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£3.95 where sold
Bristol sports teams doing digital right
ISOLATION STATIONS Solidarity in the time of social distancing
LA VIE EN ROSE A little light escapism courtesy of Harvey Nichols’ SS20 collection
REAP WHAT YOU SOW
Brexit: the view from the foodie frontline
We meet darts ace Fallon Sherrock
Untold stories from the Second World War
T H E C I T Y ’ S B I G G E S T M O N T H LY G U I D E T O L I V I N G I N B R I S T O L
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Image by Paolo Ferla
Keep calm and...
April 2020 ART & EXHIBITIONS
Top activities for the month to come – clue, they mostly involve staying indoors and supporting Bristol’s logistical and creative heroes
Current works on the walls of the city’s galleries, plus a chat with Bristol illustrator Rosanna Tasker
FOOD AND DRINK
As the UK prepares to increase its self-sufficiency post-Brexit, Melissa Blease chats to some of the foodie folk on the frontline
Catch up on local news and meet St Werburghs’ music producer and motion graphics whizz Toby Gutmann of Toejam Tunes
SPORT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
BARTLEBY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Bristol teams are doing very well in terms of digital engagement. Elsewhere, in Filton, we meet Fallon Sherrock
These sure are strange days we’re living in... Like many, Bartleby has been rearranging his life to accommodate newcomer Covid-19
BRISTOL UPDATES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Journalist Lindsey Parietti on her award-winning new direction in wildlife film and TV
News from local businesses and community organisations
Tidings from the sector
HEALTH & BEAUTY
Pete Dommett is bird-watching and feeling deeply dippy about it too
The arrival of the first HIV Commission in Bristol, and other news
FASHION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
While lost railways and canals are well-documented and recalled with affection, there seems less interest in old roads, says Andrew Swift – as he traverses the old way to Wells
Biscay green, relaxed Seventies tailoring, plenty of pink and more styles besides in our spring shoot with Harvey Nichols Bristol
GARDENING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
WHAT’S ON... IN ISOLATION
Elly West is out back, getting some fresh air and savouring the chance to start again
We asked around for ideas on productive, rewarding or long-put-off activities that can be done in our slightly more solitary circumstances...
LITERATURE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 April’s big Wordsworth anniversary has got Catherine Pitt looking at his time in Bristol and local connections
Mandem founder Elias Williams on the platform he set up to give voice, through the arts and the written word, to young men of colour
With the help of Bristol Central Library, we look into couple of the previously untold stories of Somerset’s GI generation
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News from local estate agents and developers
ON THE COVER Emma Falcon (bigmustard.co.uk) is a picture of elegance in Keepsake’s Beloved chiﬀon midi dress, £210, from Harvey Nichols Bristol. Turn to p22 for all the sartorial statements of the spring shoot. Image by Paolo Ferla; ferlapaolo.com
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THIS MONTH WE’VE BEEN... Applauding... Image © Alick Cotterill
On p48, Jeremy Blackmore looks at how local sports teams, such as Bristol City FC, are doing digital right
Illustration by Rosanna Tasker
...FareShare (faresharesouthwest.org.uk) – calling on businesses, individuals and suppliers who can afford to offer funding, surplus scran or time to ensure the charity can get food to the vulnerable amid the outbreak. Younger volunteers are also invited to sign up, as many helpers over 70 are now unable to support.
sually, in the April issue, we’d be wheeling out a few new twists on the stock messages for the time of year – encouraging emergence from the binge-watch cocoon, the shedding of woolly layers, getting outdoors, etc. Seeing as we’ve a spring fashion slant to the front cover I reckon we’d have gone for something about ditching the ubiquitous black puffer jacket. But, and as much as we aim to be a beacon of positivity for Bristol, cheerleading for its fabulous fortes, brilliant businesses and engaging events, the disruptive, distressing circumstances brought on by the Covid-19 crisis are, of course, impossible to ignore. That said, and while offline shopping may not be the cards currently, this issue we still lead with the colour and fun of our recent shoot with Harvey Nichols Bristol. There are new-season palettes (lot of pink, lot of Biscay green) and patterns from the SS20 collections for those into wardrobe inspiration, and for whenever we can get back out and about and repopulate the social calendar. In strange, unfamiliar and very tricky times, it can be good to enjoy a moment of escapism on the sofa. We must try to see things in the best light we can, and the current predicament has brought out the best in many Bristolians, who have set up volunteer task forces to help those in need, emergency delivery services, entertaining podcasts (see p14, where we’ve been gathering a few activities suited to social distancing). Bristol charity Cintre has adapted to offer adults with complex mental health via telephone, Skype and Facetime. Meanwhile, Melissa Blease is talking self-sufficiency and gathering views on Brexit from the foodie frontline on p46. In sport (p48), there’s darts and digital engagement – a quick arrow-chuck with Fallon Sherrock when she flitted into Filton, and the Bristol teams who have been getting it right online. Think club news, behind-the-scenes videos, player interviews, matchday memes and giggle-inducing GIFs that are good for business. We’ve a chat with local illustrator Rosanna Tasker, plus untold stories of Somerset’s GI babies – part of a largely undocumented piece of social history brought to us by Bristol Central Library and Professor Lucy Bland. Our Elly West’s in the garden as usual – reassuring to know some things seldom change! – and savouring the opportunity to start from scratch. Be sure to get some fresh air when you can, even while isolated, and glean joy from any outdoor space at home. It may have been a long first quarter, but the bonhomie of Bristol’s community and city solidarity will eventually see us through – keep supporting small companies if you’re in a position to, so that they can weather the storm with us, volunteer if you’re safe and able and, with any luck, soon it really will be time to emerge and rebuild... Take care. AMANDA NICHOLLS EDITOR Editor’s image by Paolo Ferla; ferlapaolo.com
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Generally amazed... ...At how the community is pulling together in the wake of Covid-19. Volunteer task forces have been put together – sign up via Bristol City Council at bit.ly/bristolcovid. Food and drink businesses are going above and beyond, with Wilsons closing but offering NHS workers free grub to cook at home and fuel up on, and East Street Fruit Market – plus many more – starting home delivery for the elderly. Speaking of nature’s bounty, see p44 for Rosanna Tasker’s organic illos, and p46 for Melissa Blease’s bit on life after the EU for the local food scene.
Reading... ...Untold stories of the GI generation in Somerset – such as that of adorable little Ann Evans (see p38)
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top things to do in April
Anna and Julia
LISTEN While stuck in isolation, why not check out comedy podcast All About Eve and listen to Anna and Julia tell the life stories of incredible figures from our past. Episode four discusses the little-known Bristol tale of Princess Caraboo – who, in 1815, with no way of telling who she was, where she came from or how she arrived, was discovered in the city speaking an unknown language. Plug in, press play, close your eyes and lift your spirits.
With the sad news that the Bristol Women’s Literature Festival has been cancelled in response to the coronavirus pandemic, it is important that these writers’ great works are still celebrated this month. The inspiring books that were being acknowledged during the three-day festival are still very much available to read. Hadley Freeman’s House of Glass: The Story and Secrets of a Twentieth-Century Jewish Family follows the remarkable story of her grandmother and her siblings as they journey across the globe during a turbulent period in time. The festival’s all-woman line-up also included the likes of Helen Lewis with her book Difficult Women, Sian Norris amd Yvonne Battle-Felton. • womensliteraturefestival.wordpress.com
CARE Bristol illustrator and cofounder of the Bristol Womxns Mural Collective RTIIIKA (ah-tieka) has designed a t-shirt in collaboration with the homelessness charity Caring in Bristol and Everpress, as part of the Everpress Togetherness store, to inspire community actions that create big change. Each tee purchased for £25 helps to provide two nights of shelter and care for someone who is currently rough sleeping, as the money will be donated directly to Caring in Bristol and their 365 Shelter. Image © Alexa Ledecky
Drinks at Kask
• caringinbristol.co.uk; everpress.com/caring-in-bristol-rtiiika
EAT & DRINK As soon as the threat of coronavirus began to affect Bristol, volunteers and small businesses around the city sprang into action to do their bit to help those most in need. Across the city, local organisations and stores including, but not limited to, East Street Fruit Market, Kask, Espensen Spirit and Fareshare South West have been offering home or free deliveries to those already in self-isolation and to the elderly members of their communities. It is the independent businesses that are most at risk during this challenging time – so be sure to shop local where you can!
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JOIN Creatives in the South West have banded together in an attempt to boost morale through the power of art and music. Artists in Isolation calls for musicians, singers, writers, poets and spoken-word artists to produce exciting melodies for its new podcast. With the growing number of people entering self-isolation, making music, listening to new tunes and staying distracted from the recent events is a lovely way to help musicians and music-lovers alike. • Follow on Twitter and Instagram: @isolatedartists
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THE CITY The Hanham-born writer directs and costars in the series
BRISTOL Toby Gutmann produces music and motion graphics in St Werburghs
After living in London for 10 years I wanted a change of scenery and had always wanted to move back to the West Country as I grew up in Warminster. I still wanted to live in a city but with a more easy-going vibe so Bristol was the perfect fit. I’ve only lived here for a year but can see myself staying until I move away from city life in the future. I’ve spent most of my time exploring St Werburghs – my top spots are Café Napolita, The Duke of York and The Farm for a few drinks and a game of pool or seeing some animals! The Star and Garter is great, particularly in the summer, for some music and a good atmosphere.
Filming in Bristol Multi-award-winning writer and director Stephen Merchant’s series The Offenders (working title) has begun filming in Bristol. It's a co-production between BBC One and Amazon Studios, commissioned by BBC Comedy and BBC One, and produced by Big Talk with Merchant’s company Four Eyes. It follows seven strangers from different walks of life, forced together to complete a community payback sentence in Bristol. At first, they seem like archetypes we can easily pigeonhole, but gradually we see behind their façades and understand their hidden depths and what made them the people they are today. We are reminded that no one is all good or all bad and that everyone has a story. As unlikely new friendships intersect with complicated private lives, the offenders must unite to protect one of their own from Bristol’s most dangerous criminal gang. The show is equal parts crime thriller, character study, and state-of-the-nation commentary with humour and heart. “The Offenders is a long-standing passion project for me,” says Hanham-born Merchant, who also directs and co-stars in the series. “My parents used to work in the community service world and I was always intrigued that the many and varied people they dealt with only had one thing in common: they’d committed a crime. “Ever since The Office, I’ve loved finding ways to bring unlikely groups of people together and watch the sparks fly. As a writer I always include humour, but with The Offenders I also get to add drama, pathos, crime genre thrills and say something optimistic about the common humanity that unites us all, whatever our background.”
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Myself and my partner run a creative business called Maby Media where I work with different clients predominantly in the music industry. I specialise in motion graphics, animation and video postproduction, so my day consists of too much coffee followed by creating content, lyric videos, showreels, etc, for musicians and record labels, as well as producing music and working on my own stuff. My first release was a five-track EP that took inspiration from all kinds of genres and reached the top 10 of the reggae charts on iTunes in 2014. Since, I’ve worked with a number of different artists and collaborated with Marina P and Emilie Chick.
drumming techniques that can be applied to finger drumming. The Trinity Centre is one of my favourites as they have a lot of dub and sound system nights. For jazz The Old Duke is great, as is The Canteen for something a bit different. Recently I’ve also been exploring the drum ’n’ bass scene after creating a video for Bristol-based Keeno. I really like grafitti and one of my favourite artists is 3Dom, who came and graffitied my back garden when I first moved to the city. Given the current situation, I can’t wait for the summer when hopefully things will be back to normal. St Pauls Carnival is top of my list with it being on my doorstep. I’m also looking forward to Highrise and Teachings in Dub festival and Tokyo World. If I was stuck on a desert island and had to choose one band to listen to, it would always be Fat Freddy’s Drop. I mainly listen to reggae, jazz, funk and hip hop; regular artists coming out of the speakers are A Tribe Called Quest, Bonobo, Sharron Jones, Buddy Rich and Us3. If I was in charge I would give communities more freedom over putting on events in their local area. It’s important for everyone to have an input; this would help bring people together and make the most of the amazing green spaces Bristol has to offer. n
My favourite collaboration was with Abdominal. I used to play his release with DJ Format, Music for the Mature B-Boy, all the time, so when they did a release 14 years • Follow Toby @toejamtunes; later I was over the moon to have the mabymedia.co.uk opportunity to create something of my own. I enjoy creating It’s important for everyone to have an input into the visuals to accompany my tracks programming of local events and activtiies, says Toby and this is what I’ve been focusing on over the last couple of years. I release a lot of videos on social media – a combination of samples and well-known songs that I perform in my studio. I begin with a song I love, a popular chart entry or just a catchy melody then start digging for songs and samples to fit the key and tempo. From there it’s just about having fun creating a mix and making something new. I have been collaborating with Melodics on a video series called ‘Play It Yourself’ as well as creating a course teaching
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Britain’s poshest house share? With 12 bedrooms and 19 residents, Kings Weston House, designed by the brains behind Blenheim Palace, built as the luxury abode of a British politician and now repurposed into a communal living space, could be the country’s poshest house share. Residents say owner Norman Routledge had always talked Image courtesy of BBC Inside Out West about buying a castle that all his friends could live in and when the 18th-century Bristol mansion was put up for sale he snapped it up for £350,000. “It was a fight; two or three times I gave up,” he told BBC Inside Out West recently. “No banks would lend me any money but the guys here said go on, you’ve got this far, keep going.” Norman has always owned and lived in house shares but needed something to suit him and his friends as they began to have fewer parties and more children. “It’s the ultimate never-grow-old house,” he said. “So many people living on their own are lonely; here, that’s not going to happen. We never thought about the size of the project; it could have been cold and scary but it’s not turned out that way.” The Grade I listed building has huge grounds, and regal oil paintings the size of snooker tables, depicting former owners. Rent starts at £500 and Norman makes extra cash by renting the bottom floor out for weddings, parties and film crews, for shows including Poldark. He has now set his sights on Ashton Court, one of the UK’s biggest stately homes. “It’s 80% derelict,” he said. “It needs some TLC as this place did but could be our final resting place. We need to persuade Bristol City Council but that’s our next target.”
Vouching for Bristol’s brilliant businesses Wriggle has launched a system to increase support for independent businesses during uncertain times, allowing consumers to pledge extra support to their local favourites by purchasing vouchers (£5 to £40 in value) which can be redeemed when the coronavirus crisis passes and will help tide businesses through the next challenging months. As the pandemic grows, this is a challenging time for small businesses across the UK, and especially in the hospitality sector. While leisure activities and eating out remain at the discretion of the individual, restaurants are seeing less custom, and may be forced to either close temporarily or reduce hours. As cashflow-dependent businesses with high fixed costs, many much-loved establishments will not make it. “We hope this Indie Kitty campaign can pull people together to support great small businesses and ensure they survive,” said Wriggle CEO Rob Hall. For more information, get touch via email: email@example.com.
Art with heart Bristol artist Luke Jerram has created a glass sculpture in tribute to the huge global scientific and medical effort to combat the coronavirus pandemic. At 23cm in diameter, it is two million times larger than the actual virus, was made through a process of scientific glassblowing, and is based on the latest scientific understanding of the virus. “This is a tribute to the scientists and medical teams working collaboratively to try to slow the spread,” said Luke. “It’s encouraging that governments are taking advice and guidance from scientists and are working together for the common good.” The model was commissioned by the Duke University School of Engineering in America to reflect their current and future research and learning in health, the environment and intelligent systems, and its focus on solving global challenges. Profits from the model are going to Médecins Sans Frontières, assisting developing countries deal with the fallout of the coronavirus epidemic.
