Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade Donates to Parkinson’s UK


Cast your mind back to Saturday 12 December 2015 – the day of the Lantern Parade.  

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 It is safe to say that it was the most spectacular Parade so far, with the streets of Bedminster filled with lanterns, music and thousands of people! What you might not remember is that some of the #bemmylanterns team were wandering through the crowds with buckets collecting donations.  They were collecting donations from you lovely people.  

The Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade happens thanks to fundraising efforts throughout the year and on the night itself.  But this year we were able to go one better – we were able to make a donation to the local branch of a charity, Parkinson’s UK.  

Thanks to your generosity, we were able to send a cheque for £500 to the Bristol and District Branch of Parkinson’s UK.

Lanterns HQ received a lovely letter from Bridget A Astley, Treasurer of the Bristol and District Branch of Parkinson’s UK, who told us a bit more about what the donation will do. Donations to Parkinson’s UK enable them to help finance invaluable research projects, some of which some of which are being conducted at Bristol University.  The aim of these research projects is to help to alleviate symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and find a cure.

So a huge well done and thank you to everybody who organised the event, raised funds, built lanterns, paraded, attended and donated. You are all stars!

See you at the 2016 parade! 

Love from the #bemmylanterns team.x


Saturday’s music: get the full story

You lucky, lucky people are in for a treat this Saturday.  An explosion of talent will be hitting the streets from 4pm, ready to delight and entertain you even before the Parade begins!

Take a look at the info below – you’ll find out all you need to know about who is playing where and when.


Aaron Douglas 

Where: The Old Bookshop
When: 4:00-5:00

Aaron Douglas is a great singer, a great writer and an all round mega talent… don’t miss seeing him while you can – we don’t think you’ll get this sort of opportunity for much longer- the lad’s a star” (Logarhythm). His honest and passionate song writing is coupled with a live performance that blends elements of different genres, story telling, and use of technology to create a sound that is more than just “a guy with a guitar”.


The Ambling Band 

Where: with the Parade, along the whole route
When: 4:30-6:00

“brass and pink collide to create a rich cacophony of sights and sounds”

The Ambling Band are based in Bristol and play in the south west of England and on the continent. They have been terrorising people on the street for the past 34 years, bringing joy and tears to those who watch and hear them!!


The Balkany Band 

Where: tbc
When: tbc

Serving a host of Balkan and Klezmer and other delights, the Balkany Band can been spotted at events, fundraisers and parties around Bedminster and beyond. 


Bristol Samba

Where: with the Parade, along the whole route
When: 4:30-6:00

Bristol Samba is a community band of drummers and dancers playing energetic Brazilian-based music for celebrating and dancing. The samba band and dancers perform at festivals, parties and events throughout the year, raising the roof and creating a vibrant atmosphere.  Bristol Samba promotes, supports and develops percussion-based music and related carnival arts, particularly in our local community. The band has been performing for over twenty-five years, since its formation under the name Bristol School of Samba


Where: Gaywood House
When: 4:00-4:30

Choral singing without the stuffiness, this nine-strong Bristol-based close harmony singing group bring a brilliant sense of musicianship to winning performances of an exhilarating unexpected range of compelling contemporary music, one moment absorbed in the febrile heat of James Brown revue-show funk, the next gathered in the instantaneously spellbinding ethereal harmonies of Fleet Foxes’ gently psychedelic folk-rock


Jakk & The Boss

Where: North Street Standard
When: 4:20-4:40

A rapper and a cellist, bringing their unique style of acoustic hip hop to the streets of Bedminster.


Polly Rorison 

Where: North Street Standard
When: 4:00-4:20

Sweet and melancholic acoustic soul, mixed with upbeat happy ukulele jams and interesting loop pedal interludes. Polly also loves to dabble in ‘re-writing’ classic songs such as Mamma Mia, Billie Jean, and Careless Whisper.


Presidents of Parp 

Where: Southville Deli
When: 4:00-4:45

Formed in the Spring of 2014, Presidents of Parp explore the beauty and majesty of the sound of brass. Tuba wielding Sardinian Tomaso Azara brought his Italian self to the Western shores to preach the message of the Quintet in its purest form. He enlisted some of Bristol’s finest and embarked on an adventure around the musical seas. The Presidents’ mix up a little classical with some latin, jazz and a sprinkling of New Orleans. This is party music for the discerning.


