for a project that would make a contribution to developing the economic awareness of the children in school. Their suggestion was to rescue battery hens, keep them in ‘free range’ conditions in school and then sell the eggs to support the flock. At the end of January, they found out that their entry had been selected as one of the five finalists and before the end of April, the news came that they had been awarded second prize of £2000: a good starter fund to get the school chicken project underway. There was now much planning to be done. Where in school could the chickens be housed? What sort of coop would they need? How could it be made secure? Who would look after them at weekends and during school holidays? These were just a few of the questions that would require an answer before we would be ready to take on our new responsibilities. Led by Ms Birkett (Y4 Teacher and School Council Chair) and with the help of parents and staff, the preparations were completed throughout the summer months until, on Saturday 20th November, seven hens rescued from battery farms by the Battery Welfare Trust moved to their new home here at St. Saviour’s Junior School. They settled in quickly, began to lay straight away and continue to supply an average of four eggs a day. Now, a year later, the chickens seem to be a natural part of school life as more and more children become involved in their care and the sale of the eggs provides a small but steady income to support their cost. A real success story for the School Council, whose imagination and ingenuity has made a positive difference to 7 hens and 180 children!

A Church In The

Community and for the community

By Rev’d Michael Norman Rector of St Saviour’s Church After the very cold Christmas Season, many of us will be looking forward to the lighter, warmer days of spring. As the days move on, gradually at first, hardly noticeably, the days lengthen, the bulbs begin to break through the surface of the earth and the bushes and trees begin to bud. It’s a time when we see the beginnings of new life. New life is what the Christian Faith is all about, a life energised and directed to and by God through His Son Jesus Christ. Many of us see the new life of spring but miss the life that Jesus offers through His death and then resurrection from the dead. It doesn’t have to be that way. Why not this spring put time aside to search for the new life Jesus brings? The Alpha Course for many has been a way many people have discovered this life, anyone is welcome to join us on it. Also the Church services this spring are all focussed on moving towards experiencing this life afresh at Easter. Come and join us. There’s always a warm welcome to those who come – 10.30 am or 7 pm every Sunday.

SPECIAL EVENTS AT ST SAVIOUR’S CHURCH Family Praise: Held on the first Sunday of every month, this is a special service for young and primary school children from 10.30am Keep Fit: Monday and Wednesday evenings, 7 - 8pm Day Club: Tuesday 10am - 2pm Brownies and Guides: Tuesday 6.30 - 7.30pm and 7.30 9.00pm Toddlers: Wednesday 9.45 - 11.15am Messy Church: Thursday 10 February and 17 March 3.30 5.30pm Alpha Course: Starts Thursday 27 January until 31 March at 7.45pm.There will be an introductory buffet supper at St Saviour’s Church. All other weeks to be held at The Rectory, Claremont Road.

StSt e p h e n ’s S c h o ol By Pupil Repor ters Rose Morgan, Tilly George and Lucy Baldwin

Abernant Extravaganza!!! Once a year, the Year Six pupils at St Stephen’s School go to a week-long residential trip to Abernant in Wales. They go on a number of exciting activities; abseiling, raft building, rock climbing, assault course, rifle shooting, zip wire and off-road biking, not forgetting bow and arrow shooting. The favourite activities this year have been abseiling and raft building. The pupils stay in dormitories in a big hotel. There are four to six pupils in one dormitory and they are provided with food every day with the same choice of breakfast every morning and different choices for lunch and dinner. A few teachers accompany the pupils on the trip. The things that they learn on this trip are homework, independence and survival skills! The current Year Fives are very excited about going to Abernant and have already signed up!

Fairtrade Fridays: 9.15am 12.00pm Table Top Sale: Saturday 12 February 9am - 12pm Prayer Meeting for the City: Tuesday 8th March, 7.45pm at Bath Abbey Women’s World Day of Prayer: Friday 4 March at 2.15pm Ash Wednesday Service: Ash Wednesday 9 March at 7.30pm Confirmation: Thursday 7 April at 7pm. For more information about any of these events please contact the Rector - Rev’d. Michael Norman on 01225 311637

