Edition: 567
April 2019
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Shire Twenty Years Old

Happy Birthday SOTW!

Shire on the web ‐ online April 1999

Read the article

on the Web ‐ first online April 1999

website is 20 years old

20 years ago the internet was just beginning to be used by members of the public.

newspaper decided to embrace the internet, whilst continuing to produce and deliver the monthly newspaper free to all houses in Shirehampton. I floated the initial idea to the committee, who enthusiastically supported it.

After discussion, the committee agreed that the purpose of the website should be to:‐

  • publicise Shirehampton to the world;
  • provide an up‐to‐date reference source of local activities;
  • enable local groups to set up their own web page;
  • provide cheap internet advertisements for local firms and;
  • help former residents keep in touch.

They also agreed the site should include:‐

  • a description of Shirehampton, its history and topography;
  • a directory of businesses (with links to sites and/or ads, paid for);
  • a directory of organisations (with links to their sites);
  • leading stories from newspaper;
  • links to personal home pages and;
  • a What’s On in Shirehampton section.

New sub‐committee needed...

It was recognised that creating a website would require some new members with computer skills.

A sub‐committee, sponsored by was formed with the hope of attracting new younger individuals with the required skill set, schools and students.

The committee hoped to attract members with their own computers, far fewer 20 years ago.


Initial finance for the website would be via a grant from , but the intension was that it should support itself from advertising with all design, programming etc. being carried out by volunteers.

The committee also believed that costs would be lower if volunteers had access to their own computers.

Following this meeting this advert was published in newspaper.

SHIRE is considering setting up a Shirehampton Community Web Site.
Its purpose is to publicise Shirehampton to the world, and to provide local people and organisations with an up to date reference of local activities.
However, we cannot do it without a group of committed people. If you
  • Enjoy using the Internet
  • Have access to a computer
  • Would like to be part of a community project
  • Would enjoy seeing your web pages on the World Wide Web
then we would be delighted to hear from you.

About 9 people responded to the advertisment and the first meeting of the new ‘Shire on the Web’ Sub‐Committee was held in January 1999.

Four of the initial responders remained active for many years. The success of the website was very largely down to the long term commitment of Alex Wright, Chris Napier, Liz Black and David Thomas.

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David Thomas
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Alex Wright
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Chris Napier
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Liz Napier
We had a very busy time in the first few months...

We had to design the layout of the site and learn how to reproduce that layout in a web format (HTML).

There were far fewer web hosting services in those days but fortunately, at just this time, Bristol City Council was becoming aware of the need to promote digital services within Bristol. Their community support service Digital City Bristol hosted our site for some years before we moved to a commercial internet service provider (ISP).

The site included most of the content in the original brief.

Most of the information changed relatively infrequently. However, every month from then until today, we have included editorial copy from newspaper.

Initially we only included a few pictures since we had to obtain the original photographic prints and scan each one individually. More recently nearly all text and pictures for the newspaper has been sent to us electronically making it much easier to produce web pages for each monthly edition.

After some years Liz and Chris moved on to other things and for 10 years or so Alex and I were doing all the updating and revisions to the site.

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The early days.

Regular visitors return to read the monthly editions of but there has always been a steady stream of occasional visitors from around the world seeking information about Shirehampton.

From the beginning the site has included message boards, where visitors can ask questions about a variety of subjects. Two of the most popular have been Find a Friend, and Family History. An example of Find a Friend is someone who wanted to contact her husband’s brother, whom she had lost contact with some years previously in Australia. Five years later, the brother found our site, and replied, with information about a new baby in the family.

In due course Alex stepped down and we looked for other volunteers. Les Harrold, the current web master, answered an appeal for help in 2013. Les was already running a number of other local sites. He became the website manager and in due course I stepped down. Les is now responsible for all aspects of the site, including the current redesign.

Pages from the ‘Shire on the web’ archive

Website Creators

Radio Interview - Chris Serle, 2001

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Reflections of a Library Assistant aged 64 ¾

Lesley Henson has worked at Shirehampton Library on a cover basis across her 49 years with the service and has been a regular here on Saturdays since 2016.

She is the longest serving library assistant in Bristol but has decided to ‘hang up her lanyard and retire!

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Lesley Henson

Lesley started full‐time work as a shy 16‐and‐a‐half‐year‐old on the 14th December 1970 at the Central Lending Library. She had only planned to work for 6 months or so, since she was too young to join the WRNS at the time.

