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News Index

Shirehampton Primary School - Productive Parent Power

Nature Notes

The 178th Brownies First Sleepover!

Changes to bus services

FREE Learning Communities Courses Autumn 2016

Latest news from A Forgotten Landscape (AFL)

Bristol Shiplovers’ Society Autumn programme for 2016

Letters to the Editor

<CODE> Club at Shirehampton Library - Friday, 16th September

City and Port of Bristol Bowling Club

Shirehampton Public Hall September Newsletter

St. Mary’s Registers - July 2016

I’M STILL STANDING… After all these years!!

I’m Still Standing!

I have nobly stood in Stoke Lodge parkland
A hundred and seventy years or so,
But old age, alas, caught me unawares
And sadly it was time to go.

Over the years I’ve watched proud and tall
The walkers, the sports teams and dogs with a ball,
Picnickers, children enjoying the fun,
Happy to play in the park in the sun.

Then, it was over, I was cut down to size,
No longer observing with weary old eyes
When up sprung a carver, Andy O’Neill is his name
Who believed he could make me a proud tree again.

A Cedar of Lebanon totem he made
With wildlife and foxes and eagles displayed,
I suddenly felt a new sense of being
As one who can say that to see is believing.

The vision is real, like a second coming,
To show the world there’s a brand new dawning,
My tales old and new will surely enthral
So come, I am here, to welcome you all.

Cedar of Lebanon tree

Stoke lodge in Shirehampton Road dates from 1836 and became a Listed Grade II Building in 1994. Within its grounds, there are many rare trees, one of which is the Cedar of Lebanon, approximately 170 years old, with huge lateral branches which have acted in the past as a shelter for picnickers and dog walkers caught in a sudden deluge.

Recently, we began to notice that a number of these huge branches were beginning to die and, finally, it was deemed necessary, in its present unsafe state, to fell the tree. We regular walkers in the playing fields were greatly saddened at the thought of losing this magnificent tree and felt there had to be an alternative. Happily, the Environment Group in Stoke Bishop was able to bid for funding to save the tree from total felling and to sculpt the remaining trunk and shortened branches instead.

This is where Andy O’Neill, a local well known, chainsaw wood sculptor, stepped in and accepted a commission to undertake the carving. It took Andy twenty days, single handed, to create a sculpture of wildlife brilliance from the ancient tree and those of us who have followed this intriguing story from day one were invited to meet the sculptor on July 23.

We discovered that Andy began his working life as a graphic designer but, enjoying the outdoors, he decided to train as a tree surgeon. Then, having watched an artist working at Glastonbury Festival, realised he could combine the two skills and become a chainsaw wood sculptor.

His work is evident both locally and nationally and now holds pride of place in the parklands of Stoke Lodge.

Come and enjoy a walk through the park and count how many animals you can spot on the tree. There are over twelve, all based on a theme of British Wildlife !

Goram Fair Is Back and a Big Success

It was 20 years since the last Goram Fair was held at Blaise Castle Estate. This year, 2016, marks the event’s welcome return and it attracted a great many people; an estimated ten thousand people were in attendance.

The fair ground was everything you’d expect it to be: bumper cars, big wheel, prize stalls, candy floss and more provided by Albert Rogers Funfair which has a long running history with the event. There were stalls, hands on crafts with Arts Enlarge, entertainment including a puppet show telling the story of the Goram Giants (not quite as I remember it but a fun alternative), ponies, birds of prey and entertainment. The grounds and gardens of the estate as well as the house were open to the public to explore. The added bonus is that the sun remained for most of the day and it made for a lovely summer day event.

Grant Tooze said “It was a fun enjoyable day with lots of stories, family activities and humour for everyone to enjoy”. Whilst Darren, one of the organisers of the event, told me “The fair took a great deal of time to bring back and would not have been possible without the help of the funders and sponsors as well as the local volunteers who helped on the day. I am very proud to have been a part of this community event and hope we gave the old fairs of the 50’s a fitting tribute, to bring an old tradition to the next generation.”

Shirehampton Primary School - Productive Parent Power

As a school in the heart of the community of Shirehampton we have always been lucky to have so much support and backing from our parents. This year however has seen parent power take over in the form of an active PTA, parent council and group of volunteers to help maintain our green space (SGS) behind the houses on St Mary’s Walk.

Our PTA, organised by Miranda Chance-Collins and her small but awesome group of parents, has run a number of very successful events and is busy planning our end of Summer Fair which will be held on Friday 23rd September in the school.

"our own purpose built amphitheatre…"

All have been thoroughly enjoyed by all that attended and has resulted in enough money being raised to have our own purpose built amphitheatre on our playground. Those of you who have been to our all singing, all dancing musical productions will know just how much talent our pupils have, so this space will give them their own stage to use at any time! The parent council is meeting regularly and full of ideas of how to help the school improve further and become an outstanding primary school. The parent volunteers, alongside Planet Turf (thank you!) keep our green space usable and a great space for all our children to learn in the outdoors. As a small sign of our appreciation a picnic was held on Thursday 14th July. It was well attended and hopefully not just because there were refreshments available. The eco council, helped by Mrs Nicky Carey and Miss Selina Gilmour is rightly proud of this space and works hard to ensure it is well used by all of the children at SPS.

