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News Index

Twyford Cricket Club

What's on In May

Welcome to Sergeant Terry Scoble

Avon Primary School - Sporting Success!

A French Night at the Cotswold Community Centre

Neighbourhood Watch Report - April 2009 (Avonmouth and Shirehampton Beat)

Letters to the Editor

Fund raiser for Portishead Lifeboat

Fame Academy! Students star in Academy DVD

Local Girls Selected for England U19 Girls Indoor Squad

St Mary's News

Tithe Barn Purchase Complete

Sixties Night at the Costwold Centre Raises Money for Multiple Sclerosis

Twyford Cricket Club

On the weekend of 4/5 April, Twyford House Cricket Club based at Shirehampton Recreation Ground took part in the Natwest Cricketforce Initiative.

The Saturday was used as a day to get everything prepared for the main day (Sunday 5th) and tasks included preparing the clubhouse ready for painting. On Sunday it was a fantastic day, the weather was superb and senior players, youth players, friends and families came along to help with a long list of tasks necessary to prepare for the forthcoming season.

Over the course of Sunday more than 90 volunteers helped make the day an overwhelming success. A team of willing employees from Natwest joined in and two international cricketers, Jon Lewis (England) and Anthony Ireland (Zimbabwe) representing Gloucestershire CCC also came along to help and support the event. The range of tasks included painting the sightscreens, re-decorating the clubhouse, repairing the practice nets, working on the cricket square and restoring the benches around the perimeter of the ground.

A great team effort and the perfect start to engage the club ahead of the forthcoming season. This year Twyford House CC will run four Saturday X1s with the first and second eleven playing at the home ground and the third and fourth X1s playing on the adjacent pitch at the Brightstowe Academy. Twyford House CC also provides competitive cricket for children aged U11, U13, Under 15 and Under 17. Why not come along this summer and enjoy the cricket with us?

To round off the perfect day, on the afternoon of Sunday 5th April the Under 13s won their matches against Stoke Bishop and Clifton to win the North Somerset Indoor Cricket League held at the Downs School in Wraxall.

The team won seven of their eight matches to secure the title and it is fantastic that most of the squad are resident in Shirehampton.

A very well done to the entire squad of Liam Bennett, Aaron Harvey, Aaron Davies, Nick Sealy, Haydn Curtis, Dan Spicer, Jake Alder and Jordan Whittaker.

Shirehampton has a Winner at Crufts

Thursday 5th March, a normal day but the first day of Cruft's and Obedience Day - my wife is going again - but this time as a competitor for the Western team in the Inter-Regional Competition.

Bobbie Perkins and Perry our Munsterlander/Collie Cross made the team in the Novice Class.

4am, the alarm goes and off they go to Birmingham. I rise at 7.30am, early for me, to take our other dog for a walk. Get home, have breakfast. Later a phone call from Bobbie to say they were drawn first to run. Not always the best draw in Obedience but this time it was different, no waiting and getting nervous at the 'World's Greatest Dog Show'! They came out of the ring, losing 4 points. Full of tears of joy, Bobbie rang me to say they had come First. IMAGINE, coming First at Cruft's, a dream come true for Bob. It gave the rest of the team a target to aim for, which they did, coming Second to the Southern Team, losing by just 1 point.

Well done Bob - all your hard work has been rewarded at last, for over 27 years of dog training. SHIREHAMPTON HAD A WINNER AT CRUFTS! - Jeff Perkins

(Thank you for donation - Ed)

What's on In May

Friday 1st May

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

Coffee Morning at the Library (1st Friday of the month 10.30am-12.30pm)

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 - weekly at the Public Hall 6.30 -8.30pm

Pillow Lace Group - weekly 7 - 9pm at the Public Hall

Shirehampton Amateur Radio club - weekly at T.S Enterprise 7.30 - 10pm

Relish - weekly in term time at Shirehampton Baptist Church for 11 to 16 yr olds 7.30 - 9.30pm

Saturday 2nd May

Bring and Buy Sale at Shirehampton Methodist Church 10am - Noon

May Day Bank Holiday Monday 4th May

Open Church at St Mary's from 12 noon - 5pm - Lunches and teas will be served

The Library will be closed

Tuesday 5th May

Totstop for under 5's at Shirehampton Baptist Church - weekly in term time 9 - 11am

St Andrew's Ladies Club - 7.30pm at St Andrew's Church Hall, talk - 'Bristol Trading Standards, Scam Awareness and consumer advice'

Bristol Shiplovers' Society - ward room of the Flying Fox, Winterstoke Rd, DVD night

Penpole Lunch Club - weekly 11.30am - 2pm - 2 course meal 3.25. Transport door to door

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

St Mary's Art Group - weekly afternoon in church

Port of Bristol Retired Employees' Association - weekly at PBA Club House

Wednesday 6th May

Shirehampton Model Railway Club - weekly at 7.30pm in the Public Hall

Shire Advice Sessions every Wednesday and Thursday 9.30 - 11am at 115 High

Shirehampton Craft Group weekly at Guide HQ, St Mary's Road, 1.30 - 3pm Tel 9823192 for information

ACTA Community Youth Theatre - weekly at the Public Hall 5pm - 6.30 pm

Keep Fit - weekly at the Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road 10.30 - 11.30am

Totstop for under 5's at Shirehampton Baptist Church - weekly in term time 9 - 11am

Thursday 7th May

Kick Boxing - weekly at the Public Hall 5.15 - 7.15 pm

Slimming World - weekly at Jim O'Neill House 5.30 pm & 7 pm

Grainger Players Drama Club weekly at the Public Hall 7.30 - 9.30 pm

Kyoto Shotokhan Karate Club trains at Avonmouth RFC weekly 6.30-8.30pm

Shire Advice Sessions every Wednesday and Thursday 9.30 - 11am at 115 High

Keep Fit Monday and Thursday 12 - 1pm at Avonmouth Medical Centre. Ring 9824322 for details

Friday 8th May

'The Swinging Sixties' performance by the Grainger Players at the Public Hall (also on Saturday 9th)

Saturday 9th May

Fantastic Fun Food Day - Avonmouth Community Centre 10am - 3pm

Spring Fayre - St Bernard's Primary School, Station Road 10 - 12 noon

Sunday 10th May

Class Act performed at the 10am Family Service at the Baptist Church

Monday 11th May

Totstop for under 5s at St Mary's Church weekly 1.15 - 2.45pm

Keep Fit weekly at Avonmouth Community Centre 7.30 - 8.30pm

Basic Literary Skills Course weekly at Lawrence Weston. Tel: 9138824 for details

Kyoto Shotokhan Karate Club trains at St Bernard's School - weekly 6.30 - 8.30pm

Drop in Advice Service - St Andrew's Church, Avonmouth - weekly 9.30-11am sponsored by St Andrew's Church.

