Features / KNowle West

Bringing the seaside to south Bristol

By lowie trevena, Monday Apr 27, 2020

A community project aims to bring a little sunshine to the streets of Knowle West during lockdown.

Claudia Collins has started the Knowle West Beaches project to bring some seaside happiness to the south Bristol neighbourhood.

“I love making connections and have always enjoyed spotting place names,” says Claudia, who works at M Shed and is also an artist.

The 34-year-old, with the help of her community, Filwood Fantastic and Creative Civic Change, has been placing postcards, sandcastles and beach flags along the roads of Knowle West that have a coastal name.

Enjoying the ‘beach’ at Newquay Road

“I moved to one of the beach roads two years ago and have been in love with the beach concept ever since,” Claudia says. “Last summer, I took a trip to Minehead and bought a few souvenirs which I left at the Minehead Road signs.”

Claudia also built a couple of sandcastles at the end of the road.

During lockdown, the project has evolved, with Claudia going out a couple of times a week, rebuilding and building castles for people to spot on their daily exercise.

The project is taking place predominantly on roads in Knowle West with beach-themed names, such as Newquay Road, Paignton Square and Crediton Crescent.

A sandcastle on Padstow Road

Claudia hopes that “the project can grow”, with the help of the local community. People can get free road sign postcards from The General Store and Re:work at Filwood Broadway; The Corner Shop and Best One on Melvin Square; and Londis and Local Value Supermarket at Jarmans and place them on beach-themed road signs to get involved.

As well as “making connections with the seaside towns the roads are named after” Claudia aims to hold a beach party once the pandemic is over.

To find out more or have Claudia deliver postcards, email knowlewestbeaches@gmail.com or go to www.facebook.com/Knowlewestbeaches

All photos: Claudia Collins

Read more: How Knowle West community is coming together to get through pandemic

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