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News Index

Armed Robbery in Shirehampton

What’s on in July

Letters to the Editor

Smelters ‘Fantastic Four’

Success of New Web Site

Your Community Policeman PC Davies' Report

Saltwatery Names

St.  Mary’s News

Armed Robbery in Shirehampton

POLICE are appealing for the public’s help following an armed robbery in Shirehampton on Sunday June 22.  At about 1pm two men entered a bookmaker’s shop in The Parade, High Street, armed with what was believed to be a knife and a rifle.

They threatened staff and then made off with cash from the shop. They were seen running down a nearby alleyway into Pembroke Road and then Pembroke Avenue. They were also seen in Bradley Avenue and Bradley Crescent.

A member of the public pursued the two men – believed two be in their teens and almost managed to detain them before they got away.

Police have described the suspects as two men aged 15-16 years, one a white man and the other Asian. Both were wearing dark clothing, possibly hooded tops, one of them having black tracksuit bottoms into socks.

Police would like to hear from anyone who may have been in The Parade or other streets where the suspects were spotted around lunchtime on June 22.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Bristol CID on 0845 4567000.  Alternatively you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. You can also contact them through the secure Crimestoppers contact form at You do not have to give your name and you could receive a reward.

Old Shirehampton Photograph

Trevor Morgan of Dursley Road sent us this photograph, taken outside the Cottage gardens (The Nursery) in Station Road.  He would like to know what was the occasion being celebrated.  Trevor is the young lad on the right, standing on the wall and his mother, Elsie, is in front of the doorway to Trevor's right.  If the picture brings back memories of the occasion or of the people in it, do please write in and share them with us.

What’s on in July


Weekly Penpole Lunch Club 11am-1.45pm – 2 course meal £2.75. Transport door to door.

St Andrew’s Ladies Club – Bring and Share Supper, 7.30pm, St Andrew’s Church Hall.

The Bobby Van on the Green.

St Mary’s Craft Group weekly 2-3.30pm in church.

Totstop for Under 5s at Shirehampton Baptist Church – weekly 9-11am.


Public Hall AGM 7.30.  Light refreshments will be served.

Weekly Shirehampton Model Railway Club meets at 7.30pm at the Public Hall.

Bright Hour (Women’s Fellowship) Baptist Church at 2.30pm.

ACTA Community Youth Theatre - 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 - for details tel 904 7319.

Shirehampton Craft Group weekly 1.30-3pm at The Guide HQ, St Mary’s Road - tel. 982 3192.


Kick Boxing weekly – Public Hall 5.15-7.15pm.

Stroke Support every Thursday at the PBA Club Nibley Road 1.30-4 pm.

Slimming World weekly at Jim O’Neill House 5.30pm and 7pm.

Grainger Players Drama Club weekly at the Public Hall 7.30-9.30pm.

Kyoto Shotokhan Karate Club trains at Avonmouth RFC weekly 6.30-8.30pm.

AUS Shire Advice Service every Wednesday and Thursday 9.30-11 am at 115 High Street.

Shirehampton Townswomen’s Guild 2-4pm at the Methodist Church Hall.


Friday Fun for parents, carers and pre-school children 9.30-11am at Beachley Walk Centre weekly.

Evergreens at the Public Hall 2-3 pm weekly.

Bingo at the Public Hall 6.30-8.30 pm weekly.

Pillow Lace Group every Friday 7-9pm at the Public Hall.

Shirehampton Amateur Radio Club 7.30-10 pm weekly at T.S. Enterprise.

Keep Fit weekly at the Cotswold Community Centre Dursley Road 10.30-11.30am.


Bring and Buy Sale at Shirehampton Methodist Church 10.00am to 12 noon.


St Mary’s Patronal Festival Weekend. Saturday Summer Fayre 10am-12 noon in the Church. Filton Concert Band 3-4pm in the Church. Sunday 10am Holy Communion. 2.30pm Shirehampton Area Choir. Summer Concert ticket £6. Service of Compline 8pm.


Cotswold Church Service led by Baptist Church 4.45-5.30pm


‘Shire’ AGM at the Methodist Church Hall at 5.30pm - all readers welcome.

St Mary’s Church outing to St George’s Chapel, Windsor.

3 of us Bingo St Andrew’s Church Hall weekly 1.45-2.45pm.

Keep Fit weekly at Avonmouth Community Centre 7.30-8.30pm.

Basic Literary Skills Course at Lawrence Weston weekly – tel. 0117 913 8824 for details.

Kyoto Shotokhan Karate Club trains at St Bernard’s School weekly 6.30-8.30pm.

Drop-in Advice Centre AUS Community Association at St Andrew’s Church Hall, Avonmouth – weekly 9.30-11.30am sponsored by St Andrew’s Church.

TotStop for Under 5s at St Mary’s weekly 1.15-2.45pm.


Evergreen DayTrip to Paignton – train to Dartmouth and back.


Beat Surgery 10-11am alternating locations – Stowe House, Methodist Church Hall or Penpole Residents Association.

Women’s Fellowship at the Public Hall 8.30-9.30pm.

Women’s Bright Hour at the Baptist Church, Station Road 2.30-3.30pm.

THURSDAYS 10th and 24th JULY

Advice Sessions at St Mary’s 2-4pm – second and fourth Thursday of the month.


Roman Villa in Long Cross – open 10.30-4pm – free entry with key.


Local History Group in the Library at 2.30pm.


St Andrew’s Ladies Club AGM – bring or share supper 7.30pm at St Andrew’s Church Hall, Avonmouth.

Port of Bristol Retired Employees Association at the Sports and Social Club, Nibley Road – ‘Working with Police Horses’ with Mr Gary White.


Shirehampton Stitchers at the Public Hall 7.30pm.

Keep Fit at the Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road 10.30-11.30am for those with movement experience.


Carers Group meets at Avonmouth Medical 10am-12 noon.

Carers Group meets at Ridingleaze, Lawrence Weston 2pm.


Cotswold Service at Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road 4.45-5.30pm led by St Mary’s Church.

