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We'll Miss You 'Shir'

Shirley James (Shir).

What's on in November

Christmas Lights

Library Centenary

Bulky Waste Disposal

St. Mary's News

We'll Miss You 'Shir'

Popular Shire resident lovingly remembered Shirley James 1936-2003

With the death in Southmead Hospital on Sunday September 28 of Shirley James, Shire has lost one of its most popular residents.

Shirley, known affectionately as 'Shir', was Shirehampton born and bred and was the eldest daughter of Ted and Elsie Husher who, for many years, lived in Groveleaze.Shirley had two big passions in life - her family and the village of Shirehampton. She went to Portway School and in the 1950s, encouraged by her friend and mentor Harry Grainger, became a youth leader at the University Settlement Club in Groveleaze.

In its heyday in the 1950s, under the inspired care and guidance of Harry and Shir, the club was attracting 250 youngsters a night.At the club Shir became involved not only with the leisure activities of youngsters in her charge but also with their pastoral care. A lot of people owe their success today to Shir's early influence.

In the 1950s Shir married David James - also a Shire boy - and they made their life in the village until 1970 when they made the momentous decision to go and live in Atlanta, Georgia, where Dave had been offered a job with Delta Airlines. Although Shir, with her indomitable spirit, made the best of her time in the States, becoming involved with the British Wives Club and many other activities, it was obvious to all of us who knew her that Shir's heart was still firmly fixed in Shirehampton.

After nine years the came home - and Shir resumed her life in Shire - this time as a shopkeeper. But the shops - first in High Street then as part of the Grainger Mall - became a kind of mini citizen's advice bureau.Anybody with a problem could take it to Shir - safe in the knowledge that it would be sorted. This was her strength, and community spirit was her watchword.

Anything that affected Shire affected Shir. In the interests of Shire she could take on the world - and often did. Among her many contributions to village life was the formation of Shire Players - later the Grainger Players - whose shows, written and produced by Shir were always a sell-out.

Sadly, Shir's husband Dave died three years ago, and latterly ill health had curtailed Shir's activities.But Shire has a lot to thank her for, and village life will be the poorer for her passing. Her care for anybody in trouble, her enthusiasm and drive, her wit and happy personality are all things we shall miss. Shire and its people have lost a very very good friend.

Margaret Hargreaves.

Shirley James (Shir).

When I moved to Shirehampton about five years ago, I decided that, not knowing anyone in the village it would be wise to join the local dramatic society. And get to meet people.

After negotiating the High Street (where do they get all those little red wheeled shopping bags and why do they always stop to talk to one anther at the narrowest part of the pavement at St Marys Church?) I stumbled upon Liz's flower shop.

Lo and behold there in the window a poster "come and join the Grainger Players". This seemed just what I was looking for so, without further ado and about ten attempts to summon up the courage I eventually after six weeks bumped into what I took to be a Venetian lady and asked her in a matter of fact  sort of way about the poster.

This was my first encounter with Shir who said that she was producing a musical in about six weeks and that MORE men would be welcome. I instantly saw this as my way out and said relieved "what a shame I can't sing a note, in fact when I was young and attempted to sing blues songs, my father always asked me if I could sing "far, far away". (I said I don't know the words, which made him grin!) but reassuringly Shir said "you could help with the scenery, we often do plays instead of musicals". After a few matter of fact questions about where I lived, which in fact, unbeknown to me was a very skillful interrogation, she had my name, address (and probably my inside leg measurement for all I know) so I felt obliged to attend rehearsal the following Thursday evening.

What did I find? No other men, they always do musicals, the scenery and curtains were all sorted out, which left one thing... Six weeks late me,... YES ME! Singing solo on a stage in front of real people, how on earth did she manage to get me to do that?

I think that sums up Shir, she could probably see what you wanted whether you knew it or not.

I have now moved away from Shire, not because I dislike it, in fact I have never felt so much a part of a community as my three years there gave me. I have made many friends because of Shir and have fond memories. I didn't see her leading up to her illness so my memory of an active bossy producer who turned her hearing aid off when we sang badly, and changed the format on the night of the show will always be embedded in my heart, this chapter of my life, one of happiness.

I think she may have made one mistake though, since my musical debut, attendance at the Grainger Players shows has started to fall so why not prove her right as a fitting memorial by popping into Liz's flower shop for tickets for the show in November, it's very good and you will be pleased to hear that I'm not singing!

