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Tram, The Centre 1901, Bristol

Tram, The Centre 1901, Bristol
 
 

Tram, The Centre 1901, Bristol Ref: 47885x

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Memories of Tram, The Centre 1901, Bristol

Bristol Tramway Company

Tram, The Centre 1901, Bristol
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Bristol Tramway Company and the glory days of the tram: After the First World War the Omnibus Company changed its name from Bristol Tramways to the Bristol Omnibus Company/ In 1937 it was forced to keep using their very old transport fleet until replacements could be built. In 1949-50 over 200 vehicles were scrapped at the Kingswood depot. In 1936 Bristol Corporation took an interest in the bus company a position that was to continue until privatisation in the 1980s. Until 1961 the buses even carried the Bristol coat of arms on their sides. The Second World War years proved difficult, with petrol rationing, and the company were forced to reduce its operations by half. Passenger numbers, however, shot up, and many female drivers and conductors were recruited for the first time. Many single-decker buses were converted into ambulances or were requisitioned for war work, such as moving troops from place to place. In 1957 one-man operation was introduced, although conductors continued on some city routes until 1984. The Bristol bus story... Read more

Bristol & local memories

Read and share memories of Bristol and Avon inspired by Frith photos.

Bristol, Lulsgate Airport History

Lulsgate Airport c1965, Bristol
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After the war, on April 14th 1946, flying training ceased, and Lulsgate Bottom was abandoned by the RAF in October. The airfield was used by Bristol Gliding Club during the next ten years, but the accommodation became a refugee camp for Poles, whose children went to Catholic schools in Bristol. In 1948 and 1949 motor race meetings were organised by the Bristol Motor Cycle and Light Car Club using a circuit of about 2 miles round the runways and taxiways, but owing to "difficulties" in getting permission to use it again,the club moved to another airfield which was to become known as the Castle Combe racetrack. Lulsgate was sold to Bristol Corporation in 1955 for £55,000 and work began on airport terminal facilities. The gliding club moved to Nympsfield, and Bristol (Lulsgate) Airport was opened in 1957 by the Duchess of Kent. In its first year of operation 33,000 passengers were carried. The Bristol and Wessex Aeroplane Club moved to Lulsgate, together with the Whitchurch airline operations. Work was begun to... Read more

Bristol City Docks 1989

The Docks 1953, Bristol
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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 the ship) to relay how to manoeuvre with hand signals. The drivers had to obey the signals. Although there were set signals, every banksman would do them slightly differently and some in a very subtle manner,... Read more

Bristol's Leaning Tower of Temple

Temple Church 1887, Bristol
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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 one of the most startling sights to be seen by newly-arrived visitors to Bristol. Poor old Temple Church was badly blitzed during the air raids of the Second World War and the building remains a gutted ruin half a century later. But it wasn't enemy bombs which caused the tower to reel over five foot out of true. That happened after it was rebuilt in 1460. The foundations caused problems which couldn't be solved, the tower began to move but, at last, it settled at today's offbeat angle. There has been a church on this site since 1145 when the mysterious order of Knights Templar erected their chapel here - nearby Temple Meads takes its name from the order.

Christmas Steps Bristol BS1

Christmas Steps c1935, Bristol
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Goddamn fish and chips! At the very bottom of the Christmas Steps lies a building thought to date back to the 13th century, which has housed a fish and chip shop for well over 100 years. One of the first ever 'chippies' to open in England, this shop won a Best in Britain award whilst under the management of the inimitable Grace and Robert. After taking over the restaurant in 1964, the couple remained there for the next 28 years. Grace has entertaining stories to tell about American tourists determined to lay their hands on some genuine 'goddamn fish and chips'. She recalls embellishing the truth on some occasions, leading Americans to believe she had a bed upstairs upon which Queen Anne herself had slept (which is not completely accurate!). The tourists' fascination with antiques and memorabilia would often prompt them to make Grace an offer on anything which could be removed from the premises. She also has fond memories of the street parties that have been held on Christmas Steps,... Read more

Privateers And Pirates

Ye Llandoger Trow c1950, Bristol
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The Llandoger Trow - It is rumoured that Daniel DeFoe had met Alexander Selkirk ( shipwrekced sailor who had been rescued by a Bristol ship) in the Llandoger, on whose story he based his book 'Robinson Crusoe'. The Llandoger is also supposed to be the model for The Admiral Benbow pub in Robert Louis Stevenson's classic adventure book 'Treasure Island'. Blackbeard the pirate, who also came from Bristol, may even have drank at The Llandoger. However none of this can be proven. Although the pub now has 3 cellars there may have been more than this with a network of underground tunnels, the remains of one was found in 1962 when the pub was refurbed but sadly destroyed and steel piling had to be sunk 43ft down into the marsh to hold it up. During that refurbishment, 7 original fireplaces were also uncovered. There are also documents in the pub about a previous landlady who blacked out the 'busty ladies adorning the pubs ceilings' who she felt took the attention of... Read more

The Tomb of Raja Ram Mohun Roy

Arnos Vale Cemetery 1887, Bristol
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Arnos Vale Cemetery is the location of the tomb of Raja Ram Mohun Roy - 'The Father of Modern India'. He died when on a visit to Bristol in 1833. This gentleman left home and 'sought knowledge by his extensive travels'. He mastered ten languages, encouraged the study of English in early 19th century India and was a journalistic pioneer in India. He came to England in 1830 to plead the cause of the Mughal Emperor Akbar II (who gave him the title of Raja), died three years later and was buried in Arnos Vale Cemetery in Bristol. A large monument was erected above his remains in 1842 and this is now in perilous state. It is estimated that 25,000 will be needed to restore it and The Bristol General Cemetery Company, which has taken over the cemetery, will not carry out the work because no money was left for its upkeep. As this is the 50th anniversary year since India's Independence, it is suggested that it could be financed... Read more

Bristol at Sea

The Quay 1887, Bristol
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Over a thousand years ago Bristol's harbour developed around the lowest bridging point of the River Avon. The exceptional tidal range of the Severn Estuary and Avon carried laden ships into the city and scoured the river of silt. Local trade flourished between Bristol, South Wales, the Severn ports and Ireland. During the Middle ages the port grew in prestige, trading with the Atlantic seaboard, Iceland and the Mediterranean. The American colonies brought more opportunities for Bristol merchants including the notorious slave trade to the West Indies. As ships became larger and trade increased the quay space became overcrowded and when the water drained away at low tide the ships lay grounded in the mud. Finally the Bristol Docks Company adopted the proposals of engineer William Jessop to create a non-tidal harbour. The 'Floating Harbour', constructed between 1804 and 1809, trapped the water behind lock gates allowing ships to remain floating at all times.

A Long Street, Full of Ships

The Centre c1950, Bristol
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Having a harbour right in the city centre gave Bristol an unrivalled attraction for visitors who gazed in wonder at the sight of tall masts - 'In the middle of the street, as far as you can see, hundreds of ships, their masts as thick as they can stand by one another, which is the oddest and most surprising sight imaginable', wrote Alexander Pope in 1732. A long street, full of ships in the middle and houses on both sides, looks like a dream. It's a dream that no one will ever see again. Picturesque it may have been but the ships got in the way of the traffic.

