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Back to September 1999 SHIRE October 1999 Fowards to November 1999 SHIRE
News Index

The  Beginning of the End for old Portway School

News From Shire 2000

Letters to the Editor

News from the 178th Units

Golden Wedding Anniversary

Spot The Difference

Streets Of Shire: Broadleaze

St Mary's News

Bournemouth Outing


Tythe Barn Club

Evergreen Club

Autumn Fayre

What's On In October

Shirehampton Library

Missing - A Burmese Cat


Wordsearch No 19

The Coalman

The Milkman

Beer Retailer

The  Beginning of the End for old Portway School

The demolition men have moved in and soon the old Portway School will be no more. Many local people will remember it as a separate boys' and girls' school on the same site, until the girls took over the entire building complex and exiled the boys to the old forces'  camp on Penpole.

Many will also have cherished (or perhaps not so cherished) memories of their schooldays in these buildings. SHIRE would love to hear from you with your tales of the past, so please write in (or email

Charity Search Guy Fawkes Draw

Have you bought tickets in this draw from children who knocked on your door? Did you ask them for proof of identity which all door-to-door sellers must carry?

We do not know who they were or how they got hold of them but the children were too young to be selling tickets legally and we ourselves have no licence for door-to-door selling.

So far the money and counterfoils have not been handed in - so we have lost your contribution and your ticket cannot be drawn. We do apologise for this situation.

In the meantime if anyone would like to support us and take part in our draw (with the chance of a top prize of £100) tickets are available until November 5th from our CHARITY SEARCH SHOP at 11 Station Road, Shirehampton.

Portway Girls' School Swimming Team 1948/9

As a result of our item in the August issue of 'Shire', a reader in Adelaide, Australia, has sent us this photograph of the Portway Girls' School swimming team of 1948/9. In her letter she says:

"You know, when I last visited Shire in 1994 I didn't see anyone I knew when I walked through the village! Where is everybody? I haven't even seen the girls in the photo. I used to live in Kingsweston Avenue but now it is full of people I don't know".

Our reader's name is Pam Wortley (nee Low) and I'm sure she would like to hear from her old school friends. We give her address and telephone number below:

Mrs Pam Wortley, 29 Wooleen Avenue, Pooraka, Adelaide, S. Australia, 5095. Telephone: 82605180

In the photo Pam gives the names as: Back row l to r: Eileen? Jaqueline? Pamela Low, Eileen Trivett Front row l to r: Heather? Beryl? Florence, Millie Brearley

If anyone can verify the names we would like to hear. Tel: 9832663.

Super Cyclist Calls For Volunteers

Ex-Lifeboat crewman Robert Buck has enjoyed a very successful year indulging two of his favourite pastimes, cycling and the Lifeboat Service.

Well known for his commitment to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution since he was a crew member at Pill in the early 1970s, Robert has also been a keen cyclist for many years. Despite being forced to retire with a back injury he has found that cycling on roads is one thing he can still do to keep fit. This year he decided to couple the two interests to raise funds to mark the 175th anniversary of the Institution by joining the Arctic Cycle Challenge.

In June he flew to Tromso in Norway with 24 other cyclists to ride over 300 miles inside the Arctic Circle to North Cape, the most Northerly point in Europe, camping en route. "It was a fantastic adventure - 24hr daylight, breathtaking scenery - in every sense! and the roads were marvellous" says Rob. "On top of that the support and interest that I've had has been phenomenal. It has more than justified the hours I've spent getting fit and fundraising".

Events organised by other supporters throughout the year included a coffee morning at Pam McFeat's in Abbots Leigh on that snowy April morning which netted a magnificent £140. Similar functions and donations are still bringing in cash with over £6,000 being raised.

The minimum target of £2,500 was passed in April. "I can't thank everyone enough for all their help - not only has the total exceeded all my expectations, the awareness of the RNLI as a totally voluntary service has risen too" enthuses Robert. "However it has been very hard work and we could use some more volunteers on the committee. Most years we only meet about three times and organise collections so it's not too much of a burden".

There are two more events for your diaries:

Sunday 10th October 1999 (8pm) Informal Quiz. Railway Inn at Pill

Saturday 30th October 1999 (7.30) Musical Entertainment. Christchurch Pill

(Porgy & Bess, Salad Days, Phantom of the Opera, G&S Selection etc)

News From Shire 2000

SHIRE 2000 is continuing to make good progress in co-ordinating Millennium activities in Shirehampton. A number of activities which will help the planning and publicity for other events have already been completed. These are the design of the SHIRE 2000 logo, publication of the Shirehampton Directory, and the launch of Shirehampton Directory, and the launch of Shire on the Web. The SHIRE 2000 logo, which illustrates this article, was designed by Valerie Flint-Johnson, who won a competition publicised in this paper. The full stories on the Directory and the Web Site are given elsewhere in this issue of Shire.

