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News Index

Avonmouth Hockey Club

Golden Jubilee Celebration

Library News

Portway Park and Ride

Shirehampton Greens

Shire After School Club

St Mary's News

Improvement to Shirehampton Park and Kingsweston Estate

An open-air Public Discussion took place at 10am on Saturday 22 June 2002, at the Picnic Area near the tennis courts. Mr Jim Hardcastle from Bristol City Council Heritage Estates led the discussions. The meeting was well attended with representatives from many community organisations e.g; Shirehampton Community Group, Shirehampton Community Action Forum, Kingsweston Preservation Society, Friends of Kingsweston House, etc, and many residents from Lawrence Weston, Avonmouth, Sea Mills and Shirehampton. Councillors Spud Murphy and Pat Roberts were in attendance as well as Mr John Hardy who currently leases the Mansion. Mr Hardcastle emphasised the intention of the draft proposals he showed us, was to improve safety, security, and access to the Estate, and to deter illegal access by joy-riders and travellers. The proposals included:

* A new 'parkland style' one metre high fence along the Shirehampton Road perimeter. This would replace the boulders.

* The existing tennis court to be converted to a car park, which would be locked at night.

* Re-instate the historical coach driveway approach to the Mansion.

* Under Health and Safety laws there are some functions at King's Weston House that require a second access route for emergency vehicles.

People at the meeting listening to the City Council Officer explaining proposals for improving access

Discussions took place in the picnic area, at the existing car entrance from Shirehampton Road, and at the tennis court before a final question and answer session back at the picnic area. Many points of view were expressed and concern was voiced:

1. about the changing of the landscape,

2. the bridle path,

3. access for the disabled,

4. why we had to have a fence to keep the travellers off when Councillor Diane Bunyan had assured a Public Meeting in Lawrence Weston before the Travellers Site was built, that once it was there the Council could move illegally parked travellers from Council owned sites.

Parkland fencing with kissing gate, proposed fencing will be 1 metre high, slightly lower than that shown

The general consensus of the meeting on the main two proposed changes was:

1. Replacing the Boulders by a one metre fence (est. cost 18,000 ??) would be a retrograde step and would not be as effective in providing legal security against illegal access by travellers.

2. The current car park location was much preferred to the tennis court proposal. It was pointed out that due to the road layout at the corner of The Cenopath, access would be difficult for cars approaching from the village.

This factor and the two bus stops each side of Shirehampton Road, together with the proposed increase in pupils from Lawrence Weston School to Portway Comprehensive School would further increase traffic safety problems at this junction. Mr Hardcastle assured the meeting that these plans were only proposals, and more detailed work and public consultation would be required before submitting a planning application. He thanked the meeting for their participation and discussion, which had certainly provided some good suggestions, which he would take onboard for consideration.

Mr Hardcastle also assured the assembled crowd that the arrangements for the 'Party in the Park' at the King's Weston House which had made some people believe that the changes had already started, would only be a temporary measure and certainly not a permanent arrangement. He promised there would be further consultation as the plans were developed which also included consultations with English Heritage, Road Safety officials etc. (Kingsweston Estate is a Grade 2 registered Park with English Heritage; there are about 400 similar sites throughout the country).

Over sixty names and addresses signed up to receive ongoing information from Heritage Estates out of the gathering numbering about 80 people. Mr Jim Hardcastle will be invited to address the next Shirehampton Community Group meeting on Wednesday 31 July, at 7.30pm in Shirehampton Public Hall. Notices will be posted to let everyone know if he can make our meeting.

Other Items from the Community Group

A further planning application has been submitted for mixed use three storey development comprising retail use and 14 residential flats, retail servicing and parking with provision of 9 car parking spaces for the flats fronting Hermitage Close.

Discussions with the Planning Department are continuing regarding the development of the Savoy cinema area for residential flats.

Shirehampton Community Group Planning & Environment

Counting our blessings

The events of September 11th 2001, besides shocking the world has made many people think again about the value of life, and how to make better use of time - today is all we have. Maybe family, friends, home neighbours and community have regained their true importance in all our lives. What do you think? Please let us know via the Library.

To whom it may concern

We do not publish unsigned letters. However, if one of the committee knows the writer who may not wish their name to appear in print, we are quite prepared to print their letter anonymously (provided it is in no way libellous).

Avonmouth Hockey Club

Avonmouth hockey club have started this year's Summer League campaign successfully with a win and a draw in our first two games. We hope the summer season will continue in this manner at the same time allowing us an opportunity to introduce our junior members to senior hockey.