Dutch House

Old Houses And Tolley's Bank 1890, Bristol
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The Dutch House - this 17th century building once stood on the corner of Wine Street. It was reduced to a charred skeleton during the Second World War and for safety's sake it had to be pulled down. The Dutch House was Bristol's best-known landmark before the Blitz. By 1732 it was the house of John Vaughan, a goldsmith, in 1810 it became the Castle Bank, in 1826 the Stuckey's Bank; and by 1855 it was occupied by Mr Tilly the Hatter (he first called it Dutch House though it has no connection with Holland). In 1908 it was saved from demolition by the Lord Mayor's casting vote. During the 1930s it housed the Irish Linen and Hosiery Association but was pulled down after being seriously bombed in 1940.

THE LOVER...WHO JUMPED...AND LIVED

Clifton Suspension Bridge c1950, Bristol
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Only a handful of people have survived the terrible fall from the Clifton Suspension Bridge. The most celebrated was young lover Sarah Ann Henley. Sarah was a local girl from St Philip's in Bristol. In 1885 she was 22 and working in a Bristol factory when she was jilted by her boyfriend. The heartbroken girl made her way up from industrial St Philips to Clifton and the bridge and, in despair, she leapt from the parapet. She was saved by victorian women's fashion. This was the age of wide skirts and voluminous petticoats and as she tumbled through the air, this mass of material acted like a sort of parachute to break her fall. Instead of crashing like a stone she drifted in the wind and sailed across to a sticky landing in the deep mud of the riverside. The drama wasn't over. Her rescue from the mud was a difficult business but at last she was brought safely to firm ground and then to hospital where she was found, amazingly,... Read more

The Ghost of Sarah Siddons

King Street And Theatre Royal c1935, Bristol
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It has long been claimed that the lady in black who haunts the beautiful old Theatre Royal in King Street, home of the Bristol Old Vic, is none other than the great actress Sarah Siddons. There are similar tales of Siddons haunting other theatres but why should she haunt the Theatre Royal where she rarely appeared and where nothing momentous happened to her? The answer is that the Theatre Royal's dark lady is indeed the ghost of a Sarah, but not Sarah Siddons. She is the wraith of Sarah, mistress and then wife and widow of actor/manager William Macready. He ran the theatre in Victorian times and after his death his widow kept the place going through very difficult times, sometimes paying actors' wages from her own pocket when box office takings were poor. She is never seen in parts of the theatre built after her day and she is not unpleasant. At her worst she can be annoying and silly, making lights spin or appearing in the auditorium as she keeps... Read more

Tales of Brandon Hill

From Brandon Hill 1896, Bristol
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Queen Elizabeth I granted housewives the right to dry their washing on Bristol's Brandon Hill. Bristol's most prominent land mark, the Cabot Tower, was 100 years old in 1998. But the official opening was marked by a disastrous fire, a confidence trick and some rather clever council penny pinching. The foundation stone of the Cabot Tower was laid on Brandon Hill in 1897, the 400th anniversary of John Cabot's journey to the New World. It was supposed to simply commemorate the "Matthew's" journey, until someone on the council came up with a great idea to help raise the cash. Money for the tower had to be found from public subscriptions, and the promoters encouraged wider interest with a neat bit of marketing. They pointed out that it was also Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee Year, so the tower could double up as a memorial to "the 60th year of Her Majesty's glorious reign". Clever stuff; it raised 5,000. By July 1898, the 75ft tower (105ft to the top of the spire) had been... Read more

Pay up - on The Nail

One of The Pillars ('Nails') Outside The Corn Exchange, Corn Street 2005, Bristol
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'Cash on the Nail' the man said. . . and a century or so ago in Bristol he really meant it. For the deal would have been clinched on one of Bristol's four famous nails standing outside the Corn Exchange on Corn Street or, from the late 1550s to 1771, under a covered walk outside All Saints Church before they were moved to today's well-known site. The brass nails with their flat tops and raised edges to prevent coins tumbling onto the pavement, were made as convenient tables for merchants to carry out their business . . . hence the expressions 'nailing a deal' and cash on the nail. The oldest pillar hasn't got a date but experts say it is late Elizabethan. The second was given by Bristol merchant Robert Kitchen, who died in 1594. The two remaining nails are dated 1625 and 1631. Robert Kitchen's nail was slightly bent when it was struck by a lorry in 1963. The pillar is so heavy that a crane had to be used... Read more

George Muller

Muller's No 3 Orphan House 1901, Bristol
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It is ironic that these massive buildings that dominate the ridge at Ashley Down were known for generations as the Muller Homes. Their founder, German immigrant George Muller, was insistent on the title 'The New Orphan House' as he did not want his name to be prominent, for he considered himself merely an instrument in the venture. In fact, in his youth he must have seemed an unlikely candidate for such benevolent activities, due to his dissolute lifestyle. After a great change of heart he became a minister and in 1832 was appointed joint pastor of Bethesda Chapel in Great George Street. That same year he started an orphanage at no 6 Wilson Street, St Pauls, near to where Elizabeth Blackwell once lived. The Blackwell house, though dilapidated, still stands but the Muller house was pulled down several years ago. Over time George Muller rented several other houses in Wilson Street, to accommodate the increasing number of orphans he took into care. As the work expanded he realised that these rented houses... Read more

Historic St Peter's Hospital

St Peter's Hospital 1901, Bristol
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St Peter's Hospital was one of Bristol's finest and most historic buildings, which had been home to pirates and an alchemist as well as a mint and a workhouse among many other uses. It was destroyed in the blitz 1941. This photograph shows St Peter's Hospital in Peter Street, where the Register Office occupied part of the ground floor. The building on the left is St Peter's Church (c1930). This building was in Peter Street, between St Peter's Church and the Floating Harbour. It was destroyed by the blitz on 24 November 1940 and its history was as follows: 1402 - The original building was constructed by John Corne for the merchant Thomas Norton (an alchemist who lost a fortune trying to turn base metal into gold). It comprised of three bays with gables. 1580 - Ownership passed to the Newton family. 1602 - Ownership passed to Robert Chalmers. 1607 - Ownership passed to Robert Aldworth, a wealthy merchant who introduced sugar refining to Bristol at these premises. 1612 - Aldworth... Read more

The Port of Bristol

The Docks 1953, Bristol
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Bristol's great heritage started from humble beginnings. An Anglo-Saxon settlement by the name of Brigstowe steadily grew into a thriving port. After the Norman invasion of 1066, a castle was built in what is now known as Castle Park. The port continued to flourish and Bristol became one of England's principal ports. John Cabot sailed from Bristol aboard the 'Matthew in 1497, a voyage that led to him discovering Newfoundland. Bristol's involvement in the slave trade actually dates back to the 15th century when England bought sugar from Portuguese plantations on the island of Madeira. In 1497 John Cabot set sail from Bristol to North America to explore colonization. In 1607 the settlement of Jamestown was founded in Virginia. In 1623 England established a colony on the island of St Kitts, and in 1625 staked its first settlement on Barbados. During the 1660s the demand for sugar increased the need for slave labor on the islands. In 1672 the London-based Royal African Company was established with a monopoly on African slave... Read more