THURSDAY 24th July

Diabetes UK – Penpole Tenants Association Hall 7.30 pm.


End of Term 6 for all local schools.

Sequence Dance Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road 7.30-10pm.


St Mary’s Seniors Week Monday August 18th – Friday 20th August for people over 60.  Cost £40.


Playgroup at the Public Hall every week 9.15-11.45am Mon-Fri; 12.30-2.45pm Mon-Wed 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

City of Bristol Basic Skills Classes – FREE. Improve your English; Computers and Communication; Art and Communication; help with your maths.  Contact Gill Lloyd on 31125530

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


All readers are welcome to attend the ‘Shire’ AGM on Monday 7th July at the Methodist Church Hall.

Spring Delights

We would like to thank Monica and Liz for yet another excellent show. “Spring Delights” at the Public Hall on Friday 9th May was thoroughly enjoyed by all residents of Penhill especially Miss Ena Kellaway (of the Kellaway Players) who thought it a wonderful production – Well done everyone!

Penhill Residential Home, 81 Station Road.

Letters to the Editor

Old tug boat boy

Dear Editor,

Being an old Shire boy, I enjoy your editions of the “Shire”, there are always things of interest worth reading, in this case it is John Rogers USA. I feel I do remember him when at Portbury School.

An old tug boat boy myself, I have lots of memories of the old Avonmouth tug boats, I can remember some names but not all, I am sure they will jog his memory.

Borchards (London) a German Company was my employer, the coal burned “flying buzzard” they also had the Fairplay One, Fairplay Two, Steelopolis, Triton, other Companies eg Kings and Rhea included Sea Prince, Sea Gem, John Payne, Merrimal, Bristolian, Kingsgarth, Queensgarth, the Salisbury and John Brown were one tug company, also the Dane tugs.

I left the tugs in 1946 to go deep sea, best of luck to John Rogers USA

Tom Worlock


Dear Editor

On Monday evening at around 00.30am two or three youths went on a destruction campaign which lasted no more than the time it took them to casually walk from the bottom to the top of Penpole Avenue.  They systematically smashed approximately 7 wing mirrors including my own – which cost me £166 to get repaired. The youths carried on their conversation whilst at least one of them pulled out the folded wing mirrors (which a lot of us now do to try and avoid any damage!) and proceeded to put their full body weight on top of them. I have lived in Shirehampton all my life and am becoming increasingly ashamed and despondent not only at the seemingly increasing youth problems but also at the lack of visible input from the authorities to combat these problems.

Name and address supplied

Penpole Residents Association

On the 19th May 2008 a questionnaire was delivered to the whole of Penpole Estate and then collected on 21st May.

208 were delivered and 48 were returned.  A poor response, but we have been able to come up with some positive views from the residents.

The overall view is as follows.

The general state of the estate is very poor and needs a lot more work carried out.  The grass and bushes seem to be the biggest concern as it lowers the tone with everything being neglected.

Young people hanging around the estate late at night in the park, drunk, loud, using drugs and intimidating people on the estate by their presence.  The elderly do not feel safe to go out at night due to poor lighting and gangs of youths.  A.S.B.Os’ need to be used more on the estate so that people can be moved on.

The village has become “Silver City”, due to all the shuttered up property in the village.  People are concerned about the lack of competition being non existent in the village.  It is becoming over priced in the Co-op.  It would be nice to see an Iceland or Farm Foods in the village

A council member told the people of Shirehampton “that they have so much already”.  It seems very strange to that this person is unable to see the amount of shops that have been forced to close and the loss of amenities throughout the Area. Our swimming pool gone, Robin Cousin centre gone and the possible loss of Rob’s Gym.

Last but not least facilities for young people are wanted on the estate very badly.  At this moment in time it is a problem.  The Chair and myself are hoping when the new take over at Portway School is completed, we may be able to find away of resolving this problem. Team work all the way. So it still needs lots of discussion, not forgotten.

The people who filled in the questionnaire have been entered into a draw.  This will be held on Monday 7th July at the community rooms at 6.30pm.  All are welcome to attend the meeting being held and you can find out what answers we have been able to achieve.  Look forward to seeing you all there.

Secretary J Bird

Diamond Wedding

I know that centenarians celebrating their 100th birthday get a message from the Queen, but it wasn’t until I read in the Evening Post that a Diamond Wedding Jubilee couple also got a royal message of congratulations.  Who were the couple in question you may ask – it was Raymond and Dorothy Sharp, whose wedding took place on May 29th 1948, at St Bernard’s Church, Shirehampton. Raymond and Dorothy both worked at the Port of Bristol and that is how they met. Raymond worked in the traffic department and became an assistant docksman.

Dorothy was a shorthand typist and later on worked for the Catholic Adoption Society.  We gather the Wedding Anniversary was a family celebration, one son Grahame coming from Australia, and Gail and their other son John both from America, and their daughter Roseanna lives in UK.  Congratulations to Raymond and Dorothy Sharp, who live in Stoke Bishop and are well known locally.  Are there any other couples hereabouts who got married in one of the local churches 60 years ago?


Monica Eveyln Harston (nee Rae) wife of Reg, mother of John and Alan.  Passed away on he 3rd June 2008, aged 87.  Cheerio old friend, Peggy and Ray.

Reg Bounsall

The editor thanks Mrs Lou Bounsall and her son Ray for their kind donation following our announcement of their sad loss in an earlier edition.

Avonmouth Hockey Club

We are a very friendly, fun and social hockey club with 2 teams currently playing in the west Hockey leagues.

We are looking for new players with experience, or players who are new to the game to join us.  We are currently in summer training which takes place on Wednesday evenings, and begin team training in September which takes place weekly on Wednesday evenings at Henbury school.

It would be great to see new faces joining us!

For further information contact Sophie Lennox; (0117) 9829515, 07766116030,

Smelters ‘Fantastic Four’

The National Smelting Co Amateur Boxing Club (NSC ABC) based in Avonmouth have had a great run of results with its junior boxing team of late. Two weeks ago 14-year-old lightweight ‘Dynamite’ Jason Davies notched up his third win with a solid performance of skillful boxing at the King Alfred’s show in Highbridge on Saturday the 24th of May.  Matched against David Green of Ventor ABC that had travelled all the way from Newport, Isle of Whight to compete on this bill.

