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News Index

Ten Thousand Miles for Baptism

Return of Clear Sounds Choir

Cotswold Gardeners Hoping for Success

Letters to the Editor

Avon Youth League Under 16s Cup Final

Stepping Out to Success!

Beachley Walk Centre – Garden Vandalised

St Mary’s News

Avon Primary School’s Bike Breakfast

The Grainger Players Present - “Spring Delights”

Shirehampton Green - 1934

Ten Thousand Miles for Baptism

When Cecilia Warren stepped into the baptismal pool of Shirehampton Baptist Church it followed a journey of ten thousand miles from her home in Melbourne, Australia. But it was also a homecoming, a return to the village and to the church where she had been brought up, and to the faith she had heard taught but had not till then fully embraced.

Cecilia Warren prepares for her baptism by Mike Jenkinson and her sister Pauline Jones

The youngest of Jack and Lillian Bath’s six children, Cecilia emigrated when she was twenty years old from the family home in St Bernard’s Road. She had taken with her happy memories of the Baptist Church and Sunday School, a childhood made bright with games and stories, outings and parties run by the church. She even took with her a little book “The Good Samaritan” given her as a Sunday School attendance prize when she was eight.

Over the next 43 years she has been able to visit the UK half a dozen times, and has kept up contact with her Shirehampton kin. In particular Cecilia has always looked up to sister Pauline, regarding her as a continual inspiration because of Pauline’s commitment to the Christian faith. Pauline, still a member of Shire Baptist, works enthusiastically with an evangelistic organisation called Open Air Campaigners, which as its name implies tries to take the gospel outside church walls to all people wherever they are.

A year ago two other OAC members, Frances and Angela, were travelling across Australia, and Pauline asked her sister if she could provide hospitality en route. This Cecilia was glad to do – and found herself talking to them about Christian faith. The result was that on the night before her visitors left Cecilia told them she wanted to commit herself to Christ. A phone call to Pauline to tell the news led to tears of joy north and south of the equator, and life has not been the same for Cecilia since.

After following a course in basic Christianity in Berwick Church of Christ, Melbourne, Cecilia was ready to seal her commitment in baptism. But she felt she would love that to happen in the church she was brought up in in Shirehampton, and that she wanted her sister to be there. And that is how on a Sunday morning in April she was baptised by Mike Jenkinson, an Elder at Shirehampton Baptist Church, with Pauline assisting. Sharing in her joy as they watched were husband George and members of her family, plus Frances and Angela, the OAC visitors who had been instrumental in her life-changing decision.

Cecilia has now returned to Australia, and taken up membership in Berwick Church of Christ.

Return of Clear Sounds Choir

Making a welcome return to the Cotswold Community Hall in Dursley Road, this month is the Clear Sounds Choir under its musical director Mike Holroyd.

The choir, whose members are visually impaired, will present ‘Choir@Shire’ at the Cotswold on Thursday 26th June at 7.30pm.

The choir’s repertoire covers a wide range of music, including spirituals, folk, popular song and world music. Their concert last year was terrific entertainment, and this year promises to be equally good.

Tickets are £5 (£4 concessions), including refreshments, and are obtainable by ringing 9621438 or at the door on the night.

Cotswold Gardeners Hoping for Success

Competition Judge Shares his Secrets

Coming up now for its third year the Cotswold Garden Competition gives residents living between the Portway and the river the chance to win prizes for their gardening efforts.

This year the gardeners have had extra encouragement to go for gold as competition judge Arthur Brice visited the Cotswold Community Centre to pass on the fruits of his vast experience, showing slides of gardens good and bad, and introducing various plants with advice how to grow them, and how to set them off to the best advantage.

The event was part of the Cotswold gardening weekend, which included a plant sale with plants supplied by local nurseryman C. D. Cole of Woodwell Road.

The competition itself takes place in June, with judging on 26th, and the Awards Ceremony on Saturday 28th June at the Cotswold Community Centre. There are three categories, Front Garden, Rear Garden, and Container display. Entry forms can be obtained by ringing 9047319.

Competition judge Arthur Brice advises Cotswold gardener Mary Elmes at the Cotswold Gardening weekend

Shire Advice Service - AGM

The AGM for the Avon (University Settlement) Community Association, which runs the Shire Advice Service, is taking place at 115 High Street, Shirehampton, on Wednesday 4th June at 7.15pm.  This is an open meeting for anyone who wishes to attend.

Letters to the Editor

Night Burglaries

Dear Editor

We in Park Hill and Clifford Gardens have just experienced a nasty 3+ a.m. spate of burglary/car attacks along with the Golf Club and Lodge. Several cars have been broken into and expertly gone through; outside sheds raided carefully; garages broken into etc. Luckily the garage with collection of poisonous snakes was missed (what a pity!! Might have spread fear a bit if someone HAD unfortunately been bitten!!!??) Losses range from usual CD players etc in cars, to golf clubs, bags, plus damage to windows, a complete garage door broken, house doors jemmied unsuccessfully. Residents leaning towards reintroduction of Sharia Law towards thieves?  Eight separate houses that I know of affected, so a deliberate, rather than random raid seems apparent.

