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News Index

Who is the real Goram giant?

Bristol Port Company charity event in aid of cancer research

Avonmouth Community Make Sundays Special

One tree per child

Farewell to Dr. Archer

St Mary’s News

Avonmouth Sea Cadets

Baptist church

St. Bernard's church

From The Registers of St. Mary's

Craft exhibition

City and Port of Bristol Bowling Club

Tynings Field Say Thank You To Lloyds Bank Volunteers

Botany in the Shire

Silverware for Shirehampton’s Shotokan Karate Club

Barn Dance

Road Sharing - a Restorative Approach

Letters to the Editor

Kingsmead Lodge Care Home

The name’s Bond - Bligh Bond .

Nature Notes

S H I R E    @ShireNewspaper    #ShireNewspaper

Who is the real Goram giant?

The Goram fair may have been cancelled due to the fun fair being stuck the other side of the country but this didn’t stop the Goram Giants from Shirehampton, Avonmouth, Sea Mills and Lawrence Weston continuing their challenge to find out who is the REAL Goram Giant.

Photo: Kathryn Courtney

They made their appearance at Avonmouth’s ‘Make Sunday’s Special’ event on the 13th September parading through the street and the park. A story teller told the story of the giants Goram and Vincent and a small group of musicians were on hand to to play music to enhance the tense atmosphere between the giants.

At 2pm that afternoon they began their battle through a number of challenges including recycle time, the weight lift and the water balloon toss concluding with a unique dance-off. Each team was cheered on by their supporters and the crowd that had gathered in the park to watch.

Yes it was crazy, it was fun and it was chaos. The giants made mainly by local children were robust, colourful and very big. So congratulations to each team for their fantastic creations and to local artists Alan May, Ruth Ramsay and Dee Moxon for all their help and guidance.

So who wad the winner and crowned the Real Giant Goram? That honour went to the Avonmouth team and their Goram Giant called Jeff. Congratulations, a well deserved win.

Bristol Port Company charity event in aid of cancer research

Dennis Ralph a dear friend and colleague at the Bristol Port Company has been diagnosed with cancer and he expressed his wishes to raise money for the Cancer Research charity.

So on Sunday 6th September a charity bike ride was held riding from Bristol to Bath and back to Avonmouth OBRFC Barracks Lane. Port employees fabricated and painted a rickshaw in the colours red and white for the ride, which was absolutely brilliant. This enabled Dennis to join in the ride as he was transported by his friends who took it in turns to pedal the Rickshaw along the Bristol to Bath cycle track. Lots of support and donations were encountered during the journey and there were many comments regarding the rickshaw.

Everyone arrived back at Avonmouth OBRFC safely and a game of rugby was also played on the day. Bob Hone raised a select side of contractors to play the Port’s very own Dockers side. It was played in good spirit and was very well supported.

The weather was excellent for both events, which really made the day for everyone. On the day all competitors were given a curry with all the trimmings and a BBQ was also available. All proceeds from the food were kindly donated back to the charity.

Everyone would sincerely like to thank the hard working staff at the rugby club for the catering and providing the cold cider and also the Bristol Port Company for all their help and support.

An auction and raffle was also held and when sponsor money has been collected the target of £3000.00 should be achieved.

Nick Venn, Bob Hone and Wayne Harvey would like to thank everyone that took part in both events and to the very generous people that dug deep for what we see as a very important charity.

Avonmouth Community Make Sundays Special

During the summer the centre of Bristol has hosted a number of ‘Make Sundays Special’ events.

Photo: Kathryn Courtney

This time it was the turn for Avonmouth to run the final event of the year in Avonmouth Road and St. Andrews Park on the 13th September. There were small rides for children and a bouncy castle, there was live music for everyone to enjoy including traditional Irish music from the local Hibernia Centre. There were lots of stalls from tombola, cake stalls, gift ideas, scrapbooking and local organisations including the Sea Cadets, St. Andrews Church, Bristol Foodbank, Knit and Natter, Playing Out, Avon Fire Brigade, Avonmouth Food Buying Group to name just a few. You could also help paint a large art work depicting 150 years of Avonmouth history.

