08 Dec 2020
I had a chance to dash down a few new roads during my lunchtime jaunt today. My favourite feature was 7 Wetherell Place, at the corner of Frederick Place, one street behind the University of Bristol Students' Union building. Apparently I'm a sucker for gothic revival, which seems appropriate for this little project, which is reviving my interest in the local area.
The listing starts "1860. By JA Hansom. For himself".
This is one of those streets you don't really go down unless you have a reason, which is why I always forget there's a busy garage right here. The nearest building seems to be offices, but I don't know if they're connected to the garage.
17 Mar 2021
The other day I realised (hello, Maggie!) that my next walk would be my hundredth, and that I'd done 393.4km so far. I figured it would be nice to get to 100 walks and 400km on the same walk, so I went for a nice long harbourside wander after work, rather than dashing out at lunchtime. As it turned out, we're just coming up to the time of year where I can leave the house at 5:30 in the evening and there's still just enough light to take photos by the time I've made it around the harbourside. Though only just, and mostly because I've got a full-frame camera that's not bad in low light...
Still, the evening light made a lovely change, and some of the photos turned out to be pretty good photos per se, rather than just record shots of my walk. I'm looking forward to more evening walks like this as summer approaches.
On the way around this evening I wandered through one of the oldest bits of the city to extend my walk and snapped some interesting bits of architecture, including an NCP car park(!) and a nighttime shot of one of my favourite subjects, the clock tower at the Albion dockyard.
The clock tower stands on the former offices of Charles Hill, who ran the dockyard, including Bristol's large dry dock, before David Abels took it over in 1980.
I took a good thirty or forty photos of this one, trying to make sure I good a good image, hand-held, in dying light, as I knew it would be a great picture if I nailed it.
02 Dec 2020
This may be the very first time I've gone for a One Mile Matt wander and not actually gone down any new roads, trod any new steps. I just wanted a coffee, frankly, so I went the same old way to Imagine That in the marina and back again.
An office for one of the industrial places along Coronation Road; I think this is the back of the metal spraying yard rather than the tannery.
This is the current plan to replace the caravan park
11 Nov 2020
I'd love to walk the Chocolate Path again at some point, but it's been closed since it started falling into the river. Still, on this wander to get a coffee I walked down a road I'd not normally use and found a door dressed up as a wall and another door that had been bricked up for real. Odd.
I also found a lovely bit of art on one of the Cumberland Piazza pillars on my way home.
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.
As you would expect, there's quite a lot of nursing homes in Clifton.
10 Feb 2021
I actually dashed up to Clifton to take a look at Arlington Villas, just around the back of St Paul's Road, one of those slightly odd little enclaves of overlooked housing that you know is there, but you never have a reason to visit or travel down. As it turned out, interesting though the (public) garden is, I actually took far more pictures of the now-completely-demolished site bounded by King's Road, Boyce's Avenue and Clifton Down Road where WH Smith and other places used to stand.
It's interesting to imagine how nice this little area would be if turned into a permanent public square, but of course the developers already have their planning permission to build it right back up again.
16 Mar 2021
I wanted a nice simple lunch-hour walk that took me past a cafe today, and I managed to find the perfect road to knock off my list of targets to do it. Situated just off Jacobs Wells Road, right next to Queen Elizabeth's Hospital, John Carr's Terrace, and Rosebery terrace above it, which I'd completely forgotten existed, are a little cul-de-sac that many Bristolians will have wandered past a thousand times without ever seeing.
There's a reason it's next to QEH:
Known traditionally as "The City School", Queen Elizabeth's Hospital was founded by the will of affluent merchant John Carr in 1586, gaining its first royal charter in 1590.
John Carr's terrace itself isn't much to write home about, architecturally, but I like the secluded feel of it, and I really liked Rosebery Terrace with its little houses, commanding position and friendly, slightly tumbledown feel.
On the way home I popped into Foliage Cafe for a coffee and a very pleasant nutella and banana pastry, then walked home past the refurbishment of the old Thali Cafe into a new and interesting clinic...
I'm not sure I want to contract a Snape.
29 Apr 2021
Another quick excursion to Canon's Marsh, tempted back by Rod & Ruby's cannoli and flat white. This time I poked around some bits of the modern flats I'd not really experienced before, mused on the old gasworks, and headed back down the Hotwell Road, spotting a re-opening gallery and finishing off at the Adam & Eve, for which some locals are currently rushing to launch a bid to turn it into a community business rather than have a developer turn it into yet-more flats.
I was in a bouncy, positive mood, helped out by Life Without Buildings' Live at the Annandale Hotel album1. Note to self, though: the album is nearly an hour long, so if you hear the encore starting and you're still halfway down the Hotwell Road, you'll probably be late back from lunch...
1 That review's well worth a read. Music journalists tend to go extra-dreamy when trying to describe Sue Tompkins. See what I mean:
She circles her limber tongue-twisters, feints, and attacks from unexpected angles, dicing and rearranging them with the superhuman brio of an anime ninja and a telegraphic sense of lexical rhythm.
I'm sure when they were getting the idea of this place past the planning committee there was probably a higher ratio of public art to wheelie bins.
01 May 2021
I didn't get to all the little leftover streets around the northeastern part of my area in today's wander, but I definitely knocked a few off the list, plus Lisa and I enjoyed the walk, and didn't get rained on too badly. We spotted the hotting-up of Wisteria season, checked out Birdcage Walk (both old and new), ventured onto the wrong side of the tracks1 and generally enjoyed the architecture.
1 Well, technically we probably shouldn't have been on the grounds of those retirement flats, but nobody started chasing us around the garden with a Zimmer frame