The Sea Cadets from TS Enterprise are the latest organisation to get involved in SHIRE 2000. The current list of definite activities includes:

  • An open air ecumenical public service
  • An Art Exhibition featuring pictures of Shirehampton, put on by Twyford Art Club
  • A Community Quilt illustrating various local themes, made by Shire Stitchers
  • A Summer Riverside Barbecue at the Lamplighters fields
  • Sea Cadets Open Day at TS Enterprise
  • An exhibition of Shirehampton Local History
  • One or more Children's Parties
  • Production of a Shirehampton Postcard
  • Grainger Players Spectacular Millennium Show

Many other activities are also being actively considered. Many individual groups are also planning their own celebrations. If your group has plans, and would like to include them in SHIRE 2000 publicity, please let us know, either by dropping a note to SHIRE 2000 at the Library, ringing 0117 982 2941, or sending an email to

The next meeting of SHIRE 2000 is on Wednesday 6 October at 7.30 pm, at the Public Hall. You would be most welcome, particularly if you are considering organising a Millennium activity for a local group.

Improvements To Public Hall

The Public Hall in station Road has had a major facelift over the summer. There have been three distinct projects. The Hall itself, and most of the ground floor of the building, have been completely rewired. As well as allowing life expired equipment to be replaced, this gives improved access to electrical sockets, and better lighting. During the course of the work, it was discovered that the toilet ceilings contained asbestos. Although this did not present any hazard during normal use, it was necessary for specialist contractors to remove the asbestos in order for the electricians to disturb the ceilings to replace the wiring.

The available budget has not been sufficient to rewire the entire building, but it is hoped that the remaining smaller meeting rooms can be rewired next year.

The second piece of work was to carry out repairs and refurbishment to the stonework and chimney at the High Street end of the building. You may have noticed the scaffolding erected to allow this work to proceed.

The third part of the work has been to completely replace the kitchen. Anyone who has used the old kitchen will know that it was in a very poor condition, and indeed it has only been used for cups of tea for many years. There is now a brand new fitted kitchen with a full range of facilities. If you are looking for a venue for an event or party, the Hall may now be able to meet your needs.

This work has all been carried out by contractors working for Bristol City Council. It is very heartening to see the City investing in the future of this historic community building, after many years when only the barest minimum of maintenance was done.

We hope that these improvements to the Hall will lead to many more people and groups using it. the Community Education Department are moving several classes to the Hall, following the closure of Twyford House. Two of these classes have already started, and a larger group of Basic Education classes will move to the Hall at half term, next month.

If you think the improved Hall could provide the venue you need, ring the Booking Secretary, Jeanette Cossey, on 982 3174, to find out more details.

Shirehampton Directory Published

SHIRE is pleased to announce that a Shirehampton Directory is published this month. Copies are available on request at the Public Library in Station Road. the directory contains details of how to contact more than 80 organisations in Shirehampton, and covers the whole of the community, leisure and educational sector. In most cases, the entries include brief details of the aims and meeting times of organisations, as well as the contact details.

The Directory has been produced by SHIRE, as an early contribution to Shire 2000 celebrations. We hope it will be useful to residents who want to get in touch with local groups, or to find out what activities go in Shirehampton. It will also enable the groups themselves to get in touch with others, which might be particularly helpful to any considering organising Millennium activities.

The Directory is also available on the internet, as part of Shire on the Web. The internet version will always have the most up to date information available. If you have a computer which can access the internet, you can read the directory by typing in your web browser. In any case, you can view Shire on the Web at the Public Library, on the special IT in the Community terminal. This has been set up so that it is very easy indeed to access Shire on the Web. Even if you have never used a computer in your life, you will find it easy to use Shire on the Web. In any case the Library staff will be pleased to help you if you have the Directory is only as good as the information available to its compilers. We rely on you, our readers, to let us know if there are any errors, omissions, or changes which should be included in the next edition. We would also welcome comments on the format of the Directory, and whether or not you find it useful. Please send any corrections or comments to Shirehampton Directory, c/o The Public Library.

Letters to the Editor

Early every Sunday morning I clean up the debris left around the Methodist Church from Saturday night ready for our morning service. If the weather has been warm and dry there is more to do, but this week was enough to drive me to write to you. There were chip papers, cartons, cans, lollipop and sweet wrappings, and even a collection of dirty cotton buds! Food and wrappers had been thrown through the church gate into the porch. To cap it all someone had urinated in the Vestry doorway and it took two attempts to remove the stench.

I don't mind if the steps and wall are used as a convenient place to sit, but I do object to the rubbish, especially as there is a bin only a few feet away which is rarely full.

Our High Street and the Green are in the heart of the Village. Please could we have more respect for 'public' spaces and help to keep it looking less like a rubbish tip?

Val Flint-Johnson

News from the 178th Units

Trip to Longleat

On the first Tuesday of the holidays the 178th Rainbows, Brownies and Guides went on their annual trip. This year the place that we had chosen to visit was Longleat. We left the Guide H.Q. and travelled by coach to Longleat Safari Park. The weather was fine and warm and everyone was excited about seeing the animals. We saw a mother giraffe with her baby and some baby elephants. We then drove past the monkey enclosure (our coach was not able to enter as the monkeys cause lots of damage to vehicles). As we drove past we could see the monkeys sitting on cars pulling off pieces of rubber etc. As the cars exited the monkey compound the drivers were stopping and trying to put their cars back together again! We then saw camels and cattle and then entered the deer enclosure, the deer flocked around the cars and some even put their heads into the cars to get at the food that you could get to feed them. There were lots of fawns and we got lots of 'OOH'S' and 'AAH'S' from the girls. We also saw rhinos and pelicans. We went through more enclosures containing wolves, tigers and lions. As it was very warm most of these animals were basking in the sun.

