Shire logo

Back to April 2014 SHIRE May 2014 Fowards to June 2014 SHIRE
News Index

Bristol's Kings Weston new plan

St Mary's News

Great war remount depot

Volunteer trustees required

Oasis Academy Brightstowe competition

HEADSTART: Helping you get that job

Job vacancy

Bristol man jailed

New Earth Solutions Avonmouth.

Bristol walking festival

A busy term for year 2

Letters to the Editor

Evergreens' Day Trips

Brightstowe students experience a taste of Uganda

Community Growing At Tyning's Field

ABOVE AND BELOW STAIRS – the history of who lived at Blaise Castle

Local Group Pleads Mayor To Spend Docks Money Locally

By Faith - The Link Project.

Shirehampton Baptist Church Celebrates

First Response service


Bristol's Kings Weston new plan

Incredible history of Bristol's Kings Weston revealed in new plan

Inspirational new plan launches in important anniversary year.

A full twenty years has passed since the first attempt at a conservation strategy for the historic Kings Weston Estate in the north of Bristol. Now a new plan has been launched by Bristol City Council coinciding with the 350th anniversary of Sir John Vanbrugh, the architect behind some of the park's most distinctive buildings.

The new Conservation Management Plan (CMP), has been produced by the city council's Urban Design Group with match-funding from Bristol Buildings Preservation Trust (BBPT), and with major contributions made by members of the Kings Weston Action Group (KWAG).

Plan cover

Plan cover

The parkland around Grade I Listed Kings Weston house is a Registered Historic Landscape, but has lain largely neglected and poorly understood for many years. Most of the 300 acre park came into the full ownership of Bristol City Council only in 1996 with the 80 acres of the Shirehampton Park portion of the estate being owned by the National Trust. In recent years the council, BBPT and latterly the volunteer Kings Weston Action Group have been working closely together to promote, conserve and enhance it.

The new CMP is a colourful and detailed document that sheds new light on the history and importance of Kings Weston as, perhaps, Bristol's most important historic landscape, though it's main aim is to detail ambitious new aspirations for its future conservation. The park contains at least five buildings designed by Sir John Vanbrugh, one of the greatest architects of the Eighteenth Century, most famous for Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard. 2014 marks the 350th anniversary of his birth and Bristol can lay claim to one of the most significant collections of his buildings in the country.

Councillor Gus Hoyt, Assistant Mayor with responsibility for Environment and Neighbourhood Partnerships, said: "This document is an important piece of work, the result of a great deal of work by officers, multiple council administrations, the Bristol Buildings Preservation Trust and volunteers.  It is a credit to all sides, and a plan which makes clear the historic and architectural importance to Bristol of this area.

Plan cover

From left: Jules Woolford (KWAG volunteer), Cllr Jason Budd (Bristol City Councillor for Kingsweston),
Penny Morse (KWAG volunteer), David Martyn (Chair of Kings Weston Action Group),
Cllr Tim Leaman (Bristol City Councillor for Kingsweston), Norman Routledge (House owner), Jean Maish (KWAG volunteer),
Cllr Anthony Negus (Chair of Bristol Buildings Property Trust), Colin Morse (KWAG volunteer), and Jim Ellis (KWAG volunteer)
Photo: Bob Pitchford

"Bristol City Council, which has supported the creation of the plan, is keen to continue to work with the action group to support their efforts to gain funding in order support future conservation work."

Councillor Anthony Negus is Chair of the Bristol Buildings Preservation Trust and a Member Champion for Heritage.  As a former council Executive Member worked to kick-start and secure funding for the project.  He said: "As a former conservation architect I am acutely aware of the importance of this estate, which is undoubtedly one of the finest in the country.  In all my years I have never seen such a high quality and detailed Conservation Management Plan, and I am very thankful to everyone who put their time and efforts in to it, particularly the dedicated staff of the council's conservation and estates teams.

"I am very proud to have worked on the project from the outset and to see it completed is a real joy."

David Martyn, Chairman of the Kings Weston Action Group said: "We're delighted that this new plan is complete. It's the road-map for the future we've been waiting for, and it's now our aim to work with the City to seek out funding and come up with a plan to realise the aspirations.

"This is a major landmark for Kings Weston, but we hope it's just the beginning of bigger things. We're indebted to the City and Bristol Buildings Preservation Trust for having commissioned it, and this anniversary year couldn't have been a better time to launch it."

KWAG shared all of its own research with the City Council, much of which has now been incorporated in the CMP, and offered continuous advice, community consultation, and feedback since the plan was commissioned by the council in 2011. The CMP is available free to download from both Bristol City Council's and KWAG's website for everyone to enjoy.  It can be viewed online at or 

St Mary's News

Hi Folks!

Here we are into May and Easter has come and gone and soon we shall be into Pentecost. And speaking of Pentecost, some very special advance notice – Bishop Mike will be coming to take our 10am Holy Communion that day, Sunday June 8th. Pentecost is a very special day in the church year when we remember the Holy Spirit coming down onto the disciples and others who were worshipping. It is the day when the church was born as they began to speak about Jesus in many different languages and because of what they heard that day 3,000 people became followers of him.

Before I move on I have to tell you that our Spring Fayre was a wonderful day which produced a magnificent sum of money - £2,057-50p. This was the total from the Sale and the afternoon Cream Teas. Thank you for your generosity - this would not have been possible without your continued support. After sales have since brought in several hundred pounds more! We need to pay bills the same as you and we are indeed very grateful for the wise counselling of our Treasurer - Tony Sawyer - who manages our budget and controls our expenditure.

During May we have two Bank Holidays - May Day and Spring Bank Holiday will again be Open Church Days when at very reasonable cost you can enjoy Lunches and Cream Teas from 12 noon until 5.00 pm. Come and have a look around our beautiful church and enjoy good company and food. This is much better than being stuck in a traffic jam on the Motorway or elsewhere. Our jam is much more appetising!

Our Annual Parochial Church Meeting was held on Low Sunday, when the election of the new PCC, Deanery Synod Representatives and Churchwardens took place. The newly elected members will be dedicated at our 10.00 am Holy Communion Service on Sunday, 11th May to serve for the forthcoming 12 months.

We are going to have another "Hat Sunday" on Sunday 18th May when both Men and Ladies are requested to wear a hat. It can be of a novel design or decorated - the choice is yours. This is a bit of innocent fun to celebrate the arrival of Spring!

We shall again be holding a Holiday Club for children aged 5 to 8 years from Tuesday 27th to Thursday 29th May (both dates inclusive) in the Tithe Barn. Here they will be able to enjoy games, craft work and entertainment. Invitations will soon be available from Gill Sawyer - make sure you don't miss yours! That's it for this month. 'Bye for now. C.M.E.

From the registers at St Mary"s - March 2014

BAPTISMS 'We welcome you'

30th Ava Grace Cann

Faith Elizabeth Godwin-Nattress

WEDDINGS ' All that I am I give to you'

1st Richard Pearson & Stephanie Tarling

FUNERALS 'At rest and at peace'

4th Ricci Beeton Canford

10th Phyllis Holley Canford

12th Gray Blake Canford

14th Ernie Rich St Mary's

18th Marjorie Fennell St Mary's

27th Douglas Havens Canford

Easter in Shirehampton

Linkage Art and Craft session.    Photo by Kathryn Courtney

Linkage Art and Craft session. Photo by Kathryn Courtney

LinkAge Art and Craft session. Photo by Kathryn Courtney

Great war remount depot

There were 4 main remount depots that were responsible for the provision of horses to the Army in the UK during the Great War.  These 4 depots were at Shirehampton, Romsey, Ormskirk, and Swaythling.  I am trying to organise some form of national remembrance of the role horses played in the Great War and am also looking to see if local communities might want to research what their forebears did to help the war effort.  I am hoping to get a national equine charity to take the lead but wondered if, in principle, whether Shirehampton had any interest in getting involved.  

Volunteer trustees required

The Avon (University Settlement) Community Association is a local charity that in one form or another has been in existence since 1918. It was established by Miss. Rotha Clay as a 'welfare' system, to help the poor and needy of Shirehampton, with small grants to buy essentials, such as, food and clothing. In the 1970s the Advice Service was started, to provide a quality delivery of general advice on a wide variety of issues including welfare benefits, debt, housing, consumer and employment law. This was later re-named the 'Shire Advice Service'.

Our aim is to relieve poverty through the provision of free, high quality advice services, and to raise awareness within the community of legal rights and entitlements.

The charity is run by a board of volunteer trustees and we are now in a position where we need to augment our numbers with new members. We are therefore looking for members of local community, who perhaps have experience of being trustee, so understand the responsibilities. Ideally they may also have a particular skill, such as, fundraising, or understand the field of welfare and/or debt advice and can network with partners in the field.

We meet every two months and oversee the out-sourcing of our advice service, so no longer have the responsibility of employing our own advisor. The role of trustee in a well respected local charity is rewarding and would suit anyone wishing to give something back to the community.

If you feel you could offer your services, or would like to meet and discuss further, please contact our Chairman Jonathan Swithinbank, or 07901 336 136.

Oasis Academy Brightstowe competition

Oasis Academy Brightstowe makes its mark in the UK's biggest environmental competition

Students from Oasis Academy Brightstowe competed with tens of thousands of other people from schools, colleges and workplaces across the UK, in the country's biggest environmental competition.

The Climate Week Challenge ran from 3-9 March 2014 as part of Climate Week, the UK's biggest climate change campaign. Over 100 year 7 students took part in the challenge which aims to encourage as many people as possible to come up with creative ideas to help the environment.

One of the Academy's winning teams, whose entry was put forward for the national competition, was 'ClimoBot'– a futuristic portable machine which uses renewable energy sources to heat rooms around the house, by Kasey McDonald and Neave Allen.

Dr. Steve Murray, Head of Geography said: "The Climate Week Challenge was a great chance for our students to put their classroom learning about climate change into practice. The challenge was an engaging and useful way for our pupils to continue learning about the effects climate change is having on our planet and also an excellent opportunity to develop strategic thinking about the potential solutions. We were very excited to be part of the country's biggest environmental competition." Kevin Steele, Chief Executive at Climate Week, said: "The Climate Week Challenge enables young people to develop their skills of innovation and team-working to help combat climate change, which is one of the most important issues they will need to address as the emerging generation. We were hugely impressed with the response from schools and many of the ideas developed by this year's participants at Brightstowe were brilliant." Climate Week is Britain's biggest climate change campaign, inspiring a new wave of action to create a sustainable future. The campaign is backed by eminent individuals such as the Prime Minister and Sir Paul McCartney, and by organisations including the National Association of Head teachers and Eco-Schools.

