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News Index

St. Mary's News

City and Port of Bristol Bowling Club - September Tour

Shirehampton Public Hall October Newsletter

High Tide Gathering, Lamplighters Pub, Shirehampton -
15 Oct 2016 (High tide 19.30)

St. Mary’s Registers - August 2016

Letters to the Editor

Shirehamton Craft Exhibition Application - 2016

Nature Notes

Fun in the Sun at Barry for Shirehampton Primary

Post Office Re-opens

Shirehampton Post Office re-opened on Monday 26th September following the incident in April. A full interview and report will be in the next issue.

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Photo by Bob Pitchford
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Photo by Kathryn Courtney

Myrtle Hall To Be Sold

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Myrtle Hall, Photo by David Taylor

Myrtle Hall, the former home of the late Ralph Hack, is up for sale. The Grade II listed building dates from around 1796 and is a large classic period Georgian house.

Mr. Hack, who was well-known as a local historian in Shirehampton, lived in the house from 1966 until his death in 2014.

While the house is in need of extensive refurbishment it is still one of Shirehampton’s historic buildings and the village will be interested in its future.

Botany in Shire The Wild Plants of the Shirehampton area

As I write in early September, the nights are drawing in and the air is cooling. With the change of season it is mostly the non-native flora which has come to my attention and a regular walk from the Co-op to the Station and along the Portway has been quite productive.

Not that there aren’t novelties to be found amongst the native flora. A recently published bit of DNA profiling of the Shirehampton Service Tree (which grows wild above the river at Horseshoe Bend and in similar places in half a dozen other spots in Britain) shows its relatives are more French than Roman, so it probably arrived naturally, rather than with Caesar.

Gutter sweeping can be ruthlessly efficient but is difficult or impossible in the residential streets of a place like Shirehampton, where lines of cars park not only overnight, but often throughout the day. Common by roadsides is a plant with broad stiff leaves in three rows, with a W-shaped cross-section. This is Pendulous Sedge, initially of damp shady woods, then of gardens, and now a regular weed.

It seemed as if someone had dropped a bag of bird seed in town and it had washed down the gutters. Millet grass with a bristly stem, bright green leaves and a dense head of dangling grains is in many streets. Sorghum, I think, was in one place, near a tomato. There were a couple of two foot-high Niger plants on one corner.

Down on the Portway, there is more Millet, one specimen of the gloriously named Ambrosia (‘Hay-fever plant’) which I spotted from the car, and scattered Amaranths, which are difficult to name.

Stations too are good places for unexpected plants. At Shirehampton there’s Sheep’s Sorrell in the peat of a flower display. At Avonmouth Station I found a rare hybrid between the Blue Fleabane and one of those large straggly weeds that of late years have come to dominate waste land and the corners of car-parks (Guernsey Fleabane). ‘Nature’s dross’, a friend calls these hybrids because they are often sterile.

Strawberry Tea in aid of Cancer Care

Strawberry Tea for Cancer Care

I would like to thank everyone who supported and helped at our Strawberry Tea on 20th August at Shire Methodist Church Hall, and for Bridget and Daphne who decorated the hall.

"We raised £305.00…"

We raised £305.00 from the cake sale and raffle. I would also like to thank all of the local independent shops and our main supermarket for supplying gifts for the raffle.

St. Mary's News

Hi Folks!

Here we are into October with all the kids back at school after the summer break. Some have gone to new schools which is a bit traumatic for some as it is such a big change moving from Primary School to Secondary School. Let us hope they all quickly adjust and things become normal for them again.

Car Treasure Hunt last month

I must apologise for not giving you the results of our Car Treasure Hunt last month. Tim Forder worked out the most interesting route with some very clever clues which took us through the Forest of Dean. We ended up at The Anchor Inn, Tintern, where we all enjoyed a very fine meal. I reckon Tim sits up in the Organ Loft on Sundays quietly working out next years’ route during the sermon!!! Well, the winners were Ron Bone, his daughter and granddaughter Grace. Grace was extremely excited to be in the winning car and could not wait to tell everyone in church on Sunday. Second were Sandra & David Neate (who always seem to be up with the front runners - they must eat an awful lot of fish to keep their brains so sharp). Third were Marie & Bill Patten. All were suitably rewarded with prizes.

