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News Index

Avon's Business Savvy Pupils Exceed Expectations!

Get Growing Trail

Introduction to Being a Garden Volunteer

Mental Health & Social Isolation

Shire Needs Editors - desktop publishing.

Shire Christmas Illuminations Logo Competition

Letters to the Editor

Mr Shirehampton, I presume?

Highways England work on M5 northbound at J19

Botany Walk on Lamplighters Marsh

SCAF Full Forum Meeting - Everyone welcome

Active Choices

Nature Notes

Avon Primary School Summer Fayre

Walled Gardens Open Morning

Lawrence Weston Employment & Enterprise Hub

Avonmouth & Shirehampton Beat Report -March 2016

191st Shirehampton Scout Group

Shirehampton man preyed on teenage girl with learning difficulties

All Change at the Health Centre

Another blow to Shirehampton Post Office

Hole in the wall withdrawal… Bob Pitchford

Post Office Attacked, 2am 26/04/2016

More photos of the post office

Easter in Shire'

Avon's Business Savvy Pupils Exceed Expectations!

Budding business brains were put to the test during a very taxing 'Enterprise Week' in February at Avon Primary School.

The children were given the challenge to use just £10 to set up their own business, and put it to the test in an hour long Enterprise Event on the Friday afternoon. Families were invited to come and spend their hard-earned cash and the most successful business team would have the honour of choosing the children's charity who would receive all the profit.

Classes learnt about money management, business-planning, marketing and, of course, profit and loss over the five days, ploughing this knowledge into their sales campaigns. These included selling Mother's Day gift sets, enticing customers with individually designed 'Pebble People' and setting up a photo booth with a wide range of props.

Each class prepared a sales pitch earlier in the week and there were some seriously 'assertive' marketing strategies occurring around the school. With only a few minutes to set up their businesses on the day, it was astonishing to see Avon's school hall transformed into a vibrant, buzzing marketplace.

With a window of only one hour for trading, the school experienced a stampede of customers and clients, only too willing to pick up a bargain or take advantage of the many services and competitions classes had devised.

Deputy Head teacher Anna Morris commented, "The enthusiasm and drive shown by the children was immense. We never expected them to have such business acumen or to apply such attention to detail to their pitches and products. The number of families who came to the event was also staggering: they were clearly taken with the products and chose to spend their money with multiple classes, showing that marketing was stronger at times than family loyalty!"

The total raised was a whopping £814.75 and the winning campaign was from 'Gromit Class' who at the ages of four and five, made £103.95 by selling popcorn. They nominated the appropriately named 'Wallace and Gromit' appeal for Bristol Children's Hospital as the recipients of all the profit from this phenomenal event.

Get Growing Trail

Tynings Field will be open to the public on June 5th over the weekend for the Get Growing Trail. We are participating in the Community Plant collection and growing rare calendula seeds for Bristol Zoo.

There are opportunities for members to be involved in a zoo day, a training workshop on taking hibernium species and to learn hand pollination techniques. If you are interested in participating please make contact.

We are also happy to receive wild flower seeds, oxeye daisies etc, all from Grow Wild, a project which gives out free wild flower seeds to communities to plant to enrich pollination and beautify areas. We have started making flowerbeds in the orchard for the seeds.

We are also looking for a spare piece of land away from public highways for up to 10 beehives. Our bee-keeper is relocating up to ten of his hives and leaving the minimum here.

If you are seeking to grow veg here, membership is ten pounds a year, you get your share of fruit and work on an area smaller than an allotment and easier to manage on a no dig no pesticide system, please get in touch.

Our members are all busy growing, a new raised bed is in the orchard with ten new fruit trees in blossom.

Introduction to Being a Garden Volunteer

At Lawrence Weston Community Farm this 4 week course is for adults over 19 yrs with few or no qualifications.

Help improve the gardens and meet new people. Cook healthy pizzas in the clay oven, learn how to work safely with veg, herbs, fruit and flowers.

Dates - Thurs 9th, 16th, 23rd & 30th June 2016 from 10am to 1pm at Lawrence Weston Community Farm

Mental Health & Social Isolation

Home-start Bristol, a leading family support charity, is concerned that socially isolated families are also further isolated by mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

Scheme Manager Beverley Symonds said "Bristol is a vibrant, family friendly city but we are supporting more families where poor mental health is stopping them enjoying what is on their doorstep. We are tackling this by matching families with parent volunteers who understand the challenges of family life and work alongside parents to help them overcome their problems. In North Bristol we are working with Brentry and Henbury Children's Centre to help isolated families feel more confident to use their local services and improve their sense of wellbeing"

David Jones, Director of the Children's Centre said "It is striking how prevalent poor mental health is amongst the families that we work with. This innovative joint approach in our area will enable support for families as they struggle with the impact of this increasingly common issue."

