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News Index

View from The Lamplighters

Update on The Lamplighters Pub Reopening Petition

Death of a Local Hero

Letters to the Editor

Cabin boy was youngest WWII hero

Sustainable Shirehampton?

New Beat Manager

The Grainger Players get the Pop Star Treatment

Local Resident Helps Close Cannabis Factory

Academy Encourages Young Mathematicians

Introducing the new Shire Traders

What’s on in April

View from The Lamplighters

Recent tidal surge at Pill - by Bob Pitchford

Recent Tidal surge at Pill - by Bob Pitchford

Update on The Lamplighters Pub Reopening Petition

Thank you to the several hundred residents who have already signed the petition - on paper and online - for the reopening of The Lamplighters Pub. It is tremendously sad to see the pub beginning to attract vandals and fall into disrepair especially with so many other Shirehampton Facilities lying in similar states of dereliction or demolition ( The Robin Cousins Centre and Swimming Pool spring to mind.)

I have been in constant contact with Enterprise Inns, who own the pub. They are still looking at quotes for doing the repairs necessary to reopen the building, and at time of writing have just told me that they are looking at putting up a fence to protect the pub from vandalism in the meantime.

I suggested that there might be enough local building and decorating expertise and skill amongst local people, perhaps looking for work, who might be able to help. Unfortunately I was told this was impossible for legal reasons.

We still need all the community support for reopening the pub we can get, to demonstrate overwhelming local demand for the pub’s reopening. In addition, if you fill in your name and details when you sign the petition on-line and on paper, I can keep you up to speed with progress with the pub and what’s going on.

We are endeavouring to keep enough paper copies of the petition in circulation. This is a never-ending task! So please contact me if you need more, ( tel: 0117 9736811) And you can find the online petition at

Charlotte Leslie, Conservative Prospective MP, Bristol North West

Carer's Allowance

Carer’s Allowance is a key benefit available for people who care for a disabled adult or child. Putting in a claim for Carer’s Allowance may lead to an increase in other benefits, such as Pension credit, Housing and Council Tax benefit.

You can claim Carer’s Allowance if:

  • You are aged 16 or over, AND
  • You spend 35 hours or more a week caring for a child or adult, AND
  • The child or adult gets Attendance Allowance, or the middle or higher care rate of Disability Living Allowance, AND
  • You earn no more than £95 a week (2009/10) net from any paid work that you do. Some care costs and work expenses can be deducted in working out this net figure.

People aged 65 and over can claim underlying entitlement Carer’s Allowance which may mean an increase in other benefits

If you want to apply for a Carer’s Allowance, then contact Tony, at Shire Advice Service. He gives advice at the drop-in advice sessions on TUESDAYS, WEDNESDAYS & THURSDAYS between 9.30am & 11.30am - NO APPOINTMENT IS NECESSARY.

He will also do a full benefit check. He can also help with applying for other welfare benefits, filling in forms, help with any problems with debts, housing problems, employment advice, & other legal matters.

Shire Advice Service offers FREE & Confidential Advice. We are situated at 115 High Street, Shirehampton. (Tel: 982-9399)

Pension Credit and Council Tax Benefit Pension Credit

Almost half of all pensioners are entitled to Pension Credit, but many miss out by not claiming it.

There are two parts of Pension Credit - you may be eligible to receive one or both of them:

1) Guarantee Credit- This tops up your weekly income to a guaranteed minimum level set by the Government.

2) Savings Credit - This provides extra money each week as a reward for having modest savings for your retirement.

Would I qualify?

You need to be 60 or over for Guarantee Credit; 65 or over for Savings Credit.

Generally, you will receive Guarantee Credit if your weekly income is less than £130.00 if you are single and £198.45 if you are a couple.

For Savings Credit, you can have a higher weekly income - normally up to around £181 if you are single or £267 if you are a couple - and still receive some benefit.

All these amounts may be higher if you are severely disabled, a carer or have certain housing costs.

There is no savings limit for Pension Credit but if you have savings over £10,000 this will reduce the amount you get.

Council Tax

  • People receiving the Guarantee Credit may be entitled to Housing & Council Tax benefit in order to get all their Rent & Council Tax paid
  • If you don’t get the guarantee credit capital savings below £16,000, you may still get some help towards your Rent & Council Tax.
  • Council tax benefit can be claimed by home owners as well as tenants- the value of your home does not count as part of your savings
  • If you live alone, make sure that you are getting the 25% discount, whatever your income.
  • There are also other discounts- for example these may apply to someone in your home who is severely mentally impaired or to some carers.
  • The disability reduction scheme can reduce your bill if your home has features that are important for a disabled person living there such as a space for a wheelchair or an extra room for their use.

You may qualify for help from more than one scheme- for example a person living alone getting the 25% discount may be also entitled to Council tax benefit

If you’re not sure whether you’ll get Pension credit or help with your Council Tax bill or both, then contact Tony for advice, at Shire Advice Service. This can done by attending the drop-in advice sessions on TUESDAYS and WEDNESDAYS and THURSDAYS between 9.30am & 11.30am - NO APPOINTMENT IS NECESSARY. Otherwise ring him on 982 9399

He will also will do a full benefits check. He can also help with applying for other benefits, filling in forms, help with any problems with debts, housing problems, employment advice, & other legal matters.

Shire Advice Service offers FREE & Confidential Advice. We are situated at 115 High Street, Shirehampton.

Tax Credits

Tax Credits consists of two separate credits: Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit.

Child Tax Credit:

For people with children. This can be a couple or a lone parent.

Working Tax Credit:

You can claim Working tax credit if you are working 16 or more hours a week (employed or self-employed) and on a low enough income and either

- are a lone parent or a member of a couple with dependent children;

- have a physical or mental disability which puts you at a disadvantage in getting a job; or

- are ‘50 plus’.

You can also claim Working tax credit if you are 25 and over and work 30 hours or more a week.

As part of Working Tax Credit you may qualify for help towards the costs of childcare.

If you want to apply for tax credits, then contact Tony, at SHIRE ADVICE SERVICE. This can be done by attending the drop-in advice sessions on TUESDAYS, WEDNESDAYS & THURSDAYS between 9.30am & 11.30am - NO APPOINTMENT IS NECESSARY.

He also will do a full benefit check.. He can also help with applying for other welfare benefits, filling in forms, help with any problems with debts, housing problems, employment advice, & other legal matters.

Shire Advice Service offers FREE & Confidential Advice. We are situated at 115 High Street, Shirehampton. (Tel: 982-9399)

Death of a Local Hero

Squadron Leader Henry George A’Court D.F.C. who was brought up in Shirehampton, died on Thursday 18th February aged 90, in Perth, Western Australia.

He lived in Old Quarry Road and was a pupil at Shirehampton JB School and then North Bristol Central School in Bristol, until moving to Bristol in 1933. He was also a choirboy at St Mary’s church for many years and worked in C.W.S. Flour Mill in Avonmouth as an apprentice miller. At the outbreak of war in 1939 he was called up for Army service at the age of 18, but was transferred to the RAF where he trained as a bomber pilot on Wellington Bombers and completed 60 successful bombing operations over Germany during World War II.

He was awarded the D.F.C and Bar and was also Mentioned in Dispatches for Bravery. He later flew Mosquito aeroplanes on Pathfinder sorties, leading further bombing raids on military targets in Germany.

After the war he continued flying as a pilot with India Airways and later with Malayan Airways, moving to Australia where he lived with his wife and family until his death.

He always had great affection and fond memories of his childhood days in Shirehampton and received copies of ‘Shire’ regularly from his sister Grace McLaughlin who was a teacher and now a Governor at Avon Primary School – and was always delighted to have news of Shirehampton. A brave and courageous man who will be sadly missed.

