What is going on? Because of severe financial cuts by Bristol City Council the Public Hall will lose 25% of its annual income this year. The library service across Bristol faces major cuts, and it is inevitable that some libraries will lose all their funding.
It is possible that Shirehampton Library could be in that position. (An announcement on the council budget is expected in February)
The trustees of Shirehampton Public Hall Community Association are considering a range of options for the future of the hall and also including the possibility of the library becoming a community library managed by the hall and local volunteers.
The proposals under discussion include:
We are having an Open Day on Saturday 25th February 10am to 4pm to showcase what the hall and the library already do and to give Shirehampton residents the opportunity to influence what happens in the future. Do you want the hall to decline and the library to close?
Break is changing young lives by supporting children, young people and familes in four key areas:
We came to Shirehampton High Street 18 months ago. As a local girl I wanted the shop to be involved and to help the community. We do this at Break by selling high quality items at the lowest possible price.
We had a fantastic response to our ‘Santa Comes to Town’ at Christmas with one parent commenting;
“I cannot afford to take my children to the Mall to see Father Christmas. This is free and amazing.”
We are a very friendly shop and have a lot of regular customers, knowing most by name or with a wave in the street.
We have had many excellent donations but always need more.
We also need volunteers, so if you have some spare time, would like to work in a happy, friendly place, then please give me,Lorraine, a call on 0117 9381982 or call into the shop.
by Kayleigh Penny
St. Peter's Hospice is Bristol’s only adult hospice, providing care and support to over 2,670 life-limited patients each year.
All services are provided free of charge but the hospice relies on donations from the public as well as funds raised through its 50 charity shops, to continue providing vital care.
One of those important hospice shops is the Shirehampton store on the High Street, which has been serving the community and raising funds for the charity for over 25 years.
Stocking an amazing variety of womenswear, menswear, accessories and household items the shop also features a dedicated ‘Kids Section’ with toys, books and clothing being added each day.
In 2015-2016 the shop successfully generated £13,000 profit for St Peter’s Hospice, which is the equivalent of 65 community nurse visits to patients within their own homes.
Run by two full-time members of staff; shop manager Paige and assistant manager Lin, the shop also relies on the help of eight dedicated volunteers who operate the tills, sort out the stock and display items. Some of these volunteers have been with the shop from the day it opened, and some have been offering their time for just a few months.
Although this help is wonderful, the shop needs more volunteer support to continue its good work.
St Peter’s Hospice Shirehampton shop manager, Paige Martin, said: “The shop generates a huge source of income for the hospice and provides bargains for people in the community too.
“We’d love to welcome new volunteers to our team and any contributions of time, big or small will be greatly appreciated. No experience is necessary and volunteers can donate as much or as little time as they can.
“Volunteering at our shops means that as much of the funds raised as possible go towards the hospice. It’s also a great way to meet new people and learn new skills. “I’d also like to say thank you to the community for all of the generous donations they give to us. Without great quality items for sale, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do!”
To find out more and volunteer for St Peter’s Hospice Shirehampton shop please call Paige on 0117 982 7960 or visit www.stpetershospice.org.uk for more information.
by Bobbie Perkins
I took this picture of a stunning Red Admiral on November 28th. I had also snapped it three days earlier in almost the same spot on our garden wall. It was sunning itself on particularly bright warm days and I believe it was the same insect, as I studied the markings from both days and they looked identical.
As I sit here writing, I have watched a starling and a beautiful long tailed tit sharing the fat ball feeder. I recently sent for my Big Garden Bird Watch pack from the RSPB and am now excited about doing my bit to record exactly what is going on in my garden in a one hour period. The pack even contained a sachet of organic coffee to enjoy whilst waiting and watching! The watch is from 28th to 30th January, so I will let you know my own results next month. Sadly, the data from these bird counts has revealed and sad statistic that one of our most marvellous and popular visitors, the Song Thrush, have declined by an agonising 98% in the last decade! I find this incredibly tragic and feel it is only one example of mankind’s often highly damaging impact on our wildlife.
One positive success story is the Gold Finch. I like to think that my constant supply of Niger seed in the BS11 postal district has had an impact!! Their numbers have soared by an amazing 89%.
Spring is now not too far away, although today the country is bracing itself for snow! I, for one, am looking foward to the next few weeks, as the days get longer and the herons return to heir nest sites just along the river.
Happy nature watching,
by Clive Lovatt
The Wild Plants of the Shirehampton Area
For the third year in succession, I walked a loop round Shirehampton to record the wild plants in flower over the New Year.
The Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland allows three hours over the period 1-4 January and there have been about 400 lists submitted so far. This year I managed only 40 species, against 78 last year and 60 the year before. I’ve seen 25 plants flowering every year and six of this year’s I hadn’t seen flowering before, although for one, a rare Fumitory, I had to make a diversion into Avonmouth to see it.
Just about everyone’s counts were down, largely because this year we had frosts before Christmas and for instance the gloriously named Shaggy Soldier (an annual with hairy stems and leaves and tiny five-petalled diasy-like flowers) was reduced to mushy black remains where it grows on Hung Road.
Unsurprisingly, the highest counts tend to be near the coast in the south of England and Wales, which was why the Somerset Rare Plants Group took the steam train from Bishops Lydeard and went off to Watchet. On a cold wet day only the braver flowers were out (a dozen of us) but we got 69 species on our list, currently the seventh highest score across Britain and Ireland.
Against a wall in a car park, we found a young plant with stiff narrow leaves, they were impossible to tear. We decided it was an escaped Cabbage-palm.
“I’ve seen that before” I said “or something like it, in gutters in Shirehampton.” So when I came down to my own New Year plant hunt the following day, a rather sunny day at that, I was also looking out for similar seedlings. It wasn’t difficult to find some.
Subject to confirmation, that would be a plant new to Bristol and Gloucestershire in the wild.
“Not a bad way to start the year,” I thought to myself.
by Maxine Tarling
On the 22nd of December, the oldest resident of Penhill Residential home celebrated her 100th birthday with a visit from the Lord Mayor, his wife and granddaughter.
Lillian Hobbs, a remarkable lady who was a teacher for many years and is widely travelled, enjoyed talking with the lord mayor who had promised to mark her centenary earlier this year when he visited Penhill back in September with a return visit to the home.
Later that day, Penhill held a large party to celebrate with friends, family and all the other residents.
by Michele Daniels
As part of our Stone Age to Iron Age topic, the Year 4s at Shirehampton Primary school took part in a History Day.
The children went back in time to learn how to make fire, cook bread, design and make pottery, tell stories through cave painting and became Celtic warriors.
They found out first-hand what it was like to live over 2000 years ago and how life was different.
Making fire was our first priority and, as frustrating as it was, the children only had flint and steels to get their fires going. These fires were then used to bake flat breads which the children made themselves to a traditional recipe.
The scariest part of the day was when the children became warriors and painted their faces with wode! It was a lot of fun and the children had a greater understanding of that time period.
Pictures by bob Pitchford
Oasis Academy Brightstowe hosted a “read in” with a difference as local men including politicians and footballers dropped in to the school library.
The “It’s Reading Men” event was aimed at Year 7 boys who need extra motivation with their reading.
Several adults from different walks of life attended the event, including Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees, Bristol Rovers players Ollie Clarke and Danny Greenslade, and Matt Butler, Regional Academies Director at Oasis South West.
Oasis Academy Brightstowe’s librarian, Kathryn Gardner-Graham, said: “All the men had to do is listen to some Year 7 boys read to them and be an encouraging ear.
“We ran this event for the second time last year and it has had such a positive impact on our boys who are now in Year 8. Studies show that many boys need a positive male role model who reads, so that they are motivated to read themselves.
“We all know that having a reading age that is equal to their chronological age is essential if young people are to have a chance of gaining good GCSE grades in the future, which is why we are working so hard to improve their reading and attitude to reading at this stage.”
by Captain Hamish Grant
Programme for 2017
2017, Meeting on the following Mondays
|February 27th||Gloucester and Sharpness Pilots. By Captain Carl Merry|
|March 13th||Riot on the Riviera – Exercise Tiger by Paul Burnett|
|March 27th||s.s.”Fresh Spring” Admiralty Water Carrier by Steven Attenborough|
|April 10th||The Dam Buster’s raid by Sqdn Ldr Johnny Johnson.|
|April 24th||Trinity House by Captain Roger Francis|
|May 8th||“Swinging the Lamp” – Member’s meeting|
THE Bristol Branch of the Merchant Navy Association is holding a memorial service at the Merchant Navy Memorial on the Welsh Back, Bristol, on Sunday 5th February 2017 at 1200 Noon for 12.30p.m.
The service will be conducted by our chaplain, the Rev Philip Auden MNM, and it is to commemorate the loss of Bristol boys between the age of 15 and 16 year old who were lost on merchant ships in the service of their country in World War One and World War Two.
