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News Index

Explosive Performance by Local Dancers

Wildlife walks at Kings Weston this summer!



Thanks Julie

Kingsmead Lodge Fun Day

Craft Exhibition - 29th Oct - 2nd November.


Shirehampton Summer Fayre

Celebrating Age Festival Is A Big Success

Art and Craft Club try our cyanotype prints

Fire up the BBQ, not your home, say firefighters

Chapel Film Club

Family Fun Day

Passionate about Penpole

Stepping our for Healthy Walks

Summer Holiday Sports Camps

Summer reading fun at local libraries

Sea Mills Amdram


Shirehampton Primary School

Avon Primary and the Bloodhound Supersonic Car

St Mary’s News . . .

Camera Crazy

Explosive Performance by Local Dancers

ON Friday 21st June, several groups of dancers from the local community came together to put on a Charity Fundraising Dance display called ‘Dance Explosion’ at St Mary’s Church.

Dance Explosion is run by a dance organisation called ConfiDANCE, which provides dance sessions to encourage children and young people of all backgrounds to build their confidence, aspirations, teamwork and creativity through sessions and performances. These sessions are free to the dancers, supported by grants through local churches, schools and clubs.

Picture of dancers

All groups that participated this year are part of the ConfiDANCE network, which includes 3 ConfiDANCE S.T.O.M.P dance clubs from St. Mary’s Church in Shirehampton , 1 S.T.O.M.P dance club from St. Chad’s Church in Patchway and another from St. Edyths Church in Sea Mills, as well as dancers from Oasis Academy Bankleaze in Lawrence Weston and a group of dancers who attended a Bristol camp called ‘Dance Fever’, who came to show the routine they had learned at that camp. Dancers from any local schools and clubs would also be very welcome to come along to next year’s show to perform what they have learned in their lessons.

A total of 49 dancers performed in 14 different dances with a range of styles including Street Dance, Contemporary, Poi and Baton Dances, Lyrical and Action dances. The youngest dancer was just 3 years old and the oldest 16, displaying a whole range of abilities from children who have been part of ConfiDANCE for many years, those who have performed at large shows including at the Colston Hall, right through to children who performed for the first time at Dance Explosion including some that had joined just 1 day before the show!

ConfiDANCE started this event 5 years ago as an opportunity for young people who have fun in many different dance clubs to get together and perform for the local community. There are no fees or auditions, it is for any group of dancers under 18 years old, it is not a competition and it is run by volunteers in our community. Dance Explosion has been growing is size over the years, spreading to wider areas and holding multiple shows to accommodate all the dancers.

Picture of dancers

Through refreshments and a collection taken upon entry, we were able to raise 150 to give to local good causes including The Tithe Barn Appeal, ConfiDANCE activities and St. Peter’s Hospice, who will receive 50 each to help fund their work. This year’s show was also dedicated to the memory of George White, who was a much valued and recently departed member of the local community and especially St. Mary’s Church.

Dance Explosion was simply a celebration of what children and young people in our area can achieve in their free time, featuring lots of fun, colourful props and lively music plus a great community spirit. Thank you to everyone who supported and took part in this event. If you are interested in joining any of the dance groups featured in Dance Explosion or would like your dance club to take part next year, please email or visit St. Mary’s Church to be put in touch with the relevant clubs.

Many thanks to all our dedicated volunteer helpers for making the show go so smoothly and we are also grateful to Bob Pitchford for coming along to take some lovely, colourful, action shot photographs of all the young dancers during the show. Amy Boucher (ConfiDANCE Director)

Wildlife walks at Kings Weston this summer!

KINGS Weston Action Group (KWAG) is running a series of free wildlife walks on the historic Kings Weston estate this summer. Local experts will be leading a variety of natural history walks through the ancient woods and meadows of the unique parkland, providing a unique chance to get up close and personal with its unique biodiversity.

Picture of Steve England

Steve England

The walks begin on Saturday July 27th at 10.15am when Steve England, well known Evening Post columnist, will be exploring some of the edible plants which grow at Kings Weston - and identify potential poisonous ones! KWAG is inviting everyone to join in with his Foraging Frenzy, a family-friendly event that launches the programme of walks.

On Friday 23rd August, David Brown from the Avon Bat Group will be leading an evening walk, looking at the various bat species which inhabit the estate, giving people a chance not only to see these fascinating and elusive little creatures but also to hear and identify them through the wonders of the bat detector.

Local tree expert Richard Bland will lead another event identifying and introducing visitors to many of the beautiful and historic trees for which the Kings Weston estate is famous.

