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The Shirehampton Christmas Association report that since the information given in the last edition of 'SHIRE', a great deal has happened. They received a letter from the Council stating that they could only install six individual displays and that the cost would now be £4,554! However, after very strong representation by Nicky Rodaway they relented and agreed to give the Association ten displays - which require to be renovated - on condition that they are installed on selected premises by a suitably qualified electrician. Although this means we are not able to have any lights on lamp posts this year, they can be arranged at key places along the main shopping areas. Nevertheless, ten displays will leave lots of gaps so more lights are needed to make a good show.

However, the Association has been most fortunate to have received a great boost from a number of sources. Firstly, 'SHIRE' has kindly donated £600 towards the lights fund and, secondly, £400 generously donated by Councillor 'Spud' Murphy has been gratefully received. Thirdly, the Shirehampton Traders' Association has provided £1,500. The Traders who have contributed are:

Andrew Pinn Bobbetts Boots Bristol & West Chicos Barber Shop CLIC Creature Comforts D & O Drapers Deveraux & Co Elizabeth Ann Flowers Flower World Gifts & Cards (Pams) Haart Estate Agents Hawkins George White (Motorbikes) Ian Murdoch Lamplighters Maynews Nat West Bank Post Office Rodaways Estate Agents Shirehampton Hardware Shirehampton Lodge Hotel Shirehampton Village Bakery Shire News Sugar & Spice Victoria Wine W B Butcher (Tubbs) Woolworths World Choice

Given this most welcome support and with the proceeds from Mrs. Tillett's Quiz they are now in a position to renovate and install the ten sets of lights from the Council and to buy and install seven new sets. This should give a good display this Christmas and it also means that for some years to come we shall have our own lights. It is hoped that by raising funds each year they can increase the scope and size of the Christmas lights from one year to another. To all those who have contributed money and time the Association is most grateful. The AGM of the Association will be held in the Methodist Hall just off the High Street at 6.30pm on Wednesday, 6th November, and the Association welcome all who are able to attend.


Yes, Christmas is coming, so if you would like your Greetings to friends and relations included in the December issue, please let us have your message addressed to 'SHIRE', The Library, Station Road, Shirehampton, Bristol BS11 9TU, by November 15th. (20 words for £1.00).


Dear Editor,

On Wednesday, 9th October, we had to have our beloved cat (Casey) put to sleep. We took her to the Vets because all that day she was lifeless and her pupils were dilated, she went through a great deal of pain and suffering having convulsions and then eventually going into a coma when the Vet advised it would be kinder for her to be put to sleep. They were almost certain she had been poisoned and although we were very upset we decided that she had just been unlucky until a week later, on the 16th October, when it came to light that a family in the next street (we live at the bottom of Priory Road and they live at the same end of Walton Road) had their two cats put to sleep because they had also been poisoned. This cannot be a coincidence and is a very serious matter.

Mrs Karen Alexander


NOVEMBER 1st Friday and every Friday EVERGREENS 1 p.m.-3 p.m. at the Public Hall   for details ring 982-3180 or come along

NOVEMBER 1st Friday Monthly COFFEE MORNING AT THE LIBRARY 10.30 a.m.- 12 noon

NOVEMBER 1st weekly FRIDAY FUN at the Beachley Walk Centre for Parents, Carers and Pre-School Children. 9.30 a.m.-11 a.m.

NOVEMBER 1st Friday each week BINGO at the Public Hall 6.30 p.m.-8.30 p.m Contact 982-3180 for details

NOVEMBER 1st Every Friday and Wednesday "DROP IN" Sessions at the Avon University Settlement Cottage, High Street, 9.30 a.m-11.30 a.m.

NOVEMBER 2nd Saturday MONTHLY COFFEE MORNING & BRING and BUY SALE at the Methodist Church Hall

NOVEMBER 2nd Saturday STAMP FAIR 9 a.m-4 p.m. at the Public Hall

NOVEMBER 4th Monday every week 3 of us BINGO at St. Andrew's Hall, Avonmouth 1.15 p.m.-2.45 p.m.

NOVEMBER 4th Monday ALL LOCAL SCHOOL begin again after the Half Term Holiday

NOVEMBER 5th Tuesday St. Andrew's LADIES CLUB meet at 7.30 p.m. at St. Andrew's Church Hall, Avonmouth to hear about "Decorated Eggs" by Heather Fletcher

NOVEMBER 6th Wednesday ARTHRITIS CARE at 7.30 p.m at Jim O'Neil House

NOVEMBER 6th SEQUENCE DANCE AT THE P.B.A. Club, Nibley Road. Ring 0117-9824337 for details.

NOVEMBER 6th Wednesday EARLY MORNING SWIM at Shirehampton Baths 7 a.m.-8 a.m. and 8.30 a.m.-9 a.m.

NOVEMBER 6th Every Wednesday 7 p.m-9 p.m. at the Penpole Room at the Public Hall BHAGAVAD-GITA Class Meditive music and vegetarian food. For details ring 0117-982-0690

NOVEMBER 7th Thursday TOWNSWOMENS' GUILD at the Methodist Church Hall 2 p.m-4 p.m. "Bristol Curiosities" by Mr. B.Harding

NOVEMBER 14th Thursday TEA DANCE at SEA MILLS at the Sea Mills Methodist Church Hall, 2.30 p.m.-4.30 p.m. Admission £1.

NOVEMBER 16th Saturday St BERNARD'S CHRISTMAS BAZAAR at the School 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Admission Adults 30p. Children 10p.

NOVEMBER 19th Tuesday St. Andrew's LADIES CLUB 7.30 p.m. at St. Andrew's Church Hall, Avonmouth for "Coronations" by Jean Routley

NOVEMBER 19th Tuesday RAILWAY MODELLERS at the Public Hall at 7.30 p.m.

