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News Index

The Fantastic 80's Delivers Loads of Family Fun

A Village Tragedy - 1911

Shirehampton's Scouts Join City St. George's Day Parade

Thank you from Charlotte Leslie

A Day of the Celebrations of Marriage

Letters to the Editor

General Election Debate at St. Mary's

Public Hall Newsletter

Serving the Community

St Mary’s News

Election Drama

Cycling City

Maureen’s Garden Opening

Jim Tolman

The Fantastic 80's Delivers Loads of Family Fun

From the first notes of the opening number, "Raining Men", it was clear the audience were in for a fun and fabulous return to the "Fantastic 80's" on Friday night in Shirehampton. The Grainger Players are nothing if not enthusiastic giving their all too every song they perform.

Sophie Worgan is obviously a young talent – her performance of Cyndi Lauper’s "Time After Time" didn’t leave a dry eye in the house. Laura Tuckwell’s powerful version of "Show Me Heaven" would have been enough to get any X Factor audience on their feet. Lisa Curtis took the audience on a trip down memory lane and live music from Grant Tooze, Will and John Rae provided a professional sound to the evening’s performances.

It was fantastic to see such a family orientated show – the youngsters of the group clearly revelled being in the spotlight. Teddy Powell’s charismatic rendition of "Uptown Girl" had the whole audience smiling. Mon, Liz and Dot once again showed off their incredible tap dancing skills. Light on their toes it was impossible not to want to get up and tap along with them.

The comedy of the evening was generously supplied by the 'Shirehampton Signets' – they’ve surely got a future at The Royal Ballet! The costumes were brilliant – a real trip down memory lane. Bright colours, leg warmers, big earrings, hats and makeup. The six Boy George outfits were fabulous and great fun to see. 'The Grainger Players' are a talented and professional bunch who looked to be enjoying every minute of this highly entertaining show.

"The Fantastic 80's" finished with a rip roaring version of "Hero" (Mariah Carey) led by Laura Tuckwell and Teresa Cox that had everyone clapping. This amateur show delivers plenty of family fun and raises lots of money for Help for heroes. Make sure you do not miss the next one!!

Angus McFadzean

A Village Tragedy - 1911

The local history group has noted the fact that November 2011 sees the centenary of a tragic accident in Shirehampton when two small boys were killed by a brewer’s motor dray. They were Frederick William Bleaken aged 8, son of Frederick and Rosina and Hubert Charles Chidgey aged 7, son of Benjamin and Louisa, both families were neighbours in Bradley Crescent.

Our group is researching the events of the accident (although it is mentioned in Ethel Thomas’s history of Shirehampton) and at our April meeting we visited Shirehampton Cemetery in search of the grave in which both boys were buried, the headstone bearing two clasped hands. Sadly the grave is no longer visible but thanks to two very helpful Council employees who were working there at the time, we were able to locate the burial spot. Some years ago many graves whose stones had become unsafe, were covered in grass. We are hoping to make further enquiries about whether the stone was still in situ at this point, or removed and if so where.

We are anxious to hear from any descendants of the above families who might have family papers, photographs or memories of the tragedy and would like to be part of our efforts to mark the centenary in some way. We will be publishing an article in the November 2011 ‘Shire’. If anyone is interested please contact us c/o Judy Helme through the library or . JH

Academy Students Taken on Political Debate

On Wednesday 21st April, students from three Bristol Academies took part in a political debate which was aired as part of the general election coverage on Sky News.

The event was set up by the charity Debate Mate, who specialise in training young people in debating skills and public speaking. It was one of three student debates which aimed to mirror the historic televised leadership debates and get young people talking about issues at the heart of the May 6th General Election.

The debate was hosted by the City Academy, Bristol, who provided two teams of students to debate around the theme ‘Britain is no longer a Great Power’. A team of students from Bristol’s two Oasis Academies made up the ‘floor’, and posed questions about international relations.

Earlier in the term, students from Oasis Academy Bristol in South Bristol joined students from Oasis Academy Brightstowe for a day of preparatory training.

They learnt about how to present persuasive arguments for and against current issues, such as the war in Afghanistan; issues around immigration; the nuclear threat and the EU. They then had a practice debate to help them understand how a formal parliamentary debate is structured and what would be required of them as the ‘floor’.

Oasis Academy Brightstowe student Jordan Holly said: "When we were debating, it felt like we were in parliament, which was cool. We learnt that by asking the right questions, you can prove your opponents wrong."

Oasis Academy Bristol student Connor Kingdon said: "I enjoyed doing the debate because each side got a chance to say their piece and then the opposition got a chance to argue against it. We prepared speeches, but a lot of the time you had to think on your feet, which was quite exciting."

Mr Woodville, Assistant Principal of Oasis Academy Brightstowe said: "This was a fantastic opportunity for our students to experience a formal debate and learn some new skills. It has definitely helped them build their confidence when speaking in front of other people and has also got them more interested in politics.

"They have been aware to some extent of what is going on in the general election, and this debate gave them a chance to voice their opinions on what’s being said about their country, in a forum where they feel like their contributions matter."

The highlights of Wednesday’s debate were broadcast on Sky News on Thursday 22nd April. They can also be viewed online, at

Back By Popular Demand - NHS Stop Smoking Group

Held on Thursday evenings 5.30pm - 6.30pm at Shirehampton Health Centre.

Lots of support and friendly chats. The group will run for 7 consecutive weeks - dates to be confirmed.

If you are interested please contact Ali Aitchison, Karen Trueman or Carolyn Gorny on 9162213 or give your details to one of our receptionists on 9162226 or at the reception desk.

(Please note that places are limited and fill quickly)

Brightstowe Donates Minibuses to Local Commiunity

Following the recent purchase of two new school minibuses, Oasis Academy Brightstowe is planning to make two older vehicles available to organisations within the local community.

The old minibuses, which are 16 seater LDV’s and still in good working order, are being given to Steve Brittan of the Avonmouth Rugby Club and Mike Lewis from the Lawrence Weston Youth Club in return for a small donation.

The Academy was approached with several higher offers for the vehicles, but decided to do a deal with the local organisations after seeing how much they would benefit the community.

Mr Brittan is planning to put the first bus to good use transporting local sports teams to and from matches, and Mr Lewis is going to divide use of the second bus between the Lawrence Weston Youth Club and the Gateway School in Long Cross.

Academy HR and Finance Director Elaine Miller said: "We are thrilled to be able to send the old minibuses to such good homes. There is no point letting perfectly good vehicles like this go to waste or be broken down for scrap when other people could be getting some use out of them.

"The Academy has good links with both the Gateway School and the Lawrence Weston Youth Club, and we know the value of the work they do with young people in the local community. If these minibuses can help make their lives easier and help them to continue the good work that they do, then we are happy to offer them at a reduced price."

Mike Pepper, Learning Support Assistant said: "We wanted to make sure that the minibuses went where they would be of most use to the local community. They are old, but there is still life in them, and we hope that the rugby club, the youth club and the Gateway will benefit from having them at their disposal.

"New minibuses are very expensive, and even second-hand you can expect to pay something like a thousand pounds for one without knowing what you are getting. Both parties paid a small figure for the buses, which have been recently MOT’d and we are happy to know that the vehicles will get to provide another few years of service for people who will get the most out of them.

"The youth club have plans to paint a graffiti-art mural on their bus, so keep your eyes peeled for it on the roads in the coming months!"

Spring Showcase Success

On Thursday 29th April, students at Oasis Academy Brightstowe put on a range of moving drama performances as part of their Spring Showcase.

The Spring Showcase is an annual event where Year 11 GCSE Drama students have the chance to perform their exam pieces in front of family and friends, before they are observed by the examiner in two weeks time.

This year also featured a piece by some brave Year 10 students, who agreed to do a whole class performance at the showcase to get them used to working in front of a bigger audience.

The students had devised and written their pieces from scratch and had been rehearsing after school for the last few weeks. The topics were wide-ranging: from teenage pregnancy, to Frankenstein, to stalking.

Drama teacher Mrs Ashcroft said: "All the students did very admirably, and their performances were well delivered and well received. Some of the pieces were dealing with difficult themes, but I thought the students handled the issues with maturity and tact.

"It is really important for the students to be able to experience performing in front of a large audience. Hopefully it has helped to build their confidence and allow them to take on board the feedback they get, and make any necessary changes before the examiner comes."

The event drew an impressive turnout, and refreshments were kindly provided by the Hub team.

Shirehampton Public Hall


If you would like any please call Katie on 01179829963

We have about 80 left, pick up only, first come first served.

Shirehampton's Scouts Join City St. George's Day Parade

Beavers, Cub Scouts, and leaders, from the 191st (Shirehampton) group joined hundreds of boys and girls from across Bristol Cabot Scout District as they paraded from Queen Square to Bristol Cathedral for a service to celebrate St George, who as well as being the patron saint of England is also the patron saint of the Scout Association.

The flag of the 191st being carried on the Parade

The young people were greeted by the Lord Mayor, the High Sheriff, the Lord Lieutenant, and the County Commissioner of Avon Scouts, as they arrived on College Green. During the relaxed service District Commissioner Steve Smith, and District Chaplain, Owen North, both spoke about the fun, challenges, and adventures to be had in Scouting. Gales of laughter greeted the performance of ‘The Alternative Story of St George’- written and presented in rhyme by Christopher Gavriel, Assistant District Commissioner (Beavers), ably assisted by some of the young people present.

The Scout Association has recently released figures which reveal that record numbers of young people have joined during the past year, bringing the total UK membership to nearly half a million. Despite this growth there are still 1,155 on waiting lists across the old ‘Avon’ area. Although there was a 5% increase in adults recruited locally last year still more are needed if scouting is to meet the demand from boys and girls keen to join.

