Shire logo

Back to April 2001 SHIRE May 2001 Fowards to June 2001 SHIRE
News Index




LEM WATKINS (1918 - 2001)



On Tuesday, 10th April, the Lord Mayor, Cllr. Graham Robertson, presented the Lord Mayor's Medal to 12 people who were nominated for their outstanding work in communities throughout Bristol, three people from Shirehampton receiving this prestigious honour.

The ceremony was hosted and the citations read out by TV presenter Sherrie Eugene. In his speech the Lord Mayor said 'No-one who reads the nominations that we received for the medal this year can fail to be humbled. The response in this year's award demonstrates how many people are devoting their lives to the good of Bristol and how much there is to be proud of in our great city. Selecting 12 medal winners was extremely difficult but I am sure that everyone will be moved by the stories of devotion and dedication behind each and everyone of the people chosen'.

The three recipients from Shirehampton are:

CHRISTOPHER HEARN who can be seen industriously and conscientiously undertaking the thankless task of cleaning our streets, and we are fortunate indeed to have been allocated his services by the Council. But that is his 'Day Job', he also voluntarily maintains St. Mary's Churchyard and it is very pleasing to look away from the traffic in the High Street to see the flowers and shrubs blooming and the grass cut. Christopher finds time too for voluntary service at the Seafarers' Centre in Avonmouth, which is very much appreciated by the staff and visitors alike.

NICOLA BERRY is Director of Music at Portway Community School and won the award for the immense amount of effort she puts into children's music.  She leads the Portway Community School Wind Band and many other groups at the school outside of regular hours. She arranges a Music Summer School, now in its 25th year, which culminates in a grand concert at Clifton Cathedral every July. The Wind Band were also present at the ceremony and played to entertain the guests.

RALPH SMITH ran a successful campaign for several years to have a memorial plaque installed in memory of all the civilians killed by enemy action in Bristol during the 2nd World War. This task took him over 2 years and was achieved with the help of MP's, Councillors and the general public. It is significant for him that it was finally laid on his 65th birthday by the Lord Mayor at St. Peter's Church, Castle Green.

Other local winners are MARGARET SPILLER of Lawrence Weston, who has devoted 15 years  to her work as a volunteer for the Dementia Care Trust.  She and her husband have also been foster parents, caring for over 70 children. MEG GRIMES, formerly of Avonmouth, has devoted her life to helping the homeless. She helped set up the Julian Trust Night Shelter, which is open throughout the year and is the only free shelter in Bristol.


MAY 1st Tuesday St. Andrew's Ladies Club meets at 7.30 p.m. at St. Andrew's Church Hall, Avonmouth to hear JOANNE WILLIAM on 'Dispelling Myth' MAY 1st Tuesdays each week SEQUENCE DANCE at the Church Centre, 7 p.m.-9 p.m. New members welcome.

MAY 1st Tuesday LOCAL COUNCILLORS available for consultation 7.30 p.m. at Jim O'Neil House

MAY 2nd Wednesday ARTHRITIS CARE 7.30 p.m. at the Public Hall

MAY 2nd Every Wednesday SINGING VOICES CHOIR at the Church Centre 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

MAY 2nd Wednesday each week EARLY MORNING SWIM at Shirehampton Baths

MAY 3rd TOWNSWOMEN'S GUILD at the Methodist Church Hall at 7.30 p.m.

MAY 3rd Thursday each week LINE DANCING at the Cotswold Community Centre 2p.m. - 3.15 p.m.

MAY 2nd & 4th Every Wednesday & Friday DROP IN SESSION at the A.U.S. Cottage, High St., next door to Twyford House, 9.30 a.m.-11 a.m.  MAY 3rd Thursday every week TWYFORD ART CLUB at the Public Hall 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.

MAY 4th Friday every week BINGO at the Public Hall start 7 p.m.

MAY 7th Monday MAY DAY BANK HOLIDAY. Library will be closed.