Photo: Kathryn Courtney

There was also a climbing wall, face painting, archery and a circus workshop. The Goram Giants made an appearance at the event where the Avonmouth Team won the competition and their giant Jeff won the award of the REAL Goram Giant and well deserved too. One unexpected visitor was the Mayor of Bristol George Ferguson who chatted with local people and had his photo taken with them. Overall with the sun shining for most of the time the event was busy and a great success. It proved to be a great day out for all.

One tree per child

One Tree Per Child aims to have everyone of the 36,000 children in Bristol’s 130 primary schools planting at least one tree. The scheme was launched on the 24th February 2015 in partnership with Bristol City Council.

Draft tree planting plans have been drawn up for Lamplighters Open Space and Nibley Road Open Space. Local community group Shirehampton and Community Action Forum (SCAF) have given a positive response to the plans. They are now open to wider community consultation and open to interested parties for comment

Please see the plans and posters. The plans are posted up in the parks and you can view them online at:

The deadline for comments was Sunday 27th September but “Shire” thought this article would still be of interest to the residents in the Lamplighters and Nibley Road vicinity.

Farewell to Dr. Archer

Shirehampton Group Practice said farewell to Dr. Archer on the 19th August. He took early retirement and it also marked the end of an era as unlike his father, the ‘young’ Dr. Archer had no-one to follow him into his GP footsteps. The Group Practice also loose their mascot Milo who is Dr. Archer’s dog.

Photo: Kathryn Courtney

The day before, he said his final farewell to patients who had become friends and there were plenty of people in attendance to give this popular GP a good send off. After the get together I spoke with Dr. Archer and asked him why he chose medical school in the first place? “I think I was really good at the sciences and that was one of the things I could do. I didn’t want to be a dentist and became a GP. I thought it would be interesting. Every day is different.”

Did your father have any input into this? “He told me not to do it. He said no you don’t want to be doing that. I think it was a bit tongue in cheek, I think he really did want me to. Mum was quite proud when I went to medical school” said Dr. Archer

I wanted to know how long it took for Dr. Archer to study and qualify to become a GP. “It’s five years in medical school and then you do a year in pre-registration in hospital. There is another two years in hospital doing various things like obstetrics, paediatrics, casualty and chest medicine. Then a whole year in a training practice before I came back to Bristol so it’s nine years.” he said

Dr. Archer trained in Birmingham but wanted to return to Bristol. Shirehampton became his first practice and he stayed. “I’m quite fond of Shirehampton, I think it’s a really nice place. In those days it was quite difficult to get a principal job, a long term job, being a partner and it just fitted well for when my dad retired. It was really nice that John Bush and John Andrews were very positive about me coming here.”

Dr Andrews was here today and he said to me that he trained you!? “Oh yes, lots of wisdom from Dr Andrews. Yes he was a big influence, very positive. a lot of it did rub off.”

I wondered what Dr. Archer enjoyed most about being a GP here in Shire? “I think it’s continuity, it’s looking after people that you get to know really well, that you don’t have to read through all the notes, you know what was wrong with them and you know what to do next. You see pregnant ladies having their babies, you see the children growing up. It’s the family side of things that I like best.” he said

And what are you going to miss? “I’m going to miss my patients. They are like friends. There are quite a lot of those really. I’d like to thank my patients for being so supportive when I came back to work after my wife passed away. They were absolutely amazing. It was almost like role reversal. It was really really good.”

What about your colleagues will you miss them too? Oh I suppose I might miss them too (tongue firmly in cheek trying not to laugh) My staff are amazing. I think the receptionists and nursing staff are really supportive and keep us all going as Doctors.” said Dr Archer

“I won’t miss the paperwork, it’s appalling and it’s got worse and worse. There’s so much more admin and red tape for lots of procedures we have to deal with now which stop us from being a Doctor. Most things are directed through ‘go and see your GP’ Every answerphone in hospital is ‘go and see your GP’”

With no family members following who is stepping into Dr. Archer’s place? “Dr William Craine will be here. He’s very well qualified and he’s a great Doctor. He worked here for a year so we actually made sure he could come back and work with us. I’ve asked him to change his name to William Archer but so far he has refused but I think he should do to continue the name in the practice.”

