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News Index

Sun Shines on Tithe Barn Opening

Tynings Field Community Group Newsletter

Lord Mayor Marks SCAF’s 10th Birthday

Letters to the Editor

Village Tragedy - One Hundred Years On

Dear Nursery Friends!

One Saturday Afternoon!!

Public Hall Newsletter - Nov 2011

Oasis Academy Brightstowe Hosts Paralympian Chris Holmes

St. Mary’s News

Shirehampton Cricket Club U11s Season : 2011

Sun Shines on Tithe Barn Opening

Lord Lieutenant of the City, Mrs Mary Prior, cutting the ribbon.     Photo: Bob Pitchford

Lord Lieutenant of the City, Mrs Mary Prior, cutting the ribbon. Photo: Bob Pitchford

The sunshine and blue skies which graced the morning of Sunday October 2nd provided a welcome backdrop for the service of dedication and official opening of the Tithe Barn.

With the words of the familiar Harvest hymns still hanging in the air from the weekend before, it seemed the perfect time of year to celebrate the labour of so many people coming to fruition as this 500+ year-old building prepared to open wide its doors to serve its community again.

‘All is safely gathered in...’ - for centuries, those old stones and timbers had gathered and taken care of the village’s grain; now it would be looking after its people’s needs in a new way.

Gathered at St Mary’s for the service were the PCC and many members of the congregation who had faithfully supported the project over the last three years or more, as well as many supporters and donors from the wider community and the city of Bristol.

The service was led by the Bishop of Bristol, the Rt Rev Mike Hill, who gave an inspiring talk on the meaning of community which will have spoken to many of those sitting in the congregation who work so hard to promote and support community initiatives in the village.

The Bishop was assisted by a familiar face in the form of the new Archdeacon of Malmesbury, the Venerable Christine Froude, who was able to help bless and dedicate the building for which she had had such a strong vision so many years before.

Distinguished guests who turned out to show their support and see Shirehampton looking at its best included the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress (who were making their second trip to the village in as many days - lucky them!), the High Sheriff, Dr John Cottrell, and the Lord Lieutenant of the city, Mrs Mary Prior.

Outside the Tithe Barn Opening Day.   Photo: Bob Pitchford

Outside the Tithe Barn Opening Day. Photo: Bob Pitchford

Following a short procession down to the Tithe Barn, Cgave a short introduction, said prayers and the Lord Lieutenant cut the ribbon across the beautifully crafted wooden doors to allow people a first glimpse of the fantastic new spaces that have been created in this historic building.

As ever, there is more to do, more money to raise and continuing plans to develop - but everyone present was able to see how much has been achieved already and how this important building in our village’s history has been given a new lease of life which should see it through many more Harvests yet.


Inside the Tithe Barn Opening Day.    Photo: Bob Pitchford

Inside the Tithe Barn Opening Day. Photo: Bob Pitchford

PS: Watch this space for more details on the progress of the Tithe Barn, including plans for a community event at which everyone will be able to have a look round the building.


Fun for all the family on Fri Dec 2nd 5 - 9pm St. BERNARDS SCHOOL

  • Shire Gosliel choir Live Bands
  • Sholiliing night
  • Raising money for local good causes and South West Children’s Hosliice

Bookings being taken for stalls/car boot etc call Lizzy; PJ’s Barber Shop 0117 9381123


Shirehampton Christmas Lights

With Christmas approaching, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all members of the Shirehampton Christmas Lights Associatiuon for their fund raising efforts throughout the year. I would like to extend my gratitude to everyone at ‘The Shire’ newspaper for their ongoing support. In addition I would like to thank all the people who have donated money to the Christmas Lights tins in shops around the village and also all the local traders who support us each year.

Please remember that all members of the SCLA are volunteers and all of our activities are funded by donations, so please continue to support us. Collection tins are situated in various shops around the village.

We would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Kind Regards

William Duguid, Chairman of Shirehampton Christmas Lights Association

Shirehampton Christmas Fayre 2011

LAST year I held the first Shirehampton Christmas Street Fayre. The event consisted of fairground rides, stalls and street entertainment. It was an amazing success and by popular demand it’s back this year!!

The preparations are under way and we are liaising with the council to secure this year’s event which is planned to be twice the size. St Bernard’s School are joining us and are opening up their premises to help host the Fayre.

The event is funded purely on donations and the money raised is put back into the pot to ensure that the event continues every year. The event is for our children and their families in our community so it seems fitting that we make a donation from the profit to help South west Children’s Hospice.

Last year I presented a cheque of £500 to the Hospice. I was blown away by this wonderful place when I was kindly given a tour of the site. The facilities and the support given to the children and their families during such a difficult time are outstanding. The love that radiated from every inch of the building inspired me to want to do as much as I could to help them again this year.

With this in mind I am now looking for as much support as I can get to make this event go well. I am asking if you could dig deep into your heart and offer us great raffle prizes, a financial donation or your time on the day

Things I am in need of help with:

  • Raffle prizes
  • Gazebos (loaned for the event and returned. As many as we can organise)
  • Camping lights (loaned to light the stalls)
  • Toys for Santa’s grotto (I am expecting to have 150 - 200 children visit this year)
  • Posters
  • Banners (x 10)
  • Road closure barriers

I am able to provide space for 40 stalls this year so if you would like to raise money for your own good cause I would love to hear from you. It doesn’t matter whether you are selling as a business or just wanting to Car Boot all your old items, please support me and book a stall.

For information please call in to PJ’s Barber Shop/Lady PJ’s Hairdressing or call on 01179 381123.

I would like to thank everyone who supported this event last year and I am very grateful for your ongoing support.

Lizzy Tucker

Tynings Field Community Group Newsletter

Tynings Field

Tynings Field

Tynings Field is a resource for the whole of the Shirehampton Community, and beyond. What we do with the field is really up to the community. It has been up and running since July 2011 and currently we are still looking for volunteers who are interested in growing flowers, fruit, vegetables or even tending small livestock, such as chickens and geese. We rely solely on volunteers and we need gardeners, or those interested in learning, to come and do a few hours a month, so if you are able and interested, please do. Our work continues through the winter, there’s always plenty to do.

Whenever we talk to people in Shire about the project we are constantly surprised by the number of people who don’t know about the project or where we are.

Work and Open days - starting 1st October from 3pm onwards on Tuesday, Wednesday and alternate Saturday afternoons, and all day Sundays.

Education - This project is also for young people to learn so if you are a school or organisation that could benefit from this please get in touch. Oasis Academy Brightstowe (Portway School) will be adding it to their enrichment programme of extra curricular lessons for the students. Avon Autistic Foundation have also expressed an interest and we await a response from the two Primary Schools.

Scarecrows - We are still looking for someone to make us scarecrows, some local children perhaps?

Totterdown Art Trail - We have been offered a shared space on the Totterdown Art Trail, the weekend of 19th November - a garage space next to the Oxford Pub, not growing veg, but as its an art trail we are doing vegetable art. This is one way of taking what we do to the opposite side of the City where we will be able to promote what we’re doing in a different way. After all, veg can look nice done up in a bouquet or used for printing, also we can make ‘cauliflower sheep’ which will hopefully compliment the geurilla ducks we are sharing the space with! If anyone wishes to come along and give us some help that weekend, please get in touch or just come along on the day.

Planting - We made the most of the late warm sunny spell to get out into the field and continued planting mustard and a mixture of rapeseed and mangel beet. Mustard kills wire-worm which inhabits grassland and attacks root crops, it can wipe out a whole crop. Having said that, our spinach did survive and is now ready, along with the kale and cabbage. So, if you are a member, come along on one of our open days to see what free veg is available.

As the warm sun set behind the river in the West we hoed another strip and planted it. Butterflies flitted around in the longer grass, where we have planted flowers to encourage them, and a nosey robin came to see what we were doing!

There was a reasonably good turn out for the daffodil planting day, and thanks to Ash and Shire Greens for their assistance, the bulbs are now in. Also, the poly tunnel has now been erected.

The Pillbox in Tynings Field - Thank you to those who contacted us. We have had one person, age 81, who can remember back, who thinks it is part of the remount depot based in Shirehampton during WW1. Apparently this stretched from Shire Hill to the riverbank. The remount was where horses were trained for WW1, so it is possible. We have also heard back from Archaeology at the Council who think it is an Anderson shelter, the reason being, a pillbox would have a roof, whereas this one has no roof. The mystery continues, we have entered it onto community layer so it has an historic environment record and we await a copy of the RAF maps which should indicate if it is a pillbox, but it has still not been positively identified.

Donations & Transport - Many fruit bushes and trees have been generously donated and these will need to be planted soon. The orchard will have trees of varying heights making it more accessible. Bonfire Night will be in early November and you are very welcome to come along.

We would like to thank everyone who has donated plants and trees and also those who have helped to deliver them, especially Charlton Coaches. If anyone else can provide a van or small truck to collect and deliver donations around the Shirehampton area we would like to hear from you.

Clothes for money - Thank you to all those who continue to donate clothes to Tynings Field Community Group Recycling Fund Raising Initiative. The money continues to help in buying tools etc. Keep em coming! Clean and undamaged clothes, in dry bags to 65 Woodwell Road, Shirehampton, Bristol BS11 9UG.

If you have any garden tools, plant pots or any other gardening equipment that you are disposing of, or if you wish to talk about the project, please contact Caroline or Jim on 0117-9090440/9773413 or come to Tynings Field when we’re working.

Thank you for your support - Jim Penny - Chairman

Bristol Council Tenants Participation Awards

SCAF - Shire Greens nominated Tynings Field Community Group among a number of projects as part of the Bristol Council Tenants Participation Awards for green volunteer projects throughout Bristol.

The ceremony was at M shed, in the new event suite, in the middle of the afternoon, with refreshments provided. The tenant participation officer said "it had been difficult to choose one winner out of everyone who had participated in their own way", and its true, everyone there had done something in their community, so in a way all present there were all equally committed in different ways and were all equally deserving of an award but only a few got one.

The Tenant Participation award for the "Person Who Has Done the Most in Their Community In the Shirehampton Area", went to Sandra White of Penpole Residents Association who has worked tirelessly and committedly. Tynings Field Community Group came second in the Special Projects section, despite the fact that it has only been going for 3 months. Well done!

Lord Mayor Marks SCAF’s 10th Birthday

Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF) celebrated the 10th anniversary of its first meeting on 1 October. The Lord Mayor of Bristol, the Rt Hon Cllr Geoff Gollop, attended the celebration at the Public Hall.

A brief formal AGM approved the annual report and accounts for the past year, and confirmed the election of new and retiring trustees. Pat Roberts stepped down as a trustee after supporting SCAF throughout its existence, initially as a local councillor, and then as a trustee. Chairman David Thomas presented Pat with a bouquet to mark her 10 years work with SCAF.

