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Back to August 2015 SHIRE September 2015 Fowards to October 2015 SHIRE
News Index

Goram Giants Return To Goram Fair

Open doors day across the city

Doors Open Day at Kings Weston House

An introduction to geophysics

Portway school reunion Saturday 10th October

Southwest stroke association

Macmillan coffee morning

Craft exhibition

Botany in the Shire

Celebration 1940s indoor ‘street’ party

Community Cafe at Lawrence Weston Community Farm

Shirehampton Group Practice

Avon primary school

A golf day to remember!

City and Port of Bristol Bowling club

St Mary’s News

From The Registers of St. Mary

St Andrew's Ladies Club

Shirehampton Methodist church

Letters to the Editor

Revenge 'porn' offence

Nature Notes

S H I R E    @ShireNewspaper    #ShireNewspaper

Goram Giants Return To Goram Fair

Photo: Kathryn Courtney

On the 5th and 6th of September, Goram Fair will be taking place at Avonmouth Old Boys Rugby Club. In preparation for this, the local communities of Sea Mills, Lawrence Weston, Shirehampton and Avonmouth will be making their own Goram Giants to compete at this event and one of them will be crowned the real Goram Giant.

I went along to Sea Mills playground and met with community artists Ruth Ramsay and Alan May along with several adults and children who were working on their very own Goram Giant.

Photo: Kathryn Courtney

“We had a slow start at the Youth Centre with only two members, Angela and Steven designing the Sea Mills Goram. Today we've been working in the local playground and it's been fantastic. The local parents and toddlers group came over to help and we've attracted a really good team of people. Dan volunteered to carry Goram because it is a working puppet, not just a stationary object. It's got moving limbs which will be operated. We've had lots of children of all ages with bits of tape and willow in their hands who all want to be involved. We've been finding ways of keeping them busy as part of this project.” said Alan.

I asked Alan if the materials they are using have been recycled? “They are. The local churches have donated cuttings from their willow structure which is the frame work for the giant. We're using tape that would normally find their way into bins, thanks to the children's Scrap Store. We're using coffee sacks to cover this creature with other natural materials.”

Photo: Kathryn Courtney

By the end of it all, the Goram Giants will be in this massive competition. Will it be the volunteers or artists who take on the task of working these ‘puppets’ ? “We've got a really good team, I'm sure it will evolve further. Once finished, we'll need to rehearse the manipulation, making sure the limbs work and, in early September, we'll get everybody together for a sort of rehearsal.” said Alan.

Daniel is 14 years old and, as well as helping build the giant, he has volunteered to walk the Sea Mills Goram about; but how difficult is it to do this? “It's not too difficult, it's just when the wind is blowing and you're walking around, it wobbles all over the place!”

Isabelle Page is 16 years old and, with her mum Laurie Canon, came along for the day to help out. “I liked getting involved making a sculpture and working as a group in our community” said Isabelle whilst her mum Laurie added, “We both like doing arty things which is why we came along and it's been great fun today”.

Open doors day across the city

Open Doors Day takes place across the city on Saturday 12 September 2015, 10am - 4pm .

Bristol Doors Open Day is a once-a-year chance to look behind closed doors and discover the city's hidden treasures. You can explore fascinating buildings, join guided tours and enjoy a range of events and activities - all free for the day. Join in a fantastic celebration of Bristol's history, architecture and culture.

Venues near Shirehampton

Blaise Castle house museum and dairy, Henbury Road, BS10 7QS.

Once-a-year opportunity to see inside this C19 thatched dairy and its lovely garden, designed by fashionable architect John Nash. Have a go at making butter by hand and dress up as a dairymaid.

Kings Weston roman villa, Long Cross, BS11 0LP.

Discover the only Roman bath suite in Bristol, plus amazing mosaics and ancient underfloor heating. Handle real Roman objects and have a go at hands-on family activities.

Avonmouth and Royal Portbury Docks, St Andrew's House, St Andrew's Road, BS11 9DQ - ADVANCE BOOKING REQUIRED.

See behind the scenes on a 60-min guided coach tour of the docks taking in ships, warehouses and future plans. Tours throughout the day- booking essential via Tourist Information Centre (0906 711 2191, calls charged at 50p/minute).

Wessex water sewage treatment works, Kings Weston Lane, BS11 0YS.

Explore sewage treatment works responsible for processing waste water for the entire Bristol area. Guided tours (approx. 1.5 hours); no need to book, children welcome.

Tridos Renewables Avonmouth wind farm, Kings Weston Lane, Bristol, BS11 8AQ - ADVANCE BOOKING REQUIRED.