Gary Baird

What's on in November

November 2nd Sunday Baptist Church Service in the Cotswold Centre 4.45 pm

NOVEMBER 3rd Monday each week 'SEE & KNOW' for all under 5's at St Mary's Church Centre 1.15 pm - 2.45 pm
NOVEMBER 3rd Monday weekly 3 of Us BINGO at the St Andrew's Church Hall Avonmouth 1.15 pm - 2.45 pm
NOVEMBER 3rd Monday weekly FREE BASIC LITERACY CLASSES at Lawrence Weston. Tel 9038824 for details

NOVEMBER 4th Tuesday each week THE TEA JUNCTION at St Mary's Tea, chat, Board Games 3.30 pm
NOVEMBER 4th Tuesday St Andrew's Ladies Club 7.30 pm at St Andrew's Church Hall Avonmouth 'Bristol slides, prints & poetry' by Mr R. Rogers
NOVEMBER 4th Tuesday CARERS GROUP at the Avonmouth Medical Centre 10 am-12 noon

NOVEMBER 5th Every Wednesday & Thursday 'DROP IN SESSIONS' at the A.U.S. Cottage, 115 High Street. 9.30 - 11.30 am
NOVEMBER 5th Wednesday each week at 2.30 am. THE BRIGHT HOUR at the Baptist Church Station Road
NOVEMBER 5th Wednesday ARTHRITIS CARE 7 pm at Jim O'Neil House

NOVEMBER 6th Thursday 'STORY TIME' at St Mary's each week for pre-school children 2 pm - 2.45 pm
NOVEMBER 6th Thursday SHIREHAMPTON'S TOWNSWOMENS' Guild 2 pm-4 pm at the Methodist Church Hall to hear 'Bristol Curiosities; by Mrs B. Hardingham

NOVEMBER 7th Friday Monthly COFFEE MORNING at the Library 10.30 am - 12 noon
NOVEMBER 7th Every Friday FRIDAY FUN at the Beachley Walk Centre for Mothers, Carers & Pre-school Children 9.30 am - 11.30 am
NOVEMBER 7th Friday weekly EVERGREENS at the Public Hall 1 pm - 3 pm
NOVEMBER 7th Friday every week BINGO at the Public Hall 6.30 pm - 8.30 pmNOVEMBER 8th Saturday MEMORIAL SERVICE at St Mary's at 3 pm

NOVEMBER 9th Sunday 10 am COMMUNION SERVICE at St Mary's a SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETER will be attending

NOVEMBER 16th Sunday Church of England SERVICE at the Cotswold Centre at 4.45 pm

NOVEMBER 18th Tuesday RAILWAY MODELLERS 7.30 m at the Public Hall
NOVEMBER 18th Tuesday St Andrew's Ladies Club 7.30 pm at St Andrew's Church Hall

NOVEMBER 19th Wednesday WOMEN'S INSTITUTE 7.30 pm at the Methodist Church Hall
NOVEMBER 19th Wednesday SHIRE STITCHERS at the Public Hall at 7.30 pm

NOVEMBER 20th Thursday TEA DANCE at the Sea Mills Methodist Church Hall 2.30 pm-4.30 pm with John Hutton on the organ
NOVEMBER 20th NOVEMBER 21st Friday and NOVEMBER 22nd Saturday HUMPTY DUMPTY with the GRAINGER PLAYERS at the Public Hall 7.15 pm for 7.30. Tickets from Liz Flower Shop, 27A High Street

NOVEMBER 28th Friday SEQUENCE DANCE at the Cotswold Centre 7.30 pm - 10 pm

Volunteers Wanted

Can anyone help deliver 'Shire' newspapers. We need people to deliver to 'The Ridge' (nos 1-34, old houses, and nos 36-60, new houses). Also 'Groveleaze' (nos 30-60). The newspapers are brought to your door, for you to deliver to each house. It will take about an hour of your time each month.

If you can help, please contact Pauline on 9826935.

A Local Heroine

Courageous Meg Sims speaks quietly and determinedly, with not a hint of self pity. As she has no legs or hands, some might say this is remarkable.

With such disability she has to rely a great deal on her husband, Alan. Her brother, Hubert, is also staying at the moment to lend a helping hand. He comes from Wrexham, in North Wales. This, also, is where Meg was born, although the locals would have known her as Megan Jones. She was the youngest of ten children ('I was the baby of the family') - and even has nieces older than herself! Three of her nieces live in Shirehampton.

Meg used to work as Senior Trainer for London Electricity, and, with a team of two assistants, taught the City and Guilds 'Energy Awareness' course. Her ill health forced her retirement and she misses her job terribly.

Meg has lived three years in a Walton Road prefab and is extremely concerned by recent council proposals to demolish all the prefabs in Bristol and rebuild on the sites. Because of this, the council has refused to widen a doorway to enable the bedroom hoist to be used in other parts of the house, to save her husband and brother having to lift her. The though of moving house, after being so happily settled for three years, is very stressful she finds.

Specialists still have no idea of what caused the gangrene, which resulted in the loss of her legs and hands. Consequently, there is no curative treatment; the only course being amputation.

Megan was awarded the 'Evening Post' Gold Star Award for her courage in meeting her condition with such resolve. She will receive the award at the Marriott Hotel in Bristol, in December.Her disability greatly restricts Meg's social life, but she still manages, with Alan's help, to be a regular at the Rising Sun, in Pembroke Road. She is so grateful for the support shown her by the other regulars, especially Jon Davis, who has organised a 'Legs for Megs' appeal. On 10th October the appeal fund stood at a magnificent 7,000.

Other events have been organised for Meg. On 15th October, she appeared on the 'This Morning' breakfast show, with Philip Schofield and Fern Britton. On 19th October, a charity football match was played by the now disbanded football team from 'The George' - the team has already donated 550. On 31st October, a Karaoke Evening was held at the Rising Sun.

Looking ahead, a huge raffle, with big prizes, will be held on 6th December and a date has yet to be set for a Charity Auction in Bridgwater.

Apart from attending these events, anyone wishing to donate to the appeal can contact Jon on 07739 124057, or Eddie (landlord, Rising Sun) on (0117) 987 3431.

Shirehampton Public Hall Centenary INVITATION

Would you like to share your memories of the Public Hall? If so, then drop in to the hall for a cup of tea on Tuesday, November 11th between 1pm and 3pm. Come and talk about the old times, the Bernwell dances, the shows, the whist drives or your own wedding reception. Bring along your old photos. See the small collection of letters and photographs already donated, and also our latest collection, the photographs of Price Edward's visit.

HRH The Earl of Wessex - Photographs

If you would like to view or order photographs of the Royal visit please contact Jeanette Cossey, Hall Administrator on 9829963.

Shirehampton Public Hall Groups and Clubs 2003

Group Name Meeting Times Contact
Station Road Playgroup Mondays to Fridays during term time Barbara Wylde 982 9963 (mornings) or 982 4340 evenings
Shirehampton After School Club Mondays to Fridays during term time Alison Aitchison
Sequence Dancing Mondays 7.15-9.15pm Myra Jenkins 0117 968 6526
Model Railway Club Twice Weekly Phil Lovell 0117 951 8026
Shire Stitchers Patchwork and Quilting Group 3rd Wednesday monthly 7.15-9.15pm  
Grainger Players Drama Club Thursdays 7.30-9.30pm Liz Hurd 0117 987 9467
Evergreens Senior Citizen Club Fridays 1.00-3.00pm Norman Sims 0117 982 3180
Bingo Fridays 6.30-8.30pm Norman Sims 0117 982 3180
Twyford Art Club Mondays and Wednesdays 9.30-11.30am, Thursdays 7.00-9.00pm Ron Thorpe 0117 968 1554

Stamp Fair October 11, November 29

Men - come to Milk Wood!

That's not quite the flirtatious invitation it sounds. For its meeting on November 19th, the Cotswold Book Club is hold a play reading of Dylan Thomas's "Under Milk Wood". This is just a fun event, not a search for great actors, but the club does need to recruit more people to help fill the many roles in the play. Men are especially needed, but more women would be welcome too.

The Book Club meets in the Cotswold Community Hall, Durlsey Road at 7.30pm. If you are interested in taking part, phone Irene on 9828683.

Cotswold Meeting

The Cotswold Community Association is seeking to register as a charity with the Charity Commission.There will be a meeting in the Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road on Wednesday November 12th at 7.30pm to pass a resolution to this effect. The meeting is open to any resident of the Cotswold and Myrtle Estates.

In Memoriam - Joanne Wooller

Two years ago when my daughter died it was too devastating to accept - one tends to go on automatic pilot. It is only later when the realisation that we will never see the loved one again that the "miss" sinks in.

I would like, again, to thank all my friends and neighbours and the people of Shirehampton who showed such kindness in my sad loss, especially Canon Christine who supports us all whether or not we are Churchgoers.

Dorothy Wooller

Christmas Lights

As Christmas approaches, a number of people have asked who actually owns and organises the Christmas lights each years - the answer is that now the people of Shirehampton own them and the Shirehampton Christmas Lights Committee organise them.

As some of you will recall, SHIRE newspaper in 1998 and 1999 organised the Christmas lights by leasing the lights, fixtures and fittings from Bristol Council. They were not very satisfactory, but perhaps better than nothing! In 2000 the Shirehampton Traders Association took over to celebrate both the Millennium and Christmas 2000. However, they were unable to find anyone who would undertake to supply the lights, etc., and they had no alternative but to book up with the Council after being reassured that the lights and service would be of good quality. In fact, they were a disgrace and after negotiations the Council agreed to accept cancellation of the order. In 2001, there were no arrangements made for Christmas Lights in the High Street.

