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News Index

Diamond anniversary of the NHS - Opening of new Health Centre

Light at the end of the tunnel for the Robin Cousins Centre

Police Action

Letters to the Editor

Pie-in-the-sky-ery Shirey Priory

Oasis Academy Brightstowe

From Words Given at Fernley’s Funeral

Shire on the Web

St. Mary's News

Diamond anniversary of the NHS - Opening of new Health Centre

Couldn’t really believe that the National Health had been going for 60 years. You may have thought as I did that the invitation was just wander round the new Health Centre, but in fact there was much more that just that. Lots of stalls, showing different aspects of health and safety.

For example, the Fire Service were distributing tea towels on which were printed that 70% of house fires start while people are cooking. Also printed on the towel what to do in a fire emergency if your clothing is alight. There are home fire safety visits free, and smoke alarms.

Another stall encouraged exercise and offered small pedometers to encourage us to exercise by keeping walking, another stall promoted healthy eating and these are just a few of the stalls among many. There were weighing machines and a height measuring device. Photographs to get the message across about dental care and the need to get into the habit of brushing teeth daily from an early age. Another little exercise, we were told to spread handcream all over our hands and then go and wash and dry them, then we put our hands under a little machine which lit up all the areas we had missed (under the nails etc) – I shall have to be more thorough in the future. Such a wide variety of different projects.

Deborah Euall, Chief Executive of the Primary Care Trust, and Ruby Cousins

At 3pm we all congregated in the entrance hall where we were welcomed by Deborah Evans, the Chief Executive of the Primary Care Trust and watched Ruby Cousins, who registered as a patient on July 5th 1948, unveil a plaque declaring the new Health centre officially open, there has been continuous liaison between the projects builder representative Anna Maserick and the patient Involvement Group chairman Dr. John Andrews, and the result is a pleasant patient friendly building, not austerely clinical, one of which the village can be proud.

Some of the medical staff and Distric Specialist Nurses

As well as the pastel walls, I noticed a very bright and attractive big picture made by Shirehampton Junior School, someone suggested they had tufted plastic shopping bags, whatever it was, it certainly is eye-catching and cheery.

Finally we went up to the top floor for tea and slices of delicious cake and to admire the view from its windows not only of the surrounding village of Shirehampton, but the hills on the other side of the river Avon…in the corner of room were photographs, scenes of the village long ago, collected by the local historian Ralph Hack.

David Bright (left), Ralph Hack and Dr D. L. Archer deep in conversation

It was a most enjoyable and instructive afternoon. Our thanks to all those who took part, to Sharon Claridge, the chief organiser, the Brownies who looked after the children in the crèche, the Co-Op who supplied the goodies.

It was a very good exercise in communications, and it celebrated not only the past 60 years of the National Health, but also the hope of Health Care generally in future.

Included in the crowd were many familiar faces, we also met David Bright, the twin son of Mr Bright the chemist, who will be remembered as running the pharmacy in the High Street before Moss’s came.

What’s on in August


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.

Summer Fair at Bradley House Residential Home, High Street, Entrance FREE. All welcome. Start 3pm. Lots of attractions, including Arts and Crafts, home made products, raffle.


Cotswold Church Service led by Baptist Church 4.45-5.30pm


August 4th for a week the Public Hall will be closed for refurbishment.

‘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.


Evergreens Day Trip to Moreton-in-the-Marsh and Bourton-on-the-Water.

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.


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.


Car Boot/Table Top Sale at Stow House, Nibley Road. Start 12 noon £7 per table, phone Jopan to book 07931910488 or 07867550626


Local History Group in the Library at 2.30pm.


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.

THURSDAYS 14th and 28th AUGUST

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


Stamp and Postcard Fair 9am - 4pm at Public Hall.


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


Senior Week at St Mary’s for people over 60. Cost £40.


Port of Bristol Retired Employees Association at the Sports and Social Club, Nibley Road – Secret World Wildlife Centre, speaker is founder Rosemary Kidner


Diabetes UK – Penpole Tenants Association Hall 7.30 pm.

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

Carers Group meets at Ridingleaze, Lawrence Weston 2pm.


Bank Holiday Library Closed - Re-opens Wednesday August 27th.


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

Second Thoughts

In the July edition of ‘Shire’ I mentioned that we usually don’t have a ‘What’s On’ in August. However, courage in both hands and fingerts crossed and help from our readers, there is one after all.

Forthcoming Event

OCTOBER 9th at Shirehampton Health Centre, Bristol City Council and Avon Fire & Rescue Services offer FREE ELECTRIC BLANKET CHECK and free safety advice. Space limited - call booking adviser 0117 922 3522.

Ascot Comes to Shire

The Starlights

The ladies below are called “The Starlights”, left to right: Barbara, Janet, Vivian, Marlene and Carole.

They are all local ladies of a mature age who go around voluntarily entertaining at various elderly peoples dwellings, clubs etc, not only in Shire but far and wide. They have various changes of costumes, scenes etc all of which have been home made, to see the smiles and laughter on the faces of the elderly especially those housebound is a delight, so Shire has another group to be proud of. Also they do like a flutter.

Eat your heart out Simon Cowell!!

Mike Antill

Cotswold Gardens Draw Judges’ Admiration

Judges Arthur Bride and Mark Tremmer admire one of the containers frin Mr and Mrs Jakeways' prize-winning display.

The gardeners of the Cotswold estate drew praise from the judges of the Cotswold in Bloom Competition, held for its third year at the end of June.

The judges Arthur Brice and Mark Tremeer visited the eleven entries and found deciding the winners difficult as they saw so much they admired. Scoring for such things as design, maintenance, variety of plants, and garden features, different gardens had different strengths.

However, conclusions had to be reached, and so the entrants and others from the community came to the Awards Event in the Cotswold Community Centre on June 28th to hear how they fared.

They waited while a slide show of all the competing gardens showed what each garden looked like, giving everyone a chance to make their own assessment, before at the end of the show, as the participants held their breath, the names of the winners appeared on the screen.

The results were:

Rear Garden – 1. Sue Radnedge, 2. Graham and May Russell. Front Garden – 1. Name withheld by request, 2. Sue Radnedge. Container display – Joint winners: Mr and Mrs Jakeways / Mrs P Garland

In presenting the prizes, Arthur Brice encouraged all the entrants, and said how pleased he was to see the gardens, and how the things he had seen that had impressed him were not restricted to the winners.

Light at the end of the tunnel for the Robin Cousins Centre

The fight to get the Robin Cousins Centre re-opened rolls on – but following our local petition, with light at the end of the tunnel. Hundreds of residents have signed the survey and petition set up by Charlotte Leslie, the Conservative Prospective MP for Bristol North West, demanding that the Council make re-opening the centre as a priority. Charlotte also contacted Robin Cousins to get his support. Now the Olympic gold-medalist ice-skater himself has thrown his weight behind our campaign to get the sports centre named after him re-opened with all speed, after the Centre was closed almost 2 years ago, at a cost of around £20,000 to the taxpayer in maintenance.

