The Gentrification of Stokes Croft
Mention the name Stokes Croft to anybody in Bristol, and you’ll get an immediate reaction. Some see it as a cultural hub, but others are less enthusiastic, seeing it as a graffiti-ridden area full of drugs, crime and homelessness.
The Stokes Croft world is a very different one to mine – but it’s changing, and I think now is as good a time as any to find out more about the area known locally as The People’s Republic of Stokes Croft.
Stokes Croft, for those who don’t know it, is a relatively short stretch of road that forms part of the A38 trunk road from Gloucester as it comes into Bristol city centre, but to most Bristolians it also includes a small number of streets on either side of it.
Sandwiched between the relatively affluent Kingsdown and the African-Caribbean community of St Pauls, the area does not have an official boundary, but the map below shows what’s included within the ‘Cultural Boundary’ as featured on the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft (PRSC) website.
The problem with anywhere that sits on a boundary line is that it has no official identity of its own.
This war can be won
without bullets or bombs
No fields of mud or
barbed fences to cross
The Front Line is our doorstep
Without trenches to dig
Just some music to choose
And a beer from the fridge
Just stay in, chill out
and stay safe everyone
Bill Withers - 4th July 1938-30th March 2020
Last Monday saw the passing away of Bill Withers.
Born in West Virginia in 1938, he was the youngest of six children. His musical career lasted between 1970 and 1985 and it’s hard to believe that this master singer/songwriter of smooth soul music hasn’t written anything since.
I thought it would be appropriate to dedicate a picture of darkening skies over Dartmoor to Bill who gave me ‘Lovely Days’ as the sunshine from his life disappears.