Traders on the central part of Gloucester Road -' the longest street of independent traders in Europe' - have joined together to share events, ideas and information from our community. Our shops are from 'Pigsty Hill' up and range from cafes, art galleries, gift shops & furniture makers to fresh fruit & veg shops, hardware stores & bike shops.
The Glos Rd Central Mayfest takes place this year on Saturday May 5th (Bank Holiday weekend) from 10am - 4pm! This is our community fair, offering food, drink, live music, competitions, creative activities and more. Mayfest always coincides with the traditional procession of Jack in the Green and his band of merry musicians and dancers who make their way from the Harbourside up Gloucester Road. They will pass by Glos Rd Central at around 3.30 on the way to Horfield Common when they enact a ritual to release the spirit of summer. The Glos Rd Central Mayfest runs from 10am til 4pm so everyone will be welcome to follow the procession up Gloucester Road to the Common.
The Glos Rd Central Mayfest is a perfect way to meet your neighbours and entertain friends and family. Free activities include biscuit decorating at Joes Bakery and creative activites outside Room 212 and Paper Plane. There will be information, quizzes and more with Avon Wildlife Trust, Aid Box Community and other charities. Billie Jean makes a welcome return with her Cashmere Event. Enjoy food such as a barbeque outside Giles Butchers and delicious specialities from Venus and Cafe Dream. Xpress Computers will be running a special deals day and t shirt competition while Osna Therapies will be offering tasters and talks to introduce their new therapies. And don't forget to pick up some Bristol Pounds to spend from the cashpoint at Pearce's Hardware.
Glos Rd Central traders are very excited that Preserve, a zero waste food store will be opening at 208 Gloucester Road in June and will run a pop up stall at Mayfest. The ethos is to encourage and support people to shop without the need for single use plastic and unnecessary packaging and they'll be stocking a wide variety of wholefoods, non-foods and our special ‘Cool Stuff’ section, offering alternatives to everyday throw able items such as reusable bamboo coffee cups and stainless steel straws!
Of course choosing to shop locally on Gloucester Road is a great way to stay green and keep your high street thriving. So visit your favourite shops, enjoy free treats and have a great day out at the Glos Rd Central Mayfest this Bank Holiday weekend!
Have you looked up and spotted the lovely big art banners on lampposts all the way up Gloucester Road from Colston Girls' School to Filton Ave. Artists and community groups created artwork to feature on either side of these colourful banners, along with positive words summing up everything that is great about Gloucester Road. For more info and to see all the artwork click here http://www.room212.co.uk/gloucester-road-banners and you can see images of them in situ here https://www.facebook.com/GloucesterRdArtBanners
Sarah Thorp, Owner of Room 212 will be showing samples of her decoupage artwork at her lovely new Eco House, along with jewellery maker Katie Johnston while Catherine Amesbury will be selling her bespoke jewellery at Artemis. Room 212 will also be open throughout the trail weekend, showing work by many other North Bristol Artists - a perfect way to sample what is to be found on the trail.
Sarah is also the main organiser of Glos Rd Central. Pop round to the 212 Eco House to learn about all the fabulous events and plans for this vibrant section of the road.
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Gloucester Road Art Banners
Would you like to see your artwork up on giant banners attached to lamp posts along Gloucester Road? Gloucester Road Traders invite you to submit your creative work, inspired by our wonderful High Street of Independent Shops & Businesses. There will about 30 banners, approximately 2 metres tall, attached to lampposts, with 60 + artworks and words inspired by Gloucester Road and all it offers. Each banner is double sided so can have different images on either side and can be in place for up to 5 years...READ MORE
This year the Glos Rd Central Christmas Party takes place on Thursday December 1st. There be loads to see and do for all the family from free tasters of scrummy cakes at Joes Bakery to burgers at Dave Giles Butchers and mulled wine at the Golden Lion. You can wander round the shops til 8pm, checking out all the one off and locally made Christmas gift ideas. There'll be live music from Bishopston Bayou Band to get you dancing on the pavement and Christmas carols from local choirs Bishop Road Community Choir and Glos Vox.
