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News Index

Money Raised for Local Charity

Lamplighters Update: Hope may be at hand!

Memories of the Daisy Field

Library Jottings

St. Mary’s News

From the Registers At St Mary's June 2011

Letters to the Editor

Lorraine wins award

Nature Walks - Lawrence Weston

Coming soon - Craft Exhibition


Money Raised for Local Charity

On Saturday 4th June there was a fantastic Charity Night and former Bristol City FC players’ Reunion at the Hope and Anchor in Shirehampton. The event raised £1326.41 for the Shire Advice Service and it was a wonderful success.

I would like to thank all the people of Shirehampton who attended, for their support and generosity. The Shire Advice Service would like to thank Kim and Julie Lark from the Hope and Anchor for all their help and in particular a big thank you to Tony Rook and all band members of "Doing Time" not only for a brilliant performance but also for giving their time so freely. The night was made special by the performance of comedian Stoney Garnet, Magician Jezza and vocalist Tony Bea who also gave their time and skills as a donation to the charity. A big thank you also needs to be extended to local businesses - Nightingales Electrical, the Co-op in Shirehampton, The Factory Shop, Stadon Pet Supplies, The Hope and Anchor, Dave Geater, Fryers Corner Shop, Judy Helme, Sean Donnelly of the Three Lions and Jules Milward of Ashays Carriages for donating raffle prizes.

Gary Williams

Lamplighters Update: Hope may be at hand!

After well over a year of campaigning to save the Lamplighters Pub, hope may be at hand. I recently met with the buyer of the Lamplighters Freehold, Matt Moody to discuss future plans for the Lamplighters, and to say how important it is that it is kept as a community pub.

Mr. Moody told me they have every intention of keeping the Lamplighters as a pub and are currently looking at breweries to run it.

Community support and signing the petition has made a real difference in convincing the buyers that there is real appetite to see the Lamplighters returned to being a community pub, and that there is still huge potential for this historic piece of Shirehampton. So a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has been so supportive in signing the petitions that have been going on for so long. The petition is still open online at - so do add your name if you have not already!

I will continue to work with the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and the buyer, Matt Moody, to keep a close eye on developments and work in any way possible to ensure that the Lamplighters Pub becomes, as its name suggests, a beacon pub for Bristol.

Thank you again to everyone who has worked so hard and been so supportive of saving the Lamplighters. Our work may finally be paying off.

Charlotte Leslie MP

Congratulations to Miss Jennifer Fudge

... on your recent graduation!

Just had to write a short note to say how proud we are that you have not only achieved a degree at the U.W.E, but a "First Class BA Honours!" Well done Jennifer! All your hard-work has indeed paid off! With all our love always from Mum, Dad, Paul & Kirstie, Grandma, and all the family!

A Big Thank You

Station Road Pre-School would like to thank LHP Accountants for auditing the 2009/10 accounts, this favour has been called in for the umpteenth year, we really appreciate Mark Lee giving up his time to support our local charity. Thanks again, From all the Station Road Pre-School Committee (especially the Treasurer!!)

Christmas Lights

Please come and join us, we need more members. The next meeting will be in The George Inn on Sunday 14th August at 6pm. New members will be very welcome so please come along and have a say about this year’s display.

Cedric Rich

Shirehampton Group Practice

Do You Look After Someone Who Depends on You - A Spouse, Elderly Relative, Disabled Child?

A representative from The Princess Royal Trust Carers Centre will be at Shirehampton Health Centre on : Monday 8th August 2011 from 8.30am to 12.00pm

If you have any questions or would like advice or information, please come along. Appointments are not required, just turn up. The representative will be based in the health education room at the far end of the waiting room.

191st (St Mary's) Scout Troop

On July 7th Marc Llloyd was invested into the troop by G Watkins, (Scout Leader)

Open for business

It has come to our attention that there have been rumours concerning the closure of the Shirehampton branch of Boots. The Manager and staff would like to confirm that these rumours are UNTRUE and that Boots will be remaining a permanent fixture in the High Street of Shirehampton and will continue to serve the community and customers for a very long time to come.

The AGM was held on 29 June. Thank you to everyone who attended.

It is with sadness one of our most loved and dedicated trustees Mary Howell has passed away. Mary was a valued member for many years and we shall miss her. Our warmest regards and most sincere sympathy are sent to her family.

The Chair Mary Hayball had decided it was time for her to step down, Mary will continue to stay as a Trustee. The trustees thanked Mary for her time and support she had given them and flowers were presented to her from the trustees.

A new Chairperson was elected, Barbara Wylde, Barbara is known to many of you. Vice Chair Marilyn Gorry, Secretary Lyn Sylvester and Treasurer Janet Thomas were all re elected.

One of the garden benches was falling apart, it had to be replaced, at one of our previous meetings Norman Sims suggested we donate the new bench to the memory of David Tudor, the trustees agreed.

