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News Index

Portway Community School

Tythe Barn - The End of an Era

Public & Social Amenities in Shire

Recent Gains and Losses

PC Davies Report

Letters to the Editor

ASK Bristol shapes the future in Shirehampton

St. Mary's News

Alarm Bells Ringing in Avonmouth

What's On in Shire

Portway Community School

With the new academic year well under way now, Portway Community School has a new head teacher, Julie Winterman whose previous school was Pittville Comprehensive, Cheltenham. She has been appointed in the role of advisory head teacher for a year while the future of the school is decided. We would like to welcome her to Shirehampton.

Julie Winterman

For the past two years a sponsor has been sought to run the school as an academy and one interested party is The Oasis Trust which is due to transform Hengrove Community Arts College into Oasis Academy in a year's time, using the existing buildings. Reverend Steve Chalke, founder of Oasis has come to know a lot about Shirehampton but feels there are issues to be resolved before Oasis could commit to any involvement in Portway School.

One complication for any potential sponsor is that Portway has already been rebuilt under a private finance initiative. HBG the construction company has a 25-year deal to run the school premises and its associated community facilities. Therefore, the sponsor would not have to contribute to the cost of a new building but it might not have the same control as it would under the usual academy arrangements. Several organisations have looked at the possibility of taking over at Portway, but these schemes have not been pursued.

The people of Shirehampton would like more community involvement returned to the school, which has been run by an appointed interim executive board instead of a governing body for more than two-and-a-half years. Local Conser vative councillor Spud Murphy favours a switch to an academy as a fresh start for the school, which has had six head teachers in as many years.

Due to a drop in numbers the city council is using some empty classrooms at the school, which opened in January 2006, as offices and is proposing to temporarily halve the maximum size of the school from 1,080 to 540 until demand for places increases.

Tythe Barn - The End of an Era

Tythe Barn Members taken on 30 Aug 2007

It was with sadness that we had our last afternoon as members of the Tythe Barn Club. Thanks to our treasurer Myra, we had an afternoon to remember, held at the Shirehampton Working Men's Club, starting with entertainment - a few games of bingo, then a banquet fit for a queen. A cake was made especially with ‘Tythe Barn' written across it and I was proud to cut it. The afternoon continued until 4.30pm. Thanks to Myra for making it possible - such a lovely memory. Barbara Pullen (former Chairperson)

(Thank you for your donation - Editor)

Public & Social Amenities in Shire

In last month’s SHIRE, we printed the first part of the series of ‘VISION FOR SHIREHAMPTON’ articles. Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF) is setting out to identify what the village’s current assets are, and identify what is needed to make the village vibrantly alive and equipped to be a first class place to live in this 21st century. We hope to stimulate a debate on the best way forward, and look forward to receiving your views.

Last month we concentrated on the shops in the village. In this issue we look at the wide range of amenities and facilities of a public or social nature. Future articles will consider commercial amenities, and children and youth activities and provision.

Shirehampton's Thriving Post Office

 The Table on this page lists a large number of facilities in the village. As well as the essentials, like the Post Office, various banks, and a range of health facilities, we have a number of thriving community associations. Transport facilities are good. There are frequent buses to the City Centre, and in spite of the traffic problems it is much easier to drive to the centre that from many other parts of Bristol. We are excellently positioned for access to the motorway.

 Shire has a wide range of sports clubs and facilities, all on our doorstep. There is also a full list of clubs and associations, which cater for a wide range of interests. We are well served with open spaces, and woodland, some of it very attractive.

What we’ve lost

The Swimming Pool being demolished

 Unfortunately, the picture is not entirely rosy. In the past few years, we have lost a large number of facilities. These include: 

  • Groveleaze Youth Club
  • Twyford House (Community Education Building)
  • Bingo Hall
  • Portway Centre (Special needs day care centre).
  • Swimming Pool
  • Robin Cousins Sports Centre
  • Meadow Grove Housing Office
  • Snooker Hall
  • St Mary's Church Hall (BCC Social Services, "Shire Link" day centre)
  • Tythe Barn  

All of these buildings have closed, and most have either been replaced with housing, or developers are seeking planning permission for new homes. Although a few of the activities at these buildings have moved to other places in Shire, most of them have either moved to other parts of Bristol, or ceased altogether. In particular, there is an on-going need for a replacement for Groveleaze Youth Club. 

What do you want? 

We want to know what you, our readers, want to see in the future. What do you think is good about the village? Are there facilities that we do not have that should be encouraged to start? If so, where should they take place, and who should organise them and where should the funding come from?

 Please let us know what you think. Write to SHIRE, c/o the Public Library, or email us at

General Facilities 

Post Office Library Job Centre AUS Advice Service


Banks – Nat West, Lloyds TSB Building Societies – Britannia Additional Cash Points – Co op Severn 4 Credit Union


Health Centre Pharmacies – Boots, Lloyds Station Road Dental Practice Smile Solutions (Orthodontist) Public Toilets


Shire Newspaper Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF) Shirehampton Public Hall Community Association Cotswold Community Association Penpole Residents AssociationAvonmouth Rotary Club City of Bristol College (Adult Education) at Shire Public Hall





Transport – private & public 

First Bus Services 40, 41  South Glos Bus 517, 518 Night Bus N7                     Lawrence Weston Community Transport Portway Park & Ride (902 service) Train – Severn Beach Railway Line to Temple Meads and Clifton Close proximity to motorways – M4 & M5, and A4 Portway

Sport/General Leisure: 

Shirehampton Golf Club PBA Club, Bowling Green Shirehampton Cricket Club Shirehampton Football Club Shirehampton Sailing Club Manor Farm Netball Club Portway Swimming Club (Henbury Pool) The National Smelting Company Amateur Boxing Club Portway Community School – LIMITED ACCESS

Clubs & Associations:

City & Port of Bristol Club Clarinet Quintet & Wind Quintet Grainger Players (Public Hall) Shirehampton Choir Shirehampton Mens Social Club Twyford Art Club (Public Hall) Shire Stitchers (Public Hall) Evergreens (Public Hall) Shirehampton Model Railway Club (Public Hall) Pillowlace Club (Public Hall) Women’s Fellowship (Public Hall)

Townswomen’s Guild Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways (formerly Friends of Severn Beach Railway) Estuary Wildlife Group Shirehampton Christmas Lights Association Book Club (Cotswold CA) Local History Group (Library) Reading Group (Library) Keep fit (Cotswold CA) Nursery Sessions (Beachley Walk Centre) Dragon Club (Beachley Walk Centre) Families in Touch (Beachley Walk Centre) Southmead Art Club (Beachley Walk Centre) Play & Stay (Beachley Walk Centre) Red Cross Group (Beachley Walk Centre) Big Wide Talk (Beachley Walk Centre) First Stop Group (Beachley Walk Centre) Bingo (Public Hall, Cotswold CA) Line Dancing (Public Hall)

Green Spaces:

Shirehampton Park Shirehampton Golf Course (National Trust) Penpole Wood/Penpole Point Lamplighters Marsh – Daisy Field – River side land Kingsweston House & Estate The Green Children’s Play areas – Lamps Field, The Ridge, Springfield Avenue, Beachley Walk

Recent Gains and Losses


As we go to press, there are more changes taking place in local amenities. These include both gains and losses. 

The new Health Centre is taking shape very rapidly. The external construction is almost complete, and scaffolding is beginning to be removed. Although much remains to be done inside the building, it is currently on schedule to be completed before Christmas. 

View from Pembroke Road in early September

The local Public Participation Group recently had a tour of the new building. One member told SHIRE that she was very impressed by the range of facilities in the new Centre. She is convinced that when it opens it will provide us with much better facilities than we have had previously. 

A recent loss is the unilateral withdrawal by First Bus of the 57 service from Shirehampton to the City Centre. This route provided an express peak-hour service into Bristol, particularly suitable for travel to work. It was withdrawn completely on 2 September, after a very short notice period. First Bus had not consulted any local groups at all before this. 

First Bus has withdrawn the no 57 for financial reasons. However, Bristol City Council has an obligation to consider funding routes that are not commercially viable but socially necessary. As the non-availability of the 57 service is likely to increase peak-hour traffic, a sustainable transport policy should require action to ensure the route continues. At the time of writing we do not know if our local councillors have raised the matter with the City Council.

PC Davies Report

October 2007

Update regarding theft of lead and other metals. I am pleased to be able to tell you that several arrests have been made some of those arrested are out on bail. There are on-going enquiries and we are working with British Transport Police in respect of the thefts and damage they have sustained. The lead that we have been able to specifically identify has been returned to its rightful owners. As well as lead there have been thefts of copper pipe some of which was connected to the mains gas supply with the potential of very serious explosions and fires being caused.

Vehicle crime has gone down, with arrests having been made, but it has not gone away. You need to be vigilant at all times, especially with Christmas approaching. Do not leave anything on display in the car, or anything of value in the pockets. If you see something suspicious report it, immediately.

Operation Brave - this is an ongoing operation that covers the whole of Avonmouth District, that is right through to Brentry and Sea Mills. It is targeted specifically at anti social behaviour of all types, from dropping cigarette ends and litter, rowdy behaviour, bad language through to underage drinking and alcohol fuelled incidents. During August there were 14 arrests made and numerous warnings and cautions given. This operation will continue for the foreseeable future with teams of officers responding to incidents and generally patrolling the hot spots. We will continue with zero tolerance of that minority who do not respect others and whose behaviour makes life unpleasant and difficult for the majority. Please do not be frightened of reporting anti social behaviour, you tell us what is going on and we will deal with it.

Burglaries, again we have seen a drop with arrests having been made but the thieves are still out there looking for every opportunity. Don't give them one, keep doors and windows locked outside sheds and garages secure, do not leave ladders in convenient places for them to make use of, do not leave tools handily placed so they can be used to break windows and force doors. Low level garden lighting helps, do not use high wattage lighting that causes a nuisance to other people by shining into their properties.

Halloween and Bonfire night will soon be on us, parents do not let children and teens have flour and eggs to cause mayhem and distress. If your son or daughter is caught causing bother at Halloween they can expect to be in serious trouble and you will be getting an unwanted visit from the Police. Shopkeepers, do your bit, watch out for eggs and flour being purchased by youngsters and refuse to serve them if they cannot prove they are genuine.



For your safety and the wellbeing of everyone around you follow the fire work code

  • Keep fireworks in a sealed box or tin
  • Use them one at a time, replacing the lid immediately
  • NEVER put fireworks in your pocket
  • Read the instructions carefully, using a torch or hand lamp NEVER use a naked flame
  • Light fireworks at arms length using a taper or a firework lighter
  • Stand well back and NEVER return to a firework after it has been lit, it could explode in your face
  • Ensure that all children with fireworks are well supervised
  • NEVER throw fireworks
  • Keep all pets and animals indoors
  • Take care of sparklers, wear gloves to hold them and dispose of sparklers in a bucket of water as soon as they are finished

PCSO Zahir Bulbul

Your community policing team now have an extra member, PCSO Zahir Bulbul, he is a vital part of the beat management team and will be assisting at and holding beat surgeries. You will see him around in the Village please talk to him about any Policing problems you have particularly anti social behaviour issues. Both Zahir and myself are actively trying to start a Pub Watch Scheme for the Shirehampton Area, it will be designed so that the local publicans can advise each other of any trouble as it starts and stop it going pub to pub. It will also work on the principle banned from one banned from all the local pubs.

You will now find a dedicated Post Box in the Library that will be emptied on a weekly basis. This is for anyone to use to write to us with problems and information and comments in general.

PC Gareth Davies

Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor

Finally: SCAF and Public Groups to have their say with First Bus

On 31st August, I went to see Tony Anthistle, the Chief Executive of First Bus, and Simon Cursio the Commercial Director about the disappointing performance of First Bus, about recent route cuts and fare rises, and particularly about their appalling lack of public consultation.

First were (unsurprisingly) reluctant to talk about cuts and rises and talked at length about their financial difficulties. However, whatever financial difficulties First say they are in, that is not an excuse for lack of public consultation. Indeed, as I pointed out, their service would improve if people had more faith in the company and if First Bus paid more attention to the views and needs of its passengers and potential bus users.

Affecting Shirehampton, the no.57 bus was cut as from 2nd September with no public consultation whatsoever. I was shocked to learn that even SCAF had not been told about the route cuts when I contacted Ash Bearman and David Thomas. I told First Bus that this was a grave oversight and that much more effort must be made to involve the public, particularly community groups in decisions made by First. This would help inform First Bus's strategy from those on the ground who actually use the service, and give members of the public an opportunity to make their views heard.

I offered to draw up a database of community groups with whom First should be consulting on a regular basis about their route changes. At the top of the list, I named Shirehampton Community Action Forum. First Bus agreed and I am now compiling a database of interested groups for First Bus Consultations.

If you represent a community group or club and feel that your group should be consulted on First Bus's service changes, please get in touch with me on or 0117 9736811 and I will add you to the database I am submitting to First Bus for consultation.

I have also helped set up an internet pressure-group forum as an interface between the public and First Bus and the Council. You can put forward your comments at

There are lots of improvements needed on our buses. These will not happen overnight, but I believe that involving the public is a good place start.


Charlotte Leslie Conservative Parliamentary Candidate, Bristol North West

Dear ‘Shire',

I can tell you that the photograph you printed of a patrol of 191st Shirehampton Scouts undergoing daily ‘inspection' was one of a number I sent you a couple of years ago and which was left behind when the others were returned to me.

This is a picture of my patrol - the Lions - and we were awarded ‘star patrol' status in 1962 (I still have the pennant commemorating this at home). This was a rare achievement which I was very proud of though my Seconder Rob (Mogsy) Morgan was also a driving force in it too. The photo shows me (Andy Clarke) on the left and includes: ? Rice, ‘Thunderfoot' Grey, ‘Lanky' Thyer, ? Talbot and of course, Rob Morgan on the right. Memory fails I fear on the others although their faces haunt me!

The troop used to camp every summer, frequently at a lovely place called Stallbridge in Dorset and at that time the leader was Evan Thomas, though he would have been helped probably by my dad Reg Clarke who was GSM and your own Gilbert Osman among others. These camps were what we lived and trained for and they were endless fun, filled with ‘wide' games, aerial runways, ‘expeditions' up the river and an afternoon trip to Sturminster Newton Farmers' Market where I saw my first cattle market auction. I also vividly remember seeing a chicken with its neck wrung but still after escaping) running around in circles minus its head! Ah, the heady memories of those wonderful times - and that Lions patrol which proved it was better at doing all those things that scouts strived for. Thanks for the memories lads! Yours sincerely Andy Clarke

Dear Shire,

Following the article ‘Vision for Shirehampton' September 2007, I have updated my poem published in July 1995, not a lot, and yet so much has changed.

Helen Thorne


Shire is a great place to live, a lot of pleasure it has to give,

No need to go right into town, to our shops "come on down".

There you buy most everything, good quality - fit for a king,

Our markets are of the super kind, lots of variety you will find.

Shoes for your feet or a skirt to wear, come along to Shire, it's all there,

The veg is fresh - the cakes are baked, nothing here is ever faked.

So much to do - where shall I go? Lots to choose, try amateur radio.

Clubs of all sorts are here you see, diabetic, dance and craft - not all are free.

Cadets, karate, Kids Klub too, lots of other things to do,

Join the Players and have a sing, listen to the church bells ring.

The groups are there for all to join, they do not cost much - just a coin,

Join in the fun and pull together, or else our community will go for ever.

We must support our local shops, or into Receivership they will pop,

We must look after what we've got, or all of Shire will go to pot!

Dear Shire,

In reply to the article in the September edition of ‘Shire' I, like a lot of Shire residents, want to know who the community leaders are, who elected them and if so, when did the voting take place. I can assure you they do not speak on my behalf or a lot of Shirehampton residents. We all want to know who is deciding the future of Shire, so please ask the people. N Sims

Dear Shire,

It was good to see your article about shops in the village. What we need is an Iceland to draw people in. I run a shop in Shire and hear this every day from customers. I, myself shop in Southmead or Bedminster as does half the village, as I see so many Shire people when in there. Once you go out to food shop elsewhere you tend to buy everything else out of the village too.

If we had an Iceland in Shire I would never shop anywhere else as, between the other supermarkets, I could get all I need. The Co-op and Somerfield have the monopoly at the moment and don't give shoppers enough choice or value for money. Unfortunately this will never happen as Shire is disappearing and all we will have are estate agents and more flats.

Mrs L Lyons

Dear Editor

Firstly, I would like to thank you for your excellent report on the state of the shops in the Shirehampton village, in this month's edition of "Shire". It is an excellent and important idea that such an initiative as ‘Vision of Shirehampton' is taking place in order to preserve and improve the good qualities of the community.

I have lived in Shirehampton for 1 years now, having moved from Redland and having the excellent amenities of the Gloucester Road. From the time I first move to Shirehampton, I started using some of the local shop, particularly the excellent butchers and green grocers and have gradually done more and more of my shopping here and find that, for such a small high street, it is amazing that's o much can be found here.

Recently though, I have returned to shop at Gloucester Road as I used to quite often use the health shop "Scoopaway" for such things as rice, oats, lentils etc and whilst shopping there, I tend to go to the greengrocers stores as they are far cheaper than the store in Shire!

My main "Criticism" (please take this as merely a constructive criticism) about the shops in Shirehampton is that there seems to be a duplication of shops in the village. Why, for example have 2 cafes, pet suppliers, charity shops and several hair and beauty shops? I would very much like to see a health shop such as Scoopaway selling reasonably priced goods and also a good hardware store. I also believe that when the petrol station reopens, trade will increase again due to people calling by to buy petrol.

Another matter that concerns me whilst reading your article, is the statistic that shows that people generally feel so much safer in Shirehampton in the day than the evening. I must admit that I do not socialise in Shirehampton in the evening, preferring to go to either Clifton or the city centre. This is quite a pity as I feel somewhat "disconnected" from my local area. There are far too many youths hanging around the pubs and fish and chip shop with nothing to do (and there is probably nothing for them to do!)

I think the shopkeepers in Shirehampton would benefit greatly from a Trader's Association and I'm sure if they were to sponsor such activities as raising money for Christmas decorations, they would have the support of the community... I certainly would give towards this.

I do hope my opinions help as its so nice to have a good shopping centre on my doorstep and it really keeps community alive

Yours truly,

Vanessa Evans, Sunnyhill Drive

Dear Sir/Madam,

I would like to thank the large number of residents who responded to my last Focus newsletter and in particular those that took the time to reply to our brief survey on Severn beach rail line.

A number of residents have also commented on the lack of leisure facilities for young people in the area. I remember as a young boy regularly going swimming in Shirehampton as well as using the Robin Cousins sports centre and it is deeply regrettable that the next generation does not have the same opportunities at the moment. I am making enquiries, through the Liberal Democrat leader on the council group, (the main opposition to the minority labour administration on Bristol City Council) about what the current plans are to invest in new facilities in Shire, and especially how the money raised from the sale of the swimming baths and other facilities was used.

As the Liberal Democrats' Prospective MP for Bristol North West I know that our area is poorly served for parks, play areas and facilities. While we have excellent leisure centres in Horfield and Henbury, areas such as Shirehampton, Brentry, parts of Southmead and even parts of Stoke Bishop do not offer enough for local children of all ages. This is something I will continue to campaign on and I would be very interested to hear more from local residents on what is needed in particular in Shirehampton

Yours sincerely,

Paul Harrod

Liberal Democrat Prospective MP, Bristol North West

CFS/ME, Myself and I

Those of us who suffer with the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), Fibromyalgia (FM), and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) will know and understand the illnesses disabling effects. They will be familiar with the battle that rages within when you want to do something as simple as making yourself a drink and you are unable to do so because your body refuses to function. Something as simple as a cuddle from a loved one or a friend has to be refused because being touched causes pain. Weakness of the limbs, pain in your arms, legs, hands, feet, fingers and toes intensifies just at the thought of the slightest of movements. Tiredness causes your cognitive brain functions to be clouded by ‘brain fog'. It is an intense internal conflict and your only real defence is to submit to the CFS/ME FM and IBS, and allow your body to be shut down, and hope that the next day may be a ‘good' day if you rest enough. The hard part is the knowledge that no matter what you do you may never really completely be symptom free. Timeout and pacing even alternative medicines as well as conventional medicine brings comfort and relief however catch that latest influenza or cold virus and the consequences could be dire.

How do you convey to another fellow human being who is a non sufferer what is happening within the confines of what appears to be a healthy looking body. I don't know about you, but when I feel ‘well' I go out, I visit family and friend sometimes when I'm really feeling well I get my bubbling bounce back, and that feels absolutely fantastic, ‘I love my bubbling bounce'.I have to work hard at keeping myself relatively healthy so I can work a part time job. Though you and I know for all this activity there is going to be physical, mental, emotional and even a spiritual price to pay. A price which may not reveal itself for up to 72 hours or until we catch that cold or flu which may last for days, weeks, months, years, decades, half a century .... ‘oooch', who really knows?

What I know is you are the CFS/ME, FM and IBS sufferer and you are the one person who really knows the truth about what you are experiencing. No matter how much you try to convey these experiences to a non sufferer there is no way they are going to be able to really understand or put themselves in yours shoes. How can you look ‘normal', act ‘normal' (so to speak) and be suffering with one or many of the symptoms of CFS/ME, FM and IBS while you are having a coffee, browsing round your local shop trying to do the wifely or husbandry day to day tasks and laughing at something funny? ‘Eeek! I guess in some respects CFS/ME FM and IBS could be viewed in a similar way as the Chlamydia poster (spot the person who has Chlamydia). If only CFS/ME, FM and IBS came with visual stimuli such as a missing limb! (No offence intended). How easy would it be then in gaining others understanding and support around this socially unseen unrecognised unaccepted disabling illness.

Try to remember there are others in this world who may not be having the same external experiences as you but are experiencing very similar internal experiences, ‘your not alone'! Due to the illness I guess pain may be inevitable though ... Misery' is very much ‘optional' try to think positively and keep a positive attitude.

Miss Sharon Blake Shirehampton, Bristol

ASK Bristol shapes the future in Shirehampton

Do you have something to say about Bristol? What do you like about Shirehampton and what would you change, if you had the chance?

What is Ask Bristol?

Ask Bristol is a website that tells you what's happening in Bristol and how to influence it. Discussion forums, surveys, polls and live chats provide interactive ways of consulting anyone with an interest in the city.

Maybe you are one of 1600 people registered with Ask Bristol. If so your views have already influenced key council decisions on graffiti, recycling and the future of Bristol's library service. But we would like to encourage greater understanding of what the council does and would like more people to get involved and have their say.


It's easy to get involved. Just log on to to see what issues affect you now and what meetings are being webcast for public viewing.

Register with the website to keep informed about future consultation or participation opportunities. If you don't have a computer at home access the Ask Bristol website free of charge at your local library.

Email - for further information please contact: or telephone 0117 922 2848.

Tops with Tots - and Parents Too

Successful children's work to continue

After eight and a half years supervising Tot Stop at Shirehampton Baptist Church Sandra Wicking has stood down as leader. As she says with a smile "It seemed like it was time to hang up my rattle!"

It's goodbye from Sandra Wicking...

She leaves behind her a thriving group of 0-3 year-olds and their parents, all sorry to see her go. When Sandra originally took on the group she shared the work with others, but as fellow leaders moved on she found herself as the sole person in charge, but has relished the task.

"I've enjoyed the social aspect of it, chatting and seeing everyone happy. There is a happy relaxed atmosphere"

Undoubtedly Sandra will be greatly missed. But Tot Stop is to continue, and it will be taking a new direction, one that shows how real the unity between local churches is. Leading will be Lucy Broad, who is an active member of St Mary's, though she is no stranger in the Baptist Church, having been a regular worshipper there some years ago.

...and hello to Lucy Broad

The good news of Tot Stop's continuation gets even better, for Lucy's coming is part of a joining together of the group with St Mary's own outreach to under-threes and their parents, and she will be operating under the umbrella of the Shirehampton Churches Youth Project which for some years has employed youth workers amongst teenagers, but this is the first time this joint church project has extended to the youngest age group of all.

Lucy is tackling the challenge with enthusiasm. She has had T-shirts printed advertising the groups and she has an ambitious plan for a Firework party in November (details in Shire next month).

Meanwhile, if you have a child under three, you will be welcome at either of the Tot Stop groups. The days and times are

Tot Stop@St Mary's: Monday 1.15-2.45 pm

Tot Stop@Shire Baptist Church Tuesday & Wednesday 9 am - 11 am

SCAF Dinner at Kings Weston House

We are into autumn and the date of the Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCSF) fundraising Dinner is getting closer. As people are aware, the date is 17th November, 7.30 at Kings Weston House.

The tickets are now available at the Public Hall, and thanks to Eileen ,at the library as well . They cost 18 each, and in addition there will be minibuses at the end of the evening to get people back to the Shirehampton area. The bus tickets are 3 each, and must be bought with the Dinner tickets. They won't be available on the night.

A group of singers will be providing the entertainment, singing a mixture of songs, something to please everybody. All the proceeds from the dinner will go to Shirehampton Community Action Forum's funds, which as you know, supports various activities in the village.

We are grateful for all those who have donated raffle prizes, but more arestill welcome . They can be left at the Forum's office in the Public Hall.

We very much look forward to seeing you at Kings Weston House on 17th November at 7.30pm

Pat Roberts

Shire October Copy

The following article was written by Amy Harrison, pupil of St Bede's and until recently a resident of Shirehampton, when she was 14. She was invited to write it for the National Children's Bureau magazine 'Children Now' when she was undertaking work experience with them in London. It is always important to listen to what our young people think on topical issues and hopefully by printing this article, more will be encouraged to express their views through ‘Shire'.

Old and Young Must Unite and Quit Smoking

The smoking ban, which came into force on 1 July, has made a huge difference to the environment of many public places. Areas such as train stations have become much safer for people whose health would be at risk from passive smoking.

Having the smoking ban is a very good thing, especially for children and pregnant women. But these people generally wouldn't be going into such places as pubs where many people like to smoke. Because of the smoking ban in pubs, many people might be encouraged to smoke in their own homes, but for people with children this could be even worse and put their children's health at more risk of passive smoking in such a confined space.

People have started to concentrate on how to tackle the issue of young people taking up smoking. Many say teenagers start smoking because they want to fit in, look cool, or idolise someone who smokes. In a few cases this may be true, but many young people my age that I speak to about smoking have started due to stress, usually caused by exams, and decide to carry on instead of trying to give up - they take the easy way out. In schools, cigarettes are too widely available for teenagers. I think if smokers had more encouragement and confidential facilities in schools, many more would give up. Hopefully, because the ban has encouraged many adults to give up, younger people will follow this example.

To get the best results from the smoking ban, I think everyone needs to concentrate more on the reason it was put into place, which is to have a cleaner atmosphere and to have an overall healthier nation. Although we do need to make people more aware of young people taking up smoking, we also need to make parents aware of what they are doing by smoking indoors with their children and putting their health at risk.

Amy Harrison

Harnessing the Wind

It will not have gone unnoticed that the first giant wind turbines in Bristol are now operating in Avonmouth Docks. At 120 metres high the three giant turbines can be seen from the M5 and Portishead and together will generate clean energy for the next three decades, saving thousands of tonnes of carbon emissions and other pollutants per year.

Commissioned by the Bristol Port Company they were built by Ecotricity a Stroud based company and will supply enough electricity for most of the docks' needs.

October Lunchtime Lectures

Victoria Methodist Church, Whiteladies Road, Clifton are holding the following lectures 1 - 2pm with a sandwich lunch available from 12.30pm.

  • Tuesday 2nd October ‘My chains fell off': the Wesleys & Restorative Justice - Rev Dr T Macquiban
  • Tuesday 9th October Street-based prostitution: Victim or Perpetrator? - Val Jeal, MBE
  • Tuesday 16th October A new dawn for environmental awareness - Rev Dr C Sunderland
  • Tuesday 23rd October Stem cells - Science, Politics, Hope and Hype - Prof. N Scolding
  • Tuesday 30th October Abortion - Prof. G Stirrat

Multi-charity Christmas Card shop

This will be open from 22nd October to 18th December, Monday - Saturday 10am - 4pm in the hall to the rear of Victoria Methodist Church, Whiteladies Road, Clifton.

Shirehampton Methodist Church

Sunday October 14th 2007 - at 11.00am - Visit of Rev. A Ward Jones, B.A, M.Phil,

Chairman of the Bristol Methodist District - A warm welcome is extended to all

Shirehampton Methodist Church

Lovely to see you all at our September Coffee Morning and Sale - we raised over 120. Look forward to seeing you all again on Saturday 6th October when we will again have Refreshments - Gifts - Tombola.

Advance Note - on Saturday November 3rd 10.00am to Noon we are holding our ‘Christmas Fayre' so come along and buy your Christmas gifts early. We shall also have Raffles, Tombola and Refreshments. Avoid the crowds in town!

Hazel (Church Steward)

Come and Join Us!

Would you like to join the editorial committee of ‘Shire'? We are looking for new and perhaps younger people to assist in this enjoyable and interesting role. The demands are not too onerous and comprise one meeting per month and editing the newspaper maybe twice per year. Plenty of help and advice is forthcoming to ease new editors into the task. If you are interested contact us via the various methods given on page 2 or come along to a meeting on the first Monday of the month, 5.30pm at the Methodist Church Hall.

Smelters Wants More Boxers

Smelters Rising Star Nathan 'The Mongoose' Snow, shown here during a Smelters circuit session

The National Smelting Co Amateur Boxing Club ‘Smelters' are looking for new members that wish to learn to box. The club based at the end of Barracks Lane, King Georges Trust Playing Field, in Avonmouth has a sizable squad of 20 competitive boxers but is on the look out for even more. Explained Smelters Head Coach Garry Cave " We've got room for a few more beginners now, the gym and club has been very busy all year, he had 85 bouts last season winning 51 and hosted seven home shows but we've had a couple of juniors move away from Bristol one even went to Australia, so there's room for a few more now. We're looking for lads and girls aged from 10 years old and adults up to 30 that wish to take up amateur boxing".

The club has a long history of producing champions and even an Olympian in Nicky Wiltshire and last year alone they had five Western County champs and a National Semi Finalist in junior prospect Josh Connolly. Said Coach Cave " Amateur boxing is the ultimate sport for youths, the health and fitness benefits or boxing training and the clean living lifestyle that goes along with it all well known but what isn't so well publicised is the mental growth that the sport promotes. We see many young kids come to the gym with little self confidence and self discipline but after just a few sessions training along side the other boxers you can see the change in them. They become far more aware of themselves, better balanced and much friendlier young people. Some parents may have the impression that boxing is full of bullies but that's far from the truth, we get the odd kid that thinks he can throw his weight about but the other boxers soon straighten them out".

The training is very cheap at only 2 per week for three weekly sessions on Mon, Wed & Fri 7 till 8:30pm at the Smelters fully equipped boxing gym. Said Cave "Beware of expensive imitations this is real boxing training will teach you how to box with skill, we pride ourselves on the defensive capabilities of our boxers, hit without beinghit is our ethos you'll learn look after yourself and get fighting fit.

We provide all the equipment free, gloves, boxing kit, headguards, we even took eight of our best out to Cuba last November and paid half the costs of the trip. We compete all over the country in club shows and championships. We have four home shows planned for next season all at the BAWA club on Southmead RD. We traditionally use to box at Manor Farm FC off the Portway and it's been a great venue for us over the years but we've outgrown it and are delighted to have secured four dates at the splendid modern venue of the BAWA" Smelters BAWA dates for the coming season are all Thursdays OCT 25TH, FEB 28TH, APRIL10TH & JUNE 12TH, Doors open at 7pm, first bell at 8pm.

Tickets are 8. Ring Garry on 07876 233621 for more info on the club and shows or visit the clubs website

Escape Routes and Bedtime Routines

Planning ahead could help save lives if a fire breaks out in your home.

Knowing what to do if your smoke alarm goes off and how you and your family would escape could make the difference between life and death. Sit down with your loved ones and plan together in case the worst happens.

Discuss and remember the following points:

  • Your best, quickest and safest route out is the way you always come into your home but think about other ways out too.
  • Keep your escape routes clear of obstacles.
  • Know where door and window keys are kept.
  • Staying put may be the safer option sometimes.
  • If your escape route is blocked, find a suitable room, ideally with a window which opens, call 999 and protect yourself in there until help arrives.

Take a few minutes to walk the route with your family and check everyone is able to operate any locks.

If there is a fire, raise the alarm and don't look for the fire. Shout to wake everyone up and follow your plan to get out. Check doors with the back of your hand before opening and if it feels hot, don't open it and go another way. If there is a lot of smoke, crawl along the floor where the air will be cleaner. Once outside the property, call the fire service. Never return for valuables or pets.

If your escape route is blocked, get everyone into one room and put bedding or towels along the bottom to seal the gap. Open the window for fresh air and phone the fire service or shout for help. If you are on the ground or first floor, you may be able to escape through the window. Throw some bedding, clothing or soft furnishings out and lower yourself down at arm's length onto the soft pile. If you have to break a window, cover the jagged edges with any available soft materials.

Do you live in a high rise building, flats or sheltered housing?

Your building may have a "sit tight" policy in place, where you do not leave your unit if there is a fire elsewhere in the building. Information on this and what to do in case of a fire will be available from the warden in sheltered housing and should be on display in flats and other accommodation. It can be safer to stay where you are in the event of a fire, rather than try to escape through potentially smoke-filled areas. Make sure you are familiar with the practice in your building. Most units in flats or sheltered housing are designed to contain a fire and stop it spreading to neighbouring units.

The guidelines are:

  • If the alarm goes off in a communal area or another part of your building, wait in your unit until you are told to move.
  • If the alarm goes off in your unit or the fire is in your unit, vacate it.

Bedtime routines for everyone

Following a bedtime routine, such as the one below, can help minimise the chances of a fire breaking out in your home.

These important safety tips should be followed before going to bed:

  • If anyone in the house smokes, make sure all materials are extinguished and ashtrays moved away from flammable materials such as furniture. Smoking in bed leads to many deaths.
  • If candles have been burning, make sure they are out. Nightlight and tealight cases become very hot and are capable of igniting plastics. For your safety, always use them in the appropriate holder.
  • If you can, avoid using the washing machine/tumble dryer or dishwasher overnight.
  • Use an electric blanket according to the makers' instructions.
  • Don't leave the television on standby.
  • Turn off all electrical items not designed to stay on continuously, including portable heaters.
  • Close doors around the house, then if a fire does occur, this will slow its spread.
  • Keep halls and stairways free of obstacles to help you get out quickly
  • Keep door and window keys within easy access.

And don't forget you should also make sure you test your smoke alarm once a week.

Here are some facts about fires:

  • Fires started by cigarettes account for nearly one third of all accidental fatal fires in the home and kill more people than any other kind of fire.
  • On average about 450 people are killed and 13,800 are injured each year in house fires.
  • An average of nine people a week die in house fires.

More information and leaflets on any aspect of fire safety in your home are available from the Community Safety Team at Avon Fire and Rescue Service on 0117 926 2061 or at

Starting at Shirehampton Library

Monday 24th September then alternate Mondays: Bump & Rhyme, Songs and Rhymes for babies and Toddlers 11.20 to 11.40

Followed by Storytime for the under 5's 12.00 to 12.15

FREE Electric Blanket Testing 2007

Bristol City Council and Avon Fire and Rescue Service are again offering free electric blanket safety checks at the following vewnues. Also on offer will be free safety advice and a chance of a free home safety inspection. Make that booking now!

October 15th - Shirehampton Health Centre.

Booking number: 0117 922 3522 at 9.30am to 4.30pm

In recent years over half of the blankets checked had life threatening faults such as defective overheat protection, exposed wires or failing insulation.

Nationally 95% of electric blanket fires are in blankets over 12 years old.

Modern designs too can be dangerous. Although they are made to fail safe, problems still arise through misuse, eg when badly stored, or from pooly wired plus or broken switches.

Get your blanket checked now. Minor faults will be repaired free of charge and the Council operate a blanket exchange scheme (subject to availability).

Other venues may be confirmed in the the near future. For further information ring 0117 922 3522.

Bristol Shiplovers' Society

Founded 1931 Chairman: Captain C Smith

Headquarters Meetings held at Holy Trinity Church Hall, Hotwells Road, Bristol

2007 Progamme

  • 4th Oct - ‘The Attack on Pearl Harbour' - CD/Talk
  • 18th Oct - ‘Joseph Conrad at the London's Sailor Homes' - Dr Alston Kennerley
  • 15th Nov - ‘River Severn Wrecks' - Paul Barnett
  • 1st Dec ‘Falkland's Experiences', Commodore J. Miller RN and Commodore R. W. Warwick
  • 6th Dec - ‘Re-launch and future of the S.S. Great Britain' - Dr Tony Dickens

Thank you for your donation - Editor

FOSBR Business Meeting

13th Oct 2007 Staff Club, Temple Meads Approach on Arrival 16:22 from Severn Beach


  1. Minutes of previous meeting (accuracy)
  2. Minutes of previous meeting (matters arising not on this agenda)
  3. Future events/speakers
  4. Reports from/instructions to representatives
    1. Local flora
    2. Travel watch South West
    3. other
  5. Finance and membership (rough costings for stalls 6c) i and website 6d) i should be available at meeting.
  6. Reports from Working Groups
    1. Response unit
    2. Campaigns
      • To persuade Bristol councillors to support the inclusion of rail-based transport in the Bristol Development Framework.
      • To request Kerry McCarthy MP and Stephen Williams MP, who signed an agreement to lobby GOSW, the DfT and Bristol City Council to achieve 30 minute service on the local rail network in 2006 for a progress report and action strategy.
    3. Stalls
      • investment in new boards
    4. Web
      • New site?
    5. Newsletter
    6. Timetable distribution
  7. AOB

The meeting will end in time to catch the 19:08 to Avonmouth

Items for January Business Meeting/AGM agenda to by 17 November please.

Shirehampton Craft Exhibition

As you can see the time for the annual Shire Craft Exhibition grows ever closer and if you would like to be part of this popular event please take the time to fill in the application form and return it to the Library at the Public Hall or the address on the form.

As you will see from the form there is an opportunity for you to get involved in other ways. We welcome those who can demonstrate their craft to come along to the exhibition and share those skills with the visitors, this can be for just a few hours or as long as you like. This is always popular and creates a great opportunity to talk with our visitors and maybe get them to take up some crafts.

We also need more stewards to help on the days when the exhibition is open - a few hours if you can make it will help us keep an eye on things and make sure they run smoothly.

Similarly, we need just a few more helpers to set up and take down the exhibits. This normally happens on the Sunday and Monday before the exhibition and for about an hour afterwards on the Saturday.

If you think you can help in any of the above then fill in the form and we will get in touch with you. Or, if you would prefer give either Gail or myself a ring and we can discuss it with you directly.

Ed and Gail Amphlett

All Walk Together at Ashton Court

GET ready to pull on your walking boots and help Cancer Research UK raise money for research into breast cancer.

That's the message as the charity launches the countdown to its Ashton Court sponsored walk at The Ashton Court Estate on 28th October, 2007.

Alexis Bayley, Cancer Research UK's area volunteer manager for Bristol, said: "We're urging individuals, couples and families to step out and take part in the 5k Ashton Court All Walk Together to help Cancer Research UK support scientific research into the causes of breast cancer and better treatments for the future."

Signing up for the Ashton Court Walk is just one of the ways you can support Cancer Research UK's All John Together campaign, which aims to make all women aware of their risk of breast cancer and to raise funds to tackle the disease, which is now the most common cancer in the UK.

Each year 44,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and eight out of 10 cases are diagnosed in women over 50.

The good news is that thanks to research, better treatments and earlier detection, survival rates for breast cancer have been improving for more than 20 years and more women than ever before are being successfully treated.

Alexis Bayley added: "The Ashton Court All Walk Together brings families and friends together. It gives them the opportunity to do something positive, have fun and at the same time raise money for research into the cause, prevention and cure of breast cancer."

It is natural heritage that makes Ashton Court Estate such a special venue for this beautiful walk. Take the opportunity to enjoy many ancient and significant trees, including the famous Doomsday Oak and 10 different woodlands areas - all with their own distinctive qualities. The venue is also nationally important site for wildlife and insects with both a red deer and fallow deer park - allowing you to get up close to animals that have been associated with the estate since 1392.

Help us make a difference by walking with your friends, family and colleagues through the grounds of the Ashton Court Estate and raise money for research into breast cancer. This year we hope to attract 250 walkers and make this, once again, a truly memorable day.

There is a registration fee of 6 per adult and 3 for children under 16, or 10 and 5 on the day. The registration fee covers all the administration and organizational costs of the event, which means that all sponsorship money raised goes directly into research.

To take part, register online at or call your local fundraising office on 08701 60 20 40.

Celebrating Age and Healthy Living

Bristol City Council are currently organizing two initiatives to support healthy living and increased social opportunities for older people in the Bristol area.

The first initiative is the "Celebrating Age Festival" which will be held at the Council House on 27th October, 10.00am-4.00pm. This is a free festival that will include live music from The Wurzels, a theatre performance, adult education taster session, plus advice and information, stalls, and a chance to try something new!

The second initiative is "Healthy Living Fortnight" - Monday, 29 October to Sunday, 11 November 2007.

Anyone over 50 and living in Bristol I invited to take part in the 50+ Healthy Living Initiative. The aim of the fortnight is to help raise awareness about the importance of keeping fit and healthy. There will be something for everyone in venues across the city, many activities will be free or discounted (50p to pay at our main leisure centres)!

The key aim of both initiatives is to raise the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle for older people and celebrate the contribution older people make to the city.

St. Mary's News

Hi Folks!

I expect you all saw the report in the Bristol Evening Post and on BBC Points West, the disastrous damage and flooding to St. Mary's caused by the attack on the building when the remaining lead was stolen from the church roof. This is the second attack within 3 months and is a bitter blow. The Chancel and Sanctuary will have to be completely re-decorated as the ingress of the rainwater has left the walls badly stained and not only ingress of rainwater has left the walls badly stained and not only that, some of out precious artefacts have been damaged by the water. Our very grateful thanks go to the staff of the Co-op who upon hearing of our plight rushed to help mop up, as the Chancel floor was like a lake! Their help was absolutely brilliant and it is very uplifting to have such caring neighbours. Damage is estimated at around 7000 and regrettably we are going to have to find a similar figure from our own hard earned resources for the previous attack which the insurance company have declined to pay out! So when we have another of our social event to raise funds for St. Mary's we shall need your support even more than ever! Hopefully, the Diocesan Advisory Board will agree to the lead being replaced with fibre-glass material otherwise we shall live in fear of further thefts from the roof - and it may well be that our Insurance Company will also insist that lead is not used.

I can assure you that because of our misfortunes there is no truth in the rumour the church is to be taken down and rebuilt using plastic Lego blocks to prevent further thefts. However, I do have some very exciting news that we are to have two further stained glass windows installed in the building. Our lay Minister - Gill Sawyer - has agreed to fund the cost of two windows in the west porch in the memory of her late parents Tom and Kath Ruddock. By the time you read these notes the windows should be in situ. I'm not going to tell you what they depict in order to encourage you to go and see for yourself! Go and treat yourself to a cup of tea or coffee whilst you are there!

