A Time Traveller's Guide


Welcome to the Time Traveller’s Guide to Bristol. Bristol is a city that has undergone radical changes to its city centre: the Blitz of 1940, the relocation of the docks to Avonmouth, the drastic town planning of the 1950’s, the city-splitting M32 in 1966 and the recent building of Cabot Circus. Once buildings have disappeared and areas rebuilt it is hard to remember what was there before; the memory becomes extinct. Imagine being able to go back to 1910 when the Bristol Harbour was still a working dock right in the centre of town, or to explore the dense medieval streets of Castle Park in the 1930’s before the blitz destroyed the original shopping centre. We can even take you into the future; what will Stokes Croft look like in 100 years time, will the Banksy still be there enshrined in a digital force field? Will we still travel in cars or will the whole city cycle to work, just like in the 1920’s? We have collected archive films, photographs and audio from Bristol Museum, The Central Library, the Record Office, The BBC and the University as well as individual contributors. All the footage was filmed in 6 hotspots in the centre of Bristol: Stokes Croft, Redcliff Hill, Park Street, Broadmead, The Harbour and Castle Park. You can click on the timeline to see clips from every decade in each area, or experience it directly on your iPhone, iPad or iTouch by downloading the free application: A Time Traveller’s Guide to Bristol. If you don’t have an iPhone you can experience a virtual stroll around Castle Park or Park Street by exploring our 3D area on this website. You can click on the ghost buildings of the past and see what shops used to sell and how the streets have changed. Tell us what your own memories or direct experiences of each hotspot are, however ordinary or unconventional they may seem - upload text or photographs directly from your iPhone or to the website. Or if you know of a ‘happening’ or anything visually exciting going on in one of our areas let us know. Bristol Record Office are keen to save your contemporary footage for generations to come and some of the work will be screened in the new Museum of Bristol, M Shed. This project is funded by and supported by South West Screen, The Arts Council, Bristol City Council, SS Great Britain, Aardman and Destination Bristol. Look out for events around the city in the summer to launch the project.

This is the Time Traveller’s Guide to Bristol website

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