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A Night to Remember SCAF Christmas Dinner

What’s on in January

Church Project Gets a Lift

Fatal Accident on the Portway

Copyright Issues Resolved

The Public Hall Newsletter

Jubilee Allotments Development Change:

A Christmas Market for Shirehampton?

Letters to the Editor

Name Puzzles from the Past: Hung Road

Lord Mayor visits Penpole

Woollies Closes

St Mary’s News

Brightstowe Academy

A Night to Remember SCAF Christmas Dinner

Advertised as “Shirehampton’s social event of the year”, the level of anticipation for SCAF’s Christmas Dinner can be gauged from the fact that tickets were sold out a month after going on sale in September, and that guests started arriving an hour before the event was due to begin.

Guests assemble in Kings Weston's splendid Portrait Gallery

The warming welcome of mulled wine

By the official start time of 7.30pm, the Portrait Gallery of King Weston House was full of people with their welcoming glass of mulled wine, listening to the Shirehampton Area Choir directed by Tim Forder, singing a selection of Christmas carols, the highlight of which was one composed by the former owner of Kings Weston House, Philip Napier Miles, whose music is just being rediscovered.

The Area Choir greets the guests with carols

Is this the best value meal in Bristol?

Then it was into the Van Brugh Room for a traditional Christmas dinner, which lived up to all expectations. Many marvelled at how such a meal could be provided at such a reasonable cost. But if people felt guilty about having money left over, they soon had the opportunity to put that right as sellers moved among the tables with books of raffle tickets. With the star prize of a designer evening gown, plus many other valuable goodies, there were plenty of takers.

Beth Ford and Phil Blandford entertain

As people contentedly drank their after dinner coffee, singer Beth Ford and pianist Philip Blandford entertained with their programme of swinging standards and Beth’s original songs.

As Pat Roberts calls the numbers - who will win the designer evening dress?

Then came the raffle – and the evening gown and all the other prizes sent the winners home even happier with their evening out.

Perhaps the biggest attraction of the night was the Kings Weston House itself, whose majestic setting made every part of the evening special. Shirehampton is extremely blessed to have such a fine venue for events like this, and to have it made available with such willing generosity by John Hardy.

Shirehampton Community Action Forum is grateful to everyone who came for their support.

What’s on in January

Thursday January 1st

Public holiday - Library will be closed

Friday January 2nd

Library will be open 10am - 1pm and 2pm - 5pm.

Coffee Morning at the Library, 1st Friday of the month 10.30am - 12.30.

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

Saturday January 3rd

Library will be open - 10am - 1pm & 2pm - 5pm

Bring & Buy Sale at Shirehampton methodist Church 10am - noon.

Sunday January 4th

Cotswold Service - at the Cotswold Centre, Dursley Road 4.45pm - 5.30pm led by Shire Baptist Church.

Monday January 5th

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

Tuesday January 6th

St Andrew’s Ladies Club 7.30pm at St Andrew’s Church Hall, Beetle Drive.

Penpole Lunch Club 11am – 1.45pm – 2 course meal £2.75 Transport door to door (weekly)

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

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

St Mary’s Art Group every Tuesday afternoon.

Wednesday January 7th

Every Wednesday - Shirehampton Model Railway Club 7.30pm Public Hall weekly

Shire 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 10.30am.

Thursday January 7th

Shirehampton 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

Shire Advice Service Wedneday and Thursday 9.30 - 11am at 115 High Street.

Saturday January 10th

Annual, Book, Video, DVD and CD Sale at St Mary’s 10am - 12 noon.

Tuesday January 13th

Port of Bristol Retired Employees Association at the Club House.

Wednesday January 14th

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

Thursday January 15th

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

Sunday January 18th

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

Monday January 19th

Shirehampton Local History Group will meet at 2.30pm at the Co-op

Tuesday January 20th

St Andrew’s Ladies Club - charity Talk - Bristol Stroke Foundation 7.30pm

Thursday January 22nd

Alpha Course begins at 1pm - 3pm.

Friday January 30th

Sequence dinner at the Cotswold Community Centre 7.30-10pm.

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

Twyford Art Club meets three times a week at the Public Hall. For details contact John Case at the Hall.

School Terms

Term 3 - Monday 5th Jan to Friday 13th Feb 2009

Term 4 - Monday 23rd Feb to Friday 3rd April 2009

Term 5 - Monday 20th April to Friday 22nd May 2009

Term 6 - Monday 1st June to Friday 24th July 2009

The school year is based on a calendar of 195 days. Five days are to be used for staff professional development which means that schools will be open to receive pupils for the legal minimum of 190 days (380 session). It will be necessary for parents and other interested parties to contact individual schools direct for confirmation of the 5 dates when they will be closed to pupils.

If your Society or Club would like their meeting dates to appear in ‘What’s On’ please send details to the Library by 10th of the month.

Brian Blandford Dies

It is with deep regret that we announce the sudden death of Brian Blandford, who suffered a fatal heart attack December 23rd. Brian was truly a pillar of the community supporting the work of SCAF, the Shirehampton Community Action Forum, the Cotswold Community, the Baptist Church, and “Shire”. His sudden death is a shock to everyone who knew him and we send our deepest sympathy to his family in this difficult time. A full obituary will follow in the February issue of “Shire”.

Thank You!

May I take this opportunity to thank all our drivers and distributors for their continued help and support. Many of them may be unknown to you and you only know of them when your copy of Shire lands on your doormat. Without these stalwarts the paper could not function and would have to close.

This in turn would be a great loss to many people, as our monthly edition is not only distributed to the local area but is sent far and wide to places as far away as Canada and Australia. We believe we are the longest running local newspaper in Bristol!! We have been in existence since 1972 and some of our founder members are still serving this community.

The process starts when the papers are delivered from the printers, usually over the first few days of the month. I am then advised and arrange with the counters to count and bundle the newspapers ready for distribution. When this is completed the drivers are telephoned and asked to take the papers to the distributors who then deliver the papers to your door.

All this takes place in a matter of days. Sometimes your paper is a bit late, this is due to some of our drivers being shift workers, and hopefully does not happen often. Many of our delivery ladies and gentlemen are elderly, but this does not stop them. They are there for us in all winds and weathers and to them we say an extra big Thank You.

If you visit the Public Hall and see large bundles of papers ready for distribution, please, do not touch as all papers are counted – the right number for each distributor. If you live locally your paper will come to your door, copies are also available at the Library and Post Office.

Pauline (Distribution)

Congratulations

As many of our readers will know, for many years now, “Shire” has been typeset in Clevedon by the Mercury and under their umbrella has been printed.

The Mercury weekly newspaper has been nominated the first choice for local free newspaper and also first choice for property and jobs advertising and named by the Newspaper Society as the Free Weekly Newspaper of the Year in Wales and the South West.

We are delighted for them. They are the professionals, who have given us amateurs much help, advice about layouts and encouragement over the years – and we send them our heartfelt congratulations

J.A.

Church Project Gets a Lift

IT is possibly the biggest DIY project going on in Shirehampton at the moment. The men and women of the village’s Baptist Church are now several months into turning their venerable Edwardian building into a church fit for a 21st Century congregation.

During that time the team of volunteers under the leadership of retired builder Pete Mann have achieved some remarkable things: building a new kitchen, installing new central heating, taking out windows, building a roof, and knocking some very big holes in foot-thick walls.

But after creating one such hole, which was making a way from the sanctuary area to a new reception area, the mighty men of SBC came up against a task too big for even their well-honed muscles. They needed to support the wall above the hole with three RSJ’s (otherwise known as girt big girders), Each RSJ measured 4.1 metres, and their combined weight totalled 306 kilos. The work team that particular day numbered four – and they had an average age of 68. It was clearly time to call in some professional help.

Speedy Lift manager, Alistair Ross with a Genie material lift

They contacted Speedy Lift of Avonmouth for some specialist equipment, and reconciled themselves to adding the hire charges to their budget. But Depot Manager Alistair Ross and his assistant Jo Rice, hearing what the equipment was needed for, not only supplied the lifting gear and crew, but did it at no cost to the church! Pete and his co-workers were thrilled with the generous gesture, and stood and watched while in the space of minutes the three joists were lifted and slotted into place with ease by a Genie Material Lift.

Not quite sure how Peter Mann (right) and Bernard Gazzard got those steel joints into place!

It’s encouraging to see such good will in the community, and the members of Shirehampton Baptist Church thank Speedy Lift heartily for their gesture.

Susan Pratt of the Portway Centre Dies

Susan Pratt of the Portway Centre, St Bernard’s Rd, Shirehampton 1985 – 1993

It is with great sadness that we heard of Sue’s death on Tuesday 18th November 2008. We realise that many people in Shirehampton and beyond will remember Sue when she was manager of the Portway Centre in St Bernard’s Rd. in Shirehampton.

The Portway Centre opened in 1985 to provide a locally based resource and activity day service for disabled adults with learning difficulties living in the local area. The Portway Centre was the first of its kind in Bristol and with Sue as its manager, became a flagship of good practice, with its members active within and contributing to their local community. The Portway broke away from traditional and historical conventions of keeping disabled people apart and separate from the rest of the community. With Sue as its manager, the Portway Centre forged proper long-term relationships with local people through joint community ventures and projects. These relationships were based on mutual respect and understanding and made possible important work that is still happening today.

The artists of Artists First and Firebird Theatre (formerly Portway Players) remember Sue with great love and respect, as a colleague and as a friend. We acknowledge that if it hadn’t been for Sue we might not be working together in the way that we are now. Sue was instrumental in initiating and supporting many wonderful projects during those exciting years at the Portway; for us, two of the most important projects were based in the atrs. By 1990, Portway Players had had its first performance at Bristol Old Vic and Artists First had a retrospective exhibition and conference at the Watershed.

We know Sue made these happen through her support and belief in us.

We are now independent professional organisations but we do not forget our roots and we will never forget Sue. She believed in us as artists at a time when a lot of people did not think disabled people with learning difficulties could do anything like the things we did then, like the things we are doing now.

Sue moved from Bristol to Abergavenny in Wales four years ago but she never lost touch with us. We are proud and privileged to have worked with Sue; we owe her much and will miss her. Her family is making a Book of Remembrancefor everyone’s memories of Sue. If you would like to contribute to this book and remember a very special person, please contact Sue’s brother:

Jon Pratt, 279 Ugg Mere Court Road, Ramsey Heights, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE26 2RJ

Our love and thanks to you, Sue, from all of Artists First and Firebird Theatre.

Station Road Pre-School Christmas 2008

At the end of this term our current Chairperson, Lucie Broad; Treasurer Jean Smith and Assistant Treasurer Teresa Ashby will be standing down as members of the Management Committee.

All staff and remaining committee members would like to thank them for their hard work and commitment in the past fourteen months.

If any parent/grandparent/carer would like to fill one of the three vacancies and join the committee, please contact Rachel or Jayne for more information on 07757 547193.

A Merry Christmas to all the children and staff. Enjoy a well earned, peaceful and happy holiday.

Musical Discoveries at Christmas Concert


Shirehampton Area Choir at the annual Christmas concert

The annual Christmas Concert of the Shirehampton Area Choir in St Mary’s Church proved to be an intriguing time of musical discovery.

Choir conductor Tim Forder had found in the church vestry a number of pieces he did not recognise, and decided to arrange three of them for the choir. Tim arranged two of the anonymous carols, “O the morm” and “The Christmas Call”, for full choir whilst the third, “Christmas Eve”, featured the men’s section, who were in fine voice.

There was a strong local feel to a lot of the rest of the choir’s programme too, with many fine arrangements made in former years for the group by the late Ken Dinham.

Niall Hoskin brought Napier Miles' music to life

A well-known Bristol bass-baritone Niall Hoskin added to the local discovery theme, for amongst his superbly sung songs was one by Philip Napier Miles, “My master hath a garden”. Niall is involved in the increasing efforts to revive Napier Miles’s music.

Another surprise discovery for the audience was a flute solo by Kelly Jervis. It was written by her accompanist, Gill Osman, who also sings in the choir. He explained he had written it a few years ago for a girl who then became ill with M.E., and was unable to play it. The piece was named for her “Suzie’s Tune”, and its suitably poignant melody was beautifully played in public for the first time by Kelly.

The whole concert was a hugely enjoyable experience, and was much appreciated by the large audience, as were the amazing quantity and variety of the interval refreshments, provided by Gill Sawyer. The discoveries to be made on the table were equal to those provided in the music.