"Snack Shack…"

Every year we ask our parents and carers to fill in a questionnaire to help us understand what we are doing well and what we could improve on and, in November 2015, a brilliant idea was shared by a parent. This was to introduce a Snack Shack where healthy food and drinks could be purchased by children at break time. As well as a fabulous idea it has given our children the opportunity to ‘run their own business’ on a daily basis. Members of the school council held interviews for the positions and successfully appointed many children who were keen to help out with this venture. This is a very popular addition to our school so thank you to the parents who suggested this.

"role models…"

Our year 6 children did really well in the end of Key Stage 2 assessments they had to take in May. Their attitude and desire to do well was a credit to their hard work and passion to be the best they can be. You may be aware that some MPs took the same tests and came out with less than pleasing scores. They should have been educated at SPS then as some of the scores achieved by our children were gob-smackingly great: Alex P achieved the highest score in maths only dropping 1 mark to achieve 119 out of 120 and Annie S achieved equally great scores in reading and grammar, punctuation and spelling. Thank you year 6 for being such role models for our younger children and good luck in the next stage of your education. Just remember how awesome you are!

"such an inspiring community…"

In September 2016 the school will grow to over 500 children which is phenomenal and a testament to the views, opinions and thoughts of our local community towards the school – it is an absolute pleasure to be the Head Teacher in such an inspiring community that fully supports education and truly wants the best for its children. Our motto is ‘onwards to outstanding’ and, with the parent power we have behind us, this will be achieved in the not too distant future. Can’t wait to see what next academic year brings… bet it’s brilliant!

Sandra White officially awarded the B.E.M 28th July 2016

On the 28th July 2016, local community volunteer, Sandra White was officially presented with her British Empire Medal by the Lord Lieutenant of the County and City of Bristol, Mary Prior, MBE JP, at the Penpole Community Room in Shirehampton.

It was a proud moment for Sandra, her family, friends, work colleagues and invited guests who were present at the ceremony. It was a celebration honouring Sandra’s contribution to the local community for services to elderly people in Shirehampton.

After the presentation Sandra was very much in demand, speaking to many people and posing for photos but unfortunately she wasn’t able to speak to everyone. The Lord Mayor of Bristol Cllr Jeff Lovell and Lady Mayoress Bridget Lovell were guests along with previous Lord Mayors, Peter Main and Alastair Watson. Representatives from Nisbit’s who originally nominated Sandra for the award were also in attendance including Mrs Nisbit. Councilors past and present along with representatives from the local Police, Ash Bearman from SCAF and David Thomas from the Shire also attended the ceremony.

When I spoke to Sandra after her very busy day I asked how she felt when she was presented with her award. “I was a bit shocked, I wasn’t expecting to see so many people there, but it was nice. I was a bit emotional and happy too when the Lord Lieutenant of Bristol pinned my award to my jacket. By the end of it I felt a little overwhelmed. I keep looking at the medal but I still can’t believe that it’s mine”

“At lot of hard work had gone into the ceremony and the gazebo was hit by wind and rain before the event so the extra space that had been planned didn’t happen. Luckily the sun shone later so we could use the patio area. However I’d like to thank Tracy, Joanne, Debbie and Dave for all their hard work, the buffet was lovely along with the decorations, and Kathryn and Richard for the photos.

Thank you to the local Co-op and their manager Mike for their donation and thanks also go to Nisbit’s for nominating me for the award and for the curtains they provided for the community room.” said Sandra.

Nature Notes

This little hedgehog is one of a delightful family lodging in a neighbours back garden.

They are enjoying the extra food on offer, and it enables their hosts to enjoy watching them develop as the days go by. I am very grateful to them for sharing this opportunity with ‘Shire’.

The group of foxes close by are thriving too. We only put scraps out occasionally, so that they don’t become too dependent on it, but they still hang around every night at the same time just in case ‘tonight’s the night!’ Last night Jeff didn’t get anywhere near the front door before they were greedily tucking in!

I have been putting water in an old dish in the front garden for foxes, hogs and the birds, as the dry spell continues too.

The sparrow hawk was back again last week. We spotted it boldly sitting on our back wall until it flew over the top of the house and was gone. The sparrows stayed well hidden in the hedge and you could hear their anxious chatter for ages after he’d gone!

We took another hedgehog to Secret World two weeks ago. It was picked up at lunchtime scuttling down the pavement. As a very young hoglet, and being out at midday, it was the only option. Hopefully this will have a better outcome than our previous casualty. a

The sparrows continue to bring their young to our garden, and adults are still feeding them, even this late in the season! Good news for sparrows. That’s all for now, happy nature watching, Bobbie Perkins.

Sailing Club Barbecue

On Saturday July 30th, members of Portishead Yacht and Sailing Club, based in Sugar Loaf Bay, sailed up the River Severn and then the Avon to join in with the BBQ held by Shirehampton Sailing Club.

This is an annual event that has been held for many years. This year it also coincided with the Pill Regatta held on the opposite side of the river. The weather was warm enough to encourage sailors to enjoy the offerings of The Lamplighters, whilst able to watch the Balmoral sailing past. After a pleasant afternoon, the visiting sailors then set off to Portishead again on the ebb tide.

The 178th Brownies First Sleepover!

On the weekend of the 11-12th June 2016, the 178th Brownies went on their first sleepover as a unit to Magic and Mayhem in Foxlease, the New Forest. We had a nice early start, leaving Shirehampton at 6:45am to pick up the 45th Brownies who were joining us.

We arrived at the venue at 9:30am and after checking in, dropping our bags and handing out wristbands, we were ready to start!

