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Back to November 2010 SHIRE December 2010 Fowards to January 2011 SHIRE
News Index

We Will Remember Them...

Carols on the Green

What’s on in December

Public Hall Newsletter

Craft Exhibition 2010

Christmas at the Churches

Letters to the Editor

St Mary’s News

Good Report for 'Exciting' Avon Primary

Winter in Woodwell Road

We Will Remember Them...

NINETY years after the unveiling of the Cenotaph in Whitehall, 70 years after the Battle of Britain and in the midst of the all too present conflict in Afghanistan, the community of Shirehampton gathered at the War Memorial on Remebrance Sunday to honour all those from our village who made the ultimate sacrifice, whether long ago or recently, in the service of our country.


As we come to the end of another year, may I thank, on behalf of all our readers, the great team of volunteers who make it possible for Shire to drop through your letterbox every month.

The committee officers and members, editors, counters, drivers and distributors work hard month by month and week by week to make sure that news and information about our community gets through to every household in the village.

Thanks to you all for your efforts, without which the paper simply wouldn’t happen.

James Harris, Chairman

Carols on the Green

Christmas Eve, 24th December, 7:30pm, Shirehampton Green


Don’t forget to bring a torch and the middle pages of your Shire where the words of all the carols

are printed!

What’s on in December

Activities in the Public Hall, Station Road


  • Playgroup, Monday to Friday 9:15 - 11:45am, Monday to Wednesday only 12:30 - 2:45pm,
  • Twyford Art Club, 9:30 -11:30am Penpole Room


  • Twyford Art Club, 9:30 -11:30am,
  • ACTA Community Youth Theatre, 5:00 - 6:30 pm,
  • Shirehampton Model Railway Club 7:30 pm,
  • Shirehampton Stitchers, Third Wednesday of the month, 7:30pm,
  • Women’s Fellowship, Fortnightly 7:30 -9:30pm, December 1st - Christmas Meal, December 8th - Party Night


  • Kick Boxing 5:15-7:15pm,
  • Grainger Players, 7:30 - 9:30 Main Hall,
  • Twyford Art Club, 7:00-9:00pm Penpole Room

Fridays ,

  • Evergreens 2:00 - 3:00 pm,
  • Bingo 6:30m - 8:30pm,
  • Pillow Lace Group 7:00 -9:00pm

Activities in the Library, Station Road


  • Bump and Rhyme for Babies and Toddlers, 11:20 -11:40 am, Story Time 12:00-12:15,
  • Local History Group, Third Monday of the month, 2:30pm, 20th December next meeting


  • In Avonmouth:, St Andrew’s Church, Mondays Drop in Service 9:30-11:00am, Sponsored by St Andrew’s Church
  • In Shirehampton:, Shire Advice Service - 982 9399, Shirehampton Health Centre, Pembroke Road, Tuesdays 9:30 - 11:30am Drop in for over 50s, Wednesdays and Thursdays 9:30-11:30, North Bristol Advice Service:, Housing Office, Ridingleaze House, Ridingleaze, Mondays 9:30am -12:30pm Drop in, Wednesdays 2:00 -5:00pm Debt, Thursdays 1:30 -4:30pm Benefits, Thursdays only 9:30am -12:00 noon, Sea Mills Health Centre, 2 Riverleaze, St Mary’s Church, High Street, Thursdays 2:00-3:00pm, Sponsored by St Mary’s Church

Church Activities

St Mary’s Church, High Street,

  • Mondays - TOTSTOP, For under 5’s 1:15 -2:45pm,
  • Tuesdays - St Mary’s Craft Group, 2:00 - 3:30pm St Mary’s Church,
  • Sundays - Kids Klub, 8:30 am most Sundays, Breakfast and short service, Tel. 907 7026 for information

Shirehampton Baptist Church, Station Road,

  • Tuesdays - Mainly Music for under 5’s, 9:00 - 11:00 during term time,
  • Wednesdays - Bright Hour Women’s Fellowship, fortnightly 2:30pm,
  • Fridays - Relish for 11 - 16 year olds, 7:30 - 9:30pm during term time,
  • Sundays - Services at 10:30am and 6:30pm, Sunday 4th December at 2:30pm - Emmaus Christian Choir Followed by tea, Youth Group - 5:00pm

Shirehampton Methodist Church, High Street ,

  • Saturdays - Coffee and Cake, 1st Saturday of the month 10:00 -11:30am, All Welcome
  • Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road,
  • Sunday Church Service 4:45 -5:30pm, 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month, 1st Sunday led by Baptist Church, 3rd Sunday led by St Mary’s

PBA SOCIAL CLUB - Nibley Road,

  • Tuesdays - 3rd Tuesday of the month, PBA Retired Employees Association - 2:30pm, 14th December - Christmas Lunch,
  • Thursdays - Stroke Support 1:30-4:00pm,
  • Low Impact Aerobics - 7:30pm, For information ring 07717 833 739

KEEP FIT, Mondays,

Avonmouth Community Centre, 7:30 - 8:30pm, Wednesdays and Fridays,

Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road, 10:30 -11:30 am, For those with some movement experience.

