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Opposition mounts as Rapid Transit plans emerge

As details emerge of the proposed Rapid Transit route, it looks likely that real damage will be done to Cumberland Road and the historic harbour. The original aspiration for all modern vehicles has been lost. Most of the buses using the route will be depressingly familiar, diverted from other routes including the Long Ashton Park and Ride. BRT2 is one of 5 transport packages proposed by the West of England Partnership and part funded by the Government. BRT stands for Bus Rapid Transit and the original idea was for some sort of segregated bus system utilising new comfortable and more environmentally friendly vehicles to provide express links into the City. Now, a requirement for Euro5 emissions (much lower than at present) has been quietly dropped, to allow existing vehicles. The result is looking more and more like a collection of existing bus routes diverted to make a cost/benefit calculation work. The route of BRT2 is the only one to run in our neighbourhood, crossing the old Ashton Avenue Bridge behind CREATE, along the Chocolate Path, the old Harbour Railway and Cumberland Road. The return route runs behind the M Shed museum, behind the steam crane, along the harbour railway line and out under the Cumberland Road bridge. So objection number one is running dirty, intrusive, double deck diesel buses through one of the most popular promenading and tourist areas in the City. Objection two concerns the residents of the eastern end of Cumberland Road who stand to permanently lose most on-street parking to provide road space for vehicles to pass. One alternative being proposed is to simply re-route along Hotwell Road. Given the recent bus route improvements, this would have minimal cost and retain a good service in the populated area of Hotwells and Cliftonwood. As things stand, we are likely to lose most of our existing bus routes. What should concern us all is that the Government How Harbourside might look after the BRT2 route is opened funding is fixed. As well as an increased local contribution the councils will be responsible for 100% of any cost over run and any revenue shortfall from lower than forecast passenger numberst (the cost figures were calculated without any detailed engineering surveys being done). This is a hugely complex issue. You can find more information about the main objections at while the official site is Follow the Ashton Vale to Bristol City Centre via Temple Meads link. The scheme is subject to a public inquiry starting on May 22nd.
James Smith



There is widespread opposition to BRT2 along Cumberland Road. Possibly, most-affected are residents in the flats near Gaol Ferry Bridge whose current outlook of the waterfront will be marred by double-deck buses running past every few minutes. Louis Semple who lives in Perretts Court says they dont want to appear as NIMBIES but the feeling of opposition is pretty strong and many agree with the Stop BRT2 group that is campaigning to abandon the project entirely because It will not achieve its primary goal of addressing Bristol's transport problems and needs. Bristol Civic Society has taken a more moderate view but still believes the route of BRT2 should be diverted away from the waterfront by simply running it down Cumberland Road to meet the line from Hengrove at Bathurst Basin, thus avoiding the loss of the Harbour Railway and also expensive engineering works to the Cumberland Road railway bridge.

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

Hotwells, Bristol, BS8 4QW


Community News
Good News
Following our investigations into the missing play equipment in the Charles Place park (see last edition) a number of parents contacted us to say that they and their children missed it and would like it to be improved.

Not so good news

After a huge amount of discussion involving the Community Association with residents in Dowry Square and Chapel Row, the Councils plans to carry out bus stop improvements using money from the Greater Bristol Bus Partnership budget were abandoned, as the scheme ran out of time and money towards the end of the financial year. We believe the belated consultation resulted in a more practical scheme being agreed. Whether, if no objections had slowed up the process, the Councils proposal would have gone ahead (see last edition) we shall never know. But the result is that an opportunity to achieve a major environmental improvement to this desolate corner has been lost and seems unlikely to arise again in the foreseeable future.

Our first open Community Association meeting on March 12th was attended by many of the community gardening organisers of Hotwells & Cliftonwood and proved a really useful way of networking and sharing skills and experience. The next meeting will hopefully have someone from May Gurney on hand to talk about developments in refuse collection and recycling in our area and answer your questions (we are anticipating doorstep plastics recycling to begin sometime this year). There will also be an opportunity to discuss plans for reviving the Cumberland Piazza open space (see pages 4-5 ) which are soon to be submitted for planning approval. These meetings are an opportunity for you to raise issues that affect our neighbourhood. If we dont have an immediate answer we can pass on any concerns to our City Councillors, police and Neighbourhood Partnership. The next meeting will be in the upstairs room at the Nova Scotia on Wed May 16th at 19:30.