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WELL VERSED This month: a poem courtesy of John Harding
Where Rivers Meet The Founding Fathers settled here Down where these rivers meet There were waters in abundance Green pastures at their feet Where the river floods a city grows Its banks they fill with trade Cargoes ride on every tide Fortunes lost and made Merchants paid upon the Nails Wesley came to preach Where masts stood like forests Along Saint Augustine’s Reach Like rivers meet we’re incomplete Unless we flow together Out into life’s seas Our destinies bind us all together Roman legions disappeared Norman castles gone Faces and colours change The river still flows on Where Cabot’s Matthew sailed away To find its new-found land Brunel built his Leviathan With the magic in his hands Home fires blazed with fury As bombs fell on our shores The flower of youth blown away As the world plunged into wars Like rivers meet we’re incomplete Unless we flow together Out into life’s seas Our destinies bind us all together So we pray for brighter futures For our daughters and our sons As they turn toward tomorrow’s New millenniums Perhaps the universe will open Its secrets all be known Shall we sail among the stars And find we are not alone There in some distant haven With waters pure and sweet We'll see Founding Fathers settle Down where rivers meet
• If you have some poetry or creative writing that you’d like to submit for potential publication, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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HISTORY,TRADITION & QUALITY since 1881
Kemps is a fourth generation family jeweller offering a beautiful selection of both new and pre-loved pieces
KEMPS J EWELLERS
9 Calton Court, Westbury on Trym, Bristol, BS9 3DF www.kempsjewellers.com â€¢ 0117 950 5090
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B R I S TOL MAGAZINE
ike everyone else on the planet, I’ve been rearranging my life to make room for our new friend Covid-19. Actually it’s mostly other people who’ve been rearranging it for me, by cancelling things left, right and centre. And then there are the trips to the supermarket in search of paracetamol and toilet paper – items now only rarely sighted. By the time you read this, such treasures will probably be available only via a black market presided over by characters like Private Walker from Dad’s Army. I feel I should really be doing something exciting and dramatic so that one day, when my grandchildren ask ‘What did you do during Corona 2020?’, I can tell them about the charity bungee-jump off the Suspension Bridge or my work volunteering for the South Bristol Loo Paper Weavers. I ought to be writing a witty novel about life during a-bit-like-wartime or at the very least maintaining an insightful blog into the behaviour of modern Bristolians during this (we hope) oncein-a-generation crisis. Instead I’m trying to keep things ticking over while avoiding the news as much as possible. To my mind, most of us are less likely to suffer because of the bug itself than we are from its social and psychological effects. Isolation. Fear of contact. Constant worry. I’ve always thought one of the routes to good mental health is to avoid TV news altogether and to limit the intake of current affairs reporting from other sources. When the United States elected its latest president we passed a resolution to switch off the radio whenever his voice was broadcast, and that has saved us no end of anguish. The problem with news at a time like this is that it consists largely of speculation, with all kinds of dire predictions about worst-case scenarios. On the other hand I’ve found chatting with friends and family about our current predicament helpful, stimulating and often reassuring. Neighbours too, and strangers: dogwalkers, shoppers, the woman who delivers parcels for Hermes. People I might normally pass with a nod and a hello. Remember how we all used to live in our separate bubbles, divided by political views, music tastes, interests, etc? Now we all have something in common. We’re all concerned about what’s going to happen next. We all have elderly relatives to worry about. And many of us face a degree of economic uncertainty. Talking about elderly relatives, I’ve been pondering how best to help my mother, who lives on her own and is nearly 80. In Lidl I found myself discussing this with a chap on the checkout. I’ve said hello to him a hundred times but on this occasion we somehow got talking about old people and the virus. His father, I learned, was in lockdown in Italy and enjoyed grumbling about his predicament via Skype. My mother, meanwhile, is entirely uninterested in the whole subject and can’t see why we keep telling her to wash her hands. We agreed (the Lidl employee and I) that there’s little point constantly worrying about people who are not worried themselves. I know, though, that the situation is very difficult for people who are in some way vulnerable or – in a different way – for those who have responsibility for the welfare of people beyond their immediate family. We have a neighbour who has a management position at a secondary school and when I asked him about it he said wryly that there had been quite a number of meetings. His tone suggested that the meetings were of the back-covering variety (to put it politely), because in the end nobody was sure what would happen next – what instructions might suddenly be delivered from on high. His parting words stayed with me: “This virus thing is like the snow,” he said. “When it comes, you just get on with it.” ■
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FASHION | SS20 SPECIAL
SPRING STYLE FILES
This month we teamed up with Harvey Nichols Bristol to play with new-season palettes and patterns and glean wardrobe inspiration from the SS20 collection
WILD SIDE: Leopard print is a perennial, whether you go garish or more muted with subtle spring chic, illustrated in this little combo: Normani satin midi skirt, £90, with Adella bra top, £32 – both Free People – and leather top handle bag, £600, by Gu_De
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FASHION | SS20 SPECIAL
A DROP OF RED: Clean, sharp-casual and ready for a win. Moncler tee, £130, Polo Ralph Lauren Hawaiian swim shorts, £60, Gucci Pursuit sliders, £225, Dsquared2 twill cap, £135
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FASHION | SS20 SPECIAL
LA VIE EN ROSE: Soft yet smart, with smocked high-neck and ruffle trim, the Beloved chiffon midi dress by Keepsake, Â£210, makes for a real vision in pink
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FASHION | SS20 SPECIAL
YAY TO BISCAY: This gert lush shade of green – some say Biscay, some neo-mint – is having a moment. See Kenzo Icon tee, £85, with Moncler sweatpants, £295, and Larry leather sneakers, £360, from Alexander McQueen
WHITE MAGIC: Utilitarian pieces such as the Christine jumpsuit, £400, by Birgitte Herskind, can be styled up with killer heels or down for a relaxed boiler-style silhouette. Crocodileeffect clutch, £530 by Gu_De, Galativi suede mesh pump, £595, Christian Louboutin
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FASHION | SS20 SPECIAL
SPRING BLOCKS: This sporty little colour-blocked number, £195, Paul Smith, meets its match in Dsquared2’s Cool Guy distressed jeans, £400
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PINK COLLAR PROFESSIONAL: This striking Amanda Wakeley ensemble is a mood: relaxed Seventies tailoring, sewing together sports luxe and a little Saturday Night Fever... Rose revere collar jacket, £650, flare pant, £450, crossbody bag, £350. Finished with V-12 sneakers made from recycled plastic bottles and wild rubber – £115 from Veja – and an extra pop of colour courtesy of Huda Beauty's new Pastels Rose Eyeshadow Palette
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FASHION | SS20 SPECIAL
BUFF UP: Hello, earthy palette of the Rowan camel polo, £120, J. Lindeberg, Pino trousers, £105, Les Deux, Dsquared2 holdall, £990, and Gucci Jordaan loafers, £540
FLORALS, FOR SPRING? Rotate by Birger Christensen’s soft floral Beatrix wrap dress in a light velvet, £260; for the slight chill of spring evenings
IN THE NAVY: An elegant option for unpredictable climates, J. Lindeberg’s Ivo coat, £480, comes with a detachable blue gilet made from recycled shell (see image top left)
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FASHION | SS20 SPECIAL
ARIEL BOLD: The Aidan Mattox strapless mermaid gown, £355, exudes both Bond-girl glamour and underthe-sea sylph chic – a mix that we’re entirely on board with...
Photography: Paolo Ferla; ferlapaolo.com Director: Amanda Nicholls Location: Temple Studios Models: Emma Falcon, Logan Isaac; bigmustard.co.uk Clothing: Harvey Nichols Bristol; harveynichols.com Hair: Marika Angelotti, Madalin Wixon; nocohair.com Make-up: Abbie Paula Thomas at Huda Beauty, Harvey Nichols; hudabeauty.com Assistants: Millie Bruce-Watt, Georgina Southam
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WHAT’S ON | WE CAN WORK IT OUT
‘What’s on’ clearly isn’t on this month. But there’s plenty to do, reports Emma Clegg, who’s asked around for ideas on productive, rewarding or long-put-oﬀ activities that can be done in our new and slightly more solitary circumstances. Whether it’s reading War and Peace in Russian or learning semaphore, we’re not short of suggestions...
ho would have thought, just two months ago, that our world landscape would have changed so much? That everything – our work patterns, our commerce, our social and cultural lives, our health management, our hygiene routines, our travel systems, our schools – would either grind to a halt or change in character so suddenly and so dramatically? Scientists are testing for an effective immunisation; stock markets are plunging; economists are predicting outcomes, none of them encouraging; political leaders are making announcements and trying to sound authoritative; health and medical services are preparing for worst-case scenarios; and key stage exams are cancelled. Covid-19 2020 will without doubt become a chapter in the history books. But what about us? What about the people who are in the middle of this chapter of history? How will we feature? As those who BELOW: Lose yourself in a jigsaw as you watch the news unfold or transcribe family letters, immersing yourself in the news of another era
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panic-bought toilet rolls? As those who emptied supermarkets of hand sanitiser, pasta and baked beans? Is this how we want to be remembered? The thing is that if we are confined to our homes for extended periods, how will we fill the time? Is it possible to turn an enforced stint at home into something memorable, something that has value, something that we can remember with pride? Can we demonstrate resourcefulness and creativity and vision in the management of our daily lives just like our ancestors did in the war? I’ve canvassed opinion from colleagues, friends and family, and here is a summary of what’s in the pipeline for them. My French correspondent, also known as my godmother, tells me that France is in day three of nationwide confinement. Everyone needs authorisation to leave their house and can be checked by police with on-the-spot fines if their motives are invalid. She is full of ideas for confinement activities: to sort out her garage, organise the cupboard under the stairs, start a new sculpture and weed the garden. She has already made some fabric masks for her daughter and her husband who are still working as vets. What’s more, she is proposing making Japanese sponges out of socks. Basically, you cut all the good bits of the sock (so the bit above the ankle) into loops of about 2cm, weave them together on a frame made with nails, and then crochet the ends together to form a softish sponge that you can use for washing (yourself) or cleaning. And that’s not the least of it – another French citizen, a performance artist, is choosing to dance intensely in an empty graveyard en plein air. With the camera on record, bien sûr. OK, some of the French ideas are a bit zany, but Naomi Campbell’s no better, taking salt and vinegar baths, drinking celery juice, and dancing to pass the time. But what about closer to home? I have received fervent resolutions from those I have asked to (in isolation) take up the trumpet again, play the piano, write a long-planned novel, patch up old jeans, darn socks, cook and bake their way from Bertinet to Ottolenghi and back, and find new ways of wiping their bottom. A colleague sat at the piano for the first time in years this month, and learned Ruby Tuesday. She’s also planning to revive the old Duo Lingo app to brush up on her Spanish – just five minutes a day of this will leave plenty of time for other educational and instructional activities.
Eclectic reading and viewing choices include the Russian edition of War and Peace, Bosh! cookbook and Netflix drama Lilyhammer
There are plenty of creative enterprises planned, too, including tambour embroidery, previously attempted but fruitlessly, as said passer of time had previously worked herself up into a tantrum after failing to thread the needle due to too much wine and a stressful day at work. She says if she settles down with a cup of tea, a podcast, and some patience, she might stand a chance. Another friend aims to finish knitting the jumper that she started in the Nineties, which will probably be back in fashion when it’s finished and then it will be winter again… (but will the tension be correct…?) There’s quite a bit of admin planned: to finally clear out the filing cabinet and throw away bank statements from 1986 onwards, to delete the 1,000-plus emails from the inbox, and to sort out old photos into albums or chuck them if you are in them and don’t like your haircut, extra flab or gormless expression. Cupboards will also be emptied of ancient spices, tangled balls of wool, dead spiders and things that would come in handy if only the owner knew they were there. Filing systems will be systematically overhauled so that the finding of a mortgage statement or a doctor’s letter will take place in a matter of seconds. My cousin intends to revive the ancient art of letter writing – and he’s in an excellent position for this as he remembers birthdays, is super thoughtful and has a great taste in cards. His plan is to discover the possibilities of the written word, conveying measured, thoughtful, considered, affectionate emotions and responses, and to aim in the process to take the sting out of immediate, ill thought-out and ill tempered responses on social media. He’s the
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WHAT’S ON | WE CAN WORK IT OUT
LEFT: Brush up your semaphore, starting with the most important letter: B, for Bristol...
one who’s also going to immerse himself in jigsaws of Van Gogh countryside, baked beans and Red Square, Moscow. He was actually seriously debating whether he should start with the edges, or with the most obvious features as he launches into this resolution. Which made me remember rather vividly how many edges I’d sorted on his behalf in family jigsaw-related get-togethers as he maximised on the easier dense c oloured bits. Fresh air features, too, in enforced isolation, because as long as you’re at a suitable distance, outdoors is OK. So there are ambitions to cultivate prize-winning dahlias, take dogs out for long country walks, look out for all the bees and butterflies that will start to appear now that our carbon footprint is improving, and to watch the birds in the garden who know nothing about our current predicament, which is reassuring somehow… There are urges to ‘do’ the garden, although the one metre away from the fence gardening limit does cause problems in a garden that’s just two metres wide. Another friend has just bought a pair of running shoes for the first time in more than a decade, so her days at home are going to begin with a run: “The time is definitely now,” she says. For indoor exercise, th ere is a resolution to hitch the bike to the turbo and cycle miles without leaving the kitchen. This passer of time admits she’s not entirely sure how likely that will be, but is reassured by having the option. There are also yoga, pilates and body jam classes at home on the horizon, normally attended at the health club, now out of bounds, and the practising of mindfulness every day to minimise panic. DIY i s definitely in the air, although my French correspondent warns that this needs advance action as lockdown doesn’t allow browsing among the aisles of Homebase, or in her case Mr Bricolage, to stock up on paint or wallpaper. We have the painting of walls and skirting boards, the immaculate organisation of wardrobes, the throwing away of items that no longer fit and the wallpapering of accent walls going on. You can also sort out that plughole that has been smelly and semiblocked for a year. Just get the raw materials now, everyone! Communication features large. Reading preferences include Billy Connolly’s Tall Tales and Wee Stories and Bosh!, the cookery book by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby, creators of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing plantbased platform. There are also plans to read Stephen Fry’s Mythos because it would be good to know more about the Greek myths, and to read War and Peace in the original Russian (this friend has been learning Russian THEBATHMAG.CO.UK
for years, so this is more viable than it sounds (#cleverclogs). Another idea if you’re near an expanse of water is to go down to the sea and shout poetry at the waves, but you’ll probably need to take a poetry book as it’s unlikely you’ll remember all the lines. Revisiting collections of magazines is a good call, especially Monocle, 1843, and most importantly, the archives of The Bristol Magazine… Is 14 days long enough?
...Cupboards will be emptied of ancient spices, tangled balls of wool, dead spiders and things that would come in handy if the owner knew they were there... I have an enchanting collection of letters from my great grandfather to my great grandmother circa 1880s to 1900s, which are written in an elaborate Victorian script that’s hard to decipher. These provide insights into farm life and the culture of the time as well as the deep affection between my great grandparents, and I plan to transcribe them and create a blog to celebrate the times, the letters and the people. Another innovative communications resolution is to learn semaphore – a bit of a wild card but one that would certainly help us all communicate with people from afar... Being community spirited is another clear
theme, including identifying which elderly and frail neighbours need help and delivering it accordingly, and becoming actively involved in neighbourhood watches, which take on a new meaning in these challenging times. Another friend has mentioned that they will participate in a telephone helpline organised by the local community café so that they can keep in touch with elderly and lonely customers. Screens will, of course, feature. There is a commitment to get to the bottom of Netflix in order to discover some of the old greats buried in its vaults. And to rewatch Lilyhammer – a series about a New York gangster sent to Norway as part of witness protection – which is apparently well worth a second visit. And to read and then watch the films of the entire series of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, by which time the epidemic will surely be over (and post-event analyses done). We also have playing The Witcher on Playstation and, in my case, the Wordscapes anagram app, which is a wonderful way of passing the time while you decide what to do next. My 95-year-old mother has been in selfimposed isolation in our spare bedroom for over a year, so she is the most experienced at all this. Her perspective is to keep warm and keep us all o n our toes, complaining about her toast, ringing her bell loudly when attention is needed, telling me how I should be running my household, and instructing me to wrap up warm every day, even though I’m older than half a century. But she also takes great pleasure in observing the plant and tree growth and every wildlife movement in our back garden, and takes immaculate care of her pots of hyacinths, cyclame n, iris, Opuntia and the constant supply of cut tulips, daffodils and roses that thrive by her window. She also leaves crumbs for the birds on her windowsill. Surely it’s these things, ultimately, that are what it’s all about? n
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THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE 33
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GARDENING CITY HISTORY
Words themselves / Move us with conscious pleasure” (William Wordsworth, 1798)
Walking Wordsworth’s Bristol In April we celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of poet William Wordsworth. Renowned as Poet Laureate and one of the Romantic-era ‘Lake Poets’, Wordsworth also spent his early years being inspired by the West Country. Historian Catherine Pitt looks at his time in Bristol...
ristol has been home to some of the greatest artists, painters, musicians and writers in history. The city has always been a hotbed of radical thinking and dissenters and none more so than in the late 18th century. This period is known as the Romantic Era (c.1770-1850) and was an exciting but restless time. Romanticism was a reaction against the Industrial Revolution and the Age of Enlightenment. The Romantics wanted to return to connecting with nature and with strong emotions. Just as Extinction Rebellion today looks to reconnect people with nature, so too did Romanticism in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Around 1795, a young aspiring poet, William Wordsworth, returned to England from revolutionary France. On meeting likeminded supporters in London he was encouraged to visit Bristol. Wordsworth was known to enjoy walking tours of both Europe and Britain, so to celebrate his anniversary, we embarked on our own Wordsworth walk of Bristol. 34 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE
No. 7 Great George Street
Today the Georgian House Museum – which recently played host to the city’s first solo Yoko Ono exhibition – this was the home of John Pinney, slave owner and sugar merchant. Between 21 August and 26 September 1795 Wordsworth was invited to stay here by Pinney’s sons whom he had met in London. Pinney agreed to let William and his sister Dorothy stay in their property at Racedown, Dorset, rent free. Although Pinney had become wealthy on the back of slavery, he encouraged reformers and freethinkers to meet and debate at his home. It is believed that it was at one such event organised by Pinney that Wordsworth met, for the first time, Bristol-born poet Robert Southey and the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge with whom Wordsworth formed lasting (if not at times tempestuous friendships). “I stayed at Bristol at least five weeks with a family whom I found amiable in all its branches” – William Wordsworth to friend William Mathews, October 1795.
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No. 48 High Street Joseph Cottle’s first bookshop in Bristol, on the corner of the High Street and Corn Street, opened in April 1791. Cottle befriended many of the young aspiring writers and poets of Bristol, offering cash advances for their work and publishing them in-house. Wordsworth would have visited with Southey and Coleridge for discussions with Cottle and others about works in progress and political thoughts. “So many men of genius were there congregated as to justify the designation, ‘The Augustinian Age of Bristol’” – J.Cottle.
No. 5 Wine Street
Cottle moved his bookshop here in March 1798. It was a bigger site but, alas, not as prominent, which in the long run was to his detriment. It was at this shop that Wordsworth returned on 13 July 1798 after walking down Park Street to sit and write in Cottle’s parlour the poem known today as Tintern Abbey. Wordsworth also returned here in early July 1798 to help Cottle organise the release of Wordsworth’s and Coleridge’s collaboration The Lyrical Ballads.
St Peter’s Hospital – site near St Peter’s Church in Castle Park
One of the poems in The Lyrical Ballads by Wordsworth was called The Mad Mother. It has been thought by some academics that the subject was a woman called Louisa known as ‘The Maid of the Haystack’ who had lived for a time at St Peter’s Hospital. She was discovered, in 1776, sleeping under a haystack for four nights but refused offers of help. Local women named her Louisa and clubbed together and bought her the haystack, but she was eventually taken to St Peter’s. After a time, she left St Peter’s and returned to live under her haystack for four more years until her death.
No. 6 Clare Street
This address is recorded in 1811 as being the home of artist Robert Hancock. It is possible this was the same home and studio site that, in 1796, Wordsworth went to at the bequest of Cottle for his portrait to be painted. Often publishers needed a ‘head shot’ for works, just as they do today. Hancock produced chalk sketches of not only Wordsworth but Southey and Coleridge, too, for Cottle. In the 18th and 19th centuries it was usual for the subject to go to the artist’s home studio to sit for said picture. The sketch by Hancock was then sent to be engraved by Richard Woodman. In 1877 these portraits were purchased by the National Portrait Gallery in London. “Mr Southey deemed it an admirable likeness of Mr Wordsworth as he appeared in younger life” – Cottle’s reminiscences, 1 November 1836.
head a poem, and that it wasn’t until he was walking down Park Street in Bristol that the last passage came to him. “I began it upon leaving Tintern… and concluded it just as I was entering Bristol in the evening… not any part of it was written down till I reached Bristol.”
