I recently indulged myself by buying a little piece of history. I've mentioned Samuel Loxton and featured and linked to his drawings before, often in the eminently browsable Loxton Collection albums that Bristol Libraries has on Flickr. So when I saw a Loxton drawing of Hotwells pop up on eBay, I decided to get myself a little treat.
I don't think there's any Loxton drawing that features the road I actually live in—it's not very visible from anywhere else, not being one of these Clifton terraces that's perched at the top of a hill, or anything like that, and it's invisible in most views of the area. However, this Loxton drawing, Hotwells, Looking across the river from near the Clifton Bridge station, is probably the closest near-miss I've seen.
I decided to wander out one morning and see if I could reproduce the picture, and also take a photo or two of what's now become of the Clifton Bridge Station, which is still just about discernible in places.
(Then on an even stranger whim I decided to check out a possible little cut-through from Cumberland Road to the harbourside I'd been eyeing up on my commute to work, so walked to Wapping Wharf for a croissant via this potential new route, but that bit's not quite as interesting...)
Here's a photo of the entire original Samuel Loxton ink drawing, including the title, Hotwells, Looking across the river from near the Clifton Bridge station.
I bought this from eBay on something of a whim. I have no provenance for it, and the listing mentioned it was "circa 1910". It certainly seems to be (a) original, and (b) by Loxton. The very faded pencil below the picture seems to be very in keeping with Loxton's work: there are instructions for reducing the picture for print use, and I think a mention of the Bristol Observer, where Loxton's pictures were regularly published. It's very hard to make out the writing, though.
For easier viewing, here's just the illustration.
10 Nov 2020
I went to grab a coffee from Imagine That's little horsebox by the marina, completely forgetting that they don't open on Monday or Tuesday. On the plus side, on the way back I was in time to watch the Plimsoll Bridge swinging for a tidy little yacht.
21 Nov 2020
A rather more wide-ranging weekend wander with Sarah and Vik, taking in some mock Tudor bits of Bedmo (I should note that I've subsequently been corrected to "Bemmie", but I'm an outsider and have been calling it "Bedmo" for short for decades...), a chunk of Ashton, a path up Rownham Hill called Dead Badger's Bottom(!), The Ashton Court estate, a bit of the UWE campus at Bower Ashton, and some of the Festival Way path.
27 Nov 2020
I took an extra-long break at lunchtime today as I'd taken the day off my normal day-job to do the accounts for my previous side-job, which is still generating paperwork, though not much in the way of money. This took me through some undiscovered bits of Cliftonwood, including Worlds End Lane, which unexpectedly leads to White Hart Steps. That's certainly not where I expected the end of the world to lead to...
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.
Not the first of these I've seen around.
15 Dec 2020
On the down side, I got to Bedminster and found long enough queues at both Mark's Bread and Hopper Coffee that I gave up on the idea of buying a drink and a pasty (from the former) or a mince pie flapjack (from the latter.) On the up side, I got to take some pictures of Cumberland Basin being drained and sluiced out, part of its regular maintenance cycle.
Unusually for the Ashton Avenue Bridge, this artwrok seemed to involve wooden pieces as well as just paint.
20 Dec 2020
A long meander around bits of Bedminster, from the river to the north to Winterstoke Road to the south, taking a few roads I've seen before, and a few I haven't. The Christmas decorations were an extra bonus.
Argentinian artist Caro Pepe's mural is "a one-eyed woman (her trademark) with symbols of the suffragette movement exploding out of her head"
01 Jan 2021
I wandered along the gorge today and found the entrance to the disused Portnalls Number 1 railway tunnel of the Bristol Port Railway and Pier. The door was unlocked, but as soon as I opened it I felt a sense of current habitation and decided discretion was the best option. There's a lot of people homeless in Bristol at the moment, and they don't need disturbing. For the same reason, I've omitted posting some pictures of a little encampment somewhat off the beaten track of the new Zig Zag, where I reversed direction as soon as I realised I'd come across a current habitation of some sort.
Up in Clifton it took me a little while to work out that the picture of the Promenade I was trying to reproduce was taken from the viewpoint I'd thought, it was just that the Alderman's fountain was moved from the top of Bridge Valley Road to the other side of the promenade in 1987, so trying to use it as my initial landmark wasn't very helpful!
Finally I swung past the Society of Merchant Venturers, who presumably still own most of Clifton, having bought the entire manor, including Clifton Down, in 1676, and I imagine aren't in much danger of running out of money. That's true to their motto: indocilis pauperiem pati is apparently from the Odes of Horace, and translates as "will not learn to endure poverty"...
This postcard is from somewhere between 1900 and 1920, courtesy of the Historic England archive.
This is the view I was trying to recreate -- note that the Alderman Proctor's Drinking Fountain is now on the other side of the promenade (see my photo, next), having been re-sited in 1988 after apparently causing problems for the traffic at the top of Bridge Valley Road.
16 Feb 2021
There's a dearth of my favourite coffee places on a Monday and Tuesday at the moment. Both Twelve and Imagine That are closed on Monday and Tuesday, and Rich from Hopper Coffee doesn't seem to have come back from Christmas break. Today I pushed on a bit further than normal around the harbour and got to Little Victories, the always-reliable sister cafe to Small Street Espresso, based at Wapping Wharf. Along the way I saw graffiti, my second reference to one of Bristol's twin cities in two days, and a rather sleek little boat outside Rolt's Boat Yard.
On Sydney Row, of course.