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Back to October 2008 SHIRE November 2008 Fowards to December 2008 SHIRE
News Index

Appeal After Shopkeeper Robbed in Cash and Carry Car Park

Job Centre Saved

Local Boy Luke Krupa selected for England

What’s on in November

Shirehampton Public Hall Newsletter

Smelters Shaping Up

Place Names in Street Names

Jude Ward

Letters to the Editor

St. Mary's News

Music Comes Home

Appeal After Shopkeeper Robbed in Cash and Carry Car Park

Police are appealing for information after a shop-owner was robbed after a visit to the Booker Cash and Carry in Avonmouth. It happened at about 1.15pm on Thursday September 25, 2008.

The 46-year-old Bristol man had just filled his van with goods and returned his trolley. When he came back to he van he saw a small white van parked in front of it and heard a voice. He walked round to find a man with a knife at the side door of his van. The man threatened him with the knife and the shop-owners returned to the store. When he went back to the van he found that a substantial quantity of cigarettes and rolling tobacco had been taken. Brands include Lambert and Butler, Pall Mall, Richmond, Red Band, Windsor Blue, Mayfair and Super Kings worth several thousand pounds. The thief was described as black, in his late 20s or early 30s, about 6ft 3ins tall and stocky with a long thin face. He was wearing a baseball cap, a black hooded top and with the top up and dark jogging bottoms.

Detective in the Bristol Robbery Team are appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or who has any other information which could help police enquiries to contact then on 0845 456 7000. Officers are particularly keen to hear from anyone who has been offered these brands of cigarettes for sale at a knock-down price or in unusual circumstances.

Information can be given anonymously by calling the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111. Call to Crimestoppers could lead to a reward. Anyone who can help should contact us through our secure Crimestoppers contact form.

Job Centre Saved

The Jobcentre Plus office in Shirehampton has been reprieved. We reported last month that the Department of Work and Pensions was considering a proposal to close it before the end of March but that consultations were taking place before a final decision was made.

Many local people and organisations responded to the consultation, to oppose the closure. Those who objected to the loss of a valuable local facility included Doug Naysmith MP, Cllr Terry Cooke and other councillors from neighbouring wards, Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF) and Shire Advice Service and many others.

The newly established Neighbourhood Partnership for Avonmouth and Kingsweston Wards met Rachel Jones, the District manager for Jobcentre Plus and presented her with strong reasons to rethink the proposal.

Rachel Jones has now decided to keep the Shire Jobcentre open for four days a week, from Monday to Thursday. She said: “I have received detailed partner concerns around the loss of a community facility in the Shirehampton area and the cost to the public in travelling to our other Jobcentre sites. Since we started the consultation exercise, we find that we are operating in a very different economic situation with levels of unemployment rising across the district.

David Thomas, Chairman of SCAF, said: “It is very encouraging that this consultation exercise was a genuine attempt to listen to local views. Local residents and organisations mounted a strong case and we are very pleased that the Department has recognised this and that the Jobcentre will remain open.”

Merchant Navy Association

Saturday 1st November 2008 at 1900hrs, Festival of Remembrance, Colston Hall, Bristol.

Saturday 9th November 2008, Remembrance Sunday. Commences 1030hrs College Green Bristol. Short Service and wreath laying ceremony at Merchant Navy Memorial, Welsh Back after the main parade

Local Boy Luke Krupa selected for England

Luke Krupa was selected on 27th August 2008 to play golf in the Annual Schools international match Wales v. England at Cradoc Golf Club in Brecon. Luke after competing various rounds, qualified and was selected to play for England Schools. It was a very tense and a close match between the two teams and Luke was competing against the Welsh captain. The score was level until Luke came in and had beaten their captain who plays in the men’s international squad, so England then won. Luke a former pupil of Portway School who achieved a part scholarship at Millfield School is studying A levels. This year he has won his local Shirehampton Golf Club Mens Club Championship, The Steadman Cup and Richard Abbott Matchplay Championship and he also holds the joint course record.

He is going on tour with Millfield to Thailand and Australia in April 2009. For his achievements this year we wish him all the very best.

Bristol in Bloom Award

When Gil Osman asked if I would stand in and go to the Mansion House to pick up the award certificate for second prize for the hanging baskets in the High Street from the Bristol in Bloom Committee, I readily agreed. I hadn’t been to the Mansion House for years and to shake hands with the present Lord Mayor was an honour. the date was Monday, September 29th.

We congregated with over 100 other people from all walks of life from all over the Bristol area, in a very attractive room where a glass of wine or fruit juice was on offer. After a while we filtered through to the hall to another room, where we were all seated and the celebration began. The Committee Chairman welcomed us. As the awards were announced, so on a huge screen came up a picture of the floral achievement, there were a huge range of school gardens, the gardens at the Zoo, allotments, shop fronts to only mention a few. the prizewinners were of all ages, from a little girl of six to more mature citizens, all keen gardeners.

It is hoped that a Horticultural Society will be formed, when we have news of this happening, we will pass it on to our readers.  JA

What’s on in November

October 28th - November 3rd - Tuesday - Saturday, both days inclusive ANNUAL CRAFT EXHIBITION at the Public Hall. Come and see what local crafts men and women can make.

Saturday November 1st

Christmas Fayre at the Methodist Church 10am - 12 noon. Gifts, raffles, tombola and refreshments

Sunday November 2nd

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

Monday November 3rd

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

TotStop for under 5s at St Mary’s weekly 1.15 – 2.45pm

Tuesday November 4th

Shiplovers’ Society at the Ward Room, Royal Naval Headquarters, Winterstoke Road, Bristol BS3 2NS at 7.30pm. Talk: ‘the Flying Fox Story’ by Cdr David Kay RNR and Lt Cdr J. Taylor.

