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Hotwells play park awarded funds for makeover

The dilapidated Charles Place Playpark has been awarded £40,000 towards refurbishment costs in a bid for funds made through our local councillors.

costs in a bid for funds made through our local councillors. equipment has been gradually disappearing

equipment has been gradually disappearing from the Charles Place playpark after being condemned by Council play officers

Hotwells only park was one of around 80 schemes bidding for a slice of the City’s £3.5m Parks capital fund. Around 40 projects were approved at a Council cabinet meeting in July. Chil- drens’ play facilities were given a high priority in the bidding process. The award follows another grant of £3,000 from our Neighbourhood Partnership, as reported in the last edition of ‘Hotwells News’. There is a chance that work on improving the patk could begin this Winter but we need your help in shaping the best facilities to meet the needs of the children in this community. See page 4 for details of how you can get involved.

Spring Garden flats plan rejected

Efforts to make this Hotwells pub a specialised music venue (Hotwells News— Autumn 2011) have not worked out and the sale of the premises by the pubco own- ers to a developer was inevitably followed by a controversial proposal to convert it into 9 apartments. This has been thrown out by Bristol planning department. Many grounds for rejection were cited, including loss of a community venue, over- intensive and damaging extension of the building, impractical parking arrangements and loss of privacy for neighbours. It seems that any commercially viable future for the building is going to be hard to achieve. The Spring Garden had the best ‘upstairs room’ for hire in Hotwells. Should we be doing more to save it for community use? Find out more about the fascinating history of the pub on page 5.

out more about the fascinating history of the pub on page 5. Hotwells Summer of flower
out more about the fascinating history of the pub on page 5. Hotwells Summer of flower

Hotwells Summer of flower power

The summer weather may have been disappointing but the campaign to add more colour to our neighbour- hood has not flagged. Amongst the many initiatives, a special thank you to Janey Robson, assisted by Helena Kowalski. They managed to get 50 new window boxes installed around the neighbourhood and Brandon Hill this year, as well as new half barrel planters on Cum- berland Piazza. The picture shows planting by the car park in Dowry Place which is also Janey’s work. We now turn our attention to the winter season and a determined effort to plant new trees at Cumberland Piazza. See page 5 for ways you can help.

Autumn 2012
Published by Hotwells & Cliftonwood Community Association, 3,Charles Place,
Hotwells, Bristol, BS8 4QW



Meet the mayoral candidates

Local democracy is like every- thing else –use it or lose it! Our Chair, Dennis Gornall has set up an opportunity for eve- ryone to come and meet the Mayoral Candidates in an open hustings meeting on Monday 29th October, 7pm at Holy Trinity Church. We have done our best to com- municate with all the candi- dates and hope that many of them, will be there on the night to tell us of their plans for Bristol and to answer questions from the audience. This is a very important time for Bristol and we want to en- courage everyone to vote on the 15th of November. The event on Oct 29th is your op- portunity to see the candi- dates live and help form a judgement about who can best serve us over the next 4 years. You can also find de- tails about this election at If you think there are particular issues affecting our area which HCCA should take up with the new Mayor then please contact us and we will follow it up.



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

tel: 0117 9291883

Management Committee

Dennis Gornall (Chair) Brenda McLennan (Treasurer) Rosemary Stibbon Adminis- trator Ray Smith Communications Mike Timmins Open spaces Stephen Perry Helena Kowalski

Community News
Community News

Swivel Bridge plans stalled

Plans to reinstate the historic Brunel struc- ture that has been abandoned at the En- trance Lock since 1968 have, once again stalled. Reinstating it as a working cycle and pedestrian crossing of the Lock, financed by Sustrans and the Heritage Lottery seemed feasible but only one response was received to the tender for the work and this at around double the estimated cost. The Swivel Bridge Restoration Group would like to see the restoration plan reviewed but for the time being it looks like this is yet an- other disappointment in the long-running attempt to create a traffic-free and safe route across Cumberland Basin.