Informed Smelters Head Coach Garry Cave “I was extremely pleased with Jason’s performance, he’s coming on leaps and bounds, he might be a relative novice with only four bouts but he boxes like he’s been in the game years.  He put in a fantastic first round and had the Ventor lad under loads of pressure. The second and third rounds got a bit scrappy as the Ventor lad just couldn’t cope with Jason’s accurate punching, so tried to turn it into a bit of a brawl but Jas kept his head and boxed very well winning a unanimous pts verdict”.

Friday saw two of the youngest members of the Smelters boxing team in action matched on the Sydenham ABC bill held in Taunton. First on the bill was 11-year-old Jerry ‘Might Mouse’ Connors boxing in his first competitive bout against the hosts clubs Callum James.

Said Coach Cave “ Jerry is one of the most talented young boxers I’ve ever seen, he’s following in the footsteps of four of his older brothers that all box for the club, but he has the talent to be the pick of the bunch.  He trains so hard and gives everything in the gym.  He boxed like a superstar with every punch and move in the book winning a unanimous points verdict with a master class in controlled boxing. It’s very early days for this lad but I think he’s going to be a bit special”.

Next up for the Smelters stable was 11-year-old Jake ‘Monster’ Musgrove boxing against southpaw stylist James Smith of MYCON ABC. Reported Cave “ We gave away 11 months in age and a good head in height but it didn’t count for nothing as Jake just got stuck in and landed plenty of big right handers with a strong display of pressure boxing and deservedly taking a pts win”.

Saturday was the turn of Shirehampton 16-year-old Schoolboy and Lightweight prospect Nathan ‘Da Mongoose’ Snow.

Boxing on the Yeovil ABC bill against hometown favorite Elliot Buckling.

Informed Cave “ Nath's had a few early wins and I was expecting fireworks and he didn’t disappoint, firing in loads of rib benders that had the Yeovil kid backing up clearly winded but full respect to him he sucked it up a and came back firing so Nath didn’t have it all his own way. But after three rounds the result was never in doubt with Nathan winning a pts verdict and moving onto his sixth win. That was Nathan’s best performance, more controlled and composed.  After winning a Western Counties title this year I fancy him to develop into a formidable senior boxer for the club and go on to win many more titles”.

Said Cave “ I’m proud of any youngster that climbs through the ropes, win or lose they’re all champions in my eyes.  With so much youth crime in the news it’s a pleasure to see young men and women dedicating themselves to an Olympic sport like boxing and pursuing they’re dreams.  Amateur boxing has so much to offer, fitness, self-discipline, friendship and the chance to excel in sport all the way to a gold medal in the Olympics”.

The Fantastic Four

The Smelters are next in action on their last home show of this season on Thursday the 12th of June at Avonmouth Rugby Club, Barracks Lane, doors open at 7:30pm, first bell 8pm where they take on the best of Brighton in a team match billed as ‘The Southern Showdown’.

Tickets available priced £10 adult and £5 under 16’s from ARUFC on 0117 9829093.

Message in a Bottle

Message in a bottle is a simple scheme, which involves a small canister, an information form and two stickers, which are given to people with medical problems or allergies.  People fill in the form with their medical details, and the telephone number of who to call if they are ill, particularly if they have a pet, who will need looking after.  They put the form and a copy of their repeat prescriptions into the canister and put the canister in the door of their fridge, where it is easy to find and protected from fire. One sticker is put on the outside of the fridge door and the other on the inside of the front door.  Ambulance Crews and GP’s who do out of hour visits, are part of this scheme and they will look out for the stickers.

This is a national scheme and we have been running it in Bristol Primary Care Trust since 2005.  In that time we have given out over 10,000 bottles. Elizabeth Williams from Bristol PCT said “Message in a bottle has been very successful, NHS staff find the information useful and people on medication or with an allergy find it reassuring.  The scheme has saved lives”.

We have just received another batch of bottles, so we have lots to give away.

If people would like a bottle for their fridge, they can ask their Community Nurse or contact David Manning, on 0117 9002266 or email him on and he will gladly put a bottle in the post.

Success of New Web Site

In our May issue we reported that our own web site, Shire on the Web, had been redesigned.  We are very pleased with the reception this has had. In the first 5 weeks of operation, 1,967 distinct individuals have visited the improved site, and many have returned for follow-up visits.  We have had some excellent feedback from users.

Why not visit the site yourself. It is at Just type this into your browser, and you will get to our home page. There is a menu bar at the bottom.  Click items here to explore the site.

There are a number of Message Boards. If you want to Find a Friend, have a question about local Family History, or have any general Notes & Queries about Shirehampton, do post a message on the relevant board.

The Businesses section of the site has information and links to a number of local businesses. If you have a business, do consider promoting it here. It costs only £15 for a whole year.

Do let us have feedback on the site, as it is your comments which help us to improve it. You can send comments through the on-line contact form on the Contact page.

Pill Ferry

Many older residents will have vivid memories of this historic crossing. On a summer evening gliding across from the Lamps to the other side on the turn of the tide was a magic experience.  With the light failing on a wet and windy evening and the tide well beyond the turn there was little magic, just a fervent hope that one would arrive safely and relatively dry. The eventual completion of the M5 bridge just downstream spelled the end of the ferry but families without cars and with relatives on both sides of the river found it difficult and expensive to keep in touch.

Picture by kind permission of Anthony Mitchell

Your Community Policeman PC Davies' Report

July 2008

Car Thieves are once again operating over the whole of the Avonmouth and Shirehampton area. Do not leave ANYTHING on view in your car. Even a coat or jumper will tempt a car thief. In particular thieves are after Sat Navs and cassettes

Operation Brave – this is still an ongoing operation that covers the whole of Avonmouth District, that is right through to Brentry and Sea Mills. It is targeted specifically at anti social behaviour of all types, from dropping cigarette ends and litter, rowdy behaviour, bad language through to underage drinking and alcohol-fuelled incidents.  We will continue with zero tolerance of that minority who do not respect others and whose behaviour makes life unpleasant and difficult for the majority.  Please do not be frightened of reporting anti social behaviour, you tell us what is going on and we will deal with it. In this respect many of you will be aware of the new “shelter” that has been provided at Beachley Walk Park for the youth.  A small number of youths have abused this facility and we have made arrests in relation to graffiti, drugs and under age drinking.

