Shire logo

Back to March 2000 SHIRE April 2000 Fowards to May 2000 SHIRE
News Index

Mercy Ships Charity Walk

Portway Centre Closure

Shirehampton Methodist Church

Letters to the Editor

St Mary's News

Library News

A Roomful of Memories

Shire 2000, Senior Citizen's Millennium Celebration with Buffet and Entertainment

This event for the over 60's is being funded by Councillor Celia Lukins and organised with Norman Sims and Barbara Wylde, to take place at the Public Hall on Friday 16th June, from 8 to 11 p.m.

Tickets are free and they will be available at the Public Hall on Wednesday 19th April from 12 noon, or on Tuesday 9th May from 2-4 p.m.  Admission will be by ticket only, so remember to bring it on the night.

There will be a bar provided with tea and coffee also available. The Buffet will be free, with enterainment, including dancing and singing, for your enjoyment.   So come along and make it a night to remember!

Any further information required is available from Barbara Wylde on (0117) 983 6198 or Norman Sims on (0117) 982 3180. (Tickets available to Shirehampton residents only.) The picture below shows Cllr Lukins with Norman Sims and Barbara Wylde.

Portway RAC

It is with great sadness and regret that I report the lost battle of the members, parents, carers, staff and local councillors to keep the Portway centre open. Everyone, including local traders, have worked hard to retain the centre, but on 6 March the Social services committee took the decision to close the centre, probably from July 2000, together with another one in Hotwells.

We believe this was a bad decision made on minimal information. We went to the meeting along with the members who spoke for themselves and prepared an excellent visual aid to demonstrate their work and life at the centre all to no avail. Below is a transcript of my statement made to Social Services for your information.

I am at present exploring whether there is any way the decision can be called in, but I am not hopeful.

Cllr Celia Lukins

(We print the following statement which Councillor Celia Lukins made to the Social Services Committee, as we believe that local people will wish to have full information regarding this matter which is of such community interest that a petition of 2,500 names was gathered).


Social Services Committee 6 March 2000

Statement of Cllr Mrs C M Lukins JP Regarding:

Agenda Item 10 Portway RAC St Bernards Rd Shirehampton Bristol

The recommendations in this report regarding Portway centre are very disappointing and not what the Portway members, parents, carers, staff, local residents and me as one of the local councillors want. I ask committee to think again.

The centre is one of excellence as far as all the groups I have mentioned are concerned. It is very strange that this success of BCC is to be closed, rather than close it I would have thought it was a success BCC would be pleased and anxious to build on. Why mend something which is far from broken?

Much is made in the report of the need to remove walls the groups I refer to do not see walls at Portway they see people. They see them going to and from the centre, they see them in our village, they see them performing at the local churches, they see them joining in with the pupils at the local schools, they see them as part of a strong community, they see the loss of their base in St Bernards Rd as tragic. Why are we removing walls which make vulnerable people feel they belong and have a real place in our community never mind feeling safe and comfortable? They do not see the walls they see their second home/work base where they continue to grow, gain confidence, develop friendships, have a base where the local community can contact them. We all need walls, unless we live in a tent, not walls that contain us from the world, but which give a place to start from.

How does closing the Portway centre fit with the Best Value (BV) concept?

I suggest it does not Best Value guidance states:-

'what matters is what works - Portway works well so it must matter.

'Quality is something decided by our customers - Portway is recognised as a service of excellence by the groups involved with it, therefore our customers have decided it's 'quality.

The guidance tells us we must always be mindful of 'the 4 C's in BV which are:-

Compare - If you apply these, and as Members responsible for applying Government
Consult - guidance you must, you will see your officers have not done so.

How does closing the Portway centre fit with 'Agenda for Change?

I suggest it does not. The draft bill quite clearly puts the people first. It seeks to empower and support communities and in this case Shirehampton's strong community supports Portway RAC. BCC will have a formal duty to consult with and listen to the electorate and implement their wishes, nothing in this report suggests this has been done properly.

I am one of the elected councillors for Avonmouth ward in which the centre is, and requests I have made both the officers and the Chair of this committee, on behalf of the people I represent, have not been complied with.

