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Back to May 2000 SHIRE June 2000 Fowards to July 2000 SHIRE
News Index

What's on in June

New Books

Pictures of Shirehampton

Letters to the Editor

Library News

Attic Find - Search for Francine A. Hugo

Shirehampton Emigrants

'Towards 2000'

Funds Needed

St. Mary's News

A Nonsense Poem

Beating of the Bounds

With the unexpected news of the resignation of the Vicar, the Rev. Fernley Symons, we have unearthed the photograph which was taken at the beating of bounds in 1972, with the Vicar taking part shortly after his arrival in this parish. A full report of his decision to retire is explained in the St. Mary's News article on page 15.

It is now 28 years since the last beating of the bounds took place and before that there had been a lapse of some 80 years. However, the next occasion when this is to be carried out is at the present time, in celebration of the Millennium, on 31st May, 2000.

This ancient custom was explained in the 'SHIRE' edition of September, 1972 by Mr. Ralph Hack, as being traditionally performed to ask God's blessing on the crops and to preserve the rights and properties of the parish. Some used to carry willow wands and with these they beat the boundaries as they were printed out. In this way they were taught to define the limits of their parish. Sometimes young boys were ceremoniously bumped at special boundary stones, as shown in the photograph, thereby inducing a more acute awareness of these markers!

A report of the recent event on 31st May, will be included in our next edition.

STOP PRESS: Planning Information

The Gala Bingo Hall in Station Road ios to close on Saturday 3rd June and will be very much missed not only by people locally but in in a wider area this side of the city. Many of you will have memories of its time as the Savoy Cinema and latterly as the bingo hall, these memories would be very interesting to our readers please write and let us know. Lidi, the supermarket, are interested in purchasing the site and we will keep you informed of any further developments.

During May, the Planning and Environmental Group have continued to send and receive correspondence from Bristol City Council regarding the MOBILE OPHONE MAST at Shirehampton Lodge Hotel, and also the Planning Application for change of use at KINGSWESTON HOUSE.

PLEASE NOTE: The Severn Way Fun Day is provisionally planned for Sunday, 11th June. Please contact Mr Andrew Davies on 903 6539 at Bristol City Office for information, or with offers of assisting in any way with the organisation.

What's on in June

EXHIBITION in St Mary's Church will continue until JUNE 11th. Opening hours are 10 am - 4 pm.

LOCAL ART EXHIBITION at the Public Hall continues to be open June 1st Thursday, June 2nd Friday and June 3rd Saturday, opening hours each day 10 am - 6 pm

JUNE 1st Thursday TOWNSWOMEN'S GUILD meets at 7.30 pm at the Methodist Church Hall. Speaker Mrs Jean Archer on "Producing OShire'".

JUNE 3rd FRIENDS OF ST BERNARD'S SCHOOL present 70s and 80s REVIVAL NIGHT at Avonmouth Rugby Club, Barracks lane. For tickets ring 9381316 or 9048239

JUNE 5th Monday ALL LOCAL SCHOOLS start again after the Half Term Holiday

JUNE 5th Monday OSHIRE' News AGM at 5.30 pm at the Public Hall

JUNE 5th Monday and every Monday SEQUENCE DANCING at the Public Hall for Improvers and Learners 7.30 pm - 9.30 pm

JUNE 6th & 22nd Alternate Tuesdays St Andrew's LADIES CLUB meets at St Andrew's Church Hall at 7.30 pm

JUNE 6th Tuesday LOCAL COUNCILLORS available for consultation at 7.30 pm at Jim O'Neil House

JUNE 7th Wednesday ARTHRITIS CARE meets at 7.30 pm at the Public Hall

JUNE 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th Every Wednesday POLICE ADVICE SURGERY at the Methodist Church Hall, Penpole Ave, (Off High St). Every Wednesday 9 am -11 am

JUNE 16th Friday SENIOR CITIZENS' CELEBRATION at the Public Hall 8-11 pm. Admission by ticket only

