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News Index

Seventy Years Young!

Kingsweston House

How you can help tackle Social Isolation in your community

Co-op Local Community Fund

Co-Op Fundraiser

Shirehampton Public Hall Newsletter

News from a forgotten Landscape

History Projects at Shirehampton Primary

Reception Class Activities at St Bernard’s

Operetta club turns stately home into theatre for eerie production

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall at Kings Weston House

Nature Notes…

Botany in the Shire

Letters to the Editor

Shirehampton Community Plan

City and Port of Bristol Bowling Club

Public Hall future

A good crowd of around 50 people turned out on 9th May to discuss possible futures for the Public Hall and Library. After an interesting brief history of the Hall from David Thomas, Peter Kirsen, Public Hall Association Treasurer, explained the financial situation.

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Bristol City Council owns the Public Hall but the Public Hall Association (PHA) has a long lease and is responsible for maintaining the interior. Council cuts have meant that the Hall will lose £5,000 in annual revenue and must find ways of increasing its income.

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With that in mind the PHA is putting forward proposals for making changes to the interior of the Hall to make it more attractive to potential users.

move the toilets...

Suggestions included moving the toilets to the front of the building and installing a catering kitchen. And there are several proposals about how to make the Library more flexible.

Those attending the meeting were asked to study the proposals and comment on them. It was made clear that these were simply proposals to be considered and that the facade and outward appearance of the Hall were NOT under discussion.

Some of those present thought that it was premature to be re-designing the interior spaces when there is still no clarity from the Council about whether a Library Service will continue and if so in what form.

well-considered business plan...

Many agreed that a well-considered business plan should be developed which would give a better idea of the needs of potential users before attempting major re-design.

Decisions about the Library have been postponed because of the General Election and will not now be made until the New Year. That means the PHA, and the people of Shirehampton, have plenty of time to develop plans for making the Public Hall a well-used and sustainable community asset.

Spring Cleaning Sprung

A son planned to steam clean my kitchen
And arrived with his up-to-date gadgets.
So I sat back in awe and watched,
Then I developed a fit of the fidgets.

He started by turning out cupboards and drawers,
And items came into his sight.
When did you last make a jelly
And how long since large cake tin saw light?

Do you still need a cherry de-stoner,
As that season does not last for long?

So resigned, I accepted his verdicts,
For my hoarding is clearly quite wrong.

When the larder came under inspection,
I remained in a peaceful state.
For he did not discover items
Which were past the use-by date.

Pat Squire

Seventy Years Young!

A group of former Portway Girls’ School pupils regularly meet up for lunch during the year, but this academic year saw us all reach Three Score Years and Ten, and as you can see, we are still ‘Girls who wanna have fun!’

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To celebrate our 70th, seventeen of us met at the Bristol Hotel on 3rd May for Afternoon Tea. We all sported a ribbon or wore something representing our House colour so Cabot, Canynge, Colston and Chattterton were all in evidence! It was a very pleasant and fun occasion, reminiscing about ‘the good old days’ and ignoring the fact that the calories we were devouring would probably stay on our hips for many a long month. We have to thank Sue Alford for organising the whole event, even down to gracing the table with balloons, and other ‘70’ decorations. Well done Sue, here’s to our 80th!

Kingsweston House

We begin another series of Betty Marten’s drawings along with an accompanying potted history.

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The Kingsweston House we are now familiar with is the second one to stand on this site, the first being a Tudor mansion shown in an engraving in Atkyn’s History of Gloucestershire published in 1712. King’s Weston was inherited by Sir Edward Southwell in 1702. He demolished the Tudor house and rebuilt to his own taste and design, for which he employed eminent architect Sir John Vanbrugh. Vanbrugh died before the interior was completed so another Edward Southwell, (grandson of Sir Edward) employed Robert Mylne to complete the interior and build the stables and Breakfasting Room on Penpole Point, between 1763 and 1772. The arrangement of the original chimneys was admired and copied on other manor houses, but in the 1950s the Kingsweston ones were taken down as unsafe. Later they were replicated by the Department of Architecture of Bath University.

The building contains the remarkable ‘hanging’ staircase in the Oak Hall, which dates from 1719.

During WW1 the house was used as a military hospital but with the death of the last squire, Philip Napier Miles, in 1935 it was sold to pay death duties and has been through several incarnations since. During WW2 it was occupied by troops and the Navy for planning convoy movements from Avonmouth. After the war it was leased to Bristol Education committee as a primary school, then sold for use as the Department of Architecture for Bath University mentioned above. In 1970 the property became a Police and Detective Training Centre.

