The Hand of Friendship in a Boxing Glove
Smelters Cuban Dream Trip
The NSC 'Smelters' amateur boxing club took a team of eight of its boxers to Cuba and trained at Havana's oldest boxing gym The Rafael Trejo Gymnasio.
Said coach Garry Cave "We wanted to reward the NSC boxers for all the hard work and dedication they'd put in so we decided to take them on a trip of a lifetime. The Cubans are without doubt No 1 when it comes to amateur boxing, winning bags of medals in the Olympics, so the destination was obvious. The club paid half the cost of the trip by raising money from their Manor Farm FC and Avonmouth Rugby Club boxing shows plus we had many generous sponsorship donations. A real big thank-you to everybody that made this happen, as without your very generous support we couldn't have done it.
In the party was Garry Cave Team Manager, John Mathews Vice Club Chairman, Jeff 'The Frogman' Sharp Coach, Tom Cave Boxer, Tom Edwards Boxer, Smokin Joe Bums Boxer, Sam Mogg boxer/coach, Andy 'The Bambino' Mogg boxer, Billy 'The Gollum' Davis boxer, Reece 'The Ratboy' Godfrey boxer and Dalton 'The Pineapple Kid' Saunders boxer. We stayed at Havana's oldest hotel The Inglaterra Hotel famed for Ernest Hemmingway and its old world charm. The trip was organised through specialist boxing travel agents Cityboxer.
Flying from Gatwick after an early pick up from Avonmouth Rugby Club on Wednesday the 29th of November at 4:30am and after 24 hours of travel we arrived safely, if not a little jaded. Training began brightly and early the next day at 8am in the gym under guidance from Head Cuban Coach Pedro Massiano. The Smelters where warmly welcomed by all the Cuban coaching staff and boxers. The language barrier was the first issue but thankfully one of the Smelters junior boxers Tommy Edwards spoke some Spanish so this made things a lot easier for the Bristolian boxers and the Cuban coaches.
We trained everyday in the gym at 8am till 10am for 6 days. The training centred on the footwork techniques that the Cuban boxers are renowned for. After a few of days of practice, some friendly gym bouts were arranged between the NSC and The Trejo Boxing Club. Said coach Cave "We really thought that the Smelters lads would get a boxing lesson from their Cuban counterparts, but to be fair to the Cubans, they matched our boxers up fairly and surprisingly to us and mostly the Cubans, the NSC boxers more than held their own and in some of the 'bouts' had the upper hand.
The Cuban coaches praised our boxers for their skilfulness and toughness. The day was topped off with a team trip to the Santa Marie beach. The whole party where stunned by the beauty of the beach, it was like being in a paradise picture postcard. Sunday we watched a junior championship of some 42 bouts where many national champions competed.
The poverty in Cuba was very evident and our boxers' eyes where opened to just how lucky they really are, as many of the Cuban boxers didn't even have training shoes, some were boxing in slip-on shoes! We took lots of gum shields and hand wraps to give out in the gym and they were very gratefully received. They showed us the tyre and sledgehammer strength training they're famed for, which is basically hitting an old truck tyre with a large sledgehammer and in return we showed them a few tricks with the skipping rope. The Cuban people were lovely, very welcoming and always willing to chat.
It wasn't all boxing: we also went on some sight-seeing tours and took in the Capitalio building, which houses the Cuban National Arts Museum. This is an exact full size replica of the White House building in Washington. We used its many steps in the evening for some extra training much to the amusement of the locals as well as taking them on at football in the nearby park. Across the road is the Kid Chocolate Sports Arena named after Cuba's first world champion .The Kid Chocolate hosts many sports and on our visit we where lucky to get a game of football against a local school class that were using it for their PE lesson. Fidel Castro also obliged by having his 80th birthday celebrations, so Havana was buzzing all weekend. There was the obligatory military parade in Revolution Square on Sunday, and we'd never seen so many people in uniform!
I was very proud of how they boxed and conducted themselves during the whole of the trip. It was so successful and rewarding that we're planning to go again this year in November again with Cityboxer, taking even more NSC boxers and boxing the Trejo club in a real tournament.
To raise money towards this trip we will be hosting the following boxing shows, Saturday 17th of March joint open show with Empire ABC at Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre & Thursday 26th of April at Manor Farm FC. Since returning from the trip two NSC boxers that went have boxed with both winning, they are Junior Middleweight Joe Burns winning by 1st round RSC at the Cinderford show on Saturday 13th Jan and senior welterweight Sam Mogg boxing at Weymouth 20th Jan where he won a unanimous decision with his educated pressure boxing over the more experienced Chris Siddons of Weymouth ABC.
If you would like to train for boxing the NSC ABC train five nights a week, 7 till 9pm at their gym at the end of Barracks Lane, next to Avonmouth Rugby Club. For further details please contact head coach Garry Cave Mob 07876 233621.
Musical Duo to Launch New Piano
A generous gift of a fine piano to the Cotswold Community Centre is going to be launched with a feast of music performed by two talented musicians, singer Auriol Britton, and pianist Philip Blandford. Both have entertained Shirehampton audiences before, Auriol at the Area Choir concerts, and Philip at the Lamplighters Real Ale and Music festival. They will be covering a wide range of music from classics to jazz, and much in between something for most musical tastes.
As well as launching the Cotswold's new instrument, the event will also be raising money for the Dementia Care Trust, a Bristol-based charity that seeks to bring support and respite care to families affected by the disease.
The concert takes place on Saturday 28th April at 7.30 pm at the Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road. Tickets cost £3, and can be obtained by ringing 0117 9047319.
Would Mrs. Jensen please contact Pauline on 0117 9826935.
Child's wooden garage, preferably with two floors.
Please contact Pauline on 0117 9826935
Letter Mike Antill
I read with interest the piece about the Creber family. My Mum and Dad were great friends of theirs and at the latter end of 1943 Mum and I both went to Mrs Creber for piano lessons, passing our first Trinity College exam in 1944. Mum was then 51 years old, so that was quite an achievement for a lady of that age.
Discipline under Mabel could could sometimes be quite hard, especially if you hadn't practised, but her standards were very high, so you could see why.
