As a blind person, I find the
city of Bristol a lively and vibrant place.
There is always the background
noise of traffic, people milling about and the day to day
hustle and bustle of a busy city.
What I do miss not being able
to see the city where I live are the buildings and architecture.
It makes it difficult to get a sense of proportions and size.
I was asked to take part in
the BBC's A Sense of Place programme and to give my mind's
view of Clifton Suspension Bridge - a prominent Bristol icon
which I have walked across but never seen.
Sketch of bridge
I was asked to draw with pen
and paper, how I pictured Brunel's magnificent structure and
then show it to the bridge master, John Mitchell.
The sketch I had drawn was
indeed a suspension bridge but it did not resemble the one
that spans the Avon Gorge.
John took me on a tour of the bridge where I was able to touch
the two large brick pillars that support the heavy steel chains
that hold the bridge.
Everything was much larger
than I had imagined.
On my picture, I had drawn four quite small pillars, one on
each corner of the bridge.
The size of the steel chains
was a bit of a shock to me, I hadn't expected them to be structured
in the way they are.
I sat down with John and drew
another picture of the suspension bridge and this time it
resembled Brunel's masterpiece much more.
It was a great experience being
part of the programme and an ideal opportunity to fill in
one of the blank jigsaw pieces in my mind.