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News Index

What's On in December

Christmas Charity Concert

Shirehampton Craft Exhibition 2003

Civic Society Award for St. Mary's Shirehampton

Shirehampton's Royal Visit - Full Story and Pictures

Letters to the Editor

Tree of Light at St. Mary's

St. Mary's News

Conductor - Carols on the Green

Our conductor this year is Graham Large, head of music at Portway Community School. He started his musical career in the Royal Air Force music service as a trumpet player for thirteen years. He became a peripatetic brass teacher for the County of Avon in 1979 and for various county authorities for two years.

After this he went to the University of Wolverhampton where he gained a BA (hons) degree in music followed by gaining his PGCE  at Bristol University.Once he had qualified he taught at Katherine Lady Berkeley's School, Wotton-under-Edge, as a music teacher then moved to Mosely School, Wolverhampton as Head of Music. He took up his present position as Head of Music at Portway Community School in 2001.

Avon in Footballing Success

Avon Primary met with footballing success recently in the Severnside School Football Association's Six-a-side Tournament.Held in late October Avon narrowly won its league to progress to the semi-final which was a close contest against Little Stoke School, which Avon won 2-1 with some good defending at the end of the match.

Avon weren't so lucky against Filton Hill in the Final which was lost 2-1. Despite the disappointment of losing, the team were more than happy to receive their Runners-Up Medals and Certificates.

N. Cooley
Avon Primary School PE Coordinator

What's On in December

DECEMBER 1st Monday each week 'SEE & KNOW' for all under 5's at St Mary's Church Centre 1.15 pm - 2.45 pm
DECEMBER 1st and every Monday sequence dance 7.15pm - 9.15pm at the Public Hall
DECEMBER 1st weekly 3 of Us bingo at St Andrew's Church Hall, Avonmouth. 1.15pm - 2.45pm
DECEMBER 1st Monday each week FREE BASIC LITERACY CLASSES at Lawrence Weston. Tel 9038824 for details

DECEMBER 2nd Tuesday weekly THE TEA JUNCTION at St Mary's. Tea, chat, Board Games 3.30 pm
DECEMBER 2nd Tuesday St Andrew's Ladies Club 7.30 pm at St Andrew's Church Hall for christmas party
DECEMBER 2nd Tuesday CARERS GROUP at the Avonmouth Medical Centre 10 am-12 noon

DECEMBER 3rd Wednesday weekly at 2.30 pm. THE BRIGHT HOUR at the Baptist Church, Station Road
DECEMBER 3rd Every Wednesday bingo 2pm - 4pm at the Tythe Barn
DECEMBER 3rd Wednesday ARTHRITIS CARE,7 pm at Jim O'Neil House
DECEMBER 3rd Wednesday weekly g.l.u.e. Youth Group for Secondary School children 7pm - 9pm Contact Nick & Lucy 9382660
DECEMBER 3rd & 5th Every Wednesday & Thursday drop-in sessions at A.U.S. Cottage, High Street 9.30am - 11.30am

DECEMBER 4th Thursday 'STORY TIME' at St Mary's each week for pre-school children 2 pm - 2.45 pm
DECEMBER 4th Thursday SHIREHAMPTON'S TOWNSWOMENS' Guild 2pm - 4 pm at the Methodist Church Hall
DECEMBER 4th Thursday weekly bingo or speaker 2pm - 4pm at the Tythe Barn

DECEMBER 5th Friday Monthly COFFEE MORNING at the Library 10.30 am - 12 noon
DECEMBER 5th Every Friday FRIDAY FUN at the Beachley Walk Centre for Mothers, Carers & Pre-school Children 9.30 am - 11.30 am
DECEMBER 5th Friday weekly EVERGREENS at the Public Hall 1 pm - 3 pm

DECEMBER 7th Friday every week BINGO at the Public Hall 6.30 pm - 8.30 pm
DECEMBER 7th Sunday baptist church service at the Cotswold Centre 4.45pm

DECEMBER 14th Sunday 10am COMMUNION SERVICE at St Mary's, a SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETER will be attending
DECEMBER 14th Sunday afternoon shirehampton area choir christmas concert in St Mary's

DECEMBER 16th Tuesday RAILWAY MODELLERS 7.30 m at the Public Hall

DECEMBER 17th Wednesday WOMEN'S INSTITUTE 7.30 pm at the Methodist Church Hall
DECEMBER 17th Wednesday SHIRE STITCHERS at the Public Hall at 7.30 pm

DECEMBER 19th Friday st andrew's ladies club christmas party at the Walton Park Hotel, Clevedon
DECEMBER 19th Friday sequence dance at the Cotswold Centre 7.30pm - 10pm
DECEMBER 19th Friday sea mills social club christmas party at Shirehampton Cricket Club. 9.30pm-11pm. John Hutton playing

DECEMBER 21st Sunday church of england service at the Cotswold Community Centre at 4.45pm.

DECEMBER 24th Wednesday Christmas Eve carols on the green at 7.30pm. Please bring the carols printed in the middle of this month's SHIRE and a light. Most important - just come!