No. 6 Dowry Square
William and his sister Dorothy returned from Tintern via ferry to Aust in South Gloucestershire. They then walked back into Bristol, across The Downs and through Clifton to Hotwells where it’s possible Wordsworth paid a visit to Dr Thomas Beddoes who lived there. Beddoes had opened his Pneumatic Institution (1799-1802) at 6 Dowry Square in the hope of finding a cure for TB and the two men had met through their mutual friend lawyer and reformer James Losh. It was through Beddoes that Wordsworth also met chemist Humphrey Davy, though Coleridge and Southey were more involved with Davy’s experiments with nitrous oxide at the Institute.
Wordsworth lodged at Shirehampton in June and later in July 1798 – before and after his trip to Tintern Abbey – and although the exact location is unknown it was most likely with his friend James Losh. It was purported the reason for this was because Cottle’s shop in the centre of Bristol was too noisy for Wordsworth to concentrate. William and Dorothy were visited here by Coleridge and later left around 10 August to begin their journey for a walking tour in Germany. It is not known whether Wordsworth returned to Bristol in the 19th century but it is more than likely that he did regardless of Southey and Coleridge having moved to the Lake District as he had done. In 1841 Wordsworth was in nearby Bath for his daughter’s wedding, and returned to the city in 1847, both times staying for weeks so it is highly likely that during either stay he would have ventured to Bristol once more. ■
The Old Library – 30 King Street
Today it’s a restaurant but back in the 1790s, number 30 King Street was the site of Bristol’s library. The building itself dates back to 1738-40 and replaced an earlier library on site. It was here that Coleridge, Southey and many others would read or borrow books and pamphlets, and Coleridge would undertake political lectures. Wordsworth didn’t have a subscription card, but it is very likely that during his stays in Bristol he spent some time here being shown the collection, using it in-house, and supporting Coleridge’s lectures.
No. 48 College Street (today no. 54 College Street)
In College Street, both Coleridge and Southey shared lodgings and we know from all the three poets’ writings that Wordsworth visited them here. “I am going to Bristol tomorrow, to see those two extraordinary young men, Coleridge and Southey,” said Wordsworth to Mathews in 1796. Later Coleridge lodged at No. 25 College Street.
Wordsworth writes, in 1798, how on the four-day walk back from a visit to Tintern Abbey in Monmouthshire he was composing in his
Wordsworth (pictured) visited chemist Humphrey Davy in Hotwells, though Coleridge and Southey were more involved with his experiments with nitrous oxide
THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE 35
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Be the change
A chat with the founder of Mandem, who managed to launch a multimedia platform all while studying for a master’s at University of Bristol
ith a focus on culture, politics and identity, Mandem offers an online space for young men of colour to express themselves through music, film and the written word. We found out more about its purpose and ethos from young local creative Elias Williams, who offered his thoughts on a few contemporary issues and concerns. TBM: Why did you create Mandem? EW: I felt a need to respond to the lack of diversity in the media industries, and a strong desire to engage more young people in thinking critically about race, class and gender. I also saw a great importance in men of colour having a space to express their emotions creatively and constructively, while also tackling the negative stereotyping and media coverage that black and Asian males have been prone to over the years. The response has been overwhelmingly positive! People of all genders, classes and ethnicities engage with our content and come to our events. I hope the platform has encouraged many young people to think more deeply about the society we live in today and, from what I hear, it has, so I’m very grateful. There hasn’t really been much resistance but there have been a few words of caution with regards to the subjects that we tackle – a couple of years ago we held an event at Arnolfini titled ‘Do Mandem Need Feminism?’ There were definitely a few eyes turned at that one! But people were only asking that we approach the subject respectfully, and I believe we did in the end. There was a lot of positive feedback about the event, but we all still have a lot to learn. What do you think of the PressPad initiative set up to help stamp out elitism in journalism and help aspiring journalists into the profession? It sounds like a great initiative. It makes me feel uncomfortable that so many people high up in the media went to Oxford or Cambridge University – or came from very privileged backgrounds. Initiatives like PressPad can hopefully make journalism a more representative industry. 36 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE
What are your thoughts on the lack of black students studying history? I find it a little embarrassing to be honest. I don’t blame black students, but it saddens me that so many are put off by the idea of studying history because of either how irrelevant or Eurocentric the subject matter on offer is. I encourage black students to study history at university so that they can have a role in changing the curriculum. Most black students have a choice between slavery or the civil rights movement when it comes to studying ‘black history’ – if more module options were on offer, such as precolonial African history or the role of the Moors in Spain, perhaps more black students would be interested.
I encourage black students to study history at university so that they can have a role in changing the curriculum... Do you think Olivette Otele being made the University of Bristol’s professor of the history of slavery will have an inspiring impact? You’d hope so but it’s a deep-rooted problem that won’t be solved overnight. Many people in this country still get deeply offended if you mention anything negative about the British Empire or Winston Churchill. History is profoundly complicated and it’s not about labelling empires or figures as good or bad – it’s about gaining a better understanding of the whole picture. Otele’s work is crucial for that very reason. She provides us with a much wider understanding of black history, so I’m sure her presence at Bristol and her successful career will inspire many young black students to pursue history.
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How would you describe your own experience at University of Bristol? I was only there for a year to complete my MA so by no means did I have the full experience. But I was there long enough to understand how isolating studying there can feel for people from a working-class background or people of colour. UoB has a very high intake of private school students, and there aren’t many black students there. I’m lucky in the sense that my personality enables me to get on with a wide range of people. I went to state school but I was friends with a few private school kids growing up, so I realise they’re not from a different planet, they’re just exposed to different things.
Education and patient collectivism will eradicate racism, not Twitter arguments about Iggy Azalea... What, does it seem to you, are the big concerns of young men of colour in Bristol today? Men of colour often have to be more cautious than other demographics in their interactions with the police, due to a history of negative racialisations and police brutality. But beyond that, I think young men of colour just want to feel human – and not to feel like they’re a threat to society because of the media’s obsession with the minuscule percentage that are involved in inner-city crime or terrorism. Any other projects in the pipeline for 2020? In Bristol we have an exciting event coming up in collaboration with Cables & Cameras on 6 June. I have a few short film scripts that I’m hoping to get funding for soon. One explores the historical roots of the zombie movie genre in Haitian history, while the other provides a dystopian outlook on gender relations. There are a few other bits and bobs on the way with Mandem – stay up to date via our social media. What challenges have you overcome? Who has encouraged you? The biggest challenge has been maintaining the platform and keeping the content consistent. It’s a lot easier to start something than to keep something running – 16 April will be our third anniversary so I’m very proud about that. Cables & Cameras, Arnolfini, Watershed, UWE Bristol Equity and the Bristol Cable have all been very supportive. One of my course leaders at UWE Film was very supportive too. In all honesty, there’s too many to count! I’m forever grateful to the creatives and organisations who have supported the work I do. What has been your career highlight so far? What are your goals now? I feel a bit young to call it a career yet (!) but I would say one of the big highlights was getting commissioned to do a Channel 4 Random Acts film about West African legend Mansa Musa. Hosting an event with Lowkey was amazing – he’s been an idol of mine since I was a teen so getting to interview him was good fun. Being invited to hold an event at the Barbican Centre, one of the most prestigious art venues in the world, hasn’t quite settled in yet – that’s definitely a big highlight. My goals are to keep growing the platform, and continue improving on my writing and directing skills (while also taking good care of my mental health). Who inspires you in Bristol and why? Multimedia producer Vince Baidoo, filmmaker Michael Jenkins, poet and activist Lawrence Hoo just to name a few. They have all greatly inspired me in their own way, and their tenacity and persistence in what
they do is admirable. Freya Billington, my old course leader at UWE, is very inspiring and is always going above and beyond to support filmmaking students. My brother Timon is a massive inspiration to me too; he’s been running Mandem with me since 2017. What annoys you about discussions over issues of race? I’m kind of beyond getting annoyed at anything relating to race now. I’ve seen and heard it all, and would prefer to put my energy into acknowledging the achievements of people of colour, rather than debating the hardships – though they’re not to be disregarded! One of the things that has previously frustrated me is the lack of attention given to the nuances. Many people want to look at the world in a binary fashion because it’s easier to make sense of and rationalise that way. The reality is that we’re all homosapiens, and a few hundred years ago a group of intelligent Europeans figured out a way they could justify the exploitation of their fellow human beings – by using skin colour as a tool of oppression. When the deep historical roots of racism are reduced to conversations about whether white people can wear dreadlocks or not, it becomes very frustrating. Education and patient collectivism will eradicate racism, not Twitter arguments about Iggy Azalea. Which musicians and other creatives are doing the best job of giving voice to 'black politics' currently, in your opinion? UK rapper Santan Dave. His intelligence and musical genius is beyond questionable at this stage – he has a unique ability to make mainstream music for all to enjoy, while dropping powerful tracks like Black and Question Time. But we shouldn’t have to rely solely on musicians and unfortunately that’s how it often feels. There are few others who I feel truly understand or can articulate ‘black politics’ in a pertinent way. Akala is an obvious one, but again he’s a musician. Filmmakers like Jordan Peele and Ryan Coogler in the US are also brilliant storytellers that offer a new and unique perspective on ‘blackness’.
History is profoundly complicated and it’s not about labelling empires or figures as good or bad... Which Bristol figures/initiatives do you think need recognising? Cables & Cameras has done a brilliant job in helping BAME filmmakers over the last couple of years in Bristol and they deserve more recognition. Rising Arts Agency is also doing brilliant things, so keep an eye on their work too. Stacey Olika, Euella Jackson, Olamiposi Ayorinde aka Posidays, and Will Oklok Taylor are just a few talented black Bristol creatives to keep an eye on in 2020. Watch out for the re-launch of Bristol Is The New Black – a black student organisation based at the University of Bristol and helping black students feel less isolated there. Where do you go to eat, drink, shop and be entertained? I’m a bit of a workaholic but when I do get chill time, I like to watch films at Watershed. You might catch me in the White Harte, Park Street, with my fellow MA graduates, talking about world politics from time to time. I’m a fiend for falafel, so I’m frequently stuffing my face with Eat A Pitta. I’ve been a vegan for nearly three years now, and Bristol is the vegan Mecca. If anyone knows any other good spots, I’m all ears. ■ • Follow Elias on Twitter: @eliasxwilliams THEBRISTOLMAG.CO.UK
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Children at Holnicote House in Somerset
Telling the stories of black GI babies in the UK, a largely undocumented piece of social history is to go on display later this year at Bristol Central Library
f the three million American servicemen based in Britain between 1942 and 1945, around 240,000 were African American and many of these GIs had relationships with local women. Approximately 2,000 mixed-race children were born following these relationships and many were relocated to the South West, with Holnicote House in Somerset used as a home for mixed-race children. The babies were illegitimate because the American white commanding officers refused black GIs permission to marry their pregnant British girlfriends, and the British government blocked the potential adoption of these children by Americans, including by their fathers, despite great interest from hundreds of African Americans. At the time, the media called them ‘brown babies’. This month, a new exhibition focusing on the untold stories of children born to black GIs and white British women during this period was due to go on display at Bristol Central Library. It builds on important research carried out by Lucy Bland, professor of social and cultural history at Anglia Ruskin University and documented in her recent book Britain’s Brown Babies. Since Professor Bland’s book was released last summer, many more people have come forward to tell their own stories, and the Bristol exhibition featured previously unseen 38 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE
photographs alongside some explanatory text and quotes from the ‘children’ themselves. “These ‘children’ are now in their seventies and I thought it was important that this significant, and largely undocumented, piece of Britain’s social history was shared with a wider audience before it is too
Ann with her four adoptive brothers
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late,” said Professor Bland. “Britain in the mid-1940s was a very white country. This was a time before the arrival of people from across the Commonwealth, including the Windrush generation, who together helped to rebuild post-war Britain. “There are some heartbreaking stories, and racism was common as the children grew up in predominately white areas – often small towns and villages in the countryside where the GIs were based in the war, with no black or mixed-race role models. However, there are also many uplifting stories such as the children who went on to find their fathers, and their wider families, in the United States.” Between a third and half of the children were given up to children’s homes. For many mothers, keeping them seemed too difficult, if not impossible. At least a third of the mothers were already married and even if they were single, the stigma of having an illegitimate mixed-race child was hard for them to live with, given the prejudice and racism of the time. Some mothers were forced to give up their babies by their families, by a mother and baby home, or by the local priest. Holnicote House Nursery was a National Trust building requisitioned in 1943 by Somerset County Council and used to house mixed-race GI babies. The babies were taken from mothers often when they were as young as two weeks old. By 1948 Somerset had 45 such children, over half of whom were placed in Holnicote House. Deborah Prior’s mother was a recently widowed schoolteacher. When she became pregnant she was taken in by the local vicar to hide her pregnancy. “Because of her position in the community, and because I was going to come out black, I was immediately placed in the care of the Somerset County Council children’s department and placed in Holnicote House,” says Deborah. “She was a reasonably important figure in her local community and the disgrace or the shame of it would have been quite difficult for her to deal with.”
Deborah believes her mother’s position in the community would have made it diﬃcult to deal with the shame society attached to her pregnancy
Between a third and half were given to children’s homes... Keeping them seemed too difficult... Mothers were forced to give up their babies by their families or by the local priest... Deborah became a cadet nurse at 16 and immediately felt she belonged: “It was the first time I had anything to do with anybody else that was coloured [since Holnicote House].” She moved to Australia in 1977 and became chair of Palliative Care Queensland and from 200914 was president of the Centaur Memorial Fund for Nurses. Ann Evans’ mother was engaged to be married when she became pregnant; her fiancé was serving in France: “She lets him know that she’s become pregnant, so they bring him home in order to marry her,” says Ann. “She got married in October of ’44; they send him back then to his regiment. I was born in the February of ’45, and of course, because of the colour, she knew I wasn’t her husband’s. So what she told him of where I’d gone, goodness knows.” Ann thinks a miscarriage was probably mentioned. “Within a week of me being born, I was down at Holnicote House – she had to get rid of me somehow, didn’t she, ’cause she didn’t know when he was going to get back.” Ann was adopted when she was five by a lovely couple in South Wales, who had four grown-up sons. Her parents never told her that she was adopted – “until I was 13 and this elderly lady told me I should go back where I belong, and Mr and Mrs G are not your mother and father...” she remembers. “I went down to my grandmother and told her. She said, ‘Does it really matter? We all love you’.” ■
Ann Evans was at Holnicote House within a week of being born as her mother didn’t know how soon her husband would return from France
• The rescheduled dates for this free exhibition are yet to be announced, keep your eyes peeled and check @BristolLibrary and @AngliaRuskin on Twitter for updates THEBRISTOLMAG.CO.UK
THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE 39
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STATE OF THE ART Wilhelmina Barns-Graham and the Artists of St Ives, RWA, until 24 May
In light of ongoing developments resulting from Coronavirus, some exhibitions may be cancelled or postponed and some venues closed. Please check the organisers’ websites for further updates. Thank you for your understanding and continued support.
Two exhibitions respectively exploring the work of Wilhelmina Barns-Graham and her peers. ‘Wilhelmina Barns-Graham: Inspirational Journeys’ looks at the work of one of Britain’s most significant 20th-century artists – a prominent member of the St Ives group – and her trips to Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Lanzarote and the Orkneys. Works range from detailed figurative depictions of specific landscapes to bold and colourful abstract paintings. The theme of the show is particularly timely and foregrounds a positive relationship with Europe and the inspiration found through travel and cultural exchange. ‘St Ives: Movements in Art and Life’ illustrates how, in 1939, St Ives became a temporary home to some of Britain’s most forwardthinking abstract artists fleeing the dangers of the Second World War. This second exhibition explores the creative inspiration offered by the town, its surrounding landscape and its people to a generation of artists whose lives and careers were impacted by conflict. See vibrant work by Wilhemina and the artists of St Ives
From beached wreck to Bristolian landmark...
