No wonder some of the varied and interesting independent shops in Widcombe struggle from time to time. For despite the restoration of the rear of Bath Spa station with its smart new access, traditional canopy and handsome street lighting, and despite the efforts of the jolly Big Issue seller who regularly sweeps the footbridge and even arranges pot plants along the balustrades, first impressions for visitors thinking of popping across to Bath’s most vibrant ‘village’ are not good.
We hear about plans for making the river banks more attractive. Well, how about clearing up the litter on this particular stretch? Viewed from the bridge approach, the amount of garbage scattered each side is a disgrace. One particularly attractive heap of cans has been there for at least a year. And this in a key position in a World Heritage area!
You can’t open a magazine or paper these days without seeing something about the environment, recycling and save the whale. So who are these people who think it’s OK to then discard said newspapers on the floor of the bus or indeed over the nice new railings behind the station? The same people who thought it was perfectly acceptable to chuck an unwanted coffee machine into the gutter outside my home, when the council tip is only a matter of yards away I suppose. Imagine the scene. Darling, the coffee machine is on the blink again. Never mind dear, I’ll put it in a bin bag and hump it down to Ralph’s house. Then he can ring the council and get it taken away. (Which I did, and they did)
The other morning I was enjoying my breakfast toast and marmalade on my new balcony overlooking the river, flicking crumbs to the occasional passing swan, when a fire extinguisher floated by, swiftly followed by a clutch of bobbing beer cans and, would you believe, a xylophone! Who the heck bothers to wander down to the river bank with a xylophone to chuck in? It must have been quite a party.
Mind you, I once stumbled across a large storage heater, complete with the heat retaining bricks, dumped on the canal footpath halfway between Bath and Bradford on Avon. Everyone knows that storage heaters are the heaviest things in the world, so full marks for effort folks!