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News Index

Helpfulpeeps Launches in Shirehampton

Craft Exhibition 2016

Join the Pillow Lace Making Group

Farewell Laura Burchett - LinkAge

Botany in the Shire

Nature Notes…

Latest news from A Forgotten Landscape

Christmas at the churches

Merry Christmas to you all
from the Trustees and Management at Shirehampton Public Hall

Call for Library Volunteers

Letters to the Editor

Thank you to Our Distributors

St. Mary's News - December

St. Mary’s Registers - October 2016

Merry Christmas from the Shire team

Christmas Eve 7.30pm - Carols on the Green

Please note:

CAROLS ON THE GREEN will take place on the Green whatever the weather

Generations will never forget the sacrifices made for our freedom

This year marks the centenary of the Battle of Jutland and the Battle of the Somme.

The Battle of Jutland was fought over a 36 hour period from the 31st May until 1st June 1916. This battle changed the course of the First World War. It was a naval battle fought by the British Royal Navy’s Grand Fleet against the Imperial German Navy’s High Seas Fleet. Casualties were high with the British fleet losing 14 ships and over 6,000 lives. The German fleet lost 9 ships and over 2,500 lives and limped back to port. The German Navy didn’t challenge the British Navy in the North Sea again.

The battle of the Somme…

However it is the Battle Of The Somme that made the biggest and most horrifying impression on the First World War. It began on the 1st July and ended on 18th November 1916 where British and French Empires fought against the German Empire. More than one million were wounded or killed in one of the bloodiest battles in history. The first day of battle saw 57,470 casualties, the worst day in history for the British Army. It also marked the use of air power and tanks for the first time in battle.

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William Albert Brookes

William Albert Brookes was a young local soldier who fought at Thiepval that was part of the battle of the Somme from 26th – 28th September 1916. It resulted in a British victory and was known as the Battle Of Thiepval Ridge. William was remembered by family as a cross and picture were placed at Shirehampton memorial. I would be grateful if a family member could contact me via Shire newspaper so we can find out more about William.

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Avonmouth Sea Cadets, TS Enterprise honour guard
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Last post
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Lou Merritt (97)
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Lou Merritt explains his medals

War Veteran Lou Merritt attended the service held at the war memorial. At 97 years old he was still determined to show his respects. He caught the attention of a young boy in the crowd who asked his mum if he could have his photo taken with Lou and also see his medals. Lou was happy to do this and told the young boy about his medals. I think his mum was rather proud of his request and interest to find out more.

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The service was very well attended by the local community, Avonmouth Sea Cadets, Brownies, Guides, Scouts, local football team and local Fire Brigade. Every year we are reminded of the sacrifices made in two world wars and others since then to ensure our freedom now and for future generations. We will remember them.

Helpfulpeeps Launches in Shirehampton

Be part of a new Community Movement

People want to be helpful … it makes us feel good. So it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that 20 million people in the UK (more than 1 in 2 adults) say they would like to spend more time volunteering.

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Yet as life goes on, despite our best intentions, other commitments get in the way, because quite frankly, we never know where to start. So what if there was a website that could tell you who needed what, where – and put you in touch with them - directly?, a Bristol based website, has been doing just that. Founded by Simon Hills and Saf Nazeer, Helpfulpeeps is a new social networking site born from a collective belief that life is better when we help each other. All help on the site is given free of charge - no transaction or exchange; just good old-fashioned community help.

Since launching a pilot in Bristol last year, the online community has grown to over 7500 registered members. So whether it involves help with cat sitting or learning a new language, moving a sofa or lending a hand at a charity event, Helpfulpeeps has seen the need requested and fulfilled by a kind stranger.

So far the website has led to a restoration of faith in humanity for many, lifelong friendships for some and even a Guinness world record being broken for charity!

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Saf Nazeer and Simon Hills

The SS Scillin

Seventy-four years ago two men from Shirehampton lost their lives in a tragic sinking, it took until 1996 for the truth to be revealed about the sinking of the Italian merchantman the SS Scillin.

Leslie Charles Chard, Son of William & Marian Lillian Chard, Gunner, Royal Horse Artillery, Service number 959737, Date of death 14/11/1942, Listed on The Alamein Memorial.