Tuesday 12th May

Evergreens day trip to Sidmouth

Bristol Shiplovers' Society at Ward Room, Royal Naval HQ, Winterstoke Road. Talk by Capt. J Scott on the development of self changing ore carriers

St Andrew's Ladies Club 7.30pm St Andrew's Church Hall

Totstop for under 5s at St Mary's Church weekly 9 - 11am

Wednesday 13th May

Women's Bright Hour at the Baptist Church, Station Road 2.30 - 3.30pm

Thursday 14th May

Advice Service with Tony Mohammed - weekly at St Mary's church 2 - 3pm

Sunday 17th May

Cotswold Church Service Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road 4.45pm - 5.30pm

Monday 18th June

Local History Group in the Library at 2.30pm

Friday 22nd May

All local schools break up, end of Term 5

Saturday 23rd May

Plant Sale at the Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road at 10am

Local Art Exhibition - until Monday 25th May - at the Public Hall. Open to the public 1 - 6pm Saturday, 12 Noon - 6pm on Sunday and 10am - 6pm on Monday

Wednesday 27th May

Police Beat Surgery at the Ridge Community Centre 10.30 - 11.30am

(Note - First Monday of the month Avonmouth Neighbourhood Police Beat at St Andrew's church - 9.30 - 11am)

Thursday 28th May

Diabetes UK 7.30 pm at the Penpole Tenants Association Hall, he Ridge at7.30pm

Carers' Group meets at Avonmouth Medical Centre 10am - 12noon

Carers' Group meets at Ridingleaze, Lawrence Weston at 2pm

Friday 28th May

Sequence Dance at the Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road 7.30 - 10pm

Forthcoming Events

At the Library - Taster Computer Sessions 2.30 - 3pm; 29th June - email, setting up each account; 27th July - 24 hours Library

Notice for Audiology Patients

If you are a patient registered with Southmead Audiology Dept, you may be able to go to a clinic at Shirehampton Health Centre on Mondays instead. For details ring Southmead Hospital on 9595151.

Reminder - April 30th

Alexander Technique first of 7 meetings at Shirehampton Health Centre 10 - 12 Noon

Bluebell Valley Nursery 1-3pm introduction to Playwork - first of 9 meetings

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 on 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

Bump 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.

Avonmouth School Reunion

We would like to thank all who attended the event at the PBA club.

Interest was good, so hopefully we can have another. Please make sure we have your contact details by contacting Val: 07980464822 or Mary 0117 9683843 - or email

Corrections to April issue

Due to a temporary change in our typesetting arrangements there were several omissions in the April issue as follows:

  • On Page 8 the heading on the 'Oh to be in England' photograph should have read 'Taken from 'Shire' April 1996'
  • On page 11 (photographs of Portway Girls' School) the top photograph should have included the names of members of staff which are: Miss Johns, Miss Hancock, Miss Howell, Miss Jones, Mrs Cross, Miss Atkinson, Miss Rees, Miss Davis, Miss Beacham, Miss Dyer, Miss Peplar, Miss Wyatt, Miss Shewell, Miss Ellerby, Miss Winchester, Miss Thompson and Miss Lewis. The headmistress, Miss Shewell, is in the middle of the front row. I wonder how many you can remember.
  • The caption on the lower photograph should read 'Form 4 Portway Girls' School, 1946-47. Submission of these photographs was wrongly attributed to Judy Helme, so apologies and thank you to the person who actually allowed us to use them.

Library Reading Group

Next meeting - Friday 24th April at 2.15pm. Come along and enjoy the chance to Talk books.

The book for discussion is "The Lost World". Ask at the desk for a free copy and a Reading Guide. The group will then continue to meet on the last Friday of the month at 2.15pm.

It's Crime Time Soon... At a Library Near You

Like reading crime? Ever read a book and been dying to talk about it? Steal yourself away for a few hours and join our new crime reading club!

There'll be a chance to discuss the huge range of crime and thriller books, both old and new. Starting in May and alternating between Henbury and Sea Mills libraries, the Unusual Suspects reading group will rendezvous on the last Tuesday of the month from 2.30 til 3.30pm - dates as follows:

Tuesday 26th May - Henbury Library - bring along your favourite crime novel to discuss

Tuesday 30th June - Sea Mills Library

Tuesday 28th July - Henbury Library

August - no meeting

Tuesday 29th - Sept Sea Mills Library

Come along, we suspect you might like it! Further details from Hayley Cantle - 9038522 or Shulah Palmer-Jones 9038555.

Energy Saving device available for loan - at your Local Library

Save money and borrow a CurrentCost monitor from Shirehampton library. Find out where the money for your electric bill goes and SAVE! Available on a 4-week loan. Ask at the library for more details.

34 Years of Shirehampton Townswomen's Guild

After 34 years Shirehampton Townswomen's Guild closed in March. For several of the members, joining the Guild all those years ago was the first opportunity of doing something outside the home on their own. Since then we have listened to speakers on many varies subjects, visited interesting places and taken part in all sorts of events with other Guilds. Members have been active at the National Conferences and taken part in surveys on important issues. Above all we have made lasting and valuable friends.

Evergreens Day Trips 2009

May 12th - Sidmouth

June 9th - Lynton and Lynmouth

June 3rd - Symonds Yat and boat trip on the River Wye

July 7th - Woolacombe

August 11th - Poole

Sept 8th - Bourton on the Water and Moreton in Marsh

Oct 13th - Forest of Dean with guide

Nov 10th - Garden Centre and Weston

Dec 8th - Christmas lunch at Royal Oak, Wotton under Edge

Jan 6th - Pantomime at the Playhouse Theatre, Weston-super-Mare

Shire Nostalgia - or a Trip Down Memory Lane

Well here I am with another short story of the sights, smells and sounds of our village hoping they will bring back some pleasant memories to the readers of "SHIRE" and Avonmouth.

I am sure some of you have memories of certain smells, (let's change that to aroma sounds better) I remember a lot of smells from the riverbank and the docks that can be left unsaid.

On Sunday mornings my father and me would go for a walk down through the village and along Kingsweston Ave and enter the large fields that are now known as Lawrence Weston, or what I refer to is before Lawrence Weston (BLW). Some of the best mushroom grew in these fields and we would pick them as we slowly walked towards the Mason's Arms developing a thirst as we picked and walked, walked and picked. Arriving at the pub dad would give the landlord some of the mushrooms and more than likely received a free pint, I would sit on the bench in the back garden and sip on my lemonade and eat out of my bag of Smith's Crisps, now that was a treat to behold, I never ate the blue one because I was told that it was very salty. Later on in life that lemonade turned into sweet cider.

On our way back home through the fields as we got closer to the homes we could smell the aroma of the Sunday dinner being cooked, I swear I could even smell the mint sauce. Sometimes we would walk up Penpole Lane and walk past the bombed out house that sat there for years as reminder of the pounding Avonmouth and Shire took during the war years, there was even a smell from that house I remember to this day, it was the smell of the incendiary bombs that were dropped on the house, many years later I smelled it again this time I knew it was the chemicals and the magnesium that the bomb was made of.

As kids do you remember the smell of the swimming baths? a combination of kids, chorine, and bleach and everyone wanting to swim like Tarzan. After the swim and if you had the money there was the hot Bovril, Oxo, or some other brown substance they would put in your cup then add hot water, but to you standing there with your towel and swimsuit rolled up under your arm it was nectar from the Gods, you would clutch the cup or mug with both hands and shiver as you drank, even your goose pimples had goose pimples but they slowly went away with each sip.

