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It is with sadness we announce the death of Denis Handford on Monday, 15th July, after a long illness. Denis was involved with the "SHIRE" newspaper for many years, firstly on the Administrative Committee and later he took charge of the distribution. He had been ill during the past year or so, but kept cheerful and still liked to keep in touch with the "SHIRE" team.

Denis was a member of St. Mary's since childhood and for at least 15 years was Verger until his health began to deteriorate. He will be long remembered and we send our condolences to his wife Pam, son Robert and the families.


Can anyone help please? We need volunteers to deliver to Barrowhill Crescent (one side only) and St. Mary's Road. We would like to say 'Thank you' to Debbie who until recently delivered papers in Barrowhill Crescent, for her help and support over the years. If you can help, please ring Pauline on 982 6935 for further details.


Beat manager Stephen Bell will be holding a surgery on the first Tuesday of every month at Napier House, Bristol City housing office, Meadow Grove, Shirehampton between 2pm and 3.30pm. It's your chance to meet the beat manager and discuss any issues.


Letter received from Jim Hardcastle
Heritage Estate Officer, Bristol City Council

Many thanks for including such an excellent, well balanced article in the July edition of the 'SHIRE' community newspaper. There has been lots of misinformation around the proposals, and I think this article helps to set the record straight.

Unfortunately I will not be able to take up the kind invitation to meet the Shirehampton Community Group for a couple of reasons: Firstly we are drawing up different proposals incorporating people's views from the meeting and other formal feedback from other organisations in-and-outside the Council.

These proposals will form a public display which can be travelled around the area. We feel that a display that is staffed will be a much better way of getting a broad range of comments back. This is not to say we won't do more public meetings but this will be decided if and when any new proposals are received.

Secondly, I am leaving employment with the Council in a couple of weeks so I will not be available. In the meantime I am producing a 'project handover' note for my managers so someone will pick up the proposals and progress them - I don't know who at present.

Again, many thanks for the excellent front page article.

Don't Forget - Get a Free Safety Check for the Electric Blankets in your Household

The local session is at Shirehampton Health Centre on August 7th from 1.30pm to 4.30pm These safety checks are free but MUST BE BOOKED IN ADVANCE on Tel: 0117 916 2200.

For a Keen Photographer

I have a 35mm, black and white enlarger in very good condition, which I no longer use. I am willing to give this with dishes and masking board to anyone who may be interested. Please phone: 982 2130. (Many thanks for your donation to 'Shire' funds).

Planning Application for Warning Siren at Lamplighters Pumping Station, Station Road

A Notice was included in the Evening Post on 10th July of a Planning Application to accommodate additional communications by adding 2 additional cellphone repeaters also extending the height of the existing 9m high warning siren and erecting a 15m monopole with 3x sector antennae 1700mm tall at a height of 12.2.m and 2 microwave dishes (1 at 300mm diameter, height 14.7m, 1 at 600mm height 14.7m) together with ground based equipment cabinet 1800x 920 x1300mm high, Fitting of warning sirens to new pole at 9m height.

This information, which unfortunately arrived too late to give advanced notice, will be discussed at the Shirehampton Group Meeting on 31st July.

What's on in Shire

Don't forget to let us have the updated details of your clubs and societies ready for the September issue of "SHIRE' either for inclusion in 'What's On In Shire' or 'What's On'. Please hand in to the library by August 10th, so that an accurate list can be compiled. If there are any new clubs that wish to be included would you also please let us know via the Library by August 10th.

Shirehampton Methodist Church Coffee Mornings

By the time your read this we will have had the last of our weekly Wednesday Coffee Mornings. We have decided to replace them with a regular Coffee Morning and Bring and Buy Sale on the first Saturday of each month. The first of these will be held on SATURDAY 7th SEPTEMBER.

Thank you to all those who have supported our Coffee Mornings in the past, and to those who have been willing and able helpers over the years.