Over the last couple of decades Kingsweston has been used as a desirable venue for conferences, weddings and special events having been sensitively restored. The Kingsweston Action Group (KWAG) has also, with the help of volunteers, done amazing work on the grounds. We are very fortunate that dedicated people have seen fit to restore and maintain this wonderful asset for the use of all.

Judy Helme

How you can help tackle Social Isolation in your community

Recent research shows up to 50% of older people living in care never go outside and they are twice as likely to experience severe loneliness as those living in the community.

A local organization, Growing Support, is using a pioneering approach to tackle such isolation. They run gardening clubs for people living in care to help them stay connected with the outdoors. The clubs use fun, engaging activities specially designed to increase opportunities for light exercise, sensory stimulation and social interaction.

There is strong evidence that gardening as part of a group can help people feel a renewed sense of purpose, reduce agitation and improve sleep and appetite. To help more people benefit from this approach Growing Support are currently looking for volunteers to support their trained horticultural therapists in running the clubs in care homes.

In the last year 28 new volunteers have joined the Growing Support team, helping them to deliver over 1000 hours of support. Bristol based volunteer Debs said The gardening activities revealed how much pleasure can be gained by involvement in a simple task such as holding a trowel, dead heading a plant, sniffing herbs or perhaps just quietly chatting over a flower or a picture. I was astonished how quickly the time passed and how richly involved it had felt. When asked if she would recommend this kind of volunteering she replied Yes, absolutely and I have already. I feel genuinely valued as a volunteer.

All volunteers receive an induction, support from a mentor and access to further training. There are regular volunteer meetings and Growing Support cover your travel expenses. Growing Support stressed you don’t need to be a gardening expert!

Co-op Local Community Fund

Back in September 2016 – and how long ago that seems now! – we were chosen to be the charity in Shirehampton which would receive a share of the Local Community Fund.

It felt such an honour to be selected for this for a sixth month period. In practice what this meant was that whenever anyone with a Co-op card bought a Co-op branded item we would receive a share of the 1% which the Co-op gave to the local fund plus a share of the income from the 5p charged for carrier bags.

Our submission to be chosen for this grant said that this money would be used for our work locally with the elderly and children and as many of you know, we run STOMP, Totstop, ‘Girls Only’, Messy Church, Holiday Club and other events for children and lunch club, Beetle Drives and social activities and events for older people .

The final total was an amazing £11,901 raised to be shared in Shirehampton, Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston. From this we were given £4,045.69. Thanks to all of you who contributed to this most wonderful sum, which we can assure you will be well used to serve this very special community.

Thanks to Mike and all the staff in the Co-op and to all you Co-op members!

St Mary’s Church Parochial Church Council

Co-Op Fundraiser

On Saturday 1st July, join the Co-op for some fun activities and raffles. Former colleague Chris Gilbert and Sally Challenger are running a fundraising day to raise money for Bristol Children’s Hospital.

Chris will be braving a skydive for the fundraising and will be looking for support in sponsorship alongside the events on the day. Please come along and support a wonderful cause close to the family’s heart. More information available in store.

The Will of Mrs Dorothy May Dixon

Family historians are delighted when they come across wills of deceased relatives because they can give so much information about relationships and social status.

Della Symons recently came across the following when having a clear out and thought it might be of interest to those who still remember Mrs Dixon, wife of Rev C W Dixon, a former vicar of St Mary’s, Shirehampton who served for 25 years.

Dated July 6 1971 - The widow of a Shirehampton Vicar left her long-serving housekeeper £6000 in her will, it was revealed today. Mrs Dorothy May Dixon didn’t forget her poodle Gideon either. She left her housekeeper, Miss Elizabeth Stinchcombe, 50p per week to pay for Gideon’s food. Miss Stinchcombe receives Mrs Dixon’s car, television set and sewing machine.

Under the terms of the will Miss Stinchcombe receives £6000 if in service - and £1000 if not in service or under notice. Miss Stinchcombe, Mrs Dixon’s housekeeper for 17 years, said today: I am very pleased. Who wouldn’t be?

She is still looking after Mrs Dixon’s former home, Holm Ray, Iron Acton. Mrs Dixon’s gardener, Mr William Fry, received £400 and any cows not belonging to Miss Stinchcombe but belonging to me.

