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News Index

Trafalgar Night Dinner

Carols on the Green

Christmas Lights

The Public Hall Book

On the Ball!

Shirehampton Craft Exhibition

St Mary's News

The Ferry

Trafalgar Night Dinner

Before Trafalgar dinner left to right: Christopher Batt, Cath Brown, Michael Morgan and Anne-Marie Mills

This year for the first time the Christmas lights committee, and especially Christopher Batt, organised a Trafalgar Night dinner on Saturday October 23rd in the Public Hall. Some fifty guests sat down naval fashion to a traditional dinner of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding followed by Spotted Dick. After a loyal toast drunk in a tot of rum our guest speaker, Dr Barry Moyse from Plymouth, gave the Eulogy to Admiral Nelson. A hotly contested quiz, followed by drawing the raffle completed a very successful evening, which ended at 11pm. Nearly 100 was raised for the lights fund and we are grateful to all who gave us their support. Our thanks also go to the following who kindly donated prizes for the raffle - Rodaways; Taylors; Burns Racing; the Post Office; Autoparts; Elite Hair and Beauty; D and P Fashions; Mrs Hunter (reflexologist); Kings Weston HOuse; Liz's Flowers and our two box offices Casa Mia and Shindigs.

Carols on the Green

Christmas Eve 2004

'Shire' Newspaper invites everyone to the 29th 'Carols on the Green'. Portway Community Band and the West Bristol Music Centre will be there to accompany the singing, we are most grateful to all these musicians for making it such a special tradition.

Mr Philip Steel and his son Andrew of the Avonmouth Evangelical Chapel will be leading us all in the Carols. Our thanks also go to Colin Chidegy who sets and looks after the sound equipment and the lights and provides the platform.

So come along with a torch or a candle in a jam jar. If it rains we will meet in St Mary's, by kind permission of Canon Froude.

Christmas Lights

We plan to put up the Christmas Lights on Monday and Tuesday, November 29th and 30th. This year the display will be bigger and we hope brighter and better than last year. The thirty or more trees should sparkle more brilliantly with the new net lights and more premises will be taking part than last. In addition we have been able to buy six more light displays thanks to the generosity of our many friends in Shire who have supported us throughout the year.

As on previous occasions we shall be most grateful to Lee and Ashley who put the lights up for us. They both grew up in Shire and seem to know almost everyone who passes beneath their ladders, with a cheery greeting and a bit of badinage. Seeing these young men putting up trees and lights is a very pleasant reminder that the festive season is about to start.

2005 - National Festival of Maritime Past

We hope that locally there will be events as part of the year of national celebration. Apart from the docks and rivers being near at hand, we have a sailing club, Sea Cadets and this October there was a very successful Trafalgar Day Dinner, so it is to be hoped there might be a series of events organised next year.

A WWII experience for Avon Primary School children

Recently, Class 5 children at Avon Primary School, Shirehampton, were treated to a very memorable school trip to Swindon Steam Museum. The museum had been transformed into a WWII environment complete with air-rail shelters, 1940s house and trains which would have evacuated thousands of children from Bristol into the countryside.

The children had the opportunity to dress up in the clothes of that time and hear stories about rationing and The Blitz from people who had experienced it first-hand.

To add to the experience, all the children made gas mask boxes, identity cards and ration books. The trip greatly enhanced the childrens' understanding of how the lives of children would have been affected between 1939 and 1945.

Acknowledgements - Hillman, Anne 1941-2004

Tom, Karen, Peter and Suzanne would like to thank everyone who attended Anne's funeral at 'St Mary's and after at Canford. Special thanks to Canon Christine and Jill and staff at St Peter's Hospice, Brentry. Also for donations totalling 607.17 for St Peter's. Once again many thanks. Tom Hillman

Thank you for your donation to 'Shire' funds. Our apologies for the delay in publishing this letter - Ed.

Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston Carers Groups

Meetings are held on the third Thursday of the month. Avonmouth Medical Centre 10.00-12.00 and Lawrence Weston at Ridingleaze House, Lawrence Weston 2.00-4.00pm.

December groups are meeting for a festive lunch - contact Helen Mathias on 0117 982 5247 for more details.

Avonmouth Evangelical Chapel (Avonmouth Road)

We welcome you to our Christmas activities. Sunday December 12th at 4.30pm 'Christmas with the Puppets'. Sunday December 19th at 4.30pm 'Carols with the P.O.M.S.' Portway Oldies Music Society plus The Nativity Characters followed by mince pies etc.

Bulky Waste Collection Service

Demand for Bristol City Council's bulky waste collection has soared by over fifty per cent this year. The popular service, which collects up to three large waste items from householders' doors, answers an average of 1174 calls a week from residents and disposes of 3500 items. It is also the only service of its kind currently offered free of charge in the former Avon area.

Residents have warmly praised the service, in particular the improved undertaking to collect within five working days.

However, increased demand has meant that last year Bristol City Council was forced to increase its budget by 25 per cent from 300,000 to 375,000.

Unfortunately, there is strong evidence that the valued service has been roundly abused - particularly by businesses who pose as householders in order to dispose of regular loads of bulky waste. As a consequence the local tax payer would have t fork out a further 125,000 to meet the hugely increased demand.

So from 1 November 2004 requests for Bulky Waste Collections will be subject to a charge of 15 for up to three items, although this will be waived in the case of low income households. Residents who receive Income Support Benefit, Pensions Credit, Council Tax Benefit or Housing Benefit can still use the service free on two occasions per year.

The service still offers excellent value for money. As a comparison, private collection and disposal would be likely to cost in the region of 100 for a skip or between 50 and 60 for private collection.

Councillor Richard Eddy, Executive Member for Neighbourhood and Housing Services, said: 'Personally I regret that the abuse of this excellent service has made the introduction of a modest charge necessary. Throwing yet more public money at this problem is not sustainable in the long term and would mean the hard-pressed local tax payer subsidising the irresponsible antics of a minority. However, those on low incomes will continue to benefit from two free collections per year and we will keep the impact of these changes under close review.'

Householders can request a collection by calling the Customer Service Centre on 0117 922 3838. Payments can be made over the telephone by Visa/Debit card or invoices can be issued to residents who do not have access to automated payment services.

Charity Search

We would like to wish all our customers A Very Happy Christmas and thank them for their support. A special mention to Doris, wishing her good health and to RenŽe for her help and encouragement. I would like to say thank you to all my volunteers for their hard work and for making 2004 my most enjoyable year.

Thank you all - Lorraine Lyons, Manager, Charity Search.

Remembrance - Charlie Daniels 1926-2004

I would like to thank all family, friends, neighbours and ex-workmates for their kindness to my husband Charlie over the long period of time that he was ill. Also to thank everyone for attending the funeral on Monday 8th November and for donations to the Nursing Staff at Ward D, Southmead Hospital. Finally, a big thank you to Canon Christine Froude for the lovely service she conducted. Charlie will be sadly missed by wife Maureen and family.

Thank you for your kind donation - Ed

Christmas Greetings from Canada

To the staff, thanks for accepting my phone request for our Christmas message. 'Seasons Greetings to all our friends across the pond from Grace and Ed Butchers, Canada.' My wife and I had been on holiday and on returning our 'October' copy of Shire was waiting and reminded us.

