Just when you were running out of things to do on rainy days this summer, Multi-Story Water has paddled to the rescue with TWO, FREE arts competitions for ALL ages, with a chance to win £20 of iTunes/Amazon vouchers in each one. Interested? Read on…

Do you like to draw and design? Are you passionate about celebrating the River Frome? Do you want to see your art work shown around Eastville this September?

If so, then we need you to design an eye-catching, river-themed poster for the Multi-Story Water Weekend 29th-30th September! The winning design will be used to promote this celebratory weekend of events including: dance and circus performances around the river and under the M32, storytelling, science and wildlife river walks, community film and photography exhibition, street art, face-painting and more!

Your design should be A4 portrait size and you should remember to include:

  • title of the weekend – Multi-Story Water Weekend!
  • dates – Saturday & Sunday, 29th-30th September
  • and please leave some space for us to add our logo, web address and final details about the events and locations…

The winning designs will be used to produce the official event posters, but we will share all entries on the website and also endeavour to display them during the final weekend.

(If you’d like some help with layout ideas for your poster, you can see an example of one of our earlier posters here)

Calling ALL photographers of Eastville, whether you use a disposable camera, phone or SLR! The Multi-Story Water Project invites you to submit your photographs on the theme of Extreme Weather in the UK. From last winter’s big freeze to this summer’s flash floods – how did you record or experience the weird and wonderful weather patterns that have frustrated, flummoxed and fascinated us over the past few years? Or, thinking completely outside the box, what else does ‘extreme weather’ mean to you?

Your entries will be used to accompany live performance and/or to produce a slideshow that will be projected outdoors at the celebratory Multi-Story Water Weekend, 29-30th September.

You can submit up to 3 photos per person. Please state when and where taken, plus a sentence or two about what inspired you to take it/them. (The Guardian In Pictures weekly competition is full of great examples of creative photographic responses to a theme)

PRIZES will be awarded to a winner and a runner-up in each competition, and include £20 Amazon/iTunes vouchers.

POSTER Monday 20th August
PHOTOS Friday 7th September
(Please note earlier date for poster to allow us to get it produced in time to promote the September event!)

SUBMISSION Entries to either competition should be submitted by post OR email with name and contact details  to:
Multi-Story Water Project
c/o Nancy Campbell
Faculty of Environment & Technology (FET)
UWE Bristol
Frenchay Campus
Coldharbour Lane
BS16 1QY

Please label your envelope/email ‘POSTER’ or ‘PHOTO’ (or both if you are entering together!)

Remember, the competitions are open to all ages. Winning designs and photos will be selected by a judging panel that will include representatives from the local community, the Environment Agency, UWE and Bristol City Council.


Multi-Story Maps and Minutes – Write-Up of the First Community Stakeholder Event 23rd May

The first community stakeholder meeting of the Multi-Story Water project fell on a beautiful summers’ evening last week and it was great to see an equally warm enthusiasm for the river and its sites, sights and stories.

This meeting – which brought together members of the community with the project team and representatives from the Environment Agency and Bristol City Council amongst others – was designed to get preliminary input on a series of events and activities throughout the summer connected with water.  The project will explore how people in the area around the Frome live with the river, and we will be led by local people as to the kinds of events and places residents would enjoy.

We are sharing the outputs of this first event so that it inspires local residents to think about their own ideas for events, venues, stories and groups to involve over the summer to make a series of activities that you would like to be part of.  We want your thoughts, so please let us know – by leaving a comment or sending us an email – if you have any other suggestions or if you would like to be part of anything mentioned!

1. Maps
After the introductions to the team and project, the first task of the evening was to ‘pin the tale on the map’ – annotating a giant map of the river as it flows from Eastville Park to the sluices at IKEA – with the answers to five different prompts:

  1. What makes you happy about the river?
  2. Where do you like to be by/on/in the river,
  3. Where do you notice or look our for changes in the river water? (e.g. low water, cleanliness, flooding)
  4. Where are the places you’d like to make or see performances or events that celebrate the river and its stories?
  5. …And a final ‘freestyle’, adding in any dreams, thoughts, wishes and desires for the river, the community and its future too.

As you can see, the map was too big for us to photograph in just one image to display properly here…


and still be able to read the brilliant annotations, a few of which you can see below…

So, currently the results from this mapping exercise are all being captured electronically through notes and linking the annotations to an electronic illustration of the river, though ways of also linking the results with an online map are also being investigated. But in the meantime, these maps will also be coming along to as many future events as possible to capture as many different community perspectives on the river – so there will plenty more chances to add your own tale to the map. Watch this space!