Leaders, Scouts and Cubs of the 191st who attended the St George's Day Parade

Leaders, Scouts and Cubs of the 191st who attended the St George's Day Parade

There are lots of ways to get involved in Scouting, as a young person or an adult. For information on joining Scouting (as a young person or an adult) call 0845 300 1818 or visit

Submitted by Dottie North, Media Development Manager, Cabot District Scouts, Tel: 0774 862 8831, email:

Shirehampton Public Hall AGM

Wednesday 30th June 2010 at 7.30

All members of the public are welcome to attend the AGM. Light refreshments will be served

Thank you from Charlotte Leslie

I would just like to thank everyone who voted for me on May 6th. After over three years of hard work, it is an enormous honour and an even greater responsibility to be your representative in Parliament.

But its not only those who voted for me who I’d like to thank. I’d like to thank the whole community, regardless of political persuasion, who have been so active in campaigning to protect Shire’s amenities and facilities; from Shire’s Big Picnic to save the Lamplighters Land, to our ongoing mission to get the Robin Cousins Centre reopened- and now our campaign to ensure the Lamplighters pub remains a pub for the community; and members of our active community who have organised wassails and other campaigns off their own initiative.

There is so much more that I want to get done - so watch this space! As soon as I am settled in and have all the basic logistics in place, we’ll get going. Look out for notice of my regular surgeries and other activities in the Shire newspaper , and on community notice-boards!

Thank you once again, and I sincerely hope I can really get things done, to be the MP you deserve. Best wishes,

Charlotte Leslie
New MP, Bristol North West

A Day of the Celebrations of Marriage

For most of us a church is a welcome refuge, a chance for quiet and transquility but on Saturday the 8th May St Mary’s Church opened the doors at 10.00am to a most welcome site, ‘A Wedding memorabilla Day’, 42 Wedding dresses, 3 Bridesmaids dresses and 1 Going Away outfit were on display, beautifully arranged. The Wedding dresses were ladies, who had either married in St Mary’s or were married elsewhere and had strong connections to St Mary’s. It was amaizing to see 3 generation dresses from one family. Joyce Mary Cook - nee Baker married September 3rd 1938, Pamela Ann Mitchell- nee Cook married 16th June 1962 and Charlotte Joyce Jones -nee Mitchell married 5th June 1993, three completely different styles, all lovely in their own way. Another dress on display was the dress worn by Joan Kirk ,married in 1943, it was so nice to see Joan and her husband who came along on the day, they have been married 67 years. One dress you could not miss was a Black Wedding dress, Claire Robinson’s, married on 31st October 2009 and another 2 dresses worn by May Wong, May was married at Trinity College, Cambridge, 2 ceromonies, one Chinese when she wore her Chinese dress and the beautiful same Wedding dress she wore for the blessing in St Mary’s 29th September 2007. Canon Christine’s dress was also on display, Christine was married on 4th November 1972. It was very nice for me to see again the dress my eldest daughter Deborah Purnell wore when she was married in St Mary’s on 9th April 1983.

A selection of favourite Wedding music from the church organ, played by Tim Forder added so much pleasure, every now and then you would hear a comment (that piece was played at my Wedding).

On display were many photographs, some in Albums, I saw photographs of myself 50 years ago when I was bridesmaid to two of my closest friends Edna Burt and Sylvia Wiltshire, you could hear shrieks of laughter every now and then from ladies looking at themselves on photographs.

Twelve volumes of Church Records were also available. The first two weddings recorded were 21st March 1734 and 3rd January 1739. Everyone had the chance to look for generations of family records .

Tea, coffee and very nice Wedding cake was also available.

At 3.30pm there was a short service for the opportunity for you to renew your Wedding vows.

The event ended at 4.00pm

I am sure everyone who attended on the day would like to say a big thankyou to Gill Sawyer,Julie Smith and everyone who helped on the day.

Letters to the Editor

Penpole Lane

Dear Editor

We are Karakal UK who work out of the Old Water Tanks in Penpole lane

We would like to inform you of a proposed new development applied for by the owners of the land around us formerly owned by Portway Old Boys FC

Karakal UK have parking and access rights across over the land but only own the building

We would like to point out that this new development is bound to contentious and we are completely opposed to it but doubt we can stop it by ourselves

The application can be viewed on line at the Council portal and the link is

In my view this will totally destroy the view and environment at this end of the lane and there are enough empty units in the surrounding industrial estates to house so called Enterprise units

I hope you did not mind me contacting you


Keith Sawyer
Senior partner

Wassail Event

Dear Editor,

The wassail event in January was organised by my husband and myself on a purely non political basis as we do not want our green spaces built on. It is quite wrong for any political party to take the credit for it.