The Council has stepped up negotiations following news of the survey and coverage in the Evening Post, Radio Bristol and on the BBC Bristol website. At time of writing, it looks likely that Police recruitment officer, Ian Moore, who is buying the Robin Cousins Centre for community use, will buy the centre without access rights. This is so the Highways Agency cannot exert any “claw-back” clause on profits made from the centre which would discourage investment, and to get the building up and running as quickly as possible for the community.

In the meantime, Charlotte Leslie is looking into the unreasonable demands made by the Government’s quango, The Highways Agency, to see if there is a way round the access problem. She said: “A huge thanks to all those who signed my petition and survey, took it round shops and passed it onto friends to sign. The response has been overwhelming.

But the behaviour of the Highways Agency has been unacceptable. The whole problem is that the Treasury demands that organizations like The Highways Agency gets “best value” for any disposal of assets – that means they are allowed to charge as much as they possibly can.

When it is a community group seeking to take over the Robin Cousins Centre, with community interests at heart, I think it is disgraceful that the Treasury should be demanding that the Highways Agency fleece community groups and tax-payers to get the highest price possible. I will be supporting Ian Moore all the way as he gets the Robin Cousins Centre up and running and will be seeking to hold the Highways Agency to account.”

Ian Moore, the prospective purchaser, said: “After we’ve stepped up the pace with the petition, it now finally looks like we have some light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully, we will be opening up the centre towards the end of the year and we will be looking for ideas from local people for what you want to see the centre used for. All suggestions welcome!”

If you want to support the petition to get the Robin Cousins Centre re-opened, go to

Methodist Bright Hour

There will be a Coffee Morning in the Methodist Church in aid of Bright Hour Funds on Saturday 2nd August from 10 until 12 noon. All welcome – do come and bring a friend.

Partners and Communities Together (PACT)

The locally influenced policing priorities for Shirehampton and Avonmouth are regularly debated and agreed at the Shirehampton Community Action Forum, held in the Shirehampton Public Hall. At each meeting we agree three priorities and report back to the community on the progress we have made with previous activity. Those present agreed the following actions on 12th June.

1. Drug supply and abuse in Shirehampton

  • To prioritise the collection of evidence to support a Crack House closure on a key Shirehampton address
  • To secure a Crack House closure at this location (a property was successfully closed down on 20th June)
  • One licensing check per week on the lifeboat PH Operation Brave targeted patrol.

2. Parking problem Springfield Road, school drop off

  • PCSO to attend minimum once per week between 2.55 pm and 3.25 pm
  • Advise parents who park unlawfully and issue warning notices
  • Prosecute repeat offenders
  • Support campaign for keep-clear markings at the location

3. Anti-social behaviour Springfield Park, The Green, Baptist Church Pembroke Avenue

  • Alcohol seizures from underage drinkers
  • Target off licences for under age sales

Next Public Meeting September 3rd

All members of the public are welcome to attend the next Public Meeting at the Public Hall in Station Road at 7.00pm. The meeting will last for about two hours.

Avonmouth Hockey Club

We are a very friendly, fun and social hockey club with two 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 we begin team training in September which takes place weekly on Wednesday evenings at Henbury School.

We held our Annual Dinner and Dance on the 30th of May at Avonmouth Rugby Club, it was a great success thoroughly enjoyable evening which practically every member attended. The end of season awards were awarded as follows: Clubwoman of the Season: Jan Wilson; First Team Player: Sarah Hyde-Wear; Second Team Player: Helen Nelson; Captains Player: Wallis Jozefowicz; Young Player: Becky Nattress; Most Improved Player: Rosie Capper

It would be great to see some new faces joining us next season!

For further information contact Sophie Lennox: (0117) 9829515, 07766 116 030.

Police Action

Police are continuing to fight against properties which are causing misery and nuisance to communities. On Friday June 20, a District Judge at Bristol Magistrates Court granted a closure order on 29, Woodwell Road. Evidence had been submitted showing that the house was the focus of drugs, nuisance and disorder. The tenants have had to leave the property and cannot return.

This is the latest property to be closed in Bristol under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act. The legislation has been a massive boost to the effort to rid communities of drug dealing, anti-social behaviour and related criminality.

Closure orders reinforce Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s commitment to tackling the scourge of drugs in our communities by engaging them to work with police to bring drug dealers to justice, reduce the acquisitive crime that comes with drug supply, reclaim their neighbourhoods and prevent people falling into the downward spiral of drug addiction.

Bristol is second only to London for the numbers of closure orders obtained for authorities. Evidence is compiled by the police who responded to numerous appeals from people in the area to do something about the problem properties.

The action was taken with the full support of the Safer Bristol Partnership who assisted with the drawing together of the necessary evidence to put before the judge.

Neighbourhood Inspector Mark Jackson, Southmead Police Station, said “The Ant-social behaviour caused by this property has been extensive and persistent since the current tenant moved in. Residents have complained to police about high numbers of visitors coming to the property al all times of the day and night. It is know by residents that the address is used for the sale of drugs.

“The visitors often drive in an erratic manner and residents feel it is too dangerous to allow their children to play in the street. This kind of activity obviously cannot be tolerated and police are taking firm action to close down the property and evict the tenant.

“We are taking this action with the full support of the residents and Bristol City Council. The residents have come to us with information about the activities – information we can use to help them and make their communities safer. We are committed in Bristol to improving the life for communities and ridding them of the menace of drug dealing and anti-social behaviour.

“This property has been causing problems for local people for a considerable amount of time. The lack of residents who will give evidence, even anonymously is testament to the fear they feel. Closing the address will hopefully give the residents hope and confidence that we listen to their concerns and take action.”

A Mususe of Drugs Act warrant was executed at 29 Woodwell Road, Shirehjampton on 7 April 2008. Heroin, a Class A controlled drug was found. Anyone who can help should contact us through our secure Crimestoppers contact form at:

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

Shirehampton Public Hall Newsletter

The AGM saw the review of another busy year for the Public Hall and all its user groups. It also marked the end of David Thomas’ Chairmanship of the Hall Association. He has been on the committee for 13 years and Chairman for 11, so he felt it was time for a change both for himself and for the Hall.

During his term of office, several momentous events were celebrated. The Millennium, the Centenary of the Foundation of the Hall, refurbishment of the clock, an exhibition of the history of the Hall and the launch of Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF). Perhaps most important of all was the successful negotiation of the lease of the Hall from Bristol City Council for a peppercorn rent. Previously we had no security of tenure and no guarantee that BCC would continue to support the Hall and its activities.