Shirehampton Methodist Church Programme

Saturday 6th December - 10am-12noon Bring and Buy and Coffee

Sunday 7th December - 11am Gift Service led by Valerie Flint-Johnson.

Items of food, clothing, toiletries etc, will be gladly received for the Methodist Centre at Midland Road.Guest Organist - Brian Russell.

Sunday 21st December - 4pm Carols by Candlelight Rev. David Alderman

Sunday 11th January - 11am Annual Covenant Service - Rev. David Alderman.

Shirehampton Library

Christmas and New Year Closure

DatesCLOSEDWednesday - 24th December at 1pmChristmas Day - 25th DecemberBoxing Day - 26th DecemberFriday - 27th DecemberThursday - 1st January, 2004

Volunteers Wanted

Can anyone help deliver "Shire" newspaper?We need people to help deliver to Bradley Crescent and Old Quarry Road.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 - 9826935.

An Apology to Our Readers

We do apologise for the liberal number of typographical errors made in our November edition - why I do not know, but I know WE MUST DO BETTER!

We also apologise and repeat correctly the Thank You message from Shirley and Ray Harvey (below) .Editor

Thank You from Shirley and Ray Harvey

We would like to thank all our family and friends for the lovely presents and cards we received for our Ruby Wedding Anniversary, and 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 you for your donation to SHIRE funds]

Mobile Phones

We understand that from 1st December it will be breaking the law if you use your mobile phone whilst driving.

Perhaps it would be advisable to switch off mobile phones as you enter the car, so that there will be no danger of being distracted by the phone ringing, nor will you be breaking the law.

Christmas Charity Concert

The Shirehampton Area Choir are holding their Annual Christmas Charity Concert at St. Mary's Church on Sunday 14th December at 2.30pm. This years concert will be to raise money for two charities. Firstly, the Children's Hospice South West who have plans to take over the farm at Tyntesfield Estate to provide a new hospice for this area.

Secondly, The Myas Thaenia Gravis Association. The nerves in our body convey messages to the muscles enabling them to function. Myas Thaenia Gravis is a disease that affects the nerves preventing them from doing this, so that the muscles only function weakly. This leaves the sufferer feeling very weak.

At the moment there is no known cure. The Association funds research into finding a cure for this disease and gives support in various ways to sufferers.The concert includes a number of carols by John Rutter together with other carols arrangements by local musicians.

There will be a soprano soloist, Auriole Britain and solo items from choir members and from GLUE (God loves us eternally). This is a new youth group set up by Lucy and Nick Broad members of St. Mary's Church. So please put the date in your diary now and come along to what promises to be a very enjoyable afternoon.

Tim Forder

Shirehampton Primary School - Success in Sport

Shirehampton Primary School is celebrating its success in receiving an Activemark award from Sport England. This is recognition that the school promotes physical activity and sport both in and out of school, with football, netball, tennis and dance clubs held every night of the week as well as judo, gymnastics and rugby coaches working with the children during their PE lessons.

This success can be added to the Healthy Schools and SureStart awards the school has already received.

Obituary: John Spring - 6.7.36 to 21.10.03

Ann, Sally, Jane and families would like to thank all friends and family for their help during and after John's illness.Thank you to Stenner and Hill for such a caring, efficient and professional service, especially Joan for her help and support.Shirehampton can be proud to have such a wonderful, caring Vicar in Canon Christine Froude.

Special thanks to her for listening to us and for her kindness and compassion.Thank you to all who have sent donations so far. They will be sent to Hammer Out Brain Tumour Charity, Avon Palliative Care, Marie Curie and St Peter's Hospice.

Sally Knowlson

Shirehampton Craft Exhibition 2003

Two things can be guaranteed during the Autumn Half Term, that it will rain heavily for at least part of the week and that the Craft Exhibition will exceed expectations, and this year was no exception. Fortunately the former did not keep visitors away from the latter and judging by some of the comments overheard, the show was as impressive as ever and the standard, if that's possible, even higher.

There were about fifty entrants, an increase on previous years, and this meant you could walk round a dozen times and still find something new to look at. All the old favourites were in evidence - the knitted toys and garments, marquetry, Intrasia, wood turning, wall hangings, cards, lacework, cushions galore including ruched, needlepoint, applique or patchwork, decorated eggs, crochet work and pictures created from many types of stitchwork including cross stitch, long stitch and stumpstitch.

They were all a joy to look at and marvel at the patience and skill required.The quilters or Shire Stitchers didn't let us down. There weren't so many quilts this year but the standard was as high as ever and what added interest were the articles produced from the Challenge whereby stitchers were given a number of patches and had to create an item which was then judged. Decorated boxes, Christmas decorations and Advent calendars all vied for attention among the array of exhibits, all beautiful and much appreciated.

The youngsters again came up trumps, the 120th Rainbows decorated picture frames with shells and 120th Brownies made plant pots, the 191st Cubs produced items made from clothes pegs, and the 178th Bristol Guides produced "really cool" pencil toppers. Well done all of you.

