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News Index

A change of direction for Shire’s chairman

Table top sale in Public Hall with new manager

Sandra White Wins National Award

Another green year at Shirehampton Primary

Fun doggy day and fair for all the family

Shirehampton Station blooms with the help of Shire Greens

Free community mediation training

Investigations ongoing into three arson attacks

Police investigate assault in churchyard

St Mary's News

From The Registers At St. Mary's - June 2014

Week of action speeds Lamplighters‘ renovation

KWAG Restore Circular Grove At Entrance To Park

Major historic find at Henbury Church

Letters to the Editor

Life in the 50s with a Morgan 3 Wheeler motorcar

Summer holiday activities

Brightstowe students in Belgium


Royal visitor lands in Shire

His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh Visits Avonmmouth

HRH Duke of Edinbugh 1

HRH Prince Philip arrived on Thursday, 17 July at the PBA Shirehampton in a helicopter, to visit the BLOODHOUND Technical Centre, in Avonmouth, and meet the team designing and building the world‘s first 1,000mph car.

As the most senior fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, Prince Philip has a technical interest in the design, build and running of the BLOODHOUND Supersonic Car.

Assembly of the BLOODHOUND SSC is supported by British Army soldiers from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME). Prince Philip, Colonel-In-Chief of the REME, was particularly keen to meet with each of the four soldiers currently seconded to the team.

HRH Duke of Edinbugh 2  HRH Duke of Edinbugh 1

REME Regimental Colonel, Colonel Dan Scott, supporting the visit said "Our soldiers bring military engineering experience to the Project and return with a wealth of engineering skills from working alongside some of the best civilian aerospace and motorsport technicians".

On his tour the Prince met the entire BLOODHOUND team, including aerospace and motor sport engineers, the build and education teams and administrative staff. BLOODHOUND Project Director Richard Noble said "We were privileged that the Duke should take time out from his busy schedule to have lunch with the BLOODHOUND Team. He took the time to talk with everyone and was particularly interested in the Project‘s education remit."

Reprinted with kind permission of Bloodhound SSC. For more information go to

A change of direction for Shire’s chairman

AT THE ‘Shire’ paper’s AGM on 7th July 2014, the committee said a fond but sad farewell to its chairman of the last four years, James Harris. Joining the team in 2010 following the retirement of Jean Archer, James brought his expertise in PR to bear and oversaw some interesting and exciting new challenges for the paper.

James Harris and May

James and May. Photo by Kathryn Courtney

He worked tirelessly, and encouraged and revitalized the committee to face a future of change in the increasingly uncertain world of the printed newspaper. He has given us a jump start to look at ways of producing the paper electronically ourselves with the help and guidance of our current printer, Stuart Richards. In addition James headed the 40th anniversary celebrations of ‘Shire’ which included an exhibition and social gathering, as well as a competition for schools to produce a paper of the future, with interesting results.

We also said goodbye to James’ wife May, who has co-ordinated distribution and counting of the paper each month. We are very grateful to them both for dedicating their time and expertise.

The committee presented them with a piece of Bristol Blue glass and our good wishes for the future. James has one more year of theological training before being ordained next summer. Renee Slater will take over the chairmanship of ‘Shire’ and we wish her well in the role.

Shire committee

SHIRE committee. Photo by Kathryn Courtney

Table top sale in Public Hall with new manager

A new hall manager has been appointed, Amanda Parsons. Amanda is known to many of you. She was previously employed as a library assistant, working many of her days at Shirehampton library. I’m sure she will be an asset to us.

On Saturday 30th August we are holding a table top sale event in the hall from 10.30am - 2.30pm. Refreshments will be available and raffle tickets will be on sale.

The hire of a table is £10, payable in advance. Please telephone the Public Hall on 01179829963 to book your table. If Amanda is not available to take your call, please leave your name and a contact number, and Amanda will come back to you.

Sandra White Wins National Award

SANDRA WHITE has won the Community Courage Award at the National Neighbourhood and Home Watch Awards 2014.

Sandra travelled to London to attend the ceremony with her daughter Tracy and family friend Debbie on 20th June. It took place at Church Home Conference Centre, Westminster. Also in attendance were Wendy Hull, Chair of the Bristol Neighbourhood Watch Network,who nominated Sandra for the Community Courage Award, and Police Superintendent Mike Prior.

"I was speechless" said Sandra "I was so overwhelmed by it all. I saw that the award was a clock and I really like clocks. I collect clocks and have around one hundred of them, so I was really pleased. It wasn’t until I got back to my seat that I noticed the clock was inscribed which makes it extra special."

"The whole day was very enjoyable but also a bit of a blur," Sandra explained. "I still wonder why I was nominated as there are many other people out there who do good things within their community. However I would like to thank everyone who has supported me with the Lunch Club, Wendy Hull who nominated me and also the Avonmouth Police Team. Not forgetting family and friends too." said Sandra.

Sandra White with PC Amanda Patterson.

Sandra White with PC Amanda Patterson. Photo by Kathryn Courtney

Wendy Hull said "Sandra thoroughly deserves this recognition for her dedication to her community and her Neighbourhood Watch area. She works tirelessly to build strong community links, encouraging intergenerational activities and giving strong support to the less able members of the area. I was delighted to be able to nominate her for this award and am thrilled that she won her award category".

Superintendent Mike Prior added "I’m delighted that Sandra’s dedication to her community has been recognised at such a high level and hope that her achievements will inspire other people to sign up to their local neighbourhood Watch schemes."

Meanwhile local Police Officer Amanda Patterson said "Sandra is such a deserving winner for this award. She works so hard to achieve a good community spirit and nothing is ever too much for Sandra if it means she is helping others. The Shirehampton beat team would like to say a huge well done!"

Congratulations Sandra on your award.

Nominate a ‘super citizen’

If you know a ‘super citizen’ who is a shining example of what can be achieved in later life it’s time to nominate them for a Bristol Ageing Better award. Winners will be announced at this year’s Celebrating Age Festival Launch at the M Shed on Saturday 27 September and will receive a medal and certificate for their achievements.

The Celebrating Age Festival will run for two weeks until 12 October with events taking place across the city, reflecting this year’s "Bristol Ageing Better" theme. Judith Brown, member of the Festival Steering Group and Bristol Older People’s Forum, says: "It’s brilliant in Bristol and we want to honour those ‘super citizens’ who make a difference in our community. Nominees must be current Bristol residents aged 55 plus."

The five categories are:

  • Sports and Physical Activity for an older person who is a regular sports player, dancer or coach
  • Caring for someone who looks after a partner, friend or group of people
  • Challenge for a person who has ‘gone that extra mile’
  • Community Award for someone who is ‘making a difference to people’s lives’
  • Group Award for an older person’s group that ‘enhances lives’

Nomination forms can be obtained from Shelley Hankins, Services Manager, Age UK Bristol, Canningford House, 38 Victoria Street, Bristol BS1 6BY, on email from or from your local Neighbourhood Partnership office or library.

The deadline for completed entries is Friday 12 September at 5pm and all forms should be sent or emailed to Shelley Hankins at the Age UK office. For more information or to download a form visit

Another green year at Shirehampton Primary

WHAT a busy time for eco-council this year! The new team led by Miss Parker, started in September by inspecting classes for signs of eco-awareness.

