Department of Social & Policy Sciences

Social programme

Alongside the Academic Programme, we are pleased to be able to offer registered participants a number of opportunities to network and relax whilst showing you some of the sights of our World Heritage City.


When What  Where Who
26 August 2015, 19.00 - 20.30 Civic Reception hosted by the Chair of Bath & North East Somerset Council The Octagon, Assembly Rooms, BA1 2QH Open to all registered participants and their guests (£10 charge to non-conference registrants.)
27 August 2015, 18.45 - 19.45

Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness: A History of Social Policy in Bath

Meet as designated for your particular walk. All walks end at the Pump Rooms in the centre of town.   Open to all registered participants and their guests
27 August 2015, 20.00 - 00.00 Conference dinner   The Pump Rooms, Stall Street, Bath, BA1 1LZ  Open to all registered participants and their guests at an additional charge of £60 per person.  


Wednesday 26 August, 19.00 - 20.30
Civic Reception, The Octagon, The Assembly Rooms, Bath

We are pleased to invite all registered participants to a reception hosted by the Chair of Bath & North East Somerset Council in the beautiful surroundings of Bath's Assembly Rooms. 

The event starts at 7pm and is included with your registration to the conference. Additional tickets can be purchased priced £10 each at the time of booking for partners or friends who are visiting Bath with you but who are not attending the conference. 

The Assembly Rooms are in the Centre of Bath on Bennett Street. A map and directions can be found on their website

About the Assembly Rooms

Bath's magnificent 18th century Assembly Rooms were opened in 1771. Known as the New or Upper Rooms, to distinguish them from the older Assembly Rooms in the lower part of the town, they were designed by John Wood the Younger. This fine set of public rooms was purpose-built for an 18th century form of entertainment called an 'assembly'. A large number of guests met together to dance, drink tea, play cards and listen to music - or just walk about, talk and flirt. The Assembly Rooms were seriously damaged in a bombing raid on Bath in 1942 but were rebuilt and reopened to the public in 1963. In 1987 part of the Ball Room ceiling collapsed due to a failure in the plasterwork, and the Rooms underwent a further scheme of restoration and redecoration 1988-91. Today, the building is owned by the National Trust but it is leased to and managed by Bath & North East Somerset Council.

The Ballroom and Tea Room are linked by the Octagon Room which was originally intended as a circulating space which could also be used for music and playing cards. On Sundays, when cards were not allowed, visitors could listen to the organ, which once stood in the musician's gallery.

The Octagon Room is dominated by Gainsborough's portrait of the first Master of Ceremonies at the Upper Rooms, Captain William Wade.  Bath's most famous Master of Ceremonies, Richard "Beau" Nash, never knew this building as he died in 1761.


Thursday 27 August, 18.45 - 19.45
Walking tour

Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness: A History of Social Policy in Bath

The City of Bath is associated with its famous spa – and tourism, pleasure and leisure – a place to see and be seen. But the city has another history as well: of social struggles for worker’s rights, of campaigns for universal healthcare, pensions and education; of hidden lives lived in poverty and isolation. Join us on a walk around the ‘other’ stories of Bath, to uncover a story of social policy right beneath our feet.

Practicalities: The walk will last around 1 hour. We will meet outside ‘Graze’ next to the station and end at the Pump Rooms (where the conference dinner is taking place). The walk is on pavement and not arduous but please wear comfortable shoes!

There are two tours taking place with a maximum of 15 places each. Please add to your booking at the time of registration. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.


Thursday 27 August, 20.00 - 00.00
Conference dinner, The Pump Rooms, Bath 

The conference dinner will take place in the elegant Pump Rooms, part of the Roman Baths complex in the centre of town. Dinner will start at 20.00 and the venue will close at midnight. 

The dinner is priced additionally to the conference and is charged at £60 per person. Registered participants are welcome to bring partners or friends, please purchase additional tickets at the time of booking.  

About the Pump Rooms

The Pump Room was built in 1795 by Thomas Baldwin and John Palmer as the focal point of Georgian society. The venue remains at the social heart of the city, and the world renowned spa water flows from the fountain overlooking the natural hot spring.

The Pump Room operates as a world famous restaurant during the day, and this atmospheric room is also available for private hire during the evening.