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Back to January 2014 SHIRE February 2014 Fowards to March 2014 SHIRE
News Index

Letters to the Editor

Avon Primary School Caretaker Retires

Wood Carving Bench Project Brings Generations Together

Shirehampton Public Hall

Nature Notes

St. Mary's News

High tide at the Lamplighters

Gas Safety

Free courses for adults with few or no qualifications

191 Scout Group Collection

Bristol Shiplovers Society

Cotswold Community Association Dursley Road

Oasis roman villa project

February LinkAge Activities to book in your diary


Re-opening of historic Lamplighters Pub

After four years closed, Shirehampton's historic Lamplighters set to open again as family pub after four years of standing derelict.

The team which has been redeveloping nearby Kings Weston House has bought the pub and plan to run it as a family friendly, community venue. Husband & Wife Dominic & Kathie Gundry-White, with Dominic's business partner Norman Routledge, have bought the pub from Unity Street Investments LLP, which owned it since it was sold by Enterprise Inns in 2011, having stood vacant for 18 months before this.

A deal to sell part of the pub's substantial gardens for homes – which was a key part in making the redevelopment of the pub work – is currently in its final stages. A major challenge has always been the investment and expertise needed to restore the Lamplighters to its former glory.

Now the team are preparing to begin work having already made their mark with refurbishment and events at Kings Weston House, which is owned by Mr Routledge, and also on the former Filton Library, now home to their Cannon Fire and Security business. It is hoped the pub could be open by Spring 2014.

Mr Gundry-White said: "The Team have acquired a lot of historic building redevelopment experience both at Kingsweston House and also at our base in Filton and we are thrilled to be involved in such a landmark pub as the Lamplighters. We want to create a family pub which will be a hub for the community and also a real destination pub. The pub will offer high quality food as well and we will not be 'tied' to any one brewer."

Mrs Gundry-White said she had been heartened by the community campaign and petitions run by local MP Charlotte Leslie and city councillor Wayne Harvey and said that she was hoping to utilise local expertise to create a real community venue. Having already left her job with Linden Homes she is looking forward to a hands-on role in the redevelopment of the pub.

Ms Leslie, who has been campaigning to save the Lamplighters for several years and who launched an extensive community petition to gather local feeling, said she was thrilled that the pub would soon be open for business again. She said: "It is simply fantastic news that Kathie, Norman, Dominic and the team have taken over the pub - almost a dream come true. I have seen the work they are doing at historic Kingsweston House and they completely understand both the needs of how to restore the building and also offer first class hospitality. People in Shirehampton have been crying out to have the Lamplighters restored – you just have to read the many, many comments on the petition website – and at last it is going to happen. For too long this beautiful and historic old pub was standing derelict. It was desperately sad'. Ms. Leslie added, "Its location is superb – close to the motorway, the Portway road, and Shirehampton Station, but it really feels like a pub in the countryside, with its large gardens, amazing river-view, and local walks along the riverside. Its a country pub in the City. The pub has always been popular and demand for its return was high. This is very much 'a community' where people know each other and provide mutual support. We had a tremendous response to our exploratory survey to see if the community could club together to re-open the pub. Now I am hoping that our appeal to have local community involvement can link up with the group's efforts and provide a helpful boost to what will be exciting but challenging months ahead to bring the pub back to its former glory."

Councillor Harvey said: "I used to play round the Lamplighters pub as a youngster, and like many Shire residents have enjoyed many a happy time at the pub as an adult. We've all been desperate to see our beloved pub resurrected. There were always doubters with our campaign to re-open the pub, but now it seems our persistence may have paid off. We have to thank all those who signed the petition and surveys, and Shire paper which has been so supportive.' He added, "We have friends who are boatman in the village of Pill who would like resurrect the old pill ferry in the summer. Also with the cruise ships coming into the Docks, we could look into the possibility of river taxis up to Bristol and take in the views of the gorge and Brunel's historic bridge."

Community campaigner Matt Melias said: "I am delighted that the team involved with Kingsweston House is taking on our precious Lamplighters; I couldn't think of a better, more community-minded team to make the Lamplighters shine again as a beacon pub."

Matt Moody of Unity Street Investments said: "This whole project has only been possible due to the support of the local community and Charlotte Leslie, all of whom constructively helped us to get our planning permission which has made the current proposals viable. I fear that, otherwise, there would have been no prospect of the pub reopening in the near future as we would have been forced to mothball it."

