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Flowering Bamboo



Staff at Portway are always trying to find new ways of supporting the learning and achievement of its students; one key factor in this is trying to raise levels of attendance at school.

Local residents will, I am sure, have noticed members of the school's Leadership Team on both school gates at 8.35 encouraging our young people to gather a bit of urgency and make sure that they register on time and prepare themselves for the learning activities of the day ahead.

So far this has had a marked impact on decreasing lateness and deterring truancy. We are now going one step further and in consultation with the Safety and Youth Forums of the Shirehampton Community Action Forum Thursday 7th March, it was decided to ask all members of our local community to support attendance and learning at school. Quite simply, in support of the efficient running of the school and doing our best to ensure the safety and well-being of our students, children are not allowed out of school during the school day without a note from their parents or carers explaining the reason e.g. Doctor's appointment.

The next step in this process is for the child's Head of House to complete a 'GREEN SLIP': this is a small green card headed 'GREEN SLIP STUDENT PASS'; the slip contains the child's details as to their Name/Tutor Group/the Day and Date/the Time that the child is allowed to leave the school site/the Reason/and it must be signed by a senior member of staff, the Head of House or Tutor. Before leaving the school premises, the child has to sign out of school at the School Office, where the details are noted by a member of staff in the signing out book and a duplicate copy of the 'GREEN SLIP' kept in a special box.

This system means that we are able to keep track of all authorised absences from school. This   therefore means that all pupils who are out of school should have a 'GREEN SLIP' on their person; if they do not, it probably means that they should be at school and are, in all likelihood out of school without permission. Towards doing our best to support attendance and eradicate Truancy, we are asking YOU to work with us!

All the shopkeepers in Shirehampton should now be in possession of a 'GREEN SLIP' and will ask Portway students to show them the 'GREEN SLIP STUDENT PASS' if they enter their shop; we are asking them not to serve the young person if they do not possess a 'GREEN SLIP' and therefore have reason to believe that they are out of school without permission. The Police are supporting our action and will also ask Portway pupils out of school during the school day, for their 'GREEN SLIP'; if the child does not have a green slip, they will be escorted back to school, in order to check the details.

Any member of the Community is entitled to enquire as to why a child is out of school during the school day. The Portway School day is from 8.40am to 3.10pm. If you have concerns about any child who is not in school during the school day you may telephone our Attendance Hotline 0117 9825073, the school office 0117 9828442 or Cath Dawson our Education Welfare Officer 0117 9038427.

(In the event of any enterprising young individual procuring a supply of Green Slips, we will change the colour of the card but it will still be called a 'GREEN SLIP!)

LET'S ALL DO OUR BIT TO MAKE THIS WORK AND SUPPORT ACHIEVEMENT in our community! Nicola Berry, Assistant Headteacher March 2002.


Congratulations to everyone who helped with our charity fund-raising day in February.

A great deal of fun was had by all and through non-uniform day, competitions organised by pupils, a cake sale and sale of toys and books we raised over 150.

This added to the collections taken after the Christmas Concerts means that we can donate over  300.00 to UNIFEC. In April Avon Primary celebrated our Golden Anniversary, as it was opened on 21st April, 1952. Various events were arranged, including a whole school photograph and special concerts held during the school day.

Every child was presented with a commemorative mug to mark the School's 50th birthday.


There have been more than the usual number of people at Shirehampton Primary School over the last few months. With quite an extensive building and rewiring programme going on, the school has been working alongside electricians, plumbers, carpenters and painters, to say nothing of the JCB's, lorries and cranes.

The builders E.R. Hemmings, have been constructing a link building to join the old infant and junior schools. They have demolished the old toilets and cloakrooms, and are refurbishing a new nursery, I.C.T.suite, food technology room and staff room. There is also some new perimeter fencing and gates to secure the premises.

The work is due to finish during the Easter holidays. Staff will then be busy getting furniture in place, hanging new boards and curtains, and sorting resources.

The children have enjoyed having the builders around, apart from the occasional extra noise coming from saws and drill, hammers and diggers.

Parents have been very patient as for several weeks the Springfield Avenue entrance has been closed. Everyone is looking forward to getting back to normal.

The school has continued as usual throughout all these changes. Football and netball matches have been played and basketball coaching has taken place. Children continue to learn musical instruments, and take part in drama and dance clubs after school.

This Easter there will be a production of 'Alice', followed by an Easter bonnet parade and talent competition. During the summer term the school is planning an official opening event for the Primary School. Local people are welcome, along with parents, families and children, staff and governors.

Shirehampton Primary School offers the  children a complete education, with extra opportunities for all. Look out for more news next month.