PBA Social Club, Nibley Road, Low Impact Aerobics 7:30pm, For information ring - 0771 783 3739

SEA CADETS - TS Enterprise, Station Road,

Monday 6:45 - 8:45pm, 12 -18 years old,

Thursday 6:45 - 8:45

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


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


Mondays - 6:30 - 8:30pm, St Bernard’s School, Station Road,

Thursdays - 6:30-8:30pm, Avonmouth Rugby Football Club


Old Barrow Hill,

Friday Fun for parents, carers and pre-school children, 9:30 -11:00am,

Four Villages Toy Library, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 9:30 -12:30, Tuesday afternoon, Ring 982 2142 for details

Other Local Activities

  • The Pulse Acupunture Clinic - Mondays Shirehampton Health Centre,
  • Penpole Lunch Club -Tuesdays, 11:30 -2:00pm, 2 courses, tea/coffee, cake £3.25, Details from Sandra: (0117) 938 1236
  • Avonmouth Ladies Club, First and Third Tuesdays of the month, 7:30 pm St Andrew’s Church Hall,
  • Shirehampton Craft Group - Wednesdays, 1:30 -3:00pm Guide HQs, St Mary’s Road, Tel. 982 3192 for information,
  • Avonmouth Hockey Club - Wednesdays, Practice Night - 7:30 - 9:00pm, Henbury Comprehensive School,
  • Slimming World - Thursdays, 5:15 - 7:15pm Jim O’Neill House, tel 01275 844825 for information,
  • Carers Group - Thursdays, Third Thursday of the month, 2:00pm Ridingleaze House, Lawrence Weston,
  • Junior Colts Practice - Thursdays, 6:00pm Avonmouth Rugby Club, ring 985 2426 for information,
  • Shirehampton Amateur Radio Club - Fridays, 7:30 - 10:00pm T.S.Enterprise, Station Road

Public Hall Newsletter

CHRISTMAS celebrations will be with us soon and Santa will visit the Hall again this year.

‘CHRISTMAS WITH SANTA’ will take place on Monday 20th December between 2pm - 4pm and we look forward to seeing you all, especially the children. This year there will be more children’s activities and also a colouring competition for children aged 4-8 years.

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 telephone 0117 9829963. 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 Lyn’s story, this month is Janet’s.

Janet Thomas

"As the trustee with financial responsibility for the Public Hall I oversee expenditure of about £20k per annum. The load is shared with fellow trustees and the day-to-day help of the Hall Manager, Katie Myles-Watkins. Keeping tabs on the money means that I often call in at the Hall and I get to know quite a lot about the daily activities. So much goes on every day that the Hall really is a vital focus for Shirehampton life.

How did I get involved with the Hall? Well, it’s a long story, as they say.

I am a relative newcomer to Shire, having only lived here for the past 31 years! A Lancastrian by birth, my early adult life was in Surrey until a career opportunity for David brought the family to Bristol.

To begin with I felt quite lost, knowing nobody until a kind neighbour knocked on our door just after we moved in. I found that the best way to get to know people and to start to feel a sense of belonging was to get involved in community activities. At first, these were child focussed: school parents’ association, Brownies and so on. Later, I became a member of the housebound library team. This was an education in itself! I found that the people to whom I took books, although they could not get out, still knew all the local gossip.

My first involvement with the Hall was the start of Shire Stitchers patchwork and quilting group in 1994. I have always loved sewing, but I saw this as a social opportunity as well as a chance to learn new skills. From there I joined the Hall management committee, becoming secretary for several years and treasurer since 2008. Community involvement is certainly time consuming and sometimes onerous, but I have no doubts about the satisfaction of being part of such a thriving and vibrant enterprise."

Janet Thomas

Volunteer Urgently Required - 2nd Request!

We are still urgently needing people to deliver Shire newspapers in Groveleaze, Shirehampton Care Centre, and from the Green to Wylands and back again. We would be very happy for several people to do the deliveries in each location and we can easily make smaller bundles so there are less papers for each delivery. It would be a shame for these roads not to have monthly papers and break with our proud record: ‘a paper to every house in Shirehampton’.

We do say if a volunteer cannot be found to bring you your paper, it will have to be collected from either the Library or the Post Office, which is not always easy for some of our ‘more mature’ residents who have to rely on friends or family to get them a copy.

Think of the exercise you would be getting and the satisfied feeling of helping in the community. So, please, if you can help, ring Pauline on 982 6935.

Fundraising at Cotswold Community Centre

On Saturday 23rd October, friends of the Cotswold Estate came together and raised £179.47 for Hearing Dogs for the Deaf. Many thanks to all the helpers who took part.

Locked Park and Ride Investigated

HUNDREDS of motorists were left fuming after the gates to the park-and-ride car park were locked in November.

Some drivers queued on the Portway for more than two hours from 6.00am near the site.

A council spokeswoman said: "The council apologises for the park-and-ride at Avonmouth not being open on time this morning.

She said two people from a contract firm had each thought the other was due to open up the car park.

Many motorists gave up waiting and parked their vehicles along the Portway and in residential areas. They were then able to catch the bus which stopped to pick up passengers opposite the car park.

The spokeswoman said: "That option wasn’t available for everybody and for that we sincerely apologise. It certainly was not our finest hour.

"What’s of concern to us is that we need to put a report mechanism in place to make sure it never happens again."

She said the gates were finally opened at about 8.00am after a manager battled through rush-hour traffic to get to the site.

Tragic Loss Hits Home in Shire

Many readers will have heard in the national media the tragic news of the murder of Anni Dewani during her honeymoon in South Africa. What may not be so well known is that her surviving husband, Shrien, is the son of Prakash Dewani who, for many years, had a pharmacy in Shirehampton.

In more recent years, the family has been building up a chain of residential homes under the name PSP Healthcare and the company’s offices are also in the village, in Station Rd.

Shire newspaper sends its most sincere condolences to Shrien and the Dewani family at this very difficult time.

Q: What do the Grainger Players Do Backstage?

A: They read the Shire!

Lisa Curtis catching up on local news during the dress rehearsals of ‘A Rainbow of Memories’

Shirehampton Primary Christmas Fair

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

DATE: Friday 10th December 2010

TIME: 4.30pm - 7.30pm

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

The Friends have already raised £4000 towards the refurbishment of the library and their project for this year will be revamping the playground - so do give them your support! - Ed

An Illuminating Event!

As many Shire readers will have noticed, the lights and Christmas trees have appeared once again, as if by magic, with a little help from the Shire elves other wise known as volunteers from Shirehampton Christmas Lights Association (SCLA) .

SCLA Vice-chairman Christopher Batt said ‘Following the success of last year’s official switch-on of the lights we have decided to continue this annual event. The official annual switch-on and mince pies event for 2010 will take place on from 6pm on Saturday, December 4th (after the performance taking place in St Mary’s Church) outside the Co-op in the High Street. We may even persuade the SCLA Chairman to dress up as a Christmas tree again! I enjoy doing the countdown. I have a mega-phone but you can see people are shouting at the top of their voices! Last year was bigger and better than 2008 and we hope to make 2010 better than ever. We hope to see you there!’

SCLA’s Chairman, William Duguid added ‘I could be persuaded especially as the people of Shirehampton have continued to support the lights in the collecting tin to be found in many village shops. This year we have raised just over £1000 of the £1500 we need, despite the state of the economy. As a result this year sees us put up more trees than ever before. We would also like to thank the Shire, The Co-op and The George for their help in promoting our work and providing storage for our equipment.’

Official Swtich on of the Chrismas Lights 2010

4th December 2010

Outside Co-op/St Mary’s Church from 6 pm

Shirehampton Park Golf Club Junior Open

Photo: (L-R) Joshua Davies, Alex Ireland, Niel Dun, James Boyce and Milly Davies

SHIREHAMPTON youngsters were among the winners on Friday 29th October when Shirehampton Park Golf Club held its annual junior open.

This competition is open to any junior, boy or girl, from a golf club that holds a current CONGU handicap. All players play for the main gross medal cup with the boys also playing for the best nett Victor Allen trophy and the girls playing for the best nett Thelma Andrews Cup. This year we had a full field of seventy five juniors from all over the south of England and south Wales. The standard of the field was very high with over twenty five single figure handicappers taking part.

With all the helpers in position the competition started at 8.30am. With the wind up, the course really showed its teeth this year and even the best players struggled to make a decent score and this was reflected in the final standings, with not one player managing to shoot a level par or better in the gross tournament and only two players being under par in the nett competition. With all the players making it around before the rain came in, it was then down to the helpers in the office to put the scores into the computer and then check the final results. It then fell to Shirehampton Park’s men’s Captain, Neil Dun to perform the presentation.

This year’s Champion in the gross competition was Joshua Davies from Dewstow golf club with score of 72 gross, with Bethan Popel from Long Ashton golf club in second place.

Winner of the Thelma Andrews Cup for girls was Milly Davies from Knowle golf club with a score of 67 nett.

The Victor Allen nett trophy was won by Alex Ireland from Rodway Hill golf club with a score of nett 64 and in second place was Shirehampton Park’s own Liam Bennett with a score of nett 65; Liam had also won the 11-20 handicap section at Bristol & Clifton’s junior open the day the day before.

This year we also held a special Stableford competition for juniors that are new to golf and have a club handicap (29-54). This year the entrants from Shirehampton Park took the top five places with James Boyce winning with a massive score of 48 points.

I would like to take the chance to thank everyone who gave up their time to help on the day and make this year’s event the success that it was and also to the juniors who represented ours and their clubs so well on the day. Thank you.

Free Trees of Shrubs for Shirehampton Residents

A tree or shrub in your garden can provide a wide range of benefits: colour, shade, a lasting habitat for wildlife and it can even increase the value of your house.

This year, the Forest of Avon Trust, the local charity for trees, is working with Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF) to offer limited numbers of free apple, hedgerow or landscape trees/ shrubs in Shirehampton, for planting in front gardens this winter.

All species are native to the area and include the guelder rose, hazel, crab apple, hawthorn, field maple, rowan and local varieties of apple. These are available one per house, on a first come, first served basis.

To download an application form for your free tree/ shrub, please visit: Alternatively, email or phone Jon Clark on (0117) 963 3383.

Once you have the form follow the instructions on it, including checking the suitability of your garden and let the Forest of Avon Trust know which tree/ shrub you are interested in. We will be in touch later in December to confirm local collection details and will provide a planting and maintenance guide. If you send us an image of your planted tree/ shrub, the Forest of Avon Trust will also provide a unique window sticker and enter you in the Garden Forest register.

To find out more about the Forest of Avon Trust and its work for trees and people in the local area, please visit

Craft Exhibition 2010

WHAT a lot of creative people we have locally, I’m sure that the many visitors who came to this year’s Craft exhibition would agree. There were exhibits from the Quilters and Lace group that regularly meet at the Public Hall, a variety of large and small wood work on display and Dick Helme added even more leather work to his wooden items this year. Knitting, small leather items, wall hangings, cross-stitch, jewellery, pottery and a Christmas section all made a colourful display. It was lovely to see that the 191st Cubs had joined in this community venture and exhibited pencil pots and painted glasses.

Items for sale were labelled with a green ticket whilst those on exhibition had a white one. This made it so much easier for the discerning customer to purchase that something special. Besides feasting your eyes on the beautiful items also on offer was a feast to eat including homemade cakes and refreshments. Thanks to Janet Thomas for organising this. The café area proved to be a popular space to be so remember this for next year come and spend some time with us.

