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St. Mary's News

Any Questions

Public Hall Centenary

The Organ in St. Mary's Church

Portway Summer Scheme Celebrates 10 Years of Success

This summer, Portway Community School hosted its tenth annual summer scheme for children.  The summer scheme was pioneered in 1994 by Deputy Headmaster at the time, Sean Dickinson.  Since then many different members of staff at the school have headed the summer scheme.  This year the scheme ran from Monday 19th July to Saturday 24th July and was for children in the local community aged 8 to 14 years.

Learning Mentor Steve Webb headed the scheme for the third time accompanied by a team of helpers.  These were his wife Joy, Darren Hunt, myself, Jayne Bristow, Helen Natress, James Hall, Matthew West, Victoria Pollard, Holly Feller, Emma Price, James Kimber, Ben Turner, Stephanie Monks, Charleigh Dun, Ian Warn, Robert Williams and Amy Dark.

After Steve secured the funding and gave us the go ahead in June, Darren got to work organising the activities and I designed the programme.  Darren was then able to visit the local junior schools and deliver flyers in order to publicise the scheme.   We did not know how many children to expect.  We were all pleasantly surprised on Monday morning to see a queue of eager children and parents that seemed to stretch for miles!

This year was by far the most successful ever as we had an average of over ninety children per day attending.  Even torrential rainfall on the Thursday morning didn't affect the numbers!  (Needless to say the sun soon came out and we were able to enjoy another day of beautiful weather).

Thanks to generous funding from the Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF), we were able to both buy in top-quality activities and to drop our entrance fee to an all-time low of 2.00 - not bad for five hours of fun!  The 2.00 entrance fee was affordable for most parents and meant that we were able to attract a wide cross-section of the community.

The activities this year included old favourites such as football, art and craft and cookery, which were always fully subscribed.  We also had a 'games room' with ten computers connected to the internet, table tennis, a selection of games consoles and an x-box connected to a projection screen for the ultimate in multi-player gaming!  With all that electrical equipment in one room and the hot summer weather, the activity also doubled up as a sauna - talk about value for money!

Each day we had a game of rounders in the playground which was an excellent opportunity to get everyone involved in a great team game and burn off some energy.  Joy also headed a dance/drama activity each day in the school's drama studio.

As if those activities weren't exciting enough, we were able to use the additional funding from SCAF and put extra activities on each day.  These were gladiator inflatable (two children battle to see who can knock the other off their podium first), bouncy boxing (as it sounds), sumo inflatable (wrestle your opponent!), Hanger 51 (an inflatable laser-quest type game), a puppet workshop, archery and a magician.

In addition to the activities at the school we also ran trips to Sedgemoor Splash, Wookey Hole Caves and 'bowling and cinema' at St. Phillips Causeway.  Once again, all trips were a success - being fully booked early on.

On the final Saturday there were no activities at the school, instead we took two minibuses of children to Chessington World of Adventures.  This was an opportunity for everyone (including the helpers) to let off some steam and enjoy a few rides.   There were more than enough rides ranging in pace to satisfy both the junior and the more experienced adventurer!

Overall the reaction from the children attending and their parents was great and many wanted the scheme to run for the whole of the summer!  It was nice for the helpers to be involved leading activities, many of which have attended summer scheme themselves in previous years.  This is excellent for their CVs and shows that they can demonstrate good leadership skills.

Some quotes from the children:

"Summer Scheme is lots of fun; I made lots of new friends!", "It was wicked!", "Summer Scheme was fun; there were lots of things to do.", "It was mental, much better than staying home all day!", "It was good and worth 2.00 and had better things this year.", "Summer Scheme was really good, especially the laser storm and bouncy boxing.  It was great!

It is not known whether Summer Scheme will happen next year.  Whether it will continue or not is subject to funding and support from the school, helpers and the local community.  I would certainly like to be involved again!

Alex Wright


This early 19th Century lithograph shows the Chapel of Ease at Shirehampton, precursor of the present St. Mary's. At the recent Wedding exhibition at St. Marys Mr Sidney Robinson gave the picture to Canon Christine Froude to pass on to Shire newspaper.

Mr Robinson now lives in Penarth but was married in Shirehampton "many years ago" and we are very grateful to him for allowing us to reproduce it here.  It was drawn by J.Willis, printed by Day and Hague and published by George Davey of 1 Broad Street, Bristol.  The Chapel was probably built in the 16th Century.

After an entire reconstruction in 1827 it was added to in 1860 and restored in 1890 and 1906 by which time it could seat 300.  The fire on the night of 15 January 1928 completely destroyed the old church and the present handsome structure was dedicated exactly two years after this tragic event.

A Window to Watch

Regular passers-by look forward to seeing the display in the window of Charity Search on 11 Station Road. Each month there is a theme, inspired by whatever is brought into the shop.  Occasionally the gifted designers of the displays, Lorraine and Mary, use items which are not from stock when a special effect is needed but for the most part all the goods in the windows are for sale.

Sometimes the theme is colour based, everything being in shades of a particular colour.  At other times the focus is topical, Summer on the Beach perhaps, the Wild West, Autumn by the Fire and Country Kitchen have been recent subjects.

This month the theme is The Jungle.  We congratulate Lorraine and Mary for their enthusiasm and skill and thank them for making their shop window so interesting and attractive.


Bristol Dial-a-Ride

This is a minibus service for people who, for whatever reasons, cannot use public transport. The service is door-to-door with fares costing about the same as Bristol bus fares. The service operates on weekdays, Monday to Thursday from 9.00am to 5pm and from 9.00am to 4.30pm on Fridays.