The libraries that she has worked at, full or part‐time, include Avonmouth, Fishponds, Henbury, Henleaze, Horfield, Sea Mills, Shirehampton, Westbury, Patchway Library (when we were Avon) and the patients library, when we provided a service to Southmead and Ham Green Hospitals.

Over the years Lesley has experienced many changes from decimalisation, through to computers and technology. A receipt for library fines in 1970 would come from a metal ticket machine that had been fixed to the wooden counter, similar to the ticket machine that conductors used on the buses! Now there are self‐service kiosks. Libraries in the past were mainly about books/newspapers, and CD’s but now we have this and far more ‐ 24hour library, eBooks, eAudio, eMagazines, DVD’s, reading groups, baby bounce & rhyme times, children’s code club, computer classes, free Wifi, councillor/police surgeries, homework clubs, local history groups, art/poetry groups, knit & natter groups, summer reading schemes, class/nursery visits, at home service, books on prescription, open access libraries and signposting to other services.

Lesley has found the most important part of the job to be the personal/friendly service, given to the best of her ability as a public servant, to our varied ‘readers’.

This experience has helped shape the person she is today and she will look back on her career as a Library Assistant in Bristol/Avon Public Libraries with thanks. She has made life‐long friends and will keep in touch with many.

Shirehampton’s churches a long time ago

St Mary’s church was first built as a chapel of Westbury parish, probably in the 1480s. The original building was certainly there in 1510, and its successor became a parish church in 1844. In the meantime, a climate of increasing religious tolerance had developed. So, when did people who did not wish to be part of the Church of England get to have a place of worship of their own?

In 1818 a Shirehampton man called Nicholas Thomas certified to the bishop of Bristol that a room in his house was forthwith to be a place of religious worship. In the document you can almost hear the stroppy tone of voice when he confronts the bishop, according to his rights under one of the various Toleration Acts: I require you to register the same and require a certificate thereof. This seems to be the first definite local evidence for a Methodist meeting. They had split from the Church of England after John Wesley’s death in 1791. We can be fairly sure that they are the group involved, because a smith called Robert Edbrooke was witness to Mr Thomas’s demand, and a man of the same name turns up in 1823 as the manager of the new Methodist chapel. So, it appears that the congregation had progressed from a room in a private house to a proper chapel between 1818 and 1823. We don’t know where this chapel was. No building is shown where the present chapel is, at the bottom of Penpole Avenue, on the tithe map of 1841, so its location is a mystery. But in 1772 a certain Mr Thomas had the house at 4 The Green, and no other land in Shire…

Much earlier, and in a more conciliatory tone, we find in a document of 1762: We being some dissenters certify that we intend to make use of a house situate at Shirehamton in the parish of Westbury upon Trym, now in the possession of Nicholas Fennick [i.e. Fenwick], as a place of religious worship and pray that the same may be registered. These people would not have been Methodists; they could not have been regarded as Dissenters as early as this, because they were still within the bosom of the Church of England until the final split starting in the 1790s. So this must be the first evidence for Baptists in Shire. I haven’t discovered where Mr Fennick lived; he seems to have left no documentary trace. When Shire was expanding towards the end of the 19th century, a few Baptists met in a room at 11 Pembroke Road, but in 1889 they moved to the Temperance Hall near the bottom of Park Hill, which was bombed in the Blitz in 1941. In 1896, Philip Napier Miles, the squire of King’s Weston, sold the Baptists a plot in Pembroke Avenue, where the older part of the present church was built in 1904‐5.

Roman Catholics got their parish, and the beginnings of their church of St Bernard (of Clairvaux), in 1902. Before its opening, they had held Mass in one of the houses of Shamrock Terrace, the group of three redbrick houses in the High Street next to the Co‐op. You can see Christian crosses in the wrought‐iron fencing in front of two of them.

Richard Coates

Spring has Sprung in Shirehampton

Flowers and trees are bursting into life all around the village following the warm spell of weather in February.

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Quite a lot…
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of yellow…
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Daffs.Shire Kiddie. After meeting a bloke call Bill walking about by himself.
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Let's call this a Horseshoe bend, waz fink?

Colder snaps are probably still to come but its definitely worth taking a stroll around the village to take in the fresh air and enjoy the spring views.

Tynings Field working dog celebrates 16 years of herding

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Meet Tani the smallholding dog.

Born 16 yrs ago in a remote Welsh barn in with lambs. She came out of champion trial parents. Tani her name means "fire in the valleys" has lived around other animals all her life. She was more enthusiastic in her younger day failing at all dog sports apart from the one that comes naturally and getting up to level 2 in obedience.

conveniently deaf

Now she is partially sighted a bit conveniently deaf slightly incontinent and a bit confused just like a lot of us, but still herds the chicken’s ducks and geese to bed if she gets the chance, she follows into the field anyone she can. 100 percent trustworthy around them she can live with them sleep with them and protect them often naturally keeping distance never using her teeth. If Tani could go to Specsavers she would.

