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W. J. FARVIS & SONS LTD
BRISTOL'S INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE
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Clifton Suspension Bridge Steam crane and preserved ships
Clifton Rocks Railway S.S. Great Britain
Brunel and Bristol Docks
Brunel's Swivel Bridge
The entrance to Bristol City Docks in 1905. The original and subsequently enlarged lock is on the left and the smaller 'Brunel' lock is behind the front of the paddle steamer on the right. A swing bridge now carries four lanes of traffic over the entrance. Click here for details of Brunel and Bristol City Docks
This image has 'hot spots'. Move the pointer over the picture and where it changes to a hand, you can click to show that area as it is today.
This is the traditional base in the Docks area where maintenance and repairs were carried out by the Bristol Harbour Staff.
Looking the other way, from inside the 'Floating Harbour', you can see the chimney, reservoir tower and engine house of the Victorian hydraulic system that still powers some of the lock gates, older bridges and other systems in the Historic Harbour. To the right is the original lock that caused all the problems for the SS Great Britain!
Hydraulic accumulator in the empty position. As the pressure rises, the grey cylinder ascends to the top of the post to provide the head of water to run the system.
The Victorian ship hoist - a vessel would be manoeuvred over the carriage and the entire contraption hauled out of the water with a steam driven winch. Simple, cheap and effective. Now restored to working order.
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THE BOND WAREHOUSES
Bristol was an important trading port with connections to the tobacco and wine trade. The huge structures that still dominate our skyline were built around 1900 to house the imported goods in 'bond' before they were processed by factories in Bristol. Some have been demolished and one is now the City Archive store. In the foreground behind the railings is the old railway swing Bridge over the 'New Cut'.
There were a number of other warehouses along the waterfront that have been demolished to make way for modern buildings.
THE NEW CUT
Built to divert the Rivers Avon and Frome round the new City Docks when the lock gates were installed. (Yes we did a lot of work on the lock gates and harbour installations in past times ! ) the New Cut is beautiful when the tide is in - but a wall of mud banks and old timbers when it is out. This is one of the Victorian swing bridges that enabled barges and small ships to reach the upper end of the river when the Docks were still a busy centre for shipping and trade. It doesn't swing now and there is a large pipe attached to the side!
You won't see this view from the pavement - we took it while standing on the roof rack of one of the Company Land Rovers!
Did you ever wonder where the River Avon went when it vanished behind Temple Meads station - it flows through St Annes and eventually rejoins the navigable waterway at Netham Weir. This part is tidal but too shallow for boats. Why is there always a shopping trolley ?
An unusual sight that was common in the early 20th Century - rejoining the main river navigation from the New Cut - Cumberland flyover is on the right !
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