Unbuilt Bristol, Wed 15 Nov 2017

unbuilt bristol11The City that Might Have Been - a talk by Eugene Byrne

The footnotes of Bristol’s history are littered with schemes for roads, bridges, railways, buildings and things which for one reason or another (usually money) never got built. Eugene Byrne, author of Unbuilt Britain (cover on right) on the subject and editor of the Post’s ‘Bristol Times’ weekly local history supplement, takes a look at just some of the proposals, from the perfectly sensible to the completely insane. Focussing mostly on the post-war period he will also try to tease out some morals and lessons and wonders if we’re any wiser nowadays.

7.30 pm The Mackay, Bristol Grammar School

Bristol Fashion, Thurs 28 Sept 2017

Excavation Wapping WharfRecent archaeological discoveries that shed light on Bristol housing and industry through the ages
A talk by Simon Cox, Head of Fieldwork, Cotswold Archaeology

Cotswold Archaeology has recently undertaken a number of archaeological excavations in Redcliff and Temple, Wapping Wharf and Lockleaze. Collectively, these investigations have begun to shed further light on Bristol housing and industry, from the Roman to post-medieval periods. This includes the discovery of a Roman villa, medieval and post-medieval houses of varying status, and evidence for industries including brick-making, ship-building, glass-making, distilling and clay tobacco-pipe manufacture. The talk will present a brief overview and key highlights from each of these archaeological excavations.

7.30 pm at Friends Meeting House, Hampton Road, Redland.

Design Awards, Monday, 26 June 2017

BCS awardsHosted by Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs, Restoration of the Year), well-known designer, presenter and developer.

Each year an expert panel assesses nominations from projects completed in the past year - over 20 nominations were received and assessed against a series of criteria. Projects had to be located within the City of Bristol; completed within the past two years; and visible to the general public. In addition they were required to demonstrate a high standard of architectural design which resulted in delight for occupiers, visitors and neighbours alike.

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WalkFest event on Thursday 11th May

BWA park walkBristol Walking Alliance WalkFest event at 7.00pm at The Watershed to consider the benefits of a Walk in the Park.

The event will consist of three short talks - with plenty of opportunity for you to contribute your ideas and comments. Speakers include: Dr Suzanne Audrey, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol, and Claire Lowman, Public Health Principal (Healthy Place) Bristol City Council.

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Heritage Forum, Tuesday 28th March

Bristol Heritage

In October 2016 the Bristol Heritage Forum held a very successful inaugural conference on the theme of Bristol's Historic Estates. The next event will be a workshop - on Tuesday 28th March from 5.00 pm at The Pavilion, Harbourside. The purpose of the workshop is to enable attendees to shape the future direction and work of the Forum and to identify what they will contribute to its success.

Simon Birch
Chair, Bristol Civic Society

St Michael on the Mount, Thursday 6th April

St Michael MountPublic Meeting - Thursday 6th April.

We are holding a public meeting on Thursday 6th April at 6.00 pm at Lecture Theatre G25 in the Wills Memorial Building.

Why now?

The Diocese has commissioned work to clear debris and erect a temporary roof. They intend to seek options for future use later in the year. Good time now for the community to get organised and to investigate possible future uses, possible future management etc. Aim to be proactive rather than wait for the consultation & react to it.

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Bristol Through Maps,Thursday 6th July

Bristol through mapsA talk by Jeff Bishop at 7.30pm. Friends Meeting House, Hampton Road

Jeff’s 'Bristol Through Maps’ book is probably unique. It does not just talk about old maps of our city; there are some about today and even tomorrow. Jeff’s talk will pick out just a few of the maps in the book, focusing on the great range of maps.

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New developments visits

Portbury DocksThis year we are arranging a series of visits to new developments. Numbers will be limited and booking will be essential to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. There will be a charge for each event and each will be publicised by ebulletin nearer the date.

