The Twentieth Century Society

Regional groups

The C20 West group in Park Row, Bristol (photo: Jack Konynenburg)

Bristol visit: February 2016

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Who said that there were few C20 buildings of interest in Bristol?

Jack and Jan Konynenburg proved them wrong when they led a group of C20 members around the centre of the city on a bright but cold last Saturday in February.

After warming coffee and cake at the cafe in The Guild in Park Street, we were led into College Green to view the Council House, stopping on the way to see the Wills Memorial Tower and a Banksy wall painting. A greater contrast between all three could not be imagined, and this set the tone for the rest of the walk.

We saw the Library building, Millennium Square, the refurbished harbourside buildings and a 60s multi-storey car park, a favourite of Jack’s, before heading into the famous Queen Square and King Street.

An interesting and popular feature of Jack and Jan’s walks is the discussion about the various buildings between the C20 members and the facts and observations that emerge from these exchanges.

The contrast between the Art Nouveau-style Edward Everard building in Broad Street and the adjoining 60s office building was the subject of much comment, for example.

We finished with a climb up Christmas Steps and along Park Row, stopping only for a group photo outside an iconic ‘loo’ building, before descending on the cafe in The Guild again for lunch.

After lunch several members visited the Ken Stradling Collection in the adjoining building. The collection houses C20 objects, including furniture, paintings, glass and especially ceramics, all collected by Ken over the last 70 years.

It was a fitting end to a very enjoyable C20 West group event. Thanks to Jack and Jan for all their hard work in planning, researching and leading the walk.

Bob Hardcastle

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