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SCAF's Fundraising Dinner

Welcome to the World of Colour!

Shire is branching out and reproducing some photographs in colour. What better subject to launch this new venture than the Cotswold Gardens Competition.  We always welcome photographs from our readers and if they are of a suitable quality we hope to print a limited number in future editions.

Cotswold Gardens Impress Competition Judges

Every entry in the Cotswold Community Association's garden competition, Cotswold in Bloom, so impressed the independent judges that all scored above 75%, and were worthy of 'Highly Commended' certificates. At the July Presentation Evening at the end of judging week, Arthur Brice, who with Pete Clark of Blaise Nurseries had assessed the entries with meticulous thoroughness, spoke of how difficult it had been to choose the winning entries.

However, winners there had to be, and the results, given at the conclusion of an on-screen picture tour of all the entries were:

Front Garden: 1st Sue Radnedge; 2nd Irene Miller
Rear Garden: 1st Sue Radnedge; 2nd H. Escourt
Container Display: 1st Stan Tretheway; 2nd Linda Burand
Judges' Special Award: Rodney Coe, given for 'passion and enthusiasm'

This was the first year of 'Cotswold in Bloom', and it was such a success that it is almost certain that there will be another competition next year.

Above: Sue Radnedge's winning entry in the Rear Garden category in the Cotswold in Bloom competition.

Left: Snow White helps Rodney Coe win the Judges' Special Award for "passion and enthusiasm".


On the buildings, which are now being demolished of the old Imperial Smelting Corporation at St. Andrew's Road, Avonmouth there was a memorial to the employees who gave their lives in the 1939-45 war.

A replacement bronze plaque has been made by Rhodia and will be unveiled and dedicated in the Memorial Corner of St. Andrews Church on Thursday 31st August at 3pm The dedication will be carried out by the Arch Deacon of Bristol and any relatives, friends, or past employees of the Corporation will be most welcome to attend. For any further information about whose name is on the Memorial please contact Bob Chubb on 0117 9824638 or Alicia Dick at Rhodia 0117 9484234.

Community Fund

This is a second reminder that 'Shire' is again making available a modest amount of funding for local community groups. Applications are invited from any voluntary or charitable organisations or statutory bodies if the finance is required for non statutory purposes.

Please apply to the address below by 20th August, stating the name and purpose of your group, how much you require, how you would use any grant and whether you have raised any other funds for your project.  Shire Community Funds, c/o The Public Library, Station Road, Shirehampton, Bristol BS11 9TU.

"Anything Goes"

The Grainger Players 11th - 14th May

As always, we looked forward to the production of "Anything Goes" by The Grainger Players. We went to the performance on Saturday 14th  May only to find lots of empty seats. What a shame, you missed a wonderful evening. apparently there was a problem with the production not being advertised as much as usual. We felt for the Cast who put their all into the evening's entertainment, who might have thought "Was it all worth it"?

But it was worth it - lots of lovely singing and comedy too.Liz Hurd and Monica Doul together with all the Players do their utmost to keep the community spirit going in Shirehampton. The Village has lost so much, particularly with the closure of the Swimming Baths and Robin Cousins Sports Centre - there is virtually nothing for the young to do. Please support The Grainger Players and keep the Community Spirit going - it's so sad that so few want to give anything to the Community.

Back to the performance:- All the Cast, to Pianist, Nick White who jollied along the evening with his organ and guitar playing and singing and to Nicks daughters, Backstage hands, Lighting, organised by Denzil, of Stage Electrics, Lighting Director, Steve Curtis - Sound Set by Denzil (Jonathan Buck) - Sound Director Kayleigh Maggs, Programme & ticket Sellers, Raffle Co-ordinators, Stewards, Refreshment and to those Backstage, particular mention to Liz Hurd and Monica Doul whose only wish is to keep the community spirit in Shire and for people to support each other. Please forgive us if we have forgotten to mention everybody as everyone involved helped towards the very successful evening.

It was refreshing to see the 'younger element' taking part. There was beautiful singing and how those youngsters had the nerve to get on stage is heartening. The whole cast must be highly commended for caring about the community and giving their time for free. The Grainger Players continue to support the Bristol Branch of the Multiple Sclerosis Society and we are pleased to announce that the retiring collections raised the grand sum of 143. Sincere thanks to one and all. We look forward to the next performance in November.

Barrie & Marina GriffithsMS Society Bristol Branch


Q: Meriman's Road Does anyone have any interesting facts about Meriman's Road or any history about the houses there? Jane Simmonds Shirehampton Bristol

John Rogers asked: Does anyone have any pictures of the old Row Houses that were situated in Lower High Street next to Meadow Grove, they were demolished in the early 1950s and the bungalows built in their place. They were called 'The Bank'. I lived there from 1932 until 1937.J ohn Rogers, St. Louis, USA

Graham Weekes replies: I lived at 20 Meadow Grove, for many years through and after the war. Prior to living there my parents lived on the Bank where I was born about the time John Rogers refers to. My parents' names were Ernest and Doris Weekes and Mrs Gazzard who lived on the corner of Meadow Grove was my godparent. It would be interesting to know whether Mr Rogers recalls knowing them.

I left Shirehampton in 1956 to live in Frome, Somerset, but from time to time return to visit Shire and have fond memories of my childhood there. I look forward every month to Shire News which keeps me up to date with events, and some of those who I knew many years ago, and should anyone there remember me I would be delighted to hear from them. Email:


Bristol Central Library is 100 years old this year. A new, fully illustrated architectural and historical guide book to Bristol most popular 20th century building is available exclusively from Bristol libraries at a discounted price of 5.95.   Ask at your local library and reserve your copy.

Janet extends her role at the Group Practice

Janet Watts is well known to many of our patients already and has been a valuable part of the clinical team for some 3 years now. In addition to her expertise in diabetes, heart disease, asthma and COPD, Janet is now also a qualified Nurse Prescriber. This means that if, for example, you need antibiotics, Janet is able to prescribe these without reference to a GP.

Apart from Wednesdays, the minor illness clinic is available every day. Janet complements the GP team very well and can deal with a variety of minor problems, such as those listed below. It is very helpful when you telephone for an appointment, if you can give the receptionist some idea of the problem - she will then be able to advise you if an appointment with Janet would be the more appropriate option.

