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News Index

Consultation Meeting About Green Spaces

What's On in November

Walton Road 1953

Shire Christmas Street Market

The Cenotaph Parade and Service

Are You Ready for Census 2011?

Shire Notes and Queries

Letters to the Editor

Back in the Saddle Again

Model Railway Exhibition

St Mary’s Notes

Green Power Station is Given Go Ahead

Consultation Meeting About Green Spaces

Ideas and options for improving our green spaces

Options and ideas for green spaces display

Options and ideas for green spaces display

Kathryn Kacey-O’Neil writes:

I went along to the Consultation Meeting on the 15th of September with my Mum who is disabled. Doug Naysmith spent sometime at the Portway Rugby Training Centre looking at the plans for the area as a member of the public. Complaints had already been received about the venue, difficulty in getting to meeting, disability issues and should have been held more locally for Shirehampton, Lawrence Weston and Avonmouth. The turn out would have been much higher than it was.

Caroline and Jim Penny point to the Daisyfield and Grazing Field in Woodwell Road, with Caroline holding her questionnaire which she was completing at the time.

Caroline and Jim Penny point to the Daisyfield and Grazing Field in Woodwell Road, with Caroline holding her questionnaire which she was completing at the time.

Whilst I was there about 12 additional people made a visit to the venue in 2 hours. Bob and Jane Warren and Sue Davies from Avonmouth made their feelings known about the proposal of building on green spaces in the area and taking along photographic evidence to show officials. They were told to write in and fill out the questionnaires.

I couldn’t find one official who had visited the areas in question. Were they aware of the Daisyfield getting quite sodden with rain and winter weather? Did they speak to the people who use the Daisyfield daily for walking the dogs and recreational purposes? Were they aware that the area in question was in a dip below the incline of the upper part of the field? And the narrow road access of Station Road? And what about the grazing field in Woodwell Road, access and where would the entrance to the proposed Gypsy Site be? Answers could not be given apart from the narrow part of Woodwell had been measured and it was wide enough for access and samples of other gypsey sites were on display.

Local resident Catherine Brown studies plans for the area

Local resident Catherine Brown studies plans for the area

There was also a display featuring Shirehampton Town Centre. The blue areas were retail outlets and having spoken to the actual officer who put the questionnaire booklet together on this issue and input into the map, I pointed out errors. The Charity Shop, The old Chemist and The Chinese Chip Shop in Station Road were not acknowledged, neither were the units in Pembroke Road including the Tattoo Shop, Sandwich Shop and Sun Tanning Centre. Also missing was the old Circle K/Hotel retail unit. I also pointed out the number of cafe/take away outlets in the area as this subject was brought up and with planning these plans were to ensure ‘not too many of the same’ were opened in the area. The Officer I spoke to was not aware how many of these take way/cafe outlets had been opened up the past couple years in the area.

It would have been useful to have had knowledgeable Council Officers who knew the area well, had visited the places in question, could answer questions and concerns raised instead of presenting smoke and mirrors on the subject.

Residents discussing the green spaces sell-off with Council officials

Residents discussing the green spaces sell-off with Council officials

What's On in November



  • KEEP FIT - Avonmouth Community Centre 7:30-8:30pm
  • DROP IN ADVICE SERVICE - 9:30-11:00am St Andrew’s Church, Avonmouth. Sponsored by St Andrew’s Church
  • TOTSTOP - for under 5’s at St Mary’s Church 1:15-2:45pm
  • KYOTO SHOTOKAN KARATE CLUB 6:30 - 8:30pm St Bernard’s School
  • THE PULSE ACUPUNCTURE CLINIC Every Monday at the Health Centre
  • BUMP AND RHYME for babies and toddlers 11:20-11:40am 12:00-12:15 Story Time - Library
  • SEA CADETS 12 -18 years old Monday and Thursday 6:45-8:45pm T.S. Enterprise, Station Road
  • NSC BOXING CLUB Monday, Wednesday and Friday 7:00 - 8:30pm Smelters Gym, Barracks Lane, Next to Avonmouth Rugby Club, BS11 9NG. For details ring Head Coach Garry Cave: 07876-233621
  • TWYFORD ART CLUB 9:30 - 11:30am Penpole Room, Shirehampton Public Hall
  • NORTH BRISTOL ADVICE CENTRE 9:30am - 12:30pm Drop In Housing Office, Ridingleaze House, Ridingleaze
  • AVON PRIMARY SCHOOL 1-3pm 6-week beginners’ course. See page 7


  • SHIRE ADVICE SERVICE - 982-9399 - 9:30 - 11:30am Drop-in session Over 50’s Shirehampton Health Centre
  • PENPOLE LUNCH CLUB - 11:30am - 2pm, 2 courses, tea/coffee, cake £3.25, details from Sandra: 0117 938 1236
  • ST MARY’S CRAFT GROUP 2 - 3:30pm St Mary’s Church
  • MAINLY MUSIC FOR UNDER 5s Shirehampton Baptist Church, 9 -11am during term time


  • SHIRE ADVICE SERVICE -982-9399, 9:30 -11:30am Shirehampton Health Centre
  • NORTH BRISTOL ADVICE CENTRE 2:00 - 5:00pm Debt Housing Office, Ridingleaze House, Ridingleaze
  • SHIREHAMPTON MODEL RAILWAY CLUB 7:30pm in the Public Hall
  • SHIREHAMPTON CRAFT GROUP 1:30 - 3:00pm Guide HQ, St Mary’s Road Tel 982 3192 for information
  • ACTA COMMUNITY YOUTH THEATRE 5:00 - 6:30pm at the Public Hall
  • KEEP FIT - Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road 10:30 - 11:30am. For those with some movement experience.
  • AVONMOUTH HOCKEY CLUB practice night 7:30-9:00pm Henbury Comprehensive School
  • TWYFORD ART CLUB 9:30 -11:30am Penpole Room, Shirehampton Public Hall
  • NSC BOXING CLUB Smelters Gym, Avonmouth 7:00-8:30pm


  • SHIRE ADVICE SERVICE - 982-9399 - 9:30-11:30am Shirehampton Health Centre
  • ADVICE SERVICE 2:00-3:00pm St Mary’s Church (session sponsored by St Mary’s)
  • NORTH BRISTOL ADVICE CENTRE 1:30 -4:30pm Benefits Housing Office, Ridingleaze House, Ridingleaze 9:30am -12 noon Debt Only Seamills Health Centre, 2 Riverleaze, Seamills
  • STROKE SUPPORT 1:30-4:00pm PBA Club, Nibley Rd
  • KICK BOXING 5:15-7:15pm Public Hall
  • GRAINGER PLAYERS DRAMA CLUB 7:30-9:30 Public Hall
  • SLIMMING WORLD 5:15pm and 7:15pm Jim O’Neill House tel. 01275-844825 for information
  • KYOTO SHOTOKAN KARATE CLUB 6:30-8:30pm Avonmouth RFC
  • SEA CADETS Juniors 10-12 years old and 12-18 years old 6:45-8:45pm T.S.Enterprise, Station Road
  • AVONMOUTH RUGBY CLUB 6:00pm practice for Junior Colts. Ring 9852426 for details
  • TWYFORD ART CLUB 7:00 - 9:00pm Penpole Room, Shirehampton Public Hall


  • FRIDAY FUN for parents, carers, and pre-school children 9:30-11:00am Beachley Walk Centre
  • EVERGREENS 2:00-3:00pm Public Hall
  • BINGO 6:30-8:30pm Public Hall
  • PILLOW LACE GROUP 7:00-9:00pm Public Hall
  • SHIREHAMPTON AMATEUR RADIO CLUB 7:30-10:00pm T.S. Enterprise
  • RELISH for 11-16yr olds in term time 7:30-9:30pm Shirehampton Baptist Church
  • KEEP FIT 10:30-11:30am Cotsworld Community Centre, Dursley Road
  • NSC BOXING CLUB Smelters Gym, Avnmouth 7:00 - 8:30pm


