As featured on ITV's West Country Tonight! The second volume of a series which explores how Bristol arose in the 1950s from the ashes of the Blitz. New places to live and work were desperately required, as were improved road systems.
Using previously unreleased archive footage, our journey begins in Temple and proceeds to Redcliffe, which was transformed in this period as small Georgian streets were obliterated to make way for maisonettes and flats. Moving towards Temple Meads Station, we see the many changes in the Victoria Street area, and then head to Jacobs Wells Road, where St Peter’s House and Brandon House were being built. A brief visit to Clifton shows the construction of the Maples store on The Triangle, before heading to Kingsdown, Bristol’s first planned suburb in the 18th century. You will enjoy fabulous views from the top of St Michael’s Hill and see how much of the housing here was swept away for the expansion of Bristol University and nearby hospitals.
Via Stokes Croft, we then move on to St Judes, where slums were cleared in the 1930s and flats were built in the post-war period. The 1950s scene in Barton Hill was particularly dramatic, with people looking for firewood amongst rubble alongside the building of the first
tower block outside London. Turning to the south of the city, we visit Bedminster, and see how areas such as York Road and St Lukes Road were affected, along with the building of new industrial estates around Whitehouse Street. This odyssey of Bristol’s post-war history ends in Brislington, as what was once a tranquil North Somerset village became dominated by a large trading estate.
Local historian Mike Hooper guides us through these dramatic changes and, in addition to almost an hour of archive footage, the extensive use of maps, photographs and modern film provides the perfect ‘past and present’ comparison. Interviewees with other local historians and residents add extra flavour.