Our first activity was the Magic and Craft tent. In here the girls made rockets, lava lamps, learnt a magic trick and learnt about static electricity. The next tent was Dance. Here as a group the Brownies learnt a dance to Uptown Funk. This left us in a great position to have front row seats for the lunchtime magic show! Which leader is called up onto stage? None other than myself! The Brownies were very happy their leader was centre stage. Billie and Megan W also got to help the Magician.

"Things got rather messy!"

After lunch we visited the Science tent where the girls had a chance to play with gloop. As I’m sure you can imagine …. Things got rather messy! They also filled small film pot canisters with some water and a tablet, creating a gas that caused the lids to pop off! Next was the Adventure section. The Brownies had a chance to use large slingshots, to try fire lighting, archery and had the pleasure of tasting nettle tea. They also had a teamwork game where, using bits of pipe, they had to get the ball into a bucket. It was necessary for the girls to work together in order to move and to keep the pipe line going. It was great to see the girls working together for this activity. Having exhausted themselves with the team game we decided it was time to visit the shop before going back to the Magic tent. Here the Brownies learnt how to hula hoop, walk on a tightrope, spin plates and played with ribbons as well as using walking slits. The final section, which was the one the Brownies kept asking about, was the inflatable section. This was by far what they had been looking forward to all day. There were bouncy castles, an inflatable bungee run, an inflatable obstacle course and an inflatable disco.

"the rain had stopped by the time the presentation was over…"

We had our finale as we said goodbye to the day visitors, but the fun continued for us! We had dinner and got changed ready for the disco. All too soon it was time to get ready for bed inside the giant big top. Sunday morning came round and it was pouring down! The Brownies had packed up their belongings before breakfast. After breakfast I had the pleasure of presenting the girls with their badges for attending. We had a bit of time left before the coach arrived and thankfully the rain had stopped by the time the presentation was over and so the girls enjoyed some free time running around the grounds. When we finally got onto the coach for the journey home, the girls continued to surprise me with their energy in that they sang, laughed and chatted all the way home. The girls really enjoyed meeting other Brownies. They clearly loved our first trip as a unit and so I am pleased to report that we already have our next trip planned.

Thank you to The Shire Newspaper for their kind donation towards this trip. I also couldn’t have done it without the help of my Leaders so Thank You to Kestrel, Snowy, Dragonfly, Beech, Tawny and Emma.

What two of the brownies thought of the trip:

An exhausting trip to Foxlease. We were allowed our snacks on the coach at 8am. When we got there we jumped out, put our bags into the marquee and were off to the Creative tent where we made rockets that flew. In the Science laboratory we played with gloop and in the Adventure bit with loved the nettle tea. We rocked our shoes off at the disco.

Changes to bus services

There will be changes to some local bus services from Sunday 4th Sept. The 902 Park & Ride bendy buses will be replaced by a 902 double decker run by First.

I have been assured that this new service will follow the same route along the Portway & stop at the same bus stops. The 501 & 502 services will be withdrawn.

Service 18A will operate the same route as service 18 until Shirehampton Green where it will then follow the route of the service 501 to Avonmouth. Service 18 will operate hourly Monday to Saturday daytime and evening and hourly on Sundays.

Service 508 is being extended from Sea Mills along the Portway into Shirehampton Green then follow service 502 to Dursley Road. This service is also being extended at the eastern end and will now terminate in Southmead Hospital.

FREE Learning Communities Courses Autumn 2016

  • Brush Up Your Maths

    Pathways to a Functional Skills course. Brush up your own maths for work or home. maths skills.

    Venue: Long Cross Children’s Centre, Long Cross, Lawrence Weston, BS11 0LP Start date and time: Monday or Tuesday or Friday afternoons in September (t.b.c.). 10/12 sessions.

  • Brush Up Your English

    Pathways to a Functional Skills course

    This course will give you the opportunity to brush up your English, for work or home. Find out about opportunities for progression to a Functional Skills course. This is not an ESOL course and is for people who use English as their first language and/or who have already reached Entry 3 Level.

    Venue: Henbury Court Children’s Centre, Trevelyan Walk, Henbury, BS10 7NY.

    Start date and time: Monday 12th or 19th September, 9.30-11.30am. 12 sessions.

  • Paediatric First Aid

    This accredited course covers emergencies, wounds, CPR, and common childhood conditions; it is aimed at parents and anyone volunteering or working with children. Gain a Protrainings certificate. Paediatric First Aid courses are FREE to people on means tested people, fees apply to people not on means tested benefits.

    Venue: Avonmouth Children’s Centre, Catherine Street, Avonmouth, BS11 9LG. Dates and time: starts Wednesday 14th September, 1.00-3.00pm. (t.b.c.) for 6 sessions.

    Venue: Brentry and Henbury Children’s Centre, Brentry Lane, BS10 6RG Dates and times: starts Thursday 3rd November, 12.45-2.45pm. (t.b.c.) for 7 sessions.

  • Employability ~ CV Writing.

    This course will give you support in writing a CV, completing a job application, interview preparation, and making an action plan to achieve your goals.

    Venue: Brentry and Henbury Children’s Centre, Brentry Lane, Brentry, BS10 6RG Start date and time: starting Monday 12th September, 9.30-11.30am, for 6 sessions.

  • Computer Skills for Life ~ Work, Home or Volunteering

    This course will give learners the experience in using the internet, word processing and making applications online. Update your CV and gain an understanding of e-safety issues.

