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Action Forum Marks First Year

Letters to the Editor

St Mary's News

The Shire-Pill Ferry Relived

'It was lovely! It took me back; it was a nostalgic return. I wouldn't have missed it for the world'. So said Ellen Husher, of Walton Road, Shirehampton. She was referring to her day out on Bank Holiday Monday (August 30th), when the Shire-Pill ferry operated once again. She and her husband had joined the crowds of people on both sides of the River Avon, queueing to have a ride again on the small ferry and relieve past experiences.

'The atmosphere was brilliant - this side and Pill side. There was a huge turn-out, far more than anticipated,' said Ellen. 'Of course,' she continued, 'you call it the Shire-Pill ferry, but I come from Pill and we call it the Pill-Shire ferry!'

August Bank Holiday Photos by Eric Verey

The event had a special significance for Ellen, for her father and her brother were ferry-men.

Ellen was born at Friendly Row, in Pill (long since demolished). She had five brothers and eight sisters. Her father, Albert, operated the ferry for as long as she can recall ('I can't recall him doing anything else'). Her eldest brother (another Albert) took over from his father sometime in the 1960s. He operated it until it closed in 1974. His nickname was 'Uggy', as was his father's - in fact they were known as 'Big Uggy' and 'Little Uggy'. Ellen, however, cannot remember the name for this nickname. She often used to accompany her father on the boat to keep him company.

Eileen Sharp on her wedding day with her father Albert Sharp the ferryman

Ellen Sharp's first job was making paper bags at A P Burt & Sons at Portishead Docks. She went to work at Ham Green Hospital, when she moved to Shirehampton in 1954 to marry Ray Husher of Walton Road. At first the young people lived with Ellen's in-laws (Albert and Annie Husher) at number 5, but in 1956 they moved into their own house at number 37, where they remain to this day.

Ray and Ellen will have been married for 50 years in December, when they will celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary.

Gil Osman, also of Walton Road, recalls being taken on the ferry as a young child by his parents to catch the train from Pill to Portishead for a day out at the boating lake.

On other occasions, when older, he and his brothers (twin Ron and older sibling Brian) would take their bikes across the Avon. They would they cycle to Abbots Leigh to swim in Abbots Pool. It was very exciting to swim to the island in the middle of the pool and the excitement was heightened by the story of the Shire lad who got tangled in the weeds there and drowned. The only drawback was the constant attack from horse-flies.

On still further occasions 'a small gang of us boys would cross the ferry to Pill and walk downriver to open countryside (where Portbury Dock now is). Laden with an old frying-pan, some potatoes and some of the horrible-tasting, post-war, whale-oil margarine, we would light a fire, peel the potatoes, slice them and fry them. We called them 'scallops' for some unknown reason (quite the wrong word) and they tasted delicious, despite the fact that we had no water to peel the potatoes and, consequently, they were covered in dirt!

It has been suggested that the ferry operate at weekends in the summer to give a chance for more people to experience the river crossing. What do you, our readers, think?

Please also write in with your memories of the old ferry - and that includes those far-flung ex-pats on the Shirehamptonchat website!

The Ferry

Remember when the ferry-boat
Crossed from 'The Lamps' to Pill?
Going through the turnstile,
In weather good or ill?
Remember when the boatman
Used to wash the mud away
From the sloping, cobbled footpath
(A true slip way!) where it lay?

He used a kind of bucket
At the end of a long pole;
Performed the task with relish
(He enjoyed his little role.)
Remember going upstream
To fight the ebbing tide;
The children ever wondering
If they'd reach the other side?

Remember bobbing up and down
Precariously in the wake
Of passing 'Campbells' steamer,
Or the wash 'John King' would make?
I remember, I remember
And within I feel the lack
Of the ferry and its boatman -
Oh, I wish they were back!


