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News Index

Shirehampton's Young Athletes

Bristol Port Company Charity Challenge 2013

Costwold Community Association

Shirehampton Group Practice Flu Clinic

Station Road Pre-School AGM

Shirehampton Methodist Church

Mary Wallis Retires From the Local Library

UK's First Local Authority Wind Farm Takes Shape

Come Along to Tai Chi

Lloyds Bank Relaunch

Letters to the Editor …

How Hung Road Got Its Name

From The Registers at St. Mary's

St. Mary's News

LinkAge Interview with Ricky Bush

Supersonic Car

Library News…

Shirehampton Primary School Goes Both Back and Forward In Time!

Basic Computer Courses For the Over 55s

Christmas Comes Early to Avon Primary School


Shirehampton's Young Athletes

Shirehampton Park Golf Club Junior Section

Bristol & District Junior League – Knock Out Cup Winners 2013

Junior section golfers of Shirehampton Parku.  Left to right Phil Collins, Jack Millar, Dominic White (Junior Captain), Ethan Rogers, Liam Bennett, Eddie Kear, Ollie Dowell

Shirehampton Park Golf Club Junior section. L to R: Phil Collins, Jack Millar, Dominic White (Junior Captain), Ethan Rogers, Liam Bennett, Eddie Kear, Ollie Dowell

The Junior Section has been flourishing after a lot of hard work put in by our Junior Organisers and helpers. It was therefore extremely rewarding for them and the junior team when they won their first silverware since 2001 in the Bristol & District Junior League Knock Out final. It was a keenly fought contest against Thornbury played on neutral ground at The Kendleshire Golf Club.

If you have children aged between from 6-17 keen to take up golf they would be welcome to come and have a go on Sunday afternoons. The sessions are free of charge and equipment can be provided - just ring Lena for more information on 07714 703455.

Bristol Port Company Charity Challenge 2013

Picture of Councillor Wayne Harvey, Graham Smith, Nick Venn, Darren Harvey preparing to walk the Three Peak Challenge.

Charity Challenge: Left to right: Councillor Wayne Harvey, Graham Smith, Nick Venn, Darren Harvey.

On September 8, Councillor Wayne Harvey, Graham Smith, Nick Venn and Darren Harvey, who all work for the Bristol Port Company, set off to walk the Three Peak Challenge in the Black Mountains. They camped overnight in Cwmdu before meeting at 7 a.m. for a safety briefing and registration at the Bear Inn Crickhowell. The challenge was to walk up the three mountains to a point of 800m at Pen Allt Mawr and then return to the registration point. A team of about 30 people set off and all returned safely. The youth organisations who will benefit from this charity walk are:

Shire Colts FC, Avonmouth Youth Rugby, Southmead Scouts and Henleaze Youth Club. The money is still coming in, but the sum raised is around £14,000 which will be split between these four organisations. The four walkers, all from Shirehampton, would like to say a big thank you to all those who sponsored us to help these young people in the community.

Shirehampton Community Action Forum Meetings

Thursday 5 December 2-4pm

All meetings are held at Shire Public Hall

Forthcoming Events

Early Birds!

Tuesday November 12th 7:30 am

The Wild City Project will be hosting an Early Morning Bird Walk.
The walk, which is flat and suitable for wheelchairs, starts from Lamplighters car park. Bird expert Ed Drewitt will be our guide.
Children accompanied by an adult, and well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome.
The walk is FREE, but numbers are limited so booking is essential.

Contact Ash or 0117 982 9963

History Talk in Public Hall

Judy Helme will be repeating her very interesting and popular talk on the history of Lamplighters Marsh and its river environment in the Public Hall on Wednesday 6th November at 7:00 pm.
She will be joined by Peter Insole who will speak about the archaeology of the Marsh and, in particular, about the WWI Remount. Both will have pictures and film to accompany the talks. There will be a coffee break between the talks when you will have an opportunity to speak with Judy and Peter. The event, sponsored by Bristol City Council's Wild City Project, is free and open to all.

Costwold Community Association

Forthcoming Events

Oct 29 'Film Night' – a Halloween Special! 7.30pm.