We were pleased to welcome back Jackie Selman this year to demonstrate her very popular decorated eggs and show us her many other craft items. Pat Davidson demonstrated a variety of crafts as well as her card making. Our new demonstrator was Julie Morse, showing us her Jewellery making. Doreen Hunt with her lace making and Alice Robson on her wonderful sewing machine were absent this year because of personal circumstances. We hope that they will put next year’s date in their diaries because they were missed by all.

An added feature this year was a children’s craft workshop for 7yrs-11yrs run by Pat Davidson. What a fantastic opportunity for youngsters to experience craft making and a fun way to spend an afternoon during the half term. These children could well be our future exhibitors so, parents, watch out for the announcement in the ‘Shire’ next year to encourage creativity in your children.

Dick Helme did a Stirling job of advertising the exhibition by parading through the village in his Wild West outfits during the week and his newly finished Native American outfits were an added delight this year; the headdresses were particularly splendid. With his squaw ‘Wanatiti’ (aka June Drayton) they managed to multi-task, not only pointing people to the Public Hall and the exhibition but also collecting money for the Children’s Hospice South West.

Sincere thanks go to the many people who, throughout the year and during the exhibition week, gave their time freely to organise, set up and man this very popular event. Thanks to Jenny Winfield who gave up a day’s work once again and brought her artistic flare to the job of setting up the displays.

This is a well established community event that we do not want to lose so thanks also to all the visitors who came to the exhibition. Please tell your friends and neighbours about it as it is the support of the whole community that keeps it alive. Well done, we look forward to receiving even more crafts for exhibition and sale and welcoming our visitors in October 2011.

Lyn Sylvester

Mrs. Barbara Smith

As Shire was going to print, we heard the sad news of the passing of Barbara Smith, widow of the late Rev Canon John Smith, peacefully in the early hours of Friday 11th November.

Canon Smith was Vicar of St Mary’s between 1958 - 1972 and, during that time, lived in Shirehampton with Barbara and their sons Simon and Andrew.

St Mary’s member Christopher Eynon recalled Mrs Smith as a friendly and lively lady with an artistic talent which she put to good use in needlework and dressmaking as well as flower arranging, often providing beautiful displays for festivals in the church.

Her funeral service will take place at Holy Trinity Church, Abbots Leigh, on Wednesday 1st December at 2pm and all former Shirehampton parishioners are welcome to attend.

What are Shire's Message Boards?

SHIRE has a series of message Boards on our website, One of these is for Coming Events. This allows users to post details of local events, to complement the What’s On information on page 2 of this paper. In particular, you can add details after the deadline for including events in the printed paper.

It is very easy to use the Message Board. If you are organising an event, go to our website at, and click on the Message Board link at the bottom of the page. Then click on ‘Coming events’ and then ‘Post a new message’, and follow the instructions on screen.

If you are looking for information about an event, it is on the screen as soon as you reach the Coming Events section of the site. However, the information is only as complete as organisers have made it.

We also have Message Boards for Notes & Queries, Find a Friend, and Family History. Do visit them, either to read messages from other people interested in Shirehampton, or to post a message of your own.

Christmas at the Churches

St. Mary's Church

  • Saturday 4th December - 4.30pm - ‘Angels Delight’ - a theatre production for all the family followed by tea
  • Sunday 5th December - 4.00pm - Christingle Service followed by afternoon tea; a lovely service for all the family
  • Sunday 12th December - 2.30pm - Shirehampton Area Choir Christmas Carol Concert. Please contact the church office for tickets - 0117 9077026
  • Sunday 19th December - 6.00pm - Christmas Carol Service followed by mulled wine and mince pies
  • Christmas Eve - Friday 24th December
  • 2.30pm - Crib Service, a quiet and reflective service, mainly for adults
  • 4.00pm - Crib Service for all the family, especially the children. Come dressed as a person or animal from the nativity story
  • 11.30pm - Midnight Holy Communion
  • Christmas Day - Saturday 25th December - 10.00am - Holy Communion for Christmas with Carols
  • Sunday 26th December - 8.00am - Holy Communion

Shirehampton Baptist Church

  • Saturday 4th December - 2.30pm - The Emmaus Christian Choir followed by tea
  • Sunday 12th December - 4.45pm - Cotswold Carol Service (at the Community Centre)
  • Sunday 19th December
  • 10.30am - Family Christmas Celebration
  • 6.30pm - Carols by Candlelight
  • Saturday 25th December - 10.30am - Christmas Day Family Service
  • Sunday 26th December - 10.30am - Morning Worship

Shirehampton Methodist Church

  • Saturday 4th December - 10.00am - Christmas Fayre
  • Sunday 19th December - 4.00pm - Carols by Candlelight, led by Rev Dr Jacky Quarmby
  • Saturday 25th December - 11.00am - Christmas Day Family Service, led by Rev Dr Jacky Quarmby

St. Bernard's RC Church

  • Friday 24th December - 7.00pm - Christmas Eve Mass
  • Saturday 25th December - 9.00am - Christmas Day Mass

Christmas Carol Evening in Henbury Village Hall

Come and celebrate at Henbury Village Hall on Saturday 11th December (from 7.30pm), when Henbury Singers will sing for you - and with you - and you can enjoy socialising with punch and mince pies afterwards. Proceeds to the Village Hall. Tickets (£6) can be booked with Heather Jones, Tel: 950 5669.

