Local Green Spaces Threatened
Please note - this article was included in the internet edition of Shire News last month but did not properly appear in the printed editon. It is included in this month's internet edition for completeness.
Last year the City Council announced that it was developing an Area Green Space Plan covering each Neighbourhood Partnership in Bristol. Local residents were extremely concerned that this might lead to disposal of local open spaces.
A number of meetings and events took place to protest against the possible loss of open spaces, including Charlotte Leslie’s Big Picnic on the Lamplighters Field, and Caroline Penny’s Wassail on the Daisy Field. It was subsequently confirmed that Lamplighters was unsuitable for disposal because of its past use as a waste dump. However, no assurances were given about the Daisy Field.
The Council have now published their Ideas and Options for the Green Space Plan, which is available on the Council Website. It opens a period of public consultation between now and 29 October. It considers many open spaces in Shirehampton, and for most has suggestions for improving them, if and when money is available. However, it sees little value in part of the Daisy Field, which is ominously renamed ‘Portway Tip’. We quote from the Council paper:
“The southern part of Portway Tip is proposed for disposal. There is a large amount of open space is the area, with West Town Lane Open Space to the west and Lamplighters Open Space to the south. It is an aspiration of the council to recognise the ecological value of the wider area by investigating the possibility of creating a Local Nature Reserve in the Lamplighters Marsh area. This includes ecologically significant land not owned by the council and is not currently accessible to the public. The area proposed to [be] disposed of is not ecologically significant.
“The value assessment has clearly shown that members of the local community have made improvements to the potential disposal site.”
Another Council paper is called Options for Site Allocations and Proposed Designations. This document sets out options for use of land proposed for disposal. It also includes the Daisy Field, again named as the Portway Tip. It states:
“The Area Green Space Planning process has suggested that this site is no longer required as open space, and the site is considered suitable for housing due to its residential context. The site is owned by the city council. Development should:
This site is 0.8 hectares. If the whole of the site were developed for housing at 50 dwellings per hectare this would equate to 42 dwellings.”
The area shown on the map has been the focus of a great deal of community activity in recent years. It includes a Community Orchard, a hedgerow and daffodils planted by local residents, and a carved bench made by students from Portway School.
Reacting to the news, Renee Slater, the Chair of Shire Greens, said: “Shire Greens and local residents have invested time, effort and love in the Daisy Field over the past 7 years. In partnership with the Parks Department, they have improved it to give a valued resource for local people.”
You can see full details of the Consultation proposals on the City Council Website. A paper version is available at all libraries. You can comment on-line. Alternatively, paper and cd versions of the Ideas and Options Paper and questionnaire are available from:
Bristol City Council, Parks, Colston 33, Colston Avenue, Bristol BS1 4UA
Or by telephoning: 0117 922 3719
Or by e-mailing: Park.Strategy@bristol.gov.uk
What’s on in August
ADDITIONAL LOCAL ACTIVITIES
Free Confidence Building course in Avonmouth, on Wed. 9.45-11.44am, contact Veronique on 9030065 or email@example.com. For information about free short courses for adults with few or no qualifications contact Suzanne or Veronique as above.
BRADLEY HOUSE SUMMER FAIR
For the fourth year a SUMMER FAIR will be organised in Bradley House Residential Home Gardens in Shirehampton
SATURDAY 21st AUGUST 2010 3pm
As usual there will be many stalls and attractions: bric-a-brac, food and drinks, barbecue - St Mary’s Church home made products - children’s games - animals corner - and a raffle at the end of the afternoon.
Anyone who would like to participate in the event by holding a stall of their own for a small fee, please contact Monique at (0117) 923 5641 before the 9th of August.
All proceeds will go to St Mary’s Church charities.
No Entrance Fee - All Welcome
Local Lad represents Broadplain Boxing ABC in Cyprus Cup
ON Friday the 2nd July local lad Nathan Cummings-Snow, who is sponsored by PJ Barbers represented ‘Broadplain Amateur Boxing Club’ in the ‘International Cyprus Boxing Cup‘. The event was an invitation event that included two amateur Boxing clubs from England (Bristol and Liverpool) as well as clubs from Ireland, Greece, Denmark and the host nation Cyprus. The event was held over 3 days in an open air show that was filmed by Cypriot TV and included both Junior and Senior Boxers.
Nathan was selected by his club to represent them in the event with 7 other boxers. His first international bout was against a strong Andrei Podusovs who was representing Team Cyprus. Nathan was unable on this occasion to take the win from Andrei who proved to be an exceptional boxer. At the end of the event Nathan walk away with a Silver Medal that contributed to the final England medal table of 3 Golds and 5 Silvers.
Nathan would like to take this opportunity to thank his club, Broadplain ABC (both Boxers and Coaches) his supporters and his sponsor PJ Barbers for their continued support throughout what has been a challenging season.
Bristol Zoo Park and Ride Offer
PARK, ride and chill - get here the easy way, then relax and enjoy a free drink in the Coral Café at Bristol Zoo Gardens*.