The coach then took us up to the house where we sat on the grass and had our picnic lunch. We then formed into small groups and went to explore. No-one got lost in the maze, thank goodness! Most of us went on the boat trip and there was great excitement when the sea lions swam along side the boat. The Rainbows were lucky and had a boat to themselves.

When we met back at the coach everyone agreed that it had been a brilliant day out.

Guide Camp

This year we returned to Huish Wood Scout Campsite, which is near Taunton. The different sites are set in woodland with access to plenty of wood. Our theme this year was 'Wind in the Willows'. The 3 patrols cooked for themselves and 1 leader. At the beginning of the week the weather was not very kind to us, with rain each day and on the Monday we even had a thunder storm. However we survived and by Wednesday it was just a few showers. Thursday, Friday and Saturday were warm and sunny.

We did various activities during the camp, Aerial Runway, Cyclo-cross (through the woods), Climbing and Abseiling, Shooting and Archery, also a Scavenger and various challenges.

On the Thursday we hiked to the R.S.P.A. at West Hatch (if you watch the programmes on TV about the R.S.P.A. you will have seen it). The Guides enjoyed looking at the animals and would have liked to bring most of them back to camp!! Instead we bought stuffed animals from their shop.

On Friday it was Catherine Wise's birthday. So on the next Thursday evening when all the Guides were safely tucked up in bed, Jen, Pam and I went round the whole of Huish Woods campsite putting up about 20 posters saying 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY CATHERINE'. Everywhere Catherine went the next day there was a poster and everyone who was camping wanted to know who she was. In the afternoon one of the Cub packs who were camping had organised a 'Water Fight' and everyone was invited to join in. The Guides went along and the Cub Master asked Catherine to step forward, then everyone sang Happy Birthday to her. When the song was finished the Cubs soaked her with water and that was the signal for the fight to begin. We ended the day with a campfire.

Everyone was sad that the camp had to end but we are looking forward to next year when we will be joining Guides and Scouts from all over Bristol at the Jamboree 2000 on Lord Wraxel’s estate.

Brownie Pack Holiday

This year they went to St Andrews Church in Cheddar and took for our theme 'A Bug's Life'. Although the weather was changeable it did not stop us going out and enjoying ourselves. We visited the caves, where all the Brownies were frightened by the Dragon! We climbed to the top of Jacob's Ladder and visited a sweet factory to watch lots of different sweets being made. Back at the hall the Brownies tried their hand at various crafts and had great fun on a 'Mini Beast Hunt'. The Brownies also took their turn in various duties, such as serving meals and washing up. A good time was had by all and everyone is looking forward to a new and exciting term at Brownies.


I hate to end on a sad note, but in spite of 2 appeals in the 'Shire', 1 in the Evening Post and an interview on Radio Bristol, NO-ONE has come forward to offer help to run the Unit. I find it difficult to believe that there is no-one in Shirehampton who could spare a couple of hours a week to run the Unit. I can understand that having younger children might put off someone volunteering, but that problem could be got around. PLEASE think about how YOU might be able to help. I am on the end of the phone if you would like to chat about it. (Tel: 982 3192)

Pat Davidson

Guide Guider & Avonside District Commissioner

All Systems Go At Public Hall

The Public Hall Community Association has appointed Ian Bone as it's new development worker. Ian is an experienced community worker having worked in Weston-super-Mare and Cheltenham as well as Southville and Barton Hill in Bristol.

Ian's job will be to encourage closer links between the Community Association and the local community and to devise new uses of the building. He will work with the Committee to produce a Business Plan so that the Hall can become financially self-sufficient.

Ian is very keen to hear from anyone in Shirehampton who might want to use the building for regular or occasional events from meetings to socials. Even if you have only a vaguely formed idea - such as 'wouldn't a film club be a good idea' or 'there should be more for the youngsters' - Ian will be happy to work things through with you over an informal chat. Individuals or local groups are all welcome to get in touch.

Ian is in the upstairs office at the Hall every weekday morning from 10am till noon. So don't keep that brainwave under your hat just pop in to see him or give him a call on 982 9963 or otherwise leave a message and Ian will get right back to you.

Ian told 'Shire' 'Even if people just want to come in and have a look round then I'm more than happy to show them what's available'.

So Don't Delay - Give That Man a Call Today!!

The Grainger Players - Announcement

Due to unavoidable circumstances, we have had to take two months away from our rehearsal time preparing for the Millennium show 'Towards 2000', also this show has been brought forward one month to April 2000 to fit in with other local Millennium events.

So it is with regret we will be UNABLE to put on the Christmas 'Village Get-together' in November on two evenings.

I personally feel that the preparation for this event would place too much stress on the cast, taking account of the lost time and with the big show brought forward a month to April. As we rehearse just two hours per week, there would not be many hours available in which to prepare for a Christmas get-together.