Nov 9 Quiz Night – American Supper and Raffle

Nov 16 Table Top Sale 10 a.m. – 12 noon

To book a table, ring Daphne 0755 4642 440

Dec 7 'Mexican Night' 7.30pm BYO drinks

For details, ring Richard 0777 9227 107

Many thanks for donation (Ed.)

Shirehampton Group Practice Flu Clinic

In line with Department of Health advice, we recommend that all people aged 65 or over should receive a flu jab every year.

Anyone else who is eligible (including 2 and 3 year olds) will receive a letter in the post inviting them to come to the Practice.

This year's clinics will be as follows:

29th Oct Shirehampton Health Centre 16:00 – 18:30

8th Nov Capel Road Branch Surgery 14:00 – 15:00

9th Nov Shirehampton Health Centre 08:30 – 10:30

19th Nov Shirehampton Health Centre 16:00 – 18:30

These sessions will operate first come, first served basis.

Please put these dates in your diary and calendar NOW!

Remember - If you are 65 or over you will NOT receive a letter


Station Road Pre-School AGM

Station Road Pre-School

Notice of AGM
7pm Monday 18th November
at Beachley Walk Community Centre.

Shirehampton Methodist Church

The church is holding its 138th Church Anniversary at 10.30 a.m.on November 17, 2013, led by The Reverend David Alderman (former Minister).

A warm welcome is extended to all.

Mary Wallis Retires From the Local Library

Mary Wallis cutting her retirement cake with her friends looking on.

CUT HERE: Mary celebrates her retirement. Photo by Kathryn Courtney

Mary Wallis has been a popular Librarian at Shirehampton, Sea Mills and Avonmouth libraries. She had her retirement party on the 30th September where colleagues, friends, and family joined Mary at Sea Mills Library to give her a memorable send off. The cake depicted a bowling green, seating bench and a person I can only assume to be based on Mary, as bowling is one of her favourite pastimes.

Mary became a Library Assistant in 1990. She was previously a Teacher in Northamptonshire and then Bristol. She was originally taken on as an Evening Attendant, keeping order in the library for two evenings a week for two hours a day and later became a Library Assistant at Sea Mills Library. She admits being a bit of a show-off, enjoys being on stage and working with children, which proved advantageous to her job at the time. "I was very lucky that I was able to work with the local school classes, especially the special needs class from the Sea Mills Infant School. They would come in once a week and we would have story time which was my particular love. I also enjoy talking to people and serving the public," said Mary.

"Obviously I'm going to miss working with the public and the children mainly, but they are not getting rid of me that easily because I have been approved by the pool register of Bristol City Council. This means I will be called upon to cover for people who are out sick or when other libraries need help."

In her retirement, Mary plans to join the PBA Bowls Club. "The outdoor season may have just closed but that isn't going to stop me having a go at Indoor Bowls. I'm going to join The Walkie Talkies, who are the Shirehampton walking group, and which will make me get out and about on a cold wintery day. I'll be spending time with my husband Tim and family of course and I'm sure to look after my grandchildren too."

by Kathryn Courtney

UK's First Local Authority Wind Farm Takes Shape

Photograph of two men in flourescent jackets standing in the foreground with a wind turbine being craned in place in the background.

THE UK's first council-owned wind farm is set to generate eco-friendly electricity from November following the installation of its two turbines at Bristol's Avonmouth Port area.

The Bristol City Council project is the realisation of many years' planning and is set to become the council's largest single supplier of renewable energy. Located just off Severn Road in Avonmouth, a former oil tanker site which was deserted in the late 1970s, has been transformed by six months of construction, giving it a new lease of life as this unique council-owned renewable energy source.

It now contains two 2.5 MW Nordex N100 wind turbines, which are predicted to generate over 14,000 Megawatt hours (MWh) of power per year – the equivalent of the average annual electricity use by over 2,500 UK households. It will be operated by Nordex UK Limited on a 15 year Operation and Maintenance Agreement with the council, with the power contributing directly to the local grid.

At the time when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has given its strongest warning yet, it's expected to reduce the city's annual carbon footprint by approximately 5,000 tonnes each year, whilst generating income of up to £200,000 for the council annually by selling power to the grid and receiving money from other funding sources such as special 'feed In' energy tariffs.

The turbines will be fully tested throughout October before the scheme comes into full operation in November.

