Bristol community divided on Colston’s name being removed from city

bristol community divided on colstons name being removed from city - Bristol community divided on Colston's name being removed from city

The unforgettable fall of Edward Colston’s figure was a symbolic rejection of his role in Bristol’s slave trade.

Statues of slave traders around the world have been removed from their pedestals this week, inspired by the action of protesters during Bristol’s Black Lives Matter march on Sunday.

Colston had been stood frozen in his dignified pose for more than a century, his head resting on his hand as he looked down on passers-by.

The statue’s dramatic toppling was not enough to scrub his presence from the city’s present, however.

There are more landmarks, streets and buildings named after Colston in Bristol, and many people are now calling for these to be renamed too.

Colston’s name was removed from Colston Tower yesterday (Thursday), and residents are considering changing the name of Colston Road in Easton.

Bristol Live asked readers for their opinions on Sunday’s events and what should happen next, and 10,252 people took part in our survey.

bristol community divided on colstons name being removed from city 2 - Bristol community divided on Colston's name being removed from city

Colston’s name has been removed from the Bristol tower (Image: Bristol Live)

More than half of respondents, 53 per cent, said everything named after Colston and other slave traders in Bristol should be renamed.

A further 18 per cent said some of the places bearing his name, but not all, should be renamed.

However, almost a third of people who took part – 29 per cent, said nothing should be renamed.

Those who felt protesters were right to pull down the statue and drop it in the harbour were most likely to support renaming everything – 80 per cent.

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The vast majority of people who were against the statue’s toppling also said that they did not want to see anything renamed – 94 per cent.

People have been campaigning for years for the removal of Colston’s name from various places in Bristol, with the Countering Colston group set up specifically for that purpose.

Colston’s Girls’ School said it is considering a name change following the widespread condemnation of what he stood for, and Colston Hall had already announced a re-brand following its major renovation project.

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