These are qualities bred into Welsh collies which are carefully bred through DNA of a type of dog it’s in all and not every dog and not every collie is suitable.

We say Please keep dogs on leads around our livestock.

Tani’s life at Tynings Field is gradually coming closer to an end but she has had a great life and is randomly herding in her twilight years.

Shirehampton Library Community Conversation

Bristol City Council held two Library Ideas conversations at the Public Hall in Shirehampton in March. These events were well‐attended by local people who came forward with many exciting ideas for making the Library a more accessible and usable community space.

The ‘big’ idea for Shirehampton is to make part of the Library a Community Lounge ‐ a welcoming, comfortable place where people can drop in to have a coffee and a chat, or read the paper, browse the internet or do a jigsaw puzzle. The Library Lounge would be open outside of Library hours and staffed by volunteers. There were dozens of ideas for the kinds of things that could happen in such a place: schools and after school clubs could use it; there could be regular sessions helping children, and adults, with their reading; it could host local history groups, book clubs, discussion groups.

Because the Library is in the Public Hall, much will depend on the alterations planned for the Hall which will include more accessible toilets and some re‐configuration of the spaces currently used by the Library.

The Council recognizes that some of these ideas will take time and money to implement fully, but council officers encouraged us to bring forward ‘small’ ideas that could be implemented quickly without much expenditure. A Friends of Shire Library Group would be a valuable first step towards our future Library. If you’d like to help with this project, why not join the Friends group?

Friends of Lamplighter’s Marsh (FOLM) AGM 23 February 2019

It has been a successful and busy year. Generous grants from Tesco and the People’s Postcode Lottery enabled free expert‐led walks, the construction of a bee bank and, the purchase of battery‐powered scrub clearance tools. A grant from Greggs in 2019 will continue those walks and the refurbishment of the bee bank. FOLM hosted Research Fellow Dr Pippa Marland’s Being Human walks that attracted a lot of interest. BBC Radio Bristol’s Clueless called at the Daisy Field and interviewed members about the World War 1 Remount Centre. FOLM successfully objected to a proposed contractor’s compound in the nature reserve. Membership increased to 42 and will remain free. FOLM continue to have an excellent working relationship with Bristol City Council’s Parks department as can be seen from the changes to the nature reserve.

During 2019 and in parallel with the Community Plan, FOLM will work with local schools and produce virtual trails through the nature reserve. FOLM walks and volunteer roles fit well with Social Prescribing.

The 2017/18 Committee were re‐elected unopposed, and the Committee thanked the Methodist Church for hosting the AGM at short notice.

John Knight, Secretary Friends of Lamplighter’s Marsh

Get growing!

Tynings Field community group is a community smallholding in Shirehampton where fruit trees blossom and the cycle of growing continues.

The spring equinox is in the air.

On the river the tides are changing. Wild birds are nesting.

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Spring tides The water not the dog!
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Where'd the dog go?
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Fork 'n carrot

On the smallholding our fowl are aware of the changes in the air. The spring has come early this year with geese and chickens starting laying around the time of the equinox, and we have had our first goose egg already this season.

We are busy digging and growing.

Plots are being prepared and we still have spare space for growers and welcome non growers who just want to help out. Starting off new seeds each year is always a challenge as to how good or bad the crop yield will be. It’s possible a cold snap still may kill off plants but seeds can be planted as they stay dormant until the soil temperature rises. We work on the land here to the sound of birdsong of woodpecker, blackbird, thrush, robin, finch, there are loads! Magpies, raven, and jackdaw all live on the smallholding, the other birds fly further afield and live in the surrounding woodland. That’s because jackdaws and magpies like what’s easily available including your crops!

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Volunteer positions are here for game keepers too, who can attend to poultry between 6.30am to 8 am in the morning. Full induction given. Also the job entails maintaining and a general tidy up of the field, hours to suit. You will receive an egg‐share.

The team are looking into secure measures for a possible farmers market in the shopping streets of central Shirehampton. Tynings Field would like to be able to participate in this and will support that discussion.

At present Caroline is investigating possible funding for a large shed to be used for workshops, which will be called Jim’s space. We appreciate any suggestions or assistance here with this.

New volunteers always welcome.

Would you like to take part in this project, a community supported agriculture project in Shirehampton, grow your own veg or generally help out.