NOVEMBER 20th Wednesday HAPPY HEARTS WEST 7.30 p.m. at Beachley Walk Centre

NOVEMBER 20th Wednesday WOMEN'S INSTITUTE meets 7.30 p.m. at the Methodist Church Hall to hear Jane Evans on "Reflexology & Aromatherapy"

NOVEMBER 20th, Wednesday SHIREHAMPTON STITCHERS meet at 7.30 p.m. at the Public Hall

NOVEMBER 23rd Saturday NOVEMBER FAYRE at the Orchards 10 a.m.-12 noon. Admission 10p. Entrance Hermitage Close

NOVEMBER 23rd Saturday 2 p.m.-4 p.m. GRAND CHRISTMAS FAIR at the Portway School. Admission 25p. Children free

NOVEMBER 25th Monday EVERGREENS OUTING to Newport. Pick up 9.15 outside St. Mary's.

NOVEMBER 28th Thursday TEA DANCE AT SEA MILLS in Sea Mills Methodist Church Hall 2.30 p.m.-4.30 p.m. Admission £1

NOVEMBER 28th, 29th & 30th Thursday, Friday & Saturday GRAINGER PLAYERS CHRISTMAS SHOW at the Public Hall starting at 7.30 p.m. Adults £3, Senior Citizens £2.50, Children £2. To pre-book ring 0117-9381-3321

NOVEMBER 29th Friday SEQUENCE DANCE at the Cotswold Centre 7.30 p.m.-10 p.m.

NOVEMBER 30th Saturday EVERGREENS CHRISTMAS FAYRE at the Public Hall 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Tables £5 each. Ring 982-3180 to book one.


The Stamp Fairs held each month at Public Hall are usually on the first Saturday of the month, not the last Saturday of the month as listed in the October edition of "SHIRE".


Commenced their Winter Programme on Thursday 3rd October. All meetings commence at 19.00 for 19.30 at Holy Trinity Church, Hotwells Road. Anyone with an interest in Ships or the Sea are welcome. Visitors are very welcome - £1.50 per visit. Programme for November: 7th Sailing the Three Peaks by John Search, Esq. 21st S/S Great Britain - Past and Future by Dr. A. J. G. Dickens Series of Talks and Slides throughout the winter.

For further information, contact Lt. Cdr. F. D. TOLFREE, Hon. Secretary. 01225 873317


There are some seats available for Exeter on 20th November - Price £7.00. Also available on 1st December are seats for Chepstow Market with Christmas Dinner and at Abbey Mill afterwards. The price of £13.50 includes coach and dinner. YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE A MEMBER OF THE EVERGREENS TO COME ON OUR TRIPS!

For further details, ring Norman on 982 3180.


Just a message from the Grainger Players - if you are coming to see our Christmas Show and "Potted Panto" this month DON'T FORGET YOUR CUSHIONS, YOU KNOW HOW HARD THE PUBLIC HALL SEATS ARE! We can promise you plenty of pre-Christmas smiles and a chance to join in a good old-fashioned Christmas sing-a-long. If you want a relaxed community evening, the Christmas Show is at the Public Hall on Thursday 28th/Friday 29th and Saturday 30th of November at 7.30pm. Tickets are on sale at Liz's Flower Shop, High Street, (next to the Hairdressers). All tickets on Thursday £2.00. Friday & Saturday £3.00 adults, £2.50 OAP's and £2.00 children. Forget the Christmas hassle for a couple of hours and come and have some fun with us. (Wheelchair access and disabled toilets).

Hope to see you there - THE GRAINGER PLAYERS.


A Variety Night was held at the PBA Club on Friday, 13th September, which was organised by Shire Link. Lots of people from the Shirehampton area came, and it was a really enjoyable night. The members of Shire Link would like to thank Carol Gazzard (she was really funny), Vicki Hall and her dancers, Frank and his singers, for entertaining us so well. They were all excellent. Also, thanks to all those who contributed towards the raffle. We raised some money from this event and we would like to donate £20 to Shire Newsletter and £20 for the Shire Christmas lights.


Dances are being held at The Rock, Lawrence Weston, on the second Tuesday of every month, commencing on the 12th November, followed by the 10th December. Dancing is from 2 until 4pm and admittance £1.00.


The past month has proved very eventful with four of the Cadets AB's HUNT and THOMPSON attending PLYMOUTH NAVY DAYS and taking part in the Club and Cutlass Display, OC LEWIS in the GUARD, and OC SAVAGE as part of the SUPPORT TEAM. At the beginning of September AB's HUNT and THOMPSON completed half of the Meteorology Course, the second half to be taken in December, OC SAVAGE and Cadets CROUCH and FOX achieved SEAMANSHIP QUALIFICATIONS, and OC'S MORGAN and THOMPSON gained Mechanical Engineering. AB Cadet S HUNT and O Cadet M SAVAGE attended HMS RALEIGH NAVAL BASE for a week's SEAMANSHIP COURSE PART 2.

The tall ship Endeavour is due to visit Bristol and the unit has been invited to do watch duties, and we are awaiting further instructions. One our our boats has been refurbished and our friends in the GANGES ASSOCIATE will undertaken the painting. Thee cadets - K THOMPSON, L LEWIS and one to be confirmed has been invited to sail about HMS Royalist as part of the Tall Ships Training Course.

The unit has vacancies for new cadets - junior and senior. The unit meets from 7pm to 9pm on Monday and Thursdays at the River Station (by the Lamplighters) come on down!


1 November - a Ladies Evening - fashion, make-up and Christmas decorations for sale, entrance 50p. An adult must accompany all children. Time 7.30pm at the unit - The River Station, by the Lamplighters.

See you there.


