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'Shire' Needs you!

LORD MAYOR VISITS JIM O'NEIL HOUSE

D & O DRAPERS CLOSES DOWN

Maharajas - 'the best'

St. Marys News

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KELLY

TEAM LEGATO

SIRENS

Shire Distribution

Our grateful thanks to Herbert Simmons, who has delivered over 200 papers every month for so many years we have lost count! However, time marches on and unfortunately he has had to give up his round due to ill health. We are very sorry to hear this and send him our sincere regards - we know we will miss the help given by him every month.

We add our thanks to Mrs. Berry, Mrs. Williams and Mrs. Raybould, who deliver around 100 papers each in West Town Road, Old Quarry Road and Grove Leaze. They have served for many years and now wish to 'Stand down and we all send our good wishes to them.

'Shire' Needs you!

The 30th Anniversary of 'Shire will take place in February 2002, and during theses years until the last 6 months volunteers delivered the paper to every house in Shirehampton. Why not now? We cannot understand where the community spirit has disappeared!

We DO NEED a volunteer to deliver the paper to every shop in the High Street the income we receive to produce the paper comes from the local shops and businesses, so it is important that they see the paper!

If the paper is not delivered to your house each month then we need a volunteer if possible from your road, so can you persuade someone to step forward? Bundles of papers are delivered to the volunteers house ready for distribution.

If you would like to volunteer to help, please ring 982 7268, 982 4459 or 983 2663 - it would be much appreciated.

LORD MAYOR VISITS JIM O'NEIL HOUSE

The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress visited Jim O'Neil House during the Open Day held on Thursday 24 May, as part of the Sheltered Housing Association Awareness Week, as referred to in our May edition.

AVON UNIVERSITY SETTLEMENT ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

The Annual General Meeting of the Avon (University Settlement) Community Association will take place on Wednesday, 6th June, 2001, at the Associations premises, 115 High Street, Shirehampton, commencing at 7.30 p.m.

Anyone interested in the work of the Association is welcome to attend this meeting.

D & O DRAPERS CLOSES DOWN

It is sad that another of our village shops closes down as the trader retires. D & O Drapers will be very much missed as we find the need for the bits and pieces accumulated in a drapery store and it appears that there is not another around.

We wish Bridget a long and happy retirement - and we will miss her for a long time to come!

Maharajas - 'the best'

Come and enjoy an evening out in a delightful atmosphere, complimented by delicious food described as follows by the writer of one of many letters received from very satisfied customers - 'I bought one of your Take away meals ten days ago. It was so delicious that I brought a friend to your restaurant last Saturday for a meal. I seldom write letters of Congratulation. However, your staff from the chef to the waiters all deserve my heartiest thanks. The meal was so superb and the service amazing! I have lived in Shirehampton all my life . Your restaurant is undoubtedly the best 'Thing that has happened in this area! Once again, many congratulations and thanks. Mrs. L.D.

The Maharajahs Restaurant, which opened in April in Station Road, is rapidly gaining popularity due to the excellence of its Indian Dishes both in the restaurant, pictured above, and its takeaway meals. The restaurant also has the benefit of being fully licensed.

ACTION FOR SHIREHAMPTON

As a 73 year old Grandfather, I just had to write to say how I agree with the two letters published in the May issue of the SHIRE paper. We do not try and help the young of today with providing them with places to go to meet their friends and relax in their own surroundings, all we do is moan about their behaviour and how they hang about the village causing all sorts of mayhem, when a lot of the time it is outsiders to blame. Surely the Public Hall can be used more often to hold Discos for them, and for other activities. We have to meet this problem head on, they live here and are not going to go away, they just need a place to be with young people their own age.

Perhaps some sort of action group could be set up to meet and talk to these youngsters, instead of making them outcasts of our society.

SHIRE PENSIONER
(Name and address supplied).

The Public Hall News - Spring Instalment

We have been moving as fast as we could towards a new wonderfully user-friendly community building, but it all takes time! Every improvement and development means negotiation with the council which owns the Hall, or fundraising for new items of work or events, and building work which has to be fitted in with the needs of our users.