All the buses have a lift and accessible steps and can easily handle wheelchairs. You can use the service for whatever you need to do; visiting friends and relatives, going to the shops, clubs or visiting the library for example. For insurance purposes there is a membership system but there is no charge for membership.

If you are interested in using this scheme write to Bristol DIAL-A-RIDE, Freepost (BS 8397), Fishponds, Bristol BS16 2ZZ or telephone 0117 939 5525 for an application form and further details. If you can't manage ordinary buses or have problems with getting lifts do please take advantage of this excellent service.

Thank You

My thanks to the fellow, who parked my car for me well alongside the kerb in Penpole Avenue in the afternoon of the first Monday in August.  He saw I was in a difficulty and unhesitatingly offered to help.  A modern day Sir Galahad!             J.A.

Shire Tape

Just a reminder that every month "Shire" makes a tape of the articles in the paper so that people with sight or reading difficulties can use it.  For many years now Margaret Ellison has kindly recorded the news for us, more recently Jill Dawson has continued this service.  We are most grateful to both ladies for their help.


Thank You

GaryB's disco would like to thank Hawkins Newsagents, Alldays, Bargain Booze and The Shop (Avonmouth) for their raffle prize donations for the back to school disco, 'Another Brick in the Wall' on Saturday 31st July at the Miles Arms in Avonmouth.

Thanks also to Jane and her staff. We raised 134.25 for Parent Project UK (raising money for research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy) and 188.40 for Matthew's Trust Fund - 322.65 in total.

Shirehampton Craft Exhibition 2004

Tuesday 26th October - Saturday 30th October As this seems to be a year of looking back and celebrating all the activities that have happened in the Public Hall over the last 100 years I thought it would be interesting to look back at the records of the craft exhibition.

The first record I have are the accounts for 1986, so if that was the first one, this year will be the 19th exhibition to be held.  Gail and I got involved in 1994 so this will be our 11th, not as long as some of the team who were helping long before we came along and without whom it would be difficult to imagine the exhibition running, especially Gwen and Alice, our stalwart door people who meet and greet visitors for the whole week.

The true joy over those years has been to see every year the talents put on show by people in the village or connected to the village and they never fail to amaze and delight everyone who comes along.  I'm hoping this year will be no exception.

As you will know if you have been to an exhibition before, we take all kinds of crafts from all age ranges.  If you are willing to bring your exhibits along then we will find a place for you.  If you want to sell some items then that's ok as well.  It's your exhibition we want it to reflect the village now, so come along and be part of this lively and fun week.

We are always looking for stewards and demonstrators so feel free to put your name down on the booking form.  You don't have to exhibit to be a steward or demonstrator. Below is a booking form for entries to the craft exhibition.  Make use of it, fill it in and either hand it in to the library or send it to the address shown.

If you want to send details by e-mail this is fine, please send to:- FAO Editor: entry form on last page

Estuary Wildlife Group

The AGM of the group will be held on WEDS, OCT 6th at 7 pm at The Avonmouth Community Centre. If you have been considering joining us to find out more about the wildlife in your area, please come along. We would love to see some new faces! We have our own wildlife site which contains a pond.

If you don't know where it is, come along to the meeting and we'll tell you!

Bobbie Perkins

St. Mary's News

Hi Folks!

May I start this month by informing you the visit to St Mary's by the Maesteg Male Voice Choir is on Saturday 18th September and not the 25th as published last month - this was a misprint!  The concert by the Maesteg Male Voice Choir is to raise funds for the much needed restoration of our church organ. (see separate article written by Tim FORDER).

Tickets are 5 each (and include wine & nibbles!!) and may be obtained from Gill Sawyer at the Church Office. This is sure to be a popular event so book your tickets now to avoid disappointment. Should there be any left then these will be sold at the door on the evening of the concert.

Earlier on that same day is the "Kneeler Service" which is to be held at 3 pm.  This will be a short service to dedicate the kneelers and remember those in whose memory they have been given.  This will be followed by tea and cakes and an opportunity to look at the kneelers which will be on display.

As you may be aware, the Archdeacon has a Strategic Plan for the Diocese, whereby churches are encouraged to share resources to help with finance, and group together.  The following parishes have agreed to group together i.e. St Edyth's, Sea Mills; St Mary's, Stoke Bishop; St Peters', Lawrence Weston; St Andrew's, Avonmouth and St Mary's, Shirehampton.   These parishes will be known as the "Avonside Group".

The next Alpha Course (which is an introduction to the Christian Faith) is to be hosted by St Mary's, Shirehampton, for the benefit of all other people attending or living in the Avonside group of parishes.  The next Alpha Course commences on Thursday, 16th September from 7 pm until 9 pm.  The evening begins with supper.

Please speak to Canon Christine if you require any further information. Phylis DENYARD, a member of our congregation for many many years, is also a member of our Wednesday Food and Fellowship Club.  Well, Phylis has the best attendance record over the last 12 months, and was recently presented with a framed Certificate to commemorate this fact.

Well done Phylis, a remarkable record for one of our more Senior Citizens!  (I promised, as I am a gentleman, not to reveal her age.  All I can say is that in 8 years time she is due to receive a Birthday Telegram from HM Queen!!)  Such secrets are always safe with me! Another well known figure around our parish is Chris HEARN.

You will frequently see Chris diligently working to keep our streets looking clean and tidy and he can also be found keeping our churchyard looking beautiful.  Well, I can reveal with a clear conscience that Chris recently reached the age of 40 years.

No, he is not thinking of taking early retirement or giving up his work in the churchyard, but would be very grateful to receive any bottles of Phylosan you can spare, as they are reputed to fortify the "over forties".  (I had better run after he has read this or I might get a broom wrapped around my ear!!)

