..BS1 & BS8
This entirely beautiful video is doing the rounds a bit on social media at the moment. It is the result of months of work from the artist behind it and showcases Bristol wonderfully. Sort of.
Related to this was the news that the ‘Sunday Times’ had voted Bristol the best place to live in the UK. This was, not surprisingly, covered by various local media outlets and blogs. Again this was lovely. Sort of.
Because here is the thing. Bristol is more than BS1 & BS8 (ok, ok there might occasionally be a reference to Ikea or Stokes Croft). Bristol is actually even bigger than the responsibilities of Bristol City Council depending on your perspective.
In the run up to the Mayoral elections Gez Smith did a great piece of work looking at the ‘shape of Bristol’. This looked at some of the weirdness around the boundaries of the City Council and local citizen perceptions of where they sat.
Since then I have moved to a new job where I have been learning all sorts of weird and wonderful things about how geography is carved up in this country and amongst this education I stumbled on to the concept of the ‘built up area’ in relation to the 2011 Census and in particular the ‘Bristol built-up area’ which maps pretty closely to the concept of ‘Greater Bristol’ (like it wasn’t great enough anyway.)
In this definition ‘Bristol’ includes;
- Frampton Cotterell/Winterbourne
- Stoke Gifford
- Bradley Stoke
As well as the areas covered by Bristol City Council. It ends up looking something like this;
Now perhaps my definition of the boundaries was influenced by all those years playing local football and schlepping to poorly maintained pitches in all of those areas but that seems to feel a lot more like my idea of Bristol than a couple of square miles in the city centre and a load of students and London escapees on the top of a hill ☺
I’d like to see more things that represented this wider view of my home but if not that then at least all of what the City Council actually preside over. So as well as the centre and Clifton that also means*;
Now many of these areas are not as picturesque or contain the quality ‘housing stock’ and ‘good schools’ that the Times was so impressed with (though I’d be interested to know where these schools are?) but they have character, and characters, of their own and are as important to the make up of this region as the Suspension Bridge or the Docks.
*list off the top of my head so might be places missing!