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Well Done Carollers!

Commemorative Plaque

Bristol vicar appointed Anglican diocese’s first female archdeacon

Happy Birthday SHIRE!

What’s on in February

Letters to the Editor

Portway Tip/Daisyfield Uncertain Future

SHIRE Still Going Strong!

St Mary’s News

Neighbourhood Partnership Discusses Traffic Schemes

Well Done Carollers!


Photo by Bob Pitchford

Photo by Bob Pitchford

It might seem ages ago now but Christmas Eve saw all ye faithful gather though the snow was ..crisp and even (not that deep) to shatter the Silent Night with their lusty singing of carols on the green – the heavenly throng would have been impressed I think. This local ‘institution’ instigated by ‘Shire’ many years ago doesn’t lose any of its appeal because despite the bitterly cold weather there was a large turnout. Petty Officer Christopher Batt of TS Enterprise (Avonmouth Sea Cadets) led the proceedings and mustered some of the cadets in uniform – thank you to them and of course the band under the leadership of Philip Simms who turn up every year, it wouldn’t be the same without them. Colin Chidgey (staging and lighting) and the householders on the Green who supply the electricity are also faithful supporters of the event, thank you from ‘Shire’ and the residents who so enjoy this annual tradition. (Ed)

Photo by Bob Pitchford

Photo by Bob Pitchford

Commemorative Plaque

Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) was a Scottish/American millionaire and philanthropist who donated huge amounts of his millions to charitable causes. It was his Carnegie Foundation which supplied the money to establish our local library in 1905.

A commemorative brass plaque will be mounted on the library main door to celebrate the above facts. The Lord Mayor will perform the unveiling, at a ceremony to be held at the library on 6th March next. This will be the 106th anniversary of the library’s opening. The ceremony will take place on the Sunday afternoon at 3pm and all are welcome to attend the event.

Grateful thanks to the Shire for part-funding the plaque and helping to commemorate our history.

Gil Osman

Bristol vicar appointed Anglican diocese’s first female archdeacon

Revd Canon Christine Froude has been appointed as the next Archdeacon of Malmesbury.

Canon Froude, who is currently Priest-in-Charge of St Mary’s Church, Shirehampton will be the Diocese of Bristol’s first female archdeacon and will take on responsibility for supporting clergy and parishes across the diocese, which covers Bristol, South Gloucestershire, North Wiltshire and Swindon.

Bristol was the first diocese in the Church of England to ordain women as priests and Canon Froude will now be the first woman to take up one of its senior clergy posts, playing a key strategic role in the Bishop’s staff team.

She will be officially installed as Archdeacon of Malmesbury at a service in Bristol Cathedral on Thursday 21 April 2011.

Canon Froude has been Priest-in-Charge in Shirehampton since 2001. Under her leadership, the congregation has grown sevenfold.

She was ordained priest in 1996 and has also served as a Hospital Chaplain in Bristol. She is an Honorary Canon at Bristol Cathedral and is currently Dean of Women’s Ministry in the diocese. She has lived in Bristol since 1986.

Canon Froude said: “I am excited by the prospect of serving the clergy, parishes and people of our Diocese. It will be a joy to work with colleagues some of whom I have known over several years, and others whom I look forward to getting to know as we work together.

“I am mindful of the responsibilities but also the many opportunities that this role offers and am delighted to be the first woman Archdeacon in the Diocese of Bristol where I was ordained.”

Rt Revd Mike Hill welcomed the appointment, saying: “Throughout a rigorous selection process, Christine consistently showed herself to be the person best equipped for this important role in the life of the Church.

“Having worked with her for several years, I know she will bring not only the skills required but a huge commitment and a great love for God and other people.”

Happy Birthday SHIRE!

This month ‘Shire’ celebrates its 39th birthday, not a bad innings for a local newspaper produced entirely by volunteers and funded by advertisers and donations. We are gearing up for big celebrations to commemorate our 40th in 2012. Thank you to all our readers for your support and participation – keep the articles coming. (Ed)

What’s on in February

WEEKLY ACTIVITIES

MONDAYS

  • 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 Church1:15-2:45pm
  • 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 toddlers11:20-11:40am 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

TUESDAYS

  • 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

WEDNESDAYS

  • 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

THURSDAYS

  • 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 Road
  • 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

FRIDAYS

  • 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

SUNDAYS

  • 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

FORTNIGHTLY/MONTHLY ACTIVITIES:

MONDAYS

  • LOCAL HISTORY GROUP 3rd Monday of the month 2:30pm in the Library 17th January next meeting

TUESDAYS

  • PBA RETIRED EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION 3rd Tuesday of February – PBA Club, Nibley Road open from Noon. 15th February – “A Life on the Ocean Wave” Experiences of early emigrants to Australia on the S.S.Great Britain – Mr. Routley
  • AVONMOUTH LADIES CLUB First and third Tuesdays of the month. 1st February– Glorius Mud – Tim Lewis. 15th February – Tuppence Worth of Poison – Penny Deveil. 1st March – Bring and Buy Charity Night 7:30pm St Andrew’s Church Hall

WEDNESDAYS

  • BRIGHT HOUR WOMEN’S FELLOWSHIP Fortnightly 2:30pm Shirehampton Baptist Church
  • WOMEN’S FELLOWSHIP Public Hall 7:30 – 9:30 pm
  • MOTHERS’ UNION 2nd Wednesday of the month St Mary’s Church, Shirehampton, 2:30pm
  • SHIREHAMPTON STITCHERS 3rd Wednesday of the month 7:30pm Public Hall

THURSDAYS

  • CARERS GROUP 3rd Thursday of the month 2:00pm at Ridingleaze, Lawrence Weston
  • Shirehampton Communty Action Forum (SCAF) Thursday 24th February, 2:00 - 4:00pm in the Public Hall.

SATURDAYS

  • COFFEE AND CAKES 1st Saturday of the month 10:00 –11:30amShirehampton Methodist Church All welcome.