Open Church Day

Our Bank Holiday Monday Open Church Day, when we sold lunches and cream teas was an excellent day and we made £758 towards church funds.

Our Seniors Week in August was a great success with interesting speakers and two coach trips out to Moreton-in-Marsh and South Brent near Brent Knoll, where we enjoyed a super lunch at a hotel in each location. Thanks must go to Gill Sawyer once again for organising such a super week.

Priest in Charge

I am delighted to tell you that our new Priest in Charge, the Rev Helen Johnson is to be Licensed on Monday, 17th October at a service conducted by Bishop Mike but I do not have the exact time as this goes to print. I am sure you will all wish to welcome her and her family to our church. Helen will well and truly be involved in the parish by the time of our Christmas celebrations which I am sure she will enjoy as much as we all do.

  • Annual Christmas Gift Fayre - 1pm on Wednesday 2nd November

    On Saturday 22nd October we shall be holding our annual Christmas Gift Fayre in the church from 10am until 12 noon when the emphasis will be on crafts made by our local Craft Group who all have considerable talent. In addition to this there will be gifts and Christmas items. See you there!
    Remember the Christmas Fayre with all festive foods etc., which widens our waistlines, is in November.

Now some early notice of events in November.

  • Beetle drive - Wednesday 2nd November

    Our next Lunch & Beetle Drive is at 1pm on Wednesday 2nd November. Tickets for this event can be obtained from the Church Office price £5.

  • Confirmation Service for the Deanery - Thursday 3rd November

    On Thursday 3rd November, during the evening (exact time not available at the time of going to print) we shall be holding a Confirmation Service for the Deanery led by Bishop Mike when a number of candidates will be confirmed and so become full members of the Christian faith. Please come and give them and their families your support!

  • Annual Memorial Service - Saturday 5th November at 3pm

    On Saturday 5th November at 3pm we shall once again be holding our Annual Memorial Service for those persons who have lost loved ones, whether recently or many years ago, and whose loss is still felt today. There will be forms which you can pop in and fill in with the names of loved ones whose names you wish to be added to the Prayer List, which will be read out during the service. This service is so important to many of you whose grief is still felt to this very day.

This was seen on a Church Notice Board - “Ladies, don’t forget the Rummage Sale! It is a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands”. ‘ Bye for now. C.M.E.

Nova Primary School

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Photo by David Taylor

There is a brilliant primary school,
That stands at the end of Shire,
A place of smiles and happiness
And kids you would admire.

Its name was always Avon,
And children they wore blue,
But everyone got tired of hearing,
Avon, who are you?

So the Leaders got to thinking,
Let’s shout about this school.
We’ll change the name and uniform
It’ll make us really cool!

The jumpers changed to emerald green,
New PE kits had taken over.
And the school was given a brand new name,
A school of stars called Nova!

It’s made us feel all sparkly and fresh,
We now stand out a mile,
We’ve barbecued and had lots of fun,
To celebrate in style!

So keep a look out for Nova kids,
They look ever so smart and pretty.
They’re on the way to Barracks Lane,
To the best school in the city!

Is your child due to start school in September 2017 or do you know someone who has a child due to start school in September 2017?

If so, then come along to one of our open events on Tuesday 20th September, Wednesday 12th October or Thursday 10th November at either 9.30am or 6.00pm.

‘Bully-busters’ Come to Oasis Academy Brightstowe

Students from schools in Bristol and beyond gathered at Oasis Academy Brightstowe as part of a major anti-bullying initiative.

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More than 50 ‘anti-bullying ambassadors’ from schools across the West of England and South Wales took part in a range of activities and sessions for pupils from years 7 to 10.

The event was organised by the Diana Award Charity to encourage social action in young people and to recognise young role models who are helping others to transform their lives.

“I really enjoyed the day…"

Among Brightstowe’s new group of ambassadors is Year 9 student Emily King. “I really enjoyed the day because it was so interactive, looking at different situations and figuring out how you can help someone in need” she said. “It also teaches you to to be a people person - to listen to and interact with everyone, instead of just having your own opinions.”