  • We need your help and you will enjoy it!
  • It’s a lot of fun plus you get veg, eggs and fruit.
  • And you can buy local honey here.

The field will be open the weekend of 8th/9th June 11am til 4pm, as part of the Get Growing Trail.

A weekend when Community gardens and smallholdings in Bristol are open to visitors.

Bring a picnic, check out the stalls, and hope the weather is kind

The group will also have a stall at the Goram fair.

Put all your Eggs in a Basket

This Easter holiday Tandem Arts will be offering two crafty workshops for adults and children aged 7+

  • Wed 17th April 11am ‐ 1pm
  • Sat 20th April 11am ‐ 1pm
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Easter baskets

We will be making bright, colourful baskets entirely from scrap materials for you to take home or give away! You can also contribute to a traditional Easter tree which we hope to make to cheer up the entrance to the Shirehampton Public Hall. The sessions are free but to help us with planning and all the preparations booking a place is essential. Email us on tandemarts2@gmail.com.

We have enjoyed running our first few short courses from the Portway room since the beginning of this year. You can catch up with what we’ve been up to on our fb page www.facebook.com/theportwayroom/.

We also use Nextdoor which is a very helpful local online neighbourhood platform which is easy to join, no strings attached.

Happy Easter greetings from the Tandem Team!

Evergreens Day Trips 2019

Tuesday 14th MayCardiff
Tuesday 11th JuneMoreton‐in‐the‐Marsh and Bourton‐on‐the‐Water
Tuesday 20th AugustWeymouth
Tuesday 8th OctoberAbergavenny Market
Wednesday 4th DecemberXmas lunch, Abbey Mill

Plastic pollution at Shirehampton Primary School!

This term Year 3 and 4 have been learning about the weather, the environment and the effect of plastic pollution on our environment.

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Under the Weather by Tony Bradman

We have been reading ‘Under the Weather’ by Tony Bradman, a book of short stories all about climate change to broaden our knowledge on these important issues.

This week, the children of Rio de Janeiro and La Paz class have been writing balanced arguments about the impact of plastic on our environment, whether global or local. They have asked if we should take the pledge to become a plastic free school, how that would affect the running of the school and if it would be a positive change to make. Two of our investigative journalists, Sangeethan and Damian, took to the streets around our school to search for plastic pollution in our local area.

Our journalists concluded that it would be a great idea to become a plastic free school, but we need the support of our local community to get on board and help make sure that our local environment is free of plastic pollution too.

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Investigative journalists Sangeethan and Damian
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Searching out plastic pollution
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Searching out plastic pollution

Unlocking the imagination in the wonderful world of books

Children let their imaginations run wild on World Book Day last week at Mama Bear’s Day Nurseries in Bristol, as they adopted the personality of a selected character from their favourite books.

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Lets see how far did we get last time.

The youngsters were encouraged to bring a book into nursery to share with their friends, and staff supported them in a range of activities, such as building the three different houses for ‘The Three Little Pigs,’ painting personalised versions of magical adventure stories, and exploring the different vegetables encountered by Supertato.

Tony Driffield, owner of Mama Bear’s, said: Books play such an important part in the daily life of all our nurseries. The children love cosying up to share a good story, and they especially love it when they get to know a story so well they can join in.
Many of the children came in on World Book Day dressed as their favourite characters, and thoroughly enjoyed pretending to be animals, princesses and superheroes all day long.

I’m off up the village. R. Mum

St. Mary's News -  April

Hi Folks!

Easter is now on our doorstep, but that wonderful warm spell at the end of February has really brought the flowers and blossom on early. As I write these notes in early March the daffodils on Shire Village Green and down through Lower High Street are a treat for your eyes. Also, the magnolia trees are in full blossom in the Churchyard, whilst on some embankments the primroses are already beginning to show through. Spring is actually here ‐ hooray!!

Our Pancake Party on the Saturday before Shrove Tuesday and run by CAP was an outstanding success and great fun. The pancakes tasted absolutely delicious. Grateful thanks to the ladies who did all the work preparing and serving them.

  • Golden Oldies‐ 10.30 am on Wednesday, 3rd April

    Once again the Golden Oldies will be enjoying their get together singing well known songs from the past at 10.30 am on Wednesday, 3rd April in the church, entertaining all the coffee drinkers. You will be more than welcome to join in with them! All they ask for is a donation of £2 to help the activities of the Goldies charity.