Well the open gardens season has now ended and Canon Christine opened the Vicarage Garden on bank holiday Monday and this raised the sum of 678. I wonder how far that will go to buying some paint for our re-decoration programme? Thank you to all who came and supported that event and we were also blessed with the fine weather too!

The seniors summer sensation week back in august was a roaring success. Cooked lunches each day and entertainment both morning and afternoon and before going home tea and cakes! To give you a quick review - we had Mary Payne, who can often to heard with Trevor Fry on Radio Bristol, answering gardening questions; John Case gave a wonderful DVD slide show of his photographs & paintings; a concert by the Bristol Veterans Brass Band and a trip to see a one act play at the Bath Theatre Royal. We have already has enquires about 2008!

You will have read in last month's "Shire" of the death of Auriel James M.B.E. She was a faithful member of our congregation for many years and also a regular at our Wednesday lunch club. She is sadly missed by us all and we express our deepest condolences to her family. Her funeral took place at St. Mary's.

Two members of our congregation were married on Saturday, 25th August - they are James Harris and May Wong. Their marriage took place at Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge - what a wonderful place to be married. We wish them every happiness in their future lives together!

After a lengthy interregnum at St. Peter's Lawrence Weston we are pleased to welcome the new priest in charge - the Rev. Jennie Low. Jennie was formerly a Curate in Hartcliffe Parish and was inducted at St. Peter's on the 13th September. We wish her every success and she may find Lawrence Weston similar in character to that which she left behind at Hartcliffe.

As the evenings draw in and the chill of early Autumn is felt in our bones then inevitably our thoughts turn to harvest. Thank you to all of you who supported our Euro Aid Harvest Appeal and I just have time to tell you that our own Harvest Supper will be in St. Mary's at 7.30pm on Saturday, 6th October. Tickets are 6 and can be obtained from Gill Sawyer at the church office. Our harvest festival service will be at 10am on the Sunday and over those two days you will also be able to enjoy an Art Exhibition in church by members of our own Tuesday afternoon art club. Please come in and have a look at which hidden talents some have and buy that harvest supper tickets - remember the roof!!

(This is really Top Secret as I believe we are having this for Dessert - Lemon lead pudding, tile tarts and belfry biscuits!!) - And if you believe that you believe anything!

At 1pm on Thursday, 11th October we shall be holding another of lunch and beetle drives. There will be no charge for lunch but please let Gill Sawyer know if you will be attending in order to assist with numbers for catering. A retiring collection will be taken at the end of the afternoon. Please come!

On Saturday, 20th October we shall be holding our annual Christmas Gift Fair when you can purchase Christmas gifts, cards and wrapping paper etc, including our home produced St. Mary's Christmas cards as well. Doors open at 10am!

Now is the time for me to give an early reminder of our annual Memorial Service at St. Mary's at 3pm on Saturday, 10th November. All recently bereaved persons will receive an invitation and any other bereaved persons will also be welcome to attend this service. It does seem that this service fulfils a need and Canon Christine will be more than pleased to see you there!

The next day is Remembrance Sunday which this year actually falls on Armistice Day - the 11th day of the 11th month. Our usual Remembrance day service will commence at 10am in St. Mary's with the hanging of the poppy wreath beneath our Memorial west window before moving off procession to the war memorial on Shirehampton Park for the 2 minutes silence at 11am. Light refreshments will be available after the service at the Shirehampton Cricket Club.

On the same day there will be in St. Mary's at 6pm a sung service of Evensong in accordance with the Book of Common Prayer. This will be sung by the Cathedral Girls Choir accompanied by the new Precentor at Bristol Cathedral - the Rev. Canon Wendy Wilby - who is to preach at the service. This should be an opportunity to hear some wonderful singing and enjoy a service which we only have on special occasions.

Finally, when my wife Jill and I were recently taking Communion to the residents at Stow House in Nibley road, one of the residents said she always read "St. Mary's News" in "Shire" and only recently realised that C.M.E was me! Well, now that the secret is out all I can say to you Vera is - "be careful you could be one of my victims, remember the pen is mightier that the sword!!

‘Bye for now - C.M.E

Portway Football Team 1939/40

Loaned by Ted Jenkins of Avonmouth who would be interested to know if any of his old mates are still in the area.

Back Row L-R: M.Berry, K Fairman, P.Stevens, T. Gosling, B. Chard, S.Webber, D.Bamfield Front Row L-R: K.Daniel, E.Jenkins, K.McLeish, F.Brinton, W.Mitchell. Masters: Mr Hughes, Mr J. Sissons

Shirehampton Park

The park looks terrible these days. The grass is roughly cut once a year. Not many years ago it was cut much more regularly, like the downs and far more resembled well-kept parkland. When I asked the Estates Manager about this he said that I was the only person who had telephoned him to complain about the matter. He told me that, whereas there is an ‘Estates plan' for Blaise Castle, there is, at present, no such plan for Kingsweston; but one will be instituted in the near future. So, if you wish to see Shirehampton Park resorted to its former glory, with more frequent grass-cutting implanted, please telephone the Estates Manager, Martin Harris, on 0117 353268

Gil Osman

Hanging Baskets

As I promised Mrs. Waters in last month's ‘Shire' I did telephone the council regarding the lack of hanging baskets this year. Mr Gary Brentnall told me that the council has decided that it could no longer afford them, because of the budget restrictions, but that shopkeepers in Henleaze and Westbury, for example, had paid for the baskets themselves. He also told me that area housing committees sometimes fund street baskets. Whereupon, I telephones council officer Alison Scott, who said that nobody has ever made such a proposal to the Shirehampton Area Committee, but that she would put the matter before the committee at the next meeting, on 19th September. Hopefully, we may have a brighter High Street next year!

Edward Pace


October is going to prove a very interesting month at the library with our Bump & Rhyme Story time sessions on alternate Mondays from the 24th of September and a different special theme each week.

1st to 7th National Bookstart Week

Is your child 13 - 35 months old? Have he/she had their Bookstart and satchel? If not then pop along to the library with their "Red Record Book" and we will ensure that they receive one.

8th to 14th Family Learning week

Every child attending our storytime session will receive a free copy of the Max and Lara book used. These have been provided by the BBC RaW/Breathing places campaign. There are 4 titles in the series and for this and the next 3 storytimes children who attend will be given a copy. So make sure you bring your child along to all 4 to get the set.

15th to 21st Black History Week

Display of books celebrating Black History and Black Writers.

22nd to 28th Half term

We are planning an activity session where children plant a tree seed to take away and watch grow. We also hoping to arrange to plant a young tree.

Alarm Bells Ringing in Avonmouth

Avonmouth Community Council is learning with increasing concern of development plans to make Avonmouth the largest warehousing/distribution base in the United Kingdom.

These plans (now approaching fruition) include Cabot Park, Merebank and St Modwens Estates. For warehousing/distribution, read Heavy Goods Vehicles. Other major developments, such as western approaches and the Redrow Piling site are slightly further a field but have to access the motorway network through Avonmouth.

The Regional Development Authority and South Western Regional Assembly are touting Avonmouth as the ideal location for warehousing/distribution in the UK because of it motorway links. However, the access into the motorway system from various depots is only via the bottleneck of Crowley Way and associated roundabouts - a recipe for vehicular congestion/pollution!

