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Avonmouth Display at M Shed - Can You Help?

901 Bus Service - Have you used it yet?

Free Door to Door Shopping

Bristol Ageing Better Radio

Shire Primary Year 2 Topic Visits

Letters to the Editor

Learn Silk Papermaking

Looking for a job?

Latest News On The Bloodhound

Domestic Violence and Abuse

Tynings Field News Now ready to grow

Early Birds Walk the Yellow Brick Road

Growing Support - Volunteers Needed

You Don't Need A Garden To Join The Garden Club

St Mary’s News

From The Registers of St. Mary

Picnic Area on the Park

Call for volunteer cyclists for a summer of family cycling

Grants for Older Peoples Groups

Wildflower Walk

City And Port Of Bristol Bowling Club

Avonmouth Football Club

S H I R E
www.shire.org.uk    @ShireNewspaper    #ShireNewspaper

Bank Holiday Bank Robbery


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In the early hours of Good Friday morning an explosion was heard at Lloyds Bank in the High Street of Shirehampton.

One person who witnessed the robbery said it was over in less than a minute. They rushed out and saw about seven or eight men wearing black balaclavas and black coats.

The cash point was blown into the middle of the road and they were taking black boxes from it.

An undisclosed sum of money had been taken and two cars fled the scene. The raid, at around 2am that morning, blew out the front of the bank leaving the building badly damaged.

Two gas canisters were left behind at the scene of the crime. This is the fifth bank robbery that has taken place in Bristol in the past year with similar traits.

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A police spokesman said “Our inquiries are continuing and we're appealing to anyone who might have been in the area at the time of the incident who may have seen suspicious activity or have information to help our inquiries.

If you can help, contact Bristol CID on the force number 101, quoting log number 87 of 03.04.2015.”

A spokeswoman for Lloyds Bank said: “We are liaising with the police as they investigate the matter further.”

Police have arrested two men in connection with the robbery and both have been released on bail.

It is expected the Shirehampton branch of Lloyds Bank will reopen at the beginning of May with the closest branch being Westbury-On-Trym for customers to visit for the moment.

At the time of going to print no further updates on the crime have been made available.

(Witness quote source: Bristol Post.)

Police investgate into sexual assault in Sea Mills

Police have launched an investigation after a 25-year-old woman was sexually assaulted in the Sea Mills area of Bristol on the afternoon of Monday 13th April.

The victim, a 25-year-old woman, was jogging in a grassy area about 500 metres from Sea Mills train station at 3.30pm, when she saw a man standing at the bottom of some steps. When she got closer to him, he punched her in the face and sexually assaulted her. The victim managed to struggle free by punching the man in the face but she suffered some superficial injuries during the incident.

Det Insp Louise Boyce said: “This was a particularly nasty sexual assault and we're offering the victim all the help and support she needs.” The area was sealed off while officers made enquiries and conducted a thorough search.

The offender is described as white, of average build, around 5ft 8ins to 5ft 9ins, with dark stubble around his chin. He was wearing dark sports clothing and a black baseball cap. He also had a ring on one of his middle fingers. I know this incident will cause concern in the local community but we have a number of officers working on this inquiry and we're committed to identifying the man responsible.

Do you recognise the description of the man given? Did you see a man matching this description in the Sea Mills area at the time of the incident, earlier that day, or in the days leading up to this incident? If you did, we would like to hear from you.

It's also possible the man may have suffered an injury to his face. If you know a family member, friend or maybe a work colleague who has suffered a facial injury within the last day, please call the 24-hour Enquiry Centre on 101 and quote log number 37390/15.

All-Day Singing in Public Hall

Bristol Sacred Harp hosts the second ever Bristol All-Day Singing at the historic Shirehampton Public Hall on Saturday 9 May 2015. Sacred Harp is an amateur folk harmony singing tradition with its roots in the Deep South of America.

It takes its name from the nineteenth-century songbook that we sing from. The music comes from an era before modern gospel, jazz and pop; it is full-voiced and haunting.

This is not a choir: no-one is in charge, there are no rehearsals, and there are no performances. Everyone who attends sings, loudly and freely, for their own enjoyment. Singers don't need to be able to read music, and all are welcome.

The local group, Bristol Sacred Harp, sing every Tuesday in the Benjamin Perry Boathouse on Bristol's Floating Harbour. We also host an All-Day Singing once a year, welcoming guests from around the world to share the music. Singing takes place from 10 in the morning to around 4 in the afternoon, with a shared potluck lunch. Up to 100 singers will be in attendance; the sound will be powerful!

As well as the All-Day Singing, there will be a singing school on the evening of Friday 8 May, taught by American singer and musicologist Erin Johnson-Hill. This is an opportunity to get accustomed to reading the simplified “shape-note” system of musical notation, and enjoy exercising your voice.

All events are free; we take donations to cover the costs of hiring the spaces. Singing school: 7-9pm, Friday 8 May, St Mark's Road Baptist Church, Easton BS5 6HX. All-day singing: 10am-4pm, Saturday 9 May, Shirehampton Public Hall, Shirehampton BS11 9TX

www.bristolsacredharp.org or www.facebook.com/events/1544680355820106

Avonmouth Display at M Shed - Can You Help?

M Shed is dedicating a section of its galleries to Avonmouth village to coincide with this year's 150th anniversary of the village's foundation.

The display will be co-curated by members of the Avonmouth community who have submitted unique, interesting or unusual images of the village and port. The most popular of these will feature in the display and a ‘Greetings from' postcard specially created by M Shed.

Are you from Avonmouth? Do you have images that you think should feature? You can submit them to M Shed for possible inclusion in the exhibition.

On Thursday 2 April staff from M Shed hosted a consultation session at Avonmouth Community Centre where members of the local community chose their favourite images. With professional guidance and support from museum staff, visitors are encouraged to leave their comments and contribute their stories to the display. Further consultation sessions will be held at Avonmouth Church of England Primary School and other local venues.

M Shed is also looking for people who might be interested in working with the museum to put together the exhibition including visiting the museum and Bristol Record Office to develop the historical side of the display.

If you would like more information on how to submit photos or how to get involved, please contact Lee Hutchinson, Collections Officer, on 0117 903 1919 or email: lee.hutchinson@bristol.gov.uk. Alternatively, you can contact Avonmouth Community Centre Association on 0117 982 7445 or email: info@avonmouthcca.org.uk.

Tuesday - Friday, 10am-5pm, Weekends 10am-6pm.

For more information, visit: www.bristolmuseums.org.uk.

Calling All Thesps!

Sea Mills Amdram Needs You

SMAD (Sea Mills Amdram) meet on a Thursday evening at Sea Mills Community Centre. We are looking for budding actors, musicians, dancers, singers or techies to take part in our upcoming productions. No experience necessary - only enthusiasm! Our group is open to all.

For further information, please contact Nick on 01179 822436 or 07876 495909 or Angie on 07852 861961.

Free Wild Food Forage at Kings Weston

Returning for a second time to Kings Weston, Bristol's own naturalist Steve England will be leading a Wild Food Forage on Saturday 9th May. Exploring the incredible edible nature on our doorstep, the walk will uncover a range of fascinating produce the park can provide.

