November 1st 2005 was a momentous day for the village when the North Bristol NHS Trust completed the purchase to the Church Centre in order to build a new Primary Care Centre for Shirehampton and the surrounding area. The Church Centre was erected in 1967 on land purchased by the Parochial Church Council and with building costs from, amongst others, the Bernard Salmon Trust.
During its long life, the building has hosted an enormous range of activities from wedding receptions to slimming club as well as Harvest suppers, Sunday school and a wide range of other Church Activities. There can hardly be anyone in the village who does not have happy memories spent in the building.
In recent years the Church Centre has houses Shire Link, a group of mainly local people with special needs, who have used part of the premises as a day centre. St Mary's is proud to have had such an amenity that has been so well used by generations of Shirehampton people. But times move on and the building has increasingly shown its age as well as being a target for vandalism.
The approach from the NHS to purchase the site has enabled the PCC to redevelop and refurbish the church building. The children's area, Café Corner, as well as bookstall, office, kitchen and toilets have created a wonderful resource. The Memorial and Lady Chapels, Peace Corner and Worship area are all oases of peace in the heart of the village and we are delighted to be able to open the church between 9-12noon and 2-4pm each day.
The new comfortable seating and lighting has enabled us to host a series of concerts which have been greatly appreciated by the many people from near and far who have supported them. All of these new facilities have needed financing and whilst there have been many generous gifts and donations, the bulk of the costs have taken the form of loans from HSBC, The Bristol Diocesan Board of Finance of the Church of England and the Bernard Salmon Trust Fund.
The sale price of £400,000 will repay all of these loans and any amount remaining afterwards will be subject to the requirements of the Charity Commissioners. So although the PCC will not have the sale proceeds at its disposal, we all have a beautifully refurbished church building of which we can be proud.
When the demolition team moves in, there will be inevitable sadness. The magnificent cherry tree which has been so much a part of each Spring, has been taken down by Dick Helm before the bulldozers got to it! We plan to use the wood for a fitting memorial, which will be kept in the church.
The end of an era? Yes, but the beginning of a new era too. As St Mary's faces the future, it is with gratitude for past benefactors especially Bernard Salmon and Napier Miles, delight that the Church Centre site will be used for the benefit of the whole community in such a meaningful way, and thankfulness to God for his great goodness to us all.
Should you be in Shirehampton Cemetery, do have a look at Bernard Salmon's grave which the PCC has been pleased to refurbish.
Please will all Secretaries of local Clubs and Societies let us have their particulars of the meetings next year, put in the Library by December 10th. Then we can include these details in our 'What's On'.
Contrary to what some people might think, we do rely on our readers for the facts and the 'What's On' is not made up from the top of our head! We learned recently that Arthritis Care monthly meeting ceased 18 months ago.
Amendment In last October's Shire
It was reported that a plaque would be erected at 34 Priory Road on 11th November 2005 to commemorate the birth of the Shirehampton actor Sir Robert Stephens.
This had to be cancelled and a new date set for 18th January 2006. The time remains the same, 11.30am. My apologies to those who turned up not knowing about the alteration. G.O.
Avon Primary School at Colston Hall Concert
On the 17th October children from Class 3 and Class 5 at Avon Primary School took the opportunity to join with over 900 school children in a fantastic concert at Colston Hall.
The children heard the West of England Philharmonic Orchestra play and joined in with a rousing chorus based on music written by Benjamin Britten.
A thought that often comes into my mind
Why is our High Street double yellow lined
Maybe I'm being very naive,
They mean NO PARKING I believe.
When in a hurry to draw some cash
They stop right there and away they dash,
Wheels on pavement and double yellow lines
We'll take a chance on getting fines.
Now come on motorists - let's be fair
You know you shouldn't be stopping there,
Because it really is not too far
To a parking bay to leave your car.
Charity Coffee Morning
Will be held at Shirehampton Health Centre in aid of charities for the care of the elderly on Wednesday 14th December from 11am-12.30pm. There will be cake stall, raffle, coffee and mince pies plus much more! If you are able to donate a cake or a raffle prize all contributions will be gratefully accepted.
Silly Whakespear (aka Nobby Clarke)
Children's Christmas Funtime
There is something different in the run-up to Shirehampton's Christmas this year - a wonderful, happy Christmas Funtime for Children. All children and their parents are welcome to the Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road on Saturday 3rd December at 2pm for games, music, painting and a Christmas dressing-up competition.
The idea is to dress up as something to do with Christmas. It may be someone from the Nativity story, or a pantomime character - or even a Christmas pudding! There will be prizes for the best, but you can be sure no one will go away empty-handed.
There is talk that the Christmas fairy may be tempted down from the top of the Christmas tree to give out some goodies. Come and see! Children's Funday Raises Money Only a few weeks ago TV screens were full of heart-wrenching pictures of the terrible suffering in Niger, West Africa, caused by persistent drought, failure of the harvest and a devastating invasion of locusts.
The second poorest country in the world, where living is hard at the best of times, was plunged into the near certainty of the death of 2 and a half million people, including 800,000 children. Twenty-two year old Elizabeth Craig determined she must do something to help, and hit upon the idea of children helping children.
So she organised a Funday at the Cotswold Community Centre in October. Children came with their parents to play games, draw pictures and generally have a great time. One of the highlights was teaching the children enough of the British Sign Language (BSL) to enable the children to sing songs with their hands.
Elizabeth knows the language well, as her parents are themselves deaf and mother (and grandma!) helped her teach the signs. With refreshments and a raffle for the adults adding to the enjoyment the forty or so people there raised £115 for the Disasters Emergency Committee's appeal.
