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Shire Baths - What Next?

The future of the baths is an extremely important issue for the people of the village and the surrounding area. If it does go, what will be built in its place? Would it be better to have a new, modern baths built next to the Robin Cousins Sports Centre (with an adequate bus service for the elderly and disabled, of course)? Health and other authorities are concerned about the increasing unfitness of the general population, so it must be up to the powers that be to provide the means to attract more people to take part in all kinds of physical activity (see Community Group report inside).

Photo: E Verey

Show Surprise in Store!!

Well, that's true - if you're used to the Grainger Players' shows! We've decided that, for our special Christmas Community Get-Together evening, we'll just have a bit of a change.

If you enjoy comedy, joining in with a sing-along and a relaxing, comfortable evening - it should be all of that.

We've been asked quite a few times to revive a pantomime, but I've always kind of rejected the idea, because of all the work (plus getting the players to remember lines, etc). Well, again, stand back! I have put a 'potted panto' in the first half(adult fashion), which contains a fair amount of comedy, plus audience participation (even Gil, our pianist, has a part - how about that - and he volunteered!)

The second half will have all the Christmas songs (not carols), which you can join in, plus a few surprises.

I think that, if you want to have a pre-Christmas evening to get your season into swing, this may well do it - or it'll put you off Christmas altogether! So why not join us on either Thurs November 30th, or Friday 1st December, Saturday 2nd December - 7.15 at Shire Public Hall?Your pre-booked tickets can now be picked up from Liz's Flower Shop, High Street, Shire (Tel: 9381332). Prices: Thursday £1.50 for all. Friday and Saturday: Adults £3, Senior Citizens £2.50, Children £2.  Hope to see you there!


New Year's Eve Party

Last year's party was such a success, we've been asked to repeat it - and it looks like becoming a permanent feature. There are many in our community, who would like to spend New Year's Eve with someone, rather than alone.So the venue is the same - The Public Hall. The date of course, December 31st. Bring your own drink and nibbles (or sandwiches etc, as many of you have said you prefer to do that).

It's 8pm till midnight (or thereabouts). Doors close at 9.30 pm. It's tickets only and tickets are limited. Cost: adults £3, children £2.  All children are the responsibility of their parents/parent or guardian and we ask that you do control your children with regard to the dance floor. It worked well last year. So, why not join us and be the guests of Shirl, Liz, Mon and Norman? See you there! All proceeds to the Public Hall Fund. Tickets available from Liz's Flowers, High Street (next to hairdressers).

Many thanks to the Avonmouth Skittles League

Members of the Shirehampton Evergreens Club thank the Avonmouth Skittles League for their generous donation of £50, which was received on 6th October at their Presentation Evening at the Port of bristol Club, and is very much appreciated. Norman Sims.

Trip to Chepstow Market

Arrangements have been made by the Evergreens Club for a trip to Chepstow Market on Sunday, 3rd December, with a four course Christmas Dinner included for £14.

The coach will leave St Mary's Church at 9.30 am and will pick up at Lawrence Weston. For further information, please ring Norman Sims on 982 3180.

Public Hall Events

Tables for the Christmas Fayre at the Public Hall on Saturday, 9th December, from 10 am to 1 pm, can be booked by ringing 982 3180 or 982 9963, at £5 per table.

Tickets for the New Year's Eve Community Celebrations at the Public Hall on 31st December are now available at 'Flowers by Liz', 27a High Street, or at the Public Hall on Fridays from 1 pm to 4 pm. Ticket prices: Adults £3, Senior Citizens £2.50 and children £2.

Events for 2001

May 12th - Maesteg Children's Choir
June 30th - Maesteg Men's Choir
Ticket details will be announced later

Creative Writing Group

Would the writer who expressed an interest in forming or joining a Creative Writing Group, which was inserted in the September issue, please ring 'Shire' on 983 2663, as we have received some enquiries.

School Children of World War II

The photo in the September edition shows in the back row Linda Smalcot (nee Bailey), Hilda Russell (nee Rumble) and Betty Mansfield (nee Green).  Unfortunately, Linda and Betty have passed away; Hilda lives in Henbury. the Rumble family lived in Old Quarry Road as children and Miriam, Joyce and Ronald still live in Shirehampton. We have received no news of Angus McLeod or the other lad in the photo.

Hilda Russell has recently visited Deveron and was very disappointed as it is a 'dying' village with only the old Post Office and the Deveron Inn remaining open. However, the Inn is highly recommended! Ed.