All the best for the holidays - Grace and Ed Butchers

Songs for Christmas

How many do you recognise?

  1. O.C.A.Y.F.
  2. H.T.H.A.S.
  3. I.D.O.A.W.C.
  4. A.I.W.F.C.I.M.T.F.T.
  5. O.I.R.D.C.
  6. S.N.
  7. I.S.M.K.S.C.U.T.M.L.N.
  8. L.D.
  9. A.F.T.R.O.G.
  10. T.H.A.T.I.
  11. R.T.R.N.R.
  12. G.U.A.K.F.C.
  13. A.I.A.M.
  14. O.L.T.O.B.
  15. I.T.B.M.W.
  16. S.B.R.A.Y.L.-W.I.A.W.W.
  17. G.R.Y.M.G.
  18. W.S.W.T.F.B.N.
  19. T.F.N.T.A.D.S.
  20. G.K.W.L.O.
  21. I.S.T.S.C.S.B.
  22. J.B.J.B.J.B.R.
  23. H.Y.A.M.L.C.
  24. D.D.M.O.H.
  25. J.B.J.B.J.A.T.W.

If space allows the answers will be hidden away in this issue, otherwise they will be published in January 'Shire'.

Christmas Presents?

Local History books make interesting reading today and are an investment for the future.

Mrs Thomas' books are copiously illustrated. Still available are: 'Down the 'Mouth of Avonmouth' - a history of Avonmouth (7.00); 'Shirehampton Story' (7.50); 'War Story' (8.00) and 'Continuous Story of Shirehampton' (15.00).

Copies are all available from Messrs Hawkins, High Street; Colin Mombers, 39 Pembroke Road or from the author, Ethel Thomas, 55 Cook Street, Avonmouth - tel. 982 2738.

Christmas Services for St Bernard's Church

Friday 24th Christmas Eve - first Mass of Christmas at 6.30pm. Christmas Day - Mass at 10.00am. Daily Mass throughout the Christmas Season at 10.00am.

Any Questions?

Dear Editor,

I wuz there! (with apologies to Max Boyce)

In the November edition of 'Shire' there was an article about the programme 'Any Questions?' coming to the Public Hall in Shirehampton on December 17th. This same article mentioned that the programme had been broadcast from Shirehampton Public Hall fifty years ago. May I correct this. It was actually broadcast from the lower hall of Portway Girls' School, from the stage that had been built for the school by the fathers, and friends of fathers, on the Parents' Committee. Miss Shewell was Head at the time.

Yes, Freddie Grisewood was the chairman of the panel, one of whom was Jennie Lee, the wife of Aneuran Bevan, I remember that she made a great impression on me. Sadly I cannot remember who else was on that particular panel, they obviously didn't make such a big impression! (MR)

Eighty Equals Forty Plus Forty!

True in arithmetic and true in the Magic Circle!

Eighty-year-old Mrs Auriel James, MBE, was sawn in half by a well-known local magician Stan Cruse at BAWA recently at the annual Charity Search Fund-Raising Dinner.

Photo: Colin Momber

Auriel founded Charity Search some 17 years ago, a nationwide-charity based in Avonmouth with Charity Shops in Shirehampton and in Bedminster, the charity provides free advice for older people who need help from charities.

They currently handle over a thousand cases of hardship a year, always trying to find suitable answers to the many problems posed.

If you need further information or would like to make a donation, please contact Mrs Aspin, The Administrator on 0117 982 4060. Charity Search - Reg. Charity number 296999 - 25 Portview Road, Avonmouth, Bristol BS11 9LD.


Hooray! Bonfire Night - lovely for some, not for others.

Once this week and once last week a rocket landed on the balcony of an elderly lady's flat in Sedgewick House causing damage to wiring and giving her a very nasty scare.

A panoramic view gives those living at the front of Sedgewick and Barwick Houses a scene of fireworks all around. While eating my dinner and enjoying this, I heard what sounded like a rocket hitting the rear of the building. Looking over the balcony down to the main entrance, a group of male teenagers were lighting and throwing fireworks, two more aimed straight at this building. I rang the police giving all the details asked for, the lady said to leave it with them. Fully expecting them to be there within minutes I kept a watch on them, they split up with some going down to the village and the rest walking towards Penpole Lane.

The police did not arrive.

We, the people living here in Penpole experience damage to cars, trees and shrubs set alight and fighting and screaming amongst groups of teenagers, sometimes younger children, late at night and early morning. The police and fire brigade must be more than aware of these problems, even though people do not always report things as they believe it to be a waste of type doing so, as they hardly ever get a response.

In the window of the Co-op there is a plan of Shirehampton showing the area where police have authority to break up groups of people and if necessary escort children home. The problem is this only reaches as far as The Ridge and not Penpole Lane! Why is this a no go area? Will we be looking forward to more groups meeting here as the police cannot break them up.

Resident of Sedgewick House

Fishing Club

We are starting a fishing club on the last Wednesday of the month at the Long Cross Public House, Long Cross, Lawrence Weston, Bristol. We cater for all types of fishing, coarse, fly, beach and boat fishing, all ages catered for. For further details ring Bob on 0117 909 6143 or 07949 061823.

Yours truly - Bob Staynings

Christmas Greetings

Seasons Greetings to 'Pat and the Bradley Girls' and all my friends 'back home' for your best wishes at this time.

Mr Clarke, Godalming, Surrey

Happy Christmas Freda, Danny, Sheila, Ira and Tammy - hope 2005 will be a good one for you all

From Gwen, Mervyn and Family!

Health Care - A Team Approach

When you have a health problem that you can't sort out yourself, it is natural to assume you need to see your GP; but actually, nurses and other health professionals are highly qualified clinicians who may be able to help you, leaving your GP to support those with chronic illnesses.

To ensure that you see the most appropriate health professional, the receptionists will be asking you specific questions about your health problems. They are not being nosey! They don't need any intimate details - just an idea of your symptoms. For example, if you have a sore throat, an earache or perhaps a rash you are unsure of, the most appropriate appointment would be with the minor illness clinic. If you need a blood test, you can have this done by san HCA or a phlebotomist. They can take your blood pressure too, if you are having that monitored. If you are due to travel abroad and need vaccinations, book in with a Practice Nurse. Likewise, advice on contraception, cervical smears, asthma, diabetes and coronary heart disease can all be undertaken by one of our trained, experienced Practice Nurses. They will always refer you on to a GP if the problem needs further expertise.

So, when the receptionist asks you 'can you give me some idea of your problem?' please don't feel they are being intrusive, they just want to make your care as effective and efficient as possible.

Queries about medication are also numerous. Your pharmacist should be able to help you with any queries you have about taking your medication, but if you need to speak to the surgery, please try to phone in the morning and speak to the prescriptions clerk (tel. 916 2226 Option 3). If she is already on the phone, it will go to voice mail - please just leave your name and number, not the details of your medication, and she will ring you back.

It would be great to have your feedback on any aspect of our service, so please feel free to contact Carole Brooke, Practice Manager, to give your opinion. Thanks to all of you who have taken the trouble to complete a questionnaire about the Practice, available at reception. We hope to give you some feedback of the results early next year.

