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Back to December 2017 SHIRE January 2018
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Santa Dash

Carols on the Green.

Snow

Co‐op Local Community Fund

Bloodhound

Happy 90th Birthday to Shirehampton’s Oldest Volunteer.

Organised Crime Gang Jailed For ATM Gas Attacks

Update On Your Community Plan For Shirehampton

Grant Watkins Retires as Scout Leader.

Tynings Field Community Group

S.T.O.M.P Christmas

St. Andrew Ladies Club

Shirehampton Public Hall Newsletter

Nova Primary School Governor Vacancy

Santa Claus Visit’s St. Bernards School Christmas Fair.

Shirehampton Primary School

Farewell Chris and Margaret

St. Mary's News - January

Grandad‘s Army Prepare to Defend Shirehampton!

Botany in the Shire

Nature Notes…

Can You Help Combat Loneliness?

Letters to the Editor

Apology to the People Mentioned in Petition Article [Edition 551-December 2017, pg15]

Your Voice in Parliament ‐ January 2018

Twyford House CC presentation

Three Smelters Turn Professional

PBA Bowling Club

Santa Dash

Sunday 3rd December was Shires first ‘Santa Dash‘, hosted by Shire Christmas Illuminations at the PBA club.

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Over 400 entrants of all ages and abilities took part in the 5km fun run. It was a fantastic day. The weather was on our side and we were thrilled by the level of support. Shirehampton community spirit was clear for all to see.

The committee would like to thank everyone who took part or supported in various ways. We raised a fantastic £2,400 towards the Christmas lights fund. The village is looking amazing this Christmas, we hope you like it?

If you would like to show your appreciation or donate towards next years display you can do this online through: localgiving.org/shire‐christmas‐illuminations. There are many more photos and positive comments on facebook.com/shirechristmasilluminations.

For more Santa Dash photos by Bob Pitchford Click here to visit the PBA club site.

Carols on the Green.

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Another successful year for Carols on the Green ‐ with probably one of the highest attendances we've ever had.

Shire would like to thank Rev. Helen Johnson, Vicar of St Mary's for leading the Carols on Christmas Eve. We are always very grateful to Mr Philip Sims and the West Bristol Concert Band who come every year to support the singing.

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Snow

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Silent, so silent it fell to the ground,
To cover the earth with not even a sound,
And as we look at this wonderful sight,
Nobody knew it had happened last night,
The garden all glistens,
A chill fills the air,
The birds are still singing,
They don‘t seem to care…

Children now waking ‐ their eyes open wide!
Quickly get dressed and rush straight outside,
They laugh as they play,
Their cheeks all aglow,
Was this the first time,
They rolled in the snow?
The trees are all laden with frosty lace,
And everyone walks at a much slower pace.

Nobody knew it had happened last night,
But we all love such a beautiful sight,
Then silent, so silent it all melts away,
To bring in the morning another new day.

By Angela Cozens

Co‐op Local Community Fund

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Every year the Co‐op in Shirehampton raise funds for local organisations through their Local Community Fund. At the end of November they presented cheques to the 178th Shirehampton Brownies, The Bristol Playbus Sensory Truck Project and the Bristol North West Food Bank with a total £18,197.37 split between them.

The fundraising continues for another year and this time monies raised will go to SCAF (Shirehampton Community Action Forum), The Rock and Kings Weston School for their various projects.

If you have a Co‐op membership card each time you shop and present your card to the cashier you also raise money for local community organisations. Check your receipt next time you’re shopping. However you can choose where your pennies go. Rebecca Thorne, Team Manager for the Shirehampton branch said: ‘’If you go to the web site on the back of your membership card you can log onto your account and it will then bring up your local charities within a 20 mile radius and you can pick whatever one you want your pennies to go to. Any plastic bags you purchase for example, if they cost a penny to make then 4p goes to the charity’’.

Kathryn Courtney

Bloodhound

Bloodhound is operational.

Our month at Newquay, culminating in Bloodhound SSC’S first public runs at the end of October, has set us firmly on the road to South Africa. We’d like to thank all of our supporters, volunteers and sponsors for helping to make this happen ‐ we couldn’t have done it without you.

There are opportunities for you to come to see Bloodhound at our Technical Centre in December ‐ we’ve got Open Days for all the family and special Christmas Rocket Car events to entertain the kids in the school holidays.

And there’s more to come. For the latest news, plus a message from Richard Noble and driver Andy Green’s summary of his time at Newquay check out our website at www.bloodhoundssc.com for more information, videos and images.

As Andy says in his diary: If this year was exciting, then next year is going to be amazing!

Finns Celebrate 100 Years Of Independence

Finnish citizens, their families and friends celebrated their independence at Shirehampton Park Golf Club on Saturday 25th November ahead of the official 6th December date.

The event was organised by Miss Karoliina Helin, and the local Finnish group with the assistance of the Honorary Consul for Finland in Bristol Geoffrey Parsons, and was honoured by visits from the Lord Mayor of Bristol Councillor Lesley Alexander, the Mayor and Mayoress of Weston‐super‐Mare Mrs Jos Holder and Councillor Mrs Roz Willis, the Honorary Consul General for Romania Dr. Razvan Constaninescu accompanied by his wife (pictured). The Lord High Sheriff Michael Bothamley and his wife joined the celebration later in the evening.