Get up close to a commercial-scale wind turbine. Opened in 2013 and located on Wessex Water's waste water treatment plant, Triodos Renewables' 4-turbine wind farm provides enough green energy to meet the demand of c 4,600 UK homes. Booking essential.
For more details see

Doors Open Day at Kings Weston House

Historic properties across Bristol open their doors for free for the annual Doors Open Day event in September. This year, Kings Weston house will miss the main Saturday event due to a previous event booking, but instead why not come along for a more leisurely visit on the Sunday, the 13th September?

Supported by Kings Weston Action Group, the Grade I Listed house will be open to the public from 10am until 4pm and everyone is invited to come along and see the results of the restoration work that's been going on over the last few years. As well as an opportunity to look inside, visitors will be able to enjoy an exhibition of the history of the house and park, see original artefacts, see future plans, or join one of the free tours.

The house will also host second annual art sale in support of the Kings Weston Action Group and the local Twyford House Art Group. Art works are all affordably priced and all proceeds of the event will go to help these two worthy local organisations, so come along and see what takes your fancy!

The Hunting Vaults cafe at the house will be open throughout the day, but why not bring along your own picnic and enjoy the grounds as part of your visit? Maybe let the newly-published walking map be your guide and discover something new in the historic Kings Weston landscape !

An introduction to geophysics

Blaise Castle House Museum, 24 October 2015, £35/£30. Age 16+, 10.30am - 4pm.

Become an archaeologist for the day and have a go at geophysical surveying. Learn the principles and techniques involved and help survey a real archaeological site.

Led by Paul Driscoll, Archaeology and Historic Environment Record Officer for South Glos. This day involves a practical outdoor session and is not suitable for people with limited mobility.

To book: Go to or visit Bristol Museum & Art Gallery Shop.

Shirehampton community action forum (SCAF)

Autumn - Free community events

AS part of our BCC Bristol 2015 Green Capital funded walks & events programme, we are pleased to announce 3 further events:

Wildflower Walk on Lamplighters Marsh
Sunday 20 September -2-4pm - led by Rupert Higgins
Early Bird Walk on Lamplighters Marsh
Wednesday 28 October - 7.30 am - led by Ed Drewitt
Intergenerational Bird box and insect hotel making workshop
Thursday 29th October 11-3pm at the Tithe Barn in Shire High Street - led by Alistair Park. (This project will bring younger people under 16 together with older people aged 55+ for a fun and practical workshop - all materials will be supplied and you can take home whatever you make!)

Publicity posters for all the events with more details will be circulated about 3 weeks before each event.

All the events are FREE - but booking is essential as places are limited.

To book please contact Ash Bearman at SCAF: email - or phone 0117 982 9963

AGM Notification - Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF)

AGM at Shire Public Hall, Station Road, Shirehampton, Wednesday 7th October 2015 7-9pm. Everyone welcome.

We would also warmly welcome new Trustees to our Board. The Board meets approximately every 6 weeks on a weekday evening at Shire Public Hall at 6pm. The meetings are usually about an hour and a half long, occasionally longer, but always finish by 8pm

If you would like to know more about the role, please contact David Thomas (Chair) at You can also attend a Trustee meeting as an observer - with no obligation - just to see what goes on.

Please contact either David or Ash Bearman, SCAF's Community Development Officer ( or phone 0117 982 9963
Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF) Shire Public Hall, Station Road, Shire, Bristol, BS11 9TU

Portway school reunion Saturday 10th October

Did you go to Portway School with Sally Harvey, Michele Nash, Gillian Palmer or John Jones?We have arranged a school reunion on Saturday 10th October @ 8:00pm at the PBA Club, Nibley Road, Shirehampton.

Come along and meet with all your school friends for a great catch up.

Further details from Michele 07929409128.

Avon (University Settlement) Community Association -Annual General Meeting

The AGM of A(US)CA, which sponsors the Shire Advice Service, will be held on Wednesday, 9th September at 7.15pm in the Tithe Barn, High Street, Shirehampton. This is open to anyone who would like to find out more about this long standing local charity.

Southwest stroke association

My name is Claire Haines and I am the South -West Regional Fundraiser at the Stroke Association. We have a charity bike ride event coming up on the 27th September, starting at Blaise Castle and then offering three circular route distances (25, 60 or 100 miles) through the stunning Cotswolds. The Stroke Association have teamed up with Bike Events to put on this fantastic bike ride which offers not just one but three distances!

To sign up, please visit:

Stroke Association is the leading charity in the UK changing the world for people affected by stroke. In the last 20 years, the number of people dying of stroke has halved while the number of major strokes has decreased by 40 per cent. More people than ever are benefitting from cutting-edge treatments and making full recoveries by understanding the need to seek emergency treatment for stroke.

By signing up to this event, you can help us continue our vital work.

