Newsletters

The CHIS newsletter contains a report from the Chairman, topics of current and historical interest, and a planning report. It is published quarterly and is posted to members directly.

CHIS Newsletter, August 2017

Given this generally hot and dry Spring and early Summer, the gardens and squares of Clifton and Hotwells have not always been as green as was the case on June 10th and 11th. Then our Green Squares and Secret Gardens offered a large number of people the chance to enjoy the staggering variety of gardens within a quarter-mile walk of the “ticket office” by the Arch House Deli. More venues than ever joined the scheme, which was another in the cap for the GSSG committee and the gardens thems… [more]

CHIS Newsletter, April 2017

“Is this the way to Clifton Village?” is a request that many of us will have heard asked by visitors from home and abroad. In order to help, Clifton BID (Business Improvement District) proposed to erect up to half a dozen, noticeboards with a map of the area, all strategically placed at points of arrival around the “Village” as it’s been called for thirty years or so. CHIS received the idea warmly and was glad to help with some improvements to the map and ideas for positioning. P… [more]

CHIS Newsletter, January 2017

This year the decade has reached 17 and CHIS will be 49 in April. We look forward to commemorating our half-century in 2018. Some members may recall that celebrations of our Ruby Year included the booklet Forty Years of CHIS and a stylish dinner and reception. The Committee is floating ideas for the Fiftieth events and would appreciate suggestions from members as soon as possible. CHIS was established by residents who were concerned about various inappropriate plans for the area and early o… [more]

CHIS Newsletter, May 2016

It would be unthinkable to begin this report without expressing the condolences of CHIS members to RoseMary Musgrave for the loss of her son, Will, after a long illness. The striking front cover of our March Newsletter is representative of Will’s first-rate photography, which is to be seen in many previous editions as well as in his books that contrasted local settings of today with their equivalent a century ago. Notable too are his photographs of Green Squares and Secret Gardens, his mothe… [more]

CHIS Newsletter, March 2016

A plaque to Eveline Dew Blacker (one of the first female architects) will be unveiled at 20 Victoria Square at 11.00 a.m. on Saturday 21st May. At the charming tea party of the Lord Mayor and Consort, Linda Edwards and I again raised the ever-pressing matter of No Cycling notices on the Downs. The extant signs on Christchurch Green have been repainted (to some effect) but there aren’t enough such signs to warn cyclists of their obligations. The situation on the Downs between Ladies Mile and… [more]

CHIS Newsletter, December 2015

Our 2015 calendar of events has been, to say the least, extensive in the report at the AGM I named it The Year of the Plaques, with five dedicated customarily to individuals and two for buildings, as the new CHIS Award for Excellence. Katherine Croft has been assiduous in organizing the occasions and owners of the adorned properties have offered generous receptions. Add eight talks and two visits, arranged efficiently as ever by RoseMary Musgrave and Linda Edwards, and a brand new website, ma… [more]

CHIS Newsletter, August 2015

Greeneries The second year of “Green Squares and Secret Gardens”, despite cool weather, was another success, with more venues (some of them last minute enthusiasts) to be visited and a widely-based attendance by appreciative visitors. The GSSG committee (RoseMary Musgrave, Liz Golding, Adrienne Mason and Jenny Sparkes) are keen to involve more sites next year. We are immensely grateful to them. Our interesting carved bench at the children’s playground below the Observatory will be offici… [more]

CHIS Newsletter, May 2015

Cries of amazement issued from annual visitors of mine upon seeing no cars parked outside my home and the gutters cleared of rubbish. The CV parking zone had been put in place. Across Pembroke Road the scene was as ever, offering a striking Before and After contrast, though soon the restrictions will apply in Clifton East. It will be interesting to hear opinions in Clifton Village in six months’ time when a review is on the cards. Meanwhile the 30 minutes free allowance in the Village i… [more]

CHIS Newsletter, March 2015

We replaced the January talk with what turned out to be an exceptionally bright idea. RoseMary Musgrave realised that previous attempts to provide a pre Christmas Lunch had not worked and that it would be better to offer a Winter Lunch in the dog-days of January. The result was a triumph. Tickets sold out within days and a forlorn waiting list ensued for the bargain of the town – a superb three-course meal cooked by Linda Edwards, Olwen Laszlo, Jenny Sparkes and RoseMary Musgrave. Add to th… [more]

