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News Index

Going, Going, Gone!


St. Mary's News

Group Practice News

Remembrance - Iris Collins

Library News

Letters to the Editor


"SHIRE" was first published in February 1972, so this means that this month we have been in continuous production as a monthly for 31 years. We are grateful to the Community goodwill and the support of local traders, which has made it all possible.

Avon Barrage/Chapel Pill Development

First, let me give you some good news. I have just heard that a representative of Messrs Arup, one of the partners in the Avon Barrage consortium, has said they no longer intend to build on Green Belt land to fund the Barrage. Instead they have been granted land in the Ashlands Development in Portishead. This would seem to remove the threat of Horseshoe Bend and the fields behind Chapel Pill Farm being swamped with housing.

However, I must point out that we do not have this in writing, also it seems that the Barrage idea itself is still alive. Most of you, possibly all, will regard that with continuing alarm. It is difficult to find out more precisely what the plans are, as the vagueness of the original draft proposal is perhaps even more hazy.

An important meeting has been arranged on 29th January in St Katherine's School, Ham Green to discuss the relevant facts. The convenors, Councillor Duck of N. Somerset and Councillor Pat Roberts of Bristol City Council, are trying to arrange for a representative of the consortium to attend, but this now seems unlikely. The immediate concern of the housing at Chapel Pill seems to have lessened, but even without the housing a barrage would have an enormous impact on this stretch of river that we so dearly appreciate.

I hope to report further in the next edition of 'Shire'. Brian E. Blandford

Canon John Smith

In Henleaze the other day I happened to bump into Mrs Barbara Smith, who told me that her husband Canon John Smith, once the Vicar of Shirehampton, some time before Christmas had had a bad fall in a shop. After a spell in hospital, when they decided not to operate, since then he has been walking about with the aid of two sticks. I am sure we all pray and hope he will recover his mobility as soon as possible.

Going, Going, Gone!

Shortly we are to see the demolition of another of Shirehampton's landmarks, namely the SAVOY cinema, which was opened in 1933, and had a seating capacity for 900 people. It survived the war, and afterwards, due to the advent of television, the public interest in film going waned, began a new lease of life as a Bingo hall in 1962. The building finally closed in June 2000. No doubt local people have many memories of Savoy in its heyday! Now it is to be demolished to make way for flats.

In the 50 years I have known the village, I realised how many of its prominent buildings had been knocked down. In the 50s the regency houses where the Parade is now, the Estate Rent Office, a distinguished looking building, on the corner of Pembroke Road, where the Texaco Garage is, Sunnyhill Farm at the bottom of Park Hill, and more recently Portway Lower School to name but a few. No doubt our readers could think of many more.

Now we all know that not all old buildings are gems of their generations and worth preserving, nor is there always enough money about to do so. Hence it is cheering that some places have survived by being adapted for modern use. The Priory and Penlea now both properties flats, the Police Station also now flats at the bottom of Park Hill. Bradley House now a residential Home for the elderly. Wylands after many years as a G.P.O. Training School is now a Conference Centre, the Old Schools is a Club and the gem of the village namely the Powder House on the river bank is a private house. Park Hill Farm has also been turned into flats.

However, the next building which seems to be on the demolition list, is Shirehampton Baths, built about the same time as the Savoy, are we going to fight to save it, it is all up to us! If you wish to see pictures of the buildings which are no longer standing, look at the illustrations in Mrs. Ethel Thomas's latest book "The Continuing Story of Shirehampton".


February 1st: Saturday - COFFEE MORNING at the Methodist Church Hall
February 1st: Saturday - STAMP FAIR at the Public Hall 9am-4pm

February 2nd: Sunday - Baptist Church Service at the Cotswold Community Hall at 4.45pm

February 3rd: Monday - Every week Three of Us BINGO at St. Andrew's Church Hall, 1.15pm-2.45pm

February 4th: Tuesday - each week Penpole Tenants Association Luncheon Club, 11.30am at 60, The Ridge February 4th: Tuesday - Avonmouth Ladies Club meets at 7.30pm at St. Andrew's Church Hall

February 5th & 6th: Wednesday & Thursday every week A.U.S. "Drop In" Sessions at A.U.S. Cottage, High St. 9.30am-11.30am
February 5th: Wednesday - ARTHRITIS CARE meets 7.30pm at Jim O'Neil House
February 5th: EARLY MORNING SWIM at Shirehampton Baths 7am-8am and 8.30am-9am
February 5th: Each week BNAGAVAD-GITE Class 7pm-9pm at the Public Hall ring 820690 for details

February 6th: Thursday TOWNSWOMEN'S GUILD 2pm-4pm at the Methodist Church Hall. Talk "Humanity in Research" by Mr. G. Thomas

February 7th: COFFEE MORNING at the Library 10.30am-12 noon
February 7th: Friday - Weekly BINGO at the Public Hall, 6.30pm-8.30pm
February 7th: Every Friday - EVERGREENS at the Public Hall, 1pm-3pm
February 7th: Friday each week FRIDAY FUN at Beachley Walk Centre for Parents, Carers and pre-school Children, 9.30am-11am

February 16th: Sunday Church of England Service at the Cotswold Community Hall

February 18th: Tuesday - RAILWAY MODELLERS meet at the Public Hall at 7.30pm
February 18th: Tuesday - AVONMOUTH LADIES CLUB meet at St. Andrew's Church Hall at 7.30pm

February 19th: Wednesday, HAPPY HEARTS WEST meet at 7.30pm at the Beachley Walk Centre
February 19th: Wednesday - WOMEN'S INSTITUTE meets at the Methodist Church Hall at 7.30pm
February 19th: Wednesday - SHIRE STITCHERS meet at 7.30pm at the Public Hall

February 24th: Monday-Friday February 28th both dates inclusive HALF TERM HOLIDAY FOR ALL LOCAL SCHOOLS

February 28th: Friday - SEQUENCE DANCE at the Cotswold Community Centre 7.30pm-10pm.

Information from Bristol City Council

Rent restructuring - information for tenants

New Government rules mean the council is to restructure rents to make them fairer and similar to those of other social landlords. There is currently some discrepancy between the rents set by the council and those set by housing associations. The Government instructs that social rents should remain affordable and well below those in the private sector. But they want the rental cost of properties to be based on local income, size and location of the property rather than the methods currently used which differ widely between authorities. Some authorities have no formal rent setting policy.

Currently rents in Bristol are set by an assessment of each individual property which takes into account basic facts like how many and what type of rooms are available but also more detailed issues such as how energy efficient the property is. However, no account is taken of the location of the property. Under the new rules the council and other social landlords will assess each rent based on the national average rent, the average manual earnings (in Bristol and nationally), the number of rooms in the house and how the value of the property compares to the national average.

Tenants will be protected from large increases in rent. Increases and decreased will be applied slowly and a 'target rent' will only be achieved in 2012. Increases and decreases per year will be limited to the rate of inflation plus 0.5% plus (or minus) 2. The average rent increase in Bristol this year is likely to be just under 4%.

Staff who calculate benefit and housing officers are currently undergoing training so that tenants can talk to them about the calculations. Councillor Clair Cook said "Tenants should rest assured that nobody's rent is going to soar. Where there is an increase it will be an affordable increase with the cost spread over nearly ten years".

Cotswold Community Association Weekly Events

Mondays - Cotswold Ladies Club 2pm - 4.30pm
Tuesdays - Bingo 6.45pm - 8.15pm
Fridays - Keep Fit 10.30am - 12 noon
Last Friday of each month - Dance 7.30pm - 10pm
First Sunday of each month - Baptist Church Service - 4.45pm
Third Sunday of each month - St Mary's Church Service

St. Mary's News

Hi folks!

Here we are into February - traditionally a quiet period which leads us up to the beginning of Lent. Nevertheless we will still be busy at St. Mary's. After all the work at the west end interior of the church - you will now be aware of scaffolding on the outside. This is basically to make the church water-tight. Go inside the building and there is even more scaffolding - the interior decoration has actually commenced. It will look wonderful when the work is complete and could almost claim the title the Cathedral Church of the Bristol West Deanery.

I bet some of you are thinking we are a rich to have all this work done - well no we ain't! We have had to rely on our Bernard Salmon Trust Fund Bequest, a loan from the Diocese and the bank - all of which must eventually be paid back! We are constantly thinking of how to raise funds for this and other projects we have in mind and one I have to tell you about is the "Chair 20 Club". We are trying to encourage at least 65 (or more) to join the club. The cost of a new chair to replace one of the old ones is 65. Each person joining the club is asked to contribute 1 per week for 20 weeks - which will mean after that time we shall have sufficient money to buy another 20 chairs - more if more people are prepared to join in this scheme. Jill Sawyer our Church Warden will be more than happy to relieve you of your 1 coin on a Sunday morning. If you are interested see Jill Sawyer or yours truly - after all it's no more than the cost of 1/2 pint of beer per week - I know why not give up 1/2 pint of beer for Lent!

But hang on, this isn't the only way we are thinking of raising funds for our new chairs - on Friday, 28th February 2003 we are having a Silent Auction and Supper in the Church Centre from 7.30pm until 10.00pm. This will be a social event open to all. If you have any unwanted Christmas or birthday presents etc. we can make use of them, together with any services you have to offer - e.g. babysitting for a couple of hours; cooking a meal; ironing clothes; cleaning a room etc. Whatever you have to offer will either be on display or the service you are prepared to give will be listed. Offers are then invited, which are written on a piece of paper and handed to 'the Auctioneer". The highest bidder will receive the item or service on offer. This should be good fun whilst raising funds at the same time. If you didn't bid high enough there is the supper to enjoy!

Now I have an appeal from Tim Forder, Jim is anxious to recruit new members to both the Church Choir and Shirehampton Area Choir, male or female, child or adult. The basic requirements are: (a) Be able to read reasonably well; (b) Have a real interest in wanting to sing; (c) Knowledge of music (being able to read music is an advantage but not essential - you can learn as you go along!); (d) The ability to sing a melody in tune. If you think this is for you, come to practice on a Tuesday evening in the church and try it out. The Church Choir practice is at 7.00pm and the Area Choir practice follows on at 7.30pm until 9pm. For Good Friday the Area Choir is to sing Faure's Requiem.

If you think this is a bit "too heavy" for you, there is always the Summer and Christmas Concerts which suit various tastes with much "lighter" music. I expect may of you will have read in the local press that Bishop Mike has been appointed the 55th Bishop of Bristol. He will commence his duties in the Diocese somewhere around May time. In an interview Bishop Mike said he hoped to reverse the trend whereby people in general do not attend church services on Sundays and at other times. Well, I think he will have a very pleasant surprise if he reads our Church Registers - Sunday attendance has increased quite remarkably over the past 18 months, no doubt due to the hard work put in by Canon Christine. In Christine we have a very caring priest and for whom nothing is too much trouble - we are extremely fortunate and blessed to have her as our spiritual leader. She certainly leads from the front!

Although the Church will have scaffolding inside and out we are still open for tea and coffee from 10am until 12 noon each day, except Thursdays, when a said Holy Communion Service is held at 11am (but there is still tea and coffee afterwards!!). Also the churchyard path between Pembroke Road and High Street will still be open as benefits a certain crippled lady from the lower end of the village who does her shopping on a Tuesday and Thursday. Bye for now! C.M.E.


Shire Residents' Meeting, Wednesday, 12th February, 4-6pm, at Penpole Tenants Association, 60, The Ridge, Shirehampton.


The many friends of Brian "Wings" Barry of Dursley Road, Shirehampton will be pleased to hear that he has been appointed the National Standard Bearer of the Merchant Navy Assoc. for the year 2003. Brian who prefers to be known as "Wings" for reasons which I am not permitted to repeat, was a founder member of the Bristol and District Branch of the Merchant Navy Association since it formed in Avonmouth in 1996. He shortly afterwards was appointed the branch standard bearer and in this capacity he has been invited to over twenty events annually all over the country and he has even attended the unveiling of the Merchant Navy Memorial plaque in Malta in 2001, at his own expense.

Brian is very proud of his nautical heritage. His late father served for thirty-two years in the Royal Navy, through two World Wars, his service record has to be seen to be believed! His two brothers, Ronald and Jack, served throughout the Second World War in the Merchant Navy which "Wings" joined in 1949 after a three month training course on T.S. "Vindicatrix" moored at Sharpness Dock.

During his twelve years at sea he never spent a Christmas at home with his family. He married his late wife Kathleen Cawley who lived at Old Park Road, in 1958. They had two sons and a daughter who were educated at St. Bernard's School and St. Bede's School in Shire and Lawrence Weston respectively. Stephen and Kevin joined the Royal Navy, the former has just completed twenty-two years service part of which was spent on H.M.S. "Bristol" in the Falklands War, he also served in the Gulf War. Kevin has recently returned from the Gulf on H.M.S. "Ocean", he now is a Petty Officer Store Accountant at H.M.S. "Heron" at the Fleet Air Arm base at Yeovilton.

"Wings" was the only Merchant Navy standard bearer invited to attend the memorial service at the Falklands Chapel at Pangbourne near Reading. It was shown on the BBC Songs of Praise programme on Remembrance Sunday, 10th November 2002. His daughter Jane is a trained Staff Nurse with the NHS, her husband is Lt. Cdr. Rod Drake of H.M.S. "Flying Fox" headquarters of the R.N.R. Severn Division.

The enclosed photograph, taken at Weymouth Veteran's Parade shows "Wings" (wearing specs) holding the Red Ensign standard and his deputy David Caple from the Crescent, Sea Mills, holding the Blue Ensign standard. The former was dedicated at Bristol Cathedral in May '98 and the latter at St. Andrew's Church, Avonmouth on 14th May 2001. The blue ensign was donated to the branch by "local hero" Chris Inker who is sailing off to an "exercise" in the Middle East. He is very grateful to all of your readers who sent him and his shipmates Christmas cards once again. We wish them all a safe return! "Wings" grandson has just joined the Sea Cadets - the tradition carries on...