Macmillan coffee morning

Sea Mills Library will be hosting a MacMillan Coffee Morning as part of the World's Biggest Coffee Morning campaign for MacMillan Cancer Care. It takes place on Friday 25th September from 10 am -12 midday.

Please come along and invite your friends to join us for coffee and cake. Tea and caffeine free options will also be available. Anyone who would like to donate a cake is welcome to bring one along. Please come and support this worthwhile and enjoyable event. Sea Mills Library is on Sylvan Way, right by the No 41 bus stop and around the corner from various other bus routes.

Craft exhibition

Shirehampton Public Hall, Station Road
Shirehampton - BS11 9TX
Tuesday 27th October to Saturday 31st October
Opening times 10am - 4pm
(late night Thursday 10am - 8pm)

The Shire Craft Exhibition opens its doors on Tuesday 27th October and we are looking forward to welcoming all those who would like to be involved, whether you are an old hand or new to the Exhibition, there is a place for everyone; we are not just for Shire crafters so if you live in Seamills, Lawrence Weston, Avonmouth or you are affiliated to a community group that meets in these areas, then we welcome you as well. If you want to exhibit, demonstrate, sell some of your goods, help with setting up or stewarding, now is your chance to let us know.

Please read the small print below:-

  • There is a small charge of 50p per item or £2 for 4 or more items - please do not send money with your application this will collected when items are booked in.
  • Closing date for applications, Wednesday 21st October 2015.
  • The Hall will be open Monday 26th Oct. 9am-4pm for registration of exhibits The Hall will also be open Sunday 25th Oct. 2-4pm for large items
  • Collection of exhibits will be on Saturday 31st October 4.30-5pm
  • Selling your crafts - 10% will be deducted from item price towards exhibition costs
  • Demonstrators - we welcome those who would like to demonstrate their crafts - sessions of 3 hours, morning and afternoon will be available. Let us know what you would like to demonstrate and what days and times you would like to demonstrate and we will accommodate if we can.
  • Stewards - If you would like to help out and steward for a session am or pm 3 hour sessions (if you can't manage 3 hours then what you can manage would be appreciated). If you are exhibiting, it would be appreciated if you could steward for a session but it's not compulsory.
Application forms from Shirehampton Public Library, Station Road, Shirehampton, BS11 9TUor 8 Penpole Place, Shirehampton BS11 0DR; or email information to

Botany in the Shire

The Wild Plants of the Shirehampton area

The British flora is full of “look-alikes”. According to the late Peter Sell, the principal author of the 5-volume Flora of Great Britain and Ireland, the term should be reserved for the shrubs that have been planted in hedgerows or the flowers sown on motorway verges which, to an inexpert eye, look like the true native plant, but which on closer inspection prove to be different. I know a couple of hedgerows in Shirehampton where the Dogwood doesn't look right and where Sweet Briars replace Dog Roses, summoning up Shakespeare's famous flowery bank “over-canopied with luscious woodbine, with sweet musk-roses and with eglantine”.

A different sort of look-alike is found in plants like bee or fly orchids where the flower looks like an insect - and often has a scent to match as well. I once saw a very animated solitary wasp on a fly orchid in a Leigh Woods' quarry - the very one where the rare hybrid of the bee and fly orchids used to grow. That made it easy to imagine the pollinator ending up fertilising a bee orchid by mistake.

There are also some plant species which look so similar to others that botanists have difficulty distinguishing them. Shakespeare talks of Lear “crowned with rank fumiter and furrow-weeds”. There are quite a number of different Fumitories and, even though the plough has long since left us, I've now seen three in the Shirehampton area. Common Fumitory has small purplish-pink flowers and can occur anywhere on disturbed or tipped soil. Common Ramping-fumitory scrambles against a wire fence near the railway crossing under the motorway bridge. It has larger flowers which look as if the tips have been dipped in red ink.

The third fumitory grows beside the dual carriageway from the Portway to Avonmouth. For this one, Tall Ramping-fumitory, you have to use a good magnifier to tell it apart from the other two. It was well worth the look, because it had been 30 years since it was last seen in the Bristol region.

Clive Lovatt

Celebration 1940s indoor ‘street’ party

To celebrate the 70th anniversary year of the end of WW2, St Andrew's Church, Avonmouth is hosting an indoor ‘street’ party with a 1940s theme. This will be held on Saturday 7th November starting at 3pm and is by advance ticket purchase only, due to a limit on numbers. If you wish to ‘get in the swing’ with a little nostalgia and enjoy looking at photos and memorabilia of the war, as well as enjoying a good tea, sing-along and some dancing of the period.

Please contact Judy Helme on or 01179829893. Tickets are £3 each in aid of the RBL Poppy Appeal. Forties dress encouraged.

