Shire logo

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

Lamplighters and the Daisy Field

St Bernard’s School Choir

Rugby Star Kicks Off Keep-Fit Trails

Valentine’s Evening Invitation

NRG Gymnasium arrives in Shirehampton

PSP Healthcare Scoop National Dementia Care Excellence Award

Market Forces Help Shirehampton See The Light!

Shire Public Hall Gets In the Mood!

Shirehampton Christmas Lights

Letters to the Editor

Academy Students Give Scrooge Some Christmas Spirit

Children’s Toy Library Opens In Shirehampton

Lamplighters and the Daisy Field

Dear Sir/Madam,

The news that our campaign to save the lamplighters has been a success is the best Christmas present many of us could ask for. The campaign could not have been fought and won without the fantastic support of the local community; all those who wrote to the council, signed our petition, turned up in such huge numbers to the peaceful protest that was "Shire’s Big Picnic", (which you can see from the photo) Chris Calland and those who formed the campaign group ‘HOOFS’, Shirehampton Bakery and those shops who donated food to Shire’s Big Picnic, Leon at the Lamplighters Pub who was supportive all the way, and crucially those who gave such informed and incisive input at the public meeting in September. Future generations who can now enjoy this land will be saying ‘Thank You’.

However, the battle is not over. The Daisy Field has not been exempted from possible development. In the new year, the Council’s consultation on their parks and green spaces strategy will be published. If the Daisy Field is amongst those sites put forward for development, the campaign must begin afresh to save it. Cllr. Siobhan Kennedy-Hall’s petition is still open on the Council Website, and you can still write to Rob McGovern, at Bristol City Council to raise your objections. For more information on how to object, go to or call 01179736811.

The new Council administration has said it is listening to the people. If it is, they will save the Daisy Field for future generations to enjoy.

Thank you once again to all those who gave their support to win this victory, and I hope you all have a very happy Christmas.

Charlotte Leslie, Prospective MP,
Cllr. Siobhan Kennedy-Hall
Charlotte Leslie
Conservative Prospective MP,
Bristol North West

Grainger Players Raise Funds for Help For Heroes

In November The Grainger Players performed their show ‘The Sensational 70s’ at Shirehampton Public Hall. Their chosen charity was Help our Heroes.

Monica, Liz and The Grainger Players would like to thank everyone for their support and to let you all know that £255.04 was raised for ‘Help Our Heroes’ campaign. Thank you to all who gave generously.

The Grainger Players’ next show will be featuring the hits from the 1980s and rehearsals are going well. That show will be performed once again at Shirehampton Public Hall on the 7th and 8th May 2010, so make sure you book it in your diaries.

Avonmouth Ladies Club Forthcoming Events 2010

  • 5 Jan - Beetle Drive
  • 19th Jan - Peggy Scott
  • 2nd Feb - Susan Marshfield - ‘Barefoot to Buckingham Palace’
  • 16th Feb - Mr John Bates - ‘Collectables with a difference’
  • 2nd Mar - Bring and Buy. Chosen Charity is BASF (Bristol Area Stroke Foundation)
  • 16th Mar - ‘Just Denver’ Entertainment
  • 6th Apr - Sharon Blake ‘Arthritis Care’
  • 20th Apr - Betty Bird ‘Beads’
  • 4th May - Not yet know
  • 18th May - Bingo
  • 1st June - Summer Outing
  • 15th June - Not yet know
  • 6th July - Not yet known
  • 20th July - AGM and Supper

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

St Bernard’s School Choir

As the January ‘Shire’ is being put together we have heard that St Bernard’s School Choir has got through to the final on December 19th. Well done them! Sadly we will have been ‘put to bed’ before we know the results but look forward to hearing them.

The 20 strong choir with an age range from 7 to 11 years sang their renditions of ‘Silent Night’, ‘Minka,’ ‘Winter Nights’ and ‘I Wanna Be Like You’ from the Jungle Book.

Play Areas Action Group Public Consultation Event

Shirehampton Community Action Forum


As you may know we have been working on a project to improve the play area at Springfield Avenue. You may have recently received a questionnaire through your door - we dropped over 900 of them!

We are looking to make improvements to the play area part of the park - leaving the open grass area as it is.

We are working in partnership with Bristol City Council & invite you to this open drop in event to look at our display boards & see a broad range of equipment & design ideas - absolutely nothing has been decided at this stage.

Please come along and give your views & opinions - we need community support for this project in order to apply for funds & grants to make it happen.

If you can’t make it on Saturday, but would like to see our plans & have your say, please contact Ash Bearman, Community Development Officer on 0117 982 9963 or

Year of 1983 Portway School Reunion

Did you go to Portway School from 1978-1983, do you remember Lisa Hayward, Lee Worthy, Tina Hewitt, Wayne Forder, Sharon Thompson, Mark Gardiner or Dawn Gazzard to name but a few?

If you do there is to be a reunion at the PBA Sports and Social Club, Nibley Road, Shirehqampton, on Saturday March 13th, 7pm to midnight, tickets £5. Dance the night away to the 80s school disco.

More info?

Contact Kim Penne; (Gilbert) on 078776590452 or email:

Shire Community Awards 2009

These organisations have each benefited from an award this year:

  • Avonside District Guides
  • Shire Advice Service
  • Penpole Residents Lunch
  • Tithe Barn Appeal
  • Christmas Lights Association
  • Charity Search

If you think your organisation could do with some help, please look out for our announcement next summer.

Shirehampton Group Practice Health Centre Phone System

We are aware that there have been some problems with the Health Centre telephone system and consequently we have made some changes which we hope will make it easier for patients to contact the relevant service. We have simplified the telephone system and reduced the amount of messages thereby lessening the amount of time patients are holding to speak to a receptionist.