And so is the headache of what to buy for our friends and family. A possible solution is a chance to wallow in the nostalgia of yesteryear, especially for those who have an association with Avonmouth and area. We still have a few copies of the two 'Mouthful of Memory' books left and at £7 each they are a bargain as well as being an unusual and welcome gift. Please call Judy Helme on 0117 938 2849 during office hours to order.


On Sunday, 29th September 2002 the Rev. Anthony (Tony) Wheeler celebrated Holy Communion at 10.00am in St. Mary's on the 25th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood in Bristol Cathedral. I was there that day - and it only seems like yesterday. Tony said he was wearing the same robes he wore on that day twenty-five years ago which included a stole made by his work colleagues when he was employed by "Georges" Bookshop in Park Street, City. Several other clergymen were present at the Service including two former incumbents of St. Mary's - the Rev. Finley Symons and Canon John Smith - both of whom can recall Tony serving under them as a lay-reader prior to his ordination.

After the Communion Service Tony invited members of the congregation to join him for a buffet lunch in the Church Centre. This invitation was readily accepted and gave St. Mary's members the opportunity to present Tony with a book on churches of the world, in gratitude for all he has done over the years

Congratulations Tony! C.M.E.

EDDY THOMAS 1929-2002

Edwin John Dennis Thomas was born at the B.R.I. on 3rd January 1929, and died at the B.R.I. on 6th August 2002 aged 73. During the War he was evacuated to a farm at Loddiswell, near Kingsbridge in Devon. It was a very long walk to school and they arrived in time to turn round to come back to the farm. He saw Plymouth burning during the Blitz and there was great excitement when a fighter plane was brought down in one of the farmer's fields. The farmer was none too pleased to find them playing Roy Rogers with his old horse playing "Trigger".

Eddy also enjoyed singing and one day a colleague invited him to join the choir at St. Paul's, Southville. At first he declined, but soon changed his mind when he heard the choir at the that Church was PAID. In later years his idol was Joseph Locke. His mother enjoyed moving house, always a better house according to her like. Altogether she moved 7 times, and always scrubbed the house she left and the house she moved to, it was a case of warning the family 'Don't forget when you come home tonight I shall be living across the road, or the next street', no wonder she died at the early age of 57.

On leaving school Eddy took a job at Shell Mex, called Pool during the War, then he moved to the C.W.S. Flour Mills (where he met Ethel) after a while he went to work for Bodeys, the animal feeding stuffs firm, but he was never happier than working for the Petroleum firm, so that when a vacancy was advertised he jumped at the chance, it was Petrofina where he spent 37 years rising to the post of Shift Supervisor when he retired. He cycled to work singing hymns.

Eddy was called-up up to the R.A.F. during the very cold winter of 1947. Unfortunately the R.A.F. had run out of fuel, so they sent everyone home again. With his full kit on his back he took a taxi to Shirehampton Road and dismissed it, but you don't live here now! Yes, his mother had made her last move to 66 Sunny Hill, Sea Mills, and a kindly neighbour showed Eddy where it was. He learnt the skill of table tennis at Sea Mills Boys Club, and found he was a 'natural'. He once played the late Duke of Beaufort when he came on a visit. But it was at cricket he will be best remembered, a slow left hand bowler, with deadly delivery. He served as Captain to St. Mary's Cricket Club for a number of years. From 1963-65 and from 1973-76 Eddy was elected as Church Warden at St. Andrew's Church, Avonmouth, during which time there was a nine month interregnum and a new Church Hall to open. He found it hard work, but thoroughly enjoyed it.

Ethel and Eddy were married at St. Mary's Church, Shirehampton on 14th July 1952 and they happily celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary just three weeks before he died. Eddy will be remembered for the humourous twinkle in his eye.

Now in God's safe keeping. Mrs. Ethel Thomas, 55 Cook Street, Avonmouth, Bristol BS11 9JY


Yes, with Christmas fast approaching that vexing problem once again surfaces - what to buy family members who appear to want for nothing, or even friends and relatives overseas? Nostalgia can sometimes be the answer here, reminding us of happy times past. Two worthwhile items come readily to mind, both available in local shops, which should rekindle happy memories for many of us and, at the same time, offer the perfect gift solution... First, the handsome hardbound book by historian Ethel Thomas, The Continuing Story of Shirehampton. Priced at £15, and published in this Jubilee Year, it is a most worthy companion to here earlier book, Shirehampton Story, so popular when published in 1983. Second is a video tape, Bristol Seaport - A Thousand Years of History, which, while tracing the origins of our great city and port, also brims with images of life at the City Docks, Avonmouth, Royal Portbury and Portishead Dock. Narrated by Colin Momber it also features interviews with several local dock workers. Priced at £13.95 from Shirehampton Studio, Post Office, Hawkins Newsagent and W.H. Smith at Broadmead.