Evergreen day trip to Clarke’s Village

Avonmouth Ladies Club 7.30pm at the Church Hall Avonmouth

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

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 November 5th

Beginning of Term 2 for all local schools.

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

Bonfire Nights takecare, make sure of safety.

Thursday November 6th

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

Group Practice Flu Injection sessions 4.30pm - 6pm for 65+

Friday November 7th

7th and 8th Friday and Saturday ‘Songs from the Shows’ by the Grainger Players at the Public Hall. Tickets on sale at D & P Fashions, High Street.

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

Sunday November 9th

Remembrance Sunday Service 10am at St Mary’s 11am at the War Memorial. 6pm Evensong at St Mary’s led by the Lay Clerks of Bristol Cathedral.

Tuesday November 11th

Shiplovers’ Society at the Ward Room, Flying Fox, Royal Naval Headquarters, Winterstoke Road, Bristol 3. Talk on ‘Lydney’s Lost Fleet’ by Paul Burnet. Start 7.30pm.

Wednesday November 12th

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

Thursday November 13th and 27th

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

Saturday November 15th

Stamp and Postcard Fair at the Public Hall, 10am - 4pm

Sunday November 16th

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

Monday November 17th

Local History Group 2.20pm in the Library

Tuesday November 18th

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 November 19th

Shirehampton Stitchers at the Public Hall 7.30pm

Thursday November 20th

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

Sunday November 23rd

Sunday Confirmation Service at St Mary’s at 6pm

Friday November 28th

Sequence Dance Cotswold Community Centre 7.30pm – 10pm

Saturday November 29th

Shirehampton Community Action Committee hosts a Christmas Dinner at Kings Weston House at 7.30pm. tickets £15 each from Library or Public Hall, or tel 0117 082 996 - SOLD OUT

Reserve List

As you will all know SHIRE is a community newspapers, non political and inter-denominational run by volunteers. It would be a great help if we had a reserve list of helpers we could call on when we need it. Details from either Jean on 01275 846350 or Marion 0117 682291. We would be pleased to hear from you.

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.

Do You Have a Problem with High Blood Pressure?

Patients registered with Dr Sharples’ practice can now attend a special clinic on Wednesday mornings to discuss medication and other ways of managing their blood pressure.

For further information, patients can contact a receptionist at either: Shirehampton Health Centre, Pembroke Road, Shirehampton. Tel: 9162219 or Sneyd Park Surgery, 8 Rockleaze Avenue, Sneyd Park. Tel: 9683284

(Thank you for your kind donation - Ed)

Thank You

Thank you to everyone who supported the McMillan Coffee Morning, held at Avonside Guide HQ on Saturday 27th September. The event was supported by many of our local traders who either gave items for the raffle and tombola or gave us valuable publicity.

We raised £102.20 this money will enable McMillan’s to offer the support of a trained McMillan nurdser to a cancer sufferer.

Again a big thank you to everyone involved , those who gave time to run the event and those who supported us by buying raffle tickets and who came down on the day.

Avonside Guide HQ.

Townswomen’s Guild Member Honoured

The Shirehampton branch of the Townswomen’s Guild has bestowed the title of Honorary President on one of their founder members, Mrs Edna Culverwell, in recognition of her long and dedicated service to the Guild.

She is the first local member to be honoured in this way. During her 33 years of membership, she has served as Secretary, Programme Secretary and Chairman and although she is unable to attend meetings, she remains a full member and takes a keen interest in Guild matters.

Pictured here with Edna wearing her President’s badge are some of the other founder members of the Guild.

From left to right: Susie Tripp-Edwards, Joan Cook, Anne Parsons (current chairman), Audrey Rees and Gwen Dicker.

What's Available at Lawrence Weston Community Farm

The Farm is part of your community. It offers great opportunities for children and adults to learn about and interact with animals. Come along to Saltmarsh Drive, Lawrence Weston, Bristol BS11 0NF for a visit and see what’s in store!

  • You can now adopt an animal for a year. £15.00 for a large animal (pigs, goat, sheep) and £10 for a small animal (rabbit, ducks, chickens, guinea pigs).
  • Room Hire for all types of events including business meetings, birthday parties, etc – all overlooking the farm. Hire rates range from £5 to £15 per hour.
  • Become a Farm Friend and receive discounts on Venue Hire and Farm Produce. Farm Friend fees range from £1 to £10.
  • Did you know you can buy chicken eggs, duck eggs, goose eggs, rabbit food, bags of straw or hay, cockatiels, budgies, cups of food to feed the animals, bagged manure ...

It’s a great day out! Entrance is free but as a charity we rely on donations to keep going. The farm is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to 5pm in the summer and 9am to 4pm in the winter. Telephone 0117 938 1128 or email

Christmas Dinner Sold Out!

A month after tickets went on sale in September the SCAF Christmas Dinner was sold out.

The ‘Full House’ at Kings Weston on 29th November means that many people have been unable to get tickets and the SCAF Trustees regret this but are glad to see the event is proving so popular.

The Trustees will be looking for ways to accommodate more people next year, so that all the village can come to ‘Shirehampton’s social event of the year,’ with nobody turned away for lack of space.

An Alternative View - Shire/Pill Ferry

As a child brought up in Westbury-upon-Trym during WWI years, from the age of three until nine my father spent a number of periods in Ham Green hospital, before being returned home to die of TB. Visiting Ham Green hospital could be done either by catching a bus from the bomb shattered area of Prince’s Street, from whence the single decker ground and grunted its way up Rownham Hill en route to the hospital, or via the Shire/Pill ferry. The latter involved walking down from the village to the ferry (a real drag on the return trip) and slogging up the hill from Pill Village to the hospital.