Home-Start Bristol has supported over 150 families over the last 12 months. One mum who has been supported by the charity said "The day my volunteer visits is the best day of the week - the one I look forward to. We all benefit but especially my daughter who has got a bit of her mummy back. It's making a difference.

Evergreen's Day Trips

14th JuneDay trip to Exmouth
5th JulyDay trip to Sidmouth
9th AugDay trip to Weymouth
6th SeptDay trip to Moreton-in-Marsh and Bourton-on-Water
4th OctDay trip to Cardiff

Shire Needs Editors - desktop publishing.

As Shire moves into the digital age we find we need new editors who are comfortable with desktop publishing as well as with writing and editing copy for the newspaper.

The editors work as a team and no one is expected to edit more than two issues each year. You would begin by working with an experienced editor until you felt ready to undertake an edition on your own. All the editors are available to support anyone joining the team.

If you think you might be interested and would like to know more you can come along to one of our regular committee meetings. We meet on the first Monday of the month at 5:30pm in the Methodist Church Hall in Penpole Avenue.

Cotswold Community Association Events for May

Plant Sale May 21st at CCA Hall
Cotswold Community Association plant sale will be on May 21st at the CCA hall - doors open 10a.m.
Queen's Birthday Celebration May 14th
Cotswold Community Association will host a themed food night -'British Night'. Celebrating the Queen's forthcoming birthday on May 14th -- For tickets or phone John 07790426691

Shire Christmas Illuminations Logo Competition

Pupils at local primary schools were asked to take part in a competition to design the logo for Shire Christmas Illuminations, the new Christmas lights committee for Shirehampton Village.

Izzie Richardson's winning design.

The winner of the competition was Izzie Richardson, 9 years old, from St Bernard's Primary School. The runner up was Maisie Robinson, 10 years old, from Shirehampton Primary School.

Thank you to Ocean Estate Agents for donating the prizes for the competition. Congratulations to Izzie and Maisie and thank you to all of the children that took part.

Letters to the Editor

Wayne Harvey stands down

Dear Editor,

Councillor Wayne Harvey has decided not to stand for re-election in May. As a family we are very proud of him, for all his hard work and all he has achieved in the time he has been in the Ward.

Well done Wayne from Mum, Dad and all your family.

(Thank you very much for the donation. Ed)

Dog Walking in the Cemetery, (Name supplied)

Dear Editor,

I would be grateful if you could print this reminder to inform those few people who still think Shirehampton Cemetery is a recreational ground for dog walking and exercising. You know who you are, the lady with the German Shepherd dog who allows her dog to roam free across the graves, despite being told politely at least three times, still refuses to put it on a lead, hence this letter.

It's also worth remembering that some people are nervous of dogs and the last thing you need when tending a loved one's grave is a dog running towards you.

There is a sign at the entrance of the Cemetery stating that dogs are to be kept on a lead, please respect this request.

Mary Elmes, Bobbie Perkins

Dear Editor,

A well known and popular elderly resident of the Cotswold estate sadly passed away in February.

Mary Elmes was 94 years old and her life was varied beyond most people's experiences. Her childhood was spent on a farm where her dad was bailiff, and when she left school she entered domestic service. However, when WW11 erupted, Mary, then aged 20, joined the NAAFI. Not content with that, in 1944 she signed up for overseas work and found herself in Normandy, just 8 weeks after D Day! After wartime spells in France, Belgium, Holland and finally Germany after the war ended, she met her future husband. The couple arrived in Bristol after their marriage.

Mary's neighbour's and friends on the Cotswold estate will probably remember her best for her beautifully tended garden, her fierce independence, and, for me at least, her wicked sense of humour that was always delivered with the straightest of faces! We will all recall her comment when you happened to pass her in the village: 'We're off to the euthanasia club'.

Rest in peace Mary.

Diamond Wedding, Steve Beer

Dear Editor,

My parents Donald and Marjorie Beer will be celebrating their 60th Wedding Anniversary on June 2nd 2016. Married at St.Mary's Shirehampton, they have lived all their married life in Shirehampton in the house where Marjorie was born.

With Love from all the family. Steve Beer

Charlotte Leslie Visit to Shirehampton, Kelvin Weech

Dear Editor,

Having read your article on the recent visit to Shirehampton by Charlotte Leslie I write to express my annoyance that once again the MP for Bristol North West has managed to get the 'Shire' to publish what is a PR piece. The closing quote by Gerry Bessell "When the chips are down you can rely on Charlotte to help Shirehampton" is nothing more than political propaganda.