Books recently added to stock at Shirehampton Library


S. Baxter        Space
J. Burns         Spike
C. Chambers      A Dry Spell
S. Coonts        Fortunes of War
V. Corby         Seven Week Itch
M. Dickinson     The Tulip Girl
P. Fotheringham  Death of a Lonely Warrior
D. Francis       Shattered
C. Harrod-Eagles The Longest Dance
H. Hawksley      Dragonfire
J. Higgins       The President's Daughter
T. Hoag          Dust to Dust
Q. Jardine       Thursday Legends
J. McClure       The Song Dog
D. Mamet         The Old Religion
A. Perry         The One Thing More
D. Reeman        Sunset
R. Rendell       To Fear a Painted Lady
E. Rhodes        The Birthday Party
T. Smith         The Innocents
M. J. Staples    The Way Ahead
R. Woodman       The Privateersman


155.93    Deits   . Life After Loss
296       -    .    Judaism
356.167   Ramsey  . The Soldier's Story
362.732   Cook  .   Promise of Hope
364.1523  Clarkson Kenny Noye, Killer on the Road
635.9671  Courtier Courtyard and Patio Plants
636.8     Gair  .   Family Pet Guide; Cat
639.37    Geran   . Proper Care of Goldfish
641.5636  McCartney World of Vegetarian Cooking
641.822   Fraser  . The Pasta Recipe Book
780.92HAL Haliwell  If Only
796.352   Newell  . How to Play Golf
914.23    -      . West Country of England and the Channel Islands
914.29    Parker  . Rough Guide to Wales
940.5421  Clayton . Finest Hour

A new community worker speaks

As we explained in the last issue of Shire, Ian Bone, the former Hall Development Officer, has moved sideways to work on a community profile of our area, which will produce very useful and informative facts to help us - and others - to meet Shirehampton's needs. It will also inform those of us who are working to make the Hall a central and pleasant venue for Shire groups, meetings and entertainments. My name is Kate Pollard and in September I stepped into Ian's shoes as the Hall's Development Officer. my job is to continue to develop the hall in directions we would (hopefully), all like to go.

We are eagerly looking forward to the complete adaptation and modernisation of our antiquated loos to make them accessible to all potential users of the Hall courtesy of Bristol City Council, who have contributed so much to our recent refurbishment. We are also awaiting news of funding which will finance the complete redecoration of our hall, and we will keep you posted on the outcome of this.the Hall's hall and meeting rooms are now very well-used by a number of groups, special interest clubs and education classes. However, there ARE a few slots left, so if you have ever longed to set up or just to suggest a new club or class, and would like help and/or encouragement, do please get in touch with me - I'm in most weekday mornings. Let us know what you think.. Or for bookings, please contact bookings Secretary Jeanette Cossey who is one of the stalwart volunteers - the hardworking band of Hall community association members.

Before I go, I want to tell you about Shirehampton's Afterschool Club which a number of people have been working hard, in collaboration with Ian and BAND, to set up on your behalf for next April. We would now welcome more management member for this group. If we are successful, (another bid), and the club goes ahead, preparations will be fast and furious and social events are also planned. We won't deny that you'll get hard work thrown at you, but if you'd like to come along with us, it should all be eventful, friendly and ultimately fun from here on!

More later, as things develop - Contact numbers:

Kate at the Public Hall - 982 9963 + answerphone (I will get back to you!)
Jeanette and bookings - 982 3174

Old Park Road Information

Dear Editor,

I am wondering whether it would be possible to obtain any information from your readers about Old Park Road in Shirehampton. We have been told that there was a well under a certain house (41) and if anyone has any knowledge of this, or any other information about the area, going back perhaps 100 years, we would welcome hearing from them.

Please reply to:

Mrs F. B. Scott
c/o 'Shire'
The Library
Station Road
Bristol BS11 9TU.

1955 Schools Swimming Team

Dear Editor,

I was pleased to read the article 'In the Swim' about the 1955 schools swimming team. The group included Wendy Love who is my Godmother and Irene George now Irene Perkins who is my mother. She often tells us of the disappointment the team felt at being disqualified in the finals, and insists that all the girls touched the wall after each race. She carried on swimming and eventually became and ASA STA swimming teacher forming her own school of swimming in the late 1970s. During this time she taught hundreds of Bristol school children to swim and only gave up late last year when my father died. mum now lives in Severn beach and often wonders what happened to her friends of 1955.

