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Back to March 2008 SHIRE April 2008 Fowards to May 2008 SHIRE
News Index

Spring has sprung at Lawrence Weston Community Farm

What’s on in April

Report from PC Gareth Davies


Somewhere in Shire

More names of Shire: Portway

Penpole Point - Then and Now

City Cabinet decision on Oasis Academy Brightstowe

Oasis Academy

St. Mary's News

Letters to the Editor

Spring has sprung at Lawrence Weston Community Farm

Spring has sprung at Lawrence Weston Community Farm as the first of two lambs are born!  The Herdwick/Wiltshire Horn cross lambs were born on the 2nd March in the evening.  Farm Manager Alex Willis said ‘Three other sheep are expecting very soon so we may have another six lambs!  It’s wonderful to welcome new life to the farm.’ Both lambs are doing very well and settling into life at the farm.

Lawrence Weston Community Farm, Saltmarsh Drive, Lawrence Weston, Bristol, BS11 0NJ Tel: 0117 9381128

A Sad Farewell to ‘Shire’ Pool

... still missed by many BUT not all was lost...

Michael Squire of Michael J Squire Landscaping found the timber from the site waiting to be taken away to landfill and saved it.  He has donated a piece of furniture made from that timber to the library, to be used as a stool or small table, so a little piece of Shirehampton history lives on.  The rest of the timber will be made into garden furniture in the planned expansion of his landscaping business.

Volunteers Needed

The Dragon Club at Beachley Walk require volunteers to help with a club for adults with learning difficulties.  Help is needed with art, social and sports activities, between 7-9pm Monday nights

For further information contact the Club Leader, Anita Tovey on 0117 9030470 between 9am – 4pm weekdays

What’s on in April

Tuesday April 1st

THE BOBBY VAN on the Green.

SHIREHAMPTON CRAFT GROUP 2pm - 3.30pm at Avonside District Guide HQ St Mary’s Road. For informatiopn tel: 983192.

TOTSTOP for under 5s at Shirehampton Baptist Church 9-11am weekly

ST ANDREW’S LADIES CLUB meets at 7.30pm at St Andrew’s Church Hall, Avonmouth for a QUIZ.

Wednesday April 2nd

BRIGHT HOUR (Women’s Fellowship) Baptist Church 2.30pm

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.

COTSWOLD BOOK CLUB, Bill Bryson Night. For details ring 9047319.

Thursday April 3rd

TOWNSWOMEN’S GUILD 2-4 pm Methodist Church Hall

KICK BOXING weekly the Public Hall 5.15pm -7.15pm

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

SLIMMING WORLD weekly 5.30pm and 7 pm at Jim O’Neill House

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

KYOTO SHOTOKAN KARATE CLUB train at Avonmouth RFC weekly 6.30 - 8.30 pm

BRISTOL SHIPLOVERS’ SOCIETY, 7.15pm at Holy Trinity Church, Hotwells Road, Bristol. Talk: ‘Gunboats of the Russian War 1854-1856.’

A.U.S. Advice Sessions every Wednesday and Thursday 9.30 – 11am at 115 High Street

Friday April 4th

FRIDAY FUN weekly for Parents, Carers, and pre-school children 9.30 am – 11 am at the Beachley Walk Centre

EVERGREENS weekly at the Public Hall 2 – 3 pm

BINGO weekly at the Public Hall 6.30 – 8.30 pm

PILLOW LACE GROUP every Friday 7 – 9 pm at the Public Hall

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

KEEP FIT weekly at the Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road 10.30 am – 11.30 am

END OF TERM 4 for all local schools.

Saturday April 5th

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

Sunday April 6th

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

Monday April 7th

TOTSTOP for under 5s at St Mary’s weekly 1.15-2.45pm

3 of US BINGO weekly at St Andrew’s Church Hall. Avonmouth 1.15 - 2.45pm

KEEP FIT weekly at the Avonmouth Community Centre 7.30-8.30pm

BASIC LITERARY SKILLS weekly at Lawrence Weston - tel 0117 913 8824 for details

KYOTO SHOTOKAN KARATE CLUB trains at St Bernard’s School weekly 6.30 – 8.30pm

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.

Until April 11th Friday - KIDS CLUB at Shirehampton Primary School 9.30am - 11am for children 5-8 years old.

Tuesday April 8th

EVERGREENS Day Trip to Taunton.

Wednesday April 9th

BEAT SURGERY 10am-11am Alternating locations - Stowe House, Methodist Church Hall or Penpole Residents Association.

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

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

Wednesday April 16th

SHIREHAMPTON STITCHERS at the Public Hall 7.30pm

Tuesday April 15th

ST ANDREW’S LADIES CLUB meets at 7.30pm at St Andrew’s Church Hall. Talk on ‘Plants.’

Thursday April 17th

CARERS GROUP at Avonmouth Medical Centre 10am-noon

CARERS GROUP at Ridingleaze House, Lawrence Weston 2pm

BRISTOL SHIPLOVERS’ SOCIETY 7.15pm at Holy Trinity Church, Hotwells Road, Bristol. Talk: ‘Solving the Enigma’ by Prof Robert Churchhouse.

Sunday April 20th

COTSWOLD SERVICE at Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road 4.45-5.10pm led by St. Mary’s Church

Monday April 21st

Beginning of TERM 5 for all local schools.

Thursday April 24th

DIABETES UK Penpole Tenants Association Hall -7.30 pm

Friday April 25th

SEQUENCE DANCE Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road 7.30 pm – 10 pm

Advance Notice

BRISTOL SHIPLOVERS SOCIETY - Talk on ‘spirit of Leliana’ 1st May 7.15pm.

Forthcoming Event

36th LOCAL ART EXHIBITION at the Public Hall, Saturday May 24th - Monday May 29th.

Come and see the local artistic talent. Every year this exhibition is different.

Additional Local Activities

PLAYGROUP at the Public Hall every week 9.15-11 .45am Monday to Friday; 12.30 - 2.45pm Monday to Wednesday only

KIDS KLUB at St Mary’s 8.30am most Sunday mornings. Breakfast and a short service. For information Tel: 907 7026

SEA CADETS Mondays and Thursdays each week 12-18 years old; Juniors (10 ? 12 years old) Thursday 6.45 ? 8.45pm at T S Enterprise, Station Road

CITY OF BRISTOL BASIC SKILL CLASSES: FREE. Improve your English; Computers and Communication; Art and Communication; Help with your Maths. Ring 3125427 or 3125428.

BUMP & RHYME for babies and toddlers every Monday 11.20-11.40 am, followed by Story Time 12 noon – 12.15pm

Shirehampton Methodist Church

Advance Notice

Saturday May 3rd, 10am - noon, MAY FAYRE

Refreshments, Raffles, Tombola, Gifts

Hope to see you there - Hazel

NSC ABC proudly present an evening of Amateur Boxing

on Thursday 10th April

Doors open 7pm, First Bell 8pm

For tickets ring 0117 9829093 or


Adults £10 Juniors £5

City & Port of Bristol Bowling Club

Situated at the PBA Club, Nibley Road


Friendship - Gentle Exercise

Competition - Holidays

Inter Club League

Coaching available from a qualified coach

Friendly matches in the Bristol area

Season starts at the end of April

For more information please ring 9820446 / 9685447 / 9825977

Report from PC Gareth Davies


There has been a considerable amount of alcohol related disorder in the village of Shirehampton.  Operation Brave is currently being run, cutting down on anti-social behaviour in the village and seizing alcohol from underage teens caught with alcohol, or drinking the alcohol.

The message is very clear, don’t think you can get away with carrying alcohol for someone else; that person (albeit over the legal age for purchasing alcohol), will have the alcohol seized and poured away in front of them and will get fined £80 for supplying alcohol to a minor, and the person who carries the alcohol will also be reported.

