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Back to November 2009 SHIRE December 2009 Fowards to January 2010 SHIRE
News Index

Remembrance Sunday - Shirehampton Remembers

What’s on in December

Christmas Services in Shirehampton

Letters to the Editor

Shirehampton Craft Exhibition

Tithe Barn Q and A

New Photographers for ‘Shire’

St Mary’s News

Shire Green Spaces Update

Good News for Lamplighters Open Space

New players wanted

Four Villages August Fun Days Shirehampton

Remembrance Sunday - Shirehampton Remembers

We show below a few pictures taken at the Remembrance day observation at Shirehampton War Memorial.  You can see a slideshow with more pictures by clicking here

What’s on in December

Tuesday 1st Dec

CHRISTMAS PARTY FOR Avonmouth Ladies Club

ST MARY’S CRAFT GROUP – weekly 2 – 3.30pm in church

PENPOLE LUNCH CLUB – weekly 11.30am – 2pm – 2 courses, tea/coffee, cake £3.25. Details from Sandra on 01179381236

MAINLY MUSIC FOR UNDER 5S –at Shirehampton Baptist Church, weekly during term time 9 – 11am

AGE CONCERN ADVICE SESSIONS Drop-in every Tuesday 9.30-11.30am at 115 High Street, Shirehampton for people over 55 (or their carers)

Wednesday 2nd Dec

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 Street

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 for those with some movement experience

EVERY WEDNESDAY Avonmouth Hockey Club practice night at Henbury Comprehsnive School 7.30-9pm.

Thursday 3rd Dec

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 and every Thursday afternoon 2-3pm at St Mary’s Church, Shirehampton (session sponsored by the church)

KEEP FIT Monday and Thursday 12 – 1pm at Avonmouth Medical Centre. Ring 9824322 for details

STROKE SUPPORT every Thursday at the PBA Club, Nibley Rd, 1.30-4pm

ADVICE SERVICE at St Mary’s every Thursday 2-3pm

Friday 4th Dec

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

KEEP FIT weekly at the Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road, 10.30 – 11.30am.

Saturday 5th Dec

COFFEE AND CAKES Shirehampton Methodist Church, first Saturday of each month 10am-11.30am. All welcome.

Monday 7th Dec

KEEP FIT at Avonmouth Community Centre 7.30 – 8.30pm

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

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.

THE PULSE ACUPUNCTURE CLINIC every Monday at the Health Centre

Wednesday 9th Dec

BRIGHT HOUR Women’s Fellowship, Baptist Church 2.30pm fortnightly.

Friday 11th Dec

CHRISTMAS MEAL at the Holiday Inn, Frenchay for Avonmouth Ladies Club

Sunday 13th Dec

ECUMENICAL CAROL SERVICE at Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road 4.45-5.30pm led by St Mary’s Church.

Friday 18th Dec

END OF SCHOOL TERM 3 for all local schools

Monday 21st Dec

LOCAL HISTORY GROUP in the Library at 2.30pm

Evergreens day trip to Cadbury Garden Centre and Weston super Mare (details 9381725)

CHRISTMAS WITH SANTA The Public Hall 3-5pm

Tuesday 22nd Dec

AVONMOUTH LADIES CLUB – 7.30pm at St Andrew’s Church Hall


Wednesday 23rd Dec

SHIREHAMPTON STITCHERS at the Public Hall 7.30pm (every third Wednesday)

Thursday 24th Dec

DIABETES UK 7.30pm at the Penpole Tenants Association Hall, The Ridge

CARERS’ GROUP meets at Avonmouth Medical Centre 10am – 12noon

CARERS’ GROUP meets at Ridingleaze, Lawrence Weston at 2pm

CHRISTMAS EVE - CAROLS ON THE GREEN with Rev Chris Grant, the new Baptist Minister as our guide and the Band of North West Bristol under their conductor Mr Sims

Additional Local Activites

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 3125530

BUMP AND RHYME for babies and toddlers every Monday 11.20-11.40am followed by Story Time 12 Noon – 12.15pm at the Library

FOUR VILLAGES TOY LIBRARY Beachley Walk, Old Barrow Hill. Annual subscription £3, 50p to hire a toy.


Term 3 Monday 4 January to Friday 12 February

Term 4 Monday 22nd February to Thursday 1 April

Term 5 Monday 19 April to Friday 28 May

Term 6 Monday 7 June to Friday 23 July

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


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 or email by 10th of the month

Young People at Shire Baptist Church

A young man of eighteen years will be baptised ‘John the Baptist style’.

Apparently this requires a lot of water, like the sea, a river, or a large deep pool, plus a statement of Christian faith from the young man to everyone gathered around the pool. Shire Baptist Church in Station Road has a large deep pool situated at the back of their Church. This will be revealed during November and filled with warm water for this momentous event. Usually, and for safety reasons, it is covered by a lift up floor and carpet.

In December the Young People along with Arts for Ministry will be taking part in the Family Christmas Celebration at 10.30am on Sunday the 20th December at the Baptist Church. Why not pop in for the festive season, call in to find out more about ‘John the Baptist style’ or ask to see the large deep pool hidden under the carpet.


Let There Be Light

Photo by Bob Pitchford

As many Shire readers will have noticed, the lights and Christmas trees have appeared once again, as if by magic, with a little help from the elves of the Shirehampton Christmas Lights Association (SCLA) volunteers.

As regular readers will know on October 3rd members of the Shirehampton Christmas Lights Association walked the old boundaries of the Kings Weston estate. Twelve ‘intrepid explorers’ set off on the round trip from the car park of Shirehampton Park on a dull autumn day. The weather stayed dry for most of the walk which made for a pleasant stroll.