In 2002, The Shirehampton Traders Association organised a public meeting and from those that attend the present Committee was formed and they made themselves responsible for raising funds to buy and install lights along the High Street every Christmas. They put on a commendable display at Christmas 2002 with lights and equipment purchased by the Shirehampton Christmas Lights Committee and owned by the people of Shirehampton. So the lights belong to all of us and the Committee is responsible for them on behalf of the whole village. We are always very glad to hear from anyone who would like to be involved, if you are interested please ring either Michael Morgan on 9827985 or Mrs Gerry Cooper on 9827985.

As mentioned in last month's SHIRE, we have so far received a good response from our local shops and businesses, but unfortunately this year as last there will be some quite long stretches of the High Street without light. We have written to local managers and head offices of the premises in question and with two exceptions we have not even had a reply. One exception is the Bristol & West who have been most helpful. The other is the Co-op who gave us 500 from their Community Dividend Fund. It is disappointing that the other businesses with only branches in the village are apparently not willing to make even a small gesture of support for the local community. Readers might, if the opportunity arises, like to ask some of those involved why they are apparently not able to help by allowing us to put threes in the brackets on their premises.

Unfortuntely owing to unforeseen circumstances we have had to postpone the Murder Night planned for November 19th, but we hope to be able to arrange it instead later next year.

Finally, our thanks go to an anonymous donor and to Mrs Hazel Parker and Mrs Lorraine Matthews who have given generously to the Christmas Lights Fund. We had not sought donations but should anyone else wish to make a contribution in this way, we should of course be most grateful, and suggest ringing Michael Morgan, 9827985, or our Treasurer, Cedric Rich, on 9823389.

Thank you from Shirley and Ray Harvey


We would like to thank all our family and friends for the lovely presents and cars we received for our Ruby Wedding Anniversary, also thank you to Colin for doing the video and Pat and Denys of Shindigs Party Shop for the lovely buffet and decorations that they did for us at the PBA CLub. It was a wonderful evening - a night to remember!

Thank you once again and God bless you all (Thank your for your donation to SHIRE funds)

A Tribute to Joanna Pickett

18.4.1927 to 7.10.2003

No regular visitor to the Shirehampton Craft Exhibition this year could have failed to note the absence of resident 'spinner' and craftswoman extraordinaire, Joanna Pickett. Visitors would also have seen the quilt on display that was started by Joanna's mother in the 1970s and at Joanna's request will be finished by some of her friends to be sold in aid of St. Peter's Hospice, where Joanna died on 7th October.

Joanna was born in Birmingham but her first visit to Avonmouth was when she was days old and came to stay with her grandparents, established members of that community. She was very proud of the fact that her grandmother officiated at the laying of the foundation stone for the Congregational Church. Many visits as a child culminated in her coming to live in Avonmouth in her later childhood and an eloquent and entertaining narrative of her early life there can be found in 'A Mouthful of Memories'. Her working life was as interesting and varied as her personality, including work as a ship's purser and many years at the BBC.

It was Joanna's zest for life and and unquenchable thirst for knowledge and experience that made her such a fascinating person to know. She never 'dabbled', if she became interested in a subject she did it with wholehearted energy and enthusiasm and was always willing to share her knowledge and encourage others.

Her skills as an artist and craftswoman were well known to the local community and her wide circle of friends. Much of her inspiration came from flora and fauna, about which she was very knowledgeable, other beauties of the natural world but also, and this is perhaps less well known, from mundane objects and situations that would be missed by we lowlier mortals! This was demonstrated in some of her poetry (yes she was a published poet too), after all it takes a person of great perception to write poems about a garden snail, or making the bed. Her sense of humour was another characteristic, which was still in evidence even when she knew her life was drawing to a close.

Joanna set herself high standards and to a degree expected the same of others. Many of us knew how it felt to fall short, and woe betide anyone who called her Joanne rather than Joanna! But that was part and parcel of this remarkable lady's personality, she was intelligent, talented, sociable, generous and courageous, and will be sadly missed by her friends in Avonmouth and Shirehampton.


Dear Editor

I just received an e-mail from my niece whom I have been trying to locate through your paper. A former worker saw my ad (in our September edition) and got in touch with someone who knew where my niece was. I can't thank you enough, and all the people who cared enough to let my niece know that I was looking for her. Thank you all so much.

Joan Carr

Shirehampton Community Group Meeting

Notes on the shirehamptoncommunity groupgeneral meeting and AGM held in the public hall on Wednesday24 September 2003There were 10 people present. The meeting was chaired by John Parsons who welcomed those present.

General Meeting Section Reports

a) Planning & Environment Presented by John Callaghan

The major projects are proceeding and no communication of new applications except a revised one for Twyford House to convert into flats, to which SCG has no objections.

Sue Hook commented that when major road closures took place in Lawrence Weston the contractors paid substantial compensation to the community, which offset traffic calming costs. On a much smaller scale, and in view of this precedent, would it be possible to investigate a nominal amount from the contractors for closing Station Road earlier this year. In addition at least two of the 'road closed' and diversion signs have not been removed. John Parsons to advise the Council.

b) General and Highways Presented by John Parsons

Bus shelter on Portway - following John's attempts to be updated on when this would be provided he has now been assured it will happen before the end of this tax year. The delay was due to funding problems. We await an outcome.