George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol, said: "This is a bold, innovative public project which I'm proud to see in Bristol. It's with a pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit that we have made this unique investment, which will both provide an additional source of revenue and reduce our carbon footprint. It's this kind of trail-blazing by my predecessors which has secured our spot as the European Green Capital for 2015, by which time of course we'll be reaping the full benefits of running the country's first council-owned wind farm.

"It has taken much hard work and initiative by the council's Energy Management Unit to bring this vital energy project to completion. It is particularly satisfying that the raising of the turbines coincided with my participation in the World Mayors Summit at which we agreed the Nantes Declaration on Climate Change."

The wind farm is the latest in a growing list of green energy projects being developed by the City Council as it develops an international reputation for excellent environmental initiatives. The council was one of the first organisations to buy green electricity, has installed the largest cluster of biomass boilers in the south west alongside a wood fuel station, and operates one of the largest and most successful energy efficiency schemes in the UK. The money saved through these energy investments is recycled to fund more energy reduction projects.

Cllr Gus Hoyt, Assistant Mayor with responsibility for Environment, said: "There are massive benefits to wind power and I'm delighted to see the turbines in place. It's especially impressive when seen in the wider context of Bristol's green initiatives, which are increasingly and rightly being recognised as world class."

Come Along to Tai Chi

Photograph of a Tai Chi class of five ladies with the instructor, Frank, in the foreground.

Tai Chi class. Photo by Kathryn Courtney

Every Thursday afternoon at the Public Hall you will find the Tai Chi class. Ages range from men and women in their 40s right into their 80s taking part.

Tai Chi is a gentle activity that will keep your body and mind active and help with your balance and flexibility. It also has general health benefits and can help with stress and anxiety. Research has also found that Tai Chi can also help with cardiovascular fitness and assist with the recovery from illness (although, in some cases, it is advised to check with your own GP or Consultant first). It is also be a form of gentle exercise with its low impact movements that can burn more calories than surfing and nearly as many as downhill skiing.

Lyn has been attending Tai Chi since early spring this year. "I came along because it was local and I understood it was good for blood pressure and balance which I needed help with and I'm thoroughly enjoying it". "I find it a good form of exercise without wearing myself out and it's graceful. I find it fun and I feel good afterwards. You learn from each other as well," added Joyce.

"I'm up for any type of exercise and I hadn't tried Tai Chi before. I like the gentle movements and the flow of taking your body to where the centre of gravity goes," said Janet.

Frank is the man who teaches all the Tai Chi moves. "Frank is a brilliant teacher, he's very, very helpful," said Lyn "He'll come round and correct you with anything you are doing wrong and talk you through it," said Joyce.

Ruth has been attending Tai Chi classes from day one and had no experience of this form of exercise so I asked her how she felt she was getting on with the help of Frank. "Oh, Frank is very, very good. He makes it enjoyable. You go at your own pace, learning a little bit at a time and that's what I'm doing". So if you make a mistake, do you feel self-conscious about it? "Oh no. We have a bit of laugh. You learn little by little and it makes your brain work. Trying to get your hands in time with your feet is not as hard as you think," said Ruth. "It would be good for more people to come along and join in," added Janet.

Tai Chi takes place every Thursday afternoon from 2:00pm – 3:00pm at Shirehampton Public Hall, Station Road. The cost is £3 per session. Just come along and try it out or, for more information, please contact Ricky Bush at LinkAge: 07807706310. Kathryn Courtney

Lloyds Bank Relaunch

Picture of Tubbs re-opening the Shirehampton branch of Lloyds bank after it's refurbishment. Photo by Kathryn Courtney

'Tubbs' relaunches Lloyds Shirehampton branch. Photo by Kathryn Courtney

From 2nd October, Lloyds Bank will be revitalised on the High Street. The Shirehampton Branch will play a key roll and the official opening on October 2, 2013 started our journey well.

The Manager, Julie, and all the team would like to say a big Thank You for the support and we hope that you enjoyed the coffee morning. It was good to talk with our customers.

Another very big Thank You to Tubbs, a longstanding member if the community, who cut the ribbon and officially opened the branch as Lloyds Bank.