Best wishes, Yours aye, Hamish Grant

Have your say about the future of Bristol's primary education

People across Bristol are being asked to help prepare a plan to improve primary education. The city council is starting out on a major overhaul of the city's primary schools to make them fit for primary pupils in the 21st century. Before any changes take place, the city council wants to find out what local people think is important for primary education as a whole.

To do this the city council is hosting a series of public meetings and a public consultation leaflet is being sent out from every primary school. The leaflet explains the background to the review and includes a questionnaire for peoples' views. It asks for views on issues such as school size, funding and inclusion. The meetings will give people a chance to discuss the review with council officers in more detail. Some meetings will look at general issues for the review. Others have been organised to look at specific parts of the primary review.

When the consultation ends on 21st February the city council will use public responses to put together a plan of long-term improvement for primary education. Peter Hammond, Deputy Leader with responsibility for Education and Lifelong Learning says, "Giving our young people the education they deserve is the City Council's top priority. So it is essential that the primary review sets us on the right road to making long-term, effective improvements. To make this review a success we will look carefully at changes in population and respond to the needs of local communities. Any changes will be made efficiently and cost-effectively. However to make sure we get this right we really need to hear the views of local people. By giving us their thoughts and ideas we can work together on a primary review plan that will really make a difference for the future."

The main objectives of the primary review are:
* to progressively raise standards for primary pupils
* to make sure primary schools are equipped with facilities fit for learning in the 21st century
* to establish the right number of schools of the right type and number in every part of Bristol.

Further consultations will follow over the next two years as the council looks into specific changes at individual schools. The first consultation will start in May this year. Allowing for statutory procedures such as publishing statutory notices, it is anticipated that the first changes will happen in September 2004.

Anyone who would like a copy of the consultation leaflet can ring 0117 903 7669, fax to 0117 922 4405 or email: A longer version of the consultation document which deals with the issues for the review in more detail can be seen on: Everyone is welcome at the meetings. The local meeting is on Thursday 6th February, 5.00pm at Portway School.

Methodist Youth Club 1965

A re-union is to be arranged for April/May 2003. Anyone interested please contact Maureen Vowles (nee Knight) tel: 9832958 or Barbara Ann (nee Coombes) tel: 9822685.

Shire Colts Under 15 Team

Shire Colts Under 15 pictured here in their football kit (bright red), which was provided by funds raised by Fran and the team from HAART.

Calling all Diabetics!

Would you like to meet up with other diabetics on a regular basis to compare notes on medications, side effects, complications, to swap diabetic recipes or even just to get out of the house for a coffee? We are considering setting up a diabetic support group to be held in the community room on the Ridge (opposite the high rise flats). We would meet on a fortnightly basis (day and times to be arranged) with guest speakers once a month.

If you are interested and would like to know more please contact me at your earliest convenience: Tracy: 0117 9041831 - (If you wish to speak to me in person please call after 6pm on a weekday or leave a message and I will call you back).

Penpole Tenants Association

A luncheon club is held every Tuesday at 11.30am in the Community Rooms at No 60, The Ridge (next to the park). We have 3 vacancies for elderly or disabled persons. We could also welcome some extra pairs of hands to help with serving the food etc. There is a coach provided at a small cost, so why not pay us a visit?

The Community Centre is available for children's parties up to the age of 12. A 20 deposit will be required beforehand. The room with use of kitchen is 20. The deposit will be refunded if the rooms are left in good condition. For further details ring 9381236.

Group Practice News

Some exciting news! The Health Centre is to be rebuilt scheduled for completion in 2005. It is being developed to provide more health services for the whole area, as well as being a central resource for the community. The building and car park will occupy the existing site and that of the church hall. If you would like to know more, there will be two public consultation meetings held in Shirehampton Public Hall on:

Wednesday 12th February at 6pm-9pm and Thursday 13th February 12 noon-3pm

New Appointment System for Group Practice

Starting 3rd March 2003 We know how frustrating it can be when trying to get a doctor's appointment. So, we have joined with an NHS Collaborative on Patient Access, to help us implement a new system. This system aims to match the demand for clinical care with the most appropriate service. This means that it may be more appropriate for you to see a nurse, a pharmacist or a phlebotomist rather than a GP. This is the way it works:

Same day appointments - You should be able to get an appointment on the day you ring in, although not necessarily with a doctor of your choice. There will be a choice of 5 or 10 minute appointments. The receptionist may also need to ask you more details than at present in order to direct you to the most appropriate service, as explained above, but you only need to give as much detail as you feel comfortable with - Same day appointments also avoid the need to cancel surgeries if the doctor is, for example, taken ill or unable to take surgery for some reason

Booked appointments - these can be made up to 2 weeks in advance. Longer booking periods have shown to increase the number of appointments not kept, currently 180 appointments a month! This is equivalent to 12 GP surgeries - in one month!

