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News Index

Shirehampton Community Group Meeting

Letters to the Editor

St. Bernards parish news

Shire On The Web


Avonmouth Wildlife Group

Want an allotment?


Cotswold Community Centre

Shirehampton Junior School


St. Marys News

Neighbourhood Watch

New Residential Nursing Home Opens In Shirehampton

Were You Here: 1949?

News from Shire 2000

Whats On In November

School Term And Holiday Dates 1999/2000 Academic Years

Portway: An International School

Shirehampton Community Group Meeting

Annual General Meeting held in the public hall on Wednesday 29 September 1999

There were 21 people present and the meeting was chaired by Andrew Stewart The Secretarys and Treasurers reports were presented and election of officers, trustees and section leaders took place. As all were willing to stand again there were no changes.

Section Reports

Youth & Schools

A. Stewart has little to report except to say Portway School is thriving and over-subscribed. There is a sale being held on 30 October by Portway, at St Bernards school, and the Christmas Fair at Portway school on 27 November. There are plans afoot to combine Shirehampton Junior and Infants schools, details of which will be available shortly.

Planning & Environment

  • Presented by John Callaghan. The CTI Relay Station - planning permission has been granted for modifications and additions to the relay station but conditions have been laid down to minimise disruption to local residents and the environment. These were detailed by John and he will make them available on request
  • Correspondence via Cllr Lukins shows there is recognition of the value of wildlife sites and horseshoe bend and Ashton Court have been designated at sites of special scientific interest under the control of Leisure Services.
  • Golf Club - the proposal to divert a section of the public footpath No 72 includes proposals made by the committee.
  • High Street traffic - ongoing complaints about bottlenecks, double parking and general congestion.
  • Portway Lower School - demolition is in progress and it is believed 25 houses will be built but to date no definite plan is available. Cllr Lukins is known to favour low cost affordable homes.
  • Kingsweston House - this has been advertised nationally and it is understood four groups have shown an interest but no further progress yet.
  • Horace Dammers asked if a signpost could be erected showing the Severn Way footpath between the Lamplighters and Avonmouth Bridge.

Law & Order

Philip Squire was on holiday so no report.


John Parsons reported that 2 street lights were not working and this number will increase with Winter approaching. The council are not prepared to put a safety barrier by the steps in Passage Leaze as no accident has ever been recorded. A resident of Pembroke Road had complained about bad and double line parking, poor lighting and speeding traffic along this road. A letter received from the Council explained that it was one of many such roads in Bristol but not considered high priority because only 2 accidents had occurred in 6 years. It is on the register of schemes to be included in future work. The police will be checking on illegal parking. The street lighting issue has been referred to the appropriate department.


John Parsons reported that £8.20 was donated at the last meeting. Shire 2000 still meets regularly and some 26 different events are planned. The next meeting is Wednesday 6 October in the Penpole Room of the Hall, at 7.30, open to all.

Community Care

Roland Jones reported that the main work done by this section was gardening for elderly and infirm and some 8 or 9 gardens have been worked on. The group is low key because its man power resources are very small. The petrol strimmer has been a great help.

Ian Bone who is employed by Shire Community Hall through a grant, introduced himself and explained his job is to promote the hall and is keen to hear ideas. He is available between 10.00am-12 noon every week day in the old caretakers flat.

Mark Parsons was also present and is a representative of VOSCUR, a voluntary group supporting local community projects and urban regeneration. A free newsletter is produced monthly explaining policies and topical issues as well as support given to community groups. They can co-ordinate co-operation between different groups with similar problems or aspirations. He can be contacted on 9099949 during working hours.

Date of next meeting 24 November 1999 at 7.30 pm

Letters to the Editor

Adelboden Trip

Dear Editor,

Hello again! As you are aware many of our members visited Adelboden during the summer holiday and we would like to share their experiences with you.

The trip obviously entailed a lot of planning, and as well as fundraising the Guides were often found learning about Swiss culture or practising their German and currency exchange rates in preparation for the holiday

The outward journey was fairly straightforward despite lack of porter assistance at Paddington, the ferry crossing was a bit rough but everyone survived. The party arrived in Adelboden 22 hours after leaving Shirehampton, tired but full of anticipation. On the first morning many of the girls (and leaders) were disappointed to see a heavy mist in the valley, however they were soon to learn this was a regular morning feature, and quickly gave way to warm sunshine and clear skies. The girls tell me they had many visits to the local OPEN AIR swimming pool and found it a strange experience to be swimming whilst looking at snow capped mountains in the distance. The over-riding sensation seems to be the peacefulness which enveloped the valley, and I am told was even more evident when the visited 'Our Chalet'. 'Our Chalet' is one of the world centres for Guiding and exists to give Guides the chance to meet their sisters in Guiding from other parts of the world. Our group were given a guided tour and had the opportunity to sing the ‘'Chalet Song' with other groups who were visiting. They tell me it was a very emotional and warming experience. The Guide emblem and 'Our Chalets' squirrel emblem were evident throughout the Chalet, embroidered on pillowcases, on crockery etc. Apparently the Association is building a second Chalet, and in accordance with Swiss building regulations this had to have a nuclear bunker! We all hope it will never be used in a 'real life' situation.

Our two Young Leaders used a visit to the Blue Lake to renew their Promises as they embark on a new stage of their Guiding lives, this trip involved a long hike, and was followed by a tobogganing outing later in the day. By the way this was a man made track, with not a flake of snow!!

