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News Index

A Crowd of Carollers

Animals killed in pet shop arson

Letters to the Editor

Shirehampton old boy wins national award thanks to his local fighters

Early GCSE success

News from Shirehampton Scout Group

Public Hall Newsletter

Brightstowe Students are Getting More Assertive

All Change for Avonmouth Sea Cadets

St Mary’s News...

New Scout Hut for Shirehampton??

Evergreens Club

Dame Diana Rigg

Cricket - Winter Nets: New Players Wanted

A Crowd of Carollers

Photo: Bob Pitchford

Photo: Bob Pitchford

A VERY IMPRESSIVE crowd gathered to continue the annual tradition of Carols on the Green. The forecast did not look promising but the weather remained dry. The carols were introduced by various members from the Shire editorial team. As usual the band, led by Phillip Simms, led the singing. The Shire would like to thank them, the householders on the Green who supply the electricity, Colin Chidgey (staging and lighting), and of course the good folk of Shirehampton who make this event a Christmas highlight.

Photo: Bob Pitchford

Photo: Bob Pitchford

Photo: Bob Pitchford

Photo: Bob Pitchford

Animals killed in pet shop arson

SEVENTEEN canaries and two tanks of tropical fish died in a blaze which broke out early in the morning on Thursday 12th January at The Pet Shop in Station Road, Shirehampton. The fire was a suspected arson attack.

Firefighters and the shop owners were called to the scene. Prompt action by staff and fire crews in moving much of the livestock, which included guinea pigs, hamsters, puppies, ferrets and birds out of the smoke-filled building into fresh air helped save many of the animals. The shop owner, Tim Florey, estimated the damage to be around £30,000 but despite this was thankful that a combination of smoke alarms and prompt action by the fire service prevented the fire taking hold, particularly with tenants sleeping in the flats above. .Avon and Somerset Police are investigating the incident.




KEEP FIT - Avonmouth Community Centre 7:30-8:30pm


St Mary’s Church Term Time 4-4:30pm age 4-6; 4:30-5:30pm age 7-11

6:00-7:00pm age 11-16 FREE

DROP IN ADVICE SERVICE 9:30-11am St Andrew’s Church, Avonmouth. Sponsored by St Andrew’s Church

TOTSTOP - for under 5’s at St Mary’s Church 1:15-2:45pm

KYOTO SHOTOKAN KARATE CLUB 6:30 - 8:30pm St Bernard’s School

THE PULSE ACUPUNCTURE CLINIC Every Monday at the Health Centre

BUMP AND RHYME for babies and toddlers 11:20-11:40am; 12:00-12:15 Story Time - Library


12 -18 years old Monday and Thursday

6:45-8:45pm T.S. Enterprise, Station Rd


Monday, Wednesday and Friday 7:00 - 8:30pm, Smelters Gym, Barracks Lane,

Next to Avonmouth Rugby Club, BS11 9NG. For details ring Head Coach Garry Cave: 07876-233621

TWYFORD ART CLUB 9:30-1:30am Penpole Room, Shirehampton Public Hall

NORTH BRISTOL ADVICE CENTRE 9:30am - 12:30pm Drop In Housing Office, Ridingleaze House, Ridingleaze


SHIRE ADVICE SERVICE - 982-9399 9:30 - 11:30am Drop-in session Over 50’s Shirehampton Health Centre

PENPOLE LUNCH CLUB - 11:30am - 2pm; 2 courses, tea/coffee, cake £3.50 details from Sandra: 0117 938 1236

ST MARY’S CRAFT GROUP 2-3:30pm St Mary’s Church

MAINLY MUSIC FOR UNDER 5s Shirehampton Baptist Church 9-11am during term time

CRICKET at ST BEDE’S COLLEGE 5-6pm ages 11-16

ZUMBA - in the Public Hall 6pm £4.50

BEAVER SCOUTS boys and girls 6 to 8 Tuesdays 5:00 -6:15 Scout Hut, St Mary’s Road

SKYBOUND NETBALL WOMEN’S TEAM training night 7:30-9:00 Oasis Academy Brightstowe contact


SHIRE ADVICE SERVICE -982-9399 9:30 -11:30am Shirehampton Health Centre 1:30-2:30pm Drop In

NORTH BRISTOL ADVICE CENTRE 2:00 - 5:00pm Debt Housing Office, Ridingleaze House, Ridingleaze


SHIREHAMPTON CRAFT GROUP 1:30 - 3:00pm Guide HQ, St Mary’s Road Tel 982 3192 for information

ACTA COMMUNITY YOUTH THEATRE 5-6:30pm at the Public Hall

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

AVONMOUTH HOCKEY CLUB practice night 7:30-9:00pm Henbury Comprehensive School

TWYFORD ART CLUB 9:30 -11:30am Penpole Room, Shirehampton Public Hall

NSC BOXING CLUB Smelters Gym, Avonmouth 7:00-8:30pm

TYNINGS FIELD COMMUNITY PROJECT. Workday 2:00-3:00pm Also alternate Saturday afternoon