  • Sore thoat
  • Chest infection
  • Rashes
  • Cystitis
  • Coughs and colds
  • Eczema
  • Earache
  • Conjunctivitis

The only restriction is that Janet does not see under 2-year-old children. Janet continues to run her other clinics for diabetes, asthma, heart disease and COPD and if you are invited to attend any of these, please do so to ensure that your condition is carefully monitored and managed. Of course, if you have been seeing any of the GPs for an ongoing condition, please continue to see the same clinician.

To make an appointment, ring reception on 916 2225 option 1.

Thank you

The 'Shire' committee wishes to thank the ladies of the Methodist Bright Hour for their kind donation to the Shire Newspaper.

Destruction in the Public Hall Garden

Station Road Playgroup would like to express our deep dismay and shock of mindless vandals who, on the weekend of July 9th, destroyed the children's plants that were in the Public Hall garden. The children were growing tomatoes and beans to demonstrate how things grow from seeds. We realise that these 'citizens' probably will not read this, but if their parents are we hope you realise that we are trying to educate and encourage respect of the children's environment and surroundings and all our parents/cavers have respect and know where their children were over the week.

So we hope you are proud of your sons/daughters who have denied our children of a valuable learning experience. The children were devastated, as they have taken the time to produce and look after living plants - unlike the mindless thugs of Shirehampton our children have respect and this is at 2 and a half to 5 years of ago, so really you have no chance of ever growing up - do you?

Please, if you see anything or anybody suspicious within any of the grounds of the Public Hall and these vandals were quite obvious, please do not hesitate to phone the Police.

Station Road Playgroup

LDR "Bob" Sanderson Died 25th June 2006

Mr Bob Sanderson died peacefully from cancer at Southmead Hospital on 25th June 2006. Mr Sanderson was a teacher at Shirehampton Junior School from the early 1950s until April 1978 when he retired. He was also Secretary for the National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers for many years.

St. Mary's News

Hi Folks!, Firstly, may I begin by saying a big thank you to everyone who sent cards, good wishes and presents to Jill and myself on the occasion of our Ruby Wedding Anniversary on Sunday 9th July. It was most kind of you all and I hope you enjoyed the Anniversary Cake after the Sunday morning service.That same weekend was very special for another reason because it was our Patronal Festival.

On the Saturday morning we held our Summer Fayre and during the afternoon, whilst the Salvation Army entertained us with a programme of varied music, we were able to enjoy Cream Teas. The flower displays were very much appreciated together with a magnificent exhibition of Quilts expertly made by a member of our congregation - Christine Porter. She is most talented and has written a book on the subject. Signed copies of her book were also available for anyone to purchase.

If you missed the opportunity to purchase this book I am sure you will be able to get a copy if you make enquires at the Church Office. I am delighted to tell you that the event on that day raised the magnificent sum of 1400 and if you missed it you may still be lucky as there were a number of jars of jams and pickles etc., left over which are still available for purchase.On the Patronal Festival Sunday we were delighted to have the Sea Cadet Corps from TSS Enterprise as our guests.

This was particularly appropriate as that same day was also Sea Sunday. Andy Schuman - our Curate - who is also the Chaplain to the Sea Cadet Corp told us in his sermon how the Mission to Seafarers was first established. He also mentioned and showed slides of famous Sea Captains from the past. I had heard of all the Captains he mentioned but was a little sad when he didn't mention anything about Captain Pugwash!! But was somewhat surprisedand pleased when he presented the Corp with box of Bibles for issue to each member.

On that same day our own Rev. Trevor Hearn was on Radio 4 preaching from St. Stephens Church, City as it was the 150th Anniversary of the Mission to Seafarers. The Service was conducted by the Rev. Philip Auden who is the Priest to our local Mission to Seafarers at Royal Portbury Dock. St. Stephens was known many years ago as the Seafarers Church because it stood within yards of the Quay Wall when the sailing ships docked in the centre of our City.

Back in June we had a wonderful evening of music presented by the Avon & Somerset Police Choir, but the boys didn't have it all their own way, as we also heard some brilliant singing from eight ladies who appeared under the name of "Miscellany". The church was filled to capacity and this event raised the sum of 800 towards Church Funds.On the same day, Canon Christine invited all the Staff from our local Co-op Shop into the church for lunch, as they were all working so hard in order that the shop could be opened on the following Monday after it had received major refurbishment.

I think they all appreciated it and would have preferred to have had "forty winks" after such a meal instead of having to return to work! Nevertheless, if was pleasing to give them something in return for all their labours throughout the year. We were all very sad to learn of the death of Olive Forder - the Mother of our Organist Tim Forder. We send him our heartfelt sympathy together with other members of his family on their sad loss. Even when it is inevitable that a loved one is about to die it still comes as an awful shock and you are left with that feeling of emptiness afterwards.

Olive had not been well for some time and we are confident she is now in peace in God's care.On Monday, 3rd July, a Memorial Service was held in Wells Cathedral for the late Bishop of Taunton - the Right Rev Andy Radford who was a former Curate at St. Mary's. A number of us from St. Mary's attended including Jill and myself. It was a wonderful Service celebrating the life of a very talented man and was not at all morbid, in fact parts of it were extremely humorous.

Speakers at the Service included his brother and sister, Lord Carrey - former Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of Bath & Wells and Trevor Fry from Radio Bristol whom Andy trained as a  reporter for Religious Broadcasts. The music was sung by the Choir from Wells Cathedral and included the Girls Choir which was truly moving. His ashes have been interred in the garden at Wells Cathedral.

We have been delighted to have a young gentleman named Philip Cochrane on placement with us at St. Mary's for a month, including his wife Rachel, and two sons Tim and Dan. Philip is an Ordinand at Trinity College, Stoke Bishop. An Ordinand is a person who is in training to become a Priest. Philip has been with us to study how a typical parish functions, but with Canon Christine in charge can we really be called a typical parish?

I don't think I would be wrong to say we are now a very special parish as I believe there is keen competition by other Ordinands to be selected to spend time with us. We shall all be sorry to say farewell to Philip and his family, but hope to see him from time to time as he currently lives in St. Bernards Road. We are all sure he will make a wonderful Priest when the time comes round next year for his Ordination.Now for some news from Kids Klub.