Our trip to Tewksbury in July was much enjoyed by all who attended.  Some of us had a walk around the quaint old streets and courtyards, whilst others had a walk along the banks f the River Severn before enjoying a Cream Tea.  Greedy lot aren't we - because we all had a super lunch before we left, in the Church Centre - another Gill Sawyer gastronomic delight!

There were even some energetic members who climbed the tower of Tewksbury Abbey - the largest Norman Tower in the UK.  Those of us on the ground could see arms waving from the top of the tower - so we waved back - not realising until later that it was other members of our party!

After tea we attended Choral Evensong.  The Abbey Choir were away - so the choral music was provided by a choir from Farnham, Surrey.  A very interesting service for us all, as Tewkesbury Abbey is also the parish church and practices "high church" customs, including the use of incense.

The day was regrettably tinged with sadness as on the return journey we passed the scene of a fatal road traffic accident on the M5 at Michaelwood. Now for some advance information about events in October.   On Saturday, 2nd October, we are holding our Harvest Supper in the Church Centre.

This will include Entertainment and a Barn Dance with "The Canny Band".   This will be from 7.30 - 10 pm.  Tickets will be available at 6.  Bring your own drink - we are not allowed to sell it! The next day is our Harvest Festival Service with Holy Communion at 10 Sisters of the Church, in St Pauls.

Gifts of dried and tinned food are requested which will be distributed by the Sisters to the homeless and hungry in our City. The following Saturday - 19th October - a Coffee Morning is to be held in church from 10 am until 12 noon for the "Mercy Ships".

These are ships crewed by volunteers who visit Third World countries providing much needed medical facilities to those who would otherwise be denied them.  Please remember this date and give it your support! Sunday, 10th October, at 10 am we will be holding a Pets Service.

Please bring your pets with you.  We did have a Pets Service many years ago and I can recall writing that they were all very well behaved and left no evidence of their visit!  Hopefully I can report the same at this service.  I am bringing my pet Spider - the one my wife screams at when she finds him in the Bathroom just before we go to bed!

Finally, on Saturday 16th October we shall be holding our annual Christmas Gift Fayre from 10 am - 12 noon.  A chance to buy those early gifts, cards and wrappings etc.  I anticipate having further details for you next month. 'Bye for now.


St Bernard's School

Our Toddler Group has been changed from Thursday to Wednesday afternoons, this is due to changes in the hall timetable. The first session for the new school year, will be on Wednesday, 8th September, at our usual time of 2 pm to 3.30.

So, why not come along and join us, we cook, paint, draw, we also make extremely sticky pictures as well as play.  Our age group is from babies up to school age children, all adults have to be accompanied by a child!!!

Developments on the Daisy Field

Consultation on the Daisy Field Project, week commencing 13th September in the Public Hall. Shirehampton Greens have been working with Bristol City Council to improve and enhance the Daisy Field as part of the Shirehampton Community Park.

The Council will renew the fencing around the field in this financial year, and the Greens are hoping to further a number of projects, including tree and bulb planting, seating and a sculpture trail. We need you the people of Shirehampton to tell us what you think about these projects, so we're planning a consultation exercise for the week beginning September 13th. 

There will be a display in the Public Hall and members of the Greens will be there at stated times to answer questions and to hear your views. Look out for notices at the Public Hall telling you when we'll be there.  Come in and see the display so you'll know what we have done so far and what we hope to accomplish.

Renee Slater
(Chair, Shirehampton Greens)

Any Questions

The Public Hall celebrates its centenary this year.  To mark this we are holding an exhibition of the history of the Hall, on 27/28 November, aided by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.   Judy Helme is writing a book that will be available in time for Christmas.

During the research for the exhibition and book, we discovered that the BBC's Any Questions? programme was broadcast live from the Hall, nearly 50 years ago.  The programme was transmitted on the day after the 1955 General Election, with Freddy Grisewood as Travelling Question Master.


Freddy Grisewood and Jonathon Dimbleby (photos: BBC)

We are delighted to announce that the BBC has accepted an invitation to visit us again, on Friday, 17 December.  The programme will be chaired by Jonathan Dimbleby, and broadcast live on Radio 4 after the 8 pm news summary. The audience will consist of local people.

We will publish details of how to get tickets and submit questions in good time for the event.


The Bristol-Ashton Court Walk

Is being held on the Ashton Court estate on Sunday, 24th October 2004, at 12 noon.  The route is 10 km (6.2 miles) which will take you about 2 hours to get round.  There'll be plenty of entertainment, including GWR FM Bristol, people on stilts, catering van, band and stalls so bring a picnic to eat afterwards and soak up the atmosphere.

Last year more than 373 walkers completed the route and raised a staggering 33,911 for breast cancer research, this year we need your help to get over 500 people involved and raise over 35,000. For more information contact Penny Beare on 0117 9622516 or register on line

Medical Sketch

Laurie Dando of Springfield Avenue sent us this photograph of the "Medical Sketch" in the Gang Show presented by the 191st Bristol Scout Group (St Mary's Road) on December 27th, 28th and 29th 1955.  We hope it will bring back some happy memories for some of our readers.

Severn Four Credit Union - Which? Say 'Join the Union'

Severn Four Credit Union Ltd has welcomed the report in this month's Which? Magazine that encourages its readers to consider credit union membership. In a comprehensive report about credit unions in Britain, the services they provide and the people who use them; Which? urges its readers to think again if they thought credit unions weren't for them, and says, "credit unions offer their members cheap, flexible loans, and many pay good returns on their savings accounts too".