    Venue: Henbury Library, Crow Lane, Henbury, BS10 7DR

    Start date and time: starting Tuesday 13th or 20th September (t.b.c.), 9.30-12 noon. 5/6 sessions.

  • ESOL for Life ~ English.

    Come to an assessment and enrolment session to find out about courses available or planned.

    Venue: Avonmouth Community Centre, Avonmouth Road, Avonmouth, BS11 9EN Start date and time: Tuesday 13th September, 5.30-7.0pm.

    ESOL courses are FREE to people on means tested benefits, fees apply to people not on means tested benefits.

    Are there any courses you or your community need? e.g. Confidence Building, Introduction to Childcare, Level 1 in Nutrition Introduction to Health and Social Care, Emergency First Aid at Work, Maths, English.

  • ESOL Conversation Clubs

    Join an ESOL conversation group run by volunteers and supported by the Learning Communities Team. A chance to improve your spoken English, in a friendly and informal group.

    Venue: Brentry and Henbury Children’s Centre, Brentry Lane, Brentry, BS10 6RG Date and time: Mondays TBC, 1.00-2.00pm. This will run in term time only.

    Venue: The Long Cross Centre, Long Cross, Lawrence Weston, BS11 0LP Date and time: Thursdays, 1.30-2.30pm. This will run in term time only.

Latest news from A Forgotten Landscape (AFL)

The autumn is a great time to get involved in conserving, restoring, and exploring your local natural and cultural heritage – learn something new about wildlife or your community’s past! All our events are free. You may need to book for some but it will say in the event info if you do.

  • Severn Bridge Anniversary Celebration

    Saturday 10 September - Severn Beach

    Are you a budding architect or a keen engineer? Learn how to build your own suspension bridge using real materials with our Severn Bridge experts! Just drop in on the day.

  • Wild Walk with Steve England

    Saturday 25 September, 10-1 - Oldbury-on-Severn

    Join us for a family-friendly wild walk with local naturalist Steve England. Steve is a multi-award winning conservation educator. For more information and to book, please go to Spaces are limited!

Our Tuesday Talks start again in September.

They will be all be held at the Oak Room at Kings Weston House, Kings Weston Lane, Bristol BS11 0UR. Talks start at 7:30 and run for about an hour. They are free but you MUST book at place at The first talk is:

  • Inspirational Eels! By Andrew Kerr, Chair of the Sustainable Eel Group

    Tuesday 6th September

    The eel has been around for 100 million years and is now facing a huge crisis – its very survival. Listed by IUCN as Critically Endangered, its remarkable life cycle make it very vulnerable to human impacts like blocked migration pathways, power stations, water pumps, lost wetland habitat and fishing especially the illegal trafficking. Andrew Kerr will tell the story of both the problems and the actions being taken to address them.

    To book: search ‘eels’ at

Lots more for October too! Visit

Volunteers Wanted!

Website support volunteer

Do you like working on websites? Or perhaps you’ve always wanted to know how it’s done? We need a volunteer to work with the team to co-ordinate and upload content to the site, to help keep the details up to date and to make sure that our work is shared with the wider community; South Gloucestershire, Bristol and beyond. If you have basic computer skills, your own computer, and a willingness to learn, we’d be interested in hearing from you! Previous experience of editing WordPress an asset but isn’t necessary; full training will be provided.

For more information on this role go to, or contact Katie on 01454 863 043 or at

St Andrew’s Ladies Club Autumn Programme

St. Andrew’s Ladies Club meets on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month at St Andrew’s Church Hall, Avonmouth, from 7:30-9:15 pm.

September 6th Quiz – Thelma
20th Life of a Working Vet - Robert
October 4th Friends of Bristol Hematology and Oncology Centre - Liz Pritchard
18th My Day at Windsor Castle - Susan Marshfield
November 1st Marco Polo: 50 Years History of Ocean Travel - Richard Clammer
15th Bits and Bobs
December 6th Humorous Christmas Poetry and Readings - Paul Evans
17th Christmas Dinner Outing - Marco Polo

Bristol Shiplovers’ Society Autumn programme for 2016

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

Talks start at approximately 1930 hours.

Programme for 2016

September 12th DVD “San Demetrio” London. A tribute to the Merchant Navy.
26th Restoring the Monmouth and Brecon Canal. By Richard Dummett MBE and Captain Roger Francis.
October10th Prospect of Whitby by Peter jones.
24th Over the sea to Scilly by Geoff Williams
November14th The “V” Bombers by John Wooster
28th Taking “Pyronaut” to the Jubilee Pageant.
Photo by David Taylor

Meet the wood sculptor, Andy

Farewell to the wood carver, Dick

In Memory of Dick Helme

Firstly I want to say a huge thank you to all who attended Dick’s funeral on 24th June and made it a fantastic celebration of his life, and the lovely folk of St Mary’s who made it special too.

Dick Helme

I am overwhelmed by the amount of money raised in his memory for Bristol Urological Institute (BUI) based at Southmead Hospital, a staggering £1078 – amazing; thank you all who donated. I feel very humbled and proud that he inspired such generosity. It will go towards research and potential treatment of all urological cancers so money well spent.

Finally, although the October craft exhibition will not have its quirky publicity man this year, the last remaining pieces of Dick’s woodwork will be on sale for anyone who wants a last chance to buy, so he will have a presence which I know will please a lot of people. So once again, on behalf of his family, thank you for taking him to your hearts and showing it in such a public way.

