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Shire's 35th Anniversary

Carols on the Green

What's On in Shire

Letters to the Editor

The Grainger Players Support MS

Historic Documents Donated to City Archive

St. Mary's News

Shirehampton Craft Exhibition

Shirehampton Health Centre Moving to the new Health Centre at Last!

Shire's 35th Anniversary

Did you know ... That Shire newspaper celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2007?

The paper was started by a handful of volunteers who had the foresight to see the advantage of such a publication. Some of these original volunteers are still helping to run the paper today, together with a group of like minded people. There are now several other local papers being run in Bristol, but we are the longest running.

We publish 5000 copies each month and try to deliver one copy to every household within the village boundary. Unfortunately there are a few roads where we do not deliver, because we cannot find a volunteer in or near that road who is prepared to take on the "round". In addition to the house deliveries we also leave papers at the library and at some of the shops in the village. Another volunteer also sends copies to people living away from the village not only in this country but worldwide.

We are always looking for helpers, so if you think you can help in any way we shall be only too pleased to hear from you. If you cannot help us on a regular basis you can always get in touch with us with any comments and/or suggestions that you may have.

"Do not be shy give us a try" you will be most welcome

Carols on the Green

Carols on The Green will once again be held on Christmaas Eve at the usual time of 7.30pm (if wet in St Mary's Church)/ This year the proceedings will be in the hands of Rev David Alderman. So come one and all with your torches (and the carol sheet from inside 'SHIRE'!) and let's give Christmas our traditional Shirehampton send-off with its warmth and friendliness, not to mention its rousing singing! See you there! Music for the carols will be provided by the West Bristol Concert Band conducted by Mr Philip Sims.

Appeal for Witnesses

Police are appealing for witnesses to a criminal damage incident in Shirehampton. It happened at around 10.40pm on November 2nd when unknown offenders smashed the window of Shoefayre a shop in High Street. Police believe there may have been a number of people sat on a bus stop who may have witnessed the offence. Anyone who has any information is asked to call Avonmouth Police Station on 0845 456 7000. Anyone who can help should contact us through our secure Crimestoppers contact form at www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/crimestoppers/contactform.aspx

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

Found

An envelope containing money and with the message on it 'Hannah from Jem,' was picked up in Bradley Crescent on Saturday, November 10th and taken to Avonmouth Police Station.

Last posting dates for Christmas

UK parcels, Friday 14th Dec.
UK 2nd class letters Monday 17th Dec.
UK 1st class letters Thursday 20th Dec.
USA, Canada, Japan and E. Europe Monday 10th Dec.W. Europe Thursday 13th Dec.

Remember the postcode! www.royalmail.com/postcodes

191st St Mary's Scout Troop Camping at Stiles

From October 19th to 21st the 191st scout troop joined with the 56th, 167th and the 169th scout groups to camp at Stiles a site near Portbury. The site is set in rolling countryside with many facilities, including a wooden hut named the "Hilton". The days were fine, the nights were cold, and the scouts had the chance to practice and learn new skills.

191st St Mary's Scouts

On October 18th James Wright and Perry Davis were invested into the 191st St. Mary's Scout Troop. Included in the picture is Grant Watkins (S.L) and Pam Goddard, Akela to Dixon Cub Pack.

Volunteer Urgently Needed ...

A person is needed to deliver Shire newspapers, in Clifford Gardens and also someone to deliver between Woodland Road and Station Road (Portway) river-side only. The papers are brought to you each month for you to deliver to each house in the road, which takes about an hour each month. If you can help, please telephone Pauline on 9826935.

... thanks

We are sorry to be losing two of our delivery people, who have given many years service to the "Shire".

We thank them all most sincerely for all their hard work and hope they have a well earned rest. Again, many thanks.

What's On in Shire

Saturday 1st December

COTSWOLD FUN TIME for children and families at 10.30am. Entrance 1.50 per family.
FESTIVE FOOD 10am-12 noon at St Mary's Church
STAMP & POSTCARD FAYRE at the Methodist Church Hall 10am - 12 noon.

Sunday 2nd December

ADVENT SUNDAY at St Mary's 10am COMMUNION. 6pm ANNUAL ADVENT CARD SERVICE. The tree of light will be lit.

Monday 3rd December

EVERGREENS CHRISTMAS DINNER.
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 December 4th

St Andrew's Ladies Club 7.30pm IN HOUSE PARTY.
TEA JUNCTION at St Mary's weekly 2pm: tea, chat, board games
CRAFTY GROUP at St. Mary's every Tuesday 2-2.30pm
SHIREHAMPTON MODEL RAILWAY CLUB 7.30pm in the Public Hall
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 December 5th

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.
EVERY WEDNESDAY 7-8.30pm Manor Farm Netball Club.
BRISTOL SHIPLOVERS SOCIETY at Holy Trinity Hall, Hotwells at 7.30pm talk "Relaunch and Future of S.S. Great Britain" by Dr Tony Dickens.

Thursday December 6th

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 December 7th

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

Sunday December 9th

SHIREHAMPTON CHOIR CONCERT 2.30pm at St Mary's, admission 6.
COTSWOLD COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS SERVICE at 4.45pm at the Cotswold Centre, Dursley Road - Combined Service by St Mary's, Baptist and Methodist Churches.

Tuesday December 12th

POLICE BOBBY VAN on the Green.

Wednesday December 13th

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

Monday December 17th

LOCAL HISTORY GROUP meet at 2.20pm Library.

Tuesday December 18th

St Andrew's Ladies Club CHRISTMAS PARTY at Clarence House.
PBA MEETING at the Cub Housein Nibley Road 1.30pm - 3.30pm.

Wednesday December 19th

ALL LOCAL SCHOOLS BREAK UP FOR Christmas Holidays.
SHIREHAMPTON STITCHERS at the Public Hall 7.30pm

Thursday December 20th

CARERS GROUP at Avonmouth Medical Centre 10am-noon
CARERS GROUP at Ridingleaze House, Lawrence Weston 2pm

Monday December 24th

Christmas Eve - Carols on the Green 7.30pm. carol sheet in the middle of December 'SHIRE.' Do come and bring a light with you. Sponsored by 'Shire' newspaper. The Director will be the Methodist Minister Rev David Alderman.

Wednesday December 26th

Women's Fellowship at the Public Hall 7.30-9.30pm

Thursday December 27th

Diabetes UK 7.30pm at the Penpole Tenants Association Hall

Friday December 28th

Sequence Dance at the Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road

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 8.3Oam 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 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.

Library Opening Hours over Christmas and New Year

Open 10-1pm Monday, Christmas Eve

CLOSED: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday December 25th, 26th and 27th

RE-OPEN: Friday December 28th usual hours: 10-1pm; 2pm-5pm

New Year's Eve: Monday Open 10am-1pm, December 31st

CLOSED: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Jan 1st, 2nd 3rd

RE-OPEN: Friday, January 4th Usual times 10-1pm; 2pm-5pm

Station Road Pre-School

Station Road Pre School was very pleased to receive a cheque from the Co-op community dividend fund. The money will be used to buy new large toys for the children to play with. Tony Garland the manager of Shirehampton Co-op is seen here presenting the cheque to Emilie Broad who attends Station Road Pre School.

Wildlife Film-Maker at the Cotswold

Ian McCarthy, cameraman on many of the BBC's most famous natural history films, makes a welcome return to the Cotswold Community Centre in Dursley Road on Friday, December 7th at 7.30pm.

Calling his talk (with film extracts) 'Running with the Pack' the visit will be a golden opportunity to hear and see the amazing world of wolves.  On his last visit, Ian confessed that of all the species he has filmed in almost every part of the world, wolves were his favourite animals, and his enthusiasm for his subject is bound to make the evening unforgettable.

Admission is 1.50 and includes refreshments.

Funds Distribution

At the end of the financial year, 'SHIRE' was able to distribute funds to the following local organisations:

  1. Penpole Residents' Association Lunch Club
  2. Charity Search
  3. St Mary's Roof Fund
  4. S.C.A.F.
  5. Christmas Lights Fund
  6. A.U.S. Advice Service
  7. Sea Cadets at T.S. Enterprise
  8. Freshways Pre-School Reserve Fund, Lawrence Weston

Man Serious After Avonmouth Assault in September

Detectives in Bristol are still appealing for information to an assault in Avonmouth in September which left a man with a serious head injury. John Hall, aged 40, was attacked outside an address in Catherine Street, Avonmouth, at 7.50pm on Sunday, September 9, 2007.

A large group of men and women are believed to have been involved in the attack which left Mr Hall with critical head injuries. He was initially taken to Frenchay Hospital but has recently been transferred to a hospital in Newcastle where he remains in a serious condition.

Twelve men and women have been arrested by police in connection with the assault, with 11 of these given police bail pending further enquiries and one person released without charge.

Detective Inspector Gary Stephens, who is leading the investigation into the attack said: "This was a particularly brutal assault which has left a man with life threatening head injuries. Although we have arrested a number of people, we are still very keen to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the assault that night or might have any information as to the identity of those involved. The incident would have caused quite a disturbance and we believe neighbours or people in the street at the time may have important information to help police enquiries."

Anyone who can help is asked to contact Bristol CID on 0845 4567000 or through their secure Crimestoppers contact form at www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/crimestoppers/contactform

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

In Memory of Ruby F Biggs

From the Heart

A year has passed since you've been gone
It feels so empty without a song
Mother, we miss you so much, now you're up above
Always in our thoughts, God Bless, with love.

From Ben and Jane

John and Trevor Newman

In response to the letter from Margaret O'Connor in our November issue with regard to the Newman brothers who owned the butcher's shop, David Mortimore rang to say that he had worked for them for five years from the age of 18 -22 or 23.  He said that they also had a shop in Whitchurch which Trevor ran and David thought that he (Trevor) had at one time lived in Northover Road, W-o-T.  David also thought that John died over ten years ago.

Letters to the Editor

A letter from Lydney

Dear Editor

As you can see, I am not from Shire, but I did live in Avonmouth from 1949 until 1962, at which time my father moved with his job to the Forest of Dean, which is where I still live.  I love to read your paper which my dear friend sends to me, I love to read it and look forward every four months to having four lovely papers to read.

I'm writing as I came across this photo taken outside Avonmouth Congregational Church in 1956 where we had a strong Girls' Life Brigade going really well.  My mum was the captain and my dad was the minister at Avonmouth Congregational Church.  I thought it would be interesting to have this photo to put in Shire News.  It would be nice if people remembered!

The girls in the photo are: (all maiden names) myself Margaret Holt, Linda Purbrick, Valerie Lydiard, and Eunice Forbes.  The girl standing without uniform is Janice Andrews.

This photo was taken outside the main entrance to the church which was in Portview Road.  Lots of people got married there, as they liked the setting of the church with its lovely arched doorway.  The photo was taken on Parade I do hope you find it interesting.

Yours sincerely

Margaret Symonds (nee Holt)

Save Bob's Gym

Dear Editor,

We love to read and deliver, the Shire each month, very good local paper.

I was quite surprised to read how many facilities we have already lost, so may I make a heartfelt plea to do all we can to keep "Bob's Gym" going? Although not strictly in Shire it does serve our community, also Avonmouth, Lawrence Weston, Sea Mills and beyond.

The Gym is under threat of closure next year and all of us are desperate to keep it going.

Petitions, councillors, meetings and Member of Parliament seem to get us nowhere.

Can you help? Can SCAF do anything to help us?

I enclose two photos of the eldest there, but this is not just for the upper age bracket, also for youngsters as well. It is a very friendly club, with excellent tuition, training and guidance by qualified people.

Going twice a week has certainly enriched my life. No longer is the steep- or high-kerb outside the village baker a problem for me.

The photos are of my husband in his 80s and of me, the oldest lady and he is the oldest gent.

Can any thing be done to help us please?

Yours sincerely,

Helen Thorne

Granger Players

Dear Editor,

I do hope this will beat the deadline as the 'Granger Players' deserve a mention as their show last night (9th November) was great, the costumes too.

Val Lloyd

Kyoto Shotokan Karate Club

Dear Editor,

On Saturday 13th October, the Kyoto Shotokan Karate Club hosted a Karate course with Sensei Paul Mead. Sensei Mead is a senior instructor in Shotokan International (SKI), with over 30 years experience and holds a 6th degree black belt.

Twenty students from Shirehampton attended the two hour long course with four students from a Karate club in Newport. The course covered Karate basics and Kata (forms). Sensei Mead will be visiting the club again next year

Yours,

Steven W. Ashby

Leonard Pepworth

Dear Editor

I regret to say that my brother, Leonard Pepworth passed away recently and I came across the accompanying photograph of a local football team about 1945/46.

I am ashamed to admit that I must be familiar with everyone shown, but in the intervening sixty odd years have forgotten their names.  My brother Len is seated on the far right and I would like to ask if anyone in Shire/Sea Mills/Avonmouth can help me put a name to the face.  I am unsure also of the team, which may by Avonmouth St Andrews? Can you help me in any way.  My grateful thanks if you can publish the photo in Shire News.

Sincerely Yours,
Bernard Pepworth

John Harford

Dear Sir,

The enclosed photograph was taken by my late husband at Lampeter.

The inscription on the monument reads: This fountain is presented to the town of Lampeter by John S. Harford Esq RE of Peterwell and Blaise Castle Gloucestershire. In token of his interest in the health and comfort of its inhabitants AD 1852.

Who was John S. Harford and what was his connection with Blaise Castle? Surely some knowledgeable person in Shirehampton knows!! Will you please return the photograph

Yours Faithfully

P.Berry (Mrs)

High Value Theft from Tyre Depot (Avonmouth)

Police in Bristol are appealing for information after a high value theft from a garage and workshop on St Andrews Road in Avonmouth.

Some time between 9.30pm on Thursday, October 25 2007, and 8.15am the following day, Friday, unknown offenders broke into the Avonmouth branch of Tyres Direct.

They stole around 350 tyres, 20 car batteries and a large quantity of tools from the premises with a total value of around 40,000.

Due to the size of the stolen haul, the offenders would have needed a large vehicle to remove the goods.

Police investigations have revealed that a large white lorry was seen in or around St Andrews Road on the night in question and may be connected to the theft, but police have been unable to find out any more information.

Officers would like to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the break in, may have been offered any of the stolen goods for sale or might recognise the lorry in question.

Anyone who can help should contact us through our secure Crimestoppers contact form at www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/crimestoppers/ContactForm.aspx

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

Beware of a Possible Scam

We have had brought to our attention what appears to be a scam letter from "the desk of the Vice President International Lotto Promotions" in which it states that the recipient has won thousands of euros, which have been deposited in a bank awaiting collection. The recipient of this latter, who resides in Burford Grove, has made enquiries as to its authenticity and discovered a possible scam. The letter has a postmark dated 19th October 2007 from Correos Cta Malaga.

If you get an unsolicited letter offering something which seems too good to be true, it probably is. Take great care before answering and in no circumstances send any money, or bank or credit card details. You are very likely to lose your money and get nothing in return.

The Grainger Players Support MS

Songs of the Decades

A wonderful evening was had by all at the performances by the Grainger Players on 9th and 10th November.  Let's hope this isn't the last show by the Players! From the singing and comedy, all extremely entertaining and of very high quality to the colourful costumes, lighting and sound, to the music by Nick.  It was lovely to see the children and teenagers taking part and we hope they will continue to entertain the audience for years to come, and the Back Stage and helpers with Stewarding, Raffle, Refreshments, Costumes, etc, please forgive us if we have forgotten anyone as so many helped to make the evening such a success.

The show will keep people of Shirehampton talking for a long time.  There was a Guest Appearance by the Stepping Out Dance Group which everyone enjoyed and was such a surprise.

Monica Doul and Liz Hurd (Front House) commented about all that the Village has lost with closure of the Swimming Baths, the Portway Centre in St Bernards Road, Gateway Supermarket, Robin Cousins, and some of the Community Spirit which they strive to keep going.  We agree, and would really miss the Grainger Players if they should fold.  All the hard work falls heavy on the aging cast, so if you feel you have something to give, however small, please contact Mon or Liz.

Thank you so much to all who donated to the retiring collection for the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Bristol Branch which raised 119.50.  You can be assured that the money will go to help local sufferers and to Research into the yet unknown cause and eventual cure.

Thank You

Barrie and Marina Griffiths
MS Society Bristol
Reg Charity 207495

Shirehampton Model Railway Club

Due to the high cost of putting on an exhibition this year we decided to seek some sponsorship as without sponsorship it was not possible. This year's model railway exhibition's main sponsor was Ocean Rodaway estate agents and the exhibition was a great success we would also like to thank Shirehampton Co-op and TPS Clearance Ridingleaze for their support.

This year due to circumstances beyond our control we had to move the exhibition from October to an earlier date in September. We thought this might give us problems but as it happened it was quite the reverse, this year we had more people through the door than last year. We hope you all enjoyed yourselves and we would like to thank you all for your support as without you coming through the door we would not have an exhibition just a hall full of exhibits so once again many thanks for turning up. I would like to thank the wives and mums for their support, the many hours of baking, cooking and looking after the public, the traders and exhibitors. Here is a bit of information on the club, we meet every Wednesday from 7:30pm until 10:00pm in the public hall we have a 00 gauge exhibition layout based on Coaley Junction and another in the planning stages.

We welcome all new members whatever your scale, region, era or country. We have two road 00 gauge test tracks and a single N gauge test track we have our own small clubroom so come along and see us you can be sure of a warm welcome you can also phone the secretary on Bristol 01179094915 or see our website at

www.shirehampton.tk

Here is a date for your diary next year's show is on Saturday the 4th October

Bye for now and happy modelling

Tony Davies Hon Sec

Anonymous Contributions

We occasionally receive copy sent in without the writer's name and address, unfortunately we cannot put anyonmous contibutions in 'SHIRE' but we will not print details if you don't want us to.

Notes & Queries

Q: This year is the 75th anniversary of the Portishead Cruising Club. Although we are called the Portishead Cruising Club, our clubhouse is in Pill opposite the pub in Hung Road in Shire that used to be called the Lamplighters. Any stories or even better if anyone has any photos that are connected with the cruising club would be very gratefully received.

Regards, Margaret O'Connor

Oconnor007@btinternet.com

Please send any answers for publication to the Editor, at editor@shire.org.uk, or leave a note in the Public Library.

Do let us know if you have any local queries that readers might be able to help with.

Winter Opening Hours Waste and Recycling Centres

Winter opening hours started on Monday 29th October at the Household Waste and Recycling Centres as daylight hours shorten.

The Avonmouth site will be open between 8am and 4.15pm Monday to Sunday until Sunday 30th March.

Latest figures from the Avonmouth and St Phillips sites reveal:

  • Waste from 31,000 people has been diverted from landfill through the use of the two sites. The total weight that has been composted or recycled is 5232 tonnes at Avonmouth and 10554 tonnes at St Phillips since January 2007; and
  • Both sites have new recycling services for electronic goods and have received 305 tonnes since the scheme started on the 1st July this year.

Allotments

Attwood Drive, Lawrence Weston

There are several plots available either full or half sized. Opportunities include Being a member of the Attwood Drive Allotment Association Friendly Competitions amongst plot holders. Volunteering every Friday morning with lean & green 10am 12:30pm tea/coffee provided. If you are interested please contact

Alison-Allotment rep Tel No: 078525 39378
Kelly-Lean and Green Tel No: 01179 151158

Historic Documents Donated to City Archive

A recently discovered set of historic documents relating to Bristol's past were officially handed over today to the Lord Mayor at a special reception at the Mansion House, Bristol.

The documents were discovered in storage by staff Avonmouth company, Sevalco Ltd (part of Columbian Chemicals) and relate to property transactions from the early 19th century amongst local landowners in the Henbury and Westbury-on-Trym areas of the city.

Richard Smart, Sevalco's General Manager, said 'We have a long heritage in Bristol, and are proud to be able to welcome so many representatives of the city and our neighbouring communities to this evening's special event.  These documents give a fascinating insight into a chapter of our City's history and we felt it was only right that they should be accessible for others to study and enjoy'.

Beautifully hand-written and bearing original seals from the reign of George III, the documents appear to have been transferred to Avonmouth when Sevalco moved its offices there from Westbury.

The Lord Mayor of Bristol, Cllr Royston Griffey JP, accepted the documents from Sevalco on behalf of the City archives where they will be deposited for safekeeping.

St. Mary's News

Hi Folks!

Christmas comes but once a year
And your writer has begun to fear
That three score years and ten are near

For I was born on Christmas Day backing 'thirty-nine'
And joined St Mary's Choir when I was just but nine

I shall be there again this year to join in Midnight Mass
And to wish all my readers a 'Happy Christmas'

I hope that astounding piece of poetry won't put you off reading what I am supposed to be telling you! So let's get on with it.

Back during our Harvest Celebrations you may recall that we had an Art Exhibition by members of St Mary's Art Club.  There were some brilliant pictures and people with hidden talents not known to many of us before.  There were joint winners for the Best Painting and they were Pam Handford and another lady called Doris whose surname escapes me at this moment.  The prize for the winner was to hold for 12 months an original painting by the late John Parsons.  In this case it will be shared Pam will hold it for 6 months and Doris for the remaining 6 months.  Pam's picture was a winter scene showing a Christmas Tree being dragged home through the snow.  The picture has been used on one of the St Mary's home produced Christmas Cards examples of which are on display at the west end of the church.

Our Christmas Gift Sale back in October realised the sum of 1,100 on the day, but further purchases during Coffee Mornings has resulted in the total figure now reaching 1,500.  Thank you to all who supported us.

Also back in October our Beetle Drive and Lunch raised the sum of 150 towards church funds courtesy of all the participants!

Saturday 1st December, is the day of our Christmas Food Fayre, but may well have already passed, by the time this edition of 'Shire' reaches your letterbox.

Sunday 2nd December is Advent Sunday the beginning of another year in the Christian Calendar Holy Communion will be at 10.30am and at 6pm in the evening is our Advent Carol Service which will also incorporate the lighting of our Tree of Light at the west end of the church.  This is the tree upon which all the Memorial Cards filled in at our Memorial Service, back in November, will be hung on the tree.  If you were not at that Service you can still fill in a Memorial Card and hang it upon the tree.  (Cards will be available at the back of the church for you to fill in the details of loved ones who are no longer with us).

On Wednesday 5th December there will be a service of Carols at Bradley House Residential Home and also on Thursday 6th at Kingsmead Lodge Residential Home.  Both of these services are for the residents, their relatives and friends.  Please give these Carol Services your support if you have a friend or relative in residential care.

Saturday 8th December is our Annual Gift Day, when Canon Christine will be in the Lady Chapel from 9.30am until 12.30pm, to receive any monetary gift you can afford.  All monies received this year will go towards the disasters which have hit St Mary's severely this past year.  Our Insurers WILL NOT cover us for the lead stolen from the roof when the scaffolding was still in position on the south side of the building.

The storms in June and July caused water to run down the walls of the Chancel and Sanctuary leaving dirty water marks on our recent decorations.  This means the walls will have to be repainted to restore this part of the church to its former glory.  Please may I appeal to you to make a donation, no matter how small, it will be very much appreciated.  Thank you!

On the subject of the lead theft, we still have only temporary repairs keeping the rain out of the building and a decision has still to be reached as to an alternative material to replace the stolen lead.  To put lead back on the roof is tempting fate as it is likely to be stolen again and we simply cannot sustain the losses which may not be covered by our Insurers.

But on a brighter note on that same Saturday afternoon we invite you all to come to tea at 4.30pm and afterwards watch the film The Nativity Story.  Tickets are FREE, but you will be required to collect your ticket from the Church Office before this date as entry will be by ticket only.  A retiring collection will be in place and all donations will be given to The Children's Society.

The very next day Sunday 9th December is the Shirehampton Area Choir Christmas Concert in church at 2.30pm.  Tickets for this event are 6 and available from the Church Office and will include a glass of punch and festive fayre.  All proceeds from the Concert this year are going to The Avon Autistic Foundation.  If you can manage it why not come along afterwards at 4.45pm to Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road, for an Ecumenical Carol Service with more festive food afterwards!!!

On Satuday 15th December a group of people will be singing Carols in the Churchyard to raise funds for Christian Aid this is an annual event so please come and join in singing some Carols.

On Sunday 16th December our 10am service will be a Christingle Service particularly suitable for children and families.  Come along and find out what it is all about.  There will be no Holy Communion service on that day.  However, at 6pm we shall be holding our own Christmas Carol Service which will be followed by mulled wine and mince pies so please come and join us!

On Sunday 23rd December there will be a SAID HOLY COMMUNION Service at 8.00am followed by Kids Klub at 8.30am.  There will be no service at 10am on this day.  However, there will be a sung service of Compline at 8pm in the evening to which everyone is welcome.

The next day Monday 24th December is of course Christmas Eve and our Annual Crib Service is again at 4pm.  We plan to have real live Donkeys again at this service and we would like to see all the children dressed up in an appropriate Christmas costume and adults dressed in something sparkling.  This is always a very popular service so to be sure of a seat get there EARLY we had somewhere around 500 people attending last year!!

At 11.30pm is Midnight Mass the first Communion of Christmas when we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus and is the culmination of all our Christmas preparations.  A truly moving service and not to be missed a time when all the glitz and tinsel are pushed to one side for a moment to reveal the true meaning of Christmas!

On Christmas Day there will be a service of Holy Communion with Carols at 10am give yourself a break for an hour away from the chores of cooking the Christmas Turkey etc!!!

There will be the usual said Holy Communion Service at 11am on Thursday morning of 27th December.

On Sunday 30th December there will be a Family Service with Baptism at 10am as usual, but please note there will be NO EVENING HOLY COMMUNION SERVICE at 6pm on this day.

Straying on into the New Year I have to tell you that there will be a special service of Holy Communion at 10am celebrating the Epiphany on Sunday 6th January so come along and see what is happening you do not know what Canon Christine has hiding up her sleeve!!

The next Alpha Course Guest Lunch is from 1pm until 3pm on Thursday 10th January so please let Gill Sawyer know at the Church Office if you or a friend will be coming so the necessary numbers will be known for the purpose of catering.  Thank-you!

Finally, I have to tell you that we shall be holding another of our Book, DVD & Video Sales, in church on Saturday 12th January from 10am until 12 noon.  So any unwanted items, or duplicate presents given to you by Aunty Mabel at Christmas can be put to good use.  Please may I appeal to you not to bring any items to the church until AFTER Christmas thank you very much.

So, Happy Christmas to you all and please spare a thought and a prayer when you sit down for Christmas Lunch for all those who have no homes or families around them this festive season.

Bye for now - CME

Now Recruiting

The Shirehampton detachment of the Bristol Army Cadet Force invites new recruits in Year 8 or above to join them.

At present they meet at Whiteladies Road, T.A. Centre on Wednesday evenings, 7.15 9.15pm but in the new year arr moving to their new quarters in Lawrence Weston.

Do you want a challenge? Want to know more?

Contact CSjt Andy Candler on 07970045933 or slimcandler@hotmail.com

Smelters Shaping up for New Season

The National Smelting Co Amateur Boxing Club 'Smelters' have been training very hard over the seasonal summer break. Said Head Coach Gary Cave "All credit to the boxers they've stayed in the gym over the summer training when many boxing clubs traditionally shut for a break. This has allowed us extra time in training up the next batch of youngsters to don the gloves for the oldest boxing club in Bristol. We're planning on putting out another strong team of approx 20 competitive boxers and hope to top the 85 bouts we competed in last season. It's been a long break but all the boxers are hungry to box and can't wait to get going again. The gyms packed out now with many local kids hoping to be the next Ricky Hatton or Amir Kahn, but win or lose they're all champions in my eyes for just getting through the ropes in front of big crowds. You hear all the time about kids getting into trouble with drink, drugs and crime but these young Smelter boxers are dedicated to their sport, stay out of trouble and are role models to other youngsters."

The Smelters had their first show of the new season titled 'A few Boxers More' on Thursday 25 of October at the BAWA Club. The last Smelters how held at the BAWA in June was a complete sell out and a fantastic evening of boxing with 13 very closely contested and hard fought bouts of both junior and senior contests. Said Cave "We're very excited as we have four shows booked in at the BAWA club, it's a fantastic venue for amateur boxing. We had many favourable comments regarding the last show from clubs travelling from as far a field as London to Southampton to box on the show."

Shirehampton Craft Exhibition

The 21st Annual Craft Exhibition was held in the Public Hall during the last week in October.

It was also the 21st Year of the Lace Group, who began their meetings in Twyford House. To mark this occasion the Group had got together and made 21 book marks, all slightly different. They had put their work together in memory of Gwen Cook, who sadly died earlier this year. Gwen took over the Group at Twyford House when their teacher died, and although she stressed that she was not a teacher herself, she was always able to help the new members. When she died she had some projects unfinished, so Margaret Hughes kindly finished them off and exhibited them in Gwen's name. On the table there was a copy of a painting of Gwen doing her lace. Doreen Hunt, also one of the members, set up her lace pillow next to this table and was there most of the week showing visitors her work.

We had several quilts in the Exhibition. The one hanging at the front was much admired, as were those hanging from the balcony. We are always worried before the show that we will not have enough quilts, but the public never let us down. We did not have as much cross stitch this year, but what we had was first class. There were lots of various other patchwork projects cards, boxes, cushions and quite a few wall hangings, making a very colourful sight as one enter the Hall.

There were several pottery pots and dishes of various shapes and sizes, all beautifully designed.

As usual Dick Helme entered something different. This year it was a chair with coloured lights in the back. Rather difficult to describe, it had to be seen to appreciate it but it was very clever and admired by all. We had a new exhibitor this year, who entered two tables in a modern design.

There were 30 knitted scarves entered from one lady, as well as some knitted hats, which sold very quickly.

We were all enthralled when Alice brought in her new computerized sewing machine to demonstrate. After pressing various buttons and changing the thread as required, we watched as the machine turned out some beautiful embroidery.

We must not forget the Cubs, Rainbows and Brownies, who we hope will be the exhibitors of the future. The "rooms in a box" drew some very favourable comments from the public, as did the pots made of pegs by the Cubs.

Teas, coffee and home made cakes were on sale at the back of the hall, and thanks go to Janet Thomas. The prices were very reasonable, and some of the library and Public Hall staff came in just to buy the cakes.

There were two stalls selling and making cards for various occasions.

Finally, we were all afraid that this was going to be the last Exhibition, as Ed and Gail Amphlett, who have been organizing it for the last 10 years are retiring. Fortunately, Pat Davidson, one of the card makers, has offered to fill this gap, so we hope to be around next year. Most of the Stewards are still willing to help as usual, so I am sure it will be a success.

Shirehampton Churches Christmas Services

St Mary's Parish Church

  • Advent Sunday - Sunday 2nd December 6pm: Advent Carol Service with the lighting of the Tree of Light
  • Sunday 9th December 2.30pm: Shirehampton Area Choir Carol Concert
  • Sunday 16th December 10am: Christingle Service
  • Sunday 16th December 6pm: Christmas Carol Service followed by mulled wine and mince pies
  • Sunday 23rd December 8am: Said service of Holy Communion (please note: No 10am service today)
  • Sunday 23rd December 8pm: Sung Compline by Candlelight
  • Christmas Eve, Monday 24th December 4pm: Crib Service with our visiting donkeys. Children do come dressed as a person or animal from the nativity story. Adults, why not come in your sparkly best too? A short service for all the family to share and a special way to begin Christmas.
  • Christmas Eve, Monday 24th December 11.30pm: Midnight Holy Communion for Christmas
  • Christmas Day, Tuesday 25th December 10am: Holy Communion with carols for Christmas Day

Shirehampton Methodist Church

  • Sunday December 9th: 6.30pm, visit of Bristol Evangelical Choir
  • Sunday December 23rd: 4pm, Service of Carols by Candlelight
  • Christmas Day: 11am Rev David Alderman
  • Sunday January 13th: 11am Annual Covenant Service Rev David Alderman

Shirehampton Baptist Church:

  • Sunday 16th December 6.30pm: Carols by Candlelight
  • Sunday 23rd December 6.30pm: featuring Keynsham Puppeteers
  • Christmas Day - Tuesday 25th December 10.30am: Family Service

St Bernard's Roman Catholic Church

  • Christmas Eve, Monday 24th December 6.30pm: First Mass of Christmas
  • Christmas Day, Tuesday 25th December 10am: Christmas Day Mass

Avonmouth Evangelical Chapel, Avonmouth Road

  • We welcome you with us this December, Sunday December 16th at 4.30pm: A Christmas Fiesta A time of festive music and singing with a local band, also Festive food and fun.
  • Sunday, December 23rd at 4.30pm The Christmas Gift Including The Nativity Scene

(Thank you for your kind donation Ed)

Cotswold Community Hall

Dursley Road Sunday 9th December 4:45pm Carol Service Arranged by Methodist, Baptist and St Mary's Churches

Library

Elieen, Marilyn Janette and Francesca would like to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and prosperous New Year.

May we also take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support throughout the last year with special thanks to all at "Shire" for the support they give us in all our activities. Where would we be without you?

We look forward to seeing readers old and new in the coming year hopefully you won't have received so many books as presents that you don't want to visit us!