Four new Trustees were appointed at the AGM. They are all active members of the local community and are committed to supporting the Hall. Our new Chairman is Mary Hayball (formerly Vice Chair). Already there is evidence of new energy and some new ideas on how to promote the Hall, so there is an exciting future ahead of us.

Please note that the Hall will be closed for essential annual maintenance jobs during the week starting 4th August. There will be no activities or club meetings that week. JT.


A person is needed to deliver Shire Newspapers in St Bernards Road (even numbers only) from Woodwell Road to Park Road – can anyone help, please?

The papers are brought to your door each month for you to deliver. This should take about an hour each month.

If you can help please telephone Pauline on 0117 982 6935.

If a volunteer cannot be found to deliver papers each month your paper can be collected from either the Library or the Post Office.

Many thanks.

Head of Shirehampton Primary Retires after 9 Years

Anne Travis, Headteacher at Shirehampton Primary School, retires at the end of August after nine very successful years. When Anne started in 1999, her immediate job was to oversee the amalgamation of the former Infant and Junior Schools into a new Primary School. As well as masterminding the project to create a new building to physically link the two old schools, Anne had to work with a new governing body and organize a complete staff re-structure. At the time there were some severe behaviour issues with children in the school. It was Anne’s persistent determination and strong leadership of her staff then, and ever since, which has established effective behaviour policies and a calm learning environment. Exclusions have now virtually disappeared at the school.

Throughout her tenure, Anne and her staff have worked hard to raise standards and help all children to achieve their full potential. Careful use of appropriate supporting interventions are the tools used for those with special needs – whether due to physical, learning or behavioural difficulties – including challenging programmes of work for gifted and talented children. Test results reflect this hard work.

More recently Anne has been deeply involved in the building of and setting up of a new centre on the school site for children with autism. This is a collaboration with Kingsweston Special School and currently 19 children attend the centre alongside the mainstream school; this will rise to 24 from September.

Retiring head, Anne Travis said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the children, parent and community in Shirehampton. I would like to thank everyone for their support and hard work. I will miss you all.”

Commenting on behalf of staff and governors, Chair of Governors Juliet Huddart said: “We are sorry to be losing such a fantastic headteacher but we look to the future with the knowledge that Anne has done so much to improve the standards of children’s achievement and to raise the expectations for behaviour in school. At the same time, children have fun, are confident and feel safe in school. All of this hard work has laid strong foundations for the continued improvement of Shirehampton Primary School under the leadership of our new headteacher, Louisa Munton. Staff, governors, children and parents all wish Anne the very best enjoyment of her retirement and thank her most sincerely for all her achievements over the last nine years.”

The Evergreens had a day out at Wotton-under-Edge

Rev. E.M.Chappell a preacher at St. Mary’s Parish Church, joined us for an excellent lunch at the Royal Oak Hotel and afterwards gave us a short talk on the history of Wotton.

We then had time to walk to the Church and Alms Houses – a very pretty place, welcomed by the Matron.

A good time was had by all, thanks to Margaret who had raised the money to pay for the coach and the lunch

“The Evergreens”

Evelyn Carpenter

Letters to the Editor

Watling Way

Dear Editor,

In February you printed a letter from Graham Weekes, which described how Watling Way was named after Josser Watling. Josser Watling is my uncle and he still lives in Bristol. My father Bill always told me that Walting Way was named after his brother but I thought it was one of Dad’s jokes. I also was, I believe, one of the first pupils at Avon School when it opened for the first time at the bottom of the Beanacre. We lived with my grannie Mrs Thompson (Maybel) at number 39. Mrs Hayward I believe was the headmistress at the time. I remember those days at Avon as a wonderful place of learning and every week would go swimming at Shire Swimming Pool. After leaving Avon I went to Portway Girls’ School, which I now understand from my sister has closed down. She still lives in Lawrence Weston.

Dee John formerly Dorothy Watling, Benfleet, Essex (via email)


Dear Editor,

First I must tell you how I look forward each month for my copy of “Shire”. How it has grown. I was not surprised to hear it had been awarded the prize for the best local paper. Congratulations. I feel very proud of being on the P.P.C at the time of its “birth” and supporting John Smith.

I am sending you a “tribute” to Tony Weston. I trust you can space for this article in “Shire”, Marion Robathan will remember him.

No need to publish my address, just my name. Last time I sent in an article you published my name, address and telephone number, I had a telephone call from an old pupil from Australia!

Your Sincerely

Carys (Vowles)

Thank you for your kind donation to “Shire” funds. Ed

Carys Vowles taught Home Economics in Portway School for many years and lived in Groveleaze until she retired and then she moved to Wales.

The Rising Sun

Dear Editor,

In your July issue Gareth Davies said some very wrong things about my public house.

The Rising Sun I surrended the licence along with the Brewery it was not revoked by the Police and Council, this is a difference.

Since I opened the Rising Sun in August 2007, PC Davies along with two houses in Pembroke Road have tried to close me from day one.

However, PC Davies did apologise to me on his first reaction and we worked as a team to stamp out drugs, teenage drinkers, unlawful goings on. I was in the process of starting a public house neighbourhood watch for Shirehampton pubs.

In my nine months of running the Rising Sun the police were called by myself just 3 times all of which have been dealt with in court, that didn’t make my pub a problem for any one except the two houses in Pembroke Road, they know who they are.

When a closed pub is reopened and the new publican offer an olive branch to surrounding houses and some houses don’t accept that what ever happened before won’t happen again there is nothing the new publican can do but get on running their public just like I did.

The Rising Sun closed because of lack of customers and finances were low and the fact that I couldn’t get an entertainment licence. It’s very hard to run a pub nowadays with the no smoking ban. Pubs need to have licence for every little thing. You now need so many different ones just to run a pub and they don’t come cheap.

I loved the Rising Sun in the 10 years of being a publican I have never had such an unfriendly time as I did at the Rising Sun but I’m strong and got to make some very good friends, customers and neighbours. It was a very tearful decision for me to make to let the Rising Sun go. It was my choice, no one else, so I’m setting the record straight.

I still pass the Rising Sun every day, talking to all my customers, friends and old neighbours.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs Gloria Ellis

Rising Sun

Dear Ed,

I feel I must respond to PC Davies’ account of the closing of the Rising Sun. As a regular at the pub I refute the claim that it was public opinion and people power that led to its closure.

In all probability it was two residents that continually harassed Mrs Ellis (the landlady). Why anyone should wish to purchase a property in close proximity to a public house and then proceed to continually complain to police authorities over trivial matters is beyond me. As far as the other residents of the street (if anyone had bothered to ask them) I think PC Davies would find a different story altogether.

