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News Index

Sea Mills Art Group with Anthony Pritchard

Easter at Penpole Lunch Club

City and Port of Bristol Bowling Club

Nature Notes…

Botany in the Shire

Exhibition reveals how Bristolians lived thousands of years ago

Update from A Forgotten Landscape

Avonmouth Holiday Playscheme Easter fun

St. Mary's News - May

From St. Mary’s Registers - March 2017

A New Era for Line Dancing…

Letters to the Editor

Shire Community grants

Business as usual at Community Farm

On the 20th March Lawrence Weston Community Farm was devastated by fire.

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Brandon Trust Members
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Farm volunteers Katie & Lee
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Farm volunteers Katie & Lee
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Farm volunteer Lee

The main farm building was destroyed by an apparent bungled burglary. “Two people were trying to, we think, to burn their way through the doors to get into the office to see if there was anything worth stealing. Unfortunately the doors were fire doors and they didn’t catch light but the rest of the building did! So they didn’t get in but they managed to burn the building down.” said Kerry Rowe, Education Co-ordinator at Lawrence Weston Community Farm.

and the roof fell in so that kind of covered it…

There’s a mixture of fire damage, smoke damage and water damage. Lots of things that are sodden or broken and the roof fell in so that kind of covered it as well. We think the whole building will have to come down and a rebuild will take place.

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Kerry Rowe and Ian Fielder Volunteer Co-ordinator

There is now a fundraising page for the farm but a small minority have said that the farm is covered by insurance but it’s not that straight forward. We do have insurance and hopefully that will cover the replacement of the building. In the meantime what happens is we are losing income. We can’t hire out the community room, we can’t run different services which would bring us income into the farm so there is an immediate loss of money. Additionally the insurance premium in the following year is likely to rocket. It just takes up an awful lot of staff time to try and work out the insurance and repairs, and deal with that rather than developing the other services that could be happening at the farm.

…we are trying to run as much as we can outside.

The lunch club is temporarily on hold but we are trying to work out another way to run it. The cafe is not open at the moment. We have children and community activities coming up so we are trying to run as much as we can outside, so there will be a lot of things in the wood, orchards and the farm paddock this year. It’s best to check out our web site for updates. said Kerry.

It’s business as usual for Lawrence Weston Community Farm as far as we can. We are open as usual every day throughout the year apart from Monday. We want people to come and use us.

…local support has poured in.

The local community have been supportive too. It’s been amazing, local support has poured in. People offering help, donating money, spreading the word on social media, doing all they can to help their community farm get back on its feet. There’s even a donation page. The support has been incredible. said Kerry

Despite everything the farm is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and everyone is looking forward to the celebrations. We’ve got a programme of events which will help us celebrate our 30 years here. They include workshops for families, arts workshops, a big 30th birthday bash in August and various other projects that we’ve got planned. Again check out our web site for further updates confirmed Kerry.

Sea Mills Art Group with Anthony Pritchard

Sea Mills Art Group was founded by John Edgell in the early 1990’s and living in Sea Mills, the art group made their home at Sea Mills Community Centre.

It started out with three or four members having a mutual interest and gradually grew in numbers over the years. The group moved to Shirehampton Public Hall about five years ago and have twenty-nine members on their books with around eighteen to twenty people meeting up each week to share their passion in art every Thursday morning. Anthony Pritchard is Chairman of the Sea Mills Art Group.

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I wouldn’t like to give anyone’s ages away he said laughing but I would say the age range of the group is between 60 to 85 years. That can change during the school holidays when some of the members bring their grandchildren and that’s not a problem because they just sit in, do their own art work and join in the conversations. They also like to see what other people are doing and say oh that’s nice, that’s good, and make comments about other people’s work. Perhaps they do get inspired by others, I hope they do. said Anthony.

However Sea Mills Art Group isn’t an art class. People can do their own thing. There is no formal instruction, no tutor, and no set programme to follow. Occasionally we have booked a professional artist who will come in and either do a demonstration or to do a workshop with us and that comes out of group funds.

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It’s a very eclectic mix of art, no oils as they are difficult to transport and the same applies to acrylic, so it’s mostly water colour, pencil crayons, pastel and ordinary sketching ink. We have a little group of ladies who enjoy still life immensely. I started setting them up with a still life, mostly bits of bric-a-brac, glass and stuff. Vegetables, fruit, clocks or books, are good. One still life they did was a wine bottle and three wine glasses. Glass is not easy to portray. You can see through it and you can see something behind it. It gets distorted and changes colour. They value the fact that you’ve got to observe and record and to get things right. The ladies do appreciate looking and interpreting and obviously its drawing what you see or what you think you see in this case.

