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News Index

Letters to the Editor

SevernNet Flyer: new timetable out now!

Avonmouth AFC, 1953 - 1954

St. Mary’s News

St. Mary’s Registers - May 2016

This is when the cowboy rides away!

Public Hall Newsletter

The Ethel Thomas collection

Botany in the Shire

Walled Garden open morning success

New Sweet Shop Brings Back Good Memories

Outstanding Ofsted report for Long Cross Specialist Children's Centre

KWAG Walkfest

Blow Your Troubles Away

Avon Youth League Football Cup win for Shire Colts under 12s

Nature Notes

A view of Pill from Shirehampton

City and Port of Bristol Bowling Club

Science Week at Avon Primary

Local Co-op Fundraises For The Red Cross

Tynings Field Grows From Strength To Strength

Shirehampton War Memorial

Shirehampton Primary School

Street Party Celebrations For The Queen's 90th Birthday

To Shire Residents

Shirehampton Forums

School snappers in railway photography project

Mystery photo

Mayor Marvin Rees visits Shirehampton

Bristol's new Mayor, Marvin Rees, who was elected in May, met representatives of a number of local organisations at the Public Hall on 13 June.

He was visiting various places in the local Neighbourhood Partnership. He was accompanied by our three City Councillors, Don Alexander, Matt Melias, and Jo Sergeant.

Sam Parker, who is chairing the working group set up to advance the production of a Neighbourhood Plan for Shirehampton, explained how they had talked to other local areas who have developed plans, and are considering how to consult residents. Marvin Rees said that Bristol is in some senses a fractured city, and that he hoped the plan would address inequalities.

He encouraged the group to engage with the City's Public Health Team, and hoped that they would consider how to strengthen the local economy, and address the Lord Mayor's social isolation priority.

David Thomas noted that 15 years ago public consultation had directly led to the formation of SCAF, the Community Action Forum, which is still going strong.

Marilyn Gory, Mayor Marvin Rees, Judy Helme and David Thomas

There was then discussion on the need for the Public Hall and the Library to work closely together, following the consultation last year on the future of the City's libraries.

Matt Melias said that the Hall Trustees want the Mayor and the Council to recognise that the Hall and Library are a key public facility in the village. It was noted that on-going staffing costs must be included in any detailed change proposals.

Karen Rice, chair of the newly formed Shire Christmas Illuminations (formerly Shire Christmas Lights Association) said they have a target to raise £7000 this year, and would like to have a large tree on the Green, as well as traditional lights on local shops. The new committee needed good contacts in the City Council, and asked the mayor to ensure co-operation from Parks Department. Local people were very supportive --- the Women's Fellowship adopted the Lights as their charity of the year, and local shops were maintaining cash collection boxes.

The mayor felt this fitted into the social isolation priority, and would fit a voluntary sector prospectus which is being drawn up.He asked how we had maintained a good range of local shops in the High Street, and was told about the Vision for Shire programme run some years ago by SHIRE newspaper. He said that more publicity for the High Street would be worthwhile, and offered to visit and be photographed in it for SHIRE later in the year.

Grand Family picnic in the park

The Parks Department has promised that the new picnic area in Shirehampton Park will be fully ready for use by Sunday 3rd July.

This will be celebrated by a big family picnic. As there are only three picnic tables, please bring your picnic blankets, in case you are not one of the lucky ones! The picnic will begin at 1pm to cater for those people who wish to have a picnic lunch. Other people will arrive after lunch/dinner throughout the afternoon. Don't leave it too late or you may miss something. There will be a treasure hunt and, possibly, a children's dance performance. Should the weather be bad, the event will be held in the Public Hall in Station Road. See you there!


<p>Can you help inspire the next generation of coders &#63;</p>

Code Club is a nationwide network of volunteer-led after school clubs for children aged 9-11.

We are looking for people with coding skills to volunteer to support a code club in Shirehampton from September.

Outdoor Cinema

Dirty Dancing @ Avonmouth FC - Showing on Saturday 9 Jul 2016, 9:30pm - Doors Open at 8:00pm. Ticket Price: £6.00 - £8.00* You can buy tickets at: All profits are being kindly donated to Shire Christmas Illuminations&Avonmouth FC Under 18's *booking fee applies

Goram Fair

Following the article in the June edition of Shire, a reminder about the Goram Fair which will return to:-

Blaise Castle on Saturday 30 July, 10am-4pm.

Enjoy a traditional vintage funfair, It's a Knockout competition, falconry displays, workshops, community stalls, vintage cafe, hog roast and much more. Contact the Goram Fair Steering Committee: if you would like to have a stall, help with stewarding or promote your organisation to a new audience. But above all, come along and enjoy it!

Shire Newspaper AGM

Shire Newspaper will hold its Annual general meeting on Monday 1st August 2016 at 5:30pm in the Tithe Barn, High Street, Shirehampton.

The meeting is open to all members of the public and we would urge anyone who might be interested in joining the editorial team or contributing to any part of the production process to come along and find out more.

