The familiar refrain of “cheers, drive” is heard across the city every day as passengers thank their driver when getting off their bus.
So there is no better place than Bristol Bus Station as the new home of a neon sign spelling out the typically Bristolian phrase.
Last seen earlier this year on the side of the Watershed as part of the inaugural Bristol Light Festival, Cheers Drive has now been permanently installed at the bus station on Marlborough Street as a symbol of gratitude to frontline workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Bristol Light Festival co-creative director, Katherine Jewkes, said: “The last few months have been difficult for everyone, but as always Bristol has come together with its own sense of community spirit and care, which we think is summed up in this artwork.
“We’re glad to see it reinstalled in the city centre as a gift to everyone who has kept the city going through such uncertain and turbulent times.”
First West of England managing director, James Freeman, said that the new installation “is right on cue”.
He said: “The Cheers Drive sign gives us a highly visual, creative way to show our gratitude to the thousands of keyworkers – including our First staff – in true Bristol fashion now and for years to come.”
Vicky Lee, Bristol City Centre BID lead for Bristol Light Festival, added: “We’re excited to be giving Cheers Drive a permanent home in our city and it’s fitting that it is going to be displayed in a location which every day welcomes residents, workers and visitors alike into the heart of the Bristol.”
Bristol Light Festival will return in 2021 and is currently open for expressions of interest from any kind of creative talent in the city who have an idea they would like to make happen, or an installation which has never been seen in Bristol before.
Main photo: Purple Fish