Community Cafe at Lawrence Weston Community Farm

Photos: Bob Pitchford

The new Community Cafe and Training Room is now open here at Lawrence Weston Community Farm. The cafe is serving teas, coffees, sandwiches, jacket potatoes and a selection of homemade cakes. Come and enjoy the farm and then relax with some delicious food on the patio overlooking the paddock. The Cafe will be open Wednesdays -Sundays11am-4pm throughoutthe summer holidays.

Photos: Bob Pitchford

Shirehampton Group Practice

The Patient Participation Group at Shirehampton Group Practice has produced this helpful guide for patients to answer those commonly asked questions within the practice.

I am finding it hard to get an appointment, what options do I have?

Appointments are available up to three weeks in advance. If you feel you need an appointment urgently for the same day, we have a daily triage doctor who will call you back and assess your condition. If the doctor feels it is clinically necessary, they will ask you to come in to the surgery.

How can I get a repeat prescription?

In person
Put your request into the designated box in the Health Centre lobby at least two working days before the medicine is needed.
By post
Send it to us with a stamped addressed envelope if you want us to post it back to you.
Fax the request to 0117 916 2206 before 10.00.
You can log in to the patient access page on the website to request your prescription
You can request your repeat prescriptions via your chosen pharmacy (if available).

Please be aware that the practice is now part of the Electronic Prescription Service. This means, if you collect your repeat prescriptions from the practice, you will not have to visit the practice to pick up your paper prescription. Instead, the practice will send it electronically to the pharmacy of your choice, saving you time.

What can the receptionists help me with?

The receptionists are here to help you with any query. If they don't know the answer, they will pass it on to the relevant member of staff.

I have a lot of medication; what help can I get to manage these?

The pharmacy will be the best place to help you with advice on how to manage your medication. If you are taking a lot of medication, the pharmacist will put your medication in a Dosette box to help you remember to take your medication on the right day and right time.

I work 9-5/7 days a week and can't get an appointment......what options do I have?

The practice offer extended hours surgeries on two weekday evenings per month (18.40 - 19.40) and approximately two Saturday mornings per month. Please call reception and enquire about these surgeries if you cannot attend surgery during the day.

When should I go to hospital A&E?

Only call 999 or go to A&E in a genuine life-threatening emergency, such as:

  • loss of consciousness
  • acute confused state and fits that are not stopping
  • persistent, severe chest pain
  • breathing difficulties
  • severe bleeding that cannot be stopped

I'm confused by when to ring 111 and 999

For illnesses that are not life-threatening you should first contact your GP surgery.

Outside of normal surgery hours (the period is from 6.30pm to 8am on weekdays, and all day at weekends and on bank holidays) you can call NHS 111. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can provide medical advice and advise you on the best local service to offer the care you need.

You should use the NHS 111 service if you urgently need medical help or advice but it's not a life-threatening situation.

Call 111 if:

  • you need medical help fast but it's not a 999 emergency
  • you think you need to go to A&E or need another NHS urgent care service
  • you don't know who to call or you don't have a GP to call
  • you need health information or reassurance about what to do next

For immediate, life-threatening emergencies, continue to call 999.

How can I make an appointment with my preferred G.P.?

You can ring the surgery and ask for a routine appointment with your preferred GP. For all urgent appointments, any of our doctors will see you but you will not be able to specify who you will be seen by.

When should I request a home visit?

You may only request a home visit if you are housebound or are too ill to visit the practice. Your GP will only visit you at home if they think that your medical condition requires it and will also decide how urgently a visit is needed. Please bear this in mind and be prepared to provide suitable details to enable the doctor to schedule house calls.

Why does the local pharmacy keep asking about my medication?

There are a number of reasons your pharmacy may ask about your medication; it may be because the pharmacy orders your medication for you, or perhaps they are checking that all your medication is in line. They could also be enquiring about the recent change over to the Electronic Prescribing Service.

How can the pharmacy help?

Local pharmacies offer a wide range of health services that you may not be aware of. These services could save you a trip to your GP or help you make healthy lifestyle changes. Pharmacists can help with a range of common conditions such as:

  • skin conditions, such as mild acne and mild eczema
  • coughs and colds, including nasal congestion and sore throat
  • minor cuts and bruises
  • constipation and haemorrhoids (piles)
  • hay fever and allergies
  • aches and pains, such as headaches, earache and back pain
  • indigestion, diarrhoea and threadworms
  • period pain and thrush
  • warts and verrucas, mouth ulcers and cold sores
  • athlete's foot
  • nappy rash and teething

What if I need longer than a standard appointment?

If a health professional believes you require a longer appointment, it is at their discretion to book a longer appointment for you. However, patients cannot request longer appointments for their initial consultation.