SUNDAYS

  • 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

ADDITIONAL LOCAL ACTIVITIES

  • 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

COMMUNITY LEARNING

  • BASIC SKILLS CLASSES Literacy Skills weekly at Lawrence Weston. Tel: 9138824 for details
  • CITY OF BRISTOL BASIC SKILLS CLASSES – FREE Adult and family learning courses

Free short courses for adults over 19 years with few or no qualifications in the new year – Cooking from Scratch starting Wednesday 12th January 9:30-11:30am Avonmouth Children’s Centre Confidence Building starting Wednesday 12th January 12:45 – 2:45pm at Beachley Walk Community Centre

Paediatric First Aid starting 4th March 9:30-11:30 am(£12 on benefits or £42); Avon Primary School - Basic Computer courses; IT Skills for Work; Literacy and IT for Work. Introduction to Working in Hospitality; Introduction to Counselling; Reiki; or Creative Writing - at Avonmouth Community Centre. For more information ring Suzanne on 9030072 or Veronique on 9030065 or email suzanne.gaffney@bristol.gov.uk or veronique.bontemps@bristol.gov.uk.

www.communitylearningwest.gov.uk

Letters to the Editor

Thank You

John Young

Janet and family would like to say a very big THANK YOU to everyone who attended John’s funeral. He would have been very proud that so many friends and neighbours thought that much of him. You were so generous - the collection in aid of the Oncology Unit raised £237, wonderful. I will let you know the final amount that will be handed over to the unit where John was treated. A big Thank You to Canon Christine, Vi and Mike for their part in a lovely service. I will be lost without him but with such lovely people around me and of course, my fantastic family, I know I will be alright. Thank you all. Janet Young

(Thank you for your kind donation – Ed)

Loads of Building Land

All this talk of selling off green space in Shirehampton - doesn’t the wildlife count? Have you seen the acres and acres of redundant land just inside the Avonmouth dock gates? This would make an ideal spot to build more anti social housing! Or is the council saving this to sell for mega bucks as another up market marina development? (Sell that land; it’s doing nothing) simply move the dock police gate half a mile into the dock and hey presto you have more building land that you can poke a stick at.

Mike Fisher

No Longer an Ugly Eyesore

Dear Editor

I refer to the letter in January’s issue of Shire from Dorothy Cole where she describes the land at the back of St Mary’s road as an eyesore! I wonder when was last time Dorothy had a look at that land?

The land in question was donated by Bristol City Council to Shirehampton Primary School at the beginning of 2010 to use as a green space area and allotment for the children to play on and grow plants. Since acquiring the land the school has invested over £3000 in clearing the land of all the rubble and rubbish that has been dumped there by local residents over the past years.

It has now been reseeded and turned into a usable and pleasant green space, with a small wildlife sanctuary in one corner which is home to over one hundred slow worms and a great number of frogs and toads, from a nearby pond. Shire Primary and St Bernard’s schools now share this land, and made good use of it last summer.

As for diverting the gaze of the council from the Daisy field to this piece of land I’m afraid it’s a non starter for many reasons, the first being access! To make the access wide enough to allow any vehicle in to the area you would have to take a large part of someone’s garden and demolish a couple of brick built out- houses which I do not think would go down too well with the residents of St Marys Road. I am also very much against the sale of the Daisy Field and hope the council see sense and keep it as it should be.

Mike Fisher (Thank you for your kind donation – Ed)

Milk Bottle Tops

Many thanks to the readers of Shire for all the suggestions as to what I should do with my, ever-growing, collection of plastic milk bottle tops. Some were practical, some not so, and one recurring suggestion that, while being anatomically possible, would be both time consuming, uncomfortable, and would probably result in an ungainly rolling gait.

Alas, I am none the wiser as why I started this collection, but thanks all the same. Duggie Moore

(the bottle tops are being collected for Children’s Hospice South West – they are made into garden furniture to raise money for the Hospice. – Ed)

Pill & Shire Connections

Whilst researching for information around the river I came across your newsletter which is most impressive! There are so many connections between Pill and Shire.

The ferry was used to go to work, swim or visit the cinema in one direction, or to visit the large selection of pubs in the other. Many marriages embrace both sides of the river.

My mother was born in Wellington House which was where her father [James Farr] was relocated to when Barrowhill Farm was taken over for the re-mount in the First World War. Her family came over to Pill in the 1930s and she worked as a Land Girl on the hospital farm before marrying a Pill Pilot.

It occurred to me that you might find people interested to know about events that can be shared on both sides of the Avon.

We have been running a resurrected Regatta for over 20 years now and have always welcomed input from “your” side - in fact the “Lamps” regularly entered teams in the rowing. [sad to see it’s closed]

Next year’s event is to be held on Saturday 27th August 2011 from about 2pm onwards.

We cannot promise a ferry but it’s a great day out that can be watched from both sides!

Please contact me for further details.

Sincerely,

Bob Buck 0788 4400221

Football Match

Dear Editor,

I collect old Bristol City football programmes, anything up to the mid 1960s and one that I recently added to my collection is a very interesting one against Avonmouth &Shirehampton. It’s a single sheet with not very much information. There is no date on it but it was played on 30th April 1946 according to Bristol City records. It was in aid of the British Legion “Welcome Home Fund”. The Avonmouth/Shirehampton team was made up from players who could claim connections with the area and one of them was Roy Bentley who went on to play for Chelsea and England. Did any readers see this game, or know where it was played or know anything about the other players? H Britton played centre forward, is that Bert Britton who had the sports shop? There were plenty of goals, City won 7 – 4. If readers have any other interesting football programmes, especially to do with Bristol City, can they get in touch with me. Steve Hignell 01179830778 stevehignell@hotmail.co.uk

70th Anniversary of the German Plane Crash – February 22nd 1941

Dear Editor

February 22nd 2011 marks the 70th anniversary of the day in 1941 when a German plane came down over Shirehampton before crashing in the river at Avonmouth a few minutes later.

The events of the war are quite excellently recorded in Ethel Thomas’s superb book ‘War Story’, and this incident together with photographs of the remains of the crashed plane and of the graves of two of its crew appear on pages 158-159. It is also recorded on the BBC website at: www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/33/a7743233.shtml

Here, Arthur King writes: On the morning of Saturday 22nd. February 1941, I cannot remember if the sirens sounded or not, but Mum, Dad, my sister Thelma and I were all in the kitchen-diner when we heard the loud drone of aircraft engines and rushed out the back door to see a Heinkel 111 flying low over Shirehampton towards Bristol.

We could also hear machine guns firing. The plane took a tight curve to the right, so we all ran round to the front of the house to see it even lower and flying towards Portishead.