This wild food walk for beginners will look around the estate, identifying and tasting a few edibles and more importantly, identifying poisonous plants. Steve will teach you about the law and wild foods, and also about keeping things sustainable too. Under Steve's expert guidance, you'll be able to see Kings Weston in a new light and even try some of what you find!

Steve always gives a really engaging tour, ideal for young and old alike. Thanks to funding from Bristol Green Capital, we are able to provide this family-friendly event FREE of charge, but booking is essential.

The Wild Food Forage will begin at 10:30am from Shirehampton Road public car park and last for approximately 2 hours. Steve's walks are always hugely popular so we recommend booking quickly.

To book a place please get in touch by email KWAG@theweasels.plus.com, or call on 07811 666671.

Summer Fayre

Avon Primary, Barrack's Lane

Saturday June 20th 12 noon 3 pm

Stalls, activities, raffle and food

Plant Sale

Cotswold Community Association

Saturday May 16th 10 am 12 noon

Come and find more colour for your gardens at affordable prices.

901 Bus Service - Have you used it yet?

AT the last Community Safety Meeting this bus service was discussed and the concern was that it is not being used - mainly because there has been little publicity about the service and confusion over exactly where the bus stops are and the timetable. The 901 Service from 12th February 2015 starts at 0700 every morning and runs every 20 minutes but only observes the following bus stops:

Shirehampton, Portway Park & Ride - starts on the hour and then every 20 mins.

  • Portway, Station Road
  • Portway, Woodwell Road
  • Black Boy Hill, stop C - 14 minutes past the hour
  • Bristol Zoo - 18 minutes past
  • Clifton village - 22 minutes past the hour
  • Whiteladies Road, Belgrave Road (opposite BBC Broadcasting House)
  • Black Boy Hill, stop A - 32 minutes past the hour
  • Portway, Woodwell Road
  • Portway, Station Road

Shirehampton, Portway Park & Ride - 45 minutes past the hour

This timetable is for Monday Fridays and is the same on Saturdays, however there is no Sunday or Bank holiday service.

Severn Net Successful in DfT Challenge Fund Bid

SevernNet is a not-for-profit enterprise, run by, and working for the benefit of, the businesses, organisations and the community extending from Royal Portbury Dock through Avonmouth, Severnside to Western Approach Industrial Park.

SevernNet was formerly known as the Bristol Port Estate and Vicinity Initiative, it has enabled a wide range of benefits and improvements for businesses and organisations across the area. It was officially launched with its new name and identity on 14th November 2012 at an event at the City and Port of Bristol Sports and Social Club.

We'd like to thank all the organisations that provided Letters of support for the Bristol City Council & S. Glos Council bid for money from the Department for Transport (DfT) as part of their Maintenance Challenge Fund. The funding will enable an improved highway surface and safe, user friendly cycle and walking pathways from the M48 junction at Aust through to the A4 Portway Park and Ride.

We've recently heard that the bid has been successful. Work is expected to progress quickly, supported by consultation to understand how best to mitigate the business impacts during construction. We'll keep you posted.

In the meantime more details on this and other proposals and events are available at: severnnet.org

Free Door to Door Shopping

Over 60s in Shire can book on to free weekly shopping trips to a variety of destinations, thanks to funding secured by Shirehampton Community Action Forum. SCAF is delighted to have received funding from the Neighbourhood Partnership Well Being Fund to support 15 trips, working in partnership with Lawrence Weston Community Transport.

The trips will take place on Wednesday afternoons with pick ups from 2pm. They are FREE and open to anyone who lives in Shire and is aged over 60. Transport will be in a fully accessible minibus.

Booking is on a first come first served basis. Call Lawrence Weston Community Transport on 0117 907 3074 to book any of the following trips:

  • 6 May: Wyevale Garden Centre (Edinburgh Woollen Mill etc)
  • 13 May: Morrisons Cribbs
  • 20 May: Willow Brook Shopping Centre (Home & wear Tesco, Argos, Boots, pet shop, Poundstore & caf?)
  • 27 May: Yate Shopping Centre

Bristol Ageing Better Radio

Bristol Ageing Better help organisations and individuals working together to reduce isolation and loneliness amongst older people across Bristol.

Aged 50 or over? Ever wanted to present or produce a local radio show? Bristol Ageing Better has teamed up with Ujima 98FM to create a new radio show ... by older people, for older people. Free training provided. Information session: 7th May, 2:30?4pm. The Station, Silver Street, Bristol BS1 2AG.

For more information please contact Ruth Richardson on 0117 929 7537 or bab@ageukbristol.org.uk

Grants Available from Lawrence Weston Older Peoples Fund

Are you a group of Older People with a big idea that would benefit from some funding? Do you work with or for Older People in Lawrence Weston? Would you benefit from funding for a project to benefit your group?

We have grants available up to £1000. If you have answered yes to any of the above questions then why not apply for the Lawrence Weston older peoples fund.

Application forms can be picked up at Lawrence Weston Youth Centre or Five-ways bungalow or email mark@ambition-lw.org.uk for an application form. Closing date for applications: 5pm 19th June 2015

£5,000 Funding for Local Charitable Work

The Avon (University Settlement) Community Association is looking to award £5,000 to another local organisation benefiting people in Shirehampton. This £5,000 can be used for core costs and is designed to help local members of the community.

If you are interested please send an application (up to two pages max.) about how your organisation would use the funding and who would benefit. The deadline is mid-June for a decision to be made at our mid July meeting.

Applications and questions should be emailed to Jonathan Swithinbank: chair@shireadvice.net

Shire Primary Year 2 Topic Visits

Year 2 have been getting out and about for their topic work. Both Year 2 classes visited Blaise Museum to take part in a Victorian school day.

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The children dressed up in old-fashioned clothes, sat in rows and tried Victorian lessons such as arithmetic, nature study and handwriting which they had to do on slates. This helped the children learn about what life was like in the past as part of their People in the Past Topic.

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The children have also been exploring our Green Space area, making the most of the nice weather and looking for minibeasts as part of their new topic about animal habitats Earth Our Home. They found lots of worms, woodlice and spiders, looked at the bugs in detail and completed a tally chart to record how many of each minibeasts they found.

Letters to the Editor

Bristol City Youth Council

Dear Editor,

I would like to make the people of Shirehampton aware of the Bristol City Youth Council. We are an elected group of young people who seek out young people's opinions and try to make a change. We discuss youth issues with councillors to push for decisions.

Also, we have two Youth Mayors who work closely with George Ferguson and two members and two deputy members of UK Youth Parliament who work on issues affecting the South West and the UK.

As a member of the Youth Council, I would like the people of Shirehampton to contact me

with any questions or issues involving young people via my email address sophie.giltinan@gmail.com.

If you would like to pose any questions to the entire Youth Council or would like to attend a meeting to make us aware of any campaigns or organisations that you are involved in please feel free to contact us by email at ywparticipation@bristol.gov.uk or by post at Bristol City Council, City Hall, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TR.

Thanks For Signing

Dear editor,

Many thanks to the 1,050 people who signed the petition for the restoration of our picnic area in Shirehampton Park.