St John's Gate Broad Street

Broad Street c1935, Bristol
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St John's Gate in Broad Street in Bristol is the only surviving medieval city gateway, at one one time there were seven gates into the old city. Fortified gateways pierced the town wall at intervals. St John's Gateway, originally one of these, is the only Bristol one to survive. Portcullis channels are still visible within the arch. Queen Elizabeth I rode through here on entering the city in 1574. St John's Church was built on the wall at this gateway at the end of the 14th century, when a new outer wall was constructed. Originally a single gateway, the side passages were pushed through in 1820. During the Middle Ages, this site provided water for the parishioners (it was the overflow, from a conduit bringing water from Brandon Hill for the Carmelite monks. Later, the conduit provided a necessary water supply, for Bristolians during the blitz of the Second World War, as the city centre's plumbing had been destroyed during bombings. The niches containing the statues of Brennus and Belinus are... Read more

Bristol Blitz

The Bridge And The Church of St Nicholas 1901, Bristol
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The High Street - the scene of many stirring events in Bristol's history and the heart of the city - was destroyed and lost forever during the Second World War. As a city with docks and industry at its heart, Bristol was a natural target for German bombing during the Second World War. The German Luftwaffe were able to trace a course up river from Avonmouth using reflected moonlight. This path brought them right into the heart of the city. The presence of the aircraft manufacturing industry in Filton, North Bristol, also added to the likelihood of the city being a bombing target. There were six major bombing raids between 24th November 1940 and 11th April 1941. During this time over 1,400 people were killed and much of the built environment of the city centre was destroyed. During the first air raid almost a quarter of the medieval city (the area of Castle Park), historic buildings (the 17th-century timber-framed Dutch House and St Peter's Hospital), and four churches (St Peter's, interior of St... Read more

Corn Exchange

Corn Exchange, Corn Street 2005, Bristol
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Before the railways (railroads) came, there was no particular reason why people in Bristol, England should keep the same time as people in London. At that time there was no practical way of communicating information about time over a distance. When the telegraph made such communication possible, it became necessary for people living in one area to agree that they would not keep their own local time, but would all keep a time based on the local standard meridian. Bristol is at 2 35' West of Greenwich, so when it is noon in Bristol is just past 10 past noon (twelve) in London. There is still a relic of this change; the clock over the old Corn Exchange in Bristol has two minute hands. The black minute hand shows Greenwich Mean Time and the red minute hand shows Bristol time! "Jeffrey Archer, Time Lord" Still mounted on the wall above the Corn Exchange in Corn Street is unique evidence of what happens when man tries to mess about with... Read more

Memories of Bristol Docks

The Docks 1953, Bristol
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The large vessel in the foreground is a pleasure steamer belonging to Campbells, the 'Empress Queen', and was the first screw steamer owned by the company. The vessel on the opposite bank was a William Sloan steamer, registered at Leith, although her name, partly obscured, was not one of their regulars and may have been on charter whilst either the 'Annan' or 'Findhorn' was in dry dock. They operated from Glasgow on a weekly run from that port to Dublin and Bristol. The company became part of Coast Lines in 1958 and their colours disappeared around 1968. Behind the cranes, which were dismantled around 1980, lie the massive tobacco bonds which were dynamited in the 1980s in what was described at the time as the biggest explosion anywhere in the country since the Second World War.
(Added by the Frith Memory Archivist from a letter supplied by Mr S J Woodley)

Lost And Found in Bristol

Our family had returned to England at the very end of 1948 from a short overseas BOAC posting in Montreal. My father, a BOAC pilot, was due to begin training to fly Boeing Stratocruisers at Filton in 1949, and along with other crew families we were placed on a new housing estate in Westbrook Road. Shortly before Christmas 1951 my older brother (8) and I went shopping in the Centre travelling in by bus, I was nearly five (imagine allowing that in 2013!) We were told to stick close together, and did so until we entered a crowded store in Broadmead (I think it was M & S, but it may have been different in '51.) My brother told me to hold onto his raincoat belt, but the crowds were so packed I lost my grip, and lost my brother. He'd told me to wait by the doors if we became split up, and I did so for nearly an hour before realising there were doors at both ends !... Read more

The N.H.S. - Early Years to Retirement

The Transport Department at Southmead Hospital when I joined them consisted of an officer, foreman, and four porter drivers, with two buses, three vans, and two cars. We were responsible for supplying the group hospitals with staff, goods, and laundry. The group was comprised of nine hospitals, Southmead itself, Almondsbury, Thornbury, Berkeley, Ham Green, Clevedon, and the Clifton nursing homes, St Brenda’s, Walker Dunbar, and Mortimer House. Mother and I had moved to a basement flat at No 8 Royal York Crescent, so that mother could be near David and Heather (his wife) that had the top flat in the same house. Dennis and Eunice (his wife) lived across the road. I think brother John and his wife Dorothy were living in Clifton at the time as well. After a few weeks of travelling to and from the hospital from Clifton by Bus, I decided to get a car and bought a second hand Humber. This lasted until one... Read more

To Sea

The Seagoing Years. I must have left the Army sometime in August or September of 1949, and went back to C.J.King & son, tug owners, to carry on with my job as deck boy. This was not to my liking, as I was now twenty, and scrubbing floors for 3 quid a week all hours of the day and night was beneath my dignity, even though I was only getting 26 Shillings in the Army, but that was all found, sort of. I thought I should move on and go deep sea (foreign going ships). This meant applying to the Shipping Federation at Bristol, where I was told that the only jobs on offer were for firemen and trimmers, and as I did not have any... Read more

THE ARMY

The Army My call up papers came with a railway warrant for Gloucester, where I and another group of lucky lads, were picked up by army lorry and taken to the barracks of the Gloucester Regiment for our six weeks basic training. Unloaded at the barrack square, we were marched (shambled) to our huts, then to the QM stores for uniform and kit. The Army does not give you your kit, it is yours “for the use of” during your stay. To-wit, one best battle dress, one belt, one hat, one pair of boots hobnailed, (for the endless polishing of) two shirts, one tie, socks, cellular drawers (two pairs, for the use of), not forgetting what the Sargent called my best friend, one short magazine Lee Enfield point 303 mark three, rifle, but after cleaning and heaving it about for six weeks, I did not feel very friendly toward it, and was glad to hand it back when I became a driver, apparently drivers don’t have best friends. All these things... Read more

