Bristol Street Art Tours – although we could have walked the streets of Bristol for free and seen these amazing works, we wouldn’t have had a window into the other world that street artists inhabit. Our guide opened up the complexity of practicing street art – legality vs illegality, tourism, technical production, attitudes from city authority, impermanence, the inter-generational conflict, digital archiving and promotion, and international participation in the recent historical context.
I was so good, I didn’t mind it was 12 degrees and raining.
BTW, the guide did cover Banksy, too.
The squirrels around Cabot tower are obviously hand-fed; they come hunting around to see if you will feed them. In this case, the squirrel wanted to see if the camera was edible. The grey squirrel is an invasive species in the UK; the red squirrel it is displacing was signposted in a number of places in the Lake District (including one notable 20% gradient and squirrel alert sign), but we failed to spot any.
The SS Great Britain is one of the first hybrid steam driven screw/sail power iron construction ocean going ships. Built in Bristol in the mid-1800s, it was scuttled in the Falkland Islands in the 1930s. It was then salvaged in the 1970s and returned, with the dry-dock used to construct it retired by receiving the recovered vessel and being converted into a museum conserving the ship.
The most unusual thing I found out from the exhibition, is that the ship was later converted to have a retractable prop to allow pure sail driven locomotion. In the late 1800s they were trying to save money in the cargo freight business by avoiding burning coal!
The displays seem to be dumbed down a little and would be quite accessible to a younger audience, at the cost of drawing you into the engineering details and illustrating Brunel’s mastery.
The olfactory component of the ship kitchen and bakery exhibits was a nice touch.
All in all, a good experience.