So far as I know my father was housed in one of a number of open air chalets, but as a child I was never allowed into the grounds to see for myself. Regardless of the weather conditions I was obliged to stand in the road outside the main gates for the duration of the visit, one was not even invited to go into the gatehouse to shelter. Occasionally my father was deemed toi be well enough to come out to see me and maybe take a short stroll but more often I had to find a stone to kick around to fill the time.

Needless to say that my memories of the ferry are not quite as rosy as those of your poet in a recent issue. I well recall the mud and muck of the slipways and gangplank, especially since I once fell and got a clip for messing up my clean clothes prior to the visit. I also recall some (drunken?) idiot who fell whilst trying to board the ferry with his cycle, during which he succeeded to painfully entangle me in his cycle frame. So far as I was concerned the only bonus in catching the ferry was that the wait was usually much shorter than the wait for the bus. I cannot in truth say that I miss the Shire/Pill ferry, or, come to think of it, the almost equally messy Aust ferry either.

A. J. Moore

St.Andrew’s Ladies Club

Meet on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday every month at 7.30 in St. Andrew’s Church Hall, Avonmouth.

Nov 4th The Woodland Trust – Rebecca Herringshaw

Nov 18th Electrical household appliances of a bygone age – Peter Lamb

Dec 2nd Christmas Party, Bring and Share Supper

Dec 12th Christmas Outing

Remembering National Service

As Remembrance draws near apart from remembering those of our wonderful armed forces who died in conflict over the past years, we should also remember those 18 year olds who were conscripted into national service, some sent to foreign parts never to return.

I’m sure national service would certainly discipline and help some of the youth of today and make them become better members of the community.

Sure our 10 commandments (not in the Bible) which I found in my old army papers will bring a smile to the ex service personnel of Shire.

Mike Anthill

A Soldier’s Ten Commandments

  1. Thou shalt not take the Sergeant Major’s name in vain, lest thy name be inscribed on a 252 and a course of endurance vile for thee be prescribed.
  2. Thou shalt not scrounge or swing the lead lest thou be called upon to repent in the Sergeants’ Mess among the dirty dishes.
  3. Honour they pay-book all days of thy service so as thy credits may be as the sands of the desert.
  4. Thou shalt not fritter away all they worldly wealth by means of Banker, Pontoon or Bragg, lest the voices of authority say unto thee “Render unto me thy name and numerals, but let the shekels remain where they lie.”
  5. Thou shalt not line thy pockets with the illicit sale of NAFFI fags, lest thou incur the wrath of the powers that be and therefore take up thine abode in the Temple of Glass.
  6. Thou shalt not take upon thyself our comrades’ kit, nor borrow or steal thereof in his absence, lest thy sin be thrust upon thee by the quickness of the hand that blackens the eye.
  7. Thou shalt not consult publicans and sinner lest thou fillest thyself with beer to overflowing, for is it not said that he that drinketh shall pull the roller.
  8. Six days shalt thou labour and do all that thous hast, but on the seventh day thou shalt work twice as hard endeavouring to bring upon the face of thy boots and gaiters brasses a shine of exceeding brilliance.
  9. Thou shalt not kill the cook that grieves thee nor shall thou smite him hip of thigh but thou shalt convey the complaint through the usual channels expecting little and receiving even less.
  10. And it shall come to pass that one day thou art required to depart into a street call “Civvy” and thou shalt go thy way arrayed in strange garments and there will be much rejoicing.

Mrs Walters and Mr Pace

‘What a state the car park’s in!’ said Mr Pace one day.
‘The weeds are nearly shoulder height, it never was that way.’
He spoke to Mrs Waters, while sitting side by side
In the new Shirehampton Health Centre (which they looked at with pride).
‘You’re right, my dear’ she answered back. ‘What makes it even worse
Is comparing it to the new car parks (as I said to the nurse)
Mr Pace then heaved a sigh of resignation;
Then spent a little time in deep and thoughtful contemplation.
‘I’ve phoned the council five times but the man says he’s too busy.
They pass you round from pillar to post; it makes one feel quite dizzy.
I’ve tried the local councillor but he did not call back -
To use the local idiom, it’s a case of ‘blow you Jack!’
‘It’s terrible!’ the lady said. ‘It’s such a simple matter.
I spoke to my friend, Mike about it, when we ‘ad a natter.
‘E lives in Walton Road, you see, and ‘e says it’s not right
‘Is neighbours all complain to ‘im about the ugly sight
they pass when going up the village for the daily shop
At the High Street shops, or Somerfields, or, maybe the Co-op.’
‘The new Health Centre gardens are so lovely to behold,’
Said Mr Pace, admiringly. ‘Yes, I’ve also been told
How awful, now, the council car park look to one and all
There’s a buddleia tree that’s growing there, that’s got so big and tall
that the roots are pushing up the tarmacadam surface - it’s a shame!
And the only right conclusion is the council is to blame.’
Mrs Walters had a lot more that she wished to say,
But her turn came for the doctor, so she saved it for next day.


Golden Wedding

Doreen and Tim would like to thank their children Mark and Yvonne, Paul and Dawn, Helen, Julie and Kevin and granddaughter Samantha, also grandsons for making their Golden Wedding such a special day on September 6th. We had a blessing at St.Mary’s, Canon Christine did a lovely service with family and friends. There was a party in the evening with more family, friends and neighbours.

Thanks to all, we collected £280 for multiple sclerosis.

D. and T. Williams

(Thank you for your kind donation. Ed.)