Burglaries in particular garden sheds. The thieves are still out there looking for every opportunity. Keep your sheds securely locked and all garden equipment safely put away. Remember a spade left propped against the wall can be used to smash a window to get into your house!

Shop thefts are still a problem.  Please help your traders by reporting or drawing attention to anything suspicious you see. If you see someone take something, make a noise, shout, point. Your traders need you to help them.

Drugs – Avon and Somerset Police have had numerous successes with major drugs hauls, but also plenty of success on the more local front. It is an ongoing problem. It you have concerns ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or the main Police Switchboard on 0845 4567000.  We have 2 new PCSO’s joining us shortly, one posted to Henbury, one to Lawrence Weston with another currently in training who will join us here in Shirehampton.  Also joining us in Shirehampton is a new Special Constable. You can expect some high visibility.  Please talk to them when you see them out an about and make them welcome.

Lead theft is still a National Problem, any information about local thieves will be treated confidentially, please let us know who these people are.

With the warmer weather comes the added problem of alcohol being consumed to excess, street drinking, underage drinking and all the associated anti-social behaviour. There will be no tolerance shown in respect of any of these issues.

Finally, The Rising Sun. I doubt there is anyone in Shirehampton that does not know of the closure of the Pub.  At present the process of de-licensing is taking place and it is unlikely that it will ever re-open as a licensed premises. This closure came about because of Public Opinion and People Power. Those emails, letters, telephone calls all aided the Police Licensing Department to exert pressure on the owners of the property and Bristol City Council, Environmental Health and Licensing Departments. The closure of the Pub has released a team of officers to now help with other Policing matters.

Keep those calls coming.  We cannot do without your help. Drugs, lead, dealing in stolen goods, if you have any information and you want the village cleared of these scourges talk to us.

PC Gareth Davies

Saltwatery Names

by Richard Coates (

The oldest maps of our area show Shirehampton surrounded by muddy riverbanks and marshland, and this is reflected in the local place-names. Two words for land subject to saltwater flooding are very particular to the Severn area, and we have had both of them.

Saltmarsh is land that is overflowed twice a day by the high tide, and its plantlife is specially adapted to saltwater conditions. There are no true saltmarshes in Shire or Avonmouth, because of the peculiar tidal conditions in the Avon within its present banks. The tide falls and rises so strongly that it would scour any saltmarsh plants away. The original marshlands have been enclosed by sea-banks built over the centuries so that they are no longer overflowed by the tide. Outside these banks there is grassland which used to be used for grazing, and which is overflowed only by the highest of high tides, not twice daily. The local name for this is (or was) warth-land, sometimes called wharf, and on old maps we find Shirehampton Warth, Great Warth and Hungroad Warth, along the Severn and the Avon. This land has been enclosed by banks in stages, and there used to be a field called Warth Ground in Avonmouth stranded between the older and the newer sea-bank.

Another word local to the Severn estuary is dumble or dumball. This seems to have meant land similar to the warth, but subtly different in some way. In parishes which have both, like Slimbridge, the dumble is mainly level ground extending further out into the river, and includes some true saltmarsh.  And Shirehampton once had its Dumball Island. It’s called The Dung ball Island on the first Ordnance Survey map in the early 19th century! This was once separated from the land called Great Warth by the deepwater channel of the Avon, and it disappeared finally when the Royal Edward Dock at Avonmouth was built in the early 1900s.

March 2008

Richard has written the history of the word dumble in the Journal of the English Place-Name Society, vol. 39 (2007)

We apologise to Professor Coates for not acknowledging his authorship of the article about Park Road and Old Park Road in the June issue of Shire.

Meeting in August

If your club or society meets in August and you would like it mentioned on page 2 of the August edition of “SHIRE”, please tell us via the Library or Email by July 10th. You may remember that in August we do not print a “What’s On” as several clubs and societies take a break that month, and start again in September.

Wanna Play Rugby?

Avonmouth OBRFC was founded 111 years ago and is still going strong.

Last season it became Western Counties North Champions, achieved Promotion into SOUTHWEST 2, provided 5 Members of the 1st XV selected for the Bristol Combination Senior Squad, received coaching from Bristol Rugby player Joe El Abd and ex Bristol player Wayne Hone.

The club is now recruiting new members, no matter your age, size, shape or gender new players and members are welcome. Training takes place every Tuesday and Thursday. To find out more about your local club please do not hesitate to contact us on 0117 982 9093 or visit us at

The Instep Club

The club meets every Wednesday at Stoke Bishop Village Hall from 8pm until 10.30. It is a great place for surviving partners, widows, widowers to meet after bereavement.  Activities include: Social, Ballroom and Sequence Dancing, Outings, Theatre, Skittles and much more. To find out more about the club please phone Fred or Nora on 0117 968 2190

Car Boot/Table Top Sale

A sale will be held at on Sat 9th AUGUST 2008, at Stow House, Nibley Road, Shirehampton. The sale is in aid of Asthma UK. It will start at 12 noon. Refreshments will be served throughout the day. There will be a raffle.

To book a place £7.00 per table, phone Joan Cormack on 07931910488 0r 07867550626


Please give you support as all proceeds made will be donated to a well worth cause.

36th Annual Art Exhibition

The exhibition was held, as usual, in the Shirehampton Community Hall. There were 166 entries, including 4 papier mache animal figures by Sally Knowlson. John Case introduced Pat Squire, widow of Phil Squire, founder of Twyford Art Club and welcomed the exhibitors and friends.  He paid tribute to the committee of the club, including James Tucker, Esme Howlett, Audrey Curtis, Tony Warren, Gerry Bessell and Jean Cooper who helped to front an exhibition worthy of the artists involved.  Pat Squire spoke amusingly of the trials of being married to an artist.