David Thomas presents a bouquet to Pat Roberts.   Photo: Bob Pitchford

David Thomas presents a bouquet to Pat Roberts. Photo: Bob Pitchford

SCAF works through a series of Action Groups. These deliver SCAF’s programme in the areas of community safety, support for young people, publicising planning applications, working to improve green spaces, and developing children’s play areas. The play areas group has just been awarded a Lottery grant of £50,000 for a new set of play equipment in Springfield Rd, which will also be supported by the City Council. Representatives of each group summarised their work in the past year.

The Lord Mayor of Bristol addresses the SCAF AGM.   Photo: Bob Pitchford

The Lord Mayor of Bristol addresses the SCAF AGM. Photo: Bob Pitchford

Geoff Gollop, the Lord Mayor of Bristol, said how pleased he was to come to Shirehampton and see the work of SCAF. He told us not to underestimate our success in creating a sense of community, and said how he was impressed by SCAF’s sense of vision, and all the hard work which supported that. As a City Councillor, it was a pleasant change to hear stories of achievements, rather than complaints.

The Lady Mayoress cutting SCAFs 10th Birthday cake.     Photo: Bob Pitchford

The Lady Mayoress cutting SCAFs 10th Birthday cake. Photo: Bob Pitchford

To wind up the morning, the Lady Mayoress, Mrs Bernice Gollop, cut SCAF’s 10th birthday cake.

Footpaths on the Golf Course

As editor I have received another "angry" letter concerning the state of some of the footpaths used by the general public crossing the Golf Course. Since this topic has been raised before, and answered by the Golf Club, I contacted Karen Rix, the Club Secretary, for a current report. She assured me that work on all the footpaths was done on a regular basis but that a recent loss of staff and some unforeseen problems with the greens, have caused difficulties with the work schedule. She issued the following statement - (Editor)

Letters to the Editor


Dear Editor,

I understand you have received a letter regarding the footpaths. Not knowing what has been said makes it difficult for me to respond in any detail. We take our commitments to keep the pathways in good condition seriously and as a priority, work is already in process. However, in mitigation, we have been experiencing a very strong growing period in recent months, and our staff have been spending a considerable portion of their time keeping up with general course maintenance.

I would welcome the opportunity to meet with the person concerned to hear about their specific concerns and we will do our best to address the issue they have.

Kind regards

Karen Rix - Club Secretary

Karen can be contacted at the Golf Club on 0117 982 2083 ext.1

Trevor Morgan

The family of Trev Morgan would like to thank everyone for their beautiful cards and flowers, and all those who came to his funeral in September. The amount raised in donations was £558.60, and was shared between The Prostate Cancer Charity and Juvenile Diabetes Research.

Many thanks

Gladys Morgan

(Thank you for your donation - Ed)

The Bristol Shiplovers’ 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 (7.30 p.m.) Meeting on the following Tuesdays -

1st November Why Sailing Ships need a Chief Engineer - Kevin Slater

15th November Sir Charles Parson and the Dreadnought Age - Mr John Anning

29th November D-Day - Mine-sweeping Operations of Day 1 - Mr David Verghese

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

VISITORS ARE VERY WELCOME - £3.00 per head (Thank you for your donation - Ed)

A Tribute to Dave Worthy

Dave Worthy was a great supporter and friend of The Avonmouth Football Club and he will be sadly missed by both the players and the committee. Our sympathy goes out to his wife Janet, his son Lee and all his family.

Pat Stone.

Betty Clarke (nee Room)

Betty Clarke (nee Room) died recently aged 92 in the BRI after a short illness. She came from a family in which she was one of three girls who lived, first, in Sea Mills and then in Shirehampton where she made many friends. There she met and married Reg Clarke with whom she bore two sons, Alan and Andrew. Their lives were heavily involved in the village life of Shire, especially through St. Mary’s Church and, of course, the 191st Scout group.

In 1968 they moved to Failand where they lived out their years as active members of the community though still retaining links with Shirehampton. Betty enjoyed a network of friends and family contacts, was a loving mother, grandmother and, recently, great-grandmother and took great pride in her family both near and far.

Her life was celebrated by a full church at St. Bartholomews, Failand, with many travelling from Shirehampton and indeed much further afield, to be there to see Betty’s family give her a send-off she would have loved to see.

Her passing brings the end of an era and there will be many people, including her family and far beyond it, who will miss a lovely lady and a special friend very much indeed.

Andy Clarke

(Thank you for your donation - Ed)

Stopping Violence Programme for Bristol

A programme to help men stop hurting their partners is proving highly successful. Run by Splitz, a locally based charity working to reduce domestic abuse, the Stopping Violence Programme is for Bristol men who voluntarily put themselves forward because they want to change their behaviour. They may be on the verge of splitting up with a partner or losing their children, or just realise that their abuse is damaging their relationships.

Funded by Safer Bristol, the programme means that men can now get help and support to break the cycle of their behaviour of hurting the one they love.

It includes in-depth sessions to help men face up to and tackle issues, which affect their behaviour. It trains them in techniques to change their behaviour so that if they are frustrated or angry they can channel it in other ways.

An important element to the training is that the female partners are contacted, monitored and supported throughout the course.

Anyone who is interested in joining a group or would just like to ask a question about the service, can contact Charlotte on 07587 77004

Adam William O’Neill 25/10/1928 - 5/9/2011

Eileen, Dawn and Georgina O’Neill, Rita, Ern and Chloe Rich would like to thank family and friends for cards, flowers and messages of sympathy. Our amazing husband, father and special granddad died peacefully at Frenchay Hospital on 5th September 2011 with the love of his family around him.

