Talk to local people on Sandy Park Road and the C-word crops up a lot. That’s ‘C’ for community because the bustling Brislington street is very much the hub of this corner of BS4.
It’s also one of Bristol’s new property hotspots according to housing website Rightmove. Recent research found that Brislington was number two in a national list of locations with the highest increase in the average asking price of a house.
According to Rightmove, the average house price in Brislington leapt from £166,192 back in 2012 to £338,800 now. That’s an increase of 104 per cent.
For those who don’t know it, Sandy Park Road rises from the former tram depot on the Bath Road, over an old railway bridge and up to Wick Road. The middle section of the road is flanked on both sides by shops and food businesses, starting with the vast Victorian-built Sandringham pub.
In fact, the word ‘sand’ is hard to ignore if you walk around the streets leading off Sandy Park Road. Other nearby roads are called Sandringham, Sandholme, Sandown, Sandwich, Sandbach, Sandhurst and Sand Hill.
On the other side of Sandy Park Road, the streets of Victorian terraces are named after famous public schools and colleges. These include Harrow, Eton, Winchester and Repton.
As with all areas of Bristol, house prices around this part of Brislington are increasing sharply. There is currently a three-bedroom house on Sandy Park Road itself with an asking price of £450,00 and a two-bedroom Victorian terraced house on nearby Sandgate Road is going for £400,000.
Talk to local estate agents and they say the area has become very popular recently. Some say it’s attracting families who might have initially looked at pricier Southville and simply realised they get more for their money in Brislington.
Part of the area’s appeal is good public transport links – Sandy Park Road is on the main number one bus route from Broomhill to Cribbs Causeway via the city centre – and the close proximity to the Bath Road and Wells Road. It’s also a 20-minute walk to Temple Meads railway station.
With a butcher, greengrocers, fish and chip shop, numerous hairdressers and beauty salons, delicatessen, bakery and post office, Sandy Park Road is the sort of busy, well-supported local shopping area that many parts of the city lack. It’s also home to a number of other small businesses such as Enchanted Balloons, which sells party decorations for weddings, baby showers and just about any other special occasion you can think of.
The shop was opened eight years ago by Carollyn Magic, who says Sandy Park Road has changed a lot in that time. She also welcomes the arrival of new businesses.
“It has got a lot busier over the years and we have a nice range of small shops on Sandy Park Road,” says Carollyn. “The community spirit is very friendly and the shopkeepers help one another.”
A few doors down from Enchanted Balloons is Sandy Park Greengrocers, which sells high-quality fruit and veg, including lots from the West Country – everything from Cheddar strawberries to broad beans grown in Bath. Kelly Hatton opened the shop in September 2020 at the height of the pandemic but she has quickly gained strong local support and business is booming.
“Our shop is always busy with our loyal customers and trade hasn’t slowed down,” says Kelly. “I am, however, conscious of the rising costs and try to offer a range of options so our shop is affordable for all.
“A number of new shops have opened in the past few years including ours so I would expect this street to become even more popular. For me, the appeal of Sandy Park Road is that it has a strong community, one that I haven’t experienced in any other area in the same way.
“I feel this is deep-rooted and has always been this way. The people are great, too.”
Across the road, a steady stream of locals sit outside Deli @ Sandy Park for a coffee and catch-up. It’s especially popular with weary, post-school-run parents after the morning drop-off.
A small shop packed with Italian and local products, it even has a refrigerated vending machine for fresh milk. Customers can refill their bottles for £1 a litre, a service that has proven very popular.
Vicky Burt and Giorgio Travaglia bought and took over the deli in November 2019 and although the couple had to adapt and change the business to get through the pandemic and lockdowns, they’ve already become the go-to food shop in the area. Vicky says it has been a steep learning curve but they have come out of it with a better idea about what people want from a local deli.
“It has been an eventful couple of years but the business has changed substantially since we took over. One of those changes is that the shop has a stronger sense of Giorgio’s Italian heritage and selling locally-sourced produce as well as Italian.
“In the last couple of years Sandy Park Road has got a lot busier and the demographic has changed. There are lots of young families and young people moving into the area although the house prices around have soared too.
“What makes the Sandy Park Road area so special is the people who live here. Everybody cares about each other and everyone supports each other.