The petition was formally presented to local MP Charlotte Leslie and the two local councillors, Wayne Harvey and Matt Melias, at a recent ‘Picnic in the Park' event.

The Docks in the 60's

Dear Editor

I would like any of the people who worked at the Docks in 1960-1963 to contact me for memories. In particilar Ron Hodges, Fred Combes, Rog Mooney and Des Villis. I was a messenger, then Junior clerk in cold store.

Being from Pill I had something to prove but quickly made friends.

Many happy recollections to share. Ken Sharp.

Tel 07454 390893. or email kensharp96@gmail.com

Charitysearch say Thank You

Dear Editor,

We were very grateful to be one of the recipients of the Shire Community Grants, and most locals will have heard of us through our charity shop in Station Road, but they may not be aware of what we actually do as a charity.

Charity Search is a national charity which helps those aged 50 and above by directing them toward charitable support in their hour of need, and when all other sources of assistance has been exhausted.

Our service is free and confidential, and we can be contacted by telephone, letter, and e-mail or through our website, unfortunately we do not have the facilities available for you to visit in person.

If you would like to know more please get in touch with us in any of the following ways.

Telephone: 0117 9824060 9am to 2.30 pm Monday to Friday. E-mail: info@charitysearch.org.uk, Website: http://charitysearch4bt.btck.co.uk, Address: Charity Search, 25 Portview Road, Avonmouth, Bristol BS11 9LD

Brian Gearing

Dear Editor

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I am writing to inform you of the death of my father Brian Gearing on 11th March 2015. Brian owned B J Gearing Insurance Broker at 14 High Street and was chairman of Shire Traders being involved in Christmas lights and the Christmas grotto at the back of 14 High Street.

Brian was born in Sea Mills and lived there until he died. He was a regular contributor to the ‘Shire', his last letter being published in September.

Nature Notes Addition

Dear Editor

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Your Nature Notes in the recent Shire mention a Pied Blackbird. We have had one visit us for the last two years. This year it seems whiter than before, which I understand is what happens, and some can end up completely white! I have attached a photo for you.

Shire Stitchers say thank you

Dear Editor

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Shire Stitchers say thank you for the grant we received from “Shire”. The picture features the frames that were purchased with the grant and are already in use.

Also thanks from the Craft Group who will share the frames.

Parkinson's Awareness Week

Dear Editor,

My brother-in-law was diagnosed with Parkinson's about fifteen years ago, and was my original inspiration for joining Parkinson's UK. I have supported and worked with them ever since, and over the years have seen at first hand the pain and struggles that living with this devastating condition can entail.

Today is the start of Parkinson's Awareness Week - and a new survey from Parkinson's UK has revealed that an estimated 69,000 people in the UK with Parkinson's have experienced hostility and rudeness from members of the public. It's unbearable to think of the suffering this can cause - it's bad enough, for example, having a long-term, incurable condition which can cause you to slur your speech and be unsteady on your feet, without being mistaken by a member of the public of being drunk.

I was shocked by the enormous number of people with Parkinson's who regularly come up against public misunderstanding and unintentional cruelty - a third of people in our survey have been stared at, a quarter had their symptoms mistaken for drunkenness, and one in ten have been laughed at because of their symptoms.

This hostility can have a profound effect on people with Parkinson's, increasing their depression and anxiety, and leaving some people too frightened to leave their homes.

To combat this, we are urging people to become friendlier by pledging to do small acts of kindness such as smiling and being more patient. In particular, we ask people not to make assumptions or jump to conclusions that can make an enormous difference to all of us - especially people with Parkinson's. I do hope your readers will join me in pledging to make a difference. For more information on Parkinson's Awareness Week, visit upyourfriendly.com

Jane Asher President Parkinson's UK

Summer of Age Festival 2015

Would you like to help shape projects that bring Young People and Older People together in a meaningful way?

Take the chance to share your skills, knowledge and experience with others? If you're aged 15 - 25 or 55+ please join us to plan our Summer of Age Festival 2015 which last year included activities such as cooking, wood carving & IT classes. There will be a chance to meet new people, have your say and play an active role in creating a varied programme of events for your community & throughout Bristol.

For more information please contact rickybush@linkagewestofengland.org.uk or phone 07807 706310

Library Consultation Continues

The second phase of Bristol City Council's Libraries For the Future consultation has now started and will run until June 30th.

As we are now consulting on draft proposals, it is really important that as many people as possible comment, even if you have already filled in a survey during the first phase of our consultation. You can see more information online at www.bristol.gov.uk/page/leisure-and-culture/future-bristols-libraries-consultation.

You can fill out our survey online and there are also printed copies in all Bristol Libraries and available in some community venues.

We are holding information drop in sessions in each library and there are also evening meetings. You can keep updated on the consultation by signing up for our monthly e bulletin at bristolfuturelibraries@bristol.gov.uk.

Learn Silk Papermaking

Learn how to transform a silk waste product into beautiful, lustrous textured papers that can be used for a wide range of products, including cards, lampshades or book covers. They can also be developed into works of art in their own right, combined with machine, hand stitching or print.

Saturday 25th April, 10am to 4pm, 1 session, Full fee £36 / Conc. £18, Tutor: Annelies Egli, Course code: AC4024ASL. Venue: Stoke Lodge Centre, Shirehampton Road, BS9 1BN.

You can enrol online at www.bristolcourses.com, by phone 0117 903 8844, by post or in person at Stoke Lodge, Shirehampton Road, Stoke Bishop, BS9 1BN, email stokelodge@bristol.gov.uk, Bristol City Council Adult Learning

Looking for a job?

If you are looking for a job and finding it tough to get to those opportunities? If you are aged 16-25 then I AM WORKING could be right for you.

Starts 19th May 2015

What's in it for me? Get work experience, develop motivation and confidence, gain work relevant awards and accreditation. Get involved in a fully supported enterprise project, go behind the scenes at local employers, develop the skills that Bristol employers want and develop interview skills. It does not affect benefits and you get rewards upon completion.

Based in Lawrence Weston, this 10 week team-based programme offers opportunities for you to develop your experience and employability skills.

For more information:david@inspireandmotivate.org, tel: 0117 922 9004 mob: 0777 592 4050,www.inspireandmotivate.org Inspire And Motivate, School for entrepreneurs, Lloyds Bank & Lottery Funded

191st St Mary Scout Troop

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Left to right Felix Payne, Laura Edwardes, Jack Long, Kaci Lemon and Carly Schofield

On ThursdayMarch 5th five new members were invested into the Troop. Left to right Felix Payne, Laura Edwardes, Jack Long, Kaci Lemon and Carly Schofield.

Latest News On The Bloodhound


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Every month the car looks increasingly like a real land speed world record car and lots of work is being done on the internal components too.

For the first time the EJ200 jet engine has been lifted up inside the completed upper chassis with the correct fixings and fitted into place on the lower chassis a milestone in the build of the vehicle. With space at a premium inside the car, this was a very careful manoeuvre but resulted in a perfect fit! Clearances around the jet have been checked and some related design work done, and the engine has since been removed to allow more work on the interior of the car.