Finland’s centenary of independence is being celebrated in an epic way throughout the world and culminates on Finland’s Independence Day, 6 December 2017. The story of the 100‐year‐old Finland is extraordinary and rests on the values cherished by the Finns: democracy, education, equality and freedom of speech. The climax of the centenary will be a joint effort, and the programme will be rich and memorable. The celebrations will take place throughout Finland as well as in more than 100 countries on all the continents.

Geoffrey Seward Parsons,Honorary Consul for Finland, Bristol, Tel 07507 605137

Happy 90th Birthday to Shirehampton’s Oldest Volunteer.

Norman Sims has been an active volunteer for almost twenty‐five years and on 1st January 2018 it will be a landmark birthday for him. He will be 90 years young and must be the oldest volunteer in Shirehampton.

Norman was born in Almondsbury Hospital on New Year’s Day 1928. He lived and was brought up in Pilning. At the age of 18 he got his call up papers and joined the Navy. He travelled to Skegness and Scotland for training before being dispatched to HMS Black Swan where he served as an Able Seaman.

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Norman Sims

Norman moved to Shirehampton in 1949 where he met his future wife Eileen Barnes and it’s here they brought up their family. He worked at Spillers Flour Mill in Avonmouth until it closed in 1980 and then worked for British Gas until he retired in 1993. However the word ‘retirement’ isn’t in Norman’s vocabulary and soon after began volunteering for the Public Hall and became a Trustee Member. I think I am the oldest member but I’m still young in heart and my heart is still beating. said Norman with a cheeky smile. He is also Chair Person for The Evergreens and the Bingo Club. Norman continuously fundraises for the Public Hall, The Evergreens and the bingo nights held at the venue. I love arranging day trips and holidays with the Evergreens and I also love playing bingo. I meet so many people. There’s comradeship, plenty of talk and I get to know them all. It’s very social and I look forward to that. Seeing people’s smiling faces is worth everything rather than artificial awards. Making people happy, that’s reward enough for me.

Birthday celebrations for Norman began in December where many friends wanted to wish him well and show him how much he really is appreciated. Hopefully by the time Norman’s official birthday arrives he is not too partied out! I had to ask Norman his secret for longevity. My secret is being amongst people, listening to them and what they would like to do with interests and activities and as long as I’m able I will continue on and plan ahead. I love to socialise and like the company of my friends and every once in a while share a beer with them.

Happy 90th Birthday Norman and cheers from everybody that knows you.

Kathryn Courtney

Organised Crime Gang Jailed For ATM Gas Attacks

An organised crime gang, which carried out a series of ATM attacks, have been jailed for more than 25 years.

Mitchell Barnes, Wade Gwyther, Kyle Joyner and Matthew Parsons plotted to blow up cash machines using highly explosive gas during April and May last year. Among the attacks they were responsible for were ones at the Post Office on The Parade, Shirehampton on 26 April; at Co‐Op on Dragon Road, Winterbourne on 5 May and at Tesco Express on Station Road, Yate on 11 May.

The explosions the gang carried out in the attacks blew up the shop frontages leaving the buildings in ruins.

Barnes and Joyner admitted charges of conspiracy to cause explosions while Gwyther was found guilty following a trial at Bristol Crown Court.

During a hearing the two who admitted their involvement were jailed for five and seven‐and‐a‐half years respectively while Gwyther was sentenced to 10 years. Parsons had already been sentenced to five years at a previous hearing. The 27‐year‐old was serving a prison sentence at the time of last year’s series but admitted to being involved in the conspiracy by providing instructions to his co‐conspirators in phone calls made from his cell. In total, Parsons has now been jailed for 15 years in prison having also been jailed for another series in 2015.

Detective Chief Inspector Matt Iddon said: This sentencing of an organised crime gang responsible for blowing up ATMs highlights our success in apprehending criminals determined to do whatever it takes to steal money. The arrogance of these men, in particular of Matthew Parsons, meant they thought they could get away with what they were doing. They couldn’t have been more wrong. As with the other gangs willing to put lives at risk by using highly explosive gas to attack cashpoints in the Avon and Somerset area, the judge has handed out significant sentences which reflect the nature of their crimes and which I hope act as a further deterrent to others. He added: Since the start of last year, we in Avon and Somerset have been working closely with the ATM industry to make it harder for criminals to steal money from cashpoints. More ATMs across the force area have been fitted with equipment designed to stop these kinds of attacks from happening, including armoured plating, while many also now have forensic water dispersal units installed which spray offenders with an indelible liquid. These measures either make the cash cassettes harder to access or make it easier to identify those involved in such attacks and I think they have had a noticeable effect.

Update On Your Community Plan For Shirehampton

The survey has closed and the focus groups have ended.

Now is the time for us to write up your, and our, ideas into our own Community Plan for Shirehampton. You will not hear much from the steering group as we want to make sure we include everyone’s hopes and wishes for the future of Shirehampton. Meanwhile, please contact us by email, telephone, or Facebook if you have any queries about the progress of the Plan.

