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Back to January 2001 SHIRE February 2001 Fowards to March 2001 SHIRE
News Index

What's On In Shire

Obituary Philip Squire 1925 - 2001

Visiting Kings Weston House

M5 Bridge

What's on in February

Great Walk

Remembering The Days

St. Mary's News

Rail Safety In Wartime

Portway Band wins a 'Building a Better Bristol' Accolade

Portway Community School Symphonic Wind Band has been recognised as an asset to the City of Bristol. The Bristol Chamber of Trade and Initiative has awarded the band its prestigious award, given for making Bristol a better place and improving the quality of life.

The young musicians under their Director of music Mrs. Nicola Berry, have shown their ability, skill and dedication in a number of ways. There is significant evidence of a great willingness to involve, support and assist the local community.

Events have included:

  • Sea Mills flower show - 6 years
  • Visits to local primary schools, including 19 concerts in 8 days – 10 years
  • Visits to local venues eg I.C.I Club Severnside - 12 years
  • Remembrance day service at St. Albans, Westbury Park (providing the veterans with a moving accompaniment to their tribute to their fallen comrades, including the outstanding playing of Last Post and Reveille by two student trumpeters - 3 years

One off events the school have been privileged to participate in include:

  • Closing ceremony for Avon county council
  • Opening ceremony for Bristol City Council - vesting day
  • Send off the Matthew accompanied by H.R.H Apart from the above the band have been wonderful ambassadors for Bristol, elsewhere in England and abroad.

In this country they have been selected to attend:

  • The national band Festival at the Royal Northern College of music (silver award achieved)
  • National Concert Band Festival
  • 1999 Festival for Youth - Royal Festival Hall (only 9 schools invited) In the International arena, the Band played a significant part in further developing and strengthening the link between Bristol and Hanover. There have been, to date 6 full band exchanges, a joint band venture to Budapest, and individual exchanges for a term at a time with the Carl Frederich Guass Schule, Hemingem.

At all times students behaviour has been exemplary.

Annually in July, after a residential summer school the band presents a grand concert at Clifton cathedral. Year 2000 was the twelfth occasion and was performed in the presence of the Lord Mayor of bristol. On several occasions the concert has been recorded by the BBC. Together with the N.W. Bristol Wind Band. Portway school band have accompanied the Carols on the Green each year for the last 25 years.

In achieving this Accolade the band have been recognised for their consistency, flair and skill throughout the years, as proof that the musicians, past and present at Portway Community School have what it takes to promote the City in the best possible light. Year on year the band have consistently raised their standards to higher levels.

What's On In Shire

Mondays February 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th

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.
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
SEQUENCE DANCE at Public Hall 7.30pm

Tuesdays February 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th

TANG-SOO-DO at the Public Hall, (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.
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 at Easter
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.
MODERN DANCE (6 - 16 years old) 4.30pm at the Public Hall,

Wednesdays February 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th

PORTWAY SWIMMING CLUB at Bristol North Pool (County Standard). (Alternate)
WOMENS 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 February 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd

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.
GRAINGER PLAYERS 7.30pm at Public Hall.

Fridays Febrary 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd

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.
BINGO at the Public Hall at 7pm.
AMATEUR RADIO CLUB Sea Cadets HQ, Station Road 7.30-9.30pm

Saturdays February 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th

SHIREHAMPTON ALLOTMENT AND GARDEN ASSOCIATION at the hut on the Portway10am - 12 noon.
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 February 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th

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

Obituary Philip Squire 1925 - 2001

We were very sad to learn that Philip Squire had died in the early hours of Thursday, January 11th, at the B.R.I. Philip was born in Penistone in Yorkshire on May 28th 1925. He has a sister Muriel. Later the family moved to Boston in Lincolnshire, where Philip attended Boston Grammar School. When he was 17 he joined the R.A.F in which he served 4 years and went to Burma and India. He was demobilised in 1948.

After the war Philip was one of the first 3 year teacher training students, he went to Sheffield College, specialising in Geography. He took up his first teaching post at Reading where he married Pat, who was also a teacher.

In 1959 Pat and Philip moved to Exmouth in Devon, and at this school he set up a unit for those pupils with special needs. In 1963 Philip converted to Roman Catholism and in the following year they moved to Loughborogh, where he became deputy head of a Catholic Primary School.

In April 1969 the Squire family, which now comprised of 6 children - Michael, Frances, Simon, Judith, Nicholas and Richard moved to Shirehampton to live in Station Road, for Philip had been appointed headmaster of St. Bernard's School, just up the road. While there he organised walking expeditions for the pupils, and in 1978 took a group of adults on a walking tour of Derbyshire. It was in this year in the Autumn after 9 years at St. Bernard's that Philip became the headmaster of St. Peter & St. Paul's R.C School in Cotham. And he retired from teaching in 1984.