The Avonmouth Space program

The Avonmouth Space Program has now launched and their mission is to provide homes and businesses in and around Avonmouth with all the storage space they could possibly need and they are making a very special offer to our readers. Container Team, who are behind the Space Program, have been running a self storage depot in Weston-super-Mare for 12 years and have now responded to further demand for secure, cost-effective storage facilities in Avonmouth. To mark their launch, the Space Program are offering a discounted rate to the first ten of our readers to contact them and will include up to £10,000 worth of insurance. "Our mission is to help people and businesses make the most of their space. That's why we're called the Avonmouth Space Program," said Tim Edwards, owner of Container Team. "Our storage containers provide secure, affordable storage, and we find our customers love the fact that they can drive up to their units and unload directly from their vehicle."

So, if you haven't been able to get into your spare room recently or if you are moving house, get in touch with Mission Control on 0117 212 0163 and see if the Space Program can help generate space at your place.

HEADSTART: Helping you get that job

Friday May 2nd 2014
Bristol Jobs Fair

Lifestep helps jobseekers become employable. We run practical workshops to help you develop the skills, behaviours and attitudes you need to get that job.

Objective: By the end of the day you will know how to present yourself effectively to get that job. We will show you how to stand out from your competition.

Key Topics

(each session will last 30mins followed by Q&A)

Session 1: CV Writing: How to Sell your Achievements (morning)

  • What employers are looking for
  • Identifying your strengths
  • Transferring those strengths to your CV
  • Template CVs

Session 2: How to Write an Effective Covering Letter (lunch)

  • Top tips for writing covering letters
  • Template letters
  • Practical exercise

Session 3: Network your Way to a Job (afternoon)

  • Making the most of your contacts
  • Preparation for your personal 30 second pitch
  • Introduction to interviewing skills

CV Clinic: (throughout the day)

  • Identifying your transferable skills
  • Presenting yourself effectively on paper
  • Review own CVs

Lifestep tutor Theodora Clarke will also be running one on one CV clinics of ten minutes throughout the day. You can register your name in advance or sign up on the day.

Please can all jobseekers bring a copy their most recent CV (paper/digital).

Job vacancy

Hall manager – Shirehampton public hall

Part-time Hall Manager position.

  • £10.50 per hour
  • 16hrs per week

Skills: Essential

  • Computer & keyboard skills
  • Knowledge of bookkeeping, accounts & invoice systems
  • Management & supervisory skills
  • Good telephone manner

Skills: Desirable

  • Knowledge of Health & Safety
  • Understanding of the voluntary & community sector
  • Flexibility of approach

For more details or a job pack/application form please contact: 0117 9829963 0117 9822941

Closing date: Tuesday 13th May

Interview date: Thursday 22nd May/Friday 23rd May

Bristol man jailed

Bristol man jailed for 11 years for rape and sex offences

A 44-year-old man from Bristol has been jailed for 11 years for committing rape and sexual offences against a teenage girl. Stephen Pennycott, of Mancroft Avenue, Laurence Weston, admitted one count of rape and five counts of sexual activity with a child and was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court on Friday (21/3).

Investigating officer Det Sgt Amy Hewitt said: "Stephen Pennycott is a manipulative and calculating offender who targeted a vulnerable 14-year-old girl over a 17-month period.He groomed the victim by buying her gifts, clothes and DVDs in order to build up her trust and then he betrayed that trust in the most horrific of ways. This court case would not have been successful if it had not been for the bravery of the victim in standing up against her abuser. She has shown great strength of character and I have nothing but admiration for her. I hope this shows other victims that they do not have to be afraid to report offences to us. Please have the confidence to report crimes as we can give you all the help and support you need."

If you want to speak to police, please call us via the 24-hour Police Enquiry Centre on 101.If you have been a victim of sexual assault and wish to speak to someone in confidence and find out what help is available for you, please call The Bridge Sexual Assault Referral Centre on 0117 3426999. Phone lines are open 24-hours a day.

New Earth Solutions Avonmouth.

New Earth Solutions Group Limited's proposal for a second Low Carbon Energy Facility within Avonmouth.

New Earth's core business is the diversion of waste away from disposal and the recovery of value in the form of materials and energy. New Earth's flagship sustainable waste management facility is located within the heart of Avonmouth, with over £60m invested to date in a state of the art Mechanical and Biological Treatment plant and Low Carbon Energy Facility. The existing facility services a contract with the West of England Partnership treating residual 'black bag' waste collected from households and local businesses. The Mechanical Biological Treatment plant recovers plastics, ferrous and non-ferrous metals for recycling, and produces a Compost Like Output for use in land restoration, and a Refuse Derived Fuel for use in energy generation. Some of the Refuse Derived Fuel is utilised in the adjoining Low Carbon Energy Facility which generates up to 13MWe of renewable and low carbon energy.

New Earth's operations at Avonmouth contributed towards Bristol's successful bid to be named the European Green Capital for 2015.

Why are New Earth Solutions proposing to develop a second Low Carbon Energy Facility at Avonmouth?

The established Low Carbon Energy Facility is operating close to its design capacity and New Earth is exporting surplus Refuse Derived Fuel to energy facilities on the continent. Refuse Derived Fuel is also being produced by other commercial waste operators within the Bristol sub-region, some of which is exported through the Port of Bristol.