Letters to the Editor …


My mother, Avis Packer, died in 2011 and, after her death, I found this poem in her well-thumbed Bible. The paper has yellowed with age but is still in good condition, indicating that it has been treasured for 90 years since it is initialled 'AEL' and dated 10 March 1923. My mother's mother was Annie Elizabeth Lukins – AEL - who died in 1924. Did she compose this poem or did she copy it from a periodical because the words were so poignant? I have not found anything on Google so far but, if any reader knows this poem, it would be good to hear from them.

Tommy Atkins

Sing me to sleep where bullets fall.
Let me forget the world and all.
Damp is my dug-out: cold are my feet.
Nothing but 'bully' and biscuits to eat.
Sing me to sleep where bullets explode
And shrapnel bullets are in mode.
Over the sandbags helmets you'll find
Corpses in front and curses behind.
Far from Ypres I long to be
Where German snipers can't get at me.
Think of me crouching where the worms creep
Waiting for someone to put me to sleep.

Did the soldier in the poem remember, as a child, being safe in his mother's arms with her gentle voice above his head instead of the roar of war? How many times did Annie sing her son to sleep when he was a baby? Surrounded by thigh-deep mud, rats, disease, the smell of fear and death, the soldier's thoughts must have returned to home where he was warm, safe, dry and loved. The long sleep must have seemed his only way out of the all-consuming misery he was in.

Annie's eldest son, Albert Edward William Lukins (Bert), was a soldier in WW1 and, despite being injured at Passchendaele (second battle at Ypres 1917) and reported 'dead', he eventually returned home, unlike 16 million British personnel who did not. My mother used to relate her memories, aged 7, of walking to Westbury-on-Trym with her mother to post to Bert a newly baked cake stitched into a Hessian bag.

I believe it is right that we should remember those lost in ALL conflicts, but when will this world reach a point when the ultimate sacrifice is no longer necessary?

Aldm Celia Lukins

Narford House

Hello my name is Grace and I am looking into my family tree as I have found a connection to Narford House. I was wondering if you could possibly pass on my contact information to Betty Osbourne as I feel we may be able to help each other.

Grace Marie Curtis

Memory From Canada

Dear Editor:

My wife Valerie Tovey (Maiden name Betty) lived in Hengrove, I lived at 9 and 4 Chelwood Road, Shirehampton, We emigrated to Canada in 1965 returned often, bringing our children with us to visit relatives and Grand parents Lil and Mervyn Tovey.

I attended, Portway senior school and Bristol Technical School (Engineering). I served a 5 year fitter and turner apprenticeship at British Oil and Cake Mills (BOCM) and worked in Spillers and Bristol Sidley Engines. We obtain your paper from the Web, which provides fond recollections for me. Gilbert Osmond I know from my school days; he provides interesting articles, one of which was his brother Ron's return from Australia for a vacation; he also worked at BOCM.

I was saddened to read in your September issue that Collin Farqhar had passed away. We served our apprenticeships together. In the October issue, Julie Tovey wrote a brief article about Mrs. Kathleen Gates' 90th birthday. She is our niece and we would like to hear from her and any other readers who remember us.

Terry Tovey

Shirehampton Cricket Club

Dear Editor:

I was interested to read the article on Shirehampton Cricket Club in your September issue of the Shire and the copy of a drawing by Betty Marten of the Pavilion and scoreboard, together with the associated plaque.

My dear only brother, Wally Mitchell (known to us as Artie) played cricket for Shirehampton in the 1950s – he was a keen sportsman and fast bowler. He was tragically killed by a drunk driver whilst on his way to play cricket for the Club on the A4 at Saltford. His colleague, with whom he was travelling, fortunately survived. The match was at Bath and several of the team were travelling behind him. This happened in June 16, 1957, poignantly the day after my own wedding. The match was cancelled. Artie was married and his only daughter was born six months after his death.

Donations were sent to the Club after the event from clubs throughout the Bristol area and it was decided to erect the scoreboard and plaque in his memory. His photographs are, to my knowledge, still displayed in the clubhouse.

Yours sincerely, Joan M. Sage

Avon Primary, Reception School Places

Dear Editor:

Avon Primary School (Barracks Lane) would like to invite all parents and carers with children born between 1st September 2009 - 31st August 2010, who will be applying for a Reception school place by 15th January 2014, to our Open Day on Wednesday 13th November from 9.30 - 10.30am and 6 - 7pm.