Deborah Britton, Shirehampton

Where are you now? If you were a member of the 1955 schools swimming team group, please write and let us know where you are now to:

The Editor 'Shire'
The Library
Station Road
Bristol BS11 9TU

Christmas Messages

If you wish your Christmas messages to family and friends to be included in the Christmas edition of 'Shire' (20 words for £1), please send your request by 10th November to:

The Library
Public Hall
Station Road
Bristol BS11 9TU

Christmas 'Shire'

Help us to make the Christmas edition of 'Shire' a bumper issue. Let us have your Christmas recollections, jokes, recipes etc at the Library by November 10th. Many thanks from the 'Shire' team.

Prize Rise!

Wordsearch Puzzle No 32

This month's Wordsearch puzzle contains 9 makes of Lorry. Send your answers to WORDSEARCH No 32, The Editor, 'Shire', The Library, Station Road, Shirehampton, Bristol BS11 9TU, in a sealed envelope by November 10th.  The first correct entry opened will receive a PRIZE TO THE VALUE OF £5.

Shirehampton Community Group AGM

Held in the Public Hall on Wednesday 20 September 2000

There were 38 people present. The meeting was chaired by Philip Squire who welcomed those present.

Secretary's Report

Presented by J Parsons. In the past year, after much pleading and persuading, some of the pavements in the village were refurbished and widened, but the campaign must continue for two sections still to be done. A second victory, again after much persistence, was to acquire Shirehampton signs round the village. In conjunction with the Public Hall Association SCG helped finance the production of postcards of the fountain, which sold well and showed a profit.

In March a presentation on Waste Management was given. John Callaghan and the Planning and Environment section have been busy with various planning matters over the year and Phil Squire has passed on information about crime rates and given police contact numbers. Thanks to Judy Helme for producing accurate minutes of the meetings.

Philip Squire thanked John for his report and work for the committee.

Finance Report - Accounts

A copy of the Accounts was distributed and reported on by John Parsons. The closing balance is £244.05. John Callaghan proposed we accept the accounts, Sue Hook seconded. Thanks were extended to John Parsons for his work as Treasurer.

Election of Officers

As Roland Jone has left the area there is a vacancy both as a Trustee and Community Care section leader. Brenda Dammers was willing to stand as a Trustee - proposed Sue Hook, seconded David Thomas.  As all other officers and section leaders were willing to stand again and there were no other nominations, the committee now stands as follows:

General Secretary      John Parsons
Treasurer     John Parsons
Minutes Secretary      Judy Helme
Trustees Brenda Dammer, Andrew Stewart, Philip Squire

Section Leaders:
Planning & Environment      John Callaghan
Community Care      vacant
Highways     John Parsons
Law & Order      Philip Squire
Youth & Schools      Andrew Stewart
En bloc proposed by Sue Hook, seconded by David Thomas.

The meeting was asked if anyone would volunteer to cover Community Care which would have to start from scratch as there is no previous correspondence or paperwork available. No one came forward. This concluded the AGM.

General Meeting

Presentation by Cllr Pat Roberts on the future of Shirehampton Swimming Pool Cllr Roberts introduced Colleen Bevan, Sports Officer for Bristol City Council, then proceeded to explain the history of Bristol's swimming pool facilities, commenting that 4 pools were built in the 1930's, 2 in the 1960's, one in the 1970's and the last one in 1989, this latter one being a leisure centre because it was believed that more facilities attracted more people, than stand alone pools.

For some time it has been evident that the current pool facilities are inadequate and some in ageing buildings which are expensive to maintain. In 1998 the Kit Campbell Report produced statistics on pool usage and showed Shirehampton to be the second least used pool in the city. Following this report the Leisure Services Scrutiny Commission set up a cross-political party working party of 4 people who are trying to encourage public interest.  Their tasks include looking at means of financing adequate and modern pool provision, and here Cllr Roberts outlined various ideas for funding, but there also has to be a consensus on what sort of pool/leisure facilities are required and where they should be located. It has been decided to set up a Citizens Jury which consists of up   to 16 independent citizens, who have 4 days to study all the information the Council has provided and do their own investigations, before coming up with a report to put before the Council, with a possible solution to the problem. An independent consultant has been chosen and a profile of the jury, which fairly represents the make-up of Bristol's population, has been produced. Work to set up the jury will start in October 2000.

