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St. Mary's News

Robin Cousins Sports Centre Proposed Closure Shock!

The justification will no doubt be that despite large over-spending every year on the budget for Leisure, resources in Bristol have been spread too thinly and that this has resulted in unacceptably low care and maintenance standards. So, the argument goes scarce resources must be concentrated on a few key sites and clearly and not by any means for the first time.

Shirehampton will not be amongst them. Some Shirehampton residents will not be surprised at this news because it has been evident for some time that money has not been made available for the maintenance and improvement of the Centre. Despite what many consider to have been indifferent management over a number of years the staff have been highly regarded by the regular users of the centre who, even if they are able to do so, will have to travel a long way to find an alternative.

If the proposals are adopted by the Cabinet Shirehampton will lose another of its valued amenities. Coming hard on the heels of the closure of the swimming pool Shirehampton residents would be right to feel angry and it is to be hoped that they will express their feelings strongly to their local City Councillors and Member of Parliament.

Ship to Shore - Avonmouth Sea Cadets

On October 8th the Avonmouth Sea Cadets are holding a dance at the P.B.A. Club, Nibley Road to commemorate 200 years of victory at Trafalgar, from 7.30-11.30pm. Tickets 5 each - adults only. Please call 982 7015 or visit 51, Walton Road any evening.

Bristol Shiplovers' Society

The Bristol Shiplovers' Society programme of meetings for the Autumn will be held in Holy Trinity Church Hall, Hotwells Road, Bristol at 7pm for 7.30pm featuring talks and slide shows by eminent speakers. Visitors are very welcome - 2 per head

6th OCT Cargo Liners Video - commentary by Captain J A Scott
20th OCT The Channel Dash - Escape of Sharnhorst, Gneisenau, Prince Eugene from Brest. Lt Cdr Harley Boyd, Staff Officer to Admiral Ramsay at Dover
3rd NOV The Development of Aviation in the Royal Navy - Lt Cdr John Beattie, RN Historic Flight, Yeovilton
17th NOV Paddle Steamers  - Dr Donald Fry
1st DEC Amphibious Forces in the Gulf War Commodore Jamie Miller CBE, RN Naval Regional Officer, Flying Fox

Donation to Shire funds gratefully acknowledged - Ed.

Apology

Last month we wrote that the Evergreens outing to Porthcawl would be on Friday September 16th. Unfortunately the correct date was Tuesday 13th and we apologise to those who were inconvenienced as a result of our mistake.

Big Turn Out At Jubilee Housing Development Meeting

Overwhelming majority against proposals More than 150 Cotswold residents filled the ballroom of the PBA Club in Nibley Road on 7th September to discuss the recently announced proposals for a 53-dwelling housing development on the riverside Jubilee allotments site.

The proposals had taken everyone by surprise and caused a great deal of alarm to the residents who were unaware that the Council had decided some time ago to sell off the land and invite a housing association to submit plans for a high density development.

The proposals affected all the Cotswold estate, but especially those living in Myrtle Drive, so house-owners from the Drive led by Sylvia Cooper and Paul Wilkes had quickly made sure people were aware of the proposals and called the meeting. Meeting the residents were Neil Blackbeard of Jephson Housing Association and his colleagues in the venture, pus Councillors Richard Eddy, Terry Cook and Spud Murphy.

Council rules prevented Mr Murphy speaking, as he is a member of the Planning Committee. Neil Blackbeard gave some background to the home ownership scheme across Bristol. The site of former Jubilee Allotments was considered acceptable in principal for development and a discussion for a high density scheme was held with the City Council.

Legal issues were still to be discussed but he was aware of the concerns regarding local residents and had given a presentation to Stow House residents. He welcomed the feedback from all concerned and realised that the present number of units was unacceptable.

There were no archaeological or ecological issues concerning the site. The meeting was opened out for discussion from the floor and contributions flowed thick and fast. It became clear that people felt extremely passionately. Many were concerned about the loss of allotment space, especially as the adjoining Myrtle Hall allotments were near-capacity.