JUNE 20th Tuesday RAILWAY MODELLERS meet at 7.30 pm at the Public Hall

JUNE 20th Tuesday EVERGREENS COACH TRIP to Teignmouth

JUNE 21st Wednesday WOMEN'S INSTITUTE meets at 7.30 pm at Methodist Church Hall to hear about OCotswold Manors & Villages' by Mr R. Porton

JUNE 21st Wednesday HAPPY HEARTS meet at 7.30 pm at the Beachley Walk Centre

JUNE 21st Wednesday SHIREHAMPTON STITCHERS meet at 7.30 pm at the Public Hall

JUNE 29th Thursday USING HOME COMPUTORS to manage Home Affairs Course at the Public Hall - Taster

JUNE 30th Friday MONTHLY SEQUENCE DANCE at the Cotswold Community Centre 7.30 - 10.30 pm. Admission 1.50 JUNE 30th - JULY 2nd PAINTINGS OF SHIREHAMPTON at the Public Hall. Please would clubs and societies who would like to be included in the OWHAT'S ON' let us have their programmed of events via the Library as soon as possible.

Know Your Shirehampton!

How well do you know Shirehampton its happenings and history? Enter the Shirehampton Traders Quiz for 50p an entry form.

All correct entries will be put in a box and the draw will take place at The Shirehampton Traders Fun Day to be held again this year at The Lamplighters, on Sunday, 16th July.

Quiz forms will be available from D and O Drapers, PAMS, Tubbs the Butchers and Gary Thomas at the Post Office. Many prizes.

Shirehampton Mmethodist Church

Sunday, 18th June, 2000 at 6.30 p.m.

Special Guest Preacher Rev. Virginia Beckham (U.S.A) and a visit of the Dean Singers Male Voice Choir.

A warm welcome is extended to all.

GARDEN SHEDS. Please remember to make sure your garden shed is securely locked, you don't want anyone breaking in and stealing your mower and all your garden tools. Sheds seem to be the new target for thefts.

Avon Ambulance Service Opens a New Station in Avonmouth

Avon Ambulance Service NHS Trust has opened a new station in Avonmouth. The official opening was carried out on the 11th may by Ann Foot, a former non-executive director of the Ambulance Service who has advocated the need for a station during her term of office.

For some time a suitable site has been sought and eventually The Fire Service came to the rescue in providing premises at their station. The new station will be the twelfth in Avon and will add to the existing sites at Falfield, Almondsbury, Nailsea and Weston-super-Mare which service the busy M5 corridor besides providing immediate cover to the surrounding urban and industrial area.

Among those at the opening was Cllr. Terry Walker Chairman Fire Service Committee, John Terry Chief Fire Officer, David Giles Chairman Avon Ambulance and Kevin Hogarty Chief Executive Avon Ambulance. In his opening remarks Cllr. Walker said that the combined station typified the spirit of co-operation between the two services a point that was further underlined by Mr. Giles.

The event closed with displays of equipment by both services.

New Books

Books recently added to stock at Shirehampton Library


L. ANDREWS The Ties that Bind
D. BALDACCI Saving Faith
C. BINGHAM The love Knot
V. CARLYSLE Sweet Lies
J. CASE The First Horseman
J. CONWAY Cereal Lover
C. COOKSON Kate Hannigan's Daughter
D. CROSDALE Talk Show Tales
N. DEMILLE Lion's Game
S. FAULKS Birdsong
R. FLYNN Over My Dead Body
H. FORRESTER Madame Barbara
A. FRENCH Patches of Fire
E. GASKILL Wives and Daughters
M. GRIMES The Lamorna Wink
J. GRISHAM The Brethren
M. HAYDER Birdman
R. HAMILTON Miss Honora West
S. HEY Scare Story
J. HIGGINS Day of Reckoning
A. JACOBS Like No Other
P. KERR The Shot
J. LOCK Dead Image
J. LONG Knowing Max
J. LUNN Killgrew R.N.
N. PLANER The Right Man
A. RANDALL Kilkenny Bay
S. SAYLOR The House of the Vestals
B. SCHLINK The Reader
K. SEALEY The Saint John's Fern
V. SETH A Suitable Boy (3 vol)
G. SEYMOUR Holding the Zero
S. STRAIGHT The Getting Place
J. TATE For the Love of a Soldier
R. THOMPSON The Iron Stirrup
M. TODD Jail Bait
R. WOODMAN The Guineaman