But just what has she done for Shirehampton? I see no evidence of anything she's achieved apart from getting a closed pub reopened and that was only achieved by allowing the new owners to develop the attached land to make a profit from the properties built there.

Not every reader of your paper is a supporter of this government and many see this government on a national level as damaging to the wellbeing of average citizens in this country.

I have written to Charlotte Leslie more than once with regard to her stance on European exit and to date she has yet to reply. All I can garner is she is still 'undecided'. But of course she will wait to see how voting on this issue will benefit her best and further her career before deciding.

I feel the 'Shire', which is written and delivered to people in the area of all political leaning, must be careful to remain politically neutral and not allow itself to, at best, naively be embroiled in such a blatant Tory PR exercise.

The Editors wish to point out that while Shire reports the activities of people involved in politics it does not endorse or support any party political view. The views and opinions expressed in articles in Shire are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Shire Publications."

St. Mary’s News

Hi Folks!

Here we are well into Spring and the much anticipated Easter time has come and gone - just where does time go as we shall soon be celebrating Pentecost!

Taking a quick look back to Easter the children must be congratulated on their Good Friday presentation of "The Three Trees". They were exceptionally good! Afterwards we all had the opportunity to enjoy some Hot Cross Buns which were in abundance on a table at the west end of the church. At 1pm there was a service of Meditation prior to the Shirehampton Area Choir singing - Olivet to Calvary - which was composed by J.H.Maunder. Grateful thanks must go to Tim Forder for his patient teaching over the previous months.

Despite the weather pundits forecasting dismal weather over the Easter weekend we were all pleasantly surprised to see the dawn produce an almost cloudless sky. Sixteen of us assembled on Shirehampton Park at 7.00 am for our traditional Easter Day Sunrise Service. Despite a chill wind blowing it was a wonderful experience with the early morning bird song and the crowning glory was a beautiful golden sunrise appearing through the trees in the Coombe Dingle direction. On completion of this short service we then all adjourned to the Tithe Barn for a traditional English breakfast provided by Gill Sawyer. Back at St Mary's many of the children had made Easter cards and two others two lovely Easter gardens. Congratulations to all you children for your time and effort. What was an extremely busy day ended with a reflective service of Compline at 8pm.

  • Our Spring Fayre on Saturday 2nd April

    This was very well patronised on what turned out to be a fine and dry morning and I am pleased to tell you all that it raised the sum of £1.476 towards our much needed church funds. Thank you to all of you who came and supported us - your participation is vital for our survival.

  • Now, here are two dates for you all to put in your Diaries!

    Monday 2nd May is May Day, Bank Holiday Monday and this is the first of our Church Open Days for 2016. From 12 noon until 5pm the church will be open for the purchase of Lunches and Teas. You will have a very varied Menu and all at extremely reasonable prices. Not only that, there will be an exact repeat of Lunches and Teas again on Spring Bank Holiday Monday, which this year is on Monday 30th May. You are cordially invited to support both of these Open Days which is aimed at providing funds for the upkeep of St Mary's - I am confident in saying that on either of these days you will not go home feeling empty or disappointed!!

  • Sunday 8th May

    The newly elected members of the Parochial Church Council will be dedicated to serve for the next 12 months at our 10am Holy Communion Service, Sunday 8th May.

  • Tuesday 31st May, Wednesday 1st June and Thursday 2nd June in The Tithe Barn

    The Holiday Club for children aged five to eight years will again be held on Tuesday 31st May, Wednesday 1st June and Thursday 2nd June in The Tithe Barn. Each day the sessions will start at 9.30am and finish at 11.30am and will include crafts, games, activities and refreshment and not only that, it is ENTIRELY FREE!

  • Friday 3rd June

    On Friday 3rd June there will be a special event at 7.30pm in the church entitled - "An evening with Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers" with live music, dancing and singing. Tickets for this function will be £10 and included will be a glass of wine and a Buffet Supper. Tickets for this event will be available from the Church Office.

This yarn is courtesy of Alison Harding who has sent me a number of 'church jokes'. Seen on a church notice board was the following - Weight watchers will meet in the church at 7pm this Tuesday evening. Please use the large double doors at the side of the building.

'Bye for now. C.M.E.

Do have a look at our website and check our St Mary's Facebook page

Mr Shirehampton, I presume?

You probably haven't met him. There aren't many of him.

Most surnames were created sometime between about 1200 and 1600, depending on what part of the country you're looking at, and they spread depending on how fertile male parents were and on the luck of the draw of life. One that bucks the trend is Shirehampton.