Frederick Walter Cheeseman, Son of Frederick & Martha Cheeseman of Bristol, Gunner, Royal Horse Artillery, Service number 959738, Date of death 14/11/1942. Listed on The Alamein Memorial.

Both served with 11 (Honourable Artillery Company) Regiment as part of the 8th Army (Desert Rats). Taken prisoner by Italian forces in The Western Desert, they were taken to the Italian POW Transit Camp 154, they were listed as Missing, Presumed Drowned after the Italian ship, SS Scillin, that they were being transported on was sunk by a British submarine, HMS Sahib. Of the 814 Commonwealth prisoners-of-war that were on board only 27 were rescued by HMS Sahib.

SS SCILLIN (November 14, 1942)

On the night of 14th November 1942 the Italian transport ship SS Scillin was en route from Tripoli to Sicily with about 815 Commonwealth prisoners-of-war on board, 30 or so Italian Guards, plus a Naval gun crew for the 120mm and Light AA Gun. She was seen by the submarine, HMS Sahib. At the time the SS Scillin seemed be heading towards Africa and carried no sign or flag, and the submarine’s orders were that only African-bound ships were to be attacked.

The Scillin was flying the Italian Flag at the time, and in the Sahibs Patrol Report Lt Brommage makes no claim to having fired any warning shot. It states Fired 12 rounds with the 3” Gun Registered with 10.

The Sahib rescued 27 POW’s from the water (26 British and one South African) plus the Scillin’s captain and 45 Italian crew members. Only then, when the commander heard the survivors speaking English, did he realize that he had sunk a ship carrying British prisoners-of-war and some Italian soldiers and had drowned 783 men.

At a subsequent inquiry into this ‘friendly fire’ tragedy, Lt. Brommage was cleared of any wrongdoing as the ship was unmarked and at the time he firmly believed that the ship was carrying Italian troops.

The Ministry of Defence kept this incident a closely guarded secret for fifty-four years, maintaining that they had died while prisoners-of-war in Italian camps or were simply ‘lost at sea’. It was not until 1996, after repeated requests for information from the families of the drowned men that the truth came out.

The Sahib was attacked by bombs from escorting German Ju-88 bombers and depth charges from the Italian corvette Gabbiano in the counter attack immediately after the sinking. Badly damaged, the Sahib was later abandoned and scuttled

from Steve Fell, author Shirehampton Book of Remembrance

Craft Exhibition 2016

It becomes increasingly difficult to find new things to say about this iconic annual event, show-casing the amazing talent for craftwork among our local populace.

This year marked the 30th anniversary of the first exhibition of this type, set up by Bob and Helen Brandt in 1986. It was bitter sweet because we have lost our ‘town crier’ and wacky PR man Dick Helme, which probably impacted a little on a lower attendance than last year but having said that we still had a steady flow of visitors and the late opening day was very well attended. So those of you who didn’t or couldn’t attend, you missed a real treat.

The exhibition was a Christmas shopper’s paradise…

As always the variety and quality of crafts were outstanding. So thank you to all the knitters, quilters, stitchers, card makers, potters, strawcrafter, furniture up-cyclers, papier mache worker, box decorators, glass painters – I could go on but room is limited. The exhibition was a Christmas shopper’s paradise, a Pandora’s Box of unique and beautiful objects to buy and decorations to adorn any stylish Christmas tree.

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As always people were willing to give their time demonstrating crafts such as lace making, cards, glass painting, paper craft, sewing, quilting, clay modelling (the kids and young at heart adults loved that!) and Henna painting – very appropriate for Dwali. We hear how that favourite small mammal the hedgehog is struggling for survival, not in the Public Hall in October however. The children’s challenge was to find all the hedgehogs in various craft media for a small prize. They also had the opportunity to colour a picture.

Queen’s 90th birthday

There was a quilters’ challenge again this year on the theme of Royalty to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday. It was fascinating to see how that was interpreted including one offering devoted to Elvis ‘The King’ Presley. The winner by public vote was Sue Cowdell whose design represented the four flowers of the United Kingdom countries arranged like photos in an album with a Union Flag linking them. Well done Sue.

One piece of work is worthy of mention and that is the beautiful canal boat and lock – what a wonderful and nostalgic item that was.