There was widespread suspicion of deliberate council policy over recent years to run down allotments citywide so that it would be easier to argue for their closure. People often stated that they were not against house-building, but building houses at this particular site would seriously detract from one of Shirehampton's prime beauty-spots.

Precious green-space would be lost that could never be recovered. The riverside walk is something that should be preserved and enhanced, not diminished. There was considerable concern over the inevitable increase in traffic. It was admitted by Mr Blackbeard that the increase would be sufficient to necessitate the installation of traffic lights.

It was pointed out that the site was similar in size to Myrtle Drive, yet that had only fourteen houses contrasted to the proposed 53 on the new site. Councillor Cook promised to represent the views of the residents. He stressed that the arguments must be about planning issues, and that arguments based simply on feelings would carry no weight.

Councillor Eddy gave strong advice on the kind of arguments to make when contesting the planning application. He also stressed the need for putting objections in writing, and that when a planning meeting was called to attend and contribute towards the discussion.

It was clear from the tone of the meeting that the majority was against any housing being built on the Jubilee site; some were willing to allow it if it were in keeping with the density and style of existing housing, and others felt that if building was to take place then it should take the form of an extension to Stow House, the sheltered housing bungalows complex behind the Jubilee Allotments.

No one identified themselves as being in favour of the developers' present scheme. Neil Blackbeard was given an opportunity to respond, and said that already the idea of 3-storey flats was probably going to be dropped, and there would now be a reduction from the 53 units proposed down to about 40.

He pledged to take on board the opinions that had been expressed, plus the responses that had been made to the Association directly, as the plans were finalised for submission to the council in about three weeks time. It is clear the fight to keep the Jubilee allotments green is not over, but it is also clear that the Cotswold residents are going to carry on vigorously battling to maintain what they regard as the very special character of this distinctive part of Shirehampton.

Library News

Pets and Pirates in the Library Once again we have had a really enjoyable school holiday at the library. Over 30 children joined our summer reading scheme 'The Reading Voyage' with over 50% finishing before the end of the holidays. After making the pirate version of Snakes and Ladders - Planks and Rigging - at the start of the holidays, photos in last month's Shire, we had a visit from 'Noah's Ark - Pet Rescue' on Thursday 25th August when we had a rabbit, guinea pig, hamster and rats in the library.

This was thoroughly enjoyed by children, carers and staff with everyone learning a little something. The following day we were taken over by Pirates - when the children came and made pirate hats and had their photographs taken, these were printed whilst the children decorated picture frames to put them in. They were certainly the nicest bunch of pirates I have ever met and I look forward to seeing them again (without hats).

Shirehampton Baths

Seventy Years of Wonderful Service to the Community - now sadly it has been closed Shirehampton Baths was opened on May 20th 1935. The site in Park Road was said to be an ideal one as it was centrally situated, serving Shirehampton, Avonmouth, Sea Mills, Stoke Bishop and Coombe Dingle.

Opening of Shirehampton Baths, May 20th 1935

Residents from Pill also came crossing the ferry. Colonel and Aldermen Woodcock, Chairman of the Baths Committee conducted the opening ceremony. A local resident Mr Scammell who often swam in the river dived off the top board. There followed an exhibition of children's Swimming and diving by pupils of Miss H B Davis.

Then an exhibition of scientific swimming by the demonstration team of the Royal Life Saving Society. Attending the ceremony Square Napier Miles. The Baths Committee, teaches from the local schools and members of the public. Now in the passage of time it has been closed much to the concern of many young and old who over the years have learned to swim there.

Local school parties have been regular attenders along with adults many of them pensioners. For many it was the weekly visit walking to the baths where, with their friends, they enjoyed the swim. The medical people are agreed that walking and swimming were very good for their health.