MAY 8th Tuesday weekly REHEARSALS begin for the SHIREHAMPTON CHOIR for their Summer Concert 7.30 p.m. in St. Mary's Church

MAY 9th Every Wednesday & Monday Twyford ART CLUB meets at 9.30 a.m. at the Public Hall.

MAY 11th Friday LAST DAY for handing in ENTRY FORMS for the Local ART EXHIBITION to the Library.

MAY 15th Tuesday St. Andrew's LADIES CLUB  7.30 p.m. at St. Andrew's Church Hall, Avonmouth to hear 'Days with the Lord Mayor' by Mr. Maddox

MAY 15th Tuesday RAILWAY MODELLERS meet 7.30 p.m. at the Public Hall

MAY 16th Wednesday SHIREHAMPTON STITCHERS meet at the Public Hall at 7.30 p.m.

MAY 16th Wednesday HAPPY HEARTS WEST meet at Beachley Walk Centre at 7.30 p.m.

MAY 16th Wednesday WOMEN'S INSTITUTE meets at the Methodist Church Hall at 7.30 p.m. for Resolutions and 4 Fairy Cakes Competition

MAY 25th Friday SEQUENCE DANCE at the Cotswold Centre 7.30 p.m. - 10.30 p.m.

MAY 26th Saturday STAMP FAIR at the Public Hall 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

MAY 26th Saturday 4.30 p.m.-6.30 p.m. PAINTINGS for the Local Art Exhibition to be delivered to the Public Hall by artists.

MAY 27th Sunday LOCAL ART EXHIBITION open to the Public 3 p.m.-6 p.m.

MAY 28th Monday - JUNE 1st Friday, both dates inclusive HALF TERM HOLIDAY FOR ALL LOCAL SCHOOLS. ART EXHIBITION at the Public Hall Sunday, 27th May 3 p.m.-6 p.m., Monday, 28th and Tuesday, 29th May 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Wednesday, 30th May 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

MAY 30th Wednesday Paintings to be collected from the Public Hall between 5.30 p.m. and 6.30 p.m


It is unbelievable that yet another winter season has come to a conclusion.  We have seen floods that have prevented matches on the water based pitch at Coombe Dingle sport ground and over the last few weeks we have had to dip ourselves in disinfectant before entering and leaving some grounds.  This season has seen our first XI team finish champions of Brunel 3 and return to Brunel 2 next winter season. Our second XI will have to wait until the end of April before they will know whether they have survived relegation, as two teams still have a fixture to complete following foot and mouth closing grass pitches in North Somerset for a couple of weeks.  The end of the season saw the introduction of some of our juniors into friendly fixture and the forth-coming summer league at Clevedon should enable us to integrate them into the team in a friendly setting.   The mini section has not seen much in the way of competition this year due to their coach being over committed. However, Catherine Lennox has won a set of pads and kickers to start off our goal keeping kit and the Coach ran the Bath half-marathon to raise approximately 200 towards completing this outfit.

The introduction of the Active Sports initiative in the Avon area should see a significant increase in friendly competitions for young hockey players, and better links with our local schools.

This April sees Avonmouth touring in Weston, a little close to home, but it is hoped that if we have a cheap year then we will plan to travel further and wider next year.

If you would like to join us or would like more information about any of the teams currently run by Avonmouth please contact Sophie Lennox on 0117 9828039.


I was concerned recently to see on two occasions a group of children trying to cross the Lower High Street at its junction with Kingsweston Ave. The sequence of lights has been changed to stop traffic coming from Avonmouth and to allow traffic to go to Lawrence Weston.

The children had noticed the red light to stop Shirehampton traffic and started to cross. Luckily traffic avoided them and no accident occurred. I have been in touch with the Traffic Dept. of Bristol City Council and have arranged to meet an officer and a representative of the Road Safety Dept. on site to see what could be done.

If you have any comments please let me know.

Bob Chubb 9824638.


Gandhi that brilliant statesman and devout Hindu said (I quote from memory):

Those who try to separate politics from religion don't understand the nature of either.' So what has Jesus to say to us about the forthcoming general election?

