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News Index

Library Update

35th Anniversary

What's On in February

War Memorial Conclusion

Carols on the Green

Letters to the Editor

Lollipop Lady

St Mary's News

Library Update

The Library will be closed from Monday 5th February until Saturday 24th February. We will re-open on Monday 26th February and operate our normal opening hours from then.

We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may cause but it is necessary to allow the Library to be made more accessible to disabled people. We will be having the front forecourt re-surfaced and the ramps front and back made safer. We will also have an automatic interior door fitted and alterations to the desk and fire exit.

Whilst we are closed please remember that you can use your library card at any Bristol, South Gloucester, Bath and North East Somerset, Somerset and North Somerset Libraries.

Your nearest libraries are:

SEA MILLS 0117 903 8555

Monday, Thursday , Saturday 9-1 and 2-5 Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 9-1

AVONMOUTH 0117 903 8580

Monday 2-5; Wednesday 10-1

Friday 2-6; Saturday 9.30-12.30

Thank you for all your support and patience. We look forward to seeing you on our re-opening.

NB: While the Library is closed for refurbishment, there will be no LOCAL HISTORY GROUP MEETING, nor READING GROUP. Both these societies will start again in March when the Library will then be back to normal.


While the Library is closed for alterations, please post your pieces of copy for 'Shire' through the letterbox in the Library front door and the Staff will see that it reaches the Editor. Should the pathway to the Library be impassable, then leave it at the Public Hall and they will collect copy and pass it on to us. Thank you. Ed.

35th Anniversary

Shire is a non-political and inter-denominational paper, run entirely by volunteers. We believe we are the longest running Community publication in Bristol. We are grateful to the team who work to produce it and distribute to homes in the locality, and to you, our readers, who regularly supply the copy and pictures.

For some time now 5,000 copies are printed each month. Our revenue is from printing adverts, and if there are any funds over at the end of the year, they are given mainly to local voluntary organisations.

Keep in Touch

You can always reach the editors - email or fax +44 (0) 117 982 1292

Volunteer Deliverers Required

Please would readers help with the delivery of 'Shire' in Lower High Street. If you could help with this vacancy please phone 0117 982 6935. Thank you.


A packet of holiday photographs were found in Severn Road near the Car Park on Tuesday December 26th

They can be claimed by phoning 0117 982 9504

Important Notice

Avon (University Settlement) Community Association is delivering a new Advice Service in Avonmouth at St Andrews Church Hall, sponsored by St Andrews Church.

The service will commence on Monday February 5th 2007 and every Monday on a drop-in basis between 9.30am and 11.30am. No appointment is necessary and it is available to everyone.

Tony, the advice worker, will advise on welfare benefits, debt advice, housing, employment and other legal matters.

Avon (University Settlement) Community Association will continue to operate drop-in sessions on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 9.30am and 11.30am at 115 High Street, Shirehampton, tel. 982 9399.

What's On in February

Thursday February 1st
  • BRISTOL SHIPLOVERS SOCIETY at Holy Trinity Church Hall, Hotwells 7.15pm for 7.30pm. 'Piracy in the Far East' - Speaker Rev Philip Auden, Chaplain to Mission to Seamen, Royal Portbury
  • SHIREHAMPTON TOWNSWOMEN'S GUILD 2-4pm at the Methodist Church Hall
  • KICK BOXING at the Public Hall weekly 5.15-7.15pm
  • STROKE SUPPORT every Thursday at the P.
  • B.A. Club, Nibley Road 1.30-4pm
  • SLIMMING WORLD weekly 5.30pm and 7pm at Jim O'Neill House
  • BINGO or a speaker at the Tythe Barn 2pm every week
  • GRAINGER PLAYERS DRAMA CLUB at the Public Hall, weekly 7.30-9.30pm
  • KYOTO SHOTOKAN KARATE CLUB train at Avonmouth R.F.C. weekly 6.30-8.30pm
  • KEEP FIT with sports balls and Yoga each Thursday 6.30-7.30pm at the Rock Community Centre, Ridingleaze, Lawrence Weston

Friday February 2nd

  • COFFEE MORNING at the Library 10am-12 noon
  • FRIDAY FUN weekly for Parents, Carers and Pre-School Children 9.30-11am at the Beachley Walk Centre
  • EVERGREENS every week at the Public Hall 2-4pm
  • BINGO at the Public Hall starting 6.30pm weekly
  • PILLOW LACE GROUP every Friday 7-9pm at the Public Hall
  • SHIREHAMPTON AMATEUR RADIO CLUB each week at T.S. Enterprise 7.30-10pm
  • COLOUR ME BEAUTIFUL evening at St Mary's starting with a Supper - £6 per ticket

Saturday February 3rd

  • BRING & BUY at Shirehampton Methodist Church 10am-12 noon

Sunday February 4th

  • COTSWOLD SERVICE led by the Baptist Church at the Community Centre, Dursley Road 4.45-5.30pm
  • ST MARY'S 10am SERVICE with Bishop Lee, Bishop of Swindon

Monday February 5th

  • SEE AND KNOW for Under 5s at St Mary's weekly 1.15-2.45pm3 OF US BINGO at St Andrew's Church Hall, Avonmouth weekly 1.15-2.45pm
  • KEEP FIT weekly at the Avonmouth Community Centre 7.30-8.30pm
  • BASIC LITERACY SKILLS at Lawrence Weston weekly - tel. 0117 913 8824 for details
  • KYOTO SHOTOKHAN KARATE CLUB trains at St Bernard's School each week 6.30-8.30pm

Tuesday February 6th

  • ST ANDREW'S LADIES at St Andrew's Church Hall at 7.30pm 'Evacuees to Canada' speaker Pat Bennett
  • Every Tuesday AUS ADVICE CENTRE open 9.30-11.30am for advice for anyone 55 and over age group, sponsored by Age Concern
  • TEA JUNCTION at St Mary's weekly 2pm - tea, chat and board games
  • CRAFTY GROUP at St Mary's 2-2.30pm every Tuesday
  • BINGO or a speaker at the Tythe Barn, High Street weekly at 2pm each Tuesday
  • SHIREHAMPTON MODEL RAILWAY CLUB weekly at the Public Hall at 7.30pm
  • SHIREHAMPTON CHOIR REHEARSAL every Tuesday 7.45-9.15pm at the Methodist Church

Wednesday February 7th

  • BRIGHT HOUR (Women's Fellowship) at the Baptist Church 2.30pm
  • AUS ADVICE SESSIONS every Wednesday and Thursday 9.30-11am, High Street
  • ACTA COMMUNITY YOUTH CENTRE for 11-16 year olds weekly at the Public Hall 5-6.30pm
  • KEEP FIT at the Cotswold Centre, Dursley Road 10.30-11.30am for those with some movement experience every Wednesday