Rag Morris

Where: The Princess of Wales
When: 4:40-5:00


Ravens Marching Band 

Where: with the Parade, along the whole route
When: 4:30-6:00

With its roots dating back to 1979 the Ravens Marching Band currently has about 30 members with ages ranging from 6 upwards.  The band’s three sections – percussion, mallets/chimes and  brass  come together to play a variety of tunes such as; Anchors Aweigh, the Entertainer, Star Wars, Swinging Safari and the British Grenadiers. 


Rob Wright

Where: The Princess of Wales
When: 5:00-5:45


Rosie Southern 

Where: North Street Standard
When: 4:40-5:00

Rosie Southern is a 20 year old singer / songwriter from Bristol who has impressed with her recent performances at the Hay on Wye, Carfest and Glastonbury festivals. Rosie taught herself to sing in her bedroom, growing up on the blues and jazz her Grandmother listened to. Without a formal musical education her songwriting is natural and intuitive: “I like my songs to have honesty and integrity – it has to be something I want to sing”.


The Salvation Army Band

Where: Besley Hill
When: 4:00-5:15

The Salvation Army has been active in the community of Bedminster for over 130 years. Please join us in singing carols in East Street at 14:00 and outside Besley Hill from 16:00 on Saturday.


Vic Allen

Where: The Princess of Wales
When: 4:00-4:40

Originally from Norfolk, Vic Allen plays acoustic pop songs about life, love, growing up and missing home.


So there you go.  

Oh. there’s just one small thing – the small print: please note that all bands and times are correct at time of posting.

See you in 3 days time!

Love from the #bemmylanterns team



11 things you need to know about the Parade this Saturday

So, here we are.  Time has flown and we are less than 7 days away from the 5th Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade, which is going to be bigger and better than ever.

If you are going to be hitting the streets of Bedminster with us this year, you’ll be one of two types of lovely person: 

Parader – a splendid person who is part of a registered lantern group, or has registered with their own lantern, has worked hard to build a corking lantern, and is raring to get going!

Standabouter – a splendid person of excellent taste, who is looking forward to finding a good spot and watching an array of friends, family and fabulous lanterns go by.


Whether you are a Parader or a Standabouter, here are the 11 things you need to know to have the best possible time this Saturday.


1. Times

The event will begin at 16:00, when the roads on the route will be closed for the duration of the parade.  

The Parade itself will start at 16:30 sharp, and will run until approximately 18:00, when there will be a firework display shortly afterwards.


2. The Route

Paraders will be gathering at the side of St Francis Church, and will go all the way down North Street, up Canon Street, hang a right just after the London Inn.  Then the Parade will go up British Road and then finish up on South Street outside Compass Point School, where the awesome fireworks will be set off.

Standabouters can enjoy the entertainments that the whole area has to offer (more on that later), but should probably find a good viewing spot fairly quickly.


3. Wrap Up Warm

Everybody should wear warm comfortable clothing and sensible footwear.  It is December, it will be dark.


4. Keep Your Kids Safe

No unaccompanied children.  I don’t think that needs any further explanation.


5. Be a Super-Safe Parader  

While you are waving your beautiful lanterns about, please keep within the Parade itself. You don’t want to get lost or go the wrong way.

There are a bunch of friendly stewards on you on the route.  They have been trained on what to do, so please follow their instructions.  Also please do make sure you follow any instructions the Route Masters, Safety Officer or Parade Leader give you.

And finally, please be aware that no food or alcohol is to be consumed during the Parade. 


6. Be a Splendidly Safe Standabouter

While the Parade looks totally awesome, if you are not a registered participant, please don’t join in.  It is actually really dangerous to do so and causes total chaos. 

When you are watching said awesomeness, you might see friends or family on the opposite side of the road.  If the Parade is already passing you, please do not try to nip across to say hello.  Just wait until the back end of the Parade has passed you.  

To all grownup Standabouters  please make sure you keep any little ones you are responsible for safely with you on the edge of the route, and don’t let them dodge into the Parade.


7. Entertainment

We have a host of excellent entertainments this year to help the 2015 Lantern Parade go with a swing.  The Parade itself will be accompanied by the mighty Bristol Samba, the fantastic Ravens Marching Band and entirely fabulous Ambling Band.  

