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News Index

Commemorative Plaque Unveiling

What's on in August

Saints on the map

Around Bristol by Tram by Peter Davey

What is the future of our green spaces

Letters to the Editor

Have your say on the Lamplighters open space

BTCV Avon Enrichment Opportunities

Oasis Academy Principal's Column

St Mary's News

Help avoid clashing events

Commemorative Plaque Unveiling

Wednesday 26th August

There are two events taking place at the Public Hall on this day.

The morning at 11am you are invited to join The Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Brenda Hugill and the Trustees of the Hall for a ceremony outside, when Em Marshall and the Chair of the Ralph Vaughan Williams Society will unveil a plaque to commemorate the world premier performance of The Lark Ascending at the Public Hall on 15th January 1920 After the ceremony you are welcome to join us inside the Hall where refreshments will be served and an exhibition of the life of Ralph Vaughan Williams will be on display.

The evening, at 7.30pm we have the concert, An Evening of String Music with The Emerald Ensemble featuring The Lark Ascending composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams. The tickets are on sale now for £10, you ticket provides you with a programme and refreshments during the interval and they can be purchased from the Public Hall and Shirehampton Library.

We look forward to seeing you at the events, this is a great day for the residents of Shirehampton

Shirehampton Public Hall Community Association presents






by Ralph Vaughan Williams

Wednesday 26th August 2009

Doors open at 7pm for 7.30pm

Programme includes: Elgar (Serenade for Strings, Chanson de Matin, Salut d'Amore); Holst (St Paul's Suite); Warlock (Capriol Suite); Mozart (Eine Kleine Nacht Musik); Brahams (Hungarian Dance).

Tickets £10 including refreshments, can be purchased from the Public Hall or Library

We acknowledge the support of the Paragon Society who administers funds left to them by the late

Leo Reid Baker.

Summer Sale at Public Hall

Trustees of the public hall wish to say a big thank you to Katie (manager of the The Public Hall.) and Tracey (Severn 4 Credit Union) for organising the 4th of July Summer Sale which was a great success. Raising money for the hall and for the credit union, which will be able to buy prizes to encourage our young savers in the local areas. The event also had a happy community feel with bunting dancing in the breeze at the front of the hall drawing us in; well done, you early risers for the wonderful decorations.

The sun shone so a variety of stalls were in the garden with lots more in the hall to explore. Doughnuts and chocolate brownies could be bought with a cuppa and the BBQ was enjoyed by many. We appreciate the hard work put in before the event and on the day so thank you again Katie and Tracey.

We would like to say a big thank you to the following people for their hard work and support at the Shirehampton Public Hall Summer Sale.

Alan, Julie, Sue, Norman, Janet, Mary and the many others who helped make the day a fabulous success.

Maybe see you again at Christmas! Once again many thanks, Katie and Tracey

Calling all Craftsmen and Women!

The year is speeding along at a rate of knots and before we know it the Craft Exhibition will be upon us, so now is the time to think about what you want to exhibit. We are looking for items from our regulars and welcome new exhibitors, so don't be shy, give us a try. Anyone living in, or practicing their craft in Shirehampton and adjoining areas (Avonmouth, Lawrence Weston, Sea mills) are eligible to enter. The October half term week is when the exhibition will be held, so get those needles clicking, potting wheels turning, lathes whirring or whatever and let us enjoy the results of your labours. An application form will appear in the September issue of 'Shire.'


I am delighted to let you know that in response to my notice in last month's Shire, Tess Good tel 9823560 has volunteered to head up those willing to organise the Christmas Market proposed for 2009.

Please contact Tess if you are able to help in any way Best wishes, Canon Christine

What's on in August

Saturday August 1st

Bring and Buy Sale Shirehampton Methodist Church 10am - 12 noon

Quiz Evening at Cotswold Commuity Centre at 7.30pm

Sunday August 2nd

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

Monday August 3rd

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.

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

The Pulse Acupuncture Clinic every Monday at the Health Centre

Tuesday August 4th

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

Totstop for unders 5s at Shirehampton Baptist Church. Weekly during term time 9am - 11am

Wednesday August 5th

Shirehampton Model Railway Club 7.30pm Public Hall weekly

AUS Advice Session every Wednesday and Thursday 9.30-11am at 115 High Street

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

ACTA Community Youth Theatre for 11-16s, weekly at the Public Hall 5pm - 6.30pm.

Keep Fit weekly at the Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road 10.30am - 11.30am for those with some movement experience.

Severnside Alarm testing 3pm

Thursday August 6th

AUS Advice Session every Wednesday and Thursday 9.30-11am at 115 High Street

Townswomens Guild 2-4pm Methodist Church Hall

Kick Boxing weekly at the Public Hall 5.15-7.15 pm

Stroke Support every Thursday at the PBA Club, Nibley Road 1.30-4pm

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

Friday August 7th

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 - 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 Cenbtre, Dursley Road 1030am-11.30am

Tim Forder's Car Treasure Hunt, start 6pm at Health Centre car park

Tuesday August 11th

Evergreens day trip to Woollacombe, for further details ring 9381725

Wednesday August 10th

Bright Hour Womens' Fellowship, Baptist church 2.30pm - fortnightly

Thursday August 13th and 27th

Advice Service at St Mary's, second and fourth Thursdays 2-4pm

Friday August 14th

Community Clean up, Day of Action Volunteers needed - Come & help tidy up Shire. Look out for posters around Shire with full details. For further information, please contact: Cheryl Coles, BCC Safer Bristol Partnership Tel: 07810 506 846 PCSO Zaheer Bulbul, Police Tel: 0117 945 43 80

Saturday August 15th

Bradley House Summer Fayre in afternoon.

Sunday August 16th

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

MUSIC AT BLAISE 3-5pm As part of a series of free afternoon band concerts in Bristol Parks, showcasing the best in Brass, Silver and Jazz Bands from across the region, the Frampton Footwarmers will perform at Blaise Castle Estate. Deckchairs will be provided for your comfor

Monday August 17th

Local history Group 2.20pm in the Library

Tuesday August 18th

Avonmouth Ladies Club 7.30pm at St Andrew's Church Hall, Avonmouth

Port of Bristol retired employees association, Nibley Road Club, talk.

Wednesday August 19th

Shirehampton Stitchers at the Public Hall 7.30pm (every thirs Wednesday)

Thursday August 20th

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

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

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

Monday August 24th - Friday 28th

Summer Sensation at St Mary's

Wednesday August 26th

At 11am the Lord Mayor, Councillor Brenda Hugill and the Trustees and Chairman of the Vaughan Williams Society unveil a plaque on the outside of the Public Hall. At 7.30pm CONCERT at the Public Hall with Emerald Ensemble, featuring 'the Lark Ascending.' Tickets £10.

Friday August 28th

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

Library Reading Group 2.15pm at the Library

Monday August 31st

Bank Holiday Monday, open garden at the Vicarage 10am - 4pm

Forthcoming Events

Friday July 31st to August 2nd

Bristol Harbour Festival


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

Monday and Wednesday mornigns and Thursday eveings Twyford House Art Group at the Public Hall.

