Monday, September 20, 2010

Telling towpath tales
Memories and tales of the towpath alongside the Bath Flight on the Kennet & Avon Canal are being collected as part a restoration plan for the area. 

Sarah Brice, the British Waterways regeneration project manager for the south of England, said, "People have already told me some really quirky things about the flight, and these little snippets really help to bring the history of the place to life. 
Emerging from a lock on the Bath Flight on the
K&A Canal — under one of the historic iron bridges 
made in Bath by Stothert and Pitt
Picture by Bob Naylor 
   "This year when we are celebrating the canal's bicentenary is a fitting time to start this project." 

Memories and stories are being recorded to give future canal visitors an insight into the recent history of the area.

Pump House 
Pic by Bob Naylor
If you have a story to tell about the Kennet & Avon Canal in Bath then Sarah would love to hear from you.  

You may have worked on the canal or been involved with the voluntary restoration work that saved the canal and brought it back from dereliction, or remember family stories about the canal that were passed on to you. You may even have used the towpath for courting. Your towpath memories will add to the story of the canal in Bath. 

The canal in Bath was built to reflect the Georgian splendour of the city. This made it a very pleasant and attractive place for the people of Bath to enjoy as well as being part of a busy trade route that made it possible for fast, economic transport of goods from Bristol to Reading and from there on the River Thames to London.

The Bath Flight of Locks is 1,500m long and it has 19 listed structures, including pumping stations and wrought iron bridges as well as an ornate stone chimney, Bath stone warehouses, wharfs and canal-side cottages.

Bath's beautiful bridges             Picture by Bob Naylor
British Waterways has applied for a Heritage Lottery Grant to restore the area. In the meantime Sarah is working with volunteers to improve the towpath, cut back vegetation and make the place look more cared for.

If you have stories to tell or you would like to get involved with the voluntary effort to make the canal in Bath an area the city can be proud of, ring Sarah on: 01452318049, 07748 936950 or email her at:

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