The report's authors compared the dividend and loan rates of 25 of the biggest credit unions with rates available from mainstream providers.  The best credit union accounts beat Which? Magazine's Best Buy savings accounts 'by some margin'.  And the report says that credit unions do well when it comes to loans too.

"If you borrowed 1000 over one year, you'd be slightly better off with the best credit union than with one of the most expensive banks or building societies". Research carried out for the report found that credit unions offer good value for savings, and they found that "some of the bigger ones give great returns on savings that beat not only the big high-street banks, but some of the Best Buy savings accounts too.

The best credit unions the report says "shame their bigger high-street rivals when it comes to loans too.  Despite being relatively small organisations, they still manage to charge rates lower than big players, like Barclays and HSBC."  Credit unions, says the report, can be a "particularly good bet if you want to borrow small amounts over a short period of time".

Other things which the report says makes credit unions stand out from their commercial competitors include the free life insurance provided by ABCUL credit unions, no charges for early repayment, and the fact that 'you can feel happy with the knowledge that the money you are saving is being used to help other people in your community, rather than lining the pockets of fat-cat executives in the City".

There are around 600 credit unions in England, Scotland and Wales, providing financial services to around half a million people. Worldwide, credit unions have existed since the mid 19th century and currently have around 120 million members in 80 countries around the world - these members include half the Irish population and a third of the US and Australian populations.

Credit unions are regulated by the Financial Services Authority, and money saved in a credit union is protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme on the same basis as it would be if it was held in a bank or building society. Kathryn Hutt, Sever Four Credit Union President said: "We're delighted that such a well respected publication has given credit unions their stamp of approval.  Our 476 adult members and junior savers already know the benefits of credit union membership; we paid a dividend of 2% last year and our members pay no more than 1% interest per month on their reducing loan balance (12.68% apr) and receive life insurance built in."

Example:  Someone who borrowed 100 and repaid the loan over 52 weeks would pay a total of just 6.21 interest. Anybody who lives, works or volunteers in Lawrence Weston, Shirehampton, Sea Mills or Avonmouth can join up and gain the benefits of credit union membership.

We always welcome new members, who can access our services through PayPoint, collection points, standing order or at our office at 115 High Street, Shirehampton. For more information, please contact Jan or Tracey on 0117 938 1439 or visit our website at

The Savoy

A new development of apartments on the site of the old Savoy cinema.  The scale and design of the building is generally thought to be in keeping with the handsome row of Edwardian buildings next to it in Station Road and it has proved popular with customers. (Photo E.Very).

Christmas Lights

Shirehampton Christmas Association is a voluntary organisation that provides the Christmas Illuminations in the village of Shirehampton.  We aim to continue to upgrade the illuminations over the next few years.  However, we need to generate at least 800 per annum just to cover the installation and insurance, before we have any funds to purchase new lights.

We are generously supported by many shoppers in the village in the collecting tins on the counters of many local businesses by Shire newspaper and by donations.  To bolster this we run an annual fund raising event. Details of this year's event, a Trafalgar Night Dinner, are given below:

Contact details: Christopher Batt   07887 631 905

An Invitation

Shirehampton Christmas Association Invite You To Celebrate The 199th Anniversary Of The Battle Of Trafalgar At A Trafalgar Night Dinner

The evening's entertainment will include a 2 course roast dinner, sea shanties, children's activities, parading the beef & a quiz!  Guests are welcome to come dressed the part! TICKETS ON SALE FROM 1st SEPTEMBER 2004.

Priced 10 For Adults 6 For Children To Include 2 Course Dinner. Adult Tickets Include A Tot For The Toast To Nelson. Bring Your Own Wine Or Beer (A Small Corkage Charge Will Apply) Soft Drinks Will Be On Sale. Box Offices : 28 Station Road Shirehampton & 32 High Street Shirehampton

Bradley Crescent Coronation 1937

Outside Newsman's the Butchers From Left to Right: At the back (standing on the step) - Jack Newman, Reg Clarke (Senior). Front Row - Mrs Hart 'Bess' Paul, Ma Shepard, Mrs Newman with son John, Mrs Win Llewelyn, Mrs Jeffries, Mrs Llewelyn, Mrs Ear, Iris Limbrick, Nina Clarke and me.

This photo was kindly sent to us by Mr R Clarke, now from Godalming in Surrey, who is the "me" in the photo.

A Poem to mark the Battle of Britain 1941

My brief sweet life is over, my eyes no longer see, No summer walks - no Christmas trees - no pretty girls for me.
I've got the chop, I've had it, my daily ops are done. Yet in another hundred years I'll still be twenty-one.


This poem was sent in to the Times some years ago by a reader who saw it in the RNZAF museum in Christchurch.  We offer it to our readers as a small tribute to a small group of very brave young men.

Community Funds - Applications Received

Dragon Club - social, recreational, educational for adults with learning difficulties. Meet once a week at Beachley Walk centre and provide transport for those unable to get there otherwise. Has been running 24 years. Need to raise 3,000 p.a.

"Grainger Players" provide local theatrical entertainment at the Public Hall.  Fund raising dance on 26th November.  Support the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Entertain residential home and sheltered accommodation residents.

191st St. Mary's Scount Group - cater for age group 6 - 18.  Need a grant towards purchase of new tables and benches and to replace existing equipment.  Need to find 800.

Sea Cadets - require three 2-man tents, four adult buoyancy aids, and camping stoves.  Any  help welcome.  Amount required 750.

178th Guide Unit. Require two dining shelters and a cast iron double burner.   Plan to take away the Guides for a week's camp next year.  The dining shelters cost 127 each and the burner costs 51.50.  They are planning to sell quiz sheets to have a parents evening with raffle. They hope to raise 50 from both events. They are therefore looking for 250.

