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News Index

Exhibition - Ralph Vaughan Williams

Brian Blandford - a Tribute

37th Anniversary

What’s on in February

The Rising Sun

Local People in Street Names

Kate Pollard, Community Development Worker

Letters to the Editor

Avon Primary School goes from Strength to Strength

St Mary’s News

Exhibition - Ralph Vaughan Williams

Pictures at an Exhibition

Pictures at an Exhibition

I write concerning the Tribute to the Great British Composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, which took the form of an exhibition held at the Shirehampton Library on Saturday, December 13th.

What an exciting and intriguing story this exhibition revealed. The Squire of Kings Weston House, Dr Napier Miles, who was a gifted composer and musician, made his home available to well-known and struggling performers in the musical arts. He also conducted arrangements of his folk songs for the Shirehampton and Avonmouth Choral Society. We saw that Ralph Vaughan Williams was a regular visitor to Kings Weston House. One other notable visitor was Miss Marie Hall, a talented and later famous violinist, who was discovered ‘busking’ on the streets.

Exhibition corner in the Children's Library

Exhibition corner in the Children's Library

By a happy chance, on one occasion both Ralph Vaughan Williams and Marie Hall were guests of Philip Napier Miles at Kings Weston House. As a result of this meeting, Ralph Vaughan Williams composed ‘The Lark Ascending’ for Marie Hall, who some years later performed it at the World Premier which took place at the Shirehampton Public Hall on the 15th December 1920.

Jeanette Cossey with some of the visitors

Jeanette Cossey with some of the visitors

A great deal of information was on display at the exhibition mainly from the archives of Bristol University. We would like to thank Jeanette Cossey for the research and effort she put into this very enjoyable occasion.

Tony and Pam Mitchell

Brian Blandford - a Tribute

Brian died suddenly just before Christmas on December 23rd. Brian was a man of many talents. In 2002 he came with his wife to live in Shirehampton, retiring after spending 40 years as a Baptist Minister, among the churches he had served were those in Welwyn Garden City, Penarth and Southampton. He was Chairman of the Cotswold Community Association. He joined the “Shire” rota of editors in the Spring 2005, and since then has always been very helpful to the administration.

Brian organized the production of the annual calendar which we give as a “thank you” to all those who help with the distribution of the paper. He also liaised with Bristol City Community publications, which resulted in “Shire” gaining an award. He was computer literate and also very handy with a digital camera, and provided the paper with photographs. In December 2005 he was the Master of Ceremony on Christmas Eve for Carols on the Green. He was involved with the local Baptist Church and also with the monthly service which was organized by the Baptist Church at the Cotswold Community Centre.

A great hobby of Brian’s was walking, he belonged to a Rambling Association in which he regularly took part.

Like everyone who knew him we shall miss him a great deal, and send our heartfelt sympathy to his wife and sons.

Service of Thanksgiving for Brian Blandford

St. Mary’s church was full to overflowing on January 9th for the service of Thanksgiving for the life of Brian Blandford, who died suddenly on December 23rd. Shirehampton knew Brian as a energetic worker in community projects and all his many friends and co-workers in the community were at St Mary’s. But this service also revealed the extent of Brian's work as a Baptist minister and pastor. Colleagues from congregations in Southampton and Penarth, which Brian had served before his retirement to Shirehampton in 2022, gave tributes. These showed Brian as a man of faith tireless in his service of others. Among other things he worked to bring about greater cooperation between the Shirehampton churches. St Mary’s generosity in holding the Thanksgiving service while the Baptist church was undergoing refurbishment is a mark of his success.

37th Anniversary

We think we might be the longest running amateur local free community paper.

This is a tribute to the local trades people, who have supported us by advertising and our readers, who have supplied us with copy. A proof of the spirit of community which exists in Shirehampton, long may it and the paper continue to flourish.

What’s on in February

Sunday February 1st

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

Monday February 2nd

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 February 3rd

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 February 4th

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

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

Grainger Players Drama Club 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.

Friday February 6th

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 February 7th

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

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

Tuesday February 10th

Port of Bristol Retired Employees Association at the Club House.

Wednesday February 11th

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

Thursday February 12th & 26th

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

Friday February 13th

END OF TERM for all schools

Sunday February 15th

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

Monday February 16th

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

Tuesday February 17th

St Andrew’s Ladies Club - 7.30pm at St Andrew’s Church Hall

Wednesday February 18th

St Mary’s holiday Pancake Party for children and their parents.

Monday February 23rd

Beginning of Term 4 for all local schools

Tuesday February 24th

Shrove Tuesday at St Mary’s - Pancakes served with tea/coffee.

Wednesday February 25th

Ash Wednesday Holy Communion at St Mary’s 7pm, followed by supper. Retiring collection

Thursday February 26th

Diabetes UK Penpole Tenants Association Hall 7.30pm. Carers Group meets at Avonmouth Mediucal Centre 10am-12 noon. Carer’s Group meets at Ridingleaze, Lawrence Weston 2pm

Friday February 27th

Sequence Dance Cotswold Community Centre 7.30pm - 10pm


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.


Sunday March 1st at St Mary’s 10am Communion with the Dean of Bristol, the Rev Robert Grimley. The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress attending.

Wenesday March 4th 1st of Lent Evensong, which will take place every Wednesday until April 1st with speaker David Mowat, Traveller and Peace Worker in the Middle East.

April 18th Spring Sparker in aid of St Mary’s at Kings Weston House. Tickets £37.50 per head.

The Rising Sun

During the recent re-development of the Rising Sun public house in Pembroke Rd into flats, I noticed that among the builders rubble being thrown in the skip, were a number of old photos. On examination they proved to be of the post-card type, that were popular during the war years, and as there seems to be neither stamp nor address, this leads me to believe they were never posted and therefore may be photos of previous occupants of the premises.