(Name and address supplied)

Christmas Lights

Dear Editor

We were so pleased to read the report of the Shirehampton Christmas Lights Association AGM in April’s edition of Shire, and to see that some new members have joined.

We were members of the Association from day one until our move to Cornwall in June last year.  In the beginning, there was no money in the kitty and we didn’t really know how we were going to provide a display for that year (2002).  However, we received a generous donation at the 11th hour and were able to put up a few lights that Christmas.  The rest, as they say, is history, but it is great to see that the Association now has some new members, and that you, the residents of Shire, continue to give generously by way of the collecting tins in the shops.

It was also good to see the article about Paul Warrilow and his Ironage Roundhouse.  He has been beavering away at that for some years now, and it’s nice to see him get some recognition.  We were there on the pumpkin-flinging day - it was great fun!

Best wishes to anyone in Shire who remember us!

Roger and Gerry Cooper

Nancledra, Nr Penzance, Cornwall

Food Outlets

Dear Editor,

In reply to Mr N Butler’s letter re: food outlets in the village, I quite agree with him. I wrote several months ago to Cllr Murphy asking if he could help in any way. I enclosed the Head Office addresses and telephone numbers of Farmfoods and Iceland but, unfortunately have never received a reply.  The village will gradually go downhill if we can’t get another food outlet. People with cars will go further afield, leaving others who don’t have cars or can’t carry too much shopping at a time, with no choice, which would be a great shame.

Pat Christison

Condolences to members of the family of John Rudd

I was saddened to learn of John crossing the bar, having lived a few doors down the street from the Rudd family during the war years I became friends with John and we played together as children and also went to school together.  I never got to sail with John, or his father Fred, it was always ships that passed in the night, or me home and John at sea.

John Rogers - USA.


Are there any Avonmouth or Shire Tug Boat men that can name the tugs that operated in the Docks during the 1940s through to 1960. My memory is fading and all I can remember is the John King and the Eastleigh. Would appreciate if some one could provide the names.

John Rogers - USA.

Avon Youth League Under 16s Cup Final

Shirehampton Colts ‘A’ V St. Nicholas F.C.

Thursday 24th April, Venue Manor Farm F.C., K.O. 7:30pm

Local Football Team Shirehampton Colt’s U16A came out winners 4-3 against a very spirited St. Nicholas Football team in the Avon Youth League Cup Final.

A Hat-Trick from Ashley Knight (Pocket Rocket) sealed the match for Shire in what was to be a very entertaining game for the spectators, leading 4-0 with 15 minutes remaining and with St.Nicholas down to 10 men, they threw everything at Shire and were rewarded with 3 good goal’s and with 2 minutes remaining it left all the local supporter’s on the edge of their seat’s until the final whistle.

During the game both teams played a professional game with good passing and movement off the ball, fair tackling, and quality finishing for all 7 goal’s. The supporters from both sides where fantastic with their encouragement and positive attitude was shown towards not just the players but also the officials. A great night not just for football but for the ‘Respect for the Game’.

Man Of The Match - Ashley Knight.

What's Happening to House Prices in Shire?

Lots of people have been asking what is going on in the Shirehampton property market. Chris McLaughlin of Ocean Rodaway reports: “Clearly it has slowed down a bit but it certainly hasn’t stopped (despite the media doom and gloom). We are finding that although there is some nervousness amongst buyers, there are some very good deals to be done if the buyer has a mortgage agreed and can move quickly. The conditions for a price crash just do not appear to exist at the moment.

With employment high, interest rates low and a true lack of supply, the large scale drops some were predicting have not materialised. Prices have come down a little from the highs of 2006/7 averaging somewhere between 3% and 6 % but currently sellers are very resilient to big drops. To take advantage of the best deals, it is advisable for buyers to seek to arrange mortgage finance as early as possible, ensuring they are ready to act when they find a suitable property.”

Recyclable Food Waste Bags

Residents can keep their food waste recycling clean and fresh thanks to a new arrangement launched by Bristol City Council to enable specially labelled corn starch liners to be used for the first time.

Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, Councillor Judith Price, has ordered changes to the collection and composting process so that corn starch liners carrying a new European ‘seedling’ logo can now be used.

Kitchen bin bags made from corn starch are now available in most supermarkets, but until now there has been no agreement on how they are marked to make them distinct from ordinary plastic bags, degradable bags or biodegradable bags.  This could have meant waste collection crews accepting them by mistake, leading to potential contamination of the high quality compost produced.

Now, to encourage people to recycle more of their food waste, the new logo being printed on the bags will mean the crews can clearly identify them as 100% compostable. At present, special raking machinery pulls plastic bags out of the kitchen waste stream but the council’s composting contractor, New Earth Solutions, are changing the composting process, which means that corn starch bags will be able to go through the system and rot naturally with their organic contents, and eventually become agricultural compost.

Councillor Judith Price said: “Although newspaper and paper bags can still be used to wrap food waste, a great many residents in our city were telling us they wanted to use corn starch liners, which are inexpensive, clean and efficient.  Agreeing the use of this logo to ensure easy identification by collection crews and changing the composting process so that it will accept the bags means that Bristol residents will now be able to use them. It provides yet another way for us all to cut down on using non-degradable plastics, as well as an incentive to increase our recycling levels even further.”

Corn starch bags with the logos are available at a number of supermarkets in Bristol including Asda, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose. The council is talking to all supermarkets in the city to encourage more to stock them.

People can also buy discounted home composting bins from as little as £17 by phoning Recycle Now on 0845 077 0757, and corn starch bags can safely be added to the contents of these bins. Check the information at for helpful do’s and don’ts on home composting, and for advice on kitchen waste kerbside collections.

Summer Fair at Our Lady of the Rosary School,

Tide Grove, Lawrence Weston, Saturday 28th June 2008 -11am until 3pm.

All welcome, Attractions include; A BBQ, ice cream van, face painting, a fancy dress competition ages 0 – 11yrs, bouncy castle, raffles, Stalls, games, fire engine and lots more.

Come and enjoy a fun day.

The Southern Showdown

NSC Amateur Boxing Club host their next open boxing tournament at their NEW venue at Avonmouth Rugby Club, Barracks Lane, Avonmouth, Bristol, BS11 9NG

Thursday 12th of June, weigh-in 6:30 till 7:30pm, first bell 8pm sharp.

If you require tickets please contact Garry Cave on 07876 233621.

Adult £10 & Junior £5. Be quick as it sells out!

Avonmouth Rugby Club

Avonmouth was made to work very hard for the victory that secured promotion to South West 2.  Widden arrived at Barrack’s Lane with fear of relegation on their minds, but started much the better side. Successive errors by Avonmouth resulted in a converted try to Widden after just 2 minutes.

With Avonmouth beginning to settle their nerves, and the forwards winning some clean possession, Avonmouth’s three-quarter line scored two good tries through Full-back Andy Taylor and Wing Charlie Reynolds.  Half-time score 10 - 7 to Avonmouth

Widden continued to exert good pressure after the restart and re-gained the lead with a converted try. Avonmouth then enjoyed their best period of play for the final 20, and tries from Centre Sam Thompson and Reynolds saw the end result 20-14. The feature of the game was Avonmouth’s reluctance to accept defeat, and their team spirit when the pressure was on.

Successive promotion has been a fantastic achievement, gained by a young squad who have surpassed all expectations. Avonmouth will be looking to build for next season in what will surely be an even greater challenge.

Andy Woodruff

Stepping Out to Success!

Once more pupils from Stepping Out Dance put their best feet forward and competed against leading dance schools from around the UK in regional dance festivals.

The ages ranged from 2 – 15 yrs dancing ballet, tap, jazz, national, Greek, character, song and dance, sections, just to mention a few.  The children came home with twenty five fourth places, six fifth places, five third places and a further twelve bronze medals for third place.

However, the talent doesn’t stop there – one of our pupils gained 86 marks out of 90 in the senior section for her Character Dance, and another pupil gained 85 marks out of 90 for hers in the same section.  All our pupils who entered Highbridge Festival gained over 80 marks out of 90!

And the talent goes on…Marrie Calwell, who attends our Senior Ballet class is also a member of the City of Bath Gymnastics team and entered the British Gymnastics Competition coming home as Junior Champion, with a gold medal plus the Champions Cup for Individual Apparatus for Ball, with a score of 11.633, and a further three bronze medals for other solo events!

Marrie Calwell with her Gold, Bronze and Junior Champion Cup

(Congratulations to Marrie, Mrs Pugh and all her pupils for this marvellous achievement – Ed)

Thank you

from Shirehampton Methodist Church

Many thanks to all who helped or supported our May Fayre on Saturday 3rd May.  It was lovely to see you all, we raised just over £250. Our next ‘Coffee and Sale’ is on Saturday June 7th from 10.00am to Noon.  See you there!

Ship to Shore – T.S.Enterprise Avonmouth Sea Cadets

With the passing of winter and dark nights, the arrival of Spring and light nights have been a great incentive for our cadets to work on their promotions, and for the unit to consider boating nights in the city docks.

Recently a number of cadets have qualified in First Aid, while others have worked towards Coxswain.  Cook Steward has been gained by Cadets Daniel Ward, Adele White and Chloe Hulbert. As a unit we embrace Cadet Vocational Qualification, and the Duke of Edinburgh scheme.

Over the weekend 11-13th May, a group of cadets were taken to Pen-y-Fan in the Brecon Beacons for Adventurous Training, and during May 18-20th more cadets went to Torfean unit, Port Talbot for boating qualifications.

Promotions have been earned in the following categories: - Oliver Hillier went from Ordinary to Leading Cadet after completing the final part at HMS Excellent, Portsmouth and Leading Cadet Jake Lundon is attending a course at HMS Raleigh to become a Petty Officer Cadet.  Cadets Francesca Clarke and Simon Marr have been promoted to Ordinary Cadets.

