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Blooming Whiteway

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by Tom Fieldhouse (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer, living in Bath with my wife and son. I love my city, and love to live here. I write about Bath a lot, and sometimes about travels in Ireland and France.
Published March 29th 2018
Blooming Whiteway, Blooming Marvellous
Clay making
Young hands learning about gentle creativity- a perfect expression of what Blooming Whiteway is all about

Blooming Whiteway is a superb community-based phenomenon, and the result of the hard work and vision of two local women, Claire Loder and Jude Rice. It is a wholly positive and empowering project to beautify and care for the Whiteway area of Bath, and aims to involve the local community in taking care and ownership of public spaces. In Bath, media coverage and visitors to the city are predominantly drawn to the centre of the city, but Blooming Whiteway is shining a spotlight on a community to the South, and doing it in a beautiful way.

Click here to take a closer look at Blooming Whiteway

Organisers on the scene
Tireless campaigners Claire and Jude, at the recent 'Throw, Sow, Grow' event at Rosewarn Park

24th March marked the latest event of Blooming Whiteway, which was the Throw Sow Grow pot making and planting event, in association with Hey Clay. Held in Rosewarn Park, it was a day of pot making, plant-growing, seed-planting and pony- petting, at the heart of the Whiteway community in Bath. When I arrived though, I quickly realised that it was so much more than this. I live well within walking distance of the park, and within minutes I found myself talking to people with faces that I have seen in the shops for years, yet never spoken to. Claire and Jude, and all those who have helped them, are bringing together the community in a lovely way.

The 'Design a Sign competition held by CURO, the local Housing Association. Claire has liaised closely with them .

Pot making
Many hands make community work! Potters and memberd of the public making coil pots and thrown pots.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching my son make a coil pot, then have his picture taken when it was finished. I saw folks of all ages getting involved, be this by collecting saplings and seedlings from Jude and Claire, entering a 'Design a Sign' competition held by CURO, the local Housing Association, or simply having a kickabout with a football. I felt very happy to be interacting with other people from my community in a positive way, and left feeling more connected to the place I which I live. My garden is now enriched with seedlings and plants that I was given at the park, and I am looking forward to seeing these flourish.

Young folks making plant pots
Some young visitors to the park, creating plant pots.

Since its germination in 2016, Blooming Whiteway has held many events and get together's around this area of Bath, and has sought to enrich and enhance the lives of people who live and work in Whiteway. Two special visitors to Rosewarn were Dougie and Dougal, two miniature Shetland Ponies. These chaps were brought to the event by Kilda from Bath City Farm, which is another superb community-based project in this area. With CURO and several local artists and ceramicists in attendance, I think this captures exactly what Blooming Whiteway is about. Groups of people coming together and interacting, by caring for their local environment.

Dougie and Dougal, from Bath City Farm.

On 12th May Claire, Jude and their associates will be holding a 'Love Your Park' event at Rosewarn, and I will be there with my family. Having been to one event, I am now very keen to attend others, and perhaps to contribute to the brilliant work that is going on. This is a local initiative that is as yet young, but is growing and blossoming as time passes. I am very excited to watch what it will transform in to next.

Just some of the seeds and plants that folks took home from the event.

Pot making events
A hive of activity around the pot making gazebo.
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Why? Kind and caring local community initiative
When: An ongoing project, with many events to come
Where: Whiteway, in Bath
Cost: Free Event
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