  • KIDS KLUB at St Mary’s 8:30am most Sunday mornings. Breakfast and a short service. Tel. 9077026 for information
  • COTSWOLD CHURCH SERVICE 1ST and 3RD Sundays of the month, 1st Sunday led by Baptist Church, 3rd Sunday led by St Mary’s. Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road 4:45 - 5:30pm
  • SHIREHAMPTON BAPTIST CHUCRH, Services at 10:30am and 6:30 pm, Youth Group at 5:00pm



  • LOCAL HISTORY GROUP 3rd Monday of the month, 2:30pm in the Library, 15th November next meeting


  • PBA RETIRED EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION, 3rd Tuesday of the month - PBA Club, Nibley Road open from Noon, 16th November 2:30pm "A Good Read" -Mr David Weeks
  • AVONMOUTH LADIES CLUB First and third Tuesdays of the month, 7:30pm St Andrew’s Church Hall


  • BRIGHT HOUR WOMEN’S FELLOWSHIP Fortnightly, 2:30pm Shirehampton Baptist Church
  • WOMEN’S FELLOWSHIP, Public Hall 7:30 - 9:30 pm, November 10th - Natasha Taylor - Marie Curie Cancer Care, November 24th - Jewelry and Handmade Cards, December 1st - Christmas Meal, December 8th - Party Night (Starlite Troup)
  • SHIREHAMPTON STITCHERS 3rd Wednesday of the month, 7:30pm Public Hall


  • NOVEMBER 18th - NSC ABC, Open Show at Henbury Social, 1st bell 8pm. Ring 9506325 for tickets
  • CARERS GROUP 3rd Thursday of the month, 2:00pm at Ridingleaze, Lawrence Weston


  • COFFEE AND CAKES, 1st Saturday of the month, 10:00 -11:30am, Shirehampton Methodist Church All welcome.


  • COTSWOLD CHURCH SERVICE 1ST and 3RD Sundays of the month, 1st Sunday led by Baptist Church, 3rd Sunday led by St Mary’s, Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road 4:45 - 5:30pm
  • SHIREHAMPTON BAPTIST CHURCH, Sunday 14th November at 6.30pm - Evangel Male Voice Choir, Saturday 4th December at 2.30pm - Emmaus Christian Choir - followed by tea


  • PLAYGROUP at the Public Hall, Station Road, 9:15 - 11:45am Monday to Friday, 12:30 - 2:45pm Mon -Wed only
  • LOW IMPACT AEROBICS at PBA Social Club, 7:30pm - for information ring 07717833739
  • FOUR VILLAGES TOY LIBRARY, Beachley Walk Centre, Old Barrow Hill, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday morning 9:30 -12:30, and Tuesday afternoon Ring 9822142 for details, Annual subscription £3, 50p to hire a toy
  • GIRLS FOOTBALL 8-16, Saturdays 11:00 -12:00am St Bede’s


  • BASIC SKILLS CLASSES, Literacy Skills weekly at Lawrence Weston, Tel: 9138824 for details


English, Computers and Communication; Art and Communication; Maths

Contact Gill Lloyd on 3125530

Free short courses for adults over 19 years with few or no qualifications - e.g. Basic Computers, IT Skills for Work, CV Writing and Job Applications online, Pass Your Driving Theory Test, Confidence Building courses, Family Learning in local schools (literacy and numeracy) etc. For more information ring Suzanne on 9030072 or Veronique on 9030065; or email or

Public Hall Newsletter

Winter is now upon us and we are looking forward to a weekend of performances by the Grainger Players. This year they will be presenting ‘Rainbow of Memories’ on the 5th & 6th November. December 20th Santa will be visiting the Hall again this year, details will follow in the December issue.

Introducing the Trustees of Shirehampton Public Hall Community Association.

The trustees are volunteers who oversee the running of the Public Hall for the benefit of the community. We meet once a month. If you would like to get involved, contact or telephone01179829963, there is also a website, do have a look,

The trustees have agreed to describe their commitment to the Community of Shirehampton, last month it was Marilyn’s story, this month is Lyn’s.

Lyn Sylvester

Lyn Sylvester

My name is Lyn Sylvester and I have been a trustee at the Public hall for 3 yrs and company secretary for 2 yrs. I hasten to say I am not a ‘secretary ‘ and lack all of those fine skills but doing this role has enabled me to build on my own and I now know how to complete annual returns for the Charity Commission and company house.

As a young girl I used to come across on the ferry from Pill to work at the then Barbara McEwen’s flower shop which was on the High Street where I trained as a florist. I met my husband to be Geoff when he worked opposite. He managed the old betting office which was down the alley next to the lifeboat. We married at Christ Church Pill and 41 yrs ago we moved to Shirehampton three years later our son Paul was born then two years after that James arrived. On moving to Shirehampton I became a member of St.Mary’s Church in the village both our sons were baptised and confirmed here and this is where we continue to worship. One son still lives in the village and one in Bristol we have one granddaughter and one grandson and look forward to another grandson in December.

From 1978 - 1983 I ran the Station Rd. Playgroup which later became the Pre-School at the Public Hall. It does feel as if the link to the hall stays close to our hearts as 3 other trustees who also worked at the Playgroup now work as volunteers to help keep the hall running.

I have attended various groups at the hall over the years and at present enjoy Lace Making and Yoga (I did the latter at the hall 34 yrs ago so feel like I have gone full circle although my body does not bend as it use to.)

In 1986 I qualified as a Nursery nurse and worked for Social services and Education supporting young families as a resource worker in Shirehampton and the surrounding area. On retiring it seemed an obvious choice for me to become a volunteer and support the hall which plays a very important part in our village.

Walton Road 1953

Anyone you know? Photo: Colin Momber

Anyone you know? Photo: Colin Momber


Does anyone have a copy of ‘The Continuing Story of Shirehampton’ by the late Ethel Thomas they would be willing to sell? Please call Pat on 9826207

Shire Christmas Street Market

Friday, 3rd December 6pm-9pm on Station Road

For those of you that read our previous announcement, you will be aware that we have been organising a Christmas Street Market in the village for early December. It’s now time to invite you all to join in the fun!

If you would like to have a stall selling items, craft, cakes, toys etc or a car boot style pitch please contact me by 20th November to reserve you space.

The planning is going well, although very lengthy and we are now looking for volunteers to help with the smooth running of the event. Also we need help with printing posters/flyers and advertising the event for us. If you own a business or attend local groups please help by distributing a poster for us. If you can spare a few hours on this evening to assist with the road closures and site safety we would love to hear from you.

If any of you would like to add to the Victorian theme and dress for the occasion if would be most appreciated.

The event is being run for charity and we hope to raise money to add to the Christmas lights and to donate to local good causes.

Please contact: Lizzy at PJ’s Barber Shop on 01179 381123 or 07980812007. Thank you

The Cenotaph Parade and Service

THE Remembrance Parade and Service at the Cenotaph in Bristol this year on Sunday 14th November 2010 promises to be a very special one thanks to the many people who have been successful in persuading the Royal British Legion in London to instruct their opposite numbers in Bristol to allow the Merchant Navy to lay a wreath for the first time in about 12 years, after the other three armed forces representatives and not the rank and file.

The late Captain Owen was the last member of our branch to have this honour and his wife Mary, a former WW2 veteran WREN who is a very active ember of our branch and who acted as his wreath orderly, has encouraged us to find a way of following in his footsteps. We have been struggling for a few years to reclaim our rightful place in the wreath laying order at the Cenotaph but the prime mover who has succeeded and who deserves our lasting gratitude is our National Merchant Navy Association President, Vivian Foster.

I finally contacted Vivian on the 29th September after realising once again that we were banging our heads against a brick wall in Bristol. She responded an hour later with her email stating:

"I am on your case! I cannot believe that these persons are so ignorant of the Merchant Navy’s support of ALL services in ALL conflicts - NOT to mention the fact that on the Cenotaph in London for all to see the Red Ensign is the ONLY flag (ensign) that flies alongside the armed forces . . . I shall be consulting the RBL President myself today."

On 7th October 2010 Vivian proudly stated in her email:

"Success for the Merchant Navy! It seems they needed a little reminder about the 4th Service, but now the RBL handbook is being rewritten with the Merchant Navy in its rightful place. At last there is acknowledgement to the undeniable fact that the Red Duster is alongside the other services on the Cenotaph in London for very good reasons! Glad to be of help and as always, proud to be your (National) President."