Plus numerous new titles in adult's non-fiction

Avonmouth Bowling Club Seeks New Members

Avonmouth Bowling Club, which is situated in Barracks Lane, would like to acquire new members (ladies and gentlemen). Our open evenings are Monday and Friday throughout the summer. For more information please contact Arthur (Captain) on 983 9805, Ken (Secretary) on 983 9429 or ring the Clubhouse on 982 4730.

Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road


Monday: Monday Ladies' Club, 2.30-4.00pm. Bingo, Speakers, Entertainment.

New members welcome.

Tuesday: Bingo. Eyes down at 7pm until 9pm. Doors open at 6.30pm Thursday: Line Dancing Tuition, 2.00-3.15pm. Followed by cup of tea and chat.

Friday: Sequence Dance, a monthly event, June 30th, 7.30pm-10.30pm.

Irish Night at Portway Community School

The committee of the Friend of Portway take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in the very successful event held at the school last Friday evening.

It was a very enjoyable and entertaining evening and special thanks should be afforded to the Pat Carr Band, Leon and Sue, the school management and caretakers, the Bristol Evening Post, Shire and everyone who helped. Sincere thanks also go to Simple Simon, Bobbetts and Courage Wstern Limited for their valuable support.

Portway is a real community school and this was certainly proved with the attendance of so many local people simply wanting to enjoy themselves! Indeed, the school hall has probably never seen so many people dancing at one time.

We are now confident that, having witnessed the level of demand for such entertainment, we can start to make plans for a repeat in the autumn.

The Committee, The Friends of Portway

Help Required?

Hello, my name is Kellie. I am 14 years old and am trying to raise 800 for a school trip to Morocco.I am willing to baby-sit, car wash and do odd jobs around the house.References are available. Please contact me by emailing Shire on the Web.

Shirehampton Sailing Club Open Day

The Club are holding an Open Day on Saturday 10th June, at 12 noon to 4pm at their Club House, on the riverbank close to the Lamplighters Pub, Station Road, Shirehampton, to give local people a chance to see how much fun sailing can be. and to meet the friendly members of their small group. For further information, please telephone 0117 971 5215.


Very many thanks to Bob and May Brocklebank, two Shirehamptonians, for your generous donation to SHIRE, which has been forwarded by Mr Doul. Perhaps some of your old friends may wish to get in touch and we therefore add your address:

9 Russell Street, Mt Pritchard,
NSW, 2170

Pictures of Shirehampton

As part of our Millennium Celebrations, a special exhibition of paintings and pictures of Shirehampton and district will be held at the Public Hall on 1st and 2nd July from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. Artists are invited to submit up to four pictures, which must be framed, fitted with screw eyes and wire or cord for hanging. A label should be attached to each picture giving the following information:

Name of artist:
Title of picture:
Price (if for sale):

Pictures should be handed in at the Public Hall on Friday, 30th June, after 4pm.

Pictures may be collected after the exhibition closes at 6pm on Sunday, 2nd July. Pictures which are sold will not be removed from the screens until the exhibition closes.

This may be the only chance you will have of seeing an exhibition of this type. Don't miss it make a note in your diary.

SHIRE 2000 - Senior Citizens Celebration

At the public hall, on friday 16th june from 8 to 11pm free transport available After the celebration is over - free transport is provided! Arrangements have been made for a mini-coach to ferry the partygoers to various areas of Shirehampton, so that they are dropped off within walking distance of their homes.