However, Spring will be heralded at the Hall by new and fragrant spaces, the smell of new paint, new projects unfurling, young clubs budding and a lot of other seasonal metaphors.

Fragrant? Spaces? Yes, following the wonderful new kitchen, the wonderful new loos. We know its not usual to boast about toilets, but we are in this case! Any long-time users of the Hall remember the dire state of the old ones and are delighted with the new ones. They come courtesy of the Council and although we thought they would never be finished, (4 months they took!) they now are, and they a 100% improvement - nice colours, fragranced by new paint and pot pourri, heated in the winter - and best of all, we can offer accessible, assisted toilets too, so we can welcome everyone in the community as a hall user now.

What about the buildings myriad leaks then? Well, these will shortly be a thing of the past, and not just because the weathers picking up. The Council HAS been doing loads of work around the place over the last year, but this spring they are sending their various men to do many curative repairs, including making all the windows open properly, so we can let the spring air in. So, therell be no depressing dripping sounds, no green mould, and no carelessly-parked pushchairs full of water in the entrance hall. Hooray!

So will the main hall get painted now? Well, yes, - pretty soon anyway. No point in painting it whilst their are damp patches, but theyll soon be a thing of the past. sweet - (South West England Environmental Trust), and Shire Community Newspaper have both come to our help and most grateful too. The re-painting might disrupt the Hall use temporarily, but we hope to keep this to a minimum. And when its finished, we are going to have a great re-launch event and entertainment to which everyone is invited, whichll give everyone a chance to come and have a good time - and see what a great place it would be for them to hold their parties, meetings, concerts etc. The celebration is funded by the Lottery - our thanks to the good folk at Awards for All, for it.

What's this new project stuff then? Do you remember the community profile we published and the well-attended meeting we hosted when we asked, 'Would a Community Development Trust in Shire help to address concerns and improve the quality of life here? Well, there was enough local interest, (remember Janet Thomass article in the March Shire?) - both in the form of questions or positive feedback from some groups - to look more seriously at the plan, and decide to take this idea another step forward. Weve been successful in a bid to the Councils Neighbourhood and Housing Services Division for funding to do this, and Community Worker, Ian Bone, will be returning to bring local people together again for discussions. Watch this space.

And the young clubs? The Shire After School Club, what else? It will be opening in September, and meanwhile new trained and experienced playworkers are on board and all the necessary preparations are being made to ensure it will be a safe and exciting new initiative, offering quality care for up to 24 local children aged between 4-11 years. It will be Social Services-registered and managed by a voluntary management committee of local people supported by BAND - Bristol Association of Neighbourhood Daycare. On Saturday July 21st the Club will be running a whole morning of entertainment and taster activities at its base at the Public Hall, (note this date on your calendar now!), and extends a warm welcome to families to come along, enjoy, get information and sign on of theyd like to book a place at the Club. In fact, theres already a waiting list, so it you want to ensure a place, contact Kate Pollard at the Hall. Oh and by the way, if you are a parent who walks past the Hall each day anyway, taking and collecting a child from St Bernards Primary, Avon Primary or Shire Infant or Junior Schools would you be interested in meeting and delivering to the Club another few, (maximum 4) children? There is a small wage for this job-ette for a very reliable person.

What a face lift! Is there space for new groups then? Yep, we can usually fit in new activities and we want to offer a background for whatever the community wants to run here. Dont forget, we have a kitchen, a digital piano, a PA system, which we can lend you at a small cost if you want to put something on here, and theres a good sized stage. Do contact us - at the Hall, Kate Pollard.

Thank you to the Ladies of the Womens Fellowship

Just to say a very big THANK YOU to all the ladies from the Womens Fellowship for all the lovely food they made on the evening we entertained the ladies from Chippenham.

If anyone would like to join us, we are a friendly group who every other Wednesday evening meet at St. Bernards School and we would welcome you at our next meeting on 22nd May, commencing at 7.30pm.