As the team forges ahead remember to keep up to date and follow us on social media or visit our website - www.bloodhoundssc.com

Free Sports Coaching Course

Try something different and learn new skills on our free introductory coaching courses for adults (16+)

Are you interested in sport? Would you like to volunteer at a sports club or get into paid work?

Do you want to learn new skills in a fun and challenging way? This course will introduce you to the role of a sports coach.

You can then progress on to the Community Sports Leadership Level 2 Award course, leading to qualifications in Sports Coaching and Leadership

Friday 15th May 2015, 10am 4pm at Lawrence Weston Community Centre

For more information and to book contact: Beverley Green on 0117 922 2696 or Email: bev.green@bristol.gov.uk , or go to www.bristol.gov.uk/sportscoaching

Domestic Violence and Abuse

If you are, or have ever been in close contact with Domestic Violence or Abuse you are invited to an interesting morning of information and workshops to help improve our response to Domestic Violence and Abuse in North Bristol.

This will be at Kingsweston House on Wednesday 22nd April 9.30am -1pm.

Workshops will include Freedom Programme tasters, therapeutic art, MARACs case studies and there will also be information about services and the opportunity to hear the views of survivors.

To book your place please email Ami-Louise.Duggan@bristol.gov.uk.For further information please do not hesitate to contact me.

Tynings Field News Now ready to grow

Spring came to Tynings Field Community Smallholding in Woodwell Road and the Geese started showing off, flapping wings, honking and spinning in their pond. Diane's horses started tossing their manes and stamping their feet in tune with the geese.

It was a cold day when Jim, Caroline and James went out and started clearing off the plastic and working the soil. We now have plots ready for veg but need more volunteers who would like to take on a plot to grow for themselves so please think about growing your own veg this summer, the freezer filled with your own turnip, beetroot, courgette, peas and plenty of fresh newly dug potatoes, not to mention strawberries.

A spectacular view of the eclipse at 8 am in the morning showed the sun hanging over the river Avon through a natural barrier of mist, a quarter cut diamond.

Whilst birds roosted in the semi darkness we planted three rows of turnip, as planting during the eclipse is said to draw moisture into the soil.

This is an SOS from Tynings Field Group - we really need more help to get things growing here and it's a great way to get some exercise and fresh air with fresh fruit and vegetables at the end. We will support and assist you to ensure your time here is productive.

Our Open Days this year include the Get Growing Trail and the Open Farm Sunday in the first week of June. We have our Parish Registration if anyone is interested in keeping a pig or two on the land.

Please make contact to discuss and we will do our best to make it a possibility for you. If you like the outdoors or want to live off a smallholding contact us.

Would you like to grow a rare species of calendula?

If you are interested in growing a rare species of calendula for the Zoo we are doing this at Tynings Field so anyone interested in taking part in the Community Plant Collection please make contact, seeds and pots provided. We have grown caleundual triptocharta for two years running now which has been planted in the zoo's gardens, and would like to hear from anyone in the community who would like to have a go.

Tynings Field Needs Strawberry Volunteers

We need summer volunteers immediately! We are looking for people to grow and concentrate purely on strawberries and soft fruit for two hours a week in a voluntary post.

Your responsibility would be managing four raised beds and three barrows of strawberry plants through the season, plus a bed of soft fruit bushes. No gardening experience is required as full 'on the job' training is given, but the ability to use forks, hoes and hand trowels is essential, as is a reliable attitude. Your reward is strawberries and raspberries and the benefit of healthy outdoor work! We can offer this job to anyone who is in need of work experience to return to work and provide references and help preparing a CV, or to anyone who would like to spend some time outdoors working during the spring and summer.

We also need people who are interested in growing vegetables for themselves and their family without support (i.e. on their own) and others who may wish to help out generally. Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Tynings Field Project and if you can help in any way please get in touch.

Early Birds Walk the Yellow Brick Road

Around a dozen enthusiastic bird watchers turned out for a bird watching walk along the Yellow Brick Road through Lamplighters Marsh on 1st April.

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It was a beautiful clear morning and still chilly at 7am, but there was plenty to see: the green finch's display flight, more goldfinches than in recent years, a gull driving off a marauding heron, caroling robins and a first ever Cetti's warbler, not seen on the Marsh before. Ed Drewitt was our knowledgeable and most observant guide.

This was the first of ten walks sponsored by SCAF (Shirehampton Community Action Forum) taking place in 2015. The next will be a wildflower walk on Lamplighters Marsh, led by botanist Rupert Higgins on Sunday 10th May, starting at 2pm in The Lamplighters car park.

Volunteers for Wild Flower Planting Needed

BCC Conservation Officer Becky Belfin is working with ‘Shirehampton Greens' on a wild flower planting project and wants to plant loads of tiny plug wild flower plants in two areas of the Daisy Field (opposite Shire Railway Station).

She would really appreciate Shirehamptons help as part of a community planting event - are you available to help on Saturday 23rd May between 2-4pm?

Growing Support - Volunteers Needed

We all know gardening is good for you. Growing Support, a local social enterprise, supports residents of care homes to get outdoors and get gardening, to socialise and have fun. Growing Support uses social and therapeutic horticulture to engage people living in care homes in activity sessions in the homes' own gardens, particularly working with people with dementia. Many people with dementia experience loneliness, depression or anxiety. An important part of the gardening sessions is to alleviate this by working as a group and having fun together, helping improve people's health and quality of life. Volunteers help to run these gardening sessions, enabling residents to take part, and are essential to the work of Growing Support.

If you want to try something new, are interested in gardening and want to help Growing Support help older people, please get in touch. Volunteers commit to at least 2 hours a week and help in several homes across Bristol and South Gloucestershire. Experience of supporting vulnerable people and horticulture is desirable but not essential, as training will be given.

For more information and an application form, please email info@growingsupport.org.uk or phone 07717826474. Applications close on 3rd May 2015. You can also find out more online at growingsupport.co.uk/get-involved

You Don't Need A Garden To Join The Garden Club


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Christine Purvis has been running the Garden Club in Shirehampton since 2012 when it first started at the Penpole Community Centre and then moved to the Tithe Barn.

Back then Chris was working for City Of Bristol College and they wanted to do some outreach classes so teamed up with LinkAge. Chris retired last year but continues to volunteer for LinkAge, the Botanic Gardens and St.Georges.

What can people expect from the Garden Club? “We try to plan for the future so in the spring we grow on plug plants that can be planted in hanging baskets or pots because you don't need to have a garden to come along to the Garden Club. You can have just a balcony, a small patio, window box or window sill. We cater for everybody. In the later months of the summer we sow biennial seeds which we need to germinate about June to grow on and plant in September ready for the Spring show. We deal with bulbs such as daffodils as well.”

“I'm a very frugal person so we've had little sessions where we've made mini cloches from recycled plastic water bottles, the large ones can be used to protect geranium cuttings for example. I love giving out top tips such as making use of plastic trays that hold peaches and plums and using those as seeds trays. I try to get plants as cheaply as I can so that keeps the costs down. I really like saving money and getting things for free by recycling. So that's what we do. I'm a great upcycler and a great skip diver too!” says Christine.

I ask Christine about the people who go along to the Garden Club? “They're great fun! Some of them have more knowledge than others and are very good at helping the ones who don't. There are one or two who will go out and buy lots of plants and seeds and are very happy to share them and people will then give them a donation for the costs. Another example is someone who has dexterity problems who would find it hard to do delicate things such as pricking out of seeds. Someone will always come and help as there is a great camaraderie within the group.”

Why should people come along to the Garden Club? “They can come along for the friendship and socialbility of the group. Everybody's very open and welcoming and you can learn tips from me. They are all at different levels so even if you are a complete beginner it's a group for sharing. We have tea and biscuits and sometimes even cake! laughs Christine.

The Garden Club takes place the first Wednesday of each month at The Tithe Barn, High Street, Shirehampton from 2pm - 4pm on 6th May, 10th June, 8th July during the summer. Cost is ?3.50 per session.

Check out their Facebook page for regular updates and activities https://www.facebook.com/pages/Garden-Club-Shirehampton/392801487548069 You can also call Laura Burchett at LinkAge for further information on 0117 3533042.

St Mary’s News

St. Mary's News

Hi Folks!

What a wonderful Easter break we had which came almost like a bolt out of the blue after the cold weather throughout Palm Sunday and Holy Week.

Good Friday saw warmer conditions gradually appear which was very encouraging as we had a large number of people in church to see all the children produce their play - The Message of the Cross. They were absolutely wonderful! All of their readings were said with feeling and it was great to see them up on the stage performing with confidence. Several of the children sang solos which were brilliant - how I love to hear little children singing. It wouldn't surprise me if Tim Forder went hunting for new child members of the church choir - there was certainly plenty of talent on display! After the service we enjoyed eating our Hot Cross Buns with a very welcome cup of tea.

At 1pm James Harris led a service of meditation for Good Friday entitled “The things he carried”, which was very moving.

At 2pm the Shirehampton Area Choir performed Faure's Requiem with assistance from our good friends at St Peter's Church, Pilning. It was a pleasure to perform - and feed back from the congregation afterwards was extremely encouraging as it went down very well with them as well!

Easter Sunday morning was really very mild, with high cloud preventing the sun shining through on our Easter Sunrise Service. Nevertheless, it was wonderful to hear the birds singing and to see the early fresh green appearing on the Horse Chestnut trees. There was a super Blackbird singing away and Gill Sawyer called up to him “Do you know morning has broken?” He didn't reply but certainly joined in! A beautiful short service in the open air an experience sadly missed by those folk who chose to lie in bed. Not only that, but we then enjoyed a Full English breakfast back at The Tithe Barn!

The winners of the Easter Competition for a decorated egg were - Adults - Winner - Natasha Stokes, Runners up Colin Godfrey, June & Tom Goslin. 11 years and over - Winner - Ailsa Reid. 5 to 10 years - Winner - Millie Horn. Runners up - Charlotte Stokes and Daniel Stokes. Under 5's - Winner - Benjamin Thomas. Runner-up - Tom Sylvester. Congratulations to all of you!

Now a reminder that there will be two Open Church Days during the month of May - the 4th - May Day Bank Holiday and 25th - Spring Bank Holiday. The church will be open on both days from 12noon until 5pm for Hot Lunches and Cream Teas. Do come along and enjoy some good food and company. All proceeds will be going to keep St Mary's up and running!

At our 10am Holy Communion service on Sunday 10th May the newly elected members of the Parochial Church Council will be dedicated prior to performing their duties for the ensuing 12 months.

Our next social event is on Saturday 30th May when we shall once again be pleased to host the Worcester Male Voice Choir with their wonderful singing. Tickets for this concert are ?10.00 and will include a Buffet Supper. We will also give you a free glass of wine.

I leave you this month with the following thought - Read the Bible! It's user friendly, plus we offer you technical support on Sundays. Bye for now!

From The Registers of St. Mary

March 2015

Baptism ‘we welcome you’

29th Maddison Monica White

Funerals ‘at rest and at peace’

4th Doreen Bull St Mary's

6th Marjorie Rhoades Canford

10th Irene Peters St Mary's

17th Denis Bird St Mary's

20th Thomas Rees Canford

27th Mike Gillard St Mary's

Robert Tanner Canford

31st Frank Collins St Mary's

Picnic Area on the Park


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Photo by Bob Pitchford

A group of residents is urging Bristol City Council to take its obligation to keep our picnic spaces usable.

They came together at Shire Park to show the potential for the site - while highlighting the fact that the previous picnic tables have become overgrown with brambles.

Campaigners say the community has been missing out and they want proper seating and other facilities in the area.

Resident Gil Osman has collected more than 1,000 signatures in a petition and presented it to prospective MP Charlotte Leslie and local councillors Wayne Harvey and Matt Melias at a picnic on Sunday 12 April.

Ms Leslie said: “This picnic site could be such a positive thing for Shirehampton ... we just need a bit of resolve on the part of the City Council to make it work. Gil has done an amazing job in collecting signatures and encouraging the local community and now we need to support him to make sure it happens. Bristol City Council has let our valued picnic spots get over-grown and unusable, and we are urging them to take the upkeep of our valued open spaces seriously.

Please come along, bring your own picnic and make the most of our picnic site hopefully for years to come.

Call for volunteer cyclists for a summer of family cycling

LIFECYCLE UK and Avonmouth Community Centre are holding a series of ‘Family Cycling Events' through the summer of 2015. This is part of a cycling project in Avonmouth to help get families cycling.

The events, to be held at Avonmouth Community Centre, are aimed at helping families, and kids in particular, to cycle and will begin on Saturday, 2nd May 2015 and continue on the first Saturday of each month, with a final event on 3rd October 2015.

For all the dates and further information contact Charlie on 0117 353 4580 or email: Charlie@lifecycleuk.org.uk

Grants for Older Peoples Groups

The Celebrating Age Festival is an annual event run for and by older people and takes place over two weeks with a full programme of events and activities citywide.

In 2015 we celebrate with our theme ‘Green Bristol Celebrating Age'. We would like to offer local groups and organisations the opportunity to organise exciting and interactive activities for older people in their areas between Monday 28th September and Sunday 11th October. For more information and an application form go to ageuk.org.uk/bristol,

Email: shelleyhankins@ageukbristol.org.uk or Phone : 0117 929 7537

CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS: 2pm Monday 18th May, 2015, Decision Notice will be given by 4pm Friday 22nd May, 2015

Progress on Penpole Wood Steps

In March, KWAG (Kings Weston Action Group) volunteers completed a mammoth project to reconnect two of the most historic pleasure walks in Penpole Wood with a new set of steps.

It has taken more than 340 hours to finish the work on terrain that has been very challenging: in turn rocky, slippery and dangerous. The volunteers attended two training events in January, and since then have worked on the steps almost every weekend. They were thrilled to finish on time! KWAG is incredibly grateful to everyone for all their efforts. Many visitors to the park have already given fantastic feedback on the work.

KWAG worked with Forest of Avon Trust many months ago to ensure that the step-building project was included within a bid put together by Bristol City Council for Forestry Commission grant funding. The Council provided all the materials, and set KWAG a target of creating 61 steps.

