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Update from A Forgotten Landscape

191st Scout Troop Investiture

Shirehampton Public Hall

St. Mary's News - March

From St. Mary’s Registers - January 2017

Shirehampton in Manchester

Nature Notes…

Botany in the Shire

Letters to the Editor

City and Port of Bristol Bowling Club

Spring Around The Bend! Horseshoe Bend, Shirehampton

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Readers will be interested in what Wikipedia has to say about one of Shirehampton's beauty spots, as shown by Bob Pitchford's photograph of the area:

Horseshoe Bend, Shirehampton is an 11 acre (4.45 hectare) biological Site of Special Scientific interest in Bristol, on the north bank of a lower, tidal stretch of the River Avon, 1.9 miles (3 kilometres) downstream from the Avon Gorge and just east of the village of Shirehampton . It was notified as an SSSI in 1999.
The site's principal interest and the reason for its designation as an SSSI is the presence of a population of the True Service-tree (Sorbus domestica) growing on the cliffs. This tree is nationally rare in Britain, and this site hosts the largest known population in England. Other notable species of Sorbus here are the whitebeams, (Sorbus eminens and Sorbus anglica), both of which are also nationally rare in Britain. The nationally scarce Large-leaved Lime ((Tilia platyphyllos) also occurs, and herbs include Field Garlic (Allium oleraceum) and Pale St John's-wort (Hypericum montanum)
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The saltmarsh vegetation, which lies at the base of the cliff, is predominantly made up of Sea Aster (Aster tripolium) and English Scurvygrass (Cochlearia anglica). There are however two nationally scarce vascular plant species here as well –Slender Hare's-ear (Bupleurum tenuissimum) and Long-Stalked Orache (Atriplex longipes).( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horseshoe_Bend,_Shirehampton)

So as well as a beautiful area to enjoy (as Bob's lovely photograph shows), we have an important wildlife resource on our village doorstep. Do go along and see for yourself now that Spring is here !.

Local Girl Flying High with her Basketball

Fourteen year old Molly James from Shirehampton has been selected to represent England at U15 level in a 3 day National Team training Camp which will include a series of games vs Scotland in April.

The Abbeywood Community School pupil and Shirehampton resident had a very successful Christmas Camp with the England Squads where she survived the squad cut, Molly will get her first taste of International action at the Great Britain Basketball Performance Centre, Belle Vue Manchester between the 10th and 14th of April playing a series of games against Scotland.

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Molly, who plays her Junior Club Basketball for Team Gloster Jets and Cotswold Basketball Club in the National U18 Women's National League, is looking forward to making further steps in her development as a Basketball player and the chance to represent her country. Her commitment to 4 training sessions per week plus weekend games means she has a tough schedule to fit around school work, but her efforts are paying off with this opportunity to represent her country.

She has recently also started to train with Bristol Academy Flyers Women's Division I National League Team where she has had the opportunity to develop alongside some of the Region's top women's players including American and European Players. Molly officially signed for the Flyers Women Team two weeks ago, and on Saturday February 4th Molly played her first Senior Women's Basketball Game, scoring her first points in senior Basketball in Flyers win over the Essex Blades at the WISE Arena.

Molly will remain busy all summer long and will be travelling to Poland to represent the South West U15 girls in a tournament in Gniezno in July, playing against teams from across Europe. One part of the preparation for the National Development Tournament in September is when the Country Regions compete against one another at the National Performance Centre in Manchester.

Road Safety Campaign

Road safety campaign urges drivers to act on vehicle safety issues

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has launched a nationwide campaign urging drivers to check that their vehicles, parts or accessories aren't one of the 2.6 million vehicles in Great Britain subject to a safety recall. Manufacturers should recall vehicles when they become aware of a safety problem. The manufacturer carries the repairs out free of charge and DVSA oversees the recall system.

To raise awareness, DVSA will use social media to issue alerts highlighting specific vehicle recalls, with a focus on encouraging people to share the details with their friends and family. This new approach will support the existing DVSA email alerts service.

Later in 2017, information about vehicle recalls will be added to DVSA's MOT history check service, enabling consumers to see any recalls that have affected individual vehicles.