Mrs Dixon, who died on May 17 left £198,119.89 gross - £198,013.74 net (duty £114,056). The will included several important legacies. Mrs Dixon left £2000 each to Clifton College and Clifton High School for Girls’ scholarships in Divinity. Other schools and churches in the area benefit from smaller legacies.

A silver gilt chalice - with an original glass bowl - and her fans were bequeathed to Bristol Museum and Art Gallery and her collection of old glass to Bristol Savages.


Shire Newspaper AGM Monday 31st July 2017 at 5:30 pm

Shire Newspaper is holding its Annual General Meeting on Monday 31st July 2017 at 5:30 pm in the Tithe Barn, High Street, Shirehampton.

The meeting is open to all members of the public and we would urge anyone who might be interested in joining the editorial team or contributing to any part of the production process to come along and find out more.

Shirehampton Public Hall Newsletter

Welcome to the Shirehampton Public Hall June newsletter! What an exciting month we have had at the Hall.

New classes starting and a public meeting to discuss possibilities and proposals for the future of the hall and library.

Huge thanks to all the Trustees/officers/residents of Shirehampton/Councillor Jo Sergeant and Mrs Wilson, Head Teacher of St Bernard’s School to name but a few, who kindly gave up their evening to attend. The Hall was open to public viewing on the evening of Tuesday 9th May followed by a very successful and stimulating debate. Some valuable points were raised and opinions put forward, which will all be taken into consideration when the time comes for decisions to be made.

The library service is holding a consultation during May and June with a view to reaching decisions about the future of the library service in December. Only then will the Hall know for sure in which direction it can move.

Although many more discussions need to take place and advice needs to be sought from many professionals, the Hall’s public meeting will have played a vital role in how the Association moves into the future with this beautiful building.

For the present, though, don’t forget the Hall has many great social, art, dance, craft and general interest activities to stimulate all tastes! Visit our website or our Facebook page for further details and come and join the fun!

The Trustees at the Hall are always looking for new members, especially from minority groups, and would especially welcome new Trustees from the Polish community. If you are interested in being involved with the Public Hall in any way please contact the manager on 0117 9829963, email or visit our Facebook page or website for further information about us.

Why not become a Member of the Hall Association? It’s just £3 per year and gives individuals a louder voice concerning the Hall’s future.

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.

News from a forgotten Landscape

Summer is a wonderful time to be outdoors. If you’re looking for something to do, you could do worse than consider one of our volunteer opportunities or events!

As always, please visit our website for more information or to book a place

  • 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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  • Orchard Fun Day Wednesday 31st May, 1:30-4pm, Saltmarsh Drive open space (near the Lawrence Weston Community Farm entrance)

    Help restore the old Saltmarsh Drive orchard! Join us over a campfire (bring a sandwich, we’ll bring the marshmallows) and then get active. You can help restore the orchard with Avon Wildlife Trust, have a go at bug hunting and bird watching with the RSPB, listen to a story teller tell tall apple tales, and get creative with our craft activities. Find us on the green space to the left of the Lawrence Weston Community Farm’s entrance. This is a free event; no need to book.

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  • A Stroll along the Severn – part of the Festival of Nature Wednesday 16th June 9:16 (if you come by train) – 12:32, Severn Beach

    A leisurely walk along the banks of the Severn to experience this beautiful, open landscape. The train journey from Bristol is spectacular – it has been rated one of Europe’s most scenic railway journeys by Thomas Cook! We will be catching the 9:16 train from Bristol Temple Meads which gets in at 9:53. You are welcome to meet us at Temple Meads, or join the train at one of the many stations on the route or meet us at Severn Beach station. We’ll return on the 11:54 train which gets in to Temple Meads at 12:32. The train is £3 return from Temple Meads. The walk is free! Booking is essential.

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  • Volunteer Assistant to our Artist-in-Residence

    Interested in art? Like working with people? We’re looking for a volunteer to work with our artist-in-residence. Over the next 12 months, Deborah Aguirre-Jones will be working with local communities to create a permanent artwork in the Severn Beach area. You’ll be involved both in helping to run a range of workshops and events as well as recording the sessions through photography, film and written word to share with the wider community.

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  • Saturday 8th July, 11-4pm, Severn Beach

    Glastonbury-schmastonbury. We are holding, with Severn Beach Village Hall, the first of what we hope will become an annual festival for the Lower Severn Vale Levels – there will be music, food, wildlife walks, kids’ activities, storytelling and lots more!