Other’s like landscape and flowers. Some like copying photographs from holidays and two or three of us like pastel work. We sometimes organise trips out when the hall is needed for another activity. We’ve been to Salisbury, Stonehenge, Wilton, Dunster, Buckfast Abbey and a couple Welsh Castles, so it is very much a social group said Anthony.

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Easter at Penpole Lunch Club

The Penpole Lunch Club held their Easter Lunch on 11th April where a turkey dinner and gateaux was served. The Lord Mayor Cllr Jeff Lovell and Lady Mayoress Bridget Lovell were guests and met with many of the diners. They were also judges along with former Lord Mayor Peter Main and Neighbourhood Watch Administrator Wendy Hull for the Easter Bonnet Competition where Muriel won first prize with her Easter creation.

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Sandra White runs the Penpole Lunch Club with the help of volunteers. Today was great success but the Lunch Club cannot survive without funding and donations. With the people who attend, this weekly lunch club is a lifeline to many to get out once a week and socialise with others over a good meal. I would like to say a big thank you to the Shire for their kind donation recently received. It will be a big help towards the running costs of transport. We have a small coach pick up most of our people, a door to door service, and take them home again. If we didn’t provide this service most of our diners wouldn’t be able to make to the venue.

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Kathryn Courtney

New activities at Avonmouth Community Centre

We have a number of new activities at the community centre.

All activities are drop in so no need to book. To find out more phone 0117 9071524 or see the live calendar on our website.

Chair Zumba, Mondays at 1pm. Cost £3. This is Zumba Gold - SEATED.
For all those who want to join in the Zumba craze but have difficulty standing or walking for long periods of time. This chair-based dance fitness class is a great way for those with limited mobility of any age to have some fun whilst keeping fit.
Circle dancing, Thursdays at 3pm. Cost £3.
Circle dancing is a light to moderate exercise and is good for the memory and coordination. Dancing in a circle is the oldest form of community dance. Traditional folk dances celebrate the seasons, work, life, love and loss.
Walking netball, Sat at 10.30am. Cost £1.
This is a low-impact fun activity played with adapted netball rules and is ideal for all levels of fitness. No prior experience necessary, just pick it up as you go. It’s a great way to stay fit or get a bit fitter and meet new friends in the process.
Yoga Fridays, 12.15pm. Cost £5 Vinyasa Flow Yoga with Simon.
Suitable for everyone mats provided.

City and Port of Bristol Bowling Club

After much preparation requiring many hours of work - and the arrival of a clock - the green opened for bowling on Monday April 10th.

There is much to look forward to this season with over fifty friendly games to be enjoyed, the summer tour, club league, club competitions and involvement in leagues and county competitions for individuals and teams.

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So, anyone know where the white one came from?

The ladies will take part in both the Top Club and Inter Club Competitions once again this season. Dee Crawley is the clubs representative in the ladies Champion of Champions and John Conroy is the men’s representative. Winning the respective ladies and gent’s singles titles at last season’s finals decided who represents the club in this season’s prestigious Champion of Champion competition. This will be a first appearance for both bowlers.

The men’s league team will play Dowty Staverton A at home in the preliminary round of the Gloucestershire Two Rink Competition in May.

David Hinksman and Trevor Scanlon will play Eddie Rockey and Alan Ball of Bristol Bowls Club at home in the preliminary round of the City and County Pairs Competition on May 2nd.

One friendly fixture of particular interest is the one at home to Bexhill on July 1st. Bexhill was one of the venues enjoyed on last Summer’s Tour based at Eastbourne and Bexhill accepted the invitation of a return fixture this season.

Try Bowling sessions will once again run on Tuesday evenings commencing at 6pm this season. If you haven’t bowled before but would like to try - then this is for you. Just come along to the green, wearing flat soled shoes and bowl - it’s as easy as that.

All equipment is supplied and experienced bowlers are there to give help and advice. There is no charge and no commitment. You can have up to three sessions before deciding if bowling is for you.

Bowling provides healthy outdoor activity and the chance to meet lots of people.

Tea Parties in Avonmouth Community Centre

Avonmouth Community Centre Association in association with Contact the Elderly is hosting tea parties for older isolated people in the community of Avonmouth, Lawrence Weston and Shirehampton.

The parties are aimed at older people who would otherwise spend Sunday alone. Transport can be arranged.

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At the first party in January we welcomed 40 guests and 20 helper/ drivers. Entertainment included live music from Second Wind All Star band and a quiz. Tea included crumpets, tea cakes and fruit bread donated by Warburton’s. The second tea party was held on the first Sunday in April, guests enjoyed a fresh fruit salad from fruit donated by Bobbets, (thank you Scott and Ross) and heard from David Tudgey of Avonmouth, Lawrence Weston and Shirehampton Energy group about swapping energy supplier and saving energy.