The names of the boys will be inscribed on a plaque which will be unveiled by the sister of one of the boys and the event will be filmed by BBC Inside Out West, who will attend.
The names of the boys were found by our members in a book by Billy McGee entitled “They Shall Grow Not Old” in 2010. The book describes how 500 boys aged 16 and under died serving in the Merchant Navy in World War Two alone. Their bodies were never returned to their families so many of their relatives will not know what happened to them. They have no grave but the sea.
We are very grateful to our memorial manager; Vice-President Ted Williams, who has ordered the plaque and helped trace some of the relatives of the Lost Boys.
Captain Hamish Grant, President, Bristol Branch Merchant Navy Association.
Web Page: www.bristolmerchantnavy.com
AS always we have a range of volunteer opportunities, activities and events going on! Never mind that it’s winter… think, it’s nearly spring!
Our current volunteer opportunities are Oral History Collecting, Local History Research & Event Delivery. For more information please go to www.aforgottenlandscape.org.uk/get-involved or contact Katie firstname.lastname@example.org or 01454 863 043
For more than 150 years people have tried to harness the Severn Estuary’s tides for navigation, recreation and the generation of electricity. This presentation by Alexander Portch, University of Bristol, will provide an overview of the sequence of proposals for a Severn Barrage and place the history of barrage schemes in a much broader context of efforts to exploit the Severn’s tides stretching back many hundreds of years, including tidal mills, intertidal fishing weirs and the emblematic Severn trow.
This free workshop will cover all the basics of pruning and maintaining fruit trees. Led by Les Davies (www.westcountryman.co.uk), the day will cover tree and grass management to enhance wildlife, natural pest control, tree planting and formative, maintenance and restorative pruning. It will also cover tool use and maintenance. Come benefit from Les’ 47 years of working with apple trees. Places are limited.
Come and witness the great migrations along the Severn with Rupert Higgins, naturalist. Learn to identify a range of birds, how to use binoculars, and generally enjoy a wild morning out along the River. For children aged 8+ accompanied by their parent/guardian. Meet in Pilning for an introduction to bird watching and then off to the River Severn to see the birds!
Learn the traditional art of hedge laying on this practical weekend in February. This is a free workshop suitable for beginners. Over the weekend you will learn the different stages in laying a hedge, how to correctly use hedge laying tools and the benefits of hedge laying for wildlife and landowners. If you are interested in taking part please email Emma at email@example.com and we will let you know as soon as we have the dates confirmed!
|6th||John Coleman||St. Mary’s|
|9th||Gloria Harrington||St. Mary’s|
|12th||Lorraine Fowler||South Bristol|
|29th||Valerie Gosling||St Edyth’s|
|31st||Ryan Pasco and Stephanie Francis|
Already this month it is possible to notice the evening time gradually drawing out which makes me feel that we are marching on towards spring. I simply cannot wait as I am not a fan of the cold winter weather.
On Tuesday, 14th February (which is during the school half term holiday) we will be holding a Holiday Pancake Party in church and the churchyard. Call in and join in the fun - especially if you have young children. This is also St Valentine’s Day, so don’t forget that card for your loved one! This timely reminder will hopefully stop any domestic dispute!!!
Just 14 days later - Tuesday, 28th February - is Shrove Tuesday, when Pancakes will be the order of the day once again from 10.00 am until 12.00 noon. Shrove Tuesday, known very often as Pancake Day, is the day preceding Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent), when originally food not eaten during Lent, like eggs and butter, were used up before the fasting began – often in pancakes. The word “shrove” is a form of the English word “shrive” which means to obtain absolution for one’s sins by Confession or doing penance. Thus Shrove Tuesday gets its name from the custom for Christians to be “shriven” before the start of Lent.
The next day (Wednesday 1st March) is of course Ash Wednesday and is the beginning of the forty days of Lent leading up to Easter. This did not include Sundays which was a day of worship. Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of blessing ashes made from Palm branches blessed on the previous Palm Sunday and placing them on the heads of participants to the accompaniment of words such as “Repent and believe in the words of the Gospel” or “Remember that you are dust and to dust you will return”.
On Ash Wednesday evening at 7.00 pm there will be service of Holy Communion during which you may receive, if you wish, a mark of the cross in ash upon your forehead.
May I remind you that Messy Church is always on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 3.30 pm. Children have an opportunity to engage in various crafts and refreshments are provided. This is all entirely free.