Our Head teacher, Early Years teachers, members of the School's leadership team and School Governors will be available to discuss how our School is able to meet the needs of both you and your child.

At Avon Primary we pride ourselves on the relationships we build with our children and the mutual respect between them and our staff, resulting in a positive, caring and welcoming School.

We look forward to seeing you there, but if you do require any further information about the schools admission procedure, please visit or Alternatively, please call the office on 0117 9030446.

Pedals Before Putts…

Photograph taken in 1953 of Geoff Hodges, Mike Batchelor, Tich Chamberlane, Mike Baker, Dennis Cotterell on a bike, Milke Roll, Derek Ray, Peter Croning, Gerald May.  The picture on the right shows the track in 1951.

1953 - Geoff Hodges, Mike Batchelor, Tich Chamberlane, Mike Baker, Dennis Cotterell on bike, Milke Roll and Derek Ray. Front: Peter Croning, Gerald May. The picture on the right shows the track in 1951.

Dear Editor:

I am attaching a photo of an old cycle track, with the American Army Camp in the background, which is now the first fairway of Shirehampton Golf Club. Our first track was built when the Americans went home and before the land was handed back to the golf club. The old gate can still be seen opposite the war memorial.

The track shows Don Saunders of Brislington Eagles leading Derek Ray of Shirehampton Tigers. Saunders was one of the best riders in Bristol and he must have been good to be in front of Ray. He now lives in Westbury-on-Trym and is a member of Henbury Golf Club.

Attached is another photo of the opening of the Avonmouth Cycle Speedway track, Avonmouth Pirates, which features a reunion of all the old riders.

Michael Roll

Hung Road

How Hung Road Got Its Name

Following the query by Teresa Leach in the October 'Shire' about why Hung Road was so called, it comes from the area of river known as Hung Road. River Avon has a tide range of 40ft but in centuries gone by, in order to get heavily laden sailing ships round the notorious Horseshoe Bend and into Bristol docks, the tide had to be pretty high. Ships had to be towed by men in rowing boats (known as hobblers) so the river was a source of employment for the locals who weren't working the land. Ships could await tides at the Hung Road rocks. However, some ships over a certain length and tonnage moored up at Hung Road rocks and their cargoes were discharged over the side into barges. A close look will reveal remains of the old mooring rings.

Black and white photograph showing steps built against the natural rock at Hung road in the River Avon by Les Harrold

Steps at Hung Road. Photo: Les Harrold

Hung Road

In response to the query by Teresa Leach concerning the name Hung Road, I understand the name of the road  as we know it today was in the past, known as Hung Road Lane. This was because it led to the river bank where a section of the River Avon from the Horseshoe Bend to Pill Creek was known as "Hung Road".

It is believed that ships making their way up river to the City Docks would often "hang " around here because of the deeper water available at low tide. There is still evidence of this today - in the shape of iron rings - if you look carefully on the rock face immediately below where the old Ham Green Hospital used to be. At low tide there was 18 feet of water available to ships which were unable to journey up the river until a higher tide, but this was reduced to 11 feet because the crews of waiting ships would clear their vessels of rubbish and throw it overboard whilst tied up at this point.

As the number of ships using this anchorage point increased over the years, so the amount of rubbish thrown into the water also increased. This caused the Haven Master of the time some concern, so he wrote a letter to the Lord Mayor of Bristol, expressing his fears that the depth of the anchorage point would be further reduced and suggested that printed orders be given to the Masters of the ships to stop the problem. The original letter to the Lord Mayor apparently still survives in the City Archives.

Might I suggest to Teresa Leach that if she is interested in the local history of Shirehampton and how some of the names of our streets etc. came about, she should read two books written by the late Ethel Thomas -"Shirehampton Story" and "The continuing story of Shirehampton". I am sure she will find them fascinating reading!

Chris Eynon

Dog Fouling Campaign

It is an offence for a dog owner not to immediately clear up after their dog has fouled most open areas in Bristol. Dog fouling left on the ground by irresponsible dog owners is not only unsightly it is unacceptable and against the law.