There were new entrants this year including two from Avonmouth, Jayne Warren whose pottery and stoneware was most impressive, and Jane Page with her lovely willow work. Some regular exhibitors decided to ring the changes, for instance Pat Davison who demonstrated all week, has added chemage to her many other skills and the result was lovely decorated candles, boxes and bars of soap. She also demonstrated stamping again and her Pergamano cards were on display.

If you've noticed some rather large fungi in some Shirehampton gardens, don't blame global warming, it's just Dick Helme adding a new dimension to his woodcraft. Large wooden toadstools and mushrooms caused quite a talking point and demand outstripped supply. He also showed three Wild West costumes he'd made from leather for his grandchildren who'd worn them at a Western ho-down.

Photos: E Verey

Still on that theme, painted hides on driftwood frames in the style of American First Nation art, provided another new and interesting feature of the show.It's impossible to mention everything on display because there was so much and it all serves to show just how talented local people are.

There is more to it even than that though, there seems to be a strong sense of community among crafts people and this was evident with Joanna's quilt. Joanna Pickett was hoping she would be at the show but she sadly died three weeks earlier. However, she had asked Pat Squire to complete her mother's guilt for eventual sale in aid of St Peter's Hospice. Pat and some other "stitchers" spent many hours preparing it for display at the show, and it looked very striking against the dark backdrop of the stage curtains.

The quilt is not finished yet, there is much still to be done, but Joanna would have truly appreciated the effort being made among her fellow crafts people on her behalf. As a tribute to Joanna her spinning wheel and accoutrements were placed in the exhibition, after all she's become as much of an institution as the craft show itself and was missed. She was no doubt with us in spirit and I think she would have approved.

Finally, thanks yet again to Ed and Gail, two very busy people who still manage to bring off a successful and marvellous show each year. I know they would wish their helpers to be thanked because without the likes of John and Janet Andrews and those two amazing stalwarts Gwen and Alice who spend the whole week "on duty", the show simply could not continue, and we certainly want it to don't we boys and girls!


You can look at many more pictures of the exhibits from the link on the front page of the site.

Estuary Wildlife Group

The next meeting of The Estuary Wildlife Group will be on January 7th 2004, at 7 o'clock in The Avonmouth Community Centre.We have invited a BBC Wildlife Cameraman along to talk to us about his work behind the camera, filming wildlife, and he is also very knowledgeable about estuaries and otters.

Well! - its going to be a fascinating evening!If you have been considering joining our group but haven't yet done anything about it, why not come along on Jan 7th. It promises to be a great evening. You will be made very welcome, and can learn more about our group and our very own wildlife pond and haven in Shirehampton/Avonmouth.

The Avonmouth Estuary area is incredibly rich in various wildlife and also a very important site for rare and endangered flora and fauna.Please come along and find out more, and help to maintain this legacy for the future.

Bobbie Perkins.

Parent & Toddler Group, Avonmouth

Meet at St. Andrew Church Hall, Friday 9.30 to 11am - Term time only 1st session free. 1 for first child and 50p each for further children, which includes a drink and snack.Tel: Contact Deborah on 0117 9099429.

Civic Society Award for St. Mary's Shirehampton

Canon Christine and Churchwardens Gill Sawyer and Derek Ford represented St. Mary's at an award ceremony held at the Riverside Garden Centre Cafe on November 13. The Bristol Civic Society chose St. Mary's to be one of 7 recipients of an Environmental award reflecting all that has been done to refurbish the church building.

Among the other recipients were the Capricorn Quay Housing development at Jacob's Wells and Brislington House, so we are in good company. It is a particular delight, for as far as we aware this is the first time that such an award has been made to a Church.

St. Mary's belongs to the people of Shirehampton, so we can all be proud of what has been achieved by the many people in the community who have given of their time skill and money to make this possible. The distinctive plague will be on display in the church porch.

If you haven't already seen all that's been done at St. Mary's, why not come in and see for yourself. We are open every morning for tea and coffee and for Sunday services 10am, you'll be sure of a warm welcome.

Best wishes,

Canon Christine.

Shirehampton's Royal Visit - Full Story and Pictures

Last month we were able to give very brief details of Shirehampton's Royal Visit, which took place just as we were going to press. We can now give a fuller description of the day.

HRH Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, visited the Public Hall in Station Road, on 24 September. The visit marked the Centenary of the laying of the foundation stone of the Hall. The building also houses the Public Library, which will also be celebrating its centenary soon.

The weather was perfect for the occasion, and the Hall was looking its best for the visit. We are very grateful to the teams of volunteers who had worked to clean up both the inside and outside.

The day began with a welcome boost for Shirehampton on Radio Bristol's morning programme. They were talking enthusiastically about 'Royal Shirehampton'. The programme included a report by Rob Wicks, with interviews with several of the people who were going to meet Prince Edward.

The Prince arrived with Jay Tidmarsh, the Lord Lieutenant of Bristol. He was greeted by the Lord Mayor of Bristol, Councillor Bill Martin, and David Thomas, Chairman of the Hall Community Association, who was acting as host. His first port of call was the Library. Eileen Lloyd, the Library Supervisor, introduced him to Library staff. The Earl also met Community Education tutors and students, who were working on computers in the Library.