Leaving School

So! Back to 11 Woburn Place, back to school on Hope Chapel Hill back to Hotwells golden mile with its 15 pubs. The War was still going on but there was only limited bombing and some daylight raids, the city was in a dreadful state of ruined factories and bomb damaged houses and dockyards. While we had been away, our older brother John had joined the 92nd Sea Scout Troop, so I went along with him and joined up as well, later David and Dennis also joined the Scouts. We had a Troop Room in an old Police station next to the Sailors Rest in Hotwells opposite the entrance lock to Cumberland Tidal Basin. The main room had been where the local fire engine had been kept, and there was a small yard with two prisoner cells where we stored our tents and camping equipment. The troop had a 30 foot mahogany open whaler, and two small canoes, that we used in the Floating... Read more

War

The Blitz started with the Sirens wailing in the early evenings, to warn of the approach of enemy planes. Then complete silence for quite a long time as we waited with mounting apprehension in the passage way, mother, myself, Dennis and David with father watching at the front door, John would not get out of bed for anything. The drone of approaching bombers heralded the beginning of the air raid. Then the thunder of anti-aircraft guns, and the clink of shrapnel, falling in the street outside. We could see the brilliant glare of the silently falling magnesium flares, shining through the skylight over our stairs as they lit up the City, and knew that the bombs would soon follow. First we would hear the whoosh of falling incendiary bombs that would start fires in the timber yards, factories and dockyards. Then the whistle of bombs coming down that would end it terrific explosions, shaking the house if they fell close by. Some nights... Read more

Growing Up

I was born on the 24th of July 1929 above a shop next to a pub called the Rose of Denmark, in Hotwells, Bristol, very convenient for Father to wet his whistle and my head at the same time. Father was born in 1893, Mother in 1895. They were married on the 9th August 1924. My older brother John was born in 1927. Two months after I was born the New York stock market crashed, but I don’t think that was anything to do with the news of my birth. Earliest memories are few, but one or two stand out. We had moved to a flat in Freeland Place, as far as I know, my brother John and I with our mother and father, when I was about two or three and John about five or six. I don’t remember much about this place, but I do remember mother one day taking me just down the road, to the Clifton Rocks railway and having a ride up through... Read more

Lunch on Founder's Day at Christmas Steps!

Christmas Steps c1935, Bristol
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I was a 'Red Maid' from 1966-72, and at the end of November it was 'Founder's Day' commemorating the founding of the school by John Whitson in 1634. As Bristolians will well know the Red Maids walked from John Whitson's tomb to the Cathedral on College Green for a memorial service. After that service I remember having lunch with my parents at Christmas Steps - wonderful fish and chips! Since 1987 we have lived in the US, and I came across these wonderful photos whilst trying to research any history of my great grandmother Harriet S. Spurrier!

Bristol, Christmas Steps Chippy And Madame Virtue 1960's

Christmas Steps c1935, Bristol
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The family that ran this shop in the early 1960's were the Stefano family. I was at school with Peter Stefano who later took a pizza franchise in Baldwin Street. In the mid 60's I and friends bought 2nd hand demob suits from Madame Virtue (theatrical costumiers) around the corner in Park Row, which we wore with collarless shirts and two tone shoes. Other shops on Christmas steps which we frequented were the antique/bric a brac shop where my love of antiques took shape, the joke shop where you could buy stink bombs and fake poo and the philately store where I sold old stamps given to me by my grandfather. So full of ancient smells, textures, atmosphere and memories. Tony H

Driving Out of Bristol

University c1955, Bristol
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Centre of road, driving towards the camera in his brand new ivory Ford Consul Mk II reg. 441 AAE is my recently deceased father, Captain G.G.Liles of BOAC (ex-RAF).1920-2006. We lived in Brislington from 1949-1958, until moving away to Hertfordshire. He had initially flown on crew transport from Filton to Heathrow, but when that service was terminated he had to drive there & back before each flight abroad, which was pretty exhausting in his old Morris, hence the new car.

Bristol Docks

The Docks 1960, Bristol
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When I was a little boy we used to visit my Aunt and Uncle in Bristol and on the way Grandfather very often stopped the car so as I could watch the ships unloading their cargos. The sights, sounds and smells will live on in my memory for the rest of my life. Long may the people of this fascinating area maintain, share and enjoy their heritage!!

Docks

The Docks 1953, Bristol
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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.

Bristol's Tramway Centre

The City Centre 1900, Bristol
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I wonder just how many romances started after meeting under Bristol's old Tramways Clock, the time-piece once at the heart of George White's electric transport system? The mock Tudor facade to which it clings officially Nos 1-3 St Augustine is a familiar landmark on the Centre even today. It was the home of Bristol's tram and bus company and its enquiry office from 1896 until 1978 when the doors were finally locked by Senior Inspector Jack Warren. The Inspector was then presented with the key by General Manager Ken Wellman to commemorate his 47 years with the company. At the time Bristol Omnibus Company which was jointly owned by the City Council, was losing money hand over fist. The following year it lost an estimated £1 million. The old St. Augustine's Place building had been the Registered Offices of the Company from 1935 until 1970, which is the year that it moved to the spanking new six-storey Berkeley House at Lawrence Bill. Electric trains had started to take over... Read more

Tennis Courts Portway Bristol

Tennis Courts c1935, Bristol
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These Clifton Tennis Courts alongside Bristol's Portway road were built just after the road was opened. The new built Portway from Bristol to Avonmouth a very modern road in its day. The wide A4 Portway trunk road passes along the south-west edge of Sea Mills and links central Bristol with its outport at Avonmouth. Running parallel to the serpentine path of the River Avon, the Portway was the most expensive road in Britain when it was opened in 1926. Both the Portway and the railway line have bridges over the harbour outfall into the Avon. Ocean-going ships used to sail past Sea Mills, going to and from Bristol Docks. Nowadays most of the shipping is in the form of pleasure craft, Bristol's main docks now being at Avonmouth and Portbury.

The Horsefair, Broadmead, Bristol BS1.

Broadmead c1953, Bristol
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This 1953 photo shows Bristol's Horsefair in Broadmead not long before the rebuilding of Broadmead after the blitz of theSecond World War. Broadmead runs between Union Street and Penn Street, and was a part of the regeneration of the city centre following the destruction of the Second World War. Broadmead emerged as the central area for shopping in post-war Bristol. In the late 1990s a large shopping mall at Cribbs Causeway was developed and it soon became a major shopping centre for the region. Broadmead - Bristol's first pedestrianised shopping centre. Bristol's post-war shopping centre turned out very differently than the dream of the bleak blitz years. The new-look Bristol was being considered as early as 1941, while Nazi bombers still flew overhead. But rows between the council and local businesses and the lack of expert councillors led to lengthy delays. The government of the time was urging blitzed cities to look at rebuilding as urgently as possible. Bristol, where the planning officer was actually a traffic engineer, took years to... Read more

Redcliffe Bascule Bridge

The New Bascule Bridge c1950, Bristol
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This photograph shows Redcliffe Bascule Bridge which can only be lifted by prior arrangements with the Harbour Master. Today the speed limit within the Floating Harbour is 6mph, and craft proceeding under the Prince Street, Redcliffe or Bristol Bridges should sound one prolonged blast on their horn before doing so.