We would like to say a big thanks Nigel and Andy from Lawrence Weston Community Transport for helping us out with collecting people and bringing them to the party.

We are planning another party on Sunday 25th of June and would welcome volunteers to help with transport, and making tea. We would also welcome donations of raffle prices and food.

Smelters Belters Boxing Show

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Henbury Social Club saw an action packed Saturday Night back in March with the NSC amateur boxing show.

So many fiercely fought contests all the way through that I think the next flyer should state “Not for the faint Hearted”! Well done to all who took part.

Results as follows,

  • O Baker NSC Skills, P Stow Horseshoe
  • M Connors NSC Skills, H Sykes Emeralds
  • P Hastings NSC Skills, E Shorten Watchet
  • J Roberts NSC Skills, R Merchant Tredworth
  • J Gingell NSC Won Pts/U, A Hirst Malmesbury
  • L Greenslade NSC Lost Pts/M, C Fritchley Tredworth
  • O Paddock NSC Lost Pts/U, K Francis Tredworth
  • L Dorrington NSC Won Pts/Maj, L Roberts Malmesbury
  • W Henley NSC Won Pts/U, B Thurlow Bath City
  • J Gingell NSC Lost RSC 2, R Griffiths Malmesbury
  • D Channon Paddy Johns Lost KO 1, S Miller Emeralds
  • B Carey NSC Lost Rtd 1, J Swaby Paddy Johns
  • S Elvins Paddy Johns Won Pts/U, E Watts Yeovil
  • M Fenwick NSC Won Pts/U, T Brennan Tredworth
  • J Nash Paddy Johns Won Pts/Maj, C Grey Emeralds
  • L Leakey Paddy Johns Lost Pts/U, A Messenger Bath City

Nature Notes…

Where to start! I received a friend’s ecstatic message that he had seen a red kite flying over his house, whilst he and his family were enjoying a day in the garden.

A great thing to happen I hear you say, but even more so because the garden is, in fact, in Shirehampton!! Well! I was guilty of just a tiny bit of disbelief, but was assured that yes, without a shadow of doubt, it was a red kite.

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I have said many times, to anyone that might have no option but to listen, that it was only a matter of time before the range of the kite would reach us. Let us hope this one wasn’t just passing through. Eyes skyward everyone!

The breeding season is well under way of course, and so I took the opportunity to provide some nesting material for the birds recently when looking after my daughter’s collie. After grooming him, I left the hair I had collected on the river bank. Within minutes a pair of crows were busily stuffing as much as they could into their beaks and taking it home. Others may have joined them over the next half hour or so. Suffice to say, none was wasted.

Canada geese have been flying up and down the river for several days, making their usual racket! Not afraid to let everyone know they are here!

And finally, I have to mention the herons. The chicks were nowhere in sight when Bob Pitchford kindly took me for a ‘Bird’s eye’ view of the nests towards the end of March. Within a couple of weeks, the chicks were suddenly visible from across the river, gangly little necks and punky hairdos! And BIG appetites!

Happy nature watching, Bobbie Perkins.

Botany in the Shire

The Wild Plants of the Shirehampton area.

As I walked along the footpath through the Lamplighters Marsh reserve I was pleased to see that a lot of good work has been done clearing away brambles and other unwanted scrub and opening up the vistas and views.

So familiar are they in our modern landscape that it may be hard to believe that a hundred years ago there was not a single Buddleia to be found wild round Bristol. 40 years ago the Himalayan Giant blackberry was only beginning to appear in the wild, its seeds planted out with a little dollop of fertiliser by various birds.

It was also nice to see that the bright yellow-green annual, Early Meadow-grass, is doing well. It is easy to find this rare plant almost underneath the motorway bridge. Read the display board. You are standing on it! The more disturbance, the better it does! It has spread since I first found it a few years ago, and this year there was some half a mile south.

How plants get around can be an interesting subject. Ants collect, transport and bury the seeds of the Dwarf Sedge, one of the rare plants of the Avon Gorge. A botanist on a train once saw a seed of Oxford Ragwort (a plant from Mount Etna which spread from the Botanic Garden at Oxford along the Victorian rail network) blow into his carriage on its little parachute at one station and breeze out again at the next.

You will see it along our local railway with its yellow daisy-like flowers and saw-toothed or dissected leaves.

I recently took a visitor to see the annual Rock Hutchinsia, another Avon Gorge speciality. It was first found in Britain over 325 years ago by Richard Kaise, Bristol’s first known botanist, at St Vincent’s Rocks and Goram’s Chair.

