The Port of Bristol
For centuries ships have sailed up the Bristol Channel, into the mouth of the River Avon, through the Avon Gorge and right into the heart of the city to deliver their cargoes to Bristol docks. During World War Two the port played an important part in the distribution of essential supplies. Many Merchant Navy vessels brought food, equipment, troops and fuel from countries such as America and Canada.
The area around Bristol docks was filled with timber yards, tobacco warehouses, food storage buildings, flour mills and granaries. Bristol’s position on the west coast of Britain made it an ideal place to receive and distribute this cargo but it also made Bristol a target for the German Airforce (the Luftwaffe). Go to the Luftwaffe Map to see the targets.
Shipbuilding and ship repairs also took place at Bristol docks during the war. On the list of Luftwaffe targets was Charles Hill & Sons’ Albion Shipyard and its dry dock at Cumberland Road where they made warships called frigates and corvettes for the Royal Navy. They also repaired ships that had been damaged in sea battles.