Tuesday February 13th

  • BOBBY VAN ON THE GREEN Police Advice Centre

Wednesday February 14th

  • WOMENS FELLOWSHIP at the Public Hall 7.30pm

Thursday February 15th

  • CARERS GROUP meets at Avonmouth Medical Centre 10am-12 noon
  • CARERS GROUP meets at Ridingleaze House, Lawrence Weston at 2pm
  • BRISTOL SHIPLOVERS SOCIETY 7.15pm for 7.30pm at Holy Trinity Church Hall, Hotwells Road - Talk 'Deep Sea Fishing' by Tim Mowat, organiser to the Mission to Seamen

Friday February 16th

  • END OF TERM 3 for all local schools

Sunday February 18th

  • COTSWOLD SERVICE organised by St Mary's 4.45-5.30pm

Tuesday February 20th

  • ST ANDREW'S LADIES meet at 7.30pm at St Andrew's Church Hall, Avonmouth at 7.30pm ' Hair by Joanne' P.B.A. PENSIONERS meet in the Clubhouse, Nibley Road 1.30-3.30pm
  • SHROVE TUESDAY ANNUAL PANCAKE RACE 10am-12 noon organised by St Mary's

Wednesday February 21st

  • SHIRE STITCHERS at the Public Hall at 7.30pm
  • KEEP FIT at the Cotswold Community Centre every week 10.30-11.30am for those with some movement experience

Thursday February 22nd

  • DIABETES UK 7.30pm at the Penpole Association Hall

Friday February 23rd

  • SEQUENCE DANCE at the Cotswold Centre, Dursley Road 7.30-10pm

Monday February 26th

  • BEGINNING OF TERM 4 for all local schools

Please note - the Library will be closed to the Public from Monday February 5th until Saturday February 24th. It will re-open on Monday February 26th.

Who do You Think you Are?

Finding our Roots

Shire Baptist Church is to run a monthly series of talks looking at the roots of their own branch of the Christian family. How, why and when did Baptists begin?The three Sunday evening talks will look first of all at the life of Martin Luther, whose work changed the whole church, then the birth of the continental Anabaptists, who were the radicals of their day, and finally, the beginnings of the Baptist movement in Britain.

The talks are designed to be of interest to anyone, Christian or not, who is curious about history.

The dates are 25th February, 25th March and 22nd April and each begins at 6.30pm.

War Memorial Conclusion

It is a great pleasure to inform all Shire readers, all residents of the village and all those with personal connections to the War Memorial that the recent difficulties have now been resolved.

If you were able to attend the Remembrance Service at the Memorial on 12th November, you will have seen the replacement cross and excellent repairs carried out by the City Council. The attached photographs provide a visual record of the sequence of events, but they cannot begin to reflect the amount of work carried out behind the scenes to ensure that the Memorial site would be ready to host that important event.


The Memorial, November 2005                                          Damaged, crucifix stolen

Ultimately, the community owes a debt of gratitude to the Central Support Services of the City Council for the interest, swift response and finance in effecting the repair. The Council does have a nominal budget to provide cover for distressed monuments in the area, but their reaction to Shirehampton's dilemma should be gratefully acknowledged. The Council is usually the object of negative criticism, but this is an example that proves it can deliver when it really matters.

Canon Christine has written a formal letter of thanks on behalf of us all to round off her direction of the local effort. It is arguably remiss of the author to summarise her contribution in two words, but you should note that her role involved the chairing of two public meetings, attendance at others, and extensive correspondence. Her aim was to ensure that the repair was effected correctly, but within a tight deadline, and to simultaneously ensure that all of the local interests and concerns were taken into account. It is very significant that we all now share the successful outcome of her endeavours.


During repairs                                                          After this year's Remebrance Service

The service on the 12th November may have marked the success of the mission, but the public meeting on 25th November marked its finale. The assembly discussed the new stone crucifix and resolved, unanimously, that it was a worthy replacement, requiring no further change. The second matter for discussion was the question of the possible relocation of the memorial, on the grounds of security. It was widely agreed that, whilst the reason for raising this question was quite valid, the monument's integrity only became an issue because of the criminal actions of thieves, who were clearly aware of the high value that base metals have recently attracted. One person commented on the absence of a history of vandalism, despite its prominent and exposed position. After agreed discussion a formal vote was taken and it was unanimously agreed that the memorial is better left where it is.

All of those who had any part in this process can confidently assure those who were not involved that democracy lives in the village and that the potentially calamitous desecration of a major historical landmark has been overcome with a combination of local efforts and discussion and the monetary support from the local authority.

Thank you to everyone involved and it is quite appropriate to repeat Canon Christine's thanks publicly, in this column, for the invaluable intervention and support of Bristol City Council.

Photographs supplied by Andy Stewart.

Carols on the Green

Every year this local tradition is different. This time it began with a recording of the Salvation Choir and Band, so it gave us all an idea of the standard of performance to be aimed for. Mike Anthill, Shirehampton born and bred, who lives in Walton Road, was the Master of Ceremony. He certainly kept us all alert, what with us all cheering everytime 'Shire' was mentioned, and having different verses of certain carols sung by either men or women and sometimes children. Mike thanked all the people who had contributed to the local festive scene and we all wished Bradley and a member of the band 'Happy Birthdays'. Father Christmas phoned Mike and left a message for all the children.


The exotic parcel                                                     The backs of the crowd

The Concert Band of West Bristol, under their conductor, Philip Sims, accompanied the singing and urged us all to keep in tune. We were lucky in that the weather was fine, and the grass was reasonably firm under- foot. Thanks to everyone for leaving the Green clean and tidy, except for a few flattened blades of grass. You would never know that several hundreds had stood there for half an hour, carolling with all their might and main. J.A.

Shire Carols travel East!

The Shire Carol Sheet, published in our December issue for the annual Carols on the Green had an unexpected journey East - literally, to Berkshire, and spiritually to Korea.

It all came about because Shirehampton resident Yong Ho Jeon, who is completing his doctoral thesis at Trinity College, Stoke Bishop, is also Pastor of the Korean Church in Reading. In his church a couple of his members are married to English people, so, when conducting the carol service there, Yong Ho thought it would be nice if they could sing along to the Carols, which of course were being sung by the rest of the congregation in Korean. He realised that the Shire December centre pages provided an ideal compact collection. The service was greatly appreciated, and we are happy to have helped in its success.

Our picture shows Yong Ho, with his wife Hi Seon Son and son Young Seop Jeon - plus, naturally, our well-travelled carol collection.

Recycling Christmas Cards

If you have not done so already, the place to take your Christmas cards for recycling is a Tesco store. The more we recycle, in aid of the Woodland Trust, the more trees will be saved.

The Group Practice with lots of 'thank yous'!

