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THE LARKHALL NEWS Produced by St Mark’s School

Issue 18, May 2012

A Church of England Business and Enterprise College

2012 Larkhall Festival Programme centre-page pull-out!


St Mark’s The Valley Schools Report

An Industrial Museum for Bath?

Bryan Chalker takes up the challenge

Larkhall Open Studios Artists Skill-Share With A Difference!

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Welcome to the May edition of The

In This Edition

As I write, there are a host of people in and around our small village working together to stage a bank holiday weekend full of entertainment, art exhibitions, workshops and events, all for this year’s hotly anticipated Larkhall Festival.

The Valley Schools of St Mark’s, St Saviour’s and St Stephen’s with news from school

Larkhall News!

St Mark’s & The Valley Schools

The Larkhall Festival is without doubt, the most tremendous annual event to have happened upon our small village since...well, 1989. You will have to read Feargus’ timely article on page 9 to discover the significance! I have been very slightly privy to a sneaky-peak of the programme for this year and am impressed by the content! From Choir by Fire (complete with all health and safety and risk assessments, I am assured!) to Technophobia with Mark Brosnan and a ‘Gurning Competition’ at the Rose and Crown; there really is something for all! I have seen and spoken to many a frazzled organiser of this now annual event and have the greatest of admiration for their perseverance, tenacity and dedication to our community, not to mention their persuasive skills! I hope that they can relax and enjoy the weekend as much as I’m sure the community and its visitors will. Thank you also to our advertisers, who inadvertently ensure that The Larkhall News and Business Connect (the school’s business networking enterprise) can continue to thrive in our community. Without their support, it would be simply impossible. So please, do thank them and mention The Larkhall News if you use their services - it makes all the difference. If you would like to join us in this community enterprise or help out in any way, please give me a ring or drop me an email!

25 Years at St Mark’s School Local resident and long-serving staff member, Rose Smith, celebrates 25 years at St Mark’s School

Larkhall Festival 2012 All you need for a full run-down of events and activities this Bank Holiday!

The Case for a Museum of Bath

Bryan Chalker argues the case for a new industrial heritage museum in Bath

Skill-sharing with a difference! Members of this year’s Open Studios Art Trail go back to school to skill share for this year’s Festival

Taking your pet abroad Bath Veterinary Group Vet, Mark Minkler from Beaufort Vets, explains just how to do it!

With best wishes

Paula Paula Hawkins - Editor Telephone:01225 312661 or 478416 Email:

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:

Friendly, helpful service

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in articles are strictly those of the authors. The publisher does not accept responsibility for any inaccuracies or errors in content. 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 S c h o o l By Head of School, Chris Ryan

The embodiment of this 'soft’ federation will be the building of a new joint 6th form provision, open to the students of St Mark's and St Gregory's, to those of both faiths as well as providing places for students from any schools in B&NES and beyond. In September 2011, St Mark's Church of England School and St Gregory's Catholic College were joined together when Mr Raymond Friel was appointed as the Executive Headteacher of both schools. The last seven months have seen many joint ventures between the two schools, most recently a joint Spirituality Day in the glorious Tortworth Court, when both staffs came together in order to share their common Christian Foundation. The embodiment of this 'soft' federation will be the building of a new joint 6th form provision on land adjacent to St Gregory's site.This will be unique in Bath, a joint Christian Sixth Form open to the students of St Mark's and St Gregory's , to those of both faiths as well as providing places for students from any schools in B&NES and beyond. As with any birth there is great excitement at both schools and much debate and deliberation regarding the name of the new arrival, and more of that in another edition! Construction of 'Phase One' of the project is due to commence in late Summer 2012 with the new college open for business in Sep-

Architect impressions supplied by Bristol-based architects,White Design, who specialise in creating beautiful and sustainable eduacational buildings for the future.

tember 2013, when it is anticipated that approximately 100 students will start studying in a new state of the art facility. The new building is being designed by 'White Design' a nationally renowned, Bristol-based firm of architects, who specialise in creating beautiful and sustainable educational buildings. The new college will be constructed using 'Mod Cell' technology, panels which incorporate a sandwich of timber sheeting filled with straw. The use of Mod Cell means that the buiding's 'Carbon Footprint' will be minimised.The Mod Cell panels will be produced in a 'flying factory', a temporary production line which will science-based challenges: building and programming robots, bridge building, a car challenge and a forensics task. A team of judges observed the groups and awarded marks to students based on how successfully the tasks were completed and how well the team worked together.

