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Bristol Tab wrapped: These are the top news stories from every month of 2023

Take a look back on the year remembering everything from the good, the bad, and the ugly


As we all head home for a well deserved Christmas break, the realisation starts to set in of just how fast the year has flown past us. Let’s take a look back on the events that 2023 brought us, with the round up of the top stories that happened around Bristol:

 January – Mbargo bouncer attacks clubber

Image credit: @Alexpasselle via Instagram

This bouncer started our year off with a bang, a little too literally. The footage posted online showing an Mbargo bouncer forcefully throwing a person to the ground, went viral after the victim suffered a concussion from the attack.

The individual was rightfully removed from the nightclub’s company, as it was revealed there were multiple others assaulted by him the same night.

February – the UCU strikes

In February, there were 18 days of organised strikes called by the University and College Union (UCU) regarding staff pay rises.

This meant some students missed almost half of their contact hours in the spring term, averaging a loss of a staggering £1,618.77. We saw many protests against poor pay, working conditions and pension pay cuts, that continued through to October this year.

March – Bristol student creates software to detect the use of AI

One of our own Bristol Uni students created a software app this year that detects the use of AI, like ChatGPT in coursework and essays.

Whilst AI can be helpful for writing emails and CVs, Ed Daniels, the creator, believed it was unfair to use this type of tool to cheat with uni work, so he created this programme in the hope of reducing these AI advantages.

April – the call for a ban on outside drinking past 10:30

When the Bristol City Council announced that they might potentially ban outside drinking past 10:30pm, it was a shock to us all – how else would we spend our summer evening if King Street’s benches weren’t available to us? The potential ban came into conversation when pavement licences, given out during the pandemic, were set to expire.

Whilst this would have caused major upset for customers, it would also have meant a loss of £50,000 a month for these businesses. Thanks to a petition reaching over 5,000 signatures this did not come into effect.

May – Bristol students qualify for University Challenge final for the first time

Whilst this would have caused major upset for customers, it would also have meant a loss of £50,000 a month for these businesses. Thanks to a petition reaching over 5,000 signatures this did not come into effect.

May – Bristol students qualify for University Challenge final for the first time

May saw a group of Bristol Uni students make it to the final of University Challenge. The team of four students beat universities such as Oxford, Queen’s, Belfast, Cambridge and Southampton.

Unfortunately, the final ended in a loss to Durham University, but regardless, it showcased the amazingly talented students here in Bristol.

June – uproar surrounding marking boycotts

As if our contact hours being cut due to strike action wasn’t enough, many students also faced their exams, dissertations and coursework not being marked, as part of the nationwide Marking and Assessment Boycott (MAB), as staff members faced a whopping 50 per cent pay cut per day.

The uni then offered students £18.85 to mark first and second year exams due to the lack of staff, which led to uproar from furious staff and students.

July – the Bristol hockey team won the mixed championship title

Image credit: Smif Sports Photography

The Bristol Uni’s hockey team took home the title of England Hockey Mixed Tier 2 Championships back in July. Not only was this an amazing achievement for the students, but it also allowed them to pay tribute to their late coach, Ben Dudley.

After his passing in April of 2023 after a battle with cancer, the team was left devastated, describing him as both a “legend” and an “inspiration” to all who he coached in his time as Head of Hockey at the University of Bristol. A well deserved win for the team and the best way to pay thanks to their much-loved coach.

August – Piers Morgan comes to Bristol for his son’s graduation

The month of graduation! As everyone gathered at Wills for the celebrations, it was a surprise to see his well recognised face attending. Piers Morgan was pictured with his son, Bertie, who graduated with a first in Politics and International Relations.

However, some students were not too happy with the TV presenter’s attendance, calling him a “c*nt”, to which he replied, “grow up.” Not quite the warm welcome he might have anticipated.

September – Sex Education filmed in iconic Bristol Uni spots

Image credit: Netflix

In September, the Netflix show Sex Education released its fourth season, where we saw many scenes taken in iconic Bristol locations. This included the Wills Memorial Building, the School of Chemistry, and the Palm Temple glass sculpture outside the chemistry building.

This showcases the amazing architecture around campus, a treat for Bristol students to spot whilst watching the last season of the show.

October – the loss of Voi scooters, replaced by Tier

At the beginning of the autumn term, we had to accept the loss of our beloved Voi scooters. The iconic red scooters racing past us en route to uni have been replaced by the blue Tier scooters that now occupy our streets.

Unfortunately, this change did not bring about more parking spots, which always seem to be full when rushing to our 9am lectures. These red scooters will forever be in the hearts of Bristol Uni students; gone but never forgotten.

November – pro-Palestine protests

November saw just how vocal our students can be for causes important to us. Hundreds attended pro-Palenstine protests and marches across campus. In a particular protest outside Senate House, the Socialist Worker Student Society sold pamphlets on campus that described Hamas, a recognised terrorist organisation, as a “resistance movement.”

This caused uproar as it is a terror offence to support Hamas, and illegal to express support to them in any way.

December – Fire on the Triangle

Finally, earlier this month (December 4th), we all gathered at Triangle West to see a fire, which started in the offices above the Forbidden Plant entertainment store. The fire started around 7:30pm and was fully extinguished later that night by 11pm.

The fire resulted in multiple closures around it, including our beloved Brass Pig. Thankfully, there were no reports of any injuries at the scene, and the cause is being investigated. Hog Roast for Christmas?