Sometimes I'm asked, "What did you ever do before television" (BTV) I tell them the same things I did before (BLW), go for walks, pick (Scrump) apples, go down Barracks Lane and pick blackberries, or fish for minnows and sticklebacks and being careful not to get your only pair of shoes wet and muddy, which we always did anyway, but we were smart kids back then, we had collected money from the bottles we had found in the ditches and bought shoe polish and a brushes, kept them hidden in our secret place and when we messed up the shoes we would clean them, but somehow our parents knew they had gotten wet so we still got the clout around the ears.

Then there was another game we would play and that was to stand on the railway bridge at the station or at the bridge at Hung Rd and stick our heads into the steam and smoke of the train as it rolled under and sniff away at the white cloud of steam and smoke. That was a lot better than watching the Inspector Morse on the TV.

That's it for this edition more next time and maybe more about the people who made the village what it was back then, all names will be fictitious to protect the innocent.

John Rogers

Welcome to Sergeant Terry Scoble

My name is Sergeant Terry Scoble and I have been a Police Officer for 21 years. I have been in Bristol since the start of March having spent the whole of my service in North Somerset. My last 3 years were as the Neighbourhood Sergeant for Portishead where I achieved notable success in tackling anti-social behaviour and graffiti. Previously I have been a Beat Manager in Weston-super-Mare and a Police Schools Liaison Officer.

My new area covers Avonmouth, Shirehampton, Lawrence Weston, Sea Mills, Henbury and Brentry and I am responsible for the Beat Managers and Police Community Support Officers. I have 15 Officers in my team.

The priority for my team is delivering neighbourhood Policing which deals with the priorities set by the public. We have regular meetings to listen to people and agree the priorities. These meeting are called Partners And Communities Together (PACT) and each meeting is advertised on the Force website.

I feel that it is important that my team are visible in the community and dealing with the matters that affect people. I am looking forward to the challenges of working in Bristol.

Avon Primary School - Sporting Success!

Avon Primary has been celebrating sporting success through the great achievements of both their football and netball teams.

Coached by Year 1's Mr Parslow, the football team have completed a magnificent season by winning this year's Portway Cluster League, with an impressive one-hundred-per-cent record against good opposition.

Their fluent two-touch style is nurtured at school which boasts three mini-soccer courts, used at break-times and for PE lessons. While Jake Jones deserves a special mention as the winner of this year's 'golden boot', this was very much a team effort which drew praise from all corners. The Martin brothers Spencer and Conner combined effectively to guard Harry Bridgeman's goal, which was breached just three times in eight games. The midfield partnerships of Will Smith, Daniel Beer, Marcel Telfer-Ross and Charlie Wheeler played creative and fluid football.

When under pressure Avon was resilient behind the ball, working together to limit opposition strikers to half-chances.

Avon Primary's netball team have been training hard too - They took part in the area tournament based at Oasis Academy winning the opportunity to play other teams from the North of the city at a tournament at the end of February. At this event the team achieve a fantastic second place and were very proud to receive their silver medals.

The players are currently training hard with Year 6 teacher Miss Foote in preparation for the County finals taking place at Clifton College later this month - Best of Luck Avon Primary!

A French Night at the Cotswold Community Centre

After the amazing success of the CCA Indian night and the call for another such night by the community it was decided by the committee to put on a French night.

The hall was decked out with posters of French places of interest a large French flag that had survived the bonfire after the rugby, and bunting from wall to wall.

Fifty people sat down to a starter of French onion soup, which was made to an authentic French recipe by John Hastings and Margaret Wilkins, made with no less than one and a half litres of French wine.

Then on to a main course, in buffet style was a selection of French cheese and pate, orange glazed pork, and other fine meats, sea food including mussels in garlic and wine sauce and a selection of salads, finished with a French apple tart with cream.

The entertainment was provided by two year nine students Ben Murphy and Ciara Smyth from St Bede's Catholic College Lawrence Weston.

They read a poem in French then translated it back into English! This was well received by the audience some of whom were dressed for the occasion in berets and the odd drawn on moustache.

Ben Murphy then skilfully wowed the crowd with a piece of French music played on the piano.

The entertainment was topped off with a quiz! Yes you guessed it. All the questions were about France.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the good company good food and fine French wine.

The CCA will be running another theme night in the summer so please watch out for our advertisement in future editions of Shire.

Many Thanks to all who took part in making this event a great success.

Cotswold Community Plant Sale

Come and choose some high quality plants to brighten your garden this Summer on SATURDAY MAY 23rd at 10am at the Cotswold Community Association Hall in Dursley Road.

Neighbourhood Watch Report - April 2009 (Avonmouth and Shirehampton Beat)

Drugs / ASB / Vehicle nuisance / Parking / Shed breaks / Recent arrivals / Operation Brave


There have been several warrants implemented for drug related crimes in and around the Shirehampton area in the last couple of months, with more warrants to come!

All have had successful results; we will continue to treat all drugs related crimes and offences very seriously. We will actively continue to pursue/stop search all dealers, producers and those committing crimes to buy their use of drugs, anywhere, any time!

Remember from 26 January 2009 the classification has changed from class C drug to class B drug for cannabis - you have been warned!

Anti-Social Behaviour

In my last report I talked about the problems being experienced at Home Ground. I am pleased to say that since we were able to target this area the problems have significantly decreased. We will continue to monitor for any further problems.

Vehicle Nuisance

Over the last three months we have made several vehicle seizures related to crimes under Section 59 of the Crime and Disorder Act.

Vehicles with No Tax and Insurance

Vehicles without the relevant tax, insurance and MOT will continue to be targeted, as some vehicles will be associated with crime.


Parking continues to be a problem in and around the village. Double yellow lines are there for a purpose; whilst disabled badge holders may park on these lines they should make sure that they are not causing an obstruction or are parked in a dangerous position.

The area between the Job Centre and Boots the Chemist are of particular concern and parking services will continue to issue tickets to anyone parking here illegally. Parking Services will be active in Shirehampton for the foreseeable future.

Our PCSOS will continue to be active at both Shirehampton Junior School and St Bernard's School dealing with vehicles double parking and parking on double yellow lines and pavements whilst dropping off and picking up pupils.

These drivers are guilty of putting you and your children at risk because they will not park legally and walk a short distance to the school entrance.

Shed Breaks

Having had some really terrible weather, spring is now upon us. With the onset of the warmer weather you get busy in the garden.

Please do not leave windows and doors open when you are working outside. Whilst you are weeding and planting the opportunist thief is helping himself to anything he can find.

Handbags and purses should always be left out of sight and never near a door or window.

Do not leave garden equipment unattended in the garden. A nuisance but necessary if you do not want to lose it. Check the security of your garden's sheds and outbuildings; they become a target at this time of year.

Recent Arrivals

We have two new faces on our community team, having been joined recently at Avonmouth by Sergeant Terry Scoble, our new Neighbourhood Sergeant who is experienced, very approachable and fair.

Our recent arrival is your new PCSO Jasper Hughes who will be supporting your community with PCSO Zaheer Bulbul. Please stop and speak to Jasper!

Operation Brave

Finally, Operation Brave continues (anti-social behaviour patrolling) particularly patrolling around the village and looking for any alcohol misuse and/or behaviour problems either on Green or the surrounding areas of St Mary's Road/Springfield Avenue.