She and Frank would organise picnics and teas in the woods, pay for all those less fortunate to enter exams, go to all the local eisteddfodau, even as far as the Pump Room in Bath, saved her old threepenny pieces in a large jar which paid for the bells at St. Mary's. Even with her disablement she always went by car to wherever, to support her pupils, and rivalry between the different teachers was extreme.
Frank Creber was a suction plant operator in the grain department, PBA. He was a very quiet gentleman who worked tirelessly for the local scouts 191/153 Troops. He could put his hand to anything, and on retirement could be seen in his smart bow tie as doorman at The Savoy.
The lady and gentleman who now live in the house corner of Station Road and Springfield kindly let me take a photo of the birdbath in their garden which Frank built in memory of Roger, Mabel's bull mastiff. One dinner hour whilst Mabel was having a piano delivered, the dog got out and laid legs up in the middle of Station Road (don't know how he could have managed today with the speed and traffic using the road). Mrs Creber sent someone around for me as I could do anything with the dog (at least I thought I could).There were these four strapping piano-movers stood, looking at him. The dog was slobbering happily but wouldn't move, even when I put the lead on him. Eventually, after tickling him and a few kind words, we lifted him onto a tarpaulin and carried him into the house.
I stayed with Mrs Creber until 1952, then life moved on. She was part of Shire, and those who went to her had something to thank her for.
PS Sorry I missed thanking the Shire Christmas Association for the wonderful work they do in connection with the Christmas lights which are going from strength to strength every year.
Creber Dance Group
Please find attached a photograph of the Creber Dance Group which my mother (Sylvia Odesia Tiley nee Small) asked me to forward to you. The girls pictured are (from left to right and back to front) Bubbles Creber, Olwen Holt, Joan Holt, Peggy Barnes and Sylvia Small. The picture would have been taken around 1935 ish.
My mother will be writing to you separately in the next couple of days with more information but I am happy to put forward any questions you may have to her.
February's Creber Concert Party Photo
My Uncle, Austin Daniel, who now lives in Northern Ireland, was fascinated to see a photo of his late sister on the back page of the February "Shire " and he drew it to my attention. I have the original of this photograph which I assume my mother loaned to Judy Helmes for her book. My mother, Vera Dix (nee Daniel) then aged thirteen is standing third from the right at the back of the group. My Uncle wondered who the others in the group were. Perhaps through your pages we might discover their names.
Anjie Bright (Mrs)
City & Port of Bristol Social & Sports Club Bowls Section
Do you need a little gentle exercise? Do you like a pleasant social life? Then why not consider taking up the very pleasant sport of BOWLS.
Our pre-season meeting is on 20th March 8-00 p m at the PBA Club Nibley Road.
Please come along and meet the bowlers or ring for further information
9820446 9825977 9685447
35th Local Art Exhibition
26th May - 29th May 2007
This years Exhibition is being staged by Twyford Art Club on behalf of local residents and Art Clubs on the above dates.
Entry details to follow.
Shirehampton War Memorial
May I add further information to the letter in your January edition relating to the Shirehampton War Memorial written by C L Stride and which may be of interest to your readers.
The lady referred to who wheeled her pram with gardening utensils from Sea Mills was my Mother-in-Law, Mrs Louie Goffe (nee Sansum) and she did this for many years. Living in Old Quarry Road prior to the Second World War this activity was not too difficult but after being bombed out in April 1941 she was re-housed in Coombe Dale, Sea Mills and walking up Shirehampton Road, pulling a trolley with mowing machine, garden tools etc, proved more of a problem. She was determined to carry on the good work in memory of her two brothers Gunner Nelson Sansum, Royal Field Artillery who was gassed and died in a Boulogne Hospital in September 1918 and Private Roy Sansum, 2nd/6th Battalion GJoucestershire Regiment lost at Cambrai in July 1917 and with no known grave. Both names are recorded on the Shirehampton War Memorial.
To acknowledge her dedication to the Village of Shirehampton and especially to the care of the War Memorial, Louie Goffe was awarded the MBE in the New Years Honours List 1995 and this was presented to her by the Lord Lieutenant of Avon, Sir John Wills, at the Mansion House, Bristol in April 1995.
Sadly, Louie Goffe died in October 1997 but it is incorrect to say no one took it on after she died. From then and up to the present day flowers are regularly put on the Memorial and general tidying up carried out by her daughter, Eleanor White, who lives in Elberton Road, Sea Mills. She also ensures that the local Council employees tidy up the shrubbery etc prior to the Remembrance Day service held annually in November.
Finally, I would say the family of Louie Goffe are delighted that the Memorial will stay at Penpole rather than move to the Shirehampton Green. Restoration after vandalism has been carried out in a tasteful manner and thanks to all concerned. It was well known that prior to the First World War the local boys would meet their girlfriends close to where the Memorial is situated and that was probably their last memories before being sent to the trenches in Northern France to give their lives for their country.
Co-op Christmas Collection
We collected a total of £1,123.47
We would like to thank all our customers for their generous donations.
Co-op Management & Staff
Victory for Railway Campaigners But Rail Company Must Get the Price Right
The Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways (formerly Friends of Severn Beach Railway) report a significant victory in their fight to see Shirehampton's rail link not only maintained but improved.
Bristol City Council has responded to critics of previously imposed cuts by announcing that they are re-instating their subsidy of the line to the tune of £140,000, beginning in December 2007.
The money will go to the railway franchisee, First Great Western, to support a half-hourly service. At present the trains run only hourly, a frequency which the Friends of Suburban Railways have long argued is insufficient to make the line a viable and reliable feeder to the main rail services from Temple Meads.
However, First Great Western has to show that they can deliver the improved train service for a realistic and affordable price. For their part, the rail company has welcomed the announcement and has said they look forward to working with the Council.
Council Leader Cllr Barbara Janke, said: "It is critical that local authorities and their council taxpayers are not seen as a soft touch who will provide a blank cheque to private companies such as rail and bus operators. We have a duty to ensure best value for the people of Bristol.
"We will want to ensure that any council subsidy for these rail services is comparable with the level of subsidy we currently provide for supported non-commercial bus services - which meet essential social needs and are often the only way people in some communities have of getting around the city."
