Clifton and Hotwells
Improvement Society (CHIS)

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CHIS News Archive 2011

The rest of the archive:

The following news items are listed with the latest items first.

Suspension Bridge Hangers

October 2011: The work entails replacing two of the longest hangers, which are 12 metres and 14 metres long and together weigh around a third of a tonne. They were hoisted into position using a cherry-picker. Straps with strain gauges held the strain while each rod was removed. A further eight hangers are being replaced without the need to disrupt traffic.
Suspension Bridge Hangers Suspension Bridge Hangers
Note the bridge spanner being put to good use, and the strain gauges at the base of each of the two straps used to take the strain while the rod is removed
CHIS Suspension Bridge Pictures

Museum of Bristol

  • 17 June 2011: The new Museum of Bristol opens A momentous day. Who could fail to be impressed by the opening? An acrobatic performance by circus outfit, Cirque Bijou. Performers swung off cranes, dived off structures and abseiled onto steam boats. Just look how much larger the crane hook is than the man's head!
    suspended from crane at M Shed

    From July 23-31st there was an exhibition called Pride of Place in which community groups from all over the city will put on displays about their particular area. CHIS created a display featuring the Clifton in Bloom Competition, Bristol Community Gardens, The Clifton Rocks Railway, and forty years of CHIS activity.

    Boyces Avenue

    Second Consultation regarding revised pedestrianisation of Boyces Avenue ended Dec 2010.
    The zone is currently proposed to operate between the hours of 10am and 6pm, Monday to Sunday. Bollards will be raised during these times to prevent vehicular access. Bicycles will also be prohibited during these hours. Loading and parking in the zone will only be possible outside of these hours. Kings Road would be made two way to permit loading and access for short-stay parking for disabled drivers. Tel: 0117 903 6856 Email:

    150 years of the Downs

    22 May 2011: The Downs was given to the citizens of Bristol 150 years ago by the Merchant Venturers. There was a Victorian Picnic from midday onwards organised by the Friends of the Downs and Gorge. A variety of entertainments and stalls were planned. Incidentally if you are not already a member of FODAG, which runs Deep Litter Collections, a Butterfly Transect, a dusk to dawn Mammal Watch, and has a variety of meetings, send 10 to Robin Haward, whose contact is , tel 974 3385

    Bridge Valley Road

    Repairs on Bridge Valley Road started in March 2010 and were only meant to last a month, however it was not reopened until September 2011. The time since the closure has been taken up by an extensive geo-technical survey, designing the method of repair, tendering the work to specialist contractors and negotiating the 2 million-plus project (see below)

    The retaining wall bowed out an unacceptable amount and now tenders will have to go out to specialist engineers to stitch the rocks, fill in part of the Port and Pier Railway tunnel number 2. Expenditure will have to be approved at Cabinet in September 2010 when detailed design has been received. The Gorge also has rare flora here. It is likely to cost 2.2 million to reopen, or 2.05 just to make safe. Maggie was privileged to go into the tunnel (as an industrial archaeologist) for a feature on the news along with Gary Hopkins the councillor in charge of transport, and Phil Lloyd who has looked after the Gorge for the last 30 years

    Bridge Valley Road
    Gary being interviewed on Points west inside the tunnel
    Bridge Valley Road
    Fitting sign to entrance of tunnel 1
    There are two tunnels between the Suspension Bridge- built in 1863, the Port and Pier Railway was closed in 1921 to build the Portway. The Hotwells station was north of the Suspension Bridge.
    Tunnel 1 is 73 yards long and after closure of the railway was used to store Council records and Museum and Art gallery treasures during WWII
    Tunnel 2 only about 30 yards away is 175 yards long and used as a WWII shelter. This was the tunnel that the BBC wanted to use but refused- which is why they ended up in Clifton Rocks Railway

    Victoria Square walls

    17 Feb: Victoria Square: Good news- The walls are being repaired
    Victoria Square wall
    broken capping
    Victoria Square wall
    weeds growing in wall
    Victoria Square wall
    contrary to belief- Clifton did lose railings during WWII which did not prevent people dropping into basements!

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