Eve Alcock, Students' Union President (BSc Psychology 2018) on why Oldfield Park is the best neighbourhood in Bath:
Oldfield Park has played host to some of my most formative years. Its winding beige streets, hidden alleys and welcoming feel has offered a home from home for many students over the years. Though perhaps contrary to the narrative in the local press, the sense of community is still alive and kicking amongst the students and their permanent resident neighbours.
In my second year I lived next to a wonderful lady who ran her own childminding business. A lovely neighbour – not least because of the number of Amazon packages she took in for us. It was always comforting to come home from lectures to high-pitched squeals in the next-door garden and a pleasure returning various plastic toys that made their way over the fence.
In my final year an increasing number of socks and underwear disappeared from our garden. One day someone dropped a very sweet and apologetic note through our letterbox explaining that their new and excitable kittens had accumulated an array of undergarments from the whole street, which they were eager to return to their rightful owners!
With so much to explore, Oldfield was a Pandora’s box of adventures waiting to happen. I remember squeezing through a narrow kissing gate and stumbling upon Brickfields Park, shocked at the vast expanse of green space hidden from view by rows of houses. I scrambled up the climbing frame to the viewing point, able to gaze all the way to Lansdown.
By following the anomalous, sweeping green bridges over the residential roads, it felt like I was stepping back in time. Two long, disused railway tunnels. The temperature plummeted as my pace quickened, moving towards the light at the other end while eerie classical music echoed around the walls.
Then there’s the famous Moorland Road. We undertook regular charity shop hauls; the same diligent shop volunteers offering their assistance as you browse the crockery and choose yet another oversized Sports Direct mug, given your last one is too tea-stained to rescue. And yes, obviously you need that black and white striped top because what else are you going to wear to the cops and robbers social the following week?
Endless reservations at Panahar – the holy grail of student life: curry with a ‘bring your own booze’ policy. Any opportunity to bring your own Thatcher’s cans to the dinner table to complement the lime pickle they give you.
And Herbies – oh Herbies. The ever-reliable chippy on the corner of Herbert Road. If you were to close your eyes, smell the vinegar on your chips and hear the incessant wail of the seagulls that swarm Bath’s streets, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were by the coast if it weren’t for the lack of fresh sea breeze.
Oldfield Park was kind to me. At a time when young adults are figuring out what to do with their lives, it offers safety, community and wonder in its streets, creating lifelong memories in the hearts of those who get to call it home, if only briefly.