Library Specials

January is well known for ‘Special Offers’ and New Year’s resolutions, both of which may only last a short time. Here at Shirehampton Library, our ‘Specials’ last all year and we want to help you keep at least one resolution for even longer.

Our first ‘Special’ is a library membership card for someone unable to come to the library and who has a family member, a friend or neighbour who could come and get books for them. The card allows a choice of up to 20 items including books on tape or CD free of charge. Items can be borrowed for up to 2 months, so there’s no pressure to come every 3 weeks. Books can also be reserved free of charge and our friendly library staff are always willing to help with book choices.

Our second special card is for reading groups. If your reading group registers with the library, you can request up to eight copies of your selected book free of charge. Books are issued for eight weeks giving more time for your members to read and discus them. You’ll also get information on author events – in the past couple of years, amongst others, we’ve hosted events by Nick Hornby, Andrea Levy and Peter Robinson, all top selling authors.

Was one of your resolutions to read more or maybe it was to get out and meet people? We would like to help you do both. We are going to start a Reading Group based at the library. The group will read a variety of books and we hope that members will get involved in choosing the books for discussion. This ‘Special Offer’ comes with a free place to meet (in the warm) and no charge for requested books. We will even throw in free assistance to get the group off the ground and running smoothly. First meeting Friday 6th February 2009 at 2.30pm

So come along in and take us up on these wonderful ‘Specials’ – they won’t cost you a penny! All you need to do is come to the library, which is situated at the side of the Shirehampton Public Hall (or ask someone to do it for you) and we will give you all the details you need. If you can’t call in, telephone 0117 9038570

PS These ‘Special Offer’ are available in all library branches in the city, so tell your friends about them too.

Seniors raised £1,500

Seniors at Shirehampton Park Golf Club have raised £1,500 for St Peter’s Hospice through a variety of competitions and fund-raising events in the past year. The Seniors are a lively group who meet at the club every Monday and Thursday. If you might be interested in their projects contact the Club Secretary, Karen Rix, at Shirehampton Park Golf Club.

Some Facts about Redundancy

Chris Brown, employment law specialist with AMD Solicitors considers the legal position.

In the present economic climate employers and employees may find themselves in the position where redundancy is being seriously considered. It is worth bearing in mind some do’s and don’ts.

• Even if there is a genuine redundancy in accordance with the legal definition, a redundancy dismissal can still amount to an unfair dismissal in the eyes of the law. This in turn makes the employer liable to pay the employee compensation above and beyond the normal redundancy payment to include a compensatory award for continuing loss of earnings and some other expenses.

• The employer must follow the procedures laid down by law, or, again, there is a risk of a finding of unfair dismissal for procedural irregularities. The technicalities of this are beyond the scope of this article. There are special rules about redundancies of more than 20 employees. Even under that level of dismissals an employer must always ensure that:

(a) The employee(s) is given the earliest possible warning of a risk of redundancy.

(b) The employer must adopt a fair means of selection for redundancy. That procedure must be transparent, i.e. easy to follow and fair.

(c) There must be a genuine consultation, i.e. two-day dialogue between employer and employee or the employee’s representatives as part of the decision-making procedure.

(d) The employer must write to the employee to say that it proposes to dismiss the employee by reason of redundancy and arrange a meeting to discuss this. Following the employer’s decision the employee has the right to appeal.

The consultation process should include an exploration of alternatives to redundancy, such as short-time/part-time working or moving to another post.

If the employee is entitled to a redundancy payment than that is set out on a scale laid down by law. An employee must have worked for an employer for two years before entitlement arises and a claim to an Employment Tribunal must (usually) be brought within six months of the termination date of the employment.

Employers and employees may make alternative arrangements for termination of an employment contract, even where there is a redundancy. This usually (although this is not obligatory) involves a payment by an employer to an employee on termination of the dismissal of an amount higher than the minimum redundancy entitlement. An employee must receive independent legal advice from a solicitor or other qualified legal adviser before signing and being bound by a Compromise Agreement.

Taking legal advice at the earliest possible moment can save employees a great deal of time and money. Employers can sometimes also find that they are entitled to more than they are expecting.

Copyright: AMD Solicitors

Diabetes UK Shirehampton Voluntary Group

Secretary: Mrs T A Zehtabi
622 Portway
Shirehampton
Bristol, BS11 9QE

Tel: 0117 9041831
Mobile: 07954 170450
tracyz@hotmail.co.uk
www.shirediabetes.co.uk

MEETING DATES FOR 2009

Thursday 26th FEBRUARY
Thursday 26th MARCH
Thursday 28th MAY
Thursday 25th JUNE
Thursday 23rd JULY
Thursday 24th SEPTEMBER
Thursday 22nd OCTOBER
Thursday 26th NOVEMEBER

Fatal Accident on the Portway

Police are seeking witnesses following an incident on November 30 at Portway when a man fell from a vehicle and subsequently died. They have issued an appeal for witnesses following the man’s death.

The incident happened at about 1.35am on Sunday November 30 on the A4 Portway. The man was a passenger in a taxi which had stopped at traffic lights at the junction of the Portway and Sylvan Way. As the lights turned green and the vehicle moved off it is thought that the man opened the nearside rear door and fell.

The man – from the Avonmouth area – was taken to Frenchay Hospital but died on December 7.

Police are keen to hear from anyone who may have been near to the junction, where the incident took place. Anyone able to help is asked to contact the police’s collision investigation unit on 0845 4567000.

Copyright Issues Resolved

Philip Napier Miles, the last squire of Kings Weston was the composer-friend of Ralph Vaughan Williams and other musical giants of the first third of the twentieth century. Previous issues of Shire have reported how efforts to revive his music were being hampered by copyright considerations.

The amateur composer bequeathed his collection of manuscripts and printed music to Bristol University Special Collections. The authority for granting permission for copying and performing the works was entrusted to the executors of his will. However, over time, the firm of solicitors ceased to have any involvement in the estate, and this left the granting of copyright in limbo, with no one responsible. The librarian of the University Special Collections felt he did not have the authority to grant permissions, so the situation was deadlocked.