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WINTER WONDERLAND By Bryan Chalker Last December was the coldest since records began in 1910 and some experts claim that temperatures were the lowest for 130 years. Many of us were housebound but made the best of a bad situation… I hate the cold but love the beauty of the first fall of snow and always carry a camera to record the wonder of Nature in the raw. This current winter has been raw in the extreme, with local temperatures falling below minus-8 Celsius and the land covered in a shroud of snow for weeks on end. If that wasn’t spectacular enough, along came a rare hoar frost to embellish an already Disneyesque landscape with ice crystals and I managed to capture some magic moments, a few of which are reproduced here. I’ve seen a few hoar frosts in my time but nothing to beat the one we had at the tail end of 2010. A hoar frost (white frost or rime) is the

tiny solid deposition of water vapour from saturated air which occurs when the temperature of the surface is below freezing point. It generally occurs with clear skies. Where I live at Claverton Down is more than 800-feet above sea-level and understandably colder than other local areas but certain winter conditions produce incredibly beautiful imagery. Over the decades I have travelled extensively and experienced blizzards, freezing rain and icestorms from Ontario, Canada, down to the piney wood hills of East Texas but December’s West Country hoar frost was Mother Nature at her creative best. She even made a battered antique hurricane lamp and old shovel handle look delightful. The editor, Paula Hawkins, actively encourages the use of cameras, so get to it and enjoy Nature’s winter wonderland while you can.

Festival Appalachian Music For Bath Bluegrass and Americana music are coming to Bath in May. Following on from the success last year of Ralph Stanley & The Clinch Mountain Boys at The Pavilion, Lambridge councillor Bryan Chalker has been appointed Artistic Director of the city’s first-ever Appalachian Festival. The 4-day event, set for May 19, 20,21 and 22, will see America’s Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike headlining at the Assembly Rooms on May 19, with other venues in and around the city playing host to the Thunderbridge Bluegrass Boys, Leon Hunt & The Scoville Units, Brian Golbey, Ian Calford & The Railmen and Tjaye Martin, among others. The Festival organisers, who include Phil Castang (of the Bath International Guitar Festival) and June Brassington, will also include workshops to feature such instruments as clawhammer banjo, autoharp, Appalachian mountain dulcimer, fiddle, mandolin and guitar and the finer points of close-harmony mountain-style singing. Also on the agenda will be Appalachian clog-dancing and it is hoped to introduce this to various schools, including St Mark’s. The ethos behind the Festival is to illustrate the close links between certain strains of American roots music and Britain’s own rich folk heritage.

L &L arkhall

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Richard Maybury, Lambridge Councillor and Deputy Mayor of Bath, sadly passed away on December 5, 2010, following a long battle with cancer.

Richard had been a Conservative councillor for Lambridge since 2007 and took over as Deputy First Citizen of Bath in June 2010. The former insurance consultant was born in Burma but in later years was extremely proud to call Bath his home. Richard served his community well and was closely involved in various initiatives, such as the St. Mark’s School vegetable garden project, road safety campaigns and the Larkhall Festival. Richard Maybury saw to it that Councillor Initiative Funding of £4,000 for the year 2010 was fairly spread across four local elements, the Bath Petanque (Boules)

Piste at Alice Park, the Garraway Club, the Larkhall Community Garden (Alice Park) and the Larkhall Festival; each entity receiving the sum of £1,000 from this Government-funded project. Although physically unable to do much himself due to his health, Richard worked closely with fellow councillor Bryan Chalker to ensure that funding was evenly distributed to the benefit of Larkhall as a whole. “It was Richard’s wish to see damson and other fruit trees planted across the ward for the benefit of local people and I am arranging for two damson saplings to be planted in Larkhall Community Garden in his memory,” Cllr Chalker told The Larkhall News.

Mr Maybury, whose funeral service was held at St Saviour’s Church on December 13, “I could not have asked for a better colleague 2010, is survived by his two children and his in Richard Maybury,” Bryan continued. “He wife Pam. was extremely conscientious and absolutely devoted to PACT Meetings Next Meetings: 23 March 2011 : 6.30pm St Mark’s School 16 November 2011 : 6.30pm St Mark’s School

Beat Team Reports by PCSO Paul King Many of us, I'm sure, will be glad to see the back of what was one of the coldest winters on record. If you were lucky enough to have some time off over the festive break, the weather could only add to the atmosphere and I sincerely hope you had a pleasant time. From a Police perspective, the differing seasons bring with them their own challenges and our focus adapts to accommodate the different issues that dark evenings and cold weather can bring. I will be the first to admit that I'm looking forward to the warmer temperatures and longer days that hopefully spring will bring. Some good news to report in that, shortly after the New Year, we had a number of calls from residents in the Fairfield Park area. All of these calls were stating that persons were calling at local addresses attempting to sell loft insulation.We attended and everything turned out to be legitimate. The numerous calls we did receive, however, were very welcome. As with any cold caller who calls at your address we urge residents to contact us so that we can ensure that the call is legitimate and there is no criminal intent.Through the quick thinking of local residents on this occasion, this was carried out successfully.

the people of Lambridge and whatever he did, he did with good grace and a high degree of humour. Richard was wonderful to work with and a joy to know. He will be missed by us all.”