But as it flew over Matcombe, the anti-aircraft battery there opened up and shot off a part of the tail. The Heinkel lost height and disappeared behind trees and we heard it crash into the mud on the Somerset shoreline of the Bristol channel. Apparently, the reason it was flying so low was because it had come into contact with one of the barrage balloon cables guarding Avonmouth and must have lost part of a wing or something. But I found that particular incident very exciting and to this day remains the most memorable that I personally witnessed during WW2.

You also published in SHIRE a few years ago this account by Ivor Giltrow entitled ‘A Funny Old Day’, (but although I cut it out I don’t have the date). (August 2002 – Ed) It reads:

... I was waiting on the Portway for a 99 bus. All of a sudden the siren went off and seems at once I heard the drone of an aeroplane. There was a very low cloud, and then a Heinkel – German bomber – appeared below the cloud, it was probably only 300 ft up and seemed to be following the river, the markings were very clear.

Opposite the bus stop was a balloon barrage site (which is now Akeman Way) and the RAF men and women were firing rifles as it made its way towards Bristol. After a few minutes there was a barrage of gunfire. It was said later that it was guns based at Markham on the other side of the river and that they brought the plane down and it landed in the mud flats near Pill. ...

He goes on to say he caught the bus to his football match and returned home to find his call-up papers for the Royal Navy – a funny old day!

Pat Stokes (née Paddy Harvey) also referred to the event in her letter to you in your November 2010 edition. Paddy lived in Park Road I seem to remember, just a little way from where I lived on the Portway. I too remember vividly the event, although only four years old at the time. Hearing the loud noise of the plane my Mother rushed to the window and screamed out ‘It’s a German’. ‘Don’t be ridiculous’, retorted my father – but she was right. I remember seeing the German cross markings on the wings as it came down low directly over our house, over the Portway School allotments and railway line at the bottom of the garden and onwards down to the river. There the crippled plane turned towards Avonmouth where it crashed. Of the crew of five only the pilot survived. Two bodies were never found, and the other two are buried in Greenbank Cemetery, Bristol.

Ethel Thomas provides this sequel:

About 20 years after the war was over, the farmer at the former Portbury gun site received a surprise visit by a German and his wife. It was Leutnant Berndt Rusche, the Pilot, who brought his wife to show her where the guns had been that shot him down, and where he was brought when taken prisoner on that Saturday afternoon in 1941. He spoke perfect English, but his wife could only speak German.

I thought you might like your readers to be reminded of this, one of Shirehampton’s most memorable moments in World War II, and which occurred exactly seventy years ago.

David Elkington

Good Progress at Shirehampton Primary Continues


Following a visit by Ofsted visit on 8th and 9th December 2010, we are delighted that the school has now been removed from the category Notice to Improve as the team of inspectors judged that the school is providing at least a Satisfactory education for its pupils, with several aspects graded Good.

The report states: “Numerous improvements have been made since the inspection in September 2009; the good progress outlined in the monitoring visit in June 2010 has been sustained and built on further.” This is due to the hard work and passion of all members of the school community – staff, governors, pupils, parents/carers and our valued external partners. The Ofsted inspectors recognised and praised the drive and ambition that is clear in all aspects of school life and graded this Good, as well as our capacity for sustained improvement. Both of these indicate that the school community has the necessary skills and knowledge to ensure further improvements on our journey to become an outstanding school. Several other aspects of school life were also graded Good, including our Foundation Stage (Nursery and Reception classes), which are achievements we are extremely proud of.

Over the last year one of the main priorities has been on raising standards for all pupils which, culminated in the highest end of Key Stage 2 assessment for many years – 82% achieving L4 in English and 80% achieving L4 in mathematics. Ofsted reported that, “Pupils in year 6 now reach the expected national level in English and mathematics. A third of pupils who left last year (July 2010) reached the higher level in their writing, which was a remarkable achievement.”

Louisa Munton, Head Teacher, is pleased that the inspectors noticed and praised the commitment, ambition and drive of all the staff, “Moving the school forward and out of Notice to Improve is a significant achievement and all members of the school community have had a part to play. Our goal has always been to provide good quality education to the children and families of Shirehampton and this shows we are well on our way to becoming outstanding.” The school was also praised for its procedures to safeguard pupils, that children’s safety remains a high priority and good attention is given to their welfare and well-being.

2011 Census - Temporary Jobs

Census 2011 is still looking to recruit local people for temporary roles in the areas of Shirehampton, Sea Mills and Combe Dingle, Lawrence Weston, Knowle West and Hartcliffe and Withywood. These jobs could be very useful for people who want to earn a bit more money or are trying to get back into work. The requirements are to be able to communicate adequately in written and spoken English and to be fit enough to walk reasonable distances and up and down stairs. All recruitment is done on line and people need to register at www.censusjobs.co.uk. There is also more detail about the roles, hours and pay on this website. We are particularly looking for census collectors in these areas, and the closing date for these has been extended.

Bill Clark Area Manager Bristol, Census 2011 www.census.gov.uk

Springfield Avenue Play Area Update

The Play Areas action group of Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF) have been working hard over the past year, conducting public consultations and applying for funding to make significant improvements to the play area within this park. We only want to improve the play area with fun, challenging and modern play equipment, put in seating & plant some trees and put in planted/flower areas for wildlife & for pleasure. The open flat grass area will remain exactly as it is.

We have recently got through the first round of the Community Spaces Lottery Fund & have been invited to continue our application for £49,500 to the second stage & have been assigned a mentor to help us in this process.

If you would like to join us and help with this application, future public consultations or other areas of this project you will be most welcome!

Please contact Ash Bearman, Community Development Officer, SCAF at ash@shirecaf.org.uk - or call 0117 982 9963

191st Scout Group

On Saturday 18th December 2010, a few scouts from the 191st Scout Troop held a collection outside the Co-Op in Shirehampton. The total the scouts collected was £144.46p. Thank you to all who put money into the collecting buckets. The money will be spent on equipment that the group needs. Grant Watkins

Cotswold Christmas Draw 2010

A very big thank you to everyone who supported the Cotswold Community Association Christmas draw this year. We sold a good number of tickets and raised some much needed funds towards our new kitchen. This was very good considering we had a slow start caused by the delay in our gambling registration by the City Council! Due to the fact that the person dealing with our registration was out sick.

