City's buskers face sound test: Bath has drawn up a code of practice to curb the 'continual bombardment of sound' from street musicians. Andrew Mourant reports
Tuesday 13 July 1993
Councillors have approved a code of practice devised by environmental health officials and the police to curb the excesses of street musicians and other performers.
The authorities have been inundated with complaints about the 'continual bombardment of sound' from one or two particular pitches. The code is designed to reinforce and explain by-laws on noise levels. It lays down that drums should not be used unless a 'minor part of the total actor performance' and that entertainers should stand a minimum of 50 metres apart. Any entertainer should stop performing if requested by a council official or police officer.
The original proposals would have banned entertainers from playing at any one pitch for more than an hour a day. 'But we rejected that because we felt it a bit Draconian,' said Peter Goodhart, chairman of Bath City Council environmental committtee.
Stall Street and Union Street, the heart of Bath's shopping area, are frequently brought to a standstill on Saturdays by buskers and throngs of onlookers.
Trevor Quantock, manager of W H Smith, said: 'Sometimes you have elderly or disabled people fighting to get into the shop and I find that very frustrating.
'I think possibly we have lost some custom. I don't mind a musical busker but sometimes it is just a constant din. We had a bloke playing the drums outside incessantly and it was like a form of Chinese torture.'
The code has had a lukewarm response from buskers. One member of Swamp Donkey, an acoustic country blues band that performs regularly on the streets, said: 'The only complaint we've had is when someone at Body Shop rang up because we were playing while they were having a board meeting.'
He added that buskers would have undermined the proposed ban on playing more than an hour at any one location by getting together and swapping pitches.
Recently the idea of introducing a similar system to Covent Garden, where buskers are licensed and allowed to occupy their pitch only after passing an audition, was floated by David Pratley, Bath's director of leisure and tourist services.
Howard Nowell, the city's principal environmental health officer, said the aim was not to run buskers out of town. 'We have a good atmosphere and street scene in Bath. But we have devised this code with the police because we want to reduce the time we spend dealing with complaints that arise from busking.'
- 1 This is what the one in ten British men who pay for sex need to know
- 2 Lee Evans announces retirement from comedy on The Jonathan Ross Show
- 3 These grandmas smoking weed for the first time are wonderful
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
Jeff Fletcher dead: Britpop guitarist is decapitated by lorry in horrific traffic accident
These grandmas smoking weed for the first time are wonderful
Jimmy Ruffin dead: Motown legend, who wrote 'What Becomes of the Brokenhearted', dies aged 78
New York snowstorm: Five dead and state of emergency declared as 'wall of snow' buries Buffalo
Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
'Muslims pre-date Columbus in discovering America,' says Turkish president Erdogan
Former Tory PM Sir John Major says 'we would not have an NHS without migrants'
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
G20 summit: David Cameron warns Vladimir Putin that Russia's relationship with the West is at a 'fork in the road' over Ukraine
Myleene Klass: Ed Miliband 'strikes back' by comparing UK's need for Labour's mansion tax to Hear'Say track
Coalition government has 'shifted money from poorest to better-off' through welfare cuts and tax reductions, study claims
Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Argyll Scott is recruiting for a Permane...
£30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SOLI...
Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Due to further expansion, a leading inte...
£27000 - £32000 per annum + training: Langley James : Senior Technician; Promo...