However, those promoting the Napier Miles revival are delighted to say that the composer’s nearest living relatives, Sir Peter Miles, and his son, London barrister Napier Miles, have come to the rescue and given their blessing to the project, and with the family thus giving their approval the University Special Collections librarian, Michael Richardson, has agreed that the original manuscripts can be copied and performed.

The Napier Miles project is at its very early stages, but it is hoped that when the 75th Anniversary of Mr Miles’ death arrives in 2010, there will be some significant local events to celebrate his life and musical achievements.

Smelters win award for work with schools

The National Smelting Company Amateur Boxing Club have been presented with an award at South Gloucester Sports Forum’s annual sports award ceremony.

The Sport’s Link award recognizes the club’s work to promote school-club links in the area.

Head coach Garry Cave and his coaches have been running an after-school boxing club at Patchway Community College, have set up a fully equipped boxing gym at the college and run boxing taster sessions for pupils.

Over the summer they even ran school holiday boxing camps in partnership with Patchway Sports Centre.

Family school sport co-ordinator Rachel Nightingale of Patchway Community College, who nominated the club, said: “Garry impressed me with his drive, commitment and absolute passion for what he was trying to achieve. This club shows no sign of slowing down in its ambition to deliver quality, safe and fun boxing to our schools and community.

“The establishment of the new Patchway Amateur Boxing Club back in July has been a brilliant thing for everyone to be part of. The passion and drive of this boxing club is immense. I have never worked with such professional, hard working, well-organised and motivated individuals as Garry and his coaches.”

Planting Places Awards

Any public green space can be nominated for this award; this includes everything from parks, community gardens and allotments, to green routes (ie: cycle paths), playing fields and even cemeteries and rooftops.

Information and an application form are available on the Planting Places website: www.plantingplaces.org.uk (click on the awards page), and can be submitted by a local community group, local authority, NHS trust, NGO, private organisation or individual.

Completed forms must be returned by 5pm on Tuesday, 27th January 2009

The ‘case studies’ page has details of last year’s winners.

An awards ceremony will take place at the Architecture Centre, Bristol at a date in early March. The winners will be highlighted in a special exhibition, which will be on display at the Architectural centre from 3 – 29 March, 2009 (approx) as part of their Spring Green Programme.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Lynn Gibbons on 0117 9001753, or lynn.gibbons@sustainabilitysouthwest.org.uk

Poets Corner?

The Shirehampton Local History Group, with the help of a community award from “Shire” has acquired a plaque to celebrate the fact that in 1798 William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy spent two months in Shirehampton at Chapel House on the site of the present Co-op store. Mr Garland, manager of the Co-op has kindly agreed for the plaque to be mounted in the store and we are having a short unveiling ceremony at 2.30pm on Monday 19th January. If you are interested, please come along.

Shirehampton and Avonmouth Children Centre Development

Do you and your family want to meet new people in Avonmouth and Shirehampton; find out about things which are going on in your community; access help and advice on Childcare for children under 8 years of age, and have someone to talk to for advice on jobs and benefits? All in a child friendly, homely environment.

Watch this space the Children Centre is coming.

For more information contact Chris at Beachley Walk (Tues, Weds or Thurs)

0117 9822142

From Avonmouth and Shirehampton Parents Forum.

Avonmouth School Reunion

We now have dates for the meet up in January/February 2009

Did you leave Avonmouth School July 1958?

Were you taught by Mrs Popjoy or Mrs Roberts?

Do you remember Viv Gentry, Christine Male or Mary Williams?

If you do, and want to meet up for a reunion Email.mary.ford@btinternet.com

Or text leaving your name and phone number 07980 464822

Evergreens enjoy tinsel and turkey holiday

The Evergreen’s Creative Travel Tinsel and Turkey holiday at the Cliffedene Hotel at Newquay, Cornwall was a great success, as you see by the photo.

We all had a great time for the five days we spent here. We were welcomed when we arrived by Pat, our courier for the time we were there.

She kept us well entertained on our journeys. The hotel and staff were very helpful and we had first class entertainment every night.

We also had a Fancy Dress competition and everyone entered into the spirit of the fun. Beat Darbon and Mary Elnes came first dressed as nuns, and Norman Sims, dressed as a well-developed girl, came second.

The next Tinsel and Turkey holiday will be November 2nd 2009 in Torquay.

There are only seven places left. If you are interested you can collect a booking form and a copy of the itinerary from Norman Sims at the Public Hall between 1.00 and 6.00pm on Fridays or telephone him on 938 1725 for further information.

All forms and deposits must be with Norman by 17th March 2009.

The Public Hall Newsletter

We are well into the new year, gone are the festive lights and the hustle and bustle. Drawing breath? Feeling a little flat? Why not try something different? Join a local interest group. There are a variety of groups running at the hall, go to our website for a list of activities www.shirepubhall.org.uk

One of the interest groups held at the hall is ‘The Pillow Lace’. The lace group has been running in Shirehampton for 22 years starting first at Twyford house. They meet on a Friday night at 7pm in the Penpole room. The group have a small membership and would welcome more people. They are determined to promote these skills that might otherwise die out. It is a self-help group with members willing to pass on their knowledge. The group has a stock of equipment for new members to borrow until they know if Lace is for them. One of the members demonstrates Lace making at the yearly craft fair that is held at the Public Hall. For more information please phone Rosemary on 0117 9827015

On November 25th last year the hall had an open day put on by BCC, for people to come in and say what courses they need and would like to see at the public hall. Although the turn out was small because of the unfortunate short notice and bad weather there was a general feeling about computer courses. If anyone has any views please call in or phone our hall manager Katie who can pass the information on. If enough people are interested they will try and accommodate us. So have your say!

Jubilee Allotments Development Change:

Homes to be 100% rental

The Jubilee Allotments housing development on Shirehampton’s riverbank, which was fiercely opposed by Cotswold estate residents, is to be significantly changed.

The plans had council approval for the building of 32 residential units, of which 19 were to be shared ownership and the remaining 13 to be rented.

However, the developers Jephson Housing have informed the Council that in the current economic situation they will not be able to find anyone who could raise the finance to purchase any of the units for sale.

They have informed the council, therefore, that all 32 units should be for rent, and in a letter to local residents the council has announced that they are proposing to agree the change.

A Christmas Market for Shirehampton?