The final question, what is the future for Dr Archer now? “Well I’m going to retire to Cornwall and just do some of the hobbies I haven’t had time to do in the past few years. A bit of sailing and surfing, walking and cycling and then I’ll find out what else I can do that would be useful with the knowledge that I’ve got really. So we shall see.”

St Mary’s News

St. Mary's News

Hi Folks!

JUST where does time go? October already with the nights drawing in and the clocks going back to Winter time at the end of the month. Soon we shall be thinking about Christmas!!!

Thank you to all of you who supported our Harvest Appeal. I will tell you how much we collected next month when we have “totted up” the final total.

Our final Bank Holiday Open Church day for this year, back in August, was truly magnificent. The weather was none too bright and this probably encouraged more people to come in for our Lunches and Cream Teas. We were so busy that we had to put up an extra table in the central aisle. I am delighted to tell you that we made the sum of £753 for church funds - which is the highest figure so far. So thank you all who came and made it a wonderful success.

Our Christmas Gift Fayre is to be held in church from 10am until 12noon on Saturday, 17th October. This will have Crafts, Gifts and Christmas Cards etc., for sale. Our Christmas Food Fayre will be held in November so keep your eye open for the date in next month’s St Mary’s News!

A social and fund raising event this month will be at 7.30pm on Friday, 23rd October, when we shall have a gentleman by the name of John Penney to entertain us with a pot pourri of Bristol Films from 1939 to 1979. Supper is included and tickets are available from the Church Office price £8. This is likely to prove a very interesting evening!

Now, just an advance notice that our Annual Memorial Service in memory of lost loved ones is to be held at 3.00 pm on Saturday, 14th of November. I know how important this service is to many of you and it will give you a chance to put the date into your diary early.

We all had a wonderful time on our Seniors Week back in August, with a variety of interesting speakers and two coach outings to Stow-on-the-Wold and the Theatre Royal at Bath to see the world premier of the Play/Musical “Mrs Henderson presents”, which was all about the history of The Windmill Theatre in London.

Our vacancy process has now started to find a new Priest in Charge for St Mary’s. This I am afraid is a slow process and it is very important that we find the right person to lead the church and parish forward. George Rendell who is the Diocesan Transition Manager for parishes in vacancy has already been sounding people out in the church for the type of priest best suited to take forward our Visionary Plans to their eventual conclusion.

Our church yard is God’s Acre and regrettably recent events show that there are people around who take little or no care of it! In the last few weeks we have had some person empty our Waste Bins and scatter the contents all around our Memorial Garden. This is very upsetting for people who have had the ashes of their loved ones interred there. We welcome people to come and sit on the seats in the church yard, but please put your empty drinks can. bottles and food waste into the nearby waste bin in the old Memorial Garden or the bin outside the Co-op Store. Thank you in anticipation of your co-operation.

Before I go just remember this - “Every day above ground is a good one!”.

Avonmouth Sea Cadets

On Tuesday 27th October from 7pm we are holding our AGM. Hope to see new and old faces there. If there is anyone who would like to join our committee please let us know.

We are also recruiting Adult volunteers to instruct cadets. This is an amazing opportunity to gain qualifications and be part of a dedicated team that provide invaluable life experience to young people age from 10 to 18 year olds.

Please contact us at:

Avonmouth Sea Cadets
C/O The Lamplighters
Station Road
Bristol BS11 9XA
0117823938 7-9pm (on Mondays and Thursdays only)

Baptist church

Messy church

Things that go bump in the night!!!

This month is the month when Halloween is celebrated, but Christians don’t celebrate that day.

However, there are still lots of things that we are afraid of, both associated with Halloween, bats, ghosts and all those things that go bump in the night!!! Come and join us for Messy Church at the Baptist Church in Station Road on Saturday, November 7th at 3.00 pm for lots of scary craft, great food, and find out why we don’t need to be afraid--of anything!!!! See you then (Families, single parents and accompanied children of all ages - Join us for lots of scary fun!!!)

