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News Index


Thank you Bobbetts

Lamplighters Update

Kings Weston Action Group

Shirehampton Public Hall Newsletter

St Mary's News

Local History Group - latest project

Derek Ford: 1943 - 2012

40 years ago

Calling All Future-gazers!

Letters to the Editor...

New Lease of Life for the Hedge at Tynings Field


IN this new year we are going to have pictures of the Queen on the day of her Diamond Jubilee marking sixty years on the throne.

Across the country there will be great celebrations. It made one think of the reign of Queen Victoria. She ascended the throne in June 1837 and was crowned in June 1838. After a reign of fifty years her reign known as the Jubilee was celebrated across the country. In the village of Shirehampton, to mark the occasion, the Vicar the Reverend Charles O Miles with fellow villagers decided on a tree planting ceremony following a service of thanksgiving in the local church.

On the great day a fine tree known as a Wellingtonia Gigantea was planted on the Village Green. The tree was about two to three feet high and round it a metal fence with a plaque attached giving the details:

Planted to Commemorate the Fiftieth Year of Queen Victoria's Reign C O Miles - Vicar W Richards, M L Chubb - Churchwardens 1887

As part of the celebrations people over the age of 60 were given a dinner in the ancient Tithe Barn at the west end of the village. In the local school children were given a tea party and commemorative mugs. A band also played on the Green in front of the church and the Tithe Barn.

On Penpole a large bonfire had been erected with timber from the Kingsweston estate. It was lit in the evening casting a great light in the night sky.

The tree now over 125 years old has survived the gales in the passage of time Ralph A Hack

Thank you Bobbetts

REGULAR readers of 'Shire' will have noticed that the paper is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a series of events. Whilst preparing for the exhibition in April, which has involved going through all the back issues, we have identifi ed our longest standing advertiser - Bobbetts the greengrocers. Their first advert appeared in the very first issue in February 1972 and continues into 2012, as far as we know without a break.

In the 1960s Bob and Betty Bessell started their greengrocery business in the High Street on the Green and after a while they opened the second shop further down the High Street (the current premises). Those who worked for Bob and Bet will know what a dynamo Bet was - she might have been small but a bundle of energy and lifting sacks of potatoes nearly as big as herself presented no problem. She would never ask her staff to do jobs she was not prepared to do herself.

Sadly Bob died in 1982 and their son Mike took a more active role in the business. In 1993, however Betty decided to retire and Mike wanted to pursue his interest in golf and the leisure industry so both shops were sold. In January 1993 Mike Kew and Simon Rees who had worked at the Bristol Fruit and Vegetable Market, took over the shop opposite St Mary's but continued to trade under the Bobbetts name. One of their staff members was Phil Arnel (whose family runs a greengrocery in Westbury on Trym). In April 2011 Phil became the proud owner of Bobbetts and has been happy and successful trading in our High Street.

So Congratulations to Phil and the Bobbetts staff and thank you for your loyalty to our community newspaper. We wish you many more years of trading in our midst. Without small independent traders our High Street would die and we are still fortunate enough to have a butcher, baker and greengrocer as well as other non-food shops - long may they remain part of our village.

Community Learning

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

Shirehampton Community Action Forum Meetings 2012

  • Wednesday 2nd May 7-9pm
  • Thursday 12th July 2-4pm
  • Wednesday 3rd October 7-9pm
  • Thursday 29th November

Lamplighters Update

AS many readers will know, it's been two years now since our much-loved and historic "Lamplighters pub" has been closed, and I thought it might be a good time for an update.

The Lamplighter's closure has been a huge loss of a pub that has enormous potential; a beacon pub for Bristol, an historic old building in a unique setting - it should be a thriving hub where the community meets, have family meals, conversations and put the world to rights.

But despite all its potential, the pub was closed in January 2010 by then-owners Enterprise Inns, who had previously promised to renovate the 18th century Grade 2 building. It was put on the market in May of that year amid fears the whole site could be sold off to developers.

We launched a huge campaign and petition to save the pub, and demonstrate the community support that exists for re-opening it. I have to thank Peter Bridle and CAMRA for their staunch efforts in helping the campaign.

Progress has been slow, but there does seem to be a real possibility of light at the end of the tunnel. I have been in talks with owners Churchill Property Group (CPG) who are working on plans which, if they come to fruition, could see the pub back in its rightful place at the heart of the community.

It is my understanding that CPG needs to take action to preserve the fabric of the building, which has been left to deteriorate quite significantly, which will make the pub an excellent prospect for any prospective tenants.

I recall talking to Peter Bridle of CAMRA last year who told me that of all the pubs in Bristol which have closed over the past few years - and there have been too many closures - it is Lamplighters which the organisation receives most questions about- and with all it has to offer, its little wonder.

The surveys and work needed to establish just what material work needs to be done to the building, and how its renovation can be funded are on-going, and will take a bit of time. But although things are not moving as quickly as we all would like, the signs are that things are moving in the right direction. I will endeavour to keep 'Shire' posted on progress.

I very much hope that all this can be resolved as soon as possible, and that the Lamplighters can be restored to the beacon community pub we all know it can be.

