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Shirehampton Library News

Letters to the Editor

Portway School Visit for SCAF

Jubilee Allotments Latest

St Mary's News

New Look for 34th Annual Local Art Exhibition

NEARLY 200 entries were received from 52 exhibitors, including four ceramics by Timothy Burfoot, and a painting on a large leather hide of American Indian symbols by Dick Helme.This years exhibition was dedicated to the memory of Dave Tudor, who sadly passed away in May. An example of Dave's work - a large gouache painting - was on display, and is now hung in the Penpole Room.

Two views of the exhibits showing the new screens and wall hanging

The new lightweight, table-mounted exhibition screens that were used for the first time, proved a great success, and will now be adopted for future exhibitions. They were designed and built by Ron Thorpe, Hon. Sec. of the Twyford Art Club and financed by a Local Community Grant. The old screens, that have given sterling service for over thirty years, were a tribute to the skills of Jimmy James, Alfred Moores, and Harry Walton who built them, and to Bob and Helen Brandt and Philip Squire who developed and maintained them.John Case, Chairman, welcomed the exhibitors and their guests.

Mr John Case making a presentation to Mr Ron Thorpe watched by Mr James Thomas (Hon Treasurer) and Mr Terry Caplan who opened the Exhibition

He also paid tribute to those members of the Art Club who had worked so hard to make the exhibition a success, including Jean Cooper and Pat Phelan, the Exhibition Joint Secretaries. He then introduced Terry Culpan, a professional watercolour artist and member of the Savages Art Club, and invited him to open the exhibition.

Terry was generous and complimentary in his assessment of the work on display. He said he had noted, as he went round, examples of 'real art', imagination, and the successful use of techniques such as 'wet on wet'. Some of the flower paintings had particularly impressed him. A vote of thanks and a presentation was made to him by Cecilia Owen.

The enormous amount of time and labour involved in the making of the new screens was acknowledged by a second presentation to Ron Thorpe, with many thanks. It was a pity that the new look could not have been celebrated with champagne.

(What about an increase in the entry fee for paintings? 50p is derisory. Ed)

This year the Philip Squire Award went to Chris Stinchcombe for his pastel "Frosty morning, Chew Magna". The exhibition is sponsored by "SHIRE" whose continued support and assistance is greatly appreciated.

Shirehampton Library News

Do come and see the display of lovely collages based on a theme of Nature and made by pupils in years 1 & 2 at St Bernard's Primary School. To all Parents and Grandparents, please note our summer reading scheme and other activities dates below, and as booking is essential  for all these events, who not ask for details and book up when you are next visiting the library.

READING SCHEME - READING MISSION - starts Monday July 17th.

SPYCRAFT ACTIVITIES - Monday July 31st 2.30-4.30pm and Friday August 25th 2.30-4.30pm, 50p per child, per session.

NANGAZ - clown and magic - Tuesday August 15th 2-3pm, 1 per child.

The Right Reverend Andrew Radford

The Right Reverend Andrew Radford died on 21st May after losing a battle with cancer. He was one of the Church of England's leading communicators, specialising for many years in local radio. Andy, as he was usually know, was born in Bristol in 1944, and grew up in Kingswood where his father was vicar.

In 1972 he went to Trinity College, Bristol to study Theology. Two years later he became Curate at St Mary's Shirehampton, where he is still remembered both as a  regular broadcaster on BBC local radio and as the first organiser of the ecumenical "Carols on the Green", the Christmas Eve Service which is still enjoyed by young and old today. In 1978 he moved to Henleaze and then, after a very busy life as Communication Officer for the Diocese of Gloucester, he was appointed suffragan Bishop of Taunton in 1998.Our love, prayers and deepest sympathy go to his widow, Christine, and their daughters, Jo and Nicola.

During the four years, 1974-1978, when Andy Radford was curate at St Mary's, Shirehampton, he was also part of the 'Shire' admin. In those days we had to do all the artwork for the adverts, as well as the big titles for the articles. Feeling frustrated because I could not get the Letraset straight, Andy kindly explained how to do it. He got the support of all the local churches to launch 'Carols on the Green' on Christmas Eve, as well as setting the pattern, which we have followed ever since.

Those of us who knew him always appreciated his great sense of humour and, to quote someone, who was a choirboy at the time, 'He was Special'.


