Welcome to Shire's Christmas Edition
We hope you like our Christmas greeting. In case you're wondering, the choir includes two Shirehampton residents, is real and belongs to Redland Parish Church, but it has to be admitted their visit to our fountain in the snow is somewhat imaginary.
In spite of all the commercialismand all the pressures that can make us cynical and wish the turn-of-the-year festival had never been thought of, no one can gainsay the fact that Christmas is a time that brings a lot of fun, a lot of opportunity for strengthening family bonds, and has the potential for doing real good, often for those who at other times are sadly forgotten.
It is, in a word, a season for CELEBRATION. It is a special joy for those who share the faith at the heart of the season's name. But many others of different faith or none often find that the season has an uncanny knack of getting a warm glow penetrating deep inside them, sometimes softening the unlikeliest of the normally wordly-wise.
No richer example of the universality of Christmas can be found than in the crowds that pour into the centre of the village every Christmas Eve for our Carols on the Green at 7.30 pm (if raining in St Mary's Church). Last year's attendance was amazing and we have no reason to expect any difference this year. We hope you will join us with all your friends and relations for this great event, which this year we are organising in conjunction with Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF). We can't promise you snow (no doubt much to the relief of older readers) and we're certainly not asking you to dress up in Victorian clothes but we eo confidently promise you a great night's singing.
As always, the carols for th night are printed in the centre of this issue. Don't forget to bring the pages with you, together with a torch or a candle in a jam jar.
So, whoever you are, have a wonderful Christmas and may its true spirit live on beyond the season into the coming year.
Letters to the Editor
Thank you for my issue of the Shire News collected this morning from Shirl's flower shop. I have delivered some and packed some for posting to USA and Australia. An interesting copy this month, a good read. I write to ask about the article on page 4 re. Shirehampton of Yesteryear and am interested to know if the book mentioned about growing up in Shirehampton can be purchased here or if you have the address to write to for a copy.
Also I do think the War Memorial Cenotaph should be left where it is after all the years it has stood in the same place and only this once has it been attacked. It is not just a memorial to the fallen in the Wars but as a memory to Mrs Goffe, the lady that attended to it for over 70 years and her two brothers whose names are inscribed on the memorial. It's an ideal spot for people to stand and plenty of parking spaces for cars. The Shire Green and the Churchyard would not be able to accommodate so many people.
As a resident living at the bottom of Park Hill, I would like to thank the drivers of Shirehampton for sharing their (mostly awful) taste in music at all hours of the day and night, during the time the temporary traffic lights have been in place.Thanks also for the revving of engines, tooting of horns and shouted abuse to other drivers!
On Friday 14th October I travelled down from Whitchurch in Bristol to Shirehampton Cemetery. I spent considerable time tidying and then planting over 1 dozen beautiful winter flowering pansies on my Grandparents' and Father's grave. I came away feeling very satisfied with my afternoon's work, knowing that the grave would be tidy and colourful for the winter.
On the following Friday I called into the cemetery to see if everything was ok, only to find every plant had disappeared and the soil put back as though nothing had been put in there.
I wonder if anyone else has experienced the same. I find it difficult to understand how someone could be so callous to do such a thing, and if the person responsible reads this letter, will reflect on this very unkind act.
Rita Britten, Whitchurch
St Bernard's Catholic Church Christmas services
|Saturday 23, 6.30pm||Mass|
|Christmas Eve, 6.30pm||First Mass of Christmas|
|Christmas Day, 10am||Christmas Day Mass|
Shirehampton Baptist Church
|Sunday 17, 6.30pm||Candle light Carol Service|
|Sunday 24, 10.30am||Worship Service (no evening service)|
|Christmas Day, 10.30am||Family Service|
Severn Beach Railway Problems of the line
The organisation Friends of Severn Beach Railway report that in the last couple of months there have been more problems than usual on the Severn Beach line. Inadequate rolling stock and staffing problems have led to numerous delays and cancellations. Schoolchildren have been left on the platform because of overcrowding. These problems are the result of a franchise made in the context of inadequate financial support for local rail. It reflects the fact that the local trains are not taken seriously by local government in Bristol. People who choose to go by train rather than by car are penalised for their choise, rather than rewarded.
Let's keep up the pressure on First and Bristol City Council the public deserves reliable local trains and we'll fight until we get them.
We suggest that you report problems with the service to: Andrew Griffiths, Regional Manager, Central (Severn & Solent), First Great Western; Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org
With copies to the following: Chairman of the Severnside Community Rail Partnership; Keith Walton email@example.com; Councillor Dennis Brown, Executive Member for Transport and Development Control; firstname.lastname@example.org; Bristol West MP Stephen Williams Tel: 0117 942 3494; Stephenwilliamsmp@parliament.uk
If you want to see Shirehampton still served by rail, then join the FOSBR. They can be contacted at: 17 Belmont Road, Bristol BS6 5AW, Tel: 0117 942 8637 or 0117 944 5687, Email: email@example.com
Visit the website at www.fosbr.org.uk
And whatever you do, keep using the line!
Modern Railway Exhibition
On Saturday 21st October Shirehampton Model Railway Club held its second annual Model Railway Exhibition in the Public Hall. Once again it can be described as an outstanding success. Club Secretary and exhibition organiser Simon Parker was pleased that the show was very well supported by both the local community and serious modeller alike. Again the standard of the exhibits was among the highest achieved by the model railway fraternity.
After organising two successful exhibitions for the club, Simon has decided to step down to allow others the opportunity to carry on and improve on the previous successes.
The 3rd exhibition is booked at the Public Hall for Saturday 20th October 2007.
Some years ago the late Albert McGrath had a poem published in the 'Shire'. I think that it was a poem about the Second World War. I have lost the copy I kept. Does any reader of the 'Shire' have a copy of that poem? I believe that Albert McGrath lived in Avonmouth.
