The new bridge linking Bristol to the site of the new arena was officially named today (Wednesday 16th March) by the winners of a city-wide competition.
The contest, run by the Homes and Communities Agency, Bristol City Council and the Bristol Post, saw hundreds of people from across the city suggest a name for the bridge.
The winning name, chosen by a panel of judges including the Mayor of Bristol is: Brock’s Bridge, named by the Knowle and Totterdown Local History Society to honour William Brock.
William Brock (1830-1907) was an entrepreneur and builder in Victorian Bristol, whose family lived in Totterdown overlooking the arena site. Brock started a successful business next to Temple Meads station – very close to where the bridge stands today.
No stranger to bridge construction himself, Brock was involved in the construction of St Philips Bridge; the Bristol Bridge and Bedminster Bridge. An enthusiastic railwayman he also built local stations at Taunton and Weston-super- Mare.
Brock also built the Swiss House in Leigh Woods, near the suspension bridge – included in many iconic pictures of Bristol.
Members of the Knowle and Totterdown Local History Society include two of William Brock’s great, great grandchildren, who were at the naming event to celebrate his life.
Jan and Shirley Packer said:
“Our Great-Great Grandfather, William Brock, came to Bristol in the 1850s to provide a better life for his family. The construction and manufacturing businesses he built locally were involved with waterways, railways and churches around Bristol and beyond.
“Our Grandma used to point out local landmarks built by her Grandfather as far back as we can remember. We are so pleased that our history group can now tell the story and are very proud that William Brock’s work is recognised in such a special way.”