2. Groups
Next had a group carousel exercise, where we asked a series of other questions. The first was around groups in the community -who are the local groups and who could or should be involved in this project? The suggestions were:

Environment groups

  • Bristol Permaculture Group
  • Snuff Mills Action Group
  • Stapleton Conservation Society
  • Friends of the River Frome
  • Eastville Park Action Group

Faith groups

  • M32/Napier Rd Mosque, Eastville Mosque

Sports and activity groups

  • “Wheelers” (in-line skaters etc)


  • Easton Cowboys/Girls (football and netball)
  • Glenfrome School

Other groups

  • Eastville Club (in car park of IKEA)
  • RSA Concrete and Flowers project
  • Easton Energy Group
  • Neighbourhood Watch
  • Cameo – Women’s Group
  • Bristol Radical History Group

3. Venues
Then we asked, what are the local spaces and places that might be good for arts activities, performances, walks, meetings and parties?

Very local spaces – indoor

  • Glenfrome School (Summer Fair 30 June 12-4)
  • New Friends Hall, Purdown
  • Stapleton Church Hall
  • Merchants Arms Pub – including the cellars for scary arts events!

Very local spaces – outdoor

  • Environment Agency Eastville Depot – maybe have an open day?
  • The site by the sub-station opposeite the Hungry Horse (Merchants Arms) pub
  • Under the M32
  • Allotments – would be interesting – for walks, birdwatching, arts events
  • Glenfrome School outdoor classroom

Residents gardens

  • Bridge Farm (need to ask)
  • Miki’s Garden
  • Lin’s Garden
  • Wendy’s Garden

Slightly out of the project area

  • IKEA Café?  They have a community worker
  • Transition Easton, Grofun, Eastside Roots
  • Colston’s School (funding from Merchant Venturers?)
  • Purdown Detachments – Army Cadets
  • Frome Valley Walkway
  • Stapleton Village Hall

Faith spaces

  • Mosque
  • Sikh Temple

4. Events
Next we asked what do you like doing – dance, walks, boating, art, making things…?

Get togethers

  • Cottrell Road Street Party – haven’t had one for ages and they are memorable! Used to put notes round to people and then come round and visit to see in what way they could participate – make food, make bunting, put up bunting, do dressing up etc
  • Street Coffee Mornings during the day

Environment related

  • Like to find about water quality and diversity of life in the Frome – how do we get maximum diversity in the river?  Could include the Water Framework Directive
  • Workshop on pest control
  • Transition Eastville
  • History of the Frome – natural history, migratory trout, fossils etc.
  • Guided trails by local experts
  • Geocaching trails along the river – with GPS?  (could link to GreenMapping)
  • GreenMapping the river

Arts/creative/physical activities

  • Art project using all the trash collected by the Environment Agency at the Easville Depot
  • Singing – old songs – for older people to teach younger people and vice versa – could be pre M32 – et 1950s theme.
  • Open air Open mic – retro/jazz/acoustic/
  • Yoga/Tai Chi in tranquil spots
  • Dragon boat racing!
  • Recreating a boating party on the lake – bring a boat Wrap the M32 pillars with IKEA fabric (IKEA has a community liaison officer)


5. Stories

And finally, we asked where are the stories? Do you have any? Who might? Can you suggest books or materials that might be of use?


  • M-shed – extant oral histories – a starting point
  • Eastville library, Muller Road – photos, stories, pre/post M32, Stapleton Gasworks
  • Is there a history of Eastville?  Yes – a book.
  • Glenside Hospital Museum

 Other sources of stories

  • Heath House Priory Hospital
  • Glenfrome Primary Schools is the thread in this community  – it is celebrating 60th Jubilee this year!
  • Bishops Palace (Colston’s School)
  • Sikh Temple, Stapleton Road
  • Bridge Farm
  • Individuals  – who was flooded?  Especially in 1968
  • Facebook site for Eastville in the 1900s

Water stories about…

  • Boiling Wells St Werburghs spring used as a supply of fresh water to ships in the harbour
  • Pack Bridge
  • Wickham Court  – Roundheads and Cavaliers stopped before the truce where Robert the royalist walked out of Bristol with no arms drawn
  • Canoe explorations!
  • Friends of the Frome
  • Loss of the Frome Valley Walkway
  • Stories of ley lines

