Bristol’s Heritage is being Ruined just for Cyclists Comfort.

7 Jul

The Docks and Harbour (around which Bristol was built in the 16-17 hundreds); is being ruined by the Council Officers whom seem to have only the comfort of cyclists at heart.  As any visitor to this Beautiful City, especially the ‘Old City’ will soon notice the pavements (side walks – for our American friends) are paved with very large stone slabs and the edge of the pavements are edged with a metal edge.  This is especially noticeable around Prince Street, Queen Square and King Street area up as far as the ‘Old City’ along with cobbled (oblong sets of granite stone) roads.  To make the roads ‘smoother’ for cyclists the Council Officers have in their collective wisdom decided that these cobbles are uncomfortable for cyclist to ride over so they are being smoothed out, as I write this. As can be seen in the photograph new large old stone sets that formed the kerb to the pavement are being replaced with concrete kerbs. Will these last over 100 years I ask?

Prince St Bridge Heritage Gone 1

Here are the old cobbles dumped, no doubt being stacked ready for use at some other ‘more fashionable’ part of Bristol.

Cobbles from Prince St Bridge

All of this work is being done, at great expense, whilst the citizens of  Bristol are facing cut backs in Council spending on basic day to day care, to the vulnerable and amenities for everyone, such as closure of Libraries, Day Centers for disabled.

Fire Prevention (Bristol Fashion)

5 Jul

FIRE PREVENTION (BRISTOL FASHION).  These gates, (in the photograph below), are far too narrow for any Fire Engine to get through, besides which they are ‘angled’ towards the wall also making it impossible for any fire engine to get through them,EVEN IF THEY WERE WIDE ENOUGH.


These gates were put in place with the sanction and approval of Khalid Dean a then surveyor with Bristol City Council, who was seconded to the local Community Group (called ‘Community at Heart’) the secondment was for just 2 years.  The Council thought a lot of him, so much so that when the secondment came to an end they got rid of him. 

We the residents of Corbett House (a 14 floor block of flats). In Barton Hill Bristol, have just had a fire safety inspection by both Bristol City Council and the Avon County Fire Brigade.  The outcome, so far, has been that all the rat holes, in the non-combustible cladding have been filled in, but the gates remain, putting all residents above ground level at risk that live of the two side of the block of flats, to which the fire engines will have no access.

It can be argued that the Council have been seen to take action by filling in gaps in the cladding, therefore putting residents minds at rest. 




Bristol Harbour Walk

4 Jul

There was a book published by The Bristol Industrial Museum (Now the ‘M Shed’). ‘Bristol Harbour Heritage Walk’; (It is with gratitude and acknowledgement to this publication, for the inspiration, that I write this blog and guide to the  Bristol’s Historic Harbour, sadly the book is now out of print).

(To walk the whole route of the Harbour, in a circular route is just over 8 miles and it is recommended that the visitor takes at least 2 or 3 days if it is wished to see every part of it).

From experience it is recommended that  visitor starts the walk from the site of the S.S. Great Britain, (where there is a pay and display car park ( £1 per hour to a max of £5 for 5 hours between 9am – 7pm, all days) as well as one of the many stops for the  Bristol Tour Bus (£15  per Adult, (£13 for concessions)     £9 per child or £44 for a family ticket).                                       Pay on the bus tickets valid for 2 consecutive days)).-

Tour Bus 1

The S.S. Great Britain is a good place to start a walk, besides being a good and easy place to either park, or board the ‘Bristol Tour Bus‘,  there are many Cafe’s, Pubs (some historic) and Restaurants en-route.  If the walk is found to be too much for one day, with the Tour Bus ticket one can always pick it up at many points on its route and then recommence the walk on the second day from any of the stops on the route you wish.

SS Great Britain was the FIRST Iron passenger liner to be built in the World that had both an Iron Hull and propelled by a screw propeller, at first a 6 bladed one, but this was soon changed to a 4 bladed propeller. Designed in 1840 after the design was altered from a wooden hull to an iron one the ship was launched in 9th July 1843. (The Ship was built and launched from the same dock that you see it today).  But it was over a year before it actually towed out of the Harbour for fitting out in London, due to several mishaps.