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I mentioned Dick earlier and as a tribute to him the last of his woodwork was on sale with photos of him too. Only a very few small items were left and in addition a further £100 was collected for the Bristol Urological Institute in his name. Many people missed his presence and it was comforting to know how much he was respected. Without him the exhibition is different but that is the natural evolution of life and if this year is anything to go by I feel there is plenty more to see from our local craftspeople. So, Gail and Ed, thank you and all your helpers for another great week in the life of Shirehampton, long may it continue.

For more brilliant pictures on Bob's Facebook page <Click here>

Join the Pillow Lace Making Group

The Pillow Lace Making Group has been running for over twenty years and started out at Twyford House before moving to Shirehampton Public Hall.

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I went along to meet members Frida, Rose, Pam, Lyn and Pat to find out more and I even had a go at a sample piece of lace making. It wasn’t as hard as it looked and given some help and instruction I managed to do a little bit of lace making without any mishaps.

Each year the group have a presence at the Craft Exhibition but you’ll find the class a very friendly bunch of ladies who would welcome new members and happily pass on their knowledge and experience of this dying art. From bookmarks and table decorations to fans and framed art work, designs and use of lace is wide ranging.

it’s better than knitting…

Frida Smith has been a member of the Pillow Lace Making Group for around 22 years and had been making lace at home for about ten years. She found other things got in the way and decided to join the group in Shirehampton. It’s always a challenge to make lace. It’s relaxing but it’s better than knitting. I just enjoy it. she said.

Watching everyone busy working on their designs and quietly chatting away to each other I ask Frida if a complete novice, a new beginner who knows nothing about lace, can go along to the class and do something that’s useful? Yes in time. Pam, Lyn and Pat have all learnt to make lace here. They started as complete novices and over the months and years they’ve learnt a lot about lace making.

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I question Frida about the bobbins that are used in lace making “The bobbins hold the thread so that you can manoeuvre the thread around the pins. You create a pattern with a series of pins The thread is held in place on the pattern by the pins. You then move the thread back and forward so the pattern is created. The bobbins add weight to the thread as each have beads on the bottom to weight them down. The beads can be of different weights and sizes and are decorative so you can personalise them how you like.” said Frida

I can’t remember how long it took but it took quite a while…

I was fascinated by the lace poppy that Pat was making and asked Frida how long it would take to make something similar? It all depends on how complex you want to get with the design. Mine’s got two layers. I can’t remember how long it took but it took quite a while actually because it’s small and fiddly to do. A bookmark for example with a simple design would probably take six to eight hours to complete.

Books and purchased patterns are used by class members to produce the work they do but there are so many lace designs. There’s Torchon which Lyn, Rose and Pam are doing. It is a geometric lace worked at 90 degrees along a straight edge. Bucks Point is worked at about 60 degrees. Honiton is a free lace with lots of sewing and stops and starts. Lots of joining in. Farm workers in the past would have gone home in the evening and worked round candle light and produced lace by the inch that would have been sold to dealers. Both men and women of any age can do this. said Frida In fact anyone can come along and have a look at what we do. You can even have a try at lace making. If you like it we’ll help you even more and can loan out some equipment we have for you to use until you decided how involved you want to be.

Farewell Laura Burchett - LinkAge

Laura Burchett arrived in Shirehampton just over three years ago representing LinkAge as their Community Co-ordinator for the area.

Within a couple of months she was part of everyone’s lives, getting involved with events, setting up activities and holding monthly meetings with LinkAge users to work together on additional activities and trips out and about. There were quiz events, Christmas parties, well being days and days out. Who could forget the trip to Exmouth or Laura’s cooking escapades?! She began working on projects for Avonmouth, Lawrence Weston and Sea Mills and was a force to be reckoned with.

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Laura Burchett

However during the summer things changed at LinkAge. The organisation has become an umbrella to pull together the many activities across Bristol for people aged 55 years and older, to promote them right across the city and beyond. This takes effect from January 2017. The changes have meant staff cut backs and Laura’s post will be deleted in March 2017.