Bowls Section


On September 4th we all set sail
On Barry's coaches begins the tale.
We arrived and said 'Hi!' at Nibley Road
Was everyone here? All except Roy, the toad.

Suitcases, blazers and bags galore
Came out of the coach and were strewn on the floor.
Coach driver Paul looked amazed and said 'Phew!'
All that on my coach? Oh dear me no can do.

Pat waved the tip right under Paul's nose,
He smiled, looked again and said 'Everything goes'.
Time for the paper, a nap and a chat?
Bingo, raffle and sweets, we're too busy for that.

The winners are ----- My goodness we're here
'Dave shall we unpack? No Jen let's go for a beer'.
Food, drinks and cards filled the rest of the day
And then came Sunday - we're bowling today!

The winners at Broadstone accepted their prize
Aidan, Pat and John Brailey had tears in their eyes.
To avoid the spoons now where could they go?
Then Marion stepped forward and said 'I know

I'll take you to Jersey, we'll stay there all day'.
But Irene wore hers proudly while they were away.
Captain Des led the team to Wimborne next day.
Didn't want to come back so good was their stay.

Winners, losers, quiz, diddle Beryl's birthday too
She lost her balloon it sailed up to the blue.
Bill tried to save it 'cause he's ever so tall
The waiter helped too with his long window pole.

We all watched with wonder and tears in our eyes
As it slipped through the roof light to all our surprise.
We all went to Bridport on Tuesday you know
Eight rinks they played us and oh what a show!

Derek was our Captain and we had a happy game
Sadly we didn't win our score was rather lame.
So to Captain Derek we all say a big 'Thank you
But don't call us we'll call you'.

We walked to Melcombe Regis, it's only round the back
But Captain, lottery, bingo Roy - you're gonna get the sack!
The Green was a bit rough but our score was quite good
So we went inside for tea, just as we should.

The speeches were next, now here's the surprise
He must have been thinking of his favourite pies.
'Bowlers of Melton Mowray' Oh what a gaff
But thank you Captain Roy for giving us a laugh.

Pat was our next captain and Sherborne the venue
We all enjoyed the coach trip but spoons were on the menu.
Des looked so cute with it hanging round his neck
His rink said 'Let him keep it, all agreed? What the heck!'

The other three who won a spoon were Bill, Joyce and Doreen,
Jim looked on, sighed with relief 'I'm glad it's not my Maureen'.
Captain John at Greenhill led us all to victory!
A beautiful place to bowl, it was right by the sea.

Voices said 'It's raining inside we'll play today'
Captain John was asked - he said 'Come on now, out to play'
Our Gala meal was gorgeous, the Hotel did us proud.
But other guests said 'Oh my word they are a noisy crowd'.

At nine o'clock we gathered for our fancy dress
Leaving our bedrooms strewn with such a mess.
The outfits were fantastic, a winner everyone
To all who entered it must be said 'a thundering well done'.

The communal singing left much to be desired,
Was it too much wine or was everybody tired?
Now it was time to say goodbye to all at the Fairhaven
We're planning next year's bowling tour - it could be off to Devon.

We all had great fun and we all joined in
We bowled our best and we made a din.
Well done to the Captains and Quizmasters too!
To those who led the bingo and diddle we all thank you.

So if you think this tour was fun,
Please sign up for the very next one!

If you could use a summer of gentle exercise, fresh air, friendly competition and social events - then bowls is for you. For further details and news about free trials please ring 0117 982 0446. Our next season starts April 2005.

How Carols Began

Did you know that originally carols were a pagan idea meaning ring dances and that they were danced as well as sung. The idea was frowned on by Church until the 14th century when they were gradually adapted religiously to Christianity. In order for the carols to be taken more seriously the dancing was stopped. The great age for English carol compositions was from 1400-1650. Carol singing was suppressed under the Commonwealth, but recovered at the Restoration. It was revived in the Victorian age. More recently Cecil Sharp, the great collector of English folk songs, discovered some less well known carols which had been passed down through the generations by singing and never written down.

Some of today's carols, like 'Away in a Manger', 'We Three Kings' and 'O Little Town of Bethlehem' are American. In the 18th century 'O come all ye faithful' was a Jacobite hymn and the tune was also in a French comic opera. 'Silent Night' was Austrian, written quickly and so it could be sung unaccompanied, as the local church organ had broken down because the mice had eaten holes in the bellows. In 1914 it was 'Silent Night' which the German soldiers chose to sing to mark the unofficial Christmas Day in the trenches of the First World War.

'The Holly and the Ivy' has obvious pagan origins, before it was adapted to Christianity. 'While Shepherds watch their flocks by night' has a tune from Este's Whole book of Psalms of 1592, although the words were written later by Nahun Tate (1632-1715). Charles Wesley (1707-1788) wrote the words of 'Hark the Herald Angels Sing' and the tune was adapted from Mendelssohn's festgesang in 1840. In 'A Bleak Mid-winter' the words are by Christini Rossetti (1830-1894) and the music by Gustav Holst was composed in 1906. Another well known composer, Sir Arthur Sullivan, provided the music for 'It came upon a Midnight clear' words by E.M. Sears (1810-1876).

Lastly, yes there was a person called Wenceslas, but he was a famous Bohemian prince and martyr (c. 907-929), but story sung about in the carol written by J.M. Neale is probably imagined.

You might remember a few years ago when two Choir Masters compared 'Carols on the Green' one Christmas Eve they had us all in sections bobbing up and down while singing 'The Twelve Days of Christmas', not quite dancing but movement wasn't it. Never mind, it kept us all warm and awake.

Leave Criminals in the Dark

Residents are being urged to leave criminals in the dark now that the clocks have gone back, the nights draw in and people go out in the evenings.

Although burglary in the Bristol area dropped by around 13% last year and car crime was down by almost a tenth, the number of break-ins and thefts from cars is still far too high, say Safer Bristol - the crime reduction partnership for the city.

Now the partnership, which includes Bristol City Council, Avon and Somerset Police and a number of other agencies, is urging residents to take advice from a Home Office TV, radio and poster advertising campaign. The 'Let's Keep Crime Down' campaign aims to raise awareness of the precautions people can take.

The Chair of the Safer Bristol Partnership said 'Partnership initiatives such as the Action on Street Crime campaign and the Bobby Van scheme have helped cut robberies, burglaries and car crime in the Bristol area. However, these types of crimes still happen far too often in our city. We all need to redouble our efforts to shut out the criminals by making it as hard as possible for them to operate. The new government campaign is welcome as it makes people more aware of the things they can do to make themselves, their home and their car as safe and secure as possible.'

Safer Bristol is urging residents to follow these simple steps set out by the Let's Keep Crime Down campaign to help keep their home safe if they go out at night.

  • Always lock your doors and windows, even when just in the back garden
  • Try to make sure your TV and other valuables can't be seen from your window
  • Use a timer switch to turn lights and radios on when you are out or away to give the impression that your house is occupied (as little as 2 each from DIY shops)

And Safer Bristol are also advising householders to take these additional steps as soon as possible to make their homes even more secure over the winter months.