The Parade commander, Regimental Sergeant Major Richard Kidd has since congratulated us on being given our rightful place in the Parade. So this year on Remembrance Sunday 14th November the Merchant Navy representatives will lay a wreath at the Cenotaph in Bristol immediately after the three armed forces representatives, for the first time in 12 years.

Hamish Grant, Vice President, Merchant Navy Association, Bristol.

Traditional Christmas Fair

Friends of Shirehampton Primary School would like to invite you to our Traditional Christmas Fair

Friday 10th December 2010, 4.30pm - 7.30pm

Hamper, Raffles, Christmas Carols, Santa’s Grotto, Craft Activities, Traditional Christmas Stalls, Festive Refreshments and much more . . .

Shirehampton Methodist Church

135th Church Anniversary and Gift Day, Sunday, November 21st at 11am.

The preacher will be Rev. Dr. Jacky Quarmby and music with the Parkway Singers. 12noon, lunch in the church hall. A warm invitation is extended to all.

1940s Evening

A 1940s evening will be held at the Public Hall, Shirehampton, in aid of Shirehampton Christmas lights.

Date is Saturday 13th November Time 7.30pm.

Please bring your own food and drink (don’t forget your glasses)

Have fun and come in 1940s costume (optional).

Tickets are all at £5 and may be purchased on the door and also at Shirehampton library.

Party News

On September 21st St Andrew’s Ladies’ Club celebrated 40+ years together, where past members were invited to reminisce together over supper. Some travelled many miles with one lady staying overnight with family to be able to attend.

A great many memories were recalled especially when extracts were read from minute records from very early meetings. Some ladies having been there at the time!

Laughter was the theme of the night and many friendships were rekindled. At the end of the evening everyone agreed a most successful night to remember.

(Thank you for your kind donation, Ed)

Kyoto Shotokhan Karate

Kyoto Shotokan Karate Club hosted a one-day course in Shotokan Karate with Sensei Paul Mead (7th Dan) in September at St Bernard’s School Hall in Shirehampton.

Sensei (meaning ‘teacher’) Mead started training in the Japanese martial art of Karate at the age of 14 and after nearly 40 years of training at the age of 53, this year he became the first man to be awarded the grade of 7th Dan black-belt by the Japanese instructor Hanshi Shiro Asano (9th Dan), the European Chief instructor to Shotokan Karate International. In 1975 he became the European Kumite (free-fighting) champion and has a long history of success in competition, captaining the British squad many times.

For the students of Shirehampton Karate club, this was a great chance to learn from this experienced teacher, who has been making regular visits to teach at the club each year.

The lesson was very well structured so that all grades were also catered for. Sensei covered some of the basic Heian katas for the lower grades but in such detail that the higher grades benefited greatly from the instruction. Sensei stressed the need always to perform the kata with good spirit and focus.

There was a lot of emphasis on doing the basics properly, with spirit. Sensei took the time to correct individuals, which was very helpful. It was a great reminder that we all need to strive to get the basics right. The attention to detail allowed us to gain more speed and power in the techniques.

What distinguishes Sensei Mead from many other teachers is his attention to training with spirit. He reminded us that a proper ki-ai (‘spirit shout’) is essential and that the sound must come from the hara (the belly) not just from the throat. We must also move from the hara too, in order to get maximum power. Sensei stressed many times the importance of being totally ready when ‘Yoi’ (meaning ready) is called. It is vital to keep focussed and prepare the mind for the next move. If we fail to do this, Sensei explained that we will hit a kind of ceiling in our karate progress. We need to train our spirit to focus on the task in hand, or we will be unable to overcome the obstacles to self improvement. He said that if we learn karate to develop our focus and concentration, this will help us progress in other areas of life. We will learn to persevere and to overcome every obstacle in our paths. Hopefully we will learn to become more useful members of society.

By the end of the session we were flagging a bit, but Sensei Mead reminded us that we should never look tired on the outside, however tired we feel on the inside. We must strive to maintain our focus and keep our bodies upright, rather than allow them to collapse. If we allow ourselves to look tired, we have already lost the battle, both with others and with ourselves. On the other hand, if we still look alert we may encourage and inspire others in the class.

Sensei Mead showed impressive speed and power in his karate. He also showed kindness, great attention to detail and awareness of training the spirit as well as the body. He is a truly inspiration al instructor as we hope he will be back again soon. We are very lucky to have Sensei Mead in our association and the club members have the opportunity to train with him on our courses.

Kyoto Shotokan Karate Club trains on Monday evenings at St Bernard’s School and Thursday evenings at Avonmouth Rugby Club - beginners of all ages (5+) are welcome, for details contact Steve 07890 396 276 or visit (photos of the course are available on our website).

Henry McGrath (1st Kyu - brown belt)

Conmen Posing as Council Contractors

This is the latest news release issued by Bristol City Council.

Conmen target new tenants, Council tenants in Bristol have been urged to be on their guard after conmen gained entry to the house of a vulnerable family by posing as contractors working for council. They had just moved into an unfurnished flat.

The incident occurred at a house in the St Philips area of the City, on September 7 while a council officer was visiting a family who had just moved to a tenancy after seeking help from the council’s homelessness service.

Because the family is on low wages they applied for help with furnishing the property through the council.

There was a knock at the door and two men, of Asian appearance, announced they were there to measure the flooring. The men, who had a tape measure with them, said they were working on behalf of Bristol City Council.

They were challenged by the officer, a furnished tenancies co-ordinator, who didn’t recognise them as members of staff employed by contractors working for the council, and who saw that they weren’t in uniform or carrying ID cards.

In response, the men claimed they didn’t have ID on them but were working for a specific firm of contractors and had been invited by the tenants.

They then drove off after being again challenged by the council officer. However, the mother who was at the house when the conmen called, subsequently explained, through an interpreter, that she had not spoken to the men and she and her husband were not in a position to pay for carpets.

Richard Nochar, Housing Solutions Service Manager with Bristol City Council said: "It is not clear whether this was an opportune con or a deliberate attempt to target an identified vulnerable household in a new, unfurnished tenancy.

"We believe they were seeking to trick this family into getting carpets laid by posing as contractors working for the council. However, while the family would assume the council was paying for them, they would end up being billed.

"We would ask council tenants, particularly new tenants and neighbours of new tenants, to always ask for ID from anyone calling and claiming to work on behalf of the authority and to refuse admittance unless this is provided."

Anyone who is targeted in this way or has any information is asked to contact the police or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Academy Congratulates Dancers

Oasis Academy Brightstowe is very proud of three of our students for winning the Barclays Live Dance Contest.

Year 9 girls Sophie Franklin and Sophie Griffiths-Bucks and Year 7 student Jessica Scott entered the competition as part of 10-piece dance group The Freestylers, who train locally.

The finalists were chosen by a panel of judges including Strictly Come Dancing’s Brendan Cole, Star FM’s Breakfast Show presenter Craig Wright and Brett Sutor from Barclays.

After wowing judges at the Barclays Live Bristol heat at Broadmead on Saturday 14th August, The Freestylers emerged victorious after a hotly-contested online public vote.

The girls have won VIP tickets to see Latin-American dancer and Barclays Live judge Brendan Cole in action and will be dancing all the way to the bank with a cheque for £1,000!

Brendan Cole says "Congratulations to The Freestylers for winning the Barclays Live Bristol heat. They were outstanding on the day and overcame tough competition to become champions. They’re a young group with huge potential and I look forward to hearing more about them in the future."

Paula McCann, dance instructor of The Freestylers says "This is absolutely fantastic, we’re chuffed! Everyone has worked really hard for this, it’s the best thing that has happened to us as a group and we’re over the moon."

Congratulations to the girls!

Science Lessons with a Touch of Magic

On Tuesday 28th September, Year 7 students were treated to an educational show that aimed to illustrate the magic of science.

The ‘Could it be Magic?’ show is an exciting collaboration between the ss Great Britain Trust and the Royal Society as part of its 350th anniversary celebrations, and is available to schools throughout Bristol free of charge.