Shirehampton Christmas Fayre

Dedicated to the life of Cameron Short. Raising money for the Southwest Children’s Hospice. 6-9 pm, Shirehampton Village, Friday 3rd December 2010.

An event for all the family! Fair ground rides, side shows, food, stalls, car boot, street entertainment. Hosted by Gordano Radio. Come along and enjoy the fun. If you would like a stall or can help, call Lizzy on 01179 381123.

Letters to the Editor

New Footpaths for Shirehampton?

I saw a notice in the Evening Post which was for the creation of a public footpath No 588 in Shirehampton. However, as the "directions" were only given in grid references and I did not have an Ordnance Survey map, I rang the Council for clarification. The paths have been in existence for a long time but are now fully registered as Public Footpaths following an agreement with the Council and the National Trust. These paths are in the woods which can be accessed from a gate by the traffic lights in Sylvan Way. The paths will be extended alongside the horseshoe bend to eventually come out in Woodwell Road. This part of the path needs, at the insistence of Network Rail, to have a fence alongside it but it is hoped this will be opened shortly and should make a good walk when weather is fine and the tide is in.

Bob Chubb

Success for 1940's Night

Once again the 1940’s night was a success!

Many thanks to Chris Johnson for the music. The money raised will be given to the Shire Christmas Lights. Good times were had by all!

Thanks, Tessa Good

Milk Tops

Can anybody remind me why I am collecting plastic milk tops?

Duggie Moore

Bread and Cheese

Many thanks to D. Cole (last issue) for enlightening me. I had always wondered why we called the leaves of the hawthorn ‘bread and cheese’ when I was a boy, especially as they didn’t taste at all like bread or cheese.

Gil Osman

Well Played, Jack!

Well done for playing a star match at football and winning Star Man. Love from Nanny, Grandad, Michelle and Colin.

(Thanks for the donation - Ed.)


Dear Editor,

I am writing to say how privileged I felt to be a part of the Act of Remembrance this morning, which started at St. Mary’s Church and then continued at the Memorial. The music from the band was amazing, very moving and sedate and it really added to the solemnity of the occasion. It was lovely to see so many people of all ages and from all walks of life come together to pay their respects and to remember those who have fallen in battle and those who still face the horrors of war today.

There were representatives from the 120th and 178th Guides and 191st Scouts and the children’s behaviour was remarkable, they observed the silences with the utmost decorum and their parents should be very proud of them all. Even a few golfers put down their clubs during the silence at the Memorial and respectfully waited for the Reveille to mark the end of the silence before playing on.

Thanks to the Cricket Club, especially to Don & Maureen and Patricia Carter for the very welcome refreshments afterwards.

It was a lovely service and I hope that next year even more of the locals, regardless of denomination, will join in the Act of Remembrance to show their gratitude to those who bravely fight for the freedom of us all.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs Sandra Neate


Could I please give a tribute to Mr and Mrs Dewani and family on their sad loss. We at Elite Hair and Beauty were lucky to have had the honour of meeting such a beautiful young lady, Mrs Anni Dewani, on a few occasions. Our hearts go out you all.

With love from Lorraine, Chantalle and staff

Luke Tanner

A huge ‘thank you’ to everyone for their terrific kindness and get well wishes that we have received during this difficult time. Your support has been overwhelming and very much appreciated! Lukes’ treatment is on-going at the Eye Hospital but he continues to improve. A ‘Special thank You’ to Lewis Kendal and his family, Jordan Moore and Cal Whitman for ‘being there’ for Lukje. L-Dub F.C. and Basket Case for the fantastic ‘night’ they arranged for Luke - so many good people there! Shire F.C., Pete McCall - a big ‘thank you’. Sally, for restoring Luke’s smile and all the wonderful family, friends and so many lovely people that are around. At times like these, it certainly restores your faith in human nature! A ‘big thank you’ once again.

Luke, Shona and Mike

(Many thanks for your kind donations - Ed)

St. Bernard's School Reunion

ON Saturday 2nd October, nearly 70 pupils attended the anniversary reunion which was held in St Bernard’s school hall. It turned out to be a very successful evening with ex-pupils travelling from as far afield as Ireland, Manchester, Milton Keynes and Cheltenham. Many of us caught up with old friends we had not seen for years and it was nice to swap stories of the old days.

We enjoyed looking round the school, remembering our days there and how different the school looks today with the many changes that have taken place over the years.

We would like to thank all the pupils at the school as they had set up an exhibition of St Bernard’s through the decades, which was very interesting and extremely well set out. Old photos were on display, supplied by ex pupils, ex teachers and the school archives. It made a very good talking point with everyone trying to pick themselves out and people they had been at school with, provoking many memories from the past.

We would like to thank Mrs Wilson, deputy head, for taking the time out to attend. She gave a speech and thanked people for attending. It was also very nice to see Desmond Anglin on the night; he was a teacher at the school in the 1950’s and had taught a lot of the people who were there that night. He had also been the sports teacher so he is on most of the football team photos taken in the 1950’s. He seemed to really enjoy the night; I think he must have spoken to most of the people in the room that evening.

We had a group of pupils who had attended the school in the late Thirties and early Forties who were pleased to have met up after so many years. One of them, John Densem, is seen very kindly cutting the cake for us in the picture. Thanks, John.

It was an enjoyable evening with a splendid buffet. Mary Hayball provided some lovely flowers in the school uniform colours for which we would like to thank her. Thanks also go to all the people who helped with organising the event but most importantly our thanks go out to everyone who attended the reunion - it was down to their support that the evening was such a great success.

£150 was raised by the event and given to the friends of the school which will go towards play equipment for the children.