There were too many memories to tell you about here, distant cow bells, cold morning air, cable car, chair lift and mountain railway rides. Meetings with Guides and Scouts from Switzerland, Ireland, Canada, Germany, United States, and England. Long hikes, shared evenings, delicious Swiss chocolate. We are sure they will always be special to those who were fortunate enough to go on this trip … an they would like to offer their sincere thanks to all those who made it possible … The Leaders, their rep, parents, friends and other associates who so generously supported them … THANK YOU!!!

Some of you may have attended our Harvest Festival Service in St Marys Church, this was very successful with all our Units taking part in plays and sketches. The Rainbows were totally committed to pulling up the enormous Water Melon, 'Handa' surprised more than her friend with a basket o tangerines, and the Guides created a buzz with an informative sketch about bees. We even managed to get an Observation Hive into the church! Well done and thanks to everyone who worked so hard.

Over the next few weeks we will be having an 'All Hallows Eve' fun night, and 'Firework party' as well as beginning the Christmas countdown. Our new fundraising project will be to purchase camping equipment to enable us to take part in the 2000 Millennium Jamboree in May next year.

We have several new members and would like to say Welcome to you all.

Well thats enough from us so bye for now

Yours in Guiding

V. Edgwater
For 120th (Bristol) St Marys Guide Company

From Australia

I am an ex Shirehampton resident who now lives in Australia. I discovered your website recently and it brought back so many memories. Thank you. We lived in Shire in the late 1940s until the 1960s. I attend Shire Junior Mixed School and then Portway School for Girls. Congratulations to you for your webpage. I shall keep in touch through cyber space.

Margaret Priest nee Rosser

From St Louis, Missouri

Dear Editor,

A few days ago my cousin in Avonmouth sent me three copies of SHIRE, nos 322, 323, and 325 they were old but the articles were most enjoyable to me, I did not miss a word of the stories. The poems of the Ferry, and Our Mum and Dad were excellent. The story Shirehampton Days by Mr Gordon Royall brought many memories of the years I spent in Shirehampton, also Nan Prudoe item the 45 YEARS ON. After being gone from Shire for 45 years the story also brought back memories. I have visited three times over the years and I saw that the old buildings have gone. I lived on Springfield Avenue and started school there in 1937 and then went on to Portway School for boys. I left school in 1945. Mr David Thomas sent me the address of the SHIRE web page so now I can read the SHIRE every time it comes out. Thanks for the memories.

Best wishes

John Rogers. St Louis, Missouri

Shire on the Web

Dear Editor,

What a great delight to see you now have your website up.

I regularly get copies of your paper from my Mum and Dad who live in Lawrence Weston and from this distance its a great way to keep in touch with whats happening 'up the village.

As Im a baby boomer from the baby factory and spent the first 12 months of my life on the Portway, near where its crossed by Woodwell Road, and another 22 years prior to getting married in Lawrence Weston, I still feel very close to Shire, even though I now live in Melbourne, Australia, with my Shire bride Jane and our two Bristolian sons.

Keep up the good work, I can now visit any time I like!

Best regards,

Ray Bounsall


Dear Editor,

Can I, through your very popular magazine, give a very big THANK YOU to all friends and relatives who attended the funeral of my dear brother, George Hamilton Howe, Photographic Printer of Pembroke Road, Shirehampton and for the wonderful wreaths and flowers also. He was a wonderful person, well-liked and loved by all who knew him.

He is now free from pain and suffering. Thank you to all who attended the service at the Church.

Yours sincerely,

(Mrs) Eileen Matthews.

Portway Lower School Memories

Dear Editor,

My esteemed friend from schooldays, Mrs. Ethel Thomas of Avonmouth, recently sent me a copy of the 'Shire' depicting the 'Beginning of the End' for Portway School. This rather sad sight, the demolition of my sturdy, purpose-built, old school, has certainly prompted memories and I would like to accept your invitation to share them with you.

Although I do not belong to any religious organisation today, I do treasure my New Testament Bible, awarded to me as a prize while a pupil at Portway School and I quote 'Prize 1940 to the pupils in the Bristol Council Schools who excelled in biblical knowledge. Given by the United Society of Christian literature, the late May Proctor in memory of her husband and the Committee of the 'Benjamin Wilson memorial fund.' It has water colour drawings by Harold Copping. This prize probably inspired me to accept confirmation in the Church of England during the first year of my nursing training at the Bristol Royal Infirmary.

I am also proud of the first class report given to me when I left Portway School to look for work. It is signed by C. S. Carlile, who was our Head Teacher, in 1941.

I remember too, another valued school friend, Bette Davis, now Bette Fryer. We shared a common love of singing in which we indulged whilst walking to and from school. Ah, heavenly harmonising! Interrupted sometimes by the air-raid sirens. We took part in a school concert, impersonating a then famous comic duo called 'Gert and Daisy'. Also in the show was one Margaret Smart who tap-danced on her toes. Most impressive. Yes, Portway School-days were happy ones for me and now, fifty-eight years later and twelve thousand miles away, it is good to have those memories.