Follow-up appointments for on-going problems - It is advisable to book to see the same doctor for follow up appointments and, if necessary, to discuss test results. Test results can also be obtained over the telephone (see later).

Telephone advice - Your GP is available for telephone advice. Unless it is an urgent problem, it would be helpful if you call late morning, 11.45-12.30, to avoid interfering with morning surgery. The new system is likely to have teething problems. It has been introduced successfully in many practices over Britain. We would appreciate your co-operation and patience.

Other important information - The telephone system is under review. We are hoping for a new, more efficient system soon. In the meantime, telephoning for an appointment is advisable through the morning.

Results - These are now available by phoning 916 2226 after 3.00 pm. Although the receptionist is not able to interpret the result for you, the GP will have seen the result and entered a comment, such as medication required, appointment needed, etc, which the receptionist will be able to pass on to you.

Problems with prescriptions - Most medication queries can be resolved by you local pharmacist. If not, the Practice has a prescriptions clerk who can help. She is available throughout the mornings. Please make it clear you have a 'prescription query' when ringing.

Nursing Team The treatment room nursing staff are also available for advice if you feel they could help, via reception. In addition, our Senior Practice Nurse will soon be able to offer appointments in her own minor illness/injury clinic. The specialist nurse clinics, such as diabetic, asthma and CHD clinics, are not affected  by the new appointment system.

Other community staff - District Nurses, Health Visitors and the midwife, as well as other clinicians such as the podiatrist, can be contacted via 916 2233. A message can be left for them to phone back if they are not in the building.

Home Visits - Telephone 916 2228 - If you require a home visit, please try and phone before 10-30 am. You will  need to give some details about the problem and your phone number to the receptionist. The doctor may phone you back to see how the problem can be best dealt with. - Remember, a GP can see approximately 4-5 people in surgery in the time it takes to do one home visit. If it is at all possible for you to attend surgery, please do so - it would be much appreciated.  Remember, if you no longer need an appointment, please cancel it Make sure that Reception have your current telephone number on the computer system

Useful numbers:

Appointments 916 2226
Test Results 916 2226  after 3pm
Home Visits 916 2228
District Nurse/ Health Visitor/Midwife 916 2233
Prescription Advice 916 2237  8.30am-12.30pm
Local Pharmacists: Boots 982 3543   Lloyds 982 3134

Plus, for useful medical advice and information, try: NHS Direct 0845 46 47 or

Names to close

Message from the proprietor, Jean Bird.
After 17 years I am retiring from my shop NAMES in the High Street early in the New Year. I started with a Unit in the Grainger Mall and then moved into the shop next to the Lifeboat. It's been a pleasure to serve the ladies of Shire and if I have one regret it is that many of my elderly or disabled customers will now have to go into town to buy their clothes.

I would like to thank all  my customers for their loyalty over the years. I have been extremely lucky to have had such a loyal staff. May has been with me almost from the start, Nancy for a little less time and 'Little Jean' has ably helped out at times of need. I would like to thank them for their help, support and friendship and to wish them all the very best for a long and happy retirement. I know a lot of people will miss NAMES, not just for what they could buy, but for the friendly atmosphere where the staff were always warm and sympathetic. I shall  miss you all.

Cotswold Hall For Hire

For details please contact Mr A. Radnedge 0117 9822581.

Remembrance - Iris Collins

Iris Collins nee Maine 1926-2002 Iris was born in Clifton, Bristol on May 2nd, 1926. The youngest of 5 children of Arthur and Ethel Maine. The family moved to Avonmouth in the war years and survived many bombings, moving house several times. Iris went to Shirehampton Junior School and later Portway, where she regularly received the cane for imitating the teachers and making the pupils laugh.

Iris left school and became an usherette at the local Savoy cinema, leaving after a few years to start work on the local buses as a clippie, making many friends on her way. After several years she left to start work on the docks for British Rail along with her sister Marg, she made many friends, organising parties for all the "Railway Girls" as the were known. Iris worked as a checker, labelling railway wagons, walking many miles a day. It was on the railway Iris met her husband to be John Collins, they later married in 1958 and had two daughters Jayne and Helen.

When the girls started school Iris took up the lollipop stick and became the local lollipop lady. After several near misses and very cold winters Iris hung up her "lolly" and started work in the local Co-op in the butcher's department and regularly entertained the customers. Iris then joined the local SWEB office as a cleaner making more friends.