Peter Bridle from Bristol CAMRA, which has also been supporting plans to reopen the pub, said: "I am often being asked "when will the Lamplighters reopen?" Many people in Shirehampton and beyond who have missed this pub have been very keen to see it reopen. It is terrific news to hear that it will be reopening in a few months' time. Pubs form a vital link for communities and it is clear that local people

have missed not having their local open. It would have been a big loss had the pub been closed for good. Even better news is that it will be free of tie. This will enable the owners to offer a good range of beers without the onerous overheads of being tied to a large pub Company. "We wish everyone connected with the Lamplighters every success for the future".

Among the comments from people signing Ms Leslie's petitions are:

"Shirehampton needs a good pub with good food badly. It has plenty of lovely people and would be full all the time!"

"One of the best settings for a pub in Bristol and one I have used often when I lived in Bristol and one I would visit regularly now I have returned to live here."

The Lamplighters was a great pub especially for families. We need this re-opened so that the community can have a decent pub again."

"It's got to come back."

"I lived in Shirehampton many years ago and it was the Lamps where I met my wife. I now live out of the area and it ist such a shame that this lovely pub with a fantastic location is closed and still closed after all these years. If it re-opened I would go back and have a drink or a meal. Keep up the petition and let's get the Lamps open again."

Letters to the Editor

Help for Heroes

Dear Editor,

I am writing to say a big thank you to the Staff of Shirehampton Co-op store who, as well as doing their normal duties, found time to collect monies from the customers to purchase a bench, which is sited in the store, with an aptly inscribed nameplate in Memory of the late Pat Gould. They miss her, as do all her friends. When I pass the store, I can imagine her sitting there, eating her ice cream. Her day trips with the Evergreens were never complete unless she had an ice cream. We at the Friday night Bingo Club miss her also. We collected the sum of £53 which was sent to 'Help For Heroes' by her good friend, Joan.

So, once again, thank you, Co-op staff for the wonderful gesture on behalf of her many friends. God bless you all.

Christmas Lights

Dear Editor,

I would like to thank the Christmas Lights Association for once again lighting up the village at Christmas. A tremendous amount of hard work is involved in making the village look festive so thank you to all the people involved.

Interesting Trees

Dear Editor,

I was impressed with the KWAG two guides for Kings Weston Estate: very professional. They led walks and a tree trail, though I did not find the white oak as all the leaves had fallen. Many of these old special trees had identification markers, similar to the Kew Gardens collection. As a matter of interest, on Monday, 30th December, 2013 there was a programme on TV Channel 19 called Yesterday. This was about the disappearance of the crew from the abandoned brigantine, Mary Celeste in 1872. The programme discussed the large cargo of alcohol which was stored on two decks, contained in barrels made of red oak and American white oak, the latter being the same variety as the Kings Weston Estate white oak tree.

Grainger Players

Dear Editor,

Would you be so kind as to publish the attached photograph. We had such a lovely "write up" but the photograph you printed last month didn't do the show justice, as it was taken on dress rehearsal night. The Grainger Players would like to thank our audience and volunteers for their continued support, we look forward to seeing you all at our next production.

Many thanks,

(We're sorry that the tight production of the Shire in December meant we couldn't wait for the actual performance photos. Editor)

Businesses rally to help the homeless

Dear Editor,

Avonmouth Auto and Weld would like to thank a number of local businesses for their kind donations to the Bristol homeless charity, the Julian Trust, over Christmas. Thanks go to Park Hill Service Station, Pembroke Road Garage, Andy's Autos, Maccess, Sampsons, LM Motors, AMS, Price Bros, Advanced Windscreens and all of our customers who generously donated, to name just a few.

Dan and Sarah would also like to wish all of their customers a Happy New Year and best wishes for 2014.

Thank you!

Dear Editor,

We would like to express our thanks to all the passers-by who stopped to assist, both on foot and by car, in the search for our six-year old son Lenny who escaped from our garden on Sunday 29th December. Lenny has severe autism and has no sense of danger and little speech. Thanks to the help we received, Lenny was found safe and well in the village before police had arrived.