The SCLA treasurer, Cedric Rich said ‘Thank you to all readers of Shire who kindly sponsored a member (or all of us combined) to raise funds to help towards providing the display for 2009’. He added ‘We raised a credit crunch defying sum of £545 for the fund. It may be a bit early but Happy Christmas!’

SCLA Vice-chairman Christopher Batt added ‘Following the success of last year’s hastily organized official switch-on of the lights we have decided to make this an annual event. The official annual switch-on and mince pies event for 2009 will take place on at 6pm on Saturday, November 28th outside the Co-op in the High Street. We may even persuade SCLA Chairman, William Duguid, to dress up as Christmas tree again! We hope to see you there!’

You can see a slideshow with more pictures by clicking here

Avonmouth Community Centre Family Fun Day and Table Top Sale

Saturday 12th December - 10am to 2pm

Come and join us for this fun event and take the opportunity to relax by benefiting from trying complementary therapy and taking part in various craft and growing activities.

If you would like the opportunity to raise some money before Christmas the cost of a table is £5

The cost of admission is 50 pence

With a small charge for activities

Lunch will be available

All funds raised will go towards the

Community Centre.

For further information please ring

Avonmouth Community Centre on 9827445

Christmas Services in Shirehampton


20th December. Family Christmas Celebration. 10.30 am. Carols by Candelight. 6.30 pm

24th December. Warming Refreshments at the Church before Carols on the Green.

25th December. Christmas Morning Service. 10.30 am.


Sunday 20th December. 4:00pm Carols by Candlelight Rev. Dr. Jacky Quarmby

Christmas Day – 25th December. 11:00am – Rev. Dr. Jacky Quarmby

Sunday January 17th 2010. 11:00am – Covenant and Communion Service Rev.Dr. Jacky Quarmby


Welcome With Us This Christmas

Sunday December 13th 4:30 Festive Music with the Band, plus Festive Food

Sunday December 20th 4:30 The Christmas Scene plus Mince Pies, etc

Wednesday December 23rd 7:00pm Carols for Christmas. Join us for a short time of Carol Singing and Mince Pies as we celebrate Christmas

A taste of Asia comes to Shirehampton

At the end of last term, Prerna Chandiramani, a Bristol based Indian dancer, visited Shirehampton Primary School. The two reception classes learned about the Hindu Festival of Lights, known as Diwali. They also had the opportunity to try on some Indian clothes and learn some dance moves.

The year six pupils have been comparing Hollywood and Bollywood as part of the ‘Lights, Camera, Action’ topic. Prerna taught the children dance moves that are typical of traditional Indian dance and then went on to show and teach them the style of dancing now as ‘Bollywood.’ While the children were cooling down after the dancing some children were sown how to wear a sari and looked at typical dancing clothes. Pupils were given the opportunity to question Prerna about life in Mumbai and the Indian film industry.

Letters to the Editor

Christmas Lights

Thank you all very much for your generous donations into the Christmas Lights tins. So many people have said how much the trees help the village and with your continued support we hope they will remain a feature of Christmas in Shirehampton.

We can only manage the display because you keep putting your change in the tins, so please keep on helping us throughout the year and thanks again.

Happy Christmas to you all

Cedric Rich, Treasurer, Christmas Lights


Charity Search would like to wish all our customers a Merry Christmas and thank them for their support. Also thank you to our volunteers Betty, June, Gill, Meg, Gwyneth, Pauline, Heather and Mary. Also thanks to Reene, Brian, and Cliff for their help and support all year.

Best wishes to them all from Lor and Jan.

(Thank you for your donation. Ed.)


SHIREHAMPTON METHODIST CHURCH would like to thank everyone who came to their “Christmas Fayre” on Saturday, November 7th. It was lovely to see you all and we raised over £300 for church funds. We look forward to seeing you at our next Coffee Morning which is on Saturday, December 5th from 10:00 – 11:30


Dear Editor,

Many thanks for placing news from our newsletter in ‘Shire’. It is good publicity for our Association. As you can see on Page 2, our ‘Poet Laureate’ Capt. Joe Earl has been awarded a Merchant Navy Medal for his services to shipping and our association. We take great pleasure in his award.

Yours sincerely Hamish Grant (Capt)

Chairman, M.N. Association, Bristol Branch

Captain Joe Earl

Our members will no doubt join me in congratulating Joe on being awarded a Merchant Navy Medal for services to shipping and the Bristol branch of the Merchant Navy Association.

Joe is one of only 15 who have been selected for this year for the annual award and he will no doubt be honoured to be presented with the medal on the 30th November by Lord West of Spithead at Trinity House, Tower Hill, London.


Dear Editor,

Thank you for publishing my letter quoting my reminiscences at the National Smelting Works. I was hoping to hear from my colleagues but I suppose it is asking too much at 87 years of age!

I did however, get a reply from Marisa Rickard, whose grandfather worked there also. She asked that anyone who remembered him might like to write to her direct. Her address is: 33 Heathfield Avenue, Dover CT16 2NX or email

She would be pleased to hear from anyone with any information about her grandfather, whose name was Alfons Bachen.

With kind regards Edward Perrett

Robert Nathaniel McDowell (22.01.1932 – 26.09.2009)

Born in Belfast, Rob joined the Merchant Navy at 17 years of age. He met a ‘Shire’ girl, Margaret Cook and in 1954 they married in St Mary’s Church.

Rob was a docker for many years and talked fondly of his ‘babies’ – young men who were shown the ropes by Rob.

He was a life member of the Shirehampton Workmen’s Club. Many a night was spent with his wife at ‘The Club’ dancing an enjoying the company of his friends. Rob loved his garden, holidays abroad with his wife and friends but most of all Rob loved his family especially his wife Margaret. Rob thought having lived in the area for 60 years he should be a ‘villager’ and not just know as someone who married a local village girl.

Rob leaves a broken-hearted wife, son Robert, daughter-in-law Margaret and devoted grandchildren Sarah and Robert.

Rob was a big man with an even bigger heart. He loved his life to the full and leaves many broken-hearted friends.

Rob’s first great grandchild was born three weeks after his death and although they never met, the family know that Rob will be watching over little Stanley.

Rob’s funeral was held at St Mary’s Church with Rev Canon Christine Froude conducting the service. Rob’s son, Robert read a poem. Grand-daughter, Sarah paid a personal tribute and grandson, Robert read a poem at the wake and asked family and friends to raise their glasses to Rob.

All who knew Rob will know that the world will be a poorer, sadder place without him.

The family wish to thank all who attended the service, sent flowers, cards and letters of which there were many.

Shirehampton Craft Exhibition

Another year gone, another exhibition over and yet more praise to heap on the exhibitors and helpers. The number of exhibits was down but the quality remained extremely high. We were sorry that Jackie Selman was poorly so couldn’t demonstrate her decorated eggs (get well soon Jackie) and not so many youngsters participated this year but well done to the 191 cubs for their coasters and pen holders made from painted lolly sticks, and Adelaide Fisher, a young lady who makes exquisite bead necklaces and bracelets .

We always look forward to the old favourites, - the quilts, patchwork, embroidery, knitted garments, cross stitch, lace work, tapestry, crochet, cards, wall hangings, woodwork, pottery and some wonderful exploding Christmas cards. All were present and the standard as high if not higher than in previous years. Jayne Warren is on an Antipodean Adventure but some of her work was on show and created much comment for the innovative design and colours. The lovely quilt that was hanging on the stage was made by Barbara Mazur although sadly due to illness, she had to rely on a friend to finish it off. Our best wishes go to Barbara and she can rest assured her quilt was displayed to very good effect against the backdrop of the dark stage curtains.

It is always good to welcome new exhibitors and unusual items. Alan and Martin Purdey entered woodturning and leatherwork , J Brown had made a fantastic model of HMS Tiger, Jenny Low showed Chinese knotwork and a tapestry of the Hong Kong hand-over to China in 1997, there was a game of Puckers and a Handelabra – how marvellous that we have all this local talent and ideas. Jewellery maker, Jane Zampella had some gorgeous silver plated and turquoise pieces and tiaras on display and a wonderful Venetian style ball mask.

The Stitchers’ project this year was chicken door stops and didn’t they look wonderful gathered round nests of wooden eggs (no wonder some of them looked rather surprised!).

Dick Helme had his usual vast array of woodwork including this season’s signature item agate candle lamps – very pretty. He also put on show his new interest of leatherwork – what next I wonder. St Mary’s church kindly allowed us to borrow the bishop’s chair, kneeler and side table made by Dick complete with the seat pad made by Doreen Hunt and the kneeler pad by Vivien Hearn. It is not widely known, but should be, that the gorgeous lily which adorns the head rest was made by John Horrell, a wood carver from Mangotsfield and with local family associations. This lily turned a fine piece of furniture into a work of art.

As always our demonstrators must be thanked for their dedication in spending so much of the week sharing their crafts, Pat Davidson and her card making, Doreen Hunt doing lacework and Alice Robson with her marvellous sewing machine churning out motifs by the dozen, all contributed to the interest and variety of the event.

The numbers visiting were up this year thanks partly to the good weather and probably to Shire’s answer to Mr Benn in the guise of Dick Helme who donned a different Wild West costume each day and paraded round the village distributing leaflets. I believe he raised a laugh as well as the profile of the show and featured in the Bristol Evening Post in an article on the exhibition.

The event would be a non-starter if it weren’t for those who meet during the year to organise it, turn up on the Sunday before to set up the infrastructure, then on Monday to set out the displays, those who steward, do the refreshments and help clear up again on the last day. They know who they are and how grateful we are to them, however, I will make a special mention of Jenny Winfield who took the day off from work on Monday to do her usual expert job of deciding what to put where. So, well done again for another triumph, and thank you on behalf of all visitors for keeping this local ‘institution’ going. JH

Tithe Barn Q and A

Many people in Shirehampton are keen to know what the plans are for the Tithe Barn now that it has been purchased by St Mary’s Church. Here, Canon Christine answers some of the most commonly asked questions.

How do you see the Tithe Barn being used once the refurbishment is complete?

Our vision for the Tithe Barn is to create a facility where all members of the community, of whatever age or background, can meet to enjoy social time together, learn new skills or receive advice and support.

What sort of activities will take place there?

We hope to be able to provide a range of activities and services to meet the needs and wishes of the community. Many of them will be an extension of the things that already go on in St Mary’s, others will be completely new but the important thing is that they will all be open to anyone who wants to take part.

Some examples of the activities we plan to hold include:

  • Lunch club and keep fit sessions for the elderly
  • Social and educational activities for school-aged children
  • Parenting support groups
  • Advice sessions and support groups on a range of issues

Will it be available for hire to outside groups or for social occasions?

Not straight away. In the first place, we need to get used to managing such a large facility ourselves and want to make sure we’re 100 per cent comfortable with how the building functions best before we start inviting others to make use of it. This will be something to consider in the future.

What physical changes are you planning to make?

We want the space to be as flexible and accessible as possible so a large part of the work will be re-ordering the main entrance and stairs inside so that we can create separate meeting rooms and have more than one activity taking place at once.

We also want the Barn to be as welcoming and comfortable as possible and so we will need to modernise the heating, lighting, catering and toilet facilities.

Our architect is currently finalising the detailed plans and we hope to be able to share those with the community very soon.

How long will the work take and when do you think the Barn will be open again?

We hope our plans will be finalised and submitted to Bristol City Council very soon so that we can tender for builders early in the New Year. If everything goes to plan, and we can raise all the necessary funds, we would then like to be able to start work in April and re-open the building by the end of 2010.

How have you taken into account the comments made at the open morning and consultation event?

We were delighted that over 200 members of the community took part in the consultation, some of whom had never set foot in the Barn before even though they had lived in Shirehampton all their lives. Lots of detailed comments were made but, in summary, everyone agreed on the following principles which are exactly in line with our vision for the building:

  • that the Barn should be open to all and provide a range of activities for people of all ages in Shirehampton
  • that the building should maintain its sense of history and make the best of its original features
  • that a wide range of activities should be available including cultural activities, facilities for young people, opportunities for fellowship and socialising and activities to help with health and wellbeing

Will it only be for the use of the St Mary’s congregation and Church activities?

No, that couldn’t be further from our aim. Although the Church will own and manage the building, we see it as our gift to the whole community and genuinely want it to be accessible to all. Those who already get involved in activities at St Mary’s know that we just try to offer a warm welcome to anyone who wants to take part in what we are offering – from choir to art group or Totstop to Lunch Club. We hope that even more people may feel they want to take part in the events happening in the Tithe Barn – and they will all be assured of the same warm welcome.

How much will it cost? Isn’t this the wrong time to be asking for large sums of money?

We are in the process of finalising our budget but the estimated cost of the refurbishment is likely to be in excess of £200,000.

We do realise this is a big ‘ask’ for a small community at a time when there are so many draws on everyone’s budgets; and there is no doubt that the economic climate presents a challenge. However, when the opportunity to purchase the Barn arose, we felt we had to seize it before it passed. Our fear was that the building would be sold privately and lost to the community forever. We know that people and businesses in Shirehampton will give what they can and, in fact, we have already raised almost £40,000 through their generosity and enthusiasm. However, we are also applying to a long list of national charities, large companies and grant-giving bodies to help us out with the bigger sums of money to match our local efforts.

What can we do to get involved or help the appeal?

James Harris is managing the fundraising appeal for us and works in St Mary’s on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. If you have an idea for a fundraising event or would like to discuss ways of getting involved, do pop in and see James on one of those days. He can also be contacted on 07886 217139 or by emailing

Appeal after fail-to-stop collision injures girls

Police are appealing for witnesses to a fail-to-stop collision in Shirehampton Road, Bristol that left two girls injured. It happened just after 8pm on Wednesday November 11. The vehicle involved, a white van, drove off in the direction of Sea Mills. Two local girls aged 11 and 14 suffered serious leg injuries and are in a stable condition in hospital A 69-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the incident and a vehicle recovered for forensic examination. He’s been bailed until December 23.

Anyone with information should call the police on 0845 456 7000. Or call the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via They never ask for your name or trace your call. Call the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via

The Grainger Players take us on a trip through the sensational 70s

Friday 6th November 2009 - Shirehampton Public Hall.

It may have been raining Friday night but it didn’t keep the audience away from seeing The Grainger Players latest production “The Sensational ‘70s”. Months of rehearsal paid off as the show opened with three songs from the cult movie “Grease”. The cast taking on the roles of the Pink Ladies, the T-Birds and Sandy and Danny, the theme from “Grease”, “Sandy” and “Summer Nights” was a fun performance.This was followed by Teddy Powell singing the Michael Jackson classic “Ben”. He sang this song word perfect and the audience certainly took Teddy to their hearts.

I have to say the presentation by Lisa Curtis, reminding us all of what the 1970s brought us - strikes, electricity cuts and Margaret Thatcher (the latter met with groans from the audience) - was certainly a trip down memory lane. Soon after it was back to the music with a cute factor performance of “Ma, He’s Making Eyes At Me” from Chloe and Lori Hayball and Martyna Tabat, followed by a medley of songs - “Bye, Bye, Baby”, “You To Me Are Everything” and “Under The Moon Of Love” - sung by cast members that soon had the audience swaying and clapping along.

Fun element of the night had to go to the Shirehampton Signets who performed a section of “Swan Lake” that will never be forgotten. It has to be one of the highlights of the show that was met with rapturous applause and cheers. With more songs from the 1970’s following thick and fast the first half of the show was brought to a close with a selection of ABBA songs - “Knowing Me, Knowing You”, “The Name Of The Game” and “Mamma Mia” - with plenty of swaying from side to side by the cast. The second half opened with a selection of Queen songs that included guitar solos by William Rae and Danny Bicknell. They along with Grant should have their musical abilities showcased more in future shows and should not be allowed to hide their talent in songs. But that is just my opinion.

Another highlight for me was the performance of “Y.M.C.A”. It was certainly an energetic performance by the younger members of the cast with excellent choreography. This song had the audience clapping along and they obviously enjoyed it.

The disco section of the show was very strong and Laura Tuckwell’s performance of “I Will Survive” was extremely powerful, whilst “Saturday Night Fever” attracted some of those classic ‘70s dance moves.Teresa Cox attracted loud cheers for her performance of “Nobody Does It Better” and Kayleigh Maggs with Will Rae gave a great rendition of “Listen To The Music”. But all too soon we had reached the finale of the show with a Barry Manilow selection of songs - “Can’t Smile Without You”, “Mandy”, and “I Write The Songs” - which was a strong, yet colourful performance.

Kathryn Courtney

The Grainger Players now have their own web pages and invite you to join them online and be kept updated on their news, shows and also check out their photo gallery of performances past, present and future. You will find them at: and add them as your friend. They also have a Facebook Group, just look up The Grainger Players at ) and join their group page. You can also email The Grainger Players:

Picture by Kacey O’Neill

Haart Warming News for Lucky Apprentice

An exciting opportunity has arisen for young people wishing to pursue a career in the estate agency industry with a local estate agent.

