The Bristol – Then and Now facebook page is well worth following if you have an interest in Bristol’s history. Many interesting bits and pieces to be found, including quite a bit of info and pictures on the harbour, and the railways of Bristol.
Roger Baynton posted these images and description today:
Bathurst Basin, view of bridge, engine house and Ostrich Pub.
The 1870s saw the opening for freight services of the Bristol Harbour Railway which ran from Temple meads under St Mary Redcliffe Church to emerge at Bathurst Basin by the Ostrich pub (seen here) and then on to Wapping Wharf
The railway crossed Bathurst lock on a steam-powered bascule (lifting) bridge on the site of the present footbridge, before continuing to Princes Wharf.
The Ostrich Pub in Guinea Street predates 1775. Sorry to contradict an attractive Bristol urban myth but the chamber at the back of the entrance passage, whilst hewn out of the sandstone cliff does not connect to the adjacent Redcliff caves. An whilst I’m in bah humbug mode, the Redcliff caves were not used for ‘storing’ slaves and probably not for smuggling their principal function being to provide raw material for Bristol’s once buoyant glass trade. But that is another story…..
Photo credit goes to Roger Baynton.
A couple of photos to show the current extent of development around Museum Square. Traffic has been routed around the back of The Olive Shed and across the new level crossing for some time now. The excavator is digging up the old roadway.
Phase 1 of the Sugar Quay development is finished with residents now moved in, and several shops and cafes have opened along the new footpath that connects the former Mud Dock Deli with Museum Square.
This shot from Vauxhall Bridge shows that the majority of the fencing between Cumberland Road and the railway line has been removed. This is to be replaced and strengthened to prevent a metrobus going through the fence in the event of a collision.
Down at Sugar Quay/Whapping Wharf, the first phase of the new housing is nearly completed. This features a walkway that connect Gaol Ferry Bridge to Museum Square.
The above diagram (available via the MetroBus website) shows the intentional junction for the guided busway with Cumberland Road, and the re-routing of the harbour railway as a result. The large sweeping curve into Butterfly Junction is gone and replaced with a halt alongside the Bond Warehouse, whilst the ‘Barn’ is retained.
This was the view this morning, the platform in the final stages of removal, and the pointwork rails removed.
The track has been removed as far as the foot crossing to the chocolate path.
Track lifting is well under way at Butterfly Junction, just the pointwork rails and the sleepers remaining in the station area. These photos also show the vegetation clearance that has taken place.
Ashton Avenue Bridge is now closed for refurbishment, along with the former trackbed. No doubt the rails still on the bridge will be coming out shortly.
A different scene over at SS Great Britain Halt, where the buffer stop has been moved from the end of the line here. I believe that this is to be used as the basis for a small shed, which should come in useful if the branch along the New Cut is closed while MetroBus is under construction.
After a particularly cold and wet summer, the weather has taken a turn for the better, giving us some glorious days and incredible sunsets.
Here’s a (bad camera phone quality) snap I took of the golden sunset glimpsed beneath the Cumberland Road bridge.
Up North, Portbury has been kept busy at Beamish. In this photo reproduced from the Beamish Museum facebook page, she is seen in the company of WW1-era Gordon Highlanders re-enactors at the Agricultural Show event.
Back in Bristol, there have been multiple engineering projects in the railway’s environs. The Metrobus development has cleared a large area of land at Butterfly Junction and Ashton Meadows, and new drainage has been installed.
One of the most conspicuous developments has been the ongoing repair work to Prince Street Bridge. This is adjacent to the platform at M Shed and has involved the construction of a large temporary bridge. The girders on the swing bridge are corroded and need replacing, so it will be closed to all traffic for 6 months.
Also pictured is Kaskelot, a Bristol-based ship, taking the usual mooring point of Balmoral while the latter was at sea.
In this first look at the changing face of the Butterfly Junction area, you can see the extensive clearance of foliage that has taken place. Surveyors have been working in the area over the past few weeks.
Further down the line, the area around the Cumberland Road Bridge siding has also been cleared. The spare wagon wheelsets have been moved out of the way. The plans for the bridge indicate that the path here will be raised up to platform height in order to meet the new bridge.