Wish You Were Here

Wish You Were Here snuck into homes across Bristol, offering residents a unique connection to the lives lived on their street 100 years ago.

Splash and Ripple were the architects behind the project which aimed to give Bristol residents a personal, meaningful and exceptional experience of what the Bristol Records Office could offer them. To do this, Creative Director Rosie Poebright, together with a team of designers and university researchers selected a group of pre-war postcards, held by the Bristol Record Office, to be lovingly recreated and sent to Bristol residents. The cards were sent to the very homes and streets where they were delivered over a century ago and each had a very special message.

One of these special messages was from ‘Bert’ a young soldier cordially inviting his sister to join him on Friday at 2pm on Stokes Croft. At the appointed hour in 2016 a performer playing Bert was ready and waiting in full uniform on Stokes Croft. This card was so convincing it even got the attention of National Newspaper, the I.*

Each postcard had its own interactive performance or visit for residents, inspired by the archive. A week after the postcards popped through the post, the team visited the chosen houses with bespoke house history packs. These introduced residents to the fascinating secrets hidden inside their own homes, and invited them to discover more for themselves by visiting the Record Office, which many did.

Wish You Were Here tapped into our natural nosiness, challenging Bristolians to look past their everyday and consider the meaningful lives our houses were once home to.

Creative Director Rosie Poebright
Producer Sophie Shaw
Designer & Maker Alec Stephens
University of Bristol Dr Nick Nourse
Bristol Record Office Julian Warren
Archive Assistant Mark Small
Film Maker Jack Edwards
Eliot Mayhew Burt

Wish You Were Here, The homes and streets of Bristol (2016) was developed in partnership with Bristol Record Office and the University of Bristol.  Supported by a seedcon funding grant from Bristol University Research Institute