The senior teams had a mixed end to the season with the First XI securing their position in Brunel 2 a couple of weeks before the end of the season while the Second XI are still waiting to hear whether they will be relegated from Brunel 3, dependent upon how many teams will be joining the league below them. Presentations were made for this year's First team player to Katrina Price and Second team to Debbie Chappell, while clubwoman went to Sophie Lennox. The juniors ended the season with a couple of tournaments in the local area, which allowed good opportunities for the team to experience competitive games. Although we are not currently holding training sessions the club would welcome anyone interested in playing during the summer of next winter, especially if they play in goal. Our second team goalkeeper has moved to pastures new and our first team goalkeeper is feeling her age. We also welcome field players of all ages and experience and if you would rather blow a whistle than play we are also closely linked with the umpiring association in the area.

The club continues to develop hockey opportunities for junior players, and in September will restart training sessions for both 11 - 14 year olds and 7 - 11 year olds. To develop our skills in this area the club has joined the Active Sports scheme and will be working towards accreditation this year. This will ensure that there are good child safety policies in place and followed along with the provision of first aid at all junior sessions.

To help fund the necessary equipment to ensure we are doing the best for our juniors there will be two fund raising activities during the summer. The first will be a quiz on the 27th June at Avonmouth rugby club and the second will be a fun afternoon of traditional games, karaoke and BBQ at Avonmouth Rugby Club on Sunday 14th July starting at 3.00 pm. If anyone would like more information about Avonmouth hockey please contact either Sophie Lennox on 0117 9828039 or Jan Wilson on

Golden Jubilee Celebration

Red, white and blue hats were the order of the day as Shirehampton Methodist Church Bright Hour celebrated the Jubilee. After watching a video of the early years of the Queens reign we enjoyed a strawberry cream tea, accompanied by a Jubilee quiz.

It was a convival and relaxing afternoon enjoyed by all the ladies who were able to join us .
Val Flint-Johnson.

Party in the park Avonmouth

Thank you so very much for supporting our event that took place on Saturday 4th May. Hundreds of local people joined us and celebrated the opening of the first phase of the new children's play equipment in St Andrews Park.

Zena Halliwell the new Vicar opened the proceedings and all the displays were enthusiastically received. Thank you to all those who helped in any way and made this community effort so successful. The Avonmouth Parent Association affiliated to Playing with words noticed the lack of facilities for their children over a year ago. They worked closely with Bristol City Council to address this issue. The Party in the Park raised over 1,000 towards the next phase that will achieve an area for older children who are being consulted.

Thanks must also go to this busy little group who are committed to raising the play opportunities for children in Avonmouth.

Lyn Sylvester.

Library News

On Thursday 23rd of May the library hosted a talk by Ralph Hack, on the Miles family, as part of Bristol Libraries Local History month.

Mr Hack very generously gave his time free of charge, which meant that ticket prices could be kept to a minimum to cover the costs of refreshments and publicity etc.

We would like to sincerely apologise to all who wished to attend the event but were unable to because of restricted numbers (this being on Health and Safety grounds as well as limited space). We could have sold all tickets several times over.

Mr Hack gave a fascinating talk, illustrated by slides, which had the audience captivated throughout the afternoon. Having covered the history of the Miles family Mr Hack ended the afternoon by showing slides of local groups associated with the "squire" - the squires' cricket team, local school etc. many of which included family members of some of the audience.

The Library staff would like to add their own "Thank You" to Mr Hack for his generosity and also to the audience for their very kind and appreciative comments, both for the talk and to us for arranging it.

We hope that after such a positive response and feedback that we will be able to arrange further similar events in the future.

Station Road Playgroup.

The Public Hall, Station Road If your child is ready for pre-school in September, come along and visit us to see what activities are on offer. Either phone 07816621142, or pop in Mon-Fri am. Register your child now.

The Bristol Shiplovers Society.

As it's badge proclaims, the Society was founded at a time when Bristol was still a great and important sea-port. Avonmouth Docks were busy day and night loading or discharging ships from all over the world and quays of the City Docks were likewise lined with deep-water and coastwise craft, right up to the City Centre itself.

They were the life-blood of the community and it's commerce. Not surprisingly therefore the founders of the Society were mainly seafarers who, despite the harsh and dangerous life they had known aboard ships, both sail and steam, formed a deep love for ships and the sea. Fortunately for us they decided to form a group through which their experiences could be recorded for posterity and to stimulate a continued interest in the subject.

