Clifton and Hotwells
Improvement Society (CHIS)

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CHIS Events 2015

Clifton Cathedral
As well as social events, we have a full, interesting and wide-ranging programme of talks, local walks and visits.

As it stands, talks will be on the 3rd Tuesday of every month.

All talks begin at 8:00 pm at Apostle Room at Clifton Cathedral, Pembroke Road, Clifton unless otherwise stated. Meet from 7:30 pm. Please bring friends with you, we do charge non-members £l.00

The following list is provisional but given as guidance to show what we hope to have in store for you

Date Title Speaker LocationImage
Tuesday 10 January 12:30am CHIS Lunch Banish the prospect of January blues by signing up NOW for the CHIS lunch which promises to be sparkling event including some original entertainment.

We will ask for a donation to help cover the cost of soft drinks and wine. Please fill and return the form included in the Newsletter. We do need to know the number of people who will be coming by Monday 15th December.

Please book with RoseMary.

Apostle Room lunch
Tuesday 7 February 11am Dedication of the plaque to C. R. Burch A very remarkable man whose inventions were vital to vacuum technology which included radar, radio design, television, and modern drug manufacture, but who also turned his hand to complex optical lenses. 11 Percival Road, Clifton.
Tuesday 17 February 8pm Three Bristol Scientists Tim Akrill

All three are Nobel Laureates who worked in Bristol during the 20th Century.

Each made significant contributions to his or her field, but, of course, only one was 'Bristol's greatest scientist'.

The talk will be relatively light-hearted and will not contain lots of scientific jargon. Indeed, stories about the lives of the chosen three will overshadow their scientific work. There may even be opportunities to chuckle! We are left to speculate who these great people are.

Apostle Room
7 March 2:30 Merit Award (to acknowledge buildings and restoration works of distinction) will be put up 1, The Avenue.
Tuesday 17 March 8pm The White City Clive Burlton

Clive is an author, social historian and non-executive director of Empica Ltd. He's also a researcher and volunteer film archivist with Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives. Currently writing two books and co-authoring a third, Clive has worked with the BBC on radio and television programmes.

This is not a travel talk but is about Bristol's own International Exhibition that was held in 1914. It was a huge undertaking which cost over £100,000 and 32 acres of land was covered with white plasterboard structures and pavilions. It opened on the bank holiday of 28th May and was due to run until October but on 4th August 1914 war was declared. By mid-September, the War Office had acquired the site and converted it into a temporary military facility used as a base for Bristol's Own'. This 'white city' would have been clearly seen from Clifton because it was set opposite 'B' bond warehouse at Ashton Gate. Clive will tell the poignant story of development and final use of this enterprise.

Apostle Room greenway
Tuesday 28 April 8pm Francis Greenway Professor Mark Horton will give a talk on Francis Greenway who was the architect of the Clifton Club. In 1814 he was convicted for fraud and sent to Australia where he became the ‘Father of Australian Architecture’ with his first major building in 1816.

Mark Horton will be recognised by many of you as he was the man behind, and appeared on many episodes, of the TV series ‘Coast’.

Apostle Room greenway

Although bequeathed to the National Trust it remains the family home of Lord Faringdon, who continues to care for the property as well as the family art collection, the Faringdon Collection, which is displayed in the house.

The extensive gardens, designed by Harold Peto, are considered to be one of the finest examples of Edwardian gardens. Peto was a promoter of the Italian Renaissance style and has cleverly incorporated this formality in an English landscape. Canals withh bridges and pools lead on through a set of gardens to a large lake.

So whatever the weather, there will be plenty to see as well as tea-rooms to relax in.

The plan for the day is to leave Clifton at 9.30 and go to Cirencester where there will be a break for coffee and an opportunity to have a guided tour round the magnificent parish church of St John the Baptist. From there on to Lechlade where we will stop for lunch.

Book with RoseMary

Weekend 6th and 7th June Green Squares and Secret Gardens Details Victoria Square
Tuesday 14 July 9:30pm Visit to High Glanau and Wyndcliffe Court Two Romantic Arts and Crafts Gardens in Monmouthshire. Our morning visit will be to HIGH GLANAU MANOR, Tipping's own retirement "cottage" where he sought in 1923 to create a perfect Edwardian idyll with impressive stone terraces, drifts of herbaceous planting, a ribbon parterre and perfect vistas. Here, weather permitting, we will be able to enjoy the far reaching views over the Vale of Usk to Blorenge, Skirrid, Sugar Loaf and Brecon Beacons whilst enjoying coffee and home made cake (included). The owner, Helena Gerrish, has spent many years lovingly restoring the garden and has written a book about Tipping.