A big thank you to all our patient patients? Moving into the portacabins last September was a huge undertaking and we were impressed by your support over that time. Many of you will have already visited us in our temporary accommodation and have seen how light and airy it looks inside. We have settled down fairly well, although the reception area remains the biggest challenge with such little space available. We hope that the installation of the new Self Check-in System will have improved matters by the time this article comes out! If the majority of Group Practice patients coming into the Health Centre for an appointment with one of the G

Ps or Nurses can use this system, this will help to alleviate space at the desk for the receptionists to deal with more complex matters. It is very easy to use and our receptionists will help you out if you ask. Of course, if it is just advice you need, don't forget to try NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or

Car Parking

In the new building, we will not only have parking for patients, but also a dedicated area for staff vehicles. We do appreciate the understanding of our local residents, particularly in Bradley Crescent and Walton Road, as staff are forced to park off road during this building phase. We thank you for your continued patience and we will try to remain considerate when parking in residential areas. Can we also ask other users of the Health Centre to try, where possible, not to use your car when visiting? In particular, we are very concerned about the use of the space at the front of the portacabins - there is only parking for disabled patients and ambulances, but many people stop and park, often using the wide pavement area in front. We do understand how annoying it is that there is no other nearby parking, especially if you are only popping in to collect a prescription or make an appointment. But we are concerned that there will be an accident before long. Dropping off patients at the front is not a problem, but please do not park there, even for a minute or two, as the need to reverse off this forecourt is very dangerous to the many pedestrians coming in and out.

Appointment System

Thank you for yet more patience while we try to get our appointment system right! Although there is no such thing as a perfect system, which will suit everyone, we do think that introducing 48 hour appointments has helped enormously. We now ask that you only request an appointment for the same day if it really can't wait. We will try and offer you one within the following 48 hours, although the G

Ps are very keen on continuity of care and would prefer that you see the same GP for the same problem wherever possible. This really does improve clinical care and saves a lot of time. Don't forget that we also have telephone consultations for those issues that may not need a visit to the surgery. Repeat sick notes don't generally need a GP appointment either, and Janet Watts, our Nurse Clinician, is able to deal with a whole host of minor ailments such as sore throats, ear pain, 'flu symptoms and coughs. Reception staff will sensitively try to find out what you need so that they can make the most appropriate appointment for you - we appreciate your co-operation and help.

Carole Brooke, the Practice Manager for the Group Practice, is always happy to receive calls from patients if there are any concerns, issues, or positive remarks patients would like to make. Her number is 916 2225. We also have a suggestion box in the waiting room - all suggestions for improvement are taken seriously and discussed at Practice meetings and your comments may remain anonymous if you prefer.

And a Final Thanks...

And finally, thank you to all those who very kind brought in gifts for the staff over the Christmas period. We are most grateful - even if our waistlines are not!

Shirehampton Primary School ASD Unit & School Crossing Patrol

Shirehampton Primary School is undergoing extensive building work this year as North Bristol's Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Unit Provision is built alongside it. The provision, due to open in September 2007, will cater for nearly thirty pupils with specific needs which will be met through the new building and staff.

Whilst the building work is underway, the pupils of Shirehampton Primary School are required to use just one of the original three entrances, causing a great deal of congestion on St Mary's Road and St Mary's Walk. To reduce the hazards to pupils and parents using this route, Shirehampton Primary School, in conjunction with Bristol's Road Safety Team, have employed and trained a new School Crossing Patrol Person - Rose Damsell - who can be seen safely stopping traffic at the beginning and end of the school day on St Mary's Road, to allow safe passage for pedestrians.

Cabinet of Curiosities at Blaise Castle House Museum

A new 'Cabinet of Curiosities', displaying weird and wonderful objects from everyday life in the past is now on permanent display at the museum. Objects include a bottle from Hiroshima, bone from a Bristol rioter, and a scold's bridle!

Letters to the Editor

Christmas Lights

Dear Editor,

It was very satisfying to see such a large attendance for Carols on the Green this year, and we are all grateful for the inspired leadership of Mike Anthill.

However, I should like just to point out for the record that him offering thanks to the traders for providing the Christmas lights in the village was a little short of the mark.

The sole responsibility for the lights has rested with the Christmas Association for the past six years. We raise the funds, most of which come in through the generosity of those who put money in the tins in the shops, or from those individuals or organisations who make larger one-off gifts.

We are of course very grateful to the traders who allow us to put lights on their premises, and in most cases allow us free use of their electricity, but I am sure that they would be the first to acknowledge that the Lights Association pays for the lights, pays for replacing and repairing them, pays for putting them up and taking them down, and pays the insurance premiums necessary to cover accidents.

The Lights belong to the people who live in Shirehampton and virtually all our income comes from the large number of Shire folk who so generously support us year by year.

Yours - Michael Morgan, Chair Shirehampton Christmas Association

Something for the Kids

We need things for the kids of Shire to do to keep them off the streets, like a club. We have no swimming pool, no sports centre and no snooker hall. Now the old council office in Meadow Grove is up for sale. Let's get the council to turn that into a club for the kids, or have one in Shire like on the old pool site. The kids could play snooker, darts and more games like that, soft drinks could be sold, and make it not costly to play the games.

Thank you, M. Baker


Please see below letter which we sent to Norman Cornthwaite, Democratic Support Office

Re: Proposed usage of the former Three Cooks in Shirehampton High Street

We believe application has been made to turn this into an adult amusement arcade. As both parents and grandparents we strongly object to this. Encouraging this type of business in a small place like Shirehampton is foolish, to say the least. Can we not instead have somewhere for the young people in our village.

We remain Yours Faithfully

R & H Thorne

NOTE: It has now been passed to be an adult amusement arcade, therefore it is in all our interests to keep an eye on developments and report any mis-use of these premises, or breaking of the rules of opening, etc.

How do other residents feel about the subject?


Dear Sir

Thank you very much for my bundle of Shire News, just collected from 'Shire' in the High Street. Also, thank you for the Shire Calendar and the Shire News, now on the way to my brother in America.

I write also about the article about the Cenotaph. Thank goodness it is to be left alone. In the article about the Cenotaph you say a letter was sent to the Council to thank them for the repair after it was vandalised. The repairs and restoration were executed and paid for by a local man who is on the Council, Mr Spud Murphy, so all thanks to him alone. Re: the book about Shirehampton published in America and my request for information about getting a copy. Well, my problem was solved as my brother in America purchased one for himself and one for me, which his now on its way to me. Thanking you and all concerned for a great local newsheet. A copy on its way also to Australia.

Yours truly, G. Burke

Letter from America

I would like to wish the staff of the 'Shire' a Happy Near Year. Thank you for a great website. Also, I would like to wish Mary Howell good health and good luck as she enters retirement.

John Rogers, USA

Christmas Lights Association

The AGM will be held in the 'Lamplighters', Station Road on Thursday March 8th at 7.30pm. All are welcome.

Learning Zone

FREE Computer Skills Sessions. Develop your expertise in everything, from word processing to family history small groups. Advance booking. Ask at the Library for details.

Under 5 Winner

Congratulations to Kira Wright, the winner of 'Decorate Miffy's Christmas Tree' colouring competition. The photograph shows Kira receiving her prize of a soft toy, Miffy. A big thank you to all the children who took part.