All the children have been saving up money in "Goaty" Money Boxes to purchase Goats for a family in South India. So far they have saved up enough money to buy 3 herds of goats and are to be congratulated on their endeavours. Such a gift will be of great benefit to such poor people and of course hopefully the goat population will continue to further increase the benefits!

At 12 noon on Sunday 20th August Canon Christine will be leading a service of Songs of Praise with the Bristol Citadel Salvation Amy Band at The Bristol Flower Show on Durdham Downs. For further information please speak to Canon Christine. Now I have some information on our Senior Summer Sensation which is to run from Monday 21st until Friday 25th August (both dates inclusive). It is holiday club for the "over 70's". Each day will start in the church at 11.30am with Coffee and will be followed by a Speaker after which Lunch will be served at 1pm.

After lunch "Entertainment" will be provided before Tea & Cakes at 3.30pm and the day will finish by 4pm in time for you to take a leisurely stroll home. One of the days will include a Coach Trip - and the cost? Just 35 which includes all food and drink for the whole week and of course the Coach Trip. If you are interested then add your name to the list at the back of the Church. All Senior Citizens over the age of 70 years will be most welcome.

On August Bank Holiday Monday - 28th August there will be an Open Garden Day at The Vicarage, when Coffee, Lunch & Tea will be provided at truly moderate prices. Come for part of the day or even the whole day if your are at a loose end with nothing else to do on that Bank Holiday - you certainly won't starve! I now have some advance news for functions in September and early October - so open your Diaries or you may miss out! At 7pm on Tuesday 12th September, you are invited to our "Alpha Guest Supper" where you can hear all about the next proposed "Alpha Course" to be held this Autumn.

This is an ideal way to learn a bit more about the Christian faith in an extremely relaxing way. Speak to Gill Sawyer or Canon Christine if you require further details. Finally, on Saturday 7th October we shall be host to the world famous "Morriston Orpheus Choir". This is a very well known Welsh Male Voice Choir and they advertise their performances internationally. We have already had enquiries and sold tickets to people abroad who will be visiting England on that date.

If it is your intention to come then you are strongly advised to buy your tickets now as there is a high demand for them. Leave it too long and you may well miss out on what will be a first class musical evening of singing. Well, that's all for this month. I'll have another chat with you in September - doesn't the time simply fly by? 'Bye for now!


Money advice service

Lots of people get into debt these days, for lots of different reasons. This may be for reasons which people have little or no control over, such as losing a  job, becoming ill, a relationship breakdown or just not being able to budget.

It can result in not being able to find the money to pay the main bills, such as food, children expenses, electric, gas, rent and council tax.Often people find it hard to juggle their money and even if they are making payments, they find the debt never seems to reduce, because of the interest added. Some people get threatened that they will be taken to court or that a bailiff may call round to take their furniture. Some people want to become bankrupt.

Being in debt that be very humiliating and embarrassing, and can lead to stress and other health problems because of the worry. It can cause arguments in families and parents find they are snappy with each other or even to the children. We can help you to take control of the situation and be able to manage your finances.

We will ensure your creditors get a fair distribution of any spare money you have available and ask for any interest to be frozen.Sometimes people on benefits have no spare money so we end up making small token offers to the creditors. We will also advise you about bankruptcy. Recent figures indicate that people becoming bankrupt has increased by nearly double than the previous year. We will get you back in control of your finances again.

The Money Advice Service is available the Avon University Settlement at 115 High Street, Shirehampton. Tony, the advisor, can see you at the drop-in sessions on Wednesday and Thursday between 9.30am and 11.30am.


Capital Limits for means - tested benefits went up from 10th April 2006. The lower limit for income support (IS) and income-based jobseeker's allowance (JSA) has gone up from 3,000 to 6,000. The upper limit has gone up from 8,000 to 16,000, bringing it in line with housing benefit (HB) and council tax benefit (CTB). There is no change to pension credit (PC) capital limits.

How does this effect people? Claimants with capital above the old lower limit of 3,000 but below the new lower limit of 6,000 should no longer have any tariff income included in their IS, JSA, HB or CTB. This will result in some claimants benefits increased. Those with capital above the old upper limit of 8,000 but below the new upper limit of 16,000 may now be entitled to IS or JSA and should now consider making a claim.

If you would like advice to see if this affects you, please contact Tony at the Avon University Settlement, at 115 High Street, Shirehampton. Tel 982 9399Tony, can see you at the drop-in sessions on Wednesday and Thursday between 9.30am and 11.30am. He also has appointments available.


ENROLLING NOW! Call into the Stoke Lodge Centre or your local library to pick up your copy of the new Annual Course Guide, listing hundreds of courses covering art and crafts, music and dance, languages, cooking and computing, gardening and construction, special interest and well being.

Many courses starting in mid September. Stoke Lodge Centre, Shirehampton Road, Stoke Bishop, Bristol BS9 1BN Tel: 9038844

Long Service Award

John Keenaghan, President of the Western Counties Branch, C.I.U. visited Avonmouth Workmen's Club on Saturday 24th June 2006 to present Arthur W. J. Price with a Long Service Award.

Pictured (left to right) Christine Price, Peter Browne (Secretary), Arthur Price (Trustee) and John Keenaghan.

Olive (Betty) Forder

Frank, Judy, Terri and Tim would like to express our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to all our friends in Shirehampton, Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston, for their kindness, cards and support on the loss of a much loved wife and mother. Olive passed peacefully away in Southmead Hospital on 20th June at the age of 85. She will be sadly missed.

Thank you for your donation to 'Shire' - Ed.


In loving memory of my dearest friend Grace, passed away 27 June 2005. Memories of our times together will always be with me. Miss you - Nora


Edna and her family would like to thank their friends and neighbours for the cards, flowers and support at a very difficult time. Thank you.

A Sincere Thank You

Thank you to everyone concerned for their good wishes, cards, gifts and visits during my recent stays in hospital and enforced housebound period. Hopefully I shall be out and about again soon, and look forward to seeing you all. Thank you all again very much.

Mary Howell.

Thank you for your donation to 'Shire' - Ed.

Pedal Power

Parents complete a 13 mile bike ride to raise funds to repair the children's playground and fence. the friends of St Bernards want to thank them for their support.