They had heard for some time about the possible closure saying very little had been done in repair work. The thinking was that the people responsible for closure deliberately neglected the maintenance. Now the building has closed with the boarding up of the main entrance.

When it was beautifully kept

Local residents have now been invited to go to the new Henbury Leisure Centre. This would mean school parties having to hire coaches and adults having to go in a coach or car. This would add to the congestion, the side roads are busy along with the village green and the road through the park to turn up by the eastern lodge to go up under the Iron Bridge.

The road to Henbury is often busy and when schools are on holiday there are very many cars parked adjoining the Blaise Castle estate. From the Shirehampton Swimming Bath to the Henbury Baths a journey there are back of five miles. The Avon Primary School I am told would travel in a coach along Longcross, through Lawrence Weston and on to the busy Henbury Road.

In Shirehampton we have had in the past some very bad planning and the decision to close the baths another one. This building could also be called the Shirehampton Leisure Centre from the local television news it was reported that out of nine swimming pools in the Bristol area five are to close in favour of new leisure centres much to the annoyance of other people across the city.

It was also said the Bristol City Council will discuss the matter of local baths at the end of September. The local residents of Shirehampton who have used the baths along the others would like to see the decision to close these baths overturned. It would also be nice to have a very large group photograph taken of all the school children and adults who have used the Shirehampton Baths over the years for posterity.

It will be a sad day for many to see the demolition of the building which has served the community for many years. Many are of the opinion that the site and the old clinic in St Bernard's Road will be for the erection of houses. The familiar scene will have changed. Ralph A Hack

Dear Editor

I was disappointed, as I am sure many were, to discover that the Shirehampton swimming pool had been closed. It was here that I first learned to swim and gained distance swimming certificates. In later years I was fortunate to work at Shirehampton pool as a lifeguard, which was an enjoyable time for me.

This summer I got married so it was a special summer this year. I still work as a lifeguard and have qualifications in teaching swimming and in pool plant operation. I sent my best wishes to everyone in Shirehampton, especially the former pool customers.

Robin Bates - Lifeguard Shirehampton Swimming Pool 1994-2000

Correction

Last month we made an error in Ray Morris's email address. The correct address is morrisrh@iinet.net.au

St. Mary's News

Hi folks! Here we are into Autumn - darker mornings and evenings and a distinct chill in the air. I wish to thank all of you for your generosity in responding to our Harvest Appeal. We had hoped to fill 100 boxes of food for 'Euroaid' for distribution to the needy in Eastern Europe, but we surpassed this target figure by a further 100.

An absolutely wonderful response which could not have been achieved without your help. On Sunday 2nd October at our 10am service we shall once more have the assistance of 'The Holy Fools' (the Association of Christian Clowns). The last visit by the Rev Roly Baines was extremely well received.

This service is particularly suitable for all children up to the age of 90 years! Later on that week at 9.30am on Friday 7th October Shirehampton Primary School will be holding their annual Harvest Festival Service in Church. In addition to the pupils, parents and grandparents, anyone else is welcome to attend.

The next day, Saturday 8th October, is a particularly exciting day for us at St Mary's because at 5.30pm in Bristol Cathedral our own Gill Sawyer is to be licensed as a Lay Minister (Reader) after a lengthy period of study. Please come to that service and give her your support as we are very proud of her.

She is an extremely delightful lady, never difficult or awkward, everything you could wish from a person fulfilling a voluntary position in the church. At 8.30am on Sunday 9th October is the launch of our new family service to be known as 'Kids Klub'.

The service commences with breakfast until 9.00am when prayers may be said and an appropriate video shown. All should be finished by 9.30am so why not come and try it? This new service is to be held every week except for the last Sunday of the month.

On Saturday 15th October we are holding our Christmas Gift Fayre at 10am in church. On sale will be Christmas gifts and wrappings etc, also the opportunity for you to see and place your order for St Mary's home produced Christmas cards. These are always popular and excellent value for money.