  • Restrict access to your back garden by having a solid fence and lockable gate
  • Fit deadlocks to all outside doors - burglars hate them because you need a key to open them from the inside as well as the outside
  • Put key operated locks on all downstairs or accessible windows - burglars don't like having to smash windows because of the noise and the danger of cutting themselves

A wide range of other crime reduction advice is available on the police website at or from the Home Office at

Anyone with information about who is responsible for any offences can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. The call is free, you do not have to give your name and you could qualify for a reward.

Lee Evans - Celebrity

Imagine my surprise when reading in the Telegraph about the West End performance of 'The Producers' to learn that one of the stars, Lee Evans, grew up near Avonmouth Docks, he then goes on to mention links with a council estate, presumably before his family moved to Essex.

Does any reader remember him? Of course I realise that Lee Evans might be his stage name.

Some years ago we discovered that Robert Stephens who brought up in Sea Mills and has a granny who lived in Shirehampton. So it looks as if there is now another well known actor with links to the locality!

The Public Hall Book

With the Exhibition and Book Launch fast approaching, I want to 'plug' the imminent publication of this book, which quickly grew from the original idea of a booklet into a book containing some 130+ pages and 100+ photographs.


Thanks to the good people of Shirehampton who gave us memories and photos, it soon became clear that we could not do justice to a century of our PUblic Hall in a booklet so on 27 and 28 November you will be able to purchase a copy (or more!) of the book at the official launch and exhibition. With Christmas just around the corner you might like to consider making a gift of the book to someone with Shire connections. Sadly I'm unable to say how much it will cost at the moment as the printer is still busy producing a proof copy and final costings, but I can say it will be good value for money and any surplus will go into the Public Hall funds.

At this point I'd like to thank those who submitted ideas for the book cover, these along with other suggestions are being discussed with the printer currently. If your design is not deemed suitable, perhaps for technical reasons, it is no reflection on your artwork and your interest has been much appreciated.

If you would like to reserve your copy/(ies) in advance please either contact Jeanette at the Hall or myself on 0117 938 2849 (office hours) or 982 9893 evenings/weekends. Email

Dear Editor

Reference your story about the ships wheel located in the Lifeboat. This is just a wild guess, it could be the wheel of the old sailing boat 'The William Ashburner' that ran aground in the River Severn in the early 1950s. The ship was broken up but I heard the wheel was given to the Old Seaman's MIssion in Avonmouth. When the place fell into dis-repair maybe the wheel was saved from vandals and given to the 'Lifeboat'.

Kind regards

John Rogers, USA


We would like to wish all our readers A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Thank you all for your support throughout the past year with a special 'thank you' to our volunteers. We look forward to seeing you in the coming year and hope you will join us in celebrating our Centenary on 4th March.

Eileen, Marilyn and Lynn

Marmalade Cakes

This is a foolproof recipe given to me by a friend - it is sufficient to make 2 cakes, but if you only want to make one then halve the ingredients and you only need one loaf tin, not two.

  • 8oz of margarine
  • 8oz of castor sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1lb of self raising flour
  • 20oz pot of marmalade

Set the oven to 180F or Gas Mark 4. Mix all the ingredients together and add a couple of tablespoons of water. Bake in oven 1 hour. It makes a nice moist cake which can be put in the freezer if you want to store it. A change from rich Christmas cake.

Merry Christmas from CLIC

Beccie and Sue from CLIC would like to thank their volunteers and customers for all their support throughout the year. May we also take this opportunity to wish you all a very 'Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year'.

On the Ball!

Excavations for Ashmead Building Supplies' new Avonmouth premises have uncovered a blast from the past - a cannonball!

The iron ball is believed to date from the 1800s, and was probably fired from a vessel in the Bristol Channel or the River Avon - both of which are close to the local firm's yard.

A local expert said that passing French men o'war were known to have taken pot shots at what was then an area of marshland.

Ashmead MD Tony Swain commented 'We'll definitely show off this exciting find in our new building which is opening soon!'

Ashmead celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year.

Ashmead staff members (L to R) Vic Blundelll, Roger Radomski and branch manager Ben Self show of the find.

Obituary - Jean Daniels 1928-2004

Sadly passed away in a local nursing home on October 28th. Special thanks are due to Andy our curate for his admirable conduct of the service at Canford Crematorium and Stenner Hill for their kindness and help.

This touching verse composed excellently by Jean's sister Pat captures perfectly Jean in her final days.

John Daniels

Thank you for your kind donation to Shire funds - Ed

The Silent Lady

The Silent Lady sits alone
No sigh she makes
No word, no moan.
Her head is low
Her eyes shut tight
But does she sleep
Both Day and Night?
What does she see?
What does she hear?
Are her thoughts always pleasant?
Does she know any fear?
Can she dream pretty pictures?
I would like to think so
Whilst her shoulders are slumped
and she rocks to and fro.
Does she know Day from Night?
Does she know when we're here?
How I wish she could tell us,
It would make some things clear.
But Jean is alone
As she rocks in her chair
She has left us behind
to worry and care.
Questions unanswered
Thoughts to atone,
This Lady is Silent
As she sits all alone.

Shirehampton Craft Exhibition

View slideshow

'Now that you've finished the book (Public Hall history) you'll have time to write up the exhibition for Shire' were the words that greeted me on my first visit to said exhibition on the opening day. 'Oh go on them' was my reply, as my eye scanned the displays seeking inspiration for the article.

Luckily that inspiration was readily available and several visits later I'd been able to absorb more fully what was on show and not for the first time was able to marvel at the talent and imagination that abounds in the local population.

Whilst my brain was still in Hall history mode, however, I started pondering on how the 2004 exhibition compared to what was probably the first one to be held in the Hall in February 1905. The obvious differences were the opening hours and length of the show (8 days and from 2pm to 9.30pm in 1905). Admission was 6d (2.5p) from 2pm but from 4.30pm it went down to 3d. But what about the types of crafts on display? Undoubtedly many present today would have been in evidence in Edwardian times. Take the quilts for instance - they may have been less colourful or dramatic in design but in theory many a child could have snuggled beneath a Noah's Ark or even Poor Bear quilt in those days (Bob the Builder was only a far-off dream then!) and cuddled up with a patchwork bear or knotted toy just as they do today.

Knitted garments would have been in evidence, too, probably more so and whereas the fashionable ponchos of today replaced the 'Granny' shawls of yesteryear, cardigans and bedsocks would have been made in the home, albeit less colourful and in more serviceable knitting yarns. How an Edwardian child would have loved wearing a 'Eskimo' wool jacket as exhibited this year.

Woodturning and carving, furniture, lace work, dressmaking, crochet, embroidery, hand-made cards, dried flowers, decorated eggs, marquetry, model boats and ceramics would possibly have been on show in 1905 just as they were today, it's only fashion and taste that has changed. Of course there may have been firescreens, rag rugs, antimacassars, dressing table sets and table runners setting the Edwardians on fire, items we have little use for nowadays but the important thing is that traditional crafts are being continued today and even more exciting is the fact that new ones are evolving.

So back to 2004. As always the quilts provided a colourful, even dramatic backdrop to the exhibition and one's eye was immediately drawn to the red one hanging above the stage, then followed round the room to take in the variety and colour.

Dick Helme, who likes to produce something different each year, went for a variation on a theme with his miniature bowls of fruit and very popular they were.

In addition he displayed several items of church furniture he'd been commissioned to make as memorials for St Mary's and St Peter's.

