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Park and Ride

St Mary's News

Park and Ride

On Tuesday, 16th April, the new 2.5 million A4 Park and Ride at Shirehampton was opened by Transport minister, John Spellar. The parking space is located at the Portway junction with West Town Road and will initially provide 300 spaces but may be expanded later if required.

This Park and Ride will differ from those at Brislington and Long Ashton by allowing pedestrians and cyclists to use the service so that people in Shirehampton, Sea Mills and surrounding residential areas will benefit.

The number of the new service is 902 and will provide stops on the Portway and Hotwells and in the central area of Bristol at the points shown in the diagram on page 2.

 

The first bus leaving the Park and ride travelling on a circular route along Portway, around central Bristol, and return.

Parking is free at the Park and Ride with attractive bus fares for the journey, i.e., return fare: 2.50 Mon-Fri (before 10am) 2.00 Mon-Fri (after 10am) 2.00 Saturday (up to 3 accompanied children under 16 travel free) Ten Journey Ticket - 11.00 Twenty Journey Ticket - 20.00

Bus frequencies: Monday to Friday (not Bank Holidays) 06.50 - 09.40 - every 10 mins 09.40 - 15.00 - every 15 mins 15.00 - 18.00 - every 10 mins 18.00 - 19.00 - every 12 mins Saturdays 07.30 - 18.50 - every 15 mins The journey time into central Bristol is around 30 minutes.

For other information of the Portway Park and Ride service please telephone 0117 922 2910.

This picture shows entrance to Park & Ride at West Town Road on land formerly occupied by prefabs and prior to that the site of allotments. Note that the barriers of the railway crossing are still in existence (on right-hand side of photo) although now reduced to single line track. Photo: E Verey

What's On In May

1st Wednesday every week COFFEE MORNING at the Methodist Church Hall.
MAY 1st Each Wednesday EARLY MORNING SWIM at Shirehampton Baths 7am - 8am, 8.30am - 9am.
MAY 1st & 3rd Every Wednesday and Friday DROP IN SESSIONS at the AVON UNIVERSITY COTTAGE High Street, 9.30am - 11.30am.
MAY 2nd Thursday SHIREHAMPTON'S TOWNSWOMENS GUILD meets at the Methodist Church Hall 2pm - 4pm.
MAY 3rd Friday MONTHLY COFFEE MORNING in the Library 10.30am - 12.30pm.
MAY 3rd Every Friday FRIDAY FUN at the Beachley Walk Centre for Parents and Carers and Pre-School Children 9.30am - 11.30am.
MAY 3rd Every Friday BINGO at the Public Hall 6.30pm Doors open.
MAY 4th Saturday STAMP FAIR at the Public Hall 9am - 4pm.
MAY 6th MONDAY - MAY BANK HOLIDAY the Library will be closed. All the SCHOOLS have a days holiday.
MAY 7th Tuesday St Andrew's LADIES CLUB meet at 7.30pm at St Andrew's Church Hall, Avonmouth for a talk on "The Trill and Spill of a Church Organist."
MAY 13th Monday ARTHRITIS CARE GROUP meet at Jim O'Neil House 7.30pm.
MAY 13th Monday weekly SEQUENCE DANCE at the Public Hall, contact Myra Jenkins 968-6526 for details.
MAY 15th Wednesday WOMENS INSTITUTE meet 7.30pm at the Methodist Church Hall for RESOLUTIONS.
MAY 21st Tuesday RAILWAY MODELLERS meet 7.30pm at the Public Hall.
MAY 21st Tuesday St Andrew's LADIES CLUB meet at 7.30pm at St Andrew's Church Hall, Avonmouth for "Call my Bluff."
MAY 22nd Wednesday HAPPY HEARTS WEST meet at Beachley Walk Centre at 7.30pm.
MAY 22nd Wednesday SHIREHAMPTON STITCHERS meet 7.15pm - 9.15pm at the Public Hall.
MAY 29th Wednesday SHIREHAMPTON COMMUNITY GROUP meets at 7.30pm at the Public Hall to discuss local matters. Everyone welcome.
MAY 31st Friday SEQUENCE DANCES at the Cotswold Centre 7.30pm - 10.30pm.
MAY 31st FRIDAY all schools break up at the end of this day for the Half Term Holiday.
MAY 31st FRIDAY 4.30 - 7.30pm all paintings must be brought for exhibition at the Public Hall.