Cold Callers

If you are not expecting anyone to call upon you and someone does, it could be someone you do not know. It is likely that the person/persons could be trying to sell you something. Not all cold callers are of a pleasant disposition and are not always agreeable to “No Thank You”.

Here are some simple tips that may help you avoid getting into a difficult or unpleasant situation.


  • Do always use your door chain if you have one
  • Do always ask for the persons identity card (give yourself time to have a good look at it to check authenticity)
  • Do always shut the door and leave them to stand outside if you think you should telephone the company to check that they are who they say they are (they will not mind if they are honest)
  • Do ask them to come back at a later time if you are on your own
  • Do say “No” if you are not interested
  • Do call the Police if you are threatened, intimidated or conned


  • Do not answer the door if you are unsure
  • Do not let any person/s into the house
  • Do not leave the door open whilst the caller is still on the doorstep (if you go to get your purse or some money)
  • Do not take your purse/wallet to the front door with you
  • Do not take their word for it
  • Do not sign anything you are unsure about

Be aware of postal scams (competitions, lotteries) that require you to ring a number to claim your prize of £1000’s. They are mostly SCAMS.

Last Posting Dates for Christmas

Yes! It’s that time again!

UK dates: Cards and letters: 2nd class - Thursday, 18th December; 1st class Saturday 20th December.

Parcelforce 48 - Monday 22nd December

Parcelforce 24 - Tuesday 23rd December

Please remember to write the address clearly and to use the post code.

Airmail to Australia and New Zealand

- Friday 5th December.

Airmail to Canada and USA

- Wednesday 10th December.

Shirehampton Public Hall Newsletter

November sees the next production by the Grainger Players on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th, don’t miss it.

The Public Hall is delighted to have the Severn 4 Credit Union on site now with the main office. This is an excellent resource for ethical saving and loans, so call in to find out more.

At our last Board meeting the Trustees agreed to make further enquiries about placing commemorative plaques at the Hall for Ralph Vaughan Williams and Andrew Carnegie. Vaughan Williams was the composer of that lovely piece of music “The Lark Ascending” which received its first public performance in the Public Hall under the patronage of Philip Napier Miles.

Andrew Carnegie was a great benefactor who supported many libraries up and down the country, including ours, which is part of the same building as the Public Hall. Gil Osman is keen to make sure these important events are not forgotten, so he is organising the project. If you want to get involved Gil would be glad to hear from you.

Twyford Art Club meets three times a week at the Hall and as you may have seen in last month’s Shire, the club welcomes new members of all abilities. If you would like to join, contact John Case.  JT


Beautiful cat (tagged). Owners lived in Horfield.

Contact: 01179829855

Playtime goes Smoothly

After years of wear and tear, the playground at St Bernard’s Catholic Primary School in Shirehampton was desperately in need of an overhaul but there was little money available. Carillion heard about the school’s pooR playground surface while visiting the school to talk to children about the dangers of building sites and committed to do what it could to help. It arranged for the work, clearing blocked drains, fixing the perimeter edging and resurfacing the playground to be carried out for a nominal sum. The work was completed during the summer break in readiness for the children returning in September for the new school year.

Headteacher Adrian Wilson said: “The deteriorating surface of the playground was becoming an increasing concern and the school in conjunction with the Friends of St Bernard’s Society had been trying for some time to find ways of carrying out repairs.

“We are very grateful to Carillion and its partners for helping us. It has made a huge difference to general play and organised ball games and sports now that we have a smooth, flat surface.

Keith Goldsworthy, senior contracts manager said: “We were delighted to be able to help St Bernard’s School. It is always rewarding to be able ‘to give something back’ to the communities in which we work, which supports our sustainability policy.”

Wind Turbines

You may have noticed the three 120 metre windmills at Avonmouth, they were built by the Bristol Port Authority last year. By 2011 there are plans for 9 more to be built in the area, this is part of the national plan costing £100 to meet the E.U. imposed target to promote more sustainable forms of power and produce 15 per cent of the country’s energy from renewable sources by 2020. The wind power scheme would be cheaper than the Severn Barrage electricity production scheme.

Over the country at large the government plan is that 4,000 on shore and 3,000 off shore turbine windmills are envisaged. Two of them would be sited on the former Shell tank site off Severn road, and would be built by the City Council at a cost of £2.5 million each, and they should last at least 25 years. It is thought that the wind turbines would reduce the greenhouse gas omission by nearly 20 per cent and reduce oil dependency in 12 years. The council believes that the cost of the turbines for the Avonmouth project could be repaid in 10 years in energy benefits.

Excursion to Shirehampton

We recently discovered the attached article while researching the history of Stapleton Road Congregational Church in Easton. It comes from the church magazine, The Messenger, dated August 1874 and is a wonderful description of Penpole Point at that time. We can only assume the whole of Shirehampton must have heard 1700 orphans and their teachers enjoying their picnic!

Kind regards Liz Napier


The 10th of July came, and with it the beautiful sunshine, to gladden the hearts of the 1,700 orphans (out of the 2,050 on Ashley Down, under the care of that eminent man of faith, Mr George Muller) who were to emerge from their happy home for a day at Penpole Point.  All who were too young, or unable to walk the distance, were conveyed in brakes.  The lover of children would see much in that long procession to excite his tenderest emotions and devout gratitude.

On arriving at the Park they seated themselves under the cooling shade of the trees.  Very soon a shrill whistle was heard, when the boys formed themselves in circles, and the girls, as if by instinct, arranged themselves in beautiful order. The girls were dressed in dark frocks, white capes and straw bonnets; the boys in dark suits, presenting to the spectator a very picturesque sight.  A blessing was then asked by the co-director, Mr Wright, and after being liberally supplied with bread, cheese and milk, they scattered, and spent the afternoon at cricket, swings, and a variety of other games, sometimes taking a walk to the Point for a glance at the ships.