Bristol's Loveliest Church, St Mary Redcliffe.

St Mary Redcliffe 1887, Bristol
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St Mary Redcliffe Church. Bristol's loveliest church, St Mary Redcliffe, was described as 'the fairest, the goodliest and most famous parish church in England' by Queen Elizabeth I in 1574. Thanks to what Bristol's 1970's town planners presumably considered their finest hour, the church is surrounded by dual carriageways. Enter the church by the north portal, a magnificent structure dating to the early 14th century with an intricate hexagonal design that, intriguingly, is similar to those in mosques and courtyards in Yemen. In the churchyard lies the grave of a church cat which died in 1927. It is thought that the church's bells rang out when William Wilberforce's Bill to abolish slavery was defeated in 1791. St Mary Redcliffe is a beautiful church in the city centre of Bristol, in south-western England, and is one of the largest parish churches in the country. There isn't a graveyard as such, but outside the church on the grass area outside the main door there is one small but very unusual memorial tablet: to... Read more

Construction of Bristol's Floating Harbour

The Entrance to The Floating Harbour c1935, Bristol
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Construction of the floating harbour: In the 18th century, the docks in Liverpool grew larger and so increased competition with Bristol for the tobacco trade. Coastal trade was also important, with the area called 'Welsh Back' concentrating on trows with cargoes from the slate industry in Wales, stone, timber and coal. The limitations of Bristol's docks were causing problems to business, so in 1802 William Jessop proposed installing a dam and lock at Hotwells to create the harbour. The 530,000 scheme was approved by Parliament, and construction began in May 1804. The scheme included the construction of the Cumberland Basin, a large wide stretch of the harbour in Hotwells where the Quay walls and bollards have listed building status. Launch of the SS 'Great Britain', the revolutionary ship of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, at Bristol in 1843. The tidal new cut was constructed from Netham to Hotwells, with another dam installed at this end of the harbour. The Feeder Canal between Temple Meads and Netham provided a link to the tidal river... Read more

Bristol's Christmas Steps, Lewins Mead BS1

Christmas Steps c1950, Bristol
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This is one part of ancient Bristol that has survived, virtually unchanged apart from the signs but the city beyond is very different. At one time sailing ships moored at the bottom of these steps before the River Frome was covered over. There were three pubs on the steps, the White Horse at No 2 run by Ada Palmer, the Rainbow and Dove, run by the Hill family at No 3 (which also housed a shellfish dealer), and the Gaiety run by Mary Woodbury. There was also a sweet shop, a tobacconist, a second-hand book seller, a printers, a baker a grocer, a fried fish shop, two watchmakers and a hairdresser. Quite a little self-contained community. Rumours of ghosts in the Christmas Steps area also abound. Arlene and Susan, who own Steps to Recruitment at number 17, suspect that the houses on the south side of the street may have been built on top of an old cemetery. They have seen the ghost of a young Victorian girl, and also been joined at... Read more

Eastville Park BS5

Eastville Boating Lake c1950, Bristol
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Eastville Park is a large park with a small lake, just to the east of the M32. The lake at Eastville Park was instigated as part of a social scheme by Ernest Bevin (a well respected westcountryman) who later became Minister of Labour under Churchill in the coalition government of the Second World War and later Foreign Secretary in the Atlee Government from 1945 until his death. Eastville Park swimming pool was built in 1905, and the lake in 1909, with the present boathouse dating from 1925. Since then, local road building has resulted in the loss of the original boundaries of the park and its walls, gates and drinking fountain. The swimming pool was turned into a community garden in in the early 1980s and the bowling greens, though nearly 100 years old, are still very popular. Original Victorian drinking fountain and toilets remain.

Queens Road Clifton Bristol BS8

Queens Road 1900, Bristol
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There is no getting away from the fact that this is one the most attractive of all roads! in Bristol. In Victorian and Edwardian times, Queen' Road was home to a number of institutions. Here were the Museum and Reference Library, noted for its collection of natural history and geological exhibits, and a reference library containing over 50,000 volumes. The Art Gallery (1905) also housed a museum of antiquities on its ground floor. The Victoria Rooms (1838-42) was where in 1874 the meeting had been held to thrash out Bristol's campaign for a university, and opposite the Rooms was the Fine Art Academy. Also on Queen's Road was the Bristol branch of the Antivivisection Society. December 17th 1978 - The Provisional IRA attack Bristol seven people were injured by a bomb that exploded in the doorway of Maggs department store Queen's Road Clifton. Maggs' famous department store in Queen's Road plus many other buildings were damaged in this street during the blitz of the Second World War.

Bristol University Facts

The University From Cabot Tower c1950, Bristol
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While Bristol may be better known nowadays for being home to Wallace and Gromit than to a top-class university, its college has gained a reputation as a science leader, particularly in medicine and engineering. Founded in 1909, Bristol is a relatively new university by British standards, but it's among the most competitive. Only one in ten students is accepted. University College, Bristol, which opened in 1876 with two professors, five lecturers and just 99 students, was the first in the country to admit men and women on an equal footing.The University of Bristol opened in 1909 with 288 undergraduates and 400 other students. Here are some important dates. 1872 - John Percival, headmaster of Clifton College, writes a letter to the Oxford colleges stressing the absence of a university culture in the provinces. 1874 - Public meeting held in the Victoria Rooms to promote a 'College of Science and Literature for the West of England and South Wales'. 1876 - College council rents a house in Park Row. It's the first in the country... Read more

St James Barton Bristol BS1 The History

St James Barton c1960, Bristol
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The old St James Barton area of the city was demolished in the late 1950s to make way for Bond Street and the bus station. The rebuilding of the city started almost as soon as the Second World War had ended. The blitz destroyed many historic buildings and St James Barton was changed forever. It is now a shadow of its former self. The city continued to expand after the war and much of the modern architecture of the 1970s remains plain ugly. Bristol's post-war plans for the city turned out very differently than the dream of the bleak blitz years. From 1238 an annual fair held over fifteen days, was held here. Originally starting on July 25 (the feast day of St James) it was later changed to the first fortnight in September. The fair, which was held in the churchyard and adjoining streets, was regarded as the most important of the Bristol Fairs. By the 17th century the fair was so prominent that merchant ships sailing in to Bristol... Read more

Union Street Bristol BS1

Union Street c1965, Bristol
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Frys former chocolate factory once stood in the Union Street/Pithay area (later moved production to Somerdale Keynsham). J.S. Fry & Sons Ltd merged their financial interests with Cadbury in 1919. The earliest records of J.S. Fry & Sons go back to 1728, when a Bristol apothecary called Walter Churchman started his business. Walter Churchman must have been one of the authorities on chocolate making in his day because in 1729 he was granted Letters Patent by George II. Fry's head office once stood on the corner now the site of the Odeon Cinema.

