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High Praise for Penhill Residential Home

Crime in Shire

City And Port of Bristol Bowling Club

Can You Help 191st Shirehampton Scout Group?

Avonmouth CE Primary World Book Day

Shirehampton Primary School's Fencing Club

St. Mary's News - April

From St. Mary’s Registers - February 2017

Nature Notes…

Botany in the Shire

Letters to the Editor

Get Published in the 'Shire'

Shirehampton Community Plan – March Update

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Open Day Success For The Public Hall

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On February 25th the Public Hall held it’s Open Day. This was the chance for members of the community to find out more about this fabulous venue, share their ideas and opinions to ensure that not only the Public Hall but also the local library, remain open and available to the people of Shirehampton and it’s users.

Trustees of the Hall were on hand to chat with local people along with many of the organisations who run activities and events at this historic venue. You could talk to representatives from the Twyford Art Club, Shire Stitchers, Model Railway Club, Sea Mills Art Club, Pillow Lace Club, Firebird Theatre, Shire Craft Exhibition, Shire Newspaper and SCAF. There was also an exhibit where you could have your say about the future of the Public Hall and Library. Activity taster sessions were held by Line Dance, Tai Chi and Movement For Wellbeing. The refreshments and cake corner were kept busy throughout the day with the number of visitors and the local councillors that came along to show their support.

…affordable and welcoming

Jane Sallis from Firebird Theatre explained how important the venue was to them. We had real trouble trying to find an alternative rehearsal/meeting space. It needed to be accessible for people with disabilities and easy to find. It also needed to be long term, affordable and welcoming. This is difficult for Bristol but the Public Hall covered all this and more and it now feels like home. It’s perfect for us.

…There is a lot of talent in Shirehampton

Attendees had plenty to say about the Open Day. It was good to find out what was happening and I liked seeing what goes on at the hall, but I do feel the different organisations need to work together better said Rob Angus, whilst Madeline Laidlaw confirmed It’s been a very good day with a lot going on. I was interested in the lace making. I was impressed with the art groups too. There is a lot of talent in Shirehampton.

After the event Gil Osman, Association Chairman said The Open Day was a great success and many thanks to all those involved. Most of all, credit must go to Janet Thomas, our Treasurer, who first proposed the idea and then spent a good deal of time and energy making it come to fruition, including all the organisation and preparation beforehand. A very big 'thank you' Janet. Janet’s efforts were supported by the other Trustees and members of the Hall, and also another big 'thank you' to Julian Mellor, author of the recent feasibility study at the Hall.

…proposals for the Public Hall and Library

Looking ahead there will be a Public Meeting/Consultation in the near future concerning proposals for the Public Hall and Library, so that the people of Shirehampton can discuss them further and have their say before the Trustees make their decisions.

You can have your say about the venue’s future by completing an online survey at www.surveymonkey.com/r/ShirePublicHall

War Time Memories in Shire

I was 10 years old when the first air raid warnings sounded and the bombs began to fall on Avonmouth. I was playing in the street as most of the kids my age did at that time. We heard the roar of aircraft and looked up to see the sky black with aircraft, the date was 25th of September and the planes were on their way to bomb Filton Aircraft Factory.

…this time we knew they were the enemy.

I also saw the German planes two days later moving in the same direction, this time we knew they were the enemy.

We watched as the RAF fighters engaged the bombers and fighter escorts, for a kid of 10 it was quite a sight. As the attack progressed we were ushered off the street by air raid wardens including a smack around the ears for not following their orders fast enough.

I remember well the cold nights we spent in the Anderson Shelter, double layering of clothes to keep warm, taping over the window panes to stop the glass from flying around in case of a bomb blast, covering the windows at night with a blanket to stop the light shining out or you would get a knock on your door from the warden. I remember the small stubby candles we would buy, they were called 8-hour candles and would last the night when you were huddled in the shelter. Then there were the Blackouts, no street lamps to guide us; they were out for the duration.

…at times it was the only good meal some of the kids got

Who could forget the fitting for your gas mask, I see the little kids now, crying because they were scared to death of the ugly masks, and it got worse when they tried to put them on. Then there was the school lunch programs, another government idea, not a bad one, for at times it was the only good meal some of the kids got in those times. One dessert they could of kept from me and that was the Semolina Pudding, I swear it was made out of sawdust and milk, you could stick wallpaper up with it.

I cannot forget the school nurse who would make her rounds with that darn Nit Comb looking for those little animals in your head, then she would spoon feed you a large dollop of Cod-liver oil and malt to make sure you were not suffering from malnutrition.

On 16 January 1941 my relatives lost their home in Avonmouth, they lived across the street from the park. They lost everything, but felt very lucky because two doors away people lost their lives.

…where once lived one of our playmates

A hundred yards away a large bomb reported to be a land mine had dropped by parachute behind the homes on Priory Rd. The explosion blew down 10 Row houses. The blast was so tremendous it blew a piano in one house clear across the street, through the front wall and landed in the back room of the house. Five people were killed in their homes, one of them a little boy I knew and played with on the street. For months afterwards we would play on the rubble where once lived one of our playmates. It was years later before they re-built the homes back to as they were originally.

I believe one day in the future they will find many more bombs still buried in the mud of the Avon River and in the fields around the smelting works, that land was once covered with water and it is very soft.

John Rogers.

High Praise for Penhill Residential Home

On the evening of Wednesday 22nd February, local Residential Home Penhill celebrated the news that website carehome.co.uk had listed them number one in Bristol, first in the South West and within the top four Homes in England.

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You hear so much bad news about Care Homes that we felt we should celebrate our achievement. This has come about by the fantastic reviews that we have received from families and residents on the website and the hard work and dedication of staff, both past and present to maintain the high standards that we are known for.

Residents, families and staff enjoyed an evening of food, drink and fun with entertainment provided by Steve of Memory Lane Productions.