Patients are asked to assist by dialling the correct telephone number for the service that they require. Telephone numbers for the relevant services are:

Shirehampton Group Practice:

  • Appointments - 9162226
  • Test Results (after 2.30pm) - 9162226
  • Emergencies/home visits - 9162228
  • Prescription queries - 9162237
  • Secretaries (re hospital referrals) - 9162229
  • Dr Sharples Practice: - 9162219
  • Health Visitors: - 9162221
  • District Nurses: - 9162216
  • School Nurses: - 9162208
  • Midwifery: - 9162214
  • Podiatry: - 9091814
  • Bristol Community Health: - 9162200

Other useful telephone numbers:

  • NHS Direct: - 0845 4647
  • National Pandemic Flu Service: - 0800 1 513 100

Shirehampton Group Practice Repeat Prescriptions

Patients are reminded to allow sufficient time for the processing of repeat prescriptions and order a few days before medication runs out.

Prescriptions will be available for collection from the practice after 2 pm, 2 working days from submitting the request.

Prescriptions for collection from a chemist will be available 3 working days from submitting the request.

If your medication is on routine repeat, please use the pre-printed right hand side attached to your previous prescription when submitting requests to the practice. For all other requests, please provide details of your full name, address, date of birth and medication required on a piece of paper or use a pre-printed prescription request form available at the practice.

Patients are requested to make all prescription requests in writing or on pre-printed slips to prevent errors and to reduce demand on the telephone lines

Rugby Star Kicks Off Keep-Fit Trails

Children at Avon Primary School in Shirehampton are keeping fit thanks to two new adventure trails. The activities, one for younger and one for older pupils, have been designed and installed in the school grounds for use at playtimes and lunchtimes and as part of the PE curriculum.

The equipment enables children to develop and test their core motor skills, including balance, coordination, upper and lower body strength and core stability.

With the equipment getting progressively more difficult as you work through the course... the challenge is on!

Mrs Jane Atkins the Headteacher said "The trails will provide the children with the opportunity to get fit and stay healthy as will encourage learning outdoors as well as in the classroom."

With high excitement, the activity trails were officially launched by Bristol Rugby Academy Coach and ex Bristol Rugby captain - Matt Salter.

Shire Distribution

May I take this opportunity to THANK all our helpers for their assistance and loyalty during the past 12 months, without them my job would be impossible. The papers have all reached their destinations on time and our new deliverers have all settled in without any mishaps.

We aim to deliver to every house in Shirehampton and are always grateful to be advised of any new developments in the village or any road which does not presently receive the paper. We will then attempt to find someone who is willing to deliver the paper to them on a monthly basis (or even two people who are happy to assist). So, if you know anyone who does not receive a monthly paper please let me know and I will do my best to try and sort the matter out.

Wishing you all a Healthy, Happy and Peaceful New Year. Pauline, Distribution. Tel. 9826935

Red Hot Smelters

Local boxing club the National Smelting Co ABC ‘Smelters’ have started the season in impressive form racking up 20 wins from 28 bouts in the last eight weeks since the Amateur Boxing season started.

Informed Head Coach of the Avonmouth based boxing club Garry Cave "The boxers have been fantastic, I’m made up for them, I’d hoped we’d get 20 bouts in before the Christmas break and they’ve topped that. But I wouldn’t have dared dream they’d win 20 from 28 bouts. That’s the best start to the season we’ve ever had. The new gym is definitely paying dividends; it’s so much easier to train in now that we have more room and more equipment. We’ve never had so many boxers on the books".

Thirteen-year-old junior boxer Jake ‘Monster’ Musgrove was the NSC boxer to get their 20th win at the King Alfred’s boxing show in Highbridge on Saturday November the 28th with his win over Devonport’s Kyle Gargett.

Southmeads Terry Richards won a Western Counties Senior Welterweight Title at Weymouth in the South West Finals last month with a solid and comprehensive victory over Shane Goggins from Jersey. Richards dominated the bout, flooring Goggins in the 4th round and went on to win a unanimous verdict from the three judges.

The NSC held their first home show of the season at the PiIl Memorial Club on Thursday 12TH November 2009 the show sponsored by Nisa Fresh Foods, The Rudgeliegh Inn & Bristol Pilots Partnership. The club won 8 from 11 bouts and all featured an NSC boxer.

Results:- Jake Musgrove NSC won pts v. Kyle Gargett Devonport. James Shackell NSC won pts v. Tom Williams Downend. Cory Ciati NSC won pts v. Carl Monk Chard. Jerry Connnors NSC won pts V Daniel Keen King Alfreds. Korey Cummings NSC lost pts v. Paul Roberts Chard. Sam Fitzgerald NSC lost pts v. James Dayer Downend. Tom Connors NSC won pts v. Larry Ward Trowbridge. Tom Edmonds NSC lost pts v. Sunny Ali Empire. Sam Smyth NSC won pts v. Ashely Holder WSM. Liam Poole NSC won pts v. Steve Perry Sturminster. Jo Ross NSC won RSC 3 v. Kyle Romain Penhill

Smelters host their next show on Thursday the 4th of March at The PiIl Memorial Club.

The club is planning on taking several of its boxers on a pre season training camp in the summer to Estonia. Said Cave "The Estonians have a very good amateur program based on the Soviet Boxing system. We where the first UK club to train in Cuba in 2006 and we’ll be the first UK club to try out this Estonian camp also. This should be a great experience for the boxers and hopefully they’ll pick up a few tricks from the Estonian boxers and their Russian Coaches".

NSC is presently preparing its junior boxers for the Schools ABAe and the Club for Young People (CYPs) championships to be held in January.

Said Coach Cave "I’m hopeful with some good performances and a bit of luck we can pick up six Western County Titles, they have the talent and dedication."

The NSC train Mon, Wed & Fri 7-8:30pm at their newly built Smelters Gym, Barracks Lane, King Georges Trust Playing Field, Avonmouth, Bristol, BS11 9NG.

Ring Head coach Garry Cave on 07876 233621 for more details.