I have sat with old and young in the Rising Sun and had many a happy hour there. Mrs Ellis and her family were always there to help and would certainly not condone any type of public disorder.

As a member of the public, I am also entitled to my opinion and consider, along with many others in Shirehampton, that the de-licensing of the Rising Sun to be totally wrong.

Meg Sims

42 Walton Road



Dear Editor,

I read with interest the letters in the July issue of Shire, one being from Tom Worlock and although I had nothing to do with tug boats, I wonder if this is the Tom Worlock I went to Portway School with? If it is him he had a sister, Gwen. Maybe if my letter is printed he will see this letter and reply!!

I would also like to wish Jack Cooke a very happy 99th birthday. Jack worked with my father, Albert Buffin on Avonmouth Docks for many years and as a child growing up I have very fond memories of Jack. I also went to school with his son, John.

Yours sincerely,

John Buffin

48 Glebeland Gardens,

Shepperton Middlesex TW17 9DH

Happy 65th Birthday

We would like to wish our very special Mum and Nanny Shirley Haney a Happy 65th Birthday on 12th August 2008. Enjoy your special day. Lots of love Michelle, Colin, Wayne, Linzi, Darren, Claire, Jade, Courtney, Jack, Aaron and Ben xxxx

Thank you for your donation to Shire Funds, Ed.

Pie-in-the-sky-ery Shirey Priory

Shire has its Priory Gardens off the High Street, but why? Nearly 300 years ago, the scholar Sir Robert Atkyns misunderstood what it says in Domesday Book and concluded that the Abbey of Our Lady at Cormeilles in Normandy must have had a branch – a priory – in Shirehampton. That’s because Domesday says Cormeilles had a priory at “Chire”. But historians suspected as early as the 1870s that this wasn’t right. They had proved by 1913 that “Chire” must really have been the small village called Kyre near Tenbury Wells in Worcestershire. The monks of Cormeilles had all their properties west of the Severn, at Chepstow, Newent, Kyre and near Bromyard, and had never even sniffed Shirehampton. Unfortunately this correction went unnoticed round here. The house which became the vicarage in 1889 has some medieval features inside it, and it is widely believed that they must have been remnants of the original non-existent priory. It had already been named The Priory by 1883. This house ceased to be the vicarage in 1951, and when it was sold off in 1972 a small housing estate was built in the garden, which is what we now call Priory Gardens. There is also Priory Road nearby, and there was once a Priory House (61 Pembroke Road, demolished in 1972), supposedly also in the Priory’s grounds.

In the 1960’s a piece of stone from our alleged priory was taken to Cormeilles and exchanged for a carved fragment of the ruined French Abbey which is now mounted in St. Mary’s church. Somehow this story about a chunk of Cormeilles coming to Shire has got out of hand. The French Wikipedia says that there is a replica of the Abbey of Cormeilles in Shirehampton. I havent lived here for very long, but you’d think I’d have spotted it by now.

There’s a local belief that the fifteenth-century Tithe Barn next to Priory Gardens is a building of the priory, but of course that can’t be right. It must really just be the barn of the old manor of Shirehampton, whose farmhouse used to be on the opposite side of the High Street. Sorry to kill off a nice story.

Richard Coates

June 2008

Hanging Baskets

Thanks are due to the following Shirehampton businesses, who contributed £30 each towards the hanging baskets which now adorn our lamp-posts.

Somerfield, The Co-Op, Jupe Hairstyling, Bridge Recruitment, Thomas Davis, Bobbetts Nails, News Shop, Autoparts, Elite Hair and Beauty, Devereaux Solicitors, W.B. Butchers, Ocean Estate Agents, Barber Shop, Andrew Pinn, Pauline’s Hairdressers, AMD Solicitors, PJ’s Hairdressers, The Pet Shop, PSP Group, Chung’s Fish And Chips, Ali Mahal Restaurant, William Hill, Smile Solutions, Post Office, Village Bakery, Coral, Blockbuster Video, Bargain Booze, Miles Morgan, Pound Hit, P&P Fashions, Sugar and Spice Hairdressers and Pembroke Rd Garage.

All the above are to be commended for their public spiritedness and their concern for the welfare of the village. However, I was very disappointed with those traders who promised to pay £30 and then reneged on that promise.

A big thank you also to the Clean and Green Committee of Bristol City Council for providing the additional funding: to the two council officers, Denise James and Liz Kirkland, who facilitated the process: to Rod Poole (of Blaise Nurseries) and his workforce who erected the flower baskets: and to Dr. David Thomas, “Shire” treasurer, who processed all the cheques.

Gil Osman.

Well Done!

Congratulations to the two High Street Public Houses on their lovely displays of flowers. Together with the hanging baskets on the lamp-posts, they really brighten up the village on a dull day.


Oasis Academy Brightstowe

We are really excited that after many months of consultation and planning Portway Community School will become Oasis Academy Brightstowe this coming September.

The new Academy will provide lots of 21st century learning opportunities for students, parents and the local community as a whole. At the end of the summer holidays each student will receive their new uniform ready to start the new school year. They will return to improved ICT facilities and all the opportunities that being part of an organization with projects all over the world will bring.

The school netball team has just returned from an inspiring trip to Oasis USA. The team of nine, year 10 students and three members of school staff (with one member of Oasis staff) went to Los Angeles for a week where they taught netball skills, helped disadvantaged young people with literacy and numeracy, worked with the homeless and had a day at Disney. Before leaving the UK the group were excited by the thought of going to the Californian beaches, when asked on their return what the best thing was about the trip the answer was a unanimous, “Working with the homeless!” The trip made a huge impact and some of the girls now want to explore working with the homeless here in the UK.

Julie Winterman, Head of the predecessor school and Principal of the new Academy, said: “I am delighted that our partnership with Oasis Community Learning has resulted in this trip even before our opening as Oasis Academy Brightstowe. The visit to LS both celebrates the wonderful talent of our girls’ netball team – they are Bristol champions – and gives students and staff the chance to support an educational initiative as representatives of the wider Oasis family. This is just the start of a very exciting future.”

Back in April, Oasis held a huge marathon event where students who will attend Oasis Academy Brightstowe joined students from six other Oasis Academies to try and beat the record for the fastest ever run marathon (2 hrs, 4 mins, 26 secs). It was a fantastic event where students enjoyed working together as a family of Academies, spurring each other on to complete the goal, including everyone along the way and celebrating each other’s achievements. They completed the 26.2 mile relay race in 1 hr, 46 mins, 25 secs!!

Oasis Academy Brightstowe aims to provide challenges for our young people, to support them as they develop independence and to equip them for a fulfilling life both as an individual and as a member of the local, national and international community. If you want to know more about this exciting new Academy please visit or contact us on 0117 353 2600.