SHIRE ADVICE SERVICE - 982-9399 9:30-11:30am Shirehampton Health Centre

ADVICE SERVICE 2:00-3:00pm St Mary’s Church (session sponsored by St Mary’s)

NORTH BRISTOL ADVICE CENTRE 1:30 -4:30pm Benefits. Housing Office, Ridingleaze House, Ridingleaze; 9:30am -12 noon Debt Only: Seamills Health Centre, 2 Riverleaze, Seamills

STROKE SUPPORT 1:30-4:00pm PBA Club, Nibley Road

KICK BOXING 5:15-7:15pm Public Hall


SLIMMING WORLD 10:00am, 5:15pm and 7:15pm Jim O’Neill House, tel. 01275-844825 for info


SEA CADETS Juniors 10-12 years old and 12-18 years 6:45-8:45pm T.S.Enterprise, Station Rd

AVONMOUTH RUGBY CLUB 6:00pm practice for Junior Colts Ring 9852426 for details

TWYFORD ART CLUB 7:00 - 9:00pm Penpole Room, Shirehampton Public Hall

CUB SCOUTS boys and girls 8 to 10 and a half, Thursday 6:00-7:30 Scout Hut, St Mary’s Road

SCOUTS boys/girls 10 and a half to 14 7:30-9 Scout Hut, St Mary’s Road

ZUMBA classes begin 19th January 7:00-8:0pm Oasis Academy Brightstowe contact Lesley Peters 0781-829-6404

PANTHERS KICKBOXING 7-8pm Oasis Academy Brightstowe. All ages, men’s and women’s fitness and kickboxing skills. Contact Robert Wardrope 07815 668440

ZUMBA at Brightstowe Academy 7:00 -8:00pm £5


"LEAN AND GREEN" ALLOTMENT PROJECT 9:30-12:30am Lawrence Weston Allotment, Lawrence Weston Road (behind St Bede’s School). For information phone Barrowmead Project on 373 0267

FRIDAY FUN for parents, carers, and pre-school children 9:30-11:00am Beachley Walk Centre

EVERGREENS 2:00-3:00pm Public Hall

BINGO 6:30-8:30pm Public Hall

PILLOW LACE GROUP 7:00-9:00pm Public Hall


KEEP FIT 10:30-11:30am Cotsworld Community Centre, Dursley Road

NSC BOXING CLUB Smelters Gym, Avonmouth 7:00 - 8:30pm

FOOTBALL at ST BEDE’S COLLEGE - FREE. Twilight Community Football 6:00-7:00pm. Ages 11-15, Pitch 1 - Ages 16 -21, Pitch 2


PAY AND PLAY FOOTBALL £1 per person. St Bede’s College 1:30 - 4:30pm


KIDS KLUB at St Mary’s 8:30am most Sunday mornings Breakfast and a short service. Tel. 9077026 for information

COTSWOLD CHURCH SERVICE 1ST and 3RD Sundays of the month

1st Sunday led by Baptist Church

3rd Sunday led by St Mary’s Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Road 4:45 - 5:30pm

SHIREHAMPTON BAPTIST CHUCRH Services at 10:30am and 6:30 pm





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

CHAPEL FILM CLUB 2:00pm Film followed by refreshments Shirehampton Methodist Church Tel. 0117 377 1015 for details



AVONMOUTH LADIES CLUB First and third Tuesdays of the monthm 7:30pm St Andrew’s Church Hall


BRIGHT HOUR WOMEN’S FELLOWSHIP. Fortnightly, 2:30pm Shirehampton Baptist Church

WOMEN’S FELLOWSHIP Public Hall 7:30 - 9:30 pm

MOTHERS’ UNION 2nd Wednesday of the month St Mary’s Church, Shirehampton, 2:30pm

SHIREHAMPTON STITCHERS 3rd Wednesday of the month 7:30pm Public Hall


CARERS GROUP 3rd Thursday of the month 2:00pm at Ridingleaze, Lawrence Weston


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

FINNISH SATURDAY SCHOOL alternate Saturdays 10-12am Oasis Academy Brightstowe, for people who want to learn the language of Finland contact


COTSWOLD CHURCH SERVICE 1ST and 3RD Sundays of the month

1st Sunday led by Baptist Church

3rd Sunday led by St Mary’s. Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Rd 4:45-5:30pm


PLAYGROUP at Beachley Walk Community Centre 9:15 - 11:45am Monday to Friday 12:30 - 2:45pm Mon -Thurs only

GIRLS FOOTBALL 8-16 Saturdays 11:00 -12:00am St Bede’s


St Peter’s Hall, Ridingleaze, Lawrence Weston


Rock Lunch Club 12noon Over 50’s Forum 1:30-3:30pm (1st Monday of month)


Mum & Toddlers Messy Play 9:15-11:15am

Healthy Eating Class 11:30-12:30pm

Gentle Exercise Class 12:30-1:30pm

Knit & Knatter Group 1:30-3:30pm

Karate Class 5:30-7:30pm


Indoor Bowls10:00-12:00noon Coffee Morning 10: -11:30am

St Peter’s Bingo 2:00-4:00pm

GKR Karate Class 5:30 -7:00pm


Rock Lunch Club 12 noon

Sports Ball Yoga 6:30-7:30pm


Well-being - Feel Good group 9am -12noon (1st Friday of month)

Tidy Toes Clinic 9:00am -12noon (2nd Friday of month)

Gentle Exercise Class 12:30-1:30pm

Karate Class 5:30-7:30pm


FREE SHORT COURSES in the area for adults who have few or no qualifications.