Letters to the Editor

To Whom It May Concern - Pam (Nee Fitzgerald)

Dear Editor,

May I just say through your wonderful Paper. That as an ex Shire Girl. I appreciate the updates so much. Today the House in the Gardens School, had it's Grounds open to the Public, for the first time. I went along and found it extremely interesting. May I please ask, would it be possible for the Public, to view the inside of the House. I am sure there are many who went to that Infant School way back in 1951-53! and feel the same as me ! Yours in anticipation

Searching for an old friend - Ray Bounsall

Dear Editor,

As the years go rolling by, I often wonder what happened to an old friend of mine, Ralph Hawkins. Ralph, originally from Sea Mills, was an auto electrician that worked for Windmill & Lewis in Clifton, later I believe being a partner in a garage that was on the corner of Lower High Street, and Old Town Road. I think he may have lived in the latter street, with his wife Diane (nee Pullen). My memories go back to the late1960's and then with my marriage and migration to Melbourne we just lost touch as often happens. I would appreciate it if you could put a note in the Shire newspaper that I'm thinking of him. Regards

Ray Bounsall bounsall@internode.on.n

Well-Being Workshop

Dear Editor,

Sam Ashbee is holding a fundraising Well-Being workshop on Tues 12/7/16 from 7.00-8.00pm at The Lamplighters in Shirehampton with funds raised being donated to Shire Christmas Illuminations.

Sunday bus service - Henry Michallat

Dear Editor,

After reading about the discontinued bus services on Sundays in your last edition, I have started a petition to bring back our bus services on Sundays.

The 501 and 502 services were cut on Sundays due to a lack of funding from Bristol City Council. Now the number 18 has been discontinued on Sundays as well.

The petition I have started is to make the Council, Wessex Buses and First listen to the needs of local residents, which is that these services are still in demand on Sundays. If you would like to sign my petition, you can sign it by using the link below. All signatures are truly appreciated.

Many thanks, Henry Michallat

SevernNet Flyer: new timetable out now!

After completing a successful pilot period, the shuttle bus now moves into its next phase, with a brand new timetable and a flat rate fare of £1 for any journey. There are also a range of discounted tickets available for multiple journeys.

Avonmouth AFC, 1953 - 1954

Photograph lent by Mike Sperring.

Avonmouth AFC, season 1953-54. Bristol ans Suburban League Division 1 Champions.

St. Mary’s News

Hi Folks!

Here we are into July and I must go straight away into telling you what is going on at St Mary's this month. Our second Open Church Day on the Spring Bank Holiday Monday at the end of May was very well patronised by some hungry visitors.

On this occasion there were more people from the community than from the regular members of our church, which is very encouraging as we are here to serve all in our community. The profit from the sale of lunches&cream teas came to £725 which went to church funds, but it was also a very joyful occasion. The last Open Church Day for this year, when you can fill your tums again, will be the August Bank Holiday Monday which as you all know is towards the end of the month. Keep your eyes open in this column for the exact date - we need your support to make it a successful day again.

During the school half term holiday week in June we were delighted to have 21 children attend the three days of our Holiday Club which was held in the Tithe Barn. They enjoyed games, crafts and refreshments amongst other things. All of my four grandchildren attended and they thoroughly enjoyed it. Where else could children go and have so much fun and all entirely free?

The first weekend of this month is our Patronal Festival when we celebrate our Patron Saint - St Mary. This is always a delight when the church looks at its best.

  • Saturday, 2nd July

    Saturday, 2nd July is the date to put into your diary, as we will be holding our Summer Fayre from 10am until 12 noon. This is followed by the Shirehampton Area Choir Summer Concert from 2.30pm until 3.30pm. After the concert Cream Teas will be served until 5pm and you will also be able to walk around the church and see our Flower Festival, which has the theme 'A Grand Day Out'.

  • Sunday, 3rd July

    Sunday, 3rd July is the actual Patronal Festival Day which starts with the Kids Klub Service at 8.30am. This is followed by our 10am Holy Communion Service and to conclude this busy weekend a service of Compline (a short form of Evening Prayer) will be held at 8pm.

  • Sunday 17th July

    On Sunday 17th July is our Kids Klub prize giving day. Every child who attends our Kids Klub Service is given a book of their choice. It may be presented to them either at the Kids Klub Service or at the 10am Holy Communion Service - the choice is entirely theirs.

  • Wednesday 20th July

    On Wednesday 20th July is the opportunity for you to partake in another Lunch&Beetle Drive. This will be from 1pm until 3.30pm and tickets are available from the Church Office price £5. So come on all you avid Beetle Drive players and join in the fun!

  • Friday, 22nd July

    On Friday, 22nd July at 7.30pm we shall be holding a social event in the form of a celebratory meal and fun to celebrate HM Queen Elizabeth's 90th Birthday.This as usual will be in the church and tickets for this are available at the Church Office price £8.

  • Saturday 6th August

    Finally, a quick reminder that our Annual Car Treasure Hunt will be on Saturday 6th August leaving the Health Centre Car Park at 5pm. Look out for the list at the back of the church to sign up and choose your food from the menu which will be on display. Always a very popular event - all we hope for is a nice evening of Summer weather.

This quote was supposedly seen in a Church Bulletin - A Bean Supper will be held in the church next Tuesday. Music will follow 'Bye for now! C.M.E.