Dear Editor,

Hello, I don't know of Anthony or Enid Edmonds but have faint memories of the name Mathison. But I think it's Barrow Hill Rd at the junction, on the right with Fairford Rd. The fourth person from the right is Keith Williams on his mother's lap with his sister Pamela next to his mother. The eighth girl is Joyce Mildon, all from Barrow Hill Rd. The older girl in the middle front I think is Joyce Payne ? The two girls at the back, on the right with flowers in their hair, are Jean Butcher and ----- Barnes. In the house on the left lived the O'Neals ? The bride was --- Laddis? I think that's I all I remember, as it was 68 years ago, at the end of the war. Hope it is helpful for you.

Oasis Academy Christmas Fayre

Students and staff raised over £1000 which will be divided equally between the Philippines Disaster Fund and local charity, Room for Hope.

The fayre was split over the sports and assembly halls and filled with stalls providing cakes, cookies, hot dogs, nail decoration, quizzes, rowing, football, and much more. More parents and locals came to support than ever before and everyone should be proud of their achievements.

Avon Primary School Caretaker Retires

Dave Willis

Dave Wills, caretaker.

Dave Wills, caretaker at Avon Primary School for the past 38 years, retired on January 31st 2014. He is only the second caretaker since the school opened in 1952. His long service was recognised by the children singing songs from the decades, with each class saying what they thought the job of caretaker entailed: this included climbing on the roof to retrieve balls and on some occasions, shoes; clearing snow from pathways to allow children to attend school; not to mention cleaning up after our poorly children! A presentation by children was made in recognition of his long and loyal service.

During a tea party earlier in the week, attended by current and past members of staff and friends, John Potter, former Headteacher for 25 years, retold several hilarious stories of incidents that occurred when they worked together.

We would like to wish Dave and Margaret a very long and happy retirement - no more getting up at 5.30am !!!

Wood Carving Bench Project Brings Generations Together

For three weeks during November and December a wood carving bench project was happening at the Tithe Barn. This was a joint project organised between LinkAge and Wild City Project with Join Artist Alistair Park at the helm guiding and helping young people from ORB at Oasis Academy Brigstowe and older people from the local community.

Photo: Kathryn Courtney

Photo: Kathryn Courtney

The bench consists of oak wood and sweet chestnut, some larch may be used as well. You'll be able to see carvings along the back of the bench that commemorates the Remount Depot that was in the area during World War One. The carvings were originally drawn onto the wood and carved out by the young and older people alike, as well as working on the main parts of the wood that will form the seating. The bench will be installed in the Daisy Field during January for everyone to enjoy and take in the wonderful views of the area.

As for being involved in the project itself feedback has been extremely positive. Barbara said "I've never carved wood before and enjoyed working together with everyone and learning new skills" whilst Lewis from ORB said "I've enjoyed doing this project because I like doing practical things". Eileen added "It gives you another interest and I look forward to seeing the bench in the Daisy Field".

Ricky Bush from LinkAge is one of the people behind this project and has been impressed with the outcome. "It's been great to see local young and older people working together to design, carve and build a bench that will be available for the community to use for future generations to come".

Cath Wright from Oasis Academy Brigstowe couldn't resist to get involved "It's been an amazing opportunity to work with a master Wood Carver. We've learnt so much and been shown how to use specialist tools, some of which are one hundred years old". Local Wood Turner Dick Helme has also enjoyed being involved in the project. "I think it's a wonderful achievement to bring out the talent of the young. Everyone has got so involved and added their own talent. I really think it's been an excellent project for all of us to get involved with and to learn".

Alistair Park summed up the bench project. "It's been great to work with Ricky and Laura of LinkAge as well as Helen at the Wild City Project. Everyone has worked really hard and produced some very good work. Thanks to them all for making this project so much fun to be a part of."

Shirehampton Public Hall

The Public Hall has a bright new look for 2014. The entrance foyer and stairways have been redecorated, so now look very smart and clean. New more comfortable chairs have been installed in the Penpole Room upstairs, which makes an excellent meeting room or classroom.

For small meetings, the Springfield Room on the ground floor has been vacated by the Credit Union so this is now available day and evenings for a very modest charge.

We also have free WiFi in the main hall, so ask for the code when you book. The library WiFi reaches into the Penpole Room. We are a BT WiFi hotspot, so you can use your own BT access code as well.

For all bookings contact Katie on 0117 982 9963,

Sea Mills Amdram

We are holding a Talent competition on Sat 8th March at Sea Mills Community Centre. Do you have a hidden talent, can you sing, dance, juggle, recite poetry, tell jokes etc.

