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Public Enquiry for Former National School


What's on in May

News from PC Gareth Davies

Letters to the Editor

St. Mary's News

Who are Shire Community Action Forum (SCAF)?

Artistic children spread health and safety message

Public Enquiry for Former National School

THERE have been a number of Planning Applications to demolish the former National School in Station Road. The building has until recently housed a Snooker Club. Each proposal was accompanied by an application to redevelop the site with flats. The City Council has rejected the applications 3 times.

Two appeals have been made to the First Secretary of State against the City Council's refusal. The Planning Inspectorate has indicated that a Public Inquiry will be held to determine this appeal. The date for the Inquiry is currently being arranged and will be announced as soon as possible.

The Planning Inspectorate has asked that local residents and others that may be affected by the proposals are given the opportunity to make representations. If you wish to comment, please write to The Planning Inspectorate, Room 3/19A, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN quoting reference number APP/Z0116/A/07/2041072/NWF & APP/Z0016/E/07/2041084/NWF. Alternatively, you can submit your views on-line (see below).

Any views must be submitted by 11th May 2007, and the Inspectorate must receive three copies of any letter. If representations are received after the above date, the Inspector will not normally see them and they will be returned. Such views will be conveyed to both parties to the appeal and may be read out at the Inquiry.

The appeals documents can be viewed during normal office hours at Planning Reception, Brunel House, St. Georges Road, Bristol. A copy of the booklet "Guide to taking part in planning appeals" is available at the reception, free of charge. You can make comments on-line and check the information and the progress of this case at You can look at this case by typing in the above reference number where it says "Case Ref" on the "Search" page and clicking on the search button. If you would like to be informed of the decision of the appeal, you should ask the Planning Inspectorate to notify you.

Another bit of Shirehampton history under threat: the National School was built in 1846, new classrooms and girls' cloakroom were added in 1892.





35th Annual Local Art Exhibition

Public Hall, Station Road, Shirehampton. 26th May-29th May, 2007. ADMISSION FREE. Catalogue 50p

Saturday 26th May 1.00pm-6.00pm
Sunday 27th May 10.00am-6.00pm
Monday 28th May 10.00am-6.00pm
Tuesday 29th May 10.00am-5.00pm

Beat Surgeries with PC Davies

PC Davies will be at the following locations on the following dates. Should you wish to raise any issues with him regarding policing and crime please go and talk to him. He will be in attendance between 10am and 11am on the following dates:

  • 11th April Penpole Residents Association building, The Ridge
  • 9th May Stow House, Nibley Road
  • 13th June Methodist Church Hall, High Street
  • 11th July Penpole Residents Association building, The Ridge
  • 8th August Stow House, Nibley Road
  • 12th Sept Methodist Church Hall, High Street
  • 10th October Penpole Residents Association building, The Ridge
  • 14th Nov Stow House, Nibley Road
  • 12th Dec Methodist Church Hall, High Street


Keys were found on Park Road at the entrance to the golf course over Easter weekend and taken to Avonmouth Police Station.

What's on in May

Tuesday, May 1st
  • St ANDREW'S LADIES 7.30pm at St Andrew's Church Hall, Avonmouth, 'Surprise Talk' by Susan Marshfield.
  • TEA JUNCTION weekly at St Mary's 2pm - tea, chat, board games
  • CRAFTY GROUP weekly at St Mary's 2pm - 2.30pm
  • BINGO or a speaker weekly at 2 pm, the Tythe Barn, High Street
  • SHIREHAMPTON AREA CHOIR REHEARSAL every Tuesday 7.30-9pm at St Mary's

Wednesday May 2nd

  • SHIREHAMPTON MODEL RAILWAY CLUB weekly at the Public Hall, 7.30 pm
  • BRIGHT HOUR (Women's Fellowship) Baptist Church 2.30pm
  • A.U.S. Advice Sessions every Wednesday and Thursday 9.30 - 11am at 115 High Street
  • ACTA COMMUNITY YOUTH THEATRE for 11 - 16's weekly at the Public Hall 5 pm - 6.30 pm
  • KEEP FIT weekly at the Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road 10.30 am - 11.30 am for those with some movement experience.
  • SHIREHAMPTON CRAFT GROUP Every Wednesday 1.30 - 3pm at Avonside District Guide HQ, St Mary's Road. For information ring 983192.

Thursday May 3rd

  • SHIREHAMPTON TOWNSWOMEN'S GUILD 2pm - 4pm. Wine/Cheese tasting Waitrose.
  • COTSWOLD BOOK CLUB 7.30pm. Ring 9047319 for venue.
  • KICK BOXING weekly at the Public Hall 5.15 pm - 7.15 pm
  • STROKE SUPPORT every Thursday at the PBA Club, Nibley Road 1.30 - 4 pm
  • SLIMMMING WORLD weekly 5.30pm and 7 pm at Jim O'Neill House
  • BINGO or a speaker at the Tythe Barn 2 pm every week
  • GRAINGER PLAYERS DRAMA CLUB weekly at the Public Hall 7.30 pm - 9.30 pm
  • KYOTO SHOTOKAN KARATE CLUB train at Avonmouth RFC weekly 6.30 - 8.30 pm
  • KEEP FIT with sports balls and Yoga. each Thursday 6.30-7.30pm at Rock Community Centre, Ridingleaze, Lawrence Weston

Friday May 4th

  • COFFEE MORNING at the Library 10am-12 noon
  • FRIDAY FUN weekly for Parents, Carers, and pre-school children 9.30 am - 11 am at the Beachley Walk Centre
  • EVERGREENS weekly at the Public Hall 2 - 4 pm
  • BINGO weekly at the Public Hall starting 6.30 pm
  • PILLOW LACE GROUP every Friday 7 - 9 pm at the Public Hall
  • SHIREHAMPTON AMATEUR RADIO CLUB weekly at T.S. Enterprise 7.30 - 10 pm
  • FINAL DAY FOR ENTRY FORMS for the local ART EXHIBITION to be sent to Mrs P. Phelan, 3 Oakhurst Road, Bristol BS9 3TQ.