Iris retired at 65 and sadly her husband John passed away in 1992. She then devoted her life to helping look after her grand-daughter Hollie, she also enjoyed taking care of grandsons Ryan and Liam. Iris loved her dogs, and over the years had quite a few. She always had time to chat and it would take her several hours to walk around Shirehampton each day with her great friends Audrey and Vi.

Iris had great character and had the ability to make people laugh. Shirehampton won't be the same again. Sadly Iris became ill in September 2002 and at the time, it was thought to be a stroke. After 5 weeks Iris was found to have a brain tumour, which she bravely fought until she died on December 6th 2002. Iris's funeral was well attended and her family received many cards.

Jayne and Helen wish to thank Audrey and Vi for their constant support to Mum and to all their family and friends who have helped them get through this very difficult time, we would also like to thank you all for the lovely flowers and donations which will be given to Cancer Research and St. Peter's Hospice. Thank you Mrs. Hawkin for your generous donation to "Shire" funds.

Obituary Earl James Harshaw

It is with regret that we record the death of Earl James Harshaw suddenly on Monday 13th January 2003 aged 42. His wife, Jean and children Clinton and Zoey would like to thank everyone concerned for their kind offers of help and support, which is much appreciated at this sad time. He will be greatly missed by his wife and family and his friends, and also by clients of his business, B. & E. Windows.

Estuary Wildlife Group AGM - March 5th

Due to lack of interest, the AGM has been postponed until the above date. The group is desperate to continue, but we need more committed people to come along. Did you know that there are now otters on the Avon? And I mean on our bit of the Avon! However, this wonderful return is already under threat from those who wish to build a barrage across the river near Pill. The group is actively fighting this proposal. Lamplighters Marsh is being sympathetically restored for the flora and fauna. You could find out a lot about this project with The Wildlife Group.

We are trying very hard to sustain the group, so that we can be an active force in helping to protect our precious environment. Why not join us? You really can help make a difference. Phone Bobbie on 01179831029

Evergreens Trip

There are some seats available on March 4th for the trip to Abbey Mill for lunch, and a tour of the Forest of Dean. There will be a Tour Guide on the coach. Non Evergreen Members are welcome to book a seat. Phone 9823180 for further details.
Evergreens every Friday 1pm to 3pm
Bingo Friday nights 6.30pm to 8.30pm

Scout Investitures

Friday 22nd November 2002 saw the Investiture of the following Scouts: Luke Watts, Nathan Dunster, Luke Raby, Chris Higgs, Ian Bubb and Kyle Watts. Grant Watkins stands proudly behind them.

Friday 13th December 2002 saw the Investiture of Daniel Arnel, who left the Cub Pack to join the Scout Troop.

Shire Newspaper's Policy

We would like to emphasise to our readers that this is a Community Newspaper for the printing of local news and views, it is inter-denominational and non-political. We do not print anything which is party political, we leave these topics to the professional newspapers.

Hedgerow planting day kicks off Community Park

Volunteers are needed for a fun day helping plant a wildlife hedgerow as the first step of the Community Park on the Daisy Field. The hedgerow will provide an attractive boundary along the Portway Road and consist of species that will benefit the wildlife on the site. The work will be carried out with shrubs kindly donated by Western Power Distribution and some via the Whitbread Action Earth Scheme. the conservation organisation BTCV will lead the day with Community Park Development Worker, Richard Fletcher. The date of the event is Saturday 22nd February and will start at 10.00 am. All tools and protective equipment will be provided but please wear old and/or waterproof clothing.

Contact Richard on 0117 982 9963 for further information.

Thank you from Colin Eyles

I would like to thank all my family and friends for coming along to the PBA Social Club on Saturday 14 December to celebrate my 70th birthday. What a great night I had, one I will never forget. Also, I would like to say a special thank you for your cards, presents and generous donations to Ward 1, Elgar House, Southmead Hospital. My daughter Linda and myself handed a cheque for 565 to the Sister of Ward 1. The fund is used to buy equipment badly required, such as hoists, electric beds and chairs. The Sister promised to let us know what our donation will go towards. Many many thanks to my family and friends. Colin Eyles

Thank your for your donation. Ed.

Library News

The Library Staff would like to thank everyone for their support throughout the last year, especially with our 'Coffee Mornings' and 'Christmas Raffle'. Congratulations to all those who won prizes. It was with some sadness that the New Year heralded a 'Fond Farewell' to one of our staff. Sandra, who has been here at Shirehampton for several years has moved on Sea Mills Library. Whilst those of us who remain would like to congratulate her on her new post, she will be missed by us and our readers. So it is 'Goodbye' and 'Good Luck' to Sandra. Eileen, Marilyn and Jeanette.