New Earth's proposed second Low Carbon Energy Facility would present an alternative to exporting Refuse Derived Fuel, ensuring that it is used beneficially right here in the UK. The proposed development would not only help the Bristol sub-region to become more self-sufficient in managing its waste arisings, but would enhance the resilience of the city, with local homes and businesses able to draw upon locally generated renewable energy.

New Earth has developed its own patented Advanced Thermal Conversion technology known as 'NEAT', which utilises pyrolysis and gasification processes. It offers many benefits relative to conventional energy from waste solutions. The modular nature of the technology means that it can be scaled to meet local needs – indeed this is what is proposed here with the energy looking to utilise surplus Refuse Derived Fuel from the Mechanical Biological Treatment plant and third party operators. The footprint of an individual NEAT unit is compact, meaning that the scale and appearance of the proposed energy facility is akin to a standard industrial development.

The Department for Environment and Rural Affairs have recently published a revised version of the 'Energy from waste: A guide to the debate' document (February 2014), which makes a clear distinction between Advanced Thermal Conversion and Mass Burn Incineration. The guide explains that Advanced Thermal Conversion, in comparison to Mass Burn Incineration, can operate more economically over a wider range of scales, thereby offering greater flexibility, as well as having the potential to generate much greater efficiencies through being able to produce a range of outputs.

Page 5 of the guidance document also highlights that through utilising Advanced Thermal Conversion technology, it is also possible to:

 '…create a mixture of products from the thermal step that still have a lot of chemical energy stored in them e.g. gases and oils. These can be burnt and used to raise steam. However, they also have the potential to be cleaned and burnt directly in gas engines or gas turbines, or converted to transport fuels or synthetic natural gas.'

As such this is a flexible technology, able to adapt to future needs. 

Community Engagement:

New Earth is looking to undertake a programme of community engagement over the coming months regarding our development proposals. We are proposing to undertake a similar community engagement process to that successfully implemented in relation to our Mechanical and Biological Treatment plant and existing Low Carbon Energy Facility.

New Earth has entered into pre-application discussions with Bristol City Council Officers and we are also contacting the Avonmouth Community Council, Bristol Neighbourhood Planning Network, Ambition Lawrence Weston and the Bristol City Council Neighbourhood Partnership Co-ordinator.

We are planning to advertise the community engagement exhibitions from the week commencing 28th April 2014 and propose holding two community engagement exhibitions on the following dates and times, and at the following locations:

Wednesday 21st May 2014 at the Avonmouth Community Centre (14:00 – 20:00);

Saturday 24th May 2014 at New Earth's existing Low Carbon Energy Facility at Access 18, Kings Weston Lane, Avonmouth (10:30 – 14:30).

Maison Paradiso

This event will take place on Bank Holiday Sunday, 4th May at Kings Weston House. Apart from dining, dancing, music and other entertainment . At dusk the house will be the backdrop for a giant outdoor cinema when the building will be projected onto with monochrome film images. If you are interested in attending a very different type of even go to or contact for further details.

Bristol walking festival

 Get out and about with the Bristol Walking Festival from 26 April to 26 May 2014.

Bristol Walking Festival aims to inspire more people to go walking, showcase the city both locally and nationally and celebrate Bristol's reputation as a green, vibrant and creative place.

Voted European Green Capital for 2015, we want to lead the way in the build-up with a dynamic and exciting programme for the walking festival.

Last year over 30 organisations were involved with the delivery of the week-long festival, this year the festival is a month-long event offering over 150 walks.

You can pick up a programme at one of the following locations:

  • Central library and local libraries
  • Bristol Tourist Information Centre (next to the Watershed).

Eventide in Shirehampton

Photo: Bob Pitchford

Photo: Bob Pitchford

A busy term for year 2

It has been a busy term for year 2 at Shirehampton Primary School. We have been working hard in the classroom on our maths and English, but have still found time to find out a lot about what life was like in Tudor times. We know what Henry VIII was like, and how he had 6 wives (and what happened to them!) Did you know in Tudor times that a labourer had an annual wage of £5 -£10, and a parson earned £20 per year? Tudor people ate things like hedgehogs and peacocks!

To finish the term, and to complement our RE lessons, we visited the Sikh Gurdwara in St George and also St Mary's Church here in Shirehampton. This gave us the chance to see how these two religious buildings are the same and how they are different.

'SHIRE' Annual General Meeting

The AGM of the 'Shire' Paper will be held on Monday 7th July commencing at 5.30pm in the Tithe Barn, High Street. This meeting is open to all members of the public and we would particularly urge anyone who would like to know more about becoming involved in any aspect of the production process, to come along, meet the team and find out more. We are always looking for people to join us and contribute to this long running and very successful local newspaper.


Some older BEKO Fridge-Freezers can catch fire due to a faulty component and need to be urgently modified. If you have a Fridge- Freezer then you must ask 3 Questions ?

Is your fridge-freezer  a Beko ?

Do you think it is more than 7 years old?

Does the serial number begin 00,01,02,03,04,05,06 ?

If the answer is yes to all 3 questions call us on 0800 917 2018 or go to

Letters to the Editor

Memories from far away, reply

Dear Editor,

From left to right: Pat, Jean, and their brother David, the brother is behind Jean. dave Parker on the end with his sister

From left to right: Pat, Jean, and their brother David, the brother is behind Jean. dave Parker on the end with his sister

I can confirm Dave Parker is correct (Memories from far away) March edition. Jean was 15 when she went out with Dave, she remembers dancing with him in the road of Bradley Crescent, the street party to celebrate the Queen's Coronation and yes, he did attend Pat's wedding. In 1958 Jean married Michael Orchard and they  live in Westbury Park. Jean and  Michael have a son, married with 2 children and they live in Switzerland and a daughter, married with 3 children and they live in Brentry.