Cllr Roberts and her colleagues have visited the Bristol pools and several possibilities have come to mind, such as dual usage of school pools, and tacking pools on to existing leisure centres because these attract more people. Visits outside Bristol to popular modern facilities have also produced ideas. A ten year plan is, therefore, being worked on and although nothing has been decided yet, one idea for financing new facilities is to sell a piece of Council owned land to fund perhaps a pool facility at an existing leisure centre, then close an old pool, sell the land and finance building of a newer one, and so on. It was stressed that this is just an idea at present, nothing defininte has been decided, there are many hurdles to cross and at present Shirehampton Pool remains open.  From the floor - various comments were made. Concerns were expressed on what would be built on the land if the Shire pool closed. If the pool was closed in say the next two years for safety reasons, would we ever regain the facility, because Robin Cousins would not have a pool built on by then.  Regular swimmers admitted Shire pool could be improved and they would not object to going to Robin Cousins, assuming a pool was built there, but it would not be convenient for less mobile users. Better facilities would be welcomed, if we got them but there was some cynicism about whether this would happen. The major concern was that if Shire pool closed, we would not get a replacement nearby.

In reply, Cllr Roberts said the public could have their say at one of the 'Road Shows' being held to gauge public opinion. There would be one at Robin Cousins Centre on Thursday 5 October between 2 and 3pm or people can write to Bristol News, Bristol City Council, Freepost SWB535, Bristol BS1 5ZZ.

Section Reports

a) Law and Order Presented by Philip Squire.

The increased crime figures in the area are largely made up of thefts of or from cars and other types such as shop lifting. Vandalism is rife and anyone hearing such acts at night should dial 999 but if possible not put on a light to alert the culprits, because the police need to catch them in the act. There is a meeting for Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators in the Victoria Rooms on 27 September at 7.30pm, attended by the Chief Constable who is keen to set up more schemes. On 14 October a joint police and neighbourhood watch group will patrol streets in crime hotspots looking for vulnerable cars (those with items on view that would attract thieves). There are still concerns about groups of youths hanging round in the village and Sgt Geoff Williams explained that the police are liasing with the Council to sort the problems out. If the young people are not committing crimes they cannot be moved on, but the local police talk to them and get to know them.

b) Planning & Environment Presented by John Callaghan.

Bingo Hall site - several people have written to John  about this site and their views will be directed to the Planning Department. Lidl has approached some local property owners, including some of the shop premises in Station Road, but as yet no planning application has been made. There are concerns about conserving the Edwardian architecture in this part of Station Road and safeguarding the village heritage. In 1993 there was a move to consider incorporating Station Road north of the Portway into the conservation area, as that part south of the Portway is already incorporated. It is perhaps time to resurrect this proposal. Anyone wishing to make their views known can contact John.

One-2-One - Mr Cadman has written to John saying that he believes One-2-One has confirmed an alternative site on the high rise flats behind High Street could be used. Currently discussions are taking place with BCC and, as yet, no commitment to removing the existing mast has been made. There is nothing definite at present so remain vigilant.

Pembroke Road Car Sales - nothing further yet although the Council have now received many complaints about illegal parking, washing of cars etc. The police have been in attendance but it is not known why.  Severnside Warning System - there is a proposal to site a siren on Lamplighters Marsh which is a conservation area and next to a site of special scientific interest. It is not known whether this would adversely affect the wildlife there. The currently positioned sirens cannot be heard at Shirehampton and there is doubt whether this proposed one would be, althought Pill would hear it. Cllr Roberts explained that there are two sirens destined for Portishead but they cannot agree on locations so we can have them, althought ideally many more are needed in the area as a whole.  Allotments - anyone wishing to have an allotment should contact the Allotments Section of Leisure services, Colston House, Colston Street, Bristol BS1 5AQ, telephone 9223737. There are plenty available and if they are not used the land could be re-developed.

Highways - Presented by John Parsons. Work is being carried out on Station Road, pavements. John has written to the Council about various trees that need trimming, especially by St Bernard's School. He is still trying to get lamps installed where needed. With the onset winter, people are urged to report non working lamps and let John know the number of the lamp.

