By Rob Coles: One of the schools I attended was in Green Park in the terrace that escaped the blitz. Walking from the Bear Flat down Cedar Walk my dream was for a new bridge over the River Avon to save me having to double back after reaching the Lower Bristol Road. With the new French designed foot and cycle bridge my dream has come true, seventy years too late for me, A bridge would also have been welcomed by some of the hundreds of employees who stormed out of the Stothert’s factory on foot and bike onto the Lower Bristol Road at home time, so much a feature of industrial Bath.
My school day was punctuated by crashes, bangs and other industrial noises from the large riverside works of Stothert and Pitt.
Bath was back then a very different place Stothert’s and other industries, Bayers, Horstmans, Pitmans, LMS etc were household names which to a schoolboy were more of a symbol of Bath than the Crescents etc. To see cranes at docksides bearing the plaque in large letters Stothert and Pitt Bath England gave a sense of pride. Stothert sadly closed in the 1980’s, the Newark Works foundry building remain and now house small businesses and offices, even a coffee shop.
As a tribute and memorial to the thousands who worked for Stothert and created the reputation of “Crane Makers to the world” a crane has been returned to its place of birth on the banks of the Avon The site is close to the original Stothert’s wharf and adjacent to the new French designed foot and cycle bridge
The rail mounted crane dating from 1860’s is thought to be the oldest existing built by the Company, its working life was spent with the stone undertaking at Box and Corsham.
The crane was initially saved from scrap by Historian David Pollard. After years in his and other gardens restoration was commenced in 2019 by a team led by two ex Stothert and Pitt apprentices, Peter Dunn and Arthur Feltham. On completion of the restoration the crane was formally handed over by Nina Pollard to Bath and North East Somerset Council for permanent display at the Newark Works at the very place where the crane was first built.
The ceremony was led by the Director of the Museum of Bath at Work, Stuart Burrows.
Among those who gave financial and other support were The Bath Stone Quarry Museum Trust, The Association for Industrial Archaeology, The Bristol Industrial Archaeological Society, Hawker Joinery, The Cotswold National Landscape and the Museum of Bath at Work.
Note: Rob Coles is a long standing resident of the city and we are grateful for his recollections of Bath gone by which we can share with the thousands of residents who read the Bath Voice, both online and in the paper publication out on the first of the month.
Bath Voice Monthly Newspaper is distributed free to thousands of homes and some supermarkets – distributed from the first of the month. Harry Mottram is the News Editor
Email him at email@example.com Bath website: https://bathvoice.co.uk/news/
Bath Facebook: https://tinyurl.com/bdtf2kep Also on Twitter: https://twitter.com/bath_voice Read the newspaper online at :https://issuu.com/bathvoice To advertise to thousands of Bathonians call Erica on 07402 441485 or email her on firstname.lastname@example.org
Harry Mottram is a freelance journalist. Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Telegram, TikTok and Email:email@example.com
Website:www.harrymottram.co.uk Mobile: 07789 864769