We checked that lights and the interactive boards were off when not in use, and paper recycled properly. Mr Elway’s class was consistently the best! With the help of Mr Elway, who acted as ‘Mr Evil,’ we made an eco-council film and showed it in assembly to spread the word about how to ‘Be Green’. Spring term saw the launch of our competition to grow sunflower and tomato plants. Each class was given all it needed with the extra challenge of only using recycled containers! Many failed to make it in the first term, but we still have some successful plants and we will measure and announce the winners at the end of the term, although it looks like Mrs Carobene in year 2 will be the clear winner!

The beautiful green-space has been our focus this summer, with the help of the vicar Geoff Walters whose team of volunteers who gave it a big tidy over the bank holiday. We planted flowers, potatoes and an apple tree kindly donated by Mrs Helen Winter (Billie’s mum from Barcelona class), as well as poppies in remembrance of the D-Day celebrations.

We have a bit more to do in order to get our Silver Eco-Schools Award, and we thank parent governor Mrs Johnson for supporting us and suggesting we plant vegetables and flowers in the nursery. We are looking forward to another green year at Shirehampton Primary School.

Community Apprentice Team of the Year

OASIS Academy Brightstowe students

OASIS Academy Brightstowe students were awarded Community Apprentice Team of the Year on Wednesday 18th June 2014

The young people were tasked by the Mayor of Bristol with identifying and finding a solution to issues in their local community. The students were mentored by Envision volunteers and local banking giants Warburton. They organised and ran events to raise awareness of cyber bullying.

The team, all under 16, were the youngest group competing for a range of awards presented at the Trinity Centre, Lawrence Hill.

Bristol 2015 Board launches with £2m grant funding opportunity

BRISTOL 2015 Ltd, the new company established to facilitate Bristol’s year as European Green Capital in 2015, is announcing the first in a series of grant funding streams, collectively worth £2million, to support and enhance sustainable living in the city.

The ‘Bristol 2015 Neighbourhood Partnerships Fund‘, worth £250k, is the first of three grant-funding streams to be announced this summer and presents an opportunity for every neighbourhood in the city to play an active part in identifying and delivering projects for Bristol‘s European Green Capital year.

Andrew Garrad, Chairman of Bristol 2015 Ltd, said: "One of the reasons that Bristol won the European Green Capital bid was its commitment to sustainability at a grass-roots level. This fund will allow communities and neighbourhoods to build on the great work that is already happening, by enabling exciting new initiatives and projects that will ultimately help make Bristol a happier, healthier city."

The ‘Bristol 2015 Neighbourhood Partnerships Fund‘ has been set up to provide a grant of £10,000 to each neighbourhood to enable local groups to launch events and projects that will help change attitudes and behaviour towards sustainability. Interested groups are encouraged to attend their next local Neighbourhood Partnership meeting to find out more information. Further information can be found on or by emailing

This £250k initiative is the first announcement from the newly formed Bristol 2015 Company. July will see the launch of the Bristol 2015 Small Grants Fund, offering a further £250k towards supporting citywide or multi-neighbourhood projects. Bristol 2015 Ltd will also launch approximately £1.5million of additional funding in August for larger strategic grants of £25K to £50K. The Bristol 2015 Highlights will be shared in September 2014.

George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol and Bristol 2015 Ltd Board member, said: "The commitment of £2million in grant funding provides a huge opportunity for Bristol communities, neighbourhoods, organisations and businesses, as the city prepares to take on its title as European Green Capital. As Mayor and member of the Bristol 2015 Ltd board, I am determined that all Bristol‘s communities and diverse cultures reap the benefits of the environmental initiatives and increased attention and funding that the city is to receive next year."

Fun doggy day and fair for all the family

Fun Doggy Day 1

Photo by Bob Pitchford

ON Sunday 17th August, Avon Riding Centre (BS10 7QT) will be hosting a fun doggy day and fair. Registration will open at 10am with dog classes from 11am. FREE dog microchipping available.

Following the success of last year‘s event, the day will include a dog show with pedigree and novelty classes, craft stalls, Somerset Scrumpys flyball team display, Fastest recall, kids‘ activities, a BBQ and mega raffle - all under cover.

Entrance is 50p for adults including a programme. Children are free.

Fun Doggy Day 2

Photo by Bob Pitchford

All proceeds will go to Friends of South Glos Strays. The Friends are a group of dedicated volunteers set up by Dog Warden and dog behavourist Celia Bourne, to support the stray dogs in the pound. This show really helps the dogs as it is the charity‘s biggest fund raiser. so please come and support us, have some fun and bring the family.

All info on Facebook and our email address is You can also contact Julia (evenings only) on 07768 285009.

From Yellow Class to MBE

Shirehampton-born Damian Johnson has been awarded an MBE for services to Defence, in the Queen‘s Birthday Honours List.

Damian was educated at Shirehampton Infant School from 1983-6 (hence the reference to Mrs Anne Ford‘s Yellow Class). At 7 years old he won a scholarship to Colston‘s School. After gaining five ‘A‘ levels, he studied mathematics and French at Durham University. His vacations were spent working at Woolworth‘s in the village, where the manageress Dot Harkness gave Damian his first job.

His career in the Ministry of Defence began at Abbeywood, then Sevenoaks, and a year later at Whitehall where he was shortly deployed to Iraq as a Policy Advisor. This gained him the Queen‘s Commendation for Valuable Service, which he received at a private ceremony in London in 2006, the only civilian to be awarded this honour at that time. Earlier this year, he was nominated for an MBE, published in the Birthday Honours list in The Times on Saturday 14th June. Mum Vivienne, dad Peter and the whole family were overjoyed and understandably very proud of him. They said it was a well-deserved honour for all the special tasks and projects he had undertaken in the past twelve years. Damian will be invited to Buckingham Palace later this year.

Shirehampton Station blooms with the help of Shire Greens

IF you are a regular commuter of the local train station you may have noticed that the flower beds have been undergoing a makeover recently to make it into a more welcoming, loved and looked after part of the Shirehampton community.

During June and July local environmental group Shire Greens have been busily digging and planting away in the flower beds with shrubs, flowers, plants and perennials. They have been looking after the flower beds on a regular basis in order to be ready for the Royal Horticultural Society Bristol In Bloom contest.

The Severnside Community Rail Partnership and First Great Western came up with the idea of entering the Severn Beach line in ‘The RHS, It‘s Your Neighbourhood‘ competition. Two ‘flagship‘ stations were chosen. The first being Shirehampton and the other being Stapleton Road. SCAF and Shire Greens joined the partnership to make this possible.

Shirehampton Station blooms

Shirehampton Station blooms. Photo by Kathryn Courtney

Sadly all the hard work that Shire Greens did was destroyed at the beginning of July and most of the plants and flowers stolen in a rather professional manner. This was not children or teenagers but a person or persons unknown who knew what they were looking for and each item carefully dug out and removed from the station. The volunteers who had worked so hard on the plots were angry, upset and deflated that all their hard work, ambition and hopes of colourful bursts of bloom had been destroyed in one night by selfish people.

However, undeterred the volunteers were determined not to be beaten and replanted the flower beds with plants and flowers provided for free by Blaise Nursery in time for the RHS Bristol In Bloom assessment on 7th July.