Falklands to Bristol: an Extraordinary Journey, SS Great Britain, 4 April – 6 September This year marks 50 years since the remarkable project which saved Brunel’s SS Great Britain. From humble beginnings, when the rusting hull slid back into the city in 1970, the SS Great Britain has grown into an award-winning visitor attraction, which protects and cares for Brunel’s legacy and the world’s first great ocean liner. ‘50 Years Back Home in Bristol’ will kick off in April, celebrating the incredible journey the ship has taken, from beached wreck to Bristolian landmark, by telling the story in its trademark inventive style and providing a free outdoor exhibition along Bristol’s harbourside. ‘Falklands to Bristol’ will display dramatic photos of the homecoming alongside a show on Falkland Islands life today, giving a flavour of the place from which the SS Great Britain set off on her journey. • ssgreatbritain.org
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THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE 41
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Squaring the Circles of Confusion Neo-Pictorialism in the 21st Century, RPS, 10 April – 21 June ol Po iT de
us by S
e an D
This high-profile exhibition, featuring new and previously unseen work in the UK, will show how photography has evolved as an artform, combining historical influences with today’s technology and approaches to photography. Pictorialism became a dominant artform from the mid19th century as photography became recognised as an art beyond the mediums of science and documentary. The showcase will feature pieces from Spencer Rowell, who works with psychoanalysis and photography; Joy Gregory, whose work raises awareness of the many uncharted parts of black history, using salt prints, gum bichromate and cyanotype; Susan Derges, who has become internationally recognised for her images of land, interconnecting with the river, shoreline and night sky; and Takashi Arai who creates an installation of contemporary daguerreotype portraits of teenagers. In this show, 17 teenagers’ daguerreotypes are shown with accompanying audio chronicling how they feel about being a teenager and living on a nuclear site. • rps.org
Easter Sculpture Festival, Bristol Botanic Garden, 10 – 13 April
Newsreader, 1990 by Grayson Perry
Carboniferous limestone giants striding through a prehistoric forest, the delicate sounds of ceramic bells chiming on trees, mosaic foxes and the mesmerising sight of the potter’s wheel are all features of this year’s festival. The Botanic Garden provides a unique setting with its own backdrop of sculptural elements including soaring bamboos, prehistoric tree ferns, giant leaves and exotic treasures in the glasshouses. View and buy sculpture, enjoy demos of willow weaving, pottery and woodworking and take a tour of the garden which will be full of spring flowers. Exhibitors include Willa Ashworth (metal work), Jeremy Baines (ceramics), Christine Baxter (bronze) Louise Bolton (botanical art), Toni Burrows (mosaics), Adele Christensen (3D glass), Duncan Elliot (stone), Jude Goss (stained glass), Hayley Jones (wirework) and Denise Stirrup (textiles). • bristol.ac.uk/botanic-garden Duncan Elliot works in rescued carboniferous limestone
Grayson Perry: The Pre-therapy Years, Holburne Museum, until 25 May The first exhibition to survey Grayson Perry’s earliest forays into the art world re-introduces the explosive and creative works he made between 1982 and 1994. These ground-breaking ‘lost’ pots are reunited for the first time to focus on the formative years of one of Britain’s most recognisable artists. The show at the Holburne Museum is also remarkable for the fact that many of the 70 items on display have been crowd-sourced from across the UK, following a hugely successful appeal to the public in 2018. The exhibition displays the earliest works – pots, plates and sculptures – that first made Perry’s name, and shines a light on his experimentation and exploration of the potential of pottery to address radical issues and human stories. For art lovers, ‘Grayson Perry: The Pre-Therapy Years’ represents a unique opportunity to enjoy the artist’s clever, playful and politically engaged perspective on the world through a number of pieces, many of which have not been seen in public since they were first exhibited. Often challenging and explicit, these works reveal the early development of Perry’s distinctive voice that has established him as one of the most compelling commentators on contemporary society. • holburne.org
42 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE
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THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE 43
Rosanna Tasker - ed.qxp_Layout 1 20/03/2020 13:27 Page 1
ARTS | INTERVIEW
BELOW: Rosanna often uses women as her central characters with nature and wildlife playing supporting roles, shown in this piece, Under the Orange Tree BELOW, bottom: Autumn Hike illustrates how Rosanna uses subtle colour palettes with pencil lines inspired by a previous era of illustration
ABOVE, top: The Allotment, a piece that appeared in The Washington Post ABOVE: An artwork depicting the calmness of nature, a trait that runs throughout Rosannaâ€™s work OPPOSITE: Rosanna in her studio at Hamilton House in Stokes Croft 44 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE
Rosanna Tasker - ed.qxp_Layout 1 20/03/2020 13:27 Page 2
ARTS | INTERVIEW
Eat, think, grow, draw
The delicate work of illustrator Rosanna Tasker has a serenity and peace that makes you wish you lived within her drawn world. Millie Bruce-Watt chats to the artist about her work, what inspires her and how, in turn, she’d like to inspire others
osanna Tasker’s illustrations seem to be the very essence of peaceful beauty. A palpable sense of serenity hangs close to her delicate drawings and the idyllic landscapes of her invented worlds create a form of escapism. With nature’s bounty appearing to be the common thread that binds Rosanna’s work, we are reminded of its calmness, the richness of organic foods, the unrivalled quality of a local market and thereby the benefits that they offer us. Rosanna – who has lived in Bristol for eight years – achieved first-class honours in illustration at UWE in 2014. After she graduated, she was lucky enough to get regular work with a company called Moon Architect and Builder. “At least for two years they were my regular clients, giving me different types of projects. It was so unusual to have a client to start off my illustration career. I really owe a lot to them for getting me used to landing on my feet straightaway.” Rosanna went on to set up her own studio in Hamilton House in Stokes Croft before moving to her current space in St Pauls where she has produced work on a commission basis for the likes of The New York Times, The Guardian and The Washington Post to name just a few, developing her style and refining her techniques. By drawing and painting onto separate layers of rich paper before finishing the illustrations digitally in Photoshop, Rosanna is able to create unique hand-crafted pieces. “A lot of people do things entirely digitally, but I want that hand-drawn, handpainted look. In order to do that for clients where they need changes, I hand-paint all the colour and draw any elements on separate bits of paper, then scan it and put it together in Photoshop. That means if there is suddenly some extra text that needs adding, I can just move the tree slightly rather than re-paint the entire thing… Illustration is really unique because of the fact that you can be really playful with it. There are not really any rules to being a good illustrator.” With the use of fine pencil lines and gouache paints, Rosanna endows her characters with poise and elegance. Her admiration for Golden Age fairytale illustrators like Edmund Dulac, Kay Nielson and Arthur Rackham, from whom she takes much of her inspiration, also shines through. It almost makes you wish that you, too, lived in the worlds that she creates. “The motivation for me is the creativity of it. I get thoughts and ideas all the time… Sometimes I’ll have an idea and I haven’t done it yet and
it’s burning in me… I think it’s integral in me and it forces me. It’s like I don’t have a choice, I just need to get it out sometimes.” Bristol itself has also had a profound effect on Rosanna’s work. Its pockets of creativity and the levels of artistic opportunity for upand-coming illustrators helped her build her career, and the artistic community warmly guided her through the process of artistic selfdiscovery. “The community is such a beating heart in Bristol. I feel like that’s made it possible, really, not so much the impact on my work itself but it’s made being a freelance illustrator possible and enjoyable.” Having grown up surrounded by the great outdoors near the historic town of Ludlow, Rosanna often reflects the happiest memories of her childhood in her work. “We lived right in the countryside down a dirt track. There were about four houses and several children there, all around the same age, outdoors and running around 24/7. “I feel that had a really big impact on the type of subject matter I was interested in. I also never thought I’d want to live in a city. I came to Bristol and I thought, ‘This is what a city’s like; this is amazing.’ It’s got everything going on – it’s special in terms of creativity.” With the dream of creating a children’s book at the forefront of Rosanna’s mind, her ambitions are ultimately very simple. She would like to one day inspire a child to embark on a similar path of creativity. “The main goal is to inspire people’s imaginations, not only for me to express what
I’m wanting to say or what I’m wanting to draw but, also, for that story or those images to really spark something in a child. I think back to the books I had when I was a child and how those ideas and imagery built my imagination and fuelled the fire, so to be able to do that for someone else would be amazing.” n • rosannatasker.com
THEBRISTOLMAG.CO.UK 2020 | 2010 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE 45 | APRIL THEBATHMAG.CO.UK 51 | january | TheBATHMagazine
Brexit food.qxp_Layout 2 18/03/2020 10:09 Page 1
GARDENING FOOD & DRINK
Reap what you sow?
As the UK prepares to increase its self-suﬃciency, Melissa Blease seeks advice from some of those who’ll face Brexit from the foodie frontline
or decades, the shopping in our baskets and larders has represented the food-world equivalent of the Eurovision Song Contest, the Six Nations and the Academy Awards all sitting down together for supper – and our menus reflect the international theme. We blithely scoff strawberries in December, for example, largely imported from Spain, Egypt, Morocco and Israel. Nearly all the decent pasta that we eat is imported from Italy (if you’ve ever tried growing durum wheat in the UK, you’ll understand why). We dive into Icelandic cod on a regular basis, Norwegian salmon makes a splash on menus across the land, and tonnes of tuna makes its way across the oceans from Mauritius and the Seychelles. Even British salad leaves take a bruising in the colder months; the British Leafy Salads Association says that 90%of the salad leaves we eat in winter come from a single region of Spain. But with Brexit now underway, we can no longer take our food supply for granted. According to Chris Elliott – founder of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University, Belfast – the UK imports about 40% of all the food we eat, with around a third of it coming from EU member states. “The UK imported more than £370million worth of potatoes from the Netherlands and Belgium in the first six months of 2018 and, in the first nine months of last year, 94% of beef imports into the UK came from EU member states, three-quarters of it from Ireland alone,” he says. Meanwhile, according to a report commissioned by dairy giant Arla and published by the London School of Economics towards the end of last year, “the UK imports nearly all the yoghurt it eats, largely from mainland Europe,” while the Republic of Ireland produces nearly 10 billion litres of milk a year, the majority of which goes into the British market. The Institute for Fiscal Studies says that the future of food prices will remain “highly uncertain” until solid trade negotiations are made, and the British Retail Consortium has stated that the absence of a trade deal between the UK and the European Union could see the price of imported food rise by 22% over the coming year. In need of food for thought, we solicited some morsels of expert advice from a few of the West Country’s industry figures.
Given all the uncertainty, now is an excellent time to align our diets to incorporate more and more British seasonal food, looking forward to new produce becoming available as the seasons evolve rather than worrying about what we can’t get. Riverford already does this, so we’re a handy shortcut! Customers can select UK produce, and we even have a 100% UK veg box which makes it even easier. When we do import (which is always land/sea freight, never air freight), we do so from grower-partners with whom we have long-term and very solid relationships so we’re well protected against disruption to supply, and confident that we’ll be able to work around any potential obstacles to keep our organic boxes filled.
Ped Asgarian, MD of Chew Magna’s Community Farm
If managed properly, Brexit could be a big positive for UK farming. If mismanaged, it could possibly destroy what little soul is left of our longstanding agricultural heritage. Post-Brexit, the landscape of UK farming will undergo significant changes. Different variables will have a big impact on what we farm, how we farm, and the survival of farms, from smallscale to large. Many of these factors will be interwoven in ways that are not perhaps obvious to those without experience and knowledge of the history of how trade with Europe and how the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) have influenced the crops we grow and how we grow them. We face a mixture of threats and opportunities, and we won’t know the full picture until the ink has dried on trade deals and we’ve decided how the CAP and countryside stewardship schemes will be replaced. Environmental land management schemes, for example – designed around the concept of public money for public goods – have been proposed as replacements for the current countryside stewardship schemes; they would encourage a significant move toward looking after soil, creating wildlife corridors and a raft of other positive changes that would benefit those aiming to grow agro-ecologically. However, such changes will only happen gradually due to farmers being locked in to current schemes for up to the next eight to 10 years, so this will slow down any positive environmental impact we could expect to see. If (hopefully) we choose to impose higher environmental and health standards on our farming practices, we will inevitably see prices rise. Making trade deals that allow cheaper food to enter this country and/or
...Now is an excellent time to align our diets to incorporate more British seasonal food... Vicki Mowat, Riverford Home Delivery
In the UK, we currently only supply 61%of our own food, while 70% of imported food comes from EU countries; the decisions made around tariffs, quality standards and other issues will potentially have a big impact on us all. At Riverford, we employ lots of brilliant workers from the EU, and the availability of future labour is a huge area of concern for the entire fruit and vegetable industry. We were very disappointed to see the government’s recent points-based immigration system announcement that seems to have completely ignored how vital migrant workers are to the agricultural sector. We’re providing full support to all of our European workers in order for them to be able to return next year to pick for us, and we’re also better able to attract British nationals as we pay above-average wages. We’re confident in being able to weather any storms and keep the Riverford veg boxes fully supplied, but we’re worried about the impact on growers who are smaller than us and less able to navigate this tricky issue. 46 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE
Building menus around seasonal availability supports local farmers and is better for the planet too
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FOOD & DRINK
food produced to lower standards could therefore undermine any proposed changes and put farms across the country at risk of struggling to make ends meet. It’s important trade is matched to our standards; this will allow us to create a fertile environment in which our farming industry can grow. I take a view that small-scale, agro-ecological farming needs to be at the heart of our farming system, not only for the protection and betterment of the environment, but for the improvement of rural and local economies. Research has shown that infrastructure, employment prospects and education are often increased in rural communities with a prevalence of small-scale farming. Such communities’ food supplies are also less likely to be affected by adverse weather conditions or disease due to their shorter supply chains, thus boosting their resilience.
...Small-scale, agro-ecological farming needs to be at the heart, not only for the protection and betterment of the environment, but the improvement of economies... Valentine Warner, food writer, chef and broadcaster
The overall problem is that we all eat too much: if we all ate a fraction of what we eat, which is all that we need, things would be very different. But we live in an age where people think they have the right to have what they want, and that’s where all kinds of problems started, well before Brexit. The reason I like companies such as Riverford is because, to some degree, they’re deciding how much you eat over a week, and the people who have decided that they want that kind of rationale around their food have self-imposed a form of rationing. If everybody behaved like that instead of just randomly buying lots of food, we’d be in a better place. A lot of the mess we’re in can be sorted out locally, but there are all sorts of things to think about, not only over the coming year but the next 20, 40 years – we have to start not only looking at what we’ve got, but how much we can have.
Neil Mortimer, MD of Lovejoys Wholesale
Specialists in local and UK produce, we’re working with our chefs to compose menus that place more emphasis on seasonal produce, keeping costs down and promoting all of the fabulous local produce available to us. But the UK food business is extremely important to countries in the EU, and vice versa: Holland and Belgium supply the majority of frozen and chilled chips; France and Spain send huge supplies of tomatoes and other salad crops our way, especially in the winter when UK supplies are out of season. If a trade deal agreement is settled quickly, food supplies will go on as normal; if not, the worst scenario is cost increases and lengthy customs delays. It’s hoped that the worst-case scenarios will only be temporary. Our aim is to work hard to keep supplies as normal as possible throughout the negotiation period, and we’re hopeful that our experience and long-standing relationships with suppliers will sustain us.
Rob Clayton, chef/proprietor of Clayton’s Kitchen
Whatever’s going on in the world, Brexit is everywhere. For the restaurant and hospitality industry, the uncertainties might not be having a huge impact right now... but we can’t help being worried. It’s difficult to pin down exactly what would happen in a deal/no-deal – who knows which we’ll end up with? Even experts and TV pundits struggle to come up with convincing answers as to what might happen; depending on who you listen to, it’s either a nightmare or the best thing to happen to Britain. One thing that pretty much everyone can agree on is that whatever Brexit deal we get, some food prices are likely to rise. This makes sense – after all, in the previous year, 30% of food imports came from the EU. But which foods will actually cost more? According to the British Retail Consortium, the price of beef could rise between 5% and
29%, poultry prices could rise by as much as 25%, and fruit and vegetables will be affected too; the UK Trade Policy Observatory suggests that tomato prices could rise by up to 18%. Whichever restaurant, catering or hospitality news source you trust (we would suggest Blue Arrow), the picture doesn’t look particularly rosy. But perhaps there’s another side to the story. What if we stopped importing so much food and focused our attention on buying local, seasonal produce instead? Could buying local help to grow the restaurant industry? Could the food we cook be fresher, healthier and support local producers? Of course, we don’t know the answer to all of those questions now. But what we can say is that there’s an increasing trend for chefs and catering professionals choosing to put more local produce on their menus. A couple of decades ago, menus were predominantly based around local produce. Today, access to even the most unlikely foodstuffs is easy: pineapples in December, avocados in February. Perhaps my industry needs to think about whether we need these ingredients on our menus at this time of year. Building menus around seasonal availability supports local farmers and it’s better for the planet too. And with restrictions comes creativity; shipping avocados in the middle of winter begins to sound ridiculous when you think about it for more than a few seconds. As Norman Dinsdale, a senior lecturer at Sheffield Business School, with over 40 years’ experience in the international hospitality industry, posits: “I’m not suggesting that we return to the dreary potato, cabbage and turnip diet of the post-war years and early 1960s but we should, as a nation, be prepared and able to produce a lot more of our own food, paying our farmers a decent return for their produce.” Wherever you stand on the Brexit divide – whether you voted to leave, you’re a hard-line Remainer, or you don’t really care – the consensus seems pretty clear for our industry: imported food, particularly from within the EU, will almost inevitably cost more, regardless of the deal outcome.... but food grown in the UK may not. And I’m sure most of us can agree on one point: fresh, seasonal, local produce is the way forward.
...One thing highlighted by the Covid-19 crisis is that increased globalisation carries its own risks, impairing our abilities as a nation to isolate when necessary... Peter Milton, proprietor, Larkhall Butchers
I think that there’s likely to be an initial period of confusion post-Brexit trade deals, with a fall in imported food putting stress on our local supply chain. This concern will play heavily with prices, but shouldn’t actually limit the availability of food. At Larkhall Butchers we’re in a relatively stable position; our strong ties to local farmers mean that we actually have nearly 12 months of stock in the fields at any given time – as farmers have to work so far ahead, planning is essential, but this clearly benefits all of us. A more pressing concern, for me, is that many of the workers involved in processing our food are often European, and new restrictions may limit their availability to do this work, particularly around Christmas – this may increase costs at the process and production stages of any food sold. I would hope that, after a brief period of uncertainty, the demand for local produce across all industries would force us to increase the supply chain to match, with more local jobs being created and, hopefully, a resurgence in both interest and investment into domestic farms. One thing highlighted by the current Covid-19 crisis is that increased globalisation carries its own risks, with a dependency on foreign imports impairing our abilities as a nation to isolate ourselves when necessary. It also reduces our ability to be self-sufficient. But hey, we certainly live in interesting times! And I’ll be fascinated to see how it all pans out, whether our primary and secondary industries will actually increase, or whether we’ll just shift imports to new trade deals. Either way, the show must go on! ■ THEBRISTOLMAG.CO.UK
THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE 47
Sport and digital.qxp_Layout 2 18/03/2020 10:17 Page 1
...Digitally, we mean. From club news and behind-the-scenes videos to interviews with players, giggle-inducing GIFs and matchday memes, for many of Bristol’s big sports teams, entertaining, original content is a must, says Jeremy Blackmore
port in the South West is leading the way in revolutionising how clubs engage with fans, including those not able to attend live fixtures. Digital media and live streaming have opened up access to players and allowed fans to go behind the scenes in ever more creative ways. Social media engagement with supporters has grown steadily in recent years, but live streaming of cricket in particular has revealed a huge ‘hidden’ audience, with a growing appetite for exclusives and updates about their favourite teams. Many of our sports clubs embraced social media initially as another channel to keep fans informed. Now though, engagement is the name of the game with entertaining, original content a must-have. There’s a commercial imperative, too; impressive digital numbers help attract sponsorship and grow brands and businesses. Somerset County Cricket Club have been pioneers, coming out on top in a recent report into digital engagement by search marketing agency Red Hot Penny. The report looked at 80 professional sports clubs across the UK and Ireland and revealed that Somerset had the most engaged following, beating football teams such as Celtic, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton. “The way cricket is being consumed is changing and social media provides the perfect outlet for content, allowing fans from both near and far to stay connected to the club,” said Sarah Trunks, Somerset’s strategy director, commenting on their table topping score. Digital marketing and communications executive Ben Warren is responsible for much of Somerset’s digital content. “Obviously we were delighted when we saw the published results,” he says. “While we don’t have the resources of a major football team, we have a really committed fan base and we are very grateful for all the support we receive. We’re determined to provide the best possible digital experience for fans.”