Two cadets have recently spent a week on Tall Ship T.S. Royalist.  Ordinary Cadet Simon Marr gained First Stage Offshore Hand and Leading Cadet Oliver Hillier has gained Third Level Offshore Hand Seaman. Well done to all our Cadets. This is the third time Leading Cadet O Hillier has attended on Royalist. The opportunities are many and varied with regard to sailing on Tall Ships and motorised vessels such as M.V. John Jerwood.

Fund raising continues – a never-ending task to improve the facilities at the unit. At present we have raised £10,000 plus to renovate the grounds to the level of a sports facility.

Parade nights are Monday and Thursday 6.45 – 9pm.  Monday – Seniors, Thursday – Seniors and Juniors.  The unit is situated near the Lamplighters Pub, Station Road. Come and see what we do.

Fun and Friendship – befriend a local disabled child

Time2Share is a small, local charity which supports disabled children and their families through a befriending scheme and youth groups. For the befriending scheme, local people are linked with one disabled child who has similar interests to them, and then they meet up each week for a couple of hours. There are currently young people looking for someone to befriend them. For example, we are looking for two friends or a couple to take two young brothers swimming or up to the local park in Lawrence Weston.

We cover travel expenses and the families cover the cost of activities (with some support from Time2Share). The scheme is very flexible and can fit around work commitments. Friends or families can also get involved together and it can work very well if families or couples take a disabled child out with them on trips.

We also need other help such as with youth groups. Please get in touch if you would to get involved with Time2Share in any way: or 0117 941 5868. The Bristol Area Co-ordinator is Jenny Lyus. You can find out more about Time2Share on

Cabot Circus

Vacancies for Cabot Circus are being posted online at and by the time the development opens in the Autumn, employers will need to have filled more than 4000 jobs.  There will be a huge range of positions available, from entry-level jobs to managerial posts over the next few months. These will go beyond retail – i.e. leisure, security, hospitality, administration, catering and more.

Cabot Circus Jobs Advisors will be on hand at a number of Job Fairs, community events and recruitment days as follows:

  • Friday 6 June: 12 noon – 7pm
  • Saturday 7 June: 10am-6pm Cabot Circus Jobs Fair, The Marriott City Centre Hotel
  • Sunday 8 June: 10am-5pm
  • Saturday 5 July: 11am–11.45pm St Pauls Carnival, Portland Square
  • Saturday 12 July: 9am – 4pm

Southmead Festival, Glencoyne Square, Southmead

Shirehampton Public Hall

The Public Hall is a thriving community resource. Many of you probably use it. Do your children attend the playgroup or dance classes?

Perhaps you get together on Fridays for Evergreens or Bingo.

There are hobby groups and education classes. Many people have parties and events at the Hall. The Grainger Players put on a show twice a year.

Great craft work and lovely paintings are on view at two annual exhibitions and the Model Railway Club Annual Show.

It takes vision and energy to keep this wonderful resource on the road. Our only paid employees are two part-time administrators, a caretaker and cleaners. The rest of the organizing is done by volunteers on the Board of Directors.

David Thomas has announced that he will step down from the Board after the AGM in July, so this would be a good opportunity to get new ideas and new leadership. We want a wide range of members to represent all aspects of the community. Here is your chance to get involved and keep the Hall successful for the future.

If you think the Hall is important to our community, what about joining the Board?  We welcome anyone who has the interests of Shirehampton at heart. If you want more information, pick up a brochure at the Hall, talk to any of the existing Board members, or look at our website - Janet Thomas, Secretary

Edith Mary Johnston

Following the death of Edith Mary Johnston, who was my aunt and died at Bradley House on the 9th April 2008, aged 100 years, I would like to thank all of you who attended her funeral service at St Mary’s on Monday 21st April and for your support over recent weeks. Grateful thanks to all the staff at Bradley House for their love and care during the last few difficult weeks leading up to her death. I would further like to say thank you to Gill Sawyer who conducted Edie’s funeral service and prepared the wake following the cremation at Canford.

Thanks to all of you for your messages of condolence and flowers, and for your donations in memory of Edie to St Mary’s Church, which totalled in excess of £100.  Finally, very many thanks are also due to Joan and Ian of Stenner & Hill (Undertakers) who were more than helpful on this sad occasion.

Chris Eynon

(Thank you for your donation – Ed)

Beachley Walk Centre – Garden Vandalised

Staff at the Beachley Walk Centre in Shirehampton, arrived on Thursday morning to find the garden furniture, bought with money donated by the ‘Shire’ newspaper, vandalised.

A garden bench, bird table and ornamental wooden mushroom, which had been cemented into the ground, had been ripped up, broken and then burnt. Several glass beer bottles had been broken and left around the garden.

Parents and children arriving for their nursery session were saddened by the sight. The garden had been a quiet area for groups using the centre to enjoy.

If anyone has any information about the damage, please contact the local police, who have been informed and are investigating the incident.

St Mary’s News

Hi folks!

Here are my notes for flaming June – and as I write them early May its flaming cold and damp! Everything seems to be very slow in the garden as the Spring weather was so cold.