Whilst browsing  I came across the Shirehampton Web Site. This aroused my interest, having been born in Chapel House, High Street in 1926.

Chapel House no longer exists, but was situated between the Parish Church and the Co-operative Store. My father Joseph Gould rented the house from the Co-op and it was around 1936 that we had to move when the Co-op converted the premises into a butchers shop. The house extended from High Street through a rear entrance in Pembroke Road and in Pembroke Road forming part of the building there was a large room which received deliveries of bread from Bristol for further delivery to homes in the district.

My memory is no longer complete about the village, but I remember that opposite Chapel House was a large house occupied by a Mr Dawes, a dentist who extracted my first tooth for the princely sum of sixpence, Then there was a manor house followed by some shops. A sweet shop, Brights the Chemist, Clarke the butcher. the National Provincial Bank, I believe a ladies clothes shop then the Methodist church at the bottom of Penpole Avenue where we moved to  no. 17 in 1939.

On the other corner was Waites the Ironmonger, Walters the baker and eventually the Post Office and the George Inn, a somewhat modern pub frowned upon by the older villagers and customers of the Lifeboat, where for a time my mother worked as barmaid. Many a time have I visited the Off license at the Lifeboat to get cider for my father, with the cork duly sealed with sealing wax.

Budds the gentlemens outfitter was on that side of the road as was a barber shop where I would be given a clay pipe after a haircut, used for blowing bubbles. The lane from High Street to Pembroke Road separated the shops from the churchyard and the church, which had just been built following a fire in the old building. The architecture raised many comments at the time.

The vicar at the time was the Rev'd Dixon and just after the war I was organist for about six months. I was informed that it was a golden opportunity to hone my skills, but with the state of the organ at the time it was a chance to learn how to overcome obstacles. Being young and naive, I thought I was doing my bit, not realising that the previous organist had been dismissed with pay in lieu of notice and that I was a free stop-gap. However, I bear no ill-will in this respect.

I played cricket for Shire after leaving the Navy in 1947, in the days of Charlie Flemming, Jack Davey, John Bishop etc. in the days when there were spectators and Harry Gray used to go around the field with a collecting box accompanied by his black labrador. My childhood memories are of Harry Hill the postman, a lamplighter whose name I cannot recall, an open house at Chapel House, where Dad kept a 40 gallon barrel of cider under the stairs, where often could be seen the postman, the local bobby and various other locals who were free to wander in and help themselves.

What a difference from the situation today. I left Shirehampton after my marriage in 1949 and my career in banking took me gradually westward, finishing up in Cornwall where I am retired (and still married). Sorry I have rambled on, I will not take up more of your time.

If you would like any more of my reminiscences of life as I knew it at that time and some of the local characters, please let me know and I will rack my brains and try to put them in some semblance of order. Wishing you and all the others involved all the best in your endeavours.

Leslie Gould. (no relation to Tommy Gould who used to be the local undertaker)

Flowering Bamboo

All the long-awaited spring flowers are in bloom together - snowdrops, daffodils, primroses, forsythia, tulips, lungwort, crocuses, camellias, pansies, christmas roses, hyacinths and many more are all there in our garden as never before - whatever next?

Well, actually, rather unwelcome rats, we are told, some of the mega variety.

Which reminds me of a true story from Assam, in North-East India. A deputation of villagers came to the District Officer and said, 'Sir you must prepare for famine'. When he asked why, they told him it was because the bamboo had produced its huge flowers, a rare occurrence only happening every 50 years or so. The District Officer was sceptical, not choosing to take any notice of simple villagers, and as there had been a good harvest he did nothing. The next winter there was a famine, and many people died.

On enquiry, it was discovered that rats were veery partial to bamboo seeds, and on the rare occasions when the bamboo flowered, the rat population ate the seeds, their numbers increased enormously and they then ate the grain in the village granaries. Village people remembered the result but not the cause. When I see a large rhubarb flower in someone's back garden, I am reminded of the bamboo, and remember how we ignore village wisdom at our peril.



I was very saddened to learn from your recent issue that Les Gray had passed away. As an old student at Portway Senior School I well remember Les as his artistic talent was obvious in those days (late thirties).

Another good artist, who passed away long ago now was Brynley Hack. Both did drawings for the Portway magazine, a copy of which, I have somewhere, still. Your earlier article on the school being demolished brought back many memories for me.... such as JB (Joby) Sisson, Science, R. Sissons, Art, and Mr. Bazeley, Music.

The latter part of the thirties was a hard time to be at school, with all the air raid practices, and teachers leaving for war. The Headmaster, Mr. Heales remained his stern and disciplinary self.....using the cane for misbehaviour was common, and I well remember being told by my teacher, "Go fetch it". This meant I had to tour the school asking for the cane, which added to the forthcoming punishment, usually, four of the best on each hand.