PC 1382 Gareth Davies.

Local Lad Wins Hunior ABA Western Counties Title

Following his recent move to Broadplain Amateur Boxing Club (based in Easton Bristol) local lad Nathan Cummings-Snow has just competed in and won the 'Junior ABA Western Counties Title' in the Class 6, 60-63kgs division.

We would like to congratulate Nathan on his win and thank all the Coaches and fellow Boxers at Broadplain Amateur Boxing Club in addition to his sponsor 'PJ Barbers of Shirehampton' for their continued support.

Nathan now moves on to the next round of the Junior ABA Championships to compete for the 'Junior ABA Southern Title'. For full details of Nathan's previous and future bouts please see:

The 'Southern Title bout' will be on May the 09th at Broadplain Amateur Boxing Club, the Riverside Centre (just off M32) Bristol.

Letters to the Editor


Dear Editor,

Three letters caught my eye in the April issue of 'Shire'. The first was from Roy Dacombe concerning Walton House. My mother came to Shirehampton from Swansea, when she was eighteen, to work as a maid at Walton House. I have always believed that the house itself stood behind what is now (or was) Woolworths. However, no doubt the Midland Bank and probably that whole row of premises were built within its grounds. I fully support the idea of a Blue Plaque to commemorate Gilbert Jessop.

The second letter was from William T Gray and concerned Hermitage Cottages and Daw's the dentist. I was a paper boy with Ralph Coles (morning round, evening round and Sunday round) in the early 1950s. However, the sight of Mr Daw, or his assistant, in the top window of this building and wearing a white coat, was very frightening to me as a small child, so I was glad that my mother took me to the clinic in St Bernard's Road for my dentistry!

The third letter was from Richard Coates. He asked why Waverley Road was so-called. At the risk of confusing him further, I might ask why Waverley Abbey, near Farnham in Surrey, was so called and whether or not the ship the 'Waverley' has a Scott(-ish) connection.

If my memory serves me right, the answer is rather humdrum. When I was a child the road was unmade and un-named. We merely called it the rocky road (the place where the mysterious Mr Knapp 'lived' in his black hut, with his black suit, black cape and black hat!) When the road was made up by the council it was given its name. I think it was called Waverley Road after the corner house at the junction of Pembroke Road (garage side) and Waverley Road. I am fairly sure that this house was called Waverley House and that the engraved name is now hidden by a sign. But why the building was called Waverley House is anybody's guess!

Gil Osman

Wordsworth Connection!

I was most interested in the information given in your recent issues. I was born in Chapel House in 1926 the house being rented by my father from the owners, presumably Bristol Co-operative Society. The shop then consisted of groceries with the entrance in Pembroke Road and in High Street a millinery shop. Above the grocery was a hall used for dances and meetings, the emergency exit from which was over a flat roof and down a wide flight of cast iron steps into our garden. The flat roof provided an excellent viewpoint for parades, carnival processions etc.

Time came in the late thirties when we had to vacate the premises as the Co-op added a butchery department in the garden. My family were the last occupants of Chapel House, and now I am the last person to be born in the house and as the last survivor of that branch of the Gould family I must be the last surviving resident. We knew nothing of the Wordsworth connection.

(An extract from an email from Leslie Gould, of Saltash)

Dear Editor,

In the April edition of 'Shire' Mr P Stone mentions some etchings by Susie Stevens who lived at 'the Gables Shirehampton'. Well that address is where I live! However my house is now known as 46 Station Road. The house was built in 1908. When I moved here in 1984 'The Gables' were still painted on the crumbling wooden gate. I also have some photographs of the house and its first occupants, Captain Forte and his young family.

Regards Colin Chidgey

Local Interest

Dear Editor

Having looked at the January and March editions of Shire I think you may know already who I am: I shared with the late Brian Blandford - although only for a short time of acquaintance - an interest in the life and work of Philip Napier Miles, especially in the musical area of his activity.

Since Brian's sad death, and as a tribute to his efforts, I have been continuing to research the field and am determined that the 75th anniversary of Miles' death in 1935 shall be marked; I hope by performances of some of his works in 2010.

Just today I have been trawling through the University of Bristol's Special Collections library, where there is a wealth of music, mostly unpublished, as well as programmes of concerts at the Public Hall.

I am anxious to find out as much as I can about the man as well as the composer: may I appeal to your readers? I realise few of them will have known him, but there are sure to be sources of information that I cannot access through the inevitable Wikipedia and Google!

I should say that I am only able to apply myself properly to this interest in school holidays (I teach at the Cathedral Choir School), but I already have support from a number of quarters, in the University of Bristol, UWE and Kingsweston House. I'd love to hear from any 'Shire' residents who share my interest. Any help would be appreciated.

Yours sincerely Niall Hoskin

One Volunteer... or Ten Pressed Men (or Women)?

If you are reading this the chances are you read a little article in the last copy of Shire calling on volunteers to help edit the paper. I did, and that is why I found myself hesitantly entering the Methodist Church Hall last night wondering what time I might leave again.

Bemused by talk of advert sizes, column lengths, and deadlines I was assured everyone was an amateur and all had started off like me. Thankfully there was another new face Sgt Terry Scoble our new Police Sergeant in Avonmouth, I don't think he will mind me saying he occasionally looked as lost as I was.

Some of the interesting facts I discovered were that Shire is COMPLETELY self funding through its advertisements. Something I had never thought about was that these adverts have to be collated, approved, and ultimately billed for. All part of the behind the scenes administration that goes in bringing Shire to your door. One of the difficulties Shire faces is "cash-flow" and sadly even your local free newspaper is occasionally the victim of bad debt.

Shire distributes some of its profits to local organisations which benefit the community, I was amazed to here this amounted to approximately 2,400 last year!

Both here and at SCAF meetings I hear people talking about the needs of local youth and wondering how to provide it, but sadly it is rare to see youngsters joining in. It can be scary, when you don't understand how a meeting proceeds and they talk about "Chairpersons" "Minutes" "Agendas"etc, but there must be some young people out there doing media studies or something similar for whom attending a meeting or two or even writing an occasional article would be a valuable experience.

Above all it would give Shire one more viewpoint. VE

Fund raiser for Portishead Lifeboat

On 27th February The City & Port of Bristol Sports & Social Club held a fund raising evening for the Portishead Sea Rescue Service. You will be surprised to hear that this service covers an area from Weston-super-Mare to Berkeley, and the rivers Usk, Wye and Avon. This service is provided by volunteers who rely on donations for the upkeep of the facility and are not affiliated to the RNLI.

The 'Dave Salt Big Band' entertained a sell-out audience. The band members, including local boy Andrew Champion, gave their services free of charge.

They were supported by 3 vocalists. Tickets for the event were supplied by Paul Daley at his expense and all raffle prizes were donated by members.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening arranged by Bomber Daley with the assistance of Brian Chilcott (-not forgetting their wives Mary & Pat). The amount raised for this good cause surpassed all expectations and Bomber & Brian were able to present the coxswain, John Colwell, of the Portishead Lifeboat with a cheque for 1110. Not bad considering the aim was to raise 500 if possible!!!!!