Lawrence Weston Community Farm open in July. Farm Tots Wednesday mornings 11am - 12,30pm for parents and children under 5. General opening times tuesday-Sunday each week 9.30am - 4.30pm


If there is any local club or society, which would like their meetings included in the 'What's On'. PLEASE put the details in the Library by 10th of the month.

On the Beat -

PC Davies and Avon and Somerset Constabulary have passed us the following information:

There has overall been a slight increase in the number of anti-social behaviour cases in recent months. In the period 7th May to 18th June 2009 the police received 94 calls which varied in nature from criminal damage and rowdiness, to public order offences and assaults against the person. It is hoped that this will be reduced via a higher visibility police patrolling, combined with Operation Brave which has had good results to date. Over 50% of the calls originated from the areas currently agreed and targeted as part of the PACT(Police and Communities Together) initiative, this suggest effective use of manpower and resources, and an effective partnership.

There is also a new Pub Watch scheme, which became operational on 1st July. This means licensed premises have promised to liaise and if a client is banned from one they are banned form them all. Signs will be displayed in participating pubs, which include The Royal Hotel, The Miles Arms, The Avonmouth Tavern, The Hope and Anchor, The George, The Lifeboat and the Lamplighters.

PC Gareth Davies, who has worked with landlords of local pubs to implement the scheme, said: "This is a brilliant example of partners and communities working together to make our areas much safer places to be. We want to send out the message that abusive or threatening behaviour towards staff, drug taking, fighting, under-age drinking or any other form of anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated in public houses in Shirehampton and Avonmouth and our communities will stand together to ensure this."

Plaques for Brave Sailors

Relatives of merchant seamen who have passed away can arrange for commemorative plaques to be included on a memorial in the City of Bristol.

The Merchant Navy Association of Bristol first fixed the names to a bench by their memorial on Welsh Back last November 2008, and are now appealing for families to let them know if their relatives have passed away and should be remembered with a plaque. Brass plaques featuring the sailors' names and dates of birth and death follow the curve of the long benches facing the water. The association have fixed plaques to the benches in three separate lots and dedicated them at special ceremonies and hope to do the same with the next round.

Families who want to remember their loved ones will need to make a contribution to the plaque's cost. At present £25 (12.11.08)

To arrange a plaque, send details to: Ted Williams, 136 Hungerford Road, Brislington, Bristol BS4 5HE. Tel: 0117 977 9748.

Articles for Shire

We love receiving your articles without them (and the sponsorship of our advertising) there would be no "Shire" and you are most welcome to continue to send your contributions to the Library. However as new technology moves onward it would make it a lot easier if articles could be sent via email, as all hard copy has to be retyped. Digital photographs are also most welcome, JPEG is the preferred format. The email address is

Annual Craft Exhibition

At the Public Hall, Monday October 26th - Saturday, October 31st.


Thanks to the members of the Methodist Bright Hour for their kind donation to Shire funds. J.A.

Kath's sponsored silence

June 18th 2009

A hush fell over the Co-operative today, the customers couldn't quite put their finger on it. there was usually a constant buzz when you entered the Co-op. then they noticed a small figure sat on a chair surrounded by signs. Of course, it was THAT day. The day of our Kath's sponsored silence. Bliss!! With lots of encouragement from both customers and staff, Kath did extremely well and completed the whole eight hours. Well done Kath! Total amount raised for RNID £891.07.

Helping with my Recovery

Monday 11th May 2009, I had a bad fall in the garden of my home, seriously breaking my hip. On Tuesday 12th at the Bristol Royal Infirmary I had a full hip replacement. The care, which I received on Ward 2, Level 5, was excellent. After two weeks, I was moved to Hazelbrook in Henbury. The dedicated team who took care of me during my five weeks of rehabilitation were absolutely fantastic. They worked so very hard and were very kind and made my stay really comfortable.

I would like to thank my children and surrounding family, friends and neighbours for all the cards, flowers and chocolates. I am now back home; thanks to the love and support I have received from you all.

God bless you

May Watkins

(Thank you for your donation - Ed)

Free electric blanket test could save your life

Cold winter nights might seem a long way away, but take a few moments to have your electric blanket tested for free and you could save your life.

Over 5,000 house fires every year are caused by old or defective electric blankets, so Bristol City Council and Avon Fire and Rescue Service have once again teamed up to offer free electric blanket checks across the city.

In recent years over half of the blankets checked in Bristol have had life threatening faults such as faulty overheat protection, exposed wires or failing insulation. Those over 10 years old cause 95% of electric blanket fires but a new design does not mean it is fault-free. Simply not storing your blanket well over the summer months is one of the main reasons for blankets developing faults.

Phil Parkyn, Principal Trading Standards officer for Bristol City Council, said: 'The message is straightforward; a simple safety check could save your life. Bring your electric blanket to one of our events and an expert will check it thoroughly to give you piece of mind so make that booking now.'

The free electric blanket safety checks are being held at the following venue: Sept 24th, Shirehampton Health Centre 0117 9223522, 0930-1600.

People wanting to have their blankets tested for free must book an appointment with Bristol Trading Standards on 0117 9223522.

More information about how to use and store electric blankets correctly can be found at

Saints on the map

Christianity has had an impact on the local names of Shire and Avonmouth. Priory Gardens and Priory Road, directly or indirectly, recall a connection with a monastery which never actually existed. A house that once stood in the High Street, near the present Hermitage Close, was known as The Hermitage, for unknown reasons. Shirehampton became a parish separate from Westbury in 1844, and its chapel became the parish church of St Mary (the Virgin). From this we have St Mary's Road, which used to be known as a less holy sounding Back Lane. The church's former status was remembered in Chapel House in the High Street, which used to stand where the Co-op now is. The name of the meadow nearest the church is picked up in the street-name Church Leaze, but the land was Chapel Paddock before that.

Avonmouth's first C of E chapel, built in 1893 and dedicated to St Andrew, became a full parish church in 1917. Its dedication was copied to St Andrew's Road, another trading estate and an office block, and the railway station on the estate. Andrew has watery connections as the patron saint of fishermen, but that doesn't really suit Avonmouth too well. Before the permanent chapel, in 1883, there was a corrugated iron church with the same dedication. Does anyone know why Ironchurch Road, which seems to refer to it, is right out near Smoke Lane, running parallel with St Andrew's Road? There was another iron church, in West Town Lane, but it has left no traces in names.

A Roman Catholic parish of St Bernard (of Clairvaux) was established at Shirehampton in 1903, and its dedication eventually became attached to St Bernard's Road and to the primary school. From 1924 till 1956 Avonmouth's Catholics had a wooden church, and from then till 2004 the permanent building of St Brendan's, dedicated appropriately to St Brendan of Clonfert, a saint with a serious seafaring history - he is said to have navigated the Atlantic in search of Paradise or the Isle of the Blessed. The name survives in those of a trading estate and the massive new M49/M5/A403 roundabout, as well as St Brendan's Way and Court.

Richard Coates

Everybody is Welcome to


at Shirehampton Hall

August 22nd - 2-4pm

We are hoping to raise funds so that our residents can have stimulating days out

Stalls will include tombola, bric-a-brac,cakes, as new toys, face painting, raffle, bouncy castle and refrshments including BBQ

Tribute Andrew Neil Mogg (A wonderful son)

13.6.87 - 14.6.09

We would like to thank Canon Christine and Gill for the beautiful service on Friday 26th June. You both made the day more bearable for all of us.