    We have some spaces for stands so if you’re interested in bringing an activity or information stall please do get in touch. Likewise we’d love to have stands about the different projects we’re running so if you’re volunteering with us and would be willing to chat to people about what you’re up to it would be great if you could come along for a bit!

    Please contact Emma or 01454 864 265.

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  • Meadow Sweep - Bugs, Butterflies and Bees Sunday 16 July, 2-4pm, Littleton on Severn

    Come and visit Woodwell Meadows Nature Reserve near Littleton on Severn with local naturalist Ed Drewitt. This little known nature reserve is full of lots of beetles, grass bugs and colourful flowers waiting to be explored. With sweep nets and trays at hand, discover the wildlife living amongst the fields of flowers and grasses.

    Book your free place on our website!

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History Projects at Shirehampton Primary

Year 1 pupils have been looking at various historical periods.

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Great fire of London
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Henry the eigth
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Queen Elizabeth

So far we have looked at the Romans, the Battle of Hastings, the Golden Age of Elizabeth I and the Great Fire of London.

The children have enjoyed finding out how events from those times still affect us today – for example the Romans introduced coins to England, our modern language is a combination of old English and French thanks to the Norman Conquest and flushing toilets were invented in Elizabethan times!

Over Easter the children were asked to research a historical time that interested them and we have had some amazing projects returned. Well done Year 1!

Reception Class Activities at St Bernard’s

St. Bernard's Catholic Primary’s Reception class celebrated their learning about how to care for animals with a visit to Lawrence Weston Community Farm.

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The farm’s manager, Kerry gave the class a tour, introducing the children to the sheep, pigs, goats, chickens and guinea pigs who live there. The children even had an opportunity to feed the chickens, goats and pigs! Lena D remarked, The most fun thing was touching the animals!. It was a brilliant outing, and we would strongly recommend you stop by for a visit!

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Whilst preparing for Easter, children in the Reception class at St. Bernard’s considered the talents they have been given by God and how they might use these to help others. So many of our pupils are aspiring artists, we decided to decorate bookmarks with the help of our Year 5 Buddies. The finished bookmarks have been donated to the Shirehampton Library to be distributed into books. If you discover one, know it was made with love in mind. Happy Reading!

St. Mary's News - June

Hi Folks!

Easter Sunday seems far away now, but as I write these notes in early May it is only just under a month past.

The Sunrise Service on Shirehampton Park was held 7am with just that little nip in the air. It was a beautiful sunny morning and we had 20 plus people present which included our friends from the Methodist Church. It was a delightful simple service and we were pleased that our Methodist friends were able to join us afterwards for breakfast at the Tithe Barn.

Now here we are in June and the longest day will be with us within three weeks of reading these notes. Just where does time go?

Our Annual Parochial Meeting was held in St Mary’s after a short service of Evening Prayer on Sunday, 30th April. This year I decided to stand down as Deanery Synod Representative. This is for a three year period and having already served for the past nine years I felt it would be a welcome break. St Mary’s is permitted to have three Deanery Synod Reps, but there were only two applicants this time - Diana Hemmings and Pat Davidson. We welcome them as they automatically also become Parochial Church Council members. When the vote was taken for Parochial Church Council members we were delighted to welcome back three former PCC Members - Richard Powell, Jon Saunders and Kathryn Mwakijungu. The new Council has a challenging year before them and we pray that all may go well during the next twelve months. We were also delighted to welcome Anne Ford in her second year as Churchwarden.

Our May Day Open Church Day went down well, as did all the food. The lunches and cream teas were consumed with a relish and there was very little left over at the end of the day. Thanks to the cooking skills of Gill Sawyer we were able to raise the sum of £753. Grateful thanks are due to all those who came and made it such a success.

Our next Open Church is on Monday 29th May, which is the Spring Bank Holiday. Again lunches and cream teas will be served between 12 noon and 5pm. I hope this edition of Shire reaches you all before the event takes place.

Now for some advance information on what is taking place in July:

  • Patronal Festival Saturday 1st July and Sunday 2nd July

    Our Patronal Festival is to be held on Saturday 1st July and Sunday 2nd July. This is the time when we celebrate our Patron Saint - St Mary the Virgin. On the Saturday morning from 10am until 12 noon we will be holding our Summer Fayre with refreshments available and from 2.30pm onwards we shall once again be serving the all time favourite - cream teas!!! This is always the time of the year when St Mary’s looks its best. The theme for the Flower Festival is – ‘Take my hands’. So come on - put on your thinking caps and arrange a display. The next day is the Patronal Festival Day when we shall be holding our usual Kids’ Klub Service starting with breakfast at 8.30am and at 10am our service of Holy Communion.