Saturday May 5th

  • MAY FAYRE at Shirehampton's METHODIST CHURCH HALL, 10am-12 noon.

Monday May 7th

  • MAY BANK HOLIDAY The Library will be closed.
  • OPEN DAY CHURCH at St Mary's 12 noon-5pm.

Tuesday, May 8th

  • EVERGREENS TRIP to Weymouth.
  • THE BOBBY VAN on the Green.

Wednesday May 9th

  • WOMEN'S FELLOWSHIP at the Public Hall.

Saturday May 12th

  • STAMP & POSTCARD FAIR AT THE PUBLIC HALL 10am-4pm Enquiries Kevin 0117-9021134
  • Avonmouth Sea Cadets SPRING RUMMAGE SALE, Scout HQ, St Mary's Road 10am - 12 noon.

Monday May 14th

  • SEE AND KNOW for under 5s at St Mary's weekly 1.15-2.45pm
  • 3 of US BINGO weekly at St Andrew's Church Hall. Avonmouth 1.15 - 2.45 pm
  • KEEP FIT weekly at the Avonmouth Community Centre 7.30-8.30pm
  • BASIC LITERARY SKILLS weekly at Lawrence Weston - tel 0117 913 8824 for details
  • KYOTO SHOTOKAN KARATE CLUB trains at St Bernard's School weekly 6.30 - 8.30 pm
  • DROP-IN ADVICE CENTRE AUS Community Association at St Andrew's Church Hall, Avonmouth weekly. 9.30-11.30 am Sponsored by St Andrew's Church
  • LOCAL HISTORY GROUP in the Library at 2.30pm

Tuesday May 15th

  • ST ANDREW'S LADIES 7.30pm St Andrew's Church Hall 7.30pm "This is my life" by Peggy Scott.
  • PBA PENSIONERS meet at the Clubhouse, Nibley Road 1.30pm-3.30pm.

Wednesday May 16th

  • KEEP FIT at the Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road 10.30am-11.30am for those with some movement experience.

Thursday May 17th

  • CARERS GROUP meets at Avonmouth Medical Centre 10am-noon.

Sunday May 20th

  • COTSWOLD SERVICE at Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road 4.45-5.30pm led by St Mary's Church.

Thursday May 24th

  • DIABETES UK Penpole Tenants Association Hall 7.30pm

Friday May 25th

  • SEQUENCE DANCE Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road 7.30pm-10pm.
  • EXHIBITS for the Local ART EXHIBITION to be brought to the Public Hall between 6pm-7pm.
  • TERM 5 ends for all local SCHOOLS

Saturday May 26th - May 29th Saturday - Tuesday

  • ANNUAL LOCAL ART EXHIBITION at the Public Hall. Opening hours: Saturday 1pm - 6pm; Monday 10am - 6pm; Tuesday 10am - 5pm.

Monday 28th May



  • 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 8.3Oam 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 9.3Oam - 1 1.3Oam; Thursday 7 - 9pm


  • FREE. Improve your English; Computers and Communication; Art and Communication; Help with your Maths. Contact Gill Lloyd on 31125530.

Model Railway Club

Please note that the club now meets on Wednesdays and NOT Tuesdays


On March 10th Malcolm Collins and his son Steven abseiled 120 feet down the front of Bristol Children's Hospital in aid of Kidney Research UK. They raised £271. Thank you to everyone who sponsored them


WHO said all the pirates were in the Llandoger Trow? Portway Lower Boys' School, Treasure Island 49/50.

Left - right, John Hopkins, Mike Antill, Peter Caines, Eddy Smith, Gerald Andrews, Jove Priddy, Jim Dudbridge and Underfed the skeleton.

We young pirates thought we were hard but Squire Carlistle, Dr. Bazeley, Hatchet Veasey, Inner tube Ackland, Long John Tooney, Ben Gunn Jones, Jim Ham Harvey, Black Pugh Sirsons, Chisel Goodman and Bones Trevitt had permission from our parents to be harder. Mike Antill.

May at St. Mary's

Monday 7th May - 12.00 noon-5.00pm - Open Church - Lunches and cream teas. Miss the Bank Holiday crowds and enjoy something local.

Tuesday 8th May - 7.30pm-9.00pm - at St Mary's - Shirehampton Youth Project, a chance to find out more about it and what it aims to achieve for our youth.

Friday 18th May - 7.30pm-10.00pm - "The Great Pudding Party" - Tickets £6 from the church office or ring 9077026. Starter and a choice of three puddings and then as a table try to guess the ingredients of the puddings!

Monday 28th May - 12.00 noon-5.00pm - Open Church - Lunches and cream teas. A great way to spend your Bank Holiday!


A reader rang in answer to the article to say that the Tythe Barn had been sold originally.

Shirehampton Model Railway Club - Monthly update

Both 00 gauge test tracks are now upgraded to accept the new finer r.t.r wheels.

Organising this year's exhibition is well under way.

We have decided on this year's special limited edition wagon. It will be a five plank wagon in the livery of F.G. Mullis a coal merchant from Clifton Down, it is all black with white writing this will be produced as usual by West Wales Wagon works, see their website at for more details.

I have noticed we are still listed as meeting on a Tuesday in What's On.

We now meet on a Wednesday 7.30pm in the Public Hall the wrong listing is completely my fault and I will ask that it is amended for this month sorry if any one turned up on a Tuesday. Please feel free to pop in and see us or have a look at the web site alternatively phone the secretary Tony Davies on 9827875 if outside of Bristol code is 0117.

Well that is about it for this month except to wish you all happy modelling if that is your thing, if not, just have a good day and a better one tomorrow.