Date of next meeting: Wednesday 29 November, 2000


NOVEMBER 1st Every Wednesday & Friday 9.30am - 11am. Drop in Advice Sessions at the A.U.S. Cottage, High Street (next door to Twyford House)
NOVEMBER 1st and every Wednesday Police Surgery at the Methodist Church Hall (off Penpole Ave) 9am - 11am.
NOVEMBER 1st Every Wednesday Early Morning Swimming 7am - 9am at Shirehampton Baths.
NOVEMBER 1st Wednesday Arthritis Care meets at the Public Hall at 7.30pm. NOVEMBER 2nd Thursday Townswomen's Guild meets at the Methodist Church Hall at 7.30pm to hear Mrs A Bowering speak on ³The Gunpowder Plot². NOVEMBER 2nd Thursday every week Line Dancing at the Cotwold Centre 2pm - 3.15pm £2 per session.
NOVEMBER 3rd Friday Bingo at the Public Hall. Doors open 6.15pm start 7pm.
NOVEMBER 6th Monday every week Avonmouth Ladies Hockey Training 7pm - 8.30 at Gordano School, Portishead.
NOVEMBER 7th Tuesday St. Andrew's Ladies Club meets at St. Andrew's Church Hall, Avonmouth at 7.30pm. Talk on Dreams & Wishes.  NOVEMBER 7th Tuesday Local Councillors are available for consultation 7.30pm at Jim O'Neil House.
NOVEMBER 9th Thursday Tea Dance at Sea Mills Methodist Church Hall 2.30pm - 4.30pm. Entrance £1 with Dave Morey.
NOVEMBER 14th Tuesday Railway Modellers meet at 7.30pm at the Public Hall. NOVEMBER 15th Wednesday Women's Institute meets at Methodist Church Hall for talk ³Wild flowers in the Avon Gorge² by Mr K Taylor.NOVEMBER 15th Wednesday Shire Stitchers meet at 7.30pm at the Public Hall.
NOVEMBER 15th Happy Hearts West meet 7.30pm at the Beachley Walk Centre. NOVEMBER 17th Friday Race Night organised by the Friends of Portway School at the Lamplighters.
NOVEMBER 18th Cotswold Community Table Top Sale starting at 1.30pm. Phone Vi (9824401) to book table - £4)
NOVEMBER 20th Monday Blood Transfusion service at the Baptist Church Hall, Station Road, 1.30 - 4.15pm and 5pm - 7.15pm.
NOVEMBER 21st Tuesday St. Andrew's Ladies Club meet at St. Andrew's Church Hall at 7.30pm to hear ³Lasting Impressions² by Susan Marshfield. NOVEMBER 23rd Saturday Christmas Fair organised by the Friends of Portway School at the School 2pm - 4pm.
NOVEMBER 28th Friday Sequence Dance at the Cotswold Centre 7.30pm - 10.30pm. NOVEMBER 29th Wednesday Shirehampton Community Group meets at 7.30pm at the Public Hall. Everyone welcome.
NOVEMBER 30th Thursday, December 1st Friday & December 2nd Saturday ³Christmas Village get together² with the Grainger Players at the Public Hall at 7.30pm.


Many Shirehampton residents have purchased a copy of this book on Avonmouth oral history, and we sold out of the 600 copies we had printed, almost immediately. Having received requests for further books, we have given in to popular demand (!) and are having more printed. If you would like a copy please contact Judy Helme on 9382849 (office hours), but don't delay because I suspect, with Christmas approaching, that we will sell out quite quickly.The book costs £6 which is cost price, we make no profit on it because we consider it a community project.

We are currently working on 'Another Mouthful of Memories' for publication next year, and would be pleased to hear from anyone who wishes to contribute their memories of Avonmouth. Again, please contact Judy.


Dear Editor,

I wondered if you could put a piece in the Shire about my mother, Vera Orchard, who sadly died on 20th September, at the age of 87 years. Mother had her stroke when she was 70 years old and a hip replacement followed 8 years later. She had an 80th birthday party at St. Andrew's Church hall attended by many friends.

Unfortunately, her health deteriorated and three years ago she went to live in a nursing home. Mother was well known in Shire. She belonged to the Union of Catholic Mothers and did a lot for St. Bernard's.

Thanks so much,

Helen Thorne


'The pavements of Shire are an utter delight'
Said old Mrs. Waters to old Mrs. Bright
'The powers that be must 'ave spent a few bob
An' the workmen 'ave made it a wonderful job.'

'You're so right, my luv, 'added old Mrs. Bright.
'To tell you the truth, it's a marvellous sight.
It's given a new lease of life to the place.'
Said old Mrs. Waters, a-nodding her head.
'Well, I'd better be getting back home to my Fred.'
'All right, my luv,' said her friend with a laugh.
And they both ambled homewards along the new path.


Portway community School Science Department is very excited to be involved in a year long teaching project funded by the pharmaceutical giant Astra Zeneca. Improving Science Together represents a partnership between Portway Community School and its Partner Primary Schools, Kingsweston Special School, Bristol LEA, BAE Systems - AirBus UK and Bath Spa University. One aim of the project is to help pupils with the move from primary to secondary education. Such pupils will be involved in an exciting ³flight² project staffed in primary schools and then completed at Portway Community School.Headteacher Nigel Astley said ³We are very proud to have been selected by Bristol LEA to be involved in this exciting partnership between Education and Industry.

This kind of collaboration is obviously going to hugely enchance Science Education for our children at Portway and in our community.


