Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s Part One

Back when I was teaching at a college in Bristol, I use to undertake regular field trips to the Bristol Harbourside as part of a unit on urban regeneration. There was at the time to much happening down there after years of inaction that it was an ideal place to demonstrate the impact of investment and change of use. Bristol had been an important port for hundreds of years, this all came to a halt in the 1970s and regeneration plans were developed. Not much happened for twenty years, but in the last twenty years we have seen major regeneration of the area, massive building of offices, business, residential and entertainment, as well as visitor attractions such as at-Bristol (where incidentally I worked for a while when it opened).

During one of those field trips, I took my SLR camera with me, and digging around a box in the garage I found the prints, which I have since scanned in.

Bristol Harbourside

They show a different harbourside to what you can see today, but also different to how the working docks were in the 1950s and 1960s. Above you can see the Watershed, which is still around. Here is another view of the Watershed, it hasn’t changed, but the bars and cafés underneath do seem to swap and change on a regular basis.


This view hasn’t changed much in the last twenty years.

Bristol Harbourside

Whereas on the other side, we can see major construction work underway, on what is now Za Za Bazaar, but has been many different establishments over the years.

Construction in the Bristol Harbourside

At this time, there was no Pero’s Bridge either, so it was always a long walk from the LloydsTSB building amphitheatre to the Arnolfini round by the top of the harbourside. Another view, a bit further down the water.

Bristol Harbourside

Looking back over the photographs (and I may post more in a later blog post) shows how things have changed over the last twenty years (has it really been that long) and how somethings change and something remain the same.

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