I asked for:-

  • details and costings for retaining Portway
  • copies of correspondence to and from the health authority with a view to partnership working to maintain the current building for it's current use.
  • copies of correspondence detailing efforts to encourage other partners to work with BCC to maintain the status quo
  • to be involved with the Portway members consultation, many of whom are my constituents
  • to receive results of all consultation before the preparation of this report

I suspect these things did not happen which is why I have been starved of details, but if I have been starved of it so have you. You are being asked to make a decision without being given all the information you need to make it.

I would pose the following questions which you may like to ask your officersyourself if you are committed to serving and empowering people:-

Why is there no mention in this report of the concerns of the local community and the petition signed by 2300 local residents?

Have Social Services explored partnership working and where is the paperwork to support this?

Can we have the building on a peppercorn rent something BCC do for their partners very successfully?

Where are the details of the building audit to support the claim that it will cost approximately 4,000,000 to make the building accessible (my knowledge of the building gives me cause for concern at this statement)?

Where is the audit of Groveleaze building and costings? My knowledge of this building makes me suspect it will be significant.

Do you seriously believe that the activities of a 'rowdy youth club will sit well with the members of Portway given their age span, interests and abilities?

Is this initiative designed to support and ease Leisure Services budget whilst at the same time easing that of Social Services no matter what the cost of these important groups within our close community?

Leisure used to fund the local Dragon Club but withdrew the funding, will they again walk away from people with learning difficulties?

Do you not think it is apparent that this whole process is about budgets and not about a services you were elected to oversee? When the Chair spoke to me late November she said 'the money has to come from somewhere.

Please do not agree to these recommendations there has to be a way you clever, experienced and worldly people can retain this centre AND maintain your budget.

You need to reconsider:-

What is best for Portway members, carers, parents, staff and the wider community.

Whether the information you have is complete.

The substance and evidence you have, and have not, been told.

Whether the Dowry Sq people would like to come to Portway since their addresses are split from Hotwells but near enough to travel to Shire' where they would be welcome.

How much transport costs will reduce the savings you need, since there is little said of this.

Why serious consideration has not been given to partnership working.

Why does this report show such little vision and imagination.

Mercy Ships Charity Walk

In 1967, Brian Raybauld came with his family to live in Park Hill, Shirehampton, where they remained for 31 years - apart for 2 years spent in the U.S.A. He had worked for British Aerospace for nearly 35 years until he retired in 1991. Local people will remember Brian and his wife Rosemary well, for they were very active members of the Baptist Church, where Brian was Treasurer for 25 years. Their children Jackie, Angela, Adrian and Helen attended Portway School and from there Jackie and Adrian went to university.

Brian, now in retirement, recently moved to Portishead and has decided to walk and climb the Great Wall of China, which is open to the public for a distance of 80 kilometres (50 miles) 50,000 steps, on a sponsored walk during November.

The charity he has chosen is the Mercy Ships, which is a Christian relief and development organised charity providing medical care, relief and long term sustainable change in Third World countries. They own and operate three ships, of which 'ANASTASIS is the world's largest non-government hospital ship.

She came into Avonmouth a few years ago, so many of our readers may have gone on board and seen for themselves the work that is undertaken. This ship sails the West Coast of Africa and of the other two ships, one goes to the Far East and the other is in the Caribbean. The on-board surgeries have enabled thousands of free operations to correct cleft palates and crossed eyes, and to remove tumours and cataracts. Prosthetic limbs are provided to amputees who have suffered due to war, land mines or accidents. Other crew members help in the provision of clean water and sanitation, construction of schools, hospitals and clinics, training facilities and also housing and agricultural projects. ALL CREW MEMBERS AND LAND-BASED STAFF PAY THEIR OWN WAY, NO SALARIES ARE PAID TO ANY HELPERS WHETHER DOCTORS OR DECK HANDS.

Brian is paying all his own expenses and training hard for walking the distance. He is also facing the challenge of raising 2,000 for the charity in sponsorship. If you would like to encourage him in this project, please send your contribution to:- Brian Raybauld, 71 South Road, Portishead, Bristol, BS20 7DY.