"I was happy to help out." said Eileen "One man got off the train and came up to me to say how nice it was to see the train station looking clean and cared for"

"I‘ve loved going down to the station and turning weed-chocked flower beds into pretty colourful displays, that‘s why it was so heart breaking when we found nearly all the plants had been stolen and we had to start all over again. We are not a bunch of ‘do-gooding-Pollyannas‘, we are just a small group who enjoy each others company and like to try and make a difference to Shirehampton" said Ruth.

"Everyone involved have all done a brilliant job of making Shire Station an absolute picture ...twice ... due to the majority of the first planting of flowers, plants and shrubs being dug up and stolen" said Ash, Community Development Officer and Shire Greens member.

"I‘d like to thank Fraikin Ltd, particularly Ivor and Mitchell for all their great support and endless filling and ferrying of watering cans to us on the station. Blaise Nursery for all the lovely plants at a bargain price the first time round and for replacing all the stolen ones for free. Severnside Community Rail Partnership and First Great Western, but most importantly well done and thank you to all the Shire Greens and volunteers including Ruth Morris, Eileen Hostein, Lin Coleman, Barbara Franco, Renee Slater and Kath Rockell for a great job".

Hopefully the local community will take pride in the work being carried out by local volunteer groups and report any suspicious goings on to the police in the future. In the meantime Shirehampton Railway Station will be blooming with colour very soon and we await the outcome of the results of Bristol In Bloom.

Free community mediation training

  • Do you want to learn mediation skills and become a volunteer mediator for Bristol Mediation?
  • Would you like to be able to help settle disputes and arguments within your community and other communities within Bristol?
  • Do you live in Avonmouth or Shirehampton?

Bristol Mediation is offering free accredited mediation training to suitable applicants this autumn. This is an exciting opportunity to benefit from this highly valued six-day training course.

The training will run at St Werburghs Community Centre from 9am until 5.30pm on 30th September and 1st, 7th, 8th, 14th and 15th October 2014.

We are also holding an introductory and selection session on Tuesday 16th September. Places will be allocated after this to those that are most suitable, with priority given to those groups that are currently under-represented within our volunteers. Under-represented groups include younger mediators, those from BAME and/or people from disadvantaged or deprived communities of the city where we do not currently have mediators.

If you are interested and would like to receive further info and an application pack, please contact Julie Cox, Service Manager on 0117 9415379 or email

Investigations ongoing into three arson attacks

On Sunday 22 June, three arsons took place in Shirehampton: at the Old School Snooker Hall on Station Road, the back of May News on Pembroke Road and the back of the Co-operative on Pembroke Road.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary have told Shire that investigations are ongoing, but that a 14-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of arson in connection with the incident at the Old School. He was released on bail until the beginning of August.

We also sought advice from Avon Fire & Rescue Service. Station Manager Martyn Bolt said: "Arson can be extremely dangerous as fire can spread very quickly, destroying property and endangering lives".

"When we are called to a deliberately set fire, that ties up our fire engines which could be needed to attend a another incident. We work closely with the police to investigate deliberately set fires and anyone found guilty of arson-related behaviour could face a jail sentence of up to 10 years. If you witness anyone deliberately lighting a fire you can report them anonymously through the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111."

The Fire & Rescue Service advises that you can help prevent arson in your community by:

  • Only putting out rubbish and recycling on the morning of collection day.
  • Keeping waste stored outside and wheelie bins away from buildings.
  • Making sure litter doesn‘t build up in shrubs and hedges.

Police investigate assault in churchyard

As reported in last month‘s Shire, a woman in her 20s was assaulted in the churchyard at St Mary‘s in the early hours of Saturday 21st June.

Three men aged 29, 31 and 30 were arrested in connection with the incident, and have been released on bail until late August.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Bristol CID on the force number 101, quoting reference 62155/14. Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or via

Raising funds for St. Bernard‘s School roof repairs

ON the 27th June, St. Bernard‘s School held their annual summer fair. This is just one of many events organised by the school and their PTA to help raise much needed funds towards repairing the school roof. The cost of repairs will be £65,000, and although most of this will be covered by Clifton Diocese, the school has to raise 10% of the costs involved.

The afternoon was very busy and well supported by children, parents, grandparents, other family members and teachers who were busy helping out and running one or two stalls. Even the rain held off and the sun made an appearance! Outside in the playground you could find the bouncy castle and beat the goalie penalty shoot out. Inside the hall you could find a variety of stalls including toys and pictures, cake baking accessories, baby and christening gifts, the traditional cake stall, lucky dip, henna tattoos/decoration, hair braiding and nail painting, as well as a classroom accommodating a sweet stall, tombola and face painting.

Face painting

Face painting a St Bernards. Photo by Kathryn Courtney

Entertainment included the children singing, line dancing and Indian dancing. Refreshments and hot dogs were being sold and there was also a raffle where the children helped their headteacher Mrs Wilson choose the winning raffle tickets for many fabulous prizes on offer.

"The summer fair raised another £850 towards the roof funds and this brings the amount raised so far this year to £3,000. We are almost half-way there and will continue with our fund raising activities over the next academic year. Once again, many thanks to all our families for supporting our fundraising efforts and many thanks to all the local businesses that so generously donated prizes for our raffle. Your support is very much appreciated." said Mrs Wilson.

Nature‘s notes

The last few weeks have been a real treat in our garden. We‘ve watched a gorgeous family of blackbirds come in and the parents introduced their young to the delights of the juicy cherries on our ancient tree. Mum took every chance to bathe in the water feature. We have a feeder on the tree on the green outside our front garden with nyger seed for the goldfinches.

Their young soon got the hang of that!

The biggest (very pleasant) surprise has been a sudden, unexpected influx of house sparrows. So common during my childhood playing on the Cotswold Estate, the house sparrows are famously in decline. But hooray! We are getting constant daily visits of adults and young. This hasn‘t happened in all the fourteen years we‘ve been in this home. I‘m not sure of the reason, but I hope it continues.

My husband Jeff has had to keep finding ways of preventing the ever-searching, ever-hungry pigeons from gobbling up all the seed we put out for the smaller birds. Some work, some don‘t. Nothing as persistent as a greedy pigeon!

As I write, a solitary, beautiful goldfinch is quietly dining on the nyger seed in my back garden. His friends will soon join him, I‘m sure.

Happy nature-watching.

New WWII book from former Shire resident

MV WAIMARAMA in Balboa, Panama Canal, 30 May 1942

MV Waimarama in Balboa, Panamal Canal, 30th May 1942

BRIAN CRABB, who used to live in 156 Nibley Road, Shirehampton, has spent the last nine years writing and researching a new book entitled Operation Pedestal: The Story of Convoy WS21S. This was a convoy sent to reach and relieve Malta in August 1942, accompanied by the biggest Royal Navy escort assembled at any point in the Second World War.

The convoy suffered heavy losses when torpedoed by German U boats, and hundreds of men lost their lives, including a number with links to the local area. 21 year old Able Seaman William Henry Johnson, who was a DEMS gunner on board the MV Waimarama, had recently married to Dorothy May Johnson of 10 Barrow Hill Road. His parents lived in Avonmouth. He was tragically killed, when MV Waimarama, which was carrying high explosives, blew up and caught fire in spectacular fashion, after being bombed by a Junkers 88 dive bomber on 13 August.

