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33rd Annual Art Exhibition

Chairman's Annual Report

St Mary's News

Letters to the Editor

33rd Annual Art Exhibition

This year's exhibition, staged by Twyford Art Club, attracted 182 exhibits from 57 members of local art groups and the community. It was a quiet affair compared with last year, which was of course part of the Hall's Centenary celebrations. John Case, Chairman of Twyford Art Club welcomed exhibitors and their guests and thanked the Exhibition Sub Committee for organising the event, in particular Jean Cooper, Pat Phelan, the Joint Secretaries and Tony Warren who produced the catalogue.

He introduced Mr Anthony Pace, currently President of the Savages and a distinguished artist, whose works are in the Royal Collections, and many others worldwide, and invited him to open the exhibition. Mr Pace said that he was pleased to be asked again having opened a previous exhibition at the invitation of the late Philip Squire.

He was pleased to see that Philip's painting 'Blue Bell Wood' was to be awarded to the artist whose painting was voted the first preference of exhibitors. He commented on the high standard of exhibits and was particularly pleased to see the attention given to their mounting and framing as these were important aspects of presentation.

This was not always the case in some exhibitions he visited. His general observations and comments were particularly encouraging for exhibitors. The picture voted for by exhibitors as their preferred choice was 'Detail from Famille de Paysans' by Audrey Curtis.

The picture voted for by exhibitors as their preferred choice was 'Detail from Famille de Paysans' by Audrey Curtis

The exhibition had been advertised widely throughout the district with posters and details in 'Shire' and had been featured on Radio Bristol. We appreciate the continued support of 'Shire' and of our visitors, who purchased 25 of the paintings; we should not otherwise be able to cover our costs.

Ron Thorpe

What's On in July

July 1st Friday

COFFEE MORNING at the Library 10.30am-12 noon FRIDAY FUN weekly for parents, carers and pre-school children 9.30-11.30am at the Beachley Walk Centre EVERGREENS weekly at the Public Hall 1-3pm BINGO at the Public Hall 6.30-8.30pm

July 2nd Saturday

COFFEE MORNING and BRING & BUY at Shirehampton's Methodist Church Hall 10am-12 noon

July 3rd Sunday

BAPTIST CHURCH SERVICE at the Cotswold Community Centre at 4.45pm

July 4th Monday

KEEP FIT every Monday at Avonmouth Community Centre 7.30-8.30pm - admission 1 SEQUENCE DANCE at the Public Hall at 7.30pm SEE AND KNOW for Under 5s at St Mary's every week 1.15-2.15pm 3 OF US BINGO at St Andrew's Church Hall weekly 1.45-2.45pm BASIC LITERARY SKILLS COURSE at Lawrence Weston every week - tel. 0117 913 8824 for details

JULY 5th Tuesday

TEA JUNCTION at St Mary's Weekly 2pm - tea chat, board games BINGO or A SPEAKER weekly 2pm at Tythe Barn, High Street ST ANDREW'S LADIES 7.30pm at St Andrew's Church Hall, Avonmouth 'Outside the Bristol City Wall' - speaker Brian Amesbury

July 7th Thursday

SLIMMING WORLD every Thursday 5.30 and 7pm at Jim O'Neill House

July 8th & 22nd Fridays weekly at Public Hall SAHAJA YOGA MEDITATION 12.30 (Penpole Room) enquiries 982 1711

July 12th Tuesday

EVERGREEN OUTING to Swanage - ring 982 3180 for details

July 13th Wednesday

BOOK CLUB SUMMER BARBECUE (favourite humorous writers night) ring 982 8683 for details

July 17th Sunday

CHURCH OF ENGLAND SERVICE at the Cotswold Community at 4.45pm

July 18th Monday

SHIREHAMPTON'S LOCAL HISTORY GROUP meets in the Library at 2.30pm

July 19th Tuesday

ST ANDREW'S LADIES 7.30pm at St Andrew's Church Hall for AGM and American Supper RAILWAY MODELLERS 7.30pm at the Public Hall PBA PENSIONERS meet at the Club House, Nibley Road 1.30-2.30pm

July 20th Wednesday

SHIRE STITCHERS meet 7.30pm at the Public Hall

July 21st Thursday

CARERS GROUP meet at the Avonmouth Medical Centre 10am-12 noon

July 22nd Friday

LAST DAY OF TERM 6 for all local schools

July 23rd Saturday


July 29th Friday

SEQUENCE DANCE in the Cotswold Centre 7.30-10pm

Chairman's Annual Report

At the beginning of the financial year in the Autumn we were able to distribute a modest sum to local worthy causes, the two main ones being the repair of a floor in the Public Hall and the Christmas lights. This has been a year of consolidation, having established that the regular size of 'Shire' to be 20 pages each month, and the number of copes printed monthly to be 5,000.

As usual we sponsored 'The Carols on the Green' on Christmas Eve. The other two annual events in the Public Hall, namely the Craft Exhibition in the Autumn and the Art Exhibition in May, although we would sponsor if need be, have financially been independent for some years now.

We were pleased to help the Library celebrate its centenary and gave them a donation towards their celebration expenses in this, their special year. We are indebted to the Library Staff who keep a folder of readers' literary contributions and allow us to use the Library as our official address.

There have been several new members whom we have welcomed to the 'Shire' admin - namely Judy Helme, our well-known local historian, Brian Blandflord, Chairman of the Cotswold Community and more recently Brenda Dammers. Joyce Daniels, who has been Secretary, part of the Editorial rota and also in charge of advertising, has decided that the time has come to retire.