Even when I have an appointment, I have such a long wait in the surgery, why is that?

Demand on primary care is high. GPs will do everything in their power to keep to tight timescales of 10 minutes per patient but as you'll understand, this is not always possible.

I've got suggestions about how things could improve. How can I get involved?

You can sign up to be part of Shirehampton Group Practice's Patient Participation Group. The Group meets every three months along with the Practice Manager and two GPs to discuss the development of the practice.

Please ask at reception or email the deputy practice manager to sign up.

Shirehampton Group Practice Has a New Website!

Shirehampton Group Practice is pleased to announce the new website which can be found at

The website has lots of helpful information on appointments, prescriptions and even helping you search for your symptoms!

Missed Appointments

Last month, there were 171 missed appointments at Shirehampton Group Practice. This is the equivalent of 1 Doctor working every day for a week.

Please remember to contact the surgery if you can no longer make your appointment.

Flu dates

In line with Department of Health Advice, we recommend that all people aged 65 or over should receive a flu jab every year. Anyone else who is eligible (including 2, 3 and 4 year olds) will receive a letter in the post inviting them to come to the Practice.

This year's clinics will be as follows:

Capel Road Branch Surgery

  • Friday 9th October 2015 14:00 - 15:00
  • Friday 23rd October 2015 14:00 - 15:00

Shirehampton Health Centre

  • Saturday 10th October 2015 08:45 - 10:30
  • Saturday 24th October 2015 08:45 - 10:30
  • Tuesday 10th November 2015 15:30 - 18:00
  • Tuesday 24th November 2015 15:30 - 18:00

These sessions will operate first come, first served basis.

Please note that there is a free 3 hour car park behind the Health Centre off of Waverley Road

Please put these dates in your diary and calendar NOW!

Remember - If you are 65 or over you will NOT receive a letter PLEASE JUST TURN UP

Avon primary school

At Avon Primary we are proud to let our community know about our school and, to do so, we would like you to follow the two links below; these show a video snapshot of our school year, and the other is our website where you can view the various activities and work that goes on within our school.

On Tuesday 22nd and Thursday 24th September at 9:30 and 6:00 pm we will be giving parents/carers of children starting school in September 2016 the opportunity to come along and see for yourselves how we will nurture and develop your children throughout their formative years. However if you are unable to make this visit please give us a ring on 0117 9030446 when we will be pleased to make other arrangements.

We all look forward to meeting you later this month.

Local heritage angels in the running for national recognition

The Kings Weston Action Group is up for a prestigious award

The Kings Weston Action Group (KWAG) has been shortlisted for the national Heritage Angels awards held by Historic England (English Heritage) and Andrew Lloyd Webber, with the support of the Telegraph. KWAG has been selected as one of just four nominees in their category who are up for the prestigious award, to be given out at a star-studded ceremony in London this September.

Since its formation in 2011, the heritage group, made up entirely of volunteers, has been working with the consent of Bristol City Council to turn back the clock on the 300-acre historic Kings Weston Estate in the north of the city. As well as raising the profile of the city's least known parks, their regular working parties have begun the process of salvaging the important Grade II Registered historic estate and its historic buildings from decades of neglect. Their work has also helped to re-forge the park's unique identity and helped bring about a new awareness of its incredible history.

The estate contains over twenty listed buildings focussed on the magnificent Grade I Listed Kings Weston House, but it is the parkland that has been the focus of the group.KWAG have been hard at work for the last four years uncovering and recording lost garden structures, restoring long-lost views, reinstating historic pleasure paths, replanting thousands of native wildflower bulbs, and replanting an ancient avenue that once led up to the house, but had been lost for centuries.

We wish KWAG every success.

A golf day to remember!

The Patsy Pugh Memorial Trophy - from 12 noon on Friday 2nd October 2015 at Shirehampton Golf Club BS11 0UL. (4 person Bowmaster). Raising money for ‘Veterans Welfare UK’ and ‘The Moggery.’ All businesses and individuals invited!

Contact Tony Parsons on 0117 9688250 OR 07594 668920 for details.

City and Port of Bristol Bowling club

Fifty bowlers and supporters enjoyed the club's tenth summer tour which was based at The Clarence House Hotel in Tenby from August 1st to the 6th.Tours started in 2004 with a visit to Weymouth and there has been one most years since. This year saw a return to Tenby for the first time since 2007.

Seven games were played in the six days --- on Tuesday the bowlers divided to play on two different greens--- Neyland and Milford Haven. Other venues were --- Pendine, Fishguard, Pembroke Dock, Saundersfoot and Whitland.City and Port of Bristol were successful in winning on two occasions --- at Pembroke Dock and at Milford Haven

As is traditional, the final evening of the tour saw a Gala Dinner and some less than traditional head- dress being worn by all who had been captain of the day during the week. Presentations were made to Dee Crawley --- the week's top lady bowler and to David Hinksman ---who was top gentleman bowler. The biggest thank you of the evening went to Lis Davies who organised the whole event.

