Bristol ruined by copying Europe
IN a debate on the regeneration of the city at the Arnolfini, Bristol's mayor George Ferguson said he wanted to make Bristol a place that people will not forget." His actual words were: "It's vitally important to me that we give people a reason to remember Bristol." (The Post January 23) If he intends to follow the Disneyesque themes of such 'visitor experiences' as the M shed museum, then as Private Fraser in Dad's Army might have said: 'We're all doomed! Doomed!'
Doomed that is to the continuing Europeanisation of Bristol; which I would claim has destroyed much of what it means to be Bristolian! No doubt 'developers' will continue restructuring Bristol a la the post Second World War myopic city leaders. Admittedly much of Bristol's inner-city was bombed during WW2, but not all of it. In my historic opinion the city-planners have for generations continued to finish what the Luftwaffe started!
My Bristolian antecedents, together with an allied cultural higher education qualification, perhaps, just perhaps, gives me a grass roots appreciation of what Bristol really means. Moreover, The Post recently revealed details of new plans drawn up to: "... transform Redcliffe Way into a Barcelona-style boulevard." If so, it will complement the horrendous Benidorm style housing which already disgraces some frontage of Bristol's docks.
A Bristol Times photograph (The Post January 14) of Redcliffe Way in the 1950s showed the halcyon days of my Bristolian youth; which was a stark reminder of what Bristol has lost. Furthermore, Mr Ferguson misunderstands the Bristolian ethic when he said: "Let's steal ideas from people (Spain for example) and adapt them." Why on earth Mr Ferguson would I as a Bristolian want to steal ideas from other cities, and then use them to destroy what little remains of Bristol's heritage? Thankfully the continuing Bristol Times articles in The Post are constant illustrations of what Bristolians have lost. I live in eternal hope that the infrastructure ravages of the past will cease, and Bristol will once again have reason to be proud of its motto Virtute et Industria. Current debates on the topic seem to indicate that I shall be disappointed!
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R L Smith