Avonmouth OBRFC - They encourage youngsters from all surrounding areas to participate in the game of Rugby and also enjoy the many social events that take place in the clubhouse.  It gives the young people - ages range from 7 to 17 a place where not only they can go, but also their families, whose help with coaching, transport, and kitchen duties on match days the section could not do without. The children do pay a minimal annual subscription fee of 1 p.a., this has been in place for about 3 years now and is to encourage children from the many low income families in the area to join the club. Specialist training equipment is always needed and any funds awarded will be put to good use to purchase these items.

Charity Search - was registered in 1987 and they offer a free advice service to older people in need to link them, where possible, with appropriate grant making charities.  It is estimated that it costs them in the region of 30 per head to deal with enquiries from the first approach to the successful (!) outcome. They cannot guarantee success every time, but they can guarantee that they will use their best endeavours to find help for anyone who contacts them.   Their annual expenditure on postage and telephone costs alone is 1,500.

Avonmouth Holiday Playscheme - Have operated ACTA holiday playschemes locally for four years. Expected grant from Greater Bristol Foundation has not been awarded, thus compromising their summer programme.  ACTA, the Community Threatre Agency, are due to send a facilitator to their group of 15 or so 5 to 11 year olds during the week commencing 26th July.  This may not now happen.  The cost for the whole week comes to 750 (150 per day).  Any  help would enable them to provide some if not all of the summer programme.

Twyford Art Club - Now planning to replace heavy worn out screens, but have so far not been able to find any at an affordable price.  They are now attempting to design their own as a DIU project. They are now applying for a grant of 200 to enable them to commission this work.  Any shortfall would be made up by Twyford Art Club and any surplus placed in the sinking fund already created by the Club for replacement of the screens.  Ownership of the screens will vest in the Shirehampton Public Hall Community Association and would be freely available for community activities held in the Hall.

Penpole Tenants Association - run a Luncheon Club for the elderly within a 3 mile radius.  They cater for the disabled, learning difficulties and anyone over 60.  At present they are experiencing difficulties with finding sufficient funds for the coach they hire each Tuesday to pick up quite a few who come.   Public transport or walking difficult for them.  They collect on average 15 to 20 each week from the elderly using transport but they have to make it up to 50.   They are looking for a donation of about 500 to help out.  Recently they have started having table top sales at the Luncheon Club to  help a little.  The Association also have Coffee Mornings, Bingo, Credit Union, Diabetic UK Meetings and Birthday Parties.

Shirehampton Community Action Forum - a local Charity that has recently become an independent organisation, based at Shire Public Hall.  Key objectives * to promote the benefit of the parish of Shirehampton and the neighbourhood without distinction of sex, or of political, religious or other opinions by associating the local authorities, voluntary organisations and inhabitants in a common effort to provide facilities in the interests of social welfare for recreation and leisure-time occupations with the object of improving the conditions of life for the said inhabitants. * The promotion of public safety and prevention of crime. * The preservation and protection of health. If awarded, they would use the grant to continue their work in the areas of Community Safety, Activities and facilities for Young people and supporting Shire Greens development of a Community Park on the Daisy Field. They would like to apply for 500, this represents the shortfall in their funding for this current financial year and would be greatly appreciated by SCAF and all their key partner organisations. (They have raised the rest of the funds from Succesful grant applications to Bristol City Council, Greater Bristol Foundation and Comic Relief).

Shirehampton Public Hall Community Association - main role is the running of the Public Hall, which is used by many community groups. The Hall is responsible for the general decorative upkeep of the interior of the building and during the past few years considerable improvement has raised the level of use of the building.  The work is ongoing and whilst income through lettings has increased, the general running costs of the building have risen also so there is only a small surplus at the end of each year.  They therefore have to fundraise.  This year they are looking to improve the flooring in the Penpole room, formerly the children's library.   They would like to lay new laminate flooring at the following cost: Laminate Boards 410, Underlay 275, Fitting 150, TOTAL: 835.  They would like a grant to cover the Laminate Boards and Underlay, and the Association would meet the costs of Fitting 150.

Public Hall Centenary

The Public Hall was officially opened on 29 September 1904.   We will celebrate the centenary with a Rededication at the Hall at 2.30 pm on 29 September 2004.  The service will be led by the vicar, Canon Christine Froude, and Doug Naysmith MP, local historian Ralph Hack, and David Thomas, Chairman of the Hall Association, will also take part.

Shirehampton Primary School Choir will sing.   The event will conclude with light refreshments. David Thomas said "We are delighted that the Hall has served the community for 100 years.  To mark the centenary the Hall's clock has been completely restored, with the aid of a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The City Council have just finished repainting the outside of the Hall.  The balcony seats have been reupholstered and repainted.  All these improvements give us an excellent launch pad as we enter our second century.  We hope as many local residents as possible will join our celebrations."

If you would like to attend the centenary, please contact Jeanette Cossey at the Hall (0117 9829963, or email for a ticket.

The Grainger Players

We are  holding a 50s - 60s dance on Friday 26 November 2004, at the PBA Club, Nibley Road, Shirehampton to enable us to raise funds for our forthcoming show which will be an "Olde Tyme Music Hall" in February 2005. Most of the costumes we shall have to hire, especially "Shires" own "Can Can" girls.

We are asking you to turn out cupboards and wardrobes for any large hats any shape or size for the show. We appreciate your valuable support and your help.  More details will be announced in the "Shire" paper and at Elizabeth Ann, Florist, 27a High Street, Shirehampton. Thank you very much.

