The more I research it, the more I find that Hotwells had far better transport links back in Victorian and Edwardian times than it has today. Along with buses that went to more useful places than the City Centre, there were trams, the funicular up to Clifton, the landing stage for paddle steamer services and two railway stations all within easy walking distance of me.
Today I took a day off work as preparation for doing the bookkeeping for my tax return1, and took a wander along to the site of what would have been my nearest station, Hotwells (or Clifton, as it started out in life), nestled in the shadow of the suspension bridge, the Bristol terminus of the Bristol Port Railway and Pier.
From there I wandered down the Portway, following the original line, until I got to the area around Sneyd Park Junction, where the tunnel from the slightly later Clifton Extension Railway joined up with this originally-isolated BPR line. Then I headed up to Clifton through the "goat gully" at Walcombe Slade, seeing the few above-ground bits of evidence of the tunnel (which is still in regular use) along the way.
It was a lovely day, and a good walk, and it was interesting to daydream of the times when I could have walked a few minutes from my flat down to Dowry Parade, caught a short tram ride to Hotwells Stations, and then headed from there to Avonmouth, perhaps even to board a transatlantic passenger service. The completion of the Clifton Extension Railway that linked the Avonmouth station with Temple Meads made relatively direct transatlantic travel from London via Bristol possible, with passengers travelling up from Paddington to Temple Meads, on to Avonmouth on the Clifton Extension Railway and Port Railway and Pier line, then perhaps catching a Cambpell's paddle steamer—which sometimes acted as tenders for large steamers—to a larger ship that was headed out for Canada, say.
1 I've learned that the best approach is to take two days off and deliberately do something that's not my bookkeeping on the first day, as otherwise I just inevitably end up procrastinating and feeling guilty on the first day no matter what. I have an odd brain, but at least I'm learning strategies for dealing with its strange ways as I get older...
2 Information mostly gleaned from Colin Maggs' The Bristol Port Railway & Pier and the Clifton Extension Railway, The Oakwood Press, 1975.
People know this as the "goat gully" these days, but the official name is Walcombe Slade. (So valleyish they named it twice, perhaps, as both "combe" and "slade" mean "valley".)
I did not see hide nor hair of a single goat the entire time I was in the goat gully. I clearly need to spend a bit more time there.
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!
These are the beers I picked up at the taproom.
I don't know what БПАВК (B.P.A.V.K.) means, despite some poking about on the internet. It did strike me that perhaps a beer with a Russian name might not be the most well-considered purchase given the ongoing Ukrainian invasion, but Three Hills are apparently a little independent brewery in Northamptonshire, so at least none of my money is likely to go to plutocrats or oligarchs... Just as well, as it was my favourite beer of the three.
As for the others, Goblin Cleaver simply sounded interesting, and a crossword fan could hardly be expected to resist an Inspector Morse reference...
(This photo was taken in my kitchen; I took a liberty with the capture time and geolocation data to put it in context!)