28 Jan 2021
With very little photography, and no new streets. Still, I did manage to buy milk at the "Simple Cow" vending machine—and "simple" is very definitely false advertising; it took me bloody ages to work out how to use the thing—and snap the new ACER/SEPR piece down in Cumberland Piazza.
It was not simple. But now I have some clue what I'm doing I might manage it better next time.
04 Mar 2021
A trip to Imagine That coffee, so no fresh roads knocked off my list, but I stopped off to snap a couple of the engineering-related bits of the docks: the Campbell Buoy (used by P&A Campbell for mooring their paddle steamers) and Brunel's "other" bridge, the foot/horse swing bridge that now sits sadly disused in the shadow of the Plimsoll Bridge at Howard's Lock.
Last time I looked in this shed someone was building a boat in it.
I'm afraid that this is a bit of a badly-curated wander, where I mostly just popped out to find out a little of the history of Underfall Yard and poke around the various open workshops, and, in hindsight, really didn't take pictures in any kind of coherent order. So there's a lot of pictures, but they don't really tell the story that, in hindsight, I seem to have been trying to tell, of the unusual electrical substation in Avon Crescent, the Bristol Electricity that predates the National Grid but is still in use, the history of the hydraulic power house... It's a bit of a mess.
But I suppose sometimes these wanders—always chronologically presented in the order I walked and took photos—simply will sometimes be a bit of a mess. Let's hope you still get something out of it, anyway...
Via this Tweet and taken from KYP Bristol, showing the interior with a couple of Westinghouse rotary converters and a Peebles-La Cour motor converter, assuming this picture ties up roughly with this 1908 Institute of Mechanical Engineers' visit to works.
You can see a picture of similar Westinghouse converters to the two at the back in the Wikipedia rotary converter page and a Peebles converter that looks very similar to the one in the foreground on the cover of the Peebles motor converter catalogue in the sidebar of their entry in Grace's Guide. I'm guessing the additions on the ends of the Westinghouse converters were for different voltages? A rotary converter is basically a motor connected to a dynamo, so extra dynamos with different windings would give you different voltage outputs, I suppose, but I know very little about power generation.
Along with the older belt-driven machinery there's some electric bits & pieces. I thought this might be where the "Bristol Electricity"—the 360V special supply from the substation—was used, but apparently not.
I guess the gearing is changed in the traditional way, by someone with a stick moving the belts across to the next diameters along. Apparently that used to be the emergency stop in the old days, too, some bloke poking at the belts with a pole until they fell off. Probably not ideal if it was to stop someone being sucked into the mechanism...
I should probably have started this little tour with a general view of the place, but I wasn't really thinking with a great sense of planning on this wander. I'm afraid the photos are all a bit randomly-ordered.
I imagine this is the biggest lathe I've ever been in a room with.
02 Nov 2020
I've taken a lot of photos of Royal York Crescent over the years. This time I walked right to the dead-end bit at the far west corner and found a plaque to the Empress of the French. Call me hard to impress, but among the scientists, novelists, architects and artists whose plaques litter the rest of the area, that seems quite minor claim to fame.
06 Nov 2020
It's surprisingly easy to overlook the giant Wesleyan Grenville Chapel—now converted into flats—if you've lived here a while. Other sights that seem to slip from my memory include the modest Ashton Avenue, a tidy terrace of little houses on a road that presumably gave its name to the Ashton Avenue bridge.
I keep on hoping this will be broken down so I can make a terrible "that doesn't auger well" joke, but so far I've been disappointed.
12 Nov 2020
My goal is walk down every public road within a mile of me; sometimes it's not easy to tell what's public. I've passed the turning for Cornwallis Grove a thousand times, but never had a reason to venture down it, and although the street signs at the end seem to be council-deployed and I didn't spot any "private" signs, it's a gated road and definitely feels private.
Gathering all the white middle-class privilege I could muster, I wandered down and was rewarded with the sight of a Victorian pump, a statue of Jesus, and from the end of the road, a view of a private garden that once belonged to a private girls' school.
The Cornwallis House history page says:
In the early 20th century the house, together with Grove House, became a Catholic school, St Joseph’s High School for Girls. The Congregation of La Retraite took over the school in 1924, with the nuns living in Grove House while the schoolrooms were in Cornwallis House. The headmistress was Mother St Paul de la Croix (Sister Paula Yerby). By the 1970s La Retraite High School had around 700 pupils.
It closed in 1982 and the building was bought by Pearce Homes Ltd (now part of Crest Nicholson) who developed it into 21 flats. Grove House next door was bought by the Bristol Cancer Help Centre, and was later converted into flats in 2007.
These swimming ladies look quite Beryl Cook, which is appropriate, given that I took a picture of a plaque to her up in more northern Clifton recently.
14 Nov 2020
I wonder how old this note is?
15 Nov 2020
My friend Sarah mentioned the high tide and I managed to drag myself out early, though still a little late. We nearly drowned in torrential rain, but the weather changed quickly and we ended up walking over to Bedminster in sunshine.
I have since worked out how to use the milk vending machine, and very nice milk it is, too.
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.