Photo of a soldier in Risiing Sun skip

Photo of a soldier in Risiing Sun skip

The photo of the soldier is quite interesting as there is some detail that may point to his regiment, although I am not sure which war the uniform relates to. The echelons on his upper arm would point to his rank as corporal, and the faded area above may be a regimental insignia. (I believe that service echelons usually pointed down and were normally worn on the sleeve). Also there is the less common shoulder braiding (bandsman perhaps?) and just above this is a ‘clasp’. Again, over his breast pocket appears to be a campaign ribbon. The soldiers features are quite distinctive, so may be recognised by a Shire ‘elder’ and the uniform by someone with better military knowledge than myself.

There is another photo of a family group, which may be dated from the style of clothing, probably of the same period as the soldier, which may also be familiar to elder residents.

Unidentified family group

Unidentified family group

The third photo, this time of an infant, has on the reverse side, the name of Laurence, a Portrait Specialist and an identity number 11186.

Infant photographed by Laurence the Portrait Specialist

Infant photographed by Laurence the Portrait Specialist

I would be very interested in the history of these photos, especially of the soldier, so if someone recognises the people in these photos, maybe they could make contact. Dave Fisher

Avonmouth Junior School Reunion

Thursday 12th February 2009 at PBA Sports and Social Club from 7:30pm

All former pupils welcome.  If you are interested please contact Mary 968 3843 or Val 07980 464822

St Andrew’s Ladies Programme:

  • 3 Feb Bristol Magistrate talk
  • 17 Feb This is my Life, Part 2, Peggy Scott
  • 3 March Bring and Buy Auction for our Charity
  • 17 March Fire and Safety in the Home

St Andrew’s Ladies Club, St Andrew’s Church Hall

Meeting on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month at 7.30 all welcome


Found on New Years Day on the High Street, a silver pendant and chain, one of a pair, has a number on the back, the matching one will have the same number, if you ring me with this number I will gladly return it as it must be a gift from a loved one

Please ring Roger on 07866 417583 or 01179 040646 after 5pm or weekends, or call in at 4 Clifford Garden

Brooch found on 19th December on Springfield Ave and Bradley Crescent, please contact me at for its return.

Local People in Street Names

The current City Council guidelines state that “it is the developer’s privilege to propose a new street name. The developer is invited to propose a name that should be distinct and have local/historical connections. But there should not be any current commercial connection”. These principles have been followed for some time, though some of the names dating from around 1900 in Shire and Avonmouth do have a hint of commercial interest about them. Farr Street is named after James Farr of Barrow Hill Farm, who ran an omnibus service to the city, but he had also been a parish councilor. Three of the leading lights of the Shirehampton parish council of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s are remembered in Collins Street (George Collins first traffic manager for Avonmouth Docks, who chaired the council and was a church organist), Davis Street (George Davis of Burlington House, the oldest surviving house in the part of Lower High Street which is now Avonmouth Road), and Poole Street (Frank Poole, a commercial reporter). These three men were all present at the laying of the foundation stone of the Public Hall in 1903. Cook Street is named after William Cook, who lived out at Hallen but was also a parish councilor. Napier Road and Square are named for the last “squire” of Kingsweston, Philip Napier Miles, who owned much of the land hereabouts and whose fanily are also commemorated in the Miles Arms and in Napier Miles Road at Kingsweston.

Grumwell Close (often missed off the map these days) has a family name found in Shire since the 17th Century. Pages Mead runs through the position of a field called Pages on old maps: I don’t know who Page was. Kilminster Road is named after a family who from the 19th Century ran a small farm, oddly called T Farm: the site of the farmhouse is now buried under the Avonbridge Trading Estate. On one of their fields was built Jim O’Neil House, named in 1979 after a Scot who worked at the former Portishead power station and was a prominent union activist, a member of the executive of the Electrical Trades Union who was later an elected local Labour city councilor. Grainger Court, like the Grainger Players, takes its name from Harry Grainger, a well-known youth leader in the 1940’s and 50’s

Two lost lane names taken from surnames include Scotts Lane (after an early landlord of the vanished Greyhound Inn; now Park Road) and Bonner’s Lane (after a local farmer; out in the marshes near where the Royal Edward Dock now is, and long gone). Maybe these were never official names.

There is uncertainty about the Catherine of Catherine Street, but it has been suggested that she had some connection with Jefferies, the former Avonmouth ship repairers (a person named Catherine Jefferies being buried in an undated grave plot 1438 in the cemetery in St Mary’s Road)

I don’t know the origin of Merrimans Road, but the surname is on record in Westbury, of which Shire originally formed a part. Can anyone give me any clues about this, or Barwick and Sedgewick House, or Nigel Park? These are all quite recent, so maybe someone remembers! Does Austen House commemorate Jane Austen because she mentions Kingsweston (favourably) in her novel Northanger Abbey?

Richard Coates

December 2008

HAVE YOU SEEN the file in the Library made up of personal experiences of local people. All very interesting. Ed

Mobile Phones in the Library

  1. Text messages only please
  2. Please ensure that your phone is set to silent while you are in the library
  3. If you do need to make an outgoing call, please take you phone to an area where your conversation is not going to disturb other library customers.

Kate Pollard, Community Development Worker

Kate outside the Public Hall some years ago

Kate outside the Public Hall some years ago

Shirehampton Public Hall Community Association recently received the sad news of Kate’s death in Australia.

She passed away peacefully on New Year’s Day after a long battle with cancer, her son and daughter by her side.

Kate took up the post of Development Officer at The Public Hall in the year 2000 and for several years worked tirelessly for the local community. Many readers may well remember the reminiscence sessions that Kate organised prior to the Hall’s Centenary Exhibition, but may not know that it was her indefatigable commitment that made the final exhibition possible. Where Kate was concerned and whenever she had a good cause, there were no barriers.

Along with one of her colleagues, she spent many hours uncovering the evidence of Vaughan Williams’ association with The Public Hall. Indeed, the display now showing at Shirehampton Library is not only a small tribute to Vaughan Williams but also a tribute to Kate.