If you can and are available on Sat 8th March (Sunday 2nd March for rehearsal) please contact Nick on 07876 495909 / 01179 822436 or Angela on 07852 861961 for more information.

You never know, you might even win ! All entries need to be in by Thursday 20th Feb 2014.

Nature Notes

The weather is having a significant impact on the number of visitors to our garden at present. When the weather was calmer, and drier, the Goldfinches were happy to sit on the feeders for ages just quietly grazing. But they have disappeared for a while, and I just hope they are ok. The Dunnocks prefer to be on the ground so they keep popping in and out.

Last winter, we had a pair of Bull-finches for the first time. That was very exciting. They stayed for a few days, but we haven't seen them yet this winter. We've got a new metal feeder holder which we can move around the garden. It holds 3 or 4 different feeders and seems to work well.

Some of you may remember my excitement about 3 years ago when we installed a nest-box with a camera in our Cherry tree. Guess what ? That's right, not a sniff of a bird's nest !! We keep hoping, and maybe next spring will be different. Fingers crossed.

The Greater Spotted Woodpecker still called for the peanuts, and the garden favourites such as Robin, Blue Tit and Great Tit still pop in and out. I spotted a Siskin recently, so the little birds are doing ok, but the wet windy weather isn't helping.

Here's to better times ahead. Roll on spring.

St. Mary's News

By now, you will be looking forward to spring and nights becoming a bit lighter. The worst of the winter weather might be behind us by now!

Spring always heralds Lent and Easter – Lent being a more sombre time of reflection on our lives and then the great celebration of Easter and the resurrection of Jesus. Lent lasts 40 days, but, since it doesn't include Sundays as feast days, Lent is actually 46 days! But that is all ahead of us and we still have February to get through yet!

On Sunday 2nd February at 10am and 8.00pm, we have special services for Candlemas. Holy Communion in the morning and a short, reflective service of night prayer in the evening. Candlemas is the day when we remember that Jesus was referred to as the Light of the World and the day that churches used to bless their candles for the year. Now at St Mary's we light candles and think of Jesus and others who bring light into our lives. People believed that Candlemas predicted the weather for the rest of the winter; you may be more familiar with it as Groundhog Day, especially if you have seen the film!

If you are thinking of how to amuse the children during the school holiday we have two special events. A Pancake Party on Tuesday, 18th February from 10.00am–12.00 noon – pancake races, competitions, quiz and pancakes for all the family and, on Thursday 20th February, Messy Church from 3.30pm-5.00pm – refreshments, crafts, activities etc for children; one adult at least per family please. The crafts are suitable for children aged 3+ but younger siblings are welcomed as we have a crθche.

From the evening of Friday 21st until Sunday afternoon, over 30 of our church family will be going for a Parish Weekend at Abbey House, Glastonbury. It is always a great time of fun, fellowship and reflection. Rev Canon Douglas Holt will be leading this weekend for us.

Much of what we shall be doing during March centres on Lent. Early in the month, just for your diaries, on Tuesday 4th March we will be offering pancakes with coffee as usual for Shrove Tuesday, so do pop in. The following day, Ash Wednesday, there will be a lovely, reflective special service of Holy Communion and, for those who would like it, the sign of the cross in ash on their forehead as a reminder of our own mortality.

Ashes are made from burning the palm crosses of the previous year.

But we'll leave the rest of the news until next month! We all wish Chris every good wish for a full recovery and are sure he'll be back writing this column again next time!

Best wishes,

From us all at St Mary's

From the register at St. Mary's, December 2013

BAPTISM "We welcome you"

29th Victoria Cunningham

Beau Paul Henry Doddrell

FUNERALS "At rest and at peace"

13th Patricia Gould St Mary's

17th Stan Mazur Canford

18th Raymond Anstey St Mary's

19th Kenneth Handley St Mary's

23rd Tom Pearson St Mary's

24th Ada Churchill Canford

WEDDINGS "All that I am I give to you"

14th Beverley Andrews & Jimmy Collins

22nd Marianne Vivash & Christopher Murray

What's the point of Penpole?

What's the point of Penpole ?
It's got so overgrown
It used to be so tidy
And the grass was always mown.

What's the point of Penpole ?
At one time you could rest
Upon a bench and gaze towards
The Welsh hills in the west.