Action Forum Marks First Year

Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF) marked its first year as an independent organisation at its Annual General Meeting held on 2 September. SCAF's Chairman David Thomas summarised the year's achievements saying:

'The Forum was set up in October 2001 by Shirehampton PUblic Hall Community Association to address the issues raised in a Community Profile of Shirehampton, which was published in January 2001. The Forum aims to address these issues by strengthening ties and building partnership working between statutory agencies, private enterprise, and voluntary and community groups in Shirehampton.

Until March 2003 the Forum operated as an offshoot of the Public Hall Association. However, from the outset, we hoped that the Forum would become an independent organisation, with its own management and finances. We achieved this on 1 April l2003. This is our first annual report as an independent body.

We have made excellent progress both in delivering benefits to the local community and setting up a viable organisation. Our community work is mainly carried out by Action Groups, whose work is described in more detail later in this report. I will highlight a few of their achievements here.

The Youth support and Community Safety Groups have well-established networks of people in the voluntary and statutory fields. The good relationships established in these groups enabled us to respond very quickly to an invitation from Connexions to bid for funding for Positive Actions for Young People. We were awarded a contract to manage a programme holiday activities delivered through our partner organisations.

Shirehampton Greens has consulted 350 people of all ages to find out how they would like the Lamplighters Marsh area developed as a community park. They held a successful Fun Day on the field, which was very enjoyable and helped to raise local awareness of the project. They have built up excellent relationships with the City Parks Department, who are consulting with us on their work to improve the site.

As an organisation, we have recruited a set of Trustees, and become both a Company Limited by Guarantee and a registered charity. We have worked with 36 partner organisations. 17 local residents have participated in the Forum or its Action Groups. In addition at least 1000 local people have attended vents run by SCAF, or given their views on local issues in consultation exercises.

We were delighted to be included in HRH The Earl of Wessex's visit to the Public Hall in September. His Royal Highness received a presentation on SCAF's activities, and was very impressed with what he saw.

We could not have achieved as much as we have without the efforts of many people. I am very grateful to my fellow Trustees, all those who have contributed to SCAF's activities, and our funders. In particular, I would like to thank our employees, Richard Fletcher (who supported the Greens for most of last year, and Ash Bearman, our Development Officer. Without her skill and enthusiasm we could not have got as far as we have so quickly.'

David Thomas, Tim Baynes Clarke, Sandra White, Iwan Jones, Thelma Tillett, and John Hardy were elected as Trustees.

If you would like a copy of the Annual Report, which gives full details of the work of SCAF, please contact Ash Berman on 0117 982 9963, call in at the Public Hall, email or visit SCAF's website

Anne Hillman - Acknowledgements

Anne Hillman died on July 8th, 2004. Tom, Karen, Peter, Suzanne and families would like to thank everyone who attended Anne's funeral service in St Mary's Church and at Canford Cemetery. Funeralcare sent donations of 607.17 to St Peter's Hospice. Many thanks to Canon Christine and Gill and staff at St Peters.

(Thank you for your donation to Shire funds - Ed.)

New Books at Shirehampton Library


Abbott Jeff A Kiss Gone Bad
Ali Monica Brick Lane
Ashford Jeffrey Evidentially Guilty
Bear George Dead Lines
Bernhardt William Criminal Intent
Blair Jessica Echoes of the Past
Booth Stephen One Last Breath
Brandt Beverly Dream On
Coben Harlan Just One Look
Collishaw Stephan Amber
Connelly Michael The Narrows
Davis Lindsey The Accusers
Diamond Sarah The Spider's House
Doody Margaret Poison in Athens
Dowling Clare Amazing Grace
Dunmore Helen Mourning Ruby
Edric Robert Cradle Song
Evanovich Janet Ten Big Ones
Fforde Katie Paradise Fields
Foley Jess Saddle the Wind
Goddard Robert Play to the End
Graham Heather Dead on the Dance Floor
Green Tim The Fifth Angel
Heyer Georgette Venetia
Heyer Georgette Faro's Daughter
Hylton Sara An Arranged Marriage
Kaye Gillian A Nurse in Conflict
Kent Alexander Man of War
Lord Elizabeth The Flower Girl
Lovesey Peter The House Sitter
Ludlum Robert The Tristan Betrayal
MacLean Alister Where Eagles Dare
Marshall Michael The Lonely Dead
Michalowski Mark Doctor Who - Halflife
Pye Michael Taking Lives
Raymond Dennis Coming Back In
Reeman Douglas A Prayer for the Ship
Robb J.D. Witness in Death
Ryan Chris The Increment
Sallis Susan The Pumpkin Coach
Smith Taylor Liar's Market
Teran Boston The Prince of Deadly Weapons
Thompson Grace The House by the Brook
Trigiani Adriana Lucia
Trotter Janet MacLeod Return to Jarrow
Vickers Sally Mr Golightly's Holiday
Wakling Christopher On Cape Three Points
Walker Fiona Lots of Love
Wallen Jacqueline Sudden Loss of Serenity

