A Portrait of North Street


North Street, Bristol BS3, is home to over 100 independent businesses. There are of course a few outlets for national chains: a NatWest Bank and a PizzaHut for instance, but the vast majority are independent. For sixteen years it’s been my local street of shops and businesses, and I think its brilliant. I wanted to capture some of it in a set of photos, concentrating on all the independents. 

North Street runs for roughly one mile. Number 1 is at the roundabout with Dean Lane and Cannon Street; and it ends where it joins Ashton Road at the southern edge of Greville Smyth Park. Eventually I’d like to make pictures of everyone who works along its length, or at least everyone who is willing to have their photo taken. So far there have been many more people saying “yes” than saying “no”.

I’m ever so grateful to everyone who appears in these photos. For saying yes, for being so warm and welcoming, for giving me a bit of their time while I fiddled with my camera, but above all for keeping the spirit of independence going on North Street.

This photo series was produced for exhibition at The Spotted Cow, 139 North Street, Bristol BS3 1EZ. Thanks to all at The Cow.

The exhibition ran May to December 2015. 

This was organised as part of Southbank Bristol Arts Trail, 2015. Thanks to Steve Broadway.

Comments are welcome (type them in the box below). 




  1. Billy May 10, 2015 at 8:02 pm #

    Brilliant! Looking forward to seeing the rest of them.

  2. Raggs May 11, 2015 at 3:55 pm #

    Fab photos! Such warm happy faces, and all on our hight street! Can’t wait to see the rest.

  3. Clementine May 11, 2015 at 4:05 pm #

    Love the photos – especially Derick in Lion Store & Andrew in Hunters- fab!

  4. Jason May 11, 2015 at 4:35 pm #

    Great shots. You have really captured the spirit of the place.

  5. Gordon May 11, 2015 at 5:36 pm #

    Great set of photos. It’s always nice to see the characters that really make a place what it is. I particularly like the sequence from Clark’s Pies, and the shot in the launderette.

  6. Shannon May 11, 2015 at 6:01 pm #

    Love these! The photos give such a sense of community. Everyone looks like they’re part of the place and comfortable where they are. I especially like that you captured the joy in the couple dancing and the woman with the big smile and her eyes closed.

  7. Paula May 11, 2015 at 6:33 pm #

    Love these! You have captured these people so naturally; they all look like models!

  8. Steve May 11, 2015 at 7:41 pm #

    Great shots, love the texture and natural and unforced feel of the portraits.

  9. mark gibson May 11, 2015 at 7:50 pm #

    Fantastic magnum stylee photo documentary of our local area 😀

  10. phil jones May 11, 2015 at 8:00 pm #

    lovin’ these, for too many reasons to post here. I’m struck by the genuinity (!!!) of the people and places, great stuff. I like seeing folk in their natural environment as well as the broad range of reasons for them being there. And they let you; brave that. Well done to everyone involved.

  11. Martin Howard May 11, 2015 at 9:27 pm #

    Hi – what great photos, Dave. I’ve met quite a few of these guys, as myself and two Ashton Gate neighbours have just finished a book about the independents in North St – bit of a coincidence! Book out around mid-June – do get in contact if you would like us to publicise you, and vice versa maybe.

  12. Leila Akhmedova May 11, 2015 at 10:01 pm #

    absolutely love this project of yours! It captures the behind the scenes of the street I walk on every day, puts iron a different light somehow. Looking forward to seeing it in flesh at the Arts trail!

  13. Seth May 12, 2015 at 3:51 pm #

    I particularly liked the ones of people looking straight at the camera. Lots of very natural relaxed looking people. Very nice.

  14. Rob May 12, 2015 at 7:41 pm #

    Fantastic photos, can we buy prints. I run the clothing label that top bloke in Lions Stores is wearing the cap from. Looks awesome.

  15. Emily June 1, 2015 at 8:47 pm #

    Hi Dave, the series looks fantastic- great to be part of it. When will it come down and is there an opportunity for us to get copies of the prints of us? X Emily (Rhubarb)

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