Dates of the next two meetings:
September 4th
November 6th
The group proposes meeting on the first Wednesday of every alternate month, with the exception of January 1st! This meeting will probably be on January 8th.

Robbie Perkins (Chair)
8, Burford Grove, Shirehampton


The Bristol Playbus will be out and about in a number of parks and open spaces providing open access play sessions for children. Sessions will be on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 30th July to 29th August.

Please contact the project at 0117 955 1566 from the beginning of July for confirmation of locations and dates.

Join Bristol's Rubbish Revolution

... be part of the solution
REDUCE what you buy and throw away. Buy goods with least packaging. Avoid disposable items. RE-USE to get maximum life out of products. Re-use boxes, paper, envelopes, carrier bags and jars. Pass on items of furniture and appliances for re-use.
RECYCLE things like tins, cans, glass bottles and jars, shoes, clothes, car batteries and engine oil, in your Black Box or use your local recycling centre. Buy recycled products whenever possible. Turn your kitchen scraps and garden waste into compost.

Q. How do I get a free Black Box and what can go in it
Q. Where can I get rid of my old washing machine?
Q. How can I find out more about home composting?

A. The answers to all these questions and many more about recycling, can be found by ringing the Rubbish Revolution's Recycling Helpline Bristol 903 1221


Time creeps on apace and the annual craft exhibition will soon be upon us. Yes! I know, the sun is shining, summer's here and October seems a long way away. Well I suppose it is really but things have a nasty habit of creeping up on us unawares- so in those immortal words "get cracking" and create all those wonderful things for which Shirehampton is rightly famed.

Avon (University Settlement) Community Association

The A.G.M. of the A.U.S. Community Association was held on Wednesday, June 5th at The Cottage (next to Twyford House) when the review of the activities of the association for '01-'02 was presented by the chairman, Mr. John Miller, the chairman also expressed his thanks to the secretary, Mrs Margaret Hedges, for her unstinting hard work on behalf of the association. This was followed by the report of the treasurer Dr. John Andrews.

The 'Evergreen Club', Beachley Walk Wednesday Lunch Club and the Advice Centre at The Cottage are all run under the umbrella and with the support of the A.U.S. The 'Evergreen Club' meets on Fridays at the Public Hall and under the able chairmanship of Norman Sims continues to flourish and give pleasure to its members with a varied weekly programme of entertainments, bingo, outings and of course the Christmas Lunch, which this year will be at Abbey Mill, Tintern.

The Beachley Walk Wednesday Lunch Club provides a meal at a very reasonable cost in a friendly and convivial atmosphere with a session of bingo to help things go with a swing. This would all not be possible without the band of volunteers - cooks and helpers - Teresa Calverley and Trish Robertson now in their fifth year, Sharon and Pam Plessier and Maureen Belstone who have all helped during the year. (Volunteers are always needed).

The Advice Service is fulfiling a real need and has been such a help to so many people over the past year. 596 different people sought help last year between them having 988 enquiries, most of them to do with Welfare Benefits. The service is completely confidential.

The chairman expressed the heartfelt thanks of himself and the committee to all those who work so hard for the different undertakings of the A.U.S.

Finally the Advice Service can be found at The Cottage (next to Twyford House) and is open on Wednesday and Friday mornings 9.30-11.30. No appointment is necessary and no fee is charged, but you may have to wait to be seen. Advice can be had on Welfare Rights, Benefits, Council Tax, Debt etc. having trouble filling in that form? Call in, don't sit at home worrying! Tel. No. for the advice centre is: 982 9399.


Valerie writes: I came to Shirehampton as the Church Worker for the Methodist Church here in the spring of 1999. When I am not working my husband and I play bowls with the Avonmouth Bowling Club. We have a dog, Oak, who is my companion (or am I hers?) on daily walks in the woods or by the river. In a more sedentary mode I am researching my family tree, putting my beloved computer to good use, and I love books. I was born and grew up in Cornwall where my parents still live. After a short time in the RAF I got married and had 3 boys - never found the formula for a girl! now they are grown up and left home, with children of their own, Isn't it nice being a grandmother! In my past life I taught children with profound multiple learning difficulties before retiring early. We have moved around the country quite a lot but my last port of call before coming here was that town of mystery and legend, Glastonbury. And now I am happy to be involved in the life of our village. (We recently welcomed Valerie to our SHIRE team. ED)


Throughout the summer a range of exciting activities will be taking place at the ever popular children's play area. Come along and try out the following. All activities are free unless specified.

