Tony Heaton at the Malt House

No 17 - 21 Sydney Buildings

"Even in the International Departure Lounge at Orly Airport Paris you can be reminded of home. I was waiting for a connecting flight on my onward journey to Sana'a, North Yemen, to see one of my interior design clients, and I noticed in the airport shop the magazine "Maison Jardin" displaying a photo - in reverse - of the inside of my house.

I moved to Bath in the early eighties with my English Springer Spaniel 'Belle', and left Bath in 1999 with my two English Springer Spaniels 'Daisy' and 'Dotty'. Attracted by the industrial building and the visual palette Bath has to offer, we enjoyed many happy years living and working here, and have fond memories of neighbours and friends in Sydney Buildings and along the Kennet and Avon Canal.

The Malt House by Tony Heaton

In 1992 Daisy spent a night sleeping in pristine virgin Habitat sheets on one of their beds when they were using the house for a photo-shoot for the autumn catalogue.

I recall one sunny afternoon a keen walker on the towpath when he dropped his rucksack and fell to the ground in prayer at the sight in the Bishop's garden [No 15] of 50 vicars drinking sherry.

On another occasion I was taking my weekly bin bag to the street when I noticed detectives and Princess Margaret accompanied by her Lady-in-Waiting who was to ring the Bishop's bell.

It was from the "Top Lock" that my card career started and it's thanks to Bath that my cards are now viewed in 65 countries. I'm currently working on cards to celebrate the sailing in Weymouth and Portland for London 2012.

I now live in Bridport, with "Dotty" in an old rope factory and walking down the towpath of the Kennet and Avon Canal has now been replaced by walking along the river Brit to the sea and cliffs. "

Bath Top Lock by Tony Heaton

Text and images reproduced by kind permission of the artist Tony Heaton

whose work can be seen at

First published at

June 2009

Sydney Buildings History Group ©