Portway School Reunion October 2002

Did someone you know:
* Go to school at Portway and were eligible to leave in 1978?
* Did they stay on in Sixth Form until 1979 or 1980?
* Do they remember going to school with Alastair Grant, Sarah Peters, Kim England or Dean Blake?

If the answers to the above (at least for the years) are generally YES, then you will be pleased (we hope) to learn that we four are planning a reunion for our school year.

"The Event" of 2002 is to take place 5 October this year - in central Bristol at Welsh Back Health and Fitness Club (back of Queens Square) from 8pm to 2am on Saturday 5th October. The cost for attending will be 10 a ticket payable in advance and will go towards the venue, a band or similar, maybe a celebration drink or similar.

Interested? Then please ask them to get in touch through the Friends Reunited site http://www.friendsreunited.co.uk/ and email one of he four of us to let us know of their interest. Alternatively contact/email the Shire to pass on your details. Once names (please, no partners, spouses etc) and contact address details are known we will send details to individuals concerned of how and when to make payment.

Hope to hear from all the forty something's before we get any older! 10 to ten years of memories is cheap enough. As the date gets closer keep watching this site www.shire.org.uk for further details.

191st Scouts

On Friday March 1st Steven Ralph and Thomas Northcott were invested into the 191st St Mary's Scout Troop. The Scouts meet at the Headquarters in ST Mary's Road on Fridays from 7.30 pm to 9.00 pm and new members will be made welcome.

Windsor Jamboree

Dear Editor,

Although I get my copies of "SHIRE" third hand I still search avidly for names and stories from my past and none with greater joy and fascination than those occasional recollections of the 191st Scouts. I wrote once before a few years ago outlining my Dad, Reg Clarke's, involvement and since then have received letters from as far afield as Australia (Ginger Matthews) and deepest Dorset - Weymouth (Gordon Knowles). Both fellows pass their best wishes to folks back home.

My own recollections, my personal scouting days, remain vivid and clear to this day, indeed many of the values that were instilled in me through scouting live on in my life today. I have also carried them through a career in teaching, which I recently retired from due to ill-health after nearly 30 years.

I recall that scouting was sometimes tough, often great fun, always competitive, but especially an activity where respect, healthy living, independence, good organisation and great friendships were strong themes. I was in the 191st (pronounced one, nine, one) from 7 - 17 years of age. There were countless people I could name who I knew well, but those I knew best - my peers- were Rob Morgan, Glyn Talbot, Chris Hapgood, Mike Johnson, Chris (Snozz Mark II) Parsons, Lance Ivory, Bob Phillips, Keven Phyllis, Barry Darbon, Pat Sully, Ian Knight (sadly died young), the Kennett brothers, Bob Holt and so many others.

We met as Scouts, after the cubbing experience was over, twice a week at the hut in St. Mary's Road next to the Guides Hut (and that was a temptation too). All the things we did were geared up to meet new challenges, pass badges and especially prepare for the Autumn Summer Camp. Of course, there were week-end camps and hikes and countless other adventures, but the main one was that Summer Camp - usually at Stalbridge, Dorset. Sometimes it became a special event like a Jamboree instead, and we would meet with thousands of other scouts from all over the country, and even the world, to live together in a sort of tented village. There you would all attempt to show off to each other. Our camp was always much admired as we were always smart and well drilled. We built a gateway to our camp at Windsor Jamboree that represented the Clifton Suspension bridge (see photo).

One of the delights at Jamborees was either to buy or swap badges with other scouts. The badges concerned were the ones that showed your origins, like Bristol or Birmingham. The better collectors sewed these carefully onto a blanket which was then worn grandly as a cape when we gathered around our campfires to sing scouting songs and watch the sparks drift lazily upward into the night sky.

