News and views from north Bristol's urban village

Friday, 10 September 2010

So Much to Do....

Looking across the Broadmead Shopping Centre, ...Image via Wikipedia

Well, what a weekend, and how on earth are the good citizens of Westbury on Trym going to fit in the plethora of cultural events taking place across the city over the coming 48 hours?

For a start, there's the Bristol Doors Open Day, an annual chance to see the interior of some of the city's oldest and most interesting buildings.

My highlights from last year were the Redcliffe caves and the Roman villa at Lawrence Weston. Selective planning ahead, I discovered, is crucial to making the most of the day as it is impossible to do even a quarter of the fifty-plus historic venues in one day.

Locally, Elsie Briggs House is open , as is The Concrete House on the Ridgeway, a fine example of "classic modernism", if that's not too much of a contradiction in terms.

Other properties worth a visit, in my opinion, include the Pierian Centre in Portland Square - any house with an indoor well always gets my vote - and John Wesley's Chapel in Broadmead. The study and living quarters upstairs are a particular gem, all maintained in their original C18 style.

Retro-fitted onto the Open Doors Day is Bristol's first Green Doors weekend - a series of open homes where residents will be "showcasing ways they have made their homes more comfortable to live in, more energy efficient and cheaper to run." Sustainable Westbury is a bit less coy about the event's eco-agenda: the homes, according to SusWoT, have been adapted to "reduce energy and adopt low carbon living."

So, if you've always wanted to see a straw bale wall or find out how to build with discarded tyres, or if you have questions about how practical solar panels are in the suburbs, this is the event for you.

Westbury on Trym has several featured properties, including one very close to where I'm typing.

For those wishing to push the boat out a bit further, expand the envelope, think outside the box and entertain a significant paradigm shift in their political worldview, the Bristol Anarchist Bookfair could be just the thing. With sessions on GM Crops and Biofuels, Men Confronting Patriarchy, and Censorship and Free Speech, the event looks like the biggest yet. For the uninitiated, the session on What is Anarchism? looks handy. The best short summary I have read in answer to that question, from a market anarchist perspective, is found here. The event takes place from 10.30 to 6.00 at Hamilton House on Stokes Croft.

The Organic Food Festival, meanwhile, is taking place at the Harbourside (I know, that's come round quickly). Although I've never really recovered from the shock of having to pay for admission (it's £5 this year), the numerous free samples are universally delicious. A food celebrity of some fame, apparently, will be taking part. Go and buy.

Finally... Bristol's first community organised bike festival launches on Saturday with the start of the Bristol to Amsterdam charity bike ride, beginning at 10.00 from the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Should be all downhill from there.

Inevitably, the event has some support from the over-hyped and, in my opinion, ultimately disappointing Cycling City initiative, but let's not let that spoil the fun. There are over 100 cycle-themed events running over the two-week event.

A quick look to the top right of this blog will reveal a new poll. Vote now to reveal which event(s) you intend to visit this weekend.

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bsk said...

"Should be all downhill from there." - *groan*

Yes, there is a lot going on, but why can't it be spread around a bit?

Al Shaw said...

I agree. It seems that the second weekend in September has become the new bank holiday.

I guess that everyone now assumes we'll have a wet August and holds out hopes for an Indian summer in September.

bsk said...

spread in time rather than place.

bsk said...

Yes, but I've only been here since 2007 & it seems the weather is better in June!

Al Shaw said...


I feel sorry for families whose summer holidays have to be taken in August or late July.

Beware the Sheeple said...

Maybe a naive question - but why exactly is cycling city trying to promote itself using a cartoon sheep?

Al Shaw said...

Good question Shepple.

I reckon at least some of its £20 million+ budget was spent on brand consultancy...

Beware the Sheeple said...

Well who knows, it might even work, maybe there are just too many ovine identifiers around.

btw, when you feed google with the word trym, trym tales is first on the list. Do you have extra-strenth seo or what?!

Al Shaw said...

I must confess that I have been known to dabble in the dark arts of SEO.

However, let's not forget the groundswell of avid readers who turn regularly to Westbury on Trym's leading independent online community news source and, thus, raise it's google profile.

I thank both of you!

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