City Council promises h&cca action on flyover

330 people signed the petition, our local Neighbourhood Partnership supported the project enthusiastically and a small team of Hotwells residents and our local Councillors relentlessly chipped away at official complacency. Now there is the makings of a partnership between local people and the City council to work on a plan to improve Hotwells largest open space. A major problem with progressing our campaign to renovate the site has been getting anyone to make decisions when responsibility is split between several Council departments. A recent meeting of Service Directors heading departments of Environment & Leisure, Traffic and Transport, Planning and Neighbourhoods has now agreed “that each of us would ensure that we support and put forward officers who can enable and work with the community to take forward the Environmental Improvements”. They also agreed to review the progress of the work and “if needed, provide any further support”….. “I hope this re-assures you that we are all fully committed to providing an enabling role to help the community take forward the improvements”. We couldn’t ask for a stronger endorsement, so the community Association now needs to ensure that a joint working group is set up and it is effective in developing a London’s Westway—how to turn an eyesore scheme that meets the needs of local resi- into an asset dents. There is no expectation that a partnership with the Council will raise large sums of money to swiftly transform Cumberland Piazza but we know our own attempts to raise funds from grant-giving trusts or the National Lottery will fail without the active support of the City. We are currently working, through the Neighbourhood Partnership, to identify Council officers who have a responsibility for the site and requesting that they respond to our proposals.



Clifton Vale residents’ queue-up to complain about traffic
Local Councillors organised a meeting of Clifton Vale residents at Holy Trinity Church on March 15th to discuss the ongoing and perhaps worsening traffic on the hill. Some residents reported incidents of road rage and damage caused by the high volume of traffic using the road as a rat-run. The meeting came up with many suggestions including use of road-tables, speed and weight restrictions, limiting the ability of traffic to turn left from Hotwell Road at peak times and more double-yellow lines. Surprisingly, many residents were even ready to consider the idea of one-way working on all or part of the road, in spite of the inconvenience it might cause. A long term traffic study has been promised for the area but Councillors were anxious to explore the possibility of some simple solutions that could be implemented quickly and cheaply. However, as with the earlier meeting with Granby Hill residents the warning that kept being reiterated by Traffic Department officers was that finding a solution for one road would inevitably mean displacing the problem to another part of the neighbourhood. A point also emphasised in the Hotwells Traffic Strategy produced by HCCA (see page 2). The meeting was informed with some confidence that Bridge Valley Road would re-open again by June. Days later, that date was put back to the Autumn; the latest of several revisions.

Published by Hotwells & Cliftonwood Community Association, 3,Charles Place,

Hotwells, Bristol, BS8 4QW



Community News
Hotwells Traffic Strategy achieves official recognition Ballast Garden sinks without trace
Early this year, after an unfortunate The City is still pursuing a route for delay in progressing the Strategy we cyclists and pedestrians across Cumgot the full backing of the Neighbour- berland Basin as the last step in its hood Partnership. ‘Festival Way’ project. Meetings were then held with officers from Construction of a path from the entrance Planning and Traffic, together with Cllr. lock, along the river bank to the B Bond Trevor Blythe, to discuss how the City Record Office is due to begin during April. might “accept” the Strategy. We are Meanwhile, funding for the Arnolfini ‘Ballast pleased that it now forms part of the Garden’ project, which would have been “expression of community views” on the created alongside the path, has collapsed. Central Area Action Plan and will be taken The superb view of the Avon Gorge reinto account in relation to this Plan. It can vealed from this vantage point will now now even be downloaded direct from the have to suffice to inspire passing cyclists Council’s own website. and walkers.\centralarea. The final link in this troublesome route is We are greatly indebted to Richard Walker the Brunel Swivel Bridge, still languishing on and Paul Walker-Jones for devising the blocks and partly dismantled, having been methodology and presenting it so profes- poked and prodded in a full structural sursionally, which has been a major factor in vey by Fenton Hollway engineers. The City has some achieving credibility with money to City officers. restore it Already, the value of a but this is traffic plan has proved short of its worth in negotiations what is necabout cycle path routes essary (in around Cumberland the region Basin and more reof £0.5 milcently, the traffic problion). No lems on Granby Hill and longer can it Clifton Vale. This is not the historic Swivel Bridge at Entrance Lock the end of the story. There is much more be operated by one man turning a handle. It to be working on to try and achieve the will need to comply with all current EU benefits proposed in the Report. We now safety regs. ( barriers, flashing lights etc.) need to decide the most realistic next steps and will need a new hydraulic power source that could be taken to make further im- like the recently renovated lock gates. All provements. Your Committee will be con- this doesn’t come cheap. The City is pursidering this at their May meeting. This is suing an application to the Heritage Lottery, your Strategy, so all suggestions/comments and the Brunel Swivel Bridge Restoration Group hope to organise an appeal to the are welcome. With your help we shall try and ensure that great and the good for some cash. More we make progress each year on some as- details of this in due course. Ray Smith pect of the Plan.
Dennis Gornall