This free bus service runs from the Portway Park and Ride site in Shirehampton to Bristol Zoo Gardens, with buses running every 20 minutes from 8.40am until 5.55pm on the following dates:
This service is free of charge
*The bus driver will give you a voucher to present at the Coral Cafe for a free tea, filter coffee or carton of orange/apple juice. Terms and conditions apply - Offer only available on redemption of voucher prior to purchase. Excludes lattes and cappuccinos. Photocopies not accepted. This pass cannot be exchanged for cash. Not for resale. Pass value 0.0001p BZG reserves the right to withdraw, amend or suspend this promotion in the event of any unforeseen circumstances outside its reasonable control.
Hands off! Woodwell Grazing Field
RESIDENTS in Woodwell Road off the Portway in Shirehampton are frightened they will lose the grazing field at the end of the lane. The Council published a site allocation document stating it could be used for gypsy housing or 18 houses. The lane is very narrow and flanked on one site by an ancient wall and an ancient hedgerow on the other. There is no pavement on part of this lane where it narrows and traffic is only permitted in single file until you reach the weak bridge into Dursley Road.
According to the Council there is a waiting list for grazing land in the Bristol area and this field is currently used by the occupiers of Laburnam Cottage, Woodwell Road for grazing their horse as they have done for years. ‘Where will I put my horse?’ ask the occupiers, and where indeed if there is already a waiting list for this valuable land? We are rapidly running out of grazing sites and useable fields in the area having lost one near the riverbank off the Cotswold Estate only last year to a housing association developer. People are now keen to keep chickens and goats and will need somewhere to do this in the future.
‘I am dreading when that new estate opens up’ said one lady in her 80’s who lives nearby. ‘All the noise and more traffic’. It is true people do not want it here, as there are no facilities for the occupiers of new houses or their children: no swimming pool, no sports centre and the college at Lawrence Weston closed. It is known that densely populated areas with no facilities result in poverty and a higher crime rate and neither of those is favourable to the sale of property.
Woodwell Road and Woodwell Lane are historic as it is believed they were the original road to a well in Shirehampton which provided locals with a source of water hence the name it was given. The cottages in Woodwell Road are old and full of character and when you stand at the top of the lane by the allotments and look down it is beautiful, a portal in time that should never be closed. In this respect the end of Woodwell Road where it once more becomes a country lane has never been ‘residential’ and any plans to make it so will be strongly opposed.
Shirehampton Public Hall News
THE Annual Art Exhibition was held over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend. Once again a very high standard of exhibits were on display.
The opening of this event was threatened by some person or person’s reckless behaviour removing the lead on the roof above the entrance, kitchen and the room used by the Model Railway Club.
The gentlemen of the Model Railway Club were in their room on the evening of Wednesday 26th May when all of a sudden water started coming down from the ceiling, on checking other rooms they found water was also coming down from the ceiling in the kitchen. The Hall manager was informed and contacted Bristol City Council out of hours. The first thing they did was to turn off the electrics but little could be done to save the kitchen and by midnight part of the kitchen ceiling had collapsed on to the floor, the devastation was horrendous. It will take weeks for the refurbishment to be completed; we have no idea what the cost will be and we will probably have to raise funds somehow to pay for it.
The Trustees of the Hall would like to thank Katie, the Hall manager, who was in attendance on the evening of 26th May from 7.30pm until 1.00am the following morning! Also a huge thank you to Jayne and Scott Bristow and Allan the caretaker who assisted Katie that evening.
The lead on the roof was replaced the following morning with a lead replacement material, which has no value. Incredibly, someone over the weekend 5th and 6th June came back and once again ripped the roof up, causing more damage.
The Public Hall website has been updated and greatly improved. Alex Wright has put a lot of time and expertise into this, and Bob Pitchford has generously taken photographs to illustrate the Hall, the rooms available for hire, and the various activities at the Hall. To have a look go to: www.shirepubhall.org.uk
You can use the menu to see what the hire charges are, what activities take place and to view the rooms. There is a page for Ralph Hack’s fascinating notes on the history of the Hall. The Annual Report and Accounts, and all our policies and procedures can be inspected. You can also find a list of our voluntary trustees. If you need directions to the Hall there is an interactive map to help you find your way. Contact details by phone or email are provided.
Do take a look, I think you will be impressed by the new website, and all that goes on at the Hall. JT
Mary Hayball, Chair of the Hall, will introduce herself in the September issue.
Shire Advice Service
From the 3rd August, the Drop-in sessions of Shire Advice Service will be located in Shirehampton Health Centre. The Health Centre is in Pembroke Road which is the road behind the High Street, the main shopping area. We hope this central location will be more convenient for our clients, thus making our service more visible and accessible
The Advice Service gives free and confidential information and advice to anyone who requires assistance. Much of the work relates to Welfare Benefits and Debt, but advice can also be given on a variety of other subjects such as family, employment and consumer problems,
The Drop-Ins are on
NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY
This session is managed by AGE CONCERN BRISTOL and is for people over 50 and their carers
Cadets Celebrate 150th Anniversary
THERE are five different Cadet organisations in the United Kingdom which are available to young people. These are the Sea Cadet Corps, Army Cadet Force, Air Training Corps, Combined Cadet Force and the Sea Scouts. All of these organisations provide a structure by which young people can learn leadership, responsibility, adaptability, as well as many other qualities within a uniformed and disciplined environment.