I had two favourite songs, both brought into our domain by Ralf Reader - famous for his Gang Shows. One was "sing along on the crest of the Wave" and the other was "Gee, its great to be young" - some of you will remember these.

Anyway camp, like most of our activities, was highly competitive and I am proud to say that my patrol, the Lions, won the accolade of 'Star Patrol'. I was patrol leader but my seconder, Rob Morgan was often the driving force towards this achievement. To my knowledge there were only two patrols to ever achieve this and I was in the first as a novice in Ted Taylor's Otter patrol. What a nice fellow he was too. So I was in both Star Patrols - my claim to fame! But lots of others had super qualities and won distinctions too. I have enclosed a photo of my Lions patrol being inspected at Camp - sadly I cannot remember all the names, although Rice, Thyer and Thunderfoot Grey come to mind.

But camping was in my blood and I camp every year still with my lovely, long suffering wife, Lesley, in tow. But what memories flood back of camp. Strip washing each morning (to the waist!) in a bowl of freezing water in a field next to a cow trough - and mind you don't step in the cow-pats! then there were the wide games - exciting games played very often at night and very cloak and dagger. Beside this there were the hours of drudgery scrubbing and cleaning smoke blackened cooking pots - we called them dixies and billies - or fumbling attempts at producing something edible for eight of you over an eye-weepingly smoking fire that was sometimes a raging inferno and sometimes a comforting scarlet glow. Now, who remembers twists? These were strips of dough wound around a stick and held in the embers to make sort of ashy, blackened bread, made partly edible by the addition of a little margarine and a spot of wasp infested jam.

Occasionally we were allowed to make 'bivvies' from the French 'bivouac' (I think), which were little shelters made from sticks, grass and ferns. Sadly, sleeping in these was a romatic notion which always ended - for me at least - in calamine lotion all over my insect bitten body the next day.

Of course, everyone delighted in hurtling down the breathe-taking, death-defying, aerial runway - what a thrill! My favourite memory was the day's visit to Sturminster market where we saw all sorts, including animals at auction and where once I saw a chicken running around with its head ripped off. A brutal world, but fascinating.

Then there was the much awaited expedition when we all climbed, slipped, shouted and fought through the undergrowth along the course of a little river, or big stream. Very often we inched along up to our necks in water. It was terrifyingly exciting for young lads! At the end of the week came the much awaited Camp Fire and the presentation of trophies and awards that left some pleased as punch and others a little disappointed. Ah, what memories....I have countless more and if time allows, would love to share them - perhaps even remind one or two of my old cronies of our times together.

Yours,

ANDY CLARKE.
Patchway, Bristol

The Continuing Story of Shirehampton

Introducing a new book to mark The Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

It is just 50 years ago this year, when Princess Elizabeth retired to bed on 5th February 1952, and came down the next morning 6th February 1952 as Queen Elizabeth II, the forty second Monarch of England since William the Conqueror. During the night her father, King George VI had passed away in his sleep. She was staying with The Duke of Edinburgh at Treetops Lodge in Nyeri National Park in Kenya, whilst making a royal tour of Africa. They returned to London straight away. She was only 25 at the time.

To celebrate Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee our local historian and author has written a new book, entitled 'The Continuing Story of Shirehampton', when she has tried to bring the history of Shirehampton right up to date and it is uniform with her other works. There are 200 pages, 186 photographs and a hard back cover. Price is 15.00 sterling and by post 17.00. Copies are available from the local shops, or by post from 55 Clock Street, Avonmouth, Bristol, BS11 9JY. Tel: 0117 9822738

Library News

On Wednesday, 15th May, from10.30a.m. to 12 noon, we will be having the launch of our Adult Literacy collection of books and also books on tape. This will be the ideal opportunity for those wanting to improve their reading skills and those helping them to come along and see what we have available, We will also have some supporting web site lists available.