Unfortunately, whilst we've been able to exceed that number, by installing 64 steps, and met our deadlines, there is further work needed. There is a break of about 15 steps in the middle of the steps, just on the steepest section, where materials have run out. It is our intention to work to secure funds to properly finish the project, but in the interim, please take very great care if you are using the route across the missing section as it is very slippery.

April's working party focused on easier work, but we will return to the steps at a future date. You can find pictures of the volunteers achievements on KWAG website at www.kwag.org.uk

Botany in Shire

The Wild Plants of the Shirehampton Area

Amongst the botanical community, Avonmouth used to be quite famous as a site for alien plants with all sorts of exotics coming in with grain and animal feed and the general trade and transport of the Docks. Indeed, as a young botanist, I was taken there in the late 1970's and I still have some of the plants I collected there and pressed. Nowadays of course, the Docks have been cleaned up and access is all but impossible for safety reasons.

Perhaps for this reason the botany of Avonmouth seems to have been somewhat neglected, and on my database of plant records I discovered that most of the records from that area apart from beside the estuary go back to the 90's. These records were used in the distribution maps based on 1 km squares of the Ordnance Survey in the Flora of the Bristol Region (2000).

For its Atlas 2020, the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland is looking for records made since 2000, so over the Easter weekend a botanical friend and I looked at some of Avonmouth's industrial estates to make an early-season start on recording the plants currently growing there. We found large areas of waste ground and land awaiting development, and some tidy managed estates, and the network of relict ditches that can be seen on old paintings and watercolours of the view west and northwards from the then open Penpole Point. To our delight, one ditch had the golden flowers of Marsh Marigold and the leaves of Ragged Robin, and every indication of more good things to come. We are hoping for an eventual total of 300 species in a 1 km square.

As we returned from the day in the field I reflected that back in 1868, the Bristol Naturalists' Society were likewise beginning their own grid recording scheme. Avonmouth was square mile no 52 on their map of the nine miles around Bristol. Little wonder that a conference once held on the history of botany was called The Long Tradition.

Memories of Ex-pats Sybil and Les

On April 7th 2015 my Mother-in-Law passed away aged 95. No doubt several Shirehampton residents and members of Shirehampton Golf Club will remember her.

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Photo of Syb & Les taken at a function here in Adelaide.

Syb & husband Les, lived in Pembroke Avenue. Les passed away 20 years ago. In her latter year's Syb spoke fondly of her time living in the village and was especially keen on playing golf when living in the area. Its over 30 years since Sybil & Les migrated here and enjoyed the lifestyle very much but never forgot their many, many happy times spent in Shirehampton. They migrated to Adelaide in 1982, purchasing a house in the street adjoining where we lived. They became members of the Gawler Golf Club (South Australia) and thoroughly enjoyed their involvement. They enjoyed their time whilst living here, especially enjoying our fine wines! Les & I were heavily involved with our (Masonic) Lodge and he was one of my Officers when I took the Chair in 1985. My wife & I will miss Syb terribly.

Sea Cadets Give ‘Thank You' Tea

Avonmouth Sea Cadets hosted a sumptuous Afternoon Tea at TSS Enterprise last month as a way of thanking friends and supporters from the local community.

The Cadets, under the guidance of Petty Officer Stephanie Morris, had prepared a formal tea with sandwiches, sausage rolls, and assorted cakes. A group of four stewards who had trained in silver service waiting served the guests.

Two Parliamentary candidates for Bristol North West, Conservative Charlotte Leslie and Labour Darren Jones, attended as did representatives from Shire Newspaper, Shirehampton Sailing Club, and the local maritime community.

This was an opportunity for the Cadets to showcase the transferable skills they have been acquiring and to remind family and friends of the values of teamwork, courtesy and responsibility that the Sea Cadet training instils. The guests were very impressed by the high standards of hospitality and friendly atmosphere of the occasion.

Terri Booker, Chair of Avonmouth Sea Cadets said Lt Cmdr Alison Fowler, District Officer, works closely with Avonmouth Sea Cadets and other units across the area to deliver courses. We were very pleased to host the afternoon tea event at our unit to enable an Intermediate Catering course to take place which benefited 8 other units across the area as well as our cadets who were doing their basic stewarding. We also recently hosted a District First Aid Competition for Lt Cmdr Fowler which saw us coming joint first with Knowle unit, which we are immensely proud of. We look forward to continuing to work closely with District Officer Lt Cmdr Fowler to enable ease of accessibility to courses for all?

If you are interested in the work of the Sea Cadets you can contact them at: avonmouthseacadets@gmail.com

Cotswold CC Conjures Up Magic & Music Night

A packed audience were amazed by some skilful card tricks from Black Bandana and danced to accomplished local band DCO on Saturday 28th March. Combine this with some good food and excellent company and all agreed it was a superb night's entertainment.

Future events include, Race Night Saturday 2nd May at 7.30pm and Plant Sale on Saturday 16th May at 10am, all welcome.

Easter Bonnets Take Over Penpole Lunch Club

The Penpole Lunch Club celebrated Easter in style with a two course meal and an Easter Bonnet Competition. The ladies of the Lunch Club had worked hard on their Easter Bonnets which featured chicks, rabbits, flowers, Easter eggs, butterflies and plenty of bright colours.

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Photo by Kathryn Courtney

There were ten bonnets for the judges to choose from and it proved to be a difficult decision so all were declared winners in their own right and each received Easter eggs as their prize.

In March the Penpole Lunch Club received a community donation from the Shire newspaper. “We'd like to thank the Shire newspaper for their donation to the Penpole Lunch Club. The monies will be used towards transport costs. This enables club members who don't have access to transport to have a door to door pick up service. It means they get a lunch and catch up with their friends that otherwise would not be possible. And it's a trip out once a week for those who wouldn't have that chance to get out and about” said Hazell Houston. Kathryn Courtney

Nature Notes

YOU will detect a note of great disappointment in my notes today. After a very long wait for a pair of birds to decide that our nest-box (complete with ‘discreet' camera) would make a great home to raise a family.

Hooray I cry a pair of house sparrows move in and the nest building gets under way. So, quite naturally, the first thing we do is plug everything in, switch everything on and, in great expectation, sit back to watch everything develop in front of our eyes. What happened, I hear you cry. I'll tell you what happened absolutely NOTHING! The camera equipment, which we had checked during the winter, was now refusing to transmit anything at all!! I feel so let down and frustrated. We aren't able to check the box for fear of disturbing the sparrows, so unless the fault lies further along the line, we are doomed! I'll let you know more next month, hopefully. We've had some building work going on also, so it may be that the sparrows will decide not to stay anyway.

Away from the garden I've enjoyed spotting Canada Geese, Cormorants and the like flying speedily along the route of the river. The other day I heard the piercing call of the Oyster Catchers on the lower bank of the river when the tide was low.

I mentioned the ‘pied’ blackbird last month well recently I watched a ‘pied’ jackdaw. He had extensive white markings all over his body quite something.

We have entered British Summer Time now, so lots to look forward to and better weather to do it in!

Happy nature watching!

Flytipping on Kingsweston Lane

The council is investigating a major fly-tipping incident that occurred outside Kingsweston Lane refuse site. On Monday 9th March a ton of rubble, soil and tiles were dumped at the entrance to Kingsweston Lane HMRC refuse site.