Large Print

Robins Denise The Unlit Fire

Spoken Word Cassette

Dudgeon Piers Kate's Daughter - The Real Catherine Cookson
Holmes Joyce Foreign Body
Jacobs Anna Our Mary Ann
Saylor Steve The Venus Throw

Non Fiction

331.702 Advice and Counselling Connexions
331.702 Schools and Colleges Connexions
336.242 The Bedford Boys Alex Kershaw
364.1523 Dark Truths Dr CJ Kurtz & Robert D Hunter
616.342 Irritable bowel syndrome Patsy Westcott
616.81 Stroke - A Guide to Recovery and Prevention Dr Vladimir Hachinski & Larissa Hachinski
629.283 Theory Test Companion & The Highway Code
635 The Garden Revival Expert Dr D G Hessayon
641.563 Fit Food Teresa Cutter
641.563 Great British Dishes the Health Way
641.5635 The Illustrated Atkins New Diet Cookbook
796.33 ROB Finding My Feet Jason Robinson
796.426 The Autobiography Colin Jackson
914.675 Johnners the Life of Brian Barry Johnston
914.675 Rough Guide to Mallorca and Menorca
914.95 The Greek Islands
940.544 Fighter Boys Patrick Bishop
942.085 Camilla Rebecca Tyrrel
L796.352 Golf in the Little Park - A History of Shirehampton Golf Club 1904-2004 Eric F. White

Junior Fiction,,

Colfer, Eoin The Legend of Spud Murphy
Dunmore, Helen The Seal Cove
Eward, Franzeska G Bryony Bell Tops the Bill
Impey, Rose Titchy Witch and the Stray Dragon
Master, Anthony The Drop
Wilson, Jacqueline Lola Rose

Kinder Box

Kipper's Beach Bal l Mick Inkpen
Winnie's New Computer Korky Paul & Valerie Thomas
Imagine You're A Mermaid Mer Meg and Lorelei Lucy
Little Baa Kim Lewis
My Mum is Fantastic Nick Butterworth
Secret Seahorse Stella Blackstone/Clare Beaton
The Story Tree (Tales to Read Aloud) Hugh Lupton
More Katie Morag Island Stories Mairi Hedderwick
Mummy Never Told Me Babette Cole

Junior Non Fiction

J428 Cats, Hats and Hippos Ruth Thompson & Pie Corbett
J599.79 Seal Louise & Richard Spilsbury
J599.767 Badger Louise & Richard Spilsbury
J821/91TUR I Was Only Asking Steve Turner
J891.823 Handa's Hen Eileen Browne
J942.081 The Villainous Victorians Terry Dreary

Non Fiction

004.16 Haynes Computer Troubleshooting Kylie MacRae
264.23.1 The Nation's FAvourite Hymns Andrew Barr
379.1509 Up and Down in the Dales Gervase Phinn
616.857 Migraine 2nd Edition Dr Frank Clifford Rose & Dr Marek J Gawel
621.31924 Complete Wiring & Lighting Albert Jackson & David Day
635.986 Great Containers Claire Matthews
641.665 Top 100 Chicken Recipes Nick Nairn
641.822 Pasta Sauces Lindy Wildsmith
759.054 The Impressionists and Their Art Russell Ash
794.735 Ronnie the Autobiography Ronnie O'Sullivan
J599.775 Fox Louise and Richard Spilsbury
941.56311 Healthy Heart Cookbook Helen Middleton