Yours sincerely

June Cottman (nee Dorrett)

16 Farley Street, Dunedin, New Zealand

Autumn Offerings at Avon Primary

After a successful start to a new school year the children and staff at Avon Primary School are busy preparing for the many activities of the Autumn term. The annual Harvest Festival, celebrating and giving thanks for all things created and finding opportunities to share with people in our local community, took place in October. All the children participated in the service, and the many harvest parcels distributed were much appreciated. Duncan Jennings, headmaster, said that it is very important for children to be given the chance to share and consider the needs of others in a practical way, in this ever-increasing materialistic world. 'We value the hard work and preparations for these activities at Avon, even though the educational demands now make it much more difficult for the staff to find the time in what are very busy days'.

At 3.00 pm on Friday, 19 November Avon Primary will be holding its Autumn Bazaar in the school hall in Barracks Lane. Local friends of the school, led by retired school secretary, Peggy Rose, organise it as in many previous years. There will be As New Clothes, Toys, Games, Books, Bric-a-Brac, Grocery and Cake stalls, lucky-dip and raffle prizes, as well as various side shows and games. All are welcome to attend this

St. Bernards parish news

Hayley Edwards - an apology

Apologies are due to Hayley Edwards whose name was omitted from the list of year 6 leavers last month. Hayley is now attending St Bedes school and we wish her all the best for her time there. Sorry Hayley - I hope this makes up for missing you last time!

Tokens - again!

We seem to be constantly appealing for people to collect vouchers for the school. We will be happy to receive any vouchers from The Times, The Mirror, Safeway, Nestlť or anywhere please get them to the school and we will use them. Thank you.

Key Stages 1 and 2 SATS Results 1999-10-12

We have recently received some analysis of our SATS results at Key Stage 1 and 2 for 1999. This analysis shows that, at both stages, St Bernards has achieved results which were among the best in comparable Bristol schools.

Whilst academic results are not the only factor to consider when measuring the success of a school - there is a lot more to primary education that test results — these results are a much-deserved reward for the hard work and dedication of all the staff and pupils at our school. Particular praise must go to Mrs Cliona Paterson, our Key Stage 1 teacher and Mrs Amanda Pritchard, our Key Stage 2 teacher. Congratulations and well done to them and all the children who have performed so well.

Admission to St Bernards school

If you think that you would like a place for a child at St Bernards school in the next few years, please contact the school and get their name on our list now. It is never too early to put their name down. We are already full for September 2000 and have very few places left for 2001. If you would like a prospectus and/or a copy of the admissions policy, please call at the school or phone on 982 2596

St Bernards Toddler Group

The Toddler Group is still going strong and meets on Thursdays (during term-time) from 2-3.30pm. We will be pleased to see any children who is able to come along with their mum, dad, granddad, aunty whoever. There is a charge of 50p per family and refreshments are provided for all. Please come along and join in the fun!

Christmas Fair

Our Christmas Fair this year is on Saturday November 27th from 10am to 1pm in the school hall. There will be plenty of stalls and games for everyone so please come along if you can.

The St Bernards Millennium Wall Hanging

Over the next few months, we will be creating a new school wall hanging to be used for displays in the school and the church. This wall hanging will incorporate the main themes of our school vision, which has recently been rewritten by staff and governors and now reads: 'By following in the footsteps of Jesus, we will celebrate and learn together with love and understanding. We will make the best of the talents given to us by God'. We are using this vision statement as a theme throughout the school. Visitors to the school will see the display in the entrance hall which has decorated footsteps of all the children and staff at the school as well as displays looking at the four key words - love, learn, celebrate and understand.

In order to make this wall hanging we are going to need donations of material and offers of help with the design, cutting and sewing. If you are able to help

Shire On The Web

Our internet site, Shire on the Web, is helping people from around the world keep in touch with Shirehampton. In the first month since our launch, there have been 470 hits on our home page, at If you do not have access to a computer, you can view Shire on the Web FREE at Shirehampton Library, and other neighbouring Public Libraries.

We have received a number of Letters to the Editor by email (see "Letters to the Editor" section).


While on holiday, I was concerned to see a hen blackbird spreadeagled in the rough grass between the house and the cliff, wings outstretched and lying full length, a very unusual position for a bird. As her mate was busy collecting grubs - it was July - I imagined her as long-suffering mum, exhausted by her second brood and letting him do all the work. Every day she lay about, always in the same patch of grass. But at other times she came close to the house for crumbs, and seemed very tame. Later, I was told that she must have been 'anting', that is, lying over and ant-heap to enable the ants to rid her plumage of mites which infest it. I had never heard of this behaviour, and I doubt if it is common in suburban gardens where ant-heaps are not encouraged; but as often happens when we learn something new, I have since seen references to it. Nearby on the edge of the cliff where topsoil has been tipped there is a self-sown barrier of wild flowers, and it was fascinating to watch goldfinches feeding on thistle seeds among the nettles, poppies and mallow. From the window I once watched a stoat come out to play - a

Orange Light Up Bristol

Bristol-based company Orange, the UKs most advanced digital mobile phone network,has agreed to sponsor Bristols Christmas lights display for the fourth year running and organisers Bristol City Council are expecting a glowing display.

This year, Orange is supporting an exciting new project where artists will work with schools to create lanterns for a special childrens lanternlight parade to take place at the switch-on ceremony in November.

Four schools are taking part in the project: one being Shirehampton junior school.

Viz Arts and People will be co-ordinating workshops at each of the four schools during October.

The project will tie in with the national curriculum, encouraging a deeper understanding of design and technology.