My "Shire" copies are sent to me now and again by my old school-mate and friend Sidney Webber, who lives in Passage Leaze with his wife Joy. I visited with them several years ago. I used to live in Grove Leaze, and also on the Portway near Woodwell Road. The eventual bombing raid took their toll on all of us, and our house had something huge fall on the roof, past the bedroom and into the living room. You could stand there and see the sky. Luckily, it was not a bomb but a large shell fragment. I still have the aluminium tail piece with fins, of a German incendiary bomb, dropped in the hundreds more than once, when we lived in Grove Leaze.

Some other old friends I recall, are John Daniels, Wally Eager, Jack Bristow, Maurice Porter and Basil Hale. Some of the local girls were real beauties, and I well remember Nora Kellett, Barbara Hunt, Audrey Kibble, and Joan McCready (Sea Mills).

My friends and I loved to go to the Colston Hall on the week-end and see the Big Band shows, later, at the Hippodrome. We later squeezed our way in through the "Boss", as Ushers, so got to see all the Big Bands free. We used to go by train from the Shirehampton station, a popular form of transport in those days....and faster than the bus. I've lived in the USA for over thirty years now, but still miss home....and try to visit whenever possible.

For many years, my wife and I lived in San Fernando Valley, thirty miles west of Los Angeles. Our house land was previously owned by James Cagney, while the huge fields behind us were owned by Bob Hope. We lived there during two major earthquakes, an experience I shall never forget. The last one, in Jan. 1994 was centred just eight miles from our home, and we suffered much damage.

I re-located to Las Vegas over three years ago, after I lost my wife Anna, of 34 years. In retrospect, I have had a great career here, working in banking for many years, the movie studios at Warner Bros and Twentieth Century Fox, Mattel Toys, the stockbroking business and finally in Healthcare for one of the largest companies in the USA until I retired in 1994.

One moment I will never forget was meeting Cary Grant. We were at a baseball game in Los Angeles one evening, and during a break, made my way to the "Gents". I was so surprised to see standing beside me, was "himself". He was just the friendliest person to talk to, and was so surprised when I told him I was from Bristol, and that my mother, before marriage, had lived several doors up on Lower Redland Road, from Cary Grant's mother.

During my movie work (I was Director of Studio Communications) I was fortunate to meet many of the well known names in movies, including John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, all the "M.A.S.H." cast (it was filmed at Twentieth Century Fox), Dudley Moore, William Holden, Stephanie Powers, Robert Wagner, and Tom Sellick and Shirley Temple, to name a few. That part of my long career was the most fun one, though very demanding. My warmest wishes to all my friends, especially Sid and Joy, from Las Vegas, Nevada.

Sincerely yours,
Geoffrey Marsh  
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.


In February 2002, Shire (the monthly publication of Shirehampton) was 30 years old. There have been many changes to the locality during that period of time, so it might be interesting to try to list as many as we can remember.

Perhaps our readers will recall many more. Shirehampton has expanded. New homes have been built often by infilling in the grounds or gardens of larger houses. Developments include homes by the river bank, Priory Gardens, Penlea Court, the ground behind Wylands, which was the Post Office Telecommunications School and is now a Conference Centre. Springfield Gardens also is in this category. Then there was the clearing away of the pre-fabs on the Cotswold Estate and the homes built in the space that was provided.

More recently was the demolition of the old Lower Portway School and the new houses built in its place. Now the whole of Portway School is in one building on the hill. There was the Police Station at the bottom of Park Hill, that has now been converted into flats. Although the Savoy had ceased to be a cinema 30 years ago, it was a Bingo Hall for a long time until it was closed, now we hear that there is a petition to demolish it, and redevelop the site.

There are now several venues which provide sheltered accommodation, such as Jim O' Neill House, Antona Court and the new building at the bottom of St Mary's Road. Maybe the residential home for the elderly on the Cotswold Estate is nearly 30 years old. Many of the shops in the High Street have not only changed hands, but now supply different goods and services. There are three supermarkets. At one time there were quite a few shops which were run by families. Some of the shops in Pembroke Road and Bradley Crescent have ceased to exist and are now private houses.

There is now Robin Cousins Sports Centre on the border with Avonmouth. We have exchanged the Doctors' Surgeries, one which used to be in a house on the Portway and the other in Tregenna House, the latter which then became a Nursing Home and is now flats, for a modern Health Centre in Pembroke Road.