Jean can be contacted by email. Marilyn Gorry.

Lord Mayor's Medal

Dear Editor,

It was a great joy to read the report of the award of the Lord Mayor's Medal to David and Janet Thomas.

In my years in Shirehampton I came to admire their commitment to creating structures and providing means of communication to enable all sections of the community work together for the good of the neighbourhood. I am delighted to see their patient perseverance acknowledged in this way.

Re-issue of Shirehampton books

Dear Shire,

I would like to give you some news about a comprehensive series of book reissues by the Shirehampton-based author, Hal Jons. Hal, better known in Shirehampton as Harry Jones, worked in the Haven Master's Office in Avonmouth Docks until retirement. He lived at 63, Priory Road with his wife and children until 1963, when the family moved to 11, Burnham Road.

He had seventeen books published between 1960 and his death in 1983. Fifteen of these were western adventures, whilst the other two - both credited to Harry Graham - were a World War Two adventure, subsequently translated into several languages, and a novel about life and disaster in a Welsh coal mining village (Harry had worked in a south Wales pit as a child).

In 2012, Magna began to reissue several of the Hal Jons westerns as large print books and recently the entire collection (all bar one book that is proving very difficult to find a copy of) was republished by Burnham Priory Publications as both paperbacks and eBooks. The eBooks have proven very popular in the US - it seems odd that a British writer should be selling cowboy stories to the Wild West!

It would be very nice if news of these reissues could be included in Shire for those people that remember Harry. A website was recently designed and developed by a student team from the University of the West of England as part of their final year work - it provides comprehensive information about Harry's life as well as his books. See for further information.

Also, like father, like son. Harry's youngest son, Mark, is a writer, though on subjects as diverse as music, railways and databases rather than westerns. One of his books, The B&C Discography, has recently been nominated for an international excellence in musical history award. See for further information.

Mark's Bristol Folk Publications also publishes (ex-Shirehampton author) Phillipa Perry's book about Tabitha Miggins, Ship's Cat on the Pill Ferry, which mentions the cockle lady that used to sell cockles in Shirehampton High Street as well as the Dalek that used to sit opposite the Lamplighters!

Nature Notes

Well, dear bird-lovers! We still do not have any residents in our bird box. Can they ALL be camera-shy? I'm consoling myself that the box out on the green in front of our home is still empty, so maybe in time… Meanwhile, I have seen a female blackbird gathering her nest material close by which is great. My feeders haven't needed much attention as most of our visitors are away doing other things!

The herons are sitting firmly on their nests, so it won't be too long before their young, with their "punky" hairdos, will be sitting up to entertain us. I heard some very, very exciting news the other day from fellow dog-walker friends. There have been two sightings recently of otters on our stretch of the river. How absolutely fabulous is that?? I'll keep you posted. My binoculars are going to be essential equipment when taking the dogs out from now on.

Performance at Kingsweston House

Free Evening  Performance at Kingsweston House, 1st May at Seven o'clock.

Impermanence Dance Theatre, Bristol 

Impermanance Dance Theatre Group  have been at the historic Kings Weston House over the last few weeks. They invited a range of highly acclaimed international collaborators from a spectrum of disciplines, ranging from designers such as Jackie Shemesh to film makers such as Ali Cherri, to join them- to work and to inspire.  

Among the collaborators at Kings Weston are architects and engineers who are working with Impermanence to create an entirely Mobile, Solar Powered pop up performance space. This will enable the company's work to be adapted to as many different environments as possible. The light and sound will be powered by POSSIM, a solar powered lighting and sound desk which can be pulled by hand. Equipped with these, the company can become completely nomadic: this summer they will be touring music festivals, pub gardens and parks as well as traditional performance venues.

Impermanence are a Bristol based dance company consisting of six young performers, all of whom trained at the renowned Rambert School and have worked with the likes of English National Ballet, Phoenix Dance Theatre and Rafael Bonachela. They each discovered that they wanted to create work outside of the traditional dance company structure. In 2010 they founded Impermanence so as to create an entirely non-hierarchical and open space in which to make performance. In 2014 they are completely revolutionising the way that they work and tour in order to move even further from the traditional set up and closer to the more fluid structure of a band.

Come along to Kingsweston House on the 1st May at Seven o'clock for a unique performance by the Impermance Dance Theatre Group.

Evergreens' Day Trips

May 13thAbergavenny Market and Abbey Mill
June 10thHorse-drawn boat trip

Brightstowe students experience a taste of Uganda

Students at Oasis Academy Brightstowe recently spent a week celebrating the school's links with Uganda, through a wide variety of themed lessons. Activities ranged from the design of a new Ugandan flag, printing African-styled fabrics, studying scientific forces with a Ugandan-twist, writing letters to David Cameron to raise awareness of human rights issues in the country, safari mathematics and even an African Cup of Nations football tournament using a ball made of plastic bags and string! [Student X] said "I really enjoyed Uganda Week because each lesson was so fun and we learned a lot about a country which is very different from our own".

