Thursday, May 29, 2008

bristol in sunshine

What a difference a day makes!
Despite the local weather forecast (heavy showers), I rode to the harbourside on my bike this morning in beautiful, bright sunshine. People were smiling and there was a definite “feel-good” mood in the city. I bought a double Blues CD from Fopp for £3(!); had coffee in the Boston Tea Party cafĂ© and visited the City Museum+Art Gallery. Came across some wonderful C16th engravings of the city including Johannes Kip’s 1717 work showing the “bridge of buildings” by St Nicholas Back, leading to High Street. Was also greatly taken by Samuel+Nathaniel Buck’s 1734 engraving of the North West Prospect of the city which showed hundreds of ship’s masts on the Avon along Welsh back and on the Frome on Broad Quay.
Poet Alexander Pope, on visiting Bristol in 1739, commented:
as far as the eye can see, hundreds of ships, their masts as thick as they can stand by one another, which is the oddest and most surprising sight imaginable”.
Photo: City of Bristol: North West Prospect from Brandon Hill 1734 by Samuel+Nathaniel Buck. Many apologies for my red spray paint(!) but this shows the extent of the ship’s masts in the picture (which you would never be able to make out on this blog!) – if you’re able to make a trip to the City Museum to see the engravings, you really should do so!


Gareth Rae said...

I have visited the City Museum & Art Gallery on many occasions, usually to view one of their special exhibitions. When the girls were young we were more adventurous and ventured further afield. There's no way I could get them round it again at this age, but I could pop in myself one afternoon. I can't remember ever having set eyes on these engravings, but they sound as if they are worth the effort.

By the way, the Museum cafe is pleasant refueling station. It has a splendid stone fireplace and serves fairtrade tea and coffee.

Ian Adams said...

heh Steve I thought Fopp had closed? Certainly did in Oxford.

bigdaddystevieB said...

IAN: one of the Fopp shops re-opened a couple of months ago (apparently, according to Dave, the Manchester shop has remained open throughout)... I've a feeling that HMV is involved in some form or other - but, whoever now owns it, it's still just as good!
And it's now at the BOTTOM of Park Street so I don't have to walk/cycle up the hill!