Haart Estate Agent are offering one lucky candidate the opportunity to work as an Apprentice Junior Negotiator, to learn the art of how to sell the right home, to the right customer. The successful candidate will be trained by The Business Enterprise Centre at Weston College and Haart, to fulfil the role, based at the High Street branch in Shirehampton.

Lucy Solomon, Employer Liaison Officer at the Business Enterprise Centre, wants to encourage people from Shirehampton and the surrounding areas to apply for the position.

Lucy said: “There are still many youngsters who have not yet decided what to do with their careers having left school before the summer. If you want to continue training but don’t want to pursue an academic course, this is a fantastic opportunity for you to work with a national organisation.” She added: “You’ll be working with fully-qualified industry experts who will support you in your career goals and provide you with invaluable hands-on experience in the workplace – and you’ll gain a nationally recognised qualification whilst earning a salary!”

Lucy described the qualities the successful candidate should have: “If you are a confident communicator, both face-to-face and on the telephone, have good computer skills and are enthusiastic, then this apprenticeship could be just what you’re looking for!” She added: “This is a challenging environment with some weekend work involved, so the ability to work under pressure is essential. You should be flexible and be able to deliver excellent customer service, with a good standard of education, particularly in English.”

The apprentice will receive industry-relevant training, such as the NVQ in the Sale of Residential Property, to enhance their performance. The position is full-time, five days a week, 9am - 6pm, and the successful candidate will start on a salary of £95 per week. A driving licence is essential for this role.

If you would like further information please call Lucy at the Business Enterprise Centre on 01934 411573 or email:

The Business Enterprise Centre is part of Weston College, based in Weston-super-Mare. They work with hundreds of employers across the country identifying and delivering their training needs. They offer a wide range of training including Apprenticeships and NVQs, the majority of which are delivered in the workplace. This means the centre’s trainers and assessors visit a company’s premises, saving them both time and money on sending staff away for training.

Volunteer urgently needed...

A person is urgently needed to deliver Shire newspapers in Old Quarry Road and Old Quarry Rise, from January 2010 please.

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

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

We would like to thank Mr and Mrs Williams for all their help in delivering the Shire papers in the past and wish them a long an happy retirement. Again THANK YOU both very much.

Academy Students Host Primary Basketball Festival

On Tuesday 10th November, Year 11 BTEC Sport students hosted an after-school basketball festival for local primary schools.

The event was aimed at Year 5 and 6 pupils and was attended by Shirehampton Primary, Sea Mills Primary, Avon Primary, Avonmouth Primary and Stoke Bishop Primary.

Led by Jess Griffiths, Aceson Holly and Scott Jenkins, the BTEC students arranged basketball demonstrations from members of Filton College Basketball Academy and organised for the primary pupils to have some coaching with the players. The 10 and 11 year-olds learnt about the rules of the game, before being organised into inter-school tournaments by the BTEC students where they could practise their newly learnt skills. The evening was rounded off by a certificate presentation for the children who took part.

Head of PE, Karl Robottom said: “This is the second year that BTEC Sport students from Oasis Academy Brightstowe have organised the Primary Basketball Festival and it continues to be a very successful event. It gave our students a useful opportunity to put their sports leadership skills into practice and gave them valuable experience of coaching younger pupils which will help towards their BTEC qualification, as well as encouraging strong links with our feeder primary schools. All the students had a part to play, whether it was marking the courts, keeping score or organising drinks and refreshments, and all those involved should feel very proud of their efforts.”

Event leader Jess Griffiths said: “I think the festival went really well, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, especially the primary school pupils. We were all conscious that we were representing Oasis Academy Brightstowe and we wanted the younger pupils to have a positive experience of the school. We put a lot of hard work and effort into organising the event and it has been really rewarding.”

The Academy students who helped co-ordinate the event were: Jess Griffiths, Scott Jenkins, Ryan Raines, Lewis Hepburn, Sonlam Thatsaniphone, Jack Hembrough, Ryan Brown, Nicky O’Donahue, Aceson Holly, Chris Osborne, Dale Hill, Ryan Raines, Ben Deurance, Jon Holmes, Kai Peters, Raysul Hussein, Bradley Hudson, Mason Kiernan, Mitchell Jenkins and Josh Krupa.

New Photographers for ‘Shire’

Kathryn Courtney (pictured above) and Bob Pitchford have volunteered to take photographs for ‘Shire’. Kathryn has worked in local radio and television and been interested in photography for a long time. She says “taking photographs on behalf of “The Shire” is something I am looking forward to.”

St Mary’s News

Hi Folks,

Well, here we are now with only a few weeks left before Christmas appears on the horizon. Then during the twelve days of Christmas the New Year celebrations come and go before we really get a chance to realise it, there we are into 2010. For me it unfortunately means I am another year older and this time it heralds the arrival of the big Seven-O! Having got this far, every day afterwards is a bonus. My son often jokingly says to me “Father, live every day as though it is your last, because one day it will be.” Behind his cynical humour he is of course right. So hard luck – you will have to put up with me a bit longer if the good Lord allows it!!

If you haven’t already got them, then look into St Mary’s for your Christmas Cards. Look on the Notice Board at the back of the church for the variety of designs available – thee is a very good range to suit all tastes.

Looking back to November when we had our annual Memorial Service and we remember those whom alas we see no longer, saw St Mary’s filled to capacity with over 300 persons present. This has now become one of our major Services during the year and its purpose is obviously appreciated by the number of people who attended. We now have an abundance of Memorial Cards to hang on our Tree of Light.