However, on the subject of gardens, I would like to draw your attention to the Open Gardens season which is upon us once again. There is a calendar at the back of the church for you to sign up against a convenient date when you would be prepared to open up your garden to anyone interested. A cup of tea and perhaps a little light refreshment is suggested, to satisfy your visitors and, of course that most important item – the donations box! Any contributions received go to the general funds at St Mary’s church. It is a wonderful way to assist us and is also a social date to put in your diary. If you can arrange some prayers to ‘Head Office’ for some fine, warm weather, then that would be superb! Your garden doesn’t have to large and grand – a small garden can also prove very interesting – so go on, give it a try if you haven’t done so before.

Our ‘Seniors Week’ – for persons over the age of 60, begins on Monday 18th August through until Friday 22nd. There are still a few spaces left – the cost is £40 for the week for which you will receive coffee or tea and biscuits on arrival, followed by some form of entertainment or display. Then there is lunch and further entertainment during the afternoon and, on one of the days we usually have an outside excursion – these have previously included a river trip and a visit to the theatre. The afternoon events conclude with tea and cakes. It is a truly wonderful week, which I look forward to each year – so see you there.

I expect many of you noticed the scaffolding going up round the church last month. Well, here is a special note for all rogues, thieves, vagabonds, potential scrap metal merchants, robbers etc – please do not risk your life and limb climbing up there looking for something to steal, because anything of value in the scrap metal line has already been nicked by your previous associates! In order to save you from unnecessary risks at such a height, we have replaced all the lead on the roof with glass reinforced plastic. This is of no monetary value to you or scrap metal merchants but is to us who have paid a very heavy price as a result of your previous night time visits.  I digress somewhat, however, as the scaffolding is there to assist the builders re-point the stone work in the Bell Tower and also to install a public clock in the middle section where the louvres are situated.  The new clock face will be on the west side of the bell tower and will be visible to anyone approaching from Avonmouth, which is the best vista. If you are coming from Sea Mills then use your wrist-watch or turn your head around as you pass by!  This beautiful clock has been donated by our Lay Minister, Gill Sawyer, in memory of her late parents Kath and Tom Ruddock, who were faithful members of our congregation. This is a useful gift to the village as the only other clock is on the Public Hall in Station Rd and we thank Gill for her generosity and can rest assured that this new clock will be used by many future generations.

You will no doubt recall my appeal for someone to assist with cutting the churchyard grass (and my rude comments about Sue Alford doing it if I said she looked like a film star), well I am delighted to say that we have had three offers of help in this direction. This will lighten the burden and I would like to thank them for their interest (it must have been the promise of unlimited cups of tea or coffee that swayed them – coupled with the service at the hatch by charming members of our Catering Team!).  I’ve just earned more Brownie Points with that comment ‘cos my missus organises the Tea Ladies Rota!

During the holiday absence of Revd Trevor Hearn on Sunday 27thg April, our evening Holy Communion Service with Healing was taken by the Right Revd. Bishop Lee Rayfield, Bishop of Swindon.  We are indebted to him for standing in during the absence of Canon Christine and Trevor. He preached a very interesting sermon on sin and how we should tolerate one another.

From Thursday 8th May, in St Mary’s church, is a free advice service on welfare benefits, debts, employment, housing and other legal advice issues. These sessions are from 2pm until 4pm on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month. No appointment is necessary. This is linked with the Avon (University Settlement) Community Association so if you have problems you feel the Advice Service can advise on, then pop into church and see them.

Our two churchwardens, Julie Smith and Jon Saunders were officially installed in their roles at St Peter’s, Lawrence Weston on 13th May, on the occasion of the Archdeacon’s visit to that parish. Both will hold office for the next twelve months.

I wish to take the opportunity of reminding you that our Patronal Festival Weekend will commence on Saturday 5th July. Our Summer Fayre will be held from 10am until Noon, together with a flower festival in church, the theme being “The Colours of the Rainbow”. During the afternoon cream teas will be served at a moderate price, from 2.30 – 4.30pm. You will be entertained by Filton Concert Brass who will be playing music in the churchyard from 3 – 4pm unless the weather is wet, then of course they’ll be in church. Please come and support this event.

The next day, Sunday 6th July, will b e the first service Canon Christine will take on her return to the parish, which will be our 10am Holy communion.  At 2.30pm that same afternoon the Shirehampton Area Choir, directed by Tim Forder, will be performing their Summer Concert in church. Tickets priced £6 can be obtained at the church office and will include a cream tea.  The final event of the day will be a service of Compline at 8pm – a quiet, simple reflective service on which to conclude a wonderful day.

The very next day, Monday 7th July, is our over-subscribed parish outing to St George’s Chapel, Windsor. We will commence the day with ‘Brunch’ in St Mary’s before boarding the coach to Windsor. Here we are to receive a guided tour of St George’s Chapel, followed by Evensong which will be sung by the Lay Clerks, after which we have a cream tea before returning to Shirehampton.  Bye for now - CME

Avon Primary School’s Bike Breakfast

Wednesday 25th April saw the culmination of the first stage of Avon Primary Schools Travel Plan, with the grand opening of a new bicycle shelter accompanied by a “Bike Breakfast”. Children and parents alike were treated to croissants, pain au chocolat, fruit and juice. The Community Beat Officer was on hand to record and code the bikes of those that had cycled to school, and safely checks were completed with the help of mechanic Dr Bike from the cycle support group Sustrans.