  • Messy Church‐ Thursday 18th April from 3.30 pm until 5.00 pm

    Messy Church this month is on Thursday 18th April from 3.30 pm until 5.00 pm ‐ this is suitable for children and teenagers and includes crafts, refreshments and some religious instruction, very often in the form of a cartoon film.

  • Maundy Thursday‐ 11.00 am, 18th April

    Maundy Thursday this year falls on the 18th April and there will be NO HOLY COMMUNION SERVICE at 11.00 am as many of the members of St Mary’s will be attending the Chrism Service at Bristol Cathedral for the Blessing of the Oils. It is also the time when Priests and Deacons renew their commitment to continue spreading the word of God in their respective parishes. THE CHURCH WILL ALSO BE CLOSED FOR TEA AND COFFEE.

  • Easter

    • Good Friday‐ 19th April

      Good Friday is on the 19th April and the church is closed to the general public for the usual Tea and Coffee. At 10.30 am Hot Cross Buns and Tea or Coffee will be available to those participants taking part in the Walk of Witness around the Parish. At 2.00 pm there will be a service in church when the Shirehampton Area Choir will sing a piece of music called "The way of the Cross". It will be conducted by the Musical Director, Tim Forder, and is varied in content with Anthems, Hymns, a Psalm etc. All are welcome.

    • CLOSED ALL DAY‐ Saturday, 20th April

      Saturday, 20th April the church is CLOSED ALL DAY.

    • Ecumenical ‐ Sunday, 21st April

      Sunday, 21st April is Easter Day ‐ the most joyous and happy time ‐ when it becomes known that Jesus has risen from the dead! The day starts early with an Ecumenical

      Sunrise Service at 7.00 am at the far end of Shirehampton Park on the Golf Course near to Park Gates. The service consists of Hymns and Prayers and lasts for about 30 minutes after which, we are cordially invited to join our friends from St Edyth’s, Sea Mills at their church for Breakfast! There is NO KIDS’ KLUB SERVICE at St Mary’s on this day. The main service will be at 10.00 am and is a Family Service with Holy Communion, followed by an Easter Egg Hunt for accompanied children in the Churchyard. All are welcome!

    • CLOSED FOR THE SERVICE OF TEA AND COFFEE‐ Easter Bank Holiday Monday

      On Easter Bank Holiday Monday the church will again be CLOSED FOR THE SERVICE OF TEA AND COFFEE and there will also be no morning prayer service that day. We will be open as usual from Tuesday 23rd April.

’Bye for now. C.M.E.

The Noise - 2019

This year, hundreds of Bristol people will be using their May bank holiday weekend (4th‐ 6th May) to bring hope to our city.

The Noise is an enormous volunteering event run every year by Bristol churches since 2001. For a few days each year, rain or shine, local people roll up their sleeves, put on a brightly coloured T‐shirt and get stuck in. They dig gardens and pick litter, paint community centres, make cream teas for senior citizens, and run free community events across the city.

2018 saw the largest Noise event to date, with practical community projects and free community events taking place across communities in north, south, east and central Bristol. There were over 1400 volunteers ranging from age 5 to over 80 years old.

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The Noise 2019 is happening from 4th‐6th May, when hundreds of volunteers will unite to serve local communities in Bristol and to continue the vision of the Noise to ‘show God’s love in practical ways’.

Rachel Varley (part of the core team) from Lockleaze, explains: We’re excited to host the 19th year of The Noise in Bristol and see volunteers inspired to connect more with what’s happening in their local communities. We love to see people enjoying gathering together at free events in their local area and feeling more connected to their neighbours. It’s also been a wonderful way to encourage those working hard to bring positive change in communities all year round and show love to individuals and families who are facing tough times. We know that, working together in a practical way, can build Bristol as a ‘city of hope’.

So what is happening locally in Lawrence Weston and Avonmouth? These are the details that we have at time of going to print.

  • Senior Citizens’ Cream Tea & Silver Screen ‐ Saturday 4th May (2:15pm) at St Peter’s Church, Lawrence Weston. Contact church office for more detail on 0117 325 8720
  • Family Fun Afternoon in Lawrence Weston ‐ Saturday 4th May (2‐4pm) at Lawrence Weston Baptist Church
  • Big Games for Young People ‐ team games, trick shots, relays, etc. For 11‐16 year olds. Sunday 5th May (2:30pm) at Oasis Academy Brightstowe. Contact Deb for more details on 07966 028046
  • Practical community projects ‐ across the weekend.

New residents at Kings Weston House

And Action! ‐ Zombie Horror at Kings Weston House

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So, zombies still have bad eyesight…

On the 21st of February a German‐UK film crew moved into Bristol’s Kings Weston House to shoot the upcoming independent zombie horror movie ‘Hobbes House’.