Once again, a BIG thank you to all who attended and, of course, The Dave Salt Big Band.

Pat Chilcott

Vicki's Frock Exchange in aid of Breast Cancer Awareness at Shirehampton Public Hall

I am hosting a clothes swapping party in aid of Breast Cancer Awareness (it's a girl thing, Cancer Research UK) on the Saturday the 30th May this year, at Shirehampton Public Hall.

The price of entry will be 10 for the whole day, this will include entry into the amazing raffle (includes Neals Yard Goodies, a meal for 2 at Chiquitos Cribs Causeway, a full hour of Indian Head Massage, 4 tickets to Jesters Comedy Club) refreshments and nibbles, Live entertainment and DJ's, seamstress's on hand, and access to beauticians and hairstylists on site. It's gonna be a day full of fun, frolics and frocks!! (more prize info and entertainment will be confirmed nearer the time).

Most importantly all proceeds will go to Cancer Research UK specifically for breast cancer research. This is the largest single funder of Breast Cancer research in the UK, spending around 45 million on groundbreaking work into the disease last year- a significant increase on the previous year, demonstrating an on-going commitment to tackling the disease.

Every year more than 44,000 women in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer, and because 1 in 9 women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives, to raise money for this charity is so, so important. We can help protect ourselves and our loved ones.

The Items have to be in a good condition. Everyone wants to take home something nice that they will get good wear out of! However many items you bring is what you can take away with you. So if you bring 4 you take 4 home, etc.

Thank you for your support in advance, Vicki Chilcott

Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways (FOSBR)

1st Anniversary Celebrations invitation

Sunday 17th May @ 3 pm

To celebrate the 1st Anniversary on the Severn Beach line. The more frequent and reliable service launched in May 2008 has resulted in a 30% passenger increase.

This will be an opportunity for FOSBR representatives to thank Bristol City Council and First Great Western for listening to the electorate and for your representatives to reply. Cat Hobbs, Campaign for Better Transport, will speak on wider rail issues.

Attractions include the FOSBR stall, the May 2009 timetables, a First Birthday train cake and the chance to join our latest train song written by Marion de Berker.

Penpole Residents' Association

Goodbye and thank you Jenny

Penpole Residents would like to thank Jenny Bird for all her hard work as Secretary over the years. Jenny stands down at the AGM on 21st April 2009. We wish her all the best in the future. Sandra White - Chair

(The new email address for Penpole Residents is:

Penpole Luncheon Club

Now accepting new members

Tuesdays 11.30 - 2.00pm 3.25 - includes a 2 course dinner, tea/coffee and a cake. Opportunity play Bingo and a raffle (at extra cost). Transport can be arranged.

All enquiries to: Sandra - 0117 9381236 or 07818 260419

Fame Academy! Students star in Academy DVD

Oasis Academy Brightstowe is celebrating the launch of an Academy DVD in which several students have become the stars.

Filmed and edited entirely on the Academy site, the DVD was produced as part of a pack designed to give 10 and 11 year olds from local primary schools an insight into Academy life.

The DVD guides viewers through some of the excellent facilities Oasis Academy Brightstowe has to offer such as state of the art computing equipment and great sports provision.

Filming the DVD also gave Principal Julie Winterman the chance to extend a warm welcome to local parents and the opportunity to share news of recent Academy achievements, like the 50% increase of students achieving 5+ A - C grades in subjects including maths and English last year.

The short film stars Head Boy Luke Saunders and Head Girl Natasha Simpson-McArdle alongside Year 11 students Katie Andrews, Jade Harvey and Daniel Ward, who all gave interviews on camera about what being part of Oasis Academy Brightstowe meant to them.

Head Girl Natasha Simpson-McArdle from Shirehampton is used to being a spokesperson for her Academy, but it was the first time she had been on camera. She said: "I'd never done anything like this before and I was a bit nervous at first, but it was a good experience. I am hoping to pursue a career in politics, so it was a good opportunity to practice my public speaking!"

GCSE student Daniel Ward from Sea Mills however, was anything but nervous and even got to know the film crew on the day. He said: "It's my ambition to be a photographer, so I was really interested in all the equipment that the cameraman brought with him. He showed me some basic filming techniques and let me practise with the camera. I am hoping to organise some work experience with him before I start college."

If you would like to see the DVD and learn more about your local Academy, you can request a copy for FREE by contacting PR & Marketing Support Officer Laura Hope on 07751800670 or emailing

Family Events at Kings Weston Roman Villa

Long Cross, Lawrence Weston BS11 0LP

Live Livke a Roman

Saturday 16 May 11am-4pm,

Come to Kings Weston Roman Villa and help us celebrate Local History Month. Join in with our family fun activities and discover what life may have been life for children in Roman Britain. Learn about the games they played, the food they ate and their lessons at school whilst exploring the villa's mosaics, under floor heating and bathing suite. Kurt Adams our Portable Antiquities Officer will also be at the Villa to identify any objects you have found in your gardens.

... Thank You

Grateful thanks to everyone who gave us raffle prizes to raise funds for the refurbishment of the Tithe Barn, these included:

Costco; Jupe Hairdressers; News Shop; Elite Hair and beauty; Stadon Pet Supplies; Pauline's Hairdressers; Pet shop (Station Rd); Bargain Booze; D&P Fashions; Sugar & Spice; Boots; Nails; Chico Barbers; Valet Kings; BMX Shop; Autoparts; Pimms; P.J's hair, beauty & nails; Nightingales electric shop; Super Saver Store; and Collectable Gifts & Cards.

Julie Smith Churchwarden, St Mary's Church

Public Hall Newsletter

Twyford House Art Club

The club takes its name from the centre with which its founder members were originally associated, that is Twyford House, which was for many years their base.

The only extant documentary evidence of the club's formation is its bank account opened on 9th April 1986. The accounts for that year recorded 51 members. The members were former students of Alfred Moores (1914-2000), a member of the "Savages" for 54 years and their tutor at Twyford House until his retirement. Their long association motivated their wish to remain together and simply hiring a room at Twyford House and conducting their own affairs made good sense.

Philip Squire (1925-2001) administered the club until his death. Philip had anticipated the closure of Twyford House and secured alternative accommodation for the club in the Penpole Room at the Hall, where members have been meeting regularly since September 1998. The club had, of course, already enjoyed a long association with the Hall through the Local Art Exhibition held annually since May 1973.

Bob Brandt was also a valued member; his wife Helen often helped stage the Art Exhibition.

The current Chairman of the club is John Case. Any enquiries, telephone John at the Hall on 01179829963.

The meetings are held in the Penpole Room on Monday and Wednesday mornings and Thursday evening. Membership is open to adults. No formal tuition is given but help with work in progress is available. No meetings are held during the summer months but outdoor sessions are organised on Wednesdays at selected venues.

The next exhibition (37th) will be held in the Hall from 23rd May to 25th May. The exhibition is still sponsored by "Shire".

Looking ahead: The Ralph Vaughan Williams concert 'The Lark Ascending' on Wednesday 26th August 2009. Tickets will be available from 1st June. More details in the June issue of "Shire".