The show is aimed at Key Stage 3 students and encourages young people to celebrate science’s contribution to British culture.

The sessions, lasted 50-minutes, and were based on Arthur C. Clarke’s Third Law, that any sufficiently advanced technology will be indistinguishable from magic.

The show used magic tricks to explore scientific ideas and explain phenomena, with students taking part in analysing and evaluating evidence to come to factual conclusions.

Learning Co-ordinator for Science Dave Williams said: "We were delighted to be able to offer the show to our Year 7 classes. It was a wonderful exciting and interactive session, and we hope it will inspire students to learn more about scientific leaders such as Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and go on to do great things in the field."

Are You Ready for Census 2011?

The 2011 Census will take place on Sunday 27th March 2011. The census counts everyone in the United Kingdom, but the the results are also used by central government as the basis for allocating about £100,000,000,000 - yes, one hundred billion pounds - of funds to local authorities every year. The statistics gathered in March will determine the allocation of funds for the next ten years to housing, education, health, recreation, roads and transport, so it is important to get the count of people as accurate as possible.

Some local authorities have estimated that for every 1000 people in their population they receive about £500,000 in grants. Bristol City Council estimate that at the last census in 2001 there was an undercount of about 10,000 people. And although the cost of the census sounds a lot at about half a billion pounds, the actual cost per person over 10 years is about 87 pence. More information about the census can be found at

The census will create about 240 part time and full time jobs in the Bristol area. More details can be found at

Although Census Day is a long way away (Sunday 27th March 2011), now is a good time to remind people of the importance of taking part in the largest social project of the decade. If you would like to know more about the 2011 Census please contact the Bristol Area Manager for the 2011 Census, Bill Clark, who can be contacted by email at, or by phone on 07801331522.

Computers Don’t Bite!

A FREE six week course for beginners every Monday 1-3pm, starts on Monday 1st November at Avon Primary School, Barracks Lane, Shirehampton. Call Louise Dunbar on 9030446 to book your place. Other free courses for adults with few or no qualifications are planned for the area. Contact Suzanne on 9030072 or Veronique on 9030065(Mon. Tues. Wed.)

'Doings' at Christmas

If you want to tell us about any Christmas activities, fayres etc please remember that the information must be sent to us by NOVEMBER 10th for inclusion in the December issue.


We always welcome volunteers who would like to deliver ‘Shire’. If you are interested please ring Pauline on 9826935.

A Nostalgic Visit

A letter received by Canon Froude

Last Saturday I was able for the first time since the early fifties to take a leisurely wander around the village visiting old haunts. A call at the cricket ground was unproductive as the season has finished but a vacant parking space made it easy to visit the church. The door was locked but the clicking of the latch brought forth an invitation to come in and look around. As the lady was busy with some crockery I asked if she was the lady who ensured that everyone was well nourished, as indeed she was. The transformation that has taken place in the church is most impressive and with all the activities taking place is a prime example of how such buildings can be used to the greatest advantage. The pictures in the vestry revived old memories. I was a server in the days of The Rev’d Dixon and for a short time served as organist. Ah, the days of Matins, Evensong and Choral Eucharist. The Rev’d Dixon’s successor suffered the indignity of being scratched by my mother’s cat on his first visit to our house in Penpole Avenue. In the old picture of the choir the building must be Chapel House. May I express my thanks for the opportunity to revive old memories. Marriage and my work took me away from Bristol and I am enjoying retirement in Cornwall with my wife of 61 years.

I also went into the Co-op to see the plaque that showed that William Wordsworth might well have slept in the same room as my parents. The young lady who directed me to the plaque was suitably underwhelmed when I told her I was the last person born in Chapel House and one of the last inhabitants.

Should the opportunity arise I will try to visit the church again, preferably during some activity.

Best wishes to you and all concerned with the running of St Mary’s.

Yours sincerely,

Leslie Gould

The Bucklewell

A very interesting article was in last month’s Shire News about the Bucklewell, and indeed I do know where it is but it is not an area that should be open to the public or given public access or widely known- about I visit only by appointment and people should not be encouraged to go there. The path is very steep and dangerous in wet weather and could involve a moving train! We do not want this site vandalised or animals driven away. Anyone who wants to talk to me about the Bucklewell or anything they know about it can contact me direct on 01179773413. It is true that the water only sees light from the midsummer sun at its highest point and what they say in the article is true but I feel these places are best kept within the knowledge of a few in Shirehampton we do not want it to become damaged.

James Penny

Shire Notes and Queries

I am writing in connection with any information relating to the cottages in Ellenborough Place, just off Pembroke Road. I lived at no:5, my name at the time was Jennifer Sanders. I was told you might be able to help me. I lived there from 1954, when I was born, until 1963, or 1964, when the cottages were pulled down. Some of my best memories were of living there, the friends that I had, we would go to the cinema to watch the westerns at the local cinema, then reenact them round the back of the old Woolies. The Children I played with were Jill Bowyer, Steven Symonds,

Steven Pearce, Alison Hargraves.

Any information at all would be great. Photos or your own memories, anything.

Thanking you Jenny.

Letters to the Editor

Memories Brought Back

Dear Editor,

We read with great pleasure the letter from Ruth Dunster (Ellis). I well remember her and her younger twin sisters Gwyneth and Dorothy. I used to play with them very often as a child- I knew Joey Howes, too. I used to swim with Grace Wood, the olympic swimmer and was so impressed with her medals.

The ferry crossing from the Lamplighters to Pill, with bikes, was a nightmare! We had to carry them along a wooden plank which was covered in slippery mud over the water to the rowing boat. Health and safety didn’t come into it in those days! I heard the story of the boatman getting lost in the fog and stuck in the mud as the tide went out - he had to wait for the next tide.

I went to Sea Mills Junior School as well and walked home for lunch and back along the Portway. It was a good school and I was given a scholarship to La Retraite in Clifton (now closed).Many of us would meet up at the bus stop on The Green for the 28 bus to Bristol for the various schools. I could name quite a few scholars of that time......

Vivian and I met in Shire Library when we were in our early teens- in the music section. I remember Joyce,the librarian, telling us off quite often for talking!. We were married at St Mary’s 55 years ago. Music is still a big part of our lives.

Ruth mentioned the Methodist Women’s Bright Hour. Viv’s parents were the caretakers of the Church for over 25 years until his Dad died in 1962. Viv’s mother played a prominent part in the chapel and had many friends in the Bright Hour - she was treasurer of the ‘thrift club’ for many years. Viv’s father - Ted Stokes - worked at the National Smelting Company, where I spent 3 years in the in the works laboratories.

Does anyone remember the German plane that crashed into the River Avon in about 1940? I was in the front of the house and saw this plane coming at me - our house was on high land overlooking Portway School in Park Road. I saw the pilot trying to open the shield and take off his headgear. It swerved in the front of the window and we heard later that it had crashed into the river and that the pilot had landed in mud and was saved - with a broken leg.

My father was the Deputy General Manager at Avonmouth Docks. He worked for the PBA for 49 years and during the war worked at the secret American arms depot called Wapley, at Chipping Sodbury.

Vivian and Pat (nee Paddy Harvey) Stokes

St Bernard's School Reunion Sat 2 Oct 2010

Dear Editor,

I had the pleasure of attending the above school 75th reunion and have been unable to contact the organisers to record my thanks for all the hard work and effort into making this such an enjoyable event. Apparently the e-mail address previously provided was only temporary and no longer avaiable and I wondered if you can possibly print my thanks in the next issue. I am of course happy to make a donation and will send it by post.

I understand Mary O’Connor and Kim ?, were the main organsiers and I am confident that everyone who attended thoroughly enjoyed the evening. The buffet was superb and the 75th Anniversary cake outstanding. Well done Ladies and everyone involved it was a credit to you.

Bernard Pepworth.

A Thank You

I would like to thank all the local people, especially the lady who alerted my wife on Wednesday 15th September, when I broke my leg falling down the steps of my house opposite the post office. My thanks also to the local nurses, the medic and the ambulance crew for their consideration and care.