Shirehampton’s Children’s Play Areas – Your chance to make a difference

Are you concerned with the poor quality of children’s play areas in Shirehampton? The present five play areas are unsatisfactorily equipped and in a bad state of repair, leaving parents without a single place to take their children for a good and safe place locally to work off surplus energy and have fun.

Both our local Councillors have expressed their desire to see things improved, and Doug Naysmith published a press release a while ago announcing government money for such purposes. But, if Shirehampton people don’t take vigorous action to make it happen the opportunity will slip away from us, and our children will still be without decent outdoor play facilities.

The Trustees of Shirehampton Community Action Forum want to form a new Action Group devoted to defining what is needed, where it is needed, and lobbying the Council for the creation of good and properly maintained play areas. They are particularly concerned to bring into the new action group parents of young children, though anyone who has a heart for this issue is welcome to join.

If you would like to be part of this new action group, or can recommend someone you think would be interested in the project, please contact the SCAF Trustees through Ash Bearman, Tel 0117 982 9963, email

From Words Given at Fernley’s Funeral

The Reverend Fernley Rundle Symons. 12th April 1939-26th June 2008

Lord, welcome into your eternity all who have spent their lives coming to you and now come to be with you for ever.

Those words about those “who have spent their lives coming to you, seem very appropriate to Fernley, from which we give thanks to God.

Fernley was both a husband, father and grandfather, to whom FAMILY was so important (having lost his own immediate family early in his life). One who was called by God into the ministry of the Church of England, to be a Parish priest all his days. He desired nothing else.

Fernley was also a friend and colleague to me from the time I moved to Shirehampton in 1980 to serve the MISSION TO SEAFARERS in the Port of Bristol. We found we shared the same Ordination dates and celebrated a joint Holy Communion service and party at St Mary’s Shirehampton on our 25th anniversary.

Fernley was born and raised in Cornwall, educated at Redruth Grammar and later Peterhouse, Cambridge. His Father sadly died when Fernley was 6 years old, Polycystic kidney disease was implicated which much later was to affect Fernley and lead to Dialysis and a kidney transplant.

He met Della, his wife to be, in Harlow and after they had both finished their studies and Fernley had been ordained they married on Easter Monday 1967. In 1967 Fernley moved to Bristol, as curate of St Peter’s Henleaze and assistant chaplain to Southmead Hospital. In 1972, he was appointed Vicar of St Mary’s Shirehampton where he remained until retirement in 2000. 28 years of service. Many had cause to thank God for his ministry to them.

Fernley had a passion for cars, was a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists even winning several competitions as “Avon Safe Driver of the Year”. I am told that being a passenger, with Fernley driving, could be quite invigorating!

He had a great interest in Newspaper and publicity work evident in his work with the “SHIRE” newspaper which he helped put on a sound financial basis, he was also on the editorial board.

Because of his own health problems he was much involved in Bristol Area kidney Patients (BAKPA) and created Southmead Transplant and Renal support (STARS), both patient and self help groups. In retirement he was on the then “Patients & Public Involvement Forum of Weston General Hospital”.

Then there was PHOTOGRAPHY, WOODWORK, DESIGN, COMPUTERS, RUSSIAN CHOIRS, READING and the TROPICANA, debate in Weston. And not least a DEGREE IN PSYCHOLOGY WITH THE OU worked for while he was a Vicar of St. Mary’s.

Fernley not averse to a good argument/discussion, many can vouch for it! Many a time he and I tussled, usually over theology (God things!) whilst drinking a cup of soup in his lounge or even more delightfully in this study whilst he was Dialysing himself (if that’s the right term) and watching his blood whizzing round the tubes!

What now? Della and Ben, Eleanor and Jo rightly grieve his passing, they will have many poignant memories but no doubt many joyful ones. But for them and those of us who have encountered God as Father, Jesus as Son and Lord and the Holy Spirit the Comforter and strengthener there is so much more! We know God is love, we have His Scriptures to encourage us, we have the gift of prayer to enable us to put all things in God’s hands. We have His promise of real life now and beyond death. To all this I am sure Fernley would give a loud Amen!

Trevor Hearn (Rev)


Thank you

“Shire” would like to thank the Ladies of the Methodist Bright Hour for their generous donation to the papers’ fund.

Summer Fair at Bradley House Residential Home

As last year, a Summer Fair will be organised in Bradley House gardens on


Starting 3.00 pm

There will be numerous stalls and attractions: brid-a-brac, bouncy castles, lucky dip, food and drinks, Residents’ Arts and Crafts, St. Mary’s Church home made products and a raffle at the end of the afternnon.

All the proceeds will go to St. Mary’s Church charities.

No entrance fee. All welcome.

Tony Weston OBIT

TONY WESTON died recently. Many of his old pupils will remember him. He came to Portway Girls School in 1949, to teach Art, the only male amongst all the women and he survived until 1953, when he went to Blaise Junior School until 1957. He went back to college for a year and then to Henbury in 1958. He became a Careers teacher and wrote several books on Careers and finally he taught at St. Bedes until he retired in 1979. He went to Devon on his retirement.

Carys Vowles


Jackson Joan Margaret, Alec, Carol and Paula would like to thank Gill Sawyer, Lay Minister at St. Mary’s church for the beautiful service on the 20th June. Also a big thank you to Stenner and Hill for the professional service and kindness. We would also like to thank family, friends and neighbours for their support, kindness and flowers.

Events at Ashton Court in August

August 7th Thursday - August 10th Sunday


at Ashton Court, Long Ashton

Saturday August 30th


at Ashton Court, Long Ashton

Shirehampton Park Golf Club

Have you ever thought about playing golf? Half way up Park Hill Shirehampton Park Golf Club has been on your doorstep for over 100 years. A little gem of a course, with superb restaurant facilities and and fantastic views over the Avon Gorge and up the Gordano Valley - a great place for all the family.If you like what we have on offer come and join in with the free taster sessions advertised.

Men’s Golfing Activities

The club offers facilities for playing golf at all levels of competence from learners to scratch handicap and unless a competition or special event is programmed, access to the course is freely avqailable to all full playing members. League and friendly matches offer a great opportunity to play other courses as well as keenly fought contests on home turf.

Various groups ‘roll-up’ at different times weekdays and weekends for the friendly game, followed by a friendly pint in the convivial atmosphere of the 1’9th hole’.

There is no need to be shy about approaching the game. It seems that no matter how well you think you can play the game, there is a need for lessons and we have Jon Palmer as our Club Professional and Greg Gouch, his assistant, who can provide teaching at any level on or off the course.

Seniors’ Golf

Seniors’ Golf is open to men over the age of 55. They meet regularly for friendly games among themselves and also play against other local clubs in a series of friendly matches, 35 split homer and away throughout the summer. There are also a number of formal club competitions.

