News in September 2008, part 2

Mystery fungus discovered at Carrs Wood

On Thursday night there was a walk through the Carrs Woodland Nature Reserve in Twerton.

Led by Countryside Officer Miriam Woolnough, a party of nature enthusiasts turned up to listen out for bats (using electronic bat detectors) as well as owls and other nocturnal creatures.
Early on the bat detectors picked up some Pipestrelle and Noctule bats.
The detectors pick up high pitched sounds that bats make to navigate and locate insects. Each species of bat makes it’s own particular type of sound.
Later, we heard and saw a couple of Daubentons bats flying up and down the Newton Brook, at the Newton Mill Campsite.
An interesting type of fungus (pictured) was discovered by torchlight growing inside a beech tree. Nobody was able to identify the fungus, so photos of it were taken for an expert to identify what sort it is.
There will be an organised Fungus Walk through the wood some time in November.

Joe, 28/09/08

Local artists meet at Southdown

A group of about 10 local artists came together at Culverhay School on Thursday, with the purpose of creating an Art Group based in South West Bath.
They brought with them some of their artwork, to give an idea of the range of different styles and disciplines that would be expressed by the group.

Pieces included stained glass and metalwork objects, textile art, animal portraits in pastels, and watercolour paintings of steam trains.
Organiser Jan Booth said that she didn’t want to be telling the rest what their aims should be. Instead, they should meet together again in a month’s time and listen to everyone’s ideas as to what they would like from the Art Group.
Two possibilities were discussed. One was that art might be used to raise the self-esteem of South West Bath. In Bristol, the Totterdown Arts and Crafts Trail attracts people from all over the area, and has become a way of bringing about change and changed perceptions.
Also, it might help local artists if they could display their art for sale together in the city centre. Artists sometimes devote so much time to their work that they lack the energy to promote it. The Art Group could provide the support to overcome this problem.
To join or find out more about the group, phone Jan Booth on 01225 473284.

Joe, 27/09/08

Alfie learns computer skills at TLC

Twerton Learning Centre’s oldest student is 94 year-old Alfie, who was born in Twerton but now lives at Widcombe Hill.

Alfie says that the computer course he is on, is interesting, but it takes him about twenty minutes to settle in.
He would like to use computer technology to record his memories.
Alfie’s recollections of Twerton stretch back a long way and he remembers delivering meat to the Carr Family.
At the time when he was born, a shop called “Monks” near the bottom of Lansdown was offering a free pram for the first baby born in Twerton in 1914.
No child was born that year and Alfie remembers his father arguing that the pram should have gone to him – because Alfie was born in 1913 just 2 minutes before New Year’s Day 1914.

Joe, 24/09/08

Golden Fleece has a new football team

The Golden Fleece Pub has a new football team which has just entered the Bath and District Football League (Sunday League) in Division 5. They play in blue shirts, shorts and socks, with gold trim.
At the weekend The Golden Fleece played The Black Horse Pub from Taunton in the Somerset Cup. This was a useful practice match before their first league game.

The Fleece lost their match but they were playing a Division 3 side. I filmed some of the build-up to the game and the match itself. The Golden Fleece has a full side with substitutes but they are still interested in taking on new players.
There are six other teams in South West Bath that play in the Sunday League. They are: Bath City Youth, Southdown Rangers, Southside, Full Moon Sports, Tramways and Two Weir Town. The Rising Sun Pub has a side that plays in the Saturday League.
These local teams comprise an interesting sphere of activity in the area that most people know little about.

Joe, 21/09/08

Karate at Twerton Village Hall

So many times in Twerton you hear someone say: “There’s nothing for kids to do.” Well one problem is that there are things for kids to do but often people don’t find out about them.
The Wado-Ryu karate sessions in Twerton have been running for about four years, starting first in the Baptist Church at Mill Lane before moving across the road to the Village Hall when the church closed.

The children and teenagers who go to the classes seem to have formed a friendly and positive community.
Leader Bert Harris, says that few people have dropped out over the years and all of the teenagers have become champions.
There is a class for beginners that starts at 7pm on Tuesday nights, as well as an advanced class which follows at 8pm.
When I visited, I saw the group practicing their kata (set patterns of movements) and doing some padwork. Then in the advanced class, there was some semi-contact sparring and self-defence lessons using butter knives to simulate knife attacks.
Several of the mums testified that the karate had raised their child’s confidence and self-esteem.
The photo is of Becky and Katie sparring. To find out more phone 07966 525795.

Joe, 17/09/08

Choral concert at Southdown

A choral concert by the Con Brio Choir will be held at Southdown Methodist Centre, The Hollow, on 20th September at 7.30pm.
Tickets cost £5 and are available from the Methodist Centre, or by contacting Julia on 01225 340627 or 07792 239502.
The concert is in aid of the charity Action Duchenne which seeks a cure for muscular dystrophy.

Joe, 13/09/08

Points made at Twerton’s latest PACT meeting

Last night’s PACT meeting at Twerton, was a chance to meet PC Adrian Secker who is Twerton’s new Beat Manager. PC Secker has been in the force since 1989 and served at Snowhill between 1992 and 1995.
The discussion began with the 3 issues voted to be actioned in the last PACT meeting, namely: community cleaning, more Police patrols on foot, and a need for better community spirit. On the whole there had not been a lot of change.
The Council’s Cleaning Officer had said that streets in Twerton were swept monthly, litter picking was carried out 3 times per month, and a mechanical roadsweeper passed through once per month (or twice if needed).
PC Secker said that he had recently concentrated his patrol on likely trouble-spots but was not always able to do that.
The panel indicated that they had little idea as to what could be done in the area of “community spirit”.
Residents were then asked to raise further issues that might be tackled in Twerton.
The problem of children damaging the empty properties at Pennyquick View was discussed.
There were also concerns over the use of a house in Twerton as a hostel for re-offenders, without those who live nearby being informed. A representative from the hostel will speak at the next PACT meeting.
A project to clean up Pennyquick Park at Newton Road and fix the lighting was suggested. Some people thought that a group like the Community Play Rangers could provide outreach work with youngsters at the park.
Dog fouling in Twerton, and children riding on mini motorbikes in the Brickfields were raised as problems.
And it was felt that a bus shelter with seating, installed in the High Street, would be helpful for the elderly.
Then we voted for which three issues should be actioned. These turned out to be: 1) Cleaning Pennyquick Park and fixing the lighting; 2) Outreach work with young people; 3) Bus shelter at Twerton High Street.
We were also told of the priorities that emerged from a special PACT at the RNID Centre in Watery Lane. These were: 1) Street lighting; 2) Safety and fear of crime; 3) Uneven pavements affecting mobility.

Joe, 12/09/08


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