Tony Bristow

Beachley Walk Centre Given Makeover

Twenty members of the RBS and Natwest invoice finance team descended on Beachley Walk Centre and with paint, materials and gusto, hard work, fun and laughter set about sprucing it up. Materials were given by Syntema S.W.Ltd. The results were much appreciated by all concerned.

News Release by Safer Bristol

With fireworks going on sale, Bristolians are warned to buy only from a licensed shop.

With fireworks on sale in Bristol, customers are being reminded to only buy fireworks from shops that have been licensed to sell them.

"You can ask at the shop to see their license certificate to legally sell fireworks. Never buy them from vans or door to door salesmen they will be sold illegally and may be very dangerous" said Jonathan Martin, Trading Standards Manager for Bristol City Council.

Last year a sharp eyed PCSO spotted an overloaded van that was crammed with illegal fireworks. "If you see anyone selling these please contact us at once on 08454 04 05 06 or ring crime stoppers," said Jonathan.

Shopkeepers are also being reminded that it is illegal to sell fireworks to people aged under 18. Bristol City Council’s Trading Standards team are visiting shops that are registered to sell fireworks.

They will speak with staff to remind them of the laws, and encourage them not to sell fireworks to anyone who can’t prove their age. They will carry out test purchasing using under age volunteers to check that shopkeepers are complying with the law. They are also advising consumers about how to use fireworks safely.

The visits are planned particularly in those areas which are sometimes blighted by anti-social behaviour in the days preceding firework night, especially around Halloween.

Jonathan Martin said "It is vitally important that people know that they should not buy fireworks that are too powerful for their gardens as these can cause serious accidents and nuisance to neighbours". People should look at the instructions on the labels which set out the distances needed and only choose those that are safe for the space they have available. Sparklers have the heat of a blow torch and should never be given to little children".

Cllr Gary Hopkins, Cabinet Member for Targeted improvement said

"Bonfire Night will be an occasion enjoyed by thousands of people throughout Bristol but it’s important that everyone takes care around fireworks, whether they are at a large organised display or letting off rockets in their back garden".

"More than 1,000 people every year suffer avoidable injuries as a result of misuse of fireworks - many of those injured are young people under the age of 16. They can also cause a hazard and nuisance to their neighbours. It is vital that we do all we can to prevent unsupervised young people from getting hold of fireworks".

Firework Code

  • Only buy fireworks marked BS 7114.
  • Don’t drink alcohol if setting off fireworks.
  • Keep fireworks in a closed box.
  • Follow the instructions on each firework.
  • Light at arms length, using a taper.
  • Stand well back.
  • Never go near a firework that has been lit. Even if it hasn’t gone off, it could still explode.
  • Never put fireworks in your pocket or throw them.
  • Always supervise children around fireworks.
  • Light sparklers one at a time and wear gloves.
  • Never give sparklers to a child under five.
  • Keep pets indoors.

Further information please contact

Vicky O’Loughlin on 0117 9142224 or 077 47460496

The First Visit

He sat in a chair
And a stare met his stare
And all movements he made
Were before him displayed
In a duplicate stance.
He just gazed in a trance
At this ‘stonishing fact.
It made such an impact.
Then a ‘click’ cut his thought
And his ears, startled, caught
A disquieting sound,
Like a bee buzzing round.
And this buzzing loud grew
(This queer sound was not new),
It advanced ever near.
It came close to his ear.
B-Z-Z! - he jumped up in fright,
A kind voice said: "Sit tight!"
He recovered his will
And sat perfectly still
B-Z-Z-Z! - his head ‘gan to spin
As the ‘Thing’ met his skin;
At a furious rate
Did this monster vibrate,
But in quite a short while
He could not help but smile,
For this once-feared machine,
Which today he’s first seen,
Merely tickled his skull.
Yes! and tended to lull
Him to sleep in the chair,
Were not excitement not there
To keep mind wide awake.
- He now settled to wait.
Hair fell, hair upon hair,
Falling down from the chair;
Gently touching the ground
Without ever a sound.
He watched, spellbound, to see
What was his gracefully
Floating far, far beneath,
And he gritted his teeth
At this sacrificed wealth
Made in favour of health.
Now ‘twas done and uncloaked,
With his hair flat and soaked,
He stood, proud, by the glass
In a posture of ‘class.’
Then he took hold the hand
That had brought him there and
With a confident smile
Waited, patiently, while
The transaction took place,
Then with excited pace,
Through the doorway - and then
Homeward bound once again.


Back in the Saddle Again

Cyclists at John O'Groats ---- journey's end

Cyclists at John O'Groats ---- journey's end

Customers of WB Butchers in the High Street, will be well aware that Tony Webb (Tubs) is a keen cyclist who has been toying with the idea of doing ‘the big one’ for quite a while - that being Lands End to John O’Groats.

Well the talking turned to action when Tubs and son Mike met up with seven other brave (or foolhardy?) souls on Saturday 4th September in Lands End ready for the off on Sunday 5th. One fellow cyclist hailed from Australia, another from Canada and the rest from various places in the UK. The team was supported by Saddle Skedaddle who Tubs described as ‘brilliant’ and anyone thinking of doing the ride could feel very confident using this company.

On the first day Mike had a puncture which was very quickly mended and that was the only ‘mishap’ for either of them. They stayed in small hotels and B&Bs overnight , getting to sample many ‘local brews’. They found people very friendly along the route especially when they knew that the guys were cycling for charity. At one village in the wilds of Scotland there wasn’t enough accommodation available for the team and some were taken to another village to sleep. However, those who stayed at the pub in the first village were just told to help themselves to drinks while the owners were busy! Friday 24th September saw our intrepid adventurers arriving at John O’Groats, tired but proud of their achievement.

Asked for his overall feelings about the ride Tubs said - "I’ve seen sights I would never see driving past in a car (and some scenery that is better to pass in a speeding car!). The weather was abysmal for 10 of the 19 days cycling including torrential rain and hailstones. We rode up and down mountains and it’s hard to believe I’ve done it. A week after getting home Mike and I just felt lost not getting on our bikes each day."

Tubs and Mike raised approx £3,500 in sponsorship. £1000 will go to Hearing Dogs for the Deaf and £2,500 to Cancer Research UK. Tubs wants to thanks all the generous people of Shirehampton who contributed to this impressive total. Congratulations Tubs and Mike, a great achievement. JH

Bristol in Bloom

(Report from Pam Rich)

Shirehampton has once again collected the Silver Gilt second place certificate for a Bristol shopping area. This was received by Cedric and myself by invitation from Mr. Gil Osman, at the Council House Award Ceremony for Bristol in Bloom. The beautiful hanging baskets and lovely flower beds on The Green, supplied by Bristol City Council, together with the George’s magnificent flower frontage gave every one in Shirehampton a great deal of pleasure as well as the panel of judges. If any traders feel able to add to the flowers for next year we could perhaps move up to first place. Bristol in Bloom was invited by the Royal Horticultural Society for the first time this year to enter Britain in Bloom and won second place in the country behind Sunderland. Bristol is fortunate to have a council committed to Bristol in Bloom which encompasses not only public flower displays but allotment holders, house owners and community groups all working together to make Bristol a better place to live in.

(Many congratulations to all concerned)

Volunteer Urgently Needed

A person is urgently needed to deliver Shire newspapers in Groveleaze nos 33 to 69 and at the bottom end where the houses are turned into flats, also to Shirehampton Care Centre. We are also still asking for someone to deliver papers from the George pub (on the Green) to Wylands and from Twyford House back to the Green on the other side and to the new development on the Cotswold Estate, Ryeleaze which comprises of 32 dwellings.

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 can’t be found to deliver papers each month your paper will have to be collected from either the Library or the Post Office.

Distribution. May I also ask, please, that the Drivers deliver the papers (after being advised they are ready) as quickly as possible as we are advised that they cause a hazard whilst at the Public Hall. Also the people who put the the papers through the doors do so as quickly as possible after receipt from the drivers.

With this new arrangement we are hoping the Shire will be with you at the beginning of each month.

Library Jottings

Those of you who have been into the library, be it Sea Mills, Shirehampton or Avonmouth, recently have probably noticed some new faces as well as the more familiar ones so perhaps the first thing we should do is introduce ourselves.

