Redcliffe tram line

Good Friday, to those of the Christian faith is a time for solemn religious reflection and devotion. More so in the past than perhaps today.

However Good Friday in 1941 did not quite follow the normal pattern. To Bristolians who were around on that night 65 years ago it brings back memories of one of the severest German air raids that our city suffered. Much devastation and damage was caused. The church of St Mary Redcliffe came within a whisker of total destruction. Incendiary and high explosive bombs fell on Redcliffe Hill, steeper and narrower then than it is now, with twin tram lines extending over most of the carriageway. Many of the buildings were destroyed, as indeed were the tram lines.

One longish section of tram line was blown high into the air over the adjoining buildings and speared itself into the church graveyard, just within the railings separating the churchyard from Colston Parade. The church authorities decided not to move it. Why indeed did it need to be removed when there far more important areas to clear up? So there it still stands today, provided with a suitably engraved memorial tablet telling the story of St Mary Redcliffe’s great escape.

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