We all do appreciate your support and we are sad ourselves in not having the time needed to give a good evenings 'get together' with you and hope you'll understand that I cannot put too much on the cast, and I know you would not want that either.

We look forward to seeing you all at the Millennium Show. Two-thirds of the tickets are already pre-booked - and it's murder trying to fit 100 years into 21/2 hours!

I will update you again later.

Shirl (Producer)

Golden Wedding Anniversary

My husband and I would like to thank relatives, neighbours and friends for the lovely presents, cards and flowers we received on our Anniversary.

We would like to thank Mary and Roger for the wonderful party they arranged and also Leon and Sue for the lovely Buffet they provided at the Lamplighters.

Once again, thank you to everyone.

Lillee & Bob Derrick

(Thank you for your donation to SHIRE funds)

Spot The Difference

A neighbour's cat was playing with something in long grass - I thought maybe a frog or a baby bird, but it was a slow-worm, a fairly common creature in Shirehampton. Although it resembles a small, light brown snake, about 30cms long, it is in fact a legless lizard, having rudimentary forelegs in it's skeleton, and a smooth skin of very small scales. It's tongue is not forked, but notched like that of the common lizard, and it's eyelids move, unlike those of snakes. Like some other lizards, it will shed it's tail to protect itself, which snakes cannot do. We should welcome it to our gardens as it's diet includes small slugs, but it's preferred habitat is probably sunny grassy banks.

In a warm September there are still butterflies around; what really distinguishes them from moths? Not their colour, or their preference for sunshine, but the fact that all butterflies have little knobs at the end of their antennae, while those of moths taper to a point. You will have to look very carefully!


The Singing Voices - A New Community Choir for Everyone

(This is part of an organisation called Art & Power, which has been formed to enable disabled people to run their own community projects).


Come along to St Mary's Church Hall, Pembroke Road, Shirehampton, every Wednesday from 7-8.30 pm.

We shall concentrate on songs about freedom, which will lead to a live performance at the Victoria Rooms on December 5th.

Streets Of Shire: Broadleaze

Probably the newest street in Shire, Broadleaze branches off Homeground, which in turn, branches off High Street/Lower High Street. Together they comprise a small estate built in the grounds of what was once the Post Office Training School (many local people took Post Office 'boys' as lodgers).

The road curves its way around two bends up towards the high-rise flats and some houses have a good view of the motorway bridge and beyond.

Mr and Mrs Owen at no 1 were two of the first people to move into Broadleaze; that was on 26th November 1997. Just arrived on 20th August 1999 were Mr and Mrs Carver at no 15. Mrs Carver, in fact, used to live in Shirehampton as a child and has always had relatives here.

The street consists of attractive, red-brick detached and semi-detached houses, with garages. The first few houses have their front gardens pleasantly walled in stone, while the rest of the houses are all open-plan.

There is a brightly-coloured children's play area at the beginning of the road (behind 'Wylands') and adjacent is an open space designated for future retirement flats, but which, at the moment (when grassed) will provide an extra play area for the children. So far as playing goes, Penpole Woods are also on the doorstep.

The entrance to the street is attractively landscaped with grass and shrubbery, but, as yet, the road remains unmade.

'Leaze' seems to be a popular suffix for road names in Shirehampton (e.g. Groveleaze, Passageleaze, Churchleaze). Perhaps one of our readers could enlighten us as to the meaning of 'leaze'. The writer could not find it in any dictionary.


St Bernard's Parish News

Year 6 Leavers

As always at the end of the summer term it is time for the year 6 children to move on from St Bernard's. It is always a time of mixed feelings for staff, pupils and parents - if you ask the staff at school they always say it only feels like yesterday that these children first came to us. All the staff at St Bernard's hope that we will have helped the children prepare for this big change in their lives and that they will have happy memories of their time here. This year Kayleigh Maggs, Laura Thayer, Matthew Summers, Shaun O'Flaherty, Jessica Bagge, Claire Baxter, Louie Amott, Katie Lowda, Natalie Tanner, Cassie Hooper. Daniel Murphy, Amy Palmer and Leon West have started at St Bede's, Emma Scott has started at Portway and Guy Falco has started at [text lost]

New Starters

We would also like to welcome our new children who this year are: Adelaide Fisher, Shannon Nolan, Laura Dimbambro, Hannah Pinnell, Jasmine Howlett, Emerson Sharp, Jordan Price, Amy Connor, coner Spanos, Luke McGarvey, Alexander Mortell, Jack West, Jack McEvoy, Marcus White, Emily Symes, Wilfred Hastings and Hamish Barden. We hope that their time here will be happy and rewarding.

Friends of St Bernard's

Last year was a good year for fund raising and we had lots of people taking part in different activities. One event which deserves a special mention is the sponsored bike ride which took part in July. This was an event for dads and was enjoyed by all who took part and also raised about £750 for the school! Thank you to everyone who rode, supported, or sponsored and also to Leon and Sue for their excellent hospitality at the Lamplighters. We are hoping to make this an annual event and perhaps by next year the the barbecue will have been built!

