5 Apr 2013: Halfpenny Bridge Closure
20 Mar 2013 Localism - how our MP sees it.
24 Feb 2013: Yoga in Widcombe
2 Jan 2013: Sir Peter Hendy
5 Dec 2012: Widcombe Loos
15 Oct 2012: The John Hay Maitland Hardyman Memorial
3 Jul 2012: 101
29 Mar 12: Tick Awareness
6 Nov 2011: Localism - a Beginner's Guide
6 Oct 11: Lyncombe Vale one-way traffic code
12 Oct 10: The Bath Spark
11 Oct: 'Rita' - A Queen's Favourite.
8 Oct: E-book: Behind the Scenes of the A3062
4 Oct: Focus on St Mark's
10 Jun 10: Holloway Horsetrough poem
This page should allow Association members to express opinions or provide information on matters of local interest or to advertise (eg events or items for sale or wanted) . Please feel free to let us have your contributions, which will not be edited, except for possible offence or libel, or excessive length. If you have an image to send, not too big please and a JPEG file if possible.
Beating the Bounds
The ceremony of 'Beating the Bounds' - walking around the boundaries of Widcombe takes place this year on Sunday 9th June. Full details here. The last time the 'bounds were beaten' was in 2007. Details of that event are here .
WA Chairman (and Greenway Lane resident) Paddy Doyle invites Greenway Lane residents to join him at the steps between numbers 6 and 8 Greenway Lane to brush them off and remove litter at 10.00 on Saturday 25th May to ensure this area is looking its best for the walkers. Bring a brush or a shovel!
Halfpenny Bridge Closure
The premier pedestrian route between Widcombe and the City and Rail Station will be closed for renovation from 15th April. We have been assured that valid health and safety reasons dictate that the bridge must be fully closed. Following intervention by Councillor Ian Gilchrist and others, the aim now is to have the bridge closed for a maximum of 9 weeks - ie until 17th June. During the closure we hope to see the chain link fence on the north side of the bridge replaced with railings to match the existing at the rear of the Station and also persuade the Council to provide LED lighting on the bridge. This would greatly add to the comfort and safety of pedestrians. We recently asked WA members for their opinion about this and replies can be seen here (disidentified to protect privacy).
Sir Peter Hendy
Congratulations to Widcombe resident and WA member Peter Hendy who has been awarded a knighthood in the 2013 New Year's honours list. His citation reads: Peter Hendy has provided inspiring leadership to Transport for London over the last six years since becoming Commissioner. He has made London a world leader in integrated and innovative transport delivery, and has overseen record-breaking operational performance, passenger numbers and the largest ever investment programme. He led, and played a key role in preparing for the successful operation of London’s transport for the 2012 Games. Not only has Sir Peter managed all this, he has been a key figure on the WA's Rossiter Rd sub-committee, and has recently taken on the job of Widcombe Social Club's president. We are unsure as to what he might do in his spare time! For his family's tribute, see here.
The Widcombe Loos
In November 2012 we were informed by Hambury Hurd Design that they were going to reapply to demolish Widcombe's unsightly toilet block and build a small office suite in its place for their design/architecture company. A CG image of the new application can be seen below at left. On the right is a drawing taken from their previous failed application, made in 2011.
The John Hay Maitland Hardyman Memorial
The restored memorial (left) may now be seen for all to enjoy. An illustrated booklet produced by the Bathwick society with photos and biographical detail should be found for download here
Community Beat Officer Malcolm Webley would like to remind us all that 101 is the number to call when you want to contact your local police - when it’s less urgent than a 999 call. 101 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Full details here
Tick Bite Awareness
For various reasons, ticks which carry the highly-debilitating Lyme disease are more prevalent now than ever, and it is appropriate that Widcombe residents are aware of the possibility of picking up ticks in our green spaces. Every Spring sees 'Tick Prevention Week' to draw our attention to the problem in a straightforward and non-panicmaking way. Check the website here
Click here for an article by researchers at Bath University which found that
Lyncombe Vale Voluntary One-way Traffic Code
(Click on image to enlarge - full explanation here)
Click on the link above
'Rita' - A Queen's Favourite.
Thanks to Mr Paul Jones, we have learnt of the fascinating career of Mrs Desmond Humphreys (1850 - 1938) who was better known as the novelist 'Rita'. Mr Jones was anxious to locate her grave in the Abbey Cemetery and was able to do so with the aid of the WA Abbey Cemetery Memorial Inscriptions CD.
'Times' obituary and photo kindly supplied by Mr Paul Jones. Details of his book 'Rita - the forgotten Author' can be found here.
