Bristol52: To infinity and beyond?

Infinity. A long time indeed.

As we get to the end of Year 2 of Bristol52 (only 9 weeks left!) I start to wonder where we go from here and one question is top of my list: Do we do another year or do we turn the project into an ongoing thing?

The reason for this thinking is that in between every 52 weeks we need time to regroup and organise before launching the next one. That means each Bristol52 “year” is around 13-14 months long and every iteration will start a month or two later than the previous one. Year 1 started in late April. Year 2 started in late June. Logically, Year 3 will start in August.

That cycle means the next few years will miss the most active part of Bristol’s life: the summer festivals. That’s not something I want to happen.

Help me out! Am I overthinking it? Does it matter? Is the year-by-year approach what makes Bristol52 what it is? Let me know!


What A Week!

Last week was amazing in the world of Bristol52.

Firstly we had the fantastic @Anth0ny_Ward giving us a constant stream of pictures and insights from behind the scenes at BBC Bristol and what goes into producing the news for the telly!

Then on Wednesday the Bristol52 meetup was held at The Tuns. There was a good turn out, good beer, excellent food and the lack of a projectable wall/modern TV meant people actually spoke to each other! Big hanks to everyone who came along, especially @BakingAmericana for the incredible buttermilk, maple and bacon cupcakes!

@hayles and @jukesie

@hayles and @jukesie










Secondly, Jake and his big face were in the Bristol Post – both online and in print.


Then Jake and Bristol52 were on BBC Radio Bristol. Jake talked about his part of Bristol, but managed to get Bristol52 in there!

We then ticked over 3,000 followers on Thursday evening, which is an amazing number and much bigger than I ever thought Bristol52 would reach!

Finally, the week was rounded off with a quick mention on TV! BBC Points West gave Bristol52 a nod and even showed off the feed.

Awww. @bristol52 made it to points west.

A post shared by Liam Gladdy (@lgladdy) on

Phew. Thank you to everyone involved. It was an amazing few days!


Welcome to Bristol

This video is a thing of beauty.

Jamie Brightmore’s timelapse video of Bristol, in all it’s sunny glory, is a fantastic tour of the city we know and love. It moves delicately through a day in the life of our wonderful city.

It captures some fantastic moments including balloons taking off, street art being created, The Matthew setting sail, St Paul’s carnival processions and the Central Library’s awesome Bookhive installation.


It also opened my eyes (Jake’s eyes) to the very Bristolly sound of local artist Phaeleh.

Prevous Bristol52er Juksie did raise a good point on the concentration of the areas filmed though:

Bristol’s Best Coffee

Starbucks. Costa. Nero. McCafé. Booo. Hiss.

Us Bristolians (both native and honourary) love our independent shops, with the passion for supporting small businesses and the local community coupled with the fact that they sell some wicked awesome stuff. And the independent spirit is seemingly at its strongest when it comes to coffee.

Photo by Daniel Holt

Be it a tiny little cabin, a café bolted onto something bigger or just an awesome regular sized coffee hut, we need to uncover who does it best.

Let Bristol52 know who you think does the best bean brew in Bristol before 10pm Sunday 23rd March and we will see who comes out on top!

Tweet to vote and show your support for your favourite brown bean brewer

Here are the latest set of results (click for full size):

Coffee Votes - 13032014 1730

#FatherBristmas – The Results

Wow. Just wow.

Bristol52 FatherBristmas Logo

Bristol is incredible. I aimed for #FatherBristmas to raise £250. Thanks to the city’s incredible generosity, the final total was…


That will make such a difference to young people in Bristol. That is enough for TWENTY full courses of mental health therapy for young people, with two extra one-to-one sessions thrown in. Thank you Bristol. Thank you so much for making this happen. You’ve all saved yourself from the naughty list. Even some people from Bath escaped it!

But I also hear some other questions. What about the prizes? Did I win the pies? When can I hang up my art? Well, the balls were polished, we chose machine number 4 (“Brunel”) and pulled lots of names out of many a Santa hat. And the winners are…

