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Shipshape winter 2011/12

Arts,events, hArbourside & history News | Features | Interviews

Winter offers GlAssboAt, At-bristol, WonGs, MyristicA, lido & shAkespeAre tAvern

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bristol international classical season 2011-12

thursday 15 december bournemouth symphony orchestra and new scorpion band: wassail Take one sophisticated symphony orchestra, add a folk group not averse to a spot of fusion. Marinade in mummery and musical marvels, and sprinkle with some festive good cheer... a Christmas cracker in the making! 7.30pm, Tickets: £24, £21, £19, £16, £14, under 26s £8, under 18s £1, BSO Vibes £5

saturday 17 december bristol choral society: a christmas oratorio

thursday 2 february bournemouth symphony orchestra

A sacred seasonal stocking stuffed with spine-tingling choruses, heartfelt arias and bewitching storytelling topped and tailed with some of the most jubilant music Bach ever penned. With the Corelli Orchestra. 7pm, Tickets: £23, £19, £15, £12, £10, under 25s £5

The conductor ‘who makes a difference’ (Daily Telegraph) returns to the BSO with pianist Denis Kozhukin, the young winner of the Queen Elizabeth Competition. Programme includes Beethoven, Rachmaninov and Shostakovich. 7.30pm, Tickets: £28, £25, £22, £19, £15, under 26s £8, under 18s £1

Slapstick Festival Thur 26-Sat 28 Jan

Omid Djalili Sunday 29 January

Stewart Francis Friday 27 April

Chris Addison Friday 10 February

Simon Amstell Friday 11 May

saturday 11 february bournemouth symphony orchestra: one enchanted evening with rodgers and hammerstein Pete Harrison turns the clock back to the golden age of the Broadway musical in a salute to the Pulitzer Prize-winning partnership of Rodgers and Hammerstein. Features We Kiss in a Shadow, Oh What a Beautiful Morning, If I Loved You, You’ll Never Walk Alone. 7.30pm, Tickets: £24, £21, £19, £16, £14, under 26s £8, under 18s £1, BSO Vibes £5

Billy Connolly Monday 20 February

Paul Merton Friday 25 May

wednesday 15 february russian state philharmonic orchestra Violinist Natalia Lomeiko is the soloist in the evocatively confiding Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1, accompanied by an orchestra the composer himself conducted. An opportunity to also revel in the emotional entanglements of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4. 7.30pm, Tickets: £31, £28, £25, £21, £18, under 26s £8, under 18s £1

Reginald D Hunter Tuesday 21 February

Joan Rivers Sunday 21 October


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Winter 2011/12 Welcome to Shipshape’s toasty winter issue, stuffed with page 12 highlights from a packed winter arts calendar. From avant-garde art exhibitions to superb, intimate Shakespeare, Christmas and New Year in Bristol mean very much more than pantos and panic buying, as you’ll find out in these pages. That said, the harbour’s many historical and cultural charms are a mere hop, skip and jump (or, better, ferry ride) from Cabot Circus’ boutique shops and cosy cafes. Away from the bright lights and bustle, we’ve also ventured, this issue, into the secret life of the Harbour – a riveting tale of underground rivers and pitch-black castle moats. Read on… Don’t miss the Christmas Food Market - Corn Street, p7

Pieminister - the book, at Foyles, p7

Award-winning beer at Grain Barge, p4

Bristol General Hospital, p20

Medway Queen, Albion Dockyard, p24 Norman Parkinson at M Shed, p8

News & events



Global cuisine 5

Tunnel Vision 14

Map & Ferry Guide 18

Discover the hidden Harbourside

Getting around the Harbourside

A Healthy Future 20

Harbourside directory 29

All change at Bristol General Hospital

The very best of the waterside

Long Live the Queen 24

I ❤ Harbourside 34

We celebrate a historic paddle steamer

Bristol Old Vic’s Tom Morris

The UK’s biggest restaurant opens

Norman Parkinson 8 Fashion exhibition at M Shed

Dance at Arnolfini 11 MAP: CHRIS DICKASON

A riot of choreography

Shipshape Magazine Issue 8, winter 2011/12. Shipshape is published by The Group of Seven. Editorial, design and production: Past issues and galleries: Advertising or directory enquiries: or 0117 904 9414. Want to get involved in future issues of Shipshape magazine? Email us on Disclaimer The information contained in this publication is provided as a general guide only. While every care is taken to ensure that the details are as accurate as possible, we make no warranty or representation, express or implied, about the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this publication. The views or opinions expressed in this publication are strictly those of the authors. The publishers and/or any of its associated companies or business partners accept no responsibility for damage or loss, howsoever caused, arising directly or indirectly from reliance upon any information obtained from this publication. Shipshape

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Bristol’s place in cricket history Most Bristolians worth their salt will proudly reel off a potted history of the ss Great Britain. But how many of us knew that the boat played a key role in Anglo-Aussie cricketing history? Exactly 150 years ago, the All England cricket team boarded the ss GB on a two-month voyage. Their destination: Australia, at the time a stranger to cricket. The team’s tour of the former colony, though, ignited an Aussie passion for cricket that still burns fiercely to this day. Named ‘The Eleven of All England’, the tourists played against teams of at least 18; they each received £150 (about £7,000 today) for their pains, plus First Class passage. Practice on board ship during the two-month voyage was challenging, and the cricketers paced the decks, played quoits and a fairground game called ‘Aunt Sally’. One batsman lost his grip while batting with a belaying pin (part of the ship’s rigging) and smashed the latter into a passenger’s face, breaking his nose. The first game, played in Melbourne on New Year’s Day, 1862, attracted a quarter of the city’s population

(up to 20,000 inside the ground and 10,000 outside). David Frith, author and former editor of Wisden Cricket Monthly, wrote about the tour in his book ‘The Trailblazers’ – including a chapter on the Great Britain, which he described as “the proudest thing afloat” at the time. “The trail blazed by these English cricketers and their backers eventually inspired not just further tours from the old country to the new, but regular two-way traffic,” Frith explains. “It was a risky undertaking which gave birth to the most famous of

international sporting sagas. The Anglo-Australian challenge rapidly became the biggest thing in cricket.” Throughout 2012, Brunel’s ss Great Britain will be marking the anniversary with various events, including a special cricket-themed event during the February half-term. More details coming soon… s More:

A Proud Bristolian Bristol’s harbour community had some sad news this October with the passing of a well-known character, writes Rosie Dee. “Brian Eade and his wife of over 60 years, Barbara, were a huge part of our everyday lives at the Bristol Ferries. A rare day would pass when they would not appear at the Pump House stop, waiting to catch the boat to the centre where they’d take tea and cake at the YHA. “A few years ago Barbara started to develop Alzheimer’s, four

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and we’ve been witness to Brian’s strength as her decline became more apparent. His sensitivity and constancy as a carer shone through. Nevertheless, her illness did not inhibit their obvious pleasure in their daily outing on the water, and, as a couple, they created for us an example of a relationship we would all aspire to. “‘Every day is a bonus,’ was Brian’s mantra. Need I say more?” s

IN BRIEF Underfall Yard to set sail? Underfall Yard, Bristol’s historic boatbuilder’s yard, could be looking at a bright future as a national Maritime Centre of Excellence. A recent report to Bristol City Council’s Cabinet set out the Underfall Yard Trust’s ambitious vision to develop the Yard over the next few years. To attain MCoE status, the Trust will seek to preserve the Yard’s buildings, fixtures and livelihoods for the benefit of the public. This will be achieved through sustainable commercial, leisure, tourism and educational development that reflects the maritime history of the area. The Trust’s plans were well received by the Cabinet, who confirmed their commitment to the Trust and its proposals, including a Heritage Lottery bid for up to £4 million. The latter would go towards a feasibility study, refurbishment works and the eventual creation of the historic dockside as a Maritime Centre of Excellence. Says Ian Wilkinson of Osborne Clark, who chairs the Underfall Yard Trust: “Improving public access and engagement, nurturing maritime skills and industries, preserving historic assets, retaining the Yard’s unique character and enhancing its long-term development are at the heart of our plans. With the council’s support we are confident Underfall Yard’s place as a Maritime Centre for Excellence will set standards for others to follow.” MORE

Factory wins award! Charge your glasses for Southville’s Bristol Beer Factory, which has won one of the UK’s top food and drink awards, recognising not only its splendid beers but its role in regenerating South Bristol. The indie brewery won the Best Drinks Producer gong in the BBC Food and Farming Awards. Elsewhere, BBF has launched ‘Twelve Stouts of Christmas’ – a dozen bespoke beers created to celebrate the festive season. MORE


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winter news In brIef Restaurant nominated Congratulations to the Harbourside’s upmarket Indian eatery Myristica, which has been nominated for best restaurant in the South West at the British Curry Awards. The Welsh Back restaurant was nominated for the fourth year in succession for the Awards, which took place in London on 28 November. Myristica are also offering Shipshape readers 20% off their food bill through Jan, Feb and March 2012: see the Myristica entry on page 31 for more details. MORE

Soil Association plans continue Progress continues with the Soil Association’s plans for the conversion of West Purifier House, the former gas works on Anchor Road on the harbour’s north side, into their new national HQ. You can view the details of their application for planning permission at the weblink below. MORE

Bristol to launch UK’s first hydrogen ferry Work continues in Bristol and Weston-super-Mare on the UK’s first hydrogen ferry, which will launch on the Harbourside in the coming months. The ferry (artist’s impression, pictured) is a joint project between Bristol ferry operators No. 7 Boat Trips and The Bristol Packet, and the Easton-based Auriga Energy Ltd, with help from Bristol City Council. The three companies are working as Bristol Hydrogen Boats: the ferry companies are building the boat in Weston, after which Auriga will add the hydrogen fuel cell. Earlier this year the project won SustainableShipping. com’s inaugural Environmental Innovation of the Year Award, in recognition of its pioneering work to deliver tangible environmental benefits and solutions. More on the ferry next issue. MORE


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All the world’s dishes… on the harbour The latest addition to the Harbourside’s dining landscape is Za Za Bazaar, the first of a new national brand offering an eclectic mix of global cuisine The Bristol ZZB, housed on the site of the former Baja bar and club, will have over 700 covers, making it the biggest restaurant in the UK. It’ll work as an open-plan, buffet-style restaurant, with the chefs creating dishes from around the world right before diners’ eyes. You’ll be able to choose your grub from the various food ‘islands’, featuring everything from Tex-Mex to Vietnamese, with an array of international backdrops to match. The driving force behind the new concept is international chef Nitin Bhatnagar. “Created with passion, our food will be sensational,” he explains. “We are bringing together 35 gifted, specialist chefs, and the restaurant will be a wonderful place to experience – bringing the colour, texture, designs and variety from a wide range of nations, all celebrated through their cuisine.” The venue’s eclectic bar, meanwhile, will serve

some 300 different drinks inspired by the cuisines of five continents, and including everything from Arctic-themed cocktails to the very best of the local Bristol Beer Factory. Za Za Bazaar opens to the public on 1 December. s More:

Bristol wining and dining legend returns This winter welcomes a Bristol institution back into the city centre. The building at 12 Denmark Street has been home to world-famous wine traders/ sherry producers Harveys since 1796: from 1961 to 2003 it was a renowned dining destination, designed and built by Terence Conran. And now, on Monday 9 January, Harveys Cellars is to open once again as a wine, sherry and cocktail lounge in the former home of the world-famous Harveys Bristol Cream. The former Harveys restaurant, which held a coveted Michelin star

until its closure in 2003, has been bought by property developer Clinton McLeary, with the aim of bringing sherry back to Denmark Street. The new, upmarket bar will serve Harveys sherries and tapas, and will be aimed at the local business market as well as the theatre crowd and tourists. There will also be a small museum of Harveys memorabilia, featuring original items bought or borrowed from private collectors (including, pictured, this wall of Harveys bottles made by another local legend,

Bristol Blue Glass). McLeary also hopes, in time, to be able to expose parts of the building that have been bricked up for years, and which are believed to lead to the original tunnels that once ran from Harveys’ cellars to the dockside on St Augustine’s Reach (see also our Tunnel Vision feature on page 14). Also, excitingly, the Harbourside’s brilliant View Gallery will programme exhibitions within the cellars. View @ Harveys Cellars will feature solo shows for some of the South West’s best artists – beginning with illustrator Mark Youd, whose graphic feminine portraits explore the nature of fleeting emotions. s More: five

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Bristol City Centre is a Purple Flag area, which means it has been recognised for its great night-time entertainment, hospitality, safety and cleanliness



for a better night out

Medium TM

SpyglaSS Will cloSe on 23rd decemBer and remain on ice ThiS WinTer. look ouT for our 10Th BirThday re-launch in march 2012


For further information visit or email


Purple Flag

Welsh Back Bristol BS1 4SB Tel 0117 927 7050

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working in partnership for a safe and well managed night-time city centre

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winter events VisiT

Christmas Markets

Roasting chestnuts and the scent of gluhwein, beautiful arts and crafts in fairy-lit stalls… the Christmas Market is one of the more engaging features of the hectic run-up to the big day see Lime Tree GaLLery This bright, airy waterside gallery on Hotwell Road, on the harbour’s north side, is one of Shipshape’s favourite haunts, specialising in luminous, atmospheric landscape paintings from around the UK. Lime Tree begins 2012 in fine fettle with A Bright Start (from Thur 19 Jan), a typically uplifting mixed exhibition featuring colourful landscapes and portraiture by gallery favourites including Charles Jamieson MFA PAI PPAI (Dry Dock, pictured), Peter King and Alan King PAI – and welcoming a new recruit, the award-winning Scottish landscape painter Jacqueline Orr RSW. More

read made in BrisToL From Concorde to corsets, motorbikes to mustard gas, Bristol has produced a cornucopia of fine things down the decades. And the new book ‘Made in Bristol’, by Cliftonwood-based writer David Bolton, is a beautifully illustrated inventory of the many weird and wonderful things to come out of our fair city. Published by Redcliffe Press – another proud Bristol industry – the book’s on sale now at £12.95, and will make a perfect present for anyone interested in Bristol’s hardworking past and present. More

And this year, Bristol’s Xmas markets landscape is looking more rosy-cheeked than ever. The grandfather of them all, St Nicholas Market, will don festive rags throughout December, with its dozens of indie stalls selling festive food, art, gifts, music, clothes and much more, seven days a week right up until Christmas Eve. The neighbouring Nails Market, with its original artwork, photography, handcrafted jewellery and Christmas decorations, boosts its opening times in the run-up to Christmas, from its usual Friday and Saturday to six days a week. On the seventh day (Wednesday), Bristol Farmers’ Market will continue to purvey its brilliant local produce (fresh apple juice, organic chicken, cheese, bread and much more) right up until Wed 21 Dec, returning on Wed 4 Jan. A one-off Christmas Food Market, meanwhile, will run up and down a pedestrianised Corn Street on Sat 17 Dec, while last year’s hugely successful 12 Days of Christmas Market will return to Broadmead West from Fri 9 to Tue 20 Dec, its 20 wooden chalet stalls selling everything from mulled wine to local cheeses and from individually handmade candles to knitted mittens. Just across the water, the Harbourside Market, a fixture along Bordeaux Quay since the spring, will continue to sell food, art and crafts (Saturdays) and books, art, records and plants on Sundays up to and including 18 December. Go to harboursidemarket for dates and times.

Further south and west, the Tobacco Factory’s Sunday Market (10am-2.30pm), with its 30 stalls plying everything from cakes and fine cheese to crafts and jerk chicken, will be open throughout the festive run-up. And lastly, one exciting new arrival to tell you about: the Temple Quay business and residential district is to launch its first Magical Christmas Fayre on Fri 9 Dec. The first in a series of community events planned for 2012, the fayre will feature a traditional Christmas market (selling gifts, knitwear, handbags, plants, crafts, art and more), festive music, seasonal food and street entertainment – including carols from Bristol Male Voice Choir and the nearby Hannah More Primary School. s More:,, tobaccofactorymarket and


Pieminister @ Foyles Tristan Hogg and Jon Simon, co-founders of legendary Bristol pie-purveyors Pieminister, will be pitching up at Foyles bookshop in Cabot Circus on Thur 15 Dec at 6.15pm. On the evening, part of the ongoing Bristol Festival of Ideas programme, Tristan and Jon will introduce the outfit’s first-ever cookbook A Pie for All Seasons. There’ll be Christmas drinks and, yes indeed, delectable portions of pie on offer too. Tickets are free: to reserve a place just visit Print out your ticket, present it on the door and head for the pies… More:,


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winter events See

Major solo shows at Spike Island Spike Island sees in 2012 with a solo show (his biggest to date) for Anglo-Pakistani installation artist Haroon Mirza, winner of the Silver Lion for most promising young artist at the 2011 Venice Biennale Mirza’s work merges techniques and materials from both the art and design worlds, also mixing in sound, music and both old and new technologies. A typical installation will pair familiar objects (furniture, household electronics) with video footage and works by other artists to form hybrid acoustic systems that affect the onlooker both acoustically and sculpturally. Elsewhere, in its Project Space over the same dates (21 Jan-25 Mar), Spike presents new work by Suzanne Mooney, an Irish artist based in the building. Mooney’s beautiful photographs look as though they’ve been digitally manipulated – in fact, though, they use only standard in-camera techniques. And the thinking behind this visual playfulness? Mooney’s interest lies in “the sculptural qualities of photography – and its ability to formulate our desires”. s

LiSten BriStoL AcouStic MuSic FeStivAL Folk and acoustica have for decades had a strong following – and plenty of talented standardbearers – here in Bristol. And the Bristol Acoustic Music Festival, now in its ninth year, does this growing scene ample justice. This very fine three-day festival of all things unplugged returns from 13-15 Jan, promising sets from the likes of soul songstress Katey Brooks (pictured), partystarting reggae octet Troy Ellis and the Hail Jamaica Reggae Band, and the sparse, haunting John Peel favourite Caroline Martin – all in the elegant Georgian surroundings of St George’s Bristol. More



Norman Parkinson M Shed, the Harbourside’s new and burgeoning community museum, gets its glad rags and fancy frocks on early in the new year with a retrospective exhibition for the great photographer Norman Parkinson. An Eye for Fashion (21 Jan-15 Apr) features images from the great snapper’s most prolific era, from 1954-1964, and in doing so it captures a dynamic era of British social history and a pivotal decade in the emancipation of women. One of the foremost photographers of his day, Parkinson worked from 1945-60 as a portrait and fashion photographer for Vogue magazine: his subjects included Vivien Leigh, Audrey Hepburn and Jean Shrimpton (pictured).

Get FeStive SAiL with SAntA on BriStoL FerrieS What better way to get the whole family in a festive frame of mind this Christmas than on one of Bristol Ferries’ Sail with Santa cruises? The 45-minute harbour tours (on board one of BF’s covered, heated boats, specially decorated for the season) include an interactive hunt for Santa, tailored presents for the children and mince pies and sherry for their exhausted chaperones. publictrips.php



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winter events

Muscadet, a white wine from the Loire region of France, which reached a zenith of popularity back in the 1980s, appears to be making something of a comeback. “It was Glassboat’s original house wine restaurant back in the 1980s, and we used to sell gallons of the stuff,” recalls Arne Ringner, owner and co-founder of the veteran Harbourside restaurant. “Glassboat opened when working lunches were still de rigueur among Bristol’s substantial financial services industry. Meals were often interrupted by financiers shouting into their brick-size mobile phones.” Made near Nantes in the far west of the Loire, most Muscadet is drunk young and fresh, a perfect accompaniment to a plate of seafood. This season, you’ll find Muscadets from three different decades among Glassboat’s extensive wine list – and, in honour of its original house wine, the restaurant is offering every diner a complimentary glass of the white nectar (lower-deck bookings, Jan and Feb 2012). More

offer wongS chineSe reStaurant Housed above the former home of Bristol’s world-famous, Conrandesigned Harvey’s Restaurant, Wongs is Bristol’s most upmarket Chinese dining experience bar none. And the good folk at Wongs are offering Shipshape readers a free glass of wine when dining off their £12 pre/ post-theatre menu – or 20% off your total bill when dining a la carte. See p33 for details. More


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Drink MuScaDet returnS


Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory The nights may be long, the weather moody and the postChristmas coffers distinctively empty, but all is not bleak round these parts. No, indeed: the beginning of the year always brings one cast-iron cultural highlight to Bristol Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory’s winter/spring residency at their namesake theatre is a consistent highlight of Bristol’s, not to mention the UK’s, cultural calendar. And 2012 will be SATTF’s 13th season at the Tobacco Factory – they began back in 2000 with a season of King Lear and A Midsummer Night’s Dream that played, initially, to tiny crowds but became a crucial step in the cultural regeneration of Southville and Bedminster. Every year since, SATTF have performed two of the Bard’s plays (although they’ve looked to other playwrights on one or two occasions) for six weeks each at the theatre, and every single one of these productions has been a triumph: cleareyed, articulate, emotionally honest stagings of

Shakespeare that replace pomp and finery with incredible acting and a faultless understanding of the great man’s emotional landscapes. Hopes are high, then, for 2012’s season, which pairs (once again) King Lear (9 Feb-24 Mar) with Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard (29 Mar-5 May). Director Andrew Hilton showed with that first Lear back in 2000 that he understands the play’s complex emotional ties and betrayals like no one else – and SATTF also have form with Chekhov, having already given us brilliant renditions of the great Russian’s Three Sisters and Uncle Vanya (pictured). Expect great things – and book now. s More:,