Bradley Crescent Memories

Dear Editor
I was visiting Brenda Partridge recently, who lives in Priory Rd. She showed me a photograph of her mother standing outside their shop which was 82 Bradley Crescent.
Her mum, who was Flora Matthews, then 18, is standing with her mother, Granny Hopkins.
Brenda thinks the photograph was taken 100 years ago.  Brenda asked me to pass it to 'Shire'. If you need any more information could you let me know.
Sincerely, Julie Smith
Churchwarden at St Mary's, Shirehampton

Charles Havvock

Charles Havvock, known as Chuck 'crossed the bar' on 3rd July 2006, aged seventy-three, after a long illness. He was educated at St Mary's Redcliff School, Bristol. He played rugby for the school team. When he left school he enrolled on the Training Ship Vindicatrix at Sharpness for pre-sea training. He joined his first ship, the ss Groningen as cabin boy and served in the catering departments of various foreign-going ships, e.g. the Movaria, Ariguani and Bayano on the North Atlantic and Caribbean and also the Juno and Apollo on the short sea trade.

His last ship was the Bayano where he served as Captain's steward, or tiger, colloquially speaking.Chuck married Maureen in 1954 and decided to leave the sea the following year. He then joined the Royal Army Service Corps where he completed his National Service. He then worked for some years as a stevedore with the Port of Bristol, but later was employed as a tanker driver with Esso and Regent.

Chuck was a keen member of the Bristol branches of the Merchant Navy Association and the Vindicatrix association. He was honoured last year by being presented with a Certificate of Commendation by the Lord Lieutenant of Bristol, Jay Tidmarsh, in recognition of his 32 years of service to the TS Enterprise, Avonmouth Sea Cadet Unit, and TS 'Adventure' in Bristol.He provided valuable support and advice to the young cadets over the years.

Chuck was happiest with his family around him and 'swinging the lamp' with his shipmates. His fortitude and courage as he fought his illness increased the respect we had for him. The very moving funeral service at Canford Lane Crematorium was conducted by Canon Christine Froude of St Mary's Church, Shirehampton, on Thursday 13th July, 2006.The coffin was carried into the crematorium by Chuck's fellow offices of the Sea Cadet Service.

A guard of honour was provided by the young sea cadets of the Avonmouth Unit, TS 'Enterprise', Shirehampton, Commanding Officer Lt Barbara Hillier. Two Standard Bearers from Bristol Merchant Navy Association Branch, 'Wings' Barry and David Caple and also Derek Mantle from Pill and North Somerset Branch were in attendance during the service.'Farewell now our shellback friend, a good watch kept to the very end'Chuck is survived by his wife Maureen, son Andrew and daughter Beverley, also six grandchildren, Ros, Georgina, Molly, Abagail, Ellie and Charlotte who all sadly miss him.

Captain H.H. Grant, Chairman
Merchant Navy AssociationBristol Branch

A.K Stores

Residents of the Cotswold estate have become very fond of the owners of their shop, A.K. Stores in Nibley Road. After all, is a Tesco Express manager ever likely to give you a pot of curry to take home with your morning paper, just because you said you liked the smell of his breakfast wafting from the back room?

Add to that the gifts of food for Community events, the free delivery to people who had problems getting out, and the cheerful chat over the counter, and it's small wonder that the little shop, packed from floor to ceiling and wall to wall with goodies was such a popular place.  So it caused much sadness when Kulwant Singh and Amar Kaur announced they were leaving for Oxford.their customers wanted to show their appreciation of what the Singhs had meant to the community.

A collection was made, and Julwant and Amar were given a parting gift of Bristol Blue Glass.Inevitably, making the presentation on a Saturday morning in June was not allowed to pass without yet another gesture from the popular couple, as everyone there was treated to wine and as many of Amar's marvellous home-made onion bhajees as they could eat.  The A.K. Stores continue to trade under their new owners, Gary and Jeanette, and residents look forward to taking them to their hearts as they did their predecessors.

50 Word Stories

Every word counts, because the story must be told in only fifty words. Some of them save the last five words for a conclusion. Sent in by Portway School.

A long time ago there was a man and woman called Adam and Eve. God warned them not to eat the fruit. Then Satan made them eat the fruit. What to do? Touch the apple? Eat a little bit of the apple? No, hard!"God was angry. Very angry.
by Charlotte Phillips

Adam and Eve were the first humans to set foot on the Earth.They did not know any sin. But Satan knew there was a forbidden fruit that if they ate it, then God's anger would be so strong that Adam and Eve would be cast out into the wilderness.They did Satan's bidding. Sin.
by Polly Cloves

God made Adam one day and Adam was all lonely and he needed copmany.So, one day Adam cut his own rib out of his body and made Eve. Adam and Eve were the only people on Earth. All alone. They couldn't eat anything, ever. More people are made today.
by Shayrika Farrell

The Tree! First of all God made a garden and then he made Adam and Eve, but Eve was made from one of Adam's ribs. They were sitting under the forbidden apple tree and a snake went by and tempted them to eat an apple.  Now they live in the wilderness.
by Alexander Hills

The world was created that day when God made Adam. Adam was getting bored in the garden, that God created for him. So he took his rib out for God. God created Eve. They wanted God's power for themselves. They were forced to go ... never seeing the garden again.
by Frazer Tweedie

Alcoholism can tear a family apart

Alcoholism can tear a family apart anytime, but somehow this time of year seems to bring things to a head.Summer is a time when problems with alcohol can become highlighted. Some families dread the barbecue season. Will he, or she, be more drunk and agressive than usual? The children will become upset and confused listening to all the arguing and shouting.

They will wonder why Mum is crying and Dad is so angry; they often think it might be their fault. If you are upset by someone else's abuse of alcohol, there is understanding and help for you.A1-Anon Family Groups, which has been established over 50 years, is a worldwide organisation for families and friends of problem drinkers.

Everything is confidential. Further information about A1-Anon in your local area can be obtained from:A1-Anon Family Groups UK & Eire61 Great Dover Street, London SE1 4YFTel: 020 7403 088 for dertails of local Groups. Fax: 020 7378 9910. Website:

Time Remembered

Absentmindedly I was gazing into a Charity Shop Window where I saw a couple of stone hot water bottles - how they brought back memories of staying at my Granny's House, where they were the things which aired the beds. Does anyone else remember them being used in those far off days before central heating and electric blankets?