Fantastic February at St Mary's

  • Friday 2nd February - 'Colour Me Evening' 7.30-10pm. A meal and an opportunity to find out which colours suit you. Tickets 6. Bring your own drink. Tickets are available from the church office.
  • Tuesday 20th February - Pancake Party & Races - 10am-12 noon. Come along on Shrove Tuesday - eat your pancakes and burn off the calories by entering the pancake races! Lots of fun for all.
  • Wednesday 21st February - Holy Communion for Ash Wednesday - 7-9pm. Service followed by a simple supper. Sign up in church for the supper.
  • Wednesdays 28th February - 28th March - Our Lent Course with a Difference - Supper and ...! 7-9pm. Why not try it? Sign up in church.


Railway Modellers for new model railway club in North Bristol. Ring Dave on 0117 950 2448 for details.

Lollipop Lady

Many of you, especially those who live at the lower end of the Village, cannot have missed the absence of the School Lollipop Lady at Lower High Street.

Liz (Betty) Young had been the School Road Safety Warden at this location for 33 years - seeing the children from Avon Primary School across the road in all winds and weathers.

She took the job on in 1973 following a serious head operation as a means of recuperating from this illness and enjoyed it so much she stayed on for many, many years, seeing several generations of some families over that very busy road.

Not a person to suffer fools gladly, she was always firm with the children under her control - their safety being her prime concern.

I cannot recall any child suffering any mishap when under her control, but woe betide any motorist who failed to comply with her 'Stop - Children' sign. The note book and pencil were out like a flash and several errant motorists found themselves before the Justices and had their driving licences endorsed and relieved of some cash in order to pay a substantial fine. One even fled the country (but I really think he emigrated rather than being afraid of incurring this lady's wrath in the Magistrates' Court).

During those 33 years many 'Lollipop Sign' handles were worn out by being plonked firmly on the tarmac, hats changed styles, white rubber raincoats became PVC raincoats with reflective stripes on them, manually operated Warning Lights became automatic (when they worked) and, dare I say it, the good lady began to become that much older.

Eventually, in September 2006, Liz decided to call it a day and, in order to be nearer to her family, she retired to Weston- super-Mare.

We all wish her well in her new home and environment and it would never surprise me if that white-coated figure reappeared somewhere in that North Somerset town! All the best for the future - and we shall look forward to your return visits to Shirehampton from time to time.


St. Andrews Ladies

  • 6 Feb Evacuee to Canada - Pat Bennett
  • 20 Feb Hair - Joanne
  • 6 March Mary Carpenter - Carla Contractor
  • 20 March Bristol Fashion - Cedric Platt
  • 2 April Bring and Buy - Auction
  • 17 April Aust Ferry - Tim Ryan
  • 1 May Surprise Talk - Susan Marshfield
  • 15 May This is My Life - Petty Scott
  • 5 June Summer Outing
  • 3 July To be arranged
  • 17 July AGM - Supper
  • Closed August
  • 4 September Quiz

Meeting on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month at St Andrews Church Hall, Avonmouth, 7.30-9.30. All welcome.

Cautionary Tale!

I hear you've just been to Russia. Yes, I've always wanted to go, so my son and a friend arranged this trip via air, train and boat.

Did you enjoy it? Yes, in spite of losing our passports.

Oh dear. Were you robbed? So it would seem. Apparently, one in ten visitors to Russia are robbed, mugged or otherwise inconvenienced (official statistic).

How careless of you. Didn't you have one of those bodybelt things? Yes, but after we presented the passports on the boat, I totally forgot that my son had put mine in his bag, while I was elsewhere, and I think he did, too.

Didn't you need them again? Not until we were going home. Money comes out of a machine nowadays, thanks to a card.

Surely your tour guide reminded you to keep your passport with you? We didn't have one. We were independent travellers and could not cross the border without our passports. We were tipped out of the train with our baggage, and returned to the city where we spent an expensive night.

What did you do next morning? Went to the Consulate. They provided a room, a telephone and drinking water, all essential. The worst thing was wondering who had stolen the passports. We reported the theft to the Police, who told us that one passport had been handed in near one of our ports of call, a long way away. We realised that this was where two of us had been on a local minibus looking for elk and the bag had been briefly left while the visitors rushed out to an alleged sighting. Nothing was seen, of course, but there was time for a local to investigate our bag.

This made us feel better, because we realised that it was nothing to do with anywhere we had stayed, or anyone who had helped us. We stayed at the consulate all day, with various excursions for photos, food and cash. We paid for our new 12-month passports, exact money please, consulates don't give change. We managed to change our flights and got home only 24 hours overdue.

In spite of the annoyance and expense, I think we learned quite a lot about the country. I'll have to be more careful next time. But don't get me wrong - one of the most enjoyable episodes of the whole trip involved the Russian family who befriended us on the boat before all the passport crisis. The boat was Russian and the passengers were all Russian apart from a few Italians and us three English. The mother of the family came to look at some needlepoint I was doing; we had no common language but she understood about cushions. Soon we were joined by two grown-up sons, one of whom had a little school English, and we described our respective families by drawing family trees. Finally the father awoke from his post-prandial vodka-induced siesta, flung his arms round the two men of my party and introduced himself as one of Gorbachov's erstwhile bodyguards and (more quietly) as a former member of the KGB. He later presented my son and his friend with a tee-shirt each (with impressive logo) and, when we finally disembarked, the mother sought me out and gave me a little picture of the forest alongside which we had sailed.

Those are the things one remembers!


News from Down Under

The Bailey family, Margaret and her husband Michael and their 3 sons emigrated to Australia, about 20 years ago, and are now living in New South Wales. The boys are now grown-up and married. Margaret, in retirement, has taken up painting. The farm where they now live has survived the recent droughts because they were able to collect sufficient water in tanks before it came.

Margaret is recovering from an operation to remove a tumour from her colon. She is in good spirits and looks forward to getting back to her normal busy life.

Shirehampton AFC 1907/8

In last month's issue there was a picture of Shirehampton AFC (1907/08). The back row listed C. Osman and I.K. Osman. I know that I.K. Osman was my Great-grandfather, Isaac Osman, who was also a parish councillor, but does anyone know who C. Osman was?Charles was a family name, so this may be his first name. Was he one of Isaac's sons? It seems likely. The only brother I knew of, which my grandfather had, was the husband of my Auntie Beat, who lived at 104, The Portway.

Can any reader help me?

Gil Osman

Portway School Memories

Portway School was on the corner of St Bernards Road and Park Road. The Girls School out onto Portway, the Boys Park Road. I left the school in April 1942. It was a mixed school then because of the war. My teacher was Mr Norris and the class was 3G. It was a good school - disciplined. The teachers were older than they are today and we respected them.

Enid Brice

Evergreens Day Trips 2007

  • April 10th Cardiff
  • May 8th Weymouth
  • June 12th Marlborough and Lacock
  • July 10th Moreton-in-Marsh and Burton-on-Water
  • August 14th Dartmouth and river trip
  • September 11th Swanage
  • October 9th Burnham and Minehead
  • December 4th Christmas Dinner

To book on any of the above trips please call in at the Public Hall on Friday afternoons between 1am-6pm with a £2 deposit.