Historic finger posts still no news either from Cllr  Spud Murphy or the Council.

Swimming Pool - there is still uncertainty over whether this will be built at Henbury although something should be known in October. People who are anxious to retain a pool in Shirehampton should continue to write letters to the Planning Department with copies to local Councillors.

Motor cyclists the police are very active in seizing the motor cycles being ridden illegally by young people and are keeping a close eye on the situation. If you know who these children are or where they live the police need that information.

Parking in the village - John wrote to the Environment, Transport & leisure Department about suggestions to remove or amend parking restrictions on Station Rd opposite the Post Office. the response was that it will be taken into consideration in a general review of parking restrictions throughout the city. However, if amendments are made they will not be without a lengthy legal process and statutory public consultation. In the same letter John mentioned the continuing complaints about the Car Sales business parking on double yellow lines and the fact that parking attendants appear to overlook this. In fact the attendants need to observe before issuing a ticket and it is believed this gives the business owners time to move the cars thus avoiding fines. We have still not been able to ascertain whether planning permission was ever granted for this business.

Annual General Meeting

The constitution states that there must be a minimum of 12 people present at an AGM. As only 10 were in attendance it was not possible to elect officers or make any decisions.

John Parsons had given notice last year that he would not be standing again as Secretary or as officer for the sub committees of General and Highways, and also as Treasurer. He confirmed that he was moving out of Bristol so unless others come forward the group would not be able to continue.

Some discussion followed on the history and effectiveness of the Community Group and it was made clear that if it did close there would not be a collective voice in Shirehampton to protest about or indeed support planning applications, although individuals could continue to act on their own behalf. It was stressed that planning departments took more notice of community groups than of individuals and petitions. It was agreed that the normal meeting would take place in November with a view to winding up the business of the Shirehampton Community Group unless there was enough support to keep it going and volunteers to stand on the committee. John Parsons will write an article in 'Shire' explaining the situation more fully and even if he has moved by then, he will return for the meeting.

The financial statement prepared by John Parsons was discussed and the balance of 192.93 will need to be reallocated if the group winds up. The general consensus was that it could go towards reupholstering the chairs in the gallery of the public hall, but this will need to be officially proposed and agreed in November.

Date of next meeting Wednesday 26 November 2003


It is with regret that we must say goodbye to Mrs Rowles and Mrs Barnes, who are no longer able to deliver 'Shire' newspapers, due to ill health. We take this opportunity to thank them for all their hard work in the past and send them our best wishes for the future.

The Evergreens

The Members and Committee of Shire "Evergreens" would like to say a big THANK YOU to the Summer Skittle League Committee for the wonderful cheque that was presented to me on Friday night at the Awards Presentation. What a great night we had!

Once again - Thank You. Norman (Chairperson).

There are some seats left for the Exeter Shopping Trip on 11th November.


N. Sims, Chairperson. Tel: 982 3180; M. Giles, Vice Chair. Tel: 9825794.
Meet Friday 1-3pm at the Public Hall, Station Road. Speakers or Bingo

Tythe Barn

Chairperson: Mrs B. Pullen, 6 Churchleaze. Tel: 9822451Wednesday: 2-4pm BingoThursday: 2-4pm Bingo or Speaker. Not enough members to play Whist on Monday or Wednesday nights.

Library Centenary

On the 6th of March 2005 the Library will have been open to the public for 100 YEARS. Do you have any memories or anecdotes of your visits to the Library? (No we don't expect you to remember the Opening!!!) Can you remember your first visit? Do you have fond (or otherwise) memories of the staff? Has anything funny happened on a library visit? What changes have you noticed?

PLEASE share your recollections with us - we will respect wishes to remain anonymous if requested.

Bill Warren

Bill died at St. Peter's Hospice on 13th August where he and all the family received so much care. The whole family will miss him so much.

We would like to thank everyone for cards, messages of condolence, flowers and the attendance of so many at Canford for the funeral, which was led with so much sensitivity by Canon Christine Froude, Vicar of St. Mary's.

The many donations were accepted with much gratitude by St. Peter's Hospice. A donation was also made to St. Mary's for the new Memorial Chapel within the church.

Thank you all so much.The Warren Family.
(Many thanks for your donation to the SHIRE funds).

St Andrew's Ladies' Club

Meet at St Andrew's Church Hall, Avonmouth on the 1s and 3rd Tuesday of every month.