2010 marks the official 150th anniversary of the Cadet movement. The Sea Cadets were formed in the 1850s to provide a career for the sons of sailors following heavy losses in the Crimean War. This was followed in 1910 by the Army Cadet Force which was formed to help bolster the country’s defence numbers. In turn the Air Cadets, Sea Scouts and the school based Combined Cadet Force were formed.
Today’s Cadet Forces are quite different organisations, having evolved into unique voluntary youth organisations, offering young people opportunities to develop themselves, try new adventures and activities, and learn key lessons in citizenship and the importance of society.
Through Cadet 150, this year promises to be an exciting one for the wider cadet family. The 131,000 current cadets will be taking part in events across the country and overseas, showcasing their movement and what it’s all about. The 25,000 Adult Volunteers will also be recognised through Cadet 150. Without the support of these dedicated people the Cadet Forces could not operate. A massive event and service was held on College Green in June as well as several smaller events.
And it’s not just current cadets and volunteers that are the focus for the year. Cadet 150 is also about the wider cadet community; the hundreds and thousands of former cadets and volunteers who have been part of this fantastic movement over the years.
We would like to invite all former TS Enterprise (or Bristol Sea Cadets pre-1943) shipmates (cadet, staff or committee) to our Cadet 150 reunion on 4 September 2010. We would be delighted to see you (and guests) at our reunion to commemorate this Cadet 150 year. If you wish to attend please contact the unit chairman on 0117 982 39 38 or via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org or at the address below.
2010 also happens to be the 150th anniversary of the foundation in Clifton of Bristol Sea Cadets, so twice the celebrations! Avonmouth Sea Cadets were formed in 1943 when the original Bristol unit was divided up into smaller more local units.
Any photographs, documents and memories of former shipmates would also be gratefully received so that we can mount a small display on the night and to add to our website (http://units.ms-sc.org/avonmouth).
The reunion will take place at:
Bristol Avonmouth Sea Cadets
Bristol, BS11 9XA
Sea Cadets Reunion
The Sea Cadets are celebrating their 150th anniversary this year and Bristol Avonmouth Sea Cadets will be holding their Cadet 150 reunion on Saturday, September 4th 2010. If you wish to attend please contact the unit chairman on 0117-982-3938, by email at
email@example.com or at TS Enterprise, Station Road, Shirehampton, Bristol BS11 9XA.
On Thursday 10th June Luke Dumble and Lewis Graham left the Dixon pack and were invested into the Scout troop by Grant Watkins, Scout Leader.
Letters to the Editor
Portway School - Penpole
I transferred from Shirehampton Junior School to Portway Secondary Modern School for Boys in 1950 and stayed there for four years, leaving in July, 1954, shortly after my fifteenth birthday.
For the first year we boys shared the red-brick buildings on the Portway itself with our sister school (Portway Girls). However, both schools were expanding and the following year, the girls took over the whole complex, expelling us boys to the old Canadian Army camp on Penpole. Since then, there have been two new schools built on the same site.
The new premises, in 1951, consisted of the old army administration building, which now housed the headmaster’s room, the staff-room, the medical room, the general office, and various other rooms. It was the only brick-built building on the site.
The classrooms consisted of the old, black-painted, wooden barrack huts (so I was very familiar with these, when I did my National Service). However, these huts were split in half, to make two separate classrooms, with a lobby for coats in between.
I particularly remember the heaters. These were overhead, radiant heaters, with a circular bowl, from which descended a glass tube, coloured red. They emitted quite a heat, especially if you sat underneath; but in the winter you ended up with a hot head and cold feet. I’m sure that these days they would be banned on health and safety grounds.
At least we had separate desks! We had left the old, heavy, iron-framed, wooden, double desks in the junior school.
Although it became rather stuffy in the classrooms in the winter, we didn’t mind, for we often changed classrooms for different lessons - and that meant a little walk in the fresh air! In summertime, we younger ones also revelled in the fact that we had the whole of Penpole Woods to play in at lunch-time, besides our normal tarmac playground.
The school hall/gym was a huge nissen hut, to the rear of the admin building. Two other huge nissen huts, with black, corrugated-iron roofs, were situated on the other side of Penpole Lane, at the edge of Penpole Woods. One was the dining-hall and the other was the science classroom, with science benches rather than desks.
On the village side of the school were the woodwork and metalwork huts and the school allotments, where mainly vegetables were very successfully grown. People living in the houses there, now, must have very fertile back-gardens!
There were some huts outside the school perimeter and these were occupied by squatter families (as were the black army huts which were situated where the sheltered housing complex on the High Street now lies.)
Our route to school from the village, went past The Green and climbed up ‘Steepyfields’. On the right-hand side was an open field (I think it belonged to Mr. Long, the ice-cream man) usually containing one or two horses. On the left hand side was a hedge, the other side of which was an open field, beneath The Ridge.
I have been unable to get hold of any photographs of the old army camp. However, I am very grateful to Roy Dacombe for providing me with photocopies of snaps from that period. The reproduction is poor, even though it has been enhanced by Bob Pitchford, but it gives an idea of the school as it was then, and will revive many memories in those old boys still among us. The first photocopy shows the interior of the science laboratory and the second the view of the school, looking across Penpole Lane from the dining hall.