She commented on the variety and high standard of the pieces of art shown and said that she had had much pleasure in viewing all of them. Gerry Bessell then presented her with a small gift from the Club, thanking her for coming. From remarks that stewards received it was obvious that the local people enjoyed and were astonished at the standard of the work on view.

We are happy to invite new membership and if anyone is interested please phone Esme Howlett on 0117 9829800 for details of the club. The exhibition is sponsored by SHIRE whose support and assistance is appreciated.

Jean Cooper

Photographs by kind permission of Andrew E Stuart

Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF)

If you go down to Beachley Walk…you will be amazed to see we have finally succeeded in getting a Youth Shelter for our local young people.

Still working on that Plastics Recycling Bank for the Health Centre Car Park – pushing this hard – have been trying to get this allocated for Shire for over a year now

Shire Greens – have adopted Shire Railway Station – look out for some lovely & significant improvements

Penpole Point – Firm commitment from BCC Parks to improve the upkeep of this area starting soon, also we will be doing a joint clear up project with BCC Parks & getting a seat/bench put in at a suitable vantage point

If you would like to be kept up to date with all the issues we are working on, we can add you to our mailing list – which is free. Better still, why not join us in making a difference to our local communities

Next Full Forum Meetings at Shire Public Hall, Station Road (Fully Accessible):

Wednesday 3 September, 7-9pm – AGM, Thursday 20 November, 2-4pm >– EVERYONE WELCOME –

For Further info, please contact Ash Bearman, SCAF’s Community Development Officer (based at Shire Public Hall) on 0117 982 9963 – email

Shirehampton Public Hall Newsletter

Our AGM is on 2nd July at 7.30pm. Do feel welcome to come and see what we get up to. The annual report will give a flavour of the many and varied activities and groups that meet at the Hall.  We will be electing new Trustees. If you miss the meeting, it’s not too late; we still welcome new applicants.  All you have to do is to talk to any of the existing trustees or staff at the Hall.

There will be exciting changes ahead because of our long-standing Chairman, David Thomas is standing down from the board.  He has seen the Hall through celebrations for the Millennium and the Centrenary of the building.  He has also been instrumental ins steering the change from a simply charity to a company limited gy guarantee, which puts the Public Hall Community Association on a more secure footing for the future. For example this has enabled us to negotiate a lease om the Hall from Bristol City Council at a peppercorn rent. So we now have a clear contact and a commitment from the Council to maintain the building for community use.  Until this happened we had no security of tenure or clear financial support.

David feels it is time for a change and the new Chairperson will be able to lead the Hall with a fresh approach.

I will report on the changes in next month’s newsletter.

In the meantime, most groups continue to meet during the summer.  Check our notice board for what’s on. The garden is alive with happy children most mornings but there are quiet times for anyone to sit and enjoy the sunshine.


Sensible Precautions

When answering the front door

LOCK all doors

STOP think, is anyone expected?

CHAIN on before opening the door.

Ask for I.D and CHECK it.

Doorstep sellers are not your friends

You ask the questions

Take time to think and shop around

It’s your doorstep, you can ask them to leave. If they don’t – DIAL 999

Help and advice from Trading Standards

DIAL 08454 040506

Avon and Somerset Police –

DIAL 0845 4567000

Health celebrations at the double!

Local people are invited to join nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals in a double celebration of health services on Saturday 5 July, with the official opening of Shirehampton’s new £4.4 million health centre.  The health centre is holding an open day, timed to coincide with the NHS’s 60th anniversary.

A host of activities and events are planned for the afternoon (between 2.00pm and 4.00pm), with the official opening at 3.00pm.  Patients who registered with the NHS on the day it came into being in July 1948 are the ‘VIPs’ who have been invited to perform the opening ceremony.

Local people will be able to tour the new building, which opened in December.  They will be able to test their healthiness with a range of interactive activities, such as carbon monoxide testing, body mass index calculation (that determines if someone is within a healthy weight limit), and an infection control light box (that shows up if a person’s hands have not be washed free of germs).

Thanks to local Brownie groups, young people with have activities specially aimed at raising awareness of health issues.  Besides refreshments, ‘freebies’ such as balloons and goody bags will be given to visitors.

The centre replaces the former health centre and is nearly double the size of the previous building.

The development was built in partnership between Bristol Primary Care Trust with Bristol Infracare LIFT Ltd – a local finance company.

It provides more consulting rooms, a pharmacy and will enable the centre to provide a greater range of services in a more spacious and modern environment.

Group Practice Manager Carole Brooke says,

“The opening of the health centre and the NHS’s 60th anniversary are both momentous occasions.  We are delighted to share our celebrations with Shirehampton residents and patients.  We are really proud of our brand new facility, and indeed the NHS as a whole.  We hope as many people as possible will come and see a great example of how far the NHS has come in six decades.”

In 1948, for the first time prevention, diagnosis and treatment were brought together under one umbrella organisation to create one of the most comprehensive health services in the world: the NHS.  The NHS has shown the world the way to healthcare, not as a privilege to be paid for, but as a fundamental human right

Over the last 60 years, the hard work and skills of NHS staff, coupled with medical progress, has helped drive up standards and quality of care for millions.

People now live on average at least 10 years longer than they did in 1948. Deaths from cancer and heart disease have fallen dramatically and Britain is one of the safest places in the world.

Avonmouth Medical Centre – Collins Street

December 2007 Avonmouth Medical Centre opened their doors for an inaugural Christmas party for the YOUNG AT HEART. The staff were blown away by the attendance and enthusiasm shown by all who attended. One local said “We have not had anything like this in Avonmouth for a good 60 years, well done!” Following on from this success we are pleased to invite both patients and locals to our Summer party named appropriately as a “Mad Hatters Tea Party” on Thursday 24th July 2008 2 to 4pm.

