Cementing a Concrete Community

lining upPlay sculptures are emerging from the pallet boxes this week and we have decided to name our Pocket Park ‘Concrete Communities’. We feel this plays homage to Dame Sylvia Crowe and 1960’s modernism, but allows us our contemporary re-use and DIY touches. Above all, the title alludes to our strong local community.

DaveSo, what is actually going on down at the Cumberland Piazza? All around Bristol Harbour there are so many signs telling the public what they’re not allowed to do, so last week, while Britain voted, Anna, Amy and Dave painted a new mural, intending to welcome people of all ages to enjoy the space in whatever way they choose.

AmyThis week our Pocket Park team have been revealing and and turning the members of the ‘Concrete Community’ with the help of a gantry hired from Brandon Tools, one of many amazing local suppliers who have help us, even though they must think we’re bonkers!

How 2?Apparently they spent an hour in the office wondering how we were going to carry out our mission, but as usual, Tom and Luke had a plan. And as usual the plan involved lots of head-scratching, this time about axis points and weight shifts, as we shuffled the gantry inch-by inch and scratched our heads again.

Beton BrutAnd the results? Well, the sculptures need a bit of cementing, a bit of sanding and a lot of moving, with help from our local teens. The painstakingly filled pallets used to brace the moulds and create the Beton Brut effect (to rival London’s South Bank) will be turned into yet more planters to house our rapidly spreading pollinators. Scaffold poles will be added to create a sports pitch structure and a canopy for performance and this ‘Concrete Community’ will be ready to welcome everyone on July 9th as we launch our pocket park!

Mural Painting

Amy and Dave

luke with Gantry

Luke and the Gantry

stairs

Thinking Steps

Anna gantry

Suspended slide

Pocket Park Launch poster

Photo by Anna Haydock-Wilson and Tom Sale

Poster design by Luke Carnaby

email Anna at Hotwells & Cliftonwood Community Association to find out more

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Strange Objects are appearing

You may have noticed activity recently in the form of many large ‘boxes’. These are the moulds for our concrete play objects from which we are building our Pocket Park. We would like to share some pictures from the process so far- we hope you enjoy them

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13th March, Matt and Luke preparing for community workshop

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Trying out the play ideas

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Portway Sunday Park play day 25th May

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preparing the moulds

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Sealing the edges ready for concrete pouring

We’re building a Pocket Park

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Model by Luke Carnaby, Tom Sale, Matt Smith and Luke Copely-Wilkins, photo by Tom Sale

Last year Hotwells and Cliftonwood Community Association and Art under the Flyover teamed up with some architecture MA students from UWE to try and imagine how we could increase play and ‘hang-out’ facilities on the Cumberland Piazza. Bristol City Council Highways Department need to use the under flyover space to maintain the roads above which presents quite a few challenges, such as not being able to fix any equipment to the ground or the pillars and we have struggled over the years to come up with a solution for local football loving kids. All they want is a cage, but we can’t provide that, so we applied for Pocket Park funding from the Department of Communities and Local Government to see what we could create.

In late January we heard that we got the funding and a couple of weeks later the council’s Neighbourhood Partnership agreed to support us to run design workshops with young people and incorporate their ideas into the ‘park’. The idea is that they also help us actually build it, in fact, the whole community can help too!

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Super Kilen in Denmark

So, what are we planning to build? Inspired by creative ideas from around the globe, and by Canvas Spaces, round the corner in Dowry Square, and of course by the flyover itself, we have decided to make a series of concrete structures, each with their own ‘play’ functions, which will be arranged to form a ‘pitch’. To ensure balls don’t get kicked into the road we are exploring putting poles into each corner of the ‘concretes of joy’ and wrapping a mesh or net around. Can’t picture it? Here’s some early design sketches:

 

Pocket Park REV A 2.0 Site plan

Design by Luke Carnaby, Matt Smith & Tom Sale

We have been doing some informal workshops with local teenagers, mostly football orientated, because the kids who’ve come along are really into football at the moment. They’ve been trying out different places under cover and telling us about the challenges for them. Our current design team, Anna, Luke, Luke, Tom, Rachel & Matt, are looking closely at how they’re playing and seeing how we can match their aspirations with the constraints we have from the council.

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Photo by Anna Haydock-Wilson

We worked in Puppet Place rehearsal space at the end of February to develop more ideas for the concrete structures using plasticine modelling. Crazy golf football and seats that look like space hoppers were the highlights. In the meantime, Tom, Luke, Luke & Matt have been creating ‘forms’ at UWE’s Frenchay Campus and are pouring concrete in to test out how to make it work when we do it for real.

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Photo by Tom Sale

We really want to make this work for the whole community, so if you fancy joining in, we have some large as life workshops planned, when we’ll be testing out ramps and using hay bales posing as the finished ‘concretes of joy’. Come down to the Cumberland Piazza on 13th March 1-5pm, or follow us on facebook to find out how we got on.

