Lam Rim Bristol History

Key Dates

In 2019, the Lam Rim Bristol Centre celebrated its 30th anniversary. However, we are not quite clear as to which date the actual anniversary should be! Here is a brief history of key dates:

29/02/1988: Lam Rim Bristol Trust purchased the Centre
17/09/1988: Main hall first used
31/10/1988: Centre for Whole Health opens for business
06/01/1989: first spiritual programme in shrine room
14/03/1989: Ven. Geshé Damcho Yonten‘s first Tuesday teaching
15/04/1989: First Tara retreat
13/05/1989: Ven. Geshé Damcho Yonten‘s first weekend course
03/07/1989: Cafe opens for use
01/05/1991: Lam Rim Bristol Trading Company starts
20/05/1990: Top floor finished
26/05/1990: H.E. Rizong Rinpoche stays and teaches

The Centre was initially purchased by the Trust with the aid of a business development loan from the bank. It was in a poor state in some areas due to flooding. At the bottom of the stairs, one could look through the floors up to the Buddhist Centre. Many hours of hard work by volunteers brought the Centre into a usable condition, floor by floor. Eventually, through a very generous donation, the Trust was able to pay off the bank loan.

Archived Video

Some video clips were made during the building works in May-June of 1989 and in October 1989 when there were few people on site. They are rather poor quality, recorded by an amateur on an old VHS camera. Some of those involved in the early days will recognise old familiar faces, some of whom are sadly no longer with us.
May-June 1989
October 1989, part 1
October 1989, part 2

Old History

The building has a long and varied history before it was purchased by Lam Rim Bristol Trust

1902: Built as Central Mission Christian Clubhouse
1909: YMCA moved here from East Street (where it had been for 4 years)
1934: YMCA closed. Used as children’s dancing school by a Miss Gill
1937: Taken over by Imperial Ballroom
1939: Empty during the war (automatic reserve to sequester)
1947: Lionel Kibble opened dance school
1953: Dance school taken over by Lionel Kibble’s children
1984: Dance school closed (empty for 3 years)
1987: Purchased by dentist for dental school, but never happened
1988: Purchased by Lam Rim Bristol Trust

Last Updated on 10th May 2021

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