Also we would like to thank friends, family and neighbours for the huge support that we have been given. The cards, flowers and kind words have helped us through this difficult time in our lives.

Andrew was a very special young man and we all loved him so much.

Roger, Gina and family

Quest Seekers The Summer Reading Challenge in libraries

Where? At all Bristol Libraries

When? From 13th July - 11th September

Why? Have fun reading!

How? Pick up a Quest Seekers folder from your local library. Read books, collect stickets and play games on the website.

Take part! In fun events and activities happening in Bristol libraries during the summer holidays.

At the end! Collect a medal, certificate and one voucher for a free DVD issue and enter a prizedraw.

Join the library! It's easy and free. Ask staff at your local library to help you. Children under15 will need permission of a parent of guardian.

Bristow Broadway and Crowley Way

The big newish extension of the A4 in Avonmouth, Bristow Broadway, seems to take its name from the original name of the city of Bristol. But it is actually named after Alderman Ernie Bristow, who died in 2002, and whose surname comes from the ancient form of the city-name. He was a docker and union official, then a long-serving Labour councillor, firstly for Shirehampton ward on the former Avon County Council from at least 1987-95, before representing Avonmouth on Bristol City Council from 1995-9, when he retired from ward politics.

Does any reader know how Crowley Way got its name? Was it from A. Crowley, the Labour Bristol City councillor for Avonmouth elected in 1983 and 1984?

Richard Coates

Around Bristol by Tram by Peter Davey

Getting around Bristol by electric tram was easy - way back in 1895 when Bristol had a visionary, dynamic transport culture.

The tram served 17 routes for the residents of Old Market, Kingswood, Hanham, Staple Hill, Bedminster, Brislington, Horfield and Westbury on Trym.

Need to go to Severn Beach? Until 1838 you could hop off the tram at Westbury War Memorial and onto the 34 bus via New Passage to the Beach. At the height of its success, Bristol Tramways had a fleet of 237 trams and four depots.

Saturday 10th October 2009 at 7pm, Village Hall, Ableton Lane, Severn Beach

Free entry and refreshments

Take the 6.30pm departure from Bristol TM

(6.13pm Redland, 6.230pm Sea Mills, 6.27pm Avonmouth)

Will finsh in time for 9.29pm departure

Event and refreshments organised by Friends of suburban Bristol Railways (FOSBR) with thanks to Pilning and Severn Beach Parish Council for the venue - Peter Davey for the presentation - all free of charge.

Re-unite our city!!

(From the 'Mouth to The Gate!)

On 10 June last year, FOSBR member Eric Wildman submitted a statement urging Bristol City Councillors to re-unite the North and South of our city by making use of existing railway infrastructure. His proposal was simple - to take whatever action is necessary to extend Severn Beach line and certain other local services to a re-opened station at Ashton Gate.

Eric explained how BCC's three year investment in an improved service on the Severn Beach line could easily be extended to develop links south of the river. Such a re-opening would also, of course, be an important step to laying the foundations for a full re-opening to Portishead, the Holy Grail for Bristol's rail network.

100,000 car journeys!

Action is even more necessary with the advent of the new Bristol City Stadium, whose 45,000 seats is estimated will produce an additional 100,000 car journeys per year. With a new, large Tesco store, massive new housing proposals nearby and the namy events held at the Ashton Gate estate, re-opening of Ashton Gate station really should be a no-brainer!

Bristol City Council needs to ensure that developers accept '106' agreements and contribute to rail investment as part of their porposed developments.

Their response to our FOSBR member's letter to date: SILENCE!

A Moth Full of Abuse

Earthquakes and flooding, famine and flu
Make for world problems, to name but a few.
Tyrants and terrorists stake out their ground
And my sister is plagued by some things she has found.

Those pale coloured squatters stay well under cover
Established, evolving, creating their brother
Quietly munching by day and by night
Before they emerge for a glimpse of daylight.

She opened her wardrobe to take out a suit
And spotted the signs of their ravage and loot
Then pulled out a drawer for a jumper to wear
But the next generation had found her cashmere

They haunt and distract like grey ghosts of night
To infiltrate areas well out of sight
So she washes and vacuums, searches and looks
Into corners and crannies, niches and nooks.

Then in process of ironing, layer by layer
She unfolded a towel and there sat a flier
Unconcerned, motionless, peaceful and calm
But it met its demise with a splat of her palm.

To cool her frustration she went for a bath
And found yet another. But who had the laugh?
After feasting on fibre and needing a drink
It was drowned in hot water and slipped down the sink.

They sneakily flit round rooms and just lurk
So has anyone found a cure that will work?
To rid her of these little venomous vampires
Blood sucking away in their woolly world empires.

On the train up to London, she opened her purse
When out flew a moth and she let out a curse
She jumped up in anger, went wide on rampage
And ended in court charged with criminal damage

Enough was enough, so my saga must end
As sadly my sister has gone round the bend
But fly swatch in hand she continues to peer
And sings as she flits on a wing and a prayer.

Pat Squire May 2009

Volunteering Fair

30th September

10am to 4pm

The Rock Community Centre,

Ridingleaze, Lawrence Weston

Bristol's Volunteer Development Agency, Volunteering Bristol is holding a Volunteering Recruitment Fair promoting a wide range of volunteering opportunities available in Bristol. The event will be held at The Rock Community Centre, Ridingleaze, Lawrence Weston, from 10am to 4pm on Tuesday 30th September.

Well known voluntary organisations working in Bristol, including Brunelcare, Young and Free and Lifeskills will be promoting their work and seeking volunteers to join them.

As well as finding out about more than 650 opportunities currently advertised by Volunteering Bristol, visitors will be able to speak directly with volunteers and staff from voluntary organisations to find out about the many diverse roles available in Bristol.

Entry is free and everyone is welcome.

Paul Madine

Service and Development Manager

Volunteering Bristol

Nature Notes

I am sure I join a number of locals in my concerns for the future of the Lamplighters Marsh and Daisy Field, that is why I have decided to write about some of the current residents of this area Slow-worms. I have been blessed in that these fascinating creatures have chosen to nest in my garden on several occasions. The adults are normally found hiding under stones or hedgerows, only occasionally basking in the sun. You may think they are slimy snakes but they are neither snake nor slimy. In fact they are legless lizards and this can be confirmed when studying their skeleton, which retains evidence of leg "buds". They also have eyelids, something that "true" snakes do not possess, and their slimy feel comes from the incredible smoothness of their skin. They like to inhabit humid areas in gardens, this includes the compost heap where they feed happily on slugs, snails, worms, and other small insects, in this respect they are clearly the gardener's friend. Slow-worms grow 12-15 inches long and their colour varies from greyish brown to bronze with females tending to have stronger colouring with a dark underbelly. Males develop blue spots after reaching three years of age.

Young are born in clear membrane sacks, a brood can be as many as 25 young but is more often 6-12.

If caught by a predator Slow-worms can cast off their tails, which continue to wiggle, this is a diversion tactic to trick the predator into releasing its prey. The Slow-worm can then escape and its tail regrows.