Most recently was the Seniors’ Open when over 100 players took part, coming from Shirehampton, local clubs as far away as Wells and special visitors from Tenterden, Kent and Teignmouth, Devon.

Social events

One of the main aims of the Club Captain, Steve Yorke, during his year of office is to raise funds for Charity. He has chosen the Stroke Association which provides support for sufferers and their families by means of home visits, convalescence and provides education about stroke prevention.


The Ladies run a very friendly section with league and friendly teams playing a variety of other Clubs. Roll-ups for casual play and coffee mornings all help to jeep playing and social members keenly involved. Lady captain Jenny Michalis is also running various events to raise funds for her chosen charity this year, the Children’s Hospice Southwest.

Junior Golf

The junior section have a full fixture list of their own, playing in stroke play and fun competitions and in a league team against other clubs. Extra competitions are added during the school holidays when some juniors have been known to play from dawn to dust. Our Teenie Weenie section has members as young as six years old and we hold regular novice and beginner group sessions on Sunday afternoons. These are available to all youngsters interested in taking up the game. For further details contact Jon in the Pro Shop.

Membership Opportunities

Did you realise that full adult membership of the Club will cost you less than £15 per week? Or if you are 28 or younger, or in full time education, the membership rates are even less!

If you are new to the game and would like to have an introductory membership, you can have a short-term trial membership from October to March at less than £10 per week.

If you find it difficult to play during the day or at weekends. How about trying ‘Twilight Golf.’ On monday to Wednesday from 6.30pm and on Saturday and Sunday after 3pm you can play the course for £15 per round without membership.

Please contact the club for details on types of membership and special offers.

Secretary Karen Rix or club professional Jon Palmer on 0117 982 2083 or em-mail us at

News in brief from 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 and 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 and 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


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

What's Gone Wrong?

With regard to last months shocking headline, “Armed Robbery in Shire” and the “Afterword” on the back page of the Shire, I wholeheartedly, agree that clubs and activities abound in Shirehampton. As manager of the Public Hall for nearly six years, I can testify to this. I applaud all those that run these activities and would like to reassure readers that these groups and clubs, mostly run by volunteers, are greatly appreciated. Not for one minute, should we underestimate the important part these groups play in the life of the community.

However, surely a civilized community means more than just clubs appealing to specific social groups. The Oxford dictionary defines community as “all the people living in a specific locality” and defines society as “the customers and organization of an ordered community”. Therefore, doesn’t everyone from MPs and councillors to members of the public carry a social responsibility towards these so called “armed robbers”? They too, are part of our community.

What has gone wrong? Where is socialism? Where is the swimming pool? Where is the youth club? Where is Robin Cousins? Where is culture? Where are the communal buildings? No one can dispute that everyone deserves a roof over their head but there has to be more to life than bricks and mortar. Society needs an infrastructure where people of all backgrounds can come together.

I am dismayed at the state of our once beautiful village. I witnessed this horrific crime as I popped out for my Sunday newspaper on a gloriously sunny morning in June. I witnessed the immense police presence involved in trying to catch the criminals. I also witnessed the appalling state of our environment, an almost derelict snooker hall in a listed conservation area, a derelict piece of land opposite a boarded up “Rising Sun” and a high street full of litter and shuttered shops.

Housing alone does not make a society. We all need an environment that nourishes and cares if we are to have a balanced and more ordered community. Granted we have a library, praiseworthy but much restricted by its size and a thriving Public Hall that does an excellent job in catering for many of the local groups and clubs. However, these two public buildings alone are not enough to sustain the needs of an entire community.

In my view, Shirehampton is sadly lacking an arts and social culture. In light of this horrific crime, may I suggest the time has come to lobby our MPs and local councillors and remind them of this. I feel that the old Snooker Hall would be a wonderful asset to Shirehampton. It would make an excellent public facility, somewhere to stage community events, maybe an arts centre where young and old could congregate, exchange ideas and communicate creatively. It’s been done in other areas such as Totterdown and Southville, so why not Shirehampton. After all, Shirehampton is the birthplace of the “Lark Ascending” the nations favourite classical piece of music and what a fitting tribute it would be in the 50th anniversary year of the death of its composer, Ralph Vaughan Williams, to bring back some of that culture.

I feel, although it’s only right to sing our praises, that, until society acknowledges the problems and responds positively to them, “the Armed Robbers” will stay and multiply. And we shall all be the poorer for it.

Finally, I would like to add that I have recently retired from the Public Hall and would like to thank everyone for their support and kindness over the last six years. I’m grateful for the opportunity the hall gave me to work for the community and to get to know some of its residents well. I have many happy memories and made many friendships which I shall always cherish.

Jeanette Cossey

Car Boot/Table Top Sale

SAT 9th AUGUST 2008


Nibley Road, Shirehampton

In aid of Asthma UK 12pm start

Refreshments being servied troughout the day


To book a place £7 per table, phone Joan Cormack on 07931 910488 of 07867 550626


Please give your support, all proceeds made will be donated to a very worthy cause

Swimathon 2008

Organised by Portishead Rotary, 60 entrants, ages ranging from 4 years old to 80. Total lengths swam 3,544, which is the equivalent of 88 kilometres, raised an anticipated £7,000 for charities. Thanks to all who took part.

To neighbours and friends in Shirehampton.

I would like to thank you all for your kind messages and good wishes to me during my recent illness. I am making slow progress and I hope to be home soon.

Iris (Perry)

Engineer your Future at Portway

Students from Portway Community School proved themselves the engineers of tomorrow at an annual event held at Ashton Gate. The Engineer your Future conference gave pupils the chance to take part in a number of activities ranging from building a jet engine from balloons and straws to making their own lie detectors. The taster sessions were put on by the City of Bristol College and sponsored by the West of England Aerospace Forum with the aim of getting Bristol students thinking about careers in engineering, science and technology. This could well be a great step for many of the Portway pupils who proved themselves extremely capable when it came to parachute building, programming robots and getting to grips with pneumatics.

Many of the tasks involved competing in small teams against other Bristol schools. When faced with the challenge of building a platform using only cardboard and string Nathan Oliver, Daniel Dyte, Ashley Rathbone, Luke Saunders, John Golding and Mike Vowels came up with a design that would have made the great Brunel proud. The boys’ structure was so sturdy they ran out of load to test its strength.

Special mention must also go to prize-winning students Reece Grigg and Nicole Osborne who managed to programme a robot around a maze in the fastest time of the morning. Their efforts were rewarded with their own mini-robot kits to take home and build.

Library News

During the school holidays we will once again be offering children the chance to take part in a “Reading Adventure”.