Current Priorities

Bailbrook Lane enforcement One issue that we would like to Gloucester Rd/Junction Bailbrook Lane - Double white bring to your attention is parking, lines to be removed particularly in Larkhall Square. I Existing white line to be extended from the Havory into can fully appreciate that parking St Saviour’s Rd in and around the square, at times, is at a premium. It has beLambridge Beat Surgery Dates come apparent, however, that February 19th 2011 : 10am - Midday drivers are choosing to park May 14th 2011 : 10am - Midday their vehicles on the pavements August 6th 2011 : 10am - Midday when allocated spaces are not November 19th 2011 : 10am - Midday available. This brings its own problems in that it not only damAll meetings at New Oriel Hall ages pavements, but more so, is an inconvenience to pedestrians and people with pushchairs and wheelchairs.The inconvenience becomes a real danger if the vehicle is parked without due consideration to pedestrians who wish to pass, thus forcing them into the road, which can be potentially very dangerous. All I would ask is that you are mindful when parking your vehicle, even for a short time. We will be monitoring the situation and where deemed necessary be issuing fixed penalty notices. If you wish to contact us please do so via 999 in an emergency 0845 456 7000 non emergency

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Spring time...sunshine... off to the park we go!!

by Paula Hawkins

Ever the optimists, Russ and Tony are defi- tival. Oh and a new Boules Piste is arriving. Phew! nitely glass-half-full kind of folk. I will set the scene for this profound statement.We are sat in the cafe at Alice Park and it’s pouring with rain and it’s January...not warm. We are chatting about what’s coming up this season at the park. I ask, ‘So what’s coming up?’ (predictable that one!), and the answers just keep on coming. In fact - dare I say it? - they don’t stop. There is a Pancake Race on Shrove Tuesday from 12 ish. A Cycle Marking Day on Saturday 26 Feb, where cyclists of all ages can come and have their bikes/scooters/trikes etc marked by our local PCSOs, and even some Road Safety Training for the children. On Friday 11 March, it’s the Big Bath Sleep for Julian House and April brings Easter Egg Hunts, Sunday afternoon music and, of course, the Larkhall Fes-

I say, ‘What about the rain?’ (also fairly predictable). They say, ‘What rain! Bring a brollie...actually we’ll lend you one.’ I say, ‘But it’s cold. Surely that puts people off from coming to the park?’ (very predictable given the curhis doggy treat hidden behind the counter! rent climate).They say,‘Have a cup of the best coffee in Bath, wrap up warm and enjoy it!’ So, my conclusion? That come rain or shine, come warm or cold, I have caught the glassAs I ponder this (sipping a cup of the VERY half-full bug and will be joining Russ and Tony BEST coffee in Bath), I agree...I actually agree this spring at Alice Park and I’ll be having a and do you know what? I went home, jolly nice time too... wrapped the family up warm, got the dog/bikes/scooters etc and we did just that! See you there! Even Ed the dog was impressed as he scoffed

New Flag-Pole Arrives At Alice Park Photographs of Alice Park taken in 1938 clearly show a flag-pole Alice Park with the original flagpole in place at standing close to the the park entrance main gate in Gloucester Road. This was erected by Herbert MacVicar, who created the park in memory of his wife Alice, who died in 1936. It was Herbert’s wish that the anniversary of Alice’s death on November 22 be remembered by the lowering of the flag to the half-mast position and this was apparently duly carried out until the removal of the pole during the Second World War. Bryan Chalker, who has thoroughly researched the history of Alice Park, decided it would be a nice gesture if a replica pole could be found and local resident Dave Laming came up with the offer of a small ship’s mast. The mast is now stored locally, awaiting restoration and installation close to its original site near the main entrance and adjacent to the Organic Café. The original stone base for the flag-pole can still be seen but as a tree has now grown too close, it has been decided to re-locate the pole a few yards away. Interestingly, the original base appears to be an old mill-stone and Bryan believes it may be a relic of the former Lambridge Mill, which once stood on the site of the now soon-to-be-demolished Harvester pub. It is hoped that the mill-stone can be safely removed from the ground and displayed within the park. Meanwhile, once back in position, the mast will again be used to fly an appropriate flag, which will be lowered on November 22 each year to remember the gracious lady who gave her name to a local park.

