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News Index

Brightstowe Flying High!

What’s On in October

Boxing Show

Job Centre to Close?

Motorcyclist Killed Near War Memorial

Letters to the Editor

Local Boy Makes Good

PC Davies' Report

St. Mary's News

Shirehampton Public Hall Newsletter

Twyford Art Club

Brightstowe Flying High!

A thousand balloons triumphantly soaring into the atmosphere spread the message at an opening ceremony on September 16 that the sky’s the limit for Oasis Academy Brightstowe.

Launch of 1,000 balloons at the Brightstowe opening

Earlier that afternoon, Steve Chalke had boldly told the students of the new school “You can change the world!”, whilst Principal Julie Winterton, who has been teaching for thirty years said “I am more inspired by the job I now have than any job I’ve had before”. The call of Brightstowe changed an earlier decision to retire from headship. “In all my thirty years I have never experienced such good will and such energy”.

Steve Chalke presents Principal Julie Winterton with a framed Brightstowe tie and badge

The 1,000 strong audience, comprising students, staff, parents and people from the community, could feel the hope in the air, after many years when the fortunes of the old Portway school seemed to be spiralling downward. As they learnt something of what the world-wide family of Oasis is doing and how the new Academy is a part of it all, the possibilities for the future for each individual young person and the community began to look increasingly exciting. Brightstowe would be a “new circle of inclusion” where “Every person matters”. The Academy stood for excellence and for community.

Yelling for Brightstowe

Mr Chalke challenged the youngsters to become “Visionaries” rather than “dreamers”, because a dreamer forgets the dream, whilst a visionary changes the world, turning “what we hoped would happen into what actually happens.”

Special guests David and Carrie Grant from TV’s “Fame Academy” added their enthusiastic encouragement, telling the young people that “when someone believes in you, you can do anything”, and that at Brightstowe there would always be someone who believed in them.

David & Carrie Grant sign autographs for their fans

They also stressed an important aspect of the Oasis concept, that the Academy serves the whole community. David quoted an African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child”.

There was an impressive group of year 7 students (the new intake) who spoke from the platform about their first reactions to the Academy, and also presented “Thank you” bouquets to the guests.

Pam Scott-Cook, a Bristol church leader prayed a dedicatory prayer, and then it was out of the giant marquee and onto the playing fields for the mass launch of the balloons, symbolizing the visions of the future of the young people of Shirehampton and of Brightstowe.

What’s On in October

Wednesday October 1st

October 1st - 5th - Sunday Zero Waste Challenge Week
Shirehampton Model Railway Club 7.30pm Public Hall weekly
AUS Advice Sessions every Wednesday and Thursday 9.30 – 11am at 115 High Street
Shirehampton Craft Group weekly at Guide HQ, St Mary’s Road, 1.30 pm – 3.00pm Tel 9823192 for information.
ACTA Community Youth Theatre for 11 – 16’s weekly at the Public Hall 5pm – 6.30pm
Keep Fit weekly at the Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road 10.30 am – 11.30 am for those with some movement experience.
Severnside Alarm testing 3pm

Thursday October 2nd

AUS Advice Sessions every Wednesday and Thursday 9.30 – 11am at 115 High Street
Townswomen’s Guild 2 – 4pm Methodist Church Hall
Kick boxing weekly at the Public Hall 5.15- 7.15pm
Stroke Support every Thursday at the PBA Club, Nibley Road 1.30 – 4pm
Slimming World weekly 5.30pm and 7pm at Jim O’Neill house
Grainger Players Drama Club weekly at the Public Hall 7.30pm – 9.30pm
Kyoto Shotokhan Karate Club trains at Avonmouth RFC weekly 6.30 – 8.30pm

Friday October 3rd

Friday Fun for parents, carers, and pre-school children 9.30-11am at Beachley Walk Centre weekly
Evergreens weekly at the Public Hall 2 – 3pm
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 weekly at T.S.Enterprise 7.30 – 10pm
Keep Fit weekly at the Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road 10.30 am – 11.30 am
Harvest Supper at St.Mary’s

Saturday October 4th

Indian Night at the Cotswold Centre 7.30pm cost £7 per head, bring your own drinks. Booking 0117 9490202 or 07785288178
Bring and Buy Sale Shirehampton Methodist Church 10am-noon

Sunday October 5th

Harvest Festival at St.Mary’s 8.30 Kids Klub Holy Communion
Cotswold Service at Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road 4.45 – 5.30pm led by Shire Baptist Church

Monday October 6th

3 of us Bingo St Andrews 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
Tot Stop for under 5s at St Mary’s weekly 1.15 – 2.45pm

Tuesday October 7th

Evergreen day trip to Tenby
Avonmouth Ladies Club 7.30pm at the Church Hall Avonmouth, talk on George Muller by Stephen Griffiths
Weekly Penpole Lunch Club 11am – 1.45pm – 2 course meal £2.75 Transport door to door.
St Andrews Ladies Club – Bring and Share Supper, 7.30pm St Andrews Church Hall
The Bobby Van on the Green
St Mary’s Craft Group weekly 2-3.30pm in church
Totstop for Under 5’s at Shirehampton Baptist Church – weekly 9 – 11am.

Wednesday October 8th

Bright Hour (Woman’s Fellowship) Baptist Church 2.30pm – fortnightly

Thursday October 9th and 23rd

Advice Session at St Mary’s – second and fourth Thursdays 2 – 4pm

Saturday October 18th

The Allan Schiller Concert at St Mary’s, tickets £6 call at Church Office to book.

Sunday October 19th

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

Monday October 20th

Local History Group 2.20pm in the Library

Tuesday October 21st

Avonmouth Ladies Club 7.30pm at St Andrews Church Hall, Avonmouth. Talk on ‘Nepalm Friendship Clinic’ by Peter Shore.
Port of Bristol retired employees association, Nibley Road Club talk ‘An Edwardian Christmas’ by Mrs Yvonne Bell.