The Merchant Navy Newsletter, which is produced locally for their members - there are about 20 living in this area - included good coverage in their recent issue of the branch being granted the "Freedom of the City and County of Bristol" by Bristol City Council on the 16th May and also covered their parade through the city from the memorial at the Welsh Back to the Council House where Captain H.H. Grant, the local Chairman, was presented with the "Freedom Scroll" and a Plaque made from Bristol Blue Glass with a Silver key set in it which represented the "Key to the City". Captain Grant in turn presented the Lord Mayor with a print of the "Ravenswood" in the River Avon, from their members. Afterwards all were invited to drinks and a buffet, which was much enjoyed - it was a truly memorable occasion. Our local hero, Chris Inker, is returning to his ship at the end of October - he was thrilled to be home on leave and able to enjoy the "Freedom of the City" celebrations with the rest of the group. He will be heading for the next troublespot in the Middle East where they will be in harms way once again, while we enjoy our Christmas at home with our loved ones! Chris presented a beautiful ships wheel to the Shirehampton Workingmen's Club - maybe a photo will be available for the next "SHIRE". A member of the local Branch, Captain Joe Earl, who  has one of his poems carved in bronze on the Merchant Navy Monument at Welsh Back, has been at sea since he left home at the age of 14. In later years he commanded 10 ships including Bristol Steam Navigation Company's MV Apollo. He then became a tugmaster, working at Avonmouth and Portbury, until he retired in  2000. Joe has now produced a booklet of poems, some of which have been recited on Radio Bristol and it is hoped that the Rev. Philip Auden, the Branch Chaplain and the Port Chaplain, who resides in Shirehampton, will shortly be recording many of the poems for Radio Bristol's use in the future. The title is "The men who missed the tide", which booklet has been reviewed by the Evening Post, and I quote "His sea poetry does for the Merchant Navy what Kipling did for an earlier generation of soldiers - captures the love of the sea, the quiet desperation at facing a gauntlet of U-Boats, the superstitions and the every day life on board. And the evocations of wartime convoys seem surprisingly authentic considering he was nowhere near old enough to have sailed with one. But as Joe says himself in the title poem, "I wasn't born 'til '41 - I wasn't at the fore; "But later on I sailed with men - they told me what they saw". and the poem concludes: "I'm mighty proud to march for them on the 11th November, For this very special breed of men I for one remember, I haven't any medals but wear my badge with pride, As the bugle sounds the Last Post for the men who missed the tide". "THE MEN WHO MISSED THE TIDE" - A collection of seafaring verse (and other stuff). Price £5.99. A stunning little book that can be dipped into again and again. It brings the sea to you with harrowing and also humourous tales and ditties. Order it from any bookshop and online at or Stockwell Books can be contacted at 01271 862557.


November 10th Remembrance Sunday 10.50am - Rev. David Alderman 16th 10.00am Christmas Bazaar. Admission 10p - Come and buy a bargain 17th - Sunday - We invite you to our 127th Church Anniversary Services: 11.00am - Rev. David Alderma. 6.30pm - United Service with Music, Hymns, and Reflections, by Westbury Park Methodist Church.


This summer our fifth grandchild was born. Like most babies he is the focus of much love. I thank the God whose nature and whose name is Love that He(She) has so arranged things that most of us are conceived in love, born in love and recipients of much love as babies, children, young people and indeed throughout our lives. The best loved baby there has ever been is the baby Jesus. As the season of Christmas approaches millions of people, including especially the children, rejoice in his birth. The Christmas story unforgettably sets forth the mysterious Christian belief that Jesus is both a fully human person and also the divine Son of God. But is the story true? Was he actually born of a virgin? This summer a poll was conducted among four thousand priests of the Church of England, asking what they believed about a number of articles of faith. Of the seventeen hundred who replied well over half did not believe in the Virgin Birth. Two opposing conclusions may be drawn from this perhaps surprising result. The conservative view would be that if a majority of the clergy and probably of the congregation as well don't believe in what they profess in the creeds, then churchgoing and the Christian influence generally are bound to decline as is happening. The liberal view, to which I adhere, would be that since the majority of people, churchgoers and non-churchgoers alike, can no longer honestly believe in the Virgin Birth or indeed the Empty Tomb, the Churches should be at work producing new creeds to set alongside those produced over a millennium and a half ago. What do to think? Why not write to Shire and tell us?

Horace Dammers

"Carers Count" Winter Event

Dear Editor,

I would like to let your residents know about a forthcoming event for Carers via your letters page. What is a Carer you may be asking?  A carer is someone who looks after a friend or relative who, due to disability, frailness or illness cannot manage alone without help.  If you are providing support and care for someone who could not manage without it, then you are a Carer. New research shows that the amount of money Carers save the state is equivalent to funding the whole of the National Health Service.  The average carer now saves the state £10,000 per year, these figures make it very clear the the N.H.S and Social Services could not cope without the hard work Carers do. An event is being held on Tuesday 26th November 2002 at The Medical Centre Avonmouth. All Carers in the area and the people they support are welcome to attend.  The theme of the event will be the health of Carers and staying healthy. Do you know what services are available to you and how to access them?  Have you ever wondered about how to get dental care for the person you support if they are unable to get out of the house?  Do you know someone who cannot stand without help without injuring yourself?  Or what services are provided by Social Services and what District Nurses or Health Visitors provide? There will also be pampering sessions, Reflexology, Indian Head Massage and workshops on Safe Lifting and Transferring. Food and refreshments will be provided during the event.

For more details and to book your place at the event, please telephone: 01179 825247, (please leave message on answerphone) Or contact Carersline: 0117 965 2200 Helen Mathias Carers Support Officer


October Update The Full forum held its eighth Meeting on the 8th October and the action groups continue to work on a wide number of issues as outlined below.

1. Community Safety

* Community Safety Audit - researching new funding sources.
* Continuing Partnership with Portway School re. Tackling truancy.
* Looking into CCTV/RadioNet for the High Street.
* In near future may apply for funding for a Youth Inclusion Programme for Shire.
* Overview of current crime situation & latest crime figures.

2. Housing

* 25th September saw the third Ridge Residents meeting - informal drop-in session for residents to talk directly to reps from BCC Area Housing Office, Housing Associations, Police and Local Counsellors.  Next one planned for late November-posters will be circulated two weeks before the event as usual.

3.Youth Support

* Youth Questionnaire with Portway School:Have received 200 back - full report of findings should be available within next two weeks.
* Youth café:  Applying for funding, already have two Youth Workers that have begun work.  Still on target to open Jan 2003.
* Youth Shelters - Ongoing.
* Formed an Events sub group that is organising litter pick/fun day with Portway Community School to be held on Wednesday 30th October (during half term week)
* Finding funding to support Shire Health Centre's Health Visitors' Team set up parenting courses.

4. Chairs/Development Action Group

* Making very good progress, Mem & Arts agreed as well as additional rules.
* Calling for Trustees for the new organisation...