During the 31 years Philip lived in Shirehampton, he took a very active part in the community and the Church. He was very involved in the running of the local Catholic Church, St. Bernard's in many ways, especially with respect to Cafod.He attended the meetings and became chairman of the Community Council and continued with its successor the Community Group. He was one of the editors for of the community publication Shire for 20 years of which for nearly 12 years he was Vice Chairman. He wrote articles very regularly, and also drew cartoons OAr Sid' each month, he was also M.C for OCarols on the Green'. For 15 years he was on the committee and latterly was Vice Chairman and Officer for the University Settlement. He founded the art class which started at Twyford House and recently moved to the Public Hall. He was an accomplished artist submitting many paintings each year to the annual art exhibition at the Public Hall, which he organised. During 47 years of marriage he had always belonged to an art group. Until last summer he was the first chairman of the local libraries committee. He found and promoted the setting up of Neighbourhood watch in the village. He also sat on the committee of the Liaison between the police and public in Severnside and wrote progress reports which were regularly printed in Shire. In this busy life Philip Squire also found time for his many hobbies. He loved Walking, and until a few years ago played Badminton. He enjoyed holidays in France, and when retired often took assemblies in local schools.

More recently he has been with his wife Pat a member of the Genealogy Group at Avonmouth researching their family trees for the last 5 years. Above all he was a family man, taking a great interest in the lives of his 6 children and his 12 grandchildren Louis-Paul, Ben, Christian, Matthew, Scarlet, Lauren, Daniel, Alexander, Felix, Louis and Harvey to all of them and his wife Pat we send our deepest sympathy, we know we shall miss him. Philip was a pillar of our local community and we shall not see his like again.


Thinking of all the years that Philip helped in the production of 'Shire' he gave us great support especially calming in moments of crisis 'I wouldn't Worry' he used to say tactfully, and he was usually right.



Please can I say thank you to Mr Trevor Morgan of Dursley Road, Shirehampton for picking up my personal organiser in Hung Rd.

Jackie Taylor

Gwen Eyles

Colin and family sincerely thank all family and friends for their kind letters and cards of sympathy and floral tributes at the sad loss of Gwen. Thank you for your contribution to SHIRE funds. Ed.

Thank You To All Members Of Shirehampton Choir

And everyone who attended the Carol Service in St. Mary's Church on Sunday 10th December 2000.

Dear All,

Firstly I should like to thank all the members of Shirehampton Choir for choosing Avon Riding Centre as the charity to benefit from this year's Carol Service in St. Mary's Church.

As one of the largest purpose-built riding centres for people with disabilities in the country, we rely enormously on the generosity and support of local organisations and businesses to help us to continue our work.

Avon Riding Centre offers the many benefits of riding to well over three hundred children and adults with a huge range of disabilities every year. Each week some two hundred rides take place, with riders of all ages from 4 to 70 years coming from special schools, residential homes, day centres and as individuals from Bristol and surrounding areas. However, riding is so popular that we always have a waiting list.

Riding offers countless benefits in terms of good Onon-weight bearing' exercise and the opportunity to explore places that would otherwise be inaccessible to many people, plus the challenge of really learning to control such a large and powerful animal as a horse or pony and build a genuine bond of friendship.

A small group of staff led by our Yard Manager, Nick Woodfield, look after the 26 horses and ponies who live at the centre and at least 120 volunteers are needed every week to run our hectic programme of lessons during term time. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if YOU would be able to help (no previous experience is necessary!)

I was extremely sorry that, due to unforseen circumstances, I arrived too late either to enjoy the service or to speak to you all on that day. However, judging from the people I spoke to afterwards, I know that it was a very enjoyable occasion and the church was full of smiling faces. The collection raised 355 and the plan is to use the money to buy some much needed tack for one of the new ponies that will be arriving soon, so thanks once again for your generosity and please do come and visit us in the near future.

Yours sincerely,

Gill Edwards
Group organiser

It Is Never Too Late

Deadlines mean that I am writing this in the first week in January, the week of our New Year Resolutions. It is also the week of the Methodists Annual Covenant Service. God's Covenant with us is His unshakeable commitment to His love for us. Our Covenant with Him is our commitment to love and serve God above all else.

On Christmas Day, 1747, John Wesley urged the Methodists to renew their Covenant with God. In 1755 he conducted the first Covenant Service, embodying that renewal. At the climax of the service, which precedes the Holy Communion, all the people say:-OI am no longer my own, but Thine. Put me to what Thou wilt, rank me with whom Thou wilt; put me to doing, put me to suffering; let me be employed for Thee or laid aside for Thee, exalted for Thee or brought low for Thee; let me be full, let me be empty; let me have all things, let me have nothing; I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal. OAnd now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Thou art mine and I am Thine. So be it. And the Covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.' National polls reveal that about three quarters of the people of Britain believe in God. For those readers who belong to this majority these Methodist Covenant Service words constitute a wonderful if very challenging New Year's Resolution. Any Jewish, Muslim or other faith readers can, I believe, make these words their own by omitting the reference to Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

It is never too late (nor indeed too early) to make such a New Year's Resolution. I invite everyone to pause and read the words carefully again.



I discovered this in a book the other day and it seemed to be positive even in this day and age.

Do all the good you can
By all the means you can
In all the ways you can
In all the places you can
At all the times you can
To all the people you can
As long as ever you can

John Wesley


Handyperson Help For The Elderly Or Disabled

Do you ever need help with those small jobs that are too small to call the builder out for? Or do you have to manage without getting them done because of the extra outlay?

I was pleased to note recently that the community organisation Bristol Care and Repair, are also now funded to work in the north Bristol area and thought I would pass on this news and hope to reach the Shirehampton people who don't know about this service.

