Bristol, The Docks 1953

Bristol, The Docks 1953

Neg. B212281


Caption for Bristol, The Docks 1953

In the 1870s a railway line was built to serve the city docks. Though it was less than one mile long, it was expensive to build, requiring three bridges, a viaduct and a 282-yard-long tunnel under a burial ground, the cutting of which entailed the digging up of numerous former residents of Bristol and reburying them in a new cemetery at Brislington.

Memories of Bristol, the Docks 1953


I can remember as a young lad, aged nine years, walking along this dockside with my father, who was a railway checker. There was a British destroyer called HMS Vansistartt moored throughout the blitz, just beyond where these cranes are shown, she was used as a antiaircraft base, and as we boys were in the sea scouts, we used to be welcomed aboard by the crew. Later on when the USA came into the war, American escort destroyers,would tie up near the Bridgehead, another lot of ships we used to visit, happy memories of Bristol docks. Much later I was employed as a docker at Avonmouth, and we used to come up to Bristol, at times unloading the potato ships coming in from Ireland.

A memory of Bristol by Donald Bristow

Bristol City Docks 1989

Two of the cranes were purchased by 'City Dock Ventures' and two by the city council. All four were put into the museums care in 1989. Although the electricity supply to them was cut in 1974, one has been restored and another is in the process of being restored by a dedicated team of volunteers, led by Dave 'The Crane' Cole. One crane is now fully working and sometimes open for the public to go up to the cab and see it in action. It has also been used for TV programmes and plays. They remain the only partially or fully working old city dockside cranes in the country. Often the driver couldn't see where he was lowering the cargo to so he completely relied on a banksman (on the shore) or a hatchman (on ...Read full memory

A memory of Bristol by Paul Townsend

Memories of Bristol

Bristol's Leaning Tower Of Temple

Pisa has its famous leaning tower - and so does Bristol, with its drunkenly off-vertical tower of Temple Church in Temple Street. The tower isn't on the stupendous scale of its Italian counterpart, it's true. But its prominent position by busy Victoria Street and its proximity to Temple Meads station make it ...Read full memory

A memory of Bristol by Paul Townsend

Shops I Visited

I can remember my parents taking me to a furniture shop at the bottom of Union St, opposite the cinema which a friend of my father ran. I have tried and tried to remember the name with no luck - it was in the late fifties - can anyone remember it.

A memory of Bristol by Jayne Hobbs

John Cabot The History

Cabot used only one ship with 18 crew, the Matthew, a small ship (50 tons), but fast and able. He departed on either May 2 or May 20, 1497 and sailed to Dursey Head, Ireland. His men were frightened by ice, but he forged on, landing somewhere, possibly on the coast of Newfoundland, possibly on the coast of Cape Breton ...Read full memory

A memory of Bristol by Paul Townsend

Denmark Street

During my search of my family history, I have discovered that a brother of my gran (Annie Brown nee Shill) owned a shop on Denmark street, Bristol. He ran a hairdressing business from 1917-1930. It was near to the Hatchet Pub, on a corner of the street. When his business closed for reasons I have yet to find out, the shop was ...Read full memory

A memory of Bristol by helen.jane
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