St. Mary’s Registers - May 2016

Baptisms ’we welcome you’

25thNoah Christian
25thSavannah Thompson
25thRosie-Anne Williams

Funerals ‘At rest and at peace’

3rdDoris Cavill Canford
6thMuriel Fraser Canford
6thPat Chilcott St Mary's
12thHilda Hogg South Bristol
20thVera Beaves Canford
31stSheila Wheeler Canford

This is when the cowboy rides away!

Gowarne (Dick) Helme

I just want to say thank you for the many, many cards, emails, phone calls and kind words I've received on the death of Gowarne (Dick) Helme.

It is so uplifting and comforting to know how much people thought of him - the 'character' who walked the streets of Shire in Craft Exhibition week dressed in myriad American West costumes. He made people smile and laugh. His craftwork has been much admired too and although I'm biased, I think I've grasped the message that he will be sorely missed in the community and further afield - he certainly will be by his family. Above all his positive attitude and strength of character that saw him fight his illness for over 5 years, has been commented on by so many people. But there came a time when he didn't want to fight anymore and as he wished, he 'died in harness' having spent his last day in his workshop. His legacy takes many forms and I'm happy to say that by donating his corneas he will continue to keep an eye on us all!

God bless you all for your support.

Public Hall Newsletter

Welcome to another edition of the Public Hall Newsletter! As we approach the school summer break don't forget to check out our website and Facebook pages to keep up with our summer activities!

  • Sunday, 3rd July, Family Picnic

    The Hall Trustees are hosting a Family Picnic on Sunday 3rd July in the afternoon. The intention is to meet at the picnic area near the War Memorial on the Shirehampton Road, opposite the golf course for an afternoon of community togetherness! If the weather is bad the event will be held at the hall. Although there is no organised entertainment, families are encouraged to come along and socialise and perhaps play a few games together/fly kites/kick a football. Go on! Join in and make some new friends - the children will love it.

  • Wednesday mornings - space available

    With the sad departure of the Toddler Group, there is a space on Wednesday mornings for a regular organised activity. If you think this could be for your group please contact the Hall Manager on the number below.

There are many regular organised activities at the Hall and new members are always welcome.

  • Two evening per week - Puppy training

    Puppy training is also proving very popular and is now available on two evenings per week. See our Facebook page or contact Ellie Turner at Furry Frolics for more details.

  • Tuesday mornings - Disco Babies

    If you are a pre-schooler (i.e. under 5 years of age) why not try our wonderful new class of Disco Babies! This is a regular Tuesday morning class full of fun, dance and laughter - the carers get to join in too with some very lively, popular music. Great exercise for all.

  • Tuesday evenings - Contemporay Dance (Two classes)

    Our dance teacher Zoe is also happy to accept new members for her two classes on a Tuesday evening, so if you would like to take a relaxed approach to contemporary dance, please come along between 6-7pm for children, 7-8pm for adults and teens each Tuesday evening.

  • Thursday afternoons - Tai Chi

    For the less energetic among you there is the ever-popular Tai Chi class run for Linkage by the wonderful Frank, each Thursday afternoon from 2 - 3.30pm. More members always welcome.

  • Thursdays evenings 6pm. - Zumba

    Why not try Zumba! Our inspirational new teacher, Elaine, is on hand to encourage you all the way, at 6pm on Thursday evenings. Do come along and join her for some energetic fun - no experience necessary.

  • Fridays 7pm. - Pillow Lace Club

    Our Pillow Lace club would love some new members. Pillow Lace is a wonderful art and very relaxing, so whether you are young, old or somewhere in between come along from 7pm on Fridays and join in with something different and make new friends.

Coming up later in the year - Saturday 25th September

please look out for the very entertaining

Proevo Wrestling Company

who will be holding an event with all their wrestling stars at the hall on Saturday 25th September -

keep your eyes peeled for details of how to obtain tickets.

The Hall Trustees welcome new trustees or anyone with an interest in starting new events to come along and visit us.

The hall AGM will take place on Tuesday 19th July at 7.15pm in the hall and the public is welcome to attend. Shirehampton Public Hall is now on Facebook, so please 'Like' us and follow all our up and coming events on there.

The Ethel Thomas collection

As a family and local historian, I and many others with the same interests have been eagerly awaiting the cataloguing of Ethel Thomas's collection, by the Bristol Record Office where they were deposited after her death.

Thanks to volunteers, some from the Bristol and Avon Family History Society, this is now complete and can be viewed by the general public at the Record Office in B Bond in the same building as the Create Centre.

The collection is in 16 boxes and consists of articles, notes, correspondence, newspaper cuttings, pamphlets and photographs dating from 1884-2006 relating to Avonmouth, Shirehampton and Sea Mills.

Botany in the Shire

The Wild Plants of the Shirehampton area

In my last column I mentioned that Bee Orchids were to be found in the Daisy Field by the Portway, part of the Lamplighters Marsh Local Nature Reserve, so early in June at its due time for flowering I took a walk to the place that had been pointed out to me.

Bee Orchid.

There, on a stretch of rather open bank below the hedge separating the field from the main road, and also in the dry mud of the path, I counted 24 flowering spikes.

