The Bristol to Bath Railway Path provides a tranquil walking and cycling path between the two cities. This path begins in the historic port of Bristol, and passes via Mangotsfield, Warmley and Saltford before arriving in the heart of Bath.
In 2007, Cod Steaks created a unque gateway to the path to celebrate Sustrans 30th anniversary. The first artist commissions in 1990 formed a series of works to mark the former stations, most of which were no longer visible. The drinking fountain series also began, together with waymarkers and distinctive archways - thus the Bristol and Bath Railway Path Art Trail came into being. This was Sustrans flagship walking and cycling path completed in the mid 1980s and largely constructed through a youth employment scheme and many volunteers.
The Railway Station Series
Fish on its Nose by Doug Cocker marks Fishponds Station and inspired by Fishponds fame for the ponds which supplied fish for the tables of Bristol noblemen. All the curved radius bricks were donated by Ibstock Bricks and the structure was built by Wimpey Homes apprentices. The nearby supermarket provided forty items selected by local school children to be concreted in the belly of the fish as a time capsule to mark the year 1993.
Close Encounters by Steve Joyce is on Warmley Station. Six life size steel cut outs of 1940s characters waiting for a train that will never arrive. Each figure has relief designs on both side depicting the 1940 era such as part of a railway ticket, Battle of Britain, steam engine parts etc. The old station hut now run as a tea shop opens throughout the summer and at week ends.
Wind Blown Oak by Jim Partridge and Liz Walmsley marks Kelston Station, sited in the old station master’s hut – still identifiable by the garden flowers and fruit trees. Kelston was the stopping place for crowds of people to walk up the hill and to visit the race course on high days and holidays.
The Drinking Fountain series
Gaius Sentius by Gordon Young is a drinking fountain marking the intersection of a Roman Road visible on OS maps. It celebrates the engineer whose grave stone was discovered near Bristol and who might well have built this road! It also marks the mid way along the path and stands in a grove of walnut and sweet chestnut trees brought to England by the Romans to feed their legionaries.
Drinking Stone by Michael Fairfax is a drinking fountain near Bath. The water flow is directed across the surface of a ten ton block of fossilised limestone from Portland, through grooved channels linking cup and ring carvings – ancient motifs found through out UK thought date from Neolithic and Bronze Ages.
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