April marks a turning point in the gradual shift of control of Council services towards service-users. Neighbourhood Partnerships made up of Councillors and people representing local communities are starting to have a direct influence on how money is spent on their behalf. Now at least a third of the funds arising from so-called ‘Section 106’ planning agreements with developers will be controlled directly by Neighbourhood Partnerships. We have long complained about the secretive way spending decisions were made by Council Officers without any consultation with the affected people. Neighbourhood Partnerships are here to stay and if you care about improving things in your area -pavements, cleansing, alcohol licensing, policing, parking and planning issues and the like. There is now a way in which these matters can be dealt with locally and real change effected without losing them in the black hole of the Council House bureaucracy. See page 7 for meeting dates of the Neighbourhod Forum and Partnership.

Hotwells & Cliftonwood Community Association 3 Charles Place, Hotwells, Bristol, BS8 4QW

tel: 0117 9291883

Typical Isn’t it ? - You wait years for a new bus stop….

Management Committee
Dennis Gornall (Chair) Brenda McLennan (Treasurer) Rosemary Stibbon Administrator Ray Smith Communications Mike Timmins Open spaces Stephen Perry vacant CHASE Anthea Bruges Community Links


Merchants Road

Mardyke inbound

Community News
Hotwells Pride of Place
The opening of the New Museum of Bristol in July will include an exhibition about each Neighbourhood Partnership area, put together by people in those communities themselves. We have asserted our right not to be bundled up with Clifton and will resist the easy option of pinning pictures on display boards. We in Hotwells are going to do digital media. We don’t know how yet but if anyone has skills we could use please be a Good Fairy now and help us bring our unique (and oppressed) neighbourhood to life for the thousands of expected visitors. Contact Ray Smith ( plete the course using just the momentum generated by the initial down hill run. Consultation has been minimal and HCCA trustees are concerned that no information has been offered about ongoing maintenance or identifying a user group to ‘take ownership’ of the facility. However, if that can be clarified we would support it as a worthwhile project from the Cycle City budget. (application ref: 11/00668/ FB).

green light
from Transition Hotwells & Cliftonwood

The shared allotment is looking good, with broad beans, peas, garlic and onions all growing in the good weather. Looking further ahead there is likely to be local household participation in the 9th June "Solar Saturday", on domestic solar energy, planned by Bristol Green Doors. A sustainability session was held as part of the Neighbourhood Partnership "Better Clifton and Cabot" event. Participants apparently inspired to investigate increasing home insulation and reducing plastic bag use. Support has been provided for the "Green Randall Road Challenge" - a series of neighbourly chats, open homes/gardens, film showings and pledges to increase sustainability in Randall Road. Projects include secondary glazing and herb-growing without a garden. Campaigning against the proposed "palm oil" electricity plant for Avonmouth continues. These plants should not receive renewables subsidies as they are more environmentally damaging than using natural gas! You can add your voice by writing to Chris Huhne at Department for the Environment and Climate Change ( One of us attended the inspiring talk at the Watershed in March by New Economics Foundation researcher Nic Marks about measures of progress which are more realistic than GDP. One is the "Happy Planet Index" comparing levels of well-being (length of life, reported satisfaction etc) and CO2 emissions in different countries. The UK comes in at 74, 30 places behind the Netherlands. More information from and If you would like more involvement with Transition Hotwells and Cliftonwood e-mail:, or come to one of the monthly "Lion" sessions.
Richard Hancock