(Thank you for donation – Ed)

Bottle Tops for Charity

Did you know that the plastic milk carton tops (the blue, green or red ones) can assist a very worthy cause? They can be melted down to make garden furniture and Little Bridge House, Barnstaple, run by Children’s Hospice South West, benefits from the proceeds. If you would like to do your bit both for the environment by recycling, and helping the wonderful work of the hospice, you can collect the tops and deliver them to Patricia Nicol who works at Outpatients, Southmead Hospital. It would be beneficial if a group of friends and neighbours, or local cafes got together and shared the responsibility of delivering them to Patricia - but please ensure the tops are washed well. JH

From the Registers at St. Mary's

February 2010

Baptisms – “We welcome you”

28th February - Jacob Robert Davies, Theodore Samuel Harper, Sonny Patrick Joseph Power

Funerals – “At rest and at peace”

2nd February - Phyllis Laird, Rev Anthony Wheeler

  • 4th February - Joan Ruther
  • 8th February - Emily Mitchell
  • 10th February - Alan Hodgson
  • 18th February - Kenneth Norman
  • 19th February - Raymond Trueman
  • 26th February - Ann Morgan

Letters to the Editor

Army Huts

Dear Editor

Re: Army huts, I (Paul Barton) was interested to to read the letter from Gil Osman re the old army huts that became Portway Boys School. Like Gil, I spent one year at the original school before moving up to Penpole. I would be interested to know if Gil gets any response to his enquiry and if he has an email address on which I can contact him? The photos of the snow and the carols on “The Green” were superb, congratulations to Bob Pitchford for a job well done!! Whilst you have shivered we have sweltered in near 40degree C temperatures in Adelaide South Australia. Keep up the good work “Shire” it’s great for us living so far away to be able keep abreast of your local news!!

Many thanks,

Judith (Goodyear) & Paul Barton.

178th Brownies say ‘thank you’

The 178th Brownies would like to thank the Co-operative for their generous donation of £500 towards the renovation of the Guide Headquarters in St Mary’s Road, Shirehampton. The building was built nearly 40 years ago and over the last few years the condition has deteriorated. Two burst pipes this winter has made it worse. Now that we have some money we can go ahead with some of our plans, and make it safe for all of the Rainbows, Brownies and Guides who use the building every week.

Barbara Deasey

Family history – can you help?

I would like to enquire whether anyone could assist in me seeking any information on my ancestors who lived their whole life in Shirehampton. They were, Job Pullin and his wife Sarah, nee Lucas and their daughters, Elizabeth (married Thomas George Hall), Ann (married Edwin Flower) Hester Christian (married William Edmonds). Job died 1879 and was a gardener all his life. Sarah died 1878, Elizabeth Hall died 1918, Ann Flower died 1911 and Hester Christian died 1922. All are buried at St Mary’s Shirehampton except Hester Christian who is buried at Westbury Church.

I am interested in any old stories or photos that may (or probably may not) exist in the community that they lived in. Sometimes local museums or any local historical literature can feature some of the old families. Unfortunately, the family that remained in England did not produce any offspring (those that came to Australia produced very large numbers of offspring), so often there are no traces of the past. I am interested in finding anything that may not be found in the records offices. Daryl Slater Australia.

The Bristol Cross

Dear Editor

I thought this might be of interest to some of your readers. Perhaps their mums and dads are in the picture - or even grandparents!

This picture was taken c1973-1974 at Portway Comprehensive school, by a Bristol Evening post reporter who, unfortunately got the names in the wrong sequence. The correction has been made at the foot of the photo.

The kings and queens in the picture were part of a play called “The Bristol Cross” (I think...), which ran for approx. 3 days on stage at the school. I’m afraid I can’t remember the name of the Drama teacher at that time, but I know she used to favour black tights as part of her daily attire. Apart from the main cast characters, the only name I can recall was one Mr Bagshaw who played an important role in the music arrangement.

It would be interesting to hear from any of the royal entourage, as most are hitting 50 years old now, if they’re not there already.Kind regards Andrew Kays

Green Spaces

Dear Editor

I write regarding D Cole’s letter in your March edition. Their sense that “it is wrong for one political party to monopolise events within a community” seems rather silly. Surely the issue of the Daisy Field was open to all – but I cannot remember Mr Naysmith (Labour MP) or Paul Harrod (prospective Liberal Democrat candidate) getting involved or bothering at any stage.

The issue of our disappearing green spaces is one with which the community felt strongly enough about to act with considerable unity. That it found focus under the tireless leadership of Charlotte Leslie – and that victory was achieved – is surely to her credit. Where were the other parties on this important issue for real people?

N Robson

Shirehampton Methodist Church

Please note For April only the Coffee Morning will be held on SATURDAY APRIL 10th 10-11.30am

Refreshments – Tombola – Books. All welcome

Women’s World Day of Prayer at Shirehampton Methodist Church

It was lovely to see you at our church for the Women’s World Day of Prayer on Friday 5th March. The collection raised £142.50, all of which will be sent for the work that WWDP do. Hazel Thorne

Advance Notice – Shirehampton Methodist Church ‘May Fayre’ to be held on Saturday 1st May - 10 – 11.30am. Various stalls, raffles, Tombola, Refreshments – in aid of Church funds. All welcome.

Cotswold Community Association

The CCA is a registered charity and the upkeep of the hall, its hiring out and fund-raising events are all the responsibility of a small but dedicated committee.

We would like to invite anyone interested in joining the committee to contact us for more information. We particularly need younger members, either from the village-side of Shire or especially those on the Cotswold estate itself.

The hall is a popular venue for parties, keep-fit, dance classes etc, so if you have used the hall and liked the experience, why not become involved with its continued success as part of the Cotswold community. For more details contact Bobbie Perkins on 9831029.

Nature Notes

My husband and I have been contributing to Avon Wildlife Trust’s “Bristol Bird Watch” for the past 10 years since we moved on to the Cotswold estate. The harsh and prolonged bad weather this winter has produced an up-side, with visits from birds we haven’t seen in our garden before.

In January we saw Red-wings and Fieldfares, which arrived from Europe looking for food - such lovely birds to see up close. Blackcaps were visiting from December ‘til February, such lovely little birds.

We put various types of food out to attract as many different species as possible (24 have been ticked on the survey sheet!).

Wild birdseed, peanuts, fruit and fat balls will attract Blackbirds, Mistle Thrushes, Robins, Wagtails, Great Tits, Blue Tits and our special favourite the Long-tailed Tits. Nyger seed will bring the gorgeous Goldfinches in from early morning ‘til late afternoon.

Another treat is the Greater Spotted Woodpecker which loves fresh peanuts. It is important to check the peanuts and remove any mouldy ones. Remember, when you start providing bird food it’s important to continue, especially in bad weather, as the birds expend a lot of energy just flying to your garden. Give it a go – you won’t be disappointed. Bobbie Perkins

Cabin boy was youngest WWII hero

Captain Hamish Grant, Chairman of the Merchant Navy Association and a resident of Shirehampton, thought the following article which appeared in the February edition of the MNA magazine ‘Shipshape and Bristol Fashion’ might be of interest to ‘Shire’ readers. It was a story taken from a BBC news report.