Andrews Lyn Across a Summer Sea
Aycliffe Jonathan A Garden Lost in Time
Bicos Olga Shattered
Caddle Colette Red Letter Day
Cannell Stephen J Hollywood Tough
Child Lee The Enemy
Cook Robin Seizure
Cornwell Bernard Sharpe's Escape
Cussler Clive White Death
Edwards Ruth Dudley Carnage on the Committee (Large Print)
Gardiner Meg Mission Canyon
Grimes Martha The Grave Maurice
Groves Annie Connie's Courage
Hagberg David The Kill Zone
Harry Lilian A Promise to Keep
Humphreys Helen The Lost Garden
Jonker Joan When Wishes Come True
Leon Donna Uniform Justice
Ludlum Robert The Altman Code
McCoy Ken Jacky Boy
Morrow Jill Angel Cafe
Murray Annie Water Gypsies
Neale Kitty A Cuckoo in Candle Lane
Nichol James W Midnight Cab
O'Flanagan Sheila Too Good to be True
Owen Dean Point of a Gun (Large Print)
Patterson James 3rd Degree
Patterson James The Jester
Pearson Ridley The Body of David Hayes
Pitman Jenny The Dilemma
Reich Christopher The Devil's Banker
Robb J D Divided in Death
Robinson Patrick Scimitar SL-2
Senate Melissa The Solomon Sisters Wise Up
St George Nonnie The Ideal Bride
Stacey Lyndon Blindfold
Stirling Jessica The Captive Heart
Thornton Margaret Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree
Quigley Sheila Run for Home
Walters Guy The Leader
Woods Janet Beyond the Plough
Worboyes Sally Where Sparrows Nest
Junior Fiction
Allan Nicholas Where Willy Went -
Junior S. W. Cassette
Hilary McKay Pudding Bag School: Cold Enough for Snow

Family Questions

Frequently asked questions

Q. My spouse is violent and abusive. What can I do about it?

Domestic violence affects many relationships. It is sometimes difficult to do anything about the violence when you love someone and you want to forgive them and stay with them and when they say that they are sorry and won't do it again. Maybe you've just got used to it, blaming it on alcohol or other household problems, such as debt. You don't have to put up with violence from anyone. What are the alternatives?

You can call the police. They will attend an incident of violence and this can lead to the problem being resolved. There are also support groups who have listened many times to victims of domestic violence and have helped them through it. Mediation and counselling may help you by talking through your problems leading to improvement in your relationship.

However, if these things don't work or you don't feel able to take these steps, you may wish to seek legal advice and help, for example to obtain a non-molestation order

from the Court for your protection. This prevents the person named from threatening or using violence, from pestering, harassing, molesting or intimidating, or from going within a certain distance of your home. A court order can sometimes be obtained on the same day as meeting with you and discussing the problems that you are experiencing. In certain circumstances a Power of Arrest can be attached.

Q. My marriage is over and I want a divorce

A. Every divorce is started by a 'petition'. The Court must be satisfied that the marriage is at an end and the expression the Court will use is that the marriage has 'irretrievably broken down'. The Court will also require proof of the following grounds - that your husband or wife has committed adultery or

that your husband or wife has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them or

that your husband or wife deserted you at least 2 years ago or

that you and your husband or wife have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 2 years and he or she agrees to a divorce or

that you and your husband or wife have lived apart from at least 5 years.

A. I've worked hard all these years. Will I be left with nothing?

A. It is not surprising that financial worries are at the top of everyone's list of concerns. If possible, agreement should be reached regarding the financial arrangements and a request made that the Court orders what has been agreed. This is known as a 'Consent Order'. If agreement cannot be reached an arrangement may be imposed on both husband and wife by the Court.