Fairfax Street , Broadmead, Bristol BS1

This 1960s photograph shows Bristol's Fairfax Street in the Broadmead area. The large building on the left shows the former Fairfax House Department Store, later pulled down to build Bristol's Galleries Shopping Mall. The Co-op's Fairfax House was demolished and replaced by The Galleries car park. When it opened, as the Bristol Co-ops flagship department store, at 11am on Thursday March 29. 1962. the general manager Mr Cavender said optimistically: "Fairfax House can become Bristol's Picadilly Circus". Needless to say it didn't. At the slap-up lunch in the store's own restaurant he concluded Fairfax House has been designed "with the desire that it should be a credit to the city of Bristol and particularly to our own membership and it can truly be described as the only store that has been built for from the savings of ordinary people." Lord Alexander of Hillsborough, the Bristol-born VIP who had been a Labour and Co-op MP in Sheffield until 1950, cut the whte ribbon tape at the Union Street entrance and said, as... Read more

Broadmead The Horsefair Bristol BS1

The Horse Fair c1960, Bristol
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This 1960s photograph of Bristol's Horsefair in Broadmead shows the two swish large department stores of Lewis's (far right of photo) and and its huge neighbour Jones. (Lewis's now John Lewis no connection and Jones now Debnhams) Bristol had watched the two giants take shape alongside each other on the Horsefair BS1 . . . the two swish department stores that would put Bristol back on the map as the region's top shopping centre. There was the 'ocean liner-shaped' Lewis's complete with its exciting plans for a roof garden overlooking central Bristol and its huge neighbour Jones. Four years earlier Bristol had been agog when the Bristol Post revealed on October 2nd, 1953 that: "Work will begin soon on Bristol's largest departmental store. "Today Jones and Co Ltd, who lost their store in Wine St and High St in the blitz of November 1940, released details of the proposed new building. "It will rise to five floors. It will extend over the area bounded by Bond St and St James's Barton... Read more

Bristol, High Street And The Blitz 1940

High Street 1890, Bristol
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Bristol's High Street scene of many strirring events in Bristol's history the heart of the city was destroyed and lost forever in 1940. As a city with docks and industry at its heart, Bristol was a natural target for German bombing during World War Two. The German Luftwaffe were able to trace a course up river from Avonmouth using reflected moonlight. This path brought them right into the heart of the city. The presence of the aircraft manufacturing industry in Filton, North Bristol, also added to the likelihood of the city being a bombing target. There were six major bombing raids between 24th November 1940 and 11th April 1941. During this time over 1,400 people were killed and much of the built environment of the city centre was destroyed. During the first air raid almost a quarter of the medieval city (the area of Castle Park), historic buildings (the 17th century timber framed Dutch House and St Peter's Hospital), and four churches (St Peter's, interior of St Nicholas, St Mary-le-Port and Temple) were... Read more

Memories of Bristol Zoo, Clifton

The Zoo c1960, Bristol
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Clifton Zoo was founded in 1835 by a group of eminent local citizens and opened to the public in 1836. It is the fifth oldest in the world, and the oldest one that is not in a capital city. There were 220 shareholders who subscribed the capital to enable the land to be bought and the Zoo to be built. Some of the descendants of these original shareholders are still connected with the Zoo to this day, but their only benefit is free admission. Alfred the Gorilla. Alfred enjoys a unique position in the cultural history of Bristol. He was one of the first gorillas to be successfully kept in captivity. He became an international animal star, similar to Guy the gorilla and ChiChi the giant panda. In life he was an icon for the city through times of peace and war. His powerful persona and image have been etched on the collective memory of the city and have survived long after his death. Alfred in Africa He was found as a... Read more

Bristol's Cabot's Tower

Cabot Tower c1935, Bristol
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Bristol's Cabot's Tower, and the penny pinching Council. Bristol's most prominent land mark, the Cabot Tower, was 100 years old in 1998. But the official opening was marked by a disastrous fire, a confidence trick and some rather clever council penny pinching. The foundation stone of the Cabot Tower was laid on Brandon Hill in 1897, the 400th anniversary of John Cabot's journey to the New World. It was supposed to simply commemorate the Matthew's journey, until someone on the council came up with a great idea to help raise the cash. Money for the tower had to be found from public subscriptions, and the promoters encouraged wider interest with a neat bit of marketing. They pointed out that it was also Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee Year, so the tower could double up as a memorial to 'the 60th year of Her Majesty's glorious reign'. Clever stuff; it raised 5,000. By July 1898, the 75ft tower (105ft to the top of the spire) had been completed at a cost of 3,250, but... Read more

John Cabot The History

John Cabot Statue 2005, Bristol
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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 Island, on June 24, 1497. As so little is known about this voyage, which landing-place to celebrate is a matter for politicians, with Bonavista or St John's in Newfoundland, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Labrador, or Maine all being possibilities. Cape Bonavista, however, is the location recognised by the governments of Canada and the United Kingdom as being Cabot's official landing. His men may have been the first Europeans to set foot on the North American mainland since the Vikings, whose voyages half a millenium earlier were unknown in the age of discovery. On the homeward voyage his sailors incorrectly thought they were going too far north, so Cabot sailed... Read more

Victorian Horse-Drawn Omnibus on The Park Street

Tram in Park Street 1900, Bristol
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This shows an early Victorian horse-drawn omnibus on the Park Street, Clifton, City Centre Bristol Zoo route. The fleet commenced with various horse trailers, totalling 109 with 678 horses. These were eventually replaced by electric cars which totalled 237. The last new batch was built in 1920 to the same basic open top design and style as those of twenty years before. With a few exceptions all cars were rebuilt as the 'standard' car through the 1920s and 1930s. Park Street was very steep, and at times two trace horses were added to haul the omnibus up this rather steep hill (very cruel for the poor horses).

The Llandoger Trow History

Ye Llandoger Trow c1961, Bristol
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Bristol's historic King Street. The Llandoger Trow inn on right of photograph.King Street is a 17th-century street in the historic city centre of Bristol. The street lies just south of the old town wall and was laid out in 1650 in order to develop the Town Marsh, the area then lying between the south or Marsh Wall and the Avon. The north side was developed first and the south side in 1663, when the street was named after Charles II. The Llandoger Trow - It is rumoured that Daniel Defoe had met Alexander Selkirk in the Llandoger on whom he based his book Robinson Crusoe. The Llandoger is also supposed to be the model for The Admiral Benbow pub in the book 'Treasure Island', Blackbeard who also came from Bristol may even have drank at The Llandoger. However none of this can be proven. Although the pub now has 3 cellars there may have been more than this with a network of underground tunnels, the remains of one was found in... Read more

Park Street , Bristol BS1

Park Street 1900, Bristol
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My, how Bristol's once prestigious Park Street has changed. The picture from a hundred years ago shows just what a graceful place it was to shop in those Edwardian days of long ago. Strolling up, on the left, one could visit Avery's or Gilbey's for your wines and spirits, Arthur Cave or Bowen and Co, for a new suit and then pop into number 45, which housed the Servant's Registry, to see if they had managed to find you that extra housemaid yet. You could then spend a while in Chicott's (it's still there, a rare survivor) perusing their jewellery before going on to Curry and Paxton to see if your new spectacles had been dispensed. On reaching the top you could see if that new book was in George's, still there today but now belonging to Blackwell's. On the other side of the street were yet more tailors, high-class milliners and costumiers, and at number 22, sandwiched between the grocers and the post office, was Norman Smith, saddler's and... Read more