Nov 18th - Talk, AltzheimersDec 2nd - CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE CHURCH HALL


Station Road Community Education - Help with Basic Skills Contact Gill Lloyd on 9038824
UKonLine Computer Classes Beginners on Computers Contact 9829963 for details

In Memory of John McEllin

From all his cousins in Bristol

When John was a child he contracted T.B. and was a patient in Frenchay Hospital. While he was there he became interested in Native American Indians as some came to visit the children to cheer them up while they were ill. John thought, but was not absolutely sure, that they were over here to pass on their skills at tracking people without their being aware of it.

He was very talented, played piano, guitar and later drums, he also studied art at Royal West of England Academy. With his musical talents he formed a group with some friends, called "The Rolling Stones" playing country and western, plus the very popular skiffle (my apologies to his former mates for not being able to recall their names).

In 1960 John emigrated to San Diego in California, the following year I went over to Los Angeles, he visited once then we lost touch until 1964 when I was sharing an apartment with another English girl. There was a knock at the door. It was John, that day he had received a letter  from his mother containing my address which turned out to be not far from where he lived. This was in California in the sixties and we made the most of it. I came back to Shire in '76 and not long after John moved up to Frazier Park in the mountains. A place he adored, he became a driver and handyman at the local school, and made friends with the Native American Indians living there and did what he had wanted to do for many, many years.

Here are two messages from his friends about John and how much he meant to them:

John's passing was celebrated with a Memorial Service on August 9th, what we thought John would have liked, a pot luck gathering in the park. The Native American Group he drummed with came and sang with the drum, a beautiful day. About 100 people came and a lot of them spoke about him.We have a book that people signed and wrote messages in for John, this and the newspaper article about the memorial we will send as soon as everyone signs it. There were some who could not make it but still want to write in the book.
From Maureen Belsten

Hi Maureen,Well yesterday another friend died, he was also a friend of John's and was at his funeral. As for John, well there is so much to say but I'll try to keep it short.

When he was a school bus driver anyone with kids knew him, he was a born teacher, he was always giving the kids information. He even taught some of them French and they loved speaking it with him.He would also bring some of his Native American collection to school to share with the kids, letting them touch and hold any of it. They also went out to a camp where John taught the kids about Indians, they loved it and loved John.

After he retired he continued this and even helped kids having trouble learning to read. During the week he had 3 antique shops and a few other places that he lived to visit. He would sit and talk to everyone about his childhood in England and his early days in Los Angeles, he was always interesting. On one of his birthdays, Jerry, John and I went up to Mount Pinos for a buffalo steak picnic. John brought his guitar and sang cowboy songs. We had such a good time we started going up once a week and pretty soon we had a group of musicians.

At weekends John could almost always be found at the closest pow-wow, sometimes he'd even dance in the circle. He knew most of the Indians there. He knew so many people up here. We all keep expecting him to pull up in his van and come walking in, greeting my dog first and then us. He'll be missed.

Love Judy and Jerry.

Shirehampton Methodist Church

Saturday, November 1st, 10.00am - Christmas Fayre, various stalls, refreshments - come and buy a bargain. Admission 10p.
Sunday, November 9th, 6.30pm - Remembrance Sunday, 6.30pm, visit of the Bristol Evangelical Choir
Sunday, November 16th - 128th Church Anniversary, 11.00am Mr. Andrew Maxwell. 6.30pm Rev. David Alderman - and the visit of the "Take Six Group" Choir. A warm welcome is extended to all.
Sunday, November 23rd, 11.00am - Rev. Dr. Jonathan Pye, M.A.; Principal - Wesley College and former Minister.

In Memory of John 'Tug' Wilson

John 'Tug' Wilson, husband of Rose, sadly passed away on 5th October, 2003, in Perth, Western Australia.

Familiar Face

Look out for the BBC programme on the televison "Cash in the Attic" due to be screened in November or December and you will see the familiar face of Toby Stride. Toby is the youngest of the Stride Family who used to live in Station Road, where Toby grew up.

Toby now lives in Portishead with his wife Naomi and their four children. At a Portishead Junior School Reunion, of which Naomi is a Governor, someone mentioned about some globes in the School cellar to her. The School is due to move into a new building, and it was decided to clear out the cellar, Toby found there two rare globes made by the Carey Brother, 21 ins is the largest size they made. In September the globes were sent to the local auction, where they fetched 10,000. Needless to say the school was delighted with unexpected windfall. So well done Naomi and Toby.


Bulky Waste Disposal

Residents with an old mattress, broken fridge or other unwanted furniture need no longer trip over them in the hall or depress their neighbours by storing them in the garden. With the new, improved bulky waste collection service, collections are to be made within ten working days. The exact day of collection will now be given to callers at the time a request is made. And the service to householders is still FREE for three items or less. Many other local authorities make a charge for this service.