How To Obtain A Passport With Ease!

Referring to the article on Passports in our March edition (page 12), if you wish to obtain your passport locally, James & Hodder in the High Street offer a passport application and processing service at the small fee of 3.25 per person per passport. For priority processing, please ask for details.

With Many Thanks

I wish to thank the person who picked up 2 prescriptions that I had dropped and delivered to my address.

Bill Love

(Thank you for your donation to SHIRE funds)

Portway Centre Closure

The members/carers/and families of the Portway Centre would like to thank Shirl, Liz and Monica for their support throughout this difficult time and for the help they gave with the organisation of the petition.

Thank you to all the people who took time to sign it and a special THANK YOU to Councillor Celia Lukins for her support and all the hard work she put in to try and keep the Centre open.

Award Presented to Stephen Ellery

Stephen Ellery, who was born with diabetes, has been awarded the Alan Nabarro Medal presented by the British Diabetic Society for living with the insulin dependant condition for 50 years. The above photograph shows the Revd. Richard Walker presenting the medal at St. Andrews Church, Avonmouth.

Stephen, who also has learning difficulties, attends the Portway Day Centre and is now living in supported accommodation at the Ridge, Shirehampton, where he is very happy.

Shirehampton Choir Present Stainer's 'Crucifixion

The Shirehampton Choir present the above on Good Friday, 21st April, in St Mary's Church at 2.00 p.m. Our soloists this year are Jonathan Edwardes - Tenor, and Stephen Simmonds - Bass.

This sacred work consists of some very beautiful pieces, including 'God So Loved The World, and several hymns when all can join in. Its duration is approximately one hour.

Admission is FREE and everyone is welcome.

Derek Harvey

Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road, Shirehampton

What's On in April

Saturday 8th April Tabletop Sale at 1.30 p.m. Every Monday (Except Easter 24th) Cotswold Monday Ladies 2.30 - 4.00 p.m.

Every Tuesday Bingo 7.00 - 9.00 p.m.

Every Thursday Line Dancing 2.00 - 3.30 p.m.

Friday 28th April Monthly Sequence Dance

St. Mary's Church Centre Bookings

Every Monday
9.15 a.m. Parents and Toddlers Group
7.00 - 9.00 p.m. Judo

Every Tuesday
A private function

Every Thursday
7.30 - 9.30 p.m. Slimming World

Every Friday
7.00 - 9.00 p.m. Judo

Shirehampton Methodist Church

April 2nd - Mothering Sunday
Family Service at 11.00 a.m. with Rev. David Alderman
6.30 p.m. Rev. Scott Kisker (U.S.A.)

April 9th - Passion Sunday
11.00 a.m. Rev. Dr Canon John Newton, MA, CBE.

April 20th - Maundy Thursday
Communion 3.00 p.m. Rev. David Alderman

April 21st - Good Friday
9.30 a.m. Rev, David Alderman

April 23rd - Easter Day
11.00 a.m. Rev. Dr. Kenneth Grayston, MA. (A former Minister) with Communion.
6.30 p.m. United Service at St. Mary's Parish Church.

April 30th - Sunday
11.00 a.m. Rev. Edward Standhaft, MA (from Victoria Methodist & University Methodist Chaplain).

The main Services at St Mary's for Holy Week and Easter

Palm Sunday, 16 April - 10.00 a.m. Procession of Palms and Family Communion

Maundy Thursday, 20 April
11.00 a.m. Holy Communion (said).
7.30 p.m. THE LAST SUPPER. Holy Communion followed by the Stripping of the Sanctuary and a token Vigil.

Good Friday, 21 April
10.30 a.m. The Good Friday Office, including Holy Communion
2.00 p.m. 'The Third Hour. The Shirehampton Choir sings Stainer's 'Crucifixion.
7.30 p.m. We join worshippers at St Bernard's for the Stations of the Cross.

Holy Saturday, 22 April
10.30 a.m The Holy Saturday Office
8.00 p.m. The Easter Vigil Service including the Blessing of the Easter candle and the Renewal of Baptismal Vows.

