Updated: Jan 14, 2020
In January The New Place had an event: A New Year, A New You. We had a good opportunity to chat to local residents about issues on Fishponds Road, and ideas for art projects in Eastville. We interviewed 14 people, 10 who are residents in Eastville and 4 who were residents in the past and still worked in Eastville.
Some ideas and themes for art along Fishponds Road included:
Colourful "Welcome to Eastville" banners / murals / signs; celebrating past and present - potential plaques - telling the story and history of the area; animal themes; Summer flowers - like planters or hanging baskets or wildlife sanctuaries; wildlife sculptures; a tarmac carpet along the pavement showing leaves from native trees, animal footprints, water flowing.
We were also told about the beautiful sunsets visible over Bristol from May Park down East Park and wildlife sightings in the streets. We were reminded about the Greyhound Stadium, and the football grounds; the 13 arches of Eastville and also told about areas which were bombed into rubble during WW2 and the Workhouse.
We asked people what their feelings were about Fishponds Road (Eastville part):
It was said to have friendly multicultural communities, its good for shopping, not too overcrowded, there are good shops to get halal meat, good bus services, albeit expensive; issues included rubbish issues, neglect, and a lack of a sense of pride, but the road had potential. There was a suggestion for a Traders Association like on Stapleton Road, and for the businesses to put something back into the area.
We learned that people valued and were proud of the green spaces in Eastville, particularly Eastville Park, and many spend a good amount of time there exercising, resting, socialising, enjoying the wildlife, enjoying the fresh air and to get some head space. We have also learned that there is a need for more activities for young people, as some seem to be not so bothered about getting into the park.
We also asked peoples' ideas to solve the issue with overflowing commercial bins on the side walk and received some great feedback:
Litterpicks to encourage behaviour change; getting the traders on board and show them how their businesses will benefit from improvements to the area; understanding the problem better with the traders and why are they not managing the waste; providing clear information about commercial bin waste; more regular collections of commercial bins; extra bins for public waste; looking at other positions for the commercial bins.
We will be assessing these suggestions and be asking more groups and individuals for their views over the next coming weeks. If you want to get involved, please get in touch!