Free Champagne! Glassboat restaurant is offering all readers a free glass of bubbly. Just mention Shipshape when ordering. p30 nine

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winter events see/heAr

Filmic at Watershed & St George’s A brand new festival this winter explores the boundless intersections between music and film, particularly as seen (and heard) right here in Bristol Filmic, a collaboration between St George’s and Watershed, aims to reflect Bristol’s rich crosspollination across the two media (we’re a city where, the organisers tell us, “musical productions often suggest the filmic, even if there is no film involved”), and will mix work by local filmmakers and composers with that of major international figures. February’s inaugural festival will feature four concerts at St George’s and a programme of screenings and talks at Watershed. It all kicks off on Thur 9 Feb with a performance by Australia’s Spaghetti Western Orchestra (pictured), who appeared at the Proms last summer, followed by an after-show party in the bar featuring composer Colin Tully and his band Sensorium playing Colin’s original music for the much-loved 1981 Britflick Gregory’s Girl. Later, on Thur 23 Feb, St George’s will host a double bill of Rota/Morricone, with John Law performing solo piano versions of Nino Rota’s film themes followed

MAke GlAssboAt’s venison Millefeuille in a Madeira sauce

For the venison (serves 8)

2kg diced venison shoulder 4 pigs’ trotters 2 carrots, cut into chunks 1 red onion, cut into chunks 2 sticks celery, cut into chunks Bay leaves Rosemary 12 juniper berries 1 star anise ½ bottle red wine ½ bottle port Chicken stock 2 bulbs fennel, thinly sliced 4 red onions, thinly sliced ½ block of butter For the Madeira sauce

by Looking for Ennio, a tribute to the great Westerns soundtrack composer Ennio Morricone from Bristol musicians’ collective The Greatness of the Magnificence. Thur 8 Mar, meanwhile, will see a visit from the Dodge Brothers, the rootsy country-cum-rockabilly outfit fronted by straight-talking film critic Mark Kermode. Cut! s More:,

20% off your food bill at upmarket Indian restaurant Myristica throughout Jan-Mar. Just mention Shipshape when booking... p31 heAr

Joan Baez Still a bit of a way off, this one, but we reckon you’d be wise booking up now: on Wed 7 Mar, Colston Hall welcomes the legendary folk singer Joan Baez. For over half a century, since her debut at 1959’s Newport Folk Festival, Baez has been a huge presence in folk music circles and beyond. Her left-leaning political views and constant championing of society’s underdogs has seen her marching on the front line of the civil rights movement with Martin Luther King, singing on the first Amnesty International tour and standing alongside Nelson Mandela during his 90th birthday celebrations. Oh, and back in 1963, Baez also introduced the world to a callow young folk singer called Bob Dylan…

1 carrot 2 sticks celery 1 onion ½ bottle Madeira 1 glass red wine 1 sprig rosemary 2 bay leaves 5 crushed juniper berries Butter 1 litre chicken stock Method

1. Brown the venison in oil and set aside. Brown the vegetables then add the browned meat and trotters to the vegetables. 2. Tie the herbs and spices in muslin, and add to the pot with the wine and port. Cover with stock and season. Simmer for 90 minutes, until the meat is tender. 3. Strain the meat from the liquor and cool. Shred the meat by hand, discarding bones and gristle from the pigs’ trotters. Strain the liquor and reserve. 4. Lightly caramelise the fennel and onions in butter. Add the meat, and then pour over all the cooking liquor from the venison. Cook until sticky, but not overly so. Check seasoning. NB The more butter and trotters you add, the less dry the venison will be. You can add more port for extra sweetness. 5. The sauce: Brown the vegetables in butter and season. Add the Madeira and wine and reduce to two spoonfuls. Add the stock. Reduce slowly until a third remains. To serve, bake off sheets of puff pastry (about 2 x 4 inches) until golden. Spoon the venison mixture between two layers of pastry and serve with buttery mash and spinach. Pour over the Madeira sauce. More

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winter events leaRn eco-advice at cReate As part of its brilliant series of events around sustainable living and eco-improvements to your home, Harbourside environment centre Create is exhibiting a lifesize cross-section of a Victorian home, complete with ideas for making a period property more energy-efficient and ‘futureproof’, from 7 Jan. There will also be a linked programme of workshops, talks and activities. More

See BieRkelleR theatRe With a returning Old Vic, a flourishing Tobacco Factory and an ever-adventurous Alma Tavern Theatre, Bristol’s theatre scene has been in rude health of late – and the local landscape gets a further shot in the arm this winter with the arrival of the Bierkeller Theatre, a 400-seat playhouse in the legendary Bierkeller music venue in the centre of town. A landmark music venue for decades, the Bierkeller is now adding regular theatre productions to its repertoire. And the team behind the new theatre plan to transform the building for each visiting production, immersing audiences into the world of each performance. Plans for the next few months include a lesbian Romeo and Juliet courtesy of local company Thrice Three Muses (Feb) and, in early Apr, a promenade performance of Moby-Dick: Inside the Belly of the Beast, which will see the Bierkeller transformed into a 19th-century ale house, Captain Ahab’s illfated whaling ship and, indeed, the belly of the great whale. More

take paRt

Dance at Arnolfini Adventurous contemporary dance troupe Fleur Darkin Company want you up on stage with them at Arnolfini on Fri 10 Feb… Staged within an immersive light set and with a score featuring music by the masters of electronic abstraction and minimalism, Plastikman and Four Tet, FDC’s DisGo creates close proximities between performer and audience, as dancers and audience members collaborate to create something together. Expect a riot of choreography – and a uniquely intimate piece of dance. More:


Lazy Sundays at the Lido After an energetic trek around the Harbourside, sampling its many cultural and historic delights, where better to unwind than at the Lido, Clifton’s relaxed and pampering spa and restaurant? Relax, reach for the Sunday papers and let the Lido take the strain out of your weekend. Catch the afternoon sun and a glimpse of the swimmers ploughing up and down from the floor-to-ceiling windows in the first-floor restaurant, where the Lido’s set lunch (£15 for two courses, £20 for three: 12-3pm) features such delicacies as crispy pumpkin, goat’s curd, honey and oregano, and wood-roasted hake with Portuguese caldo verde. And it gets better: the restaurant is offering a complimentary glass of fino sherry or Bloody Mary for all Shipshape readers pitching up on a Sunday. Just reserve in advance, quoting Shipshape when you do. More:


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Winter shows at Bristol Old Vic From tales of foundling children to a life-changing fall from a Cornish wall, Bristol Old Vic’s winter season is packed with goodies There’s still time, if you’re reading this good and early, to book tickets for Coram Boy, Bristol Old Vic’s swashbuckling Christmas show. It’s a stage adaptation of Jamila Gavin’s Whitbread Awardwinning tale of two cities (Bristol and London), two orphans and two conjoined destinies. First adapted for the National Theatre by Helen Edmundson, the show has been further developed by BOV’s feted Artistic Director Tom Morris, whose War Horse recently scooped six prestigious Tony Awards. The show features a vast cast of adults and children, a community choir and orchestra – and it’s being performed not at BOV, currently knee-deep in its massive regeneration project (see page 34 for more), but across at Colston Hall, from 21-30 Dec. Into the new year, an early highlight down in the BOV Studio (unaffected by the current building works) is Mayday Mayday (pictured), actor Tristan Sturrock’s account of an extraordinary period of his life. Sturrock is best known to Bristol audiences as a regular with Cornwall’s Kneehigh Theatre, and for his starring role as Long John Silver in last summer’s superb Treasure Island, staged alfresco on King Street. Mayday…, meanwhile, uses music, slapstick and more to tell the tale of how Sturrock fell headfirst off a wall in Padstow on the first day of summer… and how he rebuilt both his neck and his life. s

SEE SEVERN AND SOMME New Bristol film company Redcliffe Films unveils its debut offering this winter – and it’s chosen both an evocative subject matter and an atmospheric setting. Severn and Somme is a 50-minute documentary about the remarkable life of Ivor Gurney, the World War One poet and composer. Born in Gloucester in 1890, Gurney began composing at the age of 14, with his work largely inspired by the Gloucestershire countryside around him. He later fought in the trenches of WWI where, in 1917, he was the victim of a gas attack and was discharged from the army. Despite suffering from shell shock and bipolar disorder, Gurney continued to write poetry and compose music until his death, from tuberculosis, in 1937. The genius of the “country boy they called Schubert” has been rediscovered in recent years, and Redcliffe’s film, shot on locations in Bristol and Gloucestershire using Bristolian actors, tells the tale of his creative yet tragic life. The film premieres at Bristol Cathedral on Sat 21 Jan as part of an evening that also includes a live performance of Gurney’s works by the Bristol Classical Players.




Bristol Slapstick Festival This much-loved paean to comedy’s silliest side returns once again to guide us through the dark days of January. Programmed across four key Harbourside venues – Arnolfini, Bristol Old Vic, Colston Hall and Watershed – Bristol Slapstick Festival is a four-day homage to the joys of silent comedy. Highlights this year include a screening of Buster Keaton’s seminal silent The General (pictured), introduced by Griff Rhys Jones (Fri 27, Colston Hall), a screening of Monty Python’s Life of Brian, introduced by Python Terry Jones (Sat 28, Colston Hall) and a double bill of vintage Harold Lloyd comedies (Sat 28, Arnolfini).

OFFER SHAKESPEARE TAVERN The Shakey’s impressive drinks menu has been boosted by the arrival of two winter warmers: Aspall mulled cider and Eliot’s mulled wine. If that weren’t enough, the pub is also offering a free drink, with any main meal throughout January. See p32. MORE

0117 929 7695

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25/11/11 15:59:38

tunn vision feature


We’re all familiar with the widescreen charms of Bristol’s Harbourside. But have you ever wondered what goes on behind those halfhidden gates and down those gloomy, forgotten waterways? Mark Sayers charges up the company torch, jumps in a dinghy and heads off-piste to get the history behind the mystery

The sensation was a curious mix of excitement and faint nausea. We were in near pitch darkness, aided only slightly by the trusty Shipshape torch, and were paddling along a black stretch of water just yards underneath one of Bristol’s busiest roundabouts. It was a bright autumnal day and your writer, the Shipshape photographer and our guide, sailor and author Thom Axon, were in a small dinghy a few metres inside the moat of Bristol Castle. Though not a structure known to many Bristolians, the castle was one of the grandest in the kingdom in its pomp and stood, from the 11th century to its destruction in 1656, in Castle Park. In order to build its moat, William the Conqueror’s associate Robert of Gloucester diverted the waters of the Frome around the castle walls via a series of weirs (today’s Broad Weir, Wine Street’s eastern extension, would have formed part of the castle’s northern moat). Most of this moat has now been covered over by the streets surrounding Castle Park, but a small inlet of the Floating Harbour on the park’s southern edge – you’ll see it as you walk eastwards through the park – leads into the moat complex. It is theoretically possible – though certainly not advisable, and we didn’t do so – to continue by rowing boat and then on foot underneath the park, via the moat and fourteen

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then the Frome, coming up for air by way of a staircase and a small wooden door (kept locked) opening onto Broad Weir’s southern pavement, underneath the Castle Park walls and opposite Piccolino’s restaurant. The Frome then runs upstream towards junction two of the M32, by IKEA, with the last stretch being over ground: downstream, it travels underneath Rupert Street towards the Centre. Our short dinghy journey was fascinating but, er, dingy: there’s a damp, airless smell in there, coupled with the distinct scent of dead pigeon. For many decades dead animals pitched up in the Frome. So much so, in fact, that allegedly there was once a dedicated ‘Dead Dog Boat’ to patrol its waters.