Rebuilding Bristol in The 1950s

Broadmead c1965, Bristol
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When Bristol started rebuilding in the 1950s, it promised itself a shopping centre fitting for the Young Elizabeth age of the new Queen Elizabeth II. The old, much-loved Wine Street, Castle Street, shops had gone up in flames in the first big blitz of November 1940. The new centre, it was decided, would look towards the future. Fine plans were prepared, creating four roomy, open piazzas on the square-shaped Broadmead area. Cars would be banned and the shops serviced in off-peak hours by lanes behind the piazzas. Pedestrians would rule. It wasn't to be. Traders were horrified at the thought of a centre where motorists wouldn't be allowed to park outside their front door and jeered at the idea of traffic-free pedestrian precincts. The traders won. The service lanes were widened into main roads with high street frontages, the piazzas shrank to grubby service areas behind the shops and Broadmead was blighted. But those original designers had the last laugh. Today the roads the traders demanded have become pedestrian precincts and Broadmead's... Read more

Bombing Raids in 1940

Bridge 1901, Bristol
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Bristol's premier shopping centre was turned into a wasteland of burned out buildings after major bombing raids in 1940, during the Second World War. Bridge Street Summary Bridge Street ran from High Street, rising up a gentle slope and turning left to the junction of Mary-le-Port Street, Dolphin Street and Peter Street. Back of Bridge Street was between Bridge Street and the Floating Harbour (the Floating Harbour took five years to build and was opened on 1 May 1809). Where Bridge Street stood was known as Worship Street in the Middle Ages and later it was called The Shambles. In 1776 Bridge Street was constructed, taking its name from the adjacent Bristol Bridge. The street numbers of the buildings ran consecutively along the southern side from Peter Street to High Street (Nos 1-26) and then back along the opposite side to Mary-le-Port Street (Nos 27-46). The south side (Nos 4-26) was designed by Thomas Paty and, when new, formed what must have been one of the most impressive shopping streets in Bristol. The buildings were in... Read more

Tales of College Green

College Green 1887, Bristol
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This shows College Green and its grand posh upmarket shops, at a time in the past when parking wasn't a problem. Many famous people lived round the Green over the years including Mary Robinson; actress and mistress of the Prince of Wales, Sam Worrall; the town clerk taken in by the fraudulent Princess Caraboo and involved in the terrible Bristol Bridge massacre, and poets Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey In the eighteenth century it was a very fashionable residential quarter. By this century, it was a pleasant park surrounded by trees and railings. They once buried their dead here and made a few groats on the side by letting out the land for cattle and for a rope walk (a place where strands were twisted into rope). But after an access row with the brothers of St Mark opposite ((now the Lord Mayor's Chapel), the canons were told they could carry on using the land as a burial ground, but only if they left it flat with no markers -... Read more

Bristol City Docks The History

The Docks c1950, Bristol
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Bristol's great heritage started from humble beginnings. An Anglo-Saxon settlement by the name of Brigstowe steadily grew into a thriving port. After the Norman invasion of 1066, a castle was built in what is now known as Castle Park. The port continued to flourish and Bristol became one of England's principal ports. John Cabot sailed from Bristol aboard the 'Matthew' in 1497, a voyage that led to him discovering Newfoundland. Bristol's involvement in the slave trade actually dates back to the 15th century when England bought sugar from Portuguese plantations on the island of Madeira. In 1497 John Cabot set sail from Bristol to North America to explore colonization. In 1607 the settlement of Jamestown was founded in Virginia. In 1623 England established a colony on the island of St Kitts, and in 1625 staked its first settlement on Barbados. During the 1660s the demand for sugar increased the need for slave labor on the islands. In 1672 the London-based Royal African Company was established with a monopoly on African slave... Read more

Bristol's Lost Streets

Merchant Street c1965, Bristol
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A list of just some streets which have disappeared or changed their names since 1900. Barr's Street (Lane until 1848) - Milk Street to St James's Barton - demolished and built over post-war for Broadmead Shopping Centre. Barton Alley - widened in 1860s and became Bond Street. Carey's Lane - Old Market Street to Ropewalk - demolished for underpass and roundabout. Castle Mill Street - Merchant Street to Narrow Weir - blitzed, now Newgate. Clark Street - now Midland Road. College Street - Anchor Lane (now Road) to College Green - Deanery Road built and houses later demolished 1950s. Counterslip - although the name remains,it was transferred from the original Countess Quay to a new road off Victoria Street in the 1960s. Cross Street - off College Street - removed for building of Council House on College Green. Dolphin Street - Union Street to Bridge Street - destroyed by blitz, now part of Castle Park. Duck Lane - off Nelson Street - now part of Fairfax Street. Ellbroad Street - Narrow Weir to Redcross Street - removed post-war... Read more

Christmas Street Lewins Mead

Christmas Street c1950, Bristol
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Christmas Street, Lewins Mead. Christmas Street was originally Knyfesmyth Street. When the knifesmiths moved away and anyway tended to be known as cutlers instead, the word gradually got corrupted and changed into something a little more familiar to people of a later time. So the stepped Queen Street by association became Christmas Steps.

Eastville Park

Eastville Boating Lake c1950, Bristol
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Eastville Park swimming pool was built in 1905, and the lake in 1909, with the present boathouse dating from 1925. Since then, local road building has resulted in the loss of the original boundaries of the park and its walls, gates and drinking fountain.

The swimming pool was turned into a community garden in in the early 1980s and the bowling greens, though nearly 100 years old, are still very popular. Original Victorian drinking fountain and toilets remain.

Bristol's Queen Square

Queen's Square c1950, Bristol
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Driving a major road through Queen Square. It is located in the historic heart of Bristol, just off Bristol's Floating Harbour, about half a kilometre south of the city's main shopping area, Broadmead. The square was begun around 1700 and was the first landscaped residential square in England outside London. Queen Square in 1937 as workmen begin the first stages of driving a road across the green to make way for the motor-car, Now, some 60 years later, a new generation of workmen are preparing to tear it up again and restore the peace and tranquility of one of the largest and finest Georgian squares in Europe. (Bristol is now anti-traffic.) Queen Square before the road was built. By the late 1820s, however, the desirability of Queen Square had begun to wane. By the 20th century most of the buildings were in business use and in multiple occupation. The layout of the square however remained largely unaltered from 1776 to 1936. Then, despite a public outcry, a dual-carriageway - Redcliffe Way,... Read more

Pero's Bridge

Pero's Bridge 2005, Bristol
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The warehousing which dominated Prince Street, Narrow Quay and Prince's Wharf have been found new uses, largely cultural and media-based. The industry on Canon's'Marsh has gone, replaced by the new industry of tourism. With the construction of Pero's bridge, Bristol has continued the process of reuniting the two sides of its quay, creating and re-creating its topography to meet the needs of a different age.