We shall miss her very much indeed, and are very grateful for all the unstinting effort she has put in over the years she has put in to helping with the production of the newspaper. Michael Morgan has volunteered to take over the adverts. Thanks to everyone on the Admin Council - all volunteers - who work together to promote the production of the paper.

I should also like to thank all those who take part in the distribution, particularly Pauline Godwin, who organises it so efficiently. The distribution is our great strength and run entirely by voluntary helpers. May I thank our readers once again for rallying round by writing articles and sending us photographs.

As you know one of our main aims is to try to balance the amount of space, dividing it as equally as we can between copy and adverts. This is only possible if we get a good response from our readers. Lastly we are grateful to all our traders, particularly those who advertise regularly with us, with your support we are able to cover the expense of publishing 'Shire'. God bless you all. J.A.

Lamplighters Marsh - Shirehampton Green

The Marsh was lovely with clouds of Hawthorn blossom when Shire Greens staged their Spring wildflower walk on May 14th. More than thirty people turned out to wander down the new path - most locals seem to call it "the yellow brick road' - which winds along the river bank from the Lamplighters Pub to the Avon Bridge.

We'd had a similar walk last August when we gathered seed from native wildflower species to scatter over disused railway sidings under the bridge. Now we could see how well they'd taken with plenty of green pushing up through gravel and even concrete.

One again Rupert Higgins of the Wessex Ecological Consultancy led the walk. He's extremely knowledgeable about local plants and can explain the botanical details in ways everyone can understand and remember. Of course, we're interested in wildlife as well as plants.

Rupert Higgins pointing out plants to walkers

We know there is a badger set on the Marsh (they invade my garden regularly!) and we're told there are four does and a stag. We see foxes, rabbits and even pheasants, and there have been mallard ducks along the river this Spring. Now we're hoping to arrange a wildlife walk in the Daisy Field, the section of the Lamplighters Marsh area along the Portway.

Lamplighters Marsh is easily accessible from the Severn Beach Railway and the circular walk from the Station along the river and back through the Daisy Field passes the Lamplighters Pub which has a fine, safe garden for children and wonderful views over the river. Something for everyone!

Wine and Wit at the Book Barbecue

Rose scented breezes spiced by gently grilling chicken as charcoal glows enticingly on the barbecue in a delightful garden near the river. Meanwhile, a glass of chilled white wine sparkles in your hand invitingly as it reflects the evening sun. That's summer for you! And when the irresistible mouth-watering experience is made all the richer by book-talk instead of small-talk, then you really do have an evening that's not to be missed.

If it's the kind of evening that appeals to you, you are welcome to join the Cotswold Book Club at their second annual Book Barbecue on Wednesday 13th July. The members will not be barbecuing books, but each will be bringing to the party a favourite short piece of humourous writing, either poetry or prose. (If you come as a guest, your participation in the reading is completely voluntary.) If you would like to come, then ring 982 2683.

A PLEA ...

We want to print your news, views, stories, puzzles, photographs, pictures, local history and anything else you think would interest the rest of us. So, get out your paper and pens/pencils/word processor, whatever, put on your thinking cap and tell us all about it! It's really not all that difficult. There must be hidden talent out there! And the closing date for copy is always the 10th of the month. Hand in to Shirehampton Library. Be hearing from you!

Dear Shire

Re-School Photograph - May 2005 I believe that I am in the photo sitting on the end, in the dark pinafore dress, my name being Julia Ivory (now Tucker). In the back row, 4th from the left with dark hair is, I think, Glyn Talbot, and sitting up straight in the front row is Freddie ? the class joker.

Behind me, 3rd in is Tony Jennings. Of all the school photographs I have of Shire Juniors, this is the only one without a teacher. I left Shire Juniors in July 1957, my teacher then being Mr Hall. There are faces I recognise, but cannot put a name to in the photograph.

Julia Tucker, Wales

Thank You ...

I would like to thank my family, friends and customers of Hawkins Newsagents for helping me to raise 420.50 for the Race for Life, in aid of Cancer Research. It took place last year, but this year was a bit special, as it was joined by my eight year old niece Jamila.

I know other children took part, but to me Jamila is a bit special. She was born to my brother and his wife after 25 years of marriage (their only child). After being born prematurely, at a couple of months old she was diagnosed with a hole in the heart and had to undergo major surgery.

Her recovery at times was touch and go. As you can see, she has grown into a lovely, kind caring little girl, who I love to bits, and I am very proud of her. Her face was a picture as they gave her a medal for taking part. Next year she says her Mum has to join us! Once again thank you for your support.

Jean Nurse, Chelwood Road, Shirehampton. Thank you for your kind donation to Shire - Ed.

This is a picture of Adelaide and Anna who are pupils in class 5 Miss Pritchard's class at St Bernard's school, they ran the 5 kilometer race for life and raised a substantial amount of money for Cancer research. Adelaide whose own grandmother died of cancer, has ran the race for the past three years, This year was Anna's first race but both girls enjoy running and aim to run again next year.

Adelaide and Anna say they like to raise money for a good cause and at the same time enjoying the event.

Thank You ...

A massive thank you to Marilyn and Bob at the George Public House. It is the first totally disabled friendly pub in the village to provide a ramp for easy access for wheelchairs/powerchairs. Well done to them both.

