Opinion: Our city is rich in history and has a very bright future too
Original article written by Stephen Fear for the Bristol Post on 1st March 2017 (also featured on SouthWestBusiness.co.uk on 1st March 2017):
Stephen Fear looks back at the city’s proud heritage
BRISTOL has long been a media centre, with the BBC located on Whiteladies Road in Clifton, and being a focal point for radio and TV productions.
The Old Vic in King Street is the longest continually operating theatre in the English speaking world, built from 1764-66, and is currently undergoing huge refurbishment to restore it to its former glory. To keep its continuity status, the theatre has stayed open throughout refurbishment works which is a tribute to its staff and the actors who work there.
Famous faces seen around Bristol have included Timothy West, who has appeared at the Old Vic several times and considers himself a Bristolian due to being brought up here as a boy.
Prunella Scales, Timothy’s wife, who lived in the city with him at one point, also has a great love for the capital of the West Country.
Banksy is another famous person, if not a famous face, simply because few people have ever seen him! His identity is still a mystery. Much of his art can still be seen around Bristol even if he spends time elsewhere these days! Or does he?
Former Top Gear presenter James May was born in Bristol but now lives in London, as was comedian Russell Howard who studied at UWE.
It’s funny how Bristol seems to punch above its weight when it comes to producing celebrities or those who now call the city home. The hugely successful band Massive Attack are also from the city.
Maisie Williams who stared in Game Of Thrones was born in Bristol but later moved to Bath. She is often seen out and about in the city.
Bristol is not only famous for faces, it is also famous for places and quite a lot of firsts too! The Cathay Rendezvous Chinese restaurant in King Street, just along from the Old Vic Theatre, is housed in Britain’s first purpose built public library which was constructed in 1613 and later rebuilt in 1738-40 into the stunning building which stands today.
There is just so much to see and do in Bristol that tourists seem to flock here. Visitor attractions include Brunel’s ss Great Britain, the ship that changed the world. This wonderful ship is actually one of the most famous ships in the world and was at the time considered a huge experiment.
It combined size, power and innovative technology.
Brunel certainly created a ship that changed history! Now a wonderful museum located on the Harbourside, this marvellous engineering wonder is a major tourist attraction with thousands of people treading its decks in a bid to understand exactly what Brunel achieved.
Rich in history and with a bright future ahead of it, Bristol is well positioned to become an even more important cultural centre.
Places like M Shed, Engine Shed, various museums, the Zoo, and the replica of Cabot’s Matthew, another historic vessel which can be seen at the Harbourside, all contribute to the vibrancy seen in the city today.