Shire logo

Back to November 2014 SHIRE December 2014 Fowards to January 2015 SHIRE
News Index

Remembering the fallen

Shirehampton Public Hall Newsletter – November

A Busy Weekend at St Bernard’s

New Library opened by author Joffre White

Help Bristol City Council design your libraries for the furure library consultation:

National Roast Dinner Day a Tasty Success

From The Registers At St. Mary’s - October 2014

Botany in the SHIRE

Letters to the Editor

Carols on the green

Christmas at the churches

Nature Notes

Shirehampton Primary Year 5 Visits London Science Museum

Oasis Academy Long Cross

The Cinnamon Trust, Shirehampton

S H I R E    @ShireNewspaper    #ShireNewspaper

Remembering the fallen

Many people gathered at Shirehampton War Memorial on Remembrance Day.

Remembering the fallen Photos by Bob Pitchford

Sea Cadets Remember

The annual remembrance parade at Canford Cemetery was held to remember those who died during the Second World War air raid on the Bristol Aeroplane Company works. The parade is held at the war graves section of the cemetery at 11.45am on the first Sunday after Remembrance Sunday.

Among the dozens who died in an air raid on Filton Airfield in 1940 were eleven soldiers of the Royal Berkshire Regiment and eleven men from the Gloucestershire Regiment (13th City of Bristol Home Guard), whose role was to protect the aircraft works.

Members of TS Enterprise, (Bristol Avonmouth) Sea Cadets and 2442 (Westbury-on-Trym) Squadron, Air Training Corps, the Royal British Legion, with their Standards and civilian members many of whose relations were involved were present for the parade.

Poppy crosses were placed on all the graves in the war graves section as the roll of honour was read out by CPO Weeks RN (ret.). After the main parade cadets from both units made their usual self-imposed pilgrimage to the war graves at Canford outside of the small military cemetery.

The Royal British Legion led the Exhortation and Kohima Prayer common to most remembrance parades. The short service was taken by Father Andre Hart, of Westbury on Trym Parish Church and padre to 2442 Squadron ATC. Officer Commanding 2442 Squadron ATC, Flt Lt Wong RAFVR(T) read the lesson and PO (SCC) Batt of Avonmouth Sea Cadets was parade commander.

Petty Officer (SCC) Batt said “The cadets are proud to take part in this very personal service.

As the son of one of the fallen from a later conflict, it is heart warming that the cadets from both units choose to take the time to visit the over 100 other war graves and place a cross and perform a salute of respect at each one.”

Thank you for your kind donation. Editor.

Shirehampton Public Hall Newsletter – November

Here are some up and coming public events at Shire Public Hall!

Regular Events:

  • Mondays: Twyford Art Club, 10am-12 noon; Dance for children, 5.15pm-6.15pm; Yoga, 6.30pm-7.30pm
  • Tuesdays: Pilates, 8pm-9pm
  • Wednesdays: Twyford Art Club, 9.30am-11.30am
  • Thursdays: Sea Mills Art Club, 10am-12 noon; Tai Chi (Linkage) 2pm-3pm and 3.15pm-4.15pm
  • Fridays: Playtots, 9.45am-11.45am (fortnightly); Evergreens 2pm-4pm; Bingo, 6.30pm-8.30pm; Pillowlace 7pm-9pm.

During December two special events are:-

  • Stamp Fair Saturday 13th December, 10am-4pm, and;
  • Christmas With Santa! Monday 22nd December, 2pm-4pm!

The Hall has also received a contemporary piece of art to put on public display which has been especially commissioned to celebrate 100 years of “The Lark Ascending”. The young artists from Kingsweston School were guided by professional grafitti artist Rob Wheeler, himself from Shire. The photograph below, kindly taken by Bob Pitchford, shows the detail of this amazing piece.

The Trustees of Shirehampton Public Hall are volunteers who oversee the running of the Hall for the benefit of the community. We meet once a month. If you would like to get involved contact or telephone 01179829963. There is also a website, do have a look.

The Trustees and management of the Hall wish all Shire readers a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2015!