Mr Gotalot (our famous local puppet) and well known artist Jenny Urqhuart will be drawing the winning entry for Jenny's amazing, giant painting called This is Our Bristol. The painting features well known and local people set against iconic Bristol landmarks. Jenny and Room 212 have been selling raffle tickets for a chance to win this fantastic painting which was featured in Bristol Life magazine. The proceeds are going to local adoption charity CCS, for which Jenny is the patron.
Do brave the cold or rain for our wonderful twinkly party. The Christmas Party launches our Thursday night late opening times to help you to shop locally for Christmas. Fig, Artemis, Moodles, Paper Plane and Room 212 will be staying open late offering lovely Bristol made gifts and art for all the family. Many of us will be open on Sundays too.
Well known artist Jenny Urqhuart will be drawing the winning entry for Jenny's amazing, giant painting called This is Our Bristol. The painting features well known and local people set against iconic Bristol landmarks. Jenny and Room 212 have been selling raffle tickets for a chance to win this fantastic painting which was featured in Bristol Life magazine. The proceeds are going to local adoption charity CCS, for which Jenny is the patron.
Room 212 owner Sarah Thorp was delighted to welcome BBC Springwatch presenter Nick Baker and TV crew to her shop this May. They were filming the installation of planters full of pollinator friendly plants and flowers on Gloucester Road by Avon Wildlife Trust. Sarah had instigated the project by first planting up an old enamel bath outside Room 212 and encouraging other traders to grow plants outside their shops . She then invited Avon Wildlife Trust to oversee the planters and applied for funding from the BCR Neighbourhood Partnership.
There are now over 30 planters on the pavements if Glos Rd Central which brighten up the lives of bees and shoppers alike.Springwatch will be aired every day from May 30th so look out for the episode on Gloucester Road!
Local Beekeepers Hives & Herbals have set up a section of living beehive outside Room 212. Spot the Queen and pick up bee related tips and products. Enjoy the bee friendly plants growing in more than 30 pavement planters outside Glos Rd Central shops – part of the Avon Wildlife Trust ‘My Wild City’ project.
The ‘My Wild City’ team have been at it again. This this time we teamed up with the business community of Gloucester Road Central. Our mission, to create an urban pollinator corridor on this busy road in Bristol. Mission impossible? We didn’t think so and we’ve proved it!
Funded by a combination of Neighbourhood Partnership grants and My Wild City project funding, the offer of personalised pollinator planters was given to 55 businesses running from the Egerton Rd junction all the way up to Nevil Rd, an area locally known as Gloucester Road Central . Thirty businesses ranging from café’s, boutiques, hardware stores, solicitors to food shops. Even the local butcher got involved.
Over the course of a week in early May, 50 new planters were installed requiring 1000 pieces of wood, 22 tonnes of supersoil (compost-topsoil mix) and over 450 nectar-rich plants, flowering shrubs and small trees. Planting plans were drawn up by wildlife garden experts at Earth Timber Stone who took into account the urban context of the project to include appropriately hardy species were chosen which can survive the additional pollution and disturbance by people.
More than half the plants included were native wildflowers including bird’s foot trefoil, ivy leaved toadflax, wild strawberry, selfheal, bugle, red campion and meadow cranesbill. Herbs such as sage, thyme, mint and rosemary commonly featured in many of the planters as they have a joint appeal to both people and wildlife. By attaching trellis we even managed to cater for native climbers including honeysuckle and clematis.
As well as members of the Avon Wildlife Trust staff, a series of dedicated volunteers gave up over 120 hours of their time to the cause. A doctor, an accountant and a waitress were amongst those who donned garden gloves over the 7 days. Even employees of the local businesses got involved with staff dropping by on their way home from a long shift.
The project was officially launched on the 7th May at the annual Gloucester Road Mayfest organised and hosted by Sarah Thorp at Room 212 who has recently built her own eco-house at the back of her shop including two green roofs.