The Moorland Multi-Terrain

A 10K Community Challenge

from the Avon Riding Centre

(Kings Weston Road, Henbury, Bristol, BS10 7QT)

11am Sunday 24th January 2010

A great opportunity to enjoy the delights of Moorgrove Wood and Lawrence Weston Moor and to contribute to an excellent charity, which offers riding therapy to both disabled adults and children.

This exciting new course, of approximately ten kilometres, includes short grass around Moorgrove Wood, jumps, a canter track, woods, potentially slippery descents, rough grazing on Lawrence Weston Moor "one of the few remaining fragments of the marshes, which used to stretch all the way from Blaise to Avonmouth" - should be wet! - tarmac of the Severn Way over the M5 and under the M49, grass alongside a rhyne, a track (probably muddy and wet) under the motorways, a stretch of tarmac cycle track, rough paths back to the marsh, a grassy climb, a sharp slippery scramble and an ascent of the canter track to the finish.

The race organised by the Avon Riding Centre for the Disabled (registered charity no. 281648)

In association with Town and Country Harriers will be held under Trail Running Association (TRA) rules; permit applied for.

Refreshments will be available after the race, and there will be water and first aid at the finish.

Limited changing facilities - no-showers

Prize Categories: M&F 16-24, 25-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60+ Goody bags for all finishers. Entries: £6 (£8 unaffiliated) £2 extra on the day (if race not full)

Race limit: 250. Closing date for pre-entries: 19/01/2010 Cheques made out to Avon Riding Centre and an S.A.E. should be sent to Libby Bloor at

161 Wellington Hill West, Henleaze, Bristol BS9 4QW. Telephone Race Director for details of race on 0117 9624088 or e-mail

Valentine’s Evening Invitation

Guess what’s happening at Shirehampton Baptist Church this Valentine’s evening? It’s a Sunday night, so there will be a service of some kind, right? Wrong! It is a Sunday evening, but Instead of the usual church service, Chris Grant, the new minister, and his wife, Margaret, are inviting couples from the village to join them for a special romantic Valentine’s meal held in the church. The newly-refurbished church will be transformed into a superb restaurant for the occasion, with candles on tables, and a great menu. The invitation is to all couples who are engaged or thinking about setting up home together, as well as those who are married or in long-term relationships.

After the meal, a DVD will be shown which outlines the basis of a course which the church will run in the Spring, which aims to show how to get the best out of a marriage or committed relationship. It offers great advice which is helpful not only to those at the start of a relationship, but even those who have been together for years will find valuable.

The evening starts at 7pm on Sunday 14 February 2010 at the church building in Station Road. If you would like to attend, please contact Chris at the church or ring 0117 982 8238. Tickets are free and will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

How will Avonmouth benefit from a Green Electricity Plant?

A message from the management team of W4B Bristol Ltd

By now you will probably have heard about W4B Bristol Ltd proposals to build a green electricity plant at the old Sevalco plant at Severn Road in Avonmouth. The plant will have a number of benefits for those living in the area.

Changes for the better

The most obvious benefit is that the new plant will be significantly cleaner than the old plant which previously used to create carbon black from heavy duty crude oil, an extremely dirty process.

The new plant will be a clean operation and the vegetable oil that will be used to fuel the generating plant will be delivered along the existing pipeline from Bristol Port to the site. The electricity produced will be exported directly to the grid.

The plant will generate 50 megawatts of green electricity, sufficient to provide power for 25,000 homes and will employ up to 30 local people as well as benefiting the port.

Sustainable approach to energy

The vegetable oil W4B Bristol plans to use will be jatropha oil, grown in India, Africa and South East Asia. This can be grown sustainably and because it is mildly toxic cannot be used as part of the food chain. If sufficient quantities of this new source of oil are not available by the plant commissioning date of 2012, W4B Bristol will use sustainable palm stearin. This is an industrial by- product of the palm oil production process. This sourcing process does not involve de-forestation. Nor will it affect the indigenous people or animals living in the forests of Malaysia and Indonesia where most palm oil is grown.

Government Subsidies

All vegetable oil used in the plant will be sustainable and qualify for ROC subsidies. These subsidies, managed by Ofgem, and only paid when sustainable oil is used, are funded by a fine levied on electricity suppliers who fail to meet the renewable targets that are set annually by Government. By 2015, the target has been set so that any supplier not delivering 15.4% renewable electricity will be fined. This fine is levied against every green megawatt hour of electricity a supplier fails to deliver. The fines will be paid into a fund that will be used to pay the ROC subsidies to green electricity producers. This means that ROCs are paid by polluters directly to green electricity producers. There is no burden on the taxpayer.

Further information

Contact Chris Lawrence or Karen White on 0117 907 3417

Article in the Bristol Evening Post (5/12/09)

NRG Gymnasium arrives in Shirehampton

On Saturday 12th December 2009 the NRG Gymnasium opened its doors to the public for the very first time. Situated where Woolworths once stood in the High Street, Shirehampton, the owners have made excellent use of the space available to them.

The ‘Shire’ got a sneak preview a couple of days before its launch and was taken on a quick tour of the facility.

The ground floor is split into two main areas. The gymnasium in the front of the building boasts cardio-vascular resistance machines which also help build up muscle tone. Spinning machines and a small element of free weights. Whilst the back room houses the body building gym for the competitive sports person and those serious about their workouts. You will find plate loaded resistance machinery and free-weights with dumb bells up to 70kg. The gym equipment is up to the minute and imported from the USA. There is also a physio room in this area of the building.

On the first floor you will find the changing rooms equipped with showers, hair dryers, GHDs for your hair and a sun tanning bed. There is also a sauna and a Jacuzzi - with their own TV where you can watch your own DVDs - to relax in after your work out.

The gymnasium also has digital TV and "a fantastic sound system" as Nigel Wood, Manager of NRG Gymnasium describes it and there is also CCTV on the premises.

Nigel continued to talk about the gymnasium with enthusiasm. "There are no hidden charges with our gym membership. What you see is what you get and it’s all-inclusive. The minimum age limit is 14 years old. At our Gloucester Road gym our oldest member is 88 years old and is extremely fit. We are a friendly, sociable, family orientated gym and have Level 3 Personal Trainers that are Reps Registered."

I asked what this meant and Nigel went on to say: "Our Personal Trainers attend Reps Registered courses so they are kept up to date with all the latest training techniques. We also have GP referral personal Trainers."

So, if you have been involved in an accident or have a sports injury for example the NRG Gymnasium just might be able to help you. If you have disability then the front gym just might be for you but you are advised to seek advice or help before embarking on taking up a membership with the gym.

Nigel then explained the process that each member would be taken through before using the gym equipment. "You get a full induction on how to use the machinery. You also sit down with one of our Personal Trainers who will ask you a number of questions including what you want to achieve, your own personal goal. We then formulate a personal programme card that is unique to you, the member. This will be reviewed every six weeks charting the progress made and any adjustments that might be required."

"We will be doing spinning classes and legs, bums and tums. Of course we also plan to run additional classes in the future and are always happy to take on board sensible suggestions as to what our members would like to do in the future. And we also have a full range of nutritional drinks and powders, all available to our members," adds Nigel.

There has been a lot of interest in the gym with people picking up and filling out forms for membership. The unique thing about this membership is that there is no ID card. It is a simple thumb print ID. As you arrive at the counter you place your thumb on the scanner and it reads your print. Membership is unique to you and no one else can use your membership to the gym.

The NRG Gymnasium is a much-needed facility for the area having lost the local swimming pool and Robin Cousins Sports Centre remains closed. To use the gym you need to join and the initial fee is £40 followed by a series of contracts that range from 3 months through to 24 months starting from £42 per month for a 3 month contract down to £30 per month for a 24 month contract. Concessions are available for OAPs.

Opening times are 8am - 9pm Monday to Friday and 10am-8pm Saturday to Sunday. For further details and membership information please call into the NRG Gymnasium, 1-3 The High Street, Shirehampton, Bristol in person or call 07837 002613.

PSP Healthcare Scoop National Dementia Care Excellence Award

PSP Healthcare, one of Bristol’s fastest-growing independent companies, has recently scooped the National Dementia Care Excellence prize at the Welsh National Care Awards.  PSP Healthcare has its headquarters in Station Road, Shirehampton, in the premises formally occupied by Dewani's Pharmacy.

Run by former Bristol Grammar School pupils Preyen & Shrien Dewani together with their father local JP Prakash Dewani, the company operates a group of luxury nursing homes and retirement developments across the South West and Wales. It has a £35m programme to build pioneering new care villages for the elderly and retired. The first of these, Gibraltar Care Village, opened recently in Monmouth and provides 100 nursing beds together with 40 "close care" cottages and apartments designed for those keen to retain their independence.

The award, presented at a glittering ceremony in Cardiff, recognises PSP Healthcare’s innovative approach to caring for people with dementia. The company firmly believes that age should not lead to compromise. Its philosophy of "People Supporting People" encourages everyone associated with the care of residents, and the residents themselves, to provide support for each other.

Preyen Dewani, managing director of PSP Healthcare, told us "This award recognises the sheer hard work and excellence of our dedicated care teams who provide five star care for the elderly within the five star developments that we have purpose built. I would like to congratulate them on this prestigious achievement."

PSP’s new build care villages include cinemas, libraries, wellness spas, hair and beauty salons as well as restaurants for the residents and their guests

Primary pupils made-up

Year 6 pupils at Shirehampton Primary School had an afternoon learning about film and television make-up and effects. Kath Rayner, who has worked on films such as: Gladiator, Eragon, Elizabeth - the Golden Age and The Last Samuri, spent two hours with the children. As well as demonstrating various techniques, she also showed them how prostheses are used in the industry. Kath brought along lots of equipment and also showed the children some of the gloves and masks that are used in the TV series of Dr Who.

Five children were chosen to be made-up and by the end of the afternoon there was a zombie, bearded lady, a boy covered in cuts and bruises, a tattooed character and a child with a fake finger made from a cast of their own finger.

The afternoon was great fun and the children really enjoyed themselves - they will now be watching films with a knowledge of how effects are made.

Market Forces Help Shirehampton See The Light!

Alas another Christmas has come and gone. We hope that it was full of festive sparkle.

On 28th November around 200 local residents turned out for the annual switch on of the Shirehampton Christmas illuminations. The lights were switched on by Cameron Garland. Cameron said "I got to turn on the lights with my ‘magic button’. It was brilliant." As regular Shire readers will know, members of Shirehampton Christmas Lights Association (SCLA) did a sponsored walk of the old boundaries of the Kings Weston Estate, Cameron raised by far the most money for the event.

Photographs: Christopher Batt

Photographs: Christopher Batt

This year’s event was bigger than last year being bolstered by Shirehampton’s first Christmas Market. The market was organised, at short notice, by Tessa Good when the original plans fell apart. The market, whose proceeds have been kindly donated to SCLA, was a great success. Tessa told us "We had stalls from PJ’s hairdressers in Station Road, the Tithe Barn restoration fund-raisers, we ran a bric-a-brac stall and a tea stall was run by our local Sea Cadets from TS Enterprise also in Station Road. The Co-op kindly donated the mince pies, tea and coffee in addition to a handsome ‘Christmas Tree’ and two beautiful ‘Father Christmas’ helpers’. There was even a brass band playing carols to complete the festive ambience. It was a real community event. We want to make this an annual event that gets bigger year on year."

Photographs: Christopher Batt

Photographs: Christopher Batt

SCLA Vice-Chairman and Sea Cadet instructor, Christopher Batt said "Thank you Shire readers for your continued support. I enjoy doing the countdown. I have a mega-phone but you can see people are shouting at the top of their voices! This year was bigger and better than last year. I know it sounds strange, but we will start planning 2010’s display at the end of January!" SCLA Chairman, William Duguid added "There are plans afoot which, if the negotiations come off, will mean that next year’s display will be the best yet! This will be helped by the £500 raised at the switch on event. Watch for developments in the Shire!"