To whom it may concern

Would the customer who brought a watch in for a battery replacement, over a year ago, please contact Vicki at Nightingales (tel 0117 9140728) regarding its return

A Busy Weekend at St Bernard’s

St Bernard’s School and Church Christmas Fayre will be in two parts this year, taking place on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th December, in the School Hall.

Christmas Fayre Friday 5th December from 3.30 to 5.30pm, visit Father Christmas, lots of stalls including cakes, tombola, gifts, cards , refreshments and mulled wine. Proceeds to School Fund.

On Saturday 6th December, 10.30am to 1pm with cakes, preserves, cards, gifts, games, craft stalls, bric-a-brac, refreshments, draw etc. Proceeds to the Church.

We hope you will join us on 5th and 6th December!

Books and reading take centre stage as Resource Centre re-opens as Library

Books and reading have taken centre stage for students at Oasis Academy Brightstowe with the re-opening of the former Learning Resource Centre as ‘The Library’.

The project at the Academy in Shirehampton includes investment in a wide range of new books – all on open display to provide the excitement and impact of walking into Waterstones or other leading booksellers. Additional laptops and tablets are also provided for students, but they do not form part of the main library space.

At Wednesday’s official opening, Executive Principal Matt Butler told students: “This is now your Library, and it’s hopefully the best in Bristol,”

He cut the ribbon with children’s author and reading motivator Joffre White who had spent the day inspiring students in their year groups.

“Today is an opportunity to admire what we have achieved,” Mr Butler continued. “We have taken out a lot of the IT equipment and put books back at the heart of the Library. And of course the Library, our most important resource, is at the heart of the Academy. We have put together a celebration of books, and I hope it will be a source of joy and learning for years to come.”

Joffre White told students: “Knowledge is power, and the way to find it is by reading a book. You all have dreams, and believe me whatever you want to do or want to be, somebody will have written a book about it. Find that book and take that knowledge – it’s free!”

Kat Gardner-Graham, the Academy’s Librarian, has drawn on her previous experience both as a teacher and a member of Bristol Library Service. “We regard re-opening the Resource Centre as the Library as a very important signal of what we are achieving at the Academy,” she commented.

New Library opened by author Joffre White

Students at Oasis Academy Brightstowe in Bristol , together with Executive Principal Matt Butler, gather for the re-opening of their Resource Centre as ‘The Library’. The ribbon was cut by visiting children’s author and reading motivator Joffre White

The newly re-fitted library at Oasis Academy Brightstowe was officially opened by author Joffre White on Wednesday 5th November 2014. Joffre spent the whole day working with students and then cut the ribbon at the main door letting students in for the first time this academic year.

The new room which has completely new contemporary shelving and furniture deliberately has no IT equipment, focussing instead on books as the heart of academy.

Help Bristol City Council design your libraries for the furure library consultation:

Avonmouth Library – Tuesday 2 December 10-12noon

Sea Mills Library – Wednesday 10 December 10-2pm

Shire at Shire Public Hall – Tuesday 16 December 10-12noon

Dear Library Committee or Friends Group,

As you may have heard, we have launched our library consultation for 12 weeks on the future of the service. We are holding meetings in each library venue. The meetings will start at the advertised time and are not drop in sessions. We really want to hear what the people attending feel about library services and also about the library building which is often used as a community space.

The format of the meeting will be an hour of debate in groups and exercises to get specific feedback on questions. Then we will open the floor to any questions and give people time to look at the material we have printed, fill in surveys and write suggestions. The entire meeting time could last for two hours depending on the numbers attending. All the material is also available whenever the library is open.

Can I emphasise that we have no plans or proposals yet and this stage of the consultation is about talking to people - and also people who don’t currently use libraries.

Keep Our Library Open

“The Library does not offer (only) the one service of book-lending. Small groups meet there for various purposes. Teachers bring groups of small children for story-telling by one of the Library staff. Archive history of Shirehampton is displayed there; all back issues of Shire can be read there. There are computers there for the use of those who do not have one at home. And the Library has the only public photocopier in Shirehampton.

If the Library were to close, what would happen to those elderly, perhaps infirm, people with no transport who rely on the Library service for their recreation?

Shirehampton Library was originally funded with a donation from the Carnegie Foundation. Andrew Carnegie would turn in his grave at the slightest threat of closure.”