This year it is the “Team Read” based on a sport theme. On signing up they are given a card and folder then as they read six books over the holidays they receive stickers. On completion they receive a certificate and medal.

We will also be holding 2 craft activities for 5 to 10 year olds on Wednesday 6th and 27th August, 2.30 to 4pm. Booking essential, tickets 50p per child.

Children who sign up receive their own free poster and a ‘moving image’ membership card that they’ll love.

To join in, all the kids have to do is read some books over the summer. If they read two books, they get their bronze medal sticker (there’s a special place for each medal on the poster). Read two more and they’ll collect a silver. And if they read six books in total, they get the gold!

The Summer Reading Challenge™ gives kids a real sense of achievement and it really does help their reading too, as research shows.

Shire on the Web

Our redesigned website continues to attract many visitors. In the past month 1149 distinct individuals have viewed pages on the site 4364 times. The site is regularly updated. It includes each new edition of Shire Newspaper.

There is a popular section of message boards. These include Find a Friend, Family History and Notes & Queries. If you leave a message on these you should give your name, email address and approximate location or the message will not be included on the site.

The site includes a growing set of advertisements for local businesses. If you are in business locally why not join in. It costs only £15 for a full year.

You can visit our website by typing into your web browsers. If you do not have a computer with an internet connection you can get free access at the Public Library.

Travel Survival Kit

With the Summer holidays here, you might need this reminder, if you are travelling within the EEC don’t leave home without your European Health Insurance card (EHIC). It allows you to get free or reduced cost state provided healthcare if it becomes necessary during your stay in another EE country.

St. Mary's News

Hi folks!!

Well, the great day has arrived and we were all overjoyed to welcome back Canon Christine into our midst over the Patronal Festival weekend. Actually her first service back with us was on Thursday 3rd July when she took the 11.00 am Said Communion on that day. It was pleasing to see her looking so well and refreshed after her sabbatical leave even though it meant mixing business with pleasure!

Our Patronal Festival weekend started on the Saturday morning with Canon Christine encouraging everyone to come into church and visit our Summer Fayre. This was a great success with the Sale and the Cream Teas served in the afternoon raising the magnificent sum of just over £1500. Gill Sawyer now goes to bed at night instead of opening up her secret Jam & Chutney Factory. Should anybody have missed the event then there is still plenty of Gill’s produce available for sale at the back of the church. Have a browse around when you are next in the church for your morning or afternoon cup of tea! During the Saturday afternoon the Filton Concert Brass played a variety of music to entertain us in the church. It was their original intention to play in the church yard but the inclement weather compelled them to come inside the building. So we had some wonderful music whilst eating our Cream Teas. But an even greater surprise was that the Band refused to take any form of payment of expenses for providing the entertainment as it was a church fund raising event. We are truly most grateful for the generosity of the Band Master and the Band for this unexpected kindness. The church had some wonderful flower displays, including one by Pat Davidson on the south west window sill of flowers arranged in the form of a Rainbow – which was the theme for this year. Also mention must be made of my daughter-in-law Shelley who spent a whole day doing various flower stands throughout the church.

Canon Christine and David cut their homecoming cake

When Sunday arrived Canon Christine received a rapturous welcome from the congregation and the theme of her sermon was on our patron saint – St. Mary – and also on our homes. When she finished her sermon Tim Forder played a little interlude on the organ – “There’s no place like home” Canon Christine was then left in no doubt that she was definitely back in Shirehampton. Afterwards we all enjoyed sharing a glass of wine and a piece of her Celebration Home Coming Cake – made by guess who!!

During the afternoon the Shirehampton Area Choir performed their Annual Summer Concert to an audience of 60+ people, followed by a Cream Tea, which once again provided some much needed funds to enable us to pay our way. I was disappointed to hear a lady member of our congregation a few weeks earlier say that she thought that at times too much money was going into St. Mary’s as we seem to have whatever we want. How wrong I’m afraid she is, very much of what we want is given as a gift – for example – our new dishwasher and one of the new ovens in our kitchen were both given as gifts to St. Mary’s. All biscuits, milk, squash, and sugar for morning and afternoon tea and coffee sessions have been given as gifts for many years together with all cleaning materials for use throughout the church. So please don’t give up supporting our money raising events as I can assure you we definitely need the cash. If you have any doubts then speak to our Treasurer – Tony Sawyer – he will tell you where our money comes from and where it very quickly goes!

On the next day we had our Parish Outing to St. Georges Chapel, Windsor. We had “Brunch” in the church before we left – kindly provided once again by our resident “Fanny Craddock” – Gill Sawyer – before boarding a coach to Windsor. After a pleasant ride to Windsor Castle we eventually passed a number of armed policemen at the entrance gateway before we were checked in and given a guided tour of the Chapel. This was followed by Evensong sung by the Lay-Clerks. What are Lay-Clerks some of you may ask – well, they are adult male members of the Chapel Choir. Their voices and perfect diction were a treat to be heard. When we came out of the Chapel we were faced with a cracking thunderstorm and torrential rain which fortunately eased off a little by the time we adjourned to “The Harte and Garter” for our Cream Tea – yes another cream tea!! We returned home somewhere around 9.00 pm after a superb day out.

When at St Georges Chapel we met up with the Rev. Duncan Jennings – who was ordained the previous weekend at Winchester Cathedral. About 2 dozen of us went to Winchester for the Ordination Service and met up with Duncan at the nearby Guildhall for lunch afterwards. It does seem strange now to see him wearing a “dog collar”. He has been enjoying his first week as Curate at St. Christopher’s Church, Thornhill, Southampton. Mrs “Her indoors” and myself went to visit Duncan on our way home from a short break in the Isle of Wight. His parish is similar to Lawrence Weston in both make up and size, as is the Parish Church which was built in 1972. The parish has similar problems to those in Lawrence Weston and Duncan feels there will be a tremendous challenge and learning curve which will provide him with a great deal of experience in his future ministry.

On Sunday 13th July the Rev. Dr. Andy Schuman – our former Curate returned to St. Mary’s for his official farewell at our 10 am Holy Communion Service. It had been delayed until Canon Christine returned from her sabbatical leave. Andy and his family are settling in well at Stockwood and looking forward optimistically to new opportunities and challenges. He was pleased to see some familiar faces again and was presented with a Home Communion Set. He will use this when he takes Holy Communion to the sick and infirm either in their homes or in hospital

In July we also said farewell to Anne Travis – Headmistress of Shirehampton Primary School – who is retiring. She has had a lot of connections with St. Mary’s whilst she has been Head Teacher and we wish her well for the future. It is hoped that the new Head Teacher and the pupils will continue to have a close association with St. Mary’s. We enjoy having them in church.