AUGUST Thursday 1st 1pm - 4pm Face painting, hair braiding, henna tattoo
Friday 2nd 11am - 4pm Parachute games, treasure hunt, bouncy castle (50p)
Wednesday 7th 1.30pm - 4pm Circus skills
Thursday 8th 2.30pm - 4pm Come and meet some very special visitors from Bristol Zoo
Friday 9th 12noon - 4pm Bouncy Castle (50p), kite making, face painting
Wednesday 14th 2pm - 4.00pm Junk Fashion and jewellery making
Thursday 15th 2pm - 4pm Making rain shakers
Friday 16th 1pm - 4pm Goram & Vincent Come and hear about the Folklore of the estate's legendary giants and make a giant yourself.
Wednesday 21st 11am - 4pm Giant inflatable slide (1) 1.30pm -4pm DJ'ing workshop For ages 11 and over. Places are very limited so book your place now!
Thursday 22nd 2pm - 3.30pm Novelty races Activities for young people and adults.
Friday 23rd 1.30 - 4pm Face painting, clay modelling, nail art, hair braiding
Wednesday 28th 11am - 4pm Giant inflatable (small charge payable)
Thursday 29th 11.30am - 4pm Puppet and magic show for ages 3 to 11 years For more information please call : 0117 950 5899 / 07710 396762

Update on Blaise

What's happening at Blaise? Lots of planning and preparation behind the scenes and some dramatic work in the Gorge is the simple answer.

The award from the Heritage Lottery Fund of 2.78million towards the 3.3million restoration works will achieve a great deal at Blaise. However, it does fall short of enabling all the planned work to be completed. A revised plan has been submitted to the Lottery fund seeking further funding which has led to some delay with actual work on site. Some restoration work has, however continued and a variety of exciting activities for the summer have been planned;
* The rockfaces have been cleared in the Gorge. Goram's Chair, Potter's Point and Lover's Leap now strikingly stand out.
* New benches are springing up to let people enjoy the scenery
* Cannington College students have renovated the Dairy Garden rockery
* 4500 new trees have been planted all over the estate
* Paths have been opened and protected with help from the rangers
* Every week during the summer holidays the Play Area Supervisors have organised children's events from meeting zoo animals to DJ workshops

The play area supervisors are on hand to make sure you have a great visit to the popular play area at Blaise. They organise events and make sure the area is safe and clean. If they can help you in any way, from organising fun and games for a birthday party or if you're bringing a play group and want some information please call them on 0117 950 5899


We would like to pay tribute to Vi, late fellow member of Cotswold Ladies Club and Tudor Club who sadly died on 8th June. We all appreciate the time and effort she put into organising entertainments, outings, savings etc on our behalf. Vi will always be remembered and very sadly missed.

Bet Tanner, Edna Franklin, Rose Foley.
(Many thanks for your donation to 'Shire' funds.)


Courses here will be starting up again at the Public Hall, Shirehampton, in September with the new school term. They are very friendly and informal and really are for beginners so don't panic about being the odd one out if you want to come but have hardly, (or even never!) touched a computer before!

The courses will cover beginning on computers, (word processing etc) and exploring the internet, (setting up an email account for yourself and finding your way around the world wide web. We are also thinking about website design and garden design classes but we can't give you the full list or times in time for the August SHIRE! Please get in touch with us, and leave us your name and details and we will circulate the various course details as soon as we have them.

Courses will cost 10 each. They will consist of 2 hr classes with a coffee/tea break and each course will run for 8 weeks. Some concessions will be available if you are on a low income. Contact Kate 9829963 for further information.