Mary Howell
(Many thanks for your contribution to SHIRE funds)

SEA MILLS METHODIST CHURCH 70th ANNIVERSARY

The Sea Mills Methodist Church 70th Anniversary events will take place on 8th, 9th and 10th June 2001.

Church open: Friday 8th 11-1, 2-4.30
Sat 9th 11-2, 2-4.30
Sat 9th 7.30 p.m. Filton Silver Band playing, entrance fee: £3 adults, £1.50 children
Sun 10th Services 10.30 am and 6.30 pm

Pond Life

I was taken to task a year ago by a Wildlife Person for suggesting I might import some tadpoles for our new pond ­ might I not be introducing some fell disease into its pristine depths? Oh dear, I thought all species of frogs had spread around the world via small children with unhygienic jamjars. But you cant stop frog-spawn; all pond-owners are dying to give you some of theirs and it came anyway, with no ill-effect and an end-result of many froglets (thats their proper name.) You can feed tadpoles with special food like ants eggs but froglets fend for themselves and seem to disappear, only to return a year later to entertain you with their froggy chorus, which we await with interest. This years donation of frogspawn lies at the bottom of the pond under the water weed; if the water is clear you can inspect the bottom with a torch at night. But if your new residents are over large with unpleasant red bits, they might be some unwelcome bullfrog from the New World. If so, send for the Wildlife Person at one.

B. D.

St. Marys News

Hi folks!

At last its warmer and we can begin to think once more of Summer. A week after Pentécost is Trinity Sunday and as a child it was always for me the beginning of Summer.

On Trinity Sunday the church acknowledges the glory of the Eternal Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and for the remaining 25 or so Sundays of the year, consider the great teachings and lessons of the faith once delivered but in which the Holy Spirit is ever leading us to perceive new depths of meaning, new relevancy for the changes and chances of the passing years and the developing social scene and new riches of inspiration. Recently the Parochial Church Council and Churchwardens have interviewed two candidates for the vacancy at St. Marys - so we hope and pray we may have a new incumbent before too long to breathe fresh life into the parish. On Friday 11th May we had another magnificent evening at Hallen Community Centre. Bernard and Nan Waller organised a super skittles evening for which we were all extremely grateful.

Now for the results

Highest Mens Score - Adrian Sawicki
Highest Ladies Score - Lyn Greening
Lowest Ladies Score - Pearl Pimm (wooden spoon)
Lowest Mans Score - Roy 'Jogger Miller

Roy only managed to sink 6 pins and was heard to mention that if this ever got into print he would 'sue the writer.

Well, Im prepared to take the risk in view of the fact that this will have less effect on the public than the exposure of Roys bare legs jogging around the parish. These legs have caused women to faint , men to gasp in amazement and children to fall about laughing - see you in court Roy!! But all has not yet been revealed - The Knockout Competition! The lady winner was Doreen Hyde and the mens winner was yours truly (I certainly do not intend to share my prize with a certain jogger either!!) Well, thats all for now - see you next month (unless Roy wins his court action and Im in prison)

C.M.E

ACTION FOR  SHIREHAMPTON UPDATE

In our March issue we reported the meeting held in the Public Hall, to discuss Ian Bones Community Profile of Shirehampton, which had just been completed. Ians report recommended that there is a need to establish some form of partnership working among the different organisations to develop a strategic vision for Shirehampton. This could take the form of a Community Development Trust or an Urban Parish Council or Area Forum but partnership working will be essential if resources are to be gained to meet identified and shared problems.

Much work remains to be done before we can see any benefits from this partnership working. The Public Hall Community Association is very pleased to announce that it has received a grant from Bristol City Council to enable more to be done. This has enabled us to re-employ Ian for another six months, to follow up the recommendations in the report. Ian will be contacting all those who contributed to it, or came to the Public Hall meeting, in the near future, to explore the way forward. He would be delighted to hear from any other organisation or individual who would like to be involved. Give him a ring on 982 9963, or drop in on him at the Public Hall.

The full Community Profile is available at the Library. It has also been placed on the Public Hall Associations new website, at www.shirepubhall.org.uk.

