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St Mary's News


500 houses on these fields? Though within the boundary of a big city, Shirehampton is amazing in its ability to feel rural. Not only does it have a genuine village atmosphere, with its village Green and Victorian fountain, but it also has wonderful views, whether you climb up to Penpole Point, walk across the golf course, or take amble along the river bank between The Lamplighters and the Powder House.

But that last view is under serious threat from a proposal from developers Alder King to put 500 dwellings on the land of Chapel Pill Farm on the opposite bank of the Avon. This, they claim, is necessary to the viability of their scheme to build an Avon Barrage that would hold the river at perpetual high tide, in order to create a Water Park. Such a large housing development would mean that this precious view is irretrievably lost.

There is something very special about the landscape when you stand on the Shire river bank immediately opposite Chapel Pill Farm. The fold of the hill that slopes down into the curve of the Horseshoe Bend, with Sea Mills church to the left, looking for all the world as though it is in the heart of the country rather than in an urban housing estate, and the white-washed farm building itself in the centre, often with cattle grazing in the field, and then the wooded cliff to the right makes for a ravishing river scene. Paint it, photograph it, or just sit on the seat provided and contemplate it, the changing times of day and season, with the rise and fall of the tide, make for an inexhaustible source of pleasure. Five hundred houses would destroy it.

Mr. Grant Wilson of Alder King claims that 98% of the people he has spoke to are for the scheme, and goes on to say "The only opposition so far is from people who are against the houses being built.....and from the ecologists". But it should be pointed out to Mr. Wilson that though those against the Chapel Pill housing might at the moment be a minority, they are the people who live here, and therefore their views should carry weight.

Of course, the land is in the North Somerset area, not Bristol, which makes Shirehampton residents' ability to protest limited. But it is good to know that Glyn Duck, chairman of Easton-in-Gordano Parish Council is opposing the scheme, and Shirehampton's new councillor, Spud Murphy has also expressed his concern that anything should spoil the river bank opposite us. So far, no formal application for planning approval has been submitted to any of the councils concerned. It seems that at the moment, the developers are `networking' with interested groups, such as the Bristol Chamber of Commerce to build up support. They were also due to meet representatives from councils in the former Avon County Council area.

The land in question is Green Belt, and that fact alone should rule out any building development. But with government pressure on councils to provide new homes, that belt may be fraying and could give way. Shirehampton residents who care for their unique local setting need to be alert to the threat to their heritage.

If anyone is concerned about this issue, please contact me on 9047319, or email

Brian Blandford


On August 12th, I had my purse stolen inside the Co-op during the afternoon. The next afternoon I received a phone call (after I had made many calls cancelling Debit/Credit cards and getting a bus pass card replaced) from a gentleman from Shire whose young son found my empty purse down by Robin Cousin's Sports Centre and he and his young lad very kindly returned it to me on the 13th.

I was so pleased to get my purse back (although minus lots of monies of which there was quite alot) that I completely forgot to get their names. If - and I hope they do - see the SHIRE that they will accept another big 'Thank-you' from me.

Pat Christison, High Street, Shirehampton. (Thank you for your donation to SHIRE funds)


The remote controlled plane disappeared over the roofs of houses on the previous site of Portway Lower School, at the junction of Park Road and the Portway. If you have recovered it, please ring 982 4227.