Mondays - Cotswold Ladies' Club 2.00-4.30
Tuesdays - Bingo 6.45-8.15
Fridays - Keep Fit 10.30-12.00
Last Friday of the month - Dance 7.30-10.00
First Sunday of the month - Baptist Church Service 4.45
Third Sunday of the month - St. Mary's Church service 4.45

The hall is also available for private hire. For details please contact : Mr. A. Radnedge, Tel: (0117) 982 22581.


It was fascinating to see a letter from Margaret Wray one of my school contemporaries. I do indeed remember her and by co-incidence my wife and I were talking today about our earliest remembrances and one of mine concerned Margaret. Sitting in front of me in our infants class, she put some plasticine in her hair then told our teacher who I think was a Miss Holbrook, that I had done it. In spite of my denials I was duly chastised (Early feminism?) Obviously this affected the rest of my life as I didn't receive counselling. Margaret gave no address but if you can advise me of her address, or give her mine, The Barn, Rowse, Pillaton, Saltash, Cornwall, PL 12 6QU it would be nice to get in touch with her, I think I have recovered from my first experience of injustice. As dad used to say,'The world isn't fair and the sooner you accept the fact the better'


A new project being undertaken at St. Mary's is to make kneelers for the church. A small group under the leadership of Brenda Dammers have been busy stitching and they will be holding a Coffee Morning in church on Saturday 17th August between 10am-12 noon. Why not come along and see what they have been up to?

Sheila Bubb stitching

There will be kneelers on display in various stages of making as well as a sales table with all sorts of goodies. There will also be an opportunity to donate a kneeler in memory of a loved one at a cost of 25. Various different styles and colours are available or it may be possible for us to design something individual. This can then be stitched by the donor or if preferred by the kneeler group.

Please put the date in your diary now. We look forward to seeing you.

The Rev Canon Christine Froude


I was waiting on the Portway at the junction of West Town Road for a 99 bus to take me to Ashton. I was playing for Bristol City Colts after the first team game against Cardiff City. All of a sudden the 'Gin Raid' (alert) siren went off and seems at once I heard the drone of an aeroplane.

There was very low cloud, and then a Heinkel - German bomber - appeared below the cloud, it was probably only 300ft up and seemed to be following the river, the markings were very clear. Opposite the bus stop was a balloon barrage site (which is now Akerman Way) and the R.A.F. men and women were firing rifles as it made its way towards Bristol. After a few minutes there was a barrage of gunfire. It was said later that it was guns based at Markham on the other side of the river and that they brought the plane down and it landed in the mud flats near Pill.

After the 'All Clear' sounded my bus came and I made my way to the City ground. On arrival I was met by George Grandon who ran the colts and Bob Henson the City manager. They asked me if I would play for Cardiff as one of their guest players had not arrived. Naturally I was very excited! At the time I was employed at the Shell canning factory at Hallen and my boss was Cliff Morgan who was captain of Bristol City. You can imagine the expression on his face when I ran out in the blue shirt of Cardiff to play against him. He was a lovely man and gave me a lot of encouragement.

After the game Mr. Cyril Spiers, who was the Cardiff manager thanked me and gave me 10 shillings (50p in today's money) almost as much as my weekly wage. Unfortunately I could not continue my football career with the City as soon after I had my call-up papers to join the Royal Navy. But it was a funny old day!

Ivor Giltrow.


On Thursday 18th July, Clifton Cathedral was the venue for the 26th Portway Community School annual summer concert and a very enjoyable evening or orchestral and choral music was attended by many of our community. The concert follows the annual week spent by musicians at a residential music school and the quality of the music testified to their hard work and hours of practice! Many of these talented musicians may very well go on to help even more children by joining the POMS (Portway Oldies Music Society) - whose support is invaluable.