Success in Science -Students from St Mark’s School were invited to take part in the Bristol Area Science and Technology Challenge Day held at the University of West of England in Bristol. The day is designed to challenge and stimulate science work within schools and St Mark’s were one of only eight schools in the Bath and Bristol area to be fortunate enough to secure an invite. Students were split into mixed-school teams of four and asked to complete a series of four

“The students of St Mark’s School made an outstanding contribution to the day’s activities, demonstrating excellent scientific skills,” said Head of Science, Sarah Hawkins. Success was celebrated by a number of students for their work during the event with Polly and Isaac winning the Bridge Building Challenge and Jack and Emilia winning the Forensics Challenge. Jack and Emilia were also presented with the Overall Winning Team

be set up on a local farm. We are hoping that students from both schools will be able to help with the production of their new sixth form. As you can imagine there is much excitement surrounding this new venture and particularly amongst students of both schools who have already seen design drawings and have had a 'fly through' presentation from the architects. A select group of 20 students from each school are working closely with the architects in order to ensure that the potential ‘customers', have a say in the internal design of this unique sixth form collaboration. I look forward to keeping you informed in later editions once construction has started. Award for their achievements in all of the challenges set throughout the day. “Events like these are a great opportunity for our students to put knowledge they have learned in the classroom into practice,” said Sarah. “I was really impressed with the students; they were outstanding ambassadors for our school and to win two out of the four challenges, as well as the overall winning team, was an outstanding achievement! I am so proud of them all.” “The winning team is also given the option to attend a National Challenge Day in London later in the year which will be hugely exciting for everyone.” The students involved were: Joe Alvis-Pearson, Corey Bayliss, Sam Evans, Nancy Dowman, Isaac Hill, Polly Fenne, Amy James, Elizabeth Norman, Jack Flemons, Emelia King, Kai Diamond, Louise Packer.

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StSt e p h e n ’s S c h o ol

By Year 6 Pupils

Welcome to the World of ‘The Ipod People’

With some inventions you see an instant positive change, mostly for the better, but the iPod could be a whole different story. These days, the streets are lonely places mirroring a ghost town, with people meandering aimlessly like lost sheep. Who are they? I’ll tell you. The iPod People. iPod people...gliding through thin air, transported by music into a blank mind, with a blank face. Zombies, one might say. A new race, come from somewhere else. I noticed the iPod People about a year ago whilst walking down the road.The atmosphere felt odd and everyone was so quiet. I tried to figure out why.Then, as someone bumped into me, I saw his ears, the little white headphones, leaking out music. The white wires act like a power source from the small slim box creating the fashion of glazed eyes and tinnitus. I went into town and surprisingly, it was dead, silent and lonely. A gentle breeze was swaying through the trees and the birds were singing. Again, surprisingly, nobody notices. Nobody cared. These are the people with headphones, listening to the unknown, not giving a care in the world that they may be risking their lives wandering into the road or even worse, missing the chance to see it. Randomly gliding like brainwashed zombies. They worship iPods like gods. To them, the Apple Store is like a church. Using a free trial

is like getting baptised! The Genius Bar is like the Priest but in a different uniform. All things that relate to the iPod are just part of the religion. They are cold to other’s feelings, ignoring each other and the world around them. These creatures don’t engage with you. They can hear no longer, the sound of shops, cars and chatter from friend to friend, gossip and laughter. Just the sound of Jessie J,The Black Eyed Peas or the next big song to reel in some new victims for the iPod to feed on. iPods have affected society as we know it. People don’t engage as much as they used to. People don’t communicate and socialise with one another. It’s like a strange situation, and once you’re in it, there’s no getting out. You are trapped inside this race, a race called the ‘iPod People’. Humans are missing the good things in life like camping, football, basketball, picnics or just a game of golf. We are losing our liking for the outdoors. Have you realised that music was sociable before the iPod? How sad that all music is trapped inside the iPod World. A few days ago, I forgot to take my iPod with me. I did not know what to do.Then as I heard

The St Stephen’s Primary School Year 6 Reporting Team

the train rushing by and the song of a bird, I realised that there are noises out there, just as good as music in your ears. So maybe if you get a free moment, just stop and listen to the world. It has its own sound and guess what? You don’t need an iTunes voucher to hear it. Finally, something that’s free. Please try not to get sucked into the world of the iPods like me because, be warned; once you’re in it, it’s hard getting out. You will be lucky if you ever manage it. The white wires will always mock you. Has the iPod reinvented the world as we know it? Written by the Year 6 pupils of St Stephen’s Primary School. Based on the article Society is Dead by Andrew Sullivan.

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St Sav i o u r ’s

Nurser y and Infant School By Headteacher, Ed Harker

Sharing The Love Of Reading Springtime is a great opportunity to start afresh, so as part of our whole school focus on reading we have two new projects in our school... Our Year 1 and 2 children are enjoying the benefits of mixedage learning. Every week a dedicated team of volunteers from St Mark’s Secondary School are coming in to read with our children. We will soon be extending this work through the use of volunteers from the charity RSVP. During the holiday this Easter we are doubling the size of our school library room, stripping out the old furniture, knocking down a wall and putting in a skylight. At the start of the next term we will be presenting the new room as a ‘blank canvas’ to the children, asking for their ideas and inspiration to bring our new library to life.

