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Back to January 2000 SHIRE February 2000 Fowards to March 2000 SHIRE
News Index

Sea Cadets Presentation

Tang Soo Doo at the Library

Our Vilage

Thoughts on Shirehampton

My Boomerang Did Come Back!

The Moment you have all been waiting for... The Continuation of the Historical Section

Whats on in February

Tribute To Dennis

28th Anniversary of 'Shire' Newspaper

Bus Shelter - A 'NO GO' For Cotswold Estate

Sea Cadets Presentation

These pictures show preesentations made at the end of year celebrations of Avonmouth Sea Cadets, at TS Enterprise:

Presentation to POC Davies J

Presentation to Mr Des Milkins
(Photos: Mr E. Verey)

Tang Soo Doo at the Library

The Library recently held an Open Day, where various local groups demonstrated their activities. This picture shows Ken Thorne demonstrating Tang Soo Doo, which takes place at the Public Hall.

Our Vilage

The photograph below of  a postcard produced by SHIRE photographer Eric Vereyshows local scenes and was intended to accompany an article in the January 2000 edition of the paper.

Thoughts on Shirehampton

This poem was composed by Mrs Valerie Flint-Johnson who is the new church worker at Shirehampton Methodist Church.

She asked members of the Ladies Bright Hour what they liked or loved about their village then put their thoughts into this poem. The poem was submitted by one of the members for us all to share.

We will sing praises and thanks to you, O Lord
God and father of all creation.
We rejoice in our history,
Long buried in the past,
Yet remembered in word and stone,
In hill and winding river, ships long since sailed with tide;
In memories of what has been, in celebration of tradition;
In singing carols on the green, young and old,
man, woman, child joining to sing of incarnation
as those before us sang.
For our history, gone but not forgotten,
O village of Shirehampton Bless the Lord.

We rejoice in buildings < tokens of our creativity,
Those which stand the tests of time,
those new, erect, unmarked by years.
In home, and hall and church
of stone and wood, of slate and brick,
forming fountain, library and school.
Room to live, and move, to shop and work and swim.
Places to eat and drink, to worship and to learn.
For our God given creativity, for structures large and small,
O village of Shirehampton Bless the Lord.

We rejoice in the green spaces that surround us,
Room to walk and play and sit.
In park and green, and tree clad slopes;
In river walk, herons gliding over tidal waters;
In woodland paths, shady, green and cool,
Birds greeting the sun with cheerful song;
In trees and bushes, lawn and flower
painting space with living colour;
|For our green spaces,
O village of Shirehampton Bless the Lord.

We rejoice in our community,
Of friend and stranger < friend we dont yet know.
In chance meetings, smiles and greeting,
the touch that says < we care;
In idle chat and earnest conversation;
In times of rejoicing, shared moments of sadness;
In help, and hope and love, the spirit of community living,
growing, reconciling and forgiving;
For our community
O village of Shirehampton Bless the Lord.

PoetS Corner

God bless the master of this house,
Likewise the mistress too,
And all the little children
That around the table go,
Love and joy come to you,
And to your family too,
And God bless you and send you

A Happy New Millennium

Pete Millard

My Boomerang Did Come Back!

(Reflections on a wonderful holiday)

Australia it didnt seem possible. Yes, I know that many people travel half way round the world these days, but I never thought that I would be amongst their number, and yet there It was with my friend at 2 oclock in the morning on Australian soil at Perth Airport. It still doesnt seem real.