St. Bernard's church

Station Road, Shirehampton

Christmas Fayre
Saturday 14th November, 10am in St Bernard’s School Hall

From The Registers of St. Mary's

August 2015

Baptism ‘we welcome you’

30th Isabella Susan Helen Crea

Lazarus Jonathan Neate

Alfie-John Marc Pate

Funerals ‘at rest and at peace’

4th Alan Cox Canford

Ruby Bennett

5th Lloyd Gardiner

7th Joan Curtis St Mary’s

Eric Tovey Canford

Weddings ‘To love and to cherish’

22nd Charles Renee-Cosh & Lucy Phillips

Craft exhibition

Shirehampton Public Hall, Station Road, Shirehampton

Tuesday 27th October to Saturday 31st October

Opening times 10am - 4pm (late night Thursday 10am - 8pm)

Application form:

Closing date for applications, Wednesday 21st October 2015.

The Hall will be open Monday 26th Oct. 9.00am - 4.00pm for registration of exhibits

The Hall will also be open Sunday 25th Oct. 2.00pm - 4.00pm for large items

Collection of exhibits will be on Saturday 31st October 4.30pm - 5.00pm

There is an exhibition charge of .50p per item or £2.00 for 4 or more

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.

Do not send any money with this application it will be collected when you register.

Name:Tel No:
Address:post code:
Exhibit 1:price/N.F.S
Exhibit 2:price/N.F.S
If you have more than 2 items please add continuation sheet
I would like to steward on:am/pm
I would like to demonstrate on:am/pm

Closing date for applications Wednesday 21st October 2015

Please return this form to Shire Public Library, Station Rd, Shirehampton BS11 9TU or

8 Penpole Place BS11 0DR or email information to

contact number for Gail & Ed 0117 9821879

City and Port of Bristol Bowling Club

The climax of this year’s club competitions - Finals Day - took place on Saturday 5th September and saw some close and exciting games.

In particular the Bill Deakin Novice Trophy, contested by Dee Crawley and Dave Chilcott. The winning target for this final was 21 shots so, when the scores were level at 20-20 it was down to one more end to decide the winter. At the end of that final end it was very close and needed a measure to decide who was closest to the jack. By a very small margin Dave Chilcott was declared the winner.

The Bowling Club AGM will take place on Tuesday 20th October @ 8pm at the City and Port of Bristol Sports and Social Club.

There will once again be a programme of social events through the close season. These were popular and well supported last winter.

This photo shows the tradition of The President spinning the coin for the first game.

Tynings Field Say Thank You To Lloyds Bank Volunteers

For three days during August Tynings Field Community Group welcomed volunteers from Lloyds Banking Group to help out in the field as part of their community volunteer project.

Photo: Kathryn Courtney

Ten volunteers cleared a lot of overgrowth in the field, built a fence, a greenhouse and made a couple raised beds to enable disabled people to plant fruit and vegetables at Tynings Field. One of the days they persevered in the rain in order to complete their tasks. Their hard work paid off.

The Lloyds Bank volunteers also raised £170 for the Avon Autistic Foundation which was match funded by Lloyds to total £340 for the charity who use the field for growing.

For further information and updates on Tynings Field please visit their web page

Botany in the Shire

The Wild Plants of the Shirehampton area

I’ve been concentrating on the willowherbs recently after the Somerset Rare Plants Group held a workshop on their identification.

If you include Rose-bay, I’ve seen eight different species around Shirehampton. The Pale (-flowered) Willowherb, I have yet to find round here. The Marsh Willowherb was known by the Avon a century or more ago. The best places to look for the rest are beside roads and paths and in gardens.

Great Willowherb with its showy purplish flowers is abundant close to the river. It was once called Codlins and Cream. A Codlin was a cooking apple which used to be boiled in milk and eaten with cream, and supposedly (according to John Ray, the father of British Botany) its bruised leaves have a similar smell to this old-fashioned pudding. The herbalist Gerarde suggests a more vulgar origin of the name.