Thanks to Friendly Shirehampton
Dear Shire Editor,
I recently had a fall and hit my head on the kerb outside my house. I had a deep cut to my forehead and called to a neighbour in his garden for help.
Within a couple of minutes several of my neighbours appeared and made me comfortable while I was waiting for an ambulance. In these busy times it is often said people are not as friendly and neighbourly as they used to be. But that is not the case in Walton Road where everyone is friendly and helpful on many occasions. So a big thank you to all of them.
I think this is true of many roads in Shirehampton where we are still a friendly village to live.
Sheila Bubb (Mrs.)
I am trying to gather together information on the death of my father, Arthur Baggs, who was killed in the initial explosion during the Avonmouth Oil Fire of 1951.
Would your readers be able to help?
Bob Baggs Baggs.Bob@hotmail.com
Osborne family - Shirehampton
I have just discovered that a great great uncle by the name of Owen Frederick Osborne, born in London, moved to Shirehampton with his wife Louisa and in the 1911 census lived at 92 Bradley Crescent. They had six children, Owen Frederick (b1899) May (b1901), Cyril (b1903) Ivy (b1906) Elsa (b1908) and Dorothy Edna (b1910). I am very interested to know if any of this family still lives in the locality. I can be contacted on Bopowoodlands@aol.com
Brian A Osborne
Further to an article that was published in your paper about me collecting bottle tops which someone put in the paper in April. I am retired now and wont be able to carry on collecting as the charity has enough, so I want to thank everyone for collecting them and delivering them to the hospital.
Corrections and Apologies
We apologize for errors in the Birthday wishes to Michelle Johnson in last month’s edition which should have read Happy Birthday to Michelle Johnson with love from, among others, Linzi (not Lizzie).
A Plaque for Shire Library?
A regular reader and contributor to Shire, Gil Osman, is keen to see a plaque within Shirehampton Library commemorating the funding of the building by the Carnegie Foundation. What do you think? Send your comments and ideas to: The Editor, Shire.
Jessops SD Camera card, second week of June. If found please phone Jayne, (0117) 982 6066.
Volunteers Urgently Needed...
One person is urgently needed to deliver Shire newspapers in the High Street from (and including) the George down to Wylands and back up to the Green on the opposite side of the road. Someone is also needed immediately to deliver Shire in Old Quarry Road.
The papers are brought to your door each month for you to deliver. This should take about an hour each month. If you can help, please telephone Pauline on 9826935. Many thanks.
If a volunteer cannot be found to deliver papers each month your paper will have to be collected from either the Library or the Post Office.
SHIRE Needs New Editors
Due to the retire,ment in 2010 of three long-serving members of the editorial board, ‘Shire’ is looking for news editors. If you are interested you will be given help and support in lerarning how to edit.
Evergreens Boat Trip
HERE is the horse-drawn boat with Shire Evergreens members and friends on board, June 22nd 2010. We caught the boat at Kintbury near Hungerford and went up the Kennet and Avon Canal. The weather was beautiful, which made the trip extra pleasant. It was so tranquil. Members were allowed to get off at the first lock and walk along the towpath to take photos. The owners were very helpful to us. Refreshments were available on board and everyone enjoyed the day. An unforgettable experience.
St Andrews Ladies Club Celebrating 40+ Years Together
St Andrews Ladies Club is celebrating 40 plus years together. First in the 60’s as Young Wives then as St Andrews Ladies Club since 1970.
Over the years our group has taken part in carnival floats in Avonmouth and Shirehampton. We have raised funds for charities like the Guide Dogs, local hospices, the Wallace and Gromit appeal and many others. Our current charity is Bristol Stroke Club.
Our meetings are the first and third Tuesdays of the month at St Andrews Church Hall Avonmouth with various themes from speakers to quizzes to hilarious beetle evenings. We have a summer outing and a Christmas dinner.
On the 21st of September 2010 we are having an evening with supper to look back at happy times and to look forward to many more years together.
So if you are old members bring your mementos or memories, or if you think you would like to join, take this opportunity to come along and meet us.
Carer Spared Prison after Drunken Chase
A JUDGE spared a dangerous drink-driver from an immediate jail term as an act of mercy.
Bristol Crown Court heard Gary Weston led police on a three-minute chase through Shirehampton at up to twice the speed limit while almost twice the alcohol limit.The court heard, though, he was sole carer for infirm, elderly parents and they both relied on his help.
Weston, 44, of Mancroft Avenue, Lawrence Weston, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and driving above the alcohol limit in February. He had previous convictions for reckless driving, causing death by dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and driving with excess alcohol.
The Recorder of Bristol Judge Neil Ford QC handed him a 52-week jail term, suspended for two years. He also gave Weston two years’ supervision, 200 hours’ unpaid work, a six-month curfew in which he must stay at home from 8pm to 6am, thinking skills programme, a five-year driving ban with extended driving test afterwards, and £500 court costs.The judge told him:
"Your father has had a number of strokes and has a lung condition.Your mother suffers from arthritis and high blood pressure. They struggle with general health and living on their own. Your father tells me how important you are to them in their day-to-day existence. Care arrangements would have to be made for them if you were sent to prison today.”