There will be a Library public consultation open meeting between 10-12noon on Tuesday 16th December at Shire Public Hall, Station Road, Shirehampton, BS11 9TU

In November Bristol City Council launched the first stage of a city-wide consultation to collect ideas and suggestions on how to develop an improved, flexible, modern space for communities to learn and socialise in.They hope to involve all the citizens of Bristol in designing a new Library service.

Meetings will be held at libraries and Neighbourhood Partnerships throughout the city.

George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol, said: “We now have an exciting opportunity to create the 21st century community library as part of our drive to establish Bristol as a Learning City. Libraries are no longer just about books and need to encompass all forms of communication and innovative technologies.

At the same time we do need to squeeze more out of our restricted budgets which requires much greater efficiency. Doing nothing is not an option.

“Our libraries for the future can help us achieve this vision. New technology and changes in what you expect from your library have meant that we are accessing books and information in more ways than ever before.

“I can assure you that no decisions or proposals have been developed as we want a city wide conversation and feedback first.

Currently only a tiny minority of Bristol citizens use libraries regularly, however, whether you are currently a library user or not, it is a great opportunity for all to help develop our library services and to make quality learning space more accessible to everyone in Bristol.”

Councillor Gus Hoyt, Assistant Mayor for Neighbourhoods, added:

“There will be opportunities to go along to a meeting at your local library or neighbourhood forum and you can give us your views and suggestions on libraries via a survey on a new website, .

The first stage of the proposed library consultation involves collating views on existing services while also exploring people’s suggestions for change. This feedback will be used to shape the council’s Bristol Libraries for the Future proposals which are earmarked to be discussed at Cabinet in March 2015, when a second consultation will begin until May 2015. The final plan is expected to be agreed in June 2015 so that work can then start on our new libraries, whatever they might be.

National Roast Dinner Day a Tasty Success

In partnership with “Food for Life” Oasis Brightstowe GCSE Catering students cooked a delicious, traditional, locally produced roast beef, potato, parsnip, sprout and Yorkshire pudding meal with superb gravy on the 5th November.

The vegetables and meal were prepared by year 10 students Joshua Anderson, Jordon Fletcher-West, Brendon Gill, Kailen Howie, Alexsandra Kusiel, Joseph Lumber, Lauren Martin, Cartel Mighty, Liam Rees, Harry Sandall, Skye Trivett, Tabu White, and year 11 students who cooked and served included Jade Adams, Charlie-Max Baker, Rhianne Collins, Christopher Harris, Bianca Parton, Alvin Quaye, Casey Ricketts, Deanna Vizard and Callum White.

The Catering teacher April Booker arranged with the Academy’s cook Lucy Horseman for the students to use their kitchens so that they could experience what it was like to cook for large numbers and also use commercial equipment. Student Casey Ricketts said “It was really good that I could take part in National Roast Dinner Day and I enjoyed learning about portion control and using the different types of equipment used in large kitchens. I felt nervous serving my Nan and my Aunty but they really enjoyed the food and the fact that I could serve it to them”

The Food for Life partnership encourages students to make good food choices and to improve the whole school experience, providing essential catering skills and the understanding of sourcing and the preparation of fresh and healthy food. The local programme Manager for Bristol Mr. Glyn Owen said that “he was so pleased with the abilities of the students and the delicious end result”. Future events to enrich the curriculum will include visits to farms to reconnect with where food comes from and to cook a meal for a local elderly people’s home.

Urgent Need for Adopters for Siblings

Bristol City Council, Action for Children, Clifton Children’s Society and four other local authorities in the South West joined forces to celebrate National Adoption Week with their open information event in Bridgwater entitled ‘We Belong Together’.

This year, National Adoption Week particularly highlighted the urgent need for adopters for siblings. Sibling relationships are usually the longest of our lives and for a child in care, staying with their sibling means a sense of permanence and security. Siblings have a shared history, and maintaining their bond provides continuity of identity and belonging as well as giving children added resilience in their everyday lives and futures.

Forty-nine per cent of children waiting for adoption are part of a sibling group, the majority of these are sibling groups of two. 36% of adopters would consider taking a sibling group of two and only 3% would consider a group of three which means there is a gap between the number of adopters available to take siblings. This can mean delays in being placed in an adoptive family or that siblings are separated to increase their chances of finding a home.

