13 Dec 2020
A long walk around Cliftonwood and Clifton with my friend Lisa, taking in some of the 12 Days of Christmas display at Queens Parade, picking up a take-away coffee from Pinkmans of Park Street, and poking our heads up against the glass of SS Peter and Paul Catholic Cathedral.
You may be able to see why I had trouble working out what the obelisk was all about.
19 Dec 2020
Despite a mild headache, I enjoyed this wander over to Bedminster. The light was lovely, especially toward the end. I always enjoy the view down the streets south of North Street at this time of day/year, with the distant hills backdropping the Victorian terraces.
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.
I'm also enjoying the rusted HIGHBURY PARADE sign.
18 Feb 2021
Really just a quick loop of the Cumberland Basin. I was going to go further, and it was a nice early spring day, but I hadn't slept that well and I wasn't really in the mood. Ah well. Not every walk is great. At least I got out of the house for a bit.
18 Mar 2021
Reproducing historical photos seems to be a developing interest for me. On today's wander I just went for my normal coffee at Imagine That, but along the way I stopped at Baltic Wharf (the modern housing estate; historically-speaking, I was probably in between Canada Wharf and Gefle Wharf—about here, in fact) to reproduce a 1930s photo of the Mardyke area from the Tarring collection.
Mardyke, from what I can work out, means "a ditch along the margins". Before my researches, I only really knew the name from the Mardyke pub, a big place on the Hotwell Road. Everyone knows the Mardyke, partly because of its size and signage, but I've only been in once or twice, too long ago to remember much of what it was like. However, the wharf there used to be known as Mardyke Wharf, and the area in general as Mardyke. (I just found an 1826 painting by Thomas Leeson Rowbotham of "Mardyke seen from near Hilhouse's Dock, showing the 'Clifton Ark' floating chapel" that shows the area before much development had happened, incidentally, and now I feel like I need to find out a bit more about the floating chapel...)
I enjoyed snapping the "after" photo; the process involved moving a group of swans out of the place I needed to stand to get the photo; luckily I've started carrying waterfowl food along with my on my harbourside jaunts, so I could use bribery rather than a more confrontational approach. Not sure I'd fancy my chances against a swan, though I did once team up with another passerby to shoo a recalcitrant one off the Redcliffe bascule bridge so a busful of commuters could continue their journey to work...
The Mardyke area—apparently Mardyke means a dyke on the margins, which would make sense for the location—in the 1930s. That's got to be a Campbell paddle steamer from their White Funnel fleet, but I don't know which one. Looks to be a similar configuration to the Princess May, though the paddles look a bit different. In the background, the Mardyke Pub still stands today, but the three largest buildings do not. They are:
Top right: the Clifton National School (there's a Loxton sketch uploaded to this Wander where you can see the name on the front.)
Directly in front and below the Clfiton National School, on the main Hotwell Road: The Clifton Industrial School, Mardyke building.
Standing halfway up the hill, more towards the middle of the picture: the Clifton Industrial School, Church Path Steps building.
Lots of info to be found on the Industrial Schools here:
In addition to their classroom lessons, the boys were employed in tailoring, shoemaking and brush-making, with basket making later added. The boys also assisted with the kitchen, laundry, and house work. In 1870, some additional rooms were rented in the locality for use as an infirmary if required. A School band was established.
I can't find so much on the National School (though apparently the Bristol Archives have some of their records) but the Clifton & Hotwells Character Appraisal suggest it was built in 1835 and, along with the Industrial School buildings, destroyed during WWII:
A bomb also largely destroyed the Clifton National School and Mardyke House School. The lack of bomb- proof shelters in Clifton led to the Clifton Rocks Railway to be used as shelter, which was prepared for occupation in 1940.
25 Mar 2021
I was honestly just about to do the homework from my oh-so-thrilling ITIL course when my friends Sarah and Vik asked me if I'd like to come out for a wander down the towpath with them. I enjoyed the company, the evening light and the delicate clouds.
...in a tree on the towpath to Pill.
19 Jun 2021
I hadn't really planned to go out for a wander yesterday; I just got the urge and thought "why not?" (Well, the weather forecast was one possible reason, but I managed to avoid the rain, luckily.)
I wanted to finish off the A369—as it turns out I may still have a small section to go, but I've now walked the bulk of it out to my one-mile radius—and also a few random tracks in Leigh Woods. I'm still not really sure that I'm going to walk them all, especially after discovering today that "the map is not the territory" applies even more in the woods, where one of the marked tracks on the map wasn't really that recognisable as a track in real life... I'm glad I'd programmed the route into the GPS in advance!
Anyway. A pleasant enough walk, oddly bookended, photographically at least, by unusual vehicles. Leigh Woods was fairly busy, especially the section I'd chosen, which was positively dripping with teenage schoolkids with rah accents muttering opprobrium about the Duke of Edinburgh. I'm presuming the harsh remarks were more about taking part in his award scheme than the late Consort himself, but I didn't eavesdrop enough to be certain...
This is what I've been using to record the GPS track for all my walks. It's old-fashioned, but I find it more accurate than the phone, plus it runs off a couple of AA batteries and I only have to replace them every few weeks. Today it wasn't just recording my track, but also guiding me through a pre-planned route. Here it shows me direction, distance and estimated time to my next waypoint.
31 Jul 2021
At the end of July I went to have a look around some of the private gardens opened up by the annual Green Squares and Secret Gardens event. Sadly it was compressed into a single day this year, for various Covid-related reasons, it seems, so I didn't get to poke around too many places. I went to:
And snapped a few things in between, too. It was a lovely day—a bit too hot, if anything—and it was interesting to get into a few places I'd only ever seen from the outside, especially The Paragon and Cornwallis gardens, which are the least visible to passing strangers of all of them.
21 Aug 2021
Lisa and I mostly went out to have a look at Luke Jerram's Museum of the Moon as its tour hit Bristol Cathedral—I missed it when it was previously in town, at Wills Hall, I think—but we also took a trek up to Redland. Lisa's kind enough to indulge my strange current fascination with the Edwardian eccentrics that made up the Stella Matutina, so we swung by a couple of places with a vague connection to the Bristol branch of the organisation. Well, it was good walking, anyway...
As a stunning bonus, one of the picture's descriptions has more information than you'd probably want on the Bristol Port Railway and Pier's Clifton Extension Railway line, but I did happen to coincidentally write up this wander after reading about the extension line during my lunch hour at work today. It's a thrilling life, I tell you...