The other day my grandson in Bath rang me to say that he was doing a school project on the second World War and what were the toys we had then? For a moment I was stumped and said that I would ring him back the next day. On making various enquiries, all sorts of things were suggested - celluloid dollies, marbles, tops, hoops, skipping ropes, different board games, wooden bricks with pictures on the outside.

I tried to explain hopscotch to my grandson, he was mystified. I shall be interested if he gets a good mark for his writing after my help. What are your memories of wartime toys? Metal was not available and I think some lucky children had hand made wooden toys to play with. Otherwise we just used our imagination - didn't we?

Portway School News

New Uniform goes to blazers!

Students at Portway Community School have voted to change the school uniform to a blazer and tie from September 1st. The decision was taken after a secret ballot of existing students, as well as Year 6 students and Kingsweston students who are joining Portway in September. The school council, comprising 15 students, visited a uniform factory to see for themselves the many different styles available.

After lengthy discussions, three styles were chosen: polo shirt with sweatshirt, blazer and tie, blazer without tie. Four students then modelled the new uniform in assemblies and the blazer and tie won by a clear margin.The black blazer, shirt and trousers can be bought from any outlet selling school uniform but the tie and badge must be bought from the school. The council thought it was important that costs should be kept down, so existing students have one year to change over.

Headteacher David Hebden said: 'The students managed the whole process, working closely with APC Schoolwear in Bedminster. They felt a change was needed to go with our new buildings and decided that generally speaking, good schools wear blazers.'

Year 8 team win finance competition

A team of Year 8 students has won a city-wide finance competition run by Clerical/Medical. The brief was to create a game in any format to make students more aware of personal finance issues. The team decided to make a film based on an original quiz show format of 'Money Police'. In the game, any student who needs urgent financial advice, such as organising a party or saving money for a present, can ring an emergency number and the Money Police would visit with good advice.

The judges, which included BBC staff as well as the Head of Finance for Bristol University, praised the team for its 'astute understanding of financial issues' and the 'clever way in which the idea could be developed.'The team, comprising Katie Andrews, Lauren Hooper, Jade Harvey, Natasha Simpson-McCardle, Katrina Neate, Jess Townsend and Sarah Steward won an engraved glass trophy as well as a trip to the BBC.

History Department

Following an appeal in 'Shire' for local people to visit the school and talk about their experiences during the war, Richard Williams of the History Department wishes to thank all who contacted him as a result and for the outcome. Local historian Ralph Hack, Bob Chubb a school governor at Shirehampton Primary School, and Vic Wiltshire visited the school and were interviewed and told stories about the war in Shire and Avonmouth and their own personal war time experiences.       


Bob Chubb and Vic Wilshire sharing memories of the war

For example, all three were school children when the war started out but by the end Ralph was in Berlin and Vic in Sierra Leone helping bomb U boats.The children really enjoyed the opportunity and valued the time given by the three gentlemen.

Severn Four growth continues

Severn Four Credit Union, a local community organisation working in Shirehampton, Avonmouth, Lawrence Weston and Sea Mills, is going from strength to strength. The credit union encourages people to save money regularly, and offers an alternative to high interest loan companies. Membership continues to grow as more and more people learn about the benefits of joining and soon there will be new collection points (where members can pay in money) in Shirehampton and Sea Mills.

In 2005, 156 new loans were approved and savers received a dividend of 3%. The credit union also runs a children's saving scheme - "Money Munchers" - in 6 local primary schools. "MyBank", the saving scheme for teenagers, will be launched in September at St Bede's secondary school. With the removal of the Post Office card account in the near future, Severn Four is looking to provide an alternative service for pensioners. This will mean that they don't have to open a bank account in order to receive their pension.

Severn Four Credit Union drop-in
Fridays 9.30-2pm
115 High St, Shirehampton, Bristol, BS11 0DE
Tel: 938 1439
Drop in to save or borrow - by supporting us you'll also be helping your local community!

MARY ELIZABETH PARSONS 27 April 1928 - 10 June 2006.

On behalf of my family and myself I wish to express our thanks and gratitude to all the many friends and relations who kindly attended the funeral service of my dear wife on Friday 23rd June 2006 and for all the wonderfully thoughtful messages and cards received which were very much appreciated. Having lived in Portbury in recent years, Mary had always wished to return to Shirehampton.

We thank Canon Christine for enabling this and for the very beautiful memorable service she conducted at St Marys Church, together with everyone involved in the ceremony. Also for her exceptional kindness in visiting my daughter Christine and myself whilst in our various hospitals during this sad time.Mary was very much loved and will be greatly missed.

Thank you all once again, John Parsons

Thank you for the donation to 'Shire' - Ed.


We should like to thank Mrs Waller of Churchleaze for all the years she has delivered Shire. We understand from her husband, that she is one of the people who has been part of the delivery team from the very beginning, which is a very long time indeed. Mrs Waller has decided to retire and has kindly found someone who has agreed to take her place.

We welcome Dawn Williams as a new door to door deliverer.  As you may know the distribution of the paper is one of its main strengths. Let me take this opportunity on behalf of Shire Admin to thank all the voluntees, past and present for their continuous efforts to get Shire to our readers.


Sad Little Cottage

The 'sad little cottage' was indeed a well loved, happy family home to my grandparents, Mary and Charles Davis (the author of many poems including Penpole, Titanic and The Two Small Boys of Bradley Crescent). They were married in St Mary's, Shirehampton on 28th September 1874. They did not immediately take up residence in 'The Thatched Cottage' as it was then named but were certainly there in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

It was there that they raised their fourteen children - obviously not all at once. Two or three died in infancy and by the time the youngest ones came along, the elder ones were grown up and left home. At the time the lease on The Thatched Cottage included a tract of land at the foot of Penpole where my grandfather grew onions. I enclose a photograph of the cottage when it was the family home with my Grandfather and one of his sons in the foreground.

The plaque on the wall C Davis, Sweep is clearly visible. My Grandfather was a man who was very observant of life around him, with a strong sense of humour and a great love of life and nature. This is evident from the letter he wrote to his nephew from a Sanatorium in Weston-super-Mare where he had gone to convalesence after his foot was amputated as a result of an injury becoming infected by the soot.The thatch was replaced by a tiled roof in 1910 and was subsequently renamed.