Crime in Shire

Warning - Purse Snatch in the Village

A local resident had her purse snatched from her hand by a youth on a bicycle recently. She was obviously very distressed by this as there was no way she could catch up with or identify him with certainty, although she says he had a green bag over his shoulder. This serves as a timely warning, to women in particular carrying handbags or purses, to be extremely vigilant. A shoulder bag would be harder to grab and purses really need to be hidden from view.

Thefts from Sheds/Garages and Outbuildings

There has been an increase of 108% in this type of offence in the last 12 months. 48 offences, up from 23 the year before.

In Wellington Mews a bike was stolen from a rear garden between 1 March and 08:30 on 2 March. It was hidden from view and covered by a tarpaulin. It is probable that they had been in the garden before as a tub of herbs had been knocked over, and it was thought it had been caused by an animal or a gust of wind. The thief came back a few days later and took the tarpaulin off the bike and released it from a turbo trainer. The bike is unusual as it is a 1984 Parker Thompson and was filmed by Nice Biscuits being used on the turbo trainer in December. It was only being used on the turbo trainer since a stroke left the owner blind in one eye and without a driving licence as it is now considered too dangerous for him to be on the road.

Two More Guilty Pleas for Post Office Explosion

On 23 February Mitchell Barnes and Kyle Joyner pleaded guilty to conspiring to cause an explosion likely to endanger life/injure property, at Bristol Crown Court. Wade Gwyther pleaded not guilty. His trial has been arranged to take place at the Crown Court on 7 August, and is expected to last four days. His co-defendants will be sentenced when the case against Gwyther has been concluded.

As reported previously in 'Shire', Matthew Parsons has also pleaded guilty to these charges, and to others including the 2015 explosion at Lloyds Bank in Shirehampton. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

178th Brownies visit PGL

From Friday 27th January to Sunday 29th January 20 of the 178th Brownies had their first Brownie weekend away at PGL Liddington in Swindon.

The girls arrived on Friday late afternoon and after a delicious supper the fun and games commenced with an evening’s entertainment of “Splash”. The girls had to work in teams to earn points. The points gave them supplies to build a shelter that had to protect a water balloon when it was dropped down two flights of stairs. I am pleased to report that ALL of the water balloons survived so the girls then had to look after them all weekend. Unfortunately a few popped along the way and only one survived!

Saturday morning the girls faced a Zip Wire and Challenge Course with the girls and leaders joining in and all having a good time. After a lovely lunch we then moved onto Aeroball and Vertical Challenge, with Macy being the only Brownie getting to the very top! The girls did really well though and a fair few got to the first level.

Saturday evening was a combination of a Disco and Wacky Races, of course with leader participation! Who knew how hard it would be to gargle a song for everyone to guess?

Our Sunday morning activities were Giant Swing and Fencing, both new to most of the girls, but Giant Swing seemed to be the favourite activity of the weekend! Afternoon on Sunday we did Quad Biking and Survivor. In Survivor the girls had to build a shelter using a piece of tarpaulin and trees/sticks from the woods. They also got to try and light a piece of cotton wool, with many succeeding!

It was an amazing weekend and fun was had by everyone who attended. A big thank you to Robin, Beech, Tawny Owl, Kestrel and Dragonfly for your help, couldn’t have done it without you!

Hope R, aged 9 said:PGL was the best fun I've had in AGES! So many adventurous and amazing things to do there! It was the best place ever!

Avonmouth Bowling Club

Once again we are nearing the start of the season’s bowling. Our coffee mornings finished on Thursday 23rd March and now we need to get prepared inside and out for what is a very busy time. Saturday 1st April, we have set aside to give the garden a makeover and get the club house and equipment ready for our first match. All hands to the pump that day, well rewarded with breakfast and coffee.

This year we welcome a new member and the return of a previous one. Mary Wallace and Tim Heath will be joining us. Both have bowled before. Anyone else wishing “to have a go” as Wilfred Pickles used to say (that shows my age…) please come along and introduce yourself! We have three excellent coaches who will give instruction and guidance, as well as some older experienced members.

The image of the bowls being an old man’s game is clearly not true, when we see young men on our green from opposing teams and on the television. They enjoy the skill and competitive side of the game. Some of the clothing and footwear is now a bit more up to date, gone are the collars and ties, most wear a polo shirt presenting the club colours.

Those never having played before get a large reduction to the first year and for over 65s it is cheaper as well. We have quite a few ladies who play their own game on a Thursday afternoon and a men’s only league team Thursday evenings. Our mixed games are played Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Sometimes games are played at home and others are played away. Equipment can be bought very reasonably on eBay and some clubs have items for sale as well.

So why not give it a try! We are ‘mostly’ friendly, we have a well-stocked bar which is open each time there is a game and refreshments are always available afterwards. Friday night is club night all year round, time to chat, have a bevvy, maybe a board game, a game of cards or our new indoor curling.

We look forward to facing our opponents once again, 6 months of tears, tantrums and of course laughter!

See you soon - Edna

City And Port of Bristol Bowling Club

Time is fast approaching for woods to be polished, shoes cleaned and to don the club shirt again ----- the long awaited new bowling season starts at Wrington on Wednesday 12th April.

If you have not tried bowling before but would like to, then Tuesday evenings at the green throughout the season are just made for you. They are completely free of charge, all equipment is supplied and there are experienced bowlers on hand to give you help and advice. You can have up to three sessions without commitment, to see if bowling on a green is your game. It is a healthy outdoor activity, providing exercise, a worthwhile interest, the chance to meet people and make new friends. For further information please call David Hinksman on 0117 9082713.

The club has remained active during the close season, with a monthly Sunday social event, indoor bowls matches against local clubs and a Winter Bowling Break in Torquay at the end of January.

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There was an excellent general knowledge quiz, devised and presented by Gordon Dimond on Sunday 12th February. A very wide range of questions were asked to test the twenty or so bowlers, family and friends who formed teams of four to compete for top spot. At the end of what was a very enjoyable evening the aptly named ‘A Team’ comprising Trevor Scanlon, Brian Crawley, Dee Crawley and David Hinksman were declared the winners.