We will proceed to Monmouth for a lunch break (own arrangements) before travelling to St Arvans to visit WYNDCLIFFE COURT, another Arts and Crafts garden, laid out by Tipping, on a south slope overlooking the Severn Estuary. Larger than Tipping's own garden, it has toppling yew topiary, sun-warmed stone walls, a trickling fountain, a sunken garden, delightful summerhouse and lily pond. The shady paths through woods create a contrast, beloved of Tipping, between cultivation and wild, natural landscape. Here tea on the terrace or in the ballroom is available but not included. An added bonus is that these gardens are the setting for sculpture shows featuring inspiring and professional art pieces by local and well known artists.

We will leave Bristol at 9.30am (Christchurch) and 9.35am (All Saints) and expect to be back in Bristol by 6pm. wyndcliffe court
Saturday 8 August 11am Dedication of the plaque to Charles Richardson This eminent engineer of the Bristol and South Wales Union Railway and instigator and first engineer of the Severn Tunnel was born just over 200 years ago in 1814. 10 Berkeley Square Charles Richardson
Tuesday 22 September 8pm Robert Southey: Bristol's Neglected Son Stuart Andrews will give a talk on Robert Southey - poet, historian, biographer, reviewer, prolific correspondent and for 30 years Poet Laureate - has been unfairly neglected by the city of his birth. He was born, christened and married in Bristol, brought Coleridge to the city where he met Wordsworth and became Southey's brother-inlaw. Southey and Coleridge, when respectively at Oxford and Cambridge, together used Bristol Subscription Library, then in King Street, but now on College Green where the 1790s registers still record the poets' borrowings.

Stuart Andrews has been writing on the political and religious views of the Lake Poets for some 20 years. His Robert Southey: history, politics, religion was published by Palgrave/MacMillan USA in 2011. He has written for The Coleridge Bulletin, Romanticism, Symbiosis and The Wordsworth Circle. In his talk he will link many of the events in Southey's public life to buildings and monuments in Bristol that have direct or indirect connection with this largely uncelebrated Bristolian.

Apostle Room Robert Southey poet
Saturday 3 October 11am: Dedication of the plaque to William Pennington, Master of Ceremonies of the Hot Wells Press Release by Chris Stephens 12 Dowry Square Rules of the Hotwell
Tuesday 20 October 8pm AGM

This is your opportunity to put your views forward, to question members of the CHIS committee and to have a general discussion about current matters in Bristol 8. It is really important for the committee to know the feelings of members. The Annual Report and the audited accounts will be available at the meeting.


  • The Chairman's introduction.
  • Report from the Treasurer.
  • Election to the committee. This year there are three vacancies on the Committee
  • Report from the Chairman.
  • Questions and suggestions to the responsible committee member on Membership, Planning, Licensing, Streetscape, Refuse, Plaques, Green Squares and Secret Gardens.
  • Any other business.
  • Talk and demonstration by Alistair Park who carved the oak bench in the children's playground near the Suspension Bridge
There will be an election for people to join (or rejoin) the committee as trustees. A prospective committee member must have been a member of CHIS for at least two years. Notice must be countersigned by 2 CHIS members, one of whom must be an existing trustee (most of the current committee members are trustees). If you know someone who would like to serve on it, or if you yourself would like to, please send the name and contact details of that person, together with the name of a proposer and a seconder to RoseMary Musgrave, Garden Flat, 4 Eaton Crescent, BS8 2EJ; or telephone her on 0117 973 1704 if you would like further information. It is essential that the person has agreed to have their name put forward.
Apostle Room playground bench
Tuesday 24 November 8pm An evening about the Downs This will be an informal evening when different aspects of the Downs will be talked about. We will ask some people with specialist knowledge to give brief talks but we also want audience participation. If you have a particular interest and would be prepared to talk for a few minutes, please let RoseMary know and she will draw up a programme. Have we members with knowledge of the peregrines; the native flora; the butterflies; the history of the agricultural shows or of the tram terminus? Or have you a memory of an event that happened there. Some of you must remember what it was like in WWII, and many of us would be interested to know. There is much knowledge and many memories out there and we would like to share them. Apostle Room Durdham Down trams
Thursday 3 Dec 4:30pm Dedication of the plaque to James Johnson (l764-l844), famous fossil collector Together with the University of Bristol, The City Museum and the Hotwells History Group

There will be a lecture on William Smith, father of English Geology by Professor Hugh Torrens of Keele University at Tyndall Lecture Theatre, University of Bristol at 7:30pm

12 Dowry Parade. fossil
Ichthyosaur in Bristol City Museum, donated by Johnson

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