14 December 2023

Regional History talk: The Museum of Totterdown

The Museum of Totterdown is based in a shipping container just off the Wells Road.

The museum grew out of archives developed by the ‘Road Project’ established in 2018. This was to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the arrival of compulsory purchase orders, evictions and the demolition of Middle Totterdown by Bristol City Council to make way for a never-to-be-built expressway ring road and ‘spaghetti junction’ interchange.

Since ten, the Museum of Totterdown has been collecting stories from both present and former residents. They are uncovering incredible tales of the people, places and events ‘seeping up from beneath the floorboards and out of the cracks and crevices of what is left of this dynamic and tight-knit community’.

They collaborate with arts projects, schools, local businesses, historians and, of course, residents to explore imaginations and create opportunities to bring the past to life. They have met philanthropists, opera singers, ace detectives, educationalists, sports stars, protesters and antagonists, and the country’s most prolific mass murderer. And that is just one street.

Join us for this virtual talk to discover how the Museum of Totterdown takes history out of the filing cabinets and puts it back onto the streets from whence it came.


John O’Connor is the curator of the Museum of Totterdown and has lived in the neighbourhood for 20 years.

He trained as a sculptor in Bristol and since the 1970s has worked to develop artist projects, including Artspace Bristol, Spike Island, the Bristol International Artist Exchange initiative and Centre of Gravity, based in the former Gardiner Haskins building.

How to take part

This event is free and will be held online over Zoom. Please book your place below. Details of how to join the session will be in your registration email. Please check your spam folder if the email does not arrive. Please visit the Zoom website for guidance on joining meetings.

Bookings close at 6pm on Thursday 14 December.

Although this talk is free, we would be grateful if you could consider making a donation.

Book tickets

Book tickets

Additional information

About the Regional History talks

Each year Bristol Museums delivers a season of regional history talks in partnership with the Regional History Centre at the University of the West of England (UWE). The talks are monthly between October to June, and explore research into the history of Bristol and surrounding South Western counties.

These talks are free and open to all.