“A 14-year-old boy has been confirmed as the UK’s youngest known service member to have been killed in WWII. Reginald Earnshaw was aged 14 years and 152 days when he died under enemy fire on the SS North Devon on 6 July 1941. The merchant navy cabin boy had lied about his age, claiming he was 15, so he could join the war effort. His sister Pauline Harvey, 77, will mark his birthday on Friday by laying flowers at his grave in Comely Bank Cemetery, Edinburgh. Official confirmation of Mr Earnshaw’s age by the Commonwealth Graves Commission (CWGC) was made after his sister responded to their nationwide appeal for his relatives to come forward. During the graveside visit, Mrs Harvey and her great-niece Jenny will also meet relatives of Douglas Crichton and Reg Mitchell, who were also killed in the attack off the Norfolk coast. Mrs Harvey, a retired teacher from Epworth in North Lincolnshire, was nine when her brother was killed. She said “Reggie’s death at such a young age and after just a few months at sea came as a great shock to the whole family. I am immensely grateful to so many people who helped research my brother’s forgotten story and to the War Graves Commission for providing his grave with a headstone.” Mr Earnshaw’s story came to light after a shipmate conducted research to find out what happened to his friend.

Former machine gunner Alf Tubb was 18 when their merchant ship was bombed by German planes on its way to Tyneside in July 1941. He returned fire before rushing to the engine room to find Mr Earnshaw, but was beaten back by steam. Five other people died in the attack. More than four years ago Mr Tubb, 86, of Swansea, decided to find out where his friend had been laid to rest and tracked down information through an internet appeal. He discovered Reggie’s body had been buried in an unmarked grave in Edinburgh and, following Mr Tubb’s efforts, a permanent granite headstone was erected by the CWGC last year. It is now known that Mr Earnshaw was born in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, on 5 February 1927 to Dorothy Earnshaw. She later married Eric Shires and the couple had two daughters, Pauline and Neva. The family moved to the Granton area of Edinburgh in 1939 when Mr Earnshaw was 12. He attended Bellevue School and left, aged 14, to join the merchant navy in February 1941. Ranald Leask of the CWGC said “Having last year erected a headstone at Reggie’s grave, we at the War Graves commission are very pleased that Mrs Harvey contacted us. She will now be able to choose an inscription for her brother’s headstone and provide Reggie with a fitting final tribute.” The youngest known service casualty of World War II was previously recorded as Raymond Steed, another merchant seaman who was killed aged 14 years and 207 days. “

Shirehampton Methodist Church Holy Week and Easter Services

Maundy Thursday (1st April)- 3.00pm a short service of Holy Communion

Easter Sunday (3rd April)- 11.00am – come and celebrate Easter with us at a service led by Rev Dr Jacky Quarmby

Sunday 18th April Joint Shirehampton/Sea Mills Home Mission Anniversary at Sea Mills Methodist Church at 4.30pm. Speaker Mrs Pam Roberts (Hodgkin House) Clifton. Transport leaving from outside Shirehampton Methodist church at 4.15pm.

Sea Cadets Say ‘The Line Has Been Crossed’

This month Bristol (Avonmouth) Sea Cadet unit held a re-enactment of a ‘Crossing the Line Ceremony’. Lieutenant (SCC) Barbara Hillier RNR, commanding Officer of Bristol (Avonmouth) Sea Cadets told us “We wanted to say farewell in style to a much loved member of the unit’s staff. Ian McNamara retired last year as a Lieutenant-Commander after nearly 20 years in submarines. Since then he has been with us as a Civilian Instructor. A Crossing the Line ceremony is the traditional naval celebration of crossing the line of 0o Latitude better known to land-lubbers as the equator”. “His new job sees him leave us for Carrick Fergus. Our loss really is their gain.”

What is a Crossing the Line ceremony?

The ceremony has changed little since the 18th century. Many countries’ ships would give some kind of offering to the sea and still remains in today’s navies. All members of the crew regardless of age or rank who have not crossed the equator before must take part in the initiation ritual. Members of the ship’s company (crew) who have previously crossed the equator are nicknamed ‘shellbacks’.

Petty Officer (SCC) Christopher Batt explained what the ceremony involves “Neptune, the Greek and Roman god of the seas is impersonated by a shellback bearing in his hand the trident and wearing a crown. The rest of the team are The Barber, The Surgeon and either Queen Amphitrite (Queen of the Seas) or Davey Jones.

The ceremony starts with the arrival of King Neptune who is piped aboard with Bosun’s calls. Neptune demands the customary tribute from those who have not crossed the line. Meanwhile Neptune’s helpers confine the trespassers or novices (that is those who have not obtained their ‘freedom’ from Neptune).

They are one by one brought to their ‘trial’ presided over by Neptune and his scribe, Davey Jones. The Surgeon gives them a humorous medical check to ensure they are fit for trial followed by some ‘medicine’. A large tub or in our case a paddling pool, filled with salt water, is placed on the deck, and by it a seat, on which the novice is seated. The barber smears their face with shaving foam (even the girls!), and then scrapes it away with an oversized wooden cut-throat razor. On the signal from Davey Jones the seat is tipped and the novice is immersed in water.

It is great fun for all concerned. At the end of the ceremony a certificate is issued as proof that they are no longer novices.”

Lieutenant-Commander (SCC) Alison Fowler RNR, District Officer for the Avon District, joined in the fun with the cadets, who meet at TS Enterprise by the river on Station Road, Shirehampton. Lt-Cdr Fowler is now no longer a novice and has the certificate to prove it! Lt Cdr McNamara said “TS Enterprise is a brilliant bunch of young people and volunteer staff. They worked really hard. I have actually crossed the line and this was as close as you could get without doing it for real.” He went on to say “I was really touched by the effort made by all for my send off and I look forward to inviting Avonmouth unit to my new one in Carrick Fergus near Belfast.”

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

Among the highlights for the unit in the past year have been the sporting achievements and the successful weekend visit to London aboard HMS Belfast. TS Enterprise also takes part in many public events. For 2010 some important events will be the various local fetes, the swimming gala and Trafalgar Night dinner in October and the Festival of Remembrance at the Colston Hall in November. Plans are also afoot to visit Portsmouth for their Festival of Christmas.

Avonmouth Sea Cadets has been serving the West of Bristol and North Somerset since 1943 and before that as part of Bristol Sea Cadets that celebrates 150 years this year. They are always pleased to hear from ex-cadets and staff as well as those of the future. For contact details see the events section of the Shire.

Sustainable Shirehampton?

“Sustainable Bishopston”, “Sustainable Redland” – how about “Sustainable Shirehampton”? All over Bristol local people concerned about climate change and our impact on the planet and on our local environment are joining together. Starting with small groups they set out to inform themselves about the challenges we face both locally and globally and to identify ways in which their community could be more sustainable. Shirehampton Greens, a local environmental group which has worked to improve the Daisy Field and Lamplighters Marsh Conservation area, would like to initiate a Sustainable Shirehampton. We hope to begin with a public meeting and talk from Bristol City Council about their response to climate change.

Details will appear in ‘Shire’ and you can contact Shirehampton Greens at Shirehampton Public Hall. RS

Eighty thousand Bristol householders to get help in recycling food waste

Eighty thousand Bristol householders to get help in recycling food waste. Recycling advice and compostable bin liners will be delivered directly at doorsteps throughout the city between April and August 2010 to encourage people to recycle food waste in their brown waste bins. Nearly 82,000 households will be delivered a free roll of compostable food waste bin liners and recycling dvisors will visit approximately 37,500 households in areas where residents have been slower to use the brown bins.

“The less waste we have to dispose of through landfill sites the better both for the council taxpayer and for the environment. We are doing all we can to encourage people to reduce their food waste by sensible buying and composting but also to recycle any food waste where that’s not possible.” said Cllr Gary Hopkins, Cabinet member for the Environment and Community Safety.