There had been over 20,000 in ‘Goat Gully’ when I first saw it in 1978 after the big drought of 1975-6. This year we found just two. It is a very long time indeed since it was last seen near Westbury.

Clive Lovatt

Join the good life at Tynings Field

Tynings field spring work has begun our established community agricultural project has taken on new members but we would still like more.

We always seeking new growers and our land is ready for planting, £10 per year for a veg plot of various sizes and we have a large one going. You need to be committed and we will help you be successful at growing your own veg. Manageable growing areas are available now and we also seek members who assist with general garden maintenance work in the field too. Our plots are easier to manage than an allotment, you also receive a fruit share from the Orchard, the option to buy beautiful local honey and learn beekeeping.

The weather is warming the soil now. We are in a quiet backwater of Shirehampton close to a site of scientific interest. The way to a healthy lifestyle begins in the kitchen but what you cook there begins in the ground and there is nothing more full of vitamins like very fresh vegetables. The best strengthening exercise comes from digging, lifting and bending as you steadily work on your plot. In the fresh summer air you will glow and take years off your age your age, and in two months or so your body will thank you for it.

Closure of the Local History Group

Regrettably this small number of local history enthusiasts made the decision in January to wrap up the group for a number of reasons.

For well over a decade this band of dedicated people met monthly to explore our local history and visit places of historical interest within Bristol. We also undertook a number of projects. The group was informal, no committee and no funding, and we met in the library when not out and about. As time went on we grew a little in numbers and the library was not large enough for our meetings given the limited space available, and as some of our members had mobility issues, visits became more of a problem too. With no funds we couldn’t afford speakers or to rent space in the public hall so the decision was made to disband. We are, however, proud of what we achieved. We instigated the mounting of a plaque and photograph of Chapel House in memory of William Wordsworth in the Co-op (it’s still there - take a look), in 2011 we raised funds for the refurbishment of the grave of young boys Frederick Bleaken and Hubert Chidgey who were tragically killed in 1911, and Canon Christine Froude led a short ceremony of dedication in Shirehampton cemetery. We also transcribed the inscriptions on all the legible graves in St Mary’s churchyard so if anyone wants a search done please contact The Avonmouth Genealogy Group which meets on the 4th Tuesday of the month (7pm) in the community centre (old school) on Avonmouth Road, often has speakers on local history subjects and anyone wishing to join us would be very welcome. I personally would like to finish by thanking those stalwart local historians who were in the group right from the beginning, for their dedication and commitment.

Afternoon Tea

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Wait for it! Wait for i!

Everyone had a lovely afternoon at the Cotswold Community Centre on Saturday 25th March and we raised £340 for Brain Tumour Research.

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You put your right leg in…

A BIG thank you to all who helped and donated, especially Jane Fenwick, and also to all those who attended. See you all again next year?

RSPB visit Shirehampton Primary

On Tuesday 22nd March, year 1 and 2 were very lucky to have a visit from the RSPB (Royal Society of the Protection of Birds).

We had a whole class assembly explaining the importance of their work. We then visited our local green space where we had to find a number of different habitats. We loved the visit and learned a great deal. Thank you RSPB!

Evergreens Day Trips – 2017

4th JulyTorquay
8th AugustTeignmouth
5th SeptemberSwansea
10th OctoberAbergavenny Market

Shirehampton Evergreens Club meet at the public hall every Friday afternoon.

Can you help SCAF?

We are looking for a new TREASURER

Shirehampton Community Action Forum (SCAF) is a small, grass-roots community organisation based at Shire Public Hall.

We are a registered charity and not for profit company limited by guarantee established in 2001 to work for the benefit of everyone in Shire. Work areas include - community safety, Shire Door to Door Shopping Trips, environmental projects, 2 Walking Groups, planning and development issues and organising community walks & events programmes.

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

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. If you are interested and require any more information, please contact Richard Griffiths - Group Scout Leader - on 9827493 - evenings.

On behalf of the 191st I would like to thank all the residents of Shirehampton and beyond for their help in collecting Airbus tokens in the Bristol Post. Unfortunately we were unsuccessful this time, but maybe next time the outcome will be better. Thanks again - Rosemary Watkins

Avonmouth Bowling Club

We held our pre-season meeting on the 21st March. There was a very good attendance!

We now have a new ladies captain and vice-captain. Barbara Humphries and Anita Lock have taken on these roles. Bob Lock, our fixture secretary, will be vice club captain supporting Ivor Humphries.

Our fund-raising events through the winter were mildly disappointing but we hope next winter we will come up with some fresh ideas to add our quiz nights!

On a lighter note, we are very proud of two of our ladies; Lorraine Paget and Jane Geater got through to the final of Bristol indoor ladies pairs. The game came down to the wire at 20 all. They played an extra end, but Sue Osbourne and Pat Baker of Kingswood and Hanham got the point to win. Well done to both Jane and Lorraine on their grand performance!

We had a good turn out on the 8th of April for our preparation day. Gardening, cleaning and general repairs were done with gusto. Bacon rolls and coffee helped to keep the workers going! John Collins and his sidekick Colin Teakel have tried to get as many of the slabs around the green stabilised through the winter but the rain was against them, I’m sure they will get done soon!

Mike Williams has found a self-portrait of our founder member, William Powell and his picture now takes pride of place in our lounge bar. The club has been going for 84 years and we hope it will continue with old and new members playing their part!

Exhibition reveals how Bristolians lived thousands of years ago

Six skeletons discovered in Bristol will go on display at M Shed this April (opening 8th April) alongside six skeletons from the Museum of London’s 20,000-strong collection.

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Collectively they bring to life stories that have long been hidden beneath the ground.

Excavations in Bristol have uncovered numerous burial sites over the years, including medieval monasteries, a hospital burial ground and a convent. The six Bristol skeletons were found in Clifton, Filton, Mangotsfield, Tormarton and the city centre.

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Laura Pye, Head of Culture at Bristol City Council said: “Each skeleton has its own tale to tell, and collectively they uncover 2,000 years of history, increasing our understanding of how people once lived, and providing insights into the health, diet, diseases and lifestyles of the deceased. It’s a totally unique insight into Bristol’s history”.

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Update from A Forgotten Landscape

As the days lengthen and get warmer, it’s easier to imagine going outside.

We have lots of great volunteer opportunities and events to tempt you! Here are a few examples… but visit our website for more information and activities.

  • Event volunteers

    Want to help run a range of events in your local area? Interested in helping others learn more about your community’s natural or cultural heritage? Like the idea of learning how to hold your own events? Then come join our team of event volunteers. Learn useful skills you can use to run your own events! If you’re interested or have any questions please contact Emma at or 01454 864265

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  • Volunteer orchard surveyors

    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’d like to find out about the health of the remaining orchards in A Forgotten Landscape through a simple survey, and we need your help to do it. Jerry Dicker, arboriculturist and woodland management expert, will show you all you need to know to conduct our orchard survey on Saturday 20 May. Come join our friendly team! Learn more about these amazing habitats and help us conserve them where we can.

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Family events and activities

Free events!

  • An Amble along the Avon – an evening walk in company Thursday 4 May 7-8:30pm, Shirehampton, BS11 9XA

    A leisurely evening stroll along the River Avon followed by a walk back through time in Shirehampton. This will be a circular walk starting and ending at The Lamplighters pub in Shirehampton.

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  • A Stroll Along the Severn – an afternoon walk in company Friday 5 May 2-4pm, Severn Beach, BS35 4PL

    A leisurely walk along the banks of the Severn to experience this beautiful, open landscape. This will be a circular walk from Severn Beach train station.

    Leave your car at home if you want to for these walks; the train journey from Bristol is spectacular – see the Severn in a new way. The train is £3 return from Temple Meads. The walks are free! Booking is essential; to book, please see our website. Part of the Bristol Walking Festival.

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  • Discover the history of Kings Weston Estate Saturday 6 May 10:30 – 1:30, Kings Weston Estate, Bristol, BS11 0UR.

    David Martyn, Chairman of Kings Weston Action Group, will take you around the historic highlights of the Kings Weston estate from the well-known to the well-hidden. Based on up to date research, this illustrated tour takes in four hundred years of Kings Weston’s history. The tour lasts about three hours and the route is about 1.8 miles long. Numbers are limited so booking is essential; to book, please see our website. Meeting point will be given upon booking.

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  • Geocaching Workshop Saturday 13 May, 10am - 2pm Mafeking Hall, Pilning

    Geocaching is a global treasure hunt that anyone can get involved in; come along and discover this addictive hobby. Helen Horler of Culture Force will give a short introduction to geocaching and then we will head out to find geocaches. Learn how to create geocaches and help us make and hide our own. No experience of geocaching needed! You do need to have a charged and Wi-Fi-enabled smartphone or tablet to take part. This event is open to those who are 14+; under 18s must be accompanied by an adult. We will be outside for some of the day so please wear suitable clothing and footwear for any weather. This is a FREE event but booking is essential; to book, please see our website.