Children from the four schools will lead the lanternlight parade at the switch-on of Bristols Christmas Lights — the Orange Christmas Spectacular in association

Avonmouth Wildlife Group

The wildlife group met again on Wednesday 15th September. John Bown, the Area Landscape Manager for Bristol City Council, treated us to a talk about how our parks are managed. of particular interest was the area alongside the greenway and the Lawrence Weston nature reserve.

We meet every couple of months to talk about wildlife and ecology issues — often with a guest speaker - and we have an occasional newsletter. We are also taking practical steps towards a better environment and we are creating a wildlife area by the Barracks Lane allotments.

Our next meeting is in Avonmouth Community Centre at 7.00 pm on Wednesday 24th November, and everyone is welcome.

Want an allotment?

Right now you have a chance to take over an allotment and help yourself towards better food and better health.

Bristol City Council have made a considerable investment in the Barracks Lane allotments, and have cleared a dozen sites ready for planting. Just two allotments were planted during this last year but three more are now taken and we would love to let them all.

We admit that theres a fair bit of work involved and sometimes you get tired. But right now we are enjoying our own organic vegetables at every meal — potatoes, runner and broad beans, cabbage, onions, marrows, tomatoes (the list is endless) — and they really do taste better!

If you think that you might enjoy a healthier future, please call



Sat 13th - 10 am TOY FAYRE
Sun 14th - 10.50 am Service for Remembrance Sunday, taken by Mrs V. Flint-Johnson and Mr Robin Schaefer
Sun 21st - Church Anniversary - 11 am. Rev John Clapham, BA
6.30 pm - Shirehampton Choir, conducted by Mr Tim forder - This will be a SONGS OF PRAISE
Sat 27th - CHRISTMAS FAYRE from 10am - Various stalls and refreshments


MAUREEN GILTROW - 1939 to 1999

Ron and family would like to thank everyone for their kind words of condolence, donations and attendance at Maureens funeral on September 17th.

Shirehampton Methodist Church

TOY FAYRE (5th) on SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 13th, from


Mr Barry Oliver of 4 Cobblestone Place, Werrington Downs, NSW 2747 Australia, e-mail: is trying to trace any relatives of PHILLIP and CAROLINE OLIVER who lived at 1 Pembroke Avenue, Shirehampton, and had a grandson called RON. He would be pleased to hear from

Evergreens Club

I wish to thank Mr Champion and the Members of Avonmouth Skittle League for the generous donation of £50 towards our Club funds.

Public Hall - Forthcoming Events

PUBLIC HALL - 12th November at 7.30 pm. Legionaires. Pay at the door. Price £3.50

PUBLIC HALL - Christmas Fayre, 11 am to 3 pm on Saturday, 11th December. Entertainment at 11.30 am. Tables £7 each. Tables can be booked through Barbara

Cotswold Community Centre


Every Monday - 2.30-4 pm Cotswold Monday Ladies Club
Every Tuesday - 7.00 pm Bingo Session
Every Thursday - 2.00 pm Line Dancing Tuition
Friday 26th 7.30 pm Monthly Sequence Dance

A cordial invitation is extended to join us any of the above.

Avon Primary At Charity Christmas Concert

This years Shirehampton Charity Christmas Concert will be held on Sunday, 12th December, in St Marys Church at 2.30 pm.

We are very lucky to have Avon Primary School Choir, led by Adrienne Campbell, as our guests this year. Those of you who have seen them will know how good they are - the rest of you are in for a surprise treat.

A Handbell Group from Horfield, called 'The Decibells' will also be joining the line-up, providing a good variety for this years concert.

The Shirehampton Choir have another good mix of items, including 'The Little Drummer Boy', 'Coventry Carol', 'De Battle of Jericho' and 'Calypso Carol'.

Considering the line-up this year, I would strongly recommend arriving early for a good seat, and as at the Public Hall, bring a cushion to sit on for that extra bit of comfort!

See you there.

Derek Harvey

Shirehampton Junior School

We would like to provide more after school activities for our children.
Have you got a skill or qualification in sport?
Do you have enthusiasm or talent in drama, dance or music?
If you are also interested in working with our local children, aged between 7 and 11, we would be delighted to hear from you.

Please get in touch with Anne Travis at Shirehampton Junior School on (0117) 903 1447.

Thank you

Shirehampton Junior School

Local Volunteers Needed To Help Manage Our Wildlife Conservation Area.

  • Are you interested in gardening or wildlife?
  • Do you have any spare time?
  • Would you like to help the children of Shirehampton?

If So, We Would Be Delighted To Hear From You.

Please contact Anne Travis on (0117) 903 1447

Thank you.

News From Shirehampton Baptist Church

Serving the community in Jesus name

I continue with the mini-series focusing on groups within the Church and what they have to offer you. In our Ministers interview (Sept. issue) he said he would like to see Caring Hands develop, and I therefore caught up (literally) with one of the leaders, Karen Trueman, to find out more about them. The group meets every Friday 10.30am - 2,30pm in the Church Hall (opposite the Bingo Hall) and a warm welcome always awaits you there.

I asked 'what happens at a typical Caring Hands Day?'