There were 26 prizes worth £250.00 including a £50.00 cash prize that was won by James Hall, of Churchleaze, no begging letters please! Other prizes included a £40.00 M&S hamper and the rest were made up of food and drink of the Christmas kind.

A Very Happy New Year from the Cotswold Community Association! (It is believed £590 was raised for the kitchen refurbishment fund – Ed)

Portway Tip/Daisyfield Uncertain Future

The Daisyfield Portway tip still remains on the council’s list of sites for disposal/building. According to the Council the response from the public to this site remained ‘low’. So I must impress on all who read this, take note, if you did not attend the public consultations, if you have not filled out questionnaires, signed petitions, written to the Council, ie if you have not engaged with this consultation by using the written word, on the daisy field in Shirehampton then this is the result. Some petitions were said to go astray during the consultation which is rather alarming.

Caroline Penny from Tynings Community Group attended both council meetings giving statements as a member of the public, Renee Slater from SCAF attended the Scrutiny Commission on the 15th reading a statement and so did our Councillor Siobhan Kennedy Hall who raised questions during the day long process. Doug Naysmith attended the last cabinet meeting. The Neighbourhood Partnership will not agree to the sale of the land. There was still a long list of sites from all over Bristol that were outlined as potential partial development sites; Daisy field is one of them and these all varied from sites of nature conservation interest, to derelicts- I must point out that how feasible this would be in practice with planning and wildlife mitigation issues involved depends much on the individual sites and how much time and money potential builders have to spend, and in fact it appeared that some sites leant themselves better to building than others - with some it would probably bring improvement but with others it spells disaster. This variation in areas did not seem to be something they were taking on board. The Daisy field is one of the potential building sites, however the possibility of building 45 homes there seems rather optimistic the only real access is directly from the Portway and it seems like so many other sites to have potential highway issues that would need to be addressed at planning stages but it is still a listed partial disposal site so even this could be possible. Uprooting fully grown trees planted by the community doesn’t make a lot of sense perhaps they plan to build around them? It is said to be a 20 year strategy so it could happen any time within the next 18 years after all they Council spent two years setting this up. Caroline Penny as a member of the public spoke at the last meeting producing a Town Green Application for the Council to see and informing them this was a legal document in case they were not sure in order to clarify matters and in fact her Town Green Application had been mysteriously hand delivered to her address by a helpful parks department officer so concerned. Now the community group are dealing with it carrying out our own surveys gathering information for the application.

We are gathering evidence for a Town Green Application for this field, so she is therefore asking ANYONE who has used the Daisy field over the past 20 years and before that to come forward to fill out a short questionnaire or submit a statement - giving details of the years they used the field, what for with photographic evidence etc. please phone 01179090440. This could be the only chance you get of saving this field for your children. Teach your children well, teach them what you believe in, make a world we can live in. Jim Penny

Update - on Daisy Field & Tynings Field (Woodwell Rd) a letter sent by SCAF

Dear Councillors, Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee

We understand this meeting is taking place on Thursday 6th January & would like to put forward the following points for consideration. We are deeply concerned about how the decisions about which green spaces should be put forward for development/disposal were made, particularly in Shirehampton.

This is based upon the following grounds:

In the papers prepared for the Quality of Life Cabinet it clearly states “ A number of standard letters and petitions have been missed off the above report and have recently come to light” This is completely unacceptable in a public consultation – this surely, is exactly what the whole process was trying to gauge – the levels of “value”, concern, and use of a local open space.

The sites of particular concern are in Shirehampton, The Daisy Field (which is referred to as the Portway Tip) & Tynings Field. Both these sites have caused a huge reaction in our community in an effort to save them from the threat of development – particularly the Daisy Field which has had a number of e-petitions, events etc organised by our local Councillor & MP, along with a number of other petitions and events organised by local residents. We also met with Cllr Hopkins had a site visit and detailed discussion concerning our many points of factual objection to any proposed development on these two sites.

In the Cabinet papers, Appendix A there is not 1 letter or email listed of objection or comment from Shirehampton groups, Councillors or local residents. We know that so many were written, not least from Shire Greens, Avon Wildlife Trust, Shirehampton Community Action Forum, BCC Avonmouth & Kingsweston Ward Neighbourhood Partnership & a great many from individual local residents.

At the time of writing, this appendix, along with Appendix G (which contains the detailed info on responses to the public consultation) is now not available on your website – why is this? Also, Appendix B stated that no petitions were received, we know this is not the case, as detailed in Appendix A which states they had been “missed”. We know there were 3, “Have you say petition Avonmouth & Shirehampton, 184 signatures, Save Shirehampton Open Spaces, by our MP, Charlotte Leslie with 127 signatures and a third run by local people.

The point being, that these have not been properly logged, and there was no way that the Quality of Life and Cabinet would know the true picture of the levels of great support and how highly our community value these sites. Therefore, the decision was taken without proper information being available and negates and undermines the whole consultation process.

We knew how important it was to show by writing, organising petitions, emails, events and actions the level of community support for the Daisy Field & Tynings Field. We feel that all these efforts and endeavours have been wasted & no account taken of our communities views what so ever.

If it had been taken into consideration it is clear there was potential for deferral of a decision or by the site being taken out of future development… as stated in the Quality of Life paper, this is exactly what happened with the Crow Lane Site “ The high level petition from Crow Lane Open Space would support the officer recommendation to defer this site for further work as identified in the original report”.

We would appreciate your response to our comments. Yours sincerely

Ash Bearman, Community Development Officer, Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF)

Renee Slater, Chair, Shire Greens

The Bristol Shiplovers' Society

Programme for 2011

Talks take place at The Wardroom, HMS Flying Fox, Royal Naval Headquarters, Winterstoke Road, Bristol, BS3 2NS. Talks start at approximately 19:30.

Meeting on the following Tuesdays:

  • 01 Mar - Update on the Royal Navy – Cdr Jamie Miller
  • 15 Mar - Member’s Evening/DVD
  • 29 Mar - Kenneth & Avon Canal – Michael Horseman
  • 12 April - Bristol Pilot Cutters – John Raymond Baxter
  • 29 April - Member’s Evening/DVD
  • 10 May - Subject to be confirmed.

Membership open to all with an interest in ships and the sea.