Prince Edward chats to Community Education staff and students, and the Librarian. L to R: Deborah Tieney, Tutor, HRH, Kevin Mathews, Student, Hilary Davey, Tutor, and Eileen Lloyd, Library Supervisor. Photo: Alan Cossey

Before he left the Library, the Earl signed their Visitors' Book. This goes right back to the opening day in 1905. The first page of the book includes the signatures of Philip Napier Miles, who donated the land to build the Hall, and also of a forebear of well known local historian Ralph Hack. We were very pleased that Sir Peter Miles, Philip Napier Miles's heir, was present for the Earl's visit. After the prince had left, the Lord Mayor, Sir Peter, and Ralph Hack also signed the book.

Ralph Hack signs the Library Visitors' Book, watched by Eileen Lloyd, Library Supervisor, Sir Peter Miles, and David Thomas, Chairman of the Hall Association. Photo: Alan Cossey

The Earl then moved to the Public Hall itself. He started with the Community Action Forum, where he learnt about activities, including the Litterthon carried out by Portway School students, the Community Park project being moved forward by Shirehampton Greens, and other Forum activities.

Richard Fletcher, SCAF Development Worker, explains the Community Park proposals to the Earl of Wessex, watched by Tim Baynes Clarke, Ash Bearman, and David Thomas, of SCAF. Photo: Alan Cossey

Prince Edward then met the Station Road Playgroup, which was in session with a reduced number of children. He chatted to children who were using Playdough, and who had made flags for his visit.

Prince Edward chats to Playgroup leader Barbara Wylde and members of the Playgroup. Photo: Alan Cossey

The Hall had a large number of exhibits which represented the activities of many of the regular users. The Earl visited each of these in turn, and spent time talking to the user group members who explained what each group did. The groups included Shire After School Club, the Pillow Lace Group, Shire Stitchers, the Evergreens (who are the longest standing users of the Hall), the Model Railway Club, and Twyford Art Club.

Prince Edward then moved outside into the warm sunshine, where a crowd of onlookers was waiting. The Millennium Garden had a neatly dug hole in the middle of the lawn, with a pile of earth next to it, and a whitebeam tree ready to be planted in the hole. David Thomas explained that it was 100 years since the foundation stone of the Hall had been laid by Mrs Napier Miles, and invited HRH to plant the tree in commemoration of this centenary. Prince Edward then unveiled a plaque to mark his visit. Tim Baynes Clarke, minister of Shirehampton Baptist Church blessed the tree.

The Earl of Wessex inspects the Whitebeam tree before planting it and unveiling a plaque on the easel to the left of the picture. Photo: Alan Cossey

Before he left the Hall, the prince chatted with several of the crowd who had gathered outside to watch the tree planting.

To complete his visit to Shirehampton, the Earl crossed the road to St Bernards School, where he met several of the pupils. He then visited the Avon Youth Bus, where he met six students from Portway School who are doing activities for the Duke of Edinburgh's Award.

Prince Edward chats to members of the crowd outside the Hall. Photo: Alan Cossey

Everyone who spoke to Prince Edward said how easy he was to talk to, and that he was very interested in their activities. Most participants enjoyed a buffet lunch in the Public Hall, and were able to share their experiences with each other.

There was more good publicity for Shirehampton after the visit. David Thomas gave a live interview that evening on Radio Bristol. Two days later, the Evening Post had a very good photo spread, including pictures of the prince meeting St Bernards School children.


Ship to Shore: TS Enterprise - Avonmouth Sea Cadets

During the month of October the unit has seen some advancements for the cadets and a chronic disaster in the shape of an arson attack at the unit on Sunday October 19 resulting in the loss of our shed and the contents. The shed was mindlessly vandalised, set alight and we have lost canoes, flags and rope.

At  present this is in the hands of our insurers, but any outside help would be appreciated.The good news - Two cadets' - LEVER and THOMPSON have achieved the rank of ABLE CADET with NEVINS and STUDLEY reaching ORDINARY CADET level. Cadets SAVAGE, LEWIS, MORGAN, HUNT, LEVER and STUDLEY will attend a National Shooting Course at HMS Raleigh, a naval shore base for a weekend training.

On Monday 21 October our new boat trailer was photographed and accepted in to the Unit. The necessary cash to purchase this was a combination of Flag week, a donation from the Fountain Fund at the Mall and assistance from Honeyfield Trailers. A vote of thanks is given to all who helped us.

The unit has a new member of staff - PO Emily Edwards. Emily was a cadet in her youth at TS Adventure, and has decided to return to the Unit to assist the cadets. At present the unit needs more unit helpers, so if you are interested please contact the unit on parade nights - Monday or Thursday 7pm to 9pm on 982 3938. (A naval background is not necessary, only an interest in helping the youth).

There are vacancies within the unit for JUNIORS and SENIORS, so please call in and speak to the CO.And finally - the unit is looking for a unit helper with the knowledge of splicing. If you have the skill please share it with the Cadets. We look forward to hearing from YOU.

Avonmouth Primary Long Service Award

There was a special Assembly at Avon Primary School on Friday 14th November. Chris Harris from Bristol City Council joined staff and pupils at the school to help Betty Young celebrate 30 years service as the school's crossing patrol warden ("Lollipop Lady").