She will be remembered for the encouragement she gave to others and her enthusiasm for community projects.

For those readers who have not yet viewed the display, it will be touring neighbourhood libraries in the coming months. For details, please contact Shirehampton Library on 0117 903 8570 or visit the news and events pages of

Kate’s transcription, “Shire Reminiscences” is also available to readers in the local history section of Shirehampton Library. J.C.

Shirehampton Green in Summer with its hanging baskets

Shirehampton Green in Summer with its hanging baskets

Audrey Lang

We would like to thank all those friends and family who have expressed their sympathy for the recent loss of Mum. Mum passed away on the 30th December 2008 at Southmead Hospital from her recent illness.

We would especially like to thank Dr Archer and all the district nurses from the Shirehampton Health Centre for their kind treatment of Mum.

Simom, Sue, Mark, Tina and Shaun

Thank you for your kind donation to our funds Ed.

Former Mayor’s Son Dies in Crash

A cyclist killed in an accident on Bristol’s Portway early in January was a son of a former Lord Mayor of the city.

Police named the victim as Nicholas Abraham, 29, from Avonmouth.

The climbing instructor was in collision with a red Seat Ibiza as he rode towards the city centre on Tuesday 6 January. The Portway was closed between Sylvan Way and Bridge Valley Road overnight.

He was the son of Conservative city councillor Peter Abraham and his wife, Pearl.

Witnesses to the accident, which happened at 17.50 GMT, are being sought.

Police investigating the cause of the accident said they first thought the cyclist was a 17 year old boy.

ROK, The Nation's Local Builder

Local builder ROK is working in partnership with Bristol City Council to deliver Decent Homes Improvement Works to council properties in the north of the city.

Every year, ROK run a competition with local residents to nominate a deserving group that benefit from their services for a day free of charge. Penpole Residents Association won the Community Challenge.

Friday 12th December was the big day for the challenge. The ROK team with Bristol City Council staff and members of our local supply chain gave up their day to transform the centre.

The community room was painted inside, installed a new back door, putting up security lighting outside and installing a much needed new kitchen, it was just fantastic and it was all done in a day. Sandra and myself cooked bacon to make the famous work mans staple diet to keep up the energy levels. Thank you everybody involved.

Tony Garland, manager of Shirehampton Co-op, cuts a ribbon to mark the refurbishment

Tony Garland, manager of Shirehampton Co-op, cuts a ribbon to mark the refurbishment

On Tuesday the 16th December the re-opening of the community room took place at 10 o’clock ad our local Co-op manager Mr Tony Garland did the honours. It was a very busy day with the opening and the anniversary, but what a lovely end to 10 years hard work, that it all comes together to start a new year.

Jenny Bird Secretary

Arthritis Care

Something that is free with No catch!

Despite all the efforts of GPs and other health care professionals, many people of all ages live with pain or the knowledge they have a condition which may not get better. Self-management courses are known to give many benefits not only to those with painful arthritis but other chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, Parkinson’s, CLD, MS, heart conditions etc

The courses teach a range of self-help skills which put people in more control of their condition, and offer the opportunity for patients to benefit from the friendly and supportive atmosphere.

Arthritis Care has been commissioned by NHS Bristol to run free Challenging Your Condition courses over the next 3 years, not only for people with arthritis but any long term condition.

Courses are run over six sessions in local venues each lasting about 2.5 hours. They are taught by fully qualified trainers who are fully supportive as they too have a long term medical condition. They are informal and fun as well as extremely effective in improving peoples’ quality of life.

Patients can get more information or enrol by contacting the Arthritis Care office on 0207 380 6509 or low cost number 0844 888 2111 (leave a clear message outside office hours) or email:

Those interested will be placed on a waiting list and contacted when a place is available on a suitable course.

Doctors wishing to have a course for their own group of patients can contact Nina Fry on 01458 440943 or

Nina Fry – Training Services Manager (Arthritis Care South England)

Home Office: 01458 440943

Mobile: 0783 160 1246

I work 21 hours per week, my hours vary, but will respond as soon as I can.

A member of staff at South England Regional Office may be able to help you sooner on 02073806509 or check

Arthritis Care is the UK’s largest voluntary organisation working with and for people with arthritis, empowering them to take control of their arthritis and their lives. For information about our full range of services visit

Registered charity no. 206563. Registered in England & Wales No. 529321 and Scotland No.SCO38693. A company limited guarantee.

Avon Wildlife Trust

Avon Wildlife Trust was founded in 1980 and has a unique and influential position.

Unique because it is the only organisation concerned with all aspects of wildlife conservation in Avon.

Influential because it is a member of the wildlife Trusts partnership, a nationwide network dedicated to the achievement of a UK richer in wildlife. Between us we have over 500,000 members and care for 2,500 nature reserves. Locally the Avon Wildlife Trust has over 17,000 members and manages over 2,500 acres of land as nature reserves.

Your membership benefits:

  • Six free wildlife magazines a year to keep you in touch - Wildlife, which covers local issues and Natural World, a full-colour national publication.
  • A full events diary with plenty to see and do throughout the year.
  • Entry to Avon Wildlife Trusts reserves, including Willsbridge Mill and Folly Farm
  • Reduced admission to Avon Wildlife Trust events, including walks, talks and courses.
  • A new interest - many supporters choose to become volunteers, getting involved in a wide range of projects.
  • Best of all, the satisfaction that you are helping to safeguard some of the finest wildlife where you live.

Christmas Lights

As a member of the Christmas Lights Association I was sad to read a letter in “Shire” describing the Christmas lights as ‘drab’. The purchasing, decorating, putting up, taking down and disposing of 55 Christmas trees plus the Co-op display takes a huge amount of organisation and work by a very small team of people. The money for this work is raised from tins in the shops, which has to be collected, counted and banked every two months. This, together with other generous donations, enables the work to go ahead each Christmas. It was explained by the Editor the reason for the LED lights, but I personally wonder if Shirehampton wants Christmas lights if the only response to all the hard work is ‘drab Christmas lights’.