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London’s Southbank photo by Anna Haydock-Wilson

We will also be inviting everyone to come and help our teenagers to build some of the form work and ‘reveal’ the Pocket Park once it has ‘set’. We think concrete is beautiful (see pic above), but it can have a negative environmental impact,  so we will be using ‘rubbish’ inside, recycled aggregates within the mix, re-used objects to create our forms and we’ll be making lots and lots of small new planters from pallets as part of our park.

Get in touch!

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It’s been a Colourful Year!

2015 has been a year of colour under the flyover -so much of the work HCCA has done to secure funding and permissions finally came to fruition.

In March we began testing colours for the pillars, preparing a ‘canvas’ for a mural by Dave Bain. We had been keen to explore a tonal range and and Anna had been playing with ideas for a long while. When Dave refused to begin a mural design until the pillars were done a trip to Hartcliffe B & Q was the only solution. Armed with 21 tester pots, a few brushes and a 5 year old, Anna dotted squares on pillars and left them for locals to complain- no-one did!

Ray Smith worked with the Landmark Practice to design the planters. Bristol Wood Recycling Project cut the scaffold planks and they were built and filled by committed local gardening volunteers. Bristol Zoo’s Wild Place project was hoping to provide us with native plants from their seedlings, but it hadn’t been a great winter for growing, so they raided Blaise estate nursery for the council rejects and delivered a striking variety of flora, including a very non-native banana plant. The nasturtiums are still flowering!

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The pillar painting began in earnest at the last weekend of April with about 30 volunteers turning up. It took until mid August to paint them all, well as far as Anna’s arms and a 5 metre pole could reach- but at least Dave was now happy and produced some beautiful designs and created a magical ‘hidden forest’, with his team, in less than a week. And he braved the heights to reach up to the carriageways!

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In July Sharing Communities, the Bristol 2015 Neighbourhood Arts project for our area, collaborated with Young Bristol for an event called Your Place to Play for young people to share ideas about what they wanted to do. 60 people came and joined in the conversations and activities which included BMX demos and tutoring from the amazing Matti Hemmings, a design workshop for a skate park from Canvas Spaces, a newly local business keen to get involved and beautiful floor painting from the DO15 team. People sharing thoughts and ideas for the future of the flyover continued at our Community Celebration Day in September with 30 more people joining us for a walk and drink at the Rose of Denmark.

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In October Sharing Communities worked with the Portway Sunday Park team and a group of UWE architecture MA students, Luke Copely-Wilkins, Luke Carnaby, Matthew Smith and Tom Sale, to create The Wayfarers, a moveable bandstand  which travelled from the Piazza to the sheer rock face just beyond the old funicular railway. The journey down the car-free Portway was led by the shocking pink Ambling Band and the recycled structures hosted musicians and local poet, Bob Walton. The acoustics across the Avon Gorge were wonderful!

DSC_5714 copyOn the wettest windiest November day the UWE team organised a Cumberland Basin Bonanza, rigging up a temporary sports pitch, adding the pre-cut bench elements to the planters and making more from our growing stash of pallets. Riverside garden centre donated more plants and we discussed yet more ideas.

On December 16th Green Trees contractors tarmac’d our skatespot, designed by local skaters and drafted by Andrew Iles, completing all the works Hotwells & Cliftonwood Community Association had designed and funded. Without the enormous amount of volunteer hours from locals and Bristol-wide creatives it wouldn’t have been possible!

So, our colourful year has finished and we have new people involved and new ideas to explore for 2016.

  • Blue/Green are some of the colours for next year as we aspire to look at flood risk and climate change adaptations to the flyover
  • A games area is another priority, designed with and for teenagers. Funds are being applied for and ideas are being drawn up by our talented team of young architects
  • We hope for more live arts, collaborations, performances and even a Hotwells Carnival!

If you have any ideas you’d like to share or make happen in this space contact admin@hotwellscliftonwood.org.uk, like us and post on facebook, or tweet @hccabristol

Thanks to Trudy Feeney and her team at Bristol City Council Cleansing Dept & Mike Lawlor and Kurt James from BCC Neighbourhood Partnerships for all their support.

 

 

Playing the Portway 25TH OCTOBER 12-4PM

This event combines using the Piazza as an art and performance space with the closure of the Portway for a Sunday Park

For all event details join Sharing Communities on facebook and visit Portway Sunday Park

PSP09:13#7This project has evolved from Build a Bandstand into a parade of ‘The Wayfarers’prototype2These portable stages are being designed and pre-fabricated by UWE Archtiect Students. The audience is invited to watch them being assembled on the Cumberland Piazza from midday and accompanied by The Ambling Band and some busy monkeys as part of the Portway Sunday Park.IMG_1185

The idea of a bandstand was all about the communal performance space offered by bandstands world-wide and we have used this inspire the students, who are creating some splendid structures made from recycled materials, which will then be re-used yet again. The plan is to create vertical gardens on the Cumberland Piazza! IMG_1865Being on the car-free Portway for previous road closures made me aware of the acoustics created by this amazing geological structure we have in our city and how ‘re-purposing’ the Portway as a performance space would be a fantastic thing to do. Luckily the Portway Sunday Park organisers agree and have organised other musicians and a carnival float too.

