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Underfall Yard Volunteer Writer Izzie Compton explores the work of a very special boat A crowd gathered outside the Underfall Yard Visitor Centre on 21st May to celebrate the arrival in Bristol of the ‘Poly-Roger’. The punt, made from 99% recycled plastic, is one of three touring the UK in an effort to bring the problem of plastic pollution closer to those in cities. In light […]



February 2019

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 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. […]

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January 2019

In May 2019 the Underfall Yard will host a special poetry and drama event featuring Swan, a former Royal Navy training boat called a Montagu Whaler.  Underfall Yard Volunteer Writer Izzie Compton investigates. A boat rich in heritage and close to the hearts of many, the Montagu Whaler is an enduring emblem of the Navy and its triumphs. Designed in the 1880s by Admiral Montagu […]


In November Underfall Yard Volunteers and staff were updated by Bristol City Council’s Docks Engineer Ian Johnson on his plans for the Harbour in 2019 and beyond. Following Ian’s talk, volunteers were invited to ask questions about water management in the Harbour. During a wide-ranging and fascinating session many interesting points were highlighted. Plans for 2019 Since it was last dredged in 2015 the Harbour […]

Ferry picture Carrie fin

Underfall Yard Volunteer Writer Natalie Smith investigates the jobs done by women in what has traditionally been a male-dominated environment.  It began with a photograph in the Visitor Centre at the Underfall Yard. Captain Short beams into the camera, clutching his retirement gift of a radio. Surrounding him are a group of 16 men and just three women.  I started thinking about Harbour-based job opportunities […]

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Underfall Yard Volunteer Writer Isabelle Compton caught up with Justin Quinnell to discuss his recent exhibition. Pinhole photographer and teacher, Justin Quinnell, combines art and science to produce stunning, and sometimes funny photos using pinhole cameras. The essence of his works is unpredictability and exploring the realms of the ‘what if…’ An exhibition of continuous exposures depicting views of the North Atlantic from the masts […]


It was a crisp winter’s afternoon when I ventured out onto the harbour for a chat with Ben from the Harbour Master’s Office.  It seems worlds away from the recent heatwave and, as we approached the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Bristol Flood, I found myself thinking a lot about that day. I was fortunate enough to join up with Ben on a day when he was working alongside […]


Underfall Yard Trust is delighted to announce the launch of a new guide book: Heart of the Harbour: The Story of Underfall Yard.  The book tells the fascinating story of the yard, which is bound up with the River Avon and the Floating Harbour.  The book covers everything from the original course of the tidal River Avon, which ran through Underfall Yard; the creation of an […]


Whilst Bristol’s Harbourside is ever-changing, some things at Underfall Yard have remained perfectly the same. For many years now, Fridays at the Yard have bought with them fried breakfasts, door stop sandwiches and a tradition of celebrating the end of the week by sitting down and sharing a greasy, well-deserved meal. James Clarke started working at Underfall Yard in 1998, as a boat builder and […]


In 2017, Adventurous Activity Company took many groups onto the water in canoes and kayaks as well as delivering their popular raft building challenges. The challenge involves teams of around 4 or 5 designing, building and racing rafts constructed from barrels, wooden poles and ropes. Success was mixed with disaster: it’s safe to say that the boat builders at Underfall Yard needn’t worry about competition! […]

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