Judy Helme

Botany in Shire The Wild Plants of the Shirehampton area

“In crossing a heath, suppose I pitched my foot against a stone, and were asked how the stone came to be there, I might possibly answer that, for anything I knew to the contrary, it had lain there for ever...” Thus begins William Paley’s Natural Theology of 1802, famously continuing that the same answer could hardly apply to a watch. Botanists too think hard about how our plants came to be here, and in particular whether they are native or not.

I can best explain the problems of answering that question by reference to two grasses growing on Shirehampton’s High Street.

Crossing the road by the petrol station to post a letter I glanced down and recognised a rather wiry grass with bent-back flowering branches as the subject of a 250-year old hand-coloured plate on my study wall. This was the first time I had seen it in the centre of Shirehampton. Reflexed Saltmarsh-grass was known a century ago in small quantity beside the tidal Avon and still occurs at Sea Mills and Pill. So this is a native plant, out of its native habitat.

The second grass I saw outside one of the Estate Agents when I first came house-hunting here in 2012. This one has been known in Britain since 1690 but doesn’t have a native habitat here, and is said to have been cultivated in Europe as Polish Millet. It is a Finger-grass, named from the arrangement of the flowering branches in the manner of the frame of a blown-out umbrella. It sets seed every year and seems to be spreading.

The problem is that native plants have a higher claim in conservation terms than do non-natives, even those that have apparently been established with the assistance of man since before there were botanists to record them. The Avon Gorge has a confusing mixture of all sorts, thanks partly to the old hermit who lived in the Giant’s Cave and who supplemented the natural herb garden (thyme and marjoram for instance) with fennel and parsley.

Thanks for including the column for August and the photo of the Shirehampton rose in such a prominent position, on the back page.

Shirehampton Methodist Church Harvest Festival

Sunday September 11th 2016

11:am Rev. Patrick Stonehewer

A warm Welcome is extended to All

Corncockles at Tynings Field for sale

Tynings Field Community Group grew a patch of flowers called corncockles this year. A rare ancient weed of arable fields since the use of modern weedkiller, it became extinct in the UK until 2014.

Corncockles feature in Shakespeare and were possibly introduced by the Saxons in grain supplies from Europe where they traded with British Celts. Seeds and part of the plant are poisonous if eaten. As are foxgloves and many others - only if eaten. In the old days, corncockle seed got into the wheat harvest and the food chain; nowadays it is restricted and rare in the countryside and has instead become very sought after in the garden border, due to its beauty and wildlife attracting properties for hoverflies. They prefer open sunny places.

We are keeping some seed back so, if you wish to purchase some for your garden, you are helping to conserve part of our natural history.

New Age Kurling with Billy Downs

Billy Downs has been running New Age Kurling in Shirehampton since April and it’s proving to be very popular indeed. “It’s a new learning curve for me and a little bit different to what I’m used to. I thought it was going to be quite boring if I’m honest but actually it really is a fantastic sport and very enjoyable.”

As I’m interviewing Billy, an intense game of new age kurling is going on behind us. I ask him if the sport keeps people occupied, their mind focused with a little bit of exercise in between?

“Yes definitely, you have to keep score. There’s obviously some social interaction going on and you’ve got to be able to have a bit of force behind the kurling stone when you hit it so you are exercising. You’ve got to be able to get the stone onto the target mat if you can but if you can’t you don’t need to worry as you can always knock on the stone with your next go”.

"a bit of a smasher really…"

I ask Billy about the people taking part and if he had seen any strange or ingenious tactics going on? “Well Tony, as you can see behind me, is a bit of a smasher really. He’s got no technique, he just tries to smash the kurling stones out the way but the girls are very good, very technical, they get a bit closer to the middle of the target. I’ve played five or six games and I’ve not lost yet. I’m waiting for someone to come and beat me.”

Billy then goes on to explain a little more about the sport itself. “It’s not that technical it’s quite easy to play. You can push the kurling stones with your hand or use a kurling stick if you can’t stoop down.

You stand about ten yards away from the target mat which contains several circles within each other and that’s your target area. The centre circle is worth four points whilst the outer circles are worth three, two and one point. You’ve got four kurling stones of each colour, red and blue and you’ve got to try and get all the stones onto the circles and obviously whoever is the closest wins. You can run the game how you want as teams or individuals.”

"little wheels at the bottom…"

Most people would associate New Age Kurling with what they see on TV, with the Olympics, the ice and the brushes but how do the stones work here? “The stones are very similar to the ones on ice but our kurlers contain little wheels at the bottom so you can push them along the floor. We can’t afford ice!” said Billy

Would people with disabilities be able to take part in this game and can it be played at any age? “Yes definitely. If you have a disability of any kind there is a slider you can use. You sit down on your chair, put the slide on your lap, and then slide the stone down the slider to play the game that way. You can also use kurling sticks to push the stones as well.

The sport is open to anyone of any age and any ability but our sessions are generally for 55 years and above. However if you are looking after a younger person, you can always bring them along with you and they can join in.” said Billy.

Letters to the Editor

Methodist Church - Victoria Stephens

Dear Editor,

I remember in an edition of the Shire this year that there was a drawing of the Methodist Church from years gone by. I would be interested in obtaining a copy and asking permission to use it on the Order of Service for my wedding in October. I wonder if you can help?

Best wishes,

Victoria Stephens.

60th Wedding Anniversary

Dear Editor,

To Joyce and John Wicking. Many congratulations on your 60th Wedding Anniversary.