The programme catered for many musical tastes with the brass ensemble, symphonic band, junior batucada, intermediate band, senior jazz orchestra and training band providing us with a variety of treats including a rousing marching song, a toe-tapping samba, dreamy Gershwin melodies and boisterous jazz. The choir also gave us a superb Requiem as well as sons from 'Les Miserables' and West Side Story'. The evening ended with 'Pomp and Circumstance' - and a nice session of sociable chat with a glass of wine provided. What a really pleasant way of spending an evening with friends, neighbours and children.



Hand in your contributions to Shirehampton Library by August 10th, letters, photos, adverts, events etc. We look forward to publishing it.

BRISTOL SEAPORT - a look back at life on the docks...

This new video tape should be of interest to all Bristolians, particularly those who have worked on the docks, and have a love of ships and the good old days. Entitled BRISTOL SEAPORT - A Thousand Years of History, it starts by paying tribute to the founding of Bristol as a port, but most of its 75 minutes cover the period from the 1950s to the present day. Interesting footage from the 1960s show various ships using the port at that time and the dockers that worked them, and there are lots of pictures of life at the City Docks, Avonmouth, Portishead, and the modern Royal Portbury Dock - our hope for the future.

Several Shirehampton people talk of the old days, ex-foreman Paul England, ex-pilot Roger Wakefield, port photographer Colin Momber, drydock worker Bob Blackwell etc. A delightful piece of nostalgia. It should be available at W H Smith or any store selling video tapes of local history. In Shirehampton it is probably for sale in several shops, including Shirehampton Studio in Pembroke Road. A great trip down Memory Lane...


* Passports Are you going abroad this year? Have you checked your passport? Oh good it's still in date - yes, but by how much? There are a number of countries that require you to have at least six months unexpired time left on your passport after your return to the U.K. and others that require four months. Don't be left standing forlornly at the point of departure because you thought it was all right and so hadn't looked. And, yes, I have known it happen.

* Health Also have you checked that all your necessary inoculations are up to date? It is simply not worth risking not to bother, better a little discomfort than getting something that could have been avoided.

* House and Home Before you go remember to cancel the papers and the milk, mow the lawn, and ask a neighbour to keep an eye on things. Leave a key and a contact number. Happy holidays!


Hi Folks!

August already & the kids will be home under our feet for the next six weeks - bless their little cotton socks!! We have quite a bit of news to tell you about our social events. The first thing I have to tell you is that towards the end of June, Canon Christine had a dirty weekend away.....on the Severn Valley Railway! It's okay don't panic, she was accompanied by her husband David! Yours truly had secretly arranged for both of them to travel on the footplate of the locomotive hauling their train - this is where the dirty bit comes in! My son Andy was my Fireman & we had GWR Pannier Tank locomotive no. 5764. Christine accompanied us on the north bound trip.

Fireman Andy Eynon and Canon Christine on the footplate of GWR pannier tank loco no 5764

She enjoyed some genuine "locomen's tea" from a tea Can, but declined the offer of a greasy bacon sandwich cooked on the shovel. Her enthusiasm for all that was taking place was not dampened as we plunged into the depths of Bewdley Tunnel with the searing heat from the firebox all around us. I did comment to her that it was the nearest thing to Hell she is ever likely to reach. Undaunted by this experience, she later took the Regulator & drove the engine between Arley & Highley, with me stood behind her shouting instructions in her ear. Her skill on the whistle chain was reminiscent of a main line driver from Swansea Landore Shed! David accompanied us on the return trip & took some excellent photographs with his digital camera. David didn't have a turn on the whistle chain - he was much more dignified - a bit like a Loco inspector! The day was rounded off by a trip around Bridgnorth, Much Wenlock & Iron Bridge - countryside not familiar to David & Christine.