Queen's Road

Queens Road 1900, Bristol
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There is no getting away from the fact that this is one the most attractive of all roads in Bristol. In Victorian and Edwardian times, Queen's Road was home to a number of institutions. Here were the Museum and Reference Library, noted for its collection of natural history and geological exhibits, and a reference library containing over 50,000 volumes. The Art Gallery (1905) also housed a museum of antiquities on its ground floor. The Victoria Rooms (1838-42) was where in 1874 the meeting had been held to thrash out Bristol's campaign for a university, and opposite the Rooms was the Fine Art Academy. Also on Queen's Road was the Bristol branch of the Antivivisection Society.

Hill The The Long Distance Runner

The Docks 1953, Bristol
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I was stationed at Chilwell barracks near Nottingham in 1953. There was a very tall lad in my barracks by the name of Hill. he came from Bristol a place I have never been to. He was a long distance runner in civvy street. We haven't met since I was demobbed in September 1953. I know he was very friendly with a lad from Kent while doing his service and we had many conversations during out time there. I cannot recall his first name. It would be nice to hear how he is getting along now we are both old age pensioners. Les May   e-mail  lsmy59@aol.com

Can You Help?

Bridge 1901, Bristol
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Can anyone tell me if this photo is taken looking towards Victoria Street or towards High Street? In the 1860's my ancesters had a business "W & F Boucher, Tea Dealers" at 1 Bridge Parade, Bristol which was just at the end of the bridge on the Victoria Street side, before the crossroads. Could the building in the photograph, advertising Lloyds Tea, be their business? Hoping someone can help!

Western Square Hotwells

Western Square, Hotwells, was one of two small squares facing Cumberland Basin, Hotwells. I cannot remember the name of the other one, the pub, one of two, was called the Pilot. I knew a lad called Brian Simms in the sea scouts at that time.

Church in Hotwells

St Augustine the Less was in Hotwells, Bristol, on Hotwells Road oposite Dowry Parade. I think it was demolished after the war, and replaced with a block of flats.

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.

Fisher Family

My grandfather was born in Bristol in 1900, he was Henry Fisher, born 11 Walpole Street, Bristol. His father was Henry Fisher who was a master hairdresser, his mother Lavinia had a brother Reginald and two sisters Mable and Beatie. I do not know much about my grandfather's life in Bristol but I do know that he married my grandmother Hilda in Hampshire. I am not sure when he left Bristol for Hampshire but he brought his wife and three young children of which the eldest was my father Henry and George and Dorothy and had two children Ronald and Olive. I do have a few addresses for the family, in 1891 my great-grandfather's address was 38 Lower Ashley Road, Bristol, in 1901 my grandfather was born then the address was 2 Armada Place, Bristol. In 1911 my grandfather's address was 154 Cheltenham Road, Bristol. My father was born in 1922 I think my father he was around 7 years old his brother George was around 6 years old and... Read more

OPEN SPACES AND INDUSTRY

I visit family and friends occasionally on returning to my birth place of Bristol. I still enjoy as I did as a child 'The Downs' and 'Blaise Castle Estate'. Then particularly the paddling pool in the summer which we all frequented, taking a picnic. The woods at all times of year with the beechwood being my favourite and which I often visit now. They take me back to my childhood where we could then spend hours exploring our open spaces without fear, but often to much annoyance of our parents as we often lost track of time. We played and walked to our hearts-content! This has continued to my life now the enjoyment of walking in known and new places as much as possible.
Bristol Docks also held much excitement for me and friends as we wandered along near to the bonded warehouses and shipping looking at what was being loaded and unloaded. All fascinating and which also fitted into place with our education at... Read more

My Grandfather

My grandfather was born in Bristo,l he was Henry Fisher born 1900, his father was also Henry Fisher and was a master hairdresser, his mother was Lavinia. He had brothers Reginold and Ronald and sisters Mabel, Beatrice and Doris. My father came to live in Bristol with his father and mother Hilda with his brother George and sister Dorothey around 1930. My grandfather and grandmother had two more children while they lived in Bristol, Ronald born 1930 and Olive born 1934, I am not sure if there were any more chidren born there to them. They may have lived there for around 10 years so they must have gone to school there, I do not know anything about them there or much about my father's family. They moved the family to Hampshaire where they stayed. I would love to know more about them all, maybe someone knows the Fisher family and can tell me more.

Reception

I had my wedding reception here in 2004, after marrying at Quakers Friars, we were lucky enough to be some of the last couples to marry there. I am Bristol born and both my husband and I love history, so it seemed appropriate. Llandoger Trow is a beautiful place as is Bristol. Long may it survive.

Archive Info' re Neg Reference B212201

The street shown in your photograph is Small Street. The shop with the blinds on the extreme right was rented by my father about 1942/3 (The fact that the shop blinds are drawn suggests the photo' may have been taken on a Sunday.) My father owned and managed the boot and shoe retailing business at the corner of Stokes Croft and Jamaica Street from about 1924 until the building was destroyed during the first major German rain on Bristol around November 1940. After a year or two my father rented the little two fronted shop in the photograph and recommenced his shoe business on a smaller scale in these premises from roughly 1942/3 until about 1952.
This means your present Archive info' (19 June 2010) is not strictly correct as the photograph must have been taken between 1942 and 1952 at which time the contract to rent came to an end.
The sign above the shop reads "Holdcroft and Company".
For the record I attended the Bristol Cathedral... Read more

Lost Places

My great-grandparents lived in a place called Western Square, Clifton. Anyone have any memories of this place?? Their name was Simms. I was told that there was a pub and a sweet shop there and maybe only 6 large houses, any help please. Thankyou, Carol.

WLA  WW2

My mother's name was Gladys Letton, she lived in Eden Grove, Horfield, she was in the WLA. Is there anyone out there that would remember her?? A great web site, thanks for any help. Carol.

Templemeads Station

My father was working on Templemeads Station around the time it was bombed, I have the feeling it was a Saturday night in the summer of 1942.  I was about four years old and we were lodging in a house by the Avon with a cellar and several storeys as my mother had decided that Bristol was safer than London.
 Unfortunately the raids started almost as soon as we arrived.  We had to  spend our nights in the Anderson shelter in the garden but my father decided we would be safer at the railway station with him where he was moving troop trains at night.(!).  Fortunately as it later happened he was injured on the line the night before the bombing and had to stay at  home so we went back into the Anderson in the garden.  In the morning, although I did not know it, Templemeads was destroyed with great loss of life.
I have other memories which may be of interest to Bristol readers such as... Read more

Lost Places of Bristol

Can anyone help me with some 'lost places' in Bristol?
I'm trying to locate where Navarino Place was...and also St-Augustine-the-Less church.
My Gtx3 grandfather died at no.6 Navarino Place in 1857 and many members of my family were christened/married at the above church. I'm trying to piece together their lives and what it would have been like for them working in Bristol at that time.

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