On Wednesday 19th October at 7.45pm the Band of the Avon Fire Brigade is holding a concert in church in aid of the 'Jessie May Trust'. This is a charity devoted to the care of terminally ill children in their own homes. Please give this concert your support.

Tickets will be available at the door - 5 for adults and 4 concessionary and childrens' tickets. On Tuesday afternoons from 2pm until 3.30pm a Craft Group will be meeting in church under the guidance of Pat Davidson and Gill Gillard. Come along and see what they can do and what you may also be able to do.

Who knows what hidden talents may be revealed! On Sunday 11th September our new lectern, given in memory of the late Horace Dammers, was used for the first time. The reading at our 10am Holy Communion Service was appropriately read by his widow, Brenda Dammers.

We are truly indebted to Brenda and her family for such a generous gift. I know Horace would have approved such a gift! It is a lovely tribute to a lovely man sadly no longer with us. Sadly I have to record the death of another long-standing member of St Mary's.

Phyllis Denyard, formerly of Dursley Road and latterly of Penhill Residential Home died on Wednesday 7th September. For many years Phyllis was a member of the Mothers Union and St Mary's - longer than I care to recall. I have known her al my life as she was a near neighbour.

She particularly enjoyed, in her latter years the Holy Communion Service with Healing - a quiet peaceful service held once a month in church and the afternoon Holy Communion Service held every month at the Cotswold Community Hall. She will be sadly missed and we send our prayers and thoughts to her daughter Judith and her family in Australia and to Andrew her son and his family who live in Portishead.

Her funeral service was conducted by Canon Christine at Canford Crematorium on Thursday 15th September. Richard Powell is organising another Skittles Evening at Hallen Community Centre at 7pm on Friday 11th November. This is always a very popular event - so if you are interested in coming then add your name to the list at the back of the church.

Oh! I nearly forgot to mention our Car Treasure Hunt back in August. This took place on a lovely fine evening and the ultimate destination was 'The Black Horse' at North Nibley. A super venue, thoroughly enjoyed by al including my 10 months old grandson, Danny, who 'took a shine' to all the waitresses and captured all their hearts! Grandad tried the same, but failed miserably! Never mind, we were joint winners with Gill & Sony Sawyer's car! Thanks must go to Tim Forder who worked out the route and the brain teazer (clues).

How does he do it? Does he spend the other 51 weeks of the year trying out food in different pubs because if he does it doesn't show around his waistline and he still climbs the Corgan Loft stairs without puffing! Back to November days again for your diary.

On Saturday 12th November we will be holding our annual Memorial Service in Church at 3.00pm. Anyone who has lost a loved one in the past 12 months and their funeral has taken place at St Mary's, or has ben conducted by the Rev Andy or Canon Christine will receive letters of invitation to this service.

If you have not received a letter of invitation you are still of course most welcome to attend. If you wish the name of a departed loved one mentioned in the prayers at this service then please complete one of the paper slips which are available at the back of the church.

Also this is an ideal time to complete Memoriam Cards to be hung on our 'tree of light' over the Christmas period. The next day, Sunday 13th November is Remembrance Sunday. The service commences in church at 10.00am before processing to the War Memorial at Shirehampton Park for the Act of Remembrance.

This is followed by the opportunity to take some refreshments at Shirehampton Cricket Club. At 6pm the same day there is to be a service of sung Evensong from the Book of Common Prayer in St Marys. All are most welcome! Well, that's all again for this month.

Bye for now C.M.E.!

Celebrations All Round at St Mary's

2005 is providing to be a bumper year for St Mary's with a number of special celebrations On 15th January we celebrated the 75th anniversary of the rebuilding of the church after the previous church building had been devastated by fire. On 22nd May The Rev Trevor Hearn recently retired Mission to Seafarer's Chaplain who assists at St Mary's celebrated the 40th anniversary of his ordination.