Wednesday 12th July at 1.30 pm

Visit to Bristol Port. The Bristol Port Company operates the Royal Portbury and Avonmouth docks. At Portbury there are terminals for forest products, cars, animal feeds and jet fuel. At Avonmouth the terminals, foreshores and wild life environment plus wind turbines will be viewed.

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Bristol Old Vic, Tues 13 Dec 2016

Old Vic... Past and Future - Emma Stenning, Chief Executive of Bristol Old Vic.

Following a successful stint as Executive Director of Battersea Arts Centre, Emma Stenning moved to Bristol Old Vic in 2009. Upon arriving, she and artistic director Tom Morris decided that refurbishments were in order to restore the historic auditorium, and to update the front of house spaces, making them more fit for purpose. The first part of these refurbishments, the restoration of the Georgian auditorium, were completed in 2012. The next stage now is the building of the new front of house space, designed by award winning architects Haworth Tompkins. Emma will discuss the journey so far, and the future of the building once it reopens.

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St George's, Thurs 10 Nov 2016

St Georges... at Redland Parish Hall, 7.30pm

Building a Sound Future for St George’s Bristol – Suzanne Rolt, Chief Executive, St George’s Bristol

St George’s Bristol is embarking on a £5.5million extension programme, supported by Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund, Bristol City Council, and charitable trusts.

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Heritage Conference, Thurs 27 Oct 2016

Bristol 1873Theme: The Future and Health of Bristol's Historic Places

Examining the future resilience of Bristol's historic estates.

Thursday 27 October 2016, 9.30 - 20.00
St James Priory, Whitson Street, Bristol, BS1 3NZ

With over one third of the city covered by Conservation Areas, Bristol's built heritage is critically important to the economic, social and environmental well being of the city. However with increasing pressures on these sites, from limited funding and resource to impacting developments, just how safe is their future? The inaugural Heritage Conference of the newly formed Bristol Heritage Forum will examine the resilience and future health of Bristol's historic estates.

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Bristol Record Office, Thur 29 Sept 2016

Bristol Record OfficeHome to 800 years of Archive

A talk on the Bristol Record Office by Senior Archivist Allie Dillon. Established in 1924, the Office was the first borough record office in the UK. It looks after the official archives of the City of Bristol and collects and preserves many other records relating to the city and surrounding area for current and future generations to consult.

The event takes place at 7.30pm at the Upper Meeting Room, Friends Meeting House, Hampton Road, BS6 6JE. Members £2, Non-members £5 suggested (minimum £2). Booking not required.

Ashton Court visit, Wed 28 September 2016

lower lodge gateA chance to view the Lower Lodge, Ashton Court, which is currently being refurbished. Numbers limited to 20 max. The visit starts at 11.00am. Numbers are limited - possibly to 20 (depends on whether we need hard hats by then).

Reserve your place by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Clifton and Durdham Downs, Thurs 7 July 2016

seven sisters durdham downs

Richard Bland leads a summer evening walk and talk covering interesting aspects of the history of the Downs and its role today. Meet at the Café Retreat, near the Water Tower by 7.45pm for an 8pm start. Duration about 2 hours. Limited to 20 people. To book a place, phone Nic Billane 07791 603 322, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Bristol Schemes of Sylvia Crowe, Tues 21 June 2016

Cumberland basinLed by Wendy Tippett, this walk covers landscape associated with the Cumberland Basin Bridges and Ashton Gate Junction road scheme. Starting from Hotwells and exploring the Cumberland Piazza before crossing over the Cumberland Lock to the Look Out on Spike Island, then up and over the Avon Bridge, down into Ashton Meadows, across Greville Smyth Park and down to Blackmoors Lane neighbourhood park – finishing back at the Rose of Denmark. It will be rush hour, with busy noisy traffic. Be prepared for lots of concrete, spiral staircases and care when walking on the pavement alongside the road. Meet outside the Rose of Denmark pub in Hotwells. Duration: 2 – 2½ hours. Booking required. To book a place, phone Nic Billane 07791 603 322, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Harbour walk, Thurs 12/26 May 2016

Underfall YardA guided walk around the Floating Harbour led by Ed Hall.

