A few weeks ago, as part of the Docks Heritage Weekend, we took a coach trip around the Bristol Port sites at the Royal Portbury Dock and Avonmouth. I had no idea what to expect, except we wouldn’t be allowed to get off the coach, but it was free, and of course I was interested.
It was an interesting photography say, as the mini-coach didn’t stop, and had tinted windows which put a weird colour cast on everything. Plus window reflections are hard to avoid! But I have a flickr set, taken with my DSLR + 50mm lens, and my mobile phone (click the photo to see more).
It was really fascinating, especially in terms of spaces built for function, not design, and where space was not an issue. The two huge Avonmouth concrete buildings, for example, are standing empty because it’s cheaper and easier than taking them down, which seems so unusual in the context of Bristol.
Portbury is all about the rows and rows of cars, waiting to be shipped out, or shipped around the UK, but we also went through a huge grain storage shed, with pyramids of animal feed piled high. The Avonmouth side is bigger, with what feels like more diversity, but it was hard to tell – we went on a maze-y route that I couldn’t map in my head.
My favourite part was when we got out to the helicopter pad on the edge of Avonmouth, where the Avon meets the Severn. The driver did a very neat turn very close to the edge, which had us all gasping! I so wanted to get out and take photos – it’s always a surprise how close Wales is, and I’ve never seen the junction between the rivers. It made me want to take a boat trip out into the Severn – to Steep Holm maybe?
It’s something I’d absolutely recommend to anyone, if you have the chance to do this. It was such unusual landscapes, and structures, and the commentary was fun (unintentionally hilarious in places too!). So much to enjoy, and for free? Perfect!