P. Rich

Letters to the Editor


Dear Editor,

The lights on the Christmas trees are bright and WHITE. The yellow street lights have the effect of making the white lights look blue to some people.

Cedric Rich

Are Christmas lights drab?

Dear Editor,

I was very disappointed to read Pat Christian’s letter in the January issue of Shire – “Are Shire Christmas lights drab?”

No, I don’t think they were, in fact I thought the High Street looked very tasteful over Christmas. Can I ask Pat Christian – did you contribute to the cost of the lights or help to put them up? I think it is such a shame that some people give their time to do the very best they can for Shire only to be criticised for their efforts. I was always taught to say nothing unless it is constructive!

To compare Shire with Portishead is unfair but if we are making comparisons I thought the lights in Shire High Street were much prettier than those in Westbury-on-Trym High Street.

I would like to say a big THANK YOU to all those involved in the Christmas lights, their efforts are appreciated. In the current financial climate we were lucky to have any lights at all, whatever the colour!

Bill Constable

Re-cycling Dates

Dear Editor,

Would it be possible to print in the paper the alteration dates of recycling/refuse collections. Not every house gets a leaflet, I have not had one for several years and have to rely on noticing neighbours have rubbish out. Can we have one in the next paper to cover coming Easter holidays and in future in December papers every year.

Thanks Sue Husher


Dear Editor,

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

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

Yours sincerely

Carys Vowles

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

The Christmas Lights

Oh, how I miss the Christmas lights!
They make me feel so cheery,
When I walked through the village,
Feeling cold and stressed and weary.

They made the grey skies brighter, made
The Christmas spirit glow
From one end of the High Street to
The other – what a show!

The lights do not appear by magic
(You must know, of course);
A group of village volunteers
Turn out in willing force.

Shopping did not feel a chore,
Despite the winter nights;
People seemed more pleasant,
When we had the Christmas lights!



Thank you to all those householders, who put up Christmas decorations on the outside walls of their homes, it was a very cheering sight. Thanks also for the multicoloured decoration on top of the co-op, the lit up blue Christmas trees of the shops and the flood lighting of St.Mary’s, all helped to dispel the despondancy of the current doom and gloom of financial credit crunch.

Do You Remember This?

Hermitage Cottages in August 1964 drawn by Les Gray

Hermitage Cottages in August 1964 drawn by Les Gray

Public Hall Newsletter

Santa and NANGAZ at the Public Hall

Santa and NANGAZ at the Public Hall

Santa’s visit to the hall on the afternoon Monday 22 December was a great success, a delight for not only the children, I think the parents did enjoy it just as much, a very special thank you must go to Patrick Comer for the role he played of you know who, and also to ‘NANGAZ’ the children’s entertainer, who was brilliant. This event was for the community, we also raised some funds for their families.

I would like to thank James Purnell, AVON FIXINGS, for his generous donation towards funding the event.

A big thank you also for the generous donations given for RAFFLE PRIZES, PRESENTS FOR THE CHILDREN and items given of REFRESHMENTS for the REFRESHMENT CORNER of the hall FROM

Tony Garland (The CO-OP), Tina - Flower World, Marilyn - Thr George, Leon Franklin - The Lamplighters, Angela Nash - Pound Hit, Pamela Baynton, Natasha Beaumont, Edna Canby, Pauline Curtis, Alison Earley Wills, Jean Edwards, Carol Gazzard, Peter Gorry, Mary Hayball, Mary Howel, Lynn Hurley, Shulah Palmer Jones, Sheila Mounter, Gil Osman, Norma Purnell, Rosemary Rodman, Sylvia Shore, Norman Sims, June Tucker, Deborah Tudor, Mary Wallis

Many thanks once again M G

Family Announcement

Congratulations to Veronica and Colin Taylor (of the Portway, Shirehampton) they were married on the 14th February 1959. Happy Golden Wedding Anniversary to the kindest and most special parents and grandparents you can find.

With all our love from Debra, Jayne, Paul, Andy, Glenn, Anna, Elliot, Frazer, Sasha, Luke, Phoebe and Samuel and all your family and friends.

Shipshape & Bristol Fashion

Merchant Navy Association

Bristol & District Branch

Doors Open Day in Bristol

The above annual event was very well patronised by the general public, including many children, in spite of the closure of the Junction Cut swing bridge. Over 1,000 turned up, some from as far away as Russia and New Zealand. One young lady travelled up from Bournemouth as promised, to see her Grandfather’s photograph album, which fortunately was displayed in a prominent place on a shelf, so she went off quite happy. The weather was glorious for once which helped the ambience of the accasion. The generous gift of a bottle of whisky from HMS ‘Ganges’ Association chairman Charlie Cooke helped keep up the morale of our volunteers and stewards.

The Dock Cottage was in a pristine condition, and the display of medals was excellent thanks to Ted Williams and Gayner Stiles hard work. Please note that some of the displays have to be re-arranged from time to time to give prominence to more important artefacts as they arrive. We are grateful to everyone who helped make the day the success it surely was. We were very pleasantly surprised when one of our loyal members Ron Hayman, and his wife, from Portishead, donated a brass engine room clock, a barometer, a ship-builder’s plaque, (a rare acquisition!), some saloon crockery with the company’s initials prominent, and some pictures of local ships. They will create a great deal of lasting interest. Thank you very much Ron.

It is very pleasing when nautical artefacts from local ships are donated to our museum, where they deserve to be preserved for future generations. We should endeavour to claim the brass bell from the Bristol Steam Navigation Company m.v. ‘Cato’ which sank in Avonmouth Dock in 1963. It is now displayed in a Trinity House museum in Hull, who surely have no moral claim to it, apart from having it in their possession!

Hamish Grant

The Bristol Shiplover’s Society

Programme for 2009

Talks take place at: The Wardroom, HMS ‘Flying Fox’ Royal Naval Headquarters, Winterstoke Road, Bristol, BS3 2NS (parking available).