Well, the doors open at 10.30am and tea/coffee flows. On those cold, winter mornings there will also be hot toast with lashings of butter for the early arrivals. Lots of regular people drop in, including shoppers and the team is there to help with social needs from homelessness to filling in forms, from providing clothing to lending a listening ear. If there is anything we cannot deal with, we can refer people to experts e.g. benefit advisers, bereavement counselling etc. At 12.30pm hot lunch is served with a sticky pudding (just like you used to get at school!) After lunch, theres more tea/coffee and a chat.

'Who comes along to Caring Hands?

Men and woman, young and old, married, single, divorced, widowed, etc - it;s open for everyone.

'Who is on the Team?'

They are all members of Shirehampton Baptist Church. The team is headed by Karen Trueman and Rachel Collard. Other team members are Kate Jenkins, Jean Mills and Anne Archer.

'How and why did it get started?'

About 2 1/2 years ago the Church responded to a passage in the Bible (Isa. 58). We felt we should serve the community and could do this by opening up the Church for befriending and caring. We know it would have to be relevant to people and their needs. Jesus would like this and we want to be like him in what we do.

'Who have been served so far?'

Well, some of the particular needs that have been supported include: loneliness, bereaved, single parents, long-term unemployed, depressed, homeless people, Russian seamen interned at Avonmouth, and recovery from life addiction problems. Also we help to provide furniture, clothes and emergency food parcels. But remember, you dont have to have a need in order to come to ‘Caring Hands.

'How is 'Caring Hands' funded?

It is operated completely on donations. The main support is from friends and members of Shirehampton Baptist Church.

'And, how about the future?'

We are committed to continuing to serve people of Shirehampton in Jesus name. Anyone and everyone receives a warm welcome.

Our thanks to Karen for the interview. She has lived in Shirehampton all her life and is married to Phil. They have two children, Nadia,12, and Georgia, three. Rachel also lives in Shirehampton. She is married to Roy with two boys, Robert, 16 and David, 14.

Next month we hope to get peoples news on the Millennium - so watch this space!

Dont forget the other activities we have for you at the Church. Ring



It is with great sadness that we record the death of George Hamilton Howe. He passed away on Thursday, 30th September, 1999 at his home in Pembroke Road. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to his devoted sister, Tess Matthews.

George was such an interesting and knowledgeable man, a camera expert, weather guru and a good friend to everyone who called in to his Photographic Printers premises. According to his frequent visitors, he was always one of the first to scoop any news of importance in the village, and relay it to others. On most occasions when I saw him, even in his retirement days, he would still tell his jokes and give his inimitable chuckle. Amazingly he retained his sense of humour and cheeky grin almost to the end.

I have know dear George for 22 years since the fortuitous day in April, 1977, when he sold to us our family home, Myrtle Cottage, situated behind his shop. There are lots of local residents who knew George far better than I, and I know that they are equally saddened by his passing. Our only consolation is that his suffering is now over.

He was dealt a cruel blow when, at the age of 4, he contracted polio. He was to suffer quietly and with dignity for the next 73 years, rarely complaining of this debilitating condition. We pray that he has now gone to a place of rest and will endure no more pain. He will have no more need of his motorised scooter, gas fire, fingerless gloves, full-length apron nor collection of fine-tipped Rollerball pens. George himself might be quite amused by such a spontaneous description of how I remember his in his sitting room. I do not mean to be flippant in any way - but only wish to jog a few memories.

The older residents of Shirehampton in particular must surely have numerous clear recollections of dear George which distinguished him from all others by which they will long continue to remember him.

Vivienne Johnson

George Howe

It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of our good friend and neighbour George Howe, on 30 September.

He was well known in Shirehampton for his knowledge and advice on photographic matters and when he was running his business in Pembroke Road there would always be someone sitting on the chair by the counter, sometimes discussing business, or often just keeping up to date with local news, because George always knew what was going on in the village.

Despite his lifelong disability which resulted from contracting polio as a child, he never let it hinder him from pursuing his interests and career in photography. Nor did he complain or moan about his restricted mobility, he just got on with life making the best of what he had and could do, and his philosophical attitude and total lack of self pity is probably one reason why he had so many friends.

He was well respected and liked and, after his retirement, and especially in the last couple of years, as his health deteriorated, his sister, friends and neighbours were happy and indeed privileged to visit, run errands and give him support and it is a comfort to know that, at the end he had a friend with him.

He may have been small in stature but he was big on character and personality. He will be sadly missed. Our thoughts and sympathies are with his sister Tess at this time.

Dick and July Helme.

St. Marys News

Hi folks,

Here we are into November and Im sure you all remember the saying 'Remember, remember the 5th November etc.', but Im going to say 'Remember, remember the 26th November' – as this is the day, or rather the evening, when we hold another of our popular Skittles Evenings. Bernard Waller has arranged it again at Hallen Community Hall for 7.30pm on that date. Payment of £4.50 will guarantee you an evening to remember with a first class buffet halfway through the evening. If you are interested in joining us, you will find a list at the west end of the church – so just add your name – payment can be made later.

At the end of September a further step was taken to smarten up St. Marys – by the purchase of a smart and durable carpet for the Choir Vestry & Organ Loft – and the colour? Blue of course as the church is dedicated after St. Mary!

At our Harvest Festival Service we had an increase in our congregation of several hundred percent – how did we get them all in I hear you ask. Well, it was because they were very small visitors – in fact they brought their home with them – a hive full of bees. The bees came in response to an 'invitation' from Andy & Verena Edgeworth to illustrate another aspect of Harvest. This was also a Parade Service, so there were many fascinated children. Regrettably I missed this service as I was away on holiday.