THANK YOU TO BRIDGET KERBES OF D & O DRAPERS

Shirehampton Traders Association wish to thank Bridget Kerbes for her support in the Association and to wish her a long and enjoyable retirement. We hope that as Bridget will not be living too far away, that we may be able to call upon her continued support and to see her around the village from time to time.

D & O Drapers has been in the village for 28 years, first run by her husband but for the last 18 years by Bridget herself. If local comment is anything to go by, her shop will be greatly missed.

Best wishes Bridget from us all.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KELLY

Ena Kellaway, Kelly to all who know her, celebrates her 90th birthday on 23rd June, 2001. She retired to live in Shirehampton in 1978 after a career in nursing, specialising in midwifery. She served in a number of Bristol hospitals and from Southmead Hospital was promoted to Matron in Charge of St. Brendas Maternity Hospital in Clifton, where she remained until her retirement. Kelly has always been interested in amateur dramatics and whilst working at Southmead Hospital she wrote the scripts for the annual pantomimes performed there.

On arriving in Shirehampton she set about reviving interest in local amateur theatre, which had been in decline for a number of years. A few people responded to her advert to attend a meeting at her home in the late 1970s due to her enthusiasm and drive OThe Shire Players were formed. She wrote the scripts in verse for their first two pantomimes put on at the Public Hall 'Hey Diddle Diddle at the Cat and Fiddle and 'Sinbad the Sailor, the first of 'The Shire Players successful stage shows. In later years, when 'The Shire Players and 'The Pembroke Players merged, they called themselves 'The Kellaway Players as a tribute to her initial work. She was for many years a member of the Bristol Writers Circle, writing poems and short stories, several of which were published, and at one stage winning the 'Womens Own national story competition. She is a past President of the Shirehampton Womens Institute and is still an active member, always ready to host fund-raising and charity events at her home.

The W.I. will be toasting her health at their June meeting with a glass or two, and the main celebration will be at 'The Bridge at Southmead Hospital on Saturday, 23rd June.

Nora Roberts with thanks to Shirl and Vera for their help.

PORTWAY STROKE CLUB

The club is in its 20th year of providing a service to Stroke sufferers from Shirehampton and surrounding districts.

Every Thursday afternoon members can come to the Port of Bristol Social Club for a chat, game of bingo or bowls, plus refreshments, and outings are also arranged during the summer months.

The Club is kept going by a dedicated group of volunteers, but they are always short of helpers and drivers which limits the number they can cater for.

If any car driver can help on Thursday afternoons to take members from home to the club, please contact the organiser, Pat Rowe on (0117) 951 1398. A mileage allowance is paid.

The Bristol Area Stroke Foundation is holding a Summer Fayre at St. Mary Magdalene Church Hall, Stoke Bishop, on Sunday, 3rd June from 2-5 p.m.

N. Roberts

Notes on the Police Consultative Meeting

Held at St. Bernards School on Wednesday 23 May at 7.30pm

A large number of people from Shirehampton, Lawrence Weston and Avonmouth attended the meeting to voice their fears about crime in the area and listen to what the police had to say. Stuart Jones, Inspector at Avonmouth and Chairman of the local Action Group, chaired the meeting and was supported by Steve Blackburn, his deputy at Avonmouth, Fiona Stevens of the Youth Offending Team which covers the whole of Bristol, and Rick Palmer, District Commander. The meeting was a consultation exercise between the police and the public.

From the floor main concerns were:

a) the time it takes for police to respond to calls, by which time the perpetrators are long gone. This is particularly the case with car crimes. The response from the police was that the demand on the Avon and Somerset Police has increased in recent years so much and there are only 3000 officers available for the whole area from South Gloucestershire down to Yeovil in Somerset, of which about 25% are on leave, rest days etc. at any one time. In our district there are about 240 officers, so they have to prioritise and keep officers in reserve for serious crimes. (A comment was made that any victim of crime considers it serious for them)

b) Why are the police not more visible, ie on the beat and on foot? this was a particular concern in Lawrence Weston where gangs of youths hang around and their presence is intimidating to residents, even if they are not committing actual offenses. There is also the menace of car theft (Joy Riding) and setting fire to cars and bikes.