Are you interested in any of the following courses- Cookery, Food Hygiene,

Introduction to Health and Beauty, Further ICT skills, Literacy for Work,

Preparation for Volunteering?

Also, if you are interested in helping to develop your local park and to make it more playful, please get in touch as there may a course on offer to support local residents.

Please contact Suzanne on 9030072 or email


  • Thursday 23 February 2-4pm
  • Wednesday 2 May 7-9pm
  • Thursday 12 July 22-4pm
  • Wednesday 3 October- AGM - 7-9pm
  • Thursday 29 November 2-4pm

Letters to the Editor

Lessons to be learned

Dear Editor

WHAT is wrong with a small minority of Shirehampton youth?

In our own home, we are plagued with missiles being thrown over the wall. Bottles, Cans, Unmentionables, which to date have not caused any physical damage, to humans, but close. There may be damage to the conservatory roof!

I remember, as a youngster, in the ‘50s, spending my spare time combing the woods, traipsing around the borders, of ‘The Golf Club’ - both areas which were donated by the ‘Rich’ to the ‘Poor’. Perhaps our children should be taught about ‘Squire Miles’ generosity; and encouraged to walk to Kings Weston House, not being escorted in the fume emitting buses, to where I know not.

Give gloves, and recyclable bags, and encourage the future youth to collect all the rubbish, and restore our wonderful woodland heritage to the standard I remember in the ‘50s, when I was a cub/scout, and obtained a badge which I proudly wore on my arm. What was it called then? - ‘Posterity’ Also: - The values of the National Trust, English Heritage, Historical Houses Association, could be inculcated, so there is a sense of pride in our history, and future.

Perhaps ‘Ethel Thomas’ books should be mandatory reading in our local schools’. I have only three volumes, did she write more? They are wonderful ‘conservational’ pieces when I meet the older inhabitants in the ‘George’.

Philip Cox


Dear Editor,

I think a word of "Thanks" should go to the team of volunteer’s who put the Christmas Lights up each year. As always our village looked lovely.

Happy New Year to you all Val Lloyd

Shirehampton old boy wins national award thanks to his local fighters

A year after bringing his kickboxing and Thai boxing club back to his birth place Michael O’Connor wins WRSA instructor of the year.

Michael, chief coach of the Highlander club, picked up the award after his fighters clinched 3 world titles in one night. The fighters based at the NSC boxing gym, Barracks Lane (in the ground of Avonmouth rugby club) stormed to three great wins in December. First up was Jon (bad ass) Edge v Ara Akaponian for the WRSA PRO Kickboxing world title at heavy weight. It was the clash of the French champion v the British champion and went the full 12 rounds. So the fight went to the score cards with Jon winner of the fight because of his great kicking skills. Next up was local boy Sean (warrior) Edwards v Mourned Ajanane. Again this was a fight between the British champion and the French champion. Sean is usually slow to start but not on this night. He looked like a man on a mission after knocking his opponent down in the second round. Sean stopped his man in the 4th. Last but by no means least, Ryan (THE BODYSNATCHER) Edmundson v Marco Ribero from Jersey fought for the k1 world title. At only 19yrs old Ryan already has an impressive number of wins and has been fighting adults from just 16yrs old. However Ribero was the unbeaten British Thai boxing champion. This fight went off like a bomb with both boys looking for a ko and finished 1.34 sec in the first round by a head kick then a left hook to the head. Young Ryan had won by a ko once again. Highlander gym had still not finished for the night. Local James Price finished a great night by winning by a ko to become the celtic kickboxing champion. After a great year we are now looking for future champions from Shirehampton. If you are aged 5 to 40 and looking to fight or just get fit there are classes on Tuesday and Thursday (kids 6-7pm and adults 7-8.30pm). All are welcome. For more information contact Mike on 0751 5861874.

Lamplighters Marsh History Walk

AS part of the BCC Wildcity Project partnership with Shire Greens we are starting our 2012 programme with a fun and informative local history walk around Lamplighters Marsh, to be led by local historian Judy Helme.

Sunday 11th March, meet outside the Lamps Pub for a 10.30 am start.

This is a free event, all welcome* & no need to book. It will be mainly on flat path & suitable for wheelchairs. *Children must be accompanied by an adult & well behaved dogs on leads please.