Meetings on the following Tuesdays

  • 3rd March, The HMS ‘Belfast’ story - Mr Nick Hewitt, IWM
  • 24th March, S.S. ‘Severn Princess’ - Tim Ryan
  • 14th April, DVD Night
  • 28th April, The Cunard Story - Commodore Ron Warwick
  • 12th May, The development of self-discharging ore carriers - Captain J. Scott
  • 26th May, DVD Night

Membership is open to all with an inter4est in the ships and the sea. Visitors are very welcome - £3 per head.

Thank you for your kind donation to Shire funds. Ed

Carols on the Green

On Christmas Eve there seemed to be an even bigger crowd gathered on the Green for the Carols, perhaps the weather fine and dry underfoot helped. Philip Auden, in full uniform as Chaplain to the Mission to Seamen was there to guide us through the evening.

Rev Philip Auden led the singing

Rev Philip Auden led the singing

Nearly everyone remembered to bring their song sheet from the middle of “Shire” so spares were hardly needed. The Rev. Auden encouraged us all to sing louder, wished many “Happy Returns” to Bradley, now 13, and discovered someone standing near who had a 41st birthday. We wished Shirehampton a Merry Christmas and twice cheered the band who spur us all on. We are grateful to Philip Sims which comes across from Chepstow to conduct them.

Colin Chidgey

Colin Chidgey

Philip Sims conducts the band

Philip Sims conducts the band

This year Colin Chidegy had not only set up the loud speakers and lights and erected the platform, but round the platform were fairy lights, which added to the festivity. It brightened the occasion as well as attracting some of the younger members who danced and jumped round them, especially one young lady in a smarty spotted top.

Our thanks go to all those who make this local tradition possible: to Philip Auden who was the jolly MC; to Colin Chidegy who provides the platform, makes sure the lights and microphone work; the people on the Green who let us plug into their electricity; and the West Bristol Concert Band which accompanies the singing, all combine to make it a special celebration.

How to Kill a Church

I almost went to Church last night,
But couldn’t find the time;
So much to do about the house,
To leave it would be a crime!
So I brushed and sewed and polished
And went wearily to bed.
But I made a resolution, to go next week instead.
I almost went to Church last night,
But then an old friend came;
And to have closed the door on him
Would have been a shame.
So we talked and chatted and gossiped
Until the goodbyes were said.
But I made a resolution, to go next week instead.
I almost went to Church last night,
But something made me late;
And unpunctuality
Is a sin I really hate!
So I didn’t go and stayed at home
And to my conscience said;
I’ll make a resolution, to go next week instead.
I almost went to Church last night,
But the air was chill and cold;
To venture out on such a night
Would be foolish I’d been told.
So I sat by the fire,
Took up a book and read
But I made a resolution, to go next week instead.
I almost went to Church last night,
But a certain preacher was there;
And for that type of preaching
I really didn’t care.
So rather than go to Church
And come home with heavy a head,
I made a resolution, to go next week instead.
I actually went to Church last night,
But I went too late!
The Church was locked and silent,
“For Sale” was on the gate.
Oh the remorse that then I felt,
For that little cause was dead;
And I, ‘twas I who killed it
By going next week instead.

(extract from The Baptist Times via Ivan Crowdell)

Mystery Photograph

Photo sent by Mr Thomas

We have been sent this photograph by Mr Thomas, but there is no caption. Are the boys at Portway School, can any reader identify anyone in the picture of tell us the date it was taken? Ed.

Kyoto Shotokan Karate Club

In 2008, the Kyoto Shotokan Karate Club has hosted two karate courses with Sensei Paul Mead.

Sensei Mead is a senior instructor/examiner in Shotokan Karate International (SKI) with over 37 years experience and holds a 6th degree black belt. In 1978 he became the SKI European Kumite champion, a feat which he recently repeated again at the European Championships in Sardinia in November 2007 when he took bronze in the individual Means Kumite event and first place in the Team Kumite.

In October, Sensei Mead travelled from Nottingham to conduct a two-day course. The first day was in Newport and the second day at the Public Hall in Shirehampton. Students from both clubs enjoyed a gruelling two-hour session on both days.

In December, Sensei Mead returned to provide another two-hour instruction in Karate at the Public Hall in Shirehampton. Students benefitted from the one-to-one tuition given in the basics and katas (forms). In the evening, students and parents went out for a social gathering and meal with Sensei Mead.

Sensei Mead will hopefully be visiting the club again in 2009.

Kyoto Shotokan Karate Club trains on Monday evenings at St. Bernards School and Thursday evenings at Avonmouth Rugby club – beginners of all ages (5+) are welcome. For details contact Steve 07890 396276 or visit

Steven W. Ashby

The Patchwork of our lives

With the prospect of an increase in postage in April, sending out Christmas cards will be even more expensive in 2009.

Someone said to me that this year they were sending emails instead of cards, well I thought that is not an option for me, as my computer literacy is wobbily to put I mildly.

Among the cards and letters we received this Christmas, came this poem from Canada, poet unknown, might be Canadian, but it set me thinking of all those people we contact once a year, who have been briefly in some cases, parts of our lives. We look forward to hearing from them all.

Christmas Card Recycling

Christmas cards can be recycled at any W H Smith, Tesco, TK Maxx and Marks & Spencer store and money will be donated to The Woodland Trust. Last year 73.6 million cards were recycled.

If everyone in the UK recycled just one card, The Woodland Trust would be able to plant 15,000 trees, the size of 30 football pitches.