We have lost our Adult Education Centre at Twyford House. One change which also had a great impact is the building of the M5 motorway and its proximity to Shirehampton. The local roads, particularly the Portway, have carried more traffic than ever before, far more than was ever envisaged when the roads were built.

Kingsweston House, which was once the Police Headquarters, after a period of being empty, is now a restaurant. For many years the Annual Carnival was run by the local Scout and Cub troops, but they are no longer able to do so. However, other annual events have survived such as the Art Exhibition in May and the Craft Exhibition in October. There is also the traditional Carols on the Green on Christmas Eve.

The Public Hall, which will soon be 100 years old has taken on a new lease of life, especially since it has recently been refurbished. Many clubs and societies meet there, and among them is the Community Council, when local people express their views on local events.

As you all know shire was started in February 1972 by the then Vicar Rev. John Smith and Fred Gould of Avon University Settlement. Ashley Hutchings looked after the advertising side, and St Mary's organised the distribution. Freebies were rare then, now they abound.

The layout was a trim A4, it has always been non-political and inter-denominational. In July 1975, Shire changed to become a small newspaper. Like most organisations it has had its ups and downs, once being reduced to four pages and more recently for Christmas issues increasing to 24 pages. The cost of the typesetting and printing is covered by the revenue from the adverts, all the rest of the production is done by volunteers.


"Hello, Mrs. Waters!' said young Mr. Pace. 'It's nice to see such a big smile on your face. I expect you are happy the pavements are done.'

'Well, that's where you're mistaken, my son,' Said old Mrs. Waters. 'In fact, I'm quite bitter. The pavements is spoilt by this rubbish and litter. And also by this awful gum 'neath your feet. Why do people make such a mess in the street?' She showed what she spoke of by pointing around At wrappers and bottles and bags on the ground. 'It never were like this, when I were a lass. I don't know 'ow this sorry state's come to pass.'

Mr. Pace said: 'I think all this packaging's to blame. When you were a youngster, it wasn't the same. Sweets all came loose in brown paper bags And people who smoked used to roll up their fags. Shops didn't give out plastic carriers free. When you think about that, then it's easy to see How our rubbish has increased to this present state And it's likely to go on at quite a high rate.'

Now, while Mr. Pace was delivering this speech, Mrs. Waters was working herself up to reach an explosion of fury and ripe indignation, which gave itself vent in this peroration:

'When I were a girl, folks didn't drop no litter. If my sister did so, me father would 'it 'er. Ar mother would give us a clip on the ear, If she ever saw us drop rubbish round 'ere.'

'Well, I don't agree with hitting a child,' Began Mr. Pace.....

'But we'd all 'ave gone wild, If we didn't 'ave a smack or the stick now and then,' Interrupted the old lady with vehemence, when She saw Mr. Pace was a 'liberal' at heart (Such theories of which she was having no part). But she did bite her tongue and carried on talking, As through the old village the      two friends were walking:

'We've a nice council sweeper 'oo does a good job, But to spoil all 'is 'ard work it just takes one yob To drop 'is sweet wrapper or empty drink can. It undermines all 'is good work, the poor man.'

'I agree it's unsightly,' said young Mr. Pace, 'It does spoil the village and makes a good case For additional sweepers to keep the place clean.'

'Additional sweepers?!! What on earth d'you mean?' Cried old Mrs Waters. 'That won't do the trick. It's them that drops litter that we got to nick - Or rather the police should nick on the spot. Am I mistaken, or 'aven't we got A law against litter and even a fine. That's what would bring litter-louts into line. But I never 'eard that anyone's got done. D'you know one person that's got fined, my son?'

'I must admit that I do not', said the other. 'And only last Tuesday I said to my mother That, despite the plain fact that there was such a law, It may be that we have a national flaw In our British character that makes us so lazy.' 'National flaw, Mr Pace?' she replied,     'That's just crazy! Just can't be bothered 'its the nail on the 'ead. I'm just going into the shop for some bread.' And so, as young Pace was about to defend His views, the discussion came to a sharp end.



Save the Planet - Save Pets' Lives by recycling empty inkjet-toner-laser cartridges. Free courier pick up service to all companies & or prepaid pouches. One call could save destitute animals. Call 01179 503342 or fax 0117 377 7767. National Animal Sanctuaries Support League.


The Inwood Family N. Butler (nee Inwood) is researching her family tree and wonders if anyone has any information or   photographs about her grandparents.