If you wish to use this service, please see Barbara Wylde when arriving at the Public Hall in order to reserve your seat.

There are a few free tickets still available for this event, which may be collected from Barbara Wylde at the Public Hall on Monday 12th June, from 2 to 3pm. (Shirehampton residents only). Free tickets HHH free buffet HHH free transport

Letters to the Editor

Line Dance in the Public Hall

Dear Shire,

I write on behalf of In Touch to ask Shire to publicise the Line Dance we have organised to raise funds. The Line Dance is on Friday, 23rd June in Shirehampton Public Hall, Station Road. The fun is due to take place from 7.30 to 11.00pm. Tickets only 5 for adults, 3.50 for concessions and 2.50 for children. A light buffet is included. There will be a licensed bar. Tickets from Lawrence Weston Action on Health on 0117 914 8483 (answer phone).

In Touch is a voluntary project based in Lawrence Weston. The counselling service offered by In Touch is free to adults who are parents or carers and experienced abuse as a child or who care for children with problems involving child abuse. In Touch was formed in 1997, through counselling we aim to provide survivors of child abuse a way of working through their emotions and experiences and to encourage them as individuals to develop positive attitudes, relationships and social skills in a safe positive environment. We hope this will promote independence, improve their quality of life, raise levels of achievements and stop the damage from being passed from one generation to the next by providing survivors of child abuse the hope of leading a fufilled life.

Rosemary Clarke (Ms)

Verger of St. Mary's

With reference to the Beachams, my Father was verger of St. Mary's Church for many years, which is confirmed by the extract shown of the 1939 magazine.

Thomas Beacham

(This refers to a letter from Mrs. Ethel Thomas in the February, 2000 edition which stated that Mr. Beacham Senior had become a Verger at St. Mary's, Stoke Bishop, and not at Shirehampton.

On checking with St. Mary Magdalene at Stoke Bishop, it was found that Mr. Beacham, after very many years, left St. Mary's, Shirehampton, and became Verger and Sexton at Stoke Bishop). Ed.

Shirehampton Community Choir

Dear Editor,

I am looking forward to the restart of rehearsals on 16th May for the Summer Concert on Saturday, 29th July (evening).

I personally get so much pleasure from taking part and felt I must say thanks, in particular to Tim Forder and Derek Harvey for their hard work and dedication.

Being able to share in the 'Stainer's Crucifixion' on Good Friday was a very uplifting experience, the words of 'God so loved the World' became inspirational. Christine Collins.

Mrs Eileen Dawson (pictured above) would like to thank family and friends for her many cards, bouquets and gifts on her 85th birthday.

Poetway Lower School

Dear Editor,

Hi! My Mum has sent us some photo's of the Portway Lower School after it was knocked down, all I can say is, what a shame! I have some great memories of the old school (some 32 years ago). My maiden name was Jen Cox, I used to live at 665 Portway, my older sister, Janet lives on the Portway in Shirehampton, Mum moved to Stoke Bishop with Dad some years ago, and after 18 months sadly we lost my Dad, Jim Cox (11 years this December). Dad worked as a Docker at Avonmouth Docks, he has two surviving brothers and one sister spread around Bristol. I have two boys from my previous marriage to Michael Button, Lee, 26 years old, and Shane, 24 years, they both love Australia. I found out a few years ago that a girl I went to school with (her maiden name is Jane Painter) lives in Melbourne with her husband from Lawrence Weston (Ray Bounsall). I met and married Kerry Evans of Lawrence Weston 14 years ago, his family lives around Shirehampton and Sea Mills, he has two sisters and one brother. We emigrated to Western Australia 10 years ago this June, we live near the beach in a suburb called Warnbro, 35km south of Perth. It would be lovely to hear from any old friends of ours, whether its by e-mail ( or he old snail mail (snail mail address 6 Salcombe Way, Warnbro, 6169 Perth, Western Australia).

