WILTSHIRE’S HIDDEN BEAUTY
For the past few years, once I have left Bristol and made my way back to London, I have stopped off to see my friend, the talented writer Jaspre Bark at Bradford-on-Avon. 2009 was no exception and my friend Andy Colman, who came back with me in the car had never been to Bradford-on-Avon so I dragged him along to see Jaspre. Bradford-on-Avon is such a fantastic place: small enough to walk around but big enough so that there’s enough to keep you occupied. Unlike Bath, you can park easily and it is off the trail for most tourists. I hope it continues to be one of these places that you have to know to visit. Anyway, the weather was perfect and I took a number of shots, so here’s a selection of a few for you to enjoy…






















GO WEST YOUNG MAN 2008 PART FOUR
Okay, so Bristol was over two weeks’ ago now but it’s been a crazy month what with the Studio Space book, trying to polish off the Annual and keeping up with my regular film-related writing (like the Indy review last week) so I’ve let this last part of my Bristol online diary slip. So the show went very well and on Monday morning, I crammed Louise and Walter Simonson into my Nissan Micra and we left the Ramada. I say crammed because my car had rather a lot of boxes in it from the weekend plus my bags and I had suggested they could grab a lift back with me to London because they were going back that way and so was I, so I thought it might have been fun. So we left Redcliffe in Bristol with Louise crushed in the back and Walter sitting with two boxes in the front and headed for Clifton, because I promised I would show them the suspension bridge, which I have only ever seen once and it was in Winter. The weather was perfect (crisp blue sky with sunshine) and so it seemed to be the ideal opportunity. We got to Clifton, met my brother briefly, who lives in Clifton and walked across the bridge and even went up to the Observatory and got a great view of the gorge.
I had planned to go to Salisbury because I had never seen Stonehenge or the Cathedral there but I decided instead to take Walt and Weezie to Bradford-on-Avon, where my friend Jaspre and his partner Ronnie and their two daughters live. Bradford is a great place and people don’t seem to know about it, unlike Bath, so it’s pretty quiet. So I made our way to Bradford, getting slightly lost and driving through Bath but we made it just after lunch and met Jaspre, who took us on a walking tour of the place, up through an area called the Tory, which is located above Bradford-on-Avon, past a Saxon church, a tithe barn and to lunch by the canalside. I have visited Bradford a couple of times before but hadn’t seen this bit so that was a lot of fun. Jaspre, Walt and Weezie also seemed to hit it off, which was good. Then, leaving Bradford at 5.15pm, we headed towards Avebury, and the way there I pointed out the White Horse at Cherhill to the Simonsons. So we stopped at Avebury where the weather had gotten a little cloudy but we still had a bit of a wander around the standing stones as Walter remembered the place fondly from when he was last over here. The rape seed fields look like they have been added in in Photoshop and it is a really fantastic place. No wonder Julian Cope likes it. So we left Avebury and ended up in Marlborough in Wiltshire for dinner, which we left after eating and continued the circuitous route back to London. I had to drop them off at Egham, a place I am not familiar with, so we got lost and their friend Richard Burton had to come and find us. So I eventually left the Simonsons at Richard’s house at about 11.45pm and then didn’t get home until 1am because I got lost in Egham trying to find the motorway again. So that is the end of my epic Monday after Bristol but I really enjoyed the day as Walt and Weezie are great company and I enjoyed showing them places they didn’t know and wouldn’t have gone to otherwise. Here is a selection of photos from that day including lots of Clifton, Bradford-on-Avon and one of Avebury…