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What's On in November





A few of us were lucky enough to be invited to be part of the congregation for the licensing and installing of our new vicar, the Reverend Canon Christine Froude in St. Mary's on Tuesday, September 18th, and what a joyful occasion it was. The hymns, which had been chosen by Canon Froude, starting with 'All my hope on God is founded' and finishing with 'Guide me O my great redeemer' were ones which we could all sing  with heart and voice, and we all did just that ! The welcome to our first lady Vicar was sincere and warm. Although the service was serious, there were unexpected moments of laughter - it was nice to know that Bishop has a good sense of humour.   After the service , Canon Froude  greeted us all individually as we filled out of the Church door. Then people went on to the Church Centre for some very tasty refreshments and tributes were paid to those who had kept the Church going during the rather lengthy interregnum, particularly the very Rev. Dean Dammers, the Rev. Tony Wheeler and the Church wardens.  In all, a very uplifting evening.

J. A.


The Reverend Canon Christine FROUDE, St Mary's Shirehampton. Born in Swansea, South Wales I am married to David and have two children, Katie in her second year at Cardiff University and Richard who graduated from Manchester University this summer.

After leaving school I joined Midland Bank where I met my husband to be. I qualified as an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, became a Manager and after the birth of my first child I resigned in order to become a full time mother. We moved with work many times over the ensuing years.  When both children had started school I trained as a counsellor from which my call to the priesthood came. I was ordained in July 1995, undertook my curacy at Stoke Bishop and was then appointed as Chaplain to St Michaels to St Michaels Hospital and Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.  I saw the new Children's Hospital through its opening and had the privilege of conducting Prince Charles around the Prayer Room and Chaplaincy suite of offices when he came to the official opening.

In July 2000 I was appointed Dean of Women's Ministry and have pastoral responsibility for women clergy in the Bristol Diocese. The role also entails being a woman's voice on current issues and to this end I have been interviewed several times on local radio. In recognition of the role Bishop Barry made me a Canon of Bristol Cathedral in February 2001.  I am treasurer of Bristol West Deanery within the Bristol Diocese, a role that gives me  contact with other parishes in the area.   In my spare time I love cooking, reading and spending time with my friends.  I am very much looking forward to getting to know the people of Shirehampton. Everyone I have met so far has given me a wonderful welcome and I look forward to serving the community as their Parish priest.  I hope people will stop me and say hello. I'm easy to spot ­ I'm the one with the dog collar!

Minutes of Shirehampton Community Group Meeting

Annual General Meeting held in the Public Hall on Wednesday 26 September 2001

There were 16 people present. The meeting was chaired by john Parsons who welcomed those present.

Secretary's Report

Presented by J Parsons. In the past year we have welcomed Cllr Pat Roberts to a meeting to outline provisional ideas on the city's swimming baths, which brought a lively response from the floor, and in May we joined a community meeting at St Bernard's School with the Area Police Superintendent and officers to discuss policing of the area.

We were saddened by the death of Philip Squire in January. He was a trustee of SCG,  a representative on PCCG and the Law & Order section since 1993.   There is concern over the lack of interest by the community overall in taking part in our meetings. It is only when something drastic happens that they attend. No one has come forward to take over the Law & Order and Youth & Schools jobs. The aim of this Group is to keep people informed and be informed by them of what is happening in the community, which affects them and it. Greater involvement is needed from people than just reading about it in SHIRE. Moves are afoot to form a Community Development Trust or Urban Parish Council, which may aid us in obtaining finance or help from national bodies. Judy was thanked for taking the minutes, and those present thanked for their attendance.

Finance Report - Accounts

A copy of the Accounts was distributed and reported on by John Parsons.  Donations are our only income, but we get a special rate on the use of the hall. The closing balance is £234.78.

From the floor thanks were extended to John Parsons and John Callaghan for their work in the Group.

Election of Officers

We are short of two Trustees since the death of Philip Squire and Roland Jones leaving the area. John asked for volunteers to take on the roles, which were not arduous, and generally meant signing cheques. Two volunteers came forward - Robert Lyons and Norman Dicker.

As all other current officers and section leaders were willing to stand again and there were no other nominations, the committee now stands as follows:

General Secretary John Parsons: Treasurer John Parsons: Minutes Secretary Judy Helme: Trustees Brenda Dammers, Robert Lyons, Norman Dicer Section Leaders:

Planning & Environment John Callaghan: Community Care Vacant: Highways John Parsons: Law & Order Vacant: Youth & Schools Vacant An appeal was made for volunteers to cover the three vacant roles. A brief outline of what they involve was given by John Parsons. No one came forward at the meeting but it is proposed to contact the new head teacher at Portway School in case a member of staff or parent would take on the Y&S role. The Law & Order committee no longer has to attend PCCG meetings because they've been disbanded and the police meet the community on an ad hoc basis. Philip was area co-ordinator for neighbourhood watch so a replacement is required.   Ms Rosemary Clark of Station Road only took over the Station Road area, not as wrongly report in the last minutes, the whole of Philip's role.  This concluded the AGM.

General Meeting

Minutes of the meeting held on 25 July. These were signed after amending the information about Ms Rosemary Clark mentioned above.

