Monday 13 November 2023

Temple Meads - What It Needs (1)

These blogs replace that originally planned for today. There was just too much work in preparation, so something a bit easier to understand starts the week, Sverige will follow later.

We all know Temple Meads station in Bristol.

The building on the left was Brunel's original terminus. It soon proved inadequate and the main line was pushed west, so a through station was built with the main entrance at the top of the access road as shown above.
Temple Meads station was a goodly trudge from the city centre and, over the years the land (the meads), that belonged to the temple, had been repurposed as industrial land.

To the north of the new gothic buildings was a large goods depot ...

... and to the east was the town's cattle market.
You can just see the top of the station entrance steeple top left!

In the 1930s (?) Royal Mail built a depot on the cattle market site which grew into a vast sorting office easily spotted from the station approach.

This was ideal when mail travelled by rail, but not well sited in the middle of several traffic jams when road took over. The buildings lay empty and decaying for 22 tears ...
... but have now been demolished and the site is, once again being repurposed.
So, let us take a circular journey (courtesy of Streetview) round the exterior of Temple Meads station.

We start by turning left at the foot of the station approach road.

There is quite a lot of "stuff at a lower level here ...
Almost immediately we turn left again and into Cattle Market Road (surprise!) which leads creepily under the railway.

On the far side of the tunnel we can see substantial work going on as revealed in the video.
We than turn left again into Avon Street ...
... and go under the railway again, now at the London end of the station.
Here we come to lots of new stuff.
If we hang a left here we find a footbridge across the new cut floating harbour ...
... which brings us out on the city side of Temple Meads where we would be entering the goods depot of old.
Here we have a side entrance to the station (again note the tip of the steeple)  ...
... but you would never know from the really clear signs.
Spot the huge BR logo! Here we are on the side of Brunel's station that you never see ...
... and a short toddle back to the foot of the station approach.

So what, you may ask?

The assorted mayors (city and metro) have had a vision, which can be very dangerous. They have a grand plan which can also be frightening!

fbb will reveal all tomorrow.

Twenty's Plenty??

And again!

And Another One!

£20 (plus postage) for a wagon which never existed in reality.

What about Marmite?

 Next Temple Meads blog : Tuesday 14th November 


  1. 20mph? The do-gooders won’t stop til we have a man with a flag walking in front of every vehicle again, no doubt. We’ve got feral teens on e-bikes doing 70 or 80 mph, but everyone else has to get to where they’ve got to go at a snails pace! You couldn’t make it up!

    1. Reductio ad absurdum? 20mph is a good compromise speed on roads that are shared-use, death and injury rates to pedestrians and cyclists are much reduced compared to 30mph. Also collisions are reduced in the first place as at a slower speed, it is easier to stop in time (remember that bit in the Highway Code about reaction and braking distance?). As for the feral teens on e-bikes, that is an issue of enforcement, the lack of which is down to poor funding.

    2. 20mph? Increasing the normal speed, then?

  2. Ah Temple Meads, not been there recently (or on any other train).

    My first journey would have been in 1963, from Bournemouth via Southampton, although one could still go via Blandford on the S&D.

    It was Bournemouth to Southampton on a London bound steam train and then another steam hauled train to Bristol (with another change at Salisbury). We then went to Shirehampton, again by train bound for Avonmouth and Severn Beach - memory is it returned to Temple Meads in a circular loop.

    Looking at the map is a line running west between Temple Meads and the Goods station - did this go to Bristol Docks?

  3. A line ran westward from Temple Meads, through Redcliffe Tunnel, to the Floating Harbour, and onward. The harbourside line has now been preserved and sees steam trains!

    1. Thank you - just looked at the lines on NLS’s ‘Old Maps’ - GWR goods line - does the tunnel still exist?

      Going back to my original comment - in the 1960’s did Salisbury trains use Lawrence Road rather than Temple Meads?

      Then changing at Lawrence Road for Shirehampton!

      60 years ago as a teenager then living in the New Forest. One’s memory gets stretched.

    2. I think it must still xist as in November 2006 the Institute of Civil Engineers decided to celebrate the bicentenary of Brunel's birth by holding a banquet in the Redcliffe tunnel - a re-enactment of a fund-raising event of 1830.

  4. Some Salisbury (etc) to South Wales trains missed Temple Meads and called At Stapleton Road. This ended in the 60s and in 1968 (?) Stapleton Rd was destaffed. Lawrence Hill was only, to the best of my knowledge, served by locals to Severn Beach etc.

    1. This was about 60 years ago and my first solo train journey. Thank you Dennis - Stapleton Road is probably where we changed.