Meg Sims

Obituary Jason Teale 1985-2005

We were very saddened to learn of the tragic death of Jason at such a young age, the result of a tragic accident at Henbury Court. In the five or so years we have been at the 'Carlot' we have been very fond of Jason and his family. I am sure he will be missed by his many friends and workmates, both in Shire and Henbury. Our thoughts are with his family, especially his young son Lewis, at this very sad time. Goodbye Jason - "The lovable rogue".

Mark & Andy, Carlot, Station Road.

1975-2005 30 Years Celebration of Sheltered Housing at Stow House, Nibley Road Shirehampton

On 23rd July 2005 The Tenants and Scheme Manager invite you to an Open and Fun Day Starting at 12.00 noon Open Day Come and visit the scheme and see the self contained flats which allow our tenants to enjoy an independent lifestyle within a secure environment. You will be able to look around the scheme and see the community facilities and visit one of the flats within the scheme.

Older people may wish to take this opportunity to look at the scheme's flats and facilities and ask the scheme manager any questions they have. Come along and enjoy a few hours, see the scheme and bring along family, friends and grandchildren to enjoy the fun day. Fun Day With Tombola, White Elephant and lucky Dip plus many more.

  • Stalls selling books, cakes, toys and clothes.
  • Raffles.
  • Prizes for Name the Doll and How Many Sweets in the Jar?
  • Food stalls with hot and soft drinks.

For more information please contact the Scheme Manager Joan Cormack on (0117) 982 8068. Come along and have a fun day!

Beware Bogus Bank Notes

'Watch out for fake 20 notes' warned Shirehampton Beat Officer PC Gareth Davies at a meeting with Neighbourhood Watch coordinators last month. Although local stores, who have already had some passed across the counter, need to be particular alert, ordinary members of the public also should be on the look out.

A favourite ploy is to ask for change - an obliging Good Samaritan will discover later that his kindness has left him with a worthless piece of paper. The offending counterfeits are of a very high quality and difficult to spot, but PC Davies gives a number of tips for checking the authenticity of a note.

1. All serial numbers should be absolutely in line, with no digits slightly above or below. Check with the straight edge of a piece of paper.

2. Check the watermark and the metal strip running through the note. Make sure there is no break in the latter.

3. Measure the note against a genuine one. All notes should be exactly the same size.

4. Rub the note hard on a piece of white paper. Any slight transfer of colour shows it to be false.

5. Smell the note. Any bank notes reasonably fresh from the Royal Mint have a distinctive smell from the inks used.

PC Davies also told the meeting of a current rash of handbag-snatching and distraction burglaries, usually targeting the frail and elderly. His advice is not to take everything in handbags, and especially not to keep a written record of a pin number alongside a bank card.

As for distraction burglaries, the golden rule is not to admit anyone to your home that you don't know, or are not expecting, even if the visitor is asking for something as apparently innocent as a drink of water or to use the phone. Anyone claiming to call on official business, such as a utility company employee, must produce proof of identity that can be verified by a phone call.

A sad aspect of Shire life is the number of calls made to report nuisance community disorders, usually involving young people indulging their taste for drink and sometimes drugs. Through the summer a Group Dispersal Order is in operation in the centre of Shirehampton, enabling PC Davies and his colleagues to break up groups causing a nuisance.

New Telephone System for the Health Centre!

At last, I am sure many of you are saying! As you know, a new Primary Care Centre is planned for Shirehampton and the current timescale is that we move into the temporary accommodation, on the current Church Hall site, in December of this year. When we move into the portacabins, we will have a new telephone system installed.

This can then easily be transferred to the new building when it is completed. So we need your help to get it right! Could you please feed back to us, all the things you find difficult about the current system and any features you would like us to include in the new one? You can contact us about this using several methods; write a letter, telephone us (afternoons only please!), e-mail us or complete a form available from reception areas.

Write to: The Health Centre, Pembroke Road, Shirehampton, Bristol BS11 9SB. Telephone: 0117 916 2233 e-mail: or Or call in to the Health Centre and pick up a form from any reception area.

Many thanks!

Electric Blanket Checks

Date for your diary That time of the year again! Electric Blanket Check - Shirehampton Health Centre - October 19th. Booking number 9117 9223522.

Obituary - Vera Fletcher

Vera Fletcher passed away 5th June 2005 aged 80. Treasure her Lord, in the Garden of Rest, For on this earth she was one of the best. A heart of gold stopped beating, Hard working hands at rest. God broke our hearts to prove to us, He only takes the best. Thank you to all neighbours and friends for their kind thoughts and help at this time.

From 'Ernie' and family.

MP Doug Naysmith goes back to school for Global Education

Doug Naysmith went back to school at Avon Primary, Shirehampton on 27th May to highlight the fact that 100 million children worldwide receive no education. Over 400 MPs were expected to take part in the Send My Friend to School campaign, which was organised by the Global Campaign for Education, a coalition of teachers' unions and development organisations including ActionAid, ALT, Comic Relief, NASUWT, NUT, Oxfam, Plan International, Sight Savers International and VSO.

Avon Primary is one of over 3,000 schools in the UK making cut-out figures, dubbed 'buddies' to represent the hundred million children out of school across the world. Doug Naysmith supported Avon Primary efforts by listening to a presentation by Y5/6 pupils and answering their questions.

The buddies will be presented to world leaders when they meet for the G8 summit in July, reminding them of their promise to make sure all children have access to primary education by 2015. Research shows children who miss out on an education are more likely to grow up poor and unhealthy and their own children are more likely to die as infants.