Betty started almost 30 years ago to the day, on 12th November 1973. Since then she has been out on duty come rain or shine, helping to make sure that the children of Avon Primary get safely to and from school.

Matt Cox, the new Acting Head at Avon was helped by children from the Infant and Junior classes in presenting Betty with cards and gifts from the school.Mr Cox, who was previously Deputy Head at Filton Avenue Junior School, has taken over as Acting Head this year following the resignation of Mr Jennings.

In Memory of Jeremiah Carroll

Known to most as John or Jerry. John's funeral took place on Wednesday, 19th November, and he will be missed by all who knew him. For all who spoke with John, I know he would have enriched their lives.

Thank you John for just being you.Jane McKenny(From the collection of 165 which was made - 65 was given to the Burma Star Association, 60 to the Merchant Seamen Association - which John was part of through the war and most of his life, and 40 spent on flowers).

Remember... Remember... at St Mary's Shirehampton

On Saturday 8 November a memorial service was held for bereaved families at St Mary's Church. A lovely ceremony tinged with sadness, where the names of loved ones were written on remembrance cards, which will be placed on a Tree of Light on Sunday, 30 November at the 6pm Advent Carol service.

On Remembrance Sunday, the uniformed organisations, Portway Community School Band and the Lord Lieutenant of Bristol and his wife, joined the congregation for a service during which a wreath of poppies was placed below the commemorative window by Christopher Eynon whose father died in the 1939-1945 War.

Canon Christine then read the names of service men who gave their lives and the Last Post was played by Graham Large, Head of Music at Portway Community School. The congregation then proceeded to the War Memorial where we were joined by the Junior Cadet Forces, each group laying crosses and wreaths.

It was a very moving occasion and prayers were said for the peace of the world. Later Shirehampton Cricket Club opened their doors for a restorative cup of tea or coffee, greatly appreciated by the many who went. The Bristol Cathedral Girls Choir led the Evensong service at 6pm in church, their beautiful voices bringing the Memorial weekend to a fitting close.

Mrs Claire Bush.

Letters to the Editor

Web Site Pictures

Dear Editor

As a resident of Shirehampton in the years between 1928 & 1960 I was fascinated by the internet photos "In and Around High Street". Some buildings were easily recognised - such as St. Mary's Church, the George Inn, Park Hill, the old Savoy cinema/bingo (as was), the Public Hall & Library.

The Swimming Baths however caught my attention. To it's left was a yard with lock-up garages and a repair workshop. We lived directly opposite to that yard.I went to Commercial School in Castle Green during the war but we were moved to Redcross Street when it was blitzed, along with most of Bristol's shopping centre.

Avonmouth and Shire also suffered. I have tried to recall the name of a small public house that was lost during one air raid. It stood in Park Road, just around the corner from the foot of Park Hill.Now the Portway Lower School has been demolished, Park Road as I knew it has probably changed out of all recognition.

There used to be an unsealed section of road to those properties above the bank on the other side leading up to the golf course. The whole area must have a very interesting history. A coin I found in our garden was dated 1753 during the reign of George the Second.Now that I have discovered your website I will keep watching for the latest news and photos.

Best wishes

John Mitchell
New Zealand


Dear Editor,

My name is Shaun McCarthy and I formed a charity, along with a colleague, to help people with all types of disability of all ages, children, adults and elderly. DPH has now been running for one year and has managed to help many people. We cover the Bristol, South Gloucester and some of the surrounding areas.

DPH is a registered charity (no 1098090) run by volunteers, some of whom have disabilities themselves. We offer a free service which carries out maintenance in the home and garden. Such jobs as, grass cutting, hedge trimming, laying a patio, erecting a fence or planting flowers and shrubs in pots or borders.

Also we can help with security, by installing security lights or an intercom door device and we hope to be able to fit alarms in the near future.In the home, we carry out decorating, fit shelves, a new door, grab rails or ramps and when needed employ a tradesman to do electrical or plumbing work.Most of our work is carried out by volunteers, but of course we do still have to pay for materials needed and expert help where needed.

We just ask that if a service user can afford it, that they make a donation or help pay for materials. This has worked well, as the majority, insists that they pay something and if the service user cannot afford anything, that's fine too. We just ask to see proof of your benefits and that someone in the household has a disability.

The last ten months have been particularly busy and we do have a waiting list but as we take on more volunteers, we will clear the backlog.If you know of anyone who would like to volunteer, please give them our details as we are very desperate for more volunteers, all travel and lunch expenses provided.

If you require further information, please call the number below, write or e-mail


Shaun McCarthy
Chairman, Disabled Peoples Help, South Bristol College, Hawkfield Road, Bristol BS13 0RJ Tel: 01179 148493

Tree of Light at St. Mary's

The Memorial Service on November 8 was a wonderful opportunity to speak again with so many families who I have met since my time at St Mary's.

If you weren't able to be at the service and would like to have a Remembrance card in memory of someone you love, please come into church any morning between 10am and Noon when cards will be available for you to complete.

