30 Nov 2020
I had to return a faulty AirPod Pro to Apple (there's a first-world problem!) so I just took a quick trip up the hill to the nearest UPS drop-off point, The Ten O'Clock Shop, which is famously open until 11pm. Unfortunately it's a fairly cramped little place and neither of the staff were wearing masks, so I made it a very quick drop indeed and got out of there as quickly as I could.
I grabbed a quick coffee from Can't Dance, a stall that's—as of yesterday—in a tiny converted cargo container on the edge of Victoria Square; up until this week they were running from a little trike parked in the same place. Hopefully the new premises will let them see out the winter without worrying quite so much about the weather.
I tried to fit in a few extra streets from the surrounding area on my there and back, but that was basically my wander today: a quick little shopping trip.
Mint on the left, Rosemarino on the corner ahead, where the old York Cafe used to be, serving a full English for £1, back in the day.
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...
I should have snapped more of the actual windows. Maybe later.
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.
15 Feb 2021
I've noticed Oxford Place as a tiny little side/back road I've overlooked on my wanders a few times. Today I decided to pop down and have a look, as well as taking a few general snaps of Princess Victoria Street, which I thought deserved more pictures, as it's basically my closest decent shops, and in the Beforetimes I'd visit the Co-Op up there all the time, as well as the cafes (you'll be missed, Clifton Village branch of Boston Tea Party, recently closed in favour of Eat a Pitta.)
I'm definitely becoming more familiar with the area through the One Mile Matt jaunts and associated reading. Today I didn't just think, "oh, I'll head home down that weird alleyway with the electrical substation in it"—no, I thought, "I'll head home down Hanover Lane", because I actually knew its name. And on the way back from there I nodded sagely to myself as I passed St Vincent's Road, knowing now which St Vincent it's likely to be (St Vincent of Saragossa) and also eyed up the modern flats on Clifton Vale and wondered if they might have been built on the site of the former Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens... I don't know all the answers, but at least I have some idea of the historical questions I'm interested in.
My guess would be that the paint shop and the two kitchen places are doing better than the travel agency at the moment.
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.
03 Dec 2021
On my last wander, to Bower Ashton, I was intending to knock Blackmoors Lane off my list "to-do" list, but got a bit diverted. I also took a little look into the history of the Gridiron, once a cheaper alternative to dry dock that was nestled just south of North Entrance Lock.
Today I had to go to send a parcel off somewhere, so I decided on going to the North Street Post Office via Blackmoors Lane. I didn't have much intention of anything else, but as luck would have it I walked out both at low tide and also as some lockkeepers seemed to be having a bit of a training session, and one of the more senior people was (a) happy to answer a few random questions on the Gridiron and (b) actually knew a lot about it, as Gridiron maintenance had been one of his jobs, more than twenty years ago...
So I might have missed the deadline a bit, then. Just as well I don't own any land around here...
05 Jan 2022
I took advantage of a rare recent day where it wasn't tipping down with rain to get away from my desk on a lunchtime workday and head up to Clifton Village. I'd hoped to snap a reproduction of historical photo which I'd worked out had been taken from the Suspension Bridge, but the gods were not smiling on me. Still, taking only a nice long lens with me worked out very well as the lovely haze of the day made more distant views quite dramatic...
Damn it. That's the bit I wanted to take my photo from. Still, at least on the way here I got some nice pics that I probably wouldn't have tried if I hadn't taken long lens out specially.
17 Jan 2022
This was basically the quick lunchtime jaunt I tried to do at the beginning of January, only this time I actually managed to get to roughly the viewpoint I'd been hoping for to recreate a historical photo of the Bristol International Exhibition.
I did this walk about a month ago, but I've been a bit poorly and not really up to doing much in my spare time, and it's taken me this long to even face processing even these few photos. Hopefully normal service will be resumed at some point and I can carry on trying to walk any roads and paths that I need to do to make this project feel complete...
I think this may be the "avonmouth monster"; a plume of outflow from the works at Avonmouth. I took a photo of it some years back and asked BBC weatherman Ian Fergusson about it in the comments on this blog post—I'd recently done a tiny segment for his show "Wild Weather of the West" on how to photograph lightning—and that's what he said it was. This looks suspiciously similar and is in the right direction.