The author‘s late father, Percival Crabb, who was born in 26 Priory Road, was serving in the 6 inch cruiser HMS Kenya during this epic convoy. She was torpedoed in the bows by the Italian submarine Alagi, but managed to carry on.

This hardback book covers every detail of this legendary convoy and is lavishly illustrated. It has a Roll of Honour for both Allied and Axis men lost and much more. The book costs £25, which is generous price compared to other books of similar size. If anyone is interested in purchasing a copy, the author will deliver it personally, providing the address is local. To order a signed copy simply phone 01275 844229 or 07811582082 and ask to speak to the author.

Action on ‘A‘ boards clogging up pavements

RESIDENTS and shoppers have complained to the Avonmouth and Kingsweston Neighbourhood Partnership about the number of A boards obstructing pavements in Shirehampton. On 19th June, the Neighbourhood Team visited all businesses to educate owners and staff on the A board regulations that apply in Bristol. Ten businesses were found to be contravening the regulations.

The neighbourhood team will be monitoring the situation and if businesses continue to carry on this practice then their A Boards will be removed at the business owners cost.

The Highways Act 1980 and the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 say that obstructions on the pavement are illegal, unless on private land contained within the forecourt of a premises.

However Bristol City Council supports business and understands the need to advertise, and for this reason allows all businesses to have one A board outside their premises if there is room. There must be at least 1.8m of clear footway between the A board and the curb.

The full guidance for A Boards can be found at, but key points are:

  • A boards should be located within the curtilage of the property.
  • A boards should be a standard A1 size and a maximum of 1.1 metres high.
  • A Boards and other free-standing pavement signs must not damage the highway.
  • They must also be stable and not easily blown over.

Rotating or swinging signs, boards, displays, etc. on public highway should be avoided.

  • It is not permitted to fix/chain boards or adverts to any bollard or piece of street furniture.
  • A boards will be the owners‘ responsibility when placed on the highway and the Council will not be liable for any injury or damage caused to highway users where these are placed on the highway.
  • A boards should be removed from the highway at the end of the day‘s trading.
  • The advertisement should not be so distracting or confusing that it endangers people who are taking reasonable care for their own and others safety.

St Mary's News

Hi Folks!

Here we are in the eighth month of the year already! Just where does time go? I think it must be due to the busy lives we all lead.

Our Summer Fayre on Saturday 5th July was absolutely excellent. People were waiting in the churchyard for the doors to open at 10am and then there was a steady flow of people making purchases and availing themselves with the sumptuous cakes with their tea and coffee.

Also in the church were magnificent displays of flowers all based on the theme ‘Tell me a story‘. When you combine the fayre money, afternoon tea and cakes and the money from the Area Choir Concert in the evening, the amount raised for the day was about £2000. Congratulations to all, it was a wonderful day!

Don‘t forget on Wednesday 6th August we have in church an afternoon for children from 2pm until 4pm when Clive and Shirley from Party Kidz will be there to entertain them. They have come to St Mary‘s in the past and were very popular with the children. There will also be crafts and refreshments and furthermore it is all FREE!

On Saturday 9th we will be holding another of our Bric-a-brac Sales in the church from 10am until 12 noon. Come along and see what there is on offer - you may well find the very thing you have been looking for! All proceeds will go to the support of St Mary‘s.

The next Saturday 16th August is another of Tim Forder‘s Car Treasure Hunts. Please note we set off from the Health Centre car park earlier this year at 5pm. The entry fee is £4.00 per car and the buffet supper at the venue is at a fixed price of £12.75. Sign up on the list at the back of the church if you intend coming. This is really one of the best fun events of the year.

Please note that during the week commencing Monday 18th until Friday 22nd August, both dates inclusive, the church will be closed as it will be occupied on those days by people attending our Seniors Week. It will re-open again on Saturday morning 23rd. Apologies for any inconvenience caused to our regular tea and coffee customers during this week.

On Sunday 24th August Bishop Mike will be visiting St Mary‘s again to preside and preach at our 10am Holy Communion. We look forward to welcoming him again.

Believe it or not, it is time for another of our Open Church days on the Summer Bank Holiday on Monday 25th August. As is customary on these occasions, lunches will be served from 12 noon until 2pm, followed by cream teas in the afternoon until 5pm. Prices as usual for the meals which you will find are extremely good value for money as is the variety of choice. Please come and enjoy yourself in pleasant surroundings and company. All money raised again goes in support of St Mary‘s.

Now some advance information for September. At our Holy Communion service at 10am on Sunday 7th September, we will have a presentation by the children from Kidz Klub which will include readings and a song to commemorate and remember the commencement of World War One.

Keep an eye open and check our notice board at the back of the church for details of our forthcoming Harvest Appeal.

Did you know this? Two children watched their Grannie reading her bible ‘Why does she do that,‘ asked one. The other child replied, ‘I expect she‘s studying for her final exams.

From The Registers At St. Mary's - June 2014

BAPTISMS 'We welcome you'

29th Eliza Beatrice Daniel

FUNERALS 'At rest and at peace'

3rd Alan Hunt Canford

Brenda Dammers St Mary‘s

30th Alfred Hall Canford

Royal Voluntary Service Needs You

From 1st to 7th June, people across the country came together to celebrate the vital contribution volunteers make supporting people in need, as part of Volunteers‘ Week.

On behalf of Royal Voluntary Service I would like to take this opportunity to thank our volunteers in the South West for their unwavering dedication and hard work. For 365 days a year over 35,000 Royal Voluntary Service volunteers provide meals, transport services and companionship to over 100,000 older people across Britain; it is their dedication and compassion which allows older people to live fulfilled lives whilst staying independent in their homes for longer.

I would like to encourage more people in the South West to follow their example and sign up to volunteer for Royal Voluntary Service and help us support more older people in need. Making a difference to someone‘s life can be as simple as stopping by to share a cup of tea and a chat, or driving people to a lunch club.

Whether you can spare an hour a week or can give a couple of days each month, we will have an opportunity to suit your availability and skills; visit or call 0845 600 5885. Will you be volunteering next Volunteers‘ Week?

Week of action speeds Lamplighters‘ renovation

Volunteers turned up with spades, tools and paintbrushes in a week of community action to help the progress of the historic Lamplighters Pub.

Spearheaded by local MP Charlotte Leslie, residents and supporters worked under the direction of the new team at the pub, husband and wife Dominic and Kathie Gundry-White, with Dominic‘s business partner Norman Routledge and Norman‘s daughter, Charlie.

Volunteers at the Lamplighters

The team, which has also been redeveloping nearby Kings Weston House, plan to run it as a family friendly, community venue and it is hoped it will be opened by late summer.

Ms Leslie, who joined volunteers at the pub to take part in the week of action, said: "It is so heartening to see such a fantastic effort from the community, and I for one can‘t wait until The Lamplighters is finally open for business again.

"It was so clear during our campaign that local people were really attached to the old pub and just wanted to see it opened and thriving again.

"Dominic and his team have done an unbelievable job so far and it has been lovely to see everyone pitching in this week."

