Bristol's "At Centre" is all dedicated to science and explorations of the world that surrounds us. Next to the centre, on Millennium square there is a cool device that has a touch-screen displaying the planets of the Solar System, as well as the Moon. When you press on certain planet's image essential information is shown on display.
But for us kids the most interesting thing is the arrow that will rotate in direction of that planet, while the LED display will show the distance. Very cool!
Archibald Alexander Leach was one of the most famous people from Bristol, and he finally got his statue in newly developed Harbourside area.
Archibald Alec Leach was born in Bristol in 1904. He attended Bishop Road Primary School. An only child, he had a confused and unhappy childhood. After being expelled from Fairfield Grammar School in Bristol in 1918, he joined the "Bob Pender stage troupe" and travelled with the group as a stilt walker to the United States in 1920 In the US he performed on the stage at The Muny in St. Louis, Missouri.
After some success in light Broadway comedies, he came to Hollywood in 1931, where he acquired the name Cary Grant . The rest is history.
It was the final Sunday of the Bristol Balloon Festival and I decided to walk to the top of Brandon Hill to see if I could spot any hot-air balloons. However, several hundred Bristolians had the same idea. Brandon Hill is the perfect place to sit and balloon-spot on a dry evening. There are plenty of park benches and a large grassy slope - a perfect amphitheatre. An enterprising ice-cream van was doing a roaring trade.
The Balloon Festival takes place a few miles southwest of Bristol in mid-August. if the weather is ok, dozens of balloons take flight at 6pm. So if it is too windy, or not windy enough, you are not guaranteed a free show :-)
This year (2005) the balloons took-off an hour late. Maybe it was because the wind was not strong enough. Or because the wind was moving towards Bristol Airport - aaaaaarrrgh!!!
In any case, two dozen balloons did take-off, rising slowly into the yellow evening sun and heading off towards Bath. Just about worth waiting for!!
Thomas Chatterton is the kind of hero I like, one who made the literary establishment of his time look extremely foolish!
Chatterton claimed to have discovered a series of poems by a 15th century monk called Thomas Rowley in an upper room of St Mary Redcliffe. The Rowley Poems were taken as genuine and a discovery of extreme importance. It took a long time for an even more startling dicovery to be made - that Chatterton had written the poems himself.
This is all the more remarkable for the fact that Chatterton took his own life before his eighteenth birthday. What he would have achieved had he lived can only be speculated upon.
In Bristol they say you never become a true Bristolian until you stop noticing the accent (a Somerset burr given a hard urban edge). In that case it's an impossible task. Note the slightly whining, rising intonation at the end of sentences (which usually end with 'moi lurrrve'), and the habit of tacking the first consonant of the next word onto the end of the previous one. This is also "I is" (rather than "I am" or "I be") country
The most characteristic feature is the addition of an L at the end of all words ending in an unstressed vowel. So you might hear a Bristolian say "Oi's wa'ring moi begonials moi lurve". The Hippodrome may be featuring the Welsh National Operal performing Toscal or La Traviatal (the one with the consumptive heroine Violettal). The three Muses who crown the Royal West of England Academy at the top of Park Street are known locally as "Eval, Idal and Normal".
Archie Leach, better known as Cary Grant, was born in Bristol. You wouldn't think so - the city council acts as if he were bad news. A plaque inside the Council House commemorates Bristolians associated with the history of the cinema but Cary Grant, perhaps the greatest actor the cinema has ever known, isn't mentioned. He is commemorated by three small plaques around town: at his birthplace at 15 Hughenden Road, Horfield, and at the two schools he attended, Bishop Road Primary and Fairfield High School. He was also due to have a statue erected to his memory at the end of 2001 after a long, hard campaign by his admirers, though if that has appeared I have yet to see it.
Beware the 'Bristol L'. Let me explain, if a word ends in a vowel - especially an 'A', Bristolians will add an 'L', so if your name is Gloria, you will be Glorial. It can get confusing, eg if you ask about the Bristol area, you will get told all about the Bristol aerial
When visiting Bristol, it is a good idea to visit a newsagent and purchase a magazine called the Venue. This is a extremely informative publication giving details of nightclubs, exhibitions, events, music events, what on in Bristol, theatre details and what showing at the various cinemas. It also gives detail on live bands playing at the various pubs/bars in Bristol. It's well worth the money.
Bristol has been dedicated as part of the Sri Chinmoy Peace Blossom project joining other communities around the world to promote peace. Bristol was chosen as a peace city due to our open mindedness and tolerance towards other nationalities and their cultures and beliefs that now make up the multi cultural city that is Bristol.
According to legend Bristol is the hometown of Edward Teach aka Bleackbeard the pirate. Another gorilla, this time in font of the LLandoger Trow.