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News Index

Local History Walk

Letters to the Editor

Running the London Marathon . . .

Localism and Heritage . . .

Kings Weston Action Group Events

Public Hall Newsletter - April

St Mary's News . .

From the Registers at St. Mary's 2012

Oasis Academy Brightstowe Receives funds for Duke of Edinburgh Awards

Tynings Field News

Forty Years From Now... Shire Anniversary Writing Project

Brightstowe and Avonmouth Primary Team Up For a Library Workshop

Happy 100th and 101st Birthdays!

Local History Walk

Sunday, 11th March - thick, low fog over Lamplighters Marsh. You couldn't see the river, still less Pill Harbour. But by 10:30 when around 40 people gathered in the Lamplighters car park for the Wild City Local History Walk the sun had burned through. It was bright and warm, Pill had re-appeared and the walk could begin.

Local historian Judy Helme had prepared a fascinating account of the history of the Marsh and Peter Insole, Council Archaeology Officer, had come along to add information about its pre history.

I was amazed to learn that Paleolithic stone axes had been found in the river silts in this area, making Lamplighters Marsh and fields one of the oldest sites of human habitation in the country!

As we walked along the 'Yellow Brick Road' Judy explained how the land had been built up out of clinker, how the Marsh was home to rare plant species, how local children had used the Marsh as a motorbike track, with tragic consequences. When we came to the motorway bridge we heard some of the industrial history of the Marsh and the story of West Town, a small brick- making village in the 18th century, now remembered only in the street name, West Town Lane.

Judy and Peter told us about the vast WW1 remount depot that occupied the land from Station Road all the way to the Portway round-about, all the land which we know as the Daisy Field, the Park & Ride and up over Barrow Hill. The picture shows the map of the remount depot which Peter Insole hopes to add to the Council's Know Your Place website. The Archaeology Department are hoping to raise awareness and start a project on this, so if you are looking out on a piece of the remount depot, wondering what that strange bit of concrete in the garden is, it's probable the foundation of your house, garage or garden was once part of the remount, so take a look at the map and go to 'Know your Place' on the Bristol Archaeology department webpage to find out.

When we returned to the car park Judy told us about the history of traffic and trade on the river - a romantic story of pilots and press gangs, local lads and ruthless officers, flooded cottages and forgotten pubs. Judy has prepared the talk as a power point presentation so that it can be repeated for other local groups who might not have been able to attend the walk. If you are interested you can contact Judy at

Wild City is a Council project aimed at making local natural spaces and their history more accessible to people all over Bristol. Shirehampton has sites like Lamplighters Marsh and the Daisy Field which are both historically fascinating and environmentally valuable. Wild City is very grateful to Judy Helme and Peter Insole for such an interesting and informative Walk.

Tithe Barn Community Open Morning

Now that the builders have left and the Barn is ready for use, members of the community are warmly welcome to come and have a look round at an open morning on Saturday 12th May from 10am - 12noon. You will be able to see how all the hard-earned fundraising money has been used, including the beautiful renovation of the existing building and the creation of a new extension. Entry will be free and there will be light refreshments available so do come along and take a look!

Shirehampton Community Action Forum Meetings 2012

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

Letters to the Editor

To the Editors . . .

St Andrew's Ladies Club had a lovely talk from a former committee member about the history of the Shire paper and the 40th anniversary. We were amazed at the amount of work it takes to produce the paper every month. I would like to thank all the volunteers (and they are all volunteers) who are associated with the producing and distributing of this valuable and interesting local paper every month.


Running the London Marathon . . .

I am running in the 2012 Virgin London Marathon on 22nd April to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.

My younger sister Ruth had open heart surgery in Bristol in 1980 when she was 14 weeks old. She had a Total Anomalous Pulminary Correction. Her chances of survival were slim, but her surgeon, Mr Wisheart, decided to operate on her anyway as she was dying. The night before her operation she was christened in Bristol Children's Hospital. It was a difficult operation and it took much longer than expected but thankfully and against the odds, she survived. Afterwards she was very poorly but she is a fighter and she pulled through. A couple of years later, my father, John Tripp was so grateful to the hospital for saving Ruth's life that he ran the second ever London Marathon in 1982, raising around £2000 which went towards a cardiac monitor machine. Ruth is now 31 and in good health. She is married to Tom and has two children - Mia, 10 and Elise,7.

Words will never be able to fully express how grateful we are to the team who fought to save Ruth's life. I want to follow in my father's footsteps and run the London Marathon, 30 years on, to raise money for The British Heart Foundation and to help families who are in the same situation as we were, all those years ago. I need as many people to sponsor me as possible- even if it's just a couple of pounds- every penny that I raise counts. The link to my fundraising page is

Many Thanks,

Emily Duguid

Barbara McEwan

In the March edition of 'Shire' there was a reference to Barbara McEwan who in the 1970s was running the florist shop in the High Street and lived on The Green. A notice in the Bristol Evening Post dated 27th February announced that she died on 18th February 2012.

Community Day

Tynings field are holding a community day on the 6th May (Sunday). If you want to bring along something to sell, then tables are £5 each. Please book by April 20th. We are also holding entertainment, food and a local produce stall. Woodwell Road, BS11 9UG tel 01179090440

Localism and Heritage . . .

I attended the morning session of the Localism and Heritage conference held jointly by Bristol City Council and English Heritage on Wednesday, 7th March.

The main speaker was Lynda Addison, Deputy Chair of English Heritage. She said that all the heritage sites in the country were local sites to the people who lived in the area. She was at pains to stress the importance of local people identifying those historic buildings and sites which were part of local history, so that they would be preserved for future generations.

In answer to a question, one of the panel of speakers said that wildlife habitats and open spaces were also part of a locality's history and worthy of preservation.

The night before this meeting I attended a meeting of the Neighbourhood Partnership, which has already been reported n the press. We were being asked to approve the sale of land in our area for development. Under an 'incentive scheme' the area would receive 70% of the value of the land sold to use in improving facilities on the remaining open spaces. But the 'incentive scheme' turned out to be a 'penalty scheme', for only if all the land was sold would we get the 70%. If only some of the land was sold, a much smaller percentage of the land value would be forth coming.

The sale of the Daisy Field was almost unanimously rejected, for it was regarded as an integral part of the rest of the site, stretching from Station Road to the park-and-Ride facility.

There is some contradiction here, where the Council hosts a conference to promote the preservation of local buildings and sites, yet attempts to coerce Neighbourhood Partnerships into selling local open spaces for development. Of course, once gone, these open spaces are gone forever!

I was encouraged by what Andy Gibbons, City Design group Manager, had to say. He came across as a strong proponent of preservation, in stark contrast to the City Council of the 1950's and 60's, which seemed to have little idea of what conservation meant. It was during this period that we lost a number of historic buildings in Shirehampton: the old Estate Office ( a fine, solid stone building which stood where the petrol station now stands); a fine row of Victorian villas, which stood atop a wall, stretching from The green to Pembroke Road; the large mansion standing in its own grounds, on the opposite side of The Green (now a block of flats). These are examples of losses which have contributed to the erosion of village character and identity.

One of our remaining buildings of great historic value and significance is the old school ( or National School) in Station Road. I have applied to English Heritage for listed building status for the school. This move was unanimously endorsed at the most recent meeting of SCAF (Shirehampton Community Action Forum).

Some of us are worried about the present state of the building, which might lead to it being demolished. So I was heartened by the comments of a planning officer (not from Bristol) who sat at the same table at the Localism and Heritage conference. He said that such a thing would not be allowed to happen to such a building, especially as it was in a conservation area.

The conference lamented the fact that relatively few people took part in groups concerned about their local areas, and those that did tended to be retired people. There was a need for younger people to realize the importance of their local heritage and to get involved. Perhaps schools should be encouraged to enthuse their students to take part, or to undertake projects concerning local history.

There was also criticism that it was sometimes a vociferous minority which made decisions and not a truly representative cross-section of the community. If you feel this to be the case, come along to meetings of SCAF and the Neighbourhood Partnership and get your voice heard!

Gil Osman

A Reader Remembers . . .

I so enjoy reading Shire on the Web! I grew up in Shire with my brother and sisters, attending Penlea and St Bernard's in the early '60s.

My grandparents,Charlie and Sally McNab, lived for many years in Beachley Walk. I still visit the Village from time to time,basking in nostalgia as I pass where once I spent many Saturday mornings at the Savoy, recalling getting stuck in a pile of cement mixture when the Post Office and shops were going up on the Green, having my hair cut (scalped rather!) in Churchills, spending pennies in the Beehive Offie, devouring the books in the Library (what about the PG Tips Sponsored film shows in the Village Hall?), picnics in Pill after braving the ferry at the Lamplighters, gathering golf balls up on the 'Course ( before that tragic murder), braving the cold water and stench of chlorine at Shire Baths, gangs of Mods and Rockers circling each other on the Portway before the dual-carriageway,learning to roller-skate in Portway School playground, surviving the "dentist" at Shire Clinic....

Paul McNab, Abergavenney

Gerry Gow Golf Day

The Gerry Gow Golf Day will take place on Friday 20 April at Shirehampton Park Golf Club, 11.00am. Teams of four are welcome to take part, in this Stableford Handicap event. The nominated charity is Bristol based Kicking Out for Kids.

Some special surprises are in store, there is even a 19th hole package of a 2 course dinner. Deadline for entry is Monday 16 April.

For further information call Mark Caswell on

0797 783 1519.

In Memory Jim Mackay

08/03/1939 - 22/01/2012

Pauline, Mandy, Emma and family would like to thank everyone who attended Jim's funeral.

Also to say thank you to those who made donations to the Haematology Department, southmead Hospital in memory of Jim. A special thank you to Wryman Freight Forwarders and Mercedes Benz Co. £500 plus was raised.

Thank you all.

(Thank you for your kind donation to 'Shire'. The Editors.)

Fraser, Robert (Bob)

Muriel and Family would like to express their sincere thanks to everyone who attended Bob's funeral on Monday 13th February, for the lovely floral tributes and donations to the RNLI. We would especially like to thank friends Tubs and Paul, neighbours Wayne, Linzi, Bert and families for their kindness and support during this sad time. We really appreciated knowing such lovely people.

(Thank you for your kind donation to 'Shire'. The Editors.)

Kings Weston Action Group Events

Join the Kings Weston Action Group on a tree-gazing walk of the Kings Weston Estate with celebrated tree expert Tony Titchen. Tony's new walk will take in the fascinating and historic trees around Penpole Wood and many different species from those in November's walk. Penpole is made up of a rich tapestry of trees, where historic landscape garden meets ancient woodland. There are many interesting specimens here, each with their own story to tell.

Come along and get a new insight into the remarkable landscape of Kings Weston, its story told through the rich history of its trees. The Tree-gazing walk will start at 10:45am on Saturday 5th May from Shirehampton Road car park. Places cost £4 per person and booking is essential as space is limited. Children under 18 are free and well behaved dogs on leads are welcome. To book a place on the walk please contact KWAG: Tel: 07811 6666 71

The Kings Weston Action group has managed to agree a calendar of working party events on the estate with Bristol City Council to which everyone is invited. Come along and lend a hand in putting this historic garden back in order. All working party events start from Shirehampton Road car park at 10am and carry on until mid-afternoon. No obligation to volunteer the whole day, but come along and lend whatever time you might have and meet new friends. January's event was really enjoyable and it was satisfying to see what can be achieved so quickly.

Whatever your experience or ability you are more than welcome to come along. Everyone's input is valued whether you can move mountains or make tea, or even just come along to wish us well and find out more about our ambitions. Some tools can be provided, but please bring along whatever you have. Make sure too to dress for the weather on the day and wear suitable footwear and gloves.

KWAG will be running a monthly event for the rest of 2012. The dates are as follows, but please get in touch closer to the event to make sure there are no last-minute changes:

Sat March 17th; Sun April 15th; Sat May 12th; Sun June 17th; Sat July 14th; Sun August 12th; Sat Sept 15th; Sun Nov 11th; Sat Dec 15th - Mince pie event!

If you would like to be kept abreast of progress, or want to attend any of the events please get in touch with KWAG and we can add you to our contact list. Call us on 07811 6666 71, email, or by post c/o 75A Alma Road, Bristol, BS8 2DW

Public Hall Newsletter - April

The place to be this month is The Public Hall. Come to a Barn Dance on Saturday the 21st April at 7.30pm. Caller will be Rob Zikking. Tickets: Adult £5 accompanied children £2

Please call the Public Hall - 01179829963 or Jean Edwards - 01179828960 email: or pop into the Library. Bring a bottle and enjoy our nibbles!

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.

Easter Services - Shirehampton Methodist Church

  • Palm Sunday April 1st 2012 - 11:00am - Reverend Owen North
  • Maundy Thursday April 5th 2012 - 3:30pm - Holy Communion
  • Good Friday April 6th 2012 - 10:00am - Short service followed by Walk of Witness
  • Easter Day April 8th - 10:00am - Holy Communion Rev. Jackie Quarmby
  • A warm invitation is extended to all.

St Mary's News . .

Hi Folks,

Here we are with Easter just days away! I must say that in early March the daffodils on the Village Green looked magnificent - I only hope they last until Easter Day as they make such a marvellous display in the Church. Perhaps I had better make it clear that we do not nick 'em off the Village Green we do buy them from our Flower Fund! Phew! - just as well I made that clear or I could have been "banged up" for taking and smelling away!!

Our Lent Course Evenings on a Wednesday have been going very well on the theme of "The Kings Speech". The retiring collection after each session is to be donated to the Avon Autistic Foundation and the Kingsweston Unit at Shirehampton Primary School. It was felt that this was appropriate as the money will be going to assist people who find difficulty communicating.

Our Half Term Pancake Day when we had Pancake Races in the churchyard and quizzes etc., proved to be a very busy morning. Everyone enjoyed themselves - children and parents alike. My son Andrew won a prize for winning a Pancake Race and was given a bottle of shower gel, which said on the label that it would give the user "stress relief". His comment was that with 4 kids he couldn't have had anything better!!

Palm Sunday this year is on 1st. April. Kids Klub start the day at 8.30 am with Breakfast and a Video and some short prayers followed at 10.00 am by our Holy Communion Service. The day is rounded off with Compline at 8.00 pm. It barely lasts 25 minutes and provides thought for the coming Holy Week and the approach of the Easter season.

On the very next day - Monday the 2nd - there will be a very short Service of Evening Prayer at 8.00 pm and a further short service on Tuesday the 3rd at 8.30 pm. The parable of the foolish Virgins who failed to prepare their Oil Lamps with oil for a forthcoming wedding ceremony and were left wanting when the day came will set the theme.

On Wednesday 4th at 8.00 pm there will be a Tenebrae Service - moving from light to darkness. The next day 5th. April, is Maundy Thursday and I have been asked to draw to your attention that there will be NO HOLY COMMUNION at 11.00 am on that day at St. Mary's. It is the custom on that day for members of our congregation to attend Bristol Cathedral for the Service of Blessing of the Oils and renewal of Vows of Commitment. Believe it or not it was on this day last year at the same service, that our former Vicar - Christine - was installed as Archdeacon of Malmesbury and she is still very much missed by us all at St. Mary's. At 6.30 pm on that same Thursday evening there will be the usual Service at St. Mary's when we shall have our Holy Communion Service which includes the ceremony of washing the feet.

The next day of course is Good Friday. At 10.00 am there is a Family Service when the children will be putting on a presentation called "Have you heard?". Please come and give them your support as they have been working hard to make the production worthwhile and interesting. After the Service we shall have Coffee and Tea with Hot Cross Buns!

At 1.00 pm there will be a further Service on the theme - "Bread Broken" - a journey to the Cross. This will consist of short meditations on pictures and prayers. Immediately after this at 2.00 pm there will be a Service of Devotion presented by the Shirehampton Area Choir when they will sing the Cantata - "Olivet to Calvary" by J.H. Maunder. There is no charge because this is a Service and not a Concert!

Easter Day is of course on Sunday, 8th. April and will begin with our customary Easter Sunrise Service at 7.00 am at Shirehampton Park on the path which leads into Kingsweston Estate. This is followed by a Full English Breakfast afterwards at the nearby Shirehampton Cricket Club. This is followed by our Kids Klub at 8.30 am in St. Mary's and our first Holy Communion Service for Easter at 10.00 am. After this service there is our regular Easter Surprise for accompanied children in and around St. Mary's. There will also be a Competition for adults to prepare a Flower Posy to be placed at the foot of the Cross and children are asked to each make and prepare a small Easter Garden. The day will conclude with a Service of Compline at 8.00 pm.

On Tuesday, 10th. April, in St. Mary's, we shall be holding an afternoon event from 2.00 pm until 4.00 pm called "Crafty Easter". This is a craft afternoon for children of all ages and it would be ideal if we could have one adult per family. It sounds like great fun - so come and give it a try!

The following Sunday the 15th. - known as Low Sunday - will commence with 10.00 am Holy Communion but at 6.00 pm there will be a short Service of Evening Prayer followed by our Annual Parochial Church Meeting - when the business of St. Mary's for the past 12 months and the year ahead will be discussed and a new Parochial Church Council will be elected to carry it through. This is an important meeting and providing you are on our Electoral Roll you may vote for the persons who have indicated they are prepared to serve on the Council for the next 12 months. If you are also on the Electoral Roll of another parish you may only vote at ONE meeting in either parish and NOT both of them.

On Friday 20th April we are having another Social Evening - "Melodic Moments". This event will also include Supper. Tickets will be available from Gill Sawyer at the Church Office price £7.00. I don't exactly know what is to take place but I can guarantee that there will be good food and excellent fun. Tickets will be limited - so you will be advised not to leave it too late before buying them.

Your prayers this month are asked for the folks who live in the following streets in our parish - Groveleaze, Barrow Hill Road, Springfield Avenue and Springfield Lawns, Burnham Road, Passageleaze, Station Road and Hung Road.

'Bye for now - C.M.E.

From the Registers at St. Mary's 2012

BAPTISM "We welcome you"

  • 26th - Bethany May Eggleshaw, India May & Ravi Benjamin Sylvester

FUNERALS "At rest and at peace"

  • 2nd - Brian Deurance, Canford
  • 3rd - Jim MacKay, St Mary's
  • 13th - Bob Fraser, St Mary's
  • 15th - Violet Thomas, Canford; Monica Doul, St Mary's
  • 16th - Doreen Hancock, South Bristol
  • 29th - Molly Brain, Canford

Oasis Academy Brightstowe Receives funds for Duke of Edinburgh Awards

Oasis Academy Brightstowe is pleased to announce that £1,000 have been donated by The Bristol Port Company towards the Duke of Edinburgh Award for the Academy's Student Leadership programme. The funds will be used to purchase equipment so that the students, 25 in all, will be able to undertake the Duke of Edinburgh expedition.

"We are very grateful to receive this generous gift from The Bristol Port Company," said Guy Gibson, Alternative Curriculum Co-ordinator and Student Leadership Director at Oasis Academy Brightstowe."The opportunity that this kind donation has created will enable our Student Leadership to develop skills for work and life, to fulfil their potential and to have a brighter future."

Student Leadership, a relatively new and very exciting programme for Brightstowe, focuses on supporting students who show leadership potential in a wide range of areas such as sports, student council or as part of the new "Navy Blues" programme (Navy Blues are similar to prefects). In order to develop and strengthen these leadership skills, Oasis Academy Brightstowe will be using the Duke of Edinburgh Award to recognise the students' achievements. This programme will require students to develop a skill, do voluntary work and go on an expedition. All of these activities will be conducted in partnership with local youth services in Lawrence Weston and Shirehampton. This programme is being offered to Brightstowe students who normally would not have access to the award.

"The students who enrol will take part in a challenging expedition in the Mendip Hills during the summer break," said Mr Gibson. "The Award is internationally recognised and will enhance the personal development of our students. "

The Bristol Port Company donates money every year to a charitable fund run for it by the Quartet Community Foundation. Through this fund the company makes donations to local causes, including the Loud Mouth after-school club in Avonmouth, the Avonmouth Lunch Club, the restoration of the Tithe Barn in Shirehampton, the Beachley Walk Community Centre, local scouts and many other groups and individual causes.

"The Bristol Port Company is delighted to be able to fund these students to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award programme," said Sue Turner, Director of Communications at The Bristol Port Company. "Leadership skills are vital to every aspect of adult life, so it is great that these young people will develop their talents and confidence through this fun, stimulating programme."