The cross stitch and embroidery was yet again superb. It was good to see one new entrant whose cross-stitch pictures were vibrant and eye-catching. Shadow quilting, and a bead and painted picture added to the large collection of stitchwork pictures.

Pat Davison, a regular demonstrator, worked on and exhibited the results of her multiple skills - is there anything she won't attempt (I understand lace-making might be on the agenda next!). Jackie Selman and Pauline Rutty were also present making cards. Jenny Amphlett joined the merry throng on Saturday with her bead jewellery (tatting next year Jenny?).

It is impossible to mention all the crafts on show because there were so many, but as always the efforts of the children must be applauded. The 178th Bristol Guides painted boxes with lids, the 120th Brownies painted glasses, whilst the 34th Brownies painted little tins. Not to be outdone by the girls the 191st St Mary's Cub Pack decorated boxes using lolly sticks.

One new craft this year was the Message Tree, a wonderful idea for marking an important occasion, both pretty and practical.

As always, and last but by no means least, thanks and gratitude must go to Ed and Gail for the huge amount of effort they put in to ensure we have a show each year. They of course would say it couldn't happen without their faithful band of helpers and stewards and special thanks must go to Gwen, Alice, John and Janet Andrews, and James Thomas who year after year give up their time as stewards and providers of refreshments.

Just as the Hall was hosting craft exhibitions at the beginning of the 20th century, may that continue long into the 21st.

Judy Helme

One Information Guide you Will Care About!

A new directory has been launched to help people find out about care homes and home care services in the Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset council areas.

The Care 2004/5 directory was produced in partnership by the four local councils and lists registered homes providing residential and nursing care. It also lists organisations providing home care - personal and practical services for people so they can remain living at home.

Other sections in the directory cover the role of social services departments in helping people to find care home places; questions to ask when choosing a home and advice about paying care home fees.

Councillor Robin Moss, Executive Member for Social Services & Health, from Bristol City Council, commented: 'Choosing and moving into a care home is a big decision in anyone's life. This new directory provides people in Bristol and neighbouring authorities with the information they need to make an informed choice. It's the first time we've produced this type of directory and it should make the search for the right care home much easier.'

Copies of the Care 2004/5 guide are being distributed to doctors' surgeries, hospitals, social services teams, libraries and advice agencies. People who live in Bristol and would like a copy of the guide should contact 0800 444 000. The directory is also available on-line at

Oops! Forgot your appointment?

We've all done it - forgotten an appointment with the doctor or nurse. But did you realise that we have, on average, 100 appointments every month which are not kept? For most people, it is unintentional. But just imagine how many more appointments would be available if they were all cancelled in advance? So, as a polite reminder, letters are being sent out every time

an appointment is missed. Please don't take offence - we know some people have a valid reason for not attending. Instead, make sure you know how to cancel an appointment you don't need or can't attend. Simply ring 0117 916 2226 and choose Option 2. Then leave your name, address and time of appointment and it will be cancelled. Of course, the more notice you give us, the more likely it is that we can rebook it. And whilst we are keen to help those who may find it difficult to keep an appointment, those who consistently do not attend without cancelling may find the letter becomes a little less polite in time!

Remember - next time you need an appointment, it might be you who benefits from a cancelled slot!

Philip and Andrew Steel

Philip and Andrew Steel are both members of Avonmouth Evangelical Chapel. Philip shares in the leadership there. They are both very active with services, events and activities at the chapel and with other churches and Christian groups. They often help out with young peoples events and family services. Philip and Andrew regularly lead worship - Philip on piano, Andrew on organ.

Re: Why DO They Still March?

Dear Editor

I am not into poetry but thank you for printing Bill Ridley's wonderful piece in Issue 394. Every line each word was so meaningful and evoked such memories for me thank you Bill. Then on the same day I read 'We killed Britons, boasts Zarqawi's gang 'the words of person living here in this lovely country of ours enjoying his freedom and perhaps welfare and we must in all fairness ask why. This person, Abu Hamza, hailed as a 'martyr', the man who killed our Black Watch soldiers, all this being preached to 60 worshippers outside Finsbury Park mosque in North London on, no doubt, a bright English morning.

Perhaps another little piece, Bill, what did our friends die for??

Vic Wiltshire (80)

Primary School's Caerleon Visit

On Friday 15th October, year three children enjoyed an exciting trip to Caerleon, an ancient Roman town in South Wales. The children have been learning about the Romans in their History topic this term.

This proved to be a fantastic day out, where the children had the opportunity to visit Roman bath remains, an ancient amphitheatre and the soldier barracks, in addition to looking at Roman artefacts and treasures on display in the exciting museum.

The highlight of the visit though was being given the chance to dress up as Roman soldiers, rich Roman people and slaves. The children thoroughly enjoyed this experience and it gave them a real insight into how the Romans lived and dressed.

On Wednesday 20th October Shirehampton primary school held a balloon launch for the much anticipated new website for the school.

The friends of the school did an excellent job organising the launch, with over 400 blue, white and yellow balloons released into the sky to represent each child in the school. Each balloon had a label attached, providing details of the school website and launch.

We are delighted to have already received numerous letters, e-mails and photographs from people who have discovered just some of the balloons. The North Easterly wind on the day has meant that so far our furthest sighting comes from Lincolnshire! A prize will be given to the person finding the balloon that has travelled the furthest distance from the school. We are all very excited to find out where this will be!

Shirehampton Primary School

It has been a busy first term at Shirehampton Primary School and many children have already had the opportunity to go on a number of exciting school visits.

On Wednesday 29th September children from Shirehampton Primary School were lucky enough to be able to take part in the Centenary service at the Public Hall.

A group of pupils from Year 4 entertained the audience with their singing and were congratulated by many afterwards. They felt very proud to be involved in this important event for the community.

On the same day, Year 3 pupils enjoyed an exciting visit to Lawrence Weston Villa, as part of their current History topic.

The children are learning about the Romans and this visit enabled them to gain valuable first hand experience of how the Romans lived.

They particularly enjoyed seeing the Roman mosaic flooring, as the pupils have been making their own mosaics at school.

Re: Kebab Shop, 2 The Parade, Shirehampton

Dear Editor

Many of you in Shirehampton will know that the new kebab shop, The Charcoal Grill, has been trading, selling hot takeaway food for consumption off the premises since Wednesday 3rd of November.

What you may not know is that on Monday 25th October, Bristol City Council refused planning permission for change of use to hot food takeaway under delegated decision. The reasons given were as follows:

'That the proposed use would be likely to have a detrimental effect on the amenities of the local residents due to increased noise and disturbance and other associated deleterious affects on a location where there are already problems with anti-social behaviour and would be contrary to policy S8 of the adopted Bristol Local Plan and to policy advice note 17'.

The owner, in defiance of the planning department's decision, has conveyed through an interpreter that he will continue to trade regardless of what Bristol City Council say.

The shop has been open most evenings until midnight (including Sundays) and already there have been increased amounts of youths congregating outside the shop and there is a significant increase in the amount of litter surrounding 'The Green'.

There have been two reported fights outside the shop in an area which already has an anti-social behaviour order in place. The owner has also erected a large red and yellow illuminated sign advertising the premises. This is a further breach of planning control in our conservation area.