The initiative follows a Council pilot project last summer to trial different methods to encourage more people to use their brown food waste bins. Recycling advice was given on the doorstep and free compostable liners were given to residents, over 700 recycling containers were also distributed. “The campaign was successful in boosting food waste recycling, and we are now expanding it to other parts of the city, in particular where there is less food recycling,” said Cllr Hopkins. Recycling advisors will give advice on the doorstep on all recycling services; they will encourage residents to line their food waste bins with newspaper or with compostable liners. The advisors will dispel any recycling myths and encourage residents to start or to use more of the recycling services. These specially trained staff will be giving people tips on recycling and showing what they can and cannot put in their food waste bin and black box. Recycling advisors, recognisable by their ‘Recycle Now’ branded clothing, will be visiting homes in a number of areas including Avonmouth, Kingsweston, Henbury, Southmead, Southville, Bedminster, Bishopsworth, Hartcliffe, Whitchurch Park, Windmill Hill, Brislington East and Brislington West, Stockwood, Lockleaze, Easton, Eastville, Ashley, Frome Vale and Hillfields.

For more information please contact Vicky O’Loughlin or Catherine Frankpitt on 0117 9223463

New Beat Manager

Following the departure of PC Gareth Davies from the local Beat, I am delighted to announce that the new Beat Manager for Shirehampton and Avonmouth has started in her post.

PC Amanda Patterson joined the team, based at Avonmouth police station on January 18th and has been spending the first few weeks in her new role settling into the new team environment and meeting some of the local residents.

After working for so long as the Beat Manager for Shirehampton, it is worth taking time to reflect on the commitment and hard work displayed by PC Gareth Davies. Working in the community for so many years gave him a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the local community and many of the individuals he had cause to deal with in whatever capacity!

Such experience is always of great value and PC Patterson now faces the challenge of getting to know Shirehampton to the same extent that Gareth did. Fortunately, Amanda is not starting from scratch on that front as she actually started her police career working from Avonmouth police station between 2003 and 2007. Even then, on ‘leaving’ the area, it was only to move to Southmead, so Amanda was still working from a station where she had responsibility for attending calls to Shirehampton. As her career has progressed, Amanda identified a need for challenges beyond attending emergency calls, explaining “as much as I enjoyed my years on the response team, I was very keen to get involved with Neighbourhood issues and local priorities”.

That will be a key responsibility in her new role and already Amanda has made an impact on the Beat, identifying issues that are of concern to local residents and responding to them. These issues have included drug dealing and anti-social behaviour. That is exactly what I want to see from a Beat Manager as I am a firm believer in the concept that ‘policing is far too important to be left to the police alone’.

Effective and meaningful partnership work that allows important issues to be identified and addressed is a key responsibility of the local Neighbourhood Policing Team.

Amanda’s enthusiasm for the new challenge is clear to see as she describes “I am committed to being a Beat Manager and want to tackle issues that matter most to the residents of Avonmouth and Shirehampton, in particular, reducing Anti Social Behaviour”.

“I am aware that the previous Beat Manager, PC Gareth Davies, was a very popular member of the team and I hope to be able to carry on his good work!”

Amanda will be attending a Beat Surgery at St Mary’s Church, High Street, Shirehampton between 11am - 12pm on Wednesday 7th April and looks forward to meeting local residents there.

Avonmouth and Kingsweston Neighbourhood Partnership

Devolving Power to your Neighbourhood

You may have recently read that Bristol City Council announced plans to give a bigger say over decision making to Bristol people. This was put into practice in your neighbourhood for the first time in February 2010.

In total the wards of Kingsweston and Avonmouth have £1,081,284 of devolved budgets, which is made up of £122,517 actual money to spend on things like pavement and road repairs and £958,767 influence budget which can be used to direct staff time among other things. For more information on the budget and what it means in your neighbourhood go to

On February 16th the Avonmouth and Kingsweston Neighbourhood Partnership met at the Bristol Conference Centre in Shirehampton and made some decisions on the spending in the local area. Decisions which were taken included;

Footway repairs (budget £24,000) - it was agreed to begin the resurfacing of the footway in Aylminton Walk, Lawrence Weston. Council Officers had also recommended Brookleaze and Avonleaze to be repaired but the committee requested they investigate a piece of footway on Longcross in order to ensure the most at need repairs were prioritised.

Road re-surfacing (budget £56,529) - it was agreed to repair/resurface a number of roads across the Neighbourhood Partnership area including, Penpole Lane, Walton Rd, Burnham Rd, and part of the Portway among others.

Minor Traffic Shemes (budget £17,143) - It was agreed to fund a scheme to look at parking restrictions in Sea Mills Square and also on Ridingleaze. In addition some of the funds were put together with some Section 106 money to provide a zebra crossing at the lay-by on the Long Cross.

More detailed information on the decisions taken can be found at

The next committee meeting to look at devolved budgets will be held on June 17th. In the meantime the Neighbourhood Partnership will be concentrating on how to involve more local people in the process. We will be looking at different ways to ensure that as many people as possible can get their views heard. This will include more communications and publicity, making better more efficient use of the existing meetings already happening in the community and offering different ways for people to get involved than having to attend meetings.

We are very keen to get more residents and community groups involved in the Neighbourhood Partnership so that we can be sure we are representing as many local people as possible. If you are interested in getting involved or you have any ides on how we can be more inclusive please contact

In memory of Andrew Mogg

This beautiful bench, made by a colleague of Andrew Mogg at the Bristol Port Company and donated by his colleagues and friends there, has been placed in the churchyard at St Mary’s and was dedicated in Andrew’s memory on Saturday 20th February. We, at St Mary’s, are most grateful for this gift and we know it will be appreciated by many in our community as a welcome resting place in our village. A lasting memory of Andrew.

The Grainger Players get the Pop Star Treatment

The Grainger Players were given the pop star treatment last month and had a wonderful time recording a couple of their favourite songs at Barking Dog Studios in North Bristol. The group is in rehearsal for their latest show “The Fantastic 80’s” that takes to the stage in May. They were given the opportunity to have their very own “Pop Star Party” and also learn some new singing and performance techniques whilst recording two songs that they were experiencing difficulties with.

Eighteen members of the amateur theatre group were taken on a tour of the recording studios by Ade Pridham. They were shown the main studio where they were going to record their songs and taken through a brief explanation of what to expect whilst they were recording their songs. They were also taken to the control room where all the technicalities of recording and mixing are taken care of. There was also a small snack buffet, tea, coffee and soft drinks made available to the guests.

First to record were twin sisters Chloe and Lori Hayball, Aimee Collins, Charlotte Harrington, Martyna Tabat and Teddy Powell. The song they recorded was “The Land of Make Believe”. The song was split into sections and the song verses equally split between the children. They sang the chorus together and Ade was very helpful with advice on how to get the best out of their singing. Once they finished recording their song the children watched Ade work his magic and do a final mix that was transferred onto CD for each of them as a memento of their day. They were fascinated by the whole process.

“It was brilliant, in fact amazing. I did feel a bit nervous being in the studio when we were recording ‘The Land of Make Believe’ but I was there with my sister and four of my friends and we had a lot of fun singing! I’d love to do it again sometime.” said Chloe.

“It was a once in a lifetime opportunity for us all. Ade was very helpful when we were singing. I was amazed how he mixed the music and how it all came together. I felt really proud when we got our very own CD. The whole thing was just brilliant.” said Lori. The rest of the children fully agreed with Chloe and Lori’s comments and all want to go back and record another song one day.

And Pop Star Party isn’t just for children. The adult members of the theatre group also took their turn in recording “You’re The First, My Last, My Everything”, that took just under two hours to complete. Once again they were given the full pop star treatment. “I really enjoyed recording the song we had chosen and then watching the whole process on how our voices were mixed together, it was very good. It was also nice to have a CD to take home with me.” said Shelly Curtis.

Whilst Daisy Powell added “It was a really enjoyable experience. I’d never been to a recording studio before and didn’t realise how long it would take to record just one track”. Laura Tuckwell was very enthusiastic about the whole experience and said “I would love to do it again. It was an excellent day”.