Mrs Jane Atkins the school's Head Teacher, performed the honour of cutting the ribbon and declaring the bike shelter open!

To keep this project rolling, Avon Primary have formed a BUG’s (Bike User Group) to monitor the number of children cycling and to work to help identify safe cycle routes to school

The project started in when Avon Primary School attained the Healthy Schools Award. Through working on the Healthy Schools agenda the teaching staff realised the importance of developing a “Travel Plan” to increase the children’s physical activity and encourage them to walk/scoot/cycle to school.

The families of the school were canvassed and responded well to a questionnaire and a gate survey. From this it was identified that 32% of pupils wanted to cycle!

Funding was applied for and successfully won. In March this year ground works for the new cycle shelter commenced, cycle training has been initiated and cycle permits issued to the children.


Thank You from The Revd. Dr Andy Schuman

I just wanted to say a big ‘thank you’ to all the people of Shirehampton that I have got to know during my four years here as Curate at St Mary’s. From my work there, but also through the Shirehampton Community Action Forum and being the Chaplain of our Sea Cadet Unit at T.S. Enterprise, I have seen just a part of the many good things going on in our village. For all your friendship and support I thank you. I shall leave here with memories of many special people and a wonderful community.  I leave to be Associate Vicar at Christ the Servant, Stockwood and Parthership Priest of the Bristol South Deanery. Do pop in and say hello if you are passing!  With much love Andy Schuman

What’s the point of Penpole?

(In view of the recent article on Penpole, we re-publish a poem by a local poet, which appeared in ‘Shire’ some years ago.

What’s the point of Penpole?
It’s got so overgrown.
It used to be so tidy
And the grass was always mown.
What’s the point of Penpole?
At one time you could rest
Upon a bench and gaze towards
The Welsh hills in the west.
What’s the point of Penpole?
It’s got so overgrown
And people are afraid to walk
There any more on their own.
What’s the point of Penpole?
Does anyone care a jot?
Its beauty fades apace – but ah!

What memories I’ve got!


Penpole Point – a painting dated 1904 – kindly submitted by Anthony W Mitchell

Readers, which was there first: Park Road or Old Park Road?

Well, I wouldn’t have asked if the answer was the obvious one! Park Road, along with Park Hill, is at one end of Shire, and Old Park Road at the other. The first two are obviously named from Shirehampton Park, which was the former Little Park of Kingsweston House and now consists mainly of the golf course, and the roads appear on 19th-century maps. Park Hill was the main road to Clifton and beyond, and Park Road was originally just a lane leading off the Green for a short distance, not a through road of any description. But what about Old Park? There was never that kind of park down here, so how did it get its name?

On the Tithe Map of 1840, which can be seen in Bristol Record Office, there is an enclosed ground called The Park on the south side of the High Street, between West Town Road and what is now Old Barrow Hill. It lay behind a row of cottages which used to be called the Row Houses or The Bank and which were replaced by bungalows (mentioned in Shire on the Web Notes and Queries, 23 March 2006). You can see an artist’s impression of this map on the endpapers of Ethel Thomas’ book The continuing story of Shirehampton. Old Park Road was a new road of 50-odd houses partly occupying this ground, built in the 1920s. On the northern side of the High Street was Long Park, on which houses were also later built.

Originally the word park was a variant of paddock, and the two grounds by the High Street had been pasture before 1840. But in several parts of England, park came to be used for small market gardens and allotment grounds. Before the new houses were built, the ground called The Park was shown as an orchard on the Ordnance Survey 6” map of 1888. Most of the orchard had gone by 1904, and allotment gardens are marked there on the revision of 1921. These points provide the reason for Old Park Road: it is the road built on the “old park”, in whichever sense. Park Road was on the map before Old Park Road existed, certainly by 1840, and had its name by 1904 at the latest

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: 9077026

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


Free. Improve your English; Computers and Communication; Art and Communication; help with your maths. Contact Gill Lloyd on 31125530

BUMPS & RHYME for babies and toddlers every Monday 11.20 – 11.40am followed by Story Time 12 Noon – 12.15pm – at the Library

Bristol Film & Video Society

We’ve been around in one form or another since the far-off black and white days of 1934. The first film in our archive dates from 1935 and shows celebrations in Bristol to mark the silver jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary.

It wasn’t until 1949 that a ‘story’ production was attempted - shot on location around the City Docks and the bomb damaged area of Welsh Back. This pattern of not just talking about all aspects of film production at our twice-monthly meetings, but actually going out and making films continues to the present day. Over the years we have amassed a large collection of comedies, dramas and documentaries, all made under the banner of club productions.