Wednesday October 22nd

Shirehampton Stitchers at the Public Hall 7.30pm

Thursday October 23rd

Diabetes UK – Penpole Tenants Association Hall 7.30pm
Carers Group meets at Avonmouth Medical 10am – 12 noon
Carers Group meets at Ridingleaze, Lawrence Weston 2pm

Friday October 24th

End of Term! For all local schools
Sequence Dance Cotswold Community Centre 7.30pm – 10pm

Forthcoming Event

Shirehampton Community Action Forum Christmas Dinner at Kingweston House £15 per head. Tickets from the Library or Public Hall or call Ash Bearman on 0117 9829963

Additional Local Activities

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


Please remember that when you have read and finished a magazine, the library would welcome them in good condition. This allows you to share the contents of your magazine with others rather than simply throwing them in the re-cycle bin.

Just Retired ..?

... and wondering what to do with all that spare time! Why not come and join Shire Editorial group. No money in it, I’m afraid but it will keep you from going to seed - for further details ring Jean on 01275 846350.

Shirehampton Group Practice Request -

Mobile Telephone Numbers Please!

To help reduce the number of missed appointments, the local Health Centre will soon start sending FREE appointment reminders for certain clinics via text message, detailing the date and time. Next time you visit the Health Centre, please check with reception that we have your current mobile phone number.

Change of Address and Other Details

If you change your address, or home/mobile telephone number, please also let the Health Centre reception know so that we can keep your records up to date.

’Flu Sessions for Shirehampton Group Practice Patients

If you missed the first sessions in September, don’t worry! There are plenty of other opportunities:

At Shirehampton Health Centre:

Saturday 18th October 9.30am – 12 noon

Thursday 23rd October 4.30pm – 6.00pm

Thursday 6th November 4.30pm – 6.00pm

At our Branch Surgery, Capel Road,

Lawrence Weston:

Friday 10th October 2.00pm – 3.00pm

As last year, those who will be 65 years old by 31st March 2009 will not receive a letter of invitation but are entitled to just turn up at any of the sessions to receive their NHS ‘flu vaccination. Those who have a ‘flu vaccination for clinical reasons (e.g. they have asthma, diabetes, etc) will have received an invitation letter and can also attend any of the sessions above.

Housebound patients should telephone reception and ask to be added to our list of home visits to ensure they do not miss out. Patients who live in residential homes will have an organised visit by one of our Practice Nurses to administer their vaccination. Registered carers are also entitled to an NHS flu vaccination.

You may feel that, as we have not had a ‘flu epidemic in recent years, you don’t need to bother to be vaccinated. But it is VERY important that you receive this annual protection – it has been proven to be most effective in reducing the instances of ‘flu, particularly for the more vulnerable in our communities.

Not eligible for an NHS ‘flu vaccination? Private vaccinations are provided at local venues, including Shirehampton, through GPCare for only £15.

Telephone 0117


Bring your Dad/Gramps/Big Brother to the Library for a Men Only (+children) Craft Session Making Airplanes and Animals on

Saturday 18th Oct. 11.00 – 12.00

Coffee Morning

Many thanks to all who came to our coffee morning and sale on Saturday 6th September, we raised £104 it was lovely to see you all. Our next coffee morning and sale is on Saturday October 4th 10.00 to noon.

See you there

Hazel, Shirehampton Methodist Church

Advance notice

Shirehampton Methodist Church, Saturday November 1st 10.00 to noon.

CHRISTMAS FAYRE various gift stalls, raffles, tombola, refreshments.

Come and do your Christmas shopping early!!


Boxing Show

The National Smelting Co ABC host their first open boxing show of the new season on

Thursday 16th of October at the Pill Memorial Club, 1 Lodway, Pill, Bristol, BS20 0DH. Weigh in 6.30pm till 7.30 pm boxing starts 8pm sharp.

If your club would like to participate in this show please let me know.

Tickets are £10 adults and £5 junior, if you need tickets please contact me ASAP.

Our boxers list is on Warrior and I’m trying to get it up to date as quick as poss, if you have any bouts for us on your shows please give us a ring.

Many thanks for all the support and best of luck for the new season.

Gary Cave NSC ABC

Home 01454 898549 Mob 07876 233621

Ethel Thomas Update

Ethel’s estate has finally been resolved, her nieces Catherine and Alison while clearing her house for sale found more documents and photographs in cupboards that relate to the heritage of the city, count and diocese of Bristol, these items have also been passed on to the Bristol records Office.

June Simper, Alison Mapstone, Marilyn Gorry, Catherine Ellis and Teresa Momber

A set of her books and copies of her birth, marriage and death certificates and other items have also been given to the Reference Library, Central Library and will be placed in the Bristol Room with other documents for the library archives.

Many of her personal items were given to charity shops.&nsbp; 3 boxes of unsold books, Down the Mouth and War Story, Catherine and Alison have donated to St. Mary’s Church Shirehampton for sale to raise funds, the books are available from the church at a reduced price of £5 per book. (What a great Christmas present for family and friends)

Finally her hats! Alison has a friend who is a member of an amateur dramatics group: the hats were given to them for their costume department and will be worn time and time again in their shows.

Catherine and Alison wanted to meet June and Teresa, the photograph was taken on that occasion on 15.08.2008.

Marilyn Gorry.

Hatches, Matches & Dispatches at St Mary’s

Dispatches -

One of the great privileges at St Mary’s is conducting funerals for members of our community.

Anyone who lives in Shirehampton or is on the Electoral Roll of St Mary’s has a right to have their funeral conducted by one of the staff team at St Mary’s, either in the church or the Crematorium. Members of other church denominations or other faiths may of course want their own ministers. The funeral directors in the village, Stenner & Hill and Thomas Davis do all they can to ensure that families are put in touch with us, but this is not always the case with funeral directors outside of Shirehampton. If you are ever told that St Mary’s or the clergy are not available to conduct a funeral service for you then please contact me immediately (0117 9855450 - Canon Christine). It is deeply upsetting to me to hear from families how sad they were that we were not available to conduct their funeral service when the reality is that the funeral directors booked another minister without even contacting us.