191st St Mary's Scout Troop
Shaun Stockham, Aaron Hastings and Max Hopkins were invested into the 191st St Mary's Scout Troop on Thursday 19th October. Standing on the bridge with the three new Scouts is Grant Watkins, Scout Leader, and sitting at the base of the bridge is Pam Goddard, Akele for the Mannox Cub Park.
Welcome to the Troop.
Shire Getting The Book
Following last month's item reporting the publication in America of Angela Thompson Smith's book, 'Shire', we have had enquiries about its availability.
We are delighted to say there is a copy in our library, donated by the author, to whom many thanks, and you will find it in the local history section.
But you may want to purchase your own copy and what a fine Christmas present it would make!
The easiest way to buy it is via the internet. It is available from Amazon.co.uk for £12.50 (postage free for orders over £15).
You can also order direct from the publishers. Go to www.publishamerica.com, then in the right hand column type 'angela thompson smith' in the search bar, which will take you to the relevant page. The cost will be $16.95 + $8 shipping. All payment must be in US dollars credit card only.
It is possible to order by mail. The address is PublishAmerica LLLP, PO Box 151, Frederick, MD 21705, USA, but the rule of paying in dollars and by credit card still applies.
Something else you can do from the publisher's website is send an e-card featuring the cover of Angela's book it makes quite a nice Christmas card for 'absent friends'.
Cotswold Carols a first
For some years both St Mary's and the Baptist church have organised monthly services in the Cotswold Community Centre in Dursley Road. The Baptist service is on the first Sunday afternoon of the month and the Anglican on the third Sunday. The churches have worked harmoniously in this arrangement, and supported each other, but nevertheless each service has been independent of the other.
However, in December there is a new venture. The two churches plus Shirehampton Methodist Church are uniting to hold the first joint Cotswold Carol Service, with the endorsement of the Cotswold Community Association itself.
This will take place on the second Sunday of the month, 10th December at 4.45 pm. The service lasts for three-quarters of an hour, and will be followed by mince pies. Everyone is welcome.
Every Christmas, Baptist church members have visited every house on the Cotswold estate to take a Christmas card and a small gift. They are being joined this year by members from the other churches in the week before the Carol Service.
In January the normal pattern of Cotswold services will be resumed.
Cotswold Community Association
Arranged by Shirehampton Anglican, Baptist, and Methodist Churches
Sunday 10th December 4.45pm to 5.30pm
Cotswold Community Hall, Dursley Road
Cotswold Book Club Cinderella
The Cotswold Book Club is once again going to do something special for their Christmas meeting: on 6th December at 7pm they re putting on 'Cinderella'.
But don't worry no one's going to be dressing up as a dame, and there won't be any 'Oh yes he is! ÷ Oh no he isn't!' routine, for what is happening is a read-round of one of the many versions of the old fairy tale, written long before Buttons and Baron Hard-Up were even thought of.
The version the group will be reading is by the bothers Grimm and it has some significant differences from the pantomime, and it is a lot more gruesome.
Why not come and join us for the evening? There will be our renowned Christmas buffet and wine, and you'll be very welcome to join in the reading if you want to, or to just sit and listen.
To book your place, ring 904 7319.
The Advice Service at Avon (University Settlement) Community Association is extending its hours by working in partnership with Age Concern Bristol.
We will now be open every Tuesday for a drop-in session between 9.30am and 11.30am.
Please note that this day is being sponsored by Age Concern and is available only to people over the age of 55 or carers of people who are aged 55 and over.
If you do not fall into this category, then please attend our drop-in sessions on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 9.30am and 11.30am, which are available to everyone.
Appointments or home visits are also available for the afternoons.
If you would like advice, please contact Tony Mohammad at the Avon (University Settlement) Community Association at 115 High Street, Shirehampton. Tel: 982 9399
Yes, it was that dreaded time of year when someone sidles up to me as I'm browsing the exhibition and says 'Will you do a write-up, please?' and my predictable response, 'But what can I say that's different?' A throw away remark by John Andrews comes to mind as I write. He said 'Every show has a character of its own' and of course he is right.
The same 'old favourites' were on display and the quality was as high as we've come to expect but the difference nowadays is in design and colour. Take the patchwork and quilts, for instance. You might wonder how many different ways a quilt, wall hanging, bag or purse can be rehashed to make it new and exciting, but our local needle-women achieved that with examples of Japanese fold patchwork, embroidered and cross stitch pictures and a ring cushion, crazy patchwork, an embroidered jacket, tapestry, a Shasiko bag, appliqu» work, a much admired tote bag and, of course, a variety of quilts on display, as always. I was particularly struck by the wall hanging by the Sew and Sew House Group on the theme of squares, circles and embellishments, which was exhibited at a quilting exhibition in Birmingham's NEC it was superb. The Christmas corner has become a regular feature and did not disappoint with the festive wall hangings and three decorations.
Knitting needles were not to be out-done by sewing implements either, with cardigans, jumpers, hats and scarves fringed and otherwise in the different types of yarn (including the eye-catching Sirdar Firefly), so popular and 'cool' these days, as proved by the number that were sold, or would have been, had they been for sale. Whilst still on the subject of crafts involving fabrics, we were treated to elegant creations in felted lambswool, machine knitted flower corsages, a frame montage, pretty perfume sachets and candle holders, and a latch hook rug with a dolphin design. All these items contributed to a colourful display of design and texture that has come to represent the diversity of talents that abound hereabouts.
Woodwork was another craft that took on a new look this year. Two exhibitors, Dick Helme and Robert Dring, showed quality turned items, but Dick diversified slightly by displaying what might be described as wood sculptures using other elements such as crystals and seed pods to create ornamental objects and antique tiles set in wood as pot stands. He also made a footstool and a little table in a slab of yew cut from the alleged site of Merlin's burial in the grounds of Marlborough College. Douglas Hastings added a new dimension to the show this year with some wonderful wooden carvings of relatives and two Buddhas, one 'with no frills' and the other a large panel in lime wood which caused a lot of interest. A small amount of marquetry was also shown, including pictures and boxes of very high quality.