Bristol Care and Repair are an Industrial and Friendly Society this means that they are non-profit making. They are funded by grants, some from the Council, to provide a service for older householders in Bristol with the aim 'to promote the independence of older and disabled homeowners and their carers by enabling them to live in warm, secure and well-maintained homes'. All their workers are trained professionals.

To qualify you need to be over 60, and/or disabled, and to own your own home, (although it's still worth asking even if you rent, but do ask what is available for you). They can help you with small repairs, minor disabled adaptations, (grab rails, lever taps etc.) and advice and help with your home security.

Firstly you need to ring them (01179 9542222) and explain what you need to the person at the other end. Work will take place depending on the urgency of the job; it may be that you will be put on a waiting list as they are very much in demand. They will arrange with you nearer the time when the Handyperson will arrive, who will show you identification. You can discuss with the Handyperson how you would like to pay the small charge. If you are satisfied you can pay on the spot, or you can be invoiced and pay by instalments. Security devices are free.

Kate Pollard
Community Development Worker at the Public Hall

Avonmouth Hockey Club

Avonmouth Hockey club would like to wish everyone a belated Happy New Year. At this time in the year we find ourselves midway through the winter season and both teams are in a strong position.

The first team are battling for a position at the top on Brunel 3 with the desire to gain promotion back to Brunel 2 and the second team are mid table.

The inter club league match in October was without incident and a result of 0 - 0 left the second team feeling buoyant about how well they had performed on the day.

The mini hockey continues to meet at St Bernard's School, but is finding the lack of space extremely restrictive in further development of this element of the club. However, a number of its members will soon be joining the juniors on Monday nights and there are spaces for new members. It is hoped to provide the mini's and juniors with some fixtures in the spring. If anyone is interested in mini, junior or senior hockey, whether as a fun way to get fit, a way to make new friends, you perhaps would like to be an umpire, or A GOAL KEEPER, please contact Sophie Lennox on 0117 9829515.

Janet Wilson

Visiting Kings Weston House

Before Christmas a friend and I went to Kings Weston House for coffee in the Vaulted Tea Room. We were made most welcome and enjoyed our coffee in front of a lovely log fire (a real one!). Having lived near to the house for many years and enjoyed walking through the grounds I confess I was more than a little curious as to the effect the change of ownership would have on the locals. We were given a conducted tour, and the amount of work which had already been done after so short a time, with due regard to the architecture and history of the house, was most impressive. The main entrance hall is absolutely stunning, the big room on the first floor with its gleaming chandeliers and great view over the estuary looked beautiful. The original Portuguese tiles are still there on walls and fireplaces, what scenes they must have seen! The cantilever staircase is said to be one of only two in the country. It must have been a truly magnificent house in its hey-day. There is a lot more work to be done - inside and out, but I felt very reassured that Kings Weston House is in good hands. Yes! there have been teething problems, but these are being sorted out. After so many years standing empty and neglected it is so good to see it come to life again. I intend to go many more times to the Tea Room and restaurant. M.R.

Summary Of Park And Ride Public Consultation Meetings

held at Avonmouth Rugby Club on Wednesday, 10th January, 2001, and Groveleaze Youth Club on Thursday, 11th January, 2001.

Both meetings were well attended with a good representation of residents from Avonmouth and Shirehampton as well as delegates from Community Organisations, including Avonmouth Community Council (ACC), Shirehampton Community Group (SCG), Friends of Severn Beach Railway (FOSBR), Kingsweston House Preservation Society (KWPS), City Councillors and Douglas Naysmith, M.P The first complaint received was the lack of notice for such an important Public Consultation; some residents had only received notes at midday Wednesday and others were only contacted by Oword of mouth', and by the efforts of local residents in producing notices and distributing them individually.

The general consensus from both meetings was:

  • The area proposed for the Park & Ride is not suitable as it is lying within a Residential Area, a site of Nature Conservation Interest, and is in close proximity to the area of the Severn Estuary designated European Nature Conservation and Ramsor site.
  • Various Groups (including FOSBR and SCG) had suggested more suitable locations during the Bristol Local Plan discussions, in particular, the area on the Pill/Portishead side of the river already identified in the local plan, as well as the Chittering Estate at the top end of St. Andrew's Road, which would not impinge on a residential area.
  • Residents were extremely sceptical of the Computer Model traffic forecasts based on a single lane for cars with a Bus lane, and remodelling of Groveleaze junction and traffic lights control at P & R entrance and exit. Based on residents experiences over the past 2 -3 years (including major accidents on the M5 bridge) and also when water pipe renewal/maintenance for 3 months reduced traffic to single lane from Hung Road to Park Road junction, with Bristol to Avonmouth traffic back to the Horse Shoe Bend. This was in a 40mph speed limit area and residents had extreme difficulty accessing onto the Portway from both sides of the road.
  • There were concerns raised about a no right-turn proposal onto the Portway, which together with the congestion caused by the single lane, could divert a large portion of traffic through the High Street in Shirehampton.
  • Phase I of the proposal was in two parts - 1A for 280 car park places and 1B for 230, making a total of 510. (Plan sketch was projected onto screen). The capital investment, mainly Government funded, would be of the order of 2.5 - 3.00 million, and the operating costs - approximately 400,000 to 500,000 per annum, would be met from operating revenues, i.e., fares and City Council funds (Council taxes) for the balance.


