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Back to December 2007 SHIRE January 2008 Fowards to February 2008 SHIRE
News Index

Where Will Our Children Play?

Christmas Lights

Could Shirehampton Become a Tourist Centre?

A New Partnership for Your Neighbourhood - A What?

Advice Service Celebrates 30 Years

Church Celebrates 50 Years

Letters to the Editor

Shops that Made Shirehampton

The Severn Beach Line

St Mary's News

Portway Community School Fund Raisers

Where Will Our Children Play?

In last month's survey of public amenities in our Vision for Shirehampton pages, there was one section where the Village seems to fall woefully short, and that is in the provision of well equipped children's play areas.

The Lamps play area - just four swings...

There are four play areas, all very sparsely furnished.  Lamps Field has two toddler swings and tow junior swings; Springfield Avenue a tower with slide, a climbing frame, two toddler swings and two junior swings; Beachley walk possesses a twin tower climbing structure with a slide, and is in need of a coat of paint; The Ridge has a twin tower structure with a rope walk and slide, a log castle with a chain climbing frame, and a frame for swings – but minus swings.  This site too is in need of some paint.  Add all four sites together, and a parent zealous enough to take her children on a round tour of Shirehampton would have a choice of eight swings, three tower structures to clamber over and slide down, and a couple of other things to climb on.  To get a worthwhile playtime that parent is going to have to get on a bus and take her children to Blaise Castle's fine playground.

... while The Ridge has no swings at all.

Why are Shirehampton's children served so badly with play provision?  Perhaps it is that the Council is afraid that any extra equipment would be quickly vandalised.  It is a fact that The Ridge in particular bears the marks of ill treatment, presumably that is why the swings are missing.  Or perhaps it does not consider we have enough children to merit better provision.

Perhaps also parents themselves must bear some blame for not caring enough about the facilities.  There was a golden opportunity recently for improvement to the Lamps Field.  The Shirehampton Greens Group, was approached by a local resident wanting to see improvements here and get local people involved.  The Greens, supported by Ash Bearman from SCAF, explored the possibility of getting money from a Council fund for extra equipment in the children's area. Questionnaires went out to local residents asking what they would want to see there, and the response was enough to call a meeting.  But then none of the respondents came to the meeting, in spite of personal invitations, so the proposals went no further.  This was a great shame, for the riverside site of the Lamps play area would make it an ideal spot for families to come and let their children free in a play area filled with varied and safe equipment.

Other parts of Bristol are favoured with great places for children to play: it's time Shirehampton began to catch up.

Stop Press

Avonmouth Assault: In our last issue we reported that detectives in Bristol were still appealing for information about an assault on a 40 year old man on September 9th in Avonmouth. We now understand that as a result of further information, six persons have been charged. The police wish to thank the public for their co-operation and support throughout the investigation.

Christmas Lights

Shirehampton High Street has a new look this Christmas and instead of the brightly coloured lights and trees of last year we now have only Christmas trees, but this year with new, brighter and more environmentally friendly LED lights.  Although some have said that they miss the colourful display of previous years many have said how much they appreciate the serene and more restrained look this year.

In fact as readers of this paper will be aware, this year the Lights Committee had no choice but to change the display because we have no one available to look after the lights if they malfunction.  Although we have widely advertised the fact that we need several volunteers no one has come forward.  So rather than leave the village with no lights at all we have tried to produce a display that will look good and at the same time need no attention once it has been put up.

At the heart of this year's display are the LED lights, which are very bright, very tough and above all consume no more than £1's worth of electricity if left on for 24 hours a day for five weeks.  Moreover there are no troublesome timers and RCDs to malfunction.  The average cost of each of the thirty trees is £50, which includes the erection and dismantling cost, the insurance, the cost of the tree and of the lights.  If we do the same next year and also try to fill in the gaps along the High Street the cost is likely to be about £40 per tree, because the present lights should last for quite a few years.

The Committee would like to offer a special thanks to the officers and a number of Sea Cadets from TS Enterprise who very kindly gave up the whole of Saturday afternoon to help with trimming and shaping the Christmas trees so that they fitted into the brackets.  We could hardly have managed without their help.

This coming year is going to be a crucial one for the Christmas Lights.  Unless volunteers come forward to help with the organization it is difficult to see how a display can be organized.  For the sake of the community and those for whom Christmas Lights have become a part of Shirehampton's Christmas, and who continue to support us so regularly with funding through the tins, the Committee urges anyone who can spare a few hours to get in touch by ringing 9827985 or 9828839.

What's On in Shire?

Wednesday January 2nd

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 January 3rd

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 January 4th

The LIBRARY re-opens after the New Year holiday.

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 January 5th

BRING AND BUY Methodist Church Hall, 10am-12 noon.

Sunday January 5th

At St Mary's 1-am HOLY COMMUNION to celebrate Epiphany.

COTSWOLDCHURCH SERVICE (led by the Baptist Church) Community Centre, Dursley Road 4.45-5.30pm.

Monday January 7th


Monday 5th NOVEMBER

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 January 8th

POLICE BOBBY VAN on the Green.

Wednesday January 9th

WOMEN'S FELLOWSHIP at the Public Hall

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

COMPUTER TASTER COURSES, the second Wednesday of the month, 2pm or 2.30pm at the Library. Searching the Internet. Using a search engine. Limited numbers, booking essential at the Library.

Thursday January 10th

ALPHA COURSE LUNCH 1pm - 3pm at St Mary's.

Saturday January 12th

SALES of books, DVDs and Videos at St Mary's 10am-12 noon.

Thursday January 17th

CARERS GROUP at Avonmouth Medical Centre 10am-noon

CARERS GROUP at Ridingleaze House, Lawrence Weston 2pm

Sunday January 20th

COTSWOLD CHURCH SERVICE led by St Mary's 4.45-5.30pm

Monday January 21st

LOCAL HISTORY GROUP meet at 2.20pm Library.

Tuesday January 22nd

St Andrew's Ladies Club CHRISTMAS PARTY at Clarence House.

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

Wednesday January 23rd

SHIREHAMPTON STITCHERS at the Public Hall 7.30pm

Wednesday January 23rd

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

Thursday January 24th

DIABETES UK 7.30pm at the Penpole Tenants Association Hall

Friday January 25th

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


Free. Improve your English; computers and communication; art and communication; help with your maths. Contact Gill Lloyd on 31125530.

Late Acknowledgement

We apologise to Teresa Momber of SHIREHAMPTON Studios for not printing an acknowledgement that the photograph of the Guides on page 12 of the November 'SHIRE' was taken by her.


Avonmouth site for waste and re-cycling materials is open 8am - 4.15pm Monday to Sunday until March 30th.

The Severnside Alarm

I have been amazed in recent months to find a great number of people, resident in this area, who have no idea what that particular sound is at 3pm on the 3rd day of month.

Surely this is something that everyone, irrespective of age or origin, living here abouts should know the meaning of and what action to take should it sound a time other than that set as the practice date and time.

David Hinksman

For the further benefit of our readers we reproduce the following from a recent S.C.A.F. document.

- This is to alert everyone in the area in the event of an industrial accident/incident in Avonmouth. The Siren is tested on the 3rd day of every month at 3pm - if you hear it then, all is well!!

If you hear it at any other time/any other date - go indoors and stay indoors, tune into the local radio stations - Radio Bristol 94.9 & 95.5 FM, 1546 GWR AM GWR 96.3 FM for further information.

Volunteer Urgently Needed...

A person is needed to deliver Shire newspapers in Park Road.

The papers are brought to you each month for your to deliver to each house in the road, which takes about an hour each month.

If you can help, please telephone Pauline 9826935.

Shire Library News


Songs and Rhymes for babies and toddlers.  Now every Monday 11.20 – 11.40am.  Followed by STORYTIME for the under fives.  12.00 to 12.15

Could Shirehampton Become a Tourist Centre?

Shirehampton is a wonderful place to be in 21st Century Bristol.

The things that make for attractive modern living are all here; a beautiful riverside location, a self contained thriving community with the feel of a village, easy motorway access (plus a Park & Ride terminus so no one has to take their car into the city), direct speedy routes to the city by bus or train, and a variety of architecture that gives the village a distinctive appearance.

Yes, undoubtedly, Shirehampton is a great place to live, and this is reflected in the comparatively brisk snapping up of houses when 'For Sale' signs go up.

But if Shirehampton is a highly desirable place to live, surely it has the potential to be an equally desirable place to visit and to stay in.  In other words, it has all the makings of a tourist centre, and an ideal stopping place for visiting business people.

What would it take for the dream to become reality?

Plainly, one essential would be to have places for people to stay.  Our survey this month reveals there is only one hotel in Shirehampton.  We were unable to discover any Bed & Breakfast Guest Houses at all.  Our two conference hosting facilities, are non residential.  A variety of grades of hotels is a necessity for any would be tourist centre.

Then Shirehampton needs to learn how to promote itself.  The positive values of our village have to be publicised, and shown up for the attractive totality that is this hidden gem amongst Bristol's jewels.

But as great as Shirehampton's existing assets are, if it is to be a magnet that will draw people to visit and to stay, then it has to think imaginatively about what else it could offer.  For example, how about an annual music festival, perhaps based at Kings Weston?  Or why not make better use of our riverside location?  Pill has its regatta – why doesn't Shirehampton put on a river spectacular?

The Lamplighters gives the location an atmosphere and can provide facilities to make any event like that a 'must see' date in the calendar.  (But something will have to be done about the pathetic children's play area in the Lamps Field, if we're going to bring families together for a big event – see separate article in this month's Shire).

It would be also great if the ferry could be re-instated for the summer months; when it was revived for one evening only a couple of years ago, the queues stretching back on both sides of the river were testimony to the affection the old river crossing commands.

It is a pity that no-one on the Council had the imagination to see the potential of the Jubilee allotments site for a pleasant rose garden, or something similar that could have been a welcome resource for residents, and also increase the overall attractiveness for visitors to our river bank (which is part of the Severn Way Bristol link, and as such is already visited by walkers).

We should take note that the possibilities for the riverside, will greatly increase in the future if the Severn barrage is built, for one effect will be to even out the tides, and make boating activity a lot easier.

We should also seek to get Shirehampton put on the summer open top bus route: a journey that took holiday passengers along the Portway, up Sylvan Way, then along by the golf course would provide them with great views, and if a route could be devised that would also take in Blaise Castle it would show the visitor there is more to Bristol sight seeing than the Cathedral and the Suspension Bridge.

The Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways do a lot of work to draw attention to our railway line, and keep it alive.  We should be working with them to see how we can maximize the railway's potential to help Shirehampton boom as a visitor attraction.

Does all this seem wild impossibility?  Perhaps: but if enough people give serous consideration and imagination to Shirehampton's potential as a place to visit, whether by business people or by holiday makers, then such a project may become more feasible than we ever thought it could.

It's worth remembering that before Avonmouth was made a port, there was a serious plan to make the area a holiday destination, realizing the railway's potential.  The Avonmouth Hotel (now demolished) and pleasure gardens were built to cater for up to 100,000 visitors a year.  Move the focus up river to Shirehampton, and maybe that's an idea whose time has come.

Shire Greens in Action again!

ON Saturday 27 October, the Shire Greens got together to continue working on the garden at Shirehampton Library.

Last year, the Greens began work on the overdrown garden with two morning events clearing, cutting back, bramble & ivy removal, pruning & general tidying up, along with a bulb planting morning in the late Autumn.

Since then, this work has been continued through the summer by Dave Fisher, who has done a fantastic job continuing to clear the garden, pruning and digging over the rock hard soil – with a pick axe! He has also done lots of planting, as you can see in the photo – and the garden is looking very pretty.

So, we had a much easier task with our bulb planting with the newly dug over, soft soil – many thanks to Dave! We planted about 180 mixed bulbs – Daffs & Narcissi and hope they will make a great display to be enjoyed by everyone visiting the Library Garden in the Spring.

If you would like more info about Shire Greens (Environment group), please contact Ash on 0117 982 9963.


We meet on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of every month at 7.30pm at St Andrew's Church Hall, Avonmouth.  All welcome, so come along and join our group.  Many thanks, Carol England, on behalf of St Andrew Ladies Club

Tel: 0117 982 5352

Jan 8th Beetle Drive
Jan 22nd A Fair Cop - Mike Rowhand
Feb 5th Another Fine Mess - Cedric Platt
Feb 19th Bring and Buy Charity Auction
Mar 4th Tyntesfield - Ann Bowing
Mar 18th Woodland Trust Rebecca Herringshaw
Apr 1st Quiz
Apr 15th Plants - Edith
May 6th Rhymes & Readings Bryan Amesbury
May 20th You Can Choose Your Friends Susan Marshfield
Jun 3rd Summer outing
Jun 17th Emotional Freedom Lisa Bundfuiss
Jul 1st Keep Health- Sue White
Jul 15th AGM – Bring or share supper
August Closed

A New Partnership for Your Neighbourhood - A What?

In October 2006 the Government published the Local Government White Paper 'Strong and Prosperous Communities' which talks about giving local people and local government more freedom and powers to bring about the changes they want to see.  Read more about the white paper at

In response to the calls for local people to have more say in local decision making, Bristol City Council is introducing new forms of neighbourhood governance across the city where local people can have more say in influencing decisions.

Where's mine then?

The Neighbourhood Partnership which covers Shirehampton will also cover the communities of Avonmouth, Lawrence Weston, and Sea Mills.  In fact it will cover the whole of the two electoral wards of Kingsweston and Avonmouth and will be called the 'Kingsweston and Avonmouth Neighbourhood Partnership'.

So, what will they do?

The Neighbourhood Partnership will bring together your locally elected councillors, local residents, business, community and voluntary groups with local service providers to help identify local problems and issues that need resolving and solutions to those problems.

We will of course be working closely with Shirehampton Community Action Forum, and other local structures in order to be effective in meeting the priorities of the community.

Each partnership (there will eventually be 14 across the city) will decide what the priority is in their area but there are several things that each partnership could do, such as;

• Draw up a local action plan that highlights areas or problems that need to be improved or addressed locally.

• Work with local service providers to implement the local action plan.

• Apply for funding from other sources (such as the Lottery or charitable trusts) to spend on projects in the area.

Each Neighbourhood Partnership will hold regular open forum meetings in each area and an annual community conference where local people can find out what has been achieved in the past year and have an opportunity to say what the local priorities should be for the next year.

How do I get involved?

There will be different ways to get involved, whether as a volunteer working on an issue that the partnership wants to address, attending partnership meetings and events, or talking to other local people to encourage them to get involved as well.

However, the Partnership is being launched at an event to be held on Wednesday 9th January 2008, from 6.30 to 8.30 at the Public Hall on Station Road.  Please come and give the Partnership your views on issues which affect you in your neighbourhood.

For more information you should contact Sam Parker on 0117 9039768 or via email –

Advice Service Celebrates 30 Years

The Avon (University Settlement) Community Association is a Charity which is marking the 30th anniversary of its providing advice in Shirehampton by changing the name of the Advice Service to the Shire Advice Service.

In the last 30 years it has run a service providing free advice on Welfare Benefits, debt, housing, employment, and consumer rights. "The change of name signifies what we do now" says Moyra McConnell, the Chair of the Association.

The Advice Service has achieved the recognised Community Legal Service Quality Mark. It provides 3 Drop-In sessions per week in Shirehampton itself. It also helps provide a Service for Avonmouth. "It has been reported that many do not claim the benefits they should do." says Tony Mohammad, the Advice Worker. "In the last 6 months we have helped clients to claim £137,000 of previously unclaimed benefits".

The Advisor, Tony Mohammad, gives a client advice

The Charity has a history of helping other organisations in the Shirehampton area which goes back to the beginning of the last Century. It has over the years assisted a Youth Club, Adult Education, a Lunch Club, and still sponsors the Evergreens, a club for senior citizens, which it has now done for over 80 years.

The Adviser and Committee members toast the service's 30th anniversary.
Tony Mohammad is third from left, and Association Chair Moyra McConnell is second from right.

The SHIRE ADVICE SERVICE can be found at 115 High St, Shirehampton. Tony Mohammad can be contacted on 0117-982-9399.

Church Celebrates 50 Years

ON Long Cross Road over 50 years ago, a temporary place of worship was built to serve the community of Lawrence Weston.

Amazingly 50 years later on October 14th 2007 Lawrence Weston Baptist Church celebrated 50 years of Christian witness and continues to do so.

Like many churches, Lawrence Weston Baptist has had its fair share of ups and downs.  It has gone through periods of thriving where the congregation has had a full body of people, to periods as of recently where numbers have declined, leaving an attendance of around eight.

Over these difficult times there have been and still are faithful members who have committed themselves to praying for the future of L.W.B.C.  Have their prayers been answered?  Well, judging by the fact that the congregation has doubled in size within the past year and that the church has two new key out-reaching projects happening weekly within its walls, we'd say – 'most probably'.  Don't underestimate the power of 8 faithfully praying ladies!

The 50th celebration itself was a great success.  The service saw new friends and old, including the Rev Mike Stanbridge who led the service, who many years ago had been placed at L.W.B.C. as a student minister.

Sheila Cooper our current minister gave a talk, reflecting on the past but giving great encouragement for the future.

Barbara Williams who has been at the church for over 50 years, gave some enchanting past and present stories.  She also shared sadness at close friends who are no longer with us.  She especially gave tribute to Joan Broad who died earlier this year.

Barbara Williams, member for 50 years, cuts the cake watched by former Student Minister Rev Mike Stanbridge at Lawrence Weston Baptist Church.

It was exciting to see new faces arrive for the service as well as friends who have shared in the history of L.W.B.C.

Even more exciting is to see the two new projects we mentioned earlier Sheila Cooper had a vision for a Christian after school club 'Sing for the Supper' and for starting a parent and toddler group, called Jellie Tots that would be run by Christian leaders.  Both visions are now up and running.  In fact Jellie Tots has become so popular it has a waiting list and we often have maximum attendance each Friday.  The after-school kids clubs 's4ys' (sing-for-your-supper) is growing too.  It has gone from around ten children to almost 20.  It's thrilling to see the church doing what it was intended to do – serving the community for God's sake.

As the service came to a close and happy birthday was sung, we cut the cake and moved into the dining room for a celebratory 50th feast.  And in good old Lawrence Weston style we have to say……..'It was gert lush too'.

Mare and Emily

Letters to the Editor

Thank You

Dear Editor

I would like to thank John Hardy for a most enjoyable evening held at Kingsweston House in November.  This was kindly donated by Mr Hardy in order to raise money for SCAF.  We all had an excellent meal, followed by some fine singing from the Shirehampton Choir.  Thank you, Mr Hardy.

Pam Rich

Thank You

Dear Editor

I would just like to say a big thank you to my neighbours of St Bernard's Road for your kind help and support when I had a bad fall on Wednesday 14th November.  Also to the paramedics and staff at the BRI hospital for your superb professionalism, where would we be without you.

Kind regards

Mrs Irene Peters

Thank You

Ann and Tubs would like to wish all customers and friends a good Christmas and all best wishes for 2008.  They would also like to say a big thank you for the love and support in a difficult year.

Thank you and God Bless you all.

(W.B. Butchers Ltd)
Thank you for your generous donation (Ed)

Thank You

Dear Editor

I would like to thank everyone who took part in the collection for the Poppy Appeal – the shops and pubs, golf clubs and also Simon and Alex, the total sum collected in Shire was £2,789.09 so thank everyone for your support.

Phil Read
NVA & Legion

Looking For Old Friend

Does anyone know the whereabouts of a man by the name of Brian Derrick who lived at the top of Burnham Rd and Springfield Ave. Brian had an older sister named Nancy and a brother named Cyril. Any information will be appreciated. Contact


John Rogers, USA

Can You Help?

Last month we published a photograph of a local football team and with it a report from Bernard Pepworth, whose late brother Leonard was one of the players.  Bernard asked for help with the names of the rest of the players shown and he many be contacted at 15 Harford Close, Coombe Dingle, Tel: 9685155 or by email:

Newman's the Butchers

Dear Editor,

I look forward to reading any replies to Margaret O'Connor's quest for information on the Newman family who owned the Butcher shop in Shirehampton.

I happened to work for Mr. Jack Newman the father of John and Trevor in their shop on Bradley Crescent prior to their move to the High Street. It was 1943 and I was 13 years of age.

I became the Butcher Boy delivering the wartime meagre joints of meat and strings of sausages on an old bike to Mr. Newman's customers in Shire.  I worked after school and on Saturdays in the shop being taught how to de-bone the meat and make the sausages for the special customers.

John and Trevor had been called up for the service at that time; John served in the navy. I'mnot sure what branch Trevor served. Mr. Newman (Jack) was in the Home Guard along with many of the other local villagers.

The other person who worked in the shop was a Butcher by the name of Frank, a very good Butcher who worked for the Newman's many years to include working in the shop on the High Street with the brothers after they were released from the armed service.

I do not have much background on the family as I left the shop in 1945 when I left school. Mr. Newman treated me very well as a young lad, more like a grandfather, he was a gentleman and a wonderful person to work for.

John Rogers USA.

Shire Christmas Lights

If the people of Shirehampton want Christmas lights next year some volunteers must step forward.  It only involves approx. 3 days work at the end of Nov to help put them up and 2 days in Jan to take them down.  The ladder work is done by Lee & Ashley who do a marvelous job and are very familiar with all the fixtures.  The current two working voluntary members are 80 & 72 years of age and are no longer able to do all the physical work.

The lights belong to Shirehampton paid for by the generosity of the people of Shirehampton so please come forward with some help or the lights will not go up next Christmas.

Mrs P Rich
(Christmas Lights committee member)

Tel: 9823389 or come to the AGM


On November 29th I had a fall in King Weston Road, in which I lost my silver bracelet given to me by my late husband.

It's very precious to me and I would be over the moon if I was lucky enough to get it back.  If anyone found it would they please get in contact with Jeff Hawkins Newsagents, Tel: 9822510 and leave your name and address.

Thank you

Jean Nurse

Mrs. 'Tim' Holt

Many thanks for the support from family, friends and neighbours over the sad loss of Mrs Tim Holt who passed away on 9th November.

The family would like to thank Sam and staff at Mimosa Health Care Kingsmead Lodge, West Town Road, Shirehampton for all the support and care they have given Mum over the past 2 ½ years.

Robert, Sue, Brian and Pam

Thank you for your kind donation (Ed)

Shire Past

We have been given 2 piles of 'Shire' and some editions are 20 years old.  It seems a pity just to send them for salvage, so if there is any reader who is collecting the paper and has a few gaps we may just be able to fill them.  After all, who knows whether in the years to come they might even become collectables.  If you are interested please leave a message in the library.

Shops that Made Shirehampton

I have lived in Shirehampton since 1964, and have seen many changes.  Talking with the ladies at the Methodist Bright House, many of whom have lived here a lot longer I discovered what a variety of shops we once had.  Below are our memories.

In the High Street was Coles papershop, Salmon and Hutchins greengrocers, Fresh Fish, Butchers, Newmans and Clarks (now Tubbs).  There was also a Butchers next to Paulines Hairdressers (once Dolic's) it also had a slaughterhouse!! The cattle were driven up Lower High Street.  A row of cottages and Elizabethen Manor House (where Alldays and shops were).  Adams Chemist, a Temperence Hotel!! Sports shop and Mens Outfitters (2), Waits Hardware now Estate Agents, arcade of little shops, Sandfords Cycle and Toys, Rontos Dress Shop, the Co-Op was 3 separate shops, consisting of Butchers, Grocery and General Store, 2 Dry Cleaners (Brooks and Bolloms), Bank and Lennards Shoe shop.

Opposite the Methodist Church was Dawes Dentist and set back the Cobblers.  Station Road had the Savoy Cinema (with furniture shop next door), Marjorie Knight Dress shop, Brewers Grocery, The Grotto Barbers and Sweets.  A Fine China shop was later Williams chemist, now an office and on the corner Gards Sweets and Tobacco and Birds Cycles.  Bradley Crescent had a Butchers at the top (we were alright for meat)! Fish and Chips, Drapers, Hairdressers and a Corner shop (corner of Bradley Crescent/Bradley Avenue).  There was also a grocers 'Llewellyns' in Priory Road.  Pembroke Road gave us 'Rays' corner shop (sweets, toys etc), Grocers, SWEB (later moved to the High Street), Hills Radio and Electrical, Haywards Photographers and another Hairdressers.

Woolworths and the Post Office had only been open a few weeks when I moved here, previously the Post Office had been in the High Street (where Flower World is now), where Woolworths and the shops are was a row of Georgian houses, a Victorian house stood where Hampton Corner flats are now.

Some shops we should like in Shirehampton are; Ironmongers, Iceland, Drapers/Wools, a decent shoe shop, an arcade of little shops (oh how we love our little shops).  I'm sure other people have many more memories and wishes for Shirehampton, which are different from ours.

Hazel Thorne

Mike Beechgood

Jen, Sue and Steve would like to thank all our family, friends and neighbours for all the flowers, cards and messages of sympathy given to us in our sad loss of Mike.  Also thanks to everyone who attended the funeral at Canford.  It was nice to see old and new faces there.  Our special thanks goes out to Canon Christine for her wonderful service and support she has given our family.

Quiz Night Success

The Cotswold Community Centre was full and extra chairs had to be brought when it held its first Quiz Night in October.  Posing the questions was Bobbie Perkins, keeping everyone on their toes as their knowledge was tested to the innermost recesses of their minds on subjects ranging from Adam's third son to songs from 'The Sound of Music'.

Bobbie Perkins keeps the quiz teams guessing with some tricky questions.

SCYP ...

... what is SCYP you ask! SCYP is the Shirehampton Churches Youth Project.  Methodist and Baptist churches along with St Mary's, our Anglican Parish Church have been working together for about 5 years now in running this project.  The project is totally financed by the churches themselves, for the benefit of the young people within our village.  We had originally hoped that we would be able to have a Youth cafι, but this has unfortunately not been possible. However, we have had youth workers for several years working within our churches, the local primary schools and Portway School running various clubs and groups.  This year the project has taken on two new people to work in the Project.

Firstly, as you will have already read in a previous 'SHIRE', Lucie Broad has become the youth worker working with our younger children.  We have taken into the project the long running @sbc , the Parent & Toddler group which meets at the Baptist Church Hall on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and also the toddler group at St Mary's, (Totstop@stm)and the group from the Roman Catholic Church, and as you will already have seen, Lucie is leading this.  She is also in the process of setting up a Lunch-time Club at Avon Primary and we hope she will also be running an after- school club later next year.

SCYP's new youth workers, David Eggleston and Lucie Broad (2nd and 3rd from right) cut the celebratory cake with some youthful, enthusiastic assistance after their welcome at St. Mary's.

We have also appointed David Eggleston a SWYM (South West Youth Ministries) worker to come and work in the project.  David is originally from Exmouth and is an experienced youth worker.  He has previously spent two and half years working at the Christian Mountain Outdoor Pursuits Centre in North Wales, where many young people from all over the country, of all backgrounds and abilities have gone to spend a week doing outdoor pursuits.  We are very pleased to have him join our project.  He is working mostly with the 11-16 age group. David will be involved with Mentoring students at Portway School, but his main task is to run two groups.  Firstly, GLUE. which meets on Wednesdays between 7-9pm at the Methodist Church hall.  This group is for young people who want to learn more about what being a Christian is all about … it is an evening of fun and games with a Christian theme.  Secondly, RELISH; this is a drop– in youth club at Shirehampton Baptist Church Hall which meets on Fridays between 7.30-9.30pm, where young people can come and meet in secure surroundings and play games including pool, air hockey, indoor football and Playstation.  If you think that you would like to join either of these groups then just come along; David and his helpers would be very pleased to see you.  Camps and other activities are also on offer at various times of year, for those who come to these groups… so what are you waiting for!!!!

David, like most of our previous youth workers, is also studying for a formal qualification in Youth Work, so he is combining his work within our community with his degree course.

Both Lucie and David will be taking assemblies in the primary schools along with Rev Andy Schuman, Rev David Alderman and Gill Sawyer.  They also usually attend the Kids' Klub at St Mary's on a Sunday morning from 8.30am – 9.30am and David normally attends the Baptist Church Sunday Club every week.

Lucie and David have been with us since September and October respectively, and on Sunday 25 November the churches formally signed contracts with David and we all joined in welcoming Lucie & David to the project and wished them well in their work with us after a service of Holy Communion with Informal Worship at St Mary's ... as you can see from the picture.

Rachel Collard For SCYP

Springfield Avenue Park

Staff and pupils at Shirehampton Primary school are highlighting the appalling state of the park on Springfield Avenue.  Despite a campaign to improve it the state of the ground has got so bad that pupils are no longer able to play football matches on it.

Adam Knight, a teacher at the school said that in the past he had got his pupils to search for broken glass across the pitch before they were allowed to play.  He has not allowed them to play at all this year believing the risk of injury to be too high.

"This park is ideally situated next to the school and should be something we use all the time.  The play equipment is in a poor state and the fence is in need of repair.  If only there was a bit of investment put in this park and play area could be of huge benefit to the school and wider community.

Paul Harrod, the Liberal Democrat Prospective MP for Bristol North West is backing this campaign.

"I have been highlighting the lack of play areas across North Bristol.  For example in areas such as Brentry and Sea Mills.

"I contacted the Council about Springfield Park over the summer and while they have put in a new bin and cut the grass more regularly it is still not fit for school games.  We also know that residents on Springfield Avenue are concerned about anti-social behaviour taking place at night.  If the fence was properly repaired and the park closed at night that might make a difference.  It is absurd that it is barely used during the day but then mis-used at night!"

"Shirehampton Primary school, from the headteacher to individual parents, have lobbied for improvements to this park.  It is such a waste to leave it in an unfit state, especially when the school is desperate to use it.  The school is lucky to have a teacher such as Adam Knight who is not prepared to take no for an answer."

The Severn Beach Line

Friends of the Severn Beach Railway (FOSBR) are stepping up their campaign to improve services on the line.

They point out that in the last year the number of fare-paying passengers has increased by 14% but the train cancellations have also increased. Bristol City Council agreed to fund a service every 40 minutes for all stations between Temple Meads and Avonmouth starting in December 2007.

The decision was supported by all political parties but the contract has now yet been signed. The FOSBR stress the need to keep up pressure on the Council to ensure that from May 2008 is signed. Anyone in Shirehampton who wants to see our local train service maintained and improved may well wish toi get in touch with thewir local councillor, or Bristol City Council ( or First Great Western ( urging that the agreement is implemented in good time for the improved services to start as planned.

Any increase in the frequency and reliability of our local train service would help to reduce congestion and pollution on the roads and make the daily journey to work a far less stressful experience for more people in our area.

Bargains at the Cotswold!

YOU don't have to go to the Sales to get some after-Christmas bargains.

Go instead to the Cotswold Community Centre in Dursley Road on Saturday 26th January at 10.30 am to pick up all kinds of things at great prices as the CCA holds its January Table-top Sale.

Or if you've got some things to sell yourself (how about that Christmas present you didn't really want?), then book a table to turn your stuff into cash. Tables are only £5 (payable in advance) and can be booked by phoning 9827412.

AGE Concern - Bristol

Ever thought about volunteering?

Age Concern Bristol works to enable all older people in Bristol to make the most of their lives. Volunteers are the lifeblood of the organisation, and without them it would not be possible to provide our services to older people in the community.

We need you!

Our Link -Up Service provides isolated older people with a weekly visit from a volunteer. The volunteer provides companionship and reassurance to help recover confidence and explore new social activities to improve quality of life.

We are particularly looking for new volunteers in Shirehampton, so if you can spare a couple of hours a week to visit an older person in your community we would love to hear from you.

Volunteering can be a really good way to do something you are good at, or to try something different, learn new skills, and get useful experience – especially if you are considering a career change or are approaching retirement. Age Concern Bristol Link - Up Volunteers recently commented:

"For older people living on their own it is so important to have a regular visit, even if it is just to chat to share some experiences and memories"

"I feel good knowing that I'm helping someone who might go for weeks or even months without any company. The smile I receive when I arrive makes giving up a few hours of my time worthwhile. It's wonderful to feel that I'm giving something back".

Age Concern Bristol volunteers come from all walks of life and range in age from their early twenties to their late eighties. All our volunteers receive training and support, and we cover their travel expenses.

Would you like to make a difference to the lives of older people?

Age Concern Bristol is an independent local charity that relies heavily on the goodwill and support of local people. We are keen to hear from people who would like to volunteer with any of our services. For more information about volunteering for Age Concern Bristol please contact 0117 9297537 or visit our website:

St Mary's News

Hi Folks!

A Happy New Year to you all! May this be a peaceful and prosperous time for all of us during the next 12 months.  Hopefully St Mary's will not suffer the misfortunes which hit hard in 2007.  The stolen lead from our roof is to be replaced with glass reinforced plastic, as to replace it with lead is inviting the thieves to make a return visit.  Also in this New Year we hope to rectify the damage to our internal decorations caused by the ingress of rainwater when the lead was stolen.  It is still coming in despite attempts to make temporary repairs by the builders, so it will be necessary to make the whole building water-tight before the redecoration can take place.

On Tuesday, 27th November 2007, Canon Christine, Lay-Minister Gill and the Churchwardens went to St George's Chapel, Windsor to receive the award for being one of the 12 finalists in the competition held by the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group for the Church with the most innovative ways of fund raising.  We received a cheque for £100 and 100 calendars to sell.  St Mary's received a rapturous round of applause at the ceremony as we had reached the finals for the second year running.  Our church once again appears in the calendar and you can obtain one for the sum of £2.  If you would like one put your name on the list at the back of the church before they are all gone!

Our Festive Food Fayre on 1st December raised over £2,000 which is truly wonderful as the weather on that day was absolutely appalling.  Thanks to all of you who braved the elements to come and support us.  There are still a number of jars of jam and chutneys available for sale at the back of the church if you pop in for a coffee during the week!

Our Advent Carol Service the next day was extremely well attended and the 'Tree of Light' holding the memorial cards bearing the names of loved ones was illuminated at the beginning of the Service.

St Mary's Annual Gift Day was on Saturday 8th December when Canon Christine was sat in the Lady Chapel to receive any monetary gifts which people may have to offer.

Any donations received are to be earmarked towards the cost of our roof repairs as mentioned earlier.  Once again this was a dismal wet day, but I am pleased to tell you that the magnificent sum of £11,631 was raised for this purpose.  May I take this opportunity to thank you all for your generosity as we are at last once again beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel.

I am sure many parents will have noticed – and their children will have definitely noticed – we have some new toys in the Childrens' Corner.  There is a new garage, ark, furniture for the dolls house and a super rocking horse.  I'd love to have a go on it but you would have to give me a slap to get me off of it!! There is also a lovely new toy cooker with all the utensils and an oven with a removable shelf.

I had to fight my grandchildren off to have a play on it.  It was a bit like the Krypton Factor watching my son Andrew sitting on the Choir Vestry floor with the plans of how to assemble them all!!

Canon Christine and Lay Minister Gill were delighted to have the opportunity to conduct a Christmas Service at Shirehampton Primary School Autistic Unit and to see the wonderful job the staff are doing with the children and there was absolutely no doubt the children enjoyed their visit too!

On Saturday 12th January we shall be holding our Annual Book Fayre which also includes DVDs and tapes etc.  So don't forget any unwanted items for Christmas presents suitable for this event will be gratefully received and you can be assured that all money raised will be put to good use!

The next Lunch & Beetle Drive is to be held at 1pm on Tuesday, 15th January.  Please sign the list at the back of the church if you intend coming.  There is no charge, but there will be a voluntary retiring collection if you wish to make a donation.  My wife never attends because she is terrified of spiders and beetles and I think she believes you have to herd a load of beetles down the church aisle as though you driving them to market!

Friday 18th January is 'Burns Night!' – No we are not going to visit Frenchay Hospital Burns Unit or burn the church down but celebrate the famous Scotsman – Robbie Burns.  People with Scottish blood in their veins will be particularly welcome as we are having an evening meal which includes 'Haggis'.  Festivities commence at 7pm and tickets for this event will cost £6.  Gentlemen wearing kilts are requested not to perform any twirls!!! If you see a Haggis running around on the riverbank shoot it and give it to Gill Sawyer – she will skin it and stuff it!!

Before my brain forgets – I must tell you that we have received the gift of a beautiful red stole from Mary Howell in memory of her late son Peter.  This will be worn by Canon Christine at services when red is the seasonal colour during the church year.  It was dedicated to Peter's memory on Sunday 4th November.  Thank you Mary for your kindness!

On the last Sunday in November we were delighted to welcome Lucie Broad and David Egglestone as the new leaders of the Youth Project in Shirehampton.  It was also the occasion when David signed his training agreement.

A ceremony to mark this occasion was held after our 6pm Holy Communion with Healing Service in the presence of our dear friends from the Baptist and Methodist Churches.  We wish them both well in what must be a daunting task for them.

Finally, calling all former members of Class 1, Shirehampton Junior School – 1950/51.  Do you remember a little dark haired girl called Jasmine Rogers?  Well, I had the good fortune to speak to her on the telephone recently – having not seen or spoken to her for nearly 50 years! She is well and lives in a little village called Chaddesley Corbett in Worcestershire.  Jasmine is married to a Free Church Minister and very much involved in church work.

She is quite often in touch with another Class 1 classmate – remembered by us as Diane Tovey.  Diane sends Jasmine a copy of 'Shire' so she is still aware of her links with Shirehampton.  I hope I shall have the opportunity to see both Diane and Jasmine sometime in 2008 when Jasmine makes one of her visits back to this part of the West Country.  Jasmine said she would very much like to see how St Mary's has changed since she was a child! I promised to pass on her good wishes to any of our former classmates still living in Shire!

Well, that's it again for another month.

Bye for now – CME

Shirehampton Group Practice

Advice about the 'flu or winter blues - influenza (or the 'flu) is caused by an influenza virus.  Each winter a different strain of influenza virus causes an outbreak of 'flu.  As most of you know, at-risk groups and patients over the age of 65 are invited to have a 'flu vaccination which gives them some protection against contracting the 'flu.

Symptoms of the 'flu include a high temperature, sweats, muscle aches, dry cough, sore throats, sneezing and headaches.  Some people may feel sick.  Even in people who are fit, the 'flu usually makes them feel ill enough to take to their bed.

Symptoms usually peak in 1-2 days and gradually ease off over several days to a week.  An irritating cough may persist for a week after this.

As the 'flu is caused by a virus, antibiotics are ineffective against this problem.  Treatment includes Paracetamol and Ibuprofen to lower the temperature and reduce aches and pains and plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.  Usually most people fight off the 'flu themselves.  Their own body's resistance combats the virus and makes a full recovery.  However occasionally people get a secondary infection and may develop for instance a chest infection following a bout of 'flu.

People generally start coughing up thick yellow or green sputum and then need to go and visit their GP for examination and advice as to whether antibiotics would be useful in this situation.

Other useful advice during the Winter months is to:

1. Keep warm – perhaps even aim to overdress as it's useful to stay warm, remembering about 10% of your body heat is lost through your head.  Hats are important as well as gloves.  It is easier to go out overdressed and remove layers rather than the other way.

2. Elderly people would be well advised not to go out early in the morning, particularly before 10.00 am when it is cold and icy.  A fall could easily result in a fracture, either wrist or hip and these injuries take some time to recover from with increasing age.

The move to the new Health Centre took place on December 17th .

It may well take a while for all the systems in the new Health Centre to operate smoothly.  During this time I hope you will bear with us and help us iron out any problems.

A reader who lives in Station Road sent us this poem and would like to dedicate it to any folk who are bored or too busy to worry about what settles around them.


Dust if you must, but wouldn't it be better
To paint a picture or write a letter
Bake a cake or sow a seed
Ponder the difference twixt want and need
Dust if you must, but the world's out there
The sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair
A flurry of snow, a shower of rain
This day will not come round again

Dust if you must, but there's so little time
With rivers to swim and mountains to climb
Music to hear and books to read
Friends to cherish, a life to lead
Dust if you must, but bear in mind
Old age will come and it is not kind
And when you go, as go you must
You yourself will make more dust.

Author Unknown

Portway Community School Fund Raisers

On Friday June 29th Portway Community School joined thousands of schools across the country by taking part in Wallace & Gromit's Wrong Trousers Day to raise money to help improve the quality of life of sick children in hospitals and hospices throughout the UK.  All the events this year were organized by the current Year 11 Health and Social Care group whose target was to raise £2000.  It was an ambitious target but one which their teacher Gabrielle Murtagh believed they could achieve.

The girls who organised the day's events were: Jessica Bennetts, Kiri Coleman, Charli Cummings, Laura Davies, Kimberley Dunster, Ceri English, Shanel Farrell Paige Goad, Millie Hembrough, Samantha Jenkins, Jade Lovelace, Beth Lydiard, Lucy Phillips, Ellis Price, Abby Rogers, Tina Stockham, Melissa Turner, Roseanna Weekes and Carla Varlow.  These girls went bag packing in Morrisons during the morning and then went back to the school at lunchtime to set up the tombola and cake stall that they had organized.  At the end of the day many of the students including the girls themselves took part in a three legged fancy dress race.  The rest of the school paid £1 for the pleasure of dressing up to support the girls.  Other students notable in their efforts on day were Reece Beeton, Sam Cole, Tom Davis, Drue Farrel, Luke Gormely, Kieran Matthews and Lewis Noel from Year 8.  Shayrika Farrel, Sophie Fordham, Kirstie Hunter, Scott Jenkins, Josh Krupa, Rebecca Parton and Sophie Wheeler from Year 9.  Michael Hook, Henry Nelson Case, Clare Vining, Rebecca White and James Worgan from Year 10.

To celebrate the great achievement of these students, Laura Demson from the Wrong Trousers Foundation came to the school last week with Wallace and Gromit to present an individual certificate to each student that took part.  She was amazed at the staggering amount of money that the girls had collected and commented on Mrs Murtagh's unwavering belief that the girls would reach their target.  The assembly for Year 7, Year 11 and the prize winners was great fun.  Present at the assembly were the school's Senior Leadership Team, representatives from the local community and HBG who were so impressed with the girls they sponsored them for £300 which enabled them to reach their target.

But it doesn't stop there.  On Saturday December 1st, World Aids Day, Year 10 Health and Social Care students; Stacey Ford, Ellie Tompkins, Jessica Townsend, Katie Andrews, Zoe Bailey, Jade Harvey, Kelly Mitchell, Barbara Varlow, Gemma Horder, Georgia Pople, Daisy Powell, Katrina Neate, Nicole James, Lacey Jenkins and Jessica Johnston spent the day bag packing at Marks & Spencer and raised over £1,000 for the Terrence Higgins Trust, the UK's leading HIV and AIDS charity.  Mrs Murtagh said that throughout the day customers commented on how impressed they were with the girls.  How could you not be impressed by such hard working students who are so keen to make a contribution to their community?