Easter Day, 23 April
10.00 a.m. The Easter Holy Communion. The St Petersburg Singers, RUSSICUM, will be singing at this service.
6.30 p.m. A united Service of Celebration to launch the SHIRE CHURCHES 2000. RUSSICUM will be singing at this service.

Baptist Church - Easter Services<

Palm Sunday, 16 April
10.00 a.m. Mass
6.30 p.m. Mass

Holy Week - each day
1.00 p.m. Holiday Club for Junior age children

Easter Sunday, 23rd April
10.30 a.m. Family Service
6.30 p.m. with St. Mary's

St. Bernard's R.C. Church - Easter Services

Palm Sunday, 16 April -
10.00 a.m. Mass
6.30 p.m. Mass

Maundy Thursday, 20 April
7.30 p.m. Mass

Good Friday, 21 April
3.00 p.m. The Passion
7.30 p.m. Stations of the Cross

Saturday, 22 April
8.00 p.m. Easter Vigil

Sunday, 23 April
10.00 a.m. only - Mass

Donation to the Portway Stroke Club

Due to a typographical error, it was reported on page 10 of the March edition that a cheque for 5,000 had been received by the Portway Stroke Club as a donation from Shell International Ltd; this amount should have read 500. Our apologies to those concerned for this unfortunate error.

To the Villagers of Shire.

Better Late Than Never

This is just a short letter of thanks to the villagers of Shirehampton for their generosity shown to The Salvation Army Band - Pill Corps who played Christmas Carols on Saturday, 18th December, 1999, outside of Boots the Chemists from 10.30 a.m. until 12 noon.

The amount collected was 278, which was very supportive of you and very generous.

A special mention also to the Methodist Chapel and the Hair dressers in the High Street for supplying our Band and collectors with tea and cake etc.

K.C. Shortman, Salvationist

for Capt. Keith Wallis

It should be us thanking you - it certainly helps the spirit of Christmas to hear your band playing, and we certainly hope you will be along this Christmas 2000. Editor


A pair of reading glasses were lost in Kingsweston Avenue on Saturday, 26th February. If found, please leave with Shirl at the florists 'Flowers by Liz, in the High Street.

VOSCUR North Bristol Outreach Worker

In an attempt to make myself more accessible to North Bristol Groups as from the 1st March 2000, every Wednesday I will be based at:- WISH, The Greenway Centre, Doncaster Road, Southmead, Bristol - Tel: 0117 907 7299.

Letters to the Editor

Searching for Relatives named 'Chubb

Dear Editor,

I am visiting the U.K. from our home in Sydney, Australia, and I am seeking assistance to locate any living relatives of my grandfather Matthew Love Chubb, deceased 1915, and my uncle Herbert William Chubb, dec'd 1948, both buried together in Shirehampton cemetery.

The Robinson family used to own Shirehampton Post Office, and the next door grocery store at 17 and 19, High Street, and my grandfather married Lydia Mary (Robinson) who became my grandmother and was buried with him in Shirehampton Cemetery.

My father, Stanford Frank Chubb, was born in Shirehampton in 1889, and I believe I am the only male descendant of M.L.C with the Chubb name.

The picture below shows the Post Office and grocery store with my grandfather, Matthew Love Chubb, standing in the doorway of the Post Office, and his name is also recorded on the plaque of the 'Galanta Wellingtonia tree on the Green, which is diagonally opposite.

I would appreciate any assistance and if any readers recognise these names and would like to contact me, I will be in Fordingbridge until May, when we return to Australia.

Christopher Chubb

Don't Twy for me...

Dear Editor,

The announcement in your last issue encouraged me to attend this meeting and my thoughts are herewith.

Sadly, this Argentinian song would seem very apt for what must be the end of TYWFORD HOUSE as the district's cultural and educational centre.

On a most miserable, drizzly evening, Councillor C.M. Lukins, J.P., delayed the start of the meeting in the hope of more people turning up, they didn't so in a quiet, almost inaudible voice, she introduced to a pathetically small handful of listeners the Committee's spokesman for saving and restoring this lovely listed building.