Also emerging are the details of traffic light control to be installed on the two major roundabouts in Avonmouth within the next six months. In these matters there has been no consultation with local residents by any of the bodies responsible for these events or any other individual concerned.

The scenario of between 4,000 and 5,000 HGV movements on a daily basis throughout the year (including those generated by the Bristol Port Company's deepwater container jetty) queuing at traffic lights at St Andrew's roundabout, Crowley Way and St Brendan's Way is viewed as a potential environment disaster.

Christmas Lights

Preparations for this years display are already under way and all the main displays have been tested and where necessary repaired. However a major problem has arisen, which is what we are going to so this year when, as is bound to happen little things go wrong after the lights are in place. In the past two or three of us have been available whenever needed to go into premises and sort out the timers when they have accidentally been altered or switched off, to replace fuses that have blown, or bulbs that have failed. If we are not able to do this, over a few days quite a lot of these displays will stop working and the whole effect of the lights will be spoiled for everyone. Last year one of us was ill and the burden fell just on two people who spent the whole time almost everyday answering calls for help. This year only one of us will be available and it is simply not possible for that one person to find the time to do all that will be required. If we are to go ahead with the same kind of display we have had on previous years we must be able to call on three or more people to help us out over the Christmas period with the trouble-shooting. So we appeal to anyone prepared to spare a few hours in a very good cause to get in touch as soon as possible by phoning 9827985.

If no help is forthcoming we shall have to make drastic changes to the display this year and this will mean that we shall not be able to use the brightly coloured displays that go above the shops and offices because of the problems involved. Instead we shall have about thirty five Christmas trees in the brackets and each tree will be lit by very reliable LED lights that use so little electricity that they can be left on all the time at very little cost and of course will not require troublesome timers. Although it would be so much better to use both the trees with the new lights AND the big displays we have usually had, without extra help this will simply not be an option. So as we have always said there lights belong to all of us in the village, many of you generously support our efforts by your donations in the tins, but now we need a different type of help and we rely on you not to let us down.

Michael Morgan

What's On in Shire

Monday 1st OCTOBER

SEE AND KNOW for Under 5s at St Mary's weekly 1.15pm-2.45pm

3 OF US BINGO St Andrew's Church, Church Hall weekly 1.45pm-2.45pm

KEEP FIT weekly at Avonmouth Community Centre 7.30pm to 8.30pm

BASIC LITERARY SKILLS COURSE at Lawrence Weston weekly - Tel: 0117 9138824 for details

KYOTO SHOTOKHAN KARATE CLUB trains at St. Bernard's School weekly 6.30-8.30pm

DROP-IN ADVICE CENTRE AUS Community Association at St Andrew's Church Hall, Avonmouth weekly 9.30-11.30am sponsored by St Andrew's Church

Tuesday 2nd OCTOBER

ST ANDREW'S LADIES meet at 7.30pm at St Andrew's Church Hall Avonmouth. Flower arranging by Jean Drew.

TEA JUNCTION at St Mary's weekly 2pm: tea, chat, board games

CRAFTY GROUP at St. Mary's every Tuesday 2-2.30pm


AUS Advice Sessions every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9.30-11am at 116 High Street

Every Tuesday - AREA CHOIR REHEARSAL 7.30pm at St Mary's Church

Wednesday 3rd OCTOBER

ACTA Community Youth Theatre for 11-16s weekly at the Public Hall 5-6.30pm

KEEP FIT weekly at the Cotswold community Centre, Dursley Road 10.30-11.30am 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 tel: 983192.

Thursday 4th OCTOBER

TOWNSWOMEN'S GUILD 2-4pm Methodist Church Hall

KICK BOXING weekly at the Public Hall 5.15-7.15pm

STROKE SUPPORT every Thursday at the PBA Club Nibley Road 1.30-4pm

SLIMMING WORLD weekly at Jim O'Neill House 5.30pm & 7pm

GRAINGER PLAYERS DRAMA CLUB weekly at the Public Hall 7.30-9.30pm

KYOTO SHOTOKHAN KARATE CLUB trains at Avonmouth FRC weekly 6.30-8.30pm

Friday 5th OCTOBER

FRIDAY FUN for parents, carers and pre-school children 9.30am-11am at the Beachley Walk Centre weekly.

EVERGREENS at the Public Hall 2pm-3pm weekly

BINGO at the Public Hall 6.30pm-8.30pm weekly

PILLOW LACE GROUP 7-9pm weekly at the Public Hall

SHIREHAMPTON AMATEUR RADIO CLUB 7.30-10pm weekly at T.S. Enterprise

COFFEE MORNING at the Library 10am-noon.

KEEP FIT weekly at the Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road 10.30

Saturday 6th OCTOBER

SHIREHAMPTON METHODIST CHURCH Bring and Buy Sale 10.00am to Noon.

St. Mary's Appeal and Harvest Festival at 7.30pm. Tickets from Church office, 6 each

Sunday 7th OCTOBER

COTSWOLD CHURCH SERVICE (Led by the Baptist Church) Community Centre, Dursley Road 4.45pm-5.30pm

Tuesday 9th OCTOBER

EVERGREENS DAY TRIP to Burnham and Minehead

POLICE BOBBY VAN monthly visit to Shirehampton Green

Wednesday 10th OCTOBER

WOMEN'S FELLOWSHIP at the Public Hall

WOMEN'S BRIGHT HOUR at the Baptist Church, Station Road, 2.30-3.30pm

Sunday 14th OCTOBER

COTRSWOLD CHURCH SERVICE (led by St Mary's) 4.45pm-5.30pm

Monday 15th OCTOBER

LOCAL HISTORY GROUP - trip to City Museum - meet there at 2.20pm

Tuesday 16th OCTOBER

ST ANDREW'S LADIES 7.30pm at St Andrew's Church Hall Avonmouth. Clifton Rocks Railway by Peter Davey

PBA MEETING at the Club House in Nibley Road, 1.30pm-3.30pm

Wednesday 17th OCTOBER

SHIREHAMPTON STITCHERS at the Public Hall 7.30pm

Thursday 18th OCTOBER

CARERS GROUP at Avonmouth Medical Centre 10am-noon

CARERS GROUP at Ridingleaze House, Lawrence Weston 2pm

Friday 19th OCTOBER

End of term for all local schools.

Tuesday 23rd OCTOBER - Saturday 27th

CRAFT EXHIBITON at the Public Hall. Opening hours: Tuesday-Friday 11am-5pm, Saturday: 10am-5pm. Admission 50p

Wednesday 24th OCTOBER

WOMEN'S FELLOWSHIP at the Public Hall 7.30-9.30pm

Thursday 25th OCTOBER

DIABETES UK 7.30pm at the Penpole Tenants Association Hall

Friday 26th OCTOBER

SEQUENCE DANCE at the Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road

Wednesday 31st OCTOBER

Beginning of 2nd term for all local schools

Additional local activities

Playgroup at the Public Hall every week 9.15-11.45am Monday to Friday; 12.30 - 2.45pm Monday to Wednesday only

Kids Klub at St Mary's 8.30am most Sunday mornings. Breakfast and a short service. For information Tel: 907 7026

Sea cadets Mondays and Thursdays each week 12\18 years old; juniors (10 \ 12 years old) Thursday 6.45 \ 8.45pm at TS Enterprise, Station Road

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.