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Clowning Around At The Library

Notes & Queries

Letters to the Editor

Lest We Forget

Grants 2006

St. Mary's News

Clowning Around At The Library

 Once again we have had a wonderful summer.  Our summer reading scheme 'The Reading Mission; has proved popular with our young 'spies' with several of them completing their mission of reading six books during the holidays.

We held two spycraft activity session which unfortunately were not as well attended as in previous years.  This was possibly because of the number of other schemes in the area.   Those who did attend thoroughly enjoyed themselves, though lack of numbers made it a little disappointing for the staff, who had put in a lot of work to organise it.

Our summer entertainer was a huge success, doubly pleasing as this year we had Shire's own home-grown clown 'Nangaz'.  Her wonderful costume and varied performance made her a hit with everyone.  With a large proportion of the children rather young to follow her magic tricks, she soon had them eating out of her hand with her puppet and juggling – at one stage having all of the children trying to jiggle with shiffon scarves.

They all left with balloons modelled into crowns, sceptres etc. which had been wound in to a story.

I certainly enjoyed her performance and would highly recommend her.  I would also like to take this opportunity to say a very big 'thank you' to her for all the pleasure she gives to others.

'Seniors' Summer Sensation at St. Mary's


August 21st-25th marked a new venture for St. Mary's, a 'holiday week' for 'over 60's'; speakers, entertainment of all kinds, an outing, coffee, lunches and teas.

Although we, and we suspect those who bravely paid and came along, were initially apprehensive, it was a wonderful week of fun, fellowship and laughter, which we shall certainly repeat.

The highlight was undoubtedly a workshop on jiggling – Diablo, sticks, balls, scarves – nothing was too much for out intrepid gang – and as you can see – 'spinning plates, easy!'.

Thanks to all who supported the week and were so willing to join in everything.

Smelters Boxing Team Cuba Bound

Amateur boxing club The National Smelting Co ABC based at the end of  Barracks Lane, Avonmouth, Bristol are off to Cuba with ten of their boxing squad in November booked through Cityboxer Travel. They will be on a seven-day training camp at Cuba's oldest Gimnasio de Boxeo The Rafael Trejo Gym in Havana where top Cuban coach Profeor de boxeo Alberto Gonzalez Caturla, 5 times Cuban Champion, will be putting them through their paces. NSC head coach Garry Cave said 'I went to Havana last November to check out the Cuban boxing scene and I was lucky to meet Alberto where he trained me at his gym. He was very welcoming and extremely knowledgeable and invited me to bring our boxer over to train with him. We wanted to reward the NSC boxers for all the hard work they've been putting in plus give them a trip of a lifetime; they'll learn loads from the Cuban boxing system which is the most successful in the world, churching out more gold medal winners than any other country.

We're sure that the hard work ethic and unparalleled skillfulness of the Cubans will rub off on our boxers. As well as the boxing it's a chance for our boxers to learn about another culture, as well as the daily training sessions we're planning excursions with guided tour's with some of the legends of Cuban boxing ring. We're helping the boxers by paying half of the cost of the trip from club funds plus promoting an extra exhibition sparring show with Empire ABC to help raise funding for the trip. The show will be at Avonmouth Rugby Club on Sunday the 24th of September from 4pm until 7pm, for tickets please ring ARFC on 0117 9829093. The show will be sponsored by Coors Brewery, we thank them for their very generous donation to help us put this show on. We have lots of new boxes on the team and this will be their first chance to experience 3 rounds in front of a crowd without the added pressure of winning or losing.

Empire ABC also has many new young boxers so we're sure it's going to be a fantastic afternoon of amateur boxing with a mixture of new, experienced junior and senior sparring. We are also very fortunate to have Bristol's WBC world champion Glenn Catley's backing with his attendance at the show as guest of honor. He'll be presenting trophies to the boxers as well as posing for pictures with boxing fans. It's great to have somebody as successful as Glenn at this event as it emphasizes to our young aspiring boxers that with hard work you can reach the pinnacle of the sport. Top local boxing promoters Chris & Jamie Sanigar are also attending, they have very generously donated many items of boxing memorabilia for an auction to aid us in raising fund for both clubs. We really can't wait till the season starts in earnest' enthused coach Cave 'with our first show on Thursday 12th of October at Manor Farm Sports Club'. We have an even bigger squad this year with 22 boxers on the team plus we have two new assistant coaches in senior boxers Sam Mogg & Jake Whiteside who both have just recently passed the assistants coaching course with flying colours.