That the Society still flourishes after more than seventy years is a vindication of their objectives. Nowadays the membership consists of not only professional seafarers but also amateur sailors, maritime historians, divers, river and canal cruisers and folk who are just interested in the subject of water craft and their element.

All are welcome at the Society meetings on the first and third Thursday evenings of the months of October to May, at Holy Trinity Church Hall, Hotwell Road, Bristol. Enquiries to the Hon. Secretary, F D Tolfree. Telephone (0117) 9863669.

Thanks for your donation to Shire funds.

Shirehampton Craft Exhibition

Calling all crafts-people - this is your wake up call - only two months to go. Whether you're a knatty knitter, a snappy stitcher, collage creator, candle maker, turner or learner, veteran or novice exhibitor, we want your crafts to display at this annual event to be held during the Autumn half-term holiday, commencing 28th October. The wider the display of crafts the more interesting the exhibition, so don't be shy give it a try. Look out for the application form in the September "Shire" and we'll look out for your exhibits.

Presentation of Chief Scouts Award

On Friday May 10, Andy Hobbs (Assistant District Commissioner for Scouts) presented the Chief Scouts Award to L-R-Simon Armstrong, Richard Dear and Alex Rossiter. This is the highest award that any scout can gain, and follows many months of hard work. Well done boys.

Grant Watkins
Scout leader

The Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA)

We now have a branch in Bristol. We support people with Motor Neurone Disease (MND), their carers and families in Bristol, Bath, Weston-super-Mare and surrounding areas. We run a Support Group every month in the local area, where we meet socially to share interests and information. We offer a warm welcome to anyone who would like to join us. If you would like to know more about the MNDA Bristol Branch, our support group and events, please call Tina on 0117 3776064. If you know anyone with MND in Shirehampton, Avonmouth, Sea Mills, or Lawrence Weston, please tell them about us.

Never Too Late

Dear Kate,

I felt I would like to write to you to let you know how much I have enjoyed the "Beginners Internet Course". Before coming to the course I had never operated a computer before. To begin with I felt lost but I have surprised myself how quickly I have learned. I would recommend anyone interested to join the course.

Yours sincerely,

Doreen Leat.

@ SHIRE PUBLIC HALL. Courses and Workshops.

We are now offering these running courses, workshops and facilities:
BEGINNERS ON THE INTERNET (small charge of 10 per 8 2hr lessons).
BEGINNERS ON COMPUTERS (small charge of 10 per 8 2hr lessons).
AN OPEN ACCESS COMPUTER ie AN ON-LINE COMPUTER YOU CAN USE AT VARIOUS TIMES (charge of .20p per printout page). (Some fee concessions are available).

Enquiries to: Kate Pollard on 9829963.


I would like to thank family friends and neighbours for the many cards of comforting words received after the sad loss of our sister Mary Wilde who passed away on May 6th, 2002. Many thanks to all the nursing staff and carers in wards '30' and '107' of Frenchay Hospital who looked after Mary with loving care. Also my thanks to Canon Christine Froude for the comfort and friendliness she gave me. Donations have been sent to The Bristol Heart Foundation.

My thanks to all of you,

Nora Taylor
Dursley Road, Shirehampton.

Avon Primary School 50th Anniversary in April with Headmaster Mr Duncan Jennings and some pupils holding their souvenir mugs.

Portway Park and Ride

Councillor Pat Roberts has received the following information about the Park and Ride scheme from Avril Fear, Public Transport Planner for Bristol City Council:

The Portway Park and Ride site is currently averaging 50 cars per day, although in the first two weeks of operation 2,584 people travelled on the bus service from both the site and the stops on route. I am currently waiting for figures from the bus company on the first months trading.

I can confirm that all relevant bus stops now have a sticker on the flag or shelter indicating that the stop is served by the Portway Park and Ride this work was completed on 26th April.

All the Park and Ride bus stops are due to be upgraded by October which will include high quality shelters with timetable displays and raised kerbs for easy access. This is to coincide with the introduction of dedicated low floor buses to the Portway service. All stops in the city centre currently have timetables, plus Roman Way inbound and Hung Road outbound. I am arranging for displays to be provided at the remainder. Timetables were delivered to all properties within a quarter of a mile walk of the site and Park and Ride bus stops, so users of the service will have a pocket guide to the bus times.