With what I suspect was an unusual lack of enthusiasm, he surveyed the tiny group before him - looking even smaller in this large Public Hall, - an attic would have sufficed - and was forced to remark that if we were an example of the support for keeping the place going, the outcome was indeed bleak.

Nevertheless, he related to us the full history - and his sincere wish that it might still be retained - of how from 1907 it was occupied by a Mrs Scott, who became Matron in 1914 - 1918 when it became a temporary hospital and later a nursing home in the early 30's, then an engineering school for the G.P.O. in 1935, and it was eventually given, yes given free, to the people of Shirehampton.

For some 55 years it has served the community and added dignity and a certain prestige to the village, but alas the Educational Committee have declared it Osurplus to requirements'.

Now, since its doors have closed it is suffering badly from damp, with boarded windows rotting and many thousands of pounds would be required to be spent before it could be used again - quite pathetic - and even if it was made sound and refurbished, he thought staffing would be a minimal 60k each year, apart from the equipment necessary.

I did not stay to the end of the meeting.... but surely it must be......

Bye, Bye Twyford, and thank you.

Vic Wiltshire .

Memories of Portway School

Dear Ed,

My memories of Portway School are many and varied, some happy, a few sad, some funny but I think the one that will remain with me for ever occurred during my first few days at 'the big school'.

The voice of OGandy' (I can say it now after all these years) Wyatt. If my memory is accurate, a small, rather round lady but whose booming voice reached the length of the corridor O DECORUM GIRLS' - I still shudder at the thought of it. We were running, probably because we were lost and late for a lesson but those two words stopped us in our tracks!

Another memory has just emerged - dear Elfreda Stephanie JUDSON and those wonderful French lessons. Looking back, her teaching methods were very modern and learning French was fun. Her love of her subject and her pupils extended to occasional hospitality at her flat. Does anyone remember going to a lantern slide show of Pilgrim's Progress? She had a baby grand piano and could be persuaded to play OBaby Doll' for us.

Here comes another one S Miss Winchester - did you know you could divert her so very easily to a totally different subject to the one she was supposed to be teaching. No only that if you started a yawn at the back of the class and continued like a Mexican wave poor Miss W was close to Onodding off' by the time the girl in the front yawned.

All these memories and the School led by a wonderful Headmistress - Miss Shewell.

Oh, and by the way, during the early stages of demolition I managed to attract the attention of one of the workers who very kindly gave me two tiles from the section of roof immediately above what was once Miss Shewell's office - just a happy momento.

Mollie Young (Brearley)

Disabled Parking Bays

Dear Editor,

I have just been reading the March 2000 issue of 'Shire'. I have read the letter about the disabled parking bays in Shirehampton with particular interest as I am disabled person myself.

Like many disabled people I have a parking bay outside of my home, this is also often used by able bodied people to park their cars, stopping me or other disabled drivers from using the bay.

The disabled parking bays in Shirehampton high Street are white and as such have the same status as the bays outside of disabled peoples homes. White bays are advisory so we have to rely on physically fit people being thoughtful in order to make the system work. Unfortunately most people are thoughtless when it comes to these parking bays so the system fails. The answer to the problem in Shirehampton High Street would be to paint the disabled parking bays yellow thus making it an offense for physically able people to use them.

I would also like to say it is great to see the pavements in the High Street being replaced at last, it is a shame that some of the footpath is being left as it is. I refer to outside of the Co-op and opposite.

I see that nothing has been done as yet to stop heavy lorries and buses using the High Street and that lorries are still parking on the pavements in order to make deliveries to shops, this will soon ruin the new footpaths. Perhaps the answer is to control the traffic with lights at each end of the village as the road is clearly too narrow to cope with two lanes of traffic.