Very unusually, we know exactly when it was created: 22 September 1915, just 100 years ago. In the London Gazette of 28 September in that year appeared the following legal notice:

I, WILLIAM BRUFORD SHRIMPTON, of "Ninehams Gables," Caterham, in the county of Surrey, hereby give notice, that I have assumed and intend henceforth upon all occasions and at all times to sign and use and be called and known by the surname of "Shirehampton" in lieu of and substitution for my present surname of "Shrimpton," and that such intended change or assumption of name is formally declared and evidenced by a deed poll under my hand and seal dated this day, and enrolled in the Central Office of the Supreme Court of Judicature on the 22nd September, 1915. In testimony whereof I hereby sign and subscribe myself by such any intended future name.?Dated the 13th day of September, 1915. WILLIAM BRUFORD SHIREHAMPTON.

William had no known connection with Shire - in fact he moved to Barnet in later life. I can only think he thought that Shirehampton was the true origin of his name and that he was just setting history right. Or that Shirehampton sounded posher than the name he'd been begotten with, and that he was fed up of seafood jokes. Or all of these. Shrimpton really derives from Sherington in Buckinghamshire, but that's another story.

The new Mr Shirehampton was born about 1881 and died in 1942. His family connections are a bit elusive, but he fathered children who were content with what he had started. One was Squadron Leader the Reverend William John Prankerd Shirehampton M.A., who married in Sidmouth shortly after his father's death in 1942 and died in Monmouth in 1992, having been an RAF chaplain in WW2 and published the blockbusting 16-page "Monmouth's Railways: a Historical Survey" in 1961 (which has run to three editions), and the 24-page "Tramroads and Railways in the Forest of Dean: Including Time Tables and Maps" in the same year.

He had an elder sister called Hazel Ruth, who married a man from Clifton Park (the world really does get smaller), and seems to have emigrated to Australia. There was also a Mr Benford Shirehampton. Sarah J. Shirehampton was married in Monmouth to a man named Russell, but I don't yet know when, or where she fits in - W.J.P.'s sister or daughter? And you'll find a couple of living Shirehamptons if you search the web hard enough.

There's a final twist, a firm called Shirehampton Limited, farming sheep and goats, was set up in 1996 in Crawley, not very far from Caterham, by Mr Edward Paul Shrimpton. It closed down in 2008. Is/was this Mr Shrimpton a descendant of some branch of William Bruford's family? And was he picking up an old family story in the name of his short-lived business? Questions, questions. But not to be answered in BS11.

Highways England work on M5 northbound at J19

Skanska, working on behalf of Highways England, will be carrying out essential renewal works to the Variable Message Sign (VMS) on the M5 northbound at junction 19.

"Some of the works will be undertaken overnight, with lane closures and full night time closures of the M5 J19 northbound entry slip road. It is anticipated we will require a total of seven full closures of the slip road between the hours of 20:00-06:00 during April and May. During these closures, a clearly signed diversion will be in place. Traffic will be sent southbound to M5 J20 to use the exit slip. Traffic will then return onto the M5 northbound via the J20 northbound entry slip and then continue to M5 J19 for northbound carriageway. Signage will be in place to identify the nights on which the closures will be in place."

St. Mary’s Registers - March 2016

Funerals ‘At rest and at peace’

2nd Anthony Harding Canford
11th Elizabeth Maggs Canford
15th Michael North Canford
18th Christopher Cook Canford
18th Mary Elmes Canford
29th Betty Small Canford
29th Bettie Little Canford
31st Roberta Locock Canford

Botany Walk on Lamplighters Marsh

Friends of Lamplighters Marsh are delighted to announce that Clive Lovatt of the Bristol Naturalists Society will lead a Botanical Walk along the Yellow Brick Road on Saturday 7th May between 11am and 1pm.

Many of you will have read Clive's very knowledgeable columns about local plants in the Shire. This will be an opportunity to learn more about some of the rare plants that make Lamplighters Marsh so special. The walk will be free but numbers are limited so booking is essential.

St Andrew's Ladies Club Programme

St. Andrew's Ladies Club meet at 7.30pm on the first and the third Tuesday of the month at St. Andrew's Church Hall, Avonmouth

3rd MayFans by Margaret
17th MayBingo
7th JuneSummer Outing (to be arranged)
21st JuneMusic. Coronation. Jean Routley
5th JulyBedminster. Mike Britton
19th JulyAGM. Supper

Shire Door To Door Shopping Trips Cost Free!

Wednesday Afternoon - Pick Up From 2pm

4 May:Morrisons - Cribbs
11 May:Aldi & North St Shops - Bedminster
18 May:Abbeywood Shopping Park (ASDA, Pets At Home, Matalan, Next Clearance, Poundland)
25 May:Tesco - Golden Hill
1 June:Asda/East St Shops - Bedminster
8 June:Willow Brook Centre, Home & Wear Tesco, Argos, Boots, Pet Shop, Poundstore

These trips are organized by SCAF especially for Shire residents aged 60 +, cost = free!