What's the point of Penpole ?
It's got so overgrown
That people are afraid to walk
There anymore on their own.

What's the point of Penpole ?
Does anyone care a jot ?
It's beauty fades apace – but, ah,
What memories I've got !

What good news ! What pleasure !
Oh, what a lovely mob !
Penpole Point will be restored,
Now KWAG is on the job !

This poem was first published by Shire in July 1998. The last verse has just been added to celebrate KWAG's plan to restore Penpole Point, reported in the January issue of Shire.

High tide at the Lamplighters


Mr. Tony Twyman from 9 Corston Walk, Shirehampton, has sent us some very impressive photographs of Saturday morning high tide, on the 4th January, taken at the Lamplighters from the Sailing Club location.

Blaise Primary's rapid move from 'inadequate' to 'outstanding'

Blaise Primary and Nursery School has just been awarded an Ofsted judgement of 'Outstanding' across all four inspection criteria, only three years after being rated 'inadequate' by the same body.

In the latest report the Local Authority-maintained school has been praised for the quality of its leadership and management and the high aspirations they have for the school which has resulted in 'rapid and sustained improvements in teaching and achievement.' Ofsted also highlighted spiritual, social, moral and cultural development at the school as being excellent. The school's motto is 'Everyone shines at Blaise'.

With almost 400 pupils, Blaise is classified as a larger-than-average-sized primary school. The proportion of pupils eligible for the pupil premium funding – funding for pupils known to be eligible for free school meals, children from service families and children who are looked after by the local authority – is well above average.

Kate Rowlands, Headteacher said: "I feel extremely proud to have been part of this amazing journey, which has seen our school move from inadequate to outstanding in 3½ years. It is my belief that this achievement is fundamentally due to our whole school ethos. Not only do we inspire our children to want to learn, we also provide a nurturing environment where all children are able to flourish and succeed.'

"I would like to pay tribute to everyone who has been involved in our journey – past and present, adults and children alike. The dedication given and the belief shown has brought about this incredible achievement and long may it continue."

Chair of Governors Tracy Ring said: "Blaise provides inspiring teaching within a nurturing environment, ensuring each child can access an outstanding education. "We all share high aspirations for our children and a passion for supporting them to achieve their full potential. We are delighted with the recent Ofsted judgement."

Brenda Massey, Assistant Mayor for Education, said: "This is a particularly proud moment for Blaise, given their position only three years ago. It goes to show what can be done by developing a strong ethos of caring and high expectations throughout the school."

Shirehampton Primary School: Year 4 Update

Last term, year 4 were looking at treasure as our topic. We thought about what treasure is and where we can find it. On Wednesday 6th November we took a trip to Clearwell Caves in the Forest of Dean.

For thousands of years iron ore has been mined at Clearwell Caves. Clearwell Caves are now a working mining museum where visitors can see impressive caverns with geological and mining displays. Iron ore from the Caves has been used over many centuries to make tools, weapons and machinery. Some forms of the iron ore occur in powder form, red, yellow, purple and brown ochre; they are highly valued as pigments and still mined at Clearwell Caves. The iron mines are an important part of the Forest of Dean's history and environment.

We learnt about how children used to work down the mines and even got a chance to try and fit in the tiny gaps that they would have to work in; carrying 20 kg pieces of iron on their backs.

It was a really fun day and as well as being on a film set for the new Da Vinci film; we also learnt loads about mining and the treasures that are available under our feet!

Gas Safety

Carbon Monoxide!

Over 400 failed gas safety checks highlights need for CO Awareness Bristol City Council is reminding homeowners, landlords and tenants to have gas appliances and fuel burners checked by a GasSafe registered engineer for potentially lethal carbon monoxide gas this winter.

Recently published data on the GasSafe website indicates that in the last 12 months over 400 cookers, boilers and fires have failed safety inspections in central Bristol alone. Others that have not have been checked could remain a risk to health.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas which is difficult to detect. At high levels CO can cause sudden collapse, loss of consciousness and death. Exposure to lower levels has serious effects as well: symptoms include headaches, drowsiness, dizziness, chest pains, nausea and vomiting. If symptoms are caused by CO, they should improve when you get outside and breathe fresh air.

It is a legal requirement for landlords to have gas appliances checked annually, and Bristol City Council's inspections of its 20,400 properties with gas heating include an assessment of CO risk. Gas boilers and appliances are regularly checked and up to 1,400 gas boiler and heating systems are replaced in council properties each year.