Two Chairs run for the loos
Sarah Gornall, Chair of Trustees at St. George’s Bristol, is running in Bristol’s 10k race to help raise money to improve the public loos at St George’s. Sarah says “I’ve never run a road race before, so it’s a case of sustained hard work till May 15. The range of music at St George’s is amazing – and we’d like to improve facilities for our valued audiences. We need to raise £50,000 for all the improvements we plan to make this year, so my aim is to raise £3,000 or more by setting myself this personal challenge.” If you are interested in music, please sponsor me and tell your friends to do so too.” “If you’re a keen runner, join me on May 15th and get your friends and colleagues to sponsor you. Dennis, our HCCA Chairman, is already out there training with Sarah and will be helping to raise money. It’s all in aid of improving the public facilities at St Georges; the biggest source of audience complaints at this fantastic world class concert venue right on our doorstep. Donations can be made on-line at or direct to St. George’s, cheques endorsed on the reverse for Chairwoman Runs.
Smart seats, real-time information displays, raised kerbs and an end to that ugly tin shed. Enjoy your share of a £70 million investment in bus travel, It might be the last for some time. All country services and the BCC supported 500, 586, 587 buses now stop at the new Mardyke. Our bus shelters are but 3 out of 81 new shelters and 27 real time displays along the A370 ‘showcase’ route as well as numerous minor road and pavement improvements.

New cycling development
Confirming this area as an important hub for cycling in the City, the Council has submitted a planning application for a ‘Pump Track’ in the space between Brunel Way and allotments just a pedal turn or two away from the end of Ashton Swing Bridge. Pump tracks are circuits of humps and bumps for mountain bikes, formed by landscaping a semi-natural surface. If designed properly, they allow a rider to com-

layout of proposed ‘Pump Track’

....then 3 arrive together!

Mardyke outbound


Do we need a Community Centre?
For 25 years up until 2001, your Community Association operated a successful community centre at what is now Hope Chapel. As well as various clubs and classes meetings and local-brewed entertainment, for much of that time it offered a programme of professional music and theatre which earned Hope Centre a reputation as a performing arts venue far beyond our immediate neighbourhood. Before we get too dewy-eyed about past glories, it is worth pointing out that Hope Centre flourished in an era when the Government paid many voluntary sector organisations to employ people. It also attracted grantaid for maintaining the building from Bristol City Council and money from South West Arts for the shows that were promoted; all sources of funding that are nowadays either non-existent or extremely hard to attract if you do not operate in a socially ‘deprived’ area.

What we miss without one
Undoubtedly the neighbourhood lost a great asset when Hope Centre closed. The number of community-sponsored events and activities declined; largelydue to the lack of a suitable venue. It is difficult even now to arrange meetings of more than a handful of people anywhere in Hotwells or Clifton. The annual Hotwells Pantomime, which began life as a fund-raiser for Hope Centre only survives because Hope Church is generously prepared to tolerate having its building overrun for a week once a year.

Is a community centre still relevant today?
In spite of the difficulties, many people feel there is a Hope Centre shaped hole at the heart of this community and would love to see a new ‘facility’ of some kind, operated by and for local people. Somewhere that could be used by groups wanting to meet and people wanting to learn or have fun. However, the world has changed since the days of Hope Centre and we probably need to think about a new model for a community building. Do people still want to go to small scale theatre shows in Hotwells with nearby Tobacco Factory and the The Brewery filling that niche so successfully? Fewer people are prepared to turn out for public meetings when most of that networking role has been taken over by the internet. We mustn’t forget, also, that many of the people who threw their energies into creating and sustaining Hope Centre are now retired or moving towards retirement. Is there a new model for a community centre that will capture the imagination of a younger generation prepared to put in the effort to make it work?

A new model for a community-run building
Rather than a large public hall, perhaps a more flexible range of smaller spaces would be more useful, where clubs and classes could afford to operate for a realistic charge, including activities for older people and teenagers. This might be combined with a bar, café or shop operated to provide an income to maintain the building and provide a core centre for social life that is open most days and evenings. A heritage exhibition or art gallery might bring in visitors from a wider area. With care, we could arrive at a formula which encourages more people to find entertainment and relaxation locally in the neighbourhood and complements, rather than competes with existing local shops, pubs and restaurants.

Some questions to ask of you
Whether you are someone who’s lived here for years or relatively new to the area, a family with children, a couple or a one person household; if it were possible to set up, would a community building work? What should it be offering? How do we make it financially sustainable with little or no public funding? Would it actually help to improve life for people in this neighbourhood? This is not an entirely theoretical debate. Your Community Association could work actively to make something happen if it seems likely to receive broad support. Your views are critical. It would be good to hear them and publish some of your ideas in a future edition of this newspaper. Please take a couple of minutes to complete a short questionnaire at: return by email to or print and post to 3 Charles Place, Bristol BS8 4QW


Open Spaces
Friends of Brandon Hill
Brandon Hill is one of Bristol’s most dramatic open spaces. All the more important for being located in the heart of the City and the nearest ‘green lung’ for many people in Cliftonwood. There is an active support group for the Park and some interesting projects looking for your support. Renovation of the old bowling green area Friends of Brandon Hill have been working on a design for the renovation of the old bowling green area on Brandon Hill. After the completion of questionnaires, talking to people in the park, and receiving feedback from many throughout the community, it is apparent that they wish is to keep the only flat area on the hill available for as many activities for as many people as possible. An outline plan for improving the area has been produced based on the feedback received to date. (see details on page 7 of an open air ‘Midsummer Nights Dream’ in this space in May).

