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THE HIDDEN CITY

Returning 13-15 September 2019

NEWS AND HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2019

  • Saturday10AM - 12PM
  • Sunday10AM - 12PM

FAMILY TOUR & ACTIVITY SESSION   Wrestle them off the iPads, kick them off Netflix! Take the kids on an immersive adventure into the birth of cinema.   On this tour, gain behind-the-scenes access to The Curzon, one of the country’s oldest continuously running cinemas. Originally built in 1912, this Grade II listed building is rich in five star heritage.   The tour: Follow the yellow brick road on a magical history tour from the birth of cinema up to the contemporary experience of today’s high-tech entertainment.   Learn about early film and animation through the extensive collection of projectors and cameras (dating from 1909!) whilst being led through an educational and visual treasure hunt behind the scenes of this fascinating building.   Bringing the kids? This family-focussed tour will end with a hands-on activity session; creating animations using Victorian-style film toys, the thaumotrope and the praxinoscope.   Please book below.

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  • Friday6PM - 10PM
  • Saturday10AM - 4PM
  • Sunday10AM - 4PM

OPEN HOUSE & TOURS   Enter through the original studded double wooden doors of this former 1930’s police HQ, now a thriving arts centre.   Drop in: Go behind bars and explore the cells and studios-and get to meet some of the resident artists!   Tours: Sat: 11am, 1pm, 3pm | Sun: 12pm, 2pm   Got the kids? Drop in for children’s hat making and circus skills!

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  • Friday2PM, 4PM, 6PM
  • Saturday10AM, 12PM, 2PM, 4PM
  • Sunday10AM, 12PM, 2PM, 4PM

COACH TOUR   Embark upon a journey to uncover the exceptional story of the former Filton Airfield, traversing its past, present and future.   Board a coach trip around 380-acres of aviation history. As the birthplace of Concorde and supersonic travel, few places on earth can match Filton as a centre for ingenuity and innovation. This is a rare chance to access the site and explore plans to transform this historic local landmark into Brabazon, a thriving new neighbourhood that incorporates and celebrates its unique history.   Look inside the cavernous 352 metre-wide Brabazon hangars, and learn about plans for it to become a supersonic new Arena for Bristol.   Tour Duration: Approx. 90 minutes Adult: £5 | Child: £2 Booking essential. Please book below.

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  • Saturday
  • Sunday

SOUND INSTALLATION   Did you know there are caves in the centre of our city?   Hidden behind a small door in the banks of the harbour are the Redcliffe Caves...   This year, the caves come alive with wild sound. BBC wildlife collaborators Wounded Buffalo have created a unique sound installation in the depths of the city.   Hear salt-mining elephants and haunting seal pups, petrel seabirds and tiny insects, and immerse yourself in the sounds of these cave dwelling creatures.   Navigate your way through a complex network of tunnels that extend beneath Redcliffe, excavated for the Triassic red sandstone as far back as the middle ages.   BOOKING INFO   The caves are so popular that every year, we experience long queues. This year, with the special sound installation, we expect the caves to be even more popular. Therefore, we are providing bookable times slots with an arrival hour, to help space audiences throughout the day.   The time slots are as follows:   10:00 - 11:00 11:00 - 12:00 12:00 - 13:00 13:00 - 14:00 14:00 - 15:00 15:00 - 16:00   Please book in advance and then arrive at the caves near the start of your designated time window. On arrival, join the pre-booked queue.   Warning! There is no lighting in the caves so please bring a torch and sturdy shoes.   Adult: £5 | Child (3-15 years): £2 | Child (0-3 years): FREE   Booking essential. Please book onto a time slot below. We advise you arrive at the start time as this is a popular event and will be busy.   Delivered in partnership with multi-award-winning Wounded Buffalo Sound Studios, The Foundry and The Creative Technologies Laboratory (CT Lab), UWE Bristol’s Department of Computer Science and Creative Technology and Bristol City Council.   *Subject to site permissions

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  • Saturday10AM - 4PM
  • Sunday10AM - 4PM

OPEN HOUSE, TOUR & ART EXHIBITION   Take a stroll around Bristol’s historic Victorian cemetery.   Opened in 1839, Arnos Vale was the first cemetery in the South West. With over 300,000 burials and four listed buildings, the cemetery is home to a wealth of social history.   Learn about the listed landscape and buildings on an expert-led guided tour. If you fancy free- roaming, self-guided tour leaflets are also available.   Got the kids? The little ones will love this spoooooky experience, with opportunities to do some drawing and join in on our fearsome symbolism hunt!   Art Lover? An exhibition of local artists will be on display.   Drop in tours: 10.30am & 1.30pm

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  • Sunday2PM - 5PM

OPEN HOUSE   Discover the future of community-designed housing in an open afternoon at the We Can Make test home.   The We Can Make initiative aims to support people to create the homes they want and need, and is a collaboration between Knowle West Media Centre, White Design and local residents.   See for yourself how a new citizen-led approach to development can work at TAM, an innovative low-carbon, prefabricated timber and straw home.   Drop in for a cuppa, see the space, and find out more about the initiative – and how you could get involved. There will also be sneak previews of forthcoming episodes of the We Can Make Chat Show, where Knowle Westers discuss how they're taking the initiative to sort out housing in the area.