The final indoor bowls match of the winter series was played on Saturday March 4th against Severnvale at the City and County Arena. A very enjoyable afternoons bowling ended with City and Port in front by 52 shots to 36.

Roy Whitfield, a bowler since 1982 and Club President from 2010 until 2012 passed away toward the end of February. Roy was a prominent member of the club, bowling numerous friendly and competitive games over many years. He bowled initially for Graded Grains and then for The Lads for fourteen years in the club league. As well as bowling, Roy took pride in the flowers and plants around the green. He enjoyed bowling indoors as well as on the green but retired completely from bowling three years ago. Roy’s wife Irene was also a keen and well known member of the club for many years and she has continued to bowl indoors since retiring from the green.

There is much to look forward to in the coming season including the Summer Tour, this year based at Bournemouth in July. Mixed friendly games will be enjoyed most Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays with Monday evenings dedicated to the Club League and Club Cup. The Ladies League Team will be looking forward to another successful season whilst the men will be looking for promotion to Division Three. There will be ladies only friendly games once again on some Thursdays. In addition, the club competitions will begin in May and end with finals days in September.

Can You Help 191st Shirehampton Scout Group?

Our Beaver Leader Christine Calhoun is retiring in the summer after many years of loyal service, and now the group is urgently seeking a replacement. The Beavers meet on a Tuesday starting at 5pm and ending at 6.30pm.

Shire Model Railway Club Open Day

Date: Saturday 8th April 2017 Time: 1000 – 1630

Venue: The Public Hall, Station Road, Shirehampton, Bristol, BS11 9TX

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Club and members layouts will be on show. Trade stands, including second-hand books, and there will be refreshments including fresh homemade cakes.

Please do come along and see what we get up to as a club. It does not matter what scale you use, if you are just getting started or just like model trains, come along and have your questions answered, if we can!

Prices: Adults ?2.00 Children under 12 are free with paying adult (max 4 children, any additional child & children over 12 ?1.50p). Access for disabled visitors and free on-street parking.

Update from A Forgotten Landscape

We have some great new volunteer opportunities coming up.

All come with FREE training! Read on for some basic information but for more information, please go to our website www.aforgottenlandscape.org.uk/get-involved.

Volunteer Water Vole Monitors - Water vole numbers have plummeted nationally by a shocking 95% since the 1980s. However, one of the most significant populations of water voles in the south west of England makes its home in our project area around Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston. We are looking for volunteers to help monitor these fascinating elusive animals. Your work will support efforts to restore habitat and improve connectivity of the rhine system. Phil Quinn, ecologist, will lead a day of training on Saturday 8 April.

Volunteer Pond Surveyors - Like newts? We need volunteers interested in inspecting ponds to assess if they might be potential great crested newt habitat. We’ll show you how to conduct pond habitat suitability index (HSI) surveys. By doing this work, you’ll help to increase the knowledge of where these protected animals exist in our project area, knowledge that’s needed to help conserve and safeguard our local colonies. Phil Quinn, ecologist, will lead a day’s training on Saturday 22 April.

Volunteer Orchard Surveyors for Saturday 20 May - Interested in orchards and wildlife? Like being outdoors? Orchards, once a common sight in our area, and a haven for wildlife, have disappeared alarmingly since the 1950s – we’ve lost about 90%! Contribute to the People's Trust for Endangered Species' nationwide orchard surveying project and help save traditional orchards and the thousands of animals they support. Jerry Dicker, aboriculturist and woodland management expert, will show you all you need to know to conduct our orchard survey .

Come join our friendly team of volunteer surveyors! Learn more about these amazing habitats and help us conserve them where we can.

Free events!

  • Tuesday Talks – A Dose of Nature, 4 April 2017, 7:30pm Tockington Methodist Church, Lower Tockington Road, Tockington BS32 4LG.

    Can nature improve your health? Dr Dan Bloomfield of the University of Exeter, being an ecologist, psychotherapist and linguist, has been studying this question. 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.

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  • Journey through the Past – a walk with Rose Hewlett Sunday 23 April 10:30 – 12:30, Redwick, Bristol

    Following on from her popular Tuesday talk on the Great Flood of 1607, Rose Hewlett will be leading a guided walk around New Passage and Northwick Warth. The area has a long and varied history!

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Avonmouth CE Primary World Book Day

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We had an amazing day celebrating World Book Day! There was a fantastic response from the children and parents with children coming to school dressed as their favourite book characters. What a buzz there was on the playground as the children arrived in the morning and shared what characters they had chosen to dress up as. The staff were also dressed up for the day in an array of characters from children’s books.

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At Avonmouth CE Primary, we put great value on the importance of Reading and are keen to celebrate events such as World Book Day as they help to raise the profile of Reading and also provide lots of fun!

Further photos of the day will be available on the School website.

Shirehampton Primary School's Fencing Club

On Saturday 4th February, a team of fencers from Shirehampton Primary School's fencing club took part in the Trevor Johnson Plate competition. This award has been running for several years to commemorate Dr Trevor Johnson, fencer and university lecturer at UWE.

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Shirehampton Primary School's Fencing Club. Look at all those smiling faces…

This year the first prize was won by the Shirehampton Primary School team formed by Matthew Price (who won gold in the Year 4 category), Morgan Blandford (bronze for the Year 5 category), Dawid Wos, Kristian Kargol (bronze and silver respectively in the Year 3 category) and Seth Morris who just finished outside the medals. Our little knights fought with courage against experienced fencers to conquer the plate for 2016-17, a result that shows just how much can be achieved by sheer confidence and determination. John Rohde, their coach and a born-and-bred Shirehampton man himself, could not have been more delighted. Well done!

Year 3 Shirehampton Primary School

Year 3 is having a fantastic year. Amongst the many great things that we have done this year, our trips to the University of West England have been really enjoyable. We have had a focus on learning Science this year and the University have organised some great challenges for us.