If you have any concerns or comments please contact Joanna Cavill at the Bristol North Planning Team, Bristol City Council, on 922 3045. You can also speak to local councillors Spud Murphy on 377 2815 or Pat Roberts on 942 7370.

Many locals have already raised the question 'What is the point of th planning department if its decision can be easily flouted?'  B.M.

Time was when there was a Community Council in Shirehampton composed mostly of local residents. One of its functions was to nominate a member to keep an eye on the planning department and report if there was something of local significance. Objections could be raised if need be. Due to lack of support this council was wound up. So now who looks out for future planning developments on behalf of the village? Perhaps the writer of this letter would undertake the task! - Editor

Saturday 4th December

Shirehampton Methodist Church from 10am-12 noon - Coffee and Bring & Buy, also Book Sale and Cake Stall - ALL WELCOME

'Shire by Post'

Now is the time to be thinking of ordering 'Shire' to be sent to friends who are no longer living in Shire. 'SHIRE' by post is a good idea for a Christmas present for far flung friends and family - and it lasts all the year too! If it is as a gift, then send the names and addresses of the recipients to Mrs Sue Husher, 8 Burnham Road, Shirehampton, Bristol BS11 9QP with a cheque or postal order for 5, made out for payment to 'SHIRE' Newspaper. You can also order a copy to be sent to yourself if you aren't on the delivery round by sending your name and address to Sue with 5. We're very sorry, but increased costs have made it necessary to put up the charge.

Shire Greens

Seven people from the Greens (plus two two-year-olds) turned out on the wettest Saturday morning in October to plant bulbs in the Daisy Field. Everyone was well-equipped and despite the soaking rain we managed to plant nearly two sacks of the bulbs donated by Bristol City Council. We were very proud of ourselves for accomplishing so much despite the bad weather and we had so much fun we are planning another planting day.

If you would like to join us ring Renee Slater on 0117 938 1709 for further information.

Shire Reminiscences Album

This is just a reminder that this file is still in the Library, available to all to read, add to, correct or whatever. I hope you are continuing to enjoy it. It has just had a large addition - the Boyhood Reminiscences of Monty Rossiter who grew up on the long since disappeared Woodwell Farm. Monty is now in his late 80s and this Shire piece is only a part of his whole family history. He knows he has neighbours from long ago living in Shire and if anyone wants to reach him I would be pleased to act as a contact.

Kate Pollard - tel. 977 6744

Shirehampton Baptist Church Christmas Services

  • December 19 Morning Service 10.30am-12.30pm
  • Carols by Candlelight 6.30-8.0pm - refreshments available
  • Christmas Day Morning Family Service 10.30am-11.30am
  • December 26 Morning Service only Family Service 10.30am-12.00
  • January 2 Covenant Service 10.30am-12.00 and Service at the Cotswold Association Hall 4.30pm-5.30pm with tea and cakes afterwards

Station Road, Shirehampton, Bristol BS11 9TU - tel. 0117 982 8238

Shirehampton Methodist Church Christmas Services

  • Sunday December 19th, 11.00 - Gift Service - Rev David Alderman

You are warmly invited to bring gifts of non-perishable foods for distribution by the Methodist Midland Road Centre for the Homeless

  • 4.00pm - Rev David Alderman - Carols by Candlelight
  • Christmas Day, 11.00am - Family Worship with Rev David Alderman
  • Sunday December 26th, 11am - Mr Ken McNally
  • Sunday January 2nd, 11.00am - Rev David Alderman - annual Covenant and Communion Service

Shirehampton Methodist Church

Christmas Services

Sunday December 11th at 11.00 a Gift Service with Reverend David Alderman. You are invited to bring gifts of non-perishable foods for distribution by the Methodist Midland Road Centre for the Homeless. At 4.00pm there will be carols by candlelight with Reverend David Alderman.

Christmas Day 11.00am Family Workshop with Reverend David Alderman. Sunday December 26th 11.00am with Mr Ken McNally. Sunday January 2nd 11.00am with Reverend David Alderman - Annual Covenant and Communion service.

Shirehampton Park Golf Club Junior Winners

Luke Krupa (Shirehampton Park Golf Club) and Shelby Smart (Knowle) - winners of the Nett Cups in the Junior Open with Brian Matthews, Club Captain and Pam Tozer, Ladies' Captain.

St Bernard's Attendance Record Holders

On Tuesday 19th October there was an event to celebrate school attendance at Ashton Court Secondary School. Each Bristol school in which one or more children had a 100% attendance for the year 2003-2004 was invited to send a representative. Three children in St Bernard's achieved this and the school's representative was Harry Howett. Two other children also made 100% - they were Ornella and Romano Navari.

Overall attendance at the school is high but in the same year 2003-2004 there was a rise in attendance of almost 1% (one of the highest increases in the city). Well done to the children and their parents!

St Mary's News

Hi Folks!

Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat - St Mary's will explain about the money in their hat!

Recently we have had several Sunday lunches in church when the opportunity was given to explain to our congregation how the Church is financed. Many mysteries have been dispelled as to how the money is used and exactly where it goes. We are confident that everyone now has a much clearer picture. We are pleased with the success of this venture.

The Rev Roly Blaine (The Holy Clown) received a rapturous welcome at our Sunday morning service on 24th October. He had some amazing tricks - all with a religious theme - which kept both adults and children amused. Everyone was amazed at the amount of energy he used to perform some of his stunts. We look forward to welcoming him back sometime in the future.

At the recent Craft Fair, held in the Public Hall, on display was our Memorial Table, Credence Table, Cross of Candlesticks, which had been expertly created by our good friend Dick Helme. Here was an opportunity for us to show off his skills and demonstrated how much we appreciate his talent.

For any of you who may be passing the church - please pop in and pick up a copy of our Advent and Christmas Flyer. Presented in it will be details of all our activities during the month of December - some of which I will mention further on.

On Remembrance Sunday our 10am Service commenced in Church with music provided by Portway School Orchestra. After the placing of a Poppy Cross beneath the West end Memorial Window we processed through the Village to the War Memorial at Shirehampton Park for the 2 minutes silence at 11am. Here we joined up with the uniformed organisations. Afterwards we retired to the Shirehampton Cricket Club Pavilion for some very welcome refreshments. Thanks must go to Maureen and Dan Geddes for making this facility available to us. At 6.30pm that evening St Albans Choir from Westbury Park sang Choral Evensong from the Book of Common Prayer which was much appreciated by everyone present.

For anyone who may have missed our Advent Carol Service on the 28th November, when the Tree of Light bearing the Remembrance cards was lit up, there is still an opportunity for memorial cards to be placed on the tree if you wish to do so.

On Saturday 11th December is our Gift Day. Canon Christine will be in the church from 9.30-12.30pm to receive your gift. Remember, if you are a UK taxpayer, why not consider making your case a 'Gifted Aided' donation, which means for every 1 donated the church is able to claim a further 28 pence from the Inland Revenue. This is an easy way of increasing your gift to St Mary's without straining your own purse strings! This year all the money collected will be used for the Organ Restoration Fund.