Tea Dances at Sea Mills Methodist Church Hall

There are just a few more Tea Dances to be held at the METHODIST CHURCH, SEA MILLS.  The Hall is closing, making way for Flats, so it is hoped that alternative accommodation can be found.

October 14th       2.30 - 4.30     DAVID STOREY
October 28th       2.30 - 4.30     JOHN HUTTON
November 11th - OUR 200th DANCE January '91 - December '04      DAVID STOREY
November 25th - JOHN HUTTON

All dances 1 - Thursdays 2.30 - 4.30 p.m.


Christian Aid

The final total of money raised from Shirehampton for Christian Aid Week this year is 2,396.87.  Many many thanks to everyone who supported the fundraising events and to those who donated money through the red envelopes in St Mary's and the Methodist Churches.

Special thanks also to the Managers of Shirehampton Co-op, Bobbets, Somerfield and the Village Bakery for their donations of food for the Barn Dance buffet in May.  The Tea Dance in June was a great success with a delicious Strawberry Cream Tea and plenty of cold drinks and imported fans to keep us cool whilst enjoying the music and dancing led by Myra Jenkins.

It was another hot day when we ventured out for the Sponsored Bike Ride and thanks go to Sam Saunders for writing a report which is also in this edition of Shire. The total figure raised nationally is in excess of 15m which will be used to continue work with the world's poorest communities.

We have some information on the Christian Aid notice board in St. Mary's Church if you would like to know more about how the money is being spent.  There is also information posted about Christian Aid's Trade Justice Rally to take place in Brighton on 26th September.

This event is being organised to coincide with the opening of the Labour Party Conference in order to demand the Government ends global poverty and protects our plant. Jane and Richard Powell

Christian Aid - Bristol's Biggest Bike Ride

On Sunday 13th June, 2 groups of people from Shirehampton took part in Bristol's Biggest Bike Ride in support of Christian Aid. Some people took part in cycling the 13-mile Avon Gorge Loop ride whilst others cycled the 9-mile Family Fiesta ride.  Those people who started their ride at the Health Centre, completed 5 miles before the 13-mile ride, and then cycled back to Shirehampton, completing a total of 24 miles.

People doing the 9-mile ride completed 19 miles in total. After completing the ride, we all enjoyed a picnic at Brunel Way Picnic Park. There was a lot to see there, including a circus skills area, children's entertainment, charity stalls, food and drinks from the bar (which some people just happened to be having their picnic next to!).

Luckily for us, the weather was on our side so it was a fantastic day out!! I would like to also point out that the youngest rider who took part, in our group of 29, was 10 years old and the oldest rider was 65.   Everyone deserves a big congratulation for completing the ride and raising all of that money for Christian Aid - 882 in total.

Sam Saunders

Shire Evergreens

As from 3rd September 2004, Shire Evergreens will revert back to meeting at the Public Hall from 2 - 4 p.m. on Friday afternoons. Tickets are on sale for the Maesteg Children's Concert which will be held in Shirehampton Public Hall on 25th September.  Tickets 5 each are available from the Public Hall, tel: 982 9963, or from Norman Sims, tel: 982 3180

Volunteer Wanted

A volunteer is wanted to deliver 'SHIRE' papers to the Portway (from Hung Road to old Portway School, evens side only). Papers are brought to your door each month, for you to deliver one to each house, and this should take about 1 hour. If you can help, please telephone Pauline on 982 6935. Thank you.

Thank You

It is with regret that we have to say Goodbye and Thank you to another of our 'Delivery Girls' - Mrs Andrews. Mrs Andrews, with the help of her husband, Dr Andrews, has been delivering 'SHIRE' almost since its beginning. All good wishes for the future and again, many thanks for your hard work over the years.

Flu Immunisation Campaign 2004

The Group Practice will be running its 'flu vaccination programme again this year, starting a little earlier than before.  If you are eligible for a 'flu vaccination, you should receive an invitation letter at the beginning of September.  You will not need to telephone for an appointment, just turn up at one of the sessions detailed below.

Shirehampton Health Centre

Saturday 18th September 2004  9.00 am - 10.30 am
Saturday  2nd October      2004       9.00 am - 10.30 am
Thursday 7th  October     2004        5.00 pm -   6.30 pm
Thursday 21st October      2004      5.00 pm -   6.30 pm

Caple Road

Friday       1st October       2004       2.00 pm -     3.00 pm
Friday    15th October       2004  2.00 pm -    3.00 pm

Home visits will be made only to those patients who are housebound. There is good evidence that immunisation of those at highest risk reduces hospital admissions and cuts down the time off work.  To continue the policy started in 2000 by the Department of Health we have been advised to immunize everyone aged 65 years and over. 

Those patients with the following indications will be contacted. * Chronic respiratory diseases - including asthma *Chronic heart disease *Chronic renal disease *Diabetes Mellitus *All people over the age of 65 years. With over 3,000 patients falling into the above categories, we ask you NOT to telephone the Health Centre unless it is for a Home Visit.

Thank you for your co-operation.

The Organ in St. Mary's Church

Many of you who worship at or have visited St Mary's church in recent months will know that the organ is in urgent need of a complete overhaul and clean.  The present organ was acquired by the church in 1951. It was a redundant instrument from another church and was installed here by Percy Daniels Organ Builders, so it was by no means a new instrument at that time.

Although some remedial work has been carried out in recent years it has not had a major overhaul since 1978.  An accumulation of 26 years dust together with a lot more dirt and dust created by the major refurbishment work carried out inside the church eighteen months ago, (despite the Builders' efforts to screen the instrument) have made it necessary to have work carried out on the instrument.