I would also like to make it quite clear that I wrote the article on the Wassail that was published in the February ‘Shire’ News, as well as organising the event. I would have liked to organise a spring event for Shire but unfortunately could not get funding from the Council and received little support from the relevant departments.

I also feel that I will not organise any further events on the grounds that ‘Shire’ News knew that I had organised the event but continued to print a letter that suggested that a Conservative candidate had done so only to correct it in the next edition. If some people in Shirehampton seriously believe that a political party was responsible for organising an event that I had put so much effort into purely for the community then they obviously don’t appreciate everything that I have done.

Caroline Penny

Editor’s Note:

The authors of the letters referred to in this letter are contributors from the community and are in no way associated with ‘Shire’. All letters are printed in good faith and do not express the opinion of ‘Shire’.

Wassail Event

Dear Editor,

I write to thank the editors for the information regarding the wassail event in the Daisy Field. I certainly applaud all individual efforts/initiatives to save our green spaces. However, neither D Cole nor myself mentioned specific events and I feel that a careful reading of my letter reveals its main thrust was to bemoan the lack of engagement by the political parties on an important issue for the residents of Shirehampton - with one exception. I think Charlotte Leslie’s support and involvement is beyond dispute.

Yours faithfully

N Robson

Parachute Jump

Dear Editor,

I would like to thank everyone who sponsored me for my parachute jump to raise money for the Guide Dogs for the Blind on Sunday 11th April 2010.

As I was walking towards this tiny aircraft which was to launch me 15,000 feet into the air and then for me to jump out I am still not sure how I was talked into this!!

But somehow I did and the experience was amazing.

The total raised to date is £850

Yours sincerely
Bridget Williams

The St Mary’s Wedding Exhibition

Dear Editor

I would like to thank Canon Christine and Gill Sawyer from St Mary’s Church for arranging the most lovely and fascinating wedding exhibition. It was a wonderful experience to walk through time from the 1940s to the present day. The church was full of wedding dresses!

The earliest wedding dresses were from the 1940s and were made from parachute silk. There was also a large collection of wedding photos and memorabilia from local couple’s marriages. The dresses were arranged beautifully (I believe this was Gill’s handywork)

This fine display of dresses would not have been possible without the help of all the brides of Shirehampton who donated their most precious dresses for the day, thank you. The exhibition took a good 30 minutes to walk around and was complimented with a collection of musicial pieces from many different St Mary’s weddings. It definitely made me smile when "Here Comes the Bride" was played.

Thank you so much to St Mary’s Church as this exciting exhibition was such a joy to see.

Kind regards
Belinda Beese


Dear Editor

Photo: Bob Pitchford

Photo: Bob Pitchford

Elite Hair & Beauty would like to congratulate and show appreciation to our apprentice hairdresser Ria Hansen. Ria came to us aged 15 in 2009 taking part in our 10 week hairdressing workshop for students of Oasis Academy, Shirehampton, Bristol. We selected 10 interested students whom wished to get a taste of the hairdressing trade. The students participated in numerous hairdressing tasks, and the student with the most potential, creativity, focus and all round performer won a set of Hair Straightening irons and a Saturday position with Elite. Ria showed outstanding potential and was the winner of the workshop. She then progressed from being our Saturday girl to gaining a full time position at Elite and attending Reflections Training Academy to achieve a Level 2 Diploma in Hairdressing. She is also attending City of Bristol College training for a Level 2 Diploma in Beauty Therapy. Ria has given outstanding hairdressing service and great customer service at Elite and Reflections.

I attended Reflections, (whom I am a regular Hairdressing judge to the students), an evening show ‘Reflex your Hair 2010’that was put on for the students to show their abilities achieved and Ria was presented with a certificate for "Excellence award colour and finish’ and was awarded with a glass engraved trophy. This is our second apprentice to win this award and we are very proud.

We at Elite feel the great need to show our appreciation to Ria as it is extremely difficult for a young person to train for two level 2 courses at the same time and to show the confidence, maturity and creativity that Ria has shown. We would like to thank Reflections Training Academy for working in partnership with Elite to help extend Ria’s abilities. I feel it necessary to express the importance of in house training as well as sending students on training courses throughout the year to achieve their maximum potential as myself being a qualified assessor has seen the benefits of this.

Ria has come a long way and has decided to train for her level 3 in Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy. Elite would like to show our thanks to Ria by presenting her with her own personal Hairdressing tool case.

Good luck for the future Ria we have confidence that you will do well. You are a great role model for young people who are willing to work hard and achieve their goals. A big thank you from Lorraine Douglas and all the staff at Elite Hair & Beauty, 30 High Street, Shirehampton, Bristol. Please call us on 0117 9821688, call into our newly refurbished salon or check your local Shire Mag for special offers. Thank you.

Methodist Bright Hour

Some of the ladies celebrating the anniversary

Some of the ladies celebrating the anniversary

Monday 19th April at 2.30pm saw over 40 people gather in our church from churches in and around Shirehampton.

To celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the Ladies Bright Hour. We welcomed as our speaker Daniel Pratt Morris Chapman and his wife Grace. Daniel also cut the anniversary cake. It was good to share in friendship together and all enjoyed the service and tea that followed. Thank you to all who came, it was lovely to welcome you.

Daniel Pratt Morris Chapman and his wife Grace

Daniel Pratt Morris Chapman and his wife Grace


General Election Debate at St. Mary's

St. Mary's Church hosted a hustings session before the General Election.  Most of our local Parliamentary Candiates were present and answered questions about their parties' policies.

Photo: Bob Pitchford

Photo: Bob Pitchford

Photo: Bob Pitchford

Photo: Bob Pitchford

Shirehampton Evergreens Day Trips 2010

  • June 22nd - Horse drawn boat trip on the Avon and Kennet Canal from Hungerford.
  • July 13th - Weymouth
  • August 17th - Swansea
  • Sept 14th - Swanage
  • Nov 16th - Abegavenny Market

For further details ring 9381725 and to book.

Public Hall Newsletter

When it comes to entertainment at the Hall we think of the Grainger Players. Once again, a superb show ‘ The fantastic 80’s ‘ was presented on 7th and 8th of May . This year supporting the charity ‘ Help for our Heroes’. I went along on the Saturday evening and enjoyed every minute and I must say how comfortable my seat was, we the Trustees had decided it was about time we replaced the chairs for the Hall.

The Hall belongs to the community of Shirehampton, The land and £100.00 towards the building costs were donated by Squire Napier Miles, Kingsweston House, the building was officially opened 29th September 1904.

The Trustees of the Hall are always looking for people to join them in the running of the Hall.

We are volunteers of a committee, meeting once a month, normally in the evening on the 3rd Tuesday of the month. We have a Chair person, Vice chair, Secretary and a Treasurer and the committee are representatives of groups using the Hall plus some co-opted member who live, work or have some connections to Shirehampton.

I would like to introduce you to the committee, starting from the July issue of ‘SHIRE’ each member will write a little about themselves, starting with the Chair Mary Hayball. Also in the July issue will be a new website address for you to find out more about the Hall.


Be Proud of Shire

Come on all you ‘Shire’ people, this is where we live, be proud of it, some come on look after Shirehampton.

  • Report DOG MESS and their OWNERS - Telephone 0117 9222 500
  • Report FLY TIPPING - Telephone 0117 922 2100 (then option 5)
  • Report DRUG DEALERS, do they live near you! - Telephone 0845 456 7000 or anonymously 0800 555 111

Let’s clean Shirehampton up once and for all, you know you want to!

Thank you for your kind donation - Ed

Ed: Other useful numbers:

  • Graffiti: 0117 922 2100
  • Abandoned vehicles 0800 083 5115

Serving the Community

There are lost of things happening at Shirehampton Baptist Church as we seek to serve the community.

You may remember a couple of months ago that there was an invitation to come to the Baptist Church for a meal on St Valentine’s Day. It was a real success and those who came also got an invitation to the marriage course that was about to begin at the end of February This was an opportunity for couples who may have been married for many years, as well as those who are just starting their journey together, to spend time considering what makes a good relationship and a strong marriage. During the eight weeks of the course the couples came on Tuesday evenings to enjoy a meal together before spending time thinking about topics such as communication, forgiveness the language of love and lots more. The course was based around some video material and questions relating to the various topics, to help couples discuss together what would make their relationship stronger.

As you may be aware Mainly Music, our pre-school group for children and their carers, runs on a Tuesday morning during term time. For the first half of the two-hour session the children have a chance to play, and their carers (Mums, Dads and Grandparents) can catch up with old friends, make new friends, chat about what is happening with them and their children, and also share advice. From 10.00 am there is fun with music where parents and carers get to enjoy the fun too by dancing and singing with the children. With songs such as ‘Dancing Feet’, ‘Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush and ‘Red says STOP!’ there isn’t any time really to... well... stop! Dancing to music, playing with toys and having some juice and a biscuit, never seemed so much fun before, but then everything is more fun when you do it with others. The children don’t want to leave when it comes to midday and time to go home as they still want to play, and their carers need to finish sharing their news over a hot drink and some home made cake.

lf you’ve been walking past the church on the first Thursday in the month between 10.00 am and noon then you may have noticed some people at the Prayer Point in the Church car park. You may even have been asked if you wanted some prayer, and an offer of someone to pray with you. This is another way in which the folk at the Baptist Church are seeking to help the community, for we have found that prayer really works. Why not find your way to Station Road on the first Thursday of next month and try it out?

Finally it would be lovely to see you on a Sunday morning to join us in our service at 10.30am. There is a Sunday Club for Children, and then tea & coffee for everyone afterwards. Our service normally lasts for an hour and half but if you would like to join us for just an hour in a more informal setting then come along to our family service, the next one of which is on 20th of June. We hope to see you soon, but in the meantime if you want any more information about our Prayer Point, Mainly Music, or when the next Marriage Course is to start, do ring the Church on 982 8238, and if you need to leave a message we will get back to you.