The official English names for the various willowherbs give some clues as to how you have to tell them apart and convey a sort of botanical desperation in the attempt to discriminate them all. Flower colour, plant size, hairiness, leaf shape, stalk cross-section, length of pods, and habitat and geographical origin all clearly play a part in naming them: Great, Hoary, Broad-leaved, Spear-leaved, Square-stalked, Short-fruited and American. The problem is that two less-visible characters are more important: first whether the flowers have a cross- or club-shaped stigma in the centre of the flower and secondly, if the stigma is club-shaped as in the last three, the distribution of stalked sticky-ended glands found on the stem.

Square-stalked Willowherb has narrow leaves and long three-inch pods and no glands. The scruffy-looking American Willowherb has pointed leaves and is and very glandular. The Short-fruited one has caused me most difficulty. Its Latin name, fittingly, is obscurum. It is similar to the American Willowherb (which has been with us for 80 years) but has blunt leaves and glands confined to the sepals, and it starts to creep in the autumn. It appeared in my hand whilst I was weeding my garden.

Silverware for Shirehampton’s Shotokan Karate Club

In August, members of Shirehampton’s Kyoto Shotokan Karate Club made the trip to the Nottingham Wildcats Arena to compete in the SKI-GB national championships. Chief Instructor to Europe and Great Britain Hanshi Shiro Asano (9th Dan) presided over the event, now in its 41st year - with more than one hundred competitors from around the UK, as well as an unprecedented number of visiting representatives from Ireland and Israel.

Both Mark Hula and Peter Goodman gave strong individual performances in the men’s junior kumite (free fighting) event, being unlucky to miss out on any medals. Joel McDuff entered his first competition in the senior men’s kumite and faced fierce competition from a more experienced Ireland competitor. In the 3-man team kumite event each team member fights against an opponent from the opposing team - Kyoto was drawn against a more experienced team from Nottingham with both current UK title and former world title holders, and were sadly knocked out in the first round.

Peter Goodman however brought home the trophies with a well-deserved 3rd place in the adults’ junior kata (choreographed techniques) event. Jonathan Burton sadly missed out on any trophies with an outstanding 4th place in the Senior Men’s Kumite, but his performance has earnt him a provisional place in the squad to represent Great Britain at the12th SKIF World Championships in Jakarta, Indonesia, in August next year.

The Club’s Instructor commented: “We were particularly proud of the team’s achievement given that for several members this was the first time they have ever competed at a national level and against more experienced competitors. The experience gained will hopefully being more success in years to come.”.

The club is looking forward to training with one of the countries most experienced Instructors, Sensei Paul Mead (7th Dan), who will be teaching on a course on Saturday 12th December at the club. Sensei Mead was the first SKI European Kumite champion in 1978 and captained the GB squad to victory in the 1992 Mexico world championships - with many other titles behind him, the club is hoping to gain valuable experience from him.

The Kyoto Shotokan Karate club trains weekly on Thursday evenings at Avonmouth Rugby Club and new members are welcome. The club is starting a free 4-week beginner’s course starting 8th October and is open to adults and children (5+).

Contact Steve/Tyra on 0789 0396246 or e-mail for more details.

Barn Dance


Barn Dance

Shirehampton Public Hall Saturday 17th October 7.30-11pm

£5 adults - £2.50 children

Bring your own food and drink.

Tickets available from;

  • Nightingales Electrical
  • Shirehampton Public Hall
  • or on the door

Road Sharing - a Restorative Approach

A project by Bristol Mediation

Bristol is well known for its clogged streets and air pollution problems, as cars, bikes, buses, taxis and lorries compete with each other on its narrow congested roads. Disabled road users and pedestrians have a hard time too. These issues can lead to a lot of conflict and ‘road rage’.

What can we do?

In the year that Bristol is European Green Capital, the City Council is funding a project to bring road users together to discuss ways forward. It has awarded £10,000 to Bristol Mediation, the established independent local organisation which helps citizens resolve conflicts. Two part-time project workers have been appointed who will make contact with small groups of road users, to listen to their views and concerns.

