2018 was a busy year for the many businesses that call Underfall Yard home, and they have big plans for the future.

Text by Underfall Yard Volunteer Writer Izzie Compton.

Omni Productions


Omni at the Yard.

Omni productions continue to inspire, unite and educate people through video.

In 2018, Omni collaborated with All-Aboard Watersports to produce a pro-bono video promoting the ‘School Inclusive Games’ held annually in the Harbour. The video shows the joyous faces of the young participants, capturing the essence of the games. Watch the video here.

Further driving positive change through moving image, Omni recently worked alongside Frank Water on a commercial raising awareness of the water and sanitation crisis. They paint an intimate portrait of the realities suffered by many, and how clean water and sanitation can provide life-saving opportunities. Watch the video here.

In association with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Omni recently released a promotional video encouraging people from all walks of life to get involved with the Big Garden Bird Watch. The video highlights the benefits of engaging with the outdoors, embodying the values held by the RSPB.

Offshore Marine People & Academy (OMPA)

OMPA pairs people with projects across the globe to promote training and progress.

In 2018, OMPA successfully distributed personnel to over 20 projects spanning six countries. 20 individuals began work on the installation of Subsea Power Cables in one of OMPA’s recent projects.

OMPA image Jan 2019

OMPA are active in a range of off-shore sectors.

A major project saw over 60 personnel posted to an offshore wind farm in the German Baltic Sea. This work forms part of a leading energy company’s maintenance works across their 70-turbine wind farm.

Those supplied by OMPA held a comprehensive range of positions, including specialist electrical and mechanical technicians, lifting engineers, non-destructive testing inspectors for topside campaigns, specialist inspectors, remotely operated vehicle pilots, surveyors and data processors for subsea inspection works.

OMPA supplied site managers and the team at Underfall Yard worked hard over the past year to coordinate training, inductions and travel to promote development and progress in such a complex industry.

Adventurous Activity Company

2018 saw bouts of extreme cold and sweltering heat. The ‘Beast from the East’s’ arctic conditions saw only the bravest venture out, whereas summer heatwaves saw many flock to the Harbour. Adventurous Activity Company are hoping for another long summer to encourage more people to get active.

Iain Afshar of the company will also be starting Dreamtreks Photography.

Adventurous Activity newsletter pic for web

A night shot taken during one of Adventurous Activity’s trips.

The venture involves photography workshops, held around Bristol’s historic harbourside and other photogenic landscapes. Open to those of all abilities, the workshops will cover techniques and skills essential to achieving excellence in photography. One aspect of the project, the ‘Bristol Night Shoot’, will explore how to capture beautiful photographs during daylight and after dark.

Plenty more adventurous Photographic Trekking holidays around the most scenic landscapes are also being planned for the year ahead. For further information contact Iain on 07985052835. Visit their website here.



Severnside Sub Aqua Club

Severnside Sub-Aqua Club continues to be a leader in the diving community.

In 2019 the club has an exciting new offer for anyone interested in learning how to SCUBA dive. A SCUBA training course will be commencing soon and is available to anyone who can swim at least 200m and has a basic level of general fitness. Initial training will take place in a heated swimming pool at St Mary Redcliff and Temple School on Monday evenings. Training is accompanied by classroom lessons held in the Old Stable Block adjacent to the Underfall Yard.

Expert tuition and equipment from qualified volunteer instructors will be included in club membership fees and those who complete training will be awarded an internationally recognised ‘Ocean Diver’ qualification.

Alternatively, anyone curious to take the plunge and get a taste of what diving is like can try a one-off SCUBA session held at the Underfall Yard on Monday evenings at 6.45pm. Email info@severnsidesac.com or call 07714 733 816 for more details. Visit their website here.

Shipshape Works

In addition to traditional boatbuilding restoration projects, including on boats moored in the harbour, Anthony Mace of Shipshape Works continues to craft beautiful skin-on-frame canoes and kayaks. The Shipshape website has recently undergone a facelift and is now a mine of information about recent courses and commissions.

2018 saw the success of Shipshape’s kayak making courses which are continuing in the new year. The first course will be held this month. Visit the Shipshape Facebook page to view photos of the stunning skin-on-frame boats that participants have produced.

The future holds promise for Shipshape with their workshop now housing a bigger thicknesser to speed-up the preparation of timber for boat making courses. Beyond this, an open-canoe building course will be introduced in Spring 2019 due to popular demand. Anthony will be prototyping the build over the next few weeks, with images posted on Facebook.

Those interested in taking part in a course, please email: hello@shipshape.works

Avon Scout County Sailing Section

Scouts and Guides in and around Bristol are offered a taste of sailing by the Avon Scout County Sailing Section. The section operates from the Dave Woodhead Centre at the end of Nova Scotia Place.

Avon County image Jan 2019 for website

Avon County in action.

Over 400 young people took to the waters last year in taster sessions, with many going on to gain RYA (Royal Yacht Association) qualifications on courses organised and run by the section.

2019 will hopefully see another batch of keen youngsters getting involved with sailing. During the summer months taster sessions will be held several evenings a week, and RYA courses will take place on selected weekends.

Training is also available to adults looking to get involved. Please attend a taster session and speak to a team leader or visit their website for more information: www.ascss.org.uk