David Tudor passed away in 2006. David joined the committee many years ago as a representative of one of the user groups The Model Railway Club, he also for many years did maintenance on the clock in the tower, many minor repairs in the Hall and was loved by the children who attended playgroup David and his wife Jean moved from Birmingham to Merrimans Road, Shirehampton 50 years ago staying there for 23 years and then moving to Stoke Bishop.

Jean was invited to the AGM, after the meeting jean went into the garden to have her photograph taken on the bench.

The trustees of Shirehampton Public Hall are volunteers who oversee the running of the Hall for the benefit of the community. We meet once a month. If you would like to get involved contact or telephone 01179829963. 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 Pat’s story, this month is Norman’s.

Trustee Profile - Norman Sims

I am a trustee of the Public Hall committee representing the Evergreens Club, of which I am Chairman. I am also a member of the Avon (University Settlement) Community Association which runs the Shire Advice Service to which the Evergreens is affiliated. I was born on 1st January 1928 at Almondsbury Hospital and spent a lot of my early life in Pilning before I was called up for national service when I was 18. I was sent to Prewett St, in Bristol for my medical then on 16th January told to report to HMS Royal Aurther in Skegness, which was a Butlins camp before the Navy took it over. I also served for three months on HMS Glendower in Phwelli, North Wales another Butlins camp, whilst Prince Philip was there courting the Queen. I went to various other Naval establishments including Portsmouth and Southampton to board the troop ship SS Andes heading for the Far East, to serve on HMS Black Swan. Whilst on the Black Swan I visited many countries including Japan where we were taken to see the Atomic Bomb crater. When it was time to be demobbed I transferred to aircraft carrier HMS Theseus back to England. On arriving back at Portsmouth we were visited by the then Shah of Persia before onward transfer to RNAS Ford in Sussex, which is now an Open Prison.

I married Eileen Barnes on 26 August 1950 and have a daughter, three grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

Ferry still going strong

With the new M Shed museum now open and attracting huge crowds some visitors will make use of the Bristol Ferry Fleet to get there. The Margaret is the oldest boat in the fleet, built in 1952 at Hanks Boatbuilding yard, Appledore, Devon to transport passengers from the beach to pleasure steamers anchored off shore. However, this trade declined and she became one of the ferries taking dock workers across the river between Shirehampton and Pill until the service stopped in the 1970s. The Margaret was ‘rescued’ and renovated in 1977 and became the first of the Yellow and Blue Bristol Ferry Boats. The Margaret featured on a postage stamp in the early 1980s. She was given a new engine in 2005 and a new keel in 2008 so should be seaworthy for another 50 years.

Memories of the Daisy Field

In response to a previous correspondent’s request…

I have been resident in Shirehampton all my life and I well remember the Daisy Field when it was the site of a company called Nott Brodie. I believe it may have had something to do with engineering. There was a railway track from the Station Yard across Station Road near the junction with the Portway. It was protected on the station yard side of Station Road by a large 5 Bar Gate and the track went into Nott Brodie's premises on the opposite side of the road. Occasionally you would see a few trucks shunted across Station Road into or out of Nott Brodie's site when a Flagman would be required to stop any traffic. There were other railway tracks inside the site and I was always fascinated by a rail mounted self propelled steam crane owned by the company, which would be busying itself around the site most days. It had a vertical boiler and a small piston on the side turning an equally small wheel which would be revolving at high speed, yet the crane moved at a snail’s pace. I regularly saw it on my way to school. I cannot recall the year that Nott Brodie's moved out and the Daisy Field was created.

You also mentioned residents of the Portway in 1966. The gentleman at No. 462 - Bertie Sparks - was a retired Policeman. It was Bertie who discovered the old St. Mary's Parish Church on fire on that January night in 1928. Bertie was on night duty and when all the public houses had turned out and the village was quiet he continued his patrol and pushed his bike up Park Hill to the Golf Club. At this point he turned round and looked back towards the village and saw flames coming out of the church roof. He cycled hurriedly back down the hill to Shirehampton Police Station where he called the Fire Brigade.

In the Railway Station Yard were a number of sidings which supplied coal on a daily basis to the Bristol Co-operative Society Ltd Fuel Depot. There was a second Coal Merchant in the Station Yard by the name of Lowell and Baldwin but they may have moved out by 1966. It may be of interest that the brick building, now within the confines of the garden of Station House, was Lowell and Baldwin's Weighbridge Office. Immediately in front of the building was a large metal weigh table onto which the coal lorries were driven to be weighed. As young children if you took a running jump onto the weigh table you could make it gently sway to and fro! What vandals we were!!!

Chris Eynon

Well done Neil!

Shire editor Neil Quarmby recently competed in the National 24 hour cycling time-trial championship in East Sussex. Unfortunately Neil struggled with an Achilles tendon injury, which flared up after he had completed 80 miles of the course. However he managed to reach the finishing circuit to record 288 miles. He raised £350 for Macmillan Cancer Support. Neil would like to thank all who sponsored him.

Bette Fryer (Née Davies) 23.1.1927 - 21.3.2011

Elizabeth "Bette" Fryer was born, and lived more than half her life, at 11, Dursley Road and although she and Graham moved to the house that they built on a plot of land near Blaise Castle forty years ago, she continued to use the same shops, doctors and amenities that she had always used in Shirehampton.