"Some of the figures that have been bandied about for the likely cost of support for this improved rail service are simply unaffordable and it would be rash and irresponsible just to include whatever sum First Great Western demanded in our budget proposals."
"We will also want to be assured that they have effective systems in place to collect all the fares due from passengers and can, therefore, maximise their revenue income from the line. If necessary, we are prepared to consider the possibility of some additional capital investment in CCTV systems at stations to assist the rail company to ensure this."
The Cabinet also plans to increase the sums for round-the-clock street cleaning and older people's services. A further £200,000 will be added to the extra support planned for street cleaning whilst £48,000 more will help develop new services for older people.
The additional resources have become available thanks in part to a successful crackdown by the council on fraudulent claims for 'lone household' discounts on council tax bills. The drive uncovered several thousand claimants who were found to be living with a partner or adult family member, despite claiming the 25% discount on their bills. The council also secured a better than expected deal to buy 100% renewable energy for its street lighting, which has freed up some resources that might not otherwise have been available.
Remount Camp Hut 43
This is a photo of my father and his brother. The Aldworth family lived in this hut.
Cyril & Arthur's photo was taken April 24th 1921, and the other was taken August 28th 1921 with cousin Norah. The field they played in later became The Portway.
The later moved into 4 Burnham Road, and stayed there until 1950
C. A. Clarke (Aldworth)
Remount Hut serving the Cotswold Community Association until recent times.
Shirehampton's WWI Remount Depot
The unusual role that Shirehampton played in World War I with its Remount depot, set up to import, train and then send horses into battle has featured in a number of recent issues of SHIRE. But the story gets more fascinating still, as we learn how it was a civilian organisation, the Frontiersmen, that began the specialist work, later taken over by the War Office, who unfortunately totally fail to mention the Frontiersmen in their official records. We are very grateful to Geoffrey Pocock and Jerry Watkins for giving us their account, putting the record straight.
They have also responded to a tentative suggestion made in December's SHIRE that a commemorative plaque might be placed somewhere (perhaps on the Cotswold Community Hall which replaced an original Remount hut). If such a memorial were created, they tell us, the present-day Frontiersmen might be able to mount a parade for the opening ceremony. This is something worth exploring further.
The Legion of Frontiersmen and Shirehampton
Official records tell us nothing about the Frontiersmen at Shirehampton. The one relevant file in the National Archives WO95/5466 only reports "at the commencement the personnel, with the exception of all the officers were civilians." Even this is somewhat contrary to the writings of those Frontiersmen involved and until other records are uncovered we are reliant on these reminiscences. There apparently remains just one photograph of the Frontiersmen engaged in breaking horses at Shirehampton.
The man believed responsible for suggesting to the Commandant of the Frontiersmen, Lt.Col. D.P.Driscoll, that the Frontiersmen who were waiting to be given their own named unit could usefully be employed in that capacity was Arthur Burchardt-Ashton. Burchardt-Ashton was a 60-year old of independent means who had made money sugar planting and raising cattle in Hawaii. He was a skilled judge of horses and spent his time breeding and breaking horses on his estate in Monmouthshire. He suggested to Col. Driscoll that they should take the Frontiersmen who were returning home to fight in the First War and utilise their skills in the Remount services. According to Burchardt-Ashton the War Office was pleased to accept the services of these skilled men, as they were the only men who could handle the wild horses from the Western ranches.
Arthur Burchardt-Ashton, inspiration behind Frontiersmen involvment in the Remount scheme
One of the Remount camps was at Shirehampton where Burchardt-Ashton seems to have been responsible for setting up the camp. There were others in the Southampton area, as these camps needed to be near to docks where unbroken horses were shipped in from U.S.A. and Canada. File WO95/5466 recorded that the first consignment of horses arrived at Shirehampton from Canada on 24th October 1914. Driscoll claimed that in the first months of the War it was the Frontiersmen who broke in all remounts from overseas. He made regular visits to these camps to see the Frontiersmen at work wearing their distinctive uniform and Stetson hats. By the early spring of 1915 Driscoll had been detailed to form a military unit, the 25th (Service) Battalion Royal Fusiliers (Frontiersmen).
In April 1915 they sailed for East Africa where they served with great distinction winning one Victoria Cross and numerous other Decorations. By this time the British Army had taken over responsibility for Remounts. Whether they took on board the Frontiersmen methods for breaking horses we do not know, but many of the Frontiersmen had worked with horses in both North and South America and would have been able to pass on their knowledge of these western horses. There is still much to discover about the Frontiersmen and Shirehampton Remount camp. Information on, and photographs of, the Southampton area Remounts may be viewed on www.frontiersmenhistorian.info
Geoffrey A Pocock
The Frontiersmen in Modern Times
Countess Mountbatten inspects the Frontiersmen. Will there one day be a parade at Shirehampton to dedicate a memorial to the men and horses who went from here to war?
As we have seen, the Frontiersmen have a long association with horses that covered the period of the Remount Depot at Shirehampton. That association continues to this day. The organisation is known now at The Countess Mountbatten's Own Frontiersmen and amongst the various sub units can be found The Mounted Troop. Members of this troop are first and foremost Frontiersmen learning the skills necessary for all Frontiersmen. Their secondary activities cover the mounted role; this covers ceremonial or operational functions. Certain members also make up the Troop mounted display team that performs at a range of shows and events around the country. Mounted Frontiersmen are required to develop high levels of riding skills; they also become expert in equine care and husbandry both in the field and in stables.
Doug Naysmith MP announces his retirement
Bristol North West MP Doug Naysmith has confirmed he will stand down at the next general election.
Mr Naysmith, 65, said he would be too old to serve another full term in parliament as by the time of the next election, he would be nearly 69.
Doug Naysmith lives in Shirehampton. He has been a member of the Labour Party since 1966 and an MP since 1997.
He is a keen speaker on health issues and during recent prime minister's questions, he spoke out about First Great Western's trains. Mr Naysmith is a member of two select committees - health and regulatory reform - as well as being joint-chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party Health Committee. He is also chairman of the Parliamentary and Scientific Committee and a Fellow of the Institute of Biology.