You are also most welcome to attend the Advent Carol Service on Sunday 30 November at 6pm when the Tree of Light will be lit.

Best wishes Canon Christine

Wireless Networking

Dear Editor,

I noticed that there are a number of links on the "Shire" website referring to hobby and community groups. Upon speaking to some relatives (who are also from Shirehampton) I was encouraged to post a notice so that people can register interest and so here I am attempting just that.

I have recently found that there is a growing interest in wireless networking - i.e. computer based publicly available wireless networks. Easton has recently set up a wireless network to get more of the community connected (which has proven very successful) and there has also been other areas of interest, Clifton in particular.

I have found that there is little interest in the Shirehampton area (or so it appears) and wondered if it would be possible to alert some attention to readers of "Shire" newspaper and the website about the Wifi 802.11b wireless networking scene and if there is anyone else in Shire with any interest?

If there is anyone else interested, or even if they would just like a little more information, please point them in  my direction. I am looking to set up a website where people can register interest from the Shire area, in the mean time (if it is at all possible) I can be contacted at if anyone responds with interest.

The idea is recreational, it would be nice to get Shire in on the communication scene!

Many thanks,

Chris Colhoun

Avonmouth C of E Primary School

On Tuesday 4th November at the platform at Avonmouth Train Station was crowded - it was reminiscent of the crowd waiting for the 17.05 back in the 1970's. However there were some differences - most of the crowd were children from Avonmouth C of E Primary School (with a number of Parents, Grandparents and friends) all controlled by the staff from the school.Another difference was that when the train pulled in no one boarded.

They were there to welcome a special guest - Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The train was the Royal Train, a number of gleaming carriages pulled by an equally gleaming engine "Prince Henry" belonging to EWS Rail and carrying a plate which stated "By Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen".Prince Philip passed along the platform to cheers and flag waving by the assembled crowd, to then go by car to the Fire Service Training Centre in Avonmouth.

Then a crocodile of children processed back to school to start lessons a little late that day.The Police Inspector remarked what a well behaved group of children they were. A day to be remembered by everyone who was there.

Caroline Reynolds, Acting Head Teacher Avonmouth C of E Primary School

Prefab Refurbishment

Dear Editor,

We think your paper is very interesting, varied, and informative we enjoy reading every issue. Just browsing through it we saw the article on Steel framed houses and how Councillor Eddy, Executive Member for Neighbourhood Housing, said this was real evidence of the Councils commitment to repairing its worst housing stock.

What he did not say and your readers may be interested to know is that councillor Eddy and the City Council are also committed to demolishing all the prefabs in Bristol including those in Shirehampton & Stoke Bishop. They intend to work with a private developer to build houses and the like, maybe flats on the land.

This plan also includes prefabs that have been bought by tenants who have lived in them since they were first built; Mr Eddy and the council say they may compulsory purchase these!At present these Prefabs are occupied in the main by elderly and infirm residents of Shirehampton, some of which have lived in them over 50 years, these elderly citizens are going to be relocated, where? Mr Eddy and The Council at present do not know and certainly the residents do not know.

Just think of the impact on these people who at the moment are within walking distance to the Shops, Health Centre and their Clubs in Shirehampton.It seems an abuse of their Human Rights, there is no other section of society that this could happen to without an outcry and not many people know what Mr Eddy and the City Council have planned for these vulnerable people.We hope you feel able to publish this letter!

Yours faithfully,

Jake & Doreen Boon

Thank You

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my family, friends, neighbours and all well wishers for the kindness shown on my recent 80th Birthday. The cards and gifts were wonderful.

The celebrations included a fantastic surprise birthday tea at the Golf Club and I didn't suspect a thing.I cannot thank everyone enough for their generosity. I am truly grateful.With best wishes to all,Kath GatesMany Thanks for your kind donation to Shire - Ed.


Dear Editor,

Can I make a request to all Shopkeepers who sell fireworks. Would it not be possible to cease selling them after 5th November - except for organised parties. Surely I am not alone in being fed up with fireworks going off [often late at night], not only weeks before 5th November, but afterwards. How do people with pets know how long they have to keep them in.

H.V. Thorne

Shirley James

I would like to say a big thank you to Margaret [Hargreaves] for the wonderful write up on my sister Shirley. Margaret and Shirley were such close friends over many years. I know Shir would be "tickled pink" knowing she made the front page. What a tribute that is.

Thank you to Gary Baird too, for his humorous account about Shirley. I have always been proud to have had such a talented sister and such a loving sister too. The whole family will miss her so much.

Thank you to everyone who sent such lovely cards and made donations to M.S. Seeing so many people in the church was overwhelming. God Bless you all.

Gill [Watt]

Portway School Reunion 1975-1977

Do you remember the days of 'high waist trousers' and platform shoes? Girls wearing navy blue knickers when doing gym. Having a bottle of 'Natch' between 20 of you before going to the school end of term disco?

Well if any of these have cleared the cobwebs of yester-year and you are wondering I wonder what...This is exactly what has led to some of us arranging a REUNION where you can meet old and maybe forgotten School buddies.

