26 Nov 2020
I took the day off my day job to do my accounts—or at least do enough bookkeeping to send them to my accountant. I hate doing the books. I woke up late, tired and with a headache and decided to bunk off for a walk around Cliftonwood, Clifton Village and Clifton instead, taking in a couple of good coffees along the way. Thanks, Foliage Café, and Twelve for the flat whites.
These flats have some pretty amazing views.
27 Nov 2020
I took an extra-long break at lunchtime today as I'd taken the day off my normal day-job to do the accounts for my previous side-job, which is still generating paperwork, though not much in the way of money. This took me through some undiscovered bits of Cliftonwood, including Worlds End Lane, which unexpectedly leads to White Hart Steps. That's certainly not where I expected the end of the world to lead to...
17 Feb 2021
The long road between Clifton Road and Park Place—the little triangle of grass in front of the Pro-Cathedral, which also houses Quinton House pub, the Park Launderette and Mr Swantons Barbers—is one I've travelled a lot, as it's a nice route between my place and the top of Park Street, especially Ocado. It has many names along the way, even though it feels like just one continuous road. It's York Place, Tottenham Place, Meridian Place and Bruton Place before it finally spits you out onto Park Place.
It was Meridian Place I was interested in today, as I wanted to explore the set of steps that lead down from it in the direction of Jacobs Wells Road. Turns out they lead to Meridian Vale and Meridian Mews, and come out between the Strangers Burial Ground and the Eldon House, opposite the entrance to Bellevue Terrace. I liked the little terrace on Meridian Vale, though they probably don't get a lot of light in the front windows, what with Meridian Place and Tottenham Place towering above them.
On the way back home I popped into the little lane behind Regent Street that houses the Chesterfield Hospital, as I realised I'd neglected that up until now. It was... unexciting.
Interesting! This seems to be a modern block of student flats around the back of the old Pro-Cathedral. I knew the Pro-Cathedral was student accommodation now, but I didn't know there was a gert big block of modern block behind it, too. It's well-hidden. Or I'm not very good at noticing things. One of the two.
Apparently the site is called Cathedral Park, houses 263 students, and comprises the converted cathedral, "a modern new-build and the Upper School building."
I went to get my first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine today. Handily, the vaccination centre was Clifton College Prep School in Northcote road, next to Bristol Zoo, a road that's just within my 1-mile range that I hadn't visited before.
I parked up near Ladies Mile and tried to find a few of the tracks marked on the map I'm using, but couldn't see most of them. Whether that's just because they've disappeared over time, or with the recent lack of use or waterlogging from the 24 hours of rain we just had, I'm not sure. It was a pretty fruitless search, anyway.
The vaccine shot was virtually the same setup as when I got my winter flu jab back in November, except for the venue. I snapped a couple of pictures of the school while I was there, but I was in and out in five minutes, and you probably don't want to linger around a vaccination centre, I suppose.
Instead I wandered around the compact block of the Zoo, now sadly scheduled for closure. By coincidence I finished E H Young's Chatterton Square this morning: set in Clifton (fictionalised as "Upper Radstowe") near the Zoo, the occasional roars of the lions that can be heard by the residents of the square (Canynge Square in real life) form part of the background of the novel. The book's set in 1938 (though written and published post-war, in 1947). It seems a shame that the incongruous sounds of the jungle will no longer be heard from 2022. All I heard today were some exotic birds and, I think, some monkeys.
I was told not to drive for fifteen minutes following the jab, so I wandered out of my area up to the top of Upper Belgrave Road to check out an interesting factoid I'd read while looking into the history of the reservoir at Oakfield Road, that the site of 46 Upper Belgrave Road was a bungalow, shorter than the adjacent houses, and owned by Bristol Water, kept specifically low so that the pump man at Oakfield Road could see the standpipe for the Downs Reservoir (presumably by or on the water tower on the Downs) and turn the pump off when it started overflowing. Sadly I couldn't confirm it. There is one particularly low house on that stretch, but it's number 44, and though small, it's two-storey, not a bungalow, so nothing really seems to quite fit in with the tale.
I'm writing this about nine hours after getting the jab, by the way, and haven't noticed any ill effects at all. My arm's not even sore, as it usually would be after the normal flu jab. In twelve weeks I should get an appointment to get the second dose.
Must've been the last event planned. I wonder how far they got through the programme? Tuesday just gone was Shrove Tuesday this year, and the first lockdown started (for me, at least) on 17th March 2020.