BIG BATH SLEEP OUT Fri 11th March - Alice Park

Sleep out for just one night and help those who are forced to sleep out every night. Julian House are organising a sponsored Sleep-Out on Friday 11 March at Alice Park and are inviting members of the public to join them. It might seem a romantic idea - sleeping outside, watching the stars and day dreaming… but imagine having no choice but to do it every night! The sponsored Sleep-out is open to anyone who is physically fit enough to sleep outside for one night (under 16s would need to be accompanied by an adult and those between 16 and 18 need signed consent from a parent or carer).The café will be open for paid snacks between 8pm and 11pm and a complimentary bacon roll or muffin will be available in the morning for those taking part. If you know of anyone that might be interested in taking part or helping on the night then talk to Cathy Adcock on 01225 354656 or see

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The third Larkhall Festival (30 April -1 May 2011) should be another feast of art, music and events. The highly successful Artists Open Studios and exhibition will be back, as will the film festival and the garden trail.We want to bring some music out onto the streets this year, so if you're interested in busking please get in touch.The full programme will be in April’s Larkhall News, in the meantime you’ll find more details on the festival website –

Garden Trail Whether you are intrigued by an imposing tulip tree or your gnome is seeking notoriety you may be interested in the festival's garden trail. Discover hidden corners of Larkhall in the neighbourhood’s carefully tended gardens, or perhaps you'd like to open your own garden to visitors?

Art More than 40 artists and makers have taken part in the Festival’s Open Studios abd Exhibition Art Trail so far, exhibiting sculptures, ceramics, textiles, paintings, prints, paper constructions, wood carvings, illustration and photography - real evidence of the richness and diversity of amateur and professional talent. And there is still space for more! To join the Trail, please visit Larkhall Artists’ website:

Add your garden to the trail, email

Cocktail Competition Are you a genius with the cocktail shaker? The Larkhall Festival Cocktail Competition is your chance to create a delicious, original cocktail - either alcoholic or non-alcoholic - which if it wins, will be on offer throughout the festival weekend.To enter, send us your cocktail recipe using the competition entry form.You'll be able to vote for your favourite at the James Bond themed cocktail-tasting final in April.Will you agree with our panel of carefully selected judges? Could you concoct the winning drink? FFI visit or email

Photography Competition 2011 My photo. My view. Simplicity is the key. There are no age limits. There is no theme. Just a picture.Your picture. Deadline for entries - 8 April FFI visit or email

Film Last year, films screened at the Larkhall Amateur Film Festival ranged from surreal scenes at Tony's veg shop to work inspired by a famous Iranian director, so this year we're really excited about receiving more of your cinematic creations to show on the big screen. Whether you're having a go for the first time, or are a more experienced film maker, the film night gives you the opportunity to share your work. FFI visit or email

Transition Larkhall gardening Blog

The new Larkhall community garden is starting to take shape. The garden is located next to the nursery in Alice Park and in November, work began with volunteers from Transition Larkhall Food Group helping to weed and clear plots with other areas being covered with cardboard, to smother out the weeds and grass. We’ll be doing some experimenting in the garden to find the most effective ways to raise fruit and vegetables – and one of the debates is whether you actually need to dig your veg garden at all, or follow what’s called the ‘no-dig’ method. Those whose backs complain at too much bending might also be glad to hear we will have at least two taller beds, which will be at a suitable height for wheelchair users. We were all sad to hear of the passing of councillor Richard Maybury, who has been such a supporter of Transition Larkhall and of

making Larkhall an oasis of fruit and nut trees and local produce. He had asked if we might include two damson trees in the garden, and we will be planting * Sweet peas are always first on my list. They need constant picking and provide a welcome these as a memorial to him. incentive to check on the garden evey few Do come along and see what we are doing in days – Kathy. the garden this spring. We aim to be there most Sundays, but look out for notices, and * You can start peas, beans and broad beans sign up to the Transition Larkhall email group. indoors in long seed pots, or plant into a toilet roll tube which can then go straight in the Contact ground. Try ‘sugar snap’ and ‘mangetout’ varieties – they give more for your effort, and no Spring growing tips from our members: waste – Kathy. * If you haven’t grown fruit and veg before it can feel overwhelming at first. Start with a few *Plant fruit trees and bushes from now until varieties that you like. Salad leaf mixes are easy, March. I’m going to put ‘cordons’ (a slanting sineven in a windowbox, and a cheap, fresh alter- gle-stemmed tree) against our garden for a fruit harvest from a small space – Caroline. native to bagged salads – Caroline.