VISITORS ARE VERY WELCOME- £3.00 PER HEAD

(Thank you for your kind donation – Ed)

An Irish Lord Nearly Barbecued

Because of Bristol’s long connection with Ireland, Shirehampton has had the occasional brush with Irish history. We know that King William III landed here after his victory at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, heading for King’s Weston, the convenient house of his Secretary of State for Ireland, Sir Robert Southwell. But we have an earlier more disorderly connection with high politics too.

The Irish nobleman Piers Butler, 8th Earl of Ormond, was Henry VIII’s Chief Governor of Ireland until he advanced to become Lord High Treasurer of England in 1524. But on 7 September 1526 he was in Shirehampton, in fear of his life. The story is told in a letter in Henry VIII’s state papers (for real history nerds, it’s document 2468 in the published version of these papers). Ormond’s Irish servants must have been causing trouble in Bristol, because he wrote to Henry’s Chancellor, Cardinal Wolsey, asking him to get the mayor and sheriffs of Bristol to call off legal proceedings against some of them who had been left behind as sureties for the good behaviour of the rest. Ormond had a personal gripe: 600 good citizens of Bristol were threatening to burn him in his bed because of what was going on, so no doubt he wanted to get his own people out of Bristol with as little hassle as possible, and in any case he blamed the trouble on the Bristolians. It sounds as though he was about to be grilled in his lodgings in Bristol itself, and that he had retreated to Shirehampton for his own safety. He may have had a ship waiting nearby in Hung Road to whisk him back to Ireland. I wonder who he knew and where he stayed. The only present house certain to have been in existence in 1526 is The Priory, but the demolished “Elizabethan” Manor House may have been built on the site of an earlier one. Richard Coates

Nature Notes

At last the thaw has arrived, but the birds still visit every day, hoping for supplements to help them reach Spring. They won’t be disappointed. It’s important to keep a food supply going once you start providing it, so it’s OK to feed birds all year round. However, once they have young you have to make sure you put the right sort of food out. We can think about that in a couple of months. For now we’re putting out seeds, fat balls with fruit and insects, sultanas and peanuts. I think the water in our water-fountain will serve well as a bird-bath very soon, as the birds spruce up for Spring. Whilst editing last month’s ‘Shire’, Renee and I watched a flock of red-wings join the thrushes and blackbirds in her garden to enjoy the apple “fallers” and then, in the snow, there stood a beautiful young fox! What a treat.

Bobbie Perkins

Diamond Wedding Anniversary

CONGRATULATIONS to George and Mary Howell who celebrate their Diamond Wedding Anniversary on Thursday 17th February 2011. With very best wishes from everyone at Women’s Fellowship, Shirehampton.

(Thank you for your kind donation – Ed)

Golden Wedding

Roger and Jean Barnes would like to thank everyone who joined them in the Golden Wedding celebration. Special thanks go to Canon Christine, Gill Sawyer and Julie Smith, and our wonderful, ever-growing family. You made it a memorable day.

St Valentines Day... Love and All That.

In a few days it will be St Valentines Day once again. Will you be sending any cards this year, or is there an individual from whom you will be hoping to receive a card? Then there are all those anonymous declarations of undying love that will be sent. One wonders how a declaration of love can be of any practical use when its origin cannot be known. But then does love need to be of any practical use?

St Valentines day is named after Valentine, a 3rd century Priest who lived in Rome and who fell in love with an executioner’s daughter. Sadly the girl was blind, but Valentine miraculously restored her sight. However the emperor didn’t like Valentine, and he ordered him to be clubbed to death, and then his head was chopped off.

Over the years it became the tradition for people to remember St Valentine and his love. It became known as the day when birds choose their mates and begin nesting, and then people started sending cards to the one they love. Of course if you and your loved one have already discovered each other you may give your valentine a peck on the cheek on St Valentines Day. Did you know that when you kiss you are using 29 separate facial muscles, your heartbeat can jump by up to 20 extra beats per minute and the increased blood flow that this produces warms you up, makes your face go red, and your lips get bigger. You may burn up to three calories of energy per kiss and some experts think that you could be reducing your lifespan by up to three minutes as well! So Valentines Day could be a danger to your health.

The English language has only one word for love. Ancient Greek on the other hand has four. In English when you say you ‘love’ someone it can immediately have implications that you may not have intended. But the Greeks could express themselves rather more accurately.

One of the Greek words for Love is ‘Storge’ This word in Greek means ‘affection’. It’s the word you might use when you say ‘I love fish and chips’ or ‘I love to go to the seaside for my holidays’. You may also use it to say ‘I love old Mrs Jenkins next door’. ‘Love’ used in this way wouldn’t mean that you wanted to elope with her; it just means that you have deep affection for her.

Another word the Greeks used for love is ‘Philia’. This could be used to describe the feelings you have in a close friendship. It also describes brotherly and sisterly love. It is where you have things in common with another person, and feel able to confide in them. It’s the kind of love you may feel for a best friend. It is important that we can recognise this kind of love for one another, without it having any romantic associations.

Eros is the name of the statue that stands in Piccadilly Circus in London, and who carries a bow and arrow. He is the character that fires an arrow and those whom he hits are meant to ‘fall in love’. This is the Greek word from which we get the English word ‘erotic’. This kind of love means the physical attraction that St Valentines day is all about. It is the romantic love that is portrayed in films and books and about which songs are written. It’s the sort of love that may lead two people to say ‘I can’t live without you. Let’s get married’.

The ancient Greeks fourth word for love is ‘agape’. The literal meaning of this word is ‘sacrificial love’. It’s the sort of love shown when someone gives their life to save another. It’s also a love that keeps on loving even when it gets nothing back in return. It is the love that loves someone or something that to all intents and purposes is ‘unlovely’ and probably to us unlovable. Whoever could love someone who is unlovable? It seems a contradiction in terms. Well if you want to find out how the unlovable can be loved, and how someone can give their life to save another whom they have never even met, come along to Shirehampton Baptist Church on any Sunday Morning at 10.30 am and find out.