Many of you will know that we have, at St Mary’s, two beautiful Gardens of Remembrance for the interment of cremated remains. It is a privilege to inter cremated remains in the garden, and we know how much it means to families to have their loved ones ashes nearby. (We do not need to have conducted the funeral service at St Mary’s for the remains to be interred in our Gardens.)

The Remembrance Gardens are tranquil, lovely places in the heart of the village and it is a blessing to us at St Mary’s to make them available for your loved ones.

The Memorial Chapel in the church contains the Book of Remembrance. Again the name of any loved one can be inscribed in this beautiful book - flowers can also be left in the chapel as well as candles lit and prayer cards written. It is a lovely place to bring children as they grieve the loss of family members. Those whose names are inscribed in the Book of Remembrance are remembered at Morning Prayer or Sunday Services on the anniversary of their death.

I am always available to talk with anyone who wants advice on any of these matters.

For further information or fees for any of the foregoing please contact the church office on 0117 9077026.

We are here to serve you by ‘Sharing God’s Love’.

With best wishes Canon Christine

Pushing The Boundaries

In the first of two articles Solicitor Laura Wilkinson, Property Law Specialist with AMD Solicitors explains some of the issues relating to property boundaries

As we are all aware from media coverage, or from our own experience, boundaries can become a big issue. Disputes can destroy relationships between neighbours and even in the most extreme cases result in costly litigation.

In this and my subsequent article I discuss some of the important relevant principles.

If you are a prudent buyer, the golden rule is that you should always do a site inspection and check whether the plans supplied by the seller represent the extent of the property.

Sometimes, one property owner has encroached over the boundary of an adjoining property, meaning that the plans showing the boundaries either at HM Land Registry or in old title deeds are incorrect. Faced with this problem, there are a number of alternatives. The occupying party may be able to claim ownership of the additional land in certain circumstances. Alternatively, by agreement, title can be legally transferred to the occupying party or the boundary re-positioned to correspond with the plans.

One frequent problem is deciding who is responsible for repair. Some property title plans, particularly on newer developments, show ‘T’ markings on the boundaries. Where a boundary structure is marked with a ‘T’ pointing inwards, this indicated ownership and therefore responsibility for repair.

But what if there are no clear indications from the deeds or plans? The following principle are used:-

  • A person who owns land adjoining a highway, river or stream is presumed to own the soil/sub-soil beneath the road surface or the water, up to the centre line of the road or the river or steam:
  • Where a hedge and manmade ditch separate properties, the boundary line is presumed to lie on the far side of the ditch from the hedge:
  • A tree belongs to the owner on whose land it was planted, even if its trunk, roots and branches extend onto adjoining land.
  • In the absence of any indications to the contrary, a boundary structure is considered to be ‘party’ i.e. shared, unless one party in the past has effectively accepted by maintaining or replacing it.

As with most neighbour relations and in particular with the “thorny” question of boundaries, the best advice is always to check carefully the ownership and position of your boundaries both on the ground and with your legal adviser.

Copyright AMD Solicitors

Job Centre to Close?

The Job Centre in the High Street is likely to close before the end of March. A consultation period has opened. A notice on the door states that forms to respond to the consultation are available in the centre. However, the leaflet handed out has no details on the proposal, and the form with it is a general customer feedback form. It does not look like any genuine consultation document.

The nearest service will be provided by offices in Horfield or the City Centre. Local councillors and our MP Doug Naysmith are fighting to save the Job Centre as they say it provides a vital service. According to Job Centre bosses, the plans are designed to help focus resources on its main centres in the city and improve services to online and telephone users.

Avonmouth councillor Terry Cook said: “There are plenty of reasons to keep the Job Centre open. If this closes down, the nearest Job Centre will be at the top of Gloucester Road in Horfield – hardly an easy bus ride.”

People can use the Job Centre, which has 560 regular clients, to apply for jobs with free phone and computer use, free stationery and free advice. Mr Cook said there were often queues of people facing financial crisis and inquiring about loans, statutory sick pay, maternity benefit and other benefit inquiries.

The Job Centre also gives a service to local employers, who sometimes need to recruit local staff.

The six-week consultation period ended in mid-September. It is not clear when the Job Centre might close. A dozen staff work there and management representatives said they would be redeployed.

Department for Work and Pensions Minister Anne McGuire said: “All views will be taken into account before a final decision is made. We are offering far more of our services over the phone and online. This is reducing the need to call into a Job Centre and, increasingly, our offices are used for booked appointments only as customers use readily accessible telephone and e-channels. At the same time we are delivering a more individual service for our most disadvantaged customers, delivered in partnership with the public, private and voluntary sectors.”

Basic Skills Classes Axed

Another local service used particularly by the most disadvantaged residents has also been withdrawn. City of Bristol College have been providing a range of Basic Skills classes at the Public Hall. However, from the start of this autumn term, the College will stop all of its sessions at the Public Hall. They gave the Hall no notice of this decision. There will now be no adult education facilities in Shirehampton.

The loss of the Job Centre, and the Basic Skills classes, follows a long list of other services which have been progressively withdrawn from Shirehampton in recent years. These include the closure of the Swimming Pool, Robin Cousins Sports Centre, Groveleaze Youth Club, and Twyford House, which used to provide a wide range of adult education classes.

Winner of Bowls Match

Kenny Sheen and Martin Bailey in the Finals Day at City & Port of Bristol Bowls Club.  After a hard fought match, Kenny was the winner of the men's singles.

Photo Marion Bailey

Nibley Road Fish Shop Opens

Steve Arnel - the first in the queue at the opening of the new fish shop in Nibley Road.  We have waited since Christmas for this day to arrive and we were not disappointed!  Yum yum!