Your new Supervisors who share the running of all three branches are Eileen Lloyd , known already to the Shirehampton regulars and Jo Sergeant who has joined us from Eastville Library.

The Team who will also work in all three branches are:-Jess Massie, a welcome addition from Redland Library Lynn Hurley, a stalwart of Sea Mills (and previously Shirehampton), Amanda Parsons, recently returned to Shirehampton after maternity leav Mary Wallis, known and loved by all at Sea Mills for many years Kath Forrester, a friendly face from Avonmouth

Seeing new faces on your visit should be the only difference you will notice in the service you receive though we hope that with new people we will get some new ideas on how to make your visit a more enjoyable and productive experience.

Your comments and suggestions will always be appreciated and wherever possible acted upon. To this end we have already listened to readers at Sea Mills and from Tuesday 2nd November will be starting Baby Bounce Sessions followed by a Coffee Morning every Tuesday morning (Term Time).

Shirehampton Bump & Rhyme session will continue every Monday at 11.20am (Term Time) whilst Avonmouth’s will be 1st Wednesday of the Month at 9.30am.

Please call in to any of the libraries to find out more of what goes on there and future plans as they develop.

We sincerely apologise to those of you who have been affected by library closures, which have been caused by staffing shortages, they have been kept to the minimum as we do understand the inconvenience of a disruption to service.

We all look forward to seeing and serving you in the very near future and "Thank You" for your support.


Well done to Ben Harvey for winning his first boxing match for the National Smelting Company Amateur Boxing Club on the 7th October at Pill Memorial Club.

Lots of love from Nanny, Grandad, Michelle, Colin, Wayne, Linzi, Jade, Courtney and Jack.

(Thank you for your kind donation, Ed.)

December Copy Deadline

Please remember that if you want to put a notice about Christmas events in the December issue of ‘Shire’ it must be in the library or emailed to: by NOVEMBER 10th.

The Hawthorn

The hawthorn berries or haws are said to have properties which can help those suffering from angina and heart disease, used by the Druids to protect those of advanced years. Made into a tonic, a teaspoon of dried hawthorn berries with boiling water, left to distil for 20 minutes, drunk twice weekly is said to help open the heart valves and beat cholesterol. It is a powerful antioxidant.

The hawthorn is one of our oldest protected trees and grows in Shirehampton in abundance and all over northern Europe. The leaves were eaten as salad by country folk with bread and cheese and it was called the ‘bread and cheese tree.’ It has also been smoked as tobacco, added to pie fillings and made into medicinal poultices. In the spring the white flowers were used to decorate the May Queen and the saying ‘it ain’t summer ‘till the hawthorn’s in flower’ and ‘here we go gathering nuts in May,’ referred to the celebration of Spring. The blossoms were tied together with red ribbons and used as decoration, although some said bringing hawthorn indoors was unlucky as it signified the death of someone, it is actually translated as the ‘death and rebirth,’ hence the story of Christ wearing a crown of thorns. The berries were also made into ‘haw brandy’ a homemade alcoholic beverage - a slant on elderberry wine. This was often used for coughs and colds. Hawthorn trees were planted in hedgerows by landowners during the field enclosures of 1845 and they are still there hundreds of years later and also planted in gardens of sweethearts as a gift from the heart. In winter, hawthorn twigs were gathered and cast out on New Year’s Day as a way of casting out your old self. It has been used as wands and walking sticks. The Anglo-Saxon name for hawthorn is Haegthorn, it is also known as quickthorn or just old thorn.

During this time of year hoards of migrant redwing birds from Europe gorge themselves on its berries, they meet confrontation from our native birds such as the Mistle thrush that guard the trees. The seeds are dispersed via their droppings and eaten by bank voles. There is something special about these trees so if helping yourself to some berries to cure your ailments it is good luck to thank the tree. British folk lore said they were protected by fairies and these days it is illegal to damage them.

D. Cole

Alice Jones Remembered

SHE was born Alice Fortey in Lambeth, London, and lived in a couple of rooms near Waterloo station, an only child. She suffered a lot of ill health in her early childhood and didn’t get much schooling until she was 7. She would have liked brothers and sisters, and envied people with large families. She was something of a loner during her childhood, and as both her parents worked she had to fend for herself often.

At age 13 she won a scholarship to Greycoat Hospital grammar school for girls in Westminster where she studied modern languages and sciences. She was never particularly happy there, not fitting in with the girls who came from well-to-do families, but she was very successful in her studies and she was one of very few to matriculate at age 16. During this time she was a girl guide, and one of her strong memories is in 1936, when together with some other guides she saw King George V lying in state, with his 4 sons - the new king Edward VIII and the 3 dukes - standing guard at the four corners of his catafalque.

She joined the civil service and was working in the Department of Civil Aviation in the Strand when war broke out. She was evacuated to Bristol where she worked in Julian Road, Stoke Bishop dealing with Air Ministry intelligence work. This was the start of a love affair with Bristol that continued for her whole life. During this period she rode a bike and most weekends she explored areas around Bristol and sometimes further afield with a friend, riding their bikes, often staying in youth hostels.

She returned to London part way through the war to be near her parents during the blitz, and worked in The Strand again. She became a first-aider and attended to many injured and dying when a flying bomb hit Bush House, for which she received a personal commendation from the Air Minister, Sir Stafford Cripps. She did air-raid warden duties and also joined the home guard as a woman auxiliary. At the end of the war she received a certificate from the War Office for her voluntary service and the Defence Medal for her 5 years service as a first aider.

After the war, because of her excellent spoken German and the commendation on her record, she had the opportunity to join the Control Commission for Germany in Essen, as Chief Clerk and Welfare Officer - with the use of a car with a German driver - a position of huge responsibility for a 24 year old girl! She later moved to Berlin where she was responsible for reporting on coal, oil and gas stocks and usage. It was in Germany that she met her future husband - Harry Jones - who was working there as part of the British Overseas Army Corps, helping to rebuild Germany after the war.

They returned to the UK in 1947 and married in 1949. As was the case in those days she had to leave the Civil Service when she married. They lived initially in London, and she became ‘mother’ to Harry’s son Bryan aged 10, and had a daughter in 1951. In 1953 they moved to Ramsgate with Harry’s job but that didn’t work out and by this time both her parents had died, she had a son and was pregnant again. In a dream her mother told her to ‘go back to Bristol’, and that is what they decided to do. She had loved Bristol so much, and when she returned in 1955 it felt like she had come home.

She lived in Shirehampton from 1955 for the rest of her life (Priory Road until 1963, Burnham Road until 1997, then Hampton Corner), until she moved into St Monica’s in 2007. She had 4 children altogether (plus her stepson), and focused on being a housewife and mother though she also did all sorts of part-time jobs to help make ends meet. She did babysitting, cleaning, and she trained as a cook and did night work at the Bristol Eye Hospital. But her work never interfered with her role as mother, she was always there for us, telling us stories (she was a wonderful storyteller), always encouraging and supporting us. Times were quite hard financially, but she put everything she had into giving us a wonderful childhood, at least that’s how I remember it.

She encouraged me and my brothers to go to university. She would have liked to go to university herself, and would have been well capable, but she left school in order to work and earn a wage to help support her parents when her mother was ill and unable to work. She could have had a superb career in the Civil Service or elsewhere but gave this up in order to be a wife and mother, as so many people did in those days. But she always encouraged and supported her children in their education and later in their careers. During this time she did voluntary work - she tutored local children in Maths for their ‘O’ levels, she was a tester for the Shirehampton Girl Guides, and she was also a committee member at Shirehampton Youth Club. In the 60s our father started writing books, and over the next 20 years had many books published. Alice was instrumental in typing his books, often working through the night, editing them, particularly when the publisher asked for them to be cut by half, and providing huge support to this endeavour.

Once the children were older she went back to work, starting by running an office in Avonmouth for ‘Goodmans’, an engineering firm, and then later returning to the Civil Service (Housing Department) in Bristol. It is sad that she had only retired a few months when her husband died, unexpectedly, of cancer. For some reason she expected to die soon afterwards, and started making arrangements and writing down her wishes for her funeral. She also started writing her memoirs at that time, and continued adding to it until a few months ago. She was quite a prolific writer in her own right.