The hidden Frome is responsible for many of the harbour’s most fascinating stories and secrets. The river runs unseen for well over a mile beneath the streets of central Bristol: down the centuries, it has had its course altered and blocked, has been used for defence and, for centuries, as an open sewer. In the 1240s, a little after Bristol Castle was built, the river was once again diverted from its original course, with Bristol’s port growing ever busier. The Frome was channelled into what is now the Centre, joining the Avon at Watershed. Bristol’s new harbour featured quays and loading bays galore, and St Augustine’s Trench (today’s St Augustine’s Parade or ‘The Centre’) became the heart of it. To this day, the road sign at the Centre’s northern limit reads both ‘Colston Avenue’ and ‘Quay Head’, an eloquent reminder of the Centre’s very maritime past. For centuries thereafter, Bristol was England’s second busiest port behind London. The poet Alexander Pope, visiting in 1739, commented of St Augustine’s Trench that: “In the middle of the street as far as you can see are hundreds of ships, their masts thick as they stand by one another, which is the oddest and most surprising thing imaginable.” Continued on page 16 Shipshape

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nnel n


Clockwise from far left: entering the Feeder Canal, an essential part of William Jessop’s extraordinary vision for a non-tidal Bristol Harbour; a 1906 view of the Centre, showing the northern half of St Augustine’s Reach newly covered over. The remaining stretch of water, from Baldwin Street to Watershed, will remain open until 1938; a view outwards from the dark depths of the Castle Park moat. Shipshape

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Harbour mastery

There was a problem, though. The river Avon, on its six-mile stretch from the Bristol Channel into town, has a huge tidal range – the entrance to the Floating Harbour can regularly experience ranges of 11.6 metres between low and high tide (and 16 metres at its mouth, at Avonmouth), making Bristol’s the third biggest tidal range in the world, after the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia and Quebec’s Ungava Bay. This vast tidal range brought with it one major advantage and one major drawback. On the plus side, it meant that ships – in the days before engines – could be swept up the Avon into Bristol’s docks at a decent lick. The downside was that at low tide ships would sink down into the mud, making it an inconvenient, often dangerous place to moor. Eighteenth-century Bristol may have been a busy port but it was not popular with ship owners forced to watch their boats sinking into the mud at low tide, with valuable cargoes lost. Bristol’s trade seemed to be ebbing away with the tide. With other cities like Liverpool catching up fast, from 1804-1809 the Floating Harbour was completed, cutting off a stretch of the Avon from Rownham (near Hotwells) to Netham. It became the largest ‘impounded’ dock (ie. cut off from tides) in the world – a vast artificial lake. Under the designs of William Jessop, a major engineer of Britain’s canal

age who had also engineered the Caledonian Canal, the River Trent navigation system and many others, the beds of the rivers Avon and Frome were sealed off so that water could remain at a constant level, meaning no more mud larks for the ship owners. The Avon was diverted through Bedminster via the New Cut, and the Floating Harbour – so called because the boats in it were able to float on a constant water level – was created. Jessop’s original western dam, the Overfall, is now underground near Underfall Yard, and the Avon now drains through sluices or underfalls. The point where the New Cut met the original tidal Avon is now marked by an unobtrusive steel hut on the Chocolate Path, running alongside Cumberland Road towards the Create Centre. This frenzy of engineering, and the subsequent slow decline of the harbour from working port to leisure amenity, means that there is plenty of historic, superseded or ‘ghost’ dockside

Original northern extent of Floating Harbour (today’s Centre) Tunnels beneath Harvey’s Cellars

Castle Park moat Totterdown Lock (defunct)

Mylne’s Culvert, the river Frome’s modern-day underground channel

Underfall Yard, site of Jessop’s original Overfall dam

Bathurst Lock (defunct)

architecture on view around the docks. For example, there were originally two entrances to the harbour by Spike Island’s Nova Scotia pub – since shipping has declined dramatically, though, the southern entrance (Jessop’s original lock from the harbour’s 1809 construction, right by the Nova’s outside seating) has now been closed off, with Merchants Road constructed over it. There are also two further blocked-up locks further west into the Cumberland Basin and, at low tide, you can see the gridiron, where ships could dry out and undergo repairs. The locks at Bathurst Basin and Totterdown have also been blocked up, with the latter, in particular, very well hidden. The fixed swing bridge at the end of Commercial Road, by the Louisiana pub, spans the former lock entrance into Bathurst Basin. The lock was blocked at the beginning of the Second World War, with fears that a German bomb there could drain the harbour: it was then permanently sealed in 1952. Further upstream, among the bushes by Cattle Market Road, you can see the remains of Totterdown Lock, which allowed barges and smaller vessels to lock in and out of the New Cut and was also decommissioned during World War II for fear of bombing.

Route of former Harbour Railway

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Clockwise from left: The Floating Harbour meets the Feeder near the now-defunct Totterdown Lock; Shipshape snooped into this deserted cavern, possibly a former merchants’ cellar, in the Harbour walls by Bristol Bridge; mid twentieth-century view of Narrow Quay, showing docking boats and cranes; further into the eerie expanses of the Castle moat; the remains of Bathurst Lock.

IN THE DOCK Other Harbourside oddities and curiosities Grain barges The two concrete barges moored on the harbour’s north side beneath Castle Park are old grain storage barges, built during WW2 at Avonmouth or possibly the Charles Hill shipyard. They were used as emergency grain storage during wartime and beyond since many of Bristol’s granaries were damaged by German bombs. After the war, the Sea Scouts used them as a base for many decades.


One unfortunate side-effect of Jessop’s brilliant scheme was that the Frome, which had always been used as a sewage and rubbish dumping-ground along its passage through east Bristol, now had no tide to sweep all this refuse away. The Frome soon became a festering sewer and by 1825 it was time to divert it again – this time away from St Augustine’s Trench and down Mylne’s Culvert, a new channel which led the river from its existing course at the northern end of the Trench, underneath Prince Street to join the Avon/New Cut near Southville’s Gaol Ferry Bridge. So, contrary to popular belief, the Frome mostly flows not into the harbour at Watershed, but beneath Prince Street and into the Avon. The exception to this is when the river is in flood, when overflow will pass over the concrete dam under the Centre’s northern edge to join the Floating Harbour outside Watershed. This section can be visited, by authorised personnel only, via an entrance down from the pavement on the northern edge of the Centre, by the large building known as Electricity House. For decades, access was via a green pillar box, now housed in the M Shed museum. A ladder descends from the spot (now simple metal grilles in the pavement) for several feet, allowing access to a large area of underground riverside. The area beneath Cascade Steps at the Centre’s southern end, meanwhile, is the headwaters of the harbour, as well as being an overflow option for the Frome – but this Shipshape

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space is also inaccessible to the public, being full of electrical panels and other hazards. From here you can see approximately 20 metres up the culvert – after that, though, it’s pitch darkness. Although the Frome was diverted several times, it wasn’t finally covered over until 1858: its inner-city stretch, from the Centre to St Pauls, was then covered over in stages over the next few decades, with modern streets like Rupert and Fairfax Streets built over the culverted river. St Augustine’s Trench was the last stretch of the Frome to be covered, with the northern half (from Electricity House down as far as Baldwin Street) covered over for the 1893 Industrial and Fine Arts Exhibition. The rest (including the Hippodrome and down as far as Watershed) remained open, and busy with shipping, until 1938. Bristol’s harbour, as team Shipshape learned on our chug around it in Thom’s dinghy, has many secrets to give up. Blocked-up channels, in-filled locks and covered waterways, gateways, inlets and unassuming doorways give plenty of clues to the eventful lives of the rivers Frome and Avon – and of one of the most impressive feats of civil engineering in the world. s THANKS TO

Thom Axon of ‘Devil and the Deep’ –, Sally Watson, ‘Secret Underground Bristol’ (Bristol Junior Chamber), Andy King at M Shed, Bristol and For more on the Industrial and Fine Arts Exhibition and to see what the Centre looked like at the time, visit

Severnshed The restaurant Severnshed is believed by many Bristolians to be another creation of that great engineer and shaper of industrial Bristol, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. In fact it was built around 1865, some six years after the great man’s death, and would have been built as a transit shed (then the second largest in Bristol, and now the largest and oldest survivor in town) or temporary store. Exotic plants Bristol’s trading past means that many exotic plants have been brought, as seeds, into the harbour by clinging to ballast – stones, earth and shells used to stabilise merchant ships. On arrival the ballast was unloaded and in many cases the stowaway seeds germinated – possibly after decades. Plants from North America, Africa and continental Europe have been found on ballast unloaded in Princes Wharf and Phoenix Wharf. Great Western Railway The Great Western Railway company built a goods line connecting its great station at Temple Meads with the harbour. You can trace the route from the station via Redcliffe back streets (Redcliff Mead Lane and Prewett Street) towards St Mary Redcliffe, where it went through a tunnel (part of Redcliffe Caves) under the church, emerging just by the Ostrich, crossing Bathurst Lock on a bascule (lifting) bridge (now the green footbridge by the pub) and carrying onto Princes Wharf, near the M Shed, where the rails are then visible. Harvey’s tunnels In 1796 in Denmark Street, John Harvey started a business specialising in importing Spanish and Portuguese wines. Later, John’s sons John and Edward developed the world’s first cream sherry, the famous Harveys Bristol Cream, by blending wines and sherries from many different Spanish vineyards. A network of tunnels were built underneath the business, used for bringing the Spanish and Portuguese wines in off the ships and for transporting Harveys’ blended products in the opposite direction. With the re-opening of Harveys Cellars, there is some possibility of the entrance to this warren of tunnels being re-opened. Keep an eye on for updates.