The police do have a presence in the area albeit in cars and/or riot vans and they talk to the youngsters. They would like to have the manpower and resources available to have a more visible and frequent presence but they do the best they can with what they have.

c) The problem of truancy and what the police do when they see youngsters around who should be in school The Police have no power to take children back to school without the presence of an educational welfare officer in attendance. When they do work together they are effective in returning truants to school.

Doug Naysmith, MP, asked the police to outline the strategies they do have in place and Rick Palmer explained that the number of officer at Avonmouth has more than doubled over the last 4 months, and the CID which was under one roof at Southmead is partially based at Avonmouth, working in the community 24 hours a day. There is also a police team based there to to target persistent criminals and has met with tremendous success, so with Avonmouth station being used to capacity and a proactive team, improvements have already been made. Covert operations and video evidence are also used in the fight against crime and there is work going on within secondary schools to have an operational base for the police working in co-operation with the schools.

It was stressed that the wrong-doers usually belong to the local community and there are actions that can be taken by local people to help apprehend criminals or prevent youngsters becoming a nuisance, for instance identifying the culprits and parents knowing where their children are and what they are doing. Fitting cars with immobilisers is recommended, especially older cars, which are easier to steal. Neighbourhood watch schemes can help and Ospecial constablesrecruited locally.

Some 5,500 arrests have been made by just about 240 police in the district over a period so improvements are taking effect. The reason for these consultative meetings is to get public to work with police because this is the most affective way of getting results.

The traffic police have had there numbers cut over the past few years but it is hoped that we might see traffic police patrolling streets at some stage. Ideally the police would work in conjunction with schools and youth workers to deter youngsters from committing crimes, but it is the responsibility of the local council to provide youth workers and, as was pointed out, there are now none in Shirehampton or Lawrence Weston.

It was clear to the police from the sheer turnout of people at the meeting, just how frustrated and annoyed people are about crime especially that committed by young people, but it was also acknowledged that it is not just the responsibility of the police but also that of the members of the community and parents.

DIAMOND WEDDING ANNIVERSARY 29.5.2001 MR. & MRS. EDWIN BRAZIER

Mr Edwin Brazier and his wife Hilda of Station Road were married by the Reverend Bartlam at Hampton Lovett, Droitwich, Worcester, on 29th May, 1941. They have three children, John, Alan and Julie, who feel they could not have had better parents.

Edwin will be 80 on the 21st June. He served in the Glorious Gloucesters during the 2nd World War and was bombed in London. He was the only survivor from a multi storey building that was hit by a flying bomb. He was buried in the cellar for many hours having fallen from one of the upper floors. He had a broken back and was told he would never walk again, but he ignored this and within 3 years he was on his feet. He had a number of jobs and to this day keeps himself very active. He helps a number of 'older people in the area, doing shopping and transporting them to the Doctors and Clubs. Hildas birthday was in November and she is very well known in the area from her days working for the Prudential Assurance Company on door-to-door collections. She is now an active committee member of the local Bright Hour; she has been treasurer and is now involved in making things to sell, selling things she has collected at jumble sales and raising money for charity at coffee mornings.

CONGRATULATIONS AND ALL GOOD WISHES TO YOU BOTH !

THANK YOU TO THE POST OFFICE

May I pay tribute to our Post Office for their patience, courtesy and efficiency, which is quite exemplary.

L.T. Wetton, Sunnyhill House West.

IN MEMORY OF Audrey Doreen Davies

Audrey Doreen Davies (nee John) born Swansea, July 3 1916 died Hamilton, ON, Canada, April 19, 1990 and Albert Joseph Davies, born Cardiff September 18, 1911, died Hamilton, ON, Canada on April 24, 2000, formerly of Shirehampton, Bristol, England.