Adam was born in Kinsale, Co. Cork and first came to Avonmouth aged 19 to join the Merchant Navy. In 1957 Eileen and Adam were married at St. Andrews Church, Avonmouth. Adam was a steel erector for many different companies around the country, he also worked at Avonmouth Dry dock. The family home was in Kings Weston Avenue, Shirehampton for 49 years and moved to Blaise Weston Court in January 2009.

Adam looked forward every month to reading the ‘Shire’ and always ensured that family and friends, near and far had a copy.

‘We are truly blessed that we had my dad in our lives’.

Rita Rich (daughter)

(Thank you for your donation - Ed)

Ther Merchant Navy Association continued to play a big part in Adam’s life and paid him a huge tribute at his funeral.

Crossing the Bar

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep,
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark,
For tho’ from out born of time and place,
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my pilot face to face,
When I have crossed the bar.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Severn Way Bristol Link - Sea Mills

A few months ago I wrote to say that the City Council were to dedicate the path running from Northleach Walk to Sea Mills Lane. I am pleased to say that, although much of this part of the Severn Way Bristol Link, for a long time, has been dedicated as public footpath and maintained by Bristol City Council. However I walked the length at the end of September and found the stretch from the Railway under bridge to Sea Mills Lane to be somewhat difficult. It had been high tide and the river walk was very wet underfoot, added to which, the return to Sea Mills Lane under the Sea Mills harbour bridge was particularly poor.

I have contacted the Public Rights of Way at the Council and they are planning to mark the footpath with improved signs. Another suggestion is that on reaching the Sea Mills Lane, National Rail allow a gate onto the disused part of the rail line over the harbour. This could be made safe and would allow walkers access to Sea Mills Station. This, however, seems to be opposed by National Rail - if you think this would be a good idea please contact them.

Bob Chubb

Princes Trust - Coast to Coast

Congratulations to our son, Wayne and his team of four friends who went on a 3 day challenge for the Princes Trust - Coast to Coast. They met at Dunster Castle near Minehead then onto Exmoor on a tough hike to the Dunkery Beacon. They did kyaking on Wimbleball Lake deep in the wilds of Somerset. Back on dry land they did an 8 mile trek around the lake. The teams then jumped on their bikes to do 25 miles on the hills of Devon. Day 3 was a bike challenge of 30 miles, using maps, through Devon countryside to the historic city of Exeter along the banks of the river Exe and onto the coast of Exmouth. They braved the sea for some final points before crossing the finishing line.

They came 6th out of 40 teams. Well done lads!

Shirley and Ray Harvey

Voluntary Position on the Board of Trustees

Shire Advice Service is looking for trustee members to join its Management Council, which meets every 2 months. If you have skills or experience in fundraising or finance, maintenance, computers or gardening (or more general interests) and would like to be involved in helping to develop and take the organisation forward, we would love to hear from you. As a trustee you will have the chance to learn new skills, take up training opportunities, and develop your knowledge of advice services.

Shire Advice Service has provided free and independent advice and advocacy to the people of Shirehampton, Avonmouth, Lawrence Weston and Sea Mills for over 30 years. We have helped improve the lives of thousands of local people and, with your expertise and guidance will continue to do so for many years to come. We are committed to equal opportunities and welcome enquiries from all sections of the community.

If interested then please contact Tony or Judy on 0117 982 9399

Apologies to Penpole Lunch Club

In the October edition of the ‘Shire’ we inadvertently published the wrong date for the the Penpole Lunch Club Table Top Sale. The date published was November 8th, but it should have been October 8th. Our apologies to Penpole Lunch Club.

"Stolen Camera" - At the Table Top Sale outside the Co-op on Saturday 8th October a Pentax Camera being sold for £25 was taken from one of the tables. If you know anything about the whereabouts of this camera please contact Penpole Lunch Club.

(Thank you for your donation - Ed)

Calling all volunteers!

We are in need of volunteers to help deliver the Shire on two routes around the village, both starting at the end of November:

  1. 1. Merrimans Way - 44 households
  2. 2. Bradley Crescent (odd numbers only) - 65 households

A bundle of papers would be delivered to your door around the last Friday of the month by one of our volunteer drivers, for you to distribute to the households on your designated route as soon as possible afterwards.

Delivering the papers doesn’t take a great deal of time for individual volunteers, but we need lots of you to cover the whole of Shirehampton, to ensure we fulfil our aim of delivering a paper to every household in the village.

If you would be interested in taking on one of the above routes, please contact May on 0117 962 0571.

Care Home Visiting - Volunteers Needed

There is a new scheme to help the residents living in your local care home at Kingsmead Lodge on West Town Lane in Shirehampton.

RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Programme) is a part of Community Service Volunteers (CSV) which creates opportunities for people to play an active part in the life of their communities and is setting up a scheme for people from the local area to visit residents and help them in different ways. The idea is for the care home residents to be more in touch with the community around them. Many older people live in care homes, but feel isolated and separate from their communities. Quite a few of them do not have anyone to speak on their behalf. Just imagine if you were older and lived in a care home, we are sure you would want to have more contact with other people and have someone to turn to. You can make a big difference to the lives of these older people in YOUR community.

If you would like to get involved and would like more information, please telephone Phil Scott on 07980873037 - he lives locally as well, and would be pleased to talk more.