...The video announcing the signing of Fijian wing Semi Radradra, filmed as a Good Will Hunting parody, attracted a huge social media response... Increasingly, clubs accept that not every fan can make it through the gates every week. Bristol City say it is pivotal that a matchday experience can still be enjoyed, even if a supporter is not physically there. At Bristol Bears, media manager Will Carpenter says the club’s digital engagement has shown just how widespread their fan base is. “It really opens your eyes to the fact that people who have grown up supporting Bristol move away, but still remain supporters. Social media enables them to stay connected with the club they love from anywhere in the world.” There are three pillars to Warren’s approach to digital engagement at Somerset: informing (club news, match updates, scores, fixture lists); persuasion (club promotions, membership packages); and, increasingly, a focus on entertainment (behind-the-scenes videos, interviews with coaches and players, GIFs and memes). It helps drive engagement and allows fans to get to know players and coaches better – and filling the gaps between matches with content that makes supporters feel part of the club is something Somerset excel at. Recent content has included Facebook Q&As and videos of players showing off their culinary skills on Shrove Tuesday as well as a fielding masterclass from skipper Tom Abell. Fans also voted to decide Somerset’s team of the decade. 48 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE
Red Hot Penny note, though, that not every club gets it right: “With a passionate army of dedicated, life-long fans to engage with, a wealth of sponsors to work with and easy access to athletes-come-influencers, many may think running the marketing for a professional sports club and engaging fans on social media is an easy job. But posting a few pictures of a star player on Twitter or Instagramming a hastily cobbled together highlights reel from last night’s match just won’t cut it. Fans want richer, more engaging content that makes them feel a deeper connection to the club they follow and the sport they love.”
Having fun with it
Bristol Flyers are the country’s best performing basketball club according to Red Hot Penny’s research, while Bristol Bears are another club that has made the shift towards entertaining content to engage their fanbase. They have embraced the opportunity to be more creative, particularly around player signings. The video announcing the signing of Fijian wing Semi Radradra was filmed as a parody of Good Will Hunting and attracted a huge social media response. “It’s important to not always take yourself too seriously,” says Carpenter. “As much as we want to maintain a professional standard, with making sure our fans know what’s going on, there’s also an element of just having a bit of fun with it.” It is a testament to the skills and ingenuity of small media teams at many local clubs that they can work to tight deadlines and post such engaging content. On football transfer day, for example, Bristol City’s media team headed to the team hotel in London and turned around a player announcement video in less than 20 minutes. Bristol Motor Club also produce a range of posts with images and videos while Throwback Thursday posts showcase their rich 109-year history. While the entertainment factor has become the focus for social media activity, using these channels to provide basic information is still important as they are now the first port of call for many fans. This has led to a shift in the use of other channels, with many websites serving almost as an archive, although the balance is important. Social media posts can usefully direct people to websites, particularly to special promotions and other commercial transactions. The way clubs use YouTube, once the go-to for video content, has also changed. Many now post videos first on social media feeds and then archive them on YouTube. Producing entertaining content would not be possible without building understanding and trust among players and coaches. Warren and Carpenter both highlight how supportive their players are, many of whom have grown up with social media themselves. The Bristol Bears rebrand gave the media team a bold new platform to do things differently with encouragement from senior managers. Director of rugby Pat Lam has afforded unprecedented behind-the-scenes access which ensures the players are relaxed and natural when being filmed. “The coaches need to understand and support what you're doing,” says Carpenter. “There’s no frostiness, no ‘what’s he doing here, why are you doing that?’. They’re fully on board and that is a huge part of why we’ve been able to be successful digitally over the last two or three seasons.”
Goals and GIFs: good for business
As Red Hot Penny’s report states, there is also a commercial imperative beyond providing a better service for fans: “Clubs have an opportunity to capitalise on their social media followings to drive more fans to matches, sign them up to membership packages and boost commercial revenues by having them buy the latest kit and merchandise.” “There are commercial opportunities with it,” agrees Neil Priscott, commercial and marketing director at Gloucestershire Cricket. He acknowledges that the more views of the club’s digital content there are, the more attractive it becomes to potential sponsors. “If we’re driving
Sport and digital.qxp_Layout 2 18/03/2020 10:17 Page 2
Image: Martin Bennet
David Payne (Gloucestershire). Live streaming of cricket has revealed a huge ‘hidden’ audience, with a growing appetite for exclusives on their favourite teams
Gloucestershire's gone digital
more eyeballs to our content, we are more investable in terms of digital sponsorship. That’s absolutely where we want to be. You do need a return, but we feel in driving our digital content as we are, we are starting to see that and of course our users are getting a better product.” Digital engagement and streaming have revealed the extent of interest in cricket’s County Championship. Scheduling of matches sometimes prevents people from attending, but there is clearly a much broader audience following the tournament across the UK and further afield. The dynamic nature of social media also gives fans a platform to provide feedback, often in real time. The Bears’ more light-hearted tone to their signing videos has gone down well with fans, says Carpenter. “Initially with the rebrand, the fans had mixed views. But looking back now, I think they can certainly see the way that it’s worked. The results that we’ve had, especially in the last two seasons, have helped show that the club’s in a really good place. That’s reflected digitally with the figures that we’ve achieved. Fans have noticed especially a change in our approach on social media and I think they’re enjoying it. We are always keen to get feedback from supporters.” Indeed, last year’s pre-season documentaries came as a result of Bears fans asking for an insight into what happens behind the scenes. Gloucestershire Cricket are developing innovative digital technology to enhance the matchday experience for those at the County Ground as well as those following from afar. Priscott says that will include a new app, due for launch later this season, as well as LED screens and digital signs. “Fans will be able to utilise some really cool facilities on our app while they’re in our ground using our free wi-fi and watching the cricket and getting some of the replays on some of the screens around the ground. That is where we’re heading. It’s really important. We want to give people
a really good reason to want to stay, enjoy their time here and return.” Bristol City are also enhancing fans’ matchday experiences with an innovative new app. It allows supporters to post their own videos and pictures – be it on their journey to the ground, cheers from the stands or recorded post-match summaries. The best of the bunch are shared across City’s channels. The app also features a personalised news feed with picture and video galleries, a matchday countdown, access to Robins TV including live video and audio streaming on matchdays, full fixtures and results section, a facility to buy tickets and purchase items from the shop and augmented reality content.
Swimming with the stream
County cricket has seen a revolution with the advent of free live streaming of matches (other than those broadcast on Sky). Fans can follow via clubs’ websites and watch on devices and TV through YouTube. Somerset achieved record numbers in 2019 with over two million views. This was despite coverage being restricted to the analysts’ cameras at either end of the ground. Now Somerset are installing four further static cameras to complement the two currently in operation. Working with Bristol-based technology company MyActionReplay, the club will enhance the stream so that additional angles can be covered during play. Graphic overlays display all key information, while there is a pause and rewind function with live BBC radio commentary synced to the action. “It’s clear there is a huge audience for county cricket and we are always aiming to make it easier to follow the club both at the ground and from afar,” says Warren. “We are working really hard to make the service better and feel that having additional cameras around the ground will THEBRISTOLMAG.CO.UK
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help capture footage that we previously missed. If someone takes an amazing catch at mid-wicket for example, we want people outside of the ground to view this content. It’s an exciting opportunity for us to deliver an even better digital service to our fans.” Likewise, Gloucestershire place a major emphasis on live streaming and will also deploy six cameras this season. “We’re not pretending we’re full production TV values because we’re not and we can’t go to those lengths,” says Priscott. “But we do want to capture great content for our fans and give them the view of the whole ground. We want to go to the next level, so we’re being pretty ambitious.” Robins TV, Bristol City’s official video channel, has undergone a transformation, allowing fans to stay closer to the action. It gives free access to all behind-the-scenes content from player and coach interviews to match highlights and analysis. Overseas supporters can subscribe to City’s established international live streaming service which allows them to watch each match, provided it isn’t selected for TV broadcast.
...Teams work with designers to create graphics and GIFs for each platform. It allows them to deploy images on social media for every player milestone, wicket, goal, try... Coverage includes a pre-match show featuring player and coach interviews, while in-game there is full commentary with expert analysis, replays, multi-camera angles and graphics. For the second year in a row, City are also streaming to domestic fans all matches which fall outside of the broadcast blackout (those fixtures not played on Saturday afternoons). Due to broadcasting regulations, Robins TV is not allowed to video stream Emirates FA Cup and Carabao Cup fixtures as well as matches chosen for Sky Sports/overseas broadcast. An audio-only stream is still available through Robins TV. Meanwhile, Bristol Motor Club assembled a core group of volunteers to build a live streaming setup last summer. Andy Laurence says the club will develop that further this season: “We made a decision to invest in some equipment to improve our live streaming capability for social media. We have a team of five volunteers running eight cameras at our Great Western Sprint.”
There is a busy routine around matchdays for our sports clubs. In the build-up, media teams post team line-ups on social media and websites, with filmed interviews with coaches and players, key stats and details of the opposition. Clips of players arriving at the ground or warming up are other ways to build momentum. Media teams work with designers to create bespoke pre-prepared graphics and animated GIFs for each digital platform, often as soon as fixtures lists are announced. It allows them to readily deploy images on social media for every player milestone, wicket, goal or try. They also have near-instant access to images during play. It all helps tell the story of the day in a timely – and engaging – way. While Warren is able to post short clips of key moments on social media during play, broadcast restrictions prevent Carpenter from doing similar until after the match. Here colleague Tom Vaux’s input is vital. Before the game, Vaux films short segments with Bears fans or any promotions going on at the ground – for example, player appearances in the shop. Vaux is also pitch-side during games, filming live reaction from the bench when the Bears score. This can be posted immediately on social media. One of the coaches will also record a short interview at half-time as will substituted players. Many clubs also stream post-match press conferences on their social feeds and post a written match report on their websites, with highlights reels on social media, websites and YouTube. With sport being consumed in increasingly different ways, our clubs are at the forefront of using tech to allow fans to follow their favourite teams whether at the ground or from afar. The commercial prize is high and we can expect to see more innovation in years ahead. ■
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How often is best?
Once a year
3 times daily
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In December, Fallon became the first female to beat a man in a PDC World Championship match (photography by Lawrence Lustig)
Following history-making wins against the men at the World Darts Championship,‘Queen of the Palace’ Fallon Sherrock visited Bristol recently to face-oﬀ with a few of Filton’s ﬁnest
he’s been known on the darts circuit for years but things have really changed for Fallon Sherrock since she became the first woman to beat a bloke – Mensur Suljovic and Ted Evetts, AKA Super Ted – at December’s PDC competition at Ally Pally, and shot to sporting stardom. She’s still adjusting to all the attention that has come with life posthistory-making-win when we meet for a quick game in Filton, where Professional Darts Corporation partners Selco have set up a mock match for Fallon and the locals to recreate a few of those tense Championship moments. “It’s definitely overwhelming,” says the Milton Keynes-born 25-year-old. “Obviously it’s a bit different to what I’m used to but I’m enjoying every minute of it, taking each opportunity that I can and running with it.” The archer’s been honing her game since she was 16, and grew up around the sport thanks to a family of keen players, including her twin sister Felicia, with whom she represented England Youth at the WDF Europe Cup Youth in 2011. Psychologically, Fallon says, it makes no odds whether she’s at the oche pitted against a man or a woman. “I don’t see any difference in it; to me I’m just playing the dart board,” she says. “I don’t really care who I’m playing, I focus on what I’m doing. There’s no point getting nervous because there’s nothing anyone else can do. I just play my darts; throw at the board and enjoy it.” But she’ll always follow the female players with interest at a tournament. “I watch all of them to see how they’re getting on, how they’re progressing through the game; I get on well with all of them anyway, send messages to say well done, good luck – we all support each other.” This sense of support and camaraderie extends through her soaring fan base – after the World Championships Fallon even had the likes of tennis star Billie Jean King singing her praises. Of course, there’s the inevitable online criticism that comes with success but that’s to be taken with a pinch of the proverbial. “I ignore it. I don’t read it,” says Fallon. 52 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE
“I don’t see the point in reading a negative comment because for every one of those there’s a thousand positive ones so there’s no point focusing on that one negative. There’s always going to be someone trying to put you down.” Now she’s sharing with aspiring young sportspersons the same words that spurred her on as she was coming up through the ranks. “Never give up, keep being determined; the more effort you put into something, the more you’re going to get the rewards out of it. Just keep going and do what you want. “When I was a kid I didn’t know what I wanted to do so all of this happening has just felt really right for me. People like [10-time ladies world darts champion] Trina Gulliver inspired me to do better; they worked really hard and achieved what they wanted to so hopefully I can do the same. The World Series is coming up, so I’ve got loads of opportunities in darts – sky’s the limit…” ■ • Follow Fallon on Twitter: @FSherrock
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BITE-SIZED BUSINESS AND COMMUNITY NEWS FROM ACROSS THE CITY Achievements included support of youth and faith groups, feeding people in need, and autism awareness
CHIC NEW NEIGHBOUR
SAFE HANDS Warner McCall Resilience is expanding its Bristol-based team in response to the growing demand for its cyber security and resilience services. Isabel Thompson has been appointed as commercial director, after spending 14 years leading technology consulting and business development teams at KPMG. Isabel is joined by Niall Alstowe, a computer science graduate with a passion for cyber security, who is starting his career as junior security consultant. “Each day we hear of new cyber attacks and data breaches that are impacting every size of organisation from the sole trader to the global corporate giants,” says Isabel. “It’s therefore an exciting time to be joining Warner McCall Resilience, working to help organisations build resilience to cyber threats, and to protect them from the financial, brand and reputational damage that cyber attacks can inflict.”
A Bristol independent business has joined Wapping Wharf, offering an affordable way to add custom elements to kitchens. HUSK’s beautifully simple, custom-made cabinet fronts and worktops are designed to work with IKEA cabinets but can also be adapted to work with alternative cabinet suppliers. HUSK is showing off a full range of kitchen front samples available for visitors to the showroom to take away, plus stone samples from Dekton and Neolith. As well as using the new space for consultations, the business is stocking teapots, mugs, cups, plant pots and more from its favourite brands such as Kinto, Menu and Frama. “As keen foodies, we were already huge fans of CARGO and Wapping Wharf so when we heard there was an opportunity to join this amazing community, we jumped at the chance,” said Millie Teden. “We sing and dance about the fact we are a Bristol independent business, so it felt like the perfect fit for us.” HUSK cabinets are made in its Montpelier workshop, with the business championing sustainably produced materials and partnered with Treesisters – a charity on a mission to rapidly accelerate tropical forestation. For every kitchen it sells, it donates 50 trees to this cause. • madebyhusk.com
• wmr.co.uk 54 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE
The community achievements of 14 Bristol citizens were honoured with Lord Mayor’s medals at a ceremony at the Mansion House last month. The Lord Mayor, Councillor Jos Clark, saluted efforts in volunteering, caring for others and making improvements to their neighbourhoods. This year’s achievements include support of youth and faith groups, Bristol in Bloom, multicultural and international relations, tackling pollution and litter, feeding people in need, community communications, autism awareness, and adult learning. “I am extremely proud to be awarding the Lord Mayor’s medal to these very worthy recipients,” said the Lord Mayor. “They have all made such positive, selfless contributions to their communities and causes. I am struck by just how diverse the range is this year and the people involved.” This year the criteria for nominations were: the type of service carried out and what makes it unique; how it has enhanced the quality of life for local people and Bristol; and that the service has taken place in the past five years. Among the recipients was Brenda Smith, recognised for services to Girl Guiding community and church groups; Dianne Francombe for support to BristolChina relations; Dorrett Depass-Williams for charity, church and community, plus spiritual support to prisoners; Esther Scull for voluntary services to Bristol Army Cadet Force; Lorraine Bush (posthumous) for charity work tackling substance abuse; Naseem Talukdar for charity and voluntary work supporting the homeless, and the environment; Nura Aabe for services promoting autism awareness; Veronica Dvorokova (Bishopsworth) for services to Bristol’s Czech and Slovak community; and Yvonne Long (Redcliffe) for services to community activity and adult literacy.
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Are You Selling Yourself Short? Sometimes it’s easier to sell a product than to sell your own services. Many self-employed professionals have an Impostor Syndrome, the belief that they’re not good enough. They undervalue their time, their expertise, and their contribution. Over time, their poor results reinforce their limiting beliefs. Meet Amy, who became a freelance designer to earn more income and find new purpose after being a stay-home mom. But she doesn’t believe she can succeed, because she didn’t graduate from famous designer schools. “What do your clients love about you?” I asked Amy during our session. She explained, “I use my understanding of psychology to understand their message and create designs that connect it to their client’s emotional needs.” Amy then realized that her deep understanding of people and her sincere heart are characteristics that cannot be taught in big design schools! Finding her authentic strengths helped her regain confidence. Then I guided her to think of her purpose. “Do this business to help your clients… not to make yourself look good.” Her eyes lit up. She realized that the Impostor Syndrome made her focus too much on herself instead of on her clients. In addition to finding her authentic strength, the true cure for her Impostor Syndrome is to do business to serve, rather than only for personal gain.
If you’ve got the Impostor Syndrome, find your authentic strength and start caring more about your client’s needs than your own. These two keys will set you free.
With over 22 years of proven business achievements, Cynthia Wihardja guides selfemployed professionals to create more clarity and results doing what they love.
Visit our popular
Find out more about The Brave Zone at www.thebravezone.com Join her Free Monthly Webinars or book an Initial Discovery Session to get fresh perspectives for your business.