SSC Get Off to Winning Start

The season opened with a win against Frenchay for 1st ‘s and 2nd ‘s Teams. The firsts put Frenchay in to bat and quickly dismissed them for 42 runs . Shire replied with 43 without the loss of a wicket. The seconds also replied to a score of 85 without losing a wicket. A fantastic start to the season. The thirds game against Twyford House on the Sunday was abandoned due to rain. A bbq was held after the game to celebrate the new bar that was completed over the winter.

We will also be holding a barn dance on the 25th June complete with hog roast. Everyone is welcome. Tickets are £10 and are available through Karen Geddes @

The games for June are :

  • Sat 5th Claverham 2nd XI
  • Sat 12th Winterborne 1st XI
  • Sat 19th Congresbury 2nd XI
  • Sat 26th Twyford 2nd XI

Bring the family to watch the world cup

Shirehampton CC will be showing all England’s World cup games and friendlies . We have the biggest screen in Shire. Cheap bar prices and a bbq weather permitting. So feel free to pop up and watch the games with us. Children of all ages are welcome. For any inquiries please call Ben on 07810636949

St Mary’s News

Hi Folks!

Here we are in June - the beginning of Summer and my grass is growing faster than ever! My mower has been mysteriously working again when I fell asleep watching Emmerdale. Then I discovered that the Farm Girl I married had crept out and deliberately cut it just to embarass me and make me feel guilty for falling asleep! I must make her a cup of tea to pay for my sins - that will be the second time I have done so since we were married - musn’t do so too often or she will think I am spoiling her!! Enough of all this agricultural talk, I am here to report what has been going on at St. Mary’s!

After a short service of Evening Prayer on Low Sunday (the first Sunday after Easter) we held our Annual Parochial Church Meeting when everyone has an opportunity to read the Annual Parish Report and question any of its contents. This is a booklet produced by Gill Sawyer and is an absolutely mammoth task because of its length and content. It must have taken her an age to do and even then someone had the audacity to point out a typing error! You simply can’t please some people no matter how hard you work. We had some students visit us from Wesley College and they went away with a copy of the report, absolutely amazed at its content - it virtually answered all their queries about how St. Mary’s is run throughout the year! But I stray away slightly - because it was also the time when we elect people to serve on the Parochial Church Council for the next 12 months. After a 3 years period as Churchwarden, Jon Saunders is required to stand down and another person has to be elected in his place. We are delighted to welcome Roger Derrick as our new Churchwarden and wish him well in this very responsible post. We thank Jon for his service over the past 3 years and who knows - he may well offer himself for re-election as Churchwarden again in the years ahead. He does not leave us - his knowledge and experience is too valuable and he will continue as an ordinary member of the Parochial Church Council this coming year. Roger - you have a hard act to follow, but I know how meticulous you are and know you will continue to serve the church in that manner! At the end of the formal business James Harris (our Tithe Barn Fund Raiser) gave us an illustrated update on the progress towards getting the Tithe Barn back into use for us and the rest of the community. We thank him most sincerely for all the effort and hardwork he does raising money towards that ultimate goal.

Before we move on further, I must mention that James has been instrumental in encouraging the Society of Merchant Venturers to make an absolutely magnificent donation of £5,000 towards the refurbishment of the Tithe Barn. We thank the Society for their generosity and this most welcome gift to the project which is a major boost to our fund raising appeal.

On the subject of gifts - we are most grateful to Susan and James Millet for the gift of a Canterbury Chair for use in St. Mary’s. This generous gift will now allow Canon Christine to take her own Canterbury Chair back home - which has been in use for a number of years. The chair that Susan and James have given, can be seen situated below the pulpit and has a small desk in front of it. It can be used for visiting Clergy or by the students from Trinity College when they are assisting at Services on Sundays. It matches the chair on the opposite side of the church which is regularly used by our Lay Minister - Gill Sawyer. So thank you Susan and James once again for this most useful gift.

Sadly I have to report the deaths of two more well known persons in Shirehampton. The first is Bob Watkins who latterly resided at Bradley House and is the late Uncle of Barry Watkins. Bob was quite an entertainer in bygone days and was also a well known member of Shirehampton Golf Club. There was an almost full church for his funeral. We send our heartfelt sympathy to all members of his family and know he will be sadly missed by all who had the good fortune to know him.

The other person is Grace Cook - widow of the late Jack Cook. Grace was a member of our Wednesday Lunch Club and also a member of the Shirehampton Area Choir. She will be sadly missed - and as I write these notes her funeral is planned to take place on Wednesday 12th. May at St. Mary’s. Grace is once more reunited with her beloved husband Jack. Grace - may you rest in peace!

