About this blog

The London Road Gateway Project Bath aims to improve the public realm of the stretch of London Road, between Cleveland Place junction, and Morrisons Supermarket.

Bath based artist Jane Veveris Callan has been commissioned by Bath and North East Somerset Council to create decorative designs to go onto the tree planters, and grilles that will form part of the improvements.

Jane collaborated with Alan Summers and Karen Hoy of Call of the Page, formerly known as 'With Words', to work with the community, gathering local history and stories as words, with haiku and renga poems, which have informed her resulting designs.

This blog has been created to share some of the creative process.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Special days

Street parties are not just a thing of the past and there are still community celebrations in the London Road area when the bunting goes up and people gather together outdoors. Some lines from the Renga poem written by the community at the workshop organised by 'With Words' read:

Dappled light
We put
Our bunting up

Shop front windows
On the world

This design combines words gathered from residents, in the shape of the bunting, to reflect special days and celebrations in the area, both past and present.


Tea time treats are just as popular today but elderly residents recalled how local shop keepers used to wear different colour aprons, butchers and grocers white, and greengrocers brown. The white aproned keepers also refers to generations of those caring for children, and most recently the Norland nannies training at the college on London Road.

For many years markets might have meant animals driven along the London Road, being taken to the 'beast markets' in nearby Walcot and beyond. Today the extra traffic could be for the more enjoyable Christmas market! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


All of the words that are used as part of the designs, were gathered from and inspired by talking to members of the community in the London Road and Snow Hill area. They shared stories about their lives, tales of past times and impressions of life, in what is a friendly, buzzing, culturally diverse and historically rich area.

The design facing east on the tree planter to be placed furthest east on the London Road, will also act as something of a 'welcome' signpost for visitors coming into the city. 

An interesting observation by locals was that the busy A4 road is like a fast flowing river, and the residents live on the banks of that river. This design is inspired by that concept. 

Since around 44AD when the Romans developed the hot water springs, and named the town 'Aquae Sulis', (Waters of the goddess Sul, a local deity) the London Road has been one of the busiest gateways into the city. Today, many people still come to live, work and visit Bath, via the London Road.