The sun’s been a bit been beating down on Bristol recently – but be warned… It might soon be beneath the shadow of the WRECKING BALL if profiteering developers threatening some of the charms of Victorian East Bristol get their way.
First under threat from demolition is the old Ebenezer Chapel on Midland Road in St Philip’s. A friendly and familiar face greeting passers-by at the end of the Bath-Bristol cy- clepath, Bristol’s first ‘Primitive Methodist’ chapel has been around since 1849, but now FACES THE CHOP thanks to a landlord and developers who want to replace it with some boring, globally uniform apartments.
Ebenezer’s good – for demolition
All of the original fittings have already been ripped out to sell on, with Bristol City Council claiming it’s powerless to prevent the chapel’s destruction. Locals, backed by the Civic Society have pledged to fight on.
Next up for the ARCHITECTURAL KNACKER’S is Avonvale Board School in Redfield, now home to BCC Children’s and Young People’s Services. There are dastardly plans to replace this school, which has years left in it, with a ‘bespoke’ modern building with a much shorter life expectatancy.
Built in 1898-9 by Victorian architect Herber J. Jones – who in his time notched up a few Methodist chapels of his own – its head was once Thomas MacNamara, one of the first teachers to become a government minister.
So why not give the kids of the future a school with a bit of history they can learn about – instead of condemning them to study in an identikit box to satisfy greedy developers and weak-kneed planners who have forgotten the battles to save old Bristol from the bureaucrats in the decades after the War.
We all know the Regency and Victorian heritage of Clifton or Southville wouldn’t be flattened and replaced.
And it shouldn’t happen in working-class East Bristol either!