  • Myndysslwyn Male Voice Choir Saturday 22nd July

    Another bit of information: on Saturday 22nd July, we shall once again be hosting the magnificent Myndysslwyn Male Voice Choir. If you enjoy the full bodied sound of Welsh male voices then this is definitely for you! I absolutely adore it. Tickets will cost £10 and during the interval there will be a buffet supper and you will be given a glass of wine to wash it all down!!

Now a final thought - Did Noah encourage Termites to join him on the Ark?

‘Bye for now!

Chris Eynon

From St. Mary’s Registers - April 2017

Baptisms ’we welcome you’

30th Theo Geovani Armfield
30th Charlotte Paige Batt
30th Harley Steven Jason Batt
30th Aimee Jade Batt

Funerals ‘At rest and at peace’

4th Peter Eyles Canford
10th Ann Roberts Canford

Operetta club turns stately home into theatre for eerie production

Bristol Gilbert and Sullivan Operatic society is taking over Kings Weston House in June to stage their next production, Ruddigore.

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The comic operetta Ruddigore will be staged in the House, using its many features as a set, including its magnificent Portrait Gallery. The portrait gallery will be brought to life in the second Act, as the ghosts of the Bad Baronets of Ruddigore chastise young Sir Ruthven, using innovative sound and lighting systems.

The stunning House grounds will be turned into Ruddigore’s village, Rederring, complete with traditional stalls selling produce, a tombola, a witch’s burning pit, and the opportunity to hire professional bridesmaids (a reference in the show) for your wedding.

The show’s audience will not be sitting still. The audience will be invited to travel with the production through different rooms in the House, as the show progresses. We will start off in the impressive Vanbrugh room as the set of the village, and visit the Portrait Gallery in the second Act when the ghostly Baronets of Ruddigore will mysteriously come to life.

Show Director Hannah Coleman said, we are looking forward to staging a very different and innovative production to the traditional theatre show in 2017. It’s been great fun thinking up new ideas for putting on an operetta that was first performed 130 years ago. The fantastic thing about G&S is that the jokes are still hilarious, the music is still fabulous and love stories never age! We started to think about presenting the performance at KWH after we did a concert there. We thought 'what a fantastic venue, how could we make it work?' A year of planning later and here we are!

Kings Weston House owner Norman Routledge said, this KWH’s first full theatre production and we were delighted and intrigued when we were first approached by BGSOS with the idea of staging their show here. It’s a great opportunity for us to work with a local group and to be able to show off our beautiful house to a new range of local people.

The show will run from Tuesday June 6th 2017 to Saturday June 10th at Kings Weston House, with the Rederring Village Market open from 5pm every evening before the evening shows and from 12pm on Saturday 10th June before the matinee performance. Picnics welcome in the grounds and characters from the show will be introducing themselves!

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall at Kings Weston House

Concert Theatre put on a performance based on Anne Bronte’s book on 26/7th April.

What a superb evening! Helen was played by Emily May Smith who trained at Bristol Old Vic theatre school. Martin Bonger played both parts of her husband and lover, skilfully changing his jacket and his accent as needed. The passionate and tragic story was highlighted by music on the grand piano: Scriabin, Mozart and Brahms played by Diana Brekalo who also represented the mistress.

The setting in the entrace hall of Kings Weston House was perfect.

The story of love, betrayal and a woman’s struggle to be recognised for her own talent is timeless and still highly relevant today.

If you missed this wonderful event, there are performances in other places during May, including Bath Holbourne Museum on 25th May.

I hope we can have more shows like this at Kings Weston.

Nature Notes…

I want to call this article ‘The joy, the drama and the sadness of nature’.

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"Feed me, Feed me..."

The joy can be graphically seen in this amazing picture by Bob Pitchford. He was lucky enough to have this nest in his own garden, and very kindly passed this super shot and others for me to enjoy, and to be able to share with you. The babies all fledged and hopefully are now ‘doing well’! All around us young birds are leaving the nest and embarking on the next, often hazardous, step.