I am getting parents phoning the station asking for the alcohol back...too late...been poured away.  I have no sympathy with that parent of the teenager who has had the alcohol seized by the police or PSCO – who phones asking for the alcohol back.  Once the alcohol has been seized, that person (he or she) who has been caught by the local police or PSCO has already committed the offence – carrying the alcohol, drinking the alcohol...don’t bother phoning me.  The message to the parents is clear, to take ownership and support the police and government in their message to cut down on alcohol related incidents, binge drinking, under age drinking, which leads to anti-social behaviour and assaults.

Car Thefts:

There are many residents’ houses being attacked and personal items being stolen; the times are all scattered and there are no patterns set.

There are suspects who are being looked at; all intelligence/evidence is being collated and where there’s enough, we will strike.  All suspects’ doors will be gone through, whatever time of the day or night.  Damage to the property on entry will be paid for by the suspects.  If council owned, they will also be considered for Acceptable Behaviour Contracts, as the suspects would have breeched their contracts if the evidence can prove they have committed the crime.  If the suspect refuses to accept the ABC, the suspect will automatically be considered for an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) drawn up against them; they have been warned.

Crime Prevention:

Please consider moving all electrical items out of sight, if they are not moved they will be stolen. Park vehicles under street lighting with alarm systems.  Take all satellite navigation systems out, when used for the day, they are the biggest concern in the current vehicle thefts in Shirehampton.

Purses and shopping seem to be a hit as well, lock them away.  The message is clear, don’t advertise your property, it will be stolen – don’t take the chance, if you do, you will lose it!

Lead Thefts are still occurring in Shirehampton; this is the main theft being investigated at present.  Lead is being stolen from porches, outhouses, churches, public halls, libraries and private/council dwellings, basically everywhere where the roof meets the main building of the house.

It is not only theft when the lead is stolen that’s a worry, it’s the damage caused to the building after the lead has been stolen, which hasn’t been identified by the victim as stolen for a while.  Lead has gone up in value due to the current demand in China; the weight of lead handed into the local scrap merchant depends on the amount of money handed over to the thief.

I am in contact with local scrap merchants in Avonmouth and they assure me that they are working with me.  I have carried out spot checks on their yard and will shortly be running operations on all suspects named and checking through CCTVs of all the areas attacked over the last six months.

Crime prevention advice I can offer the residents is to, “if safe”, nail all lead down, as sources state it is easy to pull off, and you could lose your lead in seconds.  The residents could also think about painting their lead with anti-vandal paint, they buy the paint at DO IT ALL, FOCUS and B&Q; ask the assistants about the specialised paint.  It’s very messy to put on so wear dirty clothes when painting.  This will have the desired effect and deter the offenders away from the property.  It’s also a way of catching the thief, as, when and if they steal the lead and take it to the scrap yards with this mess on, the scrap yards have been informed to turn them away and contact the police about the offenders.  Chain your wheelie bins (if possible) as this is the most effective way of transporting the lead to the scrap metal merchants. – PC Gareth Davies


Hammering huge chunks out of a wall of a church seems like the worst sort of vandalism.  But actually, it is the church members themselves who have been doing just that to Shirehampton Baptist Church.  It is all part of the ambitious plans to do a major reconstruction and adaptation of these premises in order to make them suitable for modern needs, as reported in SHIRE’s November 2007 issue.

Peter Mann and Dave Roke at work on the new hatch after their breakthrough

Church member Janet Banks lends a hand in SBC's building project

A significant moment in the process came recently when project leader Peter Mann with his colleagues broke through the wall of the sanctuary from the new kitchen they have been patiently building in what was formerly unused alley space.  The hole will become a serving hatch.

Retired builder Peter estimates that after a well-earned summer break the new kitchen will be equipped and brought into service sometime in the autumn, and that Phase 1 of the project, comprising kitchen, new toilets, storeroom and boiler room, will be finished in November.  This will be followed by Phase 2, which will create a new reception area, achieving the goal of moving the church main entrance from Pembroke Avenue to Station Road.  Phase 3 will then tackle the modernization of the worship sanctuary itself.

So far, Peter says, he has rarely lacked helpers, both men and women, on any day.  Things are taking shape in a very encouraging way, and church’s prayer is that soon there will be a new minister to lead the church from its renewed building to serve the people of Shirehampton.

Shirehampton Christmas Association

The 8th Annual General Meeting was held in the George Inn by kind permission of landlord on March 10th.  The Chairman Michael Morgan, reported that nearly all the comments made about the display this year were favourable and justified the decision we took to concentrate solely on LED displays that could be left on all the time with a very low energy consumption.  Earlier this year we had experimented with solar powered lights but these proved to be both expensive and not very effective. It was unfortunate that last year there were a number of gaps in the spacing of the trees and it will be a priority for us this year to fill these blank spots wherever we can.  We also agreed on the importance of making sure that the key site of the Co-op which last year for unavoidable reasons had to be left out, is fully incorporated in the display in future.  The Treasurer, Cedric Rich, provided the Balance Sheet for the past year.  Total receipts were: various donations - £914.50 :- Tin Collections, £1177.60 a total of £2091.10.  The balance carried forward from the previous year was £843.26.  Total expenses were:- erection and dismantling of lights, £627.83, insurance £341.25, purchase of Christmas trees £262.50, purchase of new lights £1059.51, gratuities £17.20, sundries £60, total of £2368.29, leaving a balance for the year of £566.07.  Since the accounts were made up we have received a generous donation of £250 from the Craft Association for which we are most grateful and this will appear in the next year’s accounts.  We thank Thelma Tillet for her valuable help with the accounts.

Dave and Leigh Lloyd, Tony Garland and William Duguid were elected to the Committee and we look forward to the energy and enthusiasm they will bring with them.

Shirehampton Model Railway Club

Hi and welcome to this months club update first of all our open day on 23rd of February was a great success and we would like to thank all the people who attended on the day.  I would like to thank all of you for all you donations and hope you all enjoyed the day as much as we did.

The next big event we are all looking forward to is Sedgemoor rail 2008 as the 00 gauge layout has been invited to attend this show which is being held on the 23rd and 24th August at The King Alfred School, Burnham Road Highbridge, Burnham on Sea.  We might see some of you there and if you do attend please drop by and say hello.

Our own exhibition will be on the 11th October at Shirehampton Public Hall so make a note in your diary I will post all the information on the website when I finalize what layouts, traders etc are attending.

We will have a local private wagon commissioned again this year by West Wales Wagons (see the link on our website)

Here is a little bit more information for anyone who would like to get in touch we meet on a Wednesday night at the public hall between 7.30pm until 10.00pm.  We have our own website Or you can contact the secretary Tony Davies on 0117 9094915 or email Tony direct at We give a warm welcome to all no matter your region, scale, country, era, even if you do not have a layout of your own, no matter we have a triple line test track two line 00 gauge and a single line N Gauge so come and see what we are all about

Tony Davies

Somewhere in Shire

I couldn’t believe it when I saw this huge Iron Age Shirehampton!

It has been built by Paul Warrilow from Montpellier.  He is an archaeology student at Bristol University.  The structure originally had a turf roof, but without without constant fire inside to keep the turf dry, it leaked and deteriorated in the rain; thus the present thatched roof.  The house has a timber entrance and the walls are of wattle, some of which has been ‘daubed’ with the local clay.  The roundhouse is thirty feet in diameter.

I met Paul, his wife Sheila, and Happy the dog in February, when he showed me around the site.  He also has two fierce geese as permanent guardians!

Paul is excavating the site and has found evidence of Stone Age occupation.  There are several post-holes suggesting a large structure (or structures).  Paul has found several Stone Age artefacts.  It is possible that the site could have been a place of pagan worship or pilgrimage, especially as it is situated immediately above the old Buckle Well.

Paul has constructed a mound for a fire to produce charcoal and, nearby, a Trebuchet, an ancient weapon of warfare.  It is like a giant catapult, with a sling at the end.  One Halloween he used it to try to throw watermelons over the river.  Unfortunately, none of them made it; but the end result was a line of watermelons floating upriver on the tide, which must have puzzled several people.

Paul has received no funding for his work which makes his achievement all the more remarkable.  Shelia says that they haven’t planned to move in yet – Montpellier is a little more comfortable.

It was while studying aerial photographs of Shirehampton Golf Course that Paul’s curiosity was aroused. They seemed to show evidence of roundhouse construction, or Stone Age round barrows (burial mounds).

Although he does not want the site identified by the general public, in case it attracts vandals, Paul is quite happy to show local school children around, if any teacher is interested.  His email address is:

Footnote:- Paul has sent me the following information about his finds. ‘There were two finely made arrowheads.  The first was included with a little group of tools deliberately placed near the stone setting (on which the apparent cremation burial took place).  This arrowhead was unused.  The second arrowhead – found in a charcoal deposit with a burnt adult human molar – was broken and partially burnt.  One interpretation for similar finds included with other cremation burials is that being so finely made, such projectiles were likely to break – especially when hitting bone!  Also, being protected by the body, the flint would be preserved from the higher temperatures of the funeral pyre.  The implication of this interpretation is of course that the arrowhead was the cause of death’

More names of Shire: Portway

Bristol’s planners had a neat idea when they conceived a new road connecting the city to the docks at Avonmouth between 1919 and 1926: they called it Portway, ‘way to the port’.  But in using this name they also conjured up a lot of history.  Portway is a name of Anglo-Saxon origin meaning ‘way to the town’, which is used in various parts of England for important early tracks serving as long distance routes, especially the one from London to Dorchester and on to Weymouth.  Using an ancient name for a new road was an idea which could also be drawn on when naming other local streets.  That’s why, in the shadow of the elevated section of the M5, and just off Portway, we have Ermine Way, Watling Way, Stane Way, Maiden Way, and Akeman Way – some in Shire and some now in Avonmouth.  A factor influencing the giving of some of these names must have been the unearthing of the remains of the Roman dock at Sea Mills by the construction work for Portway.  They commemorate the Roman roads Ermin Way or Street (Gloucester-Silchester in Hampshire) or maybe Ermine Street (London – York), Watling Street (A2 and A5 Dover – Wroxeter in Shropshire), Stane Street (London-Chichester), Maiden Way (approaching Carvoran on Hadrian’s Wall in Cumbria) and Akeman Street (London – Cirencester), and they are all tied together by the theme word way.  In the same group of streets is Pilgrims’ Way (along the ridge of the North Downs).  The reason for Leeming Way is slightly more obscure, but Leeming is a village in North Yorkshire astride a Roman road, Dere Street which forms part of the A1.  Antona Court and Drive belong here too, but for the wrong reason.  Antona is a name found in one manuscript from the Roman historian Tacitus.  In 1920, during the building of Portway, the amateur historian Arthur Savory published a book called Grain and Chaff from an English Manor, in which he speculated that this Antona might be Aldington near Evesham in Worchestershire, on a Roman road (Ryknild Street) heading for Bourton on the Water.  So it may well have been included among street names of Shirehampton simply because it was in the news.  Unfortunately Mr Savory’s idea was completely wrong.

Richard Coates

Blue Badge Scheme Consultation

Doug Naysmith MP wants local people to have their say on Blue Badge Scheme

Our local MP, Doug Naysmith, has welcomed the launched of the public consultation on the Disabled Person’s Parking Badge Scheme (“the Blue Badge Scheme”).

Doug Naysmith said, “I believe that the Blue Badge Scheme should help all those who need it to improve their mobility and independence.  One suggestion is to extend the scheme to parents of severely disabled children and to those caring for Alzheimer’s sufferers.

“We also want to look at ways of making it easier to detect forged or stolen badges and perhaps give parking attendants the power to confiscate Blue Badges that have been stolen, forged or fraudulently used.

“I hope that the people in Shirehampton with experience of the Blue Badger Scheme will get involved in the consultation and feed in any ideas and experiences they have had, to help us make the scheme the best that it can possibly be.”

If you or someone you care for uses or needs a Blue Badge, you can either tell Doug your views my mail or respond online at” The consultation runs until Thursday 17th April.

Officers seize £400,000 of cocaine

Two men have been charged and another arrested as part of an ongoing campaign against the supply of Class A drugs in Avon and Somerset.

Police drivers from Atrium, the dedicated drugs crime team, stopped and searched a vehicle on the M5 and found over 9.5 kilos of cocaine with a street value of £400,000.  Officers later searched the driver’s home and uncovered a small hydroponics factory, a quantity of pills and white powder.

Mark Herbert, 27 from St Annes, was later charged with possession with intent to supply Class A drugs.

A subsequent warrant was executed at an address in Shirehampton.  Officers seized approximately £34,000 in cash and a small amount of a white substance.  A 30 year old man from Shirehampton was arrested for money laundering and possession of class A drugs and has been bailed pending further enquires.

The Princess Royal Trust for Carers

My Name is Jackie Husher (nee Masey), and as a Trustee of The Board of The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, and, just as importantly, a former carer, I am trying to organise a group for Former Carers.  I am starting a Group in St Mary’s Church, Shirehampton, which will cover Shire and all surrounding districts.  The next meeting will be on Tuesday 15th April from 12 noon until 2pm.  There will be refreshments served by kind donation of the Church.

Sometimes it is more difficult being ‘a former carer’, because when the caring is over – what next?  There are many options open, the worst being loneliness and vulnerability, the best, to be able to achieve something different that has not been possible before.

In both these cases we can all help and encourage each other and I think we all have something to offer whether it be practical or emotional so please do try to come along.  It won’t be anything formal – just a get together and a chat!

I really look forward to meeting you, and hopefully it will be enjoyable talking over old times and making new friends with common ground.

Kind Regards

Jackie Husher

Penpole Point - Then and Now

Many residents will recall the time when, weather permitting, it was a pleasant walk from the village green to Penpole where there were extensive views of the landscape.

To the south one could see Pill and the start of the Gordano Valley, to the west the Welsh coastline and to the north, Severn Beach. Above is a picture of this scene taken in 1850 before the docks were built on the great salt marsh at the river Avon’s mouth.

Today the area is very overgrown, but Shire “Greens” are aware of the problems and contact will be made with those responsible for its upkeep. We do not want to see trees felled, only a clearance made between them to improve the views.

Ralph A. Hack

Memories of Penpole

On Saturday, 16th February, I went for a walk to Penpole. Where once was open grassy slopes, the Point itself is almost entirely covered by self-sown saplings. There was no sign of the quarry I used to climb as a boy, neither was there any trace of the benches people used to sit on to gaze over to the Welsh hills. The sun-dial has not changed much, but there is no sign of the gatehouse, of course. The main path is almost totally blocked halfway along by the wreckage of a burnt out car. Jubilee Clearing is no more, being completely overgrown, though Lime Tree Walk is still there. The old Scouts Chapel still stands next to the quarry, that is, the trees still stand – well seven of the original nine, but I can no longer climb the Scout Signalling Tree. I was very disappointed to find the café at Kingsweston House closed, so could not enjoy my anticipated cup of coffee. However, on the way back, I was lucky enough to hear a woodpecker – among the many birds that were chirping away above the roar of the motorway traffic. Another plus is the return of dense vegetation to areas that, when I was young, were worn away by children playing ... so perhaps the modern world of computers and couch potatoes is of benefit to the environment after all.

Gill Osman

City Cabinet decision on Oasis Academy Brightstowe

The creation of a new academy at Portway, sponsored by Oasis Community Learning, has moved a step closer, following a decision by Bristol’s City Council’s cabinet.

The council decided to go ahead with the publication of statutory notices proposing the closure of Portway Community School on 31st August 2008, in order for it to reopen as Oasis Academy Brightstowe on 1st September 2008.

An extensive consultation with parents, staff and the local community has been carried out over the last two months.  The City says that the vast majority of respondents were in favour of the creation of the new academy.

