Broadmead Bid, ‘Happy to chat’ Bench in Bristol

15 February 2023

Bagnalls was approached by Broadmead BID to help create a ‘Happy to Chat’ bench in the courtyard of John Wesley’s New Room. John Wesley’s New Room is the oldest Methodist building in the world, located right in the heart of Bristol city centre. Founded in 1739 by John Wesley, the New Room became the cradle of the worldwide Methodist movement.

This project was run alongside the refurbishment of decorative spheres in the centre of Broadmead, also completed by Bagnalls.

One of John Wesley’s New Room’s existing benches was used for the project using paint left over from the refurbished Broadmead Spheres, which were changed from blue to green.

The bench was thoroughly cleaned to remove moss and staining. It was then rubbed down with sandpaper to go back to the original surface. Then primer was applied and two coats of Superdec Secret Escape matching the Broadmead Spheres.

After a painting and drying cycle of 3 days, our painter then applied the stencilled lettering as requested by Broadmead BID to make this a safe space for community interaction.

The ‘Happy to Chat Bench’ features a simple sign that reads ‘Sit here if you don’t mind someone stopping to say hello’ and is designed to help combat loneliness and encourage community interaction.

The hope is that by sitting on the bench, people will know that you’re open to a friendly chat. If you see someone sitting there, why not consider approaching them and engaging in a conversation. You might learn something new, make a new friend, or simply brighten someone’s day.

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