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  • Nocturnal Walk Saturday 27 May, 8:30pm, Kings Weston Grounds

    Join us to explore at night, look for some nocturnal creatures and have a go at using our bat detectors. Steve England, local naturalist, will be leading this short walk. Please wear suitable clothing, sturdy outdoor footwear and bring a torch. You need to be fit enough to complete a short walk. This event is suitable for children aged 12 plus. Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult. This is a free event. For more information and to book click please see our website.

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Avonmouth Holiday Playscheme Easter fun

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Using the funding from the Shire the Avonmouth Holiday playscheme ran an Easter session with the children, making fun biscuits and cakes, plus an Easter egg hunt in the church.

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St. Mary's News - May

Hi Folks!

Here we are into that glorious spring month of May when the sun feels warmer on our backs. May Day has been a traditional day of festivities throughout the centuries.

May Day is mostly associated with towns and villages celebrating springtime fertility (of the soil, livestock and people) and revelry with village fetes and community gatherings. Seeding has been completed by this date and it was convenient to give farm labourers the day off. Perhaps the most significant of the traditions is the Maypole around which traditional dancers circle with ribbons. You can see a traditional Maypole not too far away from here, on the village green at Iron Acton in South Gloucestershire.

Our May Day festivities and Spring Bank Holiday celebrations are held here at St Mary’s on the Bank Holiday Mondays on 1st May and 29th May when we have Open Church days. The church is open from 12noon until 5pm on each Monday, when lunches are served until 2pm and cream teas until 5pm at extremely attractive prices. The cost of lunch includes a drink, main course and pudding. Traditional cream teas are available with the opportunity to indulge in home-made cakes afterwards should you so wish to do! All monies made at these events will go towards church funds. Please come and enjoy a good substantial meal and convivial company with no Bank Holiday traffic jams. The only jam you will get is with your cream tea!!!

Looking back to Mothering Sunday was the day of our Cafe Church Service when we had many more people than we had anticipated. Everyone appeared to enjoy it and there were many positive comments. An interesting experiment which was a success and I would expect to be repeated again at a later date.

  • Sunday, 7th May - newly elected Parochial Church Council members are dedicated

    Sunday, 7th May, is the day when the newly elected Parochial Church Council members are dedicated and prayers said for the tasks ahead of them in the next 12 months. This is usually at the beginning of our 10am Holy Communion Service.

  • Sunday 21st May our 10am Holy Communion service

    On Sunday 21st May our 10am Holy Communion service will include the opportunity for Admission of Children to Holy Communion. This will allow children to receive the Sacrament, if they so desire, before Confirmation, when they are confirmed before a Bishop as a full member of the Christian faith.

  • Tuesday 30th, Wednesday 31st May and Thursday 1st June, we shall again be holding our Holiday Club

    On Tuesday 30th, Wednesday 31st May and Thursday 1st June, we shall again be holding our Holiday Club in the Tithe Barn. This is for five to eight year olds and will start each day at 9.30am until 11.30am. Children participating will enjoy crafts, games and light refreshments. The most attractive thing for parents is that these activities ARE ENTIRELY FREE!

Did you know that Moses was leading his people through the desert for 40 years? It would appear that even in Biblical times men refused to ask the way!!

‘Bye for now. C.M.E.

From St. Mary’s Registers - March 2017

Funerals ‘At rest and at peace’

6thMaurice Hunt Canford
8th Kenneth Perks St Mary’s
15th Patricia Foster Canford
28th Roy Whitfield St Mary’s

Obituary: Roy Whitfield. 07-12-1929 - 23-02-2017

Irene and family would like to say Thank You for all the cards, letters and flowers we have received.

A big Thank you to Gill Sawyer for conducting a lovely service at St Marys Church.

Also a Thank you to Sea mills Surgery for all the help and kindness shown during Roy’s long illness.

Funeral donations for British Heart Foundation - £609.32 - THANK YOU

Obituary: Peter William Yeeles. 10-11-1930 - 14-3-2017

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Peter Yeeles

Peter sadly died following a stroke and will be greatly missed by his wife Rose and by his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Although born in the Forest of Dean lived in Shire most of his life, he helped train amateur boxing at the Smelting Work Gym, a member of Avonmouth Workingmen’s Club and PBA Club and well known by many older people in the village.

He loved his family and always up for a party, he kept everyone entertained.

We would like to thank everyone for their love and support!

A New Era for Line Dancing…

January 2017 saw a new beginning for Line Dance in Shirehampton.

I's no longer a LinkAge activity and is now independent. Line Dance has moved to a new venue and has a new time but the dance teacher remains the same and the class members are just as keen to continue their line dancing sessions.

