At their peak, Bristol docks welcomed people from all over the world. Seamen would gather at pubs along the waterfront, congregating in national and linguistic groups. Thanks to funding from the University of Bristol's Brigstow Institute, Dr Amy King and Dr Paul Merchant examined ways of reconnecting these locations with the songs and chatter that were previously heard there.

 

Echoes of the Port follows J.C. Healey, a (real-life) trader and ship-spotter, on one of his regular walks around the docks. Healey kept meticulous records of the ships in the city docks for more than thirty years, and the audio is inspired by his notebooks in the Bristol Archives.

 

This video introduces the project.

Research: Dr Amy King and Dr Paul Merchant

Writer and director: Stephanie Kempson

Sound design: Dinah Mullen

Performers: Felix Hayes as JC Healey, Andrew Dennis and Peter Baker as the Spanish sailors

Videography: Mac Harwood

Funding: Brigstow Institute, University of Bristol