Should you require any further info please contact Ash at SCAF on 0117 982 9963 or email



FUNERALS "At rest and at peace"

  • 2nd Raymond Johnson - St. Mary’s
  • 6th Brian Gay - Canford
  • 8th Grace Little - Canford
  • 12th Phyllis Joan Sullivan - Canford
  • 13th Kenneth Moloney - Canford
  • 19th Brian Dowling - St Mary’s
  • 21st Reginald Button - South Bristol
  • 22nd Annie Brennan - St Mary’s

Chapel Film and Chapel Film 4 Kids

CHAPEL Film Club held its Christmas Party on 12th December.

The afternoon started with a showing of the re-mastered colour version of Irving Berlin’s ‘Holiday Inn’ starring Fred Astaire and Bing Crosby. Afterwards about 45 members enjoyed a delicious buffet followed by cakes and gateaux. The film club would like to thank the John James Foundation for their valued support.

Chapel Film 4 Kids is currently showing films every half term. Our Christmas film was Gnomeo and Juliet, a very amusing British animation based on the classic Romeo and Juliet. The next film will be shown at 2pm on Monday 13th February.

Chapel Film started the New Year on the 9th January with the heart-warming British film, ‘On a Clear Day’ starring Brenda Blethyn. It was great to see over 50 people there. Films are shown fortnightly on Mondays at 2pm. In February these will fall on 6th and 20th of the month.

For details of all our films please call Neil on 01173771015 or email

Early GCSE success

ALMOST half of Year 11 Brightstowe Students Achieve Early GCSEs in Maths

Year 11 students at Oasis Academy Brightstowe are celebrating the achievement of early GCSE results in maths. Almost half of the Year 11 students have already obtained the necessary Maths grades after testing early last November. Of the students who tested early, 100% of EAL students achieved passing scores in Maths. The EAL students include a Chinese student, a Turkish student and two Polish students.

At the end of Year 10, 21% of the students had already achieved their Maths GCSE results. Of those, 47% improved upon their grade this year. One of those students was Peixin Huang, who has only been in the UK for a little over a year. He and his family moved to Bristol from Geuang Dong in China as his parents wanted to provide him with a better education. It definitely paid off. After getting an A at the end of Year 10 he worked hard all year and brought that A up to an A*. "It was important to learn English well because if you can’t understand the questions you will not do well," said Peixin. "I worked hard and I knew I could get an A on the exam. I did a lot of revisions at school and at home."

In particular he revised with friend and Head Boy Jonathan Ball. Jonathan who is in only his second year at Oasis Academy Brightstowe also achieved an A at the end of Year 10 and improved upon it this year earning an A*. "Now we are getting ready for A-levels," said Jonathan. "It is good that we got our GCSEs early because focusing on A-levels now will put us ahead next year when we begin college." Jonathan plans to attend North Bristol Post-16 Centre at Redland Green where he will study Maths and all three sciences. Peixin also plans to study Maths at Bristol Grammar School.

Other students who did not secure their Maths GCSE results at the end of Year 10 worked extra hard this year to secure their grades in early examination. One of those students is Sam Edwards who ended Year 10 with an E grade in Maths and secured a C in November’s early exam.

"When I saw everyone else getting their C grades last year I thought it would be great to get mine too," said Sam, who plans to attend City of Bristol College and pursue studies in Travel and Tourism. "The change in my attitude towards my schoolwork and help from the staff really helped me get my grades up. I’m relieved and ecstatic."

Ecstatic seems accurately express the feelings of the students and staff regarding these results. Said Lead Teacher of Maths, Phil Rouet, "I am utterly ecstatic. The students’ determination, their spirit and their hard work are what got them these results."

News from Shirehampton Scout Group

First girl inducted as Scout!

Although Scouting has been open to both boys and girls for a number of years there have been no girls at the 191st Bristol - until now! Natasha Smith became the very first girl to be invested as a Scout at the last meeting before Christmas. She is pictured (centre) being given a cheer by her fellow Scouts, including 2 of the 3 other girls who have recently joined - Alice Beck, who has enjoyed Scouting for a while before moving to Bristol, and Bethany Neate, who will be invested soon. The Group hopes that they will soon be followed by other girls keen to experience the joys of Scouting - there are currently vacancies in the Beaver (6 to 8yrs) and Cub (8 to 10yrs) sections for boys and girls.

Opportunities for adults to join the Scouting adventure!

The Shirehampton Group is so fortunate in having some very dedicated adults who turn up week by week to share the Scouting experience with young people, but more would be very welcome. Scouting is geared to giving young people Fun, Challenge, and Adventure. The adults who work to make this happen enjoy all these things too . . . and often much more! Younger people studying at college, or starting out on a career, will gain useful leadership skills; those in busy or stressful jobs often learn to relax and maybe do things (e.g. abseiling, canoeing, orienteering!) that they’ve never done before; older people will be able to pass on their experience, and make a difference to young lives.

The only requirement for adult leaders is that they have to be over 18. Previous experience in Scouting is not necessary as there is a really good training scheme, and the time given can be flexible. For instance adults who can maybe only commit to alternate weeks to ‘job-share’ would be very welcome, - the more adults involved the more boys and girls in Shirehampton and area will have the opportunity to enjoy Scouting. Please spread the word among your family, friends and workmates!

