Your say / Bristol

‘Seven reasons why I’m leaving Bristol’

By alex rankin, Tuesday Apr 11, 2017

Dear Bristol,

For the last 30 years or so you’ve been a part of my life, but somewhere down the line, things began to change. I’m writing to tell you that I’m moving on. Before I go, though, there are a few things I think you need to know:

1. Hippies
I’m sure you mean well, but there’s just too damn many of you (summer in St Andrew’s Park, anyone?).

2. It’s cool
Don’t get me wrong, Bristol has got lots to like about it, but does everyone have to keep going on about it all the time? If I read one more editorial piece referring to Bristol as ‘vibrant and edgy’, I’ll personally go and punch the author in the face (or just moan about it on Twitter).

3. Luxury flats
It’s a fact that every conceivable development in Bristol these days revolves around a block of flats. And usually of the luxurious kind. Greenbank Chocolate Factory, the old BRI (rejected, for now), the Courage Brewery, Bristol North Baths, the list goes on. If we’re not careful, Bristol could end up like one giant apartment block, except with a token gin bar attached serving sourdough pizzas that no one can afford.

4. Festivals
We don’t need to have a festival for every fucking occasion. Puppets, vegetables, ideas, nature, walking; really?

5. Weirdos
Let’s be honest, there’s A LOT of them. No trip down Gloucester Road is complete without at least one guy mumbling to a lamppost or shouting about nothing in particular. Is it something in the water or perhaps all that West Country air blowing in from Glastonbury?

6. No more secrets
I used to like Bristol best of all because you could walk to different areas and experience completely different sides of the city. It was like each neighbourhood had its own vibe and culture that defined the people and the establishments within it. Thankfully, that still exists, but in small measures. Now Bristol is firmly ‘on the map’ (cheers, George) I wonder how much of its identity can survive against the tide of marketeers and developers baying for their next investment opportunity?

7. Transport
We can’t have everything. Bristol is a small place with small roads. Therefore it doesn’t work having loads of bikes, cars and double decker buses trying to get somewhere all at the same time. It’s just stupid.

Having said that, I’m only off to Portishead, so I’ll probably see you around.

Alex Rankin is a writer and a born and bred Bristolian


Read more: Bristol named one of the UK’s coolest cities

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