Beware of youngsters purporting to be supporters of voluntary organisations. Recently, teenagers called on houses in the Lawrence Weston area (and perhaps Shire) saying they were taking part in a sponsored cycle ride to raise funds for the St. John Ambulance. This was completely false and the organisation regrets its name being abused in this way. If you are approached in the future, please telephone headquarters (0117 9533880) to check.


The above is the title of a new publication by Branksome Press. The author is a Shire man, Evan Thomas, formerly of Portbury Grove and Old Quarry Road. The book is a collection of humorous anecdotes of prison life, written by a former prison officer (Evan retired from Horfield Prison in 1996). In his youth Evan was a member of the 191st Scout Troop and later served as its scoutmaster in the early 1960's.

Many older readers will remember his mother, Dorothy (Dot) Thomas, who sadly died 3 years ago. Copies of the book are available from Branksome Press, Branksome Drive, Filton, Bristol, BS34 7EF (£5.80 inc. p&p) or from The Book Cupboard, Gloucester Road (£4.99).


As November 5th approaches, please take care of your children. Do not allow them to light any themselves and tell them to keep even sparklers well away from their eyes. Any retailer selling fireworks illegally to children should be reported to the police. The safest option is to take the family to one of the well organised displays by one of the local civic or charity organisations.

A Tribute to the Rev. T.E. Simper

By Canon John Smith, Vicar of Shirehampton 1958-1972 I would like to pay a tribute to my old friend and colleague Terry Simper. I know he had been gallantly fighting a cancer for some years, but his death comes nevertheless as a great sadness. At the same time, because I believe in a life after this and the eternal power of Christ, I am certain he has entered a life of new opportunities.   I knew Terry long before I was ordained, when he and I worshipped at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Bishopston, where he became the organist. He took part in two revues, in which we shared much fun and humour, but he also had a devotion which eventually led him to ordination.That is why, knowing him as I did, I invited him to become curate at St.Mary's and we had three years in which he was an invaluable colleague: I shall never forget his help, and the friendship which we have maintained until the end.

I shall always value the memories, particularly of his great sense of humour, in all the many years I have known him and June and his family. May God give him rest and peace, and may he share the joy of eternal life which he so richly deserves.


Love is a morning sunrise,
Love is the rain that falls,
Love is an evening sunset,
Love is a stranger who calls.
Love is an April shower,
The warmth of a summer's day,
Love is the hidden sunshine,
That chases the tears away.
And green as the grass that's growing,
And blue as the sky above,
And soft as the wind that's blowing -
All these things are love.
Love is a bolt of lightening,
Flashing across the sky,
And love is the tender warmth
I see within your eye.

Peter Millard


This year's concert, presented by The Shirehampton Choir, will be on Sunday, 10th December, in St. Mary's Church, starting at 2.30pm.We have a great line-up of songs and carols from the choir, including some favourites for everyone to join in with. Our guests this year are Stephanie Woolard and St. Bernard's School Choir - always popular with the locals.

As always, admission is FREE, but there will be a collection made in aid of a chosen charity. Don't forget to put the date in your diaries! See you there!

Derek Harvey

ST. BERNARD'S Y.C.A.F.C. (UNDER 13s) - 1972/73 SEASON

The above photograph was sent in by Teresa Calverley. It appeared in an edition of what was probably an old 'Shire'. Can you recognise yourself, or anyone else?


MALCOLM CYRIL HACK 7 September 1933 - 6 September 2000

His wife Sylvia, daughter Karen and son-in-law Waine, would like to thank family friends and neighbours who sent cards, flowers and messages of sympathy following the sudden sad loss of Malcolm Hack.(Thank you for your donation to SHIRE funds).


The last Toy Fayre will be held on Saturday, 11th November, from 10am to 12 noon, at the Methodist Hall, Penpole Avenue, admission 10p.


By John Rogers

I cannot claim that I was born in Shirehampton, as I was one of the migrating Welshmen that moved to the area in the thirties at the tender age of nine months.

My family moved into a home on Springfield Avenue right around the corner from station road opposite the high garden wall of Springfield House, my Aunt, Uncle and two cousins, was sharing the home. When my father became employed on the docks we moved to a place called the Bank situated on lower high street next to Meadow grove, we remained at the Bank from 1932 until 1936.Our neighbors that I can recall were the Mitchells, Cooks and Gazzards.I can barely remember living on the Bank being only five years old, some things remain such as the elderly lady who live on the end of the row had at least a dozen cats she pushed a baby carriage around the village and begged for food. We lived on the opposite end of the row overlooking Meadow Grove with a wall you could look down on the street I can also remember the coal man that delivered the coal for our fire place his name was Ivor always black with coal dust never did see him clean he lived in Avonmouth opposite the park. The buildings have been torn down many years ago and small bungalows have replaced the very old buildings.