She outlived Harry by over 27 years, during which time she has been a loving and active grandmother to her many grandchildren, and has become an even more prolific storyteller. She continued to centre her life on her extending family, finding it difficult to make selfish choices about her life, having for so long made decisions based on the requirements of others. She worked in a Charity Shop (Charity Search in Station Road) in Shirehampton which she enjoyed tremendously. She fought to retain her independence for as long as possible, moving into a ground floor flat in 1997 when her mobility reduced, where she stayed for 10 years. Inevitably her health deteriorated to the point where she needed support and she moved into St Monica’s in 2007. She learned to make the most of her time there playing scrabble, attending art classes and producing some excellent works of art, and working on the Traidcraft stall.

She would say she didn’t have many close friends, probably because of her early life as a loner, yet many people say that she was one of their best friends and remember her with great love and warmth. She was always interested in everyone and everything, and always made you feel that you were important to her. She had absolutely no side or prejudice. Although the church treated her poorly years ago when she married a divorcee, she always retained her faith, and recently found great strength and comfort from attending the church services at St Monica’s. Even though she once thought she would never be allowed to, she finally took communion for the first time in over 60 years.

She leaves behind a stepson, four children, eleven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

M Kneller, daughter 1st October 2010

Don't Get Caught Out Buying a Car

Police are reminding motorists to be vigilant when buying a new car after a West country woman bought a stolen Audi after agreeing to meet up with a man in ASDA car park in Bedminster, Bristol.

A 29-year-old woman from Wiltshire responded to an online advert selling the Audi A3 and handed over £8,000 in cash after taking the car for a short test drive. On returning home, she tried to register the car in her name with the DVLA when it was revealed the car had been stolen from brewers Heineken UK several months earlier.

Chief Inspector Nigel Tinsley-Such said: "In this instance the victim was very lucky as, after hearing about her plight, Heineken kindly agreed to let her keep the car. Usually, when this type of crime occurs, the vehicle would be returned to the rightful owner and the unsuspecting purchaser would be likely to lose the money they paid out.

"I would like to reassure people that this type of crime is rare in Avon and Somerset, however when buying a car you should always take precautions to ensure everything is legal and above board."

On having the car returned to her last week (Friday October 8), the woman said: "I was devastated when the car was seized and I am extremely grateful to Heineken for sorting out the documentation and allowing me to keep the car. I will definitely be more careful when buying a car in the future and would recommend other people do the same."

Heineken UK representative Derek Francis said; "The young woman in question was duped into parting with her hard-earned cash and, after considering the circumstances involved, we have allowed her to keep the car to spare her more anxiety and upset."

Avon and Somerset Police would advise you buy from a reputable car dealer, however if you are planning on buying a car from a private owner please follow the advice below:

Verify the seller is who they say they are. Are they the registered keeper?

Obtain more than one contact number, at least one being a land line, and check that the seller answers that phone

Ask to see the V5c registration document, MOT, service history and any other receipts. Is the V5c in the seller’s name, was the last MOT conducted close to where the seller lives?

Use a car checking service, such as HPI (Hire Purchase Information) or Experian, to verify make, model and colour. These service providers can also provide a value and check whether it is reported stolen or previously an insurance write-off

Expect to receive at least two sets of keys. Only one key, ask why?

Check the MOT status with DVLA, and obtain further advice from

Never agree to pay in cash, ensure you sign the V5c as the new keeper and remind the seller it’s their responsibly to inform DVLA

Obtain a signed, written receipt which you keep safe in an envelope or plastic wallet

Remember: if it is offered for sale cheaper than comparable vehicles, there is often a reason why!

Model Railway Exhibition

Model Railway Exhibition at Shirehampton Public Hall.       Photo: Bob Pitchford

Model Railway Exhibition at Shirehampton Public Hall. Photo: Bob Pitchford

Model Railway Exhibition at Shirehampton Public Hall.       Photo: Bob Pitchford

Model Railway Exhibition at Shirehampton Public Hall. Photo: Bob Pitchford

Oh Dear!

£100 for a ticket? (page 5 of October ‘Shire’ )There must be some mistake! There is -the decimal point went walkabout, it should of course be one pound, (£1) Our apologies to Alison Bentley who is organising a charity event at Manor Farm on November 19th, 7pm till late in aid of Children in Need.

Further details from Alison Bentley

on 01179041591

St Mary’s Notes

Hi Folks!

Remember, remember the 5th. November.

Gunpowder, Treason and Plot

Here is the news from St. Mary’s

And I’ll tell you the whole blooming lot!

How did you like my little bit of poetic introduction? . . . . it took me about 3 hours to think up that!!

Hopefully these notes will not take so long - so pin back your ears everyone and wait for the "BANG!!!" (Bonfire Night - see the connection?) Oh well . . . I tried me best!

Our "Stomp Evening" and "Messy Church" sessions which I mentioned last month went off very well and were extremely well supported considering it was their first sessions. My daughter-in-law Shelley took my Grandchildren to the Messy Church session and the kids had a wonderful time. Remember "Messy Church" is held on the third Thursday in the month from 3.30pm until 5pm but for this month please note that it will be held on Thursday the 25th. November.

The Church looked absolutely beautiful at Harvest Festival time - the flowers were a treat for your eyes - thank you to all of you who assisted in this direction. At our Harvest Supper we had a super meal and were entertained by "Amazing Eric" an Illusionist who was extremely clever. We have also had a marvellous response to our Harvest Appeal (fill a Shoe Box with presents for a Child in Need). We have received 92 boxes so far and we are confident we shall exceed our target of 100.

At the end of September there was a very happy occasion at St. Mary’s when Richard Powell and Mary Carroll were married. Both Richard & Mary are members of St. Mary’s. The weather was bright and sunny but a little bit chilly - but Richard and Mary had their love to keep them warm!! (Oh what a romantic I am!) After the ceremony everyone in Church was given a piece of cake and a glass of "bubbly". Then Richard and Mary went on to Kingsweston House for the main reception. We wish them a long and happy life together!

On Sunday 3rd. October The Venerable Alan Hawker - Archdeacon of Malmesbury - came to preach at St. Mary’s for the last time as he is retiring at the end of October. It was also the day of our Pets Service and Alan said it was the first one he had ever attended. We had a Pony attend (courtesy of Kingsweston Riding School for the Disabled), a Bearded Dragon (Courtesy of Noah’s Ark Farm Zoo, Wraxall), Guinea Pig, Hamsters and numerous Dogs - but no Cats. Canon Christine reckoned that the Cats heard that Dogs were attending and in their wisdom decided to stay away! All the animals came forward with their owners for a blessing and we thank all of you who brought your pets along. We also wish Alan Hawker and his wife Jen a long and happy retirement in their new home just outside the City of Coventry. The previous day (Saturday) there was a special service in Bristol Cathedral (which was full to capacity) to officially say thank you and to bid him farewell.

Whilst on the subject of Bristol Cathedral I must mention here that Canon Christine’s husband David was installed as a Lay Canon there at the end of September. This was an honour bestowed on him by the Bishop of Bristol for all the work he has done for the Diocese. He has worked tirelessly as Diocesan Treasurer and in other ways for the Bristol Diocese since his retirement from Banking with HSBC. We congratulate him and must say he looks really quite regal in his red robe which bears the crest of the Bristol Diocese. Perhaps the Vicarage should be renamed - "The Canonry"!!

We welcome into our midst - Richard and Sue Kellow and their daughter Emily aged 3. Richard is a newly appointed Student at Trinity Theological College and will be joining our Cohort Team together with Jill and Jim Taylor who have been with us for 12 months or more. We are sure Richard you and your family will enjoy and benefit from your time here at St. Mary’s.

Saturday, 16th. October was the day we enjoyed our Concert given by the Avon & Somerset Police Choir and was also the day that our own Gill Sawyer launched the sale of her St. Mary’s Cook Book. (Gill as you know is Shirehampton’s answer to "Mrs. Bridges"!!!) The price of her Cook Book is £3.00 and copies can be obtained from the Church Office. Get your copy now - as there is sure to be a run on them - you don’t want to wait for the re-print!