On 1st March we went along for a challenge involving dry spaghetti and marshmallows! The children were given the objective of building the biggest structure possible and their structure had to support an egg for at least 10 seconds.

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We had great fun, and sticky fingers, trying to complete our challenge. The children really enjoyed working in groups to share and discuss their ideas. Several of the structures were tall and more than a little wobbly, others were short and sturdy. One group managed to make their structure mostly out of marshmallow, which was technically against the rules of the challenge, but it did hold an egg for 10 seconds – outside of the box thinking.

Some structures were a success, some not quite such a success, however, at the end of our session all of the children had great ideas on how to improve their structures for next time.

Shire Girl Sets Her Sights On Oxford Six Years After Starting English Lessons

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Francesca James (Left) and Weronika Razmus

Bristol teenager Weronika Razmus has been offered a place at Oxford University – only six years after moving to the UK without the ability to speak or write any English. Weronika, aged 18, moved with her family from Poland to Shirehampton in 2011 and attended Oasis Academy Brightstowe until the summer of 2015. She then won a scholarship to Colston’s School to study for her A Levels and has now been offered a place to read chemistry at St. Hilda’s College, Oxford, in the autumn.

Weronika won a Tolman Scholarship, which are provided by Old Colstonians in memory of Jim Tolman, who attended Colston’s and went on to become a hugely popular PE teacher at Oasis Academy Brightstowe for many years. Every year two Brightstowe students are selected for one of the two sixth form Tolman Scholarships at Colston’s.

Weronika is one of two Colston’s sixth formers to win an Oxbridge place this year. Head girl Francesca James, also 18, from Westbury-on-Trym, has been offered a place at Gonville and Caius, Cambridge, where she will study chemical engineering through natural sciences.

This is an amazing opportunity as none of my family have been to university,” says Weronika. “When I moved to the UK in 2011 I didn’t speak any English, German was my second language. I was determined to pick it up and all the staff at Brightstowe were great in helping me to become fluent. Both my parents work in construction but I would like to stay working in something chemistry-related when I finish my four-year degree.

Francesca said: Like Weronika I’d like to stay in my chosen field when I finish my degree, working in power plants for example. I’m studying double maths, physics and chemistry and I’ve always enjoyed these subjects.

Joe Docherty, Principal at Oasis Academy Brightstowe, said: From the moment she arrived at the academy, Weronika displayed a passion for learning and an outstanding work ethic. It is testament to the success of our link with Colston’s through the Tolman Scholarship that she has been offered a place at Oxford and we continue to wish her every success for the future.

Easter Services for St Bernard's, Shirehampton and Our Lady of the Rosary, Lawrence Weston.

Holy Thursday Mass 8pm at Our Lady of the Rosary

Good Friday 3pm at St Bernard's

Saturday Easter Vigil 8pm at Our Lady of the Rosary

Easter Sunday Mass 9am at St Bernard's and 11am at Our Lady of the Rosary

Any queries please call Mary Hayball on 9829419

Shirehampton Baptist Church Easter Events

Maundy Thursday13/4/17a reflection of the last supper - 19:30
Good Friday14/4/17Walk of witness - remembering the Good Friday story walking around the village - 10:30
Easter Sunday16/4/17Family celebration of the resurrection – 10:30

It would be lovely to see you at one of these services held at Shirehampton Baptist Church, 17 Station Road, BS11 9TU

St. Mary's News - April

Hi Folks!

Easter will be here when we reach the middle of the month. Easter Eggs will be consumed in abundance putting the inches back on our waistlines which we fought so hard to lose during the period of Lent!!

  • Saturday 8th April is the day of our Spring Fayre

    Saturday 8th April is the day of our Spring Fayre, which will be held in church from 10.00 am until 12.00 noon. Amongst the things for sale you will find crafts, gifts, preserves and games - something suitable for all of the family. There will also be cakes for sale with your morning cup of tea or coffee.

  • The next day is Palm Sunday (9th April) when at our 10.00 am Holy Communion Service

    The next day is Palm Sunday (9th April) when at our 10.00 am Holy Communion Service we shall recall Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey when the crowds spread palm leaves on the road before him. As is our usual custom, Palm Crosses will be distributed to everyone. Later on that evening at 8.00 pm we shall hold a service of Compline which is a quiet reflective service. We shall also be holding a Compline Service at 8.00 pm on Monday 10th which is the first day of Holy Week. On Tuesday 11th Compline will be slightly later at 8.30 pm.

  • On Wednesday 12th at 8.00 pm we shall be holding a Tenebrae Service

    On Wednesday 12th at 8.00 pm we shall be holding a Tenebrae Service, which is a quiet reflective service of light into darkness when our thoughts are directed towards the forthcoming events of Good Friday.

  • The next day is Maundy Thursday and there will be NO HOLY COMMUNION SERVICE AT 11.00am

    The next day is Maundy Thursday and there will be NO HOLY COMMUNION SERVICE AT 11.00am as we shall be at Bristol Cathedral for a service which includes the blessing of the oils - i.e. the Oil of Baptism, the Oil for the Sick and the Oil of Chrism. However, at 6.30 pm, in St Mary's, there will be a service of Holy Communion which will include the symbolic washing of feet - which is purely voluntary.

  • Good Friday is on the 14th and there will be a Family Service at 10am

    Good Friday is on the 14th and there will be a Family Service at 10am which will be led by the children from our ‘Kids Klub’, after which we are invited to enjoy hot cross buns. At 1.00pm there will be a service of meditation and prayer and at 2.00pm the Shirehampton Area Choir will present a service of readings, hymns and anthems and the Cantata - Pardon Penitence and Peace by Maunder.

  • Sunday, 16th is Easter Day

    Sunday, 16th is Easter Day, and we shall be holding our usual Sunrise Service at Shirehampton Park, which lasts about 25 minutes and is followed by a full English breakfast, for those who put their names down, in the Tithe Barn. The Kids Klub Service is then held at 8.30 am in church as usual followed by our Easter Holy Communion service at 10am after which the children are encouraged to look for an Easter Surprise hidden in the churchyard.