Thank you, Norman

Betty Lewis

My thanks to friends and neighbours for the donation to St Peters Hospice in memory of Betty. Also for the many cards and messages of sympathy.

From Len and Family

Thank you for your kind donation to Shire funds. Ed.

A Meeting in Peru

Aracelli and  Steve Hobby with their daughter, Jerusaleh

When I told Sally-Ann Ison (of Dursley Road) that I was going to Peru, she exclaimed: 'Do you know Steve's living there now?' I didn't.

Steve knocked on the door of my Hostel (small hotel) in Cusco. He was broader and fuller of face. I had remembered him as slim, thin-faced young man. We shook hands and greeted one another. He showed little signs of breathlessness, after climbing the hill to the hostel. I would have had to stop every 10 or 15 paces to get my breath back in the thin atmosphere.

Cusco, or Cuzco, was the old Inca capital, the centre of their extensive empire. It is 3,310 metres above sea level (about two-and-a- half times as high as Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles). Luckily, I only suffered a slight dizziness and queasiness on arrival, not the severe reaction (altitude sickness) from which some people suffer.

Steve took me to the central city square to meet Aracelli, who had been shopping. We then took a taxi to their flat in the suburbs. Steve and Aracelli are in the process of selling their home in Sea Mills and buying a house in the same area in which they now live.

Steve is the pastor of an evangelical church (The Assemblies of God). There is already an established branch in another part of Cusco, but he has started this new branch, with a core of young members. The meeting place is not far from their flat; nor will it be far from their new house.

I met Jeruselah, Steve and Aracelli's young daughter, who had been left with their maid; a lively little girl, with boundless energy. Micah, their older son, was away for the day, playing with a cousin.

After a large lunch, which Steve had cooked and which I could not finish (delicious though it was) we visited the Inka Museum in the city centre. Then, after a drink at a cafť on the main square, we took leave of each other.

It was an extraordinary experience to encounter my old classmate's son, high up in the Andes Mountains, in the middle of a strange country. Who would have thought that two 'local lads' could have met up in such a way, in such a far away place!

I was pleased to be able to do Steve a service, by bringing back Christmas presents for his mother in Henbury (two sweaters); also a letter to his Bristol bank manager. The Peruvian mail is very unreliable - none of my postcards have yet arrived in England!

Steve, Aracelli, Jerusaleh and Gil Osman outside the the Spanish cathedral in Cusco

Steve is the son of Norman Hobby, who was a classmate of mine at Portway School in the early 1950s. I had met Steve some years previously, on an Alpha course. He and his Peruvian wife, Aracelli, were regular members of Shirehampton Baptist Church.

Gil Osman

Appeal for Information after Sexual Assault

Police are appealing for witnesses after a teenage girl was sexually assaulted in Shirehampton.

It happened at around 8pm on Saturday December 23, when the 13-year-old girl was walking along Shirehampton Road, adjacent to the golf course.

As she was walking in the direction of Shirehampton she saw a man walking towards her. The man engaged the girl in conversation, before grabbing hold of her and dragging her on to the grassy bank next to the road, where he assaulted her.

The offender, who was disturbed by a passer-by, who heard the victim calling for help, made off in an unknown direction.

The offender was described as a white man, aged in his 20s, 6ft tall, of muscular build.

He spoke with a local accent, was wearing dark clothing and had blonde hair and a distinctive jawline.

An e-fit of the suspect is available from the force website

One witness has mentioned someone on a pushbike cycling along the pavement, past the victim and the offender. Police are keen to speak to this potential key witness.

Anyone who can help should call Bristol CID on 0845 456 7000 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. Anyone who can help should contact us through our secure Crimestoppers contact form at

Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. You do not have to give your name and you could receive a reward.

Do Your Bit to Protect the Elderly

Police are asking people to do their bit to protect the elderly and vulnerable in our communities following two bogus caller incidents in Bristol on Saturday January 6.

Between 10-10.30am a man knocked at the home of an 87-year-old woman in Shirehampton, enquiring whether she was experiencing any problems with her water supply. She let the man in to her house, and another man then followed. They engaged her in conversation then made off, having stolen money from her.

The first man is described as white, in his 40s or 50s, about 5ft 2 and stocky in build. He had short black hair which was slicked back to his head and he was wearing a navy v-necked jumper, short black trousers, and a dark-coloured coat with writing on the chest. He spoke with a foreign, possibly Polish, accent.

The second man was also white, in his late 20s, about 5ft 10 and of slim build. He had fair hair and was wearing dark clothing. He had a similar accent to the other offender.

The second incident, not believed to be connected, happened between 3pm and 4pm in Clifton, Bristol.

Anyone with any information about either incident is asked to contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. You do not have to give your name and could receive a reward.

Bristol Shiplovers' Society

Founded 1931 Chairman: Captain C. Smith

HEADQUARTERS Holy Trinity Church Hall, Hotwells Road, Bristol


Secretary - Lt CDR FD Tolfree RD RNR (0117 9863669)

Talks and/or Slide Shows

  • 1st February 'Piracy in the Far East'. Rev Philip Auden, Chaplain; Mission to Seafarers, Royal Portbury.
  • 15th February 'Deep Sea Fishing'. Tim Mowat, Organiser the 'Mission to SeafarersÓ.
  • 1st March 'Pilotage. Art, or Science?'. Captain Tony Anderton, Bristol Channel Pilot.
  • 15th March 'The End of the Line' Video and Commentary.
  • 12th April 'The Transition of Venus and the Night Sky'. Patricia Brown, Bristol Astronomical Society.

Visitors very welcome - £2.50 per head All meetings commence at 7.15pm for 7.30pm. Membership: open to all with an interest in ships and the sea. E-mail: website:

Avonmouth Sea Cadets

Captain Hamish Grant writes . . .

Avonmouth Sea Cadet Unit TS 'Enterprise'I had the honour of attending the annual presentation evening of the above unit of the Sea Cadets in Shirehampton, thanks to an invitation by their commanding officer Sub Lt Barbara Hillier, in the presence of Commodore Passmore RNR, their president. Barbara and her officers worked very hard to provide an evening of entertainment for the guests. The well-rehearsed displays by the cadets were very enjoyable. Our late member, Chuck Havvock's widow Maureen, presented a silver cup for seamanship, in memory of Chuck, to the boat crews of the unit, who took part in a Duke of Edinburgh award outing on the River Avon this year. I had the honour of presenting the HMS 'Ganges' barrel to Cadet Reese on behalf of Charles Cook, their chairman, who was unable to attend.

Barbara acknowledged the receipt of a ship's plaque from Chris Inker, RFA 'Resource' (Operation Granby, Gulf Conflict 1990-91). Our Gulf veteran Chris Inker from Shirehampton, who has just retired form the RFA as their last quartermaster, served on RFA 'Resource' during the conflict. The 'Resource' is a large, specially designed ammunition carrier of 18,000 tons gross. The cadets were also grateful to our standard bearer David Caple, who recently presented them with a model of the HMS 'Victory'.

