Written by Haley Pearson.
Whoa, what was that? I just heard something…pretty loud! Like, booms and bangs, shouts of delerium simultaneously emanating from all over Bristol.
Oh I know! It’s the sound of the Bristol Pound’s ONE THOUSANDTH ACCOUNT being opened! Like a huge, important door blasting apart, full of excitement, growth and realised potential! Who, you might ask, is the wondrous person whose dream of spending and earning Bristol Pounds has caused so much excitement? Turns out she’s just about as amazing as £B itself, a huge contributor to Bristol culture, entertainment and energy, the one and only Jane Duffus!
Jane Duffus may be known better to some of you as the amazing brain behind What The Frock! women’s comedy nights at The Square but she is so very much more than that. She has so much on her plate that I reckon she needs one of those massive big plates they give you at carveries. We met up recently so I could anoint her officially as the 1000th Bristol Pound account member and present her with a priceless trophy, the £1B design by Jethro Brice on a beautiful Stokes Croft Pottery mug and a £B tote bag! I wanted to know more about the enigmatic woman behind the cultural phenomenon that is WTF! and understand more about how £B benefits look to a newly joined business.
What motivated you to seek a Bristol Pound account for What The Frock!?
As an independent Bristol company, it is very important to me to support other independent traders and cultural establishments. Taking on Bristol Pound is a way of putting my own business to work for everyone else. If we all work together the independent business ecosystem of Bristol will continue to thrive.
How do you use Bristol Pounds yourself?
It’s a great way to explore areas of Bristol day-to-day. I love walking and shopping locally, and by seeking out Bristol Pound traders I’ve discovered new places to try that I didn’t realize were so close to my home in Victoria Park. Finding out that pubs and shops I already frequent accept Bristol Pound was a great bonus!
That’s great! What are your favourite shops and bars that take Bristol Pound?
There is nothing better than a glass of white wine by the harbour at Arnolfini, and their little pizzas are delicious. Nearer my house is Mrs Brown’s Cafe where a cuppa and a cake go down very nicely after a walk. Culturally, @Bristol is a definite favourite with their stop-motion projects, which are just as fun for grown-ups as for kids. And I can’t miss out 20th Century Flicks, they have a selection and service that is unbeatable.
Is there something specific about Bristol that ignites your curiosity and passion?
I am a serious nerd for suffragette and suffragist history. Very few people know that Bristol was one of the centres for the movement, and I’m working with the Festival of Ideas on a museum exhibition slated for production in a few years time.I’m also working with a Bristol-based publisher on a history of funny women, a very interesting project with a lot of collaborators.
-The first anniversary of WTF! was only a couple of weeks ago and I was very much in the public eye as I promoted our various birthday events. I felt that Rachel deserved her moment in the limelight and to have a prize for herself!
Rachel, have you any comment on your beautiful prize?
And there you have it! A thrilling milestone, a fascinating Bristolian, and a happy, caffeinated dog.