Now an apology is due to those of you who were inconvenienced when you discovered the Pembroke Road Gate to the churchyard was chained and padlocked over part of the Christmas Holiday. This is done every Christmas Day after the 10.00 am Holy Communion Service and includes Boxing Day. This is done to protect the churchyard path from becoming a public right of way and for it to remain a private path under our control. You can use it again without fear of it being locked again until next Christmas Day!
We had our Alternative New Years’ Eve Party in Church on Friday 6th January which included a three course supper! There were games and quizzes to test the “old grey matter” which were great fun. Not only that, we also had the chimes of Big Ben and a piper complete with kilt and sporran to pipe In the New Year on his bagpipes, whilst we all joined hands together and sang Auld Lang Syne. On our video screen we were also able to enjoy a Fireworks Display. A really superb evening!
Hopefully, this edition of “Shire” will reach your letter boxes before Monday, 30th January as the Brass Wind Band will be holding their Annual Concert in St Mary’s at 7.30 pm that evening. This is always a great sound - the Band have two sections - the Big Band and the Concert Band. Tickets will be available on the door price £3.00. Concessionary price £1.00. This Band is the one which leads our service in church each Remembrance Sunday. Don’t miss an evening of music to suit all tastes!
Bye for now. C.M.E.
Come and enjoy a delicious cream tea and sing some favourite songs of praise at St Andrew’s Church, Avonmouth on 26th February at 3pm. Everyone welcome, Free Entry but donations welcome.
To book a table please phone the Hall Manager on 0117 9829963. The cost of hiring a table is £7.
There will be refreshments available at a easonable price and plenty of bargains. In the evening there will be Prize Bingo.
Doors open at 6pm and eyes down at 7pm. Please come alpong for a nice day out.
My name is June Slobodzian (nee Stonelake). I would like to try and find an old friend whom I grew up with in Shirehampton before my family emmigrated to Canada in 1963. I lived in Lower High Street and we first met when she was 3 years old and myself 5 years. We stayed in contact into the 80’s then lost touch.
Her name is Carol Templer. (maiden name) and I believe her birth date is Nov 5th (aprox) 1954. Carol lived on the corner of Lower High and Penpole Lane with her parents. She was an only child and went to Primary School in Shirehampton. I believe she went to Oasis Academy for her secondary schooling. Carol married (unfortunately I do not know her married name) and she had two sons. The last time I visited Shirehampton she was living near St. Bernards Road, and running a bridal shop from her home.
This picture of the two of us was taken many years ago. Carol is the one without the glasses. It was taken in my Aunt and Uncles home (Sam and Joyce Stonelake). They lived at 56 St Bernard Road.
I would be grateful if anyone reading this and knows of her whereabouts could either contact me or ask Carol to. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanking you in anticipation.
June Slobodzian, 82 Fairholt Road South, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8M2T7.
I was very pleased when the new pedestrian crossing and road markings were completed outside the Post Office. I have long considered this section of road to be hazardous, not least because of illegal and thoughtless parking, which narrowed the road considerably at busy times.
However, to my astonishment, I have noted that there are still people parking on the zig zag markings adjacent to the pedestrian crossing! How I wish I was a roving traffic warden!!
What will it take for a lazy few to abide by the law?
WHITE ZIG ZAG LINES: White zig zags lines are classed as dual enforcement restriction, this means the council can issue tickets to vehicles parked in contravention, likewise the Police can also issue to vehicles parked in contravention. The only difference is the Police fine also carries penalty points. You cannot park on these at any time... The Fixed Penalty Notice issued by the police is £60 with 3 penalty points.
Following our brief Christmas visit to Shirehampton, we must congratulate all those involved with the wonderful display on The Green this year. The only thing which spoiled it was the shops which hadn’t remembered to leave the lights on the trees outside their properties, as seems to happen every year!
Well done again.
Roger & Gerry Cooper
(ex-Shire residents now living near Penzance)
Having read the current, January, Issue of “Shire” I would like to comment upon the excellent presentation of such. So much hard work behind the scenes must go on to produce such an informative publication. It’s great to keep up to date with events in our old stomping ground. I am an ex Portway Boys’ School attendee in the early to mid 50’s and with my, now Wife, participated in many Twyford House Pantomimes.
Long may your work continue. Kindest regards, Denise & Keith FitzGerald. Gawler(Adelaide) South Australia
by Jayne Warren
Jim, who for many years was Chairman of Avonmouth Community Council, passed away on 17th December.
Jim was a real character who, although having moved on retirement to Antona Court, West Town Road, was still a loyal advocate for the improvement of Avonmouth Village.