Bette Davies had been born a welcome younger sister for her seven brothers Tom, Ern, Bert, Alec, Ron, Doug and Bob and, I believe, gained her lifelong love of music from them and from her parents. She attended Portway School and became an apprentice hairdresser, before leaving to join the land army. She subsequently worked for many years in the offices of Hosegoods, later Spillers, Mill on Avonmouth dock.

She married Graham Fryer at St Mary’s church in 1949 and her two children, Martin and Andrea both went to the junior school. She was much solicited, when younger, to sing with small groups and won a golden voice competition at Butlin's in the 1950’s (the prize was another holiday at Butlin’s) but was probably most happy when singing with the Cathedral choir in the 1970’s and 80’s.

She spent a number of years working with Victim Support and a great deal of time, in her later life, producing handicrafts which she sold to raise money for St Peters Hospice but she was certainly happiest when spending time with her grandchildren.

Although, when their children moved away from the area, Bette and Graham were tempted to move closer to one of them, Bette remained too firmly attached to Shire, and its locality, where three of her brothers and their children still lived and where she could bump into lifelong friends in the street, to give moving away too much consideration.

She was cremated at Canford Lane and her ashes interred at St Mary’s.

The family would like to thank the many people who filled the Crematorium, some of whom they weren’t able to speak to on the day, for coming, for leaving such lovely messages and for donating so generously to St Peters Hospice in her memory.

View from the Bridge

Commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the Dedication of the Merchant Navy Memorial on the Welsh Back, Bristol, on Sunday 5th June 2011

The above event which was attended by a large number of members, family and friends and those who attended the original unveiling of the memorial by HRH The Princess Royal, braved a somewhat overcast and threatening sky which fortunately stayed dry for most of the time. Before the service began Michael introduced our committee to the new Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Bristol.

Our Chairman Michael Fleming then extended a warm welcome to the Lord Mayor, The Right Honourable Geoffrey Gollop The Lady Mayoress, Bernice Gollop, our Patron Sir James Tidemarsh, Lady Virginia Tidmarsh, and Terence Mordaunt, co-owner of the Bristol Port Company. We were especially honoured to have the last three distinguished guests attend, as they did on the 21st May 2001 and also a few others in the congregation who were there again, looking somewhat older but still recognisable.

I answered our chairman’s invitation to say a few words and then I handed over to our Padre the Rev Philip Auden DL who led the service, with great aplomb, as he did ten years ago. Our member Colin Wilson MBE from Portishead read Sea Fever by John Masefield. Douglas May JP from Yatton read the poem "Thanks" by our honorary member Reg Kear from Melbourne, Australia and our padre read "In peace and war" by our member Captain Joe Earl from Portishead.

I accepted the invitation to lay the branch wreath, and Hugh Harding laid the TSS "Vindicatrix" wreath. Our newsletter editor Pauline Fleming presented the Lady Mayoress with a basket of flowers.

Our honorary member Sergeant Major Martin Dove played the Last Post and Reveille and the following standard bearers dipped their standards: - "Wings" Barry with the National, Ken Hill with the branch, John Davies the Blue Ensign, Emma Brown the Ladies Section Whitchurch and Pensford RBL, Rob Leonard the Men’s Section, Jim Smith Bishopsworth RBL, and Gerry Miles with the Liverpool Retired Merchant Seafarers red ensign.

As the service ended the Lord Mayor gave a very interesting speech, without notes, during which he said that his grandfather served in the Merchant Navy. We hope that he will carry out some research and tell us a little more about him at a later date. Michael thanked everyone for attending and then he invited guests to repair to the Glass Boat to join us in "Swinging the Lamp" for an hour or two! The Glass Boat appeared to roll gently thereafter as the excitement mounted! She has not accommodated so many ‘shipwrecked mariners’ for some time!

About ninety of our guests and members attended the buffet on the Glass Boat which was also the venue for our celebration ten years ago. We were exceedingly fortunate to be presented with 42 bottles of Australian wine by the Avonmouth based wine importers Constellation Europe, this very generous gift was enjoyed greatly by all who attended. A letter of appreciation was sent to the company by our Vice-Chairman Douglas May JP. Brian Brown was also thanked for putting us in touch with the company. The steering committee composed of Chairman Michael Fleming, Padre Rev Philip Auden, Ted Williams and Hugh Harding who worked very hard to ensure that the event was a great success deserves our hearty congratulations and enormous thanks.

James (Jock) Flynn RIP.

The Requiem Mass and committal of our member known as Jock Flynn took place on Thursday 26th May 2001, the former in St Bernards Church Shirehampton and the latter in Canford Crematorium.