SEPTEMBER 2nd Monday SEQUENCE DANCE at the Public Hall 7.15 p.m. - 9.15 p.m. contact Myra Jenkins 968520 for details.
SEPTEMBER 3rd Tuesday St. Andrew's Ladies meet at St. Andrew's Church Hall, Avonmouth, at 7.30pm for quiz.
SEPTEMBER 4th AUTUMN TERM begins for local schools
SEPTEMBER 4th Wednesday ESTUARY WILD LIFE MEETING 7 p.m. at the Avonmouth Community Centre.
SEPTEMBER 4th Wednesday ARTHRITIS CARE meets at Jim O'neil House at 7.30 p.m.
SEPTEMBER 4th Every Wednesday EARLY MORNING SWIM at Shirehampton Bath 7 a.m. - 8 a.m. & 8.30 a.m. - 9.a.m.
SEPTEMBER 2nd & 4th Every Monday & Wednesday "DROP IN" SESSIONS at the AVON UNIVERSITY SETTLEMENT, High Street 9.30 a.m. - 11.30 a .m.
SEPTEMBER 5th Thursday TOWNSWOMEN'S GUILD meets at the Methodist Church Hall 2 p.m. - 4 p.m to hear Mr. B. Raybold speak on "The Great Wall of China" SEPTEMBER 6th Friday MONTHLY COFFEE MORNING at the Library 10.30 a.m. - 12.30
SEPTEMBER 6th Friday Weekly FRIDAY FUN at Beachley Walk Centre for parents, carers and pre school children 9.30 a.m. - 11.30 a.m.
SEPTEMBER 7th Saturday MONTHLY COFFEE MORNING and BRING & BUY SALE at the Methodist Church Hall.
SEPTEMBER 7th Saturday STAMP FAIR at the Public Hall 9 a.m - 4p.m.
SEPTEMBER 9th Every Monday & Wednesday TWYFORD ART CLUB at the Public Hall, 9.30 a.m. - 11.30 a .m.
SEPTEMBER 12th TWYFORD ART CLUB meets weekly in the evening for details contact Ron Thorpe 0117-9681554.
SEPTEMBER 15th Sunday at St. Mary's Church 10 a.m. Speaker from Mercy Ships.
SEPTEMBER 17th Tuesday St. Andrew's LADIES CLUB meets at 7.30 p.m. at St. Andrew's Church Hall, Avonmouth - Secret Hiding Places by Anne Bowing
SEPTEMBER 17th Tuesday RAILWAY MODELLERS meet at the Public Hall at 7.30 p.m.
SEPTEMBER 17th Tuesday EVERGREEN OUTING to Weston-Super-mare
SEPTEMBER 18th Wednesday WOMEN'S INSTITUTE meeting at 7.30 p.m. for a musical Evening with Mr. D. Hershon. SEPTEMBER 18th Wednesday HAPPY HEARTS WEST at Beachley Walk Centre at 7.30 p.m
SEPTEMBER 18th Wednesday SHIREHAMPTON STITCHERS 7.15 p.m. at the Public Hall
SEPTEMBER 18th Wednesdays New season of weekly Sequence Dances start at the PBA club, Nibley Rd. Ring 0117 9824337 for further details
SEPTEMBER 25th Wednesday SHIREHAMPTON COMMUNITY GROUP meets at 7.30 p.m. at the Public Hall. Everyone welcome
SEPTEMBER 27th Friday SEQUENCE DANCE at the Cotswold Centre 7.30 p.m - 10 p.m.


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.
BOBBIE PERKINS (chair) Tel: 983 1029 6. Burford Grove, Shirehampton.


Mondays Cotswold Ladies Club 2.00 - 4.30 p.m. Tuesdays Bingo 6.45 - 8.15 p.m. Fridays Keep Fit 10.30 - 12.00 a.m. LAST FRIDAY OF THE MONTH Dance 7.30 - 10.00p.m. FIRST SUNDAY OF THE MONTH Baptist Church Service 4.45 p.m. THIRD SUNDAY OF THE MONTH St. Marys Church Service 4.45 p.m. The hall is also available for private hire.
For details please contact Mr. A. Radnedge. Tel: 01179822581


Saturday, September 21st, 2002 7.00 p.m. Harvest Supper Sunday, September 22nd, 2002 11a.m. Rev. David Alderman 6.30p.m. Songs of Praise - with the "Bonnetts" from Street, Somerset - Accomplished Piano Accordionists.


Very many thanks to the Women's Bright Hour for your generous donation to SHIRE funds, which is gratefully received.


held at St. Andrew's Church Hall, Avonmouth, every Monday at 1.15 to 2.45p.m Come and join a happy group for a fun time that's cheap and cheerful with Bingo, a chat and tea and biscuits. We play "cash Bingo" and have a small prize raffle every week. So come and join us - you will be made welcome. We look forward to seeing you.