My father was born in a maternity home in Bristol in 1906 but was adopted at the age of about 2 years - by a family in Cumbria. Our family, including my father (now deceased) have tried desperately to find any of his family. After my father was adopted in about 1908, our family have not been able to find any trace of his birth family - even after determined research through records. We now hear that his grand parents, John and Sarah Manning are buried at Shirehampton. Is there anyone who would be kind enough to look in the cemetery for their grave or in the parish records if there is no headstone? Is there more than one cemetery in Shirehampton? If someone could just verify that this is the case then we would come down from Cumbria to look at the grave and perhaps concentrate our searches in that area.
Any reader who cares to reply may do so via SHIRE - we will forward replies to Mr. Manning
News From Portway School
Year 11 Girls Netball team have reached the semi-final of the all-England competition
Portway Drama Club presented their version of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to parents and students and again at the Weston Super Mare Playhouse as part of the Shakespeare Schools' Festival
Partnership with Pearce Construction:
Portway has joined forces with one of Bristol's leading construction firms, Pearce, to devise a project with Year 8 pupils aimed at raising achievement in Mathematics.
The Year 9 students who won last year's Clerical Medical Personal Finance competition, beating 8 other Bristol schools, have been mentioned in a Government Report on national pupil achievements. The girls are Katie Andrews, Lauren Hooper, Jade Harvey, Nathasha Simpson-McCardle, Katrina Neate, Jess Townsend and Sarah Clarke. They were recently featured on Radio Bristol.
Already planned this year are a ski trip to Andorra at Easter and a French trip to Paris in July.
New Charity Shop in Lawrence Weston
National Animal Sanctuaries Support League Bristol has opened a charity shop / pet shop called Fido's at Ridingleaze Lawrence Weston. We sell gardening products, every type of pet food with delivery (if requested), cut-price accessories, and lots of other items including shoes & clothing. Micro chipping is also available for people's pets at a bargain price of £16 at our shop.
Goods are also needed please to raise funds at our shop.
Every Thursday morning 10.30am at Lawrence Weston Community Farm is a vet's surgery with free consultation for senior citizens, free puppy/kitten check & free diet advice for all people's pets. For further details please ring Lesley McMahon on 0117 9503342.
Although situated at Lawrence Weston we would like the people of Shire to benefit from our charity's work. Visit our web site at www.nassl-SW.org.UK.
Editor's Note. The League's shop at Fido's in Ridingleaze is unconnected to the former Fido's business in the same road, operated by Mr L Rossiter.
Dorothy Earp (1926-2006)
There will be many in Shirehampton who will recall Dorothy Earp during her time here as Head Teacher of Shirehampton Infants School. She was born in Colchester and moved to Bristol with her family starting work at the BAC in Filton.
Later on she trained for teaching in Birmingham and started this career with the British Forces school in Hong Kong. She returned to Bristol following the ill health of her Father and was appointed Head Teacher at the Infants School in 1968 a position she kept until her retirement in 1988. Throughout her Headship she always maintained that the most important part of the school was the children. As a governor I knew when visiting the disappointed look I would receive if I did not have time to visit the classes. Dorothy kept a firm but fair hand on the school everyone knew that rules were to be kept. I recall joining the children for Christmas Lunch to be told by a five year old boy the "You will be in trouble you have drunk your squash without asking Miss" rules applied to everyone. You could often call to see her to find her in her study which was filled with children who needed some extra help or encouragement.
Outside school she had many interests, especially wildlife and nature, in her retirement she became Co-ordinator of her local Neighbourhood Watch and was presented with the Waley Cohen award for her services.
She was respected by many in the village and her memory will I am sure become part of the local schools' tradition.
South Gloucestershire Bus Services
The south Gloucestershire bus 517 now operates from Avonmouth via West Town Road and st. Mary's Road to Shirehampton village. It is a single-decker bus with a low step to accommodate push-chairs and shopping trolleys and runs approximately hourly from Monday to Saturday.
The people in this area are delighted that the Bristol Council has reinstated a bus along this route after 10 months. Please make good use of this bus.
We are concerned that if this bus is not used enough, it will be discontinued again.
D. & D. Grace
A copy of a letter to South Gloucestershire Bus Co from the Cotswold Community Association on behalf of Cotswold residents (reply awaited)
Local residents, particularly those who are elderly or incapacitated, have asked me to write on their behalf about the 518 service, specifically the portion of the route between Dursley Road and The Green, Shirehampton.
They greatly value the service, but are frustrated at the fewness of the buses which serve the Cotswold compared to the number that make The Green their terminus. Their need is to be able to go to the village to do their shopping and return without having to wait for up to an hour for the bus.
According to the present timetable, on a weekday buses to and from Dursley Road run at hourly intervals after 8.16, whereas the frequency of buses serving Shire Green varies between 10, 20, and 30 minute intervals throughout the day.
Therefore it is requested that buses should come as far as Dursley Road at least at 30 minute intervals.
We have received two short poems anonymously.
The policy of SHIRE is that all contributions must have name and address supplied, though we normally withhold the address from publication, and by request will withhold the name also.
Bristol Shiplovers Society
Forthcoming talks at Holy Trinity Church Hall, Hotwell Road, Bristol
Visitors 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
What's on in March?
|Thursday March 1st
Friday March 2nd
Saturday March 3rd
Sunday March 4th
Monday March 5th
Tuesday March 6th
Wednesday March 7th
Thursday March 8th
Friday March 9th
Saturday March 10th
Tuesday March 13th
Wednesday March 14th
Thursday March 15th
Sunday March 18th
Tuesday March 20th
Wednesday March 21st
Thursday March 22nd
Friday March 23rd
BRITISH SUMMER TIME BEGINS SUNDAY 25TH MARCH
Clocks move forward one hour
ADDITIONAL LOCAL ACTIVITIES
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
We hope that our readers saw the article about Shirehampton in the supplement "SEVEN" of the Evening Post on January 13th. Helen Sloan, the author really did the village proud, aided by the photos taken by Shaun Thompson. The fact that Shire folk are so helpful and friendly was really appreciated, not to mention the many other attributes of the village. "Shire" newspaper got a mention ?thanks to all those who included us in the list of 7 great things about Shirehampton. We wonder if the local estate agents have reproduced copies of Helen's comment to would-be buyers who are unfamiliar with the place?