Audrey and Dave have a profound love of music and both were accomplished singers. Their singing was what first brought them together as teenagers in Shirehampton and they continued to sing together throughout their lives. Dave was a man of very sharp wit and a memory well equipped to entertain with his recitations. They entertained often at various venues in the Hamilton area, the city in which they settled after emigrating to Canada in 1952.

They did, however, return to England regularly and loved to visit one of their old haunts in Shirehampton, The Lamplighters. Audrey and Dave are survived by two children, Richard and Nicola, and two grandchildren, all living in Canada. Audrey is survived by two sisters and many nieces and nephews a in England and Dave is survived by one sister and one brother and many neices and nephews, also in England. In memory of Audrey, the 'prettiest girl in Shire (as Dave referred to her) and Dave, my darling father, you are loved, missed and will be remembered forever.

Nikki (Davies) Singh, Ancaster, Ontario, Canada.

ESTUARY WILDLIFE GROUP (formerly Avonmouth Wildlife Group)

The dates of the next three meetings are as follows:-

Wednesday June 20th
Wednesday July 25th
Wednesday September 5th

All to be held at Avonmouth Community Centre, commencing at 7 p.m.

TEAM LEGATO

Tony Bullimore on board the Team Legato catamaran passing horseshoe bend on Sunday 13 May after his round the world voyage.                              (Photo: Eric Verey)

SIRENS

Dear Sir/Madam

I write in response to an article, written by Bob Chubb, Chairman of Govenors for Avonmouth C of E Primary School, on the Severnside Siren Trust.

As a Trustee of the Siren Trust for the last year and the Managing Director of the largest employer in the Avonmouth area, I am concerned at the carping that goes on from people who take a passing interest in something like the Siren Scheme but who have no role whatsoever in establishing it or contributing to its management or administration.

Many dedicated people have devoted hundreds of hours to getting this wholly charitable activity off the ground. Then no doubt well meaning but totally misinformed individuals attend one meeting and on the basis of a few minutes observation, believe that they have the perfect solution to all the issues involved in operating the Siren System.

The writer of the article suggested at the meeting that Sirens should be tested monthly and he seems peeved that other people with much more experience of the matter disagreed with him. It never occurs to such people that they might just have to accept another point of view is equally valid.

Similarly the writer criticised the Trust Administration for failing to publicise the test adequately. Let him try to get the press and radio to announce these kinds of issues and see how successful he is before criticising others.

There is a further comment regarding lack of continuity of membership of the meetings which is pretty rich from an individual who has attended just once and can have no knowledge whatsoever no this matter. The same core group of people have been completely selflessly dedicating hundreds of hours of their own personal time to getting this project up and running in the interests of the local people. If the writer of the article had taken more interest over the last 3 years, he would have been better informed and could have avoided totally ill-informed criticism.

It is so typical of some members of the British Public that having played no part whatsoever in a project organised entirely voluntarily at great personal effort by a small group of people, they should immediately whinge and carp and believe they know how they could do it better.

Your faithfully

JJ Boulter
Chairman

Dear Editor

PROPOSED HOSTEL - PORTWAY CENTRE, ST. BERNARDS ROAD A planning Application has been submitted for change of use of the Portway Centre, St. Bernards Road, from Day Centre to Family Hostel, which, with the addition of a proposed additional floor, would provide 18 bedrooms for single, double and family accommodation as allocated by the Dept. of Social Security.

The residents of St. Bernards Road/Avonwood Close are naturally very worried about this proposal and are opposing the plans with a petition and letters of concern to the Planning Dept.

Local residents believe that single people as well as families will be housed in the hostel bringing additional problems to Shirehampton, which is already experiencing increasing problems of anti-social behaviour, crime and vandalism. It is understood that the proposal will be discussed at a planning Meeting on Wednesday, 6th June.

The Case Officer is Mr. Simon Trafford - Tel: 9223014.

Local Resident - name and address supplied.

STRONG SMELLS ?

My attention was drawn to the very strong and unpleasant smell early in May - some immediately thought this was coming from the 'Smelter. However, since then we have discovered that it was in fact the Wessex Treatment Works which was responsible. I have duly passed a complaint on to the Environmental Health Department.