Transition Larkhall is a voluntary community-led initiative that aims to support Larkhall as it adapts to the changes demanded by the challenges of Climate Change and Peak Oil. Practically, this means measures such as helping people towards insulating their homes, grant applications for renewable energy in schools, and supporting local shops and food production.

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News from

New Oriel Hall

Some people see February as the tail end of winter but for the Romans living in our valley two thousand years ago, the first of February was the start of spring. To them snowdrops promised the return of the sun and the new growing season. Here at New Oriel Hall we love the spring term. It is always a very busy time when, renewed and energised by the long mid winter break, lots of people decide to kick start their lives into a healthier gear. You have to admit it couldn’t be easier. By combining a lively exercise session with a weekly slimming class, all held here on your doorstep, you should easily be able to drop a dress size or two, just in time for Sarah’s fabulous Spring Clothes Sale on the evening of March 25th. For more information, or alternatively, if anyone has lovely clothes they would like to sell, please get in touch with Sarah on 461258. Exercise classes held here weekly are many and varied with different styles of yoga, general exercise, dance and Pilates, all available for differing levels of ability and age groups. There’s monthly all-day energising Qi Gong on February 11th, March 4th and April 8th. The slimming element can be chosen from Slimming World classes or Sanela’s popular Weight Loss Challenge. Add to that a stimu-

lating weekend workshop, such as Tai Chi on 5th and 6th of March, or Yoga dance on April 9th and 10th, and you will soon be in peak form, trim and healthy, all ready to hit those summer beaches. This term sees the return of many of our regular activities and classes aimed at our younger members and we are proud of all of the great things on offer at the hall for them to enjoy. From Sing and Sign and Jolly Babies to Little Stars toddler football and Sally Handley’s fabulous Mum and Me sessions; all are a great way to make new friends, have fun and get involved in some exercise and creative fun with your little one! This year we will also host a fantastic exhibition of handmade quilts. Please mark the date, 16th and 17th April, in your diary and make an effort to come along and view these spectacular, colourful pieces. The quilts on display are similar to ones you might see in the American Museum but let’s face it, getting here is much easier.


Larkhall’s 12 Week Weight Loss Challenge has just seen a combined weight loss of 242 lbs between 20 active participants with our 3 biggest “losers” sharing a cash prize of £580, just in time for Christmas! The next Weight Loss Challenge is set to start on Monday, 17th January 2011 at 7:15PM at the New Oriel Hall. WLC is a fun and informative 12 week programme to help you reach your weight-loss goals and improve your diet and lifestyle choices. As half of the £39 workshop fee goes towards the Prize Fund, at the end of the 12 weeks, the top 3 challengers who have lost the most percentage of body weight will win cash prizes! It is a lively, interactive and fun workshop which provides great support to its participants whilst the weekly nutritional lessons give the participants important information about how to eat more healthily and adopt a better lifestyle. Apart from the nutritional lessons and advice, WLC coaches offer a personalised diet plan as well as their personal support, follow up and mentoring outside of the class, which many find invaluable.

Other special springtime events include a Buddhist weekend on April 2nd and 3rd and the highlight of our spring season, the wonderful Larkhall Festival. We are delighted to welcome back this annual event and look forward to a wonderful showcase of events for everything positive and good going on in our vibrant community. For more details of activities held at the Hall please visit our web site , check out the external notice board or call us on 01225 466606

Sanela with Anna,WLC Winner “Winning the first prize of £280 was a real surprise and will come in very useful for Christmas. It feels amazing to have lost 32 lbs and I feel like a different person. The WLC gives you lots of support and all the information and advice to adopt a healthier and more positive lifestyle. The group were really friendly and Sanela gives you all the personal support and motivation you need. I'm really looking forward to joining the next WLC in January” (Anna). So, join us if you are ready to make your healthy New Year’s Resolutions come true! Spaces are very limited, so book early to avoid disappointment! For more information or to book your place, please call Sanela on 01225313218 or text WLC on 07737 053 498 or visit

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The Rondo’s Spring season is guaranteed to fill you with all the joys associated with this time of year. We are packed full of top quality music, comedy and theatre.