Lawrence Weston community transport (lwct) are providing this door to door service in a fully accessible 14 seater minibus. Booking on a first come first served basis.

SCAF Full Forum Meeting - Everyone welcome

Tuesday 3 May 2016 7-9pm, Shire Public Hall, Station Road, Shirehampton, Bristol, BS11 9TU

In addition to our usual agenda we will have a guest presentation by Keith Houghton, Avonmouth & Kingsweston Neighbourhood Partnership Co-ordinator on Membership & Representation of Shirehampton at the BCC Neighbourhood Partnership

Brief background: At the Governance event held on 20th February, two models for membership selection had been proposed for consideration by the NP as follows:-

Option 1 - Given that the NP consists of 4 villages (Avonmouth, Lawrence Weston, Shirehampton & North Sea Mills/Coombe Dingle), resident members per village should be elected by each Village's Forum in April/May 2016 to take effect from June 16 AGM. Membership would initially be for 12 months, but would be reviewed going forward.

Option 2 - Open Door system (used by Horfield & Lockleaze NP). The NP term of reference limits each Ward's resident membership on the NP. Within those limits any resident can request to become an NP member, via the NP Co-ordinator or NP Chair. They are asked to attend two NP meetings and are then formally voted on as members by the NP (no limit on period of membership)

Active Choices

Have you noticed some people in the local community are looking fitter and healthier than ever?

The reason may be put down to their participation in the Exercise Referral Scheme at Henbury Leisure Centre. My name is Alistair and I am the Exercise Referral manager for Everyone Active Leisure Centres in Bristol. The scheme I manage is delivered at Bristol City Council's leisure facilities at Henbury Leisure Centre. It is called Active Choices and is an exercise referral scheme for people with varying health conditions including obesity, diabetes, mental health conditions, joint problems, etc. In partnership with Bristol City Council and the NHS and with a relationship with Shirehampton Health Centre, it offers reduced price supervised physical activity sessions for those people with health conditions. We provide a 12 week programme of tailor-made physical activity with support and guidance from highly qualified instructors.

Local resident and recent participant Stephen says "I have been so impressed with the scheme and its effect on my health that I have now become a member of the leisure centre in order to continue my progress. Before beginning the programme my muscles were very weak but now my muscle performance and coordinated movement has improved significantly. It is my hope that others, with the same needs, will take the same opportunity". Whether you would like to shift a few pounds, improve your mobility or stamina or if you have a longer lasting condition such as high blood pressure, diabetes or a joint problem you are eligible to join. It could not be simpler. All you need to do is download a referral form at the link below then see your GP and they can refer you on to the programme. Your body will thank you for it!

We also run award winning (Bristol Health & Care Awards 2016) exercise programmes for Cancer rehab, MS and Parkinson's which I would be happy to provide details for if this is of interest to you.

Nature Notes

At last! The trees are showing the first signs of fresh spring green!

Almost overnight the changes are taking place, and the bird activity has increased dramatically. Everywhere you look can be seen starlings, wood pigeons, blackbirds, and many more busily nest building. There is a male blackbird who can be heard every day singing his beautiful song from the same tree, on the same branch, whilst, I hope, his mate is somewhere nearby taking a more hands on approach to the nest site!

Two weeks ago I watched a female blackbird collecting dead leaves which were still hanging from our cherry tree. She managed to hop from branch to branch stuffing her mouth with her chosen bedding, without losing any!

Woodpeckers are to be heard across the river in Ham Green Woods, and also at Kingsweston. The varied songs of all the birds we are so lucky to share this area with make springtime so special. Soon we will have the pleasure of welcoming the next generation.

Happy nature watching,

Avon Primary School Summer Fayre

Saturday 25th June 2016 12-3pm,

Barracks Lane,

50p per adult, children free

Featuring - Climbing wall, Bouncy slide, Raffle,

Stalls, BBQ

Games and much much more....

Local businesses/enterprises are welcome to hire a stall during the Fayre,

please contact Louise on 07970209519.

Walled Gardens Open Morning

Wednesday 1st June 10am -12am

Details are now being finalised for a rare opportunity to enjoy the former walled gardens of Kings Weston house.

Located on Napier Miles Road, and incorporating Grade II* Listed buildings, walls, and lily pond, it's currently in the stewardship of Kingsweston School. The School have kindly opened their doors for the morning of Wednesday 1st June for visitors to look around the historic complex and see how they're enjoying a new life today as part of outdoors learning programmes.

Highlights in June will be the wild flower meadow, Forest Schools area, the Secret garden, Medieval Bewy's Cross, and, of course, the Georgian lily pond. Tours will be given throughout the morning between 10am and noon by members of KWAG. We'll be providing a free map guide to help visitors get the most out of the grounds and highlighting some of the historical and other points of interest.