  • The construction of a P & R will benefit commuters living outside of Bristol at the expense of loss of environmental amenities and increased costs to local residents.
  • Was a P & R necessary? If the investment was diverted to providing better public transport facilities - bus and train - at reasonable cost to users, this would reduce the necessity of many car trips to access the city by the local community.
  • It was stated that to be economically viable, the parking facility required would be of the order of 1,200 - 1,500 spaces. The officers responded that the Phases 1A and 1B were only under consideration for this consultation, but there was consideration for expansion on the river side of the Railway. However, there were more environmental considerations which could rule this area unsuitable. Under questioning the Officers could not guarantee that expansion towards Shirehampton Station along the Portway could take place in the future.
  • Why had consideration not been given to incorporating the existing railway to give an integrated system, as this would be a positive move to reducing car traffic.
  • There was considerable concern expressed over the increase in air pollution arising from increased car traffic, and as result of single lane proposals, increased queuing and stop/start of HGVs moving at low speeds etc . Residents on the Portway were also concerned about noise and vibration pollution having a detrimental effect on the relatively shallow foundations of the pre-war designed houses on the north side of the Portway in Shirehampton. Individuals working in Medical Centres were concerned with rising Asthma incidence in children.

Towards the conclusion of the meeting, Doug Naysmith, MP, recognised the concerns of the residents, but pointed out the Bristol Local Plan had been extensively discussed and after public examination this site was identified as the most appropriate site in this area and was now part of a Citywide Transport policy and should be given consideration in this context.

The SCG representative confirmed that most residents were not opposed to P & R as such, but were concerned this location was unsuitable for the area. Since the Plan was formulated in the early O90s and adopted in 1997, there has been considerable development in the Avonmouth area. The M5 had now been expanded to an eight lane highway over the bridge and light industry expansion had mushroomed. Councillor Celia Lukins requested the Officer proposing the P & R Scheme and Planning Officers to reconsider the alternative sites. The Chittening site had been mentioned by residents as well as representations from SCG and FOSBR, particularly now that J 18A and M49 were operational.

The Chairman, Mr. Rawlings (BCC Traffic Department) offered to attend more meetings with the public in the future, by arrangement.

This Proposal has been submitted for Planning approval and the examination process started. Residents were requested to send their comment by E.Mail, letter or on comment sheets provided at the meetings, to:

Deborah Stainer, North Area Planning,
Department of Environment, Transport and Leisure,
Brunel House
St. George's Road,



Shirehampton Public Hall Community Association

Bookings Secretary:

Mrs Jeanette Cossey,
53 Station Road
BS11 9TU

Tel: 0117 9823174


PLAYGROUP - weekly Mon to Fri 9.30 - 11.30am
SEQUENCE DANCING - weekly Mon 7.30pm
MODERN DANCE (6 - 16yr olds) - weekly Tues 4.30pm
TANG SOO DO - weekly Tues 7.30pm
ARTHRITIS CARE - monthly 1st Wed 7.00pm
SHIRE STITCHERS - monthly 3rd Wed 7.15pm
GRAINGER PLAYERS - weekly Thurs 7.30pm
BINGO - weekly Fri 7.00pm
PILLOW LACE CLUB - weekly Fri 7.00pm
TWYFORD ART CLUB - weekly Mon & Wed 9.30am Thurs 7.00pm
STAMP FAIRS are held on the following Saturdays (9.00am - 4.00pm): 17 Feb, 24 Mar, 21 Apr, 26 May, 16 June, 14 Jul, 11 Aug, 01 Sept, 20 Oct, 17 Nov, Dec 15.

Regular Exercise

Why not walk or cycle when you next visit the Library (or local shops) exercising the body and the mind. Regular exercise will maintain a healthy heart and lungs. It strengthens your leg muscles and hip and knee joints. Regular exercise can help reduce anxiety, insomnia, stress and depression.

A brisk walk or cycle ride is great for your health. For free maps and detailed route advice, contact:-

Cycle West (0117) 9038474

Shire Paper Collection Points

A OShire 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.

M5 Bridge

The four lanes operating on each carriageway are planned to be opened this February, when the bulk of the work is completed, final strengthening inspections and some more remedial works have been done. The building of the extra lanes and strengthening of the Bridge was begun in 1994. It will be finished 3 months ahead of the end of the contract period which expires in May. In January hard shoulders and emergency telephones became operational. As motorists will know overhead direction signs are in place along with improved lighting.

Lets hope now that the bottlenecks of traffic, which have been experienced for a long time at rush hours on the approach roads to the Bridge for ages, will now be a thing of the past.

Volunteer Driver Required

A volunteer driver is required to deliver 'SHIRE' to houses on the Portway from Shirehampton Station to Woodwell Lane (on Station side of the Portway only).

Also we require volunteers to deliver to various roads when the regular driver is on holiday or unwell.

Please ring either 982 7268 or 982 4459. Your help would be much appreciated.