Charles Place park as it looks now

We talked to the Council Play Officer (yes there is such a thing) and his advice was to try to raise some money to employ a specialist to develop a new design for the space that would be up to date and more attractive for users, rather than just replace pieces of equipment on a like for like basis. On the strength of this we applied to the Clifton & Cabot Neighbourhood Partnership and were granted 3,000 for this preparatory work. If you would like to be involved in the planning for a new park then please make contact. We want all the ideas we can get!

Jam Jar Corner cant Hotwells do better than this?

Help Plant up the Piazza

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

tel: 0117 9291883

Management Committee
Dennis Gornall (Chair) Brenda McLennan (Treasurer) Rosemary Stibbon Administrator Ray Smith Communications Mike Timmins Open spaces Stephen Perry Helena Kowalski

Anyone who walks or cycles through the Cumberland Piazza or Oldfield Place cannot fail to have noticed the news from Janey Robson & Helena Kowalski display of Spring flowers. These flowers have brought a real splash of colour into Hotwells. We have had feedback that residents, children on their way to school and visitors have all been enjoying the beauty and the fragrance which wasnt there before people took matters into their own hands. The flowers were planted by volunteers last autumn. Many thanks to those who gave up their time on a cold grey Saturday in October and got down and dirty for everyone this Spring. On Sat 9th June 2012 we will be replanting the bags and creating some new borders. Please come to the Piazza between 11am - 4pm if you would like to volunteer to help us with the transformation. Beginners welcome. Wear gardening gloves if possible. For further information email We are also looking for sponsors able to pay for planters for the piazza, a half barrel with integral water reservoir would cost 95.

Summer Flowers for Your Home

Last year, the residents of Cliftonwood grew flowers in window boxes and hanging baskets, along Ambra Vale East. This year, we are expanding the idea into more streets and we have secured the help of Bristol Parks Nursery to provide a special deal on window boxes and hanging baskets for residents. All prices quoted inclusive of VAT.

Community News
Trinity Day Care
Trinity Care Service, based in Trinity Church hall and providing Day Care for older people in Hotwells and the surrounding areas, is still alive-albeit that we have had to reduce our operating days to Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Bristol City Council Health and Social Care cancelled our block funding and replaced it with personal budgets for older people which has meant that our funding has been cut in half and many of our service users, including some aged over 90, no longer qualify for funding to attend the Centre which has supported them over the years and helped them stay "young". But all is not lost. Around Christmas it started to become apparent that our service users and the community recognised the value of the service we provide. The Council listened and began to genuinely support us through a transitional process. At the same time, we have been stunned by the generosity of local charities and individuals which have ensured that we now have the necessary reserves to carry on. So, thank you everyone for your wonderful support. We are not totally out of the woods. We must increase our client numbers. We must improve and extend our service so that it is sustainable on an ongoing basis. More change may be necessary and we will review our position in the summer. We are very short of volunteers- so if you would enjoy working with older people in a warm lively friendly atmosphere (free lunch provided!) give manager Mark Griffiths a call on 0117 983 8878. Also, we need more local input on the Management Committee and are in particular short of anyone with Health & Social Care, IT, legal or marketing backgrounds. If this is you, do give Andy Murray a call on 0117 973 4281.
Andy Murray

green light
from Transition Hotwells & Cliftonwood

There have been encouraging developments and enjoyable events over the last few months, with more planned. Friends of Brandon Hill volunteers planted fruit trees in the new community orchard, with contributions from the children of St. George's Primary School and QEH. A herb garden is also being developed. The Festival way Ashton Court to Long Ashton cycle route link is going ahead, which will enable leisure riders to get into the countryside safely. Bristol Green Doors open homes weekend in March was a fun event, with a Cliftonwood home among those opening. More info on:

Cliftonwood House
The former University-owned property in Cliftonwood Road that reputedly, became Bristols most expensive house after extensive renovation, was reclaimed on April 1st from the squatters who invaded it in February. In the event, the legal process for eviction was accelerated when the occupants caused enough disturbance and damage for local residents to complain and police took action to clear it under anti-rave powers. The violent incident led to the closure of nearby streets and the deployment of more than 50 officers.