Photo Marion Bailey

Motorcyclist Killed Near War Memorial

A motorcyclist was killed in a collision with a bus in Penpole Lane, near the junction with Shirehampton Road, on Saturday August 23 2008.

Michael Ian Lee, 43, of Sea Mills, was riding his Harley Davidson Sportster along Penpole Lane at about 8.45pm on Saturday when he was involved in a collision with a stationary double-decker bus.

He was taken to the Bristol Royal Infirmary where he died of his injuries.

Flowers from family and friends left near the scene of the accident

The accident was very close to the scene of another fatal accident involving a motorbike about 4 years ago. That incident was near the top of Park Hill.

The scene has been marked by an informal memorial ever since. The recent death has also led to flowers being left by the side of the road near the war memorial.

Road Repairs

We have just come back from holiday to find that the road over the M5 bridge is now being repaired, the lanes are being narrowed and we spent ages on Friday afternoon trying to cross over the river. The Gordano roundabout had traffic at a standstill, and the roads leading up to it were chocabloc with cars, buses, huge lorries the lot. The same things happened at Avonmouth roundabout on our return journey. What we used to achieve in half an hour took all afternoon. No doubt readers have experienced similar delays and frustration. We heard that the Clifton Suspension Bridge was closed for repairs that day too. The B3124 road between Portishead and Clevedon is closed at Weston in Gordano, for road repairs there, and the alternative official route advocated is the M5!

Do you remember the days before the M5 was built, when going to Weston super Mare, our nearest seaside, meant almost a day’s excursion?

Well that’s it, if local travel is out we shall have to get on with the chores, with all the rain the garden looks like a jungle, thankfully we have only puddles, not floods to deal with. One of my granny’s sayings was ‘More haste less speed’ – could this be right even in this day and age?


The Bristol Shiplovers' Society

Programme for 2008

Talks take place at: the Wardroom, HMS Flying Fox, Royal Naval Headquarters, Winterstoke Road, Bristol BS3 2NS

Talks start at approximately 1930

Enquiries: B P Butler 01934 823291

Meeting on the following Tuesdays:

14th October:

The Flying Fox Story by Cdr David Kay RNR and

Lt Cdr J Taylor RN

4th November

Lydney’s Lost Fleet by Paul Burnett

11th November

SS ‘Nomadic’ - Titanic’s Little sister

18th November

Captain Spencer - Bridgwater Harbour Master

Visitors are very welcome - £3.00 per head

Membership: Open to all with an interest in ships and the sea.

Letters to the Editor

School Closures

Dear Editor

The closure or possible merger of primary schools in Shirehampton is greatly worrying.

I am of the clear opinion that small primary schools are best for our children. They learn better in intimate surroundings, and it is important that most children have at least the opportunity to walk to their local school. Closures and amalgamations may be necessary in rural areas where there are significant numbers of empty places, but not in a thriving community such as Shirehampton where the population continues to change and more and more families are moving into the area.

The Council seems to have no real rationale for why it is seeking to close schools in Bristol. Sometimes they say they are being forced this way by the Government; on other occasions they seem to suggest that big schools can deliver savings, (such as one Headteacher rather than two), or they can concentrate investment on fewer, larger schools.

If it is in order to create more places in other parts of Bristol then that would be unacceptable.

I am sure that the head teachers and governors will have their say, and I will be interested to hear from them as to whether they see any merits in the proposed changes.

However, in principle, it is clear that most residents in Bristol support small primary schools; and they do so knowing that they cost more money to maintain. Yet a good early-years education is the most precious gift we can give to our children and you can not put a price on that.

Yours sincerely, Paul Harrod

Prospective Liberal Democrat MP, Bristol North West

Ali Mahal

Dear Shire newspaper,

As a resident of Shire, I have dined at the Ali Mahal restaurant regularly over the past few years. The food is consistently delicious, and the service is excellent. I felt compelled to write in and highlight this, as my partner and I are always looked after so well there, they even remember our favourite drinks.

Caroline enjoying her meal at Ali Mahal

8 Reasons to go to the Ali Mahal

  1. The curries are delicious, if you like thick and creamy, try the chicken tikka masala, or the lamb Pathia which is more spicy. Otherwise, the lamb Dupiaza or lamb tikka bhuna’s are equally scrumptious. Not to mention the lovely garlic rice . . . mmm!
  2. The Poppadoms and relishes are yummy too, especially the mango and mint (the yellow one).
  3. If you’re on a diet you can opt for the drier less creamy sauces, or the tandoori mixed grill which has no sauce at all.
  4. If you’re on a budget, you can get one curry (£5.95) to share (with a rice each).
  5. You can walk there which is free, rather than pay out for a bus/taxi etc
  6. Dinners are by candelight, which creates a lovely atmosphere, especially for the romantics amongst us here in Shire : )
  7. Ali and his wife are lovely people. I think it is good to support local businesses and traders, and keep Shire busy.
  8. If you like curry, you’ll love it.....Just go!!!!

Best wishes, Caroline Lewis, Shirehampton Village

Mindless vandalism

Dear Editor

In July you published a letter from one of my neighbours about the mindless vandalism of car wing mirrors in our road (Penpole Ave). Well yet again we have been visited. It would appear that the young people who use our road to get home or visit their friends find it necessary to leave their mark. On the night of the 30th August at 11.30pm a young man, who obviously wanted to remain nameless as he made sure that his ‘hoodie’ was up and covering his face, walked across the top of 5 cars and stamped on the windscreens smashing them as he went. He then calmly climbed down and walked off down the High Street. While he may have felt better having expressed his frustrations at whatever had annoyed him that night, the owners of these cars, woke the next morning to find that their weekend had been ruined. These cars belonged to my neighbours none of whom are in the position to fork out the significant cost of repairing the damage. I suspect for most of them the financial outlay will not only mean that they and their children or families will have to go short this month but that if they had that sort of money to hand it would have been going towards preparing for forthcoming festive season or other worthy causes.

