Since 1973 the Trustees and members of The Henleaze Society (formerly The Henleaze Neighbourhood Society) have continued to work closely with many people and organisations to achieve our aim of making sure Henleaze remains a good place in which to live and work.
Our success can be measured in terms of our achievements, both ongoing and with individual projects, in each of our key priority areas:
Aside from this website, we use the following means to keep members informed about information and events affecting Henleaze:
- Newsletter: Communication is key to ensuring that members are aware of what is happening, how the Society can provide support and what actions are being taken by the Trustees.
Since January 1974 members have received regular hard copy Newsletters (generally issued every 3 months). The Newsletter is hand-delivered by volunteers, to members living in the Henleaze area.
- Ad hoc updates: From 2018 we have supplemented the information in the Newsletters with ad hoc electronic updates so that members receive timely information about current issues, e.g. Consultations with deadlines closing before the issue of the next Newsletter, and information about upcoming local events.
In 2020 and early 2021 the ad hoc updates were used to provide the local community with details, due to Covid-19, of the ever-changing opening days and hours of our local traders.
- Notice boards: The Society’s first notice board was installed outside the premises of Wards Solicitors. Subsequently three further boards have been added; they are located in front of Henleaze Hair & Beauty in Wellington Hill West, outside Waitrose in Northumbria Drive and in front of Tesco Express on the corner of Henleaze Road and The Drive. Local events are publicised.
Planning matters have been a core concern of the Society since its launch. As an example, in March 1974 approximately 300 people attended a meeting where the main topic was the future of the Golden Hill playing fields.
- Monitoring planning applications: The Society’s Trustees monitor all local planning applications and have attended meetings and submitted letters to Bristol City Council supporting or objecting to applications as deemed appropriate.
Where a matter of principle arises, or a potentially inappropriate development is proposed, the Society may be able to act in support of a member.
- Henleaze – Our Place Character Appraisal: Produced as the result of a lot of work by the Society’s Trustees and other members of the public, this substantial document was published by Bristol City Council in May 2016.
It contains a wealth of well-researched and detailed information on the local area, and is available for download (pdf. opens in new tab) from Bristol City Council’s website. It is one of a series of documents which helps to explain how the character of a particular neighbourhood or conservation area has formed and exists today.
Understanding the different areas of our city helps Bristol City Council Planning Officers and Councillors make informed decisions on what changes can be made in the future
Transport and Environment
We aim to keep members informed about issues, in so far as they affect Henleaze.
- Transport: We endeavour to make members aware of Consultations involving traffic and transport, so that contributions can be made to decision-making.
- Local shops and businesses: These are an important part of our local environment and one of the many attractions of living in Henleaze.
The Society’s Trustees liaise with the local business community, keeping members informed about changes in the area.
- Old Quarry Park: Since the 1990s, working in collaboration with Bristol City Council’s Parks Department, The Henleaze Society has played a significant role in enhancing facilities. After having improved access via new gates on Henleaze Road, and members planting thousands of bulbs, The Society was awarded a National Lottery grant in 2000 to install new play equipment and seating. In the early 2010s, The Society, working with local Councillors, ensured that trees were thinned out to create a more open aspect to the Park. Space for ball-games was created. The range of play equipment was further improved with the installation of a zip-wire.
In 2017, it was agreed that money levied from developers and allocated for community use should be used to further enhance Old Quarry Park. In addition to a picnic table and benches, we now have: colourful seating, curved areas of paving and a summer wildflower meadow.
In 2019, working with Veronica Bowerman, an interpretation board was installed; it tells the story of how Eastfield Quarry evolved over the years from a limestone quarry into the Old Quarry Park that we know today. Unfortunately, due to vandalism, the interpretation board had to be replaced in 2020.
- Award: The work of The Henleaze Society in enhancing the environment, in particular for its work at Old Quarry Park, was recognised in 2002, with an award from the Bristol Civic Society.
It is important that our shopping areas are attractive to both local residents and visitors. Six planters in Henleaze Road and Wellington Hill West are provided and maintained by the Society. The planters were last refreshed in May 2022.
Part-funded by a grant from the former Neighbourhood Partnership, The Henleaze Society purchased and maintains a public access defibrillator that is located outside the office of the Trinity-Henleaze United Reformed Church. In February 2020 the Society organised a training event to raise awareness of the location of the defibrillator and to show how it can be used, alongside cardiopulmonary resuscitation (more commonly referred to as CPR), to save lives.
Over the years a number of events have been organised for members:
- Open Gardens: The largest event, attracting up to 500 people, is the biennial Open Gardens Day. The last Open Gardens Day was held on Sunday 3 July 2022. Provisionally it is planned to hold the next Open Gardens Day in late June/early July 2024.
- Members’ Lunch: Each year a members’ lunch is held. We have also held ad hoc social events such as a wine tasting and a 40th anniversary dinner.
- Excursions: These have included day trips to a number of places; the most recent of which have been to Hereford, Exeter, Gloucester and Worcester. In 2023 we hope to rearrange a trip, to the Royal Mint and the Senedd, that was cancelled in 2020.
- Annual General Meeting (AGM): All members can attend the AGMs where they can ask questions about the management of the Society and help to influence the way forward. After the AGMs, members are invited to network before listening to a guest speaker (in recent years, speakers have included the West of England Mayor, Avon & Somerset’s Police Commissioner and our local Member of Parliament).
Working with people and organisations
The above can only give a flavour of what we have achieved over the years. There are many more examples (funding of trees, discussions regarding road and bus changes, bench purchases, graffiti removal etc). The common thread is that The Henleaze Society’s Trustees (of which there have been many over the years) could not succeed without the support of Bristol City Council staff, our Councillors, the local Police and the local community. We also recognise the many hours of work that our members have provided, not least, in preparing and delivering the Newsletter, collecting subscriptions, organising events, planting flowers and bulbs and monitoring the defibrillator.