Safeway and Mail Newspapers Vouchers

Anybody who reads this regularly will not be surprised to learn that we are collecting vouchers for the school! This time we are taking part in the Safeway Free School Trips & Activities Scheme. There will be vouchers issued at Safeway and the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday will be printing vouchers. So, as you have done so generously before, please collect any vouchers you can and bring them to school or give them to someone to bring in for you.

Remembering Bristol's Civilian War Victims

A memorial plaque to the many hundreds of people killed during the air raids on Bristol during the Second World War is to be unveiled by the Lord Mayor outside St Peter's Church in Castle Park on September 9.

The idea of erecting a plaque came from Ralph Smith of St Mary's Road, Shirehampton, who successfully petitioned the city council to have a suitable memorial made and installed at an appropriate place.

Over 1,100 people were killed in the Bristol Blitz and many more were seriously injured. St Peter's Church itself was badly damaged and it's ruins serve as a poignant reminder of a tragic time.

Mr Smith, who will be 65 on the day the plaque is unveiled, served in the First Battalion of the Grenadier Guards. He was in the Corps of Drums but was also an accomplished singer, featuring on no less than five records by Forces sweetheart Vera Lynn.

Mr Smith is a retired technician from the Ear, Nose and Throat Unit at Southmead Hospital. He achieved fame when he invented a device to keep children happy just before an operation - a telephone which delivered stories through the earpiece and anaesthetic through the mouthpiece. He was also well know for entertaining the children's ward with his ventriloquist act.

Mr Smith said "We must never forget that people at home suffered as well as people who were away fighting for their country. I was determined that Bristol should acknowledge their sacrifice and I'm delighted that the city council has responded positively".

The Lord Mayor, Councillor Graham Robertson, said "Ralph Smith has worked hard to achieve this and I offer him my congratulations".

St Mary's News

Hi, Folks!

If you haven't been inside St Mary's lately, then I suggest you pay a visit to see the magnificent dossal curtain -Êdonated by John Bull, in memory of his wife Janet and son Piers. It was made by a very talented lady from our congregation, Doreen Hunt. The dossal curtain is the altar curtain, which hangs behind the wooden crucifix. As the curtain is cream in colour it shows the crucifix off to a much greater degree than it did against the former gold curtain. The dossal curtain was dedicated on Sunday, 5th September 1999, by Bishop Michael of Swindon, at our 10am Holy Communion Service. We are most grateful to John for such a generous gift and to Doreen for her talent in making it.

If you have recently lost a gold chain in church, then please describe it to the vicar, or one of our officials. The one we have found may be yours!

I am sorry to record the death of Hugh McGarvey, who was a deacon at St Bernards Roman Catholic Church. Hugh was a retired police sergeant, whom I had the pleasure of working with. he was a devout Christian, whom I recall, when at Brandon Hill Police Station, on early turn one Easter Sunday morning, attended the former Pro-Cathedral in Park Place, Clifton, to take Holy Communion at 8am. I don't think the duty inspector was aware of this - I'm sure if he had been, Hugh would have put his Christian belief above all other matters. He had a wonderful sense of humour and, in front of a captive audience, he would have us all splitting our sides, with tears of laughter running down our cheeks. May God bless you Hugh. We extend our sympathy to Mary, his wife, and to his family, and to the congregation of St Bernard's - you have all suffered a great loss.

I'm afraid I'm a little be limited on the news front this month. Perhaps I shall have more to tell you in November!

Bye for now! C.M.E.

Bournemouth Outing

A great day out was enjoyed by all on Saturday, 11th September. A coach load of people of mixed ages, from Shirehampton, Avonmouth and surrounding areas, went on a trip to Bournemouth.

The weather was glorious and some sat on the beach, or went for a swim, while others explored the town and its environs.

The outing was organised by the former choirmaster and organist at St Andrews Church, Avonmouth (something he has been doing, annually, since he was in charge of the choir there).

£36.00 towards the fund for the restoration of the clock at St Andrews was raised by means of a raffle and donations.


Evelyn Nelson, wife of the late Ivor, of Dursley Road, passed away peacefully, on August 31st, aged 86 years. Son John and family wish to thank family, friends and neighbours for their floral tributes and kindness shown.

(Thank you for your donation to Shire. Ed.)

Tythe Barn Club

The Xmas Fair will be held at the Tythe Barn Club on November 20th. Doors open 10 am till 12 noon.

Evergreen Club

The Evergreen Club meets every Friday afternoon from 2pm-4pm, at the Public Hall. Everybody welcome.

(Thank you for your donation to Shire funds. Ed.)

Autumn Fayre

The Shirehampton Women's Institute is having an Autumn Fayre on Saturday, October 23rd, at the Methodist Church Hall, from 10am till 12noon. usual stalls and refreshments, plus raffle. Entrance fee 20p. All welcome.

News From The Shire Baptist Church

(serving the community in Jesus' name)

This month's focus: TOTSTOP

Mary Moore has been attending TOTSTOP for four years. This September she took over the leadership of the group. I caught up with her to find out more about this toddler's group.

Q. What happens at a 'typical' TOTSTOP session?

A. There are about 20-30 adults, including mums, dads, grandparents and childminders. There are lots of children everywhere, in every corner. The activities include playing with small toys, mainly, but there is also a climbing frame, trampoline, playhouse and a weekly craft activity. At about 10 o'clock we have a drink and biscuits for the children, followed by coffee and biscuits for the adults. At the end of the morning there is a storytime and singing - which the children love!