To report an irresponsible dog owner please call 0117 9222500 or email with the following details:

  • Location (street name/local park etc.)
  • Description of owner
  • Description of dog; breed, colour, size
  • Specific times of day (if known)

You can buy dog poo bags quite cheaply in local stores and supermarkets.

To report dog fouling found on the street please call 0117 9222100 (choose the option for street cleansing)

Thank you

St. Mary's

From The Registers at St. Mary's

September 2013

BAPTISM "We welcome you"

29th Phoebe-Grace Pate

FUNERALS "At rest and at peace"

4th Peter Beaves Canford
4th Patrick Beattie Canford
27th David Cox St Mary's

WEDDINGS "All that I am I give to you"

21st Florence Griffin Taylor & Kenneth Grimes


28th Angela & Jeffrey Shaw

St. Mary's News

Hi Folks!

Radio Bristol has just announced that the sale of the Gromits at auction raised the magnificent sum of £2.3 million pounds for the Children's Hospital. I am also delighted to announce that our own Gromit Harvest Appeal at the time of writing has raised well over £1,900 and it is anticipated we shall reach the sum of £2,000 by the time the appeal ends. The children all found it great fun and grateful thanks must be given to all of you who have made such generous donations. Now for details of the winners – The Gromit Trail was won by Joseph Thomas and the Runner-up was Matthew Beddoes. Design a Gromit (for Older Children) was Ailsa Reid and the Runner-up Sophie Sayer. For younger children the winner was Logan Greenway and the Runner-up was Zoe Eynon.

We are holding another Beetle Drive in St. Mary's on Wednesday, 6th November, commencing with Lunch at 1.00 pm. Please put your name on the list at the back of the church if you are coming – this is to assist with numbers for catering. A retiring collection will be taken in aid of Church Funds.

Once again we are holding our Annual Memorial Service for those folks who wish to remember lost loved ones. It is a fairly short service of remembrance and will be held at 3.00 pm on Saturday, 9th November and led by our Pastoral Team. All are very welcome to this quiet reflective service.

On Sunday, 10th November is our Remembrance Service which will commence in St. Mary's at 10.00 am when the Roll of Honour is read out and a Poppy Wreath placed under Memorial Window at the west of the church. We will then be walking in procession to the War Memorial on Shirehampton Park for the Act of Remembrance and 2 minutes' silence at 11.00 am. The Shirehampton Cricket Club normally opens its doors for refreshments at the conclusion of the Service and I presume the same will occur this year! At 6.00 pm, a service of Choral Evensong will be held in St. Mary's with the music led by the Bristol Cathedral Consort Choir. This is the only time of the year when we have a sung Evensong and it would be a great pity to miss it if this is a service you enjoy!

We are once more greatly indebted to our Lay Minister Gill Sawyer for organizing our Christmas Food Fayre which is to be held in church between 10.00 am and 12 noon on Saturday, 30th November. This is the time when you can purchase Christmas Food, Gifts and . The amount of home-made produce available for sale depends upon how much she is allowed to do – so get there early or you may find what you wanted has already been sold! This is a major source of income for St. Mary's and pray that we reach the same figure as we did at our Christmas Fayre in 2012, as our income is well below what it was at this time last year. Your support is vital – so please put this date in your Diary!

Did you know that this was seen on a Notice outside a North London Church – "WANTED – WORKERS FOR GOD – PLENTY OF OVERTIME! . . . and that's it for this month!

'Bye for now! C.M.E.

LinkAge Interview with Ricky Bush

LinkAge is a Bristol based partnership that was instigated by Bristol City Council in 2007. The organisation works with people mainly 55+ to facilitate inspiring social activities that enrich lives and encourage active participation. It also helps to combat or at least reduce social isolation amongst older people. There are a number of reasons why people go along to the various activities, some for health benefits, some for social and, for others, it will be the only activity they will do in a week. Even if LinkAge can get a person out and about for an hour to spend some quality time with someone else then that's obviously a good thing. You will find a number of LinkAge activities happening every weekday right across the city and for well over a year, the organisation has been gradually integrating within the Shirehampton community.

Ricky Bush is the Senior Community Development Worker for LinkAge with a focus on intergenerational work across the city and has become a familiar face with many people within the village. "It basically means I have two roles within LinkAge. One is a focus on looking at organising and promoting positive activities for the over 55's in the key areas I work in, which tends to be North Bristol, and the other side is the intergenerational work looking at meaningful projects where younger and older people can come together, share skills knowledge and experiences in a meaningful way".