Local Shop Customers didn't have to

Do It Yourself

Bristol (Avonmouth) Sea Cadets were asked to bear a hand (lend a hand to land-lubbers!) and fund-raise by Marcus Thompson, the new manager at the Shirehampton Focus DIY store on Avonmouth Road. Cadets spent a fruitful few hours helping customers pack their purchases into bags and cars. Donations were asked for this service and Petty Officer Batt would like to say "The cadets worked really hard. Thank you to all of the Focus customers who put money into the cadets' buckets over the Easter weekend."

The cadets are now preparing for one of the most important dates in their calendar, the annual inspection.

"It's an extremely important event, a bit like an OFSTED inspection for a school." said Lt (SCC) Barbara Hillier RNR, Commanding Officer of Bristol (Avonmouth) Sea Cadets.

"If we do really well, it's a chance for the unit to retain our 2008 burgee status, which is only held by the top ten per cent of Sea Cadet units."

She went on to say "The cadets will have to demonstrate to a senior Royal Navy officer some of the seagoing skills they have been learning over the past two years".

The unit, which currently has about 30 cadets, provides training and a whole range of recreational and life-skill activities for its members.

They meet on Monday and Thursday 6:30 - 9:00 evenings.

Fund-raising activities are currently underway to provide new boats, sports equipment and a data projector. They are also collecting the Tesco Schools and Clubs vouchers.

If anyone is able to help in any way, contact the unit (at the above times) on 0117 982 39 38.

Diabetes UK Shirehampton Voluntary Group

Secretary: Mrs T A Zehtabi

622 Portway, Shirehampton

Bristol BS11 9QE

Tel: 0117 9041831 Mobile: 07954 170450

Remaining meeting dates for 2009

Thursday 28th /may

Thursday 25th June

Thursday 23rd July

Thursday 24th September

Thursday 22nd October

Thursday 26th November

Mystery Photograph - February Edition

This photograph sent by Mr Thomas of boys at Portway School was, according to one of our readers, taken in the early 1950s probably 1952, and the boy in the front row second left is Terry Parsons. We have also heard from Sheila Bubb who believes the boy second from right in the middle row is Tony Bubb who sadly died aged 29 after playing a representative football league match at Iron Acton. (Thank you for the donation - Ed).

Help us beat burglars this spring

... By taking a few easy steps to help protect your home. As the warm weather and longer evenings arrive, more people will be spending time outside or going away for an Easter holiday. This can leave houses easy targets for opportunist burglars who will seize their chance if they spot a window left open, an empty home or a hedge which allows them to work hidden from view. However, there are some simple steps you can take to protect your house and garden while at home and on holiday.

The focus of the preventative measures is on securing garden boundaries and entry points to houses, and ensuring houses look lived in while you are away. If you are going away on holiday try to make sure your house still looks lived in. Cancel milk and newspaper deliveries, make sure there are no valuables on view and invest in some timers which turn on lights when it is dark. While at home remember to make sure garden boundaries are secure with high fences, locked garden gates and security lighting which comes on when people are around.

Speaking about these tips, Detective Chief Inspector Martyn Triggol said: "The steps you can take to protect your home are not expensive or time-consuming. They are easy to implement and effective in reducing the risk of becoming a victim of burglary. Look at your home from the street and think about how a burglar may break in - and then take the necessary steps to deny them this opportunity. Thieves will use whatever they can find to help them including ladders, tools which are left lying around and wheelie bins, which can be easily moved and can be used to reach higher windows. The Avon and Somerset Constabulary website has tips on securing your home and I would recommend that people take a look.

"The effort invested now may save a great deal of inconvenience later on if you are unfortunate enough to become a burglary victim. Many stolen items will be irreplaceable, such as photographs stored on stolen cameras and phone numbers stored on stolen phones. Victims may also have to spend time cancelling stolen bank cards, passports and driving licences, replacing door locks and filling out insurance claim forms."

Anyone who feels they would benefit from further advice can speak to a crime prevention officer by calling Avon and Somerset Constabulary on 0845 456 7000.

Around The House

  • Fit key-operated window locks to all downstairs windows, those which can't be seen from the street, and easily accessible upstairs windows. For example those above a flat roof or by a drainpipe. Even small windows such as skylights or bathroom fanlights need locks - a thief can get through any gap larger than the human head.
  • Remember to remove keys from locked windows and to keep them out of sight in a safe place.
  • Louvre windows are especially vulnerable because the slats can be removed easily from the frame. Glue the slats in place with epoxy resin, and fit a special louvre lock. Better still replace them with fixed glass.
  • If you are replacing windows - consider laminated glass. This glass has a layer of vinyl between two sheets of glass making it difficult to break. Remember these tools could be used to break into your home.
  • Don't leave ladders outside, or chain them up if you have to.
  • Mark your power tools etc. with your post code and house number or the first two letters of your house name and place the details on
  • Photograph valuable and unusual garden ornaments and keep these in a secure place.

In The Garden

  • Check for weak spots where a thief could get in - a low or sagging fence, or a back gate with a weak lock.
  • Garden fencing - rear gardens should have fencing at least 6ft high. Trellis work on top of fencing panels is not only decorative, it is also difficult to climb over as it breaks easily and noisily.
  • Fit a strong, lockable, high gate across any side passage to stop a thief getting to the back of the house where they can work undisturbed.
  • Use thorny hedges and plants along boundaries, under ground-floor windows and up drainpipes to make it harder for thieves to gain access.
  • Make sure the front of your house is clearly visible from the road - neighbours and passers-by will be able to see any suspicious activity.
  • Fit a security bulk-head light to the outside of your home at the front and back. These lights should also use low-energy lightbulbs and have dusk-to-dawn sensors so that they are on during the hours of darkness.
  • Halogen lights ('floodlights') fitted with a passive infra red (PIR) or movement sensor are now considered more appropriate as 'courtesy lights' than security lights.
  • Prevent access to rear or secluded access to your property by erecting fences and gates, thorny hedges and security lighting.

On Holiday

  • Leave small valuable items, like jewellery, on deposit at the bank, or consider installing a small floor safe. Don't lock internal doors or desks - they may be forced if someone does break in.
  • Mark any valuable items with your postcode followed by a house number or the first two digits of the house name. Also take photographs of all valuable items. This is particularly important for those which may be unsuitable for marking.
  • Cut the lawns before you go.
  • Cancel deliveries of milk, newspapers etc, discreetly - don't announce your departure to a shop full of people. Only tell people who need to know you're going away.
  • Make sure your house looks occupied. Closed curtains in the daytime makes it look as if no one is at home. It is worthwhile to get automatic time switches to switch lights, and a radio, on and off in downstairs or upstairs rooms.
  • Don't leave valuable items like TV's, videos or hi-fi's visible through windows.
  • Lock the garage and shed with proper security locks, after putting all your tools safely away so they cannot be used to break into your house. If you have to leave a ladder out, put it on its side and lock it to a secure fixture with a 'close-shackle' padlock and heavy-duty chain.
  • Don't have your home address showing on your luggage for the outward journey. Put this only on the inside of your cases.
  • Finally lock all outside doors and windows. If you have a burglar alarm, make sure it is set - and that you have told the police who the key-holder is.