Including the ship being

  • Launched before Prince Albert arrived at the Dock, he having traveled from London on one of Brunel’s trains in 2 hours and 40 mins with Brunel himself acting as the conductor on the train.
  • The ship had been launched by  Clarissa Miles (Wife of Philip John Miles the M.P. at the time).
  • When naming the ship, Mrs Miles threw the bottle of Champagne at the hull, but it fell short of the ship by about 10 feet landing in the water of the Harbour.
  • Another bottle of Champagne was found and Prince Albert threw it against the  hull where it successfully broke, without any naming taking place at all.
  • The Tug ‘Avon’ started to tow the ship away from the dock before the shore warps had not been released. The tow rope snapped, with the resultant delay,  Prince Albert  was obliged to return to the railway station and journey back to London and so miss the end of the launching programme.
  •  Following the launch ceremony, the builders had planned to have the ship towed to the River Thames, in London for her final fitting out.  Unfortunately, the harbour authorities had failed to carry out the necessary modifications to their facilities in a timely manner.  Exacerbating the problem, the ship had been widened beyond the original plans to accommodate the propeller engines, and her designers had made a belated decision to fit the engines prior to launch, which resulted in the ship being both wider as well as having a deeper draught than the dock gates at Hotwell’s, could accommodate, (where the Harbour meets the River Avon).
  • Brunel’s negotiations with the Bristol Dock Board dragged on for months. in an attempt to get the lock and lock gates modified to allow the ship to sail
  • It was only through the intervention of the National Board of Trade that the harbour authorities finally agreed to the lock modifications, beginning in late 1844.
  • To allow the ship to enter the River Avon a large gang of workmen had to remove the top coping stones and the platforms on the second lock gates.
  • The ship finally left the Harbour at midnight on December 12th 1844, some 17 months after the ill fated launch day.

On 26 July 1845—seven years after the Great Western Steamship Company had decided to build a second ship, and five years overdue—S.S. Great Britain  embarked on her maiden voyage, from Liverpool to New York

In 1847 (the ships 3rd year of operation she ran aground in Dundrum Bay  on the northeast coast of Ireland. She remained aground for almost a year, protected by temporary measures organised by Brunel, In August 1847, she was floated free at a cost of £34,000 and taken back to Liverpool, but this expense exhausted the company’s remaining reserves. After languishing at the North Dock for some time, she was sold for £25,000 and was converted into a bulk coal carrier.

The ship was found in the Falkland Islands and was returned to the Bristol dock that she was built in, arriving on Sunday 5th July 1970

Welcome to Bristol Walker

22 Jun

Bristol Docks Briddge Notice 1 (8)My blog is all about me, personally walking in and around the lovely City of Bristol, which is the largest City within the Southwest of England.  

My aim is to promote the City and hopefully encourage the visitor to walk, around the city, looking at some of the hidden gems that may be easily missed.

I hope to include photographs which may entice you to, if not follow my footsteps, at least walk some way to find and enjoy this wonderful diverse City. 

From the Jewish Cemetery, to the Rocks Railway by way of the Harbour and the many bits of history it holds.

There is a booklet entitled – ‘The Bristol Heritage Walk’  Today (June 2017); My advice is NOT to waste your money on buying the booklet as it is way out of date. It is full of wrong information, the locations are O.K. but it is the blurb that is way out of date, as well as some of the directions.Bristol Docks and Ferries (112)

On arrival in the City, one of the finest FREE tourist maps that you can obtain is the blue map available from most of the larger Hotels, as well as some of the main large attractions and Museums (but NOT on Mondays as most are Closed for the day) as well as the Tourist information Center. (Open 7 days a week, 9am 5pm (except Sundays 11am – 4pm).Clean up Bristol Docks ready

12 Sep