It’s a tale about two estranged half‐sisters coming together to inherit their late aunt’s estate. Not long and the two sisters, played by the talented actresses Mhairi Calvey and Makenna Guyler, find themselves under siege by a horde of the undead.

Alongside Calvey and Guyler ‘Hobbes House’ stars the engrossing actors Kevin Leslie and Waleed Elgadi. The film is directed by award‐winning German director Juliane Block. It’s her second film starring Scottish born actress Mhairi Calvey in the lead role. The two worked together on Block’s recent project, the suspense thriller ‘3 Lives’, which will be released later this year. For Block ‘Hobbes House’ is in some ways a return to her earliest roots. She cut her teeth in 1999 as a special effects make‐up artist in an independent horror film called ‘Mutation’. Since then Block has worked all over the world, directing several short films and five full features, with several others in the pipeline.

When asked about the worldwide popularity of the horror genre, Block went on the record stating, Whenever there’s political turmoil in the world, horror, and specifically zombie films become very popular. Even if you leave aside the wars and conflicts going on all over the world, we still live in pretty unsteady times and people’s feelings find an expression in the different forms of horror.

A dying art

For ‘Hobbes House’ Block once more teamed up with German screenwriter and novelist Wolf‐Peter Arand. They’ve been working together on Miss Block’s recent projects including her features ‘8 Remains’ and ‘3 Lives’ and the Christmas film ‘Lyra’s Wish’, which is currently in pre‐production. When asked about the underlying theme for ‘Hobbes House’ Arand said, When you look at the great horror films it’s never really about the monsters, the killer or the amount of blood and guts spilled. All that only serves the story and the theme. In its core ‘Hobbes House’ is the story of two sisters trying to reconnect after years of drifting apart, a family drama really. The sisters biggest challenge is to set their past differences aside, finding a way to unite and work together. Sometimes you need a catalyst for that and in the case of ‘Hobbes House’ it’s a bunch of undead that come knocking.

‘Hobbes House’ is produced by Paul Dudbridge, Mhairi Calvey, Juliane Block and Wolf‐Peter Arand, exec produced by Monika Gergelova and Malcolm Winter.

A film to die for…

Nature Notes…

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Her on

As promised, heron on guard! A precious egg. Maybe just one mouth to feed this year. A super picture snapped by Bob Pitchford in Ham Green woods. A friend and I were privy to a couple of herons taking advantage of a huge Spring tide a few weeks ago. The water came over the lower bank on the north side of the river, creating perfect wading conditions for them. They stood stock still in the shallows waiting, so, so patient. Although we didn’t see them catch anything, we did have an opportunity to stand and watch them from relatively close up, for quite some time. Needless to say, I didn’t have a camera OR binoculars! Still, they didn’t spook and fly across the river like they usually do!

Canada geese rise up

About a week ago, I was the only dog walker around in Lamplighters Field, when a sudden flurry from the same part of the riverbank where I’d watched the herons, caught my eye! A flock of Canada geese rose up and over my head in a beautiful arrowhead shape, and there was no honking, just this graceful flight of very iconic birds.

You can’t fail to see the flurry of activity amongst many of the birds now. Pairing up, squaring up, it’s all starting to herald the season change. Great time of year!

We have had a pair of great tits checking out the nest box outside our front garden, so high hopes there.

On Hung Road bridge, the collection of nests in one tree are being watched over by several alert crows. Surprising sight was the collection of several starlings and magpies sharing a tree in the road to the back of where we live. Seemed quite harmonious, although not for much longer I shouldn’t think!

Here’s hoping for lots to see and enjoy over the next few weeks and month.

Happy nature watching, Bobbie Perkins

Shirehampton Group Practice News

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Shirehampton Health Centre

This month we’re looking at Medication.

At Shirehampton Group Practice we regularly receive over 200 requests each day for medication prescriptions, and these numbers continue to rise with increasing diagnoses of chronic diseases such as Diabetes and Asthma. Our aim is always to be as safe and efficient with the processing of these prescriptions as we can.

in‐house Pharmacist

We are therefore investing in another in‐house Pharmacist who will begin working with us in mid‐April 2019 ‐ Lucia will work alongside our experienced Prescribing clerks to help improve our safety and efficiency in both our Repeat Prescriptions and our Acute Prescription requests.