Piazza planning breakthrough

Following a lot of hard work we were finally able to submit a planning application for the landscape proposals at Cumberland Piazza in July. This has established that planning permission is not required for this part of the scheme because there is no ‘change of use’ involved. Further planning applications may follow to deal with other elements of the scheme but, for now, we are focused on finding the funds to start ‘greening’ the space (see arti- cle page 5). You can read the key proposal documents on line at:


Holy Trinity Church

We were sorry to hear that the vicar, Rev. Nick Crawley, is moving on to other work in the Diocese. He finishes at Holy Trinity at the end of September, and the church will then be seeking to appoint a new Vicar.

Missing bridesmaid

Recently we received the following email:

To Whom it May Concern. Greetings from Gawler South Australia. The purpose of this communication is to seek your help in locating a Lost friend. On 6th June 1959 My Wife & I Married at St. Mary’s Church, Shirehampton. Our Chief Bridesmaid was a lady by the name of PAT KING. For many, many year’s we have been searching for Pat. The only information we have is that Pat’s Parents at one time ran an Ironmongers Store somewhere in the Hotwells area. Denise-My Wife-& I Mi- grated here from the UK in September 1973. We were wondering if there could be someone “Out there” who may know of Pat. Keith FitzGerald If anyone can help Keith please contact the HCCA office and we’ll put you in touch.

Readers Rant I am writing after witnessing a car crash near the bottom of Clifton
Readers Rant
I am writing after witnessing a car crash
near the bottom of Clifton Vale.
Cars and huge vans are parking across
the entrance to Clifton Vale Close and
completely blocking our view to vehicles
coming up, and more worryingly, down
Clifton Vale. Each morning I, and many
others in my road, take a 'blind' chance to
drive on to Clifton Vale. The Council came
to the conclusion that there is no Parking
issue. There is an issue. Vans and cars
are parked dangerously across the cor-
ners of our street.
Someone will get hurt in the future, or
even killed. I have had a few near-misses
with cyclists coming down Clifton Vale. I
edge out as carefully as possible, but we
cannot hear cyclists. I believe that there
should be (at least) double yellow lines on
the corners of Clifton Vale Close or,
better still, double yellow lines between
the two entrances to Clifton Vale Close.
Lynda Fullerton.
How can we deal with this kind
of parking behaviour?
HCCA raised these concerns with our
community police officer who wrote to
clarify the issues:
‘Driving over the footpath is enforced by
the Police. The offence is absolute and is
dealt with by a fixed penalty ticket.
Where a vehicle is parked such that it
stops the flow of traffic then it is liable to a
fixed penalty and towed away. This is en-
forced by the police.
Vehicles which park in a position that ob-
scures visibility are not liable to be dealt
with for obstruction as it does not stop the
flow of traffic. I know there is an added
problem for cyclists coming down hill but
they have a duty of care to proceed at a
speed which will allow them to stop in a
reasonable time.
Vehicles parked on yellow lines are en-
forced by parking services.’
Nick Shaw
Community News

Dowry Square road improve- ments (again)

In mid June HCCA discovered that Bristol Communities were being given the oppor- tunity to bid for up to £100,000 towards local sustainable transport schemes. After discussion we decided to try and make a case for funds to improve the area around Dowry Square, broadly in line with our Traffic Strategy. Unfortunately we were only given until the end of July to make a bid for first round monies and a number of factors led us to think that a full scale scheme would not be possible in the time scale. Following discussions with Dowry Square residents it was decided to pursue an application to widen the pavement at the South end of the square and make it continuous with the pavements on Hotwell Road and Hope Chapel Hill by introducing “road tables” at the entrance and exit to the square. HCCA believes this will much improve the pedestrian access to and from Hotwells School which is frequently obstructed by parked cars and enhance the environment of the Square. Consultations on the detail will follow if we are lucky enough to be

on the detail will follow if we are lucky enough to be pedestrians frequently find the

pedestrians frequently find the route across the end of Dowry Square obstructed by cars

granted the required monies. We expect

to hear by the end of October.

HCCA intend to make a second round bid

in January next year to try and get the bus

stop moved onto Hotwell Road and make

associated improvements to the triangle of tarmac that lies immediately to the South

of the Square.

