Ship shape and Bristol fashion

Posted by James Briggs on January 22, 2005

In Reply to: Ship shape and Bristol fashion posted by ESC on January 21, 2005

: : Hi, my boss told me to clean up after my job and leave it Ship shape and Bristol fashion.I know what it means but can anybody tell me were it orginated from.
: : Thanks

: Meaning
: Ready to go.

: Origin
: From the reputation the port of Bristol had for preparing ships for sail in good order.

Bristol: Ship-shape and Bristol fashion means that everything is neat and tidy. This saying comes from two aspects of the old Bristol docks in the days before the Floating Harbour was established in the 1830s. Bristol had, and still has, one of the largest differences of water level between ebb and flood in the World, something like 10 metres. At low tide ships in the harbour, if not really properly constructed and laden, would either break their backs or their cargoes would shift. Because of this, Bristol ships were always first class in these respects, hence the saying. The Floating Harbour was constructed by Brunel in order to overcome the tide problem.