That brings me on to the drama. Just yesterday, as I was about to get into the car to go and meet a friend, I heard an almighty racket in the car park. I rounded the corner of my neighbour’s house to see two magpies attacking a young starling. The parents were flying around in a panic, trying to drive off the maggies, and the poor baby was desperately trying to escape. This I saw in just a matter of seconds! Like something possessed, I ran shouting oye! oye! at them, waving my arms about, and it worked!! The magpies flew to a safe distance from this mad woman, and the baby starling cleverly ran for shelter under a car. I could see it was still able to fly which was good news, so I got my husband to stand guard until the magpies flew off and the fledgling had rested, and then moved on to find its parents.

I hate to finish on a sad note, but in nature we have the whole spectrum every day don’t we? On Bank Holiday Monday a fellow dog walker knocked at my door to say there was a very sick fox lying in full view in the field along from our homes. It was just after lunch time, so of course, this fox was definitely in trouble. I walked back with the lady, and there it was. The sight that met us was heart breaking. It was clearly suffering from terrible mange, as the back half of its body was completely hairless, and when it tried to hide from us it struggled just to get to its feet.

It was weak and starving and in desperate need of expert help. I immediately rang the RSPCA, and after an agonising time was able to convince the dispatcher that the fox was still close by and needing help. After what seemed like hours, but wasn’t, an amazing RSPCA inspector called me and I explained the situation. Happily, he believed me when I said there was no way this creature could have gone far, and said he was on his way.

When he arrived, we walked back to where the lady had first seen the fox, and the poor little mite was laid in the same spot trying to get warm in the sunshine! I have to report that this inspector was the best man that could have responded. He saw how desperately sick the fox was, and was determined not to leave without making every effort to capture it and end its suffering. It took the best part of an hour, but eventually he succeeded, and humanely put the poor thing to sleep. A sad end, and one I wish could have been different, but that was not to be this time. At least this one’s suffering was not prolonged.

Bobbie Perkins.

Botany in the Shire

The Wild Plants of the Shirehampton area.

Wild Liquorice grows in the National Trust’s Shirehampton Park meadow between the Portway and the River Avon.

I was shown it in 2011 at the top of the field and haven’t been able to find it there since, though there is a patch some distance away. It has also been reported at the roadside nearby (1996).

Why Wild Liquorice? It seems to be a book name and not one originally used by country folk, who might have called it Milk-vetch from its unusual creamy flowers and the supposed improvement to the milk yield of their cattle. It is included in Richard Mabey’s classic book, Food for Free (1972), but only to say that it is a botanical cousin of the plant used in the manufacture of liquorice. Gerard’s Herbal of 1633 also mentions the similarity and calls our plant the Liquorice Hatchet-vetch. Liquorice literally means ‘sweet root’. The hatchet reference is obscure.

It is an herbaceous perennial of the pea family and the leaves, made up of many leaflets, are rather chunky and pressed to the ground. In the winter, there is nothing to be seen of it. It particularly likes warm banks and wood margins and so has suffered from land use change and scrub encroachment. A century ago it grew for a quarter of a mile on the southern edge of the hillside wood at Henbury. It was there in 1985 but we couldn’t find any at all a few years ago.

It was always an uncommon plant so it seemed that Shirehampton was the only place left for it in my botanical half-county of West Gloucestershire (stretching from Bristol up to Stroud and Tewkesbury). However, a friend and I recently found another patch south of Stroud. Misquoting Shakespeare, one could say some plants are born rare and others have rareness thrust upon them. This one has a bit of both about it. I must echo the notice put up by the National Trust asking users of metal detectors to desist from digging holes in the turf of this delightful old meadow.

Clive Lovatt

From Shirehampton Health Centre

The GP Partners of Shirehampton Health Centre would like to thank their patients for the understanding and patience they have shown over what has been, country-wide, an exceptionally busy winter.

This seems to have been due to some long-lasting viral illnesses on top of ever-increasing demands upon the National Health Service. We acknowledge that waiting times for a routine appointment can be frustratingly long but we operate a triage system so that people who need more urgent assessment can speak to a doctor on the same day. We also offer telephone consultations before the start of morning surgery together with evening and Saturday morning surgeries.

We encourage patients to use our website,, which provides useful links to help you manage your own health when appropriate. If you have a computer, please consider registering with us for online access. This allows you to make and cancel appointments and request repeat prescriptions on-line.

Please contact us as soon as possible if you are unable to keep an appointment. We can use that appointment for another person, even at quite short notice.

Please continue to champion the NHS and to support our medical, nursing, reception and administrative staff who work so hard for the local community.