L to R The Rev Canon Christine Foude, The Rev Dr Andy Schuman, The Rev Trevor Hearne, Gill Sawyer

On 1st July The Rev Canon Christine Froude, Vicar, celebrated the 10th anniversary of her ordination. On 3rd July The Rev Dr Andy Schuman, Curate, was ordained to the priesthood in Bristol Cathedral. AND on 8th October 5.30pm also at the Cathedral Gill Sawyer will be licensed as a Lay Minister.

In true St Mary's fashion each anniversary has been celebrated in style giving glory and thanks to God for His Goodness to us. You can see now why we are all smiling so much in the photograph!

Canon Christine

Scout Campsite in Penpole Woods

In the August edition of Shire we printed a letter from David Hinksman of Green Lane in Avonmouth, asking for information about the location of a Scout Campsite in Penpole Woods. David received a most interesting reply from Bob Clarke, now living in Goldalming in Surrey.

With David's permission we are happy to print Bob's letter, his sketch map of the site and his photograph of the 191st scouts at Penpole in 1949-50.

I first went to Penpole Woods just pre-war with my eldest brother Roy and fellow Rover Scouts of the time.   Alan Johnson, Don Pearce, Tony Elms and Cecil Stephens. I remember the tree house they built accessed only by a rope ladder. Whether they were responsible for the maintenance of the woods I am not sure, but they did repair the paths and keep the chapel tidy.

191st Scouts at Penpole Woods

I joined the 191st Cubs at the hut just before you entered Jubilee clearing. We later moved to the Shirehampton old school. Because we lived nearby we spent a number of weekends camping in the woods and fields which are now Moorcroft Avenue.

The best camp sites were Jubilee and Lime Walk. Twin Tree was named after a large tree which appeared to be of two different species and was used less because it was not so light. Just after the war Lord Rowallan, the Chief Scout came to visit a mini Jamboree at the woods and scouts from all over Bristol congregated on the Shell Mex field to meet him. It was 1954 that Bristol Scouts Camp was moved to Woodhouse Park, Almondsbury. I have many happy memories of camping in Penpole Woods.

Walking the Great Wall

Walking the Great Wall in China is a experience not many can lay claim to. But Brian Raybould has done it and filmed it. On Thursday 20th October at 7pm Brian is bringing his film to the Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road and will be talking about his walk along one of the world's most amazing structures, which is claimed to be the only man-made feature that can be seen from space.

Admission is free, but there will be a collection in aid of Mercy Ships, a work that brings medical aid to poor and remote corners of the world.

Photograph of Portway Girls' School Teachers 1949

Rob Woodburn who provided this photograph has now been able to identify No 5 in the back row, between Miss Winchester (English) and Miss John (domestic science) as Mrs Crew.

Minor Illness Clinic

This is held on every weekday (except Wednesday) from 10am-11am by appointment only. For any queries telephone Carole Brooke on 0117 916 2225.

Parents and Children Praise Shirehampton Primary

More than nine out of ten Shirehampton Primary school parents say their children enjoy attending school and their behaviour is good, according to the results of a survey just released. Similar numbers believe that the school is well led and managed and that parents are well informed of the progress their children are making.

95% thought their children are making good progress and 96% are comfortable about approaching the school with questions or a problem. More than 300 families of children at Shirehampton Primary were issued questionnaires recently to find out what they thought about the school.

'We are always exploring ways to improve the education we offer children, as we strive to give them the best opportunities we can,' says Headteacher Anne Travis. 'I was delighted to receive over 30% response rate, which is very good for a survey of this kind.

We have now collated the replies and reported the outcome back to parents'. 'Our pupils have already completed their own survey which highlighted their views and suggestions, many of which were subsequently discussed at school council.' 'Among the best things they liked about the school were friends, teachers, leaning and playtime.

But they also suggested we could do more to make the playgrounds better and decorate some of the classrooms.' The school governors had already been working on plans to improve the playground and the children's views, reported via the school council and helped inform the final decisions.