Women's Institute

Programme for 2001

Feb. 21st. Jane Cunningham - 'Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen'
Mar. 21st. Mrs Archer - Producing 'Shire' Competition: Brass Ornament
April 18th. Mr. Amesbury - 'Where did you get that surname?'
May 16th. RESOLUTIONS Competition: Four Fairy Cakes
June 20th American Supper or Strawberry Evening
July 18th Mrs. C Wherlock - Children's Society Competition: A Pretty Tea Plate
August 15th. OUTING
Sept 19th. Mr Savage - Talk of Romania Competition: A Key Ring
Nov. 21st. Mrs Bowring - National Trust Competition: Serviette Ring

More Copies Of 'Shire'

Due to more homes being built in Shirehampton over the last few years and the increased demand from some of the outlying collecting points, it has been decided by 'SHIRE' Administration to ask the printer if we could have an extra 200 copies printed. This would that from this month on, there will be 4,500 copies circulated each month.

The Finger Sign Post

The pointing finger sign post which has hung from a lamp post at Park Gates, where Shirehampton Road crosses the top of Westbury Lane has disappeared from view, because the lamp-post has been replaced.

However, we are assured that the sign itself will positively be re-instated at some future date, let's hope it will be soon.

Shirehampton Quilt

If you didn't see the Millenium Quilt in all its glorious colours at the Craft Exhibition, then see it displayed high on the wall of the Library. It really is something Shirehampton can be proud of.

Spicerhaart Steps In To Save Darlows

The country's largest independent estate agency group has stepped in to rescue on of the most prominent estate agencies in the Southwest. 45 of the 84 branches in the Southwest and Wales were sold to Spicerhaart, saving around 420 jobs. Spicerhaart are endeavouring to acquire a number of other branches with the most recent being Worle and Swansea taking the tally to 47.

The acquisition boosts Spicerhaart's branch network which includes: - haart, Spicer McColl and Felicity J. Lord to 267, with staff of over 2,000.

Commenting on the acquisition, Spicerhaart Chairman, Alick Smith said 'The Spicerhaart group is well established in the South and East of England. The additional branches to the West extends the reach of the group and confirms our position as the largest independent Estate Agents in the UK'. Spicerhaart has previous experience of turning around struggling companies, having acquired part of the Cornerstone chain in 1995, and the Woolwich Property Services in 1998, which was renamed as haart. The group is run by father and son team, Alick and Paul Smith.

The offices acquired by Spicerhaart so far are:-

WALES:- Aberdare, Abergavenny, Barry, Brynmawr, Caerleon, Caerphilly, Caldicot, Canton, Cardiff, Cwmbran, Gorseinon, Killay, Llandaff, Llanelli, Llanishen, Magor, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouth, Neath, Newport, Pontypool, Rumney, Thornhill, Tonypandy, Whitchurch, Swansea.

BRISTOL: Brislington, Shirehampton, Fishponds, Westbury On Trym.

DEVON: Elberton, Exeter, Mutley Plain, Newton Abbot, Paignton, Plympton, Torquay


SOMERSET: Bridgwater, Portishead, Taunton, Weston-super-Mare, Worle WILTSHIRE: Melksham, Stratton St Margaret, Swindon, Wooton Bassett.

What's on in February

February 1st Thursday Townswomens Guild meets at 7.30pm at the Methodist Church Hall to hear Mrs.S. Marshfield on 'Thank you Doctor'
February 2nd Friday Every week and every Wednesday ODrop in' sessions at A.U.S Cottage (next door to Twyford House) High St 9.30am - 11am
February 2nd Friday and every Friday Bingo at the Public Hall. Doors open at 6.15pm Start at 7pm
February 5th Monday each week Avonmouth Ladies Hockey Training Session 7pm - 8.30pm at Gordano School Portishead
February 5th Monday each week Sequence Dance at 7.30pm at the Public Hall
February 6th Tuesday St. Andrews Ladies Club meets at St Andrews Church Hall at 7.30pm for a talk 'Bristol Old Vic' by Andrew Stocker
February 6th Tuesday Local Councillors available for consultation7.30pm at Jim O'Neil House
February 7th Wednesday Arthritis Care 7.30pm at the Public Hall
February 7th Wednesday Every week early morning swim at shirehampton Baths 7am-9am
February 8th Thursday Tea Dance at Sea Mills Methodist Church Hall 2.30pm - 4.30pm with live music
February 8th Thursday each week Line Dancing at the Cotswold Community Centre 2pm - 3.15pm Admission 2 per session
February 19th Monday - Friday February 23rd Both Dates inclusive half term for all local schools
February 20th Tuesday St. Andrew's Ladies Club visit to the Royal Mail at Filton
February 20th Tuesday Railway Modellers Meet at 7.30pm at the Public Hall
February 21st Wednesday Women's Institute Meets at 7.30pm at the Methodist Church Hall
February 21st Wednesday Happy Hearts West, Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen Talk by Jane Cunningham, meet at Beachley Walk Centre at 7.30pm
February 21st Wednesday Shirehampton Stitchers meet at 7.30 at the Public Hall
February 22nd Thursday Tea Dance at the Sea Mills Methodist Church Hall 2.30pm - 4.30pm live music Friday Sequence Dance at the Cotswold Centre
February 23rd Friday, Public Hall Committee Meeting, 7.30pm - 10.30pm

Public Hall Committee

The year 2000 was a very disappointing year as far as the attendances were for events put on for the Shire people at the Public Hall by the Events Committee. We are members of the Shirehampton Management Committee who run the Public Hall on behalf of Shirehampton. We run events to raise money for items such as chairs, tables etc:- so that there is plenty of things for people to use when hiring the Hall for various functions, ie Wedding Receptions, Birthday Parties etc:- if you want to know more please ring 9823180 or 9823174.