Councillor Derek Pickup, Executive Member for Children and Young People’s Services at Bristol City Council, said “Moving to academy status creates exciting new opportunities for all involved with Portway School.  Portway has already been completely rebuilt and this will bring us a step further forward with the transformation of the school.

“The latest national evaluation report into academies found that attainment improves at a faster rate than the national average, as well as an overall improvement in performance at Key Stage 3, GCSEs and post-16 levels.  I’m confident that Oasis can bring these results to Portway.”

By creating an Academy, sponsored by Oasis Community Learning, the council hopes to deliver new and improved opportunities for all students, as well as raising aspirations for the wider community and increasing popularity with parents.

Steve Chalke MBE, founder and chair of Oasis Community Learning, said: “This is an exciting first step towards the opening of a new Oasis Academy Brightstowe and we look forward to the possibility of working with Bristol City Council on this Project.  We relish the opportunity of serving not only the students of the school but also surrounding community.”

Oasis Academy

Following on from the article in the last issue of the Shire with regards to Portway becoming and Oasis Academy, we thought as parents of children currently attending Portway Community School that we should tell you of our recent visit to the Oasis Academy Enfield on the 29th February 2008.

We expressed an interest during the consultation that we would like to visit another academy to see what we could expect for our school.  We went with the current head of Portway, Mrs Winterman and three other members of her staff.

The Oasis Academy Enfield is currently under construction but as we approached the new building we were amazed.  It seriously had the ‘Wow’ factor.  Three storeys high and brightly framed windows.  You did not need a lot of imagination to know that when completed it would be indeed an impressive building.

We were shown around the temporary school by the head which to be fair only housed year sevens but we were thoroughly impressed by what we saw.

In the several classrooms we were shown around the first thing that impacted on us were the many laptops being used.  We were told that there would be at least 1 laptop per two children when the new school opened in September this year.  The children were more than happy to discuss what they were doing and were very enthusiastic about their new school.  Discipline was evident and consistent in all classrooms we viewed.  There was definitely a welcoming atmosphere about the whole place.

On further discussion with the head we were told about the awareness that a lot of their pupils had some degree of special needs, one of the basic problems being reading.  Their answer was to initiate a reading programme, for without this basic ability being addressed how could a child’s education flourish?  A view I’m sure many of us would agree with.

The children wore a uniform not dissimilar to the current one at Portway although the badge was different.  We did not see anyone who was not wearing a blazer or a black jumper with the school logo on.  I was advised by Mrs Winterman that uniforms at Portway would change but grants would be issued to support this.

What does this mean for Portway now it has been confirmed that is will become an Oasis Academy?  Well speaking from parents’ points of view who have had children at Portway for many years and been through some “trying” times it means new hope.  Not just that, but a belief at last in someone who is as determined and convinced that Portway, or should I say, the new “Oasis Academy Brightstow” can be what we all want it to be.  A school where our children can get the education they deserve and where the long-suffering staff at last sees a stable and happy future.

At the consultations it was stressed by Mr Chalke that if Portway was to become an academy then one of the key issues was to make it open to the community again.  In his own words ‘I want you to tell everyone you meet that if we are successful Portway will be open once again, not just until 6pm on school days but later and during weekends and school holidays offering opportunities for all.”

In conclusion whatever the future holds for the “Oasis Academy Brightstowe” we as a community should now offer our support to the staff and school especially over the next few months, which are going to be extremely busy getting things in place for September.  Let’s not criticise unless we can do better.

Sandra Saunders and Linzi Harvey

Shirehampton Evergreens – Forthcoming Holidays

Turkey and Tinsel Holiday at the Cliffdene Hotel in Newquay.  Leaving Shirehampton Public Hall at about 9.15am on Nov 11th 2008 and returning on Nov 15th Daytrips everyday Price £229 including insurance.  Tel 9825794 or 9381725

There will also be a trip to Dunoon in Scotland at the end of June 2009.  Details will be published at a later date

The Evergreens will be meeting as usual on Friday May 23rd in the afternoon.

Down by the Riverside - Part Two

It’s summer again and I’m in my little grey flannel shorts, the sky is blue, the sun is hot and the long dry grass of the wharf is giving off that smell that says summer holidays – no school – and the mud is beginning to pong! I have been drawn to the river’s edge by the call of Campbell’s blowing for Horseshoe Bend as she passes Crab Tree Slip wood and I’m standing opposite Chapel Pill inlet as she comes. She’s a real regal lady of the river, her paddles drawing back the tide as she appears round the bend. Her funnel leans back like a lady with her nose in the air as much as to say ‘look at me’. I look! The green hull is peeping out below the waterline, black hull, gold lining, white upper hull and superstructure and funnel, her captain frantically blowing his whistle from the bridge and waving at children on the mud playing tag with the oncoming wash. Elegance, pure elegance, a grand duchess sweeping into the ball couldn’t do better - Queen of the river.

I always preferred the graceful curved paddle boxes not the later flat top style of the newer ships. We saw the ‘Ravenswood’ with her cut down fore deck, ‘Waverley’, and if we were really in luck the double-funnelled ‘Brighton Queen’ maybe from the south coast, also ‘Glen Gower’ and ‘Glen Usk’.

The tide turns and here comes the parade leading upstream to the city docks. ‘Gertrude Bratt’ her deck cargo of timber has shifted and she’s listing heavily so fore and aft tugs are nursing her home. ‘Skerries’ with her all black funnel, ‘Beaulieu’ a cattle boat with black and white funnel, ‘Cato’ and ‘Ino’. For a real treat the schooner ‘Kathleen & May’ would have her sails up. Then there was the coal barge ‘Nigel’ with that funny platform on her stern, the yellow funnelled tug the ‘Salisbury’ I think, with three barges of tobacco in tow heading for the bonds in town – the barge men now a little more respectable in their language! The PBA twin-funnelled tug ‘Bulldog’ had a crane in front of the bridge.

The tide turns again and the parade is towards the Bristol Channel and the open sea. Here comes ‘Bristol City’, Exeter City’, ‘Sodium’ and her sister ‘Radium’ all grey with a red funnel. Then ‘Volunteer’ – am I right in thinking she was the first diesel tug on the river? I know she was a sighting to brag about and was later joined by the slightly larger ‘John King’. There used to be speedboat racing under the Suspension bridge and later from Pill to the mouth of the river. I believe it was discontinued after two collided near the Pill slipway. How about getting caught mid river in the ferry with Campbell’s bearing down on you? Or worse, trying to board Campbell’s from the ferry without her stopping, right by the paddles too. I remember watching these events from the railings in front of the Lamplighters - the ferry man washing the mud off the slip as the tide dropped, the wooden gangplank that quivered like a musical saw when you put a foot on it and threatened to leave the gunwales most of the time so would the last man aboard pull it on please! Another joy was being informed, once he’d got you on board and cast off, that he’d got to change boats and you headed for the cluster of boats moored in the mouth of Pill Creek, hoping you ‘d make it OK and not fall in. Sometimes half way across in the motor boat, the engine died and you were treated to a view of the Hosegoods Mill or Ham Green Woods depending on the flow of the tide, and if it happened in one of the winter fogs, ‘Hello Horseshoe Bend’!

Back to my memories of Hung Road Cottages especially my old home No. 4. I always understood that back in Elizabethan times it was a tavern – the name ‘the swan’ hangs in my mind but from where I have no idea. Anyway, standing with my back to the river I’m in front of the stone porch which came out about six feet from the house, a small low-walled garden below the window ran to the side gate in a quarter circle. Each side of the porch opening were two angle irons about three feet high which dad put there and into which we slotted tide boards sealed with mud to keep the tide out, when in flood. It proved useless on a really high tide as the water rose up the well in the back kitchen!

