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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Bristol Roller Derby



bristol roller derby team

10 things you didn’t know about Bristol Roller Derby

If you’ve seen the 2009 film Whip It starring Ellen Page, you might think you know all there is to know about roller derby, but there’s a lot more to it and you might even fancy putting a pair of skates on yourself.

1. What is roller derby?

bristol roller derby

C. Jason Ruffell

It’s a full-contact sport played on quad roller skates. Participants must wear full protective gear, including a mouth guard. It’s predominantly played by women, but the number of men’s teams is growing rapidly too.

2. What are the rules?

roller derby fall

C Jason Ruffell

So there are five people from each team on the track at any one time. There’s one jammer from each team, that’s the one with the star on their helmet, and they can score points. There are also four blockers, they try to stop the other team scoring points. The jammer has to get through ‘the pack’, made up of both team’s blockers, before they can score points. Then, they get a point for every member of the opposite team that they pass. Easy, right?

3. It’s a growing sport

roller derby talk

C Jason Ruffell

It’s the fastest growing female sport, and England came second in the World Cup last year, losing to America in the final.

4. So what’s Bristol Roller Derby?

bristol roller derby contact

C. Ockendon-Powell Images

The local team in Bristol. They train on Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays. They have women’s A and B teams and a men’s team. They turn six years old in May and retain three of their founding members.

5. They’re pretty good

bristol roller derby team

C. Ockendon-Powell Images

The women’s A team rank 26th in the whole of Europe.

6. You can play too


C. Vincent Le Goascoz

There’s a drop in session every Thursday, 6-8 at Ashton Park Sports Centre. You can borrow all the kit and they’ll teach you everything you need to know to pass your minimum skills, a list of approved skills needed before you can play.

7. And you can play if you’re a man too

roller derby men

C. Jennifer Rollason Photography

Bristol Roller Derby Men train on Sundays, 2-4, or you can go to the drop in session and once you’ve passed minimum skills they train at the same time as the rest of the team

8. People play under an alias

hands in dark

C. Mark Gilbert

Players choose a new name to play under. It’s usually a play on words. Often skaters find they have a different personality on track, which can help their confidence in their day-to-day lives too.

9. They have a charity partner

hands in

C. Ockendon-Powell Images

This year they’re supporting the Southmead Project, a charity providing free therapeutic and practical support to adults who were abused as children and have turned to drugs, alcohol and other ways of self-harming as a consequence of that trauma. The team raise money at their home games and by doing fund-raising activities.

10. You can go and watch their next home games

bristol roller derby game

It’s on the 10 April. You can buy a ticket here:

That’s roller derby in a nutshell. You can find more details about BRD by searching on Facebook or going to their website:



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Bristol Pub Quizzes



bristol pub quizzes

It’s time for a good old fashioned Bristol pub quiz

There are endless places where you can find some good Bristol pub quizzes. Fridays and Saturdays are unlikely but here are loads of places Sunday – Thursday.

Monday Bristol Pub Quizzes

Tuesday Bristol Pub Quizzes

Wednesday Bristol Pub Quizzes

Thursday Bristol Pub Quizzes

Sunday Bristol Pub Quizzes


Blankety Quiz – Found across Bristol and voted the best pub quiz in Bristol

Got any that we’ve missed? Pop them in the comments below.



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Gloucester Road

The Grecian Catches On Fire





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Celebrating the Seasonal Changes at the Hotel du Vin



Celebrating the Seasonal Changes at the Hotel du Vin

With new produce and fresh flavours to work with and enjoy, the changing of the seasons can be a trying yet rewarding time for chefs and restauranteurs. Right now, the leaves are falling, the nights are drawing in, and restaurants are ringing the changes with seasonal produce that brings out the best of the autumn and winter months.

Bristol’s Hotel du Vin is no exception, and their beautiful bistro has recently launched a new 3-course lunchtime menu available Monday to Saturday. The new menu features a deli table of smoked and cured fish selected by the Severn and Wye Smokery, roasted vegetables and artisan charcuterie. Freshly prepared salads, decadent puddings and fine wines from across the world complete the hearty new offerings.

The express lunch menu works in quite a unique way. Instead of simply choosing one starter, diners opt for smoked salmon or charcuterie, then select a further two or three items from the deli table. Highlights include feta cheese with fennel and pomegranate seeds, and roasted red and golden beetroot with sour cream and chives.

Warming aubergine and chickpea ratatouille features among the mains, but I was unable to look past the onglet steak. Requested rare, it arrived cooked to perfection alongside crispy chips and a steaming pot of peppercorn sauce. The confit de canard falls off the bone, and works beautifully with the nourishing braised puy lentils.


The Hotel du Vin continues to offer the perfect balance of fine food, classic décor and relaxed atmosphere. There are plenty of restaurants in Bristol to go for a treat, but to my mind there’s something about the Hotel du Vin that makes it special.

Starter plates run from £6.50 and mains from £12.50. For more information or to book a table, check out the express lunch details on the Hotel du Vin Bristol’s website.

For more of Chris Callaghan’s Bristol-based reviews and write-ups, take a look at his writer’s page on the Best of Bristol website.



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