Pop Star Party is a new venture that Ade Pridham has put together and it is proving popular with young and old alike. “The Grainger Players are the first theatre group I have had at the studio. They are certainly enthusiastic about what they do and they listened to advice that I gave them when they were recording their songs. They were very interested in everything that was going on around them and were fascinated with the mixing stage of the songs. They left the studios very happy indeed.” he said. Liz Hurd is one of the Producers of the amateur theatre group. “I think we all learnt quite a bit on the day. Monica and I are planning to instigate some of the ideas in show rehearsals. It was a great day for all of us and we’d like to thank Ade for such good time, we were very impressed.” she said.

You can find out more about Pop Star Party by visiting the web site: If you’d like to book your very own Pop Star Party then please contact Ade Pridham on: 01454 273626 or 07970 719252.

The Grainger Players new show “The Fantastic 80s” takes place at Shirehampton Public Hall, Station Road, on the 7th and 8th May 2010. The show begins at 7:30pm. Tickets are £4.00 each and go on sale the beginning of April. They will be available from D&P Fashions, The High Street, Shirehampton. Tickets will also be available on the door on the night of each performance (that’s if they don’t sell out beforehand! Once again you are advised to buy your tickets early.) Don’t forget to check out their web page: for further updates.

Money raised from the shows will be donated to “Help For Heroes”

The Big One! - Charity Football Tournament and Family Fun Day

This will take place on Sunday 9th May at the City & Port of Bristol Sports Club, Nibley Road, Shirehampton. The LRF Cup is up for grabs with 8 teams playing to decide the best in the Avonmouth/Portbury area. There will be an all star team made up of stars such as City and Rover legends Andy Llewellyn and Geoff Twentyman. The first match starts at 10am, lunch is at 1pm and presentations will be made at 4pm. Teams taking part are asked to raise £1000 each so team captains are asked to write to contacts for corporate sponsorship. Other attractions include Curry, BBQ, bar and music in the evening, with a bouncy castle and games for children. Funds will be raised for Leukaemia Research.

What did YOU do to celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Where did you and your boy/girl friend, lover, partner or husband/wife spend Valentine’s Day? Did you spend the whole day together this year? After all it fell on a Sunday so hopefully fewer of us than usual had work commitments during the day. Maybe you ended the day, whether you had been able to spend it together or not, with a romantic dinner for two at a quiet restaurant. A spot that was not too busy, and where the staff were attentive, but not intrusive, and where you were able to spend some time together talking about the things that are important to just the two of you.

Five fortunate couples from the village did just that, and it didn’t cost them a penny! They were the ones who took up the invitation of a free Valentine’s Dinner for two at the Baptist Church. As you can see from the photograph, the new Link Room at the Church was transformed into a small and select dining venue for the evening, complete with attentive waiters and waitresses, and a menu compiled and cooked by a local professional Chef, Mr Ben Steedman who also gave his services free of charge.

Not only did the couples have the opportunity to spend time together on Valentine’s Day, but also if they signed up for the Marriage Course that was introduced to them during the evening, they will be enjoying spending more time together over the next seven weeks. On Tuesday evenings, over a two course meal and coffee, and with time to talk to each other, they will be investing in their relationship and making it stronger for the future. The Marriage course has been running in various locations across the UK for almost ten years now, although it is the first time it has taken place at the Baptist Church in Shirehampton. It is for couples who are just beginning on a life of commitment to each other, or who may have been together for many years. It covers issues that are vitally important to keep a relationship healthy, such as The Art of Communication, Resolving Conflict, The Power of Forgiveness, and, of course, Good Sex. If you would like more information about the course, and to be kept informed of when the next one will begin, then please contact Chris Grant at Shirehampton Baptist Church on 982 8238.

Doug Naysmith to stand for Council

Doug Naysmith, the MP for Bristol North who is retiring at the next election, is planning to stand for Avonmouth, the ward where he lives, in the City Council elections in May. Dr Naysmith was a senior Bristol City Councillor for 18 years before he won Bristol NW in the 1997 Labour landslide. He said, “I am not ready to retire completely yet and want to carry on doing what I can for Avonmouth. As the local MP I had to cover ten wards in two different local authorities. Now I can focus on the area where I live and I hope to use my experience as an MP for the benefit of the people of Avonmouth and Shirehampton.” Sam Townend, Labour candidate as MP for Bristol NW, said, “Doug has been a great MP for the north of Bristol over the last 13 years. He now wants to concentrate his efforts on his home ward of Shirehampton and Avonmouth. He and I will be working even more closely together over the next few months for a Labour victory.”

John Bees, former Docks convener and Councillor for Kingsweston said, “As Chair of the Port of Bristol Authority in the 1980s, Doug pressed for the transfer of the Docks to the private sector. It wasn’t popular at the time but the Bristol Port Company has gone from strength to strength.”

St Mary’s News

Hi Folks!

Here we are with Easter now upon us - an important time in the Christian Calendar and a delightful moment for all you “chocoholics” with Easter Eggs in abundance. I did see one shop selling Easter Eggs a few days after Christmas - and in six months time we shall start to see the Christmas decorations appear!! Just where does time go?

Well, sadly once again I have to report the death of a well respected and much loved lady from our congregation - Jean Rich. I have known her for very many years and always found her to be a quiet and very gentle person. Jean had a fall a couple of years ago when she fractured her hip and this really affected her quite severely and restricted her mobility, as she was always such a sprightly person. As time went by her health regrettably deteriorated and latterly she resided at Pen Hill Nursing Home under the watchful eye of Barbara and Stephen. Jean’s funeral service was held at St. Mary’s and it was pleasing to see a full church - there were so many who wished to pay their last respects to her. May you rest in peace Jean - we shall all miss you - but we will never forget you!

Another member of our congregation who has been missing recently - due to a series of falls - is Lilian Simmons. Lilian fell down the stairs and also had another fall in the house which has prevented her from coming to church for a number of weeks now. Being confined to four walls has had a depressing effect upon her and we have missed seeing her at the Wednesday Lunch Club and at the Shirehampton Area Choir practices. Cheer up Lilian - we all miss you - keep taking the tablets as the saying goes - I know you have apparently taking bucket loads! We shall have to get a “Kitchener” type poster made - saying - “Shire Area Choir needs YOU”!!

Another member of our congregation is Les. Linsley who recently reached the age of 90 years. Congratulations Les, we all wish you well and urge you to keep going!! A kiss from my wife always brings the colour back into his cheeks!! I can’t understand why it doesn’t do the same for me!

Last month “Zak” Bulbul, our Police Community Support Officer held the first of his monthly surgeries in St. Mary’s and was very pleased with the number of people who took the opportunity to meet and speak with him. Remember he is available at St. Mary’s from 11.00 am until 12.00 noon on the first Wednesday of each month.

On Friday, 5th. March we had a full house at St. Mary’s for the visit of the Chepstow Male Voice Choir. Their performance was absolutely brilliant and at the end of the concert they received a standing ovation from the audience. With the delightful refreshments during the Interval this made an evening to be long remembered.

On Sunday, 7th. March in place of the sermon we had a speaker from the Church of England Childrens’ Society - Rhyannon Burman-Day. She gave a very informative account of the work of the Society - which not only includes the welfare of very young children, but also teenagers who have social, family and drugs problems. How things have changed - my wife was Nurse with the Society many years ago and they then only had dealings with children up to the age of 5 years who in those days were termed to be waifs and strays.