We’ve moved from the Tithe Barn to Public Hall now. It is a bigger space and gives more room for people to sit at the side when they need a break if they feel like it. We also have a new time being 2pm – 3pm but it has meant a small increase in cost for classes to £4 per session said Christine Power

I asked her if there were any other changes to the class. Yes, it’s now open to adults of all ages and abilities. So anyone aged 18 years and above is most welcome to come a long and join in. It doesn’t matter if you are a complete beginner or you’ve done line dancing for twenty years that’s fine. Obviously there will be some dances that suit you more than others. If you’re a beginner it’s just accepting there might be some things you’ll struggle with but if you stick with it, the dances become easier and it’s a fairly good group of people you know. Christine said.

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I asked Christine what the benefits of Line Dancing are and if you have a health issue or disability are the dance sequences adaptable? Most people in the class have had something, a stroke or heart attack or hip replacements, even arthritis. It’s up to the individual person to be sensible with themselves. There might be some dancers who find a dance a bit twisty and it might be an idea to miss that bit out or adapt it slightly. When I know of an injury or a problem I can let people know what they can do instead but very much the onus is on the individual person to go, ‘ok I can’t do that bit but I can do this instead.’ It’s all about enjoying yourself. Line Dancing keeps you fit and flexible. It also helps your memory because you have the sequence of steps to remember especially when you are facing a different direction and you can’t see me. It doesn’t matter if you make mistakes, we’re all human and we just have a laugh about this. It is really good exercise for the mind as well as for the body and sociable too.

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If people want to come along to one session and try out one or two dances to find out if it’s for them, they can pay a donation rather than paying the whole £4 for the class said Christine.

Time to take care of your body and soul

A Wellbeing event on Saturday 13 May at Sea Mills Community Centre.

As summer approaches we desire to be fitter, stronger and feeling good about our bodies, and about our mental and physical health. Maybe your lifestyle is letting you down and you need advice on healthy living on a day to day basis. If so, come along to a local wellbeing day at Sea Mills. Meet the team from Tynings field Community Agriculture who will be selling Shirehampton honey, plants and sugar free bakes. Find out about the benefits of an active outdoor life and raw fresh food. Also there is aromatherapy, reflexology, henna tattoo, clairvoyant, unique makeovers, a nutritionist, nuskin skincare, purpleness creations, Caroline’s tarot life path, and Bendintheriveryoga. A holistic community experience in Sea Mills. Make a date in your diary.

Letters to the Editor

Shire church by Richard Coate's - David Elkington

Dear Editor,

I did enjoy reading Richard Coate’s article on page 6 of the April Shire which makes really interesting reading, and clearly involved a lot of research. In his second paragraph, Richard writes that ‘no images seem to exist of the older buildings’.

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The Greenville Collins chart of the Bristol Channel, with the cartouche

Having lived in Shirehampton for the first thirty years of my life, I retain very great affection for the village, and eagerly await the monthly edition of your newspaper. I am also very fortunate in having two original charts by Captain Greenville Collins of a) the Bristol Channel and b) the River Avon. The first is dated 1693, and the second is of similar date Both charts show the arrival of King William III at Shirehampton on his way back from Ireland in 1690. He had just defeated King James II of Ireland at the Battle of the Boyne He arrived on September 6th and stayed with Sir Robert Southwell, his Principall (sic) Secretary of State for Ireland, that night at Kings Weston House. The Bristol Channel chart is dedicated to Sir Robert. In the lower right hand corner of this Bristol Channel chart is a cartouche - an illustration of the event - and shows the Royal Barge entering the mouth of the Avon, whilst the Ships of the Fleet remain at Anchor outside in the Channel. The chart of the Avon also shows the Royal Barge entering the mouth of the Avon, whilst the Ships of the Fleet fire a Royal Salute. The charts are fascinating. Both show Shirehampton, or Sherehampton, and both picture a church in Shirehampton. The church has a tower - similar to the church at Gordano, which is still there.

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detail of the cartouche, with the church at Shirehampton and the church at Gordano, both with towers.

Best wishes to you all, and thanks for your Newspaper

David Elkington

Parallel London - Gillian Crea

Dear Editor,

My son Bobby will be taking part in Parallel London in September for the charity Brainwave. I’m hoping to get his fundraising page out there to raise as much money as we can for Brainwave which is a fantastic charity which helps children with disabilities reach their potential. Bobby goes to school in Shirehampton and will be 5 when he completes his 1K sensory walk at this inclusive event. Can you help me get the word out to help this fantastic charity? Thank you. The websites for brainwave is and Bobby’s fundraising page is


Gillian Crea

Bob Boyce - Roger

Dear Editor,

I would like to get in contact with Bob Boyce (Lordy) who was a friend of mine with in the 50s 60s and early 70s but lost contact with. Bob lived at Atwood drive Lawrence Weston before moving to Hermitage close Shirehampton. Last known address was Sea Mills.