Dennis Gornall

Campaign launched to stop house in Avon Gorge

Dennis Gornall Campaign launched to stop house in Avon Gorge A surprising planning decision has allowed

A surprising planning decision has allowed

the development of a 5 bedroom house on

a prominent site above Rock House. This

house and garden are one of the most important heritage sites in Hotwells. The land is very unstable, has poor access and no services. CHIS and other groups strongly-objected to the plans and now there is a move to request a Judicial Re- view at the High Court because of the many irregularities in the process for granting permission. A new umbrella group called ‘Bristol Save the Avon Gorge Envi- ronment’ (BSAGE) is seeking pledges to meet the £5,000 cost of making the appli- cation, which needs to be submitted by September 20th. Ffi see:


Camp in My Garden!

If you happened to be passing our house in Hotwell Road over the weekend of the Bal- loon Fiesta, you may well have seen some strange globular shapes looming from the garden – don’t worry though, they weren’t crashed balloons, they were tents! A seren- dipitous internet search a few weeks earlier had turned up: a great web- site where people can offer up their gardens as mi- cro-campsites, thus providing accommodation in all sorts of unusual places, or perhaps just places that don’t have many camping facilities, like Bristol. We signed up and were immediately inundated with re- quests to stay over the Balloon Fiesta weekend. It was great fun, for us and the campers alike, and the experience leant the whole weekend a wonderfully festive atmosphere. We are looking forward to welcoming more campers to our garden, and to Hotwells, in the near future and we highly recom- mend the website to others too!

Jayne Marshall

to our garden, and to Hotwells, in the near future and we highly recom- mend the
green light from Transition Hotwells & Cliftonwood There have been some great events over the
green light
from Transition Hotwells & Cliftonwood
There have been some great
events over the summer, includ-
ing "Big Green Week" in June and
the "Bristol Cycle Festival" in July.
Big Green Week included an in-
spiring talk from Julia Davenport,
founder of the renewable electric-
ity company Good Energy. Good
Energy are campaigning with
Friends of the Earth to make the
government's "Energy Market Re-
form" open the market to small
independent clean local suppliers,
rather than dominated by the pol-
luting, and mainly foreign, "Big 6".
Y o u
c a n
s u p p o r t
v i a
35921.html - only takes a few
minutes - and read more about
t h e
c a m
i g
h t t p : / / f o r u m . f o e . c o . u k /
c a m
Bristol Cycle Festival included a
stimulating talk at CREATE by
Cliftonwood resident John Grim-
shaw on 3 new routes in Bristol.
Other events over the summer
included the share launch for Bris-
tol Energy Co-operative, who now
have photovoltaic panels on com-
munity buildings, and prepara-
tions for the launch of the “Bristol
Pound” in September.
author of ‘green light’ column Richard
Hancock with solar thermal panel
If you would like to learn more, or
keep in touch with with other sus-
tainability activities in Bristol, con-
tact Richard: rjt_hancock .to join the the
Transition Hotwells and Clifton-
wood mailing list, or come to one
of the "Lion" meetings - dates
listed on the HCCA website.


Charles Place Playpark—help with the makeover!
Charles Place Playpark—help with the makeover!

You will have noticed that the play equipment has been gradually disappearing. This is because it has been condemned as unsafe after regular inspec- tion. The equipment is 18 years old. The Council has recently awarded £40,000 to refurbish the park but we need your help to get it right.

refurbish the park but we need your help to get it right. Are you a parent
Are you a parent or guardian or grandparent with children who use the park? (or
Are you a parent or guardian or
grandparent with children who
use the park? (or might do if it could
be improved)? We need your ideas
for developing the site. We would
like to form a support group to main-
tain an interest in Charles Place,
now and after it is refurbished so we
can devise the best possible scheme
and make sure it is looked after and
improved in the future.
Work could start to improve the park early next year
(2013). So it is important to know what users would
like to see there:
Can you take a couple of minutes to
complete our online survey?
✪ What age group do we see as being the main users?
✪ What kind of play experience do we want to provide? (eg.
climbing, swinging, bouncing –rather than proposing specific
pieces of equipment at this stage).
✪ Should the fenced corridor that runs through the site be re-
tained? (this marks a public footpath but there is no legal
necessity for it to be there. It is likely that the current
wooden fence would not last as long as the new play equip-
✪ Do we retain the current landscaping/planting on the site or
should this be modified?
Please register your interest in the park
and find out more about the plans as
they develop. Contact Hotwells &
Cliftonwood Community Association,
Charles Place, BS8 4QW.
Tel: 0117 9291883.
✪ What kind of surface should be used? The current
‘bouncy’ tarmac would need to be replaced. Bark chips (like
Greville Smyth play park) would be cheaper to install but
need more maintenance.
✪ Should the equipment be wood, steel or plastic? Wood
generally lasts about 10 years as compared with 15 for plas-
tic or steel.
Facebook: Charles Place playground
or go to
Is this Hotwells’ oldest building? Whilst not one of the grandest houses in Clifton or