The main reason for the trip had been to visit my friends cousin by marriage who lives thirty miles south of Perth and then to travel as much as possible afterwards. That first night, or what was left of it, we stayed in a motel and were picked up by said cousin in the morning. In the next two weeks we were able to sample many motels on a three-day trip north and a five-day trip south of Perth, one I remember even had much needed and appreciated electric blankets on the beds! That was down south where it was wet and blustery, and where we watched giant rollers and waves breaking over the rocks at Canal Rocks what a sight! We also went to a whaling museum, it had originally been a working whaling factory but was closed in 1978, eventually to become the museum. Here we discovered that a dead hump back whale had been found beached near the old whaling station, permission had been granted by various departments for it to be cut up so that its skeleton could be put in the museum. To this end it had been taken to a spot about 500 metres up the track, a pit had been dug into which the carcass would be put to let the forces of nature strip the flesh from the bone; to hasten the process it was having some of its mass removed. Anyone who was interested could go and look to see what was going on so off we went. Mind you, we did have a few second thoughts as we approached and took the full force of the smell of rotting whale. However, nothing daunted on we walked. A retired flenser from the whaling station had been called out of retirement to help. The young scientists were dressed from head to toe in blue nylon coveralls hood, mask, suit, gloves and wellingtons, the flenser stood there in yachting cap, checked shirt and boots! They were trying to remove the balleen from the whales mouth without much success so the flenser was called upon. In a leisurely way he sharpened his curved blade on a hand held whetstone, felt the creatures mouth then in a deceptively casual way worked the blade round and stood back. The men seemed only to touch the balleen lightly and it fell away cleanly, most impressive. A question I thought of age and experience over youth! It was very interesting driving through the country both to the north and south of Perth and seeing the different landscapes. Sometimes it was scrubby,t hen forest and then it was rolling green grass with sheep and cattle and then cultivated land, what our hosts called the meat and wheat belt. It was spring when we visited and the spring flowers were beautiful and would you believe freesias and arum lilies were growing wild on the roadside, the latter in great clumps. Many Australians holiday on south-western Australia in springtime purely to see the trees, shrubs and plants. It seed to me that their spring flowers are our summer ones. There were great swathes of a purple flower which we much admired for its colour, it was all over the place but when we said this we were told not to voice our opinion in public or we might by lynched! (just joking). It rejoiced in the name of Pattersons Curse and was practically impossible to eradicate. It did however have an alternative name Salvation Jane because the sheep would eat it in drought conditions and so survived. We had decided to travel on the next leg of our journey by the Indian-Pacific Railway to Adelaide. It was to take almost two days. I knew in theory how big Australia is but it isnt until youre there that you really and truly realise exactly how vast a country it is. We had been told that the British Isles would fit seven times into just the state of Western Australia. There were two refuelling stops between Perth and Adelaide the first was at Kalgoorlie where we had the opportunity to go round on a coach trip. It was 11pm and I am ashamed to admit that I dropped off to sleep after viewing the Super Pit. This is a simply enormous open cast gold mine, it is so deep that the great trucks which carry two hundred tones of ore to the top look like very small toys and take about three quarters of an hour to reach the top of the pit. Unfortunately they werent giving away any free samples! Incidentally there is a town called Norseman some way south of Kalgoorlie which is named after a prospectors horse. The horse was pawing the ground, as horses do, when it turned up a sizeable nugget. Our next stop was twelve hours later on the Nullabor Plain in the middle of nowhere, this was at a place called Cook, which refuels about fifty trains a week. The train had brought supplies for a marathon runner who was running across Australia trying beat the record set by an American. Later the engine driver slowed the train as we passed him so that we could show him some encouragement. Rather him than me!

We pulled into Adelaide early in the morning after some forty two hours on the train. Our time here was unfortunately short as Adelaide is a beautiful city, definitely on my list of places that I would like to go back th, well one can always dream. I arranged to meet Pam Wortley nee Low, on the station platform before we boarded the train for the next leg of our journey. Pam was, is, an old girl of Portway Girls School who ad sent in to Shire a few months earlier a photo of the swimming team of 1948/9. We had a good chat and I know shed would love to hear from her old friends. Her address is: 29 Wooleen Avenue, Pooraka, Adelaide, S. Australia, 5095. Our next destination was Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, in what is called the Red Centre. Alice is the home of the Flying Doctor Service and the School of the Air, both of which we went to, I absolutely loved the Outback. The jacaranda trees and the bougainvillaea were a picture in Alice.