Mr Gundry-White said: "It‘s been fantastic to have so much support from Charlotte, Wayne and the local community from the start of the project and during our week of action. It‘s really encouraging to see how involved the community want to be in saving The Lamplighters."

Although the week of action has officially ended, work goes on and volunteers can still get involved. Visit

Kings Weston House welcomes the Love Food Festival

Love food festival

Photo by Kathryn Courtney

On 22nd June, Kings Weston House hosted the Love Food Festival. Those attending were thrilled by the cakes, breads, olive oils, curries, vegetarian and vegan foods, meats, fruits, vegetables, cider and wine on offer. There were also plenty of children‘s activities and space for picnickers to enjoy the picturesque grounds on a busy summer‘s day.

Emma, one person enjoying the sunshine, said: "I loved the fact that it was small and local. It wasn‘t huge or commercialised like some festivals you go to. All the stallholders were very friendly, extremely knowledgeable and sometimes passionate about their products they were selling."

Lin said: "This food festival was wonderful and should be held on a regular basis. It was nice to sample things you wouldn‘t normally. Well done to Norman for opening up the house for this event."

The Love Food Festival began almost six years ago in its original home, The Paintworks in Brislington. Each year it has grown from strength to strength and is now being hosted in different parts of the city. It reconnects people with the simple pleasures of buying, growing and cooking great, locally-produced food.

KWAG Restore Circular Grove At Entrance To Park

In June, more than a dozen volunteers laboured in the sweltering heat to clear the Circle. This area, at the end of Shirehampton Road car park, at the entrance to the park, was once the historic focus of the whole estate.

The working party tackled a major wall of brambles and undergrowth and managed to return a sense of circular enclosure to the area, as well as views between the different paths that meet there. It is hoped that the Council will now maintain the area more frequently.

In the past, avenues and paths radiated out from a circular grove, and the main carriage drive ran through its centre on the way to Kings Weston House down the lime avenue.

Sea Mills celebrates inaugural Scarecrow Spectacular

Sea Mills Scarecrow Spectacular was a huge success. The event was held over summer half-term, and saw hundreds of people from all walks of life out and about around Sea Mills. Residents and visitors were hunting for 65 scarecrows, mostly handmade by children from Sea Mills Primary School.

Scarecrow and Lord Mayor of Bristol

The event culminated in a summer fair in the school grounds on a gloriously hot day, which was attended by our local councillor, Tim Leaman, and mayor of Bristol, George Ferguson. The winners of the best scarecrow competition were Helen and Oscar Caton, who made ‘The Gruffacrow‘. Watch this space for next years event which will be even bigger and even better!

The Orchards, retirement flats and sheltered housing on Hermitage Close, received a grant from the Shire newspaper earlier this year to enable the residents to spruce up the shared garden. We‘re sure you will agree that it looks marvellous! With thanks to Bob Pitchford for these fantastic photos, taken at a coffee morning held in the gardens on Thursday 10th July.

If you have a local project that would benefit from a community grant such as this, look out for further information in the Shire in autumn 2014.

Major historic find at Henbury Church

Kings Weston Action Group (KWAG) announces that an important monument by the sculptor Grinling Gibbons has been identified at Henbury Church.

Most of the family members of the owners of Kings Weston House are buried in the parish church at Henbury. We have studied and recorded a few of the most important memorials here before including one by the famous sculptor Grinling Gibbons (1648-1721) for Sir Robert Southwell. This is now in the space below the tower, but, until it was rebuilt in the 19th century, it was sited in the chancel. Sir Robert‘s is a well recorded memorial, appearing in design form in the Kings Weston Book of Drawings as being by Mr Sheeres with only the ornamental detail being carried out by Gibbons.

However, we have now identified ANOTHER important Grinling Gibbons monument in the church, one dedicated to Sir Robert‘s wife Elizabeth Dering and their son Rupert. After Elizabeth‘s death in London 13th January 1681, her body was brought back to Kings Weston and buried, but the memorial wasn‘t set up until some time later. When it was it was a far more elaborate and accomplished piece of work by Gibbons than Sir Robert would have as his own stark memorial.

Grinling Gibbons received £20 for his labours on the monument in 1684 and a further £30 was paid to his business partner Arnold Quellin in October the following year who ‘composed‘ the inscription.

Unlike Sir Roberts memorial the work on Elizabeth‘s is wholly characteristic of Gibbons workmanship with delicately carved garlands incorporating fruit and flowers, a winged skull and a flame-topped urn, all closely comparable with other of his contemporary commissions.

Amongst the garlands sit forget-me-nots, roses, and a mountain of apricots or peaches. Perhaps the soft fruit were inspired by those much noted in the family‘s gardens at Kings Weston?

We are able to make the identification of this monument by Gibbons thanks to the help of Roger Forse at the church who kindly offered to seek out Elizabeth‘s memorial for us, and it can now be properly identified and added to Gibbon‘s canon.

Photographs of the memorial, set in the east wall of the north aisle of the chance of the church, we have posted photos on our web site here:

Letters to the Editor

Big thank you

Dear Editor,

I would like to express my profound and heartfelt thanks to the kind lady who found my bankcards in Shirehampton on Friday 27th June and handed them in.

Charity Shops

Dear Editor,

When you walk around high streets and shopping precincts, you may come across anything up to half a dozen charity shops, which are all bulging to the front door or even with clothing and toys spilling onto the pavements. I have a suggestion that I feel is a win-win solution.

Instead of this government giving millions of pounds to poverty-stricken countries, the money could be paid to charity shops to purchase (a proportion of) their stock and send it out in containers to these countries.

The charity shops could then start re-stocking their shops, and the charities would have the money still in this country to decide how to spend it. The poverty-stricken families of these countries have clothing and toys etc for their homes.

Constituency MPs could be given ‘x‘ amount of money each, and they could go and purchase the items and make arrangements for them to be delivered to designated pick-up points.

Our apologies to Bob Pitchford

We would like to apologise to Bob Pitchford for failing to credit him for a number of photos in the July edition of Shire. Bob took the photo of Lizzie Tucker on page 11, and also the photos of the Lord Mayor at the Lawrence Weston Art Exhibition prize giving on page 15.

Blooming Great Tea Party

Dear Editor,

Many thanks to all who attended, helpers and supporters of The Blooming Great Tea Party on Saturday 5th July at the Cotswold Community Association. £327.70 was raised for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Park Car Park

Dear Editor,

I‘m a regular dog walker at Kings Weston and I‘ve enjoyed the park for many years. I come out most days and use the cafe half way round on my route. I always chat to other dog walkers as I go round so I know there‘s been lots of worry that recently the park has been turning into a car park at the weekends. But last weekend, on 22nd June, things were extremely upsetting.

We walked down from the temple only to be met by cars trying to drive up the path in the opposite direction to find a parking space. Outside the house the whole playing field was covered in cars all the way up to the woods and cars were racing in all directions round the house. I was so worried that my dogs would be hit I put them on leads, but for anyone with children or who wanted to play on the lawns it must have been awful. I tried stopping at the cafe, but there were cars passing constantly and clouds of dust covering the tables.