5. Environment/"Shire Greens"

* Attended Landscape and Environmental Planning Consultation Meeting hosted by BCC Park & Ride Team.  Will continue involvement with this process, it was suggested that maybe forming a Management Committee would benefit the consultation and development process - if this happens the Greens would be represented.
* Under the umbrella of the Community Association, a Development Worker for the Community Park Project has been employed - part time for one year.  Start date not yet confirmed, but likely to be early December.

In the meantime please continue to contact Kate Pollard at the Public Hall on 982 9963 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 982 9963.


Thank you very much to all our wonderful friends and neighbours of Springfield Avenue. The sudden loss of my wife, Violet Taylor, was a great shock to myself and family, but the offers of help and assistance, and the wonderful collection made by all our friends in Springfield Avenue was greatly appreciated.

Yours gratefully,

G. F. Taylor.


ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING HELD IN THE PUBLIC HALL ON WEDNESDAY 25 SEPTEMBER 2002 There were 15 people present. The meeting was chaired by John Parsons who welcomed those present.

Secretary's Report Presented by J Parsons.

In the past year the prime matters discussed have related to planning and environment, including issues on the Portway Centre, Bingo Hall, site adjacent to Alldays, communication masts, the Park and Ride and traffic management through the High Street. We have had presentations from Newland Homes regarding the Savoy redevelopment, and Wessex Water on the efforts to improve odours from the sewage treatment works in Avonmouth. The scope of the group has reduced with vacancies on two section committees being vacant for some time and no volunteers to fill them. John stated that he be re-elected for another year it would be his last, having been involved since 1993. We need to consider over the coming months whether the group has a future. The Shirehampton Community Forum looks at grass roots matters and works with representatives from various agencies but do not get involved in such issues as planning applications.

Finance Report

Accounts: A copy of the Accounts was distributed and reported on by John Parsons. Income exceeded expenditure and  there is a balance of £30 left over from the Community Care grant obtained when Roland Jones was involved. Donations amounted to £104.41. Cash in hand totals £242.44. A proposal to accept the accounts was made by Gwen Cook and seconded by Norman Dicker.

Election of Officers: We are still short of two section leaders for Community Care and Law and Order. John gave a brief outline of what would be required for these two sections and would welcome volunteers. The Youth and Schools section is being served by the Community Forum liaison with local schools. As all other current officers and section leaders were willing to stand again and there were no other nominations, the committee now stands as follows:

General Secretary  John Parsons
Treasurer  John Parsons
Minutes Secretary  Judy Helme
Trustees  Brenda Dammers, Robert Lyons, Norman Dicker
Section Leaders: Planning & Environment,  John Callaghan; Community Care, vacant; Highways,  John Parsons; Law & Order, vacant

Thanks to John Parsons for his work were expressed from the floor. In regard to Law and Order it was mentioned that Neighbourhood Watch schemes are being relaunched and the co-ordinator for North West Bristol is Wendy Hull at Southmead Police Station. This concluded the AGM.

General Meeting

Section Reports a) Planning & Environment report prepared by John Callaghan and read by John Parsons.

Kingsweston Estate - consultations still to be held. A meeting at Lawrence Weston indicated opposition by the public to changes. Lamplighters Siren - the application to extend the siren mast to attach mobile phone antennae and dishes has been turned down. Savoy site - the application has been approved subject to some amendments. It is not known when work will commence. Flats by Alldays - a further revised application has been submitted. Traffic Management - a public consultation should be held before any decision is made. There is still time for individuals to make their views known. Park & Ride - an Environmental Landscape Management plan will be put forward at a consultation meeting on 1st October in the public hall to an invited audience, at which John Parsons will represent SCG. Wessex Ecological Consultancy will present ideas for a draft plan. Red Cross Shop - an application has been submitted to change the use to an off licence. Objections or comments need to be made by 19th November. Avon Barrage - Brian Blandford, who was present at the meeting has written an article in 'Shire' highlighting a potential planning issue. For many years there has been an idea regarding a barrage near the mouth of the Avon but this has resurfaced with a possible application involving Alder King, to build houses on the farmland at horseshoe bend, on the North Somerset side of the river. Should the barrage eventually become a reality there is the potential for the whole of the Avon Gorge to become a water park with all the disruption to the environment that would result. Whilst the housing application would go to North Somerset, the matter of a barrage would involve many agencies and the biggest concern is for the enormous environmental impact it would have especially on wildlife. No application has been submitted as yet and this is just a wake-up call to people to remain alert and ensure their views are made known should it be necessary.

b) Highways & General Presented by John Parsons.

General - John has received a letter from St John's Residents' Association in Clifton encouraging local community groups to write to their MPs regarding the government white paper "Open all Hours" which proposes lifting restrictions on pub opening hours. If you are concerned write to your MP. Library - a questionnaire regarding preferred opening hours is available to everyone. The Library User Group has vacancies (Philip Squire use to be a representative) so if anyone wishes to join it they would have a say on the future services and policy. Donations at the last meeting amounted to £17.36. Highways - no street lamps have been reported as not working. New road markings on the Portway presumably intended to make parking safer seem to be working and have slowed traffic down a little. The promised bus shelters for the Park and Ride buses have not yet been erected. Any other business Park and Ride - Horace Dammers suggested this could be publicised by signs on the motorway as it is highly possible that many drivers do not know of its existence. School buses - with the influx of Lawrence Weston  children to Portway the buses are parking in Shirehampton Park and in some cases are obscuring the view of motorists. Litter on the Green - since the start of term chip papers and litter has started appearing again. John Parsons will contact the head teacher. Rubbish by Savoy - rubbish bins in the alley between the Savoy and the shops are not being emptied and are attracting vermin. The council will be contacted. Woodwell Road - the brambles behind the cafe are so overgrown that it is necessary to walk on the road.