Photographs PO (SCC) Christopher Batt

Shire Public Hall Gets In the Mood!

On 28th November the Public Hall was taken back in time... to the 1940’s to be precise. The hall and tables were rigged out with Union flags and ensigns.

Photographs: PO (SCC) Christopher Batt

Photographs: PO (SCC) Christopher Batt

The event took the form of an American supper and a recreation of an old wartime Palais de Dance with music from wartime favourites like the Glenn Miller Orchestra and Vera Lynn. Members of the ship’s company of TS Enterprise, also known as Avonmouth Sea Cadets, greeted guests at the door. The guests had gotten in the mood as the hall was soon filled with glamorous ladies, soldiers, sailors and perhaps the odd black marketeer! Careless talk may have once cost lives but on this evening it made for a convivial evening.

Photographs: PO (SCC) Christopher Batt

Photographs: PO (SCC) Christopher Batt

During the evening a collection was taken up for TS Enterprise, which raised over £20 for unit funds. Petty Officer Batt, who was in charge of the cadets on the evening said "We would like to thank event organizer, Tessa Good and the guests for their generosity.".

In the middle of WWII, 1943 to be exact, Bristol Sea Cadets was split into smaller units; this was the birth of Avonmouth unit. TS Enterprise was originally in Avonmouth Docks and is now located in Station Road opposite the Lamplighter’s Pub.

Photographs(SCC) Christopher Batt

Shirehampton Christmas Lights

Photograph: Bob Whitford

Photograph: Bob Whitford

This year’s Shirehampton Christmas Lights were officially glowing and twinkling on Saturday the 28th of November, thanks to Cameron Garland who pressed the button. He was chosen as he raised £103 by doing a sponsored walk for the Shire Light Appeal. Well done to Cameron. The village was full of fun on that day and it was great to see so many people enjoying themselves.

Many thanks to the following people for their help and support, for all the people who dressed the trees on the Saturday. Thanks to Lee, Ashley, Luke and Tom. A big thank you to Tony for putting up the trees in such awful weather. Also thank you to Cedric Rich for all the planning. thanks to Tessa Good for all the hard work arranging the stalls for the festive market, for Portway Oldies music society for providing the music, the Sea Cadets and Brownies for standing outside in all weather providing tea and coffee and mince pies. For all that entered the "Name the Doll Raffle", the name was Rosie and was on by Sandra White. Well done to Sandra.

Finally, Tony, Nigel and all their staff would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year,

Money raised for lights on the day was £516.71.

Letters to the Editor


Dear Shire,

We would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone plus Tessa Good for the chance to take part with the Christmas Fair on the afternoon of the 28th Nov, with our two stalls and the switching on of the lights. From the money raised we gave a donation to the Shire Lights Fund and to our Charity, Bristol Area Stroke Foundation.

Many thanks again

St Andrew’s Ladies Club, Avonmouth

Victorian Market, 40s Dance

Dear Editor,

I should like to say a big thank you to Tess Good, who managed, along with help, to organise the above. It was just a shame that not every group in Shirehampton supported the 40s dance in the evening at the Public Hall but those of us at the dance spent an enjoyable evening together. If it should be arranged again for next year, it would be nice if all groups supported the event. Personally I feel that the market may have fared better if held in the morning as more of us would have been able to run a stall. Many thanks to Tess and well done.

Name and address supplied

Academy Students Give Scrooge Some Christmas Spirit

On December 10th Academy students put on a Christmas pantomime to which local people were invited free of charge. They sang and danced their way through an enthusiastic performance of ‘Scrooge’, a musical version of ‘A Christmas Carol’, to a packed out assembly hall.

The drama and music departments collaborated on the extra-curricular musical, to give students the chance to be involved in a dramatic performance and develop their singing and dancing skills.

Academy-wide auditions were held in the autumn, with parts going to students from across the year groups. The cast met for after-school rehearsals and during lunch and break-times, where they practiced the song and dance routines in front of scenery specially made by the technology department.

Drama teacher Helen Ashcroft said: "For many students it was their first chance to get involved in a performance like this. Most of our productions up until now have involved mainly GCSE students.

"We did a small scale ‘Joseph’ last year involving some younger ones and thought we would try to build on that. We found a short musical version of the traditional Christmas tale which we thought would be manageable for students of all ages and they took to it really well, responding with lots of enthusiasm and a definite sense of fun."

"Some of our Year 10 GCSE Drama students have been involved in the production too, and hopefully it will have helped them gain some really valuable performance skills that they can carry through to their practical exams.

Principal Julie Winterman said: "I am very proud of the students for all the hard work and effort they have put in to making this a really excellent show. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and thought Sam Edwards who played Scrooge did a great job. He came across really well and made the audience laugh on several occasions.

"Although this was primarily an extra-curricular activity, I am extremely impressed with the professionalism with which the performance was delivered and would like to congratulate every student involved for what they have achieved."

Dance Troop Bring New Energy To Academy

'NU - NRG' - Charlotte Phillips, Sophie Wheeler, Kirstie Hunter and Becky Parton

'NU - NRG' - Charlotte Phillips, Sophie Wheeler, Kirstie Hunter and Becky Parton

Four students from Oasis Academy Brightstowe have established a successful new hip-hop dance group called ‘NU - NRG’.

Charlotte Phillips, Sophie Wheeler, Kirstie Hunter and Becky Parton, all in Year 11, have been dancing together for 18 months, under the tuition of ex-dancer Jenny Arpino.

Over the last year and a half, the group have been learning a variety of hip-hop, disco and body-popping moves, many of which are used by professional dancers, and working these into complex routines.