Then in early July we had our Patronal Festival Celebrations- Friday 5th July was our Car Rally/Treasure Hunt- organised once again by Tim Forder. About a dozen cars entered & we were given sheets of paper containing various clues & anagrams to guide us on our way. Each car team was asked to think up a name for their team - we had 'Captain Cook", "The Fab Four", " The Railway Children" & other ridiculous names, Cars left the Church Centre at 5 minute intervals & went past the Golf Course & then left under the Iron Bridge into the great unknown. I regret to report that those well known Skittles Evening organisers - Nan & Bernard Waller got lost after passing under the Iron Bridge & were compelled to open the sealed envelope giving the ultimate destination - which turned out to be The Bell Inn, Frampton-on-Severn. Here a meal & fine Ale was enjoyed by all (Red Wine in the case of Cannon Christine - should I be giving away all these secrets?)

"The winners" I hear you all crying out! Well humble me has to admit to being the winner - ably assisted by Andy Eynon (SVR Fireman) Shelley Eynon (former SVR Volunteer & citizen of Bridnorth) Liz Young ("I drove loco no 80079 on a visit to the S.V.R. with Chris") and Jill Eynon ("me - I just wash the dirty overalls"!!).Anyway, we were delighted to win a bottle of Champagne & some wine glasses. Thanks again Tim for a wonderful evening!

Saturday 6th the church was open from 10am until 4pm. Jill Sawyer had organised a Summer Fayre where there was a myriad of home produce & goodies for sale - followed later by Strawberry Cream Teas. Canon Christine was to be seen by the churchyard gates sounding like "Shire Town Crier" encouraging passersby to go into the Church & look around. Also inside the Church "Shelley Anne" - as she signs her name - had an exhibition & sale of her mainly floral paintings. Sixty five paintings were displayed & Shelley has asked me to thank those of you who bought many of them (30 were eventually sold) - this made all her hard work worthwhile. It's only since she married my son that we've had such talent in our family!

Shelley Eynon and some of her paintings at the Patronal Festival

Sunday 7th was another lovely day when Canon Douglas Holt preached at our 10.00am Holy Communion Service. He later had lunch, together with some other members of our congregation, with Canon Christine at the Vicarage.

Finally, on Monday 8th the festivities were rounded off by a very successful visit of The Bristol Citadel Salvation Army band. This was well supported & raised the sum of 200 which was donated to Salvation Army Funds.

OH! - before I sign off, I almost forgot to tell you that Saturday"s event raised just over 1,000 - a truly splendid result in six short hours - so thank you everybody!

Bye for now,



Ashton Court Estate Take a ride on this fabulous miniature railway. 12noon - 5.30pm on the following dates:
August Sun 4th, Sun 25th, Mon 26th
September Sun 1st, Sun 8th, Sun 22nd, Sun 29th
Tickets are available from the station - 45p a ride or five rides for 2. Use the Clifton Lodge entrance off A369. Take first right, then first right again before the golf course car park.


On Monday July 1 the unit was honoured to welcome on the main deck members of the HMS Amethyst Association at 7.30pm. Present were Mr W Redman, Mr W Hickman, Mr A Regan. Mr W Lott and members of the Royal Naval Association.

HMS Amethyst was featured in the Yangtze incident lasting over 100 days before managing to escape to open water with a great loss of lives. Mr Redman was present during the skirmish and related the story to the cadets with a question and answer at the end of the session.

On completion of the talk Mr Redman presented the Commanding Officer, Mrs B Hillier, with a print of HMS Amethyst, and a small-carved ship's crest that will take pride of place on the main deck. A vote of thanks was given to the Ganges Association for the donation of 40 that was raised at a skittle match. This will be used towards cadet training. The Ganges Association takes a keen interest in TS Enterprise with various offers of help, and long may it continue.

Mr Redman was asked to present twenty different badges of achievement to the cadets , and they ranged from boating, first aid, first aid level 3 and supervised coxswain to BCU (canoeing). Two cadets - R Sterret and R Morgan have been selected to take part in the Tall Ships Race commencing on July 6, sailing aboard TS Royalist - a Sea Cadet Tall Ship Sailing Rig from Gosport Hampshire to Brest, Northern France. This is a great honour for the two cadets and for the unit, local businessmen sponsored the places and the unit would like to thank those concerned in this.