LECTURE BY MR. RALPH HACK

As part of Local History Month we will have Mr. Ralph Hack coming to the library on Thursday, 23rd May from 2.30 - 4 p.m. to give a talk entitled 'MERCHANT PRINCES OF BRISTOL' giving an entertaining insight into the lives of the Miles family. Tickets are available from the library @75p each. As numbers are strictly limited, advance booking is essential (ring 0117 903 8570) This is one of many events/talks taking place throughout the city - programmes are available from the library.

Portway Oldies Music Society

Following my previous article in the February edition of the Shire, I once again put pen to paper to keep you updated with regard to Portway Oldies Music Society (POMS).

As you may remember 2002 holds new challenges for our group and a new fund raising project; to raise 3,500 to provide a new full set of music stands for the musicians at Portway Community School. POMS recently held a music quiz, for POMS members, their families and friends. The event was extremely successful with thanks to Chris & Phill's Music Quiz, who provided the wide range of music and a mixture of questions. A fun evening was had by all.Our thanks is also expressed to Leon Franklin at the Lamplighters and Pete and Lin at the Miles Arms Hotel, Avonmouth who provided much sought after prizes for the evening.

The next event for the Oldies is to complete a sponsored 12 concerts in 24 hours in and around Bristol, to take place from 1-2 June 2002. Within the past few weeks we have been able to confirm some of the 12 venues at which the concerts will be held. Some of these venues include; The Lamplighters, Shirehampton, The Chequers Pub, Hanham, the SS Great Britain and Temple Meads Station. It is planned that each concert will last for 45 minutes involving a full wind band, and that I will be able to confirm where POMS will be and and at what time throughout the weekend in the next edition of Shire. I hope you will be able to join us at some point within the 24 hours.

POMS Forthcoming Events
12 June 2002 -POMS will endeavour to complete a sponsored 12 concerts in 24 hours in and around Bristol. We look forward to your support.

Watch this space for further details of POMS events Miss Sharon CL Vincent Secretary, Portway Oldies Music Society Telephone: 0117 982 4911

The Party in the Park, Avonmouth

Avonmouth Parents Association are working with Bristol City Council to get the park regenerated. To help celebrate the first phase, the Lord Mayor will open the new play area on Saturday, 4th May, from 12.00 - 3.00p.m. There will be stalls, games, face painting, fancy dress and a balloon launch. COME AND CELEBRATE WITH THE CHILDREN ON SATURDAY, MAY 4th

Golden Wedding Anniversary - Joan and Alec Jackson

Congratulations to Joan and Alec Jackson on their Golden Wedding Anniversary, May 31st. They have lived in Shirehampton for the past 37 years and both enjoy playing Skittles locally, gardening and Bingo. Love to you both from your daughters Carol and Paula, five grandchildren and two great grand-daughters

Who are the Terrorists?

Ghandi, an expert in both fields, said that those who try to separate religion from politics don't understand the nature of either. In Shakespeare's Julius Caesar two main characters are different kinds of terrorist. Caesar, commander in chief of the only superpower in the known world was self satisfied and absurdly self-confident, immensely popular at home, but certainly hated outside Italy.

Brutus, the leader of a gang of murderers, claimed the high moral ground for their act of violence. He advised them:'Let's kill him boldly but not wrathfully.' as if that justified the deed. Afterwards he told them to go to the marketplace and 'waving our red weapons o'er our heads, let's all cry peace, freedom and liberty.'

Of whom today do Shakespeare's Brutus and Caesar remind you?

Jesus condemned violence, prophesying that 'all who take the sword will perish by the sword.'(Mt.26-52) I have to admit that to follow his teaching of non-violence is not always straightforward. I myself nearly fulfilled his prophecy when I trod on a mine while on active service in World War Two. Like most of my fellow countrymen I thought it necessary to defeat Hitler by superior violence.

Usually however counter violence is neither just nor effective. Israel's excessive violence for example against Palestinian terrorism only breeds more terrorism. Targeting Palestinian police posts is particularly stupid. For it is on the efficiency of the Palestinian police that Israel depends for the arrest of the terrorists.

A.H. Dammers.