Joan Curtis, who was until last season a very active and popular member of the bowling club, passed away at the end of July. The bowling club was well represented at her funeral in St Marys Church, Shirehampton on Friday August 7th.

Joan was a late arrival on the bowling scene but, having discovered bowling, she played for the club for a number of seasons and lit up the green when she played. Her presence has been missed this season and will be missed in seasons to come.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the club or bowling in general can contact David Hinksman on 0117 9082713.

St Mary’s News

St. Mary's News

FIRST of all, an apology is due to you all for the August news - it was of course the news from August 2014 ! The correct edition has now been published on the Notice Board and individual copies are available in the church.If there are none left, I am sure Gill Sawyer will print one off for you.

Grateful thanks are due to Chris & Mike for allowing the sale of some Bric-a-Brac items outside the Co-op one Saturday morning to raise funds for our work with older people. We must also not forget Ann Goslin who did a wonderful job selling it. Are you sure, Ann, you chose the right career? Should you not have been a Sales Manageress?

Our Harvest Appeal this year is for the Rainbow Centre for Children.We felt that supporting a local charity would hold a greater appeal than for a national organisation. The Rainbow Centre for Children supports children and their families from Bristol and the surrounding area who are dealing with pain, grief, anger and sadness caused by the death of a child or parent or a life threatening illness. They offer art and music therapy to children - non-verbal therapies are a valuable way to express emotions when words can't be found - counselling to older children and adults and massage therapy to give carers the health and strength to continue to look after their loved ones. Sessions last 50 minutes, are free of charge and support families as long as is needed.. They rely entirely on donations for their existence and I am confident you will support this very worthwhile cause. May I thank you in anticipation.There is a flyer in church with details of all the fundraising events to be held in church.

Our Harvest Supper will be held in church on Friday 25th September at 7.30 pm. Tickets are available from the Church Office - cost £8.00. All are welcome! A Flower Festival will be held in church on the Saturday 26th with ‘Over the Rainbow’ as the overall theme.

Our Harvest Festival Service on the Sunday will be combined with a Baptism, so there is much to interest many of you.

Well that's it again for this month - hopefully everything will okay this time for you all!

Finally, - Try Jesus! If you don't like him, the Devil will always take you back!

From The Registers of St. Mary

July 2015

Baptism ‘we welcome you’

26th Theo Murray

Kanye Kirk

Honey Kirk

Funerals ‘at rest and at peace’

6th Michael Budd Canford

9th Dorothy Moloney Canford

Arthur Smith Canford

10th Douglas Edwards Canford

21st Susan Hayes Canford

22nd Delce Hunt Canford

23rd John Graham St Mary's


10TH Samual Simons & Nadia Trueman

St Andrew's Ladies Club

St. Andrew's Ladies Club meet on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month at St Andrew's Church Hall, Avonmouth, 7:30-9:15 pm. Come along and enjoy an interesting evening and make friends.

1st SeptemberQuiz
15th SeptemberChildren's Homes in India - Martyn Paul
6th OctoberFrom Pillar to Post - Cyril Routley
20th OctoberFamily History - Fact or Fiction - Pat Hase
3rd NovemberTalents - Susan Marshfield
17th NovemberChristmas Decorations - Tracey
1st December In-House Party
11th DecemberChristmas dinner at the Orchards

Shirehampton Methodist church

Sunday, September 13 at 11.00 a.m. to welcome our new Minister, the Rev. Patrick Stonehewer

A warm welcome is extended to all.

Sunday, September 27th at 11.00 a.m. Harvest Festival with the Rev. Patrick Stonehewer.

Our Sea Mills friends will join us for this service and we cordially invite you all to this service.

Letters to the Editor

The sinking of the Khedive Ismail

Dear Editor,

I, like my father, was born in Shirehampton and lived at 156 Nibley Road, a prefabricated house built after the war. My father, Percival Crabb, died in December 1991. I began researching and writing on 29 December 1992, the anniversary of his birthday...

In September 1997 the book Passage to Destiny was first published by the author, Brian Crabb, about the sinking of the Ministry of War Transport's troopship Khedive Ismail which had a personal interest for Brian. His late father, Percival Crabb, who was born in 26 Priory Road, Shirehampton, was one of the fortunate survivors, escaping through an open porthole with his right leg still in plaster. Taking just over a minute to sink after being torpedoed twice by the Japanese submarine I 27, there was an understandably high loss of life. From the 1,511 people on board only 215 survived, becoming Britain's third worst mercantile disaster during the Second World War and the worst loss of British Commonwealth service women in Britain's entire history.