The Penpole Luncheon Club have 5 vacancies

The luncheon club was formed in 1998, to fill a niche for the elderly in our area. They meet every Tuesday

Lunch £2.75. Transport £1.25

It is a nice opportunity to meet up with other people and enjoy a nice lunch, with a game of bingo and a raffle after lunch and a good gossip.

Please contact Mrs Sandra White on 9381236, if you would like to come along and join in the fun. She would be more than delighted to hear from you.

Fund Raising Dinner Shirehampton Community Action Forum

As already notified, this dinner will take place at Kingsweston House on Saturday 17th November 2007. The format will be similar to last years very successful event. There will be some entertainment, not yet arranged, a Grand Draw and as before, superb food.

Last year many people walked to Kingsweston House but were less happy to walk home at the end of the evening.

To make life easier we will be arranging for a couple of minibuses to be available (or more if wanted), to take people back to the village at the end of the evening. The cost will be £3 per person, booked when you buy your ticket.

We are hoping to arrange for tickets to be available at other places than the Public Hall, but will let you know at a later date. In the meantime, please put 17th November in your diary now.

GEORGE ERIC VEREY 26th February 1926 to 1st March 2007

ERIC was born at Ibstock in Leicestershire the younger of two sons to George and Ethel Verey. Although baptised as George, after his father and paternal grandfather, both family and friends always knew him as Eric. With his parents and older brother Fred, he came to live at Two-Mile-Hill, Kingswood in the early 1930's.

Eric was educated at Two Mile Hill Junior Mixed School and then at St George Secondary School, which he left in July 1941 having been awarded the First School Certificate by the University of Bristol.

Eric was to spend all his working life with the Imperial Smelting Company, at the National Smelting Company Works Avonmouth, which in those early days involved either a train journey from Lawrence Hill or a long bicycle ride from Kingswood. He initially worked in the laboratory as an Analyst moving to the Cuprinol Plant and then to the Imperial Smelting Furnace No. 4.

June 1944 saw Eric being "called-up" for National Service in the Royal Navy at HMS Royal Arthur, Skegness aS a Sick Berth Attendant. War service was confined to England at Royal Naval Hospitals in Plymouth where he was an assistant in the x-ray department.

Following demobilisation in January 1946 he returned to the Smelting works at Avonmouth and gained an award under the Further Education and Training Scheme to train as an Analytical Chemist. Part-time study was undertaken at the Merchant Venturers' Technical College, Bristol culminating in the award of ONC in Chemistry in September 1949.

Whilst at the Smelting Works, Eric met a local "Shire" girl Vera Hillman who was a clerk/typist in the stores. Vera lived in Passage Leaze, the daughter of Ivy and Hugh Hillman and sister to Hugh. Eric and Vera were married at St Mary's Church Shirehampton in 1950. The ceremony was conducted by Rev Maurice Tucker, a family friend and the reception was held in the Sea Cadet headquarters in Walton Road. Early married life was spent in a flat in Egerton Road, Bishopston and Eric's part-time education continued with an award of a NHC in Chemistry in September 1951.

In 1952 Eric and Vera moved from Bishopston to live in Shirehampton in a cottage on Springfield Avenue where they lived together until 1957 when their only son Christopher was born. In 1960 they moved to the Portway where Vera was to live until increasing ill health led to hospitalisation in 2004 and finally nursing care. Vera died in July 2006. Eric continued to live alone on the Portway until his last hospitalisation and ultimate death.

Eric was a member of the Shirehampton Baths Swimming Club where he won various life saving awards and completed mile long swims on various occasions.

Eric was involved with St Mary's Shirehampton during the years with John Smith as vicar being both crucifer and a server.

In 1965 Eric was asked to be part of the commissioning team for a new Imperial Smelting Furnace being built in Duisburg, West Germany. He received his 25-year service award at a celebration dinner at the Grand Hotel, Bristol in November 1966. Later that year Eric was asked to transfer to Swansea Vale Works for a 12-month period.

In 1969 Eric moved to the Phosphoric Acid Plant, known as Bristol Chemicals Ltd. Closure of the Phosphoric Acid Plant at the end of 1981 lead to Eric's early retirement after 41 years of service. However, he was employed on a part-time basis for the next 3 years supervising the demolition and clearance of the site.

Eric was a member of the National Smelting Works Social and Sports Club and played in the Skittles league for many years.

After retirement Eric began to play bowls firstly with the NSC Club at Stoke Bishop and then with Avonmouth Bowling Club following the closure of the NSC green. Vera and Eric were also keen members of the Sea Mills Old Time Dance Club. Eric showed a keen interest in local affairs and held the position of Minute Secretary for the Shirehampton Community Group for many years standing down in 1995.

Photography was a life-long hobby and Eric was a member of Portishead Camera Club and a regular competitor in the St Mary's Church Annual Photographic Competitions. This interest lead to him presenting a slide show of "Shirehampton Old and New" at the Public Hall in October 1980, giving the audience a visual record of how the local area had changed over the years together with an informative commentary.

Eric made early photographic contributions to "Shire" and was soon adopted as their "photographer" also becoming a member of the administrative council. He used his vast photographic library of local views to make the annual selection of photographs for the distributor's calendar also writing all the monthly captions.

Eric lived in Shirehampton for the last 57 years. He leaves one son Christopher who is married to Jill and now lives in Rochdale, Lancashire with granddaughters Emma and Karen.

Christopher John Verey

April 2007

IVOR BEES 1936-2007

We would like to thank our friends at Shirehampton for the love, help and understanding you gave us during dear Ivor's long illness and giving such wonderful support at his funeral in Keynsham on January 26th 2007, so many cards, flowers and messages. Lastly a big hug to Canon Christine for giving me such strength on the day Ivor passed away. You are all very special people. God bless you all.

Ann (Bees) and Tubs.

(Thank you for your very generous donation. Ed.)


Eileen would like to thank the many friends and neighbours who sent cards on the death of her husband Petar.

Thank you to his bowling friends at the PBA Club for their hospital visits and inquiries. Also, to Canon Christine for her support and many vists while Petar was in hospital.

(Thank you for your kind donation, Ed.)

Congratulations on your forthcoming wedding

Shirley and Ray Harvey are delighted to announce the marriage of their only daughter Michelle to Colin Johnson of Coombe Dingle on Saturday 19th May 2007 at Kings Weston House (12.30pm). Enjoy your special day and good luck for your future happiness together. Love, Mum, Dad, Wayne, Linzi, Darren, Claire, Jade, Courtney, Jack, Aaron, Ben and Nan. Xxx

(Thank you for your kind donation, Ed.)


Have you ever been to Lawrence Weston Community Farm? I can thoroughly recommend a visit. On a lovely sunny morning in Easter Week I was taken there by my seven year old granddaughter. What a lovely time we had! We saw cows, pigs, sheep - including a three day old lamb with its mother, in a stall, goats, a white rat, guinea pigs and rabbits, ducks on their ponds, a goose and many hens strutting their stuff. There was a fairly large grassy area where there were seats and picnic tables, and around which there is a concrete path. By following this path up a short incline you come to a field where the sheep were grazing - including the two lambs featured in our last edition. Soon there will be bees too. A great attraction was feeding the hens, which were almost tame. Free range eggs are on sale for a very modest sum.

The small animals are bedded on shredded paper, so next time you empty your shredder why not take the contents to the farm, they will be most grateful. There is no entry fee but there is a churn for donations. This is what my granddaughter had to say about her visit: "It was a home for the animals and the guinea pigs were quite cute. The lamb was my favourite animal, and I fed the chickens (cups of chicken feed are on sale for 50p a cup). There was a woman cuddling up to one of the red chickens and it laid an egg on the concrete and it cracked it, I collected an egg from one of the hen houses. There was a big white rat cuddled asleep in some hay, it had red eyes. I didn't think there were going to be many animals but there were lots for that little farm".

Altogether a very successful visit - and right on our doorstep.

Phoenix Enterprises' West of England Programmes

Phoenix Enterprises is a non-profit organisation which helps people in the local community to increase their employability and overcome social exclusion. The organisation's West of England team is currently working in partnership with the Department for Work & Pensions to deliver a number of voluntary training and development courses which are aimed at people who are keen to find sustainable employment.

People who are long-term unemployed often feel marginalised and excluded within society. Phoenix Enterprises aim to provide this client group with the support and guidance that they need to help them back into work and make the transition as easy for them as possible. Accessing this group can be difficult and this is where the help of community organisations proves to be invaluable. By working closely with community groups Phoenix Enterprises is able to raise awareness of its courses, which may be beneficial to people accessing local services.

Inspired is specifically aimed at people in receipt of Incapacity Benefit who hope to return to the labour market. Clients will receive one to one support and guidance relating to employment and training opportunities, as well as support with issues such as debt, housing and criminality, on an outreach basis.

Moving Forward assists people who have been unemployed for less than 6 months to move towards their job and training goals. Working with an outreach support worker on a one to one basis, clients will receive up to 26 weeks support and guidance relating to training and employment opportunities.

Behind the Scenes Support works with people experiencing social exclusion due to substance misuse and/or alcohol related problems. The programme has had great success in bringing stability and opportunity to the otherwise chaotic lifestyles of the client group.

Directions is designed to help ex-offenders or prison leavers to enter employment. Clients will be assigned to an outreach worker who will tailor a package of support to meet each individual client's needs. This could include disclosure advice, support in accessing training courses or work experience.

To help them to move forward into employment clients attending the programmes will have access to employment preparation workshops, where they can learn practical job skills in addition to receiving assistance with application forms and interview practice. They can also attend weekly drop-in sessions for help with extensive job searching.

Phoenix Enterprises have had great success working with organisations in the Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire areas and are confident that by continuing to work collaboratively with local organisations they can provide an extra level of support to residents.

For further details please call Nikki Johnson, Employer Liaison Officer, on 07920 492647 or 0117 3178154, email:

News from PC Gareth Davies

Beat Manager

Anti-social behaviour/alcohol related crimes

The summer days are upon us, the days are getting longer and hotter. Local residents have seen officers from Avonmouth police station and myself dealing increasingly with alcohol related crimes such as criminal damage to property, arsons, assaults, thefts. The offenders are averaging the ages of 13-19 years, males and females:

The clear message police are giving to the minority who flaut the law regularly is - your local residents and the police will not tolerate any drunken disorder they witness. More and more now local residents are making a stand against this type of behaviour - the saying is "Together we will make a difference" meaning that the offenders are being identified by the police and by the local residents and the police will prosecute those who are named and caught.

Zero tolerance policing still applies to all the village. The officer from Avonmouth police station and I will be carrying out regular patrols in the hot spots of all the villages that are identified by the police and your local residents.

Outbuilding security

During the summer months the grass and hedges are getting longer and thicker and that means that sheds and outhouses could possibly be broken into!

Personal safety

Please be vigilant about drawing monies out from either the cash point machines or post offices. Don't draw out more than you need in one go, there may be someone watching your activities, or, even worse, may watch you walk home. This message applies not only to the older generation but to youngsters as well!


There has been an increase in the elderly being targeted in their homes by bogus callers. The tricksters are deceiving their ways into the victim's house by informing them that they are from the water/electricity company.

Once the offenders are inside the property, they ask the elderly victim to fill up a large jug or kettle whilst the offenders are roaming around the victim's house stealing anything they can carry and ransacking the house. Please try and get your older and more trusting relatives to not let anyone into the house. Encourage them to shut the door and ring a neighbour or relative to come and check the workmen out and wait with them until the work is complete. Genuine workers will not object as they get fed up with the bad reputation they get from people like this. Any doubt whatsoever that someone is not genuine please call the Police immediately.

