What We Do
Events, Walks and Talks
Each year, FrANC organises and runs guided walks and talks on various aspects relating to the New Cut.
Recent topics have included:
The geology of the area
Trees of the New Cut riverbanks
A bat walk in which participants were able to use echo locating detectors
A visit to Underfall Yard, whose work is closely linked to the New Cut
A talk on the history of Bristol Docks
Other walks have focused on the industrial and economic history of the area; literary links with Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island; Bristol’s history and its association with buildings and locations around the New Cut - the New Gaol, the riots of 1831, piracy, press gangs, slavery and the development of the Floating Harbour.
From time to time FrANC leads walks for other groups and schools across the city.
FrANC organizes occasional boat trips up the New Cut which are always in great demand. (Video)
For a flavour of some of these events, look at our Gallery of photos (Photos).
In addition to guided walks led by local experts, FrANC has produced a leaflet and map showing a series of interlinked walks around the New Cut, which people can follow independently.
The leaflet can be downloaded to print and there is also an interactive version which can for use with smart phones and tablets while following the walks. (Circular walks)
Contributing to community arts and cultural events is another aspect of FrANC.
For instance, FrANC took an active part in the celebration to mark the 200th anniversary of the opening of the New Cut, an event on the Floating Harbour dockside with music, dancing and street theatre. Over 3000 people attended on the afternoon of 4 May 2009 which included features of the original party in 1809 – a hog roast, provided by the ss Great Britain; a special beer, Cut Blaster, produced by the Bristol Beer Factory; local bands and shanty songs, Irish dancing and dramatised readings from an account of the 1809 event. The only thing not replicated was the fight which ensued 200 years ago when the Irish navvies, who had dug out the New Cut, came to blows with local Bristol men after much food and drink had been consumed! (Photos and Video)
As part of its contribution to the 200th year celebration, FrANC installed a bench overlooking the New Cut, near to the entrance to the Chocolate Path just off Cumberland Road. It is a good place to take in a view of the river and its banks at any time of the day.
More recently, in October 2016, FrANC celebrated both its 10th birthday and the completion of a Heritage Lottery funded project with creative events for adults and children, a walk along the New Cut taking in some recent improvements, a short film about a recent arts project based on the importance of the tidal range for the area, live music and refreshments.
See photos and more besides in the Gallery.
FrANC was a key player in a major arts event involving people of all ages in creating 200 clay tiles from mud from the New Cut riverbed.
Each tile has an image reflecting the New Cut.
The tiles, originally displayed on Vauxhall bridge are now on permanent display on the garden wall outside the café at the Create Centre.
FrANC members have also taken part in exhibitions of local people’s photos of their favourite views and features of the New Cut including the water, riverbanks, bridges, buildings and wildlife.