Going out of print in October 2011, Brian was asked by his publisher, to write a revision. What has transpired is a much bigger book, with many new stories and unseen photographs showing the ship in the different stages of build. There is even a brief history of the Japanese commander Toshiaki Fukumura who sank the troopship.

You have kindly covered my other five books over the years, demonstrating your support of Shirehampton-born people and I thank you for that.

Book Club

Dear Editor,

New members are invited to join a highly sociable Book Club ! Next meeting is on Thursday, 17th September at 7 o'clock in the ‘Ali Mahal’ Indian Restaurant, Shire Village.

(Many thanks for kind donation (Ed.)

Search for relatives

Dear Editor,

In the 1960's with my parents I visited what I believe to have been Penpole Place, a row of terraced cottages.This was to visit a great-aunt and uncle John David Phillips (Believed to be known as Jack). My grandmother was Minnie Phillips, the sister of John Phillips.

Unfortunately the terraced houses in Penpole Place no longer appears to exist (Google Earth).

Our request is to discover any relatives who may be able to assist with family research.We have traced the Phillips line to Monkton in Pembrokeshire and hope that living family may have done some research themselves on Phillips or who may be able to assist further in our quest.

Any assistance would be gratefully received. My email address is; telephone number 1789 1091625

Revenge 'porn' offence

A 29-year-old man from Bristol is the first person in the Avon and Somerset area to be sentenced for a new offence of disclosing private sexual photographs. The man admitted the charge and a second charge of harassment, at North Somerset Magistrates' Court in Worle earlier today (30/7) and was given a six-month suspended prison sentence. Earlier this month, he printed off private sexual photographs of his victim and left them in a public place in Nailsea. Following today's sentencing hearing, Somerset Area Superintendent Mike Prior said: “Disclosing private sexual images - or so-called ‘revenge porn’ - is a new offence under the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 and this is the first time we've successfully used these new powers.

“He committed a truly vindictive act designed to cause humiliation and distress to his victim.

The victim has been fully supportive of our investigation and we'd like to praise her courage in coming forward and reporting the offence to us. It's time to see offences like this as socially unacceptable with the potential to result in some very serious consequences.”

“I hope this case acts as a warning that we won't tolerate any kind of ‘revenge porn’ and we'll always work with our partners, especially the Crown Prosecution Service, to ensure new legislation is used effectively and victims are always fully supported.”

If you have been a victim of a similar crime, please call us on 101 or report the incident via our website.
You can also call the independant charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit their website at

Canford Farm

Canford Farm in Westbury has been on record since 1299. The farmhouse stood where the traffic island now separates Canford Lane from Canford Road. Water has always been at the heart of what makes it interesting.

First of all, the ford which gives it its name - not recognizable now because it has been made redundant by modern roads. It was a very unusual ford. The river Trym - the “glassy bubbling Trym”, according to Bristol's poet Chatterton - comes out of Westbury village and makes a Z-bend before bubbling off down the valley towards Coombe Dingle. But as it approached Canford Farm from the north, it met a grassy track, which is still shadowed by the footpath leading north from Canford up to Henbury Hill. The track and the river became the same thing where they met, heading south: the ford was about 60 yards long, and local horses and carts using it will regularly have got well splashed because the river does not dry up, even in summer. There is a rather poor picture of it in the Westbury church 1250-year jubilee history that was published in 1967, but that's the only one I've seen. The track seems to have been abandoned with just the footpath left, and the river given partly concrete banks and perhaps lowered, in the1950s; it is still mapped as a ford in 1949.

The farm had a brief spell in the limelight of the sporting press in the 1830s, when a couple of its stallions were at stud for between six and ten guineas a time. The chestnut filly Lady Canford belonging to the then owner, potter Mr Edwin Allies, was running at local race meetings. But Canford's agriculturally rural days were done by late Victorian times. After occupation by tenants and their lodger and companion, the “lunatic daughter” Catherine of Clifton GP Robert Bartley, listed in the 1871 census, it was bought for £6157 from the Reverend H. A. Daniel in 1874 by the Clifton Urban Sanitary Authority, and came to serve as a sewage farm, fed by gravity from the domestic toilets of Westbury village. There was already a sewage tank marked on its southern boundary on the OS map of the 1880s. A weighing machine is also marked on this map; what was weighed there I leave to my imagination. The need for improved sewerage in the area in the 1870s had been highlighted in a report on Westbury by the Barton Regis district's officer of health in 1895: “ it had been the rule rather than the exception to have an unventilated privy under the same roof as the back kitchen of the dwelling house.” The farm's new use did the glassy bubbles no good, because some effluent “polluted that stream to a dangerous extent”, we learn in 1897. The press in the same year spoke of the “damage and detriment” to the posh corners of Westbury, and of the retardation of its development, if the farm were not abolished and the sewage not sent somewhere else. One of those twists in the history of names found Canford being managed in 1895 by Mr William McCann, and one of the new weirs in the Trym nearby seems to have been called McCann's Weir.