Matters arising

Speeding in Park Road - no improvement in the situation - John to write again to the Council.

Section Reports

  1. Planning & Environment report prepared by John Callaghan and read by John Parsons.

Revision of Local Plan - a submission on behalf of SCG sent on 15 August.  The 7 page document consisted of comments and answers to 108 issues itemised in the discussion document.

Kingsweston House - the result of the planning application to extend operating hours of the restaurant facilities was not yet known.  A slide show and talk of Ralph Hack was given to the Kingsweston Preservation Society on 18 September, courtesy of John Hardy at Kingsweston House. It was well attended.

RNYA Portway & Community School playing fields - the committee was in favour of the proposed rugby development centre including alteration and improvement of the playing field provision, replacement of pavilion and provision of car park.

Planning application 01/01559/F/N (3 August) - proposal: erection of 2 storey office building adjoining 467 Portway and provision of access road and car park (24 spaces) to the rear of Nos 457-467 Portway. Site access from Hung road, footpath connection to 'Highway House' site. The committee did not support the application and several objections had been submitted from local residents.

Twyford House - a notice in the Evening Post on 8 August publicising Sale by Tender of Twyford House and land area to rear (0.32 acre), suitable for residential development subject to planning permission Cycle path - Sue Hook complained about and asked for clarification on the designation of the cycle path and received a reply from the Council stating that the pavement on the south side of the Portway, from Hung Road to Valerian Close was a pedestrian pavement and not a cycle path. Some cyclists use it as a cycle path in a dangerous manner with no regard to residents' safety and when challenged, have been very abusive and threatening.  Park & Ride - Several complaints regarding procedures to inform residents of starting work have been acknowledged by the Ombudsman and council e.g.  notification of 30mph restriction zone, tree felling etc. John Knight has been informed by the Ombudsman that there will be a full enquiry into environmental impact of the P&R scheme on the adjoining Lamplighters Marsh area. This study should have taken place prior to starting construction but is now due to take place in early 2002.

Quality of life in Bristol 2001 - The chairman had received the Bristol City Council Environment Transport and Leisure Department's report containing statistics and information on OIndicators of Quality of Life in Bristol 2001'. Copies are available in council offices, libraries and education establishments. It makes interesting reading and covers such topics as energy, waste, transport, environmental protection, bio-diversity, bird population, housing shelter, community safety etc.

Sewage smells - committee members and residents had noticed sewage smells in the area. Discussion to find the cause was not conclusive and more enquiries will be made. Comments from the floor produced several suggestions and proposals as follows: John Parsons received a reply to his letter to Wessex Water explaining that they have just completed one of the largest sewage plants in Europe at the Avonmouth location. John mentioned the smells have been prevalent for a long time and was told that due to the foot and mouth epidemic, restrictions were placed on the movement of sludge and its storage in the open was causing the smell. That should not be the case now however.   John then heard from Cllr Pat Roberts that there was a 'public' meeting with Wessex to discuss the problem but John was unable to attend. This 'public' meeting was not publicised. Kingsweston House bookings are being affected by the smell which, despite perfumed pouches being placed around the site, is still set to continue for about the next 6 weeks. Anyone wishing to complain to Wessex Water should write to them at Claverton Down.  Medipower incinerator - this was reported at the lst meeting and nothing further to report as yet.

Portway Centre - St Bernard's Road - It has been mentioned that a new application for a hostel may be presented to the Planning Office in the near future.

Shirehampton Car Sales - chairman to request the status and progress of the planning decisions.

Swimming Pool discussion document -  Consultation document 'A Swimming Strategy for Bristol 2001-2010' is available from the Council and libraries, for information and response to suggestions and questions.

  1. Highways & General Presented by John Parsons.

'No waiting' signs had been uprooted and left lying round the Green. John has written twice about it.  Over two years ago he wrote about the leaning historic milestone in Shirehampton Park 'Bristol 5 miles' so wrote again and received a reply from the Council expressing surprise that the work had not been don as a tender had been received and an order raised. The Council will follow this up.   Replacement finger posts at Park Gates - John is assured they will be put back as before. Correspondence has been received from the Highways Agency about the paining of Avonmouth bridge which was due to be completed by Spring 2002. It has been deleted from the original contract and will now start in Spring 2002. A small exhibition and presentation will be held for local residents. Following a tragic accident in St Mary's Road recently, a request is being made to the Council for speed controls in that road.

Donations at the last meeting amounted to £4.85

Any other business

Travellers - concern was expressed that travellers are still invading unauthorised land despite the site being available at Lawrence Weston.   Further protests will be made by SCG to the Council because we were led to believe that once the site was up and running, this problem would be dealt with quickly and effectively, and that is clearly not happening.  Police presence in the village - there is still not a noticeable improvement in police presence in the village and difficulties are still experienced in reporting non emergency incidents. For instance Crime Stoppers is not available from Friday afternoon to Monday morning. It was suggested that a special central Freepost address could be set up for complaints, suggestions and ideas.

Public Hall - comment was passed on how bright and cheerful the hall looks now it has been decorated.