Dave Tudor

I was sad to learn that Dave Tudor had died. Some years ago, I first heard from him, when he lived at Merryman's Drive, and he wrote an article for 'Shire' about the local Air Cadets, in which organisation he played a part. Some years later we met again at the annual Craft Exhibition when he was setting up a model railway layout.

More recently I realised that he was the organiser of the Tea Dances, which had moved from the Methodist Church Hall in Sea Mills to our Public Hall, and he was delighted that these dances had attracted a growing number of dancers to them. He was also a proficient artist, who exhibited at the annual Art Exhibition.David Tudor was a person with wide interests, who took part with great enthusiasm. He will be missed.


Thank you from Avonside Girlguiding

All the girls and leaders at Avonside Girlguiding would like to thank the residents and businesses of Shirehampton and the surrounding area for their support at our Summer Fair in June. We raised 500 which will be used to fund essential maintenance on our headquarters in St Mary's Road.

Thank you! Lin Joyner District Secretary Avonside District

Wish You Were There?

Steve Prosser sent us this photograph of the pupils of Kings Weston School taken in 1949. He has identified most of the students in the photograph and would appreciate any information about unnamed individuals. Please let us know if you can fill in the gaps and share with us any memories the photograph brings to mind.

Back row: left to right, Headmaster, Mr Ware, Robert Priddy, Geoffrey Exon, Alan Curtis, Steve Rollings, Michael Fortt, Keith  Allen, Steve Prosser, Tony Payne, Alan Scott, Mr Bartlett.

Second row: Margaret Poole, Margaret Warner, Kay Robbins, Janet Pearce, Jean Gowler, Irene Husher, Lorraine HarrisThird row: Angela Mundy, Sue Young, Nesta Codrington, Jacky Cockton, Jane Stewart, Sue Guy, Jennifer Davis, Susan May, Lee

Front row: Paul Feltham, Phil Davies, John Abbott, John Blake, Chris Watts, Terry Williams, Michael Tomkins

Dear Editor - Cottage Problems at Lower High Street

Just a little information for you with regards to your request for information in the June issue of Shire. A couple of years ago the owner of the property applied for planning permission to build 4 family homes on the site. This was refused as there was no room for parking on one of the most dangerous cross roads in the village.

Since that refusal, the cottage has fallen into further dereliction and even vermin have been seen on the site. As locals, we are hoping that, with the closure of the local council office, the site could be incorporated into whatever is the overall future for that site.

Regards, John Morris

Letters to the Editor


Dear Editor

Just a quick note to say thank you for putting our poster in the paper last month for the music festival at The Lamplighters. It was a great day and the weather held off and we raised 300 for Cancer Research.

Here's to next year, Ray Smith

Charity Search

Dear Editor,

We hope to be open very soon. It has been out of our control why we have been closed for such a time. We are doing our best to get back to normal and hope to see our customers very soon. We would like to thank our loyal volunteers for their patience.

Lorraine and Mary


Dear Shire,

These days my rare visits to St. Mary's Church in the village of my childhood, only seem to come about to celebrate the passing  of someone I once knew and, perhaps, loved. This time it was the interment of Bob Clarke's ashes. "Bradley Bob" was brought home by his children, Lynn, Martin and Colin, who were met by a godly group of the 'one-nine-one' - or the 191st St Mary's Scout Group who were affiliated to the church.

Many is the time that we bare-kneed lads marched proudly into church with colours hoisted high on special parade days. For Bob's passing, a stalwart gang of "lads" assembled at St Mary's; Ronnie Stapleton - the Brylcream boy; mad cyclist Dave Hachett, the ever smiling Merv Brookes and the indefatigable Gilbert Osman, noted for his death-defying feats in the tallest of trees.

There was also Evan Thomas, who became my scoutmaster after my dad, Reg, became G.S.M., and Nick Price who ran the senior-scout section.I can now reveal that the seniors had a special initiation ceremony. We fifteen year old lads each had to spend a night alone in a darkened St. Mary's Church to reflect on our lives and what the future might hold. It was quite a memorable experience.

Laurie Dando also attended and we were all greeted by Bob's mum, Gladys, whose smiling warmth belied her years. She, along with my mum, Betty and Alan Johnson's wife, Audrey represented the army of volunteers who supported everything we did all those years ago.For me, Bob's interment, conducted beautifully by Canon Christine, was also special, as this was the last time that all my boyhood scout leaders (Bob - cubs, Evan - scouts and Nick - seniors) would all be together in one place.