People will give different answers. Here is mine. Jesus chose two commands as the key to the Law of Moses, one about loving God and the other: You shall love your neighbour as yourself.' (Lev.19.18) When asked Who is my neighbour?' he told the beautiful story of the Good Samaritan (Lk. 10.30-35) who showed practical love towards a down and out stranger.  So I think that Jesus wants us to vote for the candidate, which in practice usually means the party that is most likely to be able to give practical help to the refugees, the hungry, the homeless, the poor, the lonely, the ill, the poorly educated, the unemployed, the disabled and the victims of violence and crime at home and abroad; remembering that prevention is better than cure. The extension of opportunities to enjoy music and art, drama, sport and entertainment generally should not be excluded.   As all parties would claim to promote most, if not all, of these aims we have also to make ourselves as well informed as our circumstances permit on the issues involved.

We are to love our neighbour as ourselves. In loving our disadvantaged neighbours we are also in general serving our own interests. A contented nation and a contented world would make for less violence, less crime, less fear and less stress for us all.

Horace Dammers


I attended, as Chairman of Governors of Avonmouth C of E Primary School, the Annual meeting of the Severnside Siren Trust on 19th March. Also attending were two representatives of Shirehampton Primary School Governors.  We are concerned at the fact that the last test of the system was insufficiently publicised and also that the frequency of tests is too great.  We suggested that they should be tested MONTHLY on the first of each month.  However this did not seem to be well received by the meeting! We also asked if more effort could be made to ensure that press and radio did announce the forthcoming tests. It was agreed that schools should be advised through the education mailing. We were very pleased that, although neither of the schools knew about the test, they acted as though the warning was genuine and brought all children into the buildings.

We felt somewhat uneasy at the present organisation and its ability to educate and communicate with the general public. We felt that there was a lack on continuity in the membership of their meetings which was we considered essential.

If you have any query about the present siren system contact John Britton at Bristol City Council, 4th Floor, Amelia Court, Bristol BS99 7BR or email: or please contact me direct Bob Chubb 9824638.


Eileen, Lesley and David would like to thank friends, neighbours and relatives for their support, messages of sympathy, attendance at the funeral and donations to the British Heart Foundation.THE FRIENDS OF ST. BERNARD'S SCHOOL The Friends of St. Bernard's School and St. Bernard's Parish have been working hard over the past 5 months trying to raise 6,000 towards the cost of building our new classroom. Various fund raising events have been held, the most recent being an End of Term Fancy Dress Disco for the children at the School. The evening was a roaring success and fun was had by all. It was very hard to choose the winners as everyone made such a fantastic effort, however congratulations must go to: Emily Symes as Rapunzel (Infants) and Daniel Arnell as 007 (Juniors). They both won two complimentary tickets to the Imax Theatre @Bristol, kindly donated by Axa. An end of term raffle was also held and the Friends would like to give their thanks and acknowledgement to the following local businesses for their support in our cause: Dot of Woolworths, Jeff of Hawkins News (card counter), Mr Garland of the Co-Op, The Management of Somerfield and Sue of Hair by Design, they donated some fantastic prizes and together with the disco helped us raise a total of 193.88 towards our fund.

A huge word of thanks must go to two of St. Bernard's Staff, Sarah Thayer and Sophie Lennox who took part in the Bath Half Marathon (131/2 miles ouch!) which was held on 18th March. They successfully raised 910 in sponsorship towards our fund, with money still outstanding we expect this figure to be in excess of 1,000. They ran impressive times, Sarah finishing in 2hrs 5mins and Sophie finishing in 2hrs 29mins. Well done to you both it was a mammoth task which not many of us could have undertaken, we are truly proud and grateful to your both.

Thank You.

The Friends of St. Bernard's School.


The above picture was of the crowning of the May Queen in 1933. This festivity was held every year and was very well attended. The young girls were eager to be chosen as the Queen or one of her attendants, so as to wear a beautiful dress for the occasion. Were you there in 1933, or do you recognise anyone in the crowd?


