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History

 

Here you will find a brief timeline for the Recreation Ground (the Rec) from 1894 to 2007:

 

Pre 1894

 

The Recreation Ground and the North Parade Land were part of the Bathwick Estate (held by the Forester family).

 

1894

 

Lease granted from Captain GW Forester to the Directors of The Bath and County Recreation Ground Company Limited. This allowed the company to execute such works as should render it suitable for Cricket Matches, Lawn Tennis and Archery Tournaments, Football Matches and other out-door sports (including the first Bath rugby matches on the Rec). The works included building a Pavilion (the County cricket Pavilion) on the North side of the Recreation Ground.

 

1897

 

The first ever Somerset County Cricket festival which is also known as the Bath Cricket Festival was held. This has continuously ran more or less from 1897 to the present day.

 

1908

 

Further lease granted to the Directors of The Bath and County Recreation Ground Company Limited for a term of 21 years at a rent of £100 per year.

 

1922

 

Conveyance of the Recreation Land and the North Parade Land by Francis William Forester, Brinsley John Hamilton Fitzgerald and Arthur Henry Brinsley Fitzgerald (Trustees of the Settlement) to the The Bath and County Recreation Ground Company Limited for a price of £6,050. The North Parade Land then included a building which became known as "the Pavilion" which had previously been used, and was subsequently used, as an ice skating rink. The company then conveyed the North Parade Land to Bath Artcraft Limited for £2,500.

 

1927

 

New lease granted to Bath FC for land on the West of the Recreation Ground, together with a Grand Stand, a New (North) Stand and a Pavilion, for a term of 25 years.

 

1930

 

Bath Artcraft Limited conveyed the North Parade Land to the Mayor Aldermen and the citizens of the City of Bath (the Corporation) for a price of £4,500.

 

1933

 

New West Stand erected (in place of the Grand Stand) on the land used by Bath FC. Furthermore, the 1927 lease was surrendered and new lease granted for a further 50 years.

 

Second World War (1942)

 

The West Stand extensively damaged by bombing during the blitz.

 

1953/54

 

Rebuilding of the West Stand at a cost of more than £12,000 met by the War Damage Commission.

 

1954

 

An agreement to erect a building called "the Club Room" to the West of the North Stand on the land used by Bath FC. A lease was also granted to James Colmer Limited for land in the North East corner of the Recreation Ground together with a Pavilion to be used for the purposes of a tennis club).

 

1956

 

The Recreation Ground was conveyed to the Mayor Aldermen and the Citizens of the City of Bath (the Corporation) on the 1st February 1956 for £11,155.

 

1973

 

The 1933 lease was surrendered and a new 75 year lease granted to Bath FC.

 

1974

 

The Recreation Ground and the North Parade Land transferred to Bath City Council.

 

1975

 

The Sports and Leisure Centre was erected by the Bath City Council on the South side of the Recreation Ground (with an access over the North Parade Land).

 

1995

 

New 75 year lease granted to Bath FC.

 

2002

 

Doubts over the legal effect of the 1956 Conveyance had to be settled in 2002, when the High Court declared the land to become a charitable Trust (Registered Charity no. 1094519). This confirmed that the Recreation Ground was a Trust with the Council as sole Trustee and a Trust Board was established to manage the Trusts affairs.

 

2006

 

Since the High Court decision in 2002 determined that the Recreation Ground was indeed a Trust, the Charity Commission has been concerned that not all of the activities on the Recreation Ground comply with the purpose of the trust as interpreted through charity law.

 

The two major issues raised by the Commission were as follows. First, the legality of the leisure centre, as it does not comply strictly with the Trust's purpose which, the Commission believes, is to provide open air recreation. Secondly, the use of the Recreation Ground by Bath Rugby club is perceived to be dominant, to the detriment of wider uses and more general access.

 

Therefore, the Trust agreed to undertake a Strategic Review to determine the future uses of the Recreation Ground. A significant part of this process involves consultations with the beneficiaries.

 

2007

 

The Commission's enquiry was opened on 4th October 2002 and closed on 16th March 2007. A copy of the Statement of Results is available by contacting the charities commission.

 

 

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