Jen & Kerry Evans

Anzac Day

Dear Editor,

I received this account of Anzac Day from my brother and thought it might interest readers, hoping that there may still be folk in Shirehampton who remember him. He lived in Shirehampton in the 20s and 30s, was a Choir Boy at St. Mary's under Billy Powell, when the Rev. Dixon was vicar. He went to Shirehampton Junior Boys School.

Mrs G. R. McLaughlin (nee A'Court) Sister.

Many thanks for your donation to Shire funds Ed.

Harry A'Court writes from Perth in Western Australia, with an interesting description of Anzac Day (25th April), which is Australia's Great Remembrance Day.

Dawn services were held at every town and city cenotaph, no matter how humble. The last post and reveille echoed across the land, followed later by 'Trench Breakfast', rallies and marches ad infinitum. The magnificent city of Perth was one of the last to celebrate, being furthest west, and celebrations were only slightly dampened by an autumn drizzle. We hiked along Langley Park to the Parade Ground and were in time to see the Grand Parade. There were eight bagpipe bands (two of girls), Salvation Army Band, City Band and Service Bands. All services were represented with mighty rows of medals, banners and decorations, to beggar description. As a former Bomber Pilot and Pathfinder, I was content to be a spectator with the other 'Pathfinders'.

At the famous King's Park, no less that 10,000 early birds saw Major General Sir Michael Jefferies light a new flame of remembrance and place a wreath at the Cenotaph (reminding us of the great debt owed to Australia for their participation in World War II).

After this we of the Pathfinders hiked back to the Novotel Hotel and enjoyed a slip-up lunch, and a deal of reminiscing, then home to re-enact it all on TV.

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 Othe big school'.

The voice of 'Gandy' (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 memento.

Mollie Young (Brearley)

8 Trinder Road, Easton in Gordano,
North Somerset BS20 0LX


Congratulations to Jane and Nick Dawson on the birth of their son Joseph Nicholas who 'weighed in' at 8lb 15oz.

Library News

YES, as those of you have been into the Library in the last couple of weeks will know, we now have a photocopier, so PLEASE make use of this facility to ensure that we can keep it.

We have two main activities during June, one involving children, which is on the 16th, when we are taking part in an attempt to get an entry into the Guinness Book of Records for the most childrens' books issued on one day so come on Mums, Dads and Grandparents, give us your support and make sure that Friday, 16th June is the day that YOUR children/grandchildren come to the Library and take books out, or you take books for them. Throughout June we will be running a promotion for adult readers, 'Well Worth Reading Life on Earth', giving them an opportunity to travel the world and see places through the eyes of people who live there. There will be a good selection of books, both fiction and non-fiction, written by authors from around the world (all in English, having been translated if necessary), so whilst having an enjoyable read, you can find out what life in different countries is really like. Whether you are an avid reader, an armchair traveller or just curious about other ways of life, we are sure to have something to suit you.

Local History

The village of Shirehampton, in the 17th and early 18th centuries, consisted of 36 dwellings, housing just over 40 families and having a total population of around 200 people. We know of the people who live in Shirehampton at this time and we also know their occupations from the probate inventories. Perhaps some of the following have descendants living in Shirehampton today!

Arthur King Vintner
Arthur Baker Husbandman
Elizabeth Dyer Widow
Henry Durberne Mariner
Richard Highway Husbandman
Thomas Whiting Yeoman
John Prior Yeoman
Anthony Matthew Pilot
Thomas Sergeant Husbandman
William Matthews Mariner
Thomas Collins Yeoman
William Rome Husbandman
John Green Yeoman
Roger Wade Mariner
John Pearce Thatcher
Christopher Wilcox Yeoman
John Cheshire Husbandman
Thomas Smith Yeoman
Elizabeth Bateman Widow
Thomas Cobden Husbandman
William Woodham Husbandman
George Morris Husbandman
Margaret Smith Widow
Joan Taylor Widow
John Clement Butcher
William Parker Yeoman
John Stokes Yeoman
Richard Willington Yeoman

Apart from the few who made their living as seamen, nearly everyone else was involved in agriculture, either as husbandman (small farmer), or yeoman (farming over 50 acres).