A walk around Underfall Yard, Cumberland Basin and the locks to explain why and how the problems of tides were overcome by the creation of the ‘Floating Harbour’.

Meet at 10.45am at The Cottage Pub, Baltic Wharf on the docks. Includes some off road walking so not suitable for stilettoes, buggies or wheel chairs.

Limited to 20 people. Booking essential.

To book a place text or phone Ed Hall on 0780 500 7304. 

Cost: £2

Bristol Walking Alliance Launch, Tues 17 May 2016

city walkingYou are invited to the launch of Bristol Walking Alliance, a new alliance of organisations campaigning to improve Bristol's walking environment. Bristol Civic Society is a member.

This is a chance for local people, voluntary groups, policy makers, transport planners, urban designers and others with an interest in walking to consider ways to support and improve the pedestrian environment.

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Walled City Walk, Thurs 5/19 May 2016

 walled city walkA guided walk on Thurday 5th and Thursday 19th May at 11am

Ed Hall is your guide on this walk, which follows the route of the Norman town walls, returning through the busy heart of Old City. Meet at 10.45am at the Merchant Navy Memorial, Welsh Back-near Glass Boat.

Limited to 20 people. Booking essential. To book a place text or phone Ed Hall on 0780 500 7304

Cost: £2

Bristol Arena talk, Tues 10 May 2016

arenaBristol Arena Design by Populous and Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

International design team Populous and Bath-based architects Feilden Clegg Bradley are part of the team which has developed plans for Bristol’s long awaited arena. The world-class, 12,000-capacity venue will spur the creation of a vibrant new quarter in the city, with a design flexible enough to cater for a wide variety of events, inside and outside, throughout the year.

7.30pm: Unitarian Chapel, Brunswick Square, Bristol, BS2 8PE

Booking not required. Contact - Avril Baker 0117 977 2002 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Members: £2 Non-members: £5 suggested (minimum £2).

Kingsdown walk, Wed 27 April 2016

Back of Kingsdown ParadeA guided walk around Kingsdown – the Vertical Suburb.

An extremely entertaining and informative walk around Kingsdown led by Mary Wright, local resident, historian and author. Full of tales about previous residents, historical incidents and architectural highlights: from the site of an English Civil War Fort to the award-winning High Kingsdown development. Duration about an hour.

Meet at: Montague Green - junction at top of Horfield Road and Kingsdown Parade.

Maximum numbers 20. Booking required. To book a place, phone Nic Billane 07791 603 322, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Bike Ride, Sat 5 March 2016

bike ridesPeter Weeks will lead a ride around the city looking at Award-winning buildings and other new architecture with a slant towards 'green' buildings. Hopefully this will spark some lively discussion onwhat constitutes 'good architecture', and how it impacts the environment.

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Heritage Forum, Thurs 25 Feb 2016

Bristol in 1934This is a new event so please put it in your diaries and come along. It starts at 7.30 pm at the Unitarian Chapel in Brunswick Square.

Bristol Civic Society is taking the lead in co-ordinating the launch of a Heritage Forum for Bristol. This is an exciting and very timely initiative. The Forum is being launched with the support of both Historic England and Bristol City Council. At the event there will be speakers from Historic England, Bristol City Council and the Civic Society. Proposals will be set within a national and regional context and will relate to the City Council's own Heritage Framework.

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A Family Business, Thurs 21 Jan 2016

JSFryA talk on J.S. Fry & Sons by Alan Freke.

The story of how the famous chocolate business passed down the generations – with a few diversions along the way! Alan is chair of the Francis Tuckett Society and is an expert on the fascinating history of Frenchay. The Tucketts were a prominent Quaker family in Frenchay from 1800 to 1928.

from the former Frenchay Hospital, including items from the former American Chapel in the hospital.

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