CLIC's Window Dressing

I feel I must write to say how nice the windows of the CLIC shop have looked since Christmas. This includes the Christmas window, Easter and lately for the sad loss of the Queen Mum.

Well done to the girls at CLIC,

Mrs. Mereweather

Bell is Swell

Dear Shire,

I would like to briefly express my appreciation for PC Steve Bell, Shirehampton's local cop. Some weeks ago, I became a victim of crime and PC Bell could not have been more helpful and efficient, quickly tracking down and prosecuting the criminal responsible. I see that he is also tackling youth drunkenness and holding regular community surgeries, which is a very pro-active approach. We are lucky to have such an expert and caring policeman protecting us in Shirehampton.

Yours,

A.K.D.

Report of the Shirehampton Community Group Meeting

HELD IN THE PUBLIC HALL ON WEDNESDAY 27 MARCH 2002

There were 14 people present.

The meeting was chaired by John Parsons who welcomed those present with a special welcome to Gareth Jones Director and James Rider, Plant Manager of Wessex Water who talked about the company beginning with an apology from the Board for the smell that had prevailed for many months and given rise to complaints from local residents. Gareth Jones explained the reasons for the smell. In 1999/2000 a major expansion of the plant took place and it is now one of the top 10 in size in the country. Waste drains to the site from 40 kms away. To comply with EU standards modifications had to be made and there were some technical problems, which meant that a sludge mountain developed. This combined with other factors such as very wet weather and Foot and Mouth meant the sludge could not be moved to farms as per the usual practice, hence the smell. This situation should not arise again. 20m is still to be spent on the works so that electricity can be produced from the sludge processing procedure, probably by late 2004/early 2005. James Rider gave a brief history of the plant from its commencement in 1962 through to a major change in 1992 when the Bio-gran plant was built whereby some sludge is turned into granules and used for various purposes such as retrieving land once used for tipping to the creation of golf courses. The secondary treatment plant was built in 2000 and there is still 30m to be spent at the site including the building of storm tanks. The company is determined to communicate with local people and already have a liaison group with councillors and other interested parties. A newsletter is to be produced and distributed to 8000 local homes and four road shows are planned for Shirehampton, Lawrence Weston, Avonmouth and Hallen, as well as a Open Day in September, which has become a popular event. The sludge produced at Avonmouth is mixed with lime and given, free of charge, to local farmers to whom it is worth about 4 per tonne. Wessex even spreads it on the land so the farmer just ploughs it in.

Questions from the floor - it as been reported that Wessex Water has been sold to a Malaysian company. Gareth Jones explained that negotiations are being held with YTL of Malaysia, and should they be successful they could take over ownership by June 2002 however, if a higher offer comes in this will be considered. YTL have indicated their intention to leave the existing management structure in place and enhance customer service. Is there any significance in the new double billing with Bristol Water?. This is something the two companies have been talking about for some time. Both were due to replace their billing systems and the new procedure saves each company 1m a year. It does not mean that the companies are merging. Some general enquiries about water metering and dual supplies followed. Anyone considering changing to a meter should contact Wessex Water Customer Services for advice. Gareth Jones and James Rider were thanked for their presentation.

Section Reports

a) planning and Environment Presented by John Parsons in the absence of John Callaghan.

Pembroke Rd Car Sales - No reply has been received from Mr Cadman, It was suggested from the floor that in the absence of any action from the planning department, the Ombudsman should be contacted since the business is causing a nuisance to local people.

Communication Mast - behind Alldays has not yet been removed but is probably not active as a new one has been sited on Barwick House.

Site next to Alldays - nothing further to report. Site of former Portway Day Centre the most recent application has been turned down by the Planning Department. Nothing more to report at present.

Park & Ride - this is due to be opened in April. Traffic lights still have to go in. Some concern was expressed about the difficulty of turning into side roads off the Portway. The environmental impact survey still has not been carried out. It was confirmed that concessionary fares will be allowed. The bus stops will probably be at Hung Road and Station Road both ways. There is still some debate on whether the Sea Mills stop will be at River Leaze or Roman Way.