Elizabeth Mary Kelsey (Betty Davies)

It is with sadness that we have to report the death of Betty Kelsey (age 68) at Maltby in South Yorkshire on 26-02-2000. There are no doubt many in the Shire area who will remember Betty, together with her mother Florence Davies and Husband Roy Kelsey, through her work with the St John Ambulance Cadets in the 40's, 50's and 60's. She moved from Groveleaze in 1966, along with her mother and family, to Plymouth in Devon and subsequently lived in Gloucester and Southampton before moving to Maltby in 1980. Betty suffered a stroke in 1990 shortly after the death of her mother and although fully alert and able to follow her favourite sports and other programmes on Radio and TV, she had little speech and needed a wheelchair to get around her favourite shopping areas. In spite of her frustration in not being able-bodied she maintained a very cheerful outlook until a few days before she died. She will be sadly missed by her husband Roy, daughter Jennifer, son-in-law Tone and other family and friends from many corners of the Country.

R C Kelsley, Maltby

(Thank you for your donation to SHIRE funds).

St Mary's News

Hi Folks,

Easter is with us this month with Holy Week leading up to Easter Day. I promised last month to tell you something about Holy Week - so here goes!

Holy Week commences after Palm Sunday and leads up to the Last Supper, instituted on Maundy Thursday evening immediately before Jesus went to the garden of Gethsemane, where he was betrayed by Judas and taken away to trial before the High Priest in the early morning and afterwards condemned by Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor. The next day - a Friday - he was crucified on a wooden cross and died - this day is now called Good Friday. On the first day of the week - a Sunday - also known now as Easter Sunday, Jesus rose from the grave. Then follow the great forty days, when Jesus appeared frequently to the disciples and others, teaching and preparing them. On the fortieth day after Easter - which always falls on a Thursday - Jesus ascended into heaven on a day known as Ascension Day. So there you have it! You could get a much more professional and detailed account of events if you attend St. Mary's on a Sunday - go on- give it a try!

Details of our Easter Services will appear elsewhere in this publication together with 'Shire Churches 2000. The vicar - Rev. Femley Symons will be writing an article about this in which St Mary's is to be the hub of this exhibition which runs from Easter to Pentecost (Whit Sunday).

Last month I mentioned that St Mary's may well have a memorial plaque commemorating the Society of Merchant Venturers paying an annual stipend in the 16th century for a minister to look after the spiritual health of seafarers aboard ships at anchor at Stung Road, well I am pleased to announce the Diocesan Advisory Committee has approved the application. It is proposed to erect the plaque on the north wall of the chancel opposite the Clement Dixon memorial and there is a possibility it may be in place by Easter. I will keep you informed.

Finally, I am sorry to report that St Mary's has been the subject of vandalism again. At 7.45 pm on Tuesday 7th March, whilst the community choir was rehearsing Stainer's 'Crucifixion for performance on Good Friday - vandals smashed three leaded light windows at the west end of the church. My wife was close to these windows arranging flowers, left over from a funeral earlier in the day, when they were smashed. She was struck on the foot by a piece of the shattered glass, but fortunately was not injured. She saw several youths run away into Pembroke Road. If any person witnessed this incident or has information regarding the identity of the offenders then please contact PC728 Whiteford at Avonmouth Police Station. I am prepared to pay the sum of 100 to any person who supplies information leading to the identity of subsequent conviction of the offenders.

Bye for now


Library News

There are no activities organised in the library this month but we look forward to seeing our readers over the month.

The library hours for the Easter period are as follows:-

Wednesday 19th April 10-1 and 2-5
Thursday 20th April Closed
Friday 21st April Closed
Saturday 22nd April Closed
Monday 24th April Closed
Tuesday 25th April Closed
Wednesday 26th April 10-1 and 2-5
Normal opening until
Monday 1st May Closed
Normal opening thereafter

Thank you to everyone for your input for the Community diary. Please continue to keep us informed of any events.

A Roomful of Memories

On Sunday, 27 February, the Avonmouth Community Centre was the scene of possibly the biggest Avonmouth nostalgia trip for many a decade, when 70 people gathered together. From 3.00 pm until 5.30 pm we really did witness a roomful of memories when Avonmouth Genealogy Group held a party to launch our Millennium History Project and thank all those who contributed memories to our book. The atmosphere had to be experienced to be believed, eyes lit up as people spotted long lost neighbours and school friends, and the air was filled with reminiscences and the joy of meeting up again after, in some cases, many years. If that was an example of community spirit, then I wish we could bottle it. Everyone had a wonderful time and some travelled a considerable distance to be with us; thank you to them for making the effort. It is a tribute to the community spirit of Avonmouth that they felt they wanted to be with us.