Back in March we had a Thursday evening organised and arranged by the Cohort Students from Trinity College in the Tithe Barn. The evening started off with light refreshments courtesy of Jill & Jim Taylor and we had speakers from Brightstow Oasis Academy, Trinity College and finally Canon Christine. Ideas for the use of the Tithe Barn were discussed and intermingled with hymn singing - old and new. It gave everyone a chance to see inside the Tithe Barn which has been shut up for several years now. After the meeting there, everyone was invited back to St. Mary’s for a Fish & Chip Supper. I’m sorry to disillusion anyone concerning the supply of the food - it wasn’t like the feeding of the Five Thousand - it all came from Simply Fish in the High Street!!!

Many of you will remember Victor Crocker - a 93 years old gentleman from our congregation who died a few months ago. Victor in his Will has very generously, from his estate, left St. Mary’s PCC the sum of £15,000 to be used as the PCC so wished. It has been agreed that this sum of money will be put towards the refurbishment of the Tithe Barn. We are sure Victor would be happy with this as it will eventually benefit the whole community.

Our Annual Parochial Church Meeting will held on the Sunday after Easter (Low Sunday), 11th. April, at 6.00 pm., after a very short service of Evening Prayer. This is when a new Parochial Church Council is elected to serve the church for the following 12 months and is also your opportunity to query any matter and examine and question anything in the Church Accounts. This meeting will also include a presentation and update on the Tithe Barn.

We have recently been approached by a group of ladies known as “The Goldies in Bristol” who have suggested the church as a venue for Fun Singing Sessions. This will be for just one hour from 2.30 pm until 3.30 pm on Fridays when you will have the opportunity to sing many of the “Hits” from the 50’s, 60’s & 70’s. These ladies will bring their own musical equipment with them. Why not come along one Friday and recall old memories?

Finally, I am going to take the opportunity to give you an early reminder of our Church Open Day on the May Day Bank Holiday 3rd.May - when the church will be open from 12.00 noon until 5.00 pm. Lunch will be available at a very reasonable cost as will the Cream Teas which will follow later. No need to spend the day on your own - come and enjoy some first class food and the company of other folks around.

Now that Easter and the Wedding season approaches have you heard this one? A middle-aged couple were married during the week. After the wedding the groom asked the Minister - “How much do I owe you?” The Minister said, “How much is she worth?”.

The groom gave the Minister £1. The Minister took a second look at the Bride and gave him 50p back!!

‘Bye for now! C.M.E.

Goldies in Bristol

Come and join us in one of our FUN singing sessions being held on Friday afternoons 2.30 – 3.30pm at St Mary’s Church, Shirehampton. We ask for a £1 contribution from each person to help support more sessions. We are a charity providing singing sessions for older people. For more details contact Golden-Oldies, The Old Chapel, The Mead, Farmborough, Bath BA2 0AF, Tel: 01761 470006 email

Get Offenders to Improve Your Neighbourhood

If there’s something you think may improve your area, like removing graffiti, litter or clearing an overgrown public area, contact your local probation service on 01179 447 254. They can get the work done for free by offenders as part of their punishment. It’s a scheme called Community Payback.

Community Payback can be given to offenders as part of a ‘community sentence’. A ‘community sentence’ means that the offender may have to carry out up to 300 hours of unpaid work. This work benefits the community - and means the offenders pay back the community for their crimes.

Projects can include:

  • removing graffiti
  • picking up litter
  • repairing and decorating community centres
  • clearing undergrowth from paths and other public areas
  • working on environmental projects

Offenders must wear bright orange high-visibility jackets, marked ‘Community Payback’ while they’re working. The jackets mean you can see that they’re paying back for their crimes.

Over 22,000 hours of Community Payback were completed in Bristol between Jul – Dec 2009.

Vicky O’Loughlin, Safer Bristol

Children’s Centre, Avonmouth

As promised in the March issue, here are just two photographs taken at the official opening of the Surestart Children’s Centre in Avonmouth on 24th February 2010. The Fun Day arranged to celebrate was successful and well attended.

Golden Debut For NSC Boxer Connors

The National Smelting Company Amateur Boxing Club held it’s second show of the current boxing season at The Pill Memorial club with a 12 bout packed bill and nine Smelters boxers taking to the ring. In the first bout of the night was NSC’s youngest boxer 11-year-old ‘Big’ Ted Phillips boxing in his first skills contest, which are non decision bouts where both boxers have their arms raised as winners at the final bell. Informed Smelters head coach Garry Cave “These skills bouts are a great way of developing young boxers, it gives them the chance to learn the ropes without having to worry about losing. Ted boxed really well, showing a solid defence and good attacking combinations, he really enjoyed himself in an all action bout”.

In the second bout also making his debut was 11-year-old Light Flyweight Luke ‘The Force’ Connors a brother of seven, five of whom having all boxed for the NSC. Said Cave “I struggled to find Luke a skills bout but thanks to Golden Ring of Southampton who travelled with just one boxer we secured Luke a real contest versus John Chicken. I’d done a bit of homework so I knew John was a very strong young prospect with two previous quick victories but I had confidence in Luke’s boxing ability and toughness and he didn’t disappoint. The Golden ring boxer set a furious pace looking to force another early stoppage with a barrage of power punches but full respect to Luke he took everything thrown at him and just came firing back forcing his opponent across the ring”. After three very hard fought entertaining rounds, Connors won the bout on points.

Said Cave “I’m made up, for his first bout Luke really showed some bottle to beat such a strong opponent, Luke’s a real character to have in the gym and like all his brothers a very tidy boxer”.

Bout four saw NSC’s ‘Dazzling’ Dan Shackell matched against local Downend boxer Tom Williams. Cave said “Dan’s won his first three bouts so I was hopeful he could make it four straight wins but the Downend lad hadn’t read the script and boxed very well to win a close contest on points. You can’t win them all and Dan still put in a good performance, it will go again on another day, with a bit of extra hard training hopefully he’ll dazzle next time out”.

Bout five was NSC’s Western Counties Champion 13-year-old Jake ‘Monster’ Musgrove versus Swindon based James Richards of Penhill ABC. After three close rounds, Richards winning on points. Informed Cave “Jake doesn’t lose many and I know he was disappointed not to get the result but it was a good bout and we have him a rematch on the next Penhill show, he gave away a lot of height and reach but despite that boxed really well and as a coach that’s all you can ask for”.

Bout six saw Featherweight Dan Shackell’s twin 13-year-old bother James ‘El Toro’ Shackell matched against another Downend boxer in Martin Perret. Reported Cave “Neither of these lads wanted to take a backward step and what a war it was, with heavy blows exchanged on both sides. But as the bout went on James got the upper hand and scored with some big right crosses, blooding the nose of his Downend rival”. The Referee stopped the action mid way through the third round after Perret had received a couple of standing counts, Shackelll winning by RSC. Said Cave “James lost his first two bouts on close points, but he’s stuck at it, trained very hard and has now won his last four, it’s great to see all that work and determination now paying off for him”.

Next up for the Avonmouth based boxing stable was twice Western Counties Champion 15-year-old bantamweight Tyler ‘Tiger’ Davies boxing the taller stylish Louis Tinder of Penhill. “This is the third time these two young prospects have boxed, Tyler winning the first in a close bout, the second finished prematurely when Trinder turned an ankle and was unable to continue. After three great rounds of skilful boxing Tyler won a very close majority points decision off the judges. I know Tyler wasn’t convinced by his own performance, but he hasn’t boxed for a few weeks and did enough to win and this was a good chance to shake a bit of ring rust off” said Cave.. Tyler has a chance to win his third Western Counties Title on Saturday the 27th of March at Broadplain boxing club, Bristol where he meets for the first time Shane Haywood of Sturminster.