The open morning will be entirely free, though donations will be welcomed for future KWAG projects. Car Parking will be available in the main school car park until closing time.

Botany In The Shire

The Wild Plants of the Shirehampton area

I wrote last month about the importance of site management in conserving wild plants.

Whenever I drive by the Shirehampton Park Lodge I look to see if the rather uncommonly established alien perennial grass, Rescue Brome, has put up a flowering stem, because you can't really identify it otherwise. It must be a case of visibility for traffic because the grass verge at the road junction seems to be cut very often. This I suppose will strengthen the roots and give the plant a good chance of persisting. Its broad bright green leaves are quite visible as you drive by.

Going that way I noticed the roadside banks of Lesser Celandine with their prolific show of yellow starry flowers. As is so common in plants, there are forms with different chromosome races. One has two sets of chromosomes in its genetic make-up and these plants tend to flower well and produce seed.

The sort with double the complement of chromosomes flowers more shyly, and also finds it hard to produce many seeds. Instead, later in the season (and by the time this column appears in print), it has bulbils (aerial or axillary tubers) where the lower leaf stalks join the stem. It is also said that the leaves are angular rather than rounded. It is always worth a close look at the right time of year to see which one you have.

My own experience has been that the subspecies with bulbils occurs by rivers and where there is a lot of mowing to scatter the miniature bulbs. Damp shaded hedgebanks were cited a century ago as the place to find this form around Bristol.

Our author also looked at 400 plants at Westbury-on-Trym (where, it happens, he is buried) and only one had good seed, so the diagnostic correlation mentioned above isn't absolute. In 1868 another botanist found at Shirehampton a form with five sepals instead of three, and 50% more petals than usual.

He thought it so unusual that he collected a sample and preserved the pressed specimen in the herbarium of the Bristol Naturalists' Society.

'A Forgotten Landscape'

A Forgotten Landscape is a Heritage Lottery funded Landscape Partnership Project based in South Glos Council.

It stretches from the Avon Estuary at Shirehampton, including Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston, between the Seven Estuary floodplain and A38 upto Oldbury and Shepperdine in South Gloucestershire.

Over the next three years, they will be running nearly 50 community-based projects in the Lower Severn Vale Levels. The overall aims of the project are to improve habitats for wildlife, explore the area's history and celebrate its heritage. Further details-

From April Newsletter of 'A Forgotten Landscape'

It has been a real pleasure being out and about in the area these last few weeks. Wonderful to see the spring flowers peeping out from woods and grassland, nature making itself felt even in lonely rhines around Avonmouth. Working on this project to celebrate the natural beauty and fascinating past of the area is just heaven at times!

Working with Water Voles - a monitoring project

Water vole numbers have plummeted nationally by a shocking 95% since the 1980s.

The main causes of this decline are predation by mink and loss and degradation of habitat. As a result, the water vole is a priority species in the UK's Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) as well as Bristol City's and South Gloucestershire's BAPs. However, one of the most significant populations of water voles in the West of England makes its home in A Forgotten Landscape.

We are looking for volunteers to help monitor these fascinating elusive animals. Your work will support our efforts to restore habitat and improve connectivity of the rhine system in and around Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston where the water voles are living. By monitoring a stretch of ditch or rhine once a month, the records you collect will create a body of evidence that, as well as informing future management plans, will be invaluable in informing future planning decisions and habitat mitigation. No experience needed. You must be able to attend a full day training on Sat 14 May.

Meet our water vole, pond, and great crested newt surveying trainer, Phil Quinn

Phil is a local qualified and experienced ecologist. He's been surveying water vole habitat, wildlife-focused ponds and great crested newt populations since 1997.

His approach to training is simple. "I believe it's important to nurture the trainee's enthusiasm, inform them of the fundamentals of the survey work, and ensure they are clear on and comfortable with what they will need to do in the field. And it's equally important to make a training as lively, interesting and engaging as possible! I like to encourage comments and other input from the trainees throughout the day. I have also found that trainees benefit most from the outdoor practical application of what they have learnt". With that last thought in mind, our training days will be at least half spent in the field.

Ups and Downs

Life is like a flight of stairs,
Up and down with varied paces,
From toddler steps to hard-soled shoes,
Summer sandals, wellington boots,
And learning to tie up laces.

But nothing in this world is smooth,
Like the ride in a bell-pushed lift,
For there are landings to be met
and corridors, with many doors
To find ones place or go adrift.

Some may enjoy a carpeted walk,
But others bare boards and a rickety way,
Or descent into basement of car-park block,
With bottle and blanket and street-worn shoes,
Flightless humans just gone astray.