Date of next meeting: Wednesday 28 November 2001

Shirehampton Methodist Church

Programme for November Saturday 10th - 10am Christmas Fayre. Admission 10p for Church funds.  Sunday 11th - Remembrance Sunday 10.30 am. Rev. Richard Barrett, M.Phil., M.A., B.A.

Sunday 18th - 126th Church Anniversary 11am Special Guest Preacher - Rev.  Sandra Heap (Pontefract). 6.30pm Rev. David Alderman - and the Shirehampton St Mary's Choir, with Organist and Choirmaster Mr Tim Forder.  Sunday 25th - 11am Guest Preacher - Rev. Sandra Williams, M.ED., M.A. (Wesley College).

Methodist Church Coffee Mornings

As you may have observed while walking through the High Street our Wednesday Coffee Mornings are back on a weekly basis. This is thanks to a group of students from Kings Weston School who have come to our rescue once a month.  Thanks so much to them and to all the ladies who are part of our Coffee Morning team.

Cotswold Community Association

We are struggling to keep this association alive. Out of 500 leaflets distributed, 29 people attended the A.G.M. and to these, we give our grateful thanks. Is community spirit a thing of the past? I hope not.

Bet Tanner.

(Thank you for your donation to shire funds.)



Mondays ­ 2.30-4.00 Ladies' Club
Tuesdays ­ 6.45-8.15 Bingo
SEQUENCE DANCE last Friday in the month 8.30-10.30pm


Yes, Christmas is coming, so if you would like your Greetings to friends and relations included in the December issue, please let us have your message addressed to 'SHIRE', The Library, Station Road, Shirehampton, Bristol BS11 9TU, by November 15th. (20 words for £1.00).

What's On in November

November 1st - 3rd Thursday, Friday & Saturday craft exhibition the Public Hall. Open to the public Thursday & Friday 9.30am - 6pm. Saturday 10am - 6pm.

November 1st Thursday townswomens' guild at the Methodist Church Hall at 7.30pm. 'Wild Flowers of the Avon Gorge', talk by Mr K. Taylor.

November 2nd Friday monthly coffee morning at the Library 10.30am - 12.30pm

November 2nd Every Friday & Wednesday drop in session at the A.U.S. Cottage, (next door to Twyford House) High Street, 9.30am - 11am.

November 2nd Every Friday bingo at the Public Hall at 7pm.

November 5th Monday whist at the Tythe Barn, High Street, 2pm -4pm.

November 5th Every Monday & Wednesday St Mary's toddler group at the church centre 1pm - 3pm.

November 5th Monday all local schools begin again after the Half Term Holiday.

November 6th Tuesday St andrew's ladies club meet at 7.30pm at St Andrew's Church Hall. 'Norfolk Lavender' talk by David Smale.

November 6th Tuesday local councillors are available for consultation 7.30pm at Jim O'Neill House.

November 7th Wednesday every week early morning swim at Shirehampton Baths 7am - 9am. November 7th Wednesday arthritis care at the Public Hall.   November 7th Wednesday blood donor session at the Baptist Church Hall, 1.30pm - 3.15pm and 5pm - 7.15pm.

November 8th Thursday sea mills tea dance at Sea Mills Methodist Church Hall with Dave Morey 2.30pm - 4.30pm.

November 9th Friday St Mary's skittles evening at the Hallen Community Hall.

November 17th Saturday stamp fair at the Public Hall 9am - 4pm.   November 20th Tuesday St andrew's ladies club 7.30pm at St Andrew's Church Hall Cake Decorating' with Doris.

November 20th Tuesday railway modellers 7.30pm at the Public Hall.

November 21st Wednesday women's institute at the Methodist Church Hall to hear Mrs Browning speak on 'The National Trust'. 

November 21st Wednesday shire stitchers  at the Public Hall at 7.30pm.

November 21st Wednesday happy hearts west meet at 7.30pm at the Beachley Walk Centre.

November 22nd Thursday sea mills tea dance 2.30pm - 4.30pm with John Hutton.

November 30th Friday cotswold sequence dance at the Cotswold Centre 8pm - 10.30pm.


December 8th: 3.00 to 6.00 p.m. Christmas Fayre ­ Tables £5.00. To book a table please ring the Public Hall on No. 982 9963. Father Christmas will be present at the Fayre. There will also be Christmas Carols being played by Margaret Fairburn, and a Raffle.


On Tuesday, November 13th, leaving Lawrence Weston at 8.45 a.m. and Shirehampton Church at 9.15 a.m. Price £6.50. To book a seat, ring Norman on 982 3180.

I would like to say to Mr. Champion and the Committee of the Summer


League a very big THANK YOU for the cheque for £50 for the Evergreens Club, which was received by me on their behalf at the Presentation on Friday, 13th October.

Norman Sims, Chairperson.

Thank you from Bridget and Geoff Williams

Bridget and Geoff would like to thank al those who attended their wedding on 29th September. Many thanks for all the gifts and cards we received.


Shire After School Club, Social Services registered, runs daily from 3.30-6pm at the Public Hall. The Club is under the Public Hall umbrella and is managed by a committee of local people and is in the capable hands of Playleaders Ali Aitchison and Jacqui Fry. Places are rapidly being taken up, but there are still some available on various days. Get in touch with us on the Hall's number, 9829963, (if you have to leave a message, leave your number and we'll get back to you promptly) or on the Club's mobile after 3pm, 07904 002301, if you'd like further info.