When a vehicle is recalled, manufacturers might also give advice on any steps the driver can take to help keep them and their family safe until they make the repairs. DVSA is encouraging drivers to follow this advice. Some vehicle parts and accessories, such as child car seats and tyres, aren't registered to drivers in the same way as vehicles, so manufacturers can't always trace the owner. It's vital that all drivers check for safety recalls that affect their vehicle, its parts or accessories. They can visit www.gov.uk/vehicle-recall to check for recalls. Repairs or replacements are usually free of charge.

DVSA monitors the time it takes the manufacturer to fix the affected vehicle, part or accessory and expects manufacturers to carry out these repairs as soon as possible.

The agency is also urging drivers to report ‘serious safety defects’ to the manufacturer as soon as they become aware of them.

These are defects in the way the vehicle is designed or made that's likely to cause injury or death, and happen suddenly and without warning. Things that can be found during routine maintenance and servicing, or are caused by misusing the vehicle, aren't classed as serious safety defects.

Any driver can follow this up with a report to DVSA if they aren't satisfied with how the manufacturer is dealing with their concerns, and DVSA will investigate it and tell the driver what action is being taken. This can be done at www.gov.uk/vehiclerecalls, where drivers can also find out more about the process.

Update from A Forgotten Landscape

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Spring is on the way! As always we have a range of activities and events going on to help you enjoy the changing season. All our events are all free – just book your place for any of them at www.aforgottenlandscape.org.uk/get-involved/events/

  • The Old Aust Ferry – a talk by Tim Ryan. Tuesday 7 March, 7:30pm Tockington Methodist Church, Tockington BS32 4LG.

    This fascinating talk by Tim Ryan traces the history of the Severn Queen, the Severn King and the Severn Princess.  These car ferries had the important role of taking vehicles across the River Severn from Beachley to Aust from 1931 until 1966 when The Queen opened the Severn Bridge, ending the ferries' careers. When the tides allowed, they provided a twelve minute crossing. The alternative, when the tide was out, was a sixty mile (2 ½ hour) trip via Gloucester.  However, it wasn't quite as simple as that, as many local people remember! Tim leads the Severn Princess Restoration Group, dedicated to restoring the Severn Princess, the last remaining Severn Ferry.  Attendees at this talk can enter a lottery for a FREE tour of the Severn Princess.

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  • Remembering the Windbound. Wednesday 8 March, 7-9pm, The Anchor, Church Road, Oldbury-on-Severn BS35 1QA

    The Windbound, Shepperdine, once a pub and then a care home, has now been demolished. Drop by the Anchor and share your memories of this much-loved local landmark. Bring photos, stories, or just come and listen. All welcome, free, snacks provided!

  • Early Bird Walk with Ed Drewitt. Saturday 26 March 8am, Kings Weston House, Kings Weston Ln, Bristol BS11 0UR

    Hear the onset of spring on this early morning bird walk. Ed Drewitt, local naturalist, will be helping us to identify birds by sight and sound.

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  • A Dose of Nature – a talk by Dan Bloomfield. 4 April 2016, 7:30pm Tockington Methodist Church, Tockington BS32 4LG.

    Can nature improve your health? Dr Dan Bloomfield of the University of Exeter has been studying this question through his project, A Dose of Nature. The project's aim is to find ways in which nature can be more actively used to help people with chronic health problems, and how the UK health system can be involved in making that happen. A lot of the focus has been on depression and anxiety, but one of A Dose of Nature's main findings is that a referral to a group that regularly goes out into nature can benefit all sorts of people, with many health, wellbeing or social problems.

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Sea Cadets Recruitment Drive

Meet new people, learn new skills and gain qualifications with youth charity Sea Cadets, which is encouraging young people and adults to see how they can get involved this February.

We are urging 10- to 17 year-olds seeking adventure and adults interested in volunteering to contact their local unit to find out more about the amazing opportunities available.

Young people at Sea Cadets enjoy a variety of activities, from dinghy sailing to catering, and have the opportunity to experience offshore voyages or to travel abroad to meet cadets from other countries such as Bermuda, Hong Kong and Australia. Nationally-accredited courses, including the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, are also available.

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But it doesn't end there. Sea Cadets, an all-inclusive charity, is committed to ensuring young people have a bright future, and with us they develop life skills that set them in good stead for whatever they choose to do in later life. More than 90 per cent say Sea Cadets has given them higher self-esteem and offered “direction and guidance”.

Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community…

This would not be possible without our amazing 9,000 volunteers – but we need more like them. You could make more of your free time by showing cadets how to sail, powerboat, kayak or windsurf, we will even teach you how, or by managing finances and budgets or fundraising for your local unit. Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community, and on top of that you can gain qualifications, boost your own CV and help young people to realise their full potential.

If you do decide to join us – or if you are already part of the Sea Cadets' family – please spread the message on social media this February by using the hashtag #BestKeptSecret.

Captain Phil Russell RN, Captain Sea Cadets

191st Scout Troop Investiture

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On Thursday December 8th, Grace Maud and Shaun Sunil were invested into the 191st Scout Troop by Grant Watkins (SL) and Richard Griffiths (GSL)

Shirehampton Public Hall

Shirehampton Public Hall Community Association March Newsletter

Become a Member of Shirehampton Public Hall Community Association for £3 per year!

Raise funds for and have your say about the future of this wonderful and much needed community building.

Please print the application form complete the attached form and return it to The Manager at the Hall together with your subscription.

Membership Form

Shirehampton Public Hall Community Association

Member Information (please print or type details)

Name…:
Address…:
Post Code…:
Phone…:
Email…:

Shirehampton Public Hall Regular Weekly Activities

MONDAY: Firebird Theatre10am-4pm.Hall
Twyford Art Club10.00am – 12noon.Penpole Room
Yoga6.30pm-7.30pm.Hall
TUESDAY:Zumba 10am-11am. Hall
Line Dancing 2pm-3pm. Hall
Contemporary Dance 6pm-7pm. Hall
Puppy Training 7.15-9.15pm. Hall
WEDNESDAY: Twyford Art Club 9.30am – 11.30am. Penpole Room
Dance/Movement Class (from 1st March) 1.30pm-2.30pm. Hall
Model Railway Club 7.30pm onwards. Club Room
Shire Stitchers (every 3rd Wednesday) 7.15pm-9.15pm
Womens' Fellowship (2nd and 4th Wednesday) 7.30pm-9.30pm. Hall
THURSDAY: Sea Mills Art Club 10am – 12noon. Hall
Tai Chi 2pm-3.30pm. Hall
Zumba 6pm-7pm. Hall
Grainger Players 7.30pm-9.30pm. Hall
FRIDAY:Playtots 9.45am-11.15am. Hall
Evergreens 2pm – 4pm. Hall
Shire News 4pm (1st Friday of the month). Hall
Bingo 6.30pm-8.30pm. Hall
Pillow Lace Club 7pm-9pm. Penpole Room
SUNDAY:Church of Grace 9am-1pm. Hall

Oasis Academy Brightstowe Progress 8 Highlights Our Success

Last summer saw the number of our students achieving A* and A grades rise for the second year running, and we had a number of high attainers who achieved seven or more A*s and As.

But what about pupils who may have started out from a lower baseline in terms of their SATs, but who then went on to perform to a higher standard in their GCSEs?

The government has now sought to address this question by changing the way performance tables are compiled, to give a truer picture about the progress of these students. A new added value measure called Progress 8 highlights whether a school has helped ALL of its pupils to achieve – and it is here that Oasis Academy Brightstowe outperforms other local schools in this part of Bristol.

A Progress 8 score of 0 means that students have made expected progress from primary school across eight demanding subjects including English, mathematics, science, history, geography or a foreign language, and any three other high quality qualifications. A positive score means he or she has made better than expected progress.

The Department for Education (DfE) expects all schools to score at least -0.5 in terms of their mean average figure for all pupils at Progress 8.

So how does Brightstowe perform at Progress 8?

The 115 students who took their GCSEs last summer, over half of whom were from disadvantaged backgrounds, secured an average Progress 8 score of 0.19 – significantly above the government target figure and the same as the city-wide average for Bristol.

Our overall score is the same as that for St. Katherine's School - and it is significantly better than the score at both Bristol Free School (-0.28) and Henbury (-0.39) – a success which was recognised in the Bristol Post recently. Furthermore, the finalised DfE table ranks Brightstowe as being average and St. Katherine's, a school with a significantly lower level of social disadvantage, as below average due to a measure called statistical confidence.

So what is the main conclusion to draw from all of this data?

That Oasis Academy Brightstowe's Progress 8 score at GCSE makes it the best performing school in this part of Bristol aside from St. Bede's Catholic College, which selects pupils on the basis of religious faith.

At a time when one of our former students has just received an offer to read Chemistry at Oxford University, Brightstowe pupils can be sure that they will receive a great education, regardless of their background. This is the measure of a truly comprehensive school.