Chris Grant

Bristol Avonmouth Sea Cadets’ Stars Continue to Shine


The Cadets were honoured last night for their efforts over the past year during the annual prize giving ceremony at the unit. The Cadets were awarded trophies and shields during the ‘Stars of Enterprise’ evening in recognition of their work and achievements over the past year. Bristol Avonmouth unit is lucky to have had a number of trophies donated over the last 70 years for everything from best drill to the best overall cadet. The award that always raises a laugh is the Top Banana Award for the best personality and funniest shipmate. The unit’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Hillier said the evening had been a great success. “For the young men and women it acknowledges their efforts and their progress. It also holds them up as examples of excellence to their colleagues. We don’t have a bad Cadet in the whole unit, and it is often difficult to choose between them. We are, rightly very proud of each one of our Cadets.”

As always there was a good turnout of proud family and friends who watched on as the Cadets were presented with their awards by the Commanding Officer, Lt (SCC) Barbara Hillier RNR, Unit President, Commander Sue Passmore RNR and charity’s Chairman Mrs Pat Homer.

The winners this year included:

  • Best Male Cadet: - Danny Frost (14)
  • Best Female Cadet: Jess Puckett (15)
  • Best Dressed Cadet: Jack Harvey (14)
  • Enterprise Cup: Cameron Findlay (14)
  • Chuck Havvoc Cup: Dan Ward (17)
  • William Hillier Shield: Katy Attwood (16)
  • William Hillier Cup: for drill and bearing Ellie Clarke (13)
  • Top Banana award: Siobhan McAnaspie (14)
  • Gordon Batt Trafalgar 200 Medal: Ollie Hillier (17)
  • Gordon Batt Trafalgar 200 Prize: Ronan Booker (11)
  • Harry Bansell Cup: The unit’s teaching staff
  • The Chairman’s Cup: Petty Officer Christopher Batt (39)
  • Captain’s Commendations: The Hornpipe DisplayTeam for attendance to duty even performing whilst being snowed upon and James Browne

Commander Passmore said “ Above the door of one of our classrooms there is a sign that says ‘through this door walks some of the best Sea Cadets in the world’. I would agree wholeheartedly’. Mrs Homer added “Well done to all winners!”

As guests arrived for the evening a slide show was presented with pictures of some of the cadets’ activities through the year. The cadets were so busy in 2010 a full circuit of the photos took nearly 45 minutes! The popular unit had trips to ships like HMS Gloucester and stays at HMS Sultan in Hampshire and Pier Cellars in Cornwall all in addition to the usual learning, boating and outdoor and adventure pursuits. Petty Officer Batt said “With all of the opportunities for adventure and fun that we have engaged in and will have on offer for 2011 it is not surprising that we are now operating a waiting list for the 10-12 year old junior cadets although we do have a couple of spaces for senior cadets who are 12-18 as we have a number of cadets about to turn 18”. He added “Welcome aboard to the 5 new junior cadets who were enrolled this evening”.

The evening was rounded off with carols around the piano led by the unit’s padre who provides pastoral care to the cadets and adult volunteers.

Bristol Avonmouth Sea Cadets has been serving the West of Bristol and North Somerset since 1943 and before that as part of Bristol Sea Cadets that celebrates 100 years this year. They are always pleased to hear from ex-cadets and staff as well as those of the future. For contact details see their website http://units.ms-sc.org/avonmouth. Cadets are aged 10 – 18 years.

Sansway House Day Nursery

The families at Sansway Nursery are celebrating their huge success at achieving a good grading following a recent Ofsted inspection. The inspector notes ‘Close and caring relationships exist, so that children are cared for in a safe and supportive environment. An interesting, well organised environment supports children’s learning and development. The outdoor area is very well equipped to develop children’s independence and exploration’

Kelly Clark and Alison Starkie owners of the setting wish to thank all our families and our wonderful staff, students & volunteers (local familiar faces) for the wonderful 10 years we have spent taking care of most precious little people in our ‘house’ and continue to enjoy every minute.

Our new garden development has been amazing the children thoroughly benefit from the opportunity to access the outdoor play deck and huge open space whenever they choose. The tiny babies don’t miss out either as they have a new big playroom leading onto their own outdoor play space.

Children aged 3-5yrs receive free sessions at Sanswa - especially beneficial for little ones who prefer smaller groups of eight. They often then progress on to the surrounding local primary reception classes together.

The setting has always been able to provide flexible affordable childcare support those who wish to study, return to work or just need occasional care.

Promotion - until February 25th 2011

We are offering local families under 5’s Free play sessions - parents/carers may book free with no commitment two play sessions - each play session being 3hrs - To book your free session please contact nursery 9829609 (subject to availability)

Local Workmens Clubs - Do or Die?

That is the main question for local workmen’s clubs. The future for social clubs in the area is looking quite grim for many reasons. Years ago these workmen’s clubs were packed with men coming off the docks straight to the clubs having membership and queuing for the door to share fun with their fellow workers and friends, and playing dominos, cards or snooker. Nowadays these clubs are nowhere near as busy so why is this? Will they survive? At the moment I would say ‘no’ unless something is done about it soon to prevent them from vanishing altogether.

To ensure the future of the clubs I believe fathers should be taking their sons to them and encouraging them to become members. Young members are vital for these clubs to survive but they don’t seem to want to know as most current members seem to be stuck in their old ways and probably think young people are trouble, but without them these clubs will fail. I have recently had some experience with a few of the older members of one of these clubs behaving in a way that deters younger people from joining. During my upbringing I have been introduced to both my local workmen’s clubs through my father and do very much enjoy going there. I have now been a member for about 4 years and hope the clubs will continue into the future so I can eventually take my own children there to experience the same enjoyment I have. If others don’t follow suit there will eventually be no decent clubs/pubs locally and nowhere for people to go for some recreation time. So please, for the future of these workmen’s clubs encourage young people to become members and keep these clubs alive. A member 29 years old (name withheld by request of writer - Ed)

SHIRE Still Going Strong!

Some of our local readers may have seen the first edition of a new magazine called ‘The Shire Source’ which came out just before Christmas. Since then, several members of the Shire committee have been asked if this new publication is linked to our newspaper, or even if it is a replacement for it!

Can I take this opportunity to reassure our readers that ‘The Shire Source’ is an entirely separate enterprise and is in no way linked to Shire newspaper. As you know, we are a voluntary organisation and pride ourselves on producing an informative monthly newspaper containing a variety of news, views and correspondence relating to our community of Shirehampton.

As we approach our 40th anniversary year in 2012, we’re still going strong and this is down to our loyal advertisers who provide the revenue to keep it all going as well as our readers who support them with their business and contribute content for the newspaper.

