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100 Years of Knowle West Style

100 Years of Knowle West Style is a creative programme uncovering, understanding and telling the story of a community’s hidden heritage.

Having been based in the Knowle West community for over twenty years, we know that the area is full of stories and characters that can sometimes be overlooked by the wider city. We also know there’s plenty more to be uncovered…

From April to October 2019 we’ll be bringing local people, artists and archivists together to explore, share and celebrate Knowle West’s heritage, through a creative programme that will including making activities, events and performances.

When Knowle West was first conceived it was seen by many as the future of housing. Dubbed “the five thousand island forest” by the workers who built it, the estate is sited on a hill surrounded by wild green space, and comprises one hundred streets, five thousand homes, and twelve thousand people.

Nearly 100 years on, we want to know what Knowle Westers think is iconic, special and unique about their area – whether they’ve lived here all their lives or have recently made the community home.

What does it mean to make, build, dress, speak, or do things ‘Knowle West style’?

We’ll be focusing on three main themes:

Places: which buildings or public spaces have become iconic in the neighbourhood?

Spaces: how have home interiors, which were traditionally focused around the ‘Parlour Room’, been reinvented through decades of changing fashions and functions?

Style: from the first settlers displaced by slum clearance to newer neighbours, who and what are Knowle West’s distinctive style icons? From the well-known images – boxing, horses, trip-hop – to the things that are harder to see but are there if you know where to look…

Knowle West Icons

To kick off the project, we’re making a list of 100 local icons. What – or who – are your top icons? They could be:

people – remember Stan the Man?
places – did you love the old swimming pool?
objects – did you grab a Clarks pie on the Broadway?
symbols of culture or traditions – do boxing gloves make you think of Knowle West?

To get involved, take a photo of your icon(s) and tag knowlewestmedia on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.


Get in touch!

If you’re interested in making, housing, history, getting creative, or sharing what’s special about your area with the world, we’d love to hear from you!

You can share your thoughts in our drop in, which will be taking place every Wednesday between May and August from 12-1pm and 6-7pm. We’d love to hear from you – whether you grew up locally or moved here recently. Bring in archive material, share your memories, and pick up tips for telling your Knowle West story using photography and other creative tools. Come along!

Contact Martha or Melissa on 0117 903 0444, or using their details on the right of this page.

Wider Programme

“100 Years of Knowle West Style” forms part of  “Homes for Heroes 100” – a collaborative programme of events and activities across Bristol that will mark the centenary of the 1919 Housing and Town Planning Act.  The Act was known as The Addison Act, after the then Minister of Health and Housing Christopher Addison, and led to the building of large-scale council house estates in the UK.

As well as Knowle West, Homes For Heroes 100 will also work with communities in Sea Mills, Hillfields and St Judes to uncover and celebrate their local history.

100 Years of Knowle West Style is part of Homes For Heroes 100, city-wide projects marking a century of council housing coordinated by Bristol Cultural Development Partnership.Homes For Heroes 100 is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Bristol City Council.

Artists selected for project celebrating local culture

We're delighted to announce that we've selected three artists to work on the project '100 Years of Knowle West Style'. The project will celebrate Knowle West's culture, style and stories, and make sure that it's Knowle Westers who choose what goes down in history. The artists are: Holly Beasley-Garrigan, George Lovesmith and Lukus Robbins. KWMC Arts Producer Martha...

Contact Us

Knowle West Media Centre
Leinster Avenue
Knowle West
+44 (0) 117 903 0444

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