Our “Seniors Week” commences on Monday, 18th August – which this year includes a trip around the City Docks on a boat whilst we enjoy lunch on board. There are a few vacancies left – if you wish to join us see Gill Sawyer at the Church Office.

The Vicarage Garden will once more be open on Bank Holiday Monday -25th August from 10am until 4 pm. If you intend staying for lunch then you will require a free admission ticket obtainable from Gill Sawyer – this is in order to know how many to cater for. There will of course be a Donations box with all gifts going to St Mary’s. Please come if you can – Canon Christine will be pleased to see you! There is no reason to spend this Bank Holiday on your own.

During the wet weather in July we have had further ingress of water into St. Mary’s as a legacy of last years lead thieves. The builders are currently on the roof installing glass reinforced plastic where the lead used to be in an endeavour to make the building water tight. When this work has been competed it is anticipated that we can then make a start during the Autumn on the redecoration of the interior and make good the damage caused by rain water running down the walls.

It is with sorrow that during late June we heard of the sudden death of the Rev. Fernley Symons. He had had a hip operation and had not fully recovered when he passed away in his sleep. This must have been a terrible shock for his wife Della and the rest of the family. We shall remember them in our prayers and offer our deepest sympathy in their loss. Fernley was Vicar of St. Mary’s for 28 years – from 1972 until 2000.

Just before Canon Christine returned to the parish we had another celebration one Sunday morning when our very versatile Lay Minister Gill Sawyer reached a certain noble birthday. I have been sworn to secrecy as to which one, but I can reveal she is now eligible for her Free Bus Pass and is entitled to have letters after her name in addition to those she may already have ie: OAP!!! (And absolutely no mention of her age!!!). She was given a number of gifts from us as a small token of our appreciation of how much we love her and all she does for St. Mary’s. Thank you Gill – we just don’t know how you do it all! And on that note I will end here until September calls.

‘bye for now! C.M.E

191st (St. Mary’s) Scout Group

On Saturday 12th July the 191st Scouts, Cubs and Beavers joined forces to hold a Coffee Morning at the Scout Headquarters, St. Mary’s Road. A grand total of £92.50 was raised with donations from Mrs Sandra Neate, Mrs Bridget Williams and an elderly lady who sent in a cash donation with a Scout.

It was a great morning with plenty of support from the “village” and a big thank you to all Mums and Supporters for cakes and time.

Grant Watkins (Scout Leader)

Investiture at the 191st Scout Group

On Thursday June 19th, James Forder was invested into the 191st (St. Mary's) Scout Troop by Grant Watkins, Scout Leader.  James stands on the bridge.  Left to right: Andy Goddard (GSL), Grant Watkins (SL) and Pam Goddard (Akela - Cubs).

Port of Bristol Retired Employees Association

Our latest speaker was Mr Garry White who entertained us with “working with Police horses”. What an insight into the work of this part of the Police!

The next speaker will be Pauline Kinder on “The Secret World Wildlife Rescue Centre” at Highbridge. This well established Rescue Centre has many celebrity connections and promises to be very entertaining – 19th August – 1.30pm.

Another date for your diaries is the 16th September when we have “Dance Band Music of the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s” by Terry Merrett-Smith. Lots of music, memories and gossip.

All our meetings are held at the Port of Bristol Social and Sports Club, Nibley Road, Shirehampton. The bar is open at 12.00 and our afternoon starts at 1.30pm with refreshments and a raffle, with plenty of time for chit chat.

All retired employees or their dependants are welcome, come and bring a friend – a warm welcome to all.

Clive Seward Vice Chair and

Welfare Officer





From Mr Husher

Reply to Tom Worlock

Hello Tom Worlock,

Yes I am the same John Rogers that went to Portway School the same time as you did. It seem that many of the young lads that left school in 1945 went to the docks and worked on the tugs and then after some experience went off to sea to see the world, I went deep sea in 1947 after working on a couple of coasters. As a coincidence I had an aunt that lived in Avonmouth who was a friend of your mother and father, also about fix or six years ago I met your granddaughter on the Internet chat board, I believed she lived in Holland. Many thanks for providing the names of the old tugs that worked so hard at the docks at Avonmouth. I wish you good health.

PS: Tugs

In reference to my request for information on Avonmouth Tugs I was contacted by a family member of a Mr Doug Havens of Sea Mills, who was kind enough to send me a list of all the tugs that operated in the docks at Avonmouth and Bristol. Mr Havens and his family have a long history working on the tugs going back many, many years. I am very appreciated in this list of maritime history and the involvement of the local men and young lads that worked these tugs over the years and I can assure you that this seafaring history of the tugs will not be lost.

John Rogers, USA

Diamond Wedding Anniversaries

A sudden jolt back to my schooldays in Shirehampton. The name Raymond Sharp. We were very pally in our early school days and he was very partial to my mother’s jam tarts when we lived in Chapel House, next to the church. We lost contact when we about eleven, then came the war and in 1949 I got married and left Shirehampton. I am pleased to hear that he is still around and wish him and his wife well. My wife and I hope to emulate their achievement in June next year. It was also interesting to read of the cricket club celebrating 150 years. My step-brother Len Gould was club captain in the late thirties and I played for a few seasons in the late 40’s and early 50’s until I moved away from Bristol.

Congratulations on the continued success of your newsletter and best wishes.

Leslie Gould

Smelters Showdown Show

The National Smelting Co Amateur Boxing Club (NSC ABC) known as The Smelters held their fourth and final show of the season on Thursday the 12th of June at a packed Avonmouth Rugby Club sponsored by Marshall Grit Blast.

The show saw The Smelters and other Bristol clubs matched versus Brighton, Crawley and St Gerards in a team match billed as ‘The ‘Southern Showdown’ where the teams competed for the ‘Bristol v Brighton Challenge Cup’ sponsored by R & M Building Services. There were also supporting bouts of Smelters boxers against local club on this twelve bout bill.


1. Blake Bowler NSC v Callum James Sydenham Skills. 2. Jerry Connors NSC WON PTS v George Shelldrake Watchet. 3. Sam Ash NSC WON PTS v John Hunt St Gerards. 4. Tom Connors NSC WON PTS v Lewis Bremmner Wells. 5. Jason Davies NSC v Tim Cutler Empire WON PTS. 6. Tyler Davies WON PTS v Connor Murphy Watchett.


7. Brian Keveny Crawley v Jamie Leake Brighton WON PTS. 8. Charlie Hall Downend v Leon Bolt Crawley WON PTS. 9. Boston James Downend v Phil Navichas Brighton WON PTS. 10. Andrew Bolton King Alfreds v Richard Kaplan Brighton WON RSC1. 11. Sam Mogg NSC WON RSC 1 v Rob Fearnley Trowbridge. 12. Terry Richards Southmead WON PTS v Dave Murphy Brighton