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News Index

Introducing the Rev Geoff

Pancake Day Fun

New arrivals at Kings Weston Park

Avon and Somerset Constabulary Local News

Library Jottings...

Robin Cousins Sports Centre Destroyed in Fire

Willow sculpting at Lamplighters Marsh

Letters to the Editor

Can you help Liam?

If you go down in the woods today . . .

Penhill Fundraiser

The Lamplighters’ Inn

St Mary’s News . . .

From The Registers at St.Mary’s February 2013

Introducing the Rev Geoff

THE Revd Geoff Waters was licensed as the new Priest in Charge at St Mary’s Church at the end of January and is gradually getting to know the community.

To help the community get to know him a little better, SHIRE went along to St Mary’s to catch him in action at the weekly Lunch Club and ask a few questions about the man and his mission.

Where were you previously and what did your role entail?

I was a curate in a large, town-centre Church in Northampton, with a special interest in what the Church could do to help older people.

What attracted you to Shirehampton?

It was clear from the paperwork advertising the post that this was a welcoming community and Church - and so it has proved to be.

How have you settled in and what are your first impressions of the village?

We are settling into life here, and getting to know more people. It will take a while, though, so please do stop and say hello if you see me in the High Street!

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Spending time with my family. We like going to look at the sea - we missed this in Northampton, which is a very long way from the sea!

Who’s in the Waters family?

My wife, Louise and we have two primary school-age daughters

What do you look forward to most in your new role?

Passing on the good news to people that God loves them and inviting them to follow Jesus.

Pancake Day Fun

ON Tuesday 12th February St. Mary’s Church held their annual Pancake Day Racing event and the church was packed with families all looking forward to a bit of competition and eating the many pancakes cooked by Gill.

There was the under 5’s race, the older children’s race and yes the adults race where parents and even grandparents showed how pancake racing is really done. The new Priest for St. Mary’s Church, Geoff Waters, took part in the pancake racing and he didn’t drop the pancake whilst flipping it, however his team mate Colin forgot to hit the stop watch at the end of the race, so we never really knew his completion time. There is always next year! Great fun was had by all and prizes of chocolates and Easter Eggs were given out to the winning teams.

This was followed by a Pancake and Valentines Day event on the Thursday organised by LinkAge and held at Penpole Residents Association Community Rooms. This was an intergenerational activity involving children, parents and grandparents. There was the making of Valentines cards, craft sculpting, model and cloak making by children with the adults joining in. In the kitchen children had the opportunity to make their own pancakes under the safe supervision of Ricky from LinkAge who did most of the cooking. More intergenerational events will be organised by LinkAge mainly during school holidays so watch out for posters in the village in the future. Kathryn Courtney

Shirehampton Community Action Forum Meetings 2013

  • Wednesday 1 May 7-9pm
  • Thursday 18 July 2-4pm
  • Wednesday 2 October - AGM - 7-9pm
  • Thursday 5 December 2-4pm

All meetings are held at Shire Public Hall

‘Meet the Neighbours’ at Kings Weston

AN INVITATION from the Kings Weston Action Group & Norman Routledge and his team.

The Kings Weston Action Group (KWAG) in partnership with Norman Routledge and his new team at Kings Weston House invite the local community to come along to Kings Weston House on the afternoon of Saturday, 6th April to take a look at the restoration challenges ahead for the Grade I Listed house and the historic parkland.

This event is the first joint project between the Kings Weston Action Group and Norman Routledge’s team where both hope to showcase their aspirations together. KWAG invite the local community, users of the park, and anyone with an interest in the natural history and architecture of Kings Weston to come and see how new research is informing the forthcoming Conservation Management Plan presently being drafted by the City Council.

Norman Routledge purchased the lease of the historic building in December 2012 and this event offers the first opportunity for the public to look inside since it closed in August last year. The condition of the building deteriorated quickly during 2012 though restoration work has now started to arrest further decay. The public are invited to come along to see the condition of the house, the work already achieved, and to find out more about the plans for the future.

KWAG will be showcasing their research and conservation progress at the event which also coincides with the group’s second anniversary. Over the last twenty-four months they have achieved an enormous amount through their working party events and pushing for better recognition of the public park from its owners, Bristol City Council and the National Trust, as well as with English Heritage and other national and local groups.

Chairman of KWAG David Martyn said "Meet the Neighbours" will be a great opportunity for everyone to come along and get to know us a bit better. We are always keen to hear what people think of the work that’s been started and we know the future of Kings Weston has to be shaped by the community that use it. The whole estate is on the verge of a really exciting time in its history. It should be a good chance for people to get involved, share their thoughts, and help us get things moving in the right direction."

Kings Weston house will be open from Noon until 4pm on Saturday 6th April and refreshments will be available in the vaulted tearooms. There will be the opportunity to tour the house including some areas not previously accessible to the public.

Representatives of KWAG and Norman Routledge’s new team will be available to discuss the challenges ahead and take on board any concerns as the Kings Weston ‘revival’ gathers pace.

