Monday, 27 May 2013

Bristol - Part 4

The concluding part of our trip to Bristol. And what better way to start than with the gorgeously gothic St Mary Redcliffe, one of the landmark buildings of the city.

The clock face has a rather unusual design of numerals, and at first it is hard to make out that the 4 is actually "IV" rather than "III".

The building dates for the church are rather vague due to additions and alterations, but the result is stunning, especially in close-up detail.

Temple Meads station is also rather stunning, and resembles a cross between a cathedral and a castle.

On a less grand scale to either St Mary Redcliffe or Temple Meads, the clock turrent of Robins and Day car dealers can be found on Clarence Road.

Bristol is famous for its docks - this is Albion Dock next door to the SS Great Britain.

Time now to venture south of the River Avon, and into Bedminster. This pub, with its fairly utilitarian clcok, cound be found at the junction of East Street and Cannon Street.

Of more interest, in terms of the clock and the building to which it is attached, is the Wills factory of 1886 in Bedminster Parade. This was once part of an empire of cigarette factories in the area. The building has now been converted into shops.

Next door is the ASDA supermarket of 1987. Not quite in the same league for architectural design, but at least it does incorporate a large clock of modern design.

I have to say that I prefer the honesty of having a modern clock design on new buildings, rather than the artifice of having a retro design in a pathetic attempt to fool you into thinking that the building has been part of the townscape for years.

Our final port of call in Bristol is St Paul's, Southville, built in 1831 on Coronation Road.

Time to say goodbye to Bristol.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Bristol - Part 3

Back to the city centre. Let's get the dreaded shopping mall out of the way first. Bristol's version is called the Galleries, and was completed in 1990. And as shopping malls go, this one is not too bad, and it has this Smith of Derby clock.

Out in the fresh air again, and at the time of the visit the sunshine. The next clock is in Union Street, belonging to Kemp Brothers jewellers.

This is an easy one to spot, but in case you are having difficulty, just look for the large Odeon cinema sign.

Nelson Street and Quay Street are where much of the street art is to be found. For some reason Bristol seems to think that painting all manner of designs indiscriminately onto buildings constitutes an enhancement. Ho hum. An example can be seen below next to St John the Baptist.

However, the guardians of this church can't complain too much about civic pride as there clock has most definitely stopped, and shows different times on each of its faces.

The above is the view once you have passed through the arch into Broad Street. Just a little further along this road is the offices of the Leeds and Holbeck Building Society, located at Holbeck House. Well I'm not sure if the building society has anything to do with the premises now as the name on the clock has not exactly been made very prominent.

Just a little further along, at the top of Broad Street, is Christ Church.

Hidden between Broad Street and Small Street is Albion Chambers. I would never have found this if I hadn't seen a photo of the clock in a pictorial guide to Bristol.

This posting has two particularly interesting clocks. The first is on the Exchange in Corn Street. The building itself is of 1741 - 43 by John Wood the Elder.

What is interesting about the clock, of 1822, is that it has two minute hands - one shows the time in Bristol and the other that of London. We are talking the pre-railway age, when the lack of fast communication meant that it was perfectly sensible to have local time. However, it does seem hard to believe in today's world that the time differed by a few minutes depending where you were in Britain.

Just round the corner is the ex Midland Bank building.

We are now onto the St Augustine's Parade area, which is a clock spotter's paradise. First up is 33 Colston, a good example of the Art Deco style. Built in 1929, it was originally called Northcliffe House, a clue to its original use as newspaper offices in Lord Northcliffe's publishing empire.

A few doors away is Colston Tower, fourteen storey building completed in 1973. A column running the height of the building is topped by a modern design clock. The picture below also shows a completely different design of clock on the near-by Co-op store....

.... and here it is in much closer detail.

And only a few doors down from the Co-op is the Drawbridge pub with its own clock:

Finally, just over the road is Broad Quay House, and its massive modern design clock, facing back to the one on Colston Tower.

The final clock in this posting is the one to be found on St Nicholas church on St Nicholas Street / Baldwin Street. From ground level the clock is now somewhat obscured by the mature trees.

But the interesting feature of this clock is that it has an inset dial which shows seconds.