Josh and Josh from Years 8 and 9 at St Mark’s School helping Ollie and Ava with their reading.

Perhaps a ‘story forest’ will grow in our school, or maybe a ‘reading rocket’ will land...

Bringing the generations together...

The five Valley Schools, St Saviour’s Infants, St Saviour’s Juniors, St Mark’s, Swainswick Primary and St Stephen’s Primary are working with the Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme (RSVP), to bring the skills and experiences of the older generation into their schools. The schools are looking for volunteers to listen to children read, to help with gardening projects, modern foreign languages, cooking, knitting, and chess. If you have other skills and abilities there could well be opportunities for you too. Volunteers are not expected to be involved in teaching the formal curriculum and often work on a one to one basis with children. Schools involved with RSVP elsewhere in the country have reported the value older volunteers can bring in enabling children to mix with a wider group of adults and to learn from them. The volunteers have also benefitted finding such involvement very rewarding – and, for some, it has given them a new lease of life. If you would like to find out more about the project or want to get involved, share your skills and help build a stronger community across the generations in the Lambridge Valley, then please contact Joan Whitehead by email: or phone: 01225 314860.You can also contact the regional office phone: 0117 922 4392.

...schools value what age has to offer

Alternatively, please contact the head of one of the Valley Schools.

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years of service

By student reporter, Ben Partridge

On April 1 this year, Rose Smith will be celebrating her 25th anniversary as a member of the facilities staff at St Mark’s School. Rose has lived in Larkhall for 34 years and has been a vibrant part of the school and wider community during that time. Since joining the school in 1987, Rose has worked under five different headteachers and witnessed the changing shape of the School as it has developed over three decades. “I love St Mark’s School,” says Rose. “It’s a big part of my life and I would be lost without it. I enjoy seeing all of the friendly faces every day, helping them and trying to support them in their jobs and studies.” Rose arrives at the school at 4:30 am every weekday to open up the school, making sure that it is ready for all of the students and staff. She sets up all of the assemblies so that

L &L arkhall

everyone has a chair, prepares the teas and coffees ready for the team of cleaners to begin their work and she then herself gets stuck into the cleaning of offices and toilets. And all of this is done before the students arrive! Speaking on behalf of the staff at St Mark’s School, Head of School Chris Ryan said, “Rose is a vital part of the School helping and supporting the team through some challenging years! Her dedication and work behind the scenes has meant that the staff and students have been well looked after over the years and we hope that this will continue for another 25 years.”

school performances. In A Christmas Cracker, Rose took on the role of Pamela Anderson of Baywatch to star alongside her David Hasslehoff, also known as Head of Humanities, Mr Tony Bradley!

“Rose is a great support to us all and we are very grateful for her 25 years of dedication to St Mark’s School.”

Last year’s production of Bugsy Malone was no exception and Rose once again took to the stage to play the part of cleaner.

During her time at St Mark’s, Rose has even taken to the stage and starred in a number of

“I just love being here,” said Rose. “It’s hardwork, but lots of fun.”

Rose Smith celebrates 25 years of service to St Mark’s School


Beat Team Reports

It only seems a matter of weeks ago that winter and the Christmas period was fast approaching. Now I find myself writing this in what can only be described as glorious, if a little barmy, weather for March!

by PCSO Paul King

Unfortunately I was unable to submit an article for the last edition, but am pleased to say that again it will be a regular feature in what I PACT Meetings 1 November 2012 - 6.30pm St Mark’s School deem to be a valuable community asset.

Lambridge Beat Surgery 12 May, 4 August, 17 November 2012 10am - Midday at New Oriel Hall Meet your local community police and councillors

Contact us on 999 in an EMERGENCY or 101 for NON EMERGENCY

We have in recent weeks had a big push towards dealing with anti-social behaviour, which can often be a blight on local communities. In recent weeks, Lambridge had several reports of nuisance motorbikes in and around the area, due partly, I believe, to the good weather. Through working in Bath for a number of years, I know that this can be a common occurrence as the summer months approach. Some of these motorbikes are not road-legal though, and are often driven in a dangerous

and anti-social manner. I’m sure you can appreciate that we, as your Beat Team, are keen to ensure that this doesn’t become an ongoing issue. However, we would still like to encourage you to report any such incidents, as this gives us a much greater chance of identifying any suspects and dealing with them. Any information you can provide is vital, and in particular • Call whenever this is happening. • Provide descriptions of bikes/persons • Provide a direction in which they are travelling Remember there are a numbers of ways to report incidents – 101 for all non-emergencies 999 for all emergencies Paul King, PCSO 8124, Walcot, Lambridge, Lansdown.