Doug Naysmith, M.P. for Bristol North-West has welcomed the news that the 518 bus service is to continue. He said that there was a lot of concern when First Bus dropped the 18 service some months ago but fortunately Bristol City Council and South Gloucestershire Council acted quickly to put in place a temporary contract for the 518 service and he is delighted to hear that this service is now secure for the future.

Doug went on to say "A lot of people contacted me about the possible loss of this service, particularly people from the Cotswold Estate in Shirehampton, many of whom are elderly and rely on this service to visit shops, doctors and other community services, such as hospitals. The 518 IS PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT BECAUSE IT LINKS SHIREHAMPTON WITH SOUTHMEAD AND FRENCHAY, AS WELL AS CALLING AT PARKWAY STATION".

He continued "I made representations on behalf of my constituents, and I am really pleased that the two local councils have decided to provide long-term funding for the route, and that as a result South Gloucestershire Bus and Coach Company will continue to run the service". The new timetable is now in place with some journeys retimed in the light of experience, but there will be no change to the overall frequency of the service.

In conclusion, Doug added "The provision of good reliable bus services taking people where they want to go, at the time they want to go really helps to get people out of their cars and onto public services. It is a small step, but I believe that this sensible support from local Councils will help maintain confidence in the local public transport service. It is important to keep up pressure on local councils about transport, because although they no longer run transport directly, they can subsidise vital local services if there is a clear need for them".


We haven't all finished our summer holidays but if you pass the Public Hall you will hear strains of "Santa Claus is coming to Town" and some misfits of Snow White's Seven Dwarfs walking About. It's rehearsal time again for the light heart community Christmas Show with The Grainger Players.

Christmas songs and a Potted Panto of Snow White and the Misfit Dwarfs on Thursday 28th/Friday 29th and Saturday 30th November at the Public Hall, just in time to get you into the festive feeling. You can pre-book now at Liz's Flower Shop in the High Street, Shirehampton to reserve your tickets - it will be a fun evening.

Also if you're between 17 and 80 years and can enjoy an evening out on a Thursday we are looking for new members - if it's only to swell the cast for the audience sing a long - interested? Pop in Liz's Flower Shop and see Shirl. Well, that's our news for now.

Shirl and Players


Shirehampton Park Golf Club held its annual Charity AM/AM event in July and with an entry of over 200 players it remains one of the most popular golfing events of the year in the Bristol area.

Club Captain, Bryan Nutter, presented the prizes and announced that the event had raised over £4,000 for the Bristol Children's Hospital Wallace & Gromit Appeal .

The Club continues to have a strong Junior section with over 70 members a direct result of winning the league last year.

For those who have not played the course, it is situated on National Trust property and is a hilly parkland course with beautiful views, and plenty of trees. What is lacked in length is made up for with tight fairways and small greens with tight or raised entry. It is very rare to find the course in other than superb condition.

A warm welcome awaits and visiting golf society or individual golfers. At the present time, due to a number of vacancies, individuals who are interested in applying for membership should telephone the Club Secretary, Adam Hobbs, for more details. 0117 982 2083.


Shirehampton Public Hall will be celebrating its centenary in 2003/2004. We want to celebrate this and propose to have events spread through the year to mark the importance of our hall to the whole community. There must be people who have memories and photos from the early days of the Hall to share. Are there any centenarians in or from Shire who can join in the celebration? Whose Gran or Great Gran tells stories of the Hall and what it meant to the community then? What does the Hall mean to us now? All contributions or ideas for how to mark the centenary are welcome.


UK on line is starting it's computer classes up again soon at the Public Hall! at the time of writing this, we still have a few places on our afternoon Beginners on Computers 10 week course on Thursdays, (12 Sept onwards), and on our Beginners on the Internet & Email afternoon 10 week courses on Fridays, (13 Sept onwards). Do ring or leave a message for Kate on 982 9963 if you are interested. Fees are around £10-£12 per course, but we would be pleased to offer subsidies if you are on a low income.

But IF all the places have gone or you'll be on holiday then we will be starting more before long, including an evening one, so get on your waiting list!

Dear Editor,

Ivor Gilrow's article A funny old day in the August Edition of Shire awoke one of my earliest memories. I too saw that plane about to crash. I was only just four at the time but we heard a louder sound than normal of plane engines and my mother looked out of the back window of our house on the Portway and shouted "It's a German". "Nonsense" replied Dad as we all ran to the window, but sure enough it was with the distinctive crosses under the wings, and we saw it as it passed over the house only about 50-100 ft up, down towards the Avon then towards Avonmouth. Reading about this in Ethel Thomas's War Story, the date is there recorded as 22nd February 1941 - a Saturday, rather than the Sunday which I had thought it was.Ethel Thomas writes that there was only one survivor - the pilot - from the crew of five. My parents always said that he had to be locked up in the Police Station for his own protection - but I don't know how accurate this is.

Thanks again for the monthly contact with Shirehampton which all of us exiles so enjoy.

Yours sincerely,

David Elkington


Dear Editor,

It was nice to see the picture of the Coronation Party in 1953 held at Portway School in last month's "SHIRE". It has been fun trying to pick out old neighbours although unfortunately a lot of them have now passed away. Myself, my sister and my parents are in the photo and I wondered how many other people remembered it. If anyone is interested enough to talk about it, they can give me a call on 0117 9828018 - I should be pleased to hear from them.

I. Jefferies (nee Scorrer)


Who passed away on June 25th, 2002 I would like to thank friends and neighbours for the cards, letters and support. They have been a great comfort to the family and myself. Also, my thanks to Canon Christine Froude and Antony Wheeler for the beautiful service.

Joan Young.

Re: June Edition
Shirehampton A.F.C. Early Years 1952 - 1958

Dear Editor,

Keith Ellison writes that in 1952 'Penpole United'. as it was then, was founded by a group of lads including Bob Bolwell and brothers Jim and John Hudd from Pill. These three lads are or were, my cousins (their mother being my mother's sister) and I haven't seen or heard of them since my mother, Mrs. Marian Harries, died in 1946.

I receive your monthly ' SHIRE' regularly from friends in Shirehampton and after reading them, send them on to my sister Edna in New Zealand. Edna and I grew up, along with our brother Leslie, who died in 1949 at 67. Bradley Crescent, Shirehampton.

I enjoy reading the 'SHIRE' very much and I was so very 'chuffed' at reading K. Ellison's story and obviously seeing my cousins' names. I would dearly love to have recognised or try to have recognised Bob, Jim and John in the photo shown, who were very small boys when I last saw them. Is it possible that any reader could enlighten me as to 'who is who' in this photograph? My best wishes to all,

Kathleen Bennett (nee Harries).

(For players' names see page 15. Ed)



There were 35 people present Section Reports:

a) Planning and Environment

Kingweston Estate - on 22nd June there was a public meeting at the car park on Shirehampton Park with Jim Hardcastle from Heritage Estates and Gordon Milward from Leisure Services, regarding proposed changes to access and security to the park. This was reported in the July 'Shire". Since then Jim Hardcastle has taken up the suggestions from the meeting and will incorporate many of them into a modified proposal. There will be public consultations so look out for dates and times when they will take place. From the floor it was stated that a meeting is to be held at the Rock Centre in Lawrence Weston on 5th August.

Siren at Lamplighters - An application has been submitted to change the 9m siren mast to a 15m mono-pole for the siren and mobile phone antennae with 2 microwave dishes and ancillary ground equipment. The committee recommend that no further mobile phone equipment be installed in our area until government and World Health Organisation research is published. Write to the Planning Office with your views.

Development of Savoy Cinema/Bingo Hall - the application for 38 flats and 38 car spaces will be considered by the Planning Committee on 7th August at the Council House. Members of the public are allowed to attend but anyone wishing to address the committee must submit statements at least 24 hours in advance. The P & E committee is concerned about the effect on the car parking and traffic flow in the village.