Huw Rogers, prosecuting, said police in a marked car spotted Weston as he stopped on zig-zag lines in Lower High Street, Shirehampton, to give a woman a lift. When they tried to pull him over he drove off towards the golf club, turned into Park Road without indicating and continued to the Portway without stopping. Mr. Rogers said Weston headed towards the city centre at 60mph, jumped red traffic lights at Sylvan Way and Shirehampton Road and was lost. Another police car picked him up as he sped through a junction at Long Cross at 50mph and then stopped in Old Quarry Road.
Mr. Rogers told the court: "He got out, police approached him, and he said ‘have a go if you want to’. He was arrested, he threatened to punch officers and he kicked and punched the cage in the back of the police vehicle.”
A test showed Weston had 63 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The limit is 35. Sam Jones, defending, said:
"He has an unfortunate driving history. He knows better than most the seriousness and serious consequences that follow from dangerous driving. He deeply regrets getting behind the wheel in February. He let himself down and he let his parents down.”
Mr. Jones said on the day in question his client had visited his seriously ill newborn nephew. He said Weston had gone to a pub, had a drink, and decided to drive the mile home as his car had been vandalised when he had left it before.
Weston’s father testified that Weston had been an essential carer to his parents for six years, and nobody else could help them. Mr. Weston senior said: "I know he’s done wrong and he wants punishing. If you can find a way of punishing him without putting him away…”
Save the Daisy Field from further development? Yes or no?
Bristol City Council are seeking public consultation on proposals to dispose of some green spaces for housing development. But can Shirehampton take more housing in an area where community facilities are already under strain and where so many have been lost? Can we really afford to lose our green spaces, in particular the lower part of The Daisy Field that the Council are keen to refer to as Portway Tip?
We love the Daisy Field. A lot of work has gone into the area on a local level with people in the community planting trees, shrubs and flowers. There is even a wooden bench made by pupils of Portway School where you can sit down, take in the views and watch the train go by on its journey to Avonmouth or Bristol Temple Meads. If you’re lucky you just may see wildlife scurrying around as it’s their home too. The area is constantly used by people who live in the community and it’s really the only bit of green space we have in Shirehampton that runs along side the busy commuter route of The Portway. In January, Caroline Penny and her partner Jim organised a Wassailing Event that took place in Daisy Field. It was quickly put together and it may have been short notice but over 150 people attended that event and it was an extremely enjoyable afternoon for all. If that can be achieved in a few days can you imagine what else could be achieved if people in Shirehampton worked together?
It’s proposed to build up to 42 new homes on the lower part of the Daisy Field where the community orchard now stands. And it has come to light that the grazing field in Woodwell Road has also been earmarked for housing, 18 new homes are being proposed. That grazing field is currently in use and most days you’ll find horses in that field, in particular one called ‘Lady’. The only access to this area is a narrow lane or a small bridge that goes across the railway tracks. Neither are suitable for heavy traffic use, which new housing would bring and many residents are up in arms about the proposed plans.
Consultation these plans is already underway and you can view the proposals and comment on-line by going to the Bristol City Council web site. Hard copies of the proposals are available in your local Library with details of how to contact the Council with your views. A consultation meeting for people living in Avonmouth, Shirehampton and Lawrence Weston will be held at the Portway Rugby Development, Portway, Sea Mills BS29 2HS, on September 15th between 12 noon and 8:00pm. The consultation comes to an end on Friday 29th October 2010 so be sure and let the Council know what you think before then.
Two petitions will be made available in Shirehampton to keep The Daisy Field, Portway and The Grazing Field, Woodwell Road, as they are - green open space. So watch out for them over the coming weeks.
And Save Bristol Green Spaces online petition for Bristol North West can also be found at: www.savebristolgreenspaces.bristolpetitions.com
You can also be kept updated on the Facebook Group: ‘Save The Lamplighters Marsh and Daisyfields!!!’
Protest Picnic in Daisy Field
The pictures below were taken during the picnic held on the Daisy Field to protest against possible development plans.
Pupils at Shirehampton’s Stepping Out School of Dance have won thirty medals at local Eisteddfods. Teacher Lisa Pugh said: "I’m really, really proud of them. They only get one lesson a week and they try really hard.”
Disposal of Land in Shirehampton
THE date of the public consultation on land for disposal in Shirehampton has been changed to the 15th September 12 noon till 8pm at Portway RUGBY club near Sea Mills.
Did you know that there are 6,000 empty properties in Bristol that could be brought into use if the City Council used their power of compulsory purchase or even got their repairs done in the properties they let. Out of those 6,000 nearly 400 are council owned. The majority of the empty housing is central or south of the City. One private apartment block for example in Hotwells, The Crescent, Hanover Quay had at the last count 85 empty one bedroom flats to sell for £190 thousand on a 50 percent share basis. The majority of waterfront property is aimed at a buy to let market which has fallen flat in the recession. Homes owned by property speculators bought to ‘sit and roll on’ are another problem, and I am informed that the swimming pool in Shirehampton falls into this category. Out of the 6,000 homes the council ones that are vacant include 135 waiting demolition or major repair, 63 awaiting minor repair and there are 159 homes there waiting to be let. So why build more? Not for social need. To make money why else?