Font-astic Day

A ship’s bell has many different uses but, as PO (SCC) Christopher Batt describes below, one particular use occurs less commonly than others.

A ship’s bell is usually made of brass engraved with the ship’s name. The ship’s cook traditionally has the job of shining the ship’s bell. Strikes of a ship’s bell are used to indicate the hour aboard a ship and to regulate the sailors’ duty watches. Ship’s bells are also used for safety in foggy conditions and as an alarm such as fire (their most important modern uses).

It is also a naval tradition to baptize children of members of the ship’s company using the ship’s bell as a baptismal font and to engrave the names of the children in the crown of the bell.

I was giving a lesson on the usage of a ship’s bell to the Junior Division of cadets and noted that, despite the bell being in use since it was first issued to Bristol Sea Cadets in 1910, it would appear that it had not been used for this purpose. Shortly afterwards, along came Maria and it seemed too good an opportunity to miss.

The baptism at Christ the King Church, Thornbury was attended by the Commanding Officer and members of the ship’s company including one as the father of the child and another as godmother.

Petty Officer (SCC) and Mrs Christopher Batt would like to thank the Commanding Officer of TS Enterprise (Bristol Avonmouth Sea Cadets) and the clergy of Christ the King for permission to use the bell.

The unit is in the middle of its busiest time of year for public events. Many Shire readers will have seen the cadets at the Festival of Remembrance at the Colston Hall and here in the village at the War Memorial on Remembrance Sunday.

The last weekend in November sees the unit in Portsmouth’s historic dockyard where their Hornpipe display team will perform as part of their Festival of a Victorian Christmas, followed quickly by assisting to turn on Shirehampton’s Christmas lights on December 4th outside the Co-op.

Photograph credit: Vincent Costello

Are You a Regular Radio Bristol Listener?

I’m a regular listener and passionate supporter of BBC Local Radio but I don’t think they’ve got it quite right yet!

I would like to hear from any Shire readers who are regular listeners to Radio Bristol.

Do you think that the events and issues of Shirehampton get enough coverage on Radio Bristol? Have you ever taken part in any Forums about local radio? Have you ever been involved in a survey about Radio Bristol programmes? Have you ever made a complaint to Radio Bristol, or thought about it?

If you would like to discuss any issues that concern you regarding the content of the speech items, or the music played on Radio Bristol, please contact me on 0117-9836712 or email .

If you are interested in completing an independent survey about Local Radio there is one being conducted on Google but it’s a rather long link so email me and I’ll send it to you (or check the Shire website)


Co-Op Staff get into the Hallow’een Spirit

On 29th October, the staff at the local Co-op got dressed up in Hallow’een costumes for a charity fund raising raffle. Customers were greeted with the sights of Dracula, witches, pumpkins, pirates and zombies. Selling raffle tickets for a top prize of a bike, money raised that day was £230.00 and was split between two charities: Shirehampton Lights and Sandra White’s Lunchtime Club. The winner of the bike was Veronica Sealy. Congratulations to everyone and well done to the staff who certainly made the day memorable for many customers.

Kathryn Courtney

The Tale of the Ferryman

Old Tom was the Ferryman, a likeable fellow who worked a ferry regularly from Shirehampton to Pill in the old days.

He was always telling his tales, including one about the haunting night when, in the early hours, he heard noises coming from the Pill side of the river. When he looked up, he saw soldiers in strange armour clambering and shouting on the muddy bank. There looked to be a whole legion there and they were shouting to him in a language he didn’t understand and waving as if they wanted to cross. Tom left and never went back there that night but the sound carried to him across the water.

When he told people they didn’t believe him, but he had seen the moon glinting on their armour and shields. He saw it again but still no one believed him.

Years passed and Tom said archaeological studies found Roman artefacts in the mud on the Pill side of the river. After these were removed, old Tom never heard or saw his Roman army again.

- A childhood memory of Jim Penny

Community Learning Basic Skills Classes

Litereacy Skills weekly at Lawrence Weston

Tel 913-8824 for details



English; Computers and Communication; Art and Communication; Maths. Contact Gill Lloyd on 312- 5530

Free short courses for adults over 19 years with few or no qualifications: Basic Computers; IT Skills for Work; CV Writing and Job Applications online; Pass Your Driving Theory Test; Confidence Building; Family Learning (literacy and numeracy) in local schools

For more information ring or email Suzanne on 903 0072

Veronique on 903 0065

Keep the Daisy Field Green

In light of the fact that the lower part of The Daisy Field may be sold off for housing development I took a walk down to the area - as I do from time to time - to take some photos as a matter of record as to how it looks on a cold, autumn day. As usual I found people making use of ‘our very own little piece of countryside’ and talking to one or two people along the way, the feeling is clear: ‘keep the Daisy Field green’. So I am trying to gather as much information and photographic evidence as to the use of this area by the community and I am hoping the people of Shirehampton will help.

People obviously use it for walking, I’ve heard of people going blackberry picking, picnics (including The Big Picnic during the summer), dog walking, model car racing and our very own Waissiling event which should be making a welcome return in January 2011. What else is it used for? Ball games? Kite Flying?

Please let me know by e-mailing me: The Daisy Field has been used by the community for many years and I for one don’t want to see part of this area taken away from us.

Kathryn Courtney

Ever wondered where the broken bus shelters go?

They don’t appear to be recycled but dumped at the end of the disused space of the Portway Park and Ride as spotted on 6th November 2010. (Why? What is the purpose of this exercise?)

Kathryn Courtney

St Mary’s News

Hi Folks!