But this year there’s more!  Before the actual Parade begins, you can feast your ears upon some other delicious entertainment including the Balkany Band, Handfuls of Harmony choir, Rag Morris and a host of other fantastic musicians.  

So the Parade will start with a swing and will finish with a bang, care of the fireworks in South Street Park after the Parade has finished. 


8. Food and Drink

Bedminster is crammed full of lovely places to eat and drink, so make sure that you sample some of the fine wares that the area has to offer.  On top of that, there’ll be a number of food and drink stalls at the end of the route AND the fabulous café at the ACTA centre will be open.


9. Donation Buckets

There’ll be some Lantern Parade volunteers going along with the Parade, so if you would like to donate a penny or two, please do feel free to bung any donations in the bucket as they go past.  They have been doing lots of weight training so are more than ready to carry lots of pennies about!


10. Pets 

Whilst there is no rule against bringing your gorgeous dog/cat/teacup pig/frog/goldfish along to the event, it will be noisy and crowded and there will be fireworks at the end, so have a think and maybe leave them at home if you are worried.


11. Getting All Social

Please do feel free to bring your picture-taking phones and whatnot and tweet us (@bemmylanterns) or share to our official Facebook group or the official event page, using the hashtag #bemmylanterns. We can’t wait to see what you see. 


So now you know all you need to have a fabulous time on Saturday.  Just keep your fingers crossed that the rain stays away!

Love from the #bemmylanterns team x





And the winner of the 2015 poster competition is…

the official 2015 Bedminster Lantern Poster

Did you know that Bedminster is chock full of talented and creative children? 

The #bemmylanterns team found this out first hand earlier this month when we had the difficult but really enjoyable task of looking at the all entries submitted by local school kids to be the official 2015 Bedminster Winter Lantern Poster.

The brief was simple – as all creative briefs first appear – to create an eye-catching image that really captured the essence of the lantern parade.

And, boy, did they deliver!

We waded through all the entries from Parson Street, Holy Cross and Southville Schools to find an image that would represent the Lantern Parade this year.  There were lots of fantastic entries this year, but one really stood out.  This one, drawn by Alice from Southville School:

the official 2015 Bedminster Lantern Poster 

Huge congratulations to Alice for her beautiful design.  Her winning poster has been printed and you can see it dotted all about Bedminster right now.  Make sure you keep an eye out for it.  It is gorgeous!

We also presented her with a special framed copy of her design; here are a couple of pictures from when it was presented to her at school:


 Alice with her design

 Alice and her mum

A big WELL DONE to everybody who took part in the poster competition – you were all brill! 


Love from the #bemmylanterns team x

A huge thank you to our 2015 sponsors

The Lantern Parade wouldn’t be a reality without the help and support of our sponsors.  This year we are lucky to have seven fantastic sponsors to whom we owe a huge thank you:

Thank you to Bristol City Council for supporting the 2015 Bedminster Lantern Parade.  Visit the website >

The Greater Bedminster Community Partnership is made up of local councillors, voluntary and community organisations, private businesses and public agencies within the two Bristol wards of Southville and Bedminster. The partnership brings benefit to people living in the area, encourage greater cooperation and effectiveness between private, public and social economy organisations, and offer increased opportunities for residents to influence the making and implementing of policy, is inclusive and vigorously oppose discrimination. We allocate money from our Community Chest Fund to projects and activities that support the Partnership’s priorities and objectives

Visit the website >

The Town Team is a group of people drawn from local businesses, councilors, observers from key council departments, the police and other public agencies, and work to create vibrant streets that excite and delight, market and promote Bedminster, reduce crime and improve the shopping environment, as well as advocate and lobby for Bedminster business interest. Visit the website >


Ocean are Bristol’s largest independent estate agent – we’ve been selling all kinds of homes in Southville since 1988. We’re here to make life easier for you whenever you need anything property related. We have everything under one roof on North Street @the Plaza. Our Southville office covers: Southville, Ashton, Ashton Vale, Bower Ashton, Bedminster, Windmill Hill, Victoria Park, Bedminster Down, Highridge, Bishopsworth, Uplands and Long Ashton. We’d love to hear from you, or better still meet you – call, email or pop into any of our offices. Visit the website >


Kwik Move has over 25 successful years experience in the removal industry. We care about what we do and feel that our uncompromising commitment to the traditional values of respect, courtesy and punctuality have set us apart. From your first call to Kwik Move, we are at your disposal. Our highly trained team will make sure that your move runs smoothly from start to finish. Visit the website >


We’ve been operating in the Southville area since 2010. Our philosophy is to combine the resource and experience of a large business, with the personal attention and detail of a local, independent agency to ensure all of you receive the best possible property experience – no matter what your property needs. Visit the website >


Besley Hill Town & Country Homes Bedminster opened in the mid 1990’s and has been serving the local areas of Bedminster, Southville, The Chessels, Victoria Park, Ashton, Lower Knowle and Lower Totterdown and Windmill Hill.

