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OUR CITY, OUR WORLD With astonishing stories from Professor Alice Roberts, city retrospectives and new projects, we’re looking back, moving forward, celebrating change
Fashion doyenne Alexandra Shulman
TV TIME CAPSULE
Uncovering Bristol’s most Bristolian movie
TALKIN’ ABOUT AN EVOLUTION The street art scene celebrated
WHEN WE WERE YOUNG
A dose of Noughties nostalgia
DOING BRISTOL PROUD
Portrait of a thriving community
BY THE HORNS
Bristol Bisons’ new head coach
A N D S O MUCH MORE IN THE CITY’S BIGGEST GUIDE TO LIVING I N BRIS TO L
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The Duchess’s Rouge by Inkie
Alexandra Shulman talks clothes and other things that matter
Check out Karen Freer’s LGBTQ+ portraits during Pride
Contents July 2021 REGULARS ZEITGEIST
Top activities for the month to come
Catch up on local news and meet a deep-thinking digital creative .....................................................................
FILM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Darryl W. Bullock discovers a technicolour time capsule in Bristol’s most Bristolian movie, Some People
What’s on at our local galleries and creative spaces
Community, art, politics and tech combine via The People’s Platform
A cross-section of upcoming happenings
ARTS & EXHIBITIONS
ART & AR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
M Shed’s summer exhibition pays tribute to the pivotal role Bristol has played in shaping the street art scene across the country
Big news from the scene as Penfriend follows in the footsteps of Beth Rowley and joins the ranks of Bristol’s best musical exports
It’s the final nail for Chris Yeo
PHOTOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
BRISTOL UPDATES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
LGBTQ+ Faces of Bristol, a project by Karen Freer, captures the community beautifully
Business and community news
GARDENING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 A well-designed, well-kept front garden increases a property’s saleability and creates important wildlife corridors, says Elly West
SPORT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 A chat with Bristol Bisons’ new head coach Sasha Acheson
FOOD & DRINK
WINE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
BARTLEBY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Nat Chadwick’s real beginner’s guide to wine – DIY is fun
We’re all grown up – and so is this ever-maturing city
NEWS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
RETROSPECTIVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Hello, Moto! A dose of early Noughties nostalgia
MEMORY LANE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Favourite front covers that correspond with brilliant Bristol moments, and thoughts on the city’s evolution from a few of the locals
Andrew Swift remembers his very first column back in 2004 and compares the landscape of today – how things have changed!
ARTS & CULTURE FASHION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Editor-in-chief of British Vogue for a quarter of a century, Alexandra Shulman has a few tales to tell. She chats clothing and its personal value and meaning with Melissa Blease
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Exciting new openings representing green shoots for hospitality
COVER FEATURE ARCHAEOLOGY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Bearing messages from the ancient world, Bristol-born Professor Alice Roberts talks to Millie Bruce-Watt about her latest book Ancestors
ON THE COVER Bristol-born anthropologist, biologist, broadcaster and author Professor Alice Roberts talks technology; archaeology and genetics’ collision course; and her new book. See p60 for the interview. Image: Paul Wilkinson Photography; paulwilkinsonphotography.co.uk
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Blue Surfer by 2021’s Upfest festival artist Will Barras, from M Shed’s summer exhibition (see p42)
THIS MONTH WE’RE...
Streaming... ...‘Global Carnival: A Cultural Evolution’, a discussion on the evolution of the African-Caribbean celebration with St Pauls Carnival, Notting Hill, St Lucia Carnival and Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, plus performances. 3 July. • stpaulscarnival.net
ig up, Bristol. You join us at a special juncture – our sweet 17 – which has us thinking back on how joyful it’s been to celebrate the city. We’ve changed a fair bit, we realised, as is the way of the teenager, but then, so have you. Things looked a lot different 17 years and 200 issues ago, when this magazine was first published, in fact, July 2004 called to remind us of the halcyon days of Motorola and MySpace Tom (good move, getting out before big tech got gory). But mostly to ask us to stop mocking its fashion (ugg, literally). Millie Bruce-Watt rewinds and hits play on the early Noughties nostalgia on p14. We also dug out our first issue and a few in between to find fave covers corresponding with brilliant Bristol moments (p16). A handful of locals chipped in too, with memories from that first year in print; chapters of city life it coincided with. Andrew Swift takes a look at the landscape and recalls changes he’s witnessed since he began writing for us (p22), while Darryl W. Bullock discovers a technicolour time capsule from the 1960s in Bristol’s most Bristolian movie (p46) and Bartleby reflects on a much matured city (p12). We’re talkin’ about an evolution in art, too. M Shed’s summer exhibition pays tribute to our street art scene, its boisterous energy and instrumental role in developing the subculture country-wide (p42). Meanwhile on p26 Melissa Blease asks Alexandra Shulman what’s in a wardrobe. They talk about the former Vogue editor’s new book, dislike for postpandemic prairie styles, struggle to let go of the Seventies, and hankering to be home with half a lager and lime whenever she’s halfway across the world doing something glamorous. Our cover star, Professor Alice Roberts, gets close to the bone(s) on p60 with astonishing stories of ancient Britain – some buried in mistruths for millennia. We’re talking cannibalism in Cheddar Gorge, and the stealthy installation of ‘stalactites’ and ‘stalagmites’ from Weston-super-Mare in its ‘beautiful natural cave’ – made of Victorian concrete... The professor looks forward as well as back though, and is fully behind OurWorld Bristol’s proposal to create a global-first augmented reality zoo on the Bristol Zoo Gardens site, currently due to close in 2022. Also positively orientating towards the future with AR is the The People’s Platform, bringing to life, on that famous empty plinth, digital sculpture designed to reflect common values (p44). We’ve gorgeous LGBTQ+ portraits by Karen Freer (at the Tobacco Factory for Pride) on p52, plus inclusive rugby team Bristol Bisons’ head coach Sacha Acheson (p55); and we’re popping the champagne corks for local songwriter and producer Penfriend, whose album recently hit the UK top 25 (p50). Thank you to everyone who has contributed over the issues or cooked up something interesting for us to write about. The years have flown.
...To no-nonsense, New Yorkesque punkinfused rock from Bristol three-piece and Sunday Times breaking act I Destroy. Their debut album We Are Girls is out now. • idestroyband.co.uk
At Lost Horizon – a playground of performance brought to St Judes by Glastonbury’s Shangri-La team. Expect Baby Soul, Beans on Toast, Carmen Monoxide, Chris Tofu and more. • losthorizonlive.com
One for the diary: The Bristol Memory Walk takes place this autumn. Hundreds of Alzheimer’s Society supporters will put their best foot forward at Lloyds Amphitheatre on Saturday 4 September to raise money for the charity.
AMANDA NICHOLLS EDITOR
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...Bristol on its Gold Sustainable Food City status – recognising social, environmental and economic work. Also Gloucester Road deli El Colmado, named one of the world’s best food shops by the Financial Times.
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top things to do in JULY
Watch Downpour Theatre Company brings its production of Queen Margaret to St Paul’s Church, Clifton, on 17 July (2.30pm and 7.30pm), as part of Bristol Shakespeare Festival. Inspired by Shakespeare’s Henry VI triology, Jeanie O’Hare uses original text alongside new dialogue to retell the Wars of the Roses through the eyes of Margaret of Anjou. Hungry for power and angered by the weakness of their king, the nobles of Henry VI’s court plot and scheme against each other. As Henry wavers and the factions split, Queen Margaret is determined to protect the crown. £15 per adult, £10 per concession, with additional dates available in Gloucester, Bath and Cirencester. • downpourtheatrecompany.co.uk
Eat On 31 July, a three-way collaboration is due to pop up in Kingsdown. The Naughty Corner Deli, The Green Man and Circumstance Distillery are getting together to bring a fantastic event to Bristol locals. Think hog roasts (featuring a special-batch white rum from Circumstance Distillery), watermelon burnt ends and seasoned fries slathered with signature Naughty sauces – plus, there will be a cocktail bar available on site throughout the day. Join the fun at The Green Man on Alfred Place and keep an eye on The Naughty Corner Deli’s social media pages for more information. Food served from midday on a first come, first served basis. • Instagram: @TheNaughtyCornerDeli; Facebook: @TheNCDeli
This summer The Nest Collective invites you to discover extraordinary music by the fireside, as Campfire Club returns to Bristol. Throughout the summer, gather in beautiful green spaces to enjoy food, drink and tunes by artists from all over the world. This summer’s programme includes artists such as Gnoss, Jon Boden, Rachel Sermanni, Three Cane Whale, Photo by Owen Tetley Lisa Knapp, Lucy Farrell, Burd Ellen and more. The outdoor events start on 22 July at Windmill Hill City Farm, and will culminate on 21 August with the Magpie’s Nest one-day festival at St. George’s. • thenestcollective.co.uk
© Printed with permission of A P Watt at United Agents on behalf of Quentin Blake
A summer of stunning theatre beckons, as the Bristol Shakespeare Festival returns. Last year saw a scaled-back, online version of the beloved festival, but this year, BSF is back to its signature blend of indoor and outdoor performances, online events, workshops and quirky takes on favourite plays. With renowned touring companies such as Folksy, The Natural Theatre Company and The Lord Chamberlain’s Men performing in a whole range of brilliant Bristol venues and locations throughout July, the festival promises to play its part in reigniting the city’s famous theatre scene. With family-friendly shows, intriguing fringe events, and the festival’s inhouse company putting on the hilarious, all-new King Lear the Musical, there’s fun for everyone in store. Visit BSF’s website for the full programme. • bristolshakespearefestival.org.uk
Enjoy After months of planning, the Portishead Horticultural Society is hosting a summer show on 24 and 25 July. In addition to the 300 horticultural, handicraft, cookery and children’s classes, the show will have a fantastic line-up including two circus acts – a Pirate Taxi and Tilly Lee Kronic on trapeze. The show will also see Gamegoer Gundogs’ dog displays, Little Nippers Terrier Racing, and the popular Companion Dog Show. Visitors can also enjoy swing music from The Marionettes, ballads from The Chicken Teddys and tunes from Portishead Concert Band. Fizz Box Bar will be pouring the beer and prosecco and Barefoot Stone Baked Pizza Company will be cooking fresh creations. Adults £7.50, children aged under 16 go free. Booking in advance recommended. ■ • portisheadsummershow.com
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BRISTOL Meet digital designer and creative Okori S. Lewis-McCalla
My mother moved to Fishponds from St Pauls when I was born. I liked that it had variety; Vassals Park, the high street, an after-school club called Harry Crooks (if I remember correctly). Eastville Park wasn’t far either.
A world first? Bristol could soon be host to the world’s first augmented reality zoo, based within Bristol Zoo’s historic 12-acre gardens, which currently appear to be destined for private housing development. OurWorld Bristol – a collective of organisations and people including the Eden Project and universities of Bristol and Exeter – is committed to creating an inspiring educational visitor attraction space, and convinced the site’s future should be as a resource for discovery via immersive experiences. They want visitors to experience animals in their natural habitat, even going back millions of years, plus a city garden full of birds, bees, bugs and butterflies; a viewing tower offering sights across Clifton Downs; augmented reality for visualising the distant past and possible future; and a ‘wild island’ where no humans can go, to allow nature to take its course. The brainchild of film director Stephen Daldry; architect George Ferguson, founder of the Tobacco Factory; and Stuart Wood, executive director at boomsatsuma, OurWorld would be a ‘an oasis of learning of global significance and international reach, forged from Bristol’s long-established place in the world as the Hollywood of natural history film-making’. It would make the most of the city’s capacity for digital innovation, its ‘restless appetite for radical social change’ and international leadership in creative storytelling. There is “no better national or, indeed, global destination more suited to this project,” said Sir Tim Smit, co-founder of the Eden Project. “We want to create something that brings together the UK’s best qualities – creative, collaborative, spirited and environmentally conscious – to create a place for people to learn about the world around them, just as the zoo has done for generations,” said Stephen. “We believe it is deliverable if the support exists for it to happen.” • ourworldbristol.com
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Okori is working on decentralising police data
I’ll read before starting work, which will likely involve wireframing/designing/building a website or web application. Then I’ll go for a walk, do some work for my start-up Voicera, probably try some puzzles, chess or maths, write a little, lift weights and go to bed. I’m working on decentralising police data, starting with complaints, and creating a platform to facilitate public participation in the police decision-making process. We have been meeting with police and want to engender a culture of collaboration on community issues, of accountability, of accessibility, and make the UK a safer space. If I was mayor I’d work with police to make police data more accessible. I’d look to our tech sector to explore the potentialities of blockchain, and decentralised finance – I’d ask in what ways these nascent technologies can foster new opportunities to better the lives of Bristol people, bolster our creative scene and allow more people across the UK more access to non-custodial financial markets, and those across the world insurance against inflation. My good friend Nasra Ayub has done nothing but brilliant work ever since we left sixth form. An award-winning activist, writer, speaker and campaigner, receiving a Diana Award in 2020, she’s put in extensive work safeguarding against FGM, honour-based violence and extremism on national and international levels. Having had the pleasure to grow up with her, it’s been amazing (yet no surprise) to see how far she’s come. Stacey Olika is another bright, talented star; a multi-disciplinary artist in film, photography and graphic design. Channel 4’s recently appointed her as a creative diversity coordinator which has her responsible for increasing representation on and off screen – something she’s always been passionate about and, no doubt, will give her best to achieve. I recently stumbled upon Idles and Birthmark. Idles’ sound and message is great. Their latest album Mono is my favourite. They speak to unity, the plight of immigrants/minorities, the power in standing with what you say and believe in. They’re also pretty humorous and
get you pumped up! They’re in my top five bands. Birthmark is a cool underground artist I found through a Boiler Room System Restart show at Bristol Museum. The guy was performing the coldest, hard-hitting, introspective spoken word to these ambient beats, with a saxophonist. I needed to know more. I also found out about talented collective Young Echo who, I think, Birthmark has worked with. He served as a gateway to a sound that I never knew existed. The best Italian meal I’ve had? Prego, near Westbury on Trym. I also like Aluna and the Everyman; I spend way too much time there. I launched a newsletter called Think Again to share fresh points of view and ideas. It serves to introduce interesting ideas, topics, books and links. I plan to drop occasional think-pieces of my own in. I just love to share. I’ve been interviewing people from all types of academic fields, creative practices and backgrounds: mathematicians, artists, scientists, philosophers, dancers, pianists, authors, computer scientists. By the end of 2021 I want to have launched the Voicera MVP, have grown my newsletter to 500 subscribers and officially launched the podcast. I want to end the year a better friend, family member, and leader for my team. I have two or three swimming awards from junior school lying around in my mother’s house – and yet I cannot swim. • hiokori.substack.com
Image: Matthew Roberts
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Colston’s School: have your say on the name
submit their views
Image: BBC Children’s Productions 2020
Big win for Bristol animators Local independent animation studio A Productions has scooped a national TV industry award for a series that has broken new ground in pre-school programming. JoJo and Gran Gran: It’s Time to Go to the Hairdresser’s is the first UK pre-school animation to centre around a Black British family and is based on books by Laura Henry. Created by BBC Children’s In-House Production in collaboration with A Productions for CBeebies, it won the Best Pre-School Programme category at the recent Broadcast Awards. A Productions is an internationally recognised, creative-led, multi-discipline studio with a track record for making award-winning children’s content for broadcast. The studio’s 150-strong team is immersed in the hotbed of TV and film production that Bristol is renowned for, and specialises in traditional and digital 2D stop frame, CGI, AFX, Flash and live action, both in studio and on location. They undertook extensive research and interviews in Bristol, creating a panel made up of a range of voices from local communities that worked closely with the creative team on JoJo and Gran Gran. “This fantastic recognition is testament to the entire team who have thrown their hearts and souls into this important show,” said Katherine McQueen, joint managing director of A Productions. “For us, it was crucial that JoJo and Gran Gran had an authentic voice and truly told the stories and experiences of the communities and characters it portrayed. We hope this series will help to pave the way for better representation in pre-school programming and beyond in the future.” • aproductions.co.uk
MAKING A B-LINE For National Meadows Day (3 July), Avon Wildlife Trust is turning the spotlight on wildflower-rich habitats – vital, precious parts of our landscape which have fallen by a staggering 97% since the 1930s. The impact on wildlife has been devastating: a recent report identified the loss and fragmentation of flower-rich habitat as the likely cause of the recorded decline in diversity of wild bees and other pollinating insects. Tragically, half of the UK’s 24 bumblebee species are in freefall, while two-thirds of our moths and over 70% of our butterflies are in long-term decline. But there are solutions, and the B-Lines project, with the charity Buglife, is identifying and delivering 3km-wide ‘corridors’ of restored wildlife-rich habitat across the Avon area. These insect pathways will weave across the countryside and towns around Bristol, linking existing wildlife areas and creating a network, a bit like a railway. This will provide large areas of new habitat benefiting not only bees and butterflies, but a host of other wildlife. Already, more than 150 hectares of wildflower-rich grassland have been restored within Avon, with 24 bee banks created – areas of marginal land in both rural and urban areas which are managed to attract bees. The dream is that, in time, B-Lines will help to deliver a ‘nature recovery network’ across the region – interconnected across the four counties of Avon and beyond, where wild plants and animals don’t simply survive in diminishing numbers but thrive, moving from place to place, living, feeding and flourishing into the future. • avonwildlifetrust.org.uk/what-wedohow-we-manage-natural-landscapes/ west-england-b-lines-project Marsh fritillary were once widespread
Image: Rebecca Addy
The local community has been invited to have their say on the future of the name of Colston’s School, with the launch of a survey as part of the consultation. The school is keen to hear the views of all stakeholder groups and individuals, including staff, parents, former pupils and the wider general public. All can access the survey, review the resource materials available and submit their views through the school’s website. Current pupils will be submitting their views in a manner appropriate to their age, given that this ranges from three to 18. “We are very keen to hear the views of as many people as possible to help drive the decision around the future of the school’s name,” explained headmaster Mr Jeremy McCullough. “We understand that there are numerous viewpoints on this complex issue, and hope that the range of resources and research materials our pupils have had the opportunity to engage with, and that are available on the website, will also help the community form their own thoughts and opinions.” The survey will be available until Friday 16 July. Following this, the data will be collated, verified and analysed, and then passed onto the school governors who will meet to consider the responses in September. The governors will then make a decision on the future of the school’s name. For a paper copy of the survey and a pre-paid return envelope, contact the school on 0117 965 5134 or email them via email@example.com. Pupils will also
Creators interviewed Bristol folk to inform the making of the show
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B R I S TO L MAGAZINE
All grown up
hen this column first appeared, my youngest was not yet three. He’s now 18. You won’t be surprised to learn that he’s changed a bit. Gone are the days when he sat behind me on my bike, pointing out dogs and buses as we tootled along. Now he’s all about seeing how fast an electric scooter will go, which is quite fast. I’ve changed too, of course (mellowed? matured?) and so has the city. Over the years I’ve observed the evolution of our South Bristol street, as older people have sold up, making way for younger families. At one point, a couple of years ago, you could have mustered a full under-twos football team, with subs on the bench, just on our side of the road. There are more flats, more young people sharing houses, more cars, more colourful front doors. Let’s face it, there’s more money. around 90% of the houses have been done up over the past 15 years, some of them several times, and by ‘done up’ I mean properly renovated, not botched by fanatical DIYers. I remember going into a neighbour’s house years ago and marvelling at the wide open spaces created via a series of amateur knock-throughs (and not an RSJ in sight). Only recently an electrician came to our house and discovered that a past resident had rewired a room by taping bits of cable together. I thought this showed enterprise, but the electrician wasn’t so keen. Now we have new wires and a new, functioning fuse box that isn’t even called a fuse box any more, which I suppose is progress. Progress. It’s never a simple business, is it? I like our new, youthful street, but I miss the people who have gone – like the woman across the way who insisted on parking outside her own house and, if anyone else parked there, would shout; ‘I’m SELF-EMPLOYED!’ Or the kids who used to play tennis in the street, pausing (reluctantly) to let cars pass. Or the old lady who used to walk with infinite slowness up the road, with her equally aged dog. Similar processes have been going on across the city as history slowly unfolds. My second or third column asked whether Bristol needed a mayor. At the time opinion was split 50-50, but I wonder what people think now. Personally I thought the present incumbent’s handling of the Colston statue furore last summer was exemplary – his dignity under pressure enhanced Bristol’s reputation as a liberal city that is not afraid to reassess its history. And that reputation was already pretty solid. I travel quite a lot for work and whenever people ask where I’m from they invariably answer, ‘Oh you live in Bristol – how lovely!’ or words to that effect. The run-down former port city of the 1990s has blossomed into a modern metropolis that attracts tourists and businesses. There are, perhaps inevitably, downsides to this popularity. The cost of living is up. There’s more traffic. But there are opportunities. Bristol’s youthful entrepreneurs are breathing new life into neglected neighbourhoods as pedestrians and cyclists are given ever greater precedence in the city centre. This is part of a more general, often scarcely perceptible process, making the city more liveable. Every patch of green space seems to have a group of volunteers earnestly tending it, picking up rubbish and maintaining paths. The cycle network is gradually making more sense. Speed limits have come down. Throughout its history Bristol has often had to respond to changing circumstances, from Elizabeth I’s war with Spain to the rise of containerisation in shipping. Today we have the Covid aftermath and Brexit to contend with, but I’m optimistic. We’ve made Bristol a place where people want to be, and it’s the people that make a city. ■
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200TH ISSUE | RETROSPECTIVE
When we were young In our first year of publishing, everything looked and sounded very different. From the finale of Friends to the Olympic Games, as we rewind to 2004, let us remind you of some of the most memorable moments in...