Portway Secondary Modern Boys' School Teaching Staff - 1950

Dear Editor,

Enclosed is a very rare photograph of the teaching staff at Portway Secondary Modern Boys' School, taken in 1950. Most of the staff are named. The photograph shows the staff just prior to the school moving up to the army huts on Penpole.

Anthony Mitchell Back row - left to right: Mr Martin, (?), Mr Gore, Mr Ackland, Mr Trivett, (?), Mr Barrett, Mr Tagney, Mr Goodman, (?), (?), (?). Front row - left to right: Mr Harvey, Mr Bazley (Assistant Headmaster, who wrote the school song), Mr Carlisle (Headmaster), Mr Sissons, Mr Jones. Perhaps some of our readers remember the missing names - Ed.

Portway Secondary School 1949-1954

SONG Down where the river runs out to the sea   Down where the winds blow free What shall we do to make our school   Proud of you and me Time soon will pass and then we shall be   Out in the wide wide world Helping others when ways are lost   Doing all we can

Avonmouth Old Boys Rugby Club Annual Tours

Avonmouth Rugby Club have teams from the U8s-U19s and at the end of every season we traditionally have a tour for all age groups and this year was no exception. The Minis U8s-U12s travelled to Sandy Bay in Exmouth, Devon where they had a fantastic weekend enjoying the caravan parks excellent facilities.

The weekend was finished off with a game on the way home against Torrington RFC. The U14s-U15s spent a weekend camping in Woolacombe, North Devon, where they had a great time paintballing and going to an Adventure Park. The Colts-U19s had a very enjoyable 5 day trip to Majorca in March, flying from Bristol, a party of 21 travelled at Magaluf where they spent the evenings in the towns many bars and discos and the days on the sandy beach.

A game was arranged against a local Majorcan team, El Torro RFC. Our boys of main 17-18 year olds had a great game against a more physical and mature team, the game ended in a 25-12 defeat for the Colts, but a great day was had by all. Avonmouth Old Boys are always looking to recruit players of all ages and abilities.

Training is on Wednesday evenings 6pm-7.15pm and anyone interested in joining can contact the following people - Ted Britton 985 2426; John Davies 983 2096 or Paul Sollars 982 9093.

Community Care Grants

Community Care Grants help people who are getting Income Support or income based Jobseeker's Allowance or Pension Credit (or who are likely to get one of these benefits when moving out of institutional care or a care home). They help people live independently in the community and ease exceptional pressure on families. They cover a wide range of personal circumstances and variety of needs and expenses. They do not have to be paid back.

Do you:

  • Plan to leave institutional care or a care home?
  • Need help to stay in your own home (and not go into institutional care or a care home)?
  • Need help because you have had an unsettled way of life and are being resettled by an organisation like a local council or housing charity?
  • Need help because you and your family face exceptional pressures, such as family breakdown or someone in the family having a long-term illness?
  • Need help because someone has been released from custody on temporary licence?
  • Need help with expenses such as visiting someone who is ill, or you need help to travel for another reason?
  • Need help because you or your family are in a similar situation to any of the above?

If you answered YES to any of the above, then you can apply for a Community Care Grant Community Care Grants are part of the Social Fund. Whether you can get a Community Care Grant will depend on your particular circumstances. Payments are discretionary and subject to certain conditions. Savings of more than 500 will usually affect how much you can get (1,000 if you or your partner are aged 60 or over).

How do I claim? If you want to apply for a Community Care Grant then contact Tony at Avon (University Settlement) Community Association. He gives advise at the drop-in advice sessions on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 9.30am and 11.30am - no appointment is necessary. He will also do a full benefit check. He can help with applying for other welfare benefits, filling in forms, help with any problems with debts, housing problems, employment advice and other legal matters.

Avon (University Settlement) Community Association offers FREE and confidential advice. We are situated at 115 High Street, Shirehampton. Tel. 982 9399.

Culture Closures

If you happen to be going on holiday abroad and you like to visit places of cultural interest it might be worthwhile finding out what days of the week the museums, archaeological digs and art galleries etc close during the week. In Greece and it's islands the museums close on Mondays, but I am not sure whether this applies to the archaeological sites as well. J.A.

Community Funds Grants for local groups.

Modest funds have become available for community groups in the Shirehampton area. Applications from any voluntary or charitable organisations will be considered and also from statutory bodies, such as schools etc, if the finance is required for non statutory purposes.

Please apply to the address below, stating the name and purpose of your group, how you would use any grant, whether you have raised any other funds for your project and how much you require. 'Shire' Community Funds, c/o The Public Library, Station Road, Shirehampton Bristol BS11 9TU.

Volunteers Needed

Have you got a few hours to spare each week and would like to help in the community? Then come and join us in our WRVS shops in Southmead Hospital, and make your time count. If you are interested please contact: Southmead Hospital Tel: 0117 950 5050 - Ext 3675.

The Lunch Club

The Lunch Club at Lawrence Weston Community Farm has sadly come to an end due to running out of funding. Hopefully this won't be for long and we'll be back up and running in October. We'll keep you informed when the Lunch Club will start again. Thank you to all who came along to the Lunch Club and enjoyed delicious dinners and a good old natter.

We'll expect to see you all again in the Autumn. We'd also like to say a big thank you to Jen the cook and all the wonderful volunteers who helped with cooking and masses of washing up. You will have wrinkly fingers again soon!

