Concorde - the worthy star

ConcordeA BCS visit to Aerospace Bristol

1400 hours, 6 December 2017. Around fifty Civic Society members checked-in at Aerospace Bristol. We were scheduled for a conducted tour of the recently-opened £19m aviation museum. It tells the story of the contribution that the aircraft industry has made to our city.

You may recall the Industrial Museum (now M Shed) had a collection of aero engines, displayed in a row and labelled with technical descriptions. A dead assembly of objects; hardly celebratory. Fast-forward to a sensitively refurbished WWI hangar flanking the Filton runway. Those engines are here now, with explanatory graphics, alongside flimsy biplanes and a Giotto spacecraft; a Bloodhound surface-to-air rocket, menacingly in its firing position; a complete Sea Harrier jump jet. Fuselages, a tram, helicopters – and a Bristol car, ‘inspired by plans purloined in 1945 from a bombed BMW factory in Munich’, confided Oliver, our guide.

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Hardy Parsons Blue Plaque

Hardy Parsons30 June 1897 ‒ 21 August 1917

Durdham Downs, 8 November 1917: Hardy Parsons’ father was presented with his son's posthumous Victoria Cross by King George V. Exactly one hundred years later, a plaque was unveiled in Salisbury Road, Redland to honour this brave young hero of World War I.

Around 100 people attended the commemorative event, including some distinguished guests: Cllr Lesley Alexander, Lord Mayor; Colonel Andrew Flint, Deputy Lord-Lieutenant for the County and City of Bristol; The Very Revd Dr David Hoyle, Dean of Bristol; Major General Robin Grist, CB OBE; Brigadier James Daniel, Lt Col Rupert Clements and cadets of Bristol University Officer Training Corps.

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Katharine Furse Blue Plaque

Katharine FurseA Blue Plaque was unveiled on 7 September to Dame Katharine Furse. The plaque celebrates the life of this inspiring, if previously locally unknown, woman. The daughter of literary critic and poet John Addington Symonds, Katharine was born in Clifton Hill House in 1875. She joined the British Red Cross Voluntary Aid Detachment, becoming Commandant and leading the first VAD Unit sent to France in 1914. She resigned, frustrated that nurses did not have the power to introduce reforms that they knew from their first-hand knowledge were necessary. But her organisational capabilities were recognised by the Navy. In 1917 she was asked to lead a new women’s naval auxiliary. This became the Women’s Royal Naval Service, better known as the Wrens (WRNS). In the inter-war years she set up the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and was Director of its World Bureau.

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Design Awards 2017

Kevin McCloudThe Society’s prestigious Design Awards go from strength to strength, says Civic Society chairman, Simon Birch.

This year’s presentations held in the Arnolfini theatre on 26 June 2017 attracted a crowd of over hundred. Guest speaker Kevin McCloud from TV programme Grand Designs delivered an entertaining and thoughtful talk and presented the familiar blue plaques.

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