We will produce a full Community Plan which will be on the website and available for all to read. We will also deliver a short version to every home in the village when it is written. We expect to launch the Plan at a party in the village in the Spring of next year. Don’t forget to look out for an announcement of the date.

Grant Watkins Retires as Scout Leader.

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After 25 years service to the 191st Scout Group Grant Watkins stood down as Scout Leader.

He joined the 191st as a cub in the Mannox Pack, run by Tony and Pam Mitchell, rising to sixer in the yellow six. He progressed to scouts at 10 and a half, with Henry Warren, becoming a patrol leader of the Otters. He continued with his scouting after leaving at the age of 15 and a half, gaining his chief scouts award, and was warranted after a jamboree held at Woodhouse Park in 1992. His aim was to give back to the youngsters coming into scouting all the fun he had enjoyed in the cubs and scouts.

Some of Grants more memorable moments were 1st place in the 1991 carnival with the yellow submarine float, winning the Martin Trophy (a night orienteering hike exercise for scouts) in Chepstow and camping with the scouts for a fortnight in the Black Mountains.

He is proud of the achievements of many of the youngsters in their chosen professions and is grateful to the late Tony Mitchell and his wife Pam, Henry Warren, Andrew and Pam Goddard for their help and support over the last 25 years.

Grant would like to thank all the people who attended his farewell presentation including the district commissioner, Mike Caines for presenting his 25 year award and all leaders past and present. The 191st presented Grant with a set of whittling knives with which he can pursue his hobby. Many thanks Grant for all that you have done for my children and countless others over the years.

The 191st continues, but will only thrive with more parental help.

Mike Britton ‐ Chairman

Tynings Field Community Group

On a recent Sunday morning Tynings Field Community Group worked hard planting 150 edible berry, elderberry, rosehip and nut trees to form an edible hedgerow.

The trees came from the Woodland Trust under the Community free tree scheme. Following the line of the Doomsday Book boundary in Tynings Field, which was once a 5 acre field running from Park Road area to the Woods in Woodwell, where the hedge has grown to a natural extended thicket in the orchard encasing a small wild pond with newts.

This little copse is home to several beehives, a variety of wild animals including foxes, weasles, hedgehogs, squirrels and various native birds including woodpeckers, nightingales and owls. By adding edible saplings a further diverse foraging aspect makes Tynings Field connected by a wildlife corridor running from the SSI at Horseshoe Bend. At a time when modern agriculture is stripping away hedges and trees, when governments say wild animals don‘t feel, and housing development destroys wildlife, Tynings Field run with old fashioned farming values. Our aim is to produce eggs, honey, vegetables and fruit, yes, but to enrich and repair environments for our wild creatures here too. For the humans, if you haven‘t tried eating hawthorn leaves now might be a good time. My grandad said Hawthorn was called ‘poor man‘s bread‘ in Somerset in years gone by and his father while on his way to work at Blackrock Quarry would eat hawthorn leaves and a slice of cheddar cheese. Elderflower and berry make good wine and in soft drinks it‘s a natural antioxidant. Nuts are not just for squirrels. Rosehips are medicinal. Our community of Tynings Field members should be proud of their work for here they have created a home, a habitat, a food source and of course, beauty. In March a second batch of edible trees will be given to us to gap up existing hedges. Members involved in the planting will receive a free tree for their gardens.

Hedges also need tidying and laying to allow good growth so we will be organising a hedge laying day in January which will be open to volunteers. In future, our land and the creatures on it, and future generations will reap the rewards and thank you for this. Our smallholding has been running for a few years now and on smallholdings the simplest things are always the ones that make the biggest difference.

S.T.O.M.P Christmas

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St Mary's S.T.O.M.P dance club worked hard to put on a Christmas production on the 2nd December, called 'The Christmas List'.

S.T.O.M.P runs free dance sessions for ages 3‐16 at the Tithe Barn. Please contact Amy Boucher on confidance@rocketmail.com if you have a child interested in joining.

St. Andrew Ladies Club

St. Andrew Ladies Club Events 2018

Jan 2nd Beetle Drive
Jan 16th Ida Rolf ‐ talk by Johnathan Hancox
Feb 6th Gentle yoga by Christine
Feb 20th Whales and Dolphins by Barnard Purrier
March 6th John Cabot ‐ the Matthew by Richard Clammer
March 20th Charity Bring & Buy ‐ auction
April 3rd Smuggling by Mark Bullen
April 17th Radio Bristol, Emma Britton
May 1st To be arranged
May 15th Bingo
June 5th Summer Outing ‐ Royal Mint
June 19th The Hedgehog Lady by Beryl Casey
July 3rd To be arranged
July 17th A.G.M.

Shirehampton Public Hall Newsletter

Happy New Year from the staff and Trustees at the Shirehampton Public Hall and welcome to our January newsletter!