Visit the Bobby Van

On the second Tuesday of every month, the police Bobby Van parks at Shirehampton Green, and becomes a kind of mobile drop-in centre for the community. Visit it, and you might come away with some 'goodies' such as energy-saving light bulbs, or an advice pack of home safety aids to crime prevention.

Or you could simply take the opportunity to meet local Beat Officer PC Gareth Davies for a chat. You can tell him your concerns, or even give him information that might help him in his continual battle to make our streets and homes safe and crime-free.

Evergreens Club

The Evergreens Club meet every Friday from 2-4pm at the Public Hall, Station Road. Some Fridays we have Bingo and some entertainment. Everyone is welcome. There are some vacancies for our holiday to York on 5th September, departing from Shirehampton at 8.30am. Trips to Whitby, Scarborough, Bridlington and Goatland (where Heartbeat is filmed) are included. For further details ring Norman on 982 3180.

Avonmouth & Lawrence Weston Carers Group

The Avonmouth Carers Group meets on the third Tuesday of the month 10.00-12.00 at The Avonmouth Medical Centre. The Lawrence Weston carers group meets on the third Thursday of the month 2.00-4.00 at Ridingleaze House, Lawrence Weston and all carers are welcome to come along to these groups, even if they can only spare a few minutes. If you wish to contact me about this could you contact me at my offce on 0117 982 5247 or email Best wishes - Helen Mathias

New Books at Shirehampton Library

Carla Banks The Forest of Souls
Clive Cussler        Lost City
Michael Dobbs Churchill's Hour
Jack Higgins The Eagle Has Landed
Tom Holt Earth, Air, Fire and Custard Val McDermid

Life at Sea Special Exhibition

Sat 30 August-Sun 4 September

A major new touring exhibition featuring treasures from maritime collections in museums all over the country. Life at Sea explores the impact of the sea on Britain's heritage and the imagination of the nation. An event for SeaBritain 2005. Location: Bristol's City Museum & Art Gallery, Queens Road, Bristol BS8 1RL. Open: 10am-5pm. Tel: 0117 922 3571.

Gone for Ever

The cheerful cuckoo comes no more
To sound his flute near our back door.
Year on year his voice was heard:
We vied for first to spread the word.
Has he found another clime
To pass the early summertime?
Or has a gunman's shot brought down,
Our friend, before his course was flown?            

John Connett

St Mary's News

Hi Folks!

I can't believe the lightest nights have just passed and the evenings are now about to start drawing in again. Just where has time gone this year? So let me tell you about recent past events. Our Pentecostal Praise Service during the afternoon of Sunday 15th May 2005 was very well received and much appreciated by all who attended. We had a wonderful selection of bright and lively tunes, but not much puff left at the end of the service!

The 'open church' days on both the May Day and Spring Bank Holiday, when Gill Sawyer produced lunches and cream teas, was a great success. It provided a quiet haven for those who did not want to become involved in the Bank Holiday traffic. Good company and excellent food! Both events raised over 1,000 for church funds. Events such as these which raise money are most important to ensure we keep our heads above water when it comes to paying our way.

Many people are surprised at the cost of keeping St Mary's open and running. Each year we are expected to pay our 'Parish Share' which used be known as our 'Quota'. This year we are asked to pay the sum of 37,000  to the Diocese of Bristol. The money is used to pay Clergy Stipends and Pensions amongst other things. In one respect we could almost be considered the victim of our own success - the larger the congregation and the number of people on the Electoral Roll, the higher the 'Parish Share'.

Everyone in the parish and in our congregation owe a deep debt of gratitude to Canon Christine for reversing the fortunes of St Mary's, which was fast heading towards oblivion with a dwindling congregation and ever-increasing expenditure. She has revived pastoral care within the parish by visiting people in their homes and visiting the sick in our local hospitals and residential homes.

She has also maintained contact with Baptism families and the bereaved. The spiritual needs have also been met by her popularity in the pulpit. This is shown every Sunday by an average attendance of 114 and more at festival times and Baptisms. Canon Christine has recently expressed her delight at the increasing number of couples who have chosen to be married at St Mary's and the number of people choosing to have their children baptised. These are always wonderful family occasions which are enjoyed by everybody.

A new venture for St Mary's is our 'Prayer Breakfast'. These are held on the 3rd Saturday of each month and begin with a short period of prayer at 8.00am for anyone who may have some form of worry or concern. This is followed by a light breakfast and finishes at around 9.30am. All are welcome - no advance notice is needed, just turn up on the day.

Our series of 'Open Gardens' in now in full swing and proving very popular. Details of whose garden is open can be found on one of the Notice Boards at the west end of the church.

There are two very important dates in July. The first one is on the 2nd of the month which is the 10th Anniversary of Canon Christine being ordained as a Priest, and the very next day - Sunday 3rd July is the day when our Curate, Andy Schuman is to be ordained Priest at Bristol Cathedral. There will be no 10am Holy Communion Service at St Mary's on that day, but a said service of Holy Communion will be held at 8.00am. Our congregation will be attending the Ordination Service at Bristol Cathedral at 10.00am to ensure Andy receives full support from us all! Our prayers and thoughts are with him and Canon Christine on this very joyous occasion.