Wooden seats set in the walls ran the length of the porch each side. Through the door into the hall, which was common to both No. 3 and No. 4, our stairs had a steep twist below which was the coal cupboard, also shared I think. From our only real ground floor room we overlooked the side flower garden and wharf in front of Myrtle Farm. We had a fireplace, dark green with a high mantelpiece and black leaded range. All floors were flag-stoned and also on the ground floor was a pantry with shelves and cupboards from floor to ceiling, then the back kitchen. From here a loose wooden ladder took you into a loft which was like a balcony, wooden fronted but with no door at the top of the ladder, and a hole cut in the planking to form a glassless window. We boys slept up there a few times when the height of flood water prevented us getting the doors open to get upstairs. Still in the kitchen there was a brick built column with cast iron bread ovens set in, and in another corner was a bricked in cast iron wash boiler with wooden lid. In between the two was a wooden lid about three feet square which covered a well about 10 -15ft deep. I could never see the purpose of this as I can only remember river water in it and as the river rose so did the well water.

Outside the kitchen was a shed with a glass roof covering the area between house and shed. Attached to the shed was a chicken house and run forming part of the boundary with Parsons’ orchard.

Upstairs was a small landing from which you went up a step into a very small bedroom over the front porch, then mum and dad’s room and the largest room was where three of us four boys slept. I was very curious about a dummy cupboard in this room, on the dividing wall with No. 3. The green and white panelled doors went from floor to ceiling but when you opened them, there was just a wall. I wondered if this was to do with Nos. 3 and 4 having been one building when a tavern. A window in the large bedroom looked out towards Horseshoe Bend and some courting couples on the stile below probably wouldn’t have sat there had they known there were three little boys observing them.

A water stand pipe stood in the yard of No. 1, just a galvanised pipe with a brass tap around which, in freezing weather, a wood fire was built and kept going by the men.

One Christmas, when the Fosters lived at No. 3 there was a big party and our two homes were thrown open. Fosters’ became the dance hall and ours the cafeteria and we were joined by our neighbours and relations. I was put under the food laden table in our front room when in from the dancing at No. 3 came this vision in royal blue with a narrow silver belt around her waist. I was smitten. Love dawned. I plagued my mother for weeks after to know when the lady with the silver belt was coming again - she was about 18 and I was 8! I’m told she still lives in the village - Madge Bracey where are you?

I remember we once used a privet bush as we couldn’t afford a Christmas tree one year, but by the time it was decorated it looked good even though some of the ‘presents’ were wrapped up blocks of wood.

Trudging up to Gard’s on the corner of Pembroke and Station Road on a Saturday evening, we went in turns to get all our sweets - two old pennyworth - or along to Sanfords opposite the Rising Sun to change the wet accumulator for the wireless.

Apart from the many days it rained or snowed, or got fogged up, it was always summer.

Les Gray

Shirehampton CC Women’s Team

Sunday April 20th:

Shirehampton (Home) vs Bath 2nd’s (GWCA League)

Sunday April 27th:

Shirehampton (Home) vs Dymock (GWCA League)

Sunday May 4th:

Shirehampton (Home) vs Apperley (GWCA League)

Sunday May 11th:

Shirehampton vs Dymock (Away) (GWCA League)

Sunday May 25th:

Shirehampton (Home) vs CAM (GWCA League)

Sunday June 1st:

Shirehampton vs Chard (Away)

(National KO)

Sunday June 22nd:

Shirehampton or Chard vs Portsmouth 2nd XI (Away) (National KO)

Sunday June 29th:

Shirehampton vs Apperley (Away) (GWCA League)

Sunday July 6th:

National KO (South West Final)

Sunday July 13th:

Shirehampton vs CAM (Away)

(GWCA League)

Sunday July 27th:

Shirehampton (Home) vs Thornbury (GWCA League)

Monday August 4th:

Shirehampton (Home) vs MCC Women (Friendly)

Sunday August 10th:

Shirehampton (Home) vs Bath 2nd’s (GWCA League)

Sunday August 17th:

Shirehampton vs Thornbury (Away) (GWCA League)

Sunday September 7th:

8-a-Side Festival (Coombe Dingle)

Shirehampton Junior Girls 2008

Sunday April 20th:

Thornbury v Shirehampton

(2.00pm start) 35 Overs

Wednesday May 28th:

CAM v Shirehampton (6.30pm) 20 Overs

Monday 9th June:

Shirehampton v CAM (6.30pm) 20 Overs

Sunday 22nd June:

Shirehampton v Thornbury (2.00pm start) 35 Overs

Tuesday 1st July:

Shirehampton v Frocester (6.30pm)

20 Overs

Wednesday 9th July:

Frocester v Shirehampton (6.30pm)

20 Overs

Friendly (U18’s)

Saturday 3rd May:

Cheltenham College v Shirehampton (1.00pm start) 35 Overs

(see the report of their tour of Berlin on page 20 – Ed)

The Precious Time Appeal

The Jessie May trust was established in 1995 to provide nursing care at home for children with a terminal illness .  Many of the children looked after by the Jessie May Trust have severe physical & learning difficulties, mostly needing 24 hour care, 7 days a week.

The JMT nurses visit the families to provide regular respite in their own homes.  Through providing emotional and practical support to their families

‘Over the last few months the Jessie May Trust has been an absolute tower of strength to us as a family... they help us to have a little bit of normality in our life and they allow us to do things that other familes take for granted’...parent.

At the end of Jan 2007 the charity launched the Precious Time Appeal.  This is an appeal with provision to raise £1.4 million in order to ensure that every local family with a terminally ill child has the level or respite care they need.  Half way through the appeal, the charity has already funded two more nursing positions and now deliver 130* + hrs to families.

However, the Jessie May Trust is only halfway towards their target for this appeal and there is less than a year to go!!

The Band of the Avon Fire and Rescue Service will be performing a concert in aid of the Jessie May Trust at St Mary’s Church on 12th May. Tickets cost £6 per aduly and £5 for children and concessions.

They can be bought on the door or in advance from Jean Lewis on 0117 9682927.

The Band has been in existence since 1994. Band members come from all walks of life. They have supported the Jessie May Trust for over 10 years due to the initial connection of Jean Lewis whose daughter was a member of the band for a number of years.

Methodist Bright Hour

Monday March 3rd was the last Bright Hour meeting that our minister Rev David Alderman attended. He had come once a month for eleven years - not missing many Mondays. We were all naturally a little sad that this was his last Monday with us but we enjoyed, as always the time we had together. David was given a card signed by all the members, plus a little farewell gift.

After some tea and cakes, we wished him well in his new church and circuit and have promised to visit him there.

Hazel Thorne

PS. Some photos were taken which we hope to have ready for the next edition of Shire.

Stay Safe in the Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the most dangerous rooms in the house with plenty of hazards to cause accidents and injuries.  Around 70 percent of all domestic fires attended by Avon Fire & Rescue Service start in the kitchen and involve fat catching fire, whether in a chip pan or a dirty grill.

Avon Fire & Rescue has launched a campaign to remind people to take care when in the kitchen.

A moment’s distraction could lead to a serious fire and endanger life.

Tips on staying safe in the kitchen:

1 Never fill a pan more than one third full of fat or oil

2 Never leave the pan or grill unattended when the heat is switched on

3 Never put food in the chip pan if the oil begins to smoke.  Turn off the heat and wait for the oil to heat otherwise it could catch fire

4 Try to avoid using a chip pan altogether.  Deep fat fryers are a much safer option as they are thermostatically controlled

5 Never wear loose clothing near the cooking materials, as it could catch fire causing considerable burns, or it could get caught on something pulling it over

6 Keep tea towels well away from cooking appliances as they could catch fire

7 Clean hobs regularly to prevent a build up of fat which can catch fire

8 Drinking alcohol and cooking is a mix that can end in disaster

If a pan does catch fire:

1 Do not move it – it could cause burns which last a lifetime

2 Turn off the heat if it is safe to do so but never lean over the pan to reach the cooker controls

3 Never throw water on it, this will only make it worse

4 Get out, stay out and call 999.  If possible close the kitchen door on your way out.  Then call the fire service, who are professionals and have protective clothing and equipment to tackle the fire safely

Having a working smoke alarm in your house could save your life, as it will act as an early warning sign if a fire does break out, allowing you to get out as soon as possible.  It is vital that batteries in smoke alarms are checked regularly and replaced when needed.  Avon Fire & Rescue fits smoke alarms in properties for free. Fire-fighters carry out Home Fire Safety Visits offering fire safety advice and fitting the smoke detectors free of charge.  To book a Home Safety Visit call 0800 1693 999.  Members of the deaf community can text 077 814 82627,

Shirehampton CC U17 Girls in Berlin

Eleven girls recently represented Shirehampton CC in the 2nd 8-a-side European Indoor Girls Tournament held in Germany on 16/17th February 2008.