There was an atmosphere about the place which I liked. Another place for a return visit! The sun was hot, the colours beautiful. From Alice we went to Uluru (Ayers Rock) the Olgas and Kings Canyon. We saw the sun set and rise (alarm call at 4 a.m. am I mad?) over the brooding presence of Uluru, rode on a camel and had a helicopter ride. The helicopter could only take four passengers, one beside the pilot and three behind. I was wedged in the middle behind the pilot, this would have been all right except the other two ladies were keen photographers and almost flattened me every time they turned and leant against me to take a photo. The lady on my right was Italian and didnt understand English, the pilot didnt speak Italian, so I hoped that shed understood the instructions about the door handle. As I said earlier Australia is VAST, and this was really borne in on me when we were told that a homestead in the Outback could be as big as Belgium! Can you imagine it. When we went back to Alice from Kings Canyon nearly the first two hundred Km was over dirt roads where some of the corners were hazardous. The official road sign warned of this and wrote on their big blue sign '...Driver Technique Advised'. On a large oil drum the aborigines had painted 'lift um foot' followed later by another oil drum saying 'put um foot down again'. I rather felt that the latter was rather more graphic and picturesque and possibly more effective. Apparently there is quite a heavy toll of life on these roads.

From Alice we flew to Cairns which took about two and a half hours. From here we went out to the Great Barrier Reef by catamaran, I was surprised that it took an hour and a half to reach the reef. When we got there we went in a semi-submersible to look at the coral, it was really magical. On the outskirts of Cairns was an Aborigine Centre with a great restaurant, shop and areas where they showed the history of their people, their medicines, how to play the didgeridoo and a theatre for dance. There was also a field cordoned off where they showed how to throw a boomerang. And here I come to my moment of greatest triumph!! Eight volunteers were called for to try their hand at throwing and up I stepped. First of all we were asked if we were right or left handed, because the boomerangs were different for each, I didnt know that. Then we were shown how to hold it and throw it so that it returned to the thrower. The aborigine instructor demonstrated how it was done, it went winging round in a great circle and landed back at his feet.

I must confess that I had always been rather sceptical about boomerangs, did they really come back? My turn, I held it in what I hoped was the correct way, over my should then forward with a whip of the wrist. To my utter amazement it went soaring away, rotating as it went in this great circle and landed back at my feet. There was much hand shaking and congratulations, I felt ten feet tall. I dont wish to seem too conceited but I dont think many people manage it. I havent tried since, thought I would quit while I was ahead!

From Cairns we flew to Sydney for a week of rest and recuperation for instance a harbour cruise, the Opera House, Canberra, the Blue Mountains, an afternoon sitting on Bondi Beach and the Olympic 2000 site. The Aquatic Centre here was incredible, but more of that in a future issue of OShire.


Tree Fall

The Bramley apple tree in the Johnsons garden was seventy-five years old. Planted by Mr. Johnsons grandfather, it had delighted its owners and neighbours for years with its blossom, shade and splendid crops. Imagine their astonishment when they woke up one morning in October and it wasnt there at least, not where it usually was. Leaning over the lawn, it had been the central feature in their charming garden, but that night, with no wind, the tree had fallen silently, covering the whole lawn but obligingly missing the house and greenhouse by inches. Maybe there was just one apple too many. Although they miss the tree a lot, the Johnsons are philosophical about it; the extra light and space can only be a bonus, and the tree itself has demonstrated that gardens have limits.

B. M. Dammers

The Moment you have all been waiting for... The Continuation of the Historical Section

The Catlin-Baron Families

A family who played an important part in running the OGeorge were the Catlins. Up at Kingsweston lived Thomas Catlin and his wife Lydia, who occupied a tied cottage in the narrow Kingsweston lane. Thomas was head groom to Lord de Clifford of Kingsweston House, having been in his service many years. It was but a short walk for him up to the Kingsweston stable block where he could supervise his men cleaning out stables, feeding and grooming horses, polishing coaches and seeing horses harnessed and put to coaches when required. He also had to oversee the blacksmiths quarters in the same building. When called upon by a messenger from the house he would then arrange for a coach and four in hand to await on Lord and Lady de Clifford or their relations at the main entrance of Kingsweston House. Lord de Clifford when in London had made the acquaintance of Prince Esterhazy who was Austrian ambassador to the Court of St James. Esterhazy visited him at his Kingsweston seat. The war was now over and Napoleon had been exiled to St Helena. In his retinue Esterhazy had a chef, Francois Baron, who had served in the French army at the battle of Waterloo. It was during this time that Baron made the acquaintance of the Catlins. He met their daughter Ann, whom he married in May 1822 at St Georges Church, Hannover Square, London. Anns mother Lydia was present along with two members of the Embassy staff.