Many thanks, Viv Munday,

Deputy Practice Manager, Shirehampton Group Practice

Letters to the Editor

Have your say eMail >

St Andrews road - Mark Baker

Dear Editor,

Why can’t we have St Andrews road back to how it was. All we seem to see is traffic jams from the roundabout to past Kings Western Lane traffic lights in to Smoke Lane in morning like anything from 7 am to 9 am then in afternoon from about 3 o’clock till 5 o’clock. I think we need a new road to the motorway. It was better when you had 2 lanes each way.

Lost friend - Bob Boyce. Roger

Dear Editor,

I would like to get in contact with Bob Boyce (Lordy)who was a friend of mine within 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.

Please contact me email:

Arson in Kings Weston. (Name and address supplied. Ed.)

Whilst walking on Monday 8 May around 7pm in the Kings Weston estate my husband and I smelt wood burning which, on further investigation revealed a tree stump that had deliberately been set alight.

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Burning stump

Whilst it may not have resulted in a fire on the scale of the disasters in Australia or California there was a definite risk of it spreading. Fortunately the Fire Service responded extremely promptly to our phone call, extinguished it and prevented further damage. Just what is it that makes people so disrespectful towards their surroundings, foolish to mess with fire and selfish to put others at risk? We are so fortunate to live with this green space on our doorstep. Let’s all be thankful and respectful of our good fortune, perhaps keeping an eye out for those who don’t seem to feel the same.

(Name and address supplied. Ed.)

Apology to Our Readers

Some of you will have received your May Shire later than usual and we know some of you were concerned.

Our printer was unable to deliver the papers on the usual day because of the early May Bank Holiday. Our very committed counters and drivers made themselves available on the Tuesday and most bundles went out then. But one of our drivers had injured his arm and couldn’t drive. So our very careful contingency plans to deal with the delay fell apart. Nevertheless, only two bundles of papers were more than a few days late. As always we are very grateful to the counters, drivers and deliverers without whom Shire couldn’t happen.


Shirehampton Community Plan

As you probably know, Shirehampton is developing a Community Plan which will help us to influence the way changes in publics services affect our local area.

A steering group has been preparing a questionnaire for all residents of Shirehampton so that the plan will reflect the views and wishes of the whole community.

There are many ways YOU can help make the Community Plan happen. You could join the steering group. Or, if you haven’t time for meetings, you could make sure you talk to friends and neighbours, or local groups you belong to, about the plan, and especially about the questionnaire.

YOU could volunteer to distribute some questionnaires in your road. The views of every resident of Shirehampton from 12 years old on up will go into creating the plan so we want to make sure every household in Shirehampton has a chance to answer it.

Of course it will also be available on line . And once the questionnaires have been returned there will be a need for people to put the numbers into a data base.

Councillors’ report

Here is the first of our monthly reports for the Shire.

If you want to find out more about our work you can go to our Facebook page: Alternatively, you can contact us on: (Jo) 07584 370 416 or (Don) 07914 385 321 .

Port Communities Resilience Fund

Despite the recent reductions in spending due to Government austerity, there is the Port Communities Resilience Fund of £1,000,000 to spend in Avonmouth, Shirehampton, Lawrence Weston and Upper Sea Mills/Coombe Dingle. Any local group can bid for funding for projects that will benefit their communities. There is also an Employment and Skills project to increase employability and encourage entrepreneurship across the ward and also a Thriving High Streets project. Further details on how to apply will follow and there are plans for a presentation of projects at the Goram Fair in September.

Shirehampton Road/Kings Weston Road/Westbury Lane

Council Highways officers will visit the junction of Kings Weston Road, Westbury Lane and Shirehampton to see the traffic situation on a busy working/school morning (8am 23 May). We requested this meeting because we felt it particularly important to allow local residents to give their perspective, especially with regard to pedestrian safety, particularly that of children travelling to school. There is a proposed scheme which may benefit from amendments following the meeting.

Kings Weston Iron Bridge

Despite the costs associated with its listed status and the fact the vehicle that crashed into it was never identified, it is hoped that the Kings Weston Iron Bridge will be repaired this financial year. However it first needs to be dismantled and examined by external specialists so a repair plan can be devised. In the meantime we need to consider ways of reducing the risk of another collision. Measures include signage in appropriate places, talking to South Gloucestershire Council and particular businesses that may be routing vehicles under the bridge, as well as ensuring that the data given to satnav companies reflects the lack of suitability of the Bridge for larger vehicles.


In order to maintain and even improve our bus services in the ward, it is important that all bus passes and e-tickets are scanned for every journey. If the bus companies do not have accurate information about passenger numbers, they are more likely to consider cancelling a service.

Councillor Surgeries

You are also welcome to come and discuss any of the issues below (as well as anything else of concern to you) at one of our councillor surgeries. We’ll be at [Avonmouth Library on Friday 19 May 3-5pm,] Ambition Lawrence Weston on Saturday 3 June 10-12 and at St Mary’s on Friday 16 June, also 10-12. Our surgeries follow a predictable pattern of first Saturday and third Friday of each month. We hold a surgery in four different locations in the ward and times depend on the availability of the location. See our Facebook page or posters in the libraries and other public spaces for details.

City and Port of Bristol Bowling Club

The 2017 bowling season is now in full swing at the City and Port of Bristol Club.

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Early season

More than a dozen Wednesday and week-end friendly games have already been enjoyed and both Ladies and Gents Bristol and District Leagues are underway. Monday evening Club league started on May 8th and saw wins for last year’s Wooden Spoonists , The Lads as well as the Marvels and Nomads.

Sunday 30th April saw last year’s Ladies Club Champion Dee Crawley take on Ann White of Bristol Arrow in the Champion of Champions Competition. Dee had home green advantage and competed very well in a game that was very close throughout and had a nail-biting finish. The aim of the game was to reach 21 shots before your opponent. With Ann leading 20-19 Dee held two shots in what turned out to be the final end. But with her very last wood of the game Ann took shot to go through by 21 shots to 19. Who says bowling isn’t exciting!!

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Trevor Scanlon and David Hinksman played Colin Henry and Alan Ball of Bristol Bowling Club in the City and County Pairs on Tuesday May 2nd --- also at the City and Port Green. The visitors played very well and were quickly into a healthy lead. Although the host pair won a number of ends the shot count was insufficient and the visitors ran out comfortable winners over the 21 ends played.

Saturday May 6th saw ten City and Port of Bristol Ladies at Page Park playing the Top Club Competition. This is a competition in which fours, triples, pairs and singles are played simultaneously. City and Port put in a very good performance against strong opposition but were not able to come away with a victory.

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Ladies, first league game of the season.

More successful for the Ladies was the first league game of the season, away at Olveston on Wednesday May 3rd. Against formidable opposition they managed a win on one rink of the two played and returned home with a very good two points.

The men’s league campaign did not start well, losing the first game at home to St.Annes Park on Thursday April 27th. But --- seven days later there was a change of fortune when they recorded a resounding win over Greenbank B, at Greenbank. Winning on two of the three rinks and the game overall gave City and Port 8 of the 10 points available for a league game.

Planning well ahead the 2018 Summer Tour will be on the Isle of Wight in July.

Tuesday evenings for new bowlers has been running since April and there has been some interest, with at least one new member looking likely. Saturday June 3rd is open day, commencing at 2.30pm. All existing members are being asked to bring a relative, friend or neighbour to try the game of bowls. Like the Tuesday evening sessions this will be free of charge with all equipment provided.

£1,000 up for grabs for Shirehampton’s most deserving youth sports team

The UK’s leading heating and hot water manufacturer is searching for local deserving youth sports teams to receive a surprise visit and £1,000 donation towards their club.

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Worcester, Bosch Group has launched the search as part of its commitment to heating up the nation’s parents and grandparents as they endure the great British weather to watch their children play sport each week.

To kick off the campaign, ex-England footballer and ‘I’m a Celebrity’ contestant, Wayne Bridge, and ex-England rugby star and ‘Dancing on Ice’ winner, Kyran Bracken, returned to their grass roots to surprise players and spectators on the sidelines.

As well as joining the young aspiring players on the pitch for a pep talk and coaching session, the sporting legends had an extra treat for parents, as they helped keep them warm on the sidelines with hot drinks, bacon sandwiches and blankets during the game.

The Which? Best Buy heating supplier is now calling for locals in Shirehampton to nominate a deserving youth team for the chance to receive a special visit and £1,000 donation when the season kicks off again in September.

Sue Pennington, consumer brand manager at Worcester, Bosch Group, said: Youth sport is such an important part of local communities, so this year we wanted to give something back – not just to the players, but to the parents and coaches who give up their time and energy every week to celebrate their children’s love of sport.

It would be great to visit a grass roots team in Shirehampton, so we can show local parents and spectators that they can rely on Worcester to keep them warm.