So all you young at heart please do join us for a 2pm start aiming to finish at about 4pm to sing along to all your old favourites, we will have a pianist and song sheets available, we will do a raffle again as requested and this time we are going to add in Bingo.  Please do join us for strawberries and cream with tea and coffee.  Any who have transport problems let us know and we will arrange pick up again. The only must is a hat and a smile.

Severn Four Credit Union Limited & Shire Advice Service & Avon Fire and Rescue

We would like to invite everyone to an information day at St Andrews Church Hall, Avonmouth on Monday July 7th 2008 – 10am to 11am

Severn Four Credit Union Ltd offers a savings and loan facility that serves anyone who lives or works in Bristol.  After joining the Credit Union, members save and after 8 weeks saving they can borrow money at an incredible 1% per month on the reducing balance (12.68% APR) A fantastic facility especially for those who have a poor credit rating or no bank account, although Credit Union is not a “poor man’s bank” – anyone can save with us regardless of income! For telephone enquiries please call 0117 938 1439.

Shire Advice Service provides access to free, high, quality legal advice and information on a wide variety of issues including welfare benefits, debt, housing, consumer and employment law. If you have something that’s worrying you then come and see our advice worker, everybody is welcome and we offer advice and information to all sections of the community. For telephone enquiries please call 0117 982 9399

Avon Fire and Rescue will be giving information on home fire safety and offering free home visits to check your smoke alarms if you have them! If not, then they will fit them for free on a pre-arranged visit.  Ladies, if you like a man in uniform then this is the place to be!

To find out more about us please join us for tea, coffee and cakes.  We look forward to seeing you there!

FREE electric blanket testing 2008

Bristol City Council and Avon Fire and Rescue Services are again offering

free electric blanket safety checks at the following venues.  Also on offer will be free safety advice and a chance of a free home safety inspection. Spaces are limited so make that booking now!

On October 9 at Shirehampton Health Centre, 9/30am - 4pm. Tel: 0117 922 3522

A recent council survey showed that over half of the blankets checked had potential life threatening faults such as defective overheat protection, and exposed wires.

National figures also show that 95 per cent of electric blanket fires are caused by blankets which are over 12 years old.

Modern designs are also potentially dangerous as although they are made to fail safe, problems can still arise through misuse, such as poorly wired plugs and broken switches.

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

Other venues may be confirmed in the near future.

For further information ring 01179 223522


Six months after their introduction Jane Smith of AMD solicitors reviews the new Powers

The new Lasting Powers of attorney were introduced on 1 Oct 2007.  There is no doubt the new procedure takes more time to complete, but is it worth the time and the effort and of course, the cost ?

The purpose of making a Power of Attorney remains unchanged - it is a means of empowering someone else to make decisions on your behalf.

In recent months, when I have been taking instructions for these new powers, it has become obvious that clients are pleasantly surprised by the range of options the new procedure makes available to them

Whilst donors can still appoint attorneys to act together or separately to each other, they can also now appoint replacement attorneys. This gives additional peace of mind to those who wish to appoint as their preferred choice an attorney who is of the same generation, as they can do so in the knowledge that if that person is unable to act they have a replacement waiting in the wings.

Donors can specify restrictions, which are binding upon their attorneys. Examples include limiting the assets attorneys can deal with or the way in which they can be used.

Donors can also give guidance to their attorneys.  Whilst such guidance is not binding, it does give the donor the opportunity to express wishes on certain issues which would assist the attorney in making decisions.

An important addition to the new procedure is that a donor can choose who should be notified when an application to register the power is made.  This provides a safeguard for the donor as if those named believe that the attorney is acting incorrectly in registering or in dealing with the donor’s financial affairs they can object and the Office of the Public Guardian will then investigate their allegations.

It seems that the donor now has a real choice when considering who and how their financial affairs should be dealt with.  Making a Lasting Power of Attorney is a better and more certain option than doing nothing and trusting to hope that the person who applies to look after your affairs or who is appointed by the Court to do so, will act and look after your affairs in the way that you would wish.

Copyright AMD Solicitors

St.  Mary’s News

Hi Folks!

Here we are in the month of July and our Patronal Festival when I always believe that St.  Mary’s looks its best. The building lends itself in all its beauty with the flowers on display and it really does then look remarkable! As a relatively modern type of church building you will have to search hard for another which has such appeal. On Saturday 5th July will be our Summer Fayre when all those culinary delights appear once again – all meticulously prepared by our Lay minister Gill Sawyer.

The church will be open from 10am until 12 noon – and if past experience is anything to go by – you will need to be there early if you have set your mind on buying a particular favourite! Once you have made your purchases, you can then sit back and relax with a cup of tea or coffee, or even take a nice slow casual walk around the church to admire the Flower Display. But there’s more, there’s more! Because from 2.30 pm until 4.30 pm Cream Teas will be served at the back of the church and from 3 until 4pm you will be entertained by the Filton Concert Brass Band. They will be playing their music in the churchyard – but should the horror of horrors occur and it should unfortunately rain – then they will play inside the church building.

The next day – Sunday 6th July – is the Patronal Festival Day when we remember our Patron Saint – St.  Mary. But at our 10am Holy Communion Service we will be celebrating another occasion as well – it will be the first service Canon Christine will be taking after her 3 month sabbatical leave.  At last those long 3 months are over and I bet you wont find many empty seats – it any! We will be overjoyed at her return – me especially, because I am her right hand man – my seat is on the right had side of hers!!! (Just think of all those “hugs and kisses” the people of the Parish have been denied since last Easter Sunday!) But you are all being spoiled because at 2.30pm the same afternoon the Shirehampton Area Choir will be performing their Summer Concert in church.

Tickets for this are £6 and include a Cream Tea – and may be obtained from Gill Sawyer from the Church Office.  All funds raised will go towards maintaining St.  Mary’s. Even then, it is not the end – because a short service of Compline is to be said at 8.00pm which will draw this exciting day to a quiet conclusion. On the very next day is our Parish outing to St. George’s Chapel, Windsor. This proved a very popular choice and all tickets for this day were quickly “snapped up”.  We shall start with “brunch” in the church before boarding the coach for our journey to Windsor.  Here we shall have a guided tour of St. George’s Chapel followed by Evensong sung by the Lay Clerks and yet another Cream Tea afterwards! You are no doubt aware from my previous articles how much I love Choral Music, but I must tell you we try and cater for all tastes at St.  Mary’s, because we have a Worship Group that lead services on the last Sunday of each month. This is usually at our Family Service or Parade Service or Baptism at 10.00am. It consists of the following – Tim Forder on the Electronic Keyboard, Ray Smith, Alan Gibson and Lucie Broad on Guitars complemented by a number of singers.