  • The following Thursday, the 20th April, at 3.30 pm

    The following Thursday, the 20th April, at 3.30 pm there will be a special Messy Church for Easter - make sure you don't miss it!

Well, that is all for this month, but did you know that Noah had to discipline the chickens in the ark for using "fowl" language!!

'Bye for now! C.M.E.

From St. Mary’s Registers - February 2017

Baptisms ’we welcome you’

26th Amelia Kathleen Carroll
26th Hannah Rose Hemmings
26th Kye Hemmings

Funerals ‘At rest and at peace’

3rd Gladys Rogers Canford
8th Lilian Hook St Mary's
17th Annie Quirk St Mary's
22nd Jackie Husher-Burnell St Mary's
22nd John Davidson Canford
27th Olive Bees St Mary's
14th Bronwynne De Lazzari St Mary's

Bloodhound - Latest Car News

It has been really busy at the Bloodhound Technical Centre this month, with visitors joining us for Rocket Car Experience days and plenty of engineering developments:

  • The team has been ‘Alochroming’ parts for the HTP tank – Alochrome is applied to aluminium to help prevent corrosion.
  • Work has continued on the monocoque sills, skins and the titanium floor.
  • The systems engineers have completed the jet start procedure and tested the AMAD gearbox, which produces the AC and DC onboard power.
  • Technicians have trial fitted the rockers and pull rods to the front suspension sub-assembly and components for the steering mechanism.
  • The rocket’s oxidiser tank has been fitted into the monocoque in preparation for building a runway spec car.

Check out our website at www.bloodhoundssc.com for more information, videos and images & details of how you can hold your own event at the Bloodhound Technical Centre.

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Litter Pick - Great British Spring Clean 2017

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The local event was organised for Saturday 4th March, as part of the Great British Spring Clean 2017. It was promoted through the Great Bristol Spring Clean website, Facebook, Twitter, and the SCAF network.

We had a decent turn out, about 12 of us, young and older and we met outside the Shire Health Centre. Luckily we had a dry day, although windy, and we split into groups to address various areas we knew needed a litter pick - namely, the High Street, the lane between Pembroke Road, Church Leaze and some other streets around the High Street.

The attached picture shows the amount of litter we picked up. Bristol Waste provided bin bags including recycling bags for us to try and separate out plastic and glass. Bristol Waste came and collected the litter, albeit on the Monday rather than the Saturday, as originally agreed, as they were very busy all around the city!

A successful initiative BUT obviously we'd rather not have to do this, so this is a plea to the community to be more responsible and not drop litter. One of the main things we found was that things do blow out of residents recycling boxes despite the nets that Bristol Waste have provided. The streets do tend to look messier around bin day, especially when it's windy! Try and pack the recycling down and take responsibility for your stretch of pavement and pick up anything that's blown out of your bins.

We are likely to organise more litter picks in the future - we will try and publicise in this paper as well as through social media so have a look out and please join in to make Shirehampton look tidier.

Nature Notes…

Oh my! How the promise of Spring is everywhere you look! In the last few days I have watched a female house sparrow and one of a pair of jackdaws collecting nesting material!

Every morning for the last couple of weeks, I have passed beneath the same tree to listen to a beautiful blackbird claiming it as his own. Sadly, the thrush I reported on last month seems to have moved on, as I have listened out for him without success.

The herons are well installed now, and it's a good time to observe them as they prepare their nests, and go through their rituals of reunion every time one of them returns from a foraging or feeding trip!

Two days ago I watched a pair of Canada Geese fly along the river, their distinctive honking filling the air.

The sparrows in my garden are dividing their time between feeding and squabbling for mates, creating quite a racket at times!

I spoke to a friend just yesterday who informed me that her local hedgehogs had recently reappeared from hibernation, so it's time for me to stock up and be ready with fingers crossed that our rescued one from a few months ago will return to our garden.

Let us hope for a successful season for our visitors, and a chance for us to observe and enjoy what they all have to offer. Happy nature watching, Bobbie Perkins

Botany in the Shire

The Wild Plants of the Shirehampton area.   Wild - they wuz livid!

How nice to see an excellent photo of the River Avon at Horseshoe Bend on the front page of the Shire, and to see a list of the rare plants at this Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). I have written about many of the plants mentioned there in my column from time to time but it gives me the opportunity to relate the story of how the rarest amongst them, the True Service-tree Sorbus domestica was found there in 1996. To most of us, leaves of this rare tree look like a Rowan, otherwise known as Mountain Ash because the leaves are divided into leaflets as in Ash, and it often grows on heathery mountain slopes. For many years its place in the British flora was due to a single tree in a wood in Worcestershire, which was burnt down out of spite for the local squire in 1862. By 1996 though, it had been found in a few places very much at home as a scrambling shrub on crumbling estuarine cliffs.

On 8 August 1996, whilst I was working in Malawi, a party of local botanists visited the grave of the author of the Flora of Bristol, J W White at Canford Cemetery on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of his birth. One of the party asked if the cliffs at Horseshoe Bend were suitable for it, as another member of the party had recently found it on the Welsh side of the Severn Estuary. Whilst the two of them were scrambling on the [dangerous] cliffs, Mark Kitchen suddenly spotted it over Libby Houston’s shoulder. “It had been a perfect day" Mark later wrote. “Did White direct us on our day’s botanising?”

In 2011 I was shown the place by three of the original party and Libby took a photograph of me there. We think there are several trees but it is difficult to tell because of the unusual creeping form and suckering. It looks as though it has been there for a very long time.