The 7 things the Evening Post loves about Shirehampton
What are your favourite seven?
Now it's the turn of you, our readers: what are your favourite seven good things about living in Shirehampton? Do you agree with the Post investigators? Are there other good things about the village that you love? How about the Christmas lights for example? Or our riverside walks? Or....what? You name it, and let us know. We'll publish your suggestions, and if enough readers respond, we'll name Shirehampton's own "Top 7"choice.
You were kind enough to publish a letter from me in the January "Shire" requesting help in information about William Thomas Hill, a victim of WW1 who is on the Shirehampton and Pirton (Herts) war memorials.
I was very fortunate to have some invaluable details passed on to me from Steve Fell who has done much research into the Hill Family. It has been a delight both to exchange letters and talk with Steve.
It will be a while before I have completed writing the story, but when that has been done I will certainly send you a copy. If, in the meantime, you feel able simply to put a paragraph in the "Shire" recording my thanks I will be grateful. Of course, if anyone else has information I will be delighted to hear from them. With my profound thanks.
Derek I Jarrett
Smelters Boxing Club Gets Stuffed
The National Smelting Co Amateur Boxing Club based between Avonmouth & Shirehampton has seen an influx of local youths wishing to take up the Olympic sport of amateur boxing.
Said Head coach for the club Garry Cave "We have never been so busy, we've had to open up five nights a week plus a Sunday afternoon session to try and cater for all the new beginners. Our gym is just an old very small wooden hut and we're so packed out now we've had to turn kids away and even had to let a few go, it's a scandal that we're having to turn kids back out onto the streets. We're desperate for a bigger place to coach these youngsters in.
The investment in youth activities in Shirehampton and Avonmouth is just laughable. You hear all the time about kids getting into trouble with drugs and crime but if we don't invest in our youth, should it be any surprise when so many go off the rails? In the last couple of years the area has seen Grove Leaze Youth Centre closed, Shirehampton swimming baths closed, Robin Cousins Sports Centre closed.
The unpaid volunteers and coaches at this club are trying their very hardest to fill a gap left by the council by providing a much needed after schools activity for local youths. But we're doing this with no outside funding or support from the council, I'd be surprised if they even knew we existed. Amateur boxing has so much to offer you see the kids walk in off the street unsure of themselves with a bad attitude but after just few classes they grow in self confidence, self discipline and self worth plus the obvious health benefits that boxing training provides. We're keeping many troubled kids off the streets, but not only that, we're giving them the opportunity to excel in a sport that has real street cred.
Other areas of the city have received investment in its youth via boxing. Just recently Barton Hill has a new boxing gym helped with council funding, Southmead boxing club had a new gym built and is now growing. Broadplain based at the Riverside Youth Project in Easton has been doing great things for many years through boxing, so why is Shirehampton and Avonmouth so over looked and under funded? We are the oldest and most successful boxing club in Bristol producing many boxing champions since 1934, that's not a boast - it's a fact. We have applied for lottery grants, other funding agencies grants and approached the council but have received no help whatsoever. The only reason the gym is able to open its doors is due to the money raised from its boxing shows and small donations from private individuals connected with the club. In partnership with Avonmouth Rugby Club, we provide sporting opportunities for over 300 boys and girls but we're at bursting point. All we're asking for is some help to build a decent place where these kids can come and train.
Parading for Easter at the Cotswold
Following on two very successful Easter Parades at the Cotswold Community Centre, the third such event is planned for Easter Monday, April 9th at 10.30am,
A fun event for children and adults, there are prizes for the best hats in the parade, as well as there being activities, stories, and games to enjoy.
Admission is £1.50 per family.
Gardeners are beginning to plan their gardens as spring approaches, and the gardeners who live between the Portway and the river have an added incentive to don their wellies, pick up their spades, and do something really special this year.
The Cotswold Community Association is going to hold the second "Cotswold in Bloom" competition. Last year there were some tremendous entries, and everyone who took part was highly commended by the judges from the City Council Parks Department. A number of the entries were featured in SHIRE's first-ever colour edition, and one of them became the summer picture in the SHIRE 2007 Calendar.
Details will be available in a month or two, and will be published in the SHIRE; keep a look-out, and have a go.
Portway Community School: "Save Our Cottage" Campaign
Portway has a long history and tradition of high class outdoor Education and has its own residential centre in the Black Mountains in Wales.
During recent years the centre has become financially harder to maintain, due in part, to financial difficulties faced by the school. However, as the school begins to make dramatic improvements, we would like to make significantly more use of the centre particularly to develop: self-reliance, teamwork, confidence, responsibility and leadership amongst our students.
In order to do this, we need to raise funds to make outdoor education trips possible for all students throughout the year, and contribute towards the cost of the lease and the insurance of the buildings, which has escalated during recent years, due to the remoteness of the cottage building.
The cottage is managed by the Portway School Charitable Trust who have contributed significantly to the finances over the years. However, we need to raise more money through donation, sponsorship, grants etc in order to raise the quality of our outdoor education provision back to the high standards of past years.
A fund raising committee has been set up led by Jim Tolman (Assistant Headteacher) and Elaine Miller (Business Manager), and we are looking for support from the local community, local businesses, charitable organisations and anybody who would like to contribute ? donations would be gratefully accepted and can be sent to Jim or Elaine at the school, as would any ideas, suggestions, as to how we could raise sufficient money to ensure we can once again provide quality outdoor experiences for the young people of our community.
Some of the history of the cottage is printed below. It is extracted from a special brochure we have produced which is freely available from the school.
If you would like a brochure, or to discuss anything to do with the project, please contact Jim or Elaine at the school.
History of Pen-y-Cae cottage
In the summer of 1983, John Larkins, the head of Portway School was walking in the Black Mountains when he came across a semi - derelict cottage, high on the mountain side approximately 10 miles north of Crick Howell and Abergavenny.
Pen-y-Cae is a 16th Century cottage and John Larkin's vision was to have the cottage renovated, improved and turned into a residential outdoor pursuits centre for the use of the school, where the pupils from Portway could enjoy the delights of outdoor pursuits away from television, computers, central heating etc, whilst having to keep the open fire going to keep warm and per haps dry out clothes from night hikes if the weather was inclement.