When deciding what type of order to make and for how much the Court's primary consideration will be the welfare of any child under the age of 18 years in your family. Other considerations will include the income, potential earning capacity, property and other financial resources of you and your husband or wife and the financial needs, obligations and responsibilities of both you and your husband or wife.

There are practical solutions if you are experiencing marriage breakdown or domestic violence. You need the help of a sympathetic and professional advisor.

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Barry McGlone, the manager of the 'Lifeboat' showed me a large ship's steering wheel, about six feet in diameter, which apparently was attached to the ceiling of the public bar at one time. It appears to be a genuine relic but we are now anxious to determine where the wheel came from. Do any of your readers know from which ship it came? Was it salvaged from a wreck? If anyone can help would they please contact me - Captain H Grant, 18 Church Leaze, Shirehampton, Bristol BS11 9SY. Tel. 0117 982 3284.

Chairman, Bristol & District Branch, Merchant Navy Association

Dear Editor

Many thanks for your letter enclosing 5 cheque. I was surprised and flattered to receive a cheque for my 'crossword' effort for the 'Shire' as I enjoyed working it out and look forward to any future crossword challenges. I certainly didn't expect any award, so am returning the cheque and will be pleased if you would add it to funds.

We look forward to receiving our 'Shire' as, although both my husband and I were born and attended schools in Shirehampton, it is many years since we left and it is so very nice to keep in touch with what is going on there.

With all good wishes and thanks again.

Yours sincerely

Myra Coombs

(Thank you for your kind donation - Ed.)

Dear Sirs,

This is a 'thank you' letter to a very nice young girl who, with her boyfriend, was walking down past our cottage on the night of Sunday 4th September at approximately 11pm.

They had heard me shout at a man who was clambering over our roof, ran across to help, saw what was going on and the young lady phoned the police whilst the young man went around to the side of the house and, with a couple of male young friends (I have no idea who they were, but I was glad they were there) caught the man who was on the roof and held on to him until the police arrived, which was very quick indeed. I can't praise them enough for their kindness.

It wasn't very pleasant to hear what I thought were our tiles being removed, but everybody involved was truly very helpful.

Again, my thanks to all concerned.

Pat Christisan

(Thank you for your donation to Shire - Ed.)

Marmalade Cake

Many thanks for the recipe for the marmalade cake. I would like to know what the oven temperature would be. Don't want to burn the cake. Thanks.

Myrtle Hall Allotments


Wally Hudd, Site Representative, Plot 14

Dave Fisher Plot 30 Richard Wilee Plot 8

In response to the number of people who applied unsuccessfully for an allotment over the past year, I am pleased to announce that a small number of full and half plot allotments have recently become available on this site.

Information and application forms can be obtained by contacting: Site representative Mr Wally Hudd at the Myrtle Hall site, alternatively Dave Fisher on 0117 982 8778 or 07760 380043 m.

Myxomatosis Alert - Clover & Lilac's Story

We'd all heard of it, the man-made pox-virus used to control the wild population of rabbits, but you never expect it to happen to your beloved pet.

Clover, my 14 year old sister's pet rabbit had been suffering from weepy eyes. Despite being kept as clean as possible, within a couple of days they were swollen and red. On visiting the vets we were in for some shocking news. Unbeknown to us she had been infected with Myxomatosis.

On hearing this my heart sank, for this would also pose a threat to our two other rabbits Magic and Lilac. For the next week or so we had to syringe both antibiotics twice a day, plus give them some sort of powder to combat the antibiotics harsh effects on the gut.

As for Clover, although most infected rabbits may be put down straight away, we were encouraged to give her a chance which is what we did. But it was a struggle. Nothing can describe how distressing it is to see a Myxomatosis infected rabbit, especially a much loved one. As well as the antibiotics and the powder, three times a day her eyes had to be bathed and eye drops put in. Once a day she also needed to be given another type of antibiotic with food, which needed to be forced fed as she had lost much of her appetite. Her eyes, mouth and private area were completely swollen and for her breathing was very difficult. She could suffer secondary infections such as pneumonia and should she be lucky enough to recover, which could take several months of careful nursing, she would most likely be blind.

