Damaged Broadmead balls become latest victim of the cost-of-living crisis

They’ve been a Broadmead feature for several years

Mosaic tiles have been removed from Broadmead’s decorative balls due to safety concerns and cost issues.

The ten concrete orbs were created by artist Marion Brandis and installed several years ago.

Over the years, the balls have been repaired and painted different colours, including NHS blue in honour of NHS workers during the pandemic.

The blue mosaic tiles were chosen to commemorate the blue glass made in Bristol in the 18th and 19th centuries.

But in recent months, the tiles were breaking and the sharp edges were becoming a safety risk, according to Broadmead BID. The damaged balls will now be painted.

The Broadmead balls have been cordoned off for safety reasons (photo: @ChopsyBristol)

Vivienne Kennedy, head of Broadmead BID, said: “The mosaics were installed many years ago and are damaged. We can no longer get them repaired in a cost-effective way so the amount of cement filler replacing missing tiles was increasing.

“We have grown worried that some of the edges may be sharper than they should be and want to avoid any injuries. They will now be painted to match the rest of the balls, which are in the process of being refurbished, as they are every year or two.”

Vivienne added that there are discussions going on about future designs for the balls.

“We may in the future run a competition for people to submit design ideas that could be painted onto those four balls, but this is something we need to think about carefully before going ahead.”