Shire Church a long time ago

Everybody knows St Mary’s, but how long has Shirehampton had a church? Shire used to be part of Westbury, and what is now Holy Trinity in Westbury was Shire’s parish church. That’s why you’ll find some old memorials at Westbury which mention Shire residents. At some unknown time, it was decided that this arrangement didn’t serve the people of Shire properly, and that they, and sailors waiting for the tide in the river, needed a more convenient place of worship. So a chapel was built, with whose money we don’t know, and served by priests paid for by local people. This lasted until 1727 when a new chapel was built, largely rebuilt in 1827. No images seem to exist of the older buildings, but we know what the building of 1827 looked like because it lasted well into the age of photography.

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St Mary's 1827

The new building became a parish church in its own right in 1844, but it burnt down in 1928 and was replaced by the present church. How far can we push its history in the other direction?

In Westbury parish registers we can read that there were baptisms at Shire in 1579, and for many years this has been the earliest definite evidence for a place of worship. That was the best we could do till recently, when an earlier reference was found in a document in The National Archives. The will of John Tillyng of Westbury, made in 1510, leaves the income from some lands leased from the bishop of Worcester to “the Chapell of Sherehampton”, in return for which the parish clergy of Westbury would say a mass for his soul every year. So the chapel existed before the Reformation, which means that the first place of worship in Shire was a traditional Catholic one. We don’t know where it was, but most likely it was on the same plot as the present church. We don’t know its dedication, but we do know that one of the later buildings was dedicated to St Michael. When it became St Mary’s we also don’t know. Much still to find out, then, but we do know that Christians have had a place of worship in Shire for longer than we used to think.

The key players in the decision to build a new chapel would have been the bishop of Worcester and the dean of Westbury College, who was responsible for church affairs in Westbury parish. So the most likely time for the new chapel was when the interests of two influential men coincided: when the bishop was John Carpenter and the dean was William Canynges. Carpenter was a Westbury man who seems to have thought of Westbury almost as an alternative cathedral, and he is buried there. Canynges was a rich ex-merchant involved in the overseas cloth trade. He must have had an interest in the well-being of sailors since he employed 800 of them at the peak of his career. Both founded other chapels, both had an interest in glorifying Westbury, and Shire was part of Westbury. Canynges was dean of Westbury from 1469-74, during Carpenter’s term of office as bishop. That looks the most likely time for the founding of Shire’s first chapel – and perhaps the Tithe Barn ? about 40 years before John Tillyng wrote his will.

Anyone afraid of dogs - get free help

Many of us either own a dog or will meet one when out and about, but your readers might be surprised to know that research from Dogs Trust has shown that one in three children is afraid of dogs.

We are offering free advice to help families, and anyone who regularly comes into contact with dogs, improve their understanding of man’s best friend. This includes tips on how to approach a dog safely and how to respond when a dog approaches you, to pointers for parents who have a child who is scared of dogs.

Thanks to funds from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, Dogs Trust is also running free workshops in schools to help children to feel more confident around dogs.

Tynings Field

Do you want to grow your own veg? Look after chickens? Eat well and stay healthy?

Well here's your chance. Tynings Field are an established community agricultural project in a quiet area of Shirehampton and can provide you with a well worked vegetable plot for membership starting at ?10 a year. All you need to do is turn up regularly and keep the plot tidy. We also need people for an hour a week to assist with chicken care in return for free eggs. Please contact Tynings field on 01179090440 for more details.

Local honey is for sale

It's the taste of the Horseshoe Bend in Summer, a blend of Avon Gorge and Tynings field plus the flowers of your garden. Some of the rarest pollen from protected flowers, Lime trees and others, has gone into the taste of this local honey. The taste of the Balloon fiesta, the Regatta, a Bristol summer meadow in bloom. This honey is high in nectar and Royal jelly, this is quality Shirehampton honey, use it sparingly it is golden perfection.

Letters to the Editor

Public Hall Open Day

Dear Editor,

On behalf of the Craft Exhibition can I extend our thanks to the Shire Hall Committee for the work they put in organising the open day at the Public Hall on Saturday 25th February.

The day was a tremendous success in the numbers and diversity that attended, from young families with children to older members of the community, all showing an interest in what was happening in their local community and showing their concern for the future of the Public Hall.

There was a buzz in the Hall all day long and it was great to be able to talk to so many people about what we offer and the other groups around the Hall as well. It did show what a vibrant place the Hall can be and what an interested community we have.

I hope the Hall Committee achieved the outcomes they wanted and have some great ideas for making the Hall a success. We look forward to seeing the results.

Thanks from the Craft Exhibition-Ed Amphlett ( Committee member)

PS.- Any chance of making this an annual event?

Pollution in the Shirehampton area - C White, Shirehampton.

Dear Editor,

I would like to comment on the levels of pollution in the Shirehampton, Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston area's. Air pollution is of particular concern when you find yourself having to dust every day. The levels of particulate matter in our air is unacceptable yet the silence coming from our local and national politicians is deafening. This is a very local issue as other parts of the constituency are unaffected yet the constituency M.P seems to be more interested in her fund-raising antics for Tory central office than holding the polluters to account, likewise the two councillors, both Tory by coincidence, who are supposed to represent our interests. Goodness knows exactly what we, in this area, are breathing in yet the 'powers that be' have shown little interest in tackling the problem.

Water pollution, in the form of excessive amounts of lime, is also a concern. I fail to see why the water companies cannot leech more out of our water before pumping it into our homes, thus taking away the need to fight lime scale in our kettles and toilets.

C White, Shirehampton.

Ken Sharp PBA 1960-64 - Ken Sharp

Dear Editor,

I worked for the PBA 1960-64 as messenger/ junior clerk in cold store/section A.

I want to make contact with Roger Mooney, Ron Hodges, Tony Schaefer, Fred Combes, or Des Villis.

If they, or anyone that knows of them, read this please contact me on kensharp96@gmail.com.

Ken Sharp

Vandalism on the Cotswold - Mrs. Perkins

Dear Editor,

It saddens me a great deal to have to write about a rather unpleasant incident that occurred just a few days ago. I consider myself very lucky to live on the Cotswold estate, and like my friends and neighbour's here, enjoy the feeling of community in all its guises. One of these displays of good neighbourliness is the abundance of spring bulbs provided for the appreciation of everyone living here, and those who visit too.