Since those early years it has become clear that in order to tackle more ambitious subjects, a source of actors is needed, hence the club’s membership of the AAD and its strong links with several drama groups around the city. These links were tested to the full in 1996 when a cast of 120 was required to portray the epic story of John Cabot.

Nowadays with huge advances in both the equipment and technical facilities available to ‘amateurs’ the club is capable of tackling most things that a writer can type in a script, the only limits being imagination..and money! For this last reason we hope that some of our productions will prove commercially successful, to help finance other productions which are not.

If you are a booking secretary for an organization you might find an evening of films would be an appropriate form of entertainment. For further information on the Society and/or to book a film show telephone 01454 412991.

Safe travel trips for bus travellers

  • take care and hold the handrail whilst getting on and off the bus
  • Sit down at the first available seat – certain seats are designated for the use of elderly and disabled persons
  • Hold the handrail whilst seated if possible
  • Please keep the gangway clear
  • When you want to get off, notify the driver by ringing the bell in plenty of time
  • Remain seated until the bus has stopped

Shirehampton Group Practice

What happens if the doctor refers you to the hospital?

If the doctor feels you need to see a specialist, or have further tests that can only be done at the hospital, he will need to send a letter of referral.

You may have a choice as to which hospital you attend, but most patients prefer to stay as local as possible – this means mainly Southmead, Frenchay or the BRI. There are now maximum waiting times for most hospital appointments and therefore you should not have to wait too long.

We are now part of a new nationwide computerised system called Choose and Book. Not all appointments are available yet under this system.

If your appointment is available through the Choose and Book system, you will receive a letter from the Practice which will give you instructions on how to book your appointment. The letter is usually 3 pages long and has a password on it. You will need to give this password when you ring. This password should be kept in a safe place for any future referrals. Have your diary with you so that you can agree the best day/time to go to the hospital. If you have any queries with this, it is best NOT to ring the doctors’ practice but to telephone the contact number on the letter. This is the Choose and Book system and soon all referrals will be made this way.

If your referral specialty is not available through the Choose and Book system, you will receive an appointment from the hospital directly.

Which ever system is used, we hope it will run smoothly for you. Your local Primary Care Trust is managing this new process so please use the contacts on the letter to follow up any queries, rather than our Practice Secretaries. If, however, you do need our help, you can contact our secretaries as follows:

Jane Russell 0117 916 2229 or Caroline Williams 0117 916 2239

Penpole Lunch Club

This is held at 60 The Ridge, every Tuesday from 11am to 1.45pm and consists of a two-course lunch, pudding, tea or coffee and a cake, all for £2.75.  Why not give us a try, we are a very friendly bunch.  You can also have a game of Bingo and join in the raffle, or just have a jolly good natter.  Transport is provided door to door.  Sandra White

Shirehampton Methodist Church

On Sunday 8th June at 11am Holy Communion – Revd David Deeks M.A, General Secretary of the Methodist Church.  All are welcome

Hanging Baskets

I attended a meeting of the Clean and Green committee at the Council House on Thursday 8th May. I was asked to speak to the members of the committee to support a funding application for hanging baskets. The following was my presentation.

“Shirehampton is a thriving community on the outskirts of Bristol. Although it is now part of urban Bristol, it still retains much of a village atmosphere. Locals still speak of ‘going up the village’ to shop. We still have our village green, complete with Victorian water fountain.

To continue to thrive, we need to attract new shoppers to the High Street and retain present shoppers. The Council keeps the grass on the green neatly cut and the flower beds well tended, but the rest of the village is very bare and lacking in colour compared to this site; only the two public houses provide floral displays outside their premises and, of course, the florist has some plants and flowers outside.

The difference was quite dramatic, when the Council stopped providing hanging baskets in the High Street. I am asking, on behalf of the traders in Shirehampton, for funding to restore these baskets. I have approached all the traders in the High Street and the two smaller shopping areas in Station Road and St Mary’s Road. Apart from the banks and the few shops belonging to national chains, all the traders have offered to contribute £30 towards the cost of the hanging baskets; this would total £1,200.

The baskets cost £182.52 to install and maintain (by the council’s own workforce, which means money going back into council coffers). The total cost for all 20 lamp standards in all three shopping areas to be fitted with hanging baskets would be £3,650.40.  Deducting the £1,200 promised by the traders would leave a deficit of £2,450.40.

The local community already pays for Christmas lights in the village, with no help from the Council. Money is collected in tins on shop counters from the general public and a donation is made most years from the ‘Shire’ newspaper.  The ‘Shire’ is a local free paper, produced and delivered by volunteers to most houses in the Shirehampton area. Its production is paid for by local advertising. Surplus funds are distributed every year to local organizations.

So you see that there is quite a bit of self-help that goes on in the village.

I would ask this committee to release the necessary monies to install the hanging baskets, thus providing great pleasure to local inhabitants and visitors alike and helping to ensure that the village continues to remain a healthy and viable community. Thank you.”