Volunteer Opportunity

Treasurer Shirehampton Public Hall

This is an excellent opportunity to join the team at the Public Hall providing a great community facility adjacent to the library.

The hall is run by Shirehampton Community Association to provide leisure, exercise and cultural activities for all in Shirehampton. The day-to-day management of the hall is carried out by a part-time paid employee.

The treasurer would need:

  • Time commitment approximately half a day per week
  • Oversee the income and expenditure and banking, prepare annual accounts.
  • Report on the finances to the monthly trustees' meeting.
  • Pay wages and make returns to HMRC monthly.
  • Training and support available.

Lawrence Weston Employment & Enterprise Hub

Looking for new locally-based staff? Then look no further. We are a free local service in the heart of Lawrence Weston, supporting residents to find jobs and training in Avonmouth and the North Bristol area. We work with local employers to promote and fill vacancies and help local residents become work-ready.

Where? Lawrence Weston Youth Centre, Long Cross BS11 ORX

When? Monday: Job search/support, 12-3pm Tuesday: Ambition Job Club, 10-3pm Wednesday: Job search/support, 12-3pm Thursday: Hub Closed Friday: Job search/support, 12-3pm

Free Bicycle Workshops

Free monthly drop-in sessions, on a Tuesday, cover basic services, safety checks and maintenance skills instruction to look after your own bike.

Sessions are run by a CYTEC trained mechanic. All welcome, please encourage your cycling colleagues & employees to attend!

Avonmouth & Shirehampton Beat Report -March 2016

Beat Managers Report

Due to the recent increase in Anti Social Behaviour (ASB), the beat team have increased patrols and have made tackling this a local neighbourhood priority.

Neighbouring beat teams will also be patrolling the area to increase Police visibility and to offer reassurance to residents effected by the ASB. A number of youths who have been identified have already been brought to justice for their actions.

There were 390 telephone calls to the Force from the Avonmouth and Shirehampton area in March 2016, this is 131 more than the same period last year. Of these, 39 calls related to ASB, which is 23 more than the same period last year.

Overall there has been an increase of reported crimes across the area covering ALL categories, from March 2015 to March 2016.

Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF) is meeting on Thurs 12th May. Optional walkabout 10.00am. Meet outside Co-op. Meeting 11am - 12 noon at Penpole Residents Association, The Ridge.

The next Sea Mills Forum will be held on Monday 9th May 2016, 6.30 - 8.30pm at High Grove Church, High Grove.

Forums give all residents the opportunity to raise issues important to their area. Local Councillors, Police and Bristol City Council Officers give updates on current priorities, so please circulate.

How to contact Avonmouth / Shirehampton Neighbourhood Policing Team

PC4059 Amanda PATTERSON,


Southmead Police Station, Southmead Road, Westbury-on-Trym, BS10 5DW

Emergency: 999,

Non Emergency: 101


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Back Issues of 'Shire'

The Shire committee are in the process of getting the past 5 years of papers bound so they are available for people to read in the library and to keep them secure.

One of our team has worked very hard and for many hours ensuring we have every copy available from January 2011 to December 2015, but is very upset that recently one copy has gone missing and another has two pages missing. This is an extremely selfish act and spoils the enjoyment of others who wish to view the original copies in their entirety.

There have been other occasions when articles or photos have been torn out. There is no excuse for this, the articles and photos are available online from and can be downloaded. If you don't have a home computer the library staff will help you access the website or photocopy from the original papers.

We would ask that those responsible for taking a paper, or pages, would have the decency to return them, posting them anonymously through the library letter box will be acceptable.

191st Shirehampton Scout Group

The 191st Shire Scout Group are a long established youth group based in Shirehampton and manned entirely by volunteers.

Due to the age of the headquarters we are working through a programme of repair and renovation. We have recently re-rendered the front of the building as the rain was entering through the single skin brickwork and we have panelled the inside of this wall as the old panels were rotting due to the damp. This was a priority as all the electrics are housed in this area.

We have laid a concrete path to enable wheelchair access and emergency exit to the double doors on the west side of the building.

Last year we added a ladies toilet and soon all the windows will be bricked up and rendered to give greater security. The remaining work (at present) to be done is shelving in the garage, this will provide extra storage space, and the inside of the headquarters needs a lick of paint.

If you would like to view the remaining work please do not hesitate to contact me. Rose Watkins (Mrs) - Fundraising Committee

Shirehampton man preyed on teenage girl with learning difficulties

A man has admitted sex offences involving a teenage girl with learning difficulties. Christopher Woakes, 31, contacted a number of underage girls on social media, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

He sent a 15-year-old girl explicit images of himself before meeting her near her home, where he engaged in sexual activity with her.

