I headed to Bedminster to do a crossword with my support bubble today. On the way I delved into a couple of bits of Hotwells history, first of all snapping a "now" shot to go with a historical photo of Holy Trinity I happened across recently, and second of all to snap the Britannia Buildings.
The Britannia Buildings are a little strip of offices on a corner of the Hotwell Road. They've mostly been the headquarters of a cleaning company for years, but I've often wondered what this distinctive curve of offices, its ground floor standing proudly out from the upper floors, used to be. Well, after my last wander, where I poked about the landing stage just down the road, I found out! Researching the paddleboat company P&A Campbell I came across this nugget in The A-Z of Curious Bristol, by Maurice Fells (£):
The firm of P & A Campbell was the main steamer operator in the Bristol Channel, with its local headquarters in offices close to the Hotwells pier and overlooking the harbour at the Cumberland Basin. Campbell's named their offices Britannia Buildings, after one of the ships in their White Funnel Fleet.
So! Turns out the Britannia Buildings were named after a paddle steamer—you can see some pictures of Britannia here.
In related news, I've now bought three of Maurice Fells' local history books, and they were hand-delivered by the author on Sunday, a half-hour after I ordered them online (through a message exchange on Nextdoor!) Not even Amazon Prime has managed to deliver me anything that quickly...
The Britannia Buildings were named for a paddle steamer in the P&A Campbell fleet, who used to have thier headquarters here.
There's some pictures of the Britannia, built in 1896, on the paddlesteamers.org site
07 May 2021
I saw this tweet the other day and started thinking of my second Covid-19 vaccination as my "Sequel Injection" (to a geek, it's funny. You'll have to take my word for it.) Whatever you call it, this morning I went and got it.
It was in the same place I got my initial injection—my left arm! No, okay, it was at the Clifton College Prep School. I didn't take any photos of the event itself; the NHS production line is so efficient you barely have time to do anything else, even if the privacy of other patients wasn't a factor.
Along the way I mused at all the road resurfacing going on in Clifton, and also discovered a secret (okay, not-well-known and possibly slightly trespassey) way into Canynge Square, and on the way back I knocked off a few streets from my "leftovers list" of north-east Clifton. I've got much of Clifton done now, with the only obvious "to dos" on the east side of Whiteladies Road...
It was quite a long walk, and I'm feeling pretty tired now, though that might be the effects of the jab too, I suppose. Anyway. Tomorrow and Monday I'm walking outside Bristol, I think, and I imagine my feet will need some recovery time on Sunday, so it might be a while before I post another Wander.
Things really are getting back to normal, it seems.
I mostly went out to hang out with my friends Sarah and Vik in Bedminster, but along the way I thought I'd take a closer look at something a little nearer home: the last crossing point of the Rownham Ferry.
27 Mar 2022
I wanted to have a wander along to the Tobacco Factory Market for some shopping, and checking the map for any leftover nearby streets I noticed a tiny curve of road on the way into the modern flats at Paxton Drive that it didn't look like I'd walked down before. I wouldn't take me too far out of my way, so I decided to head there first and then across to North Street to get my groceries and a coffee...
It's better than no daffodils, but they're still rather swamped by the rather industrial setting.
18 Apr 2022
I didn't really set out with a theme of flowers and gardens in mind for this walk. I just fancied heading up to Clifton Village to get lunch. As it turned out, though, Spring was springing, so a minor theme emerged as I started off with the graveyard flowers of Hope Chapel and wandered up to see the beginnings of the new wildflower garden at Clifton Hill Meadow.
Boyce's Avenue, named for Thomas Boyce, according to Veronica Smith's excellent The Street Names of Bristol (I'm borrowing the Clifton Library copy at the mo):
In 1763, Thomas Boyce, a wig-maker, kept lodging houses here for visitors to the Spa. Within ten years he was bankrupt.
I wonder if the building of nearer lodgings down in Hotwells might have been part of the cause? The street I live in was one of those!
As you can see, it's fair bustling these days, especially on a bank holiday with the cafes doing a good trade. Despite the giant SUV in the picture, which was presumably doing a shop delivery, the street is pedestrianised and mostly car-free these days, at least at certain hours.
This has led to a spreading of pavement cafe culture in Clifton Village, with Princess Victoria Street being the latest (somewhat controversial) experiment.