The Cottage Near the George

The couple returned to Kingsweston to live with Anns parents in the cottage and Francois for a time was employed as a chef at Kingsweston. A son was born to them in 1824 who was called Francois. Shortly after this, Francois and Ann Baron with their boy Francois took a cottage on the north side of Shirehampton Green near to the George Inn where two more children were born to them. As the boy Francois grew older he heard from his father about the military campaigns of Napoleon, and on the wall over the mantelpiece there was a portrait of Bonaparte. Francois was a lively boy who attended the local dame school where lessons were taught by a cobbler and his wife. For their tuition the children brought cakes, pies or a dozen eggs. He was also interested in nature and did water colours of the local scene.

Village Characters

At this time the George was still owned by Moses Kilminster and run by Thomas Catlin junior and his wife Ann. Living close to the George the boy Francois Baron could go in and see his uncle and aunt where he got to know the regulars. Many years later he recalled the scene, The masters sat in the parlour and discussed all the affairs of the neighbourhood and national concerns (as far as they knew them), as literature was scant and newspapers were very dear. Fashion had now changed, they wore shirts with neck cloths, long jackets with high collars and long drainpipe trousers called pantaloons.

The men sat in the tap room and were supplied with drink as they called for it by the ostler, who was a stalwart fellow who used coolly to pick up those who could neither sit or stand, throw them over his shoulder and deposit them in one of the stables on the straw till they regained sufficient sense to try to reach home. There was one frequenter of the George, who was a terror to the villagers, who let him have his own way, but with strangers he loved to pick a quarrel or dare them to fight. He was seen (though but of medium height) to knock down men much bigger than himself as if they were ninepins. The contests took place in an adjacent field, whither the combatants were accompanied by the drunks from the inn.

The Stocks Tree

On the east end of the village green grew the Stocks Tree an old elm of great age. At the foot of the tree stood the village stocks where persons for small offences were confined, some for drunkeness, brawling, damaging property and other offences. The Petty Constable, who at this time was appointed by the Vestry, confined wrong doers in the stocks where they experienced some discomfort with their legs and arms secured. If well known trouble makers, they were sometimes exposed to the jeers of passers by and the rough jokes of boys who pelted them with rotten fruit.

Kingsweston House

When Francois Baron was about seven he went with his mother to see her friend the housekeeper at Kingsweston House. On one such occasion Francois was allowed to roam the passages on the ground floor where he caught sight of a rope by which the big bell at the top of the house was rung. It was tolled when the de Cliffords were at home, if out riding or walking in the gardens telling them it was time for luncheon or dinner. If the bell was sounded when the de Cliffords were away it meant something was wrong and would bring gardeners, stablemen and domestics out to see what had happened.

The boy seized the rope and tugged it swinging up and down. Francoiss mother after seeing her friend went down and collected him and on their way out crossing the courtyard saw men running towards the house one with a pitchfork alarmed at hearing the bell. Francois kept quiet and with his mother went home.

Bonfire Night

Bonfire night was an exciting time for the villagers particularly for those in the George. The Old Stocks tree had some ten feet from the ground a vast hollow where wood for the bonfire was stored for the 5th of November which was a great village occasion with many villagers attending. The farmers had to watch their palings and hurdles carefully, for unscrupulous marauders were numerous. When the Bristol riots took place in the October of 1831 many villagers on the Green could see the flames of Queen Square reddening the night sky. As a result, the traditional bonfire on the green was prohibited for fear large gatherings of people might cause more rioting and the powder from the magazine on the Horseshoe bend was removed to a secret place by the Severn for fear of rioters.