The number of people on the housing waiting list has fallen slightly between 2005 and 2010. It was just over 11,000 in 2005 now it is just over 10,000 but out of those on the list I have been told only between 500 and 600 are registered as completely homeless. (This does not include rough sleepers). The others are temporarily housed awaiting council housing and this number along with those in council bed and breakfast has dropped considerably.
This argument about people living longer and there not being enough housing is falling flat but unfortunately this is the view expressed by some of our local councillors. For there is enough housing, it is just that the council do not do enough to free up this housing by using the compulsory purchase order legality to make this property available.
Maybe we should have the right to vote certain local councillors who go against public opinion and believe in housing at any cost or make excuses like ‘because we are living longer’, out of our constituency between elections for too many of them have lived on the gravy train for too long and are unaffected by the issues in question.
If you know of an empty property near you or you have passed by one recently, that has been totally unoccupied for several months it should be reported, whether it is rented, or privately owned makes no difference. There is an Empty Homes Agency that can help. There are empty council offices in Shirehampton as I write this.
Regarding open spaces people should be aware that if these spaces are developed we lose valuable resources that future generations will need to rely upon. Open space absorbs flood water and pollutants from the atmosphere, takes in carbon dioxide from the air and releases rainfall. All fight climate change as well as providing a wild life habitat with sources of natural food.
Once they are gone they will never be replaced and our children’s children will suffer as a result.
Local Butcher Receives Award
ANY ‘Shire’ reader who is familiar with the quarterly magazine ‘Evergreen’ will have noticed that they are keen to celebrate the achievements of shopkeepers whose businesses demonstrate traditional values and personal service.
The magazine awards a diploma under their "Nation of Shopkeepers Award” scheme and I am delighted to say that my nomination of W&B Butchers bore fruit and an article profiled Tubs and Paul in the Summer 2010 edition of ‘Evergreen’ as recipients of the diploma.
Tony (Tubs) Webb and his sister Annie and brother-in-law Ivor Bees started their business 40 years ago in premises that were first opened about 100 years ago. The shop frontage and interior has been kept as close to the original as possible and the area at the rear of the shop, once used as a slaughterhouse, is now where Tubs and Paul make their sausages, faggots and burgers, and boil the ham hocks etc.
Every customer knows that you don’t go into the shop if you are in a hurry. You have to participate in the repartee and badinage, trading of insults and listening to what a hard life Tubs has before you have a chance of being served and that is one of the reasons he is so popular because customers feel like friends. A typical customer quip is "I’ve finished the crossword and I’m still standing here!” In addition the support Tubs give back to the community that has supported him for so many years is remarkable. All the local churches, schools, voluntary organisations and fund-raisers will vouch for his generosity in donating meat for barbecues, Christmas dinners, harvest suppers etc and he also runs a magnificent raffle at Christmas with many prizes including a high quality food hamper, with every penny going to charity.
Three years ago Ivor Bees died, followed in less than a year later by Tubs’ beloved sister Annie and this hit Tubs very hard. He described Annie as "an absolutely marvellous, caring woman with a heart as big as a bucket, and it left a huge hole in my life when she died.” Her photograph has pride of place on the counter. Fortunately for Shirehampton, Tubs continued the business with the assistance of Paul Wood who has been with him for 17 years.
I would like to congratulate Tubs and Paul on the award which is much deserved. J H
St Mary’s News
What a wonderful Summer so far! June was lovely and warm and it is to be hoped that July and August will be the same. I am off to Lyme Regis shortly so I am hoping that I shall be able to take advantage of all this free Vitamin D whilst the Sun is shining. The only trouble is when I’m at Lyme Regis I often have late nights - trying to beat my wife at Scrabble! She is good at it - and I have been known not to go to bed until gone 2.00 am just for the sheer satisfaction of winning one game!! Male pride - that’s what it is!!
I mentioned Doug Hastings’ wood carvings last month - well the Raffle for his carving of the Praying Hands raised over £300. This was a wonderful result and it is to go to our Tithe Barn appeal. Thank you Doug for your time and skill - I think many people were fascinated to see you working in the Churchyard and stopped to admire your carving. Even "Squeak” the lovely little black cat seen frequently around the churchyard took advantage of your company and was laid out flat on your bag at the side of your chair.
On Monday, 28th June we had our annual Parish Pilgrimage to Hereford Cathedral. At 10.00 am we had brunch in the church cooked by Gill Sawyer - equal to anything you would have had at a first class hotel! Thank you Gill - it was delicious and kept a lot of tums from rolling during the day! Then at 11.00 am our Coach arrived and we departed for Hereford via the M5 Motorway, Gloucester and Ross-on-Wye. We arrived at Hereford at about quarter to one with some free time before having a guided tour around Hereford Cathedral. It was a really warm day and I believe that the Cathedral was probably the coolest place in Herefordshire. We were divided into groups for the tour and I was surprised how much history there was in the Cathedral and how important it was before and after the Reformation. After the tour we walked through the Cloisters to a large hall where we had Tea - consisting of Scones, Strawberries and Cream. No good for the figure - but jolly nice for your taste buds! Then for me the highlight of the day - Choral Evensong sung by the Lay Clerks of Hereford Cathedral. There were only seven of them but their singing was superb: the diction was natural and clear, every word sung could be clearly heard. There are many Pop singers out there who could learn a lot from them!! Then it was back on the Coach for the return journey to Shirehampton. A truly wonderful day with wonderful weather - long to be remembered with much pleasure.