In 1936 we moved to 71 Springfield Ave, a nice fresh painted home, it came off when you rubbed against the walls I think they called it (DISTEMPER). I thought dogs got sick with that, oh well what do I know I was only a five year old going on Six when we moved in. The day came when I started school it was not far to walk you could see the school building from the bedroom window. I found out most of my class lived on the same street as me the Harvey's boys, the Herbert's, Hillmans, Deacons, Bubbs, Derricks.We had very good neighbors, the Butchers, Bristows, and England's .I cannot remember all of them as I haven't thought about them in years. The school was a pleasant place to be in those early years; we went for walks with the teachers picked bluebells and primroses with the rest of the class, which consisted of boys and girls. Thanks to one of those girls I have a photograph of our first class she gave it to me a couple of years ago, 55 years of not seeing it became a shock to the system.

The war began and things started to change in the Village the windows were covered in tape to stop the flying glass from the bomb blasts, and a large water tank was erected the end of Springfield by the sub-station, some of the kids would swim in the tank me included, then the fire wardens would come and chase us away.

A large underground bomb shelter was built under the playground at the school; very elaborate it contained every thing one would need to survive. The blackout began no more streetlights; we began to wear buttons that would glow in the dark it was to stop one from bumping into one another, and we started carry the gas masks.

The time came to start the evacuation of the children, most of all my friends left for Devon and I did not get to see them for a long time. I was sent to live with my Grandparents in Brecon, South Wales. I was only gone for a year and came back and witnessed the bombing of Shirehampton. Priory road took a bad hit; a lot of homes were destroyed, and some lives lost. I saw the Greyhound public house the next morning after it was bombed. I also saw the destruction of the homes in Avonmouth.

They even bombed the Bug Hutch, or the tuppenny rush as it was called I refer to the cinema in Avonmouth that all the kids went to on a Saturday. I can still see the ushers walking around with a flit pump spraying the rows of seats. I moved up to Portway boys school and found out it was a very strict school as Mr. Royall stated in his story Shirehampton Days, boys and girls were separated and don't get caught talking to the girls. Of course we used to look out the windows at the girls when they were in the playground and drop love notes to them, that's was while the teacher was out of the class of course.

I can only remember the name of the headmaster Mr. Carlyle and one teacher Mr.Hunt; both were very handy with the cane as I came to find out. Mr.Hunt was a fine teacher and read some wonderful stories to us, he was also our Victory Garden teacher - we all had to plant a garden. I will always remember when we went up to the school sports fields up past the horseshoe bend to play football and all the other sports, those were great days.

The Germans started to drop incendiary bombs on the village so they started putting 50 gal drums of water in front of every other house along with a stirrup pump so the fire wardens could put the fires out, of course water would not put the small bombs out it made them burn hotter since they were made of white phosphorous, so they began putting sand bags on the window sills to put on the bombs. Some nights we would watch as the German planes would be caught in the cross beams of the searchlights or fly into the barrage balloons and the balloons would fall in flames, then the wardens would find us, box our ears as they called it, then and send us to the shelter. Next day we would look for souvenirs in the street: tailfins from the firebombs, shrapnel, anything that fell we would pick up.

One day the police and Army personnel came to the school and told us to stop picking this stuff up because it was dangerous so that ended our collections. Life went on we slept at night in our own little shelter in the garden. My Father had left for the Army so I was the man of the house I kept up the garden so we had something to eat food was very short at that time. One thing we could count on was the milkman; I know a lot of people will remember Archie Briffet with his horse and cart with the milk cans and the young boy that helped him. Some of the bad things I remember about good old school days were the meals they served us at school, the semolina was like sawdust and milk something like you stick wallpaper up with, and the nurse with a nit comb when someone was found with head lice, and the taste of that cod liver oil and malt she gave us, she tortured us without a doubt, but we survived and I think we are better off for it.

When I was thirteen I joined the Army cadets, after being in the boy scouts it was quite a change but I learned a lot specially self discipline .I also obtained a job working for Mr. Jack Newman the Butcher located on Bradley Avenue Mr.Newman was a fine Gentleman took me under his wing and taught me how to make sausages and cut meat. I had a delivery route and I would deliver the sausages to all his customers around Shire on a butcher's bike with a large basket on the front.