By the end of the walk I was almost in tears I know the new owner needs to make the house pay, but why couldn‘t there have been a bit of warning that an event was happening and why do they have to use the field for cars? Why did the council give permission for the car park on the playing field? There‘s a perfectly good car park behind the house but everything was a mess and no one knew what was happening. With the cars shooting around in all directions dogs, or worse a child, could easily have been hit and it just isn‘t safe. I hope that this doesn‘t happen again and someone wakes up to the danger and worry it‘s creating.


Dear Editor,

I was delighted to meet up recently with a penfriend from New Zealand for the first time in 50 years. My father, ‘Doc‘ Turner, met her family during World War II. My sister and I kept up with the letter-writing with the two daughters of the family - Ann and Mary - and in recent years, we have emailed back and forth.

Mary was last in England when she was 21, but we met up at Bristol Airport on 21st June. I hoped we would know each other. It was lovely how the years rolled away, we spent a lovely few days together. We hope there will be many letters and emails still to come.

Shirehampton Station

Dear Editor,

In July, Severnside Rail Partnership entered Shirehampton Station in the Bristol in Bloom competition. Shire Greens, who adopted the station several years ago, went into action. Volunteers cleared the planters of the shrubs that had died in last year‘s drought. They made trips to nurseries and carted in sacks of compost, gallons of water and dozens of plants. They spent hours re-planting the beds to make the Station look its best.

And then, within hours of the Bristol in Bloom judges arriving, thieves took several of the best plants for their own gardens. This was not the work of rampaging kids. This was the well-thought-out and deliberate work of an adult with an over-developed sense of entitlement. Someone who thought he or she could just take whatever they wanted from a public communal space. Someone who had no regard for the enjoyment and pleasure the refurbished planters might give the other people who use the train every day, and no regard for the time and effort that half a dozen volunteers had given to make the station a pleasant, attractive place.

I hope the thief or thieves will read this. I hope they will have the decency to feel ashamed of their selfishness. I hope in future they will try to be better neighbours and contribute more to the community they share.

The Lamplighters Marsh

In May a walk was held on the Lamplighters Marsh Nature Reserve by 25 members of the Bristol Naturalist Society and other visitors, as part of the Bristol Walking Festival. Led by local residents and BNS members, botanist Dr. Clive Lovatt and artist Jenny Brooks.

Starting at the boat club, Clive discovered several plants inc. Sagina maritima (Sea Pealwort) and Reseda luteola, Weld or Dyer‘s Rocket with tall stems and strapped leaves, dominating the area along the water front.

Sopme of the names of a rich variety of plants were being recorded by Mark and Clare Kitchen who officially make records of the wild flower plants. Tony Smith involved the children with discussion on insects, caught temporarily in his special equipment, and viewing the special information boards showing some of Jenny‘s botanical artwork all along the ‘yellow brick road‘.

As we approached the M5 bridge, where the ground becomes stonier, Echium vulgare (Viper‘s Bugloss) was just beginning to show and several visitors said they would return in the summer to see this in full flower. Well, now it is looking absolutely beautiful together with such a rich variety of plants giving a lush and colourful show on Shirehampton‘s very special Nature Reserve. The Lamplighters Marsh is really well worth a visit this summer.

Burgers, Bangers and Burns make sure your barbecue is not a recipe for disaster

AVON Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) is reminding people planning barbecues during the warmer weather to make sure their burgers and bangers don‘t lead to burns.

Between April 2013 and March 2014 AF&RS received 42 calls from members of the public who were concerned about barbecues which had got out of control or where hot disposable barbecues had caused bin fires.

As hundreds of families plan outdoor activities, AF&RS is asking people to enjoy the weather safely.

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

"Just a few simple steps, like never leaving the barbecue unattended and keeping it well away from shrubs and fencing, can help to ensure a happy event doesn‘t turn to tragedy. Many injuries caused by barbecues happen because inappropriate lighting methods such as paraffin and petrol have been used. Only recognised lighters and starter fuels should be used.

"When using disposable barbecues make sure they are disposed of properly when cool and not placed in a bin while still hot. If using a gas barbecue don‘t throw water on to it if it gets out of control as the fat and oil could ignite and cause severe burns."

Safety tips:

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

Gas barbecues

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

Station Manager Bolt said: "If you do have a barbecue which gets out of control, don‘t try to tackle it yourself as you risk getting burnt or scalded. Dial 999 and ask for the fire and rescue service."

To find out what happened to a man whose barbecue got out of control, leaving him needing hospital treatment for burns, visit and view the safety advice.

Oasis Brightstowe students compete in ‘Dragons‘ Den‘ event

Oasis Brightstowe students

SIX students from Oasis Academy Brightstowe took part in a Dragon‘s Den-style event in the Wills Memorial Hall at Bristol University on Thursday 3rd July. The team was made up of Ebony Daley, Tayla Everett, Georgia Harbridge, Molly Perks, Hannah Price and Tiffany Turner.

The competition was organised by Business in the Community, an organisation dedicated to creating long-term strategic partnerships with schools and academies.

On the day, the students pitched to the High Sherriff of Bristol, Mr Michael Bothamley, who was assisted by Mr. Dave Shalliday (RBS Corporate Banking), Steph Lacey (Cabot Circus) and Will Pritchard (Uncaged).

The girls undertook marketing research and created a drink called "50/50", an innovative idea for two flavours of fruit juice in separate compartments of a bottle with a conjoined straw. Their prototype was offered to the ‘dragons‘ and details of their proposed advertising campaign, production, sales and financials were disclosed.

Questions from the Dragons were addressed professionally, and the only flaw was a delay while they searched their minds for the word "patent", which drew an appreciative gasp from the audience once found.

Brightstowe students were competing against representatives from Bristol Metropolitan Academy and Abbeywood school who also pitched drink products. The team was mentored by six staff from KPMG, and would like to express their thanks for the support they offered over the last two months and on the day.

Preparing students for the world of business and fostering entrepreneurship is a key part of curricular, extra-curricular activities and our commitment to the "Employability Chartermark". The Brightstowe students, including those who engaged in the internal competition beforehand, all grew in confidence and gained skills through the process.

Line dancing with Christine Power

KATHRYN Courtney finds out more about line dancing teacher, Christine Power, who has been teaching classes for LinkAge in Shirehampton for three years.

When I ask Christine why she began teaching line dancing, she said: "I was initially teaching circle dance, which is a form of folk dancing and then I got introduced to the line dance, and moved into teaching line dance as well. Some people want to go to both, but line dancing is quite accessible as a lot of people have heard of it and a lot of people think, ‘oh I‘ll give it a go‘. You don‘t have to do anything or know anything about it before you come along."

I also wanted to know if line dancing can improve health and sociability. Christine explained: "I‘ve had one person in her mid 80s tell me that line dancing gives her energy for the rest of the day. It‘s not just the exercise though - it‘s meeting other people, laughing when they make mistakes together and realising none of it matters. Everybody‘s in the same boat doing the same thing.

"If you go along to classes each week you get to form a group based on friendship so people are more relaxed with each other, they enjoy it more as well. It gets better and better the more people do it."

Christine Power

Christine Power. Photo by Kathryn Courtney

If someone has a mobility issue, I wondered, should they check with the doctor before trying line dancing? Christine said: "If you‘re new, it‘s a good idea to double check as there are strains that can be put on certain joints but those dance moves can be adapted.