The next day was Remembrance Sunday and at our 10a, service Canon Christine read out the names of those who appear in our Memorial Window and the name of a young lad killed recently in Afghanistan. After placing a Poppy Wreath beneath the window the choir led the congregation in procession through the High Street to the War Memorial on Shirehampton Park. Here at precisely 11am two minutes silence was observed and a short Act of Remembrance was conducted by Canon Christine assisted by Phil Read, himself a Normandy Veteran. It was a very poignant moment as medals brightly polished glistened on that damp, drizzly morning and the last leaves of Autumn fell to the ground. Just why there has to be war, when ultimately it all comes to an end around a negotiating table? So many deaths and families left grieving for their loved ones who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

On the Sunday evening Choral Evensong was sung by the Cathedral Girls’ Choir and male Consort. This was really magnificent - every word sung was so clear and pure, without any irritating bad diction. I understand Canon Christine has to put in a request for them to come to St Mary’s again next year. So if you missed them this year you can look forward to their next appearance in 2010!

Don’t forget our Annual Gift Day this year is on Saturday 5th December, when Canon Christine will be sat in the Lady Chapel to receive gifts of cash towards the restoration of The Tithe Barn. Your gift, no matter how great or small, will be welcomed and if you are a tax payer a Gift Aided donation will even go that much further. You were all extremely generous last year – may I ask you to be the same this year. If we have sufficient funds from the Gift Day and from our Christmas Raffle Ticket Draw and our plans are approved, then hopefully work can begin to restore the building somewhere around next Easter time with a completion date hopefully in September. It will be wonderful to have the building up and running for the benefit of the church and the community.

The next day – Sunday 6th December – we shall be holding our usual 10am service of Holy Communion and in the afternoon at 4pm we will be holding our Christingle Service. What is a Christingle Service? Some of you might ask. Well, to give you a clue, it does involve Oranges, a Candle and four sweets – now you are really curious. This is a very ‘family friendly’ service suitable for all generations – from those babies still in their mothers’ arms to great grandparents with electric buggies and walking sticks!! Please come – I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised.

On Sunday afternoon 13th December at 2.30pmpm the Shirehampton Area Choir will be performing their Annual Christmas Concert in St Mary’s for your enjoyment. Tickets are available from Gill Sawyer and the Church Office for the price of £6 and will include Wine and Festive Nibbles. The funds raised from this Concert are to be given to the Tithe Barn Restoration Fund. So the more we raise the quicker the restoration can begin!

If you have time after that, you can then all race down to the Cotswold Community Centre in Dursley Road for the Ecumenical Carol Service at 4.45pm – and if you sing loud enough then you will be given some Mince Pies afterwards! So put that date in your Diary as well.

At 3pm on Thursday 17th December, Canon Christine will be leading the singing of Carols at Shirehampton Golf Club, when she hopes many of you will come along to join in the singing – all will be very welcome. But that’s not all – because at 8pm she will be going to the PBA Club for a repeat performance and again all will be welcome to join her there to sing more Carols. So if you enjoy singing Christmas Carols then come and sing yourself hoarse – you might even get a mince pie judging by last year’s hospitality.

St Mary’s Christmas Carol Service this year will be at 6pm on Sunday 17th December. Another chance for you to listen and sing some of your favourite carols. After the service you will be welcome to partake in a glass of mulled wine and enjoy a mince pie. Now – how can you refuse such a tempting offer!

On Christmas Eve this year we shall be holding two Crib Services. The first one will be at 2.30pm and is mainly directed towards ‘grown ups’ and will be a more reflective service, whilst at 4pm we shall be having a Crib Service especially for families – when we would hope to see all the children dressed up as Angels, Shepherds and Wise Men etc. This is always a very exciting service for the children and is a real build up to Christmas Day.

At 11.30pm on Christmas Eve we shall again hold a Service of Holy Communion, more commonly known as ‘Midnight Mass.’ This for me is the climax of all our Christmas Celebrations and I am sure it is for you too!

At 10am on Christmas Day we shall have another Holy Communion Service with Carols – so if you missed Midnight Mass you will have a chance to take your Christmas Communion then. Please note there is no Kids Klub before this service.

Kids Klub will be at 8.30am as usual on Sunday 27th December before our 10am Morning Service.

New Year’s Eve this year falls on Thursday 31st December – so why not start the New Year off by attending our 11am Holy Communion Service? This is a said service and lasts about 25 minutes and is followed by tea or coffee at the west end of the church. We normally have between 20 and 30 people present on a Thursday – so why not come and join us if you haven’t been before – we shall be more than pleased to see you.

Now, just a quickie – from 10am until 12 noon on Saturday 9th January we shall once more be holding a ‘Book, DVD and CD Sale’ on St Mary’s. So if you have any unwanted Christmas presents or you decide to have a new year tidy up and you have any surplus items, as above, then please bring them into the church anytime after Christmas. As I have mentioned many times before – every penny we raise will be used to pay our way and it is your generosity which helps us to achieve this.

Now, before I go, U heard the other day of the story of the parent who sent a note to the Leader of a Sunday School which went – ‘Johnny has not come to Sunday School, because he has not been. I have given him something to make him go and when he has been he will come.’

Bye for now C.M.E

191st St Mary’s Scout Group Coffee Morning

On Saturday October 24th the 191st Scout Group[ held a coffee morning in the headquarters, raising £91.87. The group would like to thank all who donated cakes, came in for a drink and all the shops and the George for free advertising. The monies raised will be used for buying much needed equipment.