Neither the school nor the LEA could take on this project so the Trustees of the Portway School Charitable trust willingly agreed to take out a lease from the Forestry Commission and set the project in motion.
The work was carried out in the summer of 1984. Cost of materials for original improvements and extension cost some £7,000 with labour of up to 10 workmen provided free of charge by the Gwent County Manpower Services Commission over a 20 week period. This work increased the overall size of the cottage by 50% and allowed the installation of showers, flush toilets and a Raeburn hot water system (though not central heating).
Two upstairs dormitories were created each having its own staircase (one being the original stone spiral staircase). The original walk-in fireplace with its bread oven was retained for heating and cooking. Amazingly the cottage was given its own postcode, although tucked away on the tree line on the mountainside in the middle of the Mynydd Du Forest!
The cottage was brought into use in 1986. Each week, 16 students visited for 3 days and 2 nights, accompanied by 2 members of staff.
For many years the cottage has served as a base for mountain and environmental activities, students from Year 7 upwards have been benefiting from this unique educational opportunity. This has encouraged students to undertake courses such as caving, abseiling and orienteering with expeditions in this country and abroad. Students have also taken part in the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme and have participated in two world challenges taking place in Ecuador in 1998 and South Africa in 2000.
In July 2003 the Trust negotiated a new 20-year lease with the Forestry commission.
The trust hopes that students from Portway will continue to benefit from the unique experience that Pen-y-Cae affords well into the future. However, during recent years particularly due to huge increases in the cost of the insurance, the future of Pen-y-cae has become less secure.
Report from PC Gareth Davies - Local Beat Manager
Nuisance and Anti-Social Behaviour
I have dealt with many incidents involving teenagers and young children as young as 8-10 years causing anti-social behaviour in the villages over the last few months. Some of you have not been so lucky!
What concerns me is that I know what is going through that teenager's mind - "No facilities, nothing to do, boredom"!
Whilst outside agencies and the police are trying their best to provide facilities for the teenagers in the village, is this "respect" they are showing by acting like animals nearly every night, going around in gangs, causing harassment, alarm and distress to the residents of the village, who, believe it or not, are on their side?
We have a problem in the village with land ownership, trying to get an area that the village can use for activities and "hanging out" has been addressed for years. Councillor Murphy, SCAF, and the local residents have been for years fighting the corner for these teenagers, who on a daily basis carry out mindless acts of criminal damage, violence and harassment and get caught by me or by the officers from Avonmouth police station.
This year I will carry on arresting and prosecuting every person, be it male or female, who I, or the officers from this station, catch causing acts of violence/criminal damage around the village.
If these teenagers (and you know who you are!) want another dispersal order this year around the village, they are going the right way about it - again you have been warned!! I have my anti-social behaviour pad at the ready.
Parking around the village has become an ever-increasing problem, I have members of the public contacting me regularly at the station who are complaining about the historic parking issues of which I am aware and which I have been looking at for some time as Chair of the Shirehampton Community Safety Action Group that meet once a month. Parking is one of the chosen topics that is raised at each meeting. Disability parking is also another topic raised along with double yellow lines and, as a forum, we have raised this issue with the local council, applying for more designated disabled parking places in the village. Parking services will look after the day-to-day parking concerns around the cash machines and Boots the Chemist on the High Street, Shirehampton.
On travelling around the village, I frequently see members of the public, who either live in the village or are just passing through the village, using their mobile phones in their cars whilst "on the move". A law has just been passed that from 27 February 2007 members of the public who are driving their vehicle on a road using their mobile phones will be dealt with by way of a £60 fine and three points endorsed on their licence. You have been warned!!! I will take your registration number and send the evidence on to the relevant office for prosecution.
Alcohol and Drugs
There is still a very high percentage of alcohol/drug related crime in the villages of Avonmouth and Shirehampton:
There have been two burglaries on Bargain Booze in the last couple of months and several thefts from Victoria Wines. Please be vigilant about any teenagers and younger youths walking around the villages with large amounts of alcohol; please take note of their direction of travel, gathering places and descriptions. This will all assist in the seizure of alcohol and assist in the application for future dispersal orders in the village.
If you feel that certain areas around your streets/roads need attention because you suspect dealing, give the police a call on 0845 4567000, or "Crimestoppers" on 0800 555 111.
There is drug paraphernalia scattered all around the village. I have located several areas of concern to which I, and other police units, will be paying attention. You have been warned, "Big Brother" is watching you.
This goes hand in hand with the alcohol problems I have locally, because on identifying those areas of concern relating to drink and drugs, there is also the litter element that goes with these issues. If I find anyone throwing litter on the streets deliberately, I will prosecute. All you have to do is ask those who have already been caught by me!
Attempted Burglary at The Ridge
There are still problems with burglaries though not as many as December and November 2006:
The targeted premises are premises where the residents are either working or away on holidays. The entry to these few premises that have been burgled is through the rear patio/conservatory doors and back doors.
However there has been one occasion where a house owner was at home at 7pm when he saw his door handle moving whilst he was in the corridor of his premises. The front door (which was a 5 lever mortice lock) opened very slowly and the owner shouted at the shadow, after which a male teenager ran from the Ridge and was lost to sight in the High Street. The owner of the attempted burglary was able to catch a quick glance at the teenager. All that he could say was a male, possible teenager, about 5 foot 8-9 inches in height and wearing an all white hooded top.
There is a message for all my residents in this. Keep your front and rear doors closed, firmly, place a door chain on the door frames, keep it attached, always leave lights and music on, even when out of the house, keep an eye on your immediate neighbours, and who's who that enter your road/street. If you see a person or vehicle that you are not too sure about, please try and take a good description of the person or a registration number of the vehicle. You never know, I, or the officers at Avonmouth, might just be around the corner.
Police Community Support Officers
On a lighter note, you have heard about the allocation of Police Community Support officers to Avonmouth?
