Largescale map showing Sydney Gardens in the 1880s Largescale map showing Sydney Gardens in the 1880s Show image info

Map of Bath showing Sydney Gardens, Ordnance Survey sheet XIV.6.1, 1:500 scale, 1880s

Hamster in the Shower

Written in 2019 by a member of a creative writing class, through a collaboration between Bath Record Office and the St. John’s Foundation.

Buster decided to have a shower and got his kit ready – a clean flannel to use as a towel and a  scarf to wrap himself up in afterwards. He used an old toothbrush and some soap to scrub himself and then rinsed his fur under the shower, trying not to be swept into the drain. Then, using the flannel, towelled himself as dry as possible.                                                                                                                                                        

He decided to wear a bowtie as he was going out on a date and wanted to look swish. The bowtie was made out of some ribbon he had found. It was red and had MERRY CHRISTMAS written on it in shiny silver. He had no idea what CHRISTMAS was, some strange human occasion, but it looked jolly and bright.

A hamster has short life and he meant to make the most of his opportunities.

Buster was cautious about where he was going. One time he had been given food on a plate, and round the edge it said, ‘DO NOT GO INTO THE VEGETABLE GARDEN AS YOUR FATHER HAD AN ACCIDENT THERE AND WAS PUT INTO A PIE BY THE GARDENERS WIFE’.  Wow, you only had to read that once.

He had packed a little bag with pieces of carrot, apple, celery and some lettuce.

He hoped his date would like a picnic. They were meeting on the little park, where he knew there was a roundabout, and a slide and a seesaw.

Her name was Princess, tiny and blonde and totally cute.  He felt bowled over, completely thrilled, love at first sight for sure. He took her on the roundabout, where they had a lovely whizz, round and round until they felt a bit dizzy, or it might be love. Then they sat in the sun on the grass, unpacked the picnic, and gazed at each other. This was a huge success he thought, he must ask her out again…..

Janice King, 2019