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News from

New Oriel Hall

“Fresh new leaves are unfurling on trees all around and the sight of pink cherry blossom against a deep blue sky is heart warming.” Here at New Oriel Hall we have finally got a gardening group together. We meet up every few weeks to weed and tidy the grounds - it’s easy when there’s a friendly team! If anyone would like to join please call Kathy on 01225 331858. On a weekly basis there’s a wide range of inspiring activities, suitable for all ages, from babies to the elderly. Ongoing classes and events include various styles of dancing, singing and art, lots of different exercise forms, spiritual development, education, weight loss, family support and Lunch Club. NEW CLASSES… New to the hall for April is the wonderful Youth Choir (starting Friday 20 April) run by Liz Hunt, the group called the Minuendos, will run from 7-9pm on Friday nights and is open to all youngsters from 11-19 years old. Liz says the aim is to make singing fun and informal. The group will be learning a wide range of songs from pop songs to songs from the shows. For more information please call Liz on Bath 420845, or 07766 494766. For those of you who want to tone up or get into shape for summer do come along to Amanda’s new Body Conditioning Class which starts on Tuesday 17 April 9.15am -10.15am. This fun 55 minute class is set to music; it incorporates balance, strength, cardio, toning and stretching.This low impact class is suitable for all levels of fitness, shapes and sizes. Styles of exercises are very varied, including Yoga, Pilates and Ballet. For more information call Amanda on 01225 314766

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY... May kicks off in style with Larkhall Festival, based at the hall and running from Saturday 5th until Monday 7th May. The Festival is an ideal opportunity to find out more about the local community and all the talented people who live in and around our lively village. The following week, at 7.00 p.m on Friday May 11, we are holding New Oriel Hall’s A.G.M. and all members are cordially invited to attend. Treat your body and soul on May 12 to a wonderful ZENDO Meditation Workshop with Tobyn Tribbeck. For more information please call him on 01747 826195. During the morning of 26 May, Action Aid are organising another Table Top Sale, so if you like the idea of an unexpected bargain, put this date in your diary. Anyone wanting to sell rather than buy should contact Anne on 01225 314467. On June 8, the hall is being used as a collection point by the National Blood Services and they are always keen for new donors. If you would like to help, it’s a good idea to get in touch with the National Blood Services in advance, to make an appointment. The best way to find out exactly what goes on is to either check out our web site: or you can find a full copy of the most up to date time table on the external notice board outside the hall.

1989 was a momentous year; check out Wikipedia...loads happened! But none more significant than what happened to a small Church Hall in the village of Larkhall. OK, maybe the collapse of the Berlin Wall just edges it off the top spot, but still...momentous. In 1989, Doreen and Wilf William (excellent name, sir), gifted the building to the local community, specifically the new charity:The Rondo Trust. Immediately, a bar was installed, raked seating put in and a control room ingeniously attached above the auditorium. So was born The Rondo Theatre that we now know and love. In 1996 a big grant came in which provided the behind-the-scenes stuff (dressing rooms, offices etc), that audiences never see but allow The Rondo to operate at a high level. Finally another grant in 2003 brought in state of the art lighting. Now The Rondo was in a position to attract quality professional theatre, music, and comedy to sit alongside the wonderful community productions it continues to be so proud of. Now, in 2012, The Rondo is established as one of the leading fringe venues in the country and it is right on your doorstep. If you’ve never been in, why not pop along and sample some of the biggest names in comedy and touring theatre, or discover the next big thing with the high-quality new writing on display? The gorgeous stage-side bar and warm wood flooring combine with the delightfully traditional plush red seating and ‘proper theatre’ red curtains to give a beautifully intimate experience. The fantastically friendly volunteer bar staff ensure a great welcome every time. So pop along, we’ll be waiting with a smile and a cracking show...

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Larkhall Athletic FC is having a successful and eventful season both on and off the pitch. The first team continue to press for top spot in the league and to retain the title they won last year. They currently stand second in the league, only one point behind the leaders, with six games to go. Probably the biggest news is that the Club has been awarded £50,000 of Olympic legacy funding from Sport England to improve the clubhouse facilities. The improvements form part of the Club's ground development plans to bring its home, Plain Ham, up to the standard required for Step 4 of the football pyramid, enabling the club's first team to progress to the Southern League should they win promotion. A giant cheque was presented at the Club on 16th March at an event attended by two local MPs - Don Foster and Jacob Rees-Mogg - and the Mayor of Bath, Bryan Chalker, as well as a number of representatives from the senior, women's and youth sections of the Club. The Larkhall Sports Club chairman Jim McLay commented, “This is marvellous news for the club and sets us on the road towards some long overdue improvements to our facilities at Plain Ham that can be matched to the needs of the thriving membership in all sections of the club - boys’, girls’, ladies’ and men’s. We will need to secure additional funding and some planning approvals to turn our plans into reality but this is within our grasp and we are working

hard behind the scenes with the help and encouragement of seasoned professionals to realise the goal in good time for our centenary year, 2014.” This is very welcome news at a time when the Larks' first team are currently on track to keep the Western League title. The Larkhall Ladies are also having a very successful season: they had a wonderful run in the FA Women's Cup, the highlight of which was beating Tottenham Hotspur Ladies at home, and they are still in the running to win the South West Women's League Premier Division. The Club is running a fundraising Race Night on 28th April at Plain Ham, starting at 6.30pm.

