Ships came to the City Docks from all over the world, bringing with them cargo and crew from Europe and beyond. There was cork brought in from Portugal, oranges from Spain, and wood from Scandinavia. Not to mention the Guinness that came from Dublin or wine from Southern Europe!

Each nationality had a favourite pub, where they would gather for a hard-earned drink on dry land or share a song. At one point, there were more than 30 licensed drinking spots on the Hotwell Road alone!


Here you'll hear tales of the international visitors to the Docks. From a young man's adventures on board a Russian ship, to memories of oranges being thrown ashore, these clips make clear how exciting Bristol was as a global port. 


A large container ship being unloaded of its cargo of timber, several trucks fully laden leave the dockside. 1960s.

Photo credit: Bristol Archives: 40826/DOC/43