On May Day (Saturday, 1st May) a "Husting" was held in St. Mary’s when the prospective Parliamentary Candidates for Bristol North West "set out their stalls" and said what they stood for. The husting was chaired by Canon Christine and the opportunity was available for tabled questions to be put to the candidates as was the chance to ask questions from the floor. It lasted for about an hour and a half and seemed to satisfy both the prospective candidates and the electorate. A similar meeting was also held the following Tuesday evening when the prospective candidates for the local Council Elections also were able to say what they would do for the local community if elected as Councillors. By the time you read these notes the results of both Elections will be known to you all!

On the May Day Bank Holiday Lunches and Cream Teas were served in St. Mary’s - on what proved to be a bright but rather chilly day. Business was slow at first but very soon became quite brisk. During the break between Lunch and Tea we were again entertained by Jennie and James Bridgeman with songs from the "shows". This regrettably will be the last time they will entertain us as their last Sunday at St. Mary’s will be Sunday, 6th. June. Both of them are to be ordained as Deacons and will serve as such at a church in the Wirral, Cheshire. Our very best wishes go with them and it is to be hoped they will keep in touch and tell us how they are getting on - and who knows they may perhaps even make a return visit to St. Mary’s in the years ahead. Good luck Jim & Jennie we shall all miss you very much!

On Friday 18th. June at 7.30 pm we welcome back to St. Mary’s the renowned Pianist - Allan Schiller. His last appearance was very well received and we are delighted to have him back with us once again. Tickets for his Concert are £10 and will include Wine and a Buffet during the interval. Tickets are available from Gill Sawyer at the Church Office.

Now, a brief mention of our Patronal Festival in July. This will be on the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, 10th. & 11th. July. From 10.00 am until 12 noon on the Saturday morning will be our Summer Fayre followed by Cream Teas and our Flower Festival from 2.00 pm until 3.00 pm. The theme this year will be "The Sea". From 2.15 pm until 3.00 pm you will be able to listen to music provided by the Shirehampton Area Choir whilst you enjoy you Tea!

The very next day is our Patronal Festival Sunday. Kids Klub will be as usual at 8.30 am followed by Holy Communion at 10.00 am when our Preacher will be the Rev. Trevor Hearn (former Mission to Seaman Chaplain) as it is also Sea Sunday. On the Sunday afternoon the Bristol Brass Consort will hold a Concert in St. Mary’s in aid of the Tithe Barn Appeal - this will be followed afterwards by Tea. Tickets are £7.00 and are available once again from Gill Sawyer at the Church Office. I believe it is also the 25th Anniversary since the forming of the Band - so they will be celebrating as well as all of us!

Now before I go did you hear this? The Vicar announced that next Sunday he would preach a special sermon and in the meantime he wanted everbody to read the 17th. Chapter of Mark. A week later he asked all of those in the congregation - who read the 17th. Chapter of Mark to raise their hands. Almost everyone did so. "Just as I thought", said the Vicar - "My sermon will be on honesty - there are only sixteen chapters in the book of Mark!!!" Be careful Canon Christine doesn’t catch you out too!

‘Bye for now - C.M.E.

From the Registers at St. Mary's

April 2010

Funerals - "At rest and at peace"

  • 8th April - Doreen Millard, May Tovey
  • 9th April - Jacqueline Lloyd
  • 13th April - Alan Clark, Esme Kingston
  • 15th April - Doris Rogers
  • 16th April - Margaret Staynings, Martin Jones
  • 19th April - Bob Watkins
  • 29th April - Joan Shaw, William Lear
  • 30th April - William Burt

Election Drama

Doug Naysmith, the former MP for Bristol North West, is no stranger to close elections but the one for the Council seat of Avonmouth really took the biscuit!

Doug says, "The excitement was amazing. After counting the ballot papers twice, Spud Murphy was 10 votes ahead but then the postal votes (which had been misplaced) were added in. These were counted out in front of us and brought the result to a dead heat! Another recount gave the same result again - 1,878 votes each. The returning officer said he did not believe there was anything to gain by counting again and people started suggesting penalty shoot-outs! The ideal would have been for Spud and me to have had a run-off so the people of Avonmouth could see who they preferred but the proper procedure at the moment is to draw lots and I was the lucky winner. I would like to pay tribute to Spud’s hard work over the years and I will do my best to be a worthy successor. I hope to be able to concentrate on improving the place where I live, not least by campaigning for a swimming pool for Shire."

The other candidates polled the following: Ian Campion-Smith, Lib Dem, 1,208; Philip Brimson, BNP, 330; Craig Clarke, English Democrats, 224; Geoff Collard, Green Party, 155.

Cycling City

Bristol, the first Cycling City, is proud to host this free family event to get National Bike Week off to a flying local start.

The Bike Ride is one of the UK’s biggest free non-competitive cycling events. It provides people of all ages and abilities with a chance to cycle on a traffic free Portway, as well as venutre into the beautiful countryside beyond.