Wouldn’t it be good for our shops and for our community if there was a Christmas Market in Shirehampton this year?

So many people come to Shirehampton to shop that I am sure it would have a great appeal. If you have any advice to offer, expertise in this area, or just want to lend your support, please come to a meeting at St. Mary’s Church, Monday 12th January at 7pm. Its never too early to start planning for Christmas!

For further information Tel 0117 9077026

Best Wishes

Canon Christine

Letters to the Editor

Memories of Shire from Australia

Good day to you Editor,

I have just been on the internet / web as usual, to see what is happening back in Shire.

Briefly, my name is Keith O’Neill, I was born & bred in Shirehampton and lived in Fairford Road for 16 years. This was until I discovered my parents deceased in an unfortunate accident/suicide in 1981. I then moved out of the house in exchange for a maisonette on the Ridge. (As I was only 16 years of Age when I discovered my Parents) I then lived in Shire for another 18 years. At the age of 34 year old, my partner and her son emigrated to Perth, Australia in 1998. As you can see I have been here 10 years now. (I did go back to Shire in Sept 2007 for 4 weeks hols).

The reason I am writing is that I see Mrs J Archer (Chairman) & Mrs M Robathan (V/Chairman) mentioned in the “Shire”, am I right to say this is Mrs Jean Archer (wife of number 1 Dr Archer?) and Mrs M Robathan being an ex school teacher of mine when I left Portway School in 1981??

It this is correct, could you please pass my best regards on to them, especially Mrs Archer as I grew up with her younger son (Mark), Dr Paul St John Archer & Simon. I would be grateful, if this is the case, that my regards can be also be passed on to Mark, Paul, Simon & Dr Archer (Senior)

Many thanks for your cooperation and may I wish everyone back in Shire a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year for 2009!!

Thank you and kind regards

Keith.

John Newman remembered

Dear Editor

My mother, Margaret Newman, and I were surprised to see a letter in Shire News on your web site relating to my late father, John Newman, and would like to make the following correction regarding my father’s Naval service during the Second World War. My father was very proud to enlist in the Royal Navy and joined up just three days after his eighteenth birthday, on 20 January 1942. He served on HMS MacKay and HMS Tintagel Castle mainly in the North Sea as a radio operator until his demobilisation on 6 March 1946. I have attached a photo of my father in his navy uniform which was taken in January 1945 on the occasion of his twenty-first birthday, a photo which has pride of place in my mother’s home.

Could I refer you to a lovely tribute to my father printed in Shire News in August 1989 when he retired and sold his business in the High Street which gives more details of his career in WW2, a copy of which is attached. The only alteration I would make to this article is that my father enlisted as a volunteer in the Royal Navy and was not conscripted. I am also sending you a copy of a wonderful photo of my grandfather’s shop at 24 Bradley Crescent, which might be of interest to some of the older readers of Shire News. It must have been taken in about 1926. The little boy holding the meat cleaver is my father, John Newman. Fifth from the left is my grandfather, Jack Newman with his daughter, Edwina stood in front of him.

With best wishes Pauline Cartland (formerly Newman)

Are Shire Christmas lights drab?

Dear Shire,

Am I the only one to think that our Christmas lights are drab? Blue, to me is not a very festive colour. Red, green yellow and white are far brighter, take a look at the display above the Co op or if you have a car a short drive to Portishead is worth a visit to see how pretty it is with all the various colours.

Pat Christisan

Lawn Cottage

High St, Shirehampton

The blue lights are LED lights These are environmentally friendly, easy to maintain and inexpensive to run. That is why they are replacing the brighter coloured lights in so many places. Ed

New book available from the History Society

Dear Editor

I am the author of a recently published book entitled From Almondsbury to Aylmer: The Pearce Letters. The book was launched at an Avon and Bristol History Society event in Thornbury in September and one of the first purchasers was a lady from Shirehampton, and she has just sent me a copy of the December issue of “Shire”

The book is about a young married couple that left Bristol in 1852 and migrated to Canada, but it is also a social history comparing the place they left with the place thy choose on Canada. Some of the relatives of the migrants still live in Shirehampton and I suspect that this is why a copy of the “Shire” was sent to me.

The book is based on 25 letter written in Almondsbury, Westbury on Trym and Redwich and sent to Canada between 1858 and 1894. The letters, written by several different lay persons, contain strong Christian messages.

Below, you will find a copy of a review of the book written by Bob Lawrence, Past Chairman of the Bristol and Avon FHS.

I would be grateful if the “Shire” would draw the attention of you readership to this book. The book is priced at £12.50 plus P&P and can be obtained from the Avon and Bristol Family History Society or direct from the publisher, Burning Ambition Publications

If you would like more information, I am contactable at the email address or by telephone 0208 810 8801

Season greetings

David Porter

Letter from Canada

Bob Lawrence, Past Chairman, Bristol and Avon Family History Society writes:

David Porter is a Canadian who has live in England for many years. His ancestors William and Emma came from Almondsbury, a few miles north of Bristol, and emigrated to Canada in 1852. The book contains an extensive description of the journey to Aylmer in Ontario and the life of the family there, together with much information about nineteenth century Amondsbury, where the family lived in the house which is now the Almondsbury Forge. The centrepiece is some letters written by the family in Almondsbury to their brother in Canada. These are very revealing of family squabbles and worries about money and health. They also have a high religious content, and the pious sentiments about meeting in the next world are in stark contrast to their attitudes in real life. A journey from Brentry to New Passage was apparently too much trouble when it came to visiting your estranged brother.

Emigration and separation were common experiences for the nineteenth century family, and this book will therefore be enlightening for many people. It will also be of particular interest to those whit Almondsbury connections, as many family friends are mentioned in the letters, and the book is well indexed.

Name Puzzles from the Past: Hung Road

If Google is to be trusted, this is the only street in the world with this name (apart from one in Wenling City, Zhejiang Province, People’s Republic of China, where they no doubt don’t really say ‘road).

There should be a unique reason for this, and there is.

It was originally called Hung Road Lane, the lane that led to Hung Road, and Hung Road itself was the name of a stretch of the River Avon.

Because the huge range of the tide here didn’t always permit sailing ships to reach the historic port of Bristol, they had to wait for the water to rise, until there was enough depth to make the journey, towed for centuries by the energetic oarsmen of Pill.

While waiting, they needed to be moored, and most writers on the subject seem to think that that’s how Hung Road got its name: as the tide fell, the ships were left suspended or ‘hung’ and kept upright by ropes from their masts to bollards or rings on the river bank.

Others think they were simply left to rest as the tide fell, and were said to be ‘hung’ as they hit bottom on the mud and maybe tilted over.

One of these stories is probably true, but we’ll never know which.

Thanks to John Edwards for his answer to my query on Kilminster Road in the November ‘Shire’.

Richard Coates

Lord Mayor visits Penpole

The Lunch Club at Penpole Residents’ Association has celebrated its 10th birthday on 16 December. The Right Honourable The Lord Mayor of Bristol, Councillor Christopher Davies, was the guest of honour at the club’s Christmas Lunch.

Sandra White and the Lord Mayor cut the birthday cake

The Club provides a weekly lunch at the Penpole Community Centre for 33 elderly and disabled housebound members. Transport to and from their homes is provided. The Centre has just been redecorated, and a new kitchen installed.

The Bristol based teams of the Rok Group ran a competition with the council and local residents to find a deserving group that could benefit from the use of Rok’s services for a day free of charge as part of the Rok Community Challenge programme. Penpole Residents’ Association won the competition. Rok employees spent the day painting each of the centre’s rooms, installing a back door and security lighting. The highlight of the day was the installation of a brand new kitchen to help users cook the weekly dinners.

The team from Rok and Bristol City Council celebrate the completion of the refurbishment

The work was completed just in time for the Christmas lunch, which was greatly enjoyed by all those who attended. The Lord Mayor paid tribute to Sandra White, chairman of the Residents’ Association, and all the other volunteers. He and Sandra cut a cake to mark the tenth birthday.

Sandra White said “We have a good team of volunteers, who thoroughly enjoy and look forward to the Club lunches on Tuesdays. We have a few vacancies for members. Anyone who is interested in joining should ring me on 0117 938 1236 or 07818 260419.”

CO-OP POPPY APPEAL

Phil would like to thank all the customers and staff who helped him to raise £1,865.56 for the Poppy appeal.

The Co-op staff would also like to thank all the customers who helped them to raise £59.60 on Halloween for the Poppy appeal.

Who do you think is behind the mask!!

Woollies Closes

Woolworth’s in the High Street has been a focal point of Shirehampton shopping life for many years. The store carried a wide range of high quality household goods, children’s clothes, DVDs and CDs, and seasonal products.

You could buy paints and gardening equipment in the spring, Halloween costumes in the autumn, Christmas decorations in December, and wine glasses or sewing thread or a new dustpan and brush all year round. It has been a great convenience having Woolies on our doorstep and there is sadly little hope of any local replacement that could offer the same good quality at the same value-for-money prices.

The store was always very busy at Christmas time, and now since closure was announced local people have been buying up the goods on the shelves, partly because of the bargain prices but partly, I suspect, out of loyalty to Woolies and gratitude for the many years the store served the community.

One of the best things about shopping at Woolies was the staff who were always friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and efficient. I’m sure everyone in Shire wishes them well and hopes thy will quickly find other jobs. They, and their store, will certainly be missed!

Managing Local Retails Streets in Shirehampton

Bristol City Council (BCC) is piloting a new approach to support local shopping centres across the city. Bringing together a range of council services together with the Police, transport operations and other agencies, it aims to better co-ordinate their activities, and make it easier for local retailers and other businesses to engage with the council.

This Place Management project will be initially piloted in four local shopping areas, one in Shirehampton, one in Avonmouth and one in Ridingleaze. A survey of businesses and public service organisations is being carried out to inform a plan of improvements for the area.

The introduction of this new approach follows a recommendation to adopt place management outlined in the Bristol Citywide Retail Study, commissioned by the city council.

For further details contact Alan Cox by email: placemanagement@bristol.gov.uk

Cotswold Garage

Council rules out housing development on garage sites: - but demolition still likely

A year ago Bristol City Council made a shock announcement to tenants of its garages on the Cotswold estate that it was intending to demolish the garages and sell the site for housing development.

Premature notices to quit were mistakenly issued, which were quickly withdrawn. But, nevertheless, the essential proposal of demolition and new housing development remained.

Now, after months of consultation and feasibility studies, though the Council has identified five sites as possibly suitable, it has come to the decision not to proceed with any housing development.

Nevertheless, the garages are still likely to disappear.

Jan Shaw-Bissell, Garage Strategy Project Officer says in a letter to a resident: “We will be meeting with our Project Board in December to discuss the future of the garages themselves and it is likely that our recommendation will be to demolish the garages and provide more parking bays.”

The Council is understood to be concerned about vandalism on the gates, the cost of maintenance and garages now lying empty.

For their part, tenants have been concerned with increased rents, making the garages uneconomic to occupy.

St Mary’s News

Hi Folks!

Happy New Year to you all – I hope none of you are suffering from hangovers after the Christmas and New Year Festivities. I reckon Canon Christine & Gill Sawyer need a period of recuperation after the activities of the last month! So now onto the exciting news for 2009!

What I am about to tell you I have known about for several months and it has been very difficult to keep it under wraps and not let any details slip out! St. Mary’s Parochial Church Council has purchased ‘The Tythe Barn’ which as you all know is situated in the High Street next to Somerfields Convenience Store & Petrol Station. It had originally been our plan to create a ‘new build’ within the confines of the churchyard to cope with our growing activities within the community and these plans would have cost us somewhere in the region of £1 million. However, the financial situation in the country had rapidly changed by the time Canon Christine had returned from her Sabbatical Leave and it was not by this time a realistic proposition to pursue. Nevertheless, when one door closes another opens and the opportunity came to purchase ‘The Tythe Barn’. This was a much more viable option and considerably much less for us to cop with financially. So taking the bull by the horns the P.C.C decided to take the opportunity to purchase it using money from our Bernard Salon Trust Funds. But of course it does require us over the years to pay that money back into the Trust Fund – so for the foreseeable future we shall be looking at fund raising events to cover the cost. There is a considerable amount of work to be done to the interior of the building to make it fit for the purposes we wish to use it! Our Architects & Surveyors have estimated that it will take several months to carry out the work required and the earliest date we can expect to move in is likely to be next September.

The purchase of ‘The Tythe Barn’ from Bristol Charities will enable us to extend our outreach into and for the benefit of the community. It is a listed building and it will be wonderful to see it back in use in our village instead of lying derelict and empty. There are so many exciting possibilities – we hope to put back into Shirehampton many of the facilities that have been lost to us all – so watch this space for news of developments.

I could go on further but there wouldn’t be any space for the rest of our news. I expect many of you will remember the beautiful flowering Cherry tree and its white blossom which used to stand in our former Church Centre ground in Pembroke Road, well Dick Helme carefully took it down and saved the wood from it. He stored the wood until it was seasoned and from it he has constructed for St. Mary’s a ‘Bishops Chair and Footstool’. The cost of its construction is being funded by Pam Goulding and it is to be dedicated to the memory of her late husband, George Goulding. George was a member of St.Mary’s P.C.C who sadly died in 2008 and it will be a wonderful memorial to him. There is some wood left over and Dick is going to use this to make some mementos which will be sold in aid of our ‘Tythe Barn Fund’.

Sunday 23rd November was our Confirmation Service and we would very much like to thank Laurie West for allowing us to use the facilities of Shirehampton Lodge Hotel for the Reception afterwards – this was most generous of him and we were truly very grateful. Who knows – next time we may be holding the Reception in ‘The Tythe Barn’?

Our Festive Food Fayre on Saturday 29th November was almost a complete sell out with about 40 people waiting at the west door of the Church to come in. Gill Sawyers home produced products went like wild fire and were rapidly reduced within the space of the first hour, I am delighted to announce that in the space of two hours the Fayre raised the sum of over £3,000. Thank you to all of you who came and purchased our ‘goodies’!

On Sunday, 30th November we were delighted to welcome back to St.Mary’s Tessa and Brian Morgan who were present to see a Purple Altar Cushion dedicated, which they had given to celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary last August. This cushion will be used during the season of Advent and Lent and the needlework was done by the skilful hands of Doreen Hunt. A wonderful gift which we shall use during the years ahead. It was nice to recall old memories with Brian and Tessa as I was present when they were married at St.Mary’s in 1958.

Our Gift Day Appeal towards the cost of the restoration of our Bells raised over £6,000 for which Canon Christine would like to thank everyone who contributed for their generosity. This does mean we can now think seriously about a programme for the work to be put in hand.

The Shirehampton Area Choir Christmas Concert on Sunday, 7th December raised the magnificent sum of £707.00 for the MacMillan Nurses. So thank you to Tim Forder and members of the Area Choir for their many hours of practice in putting on a truly magnificent concert.

Now, just a reminder of our “DVD, CD, Video & Book Sale” on Saturday, 10th January from 10.00am until 12 noon. If you have unwanted items of this nature that you wish to dispose of then we shall be more than happy to sell them for our much needed funds. Just think that unwanted item would buy perhaps a small tin of paint for the interior of the “Tythe Barn”!!

On Tuesday 20th January there will be a Beetle Drive held in St.Mary’s. This will commence with lunch at 1.00pm with the Beetle Drive starting at 2.00pm. Please put your name on the List at the back of the church if you intend coming in order to assist Gill Sawyer with numbers for catering. A retiring collection will be taken to help defray expenses. All are welcome!

On the subject of food an “Alpha Guest Lunch” is to be held on Thursday, 15th January at 1.00pm so you can find more out about what the course will consist of and whether it appeals to you. Canon Christine or our Lay Minister Gill Sawyer will gladly explain to you anything you wish to know. The course proper begins the following Thursday, 22nd January commencing with Lunch at 1.00pm and each Thursday thereafter.

On Friday evening 30th January we will be holding another of our Silent Auctions. Tickets for this event will be £6 – refreshments will be provided but please bring your own wine at this event. Having said that we do of course require items or unwanted gifts which are in good condition to auction during the evening or any “Service” you are prepared to offer – eg. An hours ironing, dusting or shopping etc. Please put this date in your diary - next year will it be in “The Tythe Barn”?!

On Sunday, 1st February at 8.00pm we shall be holding a Service of Compline on the Eve of Candlemas (which is the end of the season of Epiphany) – please come to this short Act of Worship which many people find is a quiet way to end the day.

Mention must also be made here of the Choral Evensong on Remembrance Sunday when the Bristol Cathedral Girls Choir and Lay Clerks led the singing. There was almost a full church for this service and the music was brilliant particularly the Anthem which incorporated the tune – “The Old Hundredth”. Their singing and diction was perfect. One lady in our congregation said she really wondered for a moment whether she was in heaven or not as the sound was so beautiful – enhanced by the superb acoustics in St.Marys. May this choir return soon!

Just a reminder for you all that St.Mary’s is a Collection Point for the Severn Four Credit Union on a Friday from 10.30am until 11.30 am when you can pay in your savings. The scheme was launched 21 months ago and over 50 adult accounts have been opened during this time. There are 25 children in our Kids Klub now who are regular savers. Have you wondered where to put your savings during the Credit Crunch and be sure they are safe? Then why not think of opening a Savings Account with the Severn Four Credit Union? Look into St.Mary’s for details on a Friday morning – we will be pleased to advise you!

Now for the final date in your diary before I close – and it is our “Spring Sparkler”. This will be on Saturday 18th April 2009, and is to be held at Kingsweston House when we shall be holding a Dinner and Dance with drinks and entertainment and Tombola to raise funds towards the cost of purchasing “ The Tythe Barn”. This will be our first major fund raising event – so watch this space for further details!!

‘Bye for now! C.M.E.

December ‘08 Hatches, Matches and Dispatches at St Mary’s

Baptisms . . .

St Mary’s is truly blessed by the many people who come to us to conduct a baptism, wedding or, sadly, a funeral. These are wonderful opportunities to meet and serve our community and we count it a privilege to help in any way we can,

Anyone, baby, child or adult, who lives in the parish can be baptized - or Christened as it is sometimes known - at St Mary’s. Baptisms take place in the 10.00am family friendly service, usually on the last Sunday of the month. They are often booked up some months in advance so it is never too soon to book if you have a special date in mind.

Those who don’t live in the parish can be baptized at St Mary’s provided they are members of the Electoral Roll. In practise this means they have to attend services regularly – at least twice a month – for at least six months. This can be our Kids Klub service especially for children and families at 8.30am each Sunday or any other of the Sunday or weekday services.

It is more meaningful to have a child baptized if those caring for them have confirmed their own faith and we can meet with you to talk about what this means. We are all members of God’s family so why not join us at St Mary’s where a warm welcome awaits you?

There is no charge for baptism and further details can be obtained from the church office on 0117 9077026

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

With best wishes

Canon Christine

Remember Nelson!

Local youth group dine in the naval tradition

The cadets of TS Enterprise (Bristol-Avonmouth Sea Cadets) commemorated the 203rd anniversary of Admiral Nelson’s great naval victory and his 250th birthday at their annual Trafalgar Night mess dinner.

The commanding officer, Lt (SCC) Barbara Hillier RNR said: “The cadets have been practicing hard for the recent Festival of Remembrance’ at the Colston Hall and Remembrance Sunday parades.

“Whilst this is a formal occasion it gives them a chance to relax and dress up to the nines.”

She added: “The aim of the Sea Cadet Corps is to encourage valuable personal attributes and high standards of conduct, using a nautical theme based on the customs of the Royal Navy. That includes, of course, the fun parts!”

The dinner followed the traditional routine of shanties, parading the Roast Beef of Old England, grace and the spectacular parading of the chocolate ships-of-the-line aflame with sparklers under the watchful eye of Mess President, Leading Cadet Lundon (17). The after-dinner speech, which on Trafalgar Night has a Nelson theme, was made by 16-year-old Able Cadet Capstick and grace was said with aplomb by 10-year-old Junior Cadet Shaw.

Petty Officer (SCC) Christopher Batt said: “Anyone aged from 10 to 18 who wants to know more about being a cadet should call 0117 938 1845 or send me an email entitled: ‘Let me join the fun’ to avonmouthscc@btinternet.com”.

TS Enterprise, which is based in an old signal station by the River Avon is led by the commanding officer, Lieutenant (SCC) Barbara Hillier RNR. It is made up of a dedicated staff of volunteers with a track record, since 1942, of producing excellent opportunities, training, adventure and qualifications for the young people of SW Bristol and North Somerset.

The Marine Society and Sea Cadets is the UK’s largest maritime youth charity (number 313013) and the world’s oldest youth organization. 2010 sees their 150th birthday.

Sea Cadet website: www.ms-sc.org.uk

Unit website: http://units.sea-cadets/org/avonmouth/default

For further details please contact The Commanding Officer, Lt (SCC) Barbara Hillier RNR on 0117 982 3938 (Monday and Thursday evening) or The Press Officer, Petty Officer (SCC) Christopher Batt on 07846 208 015.

VOLUNTEER URGENTLY NEEDED . . .

A person is needed to deliver Shire newspapers from Barrow Hill Road to 142 Groveleaze (even numbers only) can anyone help, please?

The papers are brought to your door each month for you to deliver. This should take about an hour each month.If you can help please telephone Pauline on 9826935. Many thanks.

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

Brightstowe Academy

The students at Brightstowe have brought out a second issue of their newsletter, BRIGHT TIMES. Here are a couple of their articles describing their activities.

Year 6 Basketball festival

On Tuesday 1st December, Oasis Academy Brightstowe hosted a very successful year 6 basketball festival.

This year’s basketball teams were:

Avon Primary, Avonmouth, Sea Mills, Weston Park, Stoke Bishop and Shirehampton Primary.

All teams played every other team once. In the end Shirehampton Primary won the tournament.

Filton Flyers basketball academy came and played a demonstration game, did a warm up for all the students as well as coached and refereed games.

The whole festival was planned and run by the year 11 BTEC sport group.

By Macauley Moseley Year 7

GCSE DRAMA TRIP TO ‘BLOOD BROTHERS’

On the evening of 25th November, a group of Drama students from year 10 and 11 went to the Hippodrome to see ‘Blood Brothers’.

As we settled into our seats we saw the scenery, showing a run down street in Liverpool. The tragic story of Mrs Johnson and her twin sons began.

‘Blood Brothers’ tells the tale of Eddie and Micky, twins who were separated at birth. Their mother couldn’t afford to keep them both so Eddie was secretly sent to live with a rich family.

The twins meet up and become good friends. Micky has a hard life but Eddie has all the benefits of wealth. It’s not until the final, emotional scene that they find out they are brothers.

Our favourite character in the play was Micky because he was witty and cheeky.

There were loads of good moments in the play but the best bit had to be when Micky and his brothers and sisters were out playing in the streets and pretending to be cowboys and Indians.

The end of the play was very tense. Micky had lost his mind and was threatening to shoot Eddie. We jumped out of our seats when two gunshots nearly deafened us and the two characters lay dead on stage. Their distraught mother sang an emotional song that was very sad.

We clapped and clapped until our hands were aching. It was a great performance and even brought a tear to our eye!

By Hannah Lucas

And Jorden Kenyon Year 10

THINKING Outside the Box

Greetings, unfortunately I’m back and this is the best report…..in the world (read this and think of Jeremy Clarkson). I’m desperate to try and not discuss the new president of the U.S.A, so instead I’ll talk about the most terrible swear word the “c” word. Yes, Christmas is just around the corner and I can assure you that every adult is dreading it. What with the credit crunch causing many people to rip their hair out. And um…..Well….Now I’ve got nothing to talk about. American politics it is then.

And what an election it was, thank you the American people for voting for Barrack Obama. He talks of change and I can assure you there will be a lot of change. And now president-elect. For those of you that don’t know Barrack is not yet president, George Bush still has another month and a bit before he has to step down and allow Barrack Obama to live in his house. Now Barrack is the first black president elect and there are many ways to commemorate this momentous occasion, you could buy a Barrack Obama plate amongst a range of weird and wonderful objects.

And what of the victims in the presidential run, no I don’t speak of the losers (Sarah Pain and John McCain) I speak of Joe the Plumber, how on earth will that guy get back to plumbing? I know George Bush was thought to be a terrible president, but the thing I will miss the most are the many excellent impressions, particularly Jon Stewart’s.

If you want to buy anything get it at Woolworths because they’re going out of business and you could buy and Xbox for 30p (please note prices may vary because I made them up).

Written by Year 10 Tom Burgess