Thank you all for your contributions – and long may the Shire continue!

James Harris

St Mary’s News

Hi Folks! The main topic of conversation in the Village since Christmas is the news that our beloved Canon Christine will be leaving the parish at the end of March. She has been appointed the new Archdeacon of Malmesbury - a position she justly deserves! However, we are, without fear of contradiction, all devastated at the thought of her impending departure. She has without doubt been the most loved priest in Shirehampton for many a long year and has done so much for St. Mary’s during her incumbency, ably assisted in the background by her husband David. Christine brought St. Mary’s out of a very dark age, when the church was likely to be considered as “not viable” into the golden age which all of us enjoy today! What a difference she has made in the last 9½ years - a very happy church with smiling faces whenever you go into it - and even happier when she was there with us all. We offer her our heartiest congratulations and good wishes on her new appointment, she will be an extremely hard act to follow! In fact I can say that it will be impossible for anyone else to fill her shoes. Our greatest compliment to Canon Christine is to see that all her hard work at St. Mary’s over the years will be continued in her absence - which is going to be no mean task for the PCC and the Team who have worked under her leadership. Canon Christine is to be installed as Archdeacon of Malmesbury at Bristol Cathedral just before Easter - on Maundy Thursday - during the annual service for the Blessing of the Oils. May God bless her new work in the Diocese and we pray for a new priest who will continue her good work in the future at St. Mary’s.

I must tell you of the final figure for the Gift Day Appeal by Canon Christine back in December, as money continued to flow in slowly after the appeal day and it totalled £11,520.38. Thank you once again for all your generosity - it certainly puts our Tithe Barn Appeal on a firmer footing!

Both our Crib Services on Christmas Eve were very well attended - particularly the one for the younger members at 4.00 pm when we estimate that there were just over 400 people present. Canon Christine was most attractively dressed as the “Star of the East” - in fact as always - she was the “star of the show”! She had her eye around the parish for someone to play the part of the baby Jesus - and decided upon my 2 weeks old grandson Tom. This meant that Mary & Joseph were somewhat older this year than in previous years - yes Gran & Granddad were asked to play the part!! (I’ve had no offers yet from Steven Spielberg - but I am available if he requires me!). We also had an abundance of children dressed as Wise Men, Shepherds and Angels - so thank you to all you parents who took the time to make costumes and dress your children up for this exciting occasion. Without the children taking part, Christmas Eve would not seem the same.

At 8.00 pm on Wednesday, 2nd. February there will be a Service of Compline at St. Mary’s to celebrate Candlemass. This signifies the end of the Christmas and Epiphany season and is also the time when we commemorate the presentation of Christ in the Temple. Compline is a quiet reflective service and only lasts for about 20 minutes - so please come along if you are free - we shall be delighted to welcome you!

During the school Half Term Week - on Tuesday, 22nd. February - there will be Pancake Races in the Churchyard from 10.00 am until 12 noon. There will be races to suit all ages - we haven’t had Battery Buggy Races yet, but there is always a first time! Even if you don’t want to race you will have the opportunity to sample one of Gill Sawyers delightful Pancakes - which I know from experience - are absolutely delicious. If I’m not in the races, I’ll see you in the queue for the Pancakes!! This is not Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day as we traditionally know it but merely a fun day because the proper day occurs when the children are at school and they are not able to join in tasting the Pancakes and Races. The proper day for Shrove Tuesday/Pancake Day is in fact on Tuesday, 8th. March when once again Pancakes will be available from 10.00 am unti 12 noon with your morning cup of Tea or Coffee.

The service for the Womens World Day of Prayer this year will be at 2.00 pm, on Friday, 4th. March and is not just for women, as men are welcome to attend if they wish to do so. At this point in time I have not been given details of which church the Service will be held in. So I will endeavour to publish these details in the March edition of “Shire”.

Lent Courses are to be held again at St. Mary’s at 7.00 pm on Wednesday, l6th & 23rd. March and the 6th. & 13th. April - the Course will be focussing on our Christian journey. It will consist of a simple Supper, a video and finishing with Evening Prayer.

On Sunday, 27th. March at 10.00 am we shall be having our usual Family Service with Baptism and this will be immediately followed at 11.00 am with our Annual Parochial Church Meeting. Please do try to attend this special meeting.

At 7.30 pm on Wednesday, 30th. March a Confirmation Service led by Bishop Mike, Bishop of Bristol will be held at St. Mary’s and will also be the very last service that Canon Christine will be with us before moving onto pastures new.

Canon Christine has asked that this month your prayers are for - Road Safety, Avon Primary School and our Government in these difficult times.

Congratulations are due to James & Mandy Sylvester on the birth of their son George back in December. He arrived just too late for the auditions for the part of the Baby Jesus at the Childrens’ Crib Service!! Congratulations also to the proud Grandparents - Lyn and Geoff.

Several of you have enquired where was last month’s yarn or joke - well I am afraid it was victim of the Editors’ pencil. I presume he or she was perhaps short of space on the page. Well, you are not going to be spoilt by having two jokes this time but merely the same one resurrected from the January notes - so here goes - Did you hear about the Vicar who vetoed the request by the PCC for a chandelier in the church. He explained, “I would have to write the order for it and I can’t spell the word, and furthermore we have no-one in the parish who can play it”!!! I’ve changed my mind and will tell you another quick one. On the Notice Board it read - At the choir concert next Wednesday, Mrs. Sharp will sing, “Put me in my little wooden bed” accompanied by the Vicar. ‘Bye for now -C.M.E.

From the Registers at St. Mary's

December 2010

FUNERALS “At rest and at peace”

  • 2nd - Marion Evans
  • 3rd - Kevin Jones, Pamela Symes
  • 7th - Olive Ames
  • 16th - Frances Holcombe, Keith Hunt
  • 21st - Doreen Hunt, Sheila Quinn
  • 23rd - Mervyn Young, Albert Randall
  • 29th - Christine Collins

Thank You from the Residents of Jim O'Neil House

After waking up on the 30th November 2010, it was a pleasure to be cooked a wonderful breakfast at 10.00pm by our HSA Warden ( Joan Cormack) and our Community Policeman Jason Hughes.

This consisted of a full English breakfast for 15 people which was very welcome as we don’t get treats like that especially when it has been cooked for you by two warm people and shared with others.

We would like to thank Joan & Jason for lovely treat that was so much appreciated by us all and we all hope that it will become a regular occurrence.

Village Tragedy 1911 – the Continuing Story...


‘In the Bleak Mid Winter, frosty wind made moan, earth stood hard as iron......’ this was the scene that greeted two members of the Local History Group on 8th December in Shirehampton Cemetery, but why such a bizarre activity on a cold winter’s day? In earlier issues of ‘Shire’ I have mentioned the Village Tragedy of 1911 and the fact that November 2011 marks the centenary. It is a very touching story that rocked the close knit community of Shirehampton when two young boys (Frederick Bleaken and Hubert Chidgey) were killed by a motorised brewer’s dray. We know they were buried together and whilst the grave had been located in Shirehampton Cemetery a memorial stone (believed to depict two clasped hands) had been buried and grassed over in the 1970s we think. Another of our members, Marilyn Green, who has contacts at Canford Cemetery mentioned this and following a probe to establish whether any stone(s) were still in situ, two very helpful City Council employees, Ian Perrett and John Cornish turned up to dig down and see what was there. Sadly the clasped hands stone was not found despite a tenacious search by Ian and John who seemed as anxious as us to find it. However, we did hit a jackpot in that the kerbstones, in four pieces but otherwise intact and with legible inscriptions, were unearthed. They give the details of the boys ‘both tragically killed’ on 17th November 1911 and ‘still undivided’, a poignant reference to the fact that they were holding hands when the accident occurred.

Where do we go from here? Well the earth has to settle again and the kerbstones have gone back to the depot while we decide. They need to be cleaned up and if permission can be obtained from the Bristol Cemeteries Department and we can raise the money for the services of a monumental mason, they could be reinstated so the grave will once again be marked. We are planning a memorial ceremony on 17th November 2011 at the graveside, more details nearer the time. In the meantime we would be pleased to hear the views of the Bleaken and Chidgey families still in the area. It is possible that the families were notified when the kerbstones were buried and perhaps one of them took the clasped hands stone – if so we would be delighted to think it was still treasured and a photograph would be much appreciated. We will keep you updated through the pages of ‘Shire’. Judy Helme

Neighbourhood Partnership Discusses Traffic Schemes

Last year our Neighbourhood Partnership had £17,000 of devolved funds for minor traffic works. We spent this on a parking review at Ridingleaze, a new crossing on Long Cross and some consultation works on Sea Mills Square. This year your representatives on the Neighbourhood Partnership will have a much bigger say as to what these funds are spent on. Your representatives were invited to discuss Traffic and Transport issues with the relevant officers At the Lawrence Weston College Open day on January 29th. The following traffic issues were discussed.

  • Penpole Lane – request for parking restrictions to improve safety
  • Old Quarry Road – request to make road one way
  • Merriman’s Road/Kingsweston Avenue – request for parking restrictions to improve visibility
  • Kingsweston Road/Kingsweston Lane – request for weight restrictions
  • Gloucester Road – request to address overnight parking of HGVs
  • Mancroft Avenue – request to address ‘obstructive’ parking
  • Cook Street – request to combat motorists driving illegally through closed road
  • Long Cross – request to address increased use by HGVs
  • Sea Mills Square – request to address car drivers driving over footway
  • Westbury Lane – obstructive parking near junctions
  • Sylvan Way – request to address speeding vehicles

Representatives prioritized the top five issues. Traffic Officers will now develop costed project proposals which they will present at the next NP meeting for discussion and our Councillors will then agree which to fund with the devolved budget.

The next Neighbourhood Partnership meeting is on March 9th and anyone living in Avonmouth and Kingsweston wards is free to attend. If you have views on any of these proposals you can contact your local Councilor, or come to the next meeting of Shirehampton Community Action Forum, which is your forum for conveying your views to your Neighbourhood Partnership representatives.

Public Hall Newsletter

Heavy snow arrived Monday 20th December but it did not stop Santa’s visit to the Hall. Well done to all the children who entered the colouring competition. Congratulations to the winners, Alex, Anika, Charlotte, Daisy and Riley. The winners were selected by local artist Patrick Comer.

I would like to thank the Trustees for their support and their help on the day. Thank you to Jayne Bristow for the hand painting for the children, Edna Canby and her grand- daughter Beth for their help on the Tombola stall and Chloe and Lori Hayball for their help with the Children’s activities. A special thank you to Kathryn and David Hutt, Severn Four Credit Union, Nigel Mein CO-OP and James Purnell of Avon fixings for their donations for the event. Marilyn Gorry. Events Organizer.

Christmas Lights Tins

A big Thank You to all the traders who have a lights tin on their counters all year round, and an even bigger Thank You to everyone who contributes. The tins are the biggest source of income we have. The Collectors

Happy 70th Birthday

We would all like to wish Ray Harvey, our very special husband, dad and grand-dad, a very happy 70th birthday on 4th February. Enjoy your special day, with lots of love – Shirley, Michelle, Colin, Wayne, Linzi, Darren, Claire, Jade, Courtney, Jack, Aaron and Ben XXXXX (Thank you for your kind donation – Ed)

FREE Publicity for Your Event on Local Radio

In the December Issue of ‘Shire’ I said “I don’t think the events and issues of Shirehampton get enough coverage on Local Radio” but I only listen to Radio Bristol.

SO... If there are any regular listeners to ANY other Local Radio station that broadcasts details of Local Events, I would be very grateful if you could get in touch and give me some details.

If you organise any events in the Shirehampton area and would like some free publicity on ANY Local Radio, I would be more than happy to talk to you .

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, I am still happy to talk to you.

You can contact me (Bill) on 983 6712 or email to OldestBill@googlemail.com .

Two That Didn't Get Away!


We read of many local sporting events and achievements in ‘Shire’ but not about fishing so it is time to rectify that. Thomas Benden of Shirehampton is 9 years old and a keen fisherman especially in the waters by the Lamplighters. On 2 October 2010 he caught a Sea Bass just off the slipway by the ‘Lamps’. It weighed 3.8lbs and was 51 cm long and mum Elspeth said it also tasted really nice! Thomas’s sister Ella is 7 and she caught a small Cod around the same time so the waters must be cleaner than they look. The Benden family hopes to enjoy many more fresh fish suppers in 2011!