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Bedminster Facts | by brizzle born and bred
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Bedminster Facts



1, The Bedminster area once had 15 coal mines, the largest of which - Malago pit - employed 400 men. Its mining history peaked at the beginning of the 20th Century.


2, Holiday camp pioneer Billy Butlin went to Bedminster Down school and joined the Locke's Yard showmen of Bedminster.


3, The Tobacco Factory, now a theatre space, is a sole reminder of the tobacco trade that helped build Bristol and was based in Bedminster and Ashton. It was part of the Wills Tobacco empire.


4, Professor Charlie Stephens was known as the 'demon barber of Bedminster.' He was a daredevil and counted kissing lions and parachute jumping from a balloon among his many exploits. He died in 1920 in an attempt to go over the Niagara Falls in a barrel.


5, Lots of children used to have their own Black Hand Gangs but there was a real one in Bedminster in the Twenties. The initiation ceremony involved cutting wrists and mixing blood and collecting trophies such as policemen's helmets.


6, The Verrecchia ice-cream dynasty was based in Bedminster. They sold icecreams for more than 70 years, opened Bristol's first ice-cream parlour in Coronation Road, Bedminster, and introduced the first mobile ice-cream maker.


7, Bedminster was under eight feet of water in the Great Flood of Bristol in October 1882. Three inches of rain fell in 48 hours, damaging 1,000 properties.


8, Bedminster is now the centre of the world's hot air balloon industry - entrepreneur Don Cameron has his factory in St John's Street.


9, The remains of Roman villas have been found at Bedminster.


10, Bristol's greatest modern benefactor John James, who gave away millions to good causes, was the son of a Bedminster docker.

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Taken on December 2, 2007