Other stories – wider than water

  • 13 Arches gone, M32 came!
  • The story of the stolen lampposts (1890s lampposts were taken to Cotham!)  and St Werburghs gas lamp
  • Eastville Market
  • Football Ground
    • Football Club – Purdown Predators?
    • Fairground in winter and Rovers Ground
    • Rovers Supporters Club
    • Eastville Stadium (Rovers) dog track. The underpass from Stapleton Rd was built to serve the football ground and dog track.
    • Cottrell Road street parties
  • Wesley’s speech at Baptist Mill

This is a really great starting point to help us carry the project forward together – in terms of both the gathering of stories and narratives and the arts and creative work that we hope will now start to unfold. So, a huge thank you to everyone who came and shared ideas and energy at this meeting. Please do leave any thoughts or additional suggestions as comments to this blog posting or email . We look forward to seeing you again and meeting more of you at the next project event which will be our first arts day on Saturday 16th June at Glenfrome School – more details to follow in the next blog!

Eastville Multi-Story Water introductory meeting for stakeholders – 23 May 2012 (evening 7.30-9.15) at Glen Frome School, Eastville

We would like to invite you to an introductory meeting about the Multi-Story Water Eastville project, and find out how you would like to see the project work in the Eastville area. Initially we are talking to “stakeholders” – that is people who belong to an organisation or group which is active or working in the area. Individual residents are also very welcome. The other half of the project is in Shipley, near Bradford where a similar section of water has been chosen.

At this meeting, further details will be provided about the project; there will be plenty of opportunities for discussion. There will be people from the organisations active in the project – for example, UWE, the University of Bristol’s Cabot Institute, Streets Alive, as well as regulatory and responsible bodies like Bristol City Council and the Environment Agency.

What are the positives and negatives about living by the river Frome? The main aim of the meeting is to listen to what the local active groups feel would be appropriate for the area. We want to find out what is already going on, and what the hopes and fears are of the groups in the area. Ideally we would then come up with activities which enhance what is already going on – taking some ideas to the next stage and leaving behind a legacy of visible change.

Meeting details:
Where: Glenfrome Road (
When: 7.30 – 9.15 pm Wednesday 23 May 2012.
Who: People from groups active in the Eastville area bordering the river who are interested in the river Frome
Refreshments will be served.

The workshop will be run in a participatory way to get the most out of the short time we have together.

Outcomes of the project could be:
• Street parties – have already been suggested by some neighbours
• Community arts projects – a textile project has already been suggested by neighbours.
• Water stories/ oral history collected from the neighbourhood and lodged with MShed to preserve social and environmental history for future.
• Arts related workshops and events – we have an arts facilitator ready to hear your ideas.
• Water related workshops and events – if required scientists from the Cabot Institute, Bristol University, University of the West of England, and Environment Agency could help with this
• Workshops focusing on local history and geography around the Frome – drawing on local knowledge
• A weekend of activities in September 2012 to mark the culmination of activities

We do hope you will be able to join us at this introductory workshop. To help with numbers for refreshments, please could you email [email protected] (project admin support) if you know you are able to come to the meeting.

Yours sincerely

The Eastville Multi-Story Water project team

Walk this Way! This Sunday (April 22)

Eastville and Frome Walk This Sunday!

Hello everybody.   We’ve come across something you may be interested in this Sunday.  Its not specifically related to the Multi-Story Water project, but is incredibly good timing for people to walk the area and the Frome and begin thinking about what improvements might be made to the area’s sometimes wonderful and sometimes ugly water resources and features.   Below is the blurb.   Alison, from our team will be going on the walk so you’ll meet her there if you go.   Please let Geoff Haslam of the RSA know if you’d like to come on [email protected]

M32 – Connecting Communities

The M32 has two distinguishing features; it is the shortest motorway in the UK, and it reaches further into the city than any other.

When it was designed and constructed it was clearly intended to bring economic benefit to the city. It is assumed that it continues to do this, but at some cost to the communities through which is passes.

One of the RSA’s guiding themes is “connecting communities”. The local (south west) group decided some months ago to investigate the potential to ‘re‚Äźconnect’ the adjacent communities, if indeed this is what they want. At a meeting some months ago a few volunteers offered to take this idea forward. The next M32 event is planned for Sunday 22 April.

We will meet in the middle of the Eastville roundabout (between Tesco and Eastville Park) at 10:00am.

The walk will involve the length of the space under and beside the motorway from the Merchants Arms to River Street. The aim will be to make creative suggestions for improvements. I expect to finish by 12:30pm at the latest.

Please do let me know if you plan to join us. I attach some background information and look forward to meeting you on the 22nd at 10:00am prompt.

Please contact Geoff Haslam for more information and to register your intention to attend – [email protected]