Orchids have always been fascinating to naturalists. Darwin wrote a book about how they are fertilised. The names of some of the British ones tell of the likenesses of their flowers, Lady's Slipper, Monkey, Man, Lizard and the Bee and the Fly. The Fly Orchid is pollinated, not by flies, but by a species of solitary wasp, and the plant emits scent hormones which mimic those produced by the female wasp. In a Leigh Woods quarry I once watched a very agitated male wasp doing the business and flying off with a mass of fly orchid pollen attached to its head.

The bee orchid has a lower petal somewhat resembling the 'bum of a bumble bee', but isn't pollinated by bees, though similar species in Europe are. Ours has opted for self-fertilisation so the pollen mass ultimately drops onto the female part of the flower. Later on in the large seed capsules tiny seeds are produced in great quantity. All this makes the bee orchid quite a successful (but still rare) coloniser of open ground such as old industrial sites and roadsides, hence its occurrence at the Daisy Field.

Of course I was quite excited to see Shirehampton's Bee Orchids in flower, and contacted the lady who had painted them for the Lamplighters March display board. Sadly, by the time she got there a few days later, few could be found. The field had been mown - even right up the bank to within a foot or two of the hedge. Hopefully a more sympathetic mowing regime will be agreed for next year.

Walled Garden open morning success

Following on from our clearance work the Walled Garden open morning had been eagerly anticipated by many people.

Photograph by Bob Pitchford.

The opening, on the 1st of June, was made possible by Kingsweston School and their desire to see the grounds better appreciated. KWAG were on hand to meet and greet visitors, running tours and providing free guides to the history of the former gardens.

The grounds, originally built in 1763 to serve Kings Weston House, have been school premises since 1948 following the death of Sybil Miles. Focused around her former home many of the walled garden compartments now house teaching facilities, but there was more than enough of historic interest to see. The tours took in the Medieval Bewy's Cross, located here in the 1950s, the lily pond, Secret Garden, and the new wildflower meadow and Forest School areas. The tours continued on the other side of Napier Miles Road for the more courageous visitors who battled through the undergrowth of the View Garden to see the ruins of the 18th Century glasshouse. Beyond this the enigmatic ice house fascinated many people.

Word had clearly spread about the morning as, by opening time, there was already a small party gathered, and within the first few minutes it had developed into a large crowd. Despite the grey day the first of the guided tours was heavily attended and we received some really positive feedback.

In all we had over 140 visitors over the short, two-hour, duration! The morning was a free event, but we're grateful to everyone who came and donated £140 towards KWAG's future projects.

We're also grateful to Jim Ellis and Emma Jones for volunteering for the morning, to Bob Pitchford for photographing it, and, of course, to Kingsweston School for hosting the event. Following the success of this event there is definitely an aspiration to run it again in the future.

New Sweet Shop Brings Back Good Memories

Ask anyone in Shirehampton if they remember Rae's Sweetshop in Pembroke Road and you open up a lot of memories.

Photograph by Kathryn Courtney.

Some remember exchanging ration coupons for sweets, many remember Jenny and her mother serving behind the counter and the cat and dogs being in the shop but we all remember the vast selection of sweets we could choose to buy and that as children we couldn't get away with any cheek.

There is now a new sweet shop open in Pembroke Road called 'Sweet Tooth Delights' that is bringing back such nostalgic memories but with a modern twist. Billy Dorrington is the owner. "We've opened up the sweet shop because I believed there was a call for it in the neighbourhood.

There wasn't a great choice of sweets in the area and what was on offer really is too expensive. So I thought I'd open up an old fashioned traditional sweet shop and get in ice cream and a few other bits and bobs at a good decent price. The way the market is now, shops have to be versatile, you have to sell other things. We sell slush puppies, popcorn, candyfloss, all the little sweets, ice creams, ice lollies, cake desserts" said Billy.

Business has been brisk and the shop is proving very popular with young and old alike but what's been the most popular line so far? "To be honest we've got over 200 different sweets now. The fizzy bubble gums are quite good and we do stock a range of diabetes suitable and gluten free sweets which we've deliberately kept separate. We are trying to find more varieties because you shouldn't not be able to go into a sweet shop just because you're diabetic for example. I wouldn't mind looking into dairy free or vegan options to get a nice choice for people". said Billy

What about the future, what are your plans Billy? "It's early days at the moment as we've only just opened but we are hoping to branch out into delivery and set up a 'Just Eat' service for desserts, ice creams, candy floss, popcorn and sweets. You can keep updated with our Facebook page about this. I have also looked at Candy Floss on carts, ice cream machines for parties, weddings, christenings and stuff like that but we are probably a few months away from this idea yet."

I left the sweet shop with Ali, the manager, busy serving customers. The array of choice of sweets on offer is well worth a look and could be a bit confusing as to what to choose first to buy. I'm sure it will stir some memories of the traditional sweet shop and also light up the faces of many young children, but a visit to 'Sweet Tooth Delights' could be worthwhile.

Outstanding Ofsted report for Long Cross Specialist Children's Centre

Staff, children and parents at Long Cross Specialist Children's Centre are celebrating after achieving an outstanding Ofsted report.