HMS 'Ganges' Association was thanked for a cheque for £100 and Nailsea Masonic Lodge for a cheque for £220.

An invitation to attend next year's Royal Naval Inspection was accepted with pleasure. I make no apology for supporting the Sea Cadet Units, as they deserve all the assistance, which they can get, as it all helps encourage the boys and girls of this city with the necessary aptitude to prepare themselves for a possible life in the RN or MN. It is too easy for our youngsters to be attracted to the wrong lifestyle and habits in this day and age! Their hopes and aspirations cannot always be supplied and afforded by their parents alone! Our country will surely need seafarers in the future, as it has in the past. There are no training ships nowadays like the 'Vindicatrix' and the HMS 'Ganges' to provide pre-sea training in the future! The RNR are presently struggling to attract young recruits to enable them to maintain their numbers worldwide.

View from the Bridge

The Reverend Lawson Philip Auden DL

The many friend of our branch padre the Rev Philip Auden will be delighted to hear that along with two leading Bristol citizens he has been appointed an honorary deputy lieutenant of the City of Bristol. Philip, unlike the other two deputies, has only resided in Bristol for six years, so it is a measure of his character that he has impressed so many influential people in such a short period of time. Philip is chaplain to the Bristol Shiplovers Society, the Portishead Lifeboat Group and Pill branch of the MNA.

Alan Stevenson, who has also been appointed deputy lieutenant, is well known to many of our members, not only through his association with St Stephen's Church, but also as a member of a Bristol family, who has had a significant involvement in the mercantile history of the city, having been a director of C.

J. King, the tug owners and stevedoring company. Our branch patron, Lord Lieutenant Jay Tidmarsh said: 'All three of the people chosen to become deputy lieutenants are outstanding citizens who have made a significant contribution to the city.'

Whoops ...

The Gremlins crept into the printing of the January edition of 'Shire'. We apologise to the Shiplovers Society for the mis-spelt caption for their article.

Additional Local Activities

  • PLAYGROUP at the Public Hall every week 9.15 - 11.45am Monday to Friday; 12.30 - 2.45pm Monday to Wednesday only
  • KIDS KLUB at St Mary's 8.30am most Sunday mornings. Breakfast and a short service. For information Tel: 907 7026
  • SEA CADETS Mondays and Thursdays each week 12 - 18 years old; Juniors (10 - 12 years old) Thursday 6.45 - 8.45pm at T S Enterprise, Station Road
  • ART CLUB Public Hall, Monday and Wednesday 9.30am - 11.30am; Thursday 7 - 9pm
  • CITY OF BRISTOL BASIC SKILL CLASSES - FREE. Improve your English; Computers and Communication; Art and Communication: Help with your Maths. Contact Gill Lloyd on 31125530

A Portway Alphabet

  • A is for Algebra with papers so neat
  • B is for Bentley with footballer's feet
  • C is for Clinic, no absentees there
  • D is for Detention, for boys who don't care
  • E is for Ernie or Fuzzy to you
  • F is for Forge where fierce flames issue
  • G is for Gauze for conducting heat
  • H is for Handwriting that slight slope we seek
  • I is for Ink, colours red, black and blue
  • J is for Jumbo, he's almost in 2
  • K is for Keys, the plague of our lives
  • L is for Lino, a use for sharp knives
  • M is for Milk - bar a popular sale
  • N is for Nought, an arithmetical tale
  • O is for Optics that on Masters stare
  • P is for P.T. where absence is rare
  • Q is for Quiet, when the masters return
  • R is for Refraction and red rags that burn
  • S is for Southville; now don't rub it in
  • T is for Telephones, Terminals, Tin
  • U is for 'Ughie, at right back plays he
  • V is for Vases which are made by Henri
  • W is for Work, which we do with a grin
  • X is for 'Xtra, if success you could win
  • Y is for Youth, that is us don't you know
  • Z is for Zero, which is about what we know

A. Whitlock and G. Higgs

The Cold Can Kill

So far (touch wood) we have had a relatively mild winter, but wet. However, things could change and we could get a cold spell, even yet, so if we do, here are a few precautions to take, especially if you are getting on in years.

Taking simple measures can help ensure a warm and safe winter. Here are ten top tips to help you this winter. 1 Eat for warmth Regular hot meals and hot drinks provide warmth and energy. 2 Keep Moving Any activity, even vacuuming, gets circulation going, and makes you warmer. 3 Dress appropriately Wrap up warmly, indoors and out - ideally, several layers of thin clothing. 4 Keep your home at the right temperature Hang thermometers in the living room and bedroom and keep temperatures between 21 and 24 degrees centigrade (70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit). 5 Keep warm at night Wearing the right clothing to bed is as important as wrapping up outdoors. 6 Insulate your home Double glazing and loft and cavity wall insulation are all good ways of trapping warmth in the home. You could also hang a thick curtain on front and back doors and use draught-proofing strips. 7 Get a flu jab The Flu virus changes every year, so get your jab every year. 8 Sleep with your windows closed Cold air on the head at night has been shown to increase blood pressure. 9 Claim your rightful benefits Everyone over 60 should claim the Winter Fuel Payment and there are many other benefits to which you may be entitled. Call Senior

Line to find out more: 0808 800 6565.10 Apply for grants There are many free grants, products and services designed specifically for older people. Call Senior Line to find out more: 0808 800 6565.

This information is taken from The Cold Can Kill, a free booklet published by the British Gas Help the Aged Partnership. If you would like a copy please call 01275 473999. Or write to the FREEPOST address Help the Aged, FREEPOST LOND18814, Clacton-on-Sea CO15 4YY.

Gwen Cook RIP

Gwen Cook died peacefully on Sunday 14th January. The board of Shirehampton Public Hall Community Association would like to express their sincere condolences to Gwen's friends and relations. Gwen was a long time supporter of the Public Hall and served on its management committee for many years, later becoming a board member. She took part in many other local activities and was a valued member of the community in Shirehampton. We will miss her.

Moped Crash Teenager Dies

A 14-year-old boy, who died in a motorbike accident in Bristol, was a pupil at Gordano School in Portishead.

Conner Brooks, of Avonmouth, died after a collection with another motorbike on a footpath in Shirehampton last December.

Connor was the rider of a Honda 50cc moped which collided with a Kawasaki KDX 125, being ridden by another teenage boy, who was not seriously hurt and did not require hospital treatment.

Police are urging anyone who witnessed the collision to contact them.

Bristol Home-Start Annual Report 2005/06

Home-Start - parents supporting other parents

Home-Start is the UK's leading family support charity and has been working in local communities for over 30 years, helping parents build better lives for their children. At the heart of Home-Start is the belief that parents play the key role in giving their children the best start in life and that other parents have the experience and understanding to support those families who need help.

Home-Start volunteers are exceptional people. The support they give parents has a powerful effect on family life and yet ask them what they do and the modestly talk about 'being there', being 'a shoulder to cry on', being 'a good listener' . . . as if that's not very much at all. We never underestimate the value of 'tea and sympathy', just as we recognise that the emotional and practical support our volunteers give involves much more than just putting the kettle on.