A New Club

Looking for a new club or activity for 2003, why not join the new BOOK CLUB being held at Sea Mills Library? It is on the second Monday of each month, from 10am until 12noon. Everyone can expect a warm welcome in a friendly and easy going atmosphere. For further details telephone Sea Mills Library 0117 9038555

Cool It

One person well known locally, was relating the sad story of how they were caught speeding near Barrowhill and fined 60. So watch it. It pays to slow down.

Plans for Portway School redevelopment

Portway School is set to get the go-ahead for a multi-million pound redevelopment scheme. Backing by councillors was expected to refurbish three of the school's buildings, some of which were built in the early post-war era. The main school building, the gym and a two storey block to house classrooms and a library built in 1997 will be revamped to create a modern 945 pupil secondary school. It is also proposed to include an extension to the sports hall and a new autistic unit. The temporary classrooms built last year to house new pupils after Lawrence Weston School's closure will be removed. The project is part of a 50 million plan to rebuild four of Bristol's schools by 2006.

PE department news

Welcome to what will hopefully be a regular feature which brings you results successes, pictures and general news from Portway Community School PE department. Last month we reported that the Year 7 netball team and Year 7 rugby team had reached the final and semi final respectively in the Bristol Schools competition. Unfortunately the Year 7 boys lost their semi final to a very strong Whitfield school team but congratulations go to the Year 7 netball team who beat St Bernadettes in a gripping encounter to win the Bristol Schools final. Well done to all involved. A Suggestion

We have had a letter from a dog walker, who has complained about the mess surrounding Penpole and what was planned for the School. This should answer some of the queries raised. However, the writer did not give their name. We do respect that there may be writers who do not wish their names to be printed, but they must reveal their identity to someone on 'SHIRE' committee, we do not print completely unknown anonymous letters. Ed.

When I Survey

Readers who are not regular churchgoers may however find themselves at a funeral service in the next few weeks or months. I am glad that funerals these days are generally much more cheerful than of old, though of course always sad also for family and friends. Today they usually concentrate  on thanksgiving for all that was good in the life of the deceased. As the ancient poet Horace wrote: 'About the dead (speak) nothing but good'.

But I do miss the reading from the exposition of St. Paul's great testimony to Christ's resurrection, (I Corinthians 15) the centre-piece of the service in the Book of Common Prayer. This is the earliest witness to the Risen Christ that we have, written about twenty years after the event.

First St. Paul gives us evidence; six appearances, concluding with his own experience on the Damascus road in the form of a blinding flash of light and a disembodied voice, (vvl-11). He then shows us that faith in the risen Christ is the necessary basis for our hope that we too will rise again (vv12-34). He then explains that this risen body is spiritual, not physical, for 'flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.' (v.50). Towards the end of the chapter he asks and comments on that memorable rhetorical question: 'O death where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through out Lord Jesus Christ.' (vv. 55-57).

A.H. Dammers

Letters to the Editor

Forthcoming Events

Dear Editor,

As it is not always possible to receive "SHIRE" at the very beginning of the month, would it not be possible to place all activities for the first week of each month in the previous month's copy? Yours H.V.T. Name and address supplied.

If readers will supply us with dates well in advance of the event, we might be able to include a Forthcoming Events list, space being available.

Portway Allotments

Dear Editor,

It is informally understood that the Portway allotments will be proposed as an extension to the adjacent Avonmouth Park and Road, although the allotments had been ear marked as part of a community park. The Portway allotments have protection in law and will require the Secretary of State's consent for a change of use to a Park and Ride.

The proposal is rumoured to be part of the revisions to the Local Plan that will be issued for public comment on the 17th February. Those proposals will be available on the local plan website and hard copies will be available at all libraries and Brunel House.

John Knight

Commemorative Plaques

Dear Editor,

Having recently attended the unveiling of two plaques to commemorate distinguished Bristolians (Peggy Ann Wood and Ronald Russell of The Rapier Players at the Colston Hall and John Wall, poet and founder member of the Bristol and District Co-op at Croydon Street), it occurred to us that there must be many former Shire residents worthy of this honour. For instance, we know that William and Dorothy Wordsworth stayed at a cottage on the site of the Co-op store in the High Street for six weeks in 1798 and that it is believed the famous poem Tintern Abbey was written during this stay. They were of course visitors but if anyone has any knowledge of local personages or events the person to contact is Cllr. Christopher Orlik at The Council House.

Incidentally, we have been told that in London the placing of such plaques on a property has been known to add up to 30,000 to its value! It would be good to see some of Shirehampton's local history remembered in this way.

Gill and Gerry Sheppard

Calling Old Friends

Dear Editor,

I am in receipt of your community newspaper No. 348 - January 01, which has found its way to me via friends. This issue featured an article on page 9, titled "Old Friends Meet Up To Holiday In Canada". The writer was Marilyn (Gorry) who had been to visit Gerald & Iris (Hawskby) Sanderson in Canada. I am an old friend of Gerald and Iris, having gone to Portway Secondary Modern Boys School with Gerald and later on the same engineering consultancy. In fact Gerald and I started a small engineering company we called "Sanpark Engineering". I've lost contact with them both, and would like to be able to correspond with them if possible.