I do try to notice when people have a problem with a particular dance move. I can show a person a slight variation of a move to make it easier to keep in time with the music, even simplify a dance move. People can always sit out of one dance to rest and then get up for the next one. The choice is theirs and they know what their body is capable of doing."

Christine finds that teaching line dancing for LinkAge is great fun. She explains: "It‘s a scream. I think people have a sense of belonging too when they come along to line dancing classes with LinkAge because it‘s on-going every week. You don‘t have to wear cowboy clothes or boots, as people seem to think.

I can tell when people are enjoying dancing. You can see by the way they move that they‘re really enjoying it all. My class love it and say it‘s good for their mind and body."

Line Dancing takes place at the Tithe Barn, High Street, Shirehampton every Tuesday from 2:30 3:30pm. Cost is £3 per person. Just turn up and join in as booking is not necessary. For further information please contact Ricky Bush on 07807706310 or send an email to:

Life in the 50s with a Morgan 3 Wheeler motorcar

Morgan three wheeler motor car

Dear Editor,

I was 15 in 1953 and my mate Gary Mead and I were at Bristol Technical School of Engineering. Gary had a ‘Morgan 3 Wheeler‘ which in those days was registered as a motorcycle because it had NO reverse gear. You could have a motorcycle at 15 and a car at 16 but to turn the Morgan around meant jumping out and pushing the 3 Wheeler to point the other way.

We were driving home from school one day along the Portway and decided to talk to some girls. Unfortunately, Gary slowed and turned too hard and turned the car over on its side. Lucky for me I didn‘t have my arm ‘outside‘ the car so only the car suffered. The girls laughed and told us to get lost!

Biology, Business and Bricklaying

Just some of the courses South West teenagers can discover with UCAS‘ new service

Teenagers in the South West are the first to benefit from the new UCAS Progress service, which helps young people make the right choices after GCSEs. The UCAS Progress website ( gives students across the region the chance to search and apply for thousands of post-16 opportunities. Whether it‘s an A level in maths, a BTEC in design or a plumbing apprenticeship, UCAS Progress has details of the courses available to young people.

An information hub covering classroom and work-based options is central to the website. These advice pages help to make well-informed, personal choices about their future.

The South West is the first stage of a national roll out. By the autumn, teenagers will have access to a complete list of courses, all over England and Wales.

Over 700,000 students, teachers and advisers are already using UCAS Progress which is currently available in around half of local authorities in England. The course search has been used over two million times since October. Under new laws, young people must stay in education or training until they are 18, and UCAS Progress is a one-stop-shop to research what‘s available.

Gina Bradbury, Head of UCAS Progress said: "Year 11 students in the South West can use UCAS Progress now to look for courses beginning in the autumn. By September, we‘ll have a fully national service with information on every course across England and Wales available in one place. Students currently in Year 10 can also use the site to get a head start for next year, as UCAS Progress brings together everything they‘ll need to make choices after GCSEs."

Karen Turner, head of Year 11, Summerhill School: "UCAS Progress has really helped our students and opened their eyes to what‘s available. They‘ve all been surprised by the accessibility and the amount of courses out there. It really has made a tremendous difference to their future."

UCAS Progress is free to use for all students. The service can be accessed at home, at school and on mobile devices.

New Bristol City Council adult learning courses

From Romantic Poets to Russian cinema, carving or crochet online booking open now.

Whether your interests lie with the Romantic poets, Russian cinema, soapstone carving or perhaps crochet, there are hundreds of courses and workshops to choose from in the new Bristol City Council adult learning course guide, which is out now.

The courses are designed for adults looking to learn and develop new skills and are offered either at the main site Stoke Lodge in Stoke Bishop or at the St Paul‘s Learning and Family Centre in the centre of the city.

Jane Taylor, the council‘s Service Manager, Skills, said: "Earlier this year we asked learners what they would love to see on offer. In addition to some of our regular and most popular courses, you‘ll see that we are trialling some new learning delights this year, like the blogging, food safety and creative writing courses.

"So whether you want to develop your creativity, improve your language skills, learn to cook some new tasty meals or maybe have a go at Argentinian tango, you will find lots of great courses here."

Prospective learners can sign up by looking on the new booking system and booking online.

For further information, please call Hilda Kalap, council Press Officer on 0117 903 7953 or email

Summer holiday activities


Photo by Kathryn Courtney

LinkAge has teamed up with Young Bristol to bring the generations together through positive activities taking place in Shirehampton and Sea Mills this summer. Each activity allows young people aged 8 to 16 to join their parents and grandparents in arts and craft classes, family cooking, New Age Kurling, ping pong and even a computer class.

Family Cooking sessions will take place at the Tithe Barn, High Street, Shirehampton on Wednesdays 30th July, 6th August and 13th August from 1-3pm. The cost is £3 per adult/child. The generations can come together to learn recipes and share cooking experiences with each other. The recipes are easy to do from main meals to desserts and cakes. It is great fun and you get to eat the food you cook afterwards.

Arts and Crafts takes place at The Penpole Community Centre, The Ridge, Shirehampton on Fridays 1st August, 8th August and 15th August from 10:30am-1pm. The cost is £3 per adult/child. Join Tracy and other local people over three weeks and get creative and arty with a collective project that will say ‘I was part of that‘ and later be displayed for all the community to see.

Ping Pong will be an activity for all at Seadrew Mills Boys and Girls Club, Woodleaze, Sea Mills on Thursdays 31st July, 7th August, 14th August, 21st August and 28th August from 10-11:30am. Cost is £1 per adult/child. Never underestimate the older generation when it comes to ping pong. Believe me - they have been practising!

New Age Kurling is proving to be a popular sport that people of any age, even those with a disability, can play using the different pieces of equipment designed to make a sport accessible to all. This activity will take place at Sea Mills Club, Bluebell Close, Woodleaze on Monday 18th August from 10-11:30am. It will cost £1 per adult/child.

iTea4U is your chance to learn about your computer or tablet. This one-off session takes place at the Tithe Barn in Shirehampton on Wednesday 27th August from 1-3pm. Cost is £1 per adult/child. So if you want to save money on bills, do online shopping, communicate on social media or even Skype with friends and family, book your place at this session. Volunteers will take you through everything you want to know.

There is no need to book most of these activities. You can just turn up on the day and join in. However you will need to book your place on the iTea4u session. For further information please contact Ricky Bush on 07807706310 or send an email to

New cruises to depart from Avonmouth in 2015

From 2015, the MV Azores will operate 10 different itineraries from Avonmouth, including one that will offer a total eclipse experience. The ship carries just under 600 passengers, and has recently undergone a multi-million pound internal refit.

Local travel agent Miles Morgan has campaigned for more cruises to sail from Bristol. He said: "This is excellent news for holidaymakers in the local area and shows the success of the port as a whole. Bristol has to be the most convenient port to reach in the UK, being barely five minutes off the M5."

Worried about someone else‘s drugs or alcohol use?

IF the answer is yes, then DHI (Developing Health & Independence) can help you. We recognise that a person‘s substance use has an impact on those around them: their family and carers, their children and their friends.