Bedminster branch deliver a personal helpful, friendly, efficient service along with quality photography, full quality sales brochures and our busy Facebook & Twitter pages for those who like to keep up to date whilst out and about! Visit the website>

 A big thank you to our sponsors from the #bemmylanterns team!




Date set for the 2015 Parade!

Big decisions last night from Lantern HQ! 

After much discussion, consultation of the oracles and whatnot, we’ve zeroed in on the date for this year’s super splendid Lantern Parade.

Saturday 12 December 2015

Grab your biggest marker pen and get circling this date in your diaries!  Tell your friends and family, because they don’t want to miss out on this one…

We’ll be sending out an invite via facebook shortly, so why not join the Bemmy Lanterns group so you can get all the latest notifications and updates as they happen!

Love from the #bemmylanterns team!

Why a massive de-clutter helped make Bedminster shine

Pretty much everyone I know regularly complains about, well, just having too much “stuff”.  

Too much stuff clogging up their houses, attracting dust and generally making it impossible for them to feel like they are proper adults with sparkly show homes.

Whilst my chums might be a bit extreme in their overabundance of stuff, they are not alone.

How do I know this? 


Because of the incredible response we got to the call for donations for the Old Fashioned Jumble Sale we held last weekend!


Kind people from all over Bedminster (and further afield!) whizzed through their houses and brought along stack of gorgeous pre-loved items and the South Bristol Christian Centre was transformed into a treasure-trove of jewellery, clothes, toys, books and other assorted nicknacks and oddments.

 A crew of fantastic volunteers sorted and placed this glorious collection of jumble into little “departments” and set about helping visitors dig through to find that perfect pre-loved item (including, for one visitor, a copy of the infamous  Fifty Shades of Grey ‘for a friend’!)  Other stalwart volunteers made sure everyone was well fed and watered with an array of drinks and biccies and even burgers from Tony’s awesome BBQ.


All in all, the Jumble Sale raised about £270, which means we are £270 closer to our fundraising goal and that little bit nearer to making this year’s Lantern Parade a reality!


So, now we have some shinier houses and an even shinier Bedminster in the offing! 

A huge well done to everybody involved!

love from the #bemmylanterns team x


Announcing the 2015 Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade?

Will they? Won’t they? Arg! I can’t wait to find out?  Why are they torturing me?  Just spill it, already!!!


It’s worse than the cliff-hanger of a certain recent drama series, isn’t it?

Shall I put you out of your misery?


Well, ok then!

The 2014 Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade was an unbelievably crazy success – the amazing lanterns, the wonderful musicians, the electric atmosphere across Bedminster and, of course, the utterly fantastic firework display at South Street Park!

So, we totally have to do this again but (yep, there’s a “but”) if we are going to do this, we’re going to need some help.

We’ve crunched the numbers and if we want to put on the Lantern Parade this year, we need to raise £14,000.


How do we get to the £14,000?

Well, we will be seeking funding from some fabulous initiatives and we’ll be doing a whole bunch of activities to raise funds again this year – more on that to follow – but we need the creative, fundraising awesomeness of you lovely folk to help us get over the line.

Are you a baker or jam maker who can sell your tasty wares?  Are you a musician who could take part in a music night or can you use your fantastic organisational skills to run a charity music night?  Can you run a fundraising quiz?  Are you a business owner who could donate something towards a prize draw?  Can you host a fundraising wine-tasting?  What about your car boot sale skills? 

Do you have an amazing idea that you can put into action and raise some dosh?

If you would like to help make the 2015 Bedminster Winter Lantern Parade a reality, just get in touch with us, either via the #bemmylanterns Facebook, Twitter or by email.

Remember, however grand and glorious or small and perfectly formed, every single bit of cash can help us light up the streets of Bedminster again!

Love from the #bemmylanterns team! x