Festival success for local Dance School

Dancers from an Avonmouth dance school have excelled at the South West of England Freestyle Dance Festival. This is a weekend competition that is attended by dance schools from all over the South West and South Wales. 21 dancers from Paula McCann Dance School, who practice at Avonmouth Rugby Club, managed to win over 130 trophies which included over 70 final places and over 40 top three places.

Six major titles were also won, and a special mention to: Katie Wheeler who came 1st in the under 8 disco solo grand final and 1st in the under 8 disco pairs grand final with Skye Read.

Shev White who came: 1st in the under 18 disco solo grand final, 1st in the under 18 street solo grand final and 1st in the under 18 disco pairs with Beth Lydiard.

Paula and student teacher Sharlie Sollars are extremely proud of all the dancers for the tremendous results and for all the hard work they have put in.

The dance school always welcome new dancers, for details contact the Club or

(Sorry photograph submitted was not clear enough Ed.)

Local Girls Selected for England U19 Girls Indoor Squad

It was announced on Saturday 4th April that Abby Evans and Charlotte Walker of Bristol Phoenix (Womens) CC and Gloucestershire CCC were selected for the 2009 Team England squad to compete in the Indoor Cricket World Cup (I.C.W.C) to be held in Brisbane West Indoor Centre, Queensland, Australia, from 10th to 17th October 2009.

At a Ceremony held at Whitchurch Sports Stadium, Bristol, they were presented with their England training shirts by Ex England and Middlesex Captain, Mike Gatting.

Abby and Charlotte have played club cricket for Shirehampton CC and Thornbury CC respectively as well as for the Junior Girls County Teams for the last few years and now have become an integral part of the Senior Women's County Team, which will be playing in Division 5 of the ECB County Championship this season.

Abby plays men's cricket for Shirehampton CC and as well as the U17 Girls and senior women's team at Bristol Phoenix CC, which was recently formed from girls and women from Shirehampton, Thornbury and Chipping Sodbury CC. Girls from Shirehampton practise on Fridays at the ground at Penpole Lane and new girls of all ages are always welcome.

Both Abby and Charlotte will attending intensive training sessions with Shawn Schaper, South Africa's Head Coach. The training squad will be reduced from 16 to 12 on 8th June following the training sessions. The 4 "shadow" players will continue to practise with the final squad and will be ready to play in event of any withdrawals.

This was obviously a very proud moment for the girls and their parents and all of their fellow Club and County players wish them all the very best in the future and hope that they represent England later this year.

Ian Moss - Shirehampton CC and Bristol Phoenix (Women's) CC

Desperately Seeking - a Treasurer for Station Road Pre-School

We are looking for that special somebody who can help us at pre-school. We need a volunteer treasurer to take over this role. Our current treasurer is very happy to provide support and direction during a hand-over period. The committee meets about 6 times a year and the treasurer needs to calculate wages, be a cheque signatory, keep careful records of monies in and out in line with our procedures. Please contact Jo Hill at the pre-school, Public Hall if you think you can help.

A huge thank you to those who supported pre-school during our Easter events, especially Nails Etc, Hazel Thorne and Irene Jansen for their donations. We really appreciate the support of businesses and individuals in the community.

Chemical Alley

The site of the old smelting works in Avonmouth is marked by an unusual bunch of street-names which recall details of the industrial chemistry that was carried out there.

Some local readers may well have memories of what lies behind these names. First of all, the works specialised in producing zinc for galvanizing iron, which made it rustproof: hence Zinc Road. An ore called calamine was the main early source of zinc.

Bristol had long been a centre for the extraction of zinc for use in the city's famous brassware (brass is an alloy of copper and zinc), because calamine was found in the Mendips and in smaller quantities on the Downs

Another name for one of the substances making up calamine was spar, which accounts for Spar Road.

Long after the original local industry collapsed, smelting was revived using ores including zinc oxide imported into Avonmouth, by a company which morphed into the Imperial Smelting Corporation and eventually became Britannia Zinc Ltd.

After about 1950, the Corporation used its own patented method, involving the special Imperial Smelting Furnace, or I.S.F., process, which lingers on in the name of I.S.F. Road.

The process involved novel blast furnace technology instead of the old-style less efficient horizontal and vertical retorts, and the name of Retort Road is a bow to the past. As the zinc was extracted from the ore, so too was a small amount of the metal cadmium, now used in rechargeable batteries (Cadmium Road), and another important by-product was sulphuric acid in large quantities (Acid Road).

The rather dull but necessary Stores Road and Workshop Road complete the tour of the old works site which you won't be able to do in practice because the works closed in 2003 and the site remains closed to the public. Richard Coates

Dog Waste Bin

Dog walkers may have noticed that a bin for dog waste has now been placed in the grounds of Kingsweston House at the top of the path leading down to Lawrence Weston.

This is a welcome addition to the area and will hopefully prevent 'little packages' being left on the ground!

St Mary's News

Hi folks, Easter has come and gone and here we are at the beginning of May. How wonderful all the Spring colours look. It really is the best time of the year, as I watch the rebirth of colours in the countryside and gardens all around us. To me there is no place in the world better than the UK at this time of year.

Our Quiet Day back in March was a beautiful warm and sunny day and 32 people took advantage of the day for quiet reflection in the pleasant surroundings of Trinity College.

On Mothering Sunday, at 10am we held an informal service of Dedication and Thanksgiving. We all remembered our mothers and baby Sophia, daughter of Becky and Tom Handy, received a Blessing and Prayer of Thanksgiving for her birth. Tom, her dad, is part of the Trinity College cohort attached to St Mary's and will be leaving us later this summer to be ordained Deacon and take up his first curacy at Shepton Mallet. Baby Sophia will be baptised at his church there. At the Mothering Sunday service all children present were given little bunches of flowers for their mothers. We were delighted to welcome many new families for the first time and hope they enjoyed what they heard and saw, and will come back again!

Our Spring Fayre on 28th March, was again a resounding success and raised the magnificent sum of over 1500. St Mary's building is expensive to maintain and we need every penny we can earn to keep it open and welcoming as it is the central focal point in the village and is heavily used all week. Coffee mornings have been particularly busy lately. Perhaps the cold winter weather has encouraged you to enjoy that welcome cup or tea or coffee. Whatever the reason we are always pleased to see you.

We are sorry to report the death of Doll Powell, a member of our congregation until ill health prevented her from attending on a regular basis. We extend deepest sympathy to her son Richard and the rest of the family. There was a full church for her funeral and two of her grandchildren spoke of happy memories with their Gran.

On Friday 3rd April we welcomed the children from Shirehampton Primary School for their Easter service. They re-enacted the Easter story on specially erected staging and all received a Palm Cross when they left. It was very encouraging to see so many mums and dads in church with younger children and many of our regular coffee morning visitors were happy to sit quietly and listen to the children.

On Saturday 4th April we held another of our "Forget-me-not" services, primarily for those people who had lost loved ones through an untimely death. Canon Christine felt this had been beneficial to many folk last year so was worth repeating. She was proved correct, as over 50 people attended.