Many of our members helped fill the church as they paid tribute to a "Loving Husband, Dad, Grandad and Friend" His granddaughter Jenny Fudge said "My Grandad has been the BEST Grandad in the World... The service was attended by our standard bearer "Wings" Barry with the National Standard, Ken Hill with the branch standard and David Caple with the Pill and North Somerset standard. After the committal the floral tributes were taken down to our merchant navy memorial on the Welsh Back where the Red Ensign was flying at half-mast thanks to our chairman Michael Fleming lowering it as a tribute to our popular former shipmate "Jock" Flynn. Our sincere condolences are extended to his wife Elsie and family.

Library Jottings

As Summer hopefully arrives, so we start our preparations for our children’s activities for the Summer Holidays. Once again we are joining with libraries nationwide in the "Reading challenge" which, this year has the theme of "The Circus". So come along all you mums, dads, grans, and gramps, why not encourage your little clowns and tightrope walkers to come on down to the library and join the fun. With just six books to read and the whole of the holidays to do it in, they are then rewarded with stickers, certificates and medals to show their new teachers when they go back to school - now how cool is that!

There will also be craft activities in all three of our branches - Sea Mills, Shirehampton and Avonmouth - with a Magic Show at Sea Mills on Friday 26th August (a nominal charge applies). So call in to any of the branches for more details and to book a place.

We can’t have our more mature visitors feeling left out so we will remind you of a few of our treats for you. Why not drop in to Sea Mills library on a Tuesday morning between 11 and 12 and have a well earned sit down with a cup of tea or coffee (and a biscuit) whilst you browse the newspapers.

If you prefer something a little livelier in enjoyable company, come along to Sea Mills Reading Group who meet on the 2nd Monday of the month at 10.30am, when you can listen to, or join in the discussion on the previous month’s chosen book, with the help of a spot of refreshment before collecting the book for this month. So if you enjoy talking about books as well as reading them, come and join our pleasant group of like-minded people - they don’t bite honestly...

We will also be having an exhibition of work at Sea Mills from the local Art Group during August. If you belong to a local community group and would like to put on a display of your work then please pop along to the library and have a word with us. We look forward to seeing you all in the coming months.

Eileen, Jo and all the Team.

St. Mary’s News

Hi Folks!

Yes, it's me again turning up once more like the proverbial bad penny with news and events at St. Mary's for the month of August. But before I do so I must tell you of our Parish Outing to Winchester. The day started off with Brunch in the church, which would have put any Four Star hotel to shame - it was absolutely super! Then it was onto the Coach by 10.00 am for the 2 hour journey to Winchester where we had a few hours free to look around Winchester and its shops. As it was a Friday, the weekly Market was being held in the main street - with stalls right down through the centre of the road. Then during the early part of the afternoon we went to Winchester Cathedral for a guided tour around the building where we were shown where Jane Austen the Authoress was buried and also the tomb commemorating St. Swithin - although I believe his remains were removed at some time during the past. Following the tour we then went to a Marquee in the Cathedral grounds for a Cream Tea after which we entered the Cathedral once more for Choral Evensong which commenced at 5.30 pm. Friday is the one day of the week when the full Cathedral Choir sing Evensong. We were seated in the Chancel next to the Choir which consisted of 12 men, 16 boys and 5 probationers. Their singing was absolutely marvellous - Tim Forder and myself were drooling over the wonderful sound of their singing, particularly when they sang the Magnificat and Nunc Dimitis to the setting by Charles Villier Stanford in C. Whenever there was a pause in the music the sound of the boy choristers echoed all around the building. Every word sung was perfect - absolutely no difficulty in understanding what they were singing. Regrettably it all ended too soon and it was back on the Coach for the return journey to Bristol. A perfect day with some wonderful memories. Thanks Gill Sawyer for arranging it all!

During the early part of July several members of our congregation opened their Gardens for all to see. This is always a very pleasant social event as well as a money raiser! Grateful thanks must go to the Rev. Trevor Hearn, Eddie Shaw and Mary and Richard Powell. Check the list at the back of the church for the open gardens in August - I know you will be welcomed with open arms.

Bradley House Residential Home in the High Street are holding their Summer Fayre in the rear garden from 3.00 pm to 5.00 pm on Saturday, 13th August and once again have most generously decided to give the proceeds to St. Mary's. We are indeed most grateful and deeply indebted to Monique and Elizabeth for their generosity. So please put this date in your Diary - the Bar-B-Q last year had some wonderful Burgers and Sausages - I know because I tasted them!!

Whilst some activities are closed during the month of August we still have "Messy Church" on Thursday, 18th. August. This has proved to be so popular we notice the Baptist Church have decided to have a "Messy Church" session as well. So there you are kids - you now have two "Messy Church" sessions to attend each month. You are being spoilt for choice!!

St. Mary's is holding a Bric-a-Brac Sale in church on Saturday, 20th. August from 10.00 am until 12.00 noon. Donations of items for sale would be most gratefully received and also your attendance on the day of the sale to make purchases. Last year’s sale was very successful and produced a considerable amount of money for Church Funds. Again proceeds from this Sale will also go to Church Funds. Your support in the past helps to keep St. Mary's solvent - our fund raising events are most important to us!

