Project launched to document the real history of Old Market

Project launched to document the real history of Old Market

The Vice and Virtue project will look beneath the area’s reputation to explore the many cultures that have lived within the Old Market area of Bristol, its national significance as an area of architectural conservation and key moments of historical interest.

Themes will include the riots of 1932, the Black GI presence, the history of Bristol’s Gay Village, the high-street’s sex industry and the ever-changing face of Old Market.

The project – funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, Quartet Community Foundation and the Old Market Community Association – will consist of oral history and reminiscence activities designed to encourage members of the community, of all ages, to share their experiences, photos, documents and memorabilia.

This rigorously researched project will build upon existing online and hard copy archive information. It will culminate in an exhibition, booklet and heritage trail featuring all the work gathered through the project.

Much coverage has been given to the area in recent years, often referred to as having a ‘seedy reputation’. However comments from other residents and traders have worked to counter this image, including Mr Ferris, a local publican commenting in a local newspaper article, “It’s amazing we’ve done so well in the recession…more and more people are choosing to live here.”

Paul Bradburn, Chair of the Old Market Community Association said; “a project that celebrates the rich heritage of the area and allows the general community to appreciate that heritage will be a great benefit to the people of Bristol”.

The Vice & Virtue Project will run from Autumn 2013-Spring 2015. If you have an Old Market story, photo, or memorabilia that you would like to share, or would like further information regarding the project, please contact 0117 9351200 or email

Visit the project website for more information: