One of the key aims of the Bearpit Heritage Project was to explore and celebrate how the people arriving to St James and St Paul’s, Bristol have significantly helped to enrich the culture of the city.
Recent Arrivals’ Oral Histories
Professional media producer, Tot Foster collected a fascinating range of stories from across the city. Together with fellow media artist, Liz Legum she encouraged recent arrivals to reveal their first impressions of Bristol and this country, capturing fascinating insights into the city from different perspectives. Listen to how a house with no indoor toilet or kitchen was still considered a luxury for a woman from Pakistan, how Bristol’s college students seemed to be incessantly eating, but never sharing according to a recent arrival from Iran and how a Jamaican couple lamented the colourless clothes and bland meals on offer here.
Local Learning worked closely with UWE History undergraduates, Laura Young and Poppy Clark as part of their History in the Public Space placement. Listen to Laura’s interview with the legendary DJ Derek as they talk over a pint in a local pub about being a young white Bristolian learning Jamaican patois at the barber shop on St Nicholas Road, DJing with Daddy G and hanging out with Toots.
Year 4 Postcards
Local Learning took some of Tot and Liz’s stories to St Barnabas CEVC for Year 4 students to listen to. The children were then encouraged to collect their own stories about their own impressions of Bristol from their parents and grandparents.
Year 4, St Barnabas CEVC were asked to collect their family’s favourite recipes. Using these recipes, Sarah Francis from Travelling Kitchen and all the children in Year 4 cooked up an eclectic feast with foods from around the World to be shared with the whole school
A boxing champion, a welder, an actor, poet, and playwright
On the Green, on Grosvenor Road, St Paul’s stands a statue of Jamaican playwright and performer, Alfred Fagon, currently the only sculpture representing an Afro-Caribbean in Bristol.
Bristol Old Vic celebrated the life and works of Alfred Fagon in 2013 as their Studio was transformed into a cabaret club. Readings and performances of his published work mix with rarities, alongside creative responses from today’s writers and musicians. From Caribbean exiles making a life in Bristol at 11 Josephine House, to the search for identity in this Shakespeare Country, in Alfred Fagon’s plays is a questing journey; not a place. Finding No Soldiers in St Paul’s, pool hustlers playing for Four Hundred Pounds, and a scrap of newspaper announcing The Death of a Black Man, his writing is by turns hilarious, desolate, and questioning.
After his untimely death in 1986 the “Alfred Fagon Award was created for writers.