Joe Docherty, Principal, Oasis Academy Brightstowe

Nova Primary School - Nova Pupils make the News

It was an especially busy week at Nova Primary School in Shirehampton as pupils had visits from the NSPCC and Gloucestershire Cricket Club in a joint initiative to promote safety and well-being.

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Children of all ages in the Infant and Junior classes learnt more about the ‘Speak Out, Stay Safe' initiative in special assemblies, which also promoted the Childline service.

These events were covered by the Bristol Post and Made in Bristol TV which ran a two minute article that featured interviews with the NSPCC, school staff and a very eloquent contribution from Anna and Harry, two of the older pupils.

Nova is also raising money for the NSPCC by encouraging pupils to dress up as someone who inspires them and then take part in the daily physical burst activity that is an integral part of each day's activities. It was gratifying to see so many pupils dressing as their teachers – and some staff donning school uniform in return! This event was overseen by pupils from the school's Health and Wellbeing Council, one of 5 different pupil-run groups that support the Senior Leadership Team.

St. Mary's News - March

Hi Folks!

Hooray! March is here and we can look forward to the clocks going forward to British Summer Time on Sunday, 26th which is also Mothering Sunday, and the lighter evenings will be back with us once more. I will have more to say about Mothering Sunday a little further on.

Just to update you with our Book and CD Fayre we are pleased to tell you that we were able to raise the sum of £400.00 towards church funds and expenses. Thank you to those who came and gave their generous support.

  • 3rd March is the Women's World Day of Prayer

    On Friday, 3rd March is the Women's World Day of Prayer which is to be held at 2.30 pm in St Mary's. This is a service which is open to all, which means that men are also welcome! The theme this year is - “Am I being unfair to you?” - written by the women of the Philippines.

  • Wednesday 8th March, Lent Evenings begin

    Our Lent Evenings begin on Wednesday 8th March, and continues on Wednesdays 15th, 22nd, 29th March and 5th April. The evenings are entitled ‘Christian Faith - Jewish Roots’ and will be led each week by the Rev Alister Palmer. They will run from 7.00 pm until 9.00 pm and include supper. There is no charge but you are asked to make a donation which will later be given to a charity. Please sign up if you are interested on the list at the west end of the church to assist with numbers for catering purposes. Thank you!

  • 26th March, Mothering Sunday

    Mothering Sunday as I mentioned earlier is on Sunday, 26th March when we shall have at 10.00 am a Cafe Church Service which has never been tried before at St Mary's. This is a special Service for children and adults of all ages. Please come and see if this is “your cup of tea!!!” (pun intended). Please note that there will be NO KIDS KLUB SERVICE at 8.30am on this Sunday.

Now, a polite plea: Due to our ongoing commitment to those who are bereaved in our community and the frequency with which we hold funeral services in the church, we try our best to keep clear access to the church at all times. Occasionally a car parked on the High Street might be accidentally blocking the entrance to the church and, unfortunately, this can mean a hearse may be unable to gain access. We also have several disabled users who find it difficult to reach the church on foot and so a clear pathway through to the church is needed at all times. Please could you help us to ensure that we can carry on assisting those most in need in our community by parking considerately around the church entrance – many thanks.

Now, before I go how about this thought for the day - Atheism is a non-prophet organisation!!

‘Bye for now! C.M.E.

From St. Mary’s Registers - January 2017

Baptisms ’we welcome you’

29th James Harry Cann
29th Isabelle Olivia May Ford

Funerals ‘At rest and at peace’

10th Audrey Hamilton Canford
12th Terence Buston Canford
13th Mandy Chilcott St Mary's
17th Barrie Wheeler Canford
20th Linda Helson St Mary's
24th Bernard Waller St Mary's
31st David Hayball St Mary's

Shirehampton Evergreens - Table top Sale Shirehampton Public Hall

Saturday 29th April 10am – 2pm

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 reasonable price with plenty of bargains to be had.

In the evening there will be Prize Bingo.

Doors open at 6pm and eyes down at 7pm.

Please come along for a nice day out.

Shirehampton in Manchester

Many places in Britain have places in other parts of the world named after them – there are lots of Bristols and Cliftons. But Shirehampton in Manchester will be news to most people, especially when they find out that it's Manchester in Jamaica !!