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  • Saturday8AM - 12PM
  • Sunday10AM - 5PM

OPEN HOUSE, EXHIBITION & DEMONSTRATIONS   Bristol Old Vic takes you behind the scenes of the oldest continuously working theatre in the English-speaking world.   One year on from opening its award-winning new foyer spaces designed by Haworth Tompkins, learn how the theatre continues to tell the stories that matter to the city.   Self-guided tours: Explore the rich heritage of the theatre. Self-guided tours will allow you to explore the theatre’s secret spaces with roving experts on–hand to answer any questions. Meet the project team who created the inspired design, and explore the history of sound design with the interactive "Noises Off" exhibit. Investigate backstage to see how the productions are made with demonstrations of theatre practice.   Got the kids? Children can explore the theatre on a Heritage Family Trail suitable for ages 5+, with arts and crafts activities also available for the whole family.

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  • Saturday10AM - 5PM

DROP IN TOUR   What happens at an asphalt plant? Gain an exclusive insight as you get into the nitty-gritty of road-making in Bristol.   Drop in tour (approx. Every 15 minutes): Climb aboard massive machinery, asphalt trucks and equipment, and then unravel the science behind green technology fuelling the recycled materials manufacturing process. Look to the past and future of road-making, learning how asphalt is made and used with plenty of demos. Walk around the site and climb to the top of the plant tower for views of the Severn Estuary.   And also... There will also be an opportunity to see the remains of a WW2 gun emplacement that sits adjacent to the plant, one of six that used to defend the city of Bristol.

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  • Friday3.30PM, 4.30PM
  • Saturday10AM, 11AM, 12PM, 1PM

OPEN SITE, SCIENCE SHOW & WORKSHOP   Did you know... the Thrive Renewables wind turbines at Avonmouth generate enough electricity to power over 5,000 homes for a whole year?     Find out more about how these amazing machines make our lights, phones, tablets and fridges work using just the forces of nature.  Come along to the family fun day, take a peek inside one of the turbines and meet the team who can explain how they turn wind into electricity.    Interactive science show: ExplorerDome will be on site to entertain and educate young and old alike with an immersive experience around climate change and renewable energy. Visitors of all ages will be invited to investigate the social, political and economic drivers for building wind farms and learn how the diverse ecology and habitats are carefully managed alongside construction and operations.   HARNESSING THE WIND WORKSHOP Build your own miniature wind turbine! On Saturday 14 September, join us for drop-in engineer-led workshops where you can learn how to harness the wind.     Visitors will need to book for this event and come prepared for the great outdoors - sunhats and wellies at the ready! Please note, this is an operational site and access may be restricted for safety reasons on the day.    Tours last an hour. Booking essential. Please book onto a timeslot below.

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  • Friday10AM - 5PM
  • Saturday10AM - 5PM
  • Sunday10AM - 5PM

OPEN SITE, TOURS & DEMONSTRATIONS   *PLEASE NOTE* This is a drop in event with some must book elements. To book onto an exclusive tour of the Victorian Workshop (Sat & Sun), please scroll down and book below.   Since the creation of the Floating Harbour in 1809, Underfall Yard has been crucial to its operation.   While the history of the yard and the development of the Harbour can be investigated in the visitor centre, a lesser-known jewel in the yard’s crown is its ‘time capsule’ Victorian workshop. Still at the heart of Bristol City Council’s dock maintenance efforts, the unique and evocative collection of 1880s forges, machines and the line shafting that drives them are once again operational.   WORKSHOP TOURS (SAT & SUN): Join workshop staff and engineers for a guided tour. Discover the elegant Georgian engineering that makes the Harbour ‘Float’ in the Sluice Room and - for the first time - see the workshop brought back to life in a demonstration of several vintage machines, including the yard’s 1907 hydraulic pumps.   Victorian Workshop Tours Adult: £5 | Child: £2   Victorian Workshop Tours run at multiple times on Saturday and Sunday, please book below.   Underfall Yard Open House Drop in and look around any time during the opening hours.

