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Step back in time as Bedminster’s first pop-up museum opens

Smart's fish shop on Stanley Street, circa 1910

Press release issued: 11 April 2016

Bedminster will be hosting its first pop-up museum from Friday [15 April], inviting the public to take a stroll down memory lane.

The focus will be on West Street, once a hive of activity with many shops, pubs and churches serving the close-knit community who worked at the nearby factories.

The pop-up museum, being held in the United Reformed Church Hall on West Street, will run until Sunday.

It's been organised by Way Out West, the West Street BS3 Neighbourhood Group, which has been collecting audio and video stories from people who remember the proud high street in the 1940s, 50s and 60s.

Residents are being urged to bring along their own artefacts and photos on Saturday – covering all aspects of family, school and working life – when the University of Bristol will be on hand to take digital images to archive and help preserve the history of Bedminster.

These will be added to Bristol City Council's Know Your Place project - an open-access interactive map website where layers of historic maps are overlaid on the modern map of the city, allowing users to explore the historic landscape beneath their feet, and the evolution of their localities.

Inside the museum, visitors will be invited to walk the street as it is now and see the past brought to life through photos donated by local residents.

There will also be tales of the Winter Fairground run by the Heal family behind the old Red Cow (now the Malago Guesthouse), the boxing booth inside the Red Cow pub, the first South Bristol Festival held in South Street Park, and the Harvest Festival services held in the Plough & Windmill pub by the 'Mowers' Club' which met there regularly to collect for local good causes.

Stef Brammar, Secretary of Way Out West, said: "We've been planning this for a couple of years and the response has been extraordinary. 

"It's been great fun hearing the stories and seeing the old photos.  We’re hoping that by bringing alive the past of this once proud neighbourhood, we’ll all value the present more, and be determined to ensure it has a future which delivers quality of life for all those who live and work here."

Opening hours:

Friday 15 April - schools only

Saturday 16 April - open to the public 10am to 4pm with photo scanning all day

Sunday 17 April - open to the public 1pm to 5pm

About Know Your Bristol

Know your Bristol is a collaborative project between the University of Bristol, Bristol City Council and several Bristol community groups. The project aims to enable people to explore, research and co-create Bristol history, heritage and culture using digital tools.

Professor Robert Bickers, who leads the University of Bristol team working on the project, said: "Our collaboration with West Street Stories is a good example of how Research Council investment in a project bears fruit even after the end of the grant. The Know Your Bristol On The Move Team has been able to offer mobile support for this initiative, even though the Arts and Humanities Research Council's award formally ended six months ago. It is also a sign of how committed we are to working with local partners in Bristol." 

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