Skip links

Supper Meeting March 9th: Sustainable Development and Bristol Zoo

Supper Meeting March 9th: Sustainable Development and Bristol Zoo

in

At our Supper Meeting Dan, from Bristol Zoo Gardens, came to give a talk about Sustainable Development and Bristol Zoo. He was very engaging and a most enthusiastic speaker who showed a real passion for the job. Dan explained that Bristol Zoo Gardens is the fifth oldest zoo in the world and was founded on 22nd July 1835, by Henry Riley, a local physician, who led the formation of the Bristol, Clifton and West of England Zoological Society. Henry Riley, and a number of other prominent local individuals, gathered with the mission to facilitate ‘the observation of habits, form and structure of the animal kingdom, as well as affording rational amusement and recreation to the visitors of the neighbourhood’. Shareholders at the time included several famous Bristolians, including Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The Bristol, Clifton and West of England Zoological Society opened the Zoo’s doors to

Supper Meeting February 2nd: Bristol’s Industrial Schools – Shirley Hodgson

Supper Meeting February 2nd: Bristol’s Industrial Schools – Shirley Hodgson

in

At our Supper Meeting on February 2nd we enjoyed listening to Shirley Hodgson, a retired headteacher talking about some of the hidden history of Bristol’s poorest children in Victorian times and the rise of Bristol’s Industrial Schools. Shirley Hodgson herself devoted her working life to Bristol children, teaching in various schools. For ten years she was head of Victoria Park Junior School. As the 19 century progressed there were organisations run by charitable and philanthropic individuals – often religious – which improved the lot of some. They would be taken in, fed, clothed and educated and taught skills to fit them for adulthood and work. These were mostly run by well-meaning people of whom Mary Carpenter was a leading light of the Reformatory School movement and founder of Red Lodge Reformatory School for Girls, as well as an Industrial School for boys at Park Row.

November 11th 2019: The Glories of Wine – Ian Abrahams, Dip WSET.

November 11th 2019: The Glories of Wine – Ian Abrahams, Dip WSET.

in

Wine expert Ian Abrahams started his wine career taking visitors round Harvey’s wine museum in Bristol.  He also studied for and passed the Wines and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Diploma, a high level professional qualification. He now works as a freelance Wine Educator, certified by WSET to run their courses which are aimed at professionals starting out in the wine industry. Last night Ian talked about ‘The Glories of Wine’ and brought four examples for us to taste and appreciate accompanied by cheese and biscuits – a Pays d’Oc from an English owned vineyard in France, a Muga Rosé from Rioja, a lovely Errazuriz from Chile and a dessert wine, a Chenin Bland from the Loire Valley. He went through a brief explanation on how to taste wine and what to look for. The evening passed very quickly and was enjoyed by all.”  

September 9th 2019: Visit to St Mary Redcliffe Church

September 9th 2019: Visit to St Mary Redcliffe Church

in

On 9th September 22 Soroptimists, including Soroptimisters, enjoyed a wonderful evening at St Mary Redcliffe Church, set in Redcliffe itself. We were greeted by Cecile Gillard whose knowledge of the church was amazing she left no questions unanswered.  We saw the stained glass window commemorating John Cabot’s 1497 voyage to America aboard the Matthew and a small model of the Matthew too.  The other stained glass windows were amazing and included a modern stained glass window in the Lady Chapel.  There were towering pillars and Gothic arches, a wonderful view along the central aisle and the medieval stone font at the west end of the nave. There was so much to see and a return visit is essential to refresh our memories and see more.  Many thanks to Susan G who organised the visit and to Cecile Gillard a volunteer with exceptional knowledge of this

11th March 2019: The Artist`s Muse – Kerry Postle

11th March 2019: The Artist`s Muse – Kerry Postle

in

On Monday March 11th, Soroptimist International of Bristol heard a most interesting talk by Kerry Postle. Kerry teaches English as a Foreign Language, but she has recently had her first book published and the second, on the Spanish Civil War, is due for publication at the beginning of April. Kerry is particularly interested in writing from a woman’s perspective in the “me too” age, and says that she wrote her first book because she wanted to read it. Her first book is called The Artists Muse and in it she seeks to show the different attitude of artists towards their models rather than towards the women of a higher class whom they also painted. She illustrated this different attitude by describing the work of two artists, Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele. Klimt’s famous painting entitled The Kiss shows his muse, Wally Newzil, with whom he

14th January 2019: Two Bristol Soroptimists entertain us

14th January 2019: Two Bristol Soroptimists entertain us

in

The first meeting of the new year was a real treat. We were entertained by two of our Bristol Soroptimists, Ruth and Pat Ruth started her talk by asking “How many people write letters” – the response was very few! She then went on to tell us that she has recently published a book of the letters she received from her Mother in the 1970’s.  Whilst at University she received weekly letters from her Mother 3-4 pages long.  She read some of them out and we were delighted her mother managed to amuse us with the way she managed the distance between her and Ruth.  This book is a social history of that era and gives an amusing and descriptive glimpse into normal family life. The second member Pat spoke of her experience working with 4yr.old children for a BBC TV programme in 2017. The

12th March 2019: Bristol Hannover “Exchange” – Ann Kennard

12th March 2019: Bristol Hannover “Exchange” – Ann Kennard

in

The Bristol Hannover Twinning was established in 1947 just after the war. The link between Bristol and Hannover is one of the oldest twinnings between Britain and Germany. The Council has been facilitating exchanges of citizens every year, holds cultural and social events, welcomes and assists groups visiting Bristol from Hannover. 2017 was a historic year as Bristol celebrated 70 years of twinning with Hannover and Bordeaux, France. The talk covered many interesting aspects of the link and more information can be found on their website giving a full history of the link

Tour of Clifton Suspension Bridge and Vaults

Tour of Clifton Suspension Bridge and Vaults

in

Following our Speaker Meeting on Monday’ on Thursday 11th October, 7 members of SI Bristol, one Soroptimister and a guest enjoyed a 2-hour tour of the spectacular grade one listed Clifton Suspension Bridge. Gordon Young, our tour guide, was entertaining and informative; he illustrated many points with visuals from his satchel. We learnt the story of the bridge: about the competition to design the bridge and how the end result differed from the original design. Hardhats and hi-vis vests were donned before we climbed down a ladder to visit two of the twelve chambers inside the red sandstone abutment on the Leigh Woods side of the bridge. The world famous bridge was initially designed by the Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, although he did not live to see his creation, which was finished in 1864. Work began in 1831, but the project was dogged with

8th October 2018: Bristol Spension Bridge – Bob Brewton, Supervisor and Tour Guide for the Bridge.

8th October 2018: Bristol Spension Bridge – Bob Brewton, Supervisor and Tour Guide for the Bridge.

in

Mr Brewton quickly explained that although Brunel had submitted several designs for the bridge and his final design in 1831 was accepted, the Bristol Riots in that year meant that building never really got started. It was not until after Brunel’s death in 1859 that two engineers John Hawkshaw and William Henry Barlow came along with extra knowledge and know how. They took over Brunel’s earlier designs and completed the building of the bridge in 1864. Although they changed the design they retained the two towers originally built by Brunel and 2 of the 3 sets of the original chains. The bridge is now owned by a charity and fees for crossing the bridge go towards maintenance. The vaults below consist of 12 caves.  For those visiting the caves you will see two of them and emphasis was placed on wearing warm clothes and stout