Last win of the night was secured from Welterweight Sam Fitzgerald with a convincing points win over Jamie Jones of Barnstaple. Said Cave “Sam is another boxer that trains hard he never misses a training session, after losing his first bout he’s won his last two and is shaping up, he’s really come in the last couple of months and is one to watch for in the future”.

NSC Light Welterweight Sam Smyth was unable get his third win in a row losing on points to Joe Hoskins of Downend. Said Cave “Sam boxed well and tried his heart out but was just beaten by the better man on the night, he should be proud of his performance, any club would be glad to have a lad like Sam, he’s a cracking young man and a pleasure to coach”

Summing up Cave states “It was a great family night out of boxing with 12 hard fought entertaining bouts, we got nine of our boxers bouts, losing four and winning four, two young lads had their first contests. It’s a great crowd at Pill Memorial Club they know their boxing and where very sporting to all the clubs boxers. A big thank you to all the boxing clubs and ABAe officials that supported this show”.

NSC host their next boxing show at Pill Memorial Club on Thursday the 20th of May, Doors 7pm, first bell 8pm, Tickets £10 over 18’s and £5 under 18’s Tickets will be available from May, Pill Club Tel. 01275 372176. Gary Cave

Local Resident Helps Close Cannabis Factory

Thanks to information provided by a member of the public, two cannabis factories in Shirehampton have been closed down. A 20-year-old man was linked to both addresses and has been arrested for possession of cannabis and cannabis cultivation. He is currently on police bail.

Sergeant Terry Scoble said: “Drug dealing makes lives miserable for residents. Their lives are disrupted by people coming and going at all hours and it brings undesirable characters into the area.”

Police raided the properties after being given information that cannabis was being grown at both properties by the same man. When officers entered the premises they discovered cannabis plants worth almost £50,000 when fully grown. They also seized hydroponics equipment from a garage at one of the properties which had converted into a cannabis factory

Beat Surgeries

Avonmouth surgeries - held on the first Monday of the month between 9.30am and 11am at St Andrew’s Church Hall, which is on Avonmouth Road to the park

Shirehampton surgeries - held on the last Wednesday of the month between 10.30am and 11.30am at The Ridge Community Centre, Oaktree Court, Shirehampton, and also at St Mary’s Church, High Street between 11am and 12noon.

Academy Encourages Young Mathematicians

Oasis Academy Brightstowe has been encouraging its students to participate in extra-curricular mathematical activities and has already seen some significant student achievements.

The Academy specialises in the subjects of Mathematics and ICT, and the importance of these disciplines is emphasised throughout the curriculum. During the year, students have been encouraged to take part in various national mathematics events to assist them in their learning.

A group of Year 10 and 11 students recently took part in the Intermediate Level of the UK Maths Challenge, and John Thorne and Natricia Rathbone both won a bronze medal. The annual competition sees students from across the country pit their knowledge against each other in a challenging one hour test, and following this recent success, a group of Year 8 students will now be taking part in the Junior Level of the competition later this year.

Natricia said: “I enjoyed being part of a team and knowing that we were in competition against other schools, because every answer counted. I am really pleased that I won a medal and would like to take part in something like this again.”

Vice Principal and Head of Specialism Sally Ganner said: “I am so pleased to see the students getting involved with extra-curricular maths activities. They have quite clearly enjoyed themselves.

“Part of the work we do to promote our specialism and enhance learning opportunities is about encouraging students to use maths outside of the classroom environment, and these types of extra-curricular activities are a great way to do this.

“We aim to develop a community of intelligent and inquisitive young mathematicians here at Oasis Academy Brightstowe, and want to show students how mathematics can have meaning in their lives outside of the Academy.”

Fairtrade Fun at Oasis Academy Brighstowe

Students and staff at Oasis Academy Brightstowe have been celebrating Fairtrade Fortnight this week with a whole host of events and schemes of work to help raise awareness of the plight of disadvantaged farmers and producers in developing countries.

Year 9 students have been exploring issues of poverty alleviation and sustainable development in their Humanities lessons.

They played the ‘Trade Game’ in the hall, where groups of students represented a country or nation and were allocated wealth and resources that accurately reflect that countries real economic situation. The countries then had to trade with each other in an effort to make the most profit, which soon put many of the teams representing developing countries into difficulty.

One student said: “We thought this would be an easy game at first, but we soon realised that we weren’t going to be able to make any money. It wasn’t fair, because some of the other teams started with loads more than we did, and then they just took everything we had.”

Geography Learning Co-ordinator Charlotte Cook said: “This is an eye-opening exercise for the students, because it clearly highlights the economic differences between the global nations and the very real problems that developing countries face. Many students were quite genuinely concerned when they learnt about the huge amounts of debt that developing countries have hanging over their heads “.

The students then learnt about the concept of fair-trade and the work done by the fair-trade foundation to ensure that growers and producers in developing countries have access to fair markets under better trade conditions. They produced leaflets explaining the significance of the fair-trade mark and where people should look to find popular fair-trade products such as chocolate, bananas, tea and coffee.

Academy staff also played their part. Members of the Oasis Hub team engaged in a ‘fair-trade fast’ where they committed to only eating certified fair-trade products for one whole week.

Hub Development Worker Jen Conlan said: “Whilst this could seem like a really tough challenge, we actually wanted to do this to highlight the increasingly wide variety of fair-trade products on offer, such as museli, rice, pasta, fruit, chocolate and wine. We were hoping for staff and students to support us, by trying at least two new fair-trade products they’ve never used before.”

The Hub team also held a tea party event in the staffroom, where staff could come for cups of fair-trade tea and coffee, and take part in a raffle to win some fair-trade wine. All the proceeds went towards the Academy’s nominated charity Stop The Traffik, which works to stop illegal human trafficking – a problem that is particularly prolific in the Ivory Coast cocoa trade. The Academy supports Stop The Traffik’s campaign to encourage people to boycott all chocolate that is not certified as fair-trade.

Supporting Stop The Traffik

On Saturday 13th March, local café The Coffee Pot on Shirehampton High Street held a morning of fair-trade tea and cupcakes to raise awareness for the Stop The Traffik campaign.

Stop The Traffik is a global campaign that aims to highlight and prevent the serious and debilitating trade in illegal human trafficking. Saturday’s event was run in conjunction with the Stop The Traffik North Bristol Action Group, which works to raise awareness of the problem locally.

Throughout the morning, local people came down to The Coffee Pot to find out more about the issue, and were encouraged to try a fair-trade cup of tea and a cupcake. The fair-trade tea and coffee were kindly donated by the local Co-op.

Café owner Jacqueline said: “As soon as I heard about the Stop The Traffik North Bristol Action Group, I wanted to do something to support their cause.

“Most people think of human trafficking as something that happens far away in developing countries, but I was shocked to discover that it’s pretty prolific in the UK and actually goes on here in Bristol itself.

“I hope that this event helped to bring news of the problem to people who might not have been aware of it before and who I’m sure would agree that it needs to be stopped.”

Abbie McDuff, leader of the Stop The Traffik North Bristol Action Group, said: “We feel the event was a great success. It was fantastic to see so many local people coming down to find out about Stop The Traffik and what can be done locally to support the cause.

“The sad truth is that human trafficking is something that happens regularly in and around North Bristol, although it is kept very much under the radar, and many people are not aware that the problem even exists.”

The Stop The Traffik campaign is run by the charity Oasis, who also sponsor local school Oasis Academy Brightstowe. Year 9 students Sam Edwards, Sam Jenkins, Devan Ogbourne, John Thorne and Liam joined representatives from the North Bristol Action Group to support the event.

Sam said: “I was happy to come down and help with the event because I think human trafficking is very wrong. Stop The Traffik is our school charity and we have been learning all about how people are taken away from their family and friends and sold into a life of slavery. I want to tell people about the problem and help to stop it happening.”