With a growing boxing squad and an ever increasing demand from local youths wishing to take up the Olympic sport of amateur boxing it's even more vital that we secure funding  for our new gym project in partnership with Avonmouth Rugby Club, as our old little wooden hut can't cope with the number of kids wishing to take up the sport. We were recently very honored to have been visited by local MP Doug Naysmith, he was extremely impressed with all the hard work we're doing with the local kids at the gym and in the St Bedes School, where we have coached many classes of boxing. He stayed for over an hour, intently watching the boxers training hard at the gym. He's backing us with our funding bid to try and help us take more kids off the streets and channel their energy's into sport, as is the local police inspector Mark Jackson of Avonmouth who is also supporting our efforts to keep kids away from drugs and crime. We're very optimistic that we'll get RFU backing for half of the funding required for our new gym project but that still leaves us 175K to find! The new gym won't just be a boxing gym it will also have CV, weights equipment and a sauna and various fitness classes all open to the locals as well as club members. Also Paul's Free Style Dance School will be using the new aerobic studio to put on even more dance classes for local girls. The classes are well over subscribed and this will help the dance school get more youngsters off the sofa and active'.

If you are interest in amateur boxing or helping out the NSC ABC which is run by a small but dedicated group of volunteers then please ring Head Coach Garry Cave on 01454 898549 or check out their website nscabc/. They train three nights a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday 7pm until 8.30pm, if you want to find out more just pop along to the gym on any training night.

Garry Cave NSC ABC Coach

Notes & Queries

Please send your answers to this query to SHIRE

Q: Remount Depot

I have noticed brief mentions on your website of the Remount Depot at Shirehampton Avonmouth. I have been researching this Depot and its associated one at Swaythling near Southampton. I have learned that the land used for Remounts at Swaythling, Southampton was offered for sale in 1919 by the War Office. I would like to discover whether the War Office carried out the same policy at Shirehampton and also find the location of the land used. Until the army took over Remounts in the spring of 1915, both depots were run by the Legion of Frontiersmen. The army took over when the Frontiersmen were granted their own named unit (25th Bn Royal Fusiliers (Frontiersmen)).

I have a photograph of the Frontiersmen in their picturesque uniforms working with horses at Avonmouth in late 1914. This has been clearly reproduced in my History of One Hundred Years of the Legion of Frontiersmen, published by Phillimore in 2004. The depot was commanded at first by Legion Captain Arthur Burchardt -Ashton. The history website of the Legion of Frontiersmen may be found at I would be most grateful for any information you can supply.

Geoffrey A. Pocock (U.K. Historian)

Q: Recycling. Is it possible for you to list organizations that could use items and it seems a waste to put them in a black box, or in the dust-bin (as I live in a block of flats). I know that Lawrence Weston Community Farm will take shredded paper - for use as animal bedding. There must be others?

Elizabeth Mills, 49 Barwick House, The Ridge, Bristol BS11 0BH

If you know of other organizations which can use types of waste, please drop a line to SHIRE, with details of how to contact the organization. We will print replies in this section.

Vehicles Now Being Stolen With Their Keys

Police at Avonmouth tell us that there have been numerous reports of theft of and from motor vehicles in our district. Two to three years ago the Police could state that it was the old style vehicles mainly being stolen, however, with the modern security that has been added to vehicles, the way the car thief is getting around these modern security products is to steal the vehicle using its own key - the burglar will break into the house and steal the owner's vehicle keys! Please keep your vehicle keys out of sight of your windows and out of sight of the front door.

Letters to the Editor

A Missing Wheelchair

Dear Editor

Several months ago a gentleman came in to church desperate to borrow a wheelchair for a few days and unable to get one anywhere. We were happy to loan one for a short time and its prompt return was promised. Sadly we have not seen it since and would be very grateful for its return or at least to know that it is still needed and will be returned in due course. We frequently use the wheelchairs we have in church and loan them in emergencies to many people in need so it would be lovely to have it back. We believe the person who borrowed it said he lived in Priory Road. It can be returned to church whenever it is open or ring 9077026. Many thanks

Gill Sawyer St Mary's Church

Walton Road

I have lived in Walton Road since 1970. (Not so long as some residents I know). But it has always been lovely to have the Prefabs opposite, not just because of the friendly people within them who were our neighbours. So it is now sad to see both people and Prefabs go one by one. Hopefully they will be replaced by single storey homes, also they would be ideal for older people being near to the Health Centre and shops, with no hills for them to climb. What do other people think?