We have received a number of complaints from passengers about the city centre White Lion bus stop. As both inbound and outbound buses pass the stop it became apparent that in the first few days of operation passengers were trying to hail the inbound buses. As people have continued to use the service they have realised that they have to hail buses coming from Rupert Street and not from St Augustine's Parade. In reference to your second email sent on 9th May concerning buses not running in the evening peak, I have received a number of complaints from passengers and as a result I have written to First in Avon to express my concern.


Ivy Grace Gore (Rene) Jennifer, Roy, Angela and Laura would like to thank family, friends, neighbours and colleagues for all the messages of sympathy and support received following the death of Rene. Thank you also for the donations to charity.
Thank you for your kind donation to Shire funds.


In the last issue of 'Shire' we must apologise for the typesetting errors - sadly they were beyond our control. To mention just two we called Tim Forder, our well known organist at St Mary's Jim and in the piece about Ken Giles we misnamed his granddaughter Jessica - Jason, we are so very sorry!

The Forgotten Tragedy

The story of the loss of HMT Lancastria, by Brian James Crabb.
The author used to live at 156 Nibley Road, Shirehampton from 1947 to 1956, and is still in touch with a great many people from the area.

This book, his third, records the tragic story of the sinking of the troopship Lancastria, which was bombed and sunk by Junkers 88 dive-bombers in the estuary of the River Loire, on Monday, 17th June 1940. Crammed with approximately 6,000 troops, RAF personnel, civilians and crew, a third of whom did not survive. This incident remains Britain's worst-ever maritime disaster but, like many other shipping disasters of the Second World War, it remains little known today. Following the successful evacuation of Dunkirk only weeks before, Winston Churchill initially forbade media disclosure of the event. Over a month passed before the story eventually reached the national newspapers, via American journalists.

This first in-depth study of the incident draws on many eye witness accounts and previously unpublished papers, and includes 90 illustrations and many appendices, the first of which is a 40 page list of the names of all the men known to have been lost with the ship. The book presents pioneer research which, in addition to recording the true sequence of events in detail, attempts to establish for the first time a reliable figure of how many were lost on that day.

The book is a large-format hardbook of 292 pages, printed on quality paper and is beautifully illustrated with plans and photographs, including many of the actual sinking and rescue.

The Lancastria was a Cunard liner, sister to the Cameronia, built by William Beardmore and Co. of Dalmuir, Glasgow, in 1919-20. She was first named the Tyrrhenia, renamed Lancastria in 1924, and requisitioned for war service as a troop carrier in 1939. The publication completes a trilogy of titles published by Shaun Tyas (Paul Watkins Publishing) commemorating and restoring to public attention the first, second and third worst allied mercantile disaster of the War. The loss of the Lancastria, the Laconia and the SS Khedive Ismail in 1940, 1942 and 1944. A terrible co-incidence links the first and second-worst disasters, for Lancastria's surviving crew and captain (Rudolph Sharp) transferred to the Laconia after their rescue, thus taking part in the two most notorious allied mercantile losses in the War.

If anyone is interested in purchasing a copy of this book, they can contact the author at Durdham Garage (0117) 9737613 or (01275) 844229. The cost is 19.95 and can be delivered free of charge to any Bristol address.

Views from New Zealand

Dear Editor,

I am sure that readers of your delightful newspaper are a little bemused by two ex-pats debating local issues, but I'm afraid Danny despite his kind words seemed to have missed several points. Why were the plants built at Avonmouth? Because the port was there. I'm not sure how much the companies depend on sea access these days but I'm sure they depend to some extent. Close the plants and you put not only several thousand people out of a job but also close a port.

Move them somewhere remote he says. Perhaps the middle of Dartmoor might be good. It would mean shipping the raw materials with all the hazards that transport entails, through pristine and sensitive countryside. But it would be remote. You would have to build a town the size of Avonmouth to house the workers and then it wouldn't be remote so you'd have to move it again.

The point is Danny, that industry needs people to operate. No plant, no people. No people, no plant. I started my working life at the Smelting Works and learnt to hold my breath as the sulphur dioxide wafted by and the land for a mile around was dead. After a few years I moved to Devon to a factory that had been moved because it was bombed during the war. Despite the lovely surroundings there weren't too many takers to live away from family and friends in the city. The pay was pretty poor to, so I finished up in New Zealand. Danny probably moved for similar reasons. It's a free world.