Date of next meeting:  Wednesday 27 November, 2002.


FOOTBALL Yr 9  v. Bedminster Down  WON 3-0 Yr 9  v. Withywood  WON 7-1 Yr 11  v. Bedminster Down  Lost 5-3 on penalties (Cup) RUGBY Yr 10  v. St. Bedes  Lost 40-23 Yr 9  v. St. Bedes  Lost 50-0 Yr 9  v. Monks Park  WON 25-0 NETBALL Yr 7  v. St. Bedes  Lost Yr 7  v. Monks Park   Lost 12-2 Yr 8  v. St. Bedes  Lost Yr 8  v. Monks Park  WON 14-1 Yr 9  v. St. Bedes  WON 7-3 Yr 10  v. St. Bedes  Lost 10-8 Yr 11   v. St. Bedes  WON 15-12

Shirehampton A.F.C.

Dear Editor

The photograph Kathleen Bennett refers to in the September issue of 'Shire' was taken at the end of the 1955 season, at which time Bob Bolwell and brothers Jim and John Hudd no longer played for the club. I do have an earlier team photograph taken during the second season (1953/54) which includes Bob Bolwell when he was captain. Unfortunately, both John and Jim were absent on this occasion. If Kathleen would like to contact me on 0117 939 7411, I will be pleased to send her a copy of this photograph.

Keith Ellison

Grand Balloon Race From St Mary's Church

There were 3 balloons returned from Northampton - alas none from Siberia! Winners are:- Kathryn Powell, 94 Nibley Road; Roy Widdowfield,  4 Springfield Avenue; George Bush, The Bothey, High Street. Many Thanks to all who bought a balloon.

Canon Christine.


Many thanks to the following window cleaners who have let us know that their services area available in Shirehampton: Roger Bagg - Tel: 983 3858 Mobile: 07974 382647 D. Lawson - 0117 3776662 Max Window Cleaners 0117 9507147 Jamie's' Window Cleaning - Home: 983 7079 Mobile: 07989 180379


Hi folks!

First of all may I thank everyone who contributed gifts of food to our Harvest Appeal. The dried and tinned food will be going to the Balkans via Euroaid. Representatives of Euroaid were overwhelmed by the amount of food donated by a single parish.

On Sunday 13th October, 2002, a Service was held in the Baptist Church, when three new youth leaders were formally commissioned. They are to run the new Coffee Shop Project which will hopefully attract youngsters, with time on their hands, off the streets. Several properties are under consideration, but a final decision has not yet been made.

This year Remembrance Sunday falls on Sunday, 10th November, 2002 - a very poignant time for those who lost loved ones in wars. It is certainly not a time for glorification of war as some people will have you believe - it is a time of great sadness and reflection - so important with another possible military conflict looming over the horizon. On this Sunday the service will commence at St. Mary's as usual at 10.00am, but around 10.30am it is planned to walk in procession to the War Memorial in Shirehampton Park to be present there at 11am for the 2 minutes silence with the uniformed organisations. Hopefully transport can be arranged for those people unable to walk that distance. Canon Christine is delighted to report that an increasing number of families are bringing their children to St. Mary's for Baptism. Christine is always available to talk to anyone who may be considering Baptism - a 'phone call to the Vicarage or personal contact with her after Holy Communion on Thursday (11am) or on Sunday (10am) is all that is required.

For those people with young children why not come to our "See & Know" sessions in the Church Centre on a Monday afternoon from 1.15pm until 3.00pm. This group is suitable for children 0-3 years with their carers and costs 50 pence per session.

On Sunday, 29th September, 2002, the Rev. Tony Wheeler celebrated Holy Communion at St. Mary's on the occasion of his 25th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood (see report elsewhere). To commemorate this, Tony has generously donated two Requiem Candlesticks for use at funerals at St. Mary's. They are made of wood and will stand either side of the coffin at funeral services. To him we give grateful thanks for   such a lovely gift.

On Monday 30th September, 2002, "Clifton Renovations" employees moved into St. Mary's to commence the re-ordering of the west end of the church building. In the space of 7 days considerable progress had been made and it was possible to see what the finished job will look like. The church is still open for Tea and Coffee (via the Pembroke Road entrance door) whilst this work goes on, but you will be lucky to see the work team stopping for refreshments the only way you can get them to stop for a drink is if I hold them down and get that red haired woman in our congregation to pour the liquid down their throats.

I can also reveal that the P.C.C is currently considering replacing the wooden chairs in the church with new ones. This is because the present ones are riddled with wood-worm. If the wood-worm let go hands then the chairs will fall apart!. Those not holding hands have already started to have a banquet in the floor boards and these will require treatment in the near future. Further information on these considerations will be given to you later. We are sorry the churchyard path has been closed off during the laying of drains and sewers etc - once it has been re-opened and the work completed - pop inside the church and see what has been achieved.

Finally, I must admit to having committed the cardinal sin (pun not intended!) of revealing a lady's age. Esther Chiumbu is deciding on how I should be punished. Will I be required to beg her forgiveness in public; will I be ex-communicated from the Church of England or sent into exile on Denny Island off the cost of Avonmouth? Read next month's   St. Mary's News for the result of this exciting story!!! Well, that's it for this month -

I'll speak to you all again in December if I'm still here!!!



Since arriving at Shirehampton, a large part of my work in the parish has been to conduct funerals for local families. It has been a privilege to be able to offer support and love at what is such a difficult time in people's lives. I have found it to be a wonderful way of meeting people from all walks of life who live or work in the area and inasmuch as I am able I try to keep in touch whenever possible. For these families and for all who are mourning the loss of someone they love, regardless of whether the bereavement was recent or long ago, a Service of Remembrance will be held at St. Mary's on Saturday, 9th November at 3pm. There will be the opportunity to light a candle as well as having the name of your loved one remembered in the prayers. Afterwards there will be the   chance to meet and talk with others over a cup of team. Those families whose funerals I have conducted will receive a personal invitation. For others who would like to come there are invitations in church or details can be obtained from Anne Ford 9821675.