We will be holding our first AGM in November, (sadly I do not have a date at the time of writing this!) which we will advertise on posters around the village and at the schools. All are welcome to attend. Do come and meet us, and our Playleaders, hear our plans, ask questions, see the Hall, and drink our tea and coffee, if you are not already involved! If you are, then give us your input, ideas and suggestions for the future running of the Club.  Better still, join our committee and get involved.

Kate Pollard

Community Development Worker and Club Management Member

Shirehampton Choir - Christmas Concert

This year's Charity Christmas Concert will be held on Sunday 9th December in St Mary's Church, Shirehampton at 2.30pm.

Our number has risen this year to well over fifty, so we are now preparing to bring you yet another varied programme of seasonal items with that fuller sound.

Items include 'Joy to the World', In the Bleak Midwinter' and 'Little Donkey', finishing on the popular 'And the Glory of the Lord' from Handel's Messiah.

We are very lucky to have as our soloist this year, Charlotte Newstead, a soprano who you may remember sang with the choir two years ago at our Good Friday presentation.

With one or two other surprises, I'm sure you will enjoy a pleasant afternoon. Admission is FREE with a collection in aid of St Peter's Hospice.

Derek Harvey.


Local people may be aware that the North Bristol NHS Trust (Frenchay and Southmead hospitals) is currently consulting on the future of Health Services across North Bristol and South Gloucestershire. Work done so far indicates that the option of a single hospital site and extended community services would best deliver a modern health service. What and where to build modern hospital facilities is a key question. Although 175,00 leaflets have been distributed via the free press this area is one where leaflets have not been received.

We believe the issue of location and access is of paramount concern to people living in this locality. Therefore we have organised a Public Meeting and Officers from the Trust will help us in the discussion.  This meeting will be held on Tuesday 6th November starting at 7.30pm in St.  Bernards Catholic Primary School, Station Road, Shirehampton. Everyone is welcome to attend. As well as a briefing by Officers from the Trust there will be an opportunity to put your point of view or questions.  A copy of the consultative leaflet 'A Modern Health Service - Planning for the future' setting out the main points for consultation is available from Ian Maidment, North Bristol NHS Trust Tel: 0117 959 5291.  Please put this meeting in your diary now. It has been organised for your benefit.

Rosemary Clarke, Secretary, Avonmouth Labour Party.


Dear Editor,

On November 6th it is the Diamond Wedding Anniversary of two of my residents, Len and Eirlys Moloney. They married at Taunton Registry Office in 1941 and didn't have a honeymoon until 5 years later because of war years. Len was in Somerset Light Infantry and Eirlys in the ATS.  They have two sons, Eric and Andrew and have been living at 23, Jim O'Neil House, which is Sheltered Housing Accommodation, for the last six months.  They take part in all activities, especially going on trips and have a very happy life.

Mrs. B. Shepheard, Warden


Dear Editor,

The first prefabs were called AIROH HOUSES. They were made of aluminium salvaged from crashed aircraft and melted down, and built by B.A.C. at their Weston-super-Mare factory.

The very first prefab to be erected and occupied in the whole of Britain was No 125 Nibley Road, Shirehampton, which was officially opened on 18 July 1945 (only ten weeks after V.E.Day) by the Lord Mayor of Bristol (Councillor W. F. Cottrell). General Sir Frederick Pile (Minister of Works) came down from London to witness this important event, and Mr W. R. Verdon Smith (Director of B.A.C.) handed the key to the Lord Mayor. Mr Churchill had visited Filton in April 1945 to see the Airoh houses being built.   They were most modern in every way, with central heating, up to date kitchens, built-in cupboards, and airing cupboard, and they even had a fridge, something unheard of in those far off days. The rent was fixed for 14/- or 15/- (70p or 75p) per week. The Airoh Houses were given a ten year tenure, but they formed the foundations of many happy homes. It is a good idea to make one a Grade II building, especially if there is still one like 125 Nibley Road still in existence, for they solved the problem of finding homes in a hurry, many having been bombed during the War.  I have written about the prefabs in my book WAR STORY and still have a few copies left unsold.

Ethel Thomas


In response to the growing need for the youth work in Shirehampton, Shirehampton Baptist Church has employed a trainee youth worker, Lizz Prangle.  Lizz is a student with SWYM, South West Youth Ministries.  SWYM is an inter-denominational organisation with over 50 workers in the southwest.  It aims to resource churches for youth workers to diploma level.  For more information about SWYM you can visit their website at Lizz joined the Baptist church in September and has been employed to work with the youth of the church and with the wider youth community of Shirehampton.  Along with all the usual Church youth work Lizz is working with others on dealing with some of the wider youth issues in the community.

If you have any ideas or want to know more you can contact Lizz on 9828238 or e-mail on   If you want to come to any of Shirehampton Baptist Church's  youth group, then it would be great to see you there.  Contact Lizz for more information.


