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10 Photos of Shabby Bristol

Shabby Bristol is the best Bristol

Feature by Bristol Instagrammer – Bristol_Shabby.

I have lived and worked in Bristol all my life and have always taken a keen interest in its architecture and history.

I recently started taking photographs with my phone and set up an Instagram account called Bristol_Shabby

The account was inspired by a quotation from the film ‘Withnail and I’. The line spoken by Uncle Monty was, ‘there can be no true beauty without decay’. This led me to photograph decaying objects and buildings that many of us consider eyesores and walk past without taking a second look.

However, to me, many neglected buildings have truly wonderful architectural features with beautiful colours and textures. Sadly, many of these buildings have been left to decay and are now very vulnerable. Many are likely to be demolished or redeveloped.

Here is a selection of 10 of my photographs.

1. Crown Tavern – Lawfords Gate

the crown tavern in bristol

This was the first photo I took for my Instagram account. I love the symmetry of the building. The pediments above the windows and the different coloured bricks. It looks like its not changed for 50 years. In all its shabby glory, it would be a shame if it were to close down.

2. Disused Garage

disused garage bristol

This photo harks back to the days when there was a back street garage on every street. This one had been a family business for many years and only closed recently.

Sadly, the pumps have now been removed and the site is being redeveloped.

3. Girl with the pierced eardrum – Harbourside

girl with the pierced ear drum bristol

This is an often photographed Bristol landmark. I liked the fact that my daughter had no interest whatsoever. She was more preoccupied with her phone.

4. Stan Butt – East Street

stan butt butchers

This traditional butchers shop is another of the old school type shops that once would have proliferated the city. I love the awning and the bold sign writing.

5. Bristol cars

bristol old cars

I stumbled upon this quite by accident while out visiting a friend. These two cars were manufactured in Bristol by the Bristol Motor Company. They would have once been very luxurious and expensive cars. Their sad condition is strangely captivating. They have now been removed and are hopefully being restored.

6. Concrete Bridge – Brislington

concrete bridge brislington

This bridge appears unremarkable but to me it has a brutal simplicity. The concrete has a lovely weathered patina.

7. The Bell – Redcliffe

the bell

This pub has sat abandoned for many years. I fear that it is vulnerable to demolition which would be a shame.

I like the juxtaposition between the pub and the block of flats.

8. Pastimes

pastimes

This little shop is in the heart of the city centre. Even though it looks like it is falling down and abandoned, it is still trading and open for business.

9. Cash Machine – Stokes Croft

stokes croft cash machine

I like how modern technology quickly becomes a part of everyday life. 20 years ago a cash machine would have been cutting edge. Now we don’t give them a second thought.

10. Rising Sun – Windmill Hill

the rising sun

I loved the quirky architectural features on this old pub. The contrast between it and the 1970s tower block behind is quite striking.

That was 10 shabby photos of Bristol from the great Instagram account – Bristol Shabby.

Like this? Give 15 epic photos of Bristol a read.

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Sam Gillies

The author Sam Gillies

The founder and editor of Bristol. Purveyor of numerous Bristol lists, videos and Instagram stories.