The Hall had a very busy time in the run up to Christmas with our new flooring in the foyer and many Christmassy events such as our Table Top Sale and Christmas with Santa. Thank you so much to all the Trustees and Volunteers who played such a big part in enabling these events to happen and making them such an enjoyable success. 2018 brings with it a number of new activities at the Hall, including Aerobics on a Monday evening at 8pm, a Nutrition Class on Wednesdays at 6pm and Biodanza, a movement class for all abilities on Wednesday at 5pm (no dance experience required!). So come on people of Shirehampton and beyond, get fit for 2018! Don’t forget our established regular classes too ‐ Zumba, Tai Chi, Line Dancing, Art Clubs, Stitchers, Pillowlace, Model Railway Club, Women’s Fellowship ‐ no excuses to remain alone at home! Come along and make some new friends and begin 2018 on a positive note!

The Hall is also going to experience a number of changes of facilities over the next year or so. An architect with listed building experience has already been employed to submit his ideas and the Hall Association has employed a consultant to help with grant applications to enable this work to take place, so keep your eyes on this newsletter, our website and Facebook for updates.

The Trustees at the Hall are always looking for volunteers and 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 bookings@shirepubhall.org.uk or visit our Facebook page or website www.shirepubhall.org.uk for further information about us.

Why not become a Member of the Hall Association? It’s just £5 per year and gives individuals a louder voice concerning the Hall’s future. If you would like to make a donation to the upkeep of this incredible building why not try our JustGiving page? The link is https://localgiving.org/donation/shirehampton‐public‐hall‐community‐association. Many thanks in advance for all your support.

Nova Primary School Governor Vacancy

At Nova Primary School, situated in Barracks Lane, we are very fortunate to have a full complement of Parent Governors, however we do have two vacancies to fill from within our local community.

Are you someone who has time to give, to join a team of dedicated Governors with an interest in educating our young inspiring pupils? No experience is required as full training is available.

Do please contact clerk.nova.p@bristol‐schools.uk for further information or Tel: 0117 9030446 and leave your name and telephone number with the school office and we will get back to you.

Santa Claus Visit’s St. Bernards School Christmas Fair.

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Whether you know him as Father Christmas or Santa Claus, December is always a very busy time for Santa and his Elves.

He made a visit to St. Bernard’s School annual Christmas Fair on Saturday 2nd December and there were plenty of excited children waiting to meet him. Amelie aged 7 was undecided about what she wanted for Christmas I can’t work out what I want. I liked the grotto, there was fake snow everywhere and I’m on the good list she said.

Zebedee, aged 5, had plenty to say and knows what he wants as a gift: I liked Father Christmas, he had a big beard. I’m on the good list. I’ve lost my teddy, I‘ve looked everywhere for him, so I want a teddy.

The event was extremely busy with plenty to get involved with. Children loved having their faces painted, doing arts and crafts, buying food for the reindeer and for some strange reason knocking Father Christmas off the chimney with snowballs and if successful won a prize! There were some lovely Christmas decorations on sale as well as advent calendars, gift ideas, cakes and there was a lucky tombola and a prize raffle. Once done you could buy refreshments and snacks and sit down for a bit of a chat with family, friends and neighbours whilst Christmas music played in the background.

The fair was organised by St Bernard’s PTA alongside St Bernard’s church. Angela Harper summed up the event It took lots of hard work from everybody but it was worth it! We made £740 for the school so look out for exciting news on where the money will be spent soon. Thank you to everyone who came along on the day’’.

Kathryn Courtney

Shirehampton Primary School

What a fantastic start to school the reception children have had! They have settled well into the routines and challenges of school life and we couldn‘t be prouder!

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This term we focussed our learning around the story of ‘Owl Babies‘ and other nocturnal animals. We started off the term with a visit from ‘The Wriggly Road Show‘. James brought in a variety of different nocturnal animals such as; Snakes, Cockroaches, Rats, Tenrecs, Giant Stick Insects and a Bearded Dragon to share with us! We asked some thoughtful questions to further our own knowledge and thoroughly enjoyed the experience!

We have been learning the story of ‘Owl Babies’ and using our phonic knowledge to write labels and captions. We can retell the story of the Owl Babies using actions.

We have been rehearsing hard for our Christmas Nativity Play and cannot wait to perform to all our grown‐ups.

Photo ‐ Shirehampton Primary School 7

Amy McNamee & Sue Hayfield (London Class)???

Lucy Widdess & Rachael Crouch (Edinburgh Class)???

Farewell Chris and Margaret

On Sunday November 26th Shirehampton Baptist Church said goodbye to our Minister Chris Grant and his wife Margaret. Chris came to us 8 years ago. This was his first church as a minister. For 30 years both Chris and Margaret have been teachers.

Apart from his ministerial duties, which were many, Chris served in the wider community. He was a voluntary councillor at Oasis Academy Brightstowe and part of our church drama group. ‘Open the Book‘ bringing bible stories to Avon and Shirehampton Primary Schools assemblies. Soon after Chris arrived we started our ‘Mainly Music‘ sessions for parents and toddlers. Although used to teaching seniors Chris soon adapted to this age group leading the songs and often listening to the adults joys and problems.