This service if more informal than the usual Holy Communion Service but the Worship Group also lead the 6.00pm Holy Communion Service with Healing on that same Sunday evening. If this appeals to you then why not come along and try it out for yourselves – if you didn’t know before you do now! Well, with the warmer weather now here it is the Open Gardens Season and we have already had the pleasure of seeing Ray Brocklebys garden at Keswick House, Julie and Ray Smiths at Walton Road, Christine and Neil Porter at Old Sneed Park, Stoke Bishop and Gill and Tony Sawyers at Greenhill Plantation, Kingsweston. There is plenty of time to sign up if you wish to open your garden – the calendar can be found at the back of the Church on the notice board. Even if it should rain – I’m sure you will give a “sunny” welcome to any visitors!!

Back in May we enjoyed an evening of music provided by the Avon Fire and Rescue Service Brass Band in aid of the “Jessie May Trust”. There was a very varied selection of pieces ranging from Classical, Jazz, Popular Music and music from the films. It is to be hoped they will perform another concert in St.  Mary’s next year! You will recall that I mentioned last month that a clock was to be installed in our Church Tower – well if you haven’t looked heavenward recently then you will have missed the fact that it is already up there and working. Once the scaffolding, which is up there for our roof repairs following the theft of the lead last year, is removed, you will get an uninterrupted view of it. On the subject of the Bell Tower, I have received reports that an individual, probably the worse for drink, decided to climb the scaffolding late one night to reach the Bell Tower and ring the Bells.

Apart from doing such a dangerous thing in the dark, our Architects on a recent examination of the building have said that the Bells must not be rung as unsafe! They are perfectly okay if left alone, but there is some sign of corrosion around the securing bolts. The last thing we want, after the previous theft and damage, is for one of the Bells to come crashing through the Chancel Roof. This would be an absolute catastrophe as it is unlikely our Insurers would pay out any further money as we have already reached the limit of our Claims.

I am totally unconcerned if the culprit should unfortunately crash through the roof with it. So yet again I appeal for anyone who may spot a person on the roof after dark to inform the police immediately via the 999 service. The workmen will only be found up there during daylight hours.  As many of you will be aware our former Curate – Andy Schuman – has left us for pastures new. Twenty three of us from St.  Mary’s went to the Church of Christ the Servant, Stockwood, on the evening of Wednesday, 28th May when the Bishop of Bristol installed Andy as the Associate Vicar in that Parish.  He will spend approximately 50% of his time in the parish and the remaining 50% assisting other churches in south Bristol – covering services in parishes where the Incumbent is sick or on leave or where there is no permanent priest at all.

We already miss him and his family at St.  Mary’s and wish them well in this new part of Andy’s ministry.  Another person who said farewell to us was Duncan Jennings whose last service with us at St.  Mary’s was on Sunday 1st June before he becomes ordained as Deacon in Winchester Cathedral on Sunday 29th June 2009. Duncan will then become Curate at St.  Christopher’s, Thornhill, near Southampton. There will be a goodly number supporting him from St.  Mary’s at Winchester Cathedral on that memorable day for him.  At dates yet to be decided in July, the children from our “Kids Klub” who meet every Sunday morning at 8.30 for Breakfast and a short Service afterwards, will be receiving religious books of their choice at the “Annual Prize Giving” usually conducted by Canon Christine.  No-one is left out – every child will receive a prize! Also the children are to be taken to the Cinema to see the film “Prince Caspian” which is the next one in the Narnia series.

Now that Canon Christine has returned to the parish we must all give the Rev. Trevor Hearn a great big thank you for running a “good ship” during Canon Christine’s absence. (Well, I’d be surprised if he didn’t being a former Mission to Seamen Chaplain!) Trevor has chaired PCC Meetings and taken mid-week Services as well as Sunday Services for which we are truly very grateful. Thank you Trevor we hope you enjoyed coming out of retirement as much as we did having you at the helm at St.  Mary’s. (“helm” – another naval term I bet he will like that!).

Also it would be unfair to miss out Gill Sawyer – our Lay Minister – who throughout each day has borne the brunt of all the administrative work, taken Funeral Services and been responsible for seeing that the daily offices have been said as well as overseeing the day to day duties at St.  Mary’s to keep “the show on the road”.

We could not have done it without you Gill!! Thank-you!! There’s even a chance now that Tony may get his wife back! Finally, we have to say goodbye to a regular member of our Sunday morning congregation – “Skye” the trainee Guide Dog who has been under the watchful eye of Peta Battersby each week. She will spend her last Service with us on Sunday 6th July before moving away for further training, “Skye” even attends the Shirehampton Area Choir Practise and hasn’t protested or howled once. I think our Music Director – Tim Forder – can now be confident our singing hasn’t been that bad!! Well, that’s all for this month! ‘Bye for now

C.M.E June 08

Remembrance of Grace Mary Sill

Mary Sill will be remembered by many as someone who was one of the first three women to be ordained as Deaconesses in Bristol in 1966. She was a Parish Worker in Lawrence Weston for seven years and then spent 14 years as an assistant to the Anglican Chaplain in Southmead Hospital.  Later she moved to Tyndall Court (Church Housing). In 1999 Mary was one of the people who received Maundy money from the Queen in Bristol Cathedral.  Mary was a Bristolian born and bred, she started her working life as a Laboratory Technician in Southmead Hospital.

During the war, she served in the Medical Corps, in the blood transfusion service, travelling round the country and also going to France and Germany.  Mary died in the General Hospital on May 13th, having suffered a slight stroke, she was in her mid nineties.  As her god-daughter Jane Bragg wrote in the Evening Post:- “Mary was always upbeat and positive”, to which I would add she had a very good sense of humour and will be remembered with affection by all those who knew her.