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  • Saturday
  • Sunday

BOAT TOUR   Curious about the history of our maritime city? Us too! Step into the past as we discover the importance of the city’s dockyards, marvel at the feats of engineering of our beloved bridges, and cruise past some of the city’s most famous vessels.   The tour: Board our historic Bristol Ferry Boat and travel from the Watershed down to Cumberland Basin and back. This audio tour was created especially for Bristol Open Doors 2019 by some of the city’s best engineers. There will also be engineering industry professionals on-board and on-hand to answer any questions you may have along the way.   Boats on the tour include: The extraordinary SS Great Britain, the MV Balmoral (a classic excursion vessel) and Mayflower (a Victorian steam tug).   Bridges on the tour include: Pero’s bridge, Merchants’ Bridge, Castle Bridge, Plimsoll Bridge and the majestic Clifton Suspension Bridge.   For all the family: There will be an on-board quiz and a prize in store for the lucky winners!     Tour Duration: 45 minutes   Adult: £5 | Child: £2   *Weather* There is partial cover on the boat, however, please do dress appropriately for the weather. Come rain, come shine!   Tours run at multiple times on Saturday and Sunday. Booking essential, please book below.

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  • Friday
  • Saturday

BOAT TOUR   What is a floating harbour? How was it made? What lies beneath the water’s surface?   From locks, docks and canals to underground rivers and buried castle moats, Bristol’s water network has over 200 years of fascinating engineering history. Climb aboard Bristol Packet Boat Trips’ Tower Belle for one of two trips down Bristol’s floating harbour!   FRIDAY’S TOUR (5PM, 6PM): Learn about the old docks and marinas on this engineer-led tour. Discover how the locks and sluices at Underfall Yard were constructed and what they are used for. Starting Point: Wapping Wharf, SS Great Britain, BS1 6UN   SATURDAY’S TOUR (4PM, 5.15PM): Travel up to Netham Weir on this engineer-led tour. Discover underground rivers and moats, and learn about the City’s canal system and overcoming the second largest tide in the world. Starting Point: Mud Dock Pontoon, Prince Street, BS1 4HU (Next to Prince Street Bridge)     Adult: £5 | Child: £2   *Weather* There is partial cover on the boat, however, please do dress appropriately for the weather. Come rain, come shine!   Tours run at 5pm and 6pm on Friday and at 4pm and 5.15pm on Saturday. Booking essential, please book below.

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  • Friday10AM, 11AM, 12PM, 2PM, 3PM
  • Saturday10AM, 11AM, 12PM, 2PM, 3PM

ENGINEERING & ARCHITECTURE BUS TOUR   What is the best way to see a city? To learn about a city? Bristol, by all accounts, is a beautiful place to take a walk. However, there are some things we miss if we forget to look up.   Bristol has a long industrial history that has led to the development of some magnificent architecture and a rich history in science, technology and engineering infrastructure. The best way to see it? From above!   THE TOUR: All aboard this Bristol Insight bus to discover Bristol’s hidden architectural and engineering gems! From the making of ‘lead shot’ at St Mary Redcliffe to the railway building excavations at Avon Gorge. View the city with new eyes on this unique engineer-led tour.   *Weather* This is an open top bus, so please do dress appropriately for the weather. Come rain, come shine!   Booking essential, please book below.

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  • Saturday10AM - 5PM

ACTIVITY & TOURS   Become an architect for the day and create a small world in a box!   It could be a magical garden, futuristic landscape or underwater city… With masses of scrap and craft resources at our fingertips, you can go wild! This will be a playful exploration of space and place for all ages. A free, drop-in arts activity.   Tours (11am, 11.30am & 2pm): Explore the warehouse and learn about the history of Scrapstore house and its role in Bristol’s reuse landscape. Discover the journey from scrap to reuse!   Visitors will gain special access to the members’ Scrapstore Warehouse, where you can collect a basketful of scrap materials (recommended donation £6).   Special Open Doors activities run 11am-4pm.   There is no minimum age, but all children must be accompanied by an adult.

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  • Friday9.30AM - 2.30PM
  • Saturday9.30AM - 4PM

OPEN HOUSE, TOWER TOURS, BELLRINGING & CONCERTS   Unlock the secrets of this beautiful Grade I listed 14th century church.   Tours: Join a guided tour of the 152ft. tower (complete with arcaded battlements and openwork parapet) and enjoy a bell-ringing talk and demonstration. Tower Tours: Friday; 9.30am, Saturday; hourly from 10am.   Free concerts: Saint Stephen's is a regular host for concerts, with a number of performances running during the day. The perfect chance to take a breather from your busy Open Doors schedule as you drink in the sights and sounds of a performance in this tranquil space. For concert details, please see St Stephen’s website.

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