Looking back at Bristol in 2012

30 12 2012

At the beginning of 2012, the Council House was the Council House and George Ferguson an architect best-known for wearing red trousers. At the end of 2012, Ferguson is Bristol’s mayor, with his office in City Hall overlooking a re-turfed College Green after the removal of the Occupy Bristol protesters.

Bristol City Hall

So that was the news in Bristol in 2012. But what about the interesting stuff?

It was a year of birthdays for some of Bristol’s best-loved venues. The Hippodrome celebrated its centenary and the Watershed 30 years. Meanwhile, the Old Vic reopened after a £12m refurbishment.

An intriguing new temporary venue was the Big Top @ Creative Common, which hosted everything from film nights to circus shows, and also hosted Damon Albarn and Africa Express, the best gig of 2012.

There were also several goodbyes, including to the Cooler on Park Street, Venue magazine, Bristol Ice Rink, Culinaria restaurant and the career of Justin Lee Collins, who was found guilty of harassment causing fear of violence to his ex-girlfriend.

In March, one of the world’s largest super yachts cruised into the Floating Harbour. Mogambo (below) was visiting for improvements to its on-board entertainment system.

Mogambo in Bristol

Also on the water, the ss Great Britain was floated on green jelly, Nowhere Island appeared in the Cumberland Basin and the Bristol Ferry Boat Company sunk, only to see all five boats purchased by a mysterious consortium.

The Olympic torch was even transported on the water, while another part of the 2012 Festival saw a floating seed garden created on a barge next to Castle Park.

The world’s media came to town in August for the Robo World Cup, and returned a month later for the launch of the Bristol Pound (below), which the mayoral salary is paid in.

Bristol Pound notes

2012 was a busy year for Bristol Culture. I hosted a mayoral hustings at the Colston Hall; played on almost every Ping table around the city, against everybody from Bristol Cathedral’s Canon Robert to Alan the lion keeper at Bristol Zoo; and got to know every soft play in the city with my young daughter.

I even showed a German television crew around Bristol:

A rather worrying common theme for me this year was being threatened, first verbally – live on Points West – by Respect candidate Neil Maggs before the aforementioned hustings (pics here) – and earlier in the year threatened with actual violence by friends of angry food bloggers whose reviews of a new tasting menu at The Square I had quoted. Read how the comments degenerate.

These are the 10 most-viewed stories on Bristol Culture in 2012:

1) Bristol welcomes super yacht Mogambo
2) Love Saves the Day festival in Bristol
3) DJ Derek honoured by Lord Mayor
4) Inkie’s See No Evil mural removed
5) Manna
6) Bristol Good Food Awards 2012 shortlist
7) Warren’s Gourmet Burger Company
8) Costa Coffee takes over Brunel’s Buttery (below)
9) Mud Dock Deli
10) Pub of the week: The Gallimaufry

Brunel's Buttery turns into Costa Coffee - April fool



3 responses

30 12 2012
Dan Izzard (@SimpleLampoon)

Some great events and great posts this year. Hopefully more of the same in 2013! (Probably no more Olympics though – just a hunch…)

30 12 2012

Great work, really beneficial, thank you.

31 12 2012

Reblogged this on What Does Bristol Believe?.

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