He was very intelligent, spoke several languages and extremely eloquent when it came to putting together a short but succinct letter to Bristol City Council and various government officials. He was the master at explaining local residents’ displeasure at the way Avonmouth Village was treated so unfairly when it came to planning applications, etc.
Most of these applications involved yet even more HGVs having to use the coast road to access the motorways via Crowley Way. Everytime Jim pushed the fact that to save time, money and further pollution to the Village a spur road should be built.
It was he who first reported the bulldozing of the Rabbit Fields one Sunday morning in April 1995 and campaigned ferociously to retain this 13 acre wildlife site for the enjoyment of local residents. Jim was also instrumental in fighting to halt the closure of Bob’s Gym in the Old Bus Depot after the Council sold the building to a property developer.
This at a time when we had already lost the Shirehampton Swimming Baths and Robin Cousin Sports Centre. He presented a 2,000 signature petition to the Sports Council on this occasion. He fought to save the Roman Catholic Church when that was also sold off to a property developer.
Lastly, but by no means least, he composed and read a passionate statement at a BCC Forum Meeting against the proposal by the company Helius to build a bio mass wood incinerator site on Avonmouth Docks.
In 1999 Jim wrote a fascinating, funny piece about his memories of early childhood in Avonmouth and we hope that some short extracts from these in the book “A Mouthful of Memories” compiled by Judy Helme (with help from Sue Davies and retired doctor, John Andrews) can be printed in the New Bridge at a later date.
Jim will be remembered by so many people with affection and respect.
‘SHIRE’ newspaper is once again inviting applications from local organisations for a grant. If you wish to apply please advise us of the name of your group and how you serve the community.
If there is a specific sum you require for a particular project please also include that information. We regret we cannot issue grants to individuals.
Avonmouth Football Club has been around for almost 100 years and to try and re-connect with past members before our Centenary we will be hosting a Reunion Party on Saturday February 18th at the Club for all former players, members and associates.
The Football Club has a long and storied history in the BS11 area dating back to 1919, but with so many players/members coming and going during that time, the Club has lost contact with the majority.
Club President Bert Marsh and Chairman Will Masters Fry would love for word to spread of this event to try and get as many of our Alumni as possible to attend. So if you know of anyone with connections to the Club, please can you let them know. The event is free and there will be entertainment.
When, in 1974 the long process of building the bowling green was complete and declared ready to play on, bowlers from the port had a home of their own and no longer had to share the original Avonmouth Bowling Club Green in Avonmouth Road.
Built by En-Tout-Cas at a cost of around £7,500 the green was seen as one of the most ambitious sports projects undertaken by the PBA Club and a valuable addition to facilities in Nibley Road. Much hard work went into putting together facilities around the green such as seating, a fence and somewhere to change.
The inter-departmental league was formed by Ian Wilson and around 1980 the first two ladies - Ivy Gingell and Angela Simmons joined. By 1982 there was a ladies league team. The ladies committee for the league team comprised of Irene Whitfield, Captain, Shirley Parker, Secretary, Pat Warren and Irene Jenkins, Selectors.
Membership at this time was around 140 and it was not easy to find a place in the week-end friendly teams - such was the desire to bowl. If you did teas one week-end it did apparently improve your chances of having a game the following week.
Ron Jones was a crane driver at the port and he bowled on the new green from the start or very close to it and continued to do so very successfully on it and many other greens over very many years.
Ron and his wife Pat often bowled together and will be remembered by many in the bowling community as Pat and Ron, Shirehampton.
They retired from outdoor bowling about six years ago but continued to bowl indoors at the City and County Arena, still enjoying the game and all that goes with it.
Pat is still bowling but sadly Ron passed away in November. He will long be remembered by bowlers and those he worked with such as Alan Bennett who remembers Ron well both as a bowler and a fellow crane driver.
The club said farewell to another bowler, Valerie Gosling in December. Val came to the City and Port from Bristol Arrow and enjoyed her years bowling with the club until she became ill prior to the 2016 season and was not able to continue bowling.
The latest Sunday evening social event was on January 8th when more than thirty bowlers, family and friends enjoyed bingo, indoor putting, table skittles and skittles. It was a very full evening with the chance to win cash on the bingo and prizes on each of the other games.
Dave Povey was the Table Skittles Champion, Ken Davies won the skittles and Graham Neale the putting, after a hard fought play off.
The February social evening will be a quiz devised and presented by Gordon Dimond.
The next indoor bowls match is against Severnvale on Saturday February 4th and the final one of the series on March 4th against another local club side.