They decided to call the group ‘NU - NRG’ (pronounced ‘New Energy’) when the predecessor school became Oasis Academy Brightstowe in September 2008.

Mrs Arpino said: "The girls have come a long way and I am very proud of what they’ve achieved. Some of the moves they have mastered have been done by famous dancers like Michael Jackson, and involve quite a bit of skill."

The group recently danced for Principal Julie Winterman, who said: "The girls are fantastic, their performance really blew me away! I couldn’t believe some of the impressive moves they were doing and was delighted to have seen them dance."

Kirstie said: "The reason I like dancing is because it helps me to escape the stresses of school work."

Sophie said: "I really enjoy learning all the moves, especially the hip-hop. Mrs Arpino organised for a break-dance crew to come and perform for us, which was good."

Becky said: "I like the dancing as it’s a great way to keep fit and healthy."

Charlotte said: "The four of us have been dancing since the beginning and I feel really proud of what we’ve achieved together."

Student Ambassadors Visit Parliament

On Wednesday 25th November, two student leaders from Oasis Academy Brightstowe travelled to the Houses of Parliament to take part in a conference organised by Academy sponsor Oasis Community Learning.

Year 9 students Sam Edwards and Sky Michael, who are both student leaders and bully counsellors at Brightstowe, joined over 70 students from 11 other Oasis Academies across the UK for the inaugural Oasis Student Leaders National Conference, to contribute to a document that will set the agenda for how their Academies are shaped in the future.

The students were led on tours around the Houses of Parliament by Joan Ryan, Labour MP for Enfield North, after which they travelled to the Methodist Central Hall in Westminster to meet their local MP. They especially enjoyed seeing the sights, including the London Eye and Big Ben, and were thrilled to see the Leader of the House of Commons take his seat, and Lord Alan Sugar striding through the lobby!

After drawing inspiration from Westminster, the student delegation came together to give presentations on how they think the current education policy affects their Academies and what they as students would like to say to the Government about their future. Sam and Skye had prepared a special presentation for the conference about how student leaders have improved life at Oasis Academy Brightstowe, and gave a very confident and well thought out speech.

Both students enjoyed the trip immensely. Sam said: "Visiting the Houses of Parliament was brilliant, I really enjoyed it. I learnt about the ‘butterfly effect’, which taught me that the little things I can achieve now can have a big effect on my future. It made me want to learn more about the Government."

Sky said: "I was nervous about the conference with all the other students but it was the best bit. Everyone’s presentations were really interesting and the students from other Academies were nice. We all contributed to the paper."

It is hoped that the Oasis Student Leaders National Conference has encouraged leadership in the young people who attended and shown them that by voicing their own passions, concerns and convictions, they can make a difference to the futures of themselves and their peers.

Students Show Enterprising Christmas Spirit

On the 17th December, Oasis Academy Brightstowe held a Christmas market to conclude a programme of Business and Enterprise activities that ran this term.

The indoor market was held by students who sold hand-made products to teachers and Academy staff to raise money for charities of their choice.

The project was set up to support the Academy specialism of Business and Enterprise, giving students the chance to experience running their own company and to promote a better understanding of finance and economics.

Across the Academy Houses, which span all year-groups, students were put into 25 small teams, and were set exercises to help them develop their own mini-companies, complete with logos and identities.

They were then encouraged to conduct market research and helped to develop a product for the market. The students drew up financial plans and were given small loans to buy materials, which they had to re-pay at the end of the project.

Products on offer included hand-made jewellery, key-chains and luxury biscuits, and the stalls were independently judged by a panel made up of local business people and community workers. Prizes were awarded within individual Houses, and the most successful team overall won the Oasis Academy Brightstowe Business Cup.

Business Teacher Keryn Perkins said: "This was a very enjoyable but also valuable exercise for the Academy students. They have been experiencing first-hand how different aspects of business, such as market research, advertising and financial planning, come together to play a part in a company’s success.

"They have also been on a steep learning curve, having to work together as a team, being introduced to practises such as risk assessments and budgeting, and being challenged to bring their chosen product to market, which wasn’t always as easy as they expected!"

After each House has paid back their loans, plus a small amount of interest, the remaining profit will be going to charities that the students will choose themselves.

Principal Julie Winterman said: "We are very pleased that our students are striving to support such worthy causes and their donations mean all the more because they are the product of hard work and enterprise.

"The Academy is keen to develop Business and Enterprise activities such as these, as they give students the opportunity to learn life skills such as citizenship and work-related learning.

"The project has been a great success and I must congratulate the students efforts for creating such a vibrant and festive Christmas market.

Avonmouth & Kingsweston Neighbourhood Partnership - Devolving Power To Neighbourhoods

Bristol City Council has announced plans to give a bigger say over decision making to Bristol people. The proposals will mean that decisions on local services such as community safety, street cleaning and park maintenance will be taken at a local level by elected councillors with input from local people.

Barbara Janke, Leader, Bristol City Council said "This is a fundamental change in the way the council works, moving from a highly centralised system to one which puts the decisions that affect people’s lives as close as possible to local communities. We believe local people know what is best for their needs and that better decisions will be taken with better services as a result".

What are the proposals?

The council is planning to establish 14 Neighbourhood Committees within the existing neighbourhood partnerships and hand over some decisions that affect services delivered at a neighbourhood level. The committees will be made up of the ward councillors from each area.

Why are only councillors on the proposed Neighbourhood Committees?

The council says that only councillors are legally accountable and allowed to make decisions over the council budgets and decisions that are to be devolved. The decisions made by councillors on the committees will be governed by the council’s legal constitution.

Does this mean that council departments will be split up with a team for each Neighbourhood?

No. The council says that these changes do not need this to happen and that council departments and other agencies can make these changes with closer ‘muti-agency working to deliver co-ordinated services at a neighbourhood level’ rather than mini versions of the council in each neighbourhood.

How will devolved budgets be divided up between the 14 areas?

The council says that a formula for dividing devolved budgets between areas will be created and published to ensure transparency.

