News from Lockleaze councillor Estella Tincknell - March 2019
Lockleaze has long been a communications entry point for Bristol.
Lockleaze has long been a communications entry point for Bristol. For example, the recently upgraded railway line running from the north of England to the south west passes through the ward, while the M32, which was built in the late 1960s-early 1970s, runs alongside the foot of Purdown, with the 16th century Dower House towering over Stoke Park often being the first building a visitor to Bristol may see.
However, there are few structures in Bristol which are as iconic and as visible as Purdown BT Tower, which has recently been added to the city's local list of valued buildings. Built in 1970 by then GPO it has since played an important role in electronic communications. It is such an interesting structure I even have a print of an ink drawing of the tower done by a local artist on my sitting room wall.
During the Second World War enemy bombers were given a suitable reception as they followed the River Frome into Bristol from ‘Purdown Percy’, the battery of anti-aircraft guns sited high on the hill. The remains of the gun emplacements can still be seen, although they are badly in need of conservation work.
Of course, Purdown and Stoke Park have a wealth of history, not only from the twentieth century but going back to Roman times, with evidence of this long habitation in the form of the remains of a Roman villa which were discovered a few years ago. The eighteenth century parkland landscape is also of great historical importance and has been nationally recognised as such.
Right now Stoke Park is, of course, the focus of a major investment programme involving restoration work to the landscape. It is important that we invest in protecting that heritage for future generations. Such work should be done in a way which gives a voice to the local community while ensuring the wide range of daily activities people enjoy in the Park are recognized and supported.
Balancing differing views on how the Park should be maintained while also listening to professional experts can be a challenge. One thing we can all be sure of, however, is that everyone involved, from council officers to the Friends, and from dog walkers to local historians and natural history experts, cares about the Park’s future and wants the best care taken of it.
I would therefore like to say thank you to everyone who has participated in consultation and engagement exercises, or who has given their views via social media, e-mail, at public meetings, or on the regular ‘walks and talks’ across the Park. We value your ideas and contributions. We want Stoke Park to be a place everyone can enjoy, whatever their age, gender, or ethnicity, and trust that the current works will ensure that the future of the Park is secured for generations to come.