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...
War Memorial, approriately next to the remaining foundations of St Andrew's Church, destroyed by bombing in 1940
I have no idea how anyone managed to smack this street furniture so hard, or what direction they came from to do it. It's a pretty straight 30mph road right there, and this is only one side of the dual carriageway. Never seen so much as a near-miss there.
That a BMW came a tad too fast out of Clifton Vale, lost it completely and trashed the main control box for the traffic lights. It took them quite some time to fix it. I'd imagine his insurance company is getting quite the bill...
04 Dec 2020
I tried to find the Strangers' Burial Ground the last time was up in Clifton, but I'd not realised that Lower Clifton Hill continues further on after the turning with Constitution Hill. Sadly it was chained shut, but it still looks beautifully-maintained, perhaps by the same man referenced by this story from John Hodgson, which helped me find it. Apparently Thomas Beddoes is buried here.
Now that's some serious achievement:
Dame Katharine Furse, GBE, RRC (née Symonds; 23 November 1875 – 25 November 1952) was a British nursing and military administrator. She led the British Red Cross Voluntary Aid Detachment force during the First World War, and served as the inaugural Director of the Women's Royal Naval Service (1917–19). Furse was also the first Director of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (1928–38).
23 Nov 2020
I've just got to the bit in Fanny Burney's Evelina where our eponymous heroine visit a grand house on Clifton Hill during her stay in Hotwells. It was interesting to wonder if it could be any of the places I passed in my lunchtime jaunt, which took in both Clifton Hill and Lower Clifton Hill.
From Evelina (1778):
"Yes, Ma'am; his Lordship is coming with her. I have had certain information. They are to be at the Honourable Mrs. Beaumont's. She is a relation of my Lord's, and has a very fine house upon Clifton Hill."
A long ramble, starting with trying to find the Hot Well of Hotwells and leading up the side of the Avon Gorge to the Downs and then through Clifton for coffee.
The first hint that this house is a little different.
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.
From Historic England:
War Memorial Calvary. 1928 by F C Eden commemorating the worshippers who gave their lives in the Great War, to which those from the Second World War have been added. Stone. Rounded arch on polygonal base, flanked by obelisks and supporting wooden Calvary cross surrounded by stone figures. An unusual and prominent memorial.
17 Dec 2020
I think the cute little Duncan Cottage was my favourite bit of this wander up the hill to get coffee and a pain-au-raisin from Twelve, though I did enjoy gently musing on the public and private gardens of Clifton, inspired by a closer pass than usual to Royal York Crescent's garden.
I managed absent-mindedly to clear my GPS track before saving it, so this hand-created track-log may cause me problems in the future. I suppose we'll see.
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.
10 Jan 2021
Went for a wander with my friend Lisa—the current lockdown rules seem to be that one local walk for exercise per day with a maximum of one person not in one's "bubble" is fine—up to the University of Bristol area right at the edge of my one-mile perimeter to see the Jeppe Hein Mirror Maze, among other things. On the way we mused about Merchant Venturers, the slave and tobacco trades, and dating in the time of Covid.
06 Feb 2021
A lovely walk in the early spring sunshine with my friend Lisa. We headed directly for Jacobs Wells Road, to start off around the scene of one of our earlier walks, but this time took in Jacobs Wells from QEH upward, stopping to snap some photos of a Bear With Me, some interesting areas between Park Street and Brandon Hill including a peculiarly quiet enclave with a ruined old build I'd never found before, then crossed the Centre to grab take-away pies from Pieminister (I had the Heidi Pie) and head back to my place down the harbourside.
Wills' bell tower in the back.