I shall remember them well and with affection.

Andy Clarke - Olveston

Facilities in Shirehampton

Dear Shire

In reply to Rosemary Clarke's letter (in the June issue), commenting that people are just bemoaning what has been lost in our area (swimming pool, leisure facilities etc) I would like to remind her that there are people willing to stand up and be counted in their efforts to keep these facilities and improve Shire, and who work very hard to do so.

If any of the activities/venues that Rosemary Clarke lists are ever taken away, I hope she can be counted upon to support us 'bemoaning' residents.

Yours sincerely, Steve Davies

Stanway House Day Nursery

Dear Editor,

Stanway House Day Nursery has recently received a fantastic Ofsted report. To achieve these standards is a very difficult task. Over the years we have worked hard to ensure we provide only the best standards of childcare for local families - Lawrence Weston, Shirehampton, Henbury, Sea Mills and Henbury. We cater for parents who are at work, study at the local colleges, those who are trying to return to work and some families who are experiencing difficulties and require support and childcare.

Since Feb 2000 many families have used our facilities and as a small family-run business the good reputation, and especially recommendations from parents, have kept the business thriving. Achieving such a wonderful report has been a matter of great celebration for the staff and children here as it reflects the hard work and devotion each day at the nursery. For further information please do contact me.

Miss Kelly Clark(Nursery Proprietor)

An apology

Dear Shire,

In a previous article I stated that Bob's gym was shut. This I now know was incorrect, Bob's gym is in fact open for business as normal. I had the wrong information and would like to apologise unreservedly to Bob for any distress caused. This was not intentional to cause any problems for Bob's gym, just a misunderstanding on my part.

Yours in sport, Gary Cave - NSC ABC coach

Portway School Demolition

Dear Editor,

As an ex pupil (over 30 years ago) I thought that you may be interested in this photograph of the demolition of the tower block of Portway School.It was with mixed feelings that I witnessed its demise, as thoughts of the thousands of children who had enjoyed their education in such pleasant surroundings came to mind.

I have many happy memories of my time there, and in my family alone, I was a pupil, my three sons were also, my grandmother worked in the kitchens and my mother was a cleaner for many years. After living away from Shirehampton for a number of years, I now find myself living next to the school, and am watching with interest the changes occurring.

Kim Cleave (Mrs)

Lack of Advertisment

Dear Editor,

At the beginning of January we asked Shire Newspaper to put an advert in for the Grainger Players show 'Anything Goes'. We asked for the advert to be in 'Shire' for February, March, April and May issues. We had also asked for our Dance to be advertised for March. In February the advert for the Dance was actually in the newspaper, twice, but the Show advert was missing; nor was it in the April or May issues.

Unfortunately this has meant that we did not sell our usual number of tickets; also the Charity Collection for M.S. was down.A Show costs 1,150 approximately. This covers everything. We rely on the ticket sales, obviously, to cover these costs, some of which are paid in advance of the shows to obtain discounts. In the event we raised 143.

The Players come from various local areas, giving their time freely to the Group and paying some of their own expenses, providing a local entertainment for the Community. We are a local Group trying to help keep our local Community together.

Yours sincerely, SCAF (Shirehampton Community Action Forum)

Make a note for your diary now: On Saturday 30th September SCAF is holding a fund-raising supper at Kingsweston House. As well as delicious food, there will be a raffle and some entertainment. This is your opportunity to mingle with your friends and neighbours in this beautiful Vanburgh building, at the same time supporting your local community association. More information about tickets sales will be in the August "Shire" so watch this space

Liz Hurd and Monica Doul, Producers

Portway School Visit for SCAF

People from the village of Shirehampton had an opportunity to have a tour around the new Portway School with the even newer Head Teacher, David Hebden as guide. Brought together by the Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF), the group who represented various aspects of village life, were captivated by the impressive quality of the facilities, and even more by the enthusiastic vision of Mr. Hebden for the future of the school. He did, however, warn the visitors, that there was no "quick fix", and based on his experience of turning the fortunes of other schools around, he reckoned it needs two clear years - and this is only his first complete term.

As reported in last month's "Shire", the school has recently been rewarded for the efforts already made since Mr. Hebden's arrival with a very encouraging Ofsted report that has taken the school out of Special Measures, so the trend now is determinedly upward. Mr Hebden made it clear to the group that there is still a great deal of work and effort required by staff and pupils to restore the glory of Portway. But the new facilities will help immeasurably in making that effort worthwhile.