I also missed the Russian Singers, 'Russicum' as well, but Im given to understand the Vicar has a limited supply of this years Russicum CD at a price of !2. The CD contains some folk songs as well as sacred music.

We are sorry to record the death of George Howe, whose funeral took place at St. Marys on Friday, 8th October. George had his photographic business for many years next door to 'The Rising Sun' in Pembroke Road. He was a fascinating character to talk to and had interesting stories of old 'Shire' in by-gone days. We all mourn his passing.

Dont forget to pop into the church when you are out shopping in the morning – its your church – for your use, either for prayer or quiet reflection and a cup of coffee or tea if you require it! You will be able to look at the notice boards and see what activities are taking place – too many to mention here Im afraid. Well, thats all for this month.

Neighbourhood Watch

The Ringmaster system, whereby neighbourhood watch co-ordinators receive police messages will not survive into the year 2000, so the police were delighted when Hill House Hammond – the insurance company offered to fund a new and better system called Watchout. A special launch for the new system was held at Bath Rugby Club on Tuesday, 12th October, when about 200 co-ordinators from the Force area with police officers of all ranks and the insurance company representatives were given demonstrations of the computer system.

Co-ordinators were given the chance to talk to members of the police force from a number of special units among which were the dog unit, the underwater search team, traffic police, police horse unit, scenes of crime representatives and the helicopter crew (who brought their helicopter). All the neighbourhood watch representatives thought that the days event was very worthwhile and that they had learnt alot from the exercise.

If you are interested in Neighbourhood Watch and would like more information, why not come to the next meeting of the Shirehampton Community Group on Wednesday, 24th November at 7.30pm in the Public Hall when I shall be pleased to hand on information from the police to their neighbours, and I would be pleased to hear from anyone willing to volunteer such help.

Severnside Police & Community Group

A group meeting was held at Sea Mills Methodist Church on Wednesday October 13th when we were pleased to welcome the Chief Constable of the Avon & Somerset Constabulary Mr. S. Pilkington.

Although attendance at the meeting was small we had a lively discussion and the news from the police was encouraging and positive. Mr. Pilkington said that the crime figures for the force area had fallen for the sixth successive year and that he had been very heartened by recent successes in solving two major crimes as a result of money spent by the force on scientific improvements. He was also encouraged by the success of geographical policing, where units such as the Avonmouth area were kept together as long as possible so that all members of the unit knew the area really well.

Inspector Palfreman gave his report on the activities in the Avonmouth police are and again the report was very encouraging. With the exception of theft from cars, all other areas of crime showed a significant decrease from a similar period last year. Drug dealing in Lawrence Weston had been targeted and all major dealers had now been arrested, as a result drug related crime, such as house burglary had decreased and for a period of nearly a month not one house burglary was reported. There had also been some success in arresting people responsible for the theft of motorbikes and cars. The George Inn was being very well run and there had been very little trouble on the Green.

The Avonmouth police have been giving up some of their off duty time to try and help local youths and keep them out of trouble. No police funds were available for such activities, but thanks to the generosity of local businesses and industries a small fund had been started, this has now been helped by a major sponsor offering to match pound for pound all money raised. There is a real need in our area for venues where youths can enjoy themselves without causing nuisance to local people, so any offers of financial help would be very welcome to the police.

Mr. John Christensen, Chairman of the Police Authority gave a report on the Authoritys spending plans, including some of the requirements for replacing the helicopter with a newer and more efficient machine.

The next meeting of the Severnside Group will be on Wednesday, 12th January at 7.30pm in the Public Hall, Shirehampton. The meetings are open to members of the public who wish to discuss policing matters with members of the Avonmouth police team.

New Residential Nursing Home Opens In Shirehampton

The White Heather Laundry building in West Town Road has recently been demolished and the Shirehampton Residential Nursing Home has been built on this site to provide local care amenities for the elderly in Shirehampton and Avonmouth. This has been provided by the Claremont Group and affords accommodation for up to 81 people in surroundings comparable to a '4-star hotel'. The majority of rooms are single size with en-suite facilities and there are a few twin rooms for use by married couples or friends.

With the closure of the Tregenna Nursing Home in the near future, it is important that amenities of this type are available locally so that residents are comfortable in surroundings that are part of their own area and convenient for ease of visiting by friends and relations.

The Home, which is now open, has a modern and well-appointed kitchen were qualified and experienced cooks produce menus that are varied and also take individual preferences into account. Life for residents is free and easy and there are no rigid routines – community services, such as dentist, chiropodist, hairdresser etc. are provided on a regular basis and the Home receives the support of the local GP practice.

We welcome the opening of this Residential Nursing Home in Shirehampton

Were You Here: 1949?

Photograph taken at the Public Hall in January 1949 - Probably on New Year's Eve. Were you there, or do you recognise anyone in the crowd? (Why not use the 'Contact' button below to let Shire on the Web know!)

News from Shire 2000

SHIRE 2000 is delighted to announce that Cllr. Celia Lukins has provided funding for a Millennium Garden, and improvements to the stage, at the Public Hall. The garden is intended to provide a pleasant small open space for the public, on the site of the existing overgrown space at the side of the Hall. The stage improvements will not only give improved facilities for shows, but will improve the look of the stage for all users of the Hall.