The station has one PCSO at present with two more PCSOs currently being trained up for Avonmouth. The villages of Avonmouth and Shirehampton will be allocated one - his name is PCSO Andrew Troke - when Andrew has completed his training and is ready for the village, I will be introducing him to those of you who have something positive to give to the villages. Andrew will also look forward to taking his first solo foot patrol. Andrew is friendly and approachable and will be happy to discuss your concerns and complaints and any ideas you might have to benefit the village you live in. If Andrew can't sort out the problem, then I know a good officer who can.
If you need to get hold of me for any issues or concerns you wish to discuss, either contact me at the station via the force switchboard 0845 4567000 or e-mail me using my link on the beat page. Of course ring 999 if you feel that you need an officer now!
PC 1382 Gareth Davies, Ward Manager, Avonmouth and Shirehampton.
CCA Pet Show
Do you live with a belligerent budgie, a devoted dog, a crafty cat?
Bring them all along to the very first Cotswold Community Association Pet Show on Saturday March 24th at 2pm, and let them dazzle our judge with their charms, while you show the judge what you know about your pet and its welfare.
For full details, ring Bobbie on 9831029.
New Shirehampton Web Site
In addition to "Shire on the Web" - www.shire.org.uk there is a new Shirehampton web site for Shirehampton lovers and enquirers to browse.
Called "Shirehampton Community Homepage", http://shirehampton.2day.ws (NB there is no "www" in the site address) comes from St. Mary's, but as well as containing all you would expect about the church, including many photos, it also has a wealth of information about the community and beyond. It includes links to "Shire on the Web" and to our newspaper, and much else.
Warning: browsing the many links can be quite addictive!
St Mary's News
Here I am trying to think about Spring and I look out of the window and everywhere is white with snow! Do you think I spoke too soon when I mentioned the better weather and the lighter nights approaching in my notes last month? I was foolishly led into a false sense of security with that mild spell in January! Never mind the grass will soon be growing again in the churchyard and with a bit of luck we shall see Roy Miller walking behind a mower with a contented look on his face. If he doesn't see you he is probably lost in thought thinking he is preparing the grass for a certain Football Team which plays on the Memorial Ground!!! Please give generously to him if you see him - as an OAP he will need the money to catch the 'bus to Twerton Park next season!!!
I jest, but I have to report that some of our members have not been too well of late. Derek Ford - one of our Churchwardens - has recently had a spell in hospital but I am pleased to record that he is now on the mend and making a good recovery. He's not ready to play a few innings at Cricket yet but he's raring to go! A spell down under in Australia would do you the world of good Derek (and the English Cricket Team as well!!). Another lady who has been unwell is Doris Woodruff we all wish you well Doris and look forward to seeing you out and about again. Doris will be well known to the children in the Church as she is the lady who does the face painting at our Spring, Summer and Christmas Fayres much to the delight of the young ones!
During the latter part of January the West Bristol Concert Band held a concert in St. Mary's. Attendance was very good and the takings at the door were a welcome boost to their funds. We were pleased to be their hosts.
On Friday 2nd February we had our "Colour me Evening" in the church, which commenced with an absolutely delightful three course Supper (I lie, because there were actually four because we had Cheese and Biscuits as well with our Tea and Coffee - sorry about that but my poor old brain is a bit feeble today! Don't mention that to my wife because she will tell you its like that every day!) We had a charming young lady who afterwards showed us which colours were most suited to our skin colouring and how you can very often assess a persons' character by the colour of their clothing e.g. Margaret Thatcher always wore dark colours which emphasised her dominant character, whereas the Queen nearly always wears pastel shades which portrays her more gentle approach to people. It was a truly fascinating evening and we were delighted to welcome many new faces to that event. Keep your eyes peeled on this news column as you never know what our little "Welsh dynamo" has up her sleeve next! (Sorry Canon Christine -but you don't look like a dynamo at all really - more like a sleek Lotus Elan - the way you are here there and everywhere!).
The Severn Four Credit Union saving scheme is going well - I did my first turn on duty the other day, when we had several new applicants apply for details and others were paying in their savings. Look into St. Mary's any Friday morning between 10.30 am and 11.30 am if you are interested - it will cost you £1.50 to join the scheme and the minimum amount you can deposit is £1 -just think how easily that will mount up when you need the cash say at Christmas!
I am pleased to record that the last Beetle Drive was very well supported and enjoyed by all who attended. The funds raised by this event went to the cost of our new piano.
Talking of the piano, it has now actually arrived! It is bigger that a Baby Grand but smaller than a Grand Piano - someone thought it might be called a Boudoir Piano. (I don't know if that's right because the dictionary says a "boudoir" is a woman's bedroom or private room). We mustn't lower the tone (pun unintended!) at St. Mary's, so I shall refer to it as a medium size Grand Piano. It is a Yamaha make with a beautiful pure sound particularly at the top end of the keyboard. As it is a Yamaha I haven't found out where Tim Forder fills it up with "two-stroke" mixture - I'm told that it does 50 Sonatas to the gallon!!
Once again stupidity has taken over my brain for I jest again, but seriously if you wish to hear what a beautiful instrument it is, then you can purchase a Ticket for £6 from Gill Sawyer at the Church Office for an Evening Soiree of Piano & Organ Music and a Supper which will be at 7.30 pm on Saturday, 10th March, 2007. Tickets are limited and YOU MUST OBTAIN A TICKET TN ADVANCE. REGRETTABLY NO TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR!
Rehearsals have now commenced with the Shirehampton Area Choir for the Good Friday performance of the Cantata - "Olivet to Calvary" by J.H. Maunder. Several people have expressed an interest in possibly joining the Choir - so why not come along to St. Mary's at 7.30 pm on a Tuesday evening - I know our Choirmaster Tim Forder will welcome you with open arms. We are particularly short of Tenor voices - so any men out there who could assist will be more than welcome - I'll bring the throat sweets!!
We were delighted to welcome Bishop Lee Rayfield of Swindon and his wife to one of our recent Holy Communion Services and, yes, he had noted the 24% growth in our numbers over the past 12 months. I spent a little while chatting to him over a cup of Coffee after the Service and found him to be a charming man - very easy to listen to and he is also most interested to hear what you have to say too!