...TV & film
Friends Ending its decade-long run on 6 May, The Last One was seen by 52.5 million American viewers, which made it the most-watched episode of the 2000s on US television.
Hello Moto The Motorola Razr V3 was the most iconic mobile phone of 2004 with its slim design and ‘Hello Moto’ ringtone that still haunts our dreams today. Welcome, Gmail Google launched Gmail on April Fool’s Day. It had the power of Google search and the life-altering ability to group messages into conversation threads.
Mean Girls Released on 18 June, Mean Girls grossed $130 million worldwide and developed a cult following. James Bond Pierce Brosnan stepped down as James Bond after doing his last film, Die Another Day, in 2002.
Music... Eamon vs Frankee Eamon achieved the number-one spot with a song with more profanities than any other hit single; it stayed at number one for four weeks. The answer song by Frankee replaced the original single at the top of the charts for three weeks despite selling less than half as many copies as Eamon’s.
76th Academy Awards The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King picked up 11 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.
Come on England The remake of Come On Eileen (Dexys Midnight Runners) by 442 was released on 7 June to coincide with the England national team’s appearance at the European Championships. It reached number two in the pop charts.
The X Factor The first TV programme produced by Simon Cowell’s production company, Syco. Cowell was joined on the judging panel by Louis Walsh and Sharon Osbourne. The general public voted singer Steve Brookstein as the show’s first winner.
iTunes launches Apple’s online iTunes Music Store launched in the UK in June 2004, selling over 450,000 songs in the first week.
Strictly Come Dancing BBC newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky and her dance partner Brendan Cole were crowned the champions of the first ever series of Strictly Come Dancing.
UK Official Download Chart begins Westlife’s Flying Without Wings was crowned the first ever number one in the UK Official Download Chart.
The Last One aired on 6 May
July’s number ones Obviously by McFly, Burn by Usher, Lola’s Theme by Shapeshifters and Dry Your Eyes by The Streets all made it to number one.
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Glastonbury headliners Muse had the honour of gracing the Pyramid Stage on 27 June while The Killers and James Blunt both appeared in The New Tent, a stage designed to promote emerging talent.
Gaming evolution The Nintendo DS was launched back in 2004, as the successor to the Game Boy series. Apple iPods Apple introduced its fourth generation Classic iPod, with photo and colour display, and its first mini iPod. Car of the Year The boxy Fiat Panda was 2004’s European car of the year. Surﬁng the web Firefox 1.0 was first introduced in November and challenged Internet Explorer’s dominance with 60 million downloads within nine months.
The fourth generation Classic iPod was released on 19 July 2004
Sex and the City The final episode aired on 22 February after six successful seasons.
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200TH ISSUE | RETROSPECTIVE
Olympic Games Great Britain won a number of gold medals at the 2004 games in Athens. Most notably, Dame Kelly Holmes won two golds for the 800m and 1500m; Sir Chris Hoy and Sir Bradley Wiggins won in cycling; the men’s four pipped Canada to the post in a memorable race in British rowing; and Leslie Law won our first gold medal of the games in equestrian.
We miss you, MySpace Tom MySpace, made by Tom Anderson (now a travel photographer), became the first social media site to reach a million monthly active users.
Euros 2004 England made it to the quarter-finals of the European Championships – with Sven-Göran Eriksson as manager, David Beckham as captain, and Michael Owen, Paul Scholes, Wayne Rooney and Sol Campbell on the squad. Sports Personality of the Year After a successful Olympics, Dame Kelly Holmes was awarded the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award.
Images: Adobe Stock
Facebook In January, Mark Zuckerberg coded a new website, known as ‘The Facebook’. Membership was initially restricted to students of Harvard College and within a month, more than half the undergraduates had registered. Facebook soon became available to all Ivy League colleges and successively most universities in the US and Canada. Napster cofounder Sean Parker became company president and, in June, the company moved to Palo Alto, California, receiving its first investment later that month from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. As of 31 March 2021, Facebook has 2.85 billion monthly active users.
The early 2000s were all about ugg boots, tube tops, low-rise jeans, dresses over trousers, crop tops, trucker hats, skinny scarves and denim skirts. Before the days of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, we watched power couples of the time rocking the red carpets in what now seems to be a far more casual style. Baggy cargo pants, halter necks and three-quarter-length trousers were all the rage...
Bristol back in 2004
Mike Howard tightrope-walking between two hot air balloons. Photographer Paul Gillis was in a helicopter with no doors hovering at 4,000 feet above Bristol.
Lord Mayor of Bristol British television actor Simon Timothy Cook MBE served as Lord Mayor of Bristol from 2004 to 2005. Having trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Cook was best known for his role in Family Affairs – and there was that time he got chucked out of the Queen Vic by Shane Richie in Eastenders. He has been a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company and Bristol Old Vic and spent 20 years working in theatre and television. Bristol on the big screen The comedy-drama series Teachers was filmed at the former Merrywood Grammar School for its first three seasons and at the former Lockleaze School in Bristol for its fourth. Starring Andrew Lincoln and a young James Corden, Teachers was nominated for six BAFTAs (2002-2004).
Credit: Paul Gillis; paulgillisphoto.com
Bristol Balloon Fiesta At the 2004 festival, Mike Howard, an airline pilot, tightrope-walked between two hot air balloons at a height of 4,000ft while blindfolded before parachuting away. Two years previously, in the year that the 20th Bond film, Die Another Day, was released, Mike – dressed as Bond – was flown up to 7,200ft while attached to 300 helium balloons. Once at the right height, he shot the balloons with a replica pistol and skydived back down to earth.
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Clockwise from top left: Bristol International Balloon Fiesta turns 40; a city legend and engineering great, Brunel, is honoured with his own museum; Bristol’s boldest women through history, celebrated on the centenary of the first females getting the right to vote; Aerospace Bristol opens with legendary jet Concorde as its centrepiece 16 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE
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A flick through Memory Lane
hoosing a front cover isn’t as simple as you might imagine; there are always copious considerations. It can be a chaotic, yet joyful kind of affair, largely due to Bristol being apt to throw a curveball to keep us on our toes – suddenly announcing, dangerously close to press day, something super cool, cutting-edge and completely outside the box that we simply cannot ignore. There are just so many cooking pots of creativity and innovation constantly bubbling away in the background; one minute Michelinstar chefs are doing breakfast in bed in a bed store in Bedminster; the next a dinner table is dangling 100ft from a crane above the Harbourside; then all of Gloucester Road happens to be in a hip hop chip shop, having it large. (Bring back those quirky little events!) We get everything from scientists and artists coming together to build a house suitable for life on Mars (due to pop up beside M Shed next year); to hot air balloon orchestra happenings in the sky, an abandoned fishing boat flotilla in Leigh Woods or a gert waterslide appearing on Park Street (here’s looking at you, Luke Jerram). And these are examples of show-stopping projects that didn’t make the cover: that’s how much amazing stuff is happening in Bristol all the time. It’s a first-world problem, needless to say; we’re ridiculously fortunate to live in a place stationed among fast-flowing streams of talent, making for non-stop cracking content. It’s an impossible ask to call to mind the last time we were stuck for a story.
Image : Paul Box
To celebrate our milestone issue, we picked a few favourite covers corresponding with landmark city highlights and happenings, spanning 2004 to today, and chatted to a few of the locals about how Bristol has changed
At the Leigh Woods flotilla in 2015, artist Luke Jerram – who has set up the Dreamtime fellowship to support Bristol creatives at the start of their career
Thank you to our eyes and ears As well as our own team on the ground, we rely on a host of informants – from enthusiastic residents to wonderful businesses and their comms teams – to tell us about what’s going down in various corners of this sprawling city. Here we’ve solicited some reflections on and memories of the past couple of decades – how the city has changed since the mag started in ’04 – from a few eminent locals.
Filmmaker Michael Jenkins feels the city has become more welcoming and accessible Image : Luke Jerram
Darryl Bullock, author: The Bristol Magazine was first published in the same year that I moved to the city, and over the last 17 years there have been massive changes with the magazine, my life and the city itself. My motivation for moving to Bristol was two-fold: I was in a new relationship and I was also writing for several local publications, including Venue and The Spark; The Bristol Magazine has managed to outlive all of them. The city has changed hugely as 17 years ago there was no Cabot Circus, no Bristol Mayor, no Bristol Pound; since 2004 we have seen major green initiatives, a reinvention of Bristol as one of the UK’s top food destinations, the establishment of the city as a major hub for film, television and digital, and last year the world looked to us as the city’s intransigent burghers were finally forced to accept that kowtowing to a shameful past was no longer acceptable. I have seen other cities marvel at our green initiatives, and our measures to improve the local economy. Bristol has always struck me as a people’s city, and it is the people who are prepared to stick their neck out and run the risk of ridicule that make the changes. These things have not always worked, but at least we tried. The Bristol Magazine cover that sticks in my mind is a Jenny Urquhart from 2013, marking that year’s Balloon Fiesta: that had a huge impact on me and when I put out The Green Guide to Bristol and Bath I used illustrations by Jenny for the covers.
The Park Street waterslide: what a marvellously mad city moment
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Grace Jones going for it on the Downs
Macy Gray at Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival
Street art gets sumptuous
A little bit of Hollywood in Whitchurch
The Downs Bristol 2019 went heavy on international female acts, with Lauryn Hill and Grace Jones joining Loyle Carner and Bristol’s Idles. We dug out our fave Grace moments – from the outrageous to... the Russell Harty interview.
Emma Payne interviewed the soul singer for the February 2017 issue, on the release of her Stripped album and before she headlined the city’s jazz and blues festival which focused on Bristol’s impressive history in both genres.
Back in 2017 we all got very excited for Upfest as per, paying homage to the luxurious, distinctive and distinguished brand of graffiti created over the years by one of Bristol’s best street artists, Jody. This cover showed off his unique aesthetic.
Remember when Sky Atlantic’s not-youraverage Nordic noir Fortitude came to Bristol to film at The Bottle Yard Studios, bringing movie star Dennis Quaid and Game of Thrones’ Richard Dormer for extra icy thrills?
Morph gets everywhere – even our July 2009 cover
Conservation kudos: Bristol Zoo at 175
Looking past the poster girl
Showing the love for Lando
Rainmaker Gallery’s celebration of Native American women, on the 400th anniversary of the death of Pocahontas, aimed to release her from the symbolic duty of standing for all Native American women. It illustrated their strength and diversity through the work of contemporary Indigenous North American artists from the USA and Canada.
In autumn last year we spoke with the West Country speed demon, who’d been busy making the Grand Prix top 10 and bagging podium finishes. Bristol-born boy wonder Lando Norris, Formula One’s youngest ever British driver, talked about broadening the sport’s fanbase, Twitch fame and recognising true team efforts at McLaren.
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Sporting greats making a splash in the city
A spaceman came... to Bristol
February 2020 focused on brilliant Bristol synchronised swimming duo Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe, who had just performed their World Championship routine in a pool full of plastic in order to help highlight the marine pollution problem. We spoke to them as they trained for the Olympic Games in Tokyo (they have now officially qualified!)
Things got cosmic when Canadian astronaut Colonel Chris Hadfield hit the Hippodrome to speak about how he got from the corn farm where he grew up in Ontario to his world-famous exploits in space. He talked to us about physical and emotional effects of space travel and his 2013 viral cover of David Bowie’s Space Oddity.
The Bristol Mag x Harvey Nichols at The Ethicurean: SS17 fashion shoot
A 2013 balloon fiesta favourite, by artist Jenny Urquhart
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TV’s Andy Clarke has seen the food community come together like never before
Dagmar Smeed, marketer: I started working for the SS Great Britain Trust in January 2004. It seems a lifetime ago, before the ship was transformed by its glass ‘sea’, Bristol Beacon was upcycled with a magnificent copper foyer, and Cabot had its Circus. The city is more confident, a recipient of multiple awards, and lauded internationally for its creativity and independence. Hard to believe that, back then, many regarded Bristol as Bath’s bigger, ugly sister. In many respects change has been transformative, but as a city we know we must address deep-rooted and increasing inequalities. It is up to us all within the sector to be authentic and relevant to Bristol in its entirety – not just a few select postcodes – and seek to provide a platform for more diverse talent. Those in tourism and the arts are so much more supportive of each other. There
is a generosity of spirit, plus imaginative partnerships and collaborations. Our city is blessed with talented creatives and it’s great to see what can be achieved – special mention goes to Watershed and its work with young people through Rife and the Pervasive Media Studio and the teams at Ujima and BCfm, who volunteer at the radio stations and are behind many other artistic and community groups. My favourite mag covers are from July 2005 and 2011, featuring respectively the ‘relaunched’ SS Great Britain and Bristol Zoo Gardens’ ‘Wow! Gorillas’. Michael Jenkins, filmmaker: For me, Bristol feels a lot more accessible. For a long time, certain areas you wouldn’t venture to but I feel like the city has opened up and is more welcoming – especially somewhere like the harbourside. The film and TV sector I’m in has really grown. There are over 150 production companies in the city which means there should be ample opportunities to pursue a career in film or TV. The coverage of the BLM marches in Bristol that happened last year was really good. I think with the rise of fake news, it is vital for local news and information to be disseminated by trusted sources. I feel having a space like The Bristol Magazine will always be relevant. Luke Jerram, artist: Since 2004 Bristol has become far more popular as a tourist destination. The docks have really become an amazing place to visit. Wapping Wharf has been transformed and become great for food and drink. Bristol seems to have finally, collectively, woken up to its history as a city built from money made through the slave trade. It’s great to see the names of streets, schools and music halls changing to reflect this. In the Bristol art world, since 2004 it feels like we’ve taken a step backwards in some ways. The effect of central government cuts to the local budgets has
Gardening writer Elly West has been glad to see Bristol leading the way with eco-friendly initiatives in recent years
Why do we need local magazines? • Having magazines at a time like this is important. There’s a real pleasure to holding a physical magazine and reading off paper, compared to spending more time staring our computer screens – Luke Jerram • A city, especially one like Bristol, has its own cultural identity that’s often underrepresented by local newspapers – which concentrate on bad news – or national magazines that are invariably London-centric or stuck with a theme. City magazines are incredibly important; they can showcase local good news and initiatives in a way that simply is not done elsewhere – Darryl W. Bullock • I’m always so pleased to see print publications fight on. The endlessness of the internet’s information is causing major issues with people’s ability to focus and I hope they start to realise the value of curated offline content in large enough numbers for these publications to keep surviving – Penfriend • The magazine has become a key voice for shared social, economic and cultural aspirations. It is relevant to emerging causes and new art forms and sheds light on individuals shaping the city and the world in the unique Bristol way. I’ve learnt more about friends like Aisha Thomas, Daniel Edmund; much-admired public figures David Olusoga and Peaches Golding. My favourite draw is being introduced to unfamiliar individuals that I am enriched to learn about. Being true to the ‘all’, showcasing everincreasing brilliance and innovation, has become the magazine’s hallmark – Ade Williams • A city magazine not only provides Bristolians food for thought on local issues they may not have been aware of, but acts as a tour guide for people coming to the city who don’t know any more about its history other than the slave trade and Banksy. A magazine connects people, inspires and provides a balanced look at life in our region. More than ever, we need a way to celebrate our community and discover our area – Andy Clarke • A well-designed read providing a guide to life in Bristol... what’s not to like? Different voices, covering everything from that must-have bangle, to events and scrummy recipes. For me, a good magazine in 2021 should reflect the city’s DNA, champion the environment and not be afraid to ask a few probing questions! – Dagmar Smeed
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200TH ISSUE caused some arts organisations to close. There is less money available to do large and ambitious projects here. I still try to make things happen in Bristol, but often I’m subsidising these events with funding from my internationally touring works. (I’m looking forward to the Museum of the Moon coming to Bristol Cathedral this summer!) There is still a drive of new energy coming from younger artists setting up their studios. I’m keen to support artists at the beginning of their career and have set up the Dreamtime fellowship at Spike Island, which is currently seeking applications... Elly West, gardening journalist: This is my fifth year of writing for the magazine and during that time (particularly over the last 18 months) we Bristolians have been enjoying our outdoor spaces more and more. When the magazine launched it would all have been about painted blue fences and softwood decking, influenced by TV programmes such as Ground Force. Now we have moved towards more wildlife-friendly gardening using native plants, meadow turf, a more naturalistic look – and Bristol has been leading the way with eco-friendly initiatives including Feed Bristol and Incredible Edible. Over the last few years I’ve spoken to RHS Gold Medal winners, prize growers, craftspeople, amateur gardeners and those running community projects, all kind enough to provide words for my monthly gardening column, and it’s clear, we love our green spaces – I can’t see that changing over the next 200 issues! Ade Williams, pharmacist: Since arriving in Bristol, I have witnessed the emergence of a more confident, socially
Image : Billy Cahill
Darryl W. Bullock has seen cities marvel at our initiatives
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conscious, vibrant city. There have been cataclysmic events that have served as a lightning rod. In confronting issues – with schisms emerging – being a Bristolian is to be proud of our voice and work in the world today, despite the parts of our proud history that are saddened with unwelcome legacies. We now must face up to our past and current realities in full view of the world. Ours is a city in flux; so much energy is being expended to create a dynamic, prosperous new identity. We may come at things from different perspectives, but Bristol will only be the place we desire when all our fellow citizens are also proud to call it their home. Bristol has a proud healthcare heritage, and our local NHS is at the core of the identity and character of the city. Even as we grapple with the challenges of inequalities, clinicians know that our world-leading local healthcare still seems inaccessible to many communities. Awakened now to championing lasting change, we invest relentless resolve and dedication daily. An NHS that cares for all of Bristol to the best of its ability is being birthed. Andy Clarke, TV producer: In 2004 I was living in London; I came back to Bristol for the occasional weekend to see friends and family. I moved away from my hometown Thornbury in 1995, at 18, so I didn’t know much about the social scene. Bristol was somewhere we went for the occasional family-friendly restaurant with the folks or to find a bar to do shots with school friends. When I decided with my husband to move back here in 2015, one of the main draws was the unique, flourishing independent hospitality scene – the choice of bars and restaurants off the scale! Despite lockdown setbacks, we’ve seen the food and drink community come together like never before and I’m so proud to be able to support the industry in my city. My favourite moment in the history of The Bristol Magazine has to be the summer 2020 issue with the hearts drawn out in Queen Square [pictured, right]. If ever there was a moment where I was smiling but had a tear in my eye, it was when I saw this cover. It symbolised hope for the future and the re-emergence of Bristol as a supportive community while coming out of one of the darkest periods in living memory. ■
‘Wow! Gorillas’ at Bristol Zoo
Seeing limb difference as a superpower
Bristol pulls together
Speaker, TV presenter and model Tilly Lockey and her Bristol-designed Open Bionics Hero Arm – the world’s most affordable multi-grip bionic arm – celebrating limb difference as a super power.