The Avonmouth Archives that we have so far put together, including photographs, transcriptions of baptismal records, census records, directories, and several miscellaneous documents and indexes were all examined and triggered off yet more memories. Here I must say a special Othank you' for the hard work put into transcribing and checking documents by members of our group, and to John and Janet Andrews for many hours spent inputting on the computer; a tremendous effort by all concerned, and not over yet!

A lovely tea was laid on, courtesy of the Genealogy Group, (many thanks to all who provided food) and Pat Maude made us a celebration cake, so our most grateful thanks to her. We took many photographs including several of the group which will form part of our archive, and everyone present signed their names for posterity.

Happy though the occasion was, there is a sad note and that is that Mrs Edie Ward, who had been so looking forward to attending, died a couple of days earlier. Sue and I were privileged to visit her some three weeks before to record her memories of Avonmouth for a proposed second book, and how glad we were that her delightful story was made available to us, it will act as a tribute to a lady who spent all but the last few months of her life, in the same house in Avonmouth Our sincere condolences go to her family at this time.

This illustrates how important it is not to let the experience s of ordinary men and women sink into oblivion, and why we are so anxious to record as much as we can for future generations to read, learn from and enjoy.

On the subject of the book, we have had a total of 600 printed and still have a few left but not many so order as soon as possible. We have decided to call it a day now, but as mentioned earlier, a second book is being worked on as I speak, although we have no plans to have it ready by a particular time. What we would like is for more people to contact us with their memories and photographs, so please call myself (Judy Helme) on my daytime office number: 0117 9382849 , if you would be happy to be interviewed or would like to write your own memories for OAnother mouthful of memories'. Sue and I look forward to hearing from you.

NB. The same telephone number applies if you want us to do a surname search for family history purposes.

Judy Helme.

Don't Take a Tea Break

My mother was in a warden controlled flat for 18 years and has now moved to a residential home although she had paid nearly 300 on the flat to cover her until March.

My husband and myself went to clear her flat, did so much and went home for tea. We got back in under an hour and found that a glass coffee table and an H.M.V. radiogram that had been left outside to take to my mother had gone.

I wish that the person who took it had asked first. If anyone took this furniture in advertently believing it to be no longer required, perhaps it may be returned - we hope so.

February 2000


With hands I give, with hands I take
with hands I hold, or cordially shake
Hands can applaud or clasp in prayer
Hands that will give what I have to share
Hands that can grip, hold and write my name
Hands when I fall will get me up again
Trained as I am, I can wash up and wipe
Prepare the vegetables to please my wife.

Pete Millard


A jubilant Michelle Murray (right) receives from Zoe Ireland of Sunquest Holidays a bottle of champagne as the winner of a nation wide competition after answering every question correctly about relaxing Turkey. Due to the increased popularity of Turkey as a holiday destination by Bristolians, Swift Travel find it necessary to employ an expert for that country. Well done, Michelle.

Where have all the Sparrows gone?

I asked a friend to list all the birds she had seen in Shirehampton, particularly in her large garden, and I added to it those I had seen in my small one. Our list included green woodpecker, greenfinch, jay, robin, bullfinch, great tit, blue tit, coal tit, chaffinch, wren, magpie, starling, sparrow-hawk, blackbird, crow, wagtail, heron, seagull and cormorant, but no sparrows. Why? Is it because of the sparrow-hawk or the predatory cats without bells? There are some sparrows in or near other parts of Bristol. Please write and tell Shire if you can throw any light on this problem, or if you can add to this list of birds which we do see. I have only seen herons by the river, or flying overhead. Has anyone seen one in a garden? The cormorant is a sea-bird which nowadays is seen further and further inland, to the annoyance of anglers, but for the pleasure of those who walk by rivers; recently we saw one fishing in the Tyne in Northumberland, at least twenty miles from the sea, and they often come up the Avon.