Panto fund can support local projects
The Hotwells Panto Committee is looking for bids from individuals/groups in the Hotwells & Cliftonwood areas for community projects. HCCA has already received £1180 towards running costs and a further £2000 is available for other projects. Grants were made out of last year’s Panto funds to: HCCA for running costs, Trinity Daycare, Puppet Place, money to provide local noticeboards and the cost of a special Newsletter. If you are interested, please send details of your project to Sue Otty (email or write to 6 The Polygon Bristol BS8 4PW by 31st May. Hotwells remembered at new Museum
The Hotwells Pantomime has been a feature of community life here for more than 25 years so Di Steeds has created this beautiful miniature treasure chest for installation in the new Museum of Bristol to commemorate the pleasure it has brought so many people both on stage and in the many audiences over the years. Look out for it when you visit after the Museum opens in July.

the old bowling green on Brandon Hill

Gromit Gardeners gather
We are still awaiting confirmation that the open space, on the corner of Cumberland Place and Granby Hill, has been formerly acquired by the City from the bankrupt Edward Ware Homes. Neighbours have got together to produce a sketch plan showing some alterations and improvements we would like to see. HCCA noticeboards should be showing this soon. It includes the part which the Council have temporarily fenced off, for safety reasons. We are arranging a meeting with Parks Department to discuss improvements and future management, including community involvement. We want to leave the Granby Hill end as a wildflower space. It is accidentally rich in wildflowers. So do look for flowers there through the summer. If you would like to get involved in managing this space contact Lynda Stahl. 0117 9291804

Community Orchard Would you like to be part of a city centre orchard; help with the planting and maintenance of the trees and benefit from the fruit of your labours? Friends of Brandon Hill are currently planning an orchard and looking for people interested in getting it up and running. We have secured some initial funding for the project. We intend to purchase trees over the next couple of months so they can mature over the summer. We are looking for help in determining species and varieties of fruit trees that will do well in the park. The planting is planned for November. Herb Garden More funds are being sought to create the herb garden. The first two meetings are planned for those interested in helping with the project on Tuesday 12th April and Tuesday 10th May at 18:30 next to the depot on Brandon Hill. If you have an interest in orchards or their produce and would like to be part of this exciting city centre project then please contact the Friends. Throughout the year Friends of Brandon Hill have regular volunteer days. The Friends help out with border planting, bramble bashing, pond clearing and other activities to make the Hill a better place. If you are interested in taking part on these days or would like to organise a group to help on Brandon Hill at times to suit yourself or your group please contact the Friends or speak to Darren the park keeper. or Fraser on 0791 901 5774.
Fraser Bridgeford

‘gromit gardens’ –next to Wallace Place (geddit?)


based at the Tobacco Factory, to bring a weekend of weird, whacky and wonderful events to the unyo usual setur ting of the Cumberland Piazza. Alongside the Art, we want to try out some of the ideas for i m proving this space in the longer term –creating a garden and a play area. For that we need your dia help! ry As we go to press the programme is still being developed but here are some of the things we hope to include:

da t We are teaming up this year with Upfest ( the live art exhibition e i n

Art Under the Flyover - June 4th-5th

pu t

th is

no w

Cardboard City
A recyclable installation by the local community, led by artists. A pile of cardboard boxes or homes for people in cities all over the world? This installation will be devised and created with members of the local community and school and create a striking impact, growing as the weekend proceeds.

Voices of the Pillars.


A composition of music/poetry/sound by Bob Walton & Elizabeth Purnell What have the 70+ concrete columns that support the flyovers seen in their time? Think of them as being like those huge sculpted heads on Easter Island, as silent witnesses to the life of the place, or see them as totems, or as the trunks of trees in a (concrete) jungle.