Also Daughter Helen and husband Phil celebrated their Ruby Anniversary. 100 years between both !

Love from all your family and friends.

First day of the Somme - Simon May

Dear Editor,

I noticed your extract about the first day of the Somme - it references Walter Edgar May, killed in the first day. He was my greatuncle.

I have his medals and also the telegram sent back to his parents (my great great grandparents) notifying them of his being killed by a shell. I wondered who put the article in the Shire? I assume it was sourced from commonwealth war graves website?

Let me know please as I am interested. I can send you a photograph of him and the medals if you are interested and want to do a follow up article from a family member - I live in Cirencester now but lived in Shirehampton 14 years ago and was brought up in Lawrence Weston where my elderly mum Margaret May still lives - she rang and told me about the article

thanks. Simon May

Litter - Paul Slaney


I've been living and enjoying being a resident of Shirehampton for over a year now, but one constant source of annoyance is the amount of litter. I walk my dog up to Kingsweston estate morning and evening and manage to fill up a carrier bag of litter on the same route every time. I watch the Oasis school children eat their bakery goods on Penpole Place and just drop their paper bags metres from a bin. I have had discussions with the school over the littering, and the new head instructed some pupils to clean up the steps from The Ridge after named homework was strewn around. It's not like the village is short of litter bins, but they just aren't utilised, litter constantly on The Green where there are two bins.

It's a shame that the society we live in has become so disposable and that people think there is always someone to come along and pick up after them.

Paul Slaney
2 Wesley Cottages

Aiding Bristol Oncology Unit - Jenny & Joanne

Dear Editor,

I would like to say a big Thank You to all those involved with the ‘Above and Beyond’ cake stall during the Fun Day on the 2nd June and ‘A Night to Remember’ fundraiser on the 11th June, both held at the PBA Social Club. These events raised an amount of £5,535.75, bringing our total to over £10,000. We are immensely grateful for all donations received from individuals, local and national businesses.

Once again, Thank You for your generosity in helping us reach our goal, and ultimately aiding Bristol Oncology Unit in their excellent treatment of all patients and loved ones facing cancer.

Jenny and Joanne (thanks for donation (Ed.)

Shirehampton Model Railway Club

Shirehampton Model Railway Club will be holding its 2016 exhibition at Shirehampton Public Hall on the 8th of October, 2016. Doors will open from 10 am to 4.30 pm.

Admission Prices are Adults - £3.50; OAP - £3.00; children under 12 free with paying adult; (maximum 4 per paying adult; over 4 - £1.50 each); 12 to 16 - £1.50.

A good selection of layouts including Shirehampton Station in NGauge.

Trade Support, Refreshments, Disabled friendly.

Please come along and enjoy one of the most friendly shows on the circuit and a chance to have any questions you have about railways answered.

Tony Davies

<CODE> Club at Shirehampton Library - Friday, 16th September

Code Club will be starting at Shirehampton Library on Friday, 16th Sept 3.30 pm – 4,30 pm.

Q1 Do you have a favourite computer game, Y/N?

Q2 Would you like to learn how to make your own computer games, Y/N?

IF Q1='Y' AND Q2='Y' THEN echo "Please register your child’s details with a member of staff and we will contact you with a start date!";

@ <Code> Club you can learn how to make cool games, animations and websites too!

Happy Birthday Wayne Harvey

We would like to wish Wayne Harvey a Happy 50th birthday on 1st August. Also a happy 25th Anniversary to both Wayne and Linzi and to Darren and Claire Harvey.

Congratulations and love to you all from Mum and Dad, Michelle, Colin and Nan.

(Many apologies for late insertion and thanks for your donation. ED)


Shire wishes to apologize to Kathryn Courtney. We failed to acknowledge her photos of the launch of the Oasis Photography Exhibition on Shirehampton Station in the August edition. Kathryn also wrote the article on Tai Chi and took the accompanying photo. And while she is credited with the article on the Walk on the Wild Side, it is not made explicit that she also took those photos.

(The editor)


For Claire Curtis

Sisters are one of the same,
Who keep each other safe and sane.

Laughing and crying many times together,
And to make bad things get better.

Look in the mirror and you see each other,
But which one of us is like our mother.

Talking things through all the time,
In life together we will sine.

So I thank you sis for being there for me,
And for giving me a front door key.

Jayne Marden
September 2016

Avon (University Settlement) Community Association AGM

The AGM for A(US)CA which runs the 'Shire Advice' will be held on Wednesday 21st September at 7.15pm in the Tithe Barn, Shirehampton. This is a public meeting and all are welcome.

The Advice Service is based at Shirehampton Health Centre, a free drop in service on Tuesdays 10-noon, and helps people from all age groups. We have a long-standing presence in Shirehampton so, if you want to know more about our work, the AGM is a good opportunity.

City and Port of Bristol Bowling Club

The season might be moving towards its closing stages but there is still plenty to look forward to and also to look back on before the final woods are bowled early in October.

Monday July 25th saw the arrival at the green of bowlers from Gloucestershire and Somerset to compete for the Small Cup. This was the 60th time that the counties had competed for the trophy --- the first time being at Henleaze in 1957.

David Hinksman between presidents of Gloucestershire and Somerset --- Roy Walker and Lionel Slatter before the game started.

Somerset v Gloucestershire

Once the formality of Host President David Hinksman handing the green over to Gloucestershire President Roy Walker had been completed, a very keenly contested game, played on six rinks on a sunny afternoon, got underway. A very good afternoon’s bowling ended with Somerset winning by 129 to 109 shots to bring them within two wins of Gloucestershire in terms of games played over the years. The bowling was followed by a two course meal, provided by the City and Port of Bristol Bowling Club, drinks, lively conversation and the customary speeches by the two County Presidents --- Roy Walker of Gloucestershire and Lionel Slatter of Somerset.

With the season’s final game not being until October 4th at GB Britton, there are still many friendly games to enjoy on Wednesdays and at the week –ends.

Club Tour

The Club Tour based this year in Eastbourne early in September is followed on September 10th by Finals Day, when all the individual, pairs and team semi-finalists come together to decide this year’s trophy winners.

County Competitions

There has been success for club members in the early rounds of County Competitions. Bill Hatherall and Charlie Maby, finalists in 2015, have progressed to round two of the pair’s competition this year by beating Bob Bradshaw and Tom Troop of Ardagh in round one. Alan Price is through to round one of the singles competition having beaten David Quick of Whitehall in the Preliminary Round.

Tuesday evening sessions

This season’s Tuesday evening sessions for beginners and practice for existing bowlers has been successful, with three new bowlers joining the club as a result of giving bowling a try and, most recently, Julie Looker coming along to three sessions and hopefully joining at some point in the future, having enjoyed playing the game and wanting to play more.

The Club Monday night league will conclude at the end of August.

Winter Bowling Break

Already looking forward beyond the end of the outdoor season, there will once again be a Winter Bowling Break to the Toorak in Torquay late in January 2017. Always very enjoyable, with not only bowling four games against local and visiting sides but also plenty of time to make the most of what the hotel has to offer and to explore Torquay and the surrounding area.

Thank you

David Hinksman

Shire Craft Exhibition Shirehampton Public Hall 25th – 29th October 2016

Shirehampton Public Hall 25th – 29th October 2016

Hi all you crafters out there, yes it does say October in the heading but, we are well past the summer equinox so it’s time to start thinking about all those projects that have been put on hold during the summer months, dusting them off and getting them ready for the annual Shire Craft Exhibition.

"During October school break"

As is the custom, the exhibition will take place during the October school break. The exhibition will open on Tuesday 25th October and run until Saturday 29th October. I hope all those who exhibited last year have been busily putting together even more exciting items for exhibit and/or selling. If you were not part of it last year, now is your chance to put those long held ideas into practise and be part of one of Shire’s longest running events.

"a tribute to Dick…"

It was with great sorrow that we lost Dick Helme this year; he was a founder member of Shire Exhibition and one of the more flamboyant personalities who made the whole process of putting the Exhibition together and showing off his talent for crafting pieces of wood into treasured items, fun and a joy to be with. As a tribute to Dick, we hope to have some of the items he finished before his untimely passing on display and for sale at the Exhibition. So this may be your last opportunity to pick up one of those “treasured items”.

So whatever your reason for being part of “Shire Exhibition” whether exhibiting, visiting or helping,don’t forget to put the dates in your diaries.

Tynings Field Community Appeal

Tynings field community smallholding in Shirehampton desperately needs funding for a rotavator. We work in the community providing growing space for veg and fruit and are run on a non-profit voluntary basis, with the Autistic Association and various members of the community. We grow organically, and need a Rotavator.

Shirehampton Public Hall September Newsletter

Welcome to another edition of the Public Hall Newsletter!

Hopefully everyone enjoyed a relaxed and happy summer break, refreshed and ready for the new school term?

At the Hall we have some exciting developments with the Wednesday Toddler Group. There is potentially a volunteer to take on the responsibilities of the running the group, so this much needed activity for the preschool aged children in and around Shirehampton could continue into the new season!

Contact the Hall for further details or look at our website or Facebook page for updates.

September is also a great month for community activities at the Hall.

Regular activities are set to continue, however we also have:-

  • Quarterly Stamp Fair

    Quarterly Stamp Fair on Saturday 10th (10am-4pm),

  • Shire Stitchers

    Shire Stitchers event on Saturday 17th (10am-4pm),

  • Table Top Sale

    Table Top Sale on Saturday 24th (10am-12 noon), followed by a Prize Bingo Evening 24th (7-10pm).

    The Table Top Sale will consist of 12 tables which can be hired out (first come, first served I’m afraid!) – please call the Hall Manager for further details.

  • Pro-Evo Wrestlers

    Sunday 25th also sees the Hall hosting the Pro-Evo Wrestlers in the evening (check website/Facebook for further details). Everyone welcome!

Shirehampton Public Hall Regular Weekly Activities

MondayFirebird Theatre10am-4pm
Twyford Art Club10am - 12noon
Yoga6.30pm - 7.30pm
Puppy Training7.45pm - 8.45pm
TuesdayDisco Babies10am-11am
Childrens Contemporary Dance6pm - 7pm
Intermediate Contemporary Dance7pm - 8pm
Puppy Training8.15pm - 9.15pm
WednesdayTwyford Art Club9.30am - 11.30am
Toddler Group(Term time only)9.15am - 11.15am
Model Railway Club7.30 onwards
Shire Stitchers (Every 3rd Wednesday)7.15pm - 9.15pm
Womens's Felowship (2nd & 4th Wednesdays)7.30pm - 9.30pm
ThursdaySea Mills Art Group10am - 12noon
Tai Chi (Link Age)2pm - 3.30pm
Zumba6pm - 7pm
Grainger Players7.30pm - 9.30pm
FridayPlay tots (Every 1st & 3rd Friday)9.45am - 11.45am
Evergreens2pm - 4pm
Shire News 4pm (1st Friday of each month)4pm
Bingo6.30pm - 8.30pm
Pillow Lace Club7.30pm - 9.30pm

The Hall Trustees welcome new Trustees or anyone with an interest in starting new events to come along and visit us. Shirehampton Public Hall is now on Facebook, so please “like” us and follow all our up and coming events on there.