We’re still a little too close to this one to avoid welling up when we think about it... Summer 2020 was about staying positive and supporting each other through the new ground of the pandemic, applauding the way city was geeing itself up.
Issue one: The Bristol Magazine launches
Crystal Maze reboot at The Bottle Yard
Hello, old friend! The first issue back in ’04. Flick to p22 for more memories of the early days; p14 for nostalgic Noughties stuff.
A purpose-built 30,000 sq ft maze, complete with futuristic and Aztec zones, was built at The Bottle Yard, for Richard Ayoade and his contestants.
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THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE 21
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The Cinderella line, and other stories
Will a post-pandemic reallocation of investment to public transport will make the renaissance of the Severn Beach Line a harbinger of better times for Bristol’s suburban railways? Recalling big local changes he’s witnessed, Andrew Swift wonders
hen I wrote my first article for The Bristol Magazine in 2004, I little thought that 17 years later I’d be celebrating its 200th issue. It was very much the new kid on the block back then, but quickly established itself as the place to keep up to date with what’s happening in the city, while expanding and adapting to keep up with changing times. Nothing illustrates this better than its reaction to pandemic and lockdown. When magazine distribution – like everything else involving social contact – became well-nigh impossible, an online newsletter was launched, which has rapidly become an essential weekly read.
How much less dramatic the terraces of Cliftonwood, Redcliffe or Totterdown would be if they weren’t perched on the edge of cliffs
The pandemic has made such seismic changes to all of our lives that it’s easy to forget how much else has changed since 2004. To take one example, the fortunes of the Severn Beach Line – featured in my first article 17 years ago – have been transformed beyond recognition. Back then, I dubbed it ‘the Cinderella Line’, and the story I told was one of decline and dereliction, with services cut to a minimum and no trains on Sundays. Delays and cancellations were a regular occurrence and, as a result, passengers had abandoned the railway in droves. It had all the signs of a deliberate rundown, and, when it was announced that part of the line was being considered for a Metrobus route, it seemed that closure had already been decided on. A group had been formed to fight for better services however, and, largely thanks to their efforts, things gradually improved. In 2004, fewer than 350,000 journeys a year were made on the line. Prepandemic, this had risen to 1.4 million, an astonishing turnaround, although there is clearly potential for much more growth, with the Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways campaign group calling for trains every 15 minutes. A park-and-ride station at Avonmouth – promised for over 20 years – is also finally due to open, but, in sharp contrast to the resurgence of railways in other metropolitan areas, it will be the first station to open around Bristol since Yate in 1989. Yet, while the city’s population has boomed, trains still run past stations closed in the 1960s, and calls for services to be reinstated to Henbury, Portishead and Thornbury, where the tracks were retained for freight, continue to fall on deaf ears. After years of campaigning, it looks as though a station at Ashley Hill may reopen in 2023, but, considering how much could be done to improve Bristol’s suburban rail network, and how much has been spent making road traffic flow that bit faster, this seems rather like a token gesture. Who knows, though? Perhaps a post-pandemic
reallocation of investment to public transport will make the renaissance of the Severn Beach Line a harbinger of better times for Bristol’s suburban railways. Following on from that first article, I hit on the idea of raising the line’s profile by devising a series of walks from stations along it, which eventually formed the basis for a book: Walks from Bristol’s Severn Beach Line. These weren’t the only walks I came up with for The Bristol Magazine, though. Looking back over my contributions since 2004, I was astonished to discover that I had contributed over 170 walks, and, while some ventured as far afield as South Somerset, Devon, the Marlborough Downs and the Wye Valley, most were local. As well as exploring places such as Blaise Castle, Leigh Woods and the Downs, I featured lesser-known spots such as Trooper’s Hill, St Anne’s Wood, St Werburgh’s and Bedminster’s Northern Slopes. Some of the walks linked popular parks with green spaces established – often in the face of opposition from the authorities or developers – by local communities, and highlighted inspiring projects springing up in the most unexpected places. In the wake of the pandemic, our awareness of the importance of green spaces has increased enormously. Walking, too, is more popular than ever, and here it helps that Bristol is such a great city to explore on foot, due in no small measure to its hills. Many cities have rivers running through them but very few have gorges. This isn’t only a question of great views; it’s also about juxtaposition of scale and texture – just think, for example, how much less dramatic the exuberantly multi-coloured terraces of Cliftonwood, Redcliffe or Totterdown would be if they weren’t perched on the edge of cliffs.
The number of pubs may have fallen, but the number of breweries has rocketed... Craft beer bars and tap rooms have become a flourishing aspect of the social scene
One thing I always aimed to include in my walks was a decent hostelry to call into en route. Pubs were also a recurrent theme in many of my other articles. It was in 2006 that I first flagged up the threat to Bristol’s pubs. Back then, six pubs across the UK were closing every week – the latest estimate puts the figure at 29. Despite this calamitous decline, most of the traditional pubs I featured in that article – such as the Cornubia, the King’s Head in Victoria Street and the Port of Call off Whiteladies Road – are still going strong. One, though – the Adam & Eve in Hotwells – has been less fortunate, and is currently closed, with permission for conversion to flats, although with a glimmer of hope that it may be saved by a community buyout. The number of pubs in Bristol may have fallen, but the number of breweries has rocketed. In 2006, I lamented the closure of Smiles’
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The [desolate footbridge over Nelson Street] was part of a never-completed 1960s scheme to create a ‘city in the sky’
Brewery on Colston Street, while hailing Zero Degrees across the road as ‘Bristol’s newest brew pub’. At the time, there was only one other brewery in Bristol – Bristol Beer Factory. Today there are 24, 11 of which have opened in the last five years, while craft beer bars and tap rooms have become a vibrant, flourishing aspect of the social scene. Leafing back through old articles is a salutary way of realising how much has changed. In the magazine’s early days, I devised a Banksy trail – today, although Banksies are still popping up, and Banksy is as elusive as ever, street art has exploded across the city. Upfest has put Bedminster well and truly on the map, and there are street art trails galore. Then there’s the former Roman Catholic procathedral on Park Place, once one of Bristol’s most evocative buildings. In 2006 I described it as ‘dilapidated and cloaked in vegetation, like something you might stumble across in an abandoned outpost of civilization’. I have a vague recollection from around this time of it being used for a site-specific performance involving a Gothic banquet. Today, the vegetation has been stripped away and the building shines forth as student digs. The juxtaposition of old and new is one of Bristol’s enduring delights. Nowhere is this contrast more stark than in the halfforgotten lanes and alleyways along the line of the city’s medieval walls – and nowhere was the contrast more bizarre than where Tower Lane, north of Broad Street, led onto a desolate footbridge over Nelson Street. The bridge was part of a never-completed 1960s scheme to create a ‘city in the sky’ – a city-wide network of walkways at first-floor level, with the streets below given over to traffic. I never saw anyone cross it and, when it was demolished in 2015, few mourned its passing – if indeed they even noticed. But, in its brutalist abandonment, it was a reminder of a regrettable chapter in the city’s history, and, when I passed by one day and found it gone, I felt a link with Bristol’s past had been severed. Such severings are not always accomplished so painlessly. Back in 2008, I created a sculpture trail, including what I described as the city’s ‘most contentious statue’. It had been repeatedly defaced, and there had been many calls for its removal, but the statue of Colston would remain on its plinth for a further 12 years. Its unceremonious toppling may well count as the most momentous thing to have happened in Bristol for decades. The city is still dealing with its aftermath and is likely to do so for years to come. There will be many other changes as well – some predictable, some anything but – along with many opportunities, and, of course, with The Bristol Magazine on hand to chronicle and celebrate life in one of Europe’s most vibrant cities. ■
This page: the former pro cathedral in 2005; Troopers Hill tower First page (clockwise from top left): multi-coloured terraces at Redcliﬀe; St Werburghs in bloom; the Edward Colston statue which remained standing for 12 years after calls for its removal; one of the city’s lesser-known beauty spots, Troopers Hill; The Paragon above the Avon Gorge; a train on the Severn Beach Line in 2014; (centre) the mosaic at Royate Hill, saved from developers by local residents; more vibrant terraces at Cliftonwood
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Editor-in-chief of British Vogue for a quarter of a century, Alexandra Shulman has a few tales to tell. Melissa Blease talks to her about her new book – a collection of cameos about aspects of clothing and their personal value
am wearing a loose-knit sweater in a disrupted rainbow of faded colours. The sleeves are over-long, reaching to my fingertips, and the whole baggy jumper hangs to mid-hip...” Sound familiar? Probably; after all, the wearing of such comfortable jumpers is what got us through the days when there was nothing on the agenda and nobody around to care what we wear. It is not, however, the sort of item one would expect Alexandra Shulman – the woman who was, for a quarter of a century, the 10th and longestserving editor in chief of iconic fashion magazine British Vogue – to highlight in her book Clothes... And Other Things That Matter as an item that, well, matters. “Neither did I!” says Alexandra, with a laugh. It turns out she’s given to surprising herself, though. Leaving Vogue in 2017, she had absolutely no idea what she was going to do, which was most unlike her. “I’m not a reckless person or a chancer, but leaving was a flash decision to just jump. I knew that one way or another I’d survive, but it was quite a shock to the system and, as the weeks went by, became a bit nerve-wracking.” But she’d written books before, including Inside Vogue, a diary of the magazine’s centenary year in 2016. “And I’d been keeping track of the process of leaving my role and the aftermath – that was potentially the book I thought I was going to write, but for one reason or another it didn’t make sense to write a straightforward memoir,” Alexandra explains. “So I sort of fumbled my way towards Clothes...; it came about as I was writing it, really.”
There’s something about the idea of women dressing in this kind of Little House On The
Prairie way that isn’t saying anything terribly good about women
The result is a highly captivating, intensely personal collection of cameos that focus on the items of clothing and accessories that bring meaning to our lives as we negotiate the world from childhood to romance, motherhood, career and beyond, taking in body image, social commentary and fashion history along the way. Our clothes, you see, tell many stories – and Alexandra has told many of those in her book. As we all know, even a straightforward wardrobe clear-out is often too big a task, both physically and emotionally, to undertake without bouts of procrastination; how on earth did Alexandra select which of her treasured sartorial memories would make the cut for the book? “I simply wrote about the pieces I felt I could write something about,” she says. “Red shoes, for example, which is the first chapter in the book. Like many women, I owned my first pair of red shoes in my childhood, so it was a good starting point. But that led on to the idea of red shoes, and how and why women who don’t want to be flamboyant in other areas will choose to wear them. From there, I found myself writing about connections to red shoes such as Dorothy and the Yellow Brick Road in The Wizard of Oz and what that meant, and that’s when I saw the shape of the book: personal, but relatable to all. There’s another chapter about Juicy Couture tracksuits, which is personal to
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me but also about a moment in time that we all shared: 9/11, a period where you would have thought everything would change, but people were still wearing Juicy Couture – it makes sense, in the book! But at the end of the day, anybody could have written this book, because everybody’s got their own stories about their own clothes.” The daughter of Canadian author and critic Milton Shulman and British etiquette doyenne Drusilla Beyfus began her career in fashion journalism after taking a job as a secretary at fashion and lifestyle magazine Over 21 in the early 1980s before going on to write for Tatler and becoming editor of British GQ in 1990. As well as publishing two novels, she’s written columns for national publications, and was awarded an OBE for services to the magazine industry in 2005 and a CBE for services to fashion journalism 12 years later. On taking to the helm of Vogue in 1992, Alexandra presided over a massive circulation increase and a much higher profile for the magazine. Remember the Vogue Millennium Issue, with an ingenious mirror-like finish that put the reader on the cover? That was Alexandra. What about the 1997 Diana, Princess of Wales Memoriam Issue, featuring the princess as photographed by Patrick Demarchelier, or the Gold Issue in December 2000, featuring Kate Moss in stark, blacked-out silhouette? Alexandra again. But beyond those covers... “One of the biggest high points of my Vogue tenure was getting the job in the first place!” Alexandra recalls. “That moment was a wonderful one indeed. On from that, a lot of the high points were around very special moments such as the It’s Fashion fundraising event for Macmillan Cancer Relief in 2001, held at the Rothschild’s Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire. I had this idea to base it around the Field of The Cloth of Gold summit meeting between the Henry VIII and King Francis I of France in 1520, with pavilions showcasing collections from different designers such as Chanel, Versace, Valentino, Burberry and Armani all in their own little courts, as it were, followed by a gala dinner attended by Prince Charles, Madonna and Kylie Minogue, among others. Amazingly, it happened! And for me that was a huge achievement; a lot of hard work, but well worth it. And in the magazine’s centenary in 2016: to be master of ceremonies as we celebrated 100 years of British Vogue at the National Portrait Gallery exhibition and realising that I was the custodian of such an incredible legacy was beyond amazing. Those are my stand-out memories. There were obviously individual editorial moments that were absolutely thrilling too, but it’s difficult to pick just one out.” And the lows? “For every high there were many lows,” she says; “the trick is to remember the highs – that’s true of life in general.” There’s much more of that subtly optimistic philosophy woven into the fabric of of Alexandra’s book... But on a less profound level: what are the worst fashion trends bugging her now? “In my opinion, those dreadful prairie-style, smock-like dresses with big collars, on a sort of puritan theme. There’s something about the idea of women dressing in this kind of Little House On The Prairie way that isn’t saying anything terribly good about women. When we look back on the prairie thing as a major fashion trend, I wonder if people will connect it with the time when time moved back a bit because of Covid; back to spending much more time in the kitchen, doing the ironing, doing the dusting... and women being dressed for the part? I believe that connection will be made.” So if that’s the bad news about right here, right now, what, for Alexandra, would her favourite fashion era be? “I think everybody
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Alexandra’s favourite fashion era is the 1970s – the time of her teenage years. “I loved – and still love – the clothes from that time, and back then I felt so emotional about clothes in a way that I’ve never really felt since.”
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FASHION loves the era when they were a teenager really, because that was the time you probably felt most passionately about the clothes you chose to wear,” she says. “For me, that would be the 1970s; I loved – and still love – the clothes from that time, and back then I felt so emotional about clothes in a way that I’ve never really felt since.” As Alexandra told comedian Viv Groskop in a 2012 Evening Standard interview, “my heroines were singers like Joni Mitchell, Patti Smith or Carly Simon; I didn’t think about whether they wore Chanel or not.” But as editor of Vogue, surely such considerations are crucial? “When I was at Vogue I largely dressed for an executive role. But now that I can just wear what I want to wear, I veer back dangerously to the 1970s on a daily basis!” The 1970s – or that beloved jumper that we ‘met’ back at the start of
this interview. “When it came down to it, jammed into a plush booth late at night in a foreign city, I yearned to be back at home with a half of lager and lime in a Hammersmith pub wearing something utterly unglamorous and asexual like my Sloppy Joe,” Alexandra says. Now there speaks a woman who knows what matters the most. n • Clothes... And Other Things That Matter by Alexandra Shulman (Cassell), £16.99
What’s in a wardrobe?
A few fabulous West Country faces share the sentiment behind their most prized sartorial items Image: @eljaybriss
Image: © Carinthia West
My mum handstitched this kaftan herself, from fabric from Ghana in the late 1960s. Mum made lots of our clothes back then. I remember her in the dress, going out dancing and to parties with my father. Mum and dad were a beautiful couple – he always stylish and full of fun, mum bold and fabulous, and both of them fantastic dancers. In the kaftan, almost six foot of dancing joy, with long red/brown hair and blue-green eyes, my mum was a knockout in this dress. That she made it herself, that she stepped out in it with pride, her Ghanaian husband by her side – when I wear this dress now, that’s what I think of: my stylish, courageous, dancing parents!
My choice started life as a floral chiffon dress; £5 from Chelsea Antique Market. Jenny Kee, who ran the shop, used to save items I’d like before a star snapped them up (Brigitte Bardot, Pattie Boyd and Bianca Jagger shopped there). I loved the transparency of the chiffon (who wore a slip when you had a body to show off?) and the gentle pattern. It was so soft I felt as if I was wearing nothing. My mother thought it ‘tarty’ but that only made it more attractive to me! It lived a jet-set life, hanging out with The Rolling Stones in recording studios, on beaches in Barbados with Eric Idle [pictured]. When it became tattered I cut it down to a blouse which looked great with jeans and red boots, so it gained a new lease of life. When it was reaching the end of its days it went to the back of my cupboard. Maybe one day I’ll frame it so my octogenarian self can reflect on the eclectic life the blouse and I have led!
I wore a Kooples shirt for Kasabian’s 2014 headline set at Glastonbury. I’ve worn it and worn it. And when it came to going through my clothes, I just couldn’t get rid of it because that was such a special night and a huge bucket-list goal for me as a drummer. I couldn’t face puting it in the charity bin. It still just about fits... which is kind of a miracle after the pandemic!
I bought this leopard-print coat from Camden Market about 20 years ago and I still wear it. It’s one of those pieces that comes back to me religiously each winter, as an amazing staple that you can dress up or down. I love to wear it with the classic jeans and black shirt combo, heels or a cute tshirt and denim skirt with trainers. It’s a piece that always gets compliments and seems to brighten every outfit. I love the contrasting scarf that’s attached to it, which gives an alternative look of separation on what is essentially one piece. I just really love that it’s so old and so nostalgic.
Lead image: Adjoa with Paterson Joseph in 2013, on tour in Columbus, Ohio with the RSC’s production of Julius Caesar
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“It doesn’t matter what you wear, just as long as you are there...”
