Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s Part Six

Back in the 1990s 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. This is the final post on these images, you can find part one, part two, part threepart four and part five.

Before the advent of North Sea gas most towns and cities had gasworks that turned coal into gas which was then used for heating and cooking. Down in the harbourside were the Bristol Gasworks. Back in the 1990s these were no longher used for making gas and were in a state of decay, but they were still used for storing North Sea gas. Since then the gas storage has been removed. The buildings were listed and due to the contamination on the site it took many years before they could be used for something else.

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You can see from this 2005 image that not much had changed in the preceding ten years to the gasworks building, but around it there was a lot of building and regeneration.

Old Gas Works

On the other side of the harbour this view is now dramatically different as a range of houses and apartments have been built.

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Even in the 1990s we already had a fair bit of development already done.

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A view up the harbour looking towards the SS Great Britain on the right.

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At this point the SS Great Britain had been back in Bristol for twenty years and was looking splendid. She didn’t have the fake water glass thingy representing water as she does now, but she was in pretty good condition and the team restoring her had done an excellent job.

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One aspect of the harbour which doesn’t change is the need for dredging.

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If you were here today you could turn around and walk over Pero’s Bridge, back then  you needed to walk around. Over on the left is the Watershed.

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Overall it was interesting to see what had changed in the last twenty years and also what hadn’t.

Time travelling by train

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At Bristol Temple Meads I did wonder if I had travelled back in time to 1976, as there was a British Rail blue and yellow engine on the platform. My train yesterday morning included a very different engine, this was a GWR High Speed Train painted in the original colours when the train entered service forty years ago in 2016.

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This was painted up specially for an event in May to celebrate forty years of the HST. I thought it was nice that only was it painted up in the original colours, but is currently being used to pull trains. It’s a pity that they couldn’t paint a whole train in the original colours.

Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s Part Five

Back in the 1990s 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. This is the fifth post on these images, you can find part one, part two, part three and part four.

Prince Street Bridge was originally a two way bridge when this photograph was taken. At some point in the last ten years I think, half was pedestrianised. Currently it is closed to all traffic.

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One of the earliest developments in the Bristol harbourside was the Lloyds bank development which was built and opened in the 1980s. Here is the view of the amphitheatre which is often used for events.

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Then the next lot of photographs are taken from the ferry, which still steams around the harbour.

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The Waverley is moored up next to the sadly missed Industrial Museum (the M Shed is no replacement)

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Slightly different view of the previous shot.

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The Arnolfini is just out of shot to the left in the final photograph of Prince Street Bridge.

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Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s Part Four

Back in the 1990s 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). Even today there is still ongoing development.

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. This is the fourth post on these images, you can find part one here, part two here and part three here.

One part of the harbourside which is still around today are the many different pleasure craft moored there. Back when Bristol was a working port you would find ships and working boats, by the 1990s and today there are boats which are used for pleasure.

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The numbers multiply when it comes to regatta time.

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One of the earliest developments in the Bristol harbourside was the Lloyds bank development which was built and opened in the 1980s.

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I remember when Lloyds merged with the TSB there was some fear that the head office would move from Bristol, in the end this did not happen.

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There are still many signs of when Bristol was a working port.

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Trenchard Street, Bristol, circa 1970s

We have been going through some old papers recently and we found the following photographs of Trenchard Street and Lodge Street in Bristol. I have taken screen grabs from Google Street View of a more recent view.

This is the view looking down Trenchard Street towards the corner with Lodge Street. The buildings seem to be rather dilapidated with boarded up doors and windows. The render is peeling off the walls. Only the modern streetlamp and double yellow lines betray that this is quite a modern photograph.

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More recently the buildings seem to have been refurbished, new doors, new windows, more glass, though sadly still some graffiti.

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This is the view in the other direction says a similar story, the peeling render looks even worse from this view.

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Today the view shows a cleaner, tidier look. There is new pavement, but we still have double yellow lines!

Trenchard Street Bristol

Similar to the Trenchard Street images, this view of Lodge Street has the buildings with peeling render, boarded up and bricked up doors and windows. In the foreground is a sign to Garage Parking and a Hertz Rent A Car dealership. There is a Ford Granada which betrays the age of the image (as do the flairs).

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When I saw this photograph of Lodge Street I had no idea where this was in Bristol. It became obvious that part of the reason is the trees which now block that view.

Lodge Street Bristol

I do like comparing old and new and it’s interesting to see what has changed and what hasn’t.

Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s Part Three

Back in the 1990s 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). Even today there is still ongoing development with recently new flats going up at Wapping Wharf.

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. This is the third post on these images, you can find part one here, and part two here.

One of the earlier developments was down by Poole’s Wharf, this was during development of that area.

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Since this image was taken (well it was nearly twenty years ago) a bridge has been built across this part of the harbourside.

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Prince Street Bridge was open both ways to traffic back then, it was certainly dicing with death as you walked across  with cars streaming through, whilst pedestrians walked along a very narrow pavement on the swinging bridge.  It then went down to one side for cars and one for pedestrians, made it a lot safer, but you had the mind all the bikes. At the moment it is closed to traffic in both directions.