Public Hall Newsletter

ON the 19th December Santa made his annual visit to the public hall and was enjoyed by many young families. We say a big thank you to this busy man and this year to Santa’s little helper.

Parents had the opportunity to sit a while at this hectic time, whilst the children were able to colour in some festive pictures and have their face painted courtesy of Santa, thanks Jayne for doing such a great job. An extra treat for us all this last year was to be serenaded by Gil on the piano. We were lucky to have Bob Pritchard call in and take this lovely photograph.

Thanks were expressed on the day by Barbara Wylde(Chairperson of The board of trustee’s) to all the trustee’s and helpers that made this event possible. We all look forward to seeing Santa next year.

Thank you to Katie, our Manager, the front man as they say, whose knowledge and expertise runs the Public Hall superbly. Thanks must also go to the Usergroups who have supported her during the inevitable blips that occur when running a Community venue.

We would also like to express our thanks to Janet and Katie who managed to secure a grant from Bristol City Council for the next three years. This will help us to ensure the rates for the Hall can stay as low as possible.

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.

Brightstowe provides winter home for cricketers

CRICKET comes to Brightstowe in a big way in February with not one but THREE local youth teams using the Sports Hall to get into early training for the summer season ahead.

Shirehampton Cricket Club, Stoke Bishop Cricket Club and YMCA cricket club - also known as Golden Hill Sports have taken up residence in the evenings. To get involved, get in touch with the local clubs via their websites.

Looking ahead, Liz Hearn, Lettings Manager for Schools-Plus at Oasis Academy Brightstowe is planning to introduce a new evening Tai Chi beginners class and new evening Short Mat Bowls sessions. If you are interested in these, get in touch by email: or by phone 07902 315688. Brightstowe is a fabulous resource, available to the Shirehampton Community. If you have any great ideas for new groups or events that you want to see happen in Shirehampton, then just give Liz a call.

Did you know that you can book your child’s birthday party at Brightstowe on Saturdays and Sundays? We have already run some successful events with Go-Kart Parties and have forged some new links with themed party organisers, a local party magician entertainer, science party provider and bouncy castle supplier. This has to be a great way to invite the class without the headache of hosting at home.

Brightstowe Christmas Fayre Raises Funds for Beachley Walk

CHRISTMAS is the season of giving. In the spirit of the season, Oasis Academy Brightstowe students donated the proceeds of their Christmas Fayre to the Beachley Walk Community Centre. Staff and students enjoyed delicious Christmas treats, fun stalls, games, music and much more - all for a good cause.

The Bright Christmas: Christmas Fayre was more than just an afternoon of fun for the Oasis Academy Brightstowe family. It was an opportunity to give back to the local community. The stalls at the fayre (which ranged in cost from .20p to .50p) raised £500 for the Beachley Walk Community Centre. The funds will be used for the overall improvement of the Beachley Walk Community Centre facilities. These improvements will make it possible for the Community Centre to expand their offerings to the community which at the moment include parenting work, the community choir, a pre-school nursery, a Friday night youth club and the Food Bank.

"We wanted to give something back to the community," said Carol Cole, Head of McKinley House at Oasis Academy Brightstowe and one of the main organisers of the Christmas Fayre. "We wanted to give to the Beachley Walk Community Centre because it is something that children in the area and our own students will benefit from."

Staff and students got into the spirit of the season and helped organise and plan the fayre and their own individual stalls. The most popular stall was "Target the Teacher," in which members of staff were in stocks while students and other members of staff threw wet foam balls at them. Other stalls included the sweets tombola, face painting, and pictures with Santa to name a few.

"It was an excellent event and we are very proud of our students and staff," said Matthew Butler, Oasis Academy Brightstowe Principal. "The atmosphere of the Christmas Fayre was very pleasant and it was so nice to see so many students enjoying themselves in a good natured and mature way, and to see so many parents who had come along to support them and us."

Brightstowe Students are Getting More Assertive

THERE was a collective groan from the assembled crowd of Year 8 students as they watched one of their own drop the large man with a well-placed kick to the groin. Dik Chance is the Executive Director of FAST Defence, is a programme that trains individuals how to deal with real-life threatening situations.

Mr Chance, a former martial artist who has trained elite groups such as the Royal Marines Police, the U.S. Marine Special Forces and the Amsterdam police, was bullied throughout his childhood.

"As a martial artist I found that the training I received was not my experience of reality, of fear, of adrenaline one experiences when faced with real-life threatening situations," said Mr Chance.

When confronted with bullying or other threatening situations, Mr Chance explained that individuals will react one of two ways: they will either be passive in an effort to comply and calm the agressor, or they will be aggressive in an attempt to compensate for their fear. Both reactions are wrong.

"The key is to be assertive and to be assertive you must be confident," said Mr Chance.