On Friday of last week (27/8/04) Clover was diagnosed with pneumonia and had to be put to sleep. Yesterday (1/9/04) her companion, Lilac, was rushed to the vet with symptoms of the virus. She was diagnosed with Myxomatosis and put to sleep.

Foolishly we never really thought about vaccination. As pets none of them has ever suffered from rabbit fleas - one of the main carriers of the disease. Unfortunately vets are seeing more and more of this at the present. Although it has never been proved, there is strong indication that it may also be carried by mosquitoes and gnats. Also, cats in particular as well as dogs and foxes can also pick up rabbit fleas from parks and fields where infected wild rabbits may habitat.

So please if you haven't already, think seriously about vaccination. Whilst there are no guarantees your rabbit will never get the virus, should it get infected its chances of survival would be much greater.

Written by Amy Trickey

Nobby Clarke

Many people in Shirehampton knew Douglas John Clarke, my Dad, better known as Nobby. I lived for many years with him, Lilian (my Mum), 3 brothers and 3 sisters in St Mary's Road.

The only hobby my Dad had was his garden but he had many pleasures - a good pint of beer in the pub or club, betting on the horses, doing the football pools and going to Bristol Rovers matches. I have vivid memories of being dragged up the hill to watch a local cricket team play and then the long walk to the Lamplighters pub for lemonade and crisps.

Sadly Dad developed Alzheimer's Disease. For the remaining 8 years of his life he slid relentlessly into the darkness of Alzheimers. Down he went, through the descending way-stations of complete loss of memory, no longer recognising his sister of 70 odd years, incontinence, incoherence, loss of the ability to walk, loss of the ability to feed himself and finally being unable to swallow. He dwindled into infancy and spent his days sat in a comfortable chair in Humphry Repton House in Brentry. However, the way John kept on laughing and had a smile for all throughout his illness revealed he had a heart of gold.

Once he did I and other family members had a unique way of celebrating his life and having something to remember him by.

With three other former carers of people with dementia I successfully applied for an After Dementia Millennium Award (ADMA). The money was used to prepare the ground and build a 'Seaside Square' in the grounds of Humphry Repton. The Seaside Square consists of a gazebo where people can sit on a pretend beach and enjoy the experience of a simulated seaside. A beach scene has been painted into the walls, complete with donkeys, ocean, pier, etc. There are pebbles on the floor, speakers to play familiar seaside sounds and a machine to release the unmistakable aroma of the seaside.

At the back of the Seaside Square on one wall there is a 'Wall of Smiles'. Family or friends who had a relative in Humphry Repton House who has died has designed each hand painted tile. On the other wall there is a 'History Wall' consisting of a selection of encapsulated photographs of well-known events over the last few decades.

The tile designed in memory of my Dad is the centre one on the bottom line. I always smile when I look at the tile as I think it sums up by Dad.

Rosemary Clarke

Sea Cadet Corps

Avon Team win Lord Montgomery Cup

Over the weekend of September 4-5 two cadets from TS Enterprise - Leading Cadet Angus Morgan and Able Cadet Lucy Lewis joined with other units to form part of the South West team to compete in a shooting competition. It was a national event held at Longmoor against sea cadets from around the country. Leading Cadet Angus Morgan gained Best Shot Sea Cadet Corp and Able Cadet Lucy Lewis gained the Avon District Sea Cadet Corp Skill at Arms. The Avon Team gained the highest points overall and took the Lord Robert Montgomery Cup.

At the end of October the team will compete in the Inter Services Competition at Pirbright. This was a magnificent effort by the Avon Team and a splendid achievement by our two Avonmouth cadets.


With the start of the new school year we have vacancies for juniors and seniors. We meet Mondays and Thursdays, 7pm to 9pm, and our programme is overflowing with wonderful opportunities. Don't take my word for it - come and see for yourself. Adult help is welcome, call in and speak to the Commanding Officer, Barbara Hillier.