The bulky item collection service is provided to collect those items that are too big for the normal weekly refuse collection service such old fridges, freezers, chairs etc. Councillor Richard Eddy, Executive Councillor for Neighbourhood and Housing Services, said: "This is a useful service - of real benefit to residents - so it gets my full support. The free service should also radically reduce the amount of street dumping. This will save the council considerable time and money and improve the local environment."

The service is for the collection of household/ domestic waste and is available to residents only. It is not offered to commercial organisations.The best way to request a collection is to call the Customer Services Centre (Tel: 922 3838) between 8.30am and 8.00pm, Monday to Friday. The caller  will be notified of the day of collection. The service also can be requested in writing or by email:

Motorway Enforcement

Mobile teams focussed on the M5 motorway for the first time - and caught more than 3,000 drivers breaking the 50mph limit during the first four weeks of roadworks on the motorway near Wellington.

The temporary limit was imposed to safeguard road users and the workers resurfacing the one and a quarter mile stretch of the motorway. More checks are now planned on this stretch and other sections of motorway on which work isbeing carried out.

Library News

Congratulations to Harry Chilcott who was this library's winner in the 'Reading Maze' prize draw. Harry is shown here wearing the medal he earned by completing the reading scheme, receiving his prize from the children's author, Mike Ratnett.

Our very grateful thanks go to Ron and Tina Harpley of 'Flower World' who, with their generous loan of two wonderful flower pedestals, helped make the Royal visit truly memorable. The entrance to the library has never looked so beautiful!

We are pleased to say that the long awaited Book Returns Box is now in the foyer of the Public Hall, so that books can now be deposited in this when the library is closed.

"Thank You" from Marion Rhoades

I wish to thank my friends and neighbours for the Get Well and Birthday cards while I was in hospital and also the Evergreens for the lovely flowers.I hope to see you all soon.

(Thank you for your donation to SHIRE funds).
(With apologies that this was held over from the October edition due to haste in preparation of the paper reporting Prince Edward's visit. ED).

St. Mary's News

Hi folks!

Harvest Festival has come and gone and once Remembrance Sunday passed we are just weeks away from Christmas - how this year has simply flown by!

On Tuesday, 30th September, 2003, a group of us from St. Mary's went to St. Peter's, Henleaze, with other folk from the Bristol West Deanery, to meet Bishop Mike Hill, the newly appointed Bishop of Bristol. Bishop Mike gave a potted history of his life. His early ambition was to be a professional footballer but regrettably he did not meet the required standard. He was in his late teens before he became a Christian and decided to devote his life to God. Nevertheless, he retained his interest in football and is an avid supporter of Manchester United to this day.

You will recall that I mentioned last month that our Harvest gifts were to be donated to Euro-Aid - well I am delighted to report that 70 boxes of food were dispatched from St. Mary's. Thank you for your generosity.

Our Harvest Loaf this year was in the shape of a sheaf of corn and a piece of it was used for distribution with the wine at Communion time. The remainder was cut up after the service and offered to any member of the congregation who would like a piece.

The evening before we held our Harvest Supper/Barn Dance in the Church Centre. This was enjoyed by all and also raised the sum of 350 towards Church funds.

There was a final celebration of Harvest on Friday, 10th October, when Shirehampton Primary School held their Harvest Festival in Church. The service was conducted by Canon Christine and afterwards the children were given light refreshments.

Whilst on the subject of food I am pleased to report that so far the Food and Fellowship lunches on Wednesdays have proved very successful. At the moment these lunches are only available to invited guests who pay a small sum of money for a 2 course lunch. Consideration may be given in the future to expand this facility.

The next Skittles Evening is to be held again at Hallen Community Centre on Friday, 21st November, look on the Notice Board for the list if you are interested in participating - the refreshments are always spectacular!

Last month I mentioned that on Saturday, 8th November another Memorial Service for the people who have lost "loved ones" is to be held in Church at 3.00pm. The service was very much appreciated by those who attended last year and again it will be conducted by Canon Christine. This is a reminder to put this date in your diary.

The next day is Remembrance Sunday (Sunday, 9th November). The Sea Cadets, Cubs, Brownies etc. will assemble in Church at 10.00am when our Poppy Wreath will be placed beneath our west window commemorating the dead from two World Wars. The choir and uniformed organisations will then lead the congregation to the War Memorial on Shirehampton Park for the Last Post and Reveille. Our thoughts will be for those who gave their lives in past and present conflicts.

At 6.00pm on Remembrance Sunday, Bristol Cathedral Girls Choir will be singing Evensong in St. Mary's - their high standard is second to none. All are welcome.

The following Sunday, 16th November - we shall have the opportunity to meet Bishop Mike again, as he is to conduct a Confirmation Service in St. Mary's at 6.30pm. I believe we have 5 candidates from St. Mary's and others from elsewhere in the Bristol West Deanery.

