The historic venue of Brunel’s Old Station played host to a historic event today as the first mayor of Bristol was sworn in.
In the recent mayoral election Independent George Ferguson came first out of 15 candidates, comfortably seeing off the favourite, Labour challenger Marvin Rees. Ferguson finished with a total of 37,353 votes to Rees’ 31,259 votes.
In an emotional victory speech, Ferguson said: “I believe today we voted for a new way of doing things. I don’t see this as a vote for me, I see it as a vote for Bristol.”
He promised that his oath at Brunel’s Old station would mirror that taken by the young men of Athens when they became citizens: “I shall not leave this city any less but rather greater than I found it.”
Ferguson also said that he would be trying to raise the profile of Bristol worldwide. “I’m fed up with explaining that Bristol is somewhere near Bath,” he explained.
Brunel’s Old Station has been the scene for many memorable events over the years and the building itself is steeped in history.
It was conceived by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who also designed the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge and the SS Great Britain. Brunel’s Old Station was originally a Passenger Shed for travellers arriving at Bristol Temple Meads, which is one of the world’s oldest train stations. The Passenger Shed was built at the terminus for the Great Western railway in 1841.
Today Brunel’s Old Station hosts events, conferences, exhibitions and more. If you have an event, why not choose the place where Bristol’s first mayor was inaugurated?