Our Seniors Week this year is from Monday 22nd. until Friday, 26th. August. Sorry there are no more vacancies - you have to put your name down early as it is such wonderful value for money. We always have Coffee and Biscuits on arrival followed by some form of entertainment - then it is time for a super Lunch and Pudding, followed by further entertainment or a Speaker before Tea and Cakes prior to going home. We always have a Coach Trip during the week and this year we are going to have Lunch and Tea at Tortworth Court, which is not far from Leyhill Open Prison in South Gloucestershire. Have no fear - I am assured the inmates from the Prison are not employed on Work Experience as Waiters!!!

August Bank Holiday Monday - 29th. August - is the last of this seasons Open Church Days when you will have the opportunity to purchase Lunch and later on during the afternoon - Cream Teas - at what are extremely reasonable prices. This is also another fund raising event and we were extremely pleased at the last Open Church Day to welcome other folk who are not regular members of our congregations - it was a pleasure to see them. So if you are on your own and would like some company and good home cooked food, then this is the place to come!

At 3.30 pm on Thursday, 1st. September we are holding a Celebrating Age Festival in St. Mary's - which includes a Party for "Grand-dad, Grandma and Me" - so children make sure you bring your grandparents along on that day. If you don't have grandchildren or children you are still most welcome to come along and join in the fun which is suitable for all members of the family. I hope to be there and enjoy myself - so you must come too!

This month you are asked to remember in your prayers all those in our Village who live in High Street, Lower High Street, Park Hill and The Green.

Now this month’s yarn comes from Jean Edmonds, faithful congregation member of St. Mary's. I found it extremely funny and it goes - A Vicar and his wife decided to have the Churchwardens and their wives to dinner. When it was time for the meal, everyone was seated and the Vicar's wife asked her little four-year-old daughter if she would say grace. The girl said, "I don't know what to say". Her Mum then told her, "Just say what I say". So everyone bowed their head and the little girl said, "O dear Lord, why am I having all these people over for dinner? Amen!" ..and there's probably a lot of truth in that one!!! 'Bye for now - C.M.E.

From the Registers At St Mary's June 2011

BAPTISMS "We welcome you"

June 26th - Josie Benden, Reece Lake

FUNERALS "At rest and at peace"

June 3rd Wendy Edwards (at Canford), 17th Margaret Scadding (at St Mary’s)

WEDDING BLESSING "All that I am I give to you"

June 11th - Grant Britton & Jessica Goessens, Alan Pook & Marie Hamblin

18th Chris Niemczyk & Lorraine Marshall

25th Richard Mitchell & Lucy-Jane Everitt, Jody Johnson & Lori McLaughlin

Remembering Dave

On a lovely sunny evening on 29th June this year, I was invited to a small ceremony at the Shirehampton Public Hall to dedicate a remembrance bench to the memory of my late husband. Dave became the ‘odd-job’ man at the public hall totally by chance one day when he was asked to repair a door hinge, from then on he was asked to do little maintenance tasks around the hall, culminating in the nearly full restoration of the clock mechanism and making sure it always displayed the correct time. Dave continued with his ‘maintenance duties’ until ill health reluctantly forced him to stop climbing the clock tower. My family and I would like to thank most sincerely Mary Hayball, Norman Sims and all members of the Shirehampton Public Hall committee for the honour of having a little bit of ‘Shire’ dedicated to a wonderful husband and father.

Jean, Anne, Phillip, David and Stephen Tudor.

Thank you for your kind donation - Ed.

Letters to the Editor

Avonmouth FC

Dear ‘Shire’,

On Sunday 28th August 2011, Avonmouth FC and Shirehampton FC are proudly holding a Charity Fun Day to commemorate the life of Sam ‘Syd’ Brimson. Syd was a local lad and a sufferer of Cystic Fibrosis. He died unexpectedly in June, just weeks before his 22nd birthday. Syd’s friends from Avonmouth FC and Shirehampton FC have decided to celebrate his short life by organising a football match in his honour.

All families and businesses within the local communities are invited to join in the celebrations and all funds raised on the day will be donated to Bristol based charity The Cystic Fibrosis Comfort Fund, which was the main source of help and support to Syd and his family throughout his short life. Also on the day we are doing 'Sunnies for Syd' - everyone will be asked to wear funny sunglasses in celebration of our friend who we all miss so much.

Events planned for the day include a football match between Syd’s family and closest friends, raffle with fantastic prizes, sports memorabilia auction, bouncy castle, face painting and all day BBQ ending with a presentation evening at Shirehampton Football Club. We are hoping that as our local newspaper you will be able to assist us with publicity for this event in order to raise awareness of this terminal illness. Faye Stone

(Further details available on or 0117 9823348)

Paths and walkways

Dear Editor

Thank you to all the readers of The Shire that called the National Trust regarding the paths that have become badly over grown. This resulted in two phone calls from the National Trust. We now have clarification from the National Trust that all paths and walkways are part of the tenancy agreement and should be kept clear at all times. So hopefully Shirehampton Park Golf Course should carry out an assessment of all the paths and they should implement a program to keep all the paths clear for everyone that enjoys a walk around the park.