Shire Community Grants

The committee of ‘Shire’ is once again inviting applications for Community Grants. If you belong to a local organisation with a requirement for funding either for a specific project or core funding please submit an application explaining why you need the grant and if appropriate how much. The deadline for applications is 20 November and they can be taken to the library or submitted by email to We will only have a modest amount to give away but all requests will be considered and a decision made at our December meeting.

Village Tragedy - One Hundred Years On

Over the last few months, through the pages of ‘Shire’ there have been updates on the project by the Local History Group to commemorate the centenary of the tragic death of two young boys from Bradley Crescent. The grave in which they were buried together has been unmarked since the 1970s but retrieval of the kerb-stones meant that is now to be rectified and on Thursday 17th November at 2pm in Shirehampton Cemetery, there will be a memorial ceremony led by the Archdeacon of Malmesbury - Venerable Christine Froude. Joining the Local History Group and hopefully members of the Chidgey and Bleaken families will be a few children from Shirehampton Primary School. We invite anyone else who would like to join us.

This will be followed by tea and biscuits in St Marys. In preparation for the commemoration, we have raised funds to have the boys’ grave refurbished courtesy of Cavill Ashwell (who gave us a special rate) and we must especially thank Marie Hancock, Josephine Parsons and the Avonmouth Genealogy Group for donations and members of the local history group who held a stall at the Avonmouth Fair in the Park to raise the outstanding amount. For anyone interested, the names of the boys - Frederick Bleaken and Hubert Chidgey - will be remembered from the Book of Remembrance, at the 11am Holy Communion service at St Mary’s on that same day.

The following is an account of the tragedy and how if affected the villagers of Shirehampton.

The accident was reported in the Western Daily Press, on Saturday 18th November 1911 as follows:

Tragic occurrence at Shirehampton - two children killed

"A terribly sad affair happened last evening at Shirehampton, two children meeting their death by being crushed beneath a heavy motor lorry. At about 5.30pm a brewer’s motor lorry belonging to Georges Brewery Company left the George Hotel and proceeded towards Bristol. A number of children were playing about and two of them, little chaps about 8 and 10 years of age, named Bleaken and Chidgey, walked hand in hand by the side of the vehicle, one of them having hold of the tarpaulin tie. They were both on the pavement. Exactly how the accident happened is at present the matter of surmise. It is thought, however, that when the lorry turned the corner to go up Park Hill the child holding the tie rope was jerked off his feet and the other fell over him. At any rate both the poor little fellows were killed, the back wheel passing over one and the other being struck a terrible blow by some part of the vehicle. The tragedy was witnessed by Mr Coombs, Ambulance Assistant at Avonmouth Dock and Mrs House from the butcher’s shop right opposite and they ran at once to see what help they could render. Dr Bard too was summoned but he could only pronounce life extinct in each case and the bodies were afterwards taken to the mortuary in Avonmouth. Needless to say the dreadful affair saddened the whole village. The boys lived at Bradley Crescent, Shirehampton and were well known in the village, their fathers being employed at Avonmouth Docks."

This affair was a dreadful shock to the people of Shirehampton and in particular to the school . All the children were given the day off for the funeral which took place on 22nd November. The coffins were carried to the church from their homes in Bradley Crescent and the mourners followed on foot. The boys share the same grave in Shirehampton Cemetery and the Avonmouth and Shirehampton Labour Band played at the graveside. The memorial showed hands clasped which is most appropriate given the above circumstances. (Sadly this stone was not found with the kerb-stones)

A search of the 1911 census shows that Hubert Chidgey was the son of Benjamin (a crane driver on the docks) and Louisa, who lived at 21 Bradley Crescent. They had six children, Hubert being their third oldest. Frederick Bleaken was the third eldest of six children born to Frederick Bleaken a dock labourer and his wife Rosina, and they lived at 19 Bradley Crescent.

Mrs Sylvia Tyley whose mother Agnes was the sister of Frederick Bleaken recalls her mother talking about that awful day which lived with her for the rest of her life. Agnes then aged 14 was helping with household chores as her mother had a cleaning job in one of the large houses in the village. Agnes had just washed the floor when Frederick and Hubert came in from school asking for bread and jam. She told them they’d have to wait until the floor was dry so they went off to play and never returned. A dreadful burden for a young woman to bear and she blamed herself for many years.

The sad event prompted the writing of the following poem by C Davis (the Chimney Sweep Poet) of Lower Village, Shirehampton, which was printed on a postcard and sold to aid the families of the two boys. Thanks to Barbara Collins for lending us the postcard.

Judy Helme

Shirehampton Residents Do you want a Free Tree or Shrub?

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

Following the success of last year’s scheme, the Forest of Avon Trust, the local charity for trees, is again working with Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF) to offer limited numbers of FREE hedgerow or landscape trees/ shrubs in Shirehampton, for planting in gardens this winter.

Trees and shrubs which are native to the area include guelder rose, hazel, crab apple, hawthorn, field maple, and rowan. They are available one per house, on a first come, first served basis. The deadline for applications is 5pm, 9th December, 2011.

For an electronic or hard copy application form to apply for your FREE tree/shrub, please email

Once you have the form, just follow the instructions on it, including checking the suitability of your garden. Then contact the Forest of Avon Trust with your details and which tree/ shrub you are interested in.

The Trust will confirm local collection details in December and will provide a copy of the planting and maintenance guide and also a unique Garden Forest window/car- sticker.

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

Forest of Avon Trust - More Trees: More Action

Dear Nursery Friends!

Children with Certificate

Children with Certificate

Sansway House Day Nursery

We would love to share our good news and hope you might be able to feature this for our very proud families!

