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The Aston Villa Championship Travel Guide: Bristol

AVFC head down south to Bristol ahead of a short break

Bristol City v Barnsley - Sky Bet League One Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

After a number of weeks crammed between the Midlands and Yorkshire, Aston Villa finally venture south where Bristol City will welcome them to Bristol, situated on the rivers Frome (froom) and Avon.

Bristol is a town of historical importance, namely because a bunch of planned journeys to discover the ‘New World’ embarked from the city. A jewel of olde england, Bristol was surpassed by the industrial revolution which saw Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham burst onto the scene.

Balloonists Take To The Skies To Launch The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images

That doesn’t mean Bristol fell out of relevance, but it had to adapt to thrive. Simply waiting for the trawlers and cargo boats to come into port wasn’t going to cut it. Nowadays, Bristol is a modern city that leans heavily on the creative industries, new media and art, not to mention those trawlers and cargo boats that come to rest in the city.

John Lewis Snowman Visits Bristol Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images for John Lewis

Bristol, which comes from ‘Brycgstow’ or ‘The Place at the Bridge’ , was a town made for one thing: business.

‘During the 18th century, Bristol was Britain's second-busiest port; business was conducted in the trading area around The Exchange in Corn Street over bronze tables known as Nails. Although the Nails are cited as originating the phrase "cash on the nail" (immediate payment), the phrase was probably in use before their installation.’

Speaking of business, Aston Villa will be looking to ensure their new signings ‘earn their keep’ against Bristol City on Saturday.

Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Bristol City, also known as ‘The Robins’ are based in the rather picturesque Ashton Gate stadium which is overlooked by the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Whilst it may not be as ‘quaint’, ‘iconic’ or ‘grand’ as Villa Park, its location is certainly enviable.

Bristol City v Charlton Athletic - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images

Villa fans will be expecting a win against Bristol on Saturday, but The Robins have every chance to steal victory with a swashbuckling performance, especially if the spirit of one of their most famous children decides to grace Ashton Gate this weekend.

Edward Teach was born in the city back in 1608, when the city was beginning to thrive off the Atlantic slave trade. Teach’s history would constantly clash with the city, especially the moment in which he chose to commandeer the gigantic slave ship ‘Concord’ and rename it ‘Queen Anne’s Revenge’.

The Queen Anne’s Revenge
http://pirates.wikia.com/wiki/Queen_Anne's_Revenge

Teach had a penchant for theatrics and would insert smoking fuses and gunpowder into his hair and beard. He wasn’t just smoke and mirrors though, and would regularly murder his own crew once in a while just so each of the four-hundred men and women on his boat ‘remembered who he was’.

Not ringing any bells? You might know Teach better by his ‘true’ name: Blackbeard.

Blackbeard was killed in North Carolina after being shot five times and cut a further twenty times. Will Bristol City give the same amount of fight? Who knows, but they’ve missed out on one HELL of a branding opportunity here, which was taken up by City’s rivals - Bristol Rovers, their mascot is ‘Captain Blackbeard!

Bristol Rovers v Northampton Town - Sky Bet League Two Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

It’ll be a remarkable change of scenery for Villa fans who’ve been stuck in the middle of England thus far. Will a breath of fresh, sea air help Villa to victory?