Inspector Rachael Williams said the nursery in Lawrence Weston had made excellent progress since its last Ofsted visit three years ago, when it was rated satisfactory. She paid tribute to the extremely dedicated management team and staff, in particular manager Karen Sheppard, who she described as "truly inspirational ... highly motivated, ambitious and enthusiastic".

Ms Sheppard, Deputy Principal at Oasis Academy Long Cross, who leads on all services for children from birth to five years old, is one of three qualified teachers on the staff at the centre, which has 76 children aged two, three and four on roll. All children were said by Ofsted to be making rapid progress, thriving and flourishing in a safe, secure and well-resourced learning environment.

"Staff provide an extremely welcoming and nurturing learning environment where children thrive," the report said. "Staff know their children incredibly well. They use every opportunity to get to know the children and their families, for example, through settling-in arrangements that are tailored to each child's needs. Staff are extremely respectful and genuinely care about the children. They are excellent role models."

Julia Dauban, Principal of Oasis Academy Long Cross, said everyone at the centre was delighted with the Ofsted outcome, which rated the centre as outstanding in all four categories - leadership and management, quality of teaching, learning and assessment, personal development, behaviour and welfare and pupil outcomes.

"Our staff have worked exceptionally hard to build relationships with families to support children's learning and enable all children to have the best possible start to their education here," she said.

For further information, call 0117 9030333 or visit

KWAG Walkfest

Walkers take in the spectacular view above Horseshoe Bend during KWAG's first Walkfest event

Mid May saw the first of our walking events laid-on as part of Bristol Walkfest. We had a great turnout with numbers in excess of what we were expecting for the 2.5 mile walk tracing one of our published map routes.

Advertising worked in our benefit and encouraged new visitors from around the city to explore the parkland; It's always rewarding to be able to show the landscape off to people who might not even have been familiar where Kings Weston even was.

The route passed through Penpole Wood with a couple of short talking points at the ruins of Penpole Lodge and the Dial before crossing over to the National Trust owned portion on Shirehampton Park. Perhaps the highlight was the view out across Horseshoe Bend; a panorama that seldom fails to impress.

The wildflowers were out in abundance too, with buttercups thick on Penpole Point and dense crops of bluebells a hidden surprise on the fringes of the golf course. The walkers ascended the steep gradient up to the Echo before heading back down to the house and, for many, a welcome stop in the coffee shop and an opportunity to take in the hazy view across the Severn to Wales.

We had some great feedback on the event, and we were grateful for the interest expressed in KWAG and some kind donations towards our work.

Blow Your Troubles Away

According to a leaflet published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, nearly 300,000 young people in this country suffer from anxiety.

Children have just as strong feelings as adults do, and it's perfectly natural for them to feel fearful or worried from time to time, but often they suffer in silence and cannot express themselves. With the right support, however, even the smallest child can confidently cope with everyday problems.

'Handling our Worries' is the theme for an afternoon of fun and games being held at Shirehampton Baptist Church in Station Road on Saturday, 9th July, between 3.00 and 5.00pm. Based on the famous passage in the Sermon on the Mount, when Jesus reminded his audience that the birds of the air don't sow or reap but still get fed, and the flowers in the fields don't labour or spin but still have beautiful clothes, there will be lots of flower and bird crafts, things to do and stories to hear, together with an indoor picnic including chips.

This Messy Church event is free to all, so come and share in the fun, and especially join us at the bubble-blowing station where young and old can blow their troubles away!

Avon Youth League Football Cup win for Shire Colts under 12s

Despite winning Div 3 without losing a match, Shire were still the underdogs when facing Div 1 champs Yate in last Sunday's Avon Youth League Cup.

Shire started the quicker with their midfield soon in control and putting Yate on the back foot. After several close attempts on goal, they took the lead through Storm Biles. Shire remained in control at the start of the 2nd half and quickly doubled their lead from a corner courtesy of Charlie Dashfield. The Shire defence had been solid throughout, but finally conceded 10mins from time to set up a grand stand finish. A last minute save from Harry Stone gave them a well deserved victory."

Shire Colts have over 200 boys and girls playing in teams from under 7 to under 16. All teams are coached by FA qualified coaches. Our home games are played at Stoke Lodge, Sea Mills Park and Cribbs FC.

Nature Notes

The air is full of lovely scents of summer at last. My roses are full of flowers this year so the smell when working around the garden is stunning!

As I walked back from the village this morning there was the scent of freshly strimmed hedges. The swallows can now be seen performing their amazing aerial displays as they feed upon the flying insects after their long journey back here to breed. Magical birds I think.

The picture shows a wonderful study of a Red Kite. This bird was giving my team mates and I a wonderful treat at a recent 'doggy'event called Flyball. We travel to various locations to compete, and it is usually in the countryside, or as good as, and the territory of these beautiful birds is ever increasing. It is shocking to think of how they faced virtual extinction in this country just a few short years ago, but thankfully attitudes have changed, and we are the richer for their presence.