These improvements include:

  • Zone Parc markings - enables children to play a large variety of games
  • Two enclosed areas where more physical and competitive games such as football, tennis and basketball can be safely played and providing equal access for all children.
  • Lunch time staff trained to use equipment and organise more games.
  • A play leader to be employed at lunch times. There is also an ongoing programme of decorating classrooms, cloakrooms and corridors.

Shirehampton's good work mirrors a recent study published (July 2005) by Ofsted (pupils' satisfaction with their school), which shows that 'pupils value good quality teaching, a range of enrichment activities and strong leadership by the headteacher'.

'Pupils achieve well and behave better if they are happy in school', says David Bell, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools. 'It is a testament to the hard work of their teachers that the vast majority of pupils are satisfied and proud of their schools'.

Anne Travis agrees with David Bell. 'Shirehampton Primary is a caring, safe and happy school. Only last month the HMI Inspector noted that our children displayed good behaviour all round' and the most recent Ofsted also recognised the fact that we are strong on care and welfare. 'Our aim is to create a safe, secure, happy environment for all our children which will provide the maximum opportunity to learn. We have high expectations of good behaviour which the children readily respond to'.

Charity Search

In Shirehampton we have three charity shops, each supporting very worthwhile causes. St Peter's Hospice and CLIC/Sargent are both well known and people understand very well what particular purpose they serve but the third, Charity Search, though very popular and well patronised is not quite as well understood even by some of its customers.

There are only two Charity Search shops, both of them in Bristol. It was founded in 1987 by Mrs Auriel James and it is one of the very few charities, set up specifically to ensure that elderly people in genuine financial need receive the help that is due to them from Charitable sources.

Growing old can be costly. Just when you need it most your money does not go as far. Although you cannot manage without proper heating and a phone you find you can no longer afford these things. Perhaps your house needs repair or you need some special piece of equipment that cannot be supplied by the Health Service.

Charities are chiefly concerned that you should maintain the quality of your life and can often bring comfort and relief that is far beyond the expectations of those in difficulty. One of the main problems is that even though people are aware that they need help they have no idea how to go about finding help from a Charity.

Another major problem is that people simply do not realise that it might be possible to get help at all. Unless the charities receive applications they cannot even support those they were set up to help as they have no way of knowing people are in trouble.

Charity Search is concerned to see that Charitable Funds reach those they were intended to help. Charity Search is a free service for the elderly in need. Perhaps you know of someone who is having difficulty coping with the rising cost of living - someone overtaken by sickness or old age who is finding it a struggle to make ends meet.

Advice is free to all who ask for it. If you would like to help Charity Search continue its work by making a donation please write, post free, to: CHARITY SEARCH, FREEPOST (BS 6610), Avonmouth, Bristol BS11 9TW. Or call into the shop in Station Road for more information.

Fire Safety Check for Electric Blankets

Do you, your family or friends use electric blankets? A recent council survey showed that over half of the electric blankets checked had potential life threatening faults such as defective overheat protection and exposed wires. National figures show that blankets that are over 10 years old cause 95 per cent of electric blanket fires.

Modern designs are also potentially dangerous as, although they are made to fail safe standards, problems can still arise throgh misuse. This can include poorly wired plugs and broken switches. 'The statistics show a simple safety check can help to save lives,' said Phil Parkyn, Principal Trading Standards Officer for Bristol City Council.

'It's great to be working in partnership with the fire service again this year and I hope that people, particularly the elderly, will take advantage o f this free service.' Station Officer John Green, Avon fire safety officer said: 'Last year we tested over 400 blankets of which about 40% failed, hich means they couyld be dangerous.

We hope people will come along and get their blankets checked,. I'm sure it will help them sleep more easily!' Avon Fire & Rescue Service has teamed up with Bristol City Council to run these events. People wanting to have their blankets tested for free must book an appointment with Bristol Trading Standards on 0117 922 3522.