St. Mary’s Registers - July 2016

Baptisms ’we welcome you’

31st Matilda Berryman

Funerals ‘At rest and at peace’

7thCharles Buscombe Canford
15thPhyllis Bridgeman Canford

St. Mary's News

Hi Folks!

The most joyous news this month is that we have a new Priest in Charge Designate for St Mary’s. Interviews for the vacancy took place in July and I am delighted to inform you that the Rev. Helen Johnson, from the churches at Southville & Whitchurch, has accepted the position to become our new Priest-in-Charge. She is married with two children and has to give notice of her leaving so we have no starting date as yet. We look forward to welcoming her and her family.

Our Bric-a-Brac Sale in August went off well and we were extremely pleased to raise the sum of £640.00 towards church funds. Thank you to all of you who came to support it.

"£640.00 towards church funds…"

Our Harvest Appeal this year is to be split between two charities - Hop, Skip & Jump (Bristol) and Paul’s Place.

Hop,Skip & Jump (Bristol) provides a flexible respite for children and young adults with disabilities and SEN. They are able to cater for up to 60 children a day providing a variety of groups and activities for them to engage with indoor and outdoor play facilities, all with an emphasis on self-development and discovery. They believe not only in helping parents through the difficulties of supporting a disabled child, but also in ensuring that there is a sense of development for their children.

Paul’s Place exists to support and facilitate physically disabled young people and adults; providing a safe social environment, promoting independence whenever possible, providing a support plan, enabling them to reach their full potential and providing a programme of individual and group activities.

Your support for both of these charities will do amazing things children and young people with disabilities and their parents/carers - we know we can rely on your generosity, as ever, to assist with this Harvest Appeal. Thank-you!

  • Harvest Supper - Friday 23rd September

    Our Harvest Supper is at 7.30pm on Friday 23rd September with entertainment by BOF - a 1960’s duo. Tickets for this event are priced at £8.00 and are available from the Church Office.

  • Harvest Flower Festival - Saturday 24th September

    Our Harvest Flower Festival is on Saturday 24th September when the church will be open from 10.00 am until 12.00 noon and from 2.00 pm until 4.00 pm. It should provide a variety of autumn colours for your delight. Please come and admire the skill of the flower arrangers.

  • Harvest Festival - Sunday, 25th September

    Sunday, 25th September is our Harvest Festival - with the Kids Klub Service starting at 8.30 am followed, at 10am, by a Baptism Service with Parade of the Uniformed Organisations. Please come and join us you will be made very welcome.

Have you heard this? A Sunday school teacher asked her children on the way to the service, ‘And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?’ One little girl replied, ‘Because people are sleeping.’

‘Bye for now - C.M.E.

Come Along To The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning Friday 30th September

The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning will be held at the Penpole Community Centre, The Ridge, Shirehampton, on Friday 30th September. It starts from 10:30am until the cakes run out. It is in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Tea, coffee and cakes of varying shapes and sizes will be on the table and ready to eat for a small donation of your choice. It will also include a dairy and gluten free selection for those who have an allergy or an intolerance (something I am very much aware of myself.) In addition there will be the chance to try your hand at arts and crafts and you may end up learning that you have a skill that you were unaware of!

If you are unsure of where the Penpole Community Centre is, just follow the balloon trail that will begin opposite the Tithe Barn. The balloons will lead you to your destination and to a table full of yummy cakes waiting to be eaten all for a good fund-raising cause.

2014 Coffee Morning

Weasels in Shirehampton Whoda thunk!

"Mister Rat? 'e don't live here any more!"

Tynings field members got a glimpse of a little weasel. Living in the hedgerows and undergrowth, this tiny predator is busy killing rats, mice and wild birds. They are not endangered and breed, but the wild habitats they live in are becoming rare and hunted by gamekeepers. They are shy and timid too. To see one close up is not common. They will, however, prefer smaller birds such as quail or finches and it’s very rare that they attack ducks or chickens when other easier prey is available. They have killed rats in our hedge and have taken over an old rats’ nest.

The difference between a Stoat and a Weasel?
"A Weasel's weasely identified, but a Stoat's stoatally different."

Shire Treasurer stands down

After twenty years of service Shire Treasurer Dr. David Thomas is standing down.

As our readers may know, Shire is a self-sustaining not-for-profit community newspaper. We rely entirely on our volunteer committee to produce the paper and on our volunteer distributors to deliver the paper to you each month. And we rely entirely on our advertising revenues to cover our costs.

David has been a most conscientious and prudent custodian of Shire's finances over these many years. He’s been the person keeping track of income and expenses and making sure the books balance. Because of his careful accounting Shire has been able to record a small profit every year, a profit that returns to the community in the form of the Community Grants Shire awards each year. Amazingly, those grants have, over twenty years, amounted to over £49,000!

I’m sure Shirehampton will join me in a vote of thanks to David for all he has done for Shire and for Shirehampton.