Would it be in your power to pass this letter on the Marilyn in order that she might let the Sandersons know I would like to hear from them. She may also know the whereabouts of Gerald's older brother Roy. From the photograph I remember Iris and Marilyn. They in turn would no doubt remember my first wife, now deceased, Gloria Parker (nee Pearce) who also went to Portway Girls School.

I have been in New Zealand for 30 years and have a fascinating life "down under" but my memories of Shirehampton and Avonmouth are very strong and it would give a great deal of pleasure to hear from my old chums. I hope Marilyn can be contacted and can help, maybe this letter would give other old friends the opportunity to contact me.

Thanks in anticipation Sincerely

David Parker, Auckland, New Zealand

We will be pleased to hand your letter on to Marilyn Ed.

Looking for Relatives

Dear Sir/Madam

I am living in Melbourne, Australia and I recently brought up Shirehampton on my computer, the reason was that my mother was born in Shirehampton and I wanted to find out some information about her birthplace. Looking at your website I see that it has become quite a community and would appreciate any further information about the town.

My mother was born on January 4th 1914 and her name was Violet Mary James and the family home was in Springfield Avenue either number 3 or 4 situated opposite Walton Road, this is the only information I have, is there any way that this information could be confirmed as it would help our family greatly.

My mother's father's name was Edward Hathway James, I believe he was a coal merchant but not necessarily in Shirehampton, her mother's name was Annie James. I hope to hear from you in the future as it would assist us a great deal as I would like to visit your town on my next trip to England.

Yours sincerely

Keith R. Williams "Greta Havemann"

Photo of 1962 Rugby Team

I recently received an e-mail from Robert Wiltshire (Bob) who lives in America. Bob would like to know if any of his old school friends has a photograph of the Portway Boys Rugby Team 1962. Bob did have this photograph and lost it some years ago.

The 'Shire' is mailed to Bob, if someone has this photograph please could you send it to 'Shire' with your name and address or telephone number via the Library, your photograph will be returned to you after printing.

Thankyou, Marilyn Gorry

Thank your for your donation to "SHIRE" funds. Ed.

Christmas Lights

The High Street was lit up with emblems in lights along its length and on a wall lights wishing everyone "A Merry Christmas" it was a very encouraging start to decorations for Christmas. So congratulations to Shirehampton Traders who set it all up and all their supporters of which "SHIRE" is pleased to be one.

Shirehampton Methodist Church

Sunday February 9th at 6.30pm - Visit of the Ablaze Choir, of over 40 voices. Chairman: Rev  David Alderman A warm welcome is extended to all.

Shirehampton Community Park Proposal:

"Community Park consultation begins"
Consultation on a proposal by local people to improve the local environment by establishing a Community Park will soon be going ahead. The site for the Park would be the 'Daisy Field' and adjacent allotments alongside The Portway and between Station Road and the Park and Ride facility. Community Park Development Worker Richard, based at Shirehampton Public Hall, says: 'The creation of a Park would greatly improve a site which at present is a little bleak and unfriendly and, as a result, not used by the majority of the Shirehampton community. I am looking for people's ideas and thoughts on how they think it can be improved and how they would like to see it used in the future. As a former landfill tip there are going to be some things that we can't change but there are loads and loads of great things that could happen'.

Richard is planning a series of opportunities for people to have their say, culminating in an open public consultation exercise to be held at Shire Public Hall in March and also a community event on the Daisy Field in April/May. In the meantime Richard would like to hear from anyone who is interesting the idea and is also looking for any local organisations or interest groups that would like to be consulted as a group. Please call Richard on 0117 982 9963.

Carols on the Green on Christmas Eve

What it was to have an M.C. in full Naval Uniform - Rev. Philip Auden, who is the Chaplain to the Mission to Seafarers, did us proud. He started off and we all wished that young lad Bradley, "Happy Birthday", and then the carols began and we were encouraged to sing louder and louder as we went along.

The bands - from Portway School and the Bristol Music Centre, the latter brought by Mr. Philip Sims, who travelled from Chepstow to be with us, was conducted by Mr. John Berry wearing his bobble hat. At one point the fringes of the crowd on one side were a word or two behind the majority, but we were soon drawn together in unison by Mr. Berry and the singing grew louder and louder. Nearly everyone remembered to bring the middle pages from 'SHIRE' with them and we only handed out about 100 Carol sheets. The half an hour ended promptly with a blessing for us all and a hope for peace.