  • 1x Original A3 black lined Dilophosaurus drawing made up of Bristol landmarks from Andy Council – Lee Griffin (@Niacurshi)
  • 3x Family tour tickets from City Sightseeing Bristol open bus tours – Rob Sked (@skeddy), Hazel Phillips (@corylus) and Anne Marie (@ClearlyAM)
  • 1x Cracking Animation book, signed by Peter Lord and Nick Park, thanks to Aardman Animations – Sarah Harding
  • 1x £75 gift voucher for The Bristol Shop courtesy of The Bristol Shop – Tom Causer (@causerino)
  • 1x Dinner party set of pie and mash for 8 people from the legendary Pieminister – Nina Brightness (@GinLovingNina)
  • 1x Set of four tickets to the “50 acts in 100 minutes” Turbo Circus on Creative Common thanks to Gerry Cottle’s Circus – Kathryn Mottram (@MsMottram)
  • 1x Grand Champion meal (for 2 people) and two bottles of BBQ sauce from Grillstock – Nick Brompton (@bathsaints)
  • 1x Shaun The Sheep gift set (huge fleece blanket, mobile phone cover and small plush toy) from Aardman Animations – Lord Megatron (@TheLordMegatron)
  • 1x Case of 12 bottles of beer (3 each of Bitter, Blond, Gold and Brunel) from Butcombe Brewery – Ruth Wishart (@ruhwishart)
  • 1x Case of 12 bottles of Orchard Pig cider from Orchard Pig (of course) – Robert Weeks (@Chutzpah84)
  • 2x £10 vouchers for frozen yoghurt at Flavalanche – Lauren Lennard (@laurenlennard) and Felix Renicks (@ffffelix)
  • 2x £10 vouchers for yummy goodies at Hart’s Bakery – Dale Anthony-Williams (@helloBRSTL) and Penny Russell (@digitaldaisies)
  • 2x £10 for awesome drinks at Joe’s Coffee – Steven Gardner (@LordHyperbole) and Anne-Marie (@ClearlyAM)
  • 2x Sundaes with all the works from Vee Double Moo – Daniel Izzard (@SimpleLampoon) and Matt Jukes (@jukesie)
  • 1x Roll for the Soul t-shirt from – you guessed it – Roll for the Soul – Ben Smith (@guriben)
  • 1x snazzy Bristol map lampshade thanks to Quincy Lampshade – Tom Causer (@causerino)
  • 1x Case (6 cups) of truly excellent instant noodles thanks to Kabuto Noodles – Rebecca House (@House_Mouse)
  • 1x Case (12 bottles – winners choice of flavour) of vitamin drinks courtesy of More Vitamin Drinks – Karl Scheeres (@karlscheeres)
  • 2x Boxes of handmade flavoured truffles (around 10-12) kindly donated by Anything But Plain Chocolate – Jo Johnson (@jojohwaffle) and Hayley Constantine (@hayles)
  • 1x Recycled tractor inner tube wallet, handmade in Bristol, from Katcha Bilek – Eddie O’Connor (@HaroldsBootlace)

Thank you to each and every one person who donated. The effort was incredible and even if you didn’t win, you have helped make Christmas that little bit better for Bristol and its people.

Merry Bristmas!

#FatherBristmas Is Go

Bristol52 FatherBristmas Logo

#FatherBristmas is coming. He knows if you’ve been naughty and knows if you’ve been nice. He also looks down on those who have been to Bath recently…

Enter our prize draw to give some money to Off The Record’s great cause this Christmas BUT to also be in with a chance of winning one of these fantastic Bristol prizes from #FatherBristmas.


To enter and be in with a chance of winning some amazing Bristol prizes, simply go to the #FatherBristmas Local Giving page (it’s like Just Giving, but local!) and donate by 11:59pm Friday 6th December. (There is an optional special prize draw if you send a Bristol film pun with your entry but you don’t have to send one with your donation – read more below)

The amount you donate dictates how many entries you get, so the more you donate, the better your chance of winning!

  • £2 = 1x entry (£2 each)
  • £5 = 3x entries (£1.66 each)
  • £10 = 6x entries (£1.66 each)
  • £15 = 10x entries (£1.50 each)
  • £20 = 15x entries (£1.30 each)

(Note: The entries scale will only be considered for single donations. If you come back and donate later, you don’t get them added together. For example, a donation of £15 will get you 10 entries. 2 donations of £5 and £10 will get you 9.)


If helping young people get mental health support doesn’t provide you with enough motivation to donate, the prizes (currently) are:

Optional extra: If you want to take part in a very special #FatherBristmas draw, send a Bristol film pun in with your entry and best will also be put into a special draw to win a portrait created by the Bristol52-famous @guriben.


Discussions are underway with other business and people so more could be added to the pile before the draw – so your chances of winning a prize will grow from here!

Get donating!

Terms and Conditions:

  1. Entries can only be made online, via the Bristol52 #FatherBristmas Local Giving website:
  2. Entrants must be residents of the United Kingdom and over the age of 16 (18 to receive a prize that involves alcohol).
  3. All entries are paid to Local Giving, who claim Gift Aid on behalf of and donate to Off The Record (registered UK charity 1085351).
  4. Any ticket entries received after the closing date of Friday December 6th 2013 will not be entered into the draw but the money will still be donated to Off The Record.
  5. Bristol52 accepts no responsibility for entries which are made in error via the Local Giving website.
  6. Entries will be placed into a database and drawn randomly via no later than one working week after the closing date.
  7. One prize per entry. Entrants can win more than one prize (if they have made 2 entries, they could win 2 prizes, etc).
  8. Bristol52 will contact the winners via Twitter (or other means where necessary and possible) before passing details on the the prize provider (the local business who donated the prize).
  9. Where Bristol52 is unable to contact a prize-winner so that a prize remains unclaimed for three months following Bristol52’s first attempt to notify the prize-winner, the prize will be redrawn from those who did not win an original prize.
  10. Bristol52 accepts no responsibility over the delivery or acceptance of prizes. The exchange of details, good and services takes place between the winner and the prize provider once Bristol52 has established contact with both.
  11. The result of the prize draw is final. No correspondence will be entered into in regards to disputes.
  12. All winners are required to co-operate with Bristol52’s right to publish their win as and where deemed appropriate, and to provide proof of age when requested.
  13. In the event of an error, howsoever caused, which affects the competition in any way, Bristol52 reserve the right to administer the raffle as though the error had not occurred. Where the organisers deem it appropriate and/or feasible entrants will be notified of the error and any change to the format that it may require.
  14. Failure to comply with any of these terms and conditions may result in the disqualification of the entry with no refund. Bristol52 reserves the right to disqualify any entry at their absolute discretion without refund of their donation, which will remain donated to Off The Record.


#FatherBristmas – The Prize Pile

#FatherBristmas is coming. He knows if you’ve been naughty and knows if you’ve been nice. He also looks down on those who have been to Bath recently…

There is a lot of good that can be done by raising some Christmas moolah for one of the four local charities, but to encourage people to part with more of it some of the best local businesses have been throwing things into the prize pile.


Those entering #FatherBristmas are in with a chance of winning:

There are also a few more prizes in the pipeline and talks are ongoing with lots more awesome Bristol businesses – so keep checking back.

Pretty good, eh? Start saving those pennies. #FatherBristmas will open for entries soon!


Let’s do some good this Christmas. And win some goodies!

%23FatherBristmas is a Christmas prize draw that benefits the Bristol52 community with lovely gifts in time for Christmas, as well as giving some well-needed money to a local charity.

The local businesses we know and love are donating prizes to the pile left, right and centre to give a little bit of Bristol to you for Christmas! Details are yet to be set, but the idea may be that you pay for an entry into the prize draw – perhaps just £1 or £2 – and can enter as many times as you like. There may be a required pun as an entry and the best are picked to the drawn for a prize. Who knows? Not me yet. If you have any ideas for the format let me know!

Which charity? Well, this is the bit we do know about… and it’s up to you. There are four choices:

  • Off The Record: Proving free, specialist, self-referral and confidential mental health services to young people in Bristol. Vote for Off The Record
  • Great Western Air Ambulance Service: Providing a vital air ambulance service for the 2.1 million people of Bristol, Bath and surrounding counties. Vote for Great Western Air Ambulance Service
  • North Bristol Foodbank Providing emergency food for people in crisis in the North Bristol area. Vote for North Bristol Foodbank
  • Rainbow Centre: Providing support for children and their families affected by bereavement and life threatening illness. Vote for Rainbow Centre

Tweet to vote for the charity you want to see get 100%, as in ALL, of the proceeds from &hash;FatherBristmas entries. The charity with the most votes after October 31st – when some people argue Christmas can really begin – will be the winner.

Lastly, if you’re a local business who would like to be involved and donate some prizes to help our chosen charity, get in touch!

Bristol’s Best Cake – Who Gets Your Vote?

A while ago we found out that The Hare was Bristol’s Best Pub after it pipped all the others to the top spot in our first Bristol52 vote.

Now we’re at it again! This time. Cake. Nom.

Who makes the best Battenburg? The most magnificent Madeira? The most kick-ass cupcakes? Let Bristol52 know  and we will see who comes out on top in another blog post next week.

934642_10152798031855093_1749429971_n(Photo by @jakepjohnson, cake by his wife)

Week 7: @darwin

As we approach what most of the Bristol52 community consider to be the event of the Bristol calendar, we thought it was only right to get someone who was involved in making it happen in the hotseat this week. Please welcome Darwin:

How did you hear about Bristol52?
I first heard about it from my friend Nick (@bathsaints) who took part last year.

Why did you want to get involved?
I want to show people what its like to get to be part of the Balloon Fiesta and hopefully inspire some people to get involved in ballooning.

What does the city mean to you?
Bristol is home to me, both of my children were born here and I’ve met so many great people since moving here 3 years ago. It’s also the home of Ballooning in the UK with the Balloon Fiesta and Cameron Balloons based here.

What is your favourite event in Bristol?
The Balloon Fiesta 🙂

What is the worst thing about Bristol?
It’s a cliché but the cost of the buses and the fact that they finish too early.

What can we expect from your week as a Bristol52er?
I’ll be giving a behind the scenes view during the Balloon Fiesta. As well as giving updates from the fiesta I also want to highlight some of the people who volunteer huge amounts of time to make the event happen.