Sadly, a few years ago Margaret was diagnosed with Alzheimers and had to give up her job as a Maths teacher. However, she has coped very well and served the church in many ways. They have now returned to their home in Maidenhead and will be near their granddaughter Sophie.

We thank them for their time with us and trust they will be very happy in the days to come.

Mair Blandford

St. Mary's News - January

Hi Folks!

Now that the Christmas festivities are almost over, the church year moves into the season of Epiphany, but it‘s not too late for me to wish you all a very happy and peaceful New Year.

In a troubled world our prayers are needed more than ever before.

Back in early December we had a Concert given by a Gospel Choir, well in fact it was four combined choirs. It was a very full sound and many members of the choir commented on the wonderful acoustics in St Mary‘s! Several pieces of music were unaccompanied and it was a real pleasure to see the Choir Members singing with such enthusiasm.

On Sunday, 3rd December at 6.00 pm we held our Advent Service of Light. This is the time when we lit up our Tree of Light with all the little Memorial Cards bearing the names of lost loved ones. The service commenced in total darkness and the church was gradually lit up whilst the choir was singing the first hymn in procession. The choir sang three solo items as well as familiar Advent Hymns to a sizeable congregation.

Now for some exciting news ‐ as from Tuesday, 9th January there will be a new Youth Group for children age 10 years and over in The Tithe Barn from 7.30 pm until 9.00 pm. This will include Fun Activities led by Rev Helen and Amy Boucher and will be on every Tuesday during term time. Each child will be asked to pay 50 pence subs. Why not see if your child enjoys this regular Fun Evening?

Please keep an eye open at the back of the church for our postponed Quiz Evening. A date has yet to be finalised in order to ensure it doesn‘t clash with any other event. An evening of fun can be guaranteed!

Now may I tell you of another function in the Tithe Barn. It is a 4 week course called RESOLVE and is a course designed to help you make life‐long positive changes. The four weekly sessions are :

  1. Looking after your body.
  2. Strengthening your mind.
  3. Inspiring your soul.
  4. Deepening your relationships.

These courses are at 7.30 pm on Wednesdays January 10, 17, 24, 31 OR Thursdays January 11, 18, 25, 1 Feb. You can choose which series to attend. Please give it some thought and come along!

Now, just before I go, were you aware that Moses was leading his people through the desert for 40 years. It seems even in Biblical times men avoided asking the way!

‘Bye for now. C.M.E

Grandad‘s Army Prepare to Defend Shirehampton!

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The platoon will be at the Public Hall on 27th January, guarding our river Avon against a nazi submarine with a shabby plan to blow up Temple Meads !

The Ukulele Funhouse Orchestra return with a new show, telling the tale of the capture and escape of the sub commander, and the hunt to find him, with a bunch of Wrens trying to steal their glory by beating them to it. One junior member of the platoon ends up in his underwear, soaking wet, and promising to tell his ma of his unfair treatment. There are some dodgy pork pies on sale ‐ and a man dressed as a zookeeper singing in German at a classical concert at the Colston Hall could be a clue. Lots of new songs, lots of fun. The show starts at 7.30, with tickets at £10 available from Nightingales in the High Street. A really good night out !

Botany in the Shire

The Wild Plants of the Shirehampton area

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Water buttercup

In the August 2017 edition of the Shire, I wrote how the many sorts of water‐buttercups (white rather than yellow‐flowered) have disappeared from the marshes at Shirehampton through loss of habitat.

One, the Brackish Water‐crowfoot, as its name suggests, was a specialist of the slightly salty and often temporary pools that occur on grazed saltmarshes. I knew it grew on the Severn Estuary above Bristol, so on a recent cold and blustery Sunday, a botanical friend and I went to look for it at the unaccountably‐named Cake Pill Gout, near the old Severn Bridge.

Sure enough, we found it, little hummocks of succulent and stiff feathery leaves on the edges of shallow water bodies between the sea wall and the banks of the Severn. Obviously enough, we thought, as a mid‐Spring flowering annual, it would have to germinate in Autumn.

A few weeks ago, an old friend of mine published a book about the discovery of Britain’s native plants, and he kindly sent me a copy. It shows that in 1847, Charles Babington, later Professor of Botany at Cambridge University, who had once written a little book about the plants of his home town of Bath, had published a paper about these difficult plants. One of the specimens he had to hand came from Shirehampton and accordingly it became one of the joint first records of the plant in Britain.

It was one of my botanical heroes, George Henry Kendrick Thwaites, who had collected the Brackish Water‐crowfoot on the Shirehampton marshes. The son of a wealthy linen merchant living in Queen Square in the centre of Bristol, he developed an interest in microscopy and botany, which he taught to medical students. At about this time he was Company Secretary and honorary botanist of the Bristol Zoological Gardens, all of which stood him in good stead when a vacancy arose in 1849 to take charge of the Botanic Gardens in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), where he was instrumental in introducing many of the economic crops to that country, including tea.

Clive Lovatt

Nature Notes…

A close up of my friend Michele‘s daily visitor.

The sightings of these beautiful animals have become scarcer since the baby boom of last year, at least on the river bank. I have spotted one or two recently, but not nearly as regularly as back then.