Pedal Power By Spoke n Chain
A 4-bicycle pedal powered PA and cinema system. Short films will be made during the event end then projected at The Create Centre Gallery from 15th June. Come and have a go! See for more details

Reflections of Hotwells
Video Projections by Anna Wilson Projected onto the underside of some of the flyovers will be moving images that reflect some of the day-to-day details of Hotwells. This piece explores the beauty and function of the area and it’s role as an entry to the city and a travelling through place. .

Piazza Planters
Large plastic containers will be scattered around the site. A chance for families and friends living locally to adopt a box and grow what you like through the summer. Swap and share seeds and plants with neighbours.

Urban Jungle Crocodiles
6 life-size crocs made from car tyres. They're goodnatured, love to give kids rides. Create a graffiti jungle theme around the crocs.

Pavement Art
A safe, supervised children’s area for playing and chalking pictures on the pavement and a larger area for adults to experiment with paint and chalk. Share your ideas for the area in paint, chalk, video or draw your own plans! All ideas and dreams are welcome. Size is not a limitation here!

Perspective of the Pillars
A painted pillar installation by the local community, designed by local artists. A selected set of these pillars will be painted to change the physical perspective. The grey anti graffiti paint that currently dominates the site will be subtly altered on each pair of pillars with the effect of retreating pillars advancing.

We have some support from the Clifton & Cabot neighbourhood Partnership but the budget for this is, of course, very limited. To make it happen we need volunteers to help as stewards, gardeners, rigging crew, litter pickers as well as people participating on the weekend to make it a really memorable community event and reclaim this neglected space as an asset for the neighbourhood. If you wish to exhibit or can help, contact Ray Smith on 0117 9297673 email or Anna Wilson

REMEMBER -YOU CAN ALWAYS CHECK FOR LATEST UPDATES TO EVENTS HAPPENING IN HOTWELLS AT: content/whats-on.html To submit entries to go in the diary please e-mail:


Events Diary
Apr 6thMay 24th Mon May 9th 18:00 when what Exhibition of Paintings by Samuel Miller Community Links Meeting Friends of the New Cut ‘Redcliff Evening Stroll’ led by Roy Gallop £1.50 Bristol 10K road race 12:0016:00 10:00 Christian Aid & Fairtrade Fair incl. Fashion Show at 14:00. Food,tea & coffee Clifton Rocks Railway Open Day (with vintage bus rally at Canons Marsh) HCCA Management Committee Midsummer Night’s Dream
The Lord Chamberlain’s Men

where CREATE Centre gallery 3, Charles Place, Hotwells meet outside Louisiana pub at Bathurst Basin (no need to book) City Centre & Hotwells Holy Trinity Church, Clifton Vale Sion Hill, Clifton (no children under 14) 3, Charles Place, Hotwells The Bowling Green, Brandon Hill

Thurs May 19:0012th 20:30 Sun May 15th Sat May 21st Sun May 22nd


Mon May 23rd Fri May 27th

19:30 19:30


NIC EIC REGISTERED T: 0117 927 3541 07799 252451

Box Office 0117 9020344 Adult £14.50 Child £8.50 May 28th— June 11th Sat-Sun June 4th5th Mon Jun 6th 11:0016:00 18:30 Paint Our World exhibition of art by street children in Kolkata, India Art Under the Flyover (see page 6 for details) Clifton & Clifton East Neighbourhood Forum Friends of the New Cut ‘Wildflower Discovery Walk’ led by Pam Millman £2 ‘Under the Flyover’ exhibition -Hotwells quest for green space Clifton & Cabot Neighbourhood Partnership Community Links Meeting CREATE Centre gallery

Cumberland Piazza

Clifton High School, College Road meet at Gaol Ferry Bridge (Cumberland Rd. end) (no need to book) CREATE Centre gallery

Alison Archibald & Associates
Registered with the British Chiropractic Association & the General Chiropractic Council
back and leg pain sports injuries neck shoulder and arm pain postural advice headaches free chiro checks ergonomic products available Perrin technique also available MEDICAL INSURANCE APPROVED

Thurs June 19:009th 21:00

June 15th—July 7th Wed June 18:30 29th Mon July 11th Sat July 16th 18:00

Jack’s Brasserie, Hannover Quay, Canons Marsh 3, Charles Place, Hotwells


Street Party—Cliftonwood & Southernhay Crescents
fun & Frolics—stalls & games— cakes & tea

Cliftonwood Crescent

Tel: 0117 929 8384
3, Charles Place, Hotwells
3 Dowry Place, Hotwells, Bristol BS8 4QL (also at Taunton 01823 412489)

Mon July 25th


HCCA Management Committee


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