The message to these elderly, trusting members of the public is not to let anyone into their homes, even checking security passes nowadays doesn't work, there are so many ways the tricksters are getting into the victim's house and security passes are easy to get hold of. They need to be made aware that all they need to do is pick up the phone and make the call to the police; they must not let anyone into their address.

Recent burglaries

There has been the occasional burglary in Shirehampton/Avonmouth. Entry to these premises has been through the rear (patio doors/kitchen windows), the timings for these breaks being early evenings. Property, money and jewellery have been stolen.

It appears the offenders are opportunists - they see their chance by victims leaving clues that they are not in - curtains not drawn at night, no lights left on when they go out for a few hours, evening papers left in the letter box, milk left on the doorstep, etc.

All these are little insignificant actions in the victim's eyes, but are huge clues to the opportunist thief, it will encourage the thief to have a second look at their property and break in. This is now the time to look at house security, alarms, lights left on, music left on during the day! Neighbours looking after neighbours, milk cancelled prior to going away, papers cancelled, family relations checking out houses. The days of letting the police know that the property will be vacant for the night/weekend have long gone.

I would also ask for residents to phone in more often (0845 456 7000) and report suspicious activity if they see it, and report it then, not a day or two later. If this is not done at the time, the offenders will get away with it!

The message is clear:

"Don't hesitate - report it now!"

Vehicle theft

There have been an increasing number of thefts from vehicles, satellite navigation systems, mobile phones, money and personal items. The entry to the vehicles is easy, straight through the passenger window using a screwdriver or brick. Do not leave anything on show. They will target those vehicles that have something to offer. Alarms should always be set even for 5 minutes.

If you want crime levels to come down. If you think it's suspicious it probably is. DON'T HESTIATE, REPORT IT. Please also report all those minor things that you think we can't be bothered with. Every time you report something it builds a picture and allows for resources to be used where they are needed.

PC Davies


Saturday 5th May at the City of Bristol College, Lawrence Weston.

Friday 11th May at the Greenway Centre, Southmead.

The No-Ones performs at various venues around Bristol throughout May.

The show follows the trials and tribulations of six ordinary women who enter a talent contest in search of fame and fortune, but soon find their path to success is not an easy one.

The No-Ones is devised and directed by Neil Beddow and Ingrid Jones and is the second show to be performed by Acta's Advance Group. The first of these projects - For Love Nor Money - enjoyed unprecedented success, drawing enthusiastic audiences all around Bristol, receiving international acclaim an drawing a new audience into the Bristol Old Vic.

Advance have been working together for the last three years.

The cast are all from Bristol and have performed in previous Acta shows.

The No-Ones is a comedy with a serious message, and has something for everyone, including some well-known musical numbers that will have you singing in your seats!

Director Neil Beddow says, "The No-Ones is a great show about issues that people can relate to, it's fast and funny and has lots of twists and turns. It's going to be a great night out, so whatever you do, don't miss this one!"

The show will be touring around Bristol neighbourhoods throughout May, and showing at the Bristol Old Vic in September. For more information contact the Acta Centre on 01179 532448 or email: or visit the website at

Both performances start at 8pm and tickets are priced at £2 for concession and £3 full price.

Letters to the Editor


Dear Editor,

I want to congratulate our granddaughter Siana White who went with her Mum, Tracy, to the Irish National Dance Competition in Killarney and came third in her solo spot. Then she went on to have another third and two fourths in other dances. She had to compete against sixteen year-olds. Siana is only twelve. We and her daddy's baby sister, Ellena, and all her other family are so very proud of her.

From her two greatest admirers: Nanny and Granddad Mills

(Thank you for your donation, Ed.)


Dear Shire,

I have just received my copy of the Shire which a friend kindly sends me and I read with interest the article on the Remount Depot.

Before moving to Worle we lived directly behind the Public Hall, in St Bernard's Road. Whilst we were there and trying to get the gardens ship-shape we found a number of enormous concrete slabs with solid iron rings attached, under the lawn in the front garden. They are, to my knowledge, still there as they were far too large and heavy to remove.

A neighbour told us that the area was part of the Remount Depot and the horses were tethered to the rings while they waited to be shipped to France. I hope you find this information of interest.

Yours sincerely,

Doreen E Hodge

Shirehampton Revisited

My father and his siblings grew up in Shirehampton and were the first occupants along with their parents of the newly built house at 23 Chelwood Road. My maternal grandmother was a great friend of the lady featured in the football team in your February issue - Loui Goffe, I can remember meeting her when I was a child.

During the war my father was stationed with the army in Lancashire where he met and married my mother. My mother and I came to Bristol in 1945 initially we lived in Avonmouth but later moved to 1 The Terrace, The Green, Shirehampton, where my brother Peter Stevens was born in 1947. In the 1950's we were able to play on and around the green with no fear from traffic or harm although my brother was knocked down by a car driven by Ken Graveney (the cricketer) outside the Co-Op from which he sustained a broken collarbone.

Fifty yeras ago --- a needlework class at Portway Girls' School

My brother and I attended Shire Infants School and I went on to the Junior section util 1954 when we moved to Sea Mills. Eventually, I went to the newly opened Comprehensive School in Henbury and immediately became great friends with a girl who lived in Bentry. It transpired that her parents both hailed from Shire, however, on the death of his parents her father and his siblings spent their childhood in Mullers Orphanage. Her mother was born and brought up in Priory Road and had actually sat next to my father in class at Shire school - and had a photo to prove it. As a result of this connection and although she has lived in Switzerland for almost forty years we became and still are very good friends.