As an alternative to paper requests, you are able to request both repeat and acute prescriptions electronically for free via your mobile phone, your iPad, computer, laptop and all devices with Wi‐fi. Electronic requesting of prescriptions provides a free, safe and efficient way of requesting repeat medication. We are able to process these 25% quicker than paper requests and this is set to increase in the future.

promoting this electronic service

In May 2019 our new in‐house Pharmacist will be promoting this electronic service in Reception to help as many of our patients as possible register for this free, safe, and time effective service. We will advertise this ‘Pharmacy week’ closer to the date.

For patients unable to use electronic requesting we can help relatives and carers to access this service and also provide details of how to request via paper in exceptional circumstances.

In the future our Pharmacist will look at other areas of our prescribing where improved safety and efficiency can be targeted and she will speak directly to our patients about their medications.

As a Practice we are excited by having a new and invaluable member to our prescribing team and moving to a more efficient way of requesting medication.

Dr Manon Younger

Letters to the Editor

Have your say eMail ‐‐>    editor@shire.org.uk

 Raising money for charity in memory of his son Jack   ‐ Angela Harper

Dear Editor

I have a local event I would like to share with your readers.

My cousin‐in‐law is doing a 220 mile 9 day canoe challenge, from the source of the Severn finishing at Severn Beach on 12th May ‐ raising money for charity in memory of his son Jack who died last September from a rare form of leukaemia, aged just three and a half.

To raise awareness and as a part of his challenge he is trying to get as many schools as possible to join in with a fancy dress pirate day and raise awareness of childhood cancer.

St Bernard’s Catholic Primary have agreed to join in and the children are going to come to school dressed up on Friday 10th May.

There is a fundraising page, https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SteveBoaz, for further information.

It would be great if people would come to Severn Beach on the 12th May to help cheer him over the finishing line.

Many thanks,

Angela Harper

Diamond wedding

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Carol and Mike Anthill

Congratulations to dear friends Carole and Mike Antill who have lived in Shire all their married life.

Celebrating their Diamond wedding anniversary on 21st March 2019 And receiving a lovely card from the Queen.

So happy to celebrate this momentous occasion with you.

Love from your friends and family.

Darren Jones MP Update

Darren recently arranged for First Bus to attend the Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston Ward Forum to provide an update to the reliability problems on the 3 and 4 routes.

Buses to run for the conveniece of passengers

After the meeting, First told Darren they plan to make changes to make the service more reliable. Bus users will see additional running time built into the schedule on Monday to Saturday services which should improve punctuality and reliability.

In addition, from the 28th April, additional journeys are being introduced Monday to Friday between 14:30 and 16:00 to reflect customer demand; and help ease overcapacity.

Bus stop signs not First Bus problem...

Residents also shared concerns with the ‘Real Time Information’ displays at bus stops and advised they were not working as they should. The First rep advised, bus stops and their associated infrastructure are the property of the council. First have agreed to share these concerns with the council as there are issues across the city.

New Community Advice Service for North Bristol

New advice services are now available in north Bristol, thanks to additional funding secured by North Bristol Advice Centre.

The Community Advice Service will provide a range of support to help people maximise their income and improve their financial wellbeing. It includes:

  • Home visits for over 50s ‐ for older people to help them stay independent in their homes. We can do a benefits checks to make sure they are claiming all their entitlements; help with form filling (such as benefits forms, blue badge, charity applications); look at ways to reduce household costs; and signpost to local services and support.
  • Southmead Advice Appointments ‐ weekly appointments to help with benefits queries. This includes explaining paperwork, doing benefits checks, filling out appeal requests or mandatory reconsiderations. Those needing additional, specialist support will be referred into other NBAC services. Booking essential.
  • Get Online ‐ this popular drop‐in to help people to get online and develop their digital skills will now run two mornings per week. Volunteers can help with filling in online forms, claiming Universal Credit, searching for information and jobs and more.
  • Welfare Benefits & General Queries ‐ every Tuesday at Shirehampton Health Centre.

Appointments can be booked by calling NBAC on 0117 951 5751. Lines can be busy, especially on Mondays, so if you can’t get through please leave a message with your name and number and we will call you back. Alternatively, you can fill in an enquiry form on our website and we will get back to you. To view all our appointment times and locations, or fill in an enquiry form, please visit our website www.northbristoladvice.org.uk

PBA Sports & Social Club News

It’s around the new year that the club’s membership is up for renewal and so the committee feel it is a good time to share some of the achievements this great community venue has carried out and share some news.

Some news first! Our lease renewal for the club and grounds is due in August this year and we have had some really positive meetings with Bristol City Council, our landlords. They are impressed with the scope of community activity that goes on at the club and it’s sustainable model; a new lease is being discussed with the possibility of favourable terms and a continuation of our partnership, even with the possible view to improving the site in the future, all great news.