Who will ensure that Neighbourhood Committees & Partnerships are working and can deal with any problems?

There will be 7 new area co-ordinators who will take the lead officer role for the council in relation to the neighbourhood Committee and Partnership. It will be their job to make sure the benefits of these proposals are delivered at a local level.

Every 6 months a summary of meetings held in each neighbourhood will be produced for the partnership. Key issues identified will be fed into the strategic planning process of the council or other agencies.

When will the changes come into effect?

The changes will be phased in over 3 years. Stage 1 will see Neighbourhood Committees being established by the end of 2009, taking decisions on the devolved budgets from April 2010.

Discussions are underway to deliver further devolutions of budgets and services over the following 2 years.

To find out more about the council’s plans for Neighbourhood Partnerships and Neighbourhood Committees and how you can have your say visit or call Matthew Symonds at Voscur on (0117) 909 9949

Or come along to an open meeting where we will present the new structures on January 20th, 7pm at Oasis Academy Brightstowe, Penpole Lane, Shirehampton.

Film Crew

Some of you may have noticed that a film crew from the BBC had spent a few days in Shirehampton during the beginning of December. We will be reporting more on this event in our next issue of The Shire

Children’s Toy Library Opens In Shirehampton

December 11th saw the launch of the Four Villages Toy Library at the Beachley Walk Centre in Shirehampton. Serving Avonmouth, Lawrence Weston, Shirehampton and Sea Mills, the morning saw parents and children arrive to make use of a much needed facility in the area.

Photo: Kacey O'Neill

Photo: Kacey O'Neill

As young children played with the vast number of toys that were available within the toy library, parents happily chatted between themselves and some took part in play and reading activities. Fruit, mince pies, jaffa cakes and fruit juice were on offer through out the morning and there was certainly a festive feel in the air.

The Four Villages Toy Library has transferred from Lawrence Weston to Shirehampton and Frances Smurthwaite who is the Toy Library Co-ordinator said: "The day has been very successful. It’s been lovely to see everybody give great support for the toy library."

The most popular toys of the morning were the small world toys and the musical instruments, in particular the drums. The children certainly knew how to have fun!

The Toy Library is available to children from the age of 0-8 years old and membership is £3. The toys are loaned out on a similar basis to a book library. The cost for each toy taken out of the library is 50p per hire for 2-3 weeks at a time and there is certainly plenty to choose from.

Opening times for The Four Villages Toy Library is Tuesday afternoons (please ring: 0117 9822142 beforehand), Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings from 9.30am - 12.30pm and can be found at The Beachley Walk Centre, Beachley Walk, Shirehampton, Bristol.

St Mary’s Notes

Hi Folks,

Happy New Year all and let us hope we have a peaceful and more prosperous year with an end to the ‘credit crunch’ and a return to full-time employment. With money being much tighter last year I have to thank you all for your generosity to St Mary’s.

Our Christmas Food Fayre was very busy and produced the magnificent sum of £3,200 on the day - and we have since sold a further £400 worth of chutneys and jams etc. This is a wonderful result! My wife was serving tea and coffee from the kitchen and says in all the years she has been a volunteer she has never served so many people! Thank you to all who came and supported the event and to Gill Sawyer who burnt much ‘midnight oil’ making and preparing much of what we had to sell.

Our Gift Day also produced a magnificent response from you - Canon Christine received £7,352 on that day from many of you who chose to give so generously. Again a very grateful thank you to all of you! This will certainly go a long way towards the refurbishment of the Tithe Barn.

Talking of the Tithe Barn - when you are next in the Village - pop into the church and have a look at the plans which show how we hope the building will look when the refurbishment has been completed. Not only will St Mary’s have great benefit from the use of the building - we hope the local community will do so as well! If the plans are accepted and we have sufficient funding we would very much like to start the building work around Easter time and hopefully be completed during the early Autumn - it’s all a question of ‘watch this space!’

On Sunday 15th November, a number of our younger children were admitted to Communion before Confirmation. This was a very important day for all of them and their parents. Each child received a framed Commemorative Certificate recording this momentous occasion in their Christian lives. It is to be hoped they will be confirmed when they are a little bit older and become full members of the Christian faith.

Since my last notes to you - St Mary’s has been very privileged to hold two funeral services celebrating the lives of ‘Dill’ Harvey and John Chilcott. On each occasion the church was filled to capacity - with standing room only at the west end of the building. Both were very well know in the community and will be sadly missed by everyone who knew them. We express our condolences to all family members and friends at this very sad time and will remember them in our prayers.

On Sunday 29th November, Nicky Mungeam came to our 10am Holy Communion Service and gave us an extremely interesting talk and update on the progress At Oasis Academy Brightstowe (formerly Portway School). Her talk was accompanied by a number of slides displayed on our main screen and out small plasma screen. It was extremely pleasing to hear how the school has progressed with the results and new activities since it has become an Academy and it is worthy of our support!

Our Christingle Service was held at 4pm on Sunday 6th December and was led by the students from Trinity Cohort - Jennie and Jim Bridgeman and Jill and Jim Taylor. They have made a large orange to demonstrate what significance the making of a Christingle was all about - the red ribbon around it signifies God’s love for the world and Jesus’ blood on the cross shed for all of us. The four sticks on the orange represented the four season - ie spring, summer, autumn and winter and the sweets on the end of then - the food we have to eat and of course the orange itself represents the world we all live in. After the service we all enjoyed tea at the west end of the church. Jill and Jim Taylor are the latest members of the cohort to come to St Mary’s and we welcome them into our parish together with their two daughters who have joined our church choir! So if there is anyone else out there (adults as well as children) who would like to join us - then speak to our organist and choirmaster - Tim Forder.

