Walking around the harbour

Spent a pleasant couple of hours walking around the Bristol Harbourside.

We were going to park in the Millennium Square Underground car park However we couldn’t quite believe the prices, so we went off to park in The Galleries instead. Not the easiest place to get to, now Baldwin Street is closed to traffic. Once parked there we headed off down Corn Street before heading down Marsh Street to Prince Street Bridge.

Moored up by the Arnolfini was the STS Lord Nelson, a sailing ship with lots of masts.

The STS Lord Nelson was a sail training ship operated by the Jubilee Sailing Trust. It is in the process of being decommissioned.

Having crossed Prince Street Bridge, we walked along Princes Wharf, on the dockside by the M Shed. The MV Balmoral was moored alongside.

MV Balmoral is a vintage excursion ship which required extensive hull work if she is to sail with passengers again.

Up by the M Shed is the Fairbairn steam crane. It can lift more tonnage than all the other remaining dockside crates combined.

As we walked along the docks I took a photograph of the old gasworks on the other side of the harbour.

There has been quite a lot of development and regeneration on that side of the harbour over the years. Back in the 1990s I did a ferry ride and took a photograph of the pre-developed area.

Another old view of that area.

We then passed Brunel’s Buttery where there were many people enjoying hot drinks and bacon butties. I don’t remember the last time I had a bacon butty from the Buttery, but I must go back at some point.

We walked past the SS Great Britain before heading inland slightly to walk past the Albion Dock.

We walked through the historic Underfall Yard before closing Merchants Road Bridge and then heading back to the centre.

As we walked long the harbourside we got a better view of the luxury yacht complete with helicopter.

There was another boat moored on Princes Wharf with a car onboard.

And to complete things off there was a small boat with a bicycle!

Having enjoyed our walk we headed back into town stopping for coffee at Caffe Nero on Corn Street.

Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s

As mentioned previously, 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 now Za Za Bazaar, but has been many different establishments over the years.

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Over on the other side of the river is Narrow Quay with The Architecture Centre and The Bristol hotel.

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Longer view down the harbourside, in the distance is the old Bristol and West building, now the Radisson Blu Hotel.

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Wet and muddy building site.

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In this view (on the left) are the Old Leadworks, you can see the chimney. This initially became offices as part of Wildscreen-at-Bristol, and I worked in those offices when I worked at at-Bristol in 1999-2000. After Wildscreen became Wildwalk and then closed, the buildings were empty for a while, but now house the Bristol Aquarium.

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Sometimes Bristol changes and sometimes it doesn’t.

Bristol Harbourside in the 1990s

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.

Watershed

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.