Charlotte Leslie

Kingsmead Fish and Chips Movie Night


The film started at 14.30 and was the residents' choice a Yul Brynner classic, 'The King and I'. The film was chosen on the 19.1.12 at the resident's meeting, which is held monthly at Kingsmead. The event was organised by the activities organisers, Natalie Jackson (a semi professional dart player for England) and Pamela Brooks, and is planned to be the first of many such evenings.

The fish and chips were bought from Simply Fish, in Shirehampton village that afternoon, and is a favourite with the residents at Kingsmead; all served in traditional paper and boxes. Family were also invited to share in the evening and partake of a brilliant British dish.

Is your house called Dunworkin?

Does your house in Shire or Avonmouth, or another local house that you know, have a name? If so, please tell Richard Coates the name and address by email on or write to him via the Shire Editorial Office. And do you know why it has that name? Do tell him! Richard will make a collection of the names and the stories, and if there are enough to be interesting he will produce an online book of house-names on behalf of Shire and Avonmouth residents to go with his books on local street-names and field-names. Please only send names that actually appear on the house and can be read from the street. No private or sensitive information about anyone will be published! No need to send information about blocks of flats - most of them are already in the street names book.

News from Shirehampton's Scout Group

The Beaver Scout section has four new members!

I had a lovely time with the Beavers recently when I invested four new members. As you can see from the photo they are a lively bunch and thoroughly enjoy their weekly sessions led by Beaver Scout Leader, Chris Colhoun.

They may be young but proved themselves very eager to learn, and very knowledgeable too.

The theme of the evening was Healthy Eating. There was a great debate about whether pizza was healthy food - no firm decision made. As one Beaver said "Depends what stuff you put on it"! To close the session the Beavers were given a paper plate on which they had to draw what they considered to be a plate of healthy food - I enjoyed a lively discussion with some Beavers about the about the merits of gravy. 'My Mum's is the best' is still ringing in my ears from several voices!

Two more girls join

Pictured Left - Dottie North - Group Scout Leader, Right - Sandra Neate - Chairperson

Pictured Left - Dottie North - Group Scout Leader, Right - Sandra Neate - Chairperson

On January 26th 2012, two more girls (Connie Davis and Bethany Neate) were invested into the 191st Scout Troup.  More girls will be made very welcome.

Can a cub toss a Pancake?

We'll find out when the Cubs have a Pancake making evening. They will be two days late for Shrove Tuesday as they meet on a Thursday - but will no doubt have a lot of fun! Our Cub Pack is the smallest section in our Group so there's plenty of room for other 8/10yr old boys and girls to join them - there's a lot to do other than making pancakes!

Scouts to share a Camping Field with Brentry Scouts!

Brentry Scout Group are planning to use a field a few miles away where Scouts can enjoy the fun of basic camping often, without the cost of using formal camp sites. They have invited the Shirehampton Group to join them, which is great news for us as our young people will be able to have many more opportunities to experience the fun of camping without asking parents to shell out huge amounts of money!

We hoped that our Group contribution to this new venture could have been a Log Cabin offered by a resident of Shirehampton; sadly this offer has been withdrawn. If anyone has a large shed, or sectional building of any kind, which they no longer need please let me know. We'll be happy to arrange to dismantle it and transport to the site.

Would you enjoy helping our young people?

Have you ever thought about helping your local Scout Group? Maybe you don't think you have the skills to do so, because you're not into camping, outside activities, or tying knots. Scouting is about so much more than these things . . . It's about helping young people to gain lots of interests and life-skills, and to develop into useful people.

If you'd like to help in any way, or have a chat about what you could offer, give me a call.

Don't just read this and think 'I'd like too . . .but what can I offer?'. Every adult has experience of life . . .so have a think about offering yours to our young people. I personally knew very little about Scouting until two years ago (other than that my son was a Cub 24 years ago).

Now, I'm enjoying a whole new world, have made lots of new friends, and wonder why I didn't get involved with Scouting years ago!

Scout Community Week: May 14th - 20th

Tynings Field Community Group have contacted us about helping with their community allotment project. I look forward to meeting with them to see how we might be able to help. Dottie North Group Scout Leader 0117 914 4099

Anyone interested in learning more about Scouting in general might like to look at the Scout Association website, and the Cabot District website, www.

Computer Scams

Bristol complaints flood in about bogus computer checks scam

Bristol Trading Standards Officers are warning consumers to be suspicious of telephone calls claiming to be from legitimate companies offering free security checks on computers.

"We've had a marked increase in complaints in the last few days and we want to make sure people are on their guard", said Michael Reed, Principal Trading Standards Officer for Bristol City Council. "The scammers often claim they have spotted a security problem and offer to solve them", he said.

The caller will try to obtain payment for a bogus security check, or will attempt to obtain the victim's credit card details or private financial data by gaining remote access to the computer.

