Brunel’s Bristol – R. Buchanan & M. Williams

B's B(Not discussed by the group but written in a personal capacity.)

This is a collaborative work by one of our members and another writer. (Our member has provided hospitality and counsel to many of several years).

There are loads of photos of things we now take for granted but are what makes Bristol what it is today – Brunel’s engineering feats: the Clifton Suspension Bridge, the Severn tunnel, Temple Meads train station and nearby-ish Saltash bridge. Also the ship SS Great Britain that sailed to and from the Falkland Islands before it became famous in Thatcher’s Britain – a ship which our member helped to bring home to Bristol where it has lots of visits every day.

Clifton is an inner suburb of the English port city of Bristol. Clifton was recorded in the Doomsday book as Clistone, the name of the village denoting a ‘hillside settlement’ and referring to its position on a steep hill. I am reminded of its glories when I travel home by bus from the south of the city. Brunel’s famous bridge towers above you as you pass by on the right.

There is mention of the famous Bristol riots of 1831. It has always struck me that this city is divided into segments in such a way that those of us who live on the post side of the city need never encounter the poor. In my previous city, you couldn’t get through to the posh bits without travelling through the poor bits. It made you aware. Many (most?) Bristolians try to live in blissful ignorance of ‘the other’.

There are lots of black and white photos which might well be otherwise unobtainable and which are well worth a look.

The book was published by the Bristol & West before it ceased to be a mutual and capitalism took over such noble ventures.

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