Features / Bristicles

23 photos of the Centre through the ages

By bristol247, Monday Oct 26, 2015

What we know as the Centre has undergone many developments in the past century, and has continued to grow and expand. It’s currently undergoing its latest transformation to prepare for the arrival in Bristol of Metrobus.

The changes will see a new stretch of Colston Avenue, from St Stephen’s Avenue to Electricity House, closed to cars. Baldwin Street will also be extended to cut across the centre next to the fountains. The new stretch will be two-way and open to all traffic. Read more about the changes here.

Here are some incredible photographs of the Centre from the late-nineteenth century to the early 1970s from the archives kept by Bristol Records Office:

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(the above photo of the Centre gardens in full bloom looking towards Colston Avenue was taken in 1964)


1890s: Trams crossing drawbridge in the direction of Baldwin Street


1900s: Horse-drawn carriages and electric trams in front of The Drawbridge Hotel


1900s: St Augustine’s Bridge


1920s: View across the Centre with Sun Insurance Building opposite


1930s: Feeding the swans near St Augustine’s Bridge


1950s: Looking down from Colston Avenue towards Electricity House


1950s: Looking towards St Stephen’s Church from St Augustine’s Parade


1950s: Looking up Broad Quay towards Colston Avenue


1950s: View from CWS building across the Centre towards the Colston Hall


1953: Coronation display


1960s: Looking across the Centre to the corner of Corn Street and Baldwin Street


1960s: Looking across the gardens from a building opposite Baldwin Street


1960s: Looking from St Augustine’s Parade towards St Stephen’s Church


1960s: Corner of Corn Street and Baldwin Street


1960s: St Augustine’s Parade


1960s: Looking north across the Centre from the end of Anchor Road


1960s: Traffic and pedestrians on St Augustine’s Parade


1968: Bridgehead from the top of the Bristol & West Building


1968: View from the top of the Bristol and West Building


1973: Centre Gardens


1973: Display for Bristol 600 alongside Broad Quay


1973: Colston Avenue and Broad Quay

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