Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Friday, 2 July 2010

Pride of Bath

I met up with my friend A for coffee in Bath yesterday afternoon and was surprised to find a pride of lions has invaded the streets. I should have remembered that like Bladud's Pigs two years ago another public art project is taking place this summer. After all, they did appear on the local TV news a few months ago alongside The Lions of Longleat. It was rather funny seeing real lions clambering all over their model counterparts.

100 lions have been decorated by artists and local personalities, such as Amy Williams, GB's lone winter olympics gold medallist [skeleton bob] who hails from Bath. I managed to find 22 of them yesterday: simply by walking up from the railway station to the Royal Crescent, taking in the main shopping area and The Circus (how apt!) on the way. Some of the lions are located outside Bath, in Bradford on Avon and Corsham for instance and maps showing all their locations are available, should you want to find them all rather than see them in the random fashion I did yesterday.

Unfortunately a number of lions have been vandalised since they took to the streets in May, which is probably why I found the Hospital Lion outside Bath Abbey yesterday. I suspect that's why a number of them are on castors instead of stone plinths, so they can be taken inside overnight for protection. It's a shame we didn't actually have the World Cup Lion playing in the England team: we could have done with Wayne Roarney in the side methinks.

The lions are out on the streets until September, then the entire pride of Bath will gather in front of The Royal Crescent in October for a final farewell to the city and the grand auction in aid of local charities. Once they've gone it'll be fun to try and find these lions instead!

9 comments:

  1. Fun post me dear; such lovely kitties everywhere. Wasn't there an elephant thingy in London recently too?

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  2. We saw a bunch of these when we were there between 20 June and 22 June. Very cute and enjoyable to find them scattered all over. I hope the auction is very successful.

    Also caught the Bath Boules competition that was happening. It looked like a fun local event too.

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  3. I particularly liked the one over the fudge shop which was decorated to look like a fudge lion being peeled out of gold foil wrapping!

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  4. Just been catching up VP - been too busy weeding and busily watering my feeble shoots in a bid to make them look like something they're supposed to look like. You've been such a busy bee - strangely, I was at the Pound in Corsham just the other day - I wish I'd known you were in a choir, I would have made a point of coming to listen. Love the idea of Lions in Bath - will have to check that out before they disappear. Loved the Q&A, too (why do people ask such bizarre questions?).

    Always love your blog - you never know what you're going to find here next.

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  5. Lovely lions - thanks for taking so many pictures of them for those of us who won't get to see them :) There seem to be a lot of these animal artworks springing up all round the country at the moment - someone I know designed a penguin for Liverpool's gopenguins last year (this is her blog about how she painted it, which is fascinating in itself). I think they're great fun, and if they raise money for charity too, all the better!

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  6. What a splendid collection. I believe there's also a rampage of adorned elephants on the loose somewhere in London at the moment :)

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  7. The one in Corsham is at the junction of the High Street and the precinct. It is a bit on the dull side - just black with gold eyes - but still nice to have there. The plinths are made of stone from Rudloe Stonemasons which is why we've got one here.

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  8. Thanks Lu - will take a look next time I'm in Corsham

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  9. Oops - just spotted I needed toi reply to everyone!

    Yolanda - yes there was I saw one of the elephants at the entrance to Chelsea

    Douglas E Welch - welcome! You weren't that far from me if you were in Bath! Hope you had a good trip

    New Shoot - must go and find that one :)

    Brown Dog - good to see you and I see the garden and allotment opening in GS was a success :)

    Juliet - that's a great link. I've seen only little snippets on how these things are painted, so it's good to get the whole story

    Anna - yes there are, but I've only managed to see 1 so far. London's much bigger than Bath or Liverpool!

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