In an effort to raise further awareness, student ambassadors from Oasis Academy Brightstowe will be leading introductory Stop The Traffik lessons in local primary schools.

Hub Development Officer Jen Conlan said: “We are planning to work in conjunction with our feeder primary schools so that our students can deliver a programme of lessons that explain the charity’s work.

“The local community has been fantastic in showing support for this cause and we hope to continue to work with them to create an environment where it is harder to for people to be trafficked and exploited.”

If you are interested in finding out more about the problem of human trafficking and the work that Stop The Traffik does, you can visit the campaign website at

To find out more about the Stop The Traffik North Bristol Action Group, visit the groups website at or email Abbie McDuff direct on

Introducing the new Shire Traders

On Thursday 25th February a few local traders held a meeting with the intention of reinstating a Trader’s Association in this area. Representativers frpm PJ’s Hairdressing, the Job Centre, Mile Morgan and the Coffee Pot attended.

The intentions of this meeting were to join together all the traders of Shirehampton village to co-ordinate a working strategy that assists the retailers in dealing with problems in the local area that affect their businesses. Together with the introduction of the couincil’s initiative of appointed neighbourhood place management co-ordinators, this has made it an ideal time to launch what we hope will be a long standing support network.

Despite the poor attendance, the meeting was productive and informative. We see this as the way forward and as they say “Rome wasn’t built in a day!” Hopefully as the months go on, more and businesses will join forces and the Shire Traders will become a strong and effective organisation. The next meeting will be on Tuesday 30th March at 2pm and will be held at the Coffee Pot.

The more that join us, the stronger we will become.

Liz Tucker

What’s on in April

Weekly Activities:



Meets weekly at the Cotswold Centre, Dursley Road

2:00pm – 4:00pm. New members welcome.


2:30pm Methodist Church Hall

KEEP FIT - Avonmouth Community Centre



9:30-11:00am St Andrew’s Church, Avonmouth

Sponsored by St Andrew’s Church

TOTSTOP - for under 5’s at St Mary’s Church



6:30 – 8:30pm St Bernard’s School


Every Monday at the Health Centre

BUMP AND RHYME for babies and toddlers


12:00-12:15 Story Time in the Library


12 –18 years old Monday and Thursday

6:45-8:45pm T.S. Enterprise, Station Road


Monday, Wednesday and Friday

Smelters Gym, Barracks Lane,

King George Trust Playing Field, Avonmouth

For details ring chief Coach Garry Cave: 07876-233621


DROP IN ADVICE SERVICE – Shire Advice Service

9:30 – 11am 115 High Street

PENPOLE LUNCH CLUB – 11:30am – 2pm

2 courses, tea/coffee, cake £3.25

details from Sandra: 0117 938 1236


2 – 3:30pm St Mary’s Church


Shirehampton Baptist Church

9 –11am during term time



9:30 –11am 115 High Street


7:30pm in the Public Hall


1:30 – 3:00pm Guide HQ, St Mary’s Road

Tel 982 3192 for information


5:00 –6:30pm at the Public Hall

KEEP FIT - Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road

10:30 – 11:30am. For those with some movement experience.


7:30-9:00pm Henbury Comprehensive School



9:30-11:00am 115 High Street


2:00-3:00pm St Mary’s Church

(session sponsored by St Mary’s)


1:30-4:00pm PBA Club, Nibley Road


5:15-7:15pm Public Hall


7:30-9:30 Public Hall


5:15pm and 7:15pm Jim O’Neill House

tel. 01275-844825 for information


6:30-8:30pm Avonmouth RFC


Juniors 10-12 years old and 12-18 years old

6:45-8:45pm T.S.Enterprise, Station Road


6:00pm practice for Junior Colts

Ring 9852426 for details


FRIDAY FUN for parents, carers, and pre-school children

9:30-11:00am Beachley Walk Centre


2:00-3:00pm Public Hall


6:30-8:30pm Public Hall


7:00-9:00pm Public Hall


7:30-10:00pm T.S. Enterprise

RELISH for 11-16yr olds in term time

7:30-9:30pm Shirehampton Baptist Church


10:30-11:30am Cotsworld Community Centre

Dursley Road


KIDS KLUB at St Mary’s

8:30am most Sunday mornings

Breakfast and a short service.

Tel. 9077026 for information


1ST and 3RD Sundays of the month

1st Sunday led by Baptist Church

3rd Sunday led by St Mary’s

Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road

4:45 – 5:30pm

Fortnightly/Monthly Activities:



3rd Monday of the month

2:30pm in the Library

19th April next meeting



3rd Tuesday of the month – PBA Club, Nibley Road

open from Noon

20th April 2:30pm AGM and Spring Lunch


First and third Tuesdays of the month

7:30pm St Andrew’s Church Hall




2:30pm Shirehampton Baptist Church


3rd Wednesday of the month

7:30pm Public Hall



3rd Thursday of the month

7:30pm Penpole Tenants Association, The Ridge


3rd Thursday of the month

2:00pm at Ridingleaze, Lawrence Weston



1st Saturday of the month

10:00 –11:30am

Shirehampton Methodist Church All welcome.



1ST and 3RD Sundays of the month

1st Sunday led by Baptist Church

3rd Sunday led by St Mary’s

Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road

4:45 – 5:30pm

Additional Local Activities

PLAYGROUP at the Public Hall, Station Road

9:15 – 11:45am Monday to Friday

12:30 – 2:45pm Mon –Wed only


7:30pm – for information ring 07717833739


Beachley Walk Centre, Old Barrow Hill

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday morning 9:30 –12:30

And Tuesday afternoon Ring 9822142 for details

Annual subscription £3, 50p to hire a toy


Literacy Skills weekly at Lawrence Weston

Tel: 9138824 for details


English, Computers and Communication; Art and Communication; Maths

Contact Gill Lloyd on 3125530

FREE SHORT COURSES for people with few or no qualifications: IT for Work, Driving Theory (new course starts on 18th March), CV Writing and Job Preparation Skills, English for Speakers of Other Languages, Want to Work in Childcare, Family Learning courses in schools, Confidence Building courses etc.

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

Girls Football

Girls football sessions taking place at St Bede's for 8-16 year olds.

The first session will be an open day on Thursday 8th April from 2-4pm

Followed by 8-weeks of Saturday sessions from 11am-12pm.

After the 8-weeks is completed Lawrence Weston Colts will then be taking the sessions over and forming a girls football team.

Ladies Night

April 17th, 8-12pm at Sea Mills Community Centre

Tickets & further info from Siobhan Kennedy Hall on 0117 968 78 45

Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF) Remaining Meeting Dates for 2010

  • Monday 10 May 7 – 9pm
  • Tuesday 13 July 2 - 4pm
  • Weds 1 September 7 – 9 pm (AGM)
  • Tuesday 23 November 2 – 4pm

Meetings are held in Shirehampton Public Hall, Station Road and are open to all.

For more information please call Ash Bearman, Community Development Officer for SCAF on 0117 9829963 or email

PBA Retired Employees Association

Meetings for the remainder of 2010 (reminders will be given in ‘What’s On’)

  • 20th April- AGM and Spring Lunch
  • 18th May - The history and myster y of Magic – Mr Stanley Cruse
  • 15th June - Patagonia and Tierra Del Fuego – Mr Bernard Tapp
  • 20th July - Life in “The House” – Dr Douglas Naysmith
  • 17th August - “Television Tales” – Mr Tim Hooper (a TV and film extra)
  • 21st September - “Perchance to dream” – Mr Terry Merrett-Smith
  • 19th October - The Children’s Hospice at Wraxall – Mrs J Powell
  • 16th November - “A good read” – Mr David Weeks
  • 14th December - Christmas lunch