Adopters who have adopted siblings quote the idea of having a ready-made family, only going through the adoption process once and believing passionately that brothers and sisters should not be split up, as their motivation to adopt siblings.

Brenda Massey, Assistant Mayor for Children and Young People’s Services says: “Anyone can express an interest in becoming an adopter and research shows that many people rule themselves out needlessly. You don’t need to be in a couple or own your own home. Whatever you have to offer, Bristol City Council’s adoption team would love to hear from you.”

Flyball Comes to Shire

On the weekend of Sept. 13th and 14th, the Bristol Ball-Istics flyball team held a Flyball Tournament at The P.B.A. Sports and Social club’s ground.

Photos by Bob Pitchford

I’m one of many members of the team, which is captained by my daughter Louise. Flyball is a dog sport which consists of 2 teams of 4 dogs racing against each other in a relay formation. Each dog races over 4 hurdles towards a spring-loaded box which releases a tennis ball when hit by the dog.

Photos by Bob Pitchford

They return at speed to the start, then the next dog is released and so on until all 4 dogs have completed without any mistakes! Its fast furious and fun! Teams came from various towns in S. England and we all had an amazing weekend of racing!

Our thanks to everyone at the P.B.A. who made us so welcome, and to local residents for being so tolerant of the noise generated by dozens of excited flyball dogs! (Many of said residents provided a very welcome audience).

Thanks also to Bob Pitchford for taking such great pictures!


The Post Office does NOT offer Passport check and send as stated in the November edition. Shire apologizes for the error. (Editor)

From The Registers At St. Mary’s - October 2014

BAPTISM ‘We welcome you’

26th Charlie Adam Thomas Smith

FUNERALS ‘At rest and at peace’

10th Gladys McMahon Canford

Andrew Matthews St Mary’s

15th Ruth Cook Canford

17th Lily Fudge Canford

28th Brenda Hale Canford

31st Kathleen Cunningham Shirehampton Cemetery

WEDDINGS ‘All that I am I give to you’

25th Steve Greenway & Claire Sargent

Thanks for the flowers

Although it’s a bit late thanks must go again to the instigators of the flower displays in our village.

The George had their lovely hanging baskets again, although when I saw the scaffolding up there in the early part of the year I thought they would not happen, so well done Landlord! Thanks also to the Hope and Anchor with their lovely show of hanging baskets and our new Vets with their well planted troughs. The Green with its planted corners and the magnificent daffodils in the spring is a delight. We may take the daffodils for granted but somebody had to plant them, just as with the ones up in the Park at the top of the hill. The next show to look forward to is the Christmas lights, thanks in advance to the people involved with that.

Botany in the SHIRE

A monthly column about the Wild Plants of the Shirehampton area

I have long been interested in the saltmarshes beside the Avon and the way they have changed over the years. The more extensive areas seem to have been mainly cattle-grazed. Others, like below Cook’s Folly in the Avon Gorge, were meadows cut for grass. Some areas were kept bare such as along the towpaths and by the ferries.

Botanists have been recording the Avonside salt marshes for centuries. Asparagus was found “in the marshes beyond Bristow” in 1634. In summer, you can see it from the train north of Sea Mills.

A delicate annual plant of the carrot family, Slender Hare’s-ear, was known a century ago “in the strip of pasture by the river both above and below Shirehampton Ferry”. In the 1980’s I used to see it on the towpath south of Sea Mills and it was plentiful at Pill in the short turf above the river bank. It didn’t take long for dense Sea Couch-grass to take over once cattle grazing stopped and the Slender Hare’s-ear has now retreated to a convenient ‘Wildlife Corridor’, where I counted about 50 plants this year. Little wonder it is described as Vulnerable in the recently published England Red List.

Two other plants with a fondness for bare patches in salty soil can still be found beside the old ferry slipway at Lamplighters. One is Stiff Saltmarsh-grass, which was named new to science after it was found under St Vincent’s Rocks in 1793. Another is the Sea Pearlwort, a rather unloved little weed which has look-alikes found on footpaths or in bare patches in lawns. As far as I can tell, it hadn’t been noticed there since about 1925 - and indeed had never been recognised opposite at Pill. Talking to one of the organisers at the Shirehampton Sailing Club, they were pleased to hear of the rare plants there – and that their survival would be ensured by continuing to use the site as they do.

