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Bristol Chronicles 1913 | by brizzle born and bred
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Bristol Chronicles 1913

National Insurance


1913 - There were negotiations between the Bristol Insurance Committee and members of the medical profession during Christmas week and terms were agreed. As a result, at the beginning of January, some 130 medical practitioners agreed to participate in medical service under the National Insurance Act.


Three Men in a Boat


Mr. James W. Arrowsmith died on 19 January. He was the publisher of Three Men in a Boat, Prisoner of Zenda and works by Rider Haggard and Marie Corelli and also some of Latimer’ s books, Bristol Past and Present by Taylor and Nicholls, and Arrowsmith ‘s Dictionary of Bristol. He was one of the men whose action secured the County Ground at Ashley Down for Gloucestershire County Cricket Club and played a part in the movement to erect the Cabot Tower and Colston’s statue in Colston Avenue. His interest in the affairs of Bristol University led to the decision, in 1911, to name the tower in the University building in Tyndall’s Park the Arrowsmith tower.


Art Academy


At the annual meeting of subscribers to Bristol Fine Arts Academy held in February it was announced that the King had agreed to become its patron and that it would be known as the Royal West of England Academy.


Bristol University


In the spring there was dissension at Bristol University prompted by the actions of Professor Gerthwohl, the head of the French department, who gave public expression of his criticism of the Senate in the press. He complained of the fact that Professor Cowl, Professor of English at the University College, had not been appointed when the University received its charter; he also recorded that lecturers’ requests for increased remuneration had not been met due to shortage of funds and protested at the number of honorary degrees granted by the newly established University. He was supported by Miss Geraldine Hodgson, a lecturer in education and by T.R. Glover, Cambridge University’s representative on the Council, who resigned. Questions about the dispute were asked in Parliament. Professor Gerthwohl appeared before the University Council in May and they confirmed the Senate’s actions.


School Attendance


In March the Elementary Education Committee considered a report from school attendance officers who said that there was a serious interference with attendance of children at school in consequence of cinematograph shows being open during school hours. They requested that licences granted by the justices should stipulate that children of school age should not be admitted during school hours.


"You now need a licence for that dog!"


At the end of March Alice Mary Walters appeared before the magistrates summoned for keeping a dog without a licence. She told the court that she supported women’s suffrage and that her refusal to pay was a protest against the Government. She refused to pay the fine and was sentenced to seven days’ imprisonment.


Alderman Dix dies


Alderman J.W.S. Dix, the ‘father’ of Bristol City Council, died on 2 April. He was a Conservative, chairman of Clifton Union from 1859 until 1867 and a Bristol councillor from 1876 until he became an alderman in 1891. He was an energetic supporter of the scheme to remove the swing bridge at St. Augustine’s and to form Colston Avenue and the gardens at the Tramway Centre. By profession Alderman Dix was a solicitor; he was chairman of Bristol Gas Company and had the distinction of having one of the company’s locomotives named after him. He was cremated at Golder’ s Green and the ashes interred in the city.


Sunday School


The National Sunday School convention took place in the Victoria Rooms in October. The meeting paid tribute to J.S. Fry and it was reported that the King and Queen’s deep interest in the work of the movement had brought about a distinct advance in the training of children. The work of missions to children in China and India was brought to the meeting’s attention and the debt due to Sunday School teachers in all walks of life was acknowledged.


Art Academy


In the same month the Royal West of England Academy’s premises were reopened after refurbishment, extension and decoration. The ceremony was performed by Miss Stancombe Wills who had recently purchased and presented to Bristol Art Gallery The Vision of Endymion by Sir Edward I. Poynter, President of the Royal Academy.


Fire at Sports Ground


At the end of October the pavilion at the University sports ground was seriously damaged by fire and suffragette literature was found at the scene including one reading ‘Business before pleasure. Hobhouse being responsible will pay. Release Mary Richardson’. University students later attacked the headquarters of the Women’s Social and Political Union in Queens Road, burning the furniture outside in the road. In the middle of November a large house known as ‘Begbrook’ at Frenchay burned down despite the efforts of Mangotsfield Fire Brigade. Value of the damage was put at £3,000. Again, suffragette literature was found including a paper reading ‘Birrell is coming. Rachel Pearce is still being tortured.’


Bridge Street


Also at the end of the month a Congregational Chapel in Bridge Street was demolished to make way for new premises for Baker, Baker & Co. The congregation could be traced back to the ejectment of 1662 and the chapel building itself was opened in 1786.


Bristol Hippodrome


At the beginning of November Sarah Bernhardt appeared at the Hippodrome in La Dame Aux Camlias. To mark her visit to the city the Bristol Playgoers’ Club entertained her to luncheon at the Royal Hotel; 150 people attended.


St Ambrose Whitehall


The new church of St. Ambrose, Whitehall was consecrated by the Bishop of Bristol at the end of November. The organ was built by T.W. Lewis of Bristol to a design of Grahame H. Wills. The building cost over £13,300 and there was seating for 700 persons. The architects were W.V. & A.R. Gough.


Colston's Girls School


Following the marriage of Miss Hughes, there was a vacancy for the post of headmistress of Colston’s Girls’ School. In December the governors appointed Miss Beatrice Margaret Sparks, headmistress of Wisbech High School.


Lord Mayors & Sheriffs


(The civic year ran from November)


1899/1900 Sir Herbert Ashman - George Alfred Wills


1900/1901 James Colthurst Godwin - Edward Bumet James


1901/1902 Charles Edward Ley Gardner - Francis Arden Close


1902/1903 Sir Robert Henry Symes - Joseph Weston-Stevens


1903/1904 Sir Robert Henry Symes - William Henry Greville Edwards


1904/1905 Edward Bumet James - Herbert Cary George Batten


1905/1906 Alfred John Smith - Henry Lorymer Riseley


1906/1907 Alfred John Smith - Henry Daniel


1907/1908 Edward Burnet James - Herbert Cary - George Batten (knighted


1908/1909 Edward Robinson Stanley - Hugh Badock


1909/1910 Christopher Albert Hayes - George Riseley


1910/1911 Christopher Albert Hayes - George Riseley


1911/1912 Frank William Wills - Robert Edward Bush (knighted 1912)


1912/1913 Charles James Lowe - Thomas Joseph Lennard


1913/1914 John Swaish - Adam Cottam Castle.


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Taken on October 17, 2009