Great Walk

Early last year, I wrote in 'Shire' about my plan to walk the Great Wall of China for a charity challenge. I have now been asked to finish the story by telling you how the plans worked out.

Let me first say that 'I DID IT'. Along with about 60 other intrepid souls (all much younger than me), I set off on November12 for the experience of a lifetime. We flew direct to Beijing and there boarded a coach for a 3 hour drive to our first overnight stop. We had been warned about this place, known as 'The Barracks', and were expecting a somewhat lower standard of accommodation. This didn't quite prepare us for what we found. I suppose on reflection that the rooms were acceptable but very basic. The problem was the temperature. We had expected temperatures of about 100C during the day and about freezing at night. In the event it turned out to be about 100c colder than that. Overnight it was so cold that it was difficult to get any sleep. We were wearing all the clothes we could reasonably put on but since there was no heat in the buildings at all, it was impossible to get warm enough. Hot water was only available for about 2 hours in the morning and again for 2 hours in the evening but in those temperatures, we didn't hang about very long before getting dressed for the day.

The weather was dry and the skies clear, so walking was a real joy, the wall is a magnificent spectacle and the surrounding countryside is beautiful especially with the light covering of snow. The distances we walked - averaging about 10-12 miles each day for 5 days - were not too daunting, but the steps were more of a challenge than we had anticipated. About 80% of the distance was represented by the steps, a total, we were told, of about 40000. They were of varying standard, some in good repair, others in need of attention. Some were about 3 inches high, some 10 inches and some more like 24 inches. Flights went up at 30 to 60 degrees and the longest was just under 1600 steps. Going up put great strain on the thighs and on the lungs while going down really stressed the joints especially the knees. Some of the walkers had great difficulty, having to be assisted off the wall on the second day but most completed the whole distance.

Fortunately, the accommodation after the first two nights was of a much higher standard and the food throughout was quite good in general. The local people were very friendly and seemed delighted that we had chosen to visit their country.

I took the opportunity to extend my visit to see some of the sights of China including Beijing Zoo, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, Xian and the terracotta warriors, Guilin and Hong Kong. Altogether it was a really memorable trip which I am happy to describe to any local groups which might be interested.

I would like to thank all those who supported me through sponsorship. The total raised for MERCY SHIPS for medical and relief work in third world countries has now passed 8500. Perhaps it is not surprising that I have been asked whether I would like to do it again. The answer remains a definite MAYBE!!!

Brian Raybould
71 South Road,
BS20 7DY

Tel: (01275) 845217

Carols on the Green

Christmas Eve 2000

After weeks of incesstant rain, there was a short lull of fine but cold weather, we had high hopes of having the carols in the open air after two years following in St. Mary's. How wrong can you get? When December 24th dawned the rain had returned, so we were pleased to be snug, warm and dry in St.Mary's once again.

What a crowd there was, it seemed bigger than ever, it included a few babies in pushchairs as well, one woke up while we were singing 'Away in a Manger' our thanks to all those who remembered to bring their copy of 'Shire' with them for the words of the carols, we handed out nearly 300 carol sheets asking people to share, which they did. The Rev. David Alderman cheerily exhorted us all to sing at the tops of our voices and shout OMerry Christmas' to Shirehampton.

The Band of Portway School and the N.W. Bristol Wind Band under the baton of Nicola Carrick were there giving us wonderful backing as did the choir. My memories were of a young fellow who was intent on singing every single word and the only one he had asked his Mum to help him with was Hallelujah, not in everyday use. Then there was a girl with a red Santa Hat, Who when it was all over, took her torch and gave us her rendering of 'The Holly and the Ivy' while standing in the queue which was slowly making its way out of the church.

Heres to Christmas eve next year, lets hope that we might be on the Green and the tiny puppy that was tucked into its owners jacket can be there on a lead in its own right.

Remembering The Days

Sylvia Wiltshire, Marilyn Curtis, Edna Burt & Iris Hawksby

Looking at last months photograph of the above named four ladies reminded me very much of my childhood and teenage days.

Edna Burt (Canby) and Iris Hawksby (Sanderson) were in the same class as myself at Shirehampton Junior School. I wonder if they have a copy of the enclosed photograph. This was of class 5 taken in 1949 and Mr George Hall was our class teacher. Mr Landry was the headmaster. I have tried to list as many names in the photograph as I can rememer. The girls of course are listed with their maiden names. Two of them are now sadly dead - Sylvia Blackmore apparently fell over a cliff after moving away from Bristol when she was about 11 years of age and Maureen Ann died from cancer in 1998. The remainder still survive as far as I am aware.

Sylvia Wiltshire (Short) and Marilyn Curtis (Gorry) were both in a youth choir with me when I was a teenager. This choir was run by the late Rev. Geoffrey Griffiths who was a curate at St. Mary's Church from 1953 - 1959. He was no doubt the most popular priest ever to serve at St. Mary's. He was very much involved with the youth of the parish and a fanatic for cricket played in the St. Mary's Cricket Team. It was not unknown when the Test Match was on, and said Evensong was being held in the week, for the latest score to be passed to him on a slip of paper as he walked in to take the Service. This all seems a long time ago when life was nothing like it is today! I am sure the Rev. Geoffrey Griffiths was a great influence on much of the youth in those days. I could reminisce even further, but had better shut up before I bore the socks off you!.