Guy Poultney, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods said "It's vital always to be suspicious of unsolicited calls that mention security problems with your computer and never provide personal information such as credit/debit card numbers to them" . People can get futher advice from or can report online scams to or to their Trading Standards Department. Further information from Vicky O'Loughlin on 0774746 0496

Station Road Pre-School - Beachley Walk

Staff and children would like to thank Tess Good and Hayley Harrison for all their hard work fund-raising for Pre-School at Beachley walk. The amount raised (£140) has helped to purchase new outside play equipment giving the children lots of new play and learning experiences.

Pre-School runs Monday - Friday during term time only. For more information call 0775747193 or email

Women's World Day of Prayer

2nd March at 2.30pm

Every year women all over the world unite to pray for one another. This year the service has been prepared by the women of Malaysia. The them is 'Let Justice Prevail' - a longing in the hearts of many women throughout the world.

We welcome all women (and men) to join us on Friday 2nd March at Shirehampton Baptist Church, Station Road at 2.30pm. If you have never been to one of these meetings do give it a try as you will find it an afternoon well spent.

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

Kings Weston Action Group

KWAG ON Saturday 21st Jan KWAG - the Kings Weston Action Group - ran its first working party event in the historic park which it heralded as a huge success.

Well over a dozen local residents and supporters braved a windy and drizzly Saturday to start work clearing undergrowth close to the Grade I listed house. Self-seeded ash saplings that threatened to choke the forest floor and threatened more mature trees have been removed and the hope is that the newly cleared area will be easier to manage for the future. Working with the support and permission of Bristol City Council the group exceeded its own expectations in the amount it managed to achieve.

KWAG Chairman David Martyn said "The response has been unbelievable. I'm delighted that so many people came along and lent their support and we have to thank everyone that braved the weather. We have had a lot of positive feedback from passers-by and it's great toknow that there is so much enthusiasm for the park and for what KWAG hope to achieve". Anthony Negus, BCC Executive Member for Housing, Property Services and Regeneration said "The Kings Weston Estate is special because around the wonderful house so much remains of its historic setting.

As Bristol's Heritage Champion, I made this one of my priorities. I am very pleased that with the help of KWAG we have started the process of clearing overgrowth as a first stage of restoring the whole estate to its full glory." KWAG has been working with the City Council, English Heritage, and the National Trust, the three main stakeholders in the estate, to promoteits importance and secure a sustainable future. KWAG hopes that it can build on the success of its first meeting and start running regular conservation work on a monthly basis. The Kings Weston Action Group is a community organisation set up to protect Kings Weston Park and House, fight for its future and protect its past. Formed from a group of local and professional volunteers it hopes to increase awareness of the history of the estate, take direct action to improve and maintain the park, and work with the City Council to inform and secure a new plan for conservation and enhancement. For more information or to schedule an interview with KWAG please call David Martyn on 07811 666671 or e-mail

Shirehampton Public Hall Newsletter

WE do hope that everyone has managed to keep warm over our very cold weather. Something to bring some cheer, a date to put in your diary Saturday 21st April 7.30-10.30pm

Come and enjoy the Barn dance that is being held at the Public Hall. The tickets are £5 and are available from our manager Katie in the office at the hall. Have a fun filled evening locally caller Mr Ron Zikon

We were very saddened to hear about the death of Mrs Monica Doul a long time member of the Shire Players and the Hall. The trustee's would like to send their condolences to all her family and close friends.

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 a website, do have a look;

Evergreen Day Trips 2012

  • 10th April Abergavenny market and Abbey Mill
  • 15th May Boat trip on the River Tamar
  • 10th June Holiday in Newquay
  • 17th July Barry Island
  • 21st Aug Lynton and Lynmouth
  • 18th Sept Moreton-in-Marsh & Bourton on the Water
  • 20th Nov Swansea
  • January 2013 Pantomime at Weston

Tel. 9381725 to book trips or call into the Public Hall on Friday afternoons.

St Mary's News

Hi Folks! March is here at last - so hopefully it's "Goodbye Winter" and "Hello to Spring" with the added joy of Easter approaching!

Believe it or not when I have been out and about with my wife in the car we have spotted Snowdrops and even Daffodils in late January. Unfortunately as I write these notes in early February we are being hit by a blast of cold weather from Siberia - so I don't know what will happen to those very early daffodils - I don't give them much chance of reaching maturity later on.

Enough of the weather and the seasons let me tell you about a wonderful party we had in St. Mary's to celebrate the Jubilee of the Accession of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to the throne. Before our "royal supper" we listened to a Radio Broadcast by the late John Snagg announcing the death of King George the VI and then drank a toast to the Queen. We had a lovely meal with all different bits and pieces, which of course included Coronation Chicken! The desert included red white and blue Meringues - all very patriotic!! After the meal we had entertainment by Tim Forder and Alan Gibson who did a very good impression of Flanders & Swan" followed by various competitions and quizzes. We were also given material to make a ladies' hat suitable for Royal Ascot. Sat at my table were Monica & Tony Symons. Poor old Monica was given the task of making the hat - which when more or less finished was described by Tony as looking more like a coal scuttle on her head!! When he picked himself up off the floor he did agree that it had a certain degree of unusualness and looked delightful on his attractive wife!!! (Be careful with your comments Tony - I hope the bruises soon went!).