Volunteering Bristol is a registered charity based at Royal Oak Avenue off Prince Street in the city centre. It is a volunteer bureau which is there to help volunteers to find volunteering opportunities and organisations to find volunteers to work with them.

Volunteering Bristol:- helps other voluntary organisations. ­tries to match Volunteers with organisations needing them.  ­advertises volunteering opportunities both at the bureau (at Royal Oak House, Royal Oak Avenue, behind Arnolfini) and on its website.  ­Advises organisations on good practice in their use of volunteers.  It has information on thousands of volunteering opportunities, all the know-how on volunteers and volunteering, and give support and advice.  Volunteering work can help you if you want to 'give something back', learn new skills, meet new people and make new friends, do something useful and even have some fun! Moreover it can be an asset to your CV and provide you with referees if you're going for a job. It can take lots of different forms and the bureau cites the following activities to set your mind running. You could drive cars, plant trees, write letters, care for wildlife, rebuilt a steam train, keep accounts, type reports, give talks, play music, walk dogs, paint walls, teach arts and crafts, give guided tours, design a website, cook food, listen to people... and much more.' Volunteering opportunities may crop up in Shire, but are likely to be available city-wide. (On occasion host organisations will pay towards travel expenses.) Here are some details in case you want to contact them direct:

Tel: 0117 9897733, or email them at or visit their website at

Or you can come and get their leaflets at the Public Hall! We are aiming to work in partnership with them to set up a volunteering opportunities scheme here in Shire, and as a first step, will have an info display in our entrance hall which you are welcome to visit, (this SHOULD be set up by the time SHIRE  is published!).

I will update you on this project in the next edition of SHIRE.

Kate Pollard

Community Development Worker at the Public Hall.


The latest production put on by the Grainger Players was in a rather different format to that we have been used to, but the entertainment was no less enjoyable and the standards of music, singing and production no less than we expected.

The theme running through all the Grainger Players productions has always been 'community', and this Show was built around requests submitted by the community so that there was ample opportunity for the audience to participate ­ and this they did with enthusiasm.

The individual members, both solos and groups were all well performed and well received, and of course we were not disappointed with the comedy sketches ­ if there are long traffic queues in the village, it will probably be due to the latest recruits to the Traffic Wardens still trying to get a certain 'old dear' across the road!!

The finale was adapted at the last minute to reflect the current international situation, and the display of the Stars & Stripes and the Union Jack together was just the right way to express the mood of the audience and the community at large.

This Show was the last for the pianist and musical director, Gil Osman, as he moved on to other things, and one wonders if his singing sport is an indication of things to come!

The enjoyment of the evening was further enhanced by being in a brightly decorated and excellently refurbished Public Hall, so a word of thanks is due to the Public Hall Association for getting this done and a plea to everyone to support local events put on by local people in our own local Public Hall.

If the entertainment provided by the Grainger Players in their show is anything to go by, then you are bound to be satisfied and thankful that people are still prepared to devote time and energy for our enjoyment.




The Bristol Clipper returned home on Saturday October 6th, after taking first place overall in the Times Round the World Yacht Race. The yacht was manned by a crew mainly from the Bristol area, and sponsored by local firms. She made a fine sight rounding the Horseshoe Bend escorted by a flotilla of small ships on her way up to Bristol for a well deserved civic reception.
Photo: E Verey


I was working in my study on the night of Monday 24th September, when I was disturbed by a loud noise at the back of the house. I went to a rear window an saw the searchlight from what I guessed to be a police helicopter shining down into my garden. I went downstairs and into the garden, where my suspicions were confirmed - it was indeed a police helicopter!\Going to the front of the house, I opened the door onto an amazing scene.

Parked immediately outside was a fire tender and next to it a police van. Further down the street was a police car. The street was crawling with police-men and -women and most neighbours were at their doors. The helicopter was still hovering overhead. I had heard nothing of the noise in the street, because of my new (and very effectively sound-proofed) double glazing!

I asked a policewoman what was going on and she told me there had been a burglary at number 37 (Ray and Helen Husher's house; they were on holiday).   My neighbours two doors away said that one of the burglars was hiding in their attic and that the police were about to arrest him. He had broken in through the roof, by pulling up some tiles and kicking his way through the laths and roofing felt to gain entry.

My neighbours had no idea that he was there. I can only assume that he was seen breaking in by the police helicopter. The burglar had clambered over the roofs from number 37 to number 11, passing me overhead in the process - I heard nothing!   Having arrested the culprit, the police were looking for a second man on the rooftops. I was going to and fro, from street to garden, all the while.  Then my neighbour's visitor in Priory Road, who was standing on her balcony watching proceedings, said 'There's a man on your roof!' I saw him, crouching behind the chimney stack, and called the police through the house into the garden (big hob-nailed boot marks on my carpet!) They shouted at him to come down through the hole in my neighbours' roof. Eventually he did so, realising that their was no escape.

I saw him being escorted, handcuffed, to a police car. He was thin and wiry and probably in his late teens, dressed in a dark T-shirt and trousers.   Apparently, the neighbours in number 35 had heard noises in number 37 and phoned Ray and Helen's daughter to check that her parents were away on holiday before he telephoned the police, and she had come up with her husband. She was in tears over the events, especially over the unnecessarily trashed house.