There will be separate group meetings for different road users, e.g. a meeting for cyclists, a meeting for car drivers, and so on. We hope to include organisations and individuals, however spaces will be limited. Each small group will attend a two-hour meeting in November 2015, and will then choose two or three people to represent their interests at a larger all-day meeting in February 2016.

The large meeting in February will be run using a restorative approach. This means that the focus will be on expression of concerns, dialogue between different groups of road users and finding a constructive way forward. It is hoped that those who attend will gain greater awareness and understanding of other road users’ perspectives.

The project will be evaluated using questionnaires and filmed interviews of participants before and after the large meeting. Bristol Mediation will communicate the results of the restorative conference to Bristol City Council.

If you or your organisation wants to share your views and concerns by joining one of the small groups, please download and complete the form on the Bristol Mediation website Sharing A Restorative Approach/.

Letters to the Editor

Kings Weston Junior Park Run

Dear Editor

Well done to Warren Pickles for organising the Kings Weston Junior Park Run! Despite the bad weather a good crowd of parents and children turned out. I hope it bcomes a permanent feature in the Kingsweston calendar.

Rugby club pitches

Dear Editor

In response to the letter printed in the ‘Shire’ last month (July) regarding the closing off of access to the rugby club pitches from cycle path/Bean acre/Kings Weston road, preventing dog walkers gaining access to Avonmouth rugby club, we would like to point out that the way of entry mentioned is not a public right of way and never has been.

The highways agency erected a picket fence along the cycle path (approx 15 years ago) that has over the years been vandalised and a path has been trodden up to the pitches that are now being used by dog walkers.

Avonmouth RFC are responsible for the up keep/maintenance of these fields (approx 3k a year). This involves cutting, spiking and rolling on a regular basis to enable training and matches to be played five times per week by both our junior and senior sections.

Avonmouth rugby club has not taken this action lightly, however, we now feel enough is enough with the fouling of our sports field/playing areas at the club. We have in excess of 120 youngsters plus 3 adult sides training and playing on a weekly basis. The health risk is now a major problem to our members and visiting teams. We regularly have to clear the pitches of dog faeces before our members can use them. On a number of occasions, we have had youngsters covered in faeces which you can imagine isn’t a very pleasant experience and could potentially cause loss of eye sight.

We do not wish to penalise responsible dog owners that do clean up after their pets from using these lovely facilities, unfortunately, the irresponsible ones have caused this action to be taken.

The top area is very soon to be developed with drainage ditches/pipework to be installed by heavy plant/diggers/dumpers working the area, therefore, it is not going to be safe to be in the area when this project starts.

The PBA sports and social club are having exactly the same issues with dogs fouling on their pitches.

Avonmouth rugby club will be contacting Bristol city council to discuss this problem and will endeavour to eradicate it asap.

Audrey Johns

Dear Editor

We were very sorry to read the sad news of that nice lady Audrey Johns. My husband joined the photograph classes at Twyford House and took several photos for Mrs Archer, to go in the very early “Shire”. He met Audrey and Ray when we went on the many very enjoyable coach trips she arranged. We miss Shirehampton having lived on the Portway for nearly 58 years, but are pleased to receive the news through “Shire” each month. We moved to a retirement apartment in Bradley Stoke nearly 3 years ago and are surprised to find several residents are now retiring here from Shirehampton, which is nice as we can talk about old times.

(Thank you Daphne for your kind donation)

A story from Portway School

Dear Editor

Having read many stories about Portway School in a number of Shire publications I thought this might bring a smile to your day.

