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Urban Legends of Bristol

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Bristol’s Unusual Urban Legends

Crocodiles, millionaire Bristol Zoo parking attendants and unusual hums. There’s some very interesting urban legends in Bristol.

Bristol Hum

During the 1970s, Bristol residents would complain of an unusual noise only heard at night. Stopping in 1979, reports are back of this strange phenomena.

Bristol Zoo Parking Attendant

One of the most famous Bristol urban legends. The Bristol Zoo car park was supposedly manned by a single person for 23 years. Charging £1 for cars and £5 for coaches, one day he didn’t turn up for work and the Bristol Zoo called the council to get them to send a new parking attendant, yet they had no idea who this man was. Rumours persists that he’s sitting on a Bermudan beach with about 7 million in the bank

Aliens in Bristol

In 2013 this unusual alien creature was spotted in the Bristol harbour. Sadly this turned out to be an elaborate stunt from the TV channel – Watch.

Bristol loved Betamax

Remember Betamax? The HD DVD of it’s generation. Rumour had it Bristol was one of the last places in the UK to stop using Betamax. The tapes and players came in from Avonmouth and the rumour is the dock workers ‘took’ them and distributed cheaply around Bristol.

Bristol Crocodile

This one has been coming up for years after being ‘spotted’ in the River Avon with sightings all the way up to Portway.

There’s only Bristol Uber Driver

Have you ever tried to get an Uber in Bristol? You’ll usually have to strike it pretty lucky to find one that is free…

Society of Merchant Venturers holding all the power in Bristol

A ‘charitable and business networking group’ with a lot of business links in Bristol. Rumours state that little happens within Bristol without the Merchant Venturers say so. George Ferguson also used to be a member… make of that what you will – like this guy.

https://twitter.com/mikelyramusic/status/699577837578280960

Door of the Hatchett is made of human skin

One of the oldest pubs in Bristol dating from 1606. Legend has it beneath the paint of it’s front door you’ll find human skin.

https://twitter.com/gareth235/status/414106286981386240

Ghost in the Odeon

Back in 1947, the Odeon’s manager was horrifically murdered. The perpetrator was never caught and his case was closed unsolved after 30 years. This place has seen strange goings on ever since, with the Reverend Lionel visiting the Odeon to conduct an exorcism in the 1990s.

That was a few of Bristol’s famous urban legends. Have you got any that we’ve missed?

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Powerboat Racing In Bristol Back In 1982

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20 Bristol Pubs & Clubs That No Longer Exist

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Old Bristol pubs and clubs

Bristol didn’t use to be full of secret underground bars, swanky cocktail joints and hipster cafes, well there were some but not as much. We remember those old bars and clubs you frequented back in the day.

1. Clockwork

This place has now been demolished but used to be found next to the Blue Lagoon. If you wanted a grimy rave this was the place.

2. Panache

You’ll remember this place for the ridiculous light up dance floor. It was closed down in 2011 after the police and council provided over 4,300 pages of evidence against the club that didn’t have the best reputation:

“Footage from council CCTV cameras and Panache staff head cameras revealed door staff grabbing clubbers around the face and violently ejecting them from the premises, groups of bouncers assaulting cowering customers and apparently punching them on the ground, and staff chasing punters down the road.”

3. The Tube

The current location of Redlight. This place used to be owned by Massive Attack and sweat would drip of the ceiling but it was GREAT. There was a night on a Wednesday if you had a moustache (or wore one) you got in for free.

4. Arc Bar

This used to be next door to where The Strawberry Thief currently is. Massively grimy, you’d be offered so many drugs in there that it was like that sketch in Brass eye with the made up drug names.

5. The Junction

Now no. 51 in Stokes Croft, this was a proper bare bones rock club. No locks on the toilets, lots of metal and punk bands and also bloody cheap.

6. Chicago Rock

Less said about this place the better.

7. Fellowship

Now a Tesco on Filton Avenue, this place was a rough as balls pub that served cheddar valley and let you dance on the table.

8. The Level

Level club bristol

DJ Suv with MC at Full Cycle Level nightclub Bristol

Spread across three floors, it was bloody grimy. One of the original hosts of Propaganda, it shut down in 2006 it got turned into flats but it was next to the petrol station on Park Row

9. The Cooler

The Cooler on Park Street you’d find live music and the legendary DJ George doing indie disco during the week. Those that have been there will of course remember Klub Kute.

10. Romeo Browns

The current location of Pata Negra and it was the ultimate early 00’s RnB pretentiousness. Truly awful. Back in 2006 a load of Bristol City players were jailed after brawling outside of here.

11. Dug Out

Up on Park Row, The Dug Out survived until 1986 but is considered the home of Bristol’s music scene

12. The Studio

studio bristol

Formerly located on Frogmore street it saw The Clash, Iggy Pop, U2 and many others play here. It’s even got a facebook group dedicated to it’s memory. Now it’s sadly student flats.

13. Metropolis

Previously Jesters Comedy Club it turned into Metropolis in 2008 before shutting its doors in 2012. Sadly still sitting derelict at the moment on Cheltenham Road.

14. The Croft

the croft

Via Paul Towsnend

A great place in the middle of Stokes Croft. Lasting for 11 years The Croft closed its doors in 2013 but never fear the Crofters Rights rose in its place.

15. Syndicate

syndicate is closing

Now SWX, most of Bristol’s 2000s clubbers would have visited here at least once with over 3.5 million people visits in its life time.

16. The Mandrake

One of Bristol’s longest running clubs, The Mandrake was open for over 40 years until it became Basement 45 in 2009. This photo says it all.

17. The Lokiel

Before Thekla there was Lokiel, the original club on a boat.

18. The Granary

Specialising in Jazz and blues. This was supposedly where Bristol’s Hells Angels frequented. 1968 to 1988. It’s even got a website that memorialises it.

19. Spaghetti Tree

You’d find this old place on Small Street. Legendary for drinking under age back in the day, this quote sums it up:

‘The place where I first got drunk “legally” – Spaghetti Tree, which is now Timbuk2. They’d let you drink at 15 as long as you bought a pizza – BOSH!!’

It has now been replaced by Timbuk2.

20. Oceana

Oh Oceana, the 00s staple for a student. This place is now Pryzm and… is pretty much the same as it was.

Got a favourite Bristol pub or club that we didn’t include? Then tell us below in the comments.

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16 Awesome Old Photos Of Bristol Throughout The Years

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Old Photos of Bristol

1. Bristol Centre before the fountains

2. The Centre from the roof of the old Bristol Omnibus office in the 1960s

3.  In 1911 with the Frome river still running

4. The centre during the Queen’s coronation in 1953

5. Bristol bombed during WW2 in 1940 – Mary Le Port & Bridge Streets

6. King Street in 1946 (way before the proliferation of craft beer pubs)

7. The Albion Dock before the coloured houses

8. St Nicks Market in the 1960s

9. Bristol Docks in the 1960s – The Grove

10. A demolition in Bedminster in 1988

11. Paddle Steamer heading below the Clifton Suspension Bridge

12. The old Bristol tram on Cheltenham Road in 1937

13. Stokes Croft back when the trams still ran

14. Welsh Back in 1931

15. Whiteladies Road in the 1980s

16. Bedminster during the 1968 Bristol floods

With great thanks to shipscompass and Paul Townsend on Flickr for these photos.

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