This simple but valuable aspect of the estate was thoroughly ruined when a couple of young local girls thought it was all right to help themselves to as many of the glorious daffodils as they could cram into a box in order to go door to door trying to sell them!

Totally unacceptable girls! You managed to upset a lot of people that day, and the result? Lovely displays destroyed, and the flowers strewn across the estate after your 'efforts' to raise cash for yourselves fell on stony ground! Shame on you. I hope you just might see this letter and think again before spoiling what is, in fact, YOUR community too!

Mrs. Perkins.

The Kindness Of Strangers - Mary Hayball

Dear Editor,

I would like to thank the ladies who were so kind when my husband David Hayball collapsed in the High Street the week before Christmas. They phoned for the ambulance and stayed with us until it arrived. Sadly David died on 6th January at Southmead Hospital, having received the most wonderful nursing care from the nurses and doctors. Mary Hayball

Dr Desmond Leslie Archer always known as Peter

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Dr Desmond Leslie Archer was born in Bristol, went to Fairfield Grammar School, as did Cary Grant. He joined the RAF during World War 2 as a medical orderly, a Corporal, and would attend aircraft crew of crashed planes such as Lancasters, Halifaxes and Sterlings.

He was also a goalkeeper and said they easily won a game in Belgium as his team knew where the V1 s would land and score as the other team fled the pitch! Another time his team lost famously 32-0 but he was still the best goalkeeper as he had let less than half the goals in!

He married Jean in September 1953 and told her if she was late, as she was late for everything, he wouldn't wait – so the story goes ... she was late and his best man had to retrieve him from going through the vestry window!

He started as a GP the day after passing his driving test in 1955 with Dr Tom Ellis in Tregenna House and lived at the branch surgery address at Capel Road, Lawrence Weston and there his first 2 sons Simon and Paul arrived.

The practice changed over the years with the addition of Drs Bush, Andrews and Everton and later Dr Taylor and moved into the newly built Surgery at Pembroke Road, Shirehampton .

After 32 years he retired at the age of 63 in 1985 as his son Paul Archer became qualified to join the practice. He had lots of talents to keep him busy - an accomplished pianist and his youngest son, Mark the musician, inherited his love of music . He was a great carpenter and created objects such as Harpsichords, Spinets and Clavichords. He built a number of sailing boats, a trailer tent for a folding caravan and even a made to measure sculptured toilet seat!

He was a fantastic father, always calm and fair with a dry sense of humour underlying a sense of mischief. His favourite comedians were Spike Milligan and Eric Sykes. He loved France especially their wine, food, sun and learned to speak French well. He was a kind and loving grandfather to his son’s children.

His health faltered approximately 5 years ago and both he and his wife Jean found it increasingly difficult to cope. They have both been looked after impeccably at a residential home in Clevedon and he slipped away peacefully on 7/1/17 aged 94 yrs old.

On Saturday 27th of May from 1 to 4pm 2017 The Archer sons would like to invite anyone who knew Dr Peter Archer for a cup of tea and doughnut at Shirehampton Public Hall, 32 Station Rd, Shirehampton BS11 9TX

Ken Perks

I would like to thank the Shire people that came to my late fathers, Ken Perks, Funeral on 8th March at St Mary's Church. The people that came kindly donated in total £401.52 for the PSP Association which was close to our hearts as this was the illness my Dad had and died from. PSP stands for Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.

My Dad was 81 years of age and had lived in Shirehampton all of his life and worked at the Smelting Works. He was married for 55 years and had two children Donna and Steve and two Grand Daughters Laura and Molly. He was a family man and enjoyed nothing better than socialising with Family and friends until he became poorly .

Donna

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Pauline Taylor (nee Mildon)

It is with great sadness that the family of Pauline Taylor (nee Mildon) advise us that she died on Saturday 4th February 2017. Pauline grew up in Shirehampton and attended Shirehampton Primary School followed by Portway Girls School. On leaving school she worked as a dental nurse.

She met her future husband David Taylor at Groveleaze Youth Club. David lived locally on Avonmouth Road. They were married at St Mary's Church, Shirehampton in 1961. In 1964 David and Pauline and their two children, Bradley and Joanne, emigrated to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Later their third child, Wesley was born.

Over the years Pauline and David have returned several times to visit family. During their last visit they renewed their marriage vows at St. Mary's Church. Pauline had been ill for many years and died peacefully with David and her family beside her.

Lyndon Lloyd (ex Avonmouth & Shirehampton)

Get Published in the 'Shire'

Everyone is welcome to submit an article to the 'Shire' especially when there is a connection to Shirehampton.

We like to help any charitable events taking place within the Bristol area when there is some connection to Shirehampton. This will often be when a local resident is taking part in the event or helping to organise it.

We concentrate on events and articles about the Shirehampton area, in less than 500 words please, and are pleased to receive appropriate photographs. We do encourage Letters to the Editor where our readers can express opinions, raise awareness of local issues, give details of family events, or get in touch with long-lost friends or neighbours.

We are non-denominational, welcoming material from all faith groups. While we will report on political issues relevant to Shirehampton, we are non-party political and will not publish party-political propaganda or campaigning.

We are also interested in reports of events, ideally with photos, again especially when there is a local Shirehampton connection but please keep it to less than 500 words.

If you think the information will be of interest to Shirehampton residents send it in to editor@shire.org.uk.

We have recently introduced a For Sale section which is chargeable, contact - adverts@shire.org.uk

Deadline for submitting articles - Recently we have received a number of articles for events taking place in the month that has already been published and distributed. By the time you read this edition the next edition (May) will already be in preparation. The deadline for any article is the 10th of the month BEFORE the month of the event. So if you want an article or letter published in the May edition you need to get it to editor@shire.org.uk or into the library no later than 10th April.