Proposed housing development on the Pill side of the Avon at Ham Green Pill. This won't affect Shirehampton people but means some green land will disappear.

Shirehampton Green Group - this is in the embryonic stage and is about trying to get another park in Shirehampton on the 'daisy field' between Station Road and the Park and Ride/the railway line and Portway. The group would like to see this area made into a local amenity including a youth shelter which is a covered shelter with seats where the young can meet and socialise rather than hang around on street corners. These shelters attract Government funding. The possibility of a skateboard/BMX park and pedestrian paths are also being considered. The police have been involved in the initial discussions.

b) General Report by John Parsons.

Shirehampton Community Action Forum - there are large notices outside the public hall explaining what it is about. There are three groups - Youth Support, which has made good links with local schools. Community Safety - a survey of the whole area is being carried out by UWE to find out what is needed to make the area safer. The police and Social Services are involved in this group. Housing group concentrating mainly on the Ridge where there are five separate housing associations owning property, as well as the Council and individual house owners. They are trying to liaise and work together.

c) Highways

Street lighting in Pembroke Road - a lamp has been reinstated but not yet working. There is a trend towards taller lamps in the side streets with more focused lighting.

Historic milestone - in Shirehampton Park. This has been straightened at long last.

Park Gates fingerpost - still no reply to John's letter of early January.

d) Any other business

Entrance to Shirehampton Park - this seems narrower since the fair left. John will make enquiries.

Mobile phone masts - the Council wants the views of the general public on these masts by mid April. Write to the Planning Department.

Lane behind Indian Restaurant/betting shop etc - a lot of fly tipping is going on here. Who is responsible for the lane? John thought it would be the owners of the land or landlords of the shops.

Weight restriction sign - at the end of Park Road is missing since the new houses were built. John will inform the council.

Date of next meeting Wednesday 29 May 2002 Future meetings: 31st July, 25th September (AGM), 27th November.

Shirehampton Townswomen's Guild Programme 2002/3

Apr 4th - Holidays afloat - Mrs S Marshfield
May 2nd - Open Meeting
Jun 6th - Strasbourg, Alsace & E U Parliament - Mrs K Wedd
July 4th - Marketing - Marks & Spencer
Aug 1st - No Meeting
Sep 5th - The Great Wall of China - Mr B Raybould
Oct 3rd - Traveller's Tales - Mr P Scott
Nov 7th - Bristol Curiosities - Mrs B Hardingham
Dec 5th - Bristol Hippodrome - Mrs J Gill
Jan 2nd - Birthday Party
Feb 6th - Humanity in research - Mr G Thomas
Mar 6th - Annual General Meeting

Townswomen's Guild Meetings 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 be held at the Methodist Church Hall, Penpole Avenue. Visitors cordially invited to our open meeting on May 2nd.

St Mary's News

Hi Folks! Canon Christine has asked me to say a big thank you to those of you who supported our Easter celebrations. It was extremely heart-warming to see so many people in church. Well, now that Easter has passed there follows the great Forty Days, when Christ appeared frequently to the disciples and others, teaching and preparing them. Then he withdrew his bodily presence on Ascension Day - the fortieth day after Easter - which always falls on a Thursday. Ascension Day this year is Thursday 9th May 2002. As Christ had promised, after ten days of waiting and prayer in the Upper Room in Jerusalem, the disciples received the Holy Spirit on Whit-Sunday - this year it falls on Sunday 19th May.

As mentioned last month our Annual Parochial Church Meeting was held on Sunday 14th April, 2002 and we have elected two new Churchwardens. One is a lady - Gill Sawyer - the other is Derek Ford. The last time we had a lady Churchwarden was back in the eighties when Carys Fowles held the post. For those of you who remember Carys, who lives in Llandysul, Dyfed, we are happy to report she is making excellent progress after a serious operation. She is still on our prayer list for the sick and we pray she continues to make progress.