Unburdening and Discovery Gestalt and The Helpful Mirror When you come to see someone in one of the talking therapies it could be about any one of a broad range of possibilities. From emotional trauma, inner conflict or a pattern of low self esteem, to an issue around creativity, self expression or sporting challenge.

tion to that may enable mirroring a different view, and your exploration may bring to light a previously unnoticed path or resource.

The second thread is around developing awareness of how you are experiencing and holding yourself in the ‘here and In my understanding and ap- now’. proach as a Gestalt based practitioner, there are two main Two instances.You speak but do threads supportive of finding a not give attention to a cutting way through any difficult area of motion you make with your hand. If you focus on that, do experience. you support your sense of conFirstly it is important to be able viction, your capacity to decide? to unload pent-up feelings and Or perhaps your breathing is concerns - being able to tell habitually tight and anxious? your story without feeling What is that about? Perhaps an judged. A therapist will not tell exploration uncovers the need you what to do or how you and supports the possibility of ‘should be’, but in hearing your ‘breathing space’. story he or she may ‘mirror’ and enable you to see and clarify Rick Sanderson is a Gestalt your place in your experience. therapist working in Larkhall and in Bristol. Contact 01225 Sometimes you feel as if lost in 318985 and 07522 900 527 a wood or a fog. Giving atten-

There are wonders galore in the theatre listings, and the legend that is Hull Truck Theatre Company are gracing Bath this year with a Nick Lane adapted Lady Chatterley’s Lover. It is a real coup to secure a visit from Hull Truck so be sure not to miss out on this fantastic event. Also, we have the intriguing evening of Chekov’s Shorts brought to us by European Arts Theatre. Musically the sound of Spring is sweet at The Rondo; we have the talented young musicians from Prior Park, the inspired and eclectic Inu, a prompt return from the hugely popular Keith James, this time focusing squarely on Leonard Cohen’s music, we have Bristol favourites Folk from the Croft, and the welcome return of the delightful Kit Holmes Trio. Our fantastic community groups here at The Rondo have excelled themselves with their choices this season offering us panto, musicals, modern classics, classical classics, new writing and innovation by the bucket-load we’re sure. This April sees the third coming of the Bath Comedy Festival, and The Rondo has become a comedy powerhouse in recent years. Even before the festival rolls into town we have TV regulars like Simon Munnery and Zoe Lyons treading the Larkhall boards. But come April there is a deluge of the funniest shows and minds in the business, it would be foolish to attempt to capture all their individual brilliances in such a small space. Take a look at the close of our season for a comedy lineup that is a veritable who’s who of the scene right now, including the comedy legend that is Phil Cool and the hilarious ‘instantWit!’.

Readers of The Larkhall News can join the laughs at this year’s Bath Comedy Festival at The Rondo... It’s simple: just enter the competition to stand a chance of winning two tickets to see the hilarious, quick-fire improvisation comedy show ‘instantWit!’ You are just three steps away from having the night of your life! Step One - Finish the sentence: “The Rondo is my favourite venue in Bath because.....” Step Two - Email you answer to: Or post your answer to: Paula Hawkins, St Mark’s School, Baytree Rd, Larkhall Step Three - Cross your fingers, we’ll let you know if you’ve won!

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Above: Worcester Buildings then and now

The Destruction of Little Mudcombe By Dave Laming

Photographs used by courtesy of Bath In Time Preservation Trust Collection, Bath Central Library Collection and the author Way back in the early 1800s St Mark’s School and its immediate surroundings were green fields and watercourses. The small area now occupied by the small terraces of Worcester Place and Worcester Villas, and also before their demolition in the 1970s, Worcester Buildings and Worcester Lodge were then known as Little Mudcombe, which, according to old records, was in the district of Raglands.

four triple-floored Worcester Villas, and the superb but quaint Worcester Lodge. It is not known from the records in my possession whether Joseph Triggs was responsible for building the twenty-nine two-up, two-downers named Worcester Buildings, but it’s highly likely he was. From the old maps it is clear that the car parking area now serving Worcester Place and Villas was Triggs’s builders yard and stables, materials then being transported by horse and cart. Thus was created Little Mudcombe.

We now leap forward in time to that ill-fated year 1973. Bath City Council and the then Lord Mayor, The Right Honourable Tony Rhymes, issued a Compulsory Purchase Order on the then owner of the cottages, a Miss Emily Margaret Wakley, who resided in Weymouth, Dorset. The City acquired one lodge, thirty-seven two-bedroom cottages, four three-bedroom cottages, stables, a yard and a vast acreage of gardens and orchards, for the princely sum of £411. Let destruction begin!