I attended Portway School back in the 50s and helped to move equipment from the lower Portway to the upper school (called Penpole in those days)

During the second term at the new school Mr Martin my teacher decided to hold a mock trial. The class picked a jury, defence council, prosecuting counsel and Mr Martin was picked as the judge. Then they picked me to be the thief and I was told to go to the school garden and cut a cabbage and put it in a Swag bag. I was then arrested by John “class mate” (I think that was his name) who was made into the local policeman and charged me with stealing a cabbage. The trial started and it took all morning to hear the case and I was found guilty and the jury asked the judge to give me 1000 lines of “I Shall Not Steal”. But the judge overturned the verdict and dismissed all charges. I and everyone else was confused as to how he came to this decision. He explained that I had been found guilty of stealing a cabbage but in fact I had stolen a cauliflower by mistake. I then sued the police for compensation for wrongful arrest and won the case. I was allowed to keep the cauliflower and take it home.

To Whom it may Concern

Dear Editor

I am writing to thank the person who found my bank card on 20th August in the Health Centre and handed it to the receptionist.

Kingsmead Lodge Care Home

Extracts from the Bristol Evening Post Report on 23rd August 2015.

A Shirehampton care home has been ordered to improve its service after inspectors found residents were at risk of dehydration.

Kingsmead Lodge offers care for the elderly and those with dementia. In its latest inspection, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) gave the home a “Requires Improvement” rating, and told managers to adjust staffing levels and ensure residents were given enough food and drink.

Kingsmead is registered to provide accommodation and personal care with nursing for up to 81 older people across two floors. At the time of the inspection in May there were 44 people using the service.

The home was criticised by the CQC for failing to keep track of when people had been eating and drinking after one person’s chart indicated they had received no food or drinks for a 56 hour period. The report said: “People’s care records were not always maintained accurately and completely to ensure full information was available to enable staff to meet their needs. We looked at the chart of another person at 2.45pm. There was no fluid intake recorded for the day in any of their plans.”

Staffing levels also came under fire, and there had been no registered manager in place for six months. The report said: “Staffing levels were not adapted to respond to the changing needs and circumstances of the people using the service. Staff focused on their tasks and did not spend time talking to people, even when they were assisting them with lunch”.

“Feedback from relatives advised that the care was good most of the time and the carer staff really wanted to provide the best care they could. They thought that they were hampered by being short staffed at certain times.”

Inspectors found that staff was not consistently supported through an effective training and supervision programme. Although new staff completed an induction programme, on-going training was not being maintained. Not all staff felt the training they received was good enough, with too much e-learning, although the regional manager for the home told inspectors the training programme is going to change and will be more interactive.

Inspectors praised the service for offering activities for residents. There is a structured weekly activities programme at Kingsmead, including one-to-one sessions, exercise classes and gardening sessions. The report said: “We observed people engaging in an exercise class. Those participating were engaged and responding positively to the interaction. We received a mixed response from people about the activities provided in the service. One person told us about their love of gardening and how they assisted with watering the plants and spending time in the area with the activities coordinator. One relative felt that the service could improve their activities and should offer outside visits.”

The report added: “Since the appointment of the manager the overall feedback had been positive and there had been a perceived notable improvement in the running of the service.”

No one at Kingsmead Lodge was available to comment

Read more:

Bring your team along to a fundraising quiz

LinkAge is holding a fundraising quiz on Thursday 22nd October 2015 from 1pm - 3pm at the Tithe Barn in Shirehampton.

What they really need is teams to come along and take part. Can you get a team of six people together? All ages welcome. If so then please contact Laura Burchette on 0117 3533042 or 07930559293 and pledge your interest by 6th October but late comers welcome. The cost is £6 per team and the afternoon should be a fun challenge of knowledge and a battle of wits in order to become the winning team. Cake, refreshments and entertainment will also be part of the afternoon. At the same time you will be helping support the local Bristol Charity LinkAge in Shirehampton.

The name’s Bond - Bligh Bond .

Shirehampton and Avonmouth have a claim to fame: together they have the biggest collection of buildings in one small area designed by the architect Frederick Bligh Bond (1864-1945).

We ought to celebrate him as “our” architect. He was professionally active at a time when interest in making medieval-looking buildings in the Victorian Gothic style had begun to slacken off, but architects of his day still looked back to other periods and styles of England’s past. Writers have found it hard to fasten a label on Bond: some have called his work loosely Queen Anne, others have said Edwardian Baroque. Others have detected an Italian influence! Whichever way you look at it, a lot of what is architecturally interesting in our area is due to the distinctive buildings he created from about 1898 to 1907, and two even have listed building status from English Heritage.