Our new Garden of Remembrance outside the Choir Vestry is now looking more like a garden with freshly laid turf and a stone bench in position. It will now be taken into use at the earliest opportunity. The Diocese of Bristol has advised us we should follow certain guide lines which will differ from the practice allowed in the old Garden of Remembrance. The new guidelines are - No floral tributes will be placed in the garden, mourners will be encouraged to leave any flowers on the Table of Remembrance in the Church where the Memorial Book is displayed, secondly there is to be a large Memorial Stone set in the garden on which the names of the departed can be engraved. No individual memorial stones will be permitted. This may not please everyone - but we are really obliged to follow the Archdeacon's instructions.

Finally, one of our church members heard comments that some people were displeased because there was no flag flying at half mast on the Church building in honour of the late Queen Mother. The reason for this was not because of disrespect or lack of sympathy or loyalty to the Royal Family but due to the fact that the last one - a St George's flag - was stolen on the first occasion it was used. I suspect it was stolen to order, as England were playing for a Cup at the time in a football tournament. If the thief who stole it is prepared to return it anonymously then we will be happy to fly it - particularly as we shall shortly be celebrating the present Queen's Jubilee Year. For those who were disappointed at not seeing a flag displayed, I would point out that on the day following the late Queen Mother's death, a period of silence was observed in church, the National Anthem was sung and prayers were said for the Queen and members the Royal Family. Please do not think we were unsympathetic - we most definitely were not!

Bye for now!

C.M.E.

Off Road Bikes

I am sure I am not alone in finding off road bikes to be an increasing nuisance every weekend. In particular, the youths who regularly ignore the notices relating to the Lamplighters Field - driving across the fields itself and along the footpath. Apart from the danger to themselves, (they all seem to be under 14, driving recklessly and never wearing protective clothing or helmets), the noise and obstruction caused is unacceptable. The situation is extremely irritating for those wanting to use the parkland to entertain children, enjoy scenery and/or walk dogs.

As a resident in the area of the Lamplighters field, I therefore recently contacted the City Council Parks department to request that they at least regularly dispatch an inspector. For your readers' interest, the response I received is as follows:

'We appreciate the concerns of locl residents and offer the following advice:
* Ring the Police and ensure that you are given a log number,
* Inform the Police that you have been advised by John Brown of Bristol City Council that theses activities are not permitted'

The Council further advise that 'Unfortunately, the City Council no longer has a park patrol and individual officers have been advised not to approach offenders as this is really a Police issue. However, please do not hesitate to contact the Council if problems persist and we will endeavour to see if anything more can be done'

I trust that other concerned residents find the above information useful.

Helen Connor
Shirehampton

Shirehampton Primary School Stages 'Alice'

On Tuesday 26th March the children of Shirehampton Primary School performed a musical version of 'Alice Through the Looking Glass' to an audience of over 100 parents and friends. The children, aged between seven and eleven years old, had been taking part in Drama, Singing and dance after school clubs run by the staff of the school, and worked extremely hard to put the production together. All the main characters were included and wonderful costumes were made for Alice, the Red and White Queen, Tweedledum, Tweedledee and Humpty Dumpty by Mrs Green, a parent of one of the children.

The evening was enjoyed by everyone involved and all the staff, parents and children are looking forward to another successful production soon.

'Play and Stay' - Friday Fun at Beachley Walk Community Centre

Are you a parent/carer with pre-school children? Join us on Friday mornings from 9.30 to 11.30a.m. There are a variety of activities to choose from. Refreshments available. Interested? Just pop in or 'phone Lyn or Nicky for details on 923 5353.

Shirehampton Community Action Forum - Spring Update

Each of the three sub groups continue to meet monthly and are all actively pursuing priority areas of work. The last two months have been an expansive and exciting time - with all the sub groups actively involved in addressing their priority issues, looking at funding and continuing to develop partnership within their groups and further afield.