Their names are: Hilda Mary Inwood, John Inwood and M.N. Bartlett. Until 1933 they (I think this refers to the Inwoods,) lived at 64, Bradley Crescent then moved to 12, Burnham Road, Shirehampton, where her grandmother died in April 1934 aged 51 years. Her grandfather lived there until 1940 then moved to Lewisham, London, where he died in March 1948 aged 73 years. If you have any information, photos etc, please contact: N. Butler, 2, Western Green Winteringham, N.Lincs, DN15 9NX   Tel: (01724) 734349


Each week at the Cotswold Community Hall, Dursley Road, is Bingo,  Tuesday evenings  at 6.45pm and Keep Fit on Friday mornings  at 10.30am. The hall is also available for private hire. For details please contact the association chairperson, Jill Thomas on 9834607. Come along and support your local community association.


Robin Baker Secretary


Many thanks to all of you who have written or sent cards to let us know that you thoroughly enjoyed the party which was held on the occasion of our 30th Anniversary to thank the street distributors for their loyalty in carrying out this task voluntarily in all winds and weathers - without them, we couldn't possibly continue to reach the whole of our Shirehampton community.

We are extremely pleased that the party went so well and our thanks go again to the POMS Band, who entertained us with lively music, to 'CELEBRATIONS' for their excellent 'spread' and catering arrangements, and Mrs. Woodruff of 'Cakes' who very kindly donated the two Birthday Cakes - an iced fruit cake and iced sponge, both of which were delicious and we can highly recommend.

('Phone Nos: 'Cakes' 982 6126, 'Celebrations' 9829576 and music by POMS Band (Portway Oldies Music Society) 9824911. We also thank Mr. Eric Verey for making the necessary arrangements for a memento of the occasion to be designed and supplied and this was presented to each of the distributors as a keepsake.

We are very happy and delighted with your response to this event and we take this opportunity to remind you that it is only 20 years until party time on our 50th Anniversary !! "SHIRE" Committee.

Each volunteer who helps produce or distribute SHIRE was presented with one of these mementos

Guests at the party in the Public Hall

The Birthday Cake made by Mrs Doris Woodruff

Portway Oldies Music Society provide musical entertainment

We thank Mr Clive Churchill and Mr D. L. Barnes for the excellent photographs taken to record the occasion.


 A Barn Dance will be held from 7.30-11.00pm on Saturday, April 20th at the Shire Baptist Church. Food and live music. Come along and join in the fun. Tickets 4.00 Adults, 2.00 Children. Tel Karen on 0117 9826639.


This group mneets in the Baptist Church Youth Hall every Tuesday and Wednesday morning at 9.30am. A really great way to meet other mums, share experiences of breinging up children and develop the tots own relationship skills prior to schooling.


Did you attend Sea Mills Junior School in the 1930's or 40"s? If so, you may be interested to know that it is proposed to hold a reunion in the not too distant future, providing there is sufficient interest, if you would like to come along and meet up with friends from long ago, please contact the organisers on any of the following telephone numbers: 0117 983 614; 0117 968 4903; 0117 968 5778; 0117 908 2926; 0117 968 3770.

I Wanta Be a Cowboy!

Bob Wiltshire would love to hear from any old friends. His address is Kivarv Park and Horse Motel, 21 Old Highway 60 West, Bosque, New Mexico 87006, USA. Email

As I sit in my chair watching TV with a beer
I see an old cowboy checking his herd and roping a steer,
That sure looks like a life I could handle
fresh air, sunshine, and room to ramble.

To commune with nature where the antelope roam,
Made me decide to leave my English home.
Across the pond I came in a hurry,
to leave behind my strife and worry.

After searching the plains far and wide,
Albuquerque is where I chose to reside.
I was busting to start the life I had seen,
just like John Wayne  on the big  silver screen.

Ready to learn what cowboy'ns about,
I found me a job and got me a mount.
I guess you could say it was a bit of a shock,
when I was told to be mounted by 5 of the clock

I've never seen country quite like this
everything here either bites, stings, or sticks.
The summers are hot the weather is dry,
Your skin gets like leather your brain starts to fry.

Of course in the winter the cold gets your attention
parts of you freeze that I dare not mention
I've fixed lots of fence and pitched lots of hay,
worked very long hours for little or no pay.

I can't stand up straight. my butt is sore,
my hands are all callused, my pants I have tore.
I haven't seen the roundup, driven cattle to sale,
gone to a saloon, or ended up in jail,

This life isn't what I was led to believe,
I guess I feel a little deceived.
I now ride my chair with a beer and some snacks,
my body is healing I get to relax.

As I sit up at night and watch True Grit,
I know the folks in Hollywood are all full of IT.

