• GVHeritage Group

Bristol Gas Lamps

One group of twelve of us decided the piece should be a video, featuring a new song, a choir recording, written and spoken text and filming, all combined with old images.

Our starting point was to look at a lot of the old trades in the city from Victorian times and we found that there were dozens of names that we hadn’t heard before and didn’t know what they did. So we started to research what they were and found a whole list of interesting names and we took the best ones and listed them alphabetically. Then someone talked about how they probably couldn’t see what they were doing very much and so we looked at street lighting and all sorts of stuff about how lighting came to Bristol and spread across the city. It turns out that a Bristol textile man was the first person to have gas light in his premises at No 56 Broadmead, which is now our biggest shopping centre. His name was John Breillat and he ran a business dying silk and pressing cloth there with his family.

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