Unfortunately I do not know the new name. I did hear a couple of years ago that it had been purchased and was to be renovated, but I see from the item in the latest Shire that this endeavour has failed.I also enclose a poem written by one of his grandchildren showing how well loved this little cottage was.It is very sad to see it in its present state and I do hope that it can be developed in some way.

Yours sincerely, Mrs Margaret Thomas

The Beloved Home- Lower Shirehampton

Ah! This beloved home,
Below the hill,
where Grandad raised his family,
Is still

As much a pub to me
As any inn.
Here, the strongest & the best
Scintillated his rhymes -
Aye, he made them twain -
And here, his cronies drank,
Time and again.Most inns, I find, I love for atmosphere;
Yet love grape, apple, grain - both there & here.
And even now I see, his gardens beyond -
Graced by many an apple-tree.


The old home of Charles & Mary Davis referred to in the script as 'the Thatched Cottage'.

Bus Pass Bonanza

If you find your over-60 friends aren't at home much this summer, don't be surprised. They're probably taking advantage of "Gordon's Gift" - the Chancellor's Budget announcement that from April 2006 Senior Citizens would travel free on their local buses. And Shirehampton people have been discovering just how wide "local" is.Try to get on a bus to Weston these days, and you'll have a job: pensioners with a passion for pleasure will be packing the double-decker enjoying their free ride to the Somerset high-life.

Shirehampton people have a great advantage with the Portway Park & Ride. This gives them free and fast transport to Broadmead, where the Bus Station waits to be their gateway to the world - literally so, as one of the services that operates free  for bus holders is the Bristol Airport Flyer. Unfortunately, though, once at the airport the free riding stops: you have to pay for your plane to New York in the usual way.But if it's foreign travel you want, there's one trip you can make: catch the X14 to Newport and visit wonderful Wales.

Stop off in Chepstow and spend a day exploring the castle, or walking part of the Wye Valley Way or Offa's Dyke Path. A tip if you want to get as long a day as you can in Wales is to board the bus at Westbury Village at 9.05am or Cribbs Causeway 9.13am. That way you can get the bus that will have left the bus station at 8.50am, ten minutes before the bus pass is valid.But if you prefer to stay this side of the border, there are a host of attractive places in Somerset and Gloucestershire you can go to, all for free.

The X39 to Bath is a good choice; buses every 12 minutes go there, so you can pop over for a morning or afternoon, and be back in time for "Neighbours".Taking a little longer, but giving you an excellent day out are the 375 and 376 to either Bridgwater or Yeovil, both taking in Wells, Glastonbury and Street on the way. If you'd rather sample Gloucestershire's delights, then a bus to Wotton under Edge or Dursley might be your ticket, giving you the chance to sample beautiful walks on the Costwold Way.

Wiltshire's in your range too: the 635 will take you to Chippenham. But beware: you catch that at Colston Street, not the Bus Station. However, the Park & Ride still stops conveniently near in the Centre.And the news gets even better. The rule governing bus pass use says: "Card holders can travel for FREE on journeys which start and finish within the area illustrated on the map. Journeys can extend beyond this boundary, subject to no change of bus being required"

This means that if you were to travel, for example, to Bath, you could then get a bus from Bath (which is in the area covered) to places such as Melksham, Bradford on Avon, Warminster or Salisbury. In fact any journey that doesn't require a change of bus outside the bus pass area is valid, even if your destination itself is beyond it. Pack your lunch-box, get travelling!

Letters to the Editor

Your child's rights

Dear Editor,

I have a son who has Neuropsychiatric disorder. My son  attends an Emotional Behavioural Disorder (EBD) school. He has spent most of his young life on medication. Now that he is into his teens he has decided not to take his medication. In recent times I have had his school on my case enquiring as to why I haven't given my son his medication, as they feel I should be.

For all you parents out there I am writing this article to inform you of your Childs rights under The Code of Practice, Mental Health Act 1983, Children and Young People Under the Age of 18.Under the Act; Consent to medical treatment 29.7a states - If a child has 'sufficient understanding and intelligence' they can take decisions about their own medical treatment in the same way as an adult.

Other wise the permission of parents/guardians must be sought (save in an emergencies where only the treatment necessary to end the emergency should be given). If parents/guardians do not consent to treatment, consideration should be given to both the use of Child Care Legislation and the Mental Health Act before coming to a final conclusion as to what action should be taken.

If you or your child has taken the decision not to take medication, the person/s who have charge of your child are well with in their rights if a difficult situation occurs which compromises the safety of the child and/or others, to contact the police under The Code of Practice, Mental Health Act 1983. The Police Power to Remove to a Place of Safety (section 136).

Miss Shass Blake

'Bright and sunny'

Dear Editor,

I was sad to hear of the death of the Rt Rev Andy Radford, Bishop of Taunton. Andy was curate at St Mary's, Shirehampton, in the mid-1970s and from the start you knew you were in for something different.

It was that boyish grin, the trendy denim-style jacket and mildy unruly hair that caught the eye first. And then you met his energy, optimism, ease-of-nature and joy in the people around him, whoever they were. You couldn't help but like Andy.

Above all, he had an affinity with young people. It wasn't long before a new youth club was set up at the church and Andy embodied its outlook: bright and sunny. He had the knack of seeming to be "one of us' without relinquishing the respect and admiration he engendered in all of us. In the language of today's teenager, he was cool.

I don't recall many religious discussions at those club meetings. The few that Andy gave were wordly-wise and relevant to the 'stuff' we were going through as teenagers. Like the stylish radio broadcaster that he was, he knew his audience. Far better to lead by example, to show the way to be. And at that he was excellent.

Julian Pike, Cirencester

Overgrown and overlooked!

Dear Editor,

I live in Walton Road, and like many of the side streets in Shirehampton as far as cleaning is concerned we seem to be overgrown and overlooked! There are weeds growing in the gutters and in the pavements and the street looks generally dirty and neglected. I have waited in the hope that a street cleaner may come and address the problem, but no such luck!

Today I decided something needed to be done, so I took matters into my own hands and armed with the necessary tools I cleared the gutters outside my home, not an easy job as I live in one of the privately owned bungalows in Walton Road so there is quite a long length of gutter to be cleared.

