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Will Eaves on Bath

20 July 2019

From The Guardian:

Georgian Bath was built within a century, and a lot of it disappeared inside a decade – the 1960s – when I was born. Calton Road and many rows of listed buildings were still coming down when I was learning to walk, and the Ballance Street flats going up, but the Brussellisation of the city was something I grew to love, something I associate with the freedom to roam I enjoyed as a kid. Bath always had a violent side, but my parents weren’t overprotective. I walked to Beechen Cliff comp every day with my friend Rachid, and the route took us through all the architectural ages of man – the Corn Market, the Roman baths, the abbey, Southgate shopping centre (demolished 20 years ago) and, in the shadow of the cliff itself, the “hencoop” houses of Holloway, which architectural historians sneered at, but where other friends lived happily.

The city and the school were a hodgepodge of styles, classes, backgrounds, accents and goings-on. Beechen Cliff was very big when I joined it in 1978. The Wells Road site was the old secondary modern, a combination of railway sheds unfit for habitation and imposing Victorian buildings with parquet floors. And a proper toolshop – I was weirdly good at metalwork. The Alexandra Park site, where I could look out of the window while reading Persuasion and imagine Anne Elliot going for a walk, occupied the grounds of the former City of Bath Boys’ school.

Link to the rest at The Guardian

via Wikimedia Commons

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