The hedgehogs continued to come along every night for food until the beginning of December, and then, quite suddenly, the food was untouched the following morning. When this happened for a second night, I stopped laying the mealworms out. We really hope that we have a young hog hibernating in a hay filled shelter under our hedge. We watched it enter the home a couple of times after eating, so let‘s see what happens next year!

I watched a huge charm of gold finches outside today as I walked back indoors with the dog. They rose into the sky as I passed, and there must have been thirty or forty of them. It was a tremendous sight.

It‘s going to be a little quieter now the hogs are sleeping, well! most of them at any rate, but my sparrows are making sure I don‘t have time to relax from garden duties. The feeders need daily refilling and checking for blockages, not to mention keeping them clean fairly regularly. The pleasure of watching them buzzing around from feeders to hedge as frantically as they do, and spotting the great tits, blue tits and starlings that muscle in from time to time, is well worth it! Happy nature watching all, Bobbie Perkins.

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Can You Help Combat Loneliness?

Loneliness is as bad for you as 15 cigarettes a day.

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Older people living in care are twice as likely to experience severe loneliness as those in the community.

Growing Support are looking for friendly volunteers with interests in gardening and supporting people, to help older people and people with dementia take part in gardening activities.

You will volunteer alongside an expert Social and Therapeutic Horticulture Facilitator to help care home residents access all the benefits of taking part in fun activities outside in their garden.

In return, Growing Support provides:

  • Initial training and on‐going support
  • The chance to learn new skills and have fun
  • An opportunity to support some of the most vulnerable members of your community
  • Reimburse travel expenses

Deadlines for applications: 26th January 2018, informal interviews will take place on Tuesday 30th January 2018 and Induction Training on Tuesday 6th February 2018.

Letters to the Editor

Have your say eMail ‐>   editor@shire.org.uk

  The Co‐op, where do I start! ‐ E Perkins

Dear Editor

The store itself is very good and if it wasn’t for the lovely floor staff I don’t think anybody would go there, the management, logistically, could not organise a paper round. I timed my waiting time for one month in the kiosk waiting line and I was there for 2 hours 15 minutes. They wait for the people to start getting irate then they open one of the middle tills so the back of the line then get served and you‘re still waiting

It’s a joke perhaps they could put a free coffee machine like garages.

We need competition in the village.

E Perkins

  Walking Close to the Edge ‐ Lynn Constable

Dear Editor

I would like to draw your attention to an incident that happened on the High Street recently which could have been so much more serious. My husband and I were walking on the pavement alongside the Church wall heading towards the Co‐op, opposite the Taxi Office at the narrowest part of the road. My husband was walking on the outside, it was dark and during the evening rush hour. We were unaware that a double decker bus heading for Avonmouth had got as close as it could to the curb to avoid the busy oncoming traffic. The large bus wing mirror overlapped the edge of the pavement and hit my husband on the back of his head. The bus driver stopped immediately and rushed to see how badly my husband had been injured. Apart from a large lump on his head for a few days, he was lucky, but it could have been so much worse ‐ possibly a broken neck. Details were exchanged at the scene but the driver was not at fault and was most concerned about my husband who, as you would expect, was shaken up.

It was just bad luck and could have happened to anyone so this goes out as a warning to anyone over 5½ feet tall. Be aware and always walk as close as you can to the Church wall and keep looking back over your shoulder to make sure there are no buses or heavy goods vehicles heading your way, and if so, take avoiding action! I hope this letter will go some way to preventing a similar incident happening to another unsuspecting pedestrian. My husband was lucky ‐ you may not be!!!

Lynn Constable

  Shire Christmas Lights ‐ Val Lloyd

Dear Editor

Thank you to all the volunteers. The village looks lovely

  Shire Christmas Lights‐ Jenny Martin (Redcliffe)

Dear Editor

As I drove through the Village tonight I couldn’t help but notice the lovely festive lights right through the Village. It looked wonderful. Could you thank everyone involved for all the hard work. It certainly has been worth it. It looked like a winter wonderland. Thank you again.

Jenny Martin (Redcliffe)

  Thanks to Gill Sawyer & Team ‐ Sheila Bubb (Mrs)

Dear Editor

I would like to thank Gill Sawyer who started the Luncheon Club at St. Mary‘s Church 14 years ago. The club started with 12 people and, over the years, had grown to over 50 people. We had our last meal on Thursday 23rd November. It will be missed by the elderly people who have enjoyed good food and friendship.

Thank you to Tony Sawyer who helped with shopping for the food and supporting Gill. Thanks also to Jill Eynon, who helped in the kitchen and did the washing up for all those years, Pat Quirk, and the team of ladies who worked on a rota to serve the food to the tables and made us tea or coffee. Thankyou‘s also go out to Colin and Roger for transporting people with mobility problems in their own cars. A big thank you to you all for making so many people very happy.

My favourite word is ‘positive‘ and I look forward to the New Year and all it may bring. St. Mary‘s Church has always been a friendly church that offers a warm welcome to everyone. Rev. Helen is bringing new ideas and I am looking forward to them.

