Canal Poetry Route

Update: The first lock installation and pilot for a full route went ahead on 24th September 2018 in Bath Top Lock (13). It made the local news:!

Thank you to the wonderful Canal and River Trust team for helping to carry out the pilot.

The Project

For almost 300 years Bath’s beautiful canal has been opened and closed, neglected and repaired, ferried travellers and goods, and all the while it has drifted quietly on, collecting stories. Floating down the water, slowly rising and falling with the levels of the city through its six locks whilst fully immersed in the historic landscape, is a thought-provoking and contemplative experience – one that makes you to slow down and really notice your surroundings.

Now imagine if, within each lock, there were something to read to pass the time; something transforming as the water levels change: a glimpse of the powerful history and ideas that the canal holds.

This project proposal is for the installation of six “transforming” poems within each of the Bath locks. Each poem is designed to be hidden under the upper waterline of the lock until it’s emptied. The poem is then revealed line by line, and with each additional line the poem takes on new meaning. These poems will be pressure-washed through a  stencil onto the wall of the lock chamber – a process that is both natural and environmentally friendly, lifting away a layer of dirt to leave a clean imprint of the letters on the brick.

If you are interested in helping to make this creative community project happen, please follow this link:

I would also love to hear your opinions and thoughts on the project, especially if you’ve been to see the pilot poem in Bath Top Lock (13). You can do this by either dropping a comment below, or contacting me via my twitter account: @JKashdanBrown.

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