Meanwhile a job opportunity with another employer was offered and Laura took it.

a pleasure to be part of individuals’ journeys…

I have had the most amazing 3 years at LinkAge. It has been brilliant to work with such a friendly proactive community. I have met some of the most inspiring people who I will never forget. It has been a pleasure to be part of individuals’ journeys. To watch people come in isolated and lonely and come out the other end confident, happy and surrounded by friends. There have been so many activities that have been requested over the years from belly dancing and chair aerobics to new age kurling and Tai Chi. It is so wonderful to see and know that many of these activities will continue. said Laura

Tony and Monica Symons paid tribute: “Laura is a lovely bubbly girl and we feel she is a great loss to LinkAge where her personality and caring nature made her perfect for her job. We did not always look forward to the chair aerobics excercise but always looked forward to seeing Laura’s happy smiling face. We shall miss her.”

one of life’s really good happy people

Ruth Morris added “Laura is one of life’s really good happy people. She always listened to our suggestions on what we could do for LinkAge, she never patronised us or talked down to us. Laura’s wonderful infectious laughter could be heard all over Shire and I will miss her delightful sense of humour. It’s a sad day for Shire and a BIG loss to LinkAge”.

Overall Laura will be missed by many but everyone wishes her well with her new job and and future.

Chair Aerobics with Louisa Dunford -LinkAge

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Louisa Dunford

Louisa Dunford has been teaching dance classes and exercise classes for ten years with age groups from as young as four to one hundred years old.

She began teaching Chair Aerobics in Shirehampton in December 2015 I absolutely enjoy running my classes because I can see from the very beginnings what people’s capabilities are, their skills and how they improve through time. It’s so rewarding for them and for me to see, it’s fabulous.

I ask Louisa what she does in her Chair Aerobics class. “We start off the class with a very big greet and everyone settles down. I put the music on, something that everyone can sing along to and we begin with mobilisation, the most important thing, from the toes to the head area. From there we do a nice warm up get the heart and lungs working, a bit of cardiovascular, get those muscles moving and those joints too. From there we go into deeper muscular work, so pelvic floor, areas of rotation, the back, abdominals, the legs and generally the larger muscle groups that are working internally.

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Using the stretchy things

We do some memory work too which is good fun for everyone to enjoy. We use equipment such as bands and tennis balls because we want to work the muscles further to increase their strength and ability. Generally GPs hand them out for rehabilitation after injury or operations so in this class we use them to increase the health of class members.”

They certainly give everything a go

They are a wonderful welcoming group, really fun loving, joyful, up on everything, a real pleasure to teach, they are the heart and soul of the community I would say. They step up to a lot of challenges. I throw lots of different exercises to them, some dance as well so they’ve done salsa and they really enjoy it. They certainly give everything a go. Everyone is smiling, laughing and enjoying themselves with simple exercises, making them fun through their pleasure said Louisa

People with mobility and disability issues are very welcome to join the class: We do standing work to work on our balance and co-ordination. If you cannot stand, seated exercises are used instead to get these benefits for everybody. If you do have a disability such as limited movement, hearing or sight then I can always adapt everything in the class for you. It’s very easy to do assures Louisa.

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We’d love a few more men to join the class as we currently have two men attending each week. It’s not at all female orientated, it is for everybody and every age range so it would be wonderful for a few more men to join the class. Come along and try it out. You might decide to stay.

I ask Louisa about the additional benefits of the class. It’s social, keeps you mobile and keeps health levels up. It’s good for your mental health and beneficial for mind, body and soul.

Hallowe'en in Shirehampton

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Sarah (in the background) at Clic Sergeant
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Hallowe'en did not go by unnoticed in Shirehampton. Charity Search, Clic Sergeant, Flower World, Sweet Tooth Delights and Elite Hair and Beauty decorated their windows. Clic Sergeant seemed to gain an additional volunteer during this time and staff members at the local Co-op got dressed up Hallow’een weekend in various scary outfits.

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Elite Hair and Beauty

Botany in the Shire

The Wild Plants of the Shirehampton Area

One of a botanist’s most important tools of the trade is a hand lens, usually carried dangling round the neck on a bootlace, leather thong or piece of string. In the old days also important were a collecting trowel and vasculum - a black tin box hanging on a strap and opening on the side, into which the day’s haul of plants was stuffed. These days plastic lunch boxes or polythene bags are used instead, which are far better to stop the plants from wilting.

I had to collect some weeds for a meeting of the Bristol Naturalists’ Society recently so I went out one afternoon with two supermarket bags, one for Shirehampton and one for Avonmouth. It is rare for a botanist to come back unrewarded from a walk and so it was that day. There’s a Green Bristle-grass on the central reservation on the Portway, and its yellow relative on Station Road. Both are annuals and non-natives, but the green one is found there every year in dense patches, whilst the yellow one is tall and isn’t there every year.

At the north end of the Lamplighters Marsh reserve I picked some Hoary Mustard. That’s the one with yellow flowers at the end of long wavy branches you see as you come on to the Motorway. For some reason lady botanists of my acquaintance start giggling when they see it – something to do with the shape of the pods they tell me.

Avonmouth has always had more than a fair share of interesting plants. By the roadside where it has been disturbed there are stiff stems of blue-flowered Chicory, and in amongst them I found a nice Fumitory, one of the rarer ones round here. Then in the cleared industrial sites I found the attractive Annual Beard-grass (it looks more like a white bushy moustache but never mind) and on a soil heap with Many-seeded Goosefoot an uncommon spurge. Checking it with my lens I could see the warts on its tiny seed pods.

Nature Notes…

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I thought this gorgeous hydrangea in a neighbour’s garden was a fitting farewell to Summer!

The colours we have been able to enjoy this autumn have been helped by an incredible and prolonged Indian Summer.

As the summer has quietly drifted away, so have absent friends returned- much to my delight! Starlings, long-tailed tits, a solitary Robin, to name a few. I haven’t spotted our hedgehog for a while, although something eats the dried mealworms during the night! It is my hope that it isn’t the foxes!

Last weekend some of Friends of Lamplighters Marsh met under the shadow of the motorway bridge to do some scrub clearance. What a great surprise, when a peregrine falcon was spotted!

Near where I live is a nice spot to observe the mudbank of the river at low tide. Within almost touching distance of each other I watched an oyster catcher, lapwing and a gull, quietly going about their business.

People have often asked me where the herons go in the winter. I always say that I’m not sure, because it does seem that they all disappear once their young have flown. But, in fact, if you keep your eyes peeled, there are herons still to be seen along the edges of the river, especially when the tide is half in or halfway out, trying to spot an unlucky fish! So, it would seem that they may have other roost sites during the winter, but not too far away.

Just a gentle reminder to those who enjoy feeding the birds. Make sure to clean and declog feeders, especially after spells of bad weather. Mine were in great need the other day, and one in particular was being ignored. On inspection, I realised that the seed couldn’t drop through because of a build up of hard seed after getting rained on. Water is essential all year long too, so, without any more preaching! I’m off to check that both are available outside!

Latest news from A Forgotten Landscape

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Here at A Forgotten Landscape’s HQ we are looking forward to a few weeks of reflection on 2016 and planning for 2017 and beyond.

We’ve had an amazing year and we’re very grateful to all the people we’ve met along the way. Our wonderful volunteers, our friends in the community, our project partners and everyone who has come out to our various events - we thank you all!

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We’ll be a bit quiet over Christmas but new opportunities and events are in the pipeline for January, so watch this space. As always, you can check our event listings and find out our latest news at our website at, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. Feel free to get in touch – we love to hear from you!

Wishing all Shire readers a very merry holiday season and a Happy New Year.

Christmas at the churches

St Mary's

Sunday December 18th, 6pmChristmas Carol Service of Nine Lessons and Carols
Christmas Eve - Saturday 24th 2.30pmCrib Service, especially for adults
Christmas Eve - Saturday 24th 4pmFamily Crib service - come dressed as a character from the nativity
Christmas Eve - Saturday 24th 11.30pmMidnight Holy Communion for Christmas
Christmas Day - Sunday 25th, 10amHoly Communion for Christmas Day with carols

Shirehampton Methodist Church

Sunday December 18th, 3:30pmCarol Service
Christmas Day - December 25th, 10:30amWe are pleased to welcome Rev. Sandra Heap from Pontefract in Yorkshire

Shirehampton Baptist Church Christmas Services

Saturday December 3rd, 3:00 - 5:00pmMessy Church
Sunday December 4th, 5:00pmCarol Service Cotswold Community Centre Dursley Road
Sunday December 18th, 10:30amChristmas Family Celebration
Sunday December 18th, 6:30pmCarols by Candlelight
Christmas Day, Sunday 25th, 10:30amFamily Service

Please note:

Christmas Eve 7:30pm CAROLS ON THE GREEN will take place on the Green whatever the weather

Merry Christmas to you all
from the Trustees and Management at Shirehampton Public Hall

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The annual Santa Event will be held on Monday 19th December from 2-4pm. All are welcome for teas/coffees/mince pies, and Santa will be there with gifts for the children! Make sure you come along and tell him your Christmas wishes!

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Thank you Pat for everything

At the October meeting of the Shirehampton Public Hall Community Association one of our much loved and long-serving Trustees, Pat Comer, retired from the Board. The Trustees were proud to present Pat and his dear wife with a token of appreciation for the years of dedication to the Hall. Bob Pitchford kindly came along and photographed the presentation! Thank you, Pat, for everything.

Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF) is looking for a new Treasurer

SCAF is a small, grass-roots community organisation working in Shirehampton, we are a registered charity and not for profit company limited by guarantee established in 2001 to work for the benefit of everyone in the Shirehampton community. Work areas include - community safety, environment projects, planning and development issues, organising community walks & events. Most of the community work is carried out by SCAF’s Action Groups. However, the management of SCAF itself depends on its charitable Trustees.

We are looking for a new Treasurer to join the Board of Trustees. The Board meets every 4- 6 weeks on a weekday evening at Shire Public Hall at 7pm. The meetings are usually about an hour and a half long, occasionally longer, but always finish by 9pm.

We would welcome any enquiries – if you would like to talk over the role please contact David Thomas at You can also attend a Trustee meeting as an observer – with no obligation – just to see what goes on

Call for Library Volunteers

Volunteers have been hard at work across Bristol, giving a helping hand at their local libraries. At Avonmouth Library volunteers helped us to give one to one support for people wanting to get online and learn basic IT skills.

Whilst young volunteers at Henleaze Library helped to sign up children to the Summer Reading Challenge and support them choosing new books to earn their prizes.

Now we are looking for volunteers across libraries in the North West of Bristol to lead either weekly or monthly sessions for members of the community. There are volunteers carrying out these roles in other libraries across the city and we want to spread this success.

Reminiscence Group Volunteers will lead monthly sessions with a small group of people to share memories and reminisce on the local area. It is great way to make friends and learn something new over a cup of tea.

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<p> <strong> &lt;Code&gt; Club Volunteers </strong> <Code> Club Volunteers will lead weekly sessions for children aged 8-11 to learn basic coding techniques. The lessons are pre-planned and there is lots of flexibility to inspire creativity. Volunteers have particularly found it rewarding to watch the progress being made by each child.</p>

Our first Bristol Shares Reading Volunteers have been inducted recently as part of a new project withThe Reader. The volunteers will run weekly sessions with adults to share short stories out loud whilst sparking conversation about the characters and plots.

Employment Hub in Avonmouth Community Centre

Local Employment Support for residents both in and out of work.

Currently I run a regular drop in Job Club at Avonmouth Employment Hub every Monday from 10:00 – 12:30 in Avonmouth Community Centre. I am available to help with job search, researching employers, application forms, CVs, interview practice, updates on the local labour market and current recruitments.

I offer one to one appointments throughout the week as well as regular workshops:

  • CV Workshop
  • IT Skills
  • Career Talks
  • Volunteering Opportunities
  • Interview Skills/Mock interviews
  • Job Journey Planning
  • Local Opportunities

Letters to the Editor

Sea Mills Jnr school circa 1958 - Liz Lewis

Dear Editor,

Hello, a small group of ex pupils (Sea Mills Jnr School) have been in contact for a while and have met up a couple of times over past couple of years. We are keen to try to contact some Shirehampton ‘children’ of 1958 (the year we left), to extend our reunions. I believe Richard Parsons of our group has been in touch previously and we are aiming to arrange a get together at The Lamplighters early next year(?) - it’s our 70th birthday year. We were all post WW2 babies. Hoping that you may be able to help if any families still live in Shirehampton/Sea Mills, or thereabouts? Regards Liz

Liz Lewis

Health of the Health Centre Gardens - Gil Osman

Dear Editor,

Readers may share my concern about the state of the Health Centre gardens. It is good to know that this concern is shared by the Health Centre itself, which has been trying for some time to get something done.

The problem is that the gardens are the contractual responsibility of NHS Property Services and any contact with them by the Health Centre gets no response.

Pleasant gardens have a psychologically beneficial effect on all of us, especially those who are unwell. They can give a lift to those coming in and out of the Centre.

Bristol is no longer a major port - Colin Momber

Dear Editor,

In an article in the November issue under the heading “Tidal Festival” your contributor R.S. stated that Bristol is no longer a major port.


Today, the Port of Bristol handles more cargo tonnage than it ever did in its 1,000-year history and is certainly one of the major ports in Great Britain. As always, the prosperity of our port helps to create prosperity and employment within our city – which it does! Portishead Dock and the City Docks have long ceased to be a part of modern port activity and are now recreational areas. However, the two dock systems that form the Port of Bristol at the mouth of the river are trading, as this city has always done, with the rest of the world. And long may it continue...Bristol wouldn’t be Bristol without its port.

Yours faithfully, Colin Momber. Avonmouth Docks, ‘60s

Frozen in time - Ken Sharp


I was in traffic dept mostly in cold store from 1960-63.

Some people I recall, Ron Hodges, Des Villis, Geo Balsdon, Fred Combes, Tony Schaefer, Roger Mooney, Reg Jenkins.

Any of you read this please contact on

Congratulations to our granddaughter Jade Harvey!

You’ve graduated! Well done on your achievement. You worked very hard and we are all very proud of you!

Love from Nan, Grandad, Michelle, Colin, Nan Watkins, Darren, Claire, Aaron and Ben

(Thank you for your kind donation. Ed.)

Shirehampton Public Hall!






(Present from Santa £1.50)

Monday 19th December 2pm – 4pm

Thank you to Our Distributors

I would like to say a big thank you to all the counters, drivers and distributors who regularly give up their time every month to make sure our Shire paper gets to all our residents.

A lot of hard work goes into the editing and production of Shire, and so it is important that the efforts of those people are seen by all of us.

Thanks to those who recently contacted me after my appeal for volunteers for houses that were not receiving their copy. They are now part of the team, and hopefully, enjoying the chance to be part of our work. I would like to wish all of you a happy and peaceful Christmas and thank you once again.

Bobbie Perkins- Distribution Co-ordinator.

St. Mary's News - December

Hi Folks!

Well, Christmas is nearly with us when once again we have a tendency to eat and drink more than normal, and then to our cost find we have increased several inches on our waistlines. It is not so much fun later when we try and take it all off. Losing weight and inches is never as much fun!

Here are our events and services leading up to Christmas:

  • Sunday, 4th December at 2pm the Shirehampton Area Choir

    Sunday, 4th December at 2pm the Shirehampton Area Choir present their annual Christmas Concert in the church. Tickets are £5 and all the proceeds will be donated to The Bristol Area Stroke Foundation.

  • Friday, 9th December at 3pm - The Greatest Story Ever Told

    Friday, 9th December at 3pm there will be a presentation in the church of The Greatest Story Ever Told - the Nativity story in words and music by Lewis & Furneaux followed by a Festive Tea. Tickets are £5 available at the Church Office.

  • Saturday, 10th December at 12noon - Grand Christmas Raffle

    Saturday 10th December at 12noon, in church, we will be drawing the winners of our Grand Christmas Raffle. If you haven’t got your tickets yet, buy one now whilst you still have the chance!

  • Sunday, 11th December at 4pm - The Magical Christmas Jigsaw

    Sunday 11th December at 4pm the children will present a nativity play in church - The Magical Christmas Jigsaw - which will be followed by tea. Please come and give them your support!

  • Thursday, 15th December at 3.30pm - Messy Church for Christmas for families

    Thursday 15th December at 3.30pm there will be Messy Church for Christmas for families with the theme “The Wise Men’s Gifts”. Crafts are suitable for children aged 3+ but younger siblings are warmly welcomed and we have a creche.

  • Saturday, 17th December at 10.30am - Carols in the Churchyard

    Saturday, 17th December at 10.30am there will be a group of people singing Carols in the Churchyard and collecting donations for Christian Aid. You are welcome to come and join them.

  • Sunday, 18th December at 10am - Holy Communion Service

    Sunday, 18th December at 10am there will be our usual Holy Communion Service. 6pm Candlelight Service of Nine Lessons and Carols. Everyone is welcome to this service.

  • Saturday 24th December, Christmas Eve

    Saturday 24th December, Christmas Eve, at 2.30pm and we shall be holding an Adult Crib Service.
    This will be followed by a Family Crib Service when you are invited to dress up as a nativity character - that includes adults as well as the children.
    At 11.30pm Holy Communion for Midnight. This is really the high point in our Christmas celebrations when we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. All are welcome to share in this memorable moment.

  • Christmas Day at 10am - Holy Communion with Carols

    On Christmas Day at 10am there will be a service of Holy Communion with Carols - again all are welcome. An opportunity for Dads to keep out of the way whilst Mum cooks the Turkey or vice versa!!!! (How do you train a Turkey to cook?)

This little yarn is courtesy of Alison Harding:-

Being married to a woman who reads her Bible can have its drawbacks. When a man protested to his wife that wiping dishes was not a man’s job, his wife simply replied “2 Kings 21:13” and handed him a tea towel.Later he looked it up: ‘And I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipeth a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down’.

‘Bye for now! C.M.E.

St. Mary’s Registers - October 2016

Baptisms ’we welcome you’

30th Emilia Andrea Sophia Smith

Funerals ‘At rest and at peace’

7th Mervyn Jeffries St Mary's
12th Nancy Waller Canford
13th WladyslawRomanswski (Stan) St Mary's

Apologies to the family of Barrie Watts for the mis-spelling of his name in last month’s Shire.

Sept 30th   Barrie Watts			St Mary’s

Phil Elliot

It is with sadness we mention the passing of Phil Elliott on Monday 26th September.

waiting photo

Phil, a well- known resident of both Avonmouth and Shirehampton, will be remembered by many in the Community as a true champion for the improving of our environment. Amongst the concerns he wholehearted involved himself in was as to whether Lamplighters Marsh was the right place to site a Park and Ride; development of the old railway sidings (the Rabbit Fields); and support of the Estuary Wildlife Group.

He will also be remembered for the stirling work he did after taking over the accounts of the Aged Peoples’ Fund from the late Bob Smith.

Until their move to the Forest of Dean, both he and his wife Jean were great supporters of Avonmouth Community Council for many years.

Local Nursery receives new award

Sansway House Day Nursery in Lawrence Weston, Bristol, is among the first ten nurseries across England to achieve Millie’s Mark, the new quality mark for excellence in paediatric first aid for early years settings.

The status was created by charity Millie’s Trust with the Department for Education and is being administered by National Day Nurseries Association.

First awards have been made to nurseries that took part in a pilot ahead of last month’s full go-live, after achieving the detailed and rigorous criteria involved.

Millie’s Mark is being awarded to nurseries where all staff members who work with children are qualified in paediatric first aid and which have well-deployed first aid processes.

All nurseries achieving Millie’s Mark have their own individual policies and procedures in exemplary practice.

“As a working parent, I would want all the reassurance possible choosing childcare.

At Sansway we hold the Bristol Standard, Sun Safe Awards, Soil Association approved catering, Ofsted good, food hygiene five star, Red Tractor Assurance and now Millie’s Mark.

Kelly Allaway, joint proprietor, said: “Our team members are delighted to achieve Millie’s Mark. It demonstrates that we take all measures possible to ensure the greatest of care for our babies and children.We plan to continue adding to these achievements.”

Millie’s Trust was formed in 2012 by Joanne and Dan Thompson, whose daughter Millie died after choking on food at her nursery. The Trust has campaigned tirelessly for all early years staff to be trained in paediatric first aid.

Avonmouth Bowling Club

The Autumn Bowling holiday at Hayling Island organised by Val Brown was a great success.

Everyone said that they enjoyed themselves and would go again. Looks like Val has got herself a job. Following our Macmillan coffee morning I was able to bank £200, again thanks to those who supported us. Well done. Our first quiz night went off well, Terry Woodman Quizmaster made our brains work hard but the evening was enjoyable, could do with a few more teams.

waiting photo

Once again we are getting ready for our presentation dinner on the 12th November. This year we thought we would use our own club facilities and bring in a caterer. This puts the money into our own bar and it is cheaper.

Our next special Saturday night is on the 26th November, which is a ‘Ladies Night’. Come along and pamper yourselves

The club have played an indoor match at Bristol, there is another one on 4th December. Food is available but needs to be ordered.

Why not go and support Avonmouth and have an enjoyable day. No wet gear needed!