#40. KEPT IN KEEPING gladiatorial arena
glide into geological amphitheatre
the 19th century raised railway station GWR monogrammed timber benches a roof considered, ornamental edges curves, coloured bricks, but over time ads, posters, plastic information signs every surface plastered
crass, en masse, everywhere on view like a wind of sticky-backed rubbish has just been blown through city of baths
city of stone
nothing that’s new here’s allowed to stand alone the cathedral and steeped georgian terrace
is still the omnipresent postcard presence
for which this place is globally known despite the decades of tourist trade
the plague has come to the spa and stayed spread far beyond a remedies reaches
a fabric since altered with second rate stitches the hills, the arcing tiers distinct
long muddied by 60s shit precincts
the shoddier buildings
the council headquarters
multi-storey cars and 70’s housing on the outskirts
the flat roof offices devoid of outbursts compromised and non committal
flimsy, lazy and brittle
all enforced with placeless, pseudo politeness a collective mandate of planning requirements
piss poor proportions
mixed message abortions
a squandered inheritance and falling standards
cursed by the same slack development pampered it’s fucking stone!
it’s meant to stand on the ground!
chiselled, honed, stacked, and squared
solid blocks in which details carved
the eternal craft of nature taming
not this mess of improbable cross fertilisation
with floating street frontages of masonry screens with high tech, cladding, glazed, curtain wall fixings this is not a call for wholesale preservation nor photo copying through observations what about engaging with the essence the character of what’s staring you in the face
similarity breeds contempt
buildings become predictably laced
the same material combinations uselessly re-ordered and put to waste
leave the village, the town and the city defaced