Shire logo

Back to December 2000 SHIRE January 2001 Fowards to February 2001 SHIRE
News Index



Email from Canada


The Friends of Portway Christmas Appeal 2000

November 2000 Shirehampton Community Group Meeting


Oh dear! What a fiasco the Christmas Lights were in Shirehampton this year. Local residents and traders were left disappointed at the dismal display of Christmas Lights provided by Bristol City Council in Shirehampton High Street. It was so bad, the Council agreed to turn them off two weeks before Christmas to spare us from further embarrassment!

Nicky Rodaway, Chairman of the Shirehampton Traders' Association, which had raised funds to pay for the lights, said 'The lights were pathetic and I was inundated with complaints from local traders and residents. People didn't know whether to be cross or to laugh because the lights were simply a joke.

The Traders' Association had organised two very successful Fun Days in the past two summers and raised over a thousand pounds to pay for the lights,also a lot of people had put in a great deal of hard work and they were left feeling badly let down by the Council.

Nicky continued 'We were all looking forward to the turning on of the lights and expected to see a bright and cheerful display. As it was, when the lights were turned on they are dim and dull and many of the bulbs weren't working. We complained at once to the Council and were told that they would try to fix the lights. Workmen came but the Council had to admit that the lights could not be made to work any better and that they were at the end of their working life'.

Several local residents have said that the fiasco over the lights has left them wondering whether Bristol City Council was really committed in the first place to providing a decent display of lights for the village. Nicky Rodaway said she had spoken several times to the Council about the lights and thought she detected an attitude which could be summed up as 'The lights weren't much good, but they were good enough for Shirehampton'.

Richard Devereux, Secretary of the Shirehampton Traders' Association, had taken the matter up with the Council and said 'Clearly, if the Council were unable to provide a proper set of lights, then they should have said so at the outset rather than supply an inadequate set of lights and seek to charge us for them. The Council has now agreed to waive its invoice for this year's lights and has said that it regrets the disappointment which has resulted to local residents and traders. Its has accepted that in retrospect it probably should not have gone ahead with the arrangement'.

It has been learned that the lights which failed to impress Shirehampton this year were the same ones as were used on Whiteladies Road last year. In the Council's view the lights had been 'used to great effect' in Whiteladies Road although this view is not believed to be shared by the Whiteladies Road traders who are also unhappy with the lights provided for them this year.Richard Devereux said that some of the Whiteladies traders were interested in investigating whether they might join forces next year and obtain lights from an independent contractor, rather than from the City Council.

Nicky Rodaway has said that the Shirehampton Traders' Association is very disappointed at not being able to help lay on a good display of Christmas Lights this year. 'The Traders' Association exists' she said 'to promote the community of Shirehampton and we will now be looking to use the funds we had raised to arrange Christmas lighting from an alternative source in the future'. The Association next meets at the Lamplighter's Public House on Thursday, 11th January at 7pm. If anyone has any views or suggestions about the lights which it is thought the Association should consider, please contact Nicky Rodaway (Tel: 938 0611) or any member of the association.


A 'Shire Paper' will be available at the following collection points,in addition to house deliveries.

The Library
Liz Flower Shop, High Street
St Mary's Church, High Street
The Pet Shop, Pembroke Road
Health Centre, Pembroke Road

Thank you to the distribution volunteers for their help in giving this service to the community.


Mondays January 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th

COTSWOLD LADIES CLUB meets weekly at the Cotswold Centre 2pm - 4pm. New members welcome.
WOMEN'S BRIGHT HOUR at the Methodist Church Hall 2.30pm for an interesting series of talks and demonstrations.
PLAYGROUP at the Beachley Walk Centre 9.15am - 11.15am during term time.
OVER 50'S SWIMMING in Shirehampton Baths 3pm.
JUDO at the Church Centre 6.30pm.
SEA CADETS 7pm - 9.30pm
KELLAWAY PLAYERS at the Public Hall 7.30pm.
GROVELEAZE YOUTH CLUB 7.15pm - 9.45pm.
AVONMOUTH RUGBY FOR GIRLS (13-16) 6pm at Barracks Lane
KYOTO SHOTOKAN Karate Dojo Club train at St. Bernards School, 7.30pm.
AVONMOUTH LADIES HOCKEY club training 7.30pm-8.30pm Gordano School, Portishead

Tuesdays January 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th

TANG-SOO-DO at the Public Hall, Children 7-10 years 6.30pm - 7pm, 10 upwards 7.30pm 9pm.
FIRST AID FOR CADETS organised by St. John Ambulance at Beachley Walk Centre Badgers 6pm - 7.45pm.
SEQUENCE DANCING at the Baptist Church Hall, Dancing 8.15-10.15pm.
PLAYGROUP at the Beachley Walk Centre 9.15am - 11.15am during term time. TOT STOP for mothers with toddlers and babies 9.30am - 11.15am at the Baptist Church Hall.
SOFT PLAY at Robin Cousins for under 5s 1.30pm -3pm
AVONMOUTH Mini Hockey 6-7pm at Bristol and West Sports Club, Portway, for further details 9828039.
SHORT MAT BOWLS CLUB 7pm - 10pm at Portway School.
PORTWAY SWIMMING CLUB Meeting at 7.30pm - 9.30pm at Shirehampton Baths.
KARATE at Church Centre 7pm - 8pm.
FLOWER ARRANGING CLASSES at Twyford House 6.30pm. For details ring 9828750.
AVONMOUTH RUGBY Seniors at Rugby Club 7pm.
TAE KWON DO 6.00pm at Robin Cousins Sports Centre
SHIREHAMPTON CHOIR rehearsals for Concert 7.30pm at St. Mary's Church
STOP SMOKING GROUP meets at Lawrence Weston Clinic. For details ring Mike Davies 9823205.
SHIRE BADGERS SET ages 6-11 years 7pm at Beachley Walk Centre. New members welcome.
ARMY CADET FORCE 7.30pm-9pm at Guide Hut, Orchard Close, Shirehampton -for boys and girls.

Wednesdays January 3rd, 10th, 17th 24th, 31st

PORTWAY SWIMMING CLUB at Bristol North Pool (County Standard).
(Alternate) WOMEN'S FELLOWSHIP 7.30 - 9,00pm St. Bernard's Hall.
BAPTIST WOMEN'S BRIGHT HOUR 2.45pm - 3.45 at the Baptist Church Hall.
PORTWAY CENTRE CHOIR PRACTICE 7.00-8.30pm at St. Mary's Church Hall.
COFFEE MORNING 10am-12noon Methodist Church. All welcome.
PLAYGROUP at the Beachley Walk Centre 9.15am - 11.15am during term time. TOT STOP for mothers with toddlers and babies 9.30 am - 11.15am at the Baptist Church Hall.
NETBALL CLUB 7-9pm. Manor Farm, Portway. Ring 9070269.

Thursdays January 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th

AVONMOUTH RUGBY CLUB Seniors practice, 7pm.
AVONMOUTH RUGBY CLUB practice for Juniors & Colts 6pm ring 9852426 for details.
SLIMMING WORLD 5.30pm - 7.30pm Rear Hall Church Centre.
(Alternate) PORTWAY LADIES CLUB 7.30pm - 9.30pm Tythe Barn, High Street. STROKE SUPPORT meets each week in the afternoons at the PBA Club, Nibley Road, for further details Tel: 9684207.
SEA CADETS 7pm - 9.30pm at the unit in Station Road.
PLAYGROUP at the Beachley Walk Centre 9.15am - 11.15am during term time.
SOFT PLAY for under 5 years at Robin Cousins 1.45-3.30pm.
SHIREHAMPTON GATEWAY CLUB at Groveleaze Youth Centre 7.30pm-9pm.
THE SHED 6.30pm at Baptist Church 3-6 school years.
LINE DANCING TUITION 2pm-3.30pm approx. Open Invitation to come along to Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road.

Fridays January 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th

AVONMOUTH RUGBY Colts and Juniors training at Rugby Club 6.00pm.
PORTWAY SWIMMING CLUB meets 7.30pm - 10pm at Henbury Baths.
JUDO at the Church Centre at 6.30pm.
SHIREHAMPTON RED CROSS First Aid Cadets, Methodist Church Hall Penpole Ave 6-9pm..
EVERGREENS 2pm-4pm at the Public Hall, during term time.
GROVELEAZE YOUTH CLUB 7.15pm - 9.45pm.
PILLOW LACE CLUB 7-9pm at Public Hall.
ARMY CADET FORCE 7.30pm-9pm.
COFFEE & TEA available in the Baptist Church Hall Coffee Lounge 10-12 noon.
TAE KWON DO 6pm in the Portway Community School gym.
BINGO at Tythe Barn, High Street at 6.30pm.
AMATEUR RADIO CLUB Sea Cadets HQ, Station Road 7.30-9.30pm

Saturdays January 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th

PORTWAY SCHOOL SATURDAY CLUB for 8-13 yrs, 9am - 12 noon.
JUNIOR FOOTBALL 9am-11am, 7-14 years at Robin Cousins Sports Centre.
AVONMOUTH HOCKEY CLUB matches most Saturdays ring 982-8039.

Sundays January 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th

AVONMOUTH RUGBY Training sessions at Barracks Lane at 10am.
PORTWAY SWIMMING CLUB Henbury School Pool 3pm - 4.30pm.

Residents of Jim O'Neil House on the occasion  of presenting cheques to local charities from contributions which they had collected during the year. Mr Derek Robinson received on behalf of BRACE, the Alzheimer charity, Julie Grimes for CLIC and Pat Jarvis for St Peter's Hospice. Your kind thoughts on behalf of others are very much appreciated.


Shirehampton, near Avonmouth - The Bristol Channel Port with a number 28 bus service to Bristol... The first council estate of the district was a nicely arranged happy place to live and the streets around a green were The Bean Acre, Kingsweston Avenue and Old Quarry Road, set amidst lovely surroundings.. The Kingsweston Estate, Penpole Hill, fields, coppices and old quarry workings overgrown and beautiful with scattered rocks ideal for picnic tables and hide and seek.

At the back of our house was the lane leading to Penpole Point the scene of many a game of Robin hood, Oberon and Titania, cowboys and Indians and lots of roly-polys. Rocky shelves made wonderful thrones amidst banks of yellow rock roses and secret places where sweet scented white violets grew. Beech nuts and conkers to gather in the Autumn. We would play for hours and could watch for a handkerchief signal from mothers at the back door to signal when meal times were ready.

In those days there seemed to be such a trust - out parents allowed us to wander into the fields and lanes and all our adventurous imaginings with complete freedom. There were ponds to explore for newts, tadpoles and minnows and lots of ditches and rhines with crossover planks to negotiate but there seemed to be no fear that we could come to harm. There were hayfields with moondaisies and corn fields with poppies, we loved the wild flowers so much and could pick bunches of them... I remember saying that when I got married I would have a bunch of wild flowers.

The High Street of Shirehampton was flanked by distinctive Manor Houses and I seem to remember a Courtyard Manor House opposite the Church where later a fish and chip shop, a chemist, a drapers etc. were. I would love to know who lived in these dignified houses but I can only remember the wonderful May festivals we had in one of the grounds with the procession and the crowning of the May Queen and prizes for children in fancy dress and decorated bicycles. I had the glory of crowning the May Queen and a banner with 'HOPE' was tied across my small body. It was the first time I had ever worn stockings and I remember how wrinkled they were over my knees, but I was very proud as I travelled in the procession for the very first time in a motor car.

I remember with great affection a dear lady called Miss Rotha Mary Clay who was the Warden of the University Settlement in Shirehampton which was a wonderful community service for adults and children and seemed to organise all the various events of the village... for it was a village and a beautiful one with the village green and water fount. Another affectionate memory is of Miss Jefferies the Leader of the Brownies and the Guides where we learnt so many interesting things.

We used to fetch our groceries from Embleys Stores which was a wooden building attached to their cottage, opposite 'The Bank'. I can still feel the floorboards under my feet and imagine the counter with bottles of sweets 2ozs a penny. My favourite pocket money buys were lunch bags with broken biscuits, locust beans, popcorn and suchlike in them also small crinkly nuts called monkey nuts. When buying vinegar it was wonderful to be naughty and suck the cork and how lovely to nibble at the corner of a crusty loaf. Thinking of bread reminds me of the village baker - Dump Harris. When the Severn Beach Lido was opened he was a wonderful comic attraction as a Laurel and Hardy twosome. The Lido was a very popular day out, a cycle ride through Avonmouth and St. Andrews Road or a train ride from Shirehampton. The Fairground and the Swinging Boats added to the fun.

Mrs Dorothy Wookey (nee Thomson)

Milton Gardens
Oxland Lane
Burton, nr Milford Haven
Pembs SA73 1LG

Email from Canada

This email was received by Mr Les Harold, who sent some pictures of Shirehampton by email to Canada:

I have just got on the internet with my sister Sharon's help who is visiting me from Ottawa. She discovered all kinds of pictures of Shirehampton on the net the other evening and we have been poring over them ever since. I was born at 22 Groveleaze; in 1939 my family moved to 5 High Street, to a new flat over the Victoria Wine Store and Brooks Laundry and Dry Cleaners. It looks as though Brooks moved out and Victoria Wine now has both sides from the photograph. There was to be more building next to us but when war was declared building stopped there. Two doors away the bank was to have gone in but didn't because of the war. It was eventually taken over by an army detail who defused unexploded bombs there, although we didn't know that at the time.

Towards the end of the war, one Sunday at lunch time, there was a terrible explosion there. My father was one of the first people on the scene to help. Two soldiers were blown to bits and one suffered severe injuries which left him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. We subsequently moved to 10Lower High Street on the way to Avonmouth and from there to 29 Station Road, right next door to what was then St.Bernards Schools playground. I came to Canada in 1961 and my parents and sister Sharon came over in 1963. We lived for 9 years in Montreal and then the job I got took me to Ottawa. We were there for 2 years and then they moved the job to Winnipeg. My sister stayed in Ottawa working for the Government. My father died in 1973 and Mother in 1990. I was last in Bristol and Shirehampton in the late 80's and much has changed then so I doubt I'd recognize Shirehampton too much now. I am 69 now and have arthritis so doubt I'll ever get back to England again. So you can imagine how fascinating it is for me to see these pictures of the place where I was born and grew up. Please excuse this long e-mail and thank you again for the picture.

Valerie J.Fall


December, and our local blackbird has been posing at the top of a lopped and leafless pear tree, rather like an operatic tenor trying out the boards before a show. No soprano in sight, and no hint of an area, but its nice throughout. Winter isn't really here yet and only the Starlings seem interested in the food we hang out for more exciting birds. Starting at the top, the starlings have also stripped our pyracantha of its mass of berries, getting braver and more acrobatic as they reach ground level. The sunflower head never really ripened amidst all the rain, so our small garden has little more to offer the birds, apart from that we put on the bird table.If it's freezing when you read this, remember to give them a shallow dish of drinking water each day, and leave any seed-heads - they look nice in the frost and snow anyway. The winter Jasmine is in full bloom, the Camellia has fat buds, the bulbs are showing and the pansies are cheerful; a pot garden is a lot of fun.


Tea Dances between 2:30 and 4:30 on the following Thursdays:

January 11th and 25th
February 8th and 22nd
March 8th and 22nd
April 12th and 26th

Live music by Melanie, John Hutton and Dave Morley.


As usual the few weeks at the end of last term were a busy time for the children and staff of Avon Primary. Towards the end of November the Pre-Christmas Bazaar was held, raising 3520 for school funds and 375 for Children in Need. Many thanks should go to all the 'Friends' of Avon for their loyal support and hard work - and for making it such a pleasant event.

The Junior classes and the Infant classes between them put on 4 performances of two different concerts in which all the pupils took part - featuring a musical Nativity, candlelit carols and light-hearted Christmas songs and music. Collections taken will be donated to Barnardos, which is our chosen charity for this academic year.

In addition to this the school Choir and musicians entertained the Portway Ladies Club at the Tythe Barn and the PBA Retirement Association at their club. At the school's Gift Service the children were encouraged to bring gifts, later distributed to local elderly folk.

Headmaster, Duncan Jennings, said 'Avon Primary School has a fine musical tradition which is much valued. At Christmas there is no better time for us to think of service to our local community and working together with it, as well as having an enjoyable time. A great deal of hard work by our dedicated staff has allowed us to continue this tradition. These activities and the high standards achieved enhance the educational opportunities offered at Avon Primary'.


As lots of you might have noticed, after years of sad neglect, Kings Weston House is being restored to its original splendour. Kings Weston House was designed and built in the 1700s by Sir John Vanbrugh for the then Secretary of State for Ireland, Sir Edward Southwell. Now the house, which in its long history has been a school (which many readers of Shire went to) and also the Headquarters of the Avon and Somerset Constabulary, is being restored by Bristol-based architectural interior designer John Hardy, who spent two years negotiating with the City Council to secure the leasehold. Mr Hardy is determined to restore the building back to its original intended use as a centre for entertainment and business.

The house had stood empty for six years and many of the paintings of The Southwell family in the grand portrait gallery worth thousands of pounds,were being stored in Exeter. All have now been cleaned and their ornamental plasterwork frames restored and rehung in the portrait gallery, where the chandelier has been replaced at a cost of 312,000.

The first and second floors of the house are being converted into offices to house various sizes of business and the ground floor will be available to the public and businesses for conferences, exhibitions, civil wedding ceremonies, wedding receptions and parties. We also have a number of themed nights in the new year with murder mystery evenings for all you sleuths, Valentines ball for the romantics and a grand Georgian banquet to name but a few.

The restaurant is open for Sunday lunches where you will be able to enjoy a traditional meal looking out onto the beautiful surrounding woodland. Reservations only. If you are passing by or out for a walk in the area then make sure you pop into the tea room which is open daily for hot drinks and light lunches. For more information on the facilities available or to make a booking please contact Iris Hooper on 0117 9382299.

The Friends of Portway Christmas Appeal 2000

Readers will be pleased to hear that the Annual Christmas Appeal, which culminated in the Fair held at the school on Saturday 25th November, has once again proved a resounding success.

The Fair was a notable occasion, formally opened by The Lord Mayor, Councillor Graham Robertson accompanied by the Lady Mayoress and once again over 31000 was raised.

Seasonal music provided by the School Band welcomed a throng of people who filled the hall, having braved the torrential downpours that threatened the work of all the participants.

As organisers and promoters, the Friends of Portway are very aware of the wide support the event received to guarantee its success. The head teacher, many pupils, musicians and caretakers all gave of their valuable time. A multitude of Shirehampton people, comprising parents, uncles and aunts and families and friends supported the event as the customers and everyone appeared to enjoy it.

In addition, many companies and organisations provided generous donations and raffle prizes and we take great pleasure in recording publicly our sincere thanks to the following:

Autoparts, Avonmouth Workmens' Club, Bobbetts Fruiters, Bristol Port Company, Bristol Rovers Football Club, Bristol Rugby Club, Bristol City Football Club, Bristol & West Building Society, Co-op Supermarket, Elizabeth Anne Flowers, Flowerworld, JIG, Hawkins Newsagents, The Lamplighters Inn,Mountstevens Bakery, The Mall (Cribbs Causeway), Maynews, Andrew Pimm Optometrist, Robin Cousins Sports Centre, Rodaways Estate Agents, Rhodia Organique Fine, Sea Mills Post Office, Somerfields Supermarket, Sevalco Limited, Stage Electrics, Shire Community Newspaper, Simple Simon Bakery,Tesco Golden Hill, Mrs Templar, Taylors Estate Agents, Victoria Wine, W &B Butchers Woolworths, Bristol Zoological Gardens and Barbara and John.

From the Committee of The Friends of Portway Community School.

On Friday 8th December 2000, Sean Edwards received his Warrant from Andrew Smith, Assistant District Commissioner. Sean was a Scout with the 191st St Mary's (Shirehampton) Scout Troop, gaining his Chief Scout's Award before going to University, and he is a welcome addition to the troop again.

Community Profile

Dear 'Shire'

Since September I have been working on a Community Profile of Shirehampton funded by the City Council's Sustainable Neighbourhoods Fund. Both the profile itself and the process of putting it together have thrown up a number of major issues.

1. Community Buildings - We have lost a number of these recently including Twyford House and the Portway centre. We don't want to lose any more!

2. Community Safety - Many older people are scared to go out in the evenings because of anti-social behaviour and crime especially around the High Street area.

3.Youth Work - The role of Groveleaze Youth Club and the urgent need for the detached youth work elsewhere in Shirehampton needs to be looked at.

4. Funding - Shirehampton does not qualify for any of the major pots of government or City Council funding such as the Single Regeneration Budget or the Northern Arc. Yet there are very real unmet needs here. How can we best access better funding for the area?

5. Poverty - There are wide variations of affluence within Shirehampton but the data shows many people with low incomes and in need of extra support and resources. How can we obtain and direct those resources to those areas of Shirehampton most in need of them?

6. Neglect - Some parts of Shirehampton, such as the Lower High Street, feel neglected and 'left out' from the rest of the Village. Does Shirehampton start half-way up the High Street as the new signs indicate? Is there a 'Shire Village' and then the rest of Shirehampton separate? How can we make sure that we have a genuinely inclusive community?

7. Health - Shirehampton has some of the highest figures for premature death and low birthweight babies in Bristol. Why is this? Is it important to find out why? Do health professionals such as the Health Visiting Team need extra resources?

8. Voluntary Groups - Shirehampton has a wealth of voluntary groups but some are struggling with limited resources in difficult circumstances. How can we support them?

9. Leisure Facilities - What is the future of the Swimming Pool? Where are other facilities most needed especially for younger people?

10. Partnership working - Do we work together in Shirehampton enough? Do we need a regular forum where statutory and voluntary agencies, including the schools and churches who have an important role to play, come together? How can we develop a strategic vision for the whole of Shirehampton? Or do we need one at all? Could existing community facilities and buildings be 're-jigged' to meet local needs better than at present? There may be various solutions to these problems but organisations working in partnership is certainly one of them. One way of doing this, which is increasingly done elsewhere in Bristol, is the setting up of a Community Development Trust. Would this be a good idea for Shirehampton? How would it work?

Enclosed is some basic information about Community Development Trusts and notice of the meeting on January 31st which I hope you can attend. There will also be an opportunity to see the Community Profile and discuss issues arising from it.

For further information contact me at the hall on 982 9963 or 0777 9464050.

Ian Bone


Our morning service at the Methodist Church in Shirehampton on Sunday 7thJanuary at 11.00am will be an Epiphany Christingle Service. This is a Parade Service to which all youth organisations are invited. To mark the week of prayer for Christian unity Shire Churches invite you to 'Together on the Way.' We will meet on Saturday 20th January at the Methodist Church at 11.30am until 2.00pm. We will join together in worship, have a 'bring and share' lunch, followed by a film - the Miracle Maker. Come and join with us.

Contact numbers for both these events are 0117 9248238, Revd. David Alderman, or0117 9823228, Val Flint-Johnson.


We have now completed the first term as SHIREHAMPTON PRIMARY SCHOOL and things are settling down well. It is good to see so many of the children coming to school in the new uniform and we hope in the new year to work towards a school logo.

The Governing body formed to oversee the transfer ceased its work at the end of December and the school is most grateful to all the work and dedication shown by this group in the last 18 months or so. A new group of Governors take over as the official Shirehampton Primary Governors from January and we are pleased to say that almost all the places on the body are filled. Plans for the building works are progressing satisfactorily and it will be realised that there is much preparatory work to be done before we see anything happening on the site. It is anticipated that work will start around Easter time and we shall keep you informed later on. We look forward to an exciting year in 2001!!


Old friends meet up to holiday in Canada On Saturday, 26th August, three of us Edna Canby (nee Burt), Sylvia Short (Wiltshire) and myself, Marilyn (Gorry) waved goodbye to our husbands and flew off to Canada to visit Iris (Hawskby) and her husband Gerald Sanderson.

When we three were young we all lived in Nibley Road, and Iris lived in Corston Walk and Gerald in Portbury Grove. After leaving Portway School, Iris worked for Morgans in Gloucester Road and Gerald worked as an apprentice at the National Smelting Company, and they married in St Mary's Church on 28th March 1959. After selling their home, on 12th July 1967, with their two sons, Richard 5 and Lawrence 2 1/2, they sailed from Liverpool to Montreal, docking on the19th July. By train they travelled to Belleville, where they lived for 12years. In 1972 they celebrated the birth of their third son, Dean. From Belleville they moved to Markam, just outside Toronto, a beautiful house with a swimming pool. This has been their home for 20 years.

Iris and Gerald retired this year, they have recently bought another home in Florida, and will be spending Christmas there, returning to their home in Canada about March. Iris and Gerald have visited family and friends in England many times. It was during their visit last year that we talked about our forthcoming birthdays.We all knew that between September 1999 and January 2001 we would all be celebrating a very special birthday (guess which one). We thought we should do something very special hence the trip to Canada. The first day we spent relaxing by the pool because of the long flight and the time difference of six hours.

On 28th August we flew from Toronto to Vancouver for a five day tour of the Rockies and Glaciers, two days by rail and three days by coach. The train, The Rockie Mountaineer, left Vancouver at 6.15am and we had overnight stays in hotels in Kamloops and Jasper. By coach we toured the ice fields, went on a snowcoach on to the Athabasca Glacier, and visited Chateau Lake Louise. Then 2 nights at a hotel in Banff.

On day one we went out on the boat on Lake Minnewanka, and on day two we went on the gondola up to Sulphur Mountain, through a snow blizzard to get to the top. On the final day we took a coach to Calgary and from Calgary we flew back to Toronto having enjoyed every moment.

On the final week of our stay Iris and Gerald took us to Niagara Falls, Unionsille, a very pretty town, and to Bracebridge to visit a cousin of my mother. Toronto itself was fascinating - we went up the CN Tower which is the tallest in the world. This is the one with the glass floor, the floor that very brave tourists walk on. 'No thank you' said Edna, Sylvia and Myself. Iris and Gerald did brave it. I did stand on the edge of the glass floor and looked down at the ground below, taking photographs, but not for long as I felt quite dizzy.

The holiday was wonderful, we flew back to England on 9th September, and we are still talking about it.

Last month Iris and Gerald flew from Toronto to Italy to visit their son Lawrence and his family. From Italy they flew to England where we all met up exchanging our photographs. A visit to England again next year is possible and Iris and Gerald would like to see other friends. I am sure there are quite a few who still live in Shirehampton or not faraway. I know of a few. Perhaps you could contact me through 'Shire' at the Library. Iris and Gerald would be so pleased,


November 2000 Shirehampton Community Group Meeting

Minutes of the Shirehampton Community Group Meeting held in the Public Hall on Wednesday 29 November 2000 There were 29 people present. The meeting was chaired by John Parsons who welcomed those present.

Section Report

a) Highways - Presented by John Parsons

John has written to the Council about street lights that are being replaced when they don't need to be. Lamp No. 3 in Park Road and the one in the church alley have been reported as not working. John is still pressing for better lighting in Pembroke Road.

The knocked over historic sign in Shirehampton Park should have been attended to by June 1999 but still not done. John to chase up, along with the restoration work on the old finger post signs at the Park Gates.

John attended a liaison meeting on the M5 bridge which will be completed by Christmas. The whole bridge now requires painting which will take until March 2002 but will not affect traffic flow.

The pavements in Bradley Crescent are very uneven. John to inform the Council.

b) General - Presented by John Parsons

Donations at the last meeting and all-time record of 319.76.

c) Youth & Schools

No report

d) Law & Order

Due to Philip Squire's illness, there was no report.

e) Planning & Environment - Report by John Callaghan

Shirehampton Car Sales - A phone call to the Planning Office on 23 November revealed that the planning application for change of use from petrol forecourt to car sales had not been determined, despite being raised over two years ago. It was hoped to present it to the committee this month but will more likely be dealt with in January 2001 according to the planning officer in charge of this case, who promised to respond to John's request for a written summary of the history.

Park & Ride - Most residents will be aware of the proposals for a Park & Ride site covering land from West Town Road between the Portway and railway line, extending towards Bristol but just beyond the junction of Groveleaze/Portway. The proposal provoked lengthy discussion both at the committee meeting and the SCG meeting and comments regarding statement in the documents included:

At the Structure Plan Examination In Public, the Highways Agency stated that they had concerns about the site, and that Park & Ride sites in the former Avon area would only marginally reduce traffic growth. The City Council says that the Highways Agency supports the scheme in principle.

Environmental issues were raised which included the River Avon downstream of the Sludge Loading Dock is part of the Severn Estuary designated European Nature Conservation and Ramsar Site. According to the Government's Planning Policy Guidance, nearby development should be subjected to the most rigorous examination. The Inspector at the Bristol Local Plan agreed to the Park &Ride site, subject to strenuous efforts to protect and enhance the remainder of Lamplighter's Marsh. the Council's proposal for the Park & Ride does not include those measures, nor the Inspector's comments that plants should be relocated. Moth Mullein, a nationally scarce plant grows on the site. With reference to item 18 'no badger sets within 20 metres', it was pointed out this did not meet specialist recommendations of 67 acres.

On a practical basis - why isn't the existing railway line incorporated into the scheme? This system will not benefit Shirehampton residents because P & R buses do not stop en-route at bus stops, therefore residents are losing a facility of environmental value to cater for commuter.