All welcome to join what promises to be a great evening. Follow our news on and off the pitch via the Club website and Twitter account:

Spring and Sunshine in Alice Park Wondering how to while away the days? Thinking of lazy Sundays (or everyday) in the park? Why not pop along to Alice Park this spring and let Tony and Russ show you how Spring really should be celebrated!? Here are some ideas to tempt you... May 5-7 Larkhall Festival It’s bigger and better than ever! See the enclosed full programme for further details or keep an eye on the website. May 12, June 9 & July 14 Brocante Great stalls and lovely antiques, so come along to browse and buy! June 3rd-4th Jubilee Celebrations It only happens once every 60 years, why not make the most of it? Jo and Amy from Funky Art House will do their ‘thing’ with dressing up arts and crafts August 26-27 Wurzel Weekend Enough said.

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The case for a

Museum Bath of

Above: Bath’s 1926 Gasholder. Right: The rear of Stothert & Pitt’s Newark Foundry Below: The last tram from Lambridge

Councillor Bryan Chalker, B&NES’ Heritage Champion, argues the case for creating a museum large enough to house major industrial exhibits and targets the former Bath Press building, Newark Works or Bath’s last Gasholder as likely candidates... Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and as such is blessed with the Roman Baths, Royal Crescent, outstanding Georgian architecture and a wealth of small museums, including the Museum of Bath At Work, American Museum, Building of Bath Museum, Postal Museum and the William Hershel Museum. There is no facility large enough, however, to exhibit such items as full-sized steam engines, locomotives, rolling-stock, motor vehicles or other relics relating to Bath’s rich industrial past. It’s almost as if the city is ashamed of its manufacturing heritage and seeks to air-brush it from history but changes could be afoot and there is now growing public awareness of Bath as a truly creative centre in times past. Bath can lay claim to inventing Plasticine, giving the world its postal system, assisting in the development of the moving image and being among the first cities in Britain to light its street lamps with coal-gas. Bath has always been a centre for invention and innovation and Larkhall played host to small breweries, a steam laundry, thriving spa and two mills, the Dead Mill (still standing) and the now sadly demolished Lambridge Mill. Sadly, there are no official heritage plaques to commemorate the existence of such local commercial history but the matter has been under scrutiny for the past four years and will hopefully be resolved in due course. The situation regarding the city’s lack of accommodation for large industrial exhibits was highlighted with the return to Bath last July of the 1904 Stothert & Pitt steam crane. Thanks to developer Crest Nicholson, who wanted

an example of a Stothert & Pitt engine for its Western Riverside Project and now have it on permanent exhibition at the site, the venerable Edwardian machine would have languished in the Washford Yard of the Somerset & Dorset Railway Trust.

Saturday May 6, 1939. Bath’s first horse-drawn tram service began in 1880 but we have virtually nothing to show that they ever existed. Ironically, one of the last trams to run in Bath was car No.1 (shown running through Lambridge) and the motorman was Bill Gingell, on route from Bathford to the Guildhall.

STOTHERT & PITT The name of this great Bath company was featured in my ‘The Great Titanic’ story (issue No.17) and it is significant that the aforementioned steam crane should be of S&P manufacture, because its arrival back in Bath and a subsequent Twerton Heritage Day held at Bath City Football Club on September 25 last year, has triggered a big revival of interest in the city’s manufacturing past and I am frequently meeting Larkhall people who tell me that they once worked for Stothert & Pitt. My involvement with the steam crane ultimately led to two visits to Bristol’s superb MShed Museum last year and its Curator, Andy King, pointed out a massive 1927 steam-driven rotary gas-exhauster and informed me that the 17-ton machine was once used – until 1971 – at Bath Gas Works. He also told me that Bristol didn’t actually want the steam engine and it would be better if it went back to Bath. What a coup that would be but where to put it? Andy also showed me the skeletal remains of a horse-drawn tram, retrieved from a local garden where it has reposed as a summer house, and it reminded me that Bath has no surviving example of a tram, because the city’s fleet of 40 cars were either broken up or incinerated when the service ceased on

Believe it or not, trams are sadly missed in Bath and there are many who feel that their reintroduction might be the answer to the city’s horrendous traffic problems – but installing such a system would cost in the region of 200 million pounds! The utterly delightful Museum of Bath At Work serves as a superb microcosm of the city’s rich and varied industrial past but is

