This year the phone box museum is part of Window Wanderland in the four villages. You can join in too if you live in Avonmouth, Sea Mills / Coombe Dingle, Lawrence Weston or Shirehampton, by making a display. Everyone can come and view the displays which will brighten up our streets on Saturday 29th February and Sunday 1st March. This is a different event to the BS9 version which happens earlier in the month.
Window Wanderland is a great opportunity to brighten up our winter streets. Register to take part and you will be added to our map.
Two events are currently planned one on 29th January 2020 and another on 26th February.
Our intergenerational event at the very start of the project in 2018 was a great success so we will be doing that again. A year 6 class from Sea Mills Primary School will be joining us to chat and find out what life was like in days gone by. They will make a display about what they find out which will be viewable at the public library and other local venues. The event for the children to gather people’s stories is at St Edyth’s Church on Wednesday 29th Jan 1.30pm – 3.30pm please come and join us and bring photographs or objects to inspire our conversation.
When we surveyed people at our last event the idea of talks about the history of Sea Mills was popular. In the first of these on Wednesday February 26th 2.30pm at Sea Mills Methodist Church Christine Molan will be telling us about the Roman history of Sea Mills and the port of Abona. In was Christine’s wonderful artwork which was on display during our Bristol Open Doors event in September.
Later in the year during March and April we will be helping people who have a connection with Sea Mills make life story books at Sea Mills Library and also hosting a talk about the salvage of the SS Great Britain.
All events are free and will include free tea / coffee and cake and are a great opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones.
We always need volunteers to help at events so if you are available, get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The first year of the project seems to have flown by, so much has happened and there is still so much we could do! Remind yourself of the last year by watching our video.
We are continuing to record oral histories, collect photographs and create displays in the museum. We are in the process of collating information to upload here and also to the Bristol Know Your Place website which is a fantastic resource for Bristol’s heritage. We will also be running some more events in the new year, they’ll be a short book and a radio programme produced so watch this space!
If you would like to help or have memories or photographs to share please get in touch.
You have until the end of this month to see our Remembrance display at the museum.
On Remembrance Sunday around 40 local people gathered at the museum to hear the last post and to remember all those affected by war.
WW2 veteran Stan Tozer who has lived in Sea Mills for more than 90 years gave the Exhortation:
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. We will remember them.
Several people then spoke to remember relatives and also people they had found in their research during the Sea Mills 100 project, this including remembrances of an 18 year old who was one of the first people to be born in Sea Mills who died on a convoy ship during WW2, an American solider billeted in Failand Crescent and a Jewish family who escaped the nazis and found safety in Sylvan Way.
The Remembrances will be on display in the museum until the end of November. After that we will upload them here for everyone to see.
Gather from 10.50am at the Sea Mills 100 museum (the old phone box), under Addison’s Oak, Sea Mills Square BS9 2DY
The Last Post will be played followed by 2 minutes silence at 11am.
Everyone is welcome. After the silence and some brief words of remembrance anyone who wishes to is invited to say a few words to remember someone affected by war.
You could remember a friend, relative, loved one or someone you have discovered while researching during the Sea Mills 100 project.
We will remember those who survived as well as those who died.
You are also invited to bring photographs and / or a written memory.
If you wish we will collect these to display in the phone box museum for the duration of November. These should be around postcard size and not your only copy of a photograph if you wish to leave them in the museum.
The event will be weather dependent and duration will depend on the number of people who wish to speak.
Addison’s Oak featured highly in our resident-led walks for Bristol Open Doors and is an important feature of our local landscape. Don’t forget it’s shortlisted for Woodland Trust “Tree of the Year 2019”. Voting closes at 12 noon, 27th September so vote now!
On Sunday 15th September we welcomed several hundred people to Sea Mills as part of Sea Mills 100’s activities for Bristol Open Doors day. Our Methodist church was open to host a “Snack, Chat and Reminisce” event along with a ‘minimal walking’ version of the heritage trail we presented in June. Two resident-led walks were conducted which were supported by the Bristol Architecture Centre, plus vintage buses visited the square and took visitors on short tours.
Addison’s Oak in Sea Mills Square has been shortlisted in the Woodland Trust’s Tree of the Year competition for 2019. Voting closes on 27th September 2019 so vote now.
Described by Eugene Byrne (in Bristol and the First World War, 2014) as “in its way” “one of Bristol’s most
important monuments”, Addison’s Oak in Sea Mills, north-west Bristol, has been shortlisted as one of 10
trees nominated for the Woodland’s Trust Tree of the Year 2019 (England) award.
Addison’s Oak, a fine young (in oak tree terms) centenarian, recently celebrated its 100th birthday when
residents, dignitaries and invited guests sang “Happy Birthday” to the tree and cut a cake specially baked
for the occasion.
Planted on 4th July 1919, it commemorates the cutting, by Dr. Christopher Addison M.P., of the first sod of
Bristol’s city-wide public housing scheme that was to provide “Homes Fit for Heroes” returning from the
First World War.
Christopher Addison was the minister responsible for the 1919 Housing and Town Planning Act. The
Addison Act was a watershed moment for council housing provision in Bristol and nationally. For the first
time, government subsidies to local authorities provided new housing for working people. The scheme
became known as the Addison Scheme, the houses Addison Houses.
Prior to World War One, high density, often slum, dwellings, crowded into highly polluted cities, were a
major cause of ill-health and social malaise. As Addison said in his speech at Bristol, they could not “deal
adequately with the health problem of the country unless they were at the same time competent to deal
with the dwellings the people inhabited”.
Consequently, the new houses would be built in low density estates laid out in accordance with the
principles of the garden city movement, with houses designed to be open to light and fresh air. Gardens
and allotments would provide physical exercise, fresh garden produce, and social interaction. Dedicated
play areas would provide fresh air and physical exercise for the children.
Addison’s Oak is situated on Sea Mills Square at the heart of the Sea Mills estate, now a conservation area
and recognised as Bristol’s finest example of planned post-WW1 municipal housing with its distinctive
garden suburb layout.
In 1937, John Betjeman described Sea Mills as having “a surprising beauty showing off in the evening
sunlight; and vistas of trees and fields and pleasant cottages that that magic estate has managed to
With its direct link to the man whose name is most strongly associated with the Addison Scheme,
Addison’s Oak is a fitting symbol of the new enlightened approach to public housing in green healthy
surroundings which began in 1919. It stands as a testament to the value of living in green, healthy
surroundings, open to light and fresh air, and the importance of giving that opportunity to all people.
We believe it is a fitting candidate for Tree of the Year 2019 and invite you to please vote for it.
We will be changing much of the display and audio at the museum in time for our events on the 15th September, so if you have not yet managed to visit, get down there soon to check it out before it changes. The museum is open 9am – 5pm Sunday-Friday and 10am-5pm on Saturdays. There’s a children’s trail and you can also pic up a free “Homes for Heroes” comic.
The new display will reflect the content of our resident led walks which are being run in association with Bristol Open Doors this year.