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.
These swimming ladies look quite Beryl Cook, which is appropriate, given that I took a picture of a plaque to her up in more northern Clifton recently.
30 Nov 2020
I had to return a faulty AirPod Pro to Apple (there's a first-world problem!) so I just took a quick trip up the hill to the nearest UPS drop-off point, The Ten O'Clock Shop, which is famously open until 11pm. Unfortunately it's a fairly cramped little place and neither of the staff were wearing masks, so I made it a very quick drop indeed and got out of there as quickly as I could.
I grabbed a quick coffee from Can't Dance, a stall that's—as of yesterday—in a tiny converted cargo container on the edge of Victoria Square; up until this week they were running from a little trike parked in the same place. Hopefully the new premises will let them see out the winter without worrying quite so much about the weather.
I tried to fit in a few extra streets from the surrounding area on my there and back, but that was basically my wander today: a quick little shopping trip.
10 Jan 2021
Went for a wander with my friend Lisa—the current lockdown rules seem to be that one local walk for exercise per day with a maximum of one person not in one's "bubble" is fine—up to the University of Bristol area right at the edge of my one-mile perimeter to see the Jeppe Hein Mirror Maze, among other things. On the way we mused about Merchant Venturers, the slave and tobacco trades, and dating in the time of Covid.
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.
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.
14 Apr 2021
Apart from a lovely coffee and a slice of Victoria sponge from Twelve, there weren't any new sights on this little lunchtime jaunt except for a slightly better look at the long raised extension at the back of the St Vincent's Rocks Hotel, where I at least got to see the arches it's raised up on. I also got a fair bit of exercise by walking up the Zig Zag to get there, and saw far more people out than I have in months, what with the lockdown having just been significantly lifted. As I walked past The Mall pub they were turning people away from their already-full garden, and the (outdoor) cafe tables were pretty full up.
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...
I was worried they were closing down, but...
...luckily they're just closed for refurbishment.
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...
Love a community noticeboard, me. This all seems very wholesome and inclusive.
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...
I only found out from a recent Times crossword that "shivers" are splinters.
These pumps, as I understand it, use to run virtually continuously, as there was always something hydraulic that would need the power somewhere on the docks.