An ongoing Project researching the history of Bristol Spaceworks and its 5 Business Centres/Buildings is now under way and this Page will document the findings of this research….
Easton Business Centre, Felix Road, Easton
The site of the Easton Business Centre (EBC) has been host to a variety of very different businesses and building structures over the years and Bristol Spaceworks has continued this trend with the current modern business centre we have today.
EBC is located on the site of the former Easton Colliery, which was active from 1830-1911.
J Lyons & Co ran a Wholesale Tea distribution depot onsite, from 1931 – 1962 and their Warehouse covered the area at the end of the Car Park and the Single Storey building.
From a 1950 Map of the site, located where the 2 Storey building is now, the building housed a company called A. V. Willis General Engineer (Source: 1950 Bristol Town Plans).
In 1991 East Bristol Enterprise developed the site, which at the time previously housed Julian Flook Wine Supermarket, to create a Three Storey purpose business centre. In 1999 an additional block was built giving further workshop and office/studio space to create EBC.
From 1883 – “From the description of Easton Colliery in ‘Bristol Times & Mirror’ it appears that, by this time at least, the workings of the Easton & Whitehall pits are connected by an underground roadway 2 – 3 miles long. Towards the Whitehall shaft there were two 30 horsepower engines in an underground engine-house. The engines were used for pulling trams up inclines. They were 380yds below the surface. WB Monks, Senior, (1831-1892), Mine Manager, is described as giving the Times & Mirror reporters a ‘cheerful and kindly greeting’”. Source: http://www.cems.uwe.ac.uk/~rstephen/livingeaston/local_history/coalmining/shorthistory.html
The following 3 Maps give you an idea of where the Colliery was located, in reference to modern day Easton Business Centre, and straddles both our current day neighbours – St Gabriel’s Business Park and the Felix Road Adventure Playground too…
Circa 1900 – 2 Pictures and a Sketch showing what the Colliery actually looked like…..
…and an aerial view of 21st Century Easton Business Centre
J Lyons & Co
J Lyons & Co came on site in 1931 and was located at the bottom of the Car Park/Single Storey building. They set up a wholesale tea distribution business in Bristol, Tea was dispatched to places “such as Liskeard, Banbury, Cardiff, Llanelly, Penzance and Hereford”. The business ceased trading in 1962 but apparently there was an attached Bakery, which was set up in 1930s and continued trading after 1962. (Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/brizzlebornandbred/32707461202/in/album-72157604873961368/ )
1950 Map of Site
The Old Library Business Centre, Trinity Road, St Philips
Previously known as the St Philips Public Library and also as the St Philips Free Library
The Library was built in 1896 in a Jacobethan style and was named the: St Philips Public Library. It was designed by William Venn Gough and it still has its original name on the top of the building. It closed as a public library on 28 November 2012. (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinity_Road_Library,_Bristol )
We’ve found a couple of old pictures of the Library in all its glory back in the 1900’s……
The Old School House, Salisbury Street, Barton Hill
As far as we can ascertain the building was built on or before 1914 (this to be confirmed). Its name was recorded in Kelly’s Directory of Bristol of 1914 as ‘Society of Friends Meeting House’ and ‘Barton Hill Adult School’. It was also latterly a School, from which it got its current name. In 1951 it was called the ‘Adult School’ and in 1967 named as ‘Barton Hill Bristol Friends First Day School’. (Source http://churchdb.gukutils.org.uk/GLS1926.php )
It closed as a School in 1980.
The Old Co-Op Business Centre, Chelsea Road, Easton
(To be updated)
St Bonaventures Business Centre, Friary Road, Bishopston
(To be updated)