For more information on KWAG please call David Martyn on 07811 666671 or e-mail

New arrivals at Kings Weston Park

THE Kings Weston Action group unveils the new leaflet dispensers

The Kings Weston Action Group (KWAG) has unveiled two new additions on the Kings Weston estate; a pair of durable leaflet boxes. The new steel dispensers have been jointly funded by KWAG and the National Trust and will be used to distribute information to help visitors get more out of the parkland.

One box has already been installed at the entrance to the grounds around the house at Shirehampton Road public car park and a second will be joining it shortly. This will be sited on Shirehampton Road beside the footpath access onto the National Trust’s Shirehampton Park land.

The boxes sport the logos of both organisations along with that of Bristol City Council, who own the majority of the Grade II Registered historic landscape. They also carry a line drawing of Kings Weston house to match similar boxes provided by the City’s Estates department at Ashton Court.

The boxes have been installed with the support of the City and will be maintained and filled by KWAG. Initially they are being filled with the groups walking guides to the park, but plans for other leaflets and guides are already in progress.

Earlier this month KWAG were delighted to have received a grant from the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeology Society for new guides to the history of the house and estate. These will also be available from the leaflet boxes once they are published.

For more information on KWAG please call David Martyn on 07811 666671 or e-mail

Avon and Somerset Constabulary Local News

Police Team issues

Dog Fouling Warning

POLICE Community Support Officer Abby ELLIOTT-TAYLOR for Avon-mouth and Shirehampton beat is issuing a warning to local dog owners who are allowing their pets to foul on the footpaths, playgrounds and open spaces around the beat will be given a fixed penalty notice to anyone who fails to pick up immediately after their dog on designated land or land to which the public have access.

The warning comes after the Avonmouth and Shirehampton Neighbourhood Policing Team have received a number of complaints through from local residents who are worried about the health and environmental problems dog fouling can cause.

Speaking about the dog fouling problems, PCSO ELLIOTT - TAYLOR said: "Failing to clear up after your dog is irresponsible and highly dangerous as it can lead to blindness through an infection called Toxocara-Canis. It is illegal to allow your dog, or any dog you are in charge of, to foul in a public place.

"Under the The Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996 it is your responsibility to clean up after a dog you are walking, whether a bin is available to deposit the waste in or not.

Anyone who fails to clean up can face a £80 on the spot fine and costs of up to £1,000 if the case goes to court.

"We want people to enjoy their lives and the area you live and work in, but the dog fouling issue is one that is causing worry and concern. It is therefore having a negative impact on the quality of life for some local residents who are worried about the welfare of their families.

"I would ask local dog owners to be mindful of the responsibilities they have and to ensure that they clear up after their pets, so as not to impact on other people’s lives."

Anyone who spots a dog owner failing to clean up after their dog should contact PCSO ELLIOTT-TAYLOR on 101 or via email giving as many details as possible such as time, date, location and description of the dog and if the name and/or address of the dog owner is known this should be included.

The Neighbourhood Policing Team will then carry out patrols in these areas and will deal robustly with anyone they find breaking the law.

Crackdown Launched on Avonmouth Industrial Estate

POLICE have launched a crackdown on crime at industrial and commercial businesses in Avonmouth. Officers are visiting businesses in the Avonmouth area offering advice and reassurance. Police patrols have also been increased around the industrial estates. As part of the crackdown pedestrians and occupants of vehicles are being asked to account for their presence in the area.

PC Amanda PATTERSON from Avonmouth Neighbourhood police team said "although crime was generally low, a spate of crime had been noticed during the last few weeks and we are anxious to nip it in the bud. The crimes have included several thefts of vehicles, but mainly thefts of metal and diesel.

I believe that the public are often under the misapprehension that businesses can stand these thefts - often high value - and that they are fully insured against them. This is often far from the truth and jobs and businesses are often at risk as a direct result of such thefts.

As such we will offer our business communities as much support as we can to reduce the chance of them being victims of crime". Increased patrols will continue in the foreseeable future .

Money stolen in bettingshop robbery

An investigation has begun after money was stolen from a bookmaker in Shirehampton. A robbery took place at 8.30pm on Wednesday February 27, 2013 at Coral in the High Street. A man, armed with a knife, entered the shop and threatened staff. He was given a small amount of money and then fled.

The suspect is described as a white man, around 5’8" tall and in his early 20s. He has a medium build and was wearing dark clothing. Enquiries are being conducted to identify the person responsible.

Beauty products stolenin burglary

An investigation is under-way into a burglary at commercial premises in Avonmouth.The incident occurred at Elemis on Poplar Way over the weekend (between Saturday February 23 and Monday February 25). The offenders gained entry to a warehouse and stole beauty products worth a significant sum of money. Carrier bags were also taken which may be to help pass the items off as legitimate if they are sold on.

Enquiries into the burglary are being conducted and we would like to speak to anyone who saw people acting suspiciously in the area during the weekend. We would also like to hear from anyone who has been offered cheap items such as beauty products and treatments for sale in suspicious circumstances.

Crime Reduction Day Held Across Avonmouth

On Tuesday 19th February a crime reduction day was held in the area. 13 officers from both Avonmouth and Southmead neighbourhood policing teams took part in the day which focused on tackling vehicle crime.

PC Andy Stamp and PC Paul White visited local businesses in Avonmouth industrial estate offering crime reduction advice and information about Operation Tornado. Each business was also provided with catalytic marking kits free of charge.

Officers from Southmead and Avonmouth neighbourhood policing teams, along with Safer Homes and Safer Bristol, fitted tamper proof screws to number plates at Costco car park, Avonmouth.

The day has been hailed a success with over 123 business visited and 104 number plates being made secure.

Neighbourhood Beat Manager, PC Amanda Patterson, said, "Although crime is generally low, a spate of crime has been noticed during the last few months and we are anxious to nip it in the bud.

"Thefts of catalytic converters have cost businesses in this area thousands of pounds and we are working closely with our colleagues from Operation Tornado to reduce these crimes."

Anyone requiring further advice, or with information about any of these incidents, should contact DC Alan Smith on 101. Call the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via We never ask for your name or trace your call. You can also contact us in confidence via our website

Library Jottings...

HOPEFULLY, by now, many of you will have been in and seen our lovely light, bright and modern looking library. With nice clean paintwork and smart, more flexible shelving, it has certainly been updated. Some extra shelves, allowing the books to be spaced out more, a lovely big rug for the children and a couple of nice comfy chairs, with a small table in the lower part of the library, will all help to make it appear more open, spacious and comfortable.

If you haven’t been yet do come in and have a look as, with the better weather hopefully on it’s way, and Spring just around the corner, what an opportunity to pop out for a visit to see what we have to offer.

When a young, or not so young, man’s mind turns to Spring their next thought is often …. gardening! We have a good selection of gardening books and access to many more throughout the Libraries West Area, so if it is a general gardening book, or a specialist one you want, we can usually find one for you.

For more immediate information we can help you to look it up on the Internet. So sorry gents (and ladies) no more excuses for not knowing how, or when, to take care of those plants.

For those more at home with cooking those vegetables don’t forget we have plenty of cookery books on offer. Start thinking now of those summer picnics and bbq’s.

The younger ones are well catered for too, with a beautiful collection of children’s books and our popular Bump and Rhyme sessions, for the under 5’s, in term time on Monday mornings. Those of you wanting a quiet browse, or read, may want to avoid this time!

Onto a more personal item, after 23 years in the Library Service, I have decided it is now time for me to retire and spend more time with my husband and family. During that time I have seen many changes in the Library Service - some good, some not so good. The one thing that has never changed is the people - the staff with their commitment to doing the best they can and the public with their appreciation of the work we do.

I have been at Shirehampton for over half of that time and can truthfully say it has been the best half. I would like to say how much I have appreciated being welcomed and taken into the heart of such a wonderful community. I could not begin to thank all the truly lovely people I have had the pleasure to meet, but I feel I must thank everyone involved with the ‘Shire’ paper for all their help and support over the years. I will certainly miss all our friendly chats and banter, and will miss ‘the buzz’ of being able to help solve your queries but I know I leave you in the very capable hands of our great staff, and with Customer Service coming high on the Council’s priorities, again, I am sure you will all continue to enjoy using the library.

I hope I will see many of you to say goodbye before I leave at the end of April.


Robin Cousins Sports Centre Destroyed in Fire

ROBIN Cousins Sports Centre has been destroyed in a late-night arson attack. An investigation is under-way following the fire at the sports centre on the Portway. A short time after 11pm on Tuesday March 5, two people went to the building and started a fire. The fire service attended to extinguish the flames and we immediately began enquiries into the cause of the fire.

It has been established that the fire was started deliberately. The building was badly damaged in the fire and is now unsafe and will require demolition.

We are treating this incident very seriously and are continuing our enquiries. We would like to speak to anyone who saw the fire being started or people acting suspiciously in the area. If you can help please contact DC John Scott on 101. Call the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or vi.www.crimestoppers-uk.or "" \t "_blank" . We never ask for your name or trace your call. You can also contact us in confidence via our website

Donation from Jackie Hares

For the donation from Jackie Hares for the marriage announcement in the February edition of the Shire, many thanks from the editor.

Willow sculpting at Lamplighters Marsh

ON 25th February a group of local people from SCAF, Tynings Field Community Group, Lawrence Weston Farm and other related organisations tried their hand at Willow Sculpting.

Kerry Rowe from Lawrence Weston Farm was on hand to show how the craft of willow sculpting was done and it wasn’t simply bending branches as they would break. The willow branches needed to be warmed up by rubbing them with your hands and gently bending them into shape. People took on board the advice given and watched Kerry carefully with what she did before having a go themselves. It took several hours to bend and weave the branches together into a pattern to create an impressive border along the beginnings of the ‘Yellow Brick Road’ path. They worked together as a team and achieved a lot as well as learning a new skill.

This is just one of several projects taking place in the area with more to follow. This has been run in partnership with Bristol City Council Wild City Project and Access To Nature Scheme which is lottery funded and is now in it’s final year of three.

Lamplighters Marsh is one of seven Key Project sites and a focus for events as well. The project aims to increase people’s confidence and understanding of green spaces whilst improvements continue to be made to the natural environment in deprived areas. It is hoped more and more people will visit these sites and that they will be enjoyed by future generations to come.

Ash Bearman from SCAF said: "The willow sculpting has been part of a series of events that have been run, many to involve local schools. All the walks programmes over the last two years have been part of this. We are now finalising our 2013 walks programme and will forward details in due course. There has also been a full disability access audit of the site and soon we will have two picnic benches, two bench seats, two dual litter/dog mess bins and additional signage on the Lamplighters Marsh Site"

"For the grand finale we will be part of River Festival event which will be held on Saturday 22nd June.

Further details of this event will follow.

Kathryn Courtney.

Letters to the Editor

Fundraising for Cancer Research UK

Dear Editor

I am currently fundraising for Cancer Research UK by giving up alcohol for 12 months (Dryathlon). As a member of the Shire community, I would like news of my fundraising to reach a wider scope of people.

If you have been touched by cancer please support me.

Here is my link -

Tara O’Neill

Christmas Lights Association

Dear Shire Newspaper

Re: Shire Newspaper Community Awards

I am writing on behalf of all connected with SCAF to thank you for your generous award of £500. Your donation makes an invaluable contribution to supporting the continuation of our work on a wide range of community based projects.

Ash Bearman - Community Development Officer

Flowers taken from graveyard

Dear Editor

I would like to raise the issue of flowers being taken from St Marys graveyard. My Mum has a plaque in St Marys graveyard in Shirehampton, recently I have been putting artificial flowers in the pots and they are being taken. I brushed it off the first time but I replaced the flowers. I went up on mothers day to find the whole pot of artificial flowers had been taken, this is the fourth time in 6 months. Sandra Thomas

Thanks to the ‘Shire’ Team

Dear Editor,

Re: Shire Newspaper Community Awards

Thank you, and the Shire team, for the generous donation to the Christmas lights. The money is much appreciated and will help pay for the ‘lights’ this year.

Yours sincerely Cedric Rich

Bygone days

Dear Editor,

Many thanks for publishing my friend W.R. Carey’s article about the photograph from bygone days of the group of Shire residents heading off on a coach tour. He has sent copies to Australia, so now he is awaiting the reaction. Ex-pats love to hear the news about their old village. Distance lends enchantment . . .

Best wishes to you and your staff, Hamish Grant.

Can you help Liam?

Car Boot sale on 20 April

My name is Liam, I was born on 8th Sept 2005 weighing 5lb 5ounces and I live in Shirehampton.

My mummy noticed that I wasn’t moving in her tummy anymore so she went to the hospital and they noticed I wasn’t breathing properly. They rushed my mummy into theatre for an Emergency C-section at 38weeks. For the first 3 weeks of my life I was in NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) at Southmead Bristol.

Just before my 1st Birthday I was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy due to my delayed progression of my mobility.

Due to this I have always struggled with basic skills such as sitting, crawling and especially standing and walking. I am 7 now and I still struggle. My main way to get around is to crawl but mostly I bunny hop if my mummy isn’t watching because this is a faster way for me.

When I was 4, I was given a Kaye walker which has helped me have some independence however I tire easily and I am not expected to ever walk without it.

I am hoping that Mummy and Daddy will be able to raise enough money for me to have the life changing operation SDR(selective dorsal rhyzitomy) so that I can play like all the other children.

Liam is such a happy boy and always brings a smile to peoples faces. Anyone who has met him knows how much of a personality he has. He has inspired us so much with his positive attitude and how much hard work he puts into his daily routine of exercise and stretching. We would love to make it possible, with this operation, that he could take his first unaided steps.

We are hoping to raise enough money to cover the costs of the operation and the intensive physiotherapy that will be needed afterwards. We hold regular fundraising events and our next one is a Car Boot sale on 20 April at Long Cross Primary and Nursery School in Long Cross. If you would like know any more details or book a stall please telephone 01179826850. Any donations no matter how small will be massively appreciated to make my dream come true.

To donate please visit,text donations LWAL89 £1 to 70070 or see more details on facebook: big steps for Liam

If you would like to know more about SDR please go to this web page

In Remembrance of Malcolm Handley

passed away 05/03/2012

Last year I sent a message to your newspaper regarding the death of Malcolm Handley as he was a well-known friend to the community of Shirehampton. My maiden name was Jean Simpson, when I lived at Old Park Road, but I now live in Cape Town South Africa.

Malcolms wife Denise lives in Namibia and she asked me to see if you could put the following message in the ‘Shire’ in remembrance of him as she has not got access to the Internet. Denise can be contacted at P.O. BOX 369 ROSH PINAH NAMIBIA .

Thank you for an excellent newspaper I often go on Internet and catch up on what is happening in "The Village" and I hope to visit in July.

To-day recalls the memory
Of a loved one gone to rest,
And those who think of him to-day
Are those who loved him best
The flower we lay upon his grave
May wither and decay
But the love from him who lies beneath
Will never fade away.