My team mate John is usually busy photographing the dogs as they race, but I was thrilled when he showed me the shots he got of what, for me, is truly an iconic animal. Many young birds are fully fledged now: sparrows, starlings, crows and jackdaws. Busily learning the skills for survival, and ,of course emptying my feeders at a rate of knots! Speaking of which, it's time to refill!

Happy nature watching

A view of Pill from Shirehampton

Continuing our series of Betty Marten's drawings of local landmarks, this view of Pill or Crockerne Pill (meaning 'pottery wharf') is familiar to all and will bring back fond and possibly humorous memories of the Pill Ferry in its heyday.

However this article is a very brief comment on Pill rather than the ferry. The pottery connection derives from an industrial-scale pottery which thrived just above Chapel Pill, a little up-river, and was excavated about 50/60 years ago. Pottery was made from 1100 to 1250AD and exported from Pill by boat. Known as 'Ham Green' pottery, samples have been found in archaeological digs from the Algarve to Iceland and there is a good selection of these artefacts in Bristol City Museum.

As for the village of Pill, it was traditionally the residence of pilots who would guide boats up the Avon gorge from the Bristol Channel to the port in the city. In addition the majority of hobblers, men who rowed the tug boats that towed ships to the city docks, also lived in the village. Eventually steam ships took over and a lot of local men lost their jobs on the river.

Pill had quite a reputation at one time with John Wesley declaring it 'a brutal place, home of heavy drinkers who swore and behaved in an anti-social manner!' Such was his concern that he visited Pill five times and eventually a Methodist Church was built.

The grey stone building by the pill is the former Customs Watch House, built in the late 17th/early 18th century and rebuilt in 1850. Its situation gave good views up and down the river. The house also had its own private slipway.

The young men in the village of Pill were susceptible to the Impressment System when the Press Gangs raided villages and seized them to serve in the navy under harsh discipline and little pay. There is a story that a servant working in Myrtle Hall, home of the Officer in Command of the Press Gang in the 1820-30s, listened at keyholes to discover when the gangs would be raiding the area, then would hang washing in a pre-arranged fashion to warn the young men to leave Pill or hide.

City and Port of Bristol Bowling Club

Tuesday May 24th saw the arrival of almost thirty bowlers and their families from Milford Haven to play a game that came about as a result of an invitation made during last summer's tour of West Wales.

Frequently extended but rarely accepted are invitations to play return games made whilst on tour. But this one was, and a sunny afternoon added to the enjoyment shared by bowlers on six rinks and playing twenty one ends of bowls. Not only a good afternoon of bowling but also the chance to renew acquaintances made when the City and Port of Bristol visited Milford Haven in 2015. When the day's final woods had been delivered it was time to enjoy a buffet, a drink and to exchange tales of bowling as bowlers frequently do. Before setting off on the long journey home Milford Haven extended an invitation to the City and Port of Bristol to return the fixture in 2017.

The Spring Bank Holiday week-end saw the Ladies League Team in action on two days, competing first in the Inter Club and then in the Top Club Competition. The first of these was against Kingswood and Hanham --- one rink at home and one away. The second was at home to Yate and comprised a singles, pairs, triples and a fours game. These games are very competitive and against stiff opposition. City and Port of Bristol competed well but did not progress in either competition. But they were enjoyable and they provided experience for all taking part, especially the newer players in the team.

The Men's League Team has found life in a higher division rather more challenging but has taken points from most games played so far. A number of players have made league debuts this season including Peter Cornish, Malcolm Towler, Frank Jordan and David Garrod. With more than half the league season remaining there is optimism that the team can climb the Division Three table with some improved results in the second half.

David Hinksman is this seasons Champion of Champions representative as a result of winning last season's men's singles competition. Drawn away to Gerry Coffield in the first round David competed well but eventually lost 21-9 to a very good opponent.

Tuesday evening sessions for new and improving bowlers continue to be popular. The latest new bowlers are Nick and Lynn Burand who have taken well to the game and will soon be joining the ranks of friendly bowlers. There is still a lot of bowling to enjoy this season with the final game being at GB Britton in October.

Bristol Blind will once again play City and Port of Bristol - this year on Wednesday July 6th. Assisted by sighted bowlers this is one of a handful of games that the blind or partially sighted bowlers look forward to each season. If you wonder how they do it - come and watch - it starts at 2.30pm.

Science Week at Avon Primary

Children at Avon Primary School had the most memorable week this June!

It all started with every class receiving a very official envelope from NASA, containing several items, one of which was a video message asking this intriguing question... could we terraform Mars? This kicked off five amazing days of science, PE and other activities, all designed to give children the knowledge and skills to explore life, here and beyond...

Monday and Tuesday gave every child the opportunity to visit the awesome Explorer Dome, a magical, inflatable planetarium that really brought the topic to life. The children were buzzing from the experience and learnt so much about life on Earth and Mars. They also explored the scale of the universe using the beautifully illustrated book 'Is a blue whale the biggest thing there is?'

Of course, without understanding the conditions for life on our planet, it's hard to know whether this could be replicated on Mars. Each class also got to assist in the building of our very own 'biodome' and the Reception classes quickly began planting seeds to test it out! The school wishes to thank the Co-oP in Shirehampton for their magnificent efforts in helping them to collect over one thousand plastic bottles.