'Shire' Community Newspaper has been published for the last 45 years by a small group of dedicated volunteers who edit, produce and distribute the paper to over 5,000 households in Shirehampton every month, free of charge, as well as libraries in surrounding districts covering Lawrence Weston, Avonmouth and Sea Mills. There are several editors who produce 2 editions each per year. The paper is entirely self-financing, relying on its advertising revenues to meet all its costs. The editorial committee and the distributors receive no payment for their work.

Shirehampton Community Plan – March Update

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Late last Autumn I wrote a brief overview about the Shire Community Plan - please see below a reminder!

Since then we have been progressing the project and are now at the final stages of agreeing the survey questionnaire that will be hand delivered to all households in Shire – there will also be the option to complete the survey online.

We would really welcome more local residents coming forward and contributing to this exciting and interesting project. Can you help us with any of the following?

  • Joining the Steering Committee that leads and manages the project
  • Volunteer to deliver surveys to households in your street and do follow up door knocking/help people to complete the survey (we will be arranging and providing training for volunteers in this role)
  • Data entry from written surveys onto the online SMART survey
  • Lead a survey focus group – completing the survey with a group from your sports/social/activity club or church group
  • Work on publicising and promoting the project and encouraging local residents involvement and participation
  • Donate/Provide a prize – (for a prize draw as an incentive for people to complete the survey questionnaire)

If you'd like to join us, want any further info or would like to have a chat about it please contact Ash Bearman at SCAF on 0117 982 9963 or email ash@shirecaf.org.uk

What is a Community Plan?

  • identifies local problems and opportunities
  • sets out an achievable and long term vision for the future
  • prepares a plan of action to achieve this vision

The views of all of the community are gathered through questionnaires or surveys & community participation/consultation events. The plan involves looking at all aspects of living and/or working in a community and usually has sections on community safety, heath, traffic and transport, community facilities/buildings, housing & planning, parks and green spaces, employment and enterprise etc. It can include everything we think is relevant in Shire and we can decide what’s important to us!

Who’s doing it?

This is a partnership project of local residents, Shire Public Hall Community Association (SPHCA) Shire Community Action Forum (SCAF) and Cotswold Community Association with support from BCC Avonmouth & Lawrence Weston Neighbourhood Partnership.

Why do a Community Plan for Shirehampton?

  • Gives the whole community the opportunity to have their say
  • It provides detailed information of what is important to our community
  • Gives a snapshot of what are the community issues that need addressing now, and provides a vision of where we would like to be in the future with a clear action plan
  • Gives Bristol City Council documented views and evidence of what residents in Shire see as important and what our community needs
  • It provides useful information and supporting evidence when making grant & funding applications and attracting investment to our community

City And Port Of Bristol Bowling Club

Time is fast approaching for woods to be polished, shoes cleaned and to don the club shirt again ----- the long awaited new bowling season starts at Wrington on Wednesday 12th April.

If you have not tried bowling before but would like to, then Tuesday evenings at the green throughout the season are just made for you. They are completely free of charge, all equipment is supplied and there are experienced bowlers on hand to give you help and advice. You can have up to three sessions without commitment, to see if bowling on a green is your game. It is a healthy outdoor activity, providing exercise, a worthwhile interest, the chance to meet people and make new friends. For further information please call David Hinksman on 0117 9082713.

The club has remained active during the close season, with a monthly Sunday social event, indoor bowls matches against local clubs and a Winter Bowling Break in Torquay at the end of January.

There was an excellent general knowledge quiz, devised and presented by Gordon Dimond on Sunday 12th February. A very wide range of questions were asked to test the twenty or so bowlers, family and friends who formed teams of four to compete for top spot. At the end of what was a very enjoyable evening the aptly named 'A Team' comprising Trevor Scanlon, Brian Crawley, Dee Crawley and David Hinksman were declared the winners.

The final indoor bowls match of the winter series was played on Saturday March 4th against Severnvale at the City and County Arena. A very enjoyable afternoons bowling ended with City and Port in front by 52 shots to 36.

Roy Whitfield, a bowler since 1982 and Club President from 2010 until 2012 passed away toward the end of February. Roy was a prominent member of the club, bowling numerous friendly and competitive games over many years. He bowled initially for Graded Grains and then for The Lads for fourteen years in the club league. As well as bowling, Roy took pride in the flowers and plants around the green. He enjoyed bowling indoors as well as on the green but retired completely from bowling three years ago. Roy’s wife Irene was also a keen and well known member of the club for many years and she has continued to bowl indoors since retiring from the green.

There is much to look forward to in the coming season including the Summer Tour, this year based at Bournemouth in July. Mixed friendly games will be enjoyed most Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays with Monday evenings dedicated to the Club League and Club Cup. The Ladies League Team will be looking forward to another successful season whilst the men will be looking for promotion to Division Three. There will be ladies only friendly games once again on some Thursdays. In addition, the club competitions will begin in May and end with finals days in September.

Sports and Activity Clubs-Get Involved in the ‘Are You Game’ Campaign

Do you run a sport club? Or organise a physical activity? Would you like to attract new members or promote your activity across the city? Then join in the ‘Are you game?’ campaign to encourage people to try out a new activity.

As part of Bristol’s year as European City of Sport, Bristol City Council is encouraging all clubs to join them to help get the people of Bristol more active. All you need to do is offer a free session or taster between 6 May and 16 September this year. It could be an existing session or a new one created specifically for the campaign. Simply fill out the form to show your interest by Friday 31 March 2017. You can edit it at any time and you’re not committing at this stage.

Just imagine… 100 free activities could mean 1,500 new opportunities for local people to get active! And your club will be given the perfect platform to promote to potential new members and reinvigorate lapsed participants.

European City of Sport will bring together the best of what the city is already doing to support and celebrate sport with additional events or campaigns especially for 2017. The European City of Sport title is awarded by ACES Europe, a not-for-profit group based in Brussels who promote sport across Europe. Cities are judged on their sporting facilities, residents' level of participation, the success of local teams and sporting events. Bristol is one of several European cities to be awarded the title, which is announced annually.