Carbon monoxide poisoning causes around accidental 40 deaths and 200 hospitalisations each year in England and Wales but it is thought that many more people suffer from exposure to the gas.

Avonsafe brings together partners in the area to reduce the risk of preventable injury and death. Launching the winter campaign, Avonsafe's Rob Benington said: "If you've not had your gas or fuel burners checked already, do get it done before the cold weather sets in. CO poisoning is potentially lethal and entirely preventable. Alarms are useful, but are no substitute for regular servicing of gas, coal and wood burning fires, cookers or boilers. Take a look at\avonsafeco for more information, checklists and factsheets".

Although carbon monoxide is difficult to detect, there are signs that can indicate a fault with domestic appliances or flues. These include black sooty marks on the radiants – the clay bars above the gas flames – of gas fires, sooty marks on the wall around stoves, boilers or fires, and smoke accumulating in rooms due to faulty flues.

Yellow instead of blue flames from gas appliances is another sign that the appliance may be faulty - although this does not apply to 'fuel-effect', 'living flame or 'decorative flame' gas fires as they are designed to look like flames from solid fuel appliances.

Anyone seeing any of these signs or suffering from any of the symptoms should turn off their appliance, open windows and get an engineer to check it as soon as possible. You should also see your GP and tell them that you think you might have been exposed to carbon monoxide.

Local information on appliances found to be unsafe in the last 12 months can be found at and anyone can register for a reminder service.

This year 200 CO alarms have been provided to vulnerable families through Avonsafe Home Safety Scheme and funded by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

Free courses for adults with few or no qualifications

Brush up Your English and Maths for Work

Do you want to improve your English and/or maths for work? Then this is your chance!

Starting Wed. 22nd Jan. 12.45-2.45pm (times t.b.c) for 6 weeks at Avonmouth Community Centre

  • IT for Work/Volunteering. Starts Mon. 20th Jan. 9.30-2.30pm, for 3 weeks, Lawrence Weston (venue t.b.c)
  • Paediatric First Aid. Starts Wed. 22nd Jan. 9.15-12.45pm for 4 weeks - Sea Mills Primary School

To book please contact Suzanne on 9030072 or email

  • Food Hygiene - Gain a level 2 in Food Safety in Catering. FREE course for adults without level 2 qualifications. Venue: Avonmouth Community Centre, Avonmouth Road, BS11 9EN

    Date and time: Friday 28th February and Friday 7th March, 9.30-2.30pm

For more information please contact Suzanne on 0117 9030072 or email

191 Scout Group Collection

On Saturday, December 21, the 191 Scout Group held a collection outside the Co-op. The committee and leaders would like to thank the Manager and staff, and all the people of Shirehampton who gave so generously. The grand total collected was £322.78,

Bristol Shiplovers Society

Programme for 2014 Meetings

Meetings are held at HMS Flying Fox. The meeting room is open from 1900 and proceedings begin at 1930. Visitors most welcome at £3 per head should notify Captain Colin Smith on 01249 447449 beforehand, or arrive at HMS Flying Fox and report to the gatekeeper. Please bring some form of identification.

Meeting on the following Mondays

28th FebruaryOn and around the ThamesArthur Clarke
10th MarchThe role of the Commonwealth Navies during the Korean WarDavid Verghese
24th MarchDVD Evening 
14th AprilWynn's Heavy HaulageJohn Wynn
28th AprilPaddle Steamer WaverleyAlex Lewis
12th MayPaddle SteamersRichard Clammer

Cotswold Community Association Dursley Road

Forthcoming Events

February 8th'Motown/60s Night' (£6 per ticket, including chicken and chips)
February 15thTable Top Sale (To book a table, ring Daphne 0755 4642 440)
February 22nd'Race Night'
March 29th'Curry Night'(For more details, ring Rickard 0777 9227 107)

(Thanks for Donation: Ed)

Bristol City Council Launches 'First Response'.

Bristol City Council (BCC) has launched First Response, the place to call if you are concerned about a child or young person or think they need some help - TEL: 0117 903 6444.

Professionals can call First Response with any NEW referrals, which began on 16th December 2013.

You will need to contact your allocated social worker or Early Help team about any EXISTING cases.

This new service is really important in terms of improving safeguarding of children and young people.