I believe these young people are members of the Shirehampton community. I know that Shirehampton is an area that still has a strong community ethos. Therefore I would ask that their friends and family support the residents in Penpole Avenue in asking nothing more than that we can wake up in the morning and find everything as we left it. I feel it would be a very sad day if we get to the situation where we have CCTV watching our, and their, every move to stop this mindless behaviour.

Janet Wilson – Penpole Ave

Job Centre

Dear Sir,

I am appalled that the government has decided to close Shirehampton Job Centre which serves one of the most deprived and outlying parts of Bristol. This move totally ignores the needs of the local people and also those of Avonmouth, Lawrence Weston and Sea Mills who rely on the service. Helping jobseekers back into work is one of the government’s most important duties. Placing an expensive bus journey between them and the Job Centre seems like a strange way to help. Joanna Prescott

Avon School

Dear Editor

Dee John’s letter in the August Shire reminded me of Mrs Hayward and prompts me to pass on that Elsie Haggerty, the first caretaker’s wife, passed away in the middle of July at the grand age of 95.

Tony Haggerty

New Zealand (by email)

Well Done Shire!!

Shirehampton came second in the Shopping Area/Street category of the Bristol in Bloom’s Garden Competition.

The Chairman of Bristol in Bloom, Mike Crook, wrote: ‘The response was very good, and the standard of entries was very high. The Judges were most impressed with the effort that everyone had so obviously made. CONGRATULATIONS! – G.Osman

Local Boy Makes Good

Richard Rowles, an ex Portway school pupil whose family still live in Shirehampton, is set to make history for Honda.

Rick, who now lives in Wooton Bassett, has been racing at Castle Combe in the Saloon Car Championship for the past ten years and has spent the past nine months building his own car.

This car is powered by a Honda Civic Type R engine which produces over 200 bhp at the flywheel and is 2000cc in size.

It is sat on KW suspension which is fully adjustable to give Rowles the perfect handling he is looking for high speeds. The brakes have all been fully upgraded to Alcon brakes which will stop the 18” wheels very quickly.

When interviewed by Derek Binstead for the Swindon Advertiser in July, Rick said “ I believe the Honda engine is the finest built engine in the world and there is plenty of scope to make it even better.

“I will use the rest of the season to test the car and then, next season, will do the full rounds of the championship and will be looking to finish as high up as possible.

It has been a lot of hard work, but I am pleased with the outcome”

PC Davies' Report

October 2008

During the 3 weeks prior to writing this report there have been 19 recorded burglaries in Avonmouth and Shirehampton. Both Commercial and Domestic premises are being targeted.

Please be vigilant and report anything unusual you may see or hear. Keep doors and windows locked, leave a light on when you go out at night and if you can a radio turned on. These small measures help give the impression of occupation.

With the high price of diesel and petrol thefts of fuel are on the increase, both motor vehicles and building site machines are being targeted. If you smell petrol around your vehicle do not start the engine in case of igniting the fumes. Please report any incidents that you are aware of as we can then establish any patterns there may be.

Lead and metal thefts have for the moment slowed down but caution is still needed.

There have been several arrests in and around Shirehampton for drugs related offences, with one person carrying ten wraps of heroin. There are ongoing enquiries into several drugs crimes.

We have a new Special Constable on the neighbourhood team , SC 5278 Andrew Robbin with another joining the team in the coming months. This gives us a very effective community team all of whom will be pleased to assist you.

There has been a lot of vehicle crime and damage at Home Ground and we are actively working to deal with this. Help yourselves where vehicle crime is concerned, do not leave anything on display in your vehicle.

Finally with both Halloween, Firework Night and darker nights approaching a few reminders.

Parents do not let children and teens have flour and eggs to cause mayhem and distress. If your son or daughter is caught causing bother at Halloween they can expect to be in serious trouble and you will be getting an unwanted visit from the Police. Shopkeepers, do your bit, watch out for eggs and flour being purchased by youngsters and refuse to serve them if they cannot prove they are genuine.


For your safety and the wellbeing of everyone around you follow the firework code

  • Keep fireworks in a sealed box or tin
  • Use them one at a time, replacing the lid immediately
  • NEVER put fireworks in your pocket
  • Read the instructions carefully, using a torch or hand lamp NEVER use a naked flame
  • Light fireworks at arms length using a taper or a firework lighter
  • Stand well back and NEVER return to a firework after it has been lit, it could explode in your face
  • Ensure that all children with fireworks are well supervised
  • NEVER throw fireworks
  • Keep all pets and animals indoors
  • Take care of sparklers, wear gloves to hold them and dispose of sparklers in a bucket of water as soon as they are finished

PC Gareth Davies.

Penpole Luncheon Club

There are 5 vacancies available at Penpole Luncheon Club.

The lunches cost £3.25, that includes a 2 course meal with a hot drink of your choice and cake.

You can join in the raffle and a game of bingo. A coach collects and drops you at your front door. We are a friendly, happy bunch and like to have fun.

So why not come and join us more info S White (Mrs) Organiser 07818260419/9381236

St. Mary's News

Hi Folks!

Autumn is unmistakably here as I write these notes on an extremely wet evening and at the end of the month the clocks will be going back to Greenwich Mean Time and the dark evenings will be with us again. I always feel this heralds Winter and it seems such a long time before we see bright days and fresh green trees again. Nevertheless as I get older I appreciate every day as so many folks younger than me have passed on. Every day now is a bonus and I thank the good Lord that I am still here to enjoy life!

Canon Christine has asked me to thank all of you who came to her Open Gardens Day at the Vicarage on August Bank Holiday Monday, and all of you who supported other people’s Open Gardens earlier on in the year, as these events raised a considerable sum of money for St. Mary’s.