Although the walks are free of charge, places are strictly limited and booking is essential. Anyone who’s interested should get in touch with KWAG to get more information.

KWAG’s Jules Woolford said "These free wildlife walks lead-on from King’s Weston’s successful hosting of this year’s Bristol Bioblitz, and are supported through grant funding from the HLF.

They’re a fantastic opportunity to introduce the wonderful variety of wildlife and habitats throughout the estate to local people and visitors of all ages"

The Bristol Bioblitz was held at Kings Weston earlier this year as part of KWAG’s Heritage Lottery Funded project and identified over 1000 different species in the historic park.

The new walks will enable everyone the opportunity to take advantage of some of the discoveries made and form one of the ‘legacy’ projects from the Bioblitz which will also include a web site, exhibitions, native bulb-planting and tree guides.

For further information and booking e-mail or call 07811 6666 71


Shire failed to credit Bob Pitchford for the photo of Bishop Declan blessing the St. Bernard’s prayer garden on p. 6 of the July Shire and for the photo of the Lord Mayor at the Orchards Celebration on p.8. Our apologies to Bob Pitchford for this oversight.

The Editor.


Picture of Sheila Warn

Sheila Warn

Andrew, Tanya, Peter & family celebrated their mum Sheila Warn of Dursley Road’s 70th Birthday on 10th July with a family BBQ, she has been an inspiration to us all as she has recovered from her heart aneurysm on 1st January 11 and losing her husband Dennis 22nd December 10, here’s to many more happy times in the future, the family and grandchildren love you lots xxxx

Thanks Julie

Julie Smith organised a trip for the Mothers Union ladies of St Marys Church. The trip was also open up to friends. We left Shire at 9am and arrived at Althorpe at 12noon. At 12.30 we toured the house which was lovely, the saw Diana’s Exhibition, seeing notes and diaries from her childhood, and also her wedding gown. We had time to walk some of the grounds and walk around the lake and see the island where Diana rest’s. Then at 3pm we enjoyed afternoon tea in a lovely room in the house.

I know everyone enjoyed it and sure they join me in thanking Julie for organising it

Val Lloyd

Kingsmead Lodge Fun Day

All are welcome at the Fun Day at Kingsmead Lodge, West Town Road, August 16th from10am - 4pm. The day includes Games, Music, a Raffle, Bric-a-Brac etc. There is a 1 entrance Fee, but children under 12 are free. Cakes, tea & soft drinks supplied free, so please come and enjoy yourselves (Many thanks for donation -Ed)

Craft Exhibition - 29th Oct - 2nd November.

It might seem a little premature to remind you of this Autumn event when you have your minds on sun, sand and ice cream, but it is timely to nudge all you craftsmen and women because it won’t be long before we are appealing for your offerings to display in the Public Hall. As the evenings draw in you might be inspired to produce an artistic piece(s) of work to share with the visitors to the exhibition. So please look out for the application form which will appear in the next issue of ‘Shire’ - let’s make this year’s exhibition yet another resounding success.


Are you struggling to make ends meet week-to week?
Do you sometimes miss payments on essential bills or your rent?
Are you worried about changes to benefits making it harder to cope?

If you are a first-time social housing tenant, or a social housing tenant moving into or out of work, the Pennywise Mentors can offer:

  • Ways to maximise your income
  • Details of grants available & help to apply
  • Access to the best account for you to manage your money
  • Help to set a household budget that works for you
  • Ways to spend less & get more for your money when shopping
  • Ideas to cut costs on childcare & activities
  • Advice to reduce bills and use less energy
  • Smoothing the way when switching between benefits & work

All of this is offered free by confidential appointment at your local Advice Centre, local community venue or even in your own home. The project is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and led by Places for People in partnership with members of the Bristol Housing partnership and Advice West.

Contact Paul on 07811349428 for more information.


We would like to wish our very special Mum/Nan (Shirley Harvey) a happy birthday on August 12th Enjoy your special day with loads of love from Michelle, Colin, Wayne, Linzi, Darren, Claire, and grandchildren, Jack, Aaron and Ben xxxx (Many thanks for donation -Ed)

Shirehampton Summer Fayre

SHIREHAMPTON Cricket Club is hosting the 3rd Shirehampton Community Fayre on Sunday 25th August 2013 (Bank Holiday weekend).

This is an opportunity for clubs, schools, churches and businesses to raise awareness of their activities or business, sign up new member, get involved in a local event and raise some funds. It will be a family fun day with lots of stalls, entertainment, fayre-rides, food, face-painting and much more. The Fayre will run from 1pm til 4pm.