Slow-worms have an exceptionally long life-span living up to thirty years in the wild. They are a protected species in UK, and this is a strong ecological argument against the development of some land.


Family Activities 2 - 4pm Have a go at lots of creative hands on crafty sessions. Drop in sessions, no need to book. £1.50 a child (accompanied by adult).

Wed 29th July Thurs 30th July Fri 31st July Wed 26th Aug

Farm Food Day 12.30 - 3.30pm

Wed 12th Aug A fabulous free day for the whole family. Come and discover the range of food the farm produces. Free fun activities including Honey Fun and Flower Power. We will be selling delicious BBQ sausages and bacon sandwiches.

Fun farm afternoon 1.30 - 4.30pm

Thurs 20th Aug

A fabulous free day for the whole family. Come and discover the range of food the farm produces. Free fun activities including Honey Fun and Flower Power. We will be selling delicious BBQ sausages and bacon sandwiches.

Volunteer urgently needed . . .

A person is urgently needed to deliver Shire newspapers in Priory Road, can anyone help please?

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

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

Also, can anyoner deliver to numbers 596-636 Portway? Thank you.

What is the future of our green spaces

The City Council is developing an Area Green Space Plan for Avonmouth and Kingsweston. There have been a series of meetings with local organisations to obtain some local input to this plan. On 11 June, a session was held to discuss whether there was any low value land that could potentially be sold in order to fund improvements to the quality of remaining open space and to get opinions on what spaces are valuable to the community.

At that meeting the City's Area Green Space Team identified possible 2 sites within Shirehampton as "low Value" - these are part of the Daisy Field & a part of the Lamps Open Space Area, behind Nibley Road. A suggested development at the latter site was a single row of houses with access road. Both these sites were most vigorously defended by local people at the meeting, and their great value & uniqueness to the local community explained in detail.

They held a further meeting at the Bristol Conference Centre in Lower High Street, on 25 June. It was intended that this meeting would consider improvements to open spaces in Shirehampton. Following reports of the consideration of possible housing on the Daisy Field and Lamplighters, a very large number of people arrived, far more than the Conference Centre could accommodate.

There was a long informal meeting held outside, where all of those who could not be admitted to the "official" meeting had a dialogue with Richard Fletcher from Bristol Parks. More than 30 people attended the formal meeting. Rob McGovern, the Area Green Space Project Officer, emphasised that there are no proposals for development on any of the Green Spaces at present. However, the evolving Plan does recognise the need to raise money to improve existing green spaces, possibly by selling lower quality spaces.

Many people who had not attended previous meetings in the process had come to this one because they were alarmed by reports that the meeting on June 11th had discussed proposals to build a row of houses on the Lamplighters Open Space and to sell off the Daisy Field.

People were anxious to establish what the status of these 'proposals' was. Rob McGovern said "nothing has been proposed", and that the City has to set out all the 'options' for these spaces. The City wants to invest in these spaces. He tried to assure the meeting that any land assessed as low value would have to go through a 'rigorous process' before it could be put up for sale and that 'public opinion does have an impact on decisions

A number of participants commented on perceived Council failures, including Chris Callend who said that failure to communicate raises suspicion of Council; Arthur Barker who gave a catalogue of losses of amenity in Shirehampton; and Pat Todd who complained of the Council's handling of Jubilee Allotments development.

In general the meeting was suspicious and mistrustful of the Council's methods and intentions. There was a request for a Public Meeting that could accommodate the more than 100 people who were kept out of this meeting, BEFORE the draft plan for the area came out for consultation in January. There was a general feeling that decisions have already been taken about these sites and that these meetings and consultations are just window-dressing.

Rob McGovern tried to steer the meeting back to its original purpose - to explore what people want for the area's parks and green spaces. However people were reluctant to put forward suggestions lest they find that their ideas turned into justifications for selling off land they value highly. Rob McGovern tried to assure the meeting that there was "no sinister motive" in asking for ambitious proposals.

Ann Ford said there was a strong, general demand for improved children's play areas, and this view received broad support.

The view very strongly expressed by nearly everyone at the meeting was Leave Our Green Spaces Alone.

Letters to the Editor

River Bank and Daisy Field - Development?

Dear Editor,

I was among the 60+ people who arrived on 25/6/09 for what was believed to be a public meeting regarding the possible development of the riverbank and Daisy field only to be turned away. We were told that notices announcing the meeting were incorrect and only SCAF members were invited and allowed in.

The mood was one of anger and frustration and many tried to voice their opinions only to be told it would not be appropriate for us to do so until January 2010 when the city council will publish their findings towards a 20-year plan for 'under valued land.' Mr Fletcher from BCC is seeking 'ideas regarding the land from SCAF as representatives of the area.' This was the final straw for many who found it difficult to understand why SCAF members, many of whom do not reside in Shire, should be assuming they know what is best for residents who have lived here all their lives! Has a member of SCAF asked you about this issue? Are all these SCAF members residents of Shire? Were they democratically elected to speak on our behalf? When do SCAF meet?

I think it is time the Shirehampton Community Council was resurrected to deal with this and similar matters. Its members were Shire residents/workers elected by local people to represent them and their views to any body or their democratically elected councillor. The community council was respected and listened to by councillors - I know I was once one of them who fought and won many a battle on their behalf. They kept us informed through this worthy publication, which reaches most households. Any resident was welcome to attend and raise issues at their evening meetings held at a time when workers could attend, as could those with childcare responsibilities. If you feel as I do then let's talk.

Celia Lukins. Tel: 9822895

Open Spaces Strategy - public meeting to discuss options for The Daisy Field and Lamplighters land

Dear Mr Sims,

I am writing to you as a strategic director of Neighbourhoods under which department parks and green spaces falls, regarding early consultations on the possible identification of land in Shirehampton as 'low value.'

Having attended the stakeholders' consultation meeting on behalf of Cllr Siobhan Kennedy-Hall, regarding the possible identification of The Daisy Field and part of the Lamplighters Open Space as 'low value' land under the Council's Parks and Green Spaces Strategy, on Thursday 25th June, we are writing to request that the Council agree to a public meeting to enable residents to input directly into your deliberations at the earliest possible stage.

At an estimate, around 150 members of the public came to attend the meeting on 25th June, under the impression that it was a full public meeting. This significant turnout should be an indication to the Council of the strength of feeling amongst residents about the future of the Daisy Field and the Lamplighters' land and the concern of residents for their local area. On being refused entry to the stakeholders' meeting, taking place inside the Bristol Conference Centre, a large number of residents gathered outside. One of your officers, Richard Fletcher, took the initiative and made every effort to accommodate the situation by giving an impromptu talk and taking questions. Standing amongst the crowd, I was struck by the overall restraint amongst residents and the quality and patience of the questions raised and points made.

Although your officer took the initiative and made efforts to manage the situation by addressing the crowd and taking questions, this does not constitute an open public meeting, which residents said, very strongly, that they wanted. A public meeting should take place before any consultation process commences. A public meeting at this stage would serve several constructive purposes.

1. To enable a significant number of residents of Shirehampton to hear the Council's plans directly.

2. To provide the Council with the fullest possible picture of residents' views on the value of The Daisy Field and Lamplighters land, which would surely provide a very valuable context for any future deliberations.