Hazel Thorne, Walton Road

Thank you

I would like to thank my relatives, friends and neighbours for the cards, good wishes, visits to hospital and the support since I have been home. I would also thank friends and neighbour for supporting with visits during his stay in hospital.

Gwen Cook  

RE: PIN Number for Renewal of Books

Dear Editor,

As an avid reader/deliverer of the Shire, I encountered a strange thing recently when I tried to renew by books. I knew I couldn't be at two places at once, as I had to catch the train from Shire station at 10.03 am (the library opens at 10am) so I picked up the phone and dialed the number printed in my book. A recorded voice informed me that I will need to phone another number of 0845 no need to hang up as it was able to transfer me. Great, I thought,. All set with my membership card number at the ready. Well, talk about being on hold for say two minutes. I had to hear all the bumf about e.g. press 1 for Lawrence Weston 2 for Southmead, 3 for somewhere else and I think it was either 4 or 5 for Shirehampton. The opening times were I thought 'well I know all that, can I just get to renewals'. Finally got to the point to renew my books and when I was then asked for 'PIN number' I just couldn't believe it!  

In the end I parked my car in Station Road near the bridge. Caught the train from Temple Meads at 4.32pm (on time) got into Shire at approx 4.52pm, legged it over the footbridge, into the car and in the library 2 minutes to five. I still couldn't renew my books as the computers were closed down for the end of the day. I informed the ladies that I tried to renew my books at 9am that morning and I couldn't because of not having the dratted PIN number. Nothing much could be done so I had to leave my books on the counter and the following day off on holiday for a week with no books!! Just a warning to the many folks who use the Bristol City Council libraries and you need to phone for renewals, to DON'T FORGET to ask for your PIN number from the assistant when you visit or otherwise your stuck! Especially as the winter is upon us and you may not be able to get to the library on the due date for return. King regards, Cath Brown  

Energy Efficiency

While the government discusses nuclear power and huge windmills as sources  of energy for the nation we, the consumers, might try a few simple measures to keep the household fuel bills in check and here they are: KETTLES - only heat the amount of water your need. WASHING MACHINES and TUMBLE DRYERS - always wash with a full load. If not, use half load and economy programmes if available. Wring wet clothes before putting them in the tumble dryer. DISHWASHERS - as above, always a full load per wash FRIDGES and FREEZERS - allow food to cool down first before putting it in  the fridge or freezer. Always close fridge and freezer doors promptly and don't leave them open any longer than need be. TELEVISIONS, VIDEOS, STEREOS and COMPUTERS - avoid leaving appliances on standby and don't charge appliances like mobile phones unnecessarily. LIGHTS - remember to turn lights off when you leave the room. During the day make as much use of daylight as possible e.g. drawing back curtains or blinds. CURTAINS - to keep warmth in at dusk, close curtains HOT WATER - set cylinder thermostat to 60C/140F, fine for washing and bathing when the water does not need to be scalding hot CENTRAL HEATING - by turning the thermostat down by 1C you could reduce your heating bills by 10 per cent. TAPS - a hot water tap dripping for just one day could waste enough water to fill a bath, so make sure the taps are turned right off.

What happens to our recycling?

Every item you put out for recycling - either as part of the kerbside scheme on in the banks across the district is saved from being buried into landfill sites and gets turned into another useful product. Here's what happens! Glass is reprocessed into more bottles or glass, and aluminium cans made into more cans. Paper is sent to mills where it is made into packaging material and newspaper stock. Plastic is sent to reprocessing plant and made into a variety of products including clothes, compost bins, kerbside boxes, garden furniture and even wellies! All the recycling takes place in the UK and can be tracked by the district council to ensure that it goes where it is meant to and is dealt with in a responsible manner.

Go Green

Did you know that one third of the waste you produce can be composted to produce a nutrient rich fertilizer for the garden? Organic waste, such as fruit and vegetable peelings, tea bags, grass cuttings and other garden waste can all be composted. Composting is good for the environment as it means less organic waste is being sent to landfill site, where it breaks down to produce methane, a greenhouse gas which is 20 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Composting is just one way to help the environment - it is possible to recycle up to 80 per cent of the contents of your bin. Reducing the amount of plastic you buy and reusing household items can help you cut down your waste even further.