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Google Earth ® takes you to a point in the mountains about 6 miles north-west of the town of Mandeville. The spot on the aerial photo marked by Google Earth's ® pin seems to be a patch of nothingness. Shirehampton has pretty well disappeared. That may be no bad thing. It was probably a coffee plantation since that's what Manchester parish was best known for. It was run by about 50 enslaved people between 1817-22 and by about 100 of them from 1823-33, the year slavery was abolished in Britain. They were owned by John Racker Webb, and, after his death in 1830, by his son-in-law George Bowley Medley. Medley was a London stockbroker, who was awarded £2,068 and six old pence by the government as compensation in 1833 for the freeing of his slaves. Later, as a Lloyds underwriter, he went bankrupt in 1854 - so much good the price of his personal human beings had done him ! The slave-free Shirehampton estate was a whopping 568 acres when owned by Daniel Shields in 1845, but the place itself seems to have shrunk away now, probably sold off bit by bit. It can't be more than a scattering of houses, and it rarely rates a mention in Jamaican planning documents and newspapers. However, a public rainwater tank there is mentioned in an official report of 1973 !

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The counsellor and author Dr Daphne Haynes and the beauty queen Setrena Clarke, both alive in 2015, say they were born there (and left). Any special connection with our Shire still escapes me, but there must be one. The old slave-owner Mr Webb lived at Keynsham – the one in Jamaica ! He also owned an Arno's Vale estate … If you know any more, please enlighten me.

Nature Notes…

These last few weeks have been full of exciting hints of Spring, despite the topsy turvy weather swinging constantly from one extreme to another!

Towards the very end of January,whilst walking with the dogs and friends along the river bank, I was brought to a halt by bird song I hadn't been lucky enough to hear for far too long. I hushed everyone, and after a scan of the trees, we spotted a glorious song thrush. We were able to stand there for quite a while before he flew off. He was there the next morning and I am sure he is still around, so fingers crossed a female may be safely on her way here to join him. Then the music will really rock!

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The herons made a brief appearance in the middle of January then seemed to think better of it! They came back after a couple of weeks, and there are several pairs now nest building in Ham Green woods. It's a great time to come and view them as they so busy getting everything ship shape for their chicks. (I apologise to my friends and family who have fish ponds!)

As I write, I am watching a group of long tailed tits feeding on the fat balls in the back garden. Surely a sign of a definite drop in temperatures today.

Another treat is the unmistakable hollow hammering of a woodpecker, again coming from Ham Green woods. This has happened regularly for the past week or two. Great stuff!

Next month is going to be busy I think, so I will close now and start making notes as I go instead of relying on my memory!

Happy nature watching! Bobbie Perkins.

Botany in the Shire

The Wild Plants of the Shirehampton area

In the old days, people who studied plants outside called themselves practical botanists and they looked down on closet botanists, who worked indoors. Right now, it is too cold to go out and field botanists like me seem almost to hibernate whilst waiting for Spring.

From my window I can see a Buddleia growing out of a garden wall. This attractive Butterfly-bush came from China and a century ago it was almost unknown in the wild. It turned up in the Avon Gorge in 1926, became plentiful on waste ground in the last War, and then spread along the railways. All around us, it helps to break up the concrete and brickwork in old industrial sites, and the purple flower-spikes create a beauty of their own as nature returns.

I've recently been delving into the archives of Bristol botany from the late 1960s to the early 2000s. One gem concerned a very rare orchid which turned up in Leigh Woods in 1990. Most commonly found in Kent, it had been grown some years earlier in the nearby Bristol University Botanic Gardens so botanists were suspicious. According to a letter dated 1999 someone was heard (or was it overheard?) saying it had arrived in Leigh Woods “in a pot”. It was last seen a few months later and perhaps it left the same way. I've seen it happen.

It was fascinating to read letters from people I knew when I was around in the late 1970s and 1980s. Miss Gravestock, long since departed, lived in Stoke Bishop and regularly recorded plants round here, for instance an unusual hedgerow hawthorn near Sylvan Way. I can see her now in her stout brown shoes. There was also a map of the fields in what is now the Avon Wildlife Trust reserve at Lawrence Weston, with lists of the plants and notes on the quality of the vegetation. Come Spring I must don my boots and see what has changed, for surely it has.