Merry Christmas from The Library
Eileen, Marilyn, Lynn and Janette would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Thank you to all readers old and new for your support and patience over the last year. We look forward to seeing and helping you all in the coming year.
Brenda Dammers wishes all her friends in Shirehampton a peaceful and blessed Christmas. The money not spent on cards will go to help earthquake victims.
Charity Search Would like to wish our customers a Merry Christmas and thank them for their continued support. Thanks go to Renée for her help, and John for taking much of our rubbish away for us, when left outside. Special thanks to our volunteers, who do so much all year and for making the shop such a friendly place. Lorraine & Mary Thank you for your kind donation - Ed.
I would like to wish a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to my special Nan (May Watkins). Lots of love, Michelle & Colin We would like to wish our very special Mum and Dad, Shirley and Ray Harvey, a Happy Christmas and Happy New Year. Lots of love Michelle, Colin, Wayne, Linzi, Darren, Claire and grandchildren. xxxx
Beccie and Sue at the CLIC Sargent Shop, would like to thank their volunteers and customers for their continued support throughout the year. May we also take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Peaceful and Happy New Year. Thanks Manager
Cryptic Christmas Quiz devised by Judy Helme
Clowning at St Mary's
October 2nd was a very special day for St Mary's when it welcomed a whole troupe of clowns to its 10am service. 'Holy Fools' were having their Annual General Meeting in Shirehampton that weekend and on Sunday spent time at both the Shirehampton Baptist and St Mary's.
They entertained the congregation with meaningful interpretations of bible stories as well as clowning about in their colourful costumes. Both children and adults enjoyed our visitors and hope that they will come again to St Mary's.
On December 29th Vi and Len Triggle will be celebrating their Diamond Wedding Anniversary. All their friends and neighbours at The Orchards, Hermitage Close would like to congratulate them and wish them a very happy day.
Dickens Ghost Night
Do you enjoy a good story? Then come to the Cotswold Book Club's 14th December meeting at 7.30pm and enjoy a story from the master of the genre, Charles Dickens. He wrote more ghost stories than just Christmas Carol, and we have one of his best - but you will have to come to find out which.
This is the Book Club's annual Christmas event and there will be wine and buffet snacks and maybe some spooky noises as well. For more information phone 982 8683.
Does your group/organisation work with elderly people?
We are Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF), and at our last meeting it was suggested that we and other groups in Shire and the surrounding area should get together and see what services and support are available for our local elderly people.
Members of the Forum feel that much more could be done to help and support elderly people in our community As a first step to seeing what can be done, we would like all groups and organisations working with elderly people in the local area to contact us.
Depending on the response, and if groups are willing to work in the issues raised, we will organise a meeting to see how best we can work together to improve support and tackle isolation of elderly people living in and around Shire. Also, if you are an older person living in Shire and have any suggestions and/or views about who could help, please let us know.
Please contact: Ash Bearman, Community Development Officer, SCAF, Shire Public Hall, Station Road, Shire BS11 9TU. Or phone 0117 982 9963, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pam, Derek, Anne, Michael and families would like to thank relatives and friends and neighbours for all the love and support they have given during John's short illness. Also all the doctors and staff of Ward 103 Frenchay Hospital for the care and attention they gave to John, and the support to Anne and myself.
John was one of life's gentlemen, always willing to do a good turn, always ready to give words of wisdom and encouragement, a man with old fashioned values and a dry sense of humour. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Thank you for your donation - Ed.
Lawrence Weston Drugs & Alcohol Project Who are we? We are a small team of drug and alcohol workers serving the Lawrence Weston, Sea Mills, Shirehampton and Avonmouth area. We offer a wide range of services depending on what is most useful to you, and can help you access other services that may also be of benefit to you.
Our philosophy? Our philosophy is simple. We recognise that people need different kinds of support depending on how they feel about their current use. We recognise that some may not be ready for wholesale change as yet, whilst others do wish to end their use and maintain a different lifestyle.
Firstly, we will help you decide what feels right for you and support you in achieving your goals. We only use approaches that have been proven to be effective.
What is on offer?
Where are we based? You can contact us at our main office for more details. Alternatively you can contact us at our satellite services based in the following areas: Avonmouth Medical Centre, Collins Street, Avonmouth. Tel: 0117 982 4322. Shirehampton Health Centre, Pembroke Road. Tel: 0117 916 2200. Ridingleaze Medical Centre, Lawrence Weston. Tel: 0117 982 2693. Sea Mills Surgery, 2 Riverleaze. Tel: 0117 968 1182.
L.D.A.P. offers a strict confidentiality policy. We will not pass on any information about you to anyone else without your permission. You have a right to access any notes we keep.
For an appointment please contact us at: L.D.A.P., 51A, Vincent Close, Lawrence Weston, Bristol BS11 OUA. Tel: 0117 987 4289. Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm.
Lest We Forget
There are no flowers on a sailor's tomb, No welcome home from Flatholm's loom; Remember those in Neptune's deep, On granite symbol for souls asleep. Hailed in monument on Welsh Back, Under trees by a harbour track; To our valiant dead this tribute stands, -Atop the mast, their ensign fans. In becalmed and safe repose, Revere this rock on a compass rose; Let our Mariners find a lee, Lest we forget - on a Bristol Quay.
Letters to the Editor
We totally agree with the previous writers comments in the November issue of Shire regarding the new swimming pool at Henbury. We fail to understand how one pool can accommodate the closure of three pools, namely Shirehampton and Henbury which encompasses a large catchment area, i.e. Avonmouth, Shirehampton, Lawrence Weston, Sea Mills, Stoke Bishop, Coombe Dingle, Westbury-on-Trym plus a number of schools.
We do not like the communal showers and changing areas at all and us regular swimmers at the lamented Shire pool over a long period of years, we miss the friendly community atmosphere of Shire compared with the seemingly regimented and restrictive routine of this Henbury pool.
The pool is far too shallow and car parking is absolutely diabolical. We quite agree that a number of regular swimmers are unable to use this new pool now due to the extra expense and distance involved in getting there. Once again Bristol City Council have not listened to the general public and we have finally removed the last facility from Shirehampton.
Alan and Brenda Davis
I never cease to be amazed at how powerfully evocative one small, grainy, black and white photograph can be. The bunch of smiling faces pulling the old 191st trek cart in your October 05 issue was one such. Although I don't remember the official campsite at Penpole, I do remember countless 'wide-games' in the vicinity with my old scout chums Rob 'Moggsy' Morgan, Chris 'Snozz' Parsons, Glyn Talbot, Barry Darbon, Lance Ivory et al.
Of course most of us went to school up there for a while too among the Nissen huts at Penpoles' edge - but that's another story. Incidentally that photograph shows a smaller boy than the rest helping to pull the rope and I believe him to be my older brother Allan Clarke, now a long term resident of Nailsea.
It was enjoyable to read Uncle Bob's narrative of the Penpole Campsite though mother (Betty) and I were mortified to see that you printed father's name as Roy Clarke. How could you mis-name the Godfather of Scouting in the one nine one. I'm sure Bob's unsteady handwriting confused Reg for 'Roy'.
I well remember, too, Don Pearce, a stylish and energetic man who loved nice, fast cars. He of course used to run the old Shirehampton Post Office for many years. And then Alan Johnson, a close friend of dad's for a long time who was a quiet influence around the troop, until you heard him laugh.
It was a bellow that he inherited from his mother. When we had the old Scout Gang Shows, held annually in the Public Hall (and I could tell some tales about them) everyone wanted to know which night Alan's mum was coming to watch because her laugh, like his, was so loud and infectious that it was sure to be a great night.
It was worth having her there I can tell you! Alan of course, is no longer with us but I met his sons, contemporaries of mine, at the funeral. Both Pip (Phillips) and Mike are doing well, though the latter is living in Australia now, I believe. It is strange how things connect with later events.
I can well remember once taking my scout patrol and we hiked, pulling the treck cart all the way from Shire, along the Severn, through Chittering Estate to end up finally at what became our second home. That was Woodhouse Park, the new Scout Camp Site for Bristol.
We, as a Scout Group, helped create and develop the site, in particular erecting the 'Founders Gate'. The man who ran the site then was called John Hiscocks and he is now a neighbour of mine for I have recently moved to the lovely village of Olverton, which nestles in the shadow of the hill the campsite sits upon near Almondsbury.
Uncle Bob of course was my first Cub Scout Leader and he helped to induct many a young pipsqueak into scouting at the 191st and I remember him to be a warm, fun-loving man who liked a good chat! I don't think he has changed much over the years either. I love reading (secondhand these days) of Shire's ancient and modern times as the place holds a very special place in my heart and I am sure, of the hearts of all the Clarke family.
Keep up the good work Shire! Andy Clarke
Re: Shirehampton Newspaper Community Awards I am writing on behalf of all connected with SCAF to thank you for your generous award of £900. Your donation makes an invaluable contribution to supporting the continuation of our work on a wide range of community based projects. Yours sincerely Ash Bearman, Community Development Officer
Re the photograph of Portway Girls School
It was good to see the old photograph again. I can remember it being taken in 1949 by Leonard Dorington who worked at the Post Office training school. Old pupils will be interested to know that Kay Harris is well and living in New Zealand. We have kept in touch all these years.
They have to take a driving test in New Zealand when they are 80 before their licence is renewed, she failed her test the first time but took it a second time and passed. Mrs Evans is back in Forthshire and celebrated her 90th birthday this year. We have kept in touch all these years and now ring each other once a month.
She is as alert as ever and lives in her own home. I can hardly believe that they have been in Wales for eleven years. I enjoyed my stay in Shire last year. I was up for the dedication of the new kneelers in St Mary's and Maesteg Male Voice Choir. It was good to meet so many old friends at both functions and to meet people at the church for coffee.
I am keeping well in low gear these days and enjoy reading my copy of Shire. I was on the P.C.C. when John Smith decided he should replace the parish magazine with Shire. It has been such a success.
In response to your request in November's issue, I would like to describe my visit to Henbury pool. As stated in a previous letter published in Shire I grew up in Shirehampton and learnt to swim at the local baths. Having used Bristol North Baths in recent years I now have to seek pastures new, following its closure in October.
On arrival at the car park at Henbury the spaces were indeed occupied, but a barrier was lifted to provide more parking. In the reception area I was pleased to find a comfortable seating area with a good view of the pool. My husband was able to sit and watch or read his paper in a chlorine-free atmosphere.
I liked the changing village - at last Bristol is catching up with the rest of the country. I first came across one in the 1990s in Kent and every pool I have visited since in other towns operate this type of changing accommodation. Privacy is guaranteed - so that is the most important thing.
The pool at Henbury is a good size, but I'm not sure that it is 25 metres square. That is certainly the case at Horfield, and that pool looks much bigger. It is a treat however to be able to swim lengths of 25 metres. I chose a lunchtime lane swimming session and found no evidence of lane indiscipline at all, nor was the pool crowded.
I had more than enough room with just one other person in my chosen lane. Although I was very fond of Bristol North, swimming in such a narrow pool could result in a clash of legs or arms on occasion. There was no such difficulty at Henbury, nor any problem with the water depth which I found comfortable with other pools.
I would say that a visit to Henbury pool is a very enjoyable experience and well worth the effort. Hopefully people who were used to swimming at Shirehampton will continue with the sport for the benefit of their health.
Mrs Elaine Amos
I was so saddened to hear that a friend of mine went to visit their family grave on Thursday 13th October 2005 and to find that the grave was vandalised. This was not an isolated incident as there were others close by that had been vandalised also.
My father and niece are buried in Shirehampton Cemetery and our family take great comfort when we visit, as we all live away from Shirehampton these days but we lived and grew up in Priory Road for many years and we never experienced this sort of behaviour.
Whoever was responsible cannot have any feelings for the families and friends concerned, maybe they have not experienced the death of a loved one, friend or even a family pet. But they will one day. We all do. I feel the need to explain to those individuals how it feels when they have lost a loved one.
Immense pain and suffering, that can go on forever. It never goes. They say time is a healer, maybe it is for some, but for most you just learn to live with it, and its hard - very hard. So if anyone who reads this or knows the people responsible would they please take the time to read my letter.
Thanks to my sister who still lives in Shirehampton I am now a regular reader of your smashing paper. I read with great interest the letters page. I learned to swim at the baths and am indeed sorry to note it is now closed. I also went to Avonmouth school in the late 30s early 40s and although I cannot remember Mrs Guinn I do remember the teachers she mentioned.
In fact Miss Gillette came to Devon when most of the school was evacuated (but that's another story). I was also a member of the Avonmouth Sea Cadets which was a very happy time in my life. I have been in touch with them and fully intend to call in to see them on my next visit to Bristol.
I went to Portway Boys School before it moved to penpole. I remember Grace Wood the Olympic swimmer and although I cannot recall Pat Pullinger I would be interested to know if anyone can remember him, also a very good swimmer called Christine Macay from Portway Girls.
I will be writing again, John Buffin
Your readers may be interested in a cautionary tale concerning the appointment of executors when making a will. After many years of not having a will, sense prevailed and my Mum decided to make one. As most people would she made an appointment with a solicitor to draw up a will.
Quite rightly Mum went alone and told them how she wished her money and personal effects to be divided. At some time in their conversation, the subject of who she should appoint as executor must have arisen. Although Mum and I had never discussed the contents of her will and how she came to the decision I can imagine her dilemma.
With four daughters and three sons choosing any one meant she could upset any of the others. The option chosen by Mum was to appoint the solicitor as her executor. This only came to light when Mum died and the solicitor, as they held her will, was informed.
What this meant in reality was the solicitors charged £1,885.88 for their services, 13% of the assets my Mum had at the time of her death. Any one of my family could have easily carried out all the administrative tasks undertaken by the solicitors. This is not sour grapes about me losing out on money, but a warning to others who may unnecessarily forfeit part of their assets.
Yours faithfully, Rosemary A Clarke
Reading the letters in this month's 'Shire' I too feel sad at the closure of Shirehampton Baths. I found this photo taken in 1972 of Bristol City Swimming Club at Shirehampton Baths. All five of my girls were members for many years at the club, trained by chief coach Ray Clash, Don Barnes, my husband Roy Bubb and many others who willingly gave so many hours to the club.
The club trained two or three times a week at Shirehampton Baths and other nights at other pools in the city. There was also a very good polo team. We enjoyed the friendly rivalry in galas with Portway Swimming Club and other clubs around the city and country.
Travelling to Plymouth, Coventry, Cardiff and many other towns for galas was normal. We had much support from some parents and enjoyed the coach trips and stopping for fish and chips. We also had exchange trips to hanover and enjoyed having them stay with us several times.
Through swimming our children mixed with others from all social backgrounds. I am sure this and the discipline of following instruction and training helped in heir education and carers. Portway School also gained at inter school galas and the girls went training mornings before school. Miss Clements was very keen and encouraged the girls, two of them swimming at County level.
Library hours reduction Shirehampton misses cuts for now
Concern has been buzzing round Shirehampton's reading community as the City Council has been announcing cuts in the opening hours of many of Bristol's libraries because of budget pressures. Shirehampton library already operates on a restricted basis, closing two whole days weekly, so any further reduction would be unacceptable to Shire readers.
But so far our library has escaped. However, it is subject to what the Council terms 'other unplanned closures at short notice'. These can happen when, for example, a librarian falls sick and there is no one to cover, or when someone from our staff has to go to another library to cover there, leaving insufficient staff to open Shirehampton.
With the painful loss of other Council amenities recently Shire people need to watch out for any further losses, such as our library, or even just losing more days when it is open, and make their opposition to such losses known.
Lord Mayor's Medal Appeal
An appeal has gone out for nominations for Bristol's prestigious Lord Mayor's Medal, an annual awarded which recognises unsung heroes and heroines and celebrates the very best in local achievement. Anyone who lives or works in Bristol and who has made a significant contribution o the life of the city can be nominated.
Nominations are invited from all sections of the community. The Lord Mayor, Councillor Peter Abraham will select the winners in consultation with the independent members of the council's Standards Committee. 'The Lord Mayor's medal is awarded in recognition of local individuals who have done something really special for the city,' says Bristol's Lord Mayor Peter Abraham.
'This is an ideal opportunity for all those unsung heroes and heroines in our communities to be officially thanked for their hard work and commitment to others.' Nomination forms are now available from The Lord Mayor's Secretary at The Mansion House, Clifton Down, Bristol BS8 3LJ or telephone Bristol 903 1460.
The closing date for nominations is January 31, 2006. Lord Mayor medals will be presented in April 2006. Previous recipients include yachtsman Tony Bullimore and Oscar winner Nick Park of Aardman Animations as well as Christopher Hearn of Shirehampton.
National Primary Maths Challenge
Thursday 13 October 2005 Avonmouth Primary School and Sea Mills Primary School joined 24 other Bristol schools in this year's 'Maths Challenge' organised by the Mathematical Association. The event was held at Red Maids School with over 100 of Bristol's best young mathematicians from Bristol's private and state primary schools taking part.
The competition is structured so that two pairs of 10 and 11 year olds from each school work together to solve increasingly challenging mathematical problems. Local children performed particularly well with Avonmouth's Chloe Mealing and Freya Kenyon achieving 13th place and Billy Richardson and Elliot Fenton achieving first place.
The four young mathematicians were awarded certificates and prizes and won a maths game for their school. Elliot and Billy now wait to see if their score in the challenge will book them a place in the national final to be held in London early next year.
Nelson comes to T.S. Enterprise!
Last month Admiral Nelson paid a surprise visit to the cadets and officers of the Avonmouth Sea Cadet Corps based at T.S. Enterprise. His visit was part of the unit's celebrations of the Trafalgar bi-centenary ahead of their Trafalgar Night Dinner in November. The ship's company has had a busy time with the Trafalgar celebrations which has included taking part in the Trafalgar Fleet Review by H.M. the Queen aboard HMS Grafton, HMS Flying Fox's (Royal Navy Reserve)
Trafalgar Night Dinner and, of course, the successful Trafalgar Night Dance as reported in the last edition of the Shire.
Villagers who attended last year's Trafalgar Night Dinner in the Public Hall will know the enjoyable occasion that is a Trafalgar Night Dinner. The ship's company is now preparing for Remembrance Day Parade in the village and the Royal British Legion's Festival of Remembrance at the Colston Hall.
Do you want to join the fun? Sea Cadet Corps (Avonmouth), T.S. Enterprise, Station Road, Shirehampton, Bristol (opposite the Lamplighters Pub). Senior cadets muster Monday and Thursday, Junior cadets muster Thursday.
Oh how I miss my Sunday morning dip
A swim to relieve my aching hip
Two or three times a week I'd attend
The water helped me to stretch and bend
Met lots of friends there to chat and laugh
A good atmosphere at our local bath
Had all our galas there when at school
A swim every week was the golden rule
Keep fit says our council - take exercise
Then they close our baths, So there's a surprise
Some modernisation and tender loving care
Perhaps our baths would still be there
A part time library left to fill a gap
Facilities for Shire have been left off the map
OAP Water Babe
Ravens on the Roof
Last month an observant reader reported seeing ravens on the roof of the swimming pool. Those with a nose for omen-laden events may well have sniffed something significant in the bird visit at the very time at the pool's lamentable closure. Could it be a strange reversal of the Tower of London legend?
There the departure of the dark birds means the fall of both Tower and Monarchy (their wings are clipped, just to be on the safe side). But their arrival at the pool announced the pulling of the plug forever. But there is more legendary stuff attached to the raven. One of the darkest poems ever written is 'The Raven' by Edgar Allan Powe with its sad, melancholy message 'quoth the raven, 'Nevermore!'' For those of us who loved the old pool, the arrival of the ravens was all too apt.
Sam MacDonald 1927-2005
We would like to hank everyone who helped us at this trouble time. Especially Canon Christine Froude, Stenner & Hill, the BRI Intensive Care Unit, Bobs Gym, the T&G branch 2/272 members and shop stewards Lisa, Renee and Sarah for the lovely food and all our neighbours and ex-neighbours who have been so kind. With thanks Irene, Iain and Neil MacDonald
The National Smelting Company Amateur Boxing Club based in Shirehampton hosted a sell out boxing show at Manor Farm Sports Club on Thursday the 13th of October. There were a total of nine Smelters boxers in action on a total bill of 13 bouts.
The evening began with two NSC boys Dalton Saunders and Chris Stenner matched against each other in their boxing debut in a 'skills contest' which are no-decision bouts to introduce young boxers into the sport where the emphasis is on skilful boxing. Both boys are sponsored by Mitie Security Southwest as could be seen on the new boxing kit paid for by their sponsor.
They put on a traffic display of skilful defensive boxing and both received a winners trophy for their efforts. Next up for the Smelters was local lad Billy Davis pitched against an old foe in Howard Hart all the way from Devonport ABC. This was an all-action contest with everything that's good about amateur boxing, good clean scoring punches, skilful defence and counters with little involvement from the Referee.
After three exciting closely contested rounds of action Billy Davis's hand was raised, winning the contest with his higher scoring rate. Next up was local St Bedes School boy Matt McCall in his first contest up against Lydney's Leo Vanpoetsch. Another very close, cleanly contested bout with the judges going for McCall, a great start to his fledgling boxing career. NSC's James Davis in his third bout was up against another Lydney boy in Lee Clark after yet another close contest.
Davis was unlucky not to get the nod with Clark winning a majority decision from the judges. The NSC's run of bad luck continued. Jimmy Connors, despite flooring his opponent in the first and scoring steadily through the contest lost to a continuous majority decision. Terry Richards, after winning his previous first four bouts, lost to the more experienced and schooled Tom Knight of Lympstone ABC in a hard-fought contest from both lads.
New NSC welterweight Lau Zamparelli lost a majority decision to granite chinned Paddy Noble of Salisbury ABC in the bout of the night. The referee congratulated both boys after a traffic contest where both lads were boxing in their first bout. Zamparelli won Best Sportsman of the Night Trophy with Noble awarded Best Winner and Boxer of the Show.
Last, but not least, was NSC's team captain Sam Mogg topping the bill boxing at Welterweight against a familiar opponent in Downend ABC's southpaw Gavin Beck. Mogg won a close bout with his cleaner head and body combination punching and put an end the the run of results against the host club.
NSC host their second show of the season on Thursday 17th of November once again at Manor Farm Sports Club, the Portway, Sea Mills, where they hope to match even more Smelters boxers. If you would like to attend the show, tickets are priced £7 for a ringside seat. Or if you are interested in boxing for the Smelters boxing club, please contact club coach Gary Cave on 01454 898 549.
Participating Clubs: Lydney ABC; Empire ABC; Synwell ABC; Devonport ABC; Watchet ABC; Downend ABC; Lawrence ABC; Lympstone ABC; Salisbury ABC; Cwmbran ABC; and National Smelting ABC.
Freestyle Dance School
Dear Mrs Archer
Thank you for your very kind donation to our funds. Thanks to the support of local businesses we have been able to supply all of our dancers with tracksuits and they look super. I hope to supply you with a photograph in the future which perhaps could be included in the newspaper.
Thanks once again. Paula McCann
SHIP TO SHORE TS ENTERPRISE - AVONMOUTH SEA CADETS
During the summer months one of the classrooms at the unit was adapted to become a computer room, with space for mechanical engineering. The unit would like to thank the local businesses for the donations of computers and cash and it is hoped this will be of use to the cadets and staff.
Parade nights are Monday: Seniors 6.45-8.45pm and Thursday: Seniors and Juniors 6.45-8.45pm. Visitors and interested parties will be made welcome on the above nights; we meet at the River Station (near the Lamplighters Pub), come and see what we do! Adult help is needed and will be CRB cleared.
Shirehampton Craft Exhibition
'You'll do the write up for 'Shire' won't you?' said John Andrews. 'What can I find to write about that's new?' I whinged. Well I needn't have worried, because there was, as always, something new to say about this local 'institution'. So what was on display in the Public Hall this year?
Well, of course, most of the old favourites. Not so many large quilts this time, just three hanging from the balcony, but lots of smaller ones and wall hangings which were very beautiful. The Christmas tree, loaded with decorations, the wooden angels, Advent calendars, Christmas wall hangings and stockings reminded visitors that it's not far away and how much nicer to buy handcrafted items to adorn the home during the festive season.
The variety of needlecrafts was as great as ever, from a rather splendid skirt though the gamut of framed stitched pictures, peg and shopping bags, pictures combining painting and stitching (very effective), a ring cushion, macrame wall hangings, bookmarks, splendid evening bags and a lampshade. Knitting needles and crochet hooks had also been busy with the lovely scarves, hats, a waistcoat, cardigan, poncho and hooded jacket in Snowflake wool.
Jewellery was a popular choice of craft this year ranging from the stone and bead necklaces from Dick Helme, the pretty chunky flower necklaces to the funky earrings, necklaces, bracelets and hair pins on display and being made by Jenny. Gorgeous cushions, both satin and the vibrant silk painted ones would beautify any home, as would the decorated candles, decoupage pictures and marquetry that added to the variety of exhibits.
The pottery was wonderful, quirky, imaginative and displayed a wide range of techniques and designs - well done to our local potters. The lacemakers didn't let us down and there was some demonstrating during the week. The cardmakers were also in evidence demonstrating and selling their cards, which were such good value and diverse - a card for every occasion and taste.
Dick Helme, who likes to do something different each year, went for unusual lamps using slices of coloured crystal set in character woods, mostly yew, with little neon tubes producing the illumination. They were effective and different. He also exhibited a chair and table as well as his usual array of pots and bowls of fruit. Sadly Dick couldn't spend the final day at the show as normal because an argument with a saw meant he was in Frenchay Hospital awaiting surgery.
Luckily no lasting damage so in time the woodwork should continue unabated. It was, as always good to see the children's exhibits. Painted glass holders and decorated picture frames by the 191st St Mary's Cubs and CD Christmas cards by the 178th Bristol Guides - another clever idea using modern materials.
Some new exhibitors this year meant we were treated to a display of wooden message plaques and felt Santa hearts, a set of pictures based on American Indian symbols, and fabric covered notebooks and diaries. The stools covered in copies of Beano, Asterix, Dandy and a map of the world were unusual and amusing - quite a talking point.
Bearing in mind the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, it was good to see this commemorated by the Trafalgar Pankha fan and the HMS Victory hand-held rigid fan. The nautical theme was also evident in a very striking wall hanging on the stage and an SS Great Britain picture.
So once again a year of crafts as diverse as the people who practice them and of a quality that would be hard to beat. Thank you all who shared their talents by exhibiting and demonstrating - you give encouragement to others hoping to follow in your footsteps and keep alive some of the old skills whilst introducing new ones.
Thanks again on behalf of all visitors, to Ed and Gail and their dedicated band of helpers, the stewards and providers of refreshments for making this particular week of each year such a celebration of local talent.
As many of you will know Shirehampton Local History Group meets on the third Monday of each month at 2.30pm in the Library. A recent highlight was our visit to Myrtle Hall, Ralph Hack's lovely and historic home which dates back to 1796. As we had been investigating the sources of water the area we were especially interested in the well once the house's main source of water and still in use for the garden.
We were also intrigued by the huge fireplaces in what would have been the basement kitchens and which powerfully evoked the past. As an added bonus Mr Hack led us to the river bank where he identified the point at which the stream which rises on Penpole discharges into the Avon.
Many thanks to Mr Hack and Dog Tinker for their welcome and the tea and cakes kindly provided. The event was greatly appreciated by the group. Further visits are planned to the Record Office and the Bristol Room at Central Library. Anyone interested would be very welcome to join us.
Shirehampton Methodist Church Christmas Services 2005
Shirehampton Model Railway Club
The first exhibition at the Public Hall on Saturday 15th October was well attended and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. The doors opened at 10.30 and in just over an hour, as one member of the hall put it, the place was buzzing.
The exhibition included several very good working model railway cutouts in H0,00 and N gauge, as well as many traders selling everything from trees to locomotives and books. There was also a layout for the children to drive a train and this was very popular.
The Shirehampton Model Railway club would like to thank everyone for their attendance and support and we look forward to seeing you all again next year.
Shirehampton Primary School visit to The Red Lodge in Park Row
On Tuesday 11th and Wednesday 12th October classes from Year 4 at Shirehampton Primary School visited The Red Lodge in Park Row, Bristol, where they were transported back in time to the Tudor era. Both classes followed the same programme provided by the City of Bristol Museum Education Service led by Melanie Knight.
On Tuesday it was Mr Armstrong's class who were whisked back over 400 years, whilst on Wednesday Mr Palmer's children had their Tudor experience. A large Elizabethan house (the Great House) once stood where the modern day Colston Hall now stands.
The Red Lodge was built as a guest house at the top of the hill and not far away a second building, the White Lodge, was added. Of the three, only the Red Lodge remains. After many uses, including that of a school for young ladies, and being lived in by many families, the building still survives with three of the rooms practically unaltered.
The Great Oak Room is often described as one of Bristol's greatest treasures. The children dressed up as Tudor lords and ladies, some were outfitted as merchants whilst others were clothed in servant's costumes. It all added up to a wonderful experience for the children who were able to walk around the Tudor rooms (they still look the same today as they were 400 years ago) in the style of the Tudors.
They also handled artefacts that would have been used in Tudor times. One lucky young pupil on each day was chosen to be queen for the morning. The dress and finery of Queen Elizabeth was the costume; here we can see Jessica in her royal attire, standing in front f the magnificent fireplace in the Great Oak Room.
The children were fascinated by their Tudor experience. Having the opportunity to dress up in the costumes of the day brought the past to life for all of them. Space Odyssey On Tuesday 27th September the year 5 and 6 pupils were given the opportunity to see a mobile planetarium 'Space Odyssey' in their own school hall.
Many of the pupils were studying the Earth, Sun and Moon as their science topic and found spending several hours inside the huge dome learning about the solar system and stars beyond a stimulating complement to their studies. The pupils particularly enjoyed seeing the universe, with all its stars and galaxies, projected onto the wall of the dome while the various constellations were highlighted with an informative running commentary.
After seeing video clips of NASA's current space mission and discussing the phases of the moon and the forthcoming eclipse, the children returned to class buzzing with excitement ready to build on what they had learned.
St Bernard's Catholic Church Christmas Day Services
Saturday 24th December 6.30pm - First Mass of Christmas Feast Sunday 25th December 10am - Mass of Christmas Day
St Mary's News
Hi Folks! 'Christmas is for children' - so the saying goes - but that is not quite true. It is a joyous celebration of the birth of Christ and the beginning of Christianity, to be enjoyed by everyone - believers and non-believers, but it is the believers who will enjoy it most!
Ask anyone who is a member of St Mary's. It's my birthday too! I'm not telling anyone how old I am - just one look at the grey hair and the well lived-in face will give you an easy clue! At the Deanery Confirmation Service at Almondsbury Parish Church on Sunday 20th November there were eight confirmation candidates from St Mary's - supported by members of our congregation.
By the time you read this they will have all received their first Communion. We welcome them as full members of our church. During the first week in November the sale of the Church Centre to the N.H.S. was completed. The flowering cherry tree at the front of the building did not have a preservation order on it so had to be cut down, but when the wood has seasoned, it will be used to make something for use inside the church. (See separate article by Canon Christine.)
Early in October we bade farewell to 'Shire Link' who were our tenants in the Church Centre for several years We marked the occasion with a short service of farewell which was held in St Mary's, followed by refreshments and a farewell cake. We wish them all well in their new accommodation which is to be at the Greenway Centre at Southmead.
On 1st October we held our Christmas Gift Fayre, which I am delighted to report raised over £1,200. Another October event was the Jessie May Concert by the Avon Fire Brigade Brass Band, who provided us with an evening of enjoyable musical entertainment.
On Sunday 23rd October our back projector and screen was used for the first time at a Baptism Service and astounded many people by the clarity of its images. ( A little birdie told me that a DVD of steam locomotives, courtesy of one Gerald Peacock, also appeared on the screen for several minutes, much to the pleasure of my young Grandson one Thursday morning!)
It is a fantastic piece of equipment with exciting uses for the future. At our 10am Holy Communion Service on Sunday 4th December, we are delighted to welcome Anne Tolam from the Children's Society as our Guest Speaker. On Saturday 10th December is our Annual Gift Day when Canon Christine will be in the church from 9.30am until 12.30pm to receive any monetary gifts you may wish to offer. This is a very important day, which we hope will ensure that we can prevent St Mary's from sliding into the red. It is essential we keep our financial affairs in the black.
Sunday 11th December is the first of our Christmas festivities, which will be the Shirehampton Area Choir's Christmas Concert at 2.30pm in the church. This will be conducted by our organist and choirmaster Tim Forder. The collection this year is to be used for our Organ Restoration Fund, for without an organ the music would be severely limited.
At 7pm on Friday 16th December we are proud to present in the church 'St Mary's Panto', written by Maureen Geddes and Rose Watkins, starring Canon Christine, Julie Smith and a number of young children. Put this date in your diary as well!
The next day, Saturday 17th December at 10.30am, a group from St Mary's will be singing Christmas Carols in the churchyard in support of Christian Aid. Please support this worthy event. On Sunday 18th December at 10am is our annual Christingle Service. I can reveal it involves an orange, a candle, a ribbon and sweets.
To find out more come and see for yourself. At 6.00pm the same day is our Christmas Carol Service when the church choir will be supplemented by some members of the Shirehampton Area Choir. On Christmas Eve at 4pm is our Crib Service, especially suitable for young children.
Please bring your children dressed as sheperds, wise men/women, lambs etc. They will be involved in one way or another. At 7.30pm Carols will be sung on The Green, but if it is wet they will be sung in the Church. At 11.30pm is our service of Midnight Mass (the first Holy Communion of Christmas), a very important occasion for all Christians.
On Christmas Day at 10am we shall hold another Communion Service with Carols, an ideal service if you were unable to attend the Midnight Mass. On New Years Day (Sunday 1st January 2006) there will be no service of holy communion at 10.00am but at 3.00pm we shall have a service of Carols by Candlelight.
I asked you to watch this space for information on our next Book, CD and Video Sale, which proved so popular. It will be held in church on Saturday 7th January 2006. Any books, CDs will be sold for the Organ Restoration Fund.
Well, Happy Christmas to you all and my message again to you this year is - when you sit down to enjoy your Christmas lunch spare a thought for those who have no families, no homes or friends, and thank God for what we have. We must be grateful for everything we have and enjoy.
'Bye for now! C.M.E.
St Mary's Church, Shirehampton
Sunday 11th December 2.30pm Shirehampton Area Choir Carol Concert. Tickets £6 (under 14s £3, under 5s free but need a ticket). Proceeds to the Organ Refurbishment Fund. With a glass of punch and festive food.
Sunday 18th December 10.00am Christingle Service for all the family (no Kids' Klub) 4.45pm Carols at the Cotswold Community Building 6.00pm Christmas Carol Service followed by mulled wine and mince pies
Christmas Eve - Saturday 24th December 4.00pm Crib Service for the family. Do come dressed as an angel, shepherd, wise man or wise woman. A short service for all. The donkeys will be with us again this year! 11.30pm Midnight Holy Communion for Christmas.
Christmas Day - Sunday 25th December 10.00am Holy Communion for Christmas Day with carols (no Kids' Klub).
New Year's Day - Sunday 1st January 3.00pm Holy Communion for all the family with favourite Christmas Carols (no Kids' Klub or 10.00am service).
The Men Who Missed The Tide
The Men Who Missed The Tide is the title of a book of poems sent to us by its author, Captain J. S. Earl. Although too late for Remembrance Sunday, we print the following as a tribute to all seafarers.
Thank you, Captain Earl
The Good Old Days!
I saw the following list of rules in the Henry Kendall Museum, in West Gosford, New South Wales, Australia on a recent trip. Henry Kendall was an Australian poet. As a retired teacher I found it hilarious and the curator let me have a copy.
RULES FOR TEACHERS - 1879
The New Falklands Memorial Tower Hill, London
In glorious early autumn sunshine the new memorial was unveiled at Tower Hill, London on the 4th September 2050. This is a permanent reminder of the sacrifices made by both the Merchant Navy and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary during 'Operation Corporate' in 1982.
Designed as a sundial the memorial was unveiled by the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Alan West GCB DSC ADC. Shirehampton man and serving Quartermaster in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship 'Fort Rosalie' Chris Inker is pictured by the memorial which also commemorates Quartermaster William Fraser who died whilst serving on RFA 'Fort Grange'.
This is especially poignant for Chris as this is the ship now renamed 'Fort Rosalie'. Chris is the last QM to serve in the RFA and he has seen service in the first Gulf War, Croatia and Afghanistan. It is fitting that these seventeen names now join the thousands of their shipmates who died in the service of the Merchant Navy 1914-1918 and 1939-1945.
Chris has recently been awarded a tribute from the RMT Union for over 40 years service at sea.
Norman Date Merchant Navy Association, Bristol
What's Christmas without books?
Many of you will recall the 'Mouthful of Memories' books, published as part of a Millennium history project by Avonmouth Genealogy Group. We sold out very quickly and since then have received enquiries regarding further supplies and have a waiting list in case any become available.
We have now instructed the printer to produce a short run (50 copies only) of the second edition, 'Another Mouthful of Memories' because that is the one most sought after. The price will unfortunately have to reflect the cost to us of a short run, and will be £10 plus postage where applicable.
If you wish to purchase a copy then please contact me, Judy Helme on 0117 938 2849 (daytime) as soon as possible because this will definitely be the last opportunity to buy a copy. Books of people's memories make lovely Christmas presents for those who have shared the experiences, so bear in mind that apart from the above book on Avonmouth, the Shirehampton Public Hall book is still available and records nostalgia not just for the building but a way of life in a suburban community. Stocks available from the Hall and local shops.
Happy reading! - Judy Helme
Whoops! An apology from the Library The photograph on the front page of the November issue of 'Shire' was Molly Phillips with the Lord Mayor. So sorry Molly for printing her mum's name by mistake.
Photos: E Verey