It was then discovered that the second burglar has broken into my next door neighbour's attic to hide, which was why the police had lost track of him.   My neighbour's arrival back home had driven him back onto the roofs.

The next day I noticed that Ray and Helen had come back from their holiday.

Rather sad to have your holiday spoiled like that!

So, to summarise: A house was broken into by two young men (I don't know how); a neighbour called the police; the two burglars broke through the roof and escaped onto the rooftops; they broke into two attics to hide; they were eventually captured; stolen property was discovered in one of the attics; the helicopter, the police, the police cars and van and fire tender left - and everybody went back to bed!

I have no knowledge of any burglar before in this street!

(Ed: The excitement never ends in Shirehampton!)

Acknowledgement Robert Henry Palmer

7.8.1916 - 3.9.2001

Bob's wife Margaret would like to thank family, friends and former neighbours in Shirehampton for their kind messages, cards etc. on the death of Bob, her dear husband. God bless you all.

(Many thanks for your donation to SHIRE.)


After a busy, but successful start to a new school year the children and staff at Avon Primary School are preparing for the many activities of the Autumn term. The annual Harvest Festival, celebrating and giving thanks for all things created and finding opportunities to share with people in our local community, took place in October.

At the beginning of term we were pleased to welcome a couple of visitors to the school - one from Las Vagas, USA - both pupils at Avon on the day the school opened! Which is a good opportunity to remind all former pupils, parents, staff and friends that we will be celebrating the school's 50th anniversary in April 2002 and we very much hope you will be able to join us in the festivities.

At 3.30pm on Friday, 23 November we will be holding our Autumn Bazaar in the school hall in Barracks Lane. Local friends of the school, led by retired school secretary, Peggy Rose, help to organise it as in many previous years.

The usual variety of stalls and side-shows will be there and all are welcome to attend this very popular event.

Congratulations to Gail Baker, a year 6 pupil at Avon Primary School, who recently won a competition, organised by Avon and Somerset Constabulary, to design a poster to help beat crime. Gail was presented with a framed copy of her poster and a gift voucher by Inspector Jones of Avonmouth Police.

Problems with your Holiday?

Local Solicitor, Ian Murdoch, discusses the law

As many people are preparing to return to work at the end of the summer they do so refreshed after a holiday in this country or abroad. Unfortunately not all holidays work out as expected for many different reasons like filthy hotel, overbooking, flight delays etc and more and more people are considering making a claim. In this short article I set out the basic legal position.

If the holiday was taken in England or Wales the law is fairly straightforward, in that is the normal law of the land that applies. In considering whether the holidaymaker has a claim the usual laws of contract and negligence will be considered by the solicitor. For example if the holiday was for 14 nights in four star accommodation but the hotel was only two star there has been a breach of contract   and a claim.  Complications arise when the holiday is taken abroad. Regulations issued in 1992 protect holidaymakers that take a foreign package holid ay. The regulations, amongst other things, set out information that must be given to the holidaymaker. For example, details of the accommodation and arrangements in case of delay. They also state that if the holiday arrangements have to be altered by the tour operator they must make suitable alternative arrangements at no cost to the holidaymaker or if this is not possible, return the holidaymaker home and compensate him.  In one case a holidaymaker chose a hotel because of its quiet location and at the time of booking specifically asked for a sea view. Unfortunately he was given a noisy room overlooking a busy main square. He was unable to sleep and his holiday so badly ruined that he flew home at his own expense.  He was awarded a total refund of the holiday cost and flights and £100 for each person in his group as compensation.

In the worst situation an accident ofr injury can ruin or spoil a long awaited holiday. Again if the holiday was taken in England or Wales the law of negligence will be considered by the solicitor. For example, if on a coaching holiday to Wales the coach hits a tree and the holidaymaker is hurt, a claim will arise if the driver was driving too fast and skidded out of control.

If taken abroad the solicitor will have to consider the 1992 regulations that provide that the tour operator is liable for any fault of itself or its foreign agent, unless the fault is due to an unconnected person. However, the courts have recognised that it is unfair to expect foreign countries to have the same rules, requirements and standards as the UK, and so they have developed a rule that states that although the case can be heard in this country the court will base its decision on the standards of the holiday destination. This calls for careful evidence gathering and skill.   In a rather sad case, a young boy trapped his finger in the door of a lift in a Spanish hotel. The tour operator accepted that it would be liable if the hotel had done something wrong under Spanish law. However the law in Spain allowed for a more relaxed safety inspection regime and did not say that warning signs were needed in the lift (where in the UK they would).

The Judge therefore concluded that the hotel had not breached local Spanish laws and so the case was lost. In this case the solicitor should have checked the Spanish law before starting the case.


On Sunday 14 October a party was held in Avonmouth Community Centre, to launch the book 'Another Mouthful of Memories' and say thank you to all who contributed to it and the first edition, and what a great time we had.  As well as Avonmouth people, a lot of Shirehampton residents as well as people from Portishead, Clevedon, Stroud and even Marlborough, all wishing to meet up with old friends and neighbours and reminisce about 'the good old days'. If walls had ears and a tape recorded, we'd have enough memories for a few more volumes!