Meanwhile I was interested to see that Avon Primary had its Golden Jubilee in April. My dad Jim was the first caretaker and I lived there for 9 years. The building wasn't quite finished so I remember helping the brickies mix the mortar and I even pointed some of the brickwork on the wall of the long corridor from the juniors to the infants. My mum is still living in Sea Mills. She was the first cleaner helping dad. Please pass on my best wishes for another 50 years to the current staff and pupils.

Tony Haggerty
(By e-mail from New Zealand)

St. Bernard's School Celebrates The Queen's Golden Jubilee

Friday, 31st May 2002 saw St Bernard's RC School celebrating the Queens Golden Jubilee in style. The Friends of St Bernards organised a street party style event for all the children in the school.

The children, dressed in red, white and blue enjoyed a fun filled afternoon. Entertainment was provided, which included a Punch and Judy performance, a magician and the chance to test circus skills with a tight rope, juggling, stilt walking, unicycle and much more..

A balloon race was held from the roof of the Village Hall. Each child decorated a label, which was attatched to a helium balloon. Balloons reached many parts of the country - yes, not just Bristol. One even found itself in SEDAN on the French/Belgium border. With a jubilee hat, flag and commemorative medal, each child had an afternoon that will be remembered for a long time. Thanks must go to the Friends for their hard work in the preperation of the afternoon and to all those parents who gave up their time to come along and help.

Is Nothing Safe Anymore?

Dear Editor,

I have lived in Shirehampton all of my life and apart from 16 years which were spent living in Priory Road, all of my time has been spent in Walton Road.

I recently moved back to Walton Road following the death of my mother. I am a keen gardener, and I get a lot of pleasure from my garden.

On the morning of 31st May, I went out into my garden at about 7.00 am to find that a total of seven ceramic pots had been stolen during the night. The plants contained in the pots had been turned out and left in the garden. It was such a shock to think that someone would steal something like this. The value of these pots is relatively little, but as I am still coming to terms with the death of my mother, I found the whole experience very upsetting indeed. What next, people digging up plants in the dead of night?

The lady who lives next door to me also had some garden ornaments stolen on the same night.

Michael Pemberton.
Walton Road, Shirehampton.

Thank you We would like to thank Mrs Taylor of Dursley Road for her generous donation to 'Shire' funds.

Shirehampton Greens

The Community Park Project.
So far all the local people who have expressed an interest in the community park idea have been unable, because of other commitments, to get together at the same time to discuss this plan. However they have all contributed letters and e-mails. Hopefully more of you/us will be able to manage the next open meeting. Meanwhile we have agreed on the following points:
* The community park should serve everyone in the Shire community.
* The Daisy Field and the adjacent allotments are the starting point.
* This will be an evolving project, developed over a long period of time.
* This will be an evolving set of aims. More input from Shire, more aims and ideas can be added.
* Input from everyone in Shire will be invited and welcomed.
* Any plans will be in keeping with the Council's designation of the site as a green open space.

Kate Pollard. Community Worker, Shire Public Hall Community Association.

Shirehampton Greens' next meeting is at 7.30 pm on Tuesday 9th July at the Public Hall. Anyone who wants to get involved is welcome. Equally, anyone in Shire who would like to send comments or ideas can e-mail Shirehampton Greens at or ring 9829963, or write to Shirehampton Greens via Kate at Shirehampton Public Hall, Station Road, Shirehampton BS11 9TU.

Shire After School Club

A Reminder for parents in Shire If you want a place in September for your child at the Club, please remember to book now. This is of interest to working parents whose children are starting school this year - but not only children of working parents - ALL Shire children are welcome to come and have fun with us.

Did you know about the After School Club? We are Ofsted-registered and have been open for a year now. We offer quality childcare in a safe environment to the children of parents who live in Shire, or who live elsewhere and work or study in the Shire area.

Our Walkers pick children up from the local schools and they have a snack, then enjoy a couple of hours or so of games, exciting activities, crafts and occasional outings with us until parents come to collect them.

We are open from 3.15-ish - 6pm on every school day. Our charges are very reasonable - 4.50 per day or 4 for siblings.

For further information or to register with us, please either call in during those hours to see the club in action, or ring the club mobile on 0790 4002301, or call or leave a message at the Public Hall on 9829963. We would be happy to send you a leaflet.

Shirehampton Community Action Forum - July update

The key areas each of the three main action groups are working on are as follows:-

HOUSING: Organising another Ridge Residents drop-in session meeting for Tuesday 9th July at Penpole Tenants Association, The Ridge, between 4.00-6.00pm - gives residents the opportunity to meet reps from the three main Housing Associations, BCC Area Housing Office, the Police, Neighbourhood Watch etc. All Ridge residents welcome.