The pottery was marvellous and it is interesting, again, to see how our local potters are evolving their styles and designs which included bowls, dishes, vases, ornaments, ceramic eggs and tea light holders. There was also Canal Ware from Pat Maule, bead jewellery made in gorgeous colours and styles, picture frames with animal motifs, Jackie Selman's decorated eggs, cards and gift items, and a re-caned chair, all demonstrating the diversity of skills we have come to enjoy each year. One new exhibit was the stamp pictures, which attracted a lot of interest as they were so unusual and interesting.
There was plenty of opportunity to buy beautifully hand crafted cards from different exhibitors and also a chance to watch lace being made by Doreen Hunt, and some of the numerous crafts that Pat Davison demonstrates, including recycled Christmas cards, parchment boxes and bags, decoupage, shaker and stitch cards. Ian Buckley's array of cards featured photographs and his own vibrant paintings. No excuse not to stock up on unique cards at bargain prices.
We must certainly give credit to the children, namely the 191 Cub Pack for their mosaic coasters and decorated boxes, and the 178 Bristol Guides for painted coasters. I know it's dedicated adults who encourage them, but who knows how many of these children will end up exhibiting as adults themselves in years to come. On the stage there was the 'tree' made by the Station Road Playgroup children lovely to see such young craftspeople taking part.
Finally, the cow hide painted with American Indian designs by Dick Helme made its second appearance following the art exhibition, along with a Rain Bird wall hanging. He also showed a leather case he made for his Irish drum (the drum also being painted in an Indian design) just to show wood is not the only medium he uses.
It would be very remiss not to mention all the people who make this exhibition possible. Gail and Ed Amphlett have yet again proved it is safe in their capable hands, and they would want to thank the faithful bands of stewards (John, Janet, Alice and Pat, to name a few), the demonstrators Pat and Doreen, Janet Thomas and helpers for running the Caf» Corner, and all those who help set up and dismantle. It couldn't happen without them. Sadly, that stalwart of many years' standing, Gwen Cook, was missed as a steward due to ill health our good wishes go to her and our thanks for all her dedication and help in the past.
I will conclude with this accolade from a friend who visited from South Gloucestershire. She is a veteran visitor of craft shows, small and large, as the wife of a one time exhibitor, and she said the quality of exhibits at Shirehampton were as good as or exceeded that of some of the most prestigious venues she had attended. Praise indeed, and well done to all who have been involved in the 2006 Exhibition.
To see a slideshow of the exhibition, click here.
Notes & Queries
Q: Old Portway School
Have you any pictures of the old Portway School which was at the end of the swimming baths road (I forgot the name) [Editor's note: Park Hill] and the Portway. This would be about 1942+. My teacher was Mr Bazeley. The girls' part of the school was next door. The clinic was just around the corner. We used to ride our bikes up Shire Hill from Avonmouth 4 times a day, rain or shine. I cannot see them doing that nowadays.
From your beat manager PC Gareth Davies (Avonmouth and Shirehampton beat)
What's going on in our area?
The winter now approaches and the residents are giving their grass the last cut of the season. But they reach for their lawn mowers and to their astonishment they discover the lawn mower/strimmer stolen their shed/garage/out-house has been broken into. Why? Poor security, and it's the offender's easy way of making a quick buck! Please pay attention to your garden security, if it needs replacing, then for a few pounds replace that broken/old lock or hinges.
At the same time as checking the security of your sheds, check your fences. Do they need replacing or repairing? Check that old gate as well!
Then check the security of your home, check that there are no ladders resting up against your walls or left in view, check the security of the windows and doors, if they need replacing, consider that, if the price is right!
If you are a member of the neighbourhood watch, you can get a 10% discount on all security products at 'Halfords', but you have to be a member of a watch. Consider all the benefits of that watch in your area, they are the eyes and ears of the area and will look after your home when you go away on holiday. They will also feed back information directly to your house and you will get to know who and what is moving around your street.
It really does pay to be a member of that watch; consider joining today! If you wish to join, just contact myself or Wendy Hull, the neighbourhood coordinator, who will send you the instructions on how to join. Either of us can be contacted online via our links on the beat page.
There are still deceptions occurring in your area, mostly to your elderly. The offenders are tricking their way into their homes by stating they are working for the water board, gas, electric, or stating that they know the resident. Be careful, please look after your neighbour and neighbourhood, and please report any suspicious incidents and descriptions of vehicles used by the offenders.
Call in for a chat
Please feel safe this time of the year. I am out there, the officers from Avonmouth are also out there, working hard and looking after your property. Please feel free to pop in and have a chat about anything and everything, I'm a good listener.
Stay safe, and keep an eye on your neighbours!
Beat Manager, Avonmouth/Shirehampton
Work began at the Shirehampton Primary Care Centre in June. The centre is being constructed adjacent to the current healthcare facilities and project completion is scheduled for the end of 2007. Support services and construction company Carillion recently began work on the second tranche of BHS Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT) projects being provided by Bristol Infracare LIFT.
Dr Sue Green of the Shirehampton Primary Care Centre is shown 'assisting' in the demolition of the old building following their move into new temporary accommodation. The temporary move will be for the short time it takes Carillion Regional Building to construct the new modern facility for the local community.
In the picture with Dr Sue Green (top) is Shaun Myers, Carillion Site Manager, Keith Goldsworthy, Carillion Contracts Manager, Carole Brooke, Practice Manager and Sarah Williams of Bristol Infracare LIFT.
Shirehampton Methodist Church
Many thanks to all who supported our Christmas Fayre. We raised £465!! It was lovely to see so many people.
Our next Coffee Morning is on Saturday December 2nd when we will have a Tombola with a difference! A prize every time! All welcome. Do come and bring a friend look forward to seeing you.
The Friends of Shirehampton Methodist Church
Driver for Shire
We are delighted to say that our appeal for a driver to help with the monthly delivery of the bundles of our newspaper has been answered.