The room just buzzed with happy chatter and a tea was laid on courtesy of Avonmouth Genealogy Group. All the Avonmouth archives and photographs were on display and caused much comment and interest. There was at least one 'family reunion' with all the family photographs doing the rounds. To give a flavour of the fun we had, one elderly gentleman was heard trying to convince a lady that he was a good catch because he had two pensions and six of his own teeth! Great stuff.

We sold plenty of books but do have some left for anyone interested in contacting Judy Helme on 9382849 (office hours) and I would stress that the Avonmouth archive is available for anyone interested in local, social or family history. We have a lot of photographs, newspaper cuttings, miscellaneous documents and memorabilia, together with a basic 'starter pack' for the family historian including transcriptions of St. Andrew's parish registers, the census 1841-91 and burials of Avonmouth residents in Shirehampton cemeteries and street directories. So just contact Judy on the above telephone number, or John Andrews at 58 Station Road if you wish to instigate a search or have a look at what's on offer. It's no good having the knowledge if it can't be shared so we look forward to sharing it with you.

Judy Helme

I Shop, Therefore I Am

This is a the ironical title of a recently published book. Particularly in the months before Christmas many of us are obsessed with shopping, a major leisure activity. Advertisers woo us with the absurd untruth that we are saving money if we spend it on their products and tempt us into debt by inviting us to buy now and pay later.

I believe that Jesus, born in a stable and choosing the life of a homeless travelling preacher, is however sympathetic to our attempts to honour his birthday by generous gifts to our loved ones, especially children and old people, and by generous hospitality, especially if we are able to include the lonely. But he doesn't like extravagance or greed. one of the greatest gifts we can give to a child is to encourage him or her by example and precept to live contentedly without always wanting more.   So let us shop now and always with discretion and within our means. Let us not eat or drink to excess at Christmas or at an other time. If we have the skills let us include in our presents what we have made ourselves; a painting, a poem, a knitted garment, a cake or whatever. And let us always remember the poor, at home and abroad.

Here is a story about shopping that I have enjoyed. The Sunday School teacher was telling the children that God is very kind and always there to help us although you cannot see him. 'I know,' piped up a little boy, 'When my mum takes me shopping he kindly opens the door for us.'


Hi folks!

Canon Christine has asked me to thank you all for the wonderful welcome you have given her and her family since her installation as Priest at St Mary's.

She says if you see her in the High Street or elsewhere, please stop and speak to her. Canon Christine is looking forward to getting to know people in the parish and has already made numerous visits to the sick and elderly who are housebound! (Please note you don't have to be sick or elderly for her to speak to you ­ she speaks to the young and fit as well!!!) Enough of this frivolity or Canon Christine will think I'm a raving idiot (she wouldn't be far wrong either!)

The recent visit of the Avon & Somerset Constabulary Male Voice Choir was a resounding success ­ in more ways than one. The singing was beautiful and the sale of tickets raised the sum of £1,000 towards the cost of the proposed re-development of the west end of the church building. Many thanks to all of you who supported this event.

A few Sundays ago the collection of £300 donated to the Afghan Refugees who are fleeing their country because of threatened hostilities. More recently we received a first hand account of life in Afghanistan from Peter & Gloria Davies, who have worked in that country. Afghanistan is a very poor country which has suffered the ravages of war and internal strife for the past 20 years. We pray that there will be no slaughter of the innocents in the search for terrorists occupying that land. Peter and his family are resident in Shirehampton whilst he studies theology at Trinity College, Stoke Bishop.

We offer them a warm welcome as members of St Mary's.  On the subject of war and world tension ­ this leads us to 'Remembrance Sunday' which is Sunday 11th November. Do not ever believe that the parades and ceremonies which take place are an excuse for the glorification of war, it most certainly is not. Ask anyone who has lost a loved one through war.  A few years ago a friend of mine, whilst researching information for a book he was writing on his father's experiences in the Royal Navy during World War II ­ obtained a written account of the sinking of the merchant ship my father served on, from the Public Records Office at Kew it is an horrific account of what happened after two torpedo's hit the vessel which was compounded by a following oil tanker, which was also hit, setting the sea ablaze around the survivors in the water. I am thankful my late Mother did not ever read that document. At St Mary's on Remembrance Sunday Molly palmer née somerfield passed away on 4.10.2001 Molly lived in Lower High Street until marrying her John in 1952 and moving to the Portway, where her two daughters were born. She worked for the National Smelting Company for many years and moved to Portishead in 1985, where she helped in the Oxfam shop and pursued her hobbies of bowls and whist. She is still much loved and sadly missed by John, Gillian and Sara.

Margaret Mary Pemberton

Dear Editor,

Although my mother died in May it is only now that I feel able to write this tribute to her:

margaret mary pemberton

30th December 1923 - 16th May 2001

Margaret Pemberton (Peggy to her friends) lived in Walton Road from 1947 until she died on 16th May this year. Peggy was well know in the village and always had time for a 'chat' as she made her way around the shops.  Until her retirement in 1988, Peggy worked in Fishponds, Bristol where she ran a training centre for mentally handicapped adults, she also gave much of her own time to help with holidays and other activities for these people.  Peggy cared for her invalid husband who had Parkinson's Disease until his death in 1997, she also looked after her elderly mother until she went into a nursing home, also in 1997.

