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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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Hyde & Co’s Launch Impressive New Cocktail Menu



A year has passed since Bristol’s finest cocktail bar last refreshed its menu, and it’s all change again at the secretive and stylish Hyde & Co.

2017’s The Last Carnival introduced us to a glamorous world of burlesque, cabaret and circus, showcasing a mastery of cocktail creativity. Midnight in Paris picks up the tale…

The scene is set in 1920’s Paris; a dangerous world of decadence and daring. A jewel heist in the French capital has caught the attention of private detective Kinsey Moran, who must follow a trail through the city’s drinking dens and backstreets to bring the culprits to justice.

From the imagination of talented local designer and bartender Gareth Aldridge, Midnight in Paris’ beautiful story and artwork sets Hyde & Co. apart from the outset – but it’s the variety and quality of the cocktails that tempt visitors to sample daring new concoctions.

With sultry jazz playing softly in the background and a décor embracing the elegance of the roaring 20’s, drinkers can now enjoy a new selection of the bold and innovative cocktails for which Hyde & Co. is known.

Traditional French spirits including Calvados, Cognac and Chartreuse blend beautifully with spice mix, bitters and liqueurs, creating bold new flavours with a nod to classics like the French 75, Sidecar and Kir Royale.

If you’re looking for a recommendation, the gin-based Tribune caught my attention, but the breadth and depth of choice is highly impressive.

Tribune cocktail


You can dip into Midnight in Paris at Hyde & Co from Tuesdays to Sundays, 6pm till late. Check out the Hyde & Co website here, and find them on Twitter here. For more reviews and write-ups from @cjcallaghan, check out his Best of Bristol author page.



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There’s A Gin Bus & A Rum Bus Coming To Bristol!



Open top bus gin tour

The Foozie bus series is returning to Bristol!

After the hugely successful Foozie bus series last year, Bristol will again play host to the Gin Bus and Rum Bus this summer, but with the added addition of the Pink Gin Bus set to make it even better and more fun than last year. If that’s possible..

If you find yourself unfamiliar with the boozy bus series, the long story short is booze, open-top vintage bus, scenic tour of Bristol. You can skip to the end for tickets now if you wish.

For two hours you’ll cruise around Bristol on a summery afternoon, in an open-top Bristol Lodekka bus from the 1950s, with a drink in hand and fellow gin or rum lovers for company.

Open top bus gin tourFor this years series, Foozie has teamed up with Martin Miller’s Gin, who use classic botanicals and Icelandic spring water to create the world’s most awarded gin of the last decade.

Fans of pink gin will rejoice, because the first ever Pink Gin Bus is happening, with Pinkster Gin providing the pink stuff.

Those who prefer to dabble in the wares of the rum industry, fear not, as you will be equally well catered for. Your rum bus comes complete with Old J Rum, who will be creating the menu with their incredible range of spiced and flavoured rums.

Open top bus rum tour

Foozie are also partnering with Seedlip, who will provide their non alcoholic spirits. Seedlip is the world’s first distilled zero-alcohol spirit, and it tastes incredible in cocktails and with tonic.

Fentimans will be perfectly pairing some of their botanically brewed beverages with the

gin and the rum to create a selection of drinks menus that are totally unique to these bus events.

If this sounds like a great way to spend two hours of your weekend, that’s because it is.

Follow the links below to bag yourself a ticket right this second, and get 10% off using the code BESTOFBRISTOLBUS10 at checkout.

The Martin Miller Gin Bus

The Pinkster Gin Bus

The Old J Spiced Rum Bus



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An Amazing Bristol Brewery Is Set To Open In Finzel’s Reach



Finzel's Reach Left Handed Giant reaches closing stages of £1 million crowd funding campaign

Bristol-based Left Handed Giant, one of the UK’s most highly rated breweries and the team behind Small Bar, are crowd funding in order to open the first brewery in central Bristol for decades. This is great news for Bristol. Really, great news.

They’re currently in the closing stages of an ambitious crowdfunding campaign to raise £1m to fund a development in Finzel’s Reach that has me salivating, quite frankly. For the first time since the 90s, a brewery will be returning to Finzel’s Reach, complete with a taproom and a restaurant looking across the floating harbour to Castle Park.

Before 1999 when Courage Brewery closed its Bristol brewing facility, Finzel’s Reach had been home to breweries for over two hundred years. For some people that nostalgia is enough to get excited, or “Anemoia” (a made-up word from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, meaning a nostalgia for something you’ve never known. You’re welcome.)

Finzel's Reach

Old George’s Brewery at Finzel’s Reach ©Hartley photographs from Know Your Place website via Paul Townsend on Flickr

As well as a romantic reunion with Bristol’s brewing history, this is also a taproom that will have a restaurant partnership with none other than the Michelin starred chef behind Bristol’s renowed Casamia, Peter Sanchez-Iglesias.

I know, right?

Having smashed their original £400,000 target within 24 hours to open this “Brewpub”, the project is now looking to raise £1 million and has nearly reached £800,000.

Bruce Gray, managing Director at Left Handed Giant, said:

The aim of this Brewpub project is to create a world-class facility where communities of friends and investors can have a real input into the day-to-day of the business, as well as having the opportunity to drink locally brewed fresh beer.”

The funds raised will be spread across different projects with the majority being put towards to development of the “Brewpub” at Finzel’s Reach. Peter Sanchez-Iglesias adds:

“Forming this partnership with such a well-respected force as Left Handed Giant and creating food to go with their beer is an awesome project to be involved with. The development kitchen will evolve and enhance everything we do at Casamia, with our hyper-seasonal dishes on an ever-changing menu, using the best ingredients, cooking it to perfection and then finding out what it needs to make it better.”

If you’d like to invest, you can do so before the campaign closes on March 30th.

Pledges start from £10 which will see your name adorn a wall dedicated to everyone who supported this mouth-watering project.

If you’d like to pledge head over here.



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