Specialist classrooms such as IT, drama, and music, among others, equipped to a high specification, will enable teachers to get the best from their pupils. The group was greatly impressed with the menus in the dining areas, and were quite envious of the meals on offer. What became clear is that now there is a sense of pride and purpose developing among staff and students. Evidence of this is seen in the keen interest the students are taking in the designing of a new school uniform. A vote was shortly to be held by the students, and we look forward to reporting the results (with pictures) of the winning design.

There were one or two surprises for the visitors whose school-days were farther behind them than they cared to remember. For example, that trade mark of old school gyms, the wall bars, were conspicuously absent from the superb new gymnasium. It seems that "health and safety" has intervened in modern gym design. With nostalgic memories of hanging upside down, the group felt quite sorry for modern youngsters being deprived of the pleasure. A more serious deprivation was that, following the loss of Shirehampton Swimming Pool, it is proving impracticable for Portway to make use of the new Henbury Pool.

As for Portway's own facilities, these are meant for the benefit of the community as a whole, and out of school hours, are available for hire. However, the company that is behind the private finance arrangement which has funded the school, has at present pitched its tariffs far too high for local group to afford. This is something that must be addressed.

Overall, the SCAF group left the school greatly encouraged, and full of hope for the future. It is now up to the people of Shirehampton to give every support to the positive lead being taken. Especially it is to be hoped that those with young people coming up to secondary school age will opt for Portway rather than look elsewhere for their son's and daughter's education.

Ralph Dutfield-Hack

Ralph Dutfield-Hack, a cousin of Mr Ralph Hack of Shirehampton, died April 1st 2006 in Holmwood House Nursing Home, Westbury on Trym. He was always a keen reader of "Shire" News and will be sadly missed by his son, Keith along with Tony, Pauline, Gwen, Ron, Joy, John and all those who knew him. God Bless

St. Mary's Parish Weekend

A member of the church family of St. Mary's spent a lovely weekend away at Abbey House, Glastonbury from 12th - 14th May. The weekend entitled 'flat champagne' was led by Canon Douglas Holt & Canon Ann Holt and was a wonderful mixture of learning, fun, relaxation, good food and fellowship - and pink champagne which certainly wasn't flat! Saturday evening we were all asked to 'think pink'. As you would see in he photo of Richard Powell and Gill Sawyer, the winners, if it was printed in colour.

Kings Weston House

Early part of my life 1956-1958. This is where my school was on Kings Weston EstateIt was a grand grand house and one that was full of funIn break times we could play around the houseOr get on the fields and run run runIn the small house on the main road lived Mr BeardHe was old and spooky whom everybody fearedSneaking around the house when we could was greatIt was scary, exciting and to think I was only eightThen there was the cellar full of cobwebs and stuffed birdsBut what we saw there could not be put into wordsI've explored every part of the house and that very airy smellBut always remembered to get back to class when we heard the bellAfter school was just as good, home for tea and back up to the houseIf I was a bit late home I would creep in like a mouseSports Day was my favouriteMums and Dads were always thereAll the parents had the privilege of having their own chairSchool days were great and I would do them all over againBut maybe behave myself to avoid having the cane

Steven Prosser

Jubilee Allotments Latest

Since last year's bombshell announcement that the City Council was selling the Shirehampton Jubilee Allotments riverside site for high-density housing development, information about the progress of the Council's intentions has bee almost zero The initial announcement produced a 100% negative reaction from the residents of Myrtle Drive who could envision their idyllic location being irreversibly spoilt, and they were joined in their protests by many other Cotswold estate residents who shared their abhorrence at the idea, taking away as it would the attractive rural setting of the area.

Though no longer used for allotments, the Jubilee site had become a horse paddock, adding to the charms of the riverside walk, beloved by dog-walkers and river-bank strollers of all ages. A packed protest meeting in the PBA Club, attended by local councillors and representatives of the developers, Jephson Housing Association, was held as far back as last September. Since then nothing had been heard of the proposal.

The current position has, however now been given by Neil Blackbeard, Development and Property Asset Manager of Jephson. In response to an enquiry from a Myrtle Drive resident, he says: "Due to the status of the land in the Local Plan, we are required by the planning authority to carry out a number of assessments of the site.