3. To save the Council time and money by eliciting the public response to the proposals before significant resources are spent on elaborating them. If the Council intends to take any notice of the response to the public consultation, which is scheduled to take place early in 2010, it surely makes sense to understand residents' concerns and ascertain whether or not a plan is acceptable to residents before, rather than after investment of time and money is made.

Residents in Shirehampton and Avonmouth have sadly become used to raising the strongest possible objections to plans put forward in consultations, then watching as community facilities are stripped away, regardless of their efforts and against their will.

Please understand that the context against which this issue of selling off green space has been raised is this: The Robin Cousins Centre lies empty, after around three years. A much loved swimming pool has been demolished and the site still lies derelict and undeveloped. Residents have lost so many of their facilities after bitter struggles to oppose Council plans - and to many, green spaces seem the only facilities that are left. Residents have begun to wonder what kind of action it would take to reverse or halt plans that are presented to them under consultation. Therefore you will appreciate that based on the evidence to them by experience; residents are reluctant to wait for yet another consultation stage before registering their objections and reasons for them.

Therefore, with a view to aiding you in finding the best possible green spaces outcome for all our communities and with a view to mending the somewhat fractured relations between council consultation processes and those residents who are most affected by the decisions taken, I ask the Council to agree to a public meeting for residents, concerning plans for The Daisy Field and the Lamplighters land, to both explain the plans and options available and to listen first hand to residents' concerns. This surely would be of benefit to both parties.

Since this is a matter of public interest, I should advise that this letter will be made publicly available.

Yours sincerely Charlotte Leslie

Prospective Conservative MP, Bristol North West

Cllr Siobhan Kennedy-Hall (Con) Avonmouth


Dear Sirs,

'Shire' No. 450 - July 2009 I have just read St Mary's Notes in the above edition and I fear your correspondent, CME, has dropped something of a clanger with regard to the Community of Sisters of the Church.

Firstly, Ham in Surrey is not in the Yorkshire Dales and, secondly, all the Sisters have not returned there. Only Sister Annaliese has gone back to Ham - Sister Rosina and Sister Hilda Mary are still in residence in St Paul's (I understand another Sister will be joining them in due course) and Sister Sue and Sister Anita are still in the house in Clevedon. The work continues.

I write this letter because, as an Associate of the CSC, I am concerned that people will read this article and believe that tins of food etc, are no longer needed. The door ministry continues and grows. Food parcels are still given to those in need on a regular basis. Please, keep the groceries coming.

I hope you will print this letter to keep the records straight.

Many thanks

Deysia Botten

Shirehampton Cemetery

I was very pleased to read in the June edition, the complimentary remarks made about Shirehampton Cemetery. The article prompted me to provide some additional information that may be of interest to the "Shire" community.

Since 1898, almost 9,500 people, mostly local, have been buried within the grounds of Shirehampton Cemetery, St Mary's Road.

Sadly, we must inform that with unused burial space now exhausted, we can no longer provide new graves for coffin burial in this cemetery. Future burials can only be arranged in existing, privately owned plots.

Visitors to Shirehampton Cemetery may have noticed the newly created central garden, where seats have been provided for those wishing to rest or simply spend some quiet time; the area is tranquil - carefully planted with shrubs and trees. This garden also incorporates "Cremated Remains Plots" - small plots specifically for the burial of up to two caskets of cremated remains, provided with an attractive granite, ledger-type memorial.

Full details of these plots can be obtained from Canford Office - tel: 0117 9038280, or from a local funeral director. Vivienne Curtis - Registrar

Shirehampton Christmas Lights

Christmas Lights already I hear you say but we are thinking lights all year round and if the next months go by as quickly as the last seven, Christmas will soon be upon us.

The lights committee are having a meeting in The George, 6.30pm Saturday 1st August. All are welcome and if you would like to come along please do. You will not get roped into anything that you do not want to do but your ideas might be good.

We are thinking lights all year round as we collect money from the tins that are in shops around the village but even now some people say that they do not know where the tins are, for those people the following shops have tins: Autoparts, Bargain Booze plus Bobbetts, Boots, the Carpet Shop, Co-op, D & P Fashions, the Dentists Station Road, The George, Hawkins News, the Lifeboat, Maynews, TS Café, Bargain Card Shop, Nightingales, PJs Barbers, Station Road Pet Shop, The Post Office and last but not least Tubbs the Butchers. How many of you can give a copper or two? Thank you to all the people that do.

Mrs T. Tillett

2 Park Road, Shirehampton

Have your say on the Lamplighters open space

The city council is inviting local people to tell us what they think about draft design and development ideas for the Lamplighters play area in Shirehampton Park.

Following a consultation meeting in April earlier this year and visits to local primary schools the city council is now working with landscape designers to turn residents' ideas for Lamplighters play area into reality.

Once the designs are drawn up local people will have another chance to have their say - to make sure we've got it right. The draft designs will be presented to local people at a special event at City & Port of Bristol Sports and Social Club in the summer. Full details will be available soon.

The new play park for Shirehampton is possible thanks to a successful £2.5 million bid by the city council to the government's Play Pathfinder fund. Across the city local parks are being transformed with the Play Pathfinder cash. High quality, natural outdoor play spaces are being created to give thousands of children and young people in Bristol the chance to experience imaginative and creative play. To find out more, visit

Summer Fair at Bradley House Residential Home

For the third year, a Summer Fair will be organised in Bradley House gardens on:

Saturday August 15th 2009 Starting 3pm

As usual there will be numerous stalls and attractions: Bric-a-brac, food and drinks, Residents' Arts and Crafts, Barbecue, St Mary's Church home made products and a raffle at the end of the afternoon.

All the proceeds will go to St Mary's Church charities

No entrance fee. All welcome

Please join SCAF (Shirehampton Community Action Forum)

Just a quick letter to ask the residents of Shirehampton to find out about and hopefully join, SCAF in order to be more informed and involved in the changes that may be happening in Shirehampton - especially to the green spaces.

At a meeting (outside the Conference Centre on Thursday 25th June) an impressive number of residents turned out to voice their anger at the inittial proposals that may impact on the loss of some green areas in Shirehampton.

There is obviously and quite rightly, a lot of pride in our lovely area. If more of that passion were used in community matters 'before' any of these proposals became actual, there would be less cause for frustration. This is where SCAF can help.

The people who were invited to the meeting on Thursday were in fact SCAF members who have been working with the council over some time.

We are lucky to have a Forum like this serving Shirehampton. We should use it as a community so we can act instead of re-act. Its easy to join SCAF and you will be warmly welcomed.

Phone Ash on 0117 982 9963. Email: Web:

Mary - Station Road


The next meetings of Shirehampton Community Action Forum will take place on Wednesday 2 September (which will be the A.G.M.) at 7.00 pm, and Thursday 26 November, at 2.00 pm. Both meetings will be held at Shirehampton Public Hall.

We apologise for giving an incorrect date in SHIRE for our July meeting.

Working at the National Smelting Company

Here is my recollection of my time working at the National Smelting Company from 1939 onwards. It may be of interest to your readers. I left the works to come to Hereford to work for Henry Wiggin & Co Ltd who make nickel alloys.

I certainly enjoyed my days at Avonmouth and made a lot of friends there.