We know that recycling bins were put out in January and maybe some are still available for those people’s cards who forgot to get them in then


Christmas Cards

I have a list of folks I know all written in a book,
And every year at Christmas time I go and take a look.
And that is when I realise that these names are a part,
Not of the book they’re written in, but of my very heart.
Each name stands for someone whose path touched mine and then,
Left such a print of friendship that I want to touch again.
And while it sounds fantastic for me to make this claim
I really feel I am composed of each remembered name.
So never think of Christmas cards as just a mere routine,
of names upon a Christmas list forgotten in between.
For when I send a Christmas card that is addressed to you
It’s because you’re on the list of folks that I’m indebted to.
And every year when Christmas comes I realize anew
The biggest gift that life can give is meeting folks like you.
And may the spirit of Christmas that forever and ever endures,
Leave its richest blessing in the hearts of you and yours.

Somerset and Dorset Railways

11 February 2009

A talk featuring some of the old and lost railway lines of the West by Terry Tremlett. 7.30pm – Charge (Free to Friends)

16 February - 20 February

History Week

A week of living in the past. Every day features people from a different historical period. Contact the museum for further details.

Stamp Price Increase

From April 2009 the Royal Mail is adding 3p to both first and second class stamps. So that first class stamps will be 39 pence each and second class stamps will be 30 pence each.

Avon Primary School goes from Strength to Strength

Since September and the decision taken by Bristol City Council to shelve plans to merge Avon Primary and the “We’re Saved” appearance on the front page of the Bristol Observer, the school has been going from strength to strength.

The pupils and teachers have been working hard towards achieving the international Schools Award forging links with a school in Malaga, Southern Spain, adding a real experience particularly when the children are learning Spanish in class and across continents with a school in Uganda.

Avon Primary School's Mr Handford with some of the Ugandan schoolchildren

Avon Primary School's Mr Handford with some of the Ugandan schoolchildren

A school exchange has helped build a strong friendship. Teachers from Avon Primary visited a Ugandan school and in October the visit was reciprocated with teachers from Uganda visiting the UK, spending time in school and working with the children. The school kitchen even cooked a very tasty Ugandan lunch which was thoroughly enjoyed by all!

The culmination of all this hard work was a trip to London by the Head Teacher, Mrs Atkins to receive the International School Aware on behalf of Avon Primary from the BBC News presenter George Alagiah.

But it doesn’t stop there . . . there are further improvements afoot with the creation of a ‘Community Room.’ Building work will start mid January to create a facility within the school where courses can be run to help parents, families and other members of the local community, watch this space for more details and how to book.

Boxing Coaches Needed

Boxing Coaches wanted for expanding boxing club in Bristol.

The National Smelting Co ABC is looking for more coaches for it’s gyms in Avonmouth & Patchway Bristol to join a coaching team of presently four, Seniour ABA Head Coach, two full ABA coaches, one assistant ABA coach.

Growing squad of boxers with approx

25 carded boxers.

After schools club also available with a fully permanently kitted out gym, bags, ring etc.

Five home shows a year at Patchway Sports Centre.

New 2,000 sq ft purpose built boxing gym opening Feb in Avonmouth fully kitted out with all new bags,

2 rings and weight & benches etc.

All nights available Monday to Friday and weekends.

If you’re an ex boxer, boxing tutor, assistant or full coach, or would just like to get involved, and would like to join a growing progressive boxing club please contact NSC Head Coach Garry Cave on 07876 233621. All courses, registrations, travel exs etc paid for by the club. Might even be able to throw in a club T shirt!

Also would be boxing judges required!

Best Regards Gary Cave

Good luck

Great to know that a local mother of four, Marie Murray, who lives in Avonmouth has won a prize in the National Lottery. I understand that she bought her winning ticket locally, you never know your luck.

Pathfinder Programme starts to transform play facilities in local parks

Work is underway to invest the £2.65 million won by the City Council from the government’s Play Pathfinder Programme to improve children’s play spaces in Bristol parks. The first work at Avonmouth Park in St Andrew’s Road uses £30,000 of the cash to create a new dog-free play space - five times the size of the original. Over the next eighteen months over 30 local parks, play spaces and play setting, including adventure playgrounds will be remodelled and improved. The new creative designs will reflect local children’s own ideas and will feature natural landscaping.

Lamplighters Open Space - along the riverbank next to the Lamplighters pub - is among the sites proposed for improvement work in 2009/10. The vision for Shirehampton project initiated by the Shirehampton Community Action Forum and directed by the late Brian Blandford, has decided to focus on improving local play facilities. Hopefully Lamplighters play area will benefit from the Pathfinder Programme.

Further information is available onm the Bristol City Council website.

On the walls of the library

Have you seen the self portraits on the wall of the local library? They were drawn and painted by class 2 of St.Bernards School and are very eye-catching, well done young artists.

Christmas Eve at the Co-op

Tony Garland and all his staff would like to thank EVERYONE that helped to raise £744.00 in the Christmas eve collection. The childrens society and the Shire Christmas Lights Fund will receive half each.

A special and HUGE thank you to Jenny – our amazing Mother Christmas! Jenny retired at the beginning of December, but being the generous person she is, gave up her valuable time to join in the fun.

Undergraduate Advanced Diploma in Local History via the Internet

This innovative course offers an opportunity to study for an Oxford University qualification, using teaching material over the Internet with the support of a tutor. You will receive a practical introduction to the concepts, sources and methods which will make you a confident and proficient researcher of family and community history.

The Advanced Diploma deals with skills and ideas. It draws on the wide-ranging expertise available to the University to train participants in key resources and methods for historical research.

A significant advantage of this course is that you will be able to study at home and in your own time. The course material will be provided over the Intenet and on CD-Rom. You will also be able to engage ion discussion with your tutor and other members of the class over the Itnernet.

The main requirements are enthusiasm, commitment and some experience. Participants should be familiar with the use of computers and have access to e-mail and the Internet and have experience of local history at undergraduate level or its equivalent. No formal qualifications are required.

What qualification do I get?

An Undergraduate Advanced Diploma in Local History from Oxford University. The Advanced Diploma carries a credit award of 60 Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS) points at Level 3. Please contact our Student Adviser on 01865 280355 or e-mail for information on credit transfer.