The German Cricket Federation (DCB), currently twinned with Gloucestershire CCC, invited two Girls teams from Gloucestershire, Shirehampton CC and Thornbury CC to compete in the Tournament. Other teams that competed included Berlin CC, Oldenburg CC, The Dutch U16 National Team as well as a team from Hungary.

The teams, and tournament officials gathered for an official welcome and reception at the Mercure Hotel in Potsdam on Friday evening, the 15 February, which was attended by the Mayoress of Brandenburg, Dr. Dietland Tiemann, the Tournament Patron; Thomas Lunacek from the Brandenburg state parliament; Steffi Lamers a Brandenburg sports representative, sponsors and special DCB guest Jackson Thompson, Gloucestershire CCC player.

Next morning the Deputy Minister President of the State of Brandenburg, Ulrich Junghanns, and the Mayoress of Brandenburg officially set the games in motion by symbolically each delivering the first ball for the opening two group matches.

The teams were divided into two groups of four teams, playing to a format of eight players per team and the games were restricted to eight overs per innings.  The group games early showed the strength of the English teams as Thornbury in Group ‘A’ won all their games and Shirhampton in group ‘B’ did the same.

All the group games were settled on the Saturday:

‘A’ Group 1. Thornbury, 2. Oldenburg, 3. Bayern 4. Berlin CC

‘B’ Group 1. Shirehampton 2. Netherlands U16 3. Hungary 4. Schwerin

The top four teams then played a second round of qualifying games, which saw Shirehampton successful against Oldenburg by 32 runs, and Thornbury defeating the Netherlands by 30 runs.

The final saw the two English teams pitted against each other, with victory only coming off the penultimate ball of the match.  It was a hard-fought game with some telling bowling, fine stroke-play and athletic fielding from both teams.  This kept the spectators enthralled and vociferous throughout the whole game.  Thornbury won the game by 8 wickets (Shirehampton 83 for 5, Thornbury 86 without loss in 7.5 overs, it was a much closer game than the score suggests.

Final Placings:

Thornbury CC, Shirehampton CC, Netherlands U16, Oldenburg CC, Bayern, Hungary, Schwerin, Berlin CC

Thornby CC were the eventual winners

At the awards ceremony, which followed immediately after the final, the winners were presented with a specially produced steel trophy, in the form of a cricketer, created by internationally well-know local Brandenburg artist Joachim Matz, and weighing all of 7.2 kilos. He made the presentation in person.

In addition, all the teams received trophies made of glass and each individual player, officials and organisers, were presented with glass medallions.  Individual awards went to Amara Carr of Shirehampton CC (fielding), Rosie Tregear of Thornbury CC (bowling 8 for 40 in the Tournament) and Charlie Walker also of Thornbury CC for obtaining the retirement score of 15 runs in all her games.  A special ‘Spirit of Cricket’ award was made to Stephanie Frohnmayer, captain of the Bayern team.

The tournament was a definite success for the development of girls/women’s cricket on the European continent, linking up girls’ cricket in four European countries; and a brilliant follow-up to last year’s tournament in Oldenburg, which has just won an ICC-Europe Development prize.

Shirehampton Personal Awards on Tour...

Saturday 16th February, following the preliminary round of matches...

Best performance during the day : Abby Evans scoring 50 runs in three matches (Girls had to retire after 15 runs) without losing her wicket.

Most improved performance during the day : Izzie Howard for her batting, bowling and fielding.

Both girls received a signed bat from Jackson Thompson (Gloucestershire CCC), who accompanied the girls on tour.

Sunday 17th February : Finals Day

Best performance during the day : Amara Carr for her excellent wicket keeping during the final.

Most improved performance during the day : Jess Richards for excellent batting in the Final.

Both girls received a signed bat from Jackson Thompson

Overall Awards

Best Performance : Abby Evans for both her batting, scoring 88 runs in the Tournament, as well as her consistent bowling and fielding.

Most Improved Performance : Izzie Howard for her improved batting and bowling.

Both girls received a Gloucestershire CCC Replica Shirt.

Social Time

The girls made most of their spare time and visited plenty of shops in Berlin, spending lots of their parent’s money. They also visited Lego Land, Sea World, Main sites in Berlin such as the Brandenburg Gate and as well as experiencing a Pleasure boat trip around the centre of Berlin along the river Spree.

The girls have been invited back to next year’s Tournament in Oldenburg, which is close to the Dutch border and I am sure there will be plenty of interest.

If any girl of any age is interested in taking up the game of cricket please contact Ian Moss.

Ian Moss - 07742747771

On behalf of the Shirehampton Girls

St. Mary's News

Hi Folks!

Here I am again – just like an annoying April shower!!  Easter has come and gone and so regrettably has our beloved leader – Canon Christine.  We all wish her well during her sabbatical leave and look forward very much to her return in early July.  She will be very much in our prayers even though she may not be leading them!

Duncan Jennings – our Ordinand attached to St Mary’s – was given a “farewell tea” on Sunday afternoon the 16th, March (Palm Sunday), although he will still be with us until the beginning of June.  It has been held early because it meant that Canon Christine would have missed the opportunity to attend and she has been his mentor for the past two years or so whilst he has been studying.  St. Mary’s has given Duncan a set of stoles, the designs of which he has chosen himself, for use when he is ordained and commences his Curacy at Thornhill near Southampton.  We hope it will remain a permanent reminder of his time with us at St Mary’s – which if you include the time he was Organist and Choirmaster – is well over thirty years!  I am sure he will not miss an opportunity to return St Mary’s and see us all again when his time permits.

On May Day Bank Holiday Monday we shall again have a “church open day” when St Mary’s invites to look in for a lunch or Cream Tea.  The cost of such you will find extremely good value for your money.  As well as assisting church funds is serves a social need for those who perhaps would otherwise be on their own over the Bank Holiday.

A dear old couple in our congregation celebrated their Ruby Wedding Anniversary on Sunday 30th March – Anne and Derek Ford.  But I jest as they be younger than I be!!  Everyone at St Mary’s congratulates them and wishes them good health – particularly Derek as he was unwell twelve months or so ago but is looking fighting fit once again!

On a Friday evening back in March we had a concert in the church when we were entertained by “The Muskrats Jazz Band”.  They consisted of four gentlemen and one lady – and were extremely good.

Our Lent Course evenings were again extremely successful this year – when we saw the video programme – The Miracles Of Christ.  The collection taken after each session were donated to the following charities – The Bible Lands Society, Uthando House for orphaned children, The Prodigal Sons Ministries, The Sisters of the Church and Christian Aid.  By the time you calculate Gift Aid the money will probably total somewhere in the region of £1500.  So a big thank you to everyone who attended the course and for your generosity!

We have received many favourable comment from people who have enjoyed looking at the illuminated cross on the North West corner of our church building which overlooks the High Street.  It is not a fixed feature – but will be in place during Lent and Advent.  So it is something for you to look forward to as the seasons progress.

Canon Christine hopes you have all read her appeal for assistance in last months’ edition of “Shire” – for volunteers to keep the grass cut in our church yard.  If we don’t have any volunteers then it will mean we shall have to pay someone to cut it for us – which will be a drain on our limited resources.  So if you enjoy outside activity this may just be the thing for you.  Coffee and Tea is available most morning and afternoons to whet you whistle if your throat becomes dry.  The more you can drink – the more the ladies behind “the hatch” will willingly make for you – and there is a wide variety of Biscuits too!!

Following the recent attack by thieves upon and inside our building, we have now had our Burglar Alarm system completed to protect all vulnerable points of entry and elsewhere.  This has been forced upon us by our insurers and at no mean cost to ourselves.  Just because we have a comprehensive alarm system ourselves I am afraid it will not relive any of us from keeping an eye open for any suspicious behaviour around the church particularly when the building is unoccupied.  Please do all you can to keep our building free from crime.

Several members of our church have been ill recently or suffering from mishaps.  We are sorry that Canon Christine’s Mother-In-Law – Betty Froude – had a fall and fractured her hip but is now out of hospital and recovering well at home, but does miss seeing all her friends at St Mary’s on Sundays.  We are glad to welcome Jean Rich back into our midst on Sundays following her fall just before Christmas.  Jean had been back with us when accompanied by her daughter.  Pat Davison – one of our lady choristers – and Sue Alford have recently undergone operations and are slowly recovering.  It is extremely pleasing to have them back with us once again.  Another victim of a fall is Jill Gillard – who fell on the alter steps and suffered a very nasty break to her left wrist which has needed an operation to reset it.

Grateful thanks comes from Canon Christine to members of the Baptist Church for hosting the Womens’ World Day of Prayer Service this year.  It was very much appreciated.

Finally, Sue Alford was very pleased to read that her efforts to keep the tubs containing the Bay Trees, outside the West Porch, looking attractive with flowers has been appreciated by so many people.  She is so pleased that she has said when the Polyanthus flowers are over she will be planting some Busy Lizzies in their place.  It just goes to show what a little bit of flattery will do!  If I say she looks like a film star maybe she will cut the churchyard grass as well!!  Now which film star does she look like?  Get back in the church and on your knees the person who shouted out – “Clint Eastwood”.  That’s rubbish – Clint Eastwood always wears a hat!!

Oh well – that’s it again for this month!

‘Bye for now!


Prayer Corner

Did you know that each weekday at Morning Prayer, on Saturday at Prayer Breakfast and on Sunday at our different services, prayers are said for the people and community of Shirehampton.

The mission statement of St Mary’s is ‘Sharing God’s Love’ and we seek to do that by praying for every aspect of the lives we share together:

  • The roads we live in
  • The shops and leisure facilities that serve us
  • The issues like debt, family breakdown, unemployment that face us all at different times in our lives
  • The structures like local government, emergency services, healthcare and schools that support us.

Many of us will know that day by day we pray for the sick and bereaved with whom we try to keep in contact.  If you have a prayer request, something on your heart or mind that you would like us to pray about then either visit our website: and leave your request on our prayer page or tear off the slip below and deliver it to St Mary’s.  Be assured your requests will be prayed for.

Special prayers this month said for:

Groveleaze, Barrow Hill Road, Springfield Ave, Burnham Road, Passegeleaze, Springfield Lawns, Station Road, Station Rd, Hung Rd and in our community, Bright Hour, Townswomen’s Guild, Shirehampton Primary School, Artists First & Firbird Theatre, those who have been baptised at St Mary’s.

All are welcome to join us at our Sunday or weekday services. Holding you all in our hearts and prayers

Canon Christine

Neighbourhood Partnership Gets Under Way

The second meeting of the Avonmouth and Kingsweston Neighbourhood Partnership was held at Weston Park School, Lawrence Weston, on 6th March.  About 40 residents attended.

The inaugural meeting was reported in SHIRE’s February edition.  It explained that the partnership is one of a series being rolled out across Bristol.  The partnerships are intended to give local people more say in influencing decisions made by the City Council and other public authorities.

Our partnership covers Avonmouth and Kingsweston Wards, and includes Shirehampton, Lawrence Weston, Sea Mills and Avonmouth.  Our councillor Terry Cook and both Kingsweston councillors, John Bees and Judith Price, were present, but councillor Spud Murphy was again unable to attend.

The January meeting identified three priority issues, facilities for young people, planning concerns and anti-social behaviour.  The councillors described developments following that meeting.

Terry Cook was encouraged by discussions he had with the Oasis Trust, who are intending to replace Portway School with Oasis Academy Brightstowe, which he hopes will lead to more availability of the school’s facilities for young people and the wider community.  He noted that Lawrence Weston has expertise and resources in youth work, and hopes to leverage some of this to neighbouring areas.

On planning matters, the proposed immediate evictions of garage tenants on the Cotswold Estate has stopped.  A local meeting will be held to discuss plans after a more detailed study of the options is complete.

To combat anti-social behaviour, the Council has increased the budget to support Police and Community Support Officers.  There are currently 3 PSCO’s in the Partnership area.  This will increase to 6 during this year.

The meeting broke into groups to discuss each of these areas in more detail.  The councillors summarised the concerns expressed, and each promised to produce an action plan to present to the next Partnership meeting.

The proposed structure of the Partnership is to hold two open meetings each year.  A Steering Group will be set up.  This will include the local councillors, representatives of partner organisations such as the police, health authority, council departments, and three residents from each of the four parts of the area.  It is proposed that the residents should be nominated by existing community groups, such as Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF) and similar groups in the other communities.

To encourage participation by all residents, the Partnership intends to set up a website and have a network of public comment boxes around the area.

Letters to the Editor

West Camp, Shirehampton on WWII

Dear Editor

My father was a conscientious objector in WWII.  His non-combatant company (No. 10 NCC) was based in Shirehampton, at “West Camp”, in late 1944.  Over Christmas that year they joined and performed Cinderella, a pantomime put on with the RAMC at Southmead Hospital.  I have a photo of the pantomime cast and a copy of the programme.  I would be very interested to hear from anyone who remembers the 10NCC or indeed West Camp in 1944, in Shirehampton.  I have a draft-written book on my father’s experiences as a C.O. during the war and any extra information on the time at West Camp, including photos, would be most helpful.

Best Regards

Terry Farebrother

Gerrards Cross, Bucks


Shire Toilets

It’s good to see that the public conveniences in Station Road remain virtually free of vandalism (at least, the Gents).  There are no broken windows, no graffiti, no damage, and the place is clean and free from unpleasant odours.  The only abuse off the premises I could discover were a few scratches on one of the doors.  Congratulations Shirehampton!



I live in Bradley Crescent.  I planned to do some work on my garden recently and noticed that the entire garden was covered in about 150mm of concrete!  Some friends in Bradley Avenue have noticed the same.  On looking out of the first floor window, I have noticed that a lot of the gardens are paved.  Can someone shed light on this?  Is there a reason why the gardens are concreted?  Can anybody remember them all being done at the same time?


Bradley Crescent resident
(name and address supplied)

Shirehampton Shops

Dear Editor

I am asking the person in charge of allowing shops to open to make sure new shops such as a clothes shop, a curtain shop, a toy shop and a hardware shop come to ‘Shire’, as at this time we are so badly served.  We are going backwards, nothing to attract customers.  It was better years age.  Also we still need a swimming pool for children to learn in – Wake Up ‘Shire’ ! Miss Williams (Portway)


Dear Editor

I would like to say Thank You to my family, special friends, Jeff and neighbours and customers for their kindness and support on losing my mum.  Also to the girls in Bobbetts for being there for me – my friends in the skittle team and the Dragon Club and to Sandra’s luncheon club which my mum used to love going to.

Thanks for the many cards and beautiful flowers God Bless

Jean Nurse

(Many thanks for donation – Ed)

Ethel Thomas

Ethel knew my father but we never met, however a wonderfully warm relationship developed over many years. Historical books, informative letters and items she sent to me, I still have.

Ethel will be remembered with affection, her earthly work over she is now at rest on God’s kingdom.


Ethel Thomas

I first met Ethel and Eddy when my late husband Terrance took up his position as Curate of St Mary’s Church, 1959-1961, we became friends and always stayed in contact.