25/11/11 16:26:26

harbourside map

getting around the harbourside if you’re not familiar with the area (or even if you’re just looking for a little inspiration), our map will help you plan your trip and move around the harbourside with ease. use it to find where you are in relation to some of the area’s best-loved landmarks, family attractions, arts centres and watering holes. and identify which ferry stops are the most convenient for your journey.

HOT daTeS chrISTMaS fooD MarKeT

Dec 17, Corn St, 10am-4pm. Fresh, local produce especially for Christmas, from across the West region. KING Lear

Feb 9-Mar 24, tobacco Factory, various times the brilliant Shakespeare at the tobacco Factory begin their 13th season in Southville with a new version of the play that kicked off the SAttF story back in 2000.



Mar 18, the Comedy Box, 8pm reliably surreal comic promises an extravagant mess of foaming bubble hats, superlative jokes and bad guitar riffs.

sightseeing City Sightseeing Bristol runs open-top bus tours of the city, from the historic harbourside up to Bristol Zoo in Clifton and beyond. running from February to the end of October, the tours last for an hour and a quarter but you can hop on and off as you please. Harbourside stops can be found at the CreAte Centre, Baltic Wharf, Brunel’s ss Great Britain, At-Bristol, Prince Street and Bristol Bridge More

Grain barge – great views Watershed – multimedia arts

Capricorn Quay l Mardyke l

l Pump House (for Suspension Bridge)

l Grain Barge

Brunel’s ss Great Britain (for Spike Island) l

l Marina

Borde Marina l

Za Za bazaar – global food

Mille (for Brist

croSS harbour ferry

Jacks Brasserie l

l Nova Scotia (for CreAte Centre, and tobacco Factory)

l The Cottage

Olive Shed l Spike Island – creative hub


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harbourside map

WHy nOT FeRRy-IT! ...and they are warm too! Throughout the winter the Bristol Ferry Boat Company run a daily service on the ReD route from the Centre to Hotwells, albeit a wee bit shorter day than their summer timetable. Departures are from 10.30 at the City Centre. Their BLUe route operates a reduced service on weekends only departing from 11.10 at Temple Meads.Both routes have warm, heated, cosy boats. So use them to jump on and get to your favourite attraction, cafe, restaurant, pub, place of work or to Cabot Circus. Or enjoy a circular tour enjoying the great sights and sounds of this amazing historic harbour. There is lots to see; swans, geese, a whole array of unusual boats of varying shapes and sizes, St Mary Redcliffe’s spire, Cabot Tower, stunning views towards Ashton Court and Clifton – a vista feast in fact! See also their directory entry on page 29 Wongs – opulent Chinese Foyles – great bookshop

Castle Park (for Cabot Circus, Broadmead) l

Bristol Bridge (for St Nicholas Market) l

For full details and timetable visit:

Got a smart phone? Scan the code right to go direct to the Bristol Ferry Boat timetable

Colston Hall – landmark Glassboat – fantastic views

Glassboat l

City Centre (for Colston Hall, Cathedral, Park St and main bus routes) l

Temple Bridge l l Welsh Back (for Old Vic)

ia arts

Architecture Centre l

Shakespeare Tavern – cosy

l Arnolfini

Spyglass – barbecue boat

Sightseeing – see panel

l Myristica

l Shakespeare Tavern l Thekla Mud Dock l

Severnshed l l Riverstation Myristica – fine Indian dining

l Prince Street (for The Louisiana)

sserie l

l M Shed

l Bathurst Basin The Ostrich l

Shed l

Arnolfini – arts centre

At-Bristol – interactive science


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Hotwells Route Temple Meads Route

queeN SquAre


Millennium Square (for At-Bristol and Bristol Aquarium) l

Temple Quay (for Temple Meads train station) l

l Redcliff Backs

l Spyglass l The Apple

l Watershed Bristol Visitor Information Centre l Za Za Bazaar Bristol Packet l l Shore Bordeaux Quay l

St Nicholas Market – huge

Look out for the spring issue of Shipshape - available across the Harbourside from 5 March five

25/11/11 16:35:19


A healthy futu Bristol General Hospital, which has been tending to the souls of Redcliffe (and beyond) for 180 years, closes in 2012 – but there are bright plans for its future. Shipshape took a snoop inside...

You might not think it as you pass by, but the vast early Victorian complex that overlooks Bathurst Basin down on the Harbour is still a working hospital – albeit now in the late evening of its life. Bristol General Hospital, which will finally close this spring to make way for a hi-tech hospital complex in Bristol’s southern suburbs, is for the moment still a fullyfunctioning rehabilitation hospital for the elderly and stroke patients, also featuring a sleep unit clinic and sleep studies department. We won’t be saying goodbye to BGH’s fascinating, if somewhat over-adorned Victorian premises, however. The site has been acquired, for £6 million, by City & Country Group, an award-winning firm that specialises in restoring and conserving older buildings. See panel opposite for more on what C&CG have planned. Over its long history, Bristol General has touched the lives of many Bristolians – exclusively Bedminster and Redcliffe residents during it early decades, when it began within a string of modest terraced houses further up Guinea Street. The latter, surrounded by water and overlooking fields, was reckoned a healthy spot at the time. The Hospital was built exclusively for the urban poor of those two suburbs, who – unlike their richer neighbours in Clifton, Hotwells and Redland – weren’t enjoying twenty

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the fruits of Bristol’s new trade wealth. Today’s far larger General Hospital was begun in 1853 and opened five years later, partly to care for casualties from Bristol’s ever-busier docks and factories. Its designers also thought to provide warehouse space in the basement, which were let to merchants using Bathurst Basin, providing further income for the hospital.

the spartan mortuary block, disused for decades, has been left to decay elegantly – gurneys, blackboards and all. Elsewhere, a vintage set of scales, used to weigh goods delivered to the basement good store, still remains. FASCINATING SNAPSHOT Here at Shipshape, when we’re offered access But the Hospital’s real gems lie on the to a local institution – especially one that largely upper floors. We were lucky enough to tour passes under the radar of modern Bristolians – we the balconies, gangways and turrets that skirt jump at the chance. And a tour of the Hospital, the building’s soaring, multi-levelled roofs. just before it closes down and begins a new life, From here you get a spectacular view of the was irresistible. What, we wondered, was behind Harbourside (something of a trump card when the this imposing silhouette, a major Harbourside building comes to be redeveloped), and you can fixture that has remained unchanged while finally get a handle on the complex’s sprawling everything around it has changed and reinvented? structure. Non-descript (and soon to be removed) 60s additions jut out from the elegant Bath stone As the public doesn’t have access to those archways, while the roof features two colonnades areas of the hospital that are still operating, our of imposing stone ventilation shafts. tour was confined to the dormant parts of the A fascinating and complex old building, in building – some of which have been closed for short, with many stories to tell and many echoes decades, offering a fascinating snapshot of days of its past still housed within. We hope that a (and practices) gone by. The Hospital’s vast catacombs, for example, sit eerily empty (Bristol- bright future awaits it too… set supernatural serial ‘Being Human’ found a More: perfect home here one episode in 2008), while Shipshape

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Clockwise from top left: The imposing rows of ventilation shafts on Bristol General Hospital’s soaring roofs; nurses and children in the Hospital’s massage department, 1900s; an early twentiethcentury view; View of the tank room, showing a portion of the Hospital’s panoramic views of the harbour and beyond; the Hospital’s mortuary has been unused for decades, but these slabs remain; a second-floor corridor, now out of use; the Hospital’s basement, originally rented out as storage space to harbour merchants, and more recently a backdrop for spooky soap ‘Being Human’.


TIMELINE 1832: Bristol General Hospital opens in terraced

houses on Guinea Street. It’s the brainchild of local Quakers, appalled at conditions for the growing industrial poor of Bedminster and Redcliffe, and is originally open to locals only ... 1853: Construction begins on a new, larger hospital on the current site – formerly home to Acraman’s Anchorworks ... 1858: The new General Hospital opens, and the ‘locals only’ rule is abolished ... 1873: A new Outpatients Department is opened in the hospital’s extended northern block ... 1890s: A Guinea Street extension provides accommodation for nurses and other hospital staff ... 1916: Cast-iron balconies are added to wards overlooking Bathurst Basin, in accordance with new theories of patient care. They are later removed due to WWII bomb damage ... 1920-1940: New medical and maternity wards and a dental department are added ... 1940: During German bombing raids on the Docks, the Hospital is badly damaged, losing its French-style mansard roof, tower cupola and balconies ... SUMMER 2012: Bristol General Hospital will close, replaced by the £45 million South Bristol Community Hospital in Hengrove. City & Country Group hope to begin development work soon after the building is vacated.

THE FUTURE City & Country Group are embarked on a consultation process with local residents (third and final public consultation on 12 January) to ascertain how the Hospital might best be redeveloped. Proposals include shops and cafes onto Bathurst Basin, improvements to Lower Guinea Street, and creation of rooftop apartments and inner garden courtyards (both as shared residents’ gardens and routes through the site), as well as 170-200 residential units. They also hope to remove some of the less successful twentieth-century extensions, opening up lost views of key parts of the complex and returning Grade II-listed facades to their former grandeur. Other plans include reinstating the octagonal dome and cast-iron balconies lost to bombing during World War Two. At the first consultation, suggestions put forward by local residents included waterfront cafes, bars, restaurants and shops; a health spa and gym; a post office; and units for local craftsmen and women. C&CG hope to submit their planning application by the end of January, and to start work in July 2012 when the NHS vacate the building – thus avoiding the empty site becoming susceptible to vandalism, theft and damage.


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twenty one

25/11/11 16:08:28

events at glassBoat Whatever the celebration, small or large, with work or with loved ones, Glassboat remains the considered waterside restaurant of choice for your event.

We have 3 distinct and characterful areas of the boat available for hire or take the whole boat for an exclusive event: Lower Deck p r i vat e d i n i n g s pa c e o n s e pa r at e f l o o r , m a x s e at e d 4 0 p e r s o n s Aft Deck

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25/11/11 16:03:14


Clockwise from this pic: Martin Scorsese takes a new direction with the familyfriendly 3D yarn Hugo; climb aboard the ss Great Britain for some salty tales of the sea; cranes, steam trains and buckets of Bristol history – M Shed has it all.

Kids’ stuff

Catch a film, head for the high seas or plunge under the waves with one of these tot-inspiring days out. Tom Burnett is your guide...

Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese ventures into new territory with Hugo, his 3D family-friendly adventure. The film promises to educate as well as entertain, and is sure to turn young moviegoers into lifelong film fanatics. Showings start on Friday 16 December. More: 2. storytelling on tHe HigH seas

Join professional storyteller Sarah Mooney for shipshape adventures on the ocean waves. Stories are tailored especially for pre-school children, but younger siblings (and older during the school holidays) are welcome too. The sessions take place at 11am on the first Tuesday of every month, with under fives getting in free! More:

breathtaking 3D underwater world to watch some of the planet’s largest, most colourful and fascinating creatures. You’ll feel like you’re swimming with dolphins… More:

your own music on the Bristol sound interactive, and jump on the Lodekka bus and listen to the conversations of travellers from the past. Plus, there are always special workshops on offer. More:

5. a-Haaar WitH Pirate Pete

8. young eco-Warriors

Join Pete on his one-hour guided walking tours of Bristol’s Harbourside. The walks take a look at Bristol’s shady past, including Long John Silver’s treasure chest in the smuggler’s cave, and Treasure Island’s Spy Glass Inn where press gangs roamed. Walks start at 2pm on Saturday and Sunday, meeting outside At-Bristol in Millennium Square. More: 6. BrusH uP your cycling skills

For anyone lucky enough to get a new bike for Christmas, Life Cycle offers training programmes that give children the skills and 3. Festive Fascination at at-Bristol confidence they need to ride safely in their local From 10 December until 2 January, you can drop area. You can choose between holiday courses into Santa’s Invention Workshop where you can make your own light-up Christmas decorations and for five, six and seven year olds, or one-to-one science-inspired stocking fillers to take home. For training sessions, and children get a certificate younger visitors, there are winter-themed storytime showing how well they’ve done. More: sessions throughout December, as well as another awesome Toddler Takeover on Friday 13 January! 7. a Fun History lesson More: at m sHed Since opening in summer 2011, M Shed has proved a 4. FisH and Film under one rooF! fantastic draw for children The only combined aquarium and and young people. You IMAX cinema in Europe gives you can find where you live on the chance to take a look at life under the giant floor map, make the waves, before you dive into a Shipshape

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The Create centre on Spike Island offers innovative learning experiences to encourage children towards more sustainable lifestyles. Activities include a ‘Trolley full of rubbish’ waste-reduction workshop, the ‘Green smiley face’ trail around the Ecohome and a ‘Shrink your print’ eco-footprint challenge… great fun and very worthy! More: 9. cHildren eat For Free at riverstation!

One of Bristol’s best riverside restaurants has a fantastic free children’s menu, when accompanied by an adult eating from the full menu. This Bristol institution’s relaxing surroundings make for a great brunch stopover, and children will love watching the boats go by from the terrace. The meringues are enough to make your eyeballs spin! More: 10. caP’n oF your oWn sHiP

You can learn to sail with the Bristol Sailing School, which is based next to the Cottage pub on the harbour. With lots of great boats, including Lasers, Toppers and Bugs, available for younger sailors, you’ll soon be tacking your way across the harbour. s More:

illustration: Chris diCkason

1. Hugo at tHe WatersHed

twenty three

25/11/11 15:28:09

Long liv theQuee feature

Down at Bristol’s biggest surviving shipyard, they’re restoring a historic paddle steamer with a heroic wartime story. Shipshape donned its safety goggles to watch the restoration of the Medway Queen at Albion Dockyard There’s a lot of goodwill towards this boat. She saved 7,000 lives from Dunkirk, and a lot of those soldiers are still around. When they come and visit the boat I see tears welling up in their eyes, and they turn to me and say, ‘I owe my life to this ship.’” Andrew Summerell, MD of Albion Dockyard, is leading Shipshape around the rapidly filling carcass of the Medway Queen, a paddledriven steamship with a rich history. The Bristol-based dockyard is currently re-hulling the boat in preparation for a new lease of life back in her native Kent. Built in 1924, the MQ is the UK’s last surviving estuary pleasure steamer. Before World War II, she ran pleasure cruises along the Thames and Medway rivers: the war itself saw her most glorious chapter, making seven crossings to the beaches of Dunkirk and rescuing 7,000 men. A chequered post-war career included years of decay on the Isle of Wight (following a sojourn as a floating nightclub) and another two decades lying twenty four

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fallow back in Kent. Then, in the 1980s, the Medway Queen Preservation Society (MQPS) was formed to try to save the ship. As a result of their efforts, the boat is now sitting in a Bristol dry dock, undergoing extensive repair work – and capturing much attention in Britain and beyond.

Clockwise from above left: Artist’s impression of the Medway Queen performing one of her seven heroic salvage missions to Dunkirk during WW2 (see panel opposite); Andrew Summerell, MD of Albion Dockyard, the Bristol shipbuilders overhauling the Medway Queen; inside the working boatyard; riveting the Queen back together; at 55 metres, the boat is Albion/Abels’ biggest project in its 30-year history.


Andrew and his colleagues at Albion Dockyard are reconstructing the Queen’s damaged hull using the traditional method of riveting plates together, rather than the commoner modern practice of welding. As such, the new Medway Queen will be the first riveted paddle steamer built in the UK for some 60 years. Back in Kent, Continued on page 27 Shipshape

25/11/11 15:30:53

live en


Abel seAmen A history of Abels Shipbuilders and Albion Dockyard Ltd Shipbuilder David Abels founded his yard at Albion Dockyard in 1979 on part of the site previously occupied by Charles Hill and Sons, the great Bristol shipbuilder that had made boats in the harbour since the 1740s (and at Albion since 1820). In 2009 the company changed its name to Albion Dockyard, with David moving to a consultancy role. They are now the largest remaining shipbuilder in Bristol. The Medway Queen is ‘Yard Number 130’ – ie. the 130th shipbuilding project Abels/Albion have undertaken since 1979. Most projects are to build steel or aluminium tugs, ferries, launches and workboats. Around 80% of orders are for UK customers, although recently the company built a fleet of aluminium patrol and ambulance boats for Nigeria. And they don’t just build ships: Abels/Albion have also built steam locomotives and pieces of civil engineering, notably Pero’s Bridge in the centre of town. Andrew is optimistic about the company’s future, as long as they can ride out the current recession. “We tend to build boats from steel, and as we all know steel rusts, so there’s a constant need for upkeep, restoration and replacement. As long as we can ride out the next few years, I think we’ll be in a very strong position. There are fewer and fewer dry docks (basins that can be flooded to allow boats in, then drained for works to take place) around the country, and we’ve got all the equipment, machinery and skills here waiting for jobs.” More


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twenty five

25/11/11 15:33:39

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25/11/11 16:08:18


meanwhile, MQPS volunteers are working on all the boat’s recovered fittings – handrails, lamps, benches, vents and more. Albion are essentially building a brand new boat, albeit following the original plans (the majority of which have survived intact) and re-using the original materials. “Many fittings have been saved – the paddles, crankshafts, main engines, portholes, pumps and so forth,” Andrew explains. “Many of the working parts have survived, as has much of the original deck planking and benches. These bits all came down to us from Kent on lorries, for us to build the hull around. In very simplistic terms, we’re building a watertight box (albeit a very elegant one) to house all the boat’s heritage bits and pieces.” They’ve even preserved the boat’s original steam engine, building their own boring machine to re-bore its cylinders.


The Medway Queen is built at Troon, Scotland, for operation on the River Medway. The paddle steamer does ‘bucket and spade’ trips between Strood (Kent) and Southend, with additional destinations including Herne Bay, Clacton and Margate. These pleasure trips continue to be popular into the 1930s.



This reconstruction of a historic boat is a vast, minutely detailed and, of course, expensive process. The MQPS won a Heritage Lottery grant to sympathetically dismantle the old boat, photographing every last detail (some 5,000 images) as they went so that it could be exactly reproduced. Another grant allowed them to put out a tender for a shipyard to build the new hull. That tender was won by Albion, whose skilled shipbuilders are replacing the hull via a succession of six-metre steel panels. Another grant (this one from the EU) will allow the Society to set up a workshop back in Kent to replace all the boat’s historic equipment. Albion started work in 2009 and aim to finish by March. “There’s been interest across the world,” says Andrew, a naval architect who has worked at Albion (and Abels Shipbuilders, as it was previously known) for 15 years. “A few months ago two guys turned up from Norway just to watch the hydraulic riveting.” Some 98 per cent of the riveting is being done hydraulically – a newer, quieter technique than the traditional pneumatic riveting. The other two per cent, though, is being done pneumatically – for which it took Andrew and the team two years to track down the correct equipment, via an exhaustive and ultimately futile internet search. Rescue came, though, from close to home. “One day I was talking to someone about our search, and he said, ‘Oh, you need to talk to this guy in Yate.’ One 20-mile round trip later, we had all the kit we needed.”

with extensive repairs needed, the New Medway Steam Packet The ship is painted battleship grey Company offer the ship for sale for war service and her first job is to to a Belgium ship breaker. After a evacuate children from Kent to East Daily Mail campaign to save her, Anglia. Part of the ship’s aft (inside the ship is purchased by a group of the stern) is cut away to house mine- businessmen and taken to the Isle sweeping gear. Anti-aircraft machine of Wight to become, from 1966, a guns are also fitted as the boat marina clubhouse and nightclub. becomes the HMS Medway Queen. 1970-84 During winter 1939, the ship The MQ is replaced by a larger sweeps the partly frozen Medway vessel and falls into disuse. She and Thames estuaries for mines. suffers hull damage while being 1940 moved out of her berth and, by the Patrolling the Straits of Dover on mid-1970s, is semi-submerged in 27 May 1940, the ship receives the river Medina and deteriorating. orders to head to the beaches of Dunkirk, northern France, to embark 1984 The boat is salvaged by a group some waiting troops. Along with of businessmen and towed on a other merchant marine boats, salvage barge back to her home fishing boats, pleasure craft and river in Chatham. The group hopes RNLI lifeboats, the MQ ferries to get her sailing again: sadly home thousands of British soldiers the attempt fails and the Medway retreating from the advancing Germans. Using lifeboats, the crew Queen is left to decay on the banks of her namesake river. ferry the soldiers from the beaches to the boat, while the aircraft cruiser 1985 ‘Calcutta’ gives covering fire. The Although her homecoming to Kent ship makes seven crossings to was much trumpeted, the boat still Dover and Ramsgate, bringing lies in the river, buffeted by tides 7,000 British soldiers safely home and submerged at high water, (over 338,000 French and English with weeds growing on deck and soldiers were saved across 10 fish swimming through the lower days). The MQ crew is kept busy, saloons. The Medway Queen with the Petty Officer’s mess being Preservation Society is formed to used as a sick bay. Every soldier save the ship, and purchase it in boarding the Medway Queen is derelict condition for £15,000: fed and given cocoa or tea from weekend parties begin clearing the the galley kitchen. The boat also ship of the tons of accumulated silt, shoots down three enemy aircraft mud and weeds. Elsewhere during the evacuation. After more the Society lobbies MPs, sells minesweeping duties, the MQ souvenirs to raise funds and spends the rest of the war as a garners publicity for the boat. training ship. 1939


The ship is refitted in time for the 1947 summer season on her old route from Strood to Southend, where she continues her pleasure steaming until 1962.