I am pleased to report that the committee approved the funding application, so we will have hanging baskets on all the lamp-standards in the High Street, Station Road and St Mary’s Road shopping areas this summer.  Gil Osman

(Our thanks must go to Gil for his great efforts and we look forward to a colourful summer – Ed)

Return of Clear Sounds Choir

Making a welcome return to the Cotswold Community Hall in Dursley Road, this month is the Clear Sounds Choir under its musical director Mike Holroyd.

The choir, whose members are visually impaired, will present ‘Choir@Shire’ at the Cotswold on Thursday 26th June at 7.30pm.

The choir’s repertoire covers a wide range of music, including spirituals, folk, popular song and world music. Their concert last year was terrific entertainment, and this year promises to be equally good.

Tickets are £5 (£4 concessions), including refreshments, and are obtainable by ringing 9621438 or at the door on the night.

The Grainger Players Present - “Spring Delights”

We were privileged to go to the performance of Spring Delights by the Grainger Players on Saturday 10th May and were indeed ‘DELIGHTED’

We were disappointed to see so many empty seats as the Players put their all into this performance. We would urge readers to support their next performance in November and keep the community spirit alive as the late Shirl James strived to do along with Liz Hurd and Monica Doul (Producers).

We saw polished performances; the Players have come on in leaps and bounds since the early days and are much more confident. The children in the cast knew all the words and sang beautifully. We would like to congratulate Liz, Mon and all the cast for giving us such an enjoyable evening. We hope you won’t give up and continue to entertain the people of Shirehampton and surrounding areas.

Hopefully we can all put in some effort to advertise the Grainger Players and in November there will be a full house (just like the old times).

Thank you Grainger Players for continuing to support the Multiple Sclerosis Society and to all the very kind people in the audience who donated a total of £91.50

Thank you everyone who had anything to do with the show, we can’t name you all but you are all appreciated so much.

Barrie & Marina Griffiths

Cotswold Gardeners

Hoping for Success

- Competition Judge Shares his Secrets

Coming up now for its third year the Cotswold Garden Competition gives residents living between the Portway and the river the chance to win prizes for their gardening efforts.

This year the gardeners have had extra encouragement to go for gold as competition judge Arthur Brice visited the Cotswold Community Centre to pass on the fruits of his vast experience, showing slides of gardens good and bad, and introducing various plants with advice how to grow them, and how to set them off to the best advantage.

The event was part of the Cotswold gardening weekend, which included a plant sale with plants supplied by local nurseryman C. D. Cole of Woodwell Road.

The competition itself takes place in June, with judging on 26th, and the Awards Ceremony on Sat. 28th June at the Cotswold Community Centre. There are three categories, Front Garden, Rear Garden, and Container display. Entry forms can be obtained by ringing 9047319.

Caption to photo:

Competition judge Arthur Brice advises Cotswold gardener Mary Elmes at the Cotswold Gardening weekend


“We welcome contributions for publication in ‘Shire’ but reserve the right to edit any copy received. Any material published is at the editor’s discretion and may also be included on our website unless the copy is clearly marked ‘not to be included on the world wide web’.“

Volunteer urgently needed..

A person is needed to deliver ‘Shire’ newspapers in Portbury Grove and The Ridge (old houses only) numbers 1 – 13 and 2 – 34. Can anyone help please?

The papers are brought to you each month for you to deliver to each house in the road, which takes about an hour each month. If you can help please telephone Pauline on 9826935.

If a volunteer cannot be found, residents of these roads will have to collect their papers from the Library or Post Office.

Shirehampton Public Hall AGM

Wednesday 2nd July 2008 at 7.30 pm

All members of the public are welcome to attend the AGM

Light refreshments will be served

Creber alert!

We are aware that there are readers living out of the area and have an interest in the Creber family.

The Bristol Evening Post recently published an article about a postcard addressed to Mrs M Creber of Station Road, which arrived 39 years late!

We will pass this article on if you contact Shire through the normal channels.

Shirehampton Green - 1934

The Green, 1934 photo kindly donated by Anthony Mitchell

Eleven Little Piggies!

Lawrence Weston Community Farm is very pleased to announce the birth of eleven delightful little piglets. Maddie the Saddleback sow had her first litter on 13th May. The delivery went without a hitch and Maddie did a fantastic job taking only 2 hours to deliver eleven piglets.

They are running around practicing their oinking and suckling lots of milk.

Alex Wills, the Farm Manager said ‘We are delighted with the new arrivals. It has been a long time since there were any piglets at the farm and it is lovely for visitors and volunteers to see new life. All are welcome and come and see them. The farm is open Tuesday – Sunday from 9.30am – 4.30pm. Closed on Mondays.

View the Avonmouth archives

As you may be aware the Avonmouth Genealogy Group has transcribed and indexed many sources for family historians interested in Avonmouth forebears.  There will be an opportunity for people to search these and view our large collection of photographs at our stall in the Bristol & Avon Family History Society’s Open Day at Thornbury Leisure Centre on Saturday 27th September from 10am to 4pm.  There will be societies from around the region represented and Nick Barratt from BBC’s ‘Who do you think you are?’ will be giving a talk.

If you are interested in researching your family wherever they may have lived, this is an event worth visiting.