Q. How does TOTSTOP serve the community?

A. It gives people the opportunity to get out of their homes. There's nothing worse than being shut at home with a small child, feeling as if you're the only one in that situation. At TOTSTOP you can talk to other adults, and children can play with other children their own age. You get to know people in the village and it helps parents and children feel part of the community.

Q. What message do you have for someone who is perhaps shy or nervous about coming to TOPSTOP?

A.Don't be! We have a reputation for being warm and friendly. Everyone is welcoming; not just the leaders. People mix and move around each week. You won't sit alone unless you want to!

Q. Why are you taking on the leadership of the group?

A. I came to TOTSTOP, because I was desperate to get out of the house with my small baby. I needed to talk to other adults. The reason I am involved with any children's work in the church is because I love Jesus.

Q. Is the group very 'churchy'?

A. No. It is not one bit churchy. We're here for the social needs of parents and children. However, at Christmas and Easter we have a service, along with the end-of-term party. And, of course, we would love to see people coming along to our Sunday Church services.

Thank you, Mary. Mary is married to Chris and has lived in the village for four years. She has three children: Joshua (4), Jonathan (3) and Joel (18 months). She regularly attends the church, where she leads worship and co-ordinates the children's work. She is a qualified teacher.

All are welcome to TOTSTOP. It meets on Tuesday and Wednesday in the Church Hall, from 9.30 am-11.15 am. Daily entrance fee 70p.

Don't forget we offer other activities at the church:

SHED - years 3-6. Thursday, 6.30 pm-7.30 pm, in the Church Hall

ROUTEZ - Ages 11-18, meets in the Church Hall on Fridays, from 8 pm-9.30 pm

CARING HANDS - for anyone! Join us for tea or coffee and/or lunch. Open Fridays 10.30 am-2.30 pm, in the Church Hall, Station Road (opposite the Bingo hall). A warm welcome and friendship awaits you there

BRIGHT HOUR - open to all female adults. Wednesday 2.45 pm-3.30 pm, followed by a cup of tea and biscuits. Held in the Church Hall

AND FINALLY - you are welcome to our church services. These are held every Sunday at 10.30 am and 6.00 pm.

What's On In October

OCTOBER 4th Monday. Women's Bright Hour meets weekly at 2.30 pm at the Methodist Church Hall

OCTOBER 4th & OCTOBER 7th and every Monday and Thursday DROP IN ADVICE SESSIONS at the A.U.S. Cottage, High Street (next door to Twyford House) 9.30 am-11.30 am

OCTOBER 5th Tuesday ST ANDREW'S LADIES' Club meets at 7.30 pm at St Andrew's Church Hall, Avonmouth to hear Miss A. Freeman speak on 'HERBAL MEDICINE'

OCTOBER 5th Tuesday LOCAL COUNCILLORS available for consultation at 7.30 pm at Jim O'Neill House

OCTOBER 6th Wednesday ARTHRITIS CARE at 7.30 pm at the Public Hall

OCTOBER 7th Thursday TEA DANCE at Sea Mills Methodist Church Hall in the Square with Margaret Fairburn 2.30 pm-4.30 pm. Admission £1

OCTOBER 7th Thursday SHIREHAMPTON'S TOWNSWOMENT'S GUILD meet at 7.30 pm at the Methodist Church Hall to hear about 'CLIMBING IN THE HIMALAYAS' by Peter Scott

OCTOBER 12th & 26th Tuesdays CO-OPERATIVE WOMEN'S GUILD meet at 6 Portbury Grove 2 pm-4 pm

OCTOBER 13th Wednesday MILLENNIUM MEETING at the Public Hall at 7.30 pm

OCTOBER 19th Tuesday RAILWAY MODELLERS at the Public Hall at 7.30 pm

OCTOBER 19th Tuesday SHIREHAMPTON STITCHERS at the Public Hall at 7.30 pm

OCTOBER 19th Tuesday ST ANDREW'S LADIES CLUB 7.30 pm at St Andrew's Church Hall Avonmouth to hear and see 'How to make better photgraphs'

OCTOBER 20th Wednesday WOMEN'S INSTITUTE at 7.30 pm at the Methodist Church Hall for the A.G.M.


OCTOBER 20th Wednesday HAPPY HEARTS meet at St Mary's Church Centre 7.30 pm-9.30 pm

OCTOBER 21st Thursday TEA at Sea Mills Church Hall, The Square 2.30 pm-4.30 pm with David Money. Admission £1

OCTOBER 25-29th Monday-Friday both dates inclusive HALF TERM FOR ALL LOCAL SCHOOLS

OCTOBER 26th Tuesday-Saturday OCTOBER 30th SHIREHAMPTON CRAFT EXHIBITION at the Public Hall. Open to the public Tuesday-Friday 11 am-5 pm Saturday 10 am-5 pm

Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road - What's On In October

Every MONDAY Cotswold Monday Ladies' Club - 2.30-4.00 pm

Every TUESDAY New BINGO SESSION - Starting 5th October at 7 pm

Every THURSDAY Line Dancing Tuition at 2 pm

FRIDAY 29th Monthly Sequence Dance - 7.30-10.30 pm

Shirehampton Library

The Library held two activities during the summer, both of which proved very popular with children and parents. We will be having a puppet show during the half-term holidays in October further details of which can be obtained from the library.