Surely it's about time the council addressed the problem and made an effort to clean up the streets of Shirehampton! Is it right that the High Street is regularly swept but the side streets are forgotten, surely not? We all pay our council tax after all.

Regards, Mike Pemberton

Beyond the Call of Duty

Dear Editor,

I am writing to inform you of a new book that I have written entitled Beyond the Call of Duty. It gives a critical account of every shipping disaster during the Second World War which involved the  loss of British Commonwealth mercantile and service women.

Just hours after Britain and France had declared war on Germany the Donaldson Liner Athenia (4 women lost) was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat in the Atlantic. The repercussions that followed ensured that mercantile movements were to be largely deployed in escorted convoys for the rest of the war. Many mercantile women decided to continue in their respective shipping companies. In four separate cases the George Medal was awarded for outstanding and unselfish bravery.

This powerful and largely unknown subject also includes the story of the City of Benares (4) which was transporting evacuee children to Canada, and Aguila, which claimed the lives of all 22 service women on board. A chapter deals with the evacuation of Singapore; 21 women survivors of the Vyner Brooke, which was suck by Japanese aircraft, where shot in the back in cold blood by Japanese soldiers at Muntok beach, on Bangka Island. Another 34 women were lost in the Ceramic, 11 more in the hospital ship Centaur and a staggering 77 service women, a third of the final total, in the troopship Khedive Ismail, the worst maritime disaster involving the loss of women in our entire history.

The late Shirehampton - born Percival Crabb of 26 Priory Road survived the sinking; 1,297 unfortunate souls didn't. The book also includes the losses of twenty-eight merchant ships and the loss of one Royal Naval vessel. It includes many appendices, including the names and details of the 222 service/mercantile women lost at sea during the war.

It also includes a list of honours and awards given to some of the women in this story and others. Cased hardback (full-colour laminated), x + 310 pages, index, 252mm x 192mm and printed on quality long-life paper with 118 excellent black and white illustrations. Launched 1 June 2006 @ 24 and published by Shaun Tyas (an imprint of Paul Watkins Publishing). Telephone 0117 9737613 (daytime) or 01275 844229 (evenings).

Any orders made in the area of Bristol can be delivered by hand.

Yours faithfully, Brian James Crabb (who used to live at 156 Nibley Road and is proud to be a Shire lad)

Shire in the 1950s

Dear Editor,

Thank you so much for publishing my article, Harvest Festival, in the SHIRE newspaper. This is one of many short stories that is being published later this year, in a book entitled SHIRE. The publishers are Publish America. The stories are about growing up in Shirehampton during the 1950s.

My other book, River of Passion, is also centred on Shirehampton and is a historical novel. It begins in the Bronze Age and finishes in 2008. Each chapter is a different era of history but each chapter has a different story. Publish America is planning to publish River of Passion later this year or early 2007.

Kind regards, Angela Thompson Smith (nee Powell)

Happy memories

Dear Editor,

Were you there? Page 5 July issue (Kingsweston School) - yes I was. What happy memories that picture brought back. I don't think Stephen forgot any of the names. If I remember rightly he was the class joker, a real cheeky chappie.

I remember making daisy chains at break time under the cedar tree at the back of the house, and threading daisy heads onto pine needles. Good memories of nature walks around the estate ending up at the Folly at the top by the iron bridge, and the whole class shouting 'Mr Echo' just to hear the echo back from the house.

The house has always had a place in my heart, walking with my parents, then walking the dog in the grounds as a teenager, and taking my sons there when they were little. Quite recently my eldest was married in the house and the reception was held in the classroom, which I remember as being the one I used on my first day at school. The house is very important to me and mine.

Irene Cambridge, nee Husher

Dear Editor,

Do cyclists have a separate set of laws to abide by? Waling on the pavement in the High Street is often a hazardous business. Cyclists - young and less young - riding on them. Do they know it's actually an offence to do so? There is, if the police choose to enforce it, a fixed statutory penalty of 20 I believe.

As well as using pavements as cycle-ways, I often see dark shapes at night - cyclists with no lights, One Way streets mean nothing at all to them. If I drove my motor car on a pavement or without lights, I am sure the police would soon notice me. Why then do they take no notice of the villainous cyclists? Maybe it's the paperwork involved - time consuming, yes, but why not have a purge on the pavement peril, perhaps it would stop these minor offenders becoming major offenders later. Let them see that the law applies to them as well.

D J Hinksman

Dear Editor,

I would like to record my distress at the condition of Shirehampton Cemetery. I have visited twice in the last few weeks and on both occasions I was upset to see how un-kept the grassed area has become. It must be at least 2 feet high in some places and looks like a wasteland. I do not appear to be alone in this opinion, many people I spoke to at the cemetery were amazed and upset to see how rundown in appearance the whole area had become.

I rang Canford to enquire the reason for the un-cut condition at the cemetery, to be told that the grass had become so long, they did not have the machinery or manpower to keep it tidy. Apparently a larger and better mower is in the pipe line, but it could be 2 months or more before the final resting place of our loved ones is afforded the respect they deserve by penny pinching Bristol City Council: who seem to be hell bent in turning Shirehampton and the local area into a wasteland in more ways than one.

On the other hand, I would like to say a thank you to the men who work at the cemetery, who have been trying so hard to keep it tidy and well tended, in the face of what must be a never ending round with the lawn mower. I would like to express that my feelings are in no way a criticism of the way they try to keep everything nice, I dread to think what it would look like but for them. Many thanks, and come on Bristol City Council, how would you feel if it was your loved ones hidden under a sea of grass??

Yours sincerely, B Green

Dear Editor,

Brian Cadman at Bristol City Planning office has changed and overridden a covenant made by Bloor Homes at the time of building my and fifty other houses on the Wylands development behind the Bristol Conference Centre, no notification was given to any of the home owners of this change. To summarise, the covenant confirmed that eight units would be built for the sale intention of being for over 60s affordable housing - this was in 1996.

In ten years no construction work has taken place until January this year when residents noticed that surveyors had arrived on site.A telephone call to Sovereign Housing Association confirmed they were planning to start building but no longer for over 60s, they would be offering the units to the top eight on the housing list at the time of completion. Needless to say I and all the other owners on this development are incensed that a covenant can be changed without any notification to owners on this development.