A happy New Year to ‘Shire‘ and its readers. We are so lucky to have it delivered to all our homes.

Thank you

Sheila Bubb (Mrs)

(Thank you for your kind donation) Editor

  Photograph On Page 7 Of December ‘Shire‘ ‐ Gil Osman

Dear Editor

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The photograph on page 7 of December‘s issue was of Walton Road street party. The clue to the occasion is the union flag displayed by one of the young girls; it was the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. My twin brother and I are pictured top left with our mother (we were 13 years old). I have no idea why it was in fancy dress!

With the help of Ellen Husher (nee Sharpe), whose memory is much better than mine, I have managed to identify many of the other people in the picture as follows:

Top row: Mrs Osman, Ron Osman, Gil Osman,__,Molly Crabbe,__,__,__,__,__,__,Mrs Norton, Mrs Thomas,

Middle row: Mrs Beswick, Donald Husher, Jane Beswick, Pat Vinnecombe, & (below)

Doreen Husher, Mrs Rossiter, Mrs Vinnecombe, Mrs Husher, Edie Barnes(on the crease), Mrs Barnes

Bottom row: __,Ann Lewis,__,__,Leigh Brabyn, Brenda Moxham, Margaret Jenkins, Jane Beswick.

There are no adult males in the photograph as they must have been at work.

Mrs Husher had 3 children (Ray, Doreen and Donald). Donald (Charlie Chaplin) was the youngest person I knew to die of cancer in his early teens. Ellen Sharpe came from the ferryboatmen family in Pill and has lived all her married life with Ray in Walton Road.

Ray, Mike Antill and I are the only ‘originals‘ still living in the street, although Ray does not live in his parents‘ house as Mike and I do. He moved from the top of the road to the bottom.

Mrs Barnes (distinguished from the other, who was called ‘Old Lady Barnes‘ and who still had gas lighting) was Leigh Brabyn‘s grandmother. Leigh‘s mother, Gertie Brabyn, was my godmother.

My mother had the idea of painting empty jam jars red, white and blue and putting lighted candles inside. These were then placed along the gutter. Of course they could only be seen to good effect at night.

One little anecdote: shortly after the war my mother sent me to ‘borrow‘ a cup of sugar from Mrs Vinnicombe in one of the new prefabs. I could not get my young tongue around her name and ended up calling her Mrs Vinegar (she laughed)!

Gil Osman

  Santa Dash ‐ Jill Williamson

Dear Editor

A huge thank you and congratulations to the Shire Illuminations Committee for pulling off a great Santa Dash on 3rd December. I’ve heard nothing but praise for the great day from everyone who not only took part but supported and volunteered. The atmosphere was fantastic and it was great seeing the support from Shire residents along the route. Also thanks to the Church congregation for plying us with the much needed water and the lady in Station Road for the glass of Port! The event bought back a great community feel to the village and hopefully there will be many more Santa Dash’s to follow. Great work Guys.

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Jill Williamson

  Petition on Anti‐social Behavior ‐ John Hastings

Dear Editor

I feel I must respond to the article in the December edition of Shire regarding a petition concerning CCTV cameras in Shirehampton. I feel it‘s a little disingenuous of Henry Michallat to condemn the Labour MP and two local councillors for their lack of action when :‐

  1. it was a police decision to move the cameras which were at the top end of the High Street to Southmead when there were significant problems there in the summer, and
  2. we‘ve had a Conservative MP and councillor representing the area for the last seven years, aren‘t they accountable too?

I note Henry describes himself as a "local campaigner" ‐ I think he means "Conservative campaigner" and shouldn‘t be ashamed to declare himself as such!

That said, I understand moves are afoot to restore the CCTV in Shire, though I doubt there‘ll be anyone to monitor them due to cutbacks in police services.

John Hastings

Apology to the People Mentioned in Petition Article [Edition 551-December 2017, pg15]

The ‘Shire‘ apologises for the publication of the story Petition to combat Anti Social Behaviour on High Street in the last edition of this newspaper, which should have been published as a letter from the writer and not as a story. The statement regarding the lack of response from Darren Jones MP, Councillor Jo Sergeant and Councillor Don Alexander was made without verification nor with the right of response to those named individuals. The ‘Shire‘ aims to be politically neutral and does not knowingly publish politically motivated content.

Your Voice in Parliament ‐ January 2018

Happy New Year and welcome to my new column in The Shire ‐ I’ll be writing regularly to update you on my work as your Member of Parliament.

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Darren Jones pulls a cracker

As your MP, I have to spend four days a week in Westminster and the rest at home here in Bristol. To add to Christmas and New Year plans, my wife and I were thrilled to welcome our first child on December 5, so I had a bit of paternity leave apart from voting on key issues ‐ going between the voting lobby and my winding and nappy changing duties!

We’re now through the amendments stage of the EU Withdrawal Bill. This Bill takes us out of the EU and copies and pastes EU law into UK law but it also gave Ministers the power to change any of those laws for up to two years without a vote in Parliament. I supported over 30 amendments, seeking to protect important European derived laws around employment rights, gender equality, the environment and consumer rights. We have up to 10,000 jobs in our part of Bristol which rely in some way on trade into and out of the EU ‐ to protect those jobs I have continuously fought against a Hard Brexit and will continue to do so.