Letters to the Editor

Old Salt

Dear Editor,

I read the Sea Cadet item in November ‘Shire’ with interest and it brought to mind the fact that I was an early member. Living in Penpole Avenue, it must have been late 1942 or early 1943 when I joined.

In early 1944 I attended a RN selection board in the old Hoover building in Whiteladies Road and was accepted for pilot training in the Fleet Air Arm. It is interesting to recollect that flying members of the RNVR were not always appreciated by high ranking RN officers, one of whom once informed me that he supposed we were ‘necessary’. Anyway the memories as I approach 90 are still happy. L D Gould

G’day from Gawler, South Australia

I viewed the Video of “SHIRE” 40th Celebrations. Please pass on to all involved how much this has been appreciated. What really struck me, as the ex Hon. Representative of The Glenn Miller Society of England here in Australia, was the delightful background Music! Someone involved in the Production of the excellent Presentation obviously has an appreciation for such great numbers produced by the Miller Orchestra. Unfortunately, the Society is no longer in existence but I continue to Promote the Man & His Music whenever and wherever I can here, “Down Under”.

New supermarket wanted

Dear Editor,

We want a new supermarket to break Co-op’s ‘monopoly’

I read with interest the article in Wednesday’s issue (of the Bristol Post. Ed.) and glad to see people are now publicly campaigning for a Supermarket in BS11. I have now been campaigning for a couple of years now!

I would like to rectify a comment made by the Post reporter: “. . . a new supermarket to provide a cheaper alternative in Shirehampton and Lawrence Weston.”

May I remind readers BS11 area also includes AVONMOUTH and the residents are very passionate about where we live!

The residents of Avonmouth are the forgotten, but the area is always remembered and publicised for the Industrial factories, i.e. Smelting Works, Rhone Poulenc, Albright & Wilson, ICI, etc,etc. for pollution.

Now these factories are gone they’ve been replaced by numerous other polluters and the bad publicity continues.

So, George Ferguson, Lord Mayor, who was “Down the Mouth” the other day meeting community Groups not associated with Avonmouth, give us a break, and support a Supermarket for BS11 in a LOCATION in AVONMOUTH on the empty BCM site.

This location is suitable and more accessible then the site at Lawrence Weston.

Avonmouth and Shirehampton residents KNOW this LOCATION makes SENSE.

Another Craft Fayre over until next year!

I should like to say a big ‘Thank You’ to Pat Davidson for all her hard work these past few years in running the Craft Fayre. She has put a lot of effort into making sure that everything ran smoothly.

Thank you, Pat. Enjoy a rest!

Curry Night at the Cotswold

On 18th October, the Cotswold Community Association held another highly successful evening with 5 different, delicious curries, a quiz and a raffle to feed and entertain the 40 plus attendees.

Well over £300 was raised towards the running of the centre and the many events which take place in our lovely hall. Regular events such as the monthly breakfast club, film nights, quiz nights, and weekly bingo take place and all go towards the upkeep of the hall.

Carols on the green

Christmas Eve, Wednesday 24th December 7:30 pm

Carols will be led by the Reverend Rachel Haig, Community Minister of Tyndale Baptist Church, Clifton and Shirehampton Resident

Music by the West Bristol Concert Band

If it is raining – the Carol service will be held at St Mary’s Church

Christmas at the churches

St Mary’s

On Saturday, 6th December, we shall be holding our Annual Gift Morning when a gift can be given to the work of St Mary’s. This year all money received will go to the repair of our flat roofs, initially over the Memorial Chapel, to stem leaks that cause damp staining on the walls and ceiling. Any gift of money no matter how small

(or large!!!) will be most acceptable. May I thank you in anticipation.

On Sunday, 7th December, the STOMP dance groups will be attending the Kids’ Klub Service at 9.15 am to perform a Nativity through dance which will last approximately 15 minutes. Everyone is welcome to come and watch their dance routine.

At 2.00 pm on December 7th the Shirehampton Area Choir will be performing their Annual Christmas Concert for a Charity yet to be decided. Tickets are £5.00 and will include a glass of wine and festive buffet during the Interval.