We have over 1000 current members from the surrounding local area, Bristol City Council employees and staff from the Port of Bristol. All are welcome to become members, it is very inclusive and family friendly, the club has some beautiful grounds running along the banks of the river Avon and it’s a great place for all to enjoy. Renewals are taking place now but you can join at any time of the year.

There are numerous sports and social clubs for all ages run out of the club including:

  • Bowls: 50 members of varying ages from teenagers to the oldest member of 91. The bowls club can also accommodate those who are blind, deaf, have learning difficulties, various ailments, or dementia.
  • Junior Football: from the ages of 5‐18yrs of age, 200 members
  • Skittles: The skittles have 2 lanes and games are played Monday to Friday 51 weeks a year with 32 teams playing with over 300 plus skittlers, ages range from 18 year to over 80.
  • Bingo: Every Wednesday evening.
  • Darts:Mondays.

We hosted the annual Santa Dash in support of ‘Shire Illuminations’

and also ran events for our members such as

  • the Halloween party,
  • Children’s Christmas party,
  • New Year Eve disco’s,
  • and our Fun Day in June

You can also hire our fantastic ballroom for wakes, weddings and birthdays.

Other weekly meetings, events and classes include

  • line dancing,
  • Zumba classes,
  • Ceroc dancing,
  • the Bristol Jazz Society,
  • martial arts and
  • Sunday lunches running through the winter.
lovely community

We really have a lovely community‐based club and are always looking to increase it’s use and membership so all can benefit.

Please drop by if you want to take part in the club or event, join or hire the facilities.

Associate membership is available to non Port or Council employees.

Before signing off

We would just like to say a huge thank you to all involved,

  • our members,
  • our volunteers,
  • those who run our clubs,
  • our own committee and
  • Bristol City Council, our supportive landlords.

Here’s to another great year, look forward to seeing you down here…

City and Port of Bristol Bowling Club


Saturday March 2nd saw the final indoor game of the Winter, this time against Canford.

Playing at the City and County Indoor Arena on five rinks this was an ideal warm up for the Winter Bowling Break that started the following day on March 3rd.

It was an enjoyable game and good experience for players on both sides who are predominantly outdoor bowlers. Canford came out on top, winning four rinks ‐ the fifth was drawn. The City and Port drawing rink was ‐‐‐ Bill Hatherall, Ray Cook, Charlie Maby and Dave Chilcott.

Annual Winter Bowling Break

Eighteen bowlers and four non bowlers gathered at the Toorak Hotel in Torquay for the Annual Winter Bowling Break. Games are played on the four‐rink indoor green within the splendid TLH Complex. This year’s opponents were visiting bowlers rather than local club sides as has often been the case in years past.

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It was a 9am start on Monday morning for the first of two games against Moira Bowls Tour from Derbyshire. Made up of players from three clubs, Moira, Church Gresley and Meacham they proved to be tough opponents and they won three of the four rinks and the game overall. They were the opponents again on Wednesday and once again came out as easy winners, playing some very good bowls and showing great determination to win.

The weeks other opponents were Angle Tonbridge who won three rinks and the game on Tuesday but on Thursday the tide turned, and City and Port recorded a victory, winning three rinks and the game overall by 39 shots to 28.

At the end of the week there were prizes and thankyous. The weeks four captains were Brian Crawley, Merv May, David Hinksman and Sandra Rees, and a bottle of wine was presented to each as a thank you for taking on the important role.

Top scoring man overall was Bill Hatherall and top lady, Sandra Rees. The best winning rink was, Bill Hatherall, Mervyn White, Ken Grimes and Gordon Dimond. Prizes were also presented to rinks losing by the greatest margin, two were equal and all had a prize.

A fun part of the week is the Ten Pin Bowling night and this year was no exception. Playing on the hotels four lane facility there was a prize for the highest scoring man and the highest lady. This year’s winners, Bill Hatherall and Sandra Rees.

There was plenty of time to leave the hotel and explore, some bowlers went for divine guidance at Buckfast, others to try a different sport, crazy golf, at Paignton, whilst others went to take a look at the past at Bygones in Babbacombe.

It was once again a very enjoyable week, organised by Dee Crawley with assistance from Gill Hinksman.

2019 Outdoor Season

Onward to the 2019 outdoor season, first game at home to Bristol Arrow on April 14th, with many more to follow.

Come and join us this season, we have free try bowling sessions on Tuesday evenings and free coaching is available when you join.

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