Free electric blanket testing will take place at Shirehampton Health Centre on 19 October between 9am and 4pm.

New Books at Shirehampton Library for September

Large Print
Cussler, Clive Trojan Odyssey
McMurtry, Larry The Last Picture Show
Meier, Leslie Father's Day Murder
Fiction
Barr, Emily Plan B
Brown, Benita A Safe Harbour
Candlish, Louise Sisters Avenue
Hill, Dave Single Men
Mansell, Jill The One You Really Want
Welsh, Irvine Trainspotting

SCHOOL PIC

John Parsons writes ... I enclose a photograph of a Shirehampton School Group sent to me by my brother, Howard Parsons, who now lives in Ocala, Florida, USA. It is a copy of the original which, unfortunately, shows signs of wear and tear.

I have, with the assistance of several kind people, named the majority of the group but it would be appreciated if someone with a long memory could, hopefully, identify the remainder and, if possible, the present whereabouts of some of them, particularly the boys. As it is a photo of mixed boys and girls I assume it was taken at Shirehampton Infants School, probably about 1937/38.

Back Row ? Chancellor; Andy Stevens; -?-; Howard Parsons; Raymond O'Neill; Tony Day; Peter Hobbs; -?-; ? Kennett; Ian McCracken or Ray Bateman.

Third Row Jean Edwards; -?-; Esme Mildom; Joyce Cowley; -?-; -?-; Maureen ?; Grace Wood; -?-' -?-.

Second Row Roy Biggs;  -?-; Laurie Eager; Billy Long; -?-; Roger Lambourne; Glyn Lewis; Arthur Piper; John Derrick; (Sir) John Stephens.

Front Row ? England; Julie Sparkes; Mildred Gilbert; -?-; -?-; -?-; Eleanor Gough; -?-; -?-; -?-. Email johnsparsons@onetel.com

Show Me The Way To Aberystwyth

NSC Amateur Boxing Club took 12 of the club's boxers over to Wales to train with coach Nick Hodges of Aberystwyth Boxing Club on 26-28 August. The trip was organised by Empire ABC's secretary Martin Bisp and 30 boxers made up of both juniors and seniors from NSC and Empire ABC went along. On arriving Saturday afternoon at the Aberystwyth ABC gym, 1998 Commonwealth Games Silver Medalist and pro boxer Moses Kinyua now based in Bristol led an energetic warm up and stretch for the 40 plus boxers.

The junior boxers with coaches then went out for an eight mile run whilst the senior boxers sparred. Upon the juniors return an hour later they too got the chance to spar with their Welsh counterparts. There was some excellent sparring between all the boxers from juniors with no bouts up to experienced senior boxers reported NSC coach Garry Cave, you could have sold tickets for the sparring it was that good.

Saturday morning they had a two mile warm up run along the promenade followed by a work out on the castle green overlooking the bay. Moses gave the lads a very inspirational talk about what was required to reach the top level in amateur boxing that was very well received by the young boxers.

Saturday afternoon they sparred again. NSC coach Garry Cave said: "I was really proud of all the boxers on the trip they all trained very hard and were a pleasure to take away. We raised the money for the trip by keeping the gym open over the out of season summer months when traditionally many boxing gyms are closed.

We stayed open three nights a week until 8.30 Mon, Wed and Fri to give the boxers something to do over the school holidays when many of the team sports are resting. It's proved very popular we have regularly had 20 plus a night training at the gym based at the end of Barracks Lane.

We are currently getting boxers ready for our first home show at Manor Farm Sports Club on the Portway to be held on Thursday night 13th October, we hope to have an even bigger team of boxers with some 18 to 20 lads boxing for the club aged 10 to 34 this season.