FAST, which stands for Fear Adrenaline Stress Training, uses a series of different scenarios to program the adrenal brain to achieve the most optimal outcome in a threatening situation. This means students are taught techniques of talking down potential assailants to full-on combat should that be necessary. The programme covers three modules: Awareness, Boundaries and Conflict, combat and ultimately core confidence. The goal is to train the body, train the brain and train the emotions in order to keep students safe.

For the next five weeks 15 Year 8 students from Oasis Academy Brightstowe will participate in FAST Defence training after school. At the end of the five weeks it is expected the programme will be expanded and opened to additional year groups. Mr Chance said he is excited about the venture as he is passionate about teaching children how to be assertive and stand up for themselves in a non-aggressive way.

"You don’t need to have years of martial arts or self-defence training to be safe," said Mr Chance. "You just need to be confident and assertive."

All Change for Avonmouth Sea Cadets

LAST night saw the change of command between Lieutenant (SCC) Victoria Sidwell RNR and Lieutenant (SCC) Barbara Hillier RNR.

At the ceremony Lieutenant Hillier, who has commanded TS Enterprise since 2001, formally relinquished command to Lieutenant Sidwell in front of the cadets, staff, cadets’ parents and former cadets. Presiding over the evening’s ceremony was Avon District Officer, Lieutenant Commander (SCC) Alison Fowler RNR and Unit Chairman, Mrs Pat Homer. The unit’s Padre, Rev. James performed the blessing and led the prayers.

A change of command is a military tradition that represents a formal transfer of authority and responsibility for a unit from one commanding (a ship) or flag officer (a fleet) to another. The passing of colours or ensigns from an outgoing commander to an incoming one ensures that the ship and its crew is never without official leadership, a continuation of trust and signifies an allegiance of the crew to their ship’s commander.

Lt Hillier was until her recent retirement a communications officer for Avon and Somerset Constabulary. She joined the unit as a direct entry Petty Officer instructor following her service with the Royal Navy Auxiliary Service rising through the ranks to become the unit’s first female commanding officer as a Sub-Lieutenant in 2001.

Under her command the unit has achieved a number of burgees and pennants for excellence as well as the inaugural Howe HPC Award for community service by a Sea Cadet unit. There have been difficult times along the way but Barbara has always seemed to adopt the motto of our namesake ship, HMS Enterprise…Spes aspera levat (hope lightens difficulties). Barbara always knew someone who can help or able to persuade (press gang) someone to bear a hand.

Petty Officer (SCC) Christopher Batt, who acted as Master of Ceremonies for the night said "Now that she has swallowed the anchor we wish her all the best and hope that she will not be a stranger. We look forward to seeing her at district and area events as we are not letting her 20 years of experience go to waste".

Lt Sidwell first joined the Corps in 1985 as a Girls’ Nautical Training Corps (GNTC) cadet. On turning 18 she became what we would now call an Acting Petty Officer rising to Chief Petty Officer. 2001 saw Vicky leave the Corps to spend 4 years in the Merchant Navy as a nursing and senior nursing officer with P&O Princess Cruises. She re-joined the Corps with promotion to acting Sub-Lieutenant when she first joined Bristol Avonmouth unit before transferring to our sister ship in Torfaen, South Wales. She was again promoted to Lieutenant and became the 1st Lieutenant (second in command) at Torfaen.

Vicky brings a wealth of experience and skills as she is an instructor in a number of disciplines including first aid, paddle sports, Expedition training, Metrology, and other boating disciplines. Vicky has recently been appointed an Area Staff Officer - First Aid. In civilian life Victoria is a nurse working on projects on behalf of one of the leading pharmaceutical companies. "Many people will have seen our cadets at the Veterans’ Day commemorations in Kingswood performing the Piling of the Drums routine and as a regular fixture at the Festival of Remembrance at the Colston Hall. I know that Vicky intends to continue the excellent and valued work that the cadets do for the Bristol seafaring and veterans community." said unit chairman, Pat Homer.

"We are always interested to hear from former cadets or anyone who would like to join us as an adult volunteer or cadet. For more details call in to see us any Monday or Thursday evening by the river Avon in Station Road. 2012 sees our 70th birthday as Avonmouth unit and we will be planning a number of celebratory events." concluded Petty Officer (SCC) Christopher Batt.

The Bristol Shiplovers’ Society Programme for Spring 2012

Talks take place at: The Wardroom. HMS Flying Fox, Royal Naval Headquarters, Winterstoke Road, Bristol BS3 2NS. Talks start at approximately 19.30pm.

Meetings on the following Tuesdays

  • 28th February - Update on the Royal Navy - Commodore J Miller
  • 13th Mary - Port Police - Sergeant Paul Edwards
  • 27th March - Bristol Channel Steamers - Nigel Coombes
  • 10th April - TBC
  • 24th April - Members’ Evening/DVD
  • 8th May - TBC

St Mary’s News...

Hi Folks!

ISN’T it great to see the nights pulling out and the promise of Spring just around the corner. As I write these notes in early January we have had a wonderfully mild Winter so far. (I hope I haven’t spoken out of turn - I shall be really cross if it snows in the next week or so). Remember what a super March and April we had last year with really gorgeous Spring weather and everything in blossom in time for Easter!