Lord de Clifford

In September 1832 Lord de Clifford who was in his sixty fifth year died at Brighton and his remains were brought back to his country seat for internment in Henbury Church, Francois, a boy of eight, with his parents and other villagers saw the funeral cortege pass through the outer Kingsweston Park. The horse with its nodding plumes, the board of feathers, the Earls coronet borne on a velvet cushion, the long line of carriages with friends and domestics was the grandest sight he had ever seen. Francois Barons grandparents, Thomas and Lydia Catlin, heard much about the demise of Lord de Clifford and would also have been present at Kingsweston and Henbury Church along with other estate retainers. Lord de Clifford died without issue and his widow, along with other relations and trustees, decided the estate should be sold. The house was cleared, apart from the great collection of paintings, and what furniture and effects the relations did not want were to be sold by auction. In March the following year, the Catlins and other members of the household moved furniture, china and other effects to the Kingsweston Inn where the auctions took place. There was now much speculation particularly among the local gentry, tenant farmers, gardeners, carpenters, grooms and others in tied cottages about what was to happen to the estate.

The Catlins at the George

In his will, the late Lord de Clifford left Thomas Catlin Senior, who had been in his service forty five years, an annuity of 40 and his wife Lydia 20. In 1833 Thomas Catlin Senior and his son Thomas Junior bought the old George Inn at Shirehampton from Moses Kilminster for 1,300. Thomas Junior was now 32 and his wife Ann, 27 who as owners were to run the place. They were assisted by one male and two female servants. His parents, Thomas and Lydia, lived on at the cottage in Kingsweston. Thomas was a familiar figure riding on horseback through the park to see his son and his wife at the George. Lydia on one occasion walking over in the dark in her long cloak finding the way with her lantern was confronted by a man who came out of the trees near the milestone who said to her in a demanding voice, Your money or your life! to which she replied boldly, Money I have none and my life would not be much good to you. Whereupon he made off. It was about this time that an itinerant artist visited Shirehampton where the Catlins had their portraits drawn at the time when there was no photography. Thomas and Lydia were now in their early seventies.

After much speculation about the estate, news reached the inn that it had been purchased by Philip J. Miles of Leigh Court, Abbots Leigh, for two hundred and ten thousand pounds. Old Thomas Catlin and his wife Lydia stayed on at the cottage in Kingsweston and as long as he was able he continued as Head Groom. Lydia died in 1840 the following year her husband Thomas. After the service in Henbury Church, probably attended by their son Thomas and his wife Ann, their mortal remains were interred in the churchyard where a stone was erected to their memory.


The regular coach service which for some years had run from the Bush in Corn Street stopped in 1844. The Great Western Railway had been built and opened in 1841 and it was easier and faster for people to travel from London to Bristol by train instead of coach. The old coaching inn at the Bush was sold and became the property of a Building Society. At Shirehampton where there was no rail link a horse omnibus service was started in 1844 which ran from the George twice a day.

May Time

In the lane leading off from the green known, in later years as Park Road, was the place where villagers erected the Maypole near to the blacksmith Robert Edbrooks shop, a methodist who had a small chapel in his yard, and it rendered the 1st May a gala day and had a pleasing appearance when surrounded by the merry children and the ribbon decked dancers. The old Benefit Society formed in 1813 now had an anniversary walk on the second Tuesday in May. Members dressed in blue with brass buttons sporting blue rosettes in their hats and carrying brass headed staves decorated with blue ribbon, some with large banners with religious and temperance inscriptions.

They met at the inn at half past nine when the roll was called, then, led by a brass band they called on the minister who lived opposite in the Terrace and after walking through the village they proceeded to the Church for divine service. When the Reverend Arthur Mansfield, a low churchman was vicar, he preached from the chancel step in his Geneva gown rather than wear the Popish rags. After the service, the members marched back to the inn for dinner. By this time the Catlins had built a Club Room over the old stables. It was a great occasion. On the north side of the village green a large booth was erected, the sides of planks and the roof covered with sail cloth, inside stalls were set up and there were swings for village children.

From the old inn banners were hung out from an upper window.

The Great Gale

A great talking point in the George was the weather, particularly after a severe storm. For in the November of 1859 there came what was called a hurricane which lasted seven minutes leaving a trail of destruction as it crossed over Shirehampton and Kingsweston. It happened at 6.40 a.m. on a Sunday morning. Houses partially unroofed with the magnificent avenue of elms from the Turnpike Road to Penpole Point almost destroyed, only a few of the trees remain standing. In Kingsweston Park also a great number of trees were torn up. The scene is worth going may miles to witness. Scores of fine elms are down, sometimes six or more in a row. at the George the bailiff would have brought the news with the company giving details of damage to their homes. The well known OOld Stocks tree fell in the great storm.