If you are interested in training for amateur boxing or want to watch NSC box at their home shows please give NSC coach Garry Cave a ring on 01454 898 549. Pupils Box Clever St Bedes College, Long Cross held an activities day on Tuesday 21st June and amongst activities such as self defence and Army training were amateur boxing classes coached by Garry Cave, coach with the NSC Amateur Boxing Club based in Shirehampton.

There were two classes of 20 pupils each, both boys and girls, all in year 10. The classes were beginners classes that follow the 'Kid Gloves' syllabus, which is a non-contact skills format. the pupils learnt the basics of stance, guard, footwork, straight punches and blocks and finished the class with a vigorous boxers circuit.

The pupils gave it their all and really enjoyed the classes; feedback was so good that the school is planning to start an after schools boxing club with the help of coach Garry Cave. Several St Bedes Pupils are now training at the NSC boxing club at the gym at King George Playing Field and are hoping for box for the club later in the year.

It's Manor Farm Tournament, Thursday 13th October. If anybody is interested in amateur boxing, please give coach Garry Cave a ring on 01454 898 549 or just come along for a look at any training night Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 6-7pm beginners and 7-8.30pm experienced boxers.

Shire Newspaper Community Awards

The Administrative Council of Shire Newspaper at its September meeting allocated a total of 4000 to local organisations that applied for assistance.

The following successful grant applications were made - Christmas Lights Association; Shirehampton Community Action Forum; St Mary's Church contribution to the cost of making invalid parking spaces; Sea Cadets towards the cost of a safety boat; Avon University Settlement; Charity Search; Penpole T A Lunch club; Twyford Art Club; Free Style Dance School towards competition expenses.

Christmas Lights Association

During the summer the Association has been busy preparing for this year's display. We are as always extremely grateful for Shire newspaper's continuing support and this year's grant will help to ensure that we can aim at an even higher standard than last year.

We also depend on the continued generosity of the many shoppers who so generously support us through the tins in the shops. Each month on average you give us about 90 and we should not be able to carry on without your help. During the summer Roger Cooper has rebuilt some very large displays which he was able to buy cheaply on our behalf from the council who no longer had a use for them.

Thanks to his efforts we expect the High Street to be ablaze with light this year! We are also most grateful to Terry Rossiter who inspects all our lights and ensures that each one conforms to the appropriate regulations. This year we very much need a hand over the few days when the lights go up and come down.

Some of us are not as spritely as we were, nor as adept with out hands so we could do with some help in connecting up the ever increasing number of lights we now have. If anyone can spare a few hours either before or after Christmas please ring Michael Morgan on 9827985 who will be glad to explain what is needed.

Cut your Council Tax

Find out if you should be paying less How could I pay less? Council Tax Benefit could help pay towards some or all of your Council Tax bill, if you are on a low income. How is Council Tax Benefit worked out? You council will work out if you qualify for help, taking into account your individual circumstances.

This will include your age and whether you live alone. What should I do next? You should apply straight away - Council Tax Benefit is available now. You can get a claim form from your local council - you can find their phone number and address on your Council Tax bill or in the business numbers section of the phone book - or visit your local council's website.

You can also get information about Council Tax Benefit from the Department for Work and Pensions website at www.dwp.gov.uk. If you apply for Pension Credit you will also get a form to claim Council Tax Benefit with your Pension credit application.

Lawrence Weston Community Farm Crafty Club

      

The Crafty Club at Lawrence Weston Community Farm has been a huge success. Over 40 young people from Lawrence Weston, Shirehampton, Sea Mills, Brentry, Blaise and Henbury have attended arts and crafts sessions over the summer holidays. Young people have been trying their hand at batik printing, pottery, spinning, mosaicing, felting, natural dying and greenwood working. A range of skilled artists have come to run the sessions and open a world of creativity to the young people of north Bristol. There will continue to be various arts and crafts activities at the farm during the school holiday periods so keep your eye out for timetables and details of up and coming activities. You can contact the farm on 0117 9381128 or email: alexlwfarm@yahoo.co.uk