Chair, Church Road Action Group
I first became aware of Church Road as a child, in the 1950s travelling from my home in Southmead to visit my grandparents in St. George and Kingswood.
As a young boy though, I was more interested in the railway station at Lawrence Hill, and of course Max Williams model shop rather than any other shops and I can also remember the cinemas, the old library, Summers masonry yard and the St. George fountain of course.
My father's parents lived near in Hudds Hill Road and it always seemed strange to be catching a bus to the Worlds End to visit them. As this was not too far from St. George Park, along with my cousins, I used to visit the park quite often.
Visits to the area became less frequent after my grandparents died, and until my wife and I moved into Victoria Parade in 1969, I did not know how much the area had changed.
The old library had gone, Tesco had been built, but Summers was still there looking much the same as before.
One of my lasting memories of Church Road is Gwilliams on the corner of Victoria Parade, with their wonderful ham; another is the fire in the old Cyril Dark store next to Gwilliams which forced both shops to move.
Since then there have been many changes, shops have come and gone, buildings have been redeveloped, but Church Road is still one of the best local shopping areas in Bristol, and as Chair of the Church Road Action Group, I am pleased that we have been able to work with the Barton Hill History Group and the St. George History Group on the publication of this book, celebrating the history of the shops in Church Road.