CHIS Newsletter, November 2014

The superb Summer has extended remarkably into late Autumn and proved ideal for August’s Green Squares and Secret Gardens, that triumph of organization, imagination, co-operation and enjoyment. Many visitors from Bristol and farther afield enjoyed the two-day event and tickets were all sold as people flocked to the promised delights of Clifton’s fascinating gardens. RoseMary Musgrave masterminded this success. We are indebted to her indefatigable enthusiasm and knowledge; the whisper is that… [more]

CHIS Newsletter, August 2014

If you have the good fortune to live in as attractive an area as ours and take visitors for a walk it is often a welcome jolt when they express their admiration and even envy of what we might take for granted. This year’s surge of greenery at a near-tropical pace in the not infrequent sunny spells has increased the attractiveness. However, in some streets the resultant impending shrubs and trees show that nothing is perfect, especially property owners, who don’t trim hedges. The CHIS-sponso… [more]

CHIS Newsletter, April 2014

Our move to the Apostle Room of Clifton Cathedral for Talks is proving to be a success, with ease of parking, a flexible area and the ability to provide coffee and wine. The one hiccough has been eased and the central heating now functions well, making its presence felt by periodically moving into loud overdrive. Grand as are the Georgian splendours of Clifton Hill House, the new venue seems to appeal to members, especially as it allows a more sociable start to the evening. That was shown at Th… [more]

CHIS Newsletter, January 2014

It would be unthinkable to write to members without recording the death of Dorothy Brown. She was one of the early CHIS members and the most persistent, informed, active and generous of fighters against the (alas not quite departed) philistinism that worked to destroy much of Bristol that had survived the Blitz. We pay a fuller tribute to her life and work later in the Newsletter. We normally instal a commemorative plaque some time after the person’s lifetime but, so notable is Dorothy’s … [more]

CHIS Newsletter, September 2013

At the moment we have a good deal to do with children’s interests, one way or another. We are negotiating to sponsor a specially designed seat from which parents may watch over their offspring at the playground below the Observatory when redevelopment is complete. The handsome former St. John’s Primary School Building at the top of Blackboy Hill has long been empty and forlorn but is soon to be adapted as houses and apartments, which we will look out for. Less happily, is a proposal to tur… [more]

CHIS Newsletter, April 2013

Major changes in the paired photographs in Will Musgrave’s Clifton Through Time that strike me are the absence of road signs and cars but the presence of railings. Probably most members today would welcome fewer of the former and more of the latter; it’s always cheery to see where railings have been restored after Queen Mary’s well-intentioned purge. Vyvyan Terrace gardens are an example to everyone. Not so good is the replacement of hedges with fences, at best plain and usually ugly, … [more]

CHIS Newsletter, February 2013

The talk given at November’s Annual General Meeting was greatly appreciated. Tim St John of Bristol Water described the massive project currently underway to restore or replace water pipes great and small, requiring amongst other tasks, 2,200 connections to individual properties to be renewed, in this part of Bristol alone. This was a reassuring addition to the Company’s detailed and courteous handling of relations with its customers. Elected to the Committee as Trustees were Christopher J… [more]

CHIS Newsletter, November 2012

The talk given at November’s Annual General Meeting was greatly appreciated. Tim St John of Bristol Water described the massive project currently underway to restore or replace water pipes great and small, requiring amongst other tasks, 2,200 connections to individual properties to be renewed, in this part of Bristol alone. This was a reassuring addition to the Company’s detailed and courteous handling of relations with its customers. Elected to the Committee as Trustees were Christopher J… [more]

Forty Years of CHIS, 1968–2008

Origins and Foundation Imagine you are looking across the river to Leigh Woods and seeing row upon row of mid-Victorian villas. Such a scheme very nearly succeeded but was thwarted by a concerned group of citizens of Clifton who clubbed together a considerable sum of money to buy and conserve most of the threatened land (now owned by the National Trust). We like to see those people as precursors of CHIS, which in 1968 was formed in order to stop extensive demolition and bad construction on th… [more]