An ecological survey commenced late last summer and further assessments are required this summer to complete the report. "Once this process is completed, I will be able to advise on how Jephson intends to proceed. I anticipate that this will not be until late September 2006". From this it will be seen that the plans are not dead. Myrtle Drive house owners along with other concerned Shirehampton residents, will wait anxiously for what the developers will say in the  autumn.

Community Care Assessments - What Can You Expect?

Did you know that Bristol City Council provide a specialist team of Social Workers, and a Support Worker who provides services to people living with HIV infections, AIDS, and their Carers?

Anyone wishing to make a referral to the team or refer themselves should contact Bristol Care Direct on 0800 444 000.After referral you will be offered a Community Care Assessment. This is a process of finding out about your circumstances and needs, and if we are able to help you. The questions we will ask will be around your health, care, social and cultural needs.

We have a system called Fair Access to Care Services which enables us to establish if you are eligible for our support. We can also signpost you to other organisations that may be able to help.The type of services we offer include -Support Workers Services  practical and emotional support.

Respite Breaks  can be provided for Service Users and Carers. Home-Care  assistance with accessing personal and domestic care. Carers Assessments  a separate Assessment for Carers to look at their needs. All referrals and information gained from an assessment will be treated as confidential and shared only within the City-Wide 215A Team (HIV Team).

With your consent information can be shared with other agencies, if they need to know this information in order to provide services. Only in exceptional circumstances, such as in the case of an accident, would information legally be shared without consent.

City-Wide 215A Team

191st St. Mary's Scout Troop

On Saturday May 6th, the 191st St. Mary's Scout Group held a Coffee Morning in the Group Headquarters, St. Mary's Road. Due to the fine weather the Shire Tea Gardens were opened, and a grand total of 104 was raised for group funds. A big thanks to all who attended and a special vote of thanks to the mums, grandmas, aunties', friends and ladies in Jim O'Neill House for supplying the cakes.  Watch this space for the next fund raising event.


Tackling Appointment Frustration at the Group Practice

We have been aware for some time that two things have contributed to the frustration of getting an appointment with the GP or Health professional

* A poor telephone system
* Government guidance which encouraged patients to be seen on the same day they request an appointment, whether or not it is clinically urgent


* A new telephone system will be installed in the portacabins when we move in September. This will give us more flexibility and allow more people to answer incoming calls
* The Government is encouraging us to modify our appointment system yet again and we hope the plan we have come up with will help to improve the current situationWe hope to avoid the rush at 8.30am in the mornings, and again at 1.30pm after lunch.

To do this, we hope to offer you an appointment within 48 hours of request, unless you wish to pre-book a routine one at your convenience, up to 2 weeks in advance. There will still be some 'urgent' same day appointments for those problems that can't wait until the next day, as well as telephone advice available from the GP.

To make this work effectively, we need your help to do the following:

1 Please help the receptionist to give you the most appropriate appointment - if you can explain a little about what you need, she will be able to help you. Perhaps the minor illness clinic would better suit your problem, or a telephone consultation with a GP would address your query.

2 Try to see the same GP for the same problem - even if you have to wait a little longer. This reduces the need for you to go through the problem again. Also, the doctor will have the results of any investigations that they may have organised.

3 Please book an appointment for the next day, or within the next 2 weeks.

4 Only use the same day appointments if your problem really can't wait. You may find that the GP will ring you first to discuss it.

We do understand the frustrations of trying to book an appointment with a GP, in particular with the GP of your choice, but we hope that these new arrangements will help. Demand will always outstrip capacity, but with your cooperation, we can tackle this problem together. Should you wish to discuss any of the above with the Practice Manager, Carole Brookes, please ring on 0117 916 2225.

Welcome to Dr Sharpe's new Practice Manager, Melanie Palfrey. For information about his surgery please ring her on 0117 968 3284 or 916 2219.

Community Funds

Grants for local groups. Modest funds have become available for community groups in the Shrehampton 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

St Mary's News

Hi Folks,

Here we are in July when many youngsters will be saying goodbye to school for ever and perhaps going out to start their first job or saying "goodbye" to their friends as they prepare to study at Universities at cities and towns far away. We wish them well as they enter this most important new step in life! But have no fear St Mary's is still here and we welcome Canon Christine back from a well deserved holiday in June when she was able to spend two short weeks with her son in America.