Shirehampton Methodist Church

Sunday October 24th at 6.30pm - visit of The Dean Singers Male Voice Choir. Chairman: Kenneth Napier. A warm welcome is extended to all.

St Mary's News

Hi Folks!

Here we are into October already and the clocks go back at the end of the month! Once more the commencement of those long dark evenings when we become 'couch potatoes', huddled around the fire and watching endless 'repeats' on the television. Never mind, life at St Mary's is as lively at this time of the year as in the summer months.

Before I go on to October and November events, I must tell you that August Bank Holiday Lunches and Teas raised well over 500 towards church funds. Thanks must go again to Gill Sawyer for all the time and effort she puts in to organise such first class meals. Fundraising is such an important feature in order to pay our debts. On the subject of fundraising, the 'Open Gardens' programme throughout the summer was another good source of revenue and enjoyable social events. Thanks must also go to Maureen and Dan Geddes for their Wine and Cheese Party which raised well over 100.

You will have read in last month's 'Shire' of the death of the Very Rev Horace Dammers - one-time Dean of Bristol Cathedral and regular worshipper at St Mary's. His funeral took place at Bristol Cathedral on Friday 3rd September 2004. Canon Christine and many members of St Mary's attended the service, which was followed by refreshments in the Chapter House. A short cremation service was held at Canford for family members only. Horace was a kind and gentle man and I admired him greatly and shall miss seeing him in our presence. Any person wishing to make a donation in memory of Horace can do so by donating to Christian Aid or to Ex-Services CND. A Book of Condolence is currently in the Peace Corner for anyone who wishes to make use of it.

Another funeral which took place in September was that of Paul Cox who was tragically killed on a motorcycle when he collided with a tree opposite Shirehampton Golf Club. Paul was a keen follower of Manchester United Football Club and on the day of his funeral many of the mourners were dressed in red and white. Canon Christine approached his family and asked if they would like the St George's Flag flown on our flagpole. They readily agreed and it remained flying throughout the day of the funeral. It is estimated that between 500 and 600 people were present at St Mary's for the service.

Now, on a happier note. I can tell you of events at St Mary's this month and during the early part of November. On Saturday 16th October we are holding our annual Christmas Gift Fayre between 10am and 12 noon. A limited amount of jams and pickles etc will be available, but mainly we shall have gifts, cards and wrappings etc for sale. Light refreshments will also be available - please come and give us your support. Gifts for sale will be new, not secondhand!

On Tuesday 19th October at 1pm we are having a Lunch & Beetle Drive. No tickets are needed - just sign the list at the back of the church (to assist with numbers for catering) and turn up on the day. At the last Beetle Drive we had some very serious and competitive players come out of the woodwork!

On Sunday 24th October the Rev Roly Bain (Holy Clown!) will be present at our 10am Holy Communion service. You will find him extremely amusing - with humour to suit grown-up children and little children! Don't miss this chance to listen to him. He recently took a service at Gloucester Parish Church for the installation of a gentleman to the Guild of Verges. At that service he had the congregation rolling in the aisles with laughter!

On Saturday 13th November we shall again be holding our annual memorial service. This is open to anyone but is mainly directed towards people who have lost loved ones recently or in years past. It is to be held at 3.00pm and will be conducted by Canon Christine. This is the third year this service has taken place, and judging by the numbers attending fulfils a great need.

The next day, Sunday 14th November, is Remembrance Sunday. The service will commence at 10.00am in Church, before proceeding in procession to the War Memorial at the top of Park Hill.

At 6.00pm that evening Evensong will be from the Book of Common Prayer and sung by the Shirehampton Area Choir. If you haven't enjoyed a Service of Evensong for a long time - here is your opportunity.

Finally, I have a letter from Bodgitt, Dodgitt & Frogitt (Solicitors) acting or Roy Miller. They said their client was extremely upset at not being mentioned in a recent edition of 'Shire' as one of the persons who assists to keep the churchyard tidy. This omission was entirely my fault and I intend to plead guilty to any charges which may fall in my direction. I can't understand how I came to make such a mistake, because you can't really miss him when the sun glints off his bald head and his hairy legs are seen trotting behind the lawn mower. Never mind Roy - we all love you really!