Lead image: © John Morgan
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LOCAL | EVENTS
What’s on in July Creating Carmen at Ham Farm Festival
Texas is set to play at ValleyFest
The Colston Statue: What Next? n Throughout July, M Shed A year on since the Edward Colston statue was removed during protests in the centre of Bristol, the city is being asked what should happen to it next. The exhibit is part of a temporary display with a survey drafted by the We Are Bristol History Commission, canvassing citizens’ views on the future of the statue. The statue itself sits alongside a selection of placards from the Black Lives Matter protest of that day as well as a timeline of key events. bristolmuseums.org.uk Global Carnival: A Cultural Evolution n 3 July, 5pm, online event The team behind one of Bristol’s most loved public events, St Pauls Carnival, is bringing together organisers and performers from London’s Notting Hill, and the carnivals of the Caribbean islands of St Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago, for a panel discussion. The online event will explore the evolution of Carnival and feature exclusive performances from representatives of the different carnivals. This one-off occasion will be streamed on the day that St Pauls Carnival is traditionally held in Bristol. stpaulscarnival.net Bristol Pride Festival n 3 July – 16 July, at various venues Although Pride Day and the parade march has been postponed to later this year, Bristol Pride Festival will feature a programme of events that will span two weeks. Look out for a spectacular new drag cabaret night on 9 July with headline performances from Divina de Campo and Tia Kofi from RuPaul’s Drag 30 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE
Race UK as well as favourites from across the circuit, a comedy night on 15 July, theatre events and Queer Vision Film Festival. bristolpride.co.uk Pride: Cocktail Masterclasses n 8, 10 & 11 July, Harvey Nichols Bristol To celebrate Pride and raise money for StonewallUK, Harvey Nichols Bristol is hosting a series of ticketed cocktail masterclasses at The Second Floor Bar on 8, 10 and 11 July 2021, priced at £30 per person. Guests can explore the finest creative cocktail concoctions with tastings, demonstrations, and the chance to recreate their own favourite tipples – perfect for beginners and professionals alike. Visit Harvey Nichols’ website for tickets. harveynichols.com 80 Years of the Atlantic Charter n 16 – 18 July, at various venues in Bristol Affirming our historic friendship with the USA and celebrating modern, global, and forward-thinking Britain, Bristol will host celebrations to mark the 80th anniversary of the Atlantic Charter. The event will see Royal Navy ships visit the city’s harbour, the Band of the Royal Marines performing and a celebration dinner attended by US officials and the First Sea Lord. bristolaffiliationhmspwls.com Creating Carmen at Ham Farm Festival n 25 July, Mangotsfield Ham Farm Festival – set to be a true community music festival – is welcoming music lovers to its half-acre garden in Mangotsfield. On 25 July, look out for
Creating Carmen – a concert-play with Spanish music by the CarmenCo trio. The plot: Prosper Mérimée is struggling with his latest novella, when his leading character, Carmen, appears in his study, larger than life, with a band of musicians in tow and chaos in her wake. Prepare for a fun-filled evening of fantasy, comedy and tremendous Spanish music and book your tickets in advance. hamfarmfestival.com ValleyFest 2021 n 29 July – 1 August, Chew Valley Lake Valley Fest, the best-tasting music festival in the South West, is going ahead. The festival is welcoming huge headliners such as Texas, Deacon Blue and Sophie Ellis-Bextor. Culinary heroes will be cooking up a storm, day and night, in the spectacular open-sided feasting tipis. Look out for Great British Bake Off stars Chetna Makan and Briony May Williams; Josh Eggleton from the Michelin-starred Pony and Trap; Rob Howell from Root; and lots more. Expect treats, beats and plenty to eat, with lots of Somerset style and sizzle. valleyfest.co.uk Clifton Green Squares & Secret Gardens n 31 July, around Clifton Visit the fascinating communal private gardens hidden begind Clifton’s elegant terraces, open for one day only due to the pandemic. Tickets cost £5, which includes access for one adult to all open gardens. Free for ages 16 and under (accompanied). Enjoy refreshments and entertainment in some of the gardens. Keep an eye on Clifton Green Squares & Secret Gardens’ website for opening times and updates. gssg-bristol.com
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LOCAL | EVENTS
PLANNING AHEAD... Museum of the Moon n Throughout August, Bristol Cathedral Bristol Cathedral has announced an exciting programme of events to run alongside the arrival of Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon. The Moon is free to visit but donations from visitors will go towards the charity St Mungo’s, which works towards ending homelessness. From music evenings and science talks to beer and cheese nights and children’s events, Bristol Cathedral is offering something for everyone. bristolcathedral.co.uk Kasabian: UK Tour n 31 October, Bristol 02 Academy Kasabian return to touring with 17 must-see intimate shows, kicking off in Glasgow, stopping at their hometown in Leicester and closing at London’s O2 Academy Brixton. kasabian.co.uk Sir Elton John: Farewell Yellow Brick Road: The Final Tour n 22 June 2022, Ashton Gate Stadium Sir Elton John is returning to Bristol for one night only as part of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road: The Final Tour – a 30-date stadium tour. The superstar will be performing at Ashton Gate Stadium on 22 June 2022, which will be his last-ever show in the South West, in one of just five UK cities that the icon will be visiting on the tour. Tickets go on sale on 30 June. eltonjohn.com/tours
Sir Elton John will be playing at Ashton Gate Stadium on 22 June next year
Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th July 2021
FLOWER SHOW FIELD, CLEVEDON ROAD, PORTISHEAD, BS20 7RA
Horticulture - Handicrafts - Arena - Gundogs, The Quack Pack, Falconry and more
Photo: Rocket Entertainment/Ben Gibson
Live Music from The Marionettes Chicken Teddy’s Companion Dog Show Portishead Bake Off Trade Stands - Refreshments Horse Box Bar and Stone Baked Pizzas Advanced Tickets: Adults £7.50 Weekend Tickets available Under 17’s free | Free Parking www.portisheadsummershow.com
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SUMMER FUN | BRISTOL GUIDE 2021
You could head to Haynes International Motor Museum
SCHOOL’S OUT! Looking for things to do with the kids? From picnicking in areas of outstanding natural beauty to climbing rope courses, learning archery and exploring Formula One’s interactive pitstops, we’ve got plenty of ideas for a summer of family fun...
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SUMMER FUN | BRISTOL GUIDE 2021
LEAP OF FAITH Blackhorse Hill, Bristol BS10 7TP wildplace.org.uk; 0117 980 7175 Located in Wild Place Project is Leap of Faith, one of Bristol’s finest outdoor activity centres – ideal for all ages. The whole family can climb up to 25ft on any of the climbing routes, brave the exhilarating ‘leap of faith’ from which the centre gets its name, or take the plunge on Bristol’s only giant swing! It’s within walking distance from The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, so you can head over just to climb, or make a day of it and explore everything the park has to offer: animals from across the globe, forest trails and lots more. Leap of Faith is open to the public at weekends as well as weekdays all through the summer holidays from 10am – 5pm. If you have some over-energetic kids (or adults!) take them down to the Leap of Faith course for some fun. All bookings are to be made online via the Wild Place website. Please note, if you wish to explore Wild Place, an additional entry fee will be charged.
WE THE CURIOUS 1 Millennium Square, Anchor Road, Bristol BS1 5DB wethecurious.org; 0117 915 1000 Have you ever wondered why rainbows make you happy? Why time flies when you’re having fun? Whether there’s another you out there in the universe? Step inside We The Curious this summer and explore what it means to be human with their superb new Project What If experience. Inspired by seven intriguing questions, the science centre’s transformed ground floor features 68 new exhibits and 25 art pieces. Marvel at the beauty of our brains, see what you look like in slow motion, turn invisible. Then head upstairs for mythical eagles and meteor showers in the UK’s only 3D planetarium. Open 10am to 5pm every day of the school holidays. Booking in advance essential. Visit the website for tickets!
ARNOLFINI | WE ARE FAMILY 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol BS1 4QA arnolfini.org.uk; @arnolfiniarts; 0117 917 2300 To celebrate this summer’s Frank Bowling exhibition, Arnolfini have invited their friends at Let’s Make Art to create a special ‘colour lab’ space over the holidays, where families can experiment with colour, mark-making techniques and essentially get messy. It’s completely free and everyone’s welcome. Booking in advance will be required in accordance with current government guidelines around Covid. Running every Wednesday from 28 July – 1 September, 1pm – 4pm for kids aged five and over. Let’s Make Art have also created Arnolfini’s Art Cart, packed full of colouring-in materials and exhibition-based activities, free for families visiting Arnolfini. Available daily, Tuesday – Sunday, 11am – 6pm each week.
WIMBLEBALL LAKE Brompton Regis, Dulverton, Somerset TA22 9NU swlakestrust.org.uk/activities; 01398 371460 Prepare for a summer of fun and adventure at Wimbleball Lake. Less than a two-hour drive from Bristol and Bath, Wimbleball is the perfect location for your next family escape. Try your hand at watersports, have a go at archery, swing from the high ropes or enjoy a tasty treat from the café. You can also extend your stay and camp on site. Whether it’s a day trip or a longer camping break, the lake offers the ideal escape for friends, family and couples. For more information or to book activities and camping, visit Wimbleball Lake’s website.
Detail of As Above, So Below by Frank Bowling As Above So Below, Frank Bowling, 2020, acrylic on canvas. Courtesy of Sir Frank Bowling Kt OBE RA and Hauser & Wirth (c) Sir Frank Bowling. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2020
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SUMMER FUN | BRISTOL GUIDE 2021
BRISTOL ZOO GARDENS College Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 3HA bristolzoo.org.uk; 0117 4285300
Bristol Zoo Gardens is the perfect fresh-air destination for summer with over 12 acres of outdoor space and the chance to see animals from all over the globe, including many endangered species. Spot adorable youngsters including two western lowland gorillas, a sloth and a tiny mouse deer, among 400 other incredible species. There’s fun to be had for all the family; kids can run wild in the adventure playground and big and little adventurers alike can climb, clamber and swing through the air in the thrilling aerial ropes course ZooRopia. Fancy a bite to eat? The Hide restaurant is open for eating in or takeaway. Visit the website to book online.
Redland Green School, Bristol BS6 7EH; Sir Bernard Lovell Sports Centre, Bristol BS30 8TS; soccershooters.com/holiday-clubs Football engagement and enjoyment specialist Soccer Shooters is delighted to be hosted by Redland Green School and Sir Bernard Lovell Sports Centre during this summer holiday. Football Fundays are a really popular and fun way for children (Reception to Year 7) to learn football skills and social skills, building confidence and self-esteem. The Fundays are a mixture of fun games, football matches and mini tournaments. Soccer Shooters combines top quality coaching with a relaxed and inclusive environment, enabling children of all backgrounds and abilities to sharpen their football skills while also learning life skills that will serve them well, no matter what they want to do in the future. Book soon to avoid disappointment.
HAYNES INTERNATIONAL MOTOR MUSEUM
Photo by Chris Lacey
Sparkford, Yeovil BA22 7LH himm.co.uk; 01963 440804
HESTERCOMBE GARDENS & GALLERY Cheddon Fitzpaine, Taunton TA2 8LG hestercombe.com; 01823 413923 Nestled at the foot of the beautiful Quantock Hills, Hestercombe Gardens features a stunning collection of historic gardens, steeped in history and bursting with wildlife. A visit should include a meander through the splendid Georgian landscape garden, followed by the vibrant colours of the formal gardens, designed by Gertrude Jekyll and Sir Edwin Lutyens. Lose yourself along cool rills, or under the picturesque pergola, adorned with fragrant roses and lavender. The whole family will enjoy Hestercombe, with 50 acres of gardens to explore, two play areas, a café and restaurant, gift shop, and plant centre, plus art exhibitions at Hestercombe Gallery. During school holidays there are fun-packed activity days for children too. See the website for more information and tickets.
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The multi award-winning Haynes International Motor Museum is truly a must-see attraction for West Country families, with brand new exhibitions to explore this year including ‘Williams F1: The Drivers and The Driven’. At the home of the UK’s largest collection of cars and motorbikes you can get up close to some of the very first cars invented in ‘The Dawn of Motoring’; learn how a car works with the working cutaway; explore reds around the world in the Red Room and feed your need for speed with some of the most iconic Formula One cars in Williams’ history. There is plenty to keep the whole family entertained with interactive pitstops, an on-site café and a fantastic outside playground. If you are feeling competitive, the on-site Karting at Haynes track (booked separately) is also open for a fun family race. To book your day out this summer, visit the website or call the museum directly.
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Williams F1: the drivers and the driven
Chris Copson, head of collections at Haynes International Motor Museums, tells the story behind an exclusive new exhibition, which uncovers the story of Williams across decades of cutting-edge Formula 1 competition
o anyone with even a slight interest in motor sport the name of Frank Williams will be familiar. He founded the home-grown F1 team Williams Racing which was until recently the last ‘family’ team left in the sport. As a driver, Sir Frank Williams had a reputation of being lightning fast but not always staying on the road. He frequently rolled cars including on one occasion his mother’s Morris 1000. Frank stopped racing in 1967 and started his journey to creating a world renowned F1 team in partnership with engineer Patrick Head. Over the years the Williams team has won nine constructors’ championships and seven drivers’ titles, with driving legends such as Keke Rosberg, Nelson Piquet, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve. With historical photography and footage from the Williams F1 Heritage collection, paired with research from the museum’s team, this exclusive exhibition captures the incredible history of Williams and the excitement of the sport. No matter what the visitor’s knowledge of F1 may be, there is something to learn and enjoy throughout. You can get close to some of the most iconic Formula 1 cars in Williams’ history, such as Nigel Mansell’s FW14 or ‘Red 5’ and Damon Hill’s FW17. One thing that is immediately noticeable is how the cars, which truly are spectacular aerodynamic wonders of technology, have evolved over the years. Williams is, of course, part of a wider story, the sport itself has also changed beyond recognition, from a minority interest for the true enthusiasts into a global phenomenon that rivals the Olympics in terms of popularity. In order to give context to the exhibition, dedicated areas explore the wider connected stories such as the history, glamour and culture of Formula 1. Chris Copson, head of collections commented: “The social history surrounding the sport is fascinating and will be quite a nostalgia kick for some. We explore back to the days of the 1970s and the boisterous charms of James Hunt, all the way through to the modern day F1 drivers such as Lewis Hamilton with huge salaries, yachts and apartments in Monaco. It also wouldn’t be a story about F1 if we didn’t look at some of the amazing locations of the tracks, from the glamour of oil rich Bahrain to Sao Paulo, where multi-million pound cars race with a background of desperately poor favelas.” Formula 1 racing has also been a soberingly dangerous sport in
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which numerous drivers have lost their lives. In the years before 1970 there was very little in the way of safety rules. Indeed fire-resistant clothing was only introduced in the 1970s. The increased focus on safety in the sport can only be appreciated when you look across the decades where there is a demonstrable correlation between increased safety measures and the decline in fatalities. Racing fatalities went from 23 recorded deaths before 1970 to just one fatal crash in the last 10 years. The Williams team was sadly not a stranger to dangers behind the wheel; off the track Frank Williams was involved in a road accident in 1986 which left him in a wheelchair after breaking his neck and Williams F1 suffered a terrible blow in 1994 when Ayrton Senna suffered a fatal crash at the San Marino Grand Prix. Although the danger still remains today, a crash that would have been fatal in the past is now very much survivable, partly due to regulations and rules but also because car design and construction is now centred on crash survivability and saving lives. Illustrating this within the exhibition is the original monocoque driver cell of one of Pastor Maldonado’s cars which was involved in a dramatic crash during the 2013 Monaco Grand Prix. The carbon fibre monocoque is twice as strong as steel, five times lighter and almost indestructible. Maldonado escaped with minor injuries. Chris Copson added “Irrespective of whether you are a die-hard F1 fan or not, this exhibition is packed with fascinating stories, facts and figures with something for everyone.” ■ • Williams F1: The Drivers and The Driven exhibition is open to the public at Haynes International Motor Museum in Somerset every day from 10am. Pre-book visit at himm.co.uk or call 01963 440804.
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ART | EXHIBITIONS
STATE OF THE ART
Summer Blues, Rainmaker Gallery, until 28 August
Meadow Maker, A New Collection by Sally Stafford, Clifton Contemporary Art, 3 – 30 July
Rainmaker Gallery is celebrating 30 years of exhibiting contemporary Native American art in the UK. Throughout the year, the gallery is showcasing artworks selected in accordance with seasonal colour palettes, including as many artists from the three decades as possible. The current exhibition emphasises ‘summer blues’, bringing together paintings, drawings, original prints and fine art photography by more than a dozen artists from diverse tribal nations.
It is estimated that 97% of Britain’s wildflower meadows have vanished since the 1930s, and the few that remain are often vulnerable, together with the numerous creatures that depend on them, such as vital pollinators, butterflies, birds and small mammals. The tireless work of conservation charities such as Plantlife has never been more important. Beginning on National Meadows Day, 3 July, Clifton Contemporary Art’s latest exhibition is a celebration of these beautiful habitats, expressed through the encompassing mixed media paintings of Sally Stafford, who has long drawn inspiration from the intricate balance of living colours and changing textures that define unspoilt meadows. Meadow Maker immerses the viewer in a rare and precious world that deserves to be cherished and protected by us all.
• rainmakerart.co.uk • cliftoncontemporaryart.co.uk Image: Sheridan by Cara Romero
In Contrast: Boo Mallinson and Robert Hewer, Lime Tree Gallery, until 10 July Lime Tree Gallery is showcasing a powerful and thoughtful exhibition by two artists who are different yet complementary in style. Boo Mallinson’s calming and serene abstract landscapes contrast with Robert Hewer’s bold and striking portraits. This exhibition introduces Robert’s still life paintings to Bristol for the first time.