Clive Lovatt

Over half of South West residents are at risk from the silent killer

  • More than half of homes (54 percent) in South West England don't have a carbon monoxide alarm. Almost three in five people from the South West struggle to identify the tell-tale signs of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Protect yourself and your family by following the ABC guide – Do you have an Alarm fitted? Have you tested it and are the Batteries working? Have you had an up to date gas Check?

Research for the Carbon Monoxide Be Alarmed! campaign shows that 54 percent of people living in the region don't have a carbon monoxide alarm. As well as being reticent about having a carbon monoxide alarm, only two in five (42.9 percent) recognise headaches, nausea, dizziness and breathlessness as key symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Over 50 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning and another 4,000 are treated in hospital. Carbon monoxide poisoning can affect people before they are aware that there is a problem so a CO alarm can be life-saving.

Despite the low rate of take up of carbon monoxide alarms in the South West over 45 percent of residents said they would buy an alarm if they knew their health was in danger.

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Letters to the Editor

Thank you - Phil Arnell

Dear Editor,

Hello, my name is Philip Arnel, the former owner of Bobbetts greengrocer shop. I have spoken to a couple of people and wanted to express my thanks for my time there. Thank you for creating this great local paper!!

THANK YOU

I just wanted to express my gratitude to everyone who has been involved with my time as owner of Bobbetts over what was nearly six years. It has been a privilege to serve you.

My staff have been so good to me over the years, but none more so than the last 12 months which has been very tough for me.

To the fellow traders in the village who work tirelessly to bring the public what they want to keep the shoppers local, to all of my customers during my time here, and over the last 11 years I've been in business, it's you who make Shirehampton village a place to be proud of, and I'm very grateful to all of you.

I hope you all continue to support the new owners, Scott and Ross, as you did for me in what is a very demanding trade, but such a great shop to be in.

Thanks again, Phil Arnel

ATM Attacks in Shirehampton

Three members of an organised crime gang were jailed on February 2 for nearly 30 years for their roles in a series of ATM attacks.

Matthew Parsons, 27, Andrew Cox, 27 and John Clouter, 33 were sentenced for their involvement in four attacks in the Bristol area in March and April 2015. All three pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to steal and cause explosions. Parsons was jailed for 15 years, Cox for eight years and eight months and Clouter for six years.

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The gang plotted to use a highly explosive gas to blow up ATMs at Ikea in Eastgate, HSBC in Redcliffe, Halifax in Emersons Green and Lloyds Bank in Shirehampton. Damage was caused to all of the cashpoints during the incidents, with the most significant being to Lloyds Bank.

The explosion during the early hours of Good Friday destroyed the front of the Shirehampton branch, resulting in the bank being shut for several weeks. Just hours after the final attack, Matthew Parsons was tracked travelling to Buckinghamshire where he bought an Audi S3 using cash believed to be from the Lloyds Bank ATM.

Detective Chief Inspector Matt Iddon said:. “The extent of the damage caused by the explosion at Lloyds Bank in Shirehampton showed exactly how devastating this kind of criminal act can be and it is only by chance that someone wasn't seriously hurt. While the gang was lucky not to injury anyone in their final attack, their actions still had a significant impact on the community, with residents and business affected by the branch's enforced closure.

The sentences imposed today reflect how seriously the courts take this kind of violent offending and I'd like to pay tribute to the investigations team for their hard work and dedication in bringing this gang to justice. Since the start of last year, we in Avon and Somerset have been working closely with the ATM industry to make it harder for criminals to steal money from cashpoints.'

More ATMs across the force area have been fitted with equipment designed to stop these kinds of attacks from happening, including armoured plating, while many also now have forensic water dispersal units installed which spray offenders with an indelible liquid. These measures either make the cash cassettes harder to access or make it easier to identify those involved in such attacks and I think they have had a noticeable effect.”

One of the same men, Matthew Parsons, has also pleaded guilty to conspiring to cause an explosion likely to endanger life/injure property in connection with the Post Office attack. Mitchell Barnes,

Kyle Joyner and Wade Gwyther face the same charge, but have not yet entered a plea. The next hearing at the Crown Court is currently expected on 23 February.

Improvements to be planned for local Park

Officers from Bristol City Council, the Neighbourhood Partnership and Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF) have been collecting information from residents regarding potential improvements to St. Mary's Rec/Beechley Walk Open Space.

What do you want to experience in the play area?

Swing, Climbing,Slide, Jump, Roundabout, Football, Spin, Zipwire, Seating Bin/Seesaw, Sand, TTennis ?