VENUE: PBA Social Club, Nibley Road, Shirehampton.
DATE: Saturday, 6th March 2004TIME: 7.45pm-Late
ENTERTAINMENT: Live 70's Band/Disco + Light Buffet
TICKETS: Cost 6.50 each and can be obtained from the following:

The Lamplighters Public House; Derek Northcott - 07771 560392;
Lorna Davies - 0775 4761478;
Kevin Mahoney (MO) - 0117 9827321 or if you prefer, by writing to me at: 28 Priory Road, Shirehampton, Bristol BS11 9TD email:

Go On! - See the New Year in by reliving the past! Hear from you all soon.

Kevin Mahoney

The Youth Cafe

We are very pleased to see from "The Villager", produced and published by the members and friends of Shirehampton Baptist Church that Shirehampton Churches and youth Committee have given the go ahead to lease premises for the Youth Cafe.

It is some time ago since the first report to open such a cafe was made and there have been many delays in getting it underway, mostly in the area of finance; this has now been resolved. Finding the right premises in the right place is obviously a key area to the success of the venture and the one place that seemed very suitable was withdrawn from the market some months ago when another organisation began negotiations for the lease.

They have withdrawn and the committee have stepped in to acquire the lease on the shop that Swift Travel traded from on the promenade next to the Post Office. Barring any hitch in the acquisition, it is hoped to be up and running well before February 2004.Good news indeed for the young people of Shirehampton.

When I Survey

A survey of major causes of stress revealed the usual suspects; the death of a loved one; divorce; serious illness, debt. High on the list also was Christmas! People worry about what presents to give and to whom; about Christmas cards; about food and drink and the consequences of over indulgence; about personal relationships.

So for many this joyous festival may become something of a burden. More readers visit our churches, Baptist, Methodist, Roman Catholic and Church of England at Christmas time than at any other time, whether to worship God at carol and other services or at social events.

Your visit provides a good opportunity to relax, remove yourself from the chatter and think and pray about what Christmas is really about. In St. Mary's a good place to do this is by the Table dedicated to Justice and Peace next to the kitchen and office. The cross and candlesticks were given by the Corrymeela Community, a Christian community that works for peace and justice in Northern Ireland.

A notice board next to the table gives details of Justice and Peace causes for which prayer may be made. It also carries reproductions of two beautiful paintings of the Risen Christ on which you may find it helpful to focus your attention. Why not sit there quietly and say in your heart the Lord's Prayer with Justice for the world's poor and Peace in mind? Happy Christmas!

A.H. Dammers

St. Mary's News

Hi Folks!

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat - please put a penny in our Christine's hat! Two things wrong with that quote - I've never seen Canon Christine wearing a hat and secondly, I'm sure she would appreciate more than a penny! Our Gift Day this year will be from 9.30am to 12 noon on Saturday, 13th December, 2003. Canon Christine will be in the Lady Chapel to receive your gift between those times.

All money donated will go towards paying off the debt for our recent programme of refurbishment. Remember, if you are a Tax Payer use a Gift Aid Envelope - put your name and address on the outside and the Church can claim back 28 pence from the Inland Revenue for every 1 you donate.We have facilities at St. Mary's to produce our own Christmas Cards this year. They are priced at 12 for 3.50 and are assorted.

Cards with a photograph of the stained glass window in the Lady Chapel are priced at 50 pence each. These are available for purchase when the church is open or at our Festive Food & Craft Fayre which will be from 10.30am to 12 noon on Saturday, 29th November.Our Cards & Gift Sale held back on the 18th October, 2003 raised the sum of 800 in just a few hours - we shall be pleased to see you and receive your support at any of our forthcoming money-raising events.

Thank you all for your support at that last Gift Sale!On Saturday 8th November, Canon Christine conducted the 2nd Memorial Service for those folk who have lost loved ones during the past 12 months or indeed at anytime in the past. The church was filled to capacity - quite remarkable for a Saturday afternoon - I'm told 280 people were present. A retiring collection produced 400 which will be used for the refurbishment of our Memorial Chapel.

Anyone attending that Service cannot have failed to notice our new oil filled candles on our black wrought-iron candelabras . Each candle costs 20. If you like them, why not consider donating one in memory of a loved one!Other things you may have noticed are a light oak hand rail around the Lectern and two hand-rails to help elderly or infirm persons to mount the Chancel Step. These are sited immediately in front of the Vicar's & Curate's stalls.

Also in the South aisle are two new cupboards to hold our Altar Frontals. The original ones  regrettably have become riddled with woodworm and must be disposed of to prevent re-infection of our refurbished floor.If any of you visited the Craft Exhibition in the Public Hall then it is quite likely you saw some of our hand-crafted kneelers on display - and very good they looked too!

Thank you to the ladies who made them for allowing them to go on display. Each of these kneelers costs 27 and are dedicated on the underside to the memory of a loved one. Take a look at the different patterns when you are next in church for Tea or Coffee!

On Remembrance Sunday - 9th November we were very honoured to have as our guest the Lord Lieutenant of Bristol, Mr Jay Tidmarsh and his wife Mrs Virginia Tidmarsh. The music in church was led by Portway School Orchestra, playing "Nimrod" from Elgar's Enigma Variations.

