19 Apr 2021
Just a quick errand to the Post Office to send off Mollog's Mob, but afterwards I bought a flat white and a new plant from Foliage Cafe and headed for The Mall Gardens to enjoy sitting in the sun and reading a book on the first day this year that's been properly warm enough for it. Nice.
The Mall Gardens does actually have some signs up letting people know it's a public garden, but I think it was only my researches for this project that brought the number of public gardens there are in Clifton to my attention, and reminded me that I could make use of this space in Clifton Village, a little closer to the coffee shops and a little more sheltered than Clifton Down.
I did. It was a good bench.
12 Mar 2021
I was browsing some historical photos the other day, and came across "Rear of Unspecified House" in the Bristol Archives' John Trelawny Ross collection, and immediately recognised it as being the back of 1 Albermarle Row, just around the corner from me. I've not had much time to research the history of this odd little addition to Albermarle Row, or what happened to 1-4 Cumberland Place, number 4 of which used to be attached to the side of 1 Albermarle Row, but it was interesting to look at old maps for a few minutes and work out what used to be where.
That all connects with the little local bit of land at Granby Green, too, as it used to be numbers 1-3 Cumberland Place. There was something of a planning battle over Granby Green, and I've included an old edition of Hotwells & Cliftonwood News that I found online, a copy of which would have been popped through my letterbox at the time.
I was also inspired by some old pictures of Hotwell Road to try to put a few more people in my pictures, though I set my pre-focus a couple of extra metres out from normal to make sure I didn't get too close to anyone!
03 Dec 2021
On my last wander, to Bower Ashton, I was intending to knock Blackmoors Lane off my list "to-do" list, but got a bit diverted. I also took a little look into the history of the Gridiron, once a cheaper alternative to dry dock that was nestled just south of North Entrance Lock.
Today I had to go to send a parcel off somewhere, so I decided on going to the North Street Post Office via Blackmoors Lane. I didn't have much intention of anything else, but as luck would have it I walked out both at low tide and also as some lockkeepers seemed to be having a bit of a training session, and one of the more senior people was (a) happy to answer a few random questions on the Gridiron and (b) actually knew a lot about it, as Gridiron maintenance had been one of his jobs, more than twenty years ago...
I skipped the photography for the part of the wander where I went to the Post Office on North Street to send my old phone back to Apple for some trade-in, so here we are back at the end of Spike Island, heading back toward Hotwells.
18 Apr 2022
I didn't really set out with a theme of flowers and gardens in mind for this walk. I just fancied heading up to Clifton Village to get lunch. As it turned out, though, Spring was springing, so a minor theme emerged as I started off with the graveyard flowers of Hope Chapel and wandered up to see the beginnings of the new wildflower garden at Clifton Hill Meadow.
The bench at the top of Clifton Vale doesn't really have a view, and it's squeezed into an awkward little corner in the tight dogleg turn up to Goldney Avenue. On the plus side, Clifton Vale is very steep and many people are grateful for the opportunity it provides for a breather.
I last used it when showing my friend Heather the way back to her hotel in Berkeley Square after a meal in the Pump House. It's a fairly direct route to take, but even a local like me who's used to the hills around here can feel the need for a short rest here before pressing on to the heights of Clifton.
Strategically-placed grit box, because this tight blind (hence the mirror) zig-zag is hard enough work without a sheet of ice on the corner on a winter morning.
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.
06 Nov 2020
It's surprisingly easy to overlook the giant Wesleyan Grenville Chapel—now converted into flats—if you've lived here a while. Other sights that seem to slip from my memory include the modest Ashton Avenue, a tidy terrace of little houses on a road that presumably gave its name to the Ashton Avenue bridge.
14 Nov 2020
06 Dec 2020
I wasn't really feeling it when I set out today, on my first car-assisted wander. By the time I'd parked on Alma Vale Road in Clifton it was just starting to rain and I picked my way about in quite a desultory way. It felt strange, as I was very familiar with the area because I'd walked through it hundreds of times when I worked at the top of Whiteladies Road, and used to walk up the hill from Hotwells and through Clifton to get there, and back again, every day.
Then a complete coincidence seemed to make the change I'd been hoping for. I was standing taking a photo of Christ in the front garden of All Saints church when a couple of people walked out of the front door. I got talking with a lady I took to be part of the ministerial team, who invited me to come in and look around—something I'd always wanted to do on the morning commute. (I think we connected a bit when I recognised the name John Piper, who did the amazing windows—I learned about him while I was at Warwick, through his connections to Coventry Cathedral.
I left with much more of a spring in my step, wandered around the area a bit more, finally working out that the tennis courts I used to pass every morning are those of Clifton Lawn Tennis Club, and finally grabbing an excellent Hungarian sausage hot dog from the Budapest Cafe. I feel a lot better now than I did before I went out.
John Piper windows. Fibreglass construction. River of Life/Tree of Life.
14 Dec 2020
The lunchtime walk has been feeling a bit of a chore lately, especially as I only have an hour and have to keep a mental watch out for my "bingo" point or risk being late back. Today I went for a deliberately brief local walk and got home in time to have lunch on my sofa rather than while I was back at work.
It's interesting filling in the gaps in my Clifton Village knowledge, especially starting to "see" the bits I can't see, the negative spaces. The size of both Fosseway Court and the Bishop's House gardens (check out the latter on Google Maps for an idea) are both something I've noticed by just getting to know the areas around them. I may also have to walk into the driveway of the very well-hidden Nuffield hospital to get an idea of how big it is.
None of those are anything compared to the trick of hiding the gargantuan public school that is Queen Elizabeth's Hospital so well that I keep on forgetting it's there, until a glimpse of it from somewhere like Lower Clifton Hill reminds me about it, of course...
Unlike the similar photo I took yesterday, this one doesn't have camera shake, but it's still remarkably difficult to communicate how charming the Cliftonwood Community Garden is without just being there.