From 10am-12 noon on Saturday, 29th November, we are holding our annual Christmas Festive Food Fayre - when cakes, Christmas preserves and gifts will be on sale. Come and give us your support and save yourself the pushing and shoving in crowded shops in the city.

The very next day is Advent Sunday (30th November). Our 10.00am Service will be a Parade Service and at 6pm is our Advent Carol Service which will include the lighting of our Advent Tree of Light. This tree has only white lights and will have attached to the branches small white cards. These cards will be available at the west end of the Church for you to place on them the names of "loved ones" who have passed on and no longer share Christmas with us except in our memory. All are welcome.

On the subject of Christmas I have been asked to remind you to the Shirehampton Area Choir will be performing the Annual Christmas Concert on Sunday, 14th December. Further details will be available next month and I anticipate I shall then know to which charity all proceeds will be donated so please watch this space!

St. Mary's is certainly being used to "the full" in its service to the community. We have recently had several large funerals when the Church was filled to capacity and I am reliably informed we already have 15 weddings booked for the year 2004/5.

Two members of our congregation - Lucy and Nick Broad - are attempting to form a Youth Group for secondary school children on Wednesday evenings from 7pm-9pm. The group is to be called G.L.U.E. (God Loves Us Eternally!) For further information contact Nick & Lucy on 0117 9382660.

Finally, the juiciest piece of information I've saved until last. St. Mary's is to have a Curate! His name is Andy Schuman and he is currently in his 3rd year of theology studies at Trinity College. He has numerous qualifications acquired at University, but I won't embarrass him by telling you what they all are. Andy is 30 years of age and has a wife Alice and young son of 12 months named Asa. He will complete his studies at Trinity College in June 2004 and will then be ordained Deacon in Bristol Cathedral, after which he will come straight to St. Mary's. We hope to meet Andy and his family before this date. The last Curate at St. Mary's was Andy Radford who is now Bishop of Taunton - who knows what the future will be for Andy Schuman! God knows! (and he won't reveal his secret to us!!!!).

Bye for now



John Mead who died suddenly on 31st August, 2003.

I wish to say a big thank you to all the people in St. Bernards Road who gave so generously to the street collection. I intend to buy a tree and a bird table in John's memory. I would also like to thank everyone for their support, messages of sympathy, cards, and donations to CLIC, which were very much appreciated.

I would also like to say a big thank you to all John's friends who attended his funeral service at St. Mary's Church, which was very much a celebration of his life. John was such a lively character in Shirehampton, always had a smile and a story to tell, he loved life and will be very sadly missed by us all. God Bless you all.

Dot Mead.
(With many thanks for your donation to SHIRE funds).

Clowns at Weston-super-Mare

Weston-super-Mare was invaded during the last week in September - by over 140 clowns from all over the world. You may have seen some of them on television. They clowned around the streets, in hospitals, in homes for elderly people, paraded in the Promenade, and held workshops for children and adults in the art and skills of clowning, as well as attending, and contributing to, a special service on Sunday. The workshops and lectures were held not only for the public but also for the clowns themselves, giving them to opportunity to learn from each other.

The Clowns International conference was based at the Winter Gardens where Shirehampton was well represented by two clowns, Nangaz and Clown Fryer who both live in the village. They sometimes work together, as well as 'going solo', often working with children in parties, groups and church.

They both came back from the conference exhausted - wouldn't you after 7 whole days of clowning around? - But with renewed enthusiasm and new ideas. Watch out Shirehampton - there are clowns about!

Lawrence Weston Walking Group

Walk can - Strengthen your heart - Reduce your blood pressure - Help reduce stress - Help manage your weight - And can be fun! Come and enjoy keeping fit with a local group who walk regularly over short distances, all welcome.

Contact Sue Hale at The Rock Community Centre, St Peters Church, Ridingleaze, Lawrence Weston. Tel: 0117 9384636.

My Life

I have but one life,
To do with as I choose.
It's mine! My decisions,
Win or lose.
I decide when I should sleep,
The time to laugh, the time to weep.
I can choose to live or die;
Help another; walk on by.
The choice is mine:
To be weak or strong;
To hit out in anger,
When things go wrong.
Yes, it is my life!
But, no! This is not true.
It's part of those I love,
Because they love me too.

Shirley James

A Royal Visit to Shirehampton Public Hall

The day started for me be getting ready to meet Prince Edward the Earl of Wessex. I was going to meet Mrs Hilary Davey my English teacher at 10.30 at the library. I sat with Hilary at the far end of the library waiting to meet the Prince. When he arrived he saw the staff who worked in the library then he walked round to meet the Adult Literacy Class.

He asked me about my work and said how he thought  the English Language was very difficult to understand. He asked how long I have attended the English class. I then said I have been coming for three years.

Written by Elizabeth Evans, Adult Literacy Student

(A full and illustrated report on the Royal Visit will appear in a later issue but you can see a prevew by clicking here)