More good news

The HCCA has received over 2,000 from the Neighbourhood Partnership for the group working on the improvement of the green at the boundary of Ambra Vale East and Argyle Place (see photo in last edition). The money will be spent on essential treeworks, fencing and plants. Looking ahead, Bristol Energy Cooperative have a share launch on 19th April. There will be Festival of Transition events in May and the Bristol Pound launches in the same month. The "Big Green Week", including the Get Growing Garden Trail, will run in June If you would like to learn more, or keep in touch with with other sustainability activities in Bristol, contact Richard: rjt_hancock @ yah oo. to join the the Transition Hotwells and Cliftonwood mailing list, or come to one of the "Lion" meetings - dates are listed on the HCCA website.
Richard Hancock

24 window box with integral water reservoir + compost + a selection of summer flowers or 7 herbs for 8.50

30 window box with integral water reservoir + compost + a selection of summer flowers or 9 herbs for 10

16 wire hanging basket + compost + a

selection of summer flowers for 20

18 wire hanging basket + compost + a selection of summer flowers for 24

If you order a box or basket, our gardeners will give you the, compost and plants and help you to plant your own mini garden at the Piazza event on Saturday 9th June. This would be a great activity to do as a family and then to watch your flowers grow at home. If a whole street took part, the results would be stunning! ( we can learn from the residents of Pooles Wharf who have won several RHS awards for their gardens). If you would like a box or basket but are not able to plant it, then we can plant it for you (at the Piazza) for you to collect or we can deliver after the event. To order your boxes/baskets now email:

Cumberland Piazzaits decision time!

It has been over two years since your Community Association first highlighted the dis- disused toilet block used for graceful mess that is Hotwells largest open space and asked local people to help us storage and supplied with identify ways to improve it. Around 100 of you took the trouble to fill in a detailed power and water services questionnaire and we then produced an analysis of the most popular for events and site maintefacilities requested. nance and adapted to harWith the help of 10,000 from vest rainwater from roof the Clifton & Cabot Neighbourhood Partnership we started to develop a masterplan for improvement which we hoped would be acceptable to both local people and the City Council which owns the site. With help from many sources including Roger Foster our architect, The Land- restore concrete base of mark Practice in Hope former caf for childrens Chapel Hill and lots of useful play or sculpture or suggestions from neighbours should we just demolish? and potential users, we have quite a detailed plan of what we think will work on the site. We are now putting this to everyone in Hotwells new seating here the sunniest and Cliftonwood for comment before submitting it to the Council Planning spot, or are there better ones? Dept. So now could be your last chance to influence the future of this important site! arrange rocks on site in a geometric pattern in a space that can be explored by Apart from the community wishlist, we have been influenced by other conchildren and enjoyed by adults as well straints in seeking a planning solution: The Cumberland Piazza is part of an important scheme devised by landscape designer Dame Sylvia Crowe in 1964. This is considered to have remove tarmac and lay grass, as heritage value which should not be casually destroyed without strong justiwell as extending existing beds and fication. improve quality of planting We know the original park, with elaborate equipment (including an ornamental fountain) that Sylvia Crowe designed was disowned by most people and under-maintained by the council. Whatever we produce now must meet the practical needs of our local community so that it will continue to be used and developed, as well as providing an attractive gateway to the City that all Bristolians can be proud of. We have to allow for maintenance access to the flyover structures by the City Highways Dept. The Piazza is also in a flood-risk zone, so getting planning permission for permanent buildings will be difficult. And of course -we have to be realistic about the cost of any improvements as well as the cost of maintaining an enhanced site in the current economic climate. Our plans landscape plan reproduced courtesy of Landmark Practice emphasise the use of inexpensive landscaping to make it a more attractive green space (the desire that proved nearly twice as popular as any other in our survey), with a low impact on the existing layout and structures. We then hope to introduce other components in a modular way, as and when funding becomes available. We hope the masterplan agreed by all stakeholders, which incorporates a small skate park, public art, multi-use games area and heritage interpretation panels will provide a framework for development, even if this takes several years to achieve. So please look at the plan. Our conclusions are not infallible and maybe you see problems that we have not anticipated. Perhaps you have a stunning idea that would work well. If so, please share it. We would particularly like to hear from younger people because we have identified the need for leisure facilities targeting 10-15 year olds computer generated impression of how the site might look after imwho are poorly-served in this locality. Are our suggestions right for provement (source: Landmark Practice) this group?