Medway. The wharf owner tells them the boat can tie up there for a while. She is there for 20 years. 2006

The National Lottery Heritage Fund bestows a grant of £1.86 million for the complete rebuild of the ship’s hull. 2009

Work begins at Albion Dockyard, Bristol. THE FUTURE

The finished boat will be towed back to Kent via the Bristol Channel and English Channel (there are not yet sufficient funds to replace the boiler, which will eventually power the boat). “It is still our aim to have a fully operational paddle steamer once the restoration is complete,” say the Society. It’s unlikely that she will run in regular passenger service again: her future use will be as a moored vessel offering hospitality services and museum space. Clockwise from top centre: The Medway Queen on a pre-war pleasure cruise; A flyer advertising the boat’s sea cruises from Herne Bay, Kent in the autumn of 1951; the Queen reborn as an Isle of Wight marina clubhouse, late 1960s; more pre-war pleasure cruising; a ticket for one of the ship’s Southend-Herne Bay cruises, 1950s.


After months of searching for a suitable new home, the Society finds a berth at Damhead Creek on the


The British seaside holiday begins to lose out to cheap package tours, and boat travel is also being superseded by the rise of the motor car. In 1962,

More: / Shipshape

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restaurant, spa & pool

25/11/11 16:10:18

Shipshape directory

Shipshape directory ArnolFInI CEntrE For ContEmporAry Arts 16 Narrow Quay, BS1 4QA Tel: 0117 917 2300/01, Opening times: Exhibition Spaces: Tue-Sun 11am-6pm & Bank Holidays; Bookshop: Tue 11am-6pm, Wed-Sat 11am-8pm, Sun 11am-7pm; Café Bar: Daily from 10am

At-BrIstol Anchor Road, Harbourside, BS1 5DB 0845 345 1235, Opening hours: weekends and holidays 10am-6pm; weekdays during term-time 10am-5pm. Open every day except 24-26 December Save up to £6.00 on entry to at-briStol

Bring shipshape in to receive £1.50 off per person for up to 4 people. terms and Conditions: offer must be declared when booking in advance. not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. Excludes members, education or group visits. Valid until 29/02/12 excluding 11-19 February 2012.

BrIstol FErry BoAt CompAny For full details visit: For a map of the service – complete with ferry stops – and more information, turn to pages 18 & 19. Public trips include Gorge and Cut trips under the Suspension Bridge, engaging Wildlife Tours with local expert Ed Drewitt. Heated boatS!

Available for fantastic winter Booze Cruises with dockside pub stops for your Festive or Celebration party!

BrUnEl’s ss GrEAt BrItAIn Great Western Dockyard, BS1 6TY 0117 926 0680, Opening times: from 10am. During the winter last ticket sales are at 3.30pm and one hour before closing (4.30pm). Open every day except December 24 and 25, plus second Monday in January



Based at the heart of Bristol’s Harbourside, in a fantastic waterside location, Arnolfini is one of Europe’s leading centres for the contemporary arts. Arnolfini features a regularly changing programme, presenting visual art, live art and performance, dance, music, cinema, poetry and literature events and a busy education programme of tours and talks. It also boasts one of the best arts bookshops in the country and a stylish, lively café bar featuring an Italian-inspired and children’s menu. Free admission to the building, exhibitions and café bar.

At-Bristol is one of the UK’s most exciting interactive science centres. With hundreds of action-packed exhibits, explosive science shows and a planetarium, At-Bristol is a whole day’s play. make your own animation, walk through a tornado and discover how amazing your brain and body really are! Winter 2011: visit Winter Wonderland, watch the Winter night sky in the planetarium and take part in real experiments including the chance to extract your own cheek cell DnA. And don’t miss the next toddler takeover on 13 January: Crazy Creatures!

these distinctive (and heated) yellow and blue boats offer relaxed, cosy round trips and an efficient ferry service on two routes; one between temple meads and the City Centre (calling at Cabot Circus), the other from the City Centre to the Hotwells area. Don’t miss ‘sail with santa’ – once again the white bearded one takes to his waterborne sleigh on this magical boat ride around the harbour: twinkling lights, mince pies and sherry, gifts for the children, a bit of ho, ho, ho with a delightful santa (see page 8 for more details). look out for next season’s public trips – the perfect Christmas gift for friends or family.

offer save up to £6.00

heated boats perfect r for winte booze cruises

Descend under the glass ‘sea’ and step back in time in the Dockyard museum! see, hear, touch and smell what life was like for Victorian passengers on board Brunel’s ss Great Britain. there’s plenty to do to keep everyone entertained at this multi award-winning attraction. In 2011 Brunel’s ss Great Britain celebrates the good, the bad and the yucky of Victorian dining with a new historic galley and trails, plus ‘Victorian Christmas storytelling’ and ‘mr Brunel’. tickets provide free unlimited return visits for one year. Go to

twenty nine

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Shipshape directory


Information Hotline 09067 112191


Colston Street, BS1 5AR 0117 922 3686, Opening hours: Box Office: Mon–Sat 10am6pm; H Bar café: Mon-Fri 8am-11pm, Sat 9am-10pm, Sun 10am-9pm; H Bar Bistro: Daily 11.30am-3pm and 5-11pm

FOyLeS BOOkSHOP 6 Quakers Friars, Philadelphia St, Cabot Circus, BS1 3BU 0117 376 3975 Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 11am-5pm

GLASSBOAT Welsh Back, BS1 4SB 0117 929 0704, Opening hours: Lunch – Tues-Fri 12-2.30pm; Dinner – Mon-Sat 5.30–10pm; Sunday lunch – 12–4pm what recession?

A complimentary glass of nV Bollinger for all lunch and dinner bookings until the end of February. Reservations required, please mention Shipshape to claim, not available Friday and Saturday dinner.



Hop on one of the bright red City Sightseeing buses with a 24-hour ticket (or 3-Day ticket) and let them show you the sights of this fascinating city, which is full of vitality and variety. Operating daily every 30, 45 or 90 minutes their guides will regale you with stories from pirates and princes to paupers and show you great churches, cathedrals and museums and the exciting Harbourside, the jewel of which is Brunel’s ss Great Britain. Ticket holders can receive a variety of discounts from Harbourside attractions and eateries including entry to At-Bristol and Coffee Beach on Broad Quay.

Colston Hall is Bristol’s premier live music venue and has seen the likes of the Manic Street Preachers, London Symphony Orchestra, Penguin Café, Staff Benda Bilili and Ricky Gervais perform in the past year. The city centre venue also offers plenty of eating and drinking options: H Bar Café serves a variety of wines, beers, cocktails, spirits and hot drinks, with its tasty Mediterranean food earning the café a spot in the Guardian’s top ten Bristol budget eateries. For a more formal experience, there’s H Bar Restaurant with its mouthwatering mix of Latin American and Mediterranean flavours cooked up by Humberto Benevenuto.

Independent booksellers Foyles have settled into their new home in Quakers Friars, Cabot Circus – their first and only shop outside London. Foyles offer the widest possible range of books, so whether you’re looking for the latest bestseller or something a little more unusual, their expert, local staff will be able to help. This summer they expanded onto a second floor, where you’ll find more to read plus a cosy events and exhibition space. Visit their website for more information or pop in and give them your thoughts.

Located on the floating harbour in the heart of Bristol, Glassboat affords spectacular views of the city: bridges, churches and of course the swans on the water itself. Whatever the celebration, small or large, with work or with loved ones, Glassboat remains the considered waterside restaurant of choice for Bristolians young or old. Glassboat uses only the best local suppliers and cooks classic dishes simply: native oysters, whole grilled soles, partridges and côte de beouf will all feature this season. Groups of up to 40 can be comfortably accommodated on the lower deck, the ideal private space for your event.

free glass of champagne for every diner


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Shipshape directory


Mardyke Wharf, Hotwell Rd BS8 4RU 0117 929 9347, Opening hours: Mon - Thurs: 12pm-11pm; Fri - Sat: 12pm-11.30pm; Sun: 12pm-11pm

LIDO rEsTauraNT, spa & pOOL Oakfield Place, BS8 2BJ 0117 933 9530, Opening hours: restaurant: 12-3pm and 6-10pm; spa: 7am-10pm; poolside bar: all day sunday lunch

Three courses and a choice of arrival drink for only £20 per person. reservations required, please mention shipshape to claim.


When in Bristol check website for mooring location 0117 927 6868,

MyrIsTICa 51 Welsh Back, BS1 4AN 0117 927 2277, Opening hours: Mon-Fri 12-2pm (lunch), Mon-Sat 5.30-11.30pm (dinner), Sunday 5.30-10.30pm (dinner, last orders at 10pm) *20% off your bill in 2012

Enjoy 20% off your total food bill at Myristica restaurant during January, February & March 2012. Must mention shipshape when dining. Not available on saturday nights or Valentine’s Day, in conjunction with any other offer or take away/ delivery. Maximum of 8 guests who can qualify for the discount per table. The discount is for your total food bill, drinks are not included.



The historic Grain Barge, moored on Hotwell road, below Cliftonwood, has a panoramic view of Brunel’s ss Great Britain down to Cumberland Basin, both from its main harbourside bar and dining area, and from its ‘alfresco’ deck. The lower Hold Bar and function room provides a great venue for live music and can also be hired for private parties and events. To celebrate the festive season the Grain Barge will be providing exciting live music and DJs on 9, 16, 23 and 31 December. The NyE party is 8pm-2am, £15 entry. For further information, visit our website.

The Lido is a veritable oasis tucked within a courtyard of Georgian terraces in the backstreets of Clifton. a unique location where chef Freddy Bird presides over 2 floors of poolside dining. Take a quick dip outside, remembering to make full use of the sauna and steam room this winter. Then retreat to the first-floor restaurant and feast on wood-fired shellfish, charcoal-grilled cuts of meat and wines from the eclectic European list. The ground-floor bar serves breakfast, Extract coffee, hot and cold Tapas from midday, Lahloo teas and delicious cakes.

sunday lunch offer

a magnificent replica of a Tudor merchant ship that recreated the atlantic crossing by explorer John Cabot. He was searching for a sailing route to asia but ended up “discovering” Newfoundland. Get the best views of Bristol harbour from the deck on one of their regular public cruises – fish and chip suppers on board are extremely popular – or you can venture down the scenic avon Gorge under the Clifton suspension Bridge. There are also offshore sailing opportunities and the ship is available for private hire – check website for sailing programme.