Page 11 bulging at the seams. There simply isn’t anymore space to display photographic relics or artefacts and Curator Stuart Burroughs last year actually shunted a 1947 Stothert & Pitt motorised cement-mixer my way in the hope that I might find a suitable home for it. A similar situation affects the city’s excellent Archive currently housed in the basement of the Guildhall and in the tender care of Archivist Colin Johnson. I have personally looked at two serious alternatives for a Museum of Bath and the most obvious is Stothert & Pitt’s old Newark Foundry, now better known as the Newark Works, on the Lower Bristol Road and already Grade II Listed. Where better to establish such a museum than the former HQ of this iconic company, which still boasts an original electric gantry crane, capable of lifting 3-tons and still in fine fettle, broad-gauge, standardgauge and narrow-gauge railway tracks and a turntable to the rear and enough floor space, inside and out, to accommodate the museum, archive, small cinema, restaurant, mooring for historic boats and pleasure craft – and parking? The Newark Works, designed by Bath-born architect Thomas Fuller, and completed in 1857, is where the 1904 steam crane was built and it seems fitting that this now empty Victorian factory building should be transformed into an impressive industrial museum and archive complex. Failing that, there is a second more challenging option in the form of a gigantic 1926 gasholder, the last survivor of

three such metal edifices which once dominated the Bath skyline. My suggestion recently in the Bath Chronicle, and on BBC Radio Bristol and ITV West that consideration ought to be given to an alternative use for the 86-year old gasholder before tearing it down, caused a mixture of outrage, bemusement and now a growing wave of support from various architects, historians and businessmen across the city and beyond. THIRD ALTERNATIVE

1927 Steam-powered rotary exhauster in use at Bath Gas Works but now dismantled and in storage

There is now a third alternative building in Bath which ticks many boxes, boasts an enormous footprint, happens to be the last remaining Art Deco façade left in the city, has a fascinating history of its own and an incredible link with Sir Isaac Pitman; I refer, of course, to the old Bath Press Building, which also happens to be located on the Lower Bristol Road and boasts much-needed parking space. My preferred favourite is, without a doubt, the old Newark Works because of its River frontage and buildings to the rear. These once housed a reclamation company and now offer the prospect of accommodation for early machinery associated with Stothert & Pitt, Sparrow Crane Hire, the Great Western Railway, Somerset & Dorset Railway, Horstman Gears (and cars), Bath Gas Works, Combe Down stone mines, the various mills located across the city and, of course, the recently established

important links to the legendary ship Titanic. In February 2012’s edition of The Larkhall News, I wrote within my ‘The Great Titanic’ story: “The likelihood of some good people of Lambridge being employed by Stothert & Pitt during this period is a reasonable enough assumption” and sure enough this proved to be the case but what I did not expect was a local link to one of the Titanic’s survivors, Edwina Troutt. A few weeks ago I received a phone call from a Larkhall resident to say that he was a distant nephew of Edwina’s but, better still, an even closer relative named Troutt – aged 93 – lives in Twerton and would like to see me. I hope to elaborate in a forthcoming edition of your favourite local magazine. Meanwhile, I shall continue beavering away to establish a Museum of Bath.

Larkhall brothers combine talents to raise funds for charity Two brothers from Larkhall are holding an exhibition of photographs at the Larkhall Festival. Pasha and Kai, who call themselves Kapash, have spent the last few years taking photographs around the village. Now they’re displaying their best work altogether for the first time when they open up their home as part of the Larkhall Festival .

The exhibition will be between 11:00 am and 4:30 pm on May 7th and will include a selection of photographs depicting Larkhall throughout the course of a year.

They’re both keen on photography and decided to combine this interest with their fondness for the village to raise money for their favourite charity, PLAN.

They’ll also be showing a film they made about Larkhall and if anyone would like a copy they can buy one for a small donation. There will be a range of Larkhall gifts and postcards and also free refreshments.

Since the end of 2010 they’ve been selling calendars, postcards and gifts using pictures they’ve taken locally (as well as busking in Larkhall over Christmas). So far they’ve raised £880 and they hope to raise £1000 by the end of the year.

If you’d like a souvenir of their work they’ll be raffling a book of their photographs at the exhibition. It’s a large coffee table book reflecting Larkhall throughout the seasons. There will also be other raffle prizes donated locally.

Kai reflected in the shop window

If you’d like any more information they’d love to hear from you.

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Open Studios 2012 Local artists share expertise with St Mark’s students

Larkhall artist, Deborah Keiller with Lucy and Pollyanne

Four artists to be featured at this year’s Larkhall Open Studios have been working with and mentoring art students at St Mark’s School over the past term to encourage a wider awareness of different art mediums and to encourage students to consider art outside of the confines of a classroom.

Deborah Keiller, mixed-medium artist Pascale Barrett and painter Simon Hodges have all engaged in a series of workshops with students from Years 8 and 9 at St Mark’s School, aimed at looking at their local community and interpreting their own image as a corner of Larkhall.

