04 Nov 2020
I only had a second to catch this moment, and I think I just managed it.
17 Apr 2021
I went rather outside my area today, as I went to pick something up from the Warhammer shop on Wine Street (Games Workshop as-was, and before that I think perhaps a rare retail outlet for Her Majesty's Stationery Office? I may be mis-remembering...) Anyway, a friend of mine wanted something picking up and posting to him, so I figured I'd knock some streets off my list along the way.
I first headed for the St George's Road area, walking down the narrow Brandon Steps and finding some strange wall art on Brandon Steep, then headed to the Old City via Zed Alley. The Warhammer shop visit was friendly and efficient, and, mission accomplished, I treated myself to a sausage roll and a flat white from Spicer + Cole, to take away and eat in Queen Square with its current decoration of hearts. I finished off with a detour up Park Street, looking out for St John's Conduit markers, before finally crossing Brandon Hill on the way home.
Quite a long wander, all told, and I'm a bit knackered today...
So that looks like an overflow pipe, and I suppose that makes this a modern gargoyle.
With the old Lloyds bank building in the background. When I used to work on Wine Street, around the front of the building, back in the 1990s, every now and again there'd be the sound of sirens as the police stopped the traffic through the centre and armoured cars would drop off or collect (I can't remember which) large amounts of cash from the giant bank vault in this rather defensive-looking concrete building.
I have to say, whoever moulded this form really has captured the intrinsic banana-ness of the banana very well.
I don't know what I was expecting to see on Brandon Steep, but a sculpted stone frog sticking out of the wall would have been pretty low on the list.
09 Oct 2021
I could spend a lot of time at the Docks Heritage Weekend, poking my nose into industrial places along the harbourside that are usually closed off, but throw open their doors once a year to show off a bit of the backstage area of Bristol's floating harbour. In fact, I warn you: the next wander is a long one, and will have quite a few photos.
However, for today's wander, on the Saturday, my friend Lisa needed a shorter walk than our usual long rambles, as she's recovering from an operation and still a little under the weather, so we just wandered into town for some food and back, with me making mental notes of the places I wanted to come back to on the Sunday... We walked through Underfall Yard, along to the L Shed (this is the warehouse next to the M Shed museum, where they still have the kind of fun old industrial stuff that used to be crammed into the M Shed's predecessor, the old Industrial Museum), through the street food market in town to Ahh Toots for cake and then back home. So, still quite a walk, but no hills and not so much of Lisa having to hang around waiting for me to fool around taking photos as usual, at least...
Last snap of the afternoon.
I had the Brooklyn. It was good. And sizeable.
04 Dec 2021
I didn't take many pictures on this quite long wander, partly because Lisa and I wandered across to Bedminster via Bower Ashton, which I've snapped quite a lot of on the last couple of walks, and also because we lost the light fairly quickly, though spending a half-hour drinking mulled wine in the Ashton might have had a little to do with that...
Before we left Hotwells I wanted to visit a door I'd heard about on Cornwallis Crescent and also take a little look at a couple of houses in Dowry Square to consider the 1960s regeneration of Hotwells.
Favourite detail: the American Gothic style family portrait. (Though I'm guessing it depicts the husband and wife of the family, as opposed to father and daughter, like the original...)
When it's three doors in one! Apparently this door has had this trompe-l'œil effect since the summer, but the vine was only recently cut back, which might explain why I've not noticed it before...
I wonder if the house actually looks like this inside...
Not the front door we were looking for, but I like the hand-carved digit at 9 Cornwallis Crescent.
I have snapped this section of Cornwallis Crescent before, but apparently only en bloc.
Well, seeing as we're snapping details. Lisa pointed this one out. It's pretty damn big.
He appears to be flicking the V sign at my reflection. Not very chill, Buddha.
05 Feb 2021
I did try to knock off one tiny bit of Baltic Wharf I've missed, but I don't know yet if I succeeded. Mostly this trip was just a reason to get out of the house and into the sunshine while it lasted. Spring is in the air.
It's really hard to take an even halfway-decent picture of this piece.
21 Nov 2020
A trip up the hill to get my winter flu jab. I'm not sure I really needed it this year, what with avoiding Covid—I haven't had so much as a sniffle in more than a year—but seeing as they offered... Instead of the doctor's surgery on Pembroke Road, they'd taken over Christ Church, presumably to give more room and ventilation for the necessary social distancing at the moment. As usual, it was their typically efficient operation, and I was in and out in about three minutes.
On the way there and back I snapped as much as I could, but I wanted to be home in time for the first online Times Crossword Championship. As it turned out, I needn't have bothered, as the technology at the Times couldn't keep up with the demand from competitors, and their system just collapsed under the weight of page-views. They tried again the day after, and it collapsed just as badly. Maybe next year...
This wander is split into two parts, as I turned my tech off to go into Christ Church for my jab. The walk home can be found over here.
Leading to the Cori Tap
02 Dec 2020
This may be the very first time I've gone for a One Mile Matt wander and not actually gone down any new roads, trod any new steps. I just wanted a coffee, frankly, so I went the same old way to Imagine That in the marina and back again.
This is the current plan to replace the caravan park
I shot this on a film camera when I lived at Baltic Wharf during the mid-nineties. Interesting to compare with the present day, I think. "Hand of the River God" by Vincent Woropay has lost its figure of Hercules carrying an obelisk in the meantime.