Roger (email address supplied)

Epilepsy charity, thank you. - S. Radridge

Dear Editor,

Sue and Alan would like to thank everyone for coming to our Coffee morning on 22nd March. We raised £300 for the Epilepsy charity. Thank you to everyone who supported us.

S. Radridge

Dave Hunt, tanker driver Butler oils.

Dear Editor,

I was interested in two items in the Obituaries that brings back memories for me. We moved from 14 West Town Road, Avonmouth, to 9 Middleton Road, Lawrence Weston, on New Year’s Day 1949, and left on April 10th, 1954, when we then moved to 20 West Town Road, Avonmouth.

During that time, a Dr Archer lived at No 3 or 5 Middleton Road. He later moved to Musgrove Close, Lawrence Weston. I wonder if he was the Father of the Dr Archer mentioned in the latest edition of Shire on the Web.

The second memory is the letter from Lyndon Lloyd. He was a fireman, and his wife Pat, worked in the office of Butler Oil Products, on the docks, for whom I worked as a tanker driver for 24 years, until a heart attack lost me my HGV1 licence. I wonder if Lyndon or Pat, remember me?

Dave Hunt

Holly. Thank you Shirehampton. - Daphne Llewellyn

Dear Editor,

I would just like to say that I am very grateful to the people of Shirehampton.

As some of you know my Granddaughter, Holly, has been living with a brain tumour that was diagnosed eight years ago when she was just 13. Over the years we have held various events and sponsored things to raise awareness and money for Brain Tumour Research.

To date the total of our efforts is 39,599 pounds. Plus every time I raise money my daughter’s works matches it, so in actual fact the total is more like 45,000. So, a huge THANK YOU to everyone who helped, donated, sponsored and supported. Too many to name but you know who you are!

The other good news is that Holly has just been told she can go to America for the Proton Beam treatment!

Hopefully that will mean the end of the time bomb she’s been living with in her head all these years.

Thank you one and all.

Daphne Llewellyn

Skate park in Sea Mills - Henry Michallat

Dear Editor,

Some of your reader may have heard of plans to try and set up a skate park in Sea Mills for local kids in Sea Mills, Shire & Lawrence Weston.

I am currently on the campaign to help make this happen, so if you would like to put your name down in support there are some petitions floating about in local cafes.

All support is welcome.

Henry Michallat

Local Campaigner

Portway School Reunion - 1968 intake. Duggie Moore

Received via website contact form,

This is a general invite to the Portway School year intake that started in September 1968.

A reunion is being held on the evening of the 1st of September 2017 at Avonmouth Rugby Club by which time us survivors will have all made 60!

Characters such as John Eyles, Rita O'Neill, Mark Rowley, Tony Steele, Christine Tyler, Tim Williams and a host more will be attendance and it is hoped a lot more! Any queries please contact me on the email shown.

Bristol Blitz. John Rogers stirs memories. - A. J. Moore

Dear Editor,

Whilst not strictly a Shirehampton resident I happened to be looking through your April edition and a number of items caught my eye.

Particularly, Mr John Rogers’ memories of the war that coincide with my own as a lad in Westbury. Our neighbour was killed in the Filton raids as he was trying to get female workers into the shelters, one of the nearby houses was demolished, and houses and gardens were strafed by gunfire as planes passed over several times. A. J. Moore

Dr Archer, celebration of life event. - Mark Archer

Dear Editor,

Please could you remind your readers of the celebration of life event for Dr Peter Archer.

This will take place on May 27th 1-4pm at Shirehampton Village Hall.

We would like to meet with anyone who remembers our father for tea and cake.

All those who knew him are most welcome.

Thank you, Mark, Paul and Simon Archer

Shire Community grants

As a non-profit making organisation, run entirely by volunteers, Shire newspaper has been able to use its surplus income over expenditure to plough back into community organisations.

This year sadly, we had less money to distribute and a record number of applicants but all were given grants albeit smaller than we would have wished.

We awarded grants to the following:

  1. The Orchards community garden,
  2. The Dragon Club,
  3. 191st Bristol Scout Group,
  4. Zoe and Merryn children’s dance class,
  5. Pillow Lace Club,
  6. Shirehampton Primary School London Club,
  7. Charity Search,
  8. SCAF,
  9. Avonmouth Holiday Playscheme,
  10. Penpole Lunch Club and
  11. Avonmouth Football Club.

The majority of our revenue is from advertising so if anyone is thinking of advertising a business, or knows someone who is, our rates are very reasonable and the circulation is 5000 each month.