Attic Find - Search for Francine A. Hugo

A variety of certificates for music, elocution etc, awarded to Francine Hugo in the 40s and 50s, together with wedding photographs, has been uncovered in the attic of No 47 Clifford Gardens.

If Francine sees this, or anyone who knows her present address, please ring SHIRE on 0117 983 2663, or write to SHIRE at The Library, Public Hall, Station Road, Shirehampton, Bristol, BS11 9TU.

Shirehampton Emigrants

The photograph shows (left to right) Ron Osman, Jessie Gazzard, and Mary and Kip (Cliff) Johnson at the Johnson's house in New South Wales, Australia. It was taken in January.

Ron Osman is the twin brother of Gil Osman and was born in Walton Road. He emigrated in 1969 and is a carpenter.

Jessie Gazzard emigrated in 1986. She used to live in Nibley Road and then Walton Road. In the background can be seen a painting by her late husband, Reg, of the Avon Gorge and Suspension Bridge.

Kip has retired from owning and running a supermarket; he sold it as a going concern. Mary still owns and runs two souvenir shops. They used to live in Walton Road and emigrated in 1968. Mary's maiden name was Bassey and her brother, Roger Bassey, lives with his wife a short distance away (in Australian terms!).

All enjoy the Australian lifestyle, but hold fond memories of Shire and Bristol. Kip and Mary were delighted to get through to the Shire Website on their computer recently.

'Towards 2000'

We didn't think the Grainger Players could improve on their already high standards but they have excelled themselves yet again. What a lovely and entertaining evening we spent on Saturday 15th April. We don't like to pick any one out as everyone did exceptionally well but one name has to be mentioned, and that is Lydia. Only eight years old and heading for stardom in our eyes. Thank you to all who took part, and to Shirl, Liz Mon and cast for giving us a great evening and keeping the community spirit going. Thank you also to all the audience over the three night's performances who donated to the retiring collection, raising 105.00 for the Bristol Branch of the MS Society. Your continued support is so very much appreciated.

Yours sincerely

Barrie & Marina Griffiths
Fundraisers/Publicity Officers

Thanks to the Grainger Players

To all the cast and background staff of the Grainger Players
From the residents of Jim O'Neil House

A big thank you for a Night to Remember' from the residents of Jim O'Neil House, who attended the Millennium Show on O.A.P. night. This spectacular show in which costumes, music and singing were excellent. A special mention must be made to Paul, whose rendition of 'Sailing' touched all our hearts and Lydia singing OTomorrow' must surely have a great future. Also, who could forget that bit of Omagic' from Monica as Tommy Cooper. This was a thoroughly enjoyable evening, and aren't we glad we took our cushions.


Barbara (Warden) and Residents

Kingswestern Preservation Society -


Dates for your diary -

SUMMER GARDEN PARTY - Saturday 13th June in the Secret Garden. AUTUMN MEETING - Tuesday 26th September, at Kingsweston School at 7.30 p.m. with a speaker from English Heritage.

CHRISTMAS PARTY - Tuesday 5th December at Kingsweston School 7.30 p.m.

Speaker to be confirmed.

(Chairman: Beryl Keller, Tel: 909 3473)

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 riv er, 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.

Funds Needed

In the 14 years since its rebirth Pill Regatta has gone from strength to strength. In the tradition of the sailing pilots dating back to John Cabot and the OMatthew', events have been held on the River Avon since 1986. Over 50 local youngsters have been sent on sail training adventures and a large fleet of boats acquired, most of them built by Chairman Robin Wall, with some help from the Committee.