Jack Cooke is a popular and well known personality and on Saturday 26th July he will be celebrating his 99th birthday. Born in Westbury-on-Trym Jack has lived his life locally, from Westbury he moved to Avonmouth and then to Shirehampton.  He has lived for the last 12 years in the “Orchard” situated behind the Methodist Church. Jack worked for many years as a Tally Clerk at Avonmouth Dock then after retiring from the Dock he found work at Nurdin and Peacocks. Jack married Grace 3 years ago and he is well and happy mainly due to the loving care that he receives from Grace.  All jacks neighbours and friends at the ORCHARDS would like to congratulate him on his long life and wish him a very Happy Birthday.

The Shirehampton Colts FC

The Shirehampton Colts Football Club was founded in 1977-78. Over the years it has grown steadily and now has 320 local children signed on, boys and girls at various ages ranging from under eight to under 17. The Club’s teams play in the Hanham Minor League, the Avon Youth League and the Bristol Girls League.

The club held its annual presentation at the University of the West of England in the Merchant Suite. 650 parents, friends and children attended this event on Saturday may 10th. The club was very fortunate to have a special guest to hand out the trophies to the children. The guest, Matthew Groves, a local lad from Shirehampton, started playing football for the Colts at the age of 11.  Now he is a professional footballer with Bristol Rovers.  Peter Root the chairman of Shirehampton Colts football club told the children how Matthew has progressed to where he is today. It was a great honour to have Matthew present the trophies.  Pete said there are some very talented footballers in the club and with hard work and dedication it is possible for them to progress into a professional career just as Matt has done. The evening went extremely well with almost 400 trophies being handed out to around 300 local children.

The club welcomes children of all ages and ability. The whole ethos of the club is for children to learn to interact with each other, to make friends, to keep fit and to have fun playing “The beautiful game”. The coach’s role is to help build self-belief, self confidence and respect for others.  At the same time the coaches expect to find that nearly all children will show a real improvement in skill, balance and control as they develop.

The senior management committee and all its coaches have worked extremely hard over the past few years and as a result the club has just been awarded Charter Standard Status by the Football Association. This recognises that all coaches are CRB checked, trained in First Aid, have undertaken Child Protection courses and have Level 1 and Level 2 coaching badges with the FA.

Training goes on throughout the summer. If anyone from under 8 to under 17 is interested in playing please contact Wayne Harvey on 0117 938 4125. The work involved in organising the programme, providing pitches, training venues and equipment, coaching and transport throughout the season is formidable and as a community Shirehampton is fortunate indeed that so many people are prepared to dedicate so much of their time and energy in such an excellent and worthwhile cause, and that so many of our young people are willing to participate.

Under 9s 2007 at Stoke Lodge

1977/78 Season Under 12s - first ever Colts Team.

Back L-R: Mark Thorne, Darren Nurse, Andy Keel, Darren Giltrow, Steve Walford, Andy Trott, Ian Venn. Front L-R: Steve Beechgood, Stuart Parker? Darren Harvey, James Povey, Wayne Harvey, Stuart Wilson. Sat: Jon Tout, Paul Sawyer - photo taken at first ever friendly in 1978 at Frampton.  Wayne Harvey now recalled “I think we lost 18-1 and the referee scored our goal.”

Also in the picture is manager/coach Mike Roberts.

Afterword ...

In this edition of Shire, sadly, we have headlined on the front page a report of an armed burglary in the high Street, allegedly involving two youths and elsewhere in the paper a resident living near the High Street has complained about mindless vandalism of parked cars by youths in broad daylight.

Indeed we are all aware of the widespread occurrence of anti-social behaviour on the part of the young people, much or it so commonplace that we rarely even report it.

On the other hand we sometimes need to be reminded that there are an enormous number of our young people who are not mindlessly negative and destructive but are actively and enthusiastically involved within the community in sport and other physical and social activities.

In this paper just in a single month we report on the 150th anniversary of the Cricket Club, the 85th anniversary of the Avonmouth Rugby Club, the 30th anniversary of the Shirehampton Colts Football Club.

In addition we have Scouts, Cubs, Guides, Rainbows and Brownies, Sea Cadets, the smelters Boxing Club, the Young Ladies Cricket Team, hockey teams, dancing schools, a karate club and so on.

We should all celebrate and be grateful for the way in which so many of our young people throw themselves whole heartedly into these and many other activities.

We should also appreciate the great contribution made by those who organise these activities throughout the year, giving generously of their time and experience, as they in turn have benefited as youngsters from those who went before and engaged their commitment.

Whilst we rightly deplore the anti-social actions of a few we should rejoice and be grateful that so many of our young people are enriching the quality of their lives and learning about friendship, responsibility and self-respect by working with tier peers under the guidance of dedicated leaders.

Port of Bristol Retired Employees Association

Are you a retired employee of the PBA (or perhaps receiving a dependents pension from the Port?)

If the answer is yes why not join us for our monthly reunion meeting at the PBA Clubhouse on Nibley Road.  We meet on the third Tuesday of every month. The bar is open from 12.00 with snacks available, and we have a brief meeting followed by refreshments and then some entertainment.

Last month on 17th June the entertainment was provided by Susan Marshfield, who talked on the subject “Thank-you Doctor” which proved very amusing. Be assured of a warm welcome – come and bring a friend.  Next months meeting date is 15th July, when we have an item about Police horses. For further information please ring Clive Seward (Vice Chair) on 0779 123 9483

Success for Portway School

Year 11 pupil Hannah Hawkins has been picked to represent Portway School in the 2008 Junior Master Chef Competition, to be held at the College Green Centre

Congratulations Hannah

Pet Show

The Cotswold Community Association is holding a Pet Show in the CCA Hall, Dursley Road on Saturday 12 July at 2pm.  All pets (with their owners!) Are welcome. Entrance is £1 per pet. The show’s judge will be a local vet.

Full details can be obtained by ringing 9831029.