Unit nights are Monday and Thursday - 7pm to 9pm, and new members will be made welcome at the unit - by the Lamplighters.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: KEN GILES 21st July 1920-25th April 2002

Beryl, Brin, Val and families would like to thank relatives, friends and neighbours for the very many cards, flowers and kind messages received after the sudden loss of Ken. It was so comforting to see so many friends at his funeral. We thank you all for the kindness and support shown at this very sad time.

(Many thanks for your donation to 'Shire' funds. Ed.)


This is a photograph of Marilyn Gorry from the library, who for many years has regularly visited the local annual ART EXHIBITION, where she has bought paintings by Bob Brandt, Philip Squire and Chris Stinchcombe to name but a few in her collection, This year she bought the Walton Prize winning picture by Chris Stinchcombe of Bickley Woods, River Avon and as you can see she is delighted to add this to her collection.

Ethel Thomas's book reviewed

Thanks to Jeffrey Davies, who sent us a copy of the Bristol Observer of Friday, May 31st, when Ethel Thomas's book "The Continuing Story of Shirehampton" was reviewed. Incidentally I have just bought a copy (signed by the author) and I noticed that the proof reading for the book was done by our own Marilyn who works at the Library - so she is very familiar with its contents.

If you would like to buy this book which brings our local history right up to date with plenty of illustrations, you could order direct from Mrs Ethel Thomas, 55 Cook Street, Avonmouth BS11 9JY (Cheque for 17 including postage and packaging) or perhaps you could ask Marilyn.


Driving in the dark along Springfield Avenue I had to stop suddenly to avoid running over a large prickly ball- a hedgehog, perhaps alarmed by my headlights. The thought flashed through my mind that if I removed him, I might put him in our tiny garden to feast on the slugs and snails. But as I got out of the car, I inadvertently put my elbow on the horn, and I just saw him scuttling away up the nearby back lane. 'There he goes!' called out some passing teenagers. I was reminded of the warning notices for motorists as we once used to drive the six-or seven-thousand feet up the Nilgiri Hills in India: 'If you meet a wild elephant, don't blow your horn'. That sort of encounter could result in the elephant sitting on the bonnet. But the hedgehog sensibly chose the lane, which acts as a green corridor for wildlife. Do keep the lanes free of rubbish; to clear the pathway once or twice a year is a great help, but don't destroy the vegetation at the side - it's a refuge for all sorts of wildlife, plant and animal....



In the May SHIRE my quarterly contribution found its way into the 'Letters' section so I have decided from now on to give it a distinctive name like other regular columns, such as St. Mary's Notes. The first three words of a well-known hymn above indicate a specifically Christian personal comment.

For many readers August means a holiday. The word 'holiday' derives from 'holy day', the major saints' day when many medieval people were able to take time off from their labours. Holidays should provide leisure to think, even to meditate. For those who believe in God this means an opportunity not to be missed to think about God and pray to him.

We all need the help of prayers written by others. Here are two of my favourites. S. Richard of Chichester (1197-1253) wrote this beautiful prayer: 'O most holy Jesus, Redeemer, Friend and Brother, may I love you more dearly, know you more clearly and follow you more nearly; for your own dear sake'. Secondly we all need to pray for wisdom. 'God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change.. Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference'. If we pray this prayer with sincerity, God may well grant us our wish as He did with King Solomon.

A.H. Dammers


The last weekend of June saw two terrific musical events in Shire. John Hardy, the proprietor of King's Weston House put on "Queen in Concert " and "Proms in The Park" in the grounds next to the House.The classical concert on Sunday 30 June was full of good tunes played by the Bath Philharmonia Orchestra complemented by Rebecca Rudge's lovely soprano voice. It was a bit chilly even drizzling at times but everyone seemed well prepared with warm wraps, picnics and umbrellas. There was plenty of hot food and coffee to keep us going. Before the start of the concert talented Antonio played his own keyboard composition to mark the Jubilee, Antonio from Brislington High School had been successful in the Schools' music event held at King's Weston House on Friday 28 June. In true proms fashion we clapped and sang and waved our arms about and had a thoroughly good time. To cap it all there was a wonderful firework finale that must have given a free show to most of Bristol. Who needs the Albert Hall when we have our very own Proms? A big thank you to John Hardy and his team of volunteers for all the organisation that made it possible.



