- Whitehall, Bristol
infobox UK place
country = England
region= South West England
constituency_westminster= Bristol East
postcode_district = BS
Whitehall, is a district on the edge of inner
Bristolcity, presumably taking its name from Whitehall Road, the main road that runs through it. This BS5 locality does not, however, appear on any road signs, despite being called Whitehall since the area was first built! The name has always been in general use i.e. Whitehall School, Whitehall Chapel, Whitehall Post Office, Ist Whitehall Scout Group.
The local green space is Whitehall Playing Fields or Packer's Ground as it was known, taking its name from the local chocolate factory - Packers. As of 2006 this company is known as 'Famous Names' and has just announced its total closure. The playing field is to be fully redeveloped for sports use for the local
St George School/ Sports Academy.
In part of the area, adjoining Easton and Eastville, there are still many streets and houses from the Victorian and Edwardian eras and in the part, adjoining
St George, Bristolis the Gordon Estate with houses that were built in 1936. This area originally consisted of market gardens and the new estate was built on the rhubarbpatch and as a result, rhubarb was quite commonplace in many gardens!
Some houses ("villas") overlook the adjoining St George Park and these have small balconies.
Newer houses have since been built on the former Co-op Bakery and Rose Green High School sites. There is a plaque on the original school wall, which was fortunately retained, giving some history, about
John Wesleyhaving preached on this site.
The shopping rank either side of Embassy Road on the Gordon Estate, once had a newsagent's, a haberdasher's, a grocers, a bakery, a pet shop, a green-grocer's, a chemist, a hairdresser's, a butcher's, a toy shop and ironmonger's. Unfortunately, many of the shops have been converted back to houses or flats, with only a newsagent's and a sandwich shop remaining.
Local Churches include Crofts End Church, established in 1895 by George Brown, as a Christian mission for miner's children it became known as 'The Miner's Mission' or Crofts End Mission. Still part of the local community and very much a family church its current Pastor is Andrew Yelland.
The Parish Church of St Ambrose has undergone some change in latter years, with its vicarage being demolished and replaced by a sheltered housing scheme for older people. The church hall was refurbished as part of this and is now The Beehive Centre with day-care facilities. The Almshouses were retained and are still in use.
Whitehall Chapel has been retained and restored, but no longer for church purposes. It is now in use as offices.
The Westminster Garage and allotments on the opposite side of Whitehall Road have also disappeared and instead we see a small town housing development.
It is interesting, to note, that the 48th Bristol Scout Group Headquarters adjacent to this development was originally sited on the new housing site. When the garage was originally redeveloped and enlarged, the garage company paid for the Scout Group to have a new building built. This replaced their 'tin hut', which had been rebuilt by the boys and their parents, after its transportation from Crofts End Mission, now
Crofts End Church. Crofts End Church were having a new church built, and so their old building moved on and had a new lease of life for many more years. Some time later the Saint Leonard's Scout Group merged with the 48th Bristol Scout Group and they then became the 32nd Bristol (1st Whitehall) Group. The patron saint of Scouting is Saint Georgealso, the name of an adjacent local district.
Further information on 32nd Bristol (1st Whitehall) Scout Group can be found at www.avonscouts.org.uk/32bristol
The Kings Head public house has always been part of the Whitehall scene and was originally owned by the Parsons family. At that time there were stables attached as dray horses from George's Brewery were quite a common site on Bristol roads then. There have been many changes of ownership since that time. It has recently undergone a complete refurbishment and the new management are to be congratulated for this - especially for the new traditional pub sign, good food and welcoming atmosphere.
Bristol, England, UK
Crofts End, Bristol
St George, Bristol
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