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THERE’S PLENTY MORE TO BE FOUND ON
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EDUCATION NEWS UPDATES FROM THE CITY’S SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES Concepcion has had an impressive footballing career
PLAY AND LEARN
TIME TO REPRESENT
THE GRETA EFFECT
Author Sharna Jackson visited pupils at Henleaze and Whitehall junior schools recently to talk about her debut novel High Rise Mystery – set on an estate in South East London – as well as the inspiration behind the characters and where she gets her ideas for stories from. BookTrust has arranged a series of Bristol school visits lately, featuring authors and illustrators including Jasbinder Bilan, Chitra Soundar, Zanib Mian and Sav Akyuz. BookTrust also gave away free copies of Sharna’s novel during her visit, from inclusive book publisher Knights Of. “The staff and pupils were absolutely brilliant,” said Sharna. “I loved the energy of the children. They were all super engaged and asked lots of insightful and fun questions.” The visits are part of a broader initiative, BookTrust Represents, which aims to increase the numbers of authors and illustrators of colour in the UK and to support current authors and illustrators to reach more readers. Betty, aged 11, from Henleaze, talked about the importance of seeing someone who looks like you: “I like that she’s a black author. Lots of books that I have are by white authors which I can’t relate to. It means a lot that she looks like me.”
Parents and carers recently came together for a community workshop from a psychotherapist, in partnership with Bristol Energy, on how to talk to children about climate change. The free event at Bishop Road Primary School was led by integrative arts psychotherapist Jo McAndrews who addressed questions of how and when is best to navigate climate change with children, to avoid confusion and distress, and how communities can support children to become adaptable. Parents heard how approaching climate change in an age-appropriate way can build a healthy relationship with the subject, encouraging positive action and equip the young to cope with our uncertain future. “More and more children and young people are aware that we are in an emergency,” said Jo. “Concerned adults are wanting to catch up and to know what to do for the best. The phrase ‘eco-anxiety’ is being used to describe the fear and worry people have about what is happening to the planet and how it will affect us. This anxiety is a normal and healthy response to reality, and those experiencing it need support.” • bristol-energy.co.uk/5-top-tips-tacklingeco-anxiety
A former Arsenal and Spanish international footballer – Concepcion Sanchez-Freire – is opening the first holistic school for soccer and modern languages in Bristol this month, in association with Bristol’s Badminton School. Integrating both modern languages and football skills within a unique and innovative programme, Dolphin Play Soccer & Languages will offer an opportunity for girls and boys between the ages of three and 14 years to learn new languages (Spanish, Italian and English) while playing football and other sports. Concepcion Sanchez-Freire, also known as Conchi Amancio, was the first captain of Spain’s national women’s team in 1972, following its foundation. She was called to play for Lazio, Italy, at the age of 15, winning 17 premier league titles, scoring over 600 goals and becoming a futsal champion. Concepcion finished her career with Arsenal Ladies and was known as “a powerful technical player with a first-class attitude towards training,” according to Vic Acers, former Arsenal Ladies manager. Concepcion is an inspirational teacher of languages, a holistic family therapist and a highly creative technical football coach, and from April until August, she will be running one-to-one masterclasses and small group classes for children aged seven to 14 years, within Bristol and surrounding areas. Children aged two to seven years are welcome to join the classes, which are due to be held at Badminton School in Westbury-on-Trym at 3pm on Sundays. • For more information, visit dolphinplaylanguages.com or email email@example.com
Nice one, Badminton!
CONGRATULATIONS! Sixth Form pupils at Badminton School have obtained outstanding Extended Project Qualification results, with 16 out of 19 achieving an A* or A Grade. “This achievement flags their readiness for the next step of their educational journey,” said headmistress Mrs Tear. “We value these largely self-directed projects and students enjoy having the agency in their own learning to choose their topic of interest. They relish planning and developing their idea into a finished product, be it a report, an event, or a piece of artwork.” The EPQ is valued by universities because it provides students with research and finished product, be it a report, an event, or a piece of artwork.” The EPQ is valued by universities because it provides students with research and academic skills and experience for advanced study. Topics ranged from the effect of dark matter on the universe to surrealist art and antibodies. • badmintonschool.uk
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LEARNING VALUABLE SKILLS IN A CHANGING WORLD
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Budding entrepreneurs of the future are learning valuable skills at Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools. As part of the Young Enterprise initiative, the Sixth Form students have been building the life skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the changing world of work. The dynamic teenagers have created eco-friendly companies and will be displaying their products at the Welsh finals near Cardiff on 30th April. Mentored by professional consultants from industry, the Monmouth students have grown in confidence throughout the year. Monmouth has a strong tradition in this business competition and the current crop of students will be hoping to celebrate yet another Welsh triumph in the secondary schools’ section. One group, in particular, has relished the opportunity to use its own initiative and believe it has spotted a gap in the market for an exciting product. Joe Harris, a student at Monmouth School for Boys, says: “Every minute more than one million plastic bottles are sold across the world but less than 10 per cent of these are recyclable. “We are making recyclable lids to attach to drinks cans with the aim of reducing fizz loss and spillage, preventing spiking and keeping insects, dust and dirt out.” And Rhiannon Srodzinski, a student at Monmouth School for Girls, says: “Our can lid is made from 100 per cent recyclable material and, because it is sealable, we believe it is an exciting and realistic eco-friendly alternative to using plastic bottles.” The students are currently writing a company report on their businesses complete with financial accounts; designing and building a trade stand to promote their businesses; preparing for an interview with a panel of judges and putting together a presentation for the finals. n
For information about our Open Days on Saturday 16th May, please visit: www.habsmonmouth.org/opendays or call 01600 711104 for Monmouth School for Girls, or 01600 710433 for Monmouth School for Boys.
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Lights, camera, politics
Aiming to counter, with inspirational stories, the one-sided narratives of chaos and conflict presented about countries such as Liberia, Lindsey Parietti never especially set out to study chimpanzees but the cheeky chaps reeled her in, didn’t they?
oing her level best to highlight under-covered issues in challenging environments, Lindsey Parietti is a filmmaker and journalist who spent most of her career in Egypt and Africa covering politics before heading to Liberia to make her BAFTA-winning master’s film Blood Island, focusing on abandoned lab chimpanzees. She completed the MA in wildlife filmmaking at UWE in 2017, when she pitched and began work on threepart BBC2 series Baby Chimp Rescue for the BBC Natural History Unit, following the story of life in a home for orphaned baby chimpanzees, run by vet Jimmy Desmond and his wife Jenny. She tells us how the change in direction came about... TBM: Who inspired you to start wildlife filmmaking?
LP: My family instilled a love of nature in us from a young age. I grew up surrounded by forest in upstate New York and we’d hike up the small mountain behind our house and build forts and play pretend, so I guess I always found being in the forest magical. My grandma and great uncle also exposed us to National Geographic magazines and wildlife films, which we used to wait eagerly for every week. But it never occurred to me to pursue anything nature-related as a career until much later. I was on a journalism fellowship in the Democratic Republic of Congo and saw the documentary Virunga. I was already moving away from covering politics as a journalist and towards environmental reporting, but that 64 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE
documentary is so powerful and convinced me of the impact film could have on environmental issues. Tell us about that transition from politics to wildlife and environment – have there been any interesting points of crossover so far? I was living in Egypt reporting on politics and breaking news during the 2011 uprising. After a few years, like many journalists there, I became disillusioned with the way the revolution, which had been so hopeful at the beginning, devolved. So many people were jailed and killed and the political situation only seemed to get worse. I felt like my reporting wasn’t having an impact and it was becoming harder to cover politics with the state cracking down on journalists. I wasn’t ready to leave and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next so I began telling more feature and environmental stories and trying to find positive initiatives to report on amidst a pretty bleak situation. I used to watch BBC wildlife films as an escape and realised I wanted to tell stories about the natural world fulltime. There’s a lot of crossover in the type of wildlife films I want to make – most environmental stories have politics behind them. At first I thought I just wanted to escape to a lush jungle in a beautiful place and be surrounded by nature for work – it sounded ideal. But when I came to Bristol for the UWE master’s programme in wildlife filmmaking it was still stories of social and environmental justice rather than pristine wilderness that I was drawn to.
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What most surprised you about filming in the wild? Lindsey followed the Desmonds as they worked around the clock to rehabilitate orphaned chimps
I didn’t set out to focus on chimpanzees, but they’ve certainly pulled me in. For Blood Island I wanted to find an ongoing wildlife problem in urgent need of a solution that a film could help address. I also try to tell different stories from places like Liberia, where you often only hear a one-sided narrative of chaos, war and conflict, so when I found out about this decades-long medical research and the abandoned lab chimps, I knew I wanted to tell their story. Once I was in Liberia making my student film I met this amazing couple rescuing orphaned baby chimpanzees who became the focus of Baby Chimp Rescue. The interaction between the people, chimps, dogs, cats and chickens was like nothing I had ever seen before. The way Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue and Protection helps the chimps get over the trauma of losing their families to hunters and being sold into the pet trade is truly incredible. And seeing the chimps recover and develop their individual personalities is completely captivating. I hope the chimps and the inspirational people looking after them are a good gateway for people to care about wildlife and our impact on the natural world. What are your thoughts on filmmaking as traditionally male-dominated? Lots of industries have been traditionally male-dominated and I think that is changing. I’m fortunate to work at the BBC Natural History Unit every day with creative and talented people from a variety of perspectives, genders and backgrounds. But I do think the industry and filmmaking in general have a long way to go to be more inclusive. Storytelling will always be richer and more representative when it comes from an array of voices and programme makers. What do you hope to inspire with your works?
Image: BBC/Lindsey Parietti
Why have you focused on chimpanzees in particular?
The smallest chimp the Desmonds rescued, Gaia – here with caregiver Jenneh Briggs – was less than two months old when she was taken from the wild
Image: BBC/Rob Sullivan
There’s a lot of crossover in the type of films I want to make – most environmental stories have politics behind them...
Image: BBC/Jenny Desmond
Probably the politics! But I haven’t filmed anywhere truly remote or wild yet so I may have to wait to answer that one. Both our BBC series Baby Chimp Rescue and my master’s film Blood Island were made in Liberia with people and animals in a fairly controlled environment. The former research chimps are on islands that we had to film from a boat, but we knew when they would emerge and their behaviour was probably more predictable in the filming sense than trekking for miles through a jungle to film wild animals. I’m still looking forward to a project that takes me to a more remote wilderness. I’d love to do something aquatic. The ocean is another magical world with so much more to explore and an urgent need for advocates and stronger protection.
Empathy, action and a sense of empowerment to make positive changes in the world around us. Wildlife films create that sense of wonder and awe and connect us with beautiful worlds. They can also connect us to the amazing people and animals who could use our support. Is there anyone that you would like to collaborate with? At the risk of sounding a bit like a fan girl, probably the director of Virunga, Orlando von Einsiedel. That film was a big part of what made me move to Bristol to get into wildlife filmmaking. He’s a powerful storyteller and I respect the film subjects he chooses and how he brings stories from difficult places to life. ■
The dogs at Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue act as surprise caregivers, bonding with the chimps as they recover from trauma
• Follow Lindsey on Twitter: @LPinthefield THEBRISTOLMAG.CO.UK
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Dip dip, hooray!
This month, our wildlife columnist, Pete Dommett, goes in search of a swimming songbird
Image by Rich Scantlebury
The dumpy dipper has been described as looking like a “wren on steroids”. To catch prey, it stands on a stone mid-stream, jigging up and down on bended knees like a nervous diver, before plunging underwater
ip (verb): to fail to spot a bird that you really wanted to see. It’s a birdwatching word. And an apt one, because recently I very nearly dipped while searching for a species that I’ve been wanting to see in Bristol for a while – the dipper. If this is a bird that’s unfamiliar, then let me introduce you. In Tweet of the Day (the book version of the popular Radio 4 series), the dipper is described as looking like a “wren on steroids”. It’s a good image: a dumpy bird with a stubby tail, but pumped up to twice the size. At a distance, it appears to be boldly black and white, but, in the same way as if you stared into a pint of stout, a closer look at one of them reveals a more subtle colour scheme of cream, chocolatebrown and chestnut. Find the dipper in your bird book and it will tell you that it’s a bird of mountain brooks and moorland streams. In the West Country, this means Exmoor and Dartmoor and it’s true that this species thrives alongside water in remote countryside. But, provided there’s a stretch of suitable river on which to feed and breed, dippers can become urban birds. Records of dippers in Bristol’s Frome Valley go back over 100 years. These birds like fast-flowing rivers (the River Frome takes its name from the Anglo-Saxon word, Frum, meaning rapid): the welloxygenated water supplying them with plenty of aquatic prey. To find it, the dipper stands on a stone mid-stream, jigging up and down on bended knees like a nervous diver, before plunging underwater. Using its short, rounded wings like flippers, the bird propels itself to the riverbed where, by gripping tightly onto pebbles with its feet (having solid, rather than hollow, bones also helps keep it submerged), it 66 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE
walks along the bottom in search of insect larvae, freshwater shrimps and snails. This method of foraging is unique among songbirds and was once widely disbelieved by naturalists. When it comes to breeding, dippers get going early: by the beginning of this month, they may well have eggs in the nest. This football-sized structure – made of moss, bracken and dry leaves – is squeezed into the stonework of an old bridge or stuffed beneath the overhang of a riverbank or rock face, and often, it would seem, perilously close to the water. No need to worry though – just a few days after fledging, the young birds (can we call them dipperlings?) are able to swim. I followed the Frome Valley Walkway from Eastville to Frenchay, checking all the likely-looking dipper hotspots. But, after weeks of relentless rain, the river was high and the usual stretches of shallow rapids were completely submerged. So I switched to exploring the smaller streams that feed into the Frome and, just as I was about to call it a day, got lucky – a dipper, perched on a rock in profile, was doing its giant-wren impression. I wanted to see it swim or hear it sing (a sweet, rippling warble, apparently) as I’ve witnessed neither behaviour before, but, as soon as I settled in to watch, the bird took flight and barrelled upstream in a blur of whirring, brown wings. Then, moments after I cursed my fleeting fortune, a second bird followed the first, flying low over the water and calling sharply. So, not one, but a pair of Bristol dippers. Now that’s something to get completely dippy about. ■ • Find out more about the Frome Valley Walkway at fromewalkway.org.uk
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SPOTLIGHT ON WOMEN’S HEALTH As Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month draws to a close, consultant gynaecologist Dr Jo Bailey, from Nuﬃeld Health Bristol Hospital, discusses the symptoms that should never be ignored, and the things you can do to reduce your risk of cancer. Preventing gynaecological cancers Cervical screening (smear test) Cervical screening can successfully prevent cancer by checking for HPV (human papillomavirus), which causes the cell changes in the cervix. Many women worry about this, but the virus is so common it can be regarded as the common cold of the cervix. Precancer and cancer of the cervix will become less common, as HPV vaccination has been offered to girls in UK secondary schools since 2008 and boys since September 2019. In the future, smear tests for cervical cancer could be replaced by home sample kits, but we are not at that point yet. In the UK, all women between the ages of 25 and 64 are offered regular cervical screening. Sadly, half of the women diagnosed with cervical cancer have not had screening in the last 5 years. Uptake of cervical screening has fallen in the last two years for many reasons. Women report that they are unable to secure appointments for smear tests or they are too embarrassed to make an appointment. Women in their 20s and early 30s experienced the biggest fall in screening, which is particularly concerning as 25–29 year-olds have the most cervical abnormalities.
Attendance for screening also declines after the age of 45, despite half of cervical cancer occurring in women over age 49, highlighting the need for women to continue screening after the menopause. If your screening test detects HPV, you may be offered an appointment for a colposcopy, which is a more detailed examination of your cervix. You may feel nervous about going to colposcopy, especially if you’re not sure what to expect, but there is good information available for patients about screening and colposcopy, to help you feel as comfortable and confident as possible. Inherited cancers Approximately 5% of endometrial cancers and 20% of ovarian cancers are hereditary. Women with inherited BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations have an increased risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Lynch syndrome confers an increased risk of early-onset cancers, including bowel, endometrial and ovarian. It is vital to identify high-risk families so that those women can have access to risk reducing interventions, including surgery. You should seek the advice of a geneticist if you have a strong family history of these cancers. Lifestyle advice There is strong evidence that lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of some cancers. The strongest risk factor for breast and endometrial cancers is being overweight, because as fat mass increases, so do oestrogen levels. Lifestyle changes that focus on achieving and maintaining a healthy weight are key to decreasing the risk of these cancers. Even a 5% weight loss can decrease your risk of developing obesity-related diseases.
Consultant gynaecologist Dr Jo Bailey.