With best wishes,

Canon Christine Froude



November 11th 2002 is a special day for women clergy in the Church of England for it was on that day 10 years ago that the General Synod - the church's governing body - voted to ordain women to the priesthood. There are celebrations taking place up and down the country to mark this special anniversary. At the 10am main Sunday service on November 17th the Dean and Chapter have invited me to celebrate Holy Communion in our Cathedral. As well as being Priest-In-Charge of St. Mary's, I am also Dean of Women's Ministry for the Bristol Diocese and it is in this capacity that I will be representing all my women colleagues. It will be the first time that a woman has celebrated Communion at the Cathedral's main weekly service and I am very grateful to the Dean and Chapter for inviting me. The service is open to anyone who would like to attend. The congregation at St. Mary's will be coming and so there will be no Sunday morning service in the church. Instead there will be a service of Holy Communion at the Cotswold Community Association Building at 4.45pm which you are all warmly invited to attend.

Canon Christine Froude


Dot, Ken's sister Olive and family would like to thank sincerely friends and neighbours for their messages of sympathy in their recent bereavement. Also grateful thanks to the staff of Southmead Hospital for the care and support he received. With special thanks to my daughter Jennifer, Steve and Mary Jenkins for all their help and kindness.


I hope for many of you, this article will bring back memories of days gone by as you read on, and perhaps prompt some letters to "Shire". But I will have to start at the beginning of course.

One hundred years ago, Shirehampton was only a small village with a few hundred inhabitants, compared to thousands, as there are today. Most of Station Road was rather like a country road, with hedges either side, fields and field gates, just a road leading to the station (yes we had a station even then).

But the businessmen of Bristol decided to make Avonmouth Docks, much bigger, so that larger ships could come to Avonmouth and bring more trade to Bristol. This meant more work of course, and men came from all over England to work in the area. They needed homes to live in, so gradually the village of Shirehampton grew larger.

The lower half of Bradley Crescent was added, Bradley Avenue, Walton and Priory Roads were built. Then came the building of the Garden City, known as Passageleaze and Springfield Avenue.

Many new arrivals had been worshipping in Baptist Churches in other towns, and found that Shirehampton had no Baptist church, so a few people started to meet in the house of two friends, Mr. & Mrs. Matthews of 11 Pembroke Road, on the corner of Pembroke Avenue.

Very soon there were too many people to meet in that small house, so in 1889 Shirehampton Baptist Mission was opened in a hall at the bottom of Park Hill, just below the petrol station. The Hall was destroyed during the blitz of the last war. Older folk will remember it. The rent for hiring the hall was two shillings (10p) or one shilling and six pence (71/2p) if no gas was used.

These were growing days, with names being added to the Roll of Members almost every week, until January 1890, when the Baptist Mission was dissolved and members formed themselves into Shirehampton Baptist Church, to give themselves to the Lord and commit themselves to do His Will, and spread the Gospel in this neighbourhood. From this small beginning of seven faithful souls, the congregation grew to the Church we know and love as ours today. Five years later there were 14 members, four Sunday School Teachers, 30 scholars and 50 congregation plus.

Another history making meeting was held on 29th October 1896, when a letter was read from Mr Napier Miles, stating that he was willing to sell Plot number 1, measuring 67 feet on the frontage of Station Road, going back 199 feet to a new road proposed to be constructed, now Pembroke Avenue.

Many and varied efforts were made to raise the money they would need, their faith still bright, trusting the Lord, that one-day they would have their own Church in which to worship, instead of a borrowed hall.

In August 1903, a board was placed on the site with the help of the Baptist Union. £250.00, a large sum in those days, was raised, which bought the land, and an architect showed plans for the building on 1st January 1903, showing a seating capacity of 250 people with its own well-planned Baptistry.

In 1904 the foundation stones were laid, and the building was estimated to cost £2044 and have new fangled gas lighting. 1905 saw the first Church Meeting in the New Chapel.

In 1907 the Church agreed to purchase an organ, which was installed at the back of the Church with Choir seats on either side, and the organ was blown by a hand pump.

The congregation had grown considerably with the growth of house building in the area, Pembroke Avenue houses were being built, numbers 11 and 13 being the first.

1911 The first Pastor, Rev. Malcolm Thomas, was invited, at a salary of £50.00 per. year.

The first Sunday School outing to Weston Super Mare, was on 9th July 1911, and those continued until not many years ago. Many of you reading this will remember Sunday School outings, as they were the highlight of the year at one time. Few, if any had cars, and certainly no holidays abroad.

Sunday School was asking for bigger premises, as attendance was 200 scholars and growing.

1916 - 1930 This was wartime and many soldiers were billeted on Penpole. Older people tell me that horses of the Cavalry Regiment were regularly to be seen being herded down through Bradley Crescent, either for exercise, or after being washed. Many services and prayer meetings were held in our Church for troops billeted here or moving through the area to go abroad. 1928 In January there was grief in Shire village when numbers of devout Church members preparing to attend Sunday morning service at St. Mary's learned that during the night the Church had been gutted by fire. The Vestry was intact but the rest of the Church was utterly destroyed. Our sympathy was conveyed. I remember seeing this, and many of you will have too. Many will recall the shops of those days.

C Haywood  Grocer and Fruiterer  Pembroke Road
E H Hockin  Photographer  The Green
Thomas Gould  Undertaker  Pembroke Road
H G Walters  Bakers  High Street
Patterson  Beehive Stores  Pembroke Road 1931 - 1938 These were days of high unemployment, so men of the Chapel put their hands and hours to good use by redecorating the Church at the cost of £15.00. Electric light was overhauled and many alterations made.