"Shirehampton is actually very vibrant, with a lot of older local people wanting to get involved in a real variety of activities. There are arts and crafts sessions, Tai Chi, line dancing, chair aerobics, and people can even book up for a massage. There are walking groups such as the Walkie Talkies and the Nomads, and we have local volunteer befrienders for those who can't get out and about." said Ricky.

Ricky Bush demonstrating indoor kurling. Photo by Kathryn Courtney

Ricky Bush demonstrating indoor Kurling. Photo by Kathryn Courtney

We have LinkAge indoor version of Kurling with equipment accessible to everyone, regardless of disability, age or sex, with qualified coaches."

You can find Ricky and Laura at Tithe Barn, High Street, Shirehampton on a Tuesday and Wednesday. You can drop in, have a cup of tea or coffee, have a chat with them about activity ideas, become a volunteer or find out more about what is going on with LinkAge in the area. The web site is: and you can contact Ricky Bush on: 07807 706310 or e-mail him:

by Kathryn Courtney

Supersonic Car

Model of Bloodhound Supersonic Car. Photo: Bob Pitchford

Bloodhound Supersonic Car. Photo: Bob Pitchford

BLOODHOUND SSC is exactly what it says - a SuperSonic Car, being assembled in a unit in Avonmouth! It is supersonic because it is designed to go faster than the speed of sound. It is a car because it has four wheels and is under full control of its driver.

Bloodhound SSC is a jet and rocket powered car designed to go at 1,000 mph (just over 1,600 kph). It has a slender body of approximately 14m length with two front wheels within the body and two rear wheels mounted externally within wheel fairings.

It weighs over 7 tonnes and the engines produce more than 135,000 horsepower - more than 6 times the power of all the Formula 1 cars on a starting grid put together!

The Car is a mix of car and aircraft technology, with the front half being a carbon fibre monocoque like a racing car and the back half being a metallic framework and panels like an aircraft.

Website address for more information

Library News

Library News…

Congratulations to all the young readers who participated in the Summer Reading Challenge. Numbers at Shire were significantly up on last year. Even if you didn't finish the Challenge and manage to get your medal and certificate this year, don't worry, you can try again next year.

We'd like to say goodbye and good luck to Mary Wallis who has left is after 23 years service. She will be greatly missed, but we hope to see her 'around', as she drops in for the occasional story time, on her way to various bowling greens around Bristol.

Feel Better with a Book

A new kind of reading group has started at Sea Mills Library. The group is hosted by Jean, a Shire resident, who is keen to combine her health background with her love of books. The idea is to bring people together for an enjoyable hour or two to share novels, short stories and poems. You can join in the reading or just relax, listen and maybe make new friends. There is no need to have read anything in advance – it's all in the moment !

The group is open to all and might particularly appeal to those who are looking to improve their sense of wellbeing. Refreshments will be provided.

The group runs every fortnight on Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. at Sea Mills Library on Sylvan Way. Just come along and no need to book. The dates of the meetings up to the end of 2013 are: October 23; November 6 and 20; and December 4 and 18.

Watch this space for dates after the New Year.

Many thanks,

Jo & the Sea Mills, Shirehampton & Avonmouth Libraries Team

Shirehampton Primary School Goes Both Back and Forward In Time!

There is never a dull moment in year 6. As the last year of primary school, September to July becomes one big preparation for life in secondary school and beyond (not to mention KS2 SATS)! Nevertheless, year 6 can be a real opportunity for exciting learning and opportunities to lead and take responsibility.

Shirehampton Primary year 6 pupils salute

Shirehampton Primary year 6 pupils salute.

Recently we have been enthralled by our WWII topic. It is heart-warming to see so many of the children speaking to relatives and friends about their experiences of Wartime Britain and fascinating to see them compare it to life today. Listening to the King's speech and creating gas masks really brought the past into the present and together with the fast approaching Remembrance Sunday the study of history gives 10 and 11 year olds the opportunity to reflect and ponder on past events.

