Southville, Bristol

Southville, Bristol

infobox UK place
country = England
official_name= Southville
latitude= 51.4450
longitude= -2.6003

static_image_caption= Boundaries of the city council ward.
population = 10,098 [cite web | title=Southville | work=2001 Census Ward Information Sheet | url= | accessdate=2007-02-20]
unitary_england= Bristol
region= South West England
constituency_westminster= Bristol South
post_town= BRISTOL
postcode_district = BS3
postcode_area= BS
dial_code= 0117
os_grid_reference= ST583719

Southville is an inner city suburb of Bristol, England situated on the south bank of the River Avon. It is one of the wards that forms the parish of Bedminster. Most of the houses were built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries either for workers in the Bristol coal mining industry or the tobacco factories of W. D. & H. O. Wills, the eponymous “Wills Girls”. The world headquarters of Imperial Tobacco, the world’s fourth largest international tobacco company, is still situated in the ward. Southville was also a centre for the tanning industry.

The northern ward boundary is as close as 150 metres from Floating Harbour. The area was bombed in the second world war, with a large number of streets losing one or more houses as Southville was the unintended target of the many short-falling bombs aimed at the dock facilities and traffic. The subsequent post-war rebuilding is noticeable on many streets, where the generic style of house building changes. Infilling of post-war damage is, perhaps surprisingly, still continuing. The recent house price boom has seen new builds on existing vacant sites and on bombed sites subsequently used for other activities such as pre-fabricated garages and car sales lots.

The area has been gentrified since the early 1980s, accompanying the national rise in house prices. It has been jokingly referred to as "Lower Clifton", a reference to a more prosperous area of the city. New bars and restaurants and the nationally renowned Tobacco Factory theatre attract visitors to the area, while the Southville Community Centre and Southville School have become the central features of a vibrant community atmosphere. There are many artists living in the area; during an annual [ Art Trail] they open their houses to the public and show and sell their work.

Dame Emily Park, on the site of the old "Dean Lane" coal pithead (closed December 1906 ["Catalogue of plans of abandoned mines: Somerset. Published 1928."] [ [ Collieries A to F ] ] ), is celebrated for its popular skateboard park and the vivid graffiti, the latter regularly updated by a variety of artists on a weekly basis. Greville Smyth Park is the largest local park and is popular for sports, families and dog walkers. Bristol South swimming pool, a grade II listed building [cite web | title=Bristol South Baths and attached railings and gates | work=Images of England | url= | accessdate=2007-05-30] in the south of the park is currently undergoing a [ consultation] into modernising its facilities. Southville Community Development Association (SCDA) is a local community-led organisation that supports many local projects and also runs the Southville Centre - a community centre, cafe, nursery, after school club and older peoples Monday club.

Politically, Southville ward has traditionally returned Labour councillors to Bristol City Council, though in May 2006 the Green Party candidate Charlie Bolton became the first Green Councillor in Bristol, through a narrow majority of seven votes. In May 2007 Sean Beynon was elected as the Labour Councillor for the second Southville seat with a majority of 6 votes.

Southville forms a part of the Bristol South Westminster parliamentary constituency, once held by Tony Benn and currently represented by the Minister of State for Public Health and former Paymaster General, Dawn Primarolo.


External links

* [ Bristol City Council Ward Profile]
* [ Wartime recollections of Southville]
* [ Ashton Gate Primary School]
* [ Southville Primary School]
* [ The Southville Centre]
* [ South Bristol Labour Party]
* [ Friends of Greville Smyth Park]

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