The Hunt Dinner

Another event was the presence of Squire P. W. S. Miles of Kingsweston and other members of the local gentry on theirannual coursing and fox hunting day which was largely attended. It was always of interest to the villagers, particularly the children, as the hunt came down through the village and fields of Shirehampton. In the February of 1860 it was noted, Out of 29 runs only six kills, hares very fleet and wild. The days sport ended with a dinner in the Club Room at the George inn put on by Mrs Catlin.

A Railway

Thomas Catlin the innkeeper died in 1855 his remains interred in Shirehampton churchyard, Ann his wife carried on at the George, business increased, for by 1864 work had started on building the Bristol Port and Pier Railway from the Clifton Suspension Bridge to a pier on Shirehampton wharf at Rivers Mouth. Such an undertaking brought in a considerable labour force who spent some of their earnings at the inn. In February 1865, the steam engine for the Port and Pier Railway arrived. It was pulled through the village by a team of 30 horses to the great excitement of local people. The railway was opened in March 1865. Ann Catlin had died this year and the George which the Catlins had for over thirty years was sold in 1866. In the passage of time it became the property of Georges Brewery.


Mrs V. M. Brown for plan of the old George. Her father, Mr F. W. Gainsford had the George in the 1920-1930s. The late Densmore Walker for extracts from the Baron Diary including watercolours. The late Miss E. Collins for the Catlin pictures. Bristol Newspapers, Courtesy Bristol Reference Library.

Ralph A. Hack

Whats on in February

FEBRUARY 1st Tuesday St.ANDREWS LADIES CLUB meets at St. Andrews Church Hall, Avonmouth at 7.30 p.m. to hear Marion Stephens speak on 'Dolls House Furniture'.

FEBRUARY 1st Tuesday LOCAL COUNCILLORS are available for consultation 7.30 p.m. at Jim ONeil House.

FEBRUARY 2nd Wednesday ARTHRITIS CARE meets at 7.30 p.m. at the Public Hall.

FEBRUARY 3rd Thursday TOWNSWOMENS GUILD meets at 7.30 p.m. at the Methodist Church Hall to hear Mrs Marshfield on 'Barefoot to Buckingham Palace'.

FEBRUARY 3rd Thursday TEA DANCE at the Methodist Church Sea Mills, 2.30 p.m. 4.30 p.m. Admission 1.

FEBRUARY 7th Monday each week SEQUENCE DANCING CLASS for beginners and Improvers. 7.30 p.m. - 9.30 p.m. at the Public Hall.

FEBRUARY 7th Monday and every Monday WOMENS BRIGHT HOUR at the Methodist Church Hall at 2.30 p.m.

FEBRUARY 8th Tuesday CO-OPERATIVE WOMENS GUILD meets at 2.30 p.m. at 6, Portbury Grove.

FEBRUARY 15th Tuesday St. Andrews LADIES meet at St. Andrews Church Hall at Avonmouth at 7.30 p.m. to hear Bill Knight speak on 'The history of the Cinema'.

FEBRUARY 16th Tuesday RAILWAY MODELLERS at the Public Hall at 7.30 p.m. FEBRUARY 16th Wednesday WOMENS INSTITUTE meets at 7.30 p.m. at the Methodist Church Hall.

FEBRUARY 16th Wednesday SHIREHAMPTON STITCHERS at the Public Hall at 7.30 p.m.

FEBRUARY 16th Wednesday HAPPY HEARTS meet at 7.30 p.m. at St. marys Church Centre.

FEBRUARY 17th Thursday TEA DANCE at the Methodist Church Sea Mills 2.30 p.m. 4.30 p.m. Admission 1.


FEBRUARY 25th Friday MONTHLY SEQUENCE DANCE at the Cotswold Centre 7.30 - 10.30 p.m. Everyone welcome.