Flats next to Alldays A revised application was submitted for 22 flats and 17 car spaces. Again the committee is concerned about car parking and traffic. No further information has been received.

Proposed road safety improvements for Shirehampton - some residents have received notification of proposed changes but the SCG and many others were not informed. However, copies were obtained and after discussion the committee agreed that the seven proposed alterations to High Street were very acceptable with regard to safety and traffic management and they recommended that of the three options for the area in front of Woolworths, Option C would be recommended because

a) Junction 5 on the plans needs upgrading but Options A and B would require all vehicles from High Street into Station Road to use Junction 5 - hair pin bend for heavy vehicles making the junction even worse.

b) Changes to the pavement near the bus stop of The Green will make it safer for pedestrians to get from The Green to the shops.

Suggestion 2 for Pembroke Road was the only viable option as this allowed for the Co-op delivery vehicles to access the delivery area without reversing from the junction of Waverley Road. It is important the Co-op continues to deliver to the rear of their premises to avoid congestion in the High Street. The committee also recommended that pavements be put on all aspects of Pembroke Road where the width allows.

Some car parking spaces may be forfeited but the council will be asked to keep this to a minimum. Having told the meeting of the committee's discussions views were put forward from the floor. There was some opposition to the proposals for changing the layout of the High Street and the suggestion was made that sets of traffic lights at either end and possibly in the middle would slow traffic sufficiently. Another point was that traffic comes down Park Hill at too great a speed and should be slowed prior to entering the High Street either by 'sleeping Policemen' or warning road signs about reducing speed. It was also stated that the majority of Pembroke Road residents would have preferred Option 1 which was to close off the road as they are worried about speeding vehicles, including the delivery lorries and the road being used as a rat run.

John stressed that everyone with views on the proposals should write to the Planning Department.

Park and Ride - the average usage at present is about 30 vehicles per day but the bus service is useful for local residents. It seems everything that was said at the meetings opposing the Park and Ride on that particular site has come to pass. A public consultation for the ecological and landscape management plan is provisionally booked for 1 October from 12 noon to 3pm at Shirehampton Public Hall. Attendance is by invitation only but this will be challenged. The study should have been carried out before the Park and Ride was built.

House at Pembroke Road - an application to build a house in the garden of no. 2 and part of no.6 has been refused.


Replies received from the Council on the following issues raised:-

a) bus shelter at Hung Road- it was confirmed proposals to "enhance the waiting environment"! including a shelter and raised kerbs for pushchairs and the elderly should come to fruition by September

b) The ST weight restriction sign in Park Road - this matter has been referred to the Housing Service Department.

c) Additional pedestrian crossings near the War Memorial and where Penpole Lane meets lower High Street, to take account of the extra children joining Portway School in September - a school travel plan is currently being prepared.

Shirehampton Community Action Forum - Ash Bearman was present at the meeting and gave a briefing on this forum and the three main issues, which are Youth Support, Community Safety and Housing Group. The idea is that a partnership of various statutory agencies and local groups meet regularly and discuss solutions to problems that concern the community. Representatives of the different agencies meet together and are supported by our MP and local councillors. Although the meeting are not 'open', anyone with a desire to attend can contact Ash at the public hall.

Date of next meeting: Wednesday 25 September 2002 (AGM)

Put your best step forward

We still need volunteers to deliver the "SHIRE". Do you receive your monthly Shire? If not would you like to deliver the paper to your road. If you do not want to deliver the whole road, then perhaps you would consider delivering to half or even just a few houses. An hour (maximum) per month is all it takes and the papers are delivered to your door ready for distribution. Remember the more people delivering in a road the less time it takes. Any age can deliver our paper and our regulars age between 15 and 90 so come on help deliver the Shire to every house in the area. For more details please contact Pauline on 9826935.

Totstop Mums and Toddlers Group at Shirehampton Baptist Church

On the 26th June, 23 mums and 19 children set off from the Shirehampton Baptist Church car park. Totstop was off again on its annual day trip! Our destination this year was Brean Animal Farm. Boarding the buggy brigade onto the coach proved to be easier than we initially anticipated, thanks to a very helpful coach driver and an equally helpful Minister, Tim Baynes-Clark.