Stephanie Jones, student leadership co-ordinator at Oasis Academy Brightstowe, said: “The Diana Award does so much good work amongst young people and we are proud to to have hosted an all-day event aimed at countering the scourge of bullying. We had 15 of our own students taking part and these anti-bullying ambassadors will not only receive a recognised qualification as a result but in the longer term they will be at the forefront of the modifications and improvements being made to our academy’s existing anti-bullying policy.”

“20,000 anti-bullying ambassadors…"

Anjani McHugh, training and support officer for the Diana Award added “We have already trained more than 20,000 anti-bullying ambassadors across the UK. It is about giving them that ‘sixth sense’ which will enable them to see if someone is being bullied and needs help, because very often the victim’s won’t talk about it.”

City and Port of Bristol Bowling Club - September Tour

Sunday September 4th saw the City and Port of Bristol Bowling Club set off to bowl for five days in glorious Sussex.

Based at the Langham Hotel in Eastbourne the forty three bowlers and supporters enjoyed bowling at five different clubs during the tour.

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This was very much a change of direction for the summer tour and it offered not only the chance to bowl on greens never visited before but also to see and explore places not seen on previous tours.

"in glorious sunshine and good company…"

Two games were played in Eastbourne ---- on arrival at the Parade Club and on the final day at Royal Sovereign. Between these games City and Port played at Newhaven, Rottingdean and Bexhill ---- all in glorious sunshine and good company ---- the 90 year old President Vic at Newhaven was a particularly interesting character with his memories of bowling going back to war time.

Bowling Tours are always more than about bowling and this one was no exception. For some it was a swim in the sea or a visit to Brighton with its many attractions including the British Airways i360 which went over 400 feet into the air to give spectacular views of Brighton and the surrounding area --- all great fun and unique experience.

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On bowls tours results are much less important than the pleasure gained from playing the game of bowls and meeting bowlers from other clubs and enjoying the company of bowlers in the touring party. This year saw friends and bowlers from five local clubs join City and Port for the tour ---- many of them regulars from previous tours and always very welcome.

At the Gala Dinner on the final evening Gill Hinksman who took on the role of tour organiser earlier in the year when Lis Davies became unwell thanked everyone for their support and then made presentations to a number of bowlers and one special supporter.

"wearing of a small teddy bear…"

There were prizes for the best Lady and best Gentleman bowler --- based on scores for three games played and these and these went to Janet Reed and David Hinksman. Prizes also for the best rink each day and a thank you for those who took on the role of Captain for each game. Susan Hatherall was presented with a special medal for being best supporter of the week. This year’s reward for being the rink loosing by most shots was the wearing of a small teddy bear for 24 hours and this created lots of fun, with bears being dressed in a variety of ways by those in charge of them.

Gill was thanked by one and all at the end of the evening for her efforts in keeping the tour on track and for making the week so enjoyable.

There is still much to come before the season ends including Finals Days, Presidents Day, mixed friendly games and the Presentation Dinner on Friday November 25th.

Rector David Thomas of Shirehampton

Rector David Thomas passed away in September aged 88 years old. The Thomas family, Mr and Mrs Thomas and their children David and Michael lived at 4 hung Road from the 1940’s. The family all belonged to St Mary’s Church. David became a Church of England priest in 1958.

Shirehampton Public Hall October Newsletter

Welcome to another edition of the Public Hall Newsletter!

The summer holidays seem a distant memory now, and the autumn is fast approaching, but don’t let that get you down! Autumn can be a beautiful and exciting time, and the Public Hall has lots to offer to keep you all occupied during the longer evenings!

All our regular activities have recommenced with great energy, and all classes welcome new members all the time. Do look at the weekly activities list on our website/noticeboard and try something new and make new friends.

  • Model Railway Exhibition - Saturday 8th from 10am-4pm.

    During October the Hall is once again playing host to the ever popular Model Railway Exhibition on Saturday 8th from 10am-4pm. This is an amazing and exciting place for young and old alike, with the wonderful Jackie offering a fantastic array of warm and cold snacks, teas, coffees, etc.

  • Shirehampton Community Action Forum - AGM, Wednesday 5th October at 7pm

    The very hard working Shirehampton Community Action Forum is holding its AGM at the Hall on Wednesday 5th October at 7pm. Do come along and learn more about what is affecting the local area regarding planning, wildlife, local environmental issues, transport and everything Shirehampton!

    SCAF is run by volunteers and one part-time employee, Ash Bearman, who is based at the Hall, so if you have any questions or issues please contact SCAF on the number below.

  • Quiz Evening - Saturday 22nd October from 7pm

    The Shirehampton Public Hall Community Association Trustees will be hosting an ever popular Quiz Evening on Saturday 22nd October from 7pm. Do come along and support your local Community Centre by having lots of laughs and raising much needed funds for the upkeep of this beautiful building. Refreshments available, but bring your own bottle and snacks, too! Further details available on our website/noticeboard/Facebook page closer to the time.

  • Annual Craft Exhibition - week commencing 24th October.

    The annual Craft Exhibition takes place at the Hall the week commencing 24th October. This is always a remarkable event with lots to see and much inspiration to be had! Do come along and be wowed by the talented craftpeople in your local area.


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.

High Tide Gathering, Lamplighters Pub, Shirehampton -
15 Oct 2016 (High tide 19.30)

I am lead on a large multi-university research project being conducted in Bristol and other UK area about community relationships with water and the environment. Hydrocitizenship Project.

The aims of the project are both social and environmental in that it seeks to work with people in local areas to develop community activities particularly in relation to water stories, assets and issues in their local area.

There are four areas of study in the UK: London (Lee Valley); Bradford (Shipley); Borth (Mid Wales) and Bristol.

In Bristol there is a team of researchers from Bath Spa University, Bristol University and University of the West of England who are working on various aspects of the city’s local relationships with water, including the river Avon and some of its tributaries which run through different parts of the city. We are interested in the histories and ecologies of these, and in other things.

We are particularly interested in Bristol’s tidal history.

We are particularly interested in Bristol’s tidal history. As Bristol has such a great maritime heritage, and the tides are the second highest in the world – there is a lot to be interested in.

Lamplighters marsh and pub, with the slipway, old ferry site, the sailing club, tide gate, Pill on the far bank!, railway station, makes for an area of the city with lots of atmosphere, and what Common Ground called ‘local distinctiveness’ – what give places and communities individual character. It is a great place to see the tides – as the two large pictures in the pub show!! (?)

"tidal festival at the Lamplighters pub…"

Partly inspired by a small ‘tidal festival’ I have attended on a few occasion at the Creswell Arms pub on the Creswell River Pembrokeshire –where at the very high tides, locals gather for a drink and to see the tide at its peak, and others come from up and down stream in canoes and small boats, often in fancy dress and with kayaks draped in lights – we are interested in holding a small tidal festival at the Lamplighters pub and on the ground outside to mark one of the high tides.

We plan to have one or two good small bands, The Letterpress Collective famous printing press on a bike, some readings, talks, and displays of books and historic information. We would seek to engage the local community as much as possible, and invite people from other parts of Bristol who have interest in the river and tides. One hope is that this could become a seasonal / yearly event.

We are very aware that high tides bring the risk of flooding and that they are not seen by all as a ‘good thing’, and that the muddy river at low tide is also seen with ambivalence by some. But overall we think the tides are a wonderful part of Shirehampton’s and Bristol’s heritage, and are to be celebrated.

"a major new book…"

Indeed a major new book exploring the heritages of the tide around the world by Hugh Aldersey-Williams has just been published. Lots of other info on tidal books and art and heritage can be found on my blog Tidal Cultures’ Tidal Cultures

The project team are happy to organise all this, but if anyone in the local community want to get involved in the planning – or to contribute in some way please contact me – owain jones 07871 572969

The Forgotten Landscape Heritage Lottery Funded project will also be involved in this event to some degree.

By Owain Jones; Professor of Environmental Humanities, Bath Spa University

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This is one of our postcards designed by Nova

St. Mary’s Registers - August 2016

Baptisms ’we welcome you’

28th Ky-mani Charles Pittard Harper
28th Joshua William Harry Coney

Funerals ‘At rest and at peace’

2nd Pauline Thomas Canford
5th Emily Rose St Mary’s
10th Aileen Matthews WOT & Canford
12th Maureen Adina Cockram South Bristol
16th Trevor Brain Canford
16th Sheila Groves St Mary’s
30th Jacqueline Cowles Canford
31st Thomas Beacham St Mary’s

Volunteers Required to Work in Our Sorting Area


Please collect an application form our shop

Previous applicants welcome.

CLIC Sargent

41 High Street, Shirehampton

Bristol BS11 0DX


You to can help raise vital funds for children and young people with cancer

Oasis Academy Brightstowe

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Sean O’Connor and Karolina Kaczmarczyk

Students, staff and parents at Oasis Academy Brightstowe are celebrating a successful set of GCSE results, with 48 per cent scoring five A*-C grades including English and Maths. The Progress 8 score has improved this year, up to 0.06.

Among the high achievers were Sean O’Connor, who achieved five A*s and five As; Ashleigh Belton (four A*s and 5As) ; Courtney Barfield (three A*s, four As); Zac James (seven As); Karolina Kaczmarczyk (one A*, nine As); Matthew Pateman (two A*, seven As) and Rajin Rohin (one A*, seven As).

Principal Joe Docherty said: “Progress has been very strong this year with the number of A and A* grades having risen for the second year running and first entry results having risen 18 per cent since 2015. We have a number of high attainers and it is especially pleasing to see that these students have come from a diverse range of primary schools, for example Jane Kmonickova, who joined us from Stoke Bishop, and Zac and Courtney, who both attended Shirehampton.”

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Left to right, Rajin Rohin, Zac James, Ashleigh Belton, Matthew Pateman, Yasmin Kongsfelt, Sean O’Connor, Karolina Kaczmarczyk and principal Joe Docherty.

Letters to the Editor

Old Nurseymen building - Kerry O’neill

Dear Editor,

I could probably find this info out through the land registry etc but thought that you might actually know the answer so hope you don’t mind my asking.

Do you know what is happening with the old Nurseymen building opposite the PO? I’m from Shire and looking to potentially start something up there again and have always been curious about this building, if anyone has any plans for it.

If you could point me in any useful directions, or someone who might know if it’s rentable etc that would be great and if you’re too busy I totally understand, and if I don’t hear from you I will just keep investigating!


Kerry O’neill

Dr. Addison - Ellie Truss, Deputy Practice Manager

Dear Editor,

Dr. Addison will be retiring mid September and as a post retirement challenge she is going to do a 250 mile sponsored cycle ride for Penny Brohn UK, the cancer charity.

If you would like to sponsor Dr Addison, she has a just giving page: Alternatively if you would like to donate, you can hand your donation into reception.

Many thanks,

Ellie Truss, Deputy Practice Manager,

Shirehampton Group Practice

Shirehamton Craft Exhibition Application - 2016

Shirehampton Public Hall, Station Road, Shirehampton

Tuesday 25th October to Saturday 29th October 10am – 4pm

(Late night: Thursday 10am-8pm)

Closing date for applications, Wednesday 19th October 2016.

Application form

Craft Exibition Application Form

(Click the link to display/copy/print the form then use <Back> on your brower to return to this page).

Please return this form to:-

  • Shire Public Library, Station Road, Shirehampton BS11 9TU or
  • 8 Penpole Place BS11 0DR or
  • email information to
  • The Hall will be open Monday 24th Oct. 9am – 4pm for registration of exhibits
  • The Hall will also be open Sunday 23rd Oct. 2pm – 4pm for large items

Collection of exhibits will be on Saturday 29th October 4.30pm – 5pm

Exhibitor Charge :
There is an exhibition charge of 50p per item or £2 for four or more
Selling your crafts :
10% commission will be deducted from item price towards exhibition costs
we welcome those who would like to demonstrate their crafts – sessions of 3 hours morning and afternoon will be available. Let us know what you would like to demonstrate and what days and times you would like to demonstrate and we will accommodate if we can.
If you would like to help out and steward for a session am or pm 3 hour sessions (if you can’t manage 3 hours then what you can manage would be appreciated). If you are exhibiting it would be appreciated if you could steward for a session butit’s not compulsory.

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

Closing date for applications, Wednesday 19th October 2016

90 Minute Garden Makeover

Earlier in the year, LinkAge Bristol was approached by Duncan Hensman, Business Development Manager at Direct Line Group, whose team kindly wanted to make a difference in the local community.

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Direct Line Group’s 90 Minute Makeover Project was an opportunity for staff to spend a day giving back to the community and local people. LinkAge and St Monica Trust’s Befriending Scheme was fitting for the project, as a lot of the older people involved have limited mobility and so would really benefit from having support in making over their gardens. Soon LinkAge had four older people eagerly waiting to have their gardens tended to.

The team first worked their magic on Jill’s garden, tending to her shrub border, replacing shrubs and topping up soil. Next was Gill’s garden, which had been untouched for over three years. Removing weeds and potting plants, the garden was soon full of life. The team then saw Wilf, whose 8ft hedge and plants needed a good tidying up. By the end of the 90 minutes Wilf had a beautiful view of blooming flowers that he could enjoy from his back door. The final garden of the day belonged to Marion, whose pots could soon be seen full of bright and colourful plants.

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"It was absolutely amazing…"

One of the older people Gill said, “It was absolutely amazing. They were so kind and just lovely people, they even brought me some flowers, no one has done that for me before. I couldn’t believe that they found a fossil that I’ve been looking for forever, after years I can finally give it to my grandson.”

Staff involved in the project also got a lot from the day with the team saying how rewarding the day was and how proud they felt that they have given something back to the community. One team member Fotoula went on to say” “I think what I enjoyed the most was uncovering gardens that the older people had clearly created and maintained with love and care when they were fit and able to do so. For me it felt like we had left them with the garden they’d enjoyed in the past.”

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LinkAge would like to thank Direct Line for their hard work on making this project a huge success. Lucy Saunders, LinkAge’s Business Development Manager said “We are so grateful to the staff at Direct Line Group for their wonderful support with this project. We have had some really lovely feedback from the older people that benefitted and it meant so much to them that volunteers from Direct Line Group gave up their time to help them”.

Nature Notes

A late glimpse of Summer on this beautiful, rain spotted bloom.

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Most of the frenzied parenting by the adult birds has subsided now. The young of the crows and jackdaws seem to have found their own way, and the fields are much quieter now. The herons have also departed from their traditional nest sites, but in the blink of an eye, once Christmas has been and gone, the adults will begin a new season of re-establishing those spots as early as late January.

A surprise from my goldfinches however! On looking out at the feeder just the other day, I spotted some very young ones busily feeding. They showed very little adult feathers, so I must assume there were some late broods being produced. Just goes to show how nature takes advantage of perfect conditions when the time is right.

The foxes are continuing to look healthy, and still pushing the boundaries of boldness in the late evenings. A few are venturing out in the daytime too, which serves to show how they adjust to life as an urban fox, taking more and more risks to survive.

I heard a tawny owl calling a few weeks back,which was great as I hadn’t heard one for quite a while. A buzzard was hunting near Horseshoe Bend last week as I drove by too.

I haven’t seen any hedgehogs near my home recently, but hope those still around are ok. I will find out about our young rescued one which went to Secret World before next month hopefully, and let you know how it’s doing. Until then, happy nature watching,

Fun in the Sun at Barry for Shirehampton Primary

At Shirehampton Primary, we don’t stop in the summer! We run family trips and activities over the holiday period to keep ourselves occupied.

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We went all the way to Barry Island and had a lovely time on the beach with an ice-cream and a cream tea. It was glorious(!), it took us all back to our childhood trips to Barry and although little has changed, the beach is a delight! Thank you to all the families who attended and we look forward to more trips throughout the year, including a trip to the Apple store in October to take a part in a workshop and hopefully get some freebies!

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Sapphire Wedding

Congratulations to Angela & Henry Warren who celebrated 45 years of marriage on September 25th.

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With love from, Lisa & Andrew, Matt, Izzy, Oliver & Abigail xxx

Avonmouth AFC

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A party for the Avonmouth AFC, held at the Lord Nelson on the Weston Road in 1954


All the photos on page 10 of the September issue should have been credited to Bob Pitchford and apologies for the omission.