“There are people from all walks of life living here and it’s a great location close to some beautiful areas of nature and parks and close to the city centre. too. It’s refreshing to see a high street doing well.”
Another shop to open on Sandy Park Road during the pandemic was Briscycle. A business that recycles old bicycles, it started eight years ago but relocated to Sandy Park Road during lockdown in May 2020.
Briscycle is run by Andrew Bebesi and his wife and he says the move has worked out well for the business. He also loves being a part of Sandy Park Road.
“We have lived in this area for almost two decades now and it is becoming more and more interesting, with a number of great shops opening that are well worth a visit. People are more interested in shopping locally and the number of new customers visiting Sandy Park Road is constantly growing.
“Cycling was very much in demand during Covid and also recently due to the energy crisis again. It is a healthy, eco-friendly and cost-effective means of transport so the demand for servicing existing bikes is also increasing noticeably.
“We were mostly selling new bicycles during Covid but bike sales have dropped. More and more customers are looking for well-built, reliable second-hand bikes now.
“This is a vibrant area and it has a uniqueness, like no other. A lot of young families move to the area and this is great to see, but there are also a great number of people who have lived all their life in Brislington, going back generations.
“All the businesses here are like a big family. We work, laugh and cry together. It’s great being a Brislingtonian!”
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Top European planemaker Airbus has advanced technology sharing and manufacturing agreements with entities linked to China’s state-run military apparatus, a new report shows.
The findings will beg questions over how long Europe’s aviation champion can continue to secure its strong market position in China with such local partnerships, when faced with an increasingly tense strategic relationship between Beijing and the West and growing calls for less dependence on Chinese manufacturing.
While Boeing’s sales of aircraft in China were hammered by the U.S.-China trade war under former President Donald Trump, Airbus has been far more successful in the country. Since it entered the Chinese market in the mid-1980s, Airbus has perfected the art of localization like few other multinationals. It chose the city of Tianjin for its only non-European final assembly line for wide-body A330s and picked a Communist Party member as chief executive, according to a new report by Horizon Advisory, a U.S.-based consultancy.
While many elements of Airbus’s strong relationship with China are already well known, researchers Emily de la Bruyère and Nathan Picarsic scoured open source material, including Chinese sources, to focus more squarely on some of the interactions with entities such as AVIC, the state-owned aviation and defense conglomerate, and the issue of industrial dependencies.
“Airbus’s ties to the Chinese market appear to carry outsize risk,” Horizon Advisory says in its report, which has been shared in advance with POLITICO. “Airbus-China engagement entails significant ties to China’s military and military-civil fusion apparatus, including in the form of supply dependencies, technology sharing, and research and development cooperation,” it adds.
Airbus did not respond to requests for comment when asked specifically about the activities in China that the report raises as a concern. On its web site, Airbus notes that its China operations are only one element of a big industrial program in the Asia-Pacific region, saying that it has partnerships “with more than 600 firms in 15 countries supplying parts for Airbus aircraft.”
Horizon Advisory’s report, funded independently by the organization itself, is likely to make for an uneasy read for many EU politicians and lawmakers who have grown increasingly skeptical of the traditional way of doing business with China.
China’s aviation sector grew out of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force and was never fully privatized or separated from its military roots. In recent years, President Xi Jinping has called for “civil-military” fusion and introduced numerous laws and regulations that require a very broad range of companies — especially those in strategic industries and including joint ventures with international companies — to cooperate with the country’s military and intelligence agencies.
“Airbus has learned a lesson in the hard way,” said a senior Western defence official, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue. “It’s been a concern for some governments … but before the recent geopolitics, everyone was enthusiastic about the China market.”
Commenting on the general business environment, Bart Groothuis, a Dutch member of the European Parliament and a defense expert, said: “I believe we are still not doing enough to keep our intellectual property safe while cooperating with China … Nor are we fully aware to what extent our cooperation with Chinese civilian military organisations can lead to advancing the Chinese military.”
According to the report, Airbus “operationalizes its presence in China through a set of at least 10 legal entities, five of which are joint ventures with Chinese state-owned, military-tied players.”
At the core of this is AVIC, or Aviation Industry Corporation of China. Airbus holds a 5 percent share of AviChina, the Hong Kong-listed arm of AVIC, as a strategic investor. It continues to hold stakes in the company even though seven other AVIC subsidiaries were designated as “military end users” in 2020 by the U.S. Commerce Department under Trump’s administration, which called on exporters to step up screening. The EU has no similar regulations against AVIC or its subordinate companies.