Housing sub group
* Organised the Ridge Residents Meeting on March 14 of Council, Housing Associations and other residents who live on the Ridge
* Looking at standardising housing providers policies on anti-social behaviour, racism and harassment
* Supporting the development of a city wide tenants group
* Continuing the "Ridge" residents survey

Community Safety sub group
* Meeting UWE researchers who specialise in conducting Community Safety Audits - also exploring funding/grants available to cover cost
* Researching undertaking (in conjunction with Bristol City Council) a pedestrian safety/traffic management survey
* Setting up meeting with traders/shop keepers with a not for profit consultancy that specialises in advising rural/semi rural traders about ways to develop their business - a few traders in the High Street are experiencing economic difficulties

Youth Support sub group
* Comprehensive questionnaire/survey with Portway Community School's pupils, will hopefully be the most comprehensive youth survey conducted in the area. Young people focused - will be used to get a clear picture of issues affecting young people in Shire. Will be invaluable to SCAF and the sub groups in prioritising work areas and also encouraging the participation of young people.
* Looking into establishing sports clubs/facilities e.g. karting league
* Cafe for young people - church led project supported by sub group
* Linking with Portway Community School and local shop keepers to help with truancy

If you would like more information about the Forum, or the work of the sub groups, please contact Ash Bearman, Community Development Officer at Shire Public Hall on 982 9963

A Community Park for Shire?  What do you think?

In the last edition of SHIRE, we asked if you would like to put together a 'Wish List' for outdoor Green Projects for the village.

One idea HAS been offered so far - that of a Community Park. The idea was floated for the very first time at the last Shire Community Action Forum Meeting to see what the people at they meeting (who all represent Shire interests), thought of it.

A special presentation was made by a local resident, Mr. Arthur Baker, who is currently doing youth work in the Lawrence Weston area, and he put forward the suggestion for a Community Park at the junction of the Portway and (lower) Station Road. He would like to develop this project in partnership, and he has recently formed a loose alliance of local people who are interested in improving the environment in Shirehampton and they are known informally as "The Shirehampton Greens".

After some discussion, the Forum agreed to take the "Shire Greens" under their wing, with the proviso that its remit included environmental aspects generally, and was not confined to the Riverside proposal.

The Forum would be interested to receive readers reactions. Please get in touch with them through SHIRE, or by letter/phone call to Kate at the Public Hall 982 9963, or katepollard@shirepubhall.org.uk. Or come to the next Forum Meeting (please let Ash Bearman know that you are coming, on the same telephone number, or ashbearman@shirepubhall.org.uk so she can plan the meeting). Please also let us know what you think of the Community Park idea.

Date of next Forum Meeting: Tuesday, 14th May, 10am-12 noon at the Public Hall, Station Road.

Discovering Bristol on Foot

Where is Sabrina, Goddess of the Severn'? Where is World's End or 'There and Back Again Lane'? Both residents and visitors to Bristol will be able to find out from the unique book of city walks - 'Bristol Backs, discovering Bristol on Foot' - launched on Friday, April 5 at 10am in Millennium Square - At -Bristol, in the centre of the city.

The book is a joint initiative between Bristol Ramblers and Bristol City Council and features 27 walks across Bristol from 2 to 11 miles. Each one takes in a range of historical features - some very well known and some that will surprise even those that think they know every place in Bristol. To launch the book, Valerie Davey MP and Cath Mackay, chair of the Ramblers Association will join Neil Burlton from the Bristol Ramblers Association for a taster of his Sculpture Trail Walk revealing where 'Sabrina, Goddess of the Severn' resides.

The launch will start at 10am in Millennium Square - At Bristol, by Cary Grant's statue and Neil Burlton will lead the Sculpture Trail walk from 10.15an to 10.45am.

Walkers of all ages and abilities are welcome to attend the launch and take part in the walk. There will be an opportunity after the walk to have a coffee, buy the book and even get a copy signed by Valerie Davey MP and Cath MacKay.

The book has been funded by the council and the walks have been designed by members of the Bristol Ramblers who have drawn the maps and researched the points of historical interest featured in the 27 walks.

'Bristol Backs discovering Bristol on Foot' will be available from most bookshops in Bristol, the Tourist Information Office and council libraries across the city, price 6.99.