11 Nov 2020
I'd love to walk the Chocolate Path again at some point, but it's been closed since it started falling into the river. Still, on this wander to get a coffee I walked down a road I'd not normally use and found a door dressed up as a wall and another door that had been bricked up for real. Odd.
I also found a lovely bit of art on one of the Cumberland Piazza pillars on my way home.
I've always enjoyed this Spike Island door; presumably a goods entrance.
12 Nov 2020
My goal is walk down every public road within a mile of me; sometimes it's not easy to tell what's public. I've passed the turning for Cornwallis Grove a thousand times, but never had a reason to venture down it, and although the street signs at the end seem to be council-deployed and I didn't spot any "private" signs, it's a gated road and definitely feels private.
Gathering all the white middle-class privilege I could muster, I wandered down and was rewarded with the sight of a Victorian pump, a statue of Jesus, and from the end of the road, a view of a private garden that once belonged to a private girls' school.
The Cornwallis House history page says:
In the early 20th century the house, together with Grove House, became a Catholic school, St Joseph’s High School for Girls. The Congregation of La Retraite took over the school in 1924, with the nuns living in Grove House while the schoolrooms were in Cornwallis House. The headmistress was Mother St Paul de la Croix (Sister Paula Yerby). By the 1970s La Retraite High School had around 700 pupils.
It closed in 1982 and the building was bought by Pearce Homes Ltd (now part of Crest Nicholson) who developed it into 21 flats. Grove House next door was bought by the Bristol Cancer Help Centre, and was later converted into flats in 2007.
26 Nov 2020
I took the day off my day job to do my accounts—or at least do enough bookkeeping to send them to my accountant. I hate doing the books. I woke up late, tired and with a headache and decided to bunk off for a walk around Cliftonwood, Clifton Village and Clifton instead, taking in a couple of good coffees along the way. Thanks, Foliage Café, and Twelve for the flat whites.
I went to have a peep at the giant sinkhole that's opened up in Canynge Square—ironically, having recently discovered the gardens were public I'd had the (triangular!) square on my list to re-visit for a few days, but now there's no entrance to the gardens due to the danger. The area was well fenced-off for safety, but I tried to get a couple of photos from behind the barriers.
I also explored the area around Camp Road, an real melange of architectures, one of the most mixed-up areas I've seen in Clifton, in fact, and confirmed my friend Claire's suspicion that an earlier snap of a sign from Manilla Road was in fact for a fire hydrant. Nice.
This was what I came back to check—it is indeed a fire hydrant sign, as subsequent photos of the fire hydrant, still 24 feet in front of the sign, will demonstrate...
Looks like it used to say "FC" rather than "FH"; from a quick google they used to be called fire "cocks" rather than "hydrants", so that might explain the change.
So the 3" hydrant is 24 feet in front of the sign.
21 Jan 2021
A quick jaunt to Clifton Village to grab a birthday coffee and cake (courgette, lime & pistachio, thanks for asking) from Twelve, and rubberneck at the demolition of the block that used to house the WH Smith, among other things. I remember the Havana Cafe, Mail Boxes Etc (for those who wanted a Clifton postcode without living there?) and others.
I wonder if the bit about it being closed for one day a year is a non-sequitur, or whether there's actually some legal requirement to close the garden every now and again to maintain its private status.
11 Apr 2021
My friend Lisa joined me again, this time for a long wander through "Bemmie". In fact, I tweeted recently using "Bedmo" as my abbreviation for Bedminster, and apparently there's something of a culture war going on. From what I can glean, the longer-term residents call it "Bemmie" and consider "Bedmo" a name made up by hipster gentrifiers.
I had no idea, but then I didn't grow up around here, and I don't live in Bedminster, and I'm not a hipster. I'm not sure I've ever gentrified anywhere, either; Hotwells was already quite gentrified by the time I arrived. I probably just lowered the tone a bit.
Anyway. Lisa and I entered Bemmie by the traditional toll gate (though actually you'd only have paid if you were coming from the Long Ashton direction, not merely nipping across from Hotwells) and then almost literally combed the streets to knock several new roads off my list of targets. Along the way we saw lots of street art, as you'd expect, and admired the area's panoply of gorgeous knockers.
16 Apr 2021
Another day, another quick dash out for a coffee. I did at least try to take a different route from normal, especially on the way back, where I yet again got a bit lost in the strange paths, flyovers and underpasses that make up the odd maze of pedestrian "infrastructure" among the concrete jungle between the west of Greville Smyth and my neck of the woods in Hotwells. I swear one day I'll take a turn I've not tried before and end up being gored by a Bristolian minotaur.
I'd heard there was going to be something of a wild party in Greville Smyth to mark the end of lockdown. It seems it may be the start of a regular thing, with a dance festival bringing 8,000 people to the park. I imagine I'll be able to hear it from my place, and therefore safely avoid it.
08 Jun 2021
I had to return a book to the library—Ellic Howe's Magicians of the Golden Dawn, very interesting, thanks for asking—so I decided to pick the Central Library as my drop-off point and walk down a segment of Deanery Road that I've surprisingly overlooked so far. In any normal time I'd have been walking to work that way quite often, or heading through at the weekend on the way to do some shopping in the city centre, or for a coffee at St Nick's, but those excursions have been quite thin on the ground for the last year or so, for obvious reasons.
I've never been inside a single building on Deanery Road itself; the Library is technically on College Green and the rest is mostly student accommodation or Bristol College buildings, by the looks of things. It's a fairly mediocre street, used merely to get to other places. (St George's Road, which merges into it, at least has the distinction of several good shops verging from the practical and long-lived car radio fitters to the excellent little Dreadnought Books, sadly currently closed for refurbishment...)
After dropping off my book I came home via the harbourside, the better to enjoy the nice sunny blue skies of the day.