Yours in Scouting

Grant Watkins (Scout Leader)

St Mary’s Church memorial inscriptions and sketch plan

As you will have read in October’s edition of Shire, the Local History Group’s project to record and map the graves still visible in the churchyard is complete and we are happy to report that the information can now be accessed from the church office, the library, Bristol and Avon Family History Society’s search room at the Bristol Record Office and the Record Office main search room. Alternatively, if you wish a search done you can email Ken Edwards on


From the Registers at St. Mary's - October 2009


  • 25th October - Zacharie Leather


  • 10th October - Jacqueline Husher & Peter Burnell
  • 31st October - Claire Robinson & Steven Ayres


  • 9th October - Robert McDowell
  • 23rd October - Jean Macfarlane, Joyce Palmer
  • 27th October - Hilda Williams
  • 29th October - Maurice Plummer


115 High Street, SHIREHAMPTON, Bristol, BS11 0DE


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

If you are interested, please contact: Moyra M. McConnell Chair of the Management Council. Tel. 0117 9681922 email:

Portway School Reunion

Saturday 24th October saw the gathering of many ex-pupils of Portway School. Those that left school in 1980 and 1981 had the opportunity to go along to their very own School Reunion at Avonmouth Rugby Club. Many had made a slight detour to The Hope and Anchor pub to meet up with friends before making their way along to the main venue. There were a few, including myself, who were possibly wondering why we were going along to a school reunion anyway and buying tickets at the last minute or simply turning up on the night to pay on the door. These gatherings can sometime leave you a bit apprehensive, after all we left those school gates behind us many years ago!

The Portway School Reunion was well worth attending. Many of us caught up with old friends we had not seen in years. Some more or less looked the same but a little older and one or two no longer looked the way we used to remember them. One or two travelled from afar such as Newcastle and even Israel. The whole event was very well organised. The disco was well underway and as the evening progressed with more people arriving the dance floor began to fill, with a little encouragement from the contents of the bar.

Norman Wills was one person who was glad he went to the reunion “It was a great night and so nice to catch up with old school friends, even if some had trouble remembering me. I must have kept my head down at school!”

Many others were in complete agreement that it was a great night out and were asking when the next event would be, also saying they would encourage others to come along to the next reunion.

For everybody who attended that night we’d like to thank Andrea Sperring (Weymbridge) for organising the event and also say thank you to Jayne and Jenny of ‘Jupe Hairdressers’ in Shirehampton for selling the tickets.

I contacted Andrea a few days after the Portway School Reunion and she said “I would like to thank everyone for such a good night. After all the expenses were paid there was £120 left over from ticket sales. This money was donated to Cancer Research which is very dear to my heart.”

She also added “There will definitely be another reunion next year and with any luck there will be even more people joining in the party.”

**And with that in mind we now have our own Facebook Group. It is called “Portway School Reunion Class Of 1981”. Please join up if you left school in that year or decided to move onto Sixth Form at Portway. It’s easy to search on Facebook - - and you’ll find many old school friends there already. You can also view many of the photographs that were taken that night. It is also the place to keep in contact with friends and be kept updated on future events. Look forward to seeing you there. ** Kathryn Courtney

Dawn Sprackling, Catherine Price, Julie Worgan, Sherralee Chalmers, Mary Bullen.

Picture by Kacey O’Neill

Oasis Acacemy Brightstowe Celebrates Bright Stars

On Thursday 12th November, the graduating class of 2009 were invited back for a special celebration evening that paid tribute them as the first set of GCSE students to graduate from the new Oasis Academy Brightstowe.

There was much to celebrate, as in its first year since opening in 2008, Oasis Academy Brightstowe saw 58% of its students passing 5 or more GCSEs with A*-C grades, representing a 66% rate of improvement.

During the event, which was open to family and friends, the Academy presented the graduating class with their examination certificates and handed out individual awards for academic achievement and special commendments.

Luke Saunders of Shirehampton received an award for ‘Outstanding Performance’ in History. The former student, who is currently enrolled in College, said: “I was really pleased to get the award – I really didn’t expect it. I’ve always enjoyed History and my teacher here at Brightstowe made lessons really interesting, which encouraged me to carry it on at college.”

Stephen Rogers received an award for ‘Vocational Achievement’ for his dedication to the programme he was placed on, through which he secured a prestigious Horticultural scholarship. He said: “It’s great to have an evening like this because it makes everyone feel like they did well and their achievements meant something.”

Nine students were also presented with the CMI Certificate in Team Leadership by special guest Julie Holden from insurance company Liverpool Victoria, with whom Oasis Academy Brightstowe has partnered to deliver adult Leadership and Management qualifications that support their Business and Enterprise specialism.

Principal Julie Winterman said: “We are delighted to have been able to hold this celebration evening, which we hope will become an annual event.

“These former students have been a credit to the Academy, and local sixth forms and colleges have already been in touch to say how impressed they are with students that have come from Brightstowe this year.

“We are keen to recognise their achievements and are proud that each and every one of these students has accomplished something here that they can be proud of.”


The Police are alerting people to this scam through Neighbourhood Watch, School Safe and others.

This one is pretty slick since they provide YOU with all the information, except the one piece they want. Note, the callers do not ask for your card number; they already have it.

This information is worth reading. By understanding how the VISA & MasterCard Telephone Credit Card Scam works, you’ll be better prepared to protect yourself.

The scam works like this: Person calling says, “This is (name), and I’m calling from the Security and Fraud Department at VISA. My badge number is 12460. Your card has been flagged for an unusual purchase pattern, and I’m calling to verify. This would be on your VISA card which was issued by (name of bank) did you purchase an Anti-Telemarketing Device for £497.99 from a Marketing company based in London?” When you say “No”, the caller continues with, “Then we will be issuing a credit to your account. This is a company we have been watching and the charges range from £297 to £497, just under the £500 purchase pattern that flags most cards. Before your next statement, the credit will be sent to (gives you your address), is that correct?” You say “yes”.

The caller continues - “I will be starting a fraud investigation. If you have any questions, you should call the 0800 number listed on the back of your card (0800-VISA) and ask for Security. You will need to refer to this Control Number. The caller then gives you a 6 digit number. “Do you need me to read it again?”

Here’s the IMPORTANT part on how the scam works. The caller then says, “I need to verify you are in possession of your card.” He’ll ask you to “turn your card over and look for some numbers.” There are 7 numbers; the first 4 are part of your card number, the next 3 are the security numbers that verify you are the possessor of the card. These are the numbers you sometimes use to make Internet purchases to prove you have the card.

