Sunday photoblogging: Boat, Bristol floating harbour

by Chris Bertram on September 28, 2014



Lynne 09.28.14 at 12:23 pm

I love the light in this photograph. It’s morning, right?


Kate 09.29.14 at 1:22 pm

Lovely photos as usual. The ones from the old blind school were particularly touching.

And Bristol? I arrived yesterday and took some photos of the locked derelict church at Castle Park. And some photos of “street” parking. Does one need a special sort of licence to drive in Bristol, or just nerves of steel?


Chris Bertram 09.29.14 at 3:56 pm

Is it so bad, Kate? I’m usually on a bike, so that comes with all the usual hazards, but I don’t think Bristol drivers are unusually aggressive.

Lynne: a bit later, iirc.


Kate 09.29.14 at 6:04 pm

Ah, but I’m from a country of wide open spaces and full width lanes in addition to parking lanes.

Bristol to me is a city of Luke Skywalkers in the deathstar trench. (The navigation aspect rather than the blowing-up part, I hasten to add…)


Dick Muliken 09.29.14 at 9:25 pm

That’s a dreadfully un-nautical way to make fast. So many lines is just about guaranteed to make for trouble should there be a need for casting off rapidly. There is messing about in boats, and then there is messing up with boats. I’ve done worse.


Alan White 09.30.14 at 2:13 am

The bird and meerkats are outstanding. I have a Canon dslr with an ef 70-200 lens but it cannot compare to what I get with my Canon sx50 with that awesome magnification. If you want to get close, the sx50 is incredible.


PJW 09.30.14 at 3:53 am

The gentle sag in the ropes reminds me of the power lines in your recent photo of the bull.


Bristol Resident 09.30.14 at 2:29 pm

It always feels odd to find one of the great liberal blogs online, one with a focus on US politics, has someone taking photographs of Bristol 0n it too. To answer this question;

And Bristol? I arrived yesterday and took some photos of the locked derelict church at Castle Park. And some photos of “street” parking. Does one need a special sort of licence to drive in Bristol, or just nerves of steel?

Bristol is the most congested city in the UK:

The buses are also operating on some pretty unsuitable roads (the bend next to the Academy near Lawrence Hill for instance, that has schoolchildren coming out onto a crossing that’s at the apex of a bend, which is too small for two lanes of wide traffic, but blind in both directions as you approach so large vehicles slow down and merge into each other) and there’s an incredibly selfish attitude to car ownership over social responsibility in the richer parts (above Hotwells, around Clifton) which means that much of the work traffic is fighting over a small number of central parking locations whilst blocking the buses.

Having grown up in Nottingham, which decades ago pedestrianised it’s city centre and put a tram line in instead, I still notice how horrible it is for traffic… and am amazed at the blasé nature of the people who live here, who blame the Council and local transport yet constantly reject any modernisation, or 3 cars or more taxation, or anything which addresses the horrendous traffic.

Anyway, about Castle Park; you’re looking at the medieval city centre there Kate. It was finally destroyed in World War 2, and that particular church was firebombed into the shell it is now in 1941. An interesting fact is that the Luftwaffe bombers used the railway at Temple Meads as the aiming point, but as the trigger to drop was the bomber in front of you dropping, so there was a slight reaction delay which meant the bombs drifted towards the city centre, roughly NW (the direction of flight from France), and you can see that most of the city in that direction now is post war… and if you have time, and visit the museum on Park Street, look at the columns at the rear, above the restaurant; you can still see shrapnel holes from where an explosive bomb fell through the glass, hit an aeroplane hung from the roof, and peppered the wall. There’s also a railway sleeper from Temple Meads itself still embedded in the park outside St Mary Redcliffe Church, quite some distance away…

Just make sure to forget the lessons of the Blitz and it’s effect on British morale when you leave though; after all what possible modern meaning could it have, eh?


Sasha Clarkson 09.30.14 at 5:07 pm

Bristol Temple-Meads: what a beautiful and evocative name for a railway station! I first heard it as a boy on Darlington station: the train from Newcastle to Penzance stopped on my platform when I was waiting for the King’s Cross train.

I imagined sunny fields and Doric columns. Even now, knowing the Templar connection and despite having been there many times, the name still evokes Elysian Fields in my mind: so Parkway must be like the Greek pagan purgatory one must pass through on the way to the imaginary paradise!

Meanwhile, about 90 miles away as the crow flies, from a different paradise, here is a (badly) stitched panorama of some boats moored at Tenby. The photos were taken from Castle Hill at dusk a few summers ago. In the summer, most working boats don’t usually bother mooring in the harbour, as it’s a bit crowded and the tide may be wrong for an early start.


Sasha Clarkson 09.30.14 at 5:24 pm

PS When I say the tide may be wrong, that means there’s no water in the harbour at all. There can be a 30 foot tidal range at perigeal new and full moons.

The range at the old Severn Bridge near Bristol approaches 50 feet, but Bristol itself has lock gates to prevent tidal fluctuations in the harbour water level. Hence one of the local pubs is the old Pump House. I wonder if Chris is one of the customers in the photo? ;),_Bristol#mediaviewer/File:Pumphousepub.JPG

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