Frederick Bligh Bond - Architect.

Some readers will know Cossham Memorial Hospital in Kingswood, which is an early example of his work, and probably the biggest. But from about 1898-1907 he enjoyed the support of Philip Napier Miles, the “squire” of King’s Weston, for whom he undertook an important series of commissions, including Shirehampton Public Hall and the striking but now-demolished King’s Weston estate office in Shirehampton, as well as the Miles Arms pub, substantial private houses in both Shire and Avonmouth, and several terraces of shops and workers’ houses in Avonmouth. Some details of his buildings appear to echo details of King’s Weston House.

Bond flourish on the corner of Gloucester Road., Avonmouth

After a lot of searching, I’ve come up with the following list of what I believe to be Bond’s work in the local area, though not all the details are complete. If you know different, or can add any examples, please mail me at Maybe you live in one of these houses. You may be luckier than you thought if so!

  • Some houses in Farr Street, and some built for the shipping line Elder Dempster in Green Lane, Avonmouth (1898).
  • Richmond Buildings, nine shops with flats over in Avonmouth Road, Avonmouth (about 1900).
  • One new lodge house (Home Lodge, King’s Weston Lane) for the King’s Weston estate (1901).
  • Westward House, estate office for the King’s Weston estate, High Street, Shirehampton (1902-3). [Demolished in 1952 for the petrol station. Scandal!]
  • Workers’ houses, 16-36 and 19-39 Davis Street, Avonmouth (about 1902). [Numbers 28-34 were destroyed or badly damaged by a German bomb on 1/2 September 1940 but rebuilt. The strange gaps in these terraces at non-existent numbers “26” and “29” were to leave space for the former Avonmouth Light Railway. It’s possible that other terraces in Avonmouth may be designed by Bond, but disguised under the names of their builders in the city’s records (e.g. maybe in Cook, Davis and Farr Streets and Portview Road).]
  • Shirehampton Public Hall and Library, Station Road, Shirehampton (1903-4). [Grade II listed building.]
  • Miles Arms Hotel, Avonmouth Rd, Avonmouth (1903-4).
  • Shops with flats over, Avonmouth Road, reaching to the corner of Gloucester Road, Avonmouth (1904-5).
  • Shops with flats over (once called Winchester Buildings), Station Road, Shirehampton (1904-5).
  • Eight private houses (19-29 and probably 50-52) Station Road, Shirehampton (1904-5).
  • The Wylands, private house, High Street, Shirehampton (1906-7). [Later a training centre and conference centre. Grade II listed building.]
  • Park House, 1 St Andrew’s Road, and Hughenden, 2 St Andrew’s Road, originally private houses, Avonmouth (1906-7).

Having left these important marks with us, Bond moved on to other things, including his work as an archaeologist at Glastonbury Abbey and recorder of conversations with medieval monks. But that’s another and weirder story. You can read more at

Our lost Bond building in the High Street.

Nature Notes

Crab apple tree

This lovely little crab apple tree is in my neighbours garden, and I’m lucky to be able to see it from my kitchen window. What a breath of autumn!

The young goldfinches are monopolising the feeder now, so I am constantly topping it up to make room for as many as possible. The house sparrows are also keeping us poor, with three feeders to choose from! The constant flying to and fro from our garden to our neighbours huge hedge is great fun to watch.

The fox cubs are also thriving. We watched six healthy-looking youngsters come up from the riverbank for some scraps the other evening- magical!

I bumped into some old friends on Avonmouth Rd the other day, and they told me about their visiting blackbird. He turns up every morning and waits for his breakfast of fruit scraps just outside their French doors. Isn’t that nice?

Let’s all remember to keep fresh water available for our garden visitors, especially when we have a dry spell, and also throughout the winter months to come. It’s easy to forget that water may be scarce even in the cooler months ahead.

Happy nature watching.