Installation artist Dawn Lipiatt, visual artist

The event has been organised as a fore-runner to this year’s Larkhall Festival and is designed to compliment the launch of the Festival’s Art Competition entitled ‘A Corner of Larkhall’, open to all children living in or near the area.

and more intensive art project. Each student will then exhibit their piece as part of the Open Studios Art Trail. Students have been learning about the technicalities of drawing a picture and then painting using only primary colours with local artist, Simon Hodges. Simon is a landscape artist and has been working with a small group of students to help them interpret the landscapes around St Mark’s School and re-create them in a painting.

Organiser of the competition and workshops, Paula Hawkins from St Mark’s School said:

“As one of over thirty artists to be showing work in this year's Larkhall Festival in May, I was delighted when St Mark's School asked if some of us would be willing to hold workshops with the children,” said Simon.

“As a part of the school’s involvement in this year’s Larkhall Festival, we have launched an art competition for all pupils of the Valley Schools and children living locally. The workshops have been arranged to complement the wider competition and to demonstrate different and innovative ways of creating and displaying their art work.”

“It is wonderful to get all parts of the community together during the Festival and especially getting the children involved. From a personal point of view, I was both excited and terrified at the prospect of talking to the children as, after a career as an architect, I now find myself learning new skills all the time in my new career as a landscape painter.”

The artist workshops have proved a popular subject this term with students choosing to work with a particular artist on a larger

“Whilst I have had some success as an artist to date, I have great admiration for the people that have the skill to teach and I don't consider

Page 13 myself to be one of those people. I can only hope that I am passing on to the children the enjoyment that can be found in creativity and the confidence to just give it a go and produce a piece of work that they can be proud of.”

Installation artist, Dawn Lipiatt, has been working with a group of students to re-create an aspect of their locality in an interesting or different way, including the re-creation of an old suitcase into a duck pond!

“It was also for this reason that I was pleased to be able to offer a small prize of a £30 voucher for each entry group in the St. Mark's exciting art competition this year. I don't want it to be seen as sponsorship but a small encouragement for children to be creative by offering them the chance to win some artist's materials of their choice. There can only be a few winners, but I hope the children will also be excited to have the chance to exhibit work in the Larkhall Open Studios Trail.”

“I thought that this was a fantastic opportunity for the students to interact with their local community. We are often too busy to take notice of our surroundings and this project addressed the issue,” said Dawn.

Visual artist Deborah Keiller, has been encouraging her group to create abstract pieces using resist techniques with wax and masking fluid, then working the pieces into layered collages, and Pascale Barrett has been working with students on visualising the elements of different road or place signs and re-creating them using a variety of mediums.

Head of Art at St Mark’s School, Denny Lever, said, “This has been a fantastic opportunity for our students and we are very grateful to everyone involved. The students have been able to choose which techniques they would like to work with and have been developing their ideas for their art projects with the artist.”

“I get a terrific buzz out of working with young people. Their achievements are often undervalued and underestimated. I'm really looking forward to seeing how the pupils interpret their world through the sculptures they make.”

LARKHALL OPEN STUDIOS ART TRAIL Saturday 5th to Monday 7th May 2012 Now in its fourth year, the Larkhall Open Studios has quickly become a regular feature of the Larkhall Festival and local art scene, establishing itself as one of the best Bath art trails. The event runs from Saturday 5th May until Monday 7 May in a variety of venues throughout Larkhall. Over 30 artists will be taking part overall, some giving you an intimate glimpse into their studios allowing you to meet the artist and see how they work. You will be able to visit the studios of printmakers, sculptors, ceramicists, painters, jewellers, automata makers, photographers and more. Some of our professional artists have a national and even international reputation and work will be for sale, from the tiny and affordable to the grand and imposing. The Oriel Hall hosts a group exhibition

and also has planned workshops for children and adults to take part in. Also this year the art group are excited to include St Mark’s School on the trail emphasising that art is also for all ages whether you are doing or viewing. Watch out for the Larkhall Open Studios Trail Brochure that will be widely available and distributed around Larkhall, but if you cannot locate one please go to The Larkhall artists’ website and download a map at: . Please note that individual venues may be open at different times on different days so do carefully check the website or brochure. Larkhall Open Studio Group Pictured: St Saviour’s Road by Simon Hodges

“Over the weeks they have worked independently, with support from their artist mentor and have produced some really interesting and very unique pieces to exhibit at this year’s Festival. We are all really excited about seeing the end results as there are some great ideas and the students have really got into the project.” St Mark’s School will be exhibiting all of the entries from the Valley Schools Art Competition and the students’ projects from the workshops in the main school hall over the Larkhall Festival weekend on Sunday 6th and Monday 7th May from 10am – 2pm as part of the Larkhall Open Studios Art Trail. There will also be a range of art and craft workshops for younger children as well as a cafe serving light refreshments and some relaxing music from St Mark’s students. Visitors are also welcome to see the school allotment and plans for the Goldies Garden, soon to be open to elderly local residents.