I have also published a detailed response to the Chancellor’s recent budget which you can read on my website. I raised my concerns in the House and made it clear that the message from this Budget is dire with economic growth downgraded, productivity down and economists suggesting we have to wait up to 17 years to get a pay rise. The lack of money for the police and other public services, at a time of rising concerns around local crime and anti‐social behaviour, is also very worrying. Avon and Somerset Police have been clear their services are at a ‘tipping point’ and they cannot continue to provide the same response when faced with sustained funding cuts.

Your Champion in Bristol

In December, I met the team at Shirehampton Post Office. The Post Office, and the branch staff, have worked hard to get back up and running after the cash point explosion so it was great to be able to thank everyone in the run‐up to the busy festive period. With the news that the Natwest branch is closing, more people will need to use the banking services made available at the Post Office too. I also completed a ‘door knock’ and discussed concerns about anti‐social behaviour in Shire. If I missed you this time, I’ll be back in the area soon ‐ I door knock all year‐round, not just at elections!

I was disappointed not to be able to make the Shire Santa Dash this year but I‘ve heard great things. Loads of people got involved and raised money for our local community. A big well done to the organisers and hats off to the team for getting the village Christmas lights up ‐ with new lights too.

Lastly, in 2017 I held a libraries conference for the whole constituency and Shire library users came along. I pulled everyone‘s thoughts together and wrote to the Mayor asking that we keep Shire library open. The decision on closures has now been postponed so watch this space.

Here‘s to a happy and healthy 2018!

Twyford House CC presentation

Twyford House CC presentation

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Twyford House Cricket Club presentation of Jacob Neville who was Fourth X1 player of the year 2017 and his father Sean Neville who was THCC Clubman of the year 2017.

Keith Fussell (photographer)

Three Smelters Turn Professional

The National Smelting Co Amateur Boxing Club (NSC ABC) known as The Smelters have had three of its club boxers sign professional contracts with Chris and Jamie Sanigar in the last 12 months.

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Sam Smythe
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Tyler Davies
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Reece Godfrey‐Sharp

Lightweight Tyler ‘Tiger’ Davies now has 2 pro wins. Welterweight Reece ‘The Rat‘ Godfrey‐Sharp making his pro debut on 1st of December at Ashton Gate Stadium. Light Middleweight Sam Smythe just signed a pro contact with his debut early next year.

All these lads boxed as juniors and seniors for me winning regional titles and had 30‐40 bouts each before turning professional with Bristol’s Premier Boxing Promoters Chris & Jamie Sanigar.

PBA Bowling Club

The final big event of the year and one that brings the season past to its conclusion is the Annual Presentation Dinner.

Always a sparkling event ,looked forward to by bowlers and their families alike, this year saw it once again taking place at Shirehampton Park Golf Club, on December 1st. Forty nine bowlers and their families gathered to enjoy another very successful occasion, organised by Gill Hinksman, with a little help from some bowling friends.

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An excellent three course meal preceded the presentation of trophies to winners and runners up in the club competitions for season 2017. Presentations were made by the Club President, David Hinksman and Chairperson Lis Davies, with the exception of the Sid Holmes Handicap and the Bill Deakin Novice ‐ presented by Lorraine Holmes and Jenny Povey respectively.

The Bill Deakin Novice Trophy ‐ named after and in memory of Jenny’s late father, Bill ‐ a Past President ‐ is presented annually to the winner of a four wood singles competition, open only to bowlers at the club who have not previously won a competition. This year’s winner was Julie Looker, in her first full season at bowling ‐ she was also in the Jack Ashton Triples winning team alongside Dee Crawley and Mervyn May, and the AN Other team who won the Monday night League Cup, Captained by Dawn Evans.

The Sid Holmes Handicap Trophy ‐ in memory of Lorraine’s late husband Sid who bowled at the club for many years ‐ was presented to Ken Davies.

Season 2018 will see Dawn Evans representing the club in the ladies Champion of Champions and David Hinksman in the men’s equivalent of this prestigious competition.

Trevor Scanlon will once again partner David Hinksman in the City and County Pairs competition.

The men’s league team will once again take part in the Gloucestershire County Two Rink competition whilst the ladies will once again be seen in the Top Club and Inter Club competitions.

The next indoor game will be against Begbrook Green on Saturday January 20th at the City and County Indoor Arena. There will be a further opportunity to bowl indoors at the end of January when the club pays its annual visit to the TLH, Torquay for the Winter Bowling Break. There is at least one two hour session on each of the five days as well as plenty of time to use the hotels extensive facilities or to explore Torquay.

There has been a President at the club since 1973 when Gordon Lowery, then General Manager at The Port accepted an invitation to hold office for three years. He never bowled but did attend functions and took an interest in how the club was progressing. It was eleven years until Jack Ashton became the second President from 1987‐90 and there has been a President every year since ‐ Bill Evans, John Brailey, Roy Whitfield and currently David Hinksman.