District Football League Winners

1st and 2nd XI Mov.control FC 1943/44. Mike Sperring

This photo of EMB winners EST Shirehampton and District Football League 1942-3, taken at Shirehampton and lent by M Sperring

Capt Taylor (Chairman),
RAF Players: Sgt Symington, LAC Bayley, LAC Longstaffe, Sgt Willie Wareham and Sgt Hatchel. Can anyone identify any other players?
(The Photograph taken in Shirehampton by Mike Sperring)

Ernest (Ern) John Rich

Plan cover

Plan cover

Rita and Chloe Rich would like to thank the hundreds of people who attended St Mary's church, Shirehampton for the Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Ern Rich on 14th March 2014. We have been overwhelmed with support, kindness and love at this difficult time. Your kind donations in memory of Ern (£1,099.33) were sent to Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre.

Ernest John Rich was born 29th May 1948 at Nibley Road (from that day on he was proud to be a 'Shire' boy) beloved eldest son of Doris and Horace Rich (deceased). He had an older sister Gill who lives in Portishead, and two younger brothers John and Grahame who have also sadly died.

Ern's seafaring career started when he joined Avonmouth Sea Cadets then based at Walton Road. After leaving Portway School aged 15 he worked for C J King in Avonmouth Docks. Desperate to follow in his uncles' footsteps he always wanted to go to sea. At the age of 16 Doris refused to sign the necessary paperwork for him to join the Merchant Navy. Once 18 yrs of age Ern joined the Royal Navy and trained at HMS Raleigh 1967-76 (Radio Supervisor – Submarines). For the next four years he served with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (Signalman), working in war zones and places of conflict all over the world.

Other jobs included rigger/erector/general contractor and from 1984-88 he was a security policeman at British Aerospace. However, when he was made redundant he was totally overjoyed, and went back to sea shipping out of Avonmouth for various shipping lines.

He married Rita in May 1984 at Avonmouth and daughter Chloe was born in 1992. He finished his working life at the Bristol Port Company and retired after a shoulder injury. Attempts to turn him into a 'house-husband' totally failed. His favourite saying was 'Life is for living'. However, he was very supportive of Rita's career working with children and families, helping out in practical ways and often paid for children in need to join in additional activities. He also volunteered at the Severn Four Credit Union in the Public Hall until its closure.

Ern was diagnosed with throat cancer in December 2013 and during his short illness never complained. After six weeks of intense treatment he developed a chest infection which turned to pneumonia and died on 21st February 2014 at the ICU-BRI with his family around him.

Wherever Ern was in the world in the Royal and Merchant Navy he always had a copy of 'Shire' often via BFPO.

(Thank you for your kind donation – Ed)

Community Growing At Tyning's Field

Tynings field Community Acre are taking part in the Community Plant Collection. In conjunction with other groups across the City who grow different varieties we are growing a rare type of calendula species which will be planted in the Zoo gardens. This is to preserve the species of calendula on the planet and we will keep a few plants for seed collection after flowering, we did this last year as well and grew some large healthy plants. If you would like to grow veg for yourself and family please make contact. Our open day part of Open Farm Sunday and Get Growing Trail is Sunday 8 June. We will have produce for sale.  We hope to see you soon. Find us on facebook. www./ Or phone 0117909440.

Alice Taylor

The family of the late Alice Taylor formerly of Jim O'Neil House, would like to thank everybody for their kind words of sympathy, floral tributes and donations to her favourite charities. Alice will be sadly missed by all who knew her.

Ralph Arthur Hack

It is with great sadness that we report the recent death of Ralph Hack of Myrtle Hall.  He was what one could describe as a local 'Personality'. In my experience he was a gentleman in the true sense of the word, with a gentle sense of humour and a phenomenal knowledge of the history of the Miles family and Kingsweston, as well as other local historical places. He frequently gave talks on local history, indeed it was a passion for him and he certainly inspired my own interest. Over the years he has contributed many interesting articles to 'Shire' and to hear him give a talk without any notes was quite astonishing.  He was part of the team that created the exhibition and book for the centenary of the Public Hall ten years ago. The Local History group had reason to be grateful for his interest in our activities and he very kindly gave us several talks, one of which was at his home.  Ralph eschewed computer technology and Powerpoint presentations in favour of his trusty slide projector and in a way this made his talks more of an 'occasion' .  His funeral was held at St Mary's where he worshipped, on 29th April.  It is hoped that a member of his family will write an article about Ralph for a future issue of 'Shire' because it is fitting that his life and contribution to the community should be marked.

ABOVE AND BELOW STAIRS – the history of who lived at Blaise Castle

Wednesday 7 May 11am-12.30pm AT Blaise Castle House Museum

Since 1798, Blaise Castle House has been a family home, a public tea room - and a museum. Come and hear more about its fascinating history. Please note this talk is not fully accessible – call for details on 01179039818.

Waters and Pace

'Hello, Mrs Waters!' said young Mr Pace.
'Here's good news to bring a big smile to your face.'
'What's that, then?' enquired Mrs Waters, all ears.
'Mind you, son, I don't believe all that I 'ears.'

He knew she was teasing him, so he went on:
'It'll please you so much to know that it's all gone.'
'What's gone? Gone where? What you talking about?'
The old lady's voice almost rose to a shout.

'I'll get to the point.' He was teasing her now.
'It's marvellous news and I just don't know how
They've managed to do such wonderful work
For no pay, recognition, or any such perk.'

'Mr Pace! Mr Pace! You are such a bad lad.
Explain to me now, else I shall certain go mad!'
'It's the Kingsweston Action Group making their mark,'
Said young Mr Pace. 'Like they did in the Park'.