It is wonderful to have renewed our link with Portway School, long may this continue. After hanging a Poppy Wreath beneath the West end Memorial Window, the Choir led the congregation in procession through the High Street to the War Memorial where we joined the uniformed organisations.

Portway School Music Master played the Last Post and Reveille on a trumpet (Regrettably I do not know his name!). To have the music live was much better than a tape recording!

On that same Sunday evening Bristol Cathedral Girls Choir led a service of Choral Evensong. They were absolutely magnificent and showed off St. Mary's acoustics to their full potential. It is to be hoped they will return again in the not too distant future.

Having mentioned Portway School & Bristol Cathedral I am delighted to inform you that Duncan Tennings former Music Master at Portway School & Catterly Headmaster at Avon Primary School has been appointed as a Verger at Bristol Cathedral. He is one of a team of three full-time Vergers.

A completely different career from being a School Master. He is delighted with his appointment and looks forward to the new challenges this post will entail. I understand his talent as an Organist has already been recognised - so it looks as though he will have an exciting future!We wish him well!Returning to Christmas again - I am told that all four Ministers from the churches in Shirehampton will be leading the singing of "Carols on the Green" at 7.30pm on Christmas Eve.

At 4.00pm on Christmas Eve we will be holding our Crib Service in Church. This will be led by Canon Christine and she would love to see any children dressed up as either a Shepherd or an Angel. So come on all you Mums - turn out your cupboards and find that unwanted dress or skirt which can be used to make an outfit for the children!

Oh, I nearly forgot on the Sunday before (21st December) we shall have our usual Christingle Service at 10.00am and our Christmas Carol Service at 6.00pm in the evening, followed afterwards by Mince Pies and Mulled Wine (If that doesn't tempt you - nothing will!)Also, in order to try and support the local traders with their Christmas lights, we hope to have St. Mary's floodlit over the Christmas period.

A member of our congregation has very kindly agreed to explore this possibility. I know if it is feasible - he will do it!Finally, full details of all the Services available in the Churches over the Christmas period are available elsewhere in this edition of Shire.

Also, Jim Forder our Organist and Choir Master has written a separate article with details of the Shirehampton Area Choir Christmas Concert which will be held in St. Mary's Church at 2.30pm on Sunday 14th December.

Have a happy and blessed Christmas and remember at this time of "family get-together", those who have no family or lost contact with their family and spare a prayer for them in their loneliness.'

Bye for now


Unexpected Caller

When GEORGE PESZYNSKI advertised in the September edition of "Shire" for leaders to help run Avon Scouts, he was surprised to get a telephone call from David Parker in New Zealand, who used to live opposite him in Avonmouth when he was a boy.

George's sister, who was over from America at the time joined in the conversation. The upshot of it all was that George and his wife had an invitation to visit David, if they visit New Zealand sometime in the future.

'SHIRE' by Post

We regret that the cost of sending "SHIRE" by post has increased during the year and the annual subscription will now continue at 4.00. This is due to the increased postage charge and also to the extra amount required to purchase the wrappers and labels.

If you wish to receive a postal delivery, please write to Mrs. Sue Husher at 8 Burnham Road, Shirehampton, Bristol BS11 9QP, giving your name and address and a cheque or postal order for 4.00 made out for payment to "SHIRE" Newspaper.

With Christmas coming, why not send a year's subscription of "SHIRE" as a gift? Send names and addresses of the recipients to Sue, together with the payment of 4.00 per person. It would be a "different" present and it would be very welcome to former Shire folk.

We'll Meet at Heaven's Gate

JOHN MEAD - nicknamed 'Smiler Miler' - a Happy-Go-Lucky chap. When walking down the street, no finer chap could you wish to meet.

But, alas, he's gone to meet a Mr Leon White, who was always up half the night, out on the prowl listening to the foxes howl. Now I suppose they are outside the pearly gates at night, having a chat and putting the world to right.

Cherrio you pair of rascals, until hopefully we can meet again.

The White Hunter MERV

Obituary: Betty Green

GREEN, FRANCES LENA (BETTY) Died peacefully in Brighton on 25th October, 2003, aged 85 years. Beloved wife of the late Douglas, mother of Rosalind and Andrew, daughter of Frank and Selina Paull, formerly of Penpole Place, Shirehampton.

Rosealind Boulden

(Thank you for your donation to SHIRE funds - Ed)

Christmas Greetings

"From Across the Miles" Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our Friends Grace and Ed Butchers 214 Bering Avenue,Toronto, Ontario M8Z 3A3.

I would like to wish my brother, BOB SWAINE, and all my friends in Shirehampton a MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR.Mary Pascoe (nee Swaine), Vermilion, Ohio, U.S.A.

Eileen and adam o'neill would like thank all their family and friends for the cards, presents and kind thoughts following Eileen's recent operation.We would also like to wish you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR. (Thank you for your kind message and generous donation to SHIRE funds, which is much appreciated).

Editor Glad Carpenter, David and Family ave a wonderful Christmas, love to you all and hope to see you soon.Love from Trish, John and family in Adelaide