Bye for now - C.M.E.

The Rush Pool, Shirehampton

'Shirehampton did not possess a village pond as such, but perhaps 'Rush Pool' was the next being thing. This was a large but shallow dew-pond situated at the top of Park Hill, behind a wall on the Cricket Ground side of Shirehampton Road, immediately opposite the present Golf Club House. According to one grandmother's memory, Rush Pool was often frozen over during winter time and local lads made good use of it for skating. Rush Pool was always a very welcome sight for horses after hauling a heavy load up Park Hill on their way to Bristol or Westbury, and it is nice to recall that it was the kindly practice of Carriers to tarry a while beside Rush Pool to alow their horses to take a well-earned drink. Although now completely filled in with earth and rocks, Rush Pool remained a pond until quite recently. After Shirehampton Road was made up, Rush Pool was also marked by a steel plate set in the pavement as late as the 1950s.'

Excerpt from 'The Shirehampton Story' by Ethel Thomas

Concern about the loss of the Rush Pool became very apparent to the National Trust through a series of letters from a local resident, Mrs Annie Bollen. Following the infill of the pool over many years, Mrs Bollen patiently campaigned to the National Trust for something to be done about it.

In 1995 a plaque was set into the wall to acknowledge that the Rush Pool had once stood behind it, although nothing at this time was done to clear up the actual area. Looking over the wall from the pavement, it was impossible to imagine what the Rush Pool might have looked like, or even the area it covered.

However, the area of the Rush Pool is now visible once more. We never intended to re-instate a water-filled feature, but with thanks to members of the local community, Shirehampton Cricket Club and National Trust staff and advisors, a shallow depression has been created to give the impression of where the Rush Pool once stood. National Trust staff and volunteers were able to clear the vegetation and debris from the area on August 16the 2004. With the aid of old Ordnance Survey maps and memories of local resident Ralph Hack we then marked out the area, to prepare the site ready for excavation by a mini digger.

Sadly, Mrs Bollen was never able to see the fruits of her many years of campaigning, but we hope that she would have been very happy with the result. Without her passion for Shirehampton and its rich history, this project may never have got underway.

It may look rather bare at the moment, but we will be re-seeding and finishing off the area on 27the September 2004. If you would like to join us, or you'd like more information about the project, please do contact us on 0117 973 1645 or

T.S. Enterprise

Your local sea cadets are looking for responsible adults to join the staff at our small 'but beautiful' unit in Station Road, Shirehampton alongside the River Avon near the Lamplighter public house.

We carry out many activities over a wide range of subjects, encouraging young people to become responsible and capable members of our community. They gain qualifications that are useful in job careers and further education.

We are not a pre-service organisation, and accept young people who are not planning to go into the Royal Navy, those that have ambition to enter will have the benefit of our inside knowledge and expertise.

We wish to recruit two members of staff to fulfil our programme. Previous experience would be an advantage, but not essential as training will be given.

This may be an opportunity for persons undertaking the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Service to carry it out with us. We are a D.Of.E. operating authority.

TS Enterprise SCC has been in Shirehampton for 60 years this year. There will be an event planned to mark this occasion. We are recruiting now for the new intake of cadets aged 10 to 12 years for juniors, and 12 years and over for senior cadets.

We will be delighted to hear from anyone who attended the unit either in Walton Road or Station Road. Memories and photographs welcome. Contact the unit on 0117 982 3938 Monday or Thursday evenings.

Use it or lose it - help us to support this valuable community service.

Volunteer Wanted

A volunteer is wanted to deliver 'Shire' newspapers to Springfield Avenue, from Burnham Road to Portbury Grove (school end of the road). Papers are brought to your door each month, for you to deliver one copy to each house. This should take about one hour. If you can help, please telephone Pauline on 0117 982 6935. Thank you.