In addition to this the type of heating system we have in the church which blows hot air out through vents into the building has also affected the instrument causing some of the materials used within it to dry out and become brittle.  To counteract this we need to purchase a special humidifier to help moderate the temperature inside the instrument.

The need to carry out this work was highlighted very recently when just prior to a wedding service, during a practice session, on releasing some notes the organ continued to sound and could not be silenced. As a result it could not be used for the wedding.

We are in the process of obtaining quotations for this work, but preliminary equiries have suggested that we will need to raise approximately 15,000 for the cleaning and overhaul of the organ and 3,500 for the humidifier. Efforts to raise this money have already begun and the fund was boosted by 755 received from ticket sales from the Shirehampton Area Choir concert held in St Mary's on Friday, 16th July.

This was a splendid effort and I am grateful to the 150 plus people who attended this concert for helping us with this cause.  I would also like to record my thanks to the choir members and the soloists who performed so well on the night.  However there is a long way to go before the necessary figure will be obtained.

We have plans for a number of concerts in St Mary's in support of this cause and the next one will be on Saturday, 18th September at 7pm when the Maesteg male voice choir will be giving a concert.  Tickets for this event are on sale at the Church (see Gill Sawyer in the church office ) or they can be obtained at the door on the evening of the concert.

I am sure this will be an evening of excellent music and hope that it will be well supported.  Please look out for future notice of concerts at St Mary's Church.

Tim Forder

(Organist & choirmaster)

When I Survey

It is only too easy to misread the Bible.  For example people ascribe to Jesus the profound summary of the law of Moses: 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart ... soul ...strength, and ... mind; and your neighbour as yourself.' (Lk.19.27)

In fact we owe this to a lawyer, an expert in Moses' laws, who also asked Jesus: 'Who is my neighbour?'  Jesus answered with the story of the Good Samaritan, representative of a despised minority. Minorities in Britain against whom some people discriminate today include those of African and Asian origin, Jews, gypsies, asylum seekers, homosexuals.

In South Africa apologists for apartheid quoted Noah's curse on his son Ham and his descendants. 'A slave of slaves shall he be to his brothers.' (Gen.9.25)  Nazis in Germany defended the holocaust by quoting the Jewish crowd's words at Jesus' trial: 'His blood be on us and on our children.' (Mt.27.25) and by reference to the many criticisms of 'the Jews' in S. John's Gospel.

Jesus did not directly refer to our contemporary issues of racial prejudice, homophobia and other forms of discrimination.  But besides the Good Samaritan he was notoriously supportive of marginalised minorities; collectors of the hated Roman taxes, sexually exploited women, lepers and others.

He quoted the 'golden rule' 'As you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.' (Lk.6.32)  God has given to each of us the colour of our skin and our sexual orientation.  Each of us wishes to be treated with respect, indeed with love by our neighbour.


Portway Old Boys Swim for Charity

Lee & Ian Portingale with 4 friends, George Bush, Holly Daniel, Anya Kuczaj, Hazel Tanner and reserve Louise Ridler of Bristol Henleaze Swimming Cub, wanted to go to France but instead of taking the ferry they decided to swim there and back. After a lot of hard work and organising, off they went.

On 27th July 2004 and after 23 hours 57 minutes, lots of jelly fish, stings and sea sickness, they succeed. They are the first Bristol club to try. The charities they are supporting are Frenchay Burns Unit and Bristol Disabled Sports. So far they have raised nearly 3,000 and hope to raise more by the end of the year.

Lee & Ian Portingale, Lower High Street Shirehampton

Shirehampton Model Railway Club

On September 18th, the Shirehampton Model Railway Club will be attending the exhibition at St Ursula's School. The exhibition will feature a number of layouts from Bristol Clubs, 'Rail Art' displays - demonstrations, refreshments - sales stands.

It will be an excellent opportunity to meet Club members, should anyone want to join, or to operate the Clubs '00' 1950's layout, based on Coaly Junction on the line to Gloucester. Phil Lovell.

St. Andrew's Ladies Club Programme

There was no copy supplied for this - Stuart Have you donated a kneeler to St Mary's in memory of a loved one? On Saturday 18th September at 3pm in church there will be a short service to dedicate the kneelers and remember those in whose memory they have been given.

This will be followed by tea and the opportunity to see all of the kneelers which will be on display. The kneelers have been lovingly stitched by a team of church members and by some who donated them, all with great care and dedication.  They have added to the charm and beauty of our lovely new blue chairs and the striking atmosphere of our newly refurbished church, a credit to our patron Saint Mary.

It must give comfort to people who are in sorrow to know that there is a remembrance of their loved ones in church for many years to come. Do think about coming along to the service to see the display of kneelers and the loved ones in whose memory they have been made.

We'd love to see you. Best wishes. Nan Waller. There is still an opportunity to commission a kneeler and information will be available after the service or from the Church Office 907 7026.

Do You Have a Spare Afternoon?

Since the refurbishment of St Mary's Church we are finding that many more people are coming into the building each morning.  We would like to increase our opening hours to include each afternoon between 2 and 4pm, Monday to Saturday.  Sadly we cannot leave the building unattended.

Do you have a spare afternoon you could offer each week on a regular basis, to be in church, to keep an eye on what's happening and to be a reference point for those who come in and want to look around or sit quietly?  We need at least 2 people each day, so are you a married couple who could offer an afternoon or do you have a friend who would like to do this with you?

If you are on your own then we should be able to pair you up with someone else.  There will be an introductory session to explain how things will work to which you will be invited and subject to formalities we hope to open as soon as we have enough volunteers.