They've cleared all the saplings, the brambles and weed
And everything else that has just taken seed.
Now you can see the old walls around the wood.
It all looks so spacious. It really looks good.'

This news really did make the old lady smile.
'I haven't been there for a very long while.
I must go and see! Can we go straight away?'
'Of course, Mrs Waters. Anything you say!'

Local Group Pleads Mayor To Spend Docks Money Locally

The Kings Weston Action Group is urging George Ferguson to ensure local people benefit from the sale of the freehold of Avonmouth and Portbury docks.

The Kings Weston Action Group is urging George Ferguson to ensure local people benefit from the

sale of the freehold of Avonmouth and Portbury docks.

Following the recent announcement that negotiations are underway to sell the City's remaining freehold interest in the docks the Kings Weston Action Group (KWAG) has called on the Mayor to allocate some of the £10m for the benefit of the local area. KWAG wants to promote the conservation and enhancement of the publicly owned historic landscape around Grade I Listed Kings Weston House, and hopes that an endowment fund can be created from the windfall that could secure the proposals of a recently published conservation plan.

With a history stretching back to the Twelfth Century the 300 acres of publicly owned parkland around Kingsweston and Shirehampton Parks is recognised by English Heritage as a Grade II Registered historic landscape, but has lain largely forgotten and neglected by its owners, Bristol City Council, for decades. At its heart is Kings Weston House and other buildings designed by Sir John Vanbrugh, one of Britain's most important architects. The house overlooks Avonmouth docks and it was one of its former owners, the Victorian industrialist and philanthropist Philip Skinner Miles, who promoted and financed their construction in the 1877. In founding the docks he began a process of industrialisation along the banks of the Severn that some say blight views from his former home today.

Bristol City Council recently completed and published a Conservation Management Plan for the historic landscape. This has identified a wealth of historic features that are in danger of being lost forever and urgent action is required to save them and restore the parkland for local communities and the city as a whole. With its collection of historic buildings and landscape features having national importance KWAG is urging the Mayor and his cabinet members to make a commitment to saving the estate by creating an endowment that could help ensure the park is properly maintained, and be used to attract future funding to complete the necessary conservation works.

David Martyn, Chairman, of the Kings Weston Action Group said "Part of this £10m windfall should go towards local communities. This is a unique and timely opportunity for the Mayor and Council to show their commitment to their own conservation plan for Kings Weston that could have really wide benefits to everyone in the surrounding area. Right now a Georgian viewing terrace is crumbling to dust and the woodlands are being strangled by invasive species."

He went on "With Bristol's year as European Green Capital just around the corner it is important that the city looks to promoting better use of its historic green spaces for health, play, and education. With a history so intertwined with that of docks it would be entirely fitting for the tide of neglect on the Kings Weston Estate to be turned by this windfall, and showcase the benefits of free parks in 2015."

The City's Conservation Management Plan, published in February 2014 by the Council's Urban Design Team, was jointly funded by the City Council and Bristol Buildings Preservation Trust in recognition of the importance of the historic estate and the many important listed buildings within it. The Kings Weston Action Group is determined to ensure its recommendations are carried out and are inviting the Mayor and his Cabinet to visit the estate to see how the funding from the docks sale could make an impact.

By Faith - The Link Project.

On Saturday 29th March past and present members and friends of Shirehampton Baptist Church met to celebrate the completion of the refurbishment and rebuilding of the church in Station Road. This is the story of the project that commenced some seven years ago and only reached completion in the first few months of 2014.

Almost ten years ago a legacy of £10,000 was left to Shirehampton Baptist Church on the death one of its members. The church always gives away 10% of their income (known as a tithe, or Thank Offering, to God) and so a balance of £9,000 was left with the question of how it should be spent. The members of the fellowship felt at the time that the money should not be absorbed into the general funds of the church but kept for something special. After the money had lain in the bank for some time a decision was taken that it should be used for some improvements to the church buildings. Amongst the first ideas were some new oak doors for the entrance, which at that time was in Pembroke Avenue, or even knocking down the wall at that end of the building and fitting glass doors to create a view into the church from the road. The problem was that the estimates sought for this work far outstripped the figure that was still sitting in the bank. Undaunted by this, a questionnaire was circulated to the whole fellowship asking what they would do to improve the church buildings with no hindrance of cost or imagination. Some weird and wonderful ideas came forward, but through this was born what was to become known as The Link Project.

A recurring theme from the questionnaires was to join the original church building, with its entrance in Pembroke Avenue, with the church hall that sits behind it (and had an entrance in Station Road). At that time there was a narrow space between the two and to get from one to the other involved coming out of the church via a side entrance and re-entering the church hall, again via a side entrance. This was annoying when one wanted to use the toilets, or the coffee lounge after the services. Both amenities were in the church hall and it was a particular trial when the weather was wet! Design work was carried out on ways of joining the buildings, including a virtual video that not only showed how the two buildings could be linked together, but added other features the most radical of which was to turn the worship space in the church building through 180 degrees, and situate the main entrance to the church in Station Road. Costing for the work, which was estimated would take about 5 years, came in at £166,000. Despite the fact that some extra funds had become available, when the Rev Tim Baynes-Clark moved on to a new ministry in France, the estimate was still far beyond the means of the church at that time.