Tynings Field News

January saw plenty of activity at Tynings Field despite the cold weather. The first major event of the year was the Wassailing that took place on the 15th January (which you can read about in a separate article) which was a great success.

This was followed by the hedge laying day on the 22nd January which was organised by City Farms. As you can see from the photographs people got stuck into the project and it was very much hands on. Over twenty people came along to help and learn about the ancient rural art of hedge laying from a professional trainer. You will see we have now gapped up and planted the hedge with thirty different hazel and hawthorn within the boundary. We'll also continue to plant bulbs, bluebells, wild flowers and primroses along the embankment whilst clearing away the ground ivy. This allows light to the plants that are growing there and the tall trees behind this will be managed as woodland. Hedge laying is done between the months of November and February when birds are not nesting and the sap is down in the trees. The newly laid hedge will green up in the Spring.

Whilst working on the hedge we cleared away a huge amount of household refuse that was fly tipped in the area and had to get a skip so it could be taken away in one go. Please do not use the hedge to dump your rubbish! We are trying to ensure that the area is environmentally friendly and we encourage natural wild plants and flowers to grow. This means butterflies, bees and other insects are encouraged back as they each play an important part in pollination and natural pest control.

All the daffodils that were planted in the orchard area are now making an appearance and will soon flower to announce that Spring has at last arrived. We are also getting ready to plant at least twenty strawberry plants in one plot.

Photo provided by Caroline and Jim Penny

Photo provided by Caroline and Jim Penny

We have been contacted by some people who want to set up a peoples supermarket in Bristol. Plans are underway to arrange a meeting with them and we'll keep you updated on the progress of this.


February saw our Valentines Day dig. It may not be considered a romantic gesture as such but there lunch, refreshments and chocolates were provided to those who came along that day to help with digging over the plots.

Our next social day will be the first weekend of May, so mark it in your diaries. Watch out for posters in the village and an announcement in The Shire nearer the date. Everyone is welcome.

An invite to you to get involved

We are asking people to help us with the planting of primroses, bluebell bulbs and wildflowers in the verge, embankment and hedgerow of Tynings Field. By summer we would love to see the area flourishing with colour.

We also need your help to dig over and chop in the mustard green manure. In addition we have ordered about two hundred potatoes to be planted along with sprouts and strawberries so we really do need all the physical help we can get. If you have a spare hour or two on a Sunday, Wednesday afternoon or even a Saturday please get in touch. Main workdays are Sunday from 10am onwards and Wednesday from 2pm onwards. The annual cost to join Tynings Field Community Group is £5 and you also have a share of the fruits and vegetables grown in the field. But you need to be able to spare on hour or two on a regular basis. However volunteers are always welcome to come along to get stuck in with the digging and planting. For further information please telephone: 0117 9090440.

Kathryn Courtney

Forty Years From Now... Shire Anniversary Writing Project

Riding a hover scooter to school, teleporting from home to the Cooperative, and flying cars. These were a few of the ideas local primary students had about what life will be like in Shirehampton 40 years from now. Recently a group of students from Oasis Academy Brightstowe spent an afternoon at Shirehampton Primary helping a group of Year 5 students work on a creative writing project.

Students were asked to write a short essay about what they think life will be like in Shirehampton in 40 years. Students at Oasis Academy Brightstowe, who have also been asked to write an essay on the topic, were excited to be able to help their younger counterparts.

"The kids were brilliant," said Claire Kerslake, Director of the Brightstowe Primary Partnership. "They were very enthusiastic about the project and had some really excellent ideas. Our students really enjoyed working with them on this project."

The project is part of the celebration in honour of The Shire's 40th anniversary. Students will submit their essays to The Shire to be read and judged. The best essays will be printed in The Shire and the authors of these essays will be awarded a special prize at the official commemoration of The Shire's 40th anniversary. All the essays will be available for viewing during The Shire's 40th anniversary official exhibit which will take place in the Methodist Church Hall April 27th and 28th.

"We are honoured to be participating in the celebration of The Shire's 40th anniversary," said Matt Butler, Oasis Academy Brightstowe Principal. "The Shire, in its 40 years, has contributed greatly to the community of Shirehampton. Happy anniversary to The Shire and we look forward to another outstanding 40 years - and more."

Brightstowe and Avonmouth Primary Team Up For a Library Workshop

Recently a group of 24 students from Avonmouth Primary attended a special library workshop at Oasis Academy Brightstowe. The purpose of the library workshop was to equip the primary students to successfully navigate a library in order to find what they want as well as to teach them how to find additional resources online and through other venues. The Year 6 students had some help navigating the workshop from several Brightstowe students who volunteered to spend the day assisting them and reading to them.

The Library Workshop, which took up most of an afternoon, consisted of a variety of different activities aimed at improving the students' ability to find materials in a library as well as their ability to find other resources including online resources. Activities included finding a non-fiction book followed by 10 minutes of silent reading, a search engine worksheet whereby the students were able to use different child-friendly search engines to find information, and a Reading Champion section with the Brightstowe students.

"It was a great day and we all had a lot of fun," said Claire Kerslake, Director of the Brightstowe Primary Partnership. "We wanted to partner with Avonmouth Primary specifically in the area of literacy and library competency, but in a fun way. We definitely achieved our goals as the children were engaged and learning. And at the end of the day they left excited and enthusiastic about both libraries in general and about reading."

Join Avon Primary to Celebrate 60 Years

The Shire newspaper may be 40 years old, but Avon Primary can beat that. We are 60 this year!

Avon Primary first opened its doors to educate the children of Shirehampton, Lawrence Weston and Avonmouth on 21st April 1952. We will be celebrating this event with the children in various ways and will let you know exactly what in the June edition of this paper.

To mark this event we would like to welcome current and past pupils, family and staff to our Open Evening on Wednesday 18th April, 3:30 - 6:30pm. There will be photos and children's work to look at, and an offer of a 'cuppa' so…..come back and remember, then spot the changes.

Shire @ 40 Exhibition

Don't forget to come along to the exhibition celebrating the past, present and future of Shire newspaper in this, our 40th anniversary year. The exhibition will be open to the public at the Methodist Church between 12noon - 5pm on Friday 27th April and 10am - 4pm on Saturday 28th April. Old copies of the paper will be on display and all sorts of memories of 'old Shire' as well as entries from school children who have taken part in our 'Shire of the Future' competition to guess what life will be like in our village in 2052. You will also be able to see how the paper is edited and compiled by our volunteers every month and even have a go at laying out a page yourself. Entry to the exhibition will be free of charge and light refreshments will be available throughout.

New Events at Oasis Academy Brightstowe

A new Tai Chi class starts on April 17th on Tuesdays from 7 - 8.30pm at Oasis Academy Brightstowe. This is possibly one of the calmest of marital arts as it develops movement and controlled breathing in a slow, easy to learn sequence. This class is especially for beginners and is great for everyone no matter how old or how fit. The class is taught by Simon Fowler who has studied the Chen Style and Qigong form of Tai Chi for thirteen years. For more details contact Simon on 07724 139 846.

@Metafit and Pilates - new classes at Brightstowe

Liz Hearn of Schools-Plus is introducing more evening classes at Oasis Academy Brightstowe. This time she has partnered with Cath Payne of Cardio and Core to bring to Shirehampton two new weekly classes to Shirehampton starting on Thursday, March 1st 2012.

A new Metafit Class will run from 6:30 t0 7:00pm. Metafit is a 30minute full body workout that will leave you feeling incredible! The Metafit system is designed to work all the major muscle groups, raise the heart rate, stress the muscle cells and elevate the metabolism! It's a great way to stay in shape and right up your street if you take your sports seriously.

A more relaxing, stretching Pilates class is on offer from 7:15 to 8:00pm. Pilates is a body conditioning technique that focuses on strengthening the core muscles, but it also increases flexibility and mobility. Pippa Middleton's amazing shape shown off at the Royal Wedding last year is said to have been influenced by her Pilates classes.

To sign up and get your first class for free call Cath Payne on 07779 773510 or email

You can do one class or do both as they complement a full body work out with a stretch and tone.

A Chocolate Conundrum

Thinking clearly and logically can be very useful at Easter. Imagine the following scenario, which is a variation on a classic logical conundrum.

You are in a room with two doors leading out. Behind one door is a room full of chocolate Easter eggs, along with the exit. Behind the other door is an enormous, hungry lion that has eaten all the eggs in his room and will pounce on anyone opening the door.

You do not know which door leads to the eggs and the exit, and which door leads to the lion, and injury or death. In the room you are in are two individuals. The first is a knight, who always tells the truth, and a knave, who always lies. Both of these individuals know what is behind each door. You do not know which individual is the knight, or which one is the knave. You may ask one of the individuals exactly one question. What question should you ask in order to be certain that you would open the door with the chocolate eggs behind it, instead of the hungry lion?

If you want a chance to figure out an answer for yourself then stop here. If, like me, you are just frustrated then here is the, logical, answer.

You ask one of the individuals what the other one would say if you asked him which door is holding back the hungry lion and then open this door. Let's say that the chocolate is behind door 'A' and the lion behind door 'B'. If you are speaking to the knight he will, truthfully, say that the knave will lie to you and tell you that the lion is behind door A. If you are talking to the knave he will lie to you and tell you that the knight will tell you that the lion is behind door A. So opening door A should reveal an Easter treat.

What about the following scenario. A woman is standing outside a cave with a large boulder at its entrance. Inside there is a shroud, recently used to cover a dead body, folded neatly at one end. Three days earlier the woman had seen her friend buried in the cave tomb after he had been executed. Where has his body gone? What is the explanation? The answer to this puzzle has been causing discussion for well over two thousand years, but if you come to Shirhampton Baptist Church on Easter Sunday you will find out the answer to the puzzle… and you might also receive much more than an Easter chocolate treat.

The Right Trustees for You

Recruiting the right trustees for your board can sometimes be a real challenge. Here's an opportunity to do something about it. Voscur and Volunteer Bristol are involved in a new pilot initiative called Business on Board which aims to help bring business skills to VCS Organisations. Led by Sarah Goldsmith, Business on Board is a partnership which includes Business in the Community, Volunteer Bristol and business partners. The scheme is being launched at two briefing sessions on 26 and 29 March 2012. So far we have had phenomenal interest from the business community with over 40 companies keen to come along and get their staff involved. But we need more voluntary and community sector organisations to get involved to ensure that this pilot is a success.

To get your organisation involved, please book yourself on one of the forthcoming briefing sessions by emailing: or call 07423 450 798.

New Head Teacher for St Bernard's School

The Governors of St Bernard's School are pleased to announce that following a rigorous interview process; Mrs Meg Wilson has been appointed Head Teacher. Mrs Wilson has been acting Head Teacher for the past few months and the new appointment took immediate effect.

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA)

There is a real sense that we are on a journey: personal, spiritual and life. The journey in faith is one in which we explore our relationship with the Church and invite those who may be enquiring about the Catholic Faith to make it with us. If you are interested or know of someone who would like to understand more about belonging to the Catholic Church, please come along or invite them to attend one of our sessions which are held every Wednesday: afternoon session 1.45-2.45pm and evening session 7.30-8.30pm.

For more details please contact Father Cosmas on 01179823380.

Happy 100th and 101st Birthdays!

Rosie Redford was joined by the Lady Mayoress Bernice Gallop, friends, family and fellow residents at the Penhill Residential Home to celebrate her 100th Birthday     (Photo: Bob Pitchford)

Rosie Redford was joined by the Lady Mayoress Bernice Gallop, friends, family and fellow residents at the Penhill Residential Home to celebrate her 100th Birthday (Photo: Bob Pitchford)

Vera is a resident at Kingsmead Lodge Nursing Home and was joined by friends and family to celebrate her 101st Birthday on 10th March   (Photo: Bob Pitchford)

Vera is a resident at Kingsmead Lodge Nursing Home and was joined by friends and family to celebrate her 101st Birthday on 10th March (Photo: Bob Pitchford)

The Matthew

The Matthew passing through Pill and Avonmouth on route to London for the Queen's Diamond Jubliee Pageant in June     (Photo: Bob Pitchford)

The Matthew passing through Pill and Avonmouth on route to London for the Queen's Diamond Jubliee Pageant in June (Photo: Bob Pitchford)