About five o’clock they were again to be seen forming their numerous circles to enjoy the bounteous provision of cake and milk, dealt out to them by the hands of their loving teachers.  It is needless to say how much would have been added to the enjoyment could they have seen in their midst, as usual, their honoured friend and benefactor, who was prevented by the indisposition of Mrs Muller.

At seven o’clock, while wending their way homewards, their happy voices echoed far with some of their favourite melodies.  With the exception of invalids and house-keepers, all of Mr Muller’s large family thus spent a very happy day.

A Cautionary Tale - The Sad Passing of Common Sense

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved olf friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, life isn’t always fair and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more that you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not children are in charge). His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place.

Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate, teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job they themselves failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to adminster Panadol, sun lotion or a sticky plaster to a student but could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, churches became businesses and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar can sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live after a woman failed to realise that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust, his wife Discretion, his daughter Responsibility and his son, Reason.

He is survived by three stepbrothers, I Know My Rights, Someone Else is to Blame and I’m a Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realised he was gone.

If you still remember him, pass this on, if not join the majority and do nothing.

Smelters Shaping Up

Bristol’s National Smelting Co Amateur Boxing Club known as the Smelters have been very busy over the closed season with their new build gym.

The new gym and fitness facility at the Avonmouth Rugby Club site is a Sport England and the local community foundation Quartet funded project and is backed by the Amateur Boxing Association of England (ABAE). Informed head coach Garry Cave “After many years of trying to raise funds for a much needed new gym we where very fortunate to receive Sport England backing of some £68,000. Local foundation Quartet has also backed our project with funding for new boxing and weights equipment. So when it’s built it will be all kitted out with the latest equipment, two new boxing rings, punch bags and weights. Avonmouth Rugby Club have been very good neighbours to us allowing us to link our new building to their club house so we can use all the showers, changing and toilets.

We’ve seen a massive rise in the interest in Amateur Boxing, possibly due to the Olympic bounce. We had a smelters’ boxer Nicky Wiltshire medal in Moscow and it would be a marvellous achievement if we could produce another.

Our Gym at Avonmouth is absolutely packed out and we’ve had to try and move some beginners to the two other boxing gyms we run at Southmead Youth Centre and our new gym at Patchway Sports Centre. We have had some fantastic help from parents of boxers in getting this far, one of the Dads, Mark Shackell provided free labour from his company over two weekends to help us erect our new building and without his support it would have cost us a small fortune to get done. Many of the boxers and their Dads have lent a hand and it’s all down to this great team spirit we’ve got this far so quickly. We’re hoping we can have the new gym open for the New Year so we can continue to increase our membership and offer the chance to participate in amateur boxing to local youths.

We’re also looking forward to a very busy season with 20 competitive boxers all ready and raring to go, most have been training very hard in the gym over the summer to get ready.

We’re hoping to build on the success of last year where we had four regional junior champs in John McDonagh, Tyler Davies, Tom Connors & Nathan Snow and won many bouts, we went ten bouts unbeaten at the start of last season and all at away shows and finished off with ten wins from eleven in the last two of weeks.

The smelters’ first home show was on October 16th at the Pill Memorial Club. We look forward to hearing their results.


The Public Hall Trustees have agreed in principle to the erection of two plaques on the building. One will commemorate the world premiere of Vaughan William’s ark Ascending in 1920; the other will celebrate the establishment of Shirehampton Library in 1905 with funding from the Carnegie Foundation.

Place Names in Street Names

The street-names of Shirehampton contain many references to other parts of the country. Everybody will know the street-names on the Cotswold Estate which mainly commemorate places in Gloucestershire, like Nibley, Dursley, Coaley, Stroud, Kemble and Winchcombe, and Burford just over the boundary in Oxfordshire. The nearby Wellington Mews looks out of place, since Wellington is in Somerset, but this was originally named from a local family with the surname Willington. The Gloucestershire theme is taken up again in the Barrow Hills area: we find Beachley and Fairford, but also a couple from the Bath area, Chelwood and Corston, not to mention the North Somerset Portbury. Kilminster Road looks as though it’s based on a place-name, but it’s actually a surname deriving from Kidderminster. Can anybody tell me who this refers to?

Prominent politicians in former times often had streets and buildings named after them – that’s how Wellington crept into Shirehampton, with Willington mistaken for the famous Duke’s title. In Pembroke Road there used to be a building called Ellenborough Place, no doubt named after the first (and only) Earl of Ellenborough who was a Tory politician and controversial Governor-General of India from 1842-4. Pembroke Road and Avenue themselves probably commemorate the prominent political and landowning Earls of Pembroke, but I haven’t yet discovered a real Shire connection. Although Wellington, Ellenborough and Pembroke are also place-names, it’s normally the aristocratic titles taken from them that inspire street- and house-names.

A less obvious example is Clifford Gardens, after the family who were “squires” of Kingsweston, using the ancient Baron de Clifford title, from 1776-1832, and who enclosed Shirehampton Common to form the Park.

Richard Coates

August 2008

Bridget Braves the Waves

The wind cut cruelly, rain became like darts in the face, the water of Portishead Marina looked as inviting as last week’s Brown Windsor soup and Bridget Williams had a shocking cold.  But nevertheless on a cold October Saturday the grandmother from Shirehampton donned a wet-suit and plunged into the sea, just so she could be rescued by a friendly Newfoundland dog.