I got interested in Bristol's medieval water supplies after poking around near Jacobs Wells Road and Brandon Hill. It was during that research I found out about a pipe that's still there today, and, as far as I know, still actually functioning, that was originally commissioned by Carmelite monks in the 13th century. They wanted a supply of spring water from Brandon Hill to their priory on the site of what's now the Bristol Beacon—Colston Hall, as-was. It was created around 1267, and later, in 1376, extended generously with an extra "feather" pipe to St John's On The Wall, giving the pipework its modern name of "St John's Conduit".
St John's on the Wall is still there, guarding the remaining city gate at the end of Broad Street, and the outlet tap area was recently refurbished. It doesn't run continuously now, like it did when I first moved to Bristol and worked at the end of Broad Street, in the Everard Building, but I believe the pipe still functions. One day I'd like to see that tap running...
There are a few links on the web about the pipe, but by far the best thing to do is to watch this short and fascinating 1970s TV documentary called The Hidden Source, which has some footage of the actual pipe and also lots of fantastic general footage of Bristol in the seventies.
On my walk today I was actually just going to the building society in town, but I decided to trace some of the route of the Carmelite pipe, including visiting streets it runs under, like Park Street, Christmas Street, and, of course, Pipe Lane. I also went a bit out of my way to check out St James' Priory, the oldest building in Bristol, seeing as it was just around the corner from the building society.
There are far too many pictures from this walk, and my feet are now quite sore, because it was a long one. But I enjoyed it.
I bumped into my friend Lisa in town during yesterday's wander, and we decided to have a wander today, too. We managed quite a long ramble, starting up through Clifton and nipping down Park Row to investigate the two tower blocks I'd noticed popping up behind Park Street yesterday, then took in a few roads I'd not managed to get to before, including cutting through the grounds of Bristol Grammar School.
I assume it's the schools theatre. I mean, QEH has one; why wouldn't Bristol Grammar?
The surroundings seem a bit down-at-heel. The listing says:
Terrace of 4 houses, now offices. c1826. Possibly by RS Pope. Limestone ashlar with party wall stacks, roof not visible. Double-depth plan. Neoclassical style. Each of 3 storeys and basement; 3-window range. A composed terrace of projecting end houses linked by a colonnade of Ionic columns, spaced 1:2:2:1 to each house, to an entablature and balustrade of square balusters and panels with wreaths.
12 May 2021
I wanted to take another snap of an interesting Gothic Revival place in Clifton, having found out a bit more about the owner. On the way I walked through the Clifton Vale Close estate, idly wondering again whether it might've been the site of Bristol's Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens (I've not researched further yet.) On the way back I knocked off the last remaining bit of Queens Road I had yet to walk and tried to find the bit of communal land that Sarah Guppy bought so as not to have her view built on...
I foolishly didn't leave time to pop in and pick up a coffee on my way back from my outing.
25 Jul 2021
The far east of the intersection of my one-mile radius and Bedminster, anyway. I was feeling a bit tired this morning, so I motivated myself to get out of the door by imagining one of Mokoko's almond croissants. That got me on my way, and I wandered across to Bedminster, through Greville Smyth Park, along most of the length of North Street (looking out for new Upfest 75-pieces-in-75-days artwork as I went) and then onto some new roads at the far end.
I only wanted to knock a few streets off my "to do" list, but by the time I'd diverted here and there to check out various bits of graffiti and other attractions and come back via the aforementioned purveyors of Bristol's finest croissants, I'd walked 7.4km. Not bad for someone who woke up tired, and at least I've done something with my day. I'm very glad the weather broke (we had tremendous thunderstorms yesterday), even if some of the pictures might've looked better with a blue sky. I was getting fed up with walking around in 29°C heat...
I like the way the three fronts of the Lounge all have different designs.
21 Aug 2021
Lisa and I mostly went out to have a look at Luke Jerram's Museum of the Moon as its tour hit Bristol Cathedral—I missed it when it was previously in town, at Wills Hall, I think—but we also took a trek up to Redland. Lisa's kind enough to indulge my strange current fascination with the Edwardian eccentrics that made up the Stella Matutina, so we swung by a couple of places with a vague connection to the Bristol branch of the organisation. Well, it was good walking, anyway...
As a stunning bonus, one of the picture's descriptions has more information than you'd probably want on the Bristol Port Railway and Pier's Clifton Extension Railway line, but I did happen to coincidentally write up this wander after reading about the extension line during my lunch hour at work today. It's a thrilling life, I tell you...