Our Carol Leader

Rev David Alderman has been the local Methodist Minister in Shirehampton since 1997, when he moved from Cornwall. Born in Kent, he moved to Egham in Surrey a few hundred yards from the farms of the recent foot and mouth outbreak! After studying Business studies at college, he worked as a Business Development officer for a major Bank until taking up a post at the Methodist Church headquarters in London. He is married with three teenage boys and will be leaving Shirehamtopn after Easter. He Enjoys visits to the cinema and working on his organic allotment.

Changes of Use in Shirehampton 1960-2007

Following the recent articles about Shire shops, this list may jog the memories of some of the older

'Shire-ites' indicating the businesses that now occupy those premises of 47 years ago.

Source: 1960 Bristol Street Directory, held at the Central Library.

High Street - right hand side from the Green:

1960 2007

6 George Inn Public House  
8 Salmon & Hutchins Ltd Grocers Dolphin Fish Bar
10 D. Pearce Stationer & Post Office Flower World
12 P. H. Boalch Fishmonger Andrew Pinn
14 Bollom Ltd Drycleaners Rodaways
16 Churchill's Greengrocers Rodaways
18 The Paint Shop Paints & Wallpapers Taylors
20 Methodist Church  
22 Clark & Clark Fruiterers Chico's
24 Wm. Clark & Sons Butcher Butcher
26 Miss Stower Draper Stadon
28 Lloyds Bank Bank Devereux
30 National Provincial Bank Bank Elite Hair & Beauty
32 Moss & Co Chemists Autoparts
34 Clark Tobacconist Hawkins
36 Empty (ex Somerfields)
38 P. H. Boalch Fried Fish Nails etc (Boalch also had a fried fish shop in Bradley Crescent up until some time in 1958)
40-42 SWEB Electrical Retailers 40-Haarts 42- Empty
44 J. Newman & Sons Family Butcher Tasty Bite
46 MDW Builders Supplies Hardware & general DIY Bobbetts
48 Witts Baker Collectables

*Daw Hermitage Cottages; Dental Surgery;

*Coles Hermitage Cottages; Sweets & Confectionary;

*This building demolished circa 1965 and the line of shops extended as follows;;

50 Thos Davis. Funeral Directors
52 St Peter's Hospice
54 Lloyds Chemist
56 Carpet Shop
58 Bridge Recruitment
60 Cafe
60a Hair By Design

High Street - left hand side from the Green

1-3 Woolworths General Stores Woolworths
5 Brooks Cleaners Wines & Spirits Merchants Empty
5a Brooks Cleaners Dry Cleaners  
7 Broadmead Ltd Radio Engineers & Suppliers Village Bakery
9 Midland Bank Bank Britannia Building Society
11 Peter Carter Grocers Coral Turf Accountant
11a Wm Hill Confectionary Blockbusters
15 Lennards Footware Bargain Booze
17 W. J. Evans Stationery Maynews
19 Bendalls Stores Grocers Miles Morgan Travel
21 Lutons Bakers Pound Shop
23-25 Lifeboat Inn Public House Lifeboat Inn
27 Sandfords Bicycles, Meccano & Dinky Toys D & P Fashions 27a Liz's Flowers
29 Bolwell Hairdresser Sugar & Spice
31-33 Budd & Son Boot & Shoe Makers Job Centre
35 Budd & Son Outfitters Rudrum Holdings
37 S. Braywood Fruiterer (the Arcade) Lloyds Bank
39 Boots Boots
41 Elsie Baker Ladies outfitter CLIC
St Mary's Church    
47 Bristol Co-op Society Ltd Grocery, Butcher, Drapery, Shoes Co-op also with entrance in Pembroke Road

Bradley Crescent

2 Mrs Webber Groceries House
18 Peter Hill Fruiterer House
22 Mrs Jarman Draper (formerly Coates & Bowers) House
24 J Newman & Sons Butcher House
44 Mrs Jones Ladies Hairdresser House
80 Ernest Giles Grocer House
82 Dennis Quirk Boot & Shoe Repairs House

Pembroke Road

2 Stenner Hill Funeral Directors Funeral Directors
13 Harold Hayward Fruiterer & Greengrocer House
39 Dewhurst Butcher House
41 Holmyard Off Licence (The Beehive) House
55 Albert Hill Radio Repairs Creature Comforts
59-61 Edwards Hardware Closed
63 Paris Grocer House
65 Rays Confectioner House

Station Road - left

8-10 C. Cole Nurseryman C. Cole Nurseryman
18 Chris Brown Furniture Dealer Apartments
20 Savoy Cinema Apartments
22 Chas Brown Furniture Dealer Apartments
24 Brewers Stores Groceries Apartments
26 Marjorie Knight Costumiere Pet Store
28 Eastmans Butcher PJs Ladies Hairdresser
30 Churchills Ladies & Gents Hairdresser PJs Barber Shop

Station Road - right

9 Mrs Gard Confectionary & Ice Cream House
11 Sidney Squirell Cycle Dealer Charity Search
13 Redwoods Dairy Products Chungs Fish Bar
15 Noel Williams Chemists & Opticians PSP Group Ltd

Malcolm Jones

Shirehampton Health Centre Moving to the new Health Centre at Last!

After 15 months in our (rather nice) portacabins, we are at last moving to our new and permanent home! All the services currently being delivered from the Portacabins will be moving to the new building.  It will be some time before any new services are accommodated but this will give us time to settle in.  We are all very excited about the move and looking forward to the extra space, the new facilities and a slightly different way of working.  But we need your help for the week building up to the move, the move itself and for a while afterwards.

Week beginning Monday 10th December

Our services will continue as usual but we will be packing up in readiness for the move on Friday.  The less clerical tasks we have to do, the easier it will be.

Repeat prescription requests: Please order these early! It would be really helpful if you could review your needs NOW and put your request in so that we don't have to worry about the 48 hour turn around.  Picking them up direct from the pharmacy would also help please just tick the pharmacy of your choice on the request form you might even find this easier for the future!

FRIDAY 14TH DECEMBER

We will NOT have access to your computerised medical records

We will NOT be able to book appointments

We will NOT be able to print prescriptions (although we will be able to produce urgent, hand written ones for those with acute illnesses).

There will be an emergency service only.  If you have a genuine medical concern, please don't hesitate to call us, but for routine appointments, general advice or non-urgent queries PLEASE wait until the following week.

Please don't come to Shirehampton Health Centre at all if you can help it as the removal company will be transferring everything to the new building all day.  There will be no public access to the new building but there will be plenty of time for you to see it over the following weeks.

Telephone numbers will remain the same there may be some short term disruption during the transfer to the new building but otherwise, there should be no problems.  Again, though, please keep calls to those of an urgent nature to allow us time for the move across.

MONDAY 17TH DECEMBER

We should be up and running BUT to be on the safe side, we will continue to operate an emergency service only.  Again, please avoid coming to the surgery, requesting repeat prescriptions or contacting us for routine issues.  The more we can get done over that 4 day weekend, the better we will be able to serve you for the following week.

NEW lunch time opening in the New Year

From 2nd January, the new Health Centre will remain open over the lunch time period, which should help to support those of you who work and need to call in to collect a prescription, make an appointment or have a query.  The Group Practice telephones, however, will still go to emergency mode as this gives the staff an opportunity to complete the various clerical tasks that go with running a busy surgery.

The Car Park March 2008

Once we have moved into the new Health Centre, the portacabins will be dismantled and taken away for another new Health Centre building project in Yate.  Then the new patient and staff car park can be laid we hope this will be completed by early March 2008.  We are sure the local residents, particularly those living in Bradley Crescent and Walton Road, will be delighted to have their roads back! We thank them for their patience over the years and in particular during the building of the new Centre.

If you have any specific concerns or queries regarding the new Health Centre, please feel free to contact the Project Manager, Anna Masserick on 0117 900 2199.

The Group Practice

New Ways of Working

Our clinical services will be just as good as they always have been the additional space will make it much more effective and enjoyable for the clinical teams to work and, over time, we hope to develop more flexible surgeries.  Please use the suggestion box to tell us what would help and support you in providing exceptional medical care.

The main difference will be in reception services the reception desk will be for 'meet and greet' only.  Telephones will be answered upstairs, improving confidentiality and efficiency.  All other clerical and secretarial work will be done upstairs too.  Of course, for more complex queries, there will be someone who can come down to help you.  We will be keen to hear your views on how much better it will work for you in the long term.

Self check in this has been very successful in the portacabins and we plan to continue to develop this system.  If you haven't tried it yet, please do! It is easy to use and leaves the receptionists free to deal with appointments and queries.  If you need help the first time, please ask at reception.

Capel Road Branch Surgery

The computer system is linked to Shirehampton and so all the above applies we will not have access to your computerised medical records, will not be able to print prescriptions or book appointments on Friday 14th please plan ahead as much as possible.

Should you have any concerns or queries relating specifically to the Group Practice, please feel free to contact the Practice Manager, Carole Brooke on her direct line 0117 916 2225.

And last but not least, may all the Staff of the Health Centre wish you all a very happy, and healthy, festive season and an exciting 2008!

Hanging Baskets

The council generally has stopped the funding of hanging baskets in outlying areas, because of budgetary constraints. Consequently, Shirehampton was a rather dull place to visit last summer, to shop or otherwise.

I attended the recent meeting of the Area Housing Committee, to ask if that body could fund hanging baskets in Shire. I was told that the committee would be willing to consider such a request, providing the traders of the village would contribute half the cost.

Besides the main village, there are two smaller adjacent trading areas; in Station Road and Pembroke Road. All these areas combined contain 15 street lamps ( this includes the three on The Green). I have counted 58 traders in this larger shopping precinct. If every trader was willing to contribute 30.00 and the Area Housing Committee matched this sum (a total of 1,740), there would be 232.00 to spend on each street lamp. I shall be approaching traders, personally, in the next few weeks for their response to this proposal.

The two High Street pubs (The George and The Lifeboat) are to be congratulated on their floral displays last summer. Well done!

Gil Osman

A Diary for Christmas

We have received a copy of the Mini History of Bristol Diary 2008 with photographs by Sally Mundy and text by Lu Hersey.  There is a separate colour photo for each week of the year and underneath each one there are a few lines of text explaining where in Bristol the photo was taken and its historical reference.  The photos are arranged in date order through the diary from the iron age hill fort in Leigh Woods to an example of the work of graffiti artist 'Banksy".

The diary measures approximately 12 x 18 x 1 cms, and can be bought at the post office for 9.95 or from Sally Mundy, Tel: 0793 932397 email: sally@angelswing.co.uk and would make an excellent Christmas gift.

Looking Ahead

SHIRE is a monthly publication with a last date for submitting copy of the 10th of every month, and it does mean that information for events needs to be thought about and submitted, in some instances almost six weeks ahead! Yes I get confused sometimes too! For example if someone is going to put on an event say at any time in December then we need to have the info before November 10th if it is to go into December edition and even then it may be wise to submit events taking place early in December by October 10th to allow for the possibility of the paper being late.  We do want to support local endeavours but we do get items sent in too late which is a pity.

The Animal Village at Lawrence Weston Community Farm

The new animal village costing 7,000 has been built at Lawrence Weston Community Farm by Volunteers, staff and young people involved in the farm. The village has 5 houses, each house has small animals living inside and a 6th house is for children to play in.  There is a post office which is run by the doves, the rats are in charge of the school and the guinea pigs look after the shop. Bob the Cockerel, the Community beat officer makes sure all is peaceful in the village.

The village was officially opened by the Lord Mayor, Cllr. Royston Griffey helped by the new Lord Major of the farm's Animal village 'Lawrence' the giant rabbit and his PA 'Oliver'.

If you missed the grand opening why not come down to the farm and visit the village. The animal village is a colourful area for all visitors to get close to small animals and to have some fun wandering around. We hope children and their parents using the village can get involved in writing short stories about all the village antics and drawing pictures, please let us have all your feed back.

The turn out on the opening day was fantastic. We had the Nangas Clown and Art Play Environment (APE) entertaining visitors. We had 200+ visitors through the gates, thank you to everyone supporting the farm and making the day so good.

The project to build the animal village was funded by the local network fund administered by Quartet, formerly the Great Bristol Foundation. 'Thank you for supporting the Lawrence Weston Community Farm and making it possible for the Animal Village to be built'.

Social Fund - Help With Health and Repairs Costs

The Social Fund can provide lump sum payments to cover extra expenses that you would find difficult to meet from your weekly income. Generally, these can only be paid to people who receive Income Support or Pension Credit.

1.  Community Care Grants help people to live independently at home they can be for things like beds, cookers, washing machines, removal costs or for some travel costs.

2.  Budgeting loans can help with an item you cannot afford but these have to be repaid from your weekly Pension Credit.

3.  Funeral payments can help with the cost of arranging a funeral (but don't make any until you have checked to see whether you can get any help).

4.  Crisis loans can be paid if you have special needs because of an emergency or crisis; these have to be repaid but anyone can apply for one you do not have to be getting any type of benefit.

Savings of 1000 count towards Community Care Grants and savings of 2000 count towards budgeting loans. Savings are also taken into account for crisis loans. There are no savings limits for funeral payment.

Help with repairs and adaptations to your home

If you get Income Support or Pension Credit you may be able to get a Community Care Grant or budgeting loan to help with the cost of minor repairs or decoration. Your local authority may be able to help with things like adaptations or improvement of living conditions by giving a grant or loan, materials or other types of assistance. These schemes usually give priority to vulnerable and older people. Your local authority should have a published policy describing the sort of help it offers.

There are also local-authority Disabled Facilities Grants to improve and adapt homes if you have a disability. These grants are means-tested.

Help with health costs

Everyone over 60 gets free prescriptions and eye tests. If you get the Pension Credit Guarantee Credit you should also get free dental treatment, travel costs to hospital and help towards glasses. If you do not get this benefit but have a low income and less than 16,000 savings you may still get some help by filling in form HC1.

If you're not sure whether you'll get any help with the social fund, help with repairs or health costs then contact Tony for advice, at Avon (University Settlement) Community Association. This is done by attending the drop-in advice sessions on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 9.30am and 11.30am.

NO APPOINTMENT IS NECESSARY. Otherwise contact him on 982 9399

He will check to see if you can get it and also do a full benefit check.

He can also help with applying for other benefits, filling in forms, help with any problems with debts, housing problems, employment advice and other legal matters.

Avon (University Settlement) Community Association offers FREE and Confidential Advice.

We are situated at 115 High Street, Shirehampton

Don't Just Recycle The Old Jokes this Christmas!

Recycling is easy in your Black Box or at your mini recycling centre.  All the extra partying and present buying at the festive season has an unwanted knock on effect of creating extra rubbish.

So, with a white Christmas a traditionally slim possibility, have a green Christmas by watching your wastelines!

A large amount of consumer waste is produced at Christmas time so come on all you wasteful people and think about reducing your waste too.  Read on for tips on how to reduce and recycle your waste this Christmas.

Christmas Trees

Over 7 million Christmas trees were bought in the UK last Christmas, most of which were thrown out in January creating over 9000 tonnes of extra rubbish.  Why not buy a Christmas tree with roots, which you can use again and again?

If you do buy a tree recycle it after Christmas! Your tree will be shredded and composted, and will have a whole new lease of life!

If you have a kerbside collection put your real tree out for recycling on your normal collection day between 7th and 19th January 2008.

Please remove all pots and decorations, as these cannot be composted.

Alternatively take your Christmas tree to the following locations between 5th and 19th January 2008:

  • Bristol Zoo, Northcote Road
  • Household Waste Recycling Centre Folly Lane, (off Days Road) St Philips
  • Household Waste Recycling Centre Kingsweston Lane, Avonmouth

Christmas Cards

Royal Mail delivers around 150 million cards each day during the pre-Christmas period.  It is estimated that up to 1 billion Christmas cards (17 for every person) could end up in bins across the UK.  Why not send an electronic Christmas card instead?

For the fifth consecutive year, the Woodland Trust has teamed up with retailers WH Smith, Tesco, TK Maxx and M&S (excluding Simply Food) to deliver its annual Christmas Card Recycling Scheme.

Recycle your Christmas cards and help save woods and trees!

  • Christmas card recycling boxes will be placed in all Tesco (excludes Tesco Express and smaller Metro stores) WH Smith, TK Maxx, and M&S stores (excluding Simply Food) from 2-31 January 2008.
  • Alternatively Christmas cards can be recycled in the Black Box and at Mini Recycling Centres.

Wrapping Paper

Buy recycled wrapping paper and use string, ribbon or wool for wrapping gifts, rather than using sticky tape.  The string and paper can then be reused.  Gift tags can be made from old greetings cards.  Any kind of unusual paper can be used to wrap gifts.

Paper wrapping paper can be recycled in the Black Box recycling scheme and at Mini Recycling Centres.  Please do not include any foil or plastic wrapping 'paper' as unfortunately this cannot be recycled at the present time.

Cans and Bottles

In excess of 500 million aluminium and steel drink cans and an extra 750 million bottles and glass containers will be used over the festive period!

Vent your festive frustration by crushing your cans before placing them in the recycling banks and relieve your seasonal stress by smashing your bottles into the bottle bank!

Between 20% and 30% more glass and cans are used over the Christmas period.  Remember to recycle all your extra glass and cans in your Black Box or at your Mini Recycling Centre.  You can also recycle large sweet tins in your Black Box.

Try to buy food and drink packaged in materials that can be recycled in your area, such as paper and glass.

Avoid using paper plates, cups and serviettes if you are planning a party.

Don't forget to give your kitchen waste bin or compost heap a gift this Christmas, with all those turkeys and brussel sprouts there's a lot of composting waiting to happen!

Report from PC Gareth Davies

THEFTS

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

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, please consider parking your vehicles under street lighting and having a vehicle alarm installed.

DRUGS

Most car crime and petty theft is drug related, we have had some success recently in targeting suppliers and dealers but there is still a drugs problem.  Your help with information will go a long way to getting rid of these people and protect our young people.  I realise that many of you would not feel able to talk to the Police directly.  If you have any suspicions or information you can ring CRIMESTOPPERS confidentially on 0800 555 111.

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/September/October 2007 significant arrests were made and numerous warnings and cautions given out by the PCSO's and other officers from AVONMOUTH Police Station.  This operation will continue for the foreseeable future with teams of officers responding to incidents and generally patrolling the hot spots.  The main area of attention that has caused concern is the youths gathering outside the newly opened SOMERFIELDS store on the High Street in SHIREHAMPTON.  I along with my PCSO ZAHEER BULBUL will continue to make good progress with consultations with the staff at these premises and with zero tolerance patrolling at specified timings in the village, these youths have now been warned.  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 in house burglaries, however, there is significant increase in shed breaks in the village of SHIREHAMPTON.  The offenders are targeting pedal cycles, please research your shed security, renew your old padlock, consider garden lighting, reinforce that old piece of wood that is holding your garden shed door together, if you need advice on that security please consider contacting PCSO ZAHEER BULBUL who will offer you advice concerning security of your house and garden sheds.  Even with arrests having been made over the last couple of months, 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.

FESTIVAL SEASON

Christmas is fast approaching and the thieves and unscrupulous are looking for easy pickings.  Please don't make life easy for them.  Keep your purse safe at all times, do not leave it on the top of your shopping bag in clear view, don't leave parcels on view, either in your car or close to doors and windows.  Take care when loading parcels into the boot of your car, whilst your head is in the boot someone is helping themselves to your handbag on the front seat!

DISTRACTION BURGLARIES

Carol singers, the genuine groups (who can sing a complete carol and don't knock on the door until finished), bring a cheerful note but not all are good intentioned and honest.  Do not go to the door with your purse in hand, do not let anyone see where you keep your purse, handbag or wallet, it is easy for the thief to grab and run.  Always make sure that your back windows and doors are closed before opening your front door.  Distraction burglars are often using children to keep your attention at your front door whilst they go in through the back.  These type of distraction thefts are a problem everywhere and not just at Christmas and Shirehampton is no exception.  Most of you know the stories of the Bogus Water Board and Electricity Officials and hopefully take care to check identities.  These thefts are still happening all too frequently.

DRINK DRIVING

Enjoy yourselves through the Christmas and New Year season but be aware that Avon and Somerset Police will be running operations to combat drivers over the limit with either drugs or alcohol.

Have a safe and happy Festive Season.

PC Gareth Davies/PCSO Zaheer Bulbul