What symptoms should I look out for? The majority of women with these symptoms will not have cancer, but you should always consult a doctor to have these symptoms investigated. • Bleeding after the menopause is not normal. The amount doesn’t matter, so if you have any bleeding after the menopause you should see your doctor. • Bleeding after sex. • A new lump, pain, tenderness or bleeding on your vulva. • Symptoms of ovarian cancer can vary from woman to woman. If you have any of these B.E.A.T. symptoms which are new and persistent, tell your doctor. B is for bloating that doesn’t come and go E is for eating difficulty and feeling full more quickly A is for abdominal and pelvic pain you feel most days T is for toilet changes in urination or bowel habits It can be difficult to talk about these health worries, but a gynaecologist can put you at ease and talk through your concerns. Nuffield Health offers a complete pathway for your gynaecological needs, including an outpatient treatment room with colposcopy and specially trained staff. Dr Jo Bailey, consultant gynaecologist and subspecialist in oncology, holds regular clinics at Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital. If you have any concerns regarding women’s health, and would like to book an appointment to see Dr Bailey, call 0117 911 5339, or visit our website: www.nuffieldhealth.com/hospitals/bristol
You can reduce your risk of cancer by doing the following: • Take part in the cervical and breast screening programmes provided by the NHS • Exercise regularly • Eat a healthy diet • Don’t smoke • Maintain a healthy body weight THEBRISTOLMAG.CO.UK
Nuffield Health Bristol Hospital 3 Clifton Hill, Bristol BS8 1BN nuffieldhealth.com/hospitals/bristol
THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE 67
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HEALTH & BEAUTY NEWS FROM THE SECTOR
TREAT TIME FOR BRISTOL Europe’s largest hair and beauty booking platform Treatwell – which has over 25,000 salon partners across 11 countries, has launched in Bristol. As an industry, hair and beauty is valued at £87billion worldwide – higher than music and film combined – and is still largely offline, with less than 5% of hair and beauty appointments booked online. Treatwell’s mission is to digitise hair and beauty for choice, convenience and ease. Treatwell has an eclectic mix of salons, from big-name chains such as Dermalogica to local heroes and hidden gems. Last year alone, it saw nearly 80 million searches for hair and beauty treatments online and a booking was made every 1.5 seconds. For partners, Treatwell provides them with all the tools they might need to run a brighter business online. “We decided to shift our focus from primary cities, like London and Manchester – where we’re already well-established – to secondary cities, like Bristol, to reflect the huge customer demand we’ve seen in these markets,” said Giorgia, Treatwell’s chief operating officer. “Treatwell Bristol is a key audience for Treatwell because of the similarities in customer demographics to London and the strong, eclectic mix of hair and beauty salons that the city boasts. Treatwell exists to serve both customers and hair and beauty professionals alike, providing businesses with the digital tools they need to meet clients’ needs – away from the salon chair. We’re really excited to see the continued uptake of Treatwell throughout the city and to give Bristol the opportunity to book hair and beauty online.” • treatwell.co.uk
Noco’s new blow-dry menu is a feast for the tresses
MORE BODY IN YOUR BARNET Noco Hair, on Whiteladies Road, has launched a new blow-dry menu for those wanting more body in their barnet. Guests pick out their preferred blow-dry from the menu – the options are ‘Give Me Texture’ (edgy waves and volume created with a tong or wand), ‘Smooth Me Now’ (a nice, simple blow-dry with a brush or heat stylers for smoothness and shine), ‘I Want Body’ (smooth blow-dry with volume at the root, finished with a wave or curl; great on mid to long hair), and ‘Hair Up’ (wearable volume giving any updo backbone). All that’s then left to do is relax and unwind with a dreamy signature head massage before their stylist gets going on the look of choice. The new blow-dry menu is available as a stand-alone service or a great way to finish off after a haircut or colour. • nocohair.com
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A STEP FORWARD The first ever HIV Commission arrived in Bristol last month, to meet people directly affected by HIV in the city and hear more about the local response to the condition. This followed Bristol joining the Fast-Track Cities initiative last November – a worldwide movement towards achieving zero new HIV infections and zero AIDS-related deaths by 2030. The commissioners visited a local sexual health clinic, a healthcare centre for refugees and a support centre for people living with HIV, to help inform the work of the Commission, which is tasked with making clear recommendations about how to end the HIV epidemic in England within the next decade. “As a member of the Fast-Track Cities initiative – and now with a visit from the new HIV Commission – we are underlining our practical commitment to tackling health inequalities in Bristol,” said Councillor Asher Craig, cabinet member for communities and public health. “I am confident that we can rise to the challenge and end new HIV infections by 2030.” There are around 1,000 people in Bristol with HIV. Each year an average of 43 city residents are diagnosed and many of these are diagnosed late which increases the risk of poor health outcomes. Becky Mitchell, who is originally from Bristol and received an MBE for work raising HIV awareness in the New Year Honours, shared her experience of living with HIV with commissioners. Becky, diagnosed with HIV in her late thirties, has spoken about the need to increase awareness among women. “When I was diagnosed, I knew it wasn’t a death sentence and I knew that I could live a normal and healthy life,” she said. “If more people knew the facts, we could remove that fear people have about getting tested and stop the stigma. It’s also incredibly important to shine a spotlight on women’s experiences of HIV. We make up around a third of people living with HIV in the UK but for too long we’ve been near invisible.” The public is being encouraged to have their say on how to end the epidemic by submitting their thoughts to the HIV Commission website. Submissions are being accepted in a variety of ways, from song and spoken word to dance and photography. • hivcommission.org.uk
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Romina Melwani, Nutritional Therapist, CNM Graduate
CNM opened the door to my passion Romina Melwani, CNM graduate Nutritional Therapy
ired of running the rat race as a Business Development Manager in Finance, I had an awakening when I attended a talk on the impact of food on the body and mind during a business trip. The information I heard on the day left me with a sense of fascination for natural medicine. The more I explored this field, the more my passion for holistic health intensified. It became clear that I had found my calling. It was only later that I realised that the very same passion would eventually give me the
courage to turn away from a well laid out career path and pursue my dream. CNM offered me the flexibility to combine studying with my long working hours. What I loved most about CNM’s course was the variety in the lecturers, their experience and practical advice which really helped set expectations for career development and growth. I found the experience eye opening, promising and challenging.
knowing ‘We’ will be the Game Changers in the future of integrative medicine has been a huge motivation for me. After completing my diploma, I continued my learning process and also specialised in Mycotherapy, the science of using mushrooms therapeutically. I now also consult for several supplement companies. After retraining in Nutritional Therapy and being where I am in such a short span of time, I truly think anything is possible if you have passion. Studying at CNM showed me that training in natural therapies is the future of health.
CNM Online Open Events Discover how natural therapies promote true health and vitality. Our event is packed with inspiring tips on how to nurture yourself in natural sustainable ways.Geoff Don And if you are thinking of turning your passion into a career, this Open Event will also cover what you need to know about studying at CNM.
Visit naturopathy-uk.com CNM opened the door to my passion and gave me the confidence to make a difference to people’s lives by guiding their lifestyle and health choices. Learning how herbs and nutrients modulate chronic conditions, and
01342 410 505 to find out more
CNM has an exceptional 22-year track record training successful natural health practitioners in class and online. Over 80% of graduates are practising.
THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE 69
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GARDENING GREAT OUTDOORS
Old town road It seems curious to Andrew Swift that, while lost railways and canals are well documented and recalled with aﬀection, there is far less interest in lost roads. Yet it is still possible, with a bit of judicious map reading, to take a trip back in time along the old way to Wells, for example, and even to call into a few of its wayside hostelries
hile most Bristolians will be familiar with the New Wells Road, the Old Wells Road, which it superseded, is virtually forgotten, even though it was probably as old as the two cities it linked, if not older. Surprisingly, the old road was a good deal shorter than the new one – 16 miles as opposed to 20. The reason it was abandoned was because it was a switchback, crossing the hills en route instead of skirting them. This was fine when the only road users were teams of packhorses or travellers on horseback, but impractical when stagecoaches came along. Information on the old road comes mainly from old maps. The first national road atlas, produced by John Ogilby in 1675, reveals that it was not just the way to Wells. If you wanted to travel to Exeter or Weymouth from Bristol, you went this way as well. Other maps, such as one published in 1708 by Herman Moll, continued to show it as the only road heading south from Bristol. From around 1750, however, maps also showed the new Wells Road, running through Whitchurch, Pensford, Farrington Gurney and Chewton Mendip. By the 1780s the old road rarely featured on maps at all. When railways and canals are abandoned they tend to disappear, often completely. Abandoned roads, though, usually survive as country lanes or byways. It is still possible, with a bit of judicious map reading, to take a trip back in time along the old road to Wells, and even to call into a few of its wayside hostelries. Crossing Bristol Bridge, travellers bound for Wells turned right along Redcliff Street, continuing up Redcliff Hill and on through the village of Bedminster. With the exception of the pedestrianised part of East Street, you can still follow this route by car today. Then began the climb to Bedminster Down, a wild and lonely spot where solitary travellers risked being waylaid by footpads. The Wells road branched off the Bridgwater road at the Cross Hands Inn, to drop down to Bishopsworth – then known as Bishport – where an early-18th-century manor house and old farmhouses still bear witness to past prosperity. Beyond Bishopsworth lay little except Withywood Farm and a handful 70 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE
of cottages, until you reached the foot of Broad Oak Hill, up which the narrow road still corkscrews as it did centuries ago. As you climb, the views back over Bristol are still as fantastic, although stopping to appreciate them is nigh impossible. As the road levels out, you pass a cluster of houses which once included the Maidenhead Inn, with seven bedrooms and large stables. It closed around 1820, when the Carpenter’s Arms – now Carpenter’s Tavern (BS41 8NE) – opened across the road. This area was also a haunt of footpads. On one June evening in 1814, a farmer from Chew Magna, returning from Bristol Market, was held up on this road. When he jumped down from his cart to confront his assailant, he was shot through the head. As the road starts descending, there is a superb view over Chew Valley Lake before the old road takes the right-hand fork to drop down Limeburn Hill to Portbridge Mill – now with a Bristol Gorilla in its garden. There follows another climb up Pagans Hill – its name derived from a local landowner called Pegnes – before dropping down into Chew Stoke, formerly known as Bishop’s Chew. The road into the village today is not the original one. That ran to the west, crossing a narrow packhorse bridge which still survives. The Stoke Inn (BS40 8XE) was first recorded in 1657, but sadly the thatched hostelry recorded in a mid-19th century painting has since been replaced by the current building. After climbing out of the village, the road starts descending, deviating from the course of the old road which now lies under the waters of Chew Valley Lake. As it crosses a causeway, there is a lay-by with a view over the lake. Popular with bird watchers, it also attracts crowds at times of drought, when the old road, along with the parapets of a little bridge, resurfaces. Soon, the diversion ends and the old road carries on to the Blue Bowl Inn (BS40 6HJ), once famous for the Bowl Revel held on the eve of Priddy Fair, when drinking – and a good deal else – went on through the night. Stratford Lane, which branches off here, follows the course of a Roman road along which lead was carried from the Mendip mineries.
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Half a mile past the Blue Bowl, the Old Wells Road crosses the main road (following signs for Cheddar at this point) to begin the assault on Mendip, and the most spectacular part of the journey. Passing the Wellsway Inn, the gradient eases, but the climb continues as you pass Gibbett’s Brow, where those sentenced to death at Wells Assizes were brought to be hanged. At a lonely crossroads further on is the Castle of Comfort inn (BS40 6DD), so called because those on their way to the gibbet stopped there for a final drink. As you carry straight on, you pass Castle Farm, where another Roman road crossed. At the next crossroads was the Miner’s Arms, a little way along on the right. Although long closed, a miner’s lamp still hangs on its wall. In the 1960s it achieved fame as the unlikeliest of gastropubs after the landlord started serving a delicacy called ‘Mendip Wallfish’ – or local snails. It was also home to one of England’s first microbreweries. A little further on the right is Waldegrave Pond which supplied water to the Priddy mineries. On the left is a Forestry Commission car park, from where you can explore Stockhill Woods, laid out in disused quarries, or cross the road to follow the course of an old tramway through the old leadworks. Three-quarters of a mile further is Hunter’s Lodge (BA5 3AR) many people’s all-time favourite pub and possibly the most famous cavers’ pub in Britain. The bleakness of its exterior belies the warmth of what has to be one of the friendliest and least-changed pubs in Somerset – local beer and cider from barrels behind the bar, traditional home-cooked food, dogs and walkers welcome – although mobile phones aren’t, and it’s strictly cash only. And if you’re wondering about what appears to be a wishing well in the car park, it’s actually the entrance to a cave called Hunter’s Hole. The signpost at Hunter’s Lodge indicates a left turn for Wells, via a more amenable route, but having followed the old road thus far it would be a pity to abandon it now. As you carry on, the road runs straight and true for another half mile, before plummeting down the narrowest corkscrew yet, to enter Wells along Sadler Street, lined with old inns – some still open – before arriving in the Market Place. ■
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THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE 71
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HOMES | AND | GARDENS
The great outdoors
Shedworking and outdoor living spaces have become increasingly popular as people look to reduce their commute to work or simply long to be closer to nature. Garden Aﬀairs, specialists in designing studio gardens, have recently introduced a new range with an innovative new material that’s set to revolutionise the genre
o you have a garden room dream? Imagine if the only commute to work was a few strides across the lawn. Would an outdoor studio where you could easily pop back to your desk in the evening to complete a project suit you? Would a view of trees and plants from your window make your everyday routine that little bit more golden? Or rather green? Shedworking is nothing new, of course. Tourists still flock to the wooden boathouse in Laugharne used by Welsh writer Dylan Thomas, and to sculptor Barbara Hepworth’s summerhouse and studio in St Ives, Cornwall. Roald Dahl famously retreated to his writing shed to dream up the vivid characters of his much-loved children’s books. Playwright George Bernard Shaw had a garden room that could be rotated as the sun moved around. Contemporary garden room enthusiasts include property guru Kirstie Allsopp, who has said that her wooden garden room reminds her fondly of the tree houses her father built for her as a child. Canny Kirstie also points out that having an extra room at your property will enhance its value. Perhaps this is the real creative appeal of the outdoor 72 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE
studio. We know a well-built garden room is economical, secure, quick to install and easy to heat, and that we can incorporate all our customised storage, tables, lighting, modern kilns and so on. But even these practical reasons don’t account for so many artists and writers loving them so much. It’s clear that a timber garden studio offers serious benefits, but it’s not a serious place to be. It’s a space to play, to experiment, to remember childhood and invent new worlds. Artists and sheds go together like paint and canvas. A creative cabin is where magic happens. West Country-based family-run business Garden Affairs helps people achieve their garden room dreams by consulting with them to design bespoke living spaces. Each cabin is as unique as its owner and people are free to create their own world inside. The Garden Affairs team, based just outside Bath in Trowbridge, has been able to help all kinds of creative people set up their own space in their gardens. The design team can advise on everything from the position and size of the garden room to supplying electricity and lighting, as
ABOVE: the Proline range offers a crisp finish to the interior of the garden room, making it an ideal place to watch the garden bloom this spring OPPOSITE: top two images, the ecofriendly cabins are well insulated and designed to retain warmth and stay cool at the desired times and unique styles, shapes and designs are used for every customer OPPOSITE: bottom two images, the cabins can be used as both offices and workshops
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well as whether your home project will need planning permission. The latest generation of wooden cabins is eco-friendly, well insulated and designed to retain warmth in winter and stay cool on hot summer days. There is even an option to plant a sedum roof to encourage wildlife, and to add a water butt to collect rainwater from the guttering. Constantly reassessing the design of their garden rooms to offer the very latest offerings, Garden Affairs have recently introduced a range of garden rooms called Proline that uses a brand new, sustainable construction material called Tricoya. This is an exceptionally stable, modern wood composite with a 25-year life that copes effortlessly with all outdoor weather conditions. The material is also guaranteed to not rot or warp, and unlike other garden rooms, it is resistant to fungal attack. The range offers design flexibility and low-maintenance costs, but also a stability and durability that is new to the outdoor room market. Whether customers are looking to install a home gym or a relaxing outdoor living space to both physically and mentally escape the working week, the Proline range does not compromise the style of the building and focuses on the appearance and performance of the room. Its vertical tongue-and-groove effect also gives it a crisp, clean exterior. Created using computer-controlled manufacturing, the Proline is quick and easy to assemble for both professional and DIY installers. This latest range marks a huge step forward in the world of garden rooms: exceptional stability, a totally rot-proof structure and stylish good looks. There’s your garden dream.
Imagine if the only commute to work were a few strides down the lawn... CASE STUDIES An artist’s studio Max Ryan wanted a studio where she could run art classes and operate her picture framing and photography business. She didn’t want the expense and hassle of having to rent a studio where she would have to commute, so enquired about installing a large log cabin in her garden in Frome. Max chose a substantial cabin, nine metres wide and four metres deep, with windows and three additional skylights. Inside, along with the main studio space, two smaller rooms were created for a cloakroom and a private office. Max’s business, Studio 61, is now well established and she says she relishes the short commute and the fact that she can take her dog Howard to work with her. The studio is so warm and comfortable that she has even been able to run life-drawing classes for her students.