I worked as a butcher boy for about a year then came the time for me to leave school; fourteen was the age at that time. Like most young boys we did not have much of a choice, if I remember it was a Beven boy down in the mines or work on the docks, so off to the docks I went, I got a job with Shell Oil Company cleaning out the oil drums with a steam gun; what a messy job, but the pay was better than the butcher boy. I went on to become a driver's mate riding in the lorries that delivered fuel to everywhere within a 60-mile area.

After two years, I left Shell and found a job on a small boat called the HANNA; we sailed around the ports delivering grain and maize from Avonmouth. This lasted about a year then the HANNA was scheduled for complete overhaul so I left the little boat and went looking for a new and bigger one. On the 15th of October 1947 I signed on the three masted schooner the WILLIAM ASHBURNER as a deck hand, and became a legal book-carrying seaman. We had a crew of seven counting the captain, all from Ireland. I was the only non-Irishman and took a lot of BLARNEY from them but it was all in good fun and they taught me a lot about seamanship to include sewing canvas for the sails.

We sailed from Avonmouth to Barry, then onto Dublin with a cargo of grain, this went on for three months and then I left and signed on what the seaman referred to as the big ships. I left Avonmouth again on 9th of January 1948 for a long voyage I returned to Shire in July of 1949.As a matter of reference to all the Shire people living overseas, while I was in Adelaide Australia I ran into a person that had married the sister of a friend from Shire, they were now living in Australia and Bob was his name just happened to be one of the dock crew working on the ship that I was on.

And again in 1948 the ship had been chartered to move Army equipment from the Suez canal zone to Mombassa, we had spent weeks in the canal back and forth from Mombassa.It was now Christmas and Egypt was no place to celebrate as it was unsafe to go ashore alone; armed soldiers patrolled the ship, the Arabs had just lost a short war with Israel, but not was all lost; we were told that a British Army camp in Ismailiya was about 5 miles up the road and they had a lot of women soldiers that would loved to be taken to the Christmas dance; all we had to do was get to the camp, find the barracks where the ladies were staying, get permission and then sign for them and they would be under our care while at the dance, it didn't sound too hard for lonely sailors to accomplish. We got ourselves a ride in an Army lorry to include guards, arrived at the gate no problem, the Military Police gave us directions to the women's barracks and off we went looking for our next date. We arrived at the barracks and we were greeted by a female sergeant who was like a mother hen looking out for chicks, she checked us over and could see were Ship Shape and Bristol Fashion. We started to mingle among the ladies trying to find the right one, well the force must have been with me because I found a girl from Shire, and I wish I could remember her name.

We went to the dance together and we talked about Shire, the dances at the Public Hall and the Catholic School. Then it was mid-night time to take her back to the Mother hen and sign her back in. Meeting someone from Shire in the middle of the dessert made it a nice Christmas.

When I returned to Shire I could see the village changing, Lawrence Weston had started its build up, the fields where I would play as a boy were disappearing, no more primroses or cowslips in the fields, the old village residents were expanding out to the new homes, it became hard to locate them. One of the old memories that remain with me was the smell of the biscuit factory down St Andrews Rd and all the pretty young ladies they had working there. I can still see them in their white aprons and white hats waving to us lads as we walked by, and Millers flour mill, all gone now.

I also remember the local young men that went to Korea and those that never came home. The Gloucestershire Regiment fought overwhelming Chinese troops and held on to their position at a great loss of life. I hope the Shire will remember them on Memorial Day. Ironically 44 years later when living in Korea I went up to what they call Gloster Hill and walked the ground they fought on, the trenches are still there, the holes, the bunkers nothing has been touched since the battle ended. Further south of the position in the small village of SOLMAR-RI the Korean civilians have erected a monument to the Gloucestershire Regiment for their brave and gallant stand. I have photographs of the monument. If the Shire would like copies to publish I would be happy to mail them to the editor. 

The period 1950-1954 I sailed out of Avonmouth on Charles Hill City Line, almost all the crew were from the local area I also sailed on the Banana boats for two years and most of the crew were also from Avonmouth, Shirehampton, or Bristol, I wish some times I could remember all the names of those crewmembers.

In April 1954 I departed Avonmouth onboard the Montreal City for the United States and I have lived here ever since, except for the years I lived in Alaska, Germany, Korea, and Vietnam. I have visited Shire four times over the past 45 years. I wish it could have been more frequent but duties kept me from it. I have been married 43 years and have two children; both married with children of their own. I am now retired and think of the years that have past and all the friends I once knew in Shire, some are gone but never forgotten. I for one remember Shire as it was, it's now up to this new generation to keep the village the way they would like to remember it, and they have a good foundation to build on. But sadly no Farmer Longs ice cream. Fond Memories Shirehamptonions, From the Butcher Boy.