On Saturday, 1 7th March, 2007, (St. Patrick's Day) - you are invited to attend a Quiet Day at Trinity Theological College, Stoke Bishop - when the Speaker will be The Rev. James Steven who is a member of College Staff. There is a list at the back of the Church for you to sign if you wish to attend and I believe lunch will be provided.
The very next day - Sunday, 18th March, 2007 - is Mothering Sunday. At our 10 am Holy Communion Service, which on that day is particularly for families, we shall witness at St. Mary's the Baptism of Philip and Rachel Cochrane's two children. Philip as some of you already know is an Ordinand at Trinity Theological College and both his children are to be baptized by "total immersion" in water - something we have never ever seen before at St. Mary's! I can remember as a teenager, during the incumbency of the late Canon John Smith, attending a service at Shirehampton Baptist Church to witness a "total immersion" baptism there, which is the only one I have ever seen. This will be a totally new experience for us and something for which I look forward to. All will be welcome!
The following Saturday, 24th March is the date of our Spring Fayre when Gill Sawyer will again persuade us to purchase some of her home made goodies. The Fayre will commence at 10 am until 12 noon followed by Cream Teas from 2 until 4 pm which can be purchased at a very moderate price.
The next day - Sunday 25th March services at St. Mary's as usual, but at 3.3Opm that afternoon a service is to be held in Bristol Cathedral to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the passing of the Act to abolish slavery. It is anticipated the Cathedral will be filled to capacity for this service as many of our Civic Dignitaries will be attending. Further details can be obtained from Canon Christine if you are interested in attending.
The next day - Monday, 26th March we shall holding a Holy Communion Service at St. Mary's at 7 pm to celebrate the Annunciation - everyone is of course welcome.
The following Sunday, 1st April, 2007 is of course Palm Sunday, when we shall have our usual Holy Communion Service at 10 am and to commence our celebration of Holy Week there will also be a service of Compline at 8 pm that evening.
On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of the same week there will again be a service of Compline at 8 pm each evening. For anyone who is not sure what a service of Compline is, it is merely a short Reflective service of Evening Prayer. It only lasts about 20 minutes and you may find it most peaceful!
The very next day is Maundy Thursday. There will be NO COMMUMON AT 11 AM AT ST. MARY'S ON THIS DAY.
Instead you are invited to attend a service of "Blessing of the Oils" at 10.30 am at Bristol Cathedral. There will be however, a Holy Communion Service at 6.30 pm that evening when the washing of feet will take place followed by the Maundy Thursday Simple Supper. Again anyone is welcome to this service!
Good Friday follows and there will be a Family Service around the Cross at 10 am which is especially geared towards children. This will be a fairly short service, after which we shall be joined by members of the other churches in the parish for Refreshments and Hot Cross Buns before continuing the Walk of Witness around the Village.
At 1 pm in St. Mary's will be the Stations of the Cross - a short reflective service before the performance by the Shirehampton Area Choir of the Cantata - "Olivet to Calvary". This is not a concert but a serious Christian devotion to commemorate the final hour of Christ's life here upon Earth.
The following Sunday, 8th April, is of course Easter Day when we shall again be holding our Sunrise Service at 7 am on Shirehampton Park, adjacent to the car parking area. Afterwards we shall be adjourning to the nearby Shirehampton Cricket Club Pavilion for the usual full English Breakfast - the facilities having been made available again for us by Maureen & Don Geddes. With full "tums" we then return to St. Mary's for our 10 am celebration of Holy Communion. Not only is it the first Communion for the season of Easter, but a special day because it will be the very first occasion when we use our new Silver Gilt Ciborium which was purchased from the bequest left to us by the late Irene Thackeray. I have already seen it and it is a wonderful match to go with our Silver Gilt Chalice and Paten.
Once Easter has arrived we have to turn our thoughts to the growing list of Weddings & Blessings which have been booked at St. Mary's. If you are thinking of getting married or wish to celebrate a particular period of your marriage then speak to Canon Christine, Andy Schuman our Curate, or our Lay Minister Gill Sawyer who will be more than pleased to assist and advise you!
Finally, I have to tell you that St. Mary's has received a very generous bequest from the estate of the late Sue Dainton. I am given to understand that Sue prior to her death mentioned to Canon Christine how she would like the money spent and we are indeed indebted to her and remember her with much affection.
Well, that's it again for this month, take care in the meantime!
'Bye for now!
Marvellous March at St Mary's
Wednesdays 28th February - 28th March - Lent with a difference - 'Supper and Something Special' - 7.00pm - 9.00pm. Supper followed by a speaker or presentation and followed with a very short service of Evening Prayer. Why not try it? Sign up in church
Saturday 10th March - 7.30pm - Spring Soiree with Supper. Come along to this very special evening - supper and an opportunity to hear our refurbished organ and our new grand piano. Tickets £6 from the church office.
Saturday 17th March - 10.00am - 3.30pm - Quiet Day for Lent at Trinity College (lunch provided). Led by Rev James Steven of Trinity College. Do think about joining us - sign up in church.
Sunday 18th March - Mothering Sunday - our 10.00am service will be an informal communion for all the family. Why not come along?
Saturday 24th March - 10.00am - 12.00 noon - Springtime Fayre - Crafts, gifts, cakes, preserves and much more! Do join us
Monday 26th March - 7.00pm - Holy Communion for the Annunciation.
"Thank You" to Woolworth's
Could you please put a"Thank you" in the Shire for the Woolworth staff. Yesterday the 9th Feb the weather was not good, with snow etc.. The staff from Woolworth was putting out grit to make it a bit better under foot. They also did outside Shoe Fayre on the slope, which I found very helpful, so thank you for caring.
Mr Len Gethin
Good Friday Walk of Witness
Members from all the churches will bear witness to their oneness around the Cross of Christ on Good Friday, April 6th, as they Walk in procession through the village.
The Walk begins at The Green at 10.15 am, then proceeds to the Methodist Church at 10.30. From there the cross leads them to St Mary's at 10.45 where they will have coffee and a hot cross bun, before going on to St Bernard's to arrive at 11.15 am.
From there they walk to the Baptist Church, before finishing at The Green at 11.45 am.
Everyone is welcome to join in the Walk of Witness.