Is this Hotwells’ oldest building?

Whilst not one of the grandest houses in Clifton or Hotwells the building known as the Spring Garden has an interesting history. It almost certainly dates from the late 17 th century and parts of it may be the oldest in Hotwells Deeds that link to the late 1600’s can be found in the Bristol Record Office. Dated Oc- tober 1732 is a document from ‘James Baskerville to Elizabeth Taylor, widow for mes- suage, garden & stable called Spring Garden’. A reference in the lease links to previous owners, including John Hooke, brewer, and in his will, dated 24 August 1688, he left the house and land to his mother. It was then passed on to Charles Saunders and Hugh Williams, cooper. James Baskerville purchased the Spring Garden on 26 May 1709. There is clear evidence of continuous occupation of the house and property from at least 1688. A fascinating plan for a garden for the house was drawn up around1730-40, and shows a terraced garden, with house and summer house, designed by John Jacob de Wilstar. This house had ground planted with vines and trees behind it (previously mentioned in the leases). There is, however no evidence that the garden was actually constructed although the current building does have a terraced garden. John Jacob de Wilstar’s

1746 survey of the manor of Clifton is one of the earliest maps to show a building on the site of the Spring Gardens. This map was part of the survey completed for the Merchant Venturers. Plans available in the Bristol Records Office also show that the building remained largely unaltered until 1929 when a new frontage was put on, the courtyard covered and incorporated into the new façade. Throughout its history the Spring has appeared in many newspaper articles for various reasons. In 1757 the London Chronicle recorded in October of that year: ‘Monday, died at his house at Spring Gardens, leading to the Hotwells, the celebrated Mr. Lee, remarkable for his skill in mathematics.’ He was clearly a man who came to take the waters in the hope of a cure and died at his lodgings in Bristol. In the 19 th century it was regularly used for meetings of political groups, ex-pat Irishmen and even coroner’s courts were held there. It truly was a community venue. The future of the Spring Garden is uncertain but as a community venue for around 300 years it must be worth preserving. Finally; how did it get its name? Almost certainly according a document of 1775 it was named after those ‘hanging gardens so remarkable for their early produce’ of fruit trees and vines that flowered every spring.

Christopher Morris

Cumberland Piazza tree appeal

Our plans for a new clump of around 10 trees on the North side of Cumberland Piazza will be a significant

contribution to the large-scale ‘greening’ of this difficult site that was, far and away, the most popular aspira-

tion of people who took part in our consultation.

This will be a major statement about our new vision for this space as a park and amenity for people using it or walking and

cycling across it

scale and soften the impact of the road system on the space below.

The problem is that tree pits need to be dug through the tarmac and rubble of demolished buildings and we need big and ro-

bust trees to survive in this difficult terrain; so the work is going to be expensive. We hope to persuade the City Parks Dept.

Our idea is that the trees will eventually grow above the level of the flyover, compete with it in terms of

to bear some of the cost of the trees but we need another source of

funds to cover the cost of planting. We are therefore launching an ap-

peal for £10,000 to make the first permanent and positive change to

Cumberland Piazza in 40 years. The timescale is tight, because the trees

will need to be planted before next Spring.

Even if you are unable to help finance the planting we will still need a

volunteer team to take on watering and monitoring of the young trees.

You can help to make the Piazza greener

Donations to the Piazza Tree Campaign of any

amount you can afford will be much appreciated.