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Cutting car emissions by extending normal Portway closures, even 5 times a year reduces pollution and making structures that have a fun, community purpose and can be turned into planters all add a little more oxygen to our city’s atmosphere.

Your Place to Play Sunday 5th July

Your Place to Play- Sunday 5th July- activities for kids young and older! Free Event

Your Place to Play11am-5pm Young Bristol’s amazing Creative Team are coming to paint games on the floor for players young and old to enjoy. They are also planning to paint a local scene on some stairs. If you’re feeling arty, come and join in.

12-4pm A Doctor Bike from Bristol Bike Project will help you repair and improve your bike

1-4pm, Guiness world record holder,  Matti Hemmings, demos everything possible on a BMX

2-4pm Design a Skate Park and Sports Pitch with Canvas Spaces, amazing creators of Skate and other parks. Join in and your contribution to the design may become a reality!

Skaters activities and skills shares throughout the day!

Help us stencil a massive ‘mind map’ of your ideas and messages!

See Sharing Communities Stories for more info about this project

Related articles: Growing TogetherFABRICation, We HEART our Students

annahaydockwilson@icloud.comFacebook Neighbourhood Arts Programme, Twitter @ahaydockwilson, #NAP2015

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July under the Flyover

DSC_3175As you may have seen things are progressing. The pillars & planters are nearly done and we have been planning summer events.

Your Place to Play- Sunday 5th July- activities for kids young and older! Free Event

Your Place to Play11am-5pm Young Bristol’s amazing Creative Team are coming to paint games on the floor for players young and old to enjoy. They are also planning to paint a local scene on some stairs. If you’re feeling arty, come and join in.

There will be activities and demos for skaters, BMXers and other bikers.

If you have any old or broken bikes or skateboards, or even scooters, bring them down and there will be people to help you fix them

If you have any skills and ideas you’d like to show or share, bring those too.

This is all about making use of this place

A full timetable of activities will be available from 30th June.

Hotwells Street Party-Saturday 11th July 12-9.30pm, Charles Place Free Event

Organised by the Rose of Denmark and the Merchants Arms, Hotwells finally gets a street party! Music, food, stalls and all sorts of entertainment. Details to follow…

Invent and Create Designs for Murals- Saturday 11th July 1-3pm Puppet Place, Unit 18, Albion Dockside Buildings, Hanover Place, BS1 6UT (near Spike Island Arts) Free Event

Artist, Dave Bain, is running a workshop for locals to design characters and images to decorate a selection of the pillars. Please get in touch if you’d like to come along.

Spring 2015 we are adding colour 25th & 26th April 12-6pm

For far too long the Piazza has been predominantly GREY and we’ve all had enough so we’re adding a lot of colour this spring.

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Come and help paint the pillars top-to-toe on 25th-26th April 2015 between midday and 6pm. HCCA will provide refreshments, brushes and paint. Wear protective clothing and accompany your children.

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DSC_2811Ray and his team of greening volunteers have been assembling and preparing the planters, created by Bristol Wood Recycling Project ready for floral colour.

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Other news

We will be resurfacing the small covered area for kids (young and old) to use for skating, scooters and other wheels as soon as we have the final go ahead from the council- sorry it has taken so long!   DSC_2808

Many have asked about the Grow Wild bid we put out for votes. We didn’t get it but are looking at other funds to use to take up some tarmac, create more green space and plan for more facilities for children and teens.

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We welcome any help so get in touch admin@hotwellscliftonwood.org.uk @hccabristol or tel 0117 929 1883 (answerphone only)

Spring 2015 we are adding colour

For far too long the Piazza has been predominantly GREY and we’ve all had enough so we’re adding a lot of colour this spring.

DSC_2798

Come and help paint the pillars top-to-toe on 25th-26th April 2015 between midday and 6pm. HCCA will provide refreshments, brushes and paint. Wear protective clothing and accompany your children.

DSC_2800

Ray and his team of greening volunteers have been assembling and preparing the planters, created by Bristol Wood Recycling Project ready for floral colour.

DSC_2586          DSC_2592

Other news

We will be resurfacing the small covered area for kids (young and old) to use for skating, scooters and other wheels as soon as we have the final go ahead from the council- sorry it has taken so long!   DSC_2808

Many have asked about the Grow Wild bid we put out for votes. We didn’t get it but are looking at other funds to use to take up some tarmac, create more green space and plan for more facilities for children and teens.

7thSept2014-9.jpg-resize

We welcome any help so get in touch admin@hotwellscliftonwood.org.uk @hccabristol or tel 0117 929 1883 (answerphone only)

Share your skills with the community!

Find out about how you can get involved in all sorts of local projects from greening the Cumberland Piazza to helping implement the HCCA traffic strategy, making our streets safer. Let us know about things you’d like to do to improve our neighbourhood

Enjoy a presentation by HighWaterLine Bristol and Bristol City Council Flood Risk Team on how high tides might affect us in the future

 HCCA AGM, Tuesday 18th Nov 7.45pm at Holy Trinity Church, Hotwell Rd

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