Cheers all, this is the result of 'Waynes Winge'.

Lost Family member Peggy Hervey

Seeking the whereabouts of Peggy Hervey, born in June 1950 at Almondsbury. The family have lost contact but believe she lives somewhere in the Bristol area. As children she and her brother were in a children’s home for a while. The family can be contacted on 07963264290-Edward Hervey.


Dear Editor,

I would like to thank the staff of Elite Hairdressers, High St., Shirehampton (Rosa, Chantelle, Seannen and also Lorraine) for providing sponsorship re: the "Head shave" which enabled me to raise the sum of £123.50 for Cancer Research UK. Thank you ALL, family, friends, neighbours and trades people for your kind sponsorship. I would also like to thank "Shire" photographer Bob Pitchford for kindly supplying the attached photograph. A cheque has been sent off to Cancer Research UK, Sterling House, Oxford, OX4 2MB on 25th June 2011.

Yours sincerely, Peter Grant,


Ann Kington, former Club Secretary for the City & Port of Bristol Social Club (PBA Club) wishes to inform all members and friends of the club that she resigned from her position on 31st May 2011. She did not retire as people have been informed.


The Sea Mills AmDram (SMAD), a community theatre group based in Sea Mills, Bristol is producing the first musical they have put on in the two years since they started.

They are performing 'Godspell', a musical written by Stephen Schwartz and John-Michael Tebelak. As you may or may not be aware, this year marks the fortieth anniversary of Godspell's Broadway premiere. The home theatre, Sea Mills Community Centre, also celebrated it's fortieth anniversary last summer so for SMAD it is a double celebration. The performance takes place during August, the 3rd to the 5th and support from the public would be much appreciated.

Lorraine wins award

Lorraine Douglas has won an award from City of Bristol College. Lorraine attended South Bristol Skills Academy and completed a level 2 in Nail Services. She then went on to complete level 3 in Sculptured Acrylic and Gel Nails where she was entered for a competition. Students were asked to work to the theme ‘under the sea’. Lorraine was handed the award for 1st place and also received gifts from Ezflow Nail Systems which were presented by Rebbecca Orme.

Nature Walks - Lawrence Weston

Lawrence Weston may be losing some of it social meeting places (e.g. pubs) but it is very well served with nature paths and trails. On one side are Penpole Woods and Blaise Woods and Park (with its marvellous children’s playgrounds) and on the Severn side the saltmarshes.

Despite being squeezed between the Estate and the M5, this part of the marshes is full of wildlife: foxes, rabbits, birds and water-fowl, and other land and water life. Besides all this is the City Farm, with its variety of domesticated animals.

The paths and cycle tracks are extensive, from all-weather (tarmacadam) paths to rough footpaths. The only all-weather path through a nature reserve in Shire is, perhaps, the one from the Lamplighters to the M5 bridge.

Again, despite being wedged between the motorway and the Estate, there is a great variety of flora. This is enhanced by the water-plants in the large rhine which runs through the area.

Youth is well served by the huge skateboard park adjacent to the estate - a facility we could well do with in Shire, as it is too far to travel on foot from the village, with a skateboard under your arm.

The land near the houses is all neatly cut and even rougher marshland is cut regularly and not allowed to grow into ‘meadowland’ (as is Shirehampton Park).

If you are looking for new and interesting walks, you could do no better than try this lovely ‘nature park’ almost on your doorstep. GO

In memory of Mary Howell 26 April 1929 - 10 June 2011

George and family would like to thank relatives and friends who attended Mary’s funeral on 24 June and also to say thank you to those who made donations to CLIC in her memory. A big thank you to you all.

Volunteer land workers welcome.

Tynings Field Community Group are operating two workdays a month on the second Sunday and fourth Sunday from 10am until 1pm. If you wish to volunteer a couple of hours a month maintaining the ground and helping to plan a new project working in a small organised group then please get in touch. We are able to take adults but not children at the moment for health and safety reasons. Our workdays are aiming to be fun and end with tea and picnic. Our first task is weeding and preparation work. We operate an equal opportunities policy. If you have been out of work for a while and wish to get back into doing something now is your chance, it doesn’t matter if you have no experience of gardening. We are running new workshops at Tynings Field open to all and to be held locally and are free - these are:

-Seed swap half hour - a half hour workshop of seed swapping. This is open now and seeking seed swappers.

-Chicken keepers support workshop - an informal group supporting the welfare and wellbeing of chickens by sharing information. This is open to people now so if interested get in touch.

-Bat Box making workshop. To be held early autumn hopefully to coincide around the time of a bat walk held by SCAF places are limited on this one -so book early.

You can contact us on 01179773413/9090440 or e mail

Coming soon - Craft Exhibition

It might seem ages away but October will be here before we know it so to all craftsmen and women here is a reminder that the exhibition will be held in the Public Hall from 25th - 29th October, and we need your skills to maintain the standard of previous years. So please start thinking about what you can exhibit and look out for the application form in the September edition of 'Shire'.