NOT A STITCH at Shirehampton Library, on Friday 1st June, from 2.15 to 3.45 p.m. Help Paint a Quilt of what Shirehampton looked like in Victorian Times, in this absorbing and fun activity session for children aged 7 and over!

Tickets available from the Library.


On RED NOSE day, local Grandmother Jenny Butler raised 65 for Comic Relief.   Jenny works in the Co-Op supermarket in the High Street. The staff and customers paid money to squeak Jenny's nose!MAY QUEEN The above picture was of the crowning of the May Queen in 1933. This festivity was held every year and was very well attended. The young girls were eager to be chosen as the Queen or one of her attendants, so as to wear a beautiful dress for the occasion. Were you there in 1933, or do you recognise anyone in the crowd?


NOT A STITCH at Shirehampton Library, on Friday 1st June, from 2.15 to 3.45 p.m. Help Paint a Quilt of what Shirehampton looked like in Victorian Times, in this absorbing and fun activity session for children aged 7 and over!

Tickets available from the Library.


Saturday, 12th May, 10 a.m.-12 noon. Tombola, gifts, clothes rail, books, refreshments etc. Come and join us and pick up a bargain! All welcome!  Admission only 10p.


The Committee and members of the Shire Evergreen Club wish to convey their thanks to the R.A.O.B. GLE, Welcome Lodge No.: 3478, at Avonmouth Workmen's Club for their generous donation of 50 to the club funds.


There will be a disco on June 2nd at the Public Hall, Shirehampton from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. for children aged between 5 and 12 years. Admission, which is 2.50, includes crisps and a drink and is payable on the door. Additional refreshments will be on sale.

LEM WATKINS (1918 - 2001)

Lem, as he was affectionately known, grew up and lived as a member of a close knit family of his Mum & Dad, two sisters and five brothers. His childhood was centred in and around 15 Poole Street, Avonmouth. He spent the rest of his lifetime living (apart from his war service) in Avonmouth and Shirehampton.

Lem was a kindly, modest, loving and generous man to his family, friends and, yes to strangers alike, an example of which was the unstinting support he gave to a needy family living near Antona Court, where he spent the final years of his life.

As a teenager, he joined the Merchant Navy and served on the Elders and Fyffes banana boats running between Avonmouth and the West Indies. Between the end of his sea-going days and the outbreak of World War 2, he worked at the Power Generating Station in St. Andrews Road. The day war was declared Lem presented himself at the Royal Navy and Royal Marine recruiting office in Bristol. He was immediately accepted into the Royal Marines and was posted to Anti-aircraft batteries on the East Coast near Folkstone for the purpose of shooting down German bombers, thus preventing them from reaching their targets and causing mayhem and bloodshed elsewhere.  From Folkstone he was sent to the Greek Island of Crete where, together with fellow 'Royals' and Commonwealth soldiers, his task was to defend the Island and its People from German aggression. It is well known that despite the heroic and bloody defensive action of the Royal Marines the Island was captured by German paratroops.

For some time following the German occupation of Crete Lem together with other 'Royals', took to the mountains alongside resistance fighters.  Eventually Lem found his way off the island and reached Alexandria where he spent a short time recuperating. He then moved from the war in the Middle East to war in the Far East. He served in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), India and Burma and at the end of the war he returned home to take up work on Avonmouth Docks as a foreman stevedore.

It was not too long after the war that Lem was back in the armed forces again seeing action in the Middle East. The Suez Crisis had erupted and Lem was to find himself serving as a Warrant Officer in Egypt. At the cessation of hostilities in Egypt he returned to the civilian life he had left behind during the Suez conflict.

Whilst Lem was rightly proud of his service in the Armed Forces, particularly the Royal Marines, his modesty and humility made him reluctant to discuss his undoubted bravery and service, not only to his Country but to the people of Crete. He was, however, unable to hide his annual return to Crete where he, and his Royal Marine Colleagues were treated always as returning heroes. It would be true to say that Lem was and is loved and revered by his Cretan friends as he indeed is by his family and friends at home.

Lem will be long remembered and very sadly missed by his family and all who were fortunate enough to know him.