The next day, Sunday 12th December, the Shirehampton Area Choir will be performing their annual Christmas Concert at 2.30pm. This year admission is by ticket which cost 5 each and will include a glass of punch and festive fayre. These are available at the Church Office and any unsold ones will be obtainable at the door. Money from the sale of these tickets will be used for the Organ Restoration Fund.

On Thursday 16th December Portway Community School will be holding their annual Carol Concert in church at 7.00pm. All are welcome!

On Sunday 19th December at 10.00am is our Christingle Service. If you don't know what happens at this service, then come along and see! At 6.00pm is our Christmas Carol Service, followed by mulled wine and mince pies. If that doesn't tempt you to be there, I shall be absolutely amazed.

At 4.00pm on Christmas Eve we are holding our Carol Service. This service is especially directed towards children. Please come dressed as an angel, shepherd, wise man or wise woman. Also, I hear rumours that there may be a real live donkey (or two) at this service.

Carols are to be sung on the Village Green at 7.30pm (in St Mary's if wet). At 11.30pm is our Midnight Holy Communion - the first Mass of Christmas. On Christmas Day at 10am Holy Communion for Christmas with carols.

Finally, all that remains for me to do is to wish you all a Very Happy and Blessed Christmas and ask you to spare a thought of prayer for the homeless and those who have no families or friends with which to share this joyous festive season.

Bye for now C.M.E.

St Mary's

  • Saturday 11th December 9.30am-12.30pm Gift Day the money will go to the Organ Refurbishment Fund
  • Sunday 12th December 10.00am Holy Communion a sign language interpreter will be at this service
  • Sunday 12th December 2.30pm Shirehampton Area Choir Christmas Carol Concert in aid of St Mary's Organ Fund. Tickets Adults 5, Under 14s 2.50, Under 5s free but must have a ticket - to include a glass of punch and festive fayre
  • Thursday 16th December 7.00pm Portway School Carol Concert
  • Saturday 18th December 10.30am Carol Singing for Christian Aid outside the church - do join us
  • Sunday 19th December 10.00am Christingle Service 4.45pm Carols at Cotswold Centre 6.00pm Christmas Carol Service with mulled wine and mince pies
  • Christmas Eve 4.00pm Crib Service please come dressed as an angel, shepherd, wise man or woman - a short service for all the family to share - 7.30pm Carols on the Green in St Mary's if wet - 11.30pm Midnight Holy Communion for Christmas
  • Christmas Day 10.00am Holy Communion for Christmas with Carols
  • Sunday 26th December 10.00am Said Service of Holy Communion

The Ferry

Dear Editor

I write in response to your article Shire-Pill Ferry re-lived.

I for one would love to see the ferry up and running again. My mother, Mrs Florence Thomas worked in the toll booth many years ago both on the Shire and PIll side. We lived in 13 Friendly Row, where I was born. The house still stands. My mother used to take me to work with her and my father Bill Thomas (he worked on the tugs at Avonmouth Docks) would pick me up on his way home from work.I can remember the engine packing up once, I was on the ferry boat with Linda Sharpe who is Albert Sharpe's granddaughter, his son Uggy was at the helm (he still lives in Pump Square, Pill).

I thought it was so exciting as we floated off down-river. We had to be rescued. Also, my brother Jeffrey used to lend a hand on the ferry at times with the Jackman twins. Happy times.

Mrs L Bunce

The Pink Tea Party - a Big Thank You!

The coffee and cake event organised by the staff of Shirehampton Group Practice was a resounding success, with many hundreds of calories consumed throughout the event! All proceeds will go to Breast Cancer REsearch, one of two charities being supported by the Practice this year.

Patients and staff very generously donated cakes, both large and small, which were bought and eaten with great enthusiasm. And yet more generous patients and staff donated a lovely range of raffle prizes, tickets for which were sold throughout the week leading up to the event.

Thanks to all this, and with an extra donation by the GP partners, a wonderful 460 was raised. Well done everyone!

Next year we plan to run another event raising funds for a charity supporting the elderly - please look out for the advertising materials and support it if you can!

The Public Hall Book

Just a reminder that if you didn't get to the Exhibition and Book Launch in November and wish to obtain copies of the book in time for Christmas, you can contact Jeanette at the Hall or yourse on daytime number 0117 938 2849.

This is an ideal present for people who have had or had associations with the Hall in the past. They will enjoy the memories and photographs and be able to relive some happy times. Of course you don't have to give the book away, at just 8 per copy you can indulge yourselves instead!

Judy Helme

The Record Stands

As mentioned in 'Shire', the Blow Sax School at Bath on the opening night of Bath Music Festival rallied 529 saxophone players to all play together to break the Guinness Book of Records. They thought that 10 days later their effort had been surpassed in Toronto, Canada, however the Guinness Book has very definite rules and regulations, the Bath record has been ratified and still stands, so it is a world breaker that still stands. This should please all who took part, some of whom live in Shirehampton.

Thoughts on Village

Dear Shire

No, Mark James, you are certainly not the only one to notice the rapidly changing face of Shire Village.

I don't know about you, but I find the flats developments a great improvement. What remained of the old spinney next to Alldays was a depressing-looking rubbish tip; that corner has been really smartened up - aided by the removal of the mobile burger bar.

The Old Savoy was beginning to look very dilapidated and the replacement flats have really blended in well with the existing Victorian/Edwardian terrace.

The new pavements in the HIgh Street (although unfinished) and, for example, in Bradley Crescent and Pembroke Avenue, are a big improvement, greatly enhancing the visual aspect of the Village.

So far as the toilet block is concerned, I feel we must fight to save it from demolition. Since it's refurbishment, it has become a pleasant visual addition to the village landscape. I feel it essential to have a public convenience for visitors and shoppers in Shire, especially as none of the supermarkets, shops or cafŽs (as far as I'm aware) have any public toilets.

The 'Old School' is an historic building which we cannot afford to lose. It is an important part of the history of the village. My father, along with many other readers' fathers and mothers, went there. We have already lost too much of our heritage: the fine estate office, where the garage now stands; Daw's the dentist's house and the adjoining cottages; the big house on The Green, where the flats now are; the other big house at the corner of Pembroke Road, where some more flats stand; to name a few.

I am surprised to learn that the Old School is not a listed building. I feel that one of the local organisations representing Shirehampton should write to Tessa Jowel (Minister for Culture, Media and Sport) and ask that one of her inspectors be despatched to our village, with a view to rectifying this situation. We should also ask for Lottery money to refurbish the building's exterior, remove the horrible paint and restore the original sandstone.

Ideally, more Lottery money should be acquired to purchase the Old School for the inhabitants of Shirehampton, to create a local museum, reflecting the past life of the village.

Yours sincerely

Gil Osman


Do you have a St Mary's Hymn book at home? Over the last year 24 books have disappeared from church. It is so easy to take one home at the end of a service by mistake. If you do find that you have a book then please return it to church any day between 10am-12 noon. We won't be cross! In fact we'll be delighted and reward you with a lovely cup of tea or coffee.

Thank you for your help.

Best wishes - Canon Christine

What a carry on

Perhaps they are silly, but I can't forget words from long ago; remembered yet.

Everyone knows that you'll head for a fall if you walk neath a ladder propped up by a wall. A brolly indoors should be kept furled tight. Don't use the stairs if someone's in sight. When cutting your nails, be in no doubt. There's three days ill-omened, which must be left out. Never peer long in any looking glass for old Nick himself will not let this pass.