Then at 4.45 pm there will be a short Ecumenical Carol Service at the Cotswold Centre, Dursley Road, followed by Tea & Mince Pies.

On Friday, 12th December at 2:00pm we shall be holding a Festival of Carols and Christmas music in church followed by a Festive Tea.Tickets for this event are £5.00, so come along and join in the singing or just sit back and listen.

On Saturday, 13th December, a group of people will be singing Carols in the Churchyard to raise money for Christian Aid. Please pop into the Churchyard when passing along the High Street and give them your support.

On Sunday, 14th December, at 4.00 pm the children from Kids’ Klub will be leading their Christmas presentation - Angel Express - after which Tea will be served. Please come and give the little ones your support after all their hard work to make this production possible.

On Sunday, 21st December at 6.00 pm we will be holding a Traditional Service of 9 Lessons & Carols followed afterwards by Mince Pies & Mulled Wine. All will be most welcome to attend this popular service.

Wednesday 24th December is of course Christmas Eve and at 2.30 pm we shall be holding our Adult Crib Service which will be followed afterwards by a short Family Crib Service at 4.00 pm when everyone is invited to come dressed as a Nativity Character or Animal.This is a particularly magic time for children leading up to Christmas Day.

Our Midnight Holy Communion service, known to many as Midnight Mass, will be held at 11:30 pm. Again all are very welcome.

Our Christmas Day Holy Communion Service will be held at 10.00 am the following morning. This is usually a fairly short service which is mainly said, but includes 4 carols. Again we shall pleased to see people at this climax of our Christmas festivities.

St Bernard’s Carol Service

St Bernard’s Catholic Church cordially invites you to its Christmas Carol Celebration on Sunday, December 14th at 4pm in St Bernard’s Church. Bring the whole family along to listen to seasonal readings and sing some of your favourite carols! Children are encouraged to come dressed as a character from the Christmas story. After the celebration (which should last no longer than an hour), we will gather in St Bernard’s School hall for mince pies and biscuits, teas and coffees. Everyone is welcome! Please come along and celebrate the Christmas season with us!

Shirehampton Methodist Church Christmas Services

Sunday 21st December 4:00 pm Carols by Candlelight followed by coffee and mince pies

Christmas Day 10:30 amUnited Service at the Baptist Church

West Bristol Concert Band

Once again West Bristol Concert Band will be accompanying Carols on the Green on Christmas Eve. WBCB are a community wind band based in Southmead (BS10 5SJ) where the emphasis is on achieving high standards of performance through enjoyment.

In 2016 we will be celebrating 40 years of musical activities in the city and beyond. The band is always interested in recruiting new players (particularly clarinets at the present time) but all enquiries are most welcome. We have taken part in many diverse musical (?) events over the years, ranging from the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta and the Rugby Union World Cup (we didn’t win!), to concerts at St Georges, Brandon Hill and the Colston Hall. All enquiries should be directed to or telephone 07971 926282 or visit our website at

Cotswold Community Association

A “Nearly New” sale at the Cotswold Community Centre, Dursley Rd on Saturday 8th November raised over £500 for charity.

Committee member Debs Parsons said “ Despite awful weather on the sale morning many people attended and what started as a small event became bigger and bigger.”

“I would like to thank everyone who gave, bought and helped out at this extremely successful event” said Richard Livingstone the Chair of the Association. “The money raised will help us to continue updating the centre, which is a valuable resource for the local community. We will also be presenting a cheque to Cancer Research UK to help with their important work.”

Following the success of the sale the Cotswold Community Association is already planning a similar event for Spring 2015.

Notes from the Shirehampton Group Practice

At race end with “WE DID IT” - Mrs Rita Watkins and family

As the nights start to draw in and the umbrellas go up, think back to sunny July.

Patients, doctors and staff joined together as the Shire Groupies to walk and run the Race for Life on the Downs in aid of Cancer Research UK. We’d like to thank everyone who supported us in raising a wonderful £2067.

Unfortunately cancer can strike any of us and many cancers cannot be prevented. We can tip the balance in our favour though by leading healthy lives. Keeping fit, eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and, above all, not smoking will all help.