I am pleased to say that both our May Day and Spring Bank Holiday events, when we served lunches and cream teas in church, were a great success and raised the sum of 900 towards Church Funds. Thanks to all of you who supported these events because without you I could not record such a pleasing report.Everyone who attended the Parish Weekend at Glastonbury appeared to have enjoyed themselves.

This was led by Canon Douglas and Canon Ann Holt. I am told that one of the special highlights was the Strawberries and Pink Champagne. (There is no knowing what our congregation get up to when they are out of the parish!)Another very successful fund raising event was out 'Antiques Roadshow Evening.' This commenced with an absolutely wonderful four course meal to get us all in the mood for what was to follow.

Ray Brocklesbury provided a number of items for us to examine and each table of diners was asked to guess their value. Some estimates were ridiculously high and others ludicrously low, but it was all good fun and very entertaining. Also there were about 10 or 12 lots on display for which you could actually made a bid. Ray was an excellent auctioneer and all items available were sold. Not only was this a good fund raising evening but a marvellous social event enjoyed by everybody.

I think it is most important to convey to people that we are a lively bunch at St Mary's and you are missing out if you do not come and join us on Sundays and at our social events.Talking of Sundays, I have to tell you that we are engaged in running a joint Youth Alpha Course with the Baptist Church. This is ideal for young people between the age of 12 and 18 years who wish to know a little more about the Christian faith.

It is held on Sundays between 3 and 5pm, alternating between St Mary's and the Baptist Church and is led by Youth Worker  - Al. See Canon Christine or Gill Sawyer if you want any further information. On Tuesday 13th June we received a visit from pupils at Avon Primary School when Canon Christine explained the meaning and purpose of baptism.

We are very keen to maintain close liaison with our local schools as the school children of today will hopefully be members of our congregation tomorrow.Also in June, the local Guides held their Summer Fair inside the church and churchyard as it was a wonderful day for weather. I understand from Pat Davidson that their efforts raised the sum of 500 towards their much needed funds.

Again thank you to all of you who called in and supported this worthwhile cause.During the latter part of May we were delighted to welcome our friends from Shirehampton Methodist Church to our Sunday Holy Communion Service. The Rev David Alderman preached the sermon and the hymns were those written by John Wesley. After the service we were all able to have a taste of a Celebration Cake.

It is to be hoped that our Methodist friends will join us on another occasion in the not too distant future!Now that Summer is here, it is once more an occasion for our Open Gardens Season. If you would like to open your garden, with perhaps a little light refreshment, then please add your name to the list at the back of the church, giving the date and time you are prepared to invite visitors to your garden.

This again, is another very popular social event in our calendar. Any donations you care to make will be given to Church Funds.On Sunday 4th June one of our congregation was 91 years young. Gladys Dando looked absolutely magnificent for her age and her birthday was celebrated by sharing  a birthday cake with other members of the congregation.

Have you noticed how St Mary's always seem to be eating no matter what the excuse! Anyway Gladys, we hope you had a wonderful day and look forward to birthday number 92!!Sunday 30th July is the day of our Parish Outing to Exeter Cathedral. Add your name to the list if you wish to come, when it appears at the back of the church. It will be a case of first come - first served, as there will only be approximately 52 seats on the coach.

Don't miss out by failing to sign up! Now some advance notice of our Car Treasure Hunt on Friday, 4th August. This has been masterminded again this year by Tim Forder and will commence at 6pm from the Health Centre Car Park opposite the church. A list will appear during July at the back of the church for you to make your choice from the menu at the secret destination.

This is always great fun and Tim has the knack of selecting a superb venue for food. (Here we go mentioning food again!!) Keep your eye open for the list and the menu.As many of you will know the Right Rev Andy Radford, Bishop of Taunton died at the age of 62 years from a brain tumour. He will be a great loss to the diocese of Bath and Wells and indeed to the whole of the Christian community with his communication skills.

A card of condolence was signed by members of our congregation and sent with our prayers to his wife Christine and his daughters. A Memorial Service for Andy is to be held in Wells Cathedral on Monday 3rd July.Sadly, I also have to record the death of another member of our congregation - Sheila Fracz. Sheila was a long standing member of our congregation and was Secretary to the Rev Fernley Symons.

We extend out deepest sympathy to her Mother, husband Jan and other members of her family. Sheila will be sorely missed by us all but not forgotten.Now on another serious matter, I have to report that whilst Canon Christine was away from the parish on holiday, an attempt was made to burgle the church by forcing the lock on the West Door adjacent to the footpath in the Churchyard. Fortunately the Chubb type lock held and didn't give way and no entry was affected.

