News in June 2009

Southdown churches celebrate

Two Southdown churches held community events at exactly the same time on Saturday, as both had been unaware of what the other was planning to do. Still, there was plenty of time to go the Community Celebration at Southdown Methodist Centre, as well as the Open Day at St Joseph’s marking its 40th anniversary.
The Community Celebration at the Methodist Centre which is at the top of The Hollow, featured the usual mix of fun things for people of all ages. In the hall there were plenty of stalls selling cards, toys, cakes and bric-a-brac etc. Below left is a photo of Bea running the cake stall.
Some games and challenges were prepared outside on the lawn. Below right is a photo of Ryan doing the hockey challenge (you had to zig-zag a hockey ball through the markers in 15 seconds).


Then along to St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church which is a short distance away at Sladebrook Avenue, where there was a fete going on in the grounds. Above left is a photo of Karen, Louisa, Katie and Annie from a Bath Rainbow Guides group, selling some craft items that the children had made.
Inside there was a display of the history of the church. The first worship on the site had taken place in a hut church constructed in about 1945, before the modern building was built in 1969.
During the war a searchlight station had been set up there to spot enemy aircraft. Above right is some equipment from it that was recently discovered under the church. The small round black handle was used for tapping out morse code.
It was interesting to meet with some of the area’s fairly large Roman Catholic community and I hadn’t been inside this church before. You can see a photo of the interior here. The basement is where the St Joseph’s Snooker Club play their games – phone 07976 715157 if you want join.

Joe, 28/06/09

Pub table top sale raises £60 for charity

Sunday’s table top sale at The White Horse Pub, was a chance to pick up a bargain on one of the stalls and sit in the pub garden with a pint of something. The scene was never especially busy but there was a steady trade throughout the day.
Originally the money raised was going to go to the Royal United Hospital, but pub regulars said that they had gotten bored with the same cause each year. So landlady Jacqui will be sending the £60 raised to Dorothy House Hospice Care instead.
Some local people – Sian, Annie and her daughter Jo – set up a nice stall with children’s clothes and other items. This was the first time that they had sold things in a table top sale and they seemed quite pleased to have given it a go.
Christine and John from Oldfield Park had a stall selling gifts that they bring back from Kerala in India each year.
On the barbecue there was lots of lovely grub. You could have a burger, sausage, lamb chop, or chicken drumstick with salad and boiled potatos. ‘Chill out time’.

Joe, 22/06/09

Archaeological finds at Marjorie Whimster

Permission has been granted for the redevelopment of the Marjorie Whimster care home in Twerton High Street – with the erection of 19 affordable dwellings and 10 extra care housing flats for young adults with learning difficulties.
An archaeological survey of the site had to be conducted. The report says that by 1742 the front of the site was occupied by Carlton Buildings and Barratt’s Buildings which survived until the 1960s.

18th century maps also show possible further dwellings to the rear. By 1838 these had been replaced by Penny’s Buildings, Chapel Close and a Wesleyan Chapel which were demolished soon after the war.
The Avon Archaeological Unit dug seven trenches around the site to see if there were significant buried archaeological remains.
Trenches 1 to 4 located at the front of the site facing the High Street, uncovered remains of the buildings that had once stood there, including a flagstone surface that had probably been part of Barratt’s Buildings. A small well of possible 18th century date or earlier was also discovered.
Trench 5 was dug on the east of the site near The Old Crown. It uncovered a stone floor that looked like it had belonged to a building marked as a slaughterhouse on a map of 1838.
Trenches 6 and 7 were made to the rear where there had been gardens or orchards in the past. Some 18th and 19th century pieces of clay tobacco pipe were found.
Interestingly a few of the trenches revealed fragments of medieval pottery, some of which may have been made as early as the 10th to 11th centuries. Most of the pottery seems to have been jars and jugs, with some items showing sooty marks where they had been used in cooking. Twerton has been inhabited for a long time.

Joe, 13/06/09

Youth champions meet Cantona

On Saturday the former Manchester United player Eric Cantona visited Twerton Park. Welcomed by around 350 football fans, he answered questions about his time as a footballer and the new film Looking for Eric in which he stars.
He also drew the winning tickets for a raffle before moving on to The Little Theatre for a screening of the film which was watched by about 200 people. The two events will raise an estimated £12,000 for Bath City FC.

For junior Bath City fans the highlight of Cantona’s visit to Twerton Park came when he presented the under-11 boys and under-13 girls teams with their recently won trophies!
Last month the Bath City Youth under-11 boys won the Arnhem Cup in Holland, beating other European teams in a football tournament lasting 2 days. They also won the Midsomer Norton Youth Football League. Meanwhile the under-13 girls side won the Mid Wilts League, unbeaten throughout the season.
After meeting Cantona the two teams went on an open top bus victory tour around the city centre to show off their silverware. Well done Bath City Youth and good luck for next season.

Joe, 09/06/09

Fun on the Farm!

Some pretty zany characters could be found in our part of the world at the weekend, when a special fun event organised by Cadbury the chocolate manufacturer came to Bath City Farm.
The Fun on the Farm event is being held at public farms across Britain and has already taken place at Birmingham, Nottingham, London, Liverpool and Middlesbrough.
The occasion at Bath City Farm was supported by large numbers of local families despite the showery weather. When I visited at midday Saturday, the manager estimated that about 350 people had already come along.

There was a face painting tent that proved very popular, with lots of brightly painted children running around the farm. And there was a massive cage with rope swings and nets for kids to clamber about in.
Some folk had their photo taken with the giant monkey but as you can see from the picture above, he turned a bit camera shy when I wanted to get a photo for this website. The other photo is of the karaoke.

Joe, 07/06/09

Whiteway demonstration of people power

A community action project to clear Whiteway of refuse and large unwanted items, has become a positive example of how local people can change things for the better, when they harness the abilities and energies of their community.
At the end of April a large number of Whiteway residents joined forces to plan and deliver a clean-up strategy in collaboration with the Council. Over three days residents put in a tremendous 144 hours of voluntary effort.
The work is supported by a charitable trust called RE:generate, which is helping Whiteway residents to develop the initiatives they want for their community. Residents are encouraged to contact RE:generate with their views and ideas.

Joe, 02/06/09

Radio Bristol comes to Twerton

Radio Bristol came to Twerton yesterday morning as part of a week long schedule of recording in different areas of Bath.
Monday’s programme began by focussing on topics to do with Bath in general, such as traffic congestion and whether the city has become too dependant on tourism. Then the radio station went on to interview people about Twerton.

A motor vehicle with a tall radio mast was parked outside the Coffee Link Cafe in Twerton High Street, and some of the interviews took place in or outside the cafe.
Presenter John Torrington spoke to our two local historians, Peter Little and Mike Chapman, and many other residents such as a young mum named Kathy from the ABC Toddler Group at Rose Cottage.
Councillor Tim Ball who is serving his last week as Mayor of Bath, was interviewed early in the day. And a local Bath City FC supporter named Jill spoke about the team. The left-hand photo shows Miriam from the Carrs Woodland Forum talking about the bat walks which are held in Twerton.

Joe, 02/06/09


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