Portway Boys School was where my brother spent his secondary education and on leaving there he tried various types of employment but eventually found his niche working for the Port of Bristol Authority as a Water and Light Man.

In July 1973 aged 24, he left the home he shared with our parents in Sea Mills to travel the world on a motorbike which he had restored and adapted to take his kit. He travelled the whole of Europe, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Africa, Asia, all of the South American countries, China, Russia, Vietnam and Australia. The bike was sold in Singapore as it was on its "last legs" and the rest of his travelling was done by hitch hiking or by the cheapest means possible.

He was a volunteer worker with the destitute and dying for Mother Teresa in Calcutta. He lived and worked on a Kibbutz in Israel. He has shaken the hand of the Dhali Lama and been part way up Everest. He has climbed mount Kilimanjaro, worked with and befriended the wife (originally from the UK) of the last man to be hanged in Australia, these are just a few of his "Claims to Fame". He has undertaken some paid work to enable him to continue to travel but most of his work has been voluntary in return for board and lodgings.

He is sure he has eaten rat, guinea pig, dog, snake and goodness knows what else disguised in a sauce!! But apart from Malaria in Africa has been relatively sickness free. On a bus in Peru he had his watch stolen from his inside pocket and in Amsterdam he had his camera stolen which contained all his precious never to be replaced films of China - the thief was from the UK and had shared a room with him!

For the past ten years he has been in Australia and is now doing voluntary work in a day centre for the homeless. He is very self-sufficient and able to make and repair his own shoes/clothes, rucksacks, camera case etc. He can fix absolutely anything of a mechanical nature from a wristwatch to heavy machinery.

In June 2005 my father died and when clearing out his house I came across all the journals that my brother had kept during his travels, they contained so many interesting details such as his daily expenditure, history and geography of the places he has visited.

He was never very enthusiastic about school and I don't think he actually learnt an awful lot during his years of forced education but he certainly is a man of immense knowledge and education now.

During the past thirty-five years he has only returned to the UK for a couple of brief visits but what an incredible life he has had since leaving the PBA in Avonmouth.

My father enjoyed all the books that have been published on Shire. He would spend hours scrutinising them and took great delight in pointing out mistakes and inaccuracies with regard to the geography and history of Shire that were contained within the pages.

As I am now retired and have the luxury of a free bus pass I recently took a nostalgic trip to Shire. I walked all around the village - some places haven't changed at all since I last visited more than thirty years ago. I was standing in Station Road gazing at what would have been the long back garden of 1 The Terrace, when a lady stopped and we engaged in conversation - it turned out that she knew my late aunt very well - my father's sister - what a coincidence.

I could go on forever about my carefree childhood in Shire they certainly were "happy days".

Sheila Silcocks (nee Stevens)


The listeners of Classic FM have voted Ralph Vaughan Williams's "The Lark Ascending" as the most popular classical work. Did you know that its first ever performance was in Shirehampton Public Hall?

Vaughan Williams composed "The Lark Ascending" in 1914 for the famous violinist Marie Hall, who was a protégé of Philip Napier Miles of Kings Weston House. However, war broke out and it was not performed.

In 1920 both Vaughan Williams and Marie Hall were guests of Napier Miles at Kings Weston House. Together they revised the work to create a version for solo violin and piano. The Avonmouth and Shirehampton Choral Society gave a concert at the Public Hall, on 15 December 1920, and Marie Hall performed the world premier of the piece.

Marie Hall also gave the first performance of the orchestral version of the music, in London the following year, conducted by Sir Adrian Boult.

You can find out more about this historic occasion in Judy Helme's book which celebrated the centenary of the Hall. Copies are still available at the Public Hall.


A reader has told us that the big hedge in the photo was situated near the allotments bordering Burnham Road. To give you some idea where the depot was, stand with your back to Groveleaze look up to Springfield Avenue to the cottages. I'm also told that there were two horse dips at the top of Steepy Fields.


This is your paper - let us have your news, views and photographs. Without you there is no paper. Just remember to get your copy into the library by the 10th of the month. If you are nervous about writing someone will be happy to help you, on the other hand you might find that you have hidden talents!

St. Mary's News

Hi Folks!

First of all I must apologise to you all if my April notes did not make sense to you in several places, but I'm afraid last month's Editor was somewhat severe with the "editing pencil"! (Oh dear - I think I must have been "rabbiting" on a bit too long and hogging too much room on the available page space). Never mind, I will try and curb my enthusiasm during this merry month of May.

Well, we had another very successful Spring Fayre followed by Cream Teas on Saturday, 24th March with St. Mary's absolutely buzzing with people. I am pleased to record that we made at the last count just over £1400 which will go to our much needed Church Funds. Without these Fayres we should not remain solvent after paying all our Bills and our Dues to the Diocese. Our gas bill for the winter quarter to keep the church warm each day amounted to £2000. So thank you all for your support at our various money raising functions as it costs £260.27 per day to keep St. Mary's running.

The next day - Sunday 25th was the day we had a total immersion baptism at our 10am Service when Philip and Rachel Cochrane's two sons were baptised. A large wooden clad Baptistry was erected in the chancel and Canon Christine donned a tracksuit before joining the two boys in it for their total immersion baptism. Despite quite a lot of hot water being added, the total volume of water was quite cool and it was obvious that both boys and Canon Christine after the baptism were glad to get out - dry towels wrapped around them providing great comfort! It was interesting to see how John the Baptist would have carried out his baptisms by the same method - albeit that it would have been at the edge of a river or lake!