Evidence from the old records suggests that poor old Joseph always struggled to obtain finance for the building of the cottages. Nevertheless, he battled through. In April 1842 he borrowed £300 from Robert White, a cooper, then various large loans from a coachbuilder from Bath, a civil engineer from Peckham, In 1839, a builder contractor-cum-master Surrey, and a gentleman from Norwich. mason of Bath by the name of Joseph Triggs, approached the landowner, John Michael However, in 1860, Joseph died, obviously Shum, and on the 10th of May that year without descendants and still owing large Triggs obtained a 900 year lease on sufficient sums to his lenders. Thus, in 1863, following land to commence building numbers 1 and 2 protracted legal activity in The Court of Worcester Place and Worcester Lodge, each Chancery, his estate possession fell into the at two guineas (£2.20) per year. During the hands of Messrs. Richard Allen and Edward following few years Joseph completed further Turner Payne, solicitors of Bath. Joseph was similar transactions with Schum, thus en- laid to rest somewhere in Lansdown Cemeabling the completion of the eight small two- tery. storey artisan cottages of Worcester Place, the

The demolition boys first moved in on Worcester Buildings (pictured above), followed by the destruction of Worcester Lodge (pictured bottom).

It seems that Raglands lay in the ownership of three wealthy gentlemen: to the west from Baytree Road, Sir Henry Rivers, to the north from the rear of Worcester Villas, a Mr. Robbins, and to the east a woollen draper named John Michael Shum. The latter was the interesting man as far as Little Mudcombe is concerned, and possibly why the district became known as Raglands.

Thankfully the Bath preserverationists stepped in and put a stop to any further unnecessary destruction. So at least just a small part of Little Mudcombe remains on the map, and thanks must go to the efforts of people such as Peter and Ruth Coard, the founder members of the Bath Buildings Record. In 1980 Avon County Council, then in control of property services, began the disposal of the remaining cottages to the Bristol-based Avonside Housing Association for, on average, £12,000 each. Each cottage received an update and complete renovation. And the rest, as they say, lies in history. R.I.P The lost Little Mudcombe, and of course Joseph Triggs. Left: Worcester Lodge then and now

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The Larkhall

Village Kitchen

The Larks Play On Whatever the weather!

by Neil Kirkpatrick The Larks have continued to enjoy a very good start to their second season in the Toolstation Western League Premier division and sit proudly at the top of the league at the halfway stage of the season. We didn’t actually play a single game in December due to the freezing weather and snowy conditions but the players have continued to train hard and keep up their fitness.

fortunes and currently occupy mid table as new manager Chris Carr shapes his team. They are already looking stronger and we are optimistic that they will climb the table during the second half of the year.

Last but by no means least, the Under 18s are enjoying an excellent season and are top of the table at the moment. Having reached the semi-finals of their league cup, we In October we beat one of the title now look forward to hosting Wefavourites, Willand Rovers, 3-1 at ston Super Mare at Plainham on Plainham and this was their first de- February 14th. feat away from home for over a year. The team also suffered two Larkhall Athletic Ladies defeats away, losing at both Wells City and Ilfracombe, but have since The Ladies have now passed the bounced back beating Radstock midway point of the 2010-11 seaTown, Barnstaple Town, Longwell son. To date they have showed exGreen Sports and Welton Rovers, cellent form and sit proudly on top as well as hammering Chard Town of the South West Women’s Prein the league cup! mier Division. The break for the bad weather has meant that we have a busy schedule coming up with mid-week games now being fitted in every week until the middle of February, which means the squad will be tested to the limit. The reserves have enjoyed mixed

With a league title and a County Cup still very much a possibility, why not keep your eyes on the club notice board down in Larkhall Square for the latest fixtures and come and enjoy free admission to all the Ladies games up at Plain Ham.

The column that puts creativity back into cooking with the majority of ingredients sourced from Larkhall shops, gardens or allotments.