Robert and Diane Wiltshire e mail bob wiltshire <>


Groups and Clubs - 2002

  • Station Road Play Group Meet: Mondays to Fridays during term time 9,15 - 11.45am. Contact Barbara Wylde, Leader, Public Hall Tel: 0117 982 9963 mornings, 9824340 evenings.
    Shirehampton After school Club Meet Mondays to Fridays during term time. Contact: Alison Aitchison, Public Hall Tel 0117 982 9963.
  • Sequence Dancing Meet: Mondays 7.15 - 9.15pm. Contact: Myra Jenkins Tel: 0117 968 6526.
  • Tang Soo Doo Meet Tuesdays 7.00- 9.00 pm. Contact Ken Thorne Tel: 0117 9682611.
  • Shire Stitchers Patchwork and Quilting Group Meet: monthly 3rd Wednesday, 7.15-9.15pm Contact Gail Amphlett Tel 0117 982 1879.
  • Grainger Players. Drama group Meet: Thursdays 7.30-9.30pm. Contact: Shirley James Tel 987 9467.
  • Evergreens Senior Citizens Group. Entertainment and Speakers. Meet: Fridays, 1.00 - 3.00 pm. Contact: Norman Sims Tel: 0117 982 3180.
  • Bingo Meet: Fridays 6.30-8.30pm. Contact: Norman Sims Tel 0117 982 3180.
  • Twyford Art Club Meet: Mondays and Wednesdays 9.30 - 11.30am, Thursdays 7.00 - 9.00pm. Contact: Ron Thorpe Tel 0117 968 1554
  • STAMP FAIRS are held on the following Saturdays (9.00am - 4.00pm); 05 Jan, 09 Feb, 02 Mar, 06 Apr, 04 May, 15 June, 06 July, 03Aug, 07 Sept, 28 Sept, 02 Nov, 07 Dec. Contact: Kevin Noble Tel 0117 955 3110.


IMPORTANT NOTICE as from May 2nd, Shirehampton Townswomen's Guild will meet from 2pm to 4pm on the first Thursday of each month, except August. Meetings will still be held at The Methodist Church Hall, Penpole Avenue. Visitors cordially invited to our open meeting on May 2nd.



L. ANDREWS, From this Day forth,
M. BOND, Monsieur Pamplemousse on vacation,
R. BRADSHAW, THE Stony Path,
E BRONTE, Wuthering Heights,
I. CARR , Emily,
A.C. CLARKE, 2010 Odyssey,
K ELLIS The Bone Garden,
B. ERSKINE Whispers in the Sand,
V. FLYNN  The Third Option,
C.M. FRASER , Return to Rhanna,
G HALE, Without Consent,
L HARRY   PS I Love You,
G. HUPTMANN , A handful of Manhood,
J.JOHNSON, The Rest of our Lives,
J. JONKER , After The Dance is Over,
T. LAIRD, Cutter.
J. LE CARRE , The Constant Gardener,
C. MANBY Running Away from Richard
P. MARGOLIN Wild Justice
D. MINA Resolution
B. NADEL Arabesk
J.J. NANCE Headwind
G ORWELL Nineteen Eight Four
J. PARKER Red Light
J PATTINSON The Silent Voyage
V PEMBERTON A Perfect Stranger
L. SCOTTOLINE Moment of truth
R. SHAW A Country  Affair
P. WENTWORTH The Silent Pool.


APRIL 2002


2.30 p.m.- 4.30pm Admittance 1.00

* NOTE:  This is the last dance for the winter season 2001/2002 - re-starting for 2002/2003 on 17th October)


Many people locally who knew Bill and Doris Love will be saddened to hear of the sudden death in January of Doris after sixty-two years of marriage. They had moved to Nottingham to be near their daughter, Wendy, whose daughter had only two weeks before her death presented Bill and Doris with a great grandson. Our sympathies go to Bill, Wendy and family in their sad loss.

A note from Kate aged...a bit more than Jasmine and Emily!

We currently pick up children to bring to the club from both Shire Primary and St Bernard's Schools, and one child comes from Avon Primary.

We hope to bring many more children from Avon Primary in future. Our Club, which is Ofsted-registered, runs after-school until 6pm at the Public Hall, is supported by the Hall's Community Association, and costs 4.50/4 a day.

For further info, do ring us on our own mobile, 07904 002301, or catch me, Kate, at the Hall on 982 9963. Or, call in and chat to Ali, our Senior Playleader, and see the Club in action !

PS:  the Club is very democratic - we absolutely rely on and positively welcome Club parents (and other interested people), on to the Management Committee to have their say in developing the Club, and/or helping with fundraising activities etc.

With more children being 'Walked' now from the schools, we also always need new Walkers for our Bank. This is a short job and we pay a small remuneration. All our Walkers are police checked,(so we particularly welcome new Walkers who already are checked), and maybe you are already walking your own children past the Hall at that time? If you are interested, please ring Kate on 9829963.


