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  SEG Home > News List > March 2017

   March 2017

A LIDAR image from the geophysics survey report (Roman coffin field).

In this month's newsletter:-

Saltford geophysics survey report published - we uncover more of our Roman past as we publish on our website the final report complete with expert analysis on the BACAS/SEG geophysics survey of the Roman coffin field.

Saltford photo exhibition - news on you how you can participate in Saltford Community Association's photo exhibition for the 2017 Saltford Village Festival.

Our village in the 1950s - read about Saltford from a leaflet produced by Saltford W.I. 58 years ago.

Other news includes news on road changes affecting Keynsham High Street, upcycling for Easter, Wombles, Parish Council backing for Heritage Centre project, forthcoming changes to waste collections, and more.

Click on each story headline link or scroll down the page:-

Discovering Roman Saltford: Geophysics survey report published

Litter: Wombles (11 March) and tackling everyday litter

Great British Spring Clean - Blitz it by Bike - cycle path clear up (4 March)

Get Ready for Easter the Upcycling Way (24 March)

Saltford Photo Exhibition

Our village in the 1950s

Plans for Keynsham High Street one-way trial

Saltford Heritage Centre: SPC backs PCC

Healthy sustainable food in the West of England

Incentive to recycle more as waste collections go fortnightly in November

Opportunity to coordinate local habitat project

Discovering Roman Saltford: Geophysics survey report published

The geophysics survey in Saltford underway again, November 2016.

On 6th February 2017 SEG published the final report complete with expert analysis from our colleagues at Bath and Camerton Archaeological Society (BACAS). SEG assisted BACAS complete the geophysics search for a Roman dwelling in November 2016.

Below is a geophysics image from day 2 of the survey; as can be seen there is evidence of a major building (villa?) measuring up to approximately 70 metres in length and 40 to 50 metres in width that appears to have been discovered. This discovery in the parish of Saltford of a major structure that is probably Roman is a first for recorded history in modern times.


To the left (west) of the building are two large ditches running east-west. These might be for retaining livestock, irrigation or some other purpose.

As described in the final 2016 report, in the north western corner of the field an area of magnetic disturbance appears to indicate a structure but magnetometry has not provided a clear image. A trackway running up the west side of the field is also visible over part of its length. There also appears a pair of short, intense strong lines on the east side of the field, approximately 45 metres in from the field margin. It is not obvious what these represent, possibly the sides of a washing pool.

In the east portion of the field, a series of east - west lines, unevenly spaced, may be part of an earlier field system, perhaps medieval.

One of the LIDAR images from the survey final report.
Processed data shows Coffin Field & surrounding area.

LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) imaging was introduced for the 2016 survey report (courtesy of Andy McGrandle of BigAnomaly). This usefully provides complementary information in the form of landscape archaeology revealing many features of archaeological interest in the surrounding fields including evidence of an earlier and ancient field system, possibly Roman, and other features (mounds and other structures).

SEG is very grateful to the landowner, Adam Stratton, for allowing access to the field, to BACAS for carrying out this geophysics survey, for the assistance of survey volunteers from BACAS and SEG named in the report and to Andy McGrandle of BigAnomaly for the LIDAR imagery.

SEG is now in the early stages of discussing with BACAS the next steps for revealing more about this important find.

You can find the final survey report that includes technical data and imaging in the "Roman Saltford" section of our Online Museum.

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Litter: Wombles (11 March) and tackling everyday litter


The next Saltford Wombles' litter-pick will be on Saturday 11th March (meet 9.30am at The Little Coffee Shop, Manor Road) - weather permitting. If you haven't taken part in a litter-pick before, why not come along and see how satisfying it is to clear the litter that spoils our village?

We would like to thank everyone who already takes the care and trouble to pick up litter when they see it in Saltford. One way we can all help to discourage litter is to remove it when it appears so that litter in our village is the exception, not the norm. We want to encourage everyone to remove litter from the pavements at and near their own properties so that together we can make a difference in keeping our village cleaner and tidier. Many residents already do this as a matter of course but the more of us who do this, the less there will be to pick up.

Information about Saltford Wombles and street volunteers, individuals or families who remove litter from the area where they live or regularly walk, is on our "Less Waste" page. If you want to get involved contact Julie Sampson by email to: juliebsampson@gmail.com or tel: 01225--874603 or 07807--671--267.