Before I get ahead of myself I would like to thank all the people who supported all our Christmas Services and events over the New Year. I understand the Alternative New Years’ Eve Party was a real Cracker with everyone thoroughly enjoying themselves. Me - I missed it - I was home in bed with a Sickness and Diarrhoea bug which kept me in bed for the best part of 36 hours - so I missed all the fun and an exquisite meal that accompanied it! Now I expect you are all dying to know who were the major prize winners of The Raffle - well they are - 1st Prize £150 worth of John Lewis Vouchers - P. Cairns. 2nd Prize Photo Printer - J. Purnell. 3rd Prize 6 Bottles of Champagne - S. Jordan and 4th. Prize £50 Theatre Voucher - John & Claire Bush. The fact that Claire Bush is one of our Churchwardens I can assure had absolutely no bearing whatsoever on her name being pulled out of the Hat!!! Grateful thanks must go to Gill Sawyer for organising this very successful evening!

You probably remember I mentioned the other month that we were going to hold a special Service of Compline for Epiphany, well we are going to hold another one soon. We were very pleased to see 20 persons attend the Epiphany Service and the next one is planned for 8.00 pm on Thursday, 2nd. February to celebrate Candlemas. Please come if you can - it is an extremely short Service - lasting only about 25 minutes - we would love to see you there if you haven’t been before.

Well, believe it or not "Wonder Woman - Gill Sawyer" has had another of her brilliant ideas. We are to have another Social Event at 7.30 pm on Wednesday, 8th. February. It will be a party to celebrate 60 years since the Accession to the Throne of Queen Elizabeth II. It is suggested that we might find it appropriate to wear something red, white and blue! Tickets for this event will be £7.00 and are available from Gill at the Church Office. I shall do my level best not to miss this one!

The following Wednesday - 15th. February we shall be holding our Annual Pancake Party from 10.00 am until 12 noon. For those who have attended before you will know that this means Pancakes freshly cooked to eat with your mid-morning cup of Tea or Coffee in Church accompanied by a Quiz and Competitions and the usual Pancake Races in the Churchyard. This is always good fun and is open to anyone between the ages of "0" to "100" years!! Anyone over 100 years is allowed a concession of 3’ 3" start over other competitors. (I’ve put the distance in Imperial measurement because if they are like me they won’t understand Metric and unable to visualise 1 metre). No - I’m not a 100 years yet - but rapidly approaching that direction!!!

The following Tuesday, 21st February is the real Shrove Tuesday when just Pancakes will be served in the Church with your Morning Cup of Tea or Coffee between 10.00 am and 12 noon - a chance for a second helping if you liked them on the earlier occasion.

The next day - Wednesday, 22nd. February is of course Ash Wednesday. There will be a Service of Holy Communion at 7.00 pm followed by Supper afterwards. If you are staying for Supper then please add your name to the list which is on display at the back of the church.

The following Wednesday - 29th. February is the commencement of our Lent Course - details of the Theme for Lent is to follow. Each Course starts with Supper at 7.00 pm and lasts until about 9.00 pm and concludes with Evening Prayer. If you have not been to St. Mary’s before then this might be a suitable time for you to pop along and meet people and enjoy the Course with them.

If you have five minutes to spare then pop into the church and pick up an illustrated Leaflet on The downs and ups of 2011 - it will tell you of life at St. Mary’s during the last 12 months. Our biggest "down" was to lose our beloved Canon Christine as Vicar, but the "up" side to that was that she was to become the new Archdeacon of Malmesbury. The Leaflet will show that overall the "ups" far outweighed the "downs" and St. Mary’s is striding confidently along into 2012 ready to cope with whatever the year may throw at it.

Your prayers are asked for those folks living in the following streets in our parish - Dursley Road, Coaley Road, Hung Road, Churchdown Walk, Charbury Walk, Stroud Road, Kemble Gardens, Winchcombe Grove. Woodwell Road and Valerian Close.

Have you heard this yarn?

There once was a pious young priest

Who lived almost wholly on yeast.

"For", he said, "It is plain

We must all rise again

And I want to get started at least!"

Bye for now C.M.E

Phyllis "JOAN" Sullivan (nee Chancellor)

21/4/1930 - 5/12/2010

JOAN was born in King Street Avonmouth in April 1930 moving to St Mary’s Road by her fourth birthday . Apart from a short spell in married quarters in Germany she spent her entire life in Shirehampton or Lawrence Weston, and lived in Chelwood Road since November 1967.

She met her late husband Bob through the penpal column of the "Bristol Bulldogs" Speedway magazine and they were married in St Mary’s church in June 1953. Losing Bob was a terrible blow and this seemed to bring on Alzheimer’s disease, this led to her being less able to go "up the village". She spent her last few months just yards from her childhood home in Kingsmead Lodge in a room overlooking her beloved St.Mary’s Road.

