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Kingsdown Jubilee Celebrations

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Jun 152022
 

Kingsdown may not have precise boundaries these days but it does have strong local communities. For many good reasons the events that celebrated and brought those together have rather fallen away even before Lockdown – they can be hard to sustain. 

A few us wondered if the Jubilee weekend was an opportunity to enjoy those communities, to renew old friendships and make new and it was soon clear that many would welcome an event. Some saw it as a Jubilee celebration others as primarily a community celebration, but all were keen to engage.

A lunch was the original focus but a fancy dress parade with a band, some stalls, music and children games soon seemed good components.

Closing the roads was requested and notices acquired but could we find enough tables – for an unknown number and indeed would there be enough children for the fancy dress parade ?

As the weather forecast turned from sun to possible rain we secured a number of  gazebos. In the event optimism proved well founded. Lots of children – and adults – in the fancy dress parade with a great band; beautifully decorated tables well used for lunch; busy stalls including the much loved Whack the Rat (and  Catch the Carrot ); lots of enjoyable music including the singing of the Kingsdown song and many teas were served with delicious cakes.

It was a  happy day and with lots of communication (and the  rain only started as we were finishing !) 

The event raised over £1600, for  the British Red Cross Ukrainian appeal. David Mellor

 Posted by on June 15, 2022

Kingsdown Sports Centre Update

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Mar 012022
 

There will be a meeting in the White Bear, St Michael’s Hill on Wednesday 16th March to discuss the process for saving the Kingsdown Sports Centre. Below is a communication from the High Kingsdown Community Association, the group organising the resistance to the closure of our local Sports Centre.

UPDATE :

Following on from the first Public Meeting organised by High Kingsdown Community Association in October 2021, a small Steering Group of local residents and Sports Centre users has been exploring the options for keeping the centre open as a major asset in our community.

The focus of attention until now has been to try and make the case for the centre to remain part of the Council’s portfolio of leisure centres when it re-lets the contract for their operation over the coming year.

Unfortunately, the Mayor re-confirmed his decision not to include the Sports Centre in the leisure centre contract at the Cabinet meeting on the 8th February. However, at the same meeting he also made clear that he was not taking a decision to close the Centre, and that the next year would be used to find another operator who could run the facility at no net cost to the council. As there have already been some expressions of interest in doing this, he was optimistic that this outcome can be achieved.

The Centre now faces a year of uncertainty, with a risk that an operator won’t be found, or that the extent and access to the facilities at the centre by the local community may become more restricted or costly, or both.

An alternative view would be to see this decision as a positive opportunity for a community led (or backed) proposal to come forward. There are plenty of inspiring examples of this nationally and locally, and within our own local community we already have talented individuals who have the experience and drive to help make this a reality.

In fact, the centre could become a more vibrant, inclusive, and welcoming community facility than it already is, if we can work on a new vision and secure new investment in its facilities.

The way the centre is currently operated means that is does not quite cover its running costs, so this would need to be addressed, and any plans for an expansion of facilities at the site would also need investment: but the site has clear potential to become an even more valuable community asset for a much wider number of people than it is currently able to do.

High Kingsdown Community Association are holding a second Public Meeting to discuss the options for the future of the centre and to see if we can establish a clear community-backed set of proposals to be discussed with the Council.  We would like to either enable the community to take on the running of the centre, or to influence the plans of like-minded partners so the best outcome is delivered for the community.

Please register your interest in attending the meeting which will be at the

The White Bear, St Michael’s Hill, High Kingsdown at 6.30 – 8.00 on the 16th March 2022

Please register to attend by emailing : briony.waite@gmail.com

 Posted by on March 1, 2022

New Year Greetings

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Dec 312021
 

At the end of 2021, with its covid troubles, we look back on all the inspiring work that’s been happening in Kingsdown this past year.

Firstly we would like to thank Graham Syrett for all his efforts to keep our community informed and connected. His Neighbourhood Watch email list has expanded to encompass many topics such as lost property, neighbourhood events and initatives, BCC’s timetables, and generally helpful and cheering news.

And thanks too to all the instigators of the many street WhatsApp groups that give support and connections to their neighbours.

Friendly Neighbours. One of these topics has been the setting up of a local group called Friendly Neighbours. They set out to do what friends and neighbours would do for one another, but scaled up to reach the wider community, particularly those who are less advantaged and in accommodation that doesn’t have the space and facilities that the rest of Kingsdown enjoys. 

Working through local organisations, from schools to food clubs, FN encompasses one community across the whole of Kingsdown – children, families and individuals  and are ready to offer engagement in activities, services and chats.  The support of Kingsdown residents, in cash and kind, has supplied food vouchers to those in need; supplied themed bags for outdoor play, and brought cheer and treats to isolating adults and children.

Younger members of the group also successfully helped with the application for funding for two projects – the improving of outside spaces for play and gardening, and the empowerment of women through English lessons. The Dove Street flats is now a community with its own newsletter The Dove and WhatsApp groups. If you would like to be part of Friendly Neighbours to wish to donate please contact.    friendlyneighbours@outlook.com

Kingsdown Sports Centre. Later in the year it came to our attention that our local Sport Centre was under the threat of closure from Bristol City Council.  This came to a head on 14th December when over 30 local residents and Kingsdown Sports Centre users braved the December drizzle to make clear their concern about the possible closure of this longstanding and much-used community facility outside City Hall.  Although the Cabinet were meeting, the issue of the site’s possible closure wasn’t on the agenda this time.  However the group wants to begin to gauge community feelings, raise the profile and gain support for the campaign, before the matter is debated at the Cabinet meeting on the 8th February.

The Centre has been a feature of the local scene for 50 years in its present form, and we estimate it has 900 active users from all sections of the community.  We are hoping that the Council will continue to include the Centre as part of its leisure centre offer, but if not, we will work to see if a community-based approach to running and managing the Centre can be developed.
If you want to get involved please go to the Facebook page: savekingsdownsportscentre.

Advent windows. Our spirits were raised near the end of this year by the various creative displays along the streets of Kingsdown during Advent. The bold and ingenious displays supported the ‘Shine Bright for Bristol Children’s Hospital’ appeal,

You can still donate at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/cotham-and-kingsdown-advent-trail if you wish.

Thank you to everyone who has cheered and inspired us this year and we wish everyone a Very Happy New Year and hope for a bright and safe 2022.

 Posted by on December 31, 2021

Dove Street Flats

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Aug 262021
 


Evidently discussions have taken place recently about the future of some of the city’s high-rise residential buildings, in particular Dove Street Flats. This Bristol Cable article https://thebristolcable.org/2021/08/high-rises-under-scrutiny-as-council-considers-rebuilding-social-housing/ makes interesting reading.
There has been minimal communication with the residents of Dove Street Flats in the past. Any such proposals would need much better involvement and consultation.

 Posted by on August 26, 2021
Aug 192020
 

Bristol City Council has recently confirmed that the university’s planning application 20/00433/F includes the closure of Tyndall Avenue to eastbound motor traffic, apart from buses. Woodland Road would be closed to motor cars between the Senate House and the new library. Revised details can be seen on the city council’s website.
Together with other unrelated proposed changes in the locality to traffic movement, car journeys would be meandering and time-consuming. 
The closing date for comment is now 26th August 2020.

Application number 20/00433/F University Library and associated road closures

 Posted by on August 19, 2020
Mar 042020
 

Today, 4th March 2020, is the formal closing date for comment to be submitted in response to the University’s planning application to build a new library on the site of The Hawthorns. However, it is likely that comment lodged in the coming few days will continue to have an effect.
Residents are encouraged to read Kingsdown Conservation Group’s letter of comment, which is on both this website and the Bristol City Council website, along with comment from Historic England, the Victorian Society and others.

 Posted by on March 4, 2020
Feb 252020
 

Kingsdown Conservation Group has objected, as follows, to the University’s planning application to build a new library on the site of The Hawthorns, at the corner of Woodland Road and Elton Road, opposite the Grammar School. 