The next event I look forward to is "Tim Forder’s Car Treasure Hunt”! This is to take place on the evening of Friday, 13th. August. We normally start around 6.00 pm from the Health Centre Car Park - each car leaving at around 5 minute intervals. You can always be assured of passing through some beautiful countryside and having to work out some ingenious clues. The eating venue at the end of the run is always somewhere with a most attractive menu suitable for all palates. There I go - on about food again!! Look for the list at the west end of the church and choose your meal from the menu that will be displayed with it. It is a great social event and good fun. Even if you don’t win you can be assured of a most enjoyable evening with good company.
On Saturday, 21st. August Bradley House Residential Home are holding their annual Summer Fayre at 3.00 pm. All funds raised are to be donated to the work at St. Mary’s, so do look in and make a purchase! We are most grateful to the proprietor of Bradley House, Monique, for all her hard work in organizing this event for our benefit. I am sure some of the residents also welcome the prospect of seeing folk they may not have seen for some considerable time too!
The Open Gardens season is now well and truly upon us. Have you thought of opening your garden for a few hours? It doesn’t have to be large or laid out like a park, just a normal suburban garden. If you are able to provide some light refreshments for any visitors this would be most acceptable - you do not have to be extravagant! The church will provide you with a wooden collection box for any donations received which will be put to our Tithe Barn appeal. Last year Open Gardens donations considerably boosted the Fund. This is also a very appealing social event too! My "Bride of 44 years” has been diligently feeding and watering the flowers in our back garden this Summer, so I suppose I ought to seriously think of adding our garden to the list! I know - I’ve just had a thought - I could advertise it - "Free to come in - £10 to get out again”. I don’t reckon I’d get many takers!!
There will be no charge to visit St. Mary’s when we have another Open Church Day on August Bank Holiday Monday - 30th. August. Once again Lunches and Teas will be served in the Church at very reasonable prices from 12.00 noon onwards. So if you are at a loose end - come in and see us and enjoy a good meal at the same time. You will be more than welcome! Why not invite a friend to come along as well!
If you missed the Allan Schiller Concert back in June then you missed an absolute treat. His piano playing was superb. How he manages to move his fingers over the keyboard with such speed and not strike a wrong note was absolutely amazing. I know our organist, Tim Forder, a brilliant musician in his own right, was very impressed, so what else can I say? The Concert raised over £600 towards the Tithe Barn Appeal, so thanks to all of you who supported it.
Back on Tuesday 15th June the Guides Centenary Service was held in St. Mary’s when we had the opportunity to welcome back former Guiders. There were only a small number of them, but I gather they enjoyed happy memories from the past. It was a most important time for them.
St. Mary’s has had a very good season for Weddings this year, so if you are thinking of getting married there is still time to book a ceremony for this year! Whilst on the subject of weddings, Canon Christine had the pleasure of conducting a wedding for Janet Rice and Chris Burns. Both Janet and Chris are in their 50’s and both had really given up hope of ever finding a partner and getting married. However, Janet and Chris met through Stars in the Sky friendship and dating group, a charity run by and for people with learning difficulties. They met for a coffee date in Broadmead about a year ago and have been together ever since. Chris, who has cerebral palsy, said he liked Janet straight away when they met. Eventually he proposed to Janet and they decided to get married at St. Mary’s in June. After a honeymoon in Yorkshire Janet and Chris will be moving into a flat in Lawrence Hill. We wish them both good health and happiness in their future lives together.
Well, that’s it for this month but before I go I’ve got to tell you about the road sign seen outside the gates of a cemetery: "Drive Carefully - we can wait for you"! And in that same cemetery was the following epitaph to a foul tempered wife:
Should she have gone to realms above
Farewell to peace in heavenly love.
But if she’s sought the lower level,
The Lord have mercy on the Devil.
and if you believe that,
I can get you to believe anything !!!
‘Bye for now - C.M.E.
Pauline Mary Mogg
The family of Pauline Mogg would like to thank the following people for their support before and after her death: Batley’s Pet Supplies for all their love and concern throughout Pauline’s illness; Stenner and Hill for being professional and respectful; Canon Christine for the beautiful funeral service which really showed Pauline as the bright light she was in life - fun and carefree; the friends and neighbours of Watling Way for their support; and the kind donation to Bristol Oncology Centre; and everyone who came to the funeral service. Last but not least we thank her loyal and trusted friends who helped Pauline throughout her cancer from day one till the end, who witnessed her strength and determination during this most horrid illness. Treasure your memories as she treasured you.
Now resting with her beloved Mum and Dad. Rest in peace our beautiful sister. "Gone Too Soon.”