Sansway House Day Nursery - Lawrence Weston are absolutely delighted to have been awarded Bristol City Council’s ‘The Bristol Standard.’

The Bristol Standard is a self evaluation framework to help individual settings to improve on their previous best.

It involves working together on developments to improve outcomes for all children and families and takes a year to complete.

Early Years settings who wish to start on the Bristol Standard journey will receive an initial training session and two support visits help them work on dimensions during the year.

In using the Bristol Standard practitioners become part of a process that protects and celebrates the wonder of childhood through well-informed and reflective practice.

Every year a celebration evening is held at the Council House for all practitioners in settings who currently hold the award.

Laura Chandler, Nursery Manager comments "This journey has really opened our eyes to how we practice, encouraging us to look at what we offer every day and how we can develop even more new experience for the children. The Bristol Standard in our setting is always ongoing and we will continue the good work looking at our strengths and weaknesses building even better childcare.

Following this years ‘Good’ Ofsted grading the staff and families at Sansway really have reason to celebrate!

Sansway House Day Nursery, Saltmarsh Drive, Lawrence Weston, Bristol, BS11 0NL

Telephone 0117 9829609 Ofsted Registered: 107037

One Saturday Afternoon!!

It all started with a conversation about celebrating birthdays! I was approaching my 55th birthday and, as always, was planning to celebrate in some small way. A group of us (5) realised we all had birthdays in the same month, August, and decided to celebrate together. It seemed a good idea. We then got on to discussing charity fund raising and because we found cancer had affected us all in one way or another we decided to make this special day into a fundraiser for the Bristol Oncology Unit. Rachael Hart, Alan Blake, Martin Green, Bob Done and myself organised a fancy dress raffle and barbie at the Avonmouth Working Mens Club now known as Avonmouth Social Club, ASC.

We set about organising things, raffle prizes, barbie food and entertainment and, of course, letting everyone know about the event! On August 6th we were amazed at how many came and just about everyone was in fancy dress - it was brilliant. We had Paul Tarling and Kev Hall on the barbie from 4pm till 11pm - they were exhausted and all ‘barbied out’!

The next day we drew the raffle, with some people deciding to re auction their prizes, donations to the barbie, people just putting money in and two cheques for £50. From ASC and Mr Terry Hart, we raised a staggering £820. Amazing!

Sue Gormley of JustXclusive Limos presenting first prize to Martin Green

Sue Gormley of JustXclusive Limos presenting first prize to Martin Green

We decided to hold a presentation night to hand the money over, but we also wanted to top the £1000.00 mark so another raffle! Although we were hoping for someone from the charity above and beyond who represent the Bristol Hospitals to attend no one was available so we were a little disappointed, but we carried on. On the presentation night, not many came but those that did really enjoyed the entertainment and that night we achieved what we set out to do, we topped up to £1020.00!!

We would like to thank EVERYONE who was involved in one way or another, it couldn’t have been achieved without the support of our families and friends. One big THANK YOU must go to Sue and John Gormley of justXclusive limos, who donated the first prize of a 13 seater limo for an hour with bottles of bubbly. Won by Martin Green and re-auctioned for the charity!!

 Presentation night cheque £1,020.00

Presentation night cheque £1,020.00

We must also mention the following for their donations and hard work, Paul Tarling, Kev Hall, Chris Copec, Martin Green, Matt and Alison, and bar staff Stuart and Matt Williams, Ray Hoggans, Julie and Chris Martin, Dave Moore, Terry Hart and, of course, Avonmouth Social Club.

Thanks to you all from Liz Moore, Rachael Hart, Alan Blake, Martin Green and Bob Done.

Public Hall Newsletter - Nov 2011

We are sorry to have to say that, once again, the water has come through the kitchen ceiling. Hopefully this hasn’t been too inconvenient for our Users, thank you to all for bearing with us!

On a brighter note, by the time you read this, we would have enjoyed the Annual Craft Exhibition. Hope you managed to pick up that ‘something special’ and marvel at the creative talent of the local community.

Speaking of talent, don’t forget to book your tickets for the Grainger Show, ‘Christmas Crackers’ November 4th & 5th.

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 Geraldine’s story, this month its Gerry’s’.

Gerald’s Profile

I was born in Sea Mills where I lived with my parents and two sisters. I started my education at St Bernards School here in Shirehampton and went on to St Brendans College which was, at that time, situated in Berkley Square, Clifton.

I was employed by the B.O.C.M. in Bristol until I was called up to do my National Service in the Royal Navy. When I left the Royal Navy I worked for Spillers Limited in Queen’s Square, where I became a Sales Representative. During that time I married Sue and we moved to Wimborne Minster in Dorset. Married life produced two fine sons and we now have four grandchildren, 3 boys and a girl who bring us great joy. Promotion came and we moved to Cardiff where we enjoyed 15 happy years. We moved back to Bristol (Shirehampton) in 1983 and here we stay.

My hobbies are painting at Twyford Art Club, reading, collectables and gardening. I have been a member of Rotary and am now a member of Bristol Cabot Probus Club.

I became a Trustee of the Public Hall in order to try, with others, to arrest the obvious decline of the social infrastructure for all the residents of this fine village. We have lost a high number of amenities and we need to arrest this decline now.

Keen Gardeners and Volunteers

We Need Your Help

Shirehampton Primary School have recently been lucky enough to receive funding from the National Lottery, to turn a large unused area of grass on St. Mary’s Walk, into a play area for the school.

Children, parents and staff got together to come up with some fantastic ideas to transform the area which has now been named ‘Outerspace’.