Our heartfelt thanks to our new driver, and to the one who did the job previously. We could not exist without the band of volunteers who take round the bundles, and the kind folk who then put the newspaper through your door.
Our apology to the Evening Post for omitting to print the picture credit last month for their fine front page photo of the Imperial Smelting Co War Memorial.
Golfer Scores a Century
We congratulate Ronald P. Curtis of Shirehampton Park Golf Club on reaching his 100th birthday. Club Captain Mike Bailey sends this report:
Ronnie was born 7th November 1906 in the Wye Valley and his parents owned the Angel Hotel in Monmouthshire. He was educated at Monmouth School, which is one of the oldest schools in the country. Upon leaving school Ronnie made a career in banking by joining Lloyds.
In 1925 Ronnie came to Bristol and has made his home here ever since, calling himself an adopted Bristolian and eventually becoming manager at the Lloyds Shirehampton Road Branch.
Ronnie and his wife Kay joined Shirehampton Park Golf Club in 1938 and since then has seen 61 Club Captains in office at the club.
In 1941 Ronnie enlisted into the RAF and attained the rank of Flight Lieutenant. For the first part of his service he was stationed at Filton and was then posted to Cairo. It was here that he was 'mentioned in despatches' for all his hard work. In 1945 Ronnie was demobbed and returned to Bristol and Shirehampton Park Golf Club.
Ronnie became Honorary Treasurer of the club in 1948. It was during this time that with Tony Randell and Alec Andrews he was very involved in the restoration of the course after the war. The work was completed in 1952 and Ronnie continued in this office until 1955.
Ronnie and Kay celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary in 1992 and although Kay no longer played golf, Ron, in his eighties, still played twice a week. When Kay sadly passed away a few years later, Ronnie presented the club with the Kay Curtis Salver in her memory, for the Ladies Gross Championship.
For the next few years Ronnie continued playing with his old friends, Dr Stuart Silvey, Eric Perry, Ralph Spencer and Mostyn Williams. At 93 he purchased a new set of golf clubs and when at 96 was asked how many times a week he played, his reply was, 'once or twice, but only 9 holes as that was all the others could manage'. It was only 18 months ago that Ronnie finally stopped playing golf.
As a loyal member for nearly 70 years, congratulations to Ronnie and a very happy hundredth birthday from all the members and staff.
The club's Senior section organised a birthday lunch for Ronnie on Monday 6th November 2006, which was attended by over 80 members (both past and present). The photo shows Ronnie with the Club Captain Mike Bailey.
Thanks for the thanks!
A number of those benefiting from Shire grants have written to thank us, for which we in turn are grateful. We have also had promises of photos of the various projects for which the money is being used. We look forward to publishing those in future editions.
Following the information of Ralph Hack and others in last month's Shire about the WWI Remount horse reception camp, there is an interesting footnote literally supplied by Mary Macey. Her uncle, Sid Parsons (father of the lately deceased John Parsons) lived in the area bounded by what are now Groveleaze, Barrow Hill, and the Portway.
As he dug his garden, he was constantly digging up horseshoes. If only the old superstition carried any truth, he would have been the luckiest man in Shirehampton!
Another Remount thought
The interest readers have shown in Shirehampton's unusual part in the World War I story raises the consideration that perhaps something should be done to mark the history more significantly. How about some memorial devoted to the horses, many of whom died in what was the last major conflict to employ the? Perhaps there could be a small plaque put up on part of the camp site. One possible location is the Cotswold Community Centre whose previous building, replaced only twelve years ago, was an army hut that survived from World War I.
Shirehampton Methodist Church
|3rd December||11am Gift Service|
|17th December||3.30pm Carols by Candelight|
|24th December||11am Rev Deborah Godefroy (Holy Communion)|
|7.30pm Carols on the Green|
|Christmas Day||11am Rev David Alderman|
|31st December||11am John Barnett (no evening service)|
|7th January||11am Covenant Service, Rev Deborah Godefroy|
News from Portway School: November 2006
We are pleased to report that attendance for this term so far is 90%. This represents a significant improvement on the 87% last term and 83% this time last year. Well done to all students and families for supporting us! We have appointed a new attendance officer, Mr Wright, who many of you will see out and about in the community on his motorbike.
We are currently running an attendance competition. Any student who achieves more than 95% attendance between now and the end of term will earn raffle tickets for a large range of prizes from bicycles to DVD players and vouchers.
However, like most schools, one of the biggest problems we caf» is parents allowing their children to stay at home with relatively minor ailments. Did you know: 90% attendance may seem positive, but it means missing 1 half day a week. This equals a whole half year of secondary education! We are pleased to say most families work well with us but sadly a small minority do not, and the school is forced to take legal action.
The school would like to thank the shopkeepers in Shirehampton for their continued vigilance and support. More pupils in school mean fewer problems in the community. Some of our older students are allowed to leave the site to attend college courses and they hold passes.
Can you help? The school needs to write a disability policy to ensure we try to cater for everyone's needs who may visit us or enrol here. The Headteacher, Mr Hebden would welcome any advice from readers with experience in this area so that the policy is relevant to our community. Please either email him on firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 0117 353 2600.
Sporting News from Portway School: Autumn Term
On behalf of all the governor, staff and pupils at Portway School, I'd like to wish all your readers a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.
Angels blow your trumpets,
Come now, blow your horn,
The angels sing 'give praise to God'
For on this day all Hope was born,
The Son of God He came to earth,
He came to bring us all the Love,
Sent from the Father God above,
To give the never ending Christmas story,
The story goes on for ever, and ever
Until He comes again that day
When earth shall see His Glory,
Not in a stable born, or in a manger laid,
Not to be pierced with nail or thorn,
Upon His Feet His Hands or Head.
But coming in the Light of God,
Upon a cloud to reap,
Upon a bright and shining cloud,
To gather us unto the Father Himself.
All those who did believe,
Their lives will never end.
Betty V. Baker
Shirehampton Methodist Church
As from January 7th, The Bright Hour will meet on the 1st and 3rd Monday s only.