Gertie Brabyn, who passed away on the 12th June, 2002.
Leigh Rogers, who passed away on the 28th February, 2002.

I would like to thank all family and friends for the flowers, cards and donations for charity which I received after the sad loss of my wife and daughter. The donations have been sent to the PDSA. Thank you all for your kindness.

Eric Brabyn.


With the ever increasing crime rate we should all help to try and curb it. It's no use sitting back and wringing our hands in despair and expecting 'them' to do it all. If you ever see or hear anything ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


To help raise money for a successful display of Christmas lights in Shirehampton this year, Mrs. Thelma Tillett of Creature Comforts is to repeat the very popular Question & Answer competition she organised last year, with cash prizes totalling 30.00. Entry forms at 50p each will be available in several local shops by the middle of August.

Shirehampton Christmas Lights Association.


The locality of Station Road, Springfield Avenue and Grove Leaze is an important but overlooked part of housing in the history of the city - important because here was to be built a 'Garden City'. It was not on the scale of Letchworth or Welwyn Garden City of course, but merely a 'garden suburb'.

So how did it come to be built here? Well, the living conditions in central parts of Bristol in late Victorian times, in common with many other cities had become very poor. The air was polluted and the houses over crowded and damp. There were many housing reformers, like Ebeneezer Howard, who thought that these areas should be replaced with new suburbs or towns planned on a lower density of population away from smelly factories.

This was a good idea, but who should pay to build them - the government, private companies or should the funds come from the local rates?

By 1902 several of these new garden cities had been developed, such as Port Sunlight near Liverpool, Bournville near Birmingham and New Earswick at York - all planned and paid for privately for the workforces of large industrialists like George Cadbury and Joseph Rowntree.

Shirehampton's little version was planned by the Bristol Garden Suburb Ltd Company which was formed in July 1909. On the controlling board was Elizabeth Sturge and Frederick Allen Sturge Goodbody of the firm J.P Sturge, estate agents, as well as Eliza Louise Walker Dunbar and Henry Hosegood. It was to be run along philanthropic lines and intended a 5 percent dividend on investments.

The plans stated that the estate would have wide roads and open spaces and that there would be 14 houses to the acre, so that each would receive 'ample air and sunshine'. The site was about 27 acres on the Kingsweston Estate close to Shirehampton railway station to allow people easy access to Bristol's centre and to Avonmouth to work. The season ticket to Temple Meads was 12s 6d (63p) per month. It was planned out for 280 houses by Thomas Adams, an authority on garden suburbs, to make the best use of the existing trees and to give good views of the river and Welsh hills.

An initial 8 acres was built on between Springfield Avenue and Station Road, and small houses were erected suitable for labourers and artisans. The architect was Frank Bromhead and he designed a variety of houses, some in small terraces of eight, some in little L shaped corner plots of three. Some were 2 beds, some were 3, and most had dormer windows in the roof to give a cottage look.

In Grove Leaze and Station Road forty plots were planned to allow for a larger class of house to be individually designed for the new purchaser, as long as they helped retain the garden suburb character.

By 1913 only 44 houses were built and the planned road layout was not completed. The First World War intervened and the remainder of the houses were not built. However the style of the garden city houses and the planned road layouts influenced the architects and planners of the new post war council estates that we see across the city to this day.

Mike Hooper.
(Printed by kind permission of author).


Want to make a difference in your community? Got some spare time? Then pop into Shirehampton Library on Saturday 17th August in the morning where Volunteering Bristol and Volunteering Shire are holding a drop-in session. We have hundreds of local and Bristol-wide volunteering opportunities - come and ask any questions and find out more!