COMMUNITY SAFETY: Currently applying for grants to fund a very comprehensive Community Safety Audit of Shirehampton, to be carried out in the Autumn by a top team of researchers from the University of the West of England. Setting up meetings with traders/shop keepers with a not for profit consultancy that specialising 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: Completed a comprehensive questionnaire/survey with Portway Community School's pupils. This is currently being analysed and the results will be available in the near future, 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. Cafe for young people - church led project supported by subgroup, have established a Management Committee, and applying for funds to establish Cafe in the High Street. Hoping to be up and running September/October. Together with the Community Safety action group, this group continues to work with Portway Community School, the Police and local shop keepers to address the issue of truancy.


DEVELOPMENT - This group is comprised of the three Chairs from action groups, and other independent representatives from the Forum. The sole purpose of this group is to explore the possibility of SCAF establishing itself as an independent organisation.

ENVIRONMENT - "Shire Greens" continues to explore opportunities for establishing a Community Park, they are also looking at other environmental issues in Shirehampton. For further information on this group contact Kate Pollard on 9829963.

If you would like more information about the Forum, or the work of any of the action groups please contact Ash Bearman, Community Development Officer at Shire Public Hall on 9829963.

Tom Ruddock

A Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Tom Ruddock, Verger of St Mary's Shirehampton, was held at the Church on Wednesday 5th June 2002. Representatives of the Guild of Vergers joined family and friends to remember the man who was a well loved and well respected member of the Church family.

Originally from London, Mr Ruddock moved to Bristol on retirement and shortly after became Verger, a post he held for fourteen years. Together with his wife Kath he would have celebrated his Diamond Wedding Anniversary on June 6th. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him especially by the many visitors to Church services who appreciated his warm and welcoming manner and the way he put people at their ease.

The Rev. Canon Christine Froude.

St Mary's News

Hi folks!

Here we are into July - the month in which we hold our Pational Festival. Hopefully these notes will reach you before the festivities are over, which begin on Friday 5th July and for the following three days.

Friday is the day the church is decorated with flowers and in the evening is the Car Treasure Hunt organised once again by Tim Forder. If you haven't signed up, now is your last opportunity.

On the Saturday the church will be open for most of the day. at the West end is to be held a Summer Fayre together with an exhibition and sale of floral paintings by Shelley Eynan. Although Shelley is my daughter-in-law, it would be unjust of me not to describe her as anything but a very talented young lady. The quality and detail of her work has to be seen to be believed. Shelley has for the past three years won the 'Harry Walton' award at the local art exhibition for her flower paintings. Any paintings that Shelley sells, she will give a percentage towards church funds, in gratitude for Canon Christine allowing her to hold an exhibition in the church. Also on display will be our own art treasure - 'The Missal' illuminated by the late Irene Base. Tea and light refreshments will also be available - so don't miss seeing St Mary's at its best.

On Sunday we shall have our usual Communion Service at 10.00 am and on Monday evening at 7.30 pm the Bristol Citadel Salvation Army Band will present their varied concert in church. Admission is free, but a retiring collection will be taken and donated to the Salvation Army for whatever purpose they deem necessary.

Sadly I have to report that Tom Ruddock, our Verger for many years, died recently. Tom was one of life's true gentlemen, yet despite his illness and advancing years he carried out his duties right to the very last without complaining. He will be sadly missed by all his friends at St Mary's, but most of all by his wife Kath, daughter Gill and son Geoff. To them we offer our heart felt sympathy and prayers at this sad time.

Finally, may I remind you all, the Shirehampton Area Choir is performing their Summer concert in the church on Saturday 20th july, 2002, commencing at 7.30 pm. - Further details I believe may be appearing elsewhere in this publication. Well, that's it for the moment.

Bye for now.


PS: Canon Christine has asked me to say thank you to all of you who gave so generously for Christian Aid Week. The total sum collected, which includes the coffee morning, raised the magnificent sum of 1,127.75. A truly wonderful effort.

Dear Editor,

Sunday, 21st April, 2002 was a delightful sunny afternoon, with a warm wind blowing and a friendly congregation present at the first Holy Communion Service held at the Cotswold Community Centre in Dursley Road, Shirehampton.