The Sheriff comes to Penpole
On Wed 8th November PC Gareth Davies, Shirehampton Beat Manager (AKA 'the Sheriff') held his first surgery at Penpole Community Rooms at 60 The Ridge (next to the park).
PC Gareth Davies ("The Sheriff") with Penpole residents
It was a great success with around 20 people turning up to discuss several issues. The main ones were
We also discussed the need to warn shoppers that there have been more handbag snatches recently. Ideally, don't carry too much cash, and look around when drawing money from Cashpoints or the Post Office.
As you do your Christmas shopping, make sure you secure your handbag around your neck, and don't leave valuables on show in your vehicle.
As Gareth points out, 'Please help the police to help you'.
Gareth's next surgery at The Ridge is on the second Wednesday in December, 10am to 11am. If you need to discuss any problems, please come along.
Sandra White, Chair, Penpole Residents' Association
Vera and Norman Lock would like to say thank you to all their friends and neighbours for the messages of sympathy and flowers received in the loss of their son, Richard. Also to Rev Canon Christine Froude and members of St Mary's Church. The caring and kindness shown was much appreciated by all the family.
(Thank you for your kind donation Editor)
Avonmouth Evangelical Chapel (Avonmouth Road)
Welcome to our Christmas events
Christmas with the Puppets
Christmas music with the Band, also the Nativity Scene
Christmas Eve at 4.30pm
Carols, Candles and Crackers (with refreshments etc).
December at St Mary's
All that's happening during the Advent & Christmas season
Sunday 3rd December 6.00pm Advent Carol Service with the lighting of our Tree of Light bearing the memorial cards
Friday 8th December The Letter the story of the life of St Paul by Rhema Theatre Company with drinks and festive nibbles. Retiring collection but entrance by free ticket only, available from the Church Office or ring 907 7027
Sunday 10th December 2.30pm Shirehampton Area Choir Christmas Concert with punch and festive nibbles proceeds to Dementia Care. Tickets £6 available from the Church Office or ring 907 7027
Sunday 10th December 4.45pm Shirehampton Churches joint Christmas Carol Service at the Cotswold Community Association Building followed by tea and mince pies
Sunday 17th December 10.00am Christingle Service
Sunday 17th December 6.00pm Christmas Carol Service followed by mulled wine and mince pies
Christmas Eve Sunday 24th December 4.00pm Crib Service. Children, do come dressed as an angel, shepherd, innkeeper, wiseman or wisewoman, star etc. Adults, why not come in your sparkly best! A special way to start Christmas for all the family
Christmas Eve Sunday 24th December 11.30pm Midnight Holy Communion
Christmas Day Monday 25th December 10.00am Holy Communion with Carols for Christmas.
Fancy a cuppa?
If you do, then Shirehampton Library's new monthly reading group is the place for you. Meeting on the second Wednesday of every month at 2pm, you will quickly be at home in this totally informal atmosphere. No preparatory reading is required for the first week.
For more information, ask at the Library, or email email@example.com.
Getting more from your library membership
Membership of your local library now offers a lot more than it used to. It entitles you to borrow books from a very large area through belonging to the LibrariesWest.
LibrariesWest is a partnership between Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset, Somerset and South Gloucestershire public library services. It means that a book you might want that isn't in Shirehampton, or any other library in Bristol, can be ordered for you from, say, Wells, or Chipping Sodbury. And through the marvels of the computer (you can use the computers at Shirehampton Library if you don't have your own) you can do many other things:
Carols on the Green
Mike Antill will lead our carols this year. Mike needs lattle introduction , as he has lived in the same Walton Road house all his life, apart from his National Service in the Royal Army Pay Corps. His civilian life was spent with the Port of Bristol Authority.
Mike was eductaed at Portway School and in those early years joined the choir of St Andrew's, Avonmouth. He beacame the church organist and choirmaster in 1960 and stayed in post until his retirement a few years ago. Since then he has continued to play the organ, currently serving four different parishes. He is also involved in various charity work, including helping at the Christ Church, Clifton, Wednesday lunches. Mike has led Carols on the Green before, in 1987 and 1989. His speciality is audience participation ---- so come prepared for a hearty sing!
The musical accompaniment for our Carols is once again provided by the West Bristol Concert Band, who are celebrating their thirtieth anniversary this year.
The band started life in September 1976, originally as an evening class to provide a musical playing opportunity for the local community, and in particular past and present pupils of Portway School.
Over the years the band's reputation has grown both locally and nationally through its participation in the National Concert Band Festival, being awarded the accolade of Britain's top Community Wind Band in both 1995 and 2003.
It has played for many diverse musical events ranging from the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta and the 1999 Rugby Union World Cup to a major music conference held at Bristol University.
Ironically, in this anniversary year the band has had to relocate its rehearsal base out the of the area to a Primary School in Southmead, having previously used the Public Hall in Station Road, both Lower and Upper sites at Portway School, and the former Lawrence Weston School.
Philip Sims has been the conductor and organiser throughout and must surely be due for parole soon!
Before we ring the bells for Christmas Day
I send my festive cards o'er land and sea
To greet my distant friends; I also pray
For those near home, who all rejoice with me
At Jesu's birth. And cards through doors will fall
But not from me. I'll voice my grettings here,
Cry 'Very Happy Christmas!' to you all,
And all the cash I could have spent on cards will go instead to Christian Aid relief,
For those whose Christmas cold be very drear.
So please accept, good friends, this message brief:
'May Santa bring you all a bright New Year!'
(Thank you for your kind donation Editor)
Station Road Playgroup says 'Goodbye' to Mary Howell
After working in the Co-op at Shirehampton for many years, dealing with the general public, health and safety at work regulations, fresh food hygiene etc, Mary decided that after her retirement at the age of 65 it was time for a change.
Mary went to Playgroup Station Road Playgroup, in fact somewhere she had never been as a 3 year old, but then you are never too old for a new experience.