10 Apr 2021
There's a bit of Southville that I've been meaning to get to for some time, where the streets seem to take some strong inspiration from London. There's a Camden Road that crosses with an Islington Road, and a Dalston Road, even an Edgeware Road. For me these names are more evocative than the rather more exotic names I passed by to get there—Sydney Row or Hanover Place, say, because I've actually been to the places in London. The last time I was in Islington I saw Monkey Swallows the Universe play at The Angel, and I can't think of Camden without remembering a gondola trip with my friend Tara where a cheery youth played Beatles music for us on a saz...
I really liked this little area, with its mostly well-kept pretty houses and hints here and there of the creative side of the residents. It's arty and down-to-earth at the same time, and I wouldn't mind living there, I think.
On the way there I got the chance to walk through Underfall Yard for the first time in a while, and on the way back I had my first take-away hot food for many months, grabbing some crispy fried squid from the excellent Woky Ko at Wapping Wharf.
Er... I'll try.
I've actually looked this place up with a view to getting a bumper repaired. Apparently he's very good.
Audre Lorde (/ˈɔːdri lɔːrd/; born Audrey Geraldine Lorde; February 18, 1934 – November 17, 1992) was an American writer, feminist, womanist, librarian, and civil rights activist. She was a self-described "Black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet," who dedicated both her life and her creative talent to confronting and addressing injustices of racism, sexism, classism, capitalism, heterosexism, and homophobia.
I recently indulged myself by buying a little piece of history. I've mentioned Samuel Loxton and featured and linked to his drawings before, often in the eminently browsable Loxton Collection albums that Bristol Libraries has on Flickr. So when I saw a Loxton drawing of Hotwells pop up on eBay, I decided to get myself a little treat.
I don't think there's any Loxton drawing that features the road I actually live in—it's not very visible from anywhere else, not being one of these Clifton terraces that's perched at the top of a hill, or anything like that, and it's invisible in most views of the area. However, this Loxton drawing, Hotwells, Looking across the river from near the Clifton Bridge station, is probably the closest near-miss I've seen.
I decided to wander out one morning and see if I could reproduce the picture, and also take a photo or two of what's now become of the Clifton Bridge Station, which is still just about discernible in places.
(Then on an even stranger whim I decided to check out a possible little cut-through from Cumberland Road to the harbourside I'd been eyeing up on my commute to work, so walked to Wapping Wharf for a croissant via this potential new route, but that bit's not quite as interesting...)
Must pop in next weekend.
There's a frankly disturbing and gruesome reason why this rabbit has been crossed out. I'll tell you why in a few photos time.
Okay, so here's the reason that the earlier rabbit had a big red cross through him, and that this one has been painted out. Bristol's graffiti community is currently trying to erase these rabbits after a terrible revelation about the man who had been painting them.
Here's the Bristol Post, on Damian Lasota, aka "Eldey" or "FollowMyRabbits":
A pervert with a penchant for grannies tried to rape one elderly woman in her home and sexually targeted another.
Damian Lasota was described by a judge as the "stuff of nightmares" after preying on the two lone females in Twerton, Bath.
His campaign of terror was halted after police installed CCTV at the women's homes and he was caught in action and arrested.
Lasota, 27, of Parry Close in Southdown, Bath, pleaded guilty to attempted rape, two charges of trespass with intent to commit a sex offence and two charges of exposure.
He appeared in the dock at Bristol Crown Court with a grey jumper draped over his head.
Judge Julian Lambert handed him a 20-year sentence, comprising of a 13-and-a-half year jail term and six-and-a-half years extended licence.
So, that's pretty damn terrifying, and also the reason why there won't be any more rabbits in Bristol. There's a little more info in this Somerset Live article.
You can just make out the Suspension Bridge there in the distance.
Here's a photo of the entire original Samuel Loxton ink drawing, including the title, Hotwells, Looking across the river from near the Clifton Bridge station.
I bought this from eBay on something of a whim. I have no provenance for it, and the listing mentioned it was "circa 1910". It certainly seems to be (a) original, and (b) by Loxton. The very faded pencil below the picture seems to be very in keeping with Loxton's work: there are instructions for reducing the picture for print use, and I think a mention of the Bristol Observer, where Loxton's pictures were regularly published. It's very hard to make out the writing, though.
For easier viewing, here's just the illustration.
Well, they may have a point. This is Vauxhall Bridge, previously the site of Vauxhall Ferry. People seem to guess it must have had some connection with Bristol's Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, but that seems unlikely to me, given that they were not long-lived and closed down before the New Cut was dug, so they woudln't have needed a ferry here...
I'm afraid that this is a bit of a badly-curated wander, where I mostly just popped out to find out a little of the history of Underfall Yard and poke around the various open workshops, and, in hindsight, really didn't take pictures in any kind of coherent order. So there's a lot of pictures, but they don't really tell the story that, in hindsight, I seem to have been trying to tell, of the unusual electrical substation in Avon Crescent, the Bristol Electricity that predates the National Grid but is still in use, the history of the hydraulic power house... It's a bit of a mess.
But I suppose sometimes these wanders—always chronologically presented in the order I walked and took photos—simply will sometimes be a bit of a mess. Let's hope you still get something out of it, anyway...
You can tell the pumps use some fairly hefty electric just from the size of those top cables.
This building is, or was, an electrical substation. I heard an unconfirmed rumour that the building itself is now actually empty, and that the entire substation guts are now in these boxes. I have no idea whether that's true or not.
And here's the Loxton picture of the exterior, from the Bristol Libraries collection. Seems such a shame to have bricked up those lovely windows.
A winch that can heft the Matthew up the Patent Slip is pretty impressive.
A little electrical detail on the Power House. Apparently it's not worked for some years, sadly.