03 Dec 2020
I love the isolation of Cliftonwood -- the geography of it, with its solid boundary of Clifton Vale to the west and Jacob's Wells Road to the east mean that you tend not to be in Cliftonwood unless you've got a reason to be there. It's not a cut-through to anywhere, at least not from side-to-side, and you can only really exit to the south on foot.
I sense that I'd be happy living in Cliftonwood -- like my bit of Hotwells, it's a quiet little area with a sort of quirky feel to it. Plus it contributes the colourful houses that are the backdrop of about half of all Bristol postcards ever made :)
I found the "secret" garden especially interesting, just for the fact that it really does feel quite secret, despite the obvious name on the gate. I've lived a half-mile from it for twenty years and I don't think I've ever noticed it before, despite exploring the area a few times.
I got curious about Bioinduction's sign down on the Hotwell Road once. According to the company's website theire mission is to "develop a precisely targetted brain pacemaker that offers new hope for the millions of sufferers... To revolutionise the treatment of cerebrovascular and neurodegenerative diseases where there is no effective drug therapy available today."
Apparently Gnodal "was a computer networking company headquartered in Bristol, UK. The company designed and sold network switches for datacenter, high-performance computing and high-frequency trading environments"
04 Nov 2020
17 Mar 2021
The other day I realised (hello, Maggie!) that my next walk would be my hundredth, and that I'd done 393.4km so far. I figured it would be nice to get to 100 walks and 400km on the same walk, so I went for a nice long harbourside wander after work, rather than dashing out at lunchtime. As it turned out, we're just coming up to the time of year where I can leave the house at 5:30 in the evening and there's still just enough light to take photos by the time I've made it around the harbourside. Though only just, and mostly because I've got a full-frame camera that's not bad in low light...
Still, the evening light made a lovely change, and some of the photos turned out to be pretty good photos per se, rather than just record shots of my walk. I'm looking forward to more evening walks like this as summer approaches.
On the way around this evening I wandered through one of the oldest bits of the city to extend my walk and snapped some interesting bits of architecture, including an NCP car park(!) and a nighttime shot of one of my favourite subjects, the clock tower at the Albion dockyard.
I wasn't going to take a very long walk on this nice spring evening; it just happened. I was going to knock off a path or two on Brandon Hill, home over centuries to hermits and windmills, cannons and Chartists, and then just wander home, stopping only to fill up my milk bottle at the vending machine in the Pump House car park.
However, when I heard a distant gas burner I stayed on the hill long enough to see if I could get a decent photo of both the hot air balloon drifting over with Cabot Tower in the same frame (spoiler: I couldn't. And only having the fixed-focal-length Fuji with me didn't help) and then, on the way home, bumped into my "support bubble", Sarah and Vik, and extended my walk even further do creep carefully down the slipway next to the old paddle steamer landing stage and get some photos from its furthest extreme during a very low tide...
Bristol's West End is rather less inspiring than London's. Also, as someone who actually live at the western end of Bristol, I'd suggest this is rather more northerly...
I got interested in Bristol's medieval water supplies after poking around near Jacobs Wells Road and Brandon Hill. It was during that research I found out about a pipe that's still there today, and, as far as I know, still actually functioning, that was originally commissioned by Carmelite monks in the 13th century. They wanted a supply of spring water from Brandon Hill to their priory on the site of what's now the Bristol Beacon—Colston Hall, as-was. It was created around 1267, and later, in 1376, extended generously with an extra "feather" pipe to St John's On The Wall, giving the pipework its modern name of "St John's Conduit".
St John's on the Wall is still there, guarding the remaining city gate at the end of Broad Street, and the outlet tap area was recently refurbished. It doesn't run continuously now, like it did when I first moved to Bristol and worked at the end of Broad Street, in the Everard Building, but I believe the pipe still functions. One day I'd like to see that tap running...
There are a few links on the web about the pipe, but by far the best thing to do is to watch this short and fascinating 1970s TV documentary called The Hidden Source, which has some footage of the actual pipe and also lots of fantastic general footage of Bristol in the seventies.
On my walk today I was actually just going to the building society in town, but I decided to trace some of the route of the Carmelite pipe, including visiting streets it runs under, like Park Street, Christmas Street, and, of course, Pipe Lane. I also went a bit out of my way to check out St James' Priory, the oldest building in Bristol, seeing as it was just around the corner from the building society.
There are far too many pictures from this walk, and my feet are now quite sore, because it was a long one. But I enjoyed it.
I was taking a shortcut through Trenchard Street Car Park, as Trenchard Street was closed for the building works, when on a whim I decided to carry on climbing the stairs. I nearly died, but the view was worth it.
The old Merchant Venturers Trade School (and, like Batholomew's Hospital at the bottom of Christmas Steps, once also home to the Bristol Grammar School) has a surprising modern multi-storey roof on the top of it that I'd not really noticed from ground level. I guess the developers wanted to wring as much money as possible out of it when they converted it to flats.
26 Feb 2022
I needed to buy new walking shoes—my old ones were squeaking and it was driving me up the wall—so I ordered some for collection from Taunton Leisure on East Street in Bedminster, and decided to make picking them up an official wander.
I didn't cover any new ground within my mile, but I did take advantage of the trip to take in a few interesting things just outside my normal radius, mostly New Gaol-related. Along the way there are a couple of sanitation-related diversions, including a visit to a rare manhole cover. You can hardly wait, I can tell!
The Bedminster branch of Asda—pronounced as "Asdawl" by proper Bristolians including my friend Cindy—is enormous and pretty much always busy. It used to be my local supermarket when I lived at Baltic Wharf; I now have a couple of smaller "metro"-style supermarkets I tend to visit now I live in Hotwells. I think the last time I came here I was after something from the pharmacy that my local place didn't have.