Volunteering Bristol: its display of interesting volunteering openings have been so popular that it has recently had to be re-stocked with more leaflets!

Do drop in,(we are open most hours of most weekdays) and have a look. The display is on your left near the inner door. All the info on how to get involved is there if you want to take it a step further.

Volunteering Shire: No organisation in Shire has got in touch with this column, looking for volunteers recently, so we conclude that you all have all the help you need! But if not, do get in touch.

Your link person is Kate at the Public Hall on 9829963. However the very busy Hall itself is always looking for people to help out with Hall-running tasks, to get involved in the management of the Hall by joining in to develop or set up new activities, or just coming to us with ideas for things you'd like to see happening here.

The Hall is managed entirely by volunteers, on funds we have raised ourselves, and we aim to involve people who would like to get involved! It could be quite a small commitment - but we welcome large commitments too!


Many 'Shire' readers will have seen and purchased copies of our books in this series of memories from Avonmouth.

We sold out very quickly and just want to advertise the fact that we have had a further short print-run both 'A Mouthful...' and Another Mouthful....", so if you missed out first time round, or wish to buy further copies at 7 each, please contact Judy Helme on day time number 0117 938 2849.


Our happy community evening Jubilee Show "Jubilee Memories" is on at the end of the month.

If you want an evening to relax and enjoy memories of the 50's and our tribute to the Jubilee, come along and join us when you can watch, laugh and join in and relive those happy days. Remember though - YOUR CUSHIONS! 

And if you have a Union Jack - bring it! We are planning a happy community show and evening with you in mind. Tickets are now on sale, if you pre-ordered - if not, and you would like a ticket, there are just a few left.

The dates of the Show are:- Thursday April 25th/Friday 26th/Saturday April 27th. Tickets All for Thursday night - 2.00, Friday and Saturday - 2.50 o.a.p./3.00 adult, children 2.00. We are at the Public Hall, Station Road, and the starting time is 7.17p.m., so why not relive some memories - see you there. Tickets are available from Liz's Flowers, High Street. Tel: 938 1332. SHIRL & THE GRAINGER PLAYERS.


Anyone who enrolled for our Beginners on the Internet classes will know that we have had the Mother of all technical difficulties having all the Hall's and Company Education's computers put on-line!

However the much delayed classes will begin after Easter. Do let us know if you would be interested in any future courses - age etc no barrier, complete beginners welcomed.

Meanwhile we have an open access UK on Line computer you can come in and use to surf the internet, send and collect emails, and type up your CVs (or whatever else you like). This is free and open to all, but we do make a charge of 30p per A4 sheet of paper printed out to cover our own domestic costs.

Please ring Kate for available time slots on 9829963.


Shirehampton photographer Mark Wallis is running in this years London Marathon to raise money for the children's charity PHAB.

PHAB is a National charity which gives disabled children the wonderful opportunity of participating in sports such as tennis, athletics, ski-ing rugby etc. by providing them with specially built sports wheelchairs.

PHAB also provides personalised wheelchairs, trikes and other mobility aids for children to use every day: at home, go to school, and to enable them to play with their friends.

Mark says, "It will be the 3rd London Marathon I have ever run and although it was only two years ago I did the last one [for the charity Get Kids Going] after a year off from running. The training will take much time, effort and determination. I should like to thank all the people who have sponsored me and I shall endeavour to raise as much as I can for this worthy cause."

If anybody would like to sponsor Mark, he can be contacted on 0117 982 0925.


DENNIS PULLIN who passed away on February 15th.

I would like to thank my friends and family for the many cards, letters and flowers I received on the sad loss of my husband, Dennis. Also my thanks for the prayers and thoughts of all my friends at Tythe Barn, St. Mary's Church and the Methodist Bright Hour, together with special thanks to girls at Shirehampton Nursing Home - Lorna, Mary and Maureen, to name a few, and last, but not least to Rev. Canon Christine Froude for all her love and support during Dennis' illness. God Bless you all, Barbara Pullin. (Many thanks for your donation to SHIRE funds).

Lawrence Weston Community Farm

We're bleating, clucking, drinking, eating, oinking, quacking, running about and sleeping down at Lawrence Weston Community Farm.

The Farm is now open for 'business as usual'. Improvements have been made to the quality of life for animals with new animal housing built to replace some  that have been lost through fire or damaged, fences around areas for them to graze have been replaced and a second pond put in.

There are a number of small animals (chinchillas, gerbils, guinea pigs, rabbits, etc.) at the Farm as well as the pond area and the main farmyard. We have started to restock with larger animals. So far we have three Kooni-Koon pigs and five sheep. We will be getting some goats in the near future.