Mary became a 'volunteer'; she visited Playgroup weekly and worked with the children alongside the staff.
Mary made puzzles, worked with play dough, painted Picasso has nothing to worry about! Lego, she was good at, but 'junk' modelling was her downfall her models fell apart.
There were fundraising, farm trips and toilet duty, Mary was there for them all, including the Christmas party. She served squash and sandwiches, crisps and jelly, chocolate fingers and hula hoops until it was time for a very special person to arrive wearing a red suit and a white beard the children were enthralled, sadly Mary never met him she always seemed to be missing!!!
Now at the age of 77, Mary had decided it's time to say 'Goodbye'. She will be missed, of course, but Station Road Playgroup says a very big 'Thank You' for the last 12 years and we wish you 'Best wishes' for the future. A.S.
To all the staff of Station Road Playgroup for gaining 'The Bristol Standard'. The staff have worked for over a year to gather evidence showing that they fulfil the teaching and learning requirements of the National Curriculum, Ofsted and Bristol City Council. Together with the help and advice from Gish Hobbs, the Early Years Advisor, Station Road Playgroup has become one of only a few playgroups to gain this award.
Their certificate will be displayed in the foyer of the Public Hall. With the 'Bristol Standard Quality Assurance Scheme and Investors in Children' endorsement, Station Road Playgroup is now 'accredited by an Investors in Children Quality Assurance Scheme'. A wonderful achievement. A.S.
St Mary's News
In the bleak mid winter, softly winds made moan,
Your Editor from St Mary's loudly starts to groan,
Christmas Day will soon be here no shopping done yet,
If I were a Wide Man I'd use the Internet!
Snow had fallen snow on snow.
Snow on snow
Now the news from St. Mary's I will have a go!
If you see me in the High Street singing ridiculous words to a Carol, please give generously and I promise to go away.
You might laugh but I forgot to tell you of my moment of glory back in September when Trevor Fry from Radio Bristol came to St Mary's and interviewed me for his programme 'Sunday Starts' well, that's not quite right, because he really came to interview Canon Christine as we are one of the twelve finalists in the Ecclesiastical Insurance Company's Competition to find the most forward moving and welcoming church in England. He also interviewed Gill Sawyer who prepared our entry bid and another member of our congregation involved in our more modern form of worship Lucie Broad. Then it was me! Questions about how long I had been a member of St Mary's, how long I had been in the Church Choir, what changes I had seen over the years. Finally, he asked me to choose one of my favourite hymns so I chose 'Praise to the Holiest in the height' to the tune 'Gerontius' by the Rev J B Dykes. I am happy to sign autographs for a fee which will be donated to St Mary's for whatever purpose Canon Christine decides!! (Probably a single bus ticket to Timbuktu). I've been watching for the postman each day in case I get a letter from Trevor Fry offering me my own programme, but regrettably no response yet!! I'll let you know when I do!!
We were all impressed with Sister Annaliese (from the Community of the Sisters of the Church) when she came to our Harvest Service and the work she does. She has asked whether we could particularly collect for their Christmas parcels:
50 boxes of chocolates
Dolls- black or white
Cars, games, etc for boys (All dolls and toys must be new, please)
They also need:
Chocolate Yule logs, tins of ham, mince pies, chocolate biscuits, sugar, jars of pasta sauce, toiletries, jars of jam/chocolate spread, chocolate coins, instant hot chocolate, selection boxes.
If you could find it in your heart to donate one or more of these items, then please deliver them to the church. You will be helping some disadvantaged person to enjoy some Christmas cheer which they would otherwise not have. May I thank you in anticipation as you have been so generous in the past. To be separated from your family or have no home of your own is particularly poignant at Christmas time.
Our Beetle Drive and Pets Service back in October were both very successful events. All the animals behaved impeccably better than the competitors at the Beetle Drive, so I am told!! (I wait for the torrent of abuse to be heaped on my head for that comment!!)
Our recent Gift Fayre was another great success and raised the sum of £1400 towards Church Funds. A few items left were offered for sale at our Christmas Food Fayre held on Saturday 25th November.
As expected, we had a full church for our annual Memorial Service on Saturday 11th November when the names of loved ones who had passed away were read out. The white Memoriam Cards with their names on them were collected up ready for display on our Tree of Light, which is always illuminated at our evening Advent Carol Service.
The next day was Remembrance Sunday when our congregation made their way in procession from the church to the recently restored War Memorial for the 2 minutes' silence at 11am and the Act of Remembrance for all those who sacrificed their lives in two World Wars and more recent wars, some of which are continuing this day. It was very pleasing to see the War Memorial restored, albeit that it may not be in its final form.
Sunday 3rd December is Advent Sunday Holy Communion is at 10am and at 6pm will be our Advent Carol Service when our Tree of Light will be lit up with white lights and the Memoriam Cards hung from its branches.
At 7pm on Saturday 8th December, the Rhema Theatre Company will be putting on a production of the play 'The Letter' which is a new play on the life of St Paul. Tickets for this production can be obtained FREE from Gill Sawyer at the church, but a retiring collection will be taken at the end of the evening. I am asked to mention that this play is not really suitable for children and can in no way be considered equal to a Pantomime.
On Saturday 9th December is our Annual Gift Morning when Canon Christine will be in the church from 9.30am until 12.30pm to receive your gits which you may have to offer. This is always very rewarding for St Mary's and any money received will be put to a worthwhile cause, yet to be decided by Canon Christine.
At 2.30pm on Sunday 10th December, the Shirehampton Area Choir will be presenting its Annual Christmas Concert in church. Tickets for this very popular concert are £6 which will include nibbles during the interval and can be obtained from Gill Sawyer at the Church Office. Watch me race down the aisle for a taste of those 'Dame Sawyer Nibbles' during the interval. (Who suggested they are going to trip me up?!). All proceeds from this Concert are to be donated to Dementia Care.
At 4.45pm the same afternoon there will be an Ecumenical Christmas Carol Service at the Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road. This is being jointly arranged by St Mary's, Baptist and Methodist Churches with the support of the Cotswold Community Association. We hope many will be encouraged to join us for this occasion.