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 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 list of definite activities is growing fast, and now includes:

  • Ecumenical Open Air Service
  • Summer Riverside Barbecue
  • Local History Exhibition
  • Local Postcard
  • Childrens Parties
  • Grainger Players Spectacular
  • Perambulation of Boundaries
  • Art Exhibition with Shire theme
  • Community Quilt
  • Tea Towel
  • Ecumenical Church Exhibition
  • Songs of Praise on 2 Jan 2000
  • Joint Covenant Service
  • Millennium Garden at Public Hall
  • Public Hall Stage Improvements

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 tot 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 10th November at 7.30pm, at the Public Hall. You would be most welcome, particularly if you are considering organising a Millennium activity for a local group.

Whats On In November

November 1st: Monday WOMENS BRIGHT HOUR meets weekly at 2.30pm at the Methodist Church

November 1st: Monday ALL LOCAL SCHOOLS start again after the Half Term holiday

November 1st & 4th: Every Monday and Thursday DROP-IN ADVICE SESSIONS at the A.U.S. Cottage, High Street (next door to Twyford House) 9.30am-11.30am

November 2nd: Tuesday ST. ANDREWS LADIES CLUB meets at 7.30pm in St. Andrews Church Hall, Avonmouth to hear about 'The work of J.P.s' by Mr. Russ

November 3rd: Wednesday ARTHRITIS CARE at 7.30pm at the Public Hall

November 4th: Thursday TEA DANCE at the Methodist Sea Mills, in the Square, 2.30-4pm. Admission £1, with David Money.

November 4th: Thursday SHIREHAMPTONS TOWNSWOMENS GUILD meets at 7.30pm at the Methodist Church Hall to hear 'Connections' by Mrs J. Fey.

November 9th & 23rd: Tuesdays CO-OPERATIVE WOMENS GUILD meets at 7, Portbury Grove, 2-4pm.

November 10th: Wednesday MILLENIUM MEETING at 7.30pm at the Public Hall

November 12th: Friday organised by the Evergreens CONCERT by THE LEGIONAIRES at the Public Hall 7.30pm. Admission £3.50

November 13th: Saturday TOY FAIR at the Methodist Church Hall, starting at 10am.

November 14th: Sunday REMEMBRANCE SERVICE at the Methodist Church at 10.50am

November 16th: Tuesday RAILWAY MODELLERS mmet 7.30pm. Public Hall.

November 16th: Tuesday ST. ANDREWS LADIES CLUB meets at St. Andrews Church Hall, Avonmouth at 7.30pm to hear about 'Edwardian Christmas' with Yvonne Bell

November 17th: HAPPY HEARTS meet in St. Marys Church Centre

November 17th: Wednesday SHIREHAMPTON STITCHERS meet at the Public Hall at 7.30pm

November 17th: Wednesday WOMENS INSTITUTE meets at 7.30pm in the Methodist Church Hall to hear about 'Across Canada by Grehound Bus'

November 18th: Thursday TEA DANCE at Sea Mills Methodist Church Hall, The Square 2.30-4pm Admission £1, with John Hutton.

November 20th: Saturday XMAS FAIR at Tythe Barn, High Street, doors open 10am-12 noon.

November 20th; Saturday SEA MILLS CRAFT EXHIBITION & SALE at St. Edyth Parish Centre. 11am-4pm. Application forms and further information from Gordon MacFarlane. Tel: 9684105 or Sea Mills Library.


November 26th: Friday SEQUENCE DANCE 7.30-10.30pm at the Cotswold Community Centre

November 27th: Saturday CHRISTMAS FAYRE at the Methodist Church Hall at 10am.


December 1th: Saturday CHRISTMAS FAYRE at the Public Hall, 11am-3pm. Organised by the Evergreens.

December 12th: Sunday SHIREHAMPTON CHOIR CONCERT at St. Marys Church at 2.30pm

Recommended Last Posting Dates For Christmas

First Class: 21st December
Second Class: 18th December
Europe: 13th December
Outside Europe: 6th December

Surface Mail
Eastern Europe 11th November
Western Europe 18th November
HM Forces Recommended Last Posting Dates

Surface Mail Letters, Cards Anbd Small Packets Only To Bfpos 2, 4, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 51 And 605 7th December

Airmail Letters, Cards And Packets Including Exercises And Operations 14th December

School Term And Holiday Dates 1999/2000 Academic Years

Spring Term 2000
Begins : Wednesday 5 January
Half-Term : Monday 21 to Friday 25 February
Ends : Friday 14 April

Summer Term 2000
Begins : Tuesday 2 May
Half-Term : Monday 29 May to Friday 2 June
Ends : Wednesday 26 July

Public Holidays - 1999/2000 school year
Christmas Holiday Monday 27 December
Boxing Day Holiday Tuesday 28 December
New Year Monday 3 January
Good Friday 21 April
Easter Monday 24 April
May Day 1 May
Spring Bank 29 May
Summer Bank 28 August

Important: The school year is based on a calender of 195 days. Five are to be used for staff professional development which means that schools will be open to receive pupils for the legal minimum of 190 days (380 sessions). It will be necessary for parents and other interested parties to contact individual schools direct for confirmation

Wordsearch No. 20

This months wordsearch puzzle contains the names of 8 characters from childrens books. Send your answers to wordsearchno. 20, The Editor ‘SHIRE', The Library, Station Road, Shirehampton, Bristol, BS11 9TU, in a sealed envelope by the 10th November. The first correct entry opened will be awarded a prize to teh value of £2.00.