The following Sunday was Palm Sunday - the day when Jesus entered the city of Jerusulem on a Donkey and the crowds spread their cloaks and palm leaves on the road in front of him. In our church calendar this marks the beginning of Holy Week. On that Sunday evening and on the following Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we held a Service of Compline at 8pm each evening. This is a short service of Evening Prayer lasting about 20 minutes and was well attended on each occasion. On the Wednesday evening Compline was said after we had paid a visit to the Vue Cinema at Cribbs Causeway to see the film "Amazing Grace" - which told the battle by William Wilberforce to bring about the end of the Slave Trade. He was also encouraged and supported by John Newton - a former Ships' Captain who had first-hand knowledge of the cruelty involved - John being the writer of many hymns including "Amazing Grace". A very moving film which portrayed the difficulty William Wilberforce had in getting his Bill passed in Parliament.

On Maundy Thursday morning there was no mid-week Holy Communion Service at St. Mary's as many of us went to Bristol Cathedral at 10.30am for a Service of Blessing of the Oils. No - not the type you put in your cars - but the oils used for anointing the sick and at Baptisms. It is also a time when all Bishops, Priests and Deacons renew their service to God and the people they administer to. The Bishop of Swindon - the Very Rev. Lee Rayfield preached a sermon and it was followed afterwards by Holy Communion. So apologies to anyone who may have been expecting a service of Holy Communion at St. Mary's on that day. At 6.30pm that evening we held a Holy Communion Service in St. Mary's followed by Supper. Throughout the Wednesdays in Lent, after each visiting Speaker, we had a Supper followed by a retiring collection - the monies raised being donated to the particular Charity our speaker had been talking about. It is extremely pleasing to record that over £1000 was distributed to a number of different charities.

On Good Friday at 10am there was a Family Service when the story of Jesus' cruicifixion was portrayed by some of the children. We had only received a delivery of some new portable staging a day or so before - so it was used by the children at the Service for the first time - which enables them to be seen much more clearly by the congregation when they are re-enacting Biblical scenes. I can see that staging being used on many other occasions in the future!

After that Service we were joined by the members of other churches in the parish for Tea, Coffee and Hot Cross Buns who were on a Walk of Witness around Shirehampton. After being suitably refreshed they continued on their way.

At 1pm Canon Christine conducted a Service - The Stations of the Cross - which are the events which took place leading up to Jesus Crucifixion on a Cross at Calvary.

This was followed at 2pm by a performance of J.H. Maunder's Cantata - "Olivet to Calvary" by the Shirehampton Area Choir. The Baritone Solist was Steve Simmons and the Tenor Solist and Conductor was Jonathan Edwardes, not forgetting our own Tim Forder who did all the background work and played the Organ. It was pleasing to hear comments that many people thought it was one of the best musical performances the Shirehampton Area Choir has done in recent years. That is a great morale booster for all of us who spent many hours being "schooled" by both Tim and Jonathan in the previous weeks.

Good Friday being a sombre day was overtaken by the joy of Easter Day itself. A "Sunrise Service" was held at 7am on Shirehampton Park. It was a wonderful experience as the weather was perfect - the Sun was just beginning to appear over the horizon, there was fresh due on the grass, the trees were displaying their fresh green Spring leaves and the view across the Golf Course to the distant fields was absolutely stunning. There were about 40 people present - the service was simple - just a few prayers and three or four Easter hymns and lasted for about 25 minutes. After such an early start there were soon a number of rolling "tums" and we adjourned to Shirehampton Cricket Club Pavilion for a full English breakfast - cooked and served by Maureen & Don Geddes and Pat Carter for whom we were exceedingly grateful. But I cannot let this event go by without mentioning the extreme generosity of "Tubs" our local Butcher who once again donated the eggs, bacon and sausages etc, for our Breakfast. He is a very kind and generous man who will probably give his knife an extra sharpening when I next go into his shop for daring to mention this. "Please 'Tubs' treat me gently - I bleed ever so easily!!!"

At 10am we had our Easter Day Holy Communion Service and it was on this occasion that we used for the first time our new Silver Gilt Ciborium which we purchased from a legacy left from the estate of the late Irene Thackeray. It has been engraved on the underside with an inscription in her memory. For anyone who may be puzzled as to what a Ciborium is - it is a vessel similar in shape to a Chalice but with a lid on it and is used to place the Wafers in for use at a service of Holy Communion.

Oh, I nearly forgot - when we were at Bristol Cathedral on Maundy Thursday - Canon Christine booked the Cathedral Girls' Choir for a service of sung Evensong on Remembrance Sunday this coming November. They are really magnificent so don't miss the opportunity to hear them singing in St. Mary's. I know it is some time ahead, but I will give you all a reminder nearer the time.

You may remember that at Christmas time the staff the The Co-Op generously made a collection for St. Mary's which they gave to Canon Christine - well, she has purchased a white embroidered Stole which matches exactly our white Altar Frontal. This will be used at seasons when white is the Liturgical colour. Canon Christine is absolutely delighted with it and expresses her extreme thanks to the Co-Op Staff. Before using it at our Easter Service she popped into the store to let the Staff see what we had purchased with their gift. We also had a gift of another Stole - but this one was purple in colour and embroidered to match exactly with our Lent Altar Frontal. It will also be used when Canon Christine is conducting funerals and was generously donated by Tony Sawyer to whom we are very much indebted for his kindness and generosity.

Many of you in the Village will remember Vaughan Partridge who lived in Priory Road. He sadly died after a long illness just before Easter. St. Mary's was full for his funeral service, but Vaughan left us all in style as his coffin was carried in a magnificent horse drawn hearse. To members of his family we offer our deepest sympathy and will remember them in our prayers at this time in their sad loss.

Don't forget that we are holding a Church Open House on May Day Bank Holiday Monday (May 7th) when the church will be open from 12 noon until 5pm when Lunches and Teas will be served at very moderate prices. So, if you have no plans on what to do on that day - you now know where you can enjoy a good meal and company!