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Transition Larkhall Community Garden Play, learn, enjoy the sunshine…

The Larkhall

Village Kitchen

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

One Pot Chicken With Garlic

Larkhall Community Garden is running a series of children’s workshops and training for adults. The winter veg are making way for the new spring crops, and the damson and cherry trees are blossoming at the Alice Park Community Garden. We had a great response to our call in February for ideas from people who live, work and play locally on how you would like to see this fruit, vegetable and sensory space develop. From this spring Transition Larkhall, which oversees the garden, is offering a series of workshops and training sessions. A programme of training for regular volunteers will run from May to November, including basic organic vegetable and fruit growing and skills such as carpentry. To count as a regular, all you need to do is sign up for two hours a month helping out. We are also running Wild Things in the Garden – a forest school for underfives whose parents would like to volunteer at the garden while their children play and learn. This will start on Friday 11 May at 10am – details will be advertised shortly. The garden will be opening for the Larkhall Festival Garden Trail on Monday 7 May.There will be an upcycling and eco arts and crafts children’s workshop and a stall selling jams, chutneys, home-made cakes and plants. If you are interested in outdoor volunteering, fundraising or event organisation please contact Springtime growing tips: • According to gardening lore, maincrop potatoes should be planted on Good Friday. But as Easter moves each year, you can probably get away with a little later. • Plant sweet pea seeds in water. When they shoot, wrap them in tubes of newspaper, put them in a bucket and keep them wet. They have long roots and you can plant the whole tube. • Keep soil covered with any organic material, such as compost or leafmould, to prevent it from drying out, as we have had so little rain. • Think now about how you are going to water over the late spring and summer. Make best use of reserves by watering the roots of the plant, not the leaves and beds. • Try small rain-catchers, like an upturned, open-ended bottle right next to the plant roots. This will drip-feed rain and dew to your crop.

Garlic has been described as one of Nature’s great culinary gifts and it also possesses many medicinal properties, making it very much a wonder plant. Unfortunately, due to its pungent aroma, garlic is either loved or loathed but chewing fresh parsley immediately after a garlic-laced meal will assist in reducing strong odours on the breath. It’s worth noting that garlic is a blood purifier, natural antiseptic and generally beneficial in warding off winter ills. Ingredients: 1 large free-range chicken 500g brown rice 1 glass white wine 2 bay leaves, sprigs of fresh thyme and chopped parsley 2 carrots, chopped 2 slices back bacon, chopped 2 medium sized onions, chopped Zest and juice of two lemons Peeled cloves from at least 6 bulbs of garlic, or more if you feel so inclined! Method: Pre-heat oven to 180C. Pour rice into a large casserole dish and stir in the parsley, onions, carrots, bacon and lemon zest. Place the chicken on top and add the garlic, thyme and bay leaves. Squeeze the lemons on top and put the skins into the cavity. Pour the wine into the rice and add water to cover the chicken by about 2cm. Cover with a lid and place in the oven for 90 minutes then remove the lid for the last 30 minutes to brown the chicken and garlic. The delicious aromas of chicken and garlic will be utterly irresistible and the end result ideal for a rustic dinner party, full of flavour and nutrition!

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Pet Passport Scheme Update By Mark Minkler, Senior Vet, Beaufort Vet Surgery From the first of January this year, taking your pets to Europe under the Pets Passport travel scheme has been made much easier.

been reduced to twenty one days, this being the time it takes for the animal's immune system to respond to the vaccine and make protective antibodies.

Prior to this date, animals had to be microchipped, vaccinated against rabies, then blood tested for sufficient rabies antibodies a few weeks later.The 'bar' for sufficient antibodies was actually set quite high, meaning that once in a while an animal failed the blood test and required a second rabies vaccination.

Also the rules regarding treatment for parasites immediately prior to re -entering the UK have been relaxed. Previously both tape worm and tick treatments were needed; now it is only the tapeworm treatment that is needed.

It might be said that the arrangements in place were quarantine 'by the back door' because animals could not return to the UK until six months after the blood test. Now things are much more relaxed, the blood test is no longer required and the six month wait has

In summary, it is easier and cheaper to take your pets on holiday with you. At Beaufort surgery we currently have an offer on Pet Passports where a new one costs ÂŁ99.99 or ÂŁ79.99 if your pet is already microchipped. That's roughly half the cost from a year ago

for someone needing a new pet passport. If you do intend to travel abroad with your pet, talk to your vet or contact DEFRA to check what your destination country requires as the Pets Travel Scheme only applies to EU member states, and arrangements do change with time. Bon Voyage!

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Larkhall News May 2012  

Larkhall News May 2012