I was interested to read your article in the May issue of Shirehampton on the subject of 'Chemical Alley.' I worked at the National Smelting Company for twelve and a half years.

First in the I.M. (Improved Metallurgy) laboratory and then in the Research Laboratory. We worked on the black furnace in short spells while modifications were made in between times.

With the help of the furnace men from Caperpass (the company operated blast furnaces for making lead) we learned how to tap the furnace using an oxygen lance which was a quarter inch tube through which oxygen was passed allowing the iron tube to burn through brick at the base of the furnace to release the slag.

Zinc comes off as a vapour and with a blast furnace so do the gases from the smelting process. To separate these two they were passed through a condenser consisting of a paddle wheel rotating in molten lead. The droplets of lead picked the zinc around the droplets. The combined zinc/lead was then run off through a large u-tube with a temperature gradient allowing the zinc to flow on the surface of the lead.

The zinc with lead was trapped into a large brick lined ladle the contents being transferred to the refluxer a condenser 30 feet high consisting of trays. The lead being denser than the zinc was left in the trays as the mixture cascaded down. At the bottom the zinc, which by this time was 99.99% pure, was trapped and poured in ingot moulds to cool.

The shift I worked, was made up of Poles, who were marvellous workers. Nothing was too much trouble even the dirtiest of jobs. They were a pleasure to work with.

Edward Perrett (Porky)

83 Lichfield, Hereford HR1 2RL

Shire Baptist Church

Totstop visit from Avonmouth Fire Brigade took place on Tuesday 16th June providing an opportunity for fire fighters to talk to parents about safety in the home while the toddlers explored the fire engine. The fire brigade offer free smoke alarms and home fire safety visits. If you missed the Fire Brigade this time there will be an opportunity to meet them again in about 6 months time.

Totstop has changed in name and leader a few times since it began in the middle to late 70's. Until the last couple of years the group was run for several years by Sandra Wicking. Those who attended at that time will remember Sandra for her charismatic personality, artistic skills and caring nature. Lucie Broad, who had headed up the group in the past, took over when Sandra left. Now it is time to say Goodbye to Lucie. Totstop would like to thank Lucie for her creative abilities, innovation and kindness at Totstop. Best regards go to Lucie who will be going back into the teaching profession taking a refresher course in teaching this September.

Each new leader who comes to the group brings their own special contribution that provides the atmosphere for fun, learning, and friendships.

In September Sam Jury will be introducing 'mainly music' for Totstop age group of under 5's and their carers. This will take place on Tuesdays from 9am to 11am term time only and replaces Tuesday's Totstop.

Carol Gazzard



Anyone interested shouldcontact Claire Weston on 0791 6266939

or email

or conbtact Pete Bailey/chris Bustin

or go onto Facebook

BTCV Avon Enrichment Opportunities

General Volunteering with BTCV

Are you passionate about Environmental Conservation? Fancy meeting new people? Do you have spare time on your hands? Are you in search of outdoor related excitement and enrichment? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then a day volunteering with BTCV could be just what you are looking for.

We here at BTCV Bristol Conservation Project understand and appreciate how busy that 21st century living can be. That is exactly why we run not one, not two, but THREE separate tasks days each week - so you can squeeze a little bit more of what you fancy into that packed calendar. Current task days run on every Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. Tasks include tree planting, hedge laying; woodland management; path construction; dry stone walling and much more!

All we ask is that you get to the FREE pickup point outside the Shire Bar, Farr's Lane (near Perot's Bridge and the Arnolfini) in Bristol before 9.30am

If you would like a programme of events, give Will Marcombe a call on 0117 929 1624 or e-mail

NVQ 2 Environmental Conservation

If you enjoy conservation work and want to take it a stage further, you can volunteer with us AND get an accredited qualification at the same time. And if that wasn't enough it's also FREE of charge!!

When and Where?

Tuesdays: Hampton Row, Bath

Wednesdays: Weston Woods, Weston-super-Mare

Thursdays: Three Brooks Nature Reserve,

Bradley Stoke

Fridays: Eastville Park, Bristol

If you would like to find out more, give Jenny Darwin a call on 0117 929 1624 or email

BTCV Green Gym

BTCV Green Gym is a unique scheme to help you become physically and mentally healthier by taking part in conservation activities to improve the environment, such as tree planting, woodland management, creating wildflower gardens and hedge laying.

Who can take part?

Anyone, though under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.

The BTCV Green Gym is a flexible programme: you can join in for just an hour, or up to three hours per session.

As there is a range of activities in any one session, you can start on gentle tasks and build up to more challenging ones.

Shirehampton Evergreens

Members pictured on the boat trip down the River Wye, June 30th, afterwards there was an excellent lunch at the Old Court Hotel, Symonds Yat. It was worth the visit and everyone enjoyed the day out.

Oasis Academy Principal's Column

The summer holidays have begun and we have now waved the students off on their well-deserved break. We will be seeing the majority of them again in September when we will be working hard to build on the successes of the first Academy year, but our GCSE students have now left us for good to embark on the next chapter in their lives.

The Academy had the chance to say a formal 'good-bye' at the Year 11 prom, which took place at Leigh Court Mansion on Friday 3rd July on a beautiful summers evening and was a thoroughly enjoyable night. There was a fantastic range of outfits and ostentatious modes of transport - one group of parents dressed up as the cast of Scooby Doo to accompany the students to the 'do' and some students even arrived in a fire engine! You can see the photos at

This year's GCSE students have worked incredibly hard and set a fantastic example. On behalf of everyone at the Academy, I wish them all the best for the future.

Looking to the future, Oasis Academy Brightstowe will be holding an Open Evening on 22nd September from 6.30 - 8.30pm. I know that choosing a secondary school for your child is one of the most important decisions you are likely to make, which is why I would like to extend an invite to all local parents and carers to come and find out more about us.

Tours of our excellent facilities will be taking place, teaching staff will be on hand to answer your questions and refreshments will be provided.

To find out more, please contact us on 0117 353 2600 or visit

We Took Our Exams Early

Year 9 students Georgina Reid and Reece Beeton took their GCSE exams early at Oasis Academy Brightstowe. Both Reece and Georgina are part of a growing number of capable students at the Academy who are being put forward to take a selection of their GCSE examinations up to two years in advance. The Academy provided a programme of revision support to ensure that they could keep up with their work in other subject areas whilst preparing for the GCSE's.

Reece sat both higher level maths and science examinations this summer and felt they went well. He said: "Being put forward to take my exams early made me feel good because the teachers here obviously have faith in me. It was weird sitting in the hall with the Year 11's, but hopefully I'll be a bit less stressed when I get to their position. I want to attend the Academy sixth form and study art, so getting my maths and science out of the way early leaves me more time to concentrate on this."

Georgina took higher level maths, science and English Literature and is on course for good grades. She said: "It felt really good to be able to do some of my exams early and we had lots of help preparing so I wasn't too worried. We went to after-school revision sessions and had one-to-one help from our subject teachers, which made me feel lots better about maths in particular. I hope that I will have done well because I would like to be a lawyer when I leave school."

Principal Julie Winterman said: "We are immensely proud to have such gifted students. The Academy is committed to making learning personal for each young person and we know that individuals are ready to move on at different times. We are keen to celebrate talent and the Academy has worked hard to ensure that all early entry exam takers have been properly supported. On behalf of the whole Academy I want to congratulate those students who sat their GCSE examinations this year."