As many readers will know, 2001 was a difficult year for Lawrence Weston Community Farm. As well as having to have animals destroyed because of the suspected outbreak of Foot & Mouth, there was a problem with core funding from Bristol City Council because of concerns about financial procedures. The media has reported on the problems and raised the awareness of the general public.

The Management Committee was delighted when investigations carried out by Bristol City Council exonerated them and grant funding has been reinstated. The Farm is a voluntary sector registered charity managed by members of the local community. It is both a registered charity and incorporated as a company Limited by Guarantee.

The Farm provides a range of educational, environmental, recreational and social activities for the local community. The Farm is situated on Saltmarsh Drive in Lawrence Weston. Toilet facilities are provided for the visiting public.

There are rooms available for hire at an affordable rate in the 'People's Building'. There are two meeting rooms and a kitchen available. Students from local colleges and pupils from local schools gain valuable 'hands-on' experience at the Farm. The Farm is home to an organisation that provides training programmes for long-term unemployed people as a first step back into work.

The Farm has a voluntary Management Committee. The members have the legal responsibility for the Charity and Company. They are all local people appointed by members. Fundraising by the Management Committee carries on ceaselessly and tirelessly.

As well as writing to Companies and Trusts for donations or grants, money is also raised from membership fees, hiring out of the rooms, sale of free-range eggs and organisations providing training at the Farm who pay a placement fee. There are other volunteers who are involved with the Farm's activities including the growing of plants and care of the animals. Please visit the Farm and meet the animals. If you cannot visit, please send a donation, big or small, to help us keep the Farm running. Thank you.

St. Mary's News

Hi Folks!

On Sunday 14th April 2002, we shall be holding our Annual Parochial Church meeting.

There will be a short service at 6pm followed by the meeting at 6.30pm. At this meeting members of the Parochial Church Council are elected & also the Church Wardens.

In order to vote you must be on the Electoral Roll. To qualify for the Electoral Roll you must be at least 16 years of age, resident in the parish and/or a regular worshipper at St. Mary's.

At this meeting we look at the duties & responsibilities of P.C.C. members & officers of the church. We now need to encourage more members onto the Sub-Committee to reflect the wider congregation. If this appeals to you, don't miss this vital meeting.

Canon Christine has asked me to inform you that on the last Sunday of each month there will be a Family Service which will include any Baptisms at 10.00am. It is felt this service is less daunting for people who are not regular worshippers at St. Mary's. However on that Sunday we shall be holding a Holy Communion/Healing Service at 6.0pm. This service is not only for those who may be ill, but for others also, who can pray for them too! The first Sunday for this pattern of Services to commence will be Sunday 28th April 2002.

For those people who live on the Cotswold Estate & may have difficulty in reaching the Village, permission has been granted to hold Sunday afternoon services in Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road, Commencing on Sunday 21st April, 2002 & every 3rd Sunday of the month thereafter at 4.45pm - Canon Christine will be leading a Service of Holy Communion.

On the first Sunday of each month members of the Baptist Church will be holding a Service of Songs of Praise - this will also be at 4.45pm. Please put these dates in your dairy (you don't have to live on the Cotswold Estate to attend these services - all are welcome!)

On Friday, 26th April, 2002, we shall be holding another of our very popular Skittles Evenings. Please see Bernard Walker if you are interested. The venue again is Hallen Community Centre. Bernard will be happy to relieve you of 5 per person & for that sum, you are guaranteed a super Buffet Supper & a brilliant evenings' entertainment. The first roll up the Alley will be at 7.30pm. Well, that appears to be all the news for this month!

Bye for now!



Dear Sir,

I would like to apologise to Tony Haggerty for pointing out my erroneous references to Ever Ready in Bhopal and I'm sure there are many readers who will clap hands to applaud this sharp-eyed and well-read gentleman, residing as I do in the relative safety of New Zealand.

The point I was trying to make though, and it seems to have slipped past Mr Tony Haggerty, Hazardous Substance Advisor, NZ Fire Service, is that if potentially dangerous chemical situations are likely to exist anywhere near highly populated areas, then these should be moved to a remote place where should a disaster occur then any human tragedy would be minimised.

I for one would rather be alive and unemployed than suffer the ill-effects of chemical residue and have those effects transfer on through generations to come. Remember Agent Orange. No I'm not a scare-monger but I would like people to be able to see the trees in the wood and make their own minds up.


Danny Clevely Auckland New Zealand


National Animal Charity needs empty inkjet-toner-laser cartridges to raise funds plus mobile phones. The charity is the National Animal Sanctuaries Support League (Bristol Branch) Charity Number 1024884. Free courier pick up service across the U.K. please call 0117 950 3342.