Donate at least £50 and claim a year’s free sub-

scription to the HCCA 500 Club (worth £12) and

be included in monthly draws to win prizes of

£250 or 4 x £25. If you already have a 500 Club

subscription you can double your chance of win-


If you, your family or your organisation can spon-

sor at least £500 towards the cost of establishing

a tree, we can plant it with a plaque as a perma-

nent dedication.

Please make contact if you can help.


help us to transform this … into this
help us to transform this
… into this

illustration courtesy The Landmark Practice


Events & Reviews
Events & Reviews
Events & Reviews ‘West Bristol Arts Trail Oct 13th & 14th Doors will once again be

‘West Bristol Arts Trail Oct 13th & 14th

Doors will once again be flung open across Clifton, Hotwells and Red- land for the West Bristol Arts Trail. Now in its fifth year, the Trail pre- sents an opportunity to take a step inside the studios and homes of the many artists working in the local area, in a celebration of the creativ- ity that for most of the year exists

only behind closed doors. Douglas Henderson, Chair of the committee, describes the Trail’s aims: “We do not promote arts in the sense of having an artistic policy. Our Trail is open to all and artists are not se- lected in any way. The artists thus range from the pretty full- time professionals to amateurs who ‘do’ art for fun.” Accordingly, visitors to the Trail can expect everything from 2D and 3D textile art, to sculptural pottery, figurative and ab- stract multi-media paintings, illustration and photography. The Trail incorporates over one hundred artists, in homes and ven- ues throughout the area and also offers the opportunity to talk with many of the artists – professional and amateur - and to discuss their work. The Trail is a great community event, as Douglas says “It's al- ways a thrill to see so many people streaming into our house and thronging the streets of Clifton Village, not to mention Hotwells, Cliftonwood and Redland.” The area’s cafes and bars will also be on hand to provide re- freshment stops. Free site maps, with full details of all venues and artists, will be available in mid-September from libraries and local shops. The Trail’s website also has a full list of artists and venues, as well as a downloadable Trail map. There are other special events planned to coincide with the Trail too so keep an eye on the website as the date approaches. 13 th and 14 th Oct, 11am – 5pm Jayne Marshall

Artist Profile—Alex Rotas

Alex Rotas will be exhibiting for the West Bristol Arts Trail her arresting collection of photographs of veteran athletes competing in the Masters Games . This fasci- nating portfolio was collated with the aim of confronting perceptions of aging in sport. Alex describes her motiva- tion as, “A desire to challenge some of the assumptions associated with the social construct of ageing, assump- tions that link getting older with decline, passivity, in- creasing helplessness and physical and mental deterio- ration. Older athletes transgress these commonly held attitudes: they are by definition very physical and active,

focused, enthusiastic, joyful, and full of life.” As a dual- national, Alex herself used to play tennis for Greece . Two years ago, she became interested in imagery in sport and began studying photography under Rachel Sokal, who she describes as having taken her, ‘from a standing start to wherever it is I’m at now.” After the Lon- don Olym- pics, and the upcom- ing Para- l y m p i c s , there has been a


of interest in the Mas-

i c s , there has been a resurgence of interest in the Mas- t e






a m

e s

and Alex

has been enjoying a lot of attention, including an inter- view on BBC Radio Four’s Women’s Hour, so catch her

on the Trail this October while you still can!

Alex Rotas - Photographer, Venue 16 – 5 the Polygon


Hotwells, Cliftonwood & Clifton Local History Society

7.15pm at CREATE Wed. October 17th

Mike Taylor will talk about his new book written with Maggie Shapland

Bristol’s Forgotten Coalfield— Bedminster

This tells the fascinating history of the Bedminster coal mines and includes memories (some horrific) of the miners and their families.

Thomas Austin –known in Clifton as ‘Old Stick Leg’

Also latest news about the develop- ment proposal above Rock House Memories of local people and ‘treasures’ admission £3.50, including glass of wine or a soft drink

admission £3.50, including glass of wine or a soft drink ‘Ghostbusters’ packs them in at Open

‘Ghostbusters’ packs them in at Open Air Cinema

Now an eagerly-awaited annual institution in Cliftonwood, the open-air film show in Ar- gyle Place park attracted the largest ever audience of 350 people on a fine September evening. With sponsorship and money donated at the gate, the show made a profit of £400 for improvements to the park. Congratulations to all the organisers and volunteers who helped to make it such a brilliant event.