Ethel was a keen Church goer, she served on the Church Council and also supported the Church Cricket Team, her husband Eddy was Captain.

Ethel used her great interest in photography to illustrate her books on local history, she became an acknowledged expert on the history of Avonmouth and Shirehampton.  The Evening Post often called upon her for her expertise.

Unfortunately a second stroke left her physically disabled and this made her life very restricted, especially after Eddy’s death.

June Simper.

Ethel Thomas

I had known Ethel since I was a child; I lived in Nibley Road and attended St Mary’s Church Shirehampton, were I would always see Ethel; later as a young woman I got to know Eddy and I frequently saw them.

Ethel, Eddy and I became friends when I came to work in Libraries 25 years ago.

I was one of Ethel’s many friends and I would like to mention two who were very special to her, TERESA MOMBER and JUNE SIMPER

I would like to mention also her wonderful neighbour MARTIN HAM, who after Eddy’s death was a great help to her.

Ethel’s funeral was held at St Mary’s Church Shirehampton on the 12th February followed by the committal at Canford Crematorium.

I would like to thank Canon Christine Froude and Gill Saywer for the help and support hey gave Teresa Momber and myself with the arrangements of the funeral and a thank you to Joan Curtis of Stenner and Hill funeral directors.

Sadly Ethel and Eddy did not have children.  Ethel had a sister, Sheila who died in 1977 and her daughter’s Catherine and Alison are Ethel’s next of kin.

Ethel’s manuscripts, photographs and items of historical interest are held in the Bristol Records Office.

I will miss Ethel and ever time, every time I think of her, she has a hat on - she did love her hats.

Marilyn Gorry

Printing Error

A printing error was made in the March issue of ‘SHIRE’, Ethel lived in Cook Street not Crook Street.

Did you leave Avonmouth School July 1958?

Were you taught by Mrs Popjoy or Mrs Roberts?  Do you remember Viv Gentry, Christine Male and Mary Williams?

If you do, and you want to meet up for a reunion

Email or text leaving your name and phone number to 07980464822

Robin Cousins Sports Centre

Sam Townend, Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Bristol North West, has attacked the Highways Agency for stalling the re-development of the Robin Cousins Centre. He is appalled that nearly two years after a successful bid was made to reopen the Robin Cousins Sports Centre in Shirehampton it remains shut. He says the delay is due to excessive demands by the Highways Agency in negotiating access to the site. Now he, and Bristol North West MP Doug Naysmith, have written to the Chief Executive of the Agency urging him to take swift action to reopen the valuable community resource.

Mel Garner, Ian Moore MBE and Sam Townend

The centre on West Town Road was finally closed in late 2005 by the City Council.  In May 2006 the North Bristol Community Initiative led by Ian Moore MBE and Mel Gardner secured the winning bid for the purchase of the centre.

Mr Moore, a recruitment officer for the Avon and Somerset Police and long-time youth worker was determined the centre would be reopened to create a focal point for sports and community activity in north-west Bristol.  His plans include running a number of sports workshops and sessions especially aimed at local youngsters.

Mr Townend said: “With the bid accepted in principle by the council in June 2006, matters were handed over to the lawyers to sort out the legalities - a matter that was thought to take a month or two at most.  But a problem arose in relation to a small access way to the centre underneath the M5 which is owned by the Highways Agency and traditionally leased by the council. The Agency firstly demanded £30,000 even to deal with the issue.  This was eventually reduced to £10,000 after months of negotiations. The Council offered to do a land swap with them for a greater area of the land close to the A4, but were turned down flat.”

The HA made various additional demands, including their full legal costs to be paid for, a profit share in any sale by the Community Initiative and a 50 year covenant that the site be kept for community purposes which is 25 years more than the usual covenant, and even worse would sit on correspondence for months at a time without responding. After nearly two years of negotiations the plans for the site are no further along at the beginning of March 2008.

“The fact that the site is sitting idle while the Highways Agency make a series of demands is nothing short of a scandal,” said Mr Townend, who has been campaigning for more recreational facilities for the area.  It is a wasted community resource and the people of Shirehampton and Avonmouth have already lost so many facilities over the last years, including the Bingo Hall, St Mary’s Church Centre, the Snooker Club and the Swimming Pool. But it is also a tremendous waste of money; just dealing with rubbish, graffiti and the most basic security and upkeep has cost the council in excess of £20,000. All the time the Centre is not in use it continues to dilapidate and the costs for bringing the whole thing back into use will cost more. We want the Agency to withdraw their unreasonable demands and to get this handed over to the Community Initiative as soon as possible.”

Mr Moore said: “Our intention once the purchase goes through is to get the building back into community use straight away. The main hall is one of the few areas that, subject to checks, could be used without a great deal of work, as are the toilets.  We want to run sports training, boxing, cricket, football schemes from there, especially for young people.  In time we want to open the centre for arts uses and for older people too.”

Ash Bearman, Community Development Officer for the Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF), said, “SCAF wants to get more community and recreational facilities into Shirehampton.  Ian Moore’s scheme appears to do this and we want to support them as much as we can.”

Act Now to get ready for a job at Cabot Circus

Cabot Circus opens in Autumn this year in Bristol City Centre and employers will start recruiting staff from May onwards, so now is the time to prepare by taking up the free help and support available to help you develop your skills and increase your chances of success.

Cabot Circus will help put Bristol among the top ten UK shopping destinations with 130 new shops and restaurants opening.  Between them they will be looking to fill more than 4000 new jobs in just a few months time, not just in retail but also in leisure, security, hospitality, administration, catering and much more besides.

Cabot Circus Jobs (a partnership between West at Work and the Bristol Alliance) is running free training courses across the city to help get people ready to apply.  Training is geared to people at all levels to reflect the diverse range of jobs that will soon become available.  There’s everything on offer from workshops to improve confidence, motivation, presentation and appearance, and of course to help with finding the job that’s right for you, preparing CVs, completing application forms and preparing for interviews.  There are also more specific ‘Introduction to Retail’ and ‘Retail Ambition’ courses to help you either take the first step into the retail industry, or move towards the next level if you already have some experience in the sector.  There are lots of ways to find out more about the courses taking place in your area:


Visit your local community information point (see contact information below)

Visit Shop for Jobs at 21 Penn Street in Broadmead or call on 0117 9349675

Go to one of the jobs city fairs

Local Community Information Points:

Information and Resource Centre
50 Ridingleaze
Lawrence Weston

Tel: 0117 9825414

Job Fairs:

10th April (10am – 2pm) The Conference Room at Council Houses, College Green

25th April (10am – 6pm) & 26th April (10am – 4pm) at the Marriott City Centre Hotel

6th June (12pm – 7pm, 7th June (10am – 6pm), 8th (10am – 5pm) at the Marriott City Centre Hotel

For more information visit, or call the information hotline on 0845 600 3288.

For additional information and support, call Shop for Jobs : 0117 9349675 or visit

Collect Your Prescription and Save Your Legs!

Have you tried the direct collection service offered by all the local chemists in Shirehampton, Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston?  It is simple and saves you having to come to the Health Centre to drop off or pick up your prescriptions.

Step 1 On your prescription request form (attached to your last prescription) tick the items you require and circle the chemist you wish to use

Step 2 Drop you repeat prescription request either into your selected chemist or into the box located in the entrance to the Health Centre.  You can do this at any time but mornings will help make the process more efficient.

Step3 Three days later, collect your medication, which will be ready in a bag for you, from your chosen chemist.

Easy!  No need to come back to the Health Centre to collect your prescription and then got o the chemist and wait while they dispense your medication.

If you would like your medication delivered straight to your home this can also be arranged by your chosen chemist – and they don’t even charge you!  Pop in or ring them to organise this.

Should you request any additional items by writing on your request form, please note that these will take longer to process than your regular repeat medication.

If you have any queries about this service, please ring the prescribing clerks on 0117 916 2237 between 8:30am and 12:30pm Monday to Friday. – Shirehampton Group Practice