FREE registration opens on 8 April. One lucky participant that registers before 1st June 2010 will find a ‘Golden Ticket’ in the Rider Information Booklet. They will receive a prize of a £200 voucher.

To register: Visit or visit Bristol City Council, Wilder House Office, Wilder Street, Bristol BS2 8PH, Evening Post Headquarters in Temple Way, BS99 7HD or ring Bristol City Council on 0117 903 6701.

There’s something for everyone with a choice of five routes ranging from 9 to 38 miles. Rides will start from Millenium Square throughout the morning. After the ride you can enjoy a relaxing and friendly atmosphere at the Harbourside. It’s a great event to take part in as a family.

The five routes are: * Family Fiesta (about 9 miles) * Avon Gorge Loop (14 miles) * Failand Heights (18 miles) * Sustrans Ride to Portishead (24 miles) * Clevedon Challenge (38 miles)

The Family Fiesta ride in particular provides a fun, friendly and traffic free experience for families. On all rides adults are advised to accompany children under 14.

Volunteers Urgently Needed

Volunteers are urgently needed to deliver Shire newspapers in Powder House Court off Old Barrow Hill (25 dwellings) and also Old Barrow Hill.

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

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

May I also ask, please, that the people who put the papers through the doors do so as quickly as possible after they receive them from the drivers.

Maureen’s Garden Opening

On Wednesday, 5th May Arthur Barker handed over the key for a purpose-built disabled allotment to St Christopher’s Autistic School. It is situated on the Myrtle Hall Allotments site. The School have named it Maureen’s Garden in memory of Arthur’s disabled wife who died two years ago from a rare condition known as cortico-basal degeneration (similar to motor-neurons disease).

Photo: Paul Wilkes

Photo: Paul Wilkes

When Maureen became disabled and was unable to get onto Arthur’s allotment, he realised that there were very few allotment sites in Bristol available for disabled people. This site became derelict due to the proximity of trees and was covered over with polythene to suppress weeds. Arthur realised the potential of the site and the fact that several large sewer rings were nearby which would make good raised beds, so he took over the site to construct a disable allotment over four years. The site is completely paved from old paving stones, which were being replaced in Priory Road and Walton Road. Many of the large timbers were from an old house being completely rebuilt opposite the funeral directors in Pembroke Road. Other materials such as railway sleepers and upturned conical compost bins were also donated. Less than £100 has been spent in its construction (screws, wood preservative and two fence post holders). This site has been specially designed for disabled access and use. The raised beds are on a polythene sheet to stop tree roots growing upwards into the beds, the timbers are on old bricks to stop the rotting and the sides are also lined with polythene. Also there are side rails to stop the children falling off the edge of the garden.

Photo: Paul Wilkes

Photo: Paul Wilkes

Photo by Paul Wilkes

Photo by Paul Wilkes

On Wednesday a dozen staff with disabled children from St Christopher’s School, plus Steve Clampin (Bristol City Allotments Manager), the press and some allotment holders were present at the key handing ceremony. These children will now be able to enjoy learning to grow fruit and vegetables, just like able-bodied children. It should also enable them to relax on this beautiful country site down by the River Avon overlooking the fields of North Somerset.

Jim Tolman

As we are going to press we have heard of the death of that much loved and respected teacher and Deputy Principal of the Oasis Academy Brightstowe, Jim Tolman. We extend our deepest sympathy to Jan, his wife, Joe and Katy, his son and daughter.


The AGM of ‘SHIRE’ will be held on July 5th at 5.30 at the Methodist Church Hall. You will be most welcome.


On Sunday 28 March members of Twyford House Cricket Club took part in the Natwest Cricketforce initiative. This event is designed to bring players, family members and friends together to prepare the cricket facilities for the forthcoming season.

Despite a rather gloomy weather forecast, it remained dry until very late in the day allowing all scheduled jobs to be completed on time.

We were supported by a team of volunteers from Natwest and Gloucestershire County Cricket Club players Anthony Ireland and Rob Woodman also came along to lend a hand.

A long list of jobs were undertaken including a spring clean of the clubhouse, painting sight screens, repairing fencing, varnishing benches, clearing litter and repairing the net practice facilities.

The BBQ was on hand to keep the volunteers refreshed and the day proved again to be a wonderful start to the 2010 season.

After much success on the field last season, 2010 sees the First and Second X1’s playing in the West of England Premier Cricket League Bristol and North Somerset Division with home games played at Shirehampton Recreation Ground, Penpole Lane. The Third and Fourth X1’s will again play their home matches along the road at Oasis Brightstowe whilst playing in the Bristol & District Cricket League. Twyford House CC also operates four youth teams at Under 11, 13, 15 and 17s age groups.

The annual cricket tour this year sees Twyford House CC visit Holland in August where two games are scheduled against strong opposition with Amsterdam CC and VRA CC, the latter opposition being the Dutch champions in 2009.