Now looking further ahead into 2011 - I have to tell you that Canon Christine will be leading an 11 day Pilgrimage to the Holy Land from Tuesday 10th until Friday 20th May, 2011. Places visited will be Galilee’s shores, Upper and Lower Galilee, Bethlehem and Bethlehem Region, Jerusalem and Dead Sea Region. There is a complete illustrated itinerary on display at the west end of the church together with a list on which to put you name, if you are interested and wish to receive further information.

Back to January this year - pm Saturday 9th, we are holding our Annual Book and DVD Sale in church. Come and see if you can pick up a bargain and enjoy a cup of tea at the same time!

At 1pm on Thursday 28th January, we will be holding another Beetle Drive in church which will include lunch. There is no charge but if you intend coming please put your name on the list at the west end of the church to assist Gill Sawyer with the catering. A retiring collection will be held to help defray the expenses.

Now, if you celebrated the New Year and you were so ‘tiddly’ that you can’t remember anything about it - you now have a chance to redeem yourselves, because St Mary’s is holding ‘The Alternative New Year’s Eve.’ This is to be held in church at 7.30pm on Friday 29th January 2010 and if what I hear takes places - it will be great fun! I can’t tell you what I have heard because it would spoil the surprise for you. Tickets for this fun evening are £6 and will be available from Gill Sawyer at the Church Office.

Our Confirmation Service is to be held in St Mary’s this year and will be at 6pm on Sunday 7th February and will be attended by Bishop Mike - Bishop of Bristol. All are welcome to this service - it is open to everybody. I am sure the candidates will appreciate your support as they become full members of our Christian church.

Before I come to the end of these notes I must mention how attractive our village looked over the Christmas period with the Christmas trees and their sparkling blue lights. St Mary’s was delighted to have the opportunity to join in by having festive lights on the Tithe Barn and the Norwegian pine in our churchyard. Grateful thanks must go to Cedric Rich, Tony Garland and the team for their hard work in making Shirehampton look so attractive for the benefit of everybody.

I must say thank you to all of you who keep an eye on the church building during the hours of darkness and recall here what turned out to be a rather amusing incident. Canon Christine was called out by the police one night because someone had reported seeing torchlight flashing around the building. Four police cars and a number of burly officers checked all around and found everything okay - all a complete mystery! Later it transpired that a little earlier before the police were called - the alarm had gone off and our Churchwarden Jon Saunders had been called out, only to find that the ‘church mouse’ or ‘our pet spider’ had apparently crossed one of the alarm beams and set it off. It would appear that our Good Samaritan who reported the torchlight to the police had in fact spotted our worthy Churchwarden! Just to dispel any doubts - Canon Christine does not wear her ‘dog collar’ with her nightie!!

Now this month’s yarn comes courtesy of Jean Edmunds - did you hear of the woman who telephoned her bank and spoke to the accountant who looked after her holdings and said "I want to make some changes." The accountant asked for more details - "Are you interested in Conversion or Redemption." "Good heavens!" Replied the woman - "I must have got the wrong number - I wanted the Bank of England, not the Church of England!" Nice one Jean - keep ‘em coming!

Well, that’s all for this month - will chat to you all again in February.

Bye for now!


Tithe Barn Raffle: Prize Winners

1st: Weekend for 2 in London Gina Mogg Ticket 1213
2nd: Box for the Bristol Hippodrome Pantomime - J Hargreaves Ticket 0351
3rd: Bath Christmas Cracker - Gay Swift Ticket 1569
4th: Festive Drink Hamper - S Packham - Ticket 2104
5th: Christmas Hamper - P Roache Ticket 1161
6th: Champagne, Port & Wine - Ray Brocklesby Ticket 1357
7th: Christmas Food - Paul Beddoes Ticket 1465
8th: Basket of Fruit - Jimmy Pratt Ticket 2211
9th: Christmas Wrap Set - N Clark Ticket 2297
10th: Christmas Flower Arrangement - D Lloyd Ticket 2968

Many thanks to all those who bought tickets to support this which raised £2748 for the Tithe Barn Refurbishment Fund.

From the Registers at St Mary’s

November 2009

Baptisms - 29th November

  • Thomas Eggleshaw
  • Harley Gill
  • Daniel Wake
  • Isabella Wake


  • 5th November - Brian Sheering
  • 6th November - Bruce Lark
  • 11th November - Gladys Carpenter, William Evans
  • 25th November - June Wilson
  • 26th November - Hilda Osborne
  • 27th November - Michael Harvey

Royal Seal of Approval For Tithe Barn Appeal

The appeal to renovate and re-open the Tithe Barn has attracted royal recognition in the form of a letter of support from Sarah, Duchess of York.

The Duchess, who recently led a televised project to purchase and create a community centre in Manchester, has written to St Mary’s Church expressing her support for the project and praising the Shirehampton’s sense of community spirit.

In her letter, she writes:

"The work that you are doing in Bristol is incredibly important. It is thanks to communities like yours, who are keeping the village spirit alive, that Britain will be able to continue its tradition of bringing together members of society for a cup of tea!"

Canon Christine said:

"This letter is such an encouragement to us as we work hard to bring the Tithe Barn back into community use. Locally, we all know how much it would mean to have this facility open again for the village but, when someone outside of the community recognises its importance too, it just reinforces that belief and spurs us on to get the job done.

"I’m also glad the Duchess recognised the importance of a cup of tea - that’s something which is very close to my heart and I’m sure there will be many of them drunk in the Tithe Barn once it’s open!"

A planning application for the refurbishment of the Tithe Barn is scheduled to be submitted by the end of this year and, subject to planning consent and the necessary funds being secured, work is planned to be carried out during 2010.

Anyone wanting to support the appeal or discuss an idea for a fundraising event can contact James Harris, the appeal manager, on 07886 217139 or email

For more information, please contact James Harris, Appeal Manager on

07886 217 139 or email


In last moth’s issue of ‘Shire’ a thank you to the family of Robert Nathaniel McDowell for their kind donation, inadvertently dropped off the bottom of their tribute letter. We do apologise and hope it did not cause distress at this difficult time.