The Annual General Meeting of 'SHIRE' will be held at the Public Hall, Station Road, Shirehampton, on Monday, 4th June at 5.30pm. All are welcome to attend


Portway Community School would like to thank everyone who helped us collect tokens, especially CRS, Hawkins, Maynews, Walon, The Library and the Health Centre for holding collection boxes. We collected almost 6000 tokens locally and over 14000 altogether. We await the result.

Thank you very much for your support.

Emily Hayward.


The Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road, Shirehampton is to hold an Extraordinary Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, 9th May at 7.30 p.m.  The committee urges local people to PLEASE attend this meeting. We need your support to enable our community centre to remain open!


Shire Link would like to thank the R.A.O.B. GLE Welcome Lodge No. 3478 Avonmouth Workmens Club for their very kind donation of 50. This was much appreciated and will be extremely useful.


Many people in Shirehampton still remember Miss Rotha Clay, who died exactly forty years ago, in 1961. They recall her tireless voluntary work in the parish, but she also had another vocation as an historian, and wrote two important books on medieval history and two more on art history. Recently, I was very pleased to be asked to write a short biography of her to appear in the New Dictionary of National Biography - the new version of the famous Victorian work which includes the lives of all the famous people of the British Isles. Miss Clay would no doubt be suitably modest, yet (one hopes) pleased, about being included with this immortal company - Shakespeare, Nelson, Churchill, and so on. Here is a draft of what I have written. If anyone can suggest any important additions, or can spot errors, I would be most grateful to hear about them: most particularly about where Miss Clay's ashes were buried and whether there is any memorial to her. Please contact me, Professor Nicholas Orme, at Department of History, Exeter University, Amory Building, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4RJ, in the next few weeks.

Rotha Mary (1878-1961), historian, was born at The Vicarage, Child's Hill, Hendon, Middlesex, on 17 September 1878, one of twelve children of John Harden Clay (1848-1923), vicar of All Saint's church, Child's Hill, and his wife Alice Spencer Clay, nee Bagnold. Her father's grandfather, John Harden of Brathay Hall, Ambleside, Westmorland, was an amateur painter who entertained John Constable during his Lake District tour of 1806, and her forename was based on that of the River Rothay at Ambleside. In 1893 her father became rector of St Michael's church, Bristol, with a house in Tyndall's Park, and most of the rest of her life was spent in or around the city. Her education seems to have been chiefly private, and she spent only one year at a public school as a pupil of Queen's College, London, from Michaelmas 1895, aided by a scholarship for the children of Cambridge graduates. Her performance there was rated good, very good, or excellent in all subjects, including three foreign languages. She did not proceed to university but, apparently living at home, developed research interests in medieval history comparable with those of her contemporaries Rose Graham, Eleanor Lodge, and (the somewhat younger) Eileen Power, without their advantages of university study and academic careers. By the early years of the twentieth century she was working on early English hospitals, using Bristol University Library and corresponding with scholars like R.C. Fowler, A.G. Little, and H.E. Salter.

This work eventually came to the notice of John Charles Cox who encouraged her to contribute to the series of The Antiquaries' Books, which he edited for Methuen and Co. Her study of The Medieval Hospitals of England appeared in 1909, and was followed by The Hermits and Anchorites of England in 1914.  Both books were well researched, using original records (chiefly printed ones) encompassing the whole of England, and combining clear and judicious exposition with detailed lists of hospitals, hermits and anchorites throughout the country. They commanded their fields throughout the twentieth century, and are still valuable as surveys and inventories.