191st St Mary's Scout Troop

On Thursday 4 June, Ethan Penny was invested into the 191st Scout Troop by Scout Leader Grant Watkins and GSL Andy Goddard.

Facelift for Shire Guides HQ!

On Wednesday17th June the Girl guides HQ in Shirehampton was treated to a welcome lick of paint and tidy up, all courtesy of AXA Pensions technical team. After our successful application to the AXA Community Challenge Scheme the team of eight employees, led by ex Shire local, Mark Edwards, made light work of waterproofing the entire hut and were soon clearing the grounds, cutting the grass and even mending cupboards in the kitchen. On behalf of the HQ committee and all the girls, we would like to offer our sincere thanks to them all for their hard work and enthusiasm in throwing themselves into the challenge. Hopefully we will be able to use their help again next year! Amanda Edwards - Chairperson Avonside H.Q

Coming Soon to Shirehampton mainly music

A fun music and movement group for parents and care givers to enjoy with their children

Starting September 8th 2009

Day and time: Tuesday from 9am (9.30am start)

Venue: Shirehampton Baptist Church,

Station Road

Cost: £2 per family per session

(first session free!)

To register for our free trial session contact Cartol on 0117 982 5662

(Places allocated on a first come, first served basis)

Community Clean up, Day of Action


Volunteers needed - Come & help tidy up Shire

Look out for posters around Shire with full details

For further information, please contact:

Cheryl Coles, BCC Safer Bristol Partnership

Tel: 07810 506 846

PCSO Zaheer Bulbul, Police Tel: 0117 945 43 80

What would you do with the money?

Your Neighbourhood Partnership is currently looking at what can be achieved with the area's allocation of approximately £20,000 for this current financial year.

Last year we supported, through our partner organisations, various small groups. in Lawrence Weston, Shirehampton and Avonmouth.

This year we are keen to hear your ideas about how to allocate the funding. If your group has an idea, which would benefit from a small investment, please let me know. Similarly if you aren't part of a group but have an idea that would have an impact on the whole community - get in touch!

We cannot fund individuals, however if you have an idea let us know as there are groups in your area who may be able to help and we can put you in touch.

So, if you have an idea which you think would benefit people living in Avonmouth, Lawrence Weston, Sea Mills or Shirehampton (or all four of course!) please email a rough outline to or post to Community Development Unit 6, York Court, Wilder St, St Paul's, Bristol BS2 8QH. Alternatively call 0117 9036825.

Kingsweston and Avonmouth

Neighbourhood Partnership

Activity Time at the Baptist Church Hall

For 2 mornings only

10am to 12 noon

Tuesday 25th August


Tuesday 1st September

Crafts * Games * Workshops

Age ~ over 5's

Consent forms available at the

Baptist Church Hall Sundays

From 11.45am to 12.30pm

St Mary's News

Hi Folks!

We are still enjoying our 'Open Gardens' season and there are many gardens still to visit this summer. Have a look on the notice board in the church to see which garden is open and when. A very pleasant way to enjoy an afternoon or evening.

On Saturday 4th July, Duncan Jennings was ordained Priest at St Mary's Church, Southampton. Duncan has been curate now for 12 months at St Christopher's, Thornhill and has very quickly been accepted as part of the church family there. There were many folk from his own parish at the ordination service. The service was conducted by the Bishop of Southampton and there were four other Deacons ordained Priest with Duncan. This now means that Duncan can take all types of services including Holy Communion and marriages. Canon Christine says she hopes to invite Duncan to celebrate a Holy Communion Service at St Mary's some time in the not too distant future. I am sure there are many folks who will look forward to that. I expect there are many of you who remember Stuart Rason who was attached to St Mary's before being ordained Deacon to serve in the parish of Crawley and Littleton. He was ordained at the same time but at St Mary's Church, Old Basing by the Bishop of Basingstoke. We will remember them both in our prayers at this important milestone in their ministry.

On that same Saturday, it was also our Patronal Festival Weekend during which we held our Summer Fayre. It was very busy during the morning with much of Gill Sawyer's home produce being quickly purchased. Cream teas were served during the afternoon and we were entertained with music by the Filton Concert Brass in the churchyard. So far the event has raised over £1500 and there are still a number of items and produce available for purchase at the west end of the church - so look in and have a cup of tea or coffee and see what is still left. On the Patronal Festival Sunday the Holy Communion Service was conducted by Bishop Mike - Bishop of Bristol who also preached a very amusing sermon. During the service the Bishop dedicated the new Bishops' Chair to the memory of the late George Goulding, which has been expertly handcrafted by our well known local woodcraftsman - Dick Helme. As many of you will recall in the January edition of 'Shire' I mentioned that Dick has used the wood from the cherry tree, which used to stand in our former Church Centre Garden, to construct the chair. On the rear of the chair is a small brass plaque stating that the chair had been given by George Goulding's family in his memory. We were delighted to welcome George's family and Dick Helme to the service. An important day for them all! Thanks must also go to all who decorated the church with flowers and made it look absolutely stunning - a lot of hard work was involved in making it look so beautiful.

On Tuesday, 30th June we had our Annual Parish Outing, which this year was to Oxford. After a superb 'Brunch' in the church, we were transported by coach to the City of Oxford where we had a few hours free to look around and then we all met up for a conducted tour around Christchurch Cathedral and College. This was followed by a visit to the Picture Gallery and then afternoon tea in the 400 years old Great Hall. (This hall has appeared in some of the Harry Potter films and was easily recognisable). After tea we returned to the cathedral for Choral Evensong (which was really the icing on the cake for me!) There were 14 boys and four probationers accompanied by a number of undergraduate scholars singing alto, tenor and bass. The sound they produced was magnificent and you could understand every word they sang - no peculiar or unusual diction. After Evensong we rejoined our coach, which returned us to Shirehampton by 9pm - a truly wonderful day out. Thanks must go to Gill Sawyer and Canon Christine for organising such a super day which went off without the slightest hitch.

Now that August is here we once more look forward to our Seniors Summer Sensation which runs from Monday 24th until Friday 28th. This is always very entertaining and fantastic value for money!

Now, I have a date for your diary - Saturday 1st August, when Doreen Bull is organising a Quiz Evening at The Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road. This will commence at 7.30pm. Bring your own drink. There will also be a raffle and a retiring collection - all proceeds to go to The Tithe Barn Refurbishment Appeal. Tickets for this event available from Doreen or the Church Office.

Another date for your diary is Friday 7th August, when we will have the opportunity to take part in 'Tim Forder's Car Treasure Hunt.' This is very popular as Tim always finds a super venue with excellent food at our mystery destination. Menus can be obtained from Tim or the Church Office. We start off at 6pm from the Health Centre car park on what promises to be a good evening of fun!

Also don't forget to visit 'Bradley House Summer Fayre' during the afternoon of Saturday 15th August. This is held in their very spacious rear garden. Elizabeth and Monique will welcome you all with open arms.