For some years the boats have been stored in a building next to the Creek. At the end of 1999 the boathouse was put up for sale with very little notice. Not having funds to buy the property, the Regatta Committee had to think and act fast. It was decided to bid at auction in London, the funds to be found in the short term from personal loans. Happily the property was secured but will cost close to 15,000.

Now the huge task of raising enough cash to repay the generous interest-free loans has begun. It has been agreed to settle up before this year's Regatta on 26th August. A variety of different charities including the National Lottery are being approached but with no guarantee that these will be helpful, work has already started locally. A scheme to sell shares has been abandoned as not viable, though donations will not be refused. Apart from organising events themselves, the Committee are inviting everyone, particularly those who have been sent on sailing trips or enjoyed previous Regattas to repay the investment by raising funds themselves. Any sort of undertaking will be welcomed - a sponsored row to Flatholm, a walk or cycle, coffee morning, plant sale, whist drive, fashion show or plain old-fashioned collection; the possibilities are endless. Anyone with cash or ideas please contact Robin Wall on 01275 372216.


When Portishead Cruising Club heard that there was a chance that the boathouse would be lost because Regatta had no funds an offer was put in to buy before the auction. As soon as it became obvious that the Regatta Committee was planning to bid, PCC immediately withdrew to prevent a conflict of interest. Despite deciding not to make any direct donation the Club was extremely supportive and pledged to help with fund-raising, with a river cruise planned. The possibility of renting dinghy parking will also be explored. As a show of good faith a spontaneous collection at an EGM realised over 220!

St. Mary's News

Hi folks!

The main news I have for you this month is our Vicar The Rev. Fernley Symons, is shortly to retire. It was with some shock and surprise on Sunday, 7th May, when Fernley informed the Parochial Church Council that he intended to retire and his last Sunday as Vicar of St. Mary's would be on Sunday, 30th July, 2000.

Fernley is taking retirement on the grounds of disability. The car accident in 1998 in which both he and Della were involved, has caused them considerable physical and emotional stress. In fact Della has never made a full recovery and still suffers from the arm injury she sustained at the time.

I am sure their children Ben, Eleanor and Jo will be delighted with the decision. Eleanor did mention to me and my wife some 18 months ago that her parents were working under considerable strain and she would be greatly relieved when they decided to retire.

Fernley and Della have been with us since 1972, some 28 years, which is the same number of years the late Rev. Clement Dixon was Vicar of Shirehampton. He was here from 1920 until 1948 when the late Rev. Jim Lovejoy became the incumbent.

We wish both Della and Fernley a long, happy and healthy retirement away from the pressure of parish life.

There will obviously be a vacuum when Fernley leaves us and we shall no doubt have a variety of ministers conducting services at St. Mary's until a new incumbent is appointed. Please continue to give St. Mary's your support during this interregnum.

Another person who is taking a well earned break is Derek Ford. He announced at the Annual Meeting that he wished to stand down as Churchwarden after 16 years holding the position. The Vicar thanked Derek warmly for all the exemplary work he had done over those years. Neil Wyatt will take over from Derek and the other Churchwarden is Tony Sawyer.

Finally, if you haven't visited the exhibition in St. Mary's you only have until Whitsun to do so! There are plenty of interesting exhibits and there's a chance of a cuppa too!

Bye for now.


A Nonsense Poem

When the Lord gave out brains,
I thought he said 'trains'
And I missed mine!

When the Lord gave out looks,
I thought he said 'books'
And I didn't want any

When the Lord gave out noses,
I though he said 'roses'
And I ordered a big red one!

When the Lord gave out legs,
I thought he said 'kegs'
And I orderd two fat ones!

When the Lord gave out ears,
I thought he said 'beers'
And I ordered two long ones!

When the Lord gave out chins,
I thought he said 'gins'
And I said - 'Give me a double!'

Oh Lord, I'm in a mess!