This is your second reminder not to miss our Patronal Festival on the following weekend. On Saturday 9th July the church will be open for our Summer Fayre from 10am until 12 noon, with lots and lots of luscious goodies for sale. During the afternoon from 2pm until 4.30pm our illustrious Churchwarden, Gill Sawyer, will be providing cream teas at a very reasonable cost. At 3pm some of the children from Shirehampton Primary School will be entertaining us with their singing for about half and hour (me thinks - I wonder if there are any children who could be tempted to sing in our church choir!) Weather permitting, it is also hoped to have a bouncy castle in the churchyard. Sunday Services next day are as usual - 10am Holy Communion - with the theme devoted to St Mary our Patron Saint.

On Monday 11th July the Bristol Citadel Salvation Army Band will be giving their annual concert on the Village Green at 7.30pm. This is a lovely setting on a warm summer evening! (Should the weather unfortunately be wet then the concert will be held in St Mary's. A retiring collection will be given to the Salvation Army Band to use as they think fit.

Another musical event will follow on Saturday 16th July, when Shirehampton Area Choir, under the direction of Tim Forder, perform their annual Summer Concert at 7.30pm in St Mary's. Tickets cost 6 and include Wine & Nibbles during the interval. All proceeds are to be donated to the Organ Fund - please come and give your support to Tim and the Choir - we still need several thousand pounds before the organ restoration can commence.

Finally, may I apologise to anyone living near the church who may have been disturbed in early June by the noise of scaffolding being erected at the west end of the church late at night. Scaffolders arrived early on site, but the scaffolding did not arrive due to illness suffered by the supplier.

Alternative arrangements were put in hand and the scaffolders worked late into the night to ensure the work schedule could commence on time. This was essential to ensure the work programme was completed the scaffolding removed from inside the church before a Wedding Ceremony which was booked for Saturday 11th June 2005. I am sure the Bride and Groom very much appreciated your tolerance!

Well, that's it again for this month - for those going on holiday - enjoy yourselves and come back feeling refreshed!

Bye for now C.M.E.

Tribute to Margaret Hedges From an Avon University Settlement Perspective

The Twyford House Pantomime Society proved to be the stepping stone into a long association for Margaret Hedges with Avon University Settlement. Her extremely happy times 'on stage' brought her secretarial qualities to the attention of Fred Gould, who with his usual aptitude for nurturing talent, brought Margaret into the administrative side of Twyford House, which had developed into a centre of considerable activity of a social, welfare and informal eduction nature.

The experience gained was absolutely invaluable, when subsequent to Fred Gould's death it was necessary to rebuild AUS and give it new direction. Margaret was a tower of strength. Taking on the role of Honorary Secretary, this provided experience and capability that enabled her fellow officers and management council to build a new service from the property next door to Twford House (formerly known as Ilex Cottage) which has developed into a first class free advice service, whilst still patronising the Evergreens, as well as operating a lunch club at Beachley Walk.

Margaret held that post for 19 years, totally dedicated and reliable, always there to guide from her experience, and always able to obtain 'funding' to enable the services to continue. And ensuring that the records are there for future reference, and the history intact.

To Margaret. We at AUS, and indeed the community generally, must say a very big thank you.


It is with great sadness that I pen my tribute to Margaret. Having known her for over 50 years, I cannot believe that I shall not meet her cheerful presence around the village. Some of us fondly remember her as Principal Boy in Twyford Pantomimes - lovely voice, lovely lady. Very happy memories of our days at the Port of Bristol especially.

Dorothy Wooller Thank you for your kind donation to Shire - Ed.

Avonmouth RFC Family Fun Day

23rd July 2005 11.00-15.00 Barracks Lane, Avonmouth On Saturday 23rd July 2005 we will be holding a family fun day, where the emphasis is on FUN.   We will have lots of great things for all of the family to do, such as bouncy castles (one will be available for under 7's). A mobile bowling alley (this is just like the real thing and has been supplied for the day by Megabowl).

We have even managed to get a disco tent, so try out your moves and win a prize. Other activities include coconut shie, stocks (kids get your own back on your parents and throw wet sponges), inflatable basketball, Play Your Cards Right, space hopper racing (even the adults can get in on the act), face painting and much, much more. GWR will be with us (for a limited time only) with their Black Thunders - very, very cool.

We have some fantastic raffle prizes as well such as:

  • Cool ride to school - you get driven to school in one of the Black Thunders
  • Bowling tickets - for you and 24 of your friends
  • Cinema tickets - Vue Cinemas have kindly donated a family pass
  • Disco Night - our friends at Saturn Entertainments have kindly donated a free disco for you to use (date and time to be arranged)
  • Hair cuts - PJ's, who are a current sponsor to the club have offered a free family cut (remember they also have Lady PJ's as well)
  • Meal for 2 - Sunday Lunch for 2 at the Lamplighters Inn Food and drinks will be available and we also have a licensed bar.

Entrance is FREE and you only pay for the things you go on. Come along and support your local community Rugby Club

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,

When I attended the Centenary celebrations at Shirehampton Library I set off on a trail of nostalgia and was asked to write something for the 'Shire'. My family moved to Shirehampton in 1939 so that my father could buy a house and to be nearer the Docks at Avonmouth, he was a Channel Pilot. We went to the Methodist Church where there was a marvellous youth club and a tennis court at the back. We had a lot of fun there.

Then Twyford House opened, after the war I presume, under the auspices of the University Settlement. We were lucky enough to have an ex RAF officer, Fred Gould, in charge and his very talented wife Dorothy. Between them they wrote and produced wonderful pantomimes, filling the Public Hall every night for a week. Every performance was a 'sell out'.