Grateful thanks is given to Tom Goslin who made an excellent repair to the woodwork of the door which is almost unnoticeable. We do appreciate Tom - your time and skills! This was not the only incident as Gill Sawyer discovered one morning obscenities written in red felt-tip pen all across our Notice Board adjacent to the churchyard path and on the churchyard gate posts facing Pembroke Road which Gill Sawyer removed by painting the graffiti out.

This is totally unacceptable anywhere but particularly at St Mary's which plays such an important role in the community. Imagine seeing such a thing in your wedding photographs! The final thing was three young men carrying a crate of lager through the village and they decided to turn off the High Street into the churchyard and use it as a toilet, urinating over the gravestones near the Co-op wall. Someone's Mother, Father or family member is burried there.

It is appalling that such conduct is going on in our village. St Mary's is part of village life - if you observe any sort of illegal activity taking place then dial '999'. you may get a response from the police if a unit is available in the locality. Finally, I have to tell you that we at St Mary's are like the shops in preparing early for Christmas! We have already booked the donkeys for our Christmas Crib Service on Christmas Eve. How's that then?

Bye for now - C.M.E.

Pets Corner

Thank you to those who have contacted us about the burial of their pet's ashes in our Garden of Remembrance. I am sorry that we have no facility to do this in the churchyard, but either I or Andy would be privileged to conduct a service for you elsewhere. The Garden of Remembrance referred to by Margaret and Eddie Shaw, in which Gizmo's ashes were sprinkled, is in their own garden.

Pets are a very important part of our lives, members of our families who we love and cherish. If those who have lost much loved pets need someone to talk to them please do give me a ring - 985 5450 or email me on

With best wishes - Canon Christine

The Rotary Young Chef Competition 2006T

his competition was open to Year 10 students in Bristol. After heats in the school, four students from Portway School qualified for the semi-final round which was held at St. Bedes School.James Huxtable, Sam Markes, Chris Wise and Ben Woods had to cook a 2 course healthy meal which cost less than 2.00. The Rotary Club judges were very complimentary about the high standard of practical work carried out by all the students in the competition.

Chris Wise won the semi-final with his entry of Stuffed Trout and fresh vegetables, followed by a tower of fresh fruit with raspberry puree. He went through to the final stage of the competition which was held at the Red Maid's School

Little boys accident Shirehampton

Lines on the death of two little boys, accidentally killed by Motor Dray, November 17th 1911

Short their little lives and pleasant 
Two small boys of Bradley Crescent,
Joy or sorrow sharing ever; 
Hand-in-hand they clung together.

So they leave Shirehampton School, 
As was their unfailing rule;
Hand-in-hand they are last seen 
Playing on the Village Green.

Hand-in-hand they pass away, 
Crushed by heavy motor dray.
Ere sin could blight or sorrow fade 
They stand before the throne arrayed

In spotless garments, hand-in-hand 
With  Angels in the better land.
And now with one last sad adieu! 
One little grave receive the two.

The village choir in robes of white 
With reverence hear their burden light
With lovely wreathes and poses fair 
Entwined with fronds of maidenhair

The sad procession wend their way 
Upon that dull November day.
The sorrowing parents, bowed with grief, 
In bitter tears find sad relief;

And as they slowly move along 
Amid the sympathetic throng
The organ's sweet and music swell 
And mingle with the tolling bell.

There in that peaceful burial ground, 
While friends in hundreds crowd around,
They sing, while tears are falling fast, 
"O God our help in ages past,"

With moistened eye the Vicar read 
The Solemn Service for the Dead
And then the sorrowing crowd address'd 
And told the mourners there how bless'd
Are they who seek the better land 
And join their loved ones hand-in-hand

Printed for the author, Mr C Davis of the Lower Village by a friend, to be sold at the price of one halfpenny per copy. After his long and most serious illness Mr Davis still needs practical sympathy

Sent to us by the grand-daughter of Mr C Davis, Mrs Margaret Thomas

... Ahoy There! ... TS Enterprise ... Avonmouth Sea Cadets ...

On Thursday May 11, TS Enterprise held their annual Royal Navy Inspection. The evening commenced at 7pm with the arrival of family and friends, and the assembling of the cadets in full blues on the main deck. The guests of honour were the Lord Mayor and the Lady Mayoress resplendent in their badges of office.