P.S. The provisional date for the Wombles April litter pick is Saturday 8th April (meet 9.30am at The Little Coffee Shop, Manor Road).

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Great British Spring Clean - Blitz it by Bike - cycle path clear up (4 March)

Organised by one of our members, Simone Burke, volunteers from the Environment Agency Bristol Office's Bike Users Group along with anyone who wants to join in (fellow cyclists, community members and residents) are doing a Blitz it by Bike - cycle path litter clear up. This will start at the Bristol entrance on St Philip's Rd, 10am, Saturday 4th March and working "Blitzing it by Bike" to Warmley Waiting Rooms Café.

Keen cycling members interested in this can find details from this external web link.

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Get Ready for Easter the Upcycling Way (24 March)


What can you do with a balloon, odds and ends of wool, jam jars and shredded paper?

Well, how about an Easter egg with sweets in, a paper nest for Easter eggs or chicks and an Easter bunny sweet jar? If you have any odds and bods of knitting wool or thin twine/string and a jam jar with a lid please bring them along, we will have some if you haven't and we all share. We will have the eggs, balloons, shredded paper and some jam jars so don't worry if you haven't got any. The only other item needed is a bowl that can be lined with cling film to use as a frame to make your nest on.

Everyone welcome just pop in on Friday March 24th (NOTE REVISED DATE), 7 - 9pm at Signs of Saltford workshop, 559 Bath Road, Saltford. Look us up on our Facebook page 'Make it Magic' to see the kind of things we do. If you would like to find out more about our Upcycling Craft Group, have a chat with Frances on 07789--528834. Frances and Tina are looking forward to meeting you.

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Saltford Photo Exhibition


Saltford Community Association is inviting all local residents to participate in the photo exhibition for the 2017 Saltford Village Festival that is being held in June. This is free to enter for amateur photographers with prizes for "Young photographer" and "Comedy photo".

Photographs must be taken in Saltford and suitable photographs will also be considered for the 2018 Saltford calendar. Entries can cover one or more of these themes:

  • People
  • Landscape
  • Historical
  • Fun
  • Events

Entries should be jpeg files (up to 10Mb) and sent to John Davies email j.j.davies@bath.ac.uk (tel: 01225--344976) by no later than Monday 8th May.

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Our village in the 1950s

This 19th Century photograph of Saltford depicts
a similar landscape described in the 1950s.
(Photo courtesy of Clevedon Civic Society & Woodspring Museum.)

SEG has recently published in our history project's Online Museum key extracts from "Our Village", the 1959 un-illustrated brochure produced by Saltford W.I. 58 years ago. Published on 10 February 1959 this was compiled by six members of Saltford Women's Institute with "knowledge gained from various sources" and was kindly loaned to SEG by long-term resident Margaret Stabbins whose mother had been a W.I. member in the 1950s.

This provides a rare description of 1950s Saltford, a village "pleasantly situated on the South bank of a particularly picturesque portion of the River Avon" and where "steep, winding paths and curious old streets and lanes combine to give it a romantic attractiveness which one cannot fail to appreciate." Furthermore Saltford had "a quaint old world appearance due in a measure to its position on the slopes of a hill and to the almost medieval character of some of its habitations."

Below are just a few edited extracts concerning the village and the river from this quaint historical record:-


The village has not been altered for many years, the chief characteristic feature being the rows of cottages built at angles off the road through the village. They have no back entrance or garden but have good front gardens.

Most of the village people are engaged on railway maintenance at Keynsham, Bristol or Bath. Some are agricultural workers.

At the cross roads in the village is the World War I Memorial, a dignified and simple Celtic Cross, surrounded by a tiny garden. Names have also been added of casualties in World War II.

The main Bristol-London road, the upper end of Saltford, is now given to ribbon development, modern houses, many of which are dormitories for residents occupied in nearby towns. On each side, off the main road, there are Council houses of various types, about two hundred in all. These are planned and arranged to give space and beauty for the occupants.

We have a very energetic Community Association, which is working hard to raise funds for a new Community Centre on the Sports ground. This is badly needed as the W.I. Hut is the only hall available for all the local activities.

The only shops in the old village are a news agent a grocery store but a number of other shops and a post office line a portion of the main Bristol-Bath road and these satisfy most every-day needs.


It is a very pretty stretch of the river, with weirs adjoining both locks. Willow trees overhang into the river in places and here moorhens build their nests, such a charming picture they make when wee black, fluffy chicks are seen paddling about with their parents.

Swans also nest on the banks and are equally delightful to watch, gliding down the river in single file, with a parent bird at each end of the line of young cygnets. They are far more aggressive when nesting or protecting their young and will readily attack at any unwarranted interference.

There is plenty of fishing in season. The patient fishermen sit or stand all day, wet or fine, on the grassy banks and are sometimes rewarded with good catches of roach etc. At one time eels were caught in traps and sold in neighbouring towns.

Water rats or voles are sometimes seen, searching for food. They are pretty creatures with furry, mud-coloured coats. A lovely sight is the kingfisher, its brilliant blue plumage and large beak catching the sunlight, making it into a flying jewel.

During the summer months, especially at week-end, the river is alive with punts, rowing boats, canoes and similar craft, the main feature being the annual Saltford Regatta.

Many clubs use the river, the Clifton Rowing Club among others, having their own boat-houses there. Sea scouts also make full use of the water for their nautical training and camp in the adjoining fields.

The Shallows were so called because in olden times, before there were any weirs or locks, the tide came up to Saltford and where the road is low, there was a ford, or shallow place, where one could cross to the Kelston side of the river. A swift stream ran down the middle about a yard wide, which had to be jumped. The road is now very much higher than it was then, when it was often flooded. There was a flood path for foot passengers and it led through No. 2 Willow Cottages and up the field at the top of the Rectory. The door has been nailed up for a good many years but for a long time there was a strong piece of chain and a padlock on the inside of the stair door.


The document also describes the brass mill, the Jolly Sailor and other pubs, St Mary's church, the railway station, and some of the sporting activities including the golf club. You can download the full online document we have produced from this direct link:- "Our Village" (pdf opens in new window). For future reference it is in the Online Museum, 20th Century (page 2, "Miscellaneous").

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Plans for Keynsham High Street one-way trial

Members may wish to be aware that B&NES Council has announced details of the one-way trial for Keynsham High Street.

The trial scheme is in response to public support for the idea; residents in Keynsham wished to see an improved shopping experience, with reduced traffic making it quieter and less congested. If the trial is successful, it would enable permanent improvements to be made such as widening of the footways to give pedestrians more space.

As part of the Keynsham, High Street trial, the following changes will take place:

  • A one-way system will work southbound on the High Street from Charlton Road towards Bath Hill.
  • A new bus stop will be added southbound, while a cycle contraflow will be created northbound towards Charlton Road.
  • At the end of the High Street, all southbound traffic except buses, taxis and bicycles will need to turn left down Bath Hill.
  • The current roundabout at the top of Bath Hill will be removed, creating a junction here between the High Street and Bath Hill/Temple Street. There will be no right turn into the High Street for traffic coming up Bath Hill.

Ashton Way will remain two-way to all traffic. If the trial is successful, implementation of a permanent one-way system would enable more significant changes to be made to the High Street in future. These could include widening of the pedestrian areas and additional street furniture such as more public seating.

Construction is expected to start in Ashton Way on Monday 27 February, with the trial layout expected to come into effect in May.

During the trial, B&NES will be undertaking a paper-based and online consultation process with the public about how they would like to see the space on the High Street developed. The project web page at www.bathnes.gov.uk/keynsham will feature news and updates regarding opportunities to get involved in this process.

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Saltford Heritage Centre: SPC backs PCC

St Mary's Church Hall (2016)

At its February meeting Saltford Parish Council approved a grant of £1,000 to St Mary's Parochial Church Council towards the cost of redecorating and other related internal improvements in the church hall as a venue for hosting Saltford's Heritage Centre.

The PCC has already started to make progress on decorating the hall and the financial assistance generously provided by the Parish Council demonstrates its support for this project to help Saltford as a community gain a better knowledge and appreciation of its heritage.

As reported previously, SEG and the PCC are working together with the aim of having the early beginnings of the Heritage Centre ready for the Saltford Festival in June (2017).

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Healthy sustainable food in the West of England

If we do not permit the Earth to produce beauty and joy, it will in the end not produce food either - Joseph Woodkrutch

Those SEG members who are involved with public catering and food procurement/supply may wish to be aware that a West of England Food Procurement Group has been set up by the 4 West of England local authorities to provide leadership on healthy and sustainable food procurement.