Andrew, Roger and Diane Mogg
(Thank you for your kind donation.The Editor.)
From the Registers at St MARY’S June 2010
BAPTISMS "We welcome you"
WEDDINGS "All that I am I give to you"
FUNERALS "At rest and at peace"
In July’s Weddings ‘Thomas Courtland’ should have been Courtland Thomas.
Our apologies. The Editors.
Judith Yvonne Forder
24.7. 1955 - 24. 5. 2010
Our words cannot express how much we thank you for your support and kindness during our sad loss of Judith. All donations received in Judith’s memory will go to the British Heart Foundation and St Mary’s Church.
A big thank you to family and friends.
Mark, Clair, Ben and Kath
Summer Family Fun at Shirehampton Baptist Church
If you are aged 5-11 where were you during the last week of July 2009? Not at school that’s for sure, because the long summer holidays had just started! Hopefully you were at the Baptist Church in Station Road, and can still remember how ‘Joseph and his God made the pyramids rock’. For those of you who weren’t there let me explain.
The first week of the school summer holidays saw the Pyramid Rock Holiday Club in full swing at Shirehampton Baptist Church. This ‘Not Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ exploration of the real story of Joseph helped children visit again this amazing account of how God was, and is, a Planner, Helper, Provider, Forgiver, and King. Songs, games, puzzles, craft, videos, a great team from the church, and some amazing youngsters from our village made the whole week a real success and, we hope, a lot of fun!
If you are under five, and were therefore too young for the holiday club, where have you been on Tuesday Mornings while your brothers and sisters have been at school? For the past year Mainly Music has been seen, heard and ‘enacted’ between 9.00 and 11.00 at the church, and will begin again at the start of next term. The ‘enacted’ part is very important because not only do carers and parents have a chance to meet, make friends, and chat, while their children play, but at 10 O’clock everyone joins in with words and actions to songs, rhymes and rhythms both familiar and new. If you want to ‘Make a Rainbow’ with ribbons or just ‘Go Round the Mulberry Bush’ then put September the 14th in your diary (or get your Mum, Dad, or Carer to do it) and come along and see what Mainly Music is all about.
Methodist Bright Hour
Monday July 5th saw the last meeting of the Shirehampton Women’s Bright Hour after over 70 years of meeting (what memories!). I have enjoyed my time "up front” and should like to thank all members, past and present, for the friendships we have all shared. Also thank you to the present committee - Bridget, Joan, Maureen, Pauline and Rose - for their hard work and support over the years. For our last meeting we enjoyed a Strawberry and Cream Tea together.
We look forward to our new Monday Meeting Point which will take place alternately with our Chapel Film Club. All are welcome to these and we look forward to meeting new friends and making new friendships. Thank you all once again! Look out for forthcoming dates on our Church notice board and in Shire.
Yours, Hazel Thone
(Thank you for your kind donation. Ed.)
Tithe Barn Fund Raiser
I was inspired by a scheme to renovate the Tithe Barn in Shirehampton. To repair and preserve a 400 hundred year old building with the aim of transforming it into a community centre is a wonderful objective.
That prompted me to look at what I could contribute. As a pensioner my funds are a bit limited but I am able to create fairly good wood carvings. If I could encourage a small contribution from others by raffling an appropriate carving then perhaps community energy could be tapped into.
The response to my sitting in St Mary’s church yard for the last four weeks, chipping away (sorry about the mess) has been very good. Together we have raised £305.89 for the restoration fund and one lucky person is now the owner of "Hands”, carved in oak and based on the famous image by Albrecht Durer.
My thanks to all for your encouragement,support and contributions.
Bristol Cycle Festival
You may have already heard about Bristol Cycle Festival, two-weeks of bike dedicated fringe events across the city this September.
We are recruiting groups to join the Freewheelin’ Carnival on Sunday 19th September: a big procession of bikes, trikes, unicycles, buggies, BMX’s, single-speeds, bromptons, tandems, penny farthings and everything in-between, through and round Bristol City Centre.
We have some funding from the City Council to pay a team of trained Bike-Costuming Workshoppers to provide your group with a workshop where you can dress up your bikes for the carnival! You can make flags, wrap your frames, turn your bikes into animals, monsters, machines, make cycling musical instruments - anything you like! Workshops are tailored to all ages and abilities, and can be brought to your usual meeting place, or arranged at another convenient venue.
There are other ways to get involved with the two-week festival - you could put on an event, for which small ‘Get in Gear’ grants are available to help you. There is more info about this on the Bristol Cycle Festival website: www.bristolcyclefestival.com
If you would like more info, or to book a workshop, do get in touch at this address and we can tell you more about the festival, the funding, the carnival and the workshops.
Look forward to hearing from you
Jen Coles Carnival Coordinator
Bristol Cycle Festival
Dancing in the Community
On Saturday 3rd July members of the Avon Primary School Country Dancers proudly represented their school at the Henbury School Community Fair. Country Dancing is one of the extra curricular clubs available to the children, the group practice weekly and have a great selection of dances that they have learnt. The team of Harry, Sophie, Jodie, Emily, Sarah and Paighton performed the Grand Change Square.