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Throughout the exhibition, visitors will also notice a connection to Dorset as Robert grew up there and Boo chooses to paint her beautiful landscapes in the county. • limetreegallery.com
Image: Autumn Coast by Boo Mallinson
Image: Summer Haze by Sally Stafford
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ART | EXHIBITIONS
Varekai (‘Wherever’), RWA Pop-up Exhibition, community venues across Bristol, throughout July
Canaletto: Painting Venice, The Holburne Museum, until 5 September The Holburne Museum in Bath is presenting the most important set of paintings of Venice by Canaletto (1697 – 1768) which have left their home at Woburn Abbey – one of world’s most important private art collections – for the first time in more than 70 years. This once-in-a-lifetime exhibition enables art lovers to enjoy and study upclose 23 beautiful paintings, in a fascinating exhibition that also explores Canaletto’s life and work, alongside themes of 18th-century Venice and the Grand Tour. This is one of the rare occasions that any of the successive Dukes of Bedford and trustees of the Bedford Estates have lent the set of paintings since they arrived in Britain from Canaletto in the 1730s. Created over a nine-year period, when the artist was at the pinnacle of his career, the Woburn Abbey paintings are the largest set of paintings that Canaletto ever produced, and much the largest that has remained together. • holburne.org Image: View on the Grand Canal looking north from the Palazzo Contarini dagli Scrigni to the Palazzo Rezzonico
The Royal West of England Academy is taking a selection of vibrant and colourful artworks from the permanent collection to community venues across Bristol, as a pop-up exhibition, during the time that the RWA building is closed for renovation. The title, ‘Varekai’, is a Romani word meaning ‘wherever’. It comes from one of the paintings in the exhibition, which depicts Le Cirque du Soleil performing a show of the same name. The exhibition comprises eight paintings that all have great energy, vibrancy and a distinct sense of the outdoors about them. They were chosen to inspire and delight, as we all come out of lockdown and reconnect with each other and the places around us. To accompany the exhibition, free family art workshops with an artist will run at each venue, using the paintings as inspiration. Booking for these workshops is via each individual venue. • rwa.org.uk Image: June Berry RWA NEAC Hon. RE RWS, Le Cirque du Soleil Performing ‘Varekai’, 2011. RWA Collection © RWA (Royal West of England Academy)
Image: Sir Frank Bowling OBE, RA. Photograph © Sacha Bowling
Sir Frank Bowling, Arnolfini, 3 July – 26 September Arnolfini is showcasing a major exhibition with pioneering painter Sir Frank Bowling as part of their 60th anniversary celebrations. The exhibition will feature new and recent works which demonstrate the continued exploration and experimentation with the painted surface for which Bowling is renowned. This is the artist’s first museum exhibition since his critically acclaimed and long overdue retrospective at Tate Britain in 2019, which cemented his reputation as a modern master. It will include new and previously unseen works – including several created during the pandemic – alongside key paintings from the last decade, providing a fascinating insight into Bowling’s work. • arnolfini.org.uk
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ANTIQUES | CHRIS YEO
Expert opinion ...From Chris Yeo, valuer at Clevedon Salerooms, curator of the Ken Stradling Collection in Bristol and expert on BBC Antiques Roadshow
High wires? No. Take a stand
uestion: when is a nail not a nail? Answer: when it is the life support for a priceless collection of antique porcelain. Whenever my time allows, my favourite pastime is exploring the collections of our historic houses. One I am sure you will know is Tyntesfield between Bristol and Clevedon. The lavish Gothic mansion – a mass of arches and pinnacles – was aggrandised on the profits of Peruvian bird droppings (the 19thcentury farmer’s fertiliser of choice) and is now in the care of the National Trust. Whenever I visit I am reminded of a story once told me by one of the guides there. High up on the wall of the plush Victorian library there is an impressive display of colourful – and extremely valuable – 17th-century Japanese porcelain plates. Known as Imari from the distinctive palette of blue, red and gold, they make a bold statement and would certainly get pulses racing if they ever came up for sale which, of course, they won’t. When the National Trust bought the house back in 2002 and started the mammoth job of cleaning the vast room they were shocked to discover that the plates, which must have been in place for at least 100 years, as well as being black with years of dirt, were kept in place by a long piece of twisted wire which was hanging from a single large nail hammered into the wall. How they had managed to stay in place for so long without the whole display crashing to the ground, heaven knows. I am reminded of this story every time I come across a plate that has suffered the misfortune of having a metal hanger attached to the back of it. Truthfully these wretched things are torture for plates, sinking their vicious spring-loaded hooks into delicate porcelain rims and turning hairlines into dirty great cracks. How I long to release them from their bondage. So, my advice is to leave your walls for pictures and put your plate on a stand. ■ • clevedon-salerooms.com; @chrisyeo_antiques (Instagram)
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Keeping beer cold since 1880
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Talkin’ about an evolution
M Shed’s summer exhibition celebrates the Bristol street art scene, including the women documenters – all too often left out of the story – who captured its boisterous energy back in the days when it was just beginning to burgeon
rom its anarchist origins in the 1980s and 1990s through to the explosion of the scene in the early ’00s, Bristol has played an instrumental role in the development of British street art, and M Shed is making sure everyone knows it, with its current sprawling exhibition. ‘Bristol Street Art: The Evolution of a Global Movement’ gives due kudos to our extraordinary creatives, highlighting seminal works, notable moments and key events belonging to the city’s dynamic history. The comprehensive show examines the response of Bristol’s pioneering underground scene against a turbulent social and political backdrop and considers the drive for social change underpinning the work of many of today’s street artists. There are snapshots of the ’80s from Beezer, rare Matthew Smith images from the time of rave and the Criminal Justice Bill (the ’90s, if you weren’t there) and Henry Chalfant’s unseen photographs of his time in Bristol for Spraycan Art. Short films such as Wild Style by Charlie Ahearn are woven in, and Doug Gillen work features with an original score by drum and bass producer DJ Krust. An album, featuring some of the tracks that formed the roots of the famous Bristol Sound, is also being released. Bringing together one of the largest collections of original works and memorabilia ever seen in the UK, the show goes beyond Bristol too, imparting knowledge about evolving disciplines of British and Irish artists moving from the street art conversation to bridge contemporary fields by fusing traditional techniques with new technologies. From bronze sculpture to immersive displays, expect new originals from Andy Council, Bill Posters, China Mike, Conor Harrington,
Dicy, Eko, Feek, Filthy Luker, Inkie, Lucas Price, Matt Small, Mau Mau, Mr Jago, Paris, Rowdy, Sickboy, Will Barras and Xenz, as well as rare and unseen works and bespoke edits from the filmmakers and photographers who documented the unfolding subculture. It celebrates, with archive photos, the women pioneers all too often left out of the story of street art – early female documenters Karen Dews, Carrie Hitchcock and Kineta Hill who captured the boisterous energy of the burgeoning Bristol scene. These women delved into their incredible archives, tracking over 20 years of Bristol street art, to find favourite images encapsulating its rebellious spirit – from the early days of Barton Hill Youth Club to the contemporary artists bringing Bristolian street art to the world stage. Works by Lucy McLauchlan and Swoon can be seen, along with other fantastic female street artists who are shaking things up, and a community outreach programme is offering workshops, panels and film screenings bigging up key female figures in urban culture. The exhibition also reflects on the new generation of global creatives advocating for social and environmental awareness through art on the streets, promoting discussion and participation at the intersection of culture and sustainable action in alignment with the UN’s development goals. Over the years, Bristol street artists have brought a whole new meaning to watching paint dry, and this show, in tribute to them all, is a wonderful way to say thank you. ■
• Bristol Street Art: The Evolution of a Global Movement, M Shed, until 31 October; vanguardstreetart.com
Main image: Punk BHBB, Carrie Hitchcock 1982; This page cloclwise from above: The Blind Exit, Conor Harrington; M32 Sunset, Karen Dews, Blue Surfer, Will Barras; Inkie, Barton Hill Youth Club, Carrie Hitchcock 1990; and Xenz Scratches, Karen Dews 1999
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What’s on the empty plinth in the city centre? That’s in the eye of the beholder, thanks to The People’s Platform which has brought to life Bristolians’ digital sculpture designs to reflect the city’s common values
child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down just to feel its warmth.” This African proverb was the inspiration for one of many digital sculptures already submitted for a new augmented reality project focusing on positive outcomes for the future of the city’s empty Edward Colston plinth. Community (pictured below) was designed by Bishopworth resident Saffa Freebrey, who works for a student housing association, to depict a mother and child and the many faces of a community that can surround to protect and guide. One of seven siblings born to a Sudanese mother and a father from Gloucester, Saffa is grateful for all the outside influences that helped guide her on her way during her childhood and, having recently become a mother, acknowledges that she would have struggled without the help of the community around her.
Moment is inspired by the events of 6 June, and the splash the statue made when it plunged into the harbour
Bulgarian PhD researcher Aleks Vladimirov remembers watching news footage of the statue being pulled down when he was living in Shrewsbury and – loving the city’s energy and free-thinking spirit – deciding he would move to Bristol to study. His design Moment is inspired by the events of 6 June 2020, and the splash the statue made when it plunged into the harbour. It’s also an expression of the fluidity and transcience of history. “History is a story we tell ourselves in the present about the past,” he said. “It has an important role in how we orient ourselves to the future. No event in history is set in stone. The past determines the present but history is not the past.”
Collectively the virtual installations will imaginatively express what today’s Bristolians want to celebrate in the heart of the city, with a new digital ‘statue’ and story added to the collection each month. Schools and groups can visit the plinth as part of a bespoke workshop experience and the public can submit comments and suggestions in an open public forum moderated by Bristol City Council. “To partake in art in public spaces: it’s something you’re often told not to do,” says illustrator and mural artist Jazz Thompson. “The ownership [of the plinth] has completely shifted.” Jazz’s Many Faces is a development of an illustration project commissioned by Watershed’s Pervasive Media Studio, using hand-drawn textures and coloured panels to celebrate diversity, and inspired by Artistotle’s observation: ‘The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.’ City dwellers of all ages and backgrounds are engaging in the artistic discussion about how Bristol’s history can be better reflected, with hundreds of artists and schools having contributed concepts. Selected designs are available in the form of AR, doing no damage in the physical plane, and the tech – developed in conjuction with AR experts Apache and 8th Wall to reduce engagement barriers – doesn’t require an app download. Anyone with a smart device near the plinth, or online anywhere in the world can explore the pieces from 360 degrees. “I love how The People’s Platform layers up the visions of Bristol citizens. In situ, its the best use of AR I can imagine,” said Watershed CEO Clare Reddington. “Wherever you are it opens up conversations about who makes art and who is memorialised through art in a necessary, accessible and democratic way.” “This project is so immensely impactful,” said Bristol resident Lilly Pawley. “It sets a precedent for public displays and who should have the right to decide what we are exposed to in our cities. It’s time to review our landscape and make bold decisions. I hope the project grows to be a permanent feature.” n • peoplesplatform.co.uk
Many Faces by Jazz Thompson
Aleks Vladimirov’s Moment
Saﬀa Freebrey’s Community
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S ER P M O M SH SU RK O
Shine a light…
LAMPSHADE SUMMER SCHOOL Tuesday 10th to Friday 13th August Four days of glorious creativity. Learn tailored, gathered and pleated techniques on this unique renowned course. Be quick… spaces limited.
A PASSAGE TO INDIA Friday 10th & Saturday 11th September Our popular gathered lampshade making course… this time using block printed fabric and saree trimmings. Bling it on!
To book your place and for details, visit:
www.lampshadeschool.co.uk We are in Holt village, near Bradford on Avon
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Technicolour time capsule
Years before a single bedpan had been emptied on an episode of Casualty, Bristol set the scene for one of Britain’s earliest teen flicks, capturing a city on the cusp of change. Darryl W. Bullock uncovers Bristol’s most Bristolian movie
ristol has supplied the backdrop to a staggering number of movies and TV shows over the years, and it’s also recognised as a hotbed for TV and film production, for internationally acclaimed animation and as the home of significant acting, writing and directing talent. Even under Covid the Doctor Who crew managed to make it to Bristol to film scenes for the next series. There’s so much happening here that, in 2017, Bristol was awarded UNESCO City of Film status. The city is rightly famous for supplying the location for everything from Only Fools and Horses and The Young Ones, to more recent successes such as Being Human, Sherlock and A Very British Scandal, but our cinematic and televisual history stretches back long before then. Years before Morph was a twinkle in Aardman Animations’ collective eye, before a single bedpan had been emptied on an episode of Casualty, in 1962 Bristol was used as the backcloth to one of Britain’s earliest teen flicks, Some People.
Bristol is such an integral part of the plot that it really deserves its own credit in the cast list
Made decades before the city became a major player in Britain’s film and TV industry, there has never been a more Bristolian film than Some People. In fact, Bristol is such an integral part of the plot that it really deserves its own credit in the cast list. Opening with an aerial shot of the city that takes in still-recognisable and iconic buildings including City Hall, before racing around the city centre and past Vespa dealer Cruickshank Motors (remember, this was before the Italian scooters would become synonymous with mod culture), Some People captures Bristol on the cusp of change. There’s a shot of a gorgeous neon sign advertising Bristol brand cigarettes on a longdemolished building on Broad Quay – where the Radisson Blu hotel now stands – and we get a brief look through the windows of record stores, TV hire-purchase shops and jewellers. The local atmosphere is completed by images of several green Bristol double decker buses, and dozens of beautiful, early ’60s advertisements. The action starts proper with the leather jacket-wearing, bequiffed bad boy Johnnie leaning on a railing in the old Bristol coach station, before we’re treated to a tour of the docks and a promise of a night up at the water tower, and that’s just the first five minutes. And – hang on a moment – isn’t that Harold Steptoe reading a copy of the Western Daily Press? ‘They were young, bored rebels – living for kicks’, according to the movie’s tagline, but who on earth would have thought that these teenage tearaways would have found what they were looking for in a basement coffee bar on Whiteladies Road, or at a mobile takeaway on Durdham Down? Shot entirely in and around the city, Some People features a number of local actors and musicians alongside such well-known names as Harry H. Corbett, Ray Brooks (who plays our hero, Johnnie, and will be best known to readers of a certain age as the narrator of cult ’70s animated series Mr Benn), David Hemmings and Kenneth More – the star of such box office hits as Reach for the Sky, Doctor in the House and Genevieve. With Some People made to highlight the work of the 46 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE
Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme, More donated his usual fee to the youth charity. Brooks and Hemmings had just finished work on the Billy Fury vehicle Play It Cool, directed by Michael Winner; Some People catches these two rising stars shortly before they landed their defining roles, Brooks in The Knack – And How To Get It, and Hemmings in seminal arthouse movie Blow-Up. Angela Douglas, who plays Terry – the girl all the boys are potty about – was 22 years old when she began an on-set affair with the film’s male lead, the 48-year-old Kenneth More. The couple married in 1968 and were together until More’s death in 1982. She appeared in four Carry On films, including Carry On Cowboy and Carry On Screaming. Anneke Wills, who played Anne, More’s daughter in the movie, would become best known for playing Polly in 36 episodes of Doctor Who. Also of note is Frankie Dymon, the young Black actor who plays drummer Jimmy. Dymon would go on to join political activist group the British Black Panthers, appeared in the Rolling Stones documentary Sympathy For The Devil, and would write and direct the country’s first Black Power film, Death May Be Your Santa Claus. The film takes in a visit to a long-gone basement coffee lounge near the Triangle, the El Toro Espresso Bar on Queen’s Road, plus youth clubs and church halls, the Bristol aircraft factory and Wills’ cigarette works in Bedminster, even a spot of dress shopping in Marks and Spencer in Broadmead – apparently escalators were big news in 1962. There’s a trip to the Old Vic, then still known as the Theatre Royal, to see the play The Sitting Duck, which had its world premiere there on 10 April 1962. The younger members of the Some People cast spent several weeks in Bristol before filming commenced, picking up the local accent and checking out locations. It paid off; there’s an authentic quality to the film that is missing from movies shot entirely in the studio, although Corbett’s West Country accent leaves a lot to be desired! Scenes of the youths riding on their motorbikes along the Portway and beneath Clifton Suspension Bridge, for example, could never have worked if they had been filmed on a studio lot, or on static machines in front of a backdrop. The fact that some of the dialogue was improvised only adds to the realism.
Dymon would join the British Black Panthers, appear in the Rolling Stones documentary Sympathy For The Devil, and write and direct the country’s first Black Power film, Death May Be Your Santa Claus Despite the authentic local feel, Some People is also full of weird continuity errors that most viewers would not notice, but that would make your average Bristolian tear their hair out. Take the scene where Johnnie is sharing his first drink in a pub with his father. The pub in question is The Palace, in Old Market, now sadly closed, but there’s no mistaking the brass, barley sugar twists that still adorn the nowabandoned bar. Johnnie steps outside the pub and walks across the road to The Magnet fish and chip shop which, as we all know, is in
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The movie opens with an aerial shot taking in stillrecognisable buildings, before racing around the city centre
The cult 1960s musical drama is about a boy who forms a guitar band – the local atmosphere is completed by green Bristol double decker buses, and early ’60s ads
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CITY | INTERIORS
Dean Lane, some two miles away! Early on in the film the lads are walking through St Nick’s Market, past Giuseppe’s on Market Steps and suddenly they are on Christmas Steps, parading past book sellers and dirty magazine emporia. You can’t have a teen flick without music, and central to the plot of Some People is how these bad boys go good through the restorative power of rock ’n’ roll. Although we see Brooks, Hemmings and company playing various instruments in the film, and Angela Douglas singing, the soundtrack was, in fact, provided by local band The Eagles (not in any way connected with the US band of the same name) and teenage punch-card operator Valerie Mountain, who was born in Weston-Super-Mare. The Eagles, a popular Bristol band modelled on The Shadows, signed to Pye Records and released several singles and two albums; Valerie had been signed to Columbia Records in 1961 after appearing in Bristolian passion play A Man Dies – on the BBC – releasing a single and appearing on the soundtrack album. An EP of the music used in Some People was issued by Pye to coincide with the film’s release, featuring six tracks from Valerie and The Eagles and reaching number two in the EP charts. The disc was denied the top spot by Elvis Presley. Originally called The Strollers, The Eagles had been enlisted to record songs for the film’s soundtrack by composer Ron Grainer, best known perhaps for writing the TV themes to Dr Who (there’s that connection again) and Tales of the Unexpected. Grainer and his wife took the youngsters under their wing, with Margo Grainer becoming their manager. The four members, Rodney Meacham (who had been awarded bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh awards), Terry Clarke, Johnny Payne and Mike Brice, had been together since 1958: the band’s name came from the Eagle House Youth Club in Newquay Road, Knowle West. They were an obvious choice for the film, having already won a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for Rhythm Group of the Year at a concert at the Royal Festival Hall. Their first release, aside from the soundtrack EP, was an instrumental that Grainer wrote for the film, the aptly titled Bristol Express. Grainer would also write another tune for the group, March of the Eagles, which appeared on the B-side of their next single, a cover of the theme to the film Exodus. They would also cover a number of their mentor’s best-known tunes, including the themes to TV shows Maigret and Steptoe And Son. Some People had its official premiere in front of the Duke of Edinburgh, naturally, in London on 17 July 1962. According to contemporary news reports, the lads from The Eagles arrived at the cinema without their tickets and could not get in until Prince Philip came to their rescue. The Eagles recorded their first album, Smash Hits, in 1963 and toured nationally on the same bill as hitmakers Del Shannon, Johnny Tillotson and folk trio The Springfields, shortly before Dusty went solo. A second album, Smash Hits Volume Two – a compilation of their singles and EPs – was only issued abroad. They spent New Year 1965 performing on board the Queen Mary, but split up shortly afterwards, sadly without ever scoring a chart hit in their own country. Valerie Mountain, who was feted in the press as the new Helen Shapiro and appeared in concert with Tommy Steele, turned her back on the chance of fame, announcing that she was “not taken in with tempting offers to turn professional singer anymore.” She married in 1964 and left the music industry for good, later emigrating to America. Some People remains as a vibrant, priceless, technicolour time capsule of Bristol at the start of a decade that would not only change our city, but change the world forever, and offers a rare window on the lives of teenagers before The Beatles came along and shook everything up. n • Some People is available on DVD and Blu-ray from Network
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Although we see Angela singing, the soundtrack was provided by Valerie Mountain and The Eagles
Central to the plot is how bad boys go good through the restorative power of rock ’n’ roll
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Making contact: Penfriend Big news from the Bristol music scene: multi-disciplinary artist, music producer and songwriter Laura Kidd’s album has hit the UK top 25
As a little Kidd, Laura wrote letters to penpals around the world. Now she shares her passion for post with her fan base – sending out packages of music and art to connect more deeply with the Correspondent’s Club
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aving bagged the highest chart position for a female artist from Bristol since Beth Rowley in 2008, Penfriend’s recent success is significant for independent local artists. Her Exotic Monsters album, while marrying influences ranging from Nevermind-era Nirvana to Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode to Tears For Fears, draws more from a wide-ranging reading list taking in Margaret Atwood and Mark Westmoquette, Ursula Le Guin and Kurt Vonnegut, to help examine gruelling emotional matters of 21stcentury life. Largely we’re talking the toll of a negative political onslaught, anxiety-inducing attention engineering tactics of big tech companies – akin to those used by casinos – and society’s struggle to use tech for good, while shielding itself from the downsides of constant connectivity. With honesty, grace and warmth, Penfriend (AKA Laura Kidd) deals with these concerns on record, while juggling a hit podcast holding aloft the priceless gift of a person’s attention in a noisy online world.
TBM: Congrats on your recent success! Penfriend: Thank you! It’s been quite a few weeks! Exotic Monsters went into the official albums chart at number 24 and the independent chart at number five, which is a massive win for independent artists releasing on their own labels, and was only possible because of the backing of independently minded music fans who didn’t need to see my face on a billboard to know they like the music I make.