Councillor Ian Gilchrist received this from Nod Knowles and has passed it on. The 'Widcombe Action Group' was a predecessor of the Widcombe Association, as as you can see from the pages below, issued in July 1978, pulled no punches where traffic was concerned! The Widcombe Association took up the cudgels on traffic in Widcombe Parade on its formation in 1981, and the fight still goes on, with hopes now of a resolution in 2011 - some 30 years later!
The Holloway Horse Trough
Sarah Lewis writes:Before the Wellsway was built, The Holloway - now a quiet backwater - was the main route into Bath from the South. On a recent walk organized by the Widcombe & Lyncombe Local History Society, a group of us learnt that this poem (now reinstated with the help of the Widcombe Association, B&NES and other donations) used to hang above the horse trough that is built into the wall opposite Magdalen Chapel.
So far I have seen the following suggestions about the poem's author: Crabbe, Cowper and Bloomfield. I have muddied these waters by suggesting it was a Shaker called Robert White in the 1840s. However, my research has since led me to a version in a book of 1813. I have also learnt that the poem was popular in religious and in animal welfare writings throughout the nineteenth century.
The words on the plaque are taken from a pre-war letter to the Bath Chronicle by someone who appears to be quoting directly from the board that existed at the time - he mentions that the board also had on it 'Cruelty to Animals' (This is in Bath Library - Notes and Queries - Bath Weekly Chronicle and Herald 1940-44 , Query number 1084). Unfortunately, when the Chronicle reported on the recent 'Unveiling', it quoted from the letter we had just received from Australia (see below) remembered not quite correctly from many years' distance . Our wording is the same as can be seen on a plaque in Pewsey, Wiltshire.
There is a version in the 1813 collection of poems, riddles etc 'Pour deviner: new enigmatical propositions' p96, (which can be read on line) which is almost identical, but has 'He was designed thy servant and thy drudge', rather than ' not thy drudge'. We would be most interested to hear of earlier sightings.
As the reinstated poem (shown above) was being unveiled on June 5th, 2010, the following email was received by the Association from sisters Lorna Webb and Margaret Cant (nee Hurn) in Angaston, South Australia:
I read with a great deal of interest your account of the reinstatement of the poem by the Holloway Horse Trough. I am currently researching the surname HURN for a friend's family history and located the following article in a South Australian newspaper, The Advertiser, Wednesday, 4 January 1905:
The article may be found at this link: http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/5034997?searchTerm=William Hurn
William Hurn sailed to South Australia in 1850. It is obvious that the poem meant a great deal to him and so we are delighted to know that the poem is still there.
Lorna Webb and Margaret Cant (nee Hurn)
Note that the version quoted is not exactly the same as the version we are familiar with.
The sisters also supply the following information about their ancestor. If anyone can add anything which might further enlighten their research into family history, let me know, and I will forward it to them.
'The Cottager's Monthly Visitor'(London)1821 p215 has a letter from a lady remembering the 'expressive lines', but 'Where I met with them, or who the author is, I know not.'. - so we are by no means the first to wonder who wrote the words!
Any more information about the poem will be gratefully received.
FOCUS ON ST MARK'S COMMUNITY CENTRE AND CHURCHYARD
St Mark's church will be a familiar landmark to most of you, but many Widcombe residents have never been inside the centre or the grounds.
St Mark's church was consecrated in 1832. When the land for the church was bought, part of the land to the north of the church was used to expand the cemetery.
The cemetery at St Mark's, Lyncombe was opened in 1825 on land which was formerly the garden of the Luder's house in Claverton Street, the house itself becoming the parish's second Poor House until 1838 ,when the Union Workhouse at Odd Down took over this role. For those buried at St Mark's, about 43% were aged under 11. The church could accommodate about 800 people and by all accounts the churchyard was the more widely used, since the local poor were buried for 2/6d (12p) for a pauper's funeral and 6,000 names were found on the burial list.
The Community centre
The church was closed in 1974 and it now serves as a community centre with some rooms being used for Acorns pre-school and activities by local groups taking place in the main part of the church.
The centre itself consists of a large hall with several separate rooms to the side, and a kitchen area. The kitchen was refurbished in 2008 after winning a Chronicle grant of £1,000 and the hall has recently been re-painted and had a new heating system installed.
Most residents know that the Widcombe Acorns Playgroup operate in part of the building. There are also daytime and evening ballet & contemporary dance classes, dog training, karate, toddlers' group, yoga, Pilates , theatre groups, orchestras, Go competitions, Ceroc jive dances and the local history group's archive is also stored here. The hall may be rented for private parties & events when it is free, often at weekends.
Would you like to use St Mark's Garden?
St Mark's has a beautiful cemetery which is now used as a quiet garden. Acorns use it during the daytime, but any local residents interested in seeing the cemetery or using the garden should contact Helen Peter as we are hoping to encourage local residents to use this lovely garden and help with its upkeep.
Take a look the St Mark's website and become familiar with this local gem.