We work with all those affected by someone else‘s substance use by supporting them to learn more about drug treatment and new skills to manage problems and decisions as they arise. The service is available for people who are:

  • Aged 18 or above and affected by someone else‘s alcohol or drug use
  • Living in Bristol or the families and carers who live elsewhere, if their loved one is accessing treatment in Bristol

Our services include:

  • Advice, information and signposting - this is available face to face, on the phone, via email or through a contact enquiry form on our website
  • Assessment of need in order to create an individual package of support
  • Referral and signposting onto a wide range of local and national services
  • Support groups
  • Solution focused brief counselling, which is available as 1:1 and couples sessions
  • Family meetings
  • Parent and Carer Training Programme (PACT)

Two family practitioners

Two of our family practitioners, Darren and Charlotte, who work with those concerned about a loved one's substance use.

One man, whose son has been dealing with drug addiction, said: "When you are told that your son is a drug addict the world can feel a very lonely place. It is not news that you want to share with friends and family as somehow, it feels like as a parent, it is your fault. Why did he do this? Where did we go wrong? I had considered that I had a very blessed life and now I had a black cloud hanging over me.

"DHI helped me to understand that I had not been a cause of his drug addiction. They helped in my behaviours and how I should react to my son in various scenarios. DHI also helped me understand where my son was in his cycle of addiction and recovery. There were some tough lessons to learn but the reality is that my son now tells me that these behaviours have been instrumental to his recovery. I am grateful for the support that DHI provided to me and my wife."

To access support from DHI, you can contact us in a number of ways. You can email, call 0117 916 6588, find us on twitter @dhibristol or You can also visit for advice and information.

Two of our family practitioners, Darren and Charlotte, who work with those concerned about a loved one‘s substance use.

City‘s Pharmacists Help to Find Bristol‘s Hidden Carers

A new campaign starts next month to engage the help of 93 local pharmacies to help find Bristol‘s ‘hidden carers‘. The campaign is designed to reach out to people who care for someone in their lives but haven‘t asked for help themselves.

Three out of five people will be a carer at some point and the 2011 census showed there are 40,000 carers in Bristol, a 13.5 per cent increase on 2001.

Caring for a loved one, relative or friend can result in poverty, isolation, frustration, ill health and depression. However, many people don‘t see themselves as carers and don‘t benefit from the support available to them.

As part of the campaign Bristol City Council‘s Public Health team and Carers Support Centre have enlisted the help of Bristol pharmacies to look out for customers who regularly collect medication for other patients, ask for advice on symptoms and shop with the person they care for. Pharmacies will display the ‘How Much Do You Care‘ leaflet and staff will prompt customers to think about their caring role and provide advice on the help available to them.

Interim Director of Public Health Dr Sohail Bhatti from Bristol City Council said, "Anyone can become a carer at any age and we need to make sure the right support is there at the right time. Many people don‘t realise that they can access help that includes practical, financial and emotional support."

It takes an average of two years for carers to acknowledge their role. The 2011 census also showed, 14,429 (36%) of Bristol carers are giving 20 or more hours of unpaid care in a week and 9,176 (23%) give more than 50 hours of unpaid care in a week. The economic value of the contribution made by carers in Bristol is £755.5 million per year, the highest in the south-west.

To support carers Bristol City Council provides personal budgets, cover if a carer is unwell and an emergency card to identify carers in case of an accident. Recently a new web-based learning tool, Carer Aware, was launched and the Bristol Carers Action Plan is currently being updated.

The Carers Support Centre includes a telephone helpline, one to one support, training, counselling and short breaks.

Richard Brown, Chief Officer of Avon Local Pharmaceutical Committee said: "Being placed in the heart of communities, pharmacies are able to offer support to people caring for others every single day. Carers often visit pharmacies to collect medication along with receiving access to many other sources of information and healthcare advice. It can even be the pharmacy that identifies someone as being a carer. This campaign will help to raise awareness amongst local communities of the help pharmacies can offer along with enhancing the profile of the great work carers perform."

Dr Pippa Stables, a GP at Lodge Surgeries, Kingswood said: "Bristol GPs are very aware of how much we depend on the fantastic contribution made by carers to the care of our patients and we are increasingly aware of the effects on the health and wellbeing of the carers themselves. It is common to spend time supporting carers in GP consultations and we are aware of the need to offer medical time for the carer‘s own health which is often neglected by carers. "I have been running an update and education programme on dementia over the past two years attended by GPs from every practice and carer support has been an important feature of this."

Chief Executive Carers Support Centre Keith Sinclair said: "Caring can have a big impact on your life, and this is only likely to increase as time goes by. Even if a carer is managing now, they shouldn‘t put off asking for help. We want carers to find out what support is available now don‘t wait until the situation reaches a crisis point."

Brightstowe students in Belgium

Brightstowe students in Belgium

STUDENTS from Oasis Brightstowe travelled to Belgium to commemorate 100 years since the outbreak of World War I. They were keen to retrace the steps of the local men who went abroad to fight, and who are remembered in the war memorial, just metres from the academy.

The history department led a successful visit to the battlefields of Ieper, where some of the fiercest fighting of the war took place. In 1914, Ieper was a beautiful medieval city trading in textiles and hops. The British took the defence of the city seriously; knowing that by giving it up would lead to an almost impossible task of defending the ports of France and Belgium. As a result our soldiers dug deep and fought in some of the notorious battles like Passchendaele in an attempt to gain vital high ground.

From the moment we arrived students were immersed in the history of this remarkable city, which was rebuilt brick by brick to return to its former glory. We were lucky to have wonderful guides, who helped bring the soldiers‘ stories to life. We learnt about the importance of tunnelling at Hill 60 and could climb into the pill box to see the conditions they regularly faced.

Brightstowe students with Poppies

At Essex Farm we stood where John Mcree wrote "In Flanders Fields", a symbolic poem which he himself threw away after writing. Students were emotional at Tyne Cot cemetery as the scale of devastation took on a reality which is beyond comprehension. We saw how equality in death was not possible in 1918 and were shocked at the dark layout of the German Langemark cemetery. At Sanctuary Wood the students experienced the trenches and tunnels. None of them turned back on account of the mud or darkness.

The week of learning finished as our students attended the Menin Gate ceremony. This daily memorial to remember the missing was emotional for many and we are very proud of the way our students conducted themselves as Chloe, Tom and Katie delicately laid a wreath on behalf our academy to remember the sacrifice of those who fought.

Football Shire school 1931/32

Team of 1931/32

This photograph shows the football team at Shire School in 1931/32. It was sent to us by Andrew Moloney on behalf of his mum, Mrs Eirleys, who lives in Jim O‘Neil House, Kilminster Road. She will be 95 this year and has always wanted to see this picture in the paper.

From left to right: TOP ROW - D Kilminster, T York, Jobey Sissons (Master), N Norris (Master), R James, D Britton SEATED: L Jones, L Moloney, F Pike, H Hayfield, R Brinton FRONT Len Hodges, W Blanks

Gnome guard at the Orchards

Gnome guard at the Orchards

Photo by Bob Pitchford

THE ORCHARDS retirement flats and sheltered housing on Hermitage Close, received a grant from the Shire newspaper earlier this year to enable the residents to spruce up the shared garden. We‘re sure you will agree it looks marvellous! With thanks to Bob Pitchford for the fantastic photos, taken at a coffee morning held in the gardens on Thursday 10th July. If you have a local project that would benefit from a community grant such as this, look out for further information in the Shire in autumn 2014.