The caller will ask you to read the 3 numbers to him. After you tell the caller the 3 numbers, he’ll say, “That is correct, I just needed to verify that the card has not been lost or stolen, and that you still have your card. Do you have any other questions?” After you say, “No,” the caller then thanks you and states, “Don’t hesitate to call back if you do”, and hangs up. You actually say very little, and they never ask for or tell you the Card number.

But after we were called on Wednesday, we called back within 20 minutes to ask a question. Are we glad we did! The REAL VISA Security Department told us it was a scam and in the last 15 minutes a new purchase of £497.99 was charged to our card. Long story - short - we made a real fraud report and closed the VISA account. VISA is reissuing us a new number.

What the scammers want is the 3-digit PIN number on the back of the card. Don’t give it to them. Instead, tell them you’ll call VISA or MasterCard directly for verification of their conversation. The real VISA told us that they will never ask for anything on the card as they already know the information since they issued the card!

If you give the scammers your 3 Digit PIN Number, you think you’re receiving a credit. However, by the time you get your statement you’ll see charges for purchases you didn’t make, and by then it’s almost too late and/or more difficult to actually file a fraud report. The police said they are taking several of these reports daily!

Library News

The Library now has a small collection of DVD’s for hire. There is a small weekly hire charge for these; the amount depends on the type and age of the DVD. If these prove popular we may be able to get more.

Christmas Opening

Wednesday 23rd December 10:00-1:00; 2:00-5:00

Closed - Thursday 24th; Friday 25th; Saturday 26th Monday 28th

Re-Open - Wednesday 30th December 10:00-1:00; 2:00-5:00

Closed - Friday 1st January

Open - Saturday 2nd January 10:00-1:00; 2:00-5:00

Shire Green Spaces Update

We promised that we would keep you in touch with developments on the Shire’s Green Spaces campaign and any updates we receive from the Council. We are emailing you today to let you know that last week an “intrusive site investigation on Lamplighters Marsh and Daisy Field” took place.

The Council have informed us that the drilling contractors will be using a small drilling rig to investigate up to seven small boreholes (known as window samples) across the two sites. We are also told that gas monitoring for landfill gas will be undertaken either immediately or on up to two occasions in the near future.

The reason for this investigation is to find out the nature of the soils and any other material present and some on-site analytical work will also be carried out. The council have told us they will be informing us of the outcome of this investigation and will provide us with a full report. Once we have received this information we will of course write to give you a further update.

Thank you again for supporting the Shire’s green space campaign.

Kind Regards,

Charlotte Leslie, Prospective MP Bristol North West

Cllr Siobhan Kennedy-Hall, Councillor for Avonmouth

Cllr Spud Murphy Councillor for Avonmouth

Good News for Lamplighters Open Space

‘Shire’ has learned that soil analysis tests carried out by Bristol City Council on the Lamplighters Open Space have indicated that the space is NOT suitable for building. We have been told that the Lamplighters Open Space will not now be considered for development.

Free short courses for adults with few or no qualifications:

Basic Computers, CV Writing and Job Preparation Skills, English for Speakers of Other Languages,

Want to Work in Childcare? Introduction to Health and Social Care, Confidence Building courses etc.

Please contact Suzanne (Learning Communities Team) on 9030072 or Veronique on 9030065.

Email: or

New players wanted

Shire Colts Junior Football Club is looking for new players. Shire Colts are currently looking for players at Under 13, Under 12 and Under 8 level. If you are interested please email your contact details to Ross Burnham (

Shire Colts JFC Under 12s B team wearing their new 2009/1010 kit.

Shotokhan Karate

Congratulations to Aaron Harvey, Joan Connor and Adrian Fisher who successfully attained their black belts in Shotokhan Karate in Nottingham on Friday 21st August. This year they had to attend three Karate Schools, two in Nottingham and one on Torbay, being trained by chief instructor of Great Britain Hanshi Shiro Asano 9th Dan.

Aaron started Karate aged seven years and attended Steve Ashby’s dojo in St Bernard’s School and recently moved to Errol Rowbotham’s dojo who train in Tuesday evenings at Shire Public Hall. Aaron is now training to attain his 2nd Dan which hopefully he can gain in two years. We are very proud of you, well done. Dad, Mum and Ben.

Left to right: Adrian Fisher, Joan Connor, Errol Robathan, Aaron Harvey.

Thanks for your kind donation – Ed

Four Villages August Fun Days Shirehampton

Freshways Family Fun days have been running in Lawrence Weston for the past 16 years but this year a Fun Day took place in each of the areas that make up the Four Villages Children’s Centre.

The last of the fun days took place on August 27th at Beachley Walk Community Centre and with disco entertainment it provided a great atmosphere for family fun.

This event was planned for children aged 8 and under, but there was plenty to keep the whole family entertained. For a small entrance fee children could ride on the carousel, make a badge, take part in forestry school sessions with clay and sticks, have a go at plate spinning and other circus skills, paint, glue and create in the Make-It tent, make bracelets and necklaces, and play in the ball pool before enjoying a family picnic tea in the surrounding garden area.

The day was really well attended and fun was had by all with approx 240 children and adults taking part. Many thanks to parent volunteers for helping with the afternoon, Extended School Partnership for funding, to representatives from the Library, Learning Community Team and Dental Health, and for the many generous raffle prizes donated by Tortworth Court, Jump, Hollywood Bowl, Riverside Garden Centre, Mayhem, Bristol Zoo, John Nike Leisure Centre, and Avon Valley Farm Park.

Beachley Walk is now closed for nursery sessions although it will still remain open as usual for Community groups. The family atmosphere was very much a celebratory one for all who had been connected with the Centre over the past 21 years.