Author Archives: admin

Ron Cross

Ron Cross has many happy childhood memories of activities on the Downs.

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Nick Winn

Nick Winn enjoys joining his co-enthusiasts at Peregrine Point to watch the birds they love, with a bit of socialising thrown in. He treasures the escape from the hustle bustle of the city and work that the peace of the … Continue reading

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Robert Westlake

Robert Westlake is the Downs Ranger. He holds a key position in the management of the Downs as he works for the Downs Committee and oversees everything that goes on. He works closely with the Downs Committee, and the Head … Continue reading

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Sue Thorn

Sue Thorn has lived in the area for most of her life and was a librarian. She was injured by a wartime bomb but after the war remembers better times with the circus, flower shows, and socialising with other teenagers. … Continue reading

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Gail Tate

Gail Tate took over the café near the water tower in 2009, and provides hot drinks and food to all sorts of Downs users – from runners and young cadets, to mums groups and walkers.

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Don Stone

Don Stone is President of the Downs League, and an avid supporter of Sneyd Park football club. His associations with the League and Sneyd Park run right back to the 1950s.

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Stephen Perry

Stephen Perry is chair of the Bristol Speakers Corner Committee who, since 2010, have held monthly speakers corner events at College Green. There used to be a speakers corner on the Downs and this initiative has given it back to … Continue reading

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John Partridge

John Partridge is Senior Curator of Animals at Bristol Zoo. The zoo has been involved in the goat grazing project in the gulley, and his keepers collect small amounts of forage for their animals on the Downs.

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Gerry Nichols

Gerry Nichols has lived near the Downs nearly all his life. On retiring he began researching the history of the Downs from the minutes of the Downs Committee since 1861, and he knows everything there is to know about how … Continue reading

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Michael Moore

Michael Moore grew up around the Downs before and during the war. He has always been involved in the civic life of Bristol and was recently made an Honorary Alderman of the City and County of Bristol.

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Gordon Milward

Gordon Milward was the Downs Ranger for thirty three years. His responsibilities included general management of the Downs, and implementing Downs Committee decisions. He retired in 2009 and now enjoys spending more time at home, and country walks.

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Mandy Leivers

Mandy Leivers is the Avon Gorge and Downs Biodiversity Education Officer. She runs walks, talks and children’s events, and works with a variety of organisations including the Zoo where she is based. She draws on a huge knowledge of the … Continue reading

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Tony Hopkins

Tony Hopkins is an impresario who has been bringing circuses to the Downs for over ten years. He puts together an exciting variety of acts, and stays on the Downs for longer than at any other site in his tour.

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Terry Hannan

Terry Hannan is the Head Gardener for the Downs. He manages a team of gardeners in day to day grounds maintenance tasks. These include mowing, tree management, litter collection and caring for the newly arrived goats.

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Peter Gould

Peter Gould remembers speakers corner on the Downs from his teenage years, and has been involved in its revival on College Green.

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Francis Greenacre

Francis Greenacre, feted art historian and retired curator of fine art at the City Art Gallery, is the longest serving member of the Downs Committee, and a passionate historian of the area. He also has a keen interest in local … Continue reading

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David Edge

David Edge is the fixtures secretary for the Downs League, a league of amateur football clubs that play every Saturday in the season. He has his work cut out for him as the Downs League involves the most simultaneous matches … Continue reading

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Ed Drewitt

Ed Drewitt works at Bristol Dinosaur Project bringing the famous Thecodontosaurus, a dinosaur found on the Downs, to schools and families. Based at Bristol University, the project is also preparing and analysing bone finds to learn more about Thecodontosaurus, and … Continue reading

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Valerie Dean

Valerie Dean grew up close to the Downs and still lives nearby. As a small chid she saw the Coronation fireworks of 1937, and then was evacuated during the war. Her contribution does not appear in the audios on this … Continue reading

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Olga Brandt-Bull

Olga Brandt-Bull taught riding on the Downs before the war, and has lived the whole of her adult life within metres of Durdham Down. She has received a marriage proposal there, experienced bombing, played with her children, and of course … Continue reading

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Gail Boyle

Gail Boyle is Senior Archaeologist for Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery and was heavily involved in the development of M Shed. She is passionate about the hidden archaeology all around us, and how on the Downs we can read … Continue reading

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Richard Bland

Richard Bland taught at Clifton College, and has been fascinated by the history and natural history of the Downs since he came to Bristol fifty years ago. He has a pivotal role in several organisations including as President of the … Continue reading

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Mervyn Baker

Mervyn Baker has come to play or watch football in the Downs League almost every single Saturday for 63 years. He currently works as a volunteer for the League, logging all the results of matches and supplying the Bristol Evening … Continue reading

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Drusilla Marland

Drusilla Marland illustrates natural history books on the Downs. She loves the peace and quiet of an early morning walk, and the window it offers onto a secret world of the animals and birds that come out undisturbed.

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The Goats

[audio: /wp-content/uploads/2012/02/goats-smaller.mp3] In June 2011 six goats arrived in the Gully to help with conservation of rare plants. Mandy Leivers explains why and how the goats benefit the patches of grassland where these plants live. Robert Westlake gives the Downs … Continue reading

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Painting the Downs

[audio: /wp-content/uploads/2011/12/painters_on_the_downs.mp3] Francis Greenacre, longest standing member of the Downs Committee and retired curator of paintings at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, describes how The Downs have always been a draw for artists. He talks about some special paintings … Continue reading

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