Last month I mentioned that the staff of the Co-op held a Table Top sale in aid of St. Mary’s and they raised over £900. Their kindness in supporting us is absolutely wonderful – so thank you to you all!!

I am sad to have to tell you of the death of a very staunch supporter of St Mary’s and that person is George Goulding. George was one of life’s true gentlemen with a wonderful dry sense of humour. George spent most of his life in the Royal Air Force and rose through the ranks to become a Wing Commander. He was a member of our Parochial Church Council and was on the Liaison Group when our new Health Centre was being constructed. He will be sadly missed by us all and we send our sympathy and remember his wife Pam and the rest of his family in our prayers. Goodbye George – your battle with Cancer now over – may you rest in peace.

Another well known person to Shirehampton who also recently died (at the age of 101) was Ronnie Curtis. Ronnie was Bank Manager for 30 years at our High Street Branch of Lloyds Bank and was also a longstanding member of Shirehampton Golf Club. We extend our deepest sympathy to his family on their sad loss and know that he will be very much missed in our community.

Ticket prices for our forthcoming Harvest Supper are as follows:- Harvest Supper Meal only - £4, Theatre Production - £4 and for both the Meal and the Theatre Production -£6. This will be on Friday 3rd October.

On Harvest Festival Sunday – 5th October – in addition to our 10 am Holy Communion Service we shall be holding another service at 6.00pm – “Worship without Words” – a reflective service of Holy Communion with silence and music. We had a similar service earlier in the year. Please come – all are most welcome.

From Monday 6th to Saturday 11th October is “Earth Connect”. Whenever the church is open please come along and look around our interactive event for all who care about the future of planet Earth. After looking around you will also have the opportunity to sit down and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee, an ideal excuse for making a break in your daily shopping duties.

On Sunday 12th October at 10am we will be holding another of our Pet Services, so we are calling all pets both large and small together with their owners to this special service just for you. Once we even had a pony in church and all the animals were extremely well behaved – with only one minor accident which was quickly cleared up by the Head Verger with her magic dust-pan and brush!

On Thursday 16th October from 1pm until 3.30pm we will have another Lunch and Beetle Drive. Please put your name down on the list at the back of the church so that “Fanny Craddock” (Gill Sawyer) knows how many to prepare lunch for. There will be no charge for Lunch but a retiring collection will be taken to cover expenses.

On Saturday 18th October we are holding our Annual Christmas Gift Fayre in church from 10am until 12 noon. On sale will be crafts, cards, paper, decorations and gifts. Christmas will only be about 9 weeks away. Our Christmas Food Fayre, when all our home made produce will be available, will follow later on in the year – watch this space!

At 7.30pm on October 18th there will be a concert in St. Mary’s featuring the renowned Pianist – Allan Schiller. Tickets are still available at the Church Office – price £6. Wine and Nibbles will be supplied free during the interval. All funds raised by this Concert will go to supporting St. Mary’s. Don’t miss this opportunity.

The next day, Sunday 19th October, is “back to Church Sunday”. Please take an invitation from the back of the church for someone you would like to invite to St. Mary’s and bring them along to our 10am Service – it could be someone who has not been to St. Mary’s for many a year gone by or indeed someone who has never been at all and just needs that gentle push to see who and what we are and what we do. If you just come without an invitation you can be assured Canon Christine will give you a hug and a kiss and a very warm welcome.

As the Autumn school term has now started the churches in Shirehampton are all looking forward to working with the oasis Trust and the new “Brightstowe Academy”. It is a most exciting venture and we all wait with bated breath to see how all the pupils perform in the coming years ahead. I can foresee a close relationship about to begin!

Remembrance Sunday this year falls on Sunday 9th November, We shall begin our Remembrance Day Service at 10am at St. Mary’s and move off later to the War Memorial on Shirehampton Park for the 11.00am Act of Remembrance. This will be followed by coffee at Shirehampton Cricket Club.

At 6.00pm that same evening we shall be holding a Book of Common prayer Sung Evensong led by the Lay Clerks of Bristol Cathedral. These are the adult members of the Cathedral Choir – like those at St. Georges Chapel, Windsor, which we visited on our parish outing back in July. I shall be there in the front row!

Is there anybody out there who has been baptized and may be thinking of confirmation? If you are, please make contact with either Canon Christine or our Lay Minister, Gill Sawyer who will give you full details. The confirmation Service this year is at St. Mary’s and will be conducted by Bishop Lee, Bishop of Swindon at 6.00pm on Sunday 23rd November.

Finally, a big thank you must go to Gill Sawyer for her organisation of our Seniors Week back in August. We had a wonderful varied programme of events which was to be topped off with a cruise around Bristol Harbour whilst enjoying a Buffet Lunch. We all arrived at Welsh Back at 12.30pm to join our vessel – but alas no sign of it! Gill Sawyer looked anxiously along the various mooring points at Welsh Back but still no sign of any ship. 1.00pm arrived with Gill looking up and down the river with her hand held above her eyes but unable to see any ships other than “hardships” – 52 hungry mouths to feed!! Determined not to be beaten our redoubtable Gill looked diligently for a land based venue as an alternative. I think she said a number of silent prayers to the Almighty or perhaps she was muttering a few swear words to herself, but whatever she did came up as “trumps” and she turned what could have been a disaster for us all into a grand “triumph”. As you may have already read in the Bristol Evening Post we were accommodated at the Aqua Restaurant in Welsh Back, where we enjoyed a most sumptuous 3 course lunch with wine. The Manager could not supply a wine waiter – no fear our Gill was here – and immediately filled the breach and she was even invited to take the job on from 7.00pm that evening!! The good ship “St. Mary” led by an excellent Captain and First Mate have never foundered yet! And on that note – I must say “Bye for now Shipmates.”