You can now visit the Shire on the Web internet site on the libraries IT in The Community computer so if you would like to know a little more about your village why not pop along and have a look - there is no need to be nervous of using a computer as the staff will give any assistance you may need.

From the 1st September the number of items you can borrow has changed, an Adult can now borrow 12 books and 8 Audio/Visual items so why not take the opportunity to try one or more of the excellent Books on Tape that we have.

Don't forget that if we do not have a book in stock that we can order it for you and that we now have a 'Books for Sale' section (ideal if you are concerned about taking Library books on holiday).

We look forward to seeing you in the Library soon and being of any assistance that we are able.

News Of The Wild Our Friendly Visitor?

This summer has, again, seen a smashing load of birds feeding and bathing in our garden. Last weekend we even saw our first chiffchaff. But you have to wonder how many more might have been around except for our most spectacular visitor, the sparrowhawk.

We thank that 'our' sparrowhawk is, in fact, a whole family that lives somewhere in the woods at Kingsweston. It seems that the adults have been tutoring their young in the best 'restaurants' in the district and that our garden has four stars in the Birds' Michelin.

Like many other raptors, the sparrowhawk went through exceptionally hard times in the post-war years. Almost every type of bird of prey was mercilessly persecuted, almost to the verge of extinction. Their habitat was destroyed and the widespread use of pesticides and insecticides wrought havoc on our most majestic birds. but now the decline is being reversed and many more birds of prey are, again, part of our daily life.

We know when the sparrowhawk has visited our garden. The normal clatter of squawk and song is replaced by a sudden thundering of wings, with sometimes and almighty thud as a panic-driven flight makes the terrified target fly into the window, followed by an eerie silence - for once in the garden is totally still. Then perhaps, we may see the sparrowhawk perched on a handy branch or ornament - last week he was within a couple of feet as I watched, awestruck, from the window.

Often the sparrowhawk will meet with some success - partial or total. When he makes a capture, his victim is carried off to the dead tree in the next door garden where he will quietly pluck and devour his prize. Other times the victim may make a lucky escape, bleeding and with feathers missing, but still alive.

We suspect that our most frequent recent visitor is the young one, raised this year. As he struggles to learn his art he makes many futile attacks, plunging into the edges of bushes into which the sparrows have already made their escape. He seems a little nonplussed as he then pauses and stops for breath, but then he's off again on his round searching out another likely spot.

The sparrowhawk is most impressive as he gets ready to mount his attack. From an initial aerial view he will make his attack at tremendous speed, swooping between the houses and trees at little more than head height. Sometimes, stood in the garden, we have felt his wake as he passes within inches of our heads.

We don't really have a clue as to how many victims the sparrowhawks have taken in our garden this year. We have seen (and heard) him take collared doves and starlings, and we have seen other piles of feathers from blue and great tits. We suspect, too, that sparrows, blackbirds and a thrush have all been taken. In the end, though, nature's balance will win out. A given bird population will only support a specific number of predators and too much successful hunting will only result in a shortage of food for the next year. So, while we hate the sight of warfare in our garden, we thrill to the sparrowhawks successes and know that the fittest survive.


Missing - A Burmese Cat

A chocolate (light brown) male cat, 5 years old, very very friendly and vocal. Cherished family pet, last seen on Thursday, 2nd September.

If you have seen him, or have any information as to his whereabouts, please contact us on 982 5501. (Reward to finder).

Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road

NEW BINGO SESSIONS EVERY TUESDAY FROM 7 pm. Starting on October 5th.

A cordial invitation is extended to all to come along and join in.

MONTHLY SEQUENCE DANCE on Friday, 29th October 7.30 'til 10.30 pm

Christmas And/Or Millennium Greeting Messages

'What already!' I hear you say. If you would like your Greetings for Christmas or those combined for Christmas and the Millennium included in the December issue, please let us have your message addressed to 'SHIRE', The Library, Station Road, Shirehampton, Bristol BS11 9TU, by NOVEMBER 10th or those for the MILLENNIUM only by DECEMBER 10th. 20 words for £1.00


Welcome to our new readers in Home Ground and Broadleaze - sorry we have taken so long to reach you.

Our thanks go to Mr Steve Hooper, who has kindly volunteered to deliver 'SHIRE' to these two roads.

120th St Mary's Guides Trip to Switzerland

Dear Editor,

Our daughter, Emma, has recently returned from a Pack Holiday in Adelboden, Switzerland, with 120th St Mary's Guides.

We would like to publicly thank Sharon Boucher, Julie, Beryl and Eileen, for their hard work in giving the Guides such a well-organised, activity-filled pack holiday.

It is easy to underestimate the level of responsibility and commitment necessary to ensure safe and enjoyable pack holidays - many thanks to you all.

Yours sincerely, Peter and Gill Scott.