Woakes, of Portbury Grove, Bristol, admitted sexual grooming and two counts of sexual activity with a child. He was remanded in custody and is due to be sentenced on 23 May.

The court heard he encouraged the teenager from Suffolk in August to tell her parents she was meeting a teenage boy. They became suspicious and alerted the police.

Woakes' true identity came to light in November when he repeatedly tried to contact the girl, sending her a mobile phone through the post and loitering outside her home.

He was arrested at his home address in Bristol and a number of computers and devices were seized. Analysis of his computers and phones by Suffolk Police uncovered a number of illegal images of children.They also found Woakes had tried to contact children in a number of countries.

Det Con Matthew Ross of Suffolk Police said: "Sexual predators will target a child's vulnerabilities looking for signs of emotional neediness and low self-confidence."Online social media platforms provide a place for a lot of this to happen in private especially where the child's activity is not closely monitored."

SevernNet Sustainable Transport Forum

The SevernNet Sustainable Transport Forum brings stakeholders together every quarter, covers all modes of transport across the area and brings together stakeholders including community representatives, businesses, local authorities and service providers.

We are working towards our objective of safe, timely and accessible transport to every site across the area. If you would like to be added to the invitation list please email

The next SevernNet Sustainable Transport Forum will be held on Wednesday 1st June 2016 from 10:00 until 13:00.If you would like to attend, please email or call 07969 569 444).

The last SevernNet Sustainable Transport Forum was held on Thursday March 3rd 2016. Key topics discussed included:

  • A403 Highway Reconstruction project final work on Bristol side plus detailed plans for S. Glos. work
  • Update on areas of concern (e.g. Avonmouth Way)
  • Continuing improvement of cycling and walking infrastructure
  • Update on public transport services and SevernNet Flyer.
  • 2016 Travel Survey and social media campaign

At the meeting in December 2015 there was growing optimism that the investment in infrastructure, particularly the A403 and the shuttle bus, will start to make a difference and the problems with congestion on Avonmouth Way were also noted as needing urgent attention.

All Change at the Health Centre

We are very pleased to announce we have been awarded a 'good' rating after our CQC inspection on Tuesday 16th February.

The GP Partners would like to thank all of the staff, members of the PPG and those patients who responded to the CQC's survey for their help in achieving this award.

Dr Addison will be retiring from Shirehampton Group Practice on September 11th 2016 after 27 years of service. She has been a driving influence and we will be sorry to see her go although I'm sure she is looking forward to her retirement!

As you are probably aware, there have been several changes within clinical staff over the past year due to the retirement of Dr Paul Archer and Dr Iain Hine. We have since introduced two new GP partners; Dr Will Crane (who originally trained as a GP Registrar here) and Dr Shahida Yaqub (who has been working at the Practice previously as a Salaried GP).

We will be welcoming Dr Hannah Lee to Shirehampton Group Practice as from Monday 25th April. She previously worked at Bishopston Medical Practice and her specialist interests include musculoskeletal medicine, elderly care and palliative care.

City and Port of Bristol Bowling Club

More than twenty bowlers, family and friends enjoyed the final social evening of the close season with a Beetle Drive and Skittles on Sunday 3rd April at the City and Port of Bristol Club.

Organised by Lis Davies the evening was guaranteed to raise a laugh and see frustration in equal measure as players tried to throw the all important six to start Beetle and later to hit that last remaining pin when playing the killer version of skittles. It was all great fun and the Beetle Champion at the end of another successful evening was Brian Crawley. Chris Weston came out on top on the skittle alley.

After months of preparation and hard work the much awaited green opening arrived on Saturday April 9th. This signals the start of another bowling season at The City and Port of Bristol Club.

From the first game at Wrington on April 13th to the final one at GB Britton on October 4th there will be over sixty mixed friendlies and twenty games for ladies only on Thursday afternoons. The men's league team play in division three this season, having ended last season as champions of division four. The ladies play once again in division two of the Bristol Ladies League. Both ladies and gents teams will play in county competitions and the club has representatives in men's individual and pairs county competitions.

There are competitions within the club, culminating in finals day on September 10th. Monday evenings will once again see the Club League in play.

For anyone who doesn't already enjoy the sport of bowls but would like to try it, there will be sessions from 5.30 on Tuesday evenings and these are free of charge, with all equipment supplied and experienced bowlers on hand to give help and advice. All that the club asks is that you wear flat soled shoes and - enjoy it.

This year's Summer Tour will see a change of direction from previous years, heading to Eastbourne and playing five games - two in Eastbourne and one each in Newhaven, Brighton and Bexhill. As with all tours there will be ample time to explore the local area and enjoy all that it has to offer. For more information about the club and its activities please call David Hinksman on 0117 9082713.