We are still accepting applications for stalls. Each stall will cost 10. This is to cover administration costs (insurance, marketing, etc). Each stall retains its own profits.

If you would like to have a stall please contact Ben on 07810 636949 to reserve your space. Payment of 10 can be made on the day.

Celebrating Age Festival Is A Big Success

THERE was a two week event of the Celebrating Age Festival taking place throughout Bristol from 24th June to 6th July which included Celebration Day at City Hall on Saturday 29th June where many activities took place. The events throughout the fortnight reflected the creativity and diversity of older people throughout the city to prove no matter what your age, anything is possible. Just have a go and see what happens.

Picture of Avonmouth Genealogy Group

Avonmouth Genealogy Group. Photo: Kathryn Courtney

On a local level the Avonmouth Genealogy Group, LinkAge and Healthy Walks took part promoting their many activities and interests. With Sue and Judy on hand, the local family history group attracted a lot of interest and they had books, photographs, and historical records available for people to look through and ask any questions.

The Healthy Walks Group gathered to promote the fact that walking is good for you, sociable and there are many places throughout Bristol that you can visit whilst taking in the scenery as well.

LinkAge meanwhile were on hand to promote the many activities that they are running and supporting throughout Bristol, you could also try out a game of ping pong that day which is the latest activity they have added to their itinerary. In addition there was plenty going on with other organisations. You could try out flower arranging, Tai Chi, modern dance, textiles and even take part in a Question Time session in the Council Chamber.

There was also an award ceremony where several people were honoured for their volunteer work. This included Sandra White who was given a Celebrating Age Festival Award in recognition for her volunteer community work in Shirehampton. The award was presented by the Lord Mayor of Bristol Farouk Chaudrey. Congratulations Sandra. Entertainment was also provided by local groups and artists throughout the day.

Picture of Wellbeing Taster Day

Wellbeing Taster Day. Photo: Kathryn Courtney

During the Age Festival fortnight, LinkAge held a Wellbeing Taster Day at the Tithe Barn on the 25th June where new activities, Let’s Get Cooking!, New Age Kurling, Armchair Aerobics and Ping Pong were being tried out and will be running in Shirehampton from September. This turned out to be great fun and at times competitive!

There was a Beaus and Belles Marvellous Tea Dance held at St. Edith’s Church, Sea Mills on the 28th June where you could get dressed up in your best 40’s style outfits, dance various dance steps with professional teachers on hand with tea and cakes available.

The Lawrence Weston over 50’s Forum organised transport so people could attend the Celebration Day at City Hall whilst the Young At Heart team met in Avonmouth for a trip to Weymouth on the 5th July.

For further information on the Avonmouth Genealogy Group please contact Judy Helme on: 0117 9829893. For Healthy Walks please contact Cheryl Martin on 07530564332 and for LinkAge activities please contact Ricky Bush on 07807 706310.

Kathryn Courtney

Art and Craft Club try our cyanotype prints

Picture of Art and Craft Club

Art and Craft Club. Photo: Kathryn Courtney

ON the 17th June the local Art and Craft Club tried out a project with a difference, cyanotype prints with the help of Pete and Liz Milner. Held at the Penpole Centre in Shirehampton the Art and Craft Club is jointly run by LinkAge and City of Bristol College with Natalia at the helm.

Pete and Liz brought along with them squares of fabric that had been treated with chemicals to make the cloth sensitive to UV light. This was originally a greenish colour. They had also collected a selection of wild plants and flowers that included elderflower, cocksfoot grass, common mallow, dog rose and common bent grass from Lamplighters Marsh to use. Barbara, Eileen, Phyllis, Ricky, Sandra, Helen, Hazel and Natalia began arranging samples of plants and flowers onto the cloth in subdued light which would later create patterns on the cloth. The creative arrangements were taken outside into the sunlight where they were left for several minutes so the chemicals in the cloth reacted to UV light. They were then taken inside, the plants removed and the cloth washed in cold water to remove any chemical traces. The results were extremely creative. The cloth had turned a blue colour and where the plants and flowers had once been imprint patterns were left in a white colour. They were left to dry out in the sun and the material around the patterns became a darker blue and each design looked stunning.

"I found it really different, fascinating to watch the process of the changing colour and the end of result of what started out as a green cloth became turquoise with white plant shapes on" said Barbara whilst Phyllis added "I found it really relaxing to do because I was arranging the plants onto cloth into a pattern I wanted". Sandra concluded the whole process. "It was mind boggling, fascinating, because I didn’t expect an end result with such colour changes."

