Pill to Sea Mills – with an added grass fire

One of the walks I’ve repeated is from Pill, over the Avon via the M5 road bridge and down the river to Sea Mills.  I first walked this with Tracy Homer in August last year, and then again in November, but I really wanted Vik to see it too, because there is just so much to see.  It takes in some really interesting spaces, especially the industrial ones, and it’s seeped in history – but this time it got very dramatic, as we got to see one of the impacts of the heatwave from closer than I even thought I would.

Here’s the map of our walk, from 5th August 2018:

An album of (a lot of) my photos – mouse/swipe over the first one to start the slideshow, or click through to the album

Fighting the Sea Mills grass fire

…and here are Vik’s gorgeous photos from her holga and deliberate double exposures from her Fuji PET – hopefully you can start the slideshow below, or click through for her album.

Folly

I’ve got some specific photos, some soundscapes and a mini film below, with thoughts on some of the things we saw, if you want more…

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A shady heatwave walk

It was bad enough walk-commuting in the heatwave without melting, let alone walking for fun,  but luckily exploring the water means there are a lot of shady walks.  On 24th July, Tracy Homer and I took the bus out of the city to walk and talk, from Abbott’s Pool, down through Paradise Bottom and along the Avon back into Bristol.  Here’s where we walked:

and my flickr album of photos from the walk:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abbot

So where did we go?

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Bristol ferry trip down the New Cut

This summer, I experienced something that was legitimately one of the very best things I’ve done in Bristol, and something I’ve longed to do for years – I went on the Bristol Ferry trip down the New Cut, to Netham Weir.

This is a rare trip anyway, as the Bristol Ferry Boat Company only run a couple of these a year, but for the last year they haven’t run them at all, as Ashton Avenue Bridge was covered in scaffolding for the Metrobus works.  In the past I’ve only seen these trips after they happened, but for the 6th July expedition,  I booked my tickets early, and persuaded some friends to come too – my good friend Matt Gibson, Charlie Revelle-Smith of Weird Bristol fame, and landscape architect Wendy Tippett, who I podcasted with last year about the Sylvia Crowe landscapes of the Cumberland Basin, and her architect husband Andrew.

Here’s the map of our trip:

and my album of photos – click through, or mouse/swipe over the first photo below, and hopefully you’ll see a slideshow.  I took a lot of photos, so I’ve written about them as well below…

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If you want to know about the New Cut, before I start, check out my podcast interview with Roy Gallop of the Friends of the Avon New Cut, who told me about the history of this very special part of the Avon.

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Exploring the source(s) of the Avon

Back in June, the lovely Matt Gibson took Vik and me for a roadtrip, to explore various sources of the Avon – Wor Well, where the Tetbury Avon starts; Joyce’s Pool, where the Sherston branch of the Avon sometimes begins; to see a long barrow; and around Malmsbury, where the two branches meet.  It was a lovely day, and I have photos, a sound and some thoughts.

Here’s the map of where we went:

and I have a flickr album of all the photos from the day, but I’ll have specific albums below too.  As always, mouse over the first photo to start the slideshows…

Wor Well, the source of the Tetbury Avon

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Autumn walks

I’ve got various collections of photos from walks I took this autumn, and never got around to blogging – exploring the Malago, and the Avon at St Anne’s and the Greenway.  Full photosets under title links, and if you mouse over the top photo, it should turn into a slideshow.

The Malago in Manor Woods Valley, October

I’ve walked along the Bedminster sections of the Malago, down through the parks, but for some reason I’ve never gone past Parson Street before.   This was a babywalk with Cee and her son, and Vik, and I loved getting to see this area I’ve looked at on maps, and passed in the car.  And it’s beautiful!

We walked through the parks from St John’s Lane, then down Hartcliffe Way, and then the sidestreets.  We’d passed the river as a little stream, overgrown with plants, a treecreeper on a tree as we turned into the park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stepping Stones

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Repeating a walk: November adventure from Pill down the Avon

It took me a long time to be happy with the fact that a lot of my practice involves repetition and re-visiting places to see how they look at different times.   I think part of this is doing a photography degree, where no project lasts more than 5 or 6 months, and each time it’s about doing something new.  But one of the things my final project – and even more, my post-uni life – taught me was the value of the everyday, and how re-visiting can add depth and value in ways that continually jetting off to exotic new places can’t.

When I walked from Sea Mills across the M5 motorway bridge and down the Avon with my friend Tracy Homer in the summer, we talked about how we should definitely take that walk again, and see how it looks in different seasons, and what else we can discover.  So last week we did it again, with changes – our November walk to see how the autumn looks.

Map, and click on the flickr album to see more photos, taken with my DSLR + 50mm lens and my Olympus XA2 35mm film camera.  Below I have a selection of my favourite photos and thoughts about the day, along with some mini films and some sounds I recorded.

Wind on the Avon

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Avon Stories podcast #1: Know Your Place, with Pete Insole

One of the things I’ll be doing through my Avon Stories project is to interview as many people as I can, about all kinds of different aspects of the River Avon in Bristol, from historians, to experts on different places along the river; to artists making work based on or inspired by it, to people who work on and around the river, whether directly, or just because that’s where they’re based.

And where better to start, than with Pete Insole, who runs the Know Your Place website for Bristol City Council?

Pete is a Historic Environments Officer, and Know Your Place is an incredible repository of information about the city.  It has maps dating back to the early eighteenth century, that you can overlay on top of each other, and on top of present-day maps and aerial photography, to get a feeling of how it has changed, but that’s just the beginning.  You can access layers of paintings, drawings, photographs and information from Bristol’s museums, archives and the Council’s departments, and see exactly where those photos are taken.  Or maybe you want to see where bombs hit the City in World World Two, or hear stories form Bristolians about how different parts of the city have changed.  And finally, on the Community Layer, anyone can add their own photos to the map, whether of the past or the present, enabling people to add their own stories to the City’s records.

Pete told me all about how and why Know Your Place was developed, how it has expanded across the whole of South West England, and how it helps us understand some of the key aspects of the city’s history, including, of course, the River Avon.

Listen here, or download it from Soundcloud, and you can sign up to the Avon Stories RSS and subscribe on iTunes, to make sure you hear all the future stories.

If you want to explore Bristol through Know Your Place, start here.  And if you want to see what else it contains for the wider West of England, the Know Your Place West website is here, with all sorts of excellent tutorials that will help everyone.  There’s also the Know Your Place West twitter to follow for regular information, tips and new updates to the website.

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