The crossing of knives is a challenge to peace and never give gloves or friendship will cease. Cover all mirrors 'gainst lightning's bright flashes, there's 7 years trouble if one of them smashes.

If you happen to mention blessings quite good remember! ward off misfortune by touching on wood. Try to be safe by all ways you can and be guided by wisdom from mother and gran.

John Connett

Winter nights warning to cyclists, particularly the young

The clocks have gone back, the shorter days of winter are here. This means the hours of darkness are longer. So if you are going to cycle at night the following checks are suggested:

1) Check your lights

2) Wear fluorescent clothing, i.e. jacket or armbands

3) Check pressures and treads of tyres

4) Check brakes, make sure they could stop the bike efficiently in rain and snow

5) Make sure to wear a helmet, avoid secondhand helmets as it is very difficult to tell if it is damaged in any way

6) Buy a good lock for the bike and use it if you park anywhere, it helps to prevent theft

These warnings are aimed particularly at young cyclists. If parents or grandparents are planning to buy bikes for their young this Christmas, perhaps the rest of the family could chip in with safety equipment for the young cyclist. Finally, mark the bike for security with a post code and house number using a UV pen. Cyclists should write down the make, model and any serial numbers and distinctive features.

Wot! No Village Public Convenience

So Bristol Council would like to economise by shutting Shirehampton's only Public Convenience. No great deal to those living near the High Street or the top end of Station Road, they never have cause to visit. However, for those living further afield or visitors to the village, a sheer necessity if you happen to be taken short. It seems that through the actions of some mindless mortals, who have misused the facility, the rest of us are to be deprived of a very essential amenity.

Of course I am of the generation who remembers that to use the public toilet cost one penny, hence the expression 'to spend a penny'. In those days there was someone employed not only to open and shut the loos and keep them clean, but who guarded them throughout the opening hours to make sure there was no hanky-panky taking place. No doubt, the Corporation could not afford to employ a team of full time staff to do this nowadays. More's the pity. (JA)

Answers to Christmas Quiz

  1. O come all ye faithful
  2. Hark the Heralds Sing
  3. I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
  4. All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth
  5. Once in Royal David's City
  6. Silent Night
  7. I saw Mummy kissing Santa Claus
  8. Little Donkey
  9. Angels from the Realms of Glory
  10. The Holly and the Ivy
  11. Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer
  12. Give us a kiss for Christmas
  13. Away in a manger
  14. O little town of Bethlehem
  15. In the bleak midwinter
  16. Sleigh Bells Ring, are you listening
  17. God rest you merry gentlemen
  18. While Shepherds Watch
  19. The First No'l
  20. Good King Wenceslas
  21. I saw three ships
  22. Jingle Bells
  23. Have yourself a very merry Christmas
  24. Ding dong merrily on high
  25. Jingle Bells

Carols on the Green


The first Nowel the Angel did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
In fields where they lay a-keeping their sheep
On a cold winter's night that was so deep.
Nowel, Nowel, Nowel, Nowel,
Born is the King of Israel

They looked up and saw a Star,
Shining in the East beyond them far,
And to the Earth it gave great light,
And so it continued both day and night.
Nowel, Nowel, Nowel, Nowel,
Born is the King of Israel

And by the light of that same Star,
Three Wise men came from country far,
To seek for a King was their intent,
And to follow the Star wherever it went.
Nowel, Nowel, Nowel, Nowel,
Born is the King of Israel

The Star drew nigh to the north-west,
O'er Bethlehem it took its rest,
And there it did both stop and stay
Right over the place where Jesus lay.
Nowel, Nowel, Nowel, Nowel,
Born is the King of Israel

Then entered in those Wise men three,
Full reverently upon their knee,
And offered there in His presence,
Their gold and myrrh and frankincense.
Nowel, Nowel, Nowel, Nowel,
Born is the King of Israel


O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie!
Above they deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting LIght;
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.

How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His Heaven,
No ear may hear his coming;
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls shall receive Him, still
The dear Christ enters in.

O Holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in;
Be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas Angels
The great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us,
Our Lord Emmanuel.


Hark! the herald-angels sing
Glory to the new-born King,
Peace on Earth and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled.
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With the Angelic host proclaim
"Christ is born in Bethlehem",
Hark! the herald-angels sing
Glory to the new-born King.

Christ, by highest heaven adored,
Christ, the everlasting Lord,
Late in time behold Him come,
Offspring of a Virgin's womb.
Veiled in flesh and Godhead see!
Hail the incarnate Deity!
Pleased as Man with man to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel!
Hark! the herald-angels sing
Glory to the new-born King.

Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Risen with healing in His wings.
Mild, He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of Earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Hark! the herald-angels sing
Glory to the new-born King.


Silent night, holiest night,
Darkness flies, all is bright,
Shepherds hear the angels sing,
Hallelujah, hail the King:
Jesus the Saviour is here!
Jesus the Saviour is here!

Silent night, holiest night,
Guiding star, lend thy light,
See the Eastern Magi bring,
Gifts and homage to their King,
Jesus the Saviour is here!
Jesus the Saviour is here!

Silent night, holiest night,
Wondrous star, lend they light,
With the angels let us sing,
Hallelujah to the King,
Jesus the Saviour is here!
Jesus the Saviour is here!


While Shepherds watched their flocks by night,
All seated on the ground,
The angel of the Lord came down,
And glory shone around.

"Fear Not", said he: for mighty dread
Had seized their troubled mind:
"Glad tidings of great joy I bring,
To you and all mankind".

To you in David's town this day,
is born of David's line,
A Saviour who is Christ the Lord -
And this shall be the sign.

"The Heavenly Babe you there shall find,
To human view displayed.
All meanly wrapped in swaddling bands,
And in a manger laid."

Thus spake the Seraph, and forthwith
Appeared a shining throng,
Of Angels, praising God, who thus
Addressed their joyful song:

"All glory be to God on high
And to the earth be peace;
Goodwill henceforth from Heaven to men,
Begin and never cease."


O come all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold Him,
Born the King of Angels;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!

God of God,
Light of Light,
Lo! He abhors not the Virgin's womb;
Very God,
Begotten, not created.
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!

Sing, choirs of Angels,
Sing in exultation,
Sing, all ye citizens of Heaven above;
'Glory to God
In the Highest'
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!


Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head.
The stars in the bright sky looked down where He lay.
The little lord Jesus asleep in the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes.
I love thee Lord Jesus! Look down from the sky,
And stay by my side until morning is nigh.

Be near me Lord Jesus, I ask thee to stay.
Close by me for ever, and love me I pray!
Bless all the dear Children in Thy tender care,
And fit us for Heaven to live with thee there.


It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth
To touch their harps of gold:
"Peace on the earth, good will to me
From Heaven's all-gracious King!"
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.

Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long;
Beneath them the angels strain
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man at war with man, hears not
The love song which they bring:
O hush the noise, ye men of strife,
And hear the angels sing.

For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophet-bards foretold,
When, with the ever-circling years,
Comes round the age of gold;
When peace shall over all the earth
It's ancient splendours fling,
And the whole world give back the song
Which now the angels sing.