On the Wednesday evening, 31 car and lorry tyres were dumped at the same location. The tyres were a major hazard as they blocked the whole road and could have caused a major accident.

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The local police in Avonmouth have been informed and patrols will now be in place during the evenings.

The Council appeals for witnesses to this fly-tipping incident on Kingsweston Lane. Cllr Daniella Radice, Assistant Mayor for Neighbourhoods said: “Flytipping is an environmental crime. It means that council tax payers have to pick up the bill for someone's waste, and poses a serious health and safety risk. Please keep a look out for flytippers, we need evidence so we can prosecute them.”

The council is asking for any witnesses to these incidents to come forward. If anyone sees any suspicious activity in the area, please use the crime stoppers number (0800 555 111) or contact the council on 0117 922 2100.

The council asks house owners not to give anyone their waste to dispose of unless they are shown a waste transfer document and waste transfer licences. They will be held responsible if the waste is not disposed of correctly. Fly-tipping is an offence that can result in a fine of £50,000 or two years imprisonment, or both. Any offenders caught, will be interviewed and will be reported to the police.

Wildflower Walk


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On Sunday 10th May 2-4pm, join Shirehampton Community Action Forum for a fun and informative wildflower walk with local expert Rupert Higgins.

We will meet at 2pm outside The Lamplighters, Station Road. The walk route is on the “Yellow Brick Road” which is paved, flat and suitable for wheelchairs. Children must be accompanied by an adult and well behaved dogs are welcomed on leads please.

The event is FREE, but booking is essential as places are limited.

To book, please contact Ash Bearman at SCAF on 0117 982 9963 or by email ash@shirecaf.org.uk

Avonmouth and Southampton biomass plants shelved

Plans for two biomass power stations have been abandoned after the company behind them hit financial problems. Helius Energy is selling a controlling stake in the firm for £12.3m and delisting from the stock exchange. Helius said the plant in Southampton could have generated sufficient electricity to power 200,000 homes.

A wood-fired plant in Avonmouth, Bristol, had approval but the firm has failed to find the required investment before consent expires. Helius said in light of this move it would not be able to deliver a planned biomass station in Southampton. The £300m plant on the south coast drew criticism from the local community, council and the local MP when it was unveiled in 2011.

Residents living nearby complained the plant and its 100m (328ft) chimney would overshadow homes and affect property values. Helius amended its original plan but a promised planning application, due to be submitted in 2012, has never materialised. Steven Galton, from No Southampton Biomass, said: “This is the news we have all been waiting for.

“Southampton City Council previously made it clear they would not be a heat customer for Helius and it was at this point No Southampton Biomass knew their plans were a dead duck. Better late than never, Helius has finally admitted they have no future and No Southampton Biomass can finally relax and celebrate.”

The site in Avonmouth was given approval in 2010 but has since failed to get off the ground. The plants would have worked by burning large amounts of organic matter with the steam spinning turbines to create electricity to be fed into the National Grid.

John Seed, chairman of Helius, said it was with “great regret” the projects would not go ahead but the firm had to consider the best value for shareholders.

Extract from BBC News website: 23/3/15

Bristol Restarts the building of New Council Homes

Mayor George Ferguson announces the commencement of his programme to build new Council homes. The first phase of a construction project to build new Council homes across the city is now underway. The programme will eventually see around 1,000 new homes added to the council's housing stock, with many of the sites making good use of disused housing land across Bristol.

In many cases this will involve patches of land that have been vacant for some time, or old garage sites that have become uneconomical to rent or fallen into disrepair. The first phase of homes will provide much needed accommodation for larger families, including five sites that feature four-bedroom homes. Later phases are likely to focus on smaller homes but in each case the houses provided will be based on the need in that part of Bristol.

The new build programme being managed by the Housing Deliveries Development and Special Projects team is set to run for 10-15 years and is part of a wider city plan for more new and affordable homes.

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The first phase of the project will see homes built in Crabtree Walk, Butler House and Mill House in East Bristol.

Bristol Mayor, George Ferguson has made building more affordable homes one of his top priorities. He said: “I came into office to discover that the building of new affordable and social homes has been far too low for too long, yet each year several hundred new households join our housing list.

“I have been determined to deliver more and am delighted that we now have plans to increase numbers of new council homes in coming years. It is also right that as European Green Capital, all the new properties will be built to high environmental standards. However, the population pressure on Bristol does not go away and there is much more still to do.”

All of the homes that the council intend to build will comply with the Code for Sustainable Homes - a Government initiative that measures the sustainability of construction and design.

Daniella Radice, Assistant Mayor for Neighbourhoods, said: “It is great to see new council houses being built. At the same time it is a shame that the right to buy policy removes council homes from our stock, meaning that even as the council builds new homes, less homes are available at affordable rents each year.”

Mark Bradshaw, Assistant Mayor for Place (responsible for new homes), said: “We will build what we can, but without positive government backing, getting new affordable council homes built remains an uphill task, as does keeping them, as many are lost through right to buy. Enabling us to invest more and to build up the supply is a must.”

Nick Henderson, Design Director for consultants Astam for Crabtree Walk, said: “Astam are very pleased to be part of the Bristol City Council team involved in developing new sustainable properties and places for the residents of Bristol.”

There are four further sites in various stages of planning, and, work is likely to start on them in early summer. The team are also working on a further eight sites which will be submitted to planning in late spring with a view to commencing works late 2015/early 2016. Further sites and phases will also be started to ensure a continuous build sequence.

You can keep up to date with the developments at www.bristol.gov.uk/newcouncilhomes

Avon Primary School - African link

Two Avon Primary teachers recently returned from a half term trip to Africa, in an exchange to benefit the school's growing population, both pupils and staff. While most teachers spent half term planning for the next few weeks' work, the teachers travelled to Uganda to teach at Masindi Army Barracks Primary School.

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The purpose of the visit was to share teaching practice and to enhance children's education about other cultures and ways of life. Miss Holland said, “We had an amazing time and learnt so much. The children were polite and respectful with an incredibly positive attitude.”

Back in Bristol they presented their experiences to Avon's pupils, sharing photos of Ugandan children and reading diaries made by our pupils. The teachers returned with similar diaries written by the Ugandan year six class, which captivated our pupils.

In April Avon Primary will welcome a teacher from Masindi, bringing artefacts and stories to enrich the school's new-look curriculum. Everyone is looking forward to learning more.

To find out more about Avon Primary, go to www.avonprimaryschool.co.uk .

More of Shire's history pops up this time in Rutland

Last month we found two of the Avonmouth mustard gas factory's railway engines still in use on a pier at Hythe in Hampshire, nearly a hundred years after the factory closed. Now for another surprise. Could you make a railway to build a road and still find evidence 90 years afterwards?