Denise, Wayne, Jean, and family

June Drayton

5th June 1936 - 3rd February 2013

June sadly passed away after a long fight with cancer. June was well known within the village over the past 45 years, having worked at Noel Williams the chemist and then Dewani’s for a number of years. June then ran Rob Taylor Motor Cycles with husband Mike before they both retired.

June will be greatly missed by husband Mike, son Ian and daughter Sue and their families. The family wishes to express gratitude to the doctors and district nurses at Shirehampton Health Centre, as well as the palliative care team.

Thank you all.

Mike Drayton

(Thank you for your donation - Ed)

Demolition of CWS Silos, Avonmouth

THE CWS Silos at Avonmouth (pictured) have been redundant for many years. The mills they used to supply were demolished in the 1980s and the Port of Bristol Authority planned to demolish the silos at that time too. However the silos were left standing but without any use; internally they have thick concrete tubes running from top to bottom so it is not possible to convert them to any other use.

In 2012 English Heritage examined whether part of the silos should be listed and concluded that it should not be listed. The silos are now in a dangerous state so The Bristol Port Company, after extensive discussions with Bristol City Council, Network Rail and others, has agreed a plan to demolish them. As they are next to the passenger rail line to Severn Beach as well as by the main entrance to Avonmouth Docks the process must be managed very carefully.

The key details are as follows:

  • Preparatory work will start in the next two-three weeks. Once the demolition work starts it will last for approximately 48 weeks.
  • The hours of operation, as agreed with Bristol City Council, will be 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 1pm on Saturdays.
  • Expert demolition contractors have been appointed. They will firstly carefully remove asbestos, which has already been located in a survey of the building, before disposing of it off-site it in accordance with national regulations. They will then take down the building piece by piece using specialist equipment designed to minimise dust.
  • A programme to minimise dust and noise has been agreed with Bristol City Council.
  • Construction traffic will be kept to a minimum as most non-hazardous material will be used within the port.
  • If the main port entrance has to be closed during demolition the Port will open other gates but the Gloucester Road gate will remain closed.
  • We are in close consultation with Network Rail and the train operators to minimise impacts on passenger trains and ensure alternative arrangements are put in place if needed.

I appreciate that some people may regard the silos as a local landmark and be sad to see them go. They are however both redundant and hazardous so there is no alternative but to remove them completely. I also appreciate that you may have concerns about dust and noise and we have taken this into account through a very detailed preparation and planning process.

If you have any questions about the planned demolition do contact me,Sue Turner Director of Communications 0117 982 0000

If you go down in the woods today . . .

Fools and Heroes (F&H), is a UK based Live Action Role-play (LARP) Society.They run a high fantasy plot-line, which ends in a large fest every year.

F&H has a unique world setting, it has its own runic alphabet, months of the year and colourful history that will set your imagination on fire.

There are eight guilds, seven churches and five knightly orders available for a character to join, giving a wide variety of characters, be them human, dwarf or Elf (don’t forget the halflings!). They play at Kingsweston and Leigh Woods on a regular basis

The Fools and Heroes main website is Bristol Branch Contact is Oliver Bidlake-Corset and his e:mail address is

NEW ADVISOR for Shire Advice Service

AVON (University Settlement) Community Association (AUSCA) which runs the Shire Advice Service is delighted to announce the appointment of Tamsin Evans as our advisor following the resignation of Tony Mohammad who is pursuing other interests.

Tamsin is educated to post graduate level and is qualified to give advice on welfare benefit entitlement, help with claims and appeals, advise on debts and budgeting and generally follow the ethos of the charity in relieving poverty through the provision of free, high quality advice.

Having worked in the field of care and support for twenty years and latterly having had contact with Shire Advice Service as a point of referral for some clients, Tamsin believes it is vital to have a local free advice service for people who find themselves in difficulty. She has seen first -hand how money worries can lead to depression and having someone to help them tackle the problems prevents them spiralling out of control. Tamsin says "I was very impressed by how accessible Shire Advice Service is and by the length of time it has been open - I would love the opportunity to be a part of it."

Tamsin has been working since 18th February and can be found at St Andrew’s Church, Avonmouth 9.30 - 11.30am, each Monday, in conjunction with the food bank, and at Shirehampton Health Centre on Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday mornings. No appointment is necessary.

AUSCA is also very pleased to have recruited several new volunteer trustees over the past year, who bring with them experience and qualifications vital to managing the charity effectively, and we have every confidence that we will now go from strength to strength. Judy Helme

Pots, Plants and Patios is back in Shire

THE ‘Gardening Club’ has made a welcome return to Shirehampton. It’s entitled "Pots, Plants and Patios" and you don’t need to have a garden.

You could live in a flat and have a corner in a room where your plants are resident. You may have a balcony or a window box where your plants may reside. It could also be a patio area in a small courtyard or garden that you have access to where your plants flourish. Even if you do have a garden, "Pot’s, Plants and Patios" is for everyone even if you’re not very good at it like I am. I did pick up a few tips on growing courgettes, cucumbers and tomatoes which were a success.

There is a certain camaraderie and social occasion about a group of people with a varying interest in all types of gardening. From growing vegetables in pots, hanging baskets, flowers and plants to finding out more about the best soil and feed to use and how to deal with plant pests. It’s very much hands on too so don’t forget to take along some gardening gloves unless you don’t mind getting your hands dirty! So if you want to learn something new or simply enhance your gardening skills and knowledge why not come along and see what’s happening.

Chris Purvis runs the ‘Gardening Club’ as I call it because there is a sense of belonging, growing friendships and swapping of ideas and tips. She has also organised a couple of local garden trips too in the past. Chris is patient and explains things in simple terms. She makes it fun and knows her subject well, always willing to answer any questions you have. She is passionate about gardening overall and is a volunteer guide at the University Botanical Gardens in Bristol.

"Pots, Plants and Patios" takes place every Wednesday afternoon from 2:00pm - 4:30pm at the Tithe Barn, High Street, Shirehampton. The cost is £2.50 per week. All are welcome to come along even if you are under the age of 55 years.

For more information and booking your place please call Ricky Bush at LinkAge on: 07807 706310

Kathryn Courtney

Shirehampton Primary School Green Space

SITE BEFORE work commenced in October 2012

SHIREHAMPTON Primary school is rapidly moving forward in their development of an unused piece of land off St Mary’s Walk. The aim for the 1000 square metre site is to provide a welcome green space for learning at a school which has predominantly tarmac playgrounds.

The school had the site cleared and maintained as a grass field but wanted to do more with it. A belief that the area could be very valuable led the Governors to request transfer of ownership over to the school. A successful National Lottery bid provided the financial backing to get the project moving.

The school’s Eco-Council carried out a ‘needs and wants’ analysis to develop ideas with Best Education Limited (specialists in ‘Learning Outside the Classroom), who are project managing the landscaping of the site, providing a range of curriculum based activities and developing community partnership opportunities.

Work starts on pond and gazebo

Work starts on pond and gazebo

The area now includes a large pond with dipping access, a Gazebo with seating for use as an outdoor classroom, a security shed for storage of equipment, bark paths, a pole forest, tables and benches. Woodland areas and hedges have been planted by Year 4 children using native saplings donated by the Woodland Trust. Raised beds for planting of edible gardens have also been established. A selection of plum, pear and apple trees provide the centre point for a produce section. Blackcurrant, redcurrant and raspberry bushes will contribute to the harvest. 300 daffodil bulbs donated by SCAF will look fantastic once they flower alongside the paths in the Spring.

Support has come from a Community Payback team

Support has come from a Community Payback team

Best Education director, Simon Squire, a qualified teacher and schools consultant with extensive experience in developing outdoor learning programs and innovative projects, has come up with range of activities across all year groups including: building an insect hotel, a Mini Golf course, designing gates for the entrance, making bird and bat boxes, planting herbs and vegetables and creating outdoor artworks. All children at the school will take part in exciting learning projects.

The area already has lovely wildlife corridors running around the perimeter, an extensive slow worm colony and a mature dense shrub area attracting many different varieties of birds.

A major planting schedule will begin in March to create wildflower zones, enhance the wildlife corridors, a specialist butterfly garden, another 105 native saplings, herbs, vegetables, marsh and pond plants. Also on the cards are an outdoor musical trail, a giant sundial and a range of sculpture and outdoor artwork. The local community have been kept informed of plans and are very supportive of the project and the transformation of the area.

Future plans for the Shirehampton Green Space include inviting Cub, Brownie and Scout groups, local playgroups, community support groups and other schools to use this fabulous safe play and learning environment. If anyone would like to donate plants to help the school, buddleias, honeysuckles, jasmine, clematis, thymes, lavender’s and broom would all be very much appreciated.

For more information please contact:

Easter Sports Camps at St Bede’s

We will, once again, be running sports camps during the upcoming Easter Holidays. There will be two weeks of 4-day camps which will exclude Good Friday and Easter Monday. The details are shown below:

  • Tuesday 2nd-Friday 5th April: Multi-Sports
  • All days are 9am-3pm
  • Both camps cost £35 for the week (£30 for siblings) or £10 per day
  • Open to all boys and girls aged 7-14 (unfortunately we cannot take children younger than 7)

All coaches are suitably qualified and have been CRB Police Checked and will fully supervise the children at all times. These are experienced coaches who have worked with children in schools and club settings.

For a registration form or further details please contact

Rob Allan on 07825 767582 or 0117 3533364

Community Sport/Football Development Officer- North Bristol & School Games Organiser- North Bristol

Social Tea Dance and Get Cooking for April

There are two social occasions to book in your diary for April. There is the social Tea Dance that takes place on Thursday 25th April from 3 until 5pm at The Public Hall, Station Road, Shirehampton. Spend a couple of hours dancing, chatting, socialising at an event where there is something for everyone. Join in with the different types of dance that include ballroom, Latin and social dancing. It doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced dancer or a complete novice, everyone is welcome and you don’t necessarily have to take along a dance partner. It will be a fun, relaxed enjoyable afternoon for all. Entry is £3 per person, refreshments included, and you don’t need to book, just turn up at the door and have a great afternoon. See you there! This event is supported by LinkAge.

The second is a cooking course that begins in April (date to be confirmed but watch out for posters in the village). It’s called Get Cooking and will run over several weeks in Shirehampton. If you rarely cook or have little experience or never chopped an onion in your life you will learn how to cook good, quick, tasty, low cost, healthy meals. If you are someone who has got bored with cooking and want to be inspired then this could be for you. If you simply want to enhance your cooking skills and treat a family member, or friend, to your home-made cooking then why not come along and join in. They will be practical and easy to follow cooking sessions. They are fun, you pick up some good cooking tips and short-cuts and you’ll be cooking the food yourself during each session. You also have the chance to taste the food and take home any leftovers. The added bonus is that you will most probably make a new friend or two along the way and share a laugh or two with them.

Get Cooking is funded by The People Health Trust using moneys raised by society lotteries through the Health Lottery. It is supported by LinkAge and booking is essential. For further information and to book your place on Get Cooking please contact Ricky Bush on: 07807 706310

Kathryn Courtney.

Barn Dance - Shirehampton Public Hall

Saturday 27 April 2013 7.30pm - 10.30pm £6 per ticket

Rob Zikking calling all cowboys and cowgirls. Mosey on down to Shire Hall for a good ol’ hoe down!

Raffle prizes to be won, plus a rootin’ tootin’ good time for everyone.

Bring your own liquor and food.

The Barn Dance is for the general support of the Public Hall Association and is being organised by the Hall Trustees.

Tickets on sale from Friday 22 March at:

  • Shire Public Hall: or phone 0117 9829963
  • or buy them direct from A Nightingale hardware store on Shire high street!
  • also, our Trustees will be distributing flyers for this event in the Shire area.

Penhill Fundraiser

Penhill Residential Home held a month long fundraiser for a valued friend and colleague. Many events took place, including sponsor silence, swim and Jane Ellis who bravely had her head shaved. The manager Trina Birtwistle said how proud she was of her wonderful team.’

The Lamplighters’ Inn

BETTY Marten’s drawing evokes the former glory of the building that now stands forlornly looking for some TLC. We don’t know when the building, originally known as the Old Passage House, was first built but it is said William III landed here upon his return from Ireland after the Battle of Boyne in 1690.

The property was rebuilt in the 1760s by businessman Joseph Swetman, renamed Lamplighters Hall and in the Bristol Journal of 1768 was offered to let ‘The Public House at Passage Leaze opposite Pill, commonly known as Lamplighters Hall’ In 1772 the property was up for sale as part of the estate of Joseph Swetnam a Tinman of Small St, Bristol. Joseph possibly lived here for a short time after rebuilding prior to 1768 and his wealth came from gaining contracts to light several Bristol parishes with oil lamps. This was how he afforded to buy ‘a splendid house in the country’ in full view of the picturesque beauties of Pill’

The Hall was marked on Isaac Taylor’s map of 1777 and it became a favourite resort of pleasure parties. On several occasions the Standing committee of the Society of Merchant Venturers of Bristol met here to examine ships pilots and make its authority felt. In 1810 the building became known as Lamplighters Hotel and Sunday lunches became a special favourite with the patrons necessitating the landlord to engage extra staff. In 1842 a Bristol guide book suggested as a day’s excursion a voyage down the Avon to King Road either in a light boat with sails or on the deck of one of the outward bound steam vessels as far as Avonmouth returning with the flowing afternoon tide or by a land conveyance from the Lamplighters Hotel. For decades the pub was well used by seafarers and the local population. In 1973 it underwent extensive modernisation and became a carvery for a short time but the exterior was left unaltered. It was a sad day when the pub closed in January 2010 and there is a campaign to get it up and running again as a pub or restaurant. There is nothing nicer than sitting here on a summers evening with a drink or meal so we hope that will be possible again.

Chapel Film 4 Kids

After a short interlude Chapel Film 4 Kids (at Shirehampton Methodist church) will be restarting during school holidays. Dates for this school year are as follows:

  • Thursday 4th April 2pm
  • Thursday 30th May 2pm
  • Thursday 1st August 2pm

Children must be accompanied by an adult and admission is free. Refreshments are available.

Our adult Chapel Film Club continues to meet fortnightly. Recent films range from old favourites like ‘Genevieve’ to more contemporary films such as ‘The Iron Lady’ and ‘Hugo’.

  • Monday 8th April 2pm
  • Monday 22nd April 2pm
  • Monday 6th May 2pm
  • Monday 20th May 2pm

Admission is free. Join us for tea and coffee after the film.

To find out more or receive details about the film we are showing, please contact Neil Quarmby on 0117 377 1015 or send an email to

Severn Four Credit Union Closure

SEVERN Four Credit Union went into liquidation on 6th March 2013. It’s a sad end to a credit union which for fifteen years offered local people low cost loans and a safe place to save.

Severn Four was started in 1997 by Kathryn Hutt, who was then a Health Visitor in Lawrence Weston. The credit union was a place where anyone in Lawrence Weston, Shirehampton, Sea Mills and Avonmouth could save (many had no access to banks or building societies), and where loans cost a fraction of the amount charged by the loan sharks and doorstep lenders. By the time we closed we had 1700 members with savings of nearly £460,000 and £430,000 out on loan.

The main reason for our failure was a large rise in bad debts over the past couple of years, caused by some members defaulting on their loans. The worsening economic situation is squeezing people on benefits and low incomes, so these defaults came as little surprise, but our reserves just weren’t enough to cover the losses.

We tried to merge with Bristol Credit Union, but after keeping us waiting for six months they rejected the merger. With no other way of making up our losses we were forced to close. All members’ savings were returned in full, and the Liquidators are collecting the loan repayments.

Our closure is bad news for many people in the area who relied on us for financial support and advice. Ironically, it will probably cost the taxpayer more to close us down than it would to have helped us to keep going.

Shirehampton Evergreens Day Trip

This will be on May14th to Minehead

For further details tel 9381725 - N Sims (Chairperson)

National Smelting Co Boxing Club

Western County Senior ABA Championship Final

The National Smelting Co Boxing Club’s Tyler ‘Tiger’ Davies, 18 years old, won on Sunday 10th March in the Western County Senior ABA Championship Finals at 57-60kg class held at Filton Wise Campus. He won on points against Mayflowers Ryan Hart, a 23 year old, 60 bout boxer which is twice as many bouts as Tyler.

Tyler is a student at the Filton Wise Campus where he is studying for NVQ level 3 in Sport. He is a qualified Personal Trainer and Boxing Coach and was boxing student of the year last year. He trains in the Filton Wise Boxing Academy during the day and at the NSC Boxing Club in the evenings. Ty boxed with skill and patience to out counter-punch a very skilful boxer and boxes next in the National Pre Quarters in Bracknell.

Smelters Belters III Show Report

On Thursday 7th March the show was a complete sell out, we had to turn them away on the door later in the night.

Its one of the best shows we’ve done in years, the atmosphere was electric especially for the Senior ABA Championship bouts of Harper v Ingram and the hard hitting Bailey v Warren. They all had very large travelling support.

Topping the bill was Empire’s David Bailey v Warren Sheppard of Paddy Johns ABC. It was a complete war with Bailey winning on points after both lads shipped some massive punches.

For more details on all the fights see Web site

St Mary’s News . . .

Hi Folks!

I’m afraid that this months news will be rather short after all the excitement of Easter and the build up to it. Our Lent Course went very well based on the theme from the film "The Chocolatier" with each Wednesday evening well attended - and now can you believe it Easter has come and gone! At this time of the year I love to see the Spring green appearing on the trees and hedgerows - it is so fresh - much better than even the Summer when it appears to be a little tired and dusty.

May I remind you of the visit to St. Mary’s by the Worcester Male Voice Choir at 7.30 pm on Saturday, 6th April 2013. Tickets for this event are still available at the price of £10.00 which includes a Buffet Supper during the Interval. This is something I look forward to very much. A worn out old Chorister like me can no longer compete with such quality - nevertheless I do enjoy singing in the Church Choir every Sunday. As St. Mary’s is keen to "grow" new people to partake in things within our church life please help me to encourage more growth in our Church Choir - children and people of all ages are welcome. So far the seeds I have scattered have fallen on fallow ground!

On Sunday 14th April, after a short Service of Evening Prayer at 6.00 pm, we shall be holding our Annual Parochial Church Meeting when, if you are on our Electoral Roll, you can vote for the persons you wish to represent you on the new Parochial Church Council. Please come to this very important meeting in our church life at St. Mary’s.

Messy Church this month is from 3.30 pm until 5.00 pm on Thursday 18th April, when the theme for the children will be the story of The Good Samaritan. Please bring your kids along. I can assure you they will enjoy every minute of it!

Our Silent Auction and evening of entertainment at the beginning of March raised the sum of £1,260.00 - thank you all of you who purchased items. This is much needed to go towards church funds and pay off our annual parish share to the Diocese.

Finally, it was sad to hear that Severn Four Credit Union has gone into liquidation. St. Mary’s served as a Collection Point and many folks have made use of the loans facility, but it is the failure of those to repay their loans that has brought about its demise. So I’m afraid our Collection Point is sadly no more! But we live in a working class district where unemployment is high and incomes low. We have been very fortunate at St. Mary’s over the years to have people who have been prepared to give a proportion of their hard earned cash regularly to our church - things could rapidly go the other way if we are not careful!

Now - have you heard this? During prayer time it was observed that a certain Sunday School Teacher, who tried to maintain discipline had one eye open (the childrens eyes were obviously both open). When they asked the Teacher about this later she said, "The Lord Jesus said that we have to WATCH AND PRAY"!!

’Bye for now! C.M.E.

From The Registers at St.Mary’s February 2013

Funerals ‘at rest & at peace’

  • 1st Barbara Venn - Canford, Mervyn Kiernan - Canford
  • 8th Graham Bowen - Canford
  • 15th Florence Botten - St Mary’s
  • 20th June Drayton - Canford
  • 21st Raymond Chancellor - Canford