August by Gordon Ivor King

Named after Augustus, Emperor of Rome,
Featured in Encyclopaedia Brittanica, a far larger tome.
The only day of note is the very last Monday
when we have a bank holiday, a chance to get away.
From the beginning, factory and office workers, town-dwellers too,
Race like lemmings to the seaside for a break that’s overdue.
Those that stay at home are lawn mowing and hedge trimming,
External painting, window cleaning with enthusiasm brimming

Harvest festivals are taking place in churches near and far,
Church-goers donate fruit and vegetables and pickles in a jar.
The corn harvest begins, everyone working to capacity,
Hops are being gathered too with feverish tenacity.
August can be scorching hot with heath and forest tinder dry,
The slightest spark, a piece of glass and all in its path could die.
Sudden violent thunderstorms can catch us all off guard,
but as with fires, savage storms for wildlife can be very hard.

Winged ants rise from nests built in crevices and cracks
and swallows high above are pouncing on these tasty snacks.
Hedgerows in full bloom, green blackberries just creating
red hawthorn and rowan berries on which birds are satiating.
Heather drapes the hills and moors, blue harebell scattered through,
Yarrow, white on grassland and yellow feverfew.
Pipistrelle bats sleep all day and hunt insects at night,
Buzzards circling overhead, masters of their flight.

The grey squirrel, bushy tail flowing, scrambling up and down
the parkland trees and venturing into town,
becoming ever friendlier, taking titbits from the hand,
Finding winter storage for food that’s available on demand,
a woodmouse scuttles silently through undergrowth searching for seeds,
‘twill continue searching till it satisfies its needs.
In the deep wood a wildcat is quietly and stealthily stalking
The woodmouse, which is vigilantly alert and the wildcat is left sulking.

Geese of many species home in on marsh and estuary,
food a-plenty, water handy, safe in nature’s sanctuary.
The roe deer stag is an impetuous male, he starts his rutting early,
although he stands just three feet tall, he does look rather masterly.
With most family holidays over and before they return to school,
Take the children to the local zoo where they can freely drool
Over the antics and the beauty of the residents they will see,
For September will be here tomorrow and back to school they’ll be.


This is the story of a lane. It begins on an afternoon in mid-March with the ghost of a half moon riding high in a cobalt sky and a celandine the size of an old penny. A chestnut mare and foal look over the fence with an air of inquiry, no doubt hoping I have an apple or at least an old peppermint tucked deep in my pocket, but I search in vain. A hapless toad has attempted to cross the lane, but has met with disaster. That’s strange, as there is no water nearby. The secret army of cuckoo pint is on the move again. These plants remind me of hooded monks on their way to the Crusades due to the way they suddenly surge as if gathering their forces together.

A few weeks later and an early morning walk takes me past two cottages dating back to the reign of Henry VIII. They have stood there so long they seem to be growing out of the earth and the eaves are noisy with starlings. One cottage offers eggs and potatoes for sale and until recently a cockerel in the adjacent small-holding proclaimed the dawn in time-honoured fashion, strutting amongst his hens as proudly as Chaucer’s Chanticleer. I look over the wall and a pure white goat stares back amiably as it continues to munch. The apple trees are coming into flower and already there’s a dusting of fallen petals round the animal. A train on the branch line hoots as it passes through.

Sparrows are far too busy nesting to take any notice of me as they fly back and forth, beaks laden with twigs and straw. What will that one do with a piece of silver paper though...? The blackthorn has broken but it is the haberdasher cow parsley that will shortly smother the hedgerow in lace. In May I find fifteen wild flowers, ranging from Campion to Bird’s Foot Trefoil and Green Alkanet in a stretch of ground no more than two metres in length.

Summer is a drowsy time in the lane, disturbed only by an occasional raucous magpie or a grass snake slithering through the dusty undergrowth. There may be a sighting of a Red Admiral or Peacock butterfly but this is rare. Orange Tips and Brimstones are far more usual, and the Common Blue. The allotment holders are beginning to harvest and signs of Autumn appear. I look forward to a time when I can pick handfuls of blackberries as I return from shopping.

As the leaves fall I enjoy the crunch of them under my boots and a remembered delight from childhood when we stripped the veins bare as skeletons on our way home from school. On a wet November day when they have turned to sludge and the lane glistens, I notice a fig tree in one of the cottage gardens has toppled over and the path is littered with unripe fruit. A few late specimens of Dove’s foot Cranesbill survive and Dandelions, those least considered heroes of the flower world, are still valiantly bright.

It’s nearly Christmas and the bitter wind that has blown all day suddenly drops. Next morning frost flowers have appeared, clothing even the most withered stalk with a ghostly beauty. A robin stands with its head cocked as if considering its greetings card potential. Amazed that we are out so early a hedgehog scuttles across our path in disbelief.