It used to be normal to move materials around a large civil engineering site by train. Contractors would lay a track so this could be done, and take it up again when the work had finished. Civil engineering didn't come much bigger than the Portway, which was gleefully reported to be the most expensive road in the country when it was built between 1919 and 1926. To make it, a railway had to be taken up at the Bristol end: from Hotwells station almost under the Suspension Bridge to a junction with the existing railway just to the east of Sea Mills. The present road runs partly along its course near the Hotwells end. As with many other projects, this job also required rails to be laid. The contractors Nott, Brodie and Co. of Northampton put in place a light railway for the task of moving materials to where they were needed and moving spoil away down towards Shirehampton station, mainly from where 360,000 cubic yards of rock and soil had to be taken away from the huge cutting below the golf course. The track can be seen on the postcard on page 31 of Ethel Thomas's book The continuing story of Shirehampton. One of the company's larger engines can be seen in a blurry image on page 32. The big surprise is that one of the smaller locos used on the site is still in existence.

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It was first delivered by the Hunslet Engine Co. of Leeds to a steelworks at Corby on 2 November 1883, and named Vigilant. After use by several different owners for several different large projects, and after a rebuild in 1919, it was sold in 1920 to Nott, Brodie, who brought it to Bristol for the Portway scheme in 1921. When it worked on the Portway it was called Trym. It had a chequered and partly mysterious life after that before being advertised for sale and bought up by a railway enthusiast in 1963. It has now found its way to the Rutland Railway Museum at Cottesmore, where it is being restored to its original state. And that is where you can see this little four-wheel, two-cylinder saddle tank, works number 287, if you want to, though maybe still in pieces for a while yet the last engine of its type in existence, after 131 years.

The engine as Trym, photographed by Paul Myatt in 1962; photo used by courtesy of Rocks by Rail.

What's Happening at the ALLDAYS Site?

At a recent special presentation to SCAF by Colin Pemble they announced that they have submitted a pre-planning application to Bristol City Council for the old Alldays site, and are speaking to the planning officers about different options.

Andy Robb: Developer wants to work in partnership with Bristol Together - we are a local social enterprise org that train ex-offenders in building work. Looking at residential units currently negotiating with the Co-op re the frontage use they have a lease for 5 years and will not give up on the shop area.

Tom Futcher: Site vacant for a long time and the building is in a fairly poor state of repair and quite an eyesore in the area. It is an opportunity to look at the building and create a bit of regeneration at that end of the High Street. Initially, plan was to knock it down and rebuild, but now will re-use existing structure, but with a modern face and an additional floor. Looking at a total of 18 residential units (possibly for car parking if the Co-op will relent) would also like to get rid of the ugly concrete ramp. Have gone for a contemporary new look for the building majority of units will be 2 bed as this has been advised is of the highest demand within the area. Sketch drawing was circulated and discussions followed.

It was noted that there was a bank of 4 houses behind the site and their light/look out needed to be considered. Colin This has been looked at and there is sufficient distance between this row and the proposed new builds

  • Q What is the option if you can't use the ground floor for parking? A - We would have to retain the ramp and use part of this area for car parking
  • Q Using Bristol Together building trainees etc. will the proposed development take longer to build than if using a building company? A - No
  • Q Ownership? A - There will be an element of social housing probably 4 units, the rest will be owner occupier
  • Q Timescale? A - They were meeting BCC on Thursday 5th March and will go through all the issues and concerns and then we will submit a planning application which will be in a couple of months' time.

Avonmouth Genealogy Group 20 years old and still counting!

In February 1995 this group was launched with a talk by Janet Hiscocks of Bristol and Avon Family History Society, in which she showed family heirlooms which had triggered her quest to research her ancestors.

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In February 2015 Janet returned to talk to the group about the census with pictures (a back-to-basics talk with a twist) very enjoyable and informative. To celebrate our 20th anniversary, albeit a month late, we met for a party in Avonmouth Community Centre on 24th March and enjoyed an evening of delicious food, endless chat and a chance to view the archive we have built up over the 20 years. Our grateful thanks to Pat Maule for baking two cakes, one to cut and one to raffle for group funds. The winner of the raffled cake donated it to the lunch club. Our gathering included members and also past and present speakers, some of whom we consider friends as they are regular contributors.

The variety of speakers has been wide over the two decades. Because most of us are experienced researchers, we have tended to branch out into local and social history talks but occasionally return to basic family history methods and results. We have an annual members' evening when we can relate particular successes or strange goings on that come to light of which there are plenty! We often have ‘home-grown’ talks from our own members too.

As mentioned earlier, we have built up an archive of photographs, transcribed parish, Confirmation and other registers, the census and have various other sundry artefacts and publications which add to the interest of Avonmouth as a port village, which is celebrating 150 years in 2015 dating from the first dock being built. In addition we published to two ‘Mouthful of Memories’ books, take our archive to various family history Open Days and are happy to carry out research for anyone who has ancestry in the area.

If you wish to join us or need advice on your own research, we meet on the 4th Tuesday of the month in the ‘Art Room’ at the Community Centre, from 7pm.

If you want further details please call Judy Helme on 01179829893.

City And Port Of Bristol Bowling Club

On a glorious, warm Spring afternoon at Wrington on April 8th the long wait was finally over the new bowling season was underway.

Wringtons all-weather green is often challenging for visiting sides used to playing on grass, but City and Port of Bristol did well, winning two of the four rinks played and losing overall by only a fairly modest margin. Most importantly, the afternoon was enjoyed by all who played and the spectators.

The season runs until late September, during that time there are more than 60 mixed friendly games, on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. In addition the Ladies have over 20 friendly games which are played on Thursday afternoons. There is a Monday night Club League, Club Competitions and both the Ladies and Gentleman play in the Bristol and District League. In August there is a tour, based in Tenby and playing a number of games against clubs in West Wales.

Prior to the start of the season members have been busy at the green carrying out all the jobs necessary to be ready to start bowling again in an attractive and safe environment. Much cleaning, tidying, weeding, grass cutting, bush pruning and jet washing of paths has gone on over several weeks.

Tuesday evening sessions for new bowlers will continue through the season at 5.30pm. There has been a good response to the offer of three sessions free of charge and obligation with reduced price membership being offered to all who decide to join.

For further details please call David Hinksman on 0117 9082713

Avonmouth Football Club


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Avonmouth Football Club recently hosted local rivals Lawrence Weston in a Bristol Suburban Premier League clash. The two Clubs have always had a very respectful rivalry and the local Derby usually produces some great football and good crowds.

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The match didn't disappoint and Avonmouth FC ran out 4-1 winners with goals from Daniel Kendall and a hat-trick from top-goal scorer Mark Johnson. It was a tough and highly competitive match, but it didn't stop both teams joining each other for a few drinks in the bar afterwards and singing each others club anthems ‘Sweet Caroline’ and ‘Saturday Night at the Movies’.

Avonmouth FC, which has been part of the local community since 1919, has recently started to raise funds to try and build a new clubhouse. The club has expanded its programme over the past few years adding a Veterans team and 3 Youth teams, but is still operating from a 70 year old dilapidated Clubhouse, inherited from the Rugby Club in the 80's. The Club hopes that they can raise the huge amount of money required and start the work in the next couple of years. Otherwise they will use the money raised to expand and refurbish their current facilities.

The Group currently has just under 150 members ranging from 3 year olds all the way to 60 year olds. The Club is run by a dedicated group of volunteers who are desperately trying to raise the necessary funds to provide a better environment for all its members.

Avonmouth FC are very grateful for the Community Grant from ’The Shire'.

Photos © Bob Pitchford