Shirehampton Group Practice GP Appointments for Workers and Carers

The Group Practice now runs GP surgeries on alternate Saturday mornings and some evenings at Shirehampton Health Centre.

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

Please note we do not have a nurse at these times and are unable to deal with prescription queries. Please contact the practice for further information on these surgeries.

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.

The Group Practice would also like to thank everyone for their lovely gifts at Christmas and wishes everyone a very Happy New Year.

Books On Prescription Scheme

What is the scheme?

Bristol Primary Care Trust and Bristol Libraries are working together to provide an innovative new service to help people with emotional and psychological difficulties/issues who are interested in using self-help. In addition or instead of medication. GPs and other health workers will be able to prescribe self-help books for people who want to overcome a range of common emotional and psychological difficulties/issues.

how does the scheme work?

In much the same way that your GP can prescribe medication for you to pick up at the pharmacy, health workers can now prescribe a range of self-help books which can be picked up at libraries across Bristol. If your GP or health professional thinks that you may benefit from reading a book on the list, they should discuss the options available with you. Once you have decided which book(s) you would like to read, you will be provided with a prescription form, completed by your health worker, detailing the book(s) that you have been prescribed. You can then present the form at your local library and borrow the book(s) free of charge.

How can the books help?

The books, which are available as part of the scheme, have been identitifed and approved by a range of specialists.

Vouchers Needed

St Bernard’s School is collecting Tesco School Vouchers, no doubt if readers had any to space, they would be delighted to receive them, just hand them in to the School.

Anonymous Copy

St Mary’s News

Hi Folks!

Here are my notes for February which I am preparing on a very cold January morning with a slight sprinkling of snow outside on the ground so you could be forgiven for thinking it is still Christmas!

However, I still have some new of our Christmas events. The evening of Carols at the Port of Bristol Authority Club was very well received and we were delighted afterwards to be offered coffee and mince pies. Thank you, members of the PBA Club, for your generosity. Also, the Carols in the Churchyard for Christian Aid were a great success, as in that short time we were able to collect £129.16 for their much-needed funds. Thank you to all of you who donated to this worthy cause.

Our Christingle Service was led by the Students from Trinity Theological College – Tom Handy and Jim and Jenny Bridgman. Jim preached and brought into his talk the meaning of the Christingle Orange and how as a child he would turn it upside down and make it look like a space ship! This caused quite a bit of amusement with the children present. Thank you to the three of you for a very enjoyable Service.

On that same Sunday evening we had our Carol Service in a very well filled church which was enjoyed by everybody present. Afterwards there was an opportunity to enjoy some mince pies and mulled wine – to give you some idea of the number present, we opened 17 bottles. Well, we are a jolly bunch at St. Mary’s I’m pleased to say.

On Christmas Eve afternoon we held our usual Crib Service when well over 400 people were present. Canon Christine appeared as the Angel Gabriel in a magnificent gold coloured dress with wings which had flashing lights adorning them! In fact, the lights she splayed really put the festive lights at Cabot Circus to shame!! No need to say who made this startling outfit other than to mention she is also a brilliant cook and provider of superb home produced goodies – one Gill Sawyer. Thank you, Gill, for all your hard work to make Canon Christine look a stunning Angel Gabriel. Another star was “Red”, a horse kindly provided by the Avon Riding Centre at Lawrence Weston. There was a moment of great humour for everyone as “Red”, who appeared to be suffering from a little stage fright, had an “accident” whilst walking up the centre aisle of the church.

His embarrassed carers offered to clean up behind him, but have no fear, our intrepid Verger, who was a farmer’s daughter, saw her youth quickly flash in front of her and rapidly produced a bucket and brush to resolve the situation. (I dare not tell you how long ago her youth was – if I did I wouldn’t be singing in the Choir on Sunday!)

Christmas was nearly here but there were two other Services yet – Midnight Mass and Christmas Day Holy Communion – before I could open my Christmas and Birthday presents. Yes, my birthday is on Christmas Day (but fear ye not, I am not the new Messiah!!) People often say to me what an unfortunate day to have a birthday, but to me it is wonderful to share the same day as the birth of Jesus. Canon Christine usually allows me to assist with the administration of the sacrament at the 10.00am Holy Communion on Christmas Day, and this is always the highlight of the day for me.

A big surprise was the number who attended our mid-week Holy Communion on New Year’s Day ie a total of 37. This was quite remarkable on a Bank Holiday and as history shows exceeded the numbers who attended on some Sundays in the past!

Would all children and their parents please put this date in their diaries – Wednesday, 18th February – because this is during the Half Term School Holiday. On this day we will be holding a Holiday Pancake Party during the morning in the Church and Churchyard.

There will be Pancake Races, Colouring Competitions and a Quiz for the Adults. Make sure you don’t miss out on what will be a great Fun Day for all! It is being held on this day during half term so that the children will not miss out on the fun.

Our proper Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday) will be on the 24th February when again Pancakes will be served in the church with your morning Tea and Coffee. So there you are – an opportunity to enjoy two lots of pancakes!

The next day, Wednesday 25th February, is Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent). There will be a Holy Communion Service at 7.00pm followed by Supper. If you intend coming, please put your name on the list at the back of the church in order that Gill Sawyer will know how many to cater for. No charge will be made but there will be an opportunity for you to make a donation to a retiring collection which will assist to defray expenses.

On Sunday 1st March the Very Rev. Robert Grimley, Dean of Bristol Cathedral, will be preaching at our 10.00am Holy Communion Service, This will be his last visit to St. Mary’s before he retires in June. Also present at this Service will be The Rt. Hon. The Lord Mayor, Councillor Christopher Davies, accompanied by The Lady Mayoress. All are very welcome.

Commencing on Wednesday 4th March will be our series of Lent Evenings which will run on each subsequent Wednesday until the 1st April 2009. The evenings will commence at 7.00pm with Supper and will be followed by talks by David Mowatt who is a Traveller and Peace Worker in the Middle East.