Get your electric blanket checked for free

It may not be the weather to think about it, but the opportunity is here to get your electric blanket tested to make sure it is safe to use. A recent council survey showed that over half of electric blankets checked had potential life threatening faults such as defective overheat protection and exposed wires.

National figures show that blankets that are over 10 years old cause 95 per cent of electric blanket fires. Modern designs are also potentially dangerous as, although they are made to fail safe standards, problems can still arise through misuse. This can include poorly wired plugs and broken switches.

Bristol City Council has teamed up with Avon Fire and Rescue Service to run free safety check days to help ensure that electric blankets are not faulty. 'The statistics show a simple safety check can help to save lives', said Phil Parkyn, Principal Trading Standards Officer for Bristol City Council. 'It's great to be working in partnership with the fire service again this year and I hope that people will take advantage of this free service. If your electric blanket is not brand new this year then get it checked. It's that simple.'

Avon Fire Service and Bristol City Council have joined forces to offer these free services at Shirehampton Health Centre on October 23 (pm). Each safety check will be free, but appointments must be booked with Bristol Trading Standards on 0117 922 3522.

Sponsored Shave

Dawn Dunn of 69 Barrowhill Crescent, who had all her hair shaved off by Pauline on 15th September to raise money for Breast Cancer Research in support of her best friend Julie Jewell.

Thank you for your donation to Shire - Ed.

Shirehampton Methodist Church

  • Saturday November 4th 10am - Noon Christmas Fayre Refreshments - Raffles - Tombola - Gifts Enjoy a Coffee and buy your gifts All Welcome
  • Report from War Memorial Meeting at St Marys Church 16th Sept. 12-1pm  (Gill Sawyers).

Volunteers Wanted

Three volunteers are needed to distribute Shire News in the following roads: Chelwood Road, St Bernards Road no's 11-49, part of The Ridge between nos 34-58 & Oaktree and Granger Courts. Copies of Shire will be brought to your house at the beginning of each month for you to deliver as soon as possible. Distribution should not take longer than one hour per month. Anyone able to help please call Pauline on 9826935. If a volunteer cannot be found, residents will be able to pick up a copy from Shirehampton Library.

Lest We Forget

It was with some sadness that I read of the desecration to the Shire Memorial, dedicated to the fallen of The Great War 1914-18. Although my father was not a local man, he was proud to have served with the Gloucester Regiment. The 2/4 Battalion of this Regiment consisted mainly of Bristol's finest young men and included a number of Shire men - and young boys - some of whom may have been amongst the fallen depicted on the memorial.

Although my father was eventually captured, in Dec 1917, at the battle of Cambrai, he served mainly at the battle of the Somme and often said that he would never have survived without the sacrifice of many of his comrades. Walking around the memorial since the vandalism, I regret to admit that although I have passed it many, many times in the twenty years I have lived in Shire, I failed to understand what it would really have represented to many local families.

Top me, and I should imagine many others, was the sudden realization that Shire village circa 1918, which would have been a mere fraction of it's present size - possibly the size of a village-cum-hamlet - an to have been suddenly faced with the tragic loss of 58 young men, must have had a tremendous impact on many well-known Shire families, an impact so great that a number of those families no longer exist.

In fact so great would have been that impact that I have no doubt that if the desecration was carried out by anyone local, that loss would most certainly have affected their own families and futures at that time. But now is not the time for recriminations, but to lend support for the generous offer of Councillor Murphy - and hopefully the support of like-minded organizations - for the restoration of a monument, which depicts an extremely important era of Shire's history.

Dave Fisher, St Marys Road  

October Opportunities at St Mary's

  • Sunday 1st October - 10.00am - Harvest Festival
  • Saturday 7th October - 7.30pm - Morriston Orpheus Choir Concert - Tickets 15, 12 and 10 from the church office or ring 9077026
  • Sunday 15th October - 10.00am - PET SERVICE - Calling all pets - don't forget to bring your owners along to this special service just for you!
  • Saturday 21st October - 10.00am-12 noon - Christmas Gift Fayre - Crafts, cards, paper, decorations and gifts.