SOME FACTS 2005/06 2004/05 2003/04

  • Total number of volunteers available this year 65 62 63
  • Total number of referrals this year 117 95 135
  • Total number of families supported this year (inc B/Fwd) 129 78 68
  • Total number of children supported during this year 272 206 162


The past year has been another successful one for Home-Start Bristol, building on the work of the previous year. With the help of The Big Lottery funding and statutory funding from South Gloucestershire, Bath and NE Somerset and Knowle West and Easton Sure-Start schemes, we have had a healthy income for the year. Unfortunately, our year-end coincided with the end of funding from the Sure-Start schemes and this will put pressure on the scheme in the coming years. However, we have supported a record number of families with a record number of volunteers, attending the increased number of preparation courses. Thanks go to Pat, Tendai, Jane and Edward for their hard work in making this happen.

A major project which started this year was the instigation of a new quality assurance scheme. This comprehensive review of all aspects of our procedures and practices has been designed by Home-Start UK in order to ensure that quality standards are established and can be maintained for all Home-Start schemes. We were very fortunate to welcome Mary Douglas-Jones as a new trustee and Mary agreed to undertake to manage this huge task. Mary has worked tirelessly to ensure that we have all the protocols and paperwork in place to ensure that we comply with the new standards across four areas in the first instance. These are governance, equal opportunities, family support and confidentiality. This project is an important initiative which will ensure that we adhere to the best practice possible across all aspects of our work.

On the fundraising front, we still struggle to get a sustainable level of statutory funding, but have had some success with community fundraising, notably raising £690 from the Big Tea Party. We had a lot of support from our volunteers, many of whom held tea parties to contribute towards this fantastic sum. We also achieved £2,148 in other donations.

Whilst we still have challenges to face, mainly in the area of sustainable funding, the hard work and goodwill of the staff, the volunteers and my fellow trustees have made this a very successful year and we look forward to the challenges of the coming year.

Helen Wilde

Factory Ladies Football Team 1917-1921

I was recently passed the attached photograph. I understand the photo was taken where Shirehampton Football Club and Twyford House cricket club play (opposite Portway School, against Kings Weston woods), but this is not certain. On the back it reads Factory Ladies Football Team 1917-1921. They are all believed to be Shirehampton women, who worked at the munitions factory that was located at Chittening in Avonmouth.

The lady fourth from the right is Loui Sansum (family nickname 'Goog'), married name Goffe, who was bombed out of Shirehampton during the Second World War. She lost two brothers during the Great War (Nelson & Roy), their names appear on the Shirehampton War Memorial. This was tended by Mrs Goffe for 60+ years, who rightly received an MBE for this devotion. The memorial continues to be tended by her daughter, Eleanor.

I intend to forward a copy of the photo to the FA and would welcome any further information with regards the players/team (who did they play against?) and additional photographs that anyone may have.

The women and manager/trainer are seen wearing a bouquet/posy. Can anyone shed any light on this?

Richard Carey, c/o Shirehampton FC


After the excitement of Christmas and the celebration of New Year the days are very short and this year very wet . . . energy is at a bit of a low ebb. So come, dear readers, let's be hearing from you with your efforts to complete the following - a Crossword Grid. We were amazed how well you responded last time we asked puzzlers to send their efforts in, but we have exhausted that supply and would welcome some more.

How about writing us a limerick ......beginning 'There was a young fellow (or girl or boy) from Shire - Off the top of my head this is my version:

There was an old lad from Shire
Who said 'Goodness I think I'm on fire
The matches I've struck
Have all gone a-muck
I'm so hot I could even perspire'.
Have a go - I bet you could do better.

Raise a smile. Ed.

Old Vic Production with Shirehampton Roots

A new Firebird Theatre production of Christopher Marlowe's 'Doctor Faustus' opens at the Bristol Old Vic on March 1st, prior to a three-month tour.

Firebird Theatre started back in 1988 at the Portway Day Centre in St Bernard's Road, Shirehampton. They were known then as The Portway Players. They have always had a genuine love of theatre and see it as a way of expressing their lives, sharing and communicating with others.

Following performances for families, friends and the local community, the Portway Players decided they wanted to perform in the professional theatre. Their first performance was at Bristol Old Vic in 1990. Since 1990, the group has devised their own work, as well as performing well-known plays. An 'in association' relationship has developed over the years between the Company and Bristol Old Vic - Firebird Theatre always premiere their new work at the Old Vic.

Local people may remember when members of St Mary's Church joined with the company and produced a wonderful Shirehampton Community Theatre Event at Bristol Old Vic with an outstanding performance of Christopher Fry's 'The Boy With A Cart' in 1992.

Since the Portway Centre closed, Firebird Theatre have kept working at producing wonderful theatre, there have been many ups and downs, especially around funding, but the company's hard work has kept them going. In August of last year they were given a grant by the Arts Council to take their adaptation of Christopher Marlowe's 'Doctor Faustus' on a small-scale tour of theatrical venues in the south-west. It is Firebird's dream to continue and develop as a professional theatre company, of which Bristol can be proud. If you would like to see the show, the tour will be launched from Bristol Old Vic with performances on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd March. Tickets can be booked through Bristol Old Vic's box office, telephone 0117 987 7877. This is what the Evening Post had to say about Firebird's 'Faustus':'Strong design, atmospheric lighting, haunting music, a host of interesting techniques, and a generous touch of comedy' Bristol Evening Post

The production has seen Firebird's link with Shirehampton re-established, as needing rehearsal space for a month, the company has been using the Cotswold Community Centre in Dursley Road.

Reading Group

Come along to Shirehampton Reading Group - next meeting is the second in March (14th).

It's a totally informal session, just come along and join the discussion. Tell us about books you've read recently and swap recommendations.

Also, next session we shall be reading some excerpts from modern playwrights such as Sam Shepherd. Everyone's Welcome!

St Mary's News

Hi Folks!

Here I am on the 8th January writing the notes for the February edition of 'Shire' and it's going to be the warmest January night on record - 11 degrees Centigrade! This suits me fine because I can't wait for the Spring and the lighter nights once again. At this time of the year every evening is spent slumped in front of the TV and there is nothing on that particularly appeals to me. The gardens at the moment are like sponges from all the rain, but this is better than snow, at least you are able to get out and about and there is less chance of the elderly folk getting injured from slips and falls (which I am sad to say includes myself now I have reached the ripe old age of 67 years!). But enough of my moaning - let's just have a last look at Christmas before I move on!

The people who joined together to sing Carols for Christian Aid on Saturday 16th December, in both the churchyard and outside 'Bobbetts' raised the sum of £150 - a magnificent effort - and a grateful thank you must go to all of you who made donations.

On Monday 18th December the Top Juniors followed by the younger pupils from Shirehampton Junior School held their Carol Services in St Mary's. It was great to hear them all singing and presenting the Christmas Story in a modern form, as though they were BBC reporters reporting it as though it was happening today. It was cleverly done and much enjoyed by all the Mums, Dads, Grans, Granddads etc who were present. The church was full for both Services and extra chairs had to be put out for the second one.