potential site for largescale art installation involving decorating pillars and ornamental lighting

additional tall trees planted through the existing tarmac (density still under discussion)

feature gateway at main entrance with dense shrub planting around

section of old junction lock gate set up as sculpture / interpretation panel

2 options to site a small wheels park for youg people which is preferable?

Council will not allow parking on site. Access for unloading and maintenance proposed here

subway needs to be properly maintained or filled-in. Which is preferred option?

possible site for portable community-run building but what exactly would it be used for?

improve cycle/pedestrian path to join up with restored swivel bridge over Entrance Lock. Possible site for panels explaining history of locks and basin

multi-use games area enclosed ball court for variety of games. This area is almost completely covered and could also be used for events and markets

How to join the debate

! ! ! ! !

You can contact the Community Association / 0117 9291883 If you would like to talk to one of the steering group members directly then phone the HCCA office and leave a message. If you would like to open a discussion with others about any aspect of the development then try our eforum page There is also a link to this from the HCCA website: Remember this is your park and we are genuinely open to considering any further suggestions, up until the point where a planning application needs to be submitted at the end of May. You can find more detailed planning documents at

Cliftonwood Cres. street partyJuly 7th Each year we empty Clifton Wood and Southernhay Crescent of vehicles and make the most of a car-free street for 24 hours. All residents from the Clifton Wood and Hotwells area are welcome to join us in celebrating being part of our community. As well as offering a fantastic play-space for children (and funinclined adults) to bring out their bikes, skateboards and scooters, the internationally acclaimed cherry-stone spitting contest and snail-racing extravaganza guarantee additional excitement and trophies for the winners. Badminbomb, Splat the Rat and Tug o War (on the Lion Green) add further dimensions for demonstrating physical prowess at these near-Olympic sports. All this takes place from 2.00 p.m. to a backdrop of a street dotted with various stalls (offering tea and cakes, tombola, DVDs, books, plants) and the mellifluous meanderings of an accordion player. As the afternoon progresses and the real-ale bar edges the tea and cake stall away from centre-stage, the accordion sounds morph into music from Mighty Rufus at 6.00 p.m. and feet start tapping on pavements beside the band. When the sun settles through the trees towards Ashton Court around 8.30, the locus of activity will move into the Lion pub, where our eldest resident, Joan Baker, ably supported by Andy Murray, will lead a rousing finale of old-time songs (and a few new ones), helping to raise some muchneeded funds for the over 60s club at Trinity Church.
Roger White

Local History Society

A good audience came to the last meeting of Hotwells, Clifton and Cliftonwood Local History Society in March and enjoyed being brought up to date with the excavations going on in the crypt beneath Hope Chapel. Chris Bond produced a find of false teeth set in plates of gold. A brief history of CliftonWood House, then occupied by squatters, was followed by another short talk by John Parke concentrating on the area round Jacob's Wells. Maggie Shapland provided a glimpse into the records of a local businessman and stories of local eccentrics were shared. These included Marion Roach's memories of her father - a Jack of all trades. The next meeting will be on Wed. Oct 17th 7.00pm for 7.30pm at the Create Centre.
Sue Stops

