Another fab BBQ in the sun

We’re so pleased that so many were able to come to the widcombewest barbecue (Sat 6 July) and make it such a convivial event. A special thank you to the musicians, those who lent barbecues, those who helped set up or clear up, the young people who ran the raffle and all of you who brought food to make such a wonderful spread!

We’re pleased to announce that we raised £57 from the raffle and this will be added to the widcombewest fundraising pot. Later in the year, we hope to find a local improvement project to spend funds raised at recent events.

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Successful Open Gardens Event

 The Widcombe West Open Garden event on 23rd May 2019 was a huge success and we want to thank everyone who helped to make it such an enjoyable evening. From those who opened their gardens to those who gave plants for the plant stall, who donated wine, who helped us clear up at the end and generally all who came along and entered into the positive spirit of the evening – a big thank you!  

We hope you enjoyed meeting some new neighbours and old friends. And perhaps you’ve been inspired to open your garden next year?

To top it all we made just over £100 to put towards future community activities and events – thank you for your generosity!

Sun shines on second widcombewest Open Gardens evening

We could not have been luckier with the weather at our second widcombewest Open Gardens evening on Thursday May 12th. Four local residents had offered to open up their gardens for the evening.

Chewing the fat in Ruth's garden in Calton Walk

Chewing the fat in Ruth’s garden in Calton Walk

The evening wasn’t about winning awards or showing off prize dahlias, but really to provide new ideas about just what works and what can be done in our small urban outdoor spaces. There’s plenty that can be achieved to encourage wildlife and pollinators by giving some thought to bee-friendly planting.

 

Brian and Andrew's bijou garden in Calton Walk

Brian and Andrew’s bijou garden in Calton Walk

 

Upwards of 35 visitors came out to enjoy an evening stroll around the locality, glass of Prosecco in hand, chat to neighbours about all things horticultural and put the world to rights generally. The last few hard core visitors lingered on in one of the gardens well after dark to continue the conversation by candlelight.

 

 

Community celeidh 2016 goes with a swing

A great evening was had by all on April 23rd as dancers lined up to strip the willow and thread the needle at the St. Mark’s Community Centre Celeidh. The Student Volunteering V Team organised the event as in previous years, and came up trumps with a great band and caller, a pay bar and raffle. It was wonderful to see the mix of age groups lining up to join in the fun.

The future of our community groups

We recently sent out a mail to gauge opinion among residents as to the future organisation of our neighbourhood groups. Many thanks to all those of you who have taken the trouble to reply so far – more opinions welcome! We are posting this proposal on the website in case you missed the email.

As you know, we currently have two main neighbourhood groups in this part of Widcombe:

  1.  ARCH (Action for Calton & Holloway), which was set up in 2010 with a formal constitution and accounts
  2. An informal group in St Mark’s Road, including many of the residents who co-ordinated the Jubilee Street Party for the road.

In practice these two groups have worked increasingly closely together.We’ve jointly organised social events like the annual Community Christmas Lunch and summer barbeques, as well as occasional local history talks, walks, film nights and the like, donating proceeds from many of these events to charities. We’ve also provided joint community input to the running of the St Mark’s Community Centre and have worked together on some local issues. And recently we have even joined together our communications under the banner of “widcombewest” with a joint website at http://widcombewest.uk, which also includes the Lower Wells Road Group.

As a result of this closer working we’re now considering whether in constitutional terms it would make sense to make “widcombewest” the single representative resident group for the area. This would mean:

  • having the ability to offer a combined, legitimately representative voice on event planning and issues for the whole of the area under the widcombewest title
  • one set of elected officers – Chair, Secretary and Treasurer – drawn from all the participating areas (which, amongst other things, would hopefully make it easier to find sufficient people willing to take on these duties)
  • holding a single set of meetings for local people to share their views and ideas
  • maximising the time available to focus on events and issues by only needing to maintain one set of accounts etc.

In practice, therefore, we would have a joined-up group where all residents are able to represent their views and to work together for the greater good of the local community. At the same time none of this would prevent us still being able to have local reps looking after day-to-day matters in each of the Calton/Holloway, St Mark’s Road and Lower Wells Road areas when that is most appropriate.

We want to know what you think about this proposal. It’s your neighbourhood, so please have your say either by replying to this email or by speaking to Ruth (483106) or Keith (284598). Please also let us know if you have any thoughts and ideas on things that our local community could do in the future.

RHS ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ Award 2015

On the evening of Thursday October 22nd ARCH Chairs Sylvia and Stewart attended the award ceremony of the RHS Britain in Bloom ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ (IYN) scheme. This national campaign is an inclusive, non-competitive scheme that promotes volunteer groups making their neighbourhoods cleaner, greener and safer to live in, all working with the local community for the benefit of the community.

IYN 2015 certificate

IYN 2015 certificate

The activities of ARCH supporters during 2014-15 were assessed by Barry Cruse, the retiring chairman of the ‘Bath in Bloom’ Committee, in terms of Community Participation, Environmental Responsibility and Gardening Achievement (see Assessment Form).

Last year, the first year of our entering the scheme under the ‘Beechen Bees’ banner, we were delighted to gain a level 4 award of ‘Thriving’.

This year, our range of activities and community involvement surpassed all our expectations and resulted in ‘More Beechen Bees’ being awarded the highest level score of ‘Outstanding’.

Our award was presented by the Mayor of Bath, Cllr. Will Sandry, in the relaxed atmosphere of the Restaurant in the Park, where all the Bath participating groups had assembled.

The residents of Bath owe a huge debt of gratitude to Barry Cruse and his wife Carol for their work over the years improving and promoting the beauty and attractiveness of Bath.

For details of the judging criteria and information about other groups and their achievements in this year’s competition, click here: IYN assessment criteria for 2015