05 Dec 2020
Back to Cliftonwood for a wander that included some of the belle views of Bellevue Crescent and other bits of the easternmost part. Highlights included watching someone bump-starting an elderly Nissan Micra in the narrow confines of Bellevue Crescent.
31 Jan 2021
I just nipped out to post a blood test (not Covid-related) and check that my car was okay, because I've not driven it for weeks. I was just going to walk up to Clifton Village, but I spotted the opportunity to re-park the car on my street rather than up the hill around the corner where it was, so instead I got in, intending just to move a hundred metres, but it turned over slowly before it started, and then warned me that the battery was very low and I should go for a long drive to recharge it.
So, I did my best, zipping up the A4018 to the motorway junction and back again, dropping off my blood at a postbox along the way, and while I did that, it started snowing. I noticed it was low tide, too, so when I got back home I headed back out again, this time on foot and with a camera so I could see if I could find any evidence of the Hot Well steaming.
I saw not a single sign of the Hot Well steaming, but it was quite a nice quick outing and I enjoyed my brief walk in the snow. Iike Hinton Lane, too, and while it's all old ground I was re-treading, I did at least get a picture or two with a bit of snow and some of the cold winter atmosphere of the trip, I think.
26 Feb 2021
I'm on the first day of a long weekend, and I certainly picked the right one for it. This may be the first proper spring-like day of the year in Bristol; it was glorious.
I headed up to Clifton, around the area where I got my Covid vaccine jab the other day, to knock off a few remaining roads in that area and because it would be good exercise for an extended lunchtime walk.
Along the way I saw some very Clifton sights, including an Aston Martin, some Jacobethan architecture, and some private college sports grounds. Mostly, though, I just enjoyed the sunshine, and took every opportunity I could to snap views across the city.
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"...
10 Apr 2021
There's a bit of Southville that I've been meaning to get to for some time, where the streets seem to take some strong inspiration from London. There's a Camden Road that crosses with an Islington Road, and a Dalston Road, even an Edgeware Road. For me these names are more evocative than the rather more exotic names I passed by to get there—Sydney Row or Hanover Place, say, because I've actually been to the places in London. The last time I was in Islington I saw Monkey Swallows the Universe play at The Angel, and I can't think of Camden without remembering a gondola trip with my friend Tara where a cheery youth played Beatles music for us on a saz...
I really liked this little area, with its mostly well-kept pretty houses and hints here and there of the creative side of the residents. It's arty and down-to-earth at the same time, and I wouldn't mind living there, I think.
On the way there I got the chance to walk through Underfall Yard for the first time in a while, and on the way back I had my first take-away hot food for many months, grabbing some crispy fried squid from the excellent Woky Ko at Wapping Wharf.
The door across this is normally closed. You can just about see Wallace and Gromit smiling on the side of the building, presumably not coincidentally, given that Aardman Animations' office is down there and up the driveway to the left.
17 Apr 2021
I went rather outside my area today, as I went to pick something up from the Warhammer shop on Wine Street (Games Workshop as-was, and before that I think perhaps a rare retail outlet for Her Majesty's Stationery Office? I may be mis-remembering...) Anyway, a friend of mine wanted something picking up and posting to him, so I figured I'd knock some streets off my list along the way.
I first headed for the St George's Road area, walking down the narrow Brandon Steps and finding some strange wall art on Brandon Steep, then headed to the Old City via Zed Alley. The Warhammer shop visit was friendly and efficient, and, mission accomplished, I treated myself to a sausage roll and a flat white from Spicer + Cole, to take away and eat in Queen Square with its current decoration of hearts. I finished off with a detour up Park Street, looking out for St John's Conduit markers, before finally crossing Brandon Hill on the way home.
Quite a long wander, all told, and I'm a bit knackered today...
...of Things. Interesting Things.
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.
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...
11 Dec 2021
I woke up on this Saturday with a headache, feeling like I'd not slept at all. As well as that, I'm still in some pain from the wisdom tooth extraction I had a few weeks ago. I moped about the flat for a while and then decided that the best thing to do was to force myself out on at least a small walk to get some fresh air and coffee.
Was there anywhere I could walk locally that I'd never been? Actually, yes! Although it's not a road, and I didn't walk it, there is actually one route that I've not travelled so far in my wanders. And it even had coffee near its far end...
I love the way Spoke & Stringer's deli window with it predictably-hipster type choices and logo are somewhat put into perspective by their wonky big-arse OSB sign with PASTIES daubed on it.
There is a time for fancy marketing, and a time to just shout "GET YER PASTIES 'ERE" at the top of your signage.
21 Dec 2020
Despite the weather, Sarah and Vik and I wandered around Ashton Court a bit as the sun rose. Not that you could really tell. Sadly, the bit we wanted to watch the sunrise from was closed, because people hadn't been treating the deer with appropriate respect. Ah well, at least it was some exercise.
Apparenlty this part of festival way has been named Daveside. I wonder who Dave is?