It was a wonderful evening and gave Pat Davidson the opportunity to show us how good she is when it comes to craft work with her hands - she certainly produced some outstanding pieces. Finally a grateful thanks must be given to Gill Sawyer for all her hard work preparing the food and games etc., without her expertise we wouldn't have had such an enjoyable evening!

Now on a sadder note I have to report that we have lost three faithful members of our congregation in recent weeks. During January we were devastated to learn of the death of Derek Ford after a long battle fighting Cancer. Derek was our House Minister and was Churchwarden for I believe 21 years. He was a good and loyal Christian man and lived his life accordingly. We send our condolences to his wife Anne, Matthew, Amy and the Grandchildren on their sad loss. Another shock for us all was the death of Jim MacKay. Jim and his wife Pauline always stood out for being immaculate in their dress. They complemented each other in their appearance. It will seem strange only seeing Pauline on Sunday mornings. Jim hailed from Scotland and was a Seaman in his earlier years. His coffin was draped with the Red Ensign and he was piped into Church by a Piper in full dress together with three Standard Bearers from the Merchant Navy Association. He will be sadly missed by us all and we again send our condolences to his wife Pauline, her daughters and Grandchildren. Finally, we lost another former Seaman - Bob Frazer. Many of you will have seen Bob pottering about in "Tubs" Butchers' Shop making the Tea and generally making himself useful. He was always a very active man even for his advanced years and we shall miss seeing him about the Village. Bob and his wife Muriel were members of our Thursday Lunch Club and I often sat at their table and had my lunch with them. To Muriel his wife, daughter Anne and the rest of his family we once more offer our sincere condolences. Please remember in your prayers the bereaved members of these three families that they may be given strength to cope with their sadness and grief in the future.

By the time you read these notes our Lent Evenings on a Wednesday will have already started (details of which I circulated last month). Do not let this deter you from coming - the theme this Lent is based on the film - "The Kings' Speech". The remaining Wednesday Evenings are on the 7th. 14th. 21st. and 28th. March. Please come along but don't forget to add your name to the list at the back of the Church indicating whether you require Supper or not on the dates you are coming!

Sunday the 18th. March is Mothering Sunday when all the children and not so young children, are given posies or small bunches of flowers to give to their Mothers as a token of their love and appreciation for all that "Mum's" do throughout the year. This will be at our 10.00 am Holy Communion Service. Also there will be a Service of Compline at 8.00 pm in the Evening. The last few Services of Compline seem to be growing in their appeal judging by the increase in numbers attending. So why not come along and experience this short Service for yourself? On Saturday, 24th. March we will be holding our Spring Fayre in St. Mary's from 10.00 am until 12.00 noon. Here you will again have the opportunity to purchase home-made Preserves and other Gifts which take your fancy. Refreshments will also be served throughout the duration of the Fayre. Also you will know that the better weather is on the horizon as once again we shall open the church in the afternoon between 2.30 pm and 4.30 pm for Cream Teas. All funds from these two events will go to supporting Church Expenses and help us to pay our Bills. So put the date in your Diary!

At 4pm on Saturday, 31st March we shall again be holding our "Forget-me-not" Service. This Service is aimed at those people who have, either recently or long ago, suffered the untimely death of a loved one. It will be a time when we can look back to the memories we spent with lost loved ones. Please come to St. Mary's on this date if you feel it would be of help to you. All are very welcome.

I expect many of you will have looked over the wall into the Memorial Garden outside the Choir Vestry and admired the new turf laid there only to be rather shocked a few weeks later to see that the grass had all but disappeared and we were left with a sea of mud!

Well, we were compelled to call upon the services of Inspector Poirot, who after examining the scene of the crime through his Magnifying Glass found that the culprits were none other than some very fat grubs which develop into the Crane Fly. We have plenty of Cranes down at the Docks so these Crane Fly Grubs were surplus to requirement Out came the remains of the old turf and in with the new, once the Grubs had all been apprehended, and lo and behold we have a pleasant Memorial Garden once more.

Did you hear about the Vicar who was visiting a lady from his parish who was in a Maternity Ward. During his conversation he said to her - "Have you been confirmed?" She replied rather indignantly - "What do you think I am in here now for?" 'Bye for now! C.M.E.

From the Registers at St. Mary's January 2012

BAPTISM "We welcome you" - 29th Isabelle Anne Peters

FUNERALS "At rest and at peace"

  • 3rd (William) Gordon Peacock St Mary's
  • 9th Ernest Walford Canford
  • 10th Barbara Shopland Canford
  • 11th Sylvia Toutt Canford, Brian Tilley St. Mary's
  • 16th Marjorie Harris Canford
  • 20th Norman Lock St Mary's
  • 24th Derek Ford Canford
  • 27th Jacqueline Low St Mary's, David Foale Shire Cemetery

WEDDING BLESSING "All that I am I give to you" - 7th Laura & Mike Dando

Local History Group - latest project

A new year and a new project for our small band of local historians. We have decided to look at the changing face of our shops/businesses from as far back as we can go (certainly back into the 19th century) and track how the village High Street and many side streets that supported small shops, has changed over the years.

We have a few primary sources we can research but as readers of 'Shire' you could help us in a major way by telling us your memories of shops/businesses in Shirehampton - whether you owned, worked or shopped in them, we would love to record your comments. Eventually we would like to hold an exhibition of our findings and provide a 'paper' copy to be held in the library. When collecting oral history one of the main memories people have are of the shops they visited as children and adults because 'retail therapy' is an integral part of our lives. So don't be shy, rack your brains and see what you can come up with, either in writing or if you contact us we can arrange to meet and chat about your memories. Please contact us through the library by leaving your details or memories in an envelope marked Local History Group and ask for it to be put in the 'Shire' newspaper folder. Alternatively of course you can record your thoughts through the pages of the paper either via the library or

We look forward to an overwhelming response!


Shirehampton Methodist Church

MOTHERING SUNDAY - March 18th at 11am - Rev Dr Jacky Quarmby

PASSON SUNDAY - March 25th at 11am - with friends from Sea Mills joining us.

A warm welcome is extended to all.

Derek Ford: 1943 - 2012

Derek was well known and loved in Shirehampton, a fact which was evidenced by the attendance at his memorial service on Saturday January 28th. It was 'standing room only' at St Mary's as many family members, friends, colleagues and fellow Christians gathered to honour his inspirational life and faithful ministry.

The following words are an edited version of the tribute given by the Venerable Christine Froude, Archdeacon of Malmesbury, at that service.

"Well - where to begin to capture something of the man that was Derek in a few brief words?

- a loving husband, father and grandfather
- a respected colleague, neighbour and friend
- a devoted sportsman, gardener and muncher of cake!
- A faithful servant of our Lord Jesus Christ who served St Mary's for 54 years, 21 of them as Churchwarden and more latterly as House-group Minister.

Derek was a man of many parts and all of them were good.

Derek was an August birthday, always amongst the youngest in his class at the Shirehampton schools he attended. Growing up with his sister, Clarice and his loving parents, he enjoyed spending time with relatives in Swansea and Portishead.

Derek displayed an early flair for maths and science and sport. From Portway School he went to Bristol Technical School where he excelled in all subjects, winning his colours for cricket and rugby and boxing at the Colston Hall in schoolboy boxing competitions.

He was confirmed at the age of 14 here at St Mary's, attending the church youth club, playing for the cricket team and wowing the spectators with his batting skills and the girls with his good looks!

Sports and Engineering would continue to be unbroken threads weaving together throughout Derek's life. Captain of Twyford House; rugby, football, skittles, badminton and squash as well as a respected career in engineering here in Bristol and in Canada.

Derek's thirst for learning, his phenomenal capacity to store knowledge, his commitment to all he undertook and his deep interest in people enabled him to succeed in his studies, in his career, in his sport and in his relationships. Derek and Anne were sweethearts since their teens and their family life meant everything to them. They were blessed with Matthew & Amy, then their spouses James & El and then the grandchildren Ben, Joe & Marcie - making their close knit family complete.

We will all remember Derek as an intelligent, gifted man of integrity who enjoyed every aspect of life and whose insight and wisdom could always be trusted. As Anne has memorably written, Derek has left a wonderful footprint on individual hearts as well as the being of St Mary's.

The words of Ptolemy, printed on today's order of service, are so appropriate for someone who loved the night sky:

'I gaze up to the night's starry domain of heaven -

Then no longer on earth I stand; I touch the creator and my lively spirit drinketh immortality.'

As it is for Derek, may it be so for us. Amen."

[Thank you for your generous donation to Shire - Ed.]

The Grainger Players say farewell to Monica Doul

IT is with great sadness that we say our final goodbyes to our Producer Monica Doul, who sadly passed away peacefully at home on Friday 3rd February.

Monica was devoted to The Grainger Players and was an inspiration to all within the group. She had a real passion for performing and devoted all of her time to putting on great shows for the local community. Monica along with Liz Hurd were Co-Producers for many, many years and put on a great number of successful shows in that time.

Farewell Mon, we will all miss you very much. As they say "The Show must go on". The Grainger Players will continue under the new Producers Lisa Curtis & Teresa Cox with assistance from the Musical Director Laura Tuckwell. Our next show will be in December and we look forward to performing a show that Mon and Liz would be very proud of.

Christmas Lights

WE put up 63 lit trees, the lights on the Co-op and on the George and many people said how much they enjoyed them.

The money you kindly put in the collection tins was our biggest source of income, plus a grant from the Co-op Community Fund to pay for refurbishing the Co-op lights. The trees were very nice but our biggest cost, over £900.

Our expenditure was almost £200 more than our income and we had to draw from our small reserve. We are very pleased with the money you put in the tins, which shows how much you like the lights. We do, though, need more money so if any traders would like to make a donation it would be appreciated. Our thanks to all the helpers who dressed and undressed the trees with net lights. Thanks to Lee and Ashley for putting up and taking down the lights.

Thanks especially to SCAF who covered our insurance thus making the Christmas lights possible.

Cedric Rich - Treasurer

Twyford Annual Art Exhibition

IT is with regret that we have decided not to hold our Annual Art Exhibition over the May Bank Holiday this year. This is partly due to the poor economic climate currently prevailing, and the Queen's Coronation Anniversary Day which falls on the 2nd June.

This year would have been our 40th consecutive annual art exhibition, but in recent years, with the proliferation of local Art shows, it is perhaps inevitable that public interest has waned to the point where it becomes hard to justify the considerable effort involved in staging an exhibition. We are sorry to disappoint those artists who have supported us over the years by exhibiting their paintings, and the public who have attended. Further consideration will be given to whether an Exhibition will be staged in 2013

Moving Easter and Messy Church

IT doesn't seem five minutes since we were waiting impatiently for Christmas to arrive. But now we have had our New Year celebrations on December 31st, and made (and broken?) our New Year's resolutions.

We have declared our undying love, anonymously or otherwise, on St Valentine's Day, February 14th (and this year, ladies, you had the opportunity to propose marriage on February 29th). We have eaten our pancakes, and decided what we are going to give up for Lent on Shrove Tuesday, 21st February, and now Easter is just around the corner (well may be three or four weeks away). Somehow it doesn't seem as long to Easter this year as last year. Is it just that time seems to be moving faster, or has Easter moved? If you know about such things, or have been keeping track, you will know that actually Easter has moved, and does so every year. This year Easter is over two weeks earlier than last year. Easter day 2011 was on April 24th, and this year it will be on April 8th - so it isn't your imagination there has been less time between Christmas and Easter in 2012.

Two questions; why does Easter move and why is it important that you know about this at the beginning of March? The first of these questions is not easy to answer, but basically it is because the early Christians began to celebrate Jesus Christ rising from the dead as close as possible to the day in the calendar that the event actually took place. The Bible tells us that Jesus was killed at the Jewish feast called Passover, and the date of this feast is based on the phases of the moon. It takes exactly 28 days for the moon to go through all its phases, and because the months on our calendar do not all have 28 days in them the day of the full moon is not the same in each month in each year. The date of the full moon in late March, or early April (the time for Passover) therefore varies each year. The date of Easter Day is always the first Sunday after the first full moon after March the 21st… and this year that day is April 8th. So it's simple when you know why isn't it?!!!

The answer to the second question is much easier. You need to know that Easter is coming, even though it is only early March, because there will be an Easter Messy Church at Shirehampton Baptist Church on Saturday 24th March, and if we left it any later to tell you, you might miss it. So come and have some fun making your own Easter bunny and Easter egg people, and you might even have the chance to take part in an Easter egg hunt. What is certain is that you will be able to find out about the real story of Easter and about the new life that was made possible for us all. Chris Grant

40 years ago

IN March 1972, the second edition of 'Shire' was published and was rather different from this issue 40 years on. It was an A4 sheet of 12 pages but contained useful information about community life.

As you will see the front page had an article by Cllr Jim O'Neill on how local Government worked. Ken Perry who many will remember running community education at Twyford House praised the facilities for adult education that were available on a wide range of subjects.

The churches in the area gave details of their services and other activities, and Ivor Havens wrote on behalf of the Friends of Portway School explaininghow money they raised was spent for the benefit of the pupils. So far the content of the paper reflects the mix of news and information we have now but one change is 'The Home Page' which we no longer have but was obviously relevant to our 1972 readers.  This included a recipe for Kedgeree by Carys Fowles - domestic science teacher at Portway (ah memories!) , an item on flower arranging and a message from the then MP's wife Mrs Nancy McLaren commending the paper for including the Home Page. Space was devoted to 'People' and included profiles on Ashley Hutchings, Mrs Frances Campkin and Miss Stella Banfield who worked for florist Barbara McEwen. Sports and Hobbies and a letter page also featured so again not much change from today. Some of the most evocative memories come from the adverts. How many of us bemoan the loss of the The Paint Shop and Pembroke Home Supplies , recall with affection W Clark & Son the butchers, and Noel Williams the chemist in Station Road.

Barbara McEwen ran the florists, we could buy timepieces and have repairs done by Waites the Jewellers, buy pet foods and accessories from E Lewis of Station Road and obtain our newspapers either from Coles or Clarks in the High St. Many changes have taken place over 40 years and some of these will be demonstrated at the anniversary exhibition on 27/28th April in the Methodist Church. This will feature the themes of 'Shire' Past-Present- Future including a photographic display, computer rolling slide show, memorabilia and the bound back copies of the paper, a demonstration of the pasting up process and refreshments. Opening hours - Friday 27th 12 noon to 5pm and Saturday 28th 10am to 4pm.


Calling All Future-gazers!

  • Are you aged between 7 - 16?
  • Can you imagine what Shirehampton will be like in 40 years' time?
  • Then enter our 'Shire of the future' competition and your imagination could make you a winner!

Shire newspaper is 40 years old this year and the people who set it up in 1972 must have found it difficult to imagine what life would be like in 2012.

The internet wasn't invented, there were only three TV channels and music was still sold on vinyl records - no tapes or CDs, let alone downloads!

Shirehampton would have looked very different too - from the way people dressed to the cars they drove, the shops and buildings in the High Street, the stories in the papers.

As we celebrate 40 years of Shire newspaper, we want young people in the village to imagine what Shirehampton will be like in another 40 years time - in 2052.

To enter, you can do one of three things:

  1. Design the 'home page of the future'
    • Shire will almost certainly not exist as a printed newspaper in 2052, so what will our website look like and what information or advertisements will be on offer?
    • Your design should fit onto an A4 sheet of paper
  2. Write the 'news story of the future'
    • What will be happening in our community in 2052 and what will be the important issues or headlines of the day?
    • Your story should be no longer than 500 words
  3. Create the 'image of the future' - Shirehampton is always changing so what will the village look like in 2052?
    • What sort of buildings or vehicles will there be and what will people will be wearing or doing?
    • You should create one image which can either be a 'doctored' version of an existing image; or something totally new

The competition is open to any young person living in Shirehampton or attending one of the schools in the village.

There will be three age categories with prizes awarded for each, as well as an overall prize for the judges' favourite entry of them all. The categories are:

  1. Primary - Years 3 - 6
  2. Secondary - Years 7 - 9
  3. Secondary - Years 10 - 11

All submissions must be relevant to the village and/or community of Shirehampton.

All entries should be emailed to including your name, date of birth, home address and school as well as a contact telephone number or email address for a parent/guardian.

The closing date for entries is 5pm on Friday 6th April and the winners will be announced during a special reception at the 40th anniversary exhibition on the evening of Friday 27th April.

A selection of the entries will be displayed at the exhibition and the winners will be published in the June edition of Shire newspaper.

Oxford, Dumbledore and One Very Unique House Sorting Ceremony

"When I call your name you will come forth, I shall place the Sorting Hat on your head, and you will be sorted into your houses."

The familiar words uttered by Professor McGonagall in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone marked the beginning of the famous Hogwarts sorting ceremony whereby students were sorted into their Houses. These very same words recently marked the beginning of another house sorting ceremony, this time at Oxford University.

The staff of Oasis Academy Brightstowe's The Base for Year 7 recently took the entire year group on a day trip to Oxford University. They arrived at the university in the morning where they immediately embarked on tours of the Oxford Museum of Natural History and the Pitt Rivers Museum.

After a light lunch the group of staff and students were given a walking tour of Oxford University in which they saw, among other things, the Bodleian Law Library and the Christ Church Meadow.

Their final stop of the day was Corpus Christi College at the university. They were greeted by several students of the college who spent time talking with the Year 7 students about what life was like at a university and at Oxford University in particular.

"We wanted to give our Year 7 students an opportunity which they otherwise might never have, that is, going to Oxford University and experiencing what it is like to live there and be a student there," said Adam Knight, Head of The Base for Year 7 at Oasis Academy Brightstowe. "We hope that by being at Oxford University and hearing from the university students it will spark the ambition of some of our students."

The students then received two surprise guests. Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall dropped in to assist with sorting the Year 7s into their houses. One by one the students' names were called. Each student then walked to the front where the sorting hat was placed on their heads and a house was called out: Everest, Kilimanjaro and McKinley. The excited students were then congratulated by Oasis Academy Brightstowe Principal Matthew Butler who gave them their new school ties which featured their respective House colours.

"The sorting ceremony was my favourite part of the day," said Brightstowe student, Matthew Pateman. "It made finding out which house you are in more special, more exciting."

And excitement is exactly what the staff were hoping to ignite in these young students.

"By taking the students to Oxford University and spending the day there, we hoped to inspire our Year 7 students to think and dream and plan about attending university," said Mr Knight. "We want them to be able to see themselves at university. Who knows, maybe even at Oxford."

National Libraries Day

HELD on Saturday 4 February library lovers were invited to meet at three north Bristol libraries. Shirehampton welcomed a small group including Julie Boston (organiser) and Cllr Siobahn Kennedy- Hall.

They read some poems about libraries and heard anecdotes whilst they enjoyed a cuppa and biscuits. They then walked to Sea Mills library to check the shelves for some poets and hear more anecdotes. The next stop was Westbury on Trym library followed by lunch. Shirehampton library has a special place in the history of the village, being located in the iconic Public Hall building and opened thanks to the philanthropy of Andrew Carnegie over 100 years ago. We have seen many changes over the decades but it is part of the community that we must value. Shirehampton resident Gill Sheppard wrote the following poem to celebrate National Libraries Day.

If you're a library user you'll already be aware
Of the wealth of information that is waiting for you there.
Take the library assistant, who will know just where to look
(in answer to your query) for the most obscure of books.

And who, when you return it, will always make a point
Of seeking your opinion: did it please or disappoint?
Whilst we're all aware of Kindle, and its cold impersonal look,
It can't replace the magic in the pages of a book.

The smell of leather binding, and the crackle of the leaves,
The feel of it within your hands, the spell all this can weave.
A reader knows perception's found in books and poems and plays,
The living flames of knowledge that can thrill, amuse, amaze.