Membership includes procurement, catering and public health staff from the four West of England local authorities - Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset - along with representatives from local supply groups and other partners. The group works together to exchange information, share best practice and identify initiatives and actions to support healthy and sustainable food procurement across the West of England.

If you want to know more visit www.bathnes.gov.uk/sustainablefoodprocurement where guidance, tools, local suppliers and information on awards to support healthy and sustainable food procurement can be found.

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Incentive to recycle more as waste collections go fortnightly in November

With all waste or pollution, someone somewhere pays for it...

Here is the latest informatiomn from B&NES Council on the change to fortnightly waste collections:-

Most households across Bath and North East Somerset will be changing to every other week collection for their rubbish from 6 November. B&NES will be providing a 140 litre wheeled bin for the storage and collection of rubbish. B&NES realise that one size does not fit all, so in a small number of cases where a 140 litre wheeled bin is not suitable for a property, or family situation, they may provide a larger bin or a re-useable rubbish bag to contain rubbish for collection.

Recycling collections, including food waste will remain weekly and the emphasis from B&NES will be on encouraging everyone to use this weekly service to its full potential.

From 9-13 March all households will be sent a personalised letter informing them how the changes will affect them - most letters will be included in the envelope with your Council Tax Bill.

This letter will let you know whether B&NES has allocated your property a wheeled bin or re-useable rubbish bag for rubbish collection, and the frequency of your rubbish collection. The letter is for information and no response will be needed. If you are concerned that the container B&NES has allocated is not appropriate for your specific property, or if despite recycling all you can, you feel that your household will not manage with the allocated container you will be able to complete an online query form.

Why are B&NES introducing the changes?

1. To keep our streets cleaner

Containing rubbish in a bin or re-usable bag will prevent animals and birds ripping open bags and making a mess which is unpleasant for everyone and costs us to clear up.

2. To recycle more

B&NES have a very comprehensive recycling collection where you can already recycle 17 different types of household waste every week. We know that some residents can recycle more than they are currently doing - about 75% of a household's waste can be recycled using the current collections, but B&NES still find that over half of an average rubbish bag consists of items that could have been recycled. Local research shows that if you recycle all you can you will still have space left in your rubbish bin when collected every other week.

The change will help to encourage everyone to use their food recycling collection - only about 50% of households currently use this. About a third of the waste in black sacks currently is food.

3. To save money

Every lorry load of waste costs £1000 to dispose of whilst every lorry load of recycling earns an income of £100, so reducing the amount put out as rubbish is essential.

You can find out more at www.bathnes.gov.uk/recycle.

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Opportunity to coordinate local habitat project

Crosswort growing on the railway habitat restoration project area.

Just a reminder that Saltford Environment Group is looking for a new volunteer to be our railway path habitat restoration project coordinator as our existing coordinator, who did a great job getting things organised, has had to step down due to other commitments. This local project has seen some notable successes:

  • The return of a number of rare and unusual plants to the area.
  • Fantastic views recreated across to the village and the river.
  • Thanks and congratulations from Railway Path users.
  • Some first class efforts from our team of community volunteers and from Saltford's Guides, Beavers and Scout groups.
  • Removal from the upper and middle slope of the previous large population of the unwelcome alien invasive Himalayan Balsam.

The area needs some concerted effort over the next 2-3 years to prevent the area from reverting back to scrub and trees: obscuring views and shading some of the rare sun-loving plants that have so recently returned. This work is likely to involve:

  • Regular practical volunteer sessions during the growing season - pulling invasive weeds such as nettles and brambles (6 - 8 sessions per year).
  • Monthly strimming sessions (during the growing season) - shared between volunteers.

This is a great opportunity for someone with good organisational skills to help deliver a really exciting project: restoring a rare and beautiful habitat and bringing members of the community together through fun, practical activities.

No prior experience of wildlife conservation projects is required and there will be plenty of opportunities to learn more about the rare and beautiful plants and animals which would otherwise disappear from our area, to make new friends and learn new skills along the way. We are looking for someone with a can-do attitude and the enthusiasm to engage with volunteers and provide more of a social side to this worthwhile activity.

If this opportunity to manage and develop a small yet interesting and local outdoor project appeals to you, to express an interest please contact our Vice-Chairman Chris Warren (email cherokee1883@live.com).

The project has its own webpage: link >>

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