The Panto writers' group would welcome new writers to join the team. No qualifications are required, except that you need to have been to (or have taken part in) a Hotwells panto performance. Any new writer will be paired with an experienced one!

The first meeting is on Sunday 7th October at 10am. If you are interested, please email our Producer, Amanda Webb on

Events Diary
Events Diary





Sun Sep


Harvest Festival Service

Holy Trinity Church


Mon Oct


Clifton Neighbourhood Fo- rum

Clifton High School


Sat Oct


Barn Dance bar & snacks, tickets £7/£5

Holy Trinity Church


Wed Oct


Hotwells Cliftonwood & Clifton Local History Society

CREATE, Smeaton Rd


Mon Oct


Clifton & Cabot Neighbour- hood Partnership

The Pavilion Hannover Quay (above Jack’s Brasserie)


Mon Oct


Local hustings meeting with Mayoral Candidates

Holy Trinity Church


Tue Nov


Hotwells & Cliftonwood Com- munity Association AGM

Holy Trinity Church


Thu Nov


Election of Bristol Mayor and Commissioner of police

polling station at Holy Trinity Church


Wed Dec


Harlequin Singers concert

Holy Trinity Church


Sun Dec


Carol Service with Bristol Brass Consort

Holy Trinity Church



Party tables for (free!) hire

A reminder that we have a number of large folding tables for use at community events. These are 1800 x 750mm and fold in half to fit in a car. There are also some A-boards you can use for advertising events. For further information ring Mark Tucker on 0117 9294646

For further information ring Mark Tucker on 0117 9294646 The Galley cafe -a welcome new face
For further information ring Mark Tucker on 0117 9294646 The Galley cafe -a welcome new face

The Galley cafe -a welcome new face on Hotwell Road

Romany Roman, has reopened 133 Hotwell Road, Hotwells as ‘The Galley’, a friendly café-cum-restaurant. She is

putting her own stamp on it with comfy seating and an eclectic collection of old maps. There’s a great smiling wel- come for all ages. Talking to Romany, it was clear that she wants to find out what her customers want to make their visit enjoyable. Her recipe certainly seems to be working: all the

customers were smiling. I had an excellent cup of coffee and a piece of delicious (and generously sized) walnut and coffee gateau. Romany makes all her own cakes. There’s a mouth-watering selection to choose from at great prices too. She uses, locally grown and organic produce as much as possible in all her recipes. Even the jams and chutneys are home made.

The Galley is open from 9.30am – 2.30pm (9.30am – 6.00pm from October), serving Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch. Special functions can be catered for:

Most recent was a 40 th birthday party with 8 courses of fine dining. There’s a bar and a Live Music Licence if needed. see:

There’s a bar and a Live Music Licence if needed. see: . Tel: 01173 291

Tel: 01173 291 606 or 07812 385 652

Rosemary Stibbon


Local Services
Local Services
CelebratingCelebratingCelebrating 555 years!years!years! Winner of Bristol’s best restaurant in the Bristol Good Food
CelebratingCelebratingCelebrating 555 years!years!years!
Winner of Bristol’s best restaurant in the Bristol Good
Food awards
Awarded 2 AA rosettes in 2012 & featured in the Good
Food Guide 2012
The Pump House, Merchants Road, Hotwells, Bristol, BS8 4PZ
0117 9272229
Bristol, BS8 4PZ 0117 9272229 YogaYogaYogaYoga provides time for stillness in a busy


provides time for stillness in a

busy world

Gentle Class

Thursdays from Sept. 13th,

11.00-12:30 at Clifton Library,

Princess Victoria Street

Call Em Sawday to book a place

0117-9738213 or 07833751235

0117-9738213 or 07833751235 0117 973 7132 JJJJ HHHH
0117 973 7132
0117 973 7132


BA (Hons) DO MRO


39 Oldfield Road Hotwells BRISTOL BS8 4QQ

Tel: (0117) 927 2100


Now taking bookings for Christmas lunches
Now taking
bookings for
39 Oldfield Road Hotwells BRISTOL BS8 4QQ Tel: (0117) 927 2100 8 Now taking bookings for