At or not long after her father's retirement from St Michael's in 1918, Clay moved to the Shirehampton district of Bristol, an expanding suburb characterised by much unemployment and poverty. Supported by minimal private means, she lived successively in furnished rooms, a council house, and finally at Itex Cottage with a lady companion, Miss Higgs. The rest of her life was given to voluntary social work, based at the University of Bristol Settlement in Kingsweston Avenue, Shirehampton, of which she was honorary warden. Her activities included identifying charitable resources, raising money, distributing help to the poor, teaching needlework to girls, and organising young people's activities. For a time she was attracted to Christian Science, but eventually she became a worshipper at Shirehampton parish church. Her vocation for scholarship now turned to art history. In 1941 she published a study of Samuel Hieronymus Grimm of Burgdorf in Switzerland, an artist notable for his drawings of places and social events in England during the late eighteenth century. She spent the next seven years researching a book on a similar figure, the Yorkshire artist Julius Caesar Ibbetson. In 1947 she was granted a Harold Tetley Postgraduate Scholarship at Leeds University to complete this work, and the book appeared in the following year. Her

interest  in hospitals and hermits continued, and she gave generous help to other historians of these subjects, notably Dom David Knowles and R.N. Hadcock in their list of Medieval Religious Houses: England and Wales (1953). She intended to revise both her first two books, but the only fruit of this ambition was a short article on medieval recluses, published in 1953.

Many people in Shirehampton retained warm and grateful memories of her care and service, and her achievements as an historian were recognised by election as a fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 1943 and by an honorary degree of MA from Bristol University in 1954. An unofficial photograph of her, taken on the latter occasion, shows her standing modestly and alone. Her death took place at Ilex Cottage on 1 March 1961, followed by cremation and a memorial service.

Notes on the Shirehampton Community Group Meeting

Held in the Public Hall on Wednesday 28th March 2001 There were 21 people present

Section Reports

a) General - Presented by John Parsons

A garden shed protection campaign is being run by the police locally - John is considering inviting them to our meeting. The police have arranged a meeting at St Bernard's Hall on 23 May, which clashes with our next meeting.  The PCCG has been disbanded and another type of meeting is being held instead. John has left a message for the co-ordinator suggesting we might combine our meetings on that date. He will put a note in Shire when he has an answer.

Donations totalling 12.12 were received at the last meeting.  A meeting was held in the Public Hall in January with a view to setting up a Shirehampton Trust. A profile of Shire was produced by the attached worker, Ian Bone which anyone can borrow. There was a reasonable attendance at the meeting  and general feeling that it would be worthwhile progressing the idea in some way because it would assist various groups in working together towards a common objective.

b) Highways - Presented by John Parsons

John had nothing to report. From the floor - the lamp at 3 Park Road has been out of action for a year now - John has written about it. Signs on the Green have been pulled down and are in potentially dangerous state. John to report it. New lamps have been erected on The Ridge but the old ones have not been taken away.

c) Planning & Environment - Presented by John Callaghan

Conservation area - it is proposed that extra buildings on the south side of Station Road are to be included in the conservation area. No details are available yet but it is hoped the area will be extended up as far as the Public Hall.

Sirens on the riverside - one is now situated on the riverbank and was tested earlier in the month.

Pembroke Road Car Sales - nothing further heard.

Lidl - nothing further heard to date. If the conservation area is extended to include the old Savoy building that would present problems for Lidl.  Park & Ride - John had attended all the pubic meetings in Avonmouth and Shirehampton and at the hearing which decided to allow the Park and Ride application to proceed by a narrow majority of 5 to 4. There was some concern at the way the hearing was dealt with and one councillor from outside this area has taken the matter up with the Ombudsman. Others are considering similar action and members of the public can do likewise if they wish. For the time being then the Park and Ride is likely to go ahead but the matter is by no means finalised.

One-2-One - the planning application to erect a mast on Barwick House was being heard today. the current mast is not in operation and will be removed if the alternative site is permitted.

High Street - John read out a letter which states that money is available for traffic improvements which include slowing down traffic through the High Street and Pembroke Road, providing more parking bays to address concerns of local traders, and providing another disabled parking bay near the Post Office. The proposals will be made for public consultation.  Land next to Alldays - John was asked if he knew what was happening here as the site seemed to be for sale. John had not heard anything although at one time it was designated for a new library.

