Transport in Bristol

First BusThe Civic Society held a very well-attended event on Tuesday 24th April in Watershed 3, which was in fact sold out with over 100 attendees. We had two speakers - Peter Mann, Director of Transport, Bristol City Council and James White, Interim Head of Transport, West of England Combined Authority.

The meeting was arranged in response to the many requests we receive from people trying to find out exactly what’s happening with the complex, and often bewildering, range of transport initiatives in Bristol. The detailed presentations contain much information about new transport projects such as Metrobus, 4 tracking to Filton and Metro West. The meeting was also told about forthcoming consultations on sub-regional plans - Bristol Transport Plan, Air Quality and review of 20 mph zones.


Redmaids Blue Plaques

RedmaidsBlue plaques celebrate Votes for Women

We’ve reached a landmark anniversary with our plaques. The twentieth was unveiled on 8 March at Redmaids High School. Actually, so was the nineteenth: between them they made a pigeon pair. The plaques honoured three women, two of whom were sisters, and each major players in the suffrage movement locally. The research was complicated because there were various societies carrying the torch for women’s rights and we are keen to ensure accuracy on plaques.


Bristol Science Park

NCC BB Science Park smallAn afternoon in the park

Thursday 22 February: twenty Civic Society members (picture right) were treated to a tour of the Bristol & Bath Science Park at Emersons Green. First, we assembled in the flagship National Composites Centre and were given an introduction to its exciting ambitions. The NCC is one of seven UK sites set up to stimulate growth in manufacturing. The initiative is labelled the High Value Manufacturing Catapult – ironic, in that a weapon invented in Greece in 399 BC gets a mention in the name of a futuristic scheme to investigate innovative technologies.


HIV Blue Plaques

HIV TrustsAled Richards Trust and Terrence Higgins Trust

Bristol Civic Society’s eighteenth plaque was unveiled on 1 December 2017 at 8 West Street, Old Market. The plaque is on the building which was, for 25 years (1992‒2017), the home of the Aled Richards Trust/Terrence Higgins Trust. In the words of the plaque, the building and the organisation was “at the heart of Bristol’s response to the HIV epidemic” and was “a place of support and friendship for people living with HIV”. Why two organisations on one plaque? Aled Richards Trust was a Bristol-based charity which merged with the national Terrence Higgins Trust in 2000.


Being Brunel

SS GB visitSS Great Britain launches a new museum

Ahoy there! It’s Tuesday 9 January – and for around twenty-five Civic Society members, time to board the world’s first iron-hulled, ocean-going, propeller-driven ship. Well, some of us went on board the SS Great Britain at the end of the tour but the main purpose of our visit was to hear about exciting development plans well under way on the quayside.


St Michael's

St Michael MountUpdate January 2018 The Civic Society is leading a partnership bid for ownership of this fire damaged church. The bid was lodged with agents acting for the Diocese in mid December and we have recently heard that we have been invited for interview on Monday 15th January. Our proposals seek to restore the building with a flexible performance space in the former nave area and with other accommodation being provided in order to generate a sustainable business plan in the longer term. We hope that this disposal process will lead to the church being restored and brought back into beneficial use as soon as possible.

Simon Birch


Ashton Court Mansion

Ashton Court Update January 2018
On Friday 24th November 2017 we held the initial meeting at Ashton Court Mansion. Over 100 attended and the overall impression was of energy and enthusiasm. All present wanted to breathe new life into the Mansion and to give it a secure future. Since then we have moved forward to create an Action Group - with Business West, UWE and solicitors VWV - and plan to meet with Marvin Rees in the next few weeks in order to discuss how best to take forward our ideas for a new organisation to take over responsibility for the management and restoration of the Mansion.

Simon Birch

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.


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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