At our 4pm Crib Service on Christmas Eve we once again had donkeys present. Three of them altogether - two of which came last year and a third one which was of Welsh origin and was born in Swansea! I don't think it ever worked down the pits - but it was an absolutely magnificent specimen and clever too! Because it led the Service and the Carol Singing! Also present was another of the childrens' favourites - 'Kes' the Pyrenean Mountain Dog with his festively decorated Dog Cart. The church was absolutely packed with adults and children. Many of the children came dressed as Shepherds, Wise Men, Sheep, Reindeer, Angels, etc and even my little 8-month-old Granddaughter was dressed as a little Cherub wearing a white fur halo. From the comments I overheard, Christmas is actually here for the children when this Crib Service is held. It only lasted for about half an hour and we had our highest total ever - when 532 persons were present!

On the Thursday before Christmas a group of adults and children accompanied Canon Christine to Shirehampton Golf Club to sing Carols in the Club House for half an hour or so, and a retiring collection raised the sum of £38 towards Church Funds, which was most welcome!

On New Years Eve - Sunday 31st December at our 10am Service we were delighted to welcome Charlie Golder and his family to St Mary's on the occasion of Charlie's baptism. It was a wonderful celebration - everyone appeared to enjoy themselves. So if you have any young children who have not been baptised and you would like to know more about it, then have a word with Canon Christine or Andy Schuman or Gill Sawyer who will be more than pleased to help you and give you all the necessary information you require. The more members we can encourage to join our church family then so much the better. You will be guaranteed a very warm welcome - and no doubt a hug and kiss from Canon Christine! (If I don't get a hug and a kiss from her whenever I see her I would feel very much deprived - but that has never arisen in my case - but then again perhaps it's my magnificent male charm! - Shut up you stupid old fool - 'cos I am really a battered and worn out OAP!).

On the subject of people attending St Mary's, I am delighted to record that our overall attendance in the last 12 months has increased by a magnificent 24%! If you are a newcomer to Shirehampton and you are looking for somewhere to find or share your Christian faith, then St Mary's is no doubt the church you are seeking. Our main service on a Sunday is always at 10am - so why not come and sound us out so to speak? Tea and coffee and biscuits are served afterwards and a great opportunity is there to make friends and meet other people who will be delighted to chat and welcome you. The invitation is there - just come along!

On Friday 2nd February, between 10.30 and 11.30am in St Mary's is the First Session of the Severn Credit Union scheme, as mentioned in a previous edition of 'Shire'. You will be able to receive financial advice and put away cash to save for when you need it without the worry of ever losing it like the patrons of the 'Farepak' scheme did just before Christmas.

Also at 7.30pm the same evening we are holding a 'Colour Me' Evening. This will commence with a meal of culinary delights, yet again provided by St Mary's own Fanny Craddock - alias Gill Sawyer, followed by an opportunity to find out which colours suit you - equally appropriate for men and women. Tickets cost £6 - available from Gill Sawyer at the Church Office. Please bring your own drink. Now boys - here is an ideal opportunity to keep your ladies in a good mood after all the extra work over the Christmas season - go on fork out £6 on her! No expense spared I say.

On Sunday 4th February Bishop Lee of Swindon will be the Preacher at our 10am Holy Communion Service and he is sure to be aware of our 24th growth in numbers, something which both he and Bishop Mike have been working hard at in order to increase the number of people attending Anglican churches throughout the Diocese together with other Bishops throughout the UK. It will be very pleasing for us, and Canon Christine in particular, and her team of workers to show how her love and pastoral care to all of us has increased our numbers. Without her leadership we would not be in the fortunate position we are in today!

On Tuesday the 20th February is 'Pancake Day' - known in the Christian Calendar as 'Shrove Tuesday' - the last day before the season of Lent. Once again we shall be holding Pancake Races on the path which runs through the Churchyard between the High Street and Pembroke Road. Come along and join in the fun between 10am and 12 noon on that day. (Me - I can't run like I used to, but I can still eat the Pancakes!). You will find me at the front end of the queue at the serving hatch at the west end of the church.

The very next day is, of course, Ash Wednesday, when we shall have a Holy Community Service at 7pm, followed by a simple Supper afterwards. If it is your intention to attend this Service, then it might well be a useful idea to let Gill Sawyer know, in order to assist her with catering arrangements. I have never known her to run out of food, although we did have a near thing on one occasion when a number of people arrived for a function unannounced.

The following Wednesday, 28th February, we shall be commencing the first of our Lent Courses from 7pm until 9pm. This will start with a Supper each week followed by a different Speaker on each of the following Wednesdays, right through until the end of March, when we will be approaching Holy Week and Easter. Please put your name on the list at the west end of the Church if you will be attending this Lenten Course.

Finally, I stray into March when I tell you that the Women's World Day of Prayer is to be held this year at St Bernard's Roman Catholic Church in Pembroke Avenue at 2.30pm on Friday 2nd March. May I empathise that this Service is not confined to women - gentlemen will be most welcome to attend.

Well - that's it again for this month. Having just mentioned Easter, I hope I can look forward to the Spring green on the trees, sunshine and flowers appearing after the grey days of Winter. Never mind, we are luckier than those countries located further north in the hemisphere who have to endure long Winters and short summers. I find it difficult to imagine St Petersburg waist deep in snow and the River Neva frozen over until April, after my visit there last July when it was beautifully warm!

Bye for now - C.M.E.

The Crebers

Sometime in 1934-1936 I had lessons on the violin with Mrs Creber, then living at 65 Station Road, Shirehampton. She had two daughters, Eileen and Ursula (Bubbles). Ursula played the piano, Eileen the violin. There was, I believe, twins, adopted I think. They were John and June. All the family received music lessons from Mrs Creber. Did Mr Creber have something to do with the scouts?Sometime in this period 1935? Mrs Creber met with a dreadful accident. She was hurrying to catch a train at Clifton Down Station, Bristol. She fell underneath the train and received such serious injuries that a leg and an arm had to be amputated. Obviously she could no longer play violin or cello, but she taught the Theory of Music. I believe Ursula was teaching piano at that time.

After this accident I did not go there for music lessons anymore. I was not able to convey my sadness, I missed her and her family very much, but it had been a terrible shock to me and I did not know what to do about it.

I believe that Eileen married a draughtsman who worked at the then Bristol Aeroplane Company, Filton, Bristol. But what became of Ursula and the twins John and June.

Jim A. Ferndown

Quite by chance I was looking through Judy Helme's book on the Public Hall and came across this photograph of Miss Creber's Concert Party, 1933, and asked if we might use it. Judy's book is full of intriguing information and a host of interesting photographs. Copies are still available from the Public Hall, price £4.99. A real bargain!

Women's World Day of Prayer

Womens' World Day of Prayer Service is on Friday March 2nd, 2.30pm at St Bernard's in Pembroke Avenue. Welcome to members of all denominations.