1932 Still days of depression, it was agreed by the Clergy of Shire that a tea be arranged for the unemployed of Shire, to find out what they would like for their families, as there was no Social Security and times were bad. Baptists played their part with other Churches giving food parcels to the needy, and there were many. This was done very discreetly, many recipients not knowing where the parcels had come from. A hospital fund was started as there was no Health Service, and it cost one shilling and sixpence to see a Doctors.

1937 Current affairs are remembered by a decision to support a ship taking food from Bristol to help war torn Spanish people during their Civil War. Many people in Shire kindly opened up their homes and fostered Spanish refugee children, until their war was over.

1938 Baptists thought we might have to limit the number of children we could take in the Sunday School. The Rev. Gregory was Minister at this time.

1939 Rev. Lovegrove was now Minister. We had always had a thriving boys club and separate girls club, but now (horror of horrors) they wished to combine. We also started a Boys Life Brigade. This was now July 1939 and the threat of war was hanging over the whole country.

In September, Pastor took a company of young people to visit Westward Ho in Devon, for   a holiday. They were walking one day, and through an open window of a cottage nearby, they heard the voice of the Prime Minister, announcing that "War has been declared, and we are now at war with Germany".

Many of those young people were eventually called up for Military Service, and some did not return, some were taken prisoner and some killed in action. Parents and wives were informed by a short printed letter, or some by telegram, which was delivered by a young man on a distinctive motorbike. One can imagine parent's feelings when these bikes stopped at their door.

It was agreed that we allow the Hall to be used by the authorities, in the event of an air raid, and many of our Church volunteered to help, and our men were also asked to be fire watchers.

1940 Hall was opened as a canteen for refreshments and hot drinks for those winter days. This helped the soldiers who were passing through the area on their way out from Avonmouth by convoy to France. The Portway was lined with lorry loads of soldiers (18 years and upwards) sometimes stretching back to the Suspension Bridge. They were sometimes there for days and nights, and had to sleep on the grass verge while waiting to be shipped out. One can imagine how welcoming our Hall must have been to them as they were served with hot tea etc. in a warm building.

Many of our young people, and men and women of the Chapel served gladly, days and evenings. By night our Hall was used for those who had been bombed out of their homes. They were accommodated until they could be rehoused. Many of you reading this will remember those times, perhaps you will write a letter for Shire, recalling your memories.

On Sundays, every seat in the centre of the Chapel, was occupied by soldiers, many of whom were invited by members to their homes for lunch. This was a real treat indeed, when all they usually had was mainly bully beef, eaten out of bully tins.

These were harrowing times, but we all played our part in any way we could in the Chapel. Comfort was given to the bereaved, those suffering shock at losing their homes, and the not too badly injured were cared for after the air raids.

If air raids happened during Church Services, everybody was told to spread out around the walls and keep away from windows. All windows had to be made safe from falling glass by taping strips of paper on them. It was agreed that the Church should write to our young people in the services, and to send an occasional parcel.

Life must go on, and a Girls Life Brigade was formed. A National Day of Prayer was held and was well attended by members and soldiers, and people of our village Chapel opened all day with services from 11-12 noon, 3-4 noon, 3-4pm and 7-8pm.

The Church was involved in the banning of Sunday Cinemas. It was ordered that the name of Shirehampton be banned from notice boards everywhere in case of invasion. No Church bells were to be rung by any Church, except in case of an invasion, when ALL Church bells were to be sounded. Our baptistery was to be filled constantly with water, and buckets of sand placed at intervals around the walls in case of incendiary bombs coming through the roof. A preaching opportunity that never happened. Tyndale Baptist Church was bombed, and we expressed our feelings of sympathy.

1941 On 3rd December, we regretfully lost our Pastor, Rev. Lovegrove, who was called to Military Service to be a Chaplin. He remained in the Army after the war and made it his life's work.

The War Office confiscated all iron railing from Churches etc. for the war effort.

These were days of rationing, and many of you will be able to fill in the gaps and add to this list. Ration books were issued, and this is what we were allowed, per person, per week.

2ozs Sweets No Bananas
2ozs Butter
2ozs Sugar
Few Oranges, for under 10 year olds
4ozs Meat
? Cigarettes
Few Sausages (under the counter)
1 Egg
Washing Soap
only 4" Bath water only
And much more
National dried milk for babies
Powdered Egg and Spam from the U.S

Children were evacuated to the country, places like Devon, Cornwall, Dorset and Wales. Young people were called up for Military Service at 18 years old. These were difficult times for Churches when everyone's thinking and living, seemed to be dominated by the terror they must face by night and day. Those dreaded telegrams were to shatter the lives of so many wives, Mothers and children until VE and VJ days came and PEACE.

1945 For many it was not easy to rebuild a normal life after four years of war. Even so, our Church played a major part in praying, sympathising, consoling and helping those in need of help, to rebuild their shattered lives.

1948 It was 1948 before our young people organised themselves again into a Youth Club. Lawrence Weston estate came into being and was growing fast. Baptists had open-air meetings on waste ground until a Church could be built.

Kingsweston House was taken over by the Education Authorities and our Church requested that we might be granted permission to hold a Sunday School at the "big house" at 3 o/c and an evening service, until a permanent Church could be built. This was granted.

1953 Our Queen's Coronation Year, Street parties etc. Television happened. Billy Graham was a a Haringey Crusade and made a great impression on our young people.

1957 A building fund was opened in Faith for the building of a new Baptist Youth Hall.

1962 Work started on the long awaited Hall to replace the old "Tin Hut". On 22nd September the Hall was opened in great excitement.

1988 We celebrated our Centenary, Praise the Lord, and we diligently continue to seek and serve our community in this village, where our God has placed us, to the best of our ability, and we look forward expecting great things in the future.

God Bless,

Majorie Walliker (nee Williams)