Spread the Word

ENCOURAGE YOUR FRIENDS TO SEE aninconvenienttruth at cinemas from September 15, 2006

10 Simple things you can do - and how much carbon dioxide you'll save doing them.

  1. Change a light. Replacing one regular light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb will save 150 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
  2. Drive less. Walk, bike, carpool or take public transport more often. You'll save one pound of carbon dioxide for every mile you don't drive!
  3. Recycle more. You can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide per year by recycling just half of your household waste.
  4. Check your tyres. Keeping your tyres inflated properly can improve gas mileage by more than 3%. Every gallon of petrol saved keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere!
  5. Use less hot water. It takes a lot of energy to heat water - use less hot water by installing a low flow showerhead (350 pounds of carbon dioxide saved per year) and washing your clothes in cold or warm water (500 pounds saved per year).
  6. Avoid products with a lot of packaging. You can save 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide if you cut down your rubbish by 10%.
  7. Move your thermostat down 2 degrees in winter and up 2 degrees in summer. You could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year with this simple adjustment.
  8. Plant a tree. A single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime.
  9. Turn off electronic devices. Simply turning off your television, DVD player, stereo, and computer when you're not using them will save you thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
  10. Be a part of the solution.

Learn more at  

'Seniors' Summer Sensation' at St Mary's

August 21st-25th marked a new venture for St Mary's, a 'holiday week' for 'Over 60's'; speakers, entertainment of all kinds, an outing, coffee, lunches and teas. Although we and we suspect those who bravely paid and came along, were initially apprehensive it was a wonderful week of fun, fellowship and laughter which we shall certainly repeat. The highlight was undoubtedly a workshop on juggling - Diablo, sticks, balls, scarves - nothing was too much for our intrepid gang - and as you can see - 'spinning plate, easy!' Thanks to all who supported the week and were so willing to join in everything. Canon Christine

Ship to Shire TS Enterprise - Avonmouth Sea Cadets

On Monday August 21st a party of Sea Cadets were invited to take part in the World Rowing Championships to be held at Dorney Lake, Eton. The unit was allocated Canada as a country and the purpose of the day was to encourage young people to practice rowing on machines timed over an allocated distance. Two Cadets - Able Cadet Hazel Capstick and Orginardy Cadet Joshua Badlam were awarded Bronze medals in their age group. The medals were presented by members of the Olympic Rowing Tea and the Canadian trainer spent time talking to the cadets. WELL DONE TS ENTERPRISE.  

Jazz in the September Sun

The Dino Dini trio entertain visitors to the Lamplighters Real Ale & Music Festival  

Helping Guide Dogs to Make a Difference

The vision of Guide Dogs is a world in which all people who are visually impaired enjoy the same rights, opportunities and responsibilities as everyone else.

Geoff and Bridget Williams who live on the Cotswold Estate both do charity work for the Bristol City Guide Dogs for the Blind Association No 36 Branch.

Their involvement in the charity came about as Bridget was out walking their dog and by chance met a man who had had a long association with Guide Dogs for the Blind.  As a result of this chance meeting, Bridget and Geoff were invited to a meeting and decided to help with fund raising.  They also began looking after guide dogs, if for any reason the guide dog owner was unable to because of hospitalisation or a holiday where his dog could not accompany him.

It costs around 10 to breed, train and care for each Guide God.  The Guide Dog Association requires over 40 million a year to continue its work.  The working life of a Guide Dog is about seven years and many Guide Dog owners have several dogs during their lifetime.  Guide Dogs place and support retired dogs with voluntary 'adopters'.  Bridget and Geoff's commitment to this cause has grown to such an extent that Geoff is Chairman and Bridget is the Minute Secretary.

So if you ever see somebody with a bucket or other receptacle indicating a collection for Guide Dogs for the Blind, please donate generously!  And If you read this in time, come to the Cotswold Community Centre in Dursley Road on Friday 29th September at 7:30pm, when Sarah Williams and her guide dog Oz (a regular lodger at Geoff and Bridget's) will be visiting.

Avonmouth Community Play Work Young Youth Project

Avonmouth Community Young Youth Project; offer parent/guardian/carers an opportunity to register their child and to meet the newly appointed play workers on Tuesday 26th of September 2006 between 4.15pm and 6.15pm. The young youth project is for young people aged between 5-12 years. Registration fee is 1.50 and 0.50 subs per session; this will go towards young people's activities as well as fruit and drinks during break time. The group will start running from October 3rd 2006; sessions will run every Tuesday and Thursday from 3.15pm and 6.15pm. For enquiries contact Sharon Blake on 0117 9827445 or 07707 437 967.  