Wednesday and Thursday saw the unveiling of the 'Cosmic Carousel'. Year groups moved around the school, participating in a range of activities such as investigating Martian slime, physical space camp style training, pond-dipping to investigate the possibility of water-life on Mars and the making of some very tasty bars suitable for a journey to space!

On Friday it was a chance for reflection on this fascinating week, whilst dressed up as aliens and astronauts of course! An assembly awarded those children who achieved superstar status in their learning (and may well be Tim Peaks of the future).

Science Leader Alan Smith commented, "The kids have learnt masses about life processes and space, but it has also been a chance to develop investigative and problem-solving skills. In addition, it has been a brilliant opportunity to get to know different teachers and members of staff; the sense of community and friendship could be felt strongly all around the school throughout the week. We are so proud of all the staff and children!"

A space themed week is certainly timely for Avon Primary, situated on Barracks Lane. It will be changing its name to 'Nova Primary' from September. The children definitely proved they are indeed the brightest stars and if the science week is anything to go be, they'll be aiming for infinity and beyond!

Local Co-op Fundraises For The Red Cross

Staff at the Co-op in Shirehampton held two fundraising events during May for their chosen charity The Red Cross.

Staff at the Co-op Shirehampton.

On the 13th May they held a Red Day where staff dressed in red, from T-Shirts and trousers to a Onesie! This was followed by a Movie Extravaganza on the final Bank Holiday weekend where staff dressed as movie characters over four days. So if you spotted Snow White, Scooby Doo, The White Rabbit or even Elsa from Frozen in the shop, you were not seeing things. They certainly got into their characters.

Monies raised for The Red Cross totalled £457.00 and staff would like to thank their customers for their generosity. The winner of the £100 savings stamps was Pat Smith and there were also three other £10 prizes won by customers during the month of May.

Tynings Field Grows From Strength To Strength

The first weekend of June saw Tynings Field Community Group take part in the annual 'Open Farm Get Growing Trail.'

It's come a long way since Tynings Field opened five years ago and the field was ploughed to get ready for planting a selection of vegetables by people who signed up to the community group and worked together with a common goal. Produce grown was shared out amongst its members. Caroline Penny Cole and Jim Penny have been the driving force behind this project and visitors have seen the progression of Tynings Field flourish over the years and seen it go through changes.

Members still work the field with manageable plots of land growing a wide variety of vegetables. There are raised beds that make gardening possible for people with disabilities. You'll find an orchard featuring a selection of fruits, several bee hives, wild flower areas, chickens, and more.

Tynings Field works with a number of local organisations including Avon Autistic Foundation and Bristol Zoo with various plant projects that they run. They hold community days including Hallow'een, Wassails, and the Get Growing Trail. They also donate produce to local lunch clubs.

Once a year they also have volunteers from local business help with the upkeep of Tynings Field from clearance of overgrowth to D.I.Y.

Shirehampton War Memorial

Following the short article and Betty Marten's drawing of the War Memorial in Shirehampton Park in the June edition of Shire, it is great to follow up with the news that KWAG has received confirmation from Historic England that the memorial is to be registered as a Grade 11 Listed building.

The reasons are:

  • Historic interest: as an eloquent witness to the tragic impacts of world events on this community, and the sacrifices it has made during the First World War;
  • Architectural interest: a well-crafted cross design in dressed stone to the design of Ernest Newton;
  • Intactness: the structure is largely unaltered;
  • Group value: it provides an additional feature of note within the Kingsweston Estate dating from the ownership of the philanthropist Philip Napier Miles.

Shirehampton Primary School

This year at Shirehampton Primary, the Pastoral Team have working hard with our children around self esteem and resilience.

We have had lots of success over the year, with our children gaining many merit certificates and awards. Forest School has been a joy this year and we have loved going to Lawrence Weston Farm every Thursday to make minions, cook numerous foods and climb the beautiful trees in all the seasons!

Thank you to all the staff at the Farm who make us so welcome and have created a paradise on our doorstep. Thank you also to all the parents, children and staff at our school that make it such a positive, happy environment. We cannot wait to see what next year will bring!

Street Party Celebrations For The Queen's 90th Birthday

Sunday the 12th June saw a street party take place in Station Road, Shirehampton to celebrate our Queen's 90th Birthday.

The area around the Lamplighters pub was perfect place with great views and within easy reach of Avonmouth Sea Cadets Headquarters and also the Sailing Club. The weather, with grey skies looming soon turned to summer sunshine and shade by the afternoon and there was a steady stream of people coming and going to the event.

Photograph by Bob Pitchford.

There were a number of stalls representing local organisations as well as selling jewellery, gift ideas, raffles and games. There was face painting, a bouncy castle, a barbecue provided by the Lamplighters and tea, coffee and cake provided by the Sea Cadets. Music entertainment was provided by Weston Sea Cadet Band and drill demonstrations were provided by Avonmouth Sea Cadets.

Families, singletons, grand parents and children thoroughly enjoyed a few hours out in the sun celebrating the Queen's birthday and cheers were given by the Cadets to mark the occasion.