For many years I have attended the meetings at Brittania Zinc Liaison Committee (in fact since it was first formed).

If anyone has any complaint or query in this respect, please do contact me.

BOB CHUBB, 982 4638.

Imperial Cancer Research Campaign

I was one of 6,000 women that entered the KM race for life on Sunday, May 20th, when fortunately the weather was perfect.

It was a sad but happy day as everyone had their reasons for taking part, whether they chose to run or walk. My reason was for my Dad, George Peters, Who died from Leukemia on 4th January - I miss him terribly. The race took myself and my friend Rachel, 25 minutes to complete. We ran together and finished together with a big smile and a hug as if to say 'well done...we did it! It was a good buzz knowing we have helped make a difference into research.

I would like to to thank my work colleagues at the Co-op for sponsoring me in raising £100 Cheers Guys - Nice One!! Sally

SAVE SOME LAWN FOR BIRDS!

It is now Spring, and even in suburbia, we can observe our birds moving into top gear for the nesting season. One of the most obvious species is the blackbird. The male, with his bright orange beak and eye ring, is a handsome and immediately identifiable bird. The female is brown and lacks the coloured beak or eye ring. Blackbirds can be seen at any time during the day on their Obeat around the gardens, seeking out worms. You will notice that the bird cocks its head from one side to another, listening for the sound of worms moving in the earth below. If you watch, you will be amazed at the number of worms and small grubs which the birds find in a very small area. Their favoured hunting grounds are lawns and earthy borders. Having noticed the increasing trend towards areas of decking in gardens, I have been wondering how this effects our foraging birds. Also, many people like to have crazy paving and shingle areas in their gardens. While this may be very decorative, it is well worth leaving some lawn or natural areas in the garden as well, as this enables the birds to gather their daily food. Lawns are very important miniature nature reserves, and insect life is a humble but critical ingredient in the food chain.

Blackbirds are not the only birds which like a nice open stretch of lawn. The house sparrow, a bird facing a serious decline in population at the moment, likes to forage for food there too, as does the pied wagtail, a beautiful black and white bird with its familiar bobbing tail. Up on the Shirehampton Park Golf Course recently I was delighted to see a small flock of meadow pipits grazing.

Lots of us feed wild birds with sometimes elaborate and expensive feeders and specially prepared food. Lets not forget that Nature provides its own rich harvest for birds as well, and while a flat expanse of lawn may be boring to look at, it does fulfil an important function.

Katie Robson

TABLE TOP SALE

The Townswomens Guild is holding a Table Top Sale on Saturday, 9th June, at the Methodist Church Hall, Penpole Avenue, from 10 a.m. - 12 noon. Please ring the Chairman on 982 1704, or the Secretary on 982 1855, if you would like to book a table, cost £5.00.

My Dog Ben

You were one in a million.
You were special to me.
Affectionate, loyal
And good company.

You were there when I was lonely
And life seemed a bore.
You cheered me
By offering a paw.

And you never deserted me,
Wherever I went
I thank you by writing
This short monologue

To my faithful, devoted
Companion - my dog!

GOODNIGHT BEN.

A TRIBUTE TO PEGGY BEAUMONT RIXEN

Peggy lives at Stane Way, Avonmouth, and for the last 171/2 years has organised a Luncheon Club at the Avonmouth Centre. I helped Peggy set up all those years ago and I can remember us two tramping around the Industrial Estate trying to get donations. We didnt do too badly and so Peggy started a very successful Lunch Club with various helpers in the early days, some having come down from Portway School, two of these being my daughters.

Peggy was also a great help when 2 1/2 years ago I started my own Club on the Penpole Estate, but unfortunately due to ill health Peggy has now had to hang up her pinny.

All of us at Penpole Lunch Club, and Im sure many more, would like to wish her a happy retirement and to express our thanks to her for all the good work she has carrried out. We also send our good wishes for an early return to good health after for forthcoming operation.

Sandra White, Penpole Lunch Club.