Jillian Whitton (Jill)

Thank you to family, friends and neighbours for all their support in the days following the death of my wife. Also for all the cards, flowers and donations to St Peters Hospice

Thank you all – Ken

(Thank you Ken for your donation to Shire funds – Ed)

Bradley House Summer Fair

After a rainy morning on August 2nd 2008, Bradley House Summer Fair enjoyed a brilliant sunny afternoon, as a fund-raising event for St Mary`s Church Shirehampton charities, and raised a total of £325.

A fair number of visitors were able to enjoy the numerous attractions which included: a well supplied bric-a-brac, delicious home made cakes and drinks, a very popular hot dog stall from the kitchen, a bouncy castle, luck dip and balloons for the children, and a very attractive and colourful Arts and Crafts stall displaying items made by Bradley House Residents.

The 30 prizes raffle saw a lot of satisfied winners and the few remaining items were quickly collected during the following days.

A big thank you to our local generous donators which included: the COOP, PJ`S Hair Dressing, Pauline Salon, Maynews, Stadon Pet supplies, Boots, Andrew Pinn Optometrist, Tubs of W.B.Butchers, Flower World, Corner Shop Newsagent, D&P Fashions and Choice Carpets.

The Residents, families and friends, and all the members of staff should be thanked for their hard work and efforts which contributed to the success of this particular event.

Thanks all round

Jim & Maureen would like to thank working colleagues PBA & family & friends for helping them celebrate Jims 80th birthday (Many thanks for donation – Ed)

Andy Crawford

(12 Oct 1949 – 27th July 2008)

My family and I would like to express sincere thanks to all those who gave us care, love, support, cards & flowers during Andy’s illness. Heartfelt thanks especially to Canon Christine Froude for all her support beforehand & for a wonderful service – also to Gill Sawyer & Julie & Ray. Our thanks also go to Miss Hughes and the staff of St Bedes School & all his friends at Shirehampton Model Railway Club. Andy was such a wonderful man and I’m sure we will all remember his love, humour and willingness to help everyone – God Bless – Mrs Pam Crawford & Family

(Many thanks for donation – Ed)

Stenner & Hill

Ian and Jean from Stenner & Hill sincerely apologise for the delay in saying a big thank you for all the help we had in raising £360 for the children’s hospice in Wraxall. We are very grateful to everyone who contributed, especially Sandra from Shire Bakery & Tony from the Coop for the lovely basket of fruit.

Asthma charity fundraising day

I wish to take the opportunity in thanking everyone who kindly gave up their time to help a worthy cause, especially the residents of Stow House. Also a big thank you, to the shops & pub owners in the Shirehampton area who gave generously by donating and supporting our requested charity. The fund raising day, held in the grounds of Stow House was very profitable, despite the bad weather. We raised £714.00 for our charity. A final thank you to Bristol City Council who gave permission for this event to take place. Joan Cormack - Bristol City Housing Support Advisor.

Co-op Table Top Sale

Once again the COOP has excelled itself with another successful sale. Not even the weather could dampen the spirits of Julie, Janet, Tony, Nigel and all the other members of staff. They were also assisted by Alice and Julie’s two daughters. The grand total of £971.33 is going to St Marys Church. Again thanks to everyone for a tremendous effort – Sandra White, Chair Penpole Residents Association.

Pam McCullock (21 January 1929 – 09 July 2008)

Ken and Lauren thank friends and family for their kindness and support following the sad loss of Pam. All donations have been forwarded to The Alzheimer’s Society and we very much appreciate your generosity. May we also thank everyone involved at St Mary’s Church, Shirehampton, in particular Gill Sawyer, for making the service of thanksgiving a very special occasion.

VAT. Concessions

There are 11 million disabled people in Britain, of whom nearly 5 million are aged over 60. Many of them could now be paying too much for home adaptations, because they are unaware of the 5% VAT Concession. Since July 2007 anyone over 50 who has difficulty walking or has chronic health problems affecting their mobility could qualify for a VAT tax break, which means they would pay less VAT for necessary modifications to their own homes. This can save a lot of money off bills paid to a plumber or builder, installing from a walk-in shower to a handrail for the stairs, from an alarm to a stair lift. Rather than pay VAT at 17.5% they only have to pay 5%.

You don’t need to be registered as disabled to qualify, you will however need to compete a declaration form to prove you are eligible and show this to the tradesman. If you have had modifications to your home in the past three years and have discovered you are eligible for the reduced VAT, you can claim it back. Find out how from the Revenue and Customs.

Facts From BOPI Newsletter - Keeping Warm Next Winter

The Warming Bristol team provides advice and support to people living in cold, damp homes, and those struggling to pay fuel bills. The project can help residents out of fuel debt and support them through applications for state benefits to which they may be entitled. The team ensures that grant aided energy efficiency measures are installed wherever possible as well as providing energy efficiency advice that can reduce future energy use, helping the users of the service to shrink future bills.

If you have any concerns relating to your fuel bills, heating your home of your income, contact the Warming Bristol team on 0800 512012. In certain circumstances the team may be able to organise a home visit to assist you further.

Facts from Voice of Bristol Older Peoples Forum

Huge Rise in Pensioner Poverty

Britain’s biggest pensioner organisation, the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) has criticised the Government for failing to stem a shocking rise in pensioner poverty. Latest figures show that in the last year, an extra 300,000 pensioners have slipped below the official poverty line. This is the first increase since 1998. The total number of pensioners in poverty is now 2.5 million, nearly one in four of all pensioners.

The increase is mainly due to rising food, fuel and other household bills, compared to the decline in the real value of the state pension. The current pension figure of £90.70 per week compares to the official poverty level for a single pensioner of £151 a week (before housing costs).

Avon (University Settlement) Community Association

We are a local charity which has been working in Shirehampton for many years. We run the Shire Advice Service which operates from the cottage at 115 High Street and has assisted many local residents old and young, with their problems. Age Concern and the Seven Four Credit Union also operate from our premises. We also sponsor the Evergreens who meet at the Public Hall.