At 10am on Sunday 17th December we shall be holding our Holy Communion Service with Christingle always a very exciting service for children as Christmas approaches. At 6pm the same evening we shall have our Christmas Carol service when the church Choir will be augmented by some of the members of the Shirehampton area Choir. I always feel that Christmas is just around the corner when it is time for this Service!
The very next day, Monday 18th December, Shirehampton Primary School will be holding 2 Christmas Services in the church. The first one is at 9.45am for the older children and 10.30am for the younger ones. Mums, Dads, Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, Lodgers, in fact anyone who can find room, will be welcome.
On Christmas Eve, Sunday 24th December, there will be no Holy Communion at 10am; instead we will be holding our Crib Service at 4pm when we hope to have real live Donkeys present again! Last year this proved to be an extremely popular service for children and their parents, when the church was absolutely packed. I am sure you won't be disappointed this year either! Our Service of Holy Communion on this day will be our Midnight Mass at 11.30pm.
This will be followed on Christmas Day with a Holy Communion service at 10am (so put the turkey in the oven early and it will be nearly done by the time you go home!).
On Sunday 21st December we will be holding a Family Service with Baptism at 10am. Please note that on this day there will be no Holy Communion with Healing in the evening as it is New Year's Eve.
Sadly I have to record the deaths of several people during recent weeks. Alice Leefson (Rose Watkins' Mother), who until recently resided at Stow House in Nibley Road, died and her funeral service was conducted at St Mary's by Gill Sawyer, our Lay Minister, followed by cremation at Canford. We also extend our deepest sympathy and prayers to Norman and Vera Lock on the sudden loss of their son, Ricky. Also, we were sad to lose Sue Dainton at a very young age and we send our deepest sympathy to her husband, Andy, and her two young children, Rosie and George. On a happier note we are pleased to welcome George into the Church Choir. This was entirely his own decision, decided, I am told, over a bowl of cornflakes at breakfast one morning! He is our only choirboy; the other trebles are girls and ladies. How proud Sue would have been of him and to have seen him dressed in his choir robes. May he have many enjoyable years with us all.
Finally, I now stray into the New Year to tell you that at 1pm on Tuesday 9th January 2007 we shall be holding another Guest Lunch for anyone interested in our new Alpha Course. If you are interested, or know someone who is, then please make contact with Canon Christine, our Curate Andy Schuman or our Lay Minister, Gill Sawyer.
May I wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas and ask you all to say a prayer before you sit down for your Christmas lunch, for all those on their own who have no one to share the festivities with them.
Bye for now!
New Books at Shirehampton Library
|Buckley, Jonathan||So He Takes the Dog|
|Gregory, Susanna||The Tarnished Chalice|
|Hewson, David||The Villa of Mysteries|
|Hopkins, Billy||Anything Goes|
|Hutson, Shaun||Dying Words|
|Jacobs, Anna||Threepenny Dreams|
|Jardine, Quintin||Dead and Buried|
|Kensella, Sophie||The Undomestic Goddess|
|Manby, Chris||The Matchbreaker|
|Meade, Glenn||The Devil's Disciple|
|Mina, Denise||The Dead Hour|
The staff of Shirehampton Group Practice were very sorry to have to turn away about 40 people from the flu clinic held on Thursday 9th December at the Health Centre. This was due to late deliveries of vaccine by the supplier and therefore not within our control. We do understand how frustrating it was for both patients and staff alike. But we would like to make an assurance:
There is no shortage of flu vaccine.
There will be enough vaccine available for all those who are eligible to receive one it is just a bit later than normal. The deliveries have been staggered across October, November and December, with the last one of 820 due on 5th December.
If you received an invitation letter for a flu vaccination and have still not had one, please attend our last session being held in the Health Centre on:
Saturday 9th December 9am11.30am
If you are keen to have a flu vaccination but are not eligible for one on the NHS, you are able to have one privately. You may even by able to receive this at Shirehampton Health Centre! As a Practice, we are not allowed to charge our registered patients for a flu vaccination, but you can receive one through GP Care, a company which is made up of local Bristol GPs and Health Workers. The cost is £15 each, and can be arranged by phoning 0117 969 6371, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. They will be able to offer you a choice of venues and times, take your booking and give you any further information you may need.
John Parsons and the Merchant Navy Association
The Merchant Navy Association in its magazine 'Shipshape and Bristol Fashion' has published an obituary of the late John Parsons. We are grateful for permission to reprint it in Shire, to add to the appreciations in our previous issues.
John Seward Parsons
John Parsons who 'crossed the bar' on Sunday 1st October 2006 aged 77 was an honorary member of our branch for many years. He was one of the first volunteers to step forward to answer our appeal for help when we launched our memorial fund-raising campaign. He donated a painting of the much loved PS 'Ravenswood' in the River Avon, and gave permission for a thousand prints to be made, in order to raise funds. He kindly signed and numbered the first hundred or so along with the late Captain George Gunn, a former master of the vessel. The original painting was raffled on a trip to Ilfracombe on the PS 'Waverley'. So John's contribution helped raise a generous amount for the appeal. He also presented a black and white etching of the memorial to the branch, which is now in St Stephen's Church. He was working on another painting of the memorial but it is now sadly unfinished.
John, and his late wife, Mary, who predeceased him by four months, were both born and bred in Shirehampton. They were loving parents to Geoffrey, Christine, John, Alan and Katie, and they adored their grandchildren. When he left school, he joined James & Hodder as a shipping agent, where his love of ships and the people involved with them grew into a passion. He worked in turn for Hodder Whitwill, Seaport Shipping and Nisson until he retired.
John supported and gave his time to the Royal Edward Lodge at Avonmouth, the Mission to Seafarers, the Bristol Savages, Bristol Ship Owners' Association and Bristol Shiplovers Society.