The day was warm and sunny. It was hard to tell who was more excited as we set off, the Mums or children. As we trundled down the M5 the noise of happy excited children filled the coach. Horses, sheep, cows, cars and lorries were the main topic of conversation, basically anything that moved! The familiar Willow Man, although stationary, was reported to have put on more weight since his run in with vandals last year. He also made a good talking point with the children.

At 10 am we arrived at the farm. We successfully disembarked and, with buggies up and running converged on a slightly worried looking proprietor, who for all the world looked like he was about to be trampled. Entry to the farm itself went smoothly and so on to our first port of call, the tea shop, seen as an essential stop of course, to regroup, refresh, and formulate a plan of action. The children had other ideas though and, after gulping down half a cup of tea, organised chaos ensued.

There's a lot to do at Brean Farm. Indoor and outdoor pens house rabbits, ducks, chickens, goats, small ponies and pot bellied pigs. The animals were inquisitive and friendly, and the children were able to touch and feed them. Getting so close to these animals was such a thrill for some of the children, while others preferred to remain at a respectful distance in quiet observation.

There was a lovely large outdoor play area which led onto fenced off paddocks. The majority of Mums and tots took the opportunity to walk around these. At times it seemed more like a cross country trek than an amble due to long grass, hillocks, potholes, and buggy wheels that had a mind of their own. But it didn't bother the children who took great delight in racing around in the open spaces.

Lunchtime saw slightly weary Mums and eager children having lunch in the soft play area. A safe enclosed area where children could be observed whilst Mums had a well-earned tea break (great).

After lunch it was off to the cuddle and care shed. The children (and some of the Mums) were encouraged to sit and hold baby rabbits, chicks, and a rat! Careful attention was given to washing of hands and then it was off for an ice cream and another cup of tea! 2 p.m. and it was time to get back to the coach, a quick head count and it was back to Bristol. Sleepy children and worn out Mums meant that it was very quiet on the return journey.

We had a good day and everyone had a really good time. We are already looking forward to next year.

If you have children between the ages of 0-4 years why not come along to Totstop in the Shire Baptist Hall in Station road. We are there on a Tuesday and Wednesday 9.15 - 11.00am. There are lots of activities for the children including song and story time. Parents/carers can chat over tea and coffee. It's a really lovely time for everyone to socialise, and itís only 70p per session per family. Come along and join us, we would love to see you Bye for now.

Sandra and Karan
Totstop leaders

P.S. We will be back for the new term on September 10th!


After a successful and fun first year, we ended last term with two major celebrations. First off was the wonderful Jubilee Playdays event, in which our members and guests made junk instruments, painted resist banners and constructed puppets with the help of professional artists. The event finished with a great puppet show using all these things, organised by puppeteer, Mark Parrett. It was attended by a large audience of happy families and well wishers.

Then on the very last day of term the whole club went to Kingsweston House, played parachute games in the park, sang songs and then had a special treat! Delicious refreshments were then provided by John Hardy. The club had such a brilliant afternoon and want to express their heartfelt thanks to John and everyone concerned at Kingsweston for the great time they had (see photo).

We are starting up again this autumn on September 4th and will welcome new members interested in joining us - we still have some spare places. You do not need to book full time places; many of our members only come for certain days of the week. And remember that we would collect your child from Shire School each day. Do get in touch for info or bookings. You can reach me at most times, or leave a message and I will get back to you - 982 9963 at the Public Hall. Or ring the club mobile after 4th September on 07904 002301.

In case you haven't quite got round to checking out the club yet, we need to tell you that unless we are completely full as this year progresses, we will not be able to continue. All our current members and their families are very happy with the club and we intend to have as much fun and treats this year as we did last year, so it'd be a crying shame if Shirehampton lost what we believe to be the only after school provision in the area, which we have worked so hard, with a lot of goodwill, to provide for you. So the message is - join us and have a great time. See you in September!