Bridget was one of a number of similarly brave -or foolhardy- people who had volunteered to take part in a sponsored plunge-and-rescue event in aid of Guide Dogs for the Blind, a charity Bridget and her husband Geoff have supported for many years. “I couldn’t back out” says Bridget “One of the team is blind and can’t swim but went for it, so I couldn’t be a wimp”

As for the dogs, they seemed unaffected by the cold and performed their life-saving routine impeccably.

In spite of the weather, the event was a great success, and the plan is to repeat it.

But in the summer!

Shirehampton Walk

Bristol Ramblers will be walking in and around Shirehampton on Wednesday November 5th and anyone is welcome to join them.

The walk begins at the 902 Park & Ride car park at 10 am and will be approximately six miles. It is timed to finish at around 1 pm.

Strong walking shoes or boots are advised.

To see Bristol Ramblers full programme of walks visit their website

St Bernard’s Christmas Fair

Saturday 29th November 10.30am to 1.30pm at St Bernard’s School Hall entrance in Pembroke Avenue

Cakes, gifts, games, children’s games, face painting, refreshments

Jude Ward

Carole Brooke and Jude Ward

Judith (Jude) Ward takes over from Carole Brooke as Practice Manager for the Group Practice at Shirehampton Health Centre on 3 November 2008. She has worked in the public sector for 23 years, most recently as Business Manager for the South West Public Health Observatory. Jude has lived in North East Bristol for 11 years and the South West for the best part of 20 years. She is looking forward to the challenges that her new position will bring and ensuring the delivery of an effective service to the community. In her spare time, Jude enjoys travelling far and wide, swimming and reading.

Carole Brook admiring a cake at her leaving party

The View From Here

By Joan Bakewell

During a recent holiday I read Joan Bakewell’s book “The View from Here” – life at seventy.

It is full of positive thinking, accounts of people who have gone on striving and achieving, regardless of their age. There are also moments of nostalgia, of memories of growing up during the war. All very entertaining.

I felt as though someone had gently patted me on the back and encouragingly said “Come on – get on with life and do as much as you can”.

If you are approaching mature years or even retirement and wondering what to do next, you might enjoy this book, too.

If you have read a book or visited somewhere which you have enjoyed – why not write to “Shire” with your recommendations. Who knows, maybe our readers will share your enjoyment based on your recommendation!

Letters to the Editor

‘Thrupence’ a Bag

Dear Editor,

I read with interest the article in ‘Shire’ about a new Fish and Chip Shop opening in Nibley Road.

It evoked many memories as my sister Lynda and I were living in Dursley Road during the 40s and 50s. Most Saturday evenings we were given an old threepenny piece to buy a small bag of chips which were wrapped in a sheet of newspaper. How delicious those chips were to us, it was the treat of the week.

The shop was owned by the Blunt family and many years later their son, Derek, became a driving instructor and taught me to drive. I even passed first time!!

I wish the new Fish and Chip Shop lots of luck and hope it does well.

Norma Wyllie (nee Chivers)

Children of a Lesser God?

Dear Sir,

I am sure many of your Shirehampton readers will have been impressed by the smart appearance of pupils as they walk through our village on their way to the newly opened Oasis Academy Brightstowe, in their crested blazers and eau de nil ties.

The champion of the academy, high profile sponsor Steve Chalke has been seen in the local press in a ‘Circle of Inclusion’ photo opportunity. He is quoted in the press as saying God sent him to Shirehampton. Did He not send him for the pupils in the Kingsweston Centre also?

The Kingsweston Centre is a purpose built centre for children with autism which was built on the site of the former Portway School as a flagship of integration. It has fine facilities and an excellent staff. My own son, Alex, has had two very happy years there.

Alex began his school career at St Bernard’s, Shirehampton. Here, despite his differences he was a valued member of the school community. From Day One of his education he wore the St Bernard’s tie and crest on his pullover. The Head, Adrian Willson, who had little extra funding and no purpose built facilities to deal with Alex’s needs welcomed him as any other child. Alex was staggeringly handsome in his school uniform.

As a child starting secondary school at the Kingsweston Centre Portway, Alex wore the Portway crest and tie, looking outlandishly smart in amongst the morning throng of pupils in an assortment of attire passing for school uniform.

Today he wears neither tie nor crest. Oasis has banned the pupils of the Kingsweston Centre from wearing their brand logo.

Their stated reason for this is that pupils in the Kingsweston Centre come under Kingsweston School policy and practices rather than their own.

Interesting then that in St Bede’s Catholic College, two miles down the road, where three Kingsweston Centre pupils are currently being shipped for integration to mainstream GCSE classes, there is no bar to Kingsweston pupils wearing the St Bede’s uniform, emblazoned with their motto ‘In Novitiate Vitae’ as a sign of their belonging...

Why the two mile journey instead of a stroll across the park? Will Bristol City’s Council’s Commitment to inclusion ever come to fruition in its flagship autism provision?

Perhaps the Academy needs time to put its house in order before opening its doors to these Children of a Lesser God who are not seen fit to bear the brand logo?

Sincerely Rachel Mortell

Could it be ..?

Dear Sir,

I am referring to the picture in the July Edition by Trevor Morgan

Mary Cox with baby Philip, 1944

I am guessing 1945. I think the lady with the “pram” in the forefront is my mother Mary Cox who lived at 36 Station Road. I would have been two (Philip Thomas Cox) nee 1943. I do not “quite” remember the occasion but the termination of the war would coincide, I am enclosing copy photographs of my mother and myself 1943, and her twin sister Kathleen Prudhoe, with my younger brother Julian Cox (1946). I may be totally incorrect in my assumption but await eagerly the real story.

Philip Cox

AVON (University Settlement) Community Association

115 High Street, SHIREHAMPTON, Bristol, BS11 0DE.


We are a local charity which runs Shire Advice Service from our premises at the above address.  We have office space (suitable for one to three people) to let on the first floor of the Cottage, which is conveniently located on the High Street a few minutes from the village centre. 

If you are interested, please contact: Moyra M. McConnell Chair of the Management Council.

Tel.  0117 9681922


Signal Failure on the Line

The rise in scrap metal prices has led to a rash of thefts not only of roof lead but also of copper wiring. A couple of months ago a signal cable on the Severn Beach line was attacked but though the thief caused considerable inconvenience to the passengers, he was no richer for this crime, for copper is no longer used in signal wiring, the cable was worthless (to him) fibre optic.

Was it an Avonmouth man
with a solid business plan
To exploit the entrepreneurial skills
Of an engineer from Sea Mills
Who managed to inspire
A lorry driver based in Shire
That the market price would go no higher
For copper coated wire?
Late on Thursday night
someone took a stealthy bite
At a length of cable
Which meant the signal was not able
to let trains proceed.
This caused consternation
At each and every station
since the train is the salvation
Of the rising generation.
If you’re tempted to the crime
Of ripping up a branch line
Look carefully at the label
As there is no profit in fibre optic cable.

Julie Boston, Friends of Suburban Railways (FOSBR)

PS: Thanks to the Network Rail task force for speedily repairing the cable.

Shirehampton Group Practice GP Appointments for Workers and Carers

The Group Practice now runs GP surgeries on alternate Saturday mornings and some evenings.

These appointments are for those patients who work full time or have other commitments which prevent them from attending during our usual opening hours.

We do not have a nurse at these times and are unable to deal with prescription queries. If you need a doctor in an emergency between 6.30pm and 8.00am on weekdays or between Friday 6.30pm and Monday 8.00am, the number to ring is 0117 916 2226. You will automatically be transferred to the GP Out of Hours emergency service.

Details of all our services are in our Practice leaflet, available from reception.

St. Mary's News

Hi Folks!

November here again and the clocks have gone back to G.M.T. and the days are frequently dank and grey, but as I prepare these notes it is a beautiful sunny Autumn day and the changing colour of the trees looks absolutely magnificent. We are lucky to have so many green areas around our village and across Shirehampton Park – I am sure there are other suburbs in Bristol envious of our good fortune.

Enough of this wittering – let’s have some news from St.Mary’s I hear you ask! Well, the Parish Weekend to Lee Abbey in north Devon was a resounding success and was blessed with absolutely magnificent weather. Everyone has said how much they enjoyed it and the wonderful setting where Lee Abbey is located. It provided much rest from the hurly-burly of every day life and was a benefit to all! During their absence we had the Rev. Malcolm Warren to cover at St.Mary’s and we thank him for standing in for Canon Christine.

We are pleased to announce that Jean Barnes & June Miller have taken over ‘Tot Stop’ due to a change of leadership and would remind all parents of pre-school age children that both they and their children would be most welcome between 1.15pm & 2.45pm at St.Marys’s on a Monday afternoon.

We had a wonderful Harvest Festival – and you did us proud on our Harvest Food Bags Appeal. We had over 300 bags for distribution to the homeless and needy in our City.

Sixty-four of them came from ‘The Bridge Business Club’ and we are truly grateful for their generosity. The church looked absolutely magnificent – with stunning flower decorations – all based on the theme – ‘We plough the fields and scatter…..’ from that well known Harvest Hymn. Also on exhibition were some wonderful examples of hand made quilts by Christine Porter – the Autumn colours of which really had to be seen as they cannot be adequately described here. Also our local Art Group put on a display of their paintings. They meet in St.Mary’s on a Tuesday afternoon – and there really is some outstanding talent amongst them! If you are interested, have a word with Shelley Eynon or Pat Comer – they will be pleased to welcome you! We had an additional Holy Communion Service on Harvest Festival Sunday at 6.00pm – ‘Worship without words’ – completely silent – just quiet music playing with written words and pictures on our back projector screen. The church was illuminated by candlelight and the atmosphere really quite remarkable as the daylight diminished – a truly moving service! Our Harvest Supper on the previous Friday was most sumptuous – courtesy of Gill Sawyer – followed by a short play called ‘When I’m calling you’ by The Salt Mine Players, which provided much mirth for the audience!

Shirehampton Primary School held their Harvest Assembly in St.Mary’s on Wednesday 1st October and it was pleasing to see so many parents and grand parents also in attendance. I love to hear the children singing and they all sang their ‘hearts our’.

On the previous Sunday we had Nicky Mungeam & Jonny and Amanda come to our 10am Service to give us all a presentation on the new Brightstowe Academy. They were able to give us a first hand account of the exciting new prospects for all the pupils attending there. Canon Christine admired their Polo Shirts which had ‘Oasis Brightstowe Academy’ amblazoned across the back and surprise, surprise – she was presented with one – and before the Service was over she had whipped off her cassock and gave us all a twirl wearing the new Polo Shirt.

Our ‘Earth Connect Exhibition’ was a great success, with many visitors during the week it was on display. It was an eye opener to many and was visited by all our local schools who very much appreciated the opportunity for their pupils to see the exhibition.

Two members of our congregation celebrated birthdays during October. On the 3rd Betty Tite celebrated her 80th Birthday, whilst George White celebrated his 87th on Saturday 11th. George is really quite remarkable – he helps to erect the tables and serve people at our Wednesday Lunch Club and is a keen Bowls Player – the Peter Pan of St.Mary’s!! (It’s all probably due to the way Beryl looks after him!!!).

At 3.00pm on Saturday 8th November we shall again be holding our annual Memorial Service to remember all those people who have died recently and in the years gone by. If you have lost a ‘loved one’ in the past 12 months you should have received a written invitation to attend this Service, but if you haven’t, it is open to all and you are warmly invited to attend. You will be invited to complete a small white card bearing the name of a departed ‘loved one’ which will in due course be hung on our ‘Tree of Light’ but more of that later. This service is usually very well attended, so please don’t think you will be one of just a few – please come!

The next day – Sunday 9th November is Remembrance Sunday – and our Service will commence at 10.00am in St.Mary’s when the Roll of Honour is read out by Canon Christine, after which we proceed in procession to the War Memorial on Shirehampton Park for the 11.00 am Act of Remembrance with the Uniformed Organizations. Following this you are all invited into Shirehampton Cricket Club for refreshments.

At 6.00pm that evening we are holding a service of Sung Evensong from the Book of Common Prayer in St.Mary’s – led by the Lay Clerks of Bristol Cathedral. This will provide a wonderful opportunity to listen to some superb choral singing as well as a final Act of Worship on that day.

On Sunday 23rd November at our 10.00am Holy Communion we shall be admitting some of our young children to Communion before Confirmation. This is a most important day for them and we would ask you to be there and give them your utmost support in the milestone in their Christian journey through life!

At 6.00pm that evening we shall be holding a Confirmation Service in St.Mary’s which this year will be conducted by Bishop Lee Rayfield – Bishop of Swindon, followed by refreshments afterwards across the road at The Shirehampton Lodge Hotel. All again are warmly invited to attend this service

On the following Saturday 29th November we shall be holding our Annual Festive Food Fayre in St.Mary’s from 10.00 am until 12 noon when you can purchase a variety of preserves, cakes and food gifts courtesy of (Fanfare of Trumpets at this point!) – Gill Sawyer!! You have been warned not to forget it, as there is always a queue waiting for the doors to open and the bargains and favourite items will be quickly gone!

Sunday 30th November is Advent Sunday, and in addition to our usual 10.00 am Service we shall be holding our Advent Carol Service at 6.00pm. It is at this service that all the white cards completed at our Memorial Service for our lost ‘loved ones’ are hung on the Tree of Light and the lights switched on. This tree will remain in position with the lights lit until after Christmas. Please put the date of this Service in your Diaries!

Finally, may I request that all Nicotine Addicts who choose to pathetically puff on their weed in and around the churchyard to dispose of their cigarette ends in the bins provided and not toss them over the churchyard wall or onto the path which runs through it.

Recently, I have removed beer cans from both of the Memorial Gardens and I also saw two young ladies (?) aged about 18 years come out of the Co-op Store with a number of Scratch Cards, which they placed on the wall and scratched them to reveal any winning numbers. Having apparently not won anything, they immediately threw them into the churchyard when there was a waste bin not more than 2 feet away from where they were standing. I went across and picked up the scratch cards, put them in the bin and queried with them why they found it necessary to use the churchyard as a dumping ground, when there was a waste bin so close at hand. Apparently, unable to form a sentence, I just received a vacant stare as they shuffled off along the High Street.

I suppose I should have followed them home and dumped the churchyard litter in their front room – I wonder if they would recover their voices then!! Sorry to end these notes on a grouse, but we do try so hard to keep our churchyard looking beautiful as a green oasis in the centre of our village.

Speak to you again next month!

Bye for now! C.M.E. October 08

Music Comes Home

When guests gather for the SCAF Christmas Dinner in Kings Weston House on November 29 they will be greeted by a Christmas carol composed by the last private owner of Kings Weston, Philip Napier Miles. Tim Forder, who will be conducting the Shirehampton Area Choir in a programme of carols to welcome the diners as they arrive and sip their mulled wine in the Portrait Gallery, was delighted to discover the piece, and enthusiastically agreed to teach it to the choir for this special occasion.

Then a week later on Sunday 7th December at the Area Choir Christmas programme in St Mary’s (also conduced by Tim) special guest Niall Hoskin will be singing another Napier Miles piece “My Master hath a garden”.

It is probably the first time that Napier Miles’ music has been publicly performed in a very long time, and though the songs are comparatively minor examples of the work of the gifted amateur composer who had his music conducted by musicians of the stature of Adrian Boult and Malcolm Sargent, it is hoped that these occasions will be the beginning of a recovery of the music. There are a number of local people who are working to bring about performance of the works of Napier Miles. The composer bequeathed copies of his music to Bristol University Special Collections Department, where they can be inspected, but at the moment there are some copyright complications that have to be resolved before some of them can be copied or performed.

Indian Night at Cotswold

The Cotswold Community Centre in Dursley Road became a little corner of India for a night, as the CCA held its first meal dedicated to celebrating the sub-continent’s spicy cuisine.

The evening was the brainchild of CCA committee member Mike Fisher, who both organised the night and took on the major part of the cooking and serving, assisted by others, including his wife and daughter, who both, like Mike, donned Indian dress for the occasion.

There was a variety of curries with different degrees of hotness, plus meals for vegetarians, and all served to background sitar music.

After the meal, the diners were entertained with dancing from Sanjela, who then invited volunteers to dance with her. Not too many were willing to risk the bodily contortions involved, but those game enough to try were enthusiastically cheered on.

The evening finished with an Indian quiz, where such little-known facts emerged as that vindaloo originated in Portugal.

The night was such a success, that there are already requests for more themed meal nights. As more than one diner from the Cotswold estate said “It’s so good to have somewhere to go out to on a Saturday night.”