Launch event on Saturday 6th June 2015
One of the initiatives of the Bearpit Improvement Group (BIG) has been a project to explore the history of the Bearpit area. The Bearpit is otherwise known as St James Barton roundabout. St James Barton has a history dating back to the Middle Ages and has seen many arrivals to the city in that time.
With funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, BIG commissioned Pete Insole and Ruth Myers of Myers-Insole Local Learning CIC to produce two wall panels for the subway ramp by the Premier Inn leading to the Bearpit.
The panels tell some of the stories of these people coming to the St James area of Bristol. These wall panels cover the area’s long and colourful history using paintings, collages and other art created by students from local primary school, St Barnabas CEVC and City of Bristol College.
The stories are told in more detail on a website – bearpitheritage.org.uk. The panels are organised into sections, which are mirrored in the sections of the website. Each section of the website contains audio from representatives involved with the production.
In addition, two ‘story maps’ have been created. The story map is a themed walking trail in the Bearpit area, accessed online, with audio material related to places along the trail. There are two trails: the music scene from the 1960s to current day, and oral histories from living memory going back to the 1930s. The story maps can be accessed via the website.
There will be a launch event on Saturday 6th June in the Bearpit as follows:
- 11:30 – tour of the panels (from medieval St James Barton to 21st century Bearpit)
- 12:30 – local memories – guided walk (from 1930s Cumberland Street to post war Broadmead)
- 14:00 – musical journey – guided walk (the local music scene from the 60s to 90s Bristol Sound)