Tony was attending the event with his wife Monica and their grandson Lucas: "We've thoroughly enjoyed ourselves especially the park and the hot dogs. Lucas enjoyed the bouncy castle. We like to support local activities and would come back again next year."

Rachel was one of the stall holders and mum to one of the young Sea Cadets: "It's been really nice, it's been fun and it's been busy. Luckily the rain has held off too".

First public demonstration of naval anti-gravity boots.

Lieutenant Kim Silverthorne, is Commander of Avonmouth Sea Cadets and her favourite bit of the day was the Sea Cadets drill. "I'm a drill instructor myself but it's always the drill. The band from Weston were amazing as well".

Local MP Charlotte Leslie also made a visit to the event and thoroughly enjoyed the day. "The Sea Cadets were absolutely incredible, their drills were superb, the music was incredible, what an amazing way to celebrate her Majesty's birthday. With Lamplighters open, the bunting up, it's been a lovely day with a great sense of community here."

Ruth and John Morris soaked up the sun and atmosphere of the day. "My favourite bit has been the chocolate cake and tea, nice, homemade and brilliant, provided by the Sea Cadets" said Ruth whilst her husband quipped "It's been a very good day and I've won the wife lunch . . . a bag of peanuts!" and he started laughing (we wish him a speedy recovery after what must have been a painful extraction).

One of the organisers of the event is Terri Booker. "Today has been wonderful, very successful. Local support has been amazing. We are hoping to make this into a nice big annual community event." Organisers would like to thank Weston Sea Cadet Band, all the volunteers, the Lamplighters, Cotswold Association, Friends of Lamplighters Marsh, Shirehampton Scouts, local residents of the surrounding area and the community who also supported this year's event. A thank you also goes to the Co-op in Shirehampton for kindly donating the bottled water for the volunteers and cadets.

To Shire Residents

My name is Tracy Edwards-Brown, I am the Neighbourhood Officer for Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston wards which also covers Shirehampton.

One of my main pieces of my work is to manage the BCC Neighbourhood Forum process for the area. We do not hold a forum in Shire but as residents of the Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston ward you are very welcome to attend either of the following:

Avonmouth Neighbourhood Forum: Thursday 28th July from 7pm to 9pm at 257 Avonmouth Rd, BS11 9EN.

Lawrence Weston Neighbourhood Forum: Thursday 21st July from 6.30pm to 8.30pm at Blaise Weston Court, Broadlands Dr, BS11 0AF.

Sea Mills and Coombe Dingle neighbourhood forum: Monday 25th July from 6.30pm to 8.30pm, venue to be confirmed. If you want to know more or have any other questions relating to the forums then please get in touch.

Shirehampton Forums

As Tracy Edwards-Brown writes in the piece above, the Neighbourhood Partnership does not directly operate Neighbourhood Forums in Shirehampton. However, this is not because the Partnership has neglected Shirehampton. We have had similar Forums in Shirehampton since before the Neighbourhood Partnership was established. Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF) has been running these for the past 15 years. The Neighbourhood Partnership recognises that the SCAF meetings fill the role of the partnership forums.

The full SCAF forum meets 5 times a year at the Public Hall. The meetings alternate between afternoons and evenings, to enable those who can only attend at limited times of day the opportunity to come. Every meeting is open to all local residents. Topics covered include, but are not limited to, community safety, parks and open spaces, planning matters, and activities organised by SCAF itself. These include door to door shopping trips for senior citizens, and local nature walks. The next SCAF Forum meeting is on Tuesday 12 July, from 2-4 pm, at Shirehampton Public Hall.

An important feature of the neighbourhood forums in the rest of our ward, is to agree local policing priorities with our local beat manager. SCAF's Community Safety group enables us to consider this in more detail than can be done in a more general forum with much 'other business'. This group is again open to all local residents. It meets about every six weeks, normally at Penpole Residents' Association on The Ridge. However, their next meeting is at Stow House, Nibley Rd, at 11-noon on Thursday 21 July, preceded by an optional safety walkabout around the Cotswold estate, at 10am.

School snappers in railway photography project

A Bristol railway station is set to be transformed into an art gallery thanks to talented youngsters at Oasis Academy Brightstowe.

Five pupils at the school in Shirehampton have been selected to take part in a photography project run by Severnside Community Rail Partnership and Arts Council England.

The group -- Year 8 student Alfie Walters and Tess Bell, Frankie Fenton, Ziona Quaye and Sam Atkins, all in Year 9, are travelling on the local railway and visiting stations including Temple Meads, Montpelier and Severn Beach, taking photographs along the way. The best images will then be framed and put on display at Shirehampton station this month.

Photograph by Kathryn Courtney.

Rhian Iredale, head of art at Oasis Academy Brightstowe, said: "This is a wonderful project not only does it bring our students' art out into the community, but it will also serve to brighten up one of our local railway stations.

The students are being encouraged to think about different aspects of the railway in their photography, such as people at work and local wildlife, so I am really looking forward to seeing what they produce."

Mystery photo

Recognise anyone

When Mark Durgan of Priory Road bought a Dr Who Annual for his children at Charity Search, he was surprised when a photograph fell out (above). Can any reader identify the lady pictured, or any of the children in the group? and when and where it was taken.