Christmas is coming the Geese are getting fat
I hope you put a donation in our lovely Vicar’s hat
The Tithe Barn is a coming in the New Year you will see
For use in the Community as well as you and me!

Did you know that with Poems like that I have the Poet Laureate quaking in his shoes? It is also a reminder that Canon Christine is holding her annual Gift Day in the Church on Saturday, 4th. December, from 9.30 am until 12.30 pm to receive any gifts of money you may wish to give towards the completion of our Tithe Barn Appeal.

Also on that day at 4.30 pm may I remind you of the Theatre Production in church of "Angels Delight". It is a production suitable for the whole family and is ABSOLUTELY FREE!! - so do come along and see it!

I am sure many of you will have missed the wooden Crucifix which was suspended in front of the Dossal Curtain at our High Altar. The cord on which it was held snapped one day last July and the Crucifix crashed to the ground and shattered in several pieces. It has now been expertly restored by Tom Goslin and looks as good as it always did. Thank you Tom for your time and patience; you have done a marvellous job! Canon Christine has decided that a safer place to hang the Crucifix would be on the wall of the Memorial Chapel - which is where it can now be found. You are able to admire the fine carving at close quarters from there. The PCC has still yet to decide what will replace it at the High Altar. So again - watch this space!

I am told that the Parish Weekend at Glastonbury back in October was very much enjoyed by those who attended. With the Rev. Canon Neville Boundy leading the weekend proceedings it proved to be very interesting and entertaining.

On Saturday l6th October the Avon and Somerset Male Voice Choir gave a superb concert in St. Mary’s to a full church. Forty tickets were sold on the door, much to our surprise, which resulted in a profit of £719.25 for church funds.

Our Christmas Gift Fayre earlier that morning raised a further £2,000 towards the work of St. Mary’s and grateful thanks must go to Gill and Tony Sawyer for organising it. To raise a total sum of £2,719.25 in one day is really quite remarkable and it is all due to the support you have given by spending your hard earned cash with us!

A very sad event in Shirehampton recently was the death of 11 year old Cameron Short who died after a long and brave battle with a brain tumour. Cameron will be greatly missed by all his school friends and we at St. Mary’s send our heartfelt sympathy and prayers to his mum Lorraine and dad John. His funeral service took place at Canford.

May I remind you that our "Christingle Service" this year is being held at 4 o’clock on Sunday 5th December - suitable for all the family but particularly interesting for children. So, come on all you parents and grandparents - bring the kids for what is sure to be a very entertaining service.

On Sunday 12th December at 2.30 pm the Shirehampton Area Choir, under the direction of our Musical Director - Tim Forder - will be holding their Annual Christmas Concert in church. This year it will be in aid of the Marie Curie Cancer appeal. Tickets are £7.00 and include "nibbles" during the interval. Please support this worthwhile event and help to rid us all of that terrible disease - Cancer!

As Christmas draws nearer the sound of Carol Singers makes it that much more wonderful and exciting - and if you enjoy singing - then come and join us singing Carols at the PBA Club (at the back of Nibley Road) at 8.00 pm on Wednesday 15th December. Canon Christine - with her sweet Welsh melodious voice - will be the MC leading us! (I bet I’ve earned some "Brownie Points" with that comment!) Yippee!!!

The following afternoon - Thursday 16th December at 3.30pm is another of our "Messy Church" sessions. It is great fun - children, please make sure you bring your parents or carer along with you!

On Saturday 18th December, a group of folks will be singing Carols in the churchyard from 10.30 am until 11.30 am to raise funds for Christian Aid. If you would like to join them singing then Richard Powell will be more than happy to assist you with details. Please give them your financial support as well!

On Sunday 19th December St. Mary’s will be holding its Annual Christmas Carol Service at 6.00 pm - once again an opportunity to come and join in the singing with us all. After the service we shall have the customary practice of partaking in the supping of Mulled Wine and eating Mince Pies. As I am Diabetic - don’t tell Dr. Archer I am going to have just one Mince Pie!!

At 2.30pm on Christmas Eve (Friday 24th December) we shall be holding the first of our two Crib Services. This first one will be a much quieter and more reflective one than the second one which follows at 4.00 pm. The second one is directed more to the family and children when we encourage the children (and adults too if they wish) to come dressed as Wise Men/Women, Kings, Shepherds, and Angels etc. For children this is when Christmas really begins for them!

At 11.30 pm that evening we shall hold the First Communion of Christmas - commonly known as Midnight Mass. All are welcome to this service which is the climax of our Christmas celebrations.

On Christmas morning (Saturday, 25th) we shall be holding a 10.00 am Holy Communion Service with Carols. A chance to get out from being under Mum’s feet while she prepares the Christmas Dinner (or perhaps Dad’s feet!!).

On Sunday 26th December (Boxing Day) the only service that day will be a Said Holy Communion at 8.00 am. It is felt that as it is a Bank Holiday - numbers will be quite few - hence the change from the normal 10.00 am sung Service.

The next Holy Communion Service will be at 11.00 am on Thursday 30th December and Canon Christine thought this may be a lovely way to end the year - so please come. Also after the Service at 12.00 noon Jean and Roger Barnes are holding a celebration for invited guests to commemorate their Golden Wedding Anniversary (the actual date is the 31st) - we wish them many further years of happiness together!

On Friday 7th January at 7.30 pm at the PBA Club we shall be holding another evening of fun - "Not the New Years Eve Ball"! Tickets are priced at £12.50 and will be available at the Church Office from Gill Sawyer. Further details will be available nearer to the time of the event. Please mark this date in your new Diaries!!