It was decided to split the work into seven phases, each a self-contained project, and not start any phase until it was fully funded. The linking of the two buildings didn't actually come about until phase three. Costs were kept down by the majority of the work being carried out by members of the fellowship, and this had the added advantages that there were few deadlines to keep, and the inevitable disruption to some church activities could be managed with complete understanding - because the building team were also those who organised and attended the church activities. Due the generosity of God's people, both in time and money, and the faith of the whole fellowship that the Link Project was inspired by Him, the work has never stopped through lack of funds. The Lord provided it all through His people, both within and outside the church, and there has never been the need to borrow or incur any debt. And despite some changes additions and adjustments to the original plans (also an advantage of using an in-house team) the final cost was indeed £166,000.

The project began with a gift and ended with a gift. The new entrance in Station Road was part of the final phase and was made possible by another member, and Elder, of the church who died just two years ago and left a legacy specifically for the Link Project. The amount of that gift matched exactly the amount needed for the entrance that you now see complete with glass doors.

If you find yourself walking past the church take a walk up to the glass doors. If they open it means that there is someone inside who would be glad to show you around. Or even better come and join us on a Sunday and see the building used for the purpose for which it was designed. Our morning worship service begins at 10.30am. You would be warmly welcomed and not required to brave the elements at the end of the service to get your cup of coffee! 

Shirehampton Baptist Church Celebrates

On Saturday 29th march, I was invited to the 'Celebration at the completion of the Link Project' at Shirehampton Baptist Church. What a wonderful transformation of the church. There were about 150 people there all looking at old photos, which brought back so many memories. Later we were entertained by the Bristol Fashion Barbershop Chorus and Philip Blandford also played several melodies on the piano. Afterwards everyone enjoyed a lovely buffet.

We then had a service of Thanksgiving. On our way out we were given a Celebration mug and pen. A very enjoyable afternoon was had by all.

There were two cakes made by a church member's daughter. I thought the replica of the church too good to cut. Val Lloyd

First Response service

Bristol launches new First Response service to support children and families

Bristol's new First Response service has been officially launched today (17 April). The service will be the one place to call if someone feels a child or young person needs protection or some extra help from Bristol children's services.

Run by Bristol City Council and the Police Safeguarding Coordination Unit, its main aim is to provide preventative services to help families earlier.

The First Response number is
0117 903 6444.

The service was formally launched today by Mayor George Ferguson, Assistant Mayor Brenda Massey, Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens and Chief Superintendent Julian Moss from Avon and Somerset Police, all of whom toured the offices the service shares with police colleagues at Kenneth Steele House, Bristol.  Also joining the launch were youth mayors James Gibson and Rondene Vassell.

Targeted service

George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol said: "First Response is a targeted service aimed at getting the right help to Bristol's children, young people and families sooner. Ideally we want to help families access the support they need to keep their lives on track and prevent problems from escalating."

Cllr Brenda Massey, Assistant Mayor for Children and Young People said: "Prevention is always better than cure, and this new service is all about getting people help early on and stopping problems before they take hold.  This helps keep children and families safe and supported, making all the difference to people's lives.  The feedback from the trial of the scheme has been very positive, with around 2,500 referrals a month.  That is a lot of people helped who might otherwise have had more serious issues."

Effectively working together

Detective Chief Superintendent Julian Moss said: "We are proud to be working alongside Bristol City Council and other agencies, to ensure a joined up approach to protecting vulnerable young people and supporting parents.

"This scheme is about effectively working together as one team, to maximise correct early intervention and support for children at risk, so that they get the support they need from the relevant professionals.

"I hope that this joined-up way of working, with police and children's services working in partnership to improve outcomes for young people, can be replicated in other areas of our business."

Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens added: "We all have a responsibility for the safeguarding and welfare of children and young people. The First Response service is committed to providing help where and when it is needed.

Daily challenges

"Combining the specialist skills of the valuable agencies and teams across Bristol and working closely together will enable those who need it most to receive personalised help and support. This should start to solve daily challenges or prevent children, young people and families from harm."

Callers to the First Response Team will be asked a series of questions to decide the best route for helping the child and/or family.  A 'Request for Help' referral form is completed and used to build up a broader picture of that child's/family's situation, with the First Response team consulting, with permission, other professionals such as teachers, health staff and the police.

Information is held safely and securely in one place.

Phoning First Response may result in information, advice and guidance being given about services to help families. It may also result in a referral to an Early Help team who can get support for families from children's services such as Children's Centres and parenting mentors. If the issue is more serious then a referral will be made to a social work team.

When a referral is made to the Early Help team or a social work team, key to this new approach is creating a 'team around the child', led by one person who will involve children, young people and families in the plans made to help them. 

Testing of First Response has shown that social work teams have had fewer contacts and referrals. As a result they have been able to spend more time working with vulnerable children and their families

Shirehampton Park Golf Club support Prostate Cancer UK

Scot Anstey, Club Captain of Shirehampton Park Golf Club is seen here presenting a cheque for the fantastic sum of £10258.78 to Ted  Wood from Prostate Cancer UK at the annual AGM on 27th March 2014. This was raised throughout the year with the support of members and visitors alike at a serious of golfing and social events. Scot, who sadly lost his own father to Prostate cancer in December last year was extremely proud and touched by the support shown by members, family and friends in raising such a fantastic sum.

Penpole Lunch Club Easter Bonnet competition

Photo: Kathryn Courtney

Photo: Kathryn Courtney