Christopher M Eynon.

CLASS 5 - Sept 1948 - July 1949 Shirehampton Junior School

Back Row (L-R)

Janet DOWLING, Jane PARKIN-BELL, Sylvia BLACKMORE, Mary WILLIAMS, Maureen ANN, Sandra LEWIS, Jean COLES, Marian THOMAS, Freda? Pauline COOK, Freda HILLIARD, Jennifer DEAKIN, Anne WORRALL.


Julia GILLARD, Christine THOMAS, Christine COOPER?, Dawn MITCHELL, Heather COOK, Dorothy WEDLOCK, Wendy GRIFFIN, Anna GAZZARD, Janet CHIDGEY, Iris HAWKSBY, Jacqueline MACEY, Michael COLLICOTT, Francis GOODHIND, David MABY.


Graham BELL, Philip FREEMAN, David BUTT, Christopher EYNON, Keith EDWARDS, Charles LAUGHTON, Alan WILKS, Michael BENNETT, David WHITE, Martyn LOCKE, Alan GRIFFIN/BUBB, Roger BARNES.

Tea Dances At Lawrence Weston

There will be a Tea Dance at St. Peter's Church Hall, Lawrence Weston on Tuesday, 13th February, from 2 to 4 p.m. and from then on every second Tuesday in the month.

Have a break! Come along and enjoy yourselves.

Shirehampton Methodist Church

Sunday February 11th 2001, 6.30pm - Visit of the Chairman of the District.

Rev A. Ward Jones, BA, M, Phil. A warm invitation is extended to all.

Golden Wedding Congratulations

Congratulations to George and Mary Howell, who celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary on Saturday 17th February. Very best wishes and lots of love to you both, from all your many friends in Shirehampton.

Thank you

Jenny Gore

Thank You

The friends of Shirehampton Primary School would like to thank the following local traders whose kind donations helped make their Advent Fayre a success:

Hawkins Newsagent
Shire Hardware
Tubbs the Butcher
Shire Drugs Store
Elizabeth Ann Flowers
Swift Travel
Off License

We would like to wish them all a very happy new year. Thank you also to everyone who helped, it was a very enjoyable afternoon.

No Christmas Lights

Dear Editor

I am writing to say how disappointed I was (and so were many others no doubt) to see no lights up in our village in the run up to Christmas. I understand the lights that were put up, and taken down again were bought second-hand from Whiteladies Road. Surely the people of Shirehampton and surrounding areas deserve better than this. We spend a lot of money in the village over the year, and as my wife and I are pensioners we do most of our shopping in the village.

Let's hope we see an improvement next Christmas, and a Happy New Year to all readers.

Yours faithfully,


On the front page of the January 'SHIRE' there was an explanation of the difficulty that arose. Let us hope that by next Christmas all will be well and Shirehampton will be shining with lights. Ed.

Kingsweston School

Dear Sir,

We would be extremely grateful if you would insert a short article about our school in your next edition.

Close to Shirehampton is Kingsweston School hidden behind the Duck Pond of Napier Miles Estate. Few people realise that we are here or what sort of school we are. Kingsweston School caters for children with all sorts of learning difficulties including Autism. We have a high staff pupil ratio and pupils come from all parts of Bristol and further afield. Our youngest pupils are 3 and our oldest 19. We are always looking for volunteers to help, either in a paid or unpaid capacity. We try to use volunteers particular talents to benefit our children. If you would like to learn more about Kingsweston School please phone Mrs Muir on 0117 9030398. If you require any further information about the school please phone.

Many thanks,

Yours sincerely

David Capel
Napier Miles Road
BS11 0UT

1985 Portway School Reunion

Did you leave Portway Upper School in 1985 and always wondered what your old school friends are doing now? In the summer of this year (2001) we are hoping to Answer that Question. If you are an ex-pupil or a parent of an ex pupil, please drop us a line or call:

Rachel Ahern
33 The Bean Acre
BS11 0AE


Rachael Young
27 Bradley Ave
BS11 9SL

or call (0797) 4396970

Reply To Ian Bone

Dear Editor

Ian Bone does not seem to realise that we have a very good, efficient, hard working local Community Group, which deals very well indeed with Shirehampton's needs.

Perhaps Lockleaze doesn't have this Public spirited group. We really do not want their assistance.

Yours truly

A. Chick
Penlea House
Penlea Court
BS11 0DE

St. Mary's News

Hi Folks!

Before Christmas is put to the back of our minds until later this year I must mention that the Carol Singing on Saturday 23rd December in the Churchyard raised the sum of 158. Brenda Dammers would like to thank all those who participated in the singing and especially to those people who made their contributions. This money is to be given to Christian Aid. Unfortunately because of the wet weather, Carols on the Green on Christmas Eve, was held in the church. The church was packed full and a retiring collection raised the sum of 223.58p. This money will be donated to either Christian Aid or the Uganda Fund. A cheque for 125 has also been sent to the Red Cross, which is the nett profit from Sunday morning coffee - an excellent sum when contributions for coffee are entirely voluntary. I publish these figures because I am anxious you should know where your hard earned contributions are going - so thank you one and all.