New project planned by Hope Church

Hope Community Church in Hope Chapel Hill is planning to help to support those in recovery from substance misuse, mental ill health or a life crisis event by working alongside existing agencies to offer encouragement and to promote personal growth and development. As part of our weekly programme we would like to be able to do small projects within the local community like small gardening jobs, rubbish removal from public areas or one- off small jobs that would benefit the local community or local residents. People joining the project on Wednesdays would be supervised at all times during their work. Everyone will be working on a voluntary basis. If you have any ideas for suitable projects for these volunteers please contact Gill Kerley

Clifton Rocks Railway

Volunteers will be opening up this forgotten Clifton curiosity in Sion Hill (next to the Avon Gorge Hotel) on May 13th for 15 minute guided taster tours of the top station that need no pre-booking. Its history covers the 18th century through World War II to the 1970s. Visitors will have an opportunity to book for one of the 2 hour hard hat tours that go all the way down to the bottom station on the Portway. Regretfully, children under 14 are not able to visit because of insurance restrictions.


provides time for stillness in a busy world
Gentle Class Thursdays from Sept. 8th, 11.00-12:30 at Clifton Library, Princess Victoria Street Call Em Sawday to book a place

BA (Hons) DO MRO

0117 973 7132


0117-9738213 or 07833751235

39 Oldfield Road Hotwells BRISTOL BS8 4QQ Tel: (0117) 927 2100

Events Diary
Sun May 13th Wed May 16th Sat May 19th Sun May 20th Sat Jun 3rd Sat June 9th Sat 9th-Sat 16th June when what where Top Station in sion Hill
(next to Avon Gorge Hotel)

10:00- Clifton Rocks Railway Open 16:00 Day 19:30 19:30 Hotwells & Cliftonwood C.A. open meeting Harlequin Singers concert Bristol 10K Run 12:00- Queen's Jubilee Community Lunch (bring and share) 11:00 Cumberland Piazza gardening day Bristol Big Green Week (see http:// for details) Bristols Biggest Bike Ride (see http:// bikeride for details) 19:00 19:00 14:00 Clifton neighbourhood Forum Clifton & Cabot Neighbourhood Partnership Cliftonwood Crescent Street party Bristol Harbour Festival see events/bristol-harbourInternational Balloon fiesta see events/bristol-international-

Nova Scotia (upstairs room) Holy Trinity Church

Holy Trinity Church garden Cumberland Piazza (under the flyover)




Sun June 17th


Clifton High School The Pavilion, Hannover Quay Cliftonwood Cres. Harbourside

Mon Jun 11th Tue Jun 26th Sat July 7th Fri 20thSun 22nd July Thu 9th12th Aug

T: 0117 927 3541 07799 252451


Ashton Court


The Hotwells Pantomime seems to get more surreal every year. This time (March 7th-10th) it was Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. An unpromising story to adapt to a topical Olympic theme you might think but the Panto team are always up for a challenge. Here a heavily disguised Em Sawday is participating in the camel races while (some of) David Brown provides the televised commentary well, you get the general idea. The Panto, provides a service to the community by keeping at least 100 disturbed Hotwellians of all ages off the streets for two months during rehearsals, but also raises funds for a community chest; providing small grants to neighbourhood organisations. The bar profits go to support the Community Association. Ray Smith

picture: Catherine Roperto

Local Services
moved. The Sui Generis team has moved. La'Vern, Andy, Steph, Adam and Georgia would like to invite you to visit them at:
Day Centre for older people. Tues, Thurs & and Fridays. Transport to and from the Centre. A warm and friendly atmosphere. Shopping. Home cooked meal. Tel: 0117 983 8878 Or just call in Holy Trinity Church Hall Clifton Vale

The Bristol Royal Marriott Hotel College Green, Bristol. BS1 5TA Call us on 0117 927 3389 to book your next appointment Free parking available. We look forward to seeing you very soon.

Open for dinner Friday and Saturday all year round