Future meetings of SHIREHAMPTON COMMUNITY GROUP at the Public Hall at 7.30 p.m. will be as follows:- March 29th, May 24th, July 26th, September 27th A.G.M., and November 29th.

Tribute To Dennis

Dennis Handford seated with a group of 'counters' at his presentation
(Photo: E. Verey)

For more years than we care to count Dennis Handford has been a stalwart supporter of 'SHIRE' newspaper. For a long time Dennis not only delivered the bills to the traders, often collecting payment and personally chiding the slow payers into settling their debts. Thus we were able to keep the books up to date with what has always been an essential for the survival of the 'Shire' enterprise namely a cash turnover.

Since 1992 Dennis has been responsible for organising the distribution of the paper, which as many of you know, comprises totally of volunteers. These are the people who count and bundle up the newspaper, the bundles are then in turn picked by by the car drivers who take them to the door to door deliverers. In all nearly 90 people are involved in this operation. Dennis has also had to find reserves to fill in the gaps left when people have gone on holiday, moved away, been ill or for one reason or another were unable to carry on.

Quite a challenge and on behalf of 'SHIRE' administration and our Readers we should like to thank him for all his efforts and wish him a happy retirement.

We are pleased to announce that Mr. Husher has kindly agreed to take on the responsibility of organising the distribution of the paper.


28th Anniversary of 'Shire' Newspaper

Quite a record for an Amateur Community Publication 28 years of continual production of monthly issues. Starting in February 1972 by Fred Gould, John Smith then the Vicar of Shirehampton and the help of Ashley Hutchings in a A4 magazine format it went on to become a newspaper in July 1975. Like many small businesses we have had out ups and downs. At one time we were reduced to 4 pages, but for the last year we have had 2 Christmas editions of 24 pages and 12 months of 16 pages. These increases were because we are now printed on the most modern machinery which only works on multiples of 8 pages.

Throughout all this time we have remained steadfastly interdenominational and non political and concentrated on local issues. Our great strength is the team of volunteers who have banded together to produce 'SHIRE' and to deliver it to every door. The Administration is exceedingly grateful to Stuart Richards of the Clevedon mercury, our typesetters and printers since August 1984, for all his professional help and advice. Our thanks go also to all the traders who support us with their adverts, which is the main source of income, we would be nowhere without you. Thank you also to all readers who write in and supply us with news to print.

Bless you all.


Bus Shelter - A 'NO GO' For Cotswold Estate

Part of a petition raised in January 1998 raised the question of the possibility of bus shelters on the Cotswold Estate. A response was received from Bristol City Council in April 1998 and published in 'Shire' to the effect that 'the bus stops on the Cotswold Estate be assesses to establish their suitability and priority for bus shelter provision'.

A letter was sent to Bristol City Council in July 99 and acknowledged, and response received December 99 briefly as follows 'Current level of funding resources will not generally be available to meet Ad-hoc requests for shelters which do not meet agreed criteria. As this location does not meet any of the criteria above, regrettably I am unable to agree to meet your request.' Signed by M Behi, Transport Operations Team.

Christine Collins
Chairman Cotswold Community Association
The Bungalow
Dursley Road

What's on in February 2000


MONDAYS Cotswold Monday Ladies Club 2.30 - 4.00 New members welcome TUESDAYS Bingo Session 6.30 for 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. approx Come and try your luck THURSDAYS Line Dancing Tuition 2.00 - 3.30 Come and learn in a friendly atmosphere with a refreshing cup of tea, coffee of squash before going home.

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 25th Monthly Sequence Dance Mixture of modern line dancingand sequence dance. Join us in a pleasant social evening.

The George Inn

The December issue of 'Shire' contained a fascinating account of the Old George Inn and its importance in 18th Century Shirehampton. I recently came across references to an earlier inn, possibly on the site of The George. Although no name is given for the inn, Clifton and Westbury Probate Inventories name the inn holder as John Squire who died on 30th May 1676. As a man of some substance in the community the value of his possessions had to be assessed for probate. Probate inventories are lists of possessions of householders made after their death by friends or neighbours acting as appraisers or valuers.

The appraisers for John Squires possessions were John Smyth, William Harris and Henry G