Twyford House had at least 2 snooker tables (they seemed full size to me). The boys were very keen to teach us girls to play, also we had coach outings but I can only remember the one to Builth Wells. Cycling was most enjoyable on the near empty roads. I know we cycled to Tintern Abbey (free in those days) across the Aust Ferry. My bicycle was a 'utility' model, all black.

I bought it from the cycle shop opposite the school next to Gards on the corner. My father lent me the 5 and I had to pay it back in instalments. I joined the Library service when I left school in 1943. I was trained at Shirehampton. Part of the time I was a relief Librarian which I enjoyed very much, working at Sea Mills and Westbury. In those days the library was open until 10.00pm and I was a young girl, locking up at night sometimes on my own. I then cycled to my home on the Portway.

This was not very conducive to my social life, maybe that is why after about one year I left the service. I then went to work for the Bristol Petroleum Board. I left Shirehampton in 1956 when I married Roy Parfitt and we are still together (lucky us). Margaret Parfitt (nee Ellis) Margaret Hedges I first got to know Margaret Hedges in those far off days when 'Shire' was in its infancy and was an A4 magazine, when Twyford House was the local Adult Education Centre and the official address and meeting place of the publication.

As Ken Perry, and then his successor, Bob Woodward, besides running the Adult Education, were also part of the rota of editors, so Margaret, as their secretary, became involved in the production of 'Shire'. Margaret was always a great source of local knowledge and could always be relied upon to help over sticky patches, and cheer the rest of us on. We shall not see her like again. Our sympathy goes to her whole family.


Wayside Memorial

In response to the June 05 'Shire' - Wayside Memorial How narrow minded of you to think that everyone in Shirehampton thinks like you. Shame on you for yet again upsetting family and friends of Paul. Shame on you for making Paul's grandad watch as Paul's grandmother sits and cries after reading your letter.

Shame on you for telling me to put flowers on Paul's grave. Are you so narrow minded to think I don't. I remember where Paul died because I believe that is where his spirit left him. In his grave is just the packaging that contained his spirit. I am entitled to my beliefs and we are still living in a free country.

You are entitled to your opinion and so am I. Yes, Paul did make a stupid mistake, that's one thing you and I can agree on. Could you show me a person alive who has not made an error in judgement or a stupid mistake? We all have! Crossed a road when we should not have done or walked the quick way home at night in the dark down a lane or alley and put ourselves in danger.

'Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.' You say 'what if' Paul  had caused injury to someone else. He did not, he killed himself only. You can say all the 'what ifs' you like but the truth remains that he only took his own life. How many times do you think I have thanked God he did not hurt anyone else.

Every day. 'What if' he had not gone out that night, 'what if' he had not got on a bike. 'What if' I had gone to where he was that fateful night as was loosely planned. 'WHAT IF' 'WHAT IF'. The memorial is harmless. You can hardly see it now. A couple of people have commented to me and other family members 'why have you stopped putting flowers etc on Paul's memorial'.

As it is so hard to spot now, they think I have stopped. I have not found evidence of wildlife being harmed by the few ribbons that are tied to the tree when I go there, but I have found insects living under Paul's pictures sheltering from the elements.

As far as being a distraction to drivers, if one driver catches a glimpse of Paul's pictures and remembers and thinks I had better slow down, it saves something else from being hurt or killed, I will be happy to have prevented another family having to deal with and come to terms with a death of anyone they love.

How dare you say it is no better than discarded litter. You are talking about pictures of a son who I loved, adored and miss more than words can say. Shame on you for all the hurtful things you have written. You should also be more observant as the t-shirt came down in April and the ribbons were changed at the same time and pictures renewed.

I will not take the pictures and ribbons home as you suggest. Why don't you give us all some respect and stop this horrible campaign that is so hurtful to a family in terrible pain. You have the advantage over me as you know who I am, but I don't know who you are.

I don't even know if you are male or female. I would like to talk to you face to face and tell you all about Paul. He was not perfect, but who is. He had a very sot side to him. I probably will not reply to any more of your spiteful comments, but what I will do s leave a contact number with the editor and if you would like to meet me to discuss Paul's memorial, you can call. Carol Broome (Paul's still heartbroken mother) Penpole Avenue, Shirehampton

Wayside Memorial

I am the girlfriend of the victim (Paul), and I would like to say we have a beautiful son together. The issues at hand are unclear, whether you are concerned by the memorial on Shirehampton Road, or the matter of what Paul did by riding a bike. If your issue is with the memorial it would be better to keep Paul and his mistake out of your unpleasant letters.

I think he paid dearly for his actions, don't you? As for his memorial it harms his family when you slander the way it is. Families cope in very different ways, so I would like all of this nastiness to stop. Paul's family, his small son, and myself have enough to cope with.

Thank you. Your sincerely Robyn Dark

Re: Article 'Road Accident Victims' - April edition

After reading this article, I was appalled that the flowers by the war memorial on Shirehampton Road, where our friend Paul Cox was tragically killed last year, have been described as 'tacky and an eye-sore'.

The author of the letter is a cold-hearted man with no respect for Paul's family and friends. I suggest that if this man finds Paul's memorial offensive in any way, then do not look at it, or find somewhere else to work! From one of Paul's many friends

Donna Sealey
Lawrence Weston

After reading responses to the letter published in April regarding roadside shrines I sense, like the original author, I am in the minority.

I also feel these shrines are in bad taste and although I do not in anyway wish to make light of the pain family and friends must be going through, I cannot comprehend how a constant reminder at the site of the accident can help with the healing process.