The ceramicist Lizzie wanted a studio she could devote to her passion for pottery. After discussing how she needed to use the space, she had a 3.5 x 2.5 metre workshop designed, into which Lizzie introduced her home kiln, which is run by electricity. She also arranged for a plumber to supply water to the workshop, for a handy sink, and opted for a bee-friendly living sedum roof. n Contact Garden Affairs on tel: 01225 774566; gardenaffairs.co.uk Or visit the display centre at Trowbridge Garden Centre, 288 Frome Road, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, BA14 0DT
THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE 73
THE BRISTOL DIRECTORY FINAL- APRIL 2020.qxp_Layout 31 19/03/2020 14:53 Page 1
House & Home
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00 74 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE
DECEMBER APRIL 2020 2019 | NO¯ 190 | NO¯ 186
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BUYING CARPET & FLOORING IN BRISTOL MADE SIMPLE
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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
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THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE 75
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Colour is a powerful tool but planning it is vital. It’s easy to spend a fortune on what is looking good right now, only to find your garden is burnt out by the end of June and there’s nothing to keep the show going
A world without borders? The majority of gardens are a product of evolution rather than part of some grand plan says Elly West, so the opportunity to start from scratch is one to savour
y favourite garden design jobs are those where I’m given a blank canvas, whether this be for an entire garden transformation or just the redesign of a border. Now is the perfect time to be planning and planting a new border, and a bare area of soil that’s crying out for plants is a sight I absolutely love, as it holds so much promise and potential. The majority of gardens are a product of evolution rather than part of some grand plan, with new plants squeezed in here and there as others die. So the opportunity to start from scratch is one to savour. Hard landscaping and getting the layout right are necessary and important, but for me it’s the plants that bring the most excitement and interest. So, if you’ve got a border that’s not really working and you don’t particularly love any of the plants in it, consider clearing it out and starting again, and creating something fresh. Most of my clients are looking for year-round interest, so a successful border plan will include a combination of shrubs, perennials and bulbs, and sometimes annuals and grasses as well. This flexible approach works well and stops a border looking static. All year there are changes to look forward to and new things popping up and putting on a show. Planning is vital in any design. As well as thinking about colour, shape and size, there is the added dimension of time to consider. This is why I would always recommend calling a professional, or making your 76 THE BRISTOL MAGAZINE
own plan to avoid expensive mistakes. It’s very easy to go to the garden centre and spend a fortune on what is looking good right now, only to find your garden is burnt out by the end of June and there’s nothing to keep the show going. Perhaps the most obvious starting point when planning your border is colour, which can change the whole mood and style of a space. Think cool, calm greens and whites, for example, compared with vibrant sundrenched purples and oranges. Colour is an extremely powerful tool in terms of creating an atmosphere. While there are actually very few colour combinations that will clash too hideously in nature, and a thrown-together border with a mishmash of colours can look amazing, sticking to a strict colour theme does make it easy to create a harmonious and successful design. If you’re going it alone, a good start is to create a moodboard of plants, borders and colours you like, by combining pictures either on a computer or cut from magazines. Then take your moodboard with you when you are plant shopping so you don’t get distracted. Harmonious colours, which are similar to each other and lie adjacent on a colour wheel, will always work well together. Blues, purples, pinks and whites will create a beautifully calming colour scheme with a soft ‘modern-cottage’ feel, while vibrant oranges, reds and magentas together are invigorating and intense. Adding contrast can create some of the most striking combinations of
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plants, especially if you limit your colours. Contrasting or complementary colours are those opposite each other on a colour wheel: blue and orange; red and green; purple and yellow. One will make the other ‘pop’. Just adding a few notes of orange will add carnival zing to a border that is mostly blues and purples, for example. Fresh lime-greens, yellows and blues bring crisp vitality to a garden and are reminiscent of spring, while darker foliage and warmer colours are more often associated with the end of summer and long, sultry days. The best thing to do is to play around with colour combinations using pictures, until you find what you like. Foliage is also important as a foil for the flowers. I like to include plants just for their leaves, to provide resting points for the eye, to break up a border and stop it becoming too ‘busy’. Grasses are great for this, as they also bring texture and movement. Evergreens, plants with variegated leaves, and perennials such as Alchemilla mollis and heucheras will also provide long-lasting interest that doesn’t rely on flowers. As well as using colour to create contrast and harmony, I’ve seen very successful schemes that combine plants that have flowers of a similar form, whether it be pom-pom hydrangeas, alliums, globe thistles and dahlias; the simple daisy flowers of heleniums, asters, and rudbeckia; or the tall spires of foxgloves, lupins, verbascums and salvias. Other considerations are the eventual height and spread of your plants. Generally, taller plants should be positioned towards the back of the border, and smaller ones at the front, although tall, airy plants with a ‘see-through’ quality such as Verbena bonariensis can break the rule. You’ll also want to think about your soil type and amount of light the border gets. Read the labels carefully when shopping, or do your research beforehand, so you know whether your plant is likely to thrive in the space. Cut back overhanging trees or shrubs if that helps improve the sunlight for your new border. It may seem like a lot to consider, but it’s well worth the time and effort if you want a border that’s going to thrive and look good all year round. ■
Plant of the month: Tulips With most of this month’s focus on colour, it seems apt to choose tulips for April’s star performer. They are among the most popular and vivacious of spring bulbs, and can be found in just about every colour hue (except for blue), from pure white, through yellow, orange, pink and purple to darkest burgundy-black. There are also lots of multicoloured varieties with stripes, streaks and splodges. The flower form varies widely, with simple, elegant, single goblet-shaped blooms on one side of the spectrum and flamboyant fringed, frilly, parrot and double types on the other. Most tulips do best in a sunny spot and although some will come back year after year, particularly in lighter, warmer soils, for them to be reliably perennial the advice is to lift and store the bulbs after flowering. Or you can treat them like bedding plants and replant new ones each year. I always put new ones in pots in autumn, when I’m not yet sure where I want them or whether last year’s will resurface. I can then use them to fill gaps in the border, tucking the whole pot in among existing border plants in spring.
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The Vincent, Bristol PegasusLife With stunning homes that are created for independent living, PegasusLife’s vision ensures that you can spend your retirement in style.
Life in the local community Situated to the north of the city centre, Redland has a distinct village feel. Durdham Down draws ramblers, joggers, dog walkers and cyclists throughout the year. Take a delightful, leafy walk from here, past the famous Bristol Zoo and on to Clifton Village and enjoy the stunning views from the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Clifton Arcade is a unique Victorian building that dates back to 1878. Its small, independent shops line a central walkway originally intended as a drive for horse-drawn carriages. Running from The Vincent towards the city centre, Whiteladies Road is lined with independent boutiques, delis and cafés. The city centre hosts plenty of cultural hotspots whilst the harbourside is home to the Arnolfini contemporary arts gallery, the @Bristol Science Centre and the Watershed, Britain’s first media centre.
ituated by the expansive greenery of Durdham Down in Bristol’s Redland district, The Vincent by PegasusLife is a new development inspired by its Victorian heritage. The 64 one, two- and three-bedroom homes are spread across the newly refurbished Queen Victoria House and two Regency-style terraces that overlook the historic grounds. Queen Victoria House, which now houses 25 of these new apartments, was built in 1886 on the site previously occupied by Vincent Lodge, which was once home to Jacob Wilcox Ricketts who erected an obelisk in commemoration of Charlotte Augusta, Princess of Wales. The Grade II listed obelisk still stands in the well-cultivated grounds at the heart of the development. Today, Queen Victoria House has been sympathetically refurbished to preserve its rich heritage and accentuate its unique period features, with the Victorian influence extending to the design of the newly built terraces. Calling The Vincent home Life at The Vincent revolves around the arboretum garden at the heart of the development. For a coffee, a pastry, and a catch-up with neighbours, head to the café in Queen Victoria House. If you’re in the mood for a morning workout, stroll across the grounds to the terraces, where the gym and stretch studio are located on the lower ground floor or enjoy a relaxing spell in the spa. At the spa, you’ll find a herbal sauna, a steam room and a hydrotherapy pool. Pass through the wellness lounge and you’ll reach the gym and stretch studio. Kit inductions and personal training options help you get to grips with the equipment and work out at your own pace, whilst the stretch studio hosts exercise classes including yoga, aerobics and Pilates. In the warmer months, activity spills out onto the south terrace, where the seating area allows for al fresco dining among the rich surroundings. The private dining room in Queen Victoria House is available for bookings, and if your guests are spending the night, the General Manager will be on hand to reserve the guest suite for you. The General Manager is your first port of call for any queries or requests. They will also arrange regular activities and events tailored to the wishes and interests of the owners at The Vincent.
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Homes at The Vincent Restored to emphasise their period features, the 25 apartments in Queen Victoria House each have open plan living areas and large kitchens with integrated appliances. The bedrooms feature large windows with views across the grounds, with ample storage for clothes and belongings. Parking at The Vincent is off-street, both surface and sheltered. You won't spend another day driving around the area searching for a space with our secure on-site spaces. The remaining 39 apartments in the new build terraces also offer open-plan living spaces, with tall windows offering views of the Bristol skyline. Built-in wardrobes provide plenty of storage space in the bedrooms with two-bed homes including an ensuite to the master. Most of the apartments in these terraces open up onto private balconies. If you believe that retirement should be a time to relax in style and comfort within a beautiful area of such a fantastic city, arrange to come along and take a tour.
Prices start at £400,000 for a one-bedroom apartment, two-bedroom £585,000 & three-bedroom £890,000. Book a personal tour of the development by calling our team on 01172 050 511
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BRISTOL PROPERTY | IN FOCUS
avard House boasts versatile accommodation with a four-bedroom flat on the lower ground floor. With impressive views across Clifton College, it is well placed for schools in the state and private sectors and has excellent shops, bars and restaurants within walking distance. On the hall floor, the property has a spectacular vestibule with double doors leading to a reception hall and a rising staircase to the upper floors. To the right, an attractive drawing room adorns a dual aspect and views over the front garden. To the left, a sitting room leads to a bright open plan kitchen/breakfast room with a central lantern. Double doors also lead to a raised terrace and garden. Beyond the stairs is a utility room and separate WC as well as a door providing access to the flat below. Moving up to the first floor, passing a laundry room on the half landing, there is a master bedroom with an ensuite bathroom and access to a study/dressing room. A second bedroom also boasts an ensuite bathroom. The accommodation continues to the top floor where there are three further bedrooms, two with ensuites and one with a separate shower room. The lower ground floor flat has a separate entrance but is also connected via an internal staircase to the principal home. The accommodation includes a large kitchen/sitting room and two bedrooms with ensuites. Both rooms lead to two further bedrooms that have access to the garden. The property is approached by electrically operated gates that give vehicular and pedestrian access to a gravelled area, off street parking and a single garage.
HAVARD HOUSE PEMBROKE ROAD CLIFTON • Four-bedroom flat on lower ground floor • Gated property with private garden • Impressive views across Clifton College
Guide price £2,850,000
Knight Frank, Regent House, 27A Regent Street, Clifton, Bristol. Tel: 0117 295 0425
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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
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85 WHITELADIES ROAD
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• One of Clifton’s best restaurant sites
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rists of moto 1000’s daily passing
BRIDGWATER 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
Julian Cook FRICS
Burston Cook April.indd 1
Jayne Rixon MRICS
Charlie Kershaw MRICS
Finola Ingham MRICS
Tom Coyte MRICS
• Mews office building • For sale freehold • 1,241 sq ft • Price O/A
LIGHT INDUSTRIAL UNIT/WORKSHOP TO LET
Holly Boulton BSc(Hons)
• 1,728 sq ft • Central Bristol location • Wolseley Road, Bishopston
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BITE-SIZED UPDATES FROM ACROSS THE CITY’S BOOMING SECTOR Two local brokers have launched a new mortgage advice business
A NEW CHAPTER
Bristol City Council’s cabinet has been asked to consider a proposal to dispose of disused land in Lockleaze to enable Legal & General to deliver over 180 new modular homes. Bonnington Walk in Lockleaze is a former allotment gardens and has been allocated for housing in Bristol’s local plan for over 20 years. It is one of 43 sites the council has made available for new housing since 2016. The council and its partner The Bristol Housing Festival is suggesting that the land is developed using modern methods of construction, as an innovative solution to help address the shortage of housing in north Bristol. Modular homes that are built using modern methods of construction can be of higher quality and built to last, as a result of the factory environment in which the components are created and strict quality control. “We’re doing everything we can to accelerate the building of housing across the city, especially council housing,” said Councillor Paul Smith. “Working in partnership with Legal & General Modular Homes means homes will be manufactured offsite and completed onsite, allowing homes to be built in days instead of months. It is particularly important to be building homes that people can afford, and I am pleased that there’s a commitment for up to 51% of the homes to be affordable through a mixture of homes for council housing and shared ownership.” The proposed development will see improvements made to adjoining areas, including a community orchard, as part of a long-term plan to invest in Lockleaze.
A Bristol businessman with a fascination for historical properties has bought the listed Wellhead building at Finzels Reach, which he plans to transform into a bar and café. Ian Johnson, who has already transformed the Clifton Observatory into a café with a rooftop terrace and plans to turn the Clifton Rocks Railway into a museum, has bought the building from Cubex. Directly overlooking the floating harbour, the Wellhead building was originally used to draw up water from the docks for the brewing process for Georges Brewery, which was founded on the site in the 18th century. Also part of the sale is a covered terrace, which has the Brewmaster’s Office overhead. “We’re delighted to be working to launch The Wellhead, a new café and cocktail bar in Finzels Reach, which will complement the fantastic restoration of other historic brewery buildings on the site,” says Ian. “We’ve always had an interest in working with old buildings, and the forerunner of Georges Brewery on this site was founded in 1788, just 22 years after the Observatory was built.” Work was undertaken last year by Cubex, the developers behind Finzels Reach, to sensitively renovate the Wellhead building, which required significant work, including replacing the roof and retaining the original brickwork and fabric of the listed building. “The Wellhead is very prominent at Finzels Reach, effectively acting as the ‘front door’ to the new neighbourhood,” said Gavin Bridge at Cubex. “We are particularly pleased to have sold it to Ian Johnson, who has such an interest in bringing some of Bristol’s most fascinating historic buildings back to life.”
HELPING TO BUY A Bristol-based mortgage business has been launched by two entrepreneurial mortgage brokers with a passion for providing friendly, easy-to-understand mortgage advice. With 20 years’ combined experience, Peter Lloyd and Adam Wells launched Lloyd Wells Mortgages to make the process of house buying, for first-time buyers, buy-to-let investors and remortgagers, hassle-free. “There is a mortgage for everyone – even in the current climate,” says Adam, recently named a Top Rated Adviser in The Times’ 2020 guide. “There will always be a level of uncertainty about finance and mortgages, but it’s so important for us to put people at ease. We pride ourselves on delivering a relaxed service at what can often be a stressful milestone in life. “We make a point of going to our client’s home or place of work for their full appointment. It’s common for most mortgage advisors to not leave the office or meet clients in person, but we’re passionate about going on that journey with our clients – after all it’s usually one of the biggest financial decisions they’ll ever make!” Lloyd Wells Mortgages offers downto-earth, practical home-purchasing advice thanks to extensive experience in delivering a wealth of complicated mortgage applications. The expertise of the specialist team ensures all circumstances, however niche, are catered for with a range of viable financial options. “Bristol has always been a destination for attracting employment growth within the media, arts and creative sectors,” adds Peter. “Over the past few years, this has resulted in an increase in individuals working as freelancers, contractors or entrepreneurial start-ups. It’s a common misconception that mortgage applications are simply not possible with just one years’ worth of accounts, but we’re here to help debunk those mortgage myths and help more independent young professionals become property owners.”
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APSLEY ROAD, CLIFTON
SALISBURY ROAD, REDLAND
This exquisite two bedroom first floor apartment is located in the heart of Clifton, less than quarter of a mile from the bars and restaurants of Whiteladies Road. With the added benefit of a single garage, this apartment the ideal choice for both retired, professional and family buyers. EPC C
For family buyers, the priority catchment area of Redland Green Secondary school will make this spacious four bedroom maisonette a must see property. The well planned living space has retained a wealth of character features all complementing the spacious modern interior, with the added advantage of off street parking and enclosed garden. EPC D
PASSAGE ROAD, WESTBURY-ON-TRYM
WEST BROADWAY, HENLEAZE
This fantastic three bedroom detached family home briefly comprises of an open plan L-shaped kitchen/diner, two reception rooms and separate garden room which overlooks and provides access to the 22m family garden. With the additional benefit of a self-contained one bedroom annex, this property provides a great potential. EPC D
Superbly presented throughout and significantly extended, this 1930’s semi-detached family home offers four good sized double bedrooms, two receptions; front with bay and rear with French doors leading to a 22m delightful garden and an L-shaped high gloss kitchen breakfast room. Private parking for two vehicles to front, double glazing and gas central heating. EPC D
161 Whiteladies Road Clifton, BS8 2RF
108 Henleaze Road Henleaze, BS9 4JZ
25 Canford Lane Westbury-on-Trym, BS9 3DQ
Tel: 0117 962 9221
Tel: 0117 950 0118
Tel: 0117 435 1867 firstname.lastname@example.org
CJ Hole April.indd 1
This detached 1950’s family built house set within generous grounds enjoys an exceptional Clifton location. The interior requires some areas of modernising and is currently arranged with 3/4 bedrooms, 2 reception rooms, bathroom, 2 cloakrooms, home office, kitchen/breakfast room and recently constructed studio annex. Attractive gardens and entrance drive.
A handsome Edwardian 5 bedroom semi-detached family residence situated on the highly sought after Downs Park East. The house is well placed for Durdham Downs, Whiteladies Road and within walking distance of nearby North View and Henleaze Road with a local Waitrose store and Orpheus Cinema. An excellent choice of local independent and state schools such as Badminton, Redmaids’ High, Elmlea and Redland Green Secondary School.
A charming and well-presented Grade II terraced listed family home, offers a generous and versatile interior, south west facing lawned garden and sun terrace. Superb location within close proximity of Durdham Downs and Whiteladies Road. No onward chain.
0117 923 8238 Howard April 1.indd 1
An impressive two double bedroom apartment on the ground floor of a stunning Grade II star listed period property, just a short walk from central Clifton Village and the wide variety of shops, cafes and restaurants on your door step.
email@example.com 16/03/2020 09:35
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Long Ashton, Bristol | Guide Price ÂŁ850,000 A fabulous semi-detached family house on a highly sought-after road, with a delightful south facing deep rear garden, off-street parking and far reaching views. Wellâ€”appointed family house of circa 2000 sq. ft | Superb open plan kitchen and family room with wood burning stove | Separate sitting room and five double bedrooms | Two family bath / shower rooms and a separate cloakroom | Utility room with rear access, and separate cloakroom | Detached garage (currently a home office space) | Superb south facing rear garden and extensive decked dining terrace | Excellent storage with potential to extend into the loft (STC) | Solar Panels with a useful income producing feed-in tariff | EPC: D
In all circa 1845 sq. ft (180.5 sq. m). Garage / studio office circa 216 sq. ft (20sq. m).
Woolmersdon, North Petherton Guide Price £1,350,000
A quintessential Grade II Listed Georgian house with elegant period features, Georgian house sat amongst rolling Somerset countryside with stunning views and set in approximately 7.36 acres of gardens and grounds. EPC: Exempt.
Princess Victoria Street, Clifton Guide Price £795,000 Long Down Ave, Cheswick Asking Price £725,000 A stylish and sophisticated, 3 bedroom, split level apartment located in the heart of Clifton Village, beautifully renovated to the highest standard throughout, and packed with modern features and eco credentials, as well as a fabulous courtyard garden. EPC: B.
This modern, detached, 6 bedroom family house exudes style and is presented in immaculate condition throughout, offering an abundance of extras, as well as a double garage, gated driveway for 4 cars, large patio and lawned garden, located in the popular new development of Cheswick Village. EPC: B.
Sales. 0117 369 1004 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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Welsh Back, Bristol City Centre Guide Price £595,000
Set in the heart of the Welsh Back in the centre of Bristol, this 3 bedroom vessel epitomizes city living at its best. Originally manufactured in Holland in 1923, Beachley is an 88 ft long Dutch barge that has undergone full out of water restoration and comes with a full residential mooring. EPC: Exempt.
Meridian Vale, Clifton Asking price £695,000
A delightful Grade II listed Georgian townhouse set over 3 floors with a pretty rear patio garden, located on this quiet Clifton terrace in a private cul-de-sac. EPC: Exempt.
Waterloo Street, Clifton Guide Price £399,950
A beautifully presented 2 bedroom, top floor apartment with vaulted ceilings, a fantastic roof terrace and located in the heart of Clifton Village. EPC: E.
Sales. 0117 369 1004 | email@example.com
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