He was the Finnish Consul for over 25 years and was awarded the status of Knight, first class, of the Order of the Lion of Finland. So he was, in fact, a 'Sir', although he would never allow his family to use the title. His son, Geoffrey, said, 'We were the centre of their universe and their help, advice and laughter will be sorely missed'. All of our lives will be poorer, by their passing. John's funeral was held in St Mary's Church, Shirehampton, on Wednesday 11th October 2006, and thirteen of our members attended the service, which was conducted by the Reverend Canon Christine Froude. The red ensign was lowered to half-mast at the memorial on the Welsh Back on the day of the funeral, as a mark of respect. John's paintings will form a legacy which art lovers can enjoy for some time to come.
What's On in December
COFFEE MORNING at the library 10am noon
FRIDAY FUN weekly for Parents, Carers, and pre-school children 9.30am 11am at the Beachley Walk Centre
EVERGREENS weekly at the Public Halledeffffjh hio;qdwy 7 9pm at the Public Hall
SHIREHAMPTON AMATEUR RADIO CLUB weekly at T S Enterprise 7.30 10pm
SHORT MAT BOWLS every Friday and Monday at Avonmouth Community Centre 10am -12 noon
KEEP FIT weekly at the Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road 10.30am-11.30am
BRING & BUY SALE Shirehampton Methodist Church 10am 12 noon
STAMP & POSTCARD FAIR Public Hall 10am 4pm
CHRISTMAS FUN TIME Cotswold Community Centre Community Centre 2 4pm, £1.50 per family
ST MARY'S: 8.30am Kid;s Club; 10am Hoily Communion; 6pm Lighting of Tree of Life &
Advent Carol Service
ACTA COMMUNITY YOUTH THEATRE for 11-16 year olds. Weekly at the Public Hall, 5pm-6.30pm.
3 OF US BINGO, weekly at St Andrew's Church Hall, Avonmouth 1.15pm-2.45pm.
KEEP FIT weekly at the Avonmouth Community Centre
BASIC LITERACY SKILLS weekly at Lawrence Weston Tel: 0117 913 8824 for details
KYOTO SHOTOKAN KARATE CLUB trains at St Bernard's School weekly 6.30pm-8.30pm
TEA & TOTS weekly during term time at St Mary's: Parents, Babies & Toddlers Group 1.15pm 2.45pm
ST ANDREW'S LADIES 7.30pm St Andrew's Church Hall, Avonmouth, In House Party
TEA JUNCTION weekly at St Mary's 2pm tea, chat, board games
CRAFT GROUP weekly at St Mary's 2pm 2.30pm
BINGO or a speaker weekly at 2pm, the Tythe Barn, High Street
SHIREHAMPTON MODEL RAILWAY CLUB, weekly at the Public Hall at 7.30pm.
BARBERS IN BASQUE FUN EVENING Hair cuts (over 16s only) to raise money for the
Community Centre at PJs, 30 Station Road
A.U.S. Advice Sessions every Wednesday and Thursday 9.30 11am at 115 High Street
ACTA COMMUNITY YOUTH THEATRE for 11 16s weekly at the Public Hall 5pm 6.30pm
KEEP FIT weekly at the Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road 10.30am 11.30am for those with some movement experience
COTSWOLD BOOK CLUB Christmas Special, Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road, 7.30pm
POLICE SURGERY with PC Gareth Davies. Weekly at Penpole Community Room. To contact him at other times, phone Avonmouth Police Station 0117 945 4380
SHIP-LOVERS SOCIETY: 'Backstage Secrets' by Kay Rawlings, Holy Trinity Church Hall,
Hotwells Road 7pm
SHIREHAMPTON TOWNSWOMEN'S GUILD, 2pm-4pm at the Methodist Church Hall. Music by Christine & Friends
KICK BOXING weekly at the Public Hall 5.15pm 7.15pm
STROKE SUPPORT weekly at the PBA Club, Nibley Road 1.30pm-4pm
BINGO or a speaker weekly at the Tythe Barn 2pm
GRAINGER PLAYERS DRAMA CLUB weekly at the Public Hall 7.30pm 9.30pm
KYOTO SHOTOKAN KARATE CLUB train at Avonmouth RFC weekly 6.30 8.30pm
KEEP FIT with sports balls and Yoga. Weekly at Rock Community Centre, Ridingleaze, Lawrence Weston
RHEMA THEATRE GROUP presenting a new play 'The Letter' at St Mary's 7pm
QUIZ NIGHT at Avonmouth Community Centre 7pm. £8 per team. Ring 0117 982 7445 for details
CAROL SERVICE Cotswold Community Centre Community Centre, Dursley Road 4.45pm
BOBBY VAN AT THE GREEN weekly, police advice
WOMEN'S FELLOWSHIP at the Public Hall 7.30pm
ST ANDREW'S LADIES CHRISTMAS PARTY at Clarence House
LOCAL HISTORY GROUP in the Library 2.30pm
PBA PENSIONERS meet at the Club House, Nibley Road, 1.30pm 3.30pm
Last day of term for all local schools
SHIREHAMPTON STITCHERS Public Hall 7.30pm
CARERS GROUP meets at Avonmouth Medical Centre, 10am 12 noon
CARERS GROUP meets at Ridingleaze House, Lawrence Weston at 2pm
DIABETES UK, Penpole Tenants' Association Hall, 7.30pm
SEQUENCE DANCE Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road 7.30pm 10pm
ADDITIONAL LOCAL ACTIVITIES
FOR 2007 'WHAT'S ON'
Please would all club and society secretaries let SHIRE have their 2007 dates and details for forthcoming activities via the Library by December 10th.
Memorial to Stay Put
The march to the War Memorial on Remembrance Sunday for the annual service
At a meeting held on Saturday 25th November for Shire residents, it was unanimously decided to keep the restored War Memorial in its present location at the top of Park Hill.
There was complete satisfaction with the stone cross that has replaced the original metal one that was stolen, and thanks were sent to the Council for their work in the restoration.
Wreaths laid at the restored War Memorial