The cloths were later displayed at the Riverside Festival, Lamplighters Marsh, later that week and at various Celebrating Age Festival events that LinkAge attended during a fortnight of activities. The Art and Class Club would like to thank Pete and Liz Milner for such a creative afternoon. You can find out more about the Cyanotype Process at and

The Art and Craft is now on its summer break but will be returning in September. To find out more about it and other activities run or supported by LinkAge in the area please contact Ricky Bush on 07807 706310.

Kathryn Courtney

Fire up the BBQ, not your home, say firefighters

AS the temperature rises ahead of a warm and sunny weekend, firefighters from Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) are urging people to enjoy the weather safely.

As hundreds of families plan outdoor activities, crews are asking them to make sure their barbecues are safe and happy events.

AF&RS Station Manager for Community Safety, John Rides, said: "Cooking food outside can be a great way to enjoy the warm weather but it is vital that everyone using a barbecue does so safely. Barbecues can be very volatile and quickly get out of control.

"Just a few simple steps, like keeping a bucket of water close by, never leaving the barbecue unattended and keeping it well away from shrubs and fencing, can help to ensure a happy event doesn’t turn to tragedy. Many injuries caused by barbecues happen because inappropriate lighting methods or fuels like paraffin and petrol have been used. Only recognised lighters and starter fuels should be used."

Safety tips:

  • Keep a bucket of water, sand or a garden hose nearby.
  • Follow the safety instructions provided with disposable barbecues.
  • Never use a barbecue indoors or in a poorly ventilated area.
  • Never leave a barbecue unattended.
  • Make sure your barbecue is well away from sheds, fences, trees, shrubs or garden waste.
  • Use enough charcoal to cover the base of the barbecue, but not more (normally around 5cms or 2 inches).
  • Keep children, pets and garden games away from the cooking area.
  • After cooking, make sure the barbecue is cool before moving it.
  • Empty ashes onto bare garden soil, not into dustbins or wheelie bins. If they’re hot, they can melt the plastic and cause a fire.
  • Enjoy yourself, but don’t drink too much alcohol if you are in charge of the barbecue.
  • Never use petrol or paraffin to start or revive your barbecue; use only recognised lighters or starter fuels.

Gas barbecues

  • Never store gas cylinders in the home.
  • Store gas cylinders outside, away from direct sunlight and frost.
  • Take care when turning bottled gas barbecues on and off.
  • Make sure the tap is turned off before changing the gas cylinder.
  • After cooking, turn the gas supply off first and then the barbecue control. This will stop any gas from leaking.
  • If you suspect a leak, turn off the gas cylinder and try brushing soapy water around all joints, watching for bubbles.
  • Make sure all joints are tightened, safe and secure.
  • Change gas cylinders outdoors in a well-ventilated area.

Station Manager Rides said: "If you do have a barbecue which gets out of control, don't try to tackle it yourself as you risk getting burnt or scalded. Dial 999 and ask for the fire service. We have the right equipment and training to deal with emergencies of this kind and will be on our way in minutes."

Chapel Film Club

Picture of Chapel Film club cream tea

Enjoying a cream tea after film.

The Club provided a cream tea on Monday 15th July. The tea followed the showing of ‘From Time to Time’, written by Julian Fellowes, the creator of Downton Abbey. The film starred Maggie Smith and Hugh Bonneville. The film club regularly attracts 30-35 people and is free to all. For more information please see the Shirehampton Methodist church website at

Could you be a Shire editor?

Shire is still looking to recruit new people to its editorial team. You do need to be computer literate but you don’t need to have had any previous experience at editing. The time commitment isn’t huge. An editor typically edits two editions per year with meetings held on the first Monday of each month. To find out more why not come along to the

AGM at the Tithe Barn on
Monday 5th August at 5.30pm
or contact

Family Fun Day

Come and join us for a family fun day at Avonmouth Rugby club on 8th September, lots to do, face painting , pony rides, tombolas, bric a brac and lots more. Also on this day the junior rugby players will be finishing off the triathlon that the club has been doing for the previous two weeks ( cyclists from Avonmouth RFC to Dover, swimmers from Dover to France and kids doing part marathon). You can sponsor the junior triathletes via Paypal by using the login email address of It will be a great day out, not to be missed. Please come along and be part of this special day.