Stewed Oxtail Ingredients: 1 large oxtail; 4 cloves; 1 large onion; 2 large carrots; 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper; 1oz. flour mixed with 1oz. butter; chopped parsley; salt to taste Method: Cut the tail into pieces (or ask your Larkhall butcher to do it for you). Place in a large pan and cover with water, bring it to the boil. Skim it well as the scum rises and then add the onion with the cloves stuck in it, the sliced carrots, cayenne, salt and bring back to the boil. Allow to simmer for 2 hours until the meat is tender. Remove the meat and vegetables and keep warm on a serving dish. Add the flour and butter mixture in pieces and cook until it thickens. Pour over the meat and sprinkle on the parsley. Make sure that all the cloves have been removed. If you are feeling really adventurous, then use a fresh hot green chilli pepper (or two) instead of the cayenne.

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Larkhall Business in Focus... It is probably fair to say that banks in general probably aren’t the most popular group of organizations in the country at the moment. With some questionable economic trading over the past decade combined with a recession, many financial institutions are fighting a public relations war with the ordinary tax payer but is it fair to tarnish all banks and Building Societies with the same brush? Student Reporters Ben Partridge, Ben Holton and James Camm recently met with Bath Building Society Chief Executive Dick Jenkins, and Community and Retail Operations Manager Jonathan Cook to discover that looking after your finances in Larkhall was a world away from the doom and gloom of the financial City.


ath Building Society is a small, locally based, financial institution with branches across Bath, including here in Larkhall. Established in 1904 as a savings investment company, they would use local savers’ money in the early days to buy houses that were then rented out. The more money they made from rental income, the more they were able to pay out in interest to their savers. This somewhat simple approach has remained at the heart of the company for its 106 years’ existence and in 1953, when it became a Building Society, the only difference came where instead of purchasing properties themselves, they lent the money to homebuyers through a mortgage. The interest earned on the mortgage would then provide a means to pay interest to the savers. This sounds a very traditional and some might say old-fashioned approach, but when one considers the complications and turbulence of the global financial markets, such simplicity seems heart-warming and logical. “We aren’t owned like a bank,” said Chief Executive, Dick Jenkins. “We are effectively owned by the people who invest in us; our members, the people who save their money with us. We don’t pay out to shareholders or make huge dividend payments twice a year; any financial profit from our investments goes straight back into the pot and is turned into interest rates for our savers. Our members have the ability to help decide on how things are run at Bath Building Society and they get to say what we are paid.” This attitude to its customers has clearly paid

Bath Building Society

We minimize risks and are careful with our investments...

its own dividends, if you’ll pardon the pun! Despite the recession, Bath Building Society remain one of the most stable and consistent financial institutions on our High Street locally.

We listen to our customers and can be flexible to their needs...

“We can help with all sorts of things and have recently donated some funding to the Larkhall Athletic Football Club for some much needed kit for the Under 17s and the Oldfield Park knitting club, so that they can buy more wool to make clothing for the “We are prudent, careful and risk-averse. homeless. We also support local schools and Being closer geographically to our customers charities by providing hot air balloon rides for means that we can have more of a relation- raffle prizes. We will do whatever we can and ship with them. Whilst we are careful with encourage people to get in touch if they the money that we lend and minimize any have a project they need help with.” risks to our investments, we can also be flexible and listen individually to people’s needs. The future for many banks and building sociWe started the recession in a fairly good po- eties on the High Street is uncertain, to say sition and have managed to continue to offer the least. The industry has certainly changed a competitive service to our customers,” said since the recession and it has become clear Dick. that the complexities and uncertainty that surrounds financial institutions does make Community and Retail Operations Manager their customers nervous and insecure. Jonathan Cook is justifiably proud of the work that Bath Building Society has done lo- What a breath of fresh air then to interview cally to help local charities and organisations. a financial institution whose genuine morality In 2006, they launched their Charity Awards and ethics are deep rooted in their organias a way of financially supporting community sation? So much so, that their purpose has work. The grants can range from £250 to not changed in over 100 years, regardless of £1500 and have in the past gone to help economic down-turns or up-turns and the good causes that otherwise would struggle future looks set to follow a similar trend. to carry on. As every child in a Bath primary school will know, Bath Building Society also “We want to be around in 50 years and besponsor the annual fireworks display at the yond, steadily growing year on year. Our aim, Recreation Ground, an occasion steeped in as it has always been, is to provide a fair, effihistory for children and adults alike. cient and stable service to our customers that they can depend and rely on. We pride “We try to get involved with as many local ourselves on being financially strong, stable charities and groups as possible. We feel that and having our customers at the heart of we have a responsibility to give back to our everything we do,” said Dick. community and to provide funding for events and activities that help others,” said Jonathan.

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Larkhall News Feb 2011  
Larkhall News Feb 2011  

Larkhall News Feb 2011