The Grainger Players present: 'Something Old, Something New

On Thursday November 9th And Saturday November 11th IN THE PUBLIC HALL, SHIREHAMPTON Doors open 7pm Show starts 7.30pm We support MS  


We are grateful to Andrew Stewart, who provided the photographs of the War Memorial on the front page of the September "Shire" and the article to go with them.   Ed  

Grants 2006

Amounts from the Community Fund have been allocated to the following local voluntary organisation:- 178 Bristol Guides, The Sea Cadets, Charity Search, The Cotswold Community Association, Avon Community Association  (A.U.S), Penpole Residents Association, 191 St. Mary's Scouts, Shirehampton Action Forum and the Christmas Lights.

The total funds available are limited, and we were not able to supply all the amounts asked for, money did not stretch that far, So dear readers if you think that you could support any of the above good causes further, I am sure they would be most grateful to hear from you. Ed.  

St. Mary's in Frame for National Award

St. Mary's in Shirehampton has been chosen as one of 12 finalists in a competition to find Britain's most inviting churches.  

Organised by Ecclesiastical Insurance, the contest sets out to recognise churches that it sees as being the most successful in adapting to modern society and changing local communities.  

The competition set out to determine how churches are changing and adapting patterns of worship, communicating with their local community and attracting young people and other new members and helping them develop their faith. Entries were received from 30 diocese around the country.  

Shirehampton Church, under Priest-in-charge Canon Christine Froude, was particularly commended for an ambitious refurbishment project which greatly improved facilities. It has also been unafraid to try new ventures, including rock communion and pet services, and is committed to supporting youth and family services. This month, like a good many other churches in our diocese, it is launching an Alpha course. The Venerable Peter Taylor, Archdeacon of Harlow and one of the competitions judges, said "St. Mary's is a shining example of a congregation that has successfully changed to meet the needs of its community. The range of activities and variety of worship ensure that everyone is welcome. I hope churches all over the country will follow its lead in working out how to respond in their own community".  

The winner and two runners-up will be announced on November 21 at a ceremony in York Minster. There are prizes of 1,500, 750 and 500 respectively, while all 12 finalists will feature in Ecclesiastical's 2007 calendar.  

St. Mary's News

Hi Folks! Here we are in to October with the nights beginning to draw in and with the dawn taking longer to appear in the mornings, and the dampness in the air there is no doubt we are in the season of Autumn. After  all that lovely warm weather in the Summer my bones and joints are beginning to ache and creak again plus the fact that 'anno domini' is no longer on my side. Nevertheless less, I count myself lucky to still be fit and able, especially when I see the number of funerals at St. Mary's of people much younger than me.  

On the subject of age I am pleased to report that the Seniors Summer Sensation we off exceptionally well and was very much enjoyed by everyone! During the week entertainment was as follows - Gardeners Question Time - Making of Quilts (a talk by Christine Porter) - Music provided by a Classical Trio - a Film "The Adventures of Greyfriars Bobby" - a Boat Trip around the City Docks followed by a special guided tour around Bristol Cathedral with Duncan Jennings who was also able to give a short recital on the Cathedral Organ. Another day a young lady demonstrated the art of juggling with hands on experience for any person who wanted to "have a go". She made it look easy but I can assure you it wasn't! With an excellent Lunch each day and a Strawberry Cream Tea to finish the week we were left with some very pleasant memories. Thank you Canon Christine and Gill Sawyer for arranging it so well.  

August Bank Holiday Monday saw the last of the Summer Open Gardens draw to a close, most appropriately at The Vicarage where Canon Christine entertained everyone right royally. The rear garden was filled to capacity for most of the day and it was almost necessary to work out a shift system in order that everyone had a chance to sit in a chair at a table to eat their food. It was a wonderful day and again provided more money for Church Funds. You may well recall that last month I briefly mentioned the Harvest Festival which is to be at our 10am Holy Communion Service on Sunday 1st. October. Sister Annaliese from the Sisters of the Church will be preaching at that Service and the foodstuffs collected during the previous weeks is to be distributed by her to the poor and homeless who live in the central area of our City. I always like the smell of fruit and produce in the Church of Harvest Festival Sunday and very often as choirboys we were given an apple after the Service. Just as well really, because we would have probably have nicked one in any case! I am sure Roger Barnes will confirm the great delight we choirboys had if we saw a mouse running around the Chancel wondering where it was going next! In "them by gone days" it was a bit of free entertainment.  

