26 Oct 2020
A dash around the harbourside to see if I can get to Mokoko and back in my lunch hour.
This was my first wander and I was still getting the hang of the technology. I managed to record only part of the way back on my GPS, by the looks of it, so I've had to bodge things a bit to pick up the photos, which is why there are photos in places the track doesn't reach!
I also need to fix a few technical things including managing my photo timezones more carefully. This wander was the day after the clocks went back for winter, and I think my camera may still have been in BST, which may not have helped me tie things up. Need to do a bit of research into how my cameras, Lightroom and the code I'm writing on this website handle BST and GMT, but at least I have until the last Sunday in March before things get urgent, I think...
I'm not sure about publishing this one. I wouldn't normally snap a photo of a single stranger in an only-semi-public place like a cafe. On the other hand, I thought it was an interesting document of the way people are coping with Covid and I quite like it as photo, which tipped the balance into publication.
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.
This must surely be the cover name for a supervillan's enterprise.
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.
Also by JPS, I think.
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.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that if you walk around with a big obvious camera anywhere near this bit of Bristol (basically, I mean Stokes Croft) then you will have people demand you take their photo. I'm always happy to oblige.
I bumped into my friend Lisa in town during yesterday's wander, and we decided to have a wander today, too. We managed quite a long ramble, starting up through Clifton and nipping down Park Row to investigate the two tower blocks I'd noticed popping up behind Park Street yesterday, then took in a few roads I'd not managed to get to before, including cutting through the grounds of Bristol Grammar School.
It seemed to be an artwork, but I think you'd have to clamber up to its level to use it properly. It seems to be on the Grammar School grounds, but I don't know for sure.
19 May 2021
I just nipped up to Clifton Village to get a coffee, though I did manage to walk down a little alleyway I'd not really noticed before. Or perhaps I had noticed it and it looked private, but today I felt like wandering up its twenty or so feet anyway... The reflections in the shop windows on Boyce's Avenue gave me the idea to take a few snaps of them, so that's the majority of my small amount of snapping today.
It's good bread.
31 May 2021
A nice warm Bank Holiday Monday saw me walk back over to Bedminster to do justice to something we glimpsed on my last wander. Along the way I spotted a couple of new pieces of street art tucked away on the south side of the Cumberland Basin Flyover system, so this turned into a micro-graffiti walk.
Here's a pair I prepared earlier...
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.
Kicked off my Clifton "secret gardens" visit by attending a talk by Victoria Square's "oldest resident", who is 95 and has lived there all his life. He did mention his family name in passing, but I've got a memory like a sieve, and his name's not on the event details. Ah well.
He really brought the square to life, with memories of the children playing in the square, making their way between the two halves using the tunnel—which I learned also had enough room to store the gardener's equipment, so must have been bigger than I thought!—and with the oldest child having a garden key hanging around their neck on a bit of string, ready to use when each family used a distinctive sound—anything from a whistle to a cowbell—to call the kids back home. He also touched on delivery men, including horsedrawn milk carts that would fill maids' jusgs from their churns, and the Walls ice cream boy who would visit houses who had hung the distinctive "W" sign in their windows on a Sunday, and gave many other amazing details. I really wish I'd recorded the event.
Among other new tidbits I can recall:
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...
I thought it was a real Concorde nose at first, because I'm sure they used to have one in the Industrial Museum that was replaced by the M Shed. Lisa quickly pointed out the plywood shell. Apparently it was used for prototyping cockpit layouts. One day I may pop along to Aerospace Bristol to have a (big, white, pointy) nose around the real thing.
31 Oct 2021
There were only a few streets left to wander in the more residential bit of Bedminster, so I thought I should target those today. The streets themselves weren't that notable, though Balfour Road has a contrasting mix of old and new housing. I tried to snap a few more interesting things along the way there and back, snapping all three of the familiar bond warehouses, nipping onto North Street to find some new street art, and finding a few pumpkins for good measure. It is hallowe'en, after all...
Spotted this new piece on Lime Road as I was wandering past on North Street. There's some interesting background, especially on the technical aspect of the painting on the Natural Adventures blog.