On a January evening I look up and see the stars caught in the boughs of an oak so old you would swear that it must be dead and yet know that next Spring its canopy of leaves will be a dancing green once again. Its survival is as remarkable as that of the lane itself. It is not, as might be supposed, part of a Cotswold village or set deep in the Cornish countryside. Instead, it is the lower section of a built up suburban road, bisected by a main arterial route into the city. Its importance lies in its very existence as a microcosm of all that is thought of as our countryside. When so much has been lost, if the developers and the Local Authority will only allow, perhaps the story of the lane will have no end...

Gill Sheppard

Chapel film club

Chapel Film club commemorated the D-Day anniversary in June by holding a special event in aid of ‘Help for Heroes’. The afternoon started with numerous songs performed by The Soldiers followed by the war-time film ‘Cottage to Let ‘, which featured John Mills and a teenage George Cole. The film club was pleased to raise £102 for ‘Help for Heroes’.

Regulars at the film club have suggested that a musical would be popular. Our film club on Monday 15th August will feature a much loved Rogers and Hammerstein musical (our licence prevents us from advertising outside the church other than via a leaflet or word of mouth). The film starts at 2pm in Shirehampton Methodist church.

The Blooming Great Tea Party

This was held on Saturday June 11th at the Cotswold Centre and £263.40 was raised for Marie Curie nursing funds. Thanks to all who supported this event, especially friends who helped make it possible. Bridget Williams

The Spectacular Shirehampton Summer fair

Sunday 28th August 12.30 -5pm

At Shire Cricket club, Penpole Lane

Stalls, food, bouncy castles, games, fair-rides, amusements, beer and cider, Gladiator jousting, face-painting, cakes, jams and lots more.

Fun for all the family


The Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways (FOSBR) has recently produced a guide to pubs along the Severn beach line to encourage the use of the train service for people wanting to visit a pub. The train continues to be the cheapest way to travel in Bristol and allows people to leave their cars at home. Copies of the guide are available at the pubs (Miles Arms and The George locally) and at the library along with timetables, otherwise it is available on our website FOSBR has decided to hold its public meetings in the pubs on the guide and details are below. All are welcome to join us.

Pub trail dates:-

  • Sun 31st July - Miles Arms (Avonmouth Station)
  • Sat 28 August - Sugar Loaf (Stapleton Road Station)
  • Sun 25 September - Millhouse (Sea Mills Station)
  • Sun 30 October - Prince of Wales (Montpelier Station)
  • Sun 27 November - Kensington Arms (Redland Station)

Eileen Crowley 10.02.25 - 21.06.11

Eileen was born in the City of Cork, Ireland met and married Andy Crowley from Kinsale in 1949. Andy and Eileen moved to England and in 1957 moved into their home in Groveleaze. They had 3 children Christine, Gerard and Shaun. Andy was a local councillor for many years and with his friend and fellow councillor Ernie Bristow between the two of them looked after the needs of the local residents. They were honoured by two of the roads for the bypass of Avonmouth village being named Crowley Way and Bristow Broadway. Andy passed way in 1987 and Eileen started out on a life without him.

Eileen supported her children and spouses in their lives and was always a ‘hands- on’ Nan, she was dearly loved and adored by all of her 9 grandchildren. They loved being in their Nan’s company and especially enjoyed eating all her puddings. Eileen found great solace in her religion right up to the end and attended St Bernard’s Church where she would meet up with her friends.

Near the end of her life, due to mini strokes, Eileen was struck down with the dreaded illness Dementia which gradually wore away her independence. With great support from her family, friends and carers Eileen was able to continue to live in her home until May this year.

Eileen will be missed so much by all who knew her; she was a great Irish lady and was cherished so dearly by her family and friends.

The family would like to thank everyone for all the kind words, prayers and messages of sympathy, which have supported them through their sad loss.

Thank you for all the donations in memory of Eileen given to aid of Dementia and Cancer charities.

Rabbit Rescue in Shirehampton

Sharon Porton of Shirehampton recently featured in the Bristol Evening Post in connection with the creation of The Littlest Rescue formed in association with a Staple Hill Rescue centre Boarding Bunnies at Home. Abandoned pets charities are struggling to survive or been forced to close during the recession so this new enterprise is good news for unwanted rabbits. She has rescued rabbits that will take a long time to recover from neglect or lack of proper care and feels there is a general lack of understanding about their needs. Mrs Porton thinks rabbits are not ideal pets for young children as they can be difficult to handle and they also take a lot of work cleaning out so many youngsters lose interest. However, she says they make good pets if properly cared for and are happiest when paired with a member of the opposite sex (if neutered). She also monitors the classified ads to advise families giving away their pets because they are not always given to responsible carers. Both Shirehampton and Staple Hill Littlest Rescues have rabbits and sometimes guinea pigs available to good homes and are looking for people who might consider adopting an animal in future. More information on

Free compost bin

If anyone can find a home for a large compost bin free of charge, please contact David or June Vincent at 48 Pembroke Rd, on 9829474.

All the Fun of the Seaside

Photo: Kathryn Courtney-O'Neill

Photo: Kathryn Courtney-O'Neill

A report on the Messy Church Day at the Seaside at Shirehampton Baptist Church was featured in the July issue of 'Shire' - there will be another Messy Church day on the last Saturday in September.