The next Saturday - 7th October - at 7.30 pm is the day we host the Morriston Orpheus Choir, Welsh Male Voice Choir which is internationally known. This should be a splendid evening's entertainment and if you haven't already got your ticket you may be lucky enough to obtain one at the door. But to avoid any disappointment my advice is to get hold of one as soon as possible from Gill Sawyer at the Church Office.  

On Thursday 12th October we are holding another of our Beetle Drives together with Lunch. If you intend coming then put your name up on the list at the back of the Church so that Gill Sawyer knows how many to cater for. No charge will be made but a retiring collection will be made to help defray the costs. I bet Sheila Bubb's name will be at the top of the list - and don't make a mistake if you are playing at her table!!!  

On Sunday 15th October we will be holding our special Pets Service at 10 am. As I said before - "Don't worry if you pet has an accident", the Lady from the Kremlin with her brush and shovel will ensure the churchyard roses are well nourished. (If I get dinner on that Sunday after referring to the Head Verger in such a fashion I shall count myself extremely lucky!!).  

How many of you who live on the Cotswold Estate (that's the posh name for us wot lives down in the Dursley, Nibley & Coaley Road area on 'tother side of the Portway) know that Services are held in the Cotswold Building at the end of Dursley Road on the 1st. and 3rd Sunday of the month at 4.45 pm". They are mainly directed towards those folk who may be unable to reach the Church up in the Village through infirmity or some other reason. You are of course very welcome even if you are able bodied. On the lst Sunday there is a service of Songs of Praise led by members of the Baptist Church and the 3rd Sunday is a Holy Communion Service led by either Canon Christine or Andy Schuman followed by a cup of Tea and Cakes. If you are lonely here is an opportunity to come and enjoy a short service and have the chance to meet folks and have a chat. Anyone and everyone will be made most welcome.  

Don't forget that Christmas is getting ever nearer - even in September there are signs up encouraging people to book their Christmas Lunches at various Pubs and Restaurants. Well, I mention that because on Saturday 21st. October from 10 - 12 noon we shall be holding our Annual Christmas Gift Fayre in St.. Mary's. For sale will be Crafts, Gifts and Xmas Paper etc. All items offered for sale are brand new - there will be nothing of 'jumble sale' quality. So here is your chance to start your shopping early. Our Christmas Food Fayre will follow in November.  

If you are not already aware the Shirehampton Area Choir rehearsals for the Annual Christmas Concert started back on Tuesday 21st. September. Rehearsals are being held each Tuesday from 7.45 to 9.15 pm in the METHODIST CHURCH, Penpole Avenue. The change in venue is because St. . Mary's is not available to us, because the Autumn Alpha Course is being held on the same evenings. If you are interested in joining us then please come along at that time - I am sure our Music Director Tim Forder will be delighted to welcome you. The more the merrier. Our organ at St.. Mary's will be undergoing major refurbishment during the week commencing Monday 2nd October. Musical accompaniment for our services will be on an electronic keyboard and the piano. It is anticipated the overhaul will be completed in time for the Christmas Concert.  

Some of you when passing through the Churchyard Path may have noticed that the Gate to the Old Memorial Garden is missing. This has been removed because one of the supporting pillars and also the wall have been undermined by the Norway Maple Tree near the entrance. The wall and pillar have not become unsafe and the Parochial Church Council are currently seeking planning permission to remove this tree. This is regrettable but unfortunately necessary. So all you tree lovers and conservationists please don't fret as I am sure Canon Christine will lend a sympathetic ear to anyone wishing to replace it.  

Don't forget that British Summer Time ends at the end of the month and the evening will be dark once again, giving the criminal fraternity the opportunity to operate unobserved. Extra vigilance is required to keep your homes secure and may I also ask you to keep a special look out for any suspicious activity when the Church is unoccupied - we have already had two unwelcome visits  this year! At 3 pm on Saturday 11th November Canon Christine will once again be holding a short Memorial Service for those who have recently been bereaved. An invitation to attend this service will be sent to you if this is the case. Nevertheless, you do not need a special invitation to attend this service if you wish to come and remember a lost loved one. All are welcome to this most moving service.