About First Response:

  • this has been tested, along with new arrangements for Early Help, in the North area of the city since March 2013 and now the service has gone city-wide from 16th December 2013.
  • Calls to First Response may result in a referral to Early Help or directly to a social work team and/or advice and guidance being given about services to help families
  • First Response will be a multi-agency team including partners from health, the police and the voluntary sector. This better co-ordinated approach means that significantly more children and families will receive the right help, in the right place, at the right time.

This service is already taking calls from the public.

Oasis roman villa project

Year 10 Art Students at Oasis Academy Brightstowe have been working with staff from Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives and artist Julie Roberts to design and create a range of merchandise inspired by Kings Weston Roman Villa. The project has been funded by the Bristol Decorative & Fine Arts Society.

As part of this project, students have visited the Kings Weston Roman Villa, handled real Roman objects and studied Roman mosaics. The group then researched a range of different products and created their unique and exciting designs for a range of mugs, coasters, magnets, key rings, hand printed bags, and jewellery. The collection they created was officially unveiled in Bristol Museum & Art Gallery Shop at a special launch event. The students were on hand to answer questions about their products and there was a short presentation from Julie Finch, Museum director to thank everybody for their involvement.

February LinkAge Activities to book in your diary

On Wednesday 5th February the Tea Dance will be taking place at Shirehampton Public Hall from 2pm – 4pm. So why not come along for a bit of dancing, a chat with old and new friends, tea and cake and socialise for an afternoon. If you love dancing and are an absolute beginner or even know your dance steps, you can join in with ballroom, Latin, salsa, social dancing and more. Partners aren't required as you will know from the last tea dance held with feedback from Cora: "It's been brilliant, I want more. The dance teacher has been excellent, I've loved socialising and I will certainly be coming back again." With Carol saying: "The dance teacher took us through the dance steps slowly. She is very good and I would like to see more people come along next time. I'll be coming back." Cost is £3.00 so see you there!

Every first and third Tuesday of each month Massage will be available at the Tithe Barn, Shirehampton from 11am – 12:30pm. Claire is fully qualified and bookings are £5 for each 15 minute session. Ruth said: "It gets knots out of my shoulders and is beneficial and relaxing for me. Afterwards I'm out skipping like a mountain goat!" whilst Barbara said "I was a bit apprehensive at first, but now I look forward to my massage because I feel more confident and relaxed after, with the stresses of life melting away." So why not treat yourself to a neck, back and shoulder massage each month even for your own well being.

Let's Get Cooking starts on Wednesday 19th February from 1:00pm - 2:30pm at The Tithe Barn in Shirehampton. Cook and eat great food together in a friendly and relaxed environment. Whether you cook meals on a regular basis, cook for one or never cooked at al,l you will try out some fantastic recipes, maybe learn some new skills, learn how to eat healthily and buy on a budget. Ruth and Lyn have attended in the past and Ruth said "I liked the camaraderie of helping each other with the recipes and preparation of the ingredients" whilst Lyn said "It's great for people who don't have much experience of cooking. For me it was fun, but we were working in pounds and ounces whilst everyone else was working in grams and I think that's where we went wrong with pizza, but it all worked out well in the end!" Cost is £1.00 persession.

For the Tea Dance just turn up on the day of the event. For the Massage sessions and Let's Get Cooking please contact Ricky Bush at LinkAge on 07807 706310 for more information and booking or why not pop along to the Tithe Barn every Tuesday and Wednesday for a chat with Ricky and Laura about all the LinkAge activities taking place.

Lest we Forget

With the approaching centenary of the start of the 1914-18 war, the Avonmouth Genealogy Group has decided to mark the occasion by embarking on a project to gather as much information as possible on the Avonmouth people who served in that conflict. It is hoped to produce a booklet setting out brief details of the individuals and we would like this to be ready for Remembrance Sunday 2014. We are using, as primary sources, the baptisms from St Andrew's Church and the long gone Congregational Church. We will research the boys born within a timescale that would make them eligible for service. However, we are aware that many Avonmouth people who did serve were not included in these church registers and we are therefore relying on information from local families who had relatives involved in the Great War. If any readers have stories to tell of family members who served their country during that period and can give us brief details of their background, address, occupation before enlisting and their service record, we would be very grateful. You can contact us via or leave details in the 'Shire' folder in Shirehampton library marked for my attention.