So when all the talks of cut-backs be ware what's in their sights;
And don't believe their blandishments: our libraries are our right.
Or the next time that you visit find to your astonishment
Your library has just been sold - for redevelopment.

And now's the time for action, (if you don't they will persist),
At any hint of closure then RESIST, RESIST, RESIST.

Letters to the Editor...


Dear Editor and readers of Shire,

Firstly I would like to congratulate you on such a brilliant newspaper. I read Shire online and look forward to each month to find out what has been going on - it's a great way of sharing community news.

As a reporter of the Bristol Evening Post, with Shirehampton one of the areas I cover, I regularly refer to Shire as a way of keeping in touch and up to date. One story I am regularly asked to look into is the issue of prices in the Co-operative supermarket. I have had several readers contact me to check whether prices in Shirehampton Coop are higher than other Co-op supermarkets. I think the issue has been covered in the Shire before but I have had confirmation from the supermarket's press team in the South West that the prices in the main store are no different from other Co-op stores of the same size. The spokeswoman did say prices in the petrol station branch would be slightly higher but this is standard for petrol station shops. I also asked her about the former Alldays building, opposite the Co-op and also owned by Co-op Estates. She confirmed that there are no stipulations on the lease to prevent anyone from opening a shop that would sell food. I hope this manages to lay any rumours to rest.

I hope to continue reading about life in Shire and to cover any other issues in the village as best I can - do feel free to get in touch on 0117 9343240.

Liz Webster
Senior Reporter Bristol News & Media.


Some people say it's only a dog, but to me she was my best friend and faithful companion.

She came to me as a rescue dog and I had her for 4½ years during which time she became my loyal friend, who was always there when I felt down. Everyone who met her loved her and she loved them back. One day, hopefully, I might meet her again with the rest of my wonderful dogs

I have had over the years.

Bryn Chilcott

(Thank you for your donation - Ed)

Jeanette Fryer

Jeanette Fryer passed away suddenly on 3rd January 2012. She is survived by her husband of 43 years, Douglas. My grandparents founded Fryers Corner Shop on the High Street. They have fond memories of living and working at the shop as a family, and personally I found it heart-warming to find Fryers is still trading under the same name, long after their retirement.

Regards Ellen K. (nee Fryer)

Dog Fouling

To whom this may concern - you should be very ashamed of yourself. Not only are you leaving your dog's mess for people to step in, but it is left outside someone's house and worst of all on the pathways of all routes to school - i.e. Hung Road, Station Road and Springfield. It is your responsibility as a dog owner to pick it up as do dog owners like myself. It makes me wonder what your reaction would be if you stepped in the mess or it was left outside your house! From a concerned parent. (Name and address supplied)

Plea to dog owners

I have just dealt with a massive clean-up operation! My 7yr old son has YET AGAIN trodden in dog mess in Shire. It was all over his shoes, which rubbed onto his trouser legs. He bent to see what was on his trousers, and got it all over his hands, which then transferred to his coat.

As you can imagine I am less than happy. It appears to be a constant problem in the Station Road, Hung Road & Woodwell Road area, and I know that other parents, especially of St Bernards school children, are regularly complaining of it. PLEASE dog owners, bag it, take it home & bin it!

PS if I witness anyone leaving their dogs mess on the pavement, they'd better hope I don't know where they live, as I may just bag it & post it through their letter box (minus the bag!!!)

(Name and address supplied)

New Lease of Life for the Hedge at Tynings Field

THE Hedge-laying day was a success, at least 20 people came from all over the South West and other projects, from as far as Devon, to learn the art of hedge-laying.

Instruction was given, and a demonstration then suddenly everyone got involved and the front row of trees were being laid at a rate of knots, after the staking up was done we started gapping up with hazel and hawthorn, new growth should appear in Spring, Much of the ivy is being cleared to allow new growth from the ground much more community involvement is needed in this project, and therefore we thought it would be a good idea for members of the community to come along and plant primroses and bulbs on the embankment and in the hedge,- so give us a call on 01179090440 or come along on one of the workdays which is a Sunday from 10am at the moment.

PS "We need people to help dig over the plots during February in preparation for spring planting, we would urge local people to become part of the project by giving us their ideas on what vegetables they would like to see growing here and to do that you need to get involved with the physical side of the work. This work cannot continue to be left to outside resources, the future responsibility for this work lies with the local community. We are forming a digging team working on plots, even if you only have an hour to spare please come along, our workdays are Wednesday afternoons, alternate Saturday afternoons from 1 March onward, and Sundays from 10am. On Sundays hot meals are provided if enough people turn up so - Please call 01179090440."

Table-top Sale

Cotswold Community Centre - Saturday 10th March 10am-2pm. £5 per table - contact Daphne on 07554642440 to book. Tea/coffee and cakes on sale.

(Thank you for donation - Ed)

Pre-season Training

Twyford House Cricket Club -will shortly commence pre-season training at the Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, Nevil Road, Bishopston. The weekly sessions start on Sunday 26 February at 6pm for the Under 11s, 13s and 15s age groups. The Under 17s and senior players' sessions start at 7pm. We look forward to welcoming new and existing members at the County Ground. Go to for further details. Gary Ball.