Passionate about Penpole

Local group takes action at lost monument

VOLUNTEERS from the Kings Weston Action Group (KWAG) will be uncovering and recording the ruins of Penpole Lodge close to Shirehampton on the historic Kings Weston estate. South Gloucestershire Council’s archaeology Officer Paul Driscoll will be supporting the community group’s efforts to record what’s left of the once-iconic building.

Penpole Lodge, also known as the Breakfasting Room, was designed by one of this country’s most renowned architects, Sir John Vanbrugh in the 1720s at about the same time as he was completing Kings Weston House for the Southwell Family.

The Southwell’s had the lodge built as an ornamental gatehouse at the boundary of their park and take advantage of the spectacular views over the Severn and Avon. By the Twentieth Century it had been abandoned and it was finally demolished by Bristol City Council in 1952 as a danger to the public, but the building’s outline and some of the walls still stand today.

Picture of remains of Breakfasting Room

Remains of the Breakfasting Room.

In preparation for the event KWAG has diligently cleared the undergrowth from around the ruins with the approval of the City Council and this weekend will be making a full study of exactly what is left using traditional and modern digital archaeological techniques.

Aided by South Gloucestershire archaeologists KWAG hopes that the survey will be the first stage in conserving the ruins, and perhaps a future bid to reconstruct it in its original form.

KWAG’s Chairman David Martyn said "lots of people still remember Penpole Lodge before it was pulled down and have fond memories of playing in it. Until we cleared the undergrowth away people had begun to forget where it had been so we hope our work this weekend will help revive people’s memories and help return it to prominence"

KWAG is inviting anyone who is interested in archaeology or the history of this lost building to come along to Penpole Lodge, just off Penpole Lane, on Saturday 4th August from 10am-3:30pm and see what the group’s volunteers are up to.

For more information or to schedule an interview with KWAG please call David Martyn on 07811 666671 or e-mail

Stepping our for Healthy Walks

YOU may have noticed A4 posters being displayed in local shop windows about taking part in regular Healthy Walks activities. This is a joint scheme that has been launched by Walk For Health Bristol, an initiative which supports Bristol’s diverse communities to become more active through walking and LinkAge, a charity that aims to engage as many older people in their community as possible by raising the profile of what is already taking place in the area and working with the local community to look at other activities and events that could be set up.

I wen t to Healthy Walks Taster event that took several of us through Kingsweston Estate before returning to the Tithe Barn for some well earned refreshments. It was a very pleasant social walk where people chatted together happily soaking up the sunshine and taking in the beautiful sights whilst keeping mobile.

I had a chat with Cheryl Martin who is LinkAge Healthy Walks Co-ordinator, she is setting up the ongoing project in Shirehampton.

"I mainly work with people aged 55 years plus, so it’s local people, groups already in existence in the area, sheltered housing for example and my job is to encourage and set up walking groups, hopefully local people will become volunteer walk leaders and have their own walking groups eventually"

I asked Cheryl what inspired her to work with walking groups. "The inspiration for me is that I like walking, it’s an activity I love, I enjoy working with older people, I enjoy sharing information and advice with people."

So what can people expect to get from the Healthy Walks? "I think any person that doesn’t participate in any type of activity and comes along to the group first time around, I find that the fact they have gone out is a massive achievement in itself. Hopefully, with the walking group their confidence and self esteem will rise because they are around other people who live in the area and enjoy a good laugh.

You’ll get a good bit of fresh air, a cup of tea or coffee when you get back and you can share your thoughts about the walk whether good or bad but it’s usually fun" says Cheryl.

What are the benefits with walking? "The health benefit is two-fold . For some people who don’t really have a health issue, just getting up and getting out to exercise and socialise, that in itself is a health issue. For people who have health issues such as arthritis or need a Zimmer frame because they are unable to walk that far, or they’ve had an accident, heart condition, people recovering from illness and major operations for example then that can help speed up their physical health as well as their mental health because they are not doing these activities on their own but with other people."

I asked Cheryl what type of walks are available to people in Shirehampton and the surrounding area? She said: "At the moment we are just getting a walking group underway and, there is a level 2/3 wich is just a couple of miles. Anna, who is out Health Trainer with the NHS will be setting up the longer 4 plus walks that will take people around and outside Shirehampton. Hopefully before my job ends here and I move onto the next project I can set up a level 1 walking group at Stow House for people with less mobility and will include refreshments at the end. It is an important part after the walks because it adds to the social side as well."