A group of concerned owners including myself are now in the process of seeking legal advice and are in consultation with local councillor Spud Murphy.I saw the article in 'Shire' a out the Jubilee Allotments and the difficulties the residents of Myrtle Drive are having and can commiserate.

Patricia Todd (extracts from a letter)

Report from PC Gareth Davies... Your Beat Manager

The crime prevention I can offer the communities is hopefully to deter the opportunist burglar paying a call to your address, as follows-:

1. Prior to going out to visit anyone or to the local shops, carry out a last minute check of your doors and windows to make sure they're locked. At night, leave a light on and some background music.

2. Don't leave any items in view of the public in the main window.

3. If you are going away for long periods, holidays, shift work, let someone know, eg neighbours you can trust, family members, etc that you will be away so they can visit your house and pull the curtains together, turn on lights, put on that radio (for background music) and generally check that everything is in working order.

4. Don't forget to cancel your papers and milk. A large collection of milk or papers pushed through your letterbox can indicate to the thief that you are not at home!

5. Don't advertise the fact that you will be away by talking to your neighbour/friend in your street - there might be someone listening!

If you need assistance with your household security, please don't hesitate to ask. I find that my experience in this area of household security is being called upon more frequently.You can also assist the police to cut down crime in your area by a few simple questions that you can ask yourself:

Who is that person or person's vehicle paying attention to that house/shed/car? If it looks out of place, then it is - so ... Quickly write down the person's description, age, gender and colour of hair, clothing, colour of the car, registration number of the car, occupants. If you have elderly people, vulnerable persons living in your street, look after them, if you see people at their door who look out of place, and your elderly/vulnerable neighbour looks intimidated, confused, frightened, phone the police, it's worth that phone call, they may be trying to distract/trick your neighbour into letting that person into their house.It pays to be vigilant' it's all part of being a good neighbour/friend! You might have to rely on them in the future.

You might be the next victim!The numeric LIGHT might help you to remember - and keep light-fingered off your property.


There has been a significant arrest of an offender in our district linked to numerous burglaries - this is just one main offender linked to burglaries, there are more!THEFTThe grass is growing now and the time to cut your grass and hedges is now upon you, but when you go to your garage or garden shed, the electrical items you used last year have been stolen.This time of the year is the opportunist's time of the year - they go hunting around your community.

They will hunt for the insecure shed/garage, they will force that old lock away from your rotten wood shed, and they will look over your fence for your child's bike and garden furniture, if it's not bolted down or secured, they will steal it.There has been a significant decrease in shop thefts in the village of Shirehampton. When you go shopping or visiting in your village, please remember to place your vehicle in a well-lit area, remember to place your valuables out of sight, don't advertise that you have just purchased a brand new item; you don't know who might be watching you!

Remember to look around you when obtaining cash from the 'hole in the wall'. Don't count or advertise the money near to where you have drawn it from, only draw out the money you will need for that day, not for the week. Keep your handbags secured to your persons. This dramatic drop in reported theft is mostly due to the stores' CCTV, it's wonderful stuff, the thief goes out to steal, he/she is caught on the stores' CCTV, it's reported to me or my colleagues, I/we go along to view the evidence, the offender is identified, they are arrested and prosecuted.

CCTV is the way forward, you can buy a complete set for as little as 45 from your local retail store. This set can be plugged straight into your video unit and can record 24 hours, you can also advertise the fact that you have CCTV working and recording at your address.If you are part of a neighbourhood watch, you may get a reduction on your home insurance premium if you can prove you're joined up to a registered watch. Contact your local police station or myself who will be pleased to offer you assistance in setting up a neighbourhood watch in your street.

Thank you Gareth Davies

SCAF's Fundraising Dinner

30th September 2006 and Kingsweston House

Most readers will be familiar with Shirehampton Community Action Forum, known as SCAF, but for those who are less familiar, it's an organisation which draws together most of the voluntary and statutory organisations in the village, provides an information exchange through its regular meetings, and supports other activities, such as a community safety forum, chaired by our beat bobby, concentrating on crime, disorder, public cleansing and graffiti, a green group who are currently transforming the Daisy Field into a community park, and a youth group which runs the successful school holiday activity schemes.

It's relatively easy to raise funds for projects such as the Daisy Field and youth projects, but much harder to obtain core funding for our half time worker, our office, telephone and insurance. Without this back-up the project can't run.The usual source of core funding is the Local Authority but, in common with most local authorities, Bristol channels its scarce community funding to the most deprived wards of the city and Avonmouth Ward isn't one of them.

Needless to say, we still press our case and hope to get there one day. So we need to get stuck in and raise some money ourselves. This lengthy preamble gets us to the aforementioned Fundraising Dinner. The tickets will be available from 1st August from the Public Hall - the cost is 15. This will include some entertainment, a short explanation of the background to the House and a raffle. Among those Shirehampton businesses that have already donated raffle prizes are Auto-Parts, Collectables Cards and Gifts, Creature Comforts, D & P Fashions, Elite Hair and Beauty, Flower World, The Post Office, the Pound Shop, Shoe Fair, Woolworths and three public houses, The George, The Lifeboat and The Rising Sun, and more have promised.

We need all readers to support this effort, so please buy tickets and get your family and friends to do the same.


Oh! Penpole, sweet delightful spot,
Beloved of every little dot!
The schoolboy's happy hunting-ground.
Where scouts encamp and nests abound
In hawthorn bush or sheltered nooks,
Among the ivy-covered rocks,
And fragrant violets ever hide
Beneath the brambles at your side.
In Spring sweet daisies strew your way,
And nature crowns you Queen of May.
Your summer dress is all serene
Of russet brown or velvet green,
Or winter robe of purest white,
Like brilliants glistening in the light.
The same old arch and ancient tower,
The shelt'ring wood and ivy bower,
Through cloud and sunshine, smiles and tears.
Of many swiftly passing years.
The old round seat will ever raise,
Sweet memories of other days;
For many a youth and maiden fair,
Has watched the sun while sitting there,
Sink like a glorious ball of fire,
Beyond the hills of Monmouthshire;
And lingered, while the twilight fell,
Love's old sweet tale once more to tell.
'Tis there I love to rest or read,
Or blow a cloud of fragrant weed.
My fav'rite stroll will lever be,
Along your sweet promontory.

Words by Mr C Davis,Lower Village, Shirehampton