The plans have been drawn up ready for action and we are looking for volunteers to help with clearing and tidying, gardening and general maintenance of ‘Outerspace’.

The ideas we came up with included a running tack, a fruit and vegetable patch, quiet seating areas and a nature area.

If you have any spare time on your hands and you feel that you and your wellies are up for a challenge, if you can help us in any way possible please contact the school office on 01179031447.

All help will be gratefully received

Oasis Academy Brightstowe Hosts Paralympian Chris Holmes

It was a night like any other. The boy closed his eyes and went to sleep dreaming of his favourite sports. When he awoke it was to a world gone dark. He had gone suddenly and inexplicably blind. He was 14.

Chris Holmes with Oasis Academy students

Chris Holmes with Oasis Academy students

Paralympian Chris Holmes shared his story with students during an assembly at Oasis Academy Brightstowe recently. Mr. Holmes candidly answered the students’ questions about his blindness, his training regime and his seeing-eye dog, Unity. He told the students that after going blind, rather than focusing on what he could not do, he focused on three goals: to achieve his A Levels, to attend Cambridge University and to represent England in a sporting event. The dedicated swimmer achieved this last goal, representing Great Britain at four Paralympic Games between 1988 and 2000. At the end of the assembly, Mr. Holmes presented Oasis Academy Brightstowe with its official Get Set Network plaque.

A medal from the Atlanta Paralympic Games

A medal from the Atlanta Paralympic Games

The visit to Oasis Academy Brightstowe was part of a day-long visit to the region to promote the Get Set Network. Get Set is the official London 2012 education programme for schools and colleges across the UK. It provides free learning resources for 3-19 year olds to find out more about the Games and explore the Olympic Values of excellence, friendship and respect, and the Paralympic Values of determination, inspiration, courage and equality. The Oasis Academy Brightstowe students who attended this special assembly have all won awards for displaying one of the seven Olympic and Paralympic Values during sports day last term.

Chris Holmes presents Brightstowe Academy Principal Matt Butler with the Get Set Network plaque.

Chris Holmes presents Brightstowe Academy Principal Matt Butler with the Get Set Network plaque.

Academy Principal, Matt Butler, said: "It is an honour for us to have Chris visit and share his amazing achievements with our students. The Olympic and Paralympic values are things that we have spoken to the students about often as they echo our values here at the Academy so strongly. I am confident that Chris will make those values come alive, which is so important for our students and their own development."

As for the other two goals which Mr. Holmes set himself upon going blind, he achieved both of them.

What Goes Up Will Come Down

Litter from a Chinese Lantern

I just wanted to point out the dangers of Chinese lanterns, not only when they go up, but when they come down, they can set fire to buildings, trees and even whole fields of crops, when they land animals are reqularly injured, cows have been found dying and a pedigree bull was found lying on his side panting for breath where the wire had pieced his throat, causing a slow, painful death. Not just grazing animals are at risk but wildlife can easily injure themselves.

Chinese lanterns have also been mistaken by coastguards as distress flares. They can travel a fair distance while still alight, unlike fireworks and one recently landed in a field next to horses in Shirehampton. So please remember there is a herd of cattle at Abbots Leigh, just the other side of the river and these lanterns could easily travel across the river.

The National farmers Union have been asking for these lanterns to be banned and one charity shop on Shirehampton has taken notice and won’t be stocking them. We hope this good example will be followed by other retailers and we urge everyone to think twice about buying them.

It is an offence to dump rubbish and these become rubbish, once used, so please think twice before using these lanterns, as what goes up will come down.

Friendly Badminton Club Welcomes new Members

Just across the bridge, Pill Badminton Club plays on Thurs evenings at 7.30 pm at St Katherines School. This friendly club is looking for new members of league standard or people looking to start playing again.

Starting on Thurs Nov 3rd 7.30 - 10.00 pm we will have a court available for improvers, rusty players etc.

All you need are trainers and a racquet. Cost being £3.00 on the evening. For further information please call Alison on 01275 349999. The club members look forward to welcoming you.

St. Mary’s News

Hi Folks!

Here we are again with Christmas just around the corner - and I’ll be another 12 months older. November seems to be a busy month for everyone preparing for the forthcoming festival when we really eat and drink too much and then end up taking Gaviscon to settle our troubled stomachs!! No matter how much we suffer -we do it again and again, year after year - just be grateful we have two Chemist Shops in the Village!

Well, now onto our news for this month - our Harvest Supper and Silent Auction proved to be so popular that we sold out every ticket and Gill Sawyer had to print a few more to satisfy disappointed customers! Everyone was given the chance to have a look at the items on display before making their bid. Then we sat down to a Buffet Supper where you could help yourself - and there was more than enough variety of food to satisfy the most delicate of palates. After supper we were entertained by John Penny from the Bristol Archive Office with his selection of films of Bristol in the 1960’s and 70’s. Many of them were film clips from the BBC Points West series, where we saw such faces as Jeremy Carrad and Amanda Theunissen. I saw some police colleagues of mine on a clip of the 1968 Floods in Bristol at Bedminster. It all seemed so vivid in my memory too - as I was also on duty for 20 hours that day. The films proved so popular that John Penny will be returning to show us some more of the films from the Archives in the future. So watch this space! The event including the Silent Auction raised over ?1,370.50

You may recall that I said our Harvest Appeal this year would be the collection of money for the Rawdat-El-Zuhur Palestinian School in Jerusalem, where some of us were fortunate enough to visit on our Pilgrimage to the Holy Land - I am delighted to say that due to your generosity we collected the sum of ?1500. This money will be paid directly into the School Account - so every penny given will reach them. Thank you to all who made donations.