Fair in Shirehampton Park - Sue Hook explained that despite this area being closed to the public because of Foot and Mouth, the fair arrived with the consent of Leisure Services. Barbara Harries of Kingsweston Preservation Society took action at a higher level ad the fair left but devastated the area in the process. Photographs have been taken of the damage and Leisure Services have been asked to pay the cost of rectifying the damage.  Indian Restaurant - this has newly opened in the old Job Centre premises. It is good to see the building in use again.

Any other business

John Parsons asked if anyone would be prepared to take over the role of Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator, which is to be undertaken by Phil Squires.  Date of next meeting: Wednesday 23 May 2001 7.30pm at St Bernard's Hall, and will be combined with the Police Meeting.


The Club held a successful Pastel Demonstration and Workshop in the Public Hall on Saturday, 7th April, 2001, conducted by Chris Stinchcombe, a Club member whose work will be known through the many pictures he has exhibited at the Annual Art Exhibition.

During the course of the demonstration Chris gave guidance on materials and how to use them expressively and developed a pastel painting step by step.  The workshop approach to learning is based on active participation under the guidance of an experience pastelist.

Chris attends the Club's Thursday evening session from 7 to 9 p.m. and is prepared to assist beginners interested in this medium and new members will be welcome.

He will be exhibiting again this year at the Annual Art Exhibition to be held in the Public Hall from Sunday, 27th to Wednesday, 30th May.  The exhibition this year is dedicated to the memory of the late Philip Squire and will be opened by Dr. John Andrews.St Mary's News Hi Folks, Well, a rather cold and damp Easter has passed and so we move on into May when hopefully the weather will be that much warmer and we can tend the Spring flowers in our gardens once more.

Friday May 11th is the date of our next planned Skittles Evening at Hallen Community Centre, If you are interested in joining us, then see Bernard Waller in the church on any Sunday morning. Judging on past experience this is sure to be a popular event.

Forty days after Easter, which is always a Thursday, is Ascension Day. This year it is Thursday 24th May. During this 40-day period Christ appeared frequently to the disciples and others, teaching and preparing them. Then he withdrew his bodily presence and ascended into Heaven on Ascension Day. As promised, after ten days of waiting and prayer in the Upper Room  in Jerusalem, the disciples received the Holy Spirit on Whitsunday. Christ was to lead them into all truth and quicken and strengthen them for the colossal task of making himself known to all men, everywhere, in all ages.  Whitsunday, also called Pentecost, is often known as the birthday of the Church. As the day of the original bestowing of the Holy Spirit it is often a favourite day of Baptism. Whitsunday this year falls on Sunday 3rd June - why not join us in these birthday' celebrations?

I am sure you will all be delighted to hear that a member of our congregation has recently been awarded the Lord Mayor's Medal. His name is Chris Hearn - a familiar face around the village as he is our local street cleaner. The Lord Mayor's Medal has been awarded since 1984 for services to the Community. Chris's citation reads, 'Mr Hearn, a street cleaner, was nominated both for his efforts to keep the streets of Shirehampton clean and for his unstinting voluntary work to maintain the St Mary's graveyard and for his help at the Seafarer's Centre now at Royal Portbury Dock.' Many congratulations Chris, we are all extremely pleased and proud of you!  On that happy note I must leave you until next month.

Bye for now


P.S. I almost forgot - our Speaker on Sunday 13th May at 10am Holy Communion will be Mr Nigel Quarrell from Christian Aid. He will be telling us all about the work of Christian Aid and where the donations to the organisation are spent. I'm sure Nigel will join us for coffee after the service and be available to answer any questions anyone may have


I would like to bring to the notice of all the good people of Shirehampton that we hold a friendly (emphasis on friendly') Whist Drive on Monday and Wednesday evenings, commencing at 7 p.m. at the Tythe Barn. We look forward to seeing you there.

J. Cornall


Due to limited space in this edition, we regret being unable to duplicate the Entry Form for the Art Exhibition. However, these are available at Shirehanmpton Library and in the April Edition of SHIRE. The completed forms are required to be handed in to the Library by Friday, 11th May, 2001.


With regard to your article in the Shire paper headed 'Action for Shirehampton', I am writing to you with my views on your recommendation for the quoted 'young people'.