According to Chinese media reports, the Airbus-AVIC joint venture is responsible for 5 percent of the airframe of one of Airbus’ newest models, the A350XWB. All of Airbus’ A320 wings assembled in Tianjin will be manufactured by AVIC subsidiary Xian Aircraft Company (XAC), which also develops and produces the Y-20 military transport aircraft used by the Chinese military.
“Throughout 20-odd years of partnership with Airbus on the A320 family, XAC has fully grasped the whole set of manufacturing technology of A320 wing design, from component manufacturing, assembly, final assembly to integrated delivery,” XAC Deputy General Manager Han Xiaojun said last month. “This marks yet another critical step supporting China’s strategic planning toward a transport superpower, aviation superpower and manufacturing superpower.”
The report pointed out that, in several cases, Airbus had become dependent on Chinese companies — including military linked ones — as sole, or almost sole, suppliers of key parts such as certain types of rudder, elevator and door.
Future projects in China will include even more sensitive areas. “We are also considering increased integrated cooperation with China in new technology areas like big data, artificial intelligence and new energy,” George Xu, CEO of Airbus China, wrote in an article earlier this year “This is why we chose Shenzhen to set up the world’s second Airbus innovation center, the only one outside the United States.”
There is no indication that any of Airbus’ technology has ended up in the possession of the Chinese military. Airbus did not respond to POLITICO’s question on whether sensitive technologies had reached the Chinese military.
On the other hand, China’s homegrown aircraft manufacturer, Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China, or Comac, has been making inroads in recent years. Last month, Comac completed the first test flight of the first C919 jetliner to be delivered. Already, Airbus considers Comac as a long-term competitor.
“Comac is developing the 919 that will be a single-aisle product entering into the market probably [this] year or the year later. It will start slowly, probably reaching at the beginning only the Chinese airlines. But we believe this will progressively become a decent player,” Guillaume Faury, chief executive of Airbus said. “So we will grow probably from a duopoly to a triopoly, at least on the single-aisle [planes] by the end of the decade.”
Oh no, it’s happening again. I’m thinking about the Chrysler Concorde sex commercial from 2001. God help me. I can’t go through this again.
Yes, this was a real commercial that Chrysler aired in 2001. It was so controversial back then, the automaker pulled the original version (the one you’ll see in a second) and replaced it with a watered-down recut. A Slate article from 2001 does a good job of recapping the whole saga, including the revolted reaction from the TV-watching public. (Despite what the YouTube video title might try to tell you, the ad was never “banned,” it was simply recut after Chrysler started getting complaints.)
Everything about it is so bad, I can’t look away. I just watch it over and over again. Those seven words. Those seven damn words — “How did she get the name Concorde?” — ring out in my head like tinnitus. It’s painful. It’s gross. It’s YUCK.
There’s just so much wrong here. Let’s go through and really evaluate every weird-ass line in this Godforsaken menace of a car commercial.
- The mother explains, TO HER OWN DAUGHTER WHO IS NO MORE THAN 10 YEARS OLD, that she was named after the place she was conceived, which is Savannah. Whomst the hell would tell their child that. “Your dad and I stayed at a Motel 6 in Georgia, and now you’re here.” What the hell man?
- The mom sort of looks like Hillary Clinton, which is unsettling to me. I figured she was more of a Ford person.
- Savannah then asks Hillary/Mom why her sister’s name is Concorde. You guessed it. It’s because mom and dad desecrated the backseat of their full-size Chrysler. The horror on Savannah’s face. It’s palpable. She wishes to be dead, and so do I.
- WHO THE HELL NAMES THEIR CHILD CONCORDE??? Even if you’re going for the “name the kid after where they were conceived” bullshit it still wouldn’t make sense. Savannah is named Savannah after the city. If they were going by the Concorde naming logic, Savannah’s name would be “Best Western” or some shit like that.
- AWH YUCK
- I hope they cleaned up
No one who worked on this ad will ever see heaven. I promise you that much. How was this the best way to convey how big the back seat of the Concorde is?
I’m sorry if this is ruining your day, but if I have to watch this ad that God forgot, so do you.