Our health care assistants have helped many people to quit smoking. If you want to stop, making an appointment is a great first step. Go for it!

Craft Exhibition

This local institution has been going for so many years that it’s heartening to see that it is as well supported as ever, both by exhibitors, demonstrators and the public.

Walking into the Public Hall the eyes are bombarded with a mass of colour (all delightfully co-ordinated) shapes, sizes and textures, that make you want to dive in and take a really good look. From the wonderful quilts draped around the hall, to the tiniest items tucked away on tables, there is so much to see and admire. Where do the ideas come from? How much time and dedication is given to the finished article? These are questions asked by the non-crafters such as myself.

This year we’ve had the comic if well crafted ‘Wild West’ bed complete with gazunder, a bedside sheepskin rug, and a dummy in the bed with her bloomers hanging on the end. Dick Helme always manages to insert his love of the American West into the week by his crafts and publicising the event in the village in various Western garb.

There were the old favourites like woodwork, leatherwork, jewellery, knitted and crocheted garments, pottery, cards, Christmas decorations and seasonal practical items. And it was good to see some new entries this year including the 191st Cubs who exhibited their fridge magnets, pencil pots and notepad holders, but also a wonderful cannon made at their District Camp. The painted vintage furniture was fabulous and complemented with some marvellous quilting. Another striking exhibit was the model of HMS Minotaur which saw service during World War 1, so very appropriate in this centenary year.

One of the great things about this show is the demonstrators – how wonderful to have Jenny on the spinning wheel (evocative of Joanna Pickett in years past), lacework, cardmaking and Julie with her jewellery but also making Remembrance poppies. There was a brand new craft this year demonstrated by Alan Purdy – Kumihimo (or Japanese braiding to the uninitiated!) and the gorgeous items he made.

It is impossible in a few words, to do justice to all the hard work by so many people that has gone into the exhibition. However, thanks must go to the demonstrators, setters-up, stewards and behind the scenes gofers, but most of all to Pat Davidson who shouldered the responsibility as organiser several years ago. This is her last one before passing the baton back to Ed and Gail Amphlett who will take it on next year. Thank you to them and lastly to all the public who visited and supported the event. Long may it continue.

Shirehampton Schools Represented at County Level Football

On Monday 27th October, two of Shirehampton’s primary schools were represented at county level football when Alfie Cummings of St Bernard’s Catholic Primary and George Brown of Shirehampton Primary were selected to represent Bristol Schools by playing football for ‘Bristol Boys U10s’ in a tournament against U11 representative sides from North Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. Both boys conducted themselves fittingly, played extremely well, thoroughly enjoyed the experience and were a credit to their respective schools.

Nature Notes

Autumn has arrived at last it seems. The temperature is now approaching November levels, and the trees, which up to a couple of weeks ago were laden with green leaves, are now a glorious mix of orange, yellow, and “camouflage” green and black. This is clearly displayed in the woods at Ham Green.

Last week I was, as usual, walking the dogs along the river bank, when I heard a commotion across the field. A small group of crows were scavenging and one of them was successful and had found a large piece of food which looked like a lump of bread. The others were very keen to join in of course, but what should arrive then but a raven! Almost twice the size of the crows it managed to scare them off for long enough to claim the bread! It then headed off but swiftly followed by said crows, it was soon being dive-bombed from all sides!

A few days ago a very special bird landed in the hedge next door, a mere 30’ to 40’ away from where we sat. Out came the binoculars and we were gazing at a male peregrine falcon! He was beautiful. He sat there for a couple of minutes, which was great for us, but not good news for our feeder visitors! Luckily they wisely stayed away until long after he had flown off. We’ve seen some jays on the riverbank recently, which seem to come over from the area of the creek opposite. They really are beautiful birds, even if not everyone’s favourite.

And finally, still on the subject of birds this month, I saw my first long-tailed tit of the autumn fly past the kitchen window a couple of days ago. Have I ever mentioned they’re one of my favourites!!!

Happy nature watching

Shirehampton Primary Year 5 Visits London Science Museum

Having just finished our first school term, Year 5 have already been learning about some exciting things. Most notably, our topic on the human body (a subject close to our hearts!).

On the 13th October, 100 children and 20 adults left St Mary’s Road, early in the morning, to make the long journey to the London Science Museum. Although very wet and windy, we arrived in good time and good cheer to sample the scientific delights on offer.

Walking through London, Mr McNerney and myself were conscious of how many of the children in our class hadn’t been to London or to a museum! So to see the delight on their faces at the interactive displays, the exciting shows and fascinating exhibits made the organisation and planning well worthwhile.

We must also take this opportunity to thank the staff and parents who accompanied us on the visit, without whom, it would have been impossible.

It’s not just the children who learn something from these escapades. We adults learnt a thing or two also! I think all of us came home thinking how important educational visits, near or far, are to the children who experience them.

Oasis Academy Long Cross

Families from Shirehampton and Lawrence Weston have been sharing their artistic talents to help give a school and children’s centre a bright new look.

Children and their parents took part in the makeover event at Oasis Academy Long Cross in Lawrence Weston during half term, working with artist Alan May to explore ideas. The activity was organised by the Oasis Hub North Bristol, which supports the communities at Long Cross and two other academies, Bank Leaze and Brightstowe. The Long Cross Academy also houses part of the Four Villages Children’s Centre, which provides a range of health, education and other services for children.

Hub community services manager Aisling Hurney said: “We just wanted to make the academy and children’s centre look more welcoming and child friendly. Our plan is to continue this community art project over nine months, building up to a carnival next summer.”

More than 40 pre-school, primary and secondary children and their parents took part and the Hub is keen to welcome all local people who would like to become involved in future activities.

The Hub has plans for pop-up events such as film showings at all three sites and is also helping to set up a Friends of Oasis parent-teacher association for the three schools. Next summer, a Big Picnic is planned. Work is also continuing to help the schools achieve the Bristol Ideal standards in an effort to combat domestic violence

The Cinnamon Trust, Shirehampton

The Cinnamon Trust is the only specialist national charity for the terminally ill and people in their later years and their much loved, much needed companion animals.

We urgently need dog walking volunteers in Shirehampton for two lovely 4 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

What happens if illness, injury or just the fact that we all get older eventually affects our ability to look after our four legged companions? Elderly or ill pet owners become very worried about their ability to care for their pets feeling that their only option is to rehome them, this is where our national network of dedicated volunteers step in to offer support enabling them to stay together.

We’ll walk the dog for a housebound owner, we’ll foster pets when owners need hospital care, we’ll fetch the cat food, even clean out the bird cage or litter trays.

We are always seeking new volunteers even if you can only spare an hour a week we would love to hear from you. If anyone can help please call during office hours 01736 758707 or via email Please also check out our website for more details Registered charity number 1134680

Shirehampton Village vets open day

Village vets open day Photos by Bob Pitchford

ONE of Bristol’s much loved Wow Gorillas, Cheeky Charlie, paid a visit to The Parade in Shirehampton on Saturday 20th September for a special Open Afternoon held by Highcroft Veterinary Group’s new surgery, Shirehampton Village Vets.

The team at Shirehampton Village Vets invited clients and members of the local community to join them for afternoon tea and to have a look around their surgery. Cheeky Charlie, who usually lives at Highcroft’s 24-hour Veterinary Hospital in Whitchurch, was the icing on the cake with children and adults flocking to have their picture taken with him.

The Owners, veterinary surgeons Richard Killen and Robert Dawson, were both at the Open Afternoon. “We are overwhelmed by the popularity of this new practice and by the lovely comments we have had from members of the community”, explained Richard Killen. “We’ve been busy from the moment the doors opened in June and the team absolutely loves Shirehampton and the friendliness of the local people”.

Line Bradford, head vet at Shirehampton Village Vets adds “We’ve had a record number of pet owners join the practice, many commenting on how great it is that they now have a veterinary surgery they can walk to. It’s such a lovely atmosphere here, new clients call in all the time when they are passing, just to say hello and have a chat. We’re very happy to be here.”

Highcroft is a Bristol based veterinary group with a 24-hour hospital and specialist veterinary unit in Whitchurch. The group has been owned and managed by Richard Killen and Robert Dawson for many years and is now one of the leading independent veterinary groups in the country. Photo by Bob Pitchford