This small but well researched book tells the story of the origins of public parks, the establishment of Victoria and other Bristol Parks, the facilities and use both in the past and present. It was produced as a fund raiser for Victoria Park Action Group, and £1 from each sale is donated to them for activities and improvements in the park 19th century Bristol was well supplied with open spaces, but they were all in the wealthy centre and west, a long walk for the mass of workers in the south and east. So the late century saw the start of several campaigns to improve air, water and general quality of life for the poor crowded into low lying unhealthy housing near dirty industries where most of them worked. The story of Victoria Park, Bedminster is an important part of improvements for the poor.
Barb Drummond has lived in Bristol, England for over 25 years. In 1995 she became interested in the history of her adopted city, but finding no interesting books decided to write her own. Unable to find a publisher, she now publishes her own titles. Her subjects were initially close to home, dealing with architecture, the abolition of slavery, and a number of well received walking guides on a range of subjects. Her walks are driven by what can be seen, not by the straight narrative of events, encouraging the exploration of alleyways and parks, urging people to look all around them, to be constantly surprised by the variety of sights which are often ignored or misunderstood. Her books are small and affordable. One fan describes them as being 'like a rich fruitcake', full of variety and interest, worth re-reading. She is now spreading her net further afield, with guides to other English towns and cities, as well as other subjects, such as the history of drinking water and fountains, a World War I naval battle, and even a fictitious village.
She has appeared on local tv and radio, carried out research for the much lamented British Empire and Commonwealth Museum and is often consulted by researchers. She has presented papers at symposiums, such as 'How the Masculine Architecture of Bath empowered and educated women', and 'The Three Ages of Bristol Bridge'.
Her book on a World War I naval battle is now on sale where it happened, on a coral atol in the Pacific Ocean, so is her first overseas outlet.
Her latest book, 'The Big World of Mr Bridges' Microcosm' is the product of many years intense research, and is now on kindle. It is her biggest and most interesting work to date, about a giant clock, The Microcosm, that was shown in Britain and America for over 40 years. It is now in storage at the British Museum as they cannot figure out how to present it. It is about 18th century clocks, engineering, travelling shows, the origins of the industrial revolution, the importance of art in science, and what makes the English people, well, English. In fact it's a book pretty much about everything and one reader suggested it should be compulsory reading for anyone interested in anything. They were not paid to say that, but perhaps they should be. she read a paper on this topic at the Literary London Conference in London, concerning the clock's travels in London and its impact on the capital's entertainment.