When Westbury became part of the City of Bristol in 1904, the Council was required to provide the residents with a municipal park. They bit the bullet and closed the sewage farm down. One of the farm's fields, uninvitingly named Sour Mead was transformed into what is now Canford Park, opened to the public in 1909 with a nice pond. In the 1970s it was home to the miniature railway which now operates at Ashton Court.

Some of the other original fields, especially Gorsey Leazehad already become allotments by then, and on these the present Canford Cemetery had been laid out from 1903 onwards. The original farmhouse, by now farmless and called Canford House, was isolated on the existing traffic island when Canford Lane was realigned to its south and Canford Road built to its north sometime around World War II, and it had been removed by 1946.

By Richard Coates,

Residents launch group action after Avonmouth fly infestation

More than 100 local residents are joining together in a group action for compensation after their homes were infested with flies from a waste plant last summer.

Nelsons Solicitors are conducting the group action on behalf of the residents against Boomeco Ltd, the waste disposal firm which operates from its premises in Avonmouth Docks.

Last week, Boomeco was fined £14,000 for its part in the fly infestation, which led to residents living in discomfort from May 2014 onwards. Some had to eat their meals under mosquito nets and many could not venture into their gardens and worried about leaving food exposed on kitchen surfaces.

At the hearing at Bristol Magistrates' Court, Boomeco were also ordered to pay £4,873 in costs. Boomeco faced an Environment Agency prosecution in relation to the fly infestation. They pleaded guilty to failing to store waste in an environmentally safe manner.

Chris Stansfield, partner at Nelsons Solicitors, who is co-ordinating the group action, said: “We are currently acting for 113 claimants in this case, but there will be more people out there who were affected by this infestation and who are entitled to join the group action. Those people are welcome to contact me directly on 0115 9895227 or email”

The Bristol Shiplovers society

Programme for 2015/ 2016

Talks take place at: The Wardroom, HMS ‘Flying Fox’, Royal Naval Headquarters, Winterstoke Road, Bristol, BS3 2NS

Talks start at approximately 1930 hours.

2015 - Meeting on the following Mondays

Sept 14thDVD Evening - Balmoral - The Rebirth 2015
Sept 28thTony Coverdale - Talk on Submarines
Oct 12thRear Admiral John Lang - The Titanic Enquiry
Oct 26thGordon Cox - The Newport Ship
Nov 9thPeter Jones - The Great Transatlantic Cable
Nov 23rdJerry Stanford - Bristol Port Update

2016 - Meeting on the following Mondays

Feb 22ndDVD Evening TBN
Mar 14thPeter Shore - Nepalese Foundation
Mar 21stDavid Verghese and Nigel Edgell - RN Carrier Air Power, 100 Years Old
Apr 11thCommodore Jamie Miller CBE. RN - An update of the current state of the RN
Apr 25thPaul Barnett - Wreckers
May 9thChris Witts - The Severn Bridge Disaster

Membership: Open to all with an interest in ships and the sea.

Visitors are very welcome - £3per head

Visitors, please telephone Capt. Francis 01761 462703 beforehand.

Photo: Bob Pitchforfd

Nature Notes

On holiday in Dorset recently, I was treated to a lovely example of nature at its most entertaining.

Relaxing on the beach, I watched several terns hunting for fish just yards offshore.They swooped at tremendous speed and, at the last moment, tucked their wings back before diving arrowlike into the sea. Good enough you would think, but then I realised that there was a youngster with its parent, watching and learning.

As the adult disappeared beneath the waves, the baby dropped on top of the water and, sure enough, was positioned in just the right place for a feed when mum (or dad) reappeared). This went on for ages, and I'm pretty sure that I saw a brief attempt by that little one to emulate its amazing parent.

Back home, I am happy to report that there are plenty of big healthy hedgehogs to be seen late in the evenings going about their business. Such sweet inoffensive animals, it's good to know the Cotswold is keeping them safe.The goldfinches have recently had more young.

They have just arrived on their feeder at the front of our home - so cute. I couldn't resist this dahlia in a neighbour's garden. Isn't it a beauty ? Soon to be autumn, so this is one to remember.

Happy to report, I have just watched a kestrel hunting on the riverbank at Lamplighters field. It's been a while, but so worth the wait.

Happy nature watching !