So much of our communication these days is surface level because the medium dictates it, so I’m interested in consciously going deeper
everything down. I wanted to start my own podcast because I didn’t hear other people asking the questions I wanted to hear answers to: about the magic of songwriting, how people deal with their inner critic, how they balance music work and home life, being online so much (maybe too much) and the impact of a creative career on mental and physical health. What I couldn’t have predicted is how talking to other artists and producers like Tanya Donelly (Belly), Corin Tucker (Sleater-Kinney), Nikesh Shukla, Frank Turner, Lemn Sissay, Bernard Butler, Sananda Maitreya, Miles Hunt and Rebecca Lucy Taylor (Self Esteem) would encourage and motivate me to keep making and sharing things with people throughout this tough year – that’s just what I do, and having people to keep sharing things with helped get me through, too. What are your favourite music venues in Bristol? There’s really nothing like playing a packed room at The Louisiana; the first venue I played in Bristol, and I love playing The Fleece too. How has Bristol shaped your music? Getting out of London was a necessary thing for me after 13 years of living and working there. I was born in Wiltshire, so I’d always hoped to move back westwards, and moving to Bristol just gave me a fresh perspective on things. I like living somewhere of a more manageable size! Starting again in a new place as an adult is a humbling experience which led to a lot of introspection and reflection, both of which are essential for writing music that means something to myself and others. Where in Bristol is home and who here inspired you in the early days? I’ll always be grateful to Mig at The Louisiana for encouraging me to hire the venue when I was building up my audience here. I moved to Bristol nearly nine years ago, and have lived in Stokes Croft, Victoria Park, Knowle West and, now, Shirehampton. I love Shire because it has a villagey feel and is right near loads of greenery, but we’re only 15 minutes away from the centre by bus.
Where did your name come from?
Which of your lyrics holds most meaning for you?
When I was a little kid I loved writing letters to penpals around the world. Email and social media dominate our communication methods now, but there’s still nothing like analogue mail. Whether people come to my music through digital or analogue means, I’m creating spaces for our stories to connect and intermingle in an emotionally resonant way, and the packages of music and art that I make and send out to my Correspondent’s Club on a quarterly basis is my way of keeping in touch in a deeper way than is possible solely online.
The opening line to I Used To Know Everything is at the forefront of my mind at the moment. “We’re losing ourselves, giving it away.” What could happen if that thought I just shared online was written down in a notebook instead? Could it have led to another, deeper thought, that took me somewhere I couldn’t have predicted? So much of our communication these days is surface level because the medium dictates it, so I’m interested in consciously going deeper with everything I do. After an intense six months leading up to the release of my album I’m taking time to step back a bit and establish some better boundaries around my use of social media, especially via my phone. The album is partly about my attempts to question the effect of this constant stream of information via the screens that are ever-present in our lives. The irony that, in order to share such an album with the wider world, I have to use the same technology I’m questioning, isn’t lost on me, but I’m just sharing my journey, not telling anyone else what to do.
How has the past year affected your creativity? I went into overdrive, really. I was halfway through making Exotic Monsters when the pandemic started and was due to launch the Penfriend project and my Correspondent’s Club in May 2020. I decided to push ahead with everything and see what happened, and launched my podcast Attention Engineer in June. Even though I record my music in my own studio at home, it wasn’t easy to forge ahead and complete the album because I found all the lockdowns and uncertainty and fear difficult to cope with, but staying in touch with my supporters throughout that time really encouraged me towards the finish line. Tell us more about your podcast; who’s been the best guest? Attention Engineer was something I’d been planning for years, and I started recording conversations with fellow musicians towards the end of 2019 for a launch in 2020. The last in-person recording I got to do was with Frank Turner at his Aylesbury show in March 2020, which was his second-to-last gig before the pandemic closed
Which acts are you rating at the moment and who would you like to collaborate with? I’ve always wanted to write a song with Massive Attack. The debut Silver Stairs Of Ketchikan [Bristol’s Charlie Romijn] album, EDEIDA, is a beautiful piece of work. I’m excited to hear the second Emily Breeze solo album (the first is so good) and I’m eagerly awaiting more from National Treasure [Hannah Phipps, BIMM Bristol principal]. ■ • For updates, visit the website: penfriend.rocks; or follow Laura on Twitter: @penfriendrocks
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The community can mould people into the greatest version of themselves, say Ellie and Lydia
Sharifa co-founded QTIPOC space Kiki Bristol
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Aisha and Lauren have felt nothing but support and encouragement in Bristol
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Violet enjoys magic and anime
Doing Bristol proud
This time last year local photographer Karen Freer began documenting LGBTQ+ faces of Bristol via portraiture to help represent and empower the community – and this month you can view the whole collection
Leo transitioned at the end of his school years
Images : Karen Freer
El is the creator of It’s A BAME’S Life
here are, of course, still parts of the city where I feel anxiety around holding my wife’s hand, but I have always felt welcome in Bristol,” says photographer Karen Freer (she/her), who fell in love with the creation of images as a child when she experimented with film photography; switching to video in her teens, and then back again. Her latest passion project – started in summer 2020, between cycle rides, Netflix sessions, gaming stints and spreadsheets for her day job as a media planner and buyer for cycling brands – builds on a clear goal shared by many in the city. For key to the simple act of holding hands, and the expression of a spectrum of identities, never being an issue again for any queer person, wherever they live, is visibility and awareness for the community, and more projects like Karen’s LGBTQ+ Faces of Bristol. To this end, and working with a team of volunteers to ensure diversity both in front of and behind the camera, Karen involved rights campaigners Consortium, the Voice & Influence Partnership, local independent film lab Photographique, Silverpan Labs, Ilford Film, community history group OutStories Bristol, and Bristol Pride – look out for one of Karen’s portraits on the Pride art trail. Participants have included Violet (she/her; transgender, bisexual, asexual) who has lived in Bristol for nine years, enjoying a passion for magic and anime; Leo (he/him, trans, pansexual), who transitioned at the end of school, having got onto testosterone early and had top surgery on the NHS before the age of 20. Sharifa (she/her, polyamorous) also features in the portrait series, focusing on her passion for football, podcasting (check out The Queer Blackity Black Joy Podcast) and Kiki Bristol, a space she co-founded for QTIPOC (queer, transgender, intersex, people of colour) to meet, greet, eat, discuss and dance. A wish to have been able to show their younger selves that it’s okay to be who you are meant Ellie (she/her, lesbian) and Lydia (she/her, bisexual) were more than happy to help Karen raise awareness for society’s LGBTQ+ stratum, and associated
oppression, while portraying the love within the community and “how it can mould people into the greatest version of themselves”. Karen spoke with and photographed podcaster El (she/they, queer, pansexual) – creator of It’s A BAME’s Life which discusses, each week, via all major platforms, issues and topics affecting the BAME LGBTQ+ community, as well as talking to the charities, organisations and individuals working towards change. “Being part of the community gives me so much joy; that’s why this year I coordinated the Europe edition of Global Black Pride which aired virtually in June,” said El, who is part of Sing Out Bristol choir and LGBTQ+ choir. “Follow me [Twitter and Instagram: @itsabameslife] as I create, curate and host various projects under the banner of Pride in various intersections.” Bristol newcomer Ángela (she/her, ecosexual, bisexual), who moved to the city just before the lockdown last spring, is passionate about nature, sustainability, wild swimming, growing veg and flowers and spending time ‘being wild’ in the outdoors with her van. Already a forest school practitioner, an ecopsychological and nature connection facilitator, as well as a Spanish tutor who teaches language lessons outdoors, Ángela is also training to become an ecotherapist just to add another string to her bow. Her other passions lie in feminism, embodiment, sexualities and intimacy, and menstruation – the latter another subject of her studies. “I did a PhD on menstruation and would like to continue developing this further in a different setting,” she says, “and through different projects within my ecopsychological practice. I haven’t planned anything for Pride as flexibility and spontaneity are crucial for me, but I’ll be writing on LGBTQ+ (especially ecosexuality) on my Instagram account for sure, in order to keep making visible and honouring diversity.” Aisha (she/her, gay), who works for a TV production company, and wife Lauren (she/her, queer), who works for the emergency services in Bristol, were keen to have photos taken before the birth of their child so Karen squeezed in a session just before the lockdown at the end of 2020.
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Karen will be exhibiting portraits at the Tobacco Factory
Ángela is training to become an ecotherapist
“Lauren and I chose Bristol as our home in 2016, having met in Manchester and just concluded a long backpacking trip,” Aisha recalls. “We absolutely love the South West and feel very lucky to have managed to put roots here.” The pair always knew they wanted a family, and, in October 2019 started their journey; a monthly rollercoaster of scheduling, multifarious testing, monitoring of bodily functions and intense emotions. “By early April 2020, just as coronavirus was starting to get scary, we discovered Lauren was pregnant, and, the rest is history. We’ve always been really open and honest about our story (before and after conception) and, for the four years we’ve been in Bristol, we’ve felt nothing but support and encouragement – with a peppering of curiosity here and there! “Even though the entire pregnancy and birth were in the midst of the pandemic, we were really impressed with how all of the medical
professionals we encountered embraced our family, didn’t ask inappropriate or probing questions and always referred to both of us as ‘mum’. We’re very grateful for our new family of three and can’t wait to show our child off to the world.” “As this will be our first Pride with our son,” continues Aisha, “we are going to dress up in rainbow colours and show we are a visible and proud same-sex family.” Karen Freer, meanwhile, will be at the LGBTQ+ Faces of Bristol exhibition at the Tobacco Factory, with the first volume of the photobook (funded by Voice & Influence partnership), and with fellow photographer Keir Gravil at the Bristol Pride Art Trail – running through July. Pop by and say hello! ■ • See the collection, on display until 7 August, in The Snug at The Tobacco Factory; lgbtqfacesofbristol.co.uk
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www.thebristolmag.co.uk 54 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE
IT’S THE NEWSLE TTER
YOU’LL ENJOY READIN G
Sport.qxp_Layout 7 25/06/2021 16:40 Page 1
Taking the Bisons by the horns How’s former England women’s rugby player Sasha Acheson getting on at the South West’s first inclusive, queer-friendly rugby team as their new head coach?
or 16 years Bristol Bisons RFC has provided a safe space to play rugby for more than 70 players from across the South West’s LGBTQ+ community. They’ve moved quickly from the wrong end of the European league tables (2015 and 2017) to the top 10 (2019). These feats hadn’t gone unnoticed by Sasha Acheson – made head coach in May – whose formidable on-field history includes stints playing for the Barbarians, and guest coaching for Bristol Bears, London Irish and Cornish Pirates’ community programmes. We thought we’d see how she’s getting on... TBM: How have the first few months been in, settling into the herd? Sasha: Coaching the Bisons has been so enjoyable, and every single player has been incredibly welcoming. Watching the growth in skillset and fitness has been so exciting, as well as instilling confidence in the team and their abilities – the biggest joy. We are building such a positive environment, encouraging playing with flair and creativity, while building solid foundations to play from. Did they subject you to an initiation? Not yet! But when I was announced as head coach at the end of training, everyone had party poppers, so I was covered in confetti. What attracted you to this role in Bristol? It encompasses everything I love in life, and in rugby. It’s people who are playing because they love the sport, and they want a safe space to express themselves. The rugby is excellent, and the team just need the belief and confidence in their delivery, which I know I can help with, and to expand on their skillset to make them the best players they can be. It all has to come from the desire of the players. It’s a community rugby team which means so much more than just the sport; that’s what attracted me. How are you hoping to develop the team to progress on and off the pitch? By simply empowering them with confidence and the tools to play. If they give 100%, then whatever decision they make will, nine times out of 10, end up being the right decision. As long as there are structures and plays available, and everyone has the skillset and belief in those plays, then we have license to play with flair and express ourselves. These will be our fundamentals in training going forward. What should rugby fans have on the radar for Bisons? We’re gearing up for pre-season training to start up again in September. Keep an eye on our socials for matches and fundraisers. Plus, if anyone’s keen to join us or come along for a taster session, we’re always looking for new members, so drop us a message and we’ll let you know more. Who deserves a namecheck for furthering inclusion in the sports world? Of course, the IGR (International Gay Rugby), but there are many great people making sport more inclusive. The VIP (Voice and Influence Partnership) have supported our team to play in a Covidconscious way, and supported other inclusive teams and organisations in the area.
What feedback do you get about the space the club provides? Making a safe space for members to have fun and play the sport they love is a cornerstone of who we are at the Bisons. A huge part is being very open to change. Players feedback to myself and the committee that the club is more than just a sports team to them. It’s a community where they can be themselves; not just accepted but celebrated! How is the team marking Pride? With the Bristol Pride march now being cancelled, we’re doing lots on our socials to share our story and educate others during Pride month. What’s your most momentous personal sporting memory? Being selected to play for the Barbarians. It is the greatest achievement you can have as a rugby player, and it topped me playing for England because of my own rollercoaster sporting career after injuring my knee. I played that game loving the sport, and confident in everyone around me and myself, in the Principality Stadium, with my family, friends and loved ones shouting or beaming with pride from the stands. That was my last game of rugby, and it couldn’t have finished on a higher note. ■
• bisonsrfc.co.uk; @bisonsrfc (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) THEBRISTOLMAG.CO.UK
THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE 55
Harvey Nichols BRISTOL (1).qxp_Layout 1 24/06/2021 15:17 Page 1
SUMMER SPECIAL | PARTY FOOD
FOOD & DRINK
From summer lunches and decadent dinner parties, to picnics in the park and barbecues with a twist, Harvey Nichols’ carefully curated edit of wines, cocktails, condiments and nibbles will ensure you add some flavour to the menu.
Ethiopian Single Estate Espresso Martini Cocktail 125ml, £8
All products are available from the Foodmarket at Harvey Nichols Bristol or harveynichols.com
Introducing HN’s new range of four Single Estate Espresso Martinis, each one from a different country and with a completely unique flavour profile. The Ethiopian version is maybe the most complex of the set, displaying notes of cracked black peppercorn, rich praline, prune and maple syrup. Definitely one for the speciality coffee fiends.
S'Mores Kit, £8.95
Nonya Rendang Curry Mix, £7.95
All you need to make S'mores chocolate and marshmallows, sandwiched between two Graham crackers, ready to be roasted or toasted over the fire. It's that simple, and it's all in this kit.
Whip up that restaurant vibe and a touch of the exotic in your own kitchen with Nonya Secrets. From scratch, the classic Indonesian Rendang takes an eternity, but simply adding a jar of this to cubed beef, seared seitan, tofu or vegetables achieves authentic results in a fraction of the time.
Harvey Nichols Hot Horseradish & Beetroot Ketchup, £3.95 Part of HN’s range of super contemporary condiments, this hot pink beauty saucily mixes beetroot with traditional horseradish and adds a dash of flair to a roast beef sandwich, poke bowls, sushi, smoked fish, roasted carrots and lemony rocket salads.
Party with Pride Hamper, £150 Luxury Picnic For Two Gift Box, £65 Packed into this capacious and ethical bag are two mini bottles of premier cru Champagne, HN’s bestselling and wonderfully lavish Torres black truffle crisps, buttery Emmental & onion straws, naughty nibble nuts, olives, fudge and fizzy jelly bears.
This colourful collection was carefully curated by the LGBTQ+ community and allies at Harvey Nichols for the LGBTQ+ community. For every Party with Pride Hamper sold, a £10 donation will be made to Stonewall Housing Association. This inspiring charity has been providing positive change and safe spaces for LGBTQ+ people since 1983, ensuring that tens of thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people can live in safety, free from fear, and get on with celebrating their identity.
Harvey Nichols Smoky Nuts, £5.95 It’s true what they say, smoking is highly addictive. Especially when it comes to Harvey Nichols Smoky Nuts. Tear open a bag and you’ll find a smouldering blend of peanuts, almonds, cashews and macadamias, and as you begin to nibble you’ll see your willpower to stop go up in smoke.
Pols Potten, Grandpa Side Plates. Set of 4, £75 These gorgeous glazed porcelain side plates, from eclectic Dutch brand Pols Potten, feature delicate, vintage china inspired patterns, bold colours and shiny gold detailing. Perfect for serving cake.
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WINE V2.qxp_Layout 7 25/06/2021 15:09 Page 1
FOOD & DRINK
A real beginner’s
guide to wine
Wine should be unpretentious, accessible and enjoyable, and in this same spirit, local enthusiast Nat Chadwick has been exploring autonomously, encouraging us all to do the same
hether you’re confronting the wall of rouge on a Friday night at Tesco, or discreetly Googling the drinks menu in front of an unimpressed date, wine can seem confusing. Pair that with the occasional snootiness leaking from self-professed connoisseurs and it becomes even less appetising to learn about. Wine is one of the oldest, most widely consumed beverages in the world; enjoyed by humans – peasants and kings alike – for centuries. Wine is for all so don’t let anyone convince you it’s not. Many online guides focus on the structure of wine and how to consume it, but how helpful is that when you’re faced with actually buying the stuff? With my wine-drinking credentials vigorously reinforced through lockdown, I’d like to introduce you to some simple, self-taught tips on levelling up your vino experience. Happily, it’s one of the few topics where alcohol consumption harmonises with learning...
Enjoy it (obvious, right?)
While this seems an obvious tip, it’s easy to swig and leave it at that. Yes, this is a fundamental part of the experience but there is a great opportunity in this moment to take away something more. What I mean is, enjoy it and also think about that. What is it that you enjoy? Is there a fruity flavour tantalising your tastebuds, or is it something else? Then it’s as simple as noting where the wine came from – and I don’t mean Lidl’s speciality section, but the region and grape variety on the bottle. Next, explore similar wines from the region or variety and you can compare their differences and understand what you enjoy about them so you know what to look out for next time you’re out.
Follow the signposts
As a rule of thumb, the more detail provided on the label the better the wine is likely to be. Just a grape variety? It’s probably mass-produced, perfect for a cheap night out. A variety and a country? A little more hopeful. A variety, a country, and a region? Now we’re talking. All of the above and a producer or vineyard? You’re onto a winner! The better quality the wine, the prouder the producer, thus they’re more likely to want to show off exactly where it’s from.
Keep it local Since you might be hard-pressed (pun intended) to source wine from your local regional grape in the UK, the suggestion here is to find a nearby wine merchant and start buying your booze from them. And ‘wine merchant’ does not translate to exposed brick walls racked with bank-breaking vinos, but typically your local off-licence is technically a merchant and will stock a selection of affordable and excellent wines. Merchants will select the wines themselves, meaning their passion and knowledge of the product will guide you to a unique, quality wine within your price range. Plus, if you think about it, you’re supporting a small business by drinking wine, it’s a vin-win!
Don’t be mistaken, sitting solo and enjoying a bottle of red or white (both if you’re in the mood) is nothing to be ashamed of, but discussing a glass with a friend elevates the experience beautifully. Putting on your imaginary sommelier pin and Googling ‘wine descriptors’ is a fun way to appreciate the craft, culture and palate of the wine. Talking about what you’re drinking helps you remember various aspects and therefore expand your education. In the spirit of full disclosure, my experience with wine is only that of an amateur enthusiast. I enjoy reading about it, understanding its geography, memorising varietals and so on, but I couldn’t slurp a full-bodied red and decipher it in an instant, nor could I confidently test its quality in front of a waiter and give anything more than an unconvincing nod of approval. But wine should be unpretentious, accessible and enjoyable. I call this a real beginner’s guide because its simplicity allows you to explore wine’s complexities and pick out a semi-decent bottle without worrying it’s your swirling-to-sniffing technique that’s holding you back. So, spot a bottle you fancy, open with a friend, and let the wine do the rest. ■
• Follow Nat Chadwick’s stories on Instagram @flavourbois
We are a local wine school hosting events in Bristol and Bath. Choose from our Cheese and Wine Matching night, a Fine Wine tasting, Wines of the World evening courses, Gin tasting, and so much more. We also do unforgettable hen parties and corporate events. We don’t sell wine, we sell confidence in wine knowledge from a DipWSET qualified teacher. Tastings, courses and events are now also available online.
Get in touch or see website for further details.
THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE 57
Foodnews.qxp_Layout 1 25/06/2021 16:41 Page 1
FOOD & DRINK TASTY TIDBITS FROM THE CITY’S RESTAURANTS, CHEFS AND PRODUCERS
DEMOCRATISE THE WEE DRAM Liam Hirt, Psychopomp Microdistillery and Circumstance Distillery founder, has introduced a free online platform giving consumers the chance to buy shares in a cask of spirit directly from a distillery, from £20. The model has democratisation in mind. “Cask ownership is usually reserved for those that can afford an entire cask or form a syndicate of like-minded individuals, meaning many enthusiasts are excluded,” says Liam, architect of the first whisky offering using blockchain technology. “Cask are historically complex and Fine dishes from Olipurchases has The Naughty Table worked investment-focused, making it harder to get in involved.” wine Everyday drinking and for years collectable cask-aged spirits are enjoying andglobal has growth, with the consumer profile Founder Liam now started hisgetting own younger, and they are no longer business perceived as a male preserve, he says. “Still in Cask is about being open, A new foodie outfit has just launched, unpretentious and warm.” delivering exciting tasting menus and Kicking off the start-up are progressive distillers Nc’Nean, Circumstance Distillery, refreshingly different pop-up events, Cotswolds Distillery, Mackmyra and Connacht Distillery. Working with Liam are cowith an online delicatessen in the founders Zak Hirt, Danny Walker and Illy Jaffar. Illy is excited to change the planning. rhetoric: “Still In Cask is about building a community for enthusiasts and producers. The Naughty Corner Deli is the Distilleries can engage with customers in a completely new way. We want to create brainchild of Bristol chef Desmond a community where whisky and cask-aged spirits fans discover and share innovative Rogers, and the realisation of years of and progressive distilleries; a place where consumers can build a portfolio of cask foodie dreams. Des has been working shares from different quality producers and, indeed, categories.” as a chef for 10 years, specialising in A subscription service, The Reserve Club, will offer members meet-the-distiller barbecue, Americana and, simply, really tastings, discussion and priority access to new cask listings for £5 a month. tasty food; his creativity, bold flavours • stillincask.com and vibrant recipes garnering a great reputation. His partner Becka Smith brings the planning and strategy side to the business, to complement the delicious ideas from Des, having carved Bringing its ‘home-from-home’ out a marketing career spanning Coming soon! experience to the South West for the first almost 13 years. time, Coppa Club will be opening its The Naughty Corner Deli is a doors in Clifton Village on 14 July. Open showcase of Des’s talents, offering from early to late, with an informal, lovers of good grub a chance to devour relaxed feel, the Georgian townhouse, Naughty creations out and about and transformed into a spacious 200-cover at home. Having begun to spread the venue spanning two floors, with floor-toword on the street – the first pop-up at ceiling colonnades, will take guests Lantik Cafe on Lower Park Row saw seamlessly from day to night with multiguests relish a four-course American purpose rooms for every occasion. The brunch – the team will be creating spaces can play host to professionals tasting menus and pop-up events across taking morning meetings in the Bristol and Becka’s home town of dedicated workspace, locals gathering Letchworth, under the umbrella brand for lunch in the comfortable lounge The Naughty Table. areas, or students relaxing over coffee in In planning is an online deli with the library. To be the first to hear about hand-crafted sauces, pickles, ferments, offers and events, sign up to the rubs and seasonings for meats, veggies newsletter via the website. Want to join and chips, plus meal packs. Meantime, the team? They’re on the hunt for look out for events via social channels. talented locals to be a part of the Coppa family, and those interested should • Instagram: @thenaughtycornerdeli; enquire using the email address below. Facebook: facebook.com/thencdeli
COPPA LOAD OF THIS
• coppaclub.co.uk; firstname.lastname@example.org
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BUTCOMBE OPENS FIRST TAPROOM
Have you checked out the new Indian restaurant just opened in the heart of Bristol in place of tapas restaurant El Puerto? The culinary philosophy at Harbourside Desi Kitchen & Bar revolves around the authentic and homemade – the xxteam is all about striving to celebrate the very best of flavoursome Indian food. Expect freshly ground spices and delicate seasonings in dishes such as chickpea-based pindi chana masala and lamb kofta curry – and marinades made in-house, using only fresh and locally sourced ingredients.
Named after the late Butcombe Brewing Co founder Simon Whitmore, The Whitmore Tap has now opened on Whiteladies Road, on the site of the former Penny pub, serving Butcombe cask, keg and bottled beers and cider along with seasonal beers and smallbatch brews. Downstairs, in the street-level bar, there’s a raft of bar snacks, small plates, sharing boards and yakitori skewers, while upstairs in the dining room, the menu focuses heavily on local, seasonal produce and robust dishes designed to celebrate Butcombe’s drinks range and created in a robata charcoal grill and open kitchen. “The Whitmore Tap is a wonderful and generous tribute to my husband Simon,” said Maureen Whitmore. “His knowledge of brewing and pubs was vast which meant the brewery grew from strength to strength right from the start. I can’t tell you how proud and delighted we are, as a family, to see the brewery still going strong 43 years on despite these very difficult times. We couldn’t have started the brewery without the help of all those who worked with us, some of whom are still there. I wish The Whitmore Tap the greatest success.”
THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE 59
prof alice roberts - bristol.qxp_Layout 2 25/06/2021 17:29 Page 1
ARCHAEOLOGY | BOOKS
No bone unturned
As technology takes a major leap forward, archaeology and genetics have been set on a collision course. Bearing messages from the ancient world – some buried in mistruths for millennia – Bristol-born scientist Professor Alice Roberts reaches right back in time with her new book Ancestors, as she tells Millie Bruce-Watt
are transforming archaeology; and, of course, how cannibalistic cavemen once roamed our local landscape.
A formidable storyteller, Professor Alice Roberts’ fascination with her subject is clear
Image: Paul Wilkinson Photography; paulwilkinsonphotogaphy.co.uk
The power of technology “Ancestors focuses on a series of ancient burials that help to tell the story of prehistoric Britain, and it draws on my fascination with this collision between archaeology and genetics, which has been happening for a while but feels like it’s coming into its own now,” says Roberts. Since she made The Incredible Human Journey 13 years ago, technology has come on leaps and bounds. From analysing DNA and discovering small clues in a skeleton, scientists are now able to sequence whole genomes in a single day. As a result, they have been able to see more depth and complexity than ever before in the story of human origins and understand the evolution of human health and disease. Roberts is also helping researchers with a project at the Francis Crick Institute in London entitled 1000 Ancient Genomes. It is the most ambitious ancient genomics project to date and the DNA it looks at will be fully sequenced, “leaving no stone unturned, no stretch of DNA unread,” as Roberts writes. “I’ve enjoyed writing about burial sites and discoveries that happened a long time ago but I’ve also enjoyed having that element of a project that’s live and happening right now. One of the most interesting questions in Ancestors is all about British prehistory. For example, in the Bronze Age, we see a completely new culture arriving but we didn’t know whether it was just people already here, adopting this culture, or whether it was a new group of people coming in. We couldn’t get to the bottom of that question until genetics could shed some light on it. Now, looking at genomes in the preceding Neolithic, we can see that there is a huge population turnover – it was new people arriving and eventually their genes are the ones which predominated the population. It’s really interesting to see how that culture changed over the years and we can imagine more families arriving, over a few centuries.”
nthropologist, biologist, broadcaster, author and professor of public engagement in science at the University of Birmingham, Alice Roberts has been working where biology meets archaeology for the last 20 years, bearing messages from the ancient world and pushing our understanding of human evolution ever further. A familiar face to many, Roberts has appeared regularly on the BBC and Channel 4, presenting the geographical and environmental series Coast, Digging for Britain and Time Team as well as a number of documentaries focusing on ancient migrations, evolution and prehistory. A prolific scientist and writer, Roberts is now back in the limelight with her latest book, Ancestors: A Prehistory of Britain in Seven Burials. Less than two weeks after it hit the shelves, Ancestors became a bestseller in The Sunday Times. Perhaps most interestingly to Bristolians, the book explores an ancient burial site in Cheddar Gorge, just a short, winding jaunt from the city, which unlocks astonishing stories of ancient Britain that had been buried in mistruths for millennia. Described as “the new Da Vinci” in a recent review of Ancestors, Roberts is a formidable storyteller and her fascination with her subject is clear and captivating. We caught up with the Bristol-born bone expert to find out more about how the book came to be; how advances in genetics
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The making of Ancestors Ancestors is split into seven chapters, each focusing on a different discovery. From an elaborate burial in the depths of the Ice Age to the most richly furnished grave that’s ever been discovered in Europe, Roberts has delved into the history of ideas and brought individuals’ stories back to life. “All of them are fascinating because they are all quite different. Some of them have these interesting backstories and then some of them are far more recent, like the Amesbury Archer turning up when a developer was having to excavate ahead of a new build.” The Amesbury Archer is an early Bronze Age man whose grave was discovered during excavations in Amesbury, near Stonehenge. The grave was uncovered in May 2002, and the man is believed to date from about 2300 BC. “This man was buried with 18 arrow heads; he had three copper knives; he had gold ornaments. We’ve got genetic information about him as well as chemical analysis of his teeth so we know that he grew up somewhere around the Alps and his burial tells us that he must have been seen as special. The interesting thing about his skeleton is that he’s got abnormalities in his shoulders, which may possibly be connected to the fact that he was an archer. But perhaps more surprisingly he’s got a disability – a missing knee cap and a very badly misshapen femur on the left side. The bones are withered so he would have definitely walked with a limp. It’s interesting because we’re looking at someone who is
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ARCHAEOLOGY | BOOKS
living with a disability but is clearly an extremely well-respected individual with a high status – it tells us something about perspectives on disability in the past too. “Each one of these stories is like a little time capsule that you open up. You’re looking at an individual and you’re trying to imagine what their life was like, what their environment was like, what their society was like and there’s this hugely personal aspect to it.” Close to the bone – a chilling revelation Without a doubt, one of the most shocking discoveries in Ancestors was just 18 miles from Bristol. Cheddar Gorge was home to not only a healthy amount of commercial competition during the late 19th century, which provides great entertainment for us today, but cannibals that roamed the gorge at one point in time – a gruesome realisation. “I got very intrigued by the competition between Gough’s Cave and Cox’s Cave and the way both of them were fighting over Victorian tourists,” Roberts says with a smile. “Richard Gough, who owned the cave, would advertise it as ‘come and see this beautiful natural cave’ but he brought in cart loads of stalactites and stalagmites from somewhere near Weston-super-Mare. There are these beautiful pools with all these reflections of stalagmites but they are completely artificial – they are made of Victorian concrete!” she laughs.
We don’t know if we’ll ever get to the bottom of why they were doing it but we definitely know it was cannibalism in Cheddar
Image: LDA Design
It was during this period when one particular discovery led to serious whispers of cannibalism at Cheddar which never quietened. “When Richard’s sons were putting in trenches at the entrance of the cave to stop it flooding in winter, they found human remains. Since then, there have been a whole series of excavations, turning up quite a lot of human material including a nearly-complete skeleton called Cheddar Man, which dates back about 10,000 years. But there’s also a collection of smashed up bones from around 12,000 years ago and these were thought to be evidence of cannibalism when they were first found.” Although Roberts was originally sceptical of these stories, Dr Silvia Bello, who had been re-examining the bones at the Natural History Museum, was able to confirm them as true. “It’s very clear from her assessments that it’s humans doing the smashing but, not only that, there are human teeth marks on some of the bones,” she says. “The way they are using tools to smash open long bones to get to the marrow also suggests that it’s almost definitely nutritional cannibalism. Then, there’s really odd things,” Roberts says with a long pause. “There’s a skull that has been turned upside down and had the whole of the base taken off to make it quite a decent cup.
OurWorld Bristol is a proposal to create the world’s first augmented reality zoo on Bristol Zoo Garden’s historic 12-acre site
Professor Alice Roberts’ illustration of the Gough's Cave 'skull cup', as featured in Ancestors
It seems very strange to us today and everso gruesome but we have to stand back and think; ‘was it gruesome to them? Or was it normal?’ It could be anything from a very respectful way to treat the dead to eating enemies that you’d killed. It could simply be people driven by desperation to eat each other. That’s what I like about prehistory – it makes us think about our own responses. “We don’t know if we’ll ever get to the bottom of why they were doing it but we definitely know it was cannibalism in Cheddar.” OurWorld Bristol As an avid lover of nature; a patron of Twycross Zoo; a champion for conservation, Roberts has recently backed the new proposal to regenerate the site of Bristol Zoo Gardens following its closure in late 2022. OurWorld Bristol is a proposal to create the world’s first augmented reality zoo, based within the historic 12-acre gardens, which are currently under threat from a private housing development. OurWorld Bristol is aiming to provide a fully immersive virtual experience, enabling visitors to experience animals in their natural habitat, going back millions of years. The initiative has been taken by the award-winning film director Stephen Daldry; architect George Ferguson, founder of Bristol’s Tobacco Factory; and boomsatsuma’s executive director Stuart Wood. Having grown up in Henbury and attended Red Maids’ School, Roberts remembers going to Bristol Zoo Gardens as a child. “It would be such a loss for communities in Bristol if the site were to be sold off just for housing so I was really excited by this new proposal, which has seen lots of people come together including Sir Tim Smit, the founder of the Eden Project, which gives you an idea of how ambitious and exciting it could be. “I think the big challenges facing us as a human society in this century are all based around our relationship with nature. We need to better understand it and that starts with education – that starts with children. We want people to fall in love with nature and want to protect it and that’s why OurWorld Bristol is such a strong project.” In November, Roberts will be touring the UK with her new book, giving behind-the-scenes insights from digs and asking what a grave can tell us about a person; how genetics is revolutionising what we know about the deep past and what it all means for us, today. Roberts is, without doubt, pre-eminent in her field and, given her mesmerising depth of knowledge, ‘An Evening with Alice Roberts’ is guaranteed to be packed full of astonishing stories – an evening to remember. ■
• Ancestors: The Prehistory of Britain in Seven Burials; £20; Simon & Schuster. See Professor Alice Roberts in Bristol on 13 November; alice-roberts.co.uk
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BRISTOL UPDATES NEWS FROM LOCAL BUSINESSES AND COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS
The success comes as The College of Naturopathic Medicine celebrates 23 years of training successful practitioners
The NHU has made pioneering programmes, famously with Sir David Attenborough, since 1957 Image courtesy of BBC Studios
BIG BBC MOVE BBC Studios is leaving Whiteladies Road for a new home – Bridgewater House in Finzels Reach. Staff from the Natural History Unit and Factual Entertainment Bristol, which make some of the BBC’s most popular programmes, including Antiques Roadshow, Countryfile, Gardeners’ World and DIY SOS, will move at the end of 2021, or early 2022. “Moving to a new production base in the centre of Bristol will enable us to continue to support and celebrate the creativity of the NHU and Factual Entertainment, build on our legacy and invest in our future,” said Ralph Lee, director of content. “Bristol is the largest BBC Studios production base outside London and its indisputable success and ambition has empowered us to make this investment. We want to grow our production business significantly and retain our position at the pinnacle of programme making in a competitive global market.” The NHU has been on Whiteladies Road since 1957, making pioneering series such as Planet Earth, which transform the way global audiences see the natural world. Factual Entertainment is the creative force behind such shows as Nigella: Cook, Eat, Repeat and a growing digital business producing content for clients including YouTube. • bbcstudios.com
NEW FACES Bristol-based Hayes Parsons Insurance Brokers has appointed Richard Moxon as head of private client to continue to increase focus on their private client strategy. The company’s new role will help Hayes Parsons reach their ambitious growth plans over the next five years. Richard joins from national insurance broker AON where he ran UK claims; prior to that he was a managing director at Marsh, running their private client practice and later their education business. He is looking forward to the new challenges that working for an independent business will bring. “The business is flexible and nimble and clearly combines a great culture with a passion for growth,” he said. “I’m looking forward to working with the existing team on some exciting new opportunities.” Hayes Parsons managing director James Woollam added: “Recruiting someone of Richard’s calibre and experience is very exciting. Richard Moxon and James Woollam In a period of rapid consolidation, this move underlines our ambition as a market leading, independent insurance broker, which can only be a good thing for clients and the marketplace.” • hayesparsons.co.uk
62 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE
CONGRATULATIONS! The College of Naturopathic Medicine has won the Best College Award at the Integrative Healthcare & Applied Nutrition Education Awards, which celebrates brands who go above and beyond to keep practitioners up-to-date with content, events and resources. The Integrative Healthcare & Applied Nutrition Education platform, for registered nutritional therapists, integrative health practitioners and complementary and alternative medicine professionals, comprises of innovative industryleading educational resources and the latest insights and research on the most up-to-date topics within the industry. The College of Naturopathic Medicine success comes as it celebrates 23 years of training successful practitioners, having established the first CNM in London in 1998. A top training provider for a range of natural therapies, it provides diploma courses in naturopathic nutrition, herbal medicine, acupuncture, homeopathy and more. The college offers students the option to study part-time, full-time, online or in class at locations across the UK and Ireland. The focus on clinical application and practice, with teaching by highly qualified practicing lecturers, ensures CNM can commit to training students to become successful practitioners in their chosen area of study. “This accolade recognises CNM for its achievements in the industry and ongoing work to develop the field of natural medicine education,” said Hermann Keppler, CNM founder and principal. “Thanks go to everybody who voted for CNM and to our outstanding education and lecturer team.” • To apply to study at CNM or to attend an online open day, visit naturopathy-uk.com/events
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THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE 63
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CNM graduate reveals the secret to glowing skin Camille Knowles, CNM Natural Chef Graduate and author
amille Knowles has conquered her lifelong battle with eczema through healthy and nutritious food choices. Here, she shares her story and reveals how her new book, achieved with the help of the CNM, can help others live a life beyond eczema. “I am one of the 330 million people worldwide who have eczema. It has had a huge impact on my childhood and teenage years - right into adulthood. I was diagnosed with the chronic skin condition at just six years old. I led a life where I would be constantly covering up my
64 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE
skin, hiding away and avoiding social occasions. The condition became so debilitating that I was hospitalised and told that there was nothing anyone could do to cure my eczema. So, I turned to my diet and attempted to manage my skin through food and drink intake. However, this obsession surrounding food took its toll on my health and instead of healing my skin, I developed a huge fear of food. Fortunately, CNM ignited my passion for all things natural. I first completed a short course on how to make natural skincare products and later trained to become a Natural Chef. I quickly discovered that eating well and nourishing the skin from the inside and outside was a key principle in reducing my eczema symptoms. The course not only helped me fall back in love with food but the expertise and knowledge allowed me to design recipes which could benefit others too. The Beauty of Eating Well by Camille Knowles™ is a recipe book that puts the freedom and fun back into food but with a huge focus on nutritional value. All my recipes are free from dairy, eggs, gluten and refined sugar but are full of colour, flavour and passion. The dishes created are all designed to make skin glow, not just for those with eczema but for anyone who wishes to transform dull, sensitive and dry skin. I am so grateful to the CNM. Not only has it helped me become an eczema warrior but
the courses have helped me build a thriving business which truly helps others apply a holistic approach to living a life beyond eczema.” Watch Camille’s story: https://www.naturalchef.com/graduateexperience-camille-knowles/
Scan the QR Code to watch a free CNM lecture
CNM has an exceptional 22-year track record training successful natural health practitioners online and in class. Over 80% of graduates are practising.
Nuffield July.qxp_Layout 1 23/06/2021 09:00 Page 1
Are you struggling to book a GP appointment?