In her final years she was supported by Wellhay Resource Centre, The Willows (Brunelcare), Tyndale Circle, Rockwell EHP, and Kingsmead Lodge, her family would like to extend their grateful thanks to all these people for you unstinting support and understanding.

Joan was well known and loved in Shire and this was demonstrated by all the friends who came and joined her relative to say a fond farewell at Canford on 12th December. A retiring collection raised £100 which will be passed to The Tyndale Group to help them continue the work they do supporting people affected by dementia.

Some of your older readers may also remember her brother Bernard John Chancellor who was the first male child born in St. Bernards Road hence his name. He joined the merchant navy eventually settling in Cardiff where he raised a family but returned occassionally to visit Joan and Avonmouth Rugby Club - sadly he passed away on 11th December just six days after his sister.

On another note a little information on the Beachley Walk Centre - You may be interested to know this was indeed built in the 1940’s and was originally a prisoner of war camp.

It housed German and Italian prisoners. When first built it had no railings! These were not needed as England being an island was pretty inescapable. My Mum often told me the prisoners would make small wooden toys to pass to the local children, that they often played football in the park, and that some of them worked on the land locally. She told me there were also some romances between locals and prisoners. Maybe other readers have further information on this.

Verena Edgeworth

Shirehampton Directory Update

VISITORS to the Shire website may be aware that there is also a large list of organisations in Shirehampton.

This is a valuable resource for both newcomers and long-time residents. However the list has become a little out-of-date. As part of the Shire’s 40th anniversary, we want to celebrate all that is taking place in the village. Our aim is to produce a new directory in time for the Shire Anniversary exhibition on 27th /28th April. Organisations already listed will be contacted using the information we currently hold. If your organisation isn’t listed or the contact details we hold are incorrect, we would love to include you. Please send your new or updated details to or drop a note into the Shire folder in the Library.

New Scout Hut for Shirehampton??

AT the recent meeting of the Group’s Executive Committee the decision was taken to investigate the possibility of building a new Scout Hut.

The existing one has been in use for over 80 years; the facilities are out-dated and not large enough to allow the Group to expand. A new, purpose-built Hut, would not only benefit the Scouts but could provide modern, well-equipped premises for other activities for young people in the area. The Executive will be setting up a special Working Party to be responsible for applying for grants and fund-raising, and would be delighted to hear from any local residents who might have expertise in these areas and would be willing to help.

Scout Community Week: May 14th - 20th

This will take the best bits of the old Bob-a Job Week and offers our young people the opportunity to design a project that will be a real benefit locally. We feel we would like to do something to benefit older people in the community, but have not decided on a project yet. Can you help by letting us know of anything you feel we can do make a difference?

We shall also be using this week to run some Open Days to give our Community the opportunity to get to know their local Scout Group - watch this space!

Anyone interested in learning more about Scouting in general might like to look at the Scout Association website, and the Cabot District website, as both sites will give you an idea of what is happening in Scouting today, in our district, and across the country.

Contact for the Shirehampton Scout Group: Dottie North, Group Scout Leader

0117 914 4099 or

On Saturday December 3rd the group held a collection outside the Coop and raised £93. A big thank you to John and the staff at the Coop and to all residents for your continuing support.

Evergreens Club

WE wish everyone a Happy New Year for 2012. We shall be arranging a number of day trips (to be announced).

We started the New Year off on a grand note by going to the Pantomime ‘Aladin’ at the Weston-Super-Mare Playhouse Theatre on January 2nd. It was brilliant. ‘Boycie’ from Only Fools and Horses was the big name performer. Everyone had a great day out.

We would like to thank the Committee of A.U.S. for their continued support. New members welcome.

Norman (Chairperson)

Dame Diana Rigg

IT was my great pleasure to meet Diana Rig at the Public Hall in November.

She was charming and modest, with none of the airs and graces one might attribute to a great actress. This icon of my younger days, as actions girl Emma Peel in the Avengers, was a delight to talk to. The woman, who actually married James Bond, was the opposite of the aggressive Bond girls - self-effacing and quietly spoken.

I relived my youth for a few hours!

Gil Osman

Cricket - Winter Nets: New Players Wanted

SHIREHAMPTON Cricket Club is commencing winter nets practice sessions at Oasis Academy Brightstowe, Penpole Lane, in February. Winter nets will run on Sunday evenings from February 5th to April 15th (excluding Easter Sunday).

Shirehampton is looking for new players at all levels and abilities. Now is the time to get fit and practice skills for the 2012 season. The club is friendly and welcoming and also has a great social life.

Youth Section: Boys and Girls teams at U11, U13, U15 and U17. Contact youth coordinator Andy Geddes at

Senior Section: 3 Saturday teams, a Sunday team and mid-week matches.

Practice sessions are organised and delivered by ECB qualified coaches who are CRB cleared and 1st Aid trained.

Practice times - Sunday:

  • Boys and Girls U11’s/U13’s: 4:00pm to 5:30pm
  • Boys and Girls U15’s/U17’s: 5:30pm to 7:00pm
  • Senior teams: 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Visit our website to find out more: