The Circus

The Circus

Pp. 210-213

21st C

Talking of baths and showers which we weren't given that neither featured in the lives of the Gainsboroughs, I have strong opinions on this subject and in particular those units used in just about every hotel I have stayed in over the past two years.

Why, in heaven's name, do hotel designers and owners believe that their guests want showers installed over high-sided baths no-one but a 21 year old Olympian athlete can climb into? Or, if you are a person who doesn't wash their hair every day, who wants a tropical torrent of hot water cascading down, often with painful force, from an overhead power shower situated so high that it is impossible to control or escape from.

One of the best if most expensive bit of kit I have purchsd in the last year has been my roomy walk-in shower (big enough for three!) complete with a wall-mounted, hand-held showerhead fitted on a snake-like connection. This allows me to stand under the fixed shower to wash my hair, or it can be taken off its mounting to target feet or any other bits requiring a thorough squirt yet, if required, keep my hair dry.

I know I am not alone in hating those wretched showers installed over high-sided baths: two of my young men friends and several younger women have complained about them too. As for those wretched high-sided free-standing baths installed in hotel bedrooms! They never have any shelves or surfaces nearby to place any of the stuff you need and anyhow, who wants to strip off and play to an audience in the clear light of day once you're past your prime?

Note to hotel designers and owners: bring back the walk-in shower space please! It is eco friendly, uses much less water and heating per person per day, offers a cleaner option and one which is much less likely to cause accidents.

And while I am enjoying a rant - why is there no seating provided for the disabled and elderly at the ticket office in Bath Spa railway station?
Queuing is almost mandatory whatever the time of day and often requires customers to stand for twenty minutes or more when buying tickets or planning a journey.

When I complained about the matter to a helpful member of staff I was told that they receive many requests for seats in the area but when the information is passed on it is dismissed by higher authority.

I decided to take up the challenge. I wrote to Mark Hopwood the MD of First Great Western and appealed to Bath's MP, Don Foster, for comment.

Mark Hopwood responded within five days, promising to investigate and reply fully as soon as possible. Don Foster immediately wrote to me, indicating that he shares my concern about lack of seating and says he has requested Mr Hopwood's comments. I am pleased by the rapid response of both men and hope their involvement might result in provision of seats. There is plenty of space for them in the current layout of the area concerned.