06 Apr 2021
I'd originally intended just to pop up to the area around Alma Road, where I'd missed a few streets on earlier wanders. It was such a nice evening, though, I decided to extend my walk up to the very top of Pembroke Road, just outside my one mile radius, to take a few snaps of something intriguing I'd found in my researches.
I've driven, walked and jogged past the little triangle of land at the top of Pembroke road a great deal in my time in Bristol, but I didn't know that it used to be the site of a gibbet, in fact that the road itself there used to be called Gallows Acre Lane. According to the Durdham Down history trail, by Francis Greenacre (an excellent name for a Downs researcher!) among other sources:
...it was below this quarry near the top of Pembroke Road, once called Gallows Acre Lane, that a gibbet stood. It was sometimes occupied by those who had committed robberies on the Downs and was last used in 1783 to hang Shenkin Protheroe for the murder of a drover. Stories quickly spread that he descended from the gibbet at midnight every night and stalked through Clifton. Such was the alarm that his body was cut down and buried.
Also very close to this little triangle of land was one of the gates of the extensive turnpike system...
Anyway. Along the way I encountered a wooden tortoise and a real squirrel, among other things. It was a good walk, and more light in the evenings means I can move my wanders out of the ticking countdown clock of work lunch-hours and be a bit more leisurely.
The late, great Maggie Shapland was a familiar feature to anyone interested in historical industry in Bristol.
I think the first time I saw her was on an Open Doors Day for the Clifton Rocks railway, the disused funicular from the Avon Gorge Hotel down to near the landing stage in Hotwells, and the last time was when she was helping to restore Brunel's Other Bridge at Howard's Lock.
Both times I think she'd driven there in one or other of the classic cars she maintained. Sometimes when the garage door here was open on the way past you could sneak a look at the collection.
The last thing I saw her drive was this Moss kit car.
An amazing person by all accounts, I never knew that we shared the profession of "Database Consultant"...
Door, the Bristol Fringe, Princess Victoria Street
It's a great door, and I really couldn't find the best way of capturing it. Ah well.
31 Jul 2021
At the end of July I went to have a look around some of the private gardens opened up by the annual Green Squares and Secret Gardens event. Sadly it was compressed into a single day this year, for various Covid-related reasons, it seems, so I didn't get to poke around too many places. I went to:
And snapped a few things in between, too. It was a lovely day—a bit too hot, if anything—and it was interesting to get into a few places I'd only ever seen from the outside, especially The Paragon and Cornwallis gardens, which are the least visible to passing strangers of all of them.
It's a little tamer now than it was back when anti-residents' parking zone protesters drove a tank through the city to deliver their petition. This one's about an experiment to pedestrianise Princess Victoria Street.
Won't make any difference to me one way or the other, really; I just walk up to Clifton Village for my shopping. Or, quite often, in completely the other direction, to North Street in Bedminster. I like both areas for shopping, and it's good to live close enough to either to get there on foot.
24 Sep 2021
A quick lunchtime jaunt to Clifton Village. Along the way I admired the new sign on Hope Chapel and added to my tsundoku collection.
There's a mason at work on the carved pilaster tops on the frontage of the old Coventry (and before then, Stroud and Swindon) Building Society. They've moved everything to a central branch in town in the interests of efficiency, so now I have to go to bloody Broadmead to do anything.
(Yes, I actually went into town to get a cheque out of the building society just the other day, in 2021. I know I should chuck this old-fashioned malarkey in for a shiny electronic account, but it's for the management committee of the house I live in, so there's complexity and inertia involved...)
Apologies for the poor picture quality; it was a quick snap from the iPhone. There's a better picture on t'blog. It's notable that this book was written by "J L", Joseph Leech, former Bristol newspaper magnate and the man who had Burwalls Mansion built, just the other side of the Suspension Bridge.
05 Nov 2021
I did do a much longer wander earlier in the week, but that'll take me some time to process (and cast a plethora of photos into the "out-takes" pile!) In the meantime, here's my lunchtime jaunt, taken to give myself a break from doing the company bookkeeping to send to my accountant so the taxman doesn't sling me in chokey.
I've recently bought a slightly creased secondhand copy of Redcliffe Press's 1992 collection of Samuel Loxton drawings, Loxton's Bristol: The city's Edwardian years in black and white. It's a nice selection of Bristol Library's collection of the drawings. I'd noticed a drawing of 25 Royal York Crescent, a house I pass quite often, so I thought I'd wander up the crescent on the way to pick up some lunch and try to reproduce it.
On the way back I took a few photos of Clifton Hill Bank as the crowdfunder to make quite a lot of it into a wildflower meadow has just hit its target, so I figured some "before" shots might be a good investment for the future...
Plenty of people sitting at the outside tables despite the cold.
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.
This little bugger had nicked an entire unopened chicken mayo sarnie from somewhere—possibly a distraction burglary at the nearby Co-Op—and at one point flew it up twenty feet and dropped it in order to break through the wrapper. Impressive, if violent.
On the way back home, it's always worth a poke around the book section at the front of Rachel's and Michael's Antiques.
Also always worth a look, of course, is Audrey Hepburn, who seems to be peering at us from the right-hand end.
And on that somewhat random note, it's time to end our wander. I headed back home to tuck into a bit of work-supplied Easter egg, which was an unexpected bonus of being physically in the office last week!