After time the items left at these makeshift shrines become very dirty and tatty and it would be fair to say, it does start to resemble litter. Surely it is better to remember a loved one as they were in happier times. If the family and friends of this young man feel the need to have a place to leave mementos whilst they grieve, then it would seem more appropriate to have it in a place this young man enjoyed, and for someone to maintain it.

Marking the place a person tragically died with items that are left to rot and become an eyesore, seems a very disrespectful way to honour a person's memory.

(Name and address given but withheld)

We have only one thing to say to the only person to have such a horrible opinion of the roadside memorial.

For our sake, the families' sake and most of all YOUR own sake, please get a life, because obviously you don't have one. If you did you would not want to bestow such NARROW MINDEDNESS on others. Perhaps a moment's quiet contemplation as to why not one other single member of this community has come forward to support your viewpoint would give you food for thought.

It may be that others hold your opinion but even those would not be so heartless to add to the family's grief by publishing their thoughts. We write on behalf of a list of family and friends who wanted to reply yet again but felt that this is only prolonging and adding to an already heartbreaking situation. We will try to find some forgiveness in our hearts for you, as you are obviously in need of prayer. TF & JS

Names and addresses supplied

Many thanks for your donation to Shire - Editor

Wayside Memorial

Dear Editor

I was saddened to read the two anonymous letters in the April and June issues concerning the 'wayside memorial'. This must have caused great distress to the family of the young man who was killed, adding to the pain and grief already experienced. The writer shows a lack of compassion and understanding, which seems to be incomprehensible.

Every time I pass this memorial (and a similar one at Cribbs causeway) I think of my own driving and how it might have been me. To me these memorials do not only commemorate a person's death in a road accident, they are also a timely reminder to other road users to take care. I would hazard a guess that it is not so much the family of the young man who maintain this memorial as his friends and peers.

As a retired teacher I am pleased to see young people showing their affection and respect in this way, where they may not feel free to 'intrude' on a family grave. As for the 'tackiness' of the memorial, perhaps it could be more tidy - but so could some of the neglected and unsightly graves in our churchyards and cemeteries. At least this young man is being remembered!

This is a harmless memorial. It is no more a distraction than the people walking up and down the hill, the golfers on the golf-course, the memorial plaque for the drovers' pool, or the war memorial. As for wildlife, I would suspect far more harm is done them by the over-zealous application of pesticides and herbicides than a few ribbons. No! Leave things as they are and let people grieve and remember in their own way. Please show some tolerance!

Gil Osman

Dear Editor

Although it is with great sadness I find myself writing to you, as I have recently lost my 92 year old Mother who passed peacefully away at Shirehampton Care Home, I feel compelled to tell our local community of the kindness and quality of care that was afforded to my Mother there.

I am sure others share in the horror and disbelief of some of the stories of Care Homes covered by the press and worry if, and when we need elderly care, what it will be like. I can speak from experience when I say all the carers who looked after my Mother, Lily FitzJames, did so with kindness, understanding, patience and care.

Like many of us Lily had been physically active and mentally bright and alert in her younger years and found the ageing process, with its decreasing mobility, hard to cope with.

The indignities of constantly needing to ask for help, especially with personal hygiene, were difficult for her to bear. Neither was it easy for me to hand her over to 'strangers', after looking after her myself for 20 years. However, I need not have worried as I soon discovered that there really are capable, caring and kind people working in some of our care homes, and thankfully I was fortunate to have found one.

My sincere thanks and gratitude go to all the staff at Shirehampton Care Home who made the final chapter in a very special person's life so comfortable and bearable.

Maureen Waters, Avonmouth

Dear Editor

I would like to use the pages of the 'Shire' to express my sincere thanks to all the neighbours, relatives and friends who helped me celebrate my recent 90th Birthday and make the day so unforgettable. The cards, flowers and other gifts which I received were all lovely and very much appreciated.

Everything was a complete surprise to me, so in particular I must thank my son Laurie for all the hard work in organising everything without me knowing, and also my sister-in-law Muriel and her daughter Beverly for taking care of the catering.

I was so pleased to see everyone, but especially those who travelled from South Wales, North Hants, the New Forest and my cousin who flew in from Australia. Thank you all so much for everything and for making my day so special.


Gladys Dando

Dear Editor

We are always hearing negative stories with regard to Portway School pupils, but recently I have had experience of the opposite. Recently I lost 60 while on my way to collect my children from Shirehampton Primary, completely my fault for having it in the pocket of my jeans. I had resigned myself to never seeing it again, and hoped that it had gone to a deserving home. I had reported my loss at the school office, never really expecting a response, but had forgotten to leave my name.

Three weeks later the school secretary managed to track me down, and to my great delight returned my money. Apparently, two Year 7 pupils from Portway had found it outside the Primary School, and had handed it in. I have personally written to the two young people and thanked them, but thought that the people of Shire need to know that there are still kind and thoughtful pupils around, who are a credit to themselves, their parents and their school.

Also, I would like to thank Mrs Daniels for her perseverance in tracking me down, and Jan Budd, the caretaker, for scanning the school grounds for the money.

Name and address withheld - Ed.

Volunteer Gardener Wanted

The A(US)CA Advice Centre runs a free and impartial advice service for local people. We have promises at The Cottage, 115 High Street, Shirehampton. We need someone with a few hours to spare to cut the grass and tidy the flowerbeds on a regular basis. If you can help please contact Moyra on 0117 968 1922 or Tony at the Advice Centre on a Wednesday or Thursday on 0117 982 9399