By the time you read these notes, our Local MP - Charlotte Leslie will have held her first Surgery for local constituents - at St. Mary’s. We hope any of you who had any pressing political questions will have had the opportunity to speak and explain your concerns to her. Keep your eye open in future editions of "Shire" for the date of her next "Surgery".

Our Annual Memorial Service, for those who have lost loved ones in the past year and even beyond that time, will be held on Saturday, 13th. November at 3pm. If there are the names of loved ones you would like read out during the prayers, then just take a form from the back of the Church and let Canon Christine have it before the beginning of the Service. It will also be the time when you can complete the little white Memorial Cards which will be hung on our Tree of Light at Advent time. This has now become a major Service and an important event for the people of Shirehampton.

The very next day (Sunday, 14th.) is Remembrance Sunday when our Service will begin at 10am at St. Mary’s, and after the reading out of the names of those who appear in our Memorial Window and the hanging of the Poppy Wreath beneath it, we shall move off in procession to the War Memorial at Shirehampton Park for the Act of Remembrance. Afterwards we shall adjourn to the adjacent Shirehampton Cricket Club for Tea and Coffee (or something stronger if it’s a cold day!!!).

On that same Sunday evening, we shall be hosts to the Bristol Cathedral Choir who will sing Choral Evensong and the Preacher will be the new Dean of Bristol - the Venerable David Hoyle. This is always a most uplifting service with the opportunity to listen to some first class singing.

On Saturday, 27th. November from 10am until 12 noon we will he holding in St. Mary’s our Annual Christmas Fayre, when you will have the opportunity to purchase home cooked produce, jams, marmalades, Christmas Puddings, Christmas Gift Hampers and such like and also a Raffle in aid of The Tithe Barn This is always extremely popular - so make sure you get there early if there is a particular item you want otherwise you will have missed it!!

Sunday, 28th. November is Advent Sunday - there will be an 8am Said Holy Communiopn Service, followed by Kids Klub at 8.30am and at our 10am Family Service there will be a number of Baptisms taking place. At 6pm we shall be holding an Advent Carol Service and will be lighting our Tree of Light (when the Memorial Cards are hung on the tree - mentioned earlier at our Memorial Service). All are welcome!

On Saturday, 4th. December is our Annual Gift Day when Canon Christine will be available in the Lady Chapel from 9.30am until 12.30pm, to receive your cash gifts for St. Mary’s. All gift money this year will go towards the Tithe Barn Appeal. We are now reaching our final push for this Appeal - and I can tell you that our Planning Application has gone in to the local Council and providing there are no issues to hand - we are anticipating work will commence on the building in January. At this point it might be worth pointing out that all churches in this country receive no Government support and rely entirely upon their own fund raising efforts to exist and pay for the Clergy and their Pensions etc.

At 4.30pm that same afternoon there will be a Theatre Production in church of "Angels Delight". (I always thought that was a milky flavoured pudding!!!). It is a production which is suitable for all the family and it is ABSOLUTELY FREE so just come along and enjoy yourselves!).

The next day - Sunday, 5th. December we will be holding our Kids Klub as usual at 8.30am and our 10am Holy Communion Service, but also at 4.00 pm we shall be holding our Christingle Service with a special Christmas Puppet presentation - again this is suitable for all ages - and there will be Tea afterwards. So please come and bring along the rest of the family.

Well, that’s it for this month . . . did you hear this one? In Swansea there is a well known firm of Solicitors - W.G. Christian & Sons. (Canon Christine may have heard of them!!!) A letter was sent to them from overseas addressed simply - W.G.Christian, South Wales. It eventually arrived at their office with a note from the Post Office attached which read: NO CHRISTIANS IN CARDIFF - TRY SWANSEA! (I bet Canon Christine would say that Swansea is full of Christians!!)

‘Bye for now - C.M.E.

From the Registers at St. Mary's


BAPTISMS ‘We welcome you’

  • Sept 26th - Keanna Attwood, Hugo Boreham, Ava McGregor

WEDDINGS ‘All that I am I give to you’

  • Sept 4th - Darren Warren & Kelly Turner
  • 25th Richard Powell & Mary Carroll

FUNERALS ‘At rest & at peace’

  • Sept 1st Peter Griffiths
  • 8th Mary Phillips
  • 9th Florence Wylde
  • 22nd Doris White, Sylvia Preston, Donald Wescott
  • 24th Ivy Gingell
  • 28th Michael Moloney
  • 30th Billy Davis

Green Power Station is Given Go Ahead

A green power station which will burn items such as food, cardboard and green waste has been approved by the City Council and will be buiolt at Kings Weston Lane alongside a mechanical biological facility already under construction there.

It will convert the biodegradable waste into a ‘compost like output’ which wil lbe burned to power 13,000 homes.

Permission has also been granted for three new wind turbines to be built at Avonmouth Docks.

Councillor Peter Abrahams said that the developer had been given ‘firm advice’ to limit the effect on residents.

Tithe Barn Planning Application Submitted

The renovation and re-opening of the Shirehampton Tithe Barn have moved a step closer, with the submission of a planning application to Bristol City Council.

The application seeks Listed Building consent for the proposed refurbishment of the existing Tithe Barn (parts of which date back to the 15th century) as well as planning consent for a new extension to the rear.

The main elements of the submitted proposals include:

  • Re-creation of the original entrance to the Barn from the High Street, including full-height double doors
  • Construction of a brand new extension to the rear of the Barn to provide additional meeting and sitting-out space in the form of an ‘orangery’
  • General refurbishment of the main hall and meeting rooms
  • Creation of an additional small meeting room on the ground floor
  • Installation of catering-standard kitchen facilities
  • Replacement windows and doors
  • New heating, lighting, electrics and toilets
  • Landscaping to the rear to provide additional outdoor space

Details of the planning applications can be viewed on the Bristol City Council website ( under references 10/04488/F and 10/04489/LA.

The Grade II listed Tithe Barn was purchased by St Mary’s, in April 2009. The building had previously been standing empty for 18 months and is need of major refurbishment and modernisation to make it suitable for community use again.

Following the refurbishment, the Church plans to use the building as the base for a range of community outreach activities and meetings.

Rev’d Canon Christine Froude, Vicar of St Mary’s, said:

"The Tithe Barn is an important reminder of Shirehampton’s history and, although it sits squarely in the centre of the village, many people pass by without really noticing it at the moment.

"We hope the plans we have drawn up will not only give it the ‘wow’ factor on the outside and make it a real presence on the High Street but will also create a warm and inviting environment on the inside; a place which all members of the community feel they can come into and use."

Appeal Manager, James Harris added: "Many members of the community came to the consultation event we held not long after we purchased the building and the various comments they made have been very useful to us as we have developed our plans for the future of the Barn.

"Our aim has been to create a flexible, multi-use space with modern facilities whilst still respecting the long agricultural heritage and history of the building. We believe we have achieved that and hope everyone will be pleased with the result."

Approximately 75 per cent of the target funds have now been raised for the project and it is hoped that a final fundraising push during the last quarter of the year, together with the securing of planning consent, will enable work to begin in the early part of 2011.

As part of the fundraising, St Mary’s will be holding its annual Gift Morning in Church on Saturday 4th December between 9.30am - 4.30pm. This is an opportunity for all members of the community to come and make their Christmas offering personally to Canon Christine. This year, all donations received at the Gift Morning will be put towards the Tithe Barn Appeal.

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

Happy 18th Birthday to Jade Harvey

We would all like to wish Jade a Happy 18th Birthday for 4th October, lots of love from Nan, Grandad, Michelle, Colin, Darren, Claire, Aaron, Ben and Great Nan Watkins xxx

(Thank you for your kind donation. Ed)


Well done to Ben Harvey for winning his first boxing match for the National Smelting Company Amateur Boxing Club on the 7th October at Pill Memorial Club.

Lots of love from Nanny, Grandad, Michelle, Colin, Wayne, Linzi, Jade, Courtney and Jack.

(Thank you for your kind donation, Ed.)