Please again may I ask you to sign up on the list at the back of the church for the Wednesday you will be attending, in order to assist with the catering – thank you!

Well, after the exciting news last month that St. Mary’s PCC had purchased “The Tythe Barn” for its own use and for use within the community, I now have to tell you of the first main fund-raising event. You may remember that the purchase was funded from our Bernard Salmon Trust Fund and has to be repaid over the coming years.

This event Canon Christine has decided should be called “Shire Spring Sparkler” and is to be held at 7.00pm for 7.30pm on Saturday 18th April 2009 at Kingsweston House. You will be greeted with a Drink on arrival followed by a 3-Course Meal and Coffee afterwards.

The remaining part of the evening will be devoted to Music and Dancing across the decades. It will be an evening when we can all dress in our finery for this very special occasion.

Tickets will cost £37.50 per head, but if you wish to book a table for 10 persons, the price will be reduced to £35 per head, a total overall saving of £25. Please let Gill Sawyer, at the Church Office, have the number of ticket you require and your remittance as early as possible. This should be a wonderful evening in a beautiful house which was once the home of the last Village Squire – Squire Napier Miles. A place where much music took place and where Squire Miles composed his own music and which was frequently visited by the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, who wrote “The Lark Ascending” and “Greensleeves” to name just but two of his compositions. Please support this event and tell your friends about it!

Finally, all of us at St. Mary’s were very saddened to learn of the sudden death of Brian Blandford a few days before Christmas. Brian was a member of the Baptist Church and could always be found on the third Sunday of the month at The Cotswold Community Centre joining us for our Holy Communion Service. One of his last duties was to lead the Ecumenical Carol Service there just before Christmas. We offer our deepest sympathy to his wife and family and will remember them in our prayers. He will be very much missed by us all.

Well, that’s it Folks for this month. Let’s hope the winter releases its cold grip by the time these notes reach you in March.

‘Bye for now,


Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways

The Portishead and Northern Bristol Rail Campaign

Thanks to FOSBR members who lobbied councilors and political parties as requested in the September newsletter. People emailed councilors calling for a cross-Bristol passenger route linking the Portishead and Henbury freight lines with frequent stops at local stations in the 2009 bid.

We launched the campaign at Temple Meads Station on Thursday 30 October celebrating the 27% increase in passengers on the Severn Beach Line since May. The more frequent FGW service, funded by Bristol City Council, and improved reliability, supports the case for restoring local passenger rail services on the Henbury and Portishead lines.

Activities in the Public Hall

Regular activities in the Hall include:

The Station Road Playgroup - a registered playgroup which operates during term-times each week-day morning and on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.

The Evergreens Club for the Elderly - which meets each Friday afternoon.

A Players’ Group (The Grainger Players) which meets at the Hall on Thursday evenings and pouts on two shows a year.

A Model Railway Club, which meets at the Hall at least once a week (plus additional meetings) and is building a portable “00-gauge” layout in the form storage room at the Hall.

A Pillow Lace Group which meets each Friday evening.

Shire Stitchers which meets monthly

Vicky Hall School of Dance meets on Mondays

A Karate Club meets on Tuesday evenings

Twyford Art Club a club for painters able to work on their own initiative, which meets on Monday and Wednesday mornings and Thursday evenings.

Bingo Sessions are held on Friday evenings.

A Women’s Fellowship meets fortnightly on Wednesday evenings.

Kickboxing takes place on Thursday evenings

Shire, the long-established Community Newspaper which is published monthly and circulated to all households in Shirehampton is distributed from the Hall

An Art Exhibition is held for a week each Whitsun half-term

The annual Craft Exhibition, which is open for about four days each Autumn half-term. This has a wide range of exhibits produced by local people and is open to the public.

The Hall is a base for Shirehampton Community Action Forum and Severn Four Credit Union Ltd

Book Bargain

Available at Shirehampton Library for £4.99, which is half the original price, Shirehampton Publiuc Hall 1904-2004 by Judy Helme.

Just Like Old Times

Mid December I called in at the butchers in the High Street. I won’t embarrass him by mentioning his name but he’s the one next to the Gents Hairdresser.

“What can I do for you young man?” (if I tell you that I was last in that shop in 1949 and Mr Clark was in charge, you will understand how good his greeting made me feel).

“I wondered if you could help us with a turkey?”


“What weight?”.

I didn’t say “sort of average” or “the usual” or “a big one” I said “12 to 14lbs”. That’s when I think we became friends. He knew he was dealing with a man who knew. And when he asked me “what sort, normal or organic?” and I replied “I think normal will be good” he nodded to confirm that I had made the right choice. He made an entry in his big book.

“I should have asked, could you deliver it on the 23rd December in the morning to (an address 200 yards from his shop) its for one of the family and we don’t live around here”.

He looked at the ceiling for a few moments, “That’ll be alright – we’ll work 20 hours and my wife will take it round first thing on Wednesday morning”.

He asked some more questions and made some more entries in his book.

“I was in Shire in Mr Clarks time” I said “my Mum lived behind your shop at Wesley Cottages”

“You’d be surprised how many people ask me where Wesley Cottages are” said the butcher. We went on to talk about the cottages and what had happened to them since my Mum had left.

The queue in the shop got longer but, quietly the customers waited.

“Thanks ever so much – how much do I owe you?”

“No idea – I don’t know what they’re costing me yet. Give me a call in the New Year – that’ll be soon enough”

I thanked Mr Butcher again, smiled at the queue and tried to remember the last time I had been treated like that. It was just like old times. As I walked back to the car I thought to myself, “He didn’t even ask for my name”

Vivien Stokes.

191st St Marys Scout group

On a Saturday at the end of November the 191st Scout Group held a coffee and cake sale at the headquarters on St Mary’s Road. The total raised was £96. The group thank everyone fore their support and the ladies for their donations of cakes.

On Saturday 13th December the group held a bucket collection outside the Co-op and raised £241.00. A big thankyou to Mr Garland, his staff and everyone who parted with their small change.