Palm Sunday saw a full church and Tom Handy preached about Christ's entry into Jerusalem. We learn he has a particular affection for the poor old humble donkey and regularly visits a Donkey Sanctuary in Devon. During the evening a group of our members and friends, under the direction of Alan Gibson and Tim Forder, performed "The Passion" by Adrian Snell, a lively presentation for Easter in words and music, taking you from the events of Palm Sunday through to the death and resurrection of Jesus. It was an opportunity to see the Passion in a new light and was very well received judging by the favourable comments heard afterwards. This was followed by drinks and nibbles.

During May we always have two "open church" days. The first will be on May Day Bank Holiday (4th May) when the church will be open from 12 noon until 5pm with lunch and cream teas available at reasonable prices, prepared by our resident "Delia Smith" - alias Gill Sawyer. If you miss this then put the Spring Bank Holiday (25th May) in your diary for a repeat performance. Don't clog up the motorways, come and clog ups St Mary's!

On Friday evening 15th May we are holding a surprise "Social Event". It is a surprise because Canon Christine can't remember what it is! When she recalls it will be published in the Sunday Link. This has roused my curiosity - so when you come in for tea or coffee scan the notice boards for this mystery event.

On Saturday 30th May an Open Morning is to be held at the Tithe Barn (further details elsewhere in this paper. Some of you may have seen with dismay the felling of the Deodar Cedar in our churchyard. I'm afraid this was necessary due to the roots growing towards the north west wall of the church and undermining the foundations. Also sections of branches were falling on to the flat roof of the Memorial Chapel causing damp on the ceiling.

It also provided access to our north aisle flat roof which is currently protected with the use of anti-climb paint on the drainpipes.

Tithe Barn Purchase Complete

Community open day planned to gather ideas for renovation

St Mary's Church is delighted to confirm that the purchase of the Shirehampton Tithe Barn was completed at the beginning of April and that plans will soon start being drawn up for its renovation and return to community use.

The St Mary's Parochial Church Council (PCC) has bought the building from Bristol Charities and will now set about consulting the community about its future and raising the vital funds needed to bring its facilities up to modern standards.

One of the first events will be a community open day when everyone in the village will be invited to come and contribute their ideas for upgrading the building. The event will be a chance to see inside one of Shirehampton's oldest buildings, to register comments and ideas as part of the consultation and also to find out more about getting involved in the fundraising programme.

Date - Saturday 30th May

Time - 9am - 1pm

Having suffered at the hands of the criminal fraternity in the recent past, we are anxious not to provide an easy means of access to our roof. This is an ideal time to point out that all our lead has been replaced with glass reinforced plastic which is of no value to any other person.

Finally, did you hear about the little boy who was given two separate 10p pieces to take to Sunday School? One was to be put in the collection and other was for him to buy sweets on the way home. Skipping along the road he dropped one of the coins and it rolled down a drain in the gutter. The boy looked towards heaven and said "Sorry God, there goes your 10p" Bye for now. CME

Along the Rhines of Kingsweston Lane

We frequently take our dogs to Severn Beach and nearly always drive down Kingsweston Lane to join St Andrew's Road, passing the rhines.

I believe some of these are frequented by Water Vole, though I have never been fortunate enough to see one. However, we see a variety of wildlife, numerous rabbits, occasional foxes, once in the evening even a badger, but mostly birds. These include moorhens, a few ducks, and quite often a heron perched on the side of the water.

Majestic and graceful, steel grey and white with black markings, the Grey Heron is Europe's largest species of Heron. Young birds have darker plumage than their senior counterparts, but lack the famed black crests of the adult. I have often seen a heron perched on my next door neighbour's garage roof admiring his Koi pond!

Our love of ornamental ponds has drawn the heron into more built up areas.

Herons are afraid of thunder and will rise above storm clouds, it is this sudden appearance from such heights that has probably led to it being featured in so many myths. Some believed it would never get wet in rain, whilst others thought it's "coming from the heavens" must mean it is a messenger from God, Others suggest that it is the collector of souls.

Welsh folklore suggests a heron will always fly upstream following a river course and goes to collect rain to bring back!

Apparently there is a heronry at Lawrence Weston Moor, and it is probably here that our local population returns to roost each night.

Personally it is a bird with which I hold a very close and special affinity and one that is most welcome in my garden even if I do have to restock my pond from time to time. VE

Avonmouth Village Social Club

Yes, you read it correct at the last A.G.M. on Sunday 29th. March 2009 the members of 'Avonmouth Workmen's' Club' resolved to remove the stigma of the C.I.U.'s 'Workingmen's' Club image, Member's (Men) Only bar and changed our name to 'Avonmouth Village Social Club'.

The Avonmouth Workmen's Club was formed in 1901 in a converted terrace house and expanded to a total of 5 terraced houses, namely 2 - 10 Napier Square.

The Club saw its heydays whilst Avonmouth Docks was open and then again when Avonmouth Bridge was built.

In March 2003 we decided to allow Lady Members membership and on Sunday 6th. April 2008 allowed Ladies full membership with the same rights as male members and entry into all bars.

We are a progressive Club and our eventual aim is to make it a family Club where residents of Avonmouth and surrounding areas can come and have an enjoyable time.

The Club is still a Private Members Club and what we require is now your membership and support to maintain a family Club in Avonmouth Village.

Let us keep a part of Avonmouth's history free from the clutches of the 'one bedroom flat' developers. Any LAPSED members wanting to rejoin the Club please write to the Secretary and it will be dealt with.

Any further information please contact P.M.J. Browne (Secretary) on 9873162. Pete Browne Secretary.

Sixties Night at the Costwold Centre Raises Money for Multiple Sclerosis

A great night was had by all on Saturday April 4th at the Cotswold Community Centre. Arranged by Daphne and Andy Llewellyn and Bobbie Perkins, money raised from ticket sales, and a raffle totalled 262.00; the picture shows Andy & Daphne presenting the cheque to Barrie Griffiths of the Bristol Branch of the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Barrie sincerely thanked everyone and was able to assure the audience that the money would go to help local people with MS & to Research into the cause & cure of this debilitating illness.

Andy was the DJ having brought along his equipment and vast range of music which kept feet tapping and people dancing. There was a fun quiz on the music & times of the sixties. Daphne and Bobbie had handmade decorations and a lot of hard work had gone on behind the scenes to make the evening a success.

We very much look forward to another evening at the Cotswold Centre, perhaps a theme on another era as the Sixties evening was such a success which also brought back memories of those times for many of the participants.

Thank you so much - Marina & Barrie Griffiths MS Society Bristol Branch Charity no. 207495

New Community room and Parent Support Worker for Avon Primary School!

Thursday 7th May 10.30am

Official Opening Party

Avon Primary School is proud to announce a launch party for their new community room and newly appointed Parent Support Worker from School Home Support.

The community room will be able to host community and parent/carer training opportunities, Internet access, Information services, support and guidance, drop in sessions, coffee mornings and much more!

This will also be the base for the new Parent Support Worker, Louise Dunbar who will be based on site all day Tuesday's, Thursday's and Wednesday mornings. The role will initially include sign posting to other key agencies, support and guidance, family and pupil support, transitions, pastoral care to name but a few.

Join us for refreshments and nibbles, look around the community room, meet other parents/carers and find out more about what will be on offer...

For further information: Contact: Louise Dunbar at Avon Primary School : 0117-9030448 or 0117-9030446

See you on Thursday 7th May!