The service was conducted by Rev. Canon Christine Froude, Priest-in-Charge of St. Mary's Church, and was attended by the Baptist Minister, together with members of their churches and Cotswold residents. It was a shortened Holy Communion Service, after which we enjoyed an enjoyable cup of tea. Please come and join us. Everyone will be welcome.

Yours sincerely

Mrs A. Bollen.

30th Annual Art Exhibition

Click here for pictures

It is a very difficult task to compete with the Golden Jubilee celebrations and the World Cup, but the annual Art Exhibition extended a welcome space for peace and contemplation amongst a wonderful entry of some most interesting art. The Public Hall provided a lovely light venue to browse along the screens, and this year presented 184 entries from art groups and local artists during the four day opening.

The exhibition was opened by Mr Michael Squire, son of the late Philip Squire who had organised the exhibition for many years. Michael, a headmaster with a great interest in sculpture, spoke of his father's involvement in the community's artistic welfare, and stressed the importance that it should be nurtured in all fields and at all levels. Following Michael's opening speech, his daughter, Scarlet aged nine, stepped forward and declared the exhibition open.

Five outstanding works from the Shire Link programme produced some lively colour and much debate, one of which was sold. Voting for The Philip Squire Award went to Chris Stinchcombe for a landscape painted in pastels and Shelley Eynon received the Harry Walton Award, for the third year in succession, for her interpretation of Bearded Iris.

Ruth Harding, a member of Twyford Art Club and Exhibition Secretary said: "This exhibition has been a tremendous success and demonstrates how much hidden talent lies in local art groups. For as long as man has put a mark on paper, he has aroused passion and applause, disbelief and debate, but he has never disappointed the viewer who had an opinion. We are all critics of life, and for many, the canvas provides a vehicle to express it".

Finally, Ruth wanted to thank everyone who had contributed in setting up the exhibition from the catalogue designer, screen shifters, checkers, tea makers, hangers, exhibition stewards, floral display and, of course, Shire News who sponsor it each year. For without them, Art would not have a platform.

Post Script Besides al1 the wonderful pictures exhibited on the stands, there were extras not included in the catalogue list, and these were the suspended figures made from drift wood and flotsam by Michael Squire, the eldest son of Philip and Pat, carrying on the artistic family tradition. Then there was an array of small pictures painted on silk by Ian Buckley and lastly there were black and white drawings of familiar local buildings and scenes by Betty Marten on the notelets. What talented people we have in our midst.


Did you know?

That if you omit the POST CODE at the end of an address on a letter, envelope or postcard and post it, that the POSTAL SERVICES feel no obligation to deliver it. Will time come when letters and postcards will simply need post codes and addresses will be superfluous?

Acknowledgement: Vi Bennett

A very big thank you to all relatives and friends for their help, support, cards and flowers at this sad time of our loss. Vi's daughters, Sandra & Susan.

Letter from Mrs Vowles

Dear Editor, I feel I must write to say thank you to all my old friends in Shirehampton who have sent me greetings during my recent illness and to the members of St Mary's who have remembered me in their Prayers. May I also wish Shire a belated "Happy Birthday". I could hardly believe it was 30 years ago when John Smith our vicar had the foresight to exchange Shire for our parish magazine. I have copies of the first edition, how it has changed. I look forward to my copy each month.

Congratulations to all the volunteers who work so hard. I often show copies of Shire to my friends and they are amazed to learn that all the work is done by volunteers. All I can say is - well done.

Yours sincerely

Carys Fowles
Llandysul, Ceredigion.

Thank you for your kind donation to Shire.

Choir concert

Summer concert date: Saturday 20th July at 7.30 pm. The Shirehampton area choir present a concert of light hearted and secular music. There will be guest performances and instrumental items. The concert is at St Marys Church, Shirehampton, and entry is free. There will be a collection for church funds. Anyone interested in joining the Area Choir should contact Tim Forder on 9857122.

New Classroom for the Nursery Children at Shirehampton Primary

Nursery children and staff at Shirehampton Primary School moved into a brand-new, purpose-built classroom shortly before Easter. The new classroom provides an exciting learning environment for the children, with greatly improved facilities for art, craft and water play. Children usually start in the nursery class the September following their third birthdays, and attend part-time, mornings and afternoons.

Enquiries from parents of younger children are welcome at any time. Please contact the school on: 9031447 for further information.

Portway Oldies Music Society Sponsored 24 Hour Music Marathon 2002.