The church is one of the few buildings in the village that belongs to the people of Shirehampton.  We would love to make it more available.  Can you help us? Please either call into church or phone for more information.

Best wishes.

Canon Christine 9855450/Church Office 9077026.

Letters to the Editor

Merchant Navy Association Bristol and Discrict Branch Harbour Regatta 31st August 2004

Yet again we were very lucky with the weather, on the weekend of the "Harbour Regatta".  It was nice to see Queens Square opened up, and so many children and grown ups enjoying a picnic. There is so much work and dedication involved in organizing this event, both by volunteers and City Council employees, to make the event such a success.

On behalf of the above MN A/SS would like to thank ALL those involved. Would also like to thank all those who donated to the Bucket Collection over the weekend, visited the Stall and supported the Raffle.  Which helped to raise funds for MNA. BRISTOL BRANCH.

For ALL those who managed to visit the Harbour Side, hope you enjoyed the day.  For those unable to attend, maybe we will see you next year. HOPE SO!!

M Grant
Treasurer MNA Bristol Branch.

Flowers on the Green

I would like to thank Councillor Spud Murphy for the work in planting out the flower beds on the green.  Also, thank you to Mr Gary Brentnall, the Community Park Manager, for ensuring the continued watering of the flowers. Our village green is one of the prettiest greens in the area and deserves some care and maintenance.  My thanks to all concerned.


Portway Shooting Stars

Dear Editor,

"Portway Shooting Stars" is a youth drama group based at Portway School.  They meet on Wednesday afternoons from 3.15-5.30.  In the last three years they have put on some truly wonderful performances and entertained friends and family with their productions.

All their scripts are original and they have offered us a range of productions from futuristic fantasy fun, to serious exploration of the interaction of youth and other age groups. Through their acting the young people have been constructively entertained, and have developed many qualities such as problem solving and conflict resolution.

"ACTA" is truly inclusive and there are many members of the group that have overcome exceptional difficulties to participate.  Occasionally the group can facilitate opportunities beyond the production they are engaged in, last year several "Shooting Stars" took part in the Summer Challenge, a full week of drama activity, and Casualty offered one lad a "screen-test".

They have been managed by "ACTA" as part of a three-year project, and sadly the funding has just run out!  However several parents and carers are getting together to form a "Steering Committee" to try and secure funding for the group for future projects.

By the time you read this we will have held our initial meeting and hopefully the committee will be up and running and eagerly looking for new members to support it.  If you have a new starlet waiting in the wings, or can offer sponsorship, time, or any other skill and resource to help keep "Portway Shooting Stars" in production, we'd love to hear from you.

Please contact: Verena Edgeworth 07713765833 or Bev Wyld 07905820671. Thank you very much. Yours faithfully V Edgeworth 67 Watling Way Shirehampton Bristol BS11 9NL

Clearance at top of lane at Church Leaze

I hope those who use the lane at the top of Church Leaze leading to Pembroke Road and providing a 'short-cut' to the village will have noticed that it was cleared at the weekend by Council employees.  It's not perfect, but better than it was.  To get this work done has taken me many 'phone calls and letters over a year to get this far.

Unfortunately, the mattress dumped there some weeks ago is still there.  It would be nice if the person responsible for this would claim their property and dispose of it in the proper way before it becomes infested.

The Council state that they are not responsible for the back lane and will not repeat the Clean Up, so I would appeal to people to please refrain from dumping your RUBBISH in the lane - take it home with you and try to take some pride in the area in which you live.

I would like to thank the Council employees for the work carried out and hope we are able to keep it this way.


Shire on the Web note, the Council offer a free collection service for matresses - just call 922 3838 there is no excuse.

Cemetery Violation

Dear Readers,

On Sunday, 25th July, I went round to my daughter's grave at Shirehampton Cemetery to renew her flowers.  On approaching, I could not believe my eyes as a car was parked on the grass next to the headstones with only its two offside tyres on the road.

To reach its parking place it had driven across the bottom of my daughter's plot and the plot next to it, leaving clear tyre marks in the grass.  The female driver obviously wanted to park close to the plot she was attending as the elderly man with her did not walk very well.

However, there was still plenty of room to leave her car at the usual parking area.   Even with her passenger's walking difficulties this was no reason to desecrate two graves simply for their own benefit.  This is surely ignorance at its worst by a woman who clearly has no respect for the dead and relatives who try to look after their resting place.

I wonder how she would feel if someone did the same to her?

(Name given but withheld on request.) (Thank you for your donation to SHIRE funds.)

Mr Ralph Dutfield-Hack

Dear Readers

MR RALPH DUTFIELD-HACK (long-ago of Shirehampton) is now in Holmwood House Nursing Home, Channells Hill, Westbury-on-Trym, where he would be glad of visits from any of his friends and acquaintances.  Visiting is allowed at any time during the day - you are required to sign in.  HE WOULD BE GLAD TO SEE YOU. From his son, Keith.

Looking for Music

I am the scheme manager of Hill House, a sheltered housing scheme for the over 60s. For many years we have struggled with an old piano, which constantly goes out of tune.   It is costly to get it tuned which we pay for out of our funds a couple of times a year.

We cannot afford to get even a good secondhand one as this can be in the region of 600.  Our funds cannot stretch that far as we use the money for trips and entertainment (although they cringe if they use the piano).  We have several residents who cannot get out, so to listen to the piano is a treat, or it would be!!

We were wondering if any of your readers have a piano that is forgotten in a corner, and would love to have its ivory's tinkled once more.  Free would be great or at a very good deal please, please, please, please.Walk, Sea Mills, Bristol BS9 2JD.   Tel: 9686381