Don’t forget to Vote Oak!

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!

Walkers gather under Addison’s Oak (Photo Keith Fussell)

Bristol Open Doors success

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.

Photo Keith Fussell

Addison’s Oak shortlisted for award – vote now!

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 create”.

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.

To vote for Addison’s Oak, go to
Voting closes on noon on 27 September 2019, so please VOTE NOW for Addison’s Oak.

For further information contact Sea Mills 100 at or visit the following websites: from-the-addison-act-62106 act/

For the full list of trees shortlisted in England see tree-of-the-year-2019/england/

All change at the museum

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.

Pick up a free Homes for Heroes 100 comic

Sea Mills – Bristol Open Doors – 15th September

On Sunday 15th September 2019, we will be celebrating Bristol Open Doors in and around Sea Mills Square and the Methodist Church.

At the Methodist Church

2-5pm – Sea Mills 100 heritage trail displays – another chance to see all the displays, this time all together under one roof. Find out more about the first residents of our garden suburb.

2- 4pm Snack, Chat and Reminisce – tea, coffee, cake and conversation in the meeting room at the Methodist Church. Meet old friends and new. Tell us what you’d like next from Sea Mills 100, and see how you could create a book of your life using an iPad with the help of “Tangible Memories”.

In the Square

2pm – 5pm – Vintage buses on the Square

look around 1950’s and 60’s buses from the Bristol Omnibus Vehicle Collection and maybe even catch a ride.

2pm & 3pm Resident led guided walks from the phone box on Sea Mills Square. Booking essential – at Sea Mills Library or online

9am – 5pm Sea Mills Mini Museum new displays.
2-4pm Cream teas available in the Cafe on the Square.

Events are run in association with Bristol Architecture Centre

Photography trail – 24th August 10am

Have fun with your camera – photographing our garden suburb

Well Sea Mills People- we all know how photogenic our Garden Suburb is!

We’re continuing the Sea Mills 100 celebrations with a photography trail in preparation for the Sea Mills Flower Show photography competition (entries required for Friday 6th September).

We will meet up at the Library on 24th August at 10am (we can have a look at the Sea Mills photographs in there) and then snap our way around Sea Mills, finishing at the Café on the Square, where we can compare photos.

Just bring along whatever camera you have (mine’s an iPhone 5). I can provide basic tips on how to create a pleasing photo if it would be useful- and if you’re an expert, we’d love to learn from you.

Look forward to seeing you there!

It would help us greatly if you could register for the event, so that we have an idea of numbers.
You can also find out more about the Sea Mills Flower Show and how to enter your photograph, produce or craft. Photography categories include; best picture of Addison’s Oak and Sea Mills landscape.


We can see lots of sunflowers all over the estate at the moment. Many are from the free sunflower planting sessions we did earlier in the year. If yours is flowering why not send us a picture for the gallery?

Sept 15th – Bristol Open Doors – Book your walk.

This year Sea Mills is being supported by the Architecture Centre to take part in Bristol Open Doors weekend.

A group of local people are receiving training and working together to plan their own guided walk of the area which they will lead on Sunday 15th September 2019. The walk will be part of an afternoon of events in Sea Mills that day. A minimal walking version of our heritage trail will be available inside Sea Mills Methodist Church and the Cafe on the Square will also be open.

Places on the walk are strictly limited so book yours at Sea Mills Library or book online now.

Wow! We Celebrated…

The weekend of 8th / 9th June 2019 was a special one for Sea Mills as we celebrated our centenary. Our mini-museum was complete, gift wrapped and ready to be opened by Lord Mayor Jos Clark and local writer and Sea Mills boy Derek Robinson.

Our museum – all wrapped up, a present for Sea Mills waiting to be opened

There was a great turn out of local people, and it was fantastic to see how many people where interested in celebrating the heritage of their local area, including our local councillors and MP. The museum proved to be very popular with the audio clips inside being played over 300 times over the weekend. It’s a vert long time since any of us had seen a queue at a phone box!

Local people came to watch, including our MP Darren Jones.

As part of the weekend local people had research the history of their homes and put the information outside their houses as part of a heritage trail. One of the most amazing things for us was seeing people going around the trail with their maps ticking off the ones they had seen. It worked! People were doing it! It was also brilliant to meet people who had come from all over the country to see the trail, many of them previous residents, some of whom had contributed information for the trail.

Visitors on the trail

Museum opening and heritage trail 8 & 9th June 2019

Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th are key dates in the Sea Mills 100 Calendar. Our mini-museum on the Square will open on Saturday and remain for at least a year.

Our heritage trail, devised by local residents will be open over the weekend. Visitors will be able to tour Sea Mills and find out who lived in some of the houses when they were first built.

It’s almost here. June 2019 will see in the 100th anniversary of the Sea Mills estate and we will be celebrating with a series of events over the weekend of the 8th and 9th June.

Sea Mills Heritage Trail 8th – 9th June 2019
Many of the public areas and buildings around Sea Mills will be open. A number of private houses will have information outside them in the street so that you can find out about the people that used to live there up to 100 years ago.

You can download a Sea Mills 100 trail map or pick up a copy from Sea Mills Library or the Cafe on the Square during the weekend.

Phone Box Mini-Museum
Our mini-museum in the Sea Mills Square will open with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10am on Saturday 8th June. The museum will remain available to few for at least one year with the display changing from time to time.

Programme Saturday 8th June: 

10am Ribbon cutting – The Phone Box Mini-Museum Sea Mills Square
11am Football on the Rec Shire Colts Youth v Sea Mills Park 
10-4pm Outdoor Heritage trail
 pick up a map from Cafe on the Square, Mini-Museum or Sea Mills Library.
10-4pm Buildings and spaces open for displays
Cafe on the Square (cafe history and refreshments)
Methodist Church (Brownies and Sea Mills Garden Club)
St Edyth’s Church (Church history, Sea Mills Primary School, 126 Scouts)
Sea Mills Community Centre (downstairs) (Community Centre History and Community Voice Newspaper)
Sea Mills Library (Library history)
Sea Mills Community Garden (History display also children’s activities 10-2pm)
Highgrove Church (Church history plus “Your House in Cardboard”
12-4pm Mill House Public House (History display plus food and drink)
2pm Music on the Square
4pm Sea Mills AmDram present “Sea Mills a Centenary”
at the Community Centre
5.30 BBQ
at St Edyth’s Church (first come first served)

Sunday 9th June

10-4pm Outdoor Heritage trail  pick up a map from Cafe on the Square, Mini-Museum or Sea Mills Library.
Sunday services 10am St Edyth’s and 10.30 Methodist Church all welcome.
Various times – Buildings and spaces open for displays
2-4pm Cafe on the Square (cafe history and cream teas for donation)
12-4pm Methodist Church (Brownies and Sea Mills Garden Club)
1-4pm St Edyth’s Church (Church history, Sea Mills Primary School, 126 Scouts)
10-4pm Sea Mills Community Centre (downstairs) (Community Centre History and Community Voice Newspaper)
10-4pm Sea Mills Library (Library history)
10-4pm Sea Mills Community Garden (History display also children’s activities 10-2pm)
12-4pm Mill House Public House (History display plus food and drink)
2pm Music on the Square. “The Big Lunch” community picnic, bring your own lunch plus something to share also cream teas (for donation) from the cafe on the Square. Outdoor games from the Ark project.