Archives in Bristol

The oral history collections recording Bristol’s social history are held by various different organisations. We have been in touch with all these organisations and have listed below recordings which are connected to Black History and the story of The Bristol Bus Boycott. Sometimes the organisations have a recording and a transcript, sometimes one or the other.

For access to any of this material contact the listed organisations:


The Bristol Black Archives Partnership

The Bristol Black Archives Partnership have produced and excellent guide to all archive and artefacts relating to the history of people of African descent in Bristol. This material covers the museums and The Bristol Records Office.



Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery

The following interviews are in Bristol Museum’s collections Black community Oral History project This collection contains a series of interviews with members of the black community in Bristol, conducted in March 2007. Interviews were mostly conducted by students and each follows a similar format with standardised questions. These include the difficulties of integrating into the UK, racism, the legacy of the slave trade as well as traditions and customs of other countries. Questions tend to focus on life in other countries (ie the country of birth) rather than on the experience of the UK or Bristol. The series includes an interview with former Gloucester County cricketer Courtney Ricketts. Sound quality, variable.

George Washington.
Speaks about moving from Jamaica to the UK.

Mr Brian Dymock
Interview date: Wednesday 12th November 2008
Date of birth: 3rd August 1936. Brian was born in London and was evacuated to Dorset in WW2. He worked for London Transport and moved to Bristol in 1968 and began working as a bus conductor. He worked on the buses until 2004. He tells many stories about working as a conductor in Bristol and covers issues such as increased traffic and changes in staff policies and numbers.

Frank Chivers
Detective Sergeant at Avonmouth, Bristol
Interview date: January 2000.
At the beginning of the interview Mr Chivers speaks about stowaways from Jamaica arriving at Avonmouth.

Paul Stephenson
Civil rights in Bristol in the 1960s; Bristol Politics the Bristol Bus Boycott

Tony Benn
MP For Bristol East from 1950-1961; 1963-1983 The Labour Party, Bristol East Constituency; Bristol Politics;

Wally Jenkins
Lord Mayor City and County of Bristol 73/74

Phone: 0117 922 3571


What’s Your Trinity Story

Oral History and archiving project about The Trinity Centre from 1960-to present day, with specific reference to its role as a music and community venue. Trinity is probably best known for its role in the music scene of the 1990s, when it played host to some of the biggest domestic and international music stars of the time. Trinity’s stage has been graced by the likes of U2, The Wailers and Public Enemy as well as local talents such as Massive Attack. It hosted many famous artists notably from the punk, and reggae genres, and was an important landmark in the globally exported “Bristol Sound” prominent during this era.

Address: Trinity Rd; Bristol, Avon BS2 0NW
Phone: 0117 935 1200


Bristol Reference Library

Contact: Dawn Dyer, Local Studies Team
Address: Reference Library, Central Library, College Green, Bristol BS1 5TL
Phone: 0117 9037202.


Kingswood History Project

The Kingswood history Project has a collection of  written and audio transcripts, some dating back to the earlier portion of the 20th century. Ex bus drivers/conductors talk about subjects such as driving during the first World War as well as taking industrial action and early opinions of women working on the buses and trams. Interviews include:

Conductor/Driver on Bence’s Buses
Discusses routes and problems with flooding; what was expected of the conductors; having to keep your bus clean; singing on the buses; training to be a driver which no on had done before. All pre WWII.

KPH 31
Bus conductor and later a tram conductor.
As well as more general information he talks about the management of the company and the role of the trade unions and industrial action. He also talks about women working on the trams during WW1.

Bus Driver – born in 1898.
First bus driver for Bence’s buses; routes, driving buses in WW1; singing on the buses on Saturday nights – narrative ends at 1936.

Born 1895, a tram and bus conductor.

Born 1904, talks about experience as a bus conductress.

Also available are transcripts (but no audio) of interviews with:

  • Paul Stephenson
  • Guy Bailey
  • Derek Sealy
  • Asher Craig

The Kingswood History Society (un-related???) meets at:

Address: The Park Centre, High Street, Kingswood, Bristol

Meetings are the 1st Tuesday of the month at 7.30pm.


Borja Catera

Film Maker of ‘Culture Clash on the Front Line – Jamaicans in Bristol‘.

“In the 1950s Jamaicans were lured to come to work in “The Mother Country where the streets are paved in gold”. The Windrush generation was born and the first Jamaicans arrived to Bristol settling in the St Pauls neighborhood. The charismatic Princes Cambell was one of the first arrivals”

You can watch the whole video in parts on youtube by following the link below:

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