The last Bank Holiday of the summer season is on Monday, 31st August when Canon Christine will be having an Open Garden Day at the Vicarage, from 10am until 4pm when coffee, lunches and teas will be served. All are welcome - so please come! If you intend coming for lunch would you please see Gill Sawyer at the Church Office and obtain a ticket for the first or second sitting as seating is limited.

Our Harvest Festival this year will be a little earlier than in previous years. The Harvest Supper will be held in church on Friday evening 11th September. Tickets will be available from Gill Sawyer at the Church Office. Sunday 13th September is the day of our Harvest Festival - which will commence with Kids Klub at 8.30am followed by the main service of the day - Holy Communion at 10am Further details will appear next month.

Finally, there are a number of spare places on our Parish Weekend to Abbey House, Glastonbury, from Friday 25th until Sunday 27th September. The cost of this weekend is £104 per person. Please see Gill Sawyer or Canon Christine if you are interested in taking up one of these spare places.

Before I go, did you hear about the man who came home from work to find his small son busily drawing on a piece of paper. "What picture are you drawing?" said the little boy's father. "God" said the little boy, whilst his father looked on smiling. "You can't draw God, no one knows what he looks like" said the little boy's father. "They soon will" came the reply, "cos I've nearly finished!"

Bye for now CME

Alderman Jack Fisk OBE 1922-2009 RIP

Our Branch President Alderman Jack Fiske 'crossed the bar' on 5th June 2009 aged 87 after a short but serious illness which he bore with great fortitude. Jack, was a very good friend to our branch, since we formed in 1996 and opened many doors in the City of Bristol, which he served as Lord Mayor on two occasions on 1976 and 1997. He helped us achieve our fervent wish for a MN Memorial on the Welsh Back and our Dock Cottage Museum on the Cumberland Basin.

The red ensigns at both venues were lowered to o half-mast for seven days as a token of our respect. In 2002 he helped bestow our finest accolade, the Freedom of the City of Bristol on the Bristol Branch of the Merchant Navy Association. We owe him a great debt.

Alderman Derek Tedder DL, our Vice-President, said: "Jack, a true friend, a great man, a warrior of the old school, spent a lifetime helping those in need. Jack touched the hearts of all who know him. It was a real privilege to have known him and he will be sadly missed."

In 2003 Jack was elected Branch President and he continued to serve us faithfully until the end. He travelled to most of our events and rarely missed a members' meeting.

Jack served on the Pilotage Committee for many years. When he retired from that post he was presented with a water colour painting by the late John Parsons, of the cutter, by the Bristol Channel Pilots in recognition of his help over the years. The pilot cutter, still in use, was named 'Robina Fisk' after his wife. There were happily married for 64 years.

Although Jack, who grew up in Avonmouth, was unable to serve during WW2 owing to eyesight problems, he helped repair Bristol's bombed-out areas as a bricklayer. His brother Alan who passed away in 1995 was a WW2 veteran of the Merchant Navy. Jack recently unveiled a commemorative brass plaque in his honour at the MN Memorial on the Welsh Back, Bristol.

Forty-four of our members and friends attended Jack's funeral and the Deputy Lord Mayor of Hanover flew over especially for the event. The City of Bristol is twinned with the City of Hanover. Jack paid a large part in fostering the union. He was made a Freeman of the City of Hanover some time ago. That honour is rarely given to an individual. Hanover was the first German city to be twinned with a British city in 1947.

In 1994 Jack was awarded an OBE for his services to local government and in 1998 he was awarded an honorary MA degree from Bristol University. To achieve so much in one lifetime was remarkable. He was an inspiration to us all, even in his eighties.

The funeral service led by Rev David Lloyd was held in St Mary's Church in Henbury on Wednesday 17th June 2009, with standing room only for late arrivals. Our members provided a guard of honour at the church. John Fisk, Jack's son, read out family reflections to the congregation and our padre the Rev Philip Auden DL gave a very moving address, in his own inimitable style. Our national standard bearer from the Shirehampton 'wings' Barry, newly returned from national duty in Normandy, our branch standard bearer David Caple from Sea Mills and Paul Husher the Pill and North Somerset branch standard bearer, contributed to the occasion. Robina Fisk was most impressed by their stature and bearing. Our patron Sir James Tidmarsh and his wife Lady Virginia attended to pay their last respects. The Lord Mayor of Bristol, Christopher Davies and the Lady Mayoress, Susan Davies, were among the dignitaries present. Jack is survived by his wife Robina, daughter Mary, son John and many grandchildren and great grandchildren. Our sincere condolences are extended to all of them.

Hamish Grant, Chairman, Merchant Navy Association, Bristol Branch.

Help avoid clashing events

We are very fortunate that in Shirehampton there are a large number of community organisations. Many of these organisations sometimes hold events, such as sales, concerts, or open meetings, which they hope will attract local people.

There have been a number of cases where two or more organisations have organised events, similar in nature to another event from a different local body. By the time the clash of dates has become known, it has been too late to rearrange either activity. If each organiser had known of the other's plans at an early stage, it might have been possible to change one of the dates with little or no inconvenience.

When these clashes of dates happen, everyone loses. If the events are broadly similar, there will be some people who would have liked to go to both of them, but could not if they were at the same time. The organisers of both events lose out, as neither of them gets the attendance they had hoped for.

SHIRE is pleased to announce a solution for this problem. Our website,, has a Coming Events Message Board, which can act as a community diary. We hope as many organisations as possible will use it, for two purposes.

The first is to put a brief message recording the intention to hold an event, with a very brief description, but very importantly to include the date. Anyone else considering when to hold an event can then check to see if there are any dates to avoid, to prevent a clash with a similar activity.

The second use of the Message Board is to promote an event to local people. In this case, the message should give enough details of time, date, place, and nature of the event, to whet people's appetites, and help them to decide to come to it. This can be done as early as you wish, but also for short notice events when it is too late to publicise them in SHIRE.

It is very easy to access the Message Board, both to read messages and to post your own. Go to our website, and click on the "Message Boards" item at the bottom of the page. You can then select the Coming Events board. Click on "Post a new message" to add a message, and follow the on-screen instructions.

If you do not have a computer, you can access our website at the Public Library.

We do hope that all event organisers will use this facility, as it will only be a success if many organisations use it.

Forthcoming Events

Bristol Harbour Festival, Friday July 31at - August 2nd.

International Balloon Fiesta at Ashton Court, Long Ashton, Thursday, August 6th - Sunday August 9th. Free entry.Car parking £7 in advance or £8 on the day.

Parish Weekend, September 25th - 27th. Cost £104 per person. See Gill Sawyer or Canon Christine if you are interested in taking spare places.

Summer Safety and Security

Avon and Somerset Police are reminding householders to keep doors and windows locked even if you are at home, gardening or enjoying a barbecue, should the summer weather heat up. These precautions help the police clamp down on summer burglaries and related crime.

Shirehampton Model Railway Club

Club's Main Exhibition

Saturday 12th September 2009

Shirehampton, Bristol

Model Railway Exhibition presented by

Shirehampton MRC

at Shirehampton Public Hall, Station Road, Shirehampton, Bristol BS11 9TX

(2 miles from junction 18 M5)

10.30am - 17.00pm

Eight layouts on show plus trade stands

Refreshments available and disabled friendsly facilities

Tel: Club Secretary

Mr T. Davies on

0117 9094915