Tim Forder’s Concert of Music when he played a variety of pieces on both the Organ and Grand Piano was wonderful. An evening of sheer bliss - with the added interest of being able to see him on our back projection screen on the keyboard together with his feet on the pedals. Thank you Tim for a super Concert and I am delighted to say that this raised another £752.25 towards Tithe Barn Funds.

I am sure many of you will have noticed the new wrought iron music stands attached to the Choir Stalls. These were given as a gift by Gill and Tony Sawyer to celebrate their Silver Wedding Anniversary. Christine was delighted with the results as she was still with us when the PCC agreed this would indeed be a wonderful gift to St. Mary’s. She blessed and dedicated them in a short ceremony after the opening of the Tithe Barn.

On Tuesday, 8th. November, there will be another Beetle Drive with lunch provided between 1.00 & 3.30 pm at the west end of the church. If you wish to come then sign up on the list at the back of the church - this is for catering purposes. A retiring collection will be taken to defray the cost of provision of Lunch.

At 3.00 pm on Saturday, 12th. November we shall be holding a short Memorial Service for all those who have lost loved ones - whether recently or many years ago. This is a much needed service - and if you would like the name of a loved one read out during the prayers there are forms available in church for this purpose. We shall also have our little Memorial Cards on which you can write the names of loved ones which will once again be placed on our Tree of Light on Advent Sunday. This Service will be followed at 7.30 pm the same day by a Festival of Remembrance and Reconcilliation. Tickets for this are £7.00 which will include Refreshments with all the proceeds going to "Help the Heroes" and will be featuring Filton Concert Brass, Service Organisation Soloists, Interviews, War Poetry and Wartime Songs.

Next day is Remembrance Sunday, when at our 10.00 a.m. Service we shall have the reading of the Roll of Honour after which we shall proceed to the War Memorial on Shirehampton Park for the 2 minutes Silence and Act of Remembrance. Thanks are due to Don & Maureen Geddes for once more allowing the use of the Cricket Club Building for refreshments after the ceremony. At 6.00 pm the same evening in St. Mary’s Church we shall again be holding a service of Choral Evensong sung by the Bristol Cathedral Consort - which includes both Boys and Girls.

On Saturday 26th. November, we shall be holding our Annual Festive Food Fayre in Church from 10 am until 12 noon. This is the Food Fayre where you can purchase all types of home made preserves, food and Christmas Hampers and not only that, Father Christmas will be there as well! See you there - I can’t wait to sit on Father Christmas’s knee!!! (If he can stand the weight!!!).

On Sunday 27th. November in addition to our normal 10.00 am Service we shall have another service at 6.00 pm when we have our Advent Service of Light. This is the time when we hang all the Memorial Cards, I previously mentioned, on the Tree of Light and all the white lights are then lit up.

This month your prayers are asked for the people who live in the following streets - Kingsweston Avenue, Shire Gardens, The Beanacre, Merrimans Road, Old Quarry Road, Old Quarry Rise, and Nigel Park.

Just a quickie before I leave - a story of motherly love!! Did you hear of the 102 year old lady who was asked if she had any worries and she replied - "No - not since I got my eldest son into an Old Peoples’ Home!".

‘Bye for now!




11.00am - Rev Dr Jacky Quarmby

followed at 12 noon by lunch in the Church Hall

A very warm welcome is extended to all

Shirehampton Cricket Club U11s Season : 2011

This was always going to be a tough season for the Under 11s as, for many of the players, this was their 1st season of playing cricket. Over half the players were under the age of 9, but this didn’t thwart their enthusiasm and commitment despite the fact they lost all of their League and Cup matches to teams fielding players mostly comprising of 11 year old boys and girls.

From the outset to the end of the season the principal was to ensure that all of the players took part in the match, at least bowling 1 over each if scores allowed. This I am happy to say was achieved in most of the matches.

Hopefully when they gain more confidence they will be more competitive and I am sure they will be able to win a number of matches next season.

Special mentions

  1. Ben Liaines, Tom Green and Danny Conway for being selected for the Bristol District U10s reliresentative team. This was a fantastic achievement for the 3 lilayers.
  2. Tom Green for scoring 25 no. v Whitchurch U11s highest score during the season.
  3. Ben Liaines and Jack Meehan for a liartnershili of 65, the highest of the season, v Bedminster.
  4. Tom Green for his excellent fielding including running out YMCA’s toli scorer with a direct throw.


Best All Round Player : Danny Conway

This goes to a player who has not only captained the side throughout the season, but gained respect of all of the players and at a level of maturity beyond his years. He consistently batted and fielded well, leading from the front and took a wicket in every league match.

Best Batting Performance : Tom Green

For his impressive batting performance v Whitchurch, which nearly enabled Shirehampton to win their 1st match and his consistent batting over the whole season, particularly his very effective pull to the leg side boundary.

Best Bowler : Jack Meehan

Jack was always the 1st choice bowler for his Captain and when given the opportunity always posed the most problems for the opposition batsman, particularly with his line and pace. With more luck he could have taken more wickets and next season I’m sure he will be a valued member of the U13 team.

Most improved player : Max Conroy

Max improved as a player throughout the whole of the season and gained confidence with his batting and bowling. This was notable in a partnership of 35 with Danny Conway v Bishopston where he was happy to take the leading role with calling and running between the wickets.

Ian Moss, Shirehampton U11’s Manager,
Season 2011