Although things are returning to normal across Bristol, you may still be ﬁnding it diﬃcult to schedule a GP appointment. Nuﬃeld Health Bristol Hospital oﬀers a private GP service, with minimal waiting times for appointments, prescriptions and referrals.
he GP service at Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital offers patients the opportunity to see a GP face-to-face for 30 minutes in a relaxed environment. There are three GPs at the hospital, each working on different days to ensure cover across the week; Dr Claire Winstanley, Dr Gill Jenkins and Dr Sonia Mann. Meet the team Dr Claire Winstanley has a diverse interest in medicine, and is fascinated by all aspects of health and wellbeing, with a particular interest in diet, lifestyle and alternative therapies. Having worked as a GP in the NHS for over 20 years, Dr Winstanley is experienced in treating a wide range of acute and chronic problems. She enjoys the variety that general practice offers, as well as its challenges, and continues to work in the NHS, based at the Whiteladies Health Centre in Clifton, and for NHS 111. Dr Gill Jenkins has over 35 years of medical experience, and a career that has spanned several areas of medicine. She has a particular interest in diabetes and cardiovascular disease, but has experience in family planning, accident and emergency, psychiatry, weight management and travel medicine. Dr Jenkins also works as a freelance medical writer and broadcaster, working with a variety of magazines, medical newspapers, websites and on local and national TV and radio.
Dr Sonia Mann began her medical career in London before relocating to Bristol with her family in 2010. Her main areas of interest are women’s health, mental wellbeing and integrative medicine. Dr Mann’s travels abroad and study of alternative health systems has helped her develop a more holistic approach to care, where time is taken to work with a patient’s individual needs, especially incorporating mental wellness and how this relates to their physical health, and visa versa. Seeing a GP at Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital Appointments with a GP at Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital are usually available within 48 hours, and sometimes on the same day you call. Appointment slots are 30 minutes, giving you a good amount of time to discuss your concerns or your ongoing medical condition. Our GP will also review your medical history, examine you, and talk with you about medication and lifestyle changes that may be advisable. With 30 minutes available to discuss your options, you can feel reassured that your GP appointment at Nuffield Health is providing the help you need. The GP team cannot access your NHS notes. Therefore, if you are able to bring along a summary page of your NHS GP notes (available from them on request), along with any blood test results, scans or letters from previous consultations relating to your condition, this can save time during the appointment. Our GP can
also oversee and coordinate your healthcare if you need to see multiple consultants for multiple problems. Diet is also very important to our health but we all have different dietary needs, which can be made more confusing with the knowledge and advice, often conflicting, available on the internet. Sometimes the internet can be very helpful for our health, but sometimes it can cause unnecessary worry. We are here to have those conversations and signpost you, if needed, to respected, evidence-based websites to help you get well and stay well. The COVID-19 pandemic has made us all more aware of the importance of our health, both physical and mental. As general practitioners, the team at Nuffield Health see a wide variety of acute and chronic problems, as well as those “odd problems” which might not be so straightforward. Dr Winstanley says: “Our job is to talk to you about your symptoms (we love a list!), examine you as needed, organise the appropriate investigations and prescribe the necessary medication. Gill, Sonia and I have a wealth of knowledge in all areas of medicine. While we are generalists, not specialists, we know what tests may be necessary and can refer you for diagnostics and then, if needed, to the appropriate specialist.” A 30-minute GP appointment at Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital costs £110. If you would like to book an appointment with Dr Winstanley, Dr Jenkins or Dr Mann, call our Bookings team on 0117 911 5339, or visit our website.
Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital 3 Clifton Hill, Bristol BS8 1BN nuffieldhealth.com/hospitals/bristol
Nuﬃeld Health Bristol Hospital’s GP team: Dr Claire Winstanley, Dr Gill Jenkins and Dr Sonia Mann. THEBRISTOLMAG.CO.UK
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Imaginatal V3.qxp_Layout 1 21/06/2021 15:33 Page 1
Private pregnancy ultrasound scans for ‘picture-perfect’ peace of mind Why Imaginatal?
Care for You:
Imaginatal are dedicated to making sure that you as expecting parents have an exciting and reassuring experience. Bringing you peace of mind and the ability to enjoy the pregnancy through to the end. The Bristol clinic has been finished to a high standard to give you a comfortable, calming, and relaxed environment. You will find friendly staff that create a welcoming atmosphere to ensure you cherish your special experience.
Imaginatal offer longer appointment times in order to give sonographers optimal time to undertake the scan of your baby and to allow for you to ask any questions you may have. Only 2 families are allowed into the building at one time so there are no queues and families are given much more privacy. The state-ofthe-art ultrasound imaging technology provides you with high quality and accurate images.
Baby Scanning Services for You: There are a variety of scanning services offered by Imaginatal. From the very first scan at 6 weeks where you will be able to see your baby for the first time, through to gender scans, 4D scans, wellbeing scans and even a well woman scan available within 24-hours of your request. Out of hours appointments are also available on request.
Expert Staﬀ: Imaginatal clinics are health professional led with patient centred care at its core, focusing on ensuring that both parents and baby are happy and as healthy as can be. All sonographers are registered practitioners, fully trained in the UK with years of NHS working experience behind them with up-to-date evidence of Continuous Professional Development.
Briﬆol Clinic 151 Wick Road, Brislington, Bristol, BS4 4HH
Phone: 0800 640 4299
Email: email@example.com www.imaginatal.co.uk
Imaginatal also offers NIPT blood tests to check your baby’s DNA for underlying risks of chromosomal disorders, as well as gynaecology and fertility scanning services. You will feel ready, happy, and healthy throughout your pregnancy journey. Imaginatal provide complimentary consultations to discuss what you can expect. This also gives you as parents the chance to visit the facility and ensure Imaginatal are the right fit to meet all your pregnancy needs. The scanning services, whether one off or regular, are ensured to work around your pregnancy.
For Your Peace of Mind: Imaginatal’s clinical activities are regulated and registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC). We are registered members of the British Medical Ultrasound Society (BMUS) and have full Medical Professional Indemnity Insurance.
£50 voucher to spend on add-ons. Call to redeem Quoт: Briﬆol Mag 50
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TopSteer MOBILITY We Sell All The Top Brands New and Reconditioned Scooters
Great Prices! We Supply Stairlifts To Buy Or Rent Free Delivery And Home Visits
Telephone: 07758 720059 www.topsteermobility.com (Mention this ad for £100 off any new scooter bought from us) Your Local Friendly Mobility Team! 68 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE
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Turning your ideas into beautiful spaces Elly’s Wellies Garden Designs will help you maximise the potential of your outdoor space and tailor it to your individual needs. Whether you are looking for a complete garden redesign, or just need advice on what to plant in a border, Elly’s Wellies will be happy to help.
For a free initial consultation, contact Elly West
www.ellyswellies.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org 07788 640934
New Build Extensions Renovation
Say hello. 0117 259 1591
Visit our design studio at: 23 Chandos Road, Redland, Bristol BS6 6PG www.halbuild.co.uk email@example.com
Building excellence by design
THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE 69
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CLAVA DINE UMAGE, DENMARK
LIGHTING SPECIALIST 8 BATH STREET, FROME. TEL: 01373473555 WWW.FIATLUX.CO.UK
KI TC HEN PAR TNER S DESIGN STUDIO
www.thekitchenpartners.co.uk 102 Whiteladies Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 2QY 01179 466433
Founders and Lead Designers - Fiona & Clinton
THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE 71
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A front garden Elly designed in Redland
Making an entrance
A well-designed, well-kept front garden increases a property’s saleability, and creates important wildlife corridors, says Elly West
his morning I visited a client whose front garden I designed last year. It’s really starting to come into its own now, with areas of meadow, gravel, plenty of plants, a few trees and space for a car, plus a beautiful round pond just outside the front door. It’s not a huge space, but works effectively and while it’s slightly unusual to have a pond in a front garden, chatting to my client made me rethink how important front gardens are. It may sound obvious but our front gardens provide the first impression of our home. They welcome visitors and are seen and walked through every single time we enter and leave the front door. They also provide a view when we look out of our ground-floor windows to see what’s going on in the world outside. As my client commented, if the pond had been in their back garden, they probably wouldn’t look at it half as often as they do – it’s visible each time they go anywhere and with young children in the house, it’s somewhere to stop and investigate every day after school, to spot dragonflies and (in early June when I was there) a multitude of wriggling, fat tadpoles in the shallows. A well-designed and well-kept front garden can increase a property’s saleability, with buyers judging a house by what the frontage looks like before they’ve even stepped inside. In this case, first impressions definitely count. “A nice front garden makes a massive difference,” explains assistant manager Scott Higgins, at Debbie Fortune Estate Agents. “People often do drive-bys before they book a viewing and if the garden looks welcoming and looked after, it indicates a happy, friendly home.” Although reluctant to put a percentage figure on the difference to property value, he adds, “The difference between a messy 72 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE
front garden and a nice one could add £10,000 or more, depending on the property. I’m always very honest and will tell clients to sort out the front garden if necessary, and add some colour. Palms are very popular, and acers as they make a statement and attract someone’s eye.”
If the pond had been in their back garden, they probably wouldn’t look at it half as often as they do
While there’s no doubt that off-street parking is highly desirable in estate agents’ and buyers’ eyes, ramping up the asking price, it doesn’t have to take over the whole space, or be installed to the detriment of wildlife. Front gardens make important habitats and wildlife corridors for bees, butterflies and other small beneficial creatures, so even if you don’t have much room, try to include some large planted container displays or even just a window box or two. Separate Mori polls commissioned by the Royal Horticultural Society in 2005 and 2015 revealed that three times as many front gardens had been paved over during that 10-year interval, causing problems with flash-flooding and water run-off, as well as loss of wildlife habitats. So if you are introducing somewhere to park your car, then consider options such as gravel or permeable bricks, and keep hard surfaces to a minimum. As well as benefitting wildlife, a container brimming with colourful
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GARDENING plants is an instant way to create a warm welcome and smarten up your entrance, and it’s easy to ring the changes through the seasons. While it’s good to include plants for seasonal interest in any garden, it’s perhaps more important at the front, seen all year round. It’s also very achievable in interchangeable pots. Winter pansies, skimmia, ivy and cyclamen are good options for winter containers, while in summer you’re spoilt for choice with the trays of bedding plants on offer in garden centres, market stalls and supermarkets, suitable for creating a vibrant potted display. Alternatively you might want something more formal and permanent, such as some evergreen structural shrubs. A couple of topiary bay trees or box balls either side of a doorway, or a neatly clipped box hedge never seems to fall out of fashion. Likewise, you can’t go too wrong with a lavender-lined path leading to the front door if you have a south- or west-facing plot. Climbing plants on a wall are a good option, particularly if you don’t have much room as they’ll maximise your vertical space. A wisteria, climbing rose, honeysuckle or star jasmine will all provide a gorgeous waft of sweet fragrance as you enter and leave your house. If you’re considering redesigning your front garden, think about the materials you want and their colours. It’s perhaps more important at the front that it ties in with the materials and colours of the house exterior, as it’s so close and will be seen as a whole package. A path should take the most direct route to the front door if you don’t want visitors and delivery people cutting across a lawn or border to make their journey shorter. Think, too, about storage. Do you need space for bins and recycling, or bikes? Some options will improve the space more than others – a wooden store with a green roof is going to create an attractive feature in a way that a metal lock-up, or a haphazard clutter of bins won’t. If there’s room, it’s also nice to include seating. When my children were younger they played on the communal space at the front of my house, and a bench provided the perfect spot to keep an eye on their antics while soaking up the evening sun and watching the world go by. It also
makes the garden feel more sociable – which is good if you’re lucky enough to have nice neighbours. Lighting is also a way to spruce up the front of your house both for practicality and security, but also to add to the welcoming ambience. I noticed last year that lots of people left their Christmas lights out for longer than they usually might, perhaps because we all needed a bit of frivolity and a boost at that time, and I’m all for a few fairy lights twisted in a tree whatever the time of year. n • ellyswellies.co.uk; Instagram: @ellyswellies1
Plant of the month: Erigeron karvinskianus Also known as Mexican daisies, these are spilling over walls in front gardens everywhere at the moment, and will carry on doing so well into autumn, which is one of the reasons that I love them. They start in May and produce their pink and white daisy flowers in abundance with no need for deadheading or any kind of maintenance, save for chopping them back when their work is done and they retire for winter. They’re perennials, so will rev into gear again with the first signs of summer. Erigeron self-seeds prolifically, but is easy to pull out if it starts to take over. As mentioned, these low-growing plants are ideal for trailing over the edges of walls and containers, or at the front of a border where they’ll spill on to the path. They also suit gravel gardens. I love the way the white flowers fade through different shades of pink as they age, giving that cheerful, multi-tone effect.
THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE 73
Bristol & Clifton’s premier Commercial Property Agents Keep up-to-date with our latest news, deals, testimonials and market comment at our website: www.burstoncook.co.uk
(0117) 934 9977
INVESTMENT FOR SALE
38 WHITELADIES ROAD
• St Stephen St BS1 • Office 1,293 sq ft
• Superb self contained office building
• Office 440 sq ft
• 2,035 sq ft – 6 cars
• Nightclub 2,000 sq ft • ERV £48,000 pax
• New contemporary refurb
• C £525,000
• New lease
25/27 CLARE STREET BS1
MONARCH COURT, EMERSONS GREEN
• Landmark office building
• Open plan,over two floors
• 2,651 sq ft
• 3,110 sq ft with an excellent amount of car parking
• Prime city location • New lease – rent on application
• £17.50 per sq ft
8/10 WHITELADIES ROAD
ST GABRIELS COURT, BS5
• Hall floor office suite
• New lease
• Brand new units for sale • Units from 710 sq ft up to 5,800 sq ft + parking • Use Class E – suits many commercial uses • For sale – Prices O/A
PRIME RESTAURANT, BS1
VANTAGE PK OFFICES NORTH BRISTOL
• Prime city location between Hippodrome Theatre and Bristol Beacon concert venue • Sunny side of town • 2,500 sq ft • Sensible rent
• Prime out of town offices • 1,950 sq ft – 7 car spaces • Close to M-way • New lease – rent on application
CITY CENTRE OFFICE
7 QUEEN SQUARE, BS1
• Queen Charlotte Street
• Prime office space
• 1,475 sq ft • 4 car spaces • Competitive rent
• Whole office building 2,898 sq ft
• 1,808 sq ft
• Or suites of 913 sq ft, 1,067 sq ft, 1,618 sq ft
• 2 car spaces • New refurbishment • Only £17 per sq ft
Julian Cook FRICS
Burston Cook July.indd 1
Jayne Rixon MRICS
Charlie Kershaw MRICS
Finola Ingham MRICS
Tom Coyte MRICS
Holly Boulton BSc(Hons)
• Sales / Lettings • Acquisitions • Valuations • Landlord & tenant • Auction Sales
• Rent reviews • Property Management • Investment Sales / Purchase • Development & Planning • Dilapidations Advice 25/06/2021 17:15
Bristol & Clifton’s premier Commercial Property Agents Keep up-to-date with our latest news, deals, testimonials and market comment at our website: www.burstoncook.co.uk
(0117) 934 9977
PRIME SHOP / CAFÉ FRONTING ST AUGUSTINES PARADE BS1
58A UNION ST, BROADMEAD • Prime city centre unit
• Lock up shop + suit coffee bar
• 808 sq ft
• Sunny location – pos outside area
• Busy trading site
• Established and busy position
• Only £29,500 pax
• Rent £17,000 pax – new lease HIGH STREET SHIREHAMPTON
REFURBISHED OFFICES (OFF WHITELADIES ROAD)
• Fantastic large retail / showroom unit
• A most attractive period office building • C 1,200 sq ft • Contemporary refurb • New lease – rent on application
• Established high street pitch • 4,105 sq ft + customer parking
COMMERCIAL PREMISES + 3 BED FLAT BLAGDON, NORTH SOMERSET
BRIDGEWATER ROAD (‘AIRPORT ROAD’), BRISTOL • Retail/showroom • 1st floor office separately available if required • Close to Bristol Airport yet 15 minutes from BS1 • New leases – low rent
• Former coach depot, garage, office, storage + yard • C 11,455 sq ft. • Suit other commercial uses – to let (might sell) GROVE HOUSE, CLIFTON
92A WHITELADIES ROAD
• 2,793 sq ft
• Busy retail pitch
• Office building
• 1,305 sq ft unit
• Suit other commercial uses
• New lease • No premium!
• To let
BRADLEY STOKE OFFICES
FRANKLYN STREET, ST PAULS, BRISTOL *A converted Victorian end of terrace house comprising:
• 1st floor high quality offices
• Offices 1,259 sq ft
• On the popular Willow Brook Centre • 3,550 sq ft + parking • GREAT SPACE – TO LET
• Stores 291 sq ft • Open store 1,549 sq ft *Suit various commercial uses *TO RENT (MIGHT SELL)
Julian Cook FRICS
Burston Cook July.indd 2
Jayne Rixon MRICS
Charlie Kershaw MRICS
Finola Ingham MRICS
Tom Coyte MRICS
Holly Boulton BSc(Hons)
• Sales / Lettings • Acquisitions • Valuations • Landlord & tenant • Auction Sales
• Rent reviews • Property Management • Investment Sales / Purchase • Development & Planning • Dilapidations Advice 25/06/2021 17:16
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A substantial detached four bedroom family home set within extensive grounds and annexe. The original cottage has been extended to offer a well presented and versatile interior, sizable front driveway with ample parking leads to the detached garage.
An exquisite Victorian family home with self-contained lower ground floor flat. A versatile and wellpresented five bedroomed interior. Exceptional kitchen/breakfast room. Beautifully presented lawned garden offers a great deal of privacy. An open outlook enjoyed over the surrounding area. Superb Clifton location situated between Whiteladies Road and the Village.
0117 923 8238 Howard July.indd 1
firstname.lastname@example.org 21/06/2021 15:22
A spacious and well-presented two double bedroom flat, situated in an excellent location and close to The Downs. South West facing Living Room and separate kitchen with allocated off street parking.
An impressive five-bedroom family home with a beautiful rear garden and baclony. Versatile ground floor accommodation. Off-street parking, superb Redland location.
203 Whiteladies Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 2XT
Howard July.indd 2
Rupert Oliver FP July.qxp_Layout 1 21/06/2021 15:18 Page 1
Long Ashton, Bristol | Guide Price £795,000 A stunning mid-Victorian former coach house; beautifully refurbished and sensitively extended by the current owners with off-street parking, a detached garage and a landscaped garden. Well-appointed family house of circa 2000 sq. ft | Stunning family room with an Inglenook fireplace and wood-burning stove | Beautiful family kitchen and dining room | Entrance porch and a separate cloakroom | Four double bedrooms | Family bathroom | Conservatory opening into the garden | Landscaped rear garden with far-reaching views | Enclosed inner courtyard garden | Off-street parking and a detached garage | EPC: E
In all circa 2199 sq. ft (204 sq. m).
Rupert Oliver FP July.qxp_Layout 1 21/06/2021 15:19 Page 2
Hambrook, Bristol | Guide Price £1,100,000 A sensational state-of-the-art new build family house with elevated views, extensive parking and a fabulous enclosed south-west facing rear garden. Beautifully-appointed family house of circa 2600 sq. ft | Stunning double height atrium hall | Beautiful kitchen, dining and family room | Sitting room with bi-folding doors onto the deck | Study / bedroom 5 | Four double bedrooms with four bath / shower rooms | Wrap-around deck with elevated views | Landscaped rear garden with built-in seating and a fire pit | Space for a detached home office / gym and a double garage | Driveway parking for several vehicles | EPC: B
In all circa 2600 sq. ft (243 sq. m).
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