Last month I made mention of Epiphany - now to progress on a little further.

On the last day of this month - 28th February - is Ash Wednesday, this is preceded by Shrove Tuesday - known to many as 'Pancake Day' - when people confessed their sins. Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent which is a period of discipline, repentance and growth which last roughly 40 days - the period of Our Lord's special preparation in the wilderness through temptation for the opening of His Ministry. Further details of Lent I will tell you in March.

I expect many of you who have walked along Pemeroke Road in the last month, have seen Builders vehicles and materials in the Church Centre car park. This is because improvements to the Back Hall, Kitchen and Toilets have been taking place. Once this work has been completed our friends who formerly occupied the Portway Centre will make regular use of the building. It is very heartening to see the building being used for such important work within our community.

Many of you last month will have read an article in the Bristol Evening Post - 'Christenings' at a City Mansion'. It of course was referring to Kingsweston House where 'naming ceremonies' are to be held. The unfortunate use of the word 'christening' is likely to cause confusion. Let me make it abundantley clear there is no such thing as a civil 'christening' and such naming ceremonies do not hold any legal status and have no connection with Christianity.

A baptism or christening is usually the first step towards being accepted as a member of God's family, but is not essential.

When an infant is 'christened' God Parents make promises to encourage that child to follow the Christian teaching of the church and hopefully in later years to Confirmation when they are then able to receive the Holy Sacrament.

The baby Naming Society has since 1994 been helping families to arrange naming ceremonies, for people seeking an alternative to baptising their children into the Christian religion in a church. To deny any person the right to a 'naming ceremony' would of course be an infringement of their freedom of choice. I am sure such ceremonies are formal and dignified family occasions - but not to be confused as a type of 'christening'.

Bye for now


Rail Safety In Wartime

Dear Editor,

For the past few years 'SHIRE' has been kindly sent to my mother, Mrs. Hilda Malbon, at Exeter. She is now 93 and can hardly see and unfortunately has had to go into a nursing home, as she has been falling so much. My father was Station-Master at Shirehampton and Sea Mills from 1939 - 1947 and my mother worked long hours as a volunteer at the St. Mary's Canteen, run by Mrs. Dixon, the Vicar's wife. I was the Canteen errand girl (aged from 9 onwards) and collected things by bicycle.

I can still see the old Station House as I cross the M5 Avonmouth bridge and remember many happy walks over the river, after crossing in the ferry to Pill. During the war, my father's occupation was 'reserved', but despite his day job, he had to walk from Shirehampton to Clifton Down every dawn after an air-raid, to check that the line was safe. All his staff were women and he was the only male at three stations, supervising the arrival of numerous British and American troop trains. Shirehampton had a large loading dock (Avonmouth station did not) and so many tanks and lorries disembarked at Shirehampton and then went down the Portway to go overseas. I now feel entirely out of touch - I have lived in so many places since leaving Shirehampton in 1947, but still have strong memories of Blaise Castle, Penpole, Severn Beach etc. I attended the Junior school until 1942 and then went to Colston's Girls School - another happy memory.

Jean Allen
146 Heavitree Road

Shirehampton Library


Monday: 10.00-1.00; 2.00-5.00
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday: 10.00-1.00; 2.00-5.00
Thursday: Closed
Friday: 10.00-1.00; 2.00-5.00
Saturday: 10.00-1.00; 2.00-4.00


April 17th Abergavenny Market 6.50
May 8th Trago Mills & Teignmouth 6.50
June 12th Torquay 6.50
July 10th Swanage 6.50
August 7th Weston 4.00
Aug ust 28th Exmouth 6.50
Sept 18th Weston 4.00
October 23rd Worcester 6.50
November 13th Exeter 6.50

Non members are welcome to come on the Trips. We pick up at Lawrence Weston and outside St Mary's Church, High Street, Shirehampton.

Please ring 9823180 to book or on Friday afternoons 1pm to 4pm at the Public Hall. Mr N. Sims Evergreens Day Trips leave Lawrence Weston at 8.50am St Bedes Leave St Mary's Church at 9.15am.


Dear Editor

Hello, I grew up in Shirehampton, first in Nibley Road, (the old Prefabs) and then in Meadow Grove. My maiden name was Angela Margaret Powell. My grandparents were Jim and Winifred Powell who lived on Hung Road. I was born in 1946, so this makes me almost 55. I have very strong memories of growing up in Bristol during the post-war period. I am not sure if anybody there would remember me. I was so sad to see my old school Portway (it was Portway Secondary Modern Girls School then) being torn down - so sad - so many memories! My Dad, his sisters, and my mum (Catherine Joyce) have since passed on. Although I am now living in the United States, I still have a strong bond with Shirehampton as our family can be traced back to the 1500's in the area. Our ancestors were the Porters and there is an inscription in a prayer book in St. Mary's Church that records an arbitration between our ancestor and another individual. I can tell you more about it if you like. I was so surprised to see that Shirehampton has a web site - actually delighted - as this gives me a link to home. I am currrently married with three (almost grown) stepsons, I am a research psychologist and a writer, having written two books. I just gained my Ph.D. in Psychology. I would love to be in touch with people in Shirehampton and to be involved in any online activities that are taking part.

Thanks and all the best for the holidays,

Angela Thompson Smith Ph.D. (nee Powell)