I am disgusted by the way the young people of today are treated and branded by the locals and the law. These children have nothing in this neighbourhood; their local your club has been shut down due to poor leadership, which is one of the main reasons they have taken to the streets.  They have been given a great basketball court situated in St Mary's park, which they cannot use as they are always told to move on by the police, due to the locals complaining that they are being a nuisance. This again results in them moving back onto the streets, which locals again find threatening and are again moved on by the police.

Please tell me what you intend on doing for these kids! As a young person myself, I once went to Groveleaze youth club from a young age right up to my teens. This was open for children five days a week, now they are lucky to see the place open once a month.

Everyone complains and yet they are prepared to do nothing. A few weeks before Christmas I went to the youth club asking if they had any positions available as I have a lot to offer these kids and would rather see them doing something with their time than sit around being harassed by locals and the police. They were all up for getting me started, then before I knew it the place had shut down.

I have teenaged brothers and sisters. I see what goes on in their lives and I want to help them. I am only twenty-two and the candidates of the local council would only look at me as wasting their time. I cannot fight this alone, I need help from the public to get this youth club up and running again.

People have to realise that they have to fight with the kids not against them. I personally know the staff from  Groveleaze youth club and I believe that they are great with the kids, but were also let down by their team leader who has left, which is why it has closed. If the locals could only see that the young kids are not to blame for hanging around the streets, they have nothing else to do and nowhere else to go and without your help it will remain the same.

Thank you for your time.

Name and address supplied


On Thursday, 5th April, we held a competition and cake sale at the school.  The children made some fantastic Easter gardens, decorated eggs and bonnets for display in the Gym. Cakes, biscuits and crafts were available all day, thanks to kind donors. In the afternoon, we held a talent competition, which included poetry, singing, dancing and the playing of musical instruments.  All the children who took part were very talented. Everyone had a lovely day whilst raising money for school funds.

It was also a non-uniform day, and the 50p paid by each child will be used for a special project to provide activity equipment, shade and other improvements to the playground for the new school. Alterations are due to begin soon.

We would like to say a big thank you to all parents for their help and donations, to those year 6 children who helped with the sale, and to the following local traders for their kind donations: Woolworths, Co-op, Hawkins Newsagent.

We look forward to our next event!

S. Knowlson (Secretary)


It is about time that someone did something to help the youngsters!  I have two teenagers myself and they are good kids, not the sort to go out looking for trouble like many other. The police keep stopping local kids where ever they go, which in my eyes is wrong. As a teenager my friends would 'hangout' in the village, it's not like this is the first generation to do it. The village was our meeting place.

The youth club use to be open five days a week for kids aged seven to eighteen, now it's never open. There was never a problem with kids hanging around the street then, which states the obvious. If the kids had something to do then maybe they wouldn't hang around the streets.  It's not fair to label all the teens as vandals when you only see half of what's going on. Teens from other areas come into Shire and vandalised the place, leave, and our local kids to take the blame. I think the police that patrol this area should learn to listen before they make assumptions, as this also causes friction.

Money has been given Lawrence Weston youth club, which, might I add, is open all the time. Why can't this be done for our youth club? The staff that help run the show at Groveleaze are great people that had interests in the kids and they helped to keep them off the streets. They were let down too, when they had to turn the kids away because they had no team leader.  These kids need somewhere to go so they can talk and enjoy themselves without being moved on by the police or moaned at by locals. This is what the public have to see, for fighting against the kids will get them nowhere!

Shire Mother


On Monday April 2nd, Mrs Margaret Jones of the Shire Evergreen Club was invited to the opening of the Computer Room at the Central Library. Margaret and a number of other members are learning computer skills at the Public Hall and in Lawrence Weston. Courses are open to all, young or old.


The Veterans would like to thank the people of Shirehampton for their kindness and generosity on our collection day. We would also like to thank Woolworth's, the Co-op and Somerfields for allowing us to make the collection. This will be such a help to our Welfare Fund.

Sincerely yours

Philip Read NVA