It’s not only in Shirehampton that walking groups are being set up. Other parts of Bristol have seen similar projects that Cheryl has successfully set up in the past year or so. "I’ve set up the walking groups in Stockwood and my contract for that comes to an end later. We now have nine walking groups in the area with over 100 people walking. Recently we had our first team-building day which ws my handover to the Stockwood volunteers which I’m really pleased about and they will continue with groups. I’m also setting up walking groups in Hengrove and I’m setting up a level 1 walking group in partnership with Hengrove Hospital and the new leisure centre, so we’ll be able to work with some of the patients form the hospital;. I also help lead a walk for the Sunflower Walking Group on a Wednesday evening for people that are affected by cancer."

How do people become a Volunteer Walk Leader and where can they find out more information? "Three of our walkers have already volunteered to become Walk Leaders in Shirehampton but we always welcome more people to get involved. We promote walk leader training and usually it’s walkers who have who have taken part in our Healthy Walks who come forward as leaders. They have plenty of questions and watch the walk leaders work and chat with them. When they feel ready people come along and we then train them as Volunteers Walk Leaders. It’s a day’s training with Sian Davis, Walking for Health Trainer of Bristol City Council.

It’s easy training where you learn about the forms that need to be filled in by walkers, brief information, how a walk is led and the health and safety aspect of the walks. Before any walk can go ahead volunteers are also taught how to walk reckies and risk assessments. Alongside that you are also given heart start training and how to keep somebody alive or comfortable until an ambulance arrives, should anything happen in a walk you are leading. It’s not really about First Aid because we don’t walk up in the mountains for example. It’s free training.

The walks are free too. They are generally advertised a week or so beforehand or if you’ve been on a walk you’ll be told when the next walk will be. You just turn up and you don’t have to go on walks every week, you can pick and choose which walks you want to go on. The only people who need to commit their time are the Volunteer Walk Leaders as without them the walks cannot go ahead. Everyone fills in a brief health form to begin with. Feedback to Walk Leaders is always useful too after the walk. The feedback for our Tater Walk for example was very positive, it was good fun and more people turned up the following week so that was really good. All we ask is that people wear sensible footwear and clothing, if it’s wet or it’s been raining waterproofs are a good idea and also bring along some money for tea or coffee because every walk can be different. Most of all come along and enjoy yourself," says Cheryl.

For further information about the Healthy Walks or becoming a Volunteer Walk Leader, please contact Cheryl Martin on 07530564332 or e-mail at: or call in at the Tithe Barn on a Wednesday when you see the LinkAge sign in the window. You will also find the walks advertised in the local shop windows.  Kathryn Courtney

Summer Holiday Sports Camps

The St Bede’s Community Sports Team will once again be running sports camps during the entire 5-week school summer holidays. The camps are open to boys and girls aged 7-14 and will be every weekday from 9am-3pm from Monday 29th July- Friday 30th August. The camps cost 10 per day or 40 for the week. The activites will alternate between 3-weeks of multi-sports and 2-weeks of football. Courses are run by experienced coaches who are suitably qualified and have been CRB Police Checked and will fully supervise the children at all times.

For further information or to book a place please contact Rob Allan (North Bristol Football Development Officer) on 07825 767582 or 0117 3533364.

Summer reading fun at local libraries

A spine-tingling reading adventure awaits children this summer with the beginning of the 2013 Summer Reading Challenge in Shirehampton Library. Children can take the Creepy House challenge from July 13 until September 14th.

Anyone taking part who reads six books over the summer will get fun stickers to stick on their very own Creepy House fold-out and receive a fantastic gold-style medal and certificate at the end of the reading adventure.

The challenge is free to take part in and gets under way in all Bristol Libraries on Saturday, July 13.

Dent de Lion . . .

. . . say it quickly and it becomes the dandelion we all know, translating literally as "lion’s tooth". Look into the heart of the plant and it isn’t hard to imagine the great golden ruff of a mature male lion as well.

In Shakespeare’s day the flowers were known as "golden lads" and the seed heads as "chimney sweepers". The Country Diarist, Edith Holden, recorded on the 11th May 1906 that "The dandelions were a wonderful sight along the railway cutting" in her native Warwickshire.

It was a staple on the herbalist’s shelf due to its medicinal properties and was used mainly to treat liver complaints. During the Second World War the roots were ground and dried as a substitute for chicory and a Victorian aunt of mine always added its leaves to salads. Its ancient Arabic name Talkh Chakok means bitter plant and it gives a tangy element to the dish.

So why is this cheerful useful herb so often ignored and treated as a nuisance to be ruthlessly rooted out? It is one of our first wild flowers to appear each year and brightens many a dull Spring day. Next time you see the dent de lion, dandelion, call it what you will, try looking at it with a different eye it may surprise you.

Sea Mills Amdram

SMAD (Sea Mills Amdram) meet on a Tuesday evening and Sunday afternoon at Sea Mills Community Centre. We will be starting reversals for our Christmas Panto, Snow White, and the seven dwarves shortly and are looking for any budding actors, musicians, dancers, singers etc to take part. For further info please contact Nick on 07876 495909 or Angie on 07852 861961.


Avonmouth Neighbourhood Policing Team is working in partnership with Bristol City Council and the communities of Avonmouth and Shirehampton to reduce the number of cyclists riding on footpaths and pavements in your area.

Pavements are for pedestrians and people using the pavement have the right to feel safe and protected from traffic, including bicycles. You may feel that you are doing no harm by cycling on the pavement and you may feel confident that you will not injure or hurt anyone. But pedestrians don’t share your confidence. Because while you know where you and your bike are going, they do not, and may believe they are in danger. It’s not easy for pedestrians to predict your exact route. They could be worried about a number of things:

  • Is the cyclist headed for the same area of pavement as me?
  • Has the cyclist seen me?
  • Will the cyclist slow down, as they get closer?
  • Will the cyclist be skilled enough to avoid me if they don’t slow down?

Cycling on the pavement can be even more threatening to people with poor balance. Many of these people are older or disabled and have a constant fear of falling. Cycling on the pavement simply adds to this fear.


You are breaking the law when you cycle on the pavement. If you are found to be cycling on the

Pavement you could have to pay an on the spot fine or be prosecuted. It is important that cyclists are familiar with the parts of the traffic law that apply to them. Cyclists are not permitted to ride on pavements (unless specifically signed as shared use), through subways or over pedestrian crossings.

Shirehampton Primary School

Picture of primary school garden with Lord Mayor

The school has created a Green Space to encourage wildlife habitats for the Children to study. The children and local community have been involved in creating a pond, flower beds and orchard. The Green Space was officially opened by the Lord Mayor, Councillor Faruk Choudhury, on Monday 8th July.

Tag Team Success

Following 3 major tag tournaments in Bristol and Taunton I am pleased to announce that year 6 from Shirehampton Primary came 15th out of 8000 schools from the south west and 1st from teams in Bristol. Well done - Jordan W, Reece O, Lewis C, Lewis M, Sam A, Daniel R, Solomon T, Destiny K, Laura C, Abigail P, Lauren D, Courtney, Harrison G, Jacob Dn, and a thank you to Lucy O’brien for coaching the tag team. A fantastic effort from these children.

Avon Primary and the Bloodhound Supersonic Car

Picture of Bloodhound SSC workshop

Bloodhound SSC workshop

Class 6 from Avon Primary School visited the new workshop for the Bloodhound SSC in Atlantic Way, Avonmouth. The car will be making an attempt to break the land speed record in South Africa and will be aiming to reach 1000 miles per hour! The children built and fired their own rocket cars, chatted to the driver attempting the record and had a visit from the Minister for Science (Rt Hon David Willets MP). They also met visiting guests from the South African government who judged the children’s designs for a new base camp. The winners will have their names painted on the fin of the actual car in the land speed record attempt. ITV also filmed some of the classes for their evening broadcast.


A thriving Bristol swimming club is celebrating today after new rules which blocked them from delivering lessons have been reversed by the city council.

Since April 1, Portway SC, based at Henbury Leisure Centre, has been forced to give lessons for its youngest learners in Bradley Stoke after the city council allowed sports centre operator SLM to have a monopoly on swimming lessons.

But after a campaign spearheaded by club coaches and Bristol North West MP Charlotte Leslie, the council has agreed to allow Portway to give lessons again and has launched a wide-ranging review of swimming lessons provision in the city.

Ms Leslie, a former champion swimmer herself, said: "This is a fantastic result for this great swimming club and I am delighted they will again be able to deliver high quality lessons for children of all ages and abilities.

"It is clear to me that while there is no issue with leisure centre operators offering lessons, many parents want the high quality, specialized coaching which clubs like Portway have been delivering for many, many years. It is encouraging that common sense has prevailed and Portway will no longer be in the ludicrous situation of asking parents to transport children to Bradley Stoke.

"We know anecdotally that the service offered by the clubs is much more desirable for families. It is clear to me as a former swimmer that the rich community aspect of a swimming club is an invaluable part of a young child’s experience, and only the clubs can develop young talent to the maximum. It is our clubs, like Portway, which are dedicated to this.

"Parents have told me that when their children are forced to have lessons with the sports centre management organisations, there are frequent cases of cancellations. Significantly, the parents tell me that the whole experience of lessons through the clubs is much more positive with better attention to training methods and a general sense of progress.

"I’d like to thank Assistant Mayor Simon Cook for stepping in to initiate this very badly needed review of the Learn to Swim policy. I hope that in future, swimming in Bristol can be a genuinely collaborative mission, which embraces all that our excellent swimming clubs have to offer."

St Mary’s News . . .

Hi Folks!

We have just had our Patronal Festival last weekend and what glorious weather we had - wall to wall sunshine on both the Saturday and Sunday. The church looked absolutely beautiful and grateful thanks must be given to all the ladies who gave much valuable time to produce some magnificent floral displays which gave so much pleasure to many of our visitors. It was also lovely to see our precious Chasubles, which are sadly no longer used, on display alongside the flowers.

The Summer Fayre was a very joyous occasion but regrettably the revised format did not produce the required result and we only made half the amount of money compared to 2012. This is something the Parochial Church Council is going to have to take a long and hard look at - unfortunately finance is a major consideration in today’s world if we are to remain solvent and pay our way!

On Tuesday, 2nd. July we had our Parish Outing to Gloucester. Although we did not have sunshine the weather remained dry. On arrival at Gloucester Docks we joined a pleasure boat trip down the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal. The Skipper was very amusing giving a running commentary on what we were to see. Even the boats’ history was interesting - it was built in 1936 - was involved in the evacuation of Dunkirk and also served on the River Thames as a floating ambulance during WW II when the streets of London were impassable during the Blitz.

After this we had free time to explore the Gloucester Quays Shopping Outlet and find somewhere for lunch after which we made our way to Gloucester Cathedral for a guided tour, followed by a Cream Tea and then back into the Cathedral again for Choral Evensong. (My favourite time throughout the day)! Grateful thanks must be given to Gill Sawyer for organizing this day out - she really is gifted with her organizing skills - I really cannot imagine what we would do without her!

Now a reminder of our Bric-a-Brac Sale which will take place in the church from 10 am until 12 noon on Saturday, 3rd. August. Please come and give us your support as you have done in the past.

On Friday, 16th. August we will be having our Annual Car Treasure Hunt. This is always great fun and this year we shall return to finding a Hostelry somewhere in the district instead of returning as last year to the Tithe Barn. Please sign the list at the back of the church, indicating how many passengers are in your car and what their requirements are from the Menu which is also on display. Thanks once again to Tim Forder for organizing this very popular evening!

Seniors Week is rapidly approaching and will be from Monday19th. to Friday, 23rd. August, (both dates inclusive). This year we are going to enjoy two trips out - one to Tintern for a Buffet Lunch followed by an Audience with Brother Thomas. The second trip is to Ston Easton Park where we shall have a three course Lunch and an opportunity afterwards to stroll around the grounds of the 30 acres of 18th century parkland followed by a Cream Tea before returning to Shirehampton.

Finally, on August Bank Holiday Monday, 26th. we shall have the last of our Open Church Days for this year. Once again due to Gill Sawyers cooking skills we shall be able to enjoy Dinners and Cream Teas at very reasonable prices - so if you are at a loose end you know where to come on that day and you will also be assisting us in our fund raising efforts.

   ‘Bye for now!  C.M.E.


BAPTISM "We welcome you"

30thEvie Buston
 Sydney Skye Thompson
 Ethan Tissier
 Ruby Milkins-Norgate

FUNERALS "At rest and at peace"

4thFred JakewaysCanford
7thJoy WebberSt Mary’s
17thSally WiltshireSt Mary’s

WEDDINGS "All that I am I give to you"

8thLeanne Merrick & Mark Passco
15thVictoria Liu & Adam Cherriman
29thJenny Smith & Andrew Bundy

Camera Crazy

Picture of a collection of vintage cameras

Collection of vintage cameras.

LOCAL STUDENT Cezar Banaszczyk is passionate about photography. He has just finished his A-levels, one of which was Photography and has an exceptional collection of vintage cameras. He has now collected 60 pieces and is planning to do a ‘film-only’ project while he’s away in Poland this summer. Cezar has been taking photos on a more ‘serious’ level for 3 years now and a couple of weeks ago made a major step in photographing a part-time model. Cezar said, "Doing the shoot was a fantastic feeling and it made me feel more motivated to take my hobby and passion further".