At 7.45pm the guard announced the arrival of the naval personnel The guard was marched onto the main deck, and they were followed by the commanding officer Lt Barbara Hillier, the District Officer, the Area District Officer and Commander N Hinch RN, who were invited to inspect the corps. After the inspection the Commander had a brief word with each member.

Stand easy for the cadets and a welcome cuppa for the adults was provided from the galley, and it was soon time for the entertainment of the evening - the Evolutions. This is a time for the cadets to show family and friends some of the skills they have gained since joining the unit. A good time was had by all. At the end of the evening a raffle was held, and the proceeds were added to the boat fund.

The RNI is a culmination of hard work, a mountain of paper and dedication from the cadets. As soon as one inspection is finished it is time to plan and improve on past performances. TS Enterprise have become the first winners of a new award following all their good work in the community. HPC Publishing and David and Christopher Howe of Varley Trophies, Plymouth, presented the cadets with the Howe HPC Trophy.

The award is presented annually to a Sea Cadet unit which, following the deliberations of the Warships International Fleet Review magazine, makes a significant contribution to the local community and whose activities have featured in the pages of the magazine.The winning unit also receive equipment worth 100. TS Enterprise are the first winners and will be presented with binoculars.

The unit has worked closely with a variety of charities and organisations in the Avonmouth area, including the Royal Naval Association, the fire brigade and police. During the past year the cadets have performed various duties such as guards of honour and standard bearers, and to celebrate 100 years since the Battle of Trafalgar 100 oak saplings were planted.

Mr Howe presented the prize to the unit's Commanding Officer Lt Barbara Hillier, and Lt Hillier said it was very pleasing to have the work of the cadets recognised and appreciated outside of the unit.Cadets meet at the River Station, Station Road near the Lamplighters Pub on Mondays - Seniors 6.45-8.45pm and Thursdays - Junior and Seniors 6.45-8.45pm. You know where we are, so come and have a look.

See you there. The Merchant Navy A/SS - Bristol and District Branch


On Friday 12th May, a celebration evening was held at the PBA Social Club, Shirehampton to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the formation of the M.N.A. Bristol Branch. This event was financed by a legacy from one of our members, Mr Stan Colenso and by the custodian Mr D Cary. The 179.05 which was raised by the raffle, will be donated to the Mission for Seafarers, Portbury.

Our thanks go to everyone who made this such an enjoyable evening, especially to Gerry and his staff at PBA for all their help, and to Mrs Good from Shirehampton and her team who provided an excellent buffet.

M Grant Treasurer, M.N.A. Bristol

R.S.V.P. Call for Tea Dance Committee Members

If ever an organisation had a name that was not memorable it is R.S.V.P. short for the Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme. As the initials are hardly unique, appearing on most invitations not to mention the competition from like named organisations - including a Dating Agency! - the name would have been changed, had it not been linked to the original R.S.V.P. in the United States.

We are linked to the very well known Community Service Volunteers and I describe ourselves as being the geriatric branch of C.S.V. The concept is to encourage over fifties to take up a selection of voluntary interests in their own locality with the minimum of bureaucracy but with the benefit of central support if required.The Tea Dances for the community which have operated in Lawrence Weston and Sea Mills are examples.

They have been running for over ten years and provide a friendly atmosphere which is so necessary for older people who may pluck up courage and venture alone into, what is to them, unknown territory. Recently, we have had to relocate the Sea Mills Tea Dance because the hall used for many years is being demolished and the move has been made to the Shirehampton Public Hall.

It is a wonderful location and I have personal memories of attending a Saturday night dance in 1941, in Home Guard uniform and wearing Army boots which served to emphasise the impetus travelling downhill on the sloping floor. The spring season has closed and it was planned for dances to resume in September. However, the sad death of David Tudor has put the whole future of the project in question.

Ideally, the organisers should live locally; David did not, but had the benefit of local connections, and I am now hoping that a small group will step into the breach so that the dances will be up and running come September. I am hoping that the thought of being a Tea Dance Promoter will appeal to some readers of the Shire and would be delighted to provide anybody who may be interested with any information they may require.

Please Contact:George Kebby Tel: 0117 9684644 Or Ash Bearman at Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF) 0117 982 9963Grainger Playersc/o 17 Pembroke AvenueShirehamptonBristol BS11 9SJ