We need volunteers to join the Management Council to help manage the charity. The Council meets four times a year and consists mainly of local people with an interest in the welfare of the inhabitants of Shirehampton. Particularly we need someone to replace our Treasurer who wishes to retire after many years of valuable service to the Charity.

If you can help, please contact:

Moyra McConnell Chair of the Management Council

Tel: 0117 968 1922 email

Shirehampton Public Hall Newsletter

Our new Manager, Katie Myles-Watkins started work on 1 September. She is looking forward to meeting all the people who use the Public Hall.

The new term has started and most of our activities are in full swing again. Sadly, City of Bristol College is not running any classes in Shirehampton but there is a possibility that Bristol Community Learning Team may run some classes at the Hall.

Classrooms, including a fully equipped computer suite are available for rent, so any enterprising tutor who would like to run independent classes is welcome to apply.

There are still many groups running activities for all ages at the Hall for those who want to meet people and keep mind and body active. Pick up a brochure at the Hal to see what’s available.

Shirehampton Model Railway Club Exibition

Shirehampton Model Railway Club welcomes everyone to it’s annual exhibition on Saturday 11th October.

Don’t miss the opportunity to enter your work for the Annual Craft Exhibition which runs from Tuesday 28th October to Sat 1st November. Application forms feature in this Shire or are available from the Library.

There is always an amazing variety of beautiful craft work to see, so it’s well worth a look round.

Grainger Players’ autumn show ‘Songs of the Decades’ is on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th November. Tickets on sale now from D & P Fashion in the High Street.


Twyford Art Club

If you like drawing and painting, in water colour, oil, pastel, or whatever, have you considered joining an art club? And if you have are you put off by the thought that all the members will perhaps be better painters than yourself?

I know this was on my mind when I first started painting 26 years ago, but I found it was far from the truth. All art clubs are made up of members with a mixture of abilities and experience and I found club artists to be very friendly, helpful people.

This is certainly so with Shirehampton’s Twyford Art Club. We are a small group, with a membership of around 30+. We have 2 hour sessions three times a week, Monday and Wednesday mornings 9-30 to 11-30am, and Thursday evenings 7 to 9pm. Most people attend only one session each week, some a couple of sessions.

We meet and paint together in the Penpole room, above the public hall, Station Road, from September to May. There is no formal instruction, but those of us with a little more experience are happy to give help where needed. Now and then we arrange Saturday workshops conducted by various well known Bristol artists such as Paul Weaver, Terry Culpan and Vincent Neave. During the Summer break some members paint together in various outdoor locations around Bristol.

Since 1973 every year in May we have organised an Art Exhibition, open to all, not just members, held in Shirehampton Public Hall.

So if you like applying paint to canvas or paper, or perhaps just sketching with pencil or pen, why not consider joining us after our Winter term starts in early September? You are assured of a warm welcome – and you don’t have to join straight away, come along a couple of times to begin with to see how we get on together.

To find out what vacancies are available on any of the three sessions, phone me on 0117 950 7916 or email John Case

Dodentocht (Belgium Death March) Walking for a Better World

On Thursday, 7th August a group of 29 people aged from 16-55, left Shirehampton Public Hall to take part in the 39th Dodentocht (Death March). A further 4 were picked up in Swindon and another 5 at Dover to make our team numbers up to 38.

The Dodentocht is an annual event held in Bornem, Belgium. The nature of the walk is that of endurance, walker having to complete 100 km (62 mile) in 24 hours.

The group was made up of mainly people associated with Air Cadets with a few civi’s thrown in. This march was not for the faint hearted, but you have to be mad to attempt it. The drop out rate is around 60%, for it’s hard, hard, hard! One simple rule: You have to be strong-minded.

After a restful Friday morning and afternoon we prepared for the 2100 hrs start. Having been scanned in for the first time everyone was waiting for the start ‘come on we want to go’. At last we were off.

The streets were lined with people to encourage everyone on their way. Leaving Bornem you left the streetlights behind and into the night’s darkness. Walking with hundreds of people in pitch black is surreal, only the flashlights indicating the terrain.

The team motto ‘We Walk Alone Together’ was chosen because we knew we would segment into smaller groups, but all thinking of each other, even though we had only known some for a few hours. This random bunch of fools!

There were 16 checkpoints in all and each was a welcome site, where water and food could be picked up and the all-important loo stop. There were 2 breweries on the way too! Both scanning checkpoints.

Before we knew it the night was over and the dawn and sun was upon us. Looking across misty fields was awesome. The daylight hours were hot with the sun beaming down. What the temperature was, who knows, but with camelbak and backpack on the perspiration dripped on our backs.

Left foot, followed by right foot and you make progress along the route and suddenly you see the 50 km marker, then 25 km, then 5 km to go marker. What a sight! We are nearly home.

The last 5 km were marked. You looked for each board, wanting to see them, but thinking they were too far apart. The streets were now lined with residents with their own beer and wine on tables, but also orange slices and water for all the walkers. It was a party atmosphere. Clapping us on the way to the finish.

500m to go, the finish in sight and the streets teaming with onlookers encouraging us on. Feet aching, but shoulders back you acknowledge the crowd and make your way to the finish. DONE IT! What a feeling!

The reward: A pineapple, A beer, A blister plaster (!) and most important of all YOUR MEDAL.

Now that deserved beer and rest.

Of the group 91% succeeded. This alone was something to be very proud of. This was not a race; every single person had a goal in mind. 100% of us were proud of our achievement.

After a good nights sleep we were again up early to start our journey home. At 0900 we departed for Calais, by ferry, Dover where we said ‘goodbye’s’ to 5 of our group and then to Swindon (where a further 4 left ) and onward to Shirehampton.

Home and elated. Final ‘goodbyes’ and hugs our trip to the 2008 Dodentocht was over, but not forgotten and long-term friendships made.

2009 Dodentocht on the horizon and a team ready made. - Andy Bodman