General Provisions Store -

CORNER SHOP, STATION ROAD (now the Cycle Shop)

John and Rosina Dance took over the premises in 1889, and after the death of her husband, in 1898, Mrs Dance later married Mr Bicker. Time passed, and eventually her daughter, Mrs M. A. Gard, who was widowed in 1912, took over and was later accompanied by her daughter, Phyllis Belding, until they retired in 1971, Mrs Gard having continued to serve behind the counter until she was 81 and having lived in the premises for 79 years.

The business also had stables at the rear (still there today in Pembroke Road) and John Dance was the village carrier who used to go twice daily with his two horses and wagon into the city to his depot, which was The Hatchet Inn in Frogmore Street and bring back the goods which local tradesmen had ordered and also some of the requirements for the building of the Royal Edward Dock.

After his death in 1898, Mrs Dance (later Bicker) continued with the business, hiring the staff, and in later years purchased the first motor vehicle in the area. Finally, in between the wars, she discontinued the carrier business and let out the stables for other uses.

The shop premises were bombed by a stick bomb in 1940, which hit the front of the building over the door and exploding in the front cellar. In the back cellar were the four generations of the family, Mrs Bicker, Mrs Gard, Mrs Belding and her young daughter, Glenys.

Apart from being almost choked by dust, they remained unscathed and were able to escape by the back entrance.

Wordsearch No 19

This month's Wordsearch Puzzle contains 13 New School Year words.

Send your answers to WORDSEARCH NO 19, The Editor, 'SHIRE', The Library, Station Road, Shirehampton, Bristol BS11 9TU, in a sealed envelope by the 10th October. The first correct entry opened will be awarded a prize to the value of £2.00

Last month's winner of the Wordsearch puzzle for 15 Summer Holiday Requirements was Mrs B. Hatter of Hermitage Close. The answers were: Candyfloss, Sun, Bucket, Coastguard, Spade, Sea, Fish, Cockles, Rock, Welks, Lilo, Chips, Sand, Deckchair and Boats.

To Paul & Denise At The Lamplighters

We would like to wish Paul and Denise the very best for the future in their new career at the above. From Barbara and Jacqui.

The Coalman

The late Mr Frank Sharp who plied the trade of coal-merchant for many years in the Shirehampton area in the 1920/30s. He was a familiar sight walking alongside his horse and cart calling at virtually every house. With an order given, he carried the heavy sacks into a nearby coal-shed. It was in the time when almost every house had open coal fires - and every house had grey smoke rising from the chimney!

The Milkman

Believed to be a Mr Sutton photographed with a 1920s van delivering milk in Walton Road. In the days before milk came in bottles, the milkman called at a door to ladle out milk from his pail into a jug, which in most cases was left on the doorstep to receive it - with no covering!

A very few will remember Mr Pike of Springfield Dairy, which was at the corner of Bradlet Crescent and Springfield Avenue from 1898 to 1927. The milk churns were kept in a small building measuring approximately ????. The photo shows Mr Pike and his assistant, Mr Redwood, who later opened a dairy in Station Road. He had a horse called 'Sam' who was stabled at the back of the Grotto in Station Road (now the Antique Shop) in the 1930's.

Beer Retailer

Mr Edwin Dutfield was a beer retailer in premises known as the 'off-license' at the corner of Bradley Crescent and Pembroke Road. This photograph was taken about 1910.

The Pavements of Shire

"The pavements of Shire are an utter disgrace!"
Said old Mrs Walters to young Mr Pace.
"It's time that the Council faced up to the facts.
Where do they spend all that huge Council Tax?"

"I'm sure I don't know, Mrs Walters," said he,
"But as for the pavements, I surely agree ---
A mixture of paving and tarmac, cement."
(A virtual hotch-potch is, in fact, what he meant.)

"Ar Shire deserves better!" the old lady said,
"An I could trip over 'an injure me 'ead.
Even a young man like you could fall down
And under a bus on its way up to town."

"Again, I agree," said the young Mr Pace,
"And, if someone gets injured, there must be a case
For suing the Council for thousands of pounds.
I don't know the law, but I'm sure they'd have grounds."

"Really? Young fellow!" the old woman cried.
"It could easily happen," the young man replied.
Then old Mrs Walters, she really gave vent
To her long repressed feelings, with eager intent.

"Just look at them cracks and just there where it's sunk
And that shoddy work is a load of old junk;
That tarmac's come off where it's not put down right.
The 'ole of the 'Igh Street's a terrible sight!

The road is just fine, but that's for the cars.
I know they've got their rights, but what about ars?
They care more for traffic than us ordin'ry folk,
But when you reach my age, it's no flippping joke.

They've dug it up here and they've dug it up there;
They'll dig it up next week --- and goodness knows where!
The old days was different, and it's plain to see ----
And if anyone's crazy, it's the paving, not me!"

Now young Mr Pace was quite taken aback.
And felt he was under a personal attack.
"I assure you, Mrs W., I'll do all I can.
I'll write to the Council," he stoutly began.

"I'll get a petition! I'll rally all Shire!
I'll speak on the Green and set hearts all afire!"
"Don't bother, my love," she replied with a wave.
"By the time something's done, I'll be long in my grave!"