Through the use of surveys, feedback and drop in sessions, a list of specific priorities have been identified for the open space.

Key areas identified for improvement are: the play area and the existing tarmac area, known as a multi -use games area (MUGA).

For full details on the findings from the consultation, please visit: https://www.bristol.gov.uk/people-communities/avonmouth-and-lawrence-weston-nighbourhood-partnership-sub-groups.

Officers will now develop plans and designs that will help utilise the existing funding so that these improvements can be achieved; they will be working closely with residents to share these designs and help inform the future of the park. Watch out for further information, soon.

Despicable Crime In Shirehampton

Two men have been jailed for a total of 12 years after snatching the bag of an elderly woman who was leaving a funeral reception.

Luke Bowden, 30, of no fixed address and Joseph Durban, also 30, from Lawrence Weston, were sentenced at Bristol Crown Court on February 9 to six years each in jail for robbery and theft.

The men targeted the vulnerable woman on August 25 last year as she was leaving a property at around 4pm in Penpole Lane, Shirehampton. The 78-year-old woman was returning to her car when the two men approached. One of the offenders pushed the victim's head against the dashboard of her car and then snatched her handbag from the front seat.

PC Rog Ibrahim, investigating officer, said: “This was a particularly nasty attack on an older and more vulnerable member of our community. It has had a lasting impact on the victim, who is now very wary about being out by herself and feels nervous about where she places her personal belongings.

We are pleased with the sentences handed to the offenders and hope this sends a message that this kind of despicable treatment of an elderly, vulnerable person will not be tolerated by us or the criminal justice system and you will not get away with it or be dealt with lightly. We would like to thank the public for their help with appeals for information during this investigation.

City and Port of Bristol Bowling Club

Sunday 29th January saw thirty one bowlers and family arrive at the Toorak Hotel in Torquay for the Annual Winter Bowling Break.

With two games each day from Monday until Thursday - some triples and some fours - there was no shortage of bowling to enjoy on the hotels four ring indoor bowling arena. All the games this year were against local opposition, although one club, Okehampton, travelled some distance to be there.

Results matter much less than the enjoyment...

Results matter much less than the enjoyment that bowlers take from playing the game but --- of the eight games played four were won and four lost. Some were very close ---- one going to the very last end to decide the result.

When not bowling, there was time to explore Torquay and the surrounding area or to enjoy the wide range of facilities provided by the hotel. Many frames of snooker, games of pool and an evening of ten pin bowling added further to an already very enjoyable week.

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Ten Pin Bowling has become very much a part of the week and there is a prize for the top scoring lady and the top scoring gentleman.

This year's winners were Dawn Evans and Brian Crawley.

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There were also prizes for top scoring bowlers and runners up in the fours and triples.

  • Men's Fours - Winner: Steve Reed. Runner –up Keith Swift.
  • Men's Triples – Winner: Bill Hatherall. Runner –up Mervyn White.
  • Ladies Fours – Winner: Yvonne Gross. Runner –up Janet Reed.
  • Ladies Triples – Winner: Margaret Price and Dawn Evans – Tied. Runners up: Jill Hinksman and Ray Cook - Tied.

The best winning fours rink was Yvonne Gross, Flo Grimes, Steve Reed and Dawn Evans.

The best Triples Rink was shared by

  • Dee Crawley, Laurence Evans and Shirley Logan;
  • Margaret Price, Jill Hinksman and Ray Cook;
  • Kevin Prescot, Mervyn White and Gordon Dimond.

All games played were mixed - Ladies and Gentlemen - with winners and runners up taken from the overall results.

Presentations were made by joint organisers Jill Hinksman and Dee Crawley at the traditional last evening ceremony.

Arriving home on Friday, City and Port were bowling again on Saturday February 4th in a five rink friendly game against Severnvale at the City and County Indoor Arena. The result was a win for City and Port by 60 shots to 48.

The final indoor game this winter will be on Saturday March 4th.

The Pre-Season Meeting will be on Thursday March 16th at 7.30 for 7.45. The season will commence at Wrington On Wednesday 12th April and continue with friendly games on most Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays until the end of September. There will also be Club League on Monday Evenings and Ladies Only games on some Thursdays. Both Ladies and Gentlemen will play Bristol and District League Bowls in their respective leagues and take part in county competitions.