Last months winner of the Wordsearch puzzle for 13 New School Words was L. Dicker of Dursley Road. THe Answers were: Money, Teacher, Friends, Dinner, Packed

In Memory Of Mrs. Lilian Kibble

Many thanks to Mrs. Audrey Stacey for the generous contribution received towards the High Street Lighting decorations, which was made in memory of her Mother, Mrs Lilian kibble is still well remembered locally, having lived almost all her

Portway Girls School Swimming Team 1948/49

We have received the names of the team from Mrs. Courtney (nee Eileen ONeill) who recorded them at the time the photo was taken and which was printed in our October 1999 edition. These are as follows: (back row) Eileen ONeill, Pam Lowe, E. Trivett, E. Hooper (front row) Jackie Cole, I. Braikes, C. Pearce, M. Brayley.

Watch Out - There Are Thieves About !!

Christmas is coming and so are the pick pockets. One Shirehampton lady recently lost a large sum of money which was in a purse taken from her shopping bag. Make sure your purse is well tucked away out of sight, especially people collecting their pension money.

Portway: An International School

Portway Communmity School has recently been awarded 'International School Status', This much revered status directly acknowledges the depth of work that Portway and its students have been commited to in recent years.

In addition to may visits by Portway students to France, Germany and more recently a word challenge programme to Edcuador. Portway has a twinning link with The Samora Michel School in Beira, Mozambique: Nigel Astley, Portways Headteacher had made two visits to Samora Michel, and plans are underway for staff and students to be part of a two way exchange programme.

Portways Musicians have enjoyed a very long standing exchange link with the Carl Friedrich Gauss Schule in Hannover, Germany for several years. The Schools Symphonic Band has visited Hannover in '96, '97 and '99 and has hosted the Gauss Big Band at Portway in '96 and '98, with a further tour arranged for the year 2000. Portway students have also been able to complete their work experience in Hannover, and two German students have spent a whole term at Portway. Frauke Walter in '98 and currently Henrike Knoth is studying at Portway and staying with one of Portways post 16 students, Katie Peacock.

During the last Band Tour in July of this year, Portway musician were given an official welcome and reception by Bergermeister, The Lord Mayor of Hannover, and have been invited to play at the World Expo Trade Fair 2000 in Hannover. On their return from Hannover in July a German T.V crew came to Bristol and filmed the band at work in

Portway Community School

A Level and GCSE art Students:

Well done to all of you for your excellent results! Your artwork is now ready for collection from Mrs Llewellin.

Staff Changes

Mrs J Abbotts - Senior Teacher at Cheltenham Ladies College
Mr D Coates - Head of Post 16 at Ashton Park School.
Mr S Hayward - Travel the World
Mr P Moore - Head of IT at Churchill School
Mrs D Andrews - Head of Food Technology at Hartcliffe School
Mr B Powell - Technology teach at Gordano School

Portway Goes To Budapest

Members of the Portway Band forged new foreign links in March of this year, when 11 musicians travelled o Budapest, Hungary via Brussels and then Hannover with members of the Carl Friedrich Gauss Schule, to strike up a new exchange link with the Dentche Schule, Budapest. Portway students have been invited to return to Hungary in March 2000, for their National Festival Week: and Portway hopes to Host its Hungarian partners in September 2000.

£5k Lottery Grant to Boost School Sport.

Portway community School has just benefited from a grant of £4,973 to boost sporting activities. The money has been awarded by the Millenium Festival Awards for All Committee from a new Lottery funding programme to help support local groups. It will help provide coaches, training for school staff, equipment demonstrations and tournaments for judo, softball and climbing. So far as we are aware Portway are the first organisation in Bristol to Successfully apply for funding. The money is very welcome and is the start of a plan to increase sport and recreational opportunities for students and the Community - Sponsors are currently being sought to support the Schools bid to become a specialist sports college.

For further information contact Rob Wright (Head of Sport) Portway Community School Tel no. 982 8442

Portway Symphonic Band - Winter Engagements 99

Sunday 14th Nov. Remembrance Day service St. Albans Church 10.15am
Sunday 28th Nov. S.S Great Britain 6.30pm-9.00pm Some 15 concerts in local schools
Tuesday 14th Dec. carol service St. Andrews Church 7.00pm
Sunday 19th Dec. I.C.I Severnside 7.30pm.
Friday 24th Dec. Carols on the Green

All Welcome

Performance At The Royal Festival Hall

Portway Community School Symphonic Band was selected from 1100 School Bands to perform at the royal Festival Hall on 9th July 1999 as part of the 1999 Festival of Youth. It was great honour and a very exciting day in which the band played superbly - congratulations to all!

23rd Portway Summer Music School 1999

Some 120 musicians took part in this years Portway Summer Music School, which this year took place at Greville College, Bideford, Devon. The course, along-standing tradition provides an intensive opportunity to study new music together, at all levels, working towards a wonderful public performance in Clifton Cathedral. The proximity to Westward Ho! made for many fun and sandy afternoons in the sea and on the beach!! Many thanks to our ex-pupils, parents and friends without whom the course would not be possible...

See you next year!