Peggy will be sadly missed by many in our community, but most of all by me, her son Mike.

Michael Pemberton


Mrs. Campbell and family would like to thank everyone for their support and generosity at this sad time.

The donations which have been receive will be forwarded to The Stroke Foundation.

Christmas Lights

Dear Editor,

I realise we are living in worrying and anxious times and we all have to be careful with our money, but I am appealing to the adults of Shirehampton to think of little children at Christmas tim e by making sure we give pleasure by trimming and lighting up the village.    It would be necessary to ensure that decorations are put high enough not to be torn down and it would be nice to have a Christmas tree on the green.

Surely tins could be put in the stores throughout the year for our pennies to be collected when we are shopping. If PORTISHEAD and WESTBURY can do it EVERY YEAR, why not us?  After last year's mistakes, we must make an effort.  My family and I have lived here for over 50 years and it is such a shame to see the village left out.

I enclose a small donation and hope for the best.     God bless you all.

Mrs. Williams and family.

(Many thanks for your donation, which we hope to pass on to any future organiser of Christmas lights).


Dear Editor,

In reply to Mr. Chubb's letter on this matter I would like to may a few points.

Firstly, the recent application to burn radioactive waste at the Medipower incinerator came from Harwell Scientifics in Oxfordshire. Harwell was the seat of the nuclear weapons and nuclear power industry in the UK. Harwell Scientifics explain in their literature that they take test samples from all over the world and include samples from nuclear weapons establishments and nuclear power stations in the batches of waste they plan to incinerate in Avomouth. This is a significant expansion of the current incineration of radioactive medical waste from local hospitals. Harwell is in the process of cleaning up its site with 4,000 tonnes of contaminated soil. With a foot in the door, they may apply to incinerate this waste here as well.  Secondly, there is a great deal of uncertainty about the health effects of incinerated nuclear waste. The radioactive particles are not destroyed by incineration but merely pass into the atmosphere and can be breathed in by people living downwind. Although the government says these low levels of radiation are safe, many scientists believe differently and a recent study looking at health effects of radiation showed women between Avonmouth and Oldbury are at 50 per cent greater risk of death from breast cancer than expected. Following this study the government has commissioned an inquiry into the health risk from low level radiation.

There is no need to disperse the nuclear waste in this way. It can be contained and stored locally where it is produced. Better still not to produce it in the first place. As Medipower has a licence to burn six times the amount of radioactive carbon and tritium as the Oldbury power station incinerator I believe the people of Avonmouth are entitled to try to put a stop to the practice, as has successfully happened with nuclear incinerators in other parts of the country.

Jim Duffy, Shut Oldbury Campaign

Severn Sirens


To say I'm amazed would be an understatement. Safety First is a term that we are all aware of but appears to have been forgotten by the industrialists and the politicians that are supposed to represent you.  It would appear that there is some considerable risk from living on the southern side of the Severn. I've been reading about siren tests and I had presumed that this was the 8am siren that I had gotten used to over the years long past. but no! This is all about a siren warning should there be a problem in a chemical plant or something equally as bad.  That's absolutely brilliant. What happens when the siren operates? Go in, stay in, tune in. What happens when the wind is blowing in your direction?  Do you stop breathing for an hour or so until it blows all th way up the Portway and chokes everyone up there as they can't hear the siren? That potentially lethal cloud of death can come down chimneys, under doors any place that air can get in the same way as the smog entered buildings in London in the 1950s. Don't kid yourselves that you will be immune just because you have the door closed.

Now there has been a charitable trust set up to protect you and look after the sirens! Where's the council? Where's the Government? Where are the industrialists? They are all on the Trust board. How convenient! Who gave the planning permission in the first place anyway? Was it in the national interest to build these plants in highly populated areas? Surely if these sorts of things are necessary then they should be well out of the way and pose as little a threat to the community as possible.   Don't kid yourselves, there's already been radiation problems in the UK and then there's Chernobyl and the Ever Ready plant in Bhopal, India, and the chemical factory in France, so there's no doubt accidents can happen and do happen.

Never mind the sirens, get rid of the problem. Safety First!

Yours respectfully

Danny Clevely, Auckland NZ.

Slow down on the M5 south

Work on the rock face on the M5 motorway between junctions 19 and 20 (Gordano and Clevedon) started on 1st October and will continue until mid December. Engineers from the Highways Agency are carrying out work on the Wynhol Viaduct near Clapton-in-Gordano. Both carriageways will have a 50 mph speed limit while the work is in progress and drivers are reminded to stay well behind the vehicle in front and allow extra time for their journeys.

Volunteers required at the Red Cross Shop!

The Red Cross shop in Shire is good and neat,
People come for bargains - the best in the street.
The manager is great - his deputy is grateful...
Our company is good, so come join us all.
Volunteers bus fares are paid , so give us a ring,
Free tea and coffee is our offering.
And if feeling down and lonely and sad,
Help the Red Cross and be Happy and Glad!

Mr G. Hamnett