Despite Bristol Rovers having narrowly lost the Johnson Paint Trophy at the Millennium Stadium, I think Roy Miller is entitled to have a satisfied smile on his face as a winning result was whisked away from them at the last moment. If anyone out there owns a field please let Roy Miller know as the Rovers are desperate for somewhere to play!! (This is Top Secret and the full details will not be released to the general public for another 30 years under the Freedom of Information Act - Canon Christine allowed Roy and our Organist Tim Forder time away from St. Mary's to see the match on Palm Sunday!!). What it is to have friends in high places!

Finally, if you are on the Internet you can see and read all about St. Mary's on our new website. It is updated on a daily basis by Gill Sawyer and details are: (Make it your Homepage (top left button).

'bye for now - C.M.E.

Free family activities at Blaise Castle House Museum

MAY: Sunday Funday: Country past times

Sunday 6 May, 10am-4pm

Have fun working and playing in the countryside. Try butter making, join in with stories and rhymes or dress up in great costumes.

Roman Roots at Kings Weston Roman Villa

Saturday 19 May, 11am-4pm

Join in a celebration of a young people's project to look at the villa in new and exciting ways.

Great Ladybird Hunt

Monday 6 & Wednesday 8 August, 10.30-12.30 & 1.30-3.30

Take part in the national ladybird survey and find mini-beasts at Blaise. Find out how to spot an "alien" ladybird and make a designer ladybird to take home.

Butter Making Day Wednesday 15 August, 11am-1pm & 2-4pm

Come and see butter made using traditional hand techniques in the picturesque thatched dairy behind Blaise Castle House Museum.

For more details on any of these events, phone 0117 903 9819

Who are Shire Community Action Forum (SCAF)?

Shirehampton Community Action Forum was set up in response to a whole list of issues (high crime, poverty, poor health, community facilities & amenities, lack of grant and funding opportunities for Shire) raised in the Community Profile of Shirehampton that was commissioned by the Public Hall Community Association and published in January 2001.

By the time of the SCAF launch party on 26th June 2003, eighteen months after its inception, three specific action groups were already up and running; Youth Support, Community Safety and Housing.

During 2003, a fourth group, Shire Greens, was set up to tackle local environmental issues. Through the work of these action groups, SCAF has established very successful partnerships working with over 50 organisations & groups including, The Police, 3 departments of Bristol City Council, community groups, voluntary sector organisations, private enterprises, churches, schools, Tenants Associations and individuals from the community.

There is not enough space here to list everything the Action Groups have accomplished over the past five years, but currently they are working on a number of local projects, including trying to establish a place for local young people, a wide variety of community safety issues, monitoring local planning & development issues a well as organising local environmental practical & fun events with the Shire Greens.

Although set up with a Bristol City Council Grant, SCAF has always been an independent not for profit organisation and is a registered charity, relying on voluntary membership subscriptions and grants from a variety or organisations. Chasing these grants is a time consuming job carried out by our only part time paid worker, Ash Bearman, who is based at Shire Public Hall.

Everyone is welcome - why not join us and work together to make things even better in Shire. The Full Forum meeting is held approx every 2 months, on a Tuesday afternoon 2-4pm at Shire Public Hall, and hears reports back from all the different action groups and other work that SCAF has been doing - all our meetings are open to everyone, why not come along?

For more information on any aspect of our work & future meetings dates, please contact Ash Bearman, at Shire Public Hall on 0117 982 9963 (Mon, Tues & Thursdays) or by email We also have a website at

And finally, watch this space for a new Community Profile that SCAF will be carrying out this summer - "A Vision For Shire". It will be an opportunity for everyone to say what they love about living in "Shire" and what they feel is needed to make it even better.

Appeal for information after assault in Shirehampton

Police have released an e-fit of a man suspected of assaulting a 41 year old Shirehampton resident. The man was assaulted on Wednesday, March 28, between 8pm and 8.30pm on the doorstep of his Barrowhill Road home.

He answered the door to an unknown man and following a brief conversation he was assaulted by a second man who was stood nearby. Both men were involved in the assault. The motive of the assault, which left the victim with head and back injuries, remains unclear.

Following the assault the two men made off. One of the offenders was described as being a man of mixed race, of a proportionate build, aged between 25 and 30 and between 5ft 8ins and 6ft tall.

An e-fit of this man is available from the force website The second man was white and wearing dark coloured clothing. Police are appealing for any witnesses to the incident and are keen to speak to anyone who recognises the e-fit.

Anyone who can help should call DC Larry Jones at Bristol CID on 0845 456 7000 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Anyone who can help should contact us through our secure Crimestoppers contact form at

Artistic children spread health and safety message

Talented youngsters from St Bernard's Roman Catholic Primary School entered a poster competition run by Carillion following a Health and Safety presentation entitled "Building Sites are not playgrounds".

Winners won WH Smith vouchers as well as their chance to have their pictures displayed on a local building site hoarding, where Carillion is currently building a new Primary Car Centre at Shirehampton in Bristol for Bristol Infracare Local Improvement Finance Trust (LIFT).


Are we becoming a more thoughtless and selfish society? This question is often posed these days. It is my feeling that yes - society is changing. There are far more pressures of varying sorts on all of us these days. I do think that the majority of folk are law-abiding, caring and helpful citizens, which is only too obvious when reading this paper.

There are, however, others who are not, who seem to think that they are above the law and can do as they wish. Just two examples will illustrate what I mean. Those who ride bicycles with a total disregard for their own and others' safety by riding without lights and/or ride on the pavement: vehicle drivers who exceed the speed limit and show their contempt for those who do keep to it by tailgating and sweeping past at considerable speed as soon as possible.

Secondly, vandalism, not only the headline sort at Blaise Castle, horrific though that is, but the many acts of mindless vandalism causing stress, upset and grief, not to mention the financial implications in having to put things right, to 'ordinary' law-abiding people. It may seem a joke to the vandals but having your property vandalised is no joke. Vandals, who do they do it?


We hope to have photographs and report or the oficial opening by The Princess Royal, off the new Portway Community School building in our next issue.