At Shirehampton, we pride ourselves on allowing our children to take on roles of leadership and accountability. Year 6 children become peer mediators (recognised by their purple, rather than blue, jumpers). Peer mediators are called to build friendships, resolve conflicts and support younger pupils. As year 6 teachers, it is a privilege to see these young children begin to turn into mature and responsible adults, ready for the next step in their journey.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank readers for their constant and important support of the school as part of your community.

Kind Regards,

Mr E. Powe and Mr N. Ellway (Year 6)

Basic Computer Courses For the Over 55s

Get IT Together, Bristol, has been running free computer courses for the over 55s in Shirehampton for a little while and tackling issues such as digital exclusion. Comprising a 5 week course held on a Tuesday afternoon at the Tithe Barn, High Street, Shirehampton, this course requires no previous knowledge or experience of computers. With the help of Colin, who teaches this course, you'll learn how to use the mouse and keyboard, the internet and email basics.

Sisters Rosalind and Marilyn with Colin, the tutor, looking on. Photo by Kathryn Courtney

IT Course at the Tithe Barn. Photo by Kathryn Courtney

Rosalind and Marilyn are sisters who took up the opportunity of joining this course and have learned a lot during the five weeks. It's something Marilyn has always wanted to do a computer course but Rosalind had different reasons for joining. "My husband's family are in Canada and I want to contact them through e-mail which I've never been able to do. I've children who do their best to teach me but they're so fast I just can't keep up. On these courses you can. Colin is a very good teacher with plenty of patience and time. If you mess up, it doesn't matter as you can go over it again with him. These classes are well worth coming to."

So what is the computer class really like? I ask Rosalind if anyone feels daft or uncomfortable if they make a mistake. "Oh no, this is what the class is all about. Colin puts each of us at our ease because he doesn't expect anyone to do things first time," Marilyn adds. "We have all learned that we're not as dim as we thought !"

For further information on Get IT Together courses (which are free to the over 55s) please contact Kerry Bradshaw on: 07785 462568.

by Kathryn Courtney

Christmas Comes Early to Avon Primary School

Hannah from Avon Primary School year 5 receiving her trophy from Darren Jones showing her winning Christmas card design.

Hannah from Avon Primary School year 5 receiving her trophy from Darren Jones.

Darren Jones, prospective Labour Member of Parliament for Bristol North West, today visited his former primary school, Avon Primary, to meet with children and staff who have evoked the spirit of Christmas early by holding a 'Design a Christmas card' competition. Darren addressed students about politics and parliament before choosing the winning design, which will be Bristol North West Labour Party's official Christmas card.

Speaking afterwards Darren Jones said: "All of the entries were excellent - we have some great artists in the area - but only one could win and I congratulate Hannah from Year 5 for being the winner. I will look forward to using her design as my Christmas card to key people and organisations in Bristol and Westminster this year.

"I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Avon Primary and look back fondly on it as a supportive and encouraging community school. My visit today showed that has not changed one bit.

"When speaking with pupils about politics and parliament it quickly became apparent that they were fully up to speed and a credit to their parents and the staff at Avon Primary. It is vital that children are given the opportunity to learn about civic society and grow up enthused to take part - the pupils at Avon Primary this afternoon needed no encouragement, blowing me away with what they knew."

Lord Mayor Visits Penpole Lunch Club

Three ladies from the Penpole luncheon club pictured with Lord Mayor Faruk Choudry. Photo: Kathryn Courtney

Penpole Luncheon club. Photo: Kathryn Courtney

ON the 24th September, the Penpole Lunch Club welcomed the Lord Mayor Of Bristol, Faruk Choudhury, who proved to be a very popular guest. He spoke to everyone, taking his time to chat. Many wanted their photo taken with him and he was happy to pose with them. It seems he made a very good impression on everyone.

The Lord Mayor was very interested to know how the Lunch Club works and how it survives with the help of volunteers. He had nothing but praise for the Penpole Lunch Club, Sandra and the volunteers. He also did the lunch-time raffle and handed out prizes to the lucky winners.

The lunch club has several spaces for people who wish to come along on a regular basis each Tuesday and enjoy a good nutritious main meal, sweet, tea/coffee and cake as well as good company and banter for a couple hours. Meals cost £3.50. For further information to book your meal, please contact Sandra White on: 07818 260419.

by Kathryn Courtney