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The bridge was put in place in 1809 by the Bristol Dock Company on the site of the ancient Gib ferry owned by the Dean and Chapter of Bristol Cathedral.  is operated by water hydraulic power.

This view from just up from the Arnolfini, is not too much different today, well apart from Pero’s Bridge which connected the two sides of the dock. In the distance you can see what was the Industrial Museum.

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The Old Gas Works had been derelict for many years and was a challenging area for development, mainly as the buildings were listed and also the ground was contaminated. It took many years after other development was undertaken before we saw this area get developed.

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I do have some more pictures and will post them another time.

Stuff: Top Ten Blog Posts 2015

As with my other blogs I am looking at the ten most read postings over 2015.

The tenth most read post on this blog was posted in the last two weeks of 2015, and was about WHSmith. At WHSmith you can afford to give them anything but the ordinary this Christmas contained an old advert from the high street store.

I visited Legoland in 2013 and felt that it was A bit tired and this was the ninth post in this top ten. Certainly when we went this year in 2015 there were some new models in Mainland.

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You have entered the Quiet Zone! was eighth most read post and I asked what’s the point of the Quiet Zone Carriage?

Back to Legoland for number seven, Legoland Miniland.

The sixth most read post was on Ten Incredible Sand Sculptures that have been on the beach at Weston-super-Mare over the last ten years.

Ten Incredible Sand Sculptures

The post at number 5 was from the Cinematic Advent Calendar which I posted back before Christmas in 2012. The post in question was #24 – Back to the Future and as 2015 was the year in which Marty McFly went to in the film series, it’s quite apt that it in this year’s top ten.

Back to the Future DeLorean

More Lego at number 4 with The Bat Cave in Lego.

The third most popular post was “the cafe on tv at weston super mare is it real” and the answer is, it isn’t!

Over 2015 there were seventy Shaun the Sheep sculptures places all across Bristol and the top two posts on the blog were about these Sheep. At number two was Ten out of Seventy and the most read post was about all seventy sheep, Shaun in the City.

42. Sgt. Shepherd - Shaun the Sheep

Happy New Year for 2016.


At WHSmith you can afford to give them anything but the ordinary this Christmas

WHSmith Christmas advert from 1983, click image for a larger version.

At WHSmith you can afford to give them anything but the ordinary this Christmas

Looking at the prices, you realise how much cheaper some things are today. Of course inflation means that these prices in today’s money would be much higher. The ZX Spectrum at £99.95 was expensive, today you can buy a tablet, which is a lot more powerful for as little as £50! Of you can recreate the ZX Spectrum experience for £90.

The one that surprised me was the Indiana Jones VHS for £19.95, today you can get all four films in HD on Blu-Ray for roughly the same money!

Back in the 1980s I do remember going to WHSmith to  buy Christmas presents. My local branch was in the Lion Square development in Cambridge. The top floor was records and I remember buying quite a few cassette tapes up there as well as the odd piece of vinyl.

The gaming section always looked exciting, the covers of the games always seemed to be so much better than the actual graphics of the games themselves, but that’s 1980s gaming for you.

There was something warm and comforting about the brown and orange that WHSmith had back then. Today of course they seem to have lost their way a little and I am surprised that they are still around.

So what memories of WHSmith in the 1980s do you have?

Buongiorno Italia

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Back in the mid to late 1990s I visited Italy quite a bit, usually going twice a year, once for the carnival and once in the summer. I initially would take my 35mm SLR film camera, but in later years replaced this with the first HP PhotoSmart Camera. These images are from my 35mm camera, which were developed and then scanned into the computer.

On many of those visits I went to Venice, but I have very few photographs of that place from my 35mm collection, though I have some digital ones from the PhotoSmart camera. I really liked Venice and though it was full of tourists, one of the advantages of having a friend who was  a local, was finding those really nice places for coffee, cake and pasta, that were frequented by locals. So yes you could spend €4 for a coffee in St Marks Square, the places we went to, you paid €1 for an espresso.  This photograph is one of the Grand Canal.

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The local restaurant in Venice we went to, was more of a cafe then a restaurant, but served some delicious food, the seafood pasta I had was great with clams, prawns, squid and lobster.

Another place in the area I visited was Verona.

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This is Piazza Bra in the heart of Verona.

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This is the Arena di Verona, which is a Roman amphitheatre in Piazza Bra in Verona. Back in Roman times, nearly 30,000 people could sit inside, despite its age, today 15,000 people can sit inside.

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The one place where I spent most of my time when visiting Italy was Padua.

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An early morning walk with the mist slow rising before the hot summer day.

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Interestingly from a technical perspective, the prints from those trips are still with me (in a box) however the original digital images seemed to have gone missing, they were probably backed up to a series of floppy disks that I discarded many years ago when moving house (this was in the days before cloud storage became ubiquitous and a quick and easy way to backup and store digital photographs). What I do remember from those images was how awful the quality was, 0.3MP or similar if I recall correctly.