Residents are encouraged to view the application on the Bristol City Council website and act accordingly. Comment should be submitted by 4th March.

Planning Application 20/00433/F. Proposed new university and associated road closures.

Kingsdown Conservation Group strongly objects to the proposed closure of Tyndall Avenue to two-way motor traffic. The ramifications of such closure would severely interrupt traffic’s ability to navigate the city. Traffic volumes would increase elsewhere. St Michael’s Hill, Park Row and other streets are virtually intolerable as it is. Meanwhile, the streets in which many university buildings are located would become increasingly quiet parking lots, utilised largely by those university staff members allocated residents’ parking permits and busy only during weekdays in term time, otherwise horribly empty of life, particularly at night. It is extraordinary that the University’s governing body is insensitive to this issue. 


Bristol University is favoured for not being a campus university. Its buildings and landscape should celebrate the fact that the university is intertwined with the city as a whole.


The Group feels the same argument applies St Michael’s Park, which should also remain two-way. The current proposal to split the road so that one half is one-way while the other half two-way is confusing and, given the proposal not to separate the cycle route in the one-way section, potentially quite dangerous.


To turn to the library, the size of the proposed building demonstrably exceeds that determined by SPD11. The Group regrets it is unable to support the height, scale and mass of the current proposal. It would be against the grain of the conservation area and of the immediate context. It would overwhelm the nearby buildings of Bristol Grammar School, the former Baptist College and the Victorian villas of Woodland Road and Elton Road. 


In addition to the sheer size of the proposed library, its demanding architectural character would be discordant with the wider cityscape and, when seen from more distant viewpoints, the design would exacerbate the building’s immense scale. The unsettled, cubic forms of the proposed building would cause it to appear ill at ease both with its location and with itself.


The Group recognises the University’s ambition to continue to expand but feels what has been asked of the Hawthorns site should be reconsidered. The brief has asked too much of a finite location. 

 Posted by on February 25, 2020
Feb 132020
 
Bishopston, Cotham & Redland (BCR ) Community Partnership and Street Scene Group ( SSG ) are holding an event.       Meet up with other local activists to find out what volunteers can do and how to report problems for action by Bristol City Council (BCC). Talk to Bristol Waste Company, BCC Councillor & Bishopston, Cotham and Redland Street Scene Group, with updates on Waste, Recycling, Flyposting and Flytipping.

Find out how you can get involved in the Great Bristol Spring Clean and how SSG could support your efforts.

Meeting organised by BCR Community Partnership in conjunction with BCR Street Scene Group  

Thursday 27th February 2020 7pm to 9pm

Bishopston Library
100a Gloucester Road
BS7 8BN
 
 Posted by on February 13, 2020
Feb 122020
 

The University has now lodged the following application:


20/00433/F | Demolition of existing structures and redevelopment of the site to accommodate a new University of Bristol Library. The creation of an enhanced public realm within the surrounding area between Woodland Road junction with Tyndall Avenue, Elton Road and St Michael’s Park; with associated works (Major Application). | The Hawthorns Woodland Road Bristol BS8 1UQ


Members are encouraged to look at the application, on the Bristol City Council website, which involves not only the building of a new library but also significant changes to traffic use, including the closure of nearby roads to motor cars. The ramifications would be extensive.


The closing date for comment is 4th March 2020.

 Posted by on February 12, 2020
Dec 312019
 

The Kingsdown Conservation Group would like to wish all its members and the Kingsdown community all the best for the New Year and 2020.

2019 has been a turbulent year and the coming year might well be an equally challenging one. To help with knowing what is going on in and around Kingsdown and deciding what we can be doing, there is now a calendar of events on the website.

Many of these events are talks, films showings and discussion evenings centred on what we as individuals and as a community can do to mitigate the effects of a climate crisis and make our lifestyles more sustainable.

Some of these will be held on Monday evenings at the Kingsdown Vaults and we hope to to have a range of topics such as energy consumption; our biodiversity and wildlife crisis or new transport solutions.

 Posted by on December 31, 2019