Gazing serenely over Welsh Back, Myristica is one of the highlights of the Harbour’s impressive dining landscape. The menu features a range of beautifully crafted dishes from across the Indian subcontinent. Why not kick off with baby squid deep-fried and tossed with bell peppers, chilli flakes and honey, before moving on to pista murgh (breast of chicken in a mild cream sauce with ground pistachios and saffron)? The chocolate samosa dessert, meanwhile, is surely a must-have winter-warmer… Or get into the Christmas spirit with Myristica’s excellent Festive Menu (lunch £17.95, dinner £24.95 – 4 diners minimum).

20% off in* 2012 thirty one

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Shipshape directory

68 Prince Street, BS1 4QD 0117 929 7695 Opening hours: Mon-Thur 11am-11pm, Fri-Sat 11am-12am, Sun 12pm-11pm *FREE DRINK WITH EVERY MEAL

Enjoy a free drink with every main meal purchased in January. Drink is either pint fosters, pint IPA, glass house wine, coke or lemonade. Offer with any main dish on main menu no minimum spend. Limited to one drink per customer having one main meal.


133 Cumberland Road BS1 6UX 0117 929 2266, Galleries open 11am-5pm Tues-Sun Café open Mon-Fri 8.30am-5pm, Sat and Sun 11am-5pm

SPYGLASS Welsh Back, BS1 4SB 0117 927 7050, Spyglass has a non-reservation policy for groups of less than 8. To book a table for a group of 8 or more please contact or 0117 927 7050 Opening hours: Wed-Sat 12midday-10pm, Sun 12midday-5pm Available for groups and to hire on Mondays and Tuesdays in December.

ST NICHOLAS MARKET Corn Street, BS1 1JQ 0117 922 4014, From 26 November until Christmas Eve, St Nicholas Market is open every day. Mon-Sat 9.00am-5pm and Sun 11am-5pm. Normal opening hours: Mon-Sat 9.30am-5pm and first Sun of the month 11am-5pm.

thirty two


Bristol’s longest-serving hostelry, the Shakespeare has been pulling the pints since 1775, with the handsome interior – all wood panelling and nautical props – to prove it. There’s been a recent refurb, but the welcome is as warm as ever. Cask ales, draft ciders and a range of premium lagers and wines are joined, this winter, by Aspall mulled cider and Eliot’s mulled wine. Hearty winter grub, meanwhile, ranges from robust sharing platters to Bristol’s scrumptious Pieminister pies. Cosy and inviting, the Shakey is a perfect winter bolt-hole – and, if you book your Christmas party with them, you and chums can dine on three courses for £14.95.




Spike Island is a centre for the production and exhibition of art and design based in an 80,000 square foot former Brooke Bond tea-packing factory. Its year-round public programme features free exhibitions by local, national and international artists, as well as regular talks, events and activities for all. Spike Café is open seven days a week, serving hot and cold drinks, snacks and homemade meals in a relaxed setting overlooking the river. Spike Island is also a busy working building, home to a range of artists, designers, students, creative businesses and other arts organisations.




Now in its ninth year, this lively waterside restaurant has become a Bristol institution, serving an assortment of meat and fresh fish from the grill to create their popular signature dishes with some new and exciting options thrown in for good measure. With a location to die for, food that’s as simple as it is tasty and a price to suit any wallet, it’s no wonder Spyglass has become a destination for both locals and foodies alike. Hurry, Spyglass will close on 23rd December. Look out for their 10th year reincarnation... Spyglass will return in March 2012 looking better than ever.

Spectacular market found in the heart of the Old City. Such is the variety on offer from these local independents, you can drop in for some lunch, get your shoes fixed, buy clothes, browse for vinyl and more. If you like your food local and direct from the producers, don’t miss the popular Farmers’ Market every Wednesday (Corn St and Wine St, 9.30am-2.30pm) or the new Friday Food Market (Wine St, 10am-4pm). Lovers of literature and art are equally well looked after with the award-winning Book Market (Wine St) and the bustling Art Market (Glass Arcade), both taking place on the first Sunday of the month between 10am and 4pm. Shipshape

25/11/11 15:59:22


Shipshape directory

ToBACCo FACTory SunDAy MArKET Special Christmas markets are being held on the 4, 11 and 18 December, with a further 20 stalls offering fantastic gifts. The market hours are 10am–2.30pm on a regular Sunday, extended to 4pm for the Christmas markets.


1 Canons Road, BS1 5TX 0117 927 5100,,, Cafe/bar opening hours: Mon 10.30am11pm, Tues-Thur 9.30am-11pm, Sat 10ammidnight, Sun 10am-10.30pm

WongS CHInESE rESTAurAnT 12 Denmark St, BS1 5DQ 0117 925 8883, reader offer

Wongs are offering readers of Shipshape a free glass of wine when dining off the £12 pre or post theatre menu, or 20% off the total bill when dining a la carte! Bookings essential. Please mention Shipshape when booking.


Open everyday between 11am-11pm (closed Christmas Day) Bristol Harbourside, Canons Road, Bristol, BS1 5UH. (Located next to Pero’s Bridge) 0117 9220330,



The Sunday market at the Tobacco Factory has been steadily growing since it began in 2004 and now has over 40 stalls offering affordable food and crafts including locally made bread, fresh farm food, home made cakes, sausages and pies, books, flowers, clothing and jewellery and much more. With a resident bike mechanic and children’s story telling, it’s more than a market – it’s a hub for the Southville and Bedminster community. The Cafe/Bar will be open from 10am to serve winter warming food and drinks.

Watershed is the perfect social space on Bristol’s historic Harbourside, showing the best independent films from across the world. With three cinemas to choose from and a welcoming, relaxed café/bar enjoying unique waterside views, it’s the ideal place to meet friends, enjoy a meal and watch a film. Come and try their Plot to Plate organic menu showcasing the tastes of the South West, or treat yourself to a drink before or after a film. For detailed film and events listings, visit or head to for an online gallery and creative content.

Wongs restaurant in Bristol’s Denmark Street is under new management with a new chef at the helm. Master Chef KK Wong joins the restaurant straight from London’s Chinatown. Chef KK is committed to the use of seasonal and local produce and the menu features traditional favourites alongside exotic offerings and daily specials which could include razor-clams in garlic and black bean sauce or fresh lobster with ginger and spring onion. Wongs offers a gourmet experience in sumptuous surroundings at a great price. It’s the connoisseur’s choice!


free glassr of wine, o 20% off bill

The Za Za tribe invites you to join them on a taste-tour of the world. Za Za Bazaar is perfect for anyone who loves the buzz of a night market, has a sense of adventure and an appetite for fun. Bristol’s finest fixed-price restaurant, Za Za Bazaar serves a rich variety of global cuisine that guarantees to keep everyone happy, with food from America, Mexico, Europe, the Far East and India. Dishes are served in a sumptuous banquet-style as the Za Za chefs provide a live performance, creating dishes from around the world right before your eyes using only the highest quality fresh ingredients. thirty three

25/11/11 15:59:30


As Bristol Old Vic’s Artistic Director, Tom Morris is currently steering the noble old theatre through one of the most dramatic chapters in its 250-year history: a major redevelopment project that will uncover much of the original theatre’s 18th-century character. After distinguished stints at the Battersea Arts Centre and the National Theatre, Morris arrived in Bristol in 2009. He recently received a Tony Award (US theatre’s top accolade) for directing the Broadway production of Michael Morpurgo’s ‘War Horse’. BOV’s refurbished Main House, meanwhile, will re-open next summer and this year’s Christmas show ‘Coram Boy’ will be performed across the harbour at the Colston Hall.

Clockwise from this pic: Tom Morris ponders Bristol Old Vic’s past, present and future; historic graffiti (‘E J Harwell, 1859’) in the theatre’s Georgian auditorium; view of BOV’s stage from the Dress Circle.

I ❤ Harbourside Bristol Old Vic’s Artistic Director, Tom Morris, gives Shipshape the latest on the theatre’s redevelopment and his hopes for Bristol’s waterside

Old vic pics: © FarrOws creative

Give us the latest on the refurb then, Tom We’re working on the main auditorium, the backstage area, offices, the fly tower – basically renewing all areas so that we have a fit-for-purpose 21st-century theatre. And we are renewing the theatre based on what we can discover about its original designs. It’s the oldest continually operating theatre in the country, and we’ve discovered a lot more about its original designs than we’d thought possible. Tell us more… The original theatre had a ‘thrust’ stage, which plunged the actors right out among the audience. We’re not going to try to recreate an 18th-century playhouse – that would be mad – but we’re using that basic geometry, so that audiences and actors can experience plays that could only be made in this theatre.

to the north of the original front wall of the theatre. To explain, the theatre’s original frontage was not on King Street – in order to get in, you had to pass through a King Street house belonging to a Mr Foot, as the theatre didn’t have a Royal Licence and was essentially illegal. This is in 1766, remember, when the port of Bristol would have been buzzing and King Street at the absolute hub of it all – but you couldn’t get a Royal Licence for a theatre outside London, so this theatre was basically a speakeasy.

Are there links between the original theatre and the port city around it? Every week we are discovering things about the construction of this theatre that link it ever more closely with Bristol’s port history. The ‘Theatre in King Street’, as it was known, was paid for by a group of speculative merchants who each What areas are you working on at the moment? put in 50 quid to build their theatre. And it was We’re redeveloping all the parts of the building essentially built by ship’s carpenters, with a lot of the roof timbers recycled from ships, and then crewed by men who would also have worked on ships (hence the expression ‘stage crew’).

So 18th-century theatres and ships were closely connected worlds? Absolutely. All the pulleys for a theatre’s flying system – for moving scenery up and down – were based on those in ships’ rigging. To this day, it’s considered bad luck to whistle on stage: this is because out at sea, the signal to raise and lower sails is a whistle. So when that rigging technology, and those crews, were imported into theatres, the crews would communicate about raising and lowering bits of scenery via whistles. So if you’re in a theatre and whistle unguardedly, you’re likely to have a great lump of scenery lowered onto your head! Do you think modern Bristol makes enough use of its waterside areas? I think more things could be done. I like the plans for a bridge connecting King Street with Redcliffe, for example. King Street should be a throbbing heart of the city. I walked up this street six months ago and counted nine big empty properties – three of them have since been occupied, so things are starting to happen. But basically, the more routes we have around the harbour, and the better connections between land and water, the better for all. Why not also open up the river Frome in the Centre again? If you had a navigable waterway all the way up the Centre, you start to have a sort of Venice effect, with water taxis, etc. We’ve got a wonderful Floating Harbour – why not make it work for us? s To follow the Bristol Old Vic redevelopment visit and Coram Boy is at Colston Hall, Bristol from 21-30 Dec. Ffi:


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25/11/11 15:38:19

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25/11/11 16:11:09

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25/11/11 16:12:01

Shipshape 8 - Winter 2011/12  

Celebrating the very best of Bristol's historic harbourside.

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