Finally, just one more advance notice - and that is on Saturday 15th January, from 10.00 am until 12.00 noon, we shall once again be holding a Book, DVD & CD Sale in aid of Church Funds. If you have any unwanted or duplicate items you wish to dispose of then we shall be more than happy to accept them early in the New Year. Please do not bring in any unwanted VHS Video Tapes as we have great difficulty in trying to sell them - thank-you.

Did you hear about the Choir practising the Anthem when the Choirmaster said to the trebles - "Now don’t forget, when the tenors reach "The Gates of Hell", you come in! . . . and no it wasn’t Tim Forder who said that!!!!

‘Bye for now, C.M.E.

Coldstream Guards Standard Blessing

Members of the Bristol branch of the Coldstream Guards Association gathered at St Mary’s Church on 24th October to have their Standard blessed by Canon Christine. The Association was formed 56 years ago and includes members from Shirehampton as well as from across the South West including Weston Super Mare and Clevedon. Funds have only recently been raised for a Standard and the event was kindly sponsored by Café 119 in Nailsea, owned by Hazel Jarvis.

From the Registers at St. Mary's

October 2010

BAPTISMS "We welcome you"

  • 17th - Abigail Hares, Grace Harris, Isla Teagle

WEDDINGS "All that I am I give to you"

  • 2nd - John Rogers & Lorraine Ingram

FUNERALS "At rest and at peace"

  • 8th Edith Sealey
  • 12th Grace Pollard, Bryan Phillips
  • 14th Doris Martin, Irene Williams
  • 18th Peggy Hayfield
  • 21st Edna Duffin
  • 29th Cameron Short

Good Report for 'Exciting' Avon Primary

AN "exciting curriculum" and "rigorous procedures" for following pupils’ progress have helped Avon Primary School achieve a "good" grading from education watchdogs.

A recent Ofsted inspection at the school cited the "positive atmosphere" and efforts to "enliven learning" as reasons for the success.

A team of inspectors visited the school, which has 183 pupils on the school roll, sitting in on 14 lessons and speaking to students and parents about classroom life.

The report said: "This is a good school where pupils make good progress in most of their lessons and attainment is rising.

One parent reflected the view of many by saying ‘I could not ask for any more from a school’. Well targeted intervention strategies and watchful care, guidance and support enable pupils to meet and often exceed their challenging targets."

Inspectors also praised the staff leadership, adding: "The head teacher’s calm and thoughtful leadership has given the school a clear direction and has ensured that the school has continued successfully on its journey of improvement.

There is a strong sense of teamwork and pride in what has already been achieved, coupled with an absence of complacency."

Jane Atkins, head teacher at the school said: "We’re good - it’s official. We know we have great teachers that deliver a well planned and exciting curriculum and this has been recognised by Ofsted in their latest inspection. We are delighted that we have improved from a satisfactory school to a good school especially as, between inspections, the bar has risen. It’s a fantastic achievement and also very well deserved by the excellent team at Avon Primary."

Chairman of Governors Darren Jones was delighted with the result and praised the staff and pupils for their hard work and commitment. He recognised the school’s achievement and the importance of a good education in the local community, saying: "Pupils, parents and staff at Avon Primary have a great deal to be proud of. The Governing Body are thrilled that we have done so well and we are particularly pleased that Ofsted recognised that each and every pupil makes significant progress whilst at the school, providing them with a solid foundation for their future years."

For more information, visit:

Photograph credit: Michael Lloyd - Bristol Evening Post

Winter in Woodwell Road

I leant upon a coppice gate
When Frost was spectre-grey,
And Winter’s dregs made desolate
The weakening eye of day.
The tangled bine-stems scored the sky
Like strings of broken lyres,
And all mankind that haunted nigh
Had sought their household fires.

- from ‘The Darkling Thrush’

by Thomas Hardy.

Midwinter (21st December) is the Winter Solstice, or shortest day, and the time of Yule. Now is the time to give the garden birds a bit of food.

Unfortunately, the hedgerow in Woodwell Road was badly coppiced by the Council in October whilst many of the birds were still feeding on the berries; it should be done between December and March.

The hedgerow has been slaughtered with a mechanical flail and pieces bigger than 2cm diameter ripped to shreds and broken off.

I am told the hedge is made up of Elm trees which were used a lot in hedging and take a fair while to grow; the original hedge was probably planted as long ago as the Enclosure Act when Tynings field was an enclosed part of Leyfield but it may have been replanted with the current Elm since then.

I have complained to the Council as, under correct management, this should not happen. They say there was ‘no intention to damage or destroy the hedgerow’ and it was done to make ‘the road appear wider’. They explain they want to flail it like this every year and, although it is unsightly, it will recover.

I have sought independent advice from Stokes Tree Services in Bristol who inform me that councils do use mechanical flails on hedges and the ripping of branches occurs when it is used on material that is too big for the flail, which is what has happened in this instance. They have, in that respect, done a poor job, but is how the Council get the work done. Similarly, Natural England say it is ‘poor practice’ but not illegal.

Surely as this area is a designated Wildlife Network site we deserve better management of the hedgerow that takes into account the life of the hedge and the wildlife it supports? Don’t the residents of Shirehampton deserve to have their hedgerows managed properly? Don’t they deserve better than this? Why do we have to put up with ‘poor practice’ when it comes to managing our area’s assets?

If you wish to complain about the standard of workmanship contact the Council to make a complaint by emailing, using their online complaints form or writing to Environment and Planning, Brunel House, St George’s Road, Bristol, BS1 5UY

Caroline Penny