Kate Pollard
Management Member


Due to the continuing expansion of James and Hodder Corporate Business Travel department, we regret that, as from Monday 12th August, we will be closed to the general public and unable to offer the service of providing coach, rail and flight only tickets. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking everyone who has supported us over many years.


Sept. 3rd Quiz
Sept 17th Secret Hiding Places - Anne Bowing
Oct 1st New England in the Falls - Gordan Tarrant
Oct l5th Charity Night
Nov 5th Decorated Eggs - Heather Flecher
Nov 19th Coronations - Jean Routley
Dec 3rd  Party Night - Table Decorations
Dec 6th Christmas Outing - The Commodore

LADIES: - If you want to join a friendly Ladies Group for interesting talks, demonstrations, outings and friendship, our Ladies Group will be pleased to see you, so come along and give us a try. We meet at 7.30 p.m. on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month at St. Andrew's Church Hall.

For further information please 'phone Carol England on 9825352


The Anastasis, first of the Mercy Ships is due to dock at Avonmouth on August 31st to September 9th, that is if all goes to plan. These ships and their staff bring much needed medical care to the poorer countries of the World, build schools , train teachers and bring in clean water supplies. They also bring The Word of God.

I hope many of you will visit the ship. It is truly amazing. There will be a speaker from the organisation in St. Marys Church 10a.m. on September 15th.

Beryl White

St Mary's News

As I write these notes I realise how rapidly the summer is moving on - it is now almost totally dark by 9.30pm. When the Bristol Flower Show appears on The Downs towards the end of August this to me always signifies the end of the warm weather. September is then upon us - the beginning of a new school year with all it means to both young and old.

Headmasters trim their moustaches - lollipop ladies keep "lollying": (well they do down Lower High Street!) - Canons return from holidays in South Wales and the Shirehampton Area Choir start to clear their throats preparing for the Christmas Concert and I'm nearly another year older!

Well, having told you a load of useless drivel, I suppose I had better tell you what is going on at St Mary's on Saturday 7th September from 10am - 12 noon, there will be a Balloon Race and Children's Fun Morning on the Churchyard Path between High Street and Pembroke Road. Children must be accompanied by a carer. There is NO CHARGE - but buy a balloon and win a fabulous prize!

On Sunday 29th September, there are two special events in church. At our 10am Holy Communion Service we shall be celebrating with the Rev Anthony Wheeler the 25th Anniversary of his ordination. I am sure there are many of you who will wish to commemorate this occasion with Tony - who despite his physical disability - played an important role during the interregnum at St Mary's before Canon Christine arrived. On the same day - at 6pm in Church - "Male Voice Praise" - a Male Voice Massed Chorus - will be leading a service of Evening Prayer. Everyone is welcome.

As "Shire" is occasionally late being published I thought it might be a good idea to give you advance notice of our Harvest Festival. This year it will be on Sunday 6th October - with a Parade Service at 10.00am. Gifts will be given to Euro Aid - to help countries in Eastern Europe. So come on folks - start putting aside some tinned & dried food products NOW - thanks!

As many of you are aware alterations are to take place at the West End of the Church building. Tenders have gone out and work is likely to commence within the next few months. Hopefully it will be completed by advent. Now this will affect our coffee mornings - but do not despair! We shall continue with them in the church as usual between 10am and 12noon, but it may well be in the Choir Vestry. Whilst this work is in progress access to the church will be by the door in Pembroke Road.

Finally, as many of you will have read in last month's edition of "Shire", Denis Handford died. Denis was our verger at St. Mary's for 23 years & a member of St. Mary's all his life. He endured a long illness in his later years - but always remained cheerful & was pleased to see people. As Canon Christine mentioned at his funeral service one of Denis's favourite expressions was "Keep taking the tablets" another phrase I heard him frequently say was "There is only one thing better than a cup of tea and that's a second one" well Denis I am sure you are 'up there' keeping the kettle boiling! To Pam, his wife and son Rob, we extend our heartfelt sympathy - we all miss Denis & know you do too.

Well, that's all for September - Ill be back next month.