The additional of so much greenery has vastly increased opportunities for pollinators along this 400m stretch of concreted grey. As well as helping the local wildlife, it’s hoped the project will make the shopping experience for all those visiting the area a little bit more ‘wild’ and create a buzzing hub for local traders and shoppers.
Plus, the project attracted the interest of BBC Spring Watch , and a filming crew joined the action for a day - so look out for Bristol’s Gloucester Road on the telly in June!
Once again, the Glos Rd Central Mayfest on May 7th, was a huge success. The sun shone and the streets were alive, especially Bishop Road, which was closed to traffic all day. All the shops took part, offering something for everyone from food & drink, May crown making and art activities to massage therapy, vintage clothing and special sales. The Golden Lion supplied a sound system for the Bristol Folk and Ashley Down community choirs and various acoustic musicians. Playing Out organised street games, there was lovely face painting and Mr Gotalot and the popular tea cup ride amused children all day long. Various charities and organisations such as Window Wanderland, Greenpeace, Fairtrade and the Babybank Network raised funds and awareness including the Bishopston Cotham and Redland Neighbourhood Partnership who help fund Glos Rd Central projects. Matt Collis from Avon Wildlife Trust and Thangam Debbonaire, MP for Bristol West, said a few words to the welcome the crowds to tell everyone about the new Glos Rd Central planters. The day culminated in the arrival of Jack in the Green and his band of merry dancers and musicians who luckily were able to stop and do a dance on Bishop Road before the heavens opened and everyone had to crowd into the shops and gazebos to keep dry.
The launch of the 212 Eco House coincided with the Glos Rd Central Mayfest. Intrigued visitors were able to pop down Bishop Lane and discovered this wonderful little house, built from sustainable and recycled materials, with a living roof and surrounded by a lovely sunny garden. Red Kite Design and Build, who also built the straw bale house at the Golden Hill Community Garden, were on hand to explain the building methods they used. A lifesize wicker fox stood on top of the green roof of the bike shed to advertise an upcoming Weave a Wicker Fox workshop at the Eco House on June 11th, led by local aritst Sarah Edwards. If you missed this opportunity to look around the 212 Eco House there will be another Open Day to tie in with the Big Green Week on June 16th from 3-7pm. There is also a competition to win a free night's stay at the 212 Eco House. See the Eco House page on www.room212.co.uk for more details.
You may have noticed that Glos Rd Central shops now have even more lovely planters full off shrubs and flowers out on the Gloucester Road pavements. These were funded by the BCR Neighbourhood Partnership and Avon Wildlife Trust, who organised the construction and planting as part of the My Wild City scheme. Many local people volunteered their time to help. We really hope that the plants survive and grow to improve the street scene and encourage pollinating insects to buzz up and down our streets. The Hives and Herbals beekeeper will once again bring a slice of live hive to set up outside Room 212 on June 11th so you can look for the queen and asks lots of bee related questions.
The most exciting news is that BBC Springwatch learnt of the Avon Wildlife Trust plans to get Glos Rd Central growing. They came to Gloucester Road a couple of times during May to film the creation of the planters and learn more about the My Wild City project. Springwatch presenter Nick Baker interviewed Room 212 owner Sarah Thorp, who initiated the planting scheme 2 years ago when she used set up an old bath from the Reclaimers on Gloucester Road outside her shop and filled it with flowers. This inspired other traders to join in and sparked the idea with Avon Wildlife Trust. Sarah applied for funds from the BCR Neighbourhood Partnership and brought the Avon Wildlife Trust on board who then consulted with traders about the kind of planters and plants they'd like to have outside their shops.
The Springwatch season begins on May 30th and runs every evening for 3 weeks so look out for the episode with Glos Rd Central! In the meantime, it is down to all of us to ensure that the planters are kept tidy and well tended.
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Free colouring group led by Val Hall at Boston Tea Party. Wednesdays 3 - 5pm. All ages welcome. Materials provided plus free cake!'
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