Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Find out about the Brass!

 Brass in Bath

Residents of Bath and North East Somerset are being invited to step back into the world of 18th century brass-making. The brass foundry at the Stothert and Pitt factory in Bath.

Moulding workers and Stothert and Pitt's brass foundry in Bath c1910

Moulding workers at Stothert and Pitt’s brass foundry in Bath. 1910 ©Bath in Time.

 An illustrated talk by Tony Coverdale will tell them how brass ingots and water wheels were made by continental craftsmen, some of whose descendants still live in the Avon area. Tony said: Early experiments, using local coal to smelt Cornish copper on the banks of the River Avon, culminated in the manufacture of brass products for markets as far afield as Africa and North America.” His talk will take place at Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Paulton Library on Tuesday, 7 October from 7pm to 8pm. The hub cafĂ© will be open for coffee and cake prior to the event. The event is free of charge but please book your place to guarantee entry. Tickets are available from both Paulton Library and Midsomer Norton Library.

thanks to the Virtual Museum of Bath for this item

Friday, 22 August 2014

Summer walk

Walked the full route yesterday with a bit of getting to the start walked too. The route and social media trail will be here shortly. On my way out to Saltford I started thinking about the locks and the tow paths issue and resolved to walk into Bath all the way along the tow path. The more I thought about this I realised that the locks are on the North side of the river and until the path crosses the river at Newbridge the path is on the south side. Interesting...given the story that at first they got permission for locks but not for two paths and that the boats were hauled up the rive by men/women in harness. A very lush walk in deep green amongst the trees. Rain falling at first the trees keep me dry and then big ploppy rain falling from the leaves. Cold and slow moving steady shower. I sat under the railway bridge and felt its mass. Someone overnighting here maybe or the cans evidenced a party. Graffiti. Above on the old railway bridge the partititions of iron and steel framed a gallery of graffiti, some of ti quite recent. Colourful eruption of urban life in the green of the trees and the decaying leftovers of industry. My tweet tagging graffiti went global.

Monday, 9 June 2014

The Installation

The River Walk installation as part the opening of the new building and studio complex, the Commons, at Bath Spa University was a great success.

Many of the photographs are available from the Flickr stream here:
a selection to follow

and here is a sample of some of the audiovisual work:

Working water from Richard White on Vimeo.

Cleveland Pools from Mike Johnston using sounds recorded on the walk

more to follow!

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Tracking the walk

I have been using Viewranger to plot walks and I did this for the River Walk. I also set it to record social media posting live and gather in flickr posting later.

Here is a link to the social media track recorded.
and it looks like this, click on the icons to show images and text!

Friday, 23 May 2014

First Walk


First Walk

We met at Saltford Brass Mill for a fascinating tour of the building and the working mill rediscovering why artists and poets were so inspred by the power of early machines. So close to the energy of nature the mill was breathing and pulsing with the water. No romanticising the hard work that went on here in what must have been appalling conditions, cold water under foot and the endless relentless pounding and tapping and clatter of the hammers. A truly ancient technology powering the beginnings of the industrial age. Looking forward to some great sounds from Ben.

Along the river, the tow path where once the barges were pulled up the river by horses and men. Now an idyllic river bank, decked with cow parsley the river marked out for fishing and boating. Stories of the Saltford Mile to be discovered. Then onto the old railway line. Reclaimed too for leisure. A cycle track now. The mainline across the field alive and whooshing with modern trains to London, Bristol and beyond.

Coming into Bath back on the tow path. A lock opens and the lazy water swirls in meeting its level, a barge continues up stream. We walk past the barely identifiable remains of Bath's industrial heritage. A bridge once connecting more brass mills and finally the slowly disappearing gasworks and the landscaped new ugliness.  Where once the cranes were made. Like coming in through the tradesmans entrance we surface briefly by the bus station disoriented the river almost out of site.

Along the Kennet and Avon Canal towpath through Sydney Gardens thinking of Venice to the Cleveland Pools. A sanctuary. Here to complete the cycle it rained. Perfectly.

So much more to tell.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Recce Photos

Some shots from the recce in April

looking back up the river Avon towards Saltford

Saltford Weir with the Mill and marina in the background

The majestic river looking down towards the lock at in the Weston Cut

The view into Bath...the green path into Bath

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Update and actions

River Walk installation how to get involved:
Check the route here:

this was my recce:
as you can see it has a live function and pics up on tweets and pics...I am exploring this functionality
The starting idea for this I believe is Robyn's and its is rich with potential.

As it stands now the plan is to fill a room in the Commons with sound and images drawn from the walk/inspired by the route.
This could be working from wildtrack sounds to something more constructed and mixed.
It is all about WATER...water power, water for leisure but also water as in tears and sweat, the work and wealth it has created....

Could we fill the entire space with the sound of the water wheel, the rush of the weir, the squirt of water through leaking lock gates and the calm drips and gentle plash of the disused lido....?
With images and text/voice to go with?

BUT time is say the least.. we need to be making a definite commitment to do this by next Wednesday.
On Thursday or Friday next week  I'll take you on the walk and  as we walk we'll agree a turnaround time but I think this needs to be very short...within a couple of days.... so keep your ideas do-able. Just taking pics as you go/see what happens and record it is a perfectly reasonable goal!

If the walking art stuff interests you check this out:
This is the facebook page for the work have been doing primarily to date with carnival designer and textile artist Ali Pretty