At 10 am on June 1st, members of the Portway Oldies Music Society (POMS) met to embark on the second of our 24 hour events. Our aim... to complete 12 concerts within 24 hours at different venues in and around Bristol. This event was one of many POMS have arranged during the last year in our attempt to raise 3,500 to purchase a new set of music stands for Portway Community School, Shirehampton. The temperature rose as we awaited the arrival of the Turners coach, and spirits were high as many of us attempted to forget the fact that we would get little or no sleep within the next day or so.

The first concert was on College Green, and after a short speech by the Lord Mayor we started our 24 hour sponsored music marathon. As Radio Bristol introduced POMS we kicked off with music such as; a medley of Broadway Hits, the classic Shepherds Song and music from the hit films Titanic and the Lion King.

A short walk to Anchor Square for our second concert, and afterwards POMS took to the water, as the Bristol Ferry Boat Company provided a fantastic tour of the docks on our way to our third concert by the SS Great Britain. POMS played as a wedding party posed for photographs on the great ship. By this point the sun was up to full strength and it was HOT! Following a short coach ride, the band were in Broadmead, where the support from the public was brilliant, as it had been all day. One gentleman even danced as we blasted out "Moments from Morricone". music from spaghetti westerns. All members cherished the welcome break as we travelled to the Chequers Pub in Hanham, where after a few problems with trying to get a large vehicle down a very small country lane, we were fed and watered before our fifth concert in their car park. Stomachs full we drove to the Holy Trinity Church on Hotwells Road, where the coolness of the church eased the sunburn from the afternoon. The friendly faces of family and supporters were entertained in a concert lasting approximately an hour and a half. This was a little different than expected following a last minute request from Natalie Champion (daughter of the Vice-chair and Treasurer of POMS), that the programme was altered to include the music of the Disney film Jungle Book. Natalie and her brother Thomas joined the band in this concert as honorary percussionists and needless to say did a fantastic job.

A change of coach driver and we headed back to home ground for our seventh and last concert of Saturday at the Lamplighters. Leon and Sue provided a locely spread as we were all starting to flag a little and looking forward to getting some sleep. Bristol Airport staff car park provided a suitable area for us to get some shuteye on the coach which we now endearingly calles home. What a surprise we all had when we woke at 3.30 in preparation for our 4 am concert (No.8) to find our group of 'collection tin shakers', Roger and Mary Derrick and Rod and Julie Grimes, ready and waiting for us to start. Next... the windy platform of Temple Meads, for concert No. 9, by which time the words "Fried Breakfast" were being whispered around the Brass section, especially by the lads playing Tuba. As we arrived at Bristol Central Fire Station for our 10th concert at 7.30 am, the ladies of the woodwind suddenly came to life at the prospect of meeting some firemen in uniform. They were quickly disappointed as they watched the firemen leave, with sirens blaring, on an emergency call. Smiles were soon put back on their faces when we all had our picture taken in front of one of the fire engines. Following breakfast and some much needed caffeine by the Cumberland Basin, we headed to Bristol Zoo for our Penultimate Concert and entertained the children and animals with music from the Jungle Book, as Rob Solway (percussion) made friends with the wandering ducks.

By 10.30 am Sunday morning POMS were back in their familiar watering hole - The Lamplighters. As England v Sweden kicked off we started our last concert. By half time the members of POMS cheered as we completed the 12 concerts and we made our way for a well-deserved drink and to watch England, hopeful that they would succeed as we had done. Tired, hot, but full of excitement we are now starting to collect the sponsor money and thinking of a new and unique idea for next year. Watch this space....

There are many people we would like to thank for their support of this event. These include all of the venues which gave us their hospitality, our collectors and all of our supporters during the 24 hour music marathon, but we would like to extend a very special thank you to Tony Turner of Turners Coachways, without whom this event would have been almost impossible.

Portway Oldies Music Society would like to thank the many who have supported us this year but too long to list.

Christian Aid Week At the time of writing, the total collection for Christian Aid Week 2002 is almost 1,200. Congratulations and thanks to all those who collected from house to house, shook tins, made and bought coffee and cakes and marmalade, or gave to the Church collections. St Mary's Church has a table of literature explaining where the money goes; do read it.


Electric Blanket Checks

The latest council